Jung, The Red Book

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

Postby obnoxion » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:39 pm

The name of the next Chapter is: ”The Desert”.

On the sixth night Jung finds himself in the desert, and environment that seems to be in contrast to his immediate associations of the place his soul, such as lush gardens fed by rivers of thought. But after withdrawing from events and other men, he has to transcend his thoughts. To do this, he must withdraw his desire from them. He has left his depths uncultivated, and now he must search his soul from his patience.

But there are fruits in the desert yet – the abundance of visions are the fruits of the desert, as Jung so beautifully puts it. He dwells on the old Christian hermits of Egypt. Palestine and Syria, and how they went to the desert to find their souls. The ancients, Jung muses, lived their symbols. They went to deserts both outer and inner in search of the soul. And as the ancient lived their symbols with sincerity, Jung suggests that in their customs, even in the beginnings and the downfalls of their empires, one can read deep realities of the soul.

In their deserts, the Christian hermits endured demons. Jung’s battle in his symbolic desert is with patience. He says he is tormented by the word “wait”. Now, Jung finds himself in his desert when he has withdrawn his desire from the three outer things – events, other men and thoughts. The burning sun of the desert seems to be the undirected force of desire. Finally, Jung seems to find a sort of emancipation in this burning place of his soul, as he will no longer be a slave to outer things.

This burning sun in the wilderness does bring to mind the Rudra on the Vedas. Rudra, the raging fire, is the fierce form of Agni, the cultivated fire. He is the lightning and the sun, that is, the concentration of the power of illumination. Rudra is also the Wild Hunter, who interrupts the cosmogenic incest of Rohini and her father in the form of the antelope. As such, Rudra represents the withdrawal of desire.

Thus I would interpret that the scorching sun of the place of Jung’s soul, a place he had found by withdrawing his desire from outer things, is a glimpse of his self as his rudra-nature. After all, Jung says that only the self can enter this desert. And here Rudra is not the sudden enlightenment of the lightning, but the slowly burning sun.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Nefastos » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:01 pm

The night before yesterday there was a Jung's book in my dream. It consisted of several groups of pages in different colour coding, and from its black pages I found a cathartic, twofold explanation of Evil. The most profound evil consists of two parts: first, where the mermen surface from the depths, and secondly, when the Nazis hold feasts in the town squares. These (I commented in the dream) mean the subjective astral trauma – as Lovecraft put it into words in his tales of the beings of the deep waters – and its objective, societal approval.

Later yesterday I checked what I had written in my diary at the same time precisely twenty years ago, 14.10.1998. Turned out, in that night too I had dreamed about Jung's book, and how it explained my personal Oedipal nostalgia – a thing I was also writing about yesterday. Nihil nove sub sole it seems. And after this little introduction, we go to:

DESCENT INTO HELL IN THE FUTURE

Fra Insanus aptly mentioned Satanic themes in another chapter before. In this one, I'll take an "Azazelian" approach to the text. It is not necessary, of course, but this chapter offers so many ideas similar to our ideological structure, that reading them side by side is easy.

Ideas or pictures of this chapter are already familiar for those who have read Memories, Dreams, Reflections (Jung's autobiography). It relates the falling into a vision of hell, where the seer (Jung) meets GRAY rock, BLACK water, and RED stone, in this particular order. After this he sees a bloody head of a blonde hero, but only after carefully considering what he has seen and having wrestled with the "serpent of judgment", he acclaims his will go do down boldly in WHITE garments. One familiar with our Book of Paths notices that the order of colour aspects is the same in both.

The White, Luciferian challenge is not in the focus in this chapter: it has already come to pass in the last chapters, and it spirals forth at the end, where Red begins to change into it. But mostly this chapter is about the most painful challenge of the tests of BLACK (Saturn) and RED (Mars). These together form Jung's, and everyone else's, Hell.

In the previous chapters, the aspirant has heard the call of God (need for the Saviour), and went to seek his soul in the desert. Thus he follows the emanatory pilgrimage: God, Christ, John the Baptist, and finally Satan. Redemption's reversal, so to say. This is the "fall of Lucifer", the fall into matter, because of the spiritual quest (for creating "the new Sun"). The desert has been entered in the last chapter, and in this one, the grave of Azazel is found, and fallen into.

At first, the aspirant still faces something solid, although rough: the great rock face. Crawling "through the narrow crack in the rock" he comes to the cave (tomb for the last cycle, womb for the next cycle). Its black water is the dark of his, and the collective, subconscious. The old hero (or the last cycle) has died, the new has not yet been born. But the seed of the new hero is found in the carbuncle, a red gem which holds his vitality, like Grail.

