Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Nayana wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:16 pm
pages 39 - 44 (please correct me here if necessary; my German version uses a different pagination [60 - 65]).

In my English version "II. The Method" goes to page 46. On page 45 we have a half-page picture "A maternal figure presiding over the goddessess of fate" and on page 46 a smaller picture "The Uroboros as symbol of the aeon", from Horapollo's Selecta Hieroglyphica. Does the German version have the great amount of pictures of the English one?

Nayana wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:16 pm
Next to the above, Jung basically explains how the dreams had been rid of any personal elements alluding to the dreamer in "A. The Material", and gives some interesting thoughts in the very beginning.

Indeed! I am glad Jung had made this decision to publish the dream substance in its mutilated (the only possible) form, but once again we are in a situation where Jung's apparently so stressedly academic & scientific methods actually come back to very individual choices of interpretation & presentation. As said, personally I like this, and I have noticed quite a lot of academic & scientific work applies the similar method: it has to raise a certain wall of fog that seems to bear witness to great scientific accuracy, but actually this is just lip-service to the Procrustes of Arcadia, and what happens in the research study is like something that happens in Las Vegas, remaining there without a witness.
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: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Nayana wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 11:16 pm
The Self is not only that center, but also that circumference that includes consciousness and unconsciousness; it is the center of this totality, just as the I is the center of consciousness.
The Self as the Center seems similar to the laya point and its circumference. In combination with the above, Jung seems to imply that the process of individuation aims at the production of a 'new' person / personality as a whole, which in itself already suggests an deep connection to alchemy and a variety of its themes. .
This reminds of coming across ways of identification with jungian archetypes in a manner that creates very strict limits of what "I" am rather than opening the gate to the center from where I can be all and everything. Do you see the limitation a necessary phase or a regressive impulse? For how long is the limit necessary? Trying to see it from personal perspective, the limitation seems to be good for the short time when one receives the impression of the archetype - sees what it is - and manages to be empowered by its presence. After that it becomes sort of absolute image, where it's not limiting but finds every possible expression from it's own face. All archetypse are in one archetype, just like a practitioner reaches the feminine power of the Ten Mahavidyas through one of them that one carries the calling of.

EDIT: Clarity to the language.
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Part II, The Initial dreams.

In this part, Jung analyses 22 of the above mentioned dreams & visual impressions. As noticed, a little explanation is missing from my side; Jung himself reflects about the analysis he is about to begin, and concludes that his discussion of the dreams would usually strongly oppose his own suggestion of considering the context of the dream. However, he sees the dreams as connected series, and as such relates them to each other, thus moving within context outside of a singular dream. In his eyes, the meaning of the dreams in question begin to emerge in course of the series; and I think it will be interesting to follow his impression in our reading circle.

I think it would make sense to depict what Jung provides us with of the dreams and then to present the most important parts of his interpretations as well as our own ideas. As at least I personally found the dreams and his interpretations quite complex ( and absolutely fascinating!) , I would be grateful if you would add important aspects or interpretations that I might be missing.



1. dream

The dreamer finds himself in a social situation ("Gesellschaft"; company, society) where he puts on a hat that is not his own while saying goodbye.

Mentioning the subsumption "alles unter einen Hut bringen" (to bring everything under one roof), he links the hat to an "Obervorstellung" - something that I would think of like an Umbrella term for a variety of other terms - that covers the whole personality of the dreamer. To Jung, an 'alien hat' would bestow an 'alien nature', like a crown would bestow the divine nature of the sun or the doctors head a scholars dignity; he sees this reflected in Myrinks "Golem", where the main character is - in his words - entangled within fantastic experiences by the unconscious and puts on the hat of a character called Athanasius Pernath. The latter one he reflects as immortal, timeless, universal and ever-existing.

In conclusion, Jung expects the unconscious of the dreamer to become visible with this dream. He puts on a hat that is not his, and by that - thinking of jungs examples of a crown or the doctors hat - may allow different aspects of himself to come forth that differ from the everyday personality. This reminds me of, say, a firemans helmet; once someone puts such an helmet on, he embodies a certain role, only that in this case, there is no role.



