View Full Version : The Archetype of the Shadow

David Guyatt
01-26-2009, 01:12 PM

The Archetype of the Shadow

Tony Crisp

The archetype of the shadow is depicted as: A shadowy figure, often the same sex as dreamer but inferior; a zombie or walking dead; a dark shape; an unseen �Thing�; someone or something we feel uneasy about or in some measure repelled by; drug addict; pervert; what is behind one in a dream; anything dark or threatening; sometimes a younger brother or sister; a junior colleague; a foreigner; a servant; a gypsy; a prostitute; a burglar; a sinister figure in the dark. Often there is an air of disrepute about the person, or of danger, but that is not always so. Sometimes it appears as simply an indistinct figure, or someone difficult to really see clearly.

In literature we find the Shadow depicted in such stories as Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Frankenstein's monster or Lurch; Wilde�s The Picture Of Dorian Gray; Hesse�s Steppenwolf, and in many stories about werewolves or hauntings. Ackroyd, in his Dictionary of Dream Symbols, even points to Cinderella as a Shadow figure, as she is seen as inferior by her socially accepted sisters, and is kept shut in the house, thus repressed. And that is the key to the shadow, the parts of self unacceptable, repressed or held back.

In occult literature the Shadow is called The Guardian of the Threshold. It is described as a great - subjective - figure we meet at a certain stage of growth. The Guardian holds in it all the negative deeds and aspects of self committed or developed in the past, even in past lives, that must be met and transformed.

Lurch in the comedy in which he appeared, is an excellent image of the Shadow and the Guardian of the Threshold. Lurch represented Frankenstein's monster, and Frankenstein's monster was a composite made up of many dead bodies, dead people. So of course he is a wonderful depiction of the Dweller of the Threshold, the karma from past lives, the bits that need to be faced, healed, or met and integrated.

The Shadow is any part of ourselves that we reject, and so do not allow expression in our life. We may so dislike aspects of our nature we fail to see them altogether and instead see them in other people and criticise them. Nations as well as individuals do this. The Nazis projected all problems onto the Jews. The Americans have not wished to see their own social sickness, and looked instead at the Russians. No doubt the Irish blame the English, and the English use the class system, with its projections between employee and employer. It is easier than looking at one�s own Shadow. The foreigner is one of the favourite Shadow projections. This may be because through living in our culture we develop certain likes and dislikes, certain value judgements and ways of doing things. In other cultures their normal and acceptable values and ways of living may be vastly different. In dealing with the foreigner we therefore meet our own unconscious potential for living in a different way. Many individuals who worked in the British Commonwealth in vastly different cultures to their own, started out loathing the native customs, and then changing their own life to live within the new culture. In the English language it was called �going native�.

But the shadow can also hold in it the wonder of our spiritual nature that is rejected or unknown.

The Shadow develops in us, according to Jolande Jacobi, because as we grow and absorb our culture, we naturally repress parts of our nature because they are not acceptable to parents or society. These grow and mature in just the way our conscious personality does, through experience and further information - except the Shadow has a life under the surface like any socially unacceptable organisation or individual. But often it is the urges in us that date from prehistory, when present day social restraints did not have survival value, that make up a large part of the Shadow.

If you can think of the characteristics you loathe in others, that is a fair picture of what you repress in yourself. If you can define what you reject or criticise, whether that is religion, another culture, science or sex, that points to what you are hiding in shadows in yourself. The great �ladies man� may hide a Shadow that feels inadequate sexually. The loving Christian mother might meet a Shadow full of resentment and anger at how she has been taken for granted. Meeting the Shadow through our dreams is a meeting with our own reality, that in turn enables us to look at the world realistically. The shadow can be met - it leads to wholeness.

Fraser Boa tells the story of a man who told his analyst he had dreamt of Red Rooster - a cartoon character used in American national parks. Red Rooster is bossy and tells people to keep their litter and cigarettes. The analyst asked the man if he recognised Red Rooster in himself. After some thought he said no, he couldn�t see he was like that. The analyst suggested he go ask his wife if she could see Red Rooster in him. He did this and was astonished when she said she could. After a few minutes of his attempts to suggest she was mistaken, she suggested he ask each of his three children. He took each one aside and was amazed when each said that of course they could see Red Rooster in him. He was always bossing people around and being authoritative. Red Rooster was his shadow.

A main feature of many archetypal figures, and particularly of the Shadow, is their autonomous activity in us. This is called an autonomous complex, or in some schools �sub personality�. We experience this as an influence to act in particular ways that have a lot of feeling and drive in them, but may be very different to our image of ourselves. For instance we may deeply criticise a man for leaving his wife for another woman, only tofind later that we have the same urge, and had been denying it. Therefore, when we detest the shadow in another person, our dislike for them is very strong and often unreasonable in its degree. So much so that we cannot stop mentioning them or criticising them. See: autonomous complex; sub-personalities.

P. W. Martin says that the Shadow is �something which comes between a man and his fulfilment: his laziness, his fecklessness, his tendency to let things slide or to over-do things, his cowardice, his rashness, his self-indulgence, his carping and envious nature, his murkiness.� It is all the negatives which we prefer not to see about ourselves.

However, because the Shadow is the �out of sight� area of our psyche, it also holds in it great treasure through its connection with our unconscious potential. In fact a great deal of our energy is involved in our �negatives�. When we meet our shadow or our fears, we are enormously more energised. Meeting the Shadow and unfolding the possibilities held unexpressed is our life work. Without it we may never become the mature and full person we are capable of. As Prospero says of Caliban, we need to say �this thing of darkness I acknowledge mine�. Through this we gain not only our own greatness, whatever that might be, but also the acceptance of our common connection with humanity.

Jung says that if we could fully meet our Shadow, we would be immune to all any moral or verbal insinuations. We would already have seen this for ourselves. Finding this sort of transformation to a state beyond guilt is a task for the hero/ine who has the strength to descend into the underworld and wrestle dark creatures.


Meet Mr. Hyde (from TV series Jekyll)

Meet Count Dracula (Christopher Lee in classic film)

Meet Mr. Wolf

Meet Mrs ugly witch

For our Hobbit members, meet Gollum

Meet Yourself

David Guyatt
04-01-2009, 04:12 PM
If a man is endowed with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness. A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and thereby to discover the shadow.

Carl G. Jung - Collected Works vol 18 - Depth Psychology and a New Ethic - P.17

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.

Carl G. Jung Collected Works vol 9, Part II: Aion P.14

Despite all attempts at denial and obfuscation there is an unconscious factor, a black sun, which is responsible for the surprisingly common phenomenon of masculine split-mindedness, when the right hand mustn't know what the left is doing.

Carl G Jung, Collected Works vol 15 - Mysterium Coniunctionis: p331 and p332

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the Shadow of the other.

Carl G Jung - Collected Works vol 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, P78

David Guyatt
04-01-2009, 04:21 PM
The Shadow

Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.

"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.

"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425

If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the "House of the Gathering." Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140

There is a deep gulf between what a man is and what he represents, between what he is as an individual and what he is as a collective being. His function is developed at the expense of the individuality. Should he excel, he is merely identical with his collective function; but should he not, then, though he may be highly esteemed as a function in society, his individuality is wholly on the level of his inferior, undeveloped functions, and he is simply a barbarian, while in the former case he has happily deceived himself as to his actual barbarism.

Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P.III

Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.

The Integration of the Personality. (1939).

How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious? Primitive man's perception of objects is conditioned only partly by the objective behaviour of the things themselves, whereas a much greater part is often played by intrapsychic facts which are not related to the external objects except by way of projection. This is due to the simple fact that the primitive has not yet experienced that ascetic discipline of mind known to us as the critique of knowledge. To him the world is a more or less fluid phenomenon within the stream of his own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration.

"Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype" (1939) In CW 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P. 187

We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.

"Answer to Job" (1952). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.12

The world is as it ever has been, but our consciousness undergoes peculiar changes. First, in remote times (which can still be observed among primitives living today), the main body of psychic life was apparently in human and in nonhuman Objects: it was projected, as we should say now. Consciousness can hardly exist in a state of complete projection. At most it would be a heap of emotions. Through the withdrawal of projections, conscious knowledge slowly developed. Science, curiously enough, began with the discovery of astronomical laws, and hence with the withdrawal, so to speak, of the most distant projections. This was the first stage in the despiritualization of the world. One step followed another: already in antiquity the gods were withdrawn from mountains and rivers, from trees and animals. Modern science has subtilized its projections to an almost unrecognizable degree, but our ordinary life still swarms with them. You can find them spread out in the newspapers, in books, rumours, and ordinary social gossip. All gaps in our actual knowledge are still filled out with projections. We are still so sure we know what other people think or what their true character is.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938) In CW II: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 140

When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.

"The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.752

Everything that man should, and yet cannot, be or do- be it in a positive or negative sense - lives on as a mythological figure and anticipation alongside his consciousness, either as a religious projection or-what is still more dangerous-as unconscious contents which then project themselves spontaneously into incongruous objects, e.g., hygienic and other "salvationist" doctrines or practices. All these are so many rationalized substitutes for mythology, and their unnaturalness does more harm than good.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.287

The hero's main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. "And God said, 'Let there be light"' is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.284

The symbol is a living body, corpus et anima; hence the "child" is such an apt formula for the symbol. The uniqueness of the psyche can never enter wholly into reality, it can only be realized approximately, though it still remains the absolute basis of all consciousness. The deeper "layers" of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. "Lower down," that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body's materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body's carbon is simply carbon. Hence "at bottom" the psyche is simply "world." In this sense I hold Kerenyi to be absolutely right when he says that in the symbol the world itself is speaking. The more archaic and "deeper," that is the more physiological, the symbol is, the more collective and universal, the more "material" it is. The more abstract, differentiated, and sp eci 'fie it is, and the more its nature approximates to conscious uniqueness and individuality, the more it sloughs off its universal character. Having finally attained full consciousness, it runs the risk of becoming a mere allegory which nowhere oversteps the bounds of conscious comprehension, and is then exposed to all sorts of attempts at rationalistic and therefore inadequate explanation.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.291

The masculinity of the woman and the femininity of the man are inferior, and it is regrettable that the full value of their personalities should be contaminated by something that is less valuable. On the other hand, the shadow belongs to the wholeness of the personality: the strong man must somewhere be weak, somewhere the clever man must be stupid, otherwise he is too good to be true and falls back on pose and bluff. Is it not an old truth that woman loves the weaknesses of the strong man more than his strength, and the stupidity of the clever man more than his cleverness ?

Die Anima als Schicksalsproblem des Mannes (1963) Foreward by C.G. Jung. In CW 18 261

To remain a child too long is childish, but it is just as childish to move away and then assume that childhood no longer exists because we do not see it. But if we return to the "children's land" we succumb to the fear of becoming childish, because we do not understand that everything of psychic origin has a double face. One face looks forward, the other back. It is ambivalent and therefore symbolic, like all living reality.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12. P.74

No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey.... We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.

"The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans" (1945)
*Written I945.

Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.

"General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.507

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach. It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy? There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.25

It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.

Man and His Symbols. In CW 18: P.85

Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and contusion ensues. If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual's hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality. This state would be pathological. If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned. Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis.

"The Psychological Foundation for the Belief in Spirits (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.595

The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environments war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature. Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else. The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event.

"Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung" (1928) In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.693

If a man is endowed with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness. A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and thereby to discover the shadow.

Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. (1949). In CW 18. P.17

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.

Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.

"Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology" (1959). In CW 10. Civilization in Transition. P.872

Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbour.

"The Philosophical Tree" (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

Projections change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face.

Aion (1955). CW 14: P.17

The "other" may be just as one-sided in one way as the ego is in another. And yet the conflict between them may give rise to truth and meaning-but only if the ego is willing to grant the other its rightful personality.

"Concerning Rebirth" (1940) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. P.237

Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist.

"A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity" (1942) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.286

We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.

"New Paths in Psychology" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425

In reality, the acceptance of the shadow-side of human nature verges on the impossible. Consider for a moment what it means to grant the right of existence to what is unreasonable, senseless, and evil! Yet it is just this that the modern man insists upon. He wants to live with every side of himself-to know what he is. That is why he casts history aside. He wants to break with tradition so that he can experiment with his life and determine what value and meaning things have in themselves, apart from traditional resuppositions.

"Psychotherapist or the Clergy" (1932). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.528

David Guyatt
04-01-2009, 04:42 PM
Extracts from:

Man and His Symbols
edited by Dr. Carl Jung

The Process of Individuation
By Marie-Louise von Franz

The Pattern of Psychic Growth

By observing a great many people, (at least 80,000 dreams) Jung found that not only were all dreams relevant . . . but , , , they seem to follow an arrangement or pattern. This process Jung called "the process of individuation". P. 159

These changes can be accelerated if the dreamer's conscious attitude is influenced by appropriate interpretation of the dreams and their symbolic content. P. 161

Gradually a wider and more mature personality emerges . . . and even visible to others . Psychic growth cannot be brought about by a conscious effort of will power, but happens involuntarily and naturally . . . fulfilling a definite pattern. P. 161

The organizing center . . . a sort of nuclear "atom" . . . Jung called the "Self" and described it as the totality of the whole psyche, in order to distinguish it from the "ego", which constitutes only a small part of the psyche. P. 162

Throughout the ages men have been intuitively aware of the existence of an inner center. Greeks . . .daimon . . . Egypt . . . Ba-soul . . . Romans . . . genius. P. 162

The Self can be defined as an inner guiding factor that is different from the conscious personality and that can be grasped only through the investigation of one's own dreams. P. 163

How far it develops depends on whether or not the ego is willing to listen to the messages of the Self. Such a person also becomes a more complete human being. P. 163

One could picture this in the following way: The seed of a mountain pine cone contains the whole future tree in a latent form; but each seen falls at a certain time onto a particular place, in which there are a number of special factors, such as the quality of the soil and the stones . . . its exposure to the sun and wind. Thus an individual pine slowly comes into existence . . . the realization of this uniqueness in the individual man is the goal of the process of individuation. P. 162

. . . the process of individuation is real only if the individual is aware of it and consciously makes a living connection with it. P. 164

The guiding hints or impulses come, not from the ego, but from the totality of the psyche: the Self. P. 167

It is, moreover, useless to cast furtive glances at the way someone else is developing, because each of us has a unique task of self-realization. P. 167

The First Approach of the Unconscious

. . . .the years of youth are characterized by a state of gradual awakening . . . slowly becomes aware of the world and of himself. Childhood is a period of great emotional intensity . . . p. 168
When a child reaches school age, the phase of building up the ego and of adapting to the outer world begins. This . . . brings a number of painful shocks. P. 168

. . . some children begin to feel very different from others . . . brings a certain sadness . . . part of the loneliness of many youngsters. P. 168

If the development of consciousness is disturbed in its normal unfolding, children frequently retire. . . . into an "inner fortress" p. 169

In this early phase . . . many children . . .earnestly seek for some meanings in life . . . there are others .. . who are still . . . carried along by dynamism of inherited and instinctive patterns. P. 169

The actual processes of individuation . . . the conscious coming-to-terms with one's own inner center or Self . . . generally begins with a wounding of the personality and the suffering that accompanies it. This initial "shock" amounts to a sort of "call", although it is not often recognized as such. P. 169

. . . the ego feels hampered . . . projects the obstruction onto something external . . . accuses God . . . economics . . . boss . . . marriage partner . . . p. 169

Or perhaps everything seems outwardly all right, but beneath the surface a person is suffering from a deadly boredom that makes everything seem meaningless and empty. P. 170

Many myths and fairy tales symbolically describe this initial stage of individuation by telling of a king who has fallen ill, or grown old. P. 170

Thus, it seems as if the initial encounter with the Self casts a dark shadow ahead of time . . . to catch the helplessly struggling ego in his snare. P. 170

. . . in the initial crisis in the life of an individual . . . one is seeking something that is impossible to find or about which nothing is known. P. 170

In such moments all well-mean, sensible advice is completely useless . . . none of that helps, or at best only rarely. P. 170

There is only one thing that seems to work . . . to turn directly toward the approaching darkness without prejudice and totally naively . . . find out what its secret aim is and what it wants from you. P. 170

Sometimes it first offers a series of painful realizations of what is wrong with oneself and one's own conscious attitudes. Then one must begin the process by swallowing all sorts of bitter truths. P. 171

The Realization of the Shadow

. . . one becomes acquainted with aspects of one's own personality that for various reasons one has preferred not to look at too closely. P. 174
"realization of the shadow" . . . used because it actually often appears in dreams in a personified form. P. 174

The shadow is not the whole . . . it represents unknown or little-known attributes of the ego. P. 174

When an individual makes an attempt to see his shadow, he becomes aware of (and often ashamed of) those qualities and impulses he denies in himself but can plainly see in other people . . . such as egotism, mental laziness, sloppiness, unreal fantasies, schemes, plots, carelessness, cowardice, inordinate love of money and possessions . . . in short, all the little sins about which he might previously have told himself: "that doesn't matter". P. 174

If you feel an overwhelming rage coming up in you when a friend reproaches you about a fault, you can be fairly sure . . . you will find a part of your shadow, of which you are unconscious. P. 174

. . . the work of self-education begins . . . a work, we might say, that is the psychological equivalent of the labors of Hercules. P. 174

. . . a task so enormous that the ordinary mortal would be overcome by discouragement at the mere thought of it. P. 174

. . . shadow does not consist only of omissions. . . just as often in an impulsive or inadvertent act. . . the shadow is exposed to collective infections . . . when a man is alone . . . he feels all right, but as soon as "the others" do dark . . . things, he begins to fear that if he doesn't join in he will be considered a fool. P. 175

. . . he gives way to impulses that do not belong to him at all. P. 175

If people observe their own unconscious tendencies in other people, this is called "projection". Projections of all kinds obscure our view of our fellow men, spoiling its objectivity, and . .. all possibility of genuine human relations. P. 181

Whether our shadow becomes our friend or enemy depends largely upon ourselves. The shadow becomes hostile only when he is ignored or misunderstood. P. 182

Sometimes . . . an individual feels impelled to live out the worse side of his nature and to repress his better side. P. 182

So, whatever form it takes, the function of the shadow is to represent the opposite side of the ego and to embody just those qualities that one dislikes most in other people. P. 182

There is such a passionate drive within the shadow that reason may not prevail against it. A bitter experience coming from outside may occasionally help; a brick, so to speak, has to drop on one's head to put a stop to shadow drives and impulses. At times a heroic decision may serve to halt them, but such a superhuman effort is usually possible only if the Great Man within (the Self) helps the individual to carry it through. P. 182

The discovery of the unconscious is one of the most far-reaching discoveries of recent times. But the fact that recognition of its unconscious reality involves honest self-examination and reorganization of one's life causes many people to continue to behave as if nothing at all has happened. P. 185

It takes a lot of courage to . . . tackle the problems it raises. Most people are too indolent to think deeply about even those moral aspects of their behavior of which they are conscious; they are certainly too lazy to consider how the unconscious affects them. P. 185

Peter Presland
04-02-2009, 09:23 AM
This thread seems like a good place to broach (and heartily recommend) 'The Archdruid Report' (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2009/04/facing-decline-facing-ourselves.html) to the forum.

First a quick disclaimer I am not a Druid; I don't know much about Druidism; nor am I inclined to dig into it.

That said, I have followed Jean Michael Greer's Blog since he started it a few years ago. He is North America's 'Archdruid' - but please don't let that put you off. I have stayed with his blog for the very simple reason that most of his weekly posts have nothing whatsoever to do with Druidism. Instead they offer uniformly insightful commentary on the plight of humanity as we enter the decline of the industrial age.

His latest post is no exception. In the context of a constructive criticism of Carolyn Baker's latest book he says: .... psychologically, this might best be described in Jungian terms as a bad case of projecting the shadow". Hence my choice of this thread to draw attention to it. Here is the opening paragraph:

"Of all the fallacies that surround the contemporary crisis of industrial civilization, and have done so much to bring that crisis down on us, the most seductive is the assumption that its a technical problem that can be solved by technical means. Thats an easy assumption to make, for a variety of reasons, but it puts us in the situation of the drunkard in the old joke who looks for his keys under the street light half a block from the dark side walk where he dropped them, since under the street light he can at least see what hes doing."
The rest is well worth reading - as are most of his posts - IMHO of course.

I guess further discussion of the substantive issues it deals with (as opposed to a psychological examination of what underlies them) would be better conducted under a separate category

David Guyatt
04-02-2009, 10:56 AM
I particularly liked the following quote from above:

No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won't be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey.... We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.
"The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans" (1945)
*Written I945.

Were he alive today I wonder where he might have directed his thought as to the identity of the self-righteous "new victim" sought by the demons to replace 1940's Germany?

However, the truly great danger to mankind, as Jung has repeatedly noted throughout his work, is the Collective Shadow - and to the extent that each one of us comprise an atom in that vast lurching body, we are each individually responsible for the approaching storm.

We must hope that a sufficient number of courageous souls step forward and take the responsibility of reclaiming their shadow projections, thus reducing the Collective darkness that is now huffing and puffing at our door, threatening to blow our house down.

David Guyatt
04-02-2009, 10:58 AM
This thread seems like a good place to broach (and heartily recommend) 'The Archdruid Report' (http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2009/04/facing-decline-facing-ourselves.html) to the forum.

First a quick disclaimer I am not a Druid; I don't know much about Druidism; nor am I inclined to dig into it.

That said, I have followed Jean Michael Greer's Blog since he started it a few years ago. He is North America's 'Archdruid' - but please don't let that put you off. I have stayed with his blog for the very simple reason that most of his weekly posts have nothing whatsoever to do with Druidism. Instead they offer uniformly insightful commentary on the plight of humanity as we enter the decline of the industrial age.

His latest post is no exception. In the context of a constructive criticism of Carolyn Baker's latest book he says: .... psychologically, this might best be described in Jungian terms as a bad case of projecting the shadow". Hence my choice of this thread to draw attention to it. Here is the opening paragraph:

"Of all the fallacies that surround the contemporary crisis of industrial civilization, and have done so much to bring that crisis down on us, the most seductive is the assumption that its a technical problem that can be solved by technical means. Thats an easy assumption to make, for a variety of reasons, but it puts us in the situation of the drunkard in the old joke who looks for his keys under the street light half a block from the dark side walk where he dropped them, since under the street light he can at least see what hes doing."
The rest is well worth reading - as are most of his posts - IMHO of course.

I guess further discussion of the substantive issues it deals with (as opposed to a psychological examination of what underlies them) would be better conducted under a separate category

Thanks Peter. I haven't heard of him before and will now step over and take a closer look. I also very much enjoyed the opening paragraph you quoted.

Jan Klimkowski
08-04-2009, 06:37 PM
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.

"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

I have met my shadow.

I know my shadow.

I have fought my shadow.

I have not always won.

But the history of great men is the history of those shadows that have been indulged, encouraged, given power over armies, intelligence agencies, nations.

Given the power of life and death.

From a distance.

From behind a desk of polished oak.

With tragic and catastrophic consequences.

