Information, Resources, Links and Commentary about the life and work of Carl Jung, by a Jungian psychologist
http://jungcurrents.com/ - Apr 25, 2013 8:56:14 AM - Nov 9, 2010 7:33:49 PM
July 10, 2012
“The ‘union of irreconcilables:’ marriage of water and fire. The two figures each have four hands to symbolize their many different capabilities.”
Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy Figure 72
from Jung: His life and Work by Barbara Hannah
Altogether, Jung’s health seemed to be particularly good in the autumn of 1946…. It was, therefore, a completely unexpected shock to hear… that he had another heart attack and was again very ill. This time, refusing to go to the hospital, he had to have two nurses to look after him, day and night, in his own house.
The illness was even more unexpected, especially to Jung himself, than the one in 1944. He had the feeling then that “there was something wrong with my attitude,” and at first felt in some way responsible for having broken his leg. But this time it was a real bolt from the blue …
Jung remained ill for three months. About December 16 he sent me a message that he was still suspended over the abyss and warning me against optimism; he added that the real trouble was in the sympathicus. After his illness he told me that he was doubtful if he really had a heart infarct. At all events, it was mainly a disturbance of the vegetative nervous system that had the effect of giving him tachycardia (racing of the pulse. He again found himself confronted, like medicine men all over the world, with curing himself. The doctors insisted it was another heart infarct; and thus he was forced to find out for himself what was really the matter and how it should be met. One again he said that he had an illness because he was faced with the mysterious problem of the hieros gamos (the mysterium coniuntionis.) As late as October 15, 1957 (eleven years after this illness), he wrote in a letter:
As some alchemists had to admit, that the never succeeded in producing the gold or the Stone. I cannot confess to have solved the riddle of the coniunctio mystery. On the contrary, I am darkly aware of things lurking in the background of the problem –things too big for horizons.
It was his effort to write about these things “too big for horizons” and to solve their riddle that brought about Jung’s further illness.
These illnesses were really the direct result of what Jung always called “the only unbearable torture of not understanding,” but since the hieros gamos is so infinitely more incomprehensible that anything he was ever faced with in his life, it required at least two actual physical illnesses and the near neighborhood of death before he could understand it enough to on with his book.
Bair has unearthed fascinating new material about Jung’s role as “Agent 488,” briefing the Office of Strategic Services’ spy-recruiter Allen W. Dulles on the psychology of Nazi leaders. Back in Washington, Jung’s comments “figured importantly in the agency’s operational policies.” In 1945, Jung’s ideas for persuading the German public to accept defeat were read by the supreme allied commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.(source)
I thought Jung should tell me what to do. Whether I should write a book, or I should get a divorce, what I should do. And he wouldn’t. And so I got mad at him. And I said, “Why is everybody so mean to me?” And he said, “Why are you so mean to everybody?” So I stormed out. You got what I said there. I said to him, “Why is everybody so mean to me?” and he said, “Why are you so mean to everybody?” That was the trigger. I was gone for a year. And I wrote, oh, I don’t know, every now and then I’d sit down at the typewriter and write what a son of a bitch I thought he was. How when I first got to Europe everyone thought he was a charlatan, I thought he was, too. He was the most conceited, vain man. You know, I really had a great time. [Interviewer: “And you sent all these letters?”] Sent the letters. Of course I did. And I thought, I hope he drops dead of a stroke. And I felt very good. I just felt fine. When I can get mad I can lose five pounds, just by getting mad. The adrenalin goes… You know it’s the opposite of “poor little me.” I don’t care; let the world go stuff it up…I don’t care what happens. And then one morning I woke up and I began to laugh. For God’s sake, what’s been going on here? What a jackass you… And suddenly I realized, surely, he really hit it. And so I phoned Miss Schmidt, Frau Schmidt, and I asked if I could have an appointment. And she laughed and said, “O, yes,” she said, “Professor Jung told me to save some time for you. He thought you’d be calling shortly.”
Deidre Barr, Page 808
February 17, 2012
“The science of the I Ching…is based on what I have tentatively called the synchronistic principle. My occupation with the psychology of unconscious process long ago necessitated my casting around for another explanatory principle, because the causality principle seemed to me inadequate for the explanation of certain remarkable phenomena of the unconscious. Thus I found there are psychic parallelisms which cannot be related to each other causally, but which must stand in another sort of consciousness. This connection seemed to me to lie mainly in the relative simultaneity of the events, therefore the expression ‘synchronistic’. It seems, indeed, as though time, far from being an abstraction, is a concrete continuum which contains qualities or basic conditions manifesting themselves simultaneously in various places in a way not to be explained by causal parallelism, as, for example, in cases of the coincident appearance of identical thoughts, symbols, or psychic states.”
