Jung Circle

May 1998 Discussions

"I don't know whether the archetype is 'true' or not. I only know that it lives and that I have not made it."

~ C. G. Jung (Letter, 13/6/55)


"My empirical standpoint is so disappointingly simple that it needs only an average intelligence and a bit of common sense to understand it, but it needs an uncommon amount of prejudice or even ill-will to misunderstand it, as it seems to me."

~ C. G. Jung


From Shadowcatcher:

Greetings to my brother Krishnan,

In regards to your simple question, the relationship between the symbols of the Quarternary, there are no simple answers. As to the term 'others', there is nothing to be known, and this term has little to do with the Quarternary, at this time. Here is the reason: in the Metaphysical school of thought, there are seven levels of consciousness, each having seven sub-levels; a total of 49, called in the Gnostic scriptures, the nine and forty fires. At the physical level, there are only 3 known sub-levels: solid, liquid, and gas; the fourth sub-level, called the Etheric is as yet not recognised by our physicists; this sub-level is a window into all physical sub-levels, that of the Four Kingdoms mineral, plant, animal, and human. This is the shamanistic window, as each level has rudimentry degrees of consciouness and intellegence. Beyond the Etheric, the three remaining sub-levels, called the Higher Ethers, nothing is known, perhaps because at this point in our evolution, they still remain undeveloped.

I am a product of the Inner Teachings, which are rarely discussed in the public arena. My knowledge of the Tarot comes from The Builders of the Atyum, The Temple of Tarot. I hope that I have shed a little light; much still remains in the shadows.

To the Dark Nathair:

If you want to see my card, find the card numbered 18 Qoph, back of the head called The Moon. In the picture you will notice a path leading up into the mountains, past two Towers; on one side of the Path sits a White Dog, and on the other side a Black Wolf. Above the mountains and the Path the Moon sheds tears, because this path is hazardous, leading to "The Long Night of the Soul" relating to the death of the personal ego (mentioned in Scriptures as the second death). For the soul without identity, it seems such a long time before it reaches the Inner Self, at the Centre of the Garden. The number 18 reduces to 9 the number of The Hermit, who, clothed in a black robe and hood, stands with his staff holding aloft a lantern. The Hermit corresponds to Anubis, the Jackel headed god of the Egyptians and Guardian of the Threshold.

Over the mountains of the Moon

Down into the Valley of the Shadow

Ride boldly ride, the shade replied

If you seek for El Dorado. ~Poe

How wonderful it is to find someone who speaks my language -

"The Language of the Birds"




From Kurt Papke:

Covert writes:

....I assume the fact that we don't as much care about reconciling Thinking and Feeling might mean we intuitively regard them as inferior functions

Not necessarily. I am a thinking dominant myself, so reconciling T/F is a major part of my individuation process. Reconciling S/N seemed to be the issue at hand. Science today is a slave to the sensation function and the archetype of order: data. The mantra is: "until you measure it you don't know anything". Measurement is sensing followed by statistical analysis. Intuition is regarded by science as "unreliable".

....reconciliation does not obliterate the two parts, it mixes them carefully while retaining their separate identities in spirit

Jung's essay on the transcendent function might apply here. He doesn't speak of obliteration at all.

....even though you could intuitively put them back together, as Maureen's model of two cylinders, one turning inside the other, with liquid in between, described, if you reversed the turning.

This is not Maureen's model, it is David Bohm's analogy for the Implicate Order, though Maureen may have quoted it. I don't see this as an issue of mixing, blending, obliterating, etc. Rather the challenge is to make 1+1=3, combining in this case sensation and intuition to create something greater than the sum of the parts.

Note from M the Dark:

My description of the 'twin cylinder experiment' was clearly described as David Bohm's model of what he calls the 'holomovement', which is conceptually indistinguishable from Tao, or what Jung calls unus mundus as the atemporal, ubiquitous, unitary flow underlying all phenomena.

"The goal of my therapy is eccentricity, which grows out of the Jungian notion of individuation. Jung says, 'You become what you are.' And nobody is square. We all have, as the Swiss say, a corner knocked off.' ~James Hillman

From Kurt Papke:

Shadowcatcher writes:

....As to the term Ethers, there is knothing to be known, and this term has little to do with the Quarternary, at this time.

It is my understanding that ether was considered the Fifth Element, the Quinta Essentia, the Centred Four, the Quincunx. See Von Franz's "Number and Time" for a discussion of this.

At the Physical level, there are only 3 known sub-levels solid, liquid, and gas, the Fourth sub-level, called the Etheric is as yet not recognised by,our Physicists;

Incorrect. The fourth is plasma. One can draw a parallel with:

Earth - solid

Water - liquid

Air - gas

Fire - plasma

If you accept this, then the question becomes: what is the scientific analog of the Fifth Element. In fact, science had postulated the presence of ether over 100 years ago but abandoned it. It has now been resurrected in the form of virtual particles which are "allowed" to exist for brief periods in the lesser known form of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, where energy and time are indeterminate. For a discussion of this see the very interesting book: Bridging Science and Spirit : Common Elements in David Bohm's Physics, the Perennial Philosophy and Seth by Norman Friedman. Speaking of the Fifth Element, anyone up for a discussion of the film by that name?

Hi Shadowcatcher...

I was intrigued by this insightful comment of yours:

"Did you ever notice how the Aborigine stands atop a promonotory? Standing on his left leg, leaning on his spear, his right leg crossed behind his left leg, forming the figure 4.

Whenever I travel to Australia, in my Imagination I often end up atop the Red Rock near Adelaide."

The right crossing left is certainly archetypal; it suggests also the intersection of the vertical and horizontal axes of 'soul' and (vertical) 'spirit' in the central singularity of Self, the 'Cross Connection' at whose core Point space and time are relativized to infinity. In Australia, this Centre is symbolized by the Red Heart, or Ayers Rock near Alice Springs, which has a potent, rather dark mytho-religious significance, hence the European and Asian settlers still cling around the comparative safety of the coastline! (The Chamberlain baby incident - a prime example of the projection of the cultural, darkly occult shadow - occurred at this Centre, and my ex-partner, the science fiction author Damien Broderick, wrote a superb novel [The Dreaming Dragons] based on the discovery of the buried collective unconscious (by an Aborigine and white boy) at the Centre. The one-legged stance is also shamanic - it is that of the 'hopping mad' Fool, the alchemical androgyne whose central axis travels with her as she leaps and limps across the Rainbow Bridge into Otherworldly vision. (Kinda sounds like what you do, too . . .)

Hopping Mad Blessings

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair

From Deborah :

To the Circle:

Strange, the things that motivate... I had thought of posing some questions to ye Circlers about color last month, after waking from an especially vivid dream that seemed to be purely and only about color:

A woman was showing me swatches of material, dramatically pulling out a bolt which immersed me in the pure energy of the color. The fuscia I remember especially, and I woke, thinking something along the lines of "I'm experiencing awe." Trying to associate emotion with the dream, which is ofen my only clue to its meaning - I came up only with feeling how splendid color is.

I understand the little gods that seduce one in chemically augmented inner realities :) just as Coleridge did, thanks to the psychical and sporting explorations of long past decades. That specific learning - as a living thing - expanded my intuition. I also had surgery recently, and under a new drug (a form of valium) I had the experience of having an opaque sheet of mustard fill my vision. I wasn't unconscious at all, and was even relating the experience to the anesthetist who thought it 'unusual'. All this is to say, that a heightened sense for color is indeed part of the chemistry of opiates and certain other drugs, and I'm sure someone somewhere has studied the exact chemistry of this effect. Color is, after all, the perception of visible energy.