These men believe their shadow speaks truth.

In fact, they are the slaves of their shadow, slaves to the shadow incubus, possessed by the shadow succubus.

They are murderers.

David Guyatt
09-03-2009, 08:24 AM
Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual's conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.

"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131

It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster's body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.

"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

I have met my shadow.

I know my shadow.

I have fought my shadow.

I have not always won.

But the history of great men is the history of those shadows that have been indulged, encouraged, given power over armies, intelligence agencies, nations.

Given the power of life and death.

From a distance.

From behind a desk of polished oak.

With tragic and catastrophic consequences.

These men believe their shadow speaks truth.

In fact, they are the slaves of their shadow, slaves to the shadow incubus, possessed by the shadow succubus.

They are murderers.

How true Jan. Hitler would never have had the power he gained had the German people not been deeply captured by their inferiority/Wotan Shadow and thus ripe for stiff right arm brutality and horror.

Those who are conscious of their shadow are far harder to engage. Hence becoming conscious of and doing battle with one's own dark splinter was said by Jung to be the task of the hero - mythologically speaking - or in the Arthurian cycle it is those Knights who, facing great perils, ultimately achieved the Grail.


Excerpt from Erel Shalit's Enemy, Cripple & Beggar:
Shadows in the Hero's Path

The Hero

Where id was, there ego shall be, proclaims Freud.7 By interpretation, the unconscious is made conscious. Interpretation is the sword of psychoanalysis, splitting the enigmas of the unconscious into intelligible slices of consciousness. A symbols multitude of meanings becomes the unitary signs and banners of consciousness. The ego, which in Jungian thought stands at the center of consciousness and conscious identity, may be stiffly bound to the totem of collective consciousness, to norms and conventions. Alternatively, the ego may bravely turn around to face what lies in the unconscious.

For this purpose, the ego needs the hero. The notion of the hero in Jungs analytical psychology represents that particular aspect of the ego that ventures into the darkness of the shadow, searches for the treasure, the princess, the ring, the golden egg, elixir of life, etc., which, as Daryl Sharp says, all are metaphors for ones true feelings and unique potential.8 By means of its hero-function, the ego turns toward the Self and a vital and dynamic relationship between them is made possible. As Joseph Campbell succinctly says, The effect of the successful adventure of the hero is the unlocking and release again of the flow of life into the body of the world.9

While on the one hand the hero symbolizes a mans unconscious self,10 he also brings victory to consciousness; The heros main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious, says Jung.11 The hero must defeat the dragon, escape being devoured by it, and then return safely, even if marked by bitter strife, to the kingdom of the ego. As Jung says:
In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it. And yet both have to deal with the same dragon. Also, he is no hero who never met the dragon, or who, if he once saw it, declared afterwards that he saw nothing. Equally, only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the hoard, the treasure hard to attain.12
And there, upon his return, the hero himself risks being devoured by consciousness, losing his heroic stamina, establishing the new rule with its new norms and conventions, yielding to his own uncompromising kingship.

Freuds myth circles around psychosexual development and genital maturity, attaining the capacity for love and work. Jungs myth is the myth of meaning, and the meaning that is to be found in the mythical, as it has so pertinently been expressed.

Jung said that the problem of modern man is mythlessness. Without a guiding myth and a sense for the mythical, when exclusively relying on the ego and concrete reality, and by being disconnected from the archetypal energies of the gods, man experiences meaninglessness. The loss of a central myth brings about a truly apocalyptic condition, says Edinger.13

The central, nuclear myth of Jungian psychoanalysis is the Hero-myth, because the psychological essence of the hero is to abandon the kingdom of the ego, to challenge the norms and obsessions of collective consciousness and the personathe face of social adaptationand to search for meaning. The absence of meaning is the essence of neurosis, which, Jung says, must be understood, ultimately, as the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.14 When Sartre says that man is the incontestable author who, condemned to freedom, is responsible for the world and for himself as a way of being,15 he speaks of heroic man. For Freud, heroism involves relations with parents and instincts, says Robert Segal,16 while for Jung the heros grand opus concerns the relation with the unconscious. The hero goes forth into the netherworld of the shadow, in spite of being threatened by the monsters that lurk in the darkness of the unconscious, to save an endangered soul, an anima in captivity, or to redeem a dormant myth or mythical motif, which he has to bring into consciousness. The hero thereby creates a new sense of meaning and relatedness.

That is, the Jungian myth of meaning is consciousness, not in the sense of an ego-consciousness that replaces the unconscious (Where id was, there ego shall be), but in the sense of the hero who awakens the soul that otherwise lies dormant and barren in the unconscious. We might call this the ensouled egoan ego-consciousness that turns toward the unknown, the gods, the world soul, and the self. Yes, toward sexuality as well, making the blood pulsate, streaming through the soul. It is Prometheus not just stealing the fire from the gods, but a human consciousness that keeps the fire of eros and logos, of heart and spirit, burning.

Erel Shalit's Enemy, Cripple, & Beggar: Shadows in the Hero's Path and his previously published book The Complex: Path of Transformation from Archetype to Ego can be purchased at www.fisherkingpress.com or by phoning Fisher King Press directly at 1-831-238-7799

7 Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, SE 22, p. 80. (SE refers throughout to The Standard Edition of the Works of Sigmund Freud)
8 Daryl Sharp, Jung Lexicon, p. 59.
9 The Hero with a Thousand Faces, p. 40
10 The Dual Mother, CW 5, par. 516.
11 The Psychology of the Child Archetype, CW 9i, par. 284.
12 The Conjunction, CW 14, par. 756.
13 Edward Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness, p. 10.
14 Psychotherapists or the Clergy, CW 11, par. 497.
15 Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, p. 707.
16 Robert A. Segal, Introduction, In Quest of the Hero, p. xvi.

David Guyatt
09-30-2009, 07:08 PM
For any who have an interest....

The Rose+Croix Journal 2009 Vol 6 m www.rosecroixjournal.org
The Emerald Tablet of Hermes: The Wisdom and Responsibility of the Rosicrucians
Zoran Petrowanowitsch
Herrgasse 2b
D 79294 Soelden
The ancient text of the Tabula Smaragdina (Emerald Tablet), after it had been translated into Latin, has taken a prominent position within the spirituality of the West. The few surviving lines have inspired a whole epoch, so that one may speak of a time before and a time after its discovery. As a graphic enhancement, the text later received an emblem and the whole was included into the book Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians.1
After this contribution initially outlines the history of the text and the emblems, it will concentrate, with the aid of selected images from Rosicrucian and alchemical literature of the late middle ages, on the interpretation of the individual symbols of the emblem. When these different images of the emblem in their symbolic meaning, as well as in their relationship to each other, are analyzed and become clear, they will open themselves up to modern consciousness. Thus it will become apparent that the emblem of the Emerald Tablet deserves to take a central place within the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, as it represents the essence of Rosicrucian wisdom.
If there are only a few references to other contributions in this paper, then this is due to the fact that, to the best of my knowledge, there is little pertinent literature on the subject in existence. Since outer science can be of little help in the analysis of the enigma of the Emerald Tablet and its emblem, one has to find an inner way. However, scientific methodology has its application in the comprehension of the law of evolution of the human soul.
Since a certain knowledge of a subject is a precondition for creating and confirming a scientific work, there is also a certain degree of inner knowledge required to confirm and corroborate the results that are presented here.
With that, we will turn to the text of the Emerald Tablet and especially the emblem that is part of it, to interpret step by step the meaning that is contained in them.
The text of the Tabula Smaragdina (Latin for Emerald Tablet), was first cited in only a few lines at the end of the book Sirr, an Arabic work of the 7th Century and early Islam. The term Sirr is derived from the Arabic and translated means On the secret of Creation.2 The author was Balinus, and the text was supposedly first translated by a Christian priest. Through research and comparison with literature of the time, the name Balinus could be determined as the Arabic form of Apollonius of Tyana.
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Appollonios of Tyana was a Greek sage, well known in the first Christian century, who, supposedly lived to be a hundred years. He influenced the political fate of Rome and thus that of Christianity, and for the last part of his life he lived with John the Evangelist, who was of approximately the same age, on the Isle of Patmos. Whether there had been exchanges between the two sages, is not historically confirmed.
During the first half of the 13th Century the book Sirr, and thus the text of the Tabula Smaragdine was translated into Latin, which introduced it to the West. The several translations do not differ materially. However, the sequence of the particular sentences and the statements therein evoke the impression that they do not represent the entire text.
It is true without lie, it is certain in the truest!
That which is below is equal to that which is above. And what is above is equal to what is below to realize the miracle of the unique thing.
As all things are created by the One and His plan, so are all things originating from the One, by adaptation.
Its father is the sun, its mother is the moon.
The wind has born it in its belly.
Its nurturer is the earth.
It is the father of all perfection of all the world and all its virtue is perfect.
When it is changed into earth, all its power is gathered together.
Separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the dense, step by step and with great understanding.
It rises to heaven from the earth and down again to the earth and thereby receives the power of the upper and the lower.
Thus you gain the glory of all the world. Above, all ignorance will leave you. The unique is of all the strengths the strongest strength. It defeats all subtle things and permeates all solids.
In this way, the cosmic was created.
This is from whence stem all the magnificent emulations, the way of which is described herein.
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he human soul and that
f the earth.
miracle of the unique thing.
This is why I am called the trice-great Hermes because I possess the three parts of the wisdom of all the world.
What I have said of the workings of the sun is complete and perfect.
In 1604 in a different book, the Aureum Vellus3, an emblem was printed along with the accompanying, explanatory text. The interpretation of the emblem by the text is marked by strongly alchemical methods of expression. The emblem originally appears without coloration. Then, over time it takes on different colored characteristics and finally, in 1785 is integrated into the here represented as the antique text of the Tabula Smaragdina Hermetis and into the book of the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians (figure 1).
Though the Rosicrucians used the symbolic language of the alchemists, they did so, not seeking to turn base metals into gold. Rather, they sought to broaden the human consciousness to, responsibly, participate in the evolution of culture. Yet it is striking, how the different symbolicimages of the alchemists, from the metamorphoses of the elements to the imaginative experience contained therein, relate to the evolution of t
It is therefore reasonable to assumethat the alchemists applied the law-governed process of the evolution othe inner soul to the outer world of the elements in accordance with the statement of ttabula: That which is below is equal to that which is above. And that which is above is equal to that which is below to realize the
Interpretation of the emblems of the Emerald Tablet
To better illustrate the individual steps in the interpretation of the emblem of the Emerald Tablet, let us think of it as four equal quarters, divided by a cross. Thus, the upper left quarter shows the sun (gold-yellow), the planet Mars (red), and Saturn (gray-black). The right quarter shows the moon (blue-crescent silver-white) and the planets Venus (green), and Jupiter (blue). Thus the following groups and oppositions emerge:
Sun Moon
Mars Venus
Saturn - Jupiter
The Rose+Croix Journal 2009 Vol 6 p www.rosecroixjournal.org
y of
On the left sun-side, the qualities of Saturn and Mars, and on the right, moon-side the Mars and Jupiter qualities are concentrated.
When we look separately at the left side, because of the missing Venus and Jupiter, Saturn (because of the constriction) and Mars (of the ego) stand for the heightened experience and understanding of the world through the intellect.
In the symbolism of the imagination, this state of the soul is expressed as a dragon.
When we look at the right side separately, Jupiter and Venus, because of the absence of the consciously structuring qualities of Mars and Saturn, stand for the lack of structure and the one-sided devotion (Jupiter) and emotions (Venus) that arises from it, which we find expressed by the imaginative image of the snake.
Viewed in this way, the masculine and feminine qualities face each other in their one-sided-ness as dragon and snake.
The harmonization of the polar soul-life
Figure 2 shows the each-other devouring dragon and snake as the first level of polarity. Dragon and snake stand for the two polar principles of our consciousness. Emotions that emerge from unclear thoughts, and thoughts that emerge from emotions create a constanself- consuming and out of itself, newly born realitunreality, which determine our life in its progression. The background of the image is sparse but the unfolding flower points at further-evolving possibilities outside of this circle-bound movement. In its purity, the flower stands for an inner attitude, in which the one-sided aspects are not denied but, through the respective inclusion of the opposite poles, are harmonized. This power that binds the ego increasingly to the head, and thus permits the world mainly to be experienced through the intellect, can therefore be changed into a positive quality of conscious concentration, of attentiveness.
The power of this lack of structure, which leaves the soul to the emotions without limitation, we may therefore turn into conscious, loving devotion.
While the soul qualities of attentiveness and devotion compliment each other in the main, the soul mood of the holy sobriety, the reason of the middle, emerges in turn. This will be of important significance on the further path of spirituality.
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Sun and moon, situated over the planets represent in the emblem the second plane of polarity, the purified aspect of the planets, which have changed into the mental ability of conscious attentiveness and the ability of the soul for loving devotion. Together, they build the condition to bring forth the new person, who will lead us to the next step of the Rosicrucian teachings, the intuitive experience of the macrocosmic equivalent.
The Birth of The New Person as The Prerequisite for The Intuitive Experience of The Equivalent Of Macro- And Microcosm
Figure 3 represents the birth of the new person from the loins of the cosmic virgin Sophia, corresponding to the following lines of the Tabula.
His father is the sun, his mother is the moon. The wind carried him in his belly.
These images contain no poetic analogies but real inner experiences. Human beings, through the harmonization of the polarities, overcome their common point of reference in the head, whereby we descend into the belly cavity, and, in the darkness, and experience intermittently, from which they ascend as new persons, and heavenly children.
In the emblem of the Emerald Tablet this process of ris represented through the flowing together of the purifiedqualities of mind and soul, and thus bear the new perMercury (Hermes), showing that the planet sign, Mercury,is the only symbol that unites the qualities of the other planets that are expressed in the symbolic elements of bowl, circle and cross. Thereby Hermes harmonizes thpolarities of male and female and becomes the androgynous messenger of heaven, who acts on the vertical plane of up and down, of heaven and earth, as the mediator.
Such a being we see depicted in figure 4. The picture also points to the next phase of awakening, the ascension to heaven.
A blue eagle carries aloft the purified, naked being (the synthesis of sun and moon). The polar, sensual sexuality of the male and the female is united by the overcoming of the
The Rose+Croix Journal 2009 Vol 6 r www.rosecroixjournal.org
restless thoughts (hare/day) on the one hand and the purified emotions (bat/night) on the other. However, the heads of the man and woman still show a duality, which points to the still existing, yet now no longer exclusive but complementing polarity of the newly reached plane of consciousness beyond the sensual. This symbol of the purified self, the new being, is where the eagle carries it. It blooms into a blue flower, becomes space and thus experiences its macrocosmic equivalence.
For Rosicrucians, this is the sphere of the cosmic virgin Sophia, the primordial face of the soul, shines in its purified, wisdom-filled state in a star-spangled pure blue.
In the emblem of the Emerald Tablet, this state of consciousness, the intuitive experience of the equivalence of micro- and macrocosm is represented by a circle in the center of the image.
When we summarize what has been described so far, we will recognize that what is depicted in the upper half of the emblem of the Emerald Tablet is the personal, spiritual path of evolution of humanity from the harmonization of the polar life of the soul, through the birth of the new person, to the heavenly ascension, the intuitive experience of the sphere of Sophia.
The lower half of the Emerald Tablet - the return to earth
The lower half of the emblem is marked by the three shields, which are connected to one another, as well as to the middle ring, by a golden chain.
On the left side, the shield shows a double eagle colored red on a white background on one side and colored white on a red background on the other. On the right, we see a green lion on a yellow background. Below in the image the trinity is concluded with a seven-pointed star, which in its rays represents the seven planets. To the sides of the star are shown cosmos and earth. They signify that on this plane of evolution, cosmic as well secular powers have to fertilize each other to further the evolution in time. In the picture of the earth, the land is shown brown and the oceans are shown blue. The cosmos symbolizes the blue level of consciousness of the Sophia, the fixed star contained in this sphere and the polar qualities of sun and moon. The meaning of the imperial orb, red with a yellow ring and topped with a yellow cross, that sits on the seven-pointed star, will become apparent through the further contemplation of the three shields.
Let us continue with the further interpretation of the emblem with a look at the double eagle.
The Double Eagle as the Continuing Polarity of the Consciousness of the Sphere of Sophia
To understand the meaning of the double eagle, let us return to the image of the blue eagle that carries aloft the androgynous being, the reborn soul beyond the sensual
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polarity, and which stands symbolically for the purified soul and the self. It lifts it to heaven and into the sphere of the cosmic Sophia.
As we have determined with the representation of the androgynous being, the consciousness for which it stands, though it is to be found beyond the sensual polarity, remains polar but corresponding to itself and not, as on the sensual plane, in a self exclusive way. The qualities of male and female remain intact.
This remaining polarity in the sphere of Sophia is what the double eagle points to. Although the consciousness, symbolized by the circle, is a self-contained unity, it shows itself in its passive-female (moon-silver-devotion) and male-active aspect (Mars-red-self). Thus the white eagle expresses the quality of the moon and the red eagle that of the sun in its self-quality on the level of Sophia. Their backgrounds represent the opposite colors, which points to the inseparable connection of the two qualities. One pole comes out of the other and in turn bears the first in its great revelation.
The empty circle symbolizes the still undeveloped nature of consciousness, which in its emptiness is nonetheless, directly creative and forth-bringing since the greatest emptiness by the spiritual principle as we have encountered with the double eagle, simultaneously brings forth an opposite pole from itself.
From the Rosicrucian standpoint, however, there is a danger in the state of consciousness that is symbolized by the double eagle. To understand this, let us once more return to figure 3 of The Ergon and Parergon of the Rosicrucians by Theophilus Schweighart.
The Ergon and Parergon of the Rosicrucians as the golden and the silver path.
The meaning of the title of the picture is: The primary work (Ergon) and the secondary work (Parergon). As is apparent from the picture, the individual, the inner development of humanity is understood by the Rosicrucians as the secondary work. Were men and women to remain in their inner development on the plane of the secondary work, according to Schweighart, they would be better off sunk to the bottom of the ocean with a mill stone around their necks.4
Thus, the Rosicrucians divide the inner path of development into a minor work and a major work. The minor work is completed when the seeker, as shown in the picture, changes base metals into silver, as the alchemists tried to accomplish in reality.
Understood on a deeper level, the object is to master the starry sphere, to which has been attached the metal silver and the moon sphere. So, the minor work or parergon corresponds to the level of the intuitive experience of the Sophia. The Rosicrucian understands this level of consciousness to be the secondary work, since it only represents the precondition, to behold this spiritual sun, this spiritual being, the Christ, which, to him, is the actual source of his work.
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In the symbols of sun and moon, when they are shown together, we see the polarities of masculine and feminine. According to the understanding of the Rosicrucians, when the sun is depicted by itself in its spiritual aspect, it represents the Christ., which is expressed in figure 5, an image from the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. From Jesse, the father of King David of Israel, grows the root of the family tree of Christ, the spiritual sun.
So, through figure 5, we are led to a significant moment within the Rosicrucian initiation. Should students decide on the silver path, the one of the moon, they will -- in the sphere of cosmic wisdom -- take possession of such an all inclusive place in this life, that they will detach themselves from the Evolution of the earth in time. If, on the other hand, they seek the powers of the sun with the ego, which seed-like are slumbering in the sphere of Sophia, in order to awaken them in this renewed direction towards earth in time, then they follow the golden path, the one of the Christ.
Through the realization of the minor work, individuality is born in the experience of the sphere of the Sophia. However, it only comes to unfoldment through the dedication to and cooperation with the evolution of the earth, the major work, which comes to expression in the following sentences of the Emerald Tablet:
It climbs to heaven from earth and down again to the earth and thereby receives the power of the upper and the lower.
Thus you gain the glory of all the world. Above, all ignorance will leave you. The unique is of all the strengths the strongest strength because it defeats all subtle things and penetrates all solids.
The green lion, the uniting with the suns, the Christ powers
The second shield coming out of the circle is a green lion on a yellow background. It carries the quality of the sun in the seekers that they have internalized from the sphere of Sophia as a seed, which is the path, the truth and the goal for them. This is expressed in the yellow background. As nature, though the affect of the sun, begins to become green again, so too, in the picture of the lion, the newborn individuality seeks to internalize in its heart the sun quality, the Christ.
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This inner process is clarified in the next image figure 6. The moon drifts on the mirror- smooth ocean. In realizing the sphere of the Sophia, the consciousness, through the calming of the turbulent waves of the emotions and imaginations, is turned into a mirror, which permits it to view reality without distortion. The seven stars on its body indicate that together with the qualities of the seven planets in the flow of time, it goes the way of the sun by devouring it in the emblem.
The Seven-Pointed Star: The Way of Transforming the Earth by Turning to its Center.
The shield of the double eagle and that of the green lion surround the lowest shield of the seven-pointed star in the emblem. Wisdom and the self-powers that slumber seed-like in this sphere, now turn to the seven-count of time when individuality recognizes wisdom not as an end in itself but as a prerequisite. Out of this understanding, Rosicrucians attached a special meaning to the symbol of the seven-pointed star.
Through figure 7, we can understand in greater detail the different planes of inner evolution, as they are shown in the seven-pointed star in the emblem of the Emerald Tablet.
In the upper part of the triangle, we see the sun and the moon as the two aspects of the mirror-like consciousness of the Sophia, as depicted by the wing. When those two qualities, as they are represented in the shields of the green lion and the eagle, turn towards the lover point of the triangle, the body that is the earth in the space of evolution of the number 7 then the soul starts on the way that is indicated by the seven points.
The inscription around the circle in the Emerald Tablet has the same meaning as the one around the picture of the seven-pointed star: Vista interiora terrae rectificando invenies occultum lapidem. Which means: Search out the nether part of the earth, perfect it, and you will find the hidden stone. This statement is called the VITRIOL formula since the initials of the seven words form the word VITRIOL, which to the alchemists meant the transformation of base matter into gold and to the Rosicrucians the transformation of earth into sun.
The soul, which in the beginning of the way to heaven, turned to the sphere of fixed stars beyond Saturn to experience its pure, cosmic, original state, shall now turn to the center of the earth. There, it is said, it will find the hidden stone. As the outermost of the planets, Saturn marked the gate to the sphere of the fixed-stars. However, in the seven-pointed star, it represents the gate to the center of the earth.
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When, in the sequence of numbers one to seven we begin with Saturn and proceed clockwise to the Moon, then the human soul is directed again on its way from heaven to the earth.
The next plane of evolution opens up through the seven-pointed star, when we follow the flow of time, signified by the rays of the star.
This new figure of a seven-pointed star corresponds to the sequence of the days of the week in the flow of time and, when we begin with Saturn, to the evolutionary development of the earth through the different planetary states in time.5 Thus, through the symbol of the seven-pointed star, reference is made also to the cosmic development of the earth and therefore to the actual task of the Rosicrucian initiate. The turning of the individuality from the sphere of the Sophia to the earth and to the flow of time, and then further to the center of the earth, opens a new dimension of being, which connects directly to the Christ and the evolution of the earth.
Before we turn to the last symbol in the emblem of the Emerald Tablet, the Orb of Empire, above the seven-pointed star, we must deal with further, inner planes of human evolution that are necessary to its realization, and that lead from the cosmic through the human heart to the inner part of the earth.
Three Natural Suns of the World As Threefold Revelation of the Christ
Attention should be given to an easily overlooked
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representation from the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. It is called Drey natrliche Sonnen in der Welt (Three natural suns of the World) (Figure 8)
The representation names as follows:
The great sun in the sky. Father and Mother of all creatures.
then the small sun within us and
the lowest sun inside the earth.
From the point of view of the Rosicrucians, the Christ is revealed to humanity in this image of the three suns, in a three-fold way, where the Sophia-consciousness is not understood as an end in itself but as a gift, to once again turn from the vastness of space to time. The same wisdom is expressed in the prologue to the Gospel of John. We will here present only the pertinent sentences:
In the beginning there was only the wordThrough it, all things became.
In it there was life and life was the light of humanity.
And the light shone in the darkness; but darkness did not accept it.6
The cosmic sun is the Christ in the first revelation as the original word SELF. The second, smaller sun is the Christ in the second revelation in humanity as the source of life itself, the intrinsic light that comes to us from the heart. The third, lowest sun inside the earth, we find once more depicted separately in the book, Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians (Figure 9). It is the imagination of the crucified Christ inside the earth, who has taken upon himself anew the cross of the material.
In the minor work, metals are turned into silver, that is, the soul/body is purified of subjectivity. In the major work, a desire to redeem is achieved, through this completed sacrificial action in the harmonization of the three suns. Through this, men and women work consciously with the Christ in the transformation of the earth to gold, to a new sun. However, this requires our exertion of free will, to which the Christ, as represented in figure 9, holds forth his arms in an attitude of expectation. It is an invitation, rather than a moral demand on us to cooperate in the completion of the great work.
The Cosmic Rose
The second, central sun in us we find represented in the symbolic language of the Rosicrucians by figure 10, and in Christian representations by figure 11. It shows Christ
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pointing to a burning heart on his chest that has a burning flame on top. On the one hand, the heart is the source of life but it is also the gate through which the soul finds the Christ. Here we not only have suggestive imagery but also realistic Statements. This level of evolution is expressed in Rosicrucianism in the imaginary picture of the phoenix.
When the green lion devours the sun and turns into the red lion, the rose that is in the center of the cross, unfolds. The door of the heart opens up and the liberated soul soars, as the firebird phoenix, up to the Christ-sun to embrace it longingly with its wings.
The symbol of the Rosy Cross is derived from the inner experience. It is meant to remind us that we carry in our hearts the way to the Christ, the actual source of Rosicrucian wisdom.
Since this process of the coming-closer to the Christ, our true being, is an everlasting one, the sun-bird phoenix has to repeat forever this transformation, the death and resurrection.
Thus we now have two levels of experience for the rebirth of the soul. In the eagle, image of the purified soul, humanity enters through the first door to the intuitive experience of consciousness, the cosmic wisdom of the Sophia. In the imaginative image of the fire/sun bird phoenix we move through the second door of the heart and seek union with the macrocosmic equivalent of his self with the Christ.
The process described here we find depicted in the following emblem of figure 12. The picture bears a Latin inscription of IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, which means: In this sign you will be victorious. It shows a sun with five main flames and eight smaller ones in between. The five stands for humanity and for the rose, the eight for the exaltation of the four elements, the resurrection. Thus we have in the picture of the cosmic Rose, the resurrection of humanity (phoenix) and the endeavor to unite with the cosmic Christ, the archetype of the self.
The unfolding of the cosmic rose begins a new plane of evolution of the soul, in which men and women find themselves at the beginning of an -- as yet un-dreamt of -- dimension of the active will. We sense the infinite expanse of a mystery, which will always be a living enigma to us.
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If we have, in the realization of the cosmic Sophia, experienced and recognized the eternal part of our soul, the consciousness then begins, with the approach to the Christ, with the rising of the soul from the heart imaged by the sunbird phoenix -- to the Christ-sun, the active co-responsibility towards the evolution of the earth. These are events that happen within us as within the earth. Thus, we will be able to understand the final symbol on the emblem of the Tabula, the red imperial orb above the seven-pointed star. Through the power of the awakened self, it is the Christ-suffused earth that is turned into gold, a new sun, a cosmic heart in the evolution through the seven levels of the planetary evolution in time.
This journey receives the blessing of the spiritual world by the two hands that reach out from the clouds.
Closing Remarks
Though the aid of a series of emblems, primarily from the Rosicrucian literature, we have attempted a differentiated explanation of the meaning of the text and especially the emblem of the Emerald Tablet.
Research revealed that the upper half of the emblem showed a microcosmic path of evolution of the human soul, while the symbols of the lower half dealt with the macrocosmic path, the task of humanity with regard to the evolution of the earth. It is further pointed out that the heart, the source of Rosicrucian wisdom, constitutes the way to unity with the Christ, our true nature. From these connections, we also recognized the actual experience, from which the symbol of the Rosy Cross is derived.
As one approaches the text of the Tabula, it would appear that there are gaps in the inner levels of evolution. However, as was shown by our research, the emblem, which had been added to the text later, not only pictorially supplements the text but also serves as a stand-alone representation. Though it lends substance to the statements of the text, it also goes far beyond as it indicates the wisdom and task of Rosicrucianism for the evolution of humanity and the earth.
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Arndt, Ulrich, Metall Essenzen (Metal Essences), Freiburg 2003
Bachmann, Manuel/Hofmeier, Thomas, Geheimnisse der Alchemie (Secrets of Alchemy) Basel 1978.
Die Chymische Hochzeit des Christian Rosenkreuz (The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz), Basel 1978.
Evola, Julius, Die Hermetische Tradition (The Hermetic Tradition), Munich 2001
Frick, Karl R., Licht und Finsterniss (Light and Darkness), Graz 1973
Frick, Karl R., Die Erleuchteten (The Illuminati), Graz 1973
Gebelein, Helmut, Alchemie (Alchemy), Munich 2000
Geheime Figuren der Rosenkreuzer (Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians), Hamburg, 1785/88, new edition, Berlin 1919
Jung, C. G., Psychologie und Alchemie (Psychology and Alchemy), Olten 1972
Kiesewetter, Carl, Die Geheimwissenschaften (The Secret Sciences), Wiesbaden 2005
Kiesewetter, Carl, Geschichte des neueren Okkultismus (The Story of The More Recent Occultism), Munich 2004
Peuckert, Will-Erich, Geheimkulte (Secret Cults), Hamburg 2005
Peuckert, Will-Erich, Die Rosenkreuzer (The Rosicrucians), Jena 1928
Roob, Alexander, Das hermetische Museum, Alchemie und Mystik (The Hermetic Museum, Alchemy and Mystic), Bonn 2006
Salomon Trismosin, Aureum Vellus oder Gueldin Schatz und Kunstkammer (Aureum Vellus or Golden Treasure and Art Chamber), Basel 1604, III, 409
Schick, Dr. Hans Das aeltere Rosenkreuzertum (The older Rosicrucianism), Berlin 1942
Schweighart, Theophilus, Speculum Sophicum Rhodo Stauroticum, Frankfurt 1618
Steiner, Rudolf, Die Theosuphie des Rosenkreu
.zers ( The Theosophy of the Rosicrucian), Dornach 1968
Steiner, Rudolf, Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss (Outline of the Secret Science), Dornach 1968
The Rose+Croix Journal 2009 Vol 6 aa www.rosecroixjournal.org
Steiner, Rudolf, Theosophie (Theosophy), Dornach 1961
Stracke, Viktor, Das Geistesgebaeude der Rosenkreuzer (The Spiritual House of the Rosicrucians), Dornach 2000
Wehr, Gerhard, Esoterisches Christentum (Esoteric Christianity), Stuttgart 1995
Wehr, Gerhard, Die Brudershaft der Rosenkreuzer ( The Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians), Colon 1984
Weisser, Ursula, Das Buch ueber die Geheimnisse der Schoepfung von Pseudo- Applolonios Tyana (The book On the Secrets of Creation by Pseudo-Appolonios of Tyana), Berlin 1980
Illustration Source
1 Tabula Smaragdina (Geheime Figuren dr Rosenkreuzer (Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians), Altona, 1785/88, new edition, Berlin 1919, Pg. 17
2 Abraham Eleazar, Uraltes chymisches Werk (Ancient Chymical Work), Leipzig, 1760
3 Theophilus Schweighart, Speculum Sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum, Frankfurt 1618
4 Aurora Consurgens, 15th century, author unknown
5 Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians: The spiritual Sun, Altona 1785/88, new edition, Berlin, 1919, Pg. 25
6 Stolcenberg, Stolcius von, Viridarium Chymicum, Berlin 1624
7 ebd.
8 Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, The three natural suns of the world. Altona , 1785/88, new edition, Berlin, 1919, pg. 14
9 Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, The lowest sun in the earth, Altona, 1785/88, new edition, Berlin, 1919. pg. 10
10 Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, Illustration of the human heart of the old and the new creature, Altona, 1785/88, new edition, Berlin, 1919, pg. 16
11 J. Mueller, Munich, ca. 1900
12 Heinrich Khumrath, Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, The Cosmic Rose, Hamburg, 1595
1 Geheime Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, Altona, 1785/88, new edition , Berlin 1919
2 Ursula Weisser, Das Buch ueber das Geheimnis der Schoepfung von Psuedo-Apollonios von Tyana ( The Book of the Secrets of Creation by Pseudo-Apollonios of Tyana), Berlin 1980
3 Trismosin, Salomon. Aureum Vellus oder Gueldin Schatz und Kunstkammer (Aureum Vellus or the golden Treasure and Art Chamber), Berlin 1604, III
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4 Schweighart, Speculum Sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum, Frankfurt 1618
5 The evolution of the earth through the seven Phases is also dealt with by Rudolf Steiner in his book, Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss ( Outline of the Secret Science), Dornach, 1968
6 Emil Emil Bock, Das neue Testament (The New Testament), 1987