The Secret of the Golden Flower
January 12, 2012
from Aurei Velleris, (Hamburg: bei Christian Liebezeit, in der St. Joh. Kirch, 1708)
The Black Ravenshead
That is the black and stinking earth of the wise, wherein awaken worms. There one swallows the other; there one thing destroyed is the other thing born. Then this earth is at the bottom of the vessel, and wholly dissolves itself in the water as before.
Here it is asked how long it takes to turn the stone black, and what the sign is of the right decomposition. I answer: when the black color appears, then is the same darkness a certain sign of the right putrefaction and decomposition of the stone, but when the darkness wholly disappears, then is it a sign that the stone has wholly decomposed and putrefied.
August 5, 2011
Enkidu and Gilgamesh
A second time Gilgamesh said to his mother: Mother, I have had another dream: At the gate of my marital chamber there lay an axe, and people had collected about it. The Land of Uruk was standing around it, the whole land had assembled about it, the populace was thronging around it. I laid it down at your feet, I loved it and embraced it as a wife, and you made it compete with me. The mother of Gilgamesh, the wise, all-knowing, said to her son; Rimat-Ninsun, the wise, all-knowing, said to Gilgamesh: The axe that you saw (is) a man. (that) you love him and embrace as a wife, but (that) I have compete with you. There will come to you a mighty man, a comrade who saves his friend– he is the mightiest in the land, he is strongest, he is as mighty as the meteorite of Anu!” Gilgamesh spoke to his mother saying: “”By the command of Enlil, the Great Counselor, so may it to pass! “May I have a friend and adviser, a friend and adviser may I have! “You have interpreted for me the dreams about him!” After the harlot recounted the dreams of Gilgamesh to Enkidu the two of them made love.
August 4, 2011
Gilgamesh got up and revealed the dream, saying to his mother: Mother, I had a dream last night.
Stars of the sky appeared, and some kind of meteorite of Anu fell next to me. I tried to lift it but it was too mighty for me, I tried to turn it over but I could not budge it. The Land of Uruk was standing around it, the whole land had assembled about it, the populace was thronging around it, the Men clustered about it, and kissed its feet as if it were a little baby. I loved it and embraced it as a wife. I laid it down at your feet, and you made it compete with me.
Commentary: Marie Louise Von Franz This dream is about forty-six hundred years old. Still today we can find modern parallels for the language of the unconscious has changed much less than the language of human consciousness. So if we interpret this dream from a modern stand-point we could say that up to the moment before the star fell upon Gilgamesh, he fulfilled the collective role of a king. He was the hero-king. He is typical of a man who ambitiously follows a collective pattern. Nowadays, he might be a great politician or a movie star — a man who has followed up certain collective alleys and reached a goal. Looked at from within, such a person reacts in a very collective way fulfilling a collective role of power. They are generally not very individual.The star, on the contrary, represents his uniqueness — every soul has one star in the heaven. We can say that up to the appearance of the star Gilgamesh, with all his collective power and achievement, had not done anything unique. On the contrary, he had only fulfilled the typical pattern of the hero-king. The, probably, about the middle of life (because that is where it most frequently occurs), something changes. While he is walking around among his subjects, proud of his own power position, a star falls from the sky onto his back. It turns out to be a very heavy load. That is the moment when his unique destiny befalls him, literally falls on his back. That means that just as Christ had to carry his cross, Gilgamesh now has to carry the burden of having to become the unique, chosen individual, a task which he as avoided by being an ambitious, collective man.
The Way of the Dream Pages 69- 70. Source of Text http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh/tab1.htm
July 5, 2011
From Michael Meier’s Atalanta Fugiens
Epigram 36 The Stone that is Mercury, is cast upon the Earth, exalted on Mountains, resides in the Air, and is nourished in the Waters.Discourse 36: All persons that have once heard of the name or power of the Stone, unless they are altogether incredulous, ask presently where it may be found, that so they may run directly to it. The Philosphers answer is twofold: First Adam brought it with him out of Paradise, that is, in you and in me, and in every man that, birds flying, bring it with them out of far countries. Secondly, it may be found in the Earth, Mountain, Air and Rivers. Which path therefore must be taken? I say, both, but in a different respect, although the last pleases us best, and seems most safe…
May 14, 2011
The projection-forming factor is the anima. Wherever she appears in dreams, phantasies or visions, she appears personified, thereby demonstrating that basically she possesses all the outstanding characteristics of a female person.
