Lecture 3 17 November 1939
Last time we got as far as discussing the praeparatio: the introduction, the preparation.
I want to recall your attention to the sentence that clearly shows us what is actually meant by this preparation:
Specicfially, the right attitude to the enterprise, the collecting of thoughts, the concentration and the evocation, the actual imaginatio, that is, the imagination, the formation of a concrete image that is intended to illustrate the subject of the meditation.
Thus very much in keeping with the instructions in the Eastern texts that we looked at before on how to imagine the Bud dha or Bodhi sat tva in detail. Except that here the subject is different.
I will turn again to the text of the old Spanish Jesuit who wrote a very instructive book about these exercises.185
There he says, In order to pay more attention to the contemplation or oratio and rein in the fantasy so that you are not distracted by other thoughts, make a compositio loci.
That means a particular physical image of those subjects about which you want to meditate.
You should bring them all to life in your imagination, and precisely picture the things, people, places and all other circumstances that make up the event or memory on which you will meditate.
If you manage to make a complete picture, the petitio follows, the invocation, namely asking God to give you the grace to collect yourself correctly and to obtain the right fruit from your contemplation.[.. .]
For that purpose he takes one of the prepared points and reflects on it, using reason, by weighing up every thing that relates to this
point. And he then directs his rational reflection to produce the corresponding will.186
The thoughts must thus lead to an action of will, so that the right affects are triggered. So you see, it is not sufficient to reflect coolly on these meditation points; one also has to draw certain conclusions, to illuminate the whole point and make decisions about it.
This of course then leads to the production of affects.
For example, the person meditating thinks of a sin which he has committed, and then pre sents to himself all the circumstances surrounding the event and decides that he no longer wants to behave in this way.
At that point, he realizes that he is not in harmony, but that something inside him is saying, “Well, but perhaps you could do it again after all, let’s not be so hasty!”
The human being is weak and has all kinds of opposition to change. This then triggers an affect in him.
He gets terribly afraid that he might not be able to keep his promise, and then he knows that he is moving from a venial sin to a mortal sin, because he would then have knowingly sinned again.
This leads to a moral conflict, a moral situation, from which the affectus probos, the right affect, emerges. 187
He has to let it make an impression on him in order to get churned up inside. After being in this state of inner turmoil for a while, it is likely that he can eventually bring himself to make a decision after all.
And then comes the 1nal part of the meditation, namely the part called the colloquy. About this he says,
This colloquy is nothing other than that one speaks in familiar terms with Christ the Lord or with the Mother of God or with the Holy
Trinity or with one of the divine persons.188
It is most curious to think of holding such a conversation.
He also says other things, speci1cally that one should then conduct this conversation
in a variety of ways, for example by “assigning diferent people” in the sense of masks, of roles, and that one should for example “speak as if one were the creature with the creator, or as the servant with the master, or as the son with the father, the pupil with the teacher, the patient with the doctor, the friend with the friend, or the beggar with the rich man,” the
purpose being to illuminate one’s relationship with the Divinity from all sides.189
When, for instance, one speaks as friend to friend, it is of course dif fer ent from when one speaks as a beggar to a rich man.
Thus the conversation gains a greater psychological character of real ity, and a great many more aspects appear.
The conversation consists of addressing someone.
The Godhead is simply spoken to, but there is no one there who answers.
The case is therefore something like—to give a banal example—the one in a little book by George Sand in which she pre sents conversations with her soul mate, but over the thirty pages only she speaks, we never hear what he says.190 It is therefore a wholly one- sided conversation.
It is only a talking to. The exercitant speaks to the Godhead and doesn’t hear what the Godhead replies.
In antiquity it was similar. People also spoke to the god- images back then.
In some places there was even a step next to the statue of a god, so that one could climb up and speak into the god’s ear.
But in those days the gods answered.
People would gaze at the statues of the gods until they could perceive a vis i ble sign: for example, the statue nodded its head.
The honored object was certainly not inert.
We know this also from the legends of saints, in which the saints depicted in paintings make certain gestures, or a voice is heard.
The projection caused by my addressing the object brings about an animation of the object, so to speak, which then
appears to be reacting.
The statue of a god nods its head or some other sign occurs, the objectivity of which cannot be established.
But that doesn’t matter.
The essential thing is that the connection with the Godhead has taken place for that par tic u lar person.
Then it is completely irrelevant whether the statue really, in our sense of the word, nodded or not.
But in these exercises, we never hear about any kind of response, not even a trace of such an answer, apart from the indirect effect of the grace. which is thus understood as the fruit of the oratio and could be interpreted as the answer of the Godhead.
