Their first child, born in , was a boy named Paul, who survived only a few days. Preiswerk was antistes , the title given to the head of the Reformed clergy in the city, as well as a Hebraist , author, and editor, who taught Paul Jung as his professor of Hebrew at Basel University. Emilie Jung was an eccentric and depressed woman; she spent considerable time in her bedroom where she said that spirits visited her at night. He reported that one night he saw a faintly luminous and indefinite figure coming from her room with a head detached from the neck and floating in the air in front of the body.

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Date: June 13, Author: Mr. Purrington And yet the attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave m. Also, we do not know whether what we on the empirical plane regard as physical may not, in the Unknown beyond our experience, be identical with what on this side of the border we distinguish from the physical or psychic.

One of them appears on high and is a great power, the mind of the whole, who rules all things and is a male; the other below is a great Thought, a female giving birth to all things. It does not show up objects in all their pitiless discreteness and separateness, like the harsh, glaring light of day, but blends in a deceptive shimmer the near and the far, magically transforming little things into big things, high into low, softening all colour into a bluish haze, and blending the nocturnal landscape into an unsuspected unity.

Naturally this lesion cannot be treated or healed if everyone insists on his own standpoint. Behind those barriers he can rejoice in his absolute and consistent convictions and deem himself above the conflict, but outside them he keeps the conflict alive by his intransigence and continues to deplore the pig-headedness and stiff-neckedness of everybody else.

It seems as if Christianity had been from the outset the religion of chronic squabblers, and even now it does everything in its power never to let the squabbles rest. Remarkably enough, it never stops preaching the gospel of neighbourly love. One can only assert it, and for this reason there can be no reconciliation between the divergent assertions.

Thus Christianity, the religion of brotherly love, offers the lamentable spectacle of one great and many small schisms, each faction helplessly caught in the toils of its own unique rightness.

But this gives him a significance which is not without justification. The two great world religions, Buddhism and Christianity, have, each in its own way, accorded man a central place, and Christianity has stressed this tendency still further by the dogma that God became very man.

No psychology in the world could vie with the dignity that God himself has accorded to him. Knowing this we have no encouragement whatever to think that our metaphysical picture of the world corresponds to the transcendental reality. Moreover, the statements made about the latter are so boundlessly varied that with the best of intentions we cannot know who is right. The denominational religions recognized this long ago and in consequence each of them claims that it is the only true one and, on top of this, that it is not merely a human truth but the truth directly inspired and revealed by God.

But one speaks of the paradoxical God of the Old Testament, another of the incarnate God of Love, a third of the God who has a heavenly bride, and so on, and each criticizes the other but never himself. The demand would not have come to this person had he still been able to strike out on some promising by-path. But he is caught in a blind alley from which only self-knowledge can extricate him.

If he refuses this then no other way is open to him. Usually he is not conscious of his situation, either, and the more unconscious he is the more he is at the mercy of unforeseen dangers: he cannot get out of the way of a car quickly enough, in climbing a mountain he misses his foothold somewhere, out skiing he thinks he can negotiate a tricky slope, and in an illness he suddenly loses the courage to live.

The unconscious has a thousand ways of snuffing out a meaningless existence with surprising swiftness. But it may not be out of place to reflect that the self-destruction of what is hopelessly inefficient or evil can be understood in a higher sense as another attempt at compensation.

There are murderers who feel that their execution is condign punishment, and suicides who go to their death in triumph. Always we shall have to begin again from the beginning. They are regarded as a particularly reprehensible form of idleness or as pathological narcissism. No one has time for self-knowledge or believes that it could serve any sensible purpose. Also, one knows in advance that it is not worth the trouble to know oneself, for any fool can know what he is. We believe exclusively in doing and do not ask about the doer, who is judged only by achievements that have collective value.

The general public seems to have taken cognizance of the existence of the unconscious psyche more than the so-called experts, but still nobody has drawn any conclusions from the fact that Western man confronts himself as a stranger and that self-knowledge is one of the most difficult and exacting of the arts. It would be a great step forward, in my opinion, if at least it were recognized how far the truth of dogma is rooted in the human psyche, which is not the work of human hands.

Only then will he realize that the conflict is in him, that the discord and tribulation are his riches, which should not be squandered by attacking others; and that, if fate should exact a debt from him in the form of guilt, it is a debt to himself.

The failure of a pet plan, the disappointing behaviour of someone one loves, can supply the impulse either for a more or less brutal outburst of affect or for a modification and adjustment of feeling, and hence for its higher development. This culminates in wisdom if feeling is supplemented by reflection and rational insight. Wisdom is never violent where wisdom reigns there is no conflict between thinking and feeling.