Perhaps that last statement explains our loss of wonder in general. To explain a spell gives the illusion of owning and controlling it. But 'wonder' recaptures the truth that we're really sorcerer's apprentices. We know how to provoke the cauldron with recipes of physics and math. That's pretty good and where we're at. We make models of reality - separate models for each separate science, strangely enough - and are happy with them, though there is this nagging thought that maybe it is time to start fitting the separate models back together. An interesting phenomenon, the universe, life. All these coincidences, like monkeys left alone with typewriters and infinite time producing Botticelli's Venus. Seems to me that though we puff ourselves up with positivism and reductionism, maybe intuition is still our best grasping of 'truth'.

As we come out of, and are part of, earth/stars/matter and all its circumstances (time/space, intuition, soul & the whole psychical bag of tricks), I'm wondering what we really make of perception. The mythology, the alteration of mood, the ability to express immaterial states, are all part of the human experience of color. In old church mysticism, in the symbology of masonry, in the correspondence experiments of the Golden Dawn (these come to my mind because of my involvement with the 19th C. where I live most of the time - but all of you can provide examples), there have been multitudes of associations that give 'meaning' to color.

So with this glib and babbling intro, I open a discussion of the exploration of color and what this can tell us about ourselves, perhaps, even about the cosmos, inner and outer. Are you dreaming of it? Are we losing this perception, having been so inundated with it in the modern world? What research has been done on it? What did Jung and his 'ken' have to say?

I pose the question to Bruce Jones and his mandalas: how do you really choose the colors, Bruce? And to Maureen, with her adept skill at using color imagery in her fiction (brilliant, I must say). Is it an analog for energy, emotion? Is there a how and why?

Wondering and grinning,




In reply to Deborah's wonder-fully insightful discussion,

thought-provoking questions and 'colourful' input:

....And to Maureen, with her adept skill at using color imagery in her fiction (brilliant, I must say). Is it an analog for energy, emotion? Is there a how and why?

Firstly, colour is, as you so aptly remind us, 'the perception of visible energy'. Here colour is a symbolic reality, the essence of imaginative vision and the imaging of the energies of 'e-motion' (hence we speak of feeling blue, of being green with envy, of yellow as one face of cowardice. And let's not forget the focus on colour in alchemy, from the black of the nigredo, to the white of albedo, the red of rubedo, the yellow of citrinatus, and the peacock's tail as the rainbow whole). In shamanic work, diagnosis and vision of energy blockages, dissonances, aura states, and illnesses similarly involves colour and chakra perception; some guides specialize in working with particular colour states (e.g. my purple Shark, coloured dolphins, white Eagle, black Wolf, Aaivan with his Rainbow Bridge and Silver Globe). In shamanic journeying, one ascends the Rainbow to the celestial World, and descends it to the Underworld.

Analogy, like simile, on the other hand implies comparison, separateness, dualisms, the dominance of Logos. Symbolic reality (= Eros-centric) implies identity, holism, synchronicity, holographics, unus mundus manifesting in many forms that all express one meaning (Tao). But 'vision', which arises from one's intuition of and identity with the one Energy pervading all, is not confined to the visible spectrum. Take, for example, the blind Milton's vision of Hell, where there is 'no light, but darkness visible'; or the 'cloud of unknowing' in which illumination and enlightenment (both visual metaphors) blind one into sight. And just as the colours of the rainbow image a certain range of wavelengths (the 7-chakra system), so there are wavelengths above and below that range. (My own chakra system, for instance, includes chakras that reach beyond the ultaviolet into the shorter wavelength x-ray, gamma and cosmic ray range, and below into the longer radio wave range.) All these wavelengths correlate with particular e-motional/psychospiritual states. One of the most brilliant 'visions of vision' is in this sense David Lindsay's bizarre (1922) work of genius, A Voyage to Arcturus, by far the most disturbing book I've ever read. In it, the protagonist 'journeys' to a planet of the twin suns of Arcturus, the blue one of which produces two primary colours, 'jale' and 'ulfire' - and hence two spiritual states - beyond the range of Earth people's sight and endurance. Lindsay (a Piscean mystic and loner), furthermore, pulls it off convincingly by managing to evoke a corresponding spiritual sense of 'otherness' that is profoundly unsettling, 'dis-integrating' and unfamiliar to the human psyche.

We can also 'en-vision' the collective unconscious as a holistic continuum, a spectrum of wavelengths ranging from red (instinct pole) through to violet (archetype/spirit) pole. As to my own fictional use of colour, I simply 'serve the vision' by faithfully describing what I see, feel and hear. Why does my main character [SJV] have indigo eyes? Fifteen years after I first saw them, I pondered that it might be because he continually sees with his physical vision what most on our world can see only through their Third Eye (indigo) - the all-pervasiveness of the unus mundus that permeates and binds into one living web of relations the entire Cosmos and its informing imaginal Dreaming. But Deborah, these are the highly subjective rantings of a semi-sane shaman. Whence arises your own profound understanding and use of colour in your own excellent fiction? You have a different typology from mine and could offer some complementary insights and examples(?)

Blessings from the Rainbow Bridge

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair


From Mike Dickman:

In the System of the Tibetan Tantras, the fifth element - there given as 'space', viz. the 'place' within which the 'unfoldings of temporality' play themselves out as becoming - is represented by the pair:

  • Dh‚tvishvarÓ, 'Mistress of the Expanse of Space = the Realm of Being' (known in Tibetan as Ying-kyi Wang-chug-ma (dbyings.kyi dbang.phyug.ma) and representing the openness nature of consciousness and awareness, as it were, before it turns into its own objects of awareness); Vairocana (pronounced va-i-RO-channa), 'Making Perfectly Visible In Forms' (Tib., Nam-par Nang-dze (rnam.par snang.mdzad), and who, in his turn, is the instant of 'becoming' as it arises within such space - the very roots of apperceiving/knowing).

(Female=space/primordial knowingness; Male=appropriate response/activity/motility; their union = consciousness either masked by ends-in-view and dullness, or clear and open-ended, and becoming/momentary coming into being ).

In the Indian system the fifth tattva (element) is akasha - 'space' - and, corresponding as it does to 'sat' (being) and, in part, 'cit' (pronounced chit) (awareness), it pervades all others.

In the introduction to my recent translation of Michael Maier's Cantilenae Intellectuuales de Phoenice Redivivo, a book which I regard as the summation (or quintessence?) of his entire oeuvre, I argue (based upon his own and others' writings) that the alchemical quest is, in fact, the search for just this quintessence, the which once found brings about the rest without further "manipulation".

The alchemists recognise the well known mercury, sulphur, salt [awareness, vitality, becoming] triad as fundamental to all elements, be there four or five. In the Tarot systems stemming from the Golden Dawn, for example, whose roots go back to 18th c. Masonic mysticism, the Qabalah is interpreted (on fairly sound Qabalistic theorising) as containing explicitly three and implicitly four elements, Shin, Aleph and Maim representing Fire, Air and Water - the fast-flowing elements if you will - and Thav (or the remainder of the pack if you prefer) representing the slower moving Earth.

The Hanged Man in most traditions (be he read as Maim or Lamed or any other Yetziratic attribution, 'death by water' as Eliot would have him, or what-have-you) has his leg folded behind and represents - because 'upside-down' - a cross surmounting a triangle: i.e. the quintessence informing the quadruplicity of the elements. Druids, too, used to hop (on the left leg, I believe, if I remember rightly) when performing certain of their powering manipulations. The pentagram (head, two arms, two legs) has at least four of these limbs fronded in a fivefold manner. Who will hazard as to what REALLY goes on behind the eyes and between the ears? Not me at any rate!


From Shadowcatcher:

The Gods of Science are blind gods creating "Tunnel Vision". The only physicist that I knew of that had any real Insight was Richard Feyman,who unfortunately recently left us, just as the Quantum Theory now moves into the Unified Field Theory. Intellect alone can lead us up the garden path into the maze, just as it did to Einstein with his Quantum Theory. Knowledge without understanding can be a very dangerous thing.