She is not an invention of the conscious, but a spontaneous production of the unconscious; neither is she a substitute figure for the mother.
On the contrary, there is every likelihood that those numinous attributes which make the Mother imago so dangerously powerful derive from the collective archetype, the anima, which is incarnated anew in every male child.
The realities subsumed under the concept “anima” form an extremely dramatic content of the unconscious.
It is possible to describe this concept in rational, scientific language, but in this way one entirely fails to express its living character.
Therefore I deliberately and consciously give preference to a dramatic, mythological approach and terminology.
In describing the living processes of the soul, such a terminology is not only more expressive but also more exact than abstract scientific terms.
SednaThe anima is not the soul in the dogmatic sense, not an anima rationalis, which is a philosophical conception, but a natural archetype that satisfactorily sums up all the statements of the unconscious, of the primitive mind, of the history of language and religion. . . .
It is always the a priori element in [a man's] moods, reactions, impulses, and whatever else is spontaneous in psychic life.
Collected Works 9
Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious-
Michalangelo’s PietaThere is [in man] an imago not only of the mother but of the daughter, the sister, the beloved, the heavenly goddess, and the chthonic Baubo.
Every mother and every beloved is forced to become the carrier and embodiment of this omnipresent and ageless image, which corresponds to the deepest reality in a man.
It belongs to him, this perilous image of Woman; she stands for the loyalty which in the interests of life he must sometimes forego; she is the much needed compensation for the risks, struggles, sacrifices that all end in disappointment; she is the solace for all the bitterness of life.
And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress, who draws him into life with her Maya-and not only into life’s reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hope and despair, counterbalance one another.
Because she is his greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if he has it in him she will receive it.
Collected Works 9ii
Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious
The Syzygy: Anima and Animus,
Paragraph 24 What can a man say about woman, his own opposite?
I mean of course something sensible, that is outside the sexual program, free of resentment, illusion, and theory.
Where is the man to be found capable of such superiority?
Woman always stands just where the man’s shadow falls, so that he is only too liable to confuse the two.
Then, when he tries to repair this misunderstanding, he overvalues her and believes her the most desirable thing in the world.
Collected Works 10
“Women In Europe” (1927) :
You are a slave of what you need in your soul.
The most masculine man needs women, and he is consequently their slave.
Become a woman yourself, and you will be saved from slavery to woman….
It is good for you once to put on women’s clothes: people will laugh at you, but through becoming a woman you attain freedom from women and their tyranny.
The acceptance of femininity leads to completion.
The same is valid for the woman who accepts her masculinity.
The Red BookNo man can converse with an animus for five minutes without becoming the victim of his own anima.
Collected Works 7
Anima and Animus
circa 750 BC
The first stage–Hawwah, Eve, earth–is purely biological; woman ins equated with the mother and only represents something to be fertilized.
The second stage is still dominated by the sexual eros, but on an aesthetic and romantic level where woman has already acquired some value as an individual.
The third stage raises Eros to the heights of religious devotion and thus spiritualizes him: Hawwah has been replaced by spiritual motherhood.
Finally the fourth stage illustrates…Sapientia…wisdom.
Collected Works 16
For decades I always turned to the anima when I felt that my emotional behavior was disturbed, and that something had been constellated in the unconscious.
I would then ask the anima: “Now what are you up to? What do you see? I should like to know.”
After some resistance she regularly produced an image. As soon as the image was there, the unrest or sense of oppression vanished.
The whole energy of these emotions was transformed into interest in and curiosity about the image. I would speak with the anima about the images she communicated to me.
Salome Receiving the Head of John the Baptist
Lorenzo Pasinelli (1629-1700)
Women are a magical force.
They surround themselves with an emotional tension stronger than the rationality of men….
Woman is a very, very strong being, magical.
That is why, I am afraid of women.
From an interview with Jung
Cited in The Anima of the Analyst-Its Development 1992
May 2, 2011
The three Gorgon sisters—Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale—were children of the ancient marine deities Phorcys (or Phorkys) and his sister Ceto (or Keto), chthonic monsters from an archaic world. Their genealogy is shared with other sisters, the Graeae, as in Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound who places both trinities of sisters far off “on Kisthene’s dreadful plain”:
Near them their sisters three, the Gorgons, winged
With snakes for hair— hated of mortal man—
While ancient Greek vase-painters and relief carvers imagined Medusa and her sisters as beings born of monstrous form, sculptors and vase-painters of the fifth century began to envisage her as being beautiful as well as terrifying. In an ode written in 490 BC Pindar already speaks of “fair-cheeked Medusa”.