But they were a nameless happening, not a definite actuality, for there did not yet exist that minimal concentration of the psychic factor, which was also present, to speak the word that outweighed the whole of Creation That is the world, and this is I!

That was the first morning of the world, the first sunrise after the primal darkness, when that inchoately conscious complex, the ego, knowingly sundered subject and object, and thus precipitated the world and itself into definite existence, giving it and itself a voice and a name. And where the ditch is too deep, a ray of moonlight smoothes it over. Then it is all up with her charm and the mitigating half-darkness; she takes a stand on some point or other and captiously defends it, although each barbed remark tears her own flesh, and with brutal short-sightedness she jeopardizes everything that is the dearest goal of womanhood.

It is as void of light and charm as the gentling moonlight is all heavenly peace and magic. It protests too much that it is a light, because it is no light, and a great truth, because it invariably misses the mark, and a high authority, which nevertheless is always wrong, or is only as right as the blind tom-cat who tried to catch imaginary bats in broad daylight, but one day caught a real one by mistake and thereafter became completely unteachable.

We take our stand simply and solely on the facts, recognizing that the archetypal structure of the unconscious will produce, over and over again and irrespective of tradition, those figures which reappear in the history of all epochs and all peoples, and will endow them with the same significance and numinosity that have been theirs from the beginning. When a woman is absent or unattainable the unconscious produces in him a certain femininity which expresses itself in a variety of ways and gives rise to numerous conflicts.

The more one-sided his conscious, masculine, spiritual attitude the more inferior, banal, vulgar, and biological will be the compensating femininity of the unconscious. He will, perhaps, not be conscious at all of its dark manifestations, because they have been so overlaid with saccharine sentimentality that he not only believes the humbug himself but enjoys putting it over on other people.

An avowedly biological or coarse-minded attitude to women produces an excessively lofty valuation of femininity in the unconscious, where it is pleased to take the form of Sophia or of the Virgin.

We should be able to include this unknown quantity in a total picture of man, but we cannot. Man himself is partly empirical, partly transcendental. But when the separation is carried so far that the complementary opposite is lost sight of, and the blackness of the whiteness, the evil of the good, the depth of the heights, and so on, is no longer seen, the result is one-sided ness, which is then compensated from the unconscious without our help.

For what has been spoiled by the father can only be made good by a father, just as what has been spoiled by the mother can only be repaired by a mother. The disastrous repetition of the family pattern could be described as the psychological original sin, or as the curse of the Atrides running through the generations. Again, the view that good and evil are spiritual forces outside us, and that man is caught in the conflict between them, is more bearable by far than the insight that the opposites are the ineradicable and indispensable preconditions of all psychic life, so much so that life itself is guilt.

The Fall was inevitable even in paradise. In alchemy the scintillulae are put together to form the gold Sol , in the Gnostic systems the atoms of light are reintegrated. He corresponds to the chin-yen true man of Chinese alchemy. In the poem of Valentinus, this inner man is swamped by the goddess of love—an unmistakable psychologem for a definite and typical psychic state, which is also symbolized very aptly by the Gnostic love-affair between Nous and Physis.

The effect of the aqua permanens is equally miraculous. Unconscious contents lurk somewhere in the body like so many demons of sickness, impossible to get hold of, especially when they give rise to physical symptoms the organic causes of which cannot be demonstrated.

This is indeed so in the case of woman: her consciousness has a lunar rather than a solar character. The queen is in a condition of psychic pregnancy: the anima has become activated and sends her contents into consciousness. At the same time the cibatio and imbibitio of the anima-mother indicate the integration and completion of the entire personality. Here the logic of the intellect usually fails, for in a logical antithesis there is no third. In nature the resolution of opposites is always an energic process.

She acts symbolically in the truest sense of the word, doing something that expresses both sides, just as a waterfall visibly mediates between above and below.

The waterfall itself is then the incommensurable third. In the latter case you choose a dream, or some other fantasy-image, and concentrate on it by simply catching hold of it and looking at it. You can also use a bad mood as a starting-point, and then try to find out what sort of fantasy-image it will produce, or what image expresses this mood.

You then fix this image in the mind by concentrating your attention. Usually it will alter, as the mere fact of contemplating it animates it. A chain of fantasy ideas develops and gradually takes on a dramatic character: the passive process becomes an action. At first it consists of projected figures, and these images are observed like scenes in the theatre. Then, of course, there is no real progress but only endless variations on the same theme, which is not the point of the exercise at all.