In the last Grail lodge lecture I talked about two Suns. In this chapter too Jung has lost the Sun of the former cycle (which means entering into dark Hell, and making the journey of the alchemical VITRIOL in the search of the Stone). In the red gem he founds the seed of the next Sun, the "egg" for the new White that cannot yet be seen. The chapter's end ponders quite a lot about the symbol of the Sun. And as we see it, the "Sun to be" is already present in abscondito also in the scarab that the aspirant sees floating about in the stream.

The Red Gem's likeness to the Cross (both being the vessels for the "blonde" saviour's blood i.e. vital essence) is seen in the footnote 83, where it is spoken of as a "six-sided crystal". Usually six-sided would mean a cube, and as often mentioned, the cube is only a three-dimensional form of the macrocosmic Cross. (The demons' cube is the cross of the Christ, closed to puzzle.) In the picture the crystal, however, only shows six sides, but apparently there are more, for the shape of the gem is more like that of the hermit's lantern. But I think that this encourages rather than cancels the interpretation: the unseen sides refer to the inside aspects of this Philosopher's Stone.

Only thing that is a bit different in this chapter than in the philosophy of the Star of Azazel is in page 152, where the Meaning is handled more in a Nietzschean or Thelemite way:

Liber Primus wrote:Events signify nothing, they signify only in us. We create the meaning of events. The meaning is and always was artificial. We make it.


This is not essentially different to what I wrote about in Cista Mystica chapter IV, but it uses the terms from the opposite standpoint, and thus places the emphasis in the other side.

Explanation to why Jung used such different language can be seen from the previous chapter, in the end of page 144 & its footnote (78). There it has become clear that what he means by "intention" is also the opposite that what I have meant with that much used and important word. To Jung the word already holds the connotation of artificiality, of formality, and thus the same idea also necessarily flows into his philosophy of "meaning". Id est, Jung speaks of human meaning, where I understand humanity as a meaningful (sic) only as far as it touches the "objective" (mystical, spiritual, occult) Meaning – as the "Holy Spirit" – per se. (A man separated from his man-as would only be an ass.)


* * *
Descent_Into_Hell.jpg
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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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Cerastes » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:59 pm

Very interesting interpretations from everyone, I enjoyed reading them.
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I like that they also printed the original handwritten version in this book. It is horribly hard to read, but you can sense his emotional condition at the moment he wrote it. Sometimes Jung tends to abbreviate words or he puts them so close together that there is almost no space in between. It’s like he was in a hurry or running away from something. The last part of the "Höllenfahrt in die Zukunft"- page is so hectically written that I can’t read it anymore. Other parts are written in almost perfect symmetry.

Still I’m a little surprised that they translated „Höllenfahrt in die Zukunft“ with
“Descent into hell in the future“ in the English version. Actually both titles mean something very different.
(The other possibility is, that my English sucks and I just don’t get it right)
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Wyrmfang » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:24 pm

Splitting of the Spirit

Jung's journey in the desert intensifies, he recognizes that "on this desert path there is not just glowing sand, but also horrible tangled invisible beings who live in the desert". These beings change Jung into a "monstrous form in which I can no longer recognize myself". This process could be described as archaic, as there are several passages which relate this monstrosity to animality and desire. The spirit of the depths approaches Jung and says "Climb down into your depths, sink!". When Jung doesn't know how to do this, the spirit guides apparently ridiculously "Sit yourself down, be calm."

These passages have some similarities to Castaneda's description of the horrors of the desert and the darkly playful methods of the teacher Don Juan.

The spirit of the depths claims that his path is light, but another light which is darkness to this world. At this point Jung doesn't understand anything and don't know what to do and begins what some people here in Finland call "ränkkä". Jung rages to his soul: "I can also crawl through mud and the most despised banality. I can also eat dust; that is part of Hell. I do not yield, I am defiant. You can go on devising torments, spider-legged monsters, ridiculous, hideous, frightful theatrical spectacles. Come close, I am ready." etc. Finally he awakes from the vision and realizes more properly that he has indeed been at war with his own soul. He senses outside himself what he has neglected within.

At the end there is an interesting formulation: "Everything that becomes too old becomes evil, the same is true of your highest [...] The God becomes sick if he oversteps the height of the Zenith. That is why the spirit of the depths took me when the spirit of this time had led me to the summit" This asssociation of evil with "too old" brings also mind to Castaneda's stories about the "older" magicians who managed to prolong their life sort of artificially. My main point is yet the following.