David Guyatt
10-07-2009, 03:25 PM
Overflowing with subtle (and not so subtle) occult and esoteric symbols, Albrecht Durer's "Melencolia I" is said by many to be the first of 4 (the four temperaments).

However, I wonder if the numeral 1 isn't actually a capital "I" meaning that Durer had undergone the Alchemical Nigredo - often referred to as "Melancholia"?


Of which more HERE (http://www.scribd.com/doc/19308105/The-Black-Sun-The-Alchemy-and-Art-of-Darkness) (not exactly my preferred choice of title in these dark days but viewed from the brighter side of things it is meaningful.

Keith Millea
10-08-2009, 08:15 PM
"Alchemical Nigredo"

I had to search for what that meant.I didn't expect to go down the "rabbit hole".Finally crawling back out after several hours of traveling through the Land of Esoterica.This quote by Terence McKenna stands out to me.


Well, so then, this is a phenomenon in the physical world and then mind is a phenomenon in the Cartesian distinction, which is between the Res Extensa and the Res Verins. This is the great splitting of the world into two parts. I remember Al Wong once said to me, we were talking about the yin yang symbol, and he said you know the interesting thing is not the yin or the yang, the interesting thing is the s shaped surface that runs between them. And that s shaped surface is a river of alchemical mercury. Now, where the alchemists saw this river of alchemical mercury is in the boundary between waking and sleeping. There is a place, not quite sleeping, not quite waking, and there there flows this river of alchemical mercury where you can project the contents of the unconscious and you can read it back to yourself. This kind of thinking is confounding to scientific thought where the effort is always to fix everything to a given identity and a given set of behaviors.

It is this boundary BETWEEN waking and sleeping,that is the place of my dreams.I stay away from this place.My dreams,although rare, are violent.I am projecting the contents of my unconscious there.I know of where these projections come from.Obviously,from my expierence with WAR.

If I'm reading correctly,Jungian theory of the Shadow reflects that I should embrace this Nigredo.Not being a psychotic,at least so far,I find it much better to just leave the beast alone.I do accept though violence as being a part of the natural world,just as a wolf will devour a young deer.Could it be that by ACCEPTING violence as a natural phenomenon in this world,that in fact I am EMBRACING the shadow also?Any thoughts?:hmmmm:

David Guyatt
10-09-2009, 09:53 AM
Keith, a very well considered and poignant question.

Sadly, I cannot speak for anyone but myself. I consider the Shadow confrontation to be vital.

Jung very much considered that the Unconscious was where the healing process lay. To activate it, one had to descend into the dark realms of the Nigredo, often symbolized by the Crow. See for example, the title page image to Fulcanelli HERE (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91) - where the Sphinx, a hybrid of man and beast - is a symbol of the Alchemical process.

And recording one's dreams was (and remains) a vital discipline in the Jungian healing process. Hence the old Alchemical term "Dormiens Vigila (http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=155)" (Whilst sleeping, watch!).

But it is NOT a journey to be undertaken without great care. Normally one would need the help and assistance of a qualified Analyst and/or a teacher who has trod the spiral staircase before you. Experience (rather than theory) is the only meaningful qualification, I think.

And finally, I entirely agree with the extract you posted about the S shape between the Yin and Yang symbol. That is the magical place.

In my life I have been most fortunate to have had three fabulous teachers, one of whom was an outstanding Tai Chi master, another a remarkable "old school" Jungian Analyst (not all of them are btw) and the third, well, actually that was two, not one, and is another story for another time.

Significantly, three of these four were of the gentler sex.

David Guyatt
10-28-2009, 01:35 PM
In Egyptian mythology, Nehebkau ("he who harnesses the souls") was the two headed serpent deity who guarded the entrance to the underworld and who fed "Milk of Light" - a magical liquid - to the deceased to heal them had they been bitten by a poison creature. He was one of the 40 Gods in the Halls of Maat who helped judge the deceased.

How curious then, that a two-headed snake has been found in, of all places, a drawer full of rubbish in the USA. It may be worth mentioning the rubbish-in-a-draw angle because tit could easily equate with the mire of the underworld and therefore be a quite fitting location in which to find a two-headed snake.

In the below article, the Greek Hydra is incorrectly allocated, as the Hydra normally had nine heads - but if one was cut off, two grew back in its place. The Hydra was a water snake.


Two-Headed Snake Found In Drawer Of Rubbish
Wednesday, October 28 09:28 am
Sky News 2009


A two-headed snake has been discovered in a drawer full of rubbish in Illinois. Skip related content

When Jerry Williamson's wife first told him she had found the scary reptile he thought she was pulling his leg.

But to his surprise she was telling the truth.

Unfazed by the terrifying stigma attached to the two-headed Hydra of Greek mythology the couple decided to keep the reptile.

They were worried it would not be able to survive on its own.

They say it is a North American water snake and has just shed its skin.

The 'Nerodia sipedon', as it is also known, is a large non-venemous snake active during day and night.


Jung on the descent to the Underworld (Hades):

The Hero Myth: The Dragon Fight and Redemption of the Feminine
In the fight with the dragon the hero battles the regressive forces of the unconscious which threaten to swallow the individuating ego. The forces, personified in figures like Circe, Kali, medusa, sea serpents, Minotaur, or Gorgon, represent the Terrible side of the Great Mother. The Hero may voluntarily submit to being swallowed by the monster, or to a conscious descent into Hades so as to vanquish the forces of darkness. This mortifying descent into the abyss, the sea, the dark cave, or the underworld in order to be reborn to a new identity expresses the symbolism of the night-sea journey through the uterine belly of the monster. It is a fundamental theme in mythology the world over that of death and rebirth. All initiatory rituals involve this basic archetypal pattern through which the old order and early infantile attachments must die and a more mature and productive life be born in their place.

The mythological goal of the dragon fight is almost always the virgin, the captive, or more generally, the treasure hard to attain. This image of the vulnerable, beautiful, and enchanting woman, guarded by and captive of a menacing monster gives us a picture of the inner core of the personality and its surrounding defenses. The heros task is to rescue the maiden from the grasp of the monster and, ultimately, to marry her and establish his kingdom with her. This dragon fight and liberation of the captive is the archetypal pattern that can guide us through those major transitional passages in our personal development where a rebirth or reorientation of consciousness is indicated. The captive represents the new element whose liberation makes all further development possible.

In response to the call the hero undertakes a journey, usually a dangerous journey to an unknown region full of both promise and danger. Often the journey is a descent. Sometimes, as with Jonah, Aeneas, Christ, and Psyche, it is a descent into the depths the sea, the underworld, or Hades itself. Always there is a perilous crossing. Sometimes the faintheartedness of the hero is balanced by the appearance of guardians or helpful animals that enable the hero to perform the superhuman task that cannot be accomplished unaided. These helpful forces are representatives of the psychic totality that supports the ego in its struggle. They bear witness to the fact that the essential function of the hero myth is the development of the individuals true personality.

My bolding

David Guyatt
11-11-2009, 04:48 PM
Continuing the Shadow Archetype theme, the following slim .pdf file is highly recommended:

David Guyatt
12-02-2009, 12:51 PM
The importance of withdrawing projections cannot be understated. In the following transcript form an interview by Jung's successor, Marie-Louise von Franz says it all.


"If not more people try to reflect and take back their projections, and take the opposite within themselves, there will be a total destruction. There are a lot of people who go through life and the unconscious is not a reality to them. They say at breakfast I had a funny dream, and in the afternoon they know nothing about it. But if we paint them and interpret them and think about them, the dream becomes real. And that's why you need to be lonely so the unconscious becomes stronger. It's like loading up the unconscious and than it manifests. Hermes Trismegistus said in one active imagination to an alchemist: "I am the friend to whoever is lonely". We have now preceding the man who pours water into the fish. Now the fish is the unconcious; so we have to support the unconscious. It's not enough to just have it. We have to actively turn toward it and support it, so that it then helps us. Jung once said: "The toads and the frogs are god's first attempt to make man on a cold-blooded level. And then he didn't quite succeed, so he kept the idea in mind." There are many people are not in analysis but they are naturally gifted, which I would call: they are honest. And they find these things without analysis. I have lived in this tower for 8 weeks alone without speaking one word to anybody. And I sometimes thought I was going off my head. But the unconscious became alive. It was my path. Jung: "There are no other similar beings like man. That thus are articulate and conscious; can give account for their functioning".

Click on the above link to watch the interview.

David Guyatt
12-18-2009, 10:36 PM
Do I dream the dream that I alive or does the dream dream me into existence?

Memories, Dreams, Reflections (http://www.archive.org/stream/memoriesdreamsre007394mbp/memoriesdreamsre007394mbp_djvu.txt)

Magda Hassan
12-18-2009, 11:17 PM
Ah! Thank you so much David. I have lost my copy of MD&R and I love that book.

David Guyatt
02-01-2010, 02:13 PM
Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, Marie-Louise von Franz.

I'm unable to find a digital free copy of this book which I highly recommend. The following is the blurb from the MLvF website"


Fairy tales seem to be innocent stories, yet they contain profound lessons for those who would dive deep into their waters of meaning. In this book, Marie-Louise von Franz uncovers some of the important lessons concealed in tales from around the world, drawing on the wealth of her knowledge of folklore, her experience as a psychoanalyst and a collaborator with Jung, and her great personal wisdom. Among the many topics discussed in relation to the dark side of life and human psychology, both individual and collective, are:
How different aspects of the "shadow" - all the affects and attitudes that are unconscious to the ego personality - are personified in the giants and monsters, ghosts, and demons, evil kings and wicked witches of fairy tales
How problems of the shadow manifest differently in men and women
What fairy tales say about the kinds of behavior and attitudes that invite evil
How Jung's technique of Active imagination can be used to overcome overwhelming negative emotions
How ghost stories and superstitions reflect the psychology of grieving
What fairy tales advise us about whether to struggle against evil or turn the other cheek

Dr. von Franz concludes that every rule of behavior that we can learn from the unconscious through fairy tales and dreams is usually a paradox: sometimes there must be a physical struggle against evil and sometimes a contest of wits, sometimes a display of strength or magic and sometimes a retreat. Above all, she shows the importance of relying on the central, authentic core of our being - the innermost Self, which is beyond the struggle between the opposites of good and evil.

David Guyatt
02-01-2010, 02:18 PM
Confronting the Villain in Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone:


Confronting the Villain in Harry Potter and The Sorcerers Stone:
Voldemort as Shadow and Evil Magician

Glenna Andrade

Beloved by readers of all ages for the past several years, the Harry Potter series depicts a young schoolboys development as a fledgling wizard in his fairytale boarding school of Hogwarts in England. Throughout the novels, Harrys knowledge and skill in magic increases while his nemesis Voldemort becomes more powerful. Each novel climaxes in Harrys confrontation with either Voldemort or his agents. Using the first novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, we examine the role of Voldemort as a projection of Harrys shadow, perceiving his contacts with the animus, the anima, and with the parental imago of the wise old man of the fairytale--all connections providing Harry with moral lessons as he grows towards individuation.

Because the Voldemorts name can be transliterated as either flight from death or wish for death, his very name indicates his function as Harrys shadow. By definition, the shadow is the personification of certain aspects of the unconscious personalitywhichis the dark, unlived, and repressed side of the ego complex (von Franz 5). During the first stage, the shadow represents all the things that person cannot directly know (von Franz 5). However, just as Jung indicates, becoming conscious of ones shadow is essential to self-knowledge (The Shadow 9), and so Harry must confront his resistances to self-knowledge that he binds up in this projection (The Shadow 9). As a part of Harrys shadow, the villain images are recessed deeper into his unconscious in the forms of the animus and anima. In Harrys case, Voldemort represents his animus because he is the same sex as Harry. Delving into the unconscious also allows Harry to connect with his opposite side or anima, his feelings in contrast to his intellect.

On his road to maturation, Harry also faces the dual opposites of the wise old

man image of the fairytale realm in the persons of Voldemort and Dumbledore. As Jung explains in The Spirit in Fairytales, the positive, wise old man image always appears when the hero is in a hopeless and desperate situation (217). Just like the positive wise old man, Dumbledore gives advice, asks questions to induce self-reflection, gives a talisman (Jung 217-220), and even comes to Harrys rescue. Alternately, the wise old man image appears as an evil doer (Jung, The Spirit in Fairytales, 229-234) or the old magician who corresponds to the negative parental imago in the magic world of the unconscious (Jung, Fairytales 234). Hence, Voldemort serves as not only Harrys shadowy animus, but also his negative-father imago as the old magician who is counterbalanced by his positive-father imago of Dumbledore.

In particular, Harry Potters projection of Voldemort as his evil potential can be further explained by several of Marie Louise von Frances observations on the fairy tale. Written for children primarily, The Sorcerers Stone not only follows the pattern of the neo-Jungian, Joseph Campbells Monomyth hero, but also casts Harry as the Cinderella figure of the abused stepchild. Harrys story begins when he lives beneath his foster parents stairwell and is then spirited away from his ordinary human or muggles life by a fairy godmother for a new life in wizard school under Dumbledores protection. In addition, because of their simplicity, the fairy tale images allow a clearer look into Harrys confrontation with his shadow. As Marie von France suggests in Shadow and Evil in Fairytales, since fairy tales reduce to their most elemental aspects, they mirror the most basic psychological structures of man to a greater extent than [even] myths and literary products (12). Moreover, the fairy tale elements help explain the Potter series adult popularity since such tales, as von Franz says, are reduced to basic structural elements that appeal to everybody (12).