To the Dark Nathair:

This morning my "Presence" led me to my bookshelves and directed my hand to a certain book that I had purchased forty years ago, titled The Tarot of the Bohemians by Paupus. Turning to the first page, the introduction, I read, " During the last fifty years the Tarot has had a growing influence on writers and students of analytical psychology. It plays an important part in T. S. Eliot's famous poem "The Waste Land " and it is well known that W. B. Yeats belonged to a Magical Order which had its secret tradition in the Tarot. Looking at it from a different angle, the followers of C. G. Jung are beginning to accept the Tarot images as mysteries agreeing with the archetypes of the collective unconscious."

In the Beginning was the Word (thought) and the Word spread out in Ideation in the form of Archetypes. Time is a measure of motion, and motion is the attraction and repulsion between two unlike and like particles of Matter, and Matter is a form of Energy (Archetypes) responding to Polarity.


"The psyche cannot leap beyond itself. It cannot set up any absolute truths, for its own polarity determines the relativity of its statements." (C. G. Jung)


From Bruce Jones:

Your question has had me looking at these pictures again, revisiting dreams. Many of the colors come from my dreams, gold from my crucible of gold dream (getting a shiny gold has been very important to me lately), the colors of rainbows from my four rainbows dream, and I associate these with chakras to some extent, although I know little about that. When I use white-black-yellow-red in a circle I take that right from Black Elk Speaks and it represents humanity for me. Blue and red have a yin-yang association for me and represent a balance of some kind (as in the temenos circle in the mandalas). Green I associate with healing and growth, so when the walls of my mandala city (the circle of columns) are green I see it as a place of healing and growth. I picture the columns themselves as made of some deep colored granite. I use yellow-orange-red for fire, vitality, energy. I associate this with the sun, and with my dream of a pool of subterranean lava; also with the burning bush, fire on the mountain, fire that enlivens, inspires, but does not consume; enthusiasm, inspiration, en-theos. There's a certain dark blue I associate with the unconscious, as in the quatrefoil in my last mandala. That's always been a deep blue pool for me, from which arises many things - a golden crown in one dream.



From Kurt Papke:

Thanks [Mike] for bringing in the Tibetan perspective. I found it quite intriguing.

Interesting how analogously in Bresson's movie the 5th Element was female (much to the surprise of the males) but was counterbalanced by the maleness of Bruce Willis.

In the introduction to my recent translation of Michael Maier's 'Cantilenae Intellectuuales de Phoenice Redivivo', a book which I regard as the summation (or quintessence?) of his entire oeuvre, I argue (based upon his own and others' writings) that the alchemical quest is, in fact, the search for just this quintessence, the which once found brings about the rest without further "manipulation"

Edward Edinger in his 'Mysterium Lectures' illustrates this with a diagram showing a circle becoming a square, then becoming a circle again (note the closure) as the 'squaring of the circle', which Jung saw as a projection of the individuation process.

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative response Mike.


Andrew Walker writes:

....I read the book [Fifth Element] adapted from the movie and came away from the experience firmly persuaded that the fifth element is grease.

Sounds like a "slippery slope", but maybe it is! After all 19th century scientists posited the existence of Ether as a means to explain how EM radiation moves through a vacuum. Grease is how we humans "get things to move", right? ("The squeaky wheel gets the most grease", we "grease the skids" to assure success, etc.) If lubrication is archetypal, who would be the god/goddess of it?? I've heard of people being called "slippery devils"! In the business world one hears the epithet "Teflon Man" to describe someone that nothing sticks to (always blameless), so apparently the archetypal image is mutating.

Kurt Papke


From Shadowcatcher:

To my fellow Circle Sitters,

As far back as I can remember the definition of the terms, to know or to be known, is "all that which can be apprended by the five physical senses" ( i.e. ) to touch, to see, to hear, to smell, and to taste. (All else are concepts.) Since the beginning of time, humans have attempted to understand the unknown by labeling it or giving it a name, to fix it in the mind. (What's in a name ? A Rose . . .) In every thing there is a trinity. To those who may be caught up in the maze of semantics, like a dog chasing its tail, I offer this simple Quatrain in the words of the Sufi Master, Omar Kayyam:

Myself when young did eagerly frequent

Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument

About it and about; but ever more

Came out by the same Door as I went in.

What we think we know may not be so, and appearances can be deceiving, Moses supposes his toe'ses are Roses But Moses supposes erroneously.

ha ! ha ! ha !


Hmm . . . Dunno about ol' Moses, Shadowcatcher, but let's not forget the rest of Juliet's musings (in our English 'Master' Will the Shake's play), which you almost finish quoting, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet . . ." (Hence I frequently pamper my own rosy footsies with redolent aromatherapy potions).

Laughter & lunar-cy

"The Dark" Nathair


From Covert [to Shadowcatcher]:

I like your style (and Omar's) and I think I get what you are getting at, but are you saying we can know anything other than conceptualizations from our senses - that we can actually experience without simultaneously attaching labels to, and thereby mortifying, these so-called experiences??

Every now and then I jump into a level of awareness, which cannot be described, and seems to be a little north of knowing and way beyond the senses and conceptualizations. This state of being needs no pleasure, friends, goals, gods, asperations, morals, or meaning - it is sort of celebration of all the archetypes at once, after hours, with no alter egos to watch over, label, or even symbolize them - and then they go home, leaving this ultimate, beyond-blissful state behind, in front and everywhere.

Things which other people call problems, I hardly notice; I just do them the best I can, and this kind of participation in life keeps the right chemicals flowing in my body to prevent depression. I know this sounds completely boring, but I can go way beyond boredom too. My key participation in life is to give everything to the Union and not worry about anything else - like the song says, "I'm just thinkin' about my baby, and I ain't got time for nothin' else." Thanks for giving me the forum to share this. This is my life. But as you can see, I spend a lot of time playing with concepts for the hell of it, because I don't want the fourth quarter to come back and bite me.

Shakespeare was simply wrong with his comment about a rose. Senses are slaves to conceptualizations. I mentioned in a previous posting that California wines win blind taste tests against the most revered French Bordeaux; but when tasters can see the labels, the Bordeaux win. This is not because the second group was fooled by the labels, this is because the wine experience (the actual, literal senses of smell, taste, etc.) includes knowing about the wine's (and our) history. If you stuck Bordeaux labels on California wines, they would taste too forward for maximum pleasure. This is also why New Coke won all the blind taste tests against Coke ("Classic") and Pepsi, and then only reached a 1% share of the marketplace.

...What we think we know may not be so, and appearances can be deceiving,

This assumes that something is actually so, which is to me an unfounded assumption, and completely beyond my understanding, if so exists at all, even in ultimate being. What exists, if anything, could just as easily to me be "what exists" and not so at the same time. If appearances exist, they may be as so as an ideal so. What's so could be everything, including appearances, and as well as not, since it is all beyond comprehension, if "it" exists. In other words, I don't think we can make a lot of sense about this stuff.

Have a great weekend, All!



A few logs (Logos-es!) for the Fire:

Some ramblings on meditation & individuation:

Jung stresses the need for Westerners to retain a sense of ego in meditation. I recently became annoyed with a New Age mag here, which kept printing - under the banner of 'spiritual development' - articles by followers of Eastern gurus in which the writers encouraged everyone to get rid of the ego. My reply was:

"With reference to the article 'The Guru Principle', [X] might like to consider that in Western mysticism, spirituality is not equivalent to lack of ego. Indeed, he perhaps needs the sobering reminder that psychotics, by definition, are individuals whose egos, or conscious personalities, have been totally overwhelmed by unconscious forces such that they are unable to distinguish inner from outer, or personal from archetypal and so can't function as sane and responsible individuals (hence psychosis is a Western malady). I'm therefore tired of hearing (in the name of 'spirituality') the poor old ego denigrated to the point where it's treated like a cancerous organ in need of removal. Jung, who studied in immense depth both Eastern and Western mysticism, made it clear that the Western psyche differs from the Eastern precisely in that Westerners need a sense of personal identity, hence a strong and stable ego; furthermore that it's inadvisable, even potentially dangerous for Westerners to try to get rid of it. If anything, the ego needs bolstering and support when it's confronted with powerful archetypal experiences, such as God or the awakening Kundalini. Jung thus spoke of the relative abolition of the ego, that is, the need to subordinate it to the overriding authority of the central Self. The ego was never a 'barrier' to Western mystics such as Paracelsus, Boehme, Eckhart, Teilhard de Chardin, Plato and Blake, nor has it been to me. It's misleading for [X] to suggest that the mind and ego are our constructs; they are natural and normal functions of the Western psyche and we need them to help us retain our individuality and integrate into consciousness our experiences of the Divine. While Easterners may feel comfortable with dissolving their individuality in a vast ocean of consciousness, Westerners justifiably feel trepidation at the prospect. Followers of Eastern mysticism need to recognize that their ego-denying approach is not the only viable path to Divine Awareness."

