Jung, The Red Book

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby obnoxion » Sat May 04, 2019 7:57 pm

This Chapter is called "Resolution".

Elijah, the great shape-shifter and trickster of the Jewish Legends, is the one who seems to be on top of the events here. In these legends he is seen as an earthly immortal, and the protector of the religious. Marie_Louis von Franz points out the similarities between Elijah and Merlin:

“Melin shows a close similarity to the prophet Elijah, who is described in Jewish folklore especially as a trickster, a man who can change his appearance, a man who does not die but living awaits the end of the world. Like Merlin, he too is hirsute. According to legend, Merlin dictates his book on the Grail to a cleric, Helyes, who is probably Elijah (Elias), thus drawing the two figures together. In some respects Merlin also resembles John the Baptist.”

It said that in Jewish legends Elijah often visits dreams, and typically in the guise of an Arab. Also, he once saved the life of a famous Rabbi by appearing as a prostitute and showering him with kisses. The pursuers were certain that this man wasn’t the rabbi, for he would never have known such a woman.

After Jung has witnessed a battle between a black and a white serpent, he is led by Elijah to a round embankment on the summit, where there is some masonry built around a round stone. (The roundness is a symbol apt for both Merlin and Elijah). As Elijah climbs down from the stone, he grows smaller, and shape-shifts into the dwarf Mime, the forger of the ring of limitless power in Germanic myths. Here Mime leads Jung into a dark cave, where there are springs flowing with the water of wisdom. The cave proves to be a very paradoxical environment, and there would be much to interpret here. We will, however, now skip to the part where Jung must gaze into a vision in a crystal.

Apex of what he sees is himself crucified, with the black serpent coiled around his feet, and his face turned into a lion’s face. Jung describes a feeling as if some power is forcing him to imitate Christ, and I sense there is an emotion of abhorrence and powerlessness attached to this. Salome comes to worship Jung saying “Du bist Christus”. And she wraps her dark hair around Jung’s feet, and becomes cured of her blindness. That there is a sort of blasphemous horror to this scene is further confirmed by Jung’s remark in the footnote: “Salome’s approach and her worshiping of me is obviously that side of the inferior function which is surrounded by an aura of evil”. There is a skeptical resistance to this incomprehensible force that puts Jung to the cross, and the idea that “Du bist Christus”, voiced by that Salome with her aura of evil.

Jung described this experience as such that might lead to actual insanity, which I understand as clinical mental illness. The rational impulse is to resist the deification that is being solicited by the black serpent and the dark Salome. But it is by resistance that one is attached to the idea. Standford L. Drob (“Rdeading the Red Book – An Interpretive Guide to C. G. Jung’s Liber Novus”) remarks that later in the Philemon says that “Christ represents the idea that one must not follow Christ but lead one’s life a manner that is true to one’s essence and love”. So this would not be an experience that’d set Jung apart from other men, but an experience all men would eventually go through.

The theme of theosis seems to be connected to the meticulous project of writing down everything Jung sees, to which task Elijah encourages him. There is a tradition of divinization through contemplative writing, of which Standford L. Drob gives Hegel as an example, “who held that the Absolute achieved its fullest expression and actuality in the self-conscious development of reason in humanity, and that his own philosophy was that expression and development, thereby suggesting that his own writings were generative of the Absolute or God”.

There is a sort of raw teaching on willing evil in this chapter; The teaching is spewed out with bestial words, and it feels somewhat sour as in unripe. Jung writes: “Drink your fill of the bloody atrocities of the war, feast upon the killing and destruction, then your eyes will open, you will see that you yourselves are the bearer of such fruit”. I think the idea was, that the atrocities of the war would, if owned, direct the attention inwards, and thus establish a chance for radical reabsorption of projections. But as it is, it could be more likely that those who would be open to such introspection might also be more likely to be traumatized than enlightened by the atrocities of war. I think we have here a sort of LHP teaching that demands the sort of privacy that the Red Book originally enjoyed. It is a dangerous teaching, and I think that as a therapeutic tool, it did sometimes backfire even in Jung’s own hands.

