Visions Seminars

Mrs. Crow!ey: Such a great concentration of energy seems compensatory to some of the previous visions, or to the one we were just discussing, where the phallic symbol was glorified; the great symbol there was in that huge figure of the god, and it is proportionately greater in this hermaphroditic form.

Dr. Jung: Well, the reason for it is hardly visible, and that is always true of symbols.

One can never explain the existence of a symbol by causality, one can never show a chain of causes which would prove that a certain
symbol should necessarily be. Symbols have that in common with natural objects, with animals, plants, and minerals; they just are, and you can never prove why they are.

There is no chain of causes which proves why elephants should exist, for instance, and so one can never prove why certain people, from certain causes, should produce certain symbols, it is futile to try.

One can only say that such and such people produce such and such symbols; but why that is so, or why they should contain certain
nuances, cannot be explained, it just happens.

The reason for the fact that people who live in deserts or dry countries produce a lot of rain or thunder symbols is quite evident; but why they should take particular forms, why there should be a rain goddess and not a rain god, for example, or why those most extravagant Mexican or Hindu gods should be just as they are, cannot be causally explained.

One seeks in vain a reason for such peculiarities.

But one can ask the purpose or function of a symbol, as one can ask how an elephant functions in nature; that is a perfectly legitimate question which can be answered.

One can also ask how mosquitoes function, but of course one cannot see any purpose, why there should be mosquitoes at all is an unanswerable question!

And one can ask how symbols function in the human mind; that is most interesting because it has something to do with the life of the symbol.

As one can ask how the Hindu gods function in Hindu psychology, what it means to the Hindus that their gods have so many arms, for instance, or that there are so many snake gods.

Or what it means that the crucified god functions in us. Those are most interesting questions.

So we must ask here how that hermaphroditic god functions in us.

Those are most interesting questions.

So we must ask here how that hermaphroditic god functions in the psychology of the patient, what is its purpose? ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 911-912