I guess we could each ascribe a different meaning to the term 'mediatation', according to our own experience, but personally I'm uncomfortable with the notion that meditation is or should be consciously goal-oriented, since this implies domination or manipulation of the process by the ego rather than by the Self. If one's aim is (e.g.) to 'calm oneself down', then one's natural condition must be lacking in calm, hence not centred in the Self; if, however, one is habitually calm as a natural consequence of residing in and operating from one's Centre, then one is leading a meditative life. Hence my suggestion that meditation is not (ideally) a technique or means to an end but rather - like individuation - an end in itself, inasmuch as being continually present to one's Divine Self is the calmness of that 'bliss' which good ol' Jo Campbell always advised us to follow.

Such reflections are based on living continuously (as I at least aim to do) what I term "a meditative life", that is, operating continuously from a calmly centred consciousness (the Self), whereas others sometimes talk about meditation as a practice one engages in sporadically, and for a particular purpose. The first, as a (desirably) permanent state of consciousness, is the natural outflow or expression of the Self, hence Jung's remark that "personality is Tao". Chinese philosophy likens the latter to the flow of water that moves irresistibly toward its goal (= individuation), hence (to quote Jung again): "To rest in Tao means fulfilment, wholeness, one's destination reached, one's mission done; the beginning, end, and perfect realization of the meaning of existence innate in all things." The Self, because it privileges neither pole of any duality, does not inherently prefer action over contemplation, yet many folk (particularly Westerners) engage in meditation as an antidote or attempt to counterbalance their overly active, hence often stressed lives (in other words, they privilege the active and undervalue the receptive, hence use the receptive to fortify the active instead of valuing the receptive in and for itself. Note, for instance, the relative times that many folk who intermittently, or even regularly meditate allocate to activity and receptivity respectively!)

Let's not forget, firstly, that the Self is experientially and symbolically indistinguishable from "God" (as the holistic archetype par excellence). Hence self-knowledge (as individuation) and the knowledge of God as the inexpressible Absolute (an important goal of meditation, as I understand it) are one and the same ongoing process.

If we use the mandala as the symbol of both the goal of individuation (the realization of a centred wholeness of life) and the goal of meditation (the continual awareness of the identity between the Self and Absolute Reality), the link between meditation and individuation becomes clear. Far from eliminating engagement with the world, living meditatively not only demands such involvement but also renders it more effective. To take the second issue first: many folk I see for private therapy suffer either from stress or stress-related illnesses, hence cannot operate in the world as effectively as the calmly centred person can. The former, consciously centred at the periphery of the mandala where opposite forces contend, are like leaves at the mercy of the winds. When, however, one resides in the Self, one becomes like the detached centre of the tornado, hence can be similarly surrounded by conflict, disruption, chaos or difficulty, yet not be identified with these disturbances.

I guess my main point is that an ongoing and naturally flowing state of calm - in the midst of one's immersion in relationships and the world - is a symptom of a centred consciousness, since the Still Centre of one's being is, by nature, well, still. From this perspective, the ego provides a necessary temporal/spatial interface between collective and personal, between the Self and the world. Or, transposing the mandala into the 3-dimensional structure of a black hole, if the Self is the central (spaceless, timeless) singularity of the psyche, the ego is its event horizon.

Let's not forget, also, that the Self (like God) is not only the Centre but is also the circumferential whole; furthermore, that the Self is the centre not only of the individual psyche but also of the collective unconscious. In other words, the more one is centred, the more one remains connected to the cicumferential whole of humanity. As Jung notes, individuation proceeds through various stages of maturation, culminating in the highest degree of the alchemical conjunction, the union of the individual with the unus mundus - "the eternal Ground of all empirical being", hence the final stage of individuation is universal and is (to quote Jung) "the relation or identity of the personal with the superpersonal atman, and of the individual tao with the universal tao." Hence far from isolating one from the world, individuation as (what I've termed) "active meditation", effects one's sense of unity with it.

Blessings & Safe Journeys to all!

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair


Typologies & Reality . . .

As a suggestion for discussion, I thought it might be interesting if those of us who would like to, put in a bit of a splurge on how we see/experience our own typological bias. It might help us appreciate both the need for diversity and the automatic bias that comes with all of our views of 'reality'. I'll start by tossing in a log on intuitive introverts. (Perhaps, to keep it simple, we could stick to the 8 types that are determined by extraversion/introversion and the 4 functions?) I also apologize (for repetition) to any who are on the 'Jung' discussion list, since I recently contributed some of the following there:

The 'reality of the psyche' is, to us intuitive introverts, not a point of view, but a matter of fact. Intuitive introverts (not that I'm comfortable with even Jungian 'labels'!) deal with psychic facts as tangible, concrete realities, hence they're at the opposite end of the same irrational axis as their sensation-based complements. Jung, as an i/i hence ends his life with confessing to have no definite convictions, but rather an awareness/feeling of the solidity underlying all existence (sensation/intuition metaphor). Take it from me, when we speak of the inner landscapes and beings as beings more 'real' than outer tangibles, we're not kidding. For the i/i, a vision of the Grail and a chat with an embodied archetypal being can be far less blurred or indistinct than the corner baker shop. Intuition is neither sensation, feeling, nor intellectual formulation, though it may appear in either of these guises. Its contents, like those of sensation, have the quality of being 'given', not derived or deduced, as are (the more rational) feeling and thinking contents. Whereas the sensation bod is at home on unquestioned physical ground, the i/i's psychic matter of fact cognition similarly possesses an intrinsic character of certainty and conviction. For the i/i, inner reality is perceived as objects; the unconscious attains to the dignity of things, hence is as 'object-ive' as it is for the opposite extraverted sensation folk. The i/i apprehends archetypal realities/images with the same factness that the sensation type does in relating to outer tangibles. Jung was interested in objective objectivity (extraverted sensation), but being the balanced Old Fool that he was, he never privileged it over 'subjective objectivity'. Let's not forget that in this sense Jung refers to the collective unconscious as the 'objective psyche' and that he talks about his inner pals, Philemon, Salome et al. as having an independently real existence. As an aside, I might note that I'm in limp mode when I respond to list posts, i.e. I'm obliged to fall back on my auxiliary thinking function in order to commune in words, but it sure ain't my dominant mode and I never fall into the trap of playing the thinking type's game by their rules (see my paper on the Jung-Noll debate on Jung Circle!)

Blessings from the Event Horizon

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair


From Greg/Meadowlark:

To Maureen/The Dark Nathair

It is a wonderful way to start my day by reading your thoughtful and very creative commentaries on the life of the psyche. Thanks for taking what must be a great deal of time to do so. It is interesting to note that the email addresses of those in the growing Circle are from so many different parts of our globe. To be able to share these ideas so quickly via the internet makes our beautiful blue planet seem very small indeed! Thank you for sharing your insights so generously.