After the colloquy comes a spoken prayer, the oratio vocalis, as instructed here: “if the person concerned is on special terms with the Mother of God, it is good to say an ‘Ave Maria,’ or if it is the Holy Trinity, then one should say a ‘Pater Noster,’ and if it is Christ who is standing in front of you, you should say the ‘Anima Christi.’ ”191
It is most common to say the “Anima Christi.”
That is an old Church prayer that is meditated on very carefully in the modern exercises. I would like to use this prayer to give a basic description of the form the meditation takes.
I need to show you how these things are meditated on in detail.
Thus we will do the same as we already did with the Eastern texts.
There we also went into the individual details of the meditations and saw what a unique spiritual constellation emerges from those Eastern symbols.
We now want to do the same for the Christian spirit.
Now, here too I would like to ask you again to listen objectively and to try to forget that you, some of you at least, have had a Christian upbringing.
The “Anima Christi” prayer is not by Ignatius, but is an old Church prayer:
Anima Christi, sancti1ca me.
Corpus Christi, salva me.
Sanguis Christi, inebria me.
Aqua lateris Christi, la va me.
Passio Christi, conforta me.
O bone Jesu, exaudi me.
Intra tua vulnera absconde me.
Ne permittas me separari a te.
Ab hoste maligno defende me.
In hora mortis meae voca me
Et iube me venire ad te,
Ut cum Sanctis tuis laudem te
In saecula saeculorum. Amen.
(Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O Good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from you.
From the wicked foe, defend me.
At the hour of my death, call me
and bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
For ever and ever. Amen.192)
So that is how this short prayer goes.
We now want to look at the individual parts of this meditation prayer, like we would with any text, and we should take a naive approach, as it were, to these contents that will partly seem so familiar to us, and yet are also so unfamiliar.
Here I will follow the analy sis by Erich Przywara.193
He has written three volumes about the exercises, entitled Deus semper maior.194
He says with regard to this “Anima Christi” that one should be subjectively aware that one’s “soul is permeated by Christ” and one’s “blood is perfused by the blood of the Passion of Christ.”195
Those are his words.
The anima Christi is actually a strange idea. Is the soul of Christ differentiated from Christ as a 1gure?
It seems almost to be the case, because other wise one would not speak of an anima Christi.
But because Christ is the whole Godhead according to the dogma, one could surely not also separate him from his anima. But in this prayer, the anima and the corpus are distinct, are two dif fer ent things.
Przywara now says that the main content of the whole exercises actually lies in this intersection, namely in the sentence “Christ lives in me.”196
He is referring to the part in Galatians where Paul says, “I am cruci1ed with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”197
Now one tries to somehow make this assertion true in the meditation, or to bring it into effect through consideratio— consideration, weighing up, reason; meditatio— reflection; contemplatio— contemplation, looking at; and fourth, through experiencing it through the senses.
This is a typically Ignatian feature, that the human senses also have to be involved, other wise this penetration by Christ has no entry point.
And the result of these four stages or forms of meditation must be that Christ is seen, in a way, from the inside, almost as if he is within one.
We could just as easily say, “I in Christ”, which Przywara formulates like this: “From within Christ, to see with His eyes, to feel with His heart, to breathe with Him[.]”198
In other words, a complete transposition199 of the person into the Christ 1gure.
This is a classic difference from how it is in the East.
There, it is not about being transposed into the Buddha, but rather I become Buddha.
But here, it is about something that Ignatius already called a “jumping out of oneself,”200 a kind of jumping over into the Christ 1igure so that one leaves oneself behind, so to speak, or one dissolves fully in the physical and spiritual essence of Christ, with a complete stripping of the self.
That is the opposite to what we saw in the East, where the self becomes the Buddha.
At the end of our examination of the “Anima Christi,” I will show you a few more Eastern texts in which you can clearly
see the Eastern attitude.
Przywara now goes through the prayer line by line, word by word, saying what he thinks about it, what occurs to him. These interpretations are very in ter est ing from the psychological standpoint.
About the 1irst line he says,
- “Anima Christi, sancti1ca me.” (Soul of Christ, sanctify me.)
The soul is the entity of the whole life. The soul of Christ is the entity of all that which is Christ. Out of the soul of Christ the life of Christ is formed, and therefore my life as Christ in me.201
Soul, what is the soul? It is the form, the entity of Christ’s being.
A mold for all that which is Christ.
From this form, the life of Christ is formed, and therefore also the life of the one who is contemplating Christ, who is meditating on Christ.
And insofar as he allows his life to be formed thus, he is in a way also transferred over into this life of Christ, so that
he now vere, realiter et substantialiter202 no longer lives as himself, but as Christ.