2. dream

The dreamer travels on the train and blocks the view for the other passengers by standing in front of the window. He has to give them the view.

Jung relates those behind the dreamer to the unconscious, as the 'behind' is not visible. Once the dreamer steps aside, the unconscious contents would become conscious. The train ride itself is related to a process that has begun.

I found it interesting that the dreamer had to step aside, as this implies a certain force or necessity, which is stressed by the following visual impression.



3. hypnagogic visual impression

On the seashore. The sea comes in on the land, flooding everything. Then, he finds himself sitting on a desert island.

Jung explains the sea as a symbol for the unconscious. As the sea breaks in onto the land, those personifications of the unconscious from the dream before now break into consciousness. He describes this as a scary experience, as this - from the standpoint of conscious personality - irrational experience means a heavy alteration of personality that could easily become an "embarrassing, personal secret" that can't be told to anyone. For Jung, the resulting psychic isolation can be compensated by an vitalization (/revival) of the psychic atmosphere, in turn activating unconscious activity. From the latter, loneliness hallucinations or those of desert wanderers, sailors and saints would arise. He explains this energetically: once the connection to - in case of such a 'secret' - outside world is shattered, an illusionary reality is created as a substitute. In this he sees the reason for desolated places to be alive with devils and spooks.

I believe that Jungs interpretation here gives a very good account of where he sees the context in between the dreams: A symbol of unconsciousness is present in one dream (those behind the dreamer in dream 2), and is connected to another in the next (sea, waves).

If we remember how Jung explains dream symbols as images that describe the centering process onto a new center of personality, his interpretation really opens up for wider interpretation. This new, unconscious element breaking in is alien to consciousness, which may lead to an scary experience, as described. I have to think of a lot of people being afraid to go insane once deep, new experiences and insights are gained - for example, during the first steps within the occult; I myself experienced that. The thought of an initiatory process comes up; although to be on the safer side, I would rather say that such impressions mean new experiences from an, then, alien perspective. Naturally, this is a scary process and not without danger; but looking onto the occult, alchemy and the process of initiation, this seems to be an necessary step.

As a side note, I found it interesting that Jung includes this hypnagogic, visual expression as well. Even though that might be obvious, this allows further conclusions about how he sees the unconscious to work.



4. Dream

The dreamer is surrounded by many undefined female figures. A voice in Him says: "First, I must get away from the father."


Here, Jung links the lure of the women to the unconscious. Before the dreamer can give into these, he must first get away from the father; a symbol which is connected to the traditional spirit of religion and world view. As a male figure, the father is linked to rationalism and intellectualism; from this, Jung derives how the dreamers unconscious is opposed to those conscious tendencies. He continues by saying how the unconscious, personified by the unknown women, must not be subdued by conscious tendencies - the father; intellectualism, rationalism, traditionalism - but be treated as an element of the psyche in its own right. This would pose a problem for modern man: The unconscious would be insignificant and an unreal appendage of consciousness, not an autonomous sphere of experience.

Jung even speaks about the resistance of consciousness against the unconscious, which he basically sees as a necessity for the conscious mind to differentiate from the unconscious. Still, the conscious mind of modern times would have distanced itself so far from the unconscious that the experience thereof would often come with dread. The ability to let happen and experience the unconscious would exceed the modern europeans courage, rendering the experience of the unconscious a personal secret like discussed above.

Jung gives an outlook on later dreams which will deal with this conflict in other forms, until the correct formula for the relation between consciousness and subconsciousness is found and the personality can take its proper place in the middle. To Jung, this is a Process, which gives rise to the notion of the alchemist in his lab; refining an element over and over again, until eventually the philosophers' stone is produced (my personal comment).



5. visual impression

A snake moves in a circle around the dreamer. he stands there as if a tree grown into the ground.