Your most recent log on the fire, concerning the objective internal reality tendency of intuitive introverts was on target for me. As a fellow i/i I could relate to most of what you said (although I am a cursed thinker as well). You tend to pack so much concentrated psychic energy into so few words that it takes some to time to let the meaning filter in.

I especially liked your statement: "For the i/i, a vision of the Grail and a chat with an embodied archtypal being can be far less blurred or indistinct than the corner baker shop." I experienced just how powerful this can be a few months ago upon taking the advice of James Hillman to engage in active imagination. I sat at my word processor and using my best creativity, undertook a conversation with a powerful archetypal image which seemed to be constantly knocking at my psychic door. It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life, frankly a bit frightening. The experience led me the next door which must be open; even though I am not yet quite ready to open it.

Is it easier for the i/i to relate to Jung's oft-quoted comment to the BBC interviewer that he did not need to believe, because he knew? How would the e/s have made a similar statement? Do Jung's comments in MDR about having an awareness/feeling of the solidity underlying all existence contradict the earlier comment?

Regarding Jung's pals Philemon and Salome, which seemed to stay with him for many years of his life, could you relate their archetypal role for Jung to the Faust story from which they arose? How are these concepts like the acorn concept championed by Hilman?

On the subject of "self", thanks for your clever and enlightening explanation of the Jungian "self" relative to the typical usage of the term "God". You use the terms almost synonymously. Are there any differences in these concepts? It is difficult for those of us who are a bit new to Jungian jargon to include in the common usage of the word "self" such a rich combination of sub-components. Most Christians, here in the US at least, tend to use the term "self" more closely akin the "ego". This must be a common linguistic problem, and therein may lie the root of some of our talking past one another in common discourse. I am particularly interested in finding ways to bridge gaps between brothers on parallel roads to individuation, while having embarked on different trails to get there. It would seem that within the Christian tradition, one must be open to the more mystical elements (and perhaps heretical), in the tradition of Meister Eckhardt, to capture the meaning within the eastern Tao concept. It seems that the ancient (and more modern) Christian church has long been dominated by the more literatal in its leadership. Any thought?


From Shadowcatcher:

To the Dark Nathair,

When reading your last transcript to the Circle, it appears that you agree with Jung, that there are separate realities, even such realities as Carlos Castaneda wrote about in his Don Juan stories? I myself have experienced such realities, which any discription would fall short of, "seen" with such intensity, clarity, colour and beauty that anything seen with the physical eyes would appear dull and less real by any comparison. I was struck by the Light, which seemed to emanate from everywhere; there were no shadows to be found. I have beheld faces of extreme Beauty, in perfect symmetry, without a single flaw, deep penetrating eyes devoid of expression, completely emotionless, such faces could never be seen in the physical world, nor in dreams, unlike the Astral, which appears similar to the physical world, except there is no sun, stars, or Moon overhead; where visability is clear in a circumference for about three miles; and beyond, where the horizion would lie in the physical world, all obscured by a strange looking Fog, and people moving around quietly.

So you see? I have traveled far and near, over land, sea and in the air, and beyond Somewhere, somewhere.

Take care



From Covert:

I had lunch Friday with an ex-associate of my company whose background is very different from mine. We were questioning and discussing why we were friends, given that we had nearly nothing in common. She suggested that when you objectify unconscious experience (but still relate to it inside, not outside) you have a much different sense of history (going back to the swamps and beyond) than people who don't relate to the unconscious, which seems to be most people.

Many people can talk about Jungian concepts, but then get offended if you talk about many aspects of unconscious "material." She said it was like the ties that bind family members - a mutual sense of mutual history - but among intuitives, it can go much deeper. You don't have just family history and "things" in common, because you have everything in common, your whole evolution - frogs, monkeys, slime, stars, and all. I think I am an i/i.

I see connections everywhere - between monkeys and blondes for example.

The way I see it, most people seem to objectify and externalize certain archetypes that correlate with "morality" and then lock them into general categories against which they measure behavior and even thoughts to see whether they should have them or not. There is probably an archetypal structure that does this for the evolved purpose of holding society together or something like that. I, too, form moral categories against which to measure behaviour, but because I am conscious of it, I can have completely opposing scenarios to enjoy in my thoughts and dreams without any problems with immorality or consistency. If situations change and warrant it, I can construct new behavioural guidelines in a heartbeat. This is different from situational ethics, I think, because I recognize that the biggie, "Ten-Commandment"-type situations are archetypally constant and universal, except with mutants (here I go with the genes again). I wouldn't expect to change the big moral guidlines, even if somebody like Hitler came along and told me it was OK to rewrite the code. Realizing and relating to the self-evident fact that my mind is mostly unconscious, and considering nothing to be psychically off-limits, I can go in and mine my unconscious and thereby enjoy a wondrous variety of experience and really great dreams in which I can do things that would be out of the question in outer "reality."

Everyone that I have met to date has an externalized moral position somewhere that is off-limits to discussions of relativity, archetypal objectification, individuality etc., such as incest appreciation, the archetypal significance of sexual relations between blondes and monkeys, etc. (these are the highschool electives I would like to see:)). At some point the discussion stops because of it. I sometimes feel likeDiogenes looking for the man/woman who cannot be offended by concepts that differ from theirs. As I said, I assume I am an i/i, and I would very much like to hear from other types who view the unconscious differently and care to articulate how they "see" it.

To Shadowcatcher, whose postings I look forward to: the chicken egg came first; it mutated and evolved from the thing that came before the chicken. :)



Thanks for your generous comments and thoughtful post, Greg. (Well folk, a few bods have tossed in typological logs, so how about splurges from ye other types?)

Re Jung's comments (and what a Mercurius he is - always able to tap-dance around the one-sided rationalists and think in paradoxes) - I'd say you're right in assuming Jung's direct, underived 'gnosis' to be essentially the unmediated intuition of the Self (thus the core insight of Gnosticism is that self-knowledge and the knowledge of God are one and the same archetypal experience, hence they share the same symbolism, e.g. the mandala, 4-fold unity, Point, androgyne, Mercurius.) Belief, on the other hand, seems to thrive on thinking, at least when it takes the form of once-removed, or derived verbal abstractions as (poor) substitutes for gnosis. It's interesting that sensation and intuition both employ the concrete metaphor: 'solidity'. For intuitives (incl. Jung), this is the gnosis of an all-pervasive, unitary Ground of being, what Jung calls unus mundus (as the basis of the psyche-matter unity underlying synchronistic phenomena). And of course, unus mundus is similarly Self - in its circumferential aspect as the all-inclusive whole of the mandala. So Jung's statements are not contradictory: Self is both the mandalic centre (as the archetypal heart of the collective unconscious), and its circumference as the all-inclusive Ground of being (Tao). And it is only when one resides consciously in the Centre - where one is equidistant from all opposites yet unites them in oneself - that one touches the circumferential whole. But Greg, why do you say you are 'cursed' with thinking? If the intuitive has auxiliary thinking (hi there!), s/he can articulate and communicate vision and intuition without reducing it to one-sidedness, clinical detachment, or dry abstraction.

....Regarding Jung's pals Philemon and Salome, which seemed to stay with him for many years of his life, could you relate their archetypal role for Jung to the Faust story from which they arose? How are these concepts like the acorn concept championed by Hillman?

You may have more to contribute/clarify here? In what sense did these archetypal figures (Wise Old Man and anima personifications?) arise from Faust? As I understand it, Hillman's acorn bit is about us living out our natal potential, regardless of whether it's 'good' or 'bad'(?) This is where he seems to wallow in muddy waters, e.g. in suggesting that Hitler had no choice - it was his acorn made him do it. Of course, Hillman as another Mercurius is quite comfortable in waters of any depth, temperature and description and he delights in upsetting senex-driven applecarts, but I must confess I didn't enjoy his Soul's Code at all. His earlier stuff is gutsier, denser in substance, and far more poetic, imaginal and radically re-visional. How does acorn theory differ from the Saturnian limitations and boundaries inscribed at birth in the astrological natal chart? And how does Mercurial change and disruption compensate and creatively disrupt this? (Any thoughts, Alice?)

