Jung, The Red Book

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

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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.
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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Nefastos
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

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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.

LIBER SECUNDUS
Chapter I:
THE RED ONE


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!"
obnoxion
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

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Here is an interesting curiosity that I think sort of pertains to our subject. Is anyone familiar with the Korean boyband named BTS? It is a huge deal at the moment, I mean really huge. Their album sales are breaking records that Beatles set back in their day. The interesting thing for us here is that their new mini-album "Map of the Soul" is a Jungian concept album. Its name is taken from the book by the same name, written by eminent the Jungian Murray Stein. Dr. Murray Stein has also writen a book about Jung's Red Book in the postmodern context, but I haven't got to read it yet.

I know about this phenomenon because I happaned to find this podcast where Dr. Murray Stein reviews all the lyrics of the BTS's new minialbum in a very warm and lucid way. Stein actually likens the driving force of the mini-album to the set up of the Red Book - both begin by asking "Where is my soul", and the Soul annswers.

Here is a link to the podcast, "Speaking of Jung episode 44": https://speakingofjung.com/podcast

BTS has a music video from the album, named "Boy with luv". It could be fun to first watch the video and see if you can find the Jungian themes without first listening to the podcast...
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

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The Castle in the Forest

The beginning of the chapter builds an adventurous and fabulous atmosphere. Romantic tale moves from gothic assicitions to a manifesto about the delicate balance of masculine and feminine aspects of ones soul.
Narrator describes his feelings and observations in a rather melodramatic way. Shame and insuffience are limits which he has placed to himself, therefore he experiences resistance towards the events of the night. Narrator is insolted by the scholars lack of interest to him and repulsed by the daughters appearance, which he considers to be insipid and corny. He is mistaken about the features about the intelligence and compassion, by raising the scholar in a place where he must envy him and lowering the daughter because of her emotional behavior, which is unpleasant because it speaks to his feminine part and this part is always difficult to a man. Also to a woman, her masculine part is unpleasant and more or less repulsive. Unfamiliar areas raise resistance. Dedication to feel feelings instead to only analyze them, allows the deep and sacred perception about their essence.

Scholar-Elijah absent-mindness and indifference brings out feeling of inferiosity and the daughter-Salomes folkloristic and romantic expression makes narrator feel the horror towards ordinary in a very dramatic way. Salomes appearance is on the lead role in the chapter. Through it, the narrator considers the masculine and feminine ways in ones mind and soul and resistance towards them. Resistance is to be defeated so the human could be complete. Stepping inside the castle is stepping inside ones self so the fabulous and dreamlike atmosphere is understandable, and of course the Red Book is entirely made from this kind of expression.

When the princible of an intelligence developes in a man, there is a risk to overlook some other important aspects. It is crucial to see the beauty and importance in different parts of ones self. To consider some areas to be lesser than others, is usually a sign to unsolved issues. When something has brought to ones attention and understanding, it is impossible to reject it. Rejection brings pain, and the this is also a reaction. Mind has to expand, not to be cutted in to pieces which each posses different values. Sometimes mind tries to overcome the matter too soon, so to speak, and that is why it is important to respect and learn from every expression of oneself, and constantly observe it.
Understanding ones self is sensitive, microcosmic work in an occultists life and will force one to walk on the paths of Hell, as the narrator describes.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion”
― Carl Gustav Jung
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

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One of the Lowly

Next night Jung meets dirty, poor and suspicious man who, like him, is seeking a place to stay the night in the nearby village. The man has worn clothes, has scars of his face, and one of his eyes is missing. When Jung discusses with him, he seems to fullfil all the stereotypes of his appearance: he does not like to work, likes cheap entertainment, and lost his eye in fight over a woman, which got him into prison. They find a pub/restroom where it happens that the poor man dies at night to his lung disease.