This idea of the soul as form is a concept already found in the Middle Ages: that the soul is actually the form- giving principle of human beings which also forms their outer lives and their bodies.
So when one meditates on the soul of Christ, one is meditating on the form.
We 1nd the same idea in the East. I visited a monastery at Belur Mutt, north of Calcutta, several times.
It’s a monastery of the Ramakrishna order.203
There is a small chapel room which does not have an altar as we understand it, but rather a curtain under which is a kind of throne consisting purely of low silk cushions.
On top of it is a photo graph of Ramakrishna. It’s terribly tasteless, but the people don’t see that at all.
They actually see Ramakrishna here.
A daily meditative prayer is said before the photo graph, not in order to honor Ramakrishna, but to adopt the form of Ramakrishna: to enter into the form of Ramakrishna.
This is literally what they told me. I took part in this meditative ritual.
What I found very in ter est ing was that the monk who was the celebrant had to prepare the day before with a long meditation exercise until he had conceived of204 the form and entered into the anima of the Ramakrishna.
As such he was then able to lead the ceremony. The ceremony itself was very typical of Hinduism.
They brought old Vedic offerings as symbols: for the earth, 2owers; for light, 1re; for the air, a frond to fan the altar seat; for water, a sprinkling, a libation of water.
Then they sang Vedic hymns.
All the monks sit on the 2oor in the lotus position throughout and often prostrate themselves at certain points as the offerings are made.
Thus it is not an honoring of Ramakrishna
in the usual sense— rather, signs205 are generated that are reminiscent of the form into which each individual enters: once again it is a very different concept from the Christian one, even though the basic idea of the soul as form is the same.
The anima Christi is now supposed, as a result of the meditation, to permeate through the exercitant so completely that his own life becomes the life of Christ himself.
Then Przywara moves on to the second part of fhe 1rst line. I will read this part out to you, because it is almost impossible
to get across the unique emotion of the meditation:
Therefore: sancti!ca me, separate me out and set me apart like temple and temple utensils, which are separated out and set apart so that they either serve only the temple or must be destroyed, and in the service of the temple itself serve the altar, i.e., become the sacri1ce. “Holy” means “with God,” and yet also means “damned”— treading the 1ne line between blessing and curse— and herein completely surrendered. Christ lives in me—or I do not live. Christ
is all—or is the curse into nothingness.206
That refers to this point: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree[.]”207
- “Corpus Christi, salva me.” (Body of Christ, save me.)
The life of Christ in me is the life of God which became the body, and whose body is the vis i ble church.208
The Church is also the corpus Christi.
It is not about invisible divinity, hidden interiority, unembodied spirituality, pure soulfulness, but about God who becomes man, inwardness that expresses itself in the work, spirituality that finds expression in the 2esh, soul that is only vis i ble as a body.
Christ in the visible church, Christ in the vis i ble work in the vis i ble world.
Because He should be every thing, every thing in me, every thing through me and into the world.209
That is now the method which I spoke of earlier, namely the inner realization that should lead to the eruption of affects.
Then come ethical conclusions that lead to action; vis i ble fruits, as it were.
So, this body of Christ which is meditated on here is the visible manifestation of the Lord who is to save me, speci1cally to make me whole.
About that he says,
Herein: salva me, save me.
The body saves: Christ, by making him vis i ble, human, 2esh— through the humility of this impotence.
Save me210 [He has a peculiar style that I don’t vouch for; CGJ] healed wound of the sins, healed blood of the sacri1ce.
The sin is redeemed in the sacri1ce: sancti!ca me.
But the sacri1ce is not the last. Because sacri1ce is the most open wound. Sin is redeemed in the sacrifice in the body of Christ.
The body of Christ is the salvation: salva me.
Thus it is the perfect wholeness: spirit and 2esh, God and creature are one in the “head and body one Christ,” in every one of his limbs, in every life and working of these limbs.211
The corpus Christi is thus here thought of as the source of human wholeness.
At the same time it is a reason why those meditating have in a way to take leave of themselves in order to enter completely into the form of Christ, through which they achieve that wholeness which Christ symbolizes for us. Namely, Christ is for us a symbol for the wholeness of the human being.
So you see how deep these meditations go.
Of course, such depths are not reached in every case, but in the case of such an ingenious man as Przywara these things naturally go a lot further.
In principle, that is how the things are carried out.
Once again, it is extraordinarily striking that one 1nds here an explicit tendency toward visibility, toward concrete material
real ity, and not an evaporation into the spiritual realm, a renunciation of the body or the 2esh; instead it is expressly the flesh, the body, the concrete that is emphasized.
And again, that is something that we do not 1nd at all in the East. It is totally unfamiliar.