In a late version of the Medusa myth, related by the Roman poet Ovid, Medusa was originally a ravishingly beautiful maiden, “the jealous aspiration of many suitors,” priestess in Athena’s temple, but when she and the “Lord of the Sea” Poseidon lay together in Athena’s temple, the enraged Athena transformed Medusa’s beautiful hair to serpents and made her face so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it would turn onlookers to stone. In Ovid’s telling, Perseus describes Medusa’s punishment by Minerva (Athena) as just and well-deserved.
In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphos as a gift. With help from Athena and Hermes who supplied him with winged sandals, Hades’ cap of invisibility, a sword, and a mirrored shield, he accomplished his quest. The hero slew Medusa by looking at her harmless reflection in the mirror instead of directly at her, to prevent being turned into stone. When the hero severed Medusa’s head from her neck, two offspring sprang forth, the winged horse Pegasus and the golden-sworded giant Chrysaor.
April 30, 2011
from a lecture at the Eranos Meeting at Ascona
The Meaning of Individuation
Prometheus boundWhat is it, in the end, that induces a man to go his own way and to rise out of unconscious identity with the mass as out of a swathing mist?
C6th B.C., Vatican City Museums
It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a man to emancipate himself from the herd and from its well-worn paths. … Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner man: he is called.
The Development of Personality
The Alchemist in Search of the Philosophers StoneAlchemy has performed for me the great and invaluable service of providing material in which my experience could find sufficient room, and has thereby made it possible for me to describe the individuation process at least in its essential aspects.
“Insofar as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one.
Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally shortsighted age things only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman… People go on blithely organizing and believing in the sovereign remedy of mass action, without the least consciousness of the fact that the most powerful organizations in the world can be maintained only by the greatest ruthlessness of their leaders and the cheapest of slogans.
The Undiscovered Self
A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the species.
The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitiful appendage to life’s morning.
The significance of the morning undoubtedly lies in the development of the individual, our entrenchment in the outer world, the propagation of our kind, and the care of our children.
This is the obvious purpose of nature.
But when this purpose has been attained -and more than attained-shall the earning of money, the extension of conquests, and the expansion of life go steadily on beyond the bounds of all reason and sense?
Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning, or the natural aim, must pay for it with damage to his soul, just as surely as a growing youth who tries to carry over his childish egoism into adult life must pay for this mistake with social failure.
In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche
The Stages of Life
The discovery of the value of human personality is reserved for a riper age.
For young people the search for personality values is very often a pretext for evading their biological duty.
Conversely, the exaggerated longing of an older person for the sexual values of youth is a short-sighted and often cowardly evasion of a duty which demands recognition of the value of personality and submission to the hierarchy of cultural values.
The young neurotic shrinks back in terror from the expansion of life’s duties, the old one from the dwindling of the treasures he has attained.
CW 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis
To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality in fact is.
Collected Works:Two Essays on Analytical Psychology.
Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious
Vajrayogini Mandala, Tibet; 18th century, Rubin Museum of ArtI began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self. Memories, Dreams and Reflections
The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man.
Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.
Memories, Dreams and Reflections
Source of Image
You cannot individuate on Everest.
cited in Jung: His Life And Work
Author Barbara Hanna
Click to return to JungCurrents Home Page
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- The Myth of Medusa: It Takes a Mirror…..
- Carl Jung: Ten Quotations on Individuation
- The Unknown Visitor: Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit
- Why Did Jung Chose Salome During Active Imagination for the Red Book?
- “I Am Elijah and This Is My Daugher Salome”
- Hippity, Hoppity Easter Is on Its Way
- Hail, Children of Zeus!..
- Seven Paintings of the Birth of Venus
- The Great-Grandfather of Hercules: Uranus
March 25, 2011
Mercury Brings Psyche up to Olympus Sanzio Raffaello 1517-18 Fresco Villa Farnesina, Rome Psyche Brings a Vessel up to Venus Sanzio Raffaello
Villa Farnesina, Rome
Venus and Psyche
Villa Farnesina, Rome
Wedding Banquet of Cupid and Psyche
Villa Farnesina, Rome
Cupid and Psyche
Sala di Psyche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua
Psyche Appealing in Vain to Juno
Sala di Psyche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua
Psyche’s Second Task
Sala di Psyche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua
Zephyr Blowing Psyche over the Sea
Oil on stucco
Sala di Psiche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua
The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche
Oil on panel
Diameter: 61.6 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor
March 22, 2011
After an unexpected heart operation and near death experience at the age of 52, I had an overwhelming impulse to build a stone cave.