The teaching is that one should always be familiar with low in one´s self when aspiring for the high. It is out of question that Jung would at this point openly fear or contempt the sidewalker. For example, when the man tells that he likes movies because there are all sorts of interesting things in them (basic violent and blatant imaginary), Jung understands that exactly the same physical things are depicted in the most high mythological and artistic works. However, it is another thing to retain an actively affirming and living relationship with the low. For example, in the pub Jung is concerned if someone sees him in such a low company.

It would be hypocrisy not to recognize the low as low, but it is still a necessary dynamic opposite of the high. Jung recognizes that there is something blessed to be in the lowest possible state where you can only go higher. I could, therefore, add that the true hell is the state of constant falling. If one merely resides in what it high in one´s self, a spiritual death occurs. So Jung concludes that he "decided to die outside and to live within".
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

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Here is another slight digression on our topic.

The last one dealt with the hughely popular K-pop band's Jungian themed release, which an eminent Jungian expert compared to Jung's Red Book. I suppose it wasn't the prefered path to Jungian themes for most of us (if any), but it must be interesting to realize the extent of diffusion of these influences in our times.

As Jung's illustrations in the Red Book have been broadly termed expressionistic, hence modern, it is interesting to know just how troubled Jung was with modern art. Last year I found an interesting text where this issue is named as "Azazel complex":


Jung believed that fallen, exclusively “bad” angels, begot “inflation” similar to the megalomania that he observed in modern dictators. Fallen angels of the Book Of Enoch can be seen as archetypal ideas incarnating in human
experience that lead humans to higher consciousness through development of arts and sciences. Jung thought that such a surge of archetypal energy leads to
gigantic over-signification of the creative individual. He uses a curious expression: “an inflation of the cultural consciousness,” as if collective human importance was elevated excessively through creative expression.
I call this “inflation of the cultural consciousness” the “Azazel complex” and would argue that as a psychologist Jung was on the mission to deflate or criticize any cultural manifestations that unduly raised significance of the ego
over the psyche as a whole. Jung would see modern artists as identified with the true creator--archetypal Azazel. It was not just the megalomania of tyrants but
even more so the notoriety and glorification of some modern artistic giants like Joyce or Picasso that became the target of Jung’s deflationary mission. It is as if
by diminishing the stature of modern artists Jung hoped to prevent another Deluge. He believed that hubris of consciousness, or taking “man’ as the highest
measure, would lead to the “universal catastrophe". Jung,
particularly in his public essays, aimed at shrinking “giantism, hubris of modern consciousness.” True to the vision of Azazel Jung considers both science and modern art evil. He judges them both guilty of the irresponsibility with which they bring to the world their own inventions and expressions


The above quote is taken from pages 10 - 11 of this short text, which is available online as a PDF-file via your search engine:

WRESTLING WITH AZAZEL--JUNG AND MODERN
ART, A CRITICAL APPRAISAL
Sylvester Wojtkowski, PhD, JPA
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

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obnoxion wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:29 am
As Jung's illustrations in the Red Book have been broadly termed expressionistic, hence modern, it is interesting to know just how troubled Jung was with modern art.
It is as if he'd join the modern expressionism to the old manuscript illuminations that didn't bring forth the ego of the artist, but worked for the greater whole of the composition the text was great part of. Reminds me of a small childlike character in the book 'The Death of the Gods. Julian the Apostate' who seemed simple minded to others as he was totally ignorant of the complexities of the adult world, finding joy and fulfilment in his work with the images he drew on the manuscripts his monastery produced. No outside reward compared with the joys of the actual work and thus ego had no inflated power in his profound reality completely sunken in the beauty of subjectivity.
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Re: Jung, The Red Book

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Extremely interesting, thank you very much Obnoxion. I think much of this dilemma of hubris versus need for "saving the world". Gibson's Passion of the Christ with its "No one, ever" (being able to remove the suffering of the world) words of Satan often haunts my mind (1:10-2:10). The human world is so huge, yet so few people actually are able or willing to take the burden of change, and the paradoxical result of this is that the individual challenge to help the world in any actual spiritual measure can only be seen as a delusion of grandeur, pathological hubris. This, being a despised outsider and elevated idol at the same time, is of course seen in the erected cross of Jesus as well as the demonic presence of outcast scapegoat of Azazel, being our union of hands (on the level of culture and personal challenge).