The snake moving in a circle around the dreamer relates to the magical circle for Jung. He describes this as a magical tool that would protect from the "peril of the soul", which would befall those isolated by the secret discussed. On the other hand, Jung reflects how the circle was used to mark areas as holy and inviolable during medial times as well. Since the dreamer reported a a pleasant feeling of relief after the dream, Jung sees the dream as a compensation of his desire to run away from the unconscious. The dreamer created an area in which it is possible for him to experience the unconscious, thus forming the previous dreadful isolation to a purposeful state.

Here, I think we can conclude that the dreamer has found a firm stand amidst the alien elements, e.g. in form of the waves breaking in onto the land. This seems necessary to avoid being washed away, which in turn could inspire psychological illness, as Jung suggests throughout his comments on these dreams.

---

In conclusion, the dreams so far presented appear to depict a certain process: Where the first dream with the occupation of - or rather, by - a alien hat heralds the influence of unconscious processes, the unconscious appears to forcefully demand its place by breaking in on land in waves, only to find resistance in the symbol of the father, which must be gained distance from in order to give in to the unconsciousness' lure. This process seems to enable the dreamer to face the coming experiences on a firmer stand, without the dread of the isolation by secret.
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Jung's way of handling the subject is very robust, giving the reader something on the side nearly every page, & thus making this book very recommendable for different readers in esoteric topics. Several very good books & authors are mentioned in passing; you already mentioned Meyrink's Golem, but also there's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (dream 4) & some thoughts on the denizens of occult bestiaries, like succubi & Paracelsus' Melusina (with pictures).

The first dream's interpretation of the hat symbol brings to mind the important hat of the Magician Juggler (Major Arcana I).

In the hypnagogic visual impressions ("3") are presented a point about the magical phenomena I've dubbed "White astral", relating "hallucinations" from sensual deprivation &c. to "mechanism of energy". This apparently easy interpretation – "If the relation to the object is cut off there is a "retention" of energy, which then creates an equivalent substitute" (p.49) – is actually very helpful in occult studies of the aethers of the Rosicrucians, or the White astral (astral functioning of linga sharîra).
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: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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6. Visual impression

A veiled woman is sitting on the stairs.

Jung links the motiv of the unknown woman to the anima. Here, it is described as the personification of a vivified psychic atmosphere. The personification implicates that the unconscious starts acting. It is noted how such activity often anticipates something the dreamer would do himself later.

Jung describes how the processes within dreams like these have their historical analogy in initiation. Although he does not say that literally, I think he may refer to dreams initiating the process of individuation, i.e. the initial dreams. Refering to Apuleius, however, he mentions how the seven-step planetary system often play a major role in these. Initiation rites like those of antique Syncretism would deal with ascension in the form of sublimation. The latter appears to have the same value as in alchemy: lifting some prima materia up to the next higher level. In case of an initiation, that starting material would correspond to the soul, of course. Correspondingly, Jung explains the idea of ascension through the seven planetary circles as the souls' return to the sun deity, where it has its origin.

This origin seems closely related to some of Jungs ideas, as we will see throughout the next few dreams. The unconscious before the process of differentiation seems to be a point of origin, from the standpoint of everyday-consciousness.



7. Visual impression

The veiled woman covers her face. It shines like the sun.

Here, Jung describes the anima as undergoing solification, corresponding to illumination & enlightenment. Being a 'mystical' process for the rational understanding of consciousness, the solification opposes the latters rational perspective. However, Jung upholds how scientific - and with it, probably rational in general - insights are only satisfactory for the present time personality, not for the collective psyche that goes back to prehistoric times.

Here again we find the motive of an origin that goes further back than conscious personality. I find it interesting to note that here, this origin opposes personality which eventually sprang from it by differentation, as this suggests a wide gap between the source and the now. This seems to speak of alienation of unconscious content, strongly reminding me of "the light of god protected by the heraldic shield of satan" (fosforos).

However, Jung explains how the collective unconscious would always require a certain rite in order to connect to consciousness of the present. Correspondingly, in this dream an 'illumination' of the unconscious would be prepared, having more of an "illuminatio" than an rational explanation.