In general I read Jung as the latest famous character in the tradition represented earlier by Boehme and Schelling. In this "alchemic" tradition even God is finite in the sense that he has his unconscious what Jung calls spirit of the depths. When this darker side of reality is neglected it finally bursts out even more violently, which Jung many times takes up in his vision which apparently prophetized the World War I. On the other hand, Satanists sympathizing orders such as the Temple of the Black Light are fascinated by the idea of "another light" which is darkness and terror to humanity and even to this world in general. From a Jungian perspective (which is also our perspective in this issue), however, the spirit of the depths is not to be emphasized too much either. Human being and nature in general is "split" into two opposite forces (ground and existence in Schelling, God's dark and light fire in Boehme etc.) which form a paradoxical unity in their opposition.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Astraya » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:37 am

Murder of the Hero

Murdering God and the precence of absurd in the chapter brings mind a concept of the Christ being a part of every man, and therefore the importance of going through the death myth of the Christ in ones life.
Humanity in human causes the confronting the God being impossible so the only way is to assassinate him. This event brings grievous sorrow to man and through this guilt and sorrow is the new life and the new God possible to manifest. Collective guilt from the worlds structure is the reason that causes the redemption through suffering.

There is said in the chapter that if God reaches an old age he will become a shadow and somewhat crazy. I think in some way this is connected in problemacy of dogmaticalness. It is a different matter to appreciate spirituality in observing and thoughtful way, which in some way is to kill God and bring him back to life, compared to blindly following norms. Eastern sky was lit just before Siegfrieds death, which is the compass point where Christ is to rise again. Death and birth.

Chapter reminded me personally about a dream that I saw about a year ago. I killed something in myself for the greater understanding of human nature and my relationship with God.
I was in the room filled with books and somehow I knew that I had murdered a man. This man had done evil things to others and would have done it again. Despite of this knowledge I was absolutely devastated. I felt such terror and despair. The floor in the room opened, revealing the abyss and I thought that no matter how many times I was to be borned, nothing would ever change this deed.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby obnoxion » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:36 pm

Here is Jiva's contribution for January. He cannot post it himself because of trouble with the forum. My apologies for being late in posting it here. This month we will continue with fra Benemal's contibution.

- - -

'The Conception of the God’

Following Astraya’s comments, I see one of the central arguments of this chapter as Jung’s argument against an absolutely dogmatic god in favour of individualistic and relative gods. Periodically sacrificing the hero as a crusading imitation of one’s individual god seems to be a vital aspect of ensuring this relativity; and, indeed, I think it’s important to note that when Jung proposes that people be ‘single in themselves’, he is proposing this as the foundation for the development of an interactive communal ethics. However, in ‘Descent into Hell in the Future’, Jung is both the “sacrifice and sacrificed” – “everything that happens outside has already been”. In other words, there is no interactive relativity at all, but pre-ordained dogma.

Jung’s academic psychology at the time was defined by The Psychology of the Unconscious (1912). The archetypes had not yet been conceived; Jung instead theorised of the libido as a general psychological energy with the father imago (consciousness) at one pole and the mother (unconsciousness) at the other. Characteristics such as the hero and god were united in the father. And so, when Jung sacrifices his hero, he is trying to repress a part of himself at best or remove it at worst. As Jung states in The Psychology of the Unconscious in relation to the continuously developing relationship between the conscious and unconscious:

“The stern necessity of adaptation works ceaselessly to obliterate the last traces of these primitive landmarks of the period of the origin of the human mind, and to replace them along lines which are to denote more and more clearly the nature of real objects.”

Jung positively characterises the results of this type of introversion as externally amoral, which – somewhat ironically, considering his ‘Answer to Job' – he exemplifies with god’s behaviour towards Job.

In short: I think that while Jung is attempting to eliminate the sort of heroic egocentricity that he views as responsible for WWI, he is perhaps unleashing an unconscious ego that has practically the same effect. While attempting to redress the imbalance between the spirit of this time and the spirit of the depths, Jung is unwittingly confirming it.

”Wyrmfang” wrote:
In general I read Jung as the latest famous character in the tradition represented earlier by Boehme and Schelling. In this "alchemic" tradition even God is finite in the sense that he has his unconscious what Jung calls spirit of the depths. When this darker side of reality is neglected it finally bursts out even more violently, which Jung many times takes up in his vision which apparently prophetized the World War I. […] Human being and nature in general is "split" into two opposite forces (ground and existence in Schelling, God's dark and light fire in Boehme etc.) which form a paradoxical unity in their opposition.

