Last time we talked about the seventh invocation [of the “Anima Christi”]:
- “Intra tua vulnera absconde me.” (Within your wounds hide me.)
I told you that these vulnera, from vulnus, the wound, are mainly understood in connection with the side- wound. And that this side- wound is traditionally a kind of feminine characteristic of the corpus Christi.
This female aspect of Christ is clearly expressed in the iconography.
He is often represented with feminine features, as is his cousin Mithras, as it happens.
At the moment of the tauroktonos, the killing of the bull,292
Mithras is depicted with very feminine features, and Cumont who is the great authority on Mithraism even says that there is something quite hysterical about his features.293
Evidently a certain male femininity is also attributed to him.
This male femininity of Christ is also referred to as androgyny.
From aner and gyné.294
This androgyny is not unique to the Christ 0gure: from the 0eld of comparative religion we know that most of the chthonic295 gods have an androgynous character.
I would like to quote a Catholic writer to you, Georg Koepgen.
He wrote a book called Die Gnosis des Christentums.296
It is very reliable; it was given the episcopal imprimatur.297
In it, he says that the masculine and the feminine are united in Christ: “His voluntary accedence to immolation
is feminine,”298 and in him the male femininity became obvious.
For Koepgen, Christ is an androgynous being. He also says the Church is androgynous, in that the Church is the corpus mysticum Christi, and that the celibacy of priests is evidence of the male maidenhood of the soul.
This view, while not dogmatic, is tolerated in the Church.
Now, it is of course signi0cant that the figure of Christ is thought of as male– female.
Because this male femininity of Christ has a function of uniting the opposites, in that the male 0gure sort of represents the bridegroom for the woman.
For example, in the Catholic church, there is the notion that the unmarried woman is a bride of Christ.
He is her bridegroom. For the man he is female— for the man’s consciousness that is.
We must of course assume that the opposite is true when it comes to the unconscious relationship with this 0gure.
Przywara stresses that the wounds are open, and that they are open in order that we, the worshipers, the meditators, can “be enveloped within the unsealed God.”299
Those are his words. The suffering in Christ, says Przywara, is a kind of descent, like the grain of wheat sinking into the
furrow of the soil.
He says, “And it cannot show itself at all, because it is the suffering of the immature child that can only hide itself in the womb from whence it once came.”300
It couldn’t be said more clearly.
This idea is symbolically necessary to reveal and explain the interpenetration between the faithful and Christ.
This mutual penetration is already attested to in the Gospels. Think of the part in John where it says, “He that eateth
my 6esh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”301
At this point too you see that the inner Christ is authentically acknowledged.
Similarly at the end of John chapter’17, in the part referred to as the high priestly prayer of Jesus, we read, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may
be in them, and I in them.”302
In these words, the idea of the interpenetration between the faithful and Christ is very clearly expressed, but of course always with the stress laid on the activity of Christ and not on the
side of the faithful, who are not ascribed any autonomous ef0cacy of their
In the Christian view, of course, Christ as God- man has absolute autonomy. He is the complete center of activity.
As we have seen in the course of these lectures— I am referring back to the earlier semesters303— Christ is a Western formulation of what in the East is called self, âtman or Buddha.
He symbolizes—if we can consider him a symbol— the self. So when the dogma says that Christ as God became
man, then in psychological terms it means that the self entered human consciousness; or that consciousness began to recognize the self as a human component— and in a most unique form.
Namely, it is as if it entered me from outside, through its own autonomy and not through my own realization.
It is not I who realize a self in me—as the Easterner does— but the self enters the Westerner from outside, as a historic event, even.
That we can accept, that it was a historic event, the life of Christ, I mean.
And thus that figure historically entered the 0eld of vision of human consciousness and was recognized as the divine figure of the self, namely the self as that indescribable and inde0nable figure that is greater than us, in which a person readily feels contained.
In the East, naturally, the process is different.
There, this self is first recognized as something residing in the cave of the heart, something very tiny which is contained in me. In contrast, in the Western psychological experience, the self is recognized as something voluminous, as something
that encloses me or should enclose me, that pre sents itself to me with the complete and absolute power304 of a divine being. And this presentation is simply the act of it becoming conscious.
Mankind to an extent became conscious that this man, this teacher, this rabbi, this prophet Jesus was a God- man.
So all those notions about Osiris which the Egyptians had been preparing for thousands of years combined with the messianic notions and settled upon these people, as it were—if you want to look at it like that from a psychological point of view.
Of course it wasn’t that people discussed and agreed among themselves:
“We want to call him the God- man.” Jesus probably exerted such an effect that his disciples were immediately convinced that he was filled with God’s spirit, that he was a prophet.
We know that from the Gospels, that initially he was seen as a prophet.