My plan here is to examine the first appearance of the villain Voldemort during the climax of The Sorcerers Stone. A close reading reveals that the images and symbols contribute to the villains manifestation as both shadow and evil magician.

Voldemorts very description betrays the evil within the shadow. Near the end of Harrys quest to rescue the magical Sorcerers Stone, Harry descends through a trap door into the metaphoric underworld or the unconscious. Here, Harry confronts Voldemort for the first time. When Voldemorts servant Quirrell unwraps his turban and turns around, Voldemort is exposed. Harry is shocked to find that Where there should have been a back to Quirrells head, there was amost terrible face (SS 293). Voldemorts first manifestation indicates that while Harry is clearly outmatched in wizardry and age, he meets the face of evil courageously, willing to confront the dark side of himself, his own shadow, the part of himself he does not yet understand. Furthermore, the appearance of Voldemort as two-faced forecasts Voldemorts capacity for lying. Additionally, Voldemorts appearance as a parasite on his servants head indicates his power of demonic possession and his evil aptitude to exploit others. In this way, Voldemorts description as a two-faced parasite begins to symbolize not only Harrys willingness to face his shadow, but also his moral obligation to respect others and to use power to help, not degrade them.

In the same scene, Voldemorts appearance as a skull and a snake are important symbols that offer Harry new insights. When he assesses villains face, Harry describes it as Chalk white with glaring red eyes and slits for nostrils, like a snake (SS 293). On one hand, the chalk white face suggests a skull that represents Harrys fear of death in his collective unconscious. The skull also ties in to Voldemorts name as meaning flight from death or wish for death. Obviously, Harry fears his own death from Voldemort who has already killed Harrys parents (SS 294) and who threatens him, yet the skull also represents Harrys shadow aspect in his unconscious wish for death since this is the only way he can satisfy his intense longing to be re-united with his parents, a weakness that Voldemort often preys upon. On the other hand, the skull also connects to the villains ultimate desire as a flight from death since his immediate goal is to attain immortality by stealing the Stone. Moreover, Voldemorts obsession with immortality signifies his evil side since, as von Franz says, evil entails being swept away by one-sidedness, by only one single pattern of behavior (von Franz 147). Altogether then, Voldemorts multivalent death imagery presents Harry with the understanding that obsession becomes evil because a person chooses to ignore balance in life. As Harry learns later from his positive father figure, the headmaster Dumbledore, a gift like unlimitedlife is a bad choice because death is not to be feared, but rather to be expected as only the next great adventure (297). It appears that Dumbledore, like Jung, recognizes death as a goal and a fulfillment of lifes natural progression (The Soul and Death 495).

Voldemorts description as a snake reinforces his evil nature in other ways. Clearly, the snake imagery underscores the immortality theme since the snake as a circle served as such before Judeo-Christian myth. Just as important, the snake imagery connects to the biblical Eden as a symbol of flattery and deceit. Like the biblical Satan, Voldemort uses flattery when he tries to convince Harry to give up the Sorcerers Stone by acknowledging that he had admired Harrys parents bravery. When flattery does not work, Voldemort descends to deceit when he insists that Harrys parents need not have died in vain. Fortunately, however, Harry is not deceived: he already realizes that his parents deaths were a sacrifice of love in trying to protect him from Voldemort.

The theme of lying has larger moral aspect that connects to Harrys maturation. Harry has already lied to Quirrell about how to find the Sorcerers Stone when Harry saw his reflection in the Mirror of Erised (Desire). Not too incidentally, Harry is much like Perseus who required the mirror of objectivity to bypass the emotional shock of looking at Medusa directly (von Franz 249) or into his own evil side. Nonetheless, Harrys lying reveals a more sophisticated decision. For moral not only includes the capacity of discriminating between right and wrong, but also of making an intellectual choice based upon the higher good, as verified by the probability that Voldemort would use the Stone to acquire a separate physical body and attain eternal life-- to advance his control of the world.

In addition to the death and lying symbolism, snake imagery contributes to Voldemorts position as Harrys shadow in the fairytale since both can speak with snakes in what wizards call parseltongue. Sharing this rare magic power (CS 317), the two are even more similar than indicated by the several suggestions of their physical resemblance (CS 317). Since the ability to communicate in an animal language is a prime element of the fairy tale, Harrys capacity suggests that he can probe the Nature side of his personality, his emotional aspect, his anima. In this way, Harry can learn to balance intellect and emotion, which promotes his growth towards individuation. In contrast to the villain who uses parseltongue to command animals to attack (CS 308), Harry generally speaks with snakes to understand and help them (SS 28). Harrys own connection to the snake imagery may be perceived as a positive aspect. The snake often climbs and then descends from the tree of life bringing messages to the physical or conscious realm.

Next, in his confrontation scene with Voldemort, Harry glimpses the deeper side of himself through a descent into the numinous realm. When grappling with Quirrell, Harry feels pain in his head and lacks external sight (SS 295). Just like Perseus avoided Medusas stare, Harrys blindness suggests his reluctance to face his shadow because such a look can end in death. As Jung observes, a person may recognize the relative evil of his nature, but to gaze into the face of absolute evil is a rare and shattering experience (Shadow 10). Additionally, Harrys blindness indicates his respect for a greater spiritual power, for in a fairytale, one should not penetrate the awe of a higher power unless forced to (von Franz 165). Fortunately, Harrys temporary blindness is compensated with in-sight. He descends through an inner hell to attain a numinous experience (von Franz 198). Over Quirrells shrieks and Voldemorts commands to kill him, Harry hears the call of Harry! Harry! (SS 295). For his courage to participate in a numinous experience, Harry gains the reward of hearing his parents as helpmates. As we will learn in later novels, his parents will reappear when Harry needs aid in confronting evil, and, in fact, Harrys father later materializes as the Petronus (his patron, his pater) in his appearance as the animal helper of the white stag.

Equally important, Harrys confrontation with Voldemort brings about a connection with his anima or with his emotional side that values love. For example, because Harry is under the power of his dead mothers love, Harrys very physical touch of Quirrell brings about his intense pain that causes Quirrell to release his grasp and to retreat (SS 299). Harrys mothers gift of love repels Quirrell because he has shared his soul with the evil Voldemort (SS 299). As Dumbledore later explains to Harry,

If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didnt realize that love as powerful as your mothers for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin. Quirrell, full of hatred, greed, and ambition, sharing his soul with Voldemort, could not touch you for this reason. It was agony to touch a person marked by something so good. (SS 299)

Hence, Harry is protected by his maternal love because, as von Franz says,

Warm human contact dissipatesclouds of projection (154). Therefore, Harrys human contact not only repels physical evil, but also diminishes the grip of his shadows projection. Subsequently, Harry begins to perceive that the warmth of love engendered within his anima is the superior human defense against the cold manifestation of hatred.

Additionally, Voldemort personifies the shadow qualities that Harry must

learn to reject. Voldemort embodies that kind of evil that von Franz determines as the spirit of no life and no love (173). Voldemort even seems to derive pleasure from destructiveness for its own sake (von Franz 173) since he kills his hosts without remorse. Furthermore, Harrys shadow-villain Voldemort continues to repudiate his own emotional side. Before he retreats, Voldemort asserts that there is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it (SS 291). Here, Voldemort suggests that any positive emotions such as love and compassion betray a lack of strength. He himself denies his anima and thus is trapped within his obsession for power.

On the other hand, Harry accepts the anima aspects of himself: he respects others,

uses power to help not abuse, and appreciates the love that affirms life. As a result of his generous emotions that counterbalance his intellect, Harry learns about the protectiveness of love and gains the reward of connecting with his spiritual patron-father. In this way, Harrys ego becomes stronger as he begins his journey towards individuation. Seen another way, Harrys journey resembles the fairytale aspects aligned with his shadow. His journey begins with conventional Cinderella imagery, replicates the plot of the fairytale hero who descends into the numinous realm, and ends with Harrys confrontation with the shadow that allows him to connect to the positive emotions that promote individuation. Equally important, Harry succeeds in fending off Voldemort because Harry carries a higher power than mere magic: his character reveals he makes good choices. As von France notes, Knowledge when linked with a state of higher consciousness, is perhaps the greatest means of fighting evil; dissociated from consciousness, it is just one magical trick against another (250). Moreover, Harry has love on his side too. As von France further points out, in a contest of magic, the drive of love or Eros will win against the drive of dominion (252).

In conclusion, using M.L. von Franzs concepts from The Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales which amplify Jungs The Spirit of the Fairytale, this investigation concludes that Harry prevails over evil by his willing descent into an inner hell, facilitated by a numinous combination of his knowledge, state of higher consciousness, and inherent drive towards love or Eros. Because the Voldemorts name can be transliterated as either flight from death or wish for death, his very name confirms his function as Harrys shadow. Furthermore, Vole-de-mort suggests vole or mole of death, the despised, sneaky, dark-roaming rodent who functions as the magician.

Ultimately, Harry will continue to confront Voldemort in future novels because Harry has more to learn from his shadow. Even his continuing training in wizardry skills will bring him just to par with Voldemorts intellect and experience. One final lesson must be for Harry to recognize his own capacity for evil. As von Franz says, evil includes the lack of the spirit of no life and no love which. is destructiveness for its own sake, but also the self-recognition that everybody possesses the capacity for evil to some degree (173). In future novels, Harry must continue to address his shadow that contains his the dark, unlived, and repressed side (von Franz 5} and to balance intellect and emotion of his animus and anima. While he has acquired the boon of a positive father imago in Dumbledore and will later attain the animal-helper Patron of his father, ultimately, Harrys future journeys into his shadow must include his ability to admit his own weaknesses, to recognize his own capacity for evil, and to use his ego strength for self-discipline. Only further novels will tell whether Harry will continue to prevail over his shadow-villain Voldemort.

Works Cited

Jung, C (arl) G (ustav). The Shadow Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self. Bolligen Series XX. Transl. R.F.C. Hull (Second Edition). NY: Princeton UP, 1978.

----. The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Bolligen Series XX. Transl. R.F.C. Hull (Second Edition). NY: Princeton UP, 1978.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. US: Arthur A. Levin Books, 1999.

----. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. US: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1997.

Williams, Edwin B., General Editor. The Scribner Bantam English Dictionary. NY: Bantam, 1979.

Von Franz, Marie-Louise. Shadow and Evil in Fairytales. Dallas: Spring Publications, Inc., 1987.

Works Consulted

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. US: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000.

----. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. US: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.

----. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. US: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.

David Guyatt
02-02-2010, 03:20 PM

Jung and the Archetype of the Apocalypse

[ 1 Sep 2009 ]

Jung and the Archetype of the Apocalypse

As we have noted in earlier essays, Jung was very intuitive. Thanks to his keen intuition he was able to sense shifts in the collective consciousness long before outer changes made these shifts obvious to others. One of the shifts he noted was the approach of the end time and the activation of what he called the archetype of the apocalypse. As early as the 1950s Jung foresaw the approach of the end time.
Jung felt it was important for people to know about this archetype because he recognized the power each individual has to change the future. He knew that if enough people become aware of the apocalypse, as an archetype, understand its intentions and internalize its meaning in their own lives, the fate of the world might be more positive. In this essay we are going to discuss briefly the meaning and features of archetypes, with particular attention to the archetype of the apocalypse, and then consider how it relates to the individual and to the collective. We conclude with identifying some of the signs of the approach of the archetype in our world at the moment and Jungs attitude toward apocalypticists.

The Meaning of Archetype

In a paper presented at a London symposium in 1919 Jung used the term archetype for the first time, to refer to the
a priori, inborn forms of intuition,... which are the necessary a priori determinants of all psychic processes. Just as his instincts compel man to a specifically human mode of existence, so the archetypes force his ways of perception and apprehension into specifically human patterns. The instincts and the archetypes together form the collective unconscious.
Earlier in his publications Jung had used the terms primordial image, and the inborn mode of psychic apprehension.... None of these definitions is likely to illuminate the meaning and value of the notion for the contemporary layperson devoted to Jungiana. So, eager to convey the utility of the concept to their students, later Jungian analysts have elaborated Jungs definition.
One of the most thorough explications of the concept is found in Anthony Stevens Archetype Revisited: An Updated Natural History of the Self. In this revision of his earlier study of the concept, Stevens defines archetypes as
innate neuropsychic centers possessing the capacity to initiate, control and mediate the common behavioral characteristics and typical experiences of all human beings, irrespective of race, culture or creed.
Whats this mean? Lets examine each of the components of this definition.
First of all, archetypes are innate, that is, they are part of our psychic makeup, much as our instincts are. We dont have to learn them or do any sort of conscious work to make them part of our array of human traits: they already are within us, as a form of natural self-organization.
Next, Stevens describes archetypes as neuropsychic centers. They are part of our psyche and our nervous system. And they hold potential, i.e. they give rise to patterns of behavior. Archetypes help us to respond in the moment to experiences that arise in life.
One example that I use in my classes which helps students grasp the idea here is the situation where a person is walking along a sidewalk and comes upon a tiny infant all alone and crying. Virtually no one in such a situation would walk on by: It is part of our innate psychic makeup to stop, look around for the parents or caregivers and, if none seem to be present, to try to tend to the infant in some way. Such solicitude reflects the activation of our inner mother archetype, which predisposes all human beings to give nurturance, protection and comfort to infants in distress. The caregiving impulse is one pattern of behavior. As Stevens notes in his definition, the archetype initiates the behavior. In this case, it is the behavior associated with mothering.
A final feature of archetypes is their universal quality. As part of the collective unconscious they are common to all persons regardless of race, culture or creed. Every human collective has mother, father, birth, death etc. in its culturethese are universal features of human existence.
As active living dispositions... that perform and continually influence our thoughts, feelings and actions, archetypes are very significant in our lives. But they are not tangible: you cannot see the archetype itself but only the behaviors or patterns of feeling that the archetype gives rise to. Ultimately, Jung realized, archetypes cannot be defined (just as we cannot wrap our minds around the collective unconscious). We can best understand archetypes through our experiences as humans. We can grasp the archetype of mother from situations like the above example with the infant on the sidewalk.

Some Features of Archetypes

Several features we have mentioned above: Archetypes are universal and impersonal, as part of the collective unconscious which links us to all of humanity. They are also intangible--non-material--being part of our psychic makeup. We cannot see archetypes with our physical senses unless or until they spark some outer behavior or feeling. And this is another feature: Archetypes are generative, i.e. they spark actions on our part, as we noted in the example above of the mothering behavior that arises when we see a vulnerable infant exposed to danger. We dont have to learn this behavior: It is innately part of our being human.
Archetypes get actualized through our personal experiences in life. In our example, the mother archetype gets actualized when we stop and seek help for the infant. The puer archetype is actualized when we spend time at play. The senex archetype shows up when we balance our checkbook and plan our budget for the months ahead. We will discuss how the archetype of the apocalypse shows up later in this essay.
Other features of archetypes are more subtletheir non-locality, for example. Being part of our psychic makeup, archetypes exist outside space and time. A mothers concern for her child exists regardless of what time it is or where the child is. So it can happen that at 2 oclock in the morning a mother in Iowa wakes up somehow knowing that her soldier son in Iraq is in some sort of danger, and several hours later she gets a call from the Army that he has been wounded and is being airlifted to the hospital in Germany.
Besides non-locality, archetypes have a certain autonomy. By this Jung means that archetypes will operate outside of our egos conscious will. In the example above of the infant on the sidewalk, we may be very busy and pressed for time, but even then, we are likely to stop and seek help for the infant. Something in us acts in spite of our desire to get to the meeting on time or to stick to the schedule.
Part of the reason archetypes have autonomy is that they have intentionality: they have a purpose; they call upon us to act in a certain way, to achieve a certain goal. In the example with the mother archetype, the intention is to protect the vulnerable new life, to nurture and foster. The creator archetype intends for us to bring something new into being. The teacher archetype intends for us to transmit our knowledge and wisdom to those receptive to receiving it. The archetype of the apocalypse also has intent, which we will discuss below.
Archetypes have many other features, only two of which we have space to discuss here. The first is their numinosity. Archetypes have a divine quality to them, a power and fascination that derive from their source in the collective unconscious. At times when an archetype motivates us to act we can feel caught up in something larger than ourselves. At such times it is essential that we remember not to identify with the archetype. The ego is not the archetype and can get inflated if it identifies with it. This is important to remember when we consider the archetype of the apocalypse, as we will explain below.
The second feature is the transformative potential archetypes hold. If we recognize and assimilate an archetype, it can change our lives and help us grow in amazing ways. For example, at the Jungian Center now we are seeing lives be enlarged and enriched as people recognize and assimilate the archetype of the creator. Our culture would have us believe that being creative means being gifted with the ability to paint like Picasso or compose like Beethoven. In restricting creator to the high arts and masterful performance, our culture has truncated our sense of creativity. But the archetype lives in each one of us and we are being creative in one way or other every day of our lives. Recognizing this and living our creativity consciously expands our reality and enlarges our lives.

The Meaning and Features of the Archetype of the Apocalypse

Before we tackle a definition of the archetype of the apocalypse, we need to understand the meaning of apocalypse. It comes from two Greek words, apo and kalypto, which mean to take away and to cover or hide. So apocalypse means literally to take away the covering of something that has been hidden. Whats been hidden? The truth, or more specifically, the truth about the future and what is to come. In the New Testament, the final book of the Christian Bible is often referred to the apocalypse or revelation given to St. John. Johns visions took away the cover of what previously been hidden, to reveal the future end times. Through centuries of Chrisitians usage referring to John and his vision the term apocalypse has become associated specifically with revelations that envision a great, final catastrophe to befall the earth.
Jung regarded apocalypse as an archetype because he recognized that such visions are not limited to Christians: they occur in every culture. Every culture has some sort of belief or account of an end time that will be (or has been) revealed. While the specifics vary from culture to culture, there are usually certain basic components of the archetype: Something is revealed about the future; some sort of judgment or evaluation occurs; there is destruction or punishment; and finally there is renewal, in the form of a new reality or world.
The apocalypse archetype shares some features with archetypes in general. It is, for example, what Jung called preformed. That is, its general form is already laid down in our unconscious psychic reality. We hear the word apocalypse and certain things spring to mind: judgment, destruction, cataclysm, the world not having a very good day! We dont have to create this reaction; it just arises within us.
The apocalypse archetype is also dynamic: it provokes behaviors, feelings, thoughts and change. For most people who contemplate it, the prospect of apocalypse brings up a host of negative feelings. This is true for most people, but not all. We should note at this point that there are some people now who are actively hoping for the arrival of the apocalypse in a belief that, with the end of the world they will be raptured up into Heaven, leaving the sinners behind to experience the pain and suffering they deserve. We shall return to this apocalypticist attitude below.
Another key feature of the apocalypse archetype is intent. Like all archetypes, apocalypse is purposive. It wants something to happen. Another way to say this is that it has inherent meaning. It is not simply destructive for the sake of destroying, and this is crucial for us to remember.
What does it want to happen? What meaning might it have? We consider this on two levels: Its intention for us as individuals and what it means for the spiritual seeker; and its intention for the collective, what it means for the world.

How the Archetype of the Apocalypse Relates to the Individual

There are times in the lives of spiritual seekers when dreams arise of global annihilation, wholesale destruction, or interior landscapes of wastelands and wilderness, usually accompanied by feelings of dread, fear, gloom and doom. Sometimes these dreams take the form of images of fire or nuclear explosions, in the alchemical operation known as the calcinatio. At other times dreams show us holding the tension of the opposites, enduring the separatio until the transcendent function, or reconciling third thing appears. In other dreams we may see our world or situation from a higher perspective, in the sublimatio. Frequently we encounter repellent figures, threatening figures, people not at all like us, as we wrestle with our shadow side. No one who has stayed on the path of deep personal growth has escaped such visions, because the archetype is universal.
Throughout this process we are discomfited, and face a choice: We can resist the work, live in denial and dismiss our dreams as trivial or incomprehensible or inconsequential Or we can go with the flow and begin to change. This latter choice is not appealing because it entails allowing the ego to be confronted by the Self. This is not something the ego welcomes. Jung noted that the experience of the Self is always a defeat for the ego. The ego doesnt like facing its own frailty. It wants to think it can run the show and be in control of life. It does not like being forced to confront its limitations. The feelings of anxiety, helplessness, despair and overwhelment that accompany our dreams when the archetype of the apocalypse is activated reflect just how much the ego is out of its depths. A key part of spiritual growth is coming to recognize how limited and inferior the ego is, compared to the wisdom and power of the Self.
When apocalpytic dreams arise spontaneously in our lives, what are we being asked to do? What is the meaning of the archetype for us, as individuals? First, we are being asked to recognize that the Self is coming into conscious realization. When it does, the inner landscape created by the wiles and worries of the ego is threatened, devastated, or shown up as inadequate and limited. We come away from these encounters feeling as if our world has been destroyed. We are being asked to recognize our limitations, see our mistakes, feel the pangs of conscience and come to sense the need to find more authentic and meaningful ways of being. Our world and worldview are shattered and this is precisely what the Self intends.
Only by losing our old world and ways of living can we experience the apocatastasis, the reconstitution or renewal that is at the heart of the archetype of the apocalypse. The Self is ever making all things new. It seeks our renewal. It enters consciousnessthe world of the egos makingand shatters its conventions and images decisively, so as to permit a new inner reality more appropriate to our soul and the spiritual growth we have achieved. When the apocalypse shows up in our dream life, we must transition from our old ways of thinking and being into a more enlarged and authentic way. This process takes time (months, if not years) but the Self is patient. It is implacable, however: While it never lets us down and never lets us go, it also never lets us off! Best not to dig in ones heels and refuse to cooperate with the Self at such times! Doing so usually forces the archetype to manifest in outer life, and then all manner of unfortunate things show up in life. The Self will not be gainsaid. If we dont accede to the intentions of the archetype to renew and reconstitute our reality, it will force us to do so through loss of health, job, family, friends, or other painful experiences. While such experiences are terrible to endure, they pale compared to the manifestation of the archetype on the collective level. We consider that level next.

How the Archetype of the Apocalypse Relates to the Collective

On the collective level the archetype of the apocalypse seeks to reorient humanity away from the illusions of a civilization that has grown stale and inappropriate, so as to permit a new, more viable way of life. Since civilization is generally something about which we are unconscious, such a reorientation is a painful process, calling into question the host of assumptions we have about reality and how things are. These assumptions can be thought of as paradigmsunconscious beliefs, attitudes and mental constructsthat provide the bedrock of how we function in the world. In the next essay I will consider in detail some of these paradigms and how we are being asked to replace them with other models more suited to the next evolutionary stage of humanity as we look toward the future.
The shattering of paradigms is not an easy process. It presents the most severe challenge to life as we know it. We tend to think of Western Civilization as the apogee of human development and we revel in our high technology, sophisticated arts and culture, and the virtues of modernity. Rarely do we recognize that, in our lust for scientific progress and ever-more effective forms of control over nature, we have lost all connection to the sacred.
The collective Self is not amused. Nature will not tolerate such abuse much longer. We are seeing more and more evidence of this all over the planet. Just how the archetype of the apocalypse is showing up in our reality now is the subject of the next section of this essay.

