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Systema Mundi Totius.
In 1955, Jung’s Systema Mundi Totius was published anonymously in a special issue of Du dedicated to the Eranos conferences.
In a letter of February II, 1955, to Walter Corti, Jung explicitly stated that he did not want his name to appear on it (JA).
He added the following comments to the painting:
It portrays the antinomies of the microcosm within the macrocosmic world and its antinomies.
At the very top, the figure of the young boy in the winged egg, called Erikapaios or Phanes and thus reminiscent as a spiritual figure of the Orphic Gods.
His dark antithesis in the depths is here designated as Abraxas.
He represents the dominus mundi, the lord of the physical world, and is a world-creator of an ambivalent nature.
Sprouting from him we see the tree of life, labeled vita (“life”) while its upper counterpart is a light-tree in the form of a seven-branched candelabra labeled ignis (“fire”) and Eros (“love”).
Its light points to the spiritual world of the divine child.
Art and science also belong to this spiritual realm, the first represented as a winged serpent and the second as a winged mouse (as hole-digging activity!).-The candelabra is based on the principle of the spiritual number three (twice-three flames with one large flame in the middle), while the lower world of Abraxas is characterized by five, the number of natural man (the twice-five rays of his star).
The accompanying animals of the natural world are a devilish monster and a larva.
This signifies death and rebirth. A further division of the mandala is horizontal.
To the left we see a circle indicating the body or the blood, and from it rears the serpent, which winds itself around the phallus, as the generative principle.
The serpent is dark and light, signifying the dark realm of the earth, the moon, and the void (therefore called Satanas).
The light realm of rich fullness lies to the right, where from the bright circle fr(g-us sive amor dei [cold, or the love of God] the dove of the Holy Ghost takes wing, and wisdom (Sophia) pours from a double beaker to left and right.- This feminine sphere is that of heaven.- The large sphere characterized by zigzag lines or rays represents an inner sun; within this sphere the macrocosm is repeated, but with the upper and lower regions reversed as in a mirror.
These repetitions should be conceived of as endless in number, growing even smaller until the innermost core, the actual microcosm, is reached” (reproduced in Aniela Jaffe, ed., C.G.Jung, Word and Image [Princeton: Princeton University Press/ Bollingen Series, 1979 ], p. 75). ~Editor, The Black Books, Book 1, Page 130