I agree with considering Jung in this way, but at this present stage of the Red Book, I don’t think Jung is attempting a unity in opposition but is rather approaching the issue as a sort of political intrigue where two sides can be played against one another as part of a calculated strategy.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby obnoxion » Sun Feb 17, 2019 11:39 am

obnoxion wrote:
Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:36 pm
”Wyrmfang” wrote:
In general I read Jung as the latest famous character in the tradition represented earlier by Boehme and Schelling. In this "alchemic" tradition even God is finite in the sense that he has his unconscious what Jung calls spirit of the depths. When this darker side of reality is neglected it finally bursts out even more violently, which Jung many times takes up in his vision which apparently prophetized the World War I. […] Human being and nature in general is "split" into two opposite forces (ground and existence in Schelling, God's dark and light fire in Boehme etc.) which form a paradoxical unity in their opposition.

"Jiva" wrote:
I agree with considering Jung in this way, but at this present stage of the Red Book, I don’t think Jung is attempting a unity in opposition but is rather approaching the issue as a sort of political intrigue where two sides can be played against one another as part of a calculated strategy.
Are you familiar with the Reusner's Pandora picture, also - quite apptly - titled "A Mirror Image of the Holy Trinity"? It is discussed in Edward F. Edinger's "The Mysterium Lectures", which is a lecture series on Jung's "Mysterium Coniunctionis".

The picture depicts a somewhat standard Christian Mandala structure, but in the bottom center there is a framed scene of a winged monster being born out of a lump of clay, being midwifed by haloed creature who pulls the monster upward by its hands. This scene is compared to the Assumption and Coronation of Mary in Heaven, transforming Trinity into Quaternity. (Jung has also spoken of Satan as the fourth term of the Trinity, and the reconciliation of Satan and Christ).

This image could also be understood as the emergence of the Self, as seen from below. And the same process seen from above would be the bodily assumption of Mary. Edinger writes that the unity of oppisites is appaling from the ego's perspective, exposing "it to anguish, demoralization and violation of all reasonable considerations".

Can this image be used to illustrate the concept of God's unconscious, and its relationship to the fundamental processes of the human soul?
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Benemal » Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:40 am

Mysterium Encounter

It seems this cryptic book is twice as cryptic, if you're not familiar with the bible. I've gotten over some stuff, but antipathy towards christianity is still with me and perhaps always will be. On the other hand, it reveals I have a fear of "tasteless salt", which is the direction age usually takes a person. A bit late to learn that, but of course, not too late. Learning from a book I don't really understand. Maybe I'll give in eventually and read the bible.
There's a vision or a dream, where Jung encounters two people, that presumably a bible reader would know. Elijah and Salome. Then they say cryptic stuff I don't understand.
I'm seeing irony allover now, as a kind of more-amusing-than-usual mental illness. The texts by obnoxion, that I have illustrated and that I understand equally, to the Red Book, have a picture, that obnoxion said reminded him of Jung's illustrations. That's interesting and there's probably lots more there to uncover.
These illustrations I had not seen, before about a week ago. I copy-paste the following bit from members area:

"Because The Red Book has disappeared from the library, and I'm broke and can't buy even the 40 euro version, I started digging for a pdf online, which took about 90 minutes, which was a pain in the ass and I would've lost patience, had the browser not presented me some illustrations, from The Red Book. Those surprised me a little, for two reasons: they were really nice and some of them were a little bit similar to my work. This makes the book thrice as interesting. I can do better stuff technically, but without the depth. Those spiraling lines are so much like what I've done lots of. I think maybe me and Jung have something in common and perhaps found something shared, that one has arrived at intellectually and intuitively, and the other in a more chaotically creative way, banging head to rock, until one breaks. I guess Jung's head broke at some point also."

I apologize, because even more of what I perceive as irony, ensues. As art makes the book more accessible, it kind of doesn't, because I never read an art book, or philosophy book, that's about art. It's not science, any more than sex or poetry.

This chapter feels like it's about the "joining of the hands". Feels like it, maybe it is not meant to be, but these interpretations are what this whole topic is for I suppose. This book maybe cannot be perceived the same, by two different people, unless someone had similar thoughts about the snake, between left and right. That strongly made think of the "joining of the hands". If that's right, then I did understand something, but I doubt it. I apologize I can't figure out how to quote the pdf. Maybe next time. Maybe others thought something similar about this snake.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Smaragd » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:26 pm

Been dragging behind a bit, but finally found time to read this chapter.
Benemal wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:40 am
I apologize, because even more of what I perceive as irony, ensues. As art makes the book more accessible, it kind of doesn't, because I never read an art book, or philosophy book, that's about art. It's not science, any more than sex or poetry.