Signs of the Archetype of Apocalypse in Our Contemporary Reality

Some signs of the activation of the apocalypse archetype on the collective level are obvious. The rise of apocalyptic cults and sects, like the Branch Davidians and Heavens Gate, are two examples of collectives whose leaders came to identify with the archetype and, as a result of their inflation, met their destruction and took all their followers with them. Another obvious sign is the heightening of tensions in international relations, due to the collective projection of the shadow. In this regard, the unconsciousness of global leaders does not help, e.g. George W. Bushs repeated use of the phrase axis of evil to refer to nations he regarded as malevolent. Bush 43 gave the world numerous examples of projection of the shadow in his profound unconsciousness. A third example of obvious apocalyptic energy is terrorism, reflecting the invasion of pent-up demonic forces. Such forces usually get activated in apocalyptic times. In light of our experience of 9/11 few people in the West would hesitate to identify the Islamic jihadists as demonic.
Other signs are less obvious. Holding the tension of opposites has been showing up collectively around the world in the last few decades: Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Somalia, the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq, the Jews and Palestinians in Gaza are just some of the examples of opposites in confrontation. International politics is full of enemies confronting each other as the opposites that are contained in the Self ask us, collectively, to become and remain conscious of our disparate energies and reconcile our differences.
Another sign is what Jung called the rise of -isms. This is a trait of our collective reality that goes back well into the 19th century. Socialism, communism, patriotism, nationalism, colonialism, imperialismour language is rich in words that reflect our efforts to conceptualize, theorize and reduce individuality to some collective form. Jung found such efforts to depersonalize reality very offensive. Linked to this tendency is the rise of what Oswald Spengler called the megalopolis, or giant cityanother collective form that loses sight of the individual.
Gigantic cities are possible, in part, because of our technological advances. Jung was not uniformly appreciative of modern technologies. He saw in many of them a huge ego inflation. Out of this inflation come our disregard for Nature and the belief that undergirds much of modern scientism: that we can run a viable society in contravention of natural laws. So we see manifold ecological disasterswildfires, global warming with its rising sea levels and melting glaciers, changes in habitat and insect infestations. A corollary of environmental destruction is the passionate intensity of some environmentalists hoping to save the Earth. Their passion reflects the activation of the apocalypse archetype.
Another sign is the breakdown in the social and political structures that we associate with Western civilization. For example, the media mention these days the phenomenon of the failed state, referring to nations whose governments are unable to protect their citizens and provide the basics of safety, security, functioning law courts, markets and other essentials. We also hear analysts decry the rise of the imperial Presidency, the collapse of our traditional value system, and, most recently, the failure of free-market capitalism to provide jobs, access to credit and a sense of economic security for the citizens of the world.
In terms of physical health, Edward Edinger cites the AIDS epidemic as another sign of the apocalypse archetype. AIDS is a disease of the immune system; the body has, in effect, failed in its ability to defend its own borders. On a physiological level the epidemic mirrors the collective invasion of new elements that are harbingers of a new reality. Our collective mental health also shows signs of the activation of the archetype: inflations are endemic, from our belief in America of our exceptionalism to the Islamic jihadists belief that theirs is the moral code appropriate for everyone worldwide.
Contrary to the jihadists oppression of the feminine (which is part of their reaction to what they consider modernity), the West has supported a widening of the range of activities and roles open to women in the last century. In this we are slowly reclaiming the feminine. In an earlier essay I noted how this is part of the emerging albedo phase of the process of alchemical change. It is also a part of the apocalypse archetype in that it is opening us to radically new ways of thinking, as we will explore in the next essay on the apocatastasis of Western civilization.
Finally, there are numerous indicators of the activation of the apocalypse archetype in cultural phenomena. From UFO sightings (which Jung wrote about at length) to science fiction, from the best-selling Left Behind series of books about the end times to the crude sexuality and pornography on cable television, contemporary culture is full of examples indicative of the degradation characteristic of a civilization in its end stages. It is said that art anticipates the future and I was forcefully struck some years ago when I saw the movie version of Tom Clancys The Sum of All Fears, which was one of the first mainstream media events to include the explosion of an atomic bomb. Nuclear explosions are one of the most common features of apocalyptic dreams for persons in whom the apocalypse archetype is active. When such explosions begin to appear in the collective consciousness (i.e. in mainstream media) the student of Jung takes note. Clearly, the world as we have known it is coming to an end.

Jung on Apocalypticism

Jung could see the end coming but he was not at all an apocalypticist, nor did he appreciate apocalypticism. An apocalypticist is a person who believes the end is near and looks forward to it for the supposed release it will bring to him and his fellow believers. This anticipation for global annihilation might seem bizarre if you are not familiar with this strain of Christian fundamentalism, but it is commonly heard now, especially in America, where fundamentalists are more vocal than in other parts of the world.
Jung recognized that the archetype of the apocalypse exists and is now active in our collective unconscious. He understood that, because it is an archetype, the apocalypse has a certain fascination for us (because of its numinosity). But he objected to apocalypticismi.e. to the quest or longing for the endon several grounds.
First, he objected to Christian fundamentalists interpretation of the Biblical books (most notably Daniel and Revelation) in literal terms. Jung understood that these books, with their rich symbolism and metaphors, were to be handled rather like dreams: as symbolic accounts. They are not describing literal events that are to occur but are providing us with metaphoric images related to inner psychic states of being.
Second, he recognized that Christian fundamentalists operate with a truncated view of the Divine, i.e. that God is all good and that Satan is a force opposed to God and must be vanquished. Jung saw the Divine as All That Is, meaning that the Divine includes the bad and the good, and an encounter with the Divine is our opportunity to integrate the shadow, so as to enlarge our being and increase our capacity for compassion.
Finally, Jung was appalled at the fundamentalists eager anticipation of the destruction of Earth and all the life on it. Jung worked always and tirelessly to heal the world, to foster peace and to reconcile conflict. Toward that end he urged individuals to do their inner work, in the knowledge that all real changechange that transforms reality at a fundamental levelstarts with and depends on individuals, you and me. Jung would say to us that, if we want to avert global catastrophe, if we want to seize the opportunity that the archetype of the apocalypse is now holding out to us, we must step up to the plate and do our inner work. Wise up to and integrate our shadow. Recognize our inner partner, the animus or anima. Subordinate the ego to our Divine core, the Self. Only by such individual efforts will we be able to utilize this apocalyptic archetype to turn our civilization into something more supportive of the fullness of our human potential. Just what that more supportive civilization would look like is the subject of the next essay.


Bacevich, Andrew (2008), The Limits of Power. New York: Henry Holt.
Barker, Joel Arther (1992), Paradigms: The Business of Discovering the Future. New York: Harper Business Books.
Edinger, Edward (1985), Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy. Chicago & LaSalle IL: Open Court.
________ (1999), Archetype of the Apocalypse. Chicago & LaSalle IL: Open Court.
Ehrman, Bart (1999), Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. New York: Oxford University Press.
Griffin, David (1996), A Post-Modern Science, Revisioning Science: Essays Toward a New Knowledge Base for Our Culture, ed. S. Mehrtens. Waterbury VT: Potlatch Press.
Hannah, Barbara (1976), Jung: His Life and Work. New York: G.P. Putnam.
Jung, Carl (1956) Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works, 5, 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1971), Psychological Types, CW 6. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1966), Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, CW 7. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1960), The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1959), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1959), Aion, Collected Works, 9ii. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1970), Civilization in Transition, CW 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1969), Psychology and Religion: West and East, CW 11. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1953), Psychology and Alchemy, CW 12. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1967), Alchemical Studies, CW 13. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1963), Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1976), The Symbolic Life, CW 18. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Kuhn, Thomas (1962), The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
LaHaye, Tim & Jerry Jenkins (1995), Left Behind: A Novel of the Earths Last Days. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (1996), Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (1997), Nicolae: The Rise of Antichrist. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (1998), Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (1999a), Apollyon: The Destroyer Unleashed. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (1999b), Assassins. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2000a), The Indwelling: The Beast Takes Possession. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2000b), The Mark: The Beast Rules the World. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2001), Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2002), The Remnant: On the Brink of Armageddon. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2003), Armageddon. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2004), Glorious Appearing: The End of Days. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2005a), The Rising: Antichrist Is Born. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2005b), The Regime: Evil Advances. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2006), The Rapture: In the Twinkling of an EyeCountdown to Earths Last Days. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
________ (2007), Kingdom Come: The Final Victory. Wheaton IL: Tyndale House.
Mander, Jerry (1991), In the Absence of the Sacred. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.
OConnor, Peter (1985), Understanding Jung, Understanding Yourself. London: Metheun.
Stevens, Anthony (1982), Archetypes: A Natural History of the Self. Toronto: Inner City Books.
________ (2003), Archetype Revisited: An Updated Natural History of the Self. Toronto: Inner City Books.

David Guyatt
02-02-2010, 04:04 PM
http://jungiancenter.org/blog/blog_comment.asp?bi=35&m=2&y=2010&d=&s=&title=Jung%92s+Timeliness+and+Thoughts+on+Our+Curr ent+Reality

Jungs Timeliness and Thoughts on Our Current Reality

[ 6 Jul 2009 ]

Jungs Timeliness and Thoughts on Our Current Reality

Sometimes, in reading Jung, I encounter a passage that makes me think Jung wrote it just yesterday. Recently, while preparing a presentation for the Jung Society for Scholarly Studies symposium at Cornell University, I came across the following quote from Civilization in Transition:
Thanks to industrialization, large portions of the population were uprooted and were herded together in large centers. This new form of existencewith its mass psychology and social dependence on the fluctuation of markets and wagesproduced an individual who was unstable, insecure, and suggestible. He was aware that his life depended on boards of directors and captains of industry, and he supposed, rightly or wrongly, that they were chiefly motivated by financial interests. He knew that, no matter how conscientiously he worked, he could still fall a victim at any moment to economic changes which were utterly beyond his control. And there was nothing else for him to rely on....
Jung wrote these words for a BBC broadcast he gave in 1946, but, given our recent history, they seem as relevant in 2009 as they were 63 years ago. How prescient Jung was! He could see the fragility of the industrial system and how vulnerable it has left the vast majority of people in the modern world.
Ever the clinician concerned to relieve suffering in the world, Jung was not content simply to diagnose problems; he offered suggestions as to what we might do to improve our situation. Some of these suggestions include wising up to the dangerous features of our current reality, addressing the problem of mass-mindedness, and achieving a metanoia, or fundamental mind change.

Wising Up to the Dangerous Features of Our Current Reality

Jung summarized many of what he felt were dangerous features of Western civilization in the above passage. In the manner of the French explication de texte, lets draw out Jungs wisdom phrase by phrase.
Large portions of the population were uprooted...: Jung regarded the rootlessness of modern people as one of the greatest psychic dangers... a disaster not only for primitive tribes but for civilized man as well. Why a disaster? Jung felt rootlessness would lead to ... a hybris of the conscious mind which manifests itself in the form of exaggerated self-esteem or an inferiority complex. At all events a loss of balance ensues, and this is the most fruitful soil for psychic injury.
herded together in large centers.: Jung refers here to big cities, the megalopolises of the modern world, and he felt such herding of people caused all sorts of social and mental pathologies, a tendency to thinking in large numbers and the rise of mass psychology all regrettable and dangerous features of modern life.
...dependence on the fluctuation of markets and wages: Jung recognized that we have become so dependent because of the externalization of culture the result of the Extraverted bias of Western culture (most especially in America). Our materialistic technology and commercial acquisitiveness has led to a loss of spiritual culture. Jung was quite explicit about the dangers in such dependence on externals:
The man whose interests are all outside is never satisfied with what is necessary, but is perpetually hankering after something more and better which, true to his bias, he always seeks outside himself. He forgets completely that, for all his outward successes, he himself remains the same inwardly, and he therefore laments his poverty if he possesses only one automobile when the majority have two. Obviously the outward lives of men could do with a lot more bettering and beautifying, but these things lose their meaning when the inner man does not keep pace with them. To be satisfied with necessities is no doubt an inestimable source of happiness, yet the inner man continues to raise his claim, and this can be satisfied by no outward possession. And the less this voice is heard in the chase after the brilliant things of this world, the more the inner man becomes the source of inexplicable misfortune and uncomprehended unhappiness in the midst of living conditions whose outcome was expected to be entirely different. The externalization of life turns to incurable suffering, because no one can understand why he should suffer from himself. No one wonders at his insatiability, but regards it as his lawful right, never thinking that the one-sidedness of this psychic diet leads in the end to the gravest disturbances of equilibrium. That is the sickness of Western man, and he will not rest until he has infected the whole world with his own greedy restlessness.
The economic meltdown of 2008 brought home the truth of Jungs insight: the captains of industry (most of them in the United States), chiefly motivated by financial interests did indeed infect the entire planet with their greedy materialism.
One concomitant of such materialism is ... the spiritual confusion of our modern world. Another has been the hollowing out of money, which in the near future will make all savings illusory... . A third is the emptiness of Western materialistic values, which has led to the degeneration of the individual personality. Jung speaks to this in his reference to
... an individual who was unstable, insecure and suggestible.: Our Western over-valuation of logic, reason and science is both a result of and a further cause for our lack of self-knowledge and valuation of the inner man. We put great store on being with it, following fads and fashions with increasing susceptibility to the omnipresent influence of the media. Lacking inner anchors, we become more and more suggestible, especially as our cities get larger and larger: The majority of normal people (quite apart from the 10 per cent or so who are inferior) are ridiculously unconscious and naive and are open to any passing suggestion.... The more people live together in heaps, the stupider and more suggestible the individual becomes.
...he could still fall victim at any moment to economic changes which were utterly beyond his control.: Jung noted elsewhere the longing for security in an age of insecurity. Being cogs in the wheel of the industrialized world model, we feel disempowered, which is the essence of the victim archetype.
And there was nothing else for him to rely on.: In our world full of trouble and disorientation, confusion and disintegration, uneasiness and fear, we are without firm defenses. Jung felt this was in part due to current trends in education that foster mass thinking and a collective orientation. This was one of Jungs major bugaboos, another key feature of our time and a theme Jung stressed over and over as a major danger we had to recognize and address.

Addressing the Problem of Mass-Mindedness

Jung regarded mass-mindedness as a danger, and mass psychology as a dangerous germ. Why? Whats so dangerous about large groups and crowds?
Jung felt crowds let loose the dynamisms of the collective man... beasts or demons that lie dormant in every person until he is part of a mob. Large groups blot out individual morality and cause individuals consciousness to sink to a lower level. Crowds stir up fears, which can lead to a whole population having ...a feeling of catastrophe in the air. Crowds and groups induce infantile behavior in people who would otherwise behave in mature and responsible ways. Crowds cause even the best man to lose his value and meaning, and lead individuals to become stultified and their personalities to degenerate. Lacking any self-reflection, large groups of people make individuals psychically abnormal. Moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces, mobs produce herd psychology and the mass man.
Jung repeatedly decried the rise of mass man. Such a person is infantile in his behavior, unreasonable, irresponsible, emotional, erratic and unreliable. In the mass, the individual looses his value and becomes the victims of -isms. Claiming no sense of responsibility for his actions, mass man finds it easy to commit appalling crimes without thinking, and grows increasingly dependent on the state.
Jung felt that the larger the size of the group, the greater the dangers, because the lower the overall level of consciousness. The individual thrust into a large crowd would be hard put indeed to resist the pull into unconsciousness and would soon manifest psychic abnormality. Jung saw all this play out in the atrocities of World Wars I and II. He would not be surprised by similar events in the Iran-Iraq war, the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and in the current war on terrorism.
Resisting mass-mindedness is not easy, but Jung provided us with some suggestions on how to do it. First, we must give up belief in the sovereign remedy of mass action. How tempting it is to focus on outer change, to reform whats out there, to seek mass change! Jung would have none of that. He urges us not to depend on groups or large organizations, and most especially, not to look to the state or nation for our deliverance, since this only fosters more mass-mindedness. Rather we must resist trying any collective measures.
Second, he suggests we work to break up large organizations that eat away at the individuals nature. How to do this? Jung is not specific but a simple personal response would be to refuse to join forces with such organizations: take work in small companies, join local groups (which may be affiliated with national or international groups), be self-employed. Support local businesses (most of which are smaller in size that the big box retailers and chains). Participate in organizations that understand the value of smallness, like the Jungian Center. We recognize the truth of Jungs words here and put a premium on smallness. Small is beautiful is one of the Centers stated values.
Most important in resisting mass-mindedness is the re-valuation of the individual. Jung urges us to emphasize and increase the value of the individual person. The individual life is the essential thing, Jung tells us. The salvation of the world lies in the salvation of the individual. We must recognize the whole man and begin with healing ourselves if we wish to heal the world.
To do this, of course, prompts a fourth suggestion Jung makes: work for a fundamental metanoia, or change of consciousness. What does Jung mean by this, and how might we go about achieving it?

Achieving a Metanoia

In this context, metanoia means for Jung changing our focus, our attitude and our values. In terms of our focus, we must shift from a focus on externalson whats out thereto a focus on internalswhats going on inside me. Given the extraverted bias of American culture (with 75% of Americans being Extraverts, in the Jungian typology), this is not something that will come naturally. Most people will have to make a conscious effort to achieve this shift.
The external world does not hold the solution, since anything external is vulnerable to loss. Jesus reminds us of this in his admonition:
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21)
Jung knew what Jesus meant by treasures in heaven. These are the eternal spiritual truths that lie rooted in the world within us. These include our awareness of the reality of the psyche and its wisdom; our recognizing that the psyche is real, wise, powerful and the source of our being. Jung went so far as to proclaim that the psyche is the indispensable instrument in the reorganization of a civilized community.
In terms of our attitude, we have to transform our stress on materialism and matter to one stressing intangibles and things of the spirit. Again, given the bias toward Sensation in American culture (with three-quarters of all Americans being Sensates, in the Jungian typology), this will not be an easy shift to make. But it is an essential shift because it fosters the discovery of our inner life, the reality of the psyche and the valuation of intuition.
In terms of our values, we have to give up the belief that bigger is better. Mass action is not the solution. State action is not the solution. Collective action is not the solution to what really ails our world, as we noted above, in the discussion of Jungs warnings against mass-mindedness.
How to achieve the metanoia Jung calls for? One of the best ways, Jung felt, is working with dreams. A regular, disciplined dream work practice provides us with the necessary personal experience of our souls guidance, care, direction and love for us. This is the source of true stability and security, a treasure that cant rust, be eaten or stolen from us. By internalizing a locus of security for ourselves we become psychologically free of dependence on externals, like those boards of directors and captains of industry and whatever antics, crimes or sins they may commit.
The regular practice of working with our dreams allows us to discover our inner life, and this discovery is a major counterweight to the materialism of our culture. When we watch the psyches creativity and insight unfold for us every night in our dreams no longer can we believe that matter is all there is in life. Nor can we remain as we were: we grow, we individuate.
An active dream practice also helps us to lead the responsible life that Jung saw as a consequence of individuation. As we become more and more who we truly are, in the process of individuation, we become more and more conscious of our duties to our community. The process, in other words, does not take us into isolation or estrangement from society, but rather makes us aware of how we all are one, in complex webs of interdependence.


There may be changes underway now in our global reality that seem far beyond our power as individuals to control or even to influence. But this does not mean that we should see ourselves as victims. Nor should we feel there is nothing for us to rely on.
Jung urges us to remember that we can rely on the psyche, our soul, our inner life, our inner guidance. We have within us what we need to feel safe, to prepare for whatever the future may bring, to thrive in the years ahead. The answers we need to the questions we have are not to be found without, in other people or the busy-ness and diversions of our society. Rather, our answers lie within. As Jung said, Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
The critical challenges of our time require us to be awake, to become conscious of the unconscious, to plumb the depths of our own hearts and to take the full measure of our being (which is always far, far more than what the ego mind thinks it is). We must turn to our inner wisdom, not to outside experts. In these times of widespread confusion and anxiety, it is not for us to be left feeling like Jungs description of modern man, with nothing left for him to rely on..... The psyche is real. Your soul is real. You can rely on it. This is Jungs great message for us in this challenging time.


Jung, Carl, (1960), The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1959), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1959), Aion, Collected Works, 9ii. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1970), Civilization in Transition, CW 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1969), Psychology and Religion: West and East, CW 11. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1954), The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW 16. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
________ (1976), The Symbolic Life, CW 18. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Keirsey, David & Marilyn Bates (1984), Please Understand Me. Del Mar CA: Prometheus Nemesis Books.
Schumacher, E.F. (1973), Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered. New York: Harper & Row.
Tart, Charles (1987), Waking Up: Overcoming the Obstacles to Human Potential. Boston: Shambhala.

Charles Drago
02-02-2010, 08:39 PM
Powerful and oh so needed, David.

By the way, my copy of The Red Book arrived today.

David Guyatt
02-02-2010, 10:25 PM
Powerful and oh so needed, David.

By the way, my copy of The Red Book arrived today.

Excelent Charlie. I do hope you find it revelatory. The paintings by themselves are incredibly powerful imo, and the effort his put into illuminating what was his "soul diary" shows how important he regarded this modus of communication.

Mind you, you need an artists easel to hold the thing when you read, if you don't want the ligaments in your hands and wrists to wear out in double-quick time...:vollkommenauf:

Charles Drago
02-02-2010, 10:43 PM
I wish we could read it together -- or at least discuss it on a regular basis.

Ideally over a bottle or nine of 1986 Vieux Telegraph Chateau Neuf du Pape.

David Guyatt
02-12-2010, 08:52 PM
There is no escape.

Extracted from: http://www.gnosis.org/library/7Sermons.htm

It remained unclear until very recently exactly how the Septem Sermones ad Mortuos related to the hidden Red Book materials. After Jung's death in 1961, all access to the Red Book was denied by his heirs. Finally in October of 2009, nearly fifty years after Jung's death, the family of C. G. Jung release the Red Book for publication in a beautiful facsimile edition, edited by Sonu Shamdasani. With this central work of Jung's now in hand, we discover that the Seven Sermons to the Dead actually compose the closing pages of the Red Book draft manuscripts; the version transcribed for the Red Book varies only slightly from the text published in 1917, however the Red Book includes after each of the sermons an additional amplifying homily by Philemon (Jung's spirit guide). [The Red Book, p346-54]


Near the end of his life, Jung spoke to Aniela Jaffe about the Septem Sermones and explained "that the discussions with the dead [in the Seven Sermons] formed the prelude to what he would subsequently communicate to the world, and that their content anticipated his later books. 'From that time on, the dead have become ever more distinct for me as the voices of the unanswered. unresolved and unredeemed.' " [The Red Book, p346 n78] Jung's decision in 1917 to publish this single summary statement from the Red Book writings gives evidence of the importance he ascribed to the Seven Sermons. In this same context, Jung remarked to Aniela Jaffe:

The years when I pursued the inner images were the most important time of my life. Everything else is to be derived from this. It began at that time, and the later details hardly matter anymore. My entire life consisted in elaborating what had burst forth from the unconscious and flooded me like an enigmatic stream and threatened to break me. That was the stuff and material for more than only one life.