Then gradually a public perception formed that he was the realization of all these notions that were 6oating around at that time and were extremely popu lar.305
After all, that was anyway a time full of miraculous deeds and mysterious characters.
We find other such messianic 0gures in Christ’s immediate vicinity, and in the Hellenic world there were other 0gures of this kind who came after Christ too.
Moreover, this kind of condensation pro cess of public opinion had often happened before.
Look at Empedocles, who claimed to be a divine human, a god so to speak, and when he traveled from one town to another he was followed by thousands of people.
He was hailed wherever he went as a savior, and when he could no longer save himself from the people, he went to Etna to withdraw from the world.
When they apparently even followed him there, he jumped into the volcano to get away from them and 0nd peace.306
Pythagoras,307 too, was believed to incarnate divinity. In early antiquity that was nothing special, as people believed that the gods still roamed the earth and it was not impossible to bump into one now and again.
People in the ancient world were still able to regard those with godlike qualities as gods, and so they could compress all their existing ideas into that figure, particularly if that person apparently had all the qualities that would justify an attribution of godliness.
The dogma predicates further that the 0gure of the savior is a figure of suffering, that he was slandered, derided, murdered, wounded; in other words, that the act of becoming human is an act of suffering, or an event that is characterized by suffering.
That is to say, the process of individuation, of becoming oneself, of the self becoming conscious, is a divine suffering.
It is as though the 0gure that pre sents itself as the self suffers in this process; a 0gure of suffering that is characterized in particular by the side- wound, by the mysteriously implied androgyny.
Now we realize that for the Western consciousness, which has such an exquisitely masculine attitude, the feminine aspect entering a male organism through individuation of course has a wounding effect.
Because then one’s masculinity is wounded.
It also explains why this idea is completely unknown in the East: because their attitude to the outer world is passive, feminine, resigned, while their masculinity is internal and is then actualized in the individuation process.
Hence the Eastern credo: it is me, I make the world.
This wounding, this side- wound, this feminization of God or suffering figure of God is also found in Germanic my thol ogy.
One part in particular in the Edda is very representative of this.
I don’t know whether you know it. It is from the Hávamál Edda. Odin (Wotan) says,
I ween that I hung / on the windy tree, Hung there for nights full nine; With the spear I was wounded, / and offered I was To Odin, myself to myself.308
It has been claimed that this point was adopted from Christianity. I’think we can rule that out, however, because the “[offered] myself to myself” is not a Christian concept— the Christian concept is all about the I and you, about the relationship, with a pronounced Eros.
In the East, one might be more likely to expect the God or âtman to say, “and offered I was [. . .]; myself to myself.”
But in the West that is unheard of. And yet it happened—we have the proof.
But it is a primitive belief from a primitive time, in which the one- sided differentiation of the Western attitude was not yet pre sent to the extent that it was in later centuries.
On the contrary, I think it is something very ancient and primordial.
Now we will move on to the next invocation [of the “Anima Christi”]:
- “Ne permittas me separari a te.” (Permit me not to be separated from you.)
In this call appears an aspect that Przywara also stresses in particularlar: the absolute sovereignty of Christ.309
That is how a god, a king, is addressed.
One can only speak like that with an absolute ruler, one who has power over life and death. It is not “I don’t want to separate myself,” or “I could separate myself.”
Not that at all, but instead “Ne permittas”— “Do not allow it to happen.”
Here too, the ultimate power,310 as you see, comes exclusively from the 0gure of Christ.
“The person seems to be a god in this world.”311
Because of his creative power and all that he can achieve in the world. He can really make a lot happen. That’s why many people get the idea that we are godlike,312 because of our technology, for example.
But Przywara continues, “But he stands in their midst, he sees above him and below him, powerless, the chasm of the forces: the eternity of the spirit, the incalculability of nature. And both rampage through him as a battleground.”313 Przywara now calls this the suffering on the cross.
We need to take a closer look at this notion.
Here, Przywara places man in the center between the opposites of spirit and nature.
We could also say spirit and substance, spirit and matter. That is one set of opposites.
In the same meditation he also has another opposite: the person caught between heaven and hell.314
This gives rise to the following constellation: (moral opposite:)
Heaven (cosmic opposite:) Spirit + Matter Hell
In the center is man. Heaven above, hell below. That would be the moralethical opposite.
Alongside that is the cosmic opposite: spirit/nature ( matter).
So we don’t just have an above and below, but also a right and left. This [+ in the diagram] is a state of suspension between the opposites, which is the suffering on the cross.
In Przywara’s notion, we see the glimmer of one of the original Christian ideas: namely, that the cross is a kind of cosmic symbol that stands on the boundary between heaven and hell; that is, right in the center of the world, so to speak. In this way Przywara considers man to be a central point, a meeting point of the great cosmic opposites, of the spiritual
and anthropological opposites.