This chapter feels like it's about the "joining of the hands". Feels like it, maybe it is not meant to be, but these interpretations are what this whole topic is for I suppose. This book maybe cannot be perceived the same, by two different people, unless someone had similar thoughts about the snake, between left and right. That strongly made think of the "joining of the hands". If that's right, then I did understand something, but I doubt it. I apologize I can't figure out how to quote the pdf. Maybe next time. Maybe others thought something similar about this snake.
The sharp eyed notions of the connection of pleasure (our wants, Eros, libido) and the forethinking were tremendous in this chapter. Jung nods in the direction of having to choose one side to lead to another seems right when one goes on to figure out the union and hidden harmony the snake points towards. There is a kind of honesty in this choice - honesty to the fiery feelings and antipathy, but with firm footing and will to look in to the depths of this choice the snake reveals the integral opposite hidden.

The term forethinking was nicely conveyed and is something, I think, that enables and calls humans to seek the hidden worlds. It is the higher triad coming through manas. Again, pleasure or Eros sort of gives birth to it, and thus we can see Jung pointing the seekers of the West to a similar path as the tantras point. Knowledge gained through the worldly.

Jung expresses his visions in this book in a way that feels very familiar to me. Although I rarely dream such obviously archetypal characters, the text reads as if from the same empty space as my dreams emerge. That is the same for all I guess, but some manage to translate it better. In this respect there's artistry in the text also (besides the calligraphy of the fascimile edition), although the presence of the cold surgical tools of a scientist.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

Postby Insanus » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:59 pm

The next chapter is called Instruction.

I found the beginning of the chapter quite interesting. "I was led to a second image. I am standing in the rocky depth that seems to me like a crater. Before me I see the house with columns. I see Salome walking along the length of the wall toward the left, touching the wall like a blind person. The serpent follows her. The old man stands at the door and waves to me. Hesitantly I draw closer. He calls Salome back. She is like someone suffering. I cannot detect any sacrilege in her nature. Her hands are white and her face has a gentle expression. The serpent lies before them. I stand before them clumsily like a stupid boy, overwhelmed by uncertainty and ambiguity. The old man eyes me searchingly and says: "What do you want here?"[/i]

I took Salome's blindness to be symbolic for higher spiritual vision. Touching the wall is a bit like theater where she seemingly relies on only the lower senses, but still the wise serpent follows her. After this the old man calls her back the serpent lies before them like a pet, like it's saying: there, do you understand? I think this was a performance of certain kind of passive, innocent trust in subconscious, a ritualistic expression of faith in one's own nature or "law" as they say later in the chapter. Salome's role as "blind desire" simply underlines this meaning that it does not matter how low or impure "you are", as long as you follow the path, you are worthy to guide the serpent. Footnote 190 tells me that in Corrected Draft Jung does not agree, but interpreted this to mean that Salome basically means pleasure who is moving to the direction of the impure and bad because Elijah The Smart Forethought does not direct her and that the serpent symbolized resistance and enmity against this bad movement.

Jung says he feels more real here but doesn't like it apparently because of the sense of guilt that comes with it. They go in the house and "before the play of fire in the shining crystal", Jung sees symbolic stuff. "I see in splendor the mother of God with the child. Peter stands in front of her in admiration - then Peter alone with the key - the Pope with a triple crown - a Buddha sitting rigidly in a circle of fire - a many-armed bloody Goddess - it is Salome desperately wringing her hands - it takes hold of me, she is my own soul, and now I see Elijah in the image of the stone." Huge amount of stuff to interpret. My first hunch was that this is to be understood as some kind of history where some original light goes through different spheres or phases until it's Jung's "turn" to realize it's meaning for and in himself. Jung tells his interpretations of these visions later in the chapter.

After Elijah teaches him not to take his thoughts for himself, he still finds it difficult to understand Salome and Elijah to be more than symbols, even though he realizes Salome to be his sister and his soul (anima). After Elijah says "We are certainly what you call real. Here we are and you have to accept us. The choice is yours.", there's high golden red flame burning on altar and the serpent has encircled it and when Jung leaves he sees a lion going before him. I take this lion to be the same lion that earlier was a marble one Elijah leaned on, the point being the same as with Salome and Elijah and to a lesser degree with learning to not identify with one's own thoughts: that meanings in symbols are actual living things. My guess is that Jung doesn't agree here either.

There's not too much to interpret about the rest of the chapter since it's quite clear.
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