On the subject of "self", thanks for your clever and enlightening explanation of the Jungian "self" relative to the typical usage of the term "God". You use the terms almost synonymously. Are there any differences in these concepts?

A personal comment firstly: the way you phrase your comments - speaking of God and self etc. as concepts, explanations, or terms, suggests to me that you are a thinking-intuitive, not the other way around? (Feel free to correct me here!) As to your remarks, I'm simply echoing Jung, who (as an intuitive) never made theological or metaphysical statements about God (as an independent or objective entity), but always talked of the experience of the God-image in the psyche, which, as he re-discovered (the Gnostics had already seen it), is synonymous with Self as the divine centre of the personality. So for Jung and the Gnostics, God and Self are not primarily concepts, but rather core numinous experiences of transcendence, absolute Simplicity (cf. the Neoplatonic 'One'), and paradoxical truth (Tao again). God is hence a complexio oppositorum - terror and wonder, light and dark, yin and yang.

It is difficult for those of us who are a bit new to Jungian jargon to include in the common usage of the word "self" such a rich combination of sub-components. Most Christians, here in the US at least, tend to use the term "self" more closely akin the "ego". This must be a common linguistic problem, and therein may lie the root of some of our talking past one another in common discourse.

Yes, this distinction between ego (= peripheral conscious personality) and Self (= paradoxical totality and centre of personality) is of course central to Jungian thought. Again, the mandala is probabaly the best symbol. In it, ego and its opposite, the personal shadow would be opposite one another at the circumference. Of course, for the fundamentalist Christians, ego and shadow = Christ and the Devil! (See Jung's CW 9(2) Aion and William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell). And along with the Christian rejection of the Devil/shadow goes the rejection of the material (from L. 'mater'), the chthonic Dionysian, and the feminine per se.

I am particularly interested in finding ways to bridge gaps between brothers on parallel roads to individuation, while having embarked on different trails to get there.

Well, individuation naturally achieves this (for sisters, too - sorry, couldn't resist that one) during its 'due course' as it moves in an ever widening spiral outward to embrace reciprocal individuation ('I-Thou'), and, ultimately, the most mature stage of the alchemical coniunctio, one's union with unus mundus, hence Jung's comments that individuation does not shut one out from the world, but gathers the world to oneself. Your comment also reminds me of the 'spokes of the wheel' symbol - our individual 'trails' are spokes coming from different angles which all meet in the Centre. This of course also relates to typologies; differing yet equally valid perspectives on 'reality'; one Tao and an infinite number of personal Taos therein. (It also complements your 'parallel roads' comment). I'm reminded here of the Metaphysical Poet Andrew Marvell (hope I can quote him correctly):

"As lines so loves oblique may well

Themselves in every angle meet

But ours so truly parallel

Though infinite can never meet.

Therefore the love which us doth bind

But Fate so enviously debars

Is the conjunction of the mind

But opposition of the stars."

(Clever dudes, those Metaphysical Poets . . .)

The Taoist complement of 'individuation as ever-broadening flow' is the hexagram, "The Abyss", whose symbol is flowing water, which begins as a stream, then grows until it flows into the ocean. Of course, though, it reaches its goal only by filling up all depressions along the way (hence Hillman's wonderful mud-wallowing!) Doesn't this tell us something about the value and necessity of soul's repeated immersion in death, depth and descent as integral to soul-making? Depression, in other words, is necessary to the unfolding of personality as the Tao which flows irresistibly toward its goal.

....It would seem that within the Christian tradition, one must be open to the more mystical elements (and perhaps heretical), in the tradition of Meister Eckhardt, to capture the meaning within the eastern Tao concept. It seems that the ancient (and more modern) Christian church has long been dominated by the more literal in its leadership. Any thought?

Indeed, literalism has killed the symbolic life and reality of Christianity's original gnosis, much as one pins a dead butterfly to a board (and Psyche is imaged as a butterfly). As good ol' Jo Campbell reminds us, people end up 'dying for metaphors' when they squabble over rivalling 'masks of God' and mistake them for the nameless, formless transcendent Ground that upholds them all. Hence from Jung's angle, all religions are equally valid as expressions of human psychic life.

Incidentally, Greg, if you want to see one of my shamanic deities wandering about across very solid archetypal Ground, take a look at the "Children's Corner" page on Jung Circle. This Puer/Eros figure, Aaivan, and the landscapes he roams are as (constantly) real and solid to me as anything else. I've similarly visited the Sun and Venus in Big Dreams and shamanic journeys, but because of the strength of my ego as a damming interface between me and the archetypes, I'm not psychotic; unlike Jung's well-known psychotic patient who 'lived on the Moon'. Because I went through a two-year borderline psychosis, I know - at least I hope so! - the difference between creative madness (hi there again) and pathological insanity. The difference between the shaman and the psychotic, or chronic schizophrenic who is overpowered by the reality of the archetypes is precisely here, in the relative tenacities of the ego.

Blessings from the (Airless) Moon Ambareen




Hi Shadowcatcher

Jung, it seems, beat you to it here, given that he uses "Eros" to designate the "feminine principle", which is symbolized by the Moon and is the intuitive ability to bind all together in a living web of relatedness (hence my paper here on Jung Circle, "The 'Erocentric' Vision"). Eros is, as Jung also suggests, a kosmogonos, or father-mother of all higher consciousness and of 'the incalculable paradoxes of love' that are able to reach from the darkest abysses of Hell to the furthest reaches of the Cosmos. We are, as Jung notes, both its instruments and victims, since Eros is an undivided whole, an unknown ignotum per ignotius at whose mercy we remain. (Hillman, of course, has oodles of insight to add on Eros - might make a good discussion?!)

I'm glad to see you following Eros as psychopomp par excellence:

down the dark corridor of the Libido, past the doors of perversion, into the Labyrinth of the Cretan Minotaur - (Power) surviving, going deeper into Metamorphosis, reaching the place where we started ( Androgyne) but, knowing the place for the first time.

Typical Piscean (& T. S. Eliot-ish) lack of fear of embracing collective as personal! So how did you fare with the Minotaur (the bane of Taureans)?

Ec-centric & Erocentric Blessings

M "The Dark"


"Dreams call from the imagination to the imagination and can be answered only by the imagination."~James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld


To the Dark Nathair,

Everything changes, except for Principles; they remain the same. Numbers are Principles that never change. There are only nine numbers, all others are combinations. As suspicious as I am of Doctrine, it forms a basis for study (until it becomes Dogma). Considering the Law of Seven in the structure of things in the seven planes of consciousness, 1 2 3 -( 4 )- 5 6 7 - Four is the Centre. These numbers correspond to physical, emotional, mental, Causal, Buddic, Egoic, Atmic. The first three are called the planes of Incarnation. The fifth plane is the plane of Ascension or Liberation; the Centre is the plane of Self, in the state of becoming until liberation, or no further incarnations in this Evolution.

"As above, so below" ( Hermes )

Notice the Reflections in the seven sub-levels of the Physical:

1- solid- 2- liquid- 3- gas- ( 4 )- etheric- 5 ? 6 ? 7 ? unknown; the last 3 are called Ethers, still to be formed by the emerging Archetypes of the Collective, at a later time in this Evolution, through a Metamorphosis. The Self is a co-creator with God, the God that I call Consciousness, endowed with Intelligence, Will and Light, and all of its lower aspects of the Trinity.


Spoken like a truth-full intuitive introvert?! Where would we be without Piscean mystical wisdom? @ >>--- (Have a disembodied rose, and another for Einstein, a fellow Piscean) @->>---

The Animus & the Anima

the two complementry sides of a single coin

would the Lady of the Light shine a little light in the darkness for a blind old man?



From Covert Harris:

Many people can talk about Jungian concepts, but then get offended if you talk about many aspects of unconscious "material."