For our Finnish readers, yet another bite: A week ago, there was Jantso Jokelin's long article about the Red Book in Nuori Voima: Tottelematon sielu luo oman mytologiansa - matka Jungin Punaiseen kirjaan. I haven't had time to read it through myself yet, but seems interesting.
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

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Smaragd wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:00 pm
It is as if he'd join the modern expressionism to the old manuscript illuminations that didn't bring forth the ego of the artist, but worked for the greater whole of the composition the text was great part of. Reminds me of a small childlike character in the book 'The Death of the Gods. Julian the Apostate' who seemed simple minded to others as he was totally ignorant of the complexities of the adult world, finding joy and fulfilment in his work with the images he drew on the manuscripts his monastery produced. No outside reward compared with the joys of the actual work and thus ego had no inflated power in his profound reality completely sunken in the beauty of subjectivity.
This is my personal approach to drawing. It is quite pleasing to find oneself in affinity to the great Julian.
Nefastos wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:31 pm
Gibson's Passion of the Christ with its "No one, ever" (being able to remove the suffering of the world) words of Satan often haunts my mind (1:10-2:10).
This is, I think, one of the most beautiful scenes in the movie. "No one, ever. /No, never" - a veritable poem fit for the mouth of Poe's Raven.

It is interesting that Jung's Red Book has been criticized by the very same words that Jung used to croticize Joyce's Ulysses - that one could easily find from it analogies to "schizophrenic mentality".

But here's an anecdote I heard from a psychiatrist once: Jung atually treated Joyce's daughter, the dancer Lucia Joyce, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. And according to the anecdote, James Joyce once asked Jung how come he is able to plunge the same deeps his daughter does, and where as he finds from there material for his art, his daughter becomes disabled. Jung said that whereas James takes a dive, Lucia sinks.

This is something that brings to mind the Earth-Diver archetype, which could be seen as the Neptunian aspect of Satan. The Earth-diver is often an aquatic bird-like entity that plunges into the primordial ocean to fetch mud in its peak. And on that mud is established the first foot-hold, or dry land. It isn't difficult to see in this an intra-psychic (in comparison to "intra-auric") analogy of the Fall of Angels.

EDIT: Decided to link the Earth-Diver topic:
viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1312
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

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The Anchorite

Walking at the edge of the desert, Jung finds an "anchorite" reading an old manuscript outside his primitive hut. [I needed to google "anchorite". That's a religious recluse. Coincidentally, I was just reading about the Libyan desert last night and know that is south of Alexandria.] What Jung thinks he's reading is a "Greek gospel". I guess that's some part of the bible, that he has chosen. The anchorite has been there for maybe a decade and Jung wonders how bored he must be. Here the anchorite seems a little annoyed, that his visitor doesn't understand the simple fact, that a holy book changes as you change, and he hasn't been reading exactly the same book, for a decade.
The anchorite tells Jung, that he was a rhetorician and a philosopher in Alexandria, before becoming christian. He says the philosophers of Alexandria had become too hung up on words, especially Philo Judeaus. Philo gave the word Logos, to John the Evangelist, and this was a big mistake. I don't understand this clearly important point. This is for the theologians.
What the the anchorite says about unlearning, I understand well. It is extremely difficult and if achieved the difficulty does not end there. Made me think about mortification also.

Then a more dreamlike and symbolistic passage, as Jung and the anchorite have gone to rest, which seems separate, like it it was written at a different time and different state of mind. There's probably plenty to analyze in this part.

The last long part is a kind of introverted monologue, that's the sort of thing that might help someone go to sleep. Wearing out patience at an accelerated pace, while I'm comprehending very little. I have nothing to say about it for now, except that I'd rather read an entire book, that's just one style, one stream of consciousness, or imagination, than irritatingly jumping between head-space and realities on every page.
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