8. Visual impression

A rainbow shall be used as bridge, but one should not walk across, but under the bridge. Whoever crosses the bridge, dies.


Being just a pleasant illusion, the rainbow bridge could only be crossed by the gods, while mortals who would attempt crossing it would fall to death. Human beings would have to walk under the bridge. There, water would be flowing, following the slope.

Jung here refers to a woodcut from Edward Kelleys Tractatus duo de Lapide philosophorum:

Image

In the corresponding note, he describes this as mercurius tricephalus as anthropos. In context of his thoughts, I found the sphere under the rainbow and its content very interesting, showing a blindfolded man lead by an animal. I was wondering if here, the animal is not the counterpart of the gods who alone can cross the bridge.



9. dream

a green land where many sheep graze. It’s sheepland.

Jung links this to impressions from the childhood, especially religious ones refering to the analogy of sheep and shepherd.



10. visual impression

In sheepland, the unkown woman shows the way.

Here, so Jung, the anima appears as psychopompos, showing the way. Again, he links sheepland to the childhood, and unfolds some very interesting ideas. At first, rational consciouisness is not seperated from the historical soul of the collective unconscious. Eventually, this seperation is inevitable, but can lead to a great distance that may cause the 'childs world' to remain infantile and hence a source of childish inclinations and impulses, if not dealt with proberly (i.e. made conscious). These inclinations and impulses are not welcome by consciousness, which hence either acts overly childish, or, these influences are countered by cynical senility or bitter resignation. I think that the anima showing the way within a place connected to childhood speaks volumes: in order to proceed, a return to childhood must occur. Jung has the idea that in this context, the rational mind would actually repress life, which, I think, can be seen in both resignation or overly childish impulses. One seems to constantly struggle against a given impulse, hence hindering any progress, whereas in the other case, rationality would utterly ignore the source of the impulses and end up incapable of any change. Hence, Jung interprets, consciousness must return to the childhood, where it can receive the guidance of the unconscious.

This reminds me of something we may be familiar with from Matthew 18:3:

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (King James version)

In either resignation or a flooding of the conscious with childishness, one is not 'as little children', but rather influenced by impulses from the childhood not properly made conscious, I'd interpret.

Related to that, Jung explains how it would be childish not only to stay a child for too long, but to seperate oneself from ones childhood, thus rendering it noneexistent. In either way, the connection or return to seems crucial for Jung, as he describes the 'primordial' psychic as twofaced: one would look forward, one backwards, meaning that it is ambiguous and hence symbolic like every living reality.

Jung closes this interpration with the following:
In consciousness we are standing on a summit and my childishly, the further way to greater heights leads beyond the summit. This is the chimerical rainbow bridge. In order to reach the next summit, one first goes down into that country where the paths only begin to intersect.


11. dream

A Voice says: you are still a child.

In this, Jung sees the demand for recognition of the fact that the differentiated consciousness has not yet dealt with the child-like, making a return to the childhood necessary.

I think that this later dream supports his earlier interpretations in the same direction, and gives further credibility to his approach of creating the context in-between the dreams by working with them as a series.



12. dream

A dangerous tour across many ladders, up and down, with father and mother

To Jung, childlike-consciousness is always connected to mother and father. Correspondingly, the return to childhood means the return to the parents including their burden as non-ego and its history. The travel with mother and father corresponds to the infantile, not integrated contents becoming conscious. Without these becoming conscious, one could not free oneself from one's childhood. This is not done by intellectual knowledge, but by reexperiencing of the childhood. If one would go back to childhood after years, one still finds living aspects of ones personality that would have been lost. He writes:
“Much remains unfinished because of the rapid flow of years and the overwhelming influx of the newly discovered world. One has not freed oneself from it, but merely distanced.”

Hence, only if these living aspects would be reconnected to adult-consciousness, they'd loose their infantility and could be corrected.

In order to access the collective unconscious, these personal unconscious matters must be dealt with first, i.e. become conscious, according to Jung.
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Thank you brother! In April, I will go through the rest of this chapter, which means dreams & visual impressions 13–22. In May, Nayana returns with the next chapter: "3. Symbolism of the mandala".

