The mutation in consciousness which is here suggested would reconstruct the foundations upon which the male ego has for centuries rested.
Still it is clear in our evolving consciousness that slaying is at best an arrested act of transformation.
The characteristic male response to the rejection of the dragon slaying myth in favor of transformation is the ancient fear that the forces of darkness may then overtake the forces of light, leaving the man in the condition of the woman, denied his phallic power.
Here we come face to face with what is involved in a man’s response to his own inner feminine as anything other than a threat to his hard won masculinity. ~Carl Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 20
Jung called the soul making process an opus contra naturam, a work against nature, by which he meant one had to work against the unconscious pull of nature in order to release the soul essence.
The inclination of the masculine spirit in this opus is to transcend the body, to go against the unconsciousness of nature by ignoring it, to reach for the perfection of disembodied soul.
Conversely, the feminine, already bonded to nature by biology, tends to fall even deeper into the concretization of matter and fails to distill the soul essence.
The soul, the essence which I understand as conscious femininity, is endangered equally by disembodied spirit and by concretized matter, but her distillation is imperative in laying the foundations for a new partnership between the sexes. ~Marion Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 22
The subtle body, an expression Jung took over from alchemy, is the body in which we live, move, and have our being.
It is through the subtle body that we experience and relate to ourselves and to others on every level of existence.
The subtle body is, in Wordsworth’s phrase,
“the world/ Of all of us, the place where, in the end,/ We find our happiness or not at all.”
It is a body whose soul affirmation of itself releases it from its primitive identification with those powers of darkness which have for too long treacherously lured the deluded dragon slayers into the murderous performance of a pseudo-redemptive act. ~Marion Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 25
At first glance, his dual or multiple aspect and his knavish and clownish characteristics lend him a Mephistophelian quality, but his knowledge of the past and future betoken a greater degree of consciousness than is possessed by Arthur and his knights who are, indeed, remarkably unconscious and unthinking.
It is due to this greater consciousness that Merlin, like the Grail, functions as a form of projected conscience, in that he exposes the mistakes and crimes of the people. As the prophet of hell put into the world by the Devil he is, moreover, clearly distinguishable as the Antichrist. . . . Thanks to his mother’s virtue, Merlin’s devilish inheritance cannot work itself out.
This devilish trait appears most clearly in his magic power and in his enjoyment of playing tricks on others and fooling them.
But for the most part neither of these traits has a destructive character. ~Emma Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 57
This concept of the way to the holy city cannot be “moulded into an intellectual ideal.”
Kingship in this image “proceeds not from the traditional moral code but from the unconscious foundation of the personality.”
This inner authority Jung calls conscience.
“If one is sufficiently conscientious,” he writes, the conflict is endured to the end, and a creative solution emerges which is produced by the constellated archetype and possesses that compelling authority not unjustly characterized as the voice of God.
The nature of the solution is in accord with the deepest foundation of the personality as well as with its wholeness; it embraces conscious and unconscious and therefore transcends the ego. ~Marion Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 65
The figure of the Father, which is manifested in the Old Testament, is that of a creator and originator of all things, who turns a benevolent as well as a destructive aspect towards men.
Men stand to him in a childlike relation that does not ponder the nature of this undivided, dark and light father God and is unable to exercise any criticism concerning him. . . .
In an age, however, in which the figure of a Son of God appears, the condition of human consciousness is also different; from the original unity of the one a part is split off which becomes its opposite or other, which is why, in most religions, the archetypal form of the Son of God is a figure of suffering. For instance, it falls victim to the powers of darkness and must be freed again for the salvation of the world. . . . While on the human side the image of the Father corresponds to a childlike state of consciousness, where a ready made way of life that has the characteristics of law is uncritically accepted, in the next stage, the Age of the Son, a conscious consideration of previously accepted things begins and with it criticism, judgment and moral differentiation. The condition of the Son is, accordingly, one of conflict. . . . [As Jung writes] ”The exemplary life of Christ is in itself a ‘transitus’ and therefore amounts to a bridge leading over to the third stage, where the initial stage of the Father is, as it were, recovered.”
This third phase, the Age of the Holy Spirit, corresponds on the human level to an attitude that, through recognition of the guiding and enlightening function of the unconscious, strives to move beyond the state of being suspended in conflict.
This does not mean a step back into the first phase, although a wrong turning of this kind naturally always threatens, but the submission of individual independence to the spirit. . . . Together with this goes the release from a faith resting merely on authority, whether such authority is psychological or that of a collective organization. ~Marion Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 114
Perceval is indeed the tierz hom, clearly destined to play the part of the man who, growing beyond the state of conflict characterized by the condition of the Son, should become conscious of the guiding, inspiring principle in the unconscious and thus realize and recognize the inner wholeness. ~Emma Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 114
Jung calls this the path of individuation.
This path strips away all facades, false expectations, dead gods.
It ultimately leads into the heart of the impasse where genuine love abides.
If we are ever to be free of patriarchal chains, free of the power drives that imprison us, free of our fears of abandonment, free of our rage, free of our addictions, free of our dependency on the dimes that others choose to bestow or withhold, we have to strip ourselves naked of these dead gods.
Then love can come to us.
The living god and goddess can enter.
Then we are empowered. ~Marion Woodman, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 126
Four as the minimal number by which order can be created represents the pluralistic state of [one] who has not yet attained inner unity, hence the state of bondage and disunion, of disintegration, and of being torn in different directions—an agonizing, unredeemed state which longs for union, reconciliation, redemption, healing, and wholeness. ~Carl Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 165
The dominant attitude of consciousness is only ”right” when it accords with the claims of both consciousness and the unconscious.
Only then can it combine their opposing tendencies into unity. If, on the other hand, the ruling attitude is either too weak or incomplete, the “life is consumed in unfruitful conflict.”
But if the old attitude of consciousness is renewed through its descent into the unconscious, then from the latter there emerges a new symbol of wholeness which is as son to the old king.
As we know, Perceval is elected to be the “son” in the Grail legend, but in the beginning this process of transformation is somehow arrested so that the old king cannot die nor can Perceval relieve his suffering. ~Carl Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 192
Jung discusses the incestuous nature of the sacred marriage at length. In “The Psychology of the Transference” he writes:
Incest symbolizes union with one’s own being. It means individuation or becoming a self, and because this is so vitally important, it exerts an unholy fascination . . . as a psychic process controlled by the unconscious, a fact well known to anybody who is familiar with psychopathology. ~Carl Jung, The Ravaged Bridegroom, Page 214