Everything later was merely the outer classification, the scientific elaboration, and the integration into life. But the numinous beginning, which contained everything, was then.




Jung had fluency in Latin, Greek, English and his native Swiss German. Possibly others. His art was to have plumbed the depths and apply them to the heights. From the unconscious to the conscious.

Despite some of the best minds in the world, this anagramma has never been solved. It remains an enduring mystery. And for those who have a mind I would ask that they address it. A solution is overdue, I think.


[quote]anagram (n-grm)
1. A word or phrase formed by reordering the letters of another word or phrase, such as satin to stain.
2. anagrams (used with a sing. verb) A game in which players form words from a group of randomly picked letters.
[New Latin anagramma, from Greek anagrammatismos, from anagrammatizein, to rearrange letters in a word : ana-, from bottom to top; see ana- + gramma, grammat-, letter; see gerbh- in Indo-European roots.]
anagrammatic (-gr-mtk) adj.
anagrammatically adv.

David Guyatt
02-13-2010, 11:41 AM
Extracted from The Seven Sermons to the Dead

Sermo VII

Yet when night was come the dead again approached with lamentable mien and said: There is yet one matter we forgot to mention. Teach us about man.

Man is a gateway, through which from the outer world of gods, daemons, and souls ye pass into the inner world; out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and transitory is man. Already is he behind you, and once again ye find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller or innermost infinity. At immeasurable distance standeth one single Star in the zenith.

This is the one god of this one man. This is his world, his pleroma, his divinity.

In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and the destroyer of his own world.

This Star is the god and the goal of man.

This is his one guiding god. In him goeth man to his rest. Toward him goeth the long journey of the soul after death. In him shineth forth as light all that man bringeth back from the greater world. To this one god man shall pray.

Prayer increaseth the light of the Star. It casteth a bridge over death. It prepareth life for the smaller world and assuageth the hopeless desires of the greater.

When the greater world waxeth cold, burneth the Star.

Between man and his one god there standeth nothing, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas.

Man here, god there.

Weakness and nothingness here, there eternally creative power.

Here nothing but darkness and chilling moisture.

There wholly sun.

Whereupon the dead were silent and ascended like the smoke above the herdsmans fire, who through the night kept watch over his flock.

David Guyatt
02-25-2010, 04:05 PM
The following is extracted from a longer essay by one John Fraim - the balance of which isnt necessary to this thread.

It is one of the strangest books Jung ever wrote and one of his last projects, published when he was seventy-six. Like Mysterium Coniunctionis and all of Jung's late works, Aion was written after his grave illness of 1944 from which he never believed he would recover. When he did survive he felt these years were like a gift, given to accomplish some final purpose in his life. A type of rebirth.

He decided he was going to write the way he wanted to and that his readers would have to make the major effort toward understanding. The book Aion was one of the fruits of this late "rebirth" in Jung's life and for him gave expression to a type of "secret knowledge" he felt he possessed. In a private conversation to Margaret Ostrowski-Sachs, published in Conversations with C.G.Jung, Jung told her:

"Before my illness I had often asked myself if I were permitted to publish or even speak of my secret knowledge. I later set it all down in Aion. I realized it was my duty to communicate these thoughts, yet I doubted whether I was allowed to give expression to them. During my illness I received confirmation and I now knew that everything had meaning and that everything was perfect."

More than Jung writing Aion, the book seemed to write him. Jung remarks in a letter to his good friend Victor White in December of 1947 that he needed to express something but was not sure what it was:

"I simply had to write a new essay I did not know about what...In spite of everything, I felt forced to write on blindly, not seeing at all what I was driving at. Only after I had written about 25 pages in folio, it began to dawn on me that Christ--not the man but the divine being--was my secret goal."

Rather than something planned out like a number of his other works, Jung notes to White that Aion "came to me as a shock" and he felt "utterly unequal to such a task."

If Jung's overall work might be compared to a great cathedral, the "priest" of the cathedral was less concerned with preaching the gospel to others as much as clarifying things in his own mind. After his illness it was therefore a time of deep reflection for Jung. His real life cathedral was his castle on the lake at Bollingen and he left it less and less.

But even for those who chose to make the journey to the Jungian Cathedral, it was still difficult to find the book Aion when they arrived. Rather than command a prominent place near the altar, it was more or less hidden from view. The "bookstore" of the cathedral--that publicity vehicle that parceled out pieces of Jungian thought to the general community--gave prominence to Jung's more accessible books such as Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Psychological Types and Modern Man in Search of a Soul. It left works such as Mysterious Coniunctionis, Answer to Job and Aion for the truly adventuresome to discover on their own terms as they left the main parts of the Jungian cathedral and ventured down into the basement to sift through old brittle, yellowed pages inside dusty boxes.

The book was originally published in German in 1951. The central theme of the work he set felt forced to write, the book he notes that "he set it all down in" and was able to speak his "secret language" contained the broadest scope of anything he had ever written. Its time line was the entire Christian aeon of two thousand years from the birth of Christ to the year 2,000 and the second millennium.

In the Foreword to Aion, Jung tells us that the theme of the book is the change of the psychic situation in the Christian aeon which coincides with the astrological conception of the Platonic month of the fishes or Pisces. Those familiar with astrology may recognize that the notion of the Platonic month is based on the astronomical procession of the equinoxes. The movement of the sun through each zodiacal sign is called the Platonic month. In the spring equinox of around 1 A.D., the beginning of the Christian aeon, the equinox left the sign of Aries and started into the sign of Pisces. Now, 2,000 years later, it is about to leave the sign of Pisces and enter that of Aquarius.

Aion is about this grand two thousand year cycle and the sequences contained within the cycle. Perhaps the best place to start when approaching Aion is with The Aion Lectures by Edward Edinger. These lectures were given at the Jung Institute of Los Angeles between 1988 and 1989 and, like Edinger's Mysterium lectures, also provide a short type of "Cliff Notes" to help one navigate the complex waters of the work.

As Edinger notes in the Forward to his book, "Jung's Aion laid the foundation for a whole new department of human knowledge, a scholarly discipline one might call archetypal psychohistory." It is a discipline based on the insights of depth psychology to the data of cultural history. "The historical process," writes Edinger, "can now be seen as the self-manifestation of the archetypes of the collective unconscious as they emerge and develop in time and space through the actions and fantasies of humanity."

While it is impossible to do justice to this work in the space we have here, we can briefly touch on the broad symbolism Jung approaches in Aion. Pisces is symbolized by the fish and Aquarius by the water carrier. The contextual symbolism is one between the dualities of inside and outside. The fish (Pisces) is contained within water while a water carrier (Aquarius) cannot be contained within water if he is to be a carrier of water. He (Aquarius) must be outside of the water. The aeon cycle therefore represents a change from being controlled by the container to being outside the container.

The fish may symbolize the psyche and Jung seems to be suggesting that the two eons will have a different relationship to the psyche. Jung might be suggesting that the context we have been discussing will evolve into a content and that a new context for humanity will evolve. The contextual symbolism which now contains humanity may be coming to the end of its cycle. The emerging symbolic struggle is to move out of water. As Edinger suggests in The Aion Lectures, with the coming Age of Aquarius "we have the image of a vessel, an allusion to the symbolism of the alchemical vessel and to the capacity to contain the psyche, rather than be contained by it." Instead of being a fish contained in a psychic fish pond, the individual becomes a conscious dispenser of the psyche.

Edinger suggests that Christ may have foreshadowed the age of the water carrier. Both Mark and Luke recount that Christ directed two of his disciples to make preparations for the last supper saying to them, "Go into the city and you will meet a man carrying a pitcher of water. Follow him." (Mark 14:13 and Luke 22:10) The man leads the disciples to the house in which they are to go to the upper room for the Passover meal of the last supper. And Christ was also seen as a water-bearer and water dispenser. To the Samaritan woman at the well he said that if she had asked him for a drink, he would have dispensed eternal living water for her. (John 4:10)

But, as Edinger remarks, the water Christ dispensed did not generate more dispensers. Rather it generated fish contained in the water. The church, Edinger speculates, became the water carrier, the fish pond in which the faithful fish could swim. The great secret knowledge of Jung was the discovery of the containment, the water. "If my reading of the symbolism of Aion is correct," says Edinger, "the aeon of Aquarius will generate individual water carriers." This will mean that the psyche will no longer be carried by religious communities but instead it will be carried by conscious individuals. "This is the idea Jung puts forward in his notion of a continuing incarnation, the idea that individuals are to become the incarnating vessels of the Holy Spirit on an ongoing basis."

In Aion Jung provides the broadest contextual basis for symbolism he ever explored. The symbolic contextualism is the archetype of the God-image (the Self) and how this archetype has progressively revealed itself in the course of the Christian aeon. With the creation of this strange book Jung was finally able to gain a sense of peace in his final years. His secret knowledge was indeed "permitted" to be brought forth into the world. And with it, a foundation for a new science of a symbolism of culture.

David Guyatt
03-01-2010, 05:29 PM
I've been searching the internet for a digital copy of Edward F Edinger's The Aion Lectures. It is not digitally available. I then set out to at least find a copy of Edinger's Preface to this book. That also is not digitally available. Finally, I decided to type a section of the preface and post it myself. It is just three pages of text. Part way through my keyboard exploits, my laptop ran out of power and a warning light came on. I attached my power lead, but that failed quite unexpectedly. What I had typed was completely lost.

Make of it this what you will. I know what I have concluded. If readers wish to read Edinger's book they will have to buy it for themselves. Perhaps it is a necessary personal step that they do so? I think it probably is.

One of the points Edinger made in his preface - of which there are several vital ones, is that he likens Jung's late writings - post Jung's 1944 illness and his "second birth so to speak", to a rich fruit cake. By this he means that one need read Jung the way one eats a fruit cake - very slowly. The "reading is exceedingly rich, exceedingly delicious" and "Aion can only be assimilated in very small bites", because it is the richness of the psyche itself that is being presented.

The Mithraic god Aion.

Magda Hassan
03-02-2010, 12:43 PM
I've been searching the internet for a digital copy of Edward F Edinger's The Aion Lectures. It is not digitally available. I then set out to at least find a copy of Edinger's Preface to this book. That also is not digitally available. Finally, I decided to type a section of the preface and post it myself. It is just three pages of text. Part way through my keyboard exploits, my laptop ran out of power and a warning light came on. I attached my power lead, but that failed quite unexpectedly. What I had typed was completely lost.

Don't you just hate it when that happens? :pcguru:
Thanks for going to all that trouble though David. Some scanners will change the scan into something like a word processing document format which is very handy as you can just edit it a bit on line and post it. Depends on the scanner though. There may be some here with more knowledge of this than myself.

David Guyatt
03-02-2010, 03:27 PM
Thanks Magda.

I'm going to take the indirect advice of my laptop and power cord and leave this book for others to buy for themselves.

It is a corker.

You cannot read the late writings of Jung without activating the Unconscious. I remember discussing this with a friend some 25 years ago. Back then it always was the case that you couldn't read more than a few sentences of Aion, Mysterium Coniunctionis (and a few others) without wanting to fall asleep. Or to put this in another way, to fall unconscious.

And so I understand what Edinger means by his fruit cake approach to Jung.

Edinger's writings are likewise powerful and if read with due care and attention, and seriousness, they also activate the unconscious.

That is, if you want to go down Alice's rabbit hole...

David Guyatt
03-02-2010, 05:25 PM
I had thought that earlier I had linked a copy AION, but it seems I haven't. So here it is (it's a big 25.6 mb .pdf file) - in order to save bandwidth here, please download directly from Scribd (http://www.scribd.com/doc/6246011/Aion-Carl-Jung).

Scroll to page 10 to begin.

Aion - Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self.

Aion deals with the phenomenology of the Self in the Christian aeon - a period of approximately 2000 years which coincides with the Platonic month of the fishes (i.e., Pisces).

Rich fruit cake:

Para 76 -78

76 If we see the traditional figure of Christ as a parallel to the psychic manifestation of the self, then the Antichrist would cor-respond to the shadow of the self, namely the dark half of the human totality, which ought not to be judged too optimistically. So far as we can judge from experience, light and shadow are so evenly distributed in man's nature that his psychic totality appears, to say the least of it, in a somewhat murky light. The psychological concept of the self, in part derived from our knowledge of the whole man, but for the rest depicting itself spontaneously in the products of the unconscious as an arche-typal quaternity bound together by inner antinomies, cannot omit the shadow that belongs to the light figure, for without it this figure lacks body and humanity. In the empirical self, light and shadow form a paradoxical unity. In the Christian concept, on the other hand, the archetype is hopelessly split into two irreconcilable halves, leading ultimately to a metaphysical dual-ism the final separation of the kingdom of heaven from the world of the damned.

77 For anyone who has a positive attitude towards Christianity the problem of the Antichrist is a hard nut to crack. It is noth-ing less than the counterstroke of the devil, provoked by God's Incarnation; for the devil attains his true stature as the adver-sary of Christ, and hence of God, only after the rise of Chris-tianity, while as late as the Book of Job he was still one of God's sons and on familiar terms with Yahweh. 24 Psychologically the case is clear, since the dogmatic figure of Christ is so sublime and spotless that everything else turns dark beside it. It is, in fact, so one-sidedly perfect that it demands a psychic comple-ment to restore the balance. This inevitable opposition led very early to the doctrine of the two sons of God, of whom the elder was called Satanael. 25 The coming of the Antichrist is not just a prophetic prediction it is an inexorable psychological law whose existence, though unknown to the author of the Johan-nine Epistles, brought him a sure knowledge of the impending enantiodromia. Consequently he wrote as if he were conscious of the inner necessity for this transformation, though we may be sure that the idea seemed to him like a divine revelation. In reality every intensified differentiation of the Christ-image brings about a corresponding accentuation of its unconscious complement, thereby increasing the tension between above and below.

78 in making these statements we are keeping entirely within the sphere of Christian psychology and symbolism. A factor that no one has reckoned with, however, is the fatality inherent in the Christian disposition itself, which leads inevitably to a re-versal of its spirit not through the obscure workings of chance but in accordance with psychological law. The ideal of spiritu-ality striving for the heights was doomed to clash with the materialistic earth-bound passion to conquer matter and master the world. This change became visible at the time of the "Renais-sance." The word means "rebirth,' and it referred to the renewal of the antique spirit. We know today that this spirit was chiefly a mask; it was not the spirit of antiquity that was reborn, but the spirit of medieval Christianity that underwent strange pagan transformations, exchanging the heavenly goal for an earthly one, and the vertical of the Gothic style for a horizontal perspec-
tive (voyages of discovery, exploration of the world and of nature). The subsequent developments that led to the Enlighten-ment and the French Revolution have produced a world-wide situation today which can only be called "antichristian" in a sense that confirms the early Christian anticipation of the "end of time." It is as if, with the coming of Christ, opposites that
were latent till then had become manifest, or as if a pendu-lum had swung violently to one side and were now carrying out the complementary movement in the opposite direction. No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. The double meaning of this movement lies in the nature of the pendulum. Christ is without spot, but right at the begin-ning of his career there occurs the encounter with Satan, the Adversary, who represents the counterpole of that tremendous tension in the world psyche which Christ's advent signified. He is the "mysterium iniquitatis" that accompanies the "sol iusti-tiae" as inseparably as the shadow belongs to the light, in exactly the same way, so the Ebionites 26 and Euchites 27 thought, that one brother cleaves to the other. Both strive for a kingdom: one for the kingdom of heaven, the other for the "principatus huius mundi." We hear of a reign of a "thousand years" and of a "coming of the Antichrist," just as if a partition of worlds and epochs had taken place between two royal brothers. The meeting with Satan was therefore more than mere chance; it was a link in the chain.

(my italics)

David Guyatt
03-02-2010, 07:55 PM
Edinger explicates the above three para's with the following insights:

To underscoe what Jung says here, the advent of Christ represented psychologically the split of the opposites in the God image [Imago Dei] into two irreconcilable halves, Christ and Satan. This was a necessary step in the development of consciousness, but it has led to a profound one-sidedness and to a disassociated condition that now has to be corrected.

The first stage in that correction, if one has been identified with the image of Christ, is an encounter with the opposite of Christ, namely, Antichrist.

David Guyatt
03-03-2010, 10:46 AM
Edinger explicates the above three para's with the following insights:

To underscoe what Jung says here, the advent of Christ represented psychologically the split of the opposites in the God image [Imago Dei] into two irreconcilable halves, Christ and Satan. This was a necessary step in the development of consciousness, but it has led to a profound one-sidedness and to a disassociated condition that now has to be corrected.

The first stage in that correction, if one has been identified with the image of Christ, is an encounter with the opposite of Christ, namely, Antichrist.

Which, of course - fruit cake and yawning jokes apart - is the fundamental focus of this thread, the confrontation of the shadow today.

And into this curious mix we can add something further (my italics).

Today humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves. The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves.

Aion. Para 126

The world is increasingly becoming more divided, and thus Jung's psychological rule above now seems to be happening outside, as fate as we speak.

And this, I think, is why Jung, when asked, in a BBC Television interview (http://www.cosmolearning.com/documentaries/bbc-face-to-face-carl-gustav-jung/3/), if a Third World war was likely (circa 1959) replied:

The only real danger that exists is man himself, he is the great danger. And we are pitifully unaware of it. We know nothing of man. Far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil.

Chris Bowen
03-04-2010, 12:25 AM
"...right at the begin-ning of his career there occurs the encounter with Satan, the Adversary, who represents the counterpole of that tremendous tension in the world psyche which Christ's advent signified...."

do you see any connection between this & the phenomenon of possession eg the "daemonic" variety ?

Jesus also encountered other lower orders of demons in his career - the famous incident of casting them out into the herd of swine etc. This was one of his "specialities".

the psi-phenomena that invariably accompany genuine possession strongly links it to the collective unconsious .

David Guyatt
03-04-2010, 12:35 PM
Chris, I think the thrust Jung was intent on making was the psychological fact (rather than the known history of the mortal we call Joshua Ben Joseph) surrounding the birth of Christ, was that it was a twin birth - two brothers, not just one Son. When one came into existence, so did the other, the polar opposite; Christ and Satan. Or to put it in Edinger's words "the irrevocable split in the Christian psyche".

It is most interesting, I think, that the symbol of the Christian Aeon (ex explained by Jung) was chosen at the time, quite unconsciously, to represent this syzygy, was the zodiaical sign of Pisces, the two fishes pointing in opposite directions.


The Christian aion is typified by a split, and "as long as that split exists," Edinger says, "everyone is going to do his best to identify with heaven, but as we know psychologically, whenever such a one-sided exists, it generates its opposite in the unconscious. That leads Jung to say "The coming of the anti-Christ is not just a prophetic prediction - it is an inexorable psychological law"".

And this is why Jung said "The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner contradictions, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves."

Shakespeare penned the words:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,

That was just over 400 years ago. Today, we need to become our own stage director too, I think.

And so, speaking from the perspective of the lean and slippered pantaloon,
I feel certain that there is tremendous significance in the fact that Jung specified in his Will, that his "Red Book" was ony to be published after the year 2000.

At the commencement of the age of Aquarius:


Man carries his own water. He becomes the container of consciousness and, if I understand it correctly, no longer needs a church, or outer image, on which to project it.

And again, so far as I understand it (not entirely clearly, I might add), the first task now facing us is for man to deal with his own inner contradiction, or else suffer it outside as fate, or in your words, become possessed by our demons. And that is why we should, if we are able {*}, to try to square up to the task of confronting our shadow, which is of the very first magnitude of importance.

{Edinger makes the point that not all egos can assimilate the shadow and it would be wrong for them to try}.

Chris Bowen
03-04-2010, 04:43 PM
so we are saying :

"The Christian aion is typified by a split"

"the psychological fact ....surrounding the birth of Christ, was that it was a twin birth - two brothers, not just one Son."

to me however this seems quite reminiscent of the Osiris : Set mythology which pre-dates the Christian aion by some degree - I presume - in this chronology ?
I presume you are well aware of the mythological parallels between the Christ story & earlier .
Does this parallel in any way challenge this or merely demonstrate the universality of archetypes ?

( I'm really winging this ! please don't think I have a sophisticated view on this stuff ! )

my original query was prompted by a rather pop-Jung book I read that sought to explain "hollywood" style possession in terms of somehow the shadow / anti-christ archetype "bursting through" into the conscious so was interested in your take.

David Guyatt
03-04-2010, 07:08 PM
so we are saying :

"The Christian aion is typified by a split"

"the psychological fact ....surrounding the birth of Christ, was that it was a twin birth - two brothers, not just one Son."

to me however this seems quite reminiscent of the Osiris : Set mythology which pre-dates the Christian aion by some degree - I presume - in this chronology ?
I presume you are well aware of the mythological parallels between the Christ story & earlier .
Does this parallel in any way challenge this or merely demonstrate the universality of archetypes ?

No apologies required Chris. This is exceedingly complicated material. Yes I am aware of the Osiris Set pairing, as with Isis Osiris. Mythology is a rich treasure trove of symbols that speak of these matters. By which I mean matters of the psyche.

And you must please forgive me for my stumbling explanations, but I am trying to do justice to Jung and, frankly, it ain't an easy task. If I were discussing this with you face to face, I would be more relaxed and spontaneous, but this is a more formal discussion and so I need to take extra care with accuracy, and this causes a certain degree of stiffness. This can't be helped, I think.

Fortunately, I am far from being alone in this. As Edinger remarks to those analysts attending his Aion lectures, the first thing one has to do "is to recognize Jung's magnitude" and understand that "Jung's consciousness vastly surpasses your own", and that his "breadth and depth are absolutely awesome. We are all Lilliputians by comparison. To read Jung successfully, we must begin by accepting our own littleness; then we are teachable".

And so, Lilliputian to Lilliputian, onto the question at hand. But allow me to take a step backwards first.

We are not discussing the historical figure of Joshua Ben Joseph upon whom the Christian Redeemer was later projected. Although very much tangled up with matters of religious faith, we are actually discussing psychological realities; the archetype of the Self symbolized as Christ and which may one day become conscious in each one of us. Consciousness demands a recognition of both qualities of good and evil in our own psyches.

And if I may be poetical about it, the point Jung is making is that man having chosen to wholly identify with goodness rather than the whole archetype (good and evil) caused an equal and opposite reaction in his psyche. And since we are dealing with both a personal and a collective phenomenon, the "psychological rule" as stated earlier, will play out both personally and collectively as fate.