In the first week, we have dreams 13 and 14. They have been cropped by Jung to the following:

Psychology and Alchemy wrote:13. dream: The father calls out anxiously, "That is the seventh!" (p.63)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:14. dream: The dreamer is in America looking for an employee with a pointed beard. They say that everybody has such an employee. (p.67)


I already presented my opinion that by making dreams archetypical (by removing personal relations from them) Jung has brought his own idea strongly to the substance he is studying, which is not very scientifical. Nevertheless, the process he gets reason to discuss is so interesting that this does not matter. His interpretations of the dreams are most likely correct at least in one of the dreams' diverse meanings. Yet I would not encourage my fellow students in occultism to crop their dreams like this and take them only in archetypal light. There are many layers in dreams, and they can be opened in many different correct ways accoring to which plane's functions we are studying at the time.

DREAM 13
In Jung's interpretations in the first dream I experienced no less than five different synchronisities to other discussions that day (yesterday). This is partly due to the very wide circles Jung uses in his archetype discussions & partly to the fact that he was discussing Mercury, who really is everywhere and everything. E.g. To us he is both buddhi, kundalinî and iocator, the principle of the trickster, so very little is actually left outside his area in occultism.

Jung's idea about the esoteric process as something that seems outrageous to "the lucid and hygienic mentality of our own enlightened days" (sarcasm is biting) brings to mind some not very uplifting conversations I had to go through in the first fifteen years or so of my occult studies. Naturally, they are complete waste of time & sanity for the most, and these "most" seldom hesitate to express this opinion aloud.

The author also considers the "seven brothers" along with the seven planetary archetypes, and tells how the youngest of them can be at the same time the hero and the villain. This instantly brings to mind the famous Finnish novel The Seven Brothers, where also the youngest brother is a very Mercurian and volatile joker figure.

Jung presents the same idea I have given in Argarizim and The Demons' Cube, namely, that to the seven can be added one above and below and keep the schema intact. This brings about the familiar archetypical sequences of 1|3|1, 1|5|1, 1|7|1 (although Jung doesn't go as far here).

In the end of the dream 13's analysis, Jung once again comes back to Goethe's version of Faust, which seems to have really fascinated him, for it comes up again & again in many of his books. He considers it as an "alchemical drama from beginning to end", and I agree. Jung thinks that Goethe wrote it "without his conscious mind ever unravelling the mystery", but it was possible to do because Goethe had been studying Paracelsus in Leipzig with Fräulein von Klettenberg.

DREAM 14
Both this dream and its analysis bring to mind yet another Finnish book, this time the last one of Pekka Ervast's. Unlike Ervast's other books, it is a novel of partly & thinly veiled symbolic nature, and tells how the author's alter ego ("Johannes Kotka", or "Johannes the Eagle", which points to Ervast's idea of Johannite Rosicrucian occultism; the esoteric school emphasis of John the Apostle) ventures to Americ to meet his master. Before the World War II, America was where people surprisingly often went to meet their masters, as is also happening here in the dream. Both the dreamer and Jung have noticed that this master with the pointed beard is Mephistopheles, and Jung interpretes that such a Mephistophelian mentor is inside every one of us. An extremely SoA-spirited interpretation, and brings to mind a SoA master of whom I dreamed lately, and whose one characteristic was his cropped beard.
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: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Apologies for being late with this and commenting the previous month first. I was a bit devastated by the amount of pages, but once I managed to get to it, the images took much of the space and it was rather light, airy and enjoyable passage compared to the much more dense introduction.
Nayana wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:23 pm
4. Dream

The dreamer is surrounded by many undefined female figures. A voice in Him says: "First, I must get away from the father."