The human being is a kind of uniting symbol; man in this form corresponds in a way to God as a prototype, or rather a copy, in which all opposites are also uni0ed in God.315
Thus, if the self comes to the person, or if we may understand Christ as a human being who has become a self, then he is in this crossed position and therefore the unifying symbol is the cross itself. That is why one so often hears the phrase “redeemed in Christ,” or “in Christ’s cross.”
The cross is the symbol for the uniting of the opposites, and Christ vanquishes the opposites.
In him, the opposites are overcome. We cannot use the word “dissolved,” since it is a harrowing process; instead we have to say the opposites are united or reconciled in him. He is the symbol of reconciliation.
With this realization and the image of the suspensio, the state of being suspended, with this acme of suffering, anguish, and abasement, the “Anima Christi” prayer reaches its climax.
We have discussed eight invocations. The 0rst part is composed of “Anima Christi, sancti0ca me.” (Soul of Christ, sanctify me.)
“Corpus Christi, salva me.” (Body of Christ, save me.)
“Sanguis Christi, inebria me.” (Blood of Christ, inebriate me.)
“Aqua lateris Christi, la va me.” ( Water from the side of Christ, wash me.)
These four invocations form the 0rst verse: that is, the praeparatio—the preparation through the sancti0cation— saving,316 inebriation, and puri0cation— the ablutio. Then comes the passio, the suffering, or also the penetratio, the penetration of Christ or the penetration into Christ:
“Passio Christi, conforta me.” (Passion of Christ, strengthen me.)
“O bone Jesu, exaudi me.” (Oh good Jesus, hear me.)
“Intra tua vulnera absconde me.” (Within your wounds hide me.)
“Ne permittas me separari a te.” (Permit me not to be separated from you.)
These are in a way two stages that lead to the climax.
Here we have a curious parallel to something we discussed in the last semester, namely the text of the Shrî- chakra- sambhâra Tantra, in which we also reach the climax in two stages.317
And then something occurs, namely the next invocation.
Now comes the third part, the actual salvatio, the actual salvation and deliverance, beginning with the ninth invocation:
“Ab hoste maligno defende me.” (From the wicked foe, defend me.)
We find exactly the same thing in this Eastern text in which the defense against the destructive also comes after the tw ofirst sections. I want to jog your memories by presenting it again brie6y:318
Shrî- hakra- sambhâra Tantra403 Anima Christi
Phase I, Thesis I. Praeparatio
A. Shrî heruka aham 1. Soul of Christ, sanctify me
2. Body of Christ, save me
3. Blood of Christ, inebriate me
4. Water from the side of Christ, wash me
B. II. Penetratio:
1. Light and four colors
2. Ten directions
3. Assimilation of all beings
4. Emanation, absorbed in the self
5. Passion of Christ, strengthen me
6. Oh good Jesus, hear me
7. Within your wounds hide me
8. Permit me not to be separated from you Phase II, Antithesis404
A. Threat and defense (female devil) III. Salvatio, redemption (devil) Senses (delusion, rage, greed, avarice, jealousy)
9. From the wicked foe, defend me Shakti, mâyâ
a. Earth, “she who causes the fall” b. Water, “she who kills”
c. Fire, “she who summons”
d. Air, “the lady of the dance”
e. Ether, “she who has the lotus net”
10. In the hour of my death, call me
11. and bid me come to you,
12. that with your saints I may praise you for ever and ever.
The culmination of the 0rst section is the acknowl edgment of the Shrî
heruka aham: “I am the sacred Heruka.”321
That simply means, “I am the
divine 0gure. Heruka is the Lord in this whole meditation.”
The second section culminates in the acknowl edgment that now all strands are collected in the self, and that this self is again the Heruka.
But all of that has come about through the meditator’s own activity.
Then comes the threat and the defense: namely, there is not a wicked foe, but a feminine being.
Specifically, the meditating yogi must here defend himself against or ward off the one who causes the fall, the one who kills, who summons, who is the lady of the dance and who has the lotus net, namely the mâyâ, the deception, the illusion of the world in which one is entangled, and the more one is tangled up in it, the more one is cut off from one’s own self. This entangling occurs through the attachment of the senses to illusory objects.
The actual devil who appears in this Buddhist meditation is female.
is Shakti, one who constructs a world, who is associated with the god, is
his consort, his feminine aspect, but who also constructs a phantasmagoric world that is meant to be a re6ection of the god.
But if someone develops out of their own inner authority into an âtman or Shiva or Heruka, then they may fall into the trap of this illusion, because they have not yet attained perfection.
And the trap is laid for them by this Shakti, the mâyâ. In the West the devil is usually a male figure.
And he has exaggeratedly masculine attributes: horns, cloven hoofs, or at least horse’s hoofs, and is found on the Blocksberg322 as you know; extremely masculine.