Hi Covert

Here you hit a big nail on the head - much potential for magnesium flares into the fire here! Here's an amplified version of a recent letter of mine discussing the tendency of certain members of certain Jung lists to do precisely what you describe:

"[They] seemed very keen on unweaving the rainbow a la Newton, Bacon and Locke, not splitting (through the rainbow of life) 'the white radiance of eternity' a la Shelley! I say, leave [the list] to the rational dullards of the Noll camp, the Jungian Pharisees who conveniently forget that Jung's authority and wisdom came from his having plunged, alone and with immense suffering, into the Abyss of the collective unconscious! How many of these cerebral ping-pong players would have the guts and sincerity to do the same, I wonder? I even wonder about some of the 'analyst' camp in this sense (judging by the arid and cerebral tone of some of the analysts' papers I've recently read). Just because someone is rich enough to afford the $70,000 or so required to 'train' at Zurich doesn't mean they've "been there [into the Abyss!] and so know the road." No amount of money can buy you a confrontation with the archetypes, hence Jung's twin statements that we understand nothing psychologically unless we've experienced it, and its corollary: one cannot lead or escort another where one has not been oneself (= the basis of shamanic soul retrieval work).

Conversely, one can do a helluva lot of private analysis (e.g. through relationships and therapy work) without paying through the nose. I've had to do this myself, and was simply following Jung's own stipulation (stated in The Practice of Psychotherapy) that one can analyse oneself through one's patients - if you have a passion for truth at all costs! Here I'm 100% in agreement with ol' Noll, the Jungians' Devil's Advocate, who so embarrassingly points out the shadowy truth about the Jungian 'Church' and their training of a priesthood of analysts, who then turn the whole business into a kind of pyramid selling of Jungian 'theology' (again, for those who are willing to pay up big bucks). This is not, of course, a criticism of analysts as individuals (since there are some fine ones out there), rather a whinge about the commercial mentality and typological/archetypal bias that infects their camp as a whole. (I know very few bods, fr'instance, who can afford $80/hour for long-term private analysis).

As you say, Jung is a mystic, in the same camp as Joan of Ark, Hildegard of Bingen, Gnostics, shamans, Blake, so the same fate has awaited him. Just as the Orthodox Church outlawed the Gnostics and mystics, so the Jungian Analyst Societies often don't want to know about the intuitive introverts' visions, Big Dreams and original experience of UFO phenomena and archetypes; instead they fall back on theology - intellectual, extraverted/thinking discourse - as a safe substitute for direct religious experience and gnosis. (This is a problem I encountered on [a certain Jung Website]. X, an analyst, wouldn't put my Diana paper online there because he was embarrassed by the shamanic and visionary material!)

The way I see it, most people seem to objectify and externalize certain archetypes that correlate with "morality" and then lock them into general categories against which they measure behavior and even thoughts to see whether they should have them or not.

Another good point. Could this have some bearing on the 'problem' some Jungians (notably, in my experience, introverted feeling types with Christian backgrounds), have with Jung's involvement with Toni Wolff? In other words, some seem to find it hard to accept that someone could transcend traditional 'black vs white' morality for the sake of the paradoxical 'higher ethic' of individuation-in-the-service-of-humanity?

Boat-rocking benedictions



Hi there !

Society everywhere is in a conspiracy against the personhood of every one of its members. The virtue in most requests is conformity, Self-reliance is the aversion. It loves not realities nor creators, but names and customs. Whoso would be a man/woman must be a non-conformist.

'It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion, it is easy to live in solitude with our own, but the great men/women are they who in the midst of the crowd keep with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.'~[Emerson]



From Greg:

Hi Maureen,

Thanks for reponding to my recent i/i/t comments. I am judgemental too by the way, which I understand places me in the company of only about 1% of the general population. How's that for a rarity!

Maureen you requested some clarification of my earlier reference to Salome and Philemon, and the latter's connection to Faust. I am not enough aware of astrological symbolism to comment on your questons regarding Saturn and Mercurial change ideas. As I understand it, Salome was an anima figure who was blind because she could not see the meaning of things. She was an erotic element. While Elijah, the wise old prophet, represented intellegence and knowledge; the two represented the Logos and Eros principals. Late in his life, Jung's identificaton with Elijah changed into another figure, Philemon, as a result of various dreams and imaginations. Philemon was the husband of Bausic in the 5th act of Goethe's Faust. (As you probably know, Jung bought into the rumours that Goethe could have been his own illegitimate great grandfather). But for Jung, Philemon was not the companion of an old woman, but of the youthful Salome. (I wonder how Richard Noll would interpret that!)

Over the entrance to his tower in Bollingen, Jung chiseled the Latin phrase for this inscription: "Shrine of Philemon, Repentance of Faust." Jung was deeply immersed in the Goethean world within himself, closely identifying with the Faustian legend. These two hospitable old people - Philemon and Baucis - came to a violent end at the hand of Faust. They had sheltered Zeus and Mercury, but standing in the way of Faust's vaulting ambition, were murdered by him. One day it became suddenly and alarmingly clear to Jung that he "had a legacy from Faust, as the advocate and avenger of Philemon and Baucis, who, at variance with Faust in his hubris, are the hosts of the gods in a time of wickedness and neglect of the gods. This became, one might say, a personal matter between me and my proavus Goethe." Near the end of his life, in his MDR, Jung remarked: "Later I consciously linked my work to what Faust had passed over: respect for the eternal rights of man, recognition of 'the ancient,' and the continuity of culture and intellectual history." This became a mantra for Jung.


I don't have as much problem with Hillman's "acorn" idea. In fact I recall from my readings that Jung made a similar personification, but used roots or "rhizomes" in a corresponding way. Furthermore, it seems to me that Hillman's analysis of Hitler's psychopathic personality was similar to Jung's, insofar as both attributed Hitler's possession by the Dionysian/Wotanic-fury archetype as something outside his personal control, a condition which virtually "swamped" his ego. I realize that this is contrary and alien to our inclination to allow will and goodness to previal over the darkest elements of the shadow, which were certainly channelled through Hitler (and I do not intend in any way to defend to the actions of the most destructive psychopath in world history). However, one need only read Jung's "Wotan" in CW 10 to understand the psychic whirlwind which engulfed the Germans during the first half of the present century. Jung's analysis was not as much a moral judgement as it was his best insight into the psychic reality of archetypal possession. A meaningless figure in himself, Hitler nonetheless reflected the collective unconscious of the Germans. And we all know the twin of hubris extremis. Its effects upon tens of millions of lives devastated in the two world wars, are only now beginning to be understood psychologically, although Jung himself described and predicted it with stunning clairvoyance in 1936!

We tend to forget, living in the midst of it, that ours has been the bloodiest century of all time. Now, during a brief respite from nuclear terror, we are once again shockingly reminded by the Indians and Pakistanis that our world is still a very dangerous place. The genie is out of the bottle and won't be stuffed back in! We must now learn to live together. And before we stick our toes into the new aquarian millenium less than two years from now, an age in which we begin to acknowledge and understand the unconscious, we must start by coming to grips with those muddy, shadowy contents buried within the unconscious of the piscean age from which we now spring. Doing so is not only healthful but essential, it seems to me. Borrowing from Charles Hanna in his The Face of the Deep (p. 77): " In the Age of the Water Carrier we return to the symbol of water, the symbol of the unconscious - 'the deep' of Gen.1:2, which existed even before the creation of light. It then appears that the new age will be one in which man learns to carry some aspects at least of his unconscious, especially those which have been tearing him asunder." He then quotes Jung: "If, as seems probable, the aeon of the fishes is ruled by the archetypal motif of the hostile brothers, then the approach of the next Platonic month, namely Aquarius, will constellate the problem of the union of opposites. It will then no longer be possible to write off evil as the mere privation of good; its real existence will have to recognized. This problem can be solved neither by philosophy, nor by economics, not by politics, but only by the individual human being, via his experience of the living spirit."