Here, Jung links the lure of the women to the unconscious. Before the dreamer can give into these, he must first get away from the father; a symbol which is connected to the traditional spirit of religion and world view. As a male figure, the father is linked to rationalism and intellectualism; from this, Jung derives how the dreamers unconscious is opposed to those conscious tendencies. He continues by saying how the unconscious, personified by the unknown women, must not be subdued by conscious tendencies - the father; intellectualism, rationalism, traditionalism - but be treated as an element of the psyche in its own right. This would pose a problem for modern man: The unconscious would be insignificant and an unreal appendage of consciousness, not an autonomous sphere of experience.
This separation is quite an interesting one for I’ve observed that falling in to the world of politics of the day, defining oneself by the mirror image the current society gives to you, and giving too much value for the spirit of the times – zeitgeist – tends to create a barrier from entering the world where the conscious – the masculine order, and the unconscious – the chaotic feminine can live side by side in good communication complementing each other. In most cases of European souls, it seems the father has to be abandoned for some time, and many seem to stray on that path for very long, if that step is taken in the first place; even the rest of the incarnation. What a tragedy! I must say. I have myself been a bit stuck on expressing the feminine the last years, but after some time and, perhaps connected to the fatherly order side getting some proper formal structure happening, I’ve seem to found a new kind of creative, expressive, playful, allowing and burning connection to the feminine – the unconscious and the irrational. It feels there’s better balance, while in the past it has been a bit more wonky. Now the wonkiness is more like a burning flame flying over flayed flesh.

The magic circle made by the vague women is a lovely image and clearly reminds me of the thought of shakti as the union of intellect and personal powers as focused on the Rosary of Azazel. It is also interesting how some animals and even mushrooms create magic circles by their behaviour reminding, leaping once again to another perspective, how the natural world as a whole being transforming and shifting mass of this power.
The protective nature of the circle speaks to me of discretion, tact, governing, intentional conduct of energy and so on.

Our psychic prehistory is in truth the spirit of gravity, which needs steps and
ladders because, unlike the disembodied airy intellect, it cannot fly at will.
Disintegration into the jumble of historical determinants is like losing one’s
way, where even what is right seems an alarming mistake.
This strikes as very interesting yet I can’t quite fathom it wholly, especially the last sentence. I recognize the problem where the lack of guidance by a spirit or a world-view one can get lost in to these historical determinants, which is basicly again the cause of unintegrated and rejected unconscious. The masculine intellect ruling and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together without the feminine warmth embracing the intellect collecting the pieces of time in to a guided whole. But I’m not sure if this is what is meant here.
Nayana wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 7:55 pm
12. dream

A dangerous tour across many ladders, up and down, with father and mother

To Jung, childlike-consciousness is always connected to mother and father. Correspondingly, the return to childhood means the return to the parents including their burden as non-ego and its history. The travel with mother and father corresponds to the infantile, not integrated contents becoming conscious. Without these becoming conscious, one could not free oneself from one's childhood. This is not done by intellectual knowledge, but by reexperiencing of the childhood. If one would go back to childhood after years, one still finds living aspects of ones personality that would have been lost. He writes:
“Much remains unfinished because of the rapid flow of years and the overwhelming influx of the newly discovered world. One has not freed oneself from it, but merely distanced.”

Hence, only if these living aspects would be reconnected to adult-consciousness, they'd loose their infantility and could be corrected.

In order to access the collective unconscious, these personal unconscious matters must be dealt with first, i.e. become conscious, according to Jung.
In my narrow view point of the human psyche, not at all comparable to the kind of psychologist Jung was, it has looked liked here is the line that need to be crossed before taking part of a religious tradition becomes a possibility in a practical and deeply crosswoven way. Sunken in the personal unconscious material keeps away the sight that reveals, through abstraction, the common ground behind all the "imagery" and the metaphysical observations therein, that allows and acknowledges the work with others to be possible, that is if pratyeka oaths are not taken beforehand.