He is modeled on the old fauns who don’t exactly have a good reputation.
Now, how can it be that in the East the devil is female and in the West male?
After all, in the legend of the Buddha it is Mara, the lord of this world. Exactly like in the New Testament, but without the side- helping of morals. He is a relatively conscientious devil, not so bad at all.
The Mara is there to maintain the world’s creation. Thus he has to use all means to turn the Buddha back to the world.
He tries to seduce the Buddha with a host of pretty bayadères.323
But in this meditation, Shakti appears as the actual temptress, as the personi0cation of the mâyâ, which is feminine.
There is a connection here with the curious divergence between the Eastern and Western attitudes: in the West a conscious, masculine attitude to the world, in the East a feminine, passive, resigned attitude.
The world is full of suffering.
The yogi denies the world, that is, he withdraws from it, closes in on himself, develops a strong masculine attitude that no longer cares at all about the world and rises above worldly suffering and pleasure, vice and virtue, temptation and enticement, in a completely unassuming324 way.
In the West, the masculine consciousness is subject to a feminine attitude: namely, a devotion to Christ that is full of longing.
The man is transformed into a feminine creature.
That’s why his devil is male— because his earlier masculine attitude, the exclusively masculine attitude, now works on him like the devil.
It tempts him back into the world.
Exactly like in the East, but in reverse: the earlier feminine attitude seduces the person back into worldly attachments.
If we want to use more psychological terms, we would say that the Westerner has an anima, that is a feminine unconscious, while the Easterner has an animus, an unconscious with a more masculine tone.
And in fact the Eastern unconscious is different from the Western one. In Eastern terminology, there is no expression for the unconscious.
In the whole Sanskrit language there is no word for it. Initially I had great dif0culties making myself understood when I spoke with Eastern philosophers.
You’d think that in the East, where people are so introspective, it would be possible.
But then I realized that they call consciousness “bodh,”325 referring to the bright consciousness.
What they call the conscious mind, brightest spirit, is for us the unconscious.
Thus they say that the highest consciousness is found in deep sleep, when we would say we are wholly unconscious.
This peculiar reversal or contradiction in the Eastern attitude is of course due to this idiosyncratic order of things in the East.
The next invocation goes:
“In hora mortis meae voca me.” (At the hour of my death, call me.)
It is certainly not “I want to go to you”— I have to be called. And the same in the next invocation:
“Et iube me venire ad te,” (And bid me come to you,)326
As if the person could not personally do anything about it.
The person exists only in a state of completely resigned passivity characterized by hopeful yearning and wishing, totally feminine.
As if the man’s soul, which is actually feminine, ascribes total power to Christ in the hope that he will issue the command.
One is ready to be rebuked by him for one’s wrongdoing and dares at most to sigh and propitiate, that the great king might notice and call the poor mortal worm to him.
The last sentence goes,
“Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te, / In saecula saeculorum. Amen.”
(That with your saints I may praise you / for ever and ever. Amen.)
Laudare Dominum, praise the Lord, is an expression we know very well.
We hear it in sermons, hymns, and psalms, but we never stop and think about what it actually means.
It is an ancient institution, stemming from the courts of old.
You have to imagine some Egyptian or Babylonian king in his court, always surrounded by devotees who are constantly singing his praises on harps and other instruments to propitiate him.
The powerful of this earth are, after all, usually of human scale.
They are not giants, in body or in spirit, but quite ordinary mortals.
Merely through the fortune or misfortune of birth or the right connections, they are placed on such a high pedestal that they feel abject and scared up there and are plagued by feelings of inferiority.
As a result, from very early in history there were court singers praising
You find them even in the very primitive courts of African chiefs.
You cannot even meet such a chieftain without being propitiated by the head of the caravan or an emissary of the king who introduces you: “
This is the great lord, the wise man, and he is a Mussulman and a Christian.”
They said that about me because I knew the Koran. “
And this is the great King Maringa who has six hundred wives, three palaces, and a great army,” and so on.
That is the laudare, which 0rst began as a courtly custom and was gradually transferred into the worship in which the Godhead is honored as an oriental prince.
That is how our ideas about the afterlife came about.
Recall the countless images of the divine Godhead in which there are thousands of harpists on either side of God’s throne permanently performing the laudare.
This laudare Dominum has persisted down the centuries and become a standard phrase. Earlier it was an entirely
conscious attempt, a conscious technique of propitiation, that is, of winning favor by elevating the monarch’s self- esteem through praise so that he would be in a better mood. Great lords such as these are often bad- tempered if they are not suf0ciently entertained by the huge claque that surrounds them. I know what I am saying sounds very heretical, but I think we ought to be aware of these things. ~Carl Jung, The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, Page 113 -125