He will notice, as the actors appear one by one and the plot thickens, that they all have some purposeful relationship to his conscious situation, that he is being addressed by the unconscious, and that it causes these fantasy-images to appear before him. He therefore feels compelled, or is encouraged by his analyst, to take part in the play and, instead of just sitting in a theatre, really have it out with his alter ego.

It is very important to fix this whole procedure in writing at the time of its occurrence, for you then have ocular evidence that will effectively counteract the ever-ready tendency to self-deception. A running commentary is absolutely necessary in dealing with the shadow, because otherwise its actuality cannot be fixed. The shadow, as we know, usually presents a fundamental contrast to the conscious personality.

This contrast is the prerequisite for the difference of potential from which psychic energy arises. Without it, the necessary tension would be lacking.

Where considerable psychic energy is at work, we must expect a corresponding tension and inner opposition. The opposites are necessarily of a characterological nature: the existence of a positive virtue implies victory over its opposite, the corresponding vice. Without its counterpart virtue would be pale, ineffective, and unreal. The extreme opposition of the shadow to consciousness is mitigated by complementary and compensatory processes in the unconscious. Although, to a certain extent, he looks on from outside, impartially, he is also an acting and suffering figure in the drama of the psyche.

It is a psychic fact that this fantasy is happening, and it is as real as you as a psychic entity are real. For what is now happening is the decisive rapprochement with the unconscious. This is where insight, the unio mentalis, begins to become real. He can and he should understand their meaning, but this is of practical value only so long as he is not sufficiently convinced that the unconscious can give him valuable insights.

But once he has recognized this fact, he should also know that he then has in his hands an opportunity to win, by his knowledge, independence of the analyst. As this experience is not uncommon I can only conclude that the transition from a merely perceptive, i. I myself have said little about it and have contented myself with hints. It is not a matter that can be taken lightly. Unlike a real psychosis, which comes on you and inundates you with uncontrollable fantasies irrupting from the unconscious, the judging attitude implies a voluntary involvement in those fantasy-processes which compensate the individual and in particular the collective situation of consciousness.

This very unpleasant possibility generally presents itself at the beginning of the treatment, when, for instance, dream-analysis has activated the unconscious. But if it has got so far that the patient can do active imagination and shape out his fantasies, and there are no suspicious incidents, then there is as a rule no longer any serious danger.

One naturally asks oneself what fear if fear it is prevents him from taking the next step, the transition to an attitude of judgment. The judgment of course should be morally and intellectually binding. In myths the hero is the one who conquers the dragon, not the one who is devoured by it.


Mysterium coniunctionis

Our textbooks in the public schools either treated alchemy as proto-chemistry or as patent fraud. Jung suggests that at least some alchemists were quite sincere about an agenda which went beyond mere chemistry. They, some of them, were seeking self-transformation or salvation , their practices being an objectification of their inner states. This he seems to demonstrate and plausibly interpret in this volume. Whether this insight was original with Jung is unknown to me. Whatever the case, I appreciated being brought to reconsider my previous dismissal of the work of alchemists. His ability to overview the psyche through the ages and different cultures enabled the 20th century to have a better understand of humanity as whole and our inner disconnectedness as the inevitable truth.


Mysterium Coniunctionis

Molti dei principi, delle idee, dei simboli alchemici furono assunti da altre branche del sapere, come la medicina, la musica e la letteratura. Questo forse era il "segreto" tramandato oralmente durante le iniziazioni Dionisiache e Orfiche. Jung aveva stretto amicizia con un capo dei Taos Pueblos. Un giorno, parlando dei "Bianchi Americani", il capo Lago Montano disse: "Gli americani vogliono cancellare la nostra religione. E questo lo facciamo non soltanto per noi, ma per il mondo intero. Se cessassimo di praticare la nostra religione nel giro di dieci giorni il Sole cesserebbe di levarsi e la notte regnerebbe eterna". Essi si consideravano i figli del Sole.


Carl Jung: CW 14 “Mysterium Coniunctionis” – Quotations

Jump to navigation Jump to search Carl Gustav Jung. He empirically discovered that certain key problems of modern man were prefigured in what the alchemists called their "art" or "process". Edward F. Edinger poses an important question in the introduction to his book "The Mystery of The Conjunctio": "One might ask, why alchemy? The alchemists were fired with the beginnings of the modern spirit of inquiry, but yet, as investigators of the nature of matter they were still half asleep. So, in their zeal to investigate those newly opened vistas, they projected their fantasies and dream images into matter. The Journal of Analytical Psychology said of this book: What Jung has to convey is so truly original and so far ranging in its implications that I suspect this book will be a real challenge even to those most psychologically sophisticated.

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