Nefastos wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:10 pm
Jung's way of handling the subject is very robust, giving the reader something on the side nearly every page, & thus making this book very recommendable for different readers in esoteric topics.
Indeed! I've enjoyed much of the robust clarity. As my own sight mixes things so eaily, or automaticly tries to withdraw to the unseparated beyond time and small steps, it is a balancing perspective to get this sort of a chaptered narrative to for these things.
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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In this week, our text comprises of two dreams. (Present is also the familiar abundance of illustrations, but these I leave untouched for now.)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:15. Dream: The dreamer's mother is pouring water from one basin into another. (p.69)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:16. Dream: An ace of clubs lies before the dreamer. A seven appears beside it. (p.76)

Both dreams direct my attention immediately into Tarot. Dream nr. 15 is practically Arcana XIV (Temperance) all by itself, and the latter dream itself speaks of cards. (Herein I would take clubs as staves, and read the Ace plus Seven of Staves as the source and the journey of the Jungian inviduation process, starting here. In the Star of Azazel tarot, the Seven of Staves is "Independence".) Jung does not speak about the Tarot, however, and instead focuses on the difference of the approaches which, translated to our common esoterical language, are the Right Hand Path (~Father) and the Left Hand Path (~Mother). He mentions an interesting detail that his dreamer is a Roman Catholic.

Jung also gives an old psycho-alchemical axiom which is pretty much the same I just wrote to my article which I sent to editing at the same day when reading this: "The secret is that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive." (p.74) In other regards as well, this is much into my own life's synchroncities right now.

For our modern occultism that is no longer as familiar with its Latin roots that it used to be, it might be interesting to repeat the alchemical names Jung mentions here as synonymes (I'd perhaps rather usually call them aspects): aqua nostra, mercurius vivus, argentum vivum, vinum ardens, aqua vitae, succus lunariae. I've always found the alchemical use of nostra/nostrum (meaning "ours", i.e. the alchemists') as beautifully intimate. "Our gold", "our mercury", are not the vulgar ones, but more. Someone who would be able to make vulgar gold would most likely be quite a vulgar person (like we often see to be the case). Of these names, Jung picks for a moment the "succus lunariae", "sap of the moon-plant". This is something that is quite deeply pondered in the Secret Doctrine, in the many initiatory meanings of Soma. The most majestic, tantric and deep part of the whole majestic, tantric and deep poems of the Stanzas of Dzyan is to me the end of the fifth verse of the seventh stanza, namely:

Book of Dzyan wrote:And who perfects the last body? Fish, sin, and soma. . . . .

It gives a delicious extra challenge to this that it immediately faces not just one but several problems in translation to Finnish. Every one of these three mystic substances permutate in language: Fish in our language is kala, which in turn in Sanskrit means Time, and other things; also it faces the depth of the Nun-Fish and vesica piscis symbol that I briefly touched in the Catechism of Lucifer. Sin can mean both hamartia or name for the Moon god. Soma likewise is a moon plant of initiatory powers, and in Finnish language, it means "pretty"... These three words are like a poetic puzzle box on their own, and that precisely is what they are made of here.

But pardon my digression; to the next dream we go.

Jung mentions that clubs are Chrüüz or cross in Swiss-German; the same happens in Finnish, where the suit of clubs is known as risti ("cross"). Since the author has already spoken at length about the mystery wholeness of seven earlier, he gives just some notions about the flowering form of the suit, and how this pagan form of solificatio was vainly attempted to bring back into religion by (that sweet) Julian the Apostate. Speaking of the mystic flowers he mentions the blue flower of the Romantics, but understandably not the occult blue rose of Lynch, since it was a bit (46 years) early for that.

The commentary to this dream ends with the quote from Artis auriferae, 1593, that to my eye also seem to perfectly fit into Lucifer:

Ego gigno lumen, tenebrae autem naturae meae sunt: I beget the light, but the darkness too is of my nature...
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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Nefastos
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

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Our Roman-Catholic dreamer's psychonaut adventures in the world of Hypnos continue, with C.G. Jung as his Krishna-like charioteer.
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:17. Dream: The dreamer goes for a long walk, and finds a blue flowers on the way. (p.79)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:18. Dream: A man offers him some golden coins in his outstretched hand. The dream indigninantly throws them to the ground and immediately afterwards deeply regrets his action. A variety performance then takes place in an enclosed space. (p.80)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:19. Visual impression: A death's-head. The dreamer wants to kick it away, but cannot. The skull gradually changes into a red ball, then into a woman's head which emits light. (p.83)
Psychology and Alchemy wrote:20. Visual impression: A globe. The unknown woman is standing on it and worshipping the sun. (p.84)