It hasn’t been always easy to remember how most of what we understand today as Jungian concepts, weren’t developed when the Red Book was in the process of writing. When reading this final chaper of the first part of the book, I think that for the first time I felt something of the fear that must have been part of the writing process – and part of the difficult era, also.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Nefastos » Mon May 13, 2019 8:39 pm

The pair of Elijah and Salome in the last chapter of Liber Primus is interesting. Salome is, in a way, female Solomon, her name having a meaning of Peace. Jung seems not to have noticed that their relation is divinely Oedipal in several ways. For example, Elijah was also said by Jesus to have come again as John the Baptist, whom Salome got beheaded: thus it was her own father whose her mother-projected love got killed (it was Salome's mother who told her to ask for John's head for her dance).

About the always dual role of John cf. the end of the Argarizim: Haeretici chapter. Mercurial i.e. trickster-like Elijah (Elias) is in the New Testament also the figure who consistently arrives to conversations that have double meanings, puzzles, and misunderstandings. When he gets mentioned, he is like an initiator pointing silently his finger to something that holds an inverted meaning. Let us take just one example. In Mark 15:34-35 it is said that Jesus, while crying aloud on cross, was interpreted as calling for Elias, while the meaning of the words was said to be actually different. In this, Elias once again connected to misinterpration tells to the reader that the meaning of the words is indeed false, a veil, for it wasn't actually a cry of despair, but of triumph, as pointed out by several occultists. Even Blavatsky, who wasn't a fan of Christian doctrine of vicarious saviour, mentions that "Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani" should here be interpreted as the initiatee's elevated joy when he's released of his animal side.

Also, the serpent, "the animal of deadly horror, which lay between Adam and Eve," and between Elijah and Salome, is linga, the phallus. Thus the aspirant's own anima (Salome) is turned to its father, God, in erotic union that makes Jung uneasy since it is forbidden. Jung's own less than perfect relation to sexual fidelity might have been another reason, entwined to this, that he enters the house of Elijah & Salome feeling guilty. With the Oedipal guilt, Jung receives the role of the saviour. In this the Liber Primus ends, and from this, Liber Secundus begins.

Chapter I:

A hilarious reversal of roles ensues in this chapter. In the beginning the aspirant is himself transformed as a stable symbol. It is now he who "watcher in the tower", immovable, and presents cryptic proclamations to the one coming to the castle. The aspirant (Jung) takes the form of a watchman clad in green, while the guest seeking entrance is a horseman in red.

This Red One of the chapter is, Jung feels instantly, the devil. This seems to be in his archetypical image of Samael, who at the same time is the devil and the red angel of Mars, connected to ambivalent emotions, demons, and Azazel particularly. Even his garments soon start to "shine like glowing iron," the metal of Mars.

Almost the whole chapter consists of the green watchman's (Jung's) and the Red One's conversation at the gate. Like the Red One, I too get the impression that Jung – previously ascended to Christ-hood – sounds pompous, formal and orthodox. The Red One calls him "saintly," not reverently, while Jung calls the Red One "something pagan."

This reversal of roles is delicious. Jung plays the part of the Watcher, while Azazel, as I interpret the Red One, once again becomes his scapegoat figure, someone to play his part, when he plays the part of the archetype into which he feels himself transformed. (We remember the Elijah & Salome's emphasised claims that they are real and not symbols.) Azazel truly is and from the beginning (in Leviticus) has been "the kind of pagan who runs alongside our Christian religion," like Jung puts it.

In my own life I have in the last weeks pondered much about Jewish religion and culture in many different ways, and once again this chapter gives me ideas, now Jung's, about these. He speaks the "lacking" of something in Jews, and when being blamed to be "Jew hater" (by the Red One) he says how easy those kind of accusations are to throw.

What comes to amend the problematic dialogists is the idea of Dance. The Red One seems glad that the way too stiff watchman claims to know how and why to dance, even though Jung's idea behind dancing is a bit blatant. ("Dancing goes with the mating season.") With this, the Red One tells that he is actually joy. This, once again, makes Jung hesitant and uneasy, and while taken on defensive, he adopts the tone of a lecturer (where there is no one to give a lecture to). But what he admits before this he says something that I think gives credibility to my hypothesis that the Red One is "the left hand saviour," Azazel:

"Surely this red one was the devil, but my [!] devil. That is, he was my joy, the joy of the serious person, who keeps watch [!] alone in the high tower..."
Cf. Discordamelior: "Satanism will bring forth any denied otherness as long as it exists to be addressed. If we aim towards the spirit in too unilateral a way, Satanism represents matter for us, and vice versa. If we are too intellectual, it represents emotion for us..."

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Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"

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