There, nothing becomes concrete, rather the concrete is all dissolved in mâyâ.212 Every thing is illusion.
If you do not know that, you have not even grasped the very basics of yoga philosophy. It is a real illusion.
It is concrete, but this concreteness is illusion.
There it is not a transcending of the body, but the body becoming illusory. Amid the real ity, carnality, actuality of the body, this inner adjustment takes place through which one recognizes it as illusion.
And then one is in another state.
Here, however, there is clear tendency to allow this inner experience to immediately also become an outer experience.
This is now the aspect that ontrasts most strongly with the earlier meditation exercises of the Devoti.
This is speci1cally Ignatian: this orientation toward the realization in concreto, the becoming-real in the body of the Church.
This unique emphasis on the physical could even make one wonder whether for us Westerners the physical is not actually an a priori real ity at all, but first has to be preached, 1rst has to become real.
There are many things in our religion that point to this.
We only have time to touch on one other point, which is just as peculiar, namely the [third line of the “Anima Christi”]:
- “Sanguis Christi, inebria me.” (Blood of Christ, inebriate me.) If you were to read such words in an Indian text you would think of a bloodlust, of a so ma drink,213 perhaps of an orgy at which blood was drunk. You might think of a Dionysian blood ceremony—at any rate certainly of something very primitive.
But of course we are so used to these ideas that they no longer strike us as strange.
The blood of Christ is so abstract and anemic that it no longer says anything to us.
But imagine if we had never heard of it before.
Like that Indian man who visited England and stated, “What the missionaries say is all a con.
The English are actually animal worshippers! Everywhere they have doves, lions, ea gles, oxen, and winged men.”
He had seen all these emblems in the Romanesque and Gothic churches and thought, “Aha, now we have it!”
And we no longer even notice when we are in a church and see a lamb with a banner and
cross or a putto214 with a little angel’s head and golden wings.
But to a naive person, like the Indian man, it is striking. And the texts are also striking.
The first time someone hears “blood of Christ, inebriate me”, it sounds very dangerous.
One has all sorts of suspicions and thinks, “What is meant by that?”
What is it actually getting at? It awakens memories of ancient times past, when gruesome human sacri1ces were made.
Then you see a person being horribly cruci1ed, a bleeding corpse so to speak.
That is terribly shocking for the naive understanding.
One asks oneself, “What sort of people must they be, to have such symbols?”
That is typical of the West. In the East there is no blood and soil theory.
Just imagine, a Catholic authority claims the ideas of blood and soil for itself. And that is also correct.
This carnal outlook, these primordial instincts that come to the fore here, they originate with us. For example, just go and look in a gallery of medieval art.
What do you actually see?
One person is being roasted on the grill, another has his intestines pulled out, another is walking around with his head under his arm.
If you come from the East, it seems extraordinary. And what does that tell us?
You know, blood and soil, that was just bait to catch the mice and rats, and now it has become reality in quite a dif fer ent way.215
That’s how it goes with us.
That’s why, when one talks a lot about blood, then blood shall come.
But also one talks about it because it is already there. It is in our nature. “Bloodlust”— you must have heard that word.
We should also meditate on it, but more from the Eastern perspective, for our edi1cation, a kind of bitter edification.
However, the way Przywara meditates on it is of course in the Christian tradition, where the danger is already transformed into something intellectual and spiritual, so that one’s primordial ideas somehow vanish.
One no longer thinks of them at all.
Thus he says, 3. “Sanguis Christi, inebria me.”
Because Christ is within one from the inside (anima Christi), because Christ is one’s whole form (corpus Christi), therefore one is now also permeated, warmed, perfused by Him: not only the form of Christ as my form, but flowing in the flow of Christ, hunted to and fro in the bloodstream of Christ, restive in the restiveness of Christ, transformable in the transformation of Christ—in his body, which is the Church.
Therefore, “inebria me.”
The narrow and anxious “reasonableness” must become the intoxication of drunkenness, if my life is to be so swept away.
The blood of Christ glows, the blood of Christ hunts—in the love that is beyond all mea sure, in its height and breadth and depth. Inebriate me!216
“Inebria me” actually represents the inebriation through the sacrament of the wine.
That in itself is already a diminishment— wine instead of blood.
But the wine has a spiritual meaning in the Christian mystery, and as a result no longer signi1es that dangerous aspect of inebriation.
And the inebriation induced by the blood, by the wine, should now have the effect of sweeping the meditator into the corpus Christi, or into the corpus mysticum; through an act of vio lence as it were, through a drunken ecstasy, the
meditator is swept on a wave up and over into the bloodstream of Christ.
Some of these descriptions are found in Przywara. ~Carl Jung, The Spiriual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, Page 74-85