We already touched the subject of the golden flower of alchemy in the last week. When pondering about the dream nr. 17, Jung reminds us of "the obnoxious black art of alchemy" and its blasphemous pagan idea of the solificatio (becoming like the Sun, i.e. attaining initiation). Theatrum Chemicum (an alchemical collection of texts) tells us that the golden flower can sometimes be a blue flower of the hermaphrodite. This reminds me of the Sapphire throne in my this week's Bible study. This brings us to the Star of Azael's Hymn to Jupiter, the "Lord of the [Azure] Throne". (Especially now when I am personally in the middle of thinking how to handle best the "hermaphroditic" Jovian nature's polar magnetisms in a new phase.)

The next dream immediately brought to my mind the end of Meyrink's Golem, and Jung says the same in his comments. He considers that these coins are not of vulgar kind, but belong to the higher gold of spiritualu worth. Needless to say, the dreamer is still going on a journey through the Tarot as well. Interestingly enough, Tarot is much connected to the Ezekiel's vision I linked above. We hopefully remember Eliphas Levi's depiction of Ezekiel's ROTA of the four cherubs, where the word is arranged into the four corners of the cross, so it will spell also the words of TORA and TAROT, as the complete image of the four-crossed microcosm. These in turn become the 21. arcana, where the Ezekiel's holy animals surround Goddess Anima Mundi.

Meyrink's hero likewise threw down the offered "gold", in the form of grain. "Grain" in turn becomes one of the five forbidden substances in tantric initiation. It can be read as a hallucinogenic or otherwised drugging substance (from a particular grain mold that might have been used in some Left Hand Path tantra). But back from my musings to Jung... He also once again touches the important subject of the forsaken or rejected stone (just before mentioned by Smaradg in the Secret Doctrine reading group). Jung cannot help but to once again touch Nietzsche's Zarathustra which, along with Goethe's Faust, is his familiar wrestling partner. I notice that there are many parts in this dream analysis also that come straight to my just written article on integration, death & dreaming, which is quite understandable, since these are the particular objects of Jung's study as well. With this notion, we can proceed easily to the death's head impression:

Regarding nr. 19, Jung speaks of enantiodromia, a play of opposites. He mentions the Neoplatonic (it's originally Platonic also) idea of the perfect shape of the sphere for a soul: a very intuitively understandable idea to me, a great admirer of perfect spherical shapes. What Jung understandably does not mention is the very Azazelian play that is going on in the process of the visual impressions, where even the order of colours follows the first basic schema of the Star of Azazel: (1) Black (mortification of caput mortis), (2) Red (red ball, the "rising sun"), (3) White (Goddess whose face is pure light).

When interpreting nr. 20 visual impression Jung once again comes to Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. I still have not read it thoroughly myself, even though I should. It glances me with a slight contempt of a Venus overlooked from the bookshelf as I write this. When speaking about the virtues of the pagan world & Christian culture's influence Jung, who often has criticism to whip the Christian theology with, says that it woul be "regrettable and unseemly regssion to [attempt to escape to] antiquity" (p.86).

Next week we will have two "visual impressions", and then we're done with chapter 2.
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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Polyhymnia
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Re: Reading Circle (Jung: Psychology and Alchemy)

Post by Polyhymnia »

Just a little note to say I had big dreams of participating more vigorously in this, but I received my book in the mail not that long ago and I'm afraid I underestimated the denseness of the material, and grossly overestimated my ability to keep up with both this and the secret doctrine at an adequate pace. I will be following slowly, from afar. Thank you so much for such thorough write ups! I am enjoying what I can of the discussions at my snail's pace.
"Limited love asks for possession of the beloved, but the unlimited asks only for itself." -Kahlil Gibran
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