If the age of the fish was ushered in by Christ, the same age has been ushered out concurrently with the forces of the Antichrist, manifested most powerfully by the supressed opposites of the Christian principal - those forces which were banished into the festering depths of the collective unconscious by the likes of Charlemagne and the early evangelists when they began chopping down the sacred oaks of the "barbarians" in Saxony. (Here we have the parent of Hillman's acorns - which comes first, the oak or the acorns?)

"We, each and all of us, contain within us the entire history of the world, and just as our body records Man's geneology as far back as the fish and then some, so our soul encompasses everything that has ever existed in human souls. All gods and devils that have ever existed are within us as possibilities, desires, as solutions. ~Hermann Hesse, 'Reflections'


From Mike Dickman:

Shadowcatcher wrote:

I also never discuss the Minor cards of Tarot, the so called divination, that deals with probabilities. They were created to draw attention away from the Major Keys, that deal with Princples.

Dear SC - if that is what you believe then you should look again at the Qabalistic interpretations of the Tarot. Far from distracting from the principles, the minor arcana explicate and detail them. The Tarot - ALL of the Tarot - has very little to do with 'divination' although it can, of course, be (and unfortunately often IS, even) used that way. Do not scorn detail, my friend: principles MANIFEST as detail. Be careful not to lose the activity in the view, a state of affairs even more dangerous than its opposite. "Those who believe in the reality of things," says Nagarjuna, father of the 'Middle Way' school of Mahayana Buddhism,"are only deluded fools. Those, however, who believe in the reality of the void become incurably ill."

The point with the ineffable is that even to call it that is to concretise it, turn it into another 'thing among things'. Sure, ALL things - positive or negative - can be used to point to it, but it is finally simpler than all of that, closer, more obvious even than your breathing or your name, but it is none of these things. All its manifestations are, so to speak, 'relative' as detail. It is neither one nor the other, nor even both or neither. And nothing else is worth a half cash.



From Kurt Papke:

Maureen writes:

....Unus mundus is also not a 'hypothesis' to intuitive introverts;it's a matter of experienced fact, hence needs no 'proof'. (Are you therefore writing as a thinking type?)

OK, I bite. Yes, I am an introverted thinking-intuitive (INT). As such I see the world as a collection of concepts to be grasped, relationships between concepts to be discovered. I value my sensation function for its ability to collect data from the world that supports or disproves hypotheses, but the data itself has little value for me (that's why I work in the software field!) My 'subverted' feeling function lurks in the shadows.

Example of how an INT works: at University, I often could not remember the formulas that were needed to solve problems on physics exams, but the physical relationships were clear enough in my mind that I could quickly derive the formulas whenever needed. On the flip side I had a roommate who was an extraverted sensation type and had trouble with concepts, but had a photographic memory and could 'read through the text' in his mind to 'look up' the formulas when required.

There has been much discussion of Jung's 'type' over the years in these discussion groups, with little consensus as to which he actually was. How can you assume he is an intuitive? I suspect he was in some way like the person I work for - my boss knows nothing of Jungian psychology yet has done enough 'shadow work' over the years that it is nearly impossible to tell what his type is (though oddly enough his Enneagram is easy to distinguish). People with a high degree of self-honesty who strive to become 'complete' individuals might be difficult to type as their biases are not easy to find.

Getting back to Unus mundus is also not a 'hypothesis' to intuitive introverts : might you be overgeneralizing here? Isn't it possible for IN's to have other than a holistic intuition of how the world works? Do you agree that the mind/matter epistemic cut is not subverted for the 90% or so of the population that are not IN's? Note that since my shadowed function is feeling, my bias is to mercilessly challenge you on an intellectual basis as part of our need for diversity.


Hi Kurt

Good to get a thinking type's angle! Of course, since I'm an intuitive, I'm not inclined to respond on your preferred (intellectual) terms but instead, like all of us(?), gravitate toward my own dominant mode. Good point about Jung's typology - as a Mercurius figure he seemed to give all the functions a reasonable say - though he certainly did not presume that everything was a fit subject for rational analysis. On the experience of unus mundus: I'd like to hear from other intuitives here. My own understanding of intuition is that it is holistic by nature - is that an unwarranted generalization on my part (fellow i/is?)

M the D

From Greg:

We tend to forget, living in the midst of it, that ours has been the bloodiest century of all time. Now, during a brief respite from nuclear terror, we are once again shockingly reminded by the Indians and Pakistanis that our world is still a very dangerous place. The genie is out of the bottle and won't be stuffed back in! We must now learn to live together. And before we stick our toes into the new aquarian millenium less than two years from now, an age in which we begin to acknowledge and understand the unconscious, we must start by coming to grips with those muddy, shadowy contents buried within the unconscious of the piscean age from which we now spring.

Hi Greg

Thanks for your gutsy discussion of some timely and crucial issues, and your clarification of the relation of Faust to Jung's 'spirit guides' P, S and E. Yes, as you so forcefully imply, the price we must pay for an advance of consciousness is our responsibility to bear the divine tension of good and evil in ourselves. One of the things that disturbs me deeply about much of the 'New Age' in this sense is the unwillingness to come to terms with the shadow, the sustaining of Piscean dreamy wish-filfilment, or positive thinking, which splits off the material shadow such that it manifests in the crass form of cheap commercialization and the peddling of 'spiritual' goods. Hence this kind of New Ageism is hindering what Jung means by the New Age!

We must eventually deal (do you agree?), it would seem, not only with the personal shadow but, as you imply, with the dark side of the Self, a much more disturbing prospect. This means empathising but not identifying with or carrying out all sorts of horrendous possibilities, murder etc. (Along these lines, I recently felt compelled to re-read Morris West's disturbing novel [The World is Made of Glass] about Jung and a sadomasochistic woman patient of his, who confessed to committing a murder. (Has anyone else read this darkly engrossing book?)

We must hold onto the tension of the opposites, lest, as Jung warned, we succumb to the terrible temptation of power, which is the seductive lure of the dark side of God (enacted as you note, in Nazism). Part of the challenge is, as Hillman notes, to integrate the Dionysian archetype into consciousness, instead of continually relegating it to the unconscious, lest its destructive face wreak havoc through nemesis (as the hubristic neglect of the god). The latter, disturbingly enough and as Hillman again notes, is reinforced through the kinds of Jungian 'analysis' and psychotherapy that is subsumed by the Apollonian 'myth' of reason, clinical detachment, and the patronizing of Dionysian states of divine madness (such that they manifest in pathological forms of schizophrenia, hysteria etc.)

What you write also resonates with me personally. Of late, I've been, like Persephone, dragged down into Hell by seductive Hades (and oh what a difference there is between Hell endured by the ego and Hell - which I now experience - as an invitation to visit and explore from the Self.) An interesting synchronicity: last week I was reading Hillman's The Dream & the Underworld and experiencing Hades darkness and secretive withdrawal of energy; as I turned on the TV to catch a nature doco, there was a film dramatization of Hades riding about furiously in his chariot, chasing a child who was about to die. (Significantly, the child through death brought life to other sick children, since his bodily organs were medically donated. i.e. he was dismembered - a Dionysian act!). Hence the Hades/chthonic Dionysian realm is one of treasure to be retrieved for the good of all (as Psyche must learn).

The descent into Hell, of course, is nothing new in shamanic work; it's precipitated by a quite detached experience of total depression (i.e. descent and death as soul loss, activation of the Land of the Dead, and total loss of conscious energy). Recall Blake's Proverb of Hell when he describes himself as enjoyably 'wandering about in the fires of Hell' - in a quite delighted state that to 'angels' appears as torment and insanity!

Sulphurous Blessings from the Fiery Depths

Maureen "the Dark" Nathair

{Individual posts are automatically copyright 1998]

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updated 27 aug 98 Deborah