After the two more heart interventions — the placement of stents — and another near death experience, I felt an overwhelming need to build a stone labyrinth.
Since my recovery from a severe heart attack, I have been trying to figure out how to build a circular stone dome, with stained glass windows.
I met someone last month who had a heart attack about the same time I did; he too, was drawn to build with stones.
What is it about stones?
In the last week of this blog, I have been struggling to understand Jung’s interest in stone.
He started the tower at Bollingen after the death of his mother; each of the stages of Bollingen were connected with different stages of his life.
I still don’t understand the mystery and pull of stones; I still will build with them as soon as the snow melts.
Heart Attack and Soul in the Labyrinth of Healing
March 19, 2011
Andrew Fazekas National Geographic News March 19, 2011
It may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but tonight the moon will make its closest approach to Earth in 18 years—making the so-called supermoon the biggest full moon in years.
And despite Internet rumors, the impending phenomenon had no influence on the March 11 Japan earthquake and tsunami (see pictures).
The monthly full moon always looks like a big disk, but because its orbit is egg-shaped, there are times when the moon is at perigee—its shortest distance from Earth in the roughly monthlong lunar cycle—or at apogee, its farthest distance from Earth.
Likewise, because the size of the moon’s orbit varies slightly, each perigee is not always the same distance away from Earth. Tonight’s supermoon will be just 221,566 miles (356,577 kilometers) away from Earth. The last time the full moon approached so close to Earth was in 1993, according to NASA.
The March 19 supermoon, as it’s called, will be visible “pretty much any time during the night,” said Geza Gyuk, astronomer at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
“Look for the full moon as it rises above the eastern horizon as the sun sets below the western horizon—it will be a beautiful and inspiring sight,” he said via email.
(See “Year’s Biggest Full Moon, Mars Create Sky Show.” .)
Though the supermoon will be about 20 percent brighter and 15 percent bigger than a regular full moon, the visual effect may be subtle, added Anthony Cook, astronomical observer for the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.
“I doubt that most people will notice anything unusual about this full moon,” Cook said.
“Because the total amount of light is a little greater, the biggest effect will be on the illumination of the ground—but not enough to be very noticeable to the casual observer.”
Japan Earthquake Not Linked to Supermoon
Such a lunar close encounter can cause slightly higher than normal ocean tides and localized flooding—especially if there is already a storm surge, astronomers say.
A supermoon may even have some impact on seismic activity because of the stronger gravitational interaction between the moon, the sun, and Earth.
Even so, there is no clear evidence that any of these phenomena influenced the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
(Read more: “Can the Moon Cause Earthquakes?”)
“The earthquake in Japan happened when the moon was close to its average distance to Earth—there was nothing extreme about its position or phase,” Cook said.
“While some earthquakes seem to have tidal connections, this isn’t one of them.”
There’s no need to get worked up over a supermoon, Adler Planetarium’s Gyuk added.
“We survived 2008 [an almost supermoon year] and 1993 just fine,” he said by email.
“Just keep in mind even this ‘extreme’ supermoon is not really that extreme!”Chaos and the Psychological Symbolism of the Tarot by Gerald Schueler, Ph.D.
19. The Moon. The main symbol here is the moon, and the cards of all decks amplify the lunar theme with various symbols usually associated with the moon. Most cards show two towers with a stream running between them to illustrate the idea of relationships. A scorpion, lobster, crayfish, or scarab, is often included to represent the forces of regeneration. One or two dogs or jackals are often shown to suggest the idea of the subconscious and the underworld. The theme here is the astral world of the Kabbalists, the realm of illusions and dreams. The Thoth deck shows a Gateway of Resurrection. The bottom of the card shows the beetle-headed Khepera pushing the sun upward through the waters. Above stands dual Anubis-gods who guard the path that is a stream of serum tinged with blood. They stand before black towers at the threshold of life and death. At the path’s end are nine drops of impure blood each in the shape of the Hebrew letter Yod. This card represents the instincts. The imagery suggests the archetypes of dreams and the irrational as well as Jung’s archetype of the moon. According to von Franz, the moon is an archetypal symbol for the anima (Boa, 1992).