I suppose that if a sufficient number of people confront their own shadows voluntarily, then the collective fate may be diminished or avoided. I say this with a certain degree of hesitancy.

In the last analysis, this thread fundamentally focuses on the inner shadow confrontation. It is a psychic journey that many today eschew because of their fascination with physical existence. Thus in the same way (and degree) that we flee from dealing with our shadow, so we no longer give credence to our psychic reality.

It is almost an absurd prejudice to suppose that existence can only be physical. As a matter of fact, the only form of existence of which we have immediate knowledge is psychic [i.e., in the mind]. We might as well say, on the contrary, that physical existence is a mere inference, since we know of matter only in so far as we perceive psychic images mediated by the senses. Jung

Ed Jewett
07-23-2010, 06:48 AM
The Dark Shadow Of Corporations
By Wanda Marie Woodward, M.S.
03 June, 2010
It was Jung who introduced the word shadow into psychology which, in turn, made its way into colloquial lexicon. He also introduced the term collective unconscious. There is a personal shadow and a collective shadow. The personal shadow is unique to an individual whereas the collective shadow consists of contents that are shared by a family, group, organization, institution, or nation. This article is about the collective shadow of the corporation.
In Jungs (1959) Aion, he tells us the shadow is one of the contents of the collective unconscious (an archetype) which has the most disturbing aspects on the ego. While there is a favorable shadow (what Jungians call the golden shadow) that contains normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc., I am focusing on the dark shadow. The dark shadow consists of all those hidden, unwanted, repressed traits and qualities in our unconscious. Typically, these are the part of ones nature counter to the sociocultural customs and mores (Stein, 1998); what June Singer (1994), noted Jungian analyst, refers to in Boundaries of the Soul as all those uncivilized desires and emotions that are incompatible with social standards (p. 165). Robert Johnson (1991) in Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche, refers to it as the despised quarter of our being (p. 5).
Jung (1959) highlights the noticeable emotional aspect to the shadow. Marie von Franz (1995), one of Jungs most noted protgs, tells us in Projections and Re-collection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul that the shadow consists of laziness, greed, envy, jealousy, the desire for prestige, aggressions, and similar tormenting spirits (p. 123). The ego usually defends against knowing what is in the personal shadow because of the disturbing effect it has on the ego. This is what keeps the shadow contents repressed in the unconscious.
The persona, our public personality that greets the world with charm and a hospitable attitude and protects the ego, is the counterpart to the shadow in the psyche. The persona forms as a result of education and adaptation to social and cultural norms. We conceal and reveal conscious thoughts and feelings as a way to fit into society. It can be thought of as the psychic skin between the ego and the world (Stein, 1998, p. 120). Its dual function is to relate to external objects while also protecting the inner ego (Stein, 1998). The ego is, more or less, identified with the persona, yet, on the other hand, the persona is also alien to the ego since it does not represent the authentic person. Shadow and persona are opposites in the psyche.
The corporation became a legal entity---essentially, a person with due process rights---as a result of the 1886 U.S. Supreme Court case, Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company. It set legal precedent by issuing a statement that corporations would be entitled to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment which declares citizenship and conveys certain constitutional rights. Justice William O. Douglas wrote in 1949 that the Santa Clara case was a momentous decision because it gave corporations constitutional prerogatives.
Corporations have an ego, persona, and a shadow. The persona is the mask that is presented to its employees who work in it, the investment community, the community, and the world, at large. The corporation---certainly large ones----spend millions of dollars to carefully craft, develop, maintain, and present their persona to these groups. It is the ego-ideal that is carefully crafted and presented to each of these groups. When the ego-image or ego-ideal of the corporation is tarnished by some scandal which threatens the favorable image of the persona, public relations campaigns are utilized to combat it. Edward Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud, is attributed as the father of public relations. Some would call these public relations campaigns, but it is, essentially, little more than propaganda. The dark shadow of the corporation, its Mr. Hyde, is kept hidden from all these groups.
Edward Bernays, nephew to Sigmund Freud, was born in 1891. He was a prominent businessman who wrote extensively on propaganda prior to WWII. He was hired by the U.S. government to manipulate the mind of the American public. Bernays, considered the father of public relations, was also hired by large corporations to generate higher profits through consumerism. Consumerism is defined by Widipedia as a social and economic order that is based on the systematic creation and fostering of a desire to purchase goods or services in ever greater amounts. Free market capitalism is an economic system that is predicated on consumerism, thus, corporations are among the largest supporters of capitalism. In his most famous book, This Business of Propaganda written in 1928, Bernays extolled the manipulation of public opinion stating that it was essential to overcome social chaos and conflict. He believed the manipulation of the public was necessary as he felt that the collective psyche of society was irrational and dangerous as a result of the herd instinct. The narcissistic ego of corporations seized upon Bernays talents for manipulating this psychological phenomenon, the collective psyche. Bernays made a large fortune from his self-proclaimed role as public relations counsel.
Robert Bly (1988), in A Little Book about the Human Shadow talks about how, starting in childhood, we put all these shadow aspects of ourselves into the long bag we drag behind us into adulthood. Victorian society taught women to put sexuality in the bag. Contemporary society still teaches men to put the feminine aspect of their psyche in the bag. When I was young, my mother taught me and my siblings that it wasnt nice to be angry, so I learned to put anger inside my bag. To this day, I struggle with how to present that in healthy ways within legitimate and justifiable contexts. Corporations use advertising, marketing, and public relations campaigns, among others, to help put their shadow contents into their long bag. To the extent that corporations are able to hide their shadows from the employees who are exploited to do their bidding, these brainwashed employees are also helpful in keeping the shadows hidden from the public.
Because these contents of the shadow are not favorable to society, we usually project our shadows onto others. It takes considerable moral courage to bring the shadow into conscious awareness and to take it back or what Robert Bly refers to as eating the shadow. Perhaps four of the most infamous and heinous historical examples of the collective shadow are the Catholic patriarchy projecting its dark shadow onto so-called heretics and witches during the Holy Inquisition, Hitlers Nazi Germany and the shadow projected onto Jews, gypsies, and the mentally and physically disabled, the European and American White nations and the shadow projected onto Blacks, and the American White mans shadow projection onto Native Americans. In all four of these examples, the shadow was so dark, it sought to completely destroy (murder, annihilate) Jews, imperfect people, Blacks, and Native Americans. Contemporary examples are the equally strong dark shadows projected between Jews and Muslims. Israelis project their dark shadows onto Palestinian Muslims and keep them tragically oppressed while various Muslim groups such as Hamas project their shadow onto Jews. Both Jews and Muslims are projecting their dark shadows onto each other---yet neither side can see the evil within his own dark heart. I am reminded of Martin Luther Kings saying, We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools and Gandhis adage that an eye for an eye leaves both blind. When we project our shadows and go to war, as we stand and shoot our rocket or gun or as we bludgeon someone to death or gang rape a woman as a way to bring dishonor on the enemy, we project evil onto the victim. Thats what projection of the shadow does---it blames bad or evil on the victim when the bad or evil is in the heart of the destroyer.
As stated previously, there is a personal shadow and a collective shadow. The personal shadow is difficult enough to take back. To take back a projected shadow of the collective unconscious is particularly challenging. Its because we look into the face of other and we see an enemy---we somehow cannot see the similarity, the fact that we are all part of the same human race and that, as the Dalai Lama consistently repeats, we all are seeking the same thing---to be happy. If humankind could finally come to that momentous realization, we would have the hope of taking back our collective shadows. Can you imagine the Jews and Muslims coming to the realization that both parties are human and deserve to live a life of peace regardless of their different beliefs? How about if all the wealthy people in the world awakened and realized that every person on this planet is, essentially and fundamentally equal in value, and that poor people are not the lepers and scourge of the earth so the decision was made to share all resources and, ostensibly, end poverty, hunger, and homelessness on this earth? How difficult would that be? I would say damned difficult. But not impossible.
After studying psychology for 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that all people and all things have a shadow. No one and no thing is exempt. Not even me. The goal really lies in making this shadow conscious and integrating it so we no longer unconsciously project it onto others.
More recently, however, I have been thinking of what is the largest, most pernicious dark shadow that affects contemporary social affairs. Although I consider myself a spiritually oriented person, I long ago eschewed organized religion. I once thought the most harmful shadow was any organized religion that denigrates and devalues the feminine principle. Now, I believe it is the Corporation with the pathological greed and the malignant desire to allow free market capitalism to destroy every ounce of natural and mineral resource from Mother Earth as a means to achieve its goal. In fact, corporation and greed are now wedded terms. It is no distance from truth to say that the psyche of the corporation is malignant and poses a threat to the Common Good.
Corporations have what Otto Kernberg (1975; 1998), respected psychoanalyst and prominent researcher on narcissistic personality disorder, refers to malignant narcissism as resembling sociopathy, a more morbid and frank psychopathology than narcissism. Malignant cancer cell destroy the good, healthy cells. Similarly, malignant corporate pathology is a harmful, destructive disease that is eating away at the Common Good. This increasingly sociopathic and psychopathic corporate pathology hides behind the persona and projects its shadow into the world. Perhaps the most common overall shadow projection tactic used by corporations and banks today is to lobby government to support legislation which privatizes profits and socializes losses. Increasingly, corporations are using the legal precedent of the Santa Clara case of 1886 to become more powerful legal persons. One of the most recent key examples of the projection of the shadow is the bail-out of banks (which are intimately allied with corporations and governments as a way to sustain pernicious capitalism) like Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Bank of America. These banks would not have to be responsible for their dark deeds and, instead, project the blame onto the victim---the American taxpayer. Banks and corporations used a common tactic that is prototypical of narcissistic, sociopathic, and psychopathic pathology. That is, they externalized blame---they projected their dark, evil shadow onto innocent people. They blamed the deceived victim---the American people---on the mortgage crisis when, in truth, it was prompted by a concerted, widespread effort by banks and corporations to reap quick, sleazy profits. Other examples of dark shadow projection are the use of genetically modified foods to foist onto the unwitting public, the use of the rbGH growth hormone in milk, the patenting of human DNA, and cloning. These organizations present their persona, Dr. Jekyll, to the public in an effort to preserve their power, maintain their ability to manipulate the social-public psyche to make choices that is against the best interest of the people, sustain their ability to exploit humankind for its cheap labor and give ever lesser amounts of compensation and health benefits in return, and so as to continue to reap profits which maintain the enormous schism between the handful of the wealthy elite and the billions of others whose income levels and lifestyles continue to decline. The projection of the corporate shadow is a way to avoid responsibility, accountability for egregious moral and ethical acts. Corporations can keep their shadow in the unconscious.
In Joel Bakans brilliant book, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, he compares the psyche of the modern day corporation to a psychopath. Bakan exposes the dangerous and enormous pathological power structures---corporations----that wield their control over society. Another outstanding book that talks about the psyche of the psychopath in corporations is Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak, Ph.D. and the noted psychologist, Robert Hare, Ph.D., who has spent 40 years researching and studying psychopathy. He exposes the web of manipulation and deceit of psychopaths in corporations and warns us how easily they rise in positions in corporations because most people cannot see through the deceptive games. A third exceptional book is Hares Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us where he refers to white collar psychopaths in the corporate world. I have spent 20 years working in Corporate America, 15 years studying psychology, and six years working in the mental health field. Ive seen and felt the brunt of the psychopathology---the dark shadows---in corporate life. It is very much a real aspect of business. Goddess willing, I will one day escape it. Once corporations begin replacing human labor with androids (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4714135.stm), their transformation into archetypal evil will be virtually complete. Mary Shelleys prescient story of Frankenstein and Robert Louis Stevensons Jekyll and Hyde will have played themselves out in corporate regalia. With examples of Kenneth Lay (Enron), Dennis Kozlowski (Tyco), Bernie Ebbers (WorldCom), and Bernie Madoff, I would estimate that there are likely tens of thousands of these pathological characters currently running corporations. They just havent been caught. And it is left to another article to discuss the fact that governments around the world are now mistresses to these toxic corporations. Thus, governments are in bed with the devil and are unable to save humanity. Humanity will save humanity.
There are always three collective psyches involved when discussing organizational shadows. There is the psyche of the organization itself, the psyche of the followers/members of the organization, and the psyche of the opponents/detractors. The psyche of those who are in the highest echelon of the organization usually most closely resemble the psyche of the organization itself. Our outside world is always a mirror of the inside world. So the organization is a mirror of the psyche(s) of those who hold the most power in the organization with the highest person, that is, CEO or President, serving as the prototypical organizational psyche. The psyche of Enron most closely resembled Kenneth Lays psyche, the psyche of Tyco most closely resembled the psyche of Dennis Kozlowski, Lloyd Blankfeins psyche most closely resembles the psyche of Goldman Sachs, and so forth.
There have been numerous theories about the structure, dynamic, and nature of the psyche. Freud posited a tripartite structure with an id, ego, and superego. The id is that part of the psyche that is a cauldron of seething desires and wishes. The superego is the moral conscience. The ego mediates between the two. If we use this view of the psyche, then we can say that the psyche of these organizations have undeveloped superegos. They have little or no conscience. They have inflated egos and their id is on steroids. That is the psyche of a narcissist, sociopath, and psychopath. Without a corporate conscience, there is no compassion. There is only the desire to gratify the corporate ego and it is done with various mendacious means in a corporation such as public relations, advertising, and marketing campaigns and through their now-famous shell games. Philanthropic advertising is merely a way to deceive the public into thinking the corporation really has a heart. The corporation saves millions of tax dollars when they give to charity and this is always done at the suggestion of the corporate accountant. The advertising campaign with a heart is a ruse for a campaign for the corporate coffers. When employees give their donations to their employer (United Way, etc.), the corporation gets millions of dollars in tax breaks. Its a PR and marketing sham to convince the employees and the public that the corporation is compassionate.
Most people have partially accurate understandings of narcissistic personality disorder. Narcissus was a Greek hunter who had disdain for those who loved him. He fell in love with his image in a pond and pined to death because he could not depart from the beauty of his image. First, there is no coincidence that Narcissus is a male. Just like there is no coincidence that Venus, the goddess of love, is a female or Diotima, the personification of Wisdom, in Platos Symposium is a female.
The masculine principle in Occidental mythology represents domination, separation, objectivity, certainty, and predictability. The world of these phenomena can only exist in a world of physical matter. Jung argued that the masculine principle is consciousness, mind or Logos. When speaking of a psyche, the rational mind is the mind which embraces the material world. The feminine principle represents receptivity, union, mystery, collaboration, interdependence. The non-rational, intuitive, unconscious world best represents this world. Jung asserted that Eros and the unconscious are feminine principles.
The masculine and feminine principles are ubiquitous; they have existed since time began and will forever exist. They are recognized in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and other hard sciences. Although they are opposites, they are, paradoxically, complementary. One cannot exist without the other. When domination is a common force, the world, the psyche, and the cosmos is out of harmony, out of balance. Lao Tzus Tao Te Ching is perhaps the most eloquent, succinct, and brilliant renditions of the world of the feminine and masculine principles. They both are subsumed in the Tao which includes, yet is beyond, feminine and masculine.
Narcissus staring at himself in the water tends to distort as much as it informs. It is true that narcissistic individuals are self-absorbed and act as though the world revolves around them. But there is much more to this clinical personality disorder. Christopher Lasch in The Culture of Narcissism writes about the pathological Western society. I would argue that the psychosocial pathology is now leeching over into Eastern societies such as India and China. We should be very afraid.
Narcissism is a personality disorder in which there is a stable, chronic pattern of projecting the dark shadow onto others. Narcissistic personality disorder is marked by an inflated sense of self, a sense of entitlement, and grandiosity. Arrogance displays the sense of superiority. The person with this disorder does not have the capacity to authentically love someone. People with narcissistic personality disorder idealize people who give them what they want and then devalue anyone who inhibits their desires. Pathological mendacity is a means to achieve goals at any cost. There is no moral conscience, no sense of guilt or shame in wrong-doing that follows his trail of deceit, treachery, abuse, and the pain and suffering that his actions inevitably cause others. Blame is always externalized onto other (the victim). The rapist or judge who says its the victims fault she got raped because she wore sexy clothes is externalizing blame. The husband who beats his wife and says but you made me do it because you nag me all the time is externalizing blame. The CEO of a tire company who lies to cover up for his companys gross negligence which results in thousands of people being killed due to unsafe tires is externalizing blame. In his book on corporate psychopaths, Hare cites how these pathological loons, when caught or charged for crimes, will blame the victim. This pathological mendacity and externalization of blame is now standard operating procedure for multinational corporations.
Hare and Babiak (2007) call the psychopath a near-perfect invisible human predator (p. 39) to emphasize how most people cannot detect the psychopaths pathology. Researchers who work with psychopaths refer to the latter as social chameleons (Babiak & Hare, 2007, p. 38). The narcissist or psychopath sometimes does not have the communication skills to deceive, so they rely on threats, coercion, intimidation and violence to dominate others and achieve their objectives. But other narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths, present as charming and with a gift of oratory skills, saying all the things that enamor, fascinate, lure, and compel. Hare refers to the psychopaths gift of impression management (Babiak & Hare, 2007, p. 38) and makes a comparison between the classic features of leadership (taking charge, making decisions, and getting others to do what you want) and the qualities of a psychopath. Hitler had these gifts. They could sell heaters to desert dwellersand make them glad they bought them. This is what most of the CEOs of corporations are invested in---telling the consumers and employees what they want to hear. Here is the cycle. Its about manufacturing desire in consumers so that people will buy goods and services they dont need. The profits in the corporations soar so that the pockets of the CEOs and the 1% who owns the stock in these corporations will fill up more. This allows the wealthy elite to remain in power and the corporate elite to continue to pay millions of dollars in advertising to deceive consumers into buying something they dont need (which speeds up the rate at which natural and mineral resources are depleted) and to exploit the employees who work in the corporation for ever lower levels of compensation and benefits. The vicious cycle just keeps going.
Corporations are invested in keeping people ignorant, overworked or apathetic or all of the above. Billions of dollars are spent on public relations and marketing campaigns which is nothing more than propaganda to be used as an assault on the Common Good. These narcissistic individuals tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. What we need to hear would threaten the powerful elite----the wealthy pathological masculine power structure in the world. As Hare rightly says, the social, economic, physical, and psychological damage done by these psychopaths far outweighs their relatively small numbers (1% of the general population).
People with narcissistic personality disorder flock to positions of power in corporations like iron fillings seek a magnet. The hallmark of narcissistic personality disorder, according to Joan Lachkar, Ph.D., in The Narcissistic/Borderline Couple, is the obsession with control, power, and perfection. The desire to dominate and control is a high. Serial rapists are addicted to the will to power. Sadistic killers are assuaging their desire to have control over and completely dominate the other. Interestingly, 87% of sadistic killers are white males. When the rapists in the Congo stick their penis inside the woman and gang rape her, then sticks a gun inside her vagina and fires, he is obsessed with power and control. It is not so much the sexual act as it is the will to absolute power.
When these corporations lie, cheat, and steal from the coffers of the public and then refuse to accept responsibility, this is a pathological system that is bleeding into every aspect of human life. It is the goal of narcissists, sociopaths, and psychopaths to deceive, dominate, exploit, and destroy. The shadow is projected onto the innocents. In wars where the goal is to steal anothers resources, the instigating country presents the people in the other country as less than human. Increasingly, corporations are invested in war to increase profits. When a handful of people at the top of the food chain live a life of comfort, ease, and luxury while the masses struggle with hunger, poverty, homelessness, and lack of adequate healthcare, the people in ivory towers simply project their shadow onto the masses by saying that poor people are lazy. I ask: Who is lazy? The person who is being exploited for their cheap labor and who works 6 days a week on barely enough wages to feed their family or the person who lives a life of ease and has no means to be productive? I ask you: Is it the rich or the poor who are lazy? And what does lazy mean? If that refers to the lack of desire to work insane hours per week (50, 60, 70 hours) and the lack of the shallow desire to amass needless worldly possessions, then many who have meaningful and spiritual values might refer to that definition of lazy as a good thing. I say the question to ask the lazy wealthy is: How much is enough for you?
This masculine psychopathological spectrum of narcissistic personality disorder, sociopathy, and psychopathy is the source of the dark, evil shadow that has always defined modern Western civilization ever since the dawning of the Iron Age in 1,500 B.C. when male warriors took over and destroyed the peaceful matriarchal society and devalued the feminine principle (Campbell, 1964). Replacing the worship of the feminine moon and the Goddess, masculine ideologies of the worship of the masculine sun and the male God dominated society. Science and its disdain of mystery, uncertainty, unpredictability, subjectivity---in other words, all things feminine---is a bastion of masculine ideology of objectivity, certainty, predictability, and measurability. The mantra of science is noticeably masculine: If it cant be measured, its not valid, meaning it is not useful or even real. Aggression, violence, and war stain society; the fear, devaluation, and loathing of all things feminine (mystery, intuition, gentleness, kindness, compassion, rest, collaboration, interdependence, etc.) has become the fabric of society as a result of these male warriors.
I define masculine psychopathology as the split psyche which lacks the capacity for authentic empathy and love and which, through intentionally deceptive tactics, seeks to dominate, exploit, and destroy others as an obsessive means to have control and power over others. If you apply this to corporate ideology, it is chillingly appropriate. This masculine psyche can exist in both males and females. An apt example of a woman having a particularly morbid pathologically masculine psyche (we would call it psychopathy today) is the late 16th century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed. She is called the Blood Countess because she kidnapped, tortured, and killed allegedly as many as 600 hundred peasant girls. She would bathe in, and drink, their blood believing this would make her skin beautiful and give her immortality. One particularly gruesome type of murder was placing the peasant girl in a large cage and hanging it from the ceiling of the dungeon. There would be large, long knives around the cage so that when the Countess gave the instructions to her servants, the cage would be tossed back and forth causing the knives to mutilate the victim in the cage. Standing underneath the age, the Countess would bathe in, and drink, the blood from the victim. Of course, there is Bloody Mary, Queen of England, who had a particular affinity for burning religious dissenters at the stake.
It is perhaps an annoying and unwelcome truth to males in contemporary society that the vast majority of people who have masculine pathology are males. These are only a relative few of whom history books have noted, but I suspect the names of every personfamous and not---are legion: Caligula, Attila the Hun, Caesar, Herod, Nero, Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Vlad the Impaler, Napoleon, Ivan the Terrible, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc), Pinochet, Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko, Milosevic, and Hussein. Vlad the Impaler killed his opponents by impaling them while alive and leaving them for the public to view. Idi Amin had six wives. One wife he ordered to be murdered and dismembered. She was found in the back of a car with her head sewn on backward. If one were able to count all the males from the beginning of dawn who chronically abused their spouses, children, pets, and who murdered and raped indiscriminately, who knows how many would be on that list?
Lest the reader begin to think that I hate males, let me say I am deeply grateful for those males who risk much in order to fight the imbalance of feminine and masculine principles in the world. They are courageous, compassionate, loving, gentle men who use their power to defend the Common Good. The world desperately needs them and I honor every one of their androgynous Souls. But this paper is about exposing the dark side, the shadow, which stands against the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness.
Approximately 75% of the individuals diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder are males. The majority of individuals with paraphilias (pedophilia, pederasty, pirophilia, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, etc.) are males. These are perverted minds. Virtually all people who start wars and who seem to enjoy going off to war and engaging in acts of war are males. Virtually all serial killers (psychopaths) are males. I always can recognize a male who has a tendency toward narcissism by the reaction I receive when I explain this subject. Its the externalization of blame and the intrapsychic ego defenses that always give him away. Its analogous to showing the man that his DNA results were all over the crime scene, yet what does he say? Thats not me! Someone else who has my DNA did it! I am reminded of what Shakespeare says: Me thinks thou doest protest too much!
Returning to the topic of corporate shadows, its not necessarily that these individuals at the top of corporations have shadows that are darker or larger than those in the lower levels or those who stand in opposition to the corporation although that certainly can be the case. Rather it is that the shadows these leaders cast have a much larger projection, a much larger sphere of influence because the millions of employees who work in them are paid (sometimes handsomely) to ally themselves with the psyche and behavior of the corporation. The corporation responds to the employee by abusing them (being ignored or demoted, given poor performance evaluations, terminated) if there is a failure to comply. Also, the corporations are now all in league with each other, more or less. Thick as thieves as they call it. Meaning that there are now thousands of corporations whose pathological psyches are all allied with each other---and that casts a truly large and pernicious dark shadow upon the entire globe and upon all life on this precious planet. Yes, it would be quite painful for everyone to stop the psychosocial pathology. We humans are, after all, addicted to that which is bringing about our own demise---material possessions. Everyone would feel it---some more, some less. But we would be unfettered from the malignancy that is spreading across the globe like a cancer eating at the life support system of the earth. It would take millions of people to stop spending money on anything that was not essential and start living a simple life connected to nature. It would require relinquishing some of the conveniences of life. We would have to buy acreage, grow our own vegetable garden, start our own community banks, and give up, among thousands of other things, SUVs, plastic bags, and bottled water. Did you know that Americans eliminate 247 million tons of municipal waste and 8 billion tons of industrial and hazardous waste every year? Think of how giving up consumerism would help alleviate landfill usage and the pollution that stems from them.
Since the desires and behaviors of these multinational corporations---and, yes, of the public---are threatening all life on the planet in the mineral, plant, animal, and human arenas, this issue of the dark shadow is no small or joking matter of which Jungian analysts are so intimately aware. Would that we could all be so aware.
Wanda Marie Woodward, M.S. is author of The Anatomy of the Soul: An Authentic Psychology which posits an original theoretical model of the Soul or Transcendent Psyche. She has plans to publish her next book, Malignant Masculine Power, which posits an original model of gender psychopathology and psychosocial pathology. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in psychology at Saybrook University. Her passions in reading are psychology, philosophy, spiritual transformation, gender studies, and social and economic justice. She loves reading, writing, gardening, and listening to classical and easy listening music. She can be reached at wmwoodward@msn.com.

