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638e8 soul

Psychology and Alchemy

The concept of imaginatio is perhaps the most important key to the understanding of the opus.

The author of the treatise “De sulphure” speaks of the “imaginative faculty” of the soul in that passage where he is trying to do just what the ancients had failed to do, that is, give a clear indication of the secret of the art. The soul, he says, is the vice-regent of God (sui locum tenens sen vice Rex est) and dwells in the life-spirit of the pure blood.

It rules the mind (ilia gubernat mentem) and this rules the body.

The soul functions (operatur) in the body, but has the greater part of its function (operatio) outside the body (or, we might add by way of explanation, in projection).

This peculiarity is divine, since divine wisdom is only partly enclosed in the body of the world: the greater part of it is outside, and it imagines far higher things than the body of the world can conceive (concipere).

And these things are outside nature: God’s own secrets. The soul is an example of this: it too imagines many things of the utmost profundity (profundissima) outside the body, just as God does.

True, what the soul imagines happens only in the mind (non exequitur Jiisi in mente), but what God imagines happens in reality.

“The soul, however, has absolute and independent power [absolutam et. separatam pofestatem] to do other things [alia facere] than those the body can grasp.

But, when it so desires, it has the greatest power over the body [potestatem in corpus], for otherwise our philosophy would be in vain.

Thou canst conceive the greater, for we have opened the gates unto thee.” ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Pages 279-280.