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David Guyatt
11-09-2010, 07:16 PM

The Stages of the Alchemical Opus

Elevating logic, rational thinking to such a superior position in western culture has meant that the alchemical perspective has become unintelligible, almost impossible to fathom. Embedded as we are in a scientific paradigm, the imagery and symbolic language of alchemy is presented as primitive, regressive and abnormal. Considered outmoded, outdated, or redundant by the majority, what possible purpose can alchemy therefore have in modern day life?

To gain an understanding of the meaning of its many images and symbols one would have to enter the imaginative world in which many alchemists lived and worked. It was a world in which mystery and spirituality took precedence over problem solving. In the alchemical imagination, for instance, the opposites unite, being linked together by hidden connections and identities, sometimes creating a magical third, which transcends ordinary consciousness. The famous alchemical saying 'as above, so below' epitomises the duplicity present in many of its operations. This paradoxical, non-technological approach seems a far cry from the customary black or white, pragmatic notions of consciousness.

In the common imagination, the goal of alchemy was to treat base matter in such a way as to transform it into gold. In this respect, alchemy is the art of transmutation, the transformation of a given substance into a higher one. But this was no ordinary gold and, understood metaphorically, translates as the innate value of a substance, or a deep insight or realisation. This 'inner' treasure, which required dedication, religious devotion, and the grace of God to obtain, was most commonly referred to as the philosopher's stone.

Discovering alchemy to be the historical counterpart to his own psychology of the unconscious, the famous Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) saw in its operations a metaphor for realisation of the Self, the outcome of what Jung called the process of individuation. Furthermore, Jung was convinced that alchemy provided a model and a map for defining inner experiences, as well as a symbolic system for their expression. He also took the various alchemical terms to refer to stages of the analytical process. The alchemist therefore portrayed many of the problems of modern psychology through their lively, often bizarre images and metaphorical language. Such images, which were experienced as a property of matter, were in fact projections of unconscious processes, or fantasies. These fantasies are the basic currency of modern day dreams and nightmares.

Since the beginning of the Christian era, four stages of the alchemical opus1 or sacred work - a search for the supreme and ultimate value - were distinguished, characterised by the original colours described by the pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesos (535 BC-475 BC): melanosis (blackening), leukosis (whitening), xanthosis (yellowing), and iosis (reddening). Colour symbolism was important in alchemy, with the changes of colour associated with the successive transformation of matter, and the movement from one level of being to another. Because the alchemist and his work were closely interwoven, these colour changes also represent states of consciousness and felt visions that are unique in themselves.

Later in the 15th or 16th Century the colours were reduced to three, with the yellowing stage falling into disuse. This was probably due to the symbolical significance of the quaternity and the trinity; in other words, it was due to religious and psychological reasons2. Alchemy, however, continued to treat with four elements (fire, air, earth, and water) and four qualities (hot, cold, dry, and moist). It also made reference to the archetypal influence of planetary bodies upon the psyche, and the complexes, fantasies and behaviours they generate. Progress through the stages was said to be strewn with obstacles and, at times, highly dangerous. In many ways, it describes a journey of the human soul.

The three stages (using Latin names) of the alchemical opus are:

Nigredo or Blackening

At the beginning is the so-called 'dragon', the chthonic spirit, the 'devil' or 'blackness'. The nigredo, as the initial stage, is either present as a quality of the prima materia (or original substance), or else produced by the separation (solutio, separatio, putrefactio) of the elements. Either way, the encounter with 'blackness' destroys the original form to produce chaos, suffering or pain.

The elements are often represented anthropomorphically by male and female, but also in terms of planets and their corresponding metal. That is, the planets in heaven correspond to the metals in the earth:

Sun = gold
Moon = silver
Mercury = quicksilver
Venus = copper
Mars = iron
Jupiter = tin
Saturn = lead
It was thought that as the planets revolve around the Earth, they gradually spin their corresponding metals into the earth, which can be extracted by chemical operations.

These elements are then grouped into opposites (eg, King-Queen, Sun-Moon, Mars-Venus, etc, which are brought together in a union (coniunctio, coitus); the product of this union then dies (mortificatio, putrefactio, calcinatio) to produce the blackening of the nigredo.

Psychologically, the prima materia is identical with an undifferentiated, disintegrated, chaotic, unconscious mind, containing all the potential, all the dynamic oppositions, necessary to achieve the goal of the opus. The separatio and divisio, like the division and multiplication of cells in the developing embryo, are needed to get the process of synthesis started. In Jungian terms, the separatio is necessary to help differentiate the ego from the shadow, from the anima or animus, and from the Self.

The blackening is about depression, the melancholia, that is often the initial stage causing one to slow down and examine life, that brings one into therapy, and that deepens when one encounters the shadow side of personality. The shadow is the inferior part of the personality; sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life and therefore coalesce into a relatively autonomous 'splinter personality' with contrary tendencies in the unconscious. The shadow behaves compensatorily to consciousness; hence its effects can be positive as well as negative. The encounter with the shadow is invariably experienced as a mortificatio: dark shadow aspects of the Self have to be confronted and assimilated into consciousness; the feelings of guilt, worthlessness and powerlessness have to be suffered, taken on and worked through. As a prelude to resolving conflicts and warring elements in the psyche, a cleansing process was required involving an examination and withdrawal of projections. The nigredo stage was known by the alchemists to be dangerous: poisonous vapours of lead and quick silver (mercury) were generated or the vessel itself might explode due to over-heating. Safety apart - the alchemist, paradoxically, had to observe the value of patience in order to move the work on.

Albedo or Whitening

In alchemical language, matter suffers until the nigredo disappears and a new day dawns. The material slowly starts coming back to life. The albedo, the second stage, was said to result from the washing (ablutio, baptisma) of the products of this nigredo. Psychologically, it represents the later stages of shadow integration within the intimacy of the analytic 'retort' - the process of washing one's dirty linen in public; it being in the gross matter or 'shadow' of our worldly affairs where contamination has taken place.

In some traditions, the nigredo constitutes the 'death' of the prima materia - in analysis, a dying to old habits, attitudes and patterns of relating, to childhood attachments and dependencies, and the withdrawal of psychologically naive projections; at the moment of 'death' the soul (ie, the anima) is released, refined and then reunited with the revitalised materia to produce the glorious stage of many colours - called the 'peacock's tail,' the caudis pavonis, which then transforms into white (albedo), which contains all colours, like 'white' light. This moment is highly rewarding, though still a sort of abstract, ideal state. Jung compared it with daybreak, the preparation for the next and final stage, which is the sunrise.

Rubedo or Reddening

To make the opus come alive into a fully human mode of existence it must have 'blood', or what the alchemists call the rubedo or 'reddness' of life. In this final stage, the white becomes united with red through the raising of the heat in the fire. The white is associated with the Queen and the red with the King, who now arise out of the mercurial, tranformative 'waters' of the unconscious to perform their coniunctio oppositorum, the union of all opposites as symbolised by the conjunction of the archetypal masculine and feminine in the 'chymical marriage', the hieros gamos3. This results in the grand climax, the achievement of the goal - the lapis philosophorum, the hermaphrodite embodying the united King and Queen. This is the so-called 'third thing', the 'Rebis', the phenomenon of the union of love and soul itself, the soul that is engendered through love - this 'divine birth' symbolising a re-awakening of psychological reality, a new ruling consciousness.

Final Comments

In Jungian terms, these three stages could be seen as symbolic expressions of the stages of individuation. Individuation is the process by which we move towards the integration of the opposites, their transcendence, and finally bringing into consciousness of the Self. It can also be seen as a redemptive process of recovering spirit, soul or Self from the unconscious: nigredo, as the first stage, is about recognising and integrating the shadow; nigredo psychology asks what is wrong in the physical realm, looks for the psychosomatic symptom, and then moves to purging or cathartic remedies, as literal, gross measures based in emotional identification, bodywork, and literal history such as childhood experience.4.

Interestingly, Kernyi5 associates the nigredo with the archetype of the wounded healer and the birth of healing power. According to Greek mythology a black crow appears at the birth of Asklepios. His mother, Coronis (the crow maiden), while pregnant with Asklepios by Apollo, had intercourse with Ischys. On reporting this infidelity to Apollo, the crow was turned from white to black. Coronis was killed for her crime, but the infant Asklepios was snatched from her womb while placed on the funeral pyre. This myth highlights how death and life are inextricably linked, and that only by staying with the darkness of suffering can one find the germs of light, healing and recovery 6.

The albedo, the second stage, parallels the integration of the opposites - in alchemical terms, the conjunction, the heiros gamos or marriage between male and female. One is in a reflective state of consciousness after the tortures of the nigredo. As a whitening phase everything is seen under the light of the moon, rather than the clarifying or discriminating light of the sun. It can be a world of illusions and mirrors; sublime, pure and ideological, not to be sullied by the gross, mundane world.

However, as if to underline the interrelatedness of the three stages, the moon was considered as the shadow of the sun; its symbolism signifying germination and decay, light changing to darkness, and death and rebirth.

In the final stage, rubedo, the philosopher's gold has been produced, the goal of the opus complete - the recognition, the acceptance and the integration of opposites has led to their transcendence and the experience of Self. One now stands on solid ground, entering the world more soulfully, living life more vitally, to the full. On the horizon the 'shadows' begin to form, and one prepares yet again to enter the cycle of change.

1 This division of the process into four was termed the 'quartering of the philosophy.
2 CG Jung (1989) Psychology and Alchemy, Routledge, London.
3 On the psychological significance of the sacred marriage between the solar King and lunar Queen, see CG Jung (1983) The Psychology of the Transference, Routledge and Kegan Paul(Ark edition), London (from The Practice of Psychotherapy, Collected Works, Volume 16)
4 See Alan Bleakley (1989) Facing the Shadow of the New Age, Gateway Books, Bath.
5 Carl Kernyi (1959) Asklepios: Archetypal Image of the Physician's Existence, Pantheon, New York.
6 See Edward F Edinger (1994) Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy, Open Court, La Salle, Illinois.

Gary Severson
07-26-2011, 05:18 PM
In 1939 Otto Rank, Freud's favorite student accd. to some, described the creation of the soul from the pre-historic understanding of the shadow as something real. Since pre-historic people didn't know the Sun as anything more than a heat source their view of the shadow cast by their body meant something more profound than just a shadow connected to the Sun's presence. As much as I appreciate Jung I wonder how he and Rank got along as contemporaries with Rank's rational minimizing of the shadow? I don't know since I haven't dug deep or long enough.

David Guyatt
04-17-2013, 09:12 AM
See Chapter 1 - The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society 1906-1910 (http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pbXO85TwmScC&pg=PT17&lpg=PT17&dq=Carl+Jung+on+Otto+Rank&source=bl&ots=9hIoJWutCc&sig=63QZmQNHcpnJorxG2z734n13O2o&hl=en&sa=X&ei=62NuUedKj8zQBZ3OgMgB&ved=0CC8Q6AEwADgU) for a brief insight of Jung's thinking about Otto Rank.

R.K. Locke
09-18-2013, 08:16 PM
I really enjoyed this episode of The Corbett Report, focussing on the 1940 movie Gaslight:


Jung's archetype of the shadow features as a prominent theme in a very interesting discussion.

David Guyatt
09-19-2013, 07:27 AM
I really enjoyed this episode of The Corbett Report, focussing on the 1940 movie Gaslight:


Jung's archetype of the shadow features as a prominent theme in a very interesting discussion.

I'm old enough to say that I remember watching the Ingrid Bergman film when I was, ahem, a bit younger. Even so, I was not aware of the term "gas lighting" and had to Google it.

Oh well...

David Guyatt
10-02-2013, 01:58 PM
Jung on the Shadow

From The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campell.
Whereas the contents of the personal unconscious are acquired during the individual’s lifetime, the contents of the collective unconscious are invariably archetypes that were present from the beginning. Their relation to the instincts has been discussed elsewhere. The archetypes most clearly characterized from the empirical point of view are those which have the most frequent and the most disturbing influence on the ego. These are the shadow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_(psychology)), the anima and the animus. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anima_and_animus)The most accessible of these, and the easiest to experience, is the shadow, for its nature can in large measure be inferred from the contents of the personal unconscious. The only exceptions to this rule are those rather rare cases where the positive qualities of the personality are repressed, and the ego in consequence plays an essentially negative or unfavorable role.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period.
Closer examination of the dark characteristics – that is, the inferiorities constituting the shadow – reveals that they have an emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an obsessive, or, better, possessive quality. Emotion, incidentally, is not an activity of the individual but something that happens to him. Affects occur usually where adaptation is weakest, and at the same time they reveal the reason for its weakness, namely a certain degree of inferiority and the existence of a lower level of personality. On this lower level with its uncontrolled or scarcely controlled emotions one behaves more or less like a primitive, who is not only the passive victim of his affects, but also singularly incapable of moral judgment.
Although, with insight and good will, the shadow can to some extent be assimilated into the conscious personality, experience shows that there are certain features which offer the most obstinate resistance to oral control and prove almost impossible to influence. These resistances are usually bound up with projections, which are not recognized as such, and their recognition if a moral achievement beyond the ordinary. While some traits peculiar to the shadow can be recognized without too much difficulty as one’s own personal qualities, in this case both insight and good will are unavailing because the cause of the emotion appears to lie, beyond all possibility of doubt, in the other person. No matter how obvious it may be to the neutral observer that it is a matter of projection, there is little hope that the subject will perceive this himself. He must be convinced that he throws a very long shadow before he is willing to withdraw his emotionally-toned projections from their object.
Let us suppose that a certain individual shows no inclination whatever to recognize his projections. The projection-making factor then has a free hand and can realize its object – if it has one – or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power. As we know, it is not the conscious subject but the unconscious which does the projecting. Hence one meets with projections, one does not make them. The effect of projection is to isolate the subject from his environment, since instead of a real relation to it there is now only an illusory one. Projections change the world into the replica of one’s own unknown face. In the last analysis, therefore, they lead to an autoerotic or autistic condition in which one dreams a world whose reality remains forever unattainable. The resultant sentiment d’incompletude and the still worse feelings of sterility are in their turn explained by projection as the malevolence of the environment, and by means of this vicious circle the isolation is intensified. The more projections are thrust in between the subject and the environment, the harder it is for the ego to see through its illusions. A forty-five year old patient who had suffered from a compulsion neurosis since he was twenty and had become completely cut off from the world once said to me: “But I can never admit to myself that I’ve wasted the best twenty-five years of my life!”
It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going. Not consciously, of course – for consciously he is engaged in bewailing and cursing a faithless world that recedes further and further into the distance. Rather, it is an unconscious factor which spins the illusions that veil his world. And what is being spun is a cocoon, which in the end will completely envelop him.
One might assume that projections like these, which are so very difficult if not impossible to dissolve, would belong to the realm of the shadow – that is, to the negative side of the personality. This assumption becomes untenable after a certain point, because the symbols that then appear no longer refer to the same but to the opposite sex, in a man’s case to a woman and vice versa. The source of projections is no longer the shadow – which is always of the same sex as the subject – but a contrasexual figure. Here we meet the animus of a woman and the anima of a man, two corresponding archetypes whose autonomy and unconsciousness explain the stubbornness of their projections. THough the shadow is a motif as well known to mythology as anima and animus, it represents first and foremost the personal unconscious, and its content can therefore be made conscious without too much difficulty. In this it differs from anima and animus, for whereas the shadow can be seen through and recognized fairly easily, the anima and animus are much further away from consciousness and in normal circumstances are seldom if ever realized. With a little self-criticism, one can see through the shadow – so far as its nature is personal. But when it appears as an archetype, one encounters the same difficulties as with anima and animus. In other words, it is quite the relative evil of his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.

R.K. Locke
10-02-2013, 06:54 PM
Very interesting. What is your take on Joseph Campbell, David? I've watched some interviews with him online and he seems to know his subject very well, but I've never invested any time in his books. Worthwhile?

David Guyatt
10-03-2013, 10:06 AM
Very interesting. What is your take on Joseph Campbell, David? I've watched some interviews with him online and he seems to know his subject very well, but I've never invested any time in his books. Worthwhile?


His "The Hero with a Thousand Faces" was required reading in one school I belonged too.

Understanding mythology and having mythological pulses rooted in one's own psyche as a living dictionary is fundamental, for the psyche is a million years old and talks in the archaic language of myths and riddles.

But I am not at all well read on Campbell.

Michael Falcone
04-02-2016, 04:37 PM
Hi all, I'm new to the forum. In fact I joined because of this thread, because I feel I have something to contribute.

I want to share that I found a book called Mystery of the White Lions by Linda Tucker that is a fantastic read about forbidden and unknown archaeology, and definitely touches on the Christ-consciousness.

Also this (from one of her main sources in Africa, Credo Mutwa):

"Now all of you my dear children
Have to some small extent inherited
Amarava's split personality.
Within each of you there are two different beings,
One good and one evil - in constant conflict."

from Indaba, My Children -- the end of the story called "The Bud Slowly Opens"

David Guyatt
04-03-2016, 07:55 AM
Hi Michael and welcome. How did you get into "ritual work" and what do you mean by that? Do you do martial arts? Can you explain the meaning of Mhondoro? I'm guessing a witch doctor of some sort?

It's very difficult and usually unwise to try to interpret dreams publicly - and I'm no good at that anyway. This is work that usually benefits from a one on one and face to face and trustworthy basis, I think. I do note that there seem to be a lot of "dragons" in your dreams. Unkillable dragons, man dragons and water dragons. I don't know what this means but you might consider reflecting on these dragons and ask yourself why dragons feature so heavily in your psyche. For example, have you in the past involved yourself in Dungeons and Dragons digital games or role play? Anyway, I'm sure you'll find an answer if you dig deep enough and reflect well on the question.

As a starting point you might find some interesting pickings about dragon on the following links: 1 (http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/carl-jung-on-meaning-of-dragon.html), 2 (https://stottilien.com/2012/06/03/the-symbol-of-serpent-and-dragon-an-jungian-view/), 3 (http://mythsdreamssymbols.com/dsmonster.html).

Michael Falcone
04-03-2016, 11:05 PM
Hi Michael and welcome. How did you get into "ritual work" and what do you mean by that? Do you do martial arts? Can you explain the meaning of Mhondoro? I'm guessing a witch doctor of some sort?

It's very difficult and usually unwise to try to interpret dreams publicly - and I'm no good at that anyway. This is work that usually benefits from a one on one and face to face and trustworthy basis, I think. I do note that there seem to be a lot of "dragons" in your dreams. Unkillable dragons, man dragons and water dragons. I don't know what this means but you might consider reflecting on these dragons and ask yourself why dragons feature so heavily in your psyche. For example, have you in the past involved yourself in Dungeons and Dragons digital games or role play? Anyway, I'm sure you'll find an answer if you dig deep enough and reflect well on the question.

As a starting point you might find some interesting pickings about dragon on the following links: 1 (http://carljungdepthpsychology.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/carl-jung-on-meaning-of-dragon.html), 2 (https://stottilien.com/2012/06/03/the-symbol-of-serpent-and-dragon-an-jungian-view/), 3 (http://mythsdreamssymbols.com/dsmonster.html).

Thanks for the links, David.

Dragons were never really part of my life in any way, that I can remember.
I got involved through a combination of contacting a white South African diviner, dream and symbol work. I worked with a man named Mandaza... (mandaza.org). A mhondoro is a spirit medium of the Shona people; the Shona having the lion as their totem. He teaches at Linda Tucker's academy at the White Lion project. In that vein, I noticed this from the first link:
"And that of course is the case here; the dragon ought to be fought by the lion."
Linda Tucker's book (if I remember correctly) devotes an entire chapter to Christ being known as "the Lion of Judah." And she talks about Buddha being equated with the lion.

Mandaza made sure to pay attention to my dreams and the other man that was visiting with him as well....but I don't have anyone like that around right now. I agree a lot of this work is best left to such one on one care.

David Guyatt
04-04-2016, 07:41 AM
Thanks for that Michael, I have a clearer understanding now. There are a number of quite significant archetypes and symbolism in the dream you earlier posted, and you might want to peruse this LINK (http://carl-jung.net/dreams.html) for ideas on how to proceed.