Jung, The Red Book

Discussion on literature other than by the Star of Azazel.
Post Reply
Wyrmfang
Frater
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 10:22 pm
Location: Espoo

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Wyrmfang »

Yeah, sorry. Will post it tomorrow. I had scheduling problems and then forgot to mention it.
Wyrmfang
Frater
Posts: 1222
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 10:22 pm
Location: Espoo

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Wyrmfang »

The Gift of Magic

The conversation with the soul continues. The soul asks Jung to listen carefully if he can hear anything. A slight ringing to left ear can be heard and a black magic rod appears as an offering. If it is accepted it demands the sacrifice of solace but gives the magic - something which Jung has no idea whatsoever what it could be and what use it has. Still he finally accepts the rods and gives up solace.

The rest of the chapter stresses the extremely lonely nature of continuing on one´s own path and no one else´s. The magic rod is some kind of solidification of this loneliness and entirely implicit knowledge, "the first thing darkness offers". A kind of leap of faith is demanded: there is something in darkness that feels necessary to know but of which there is no positive knowledge and no tangible promises of such. After a lengthy more poetical part (in which there is a lot of primitive alchemical symbols such as healing potions) the chapter ends with this rather bleak passage:
The inexplicable occurs. You would very much like to forsake yourself and defect to each and every manifold possibility. You would very much like to risk every crime in order to steal for yourself the mystery of the changeful. But the road is without end.
User avatar
Astraya
Soror
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Astraya »

My comments will be late at this month, got a nasty flu just after moving to a new place, so schedules are disorder here as well, sorry.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion”
― Carl Gustav Jung
User avatar
Astraya
Soror
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Astraya »

The Way of the Cross

I found it very difficult to grasp in this particular chapter, perhaps the visions which it gave shouldn’t be opened too much at the moment, by me, for some reason. When I read, I often get the feeling that some words hold within themselves knowledge, which will open up later in life.

Chapter speaks about Christ’s sacrifice and the importance of ones life to continue this sacrifice. Serpent, who wounds itself on the wooden cross, is a man inside the spiritual and ethical trials and gets transformed by going through the dead body, the flesh of Christ. After this, coronation can happen, which indicates the higher understanding of a sacrifice.
Strong and intense words are been used in the chapter, when the ones connection in ones own life is been described. Repulsion and disgust, which are often present when one looks closely inside to the personal and collective suffering. “How much blood must go on flowing until man opens his eyes and sees the way to his own path and himself as the enemy.” When such repulsion appears, it is a vivid and important step towards higher compassion, but a step, where one cannot linger, for just to knowledge this suffering is the Serpent. It can wound itself endlessly on the wood, but without the Christ’s flesh, the part of actual Christ, this knowledge leads to sorrow and coldness and one cannot become the Serpent with a Crown.

The sacrifice of Christ and the different way to continue it by a man is important. Christ, who has gone through initiations can make it visible (visible by many different angles, one being historical and other symbolical and so on…) to everyone, for a man who sees the inevitability in sacrifice, can make the offer to god. This is a sacrifice, which is made in solitude and humbleness. To offer ones own flesh to god, like Christ offered his to everyone. This is a continuing mortification which actually is vivid work, to make oneself a sacrifice and being able to give up ones own life.

Later the chapter speaks about the man having not a part by making the future, but actually making it. Duality in the Red Book, and overall in occult texts and teachings is common and difficult for me to understand. It is like the world of a man is a constant struggle between the different ways to express the Truths.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion”
― Carl Gustav Jung
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 4292
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Nefastos »

Insanus (June): XXI The Magician

Are you still with us in this, Insanus?

We have another option: to quit. We have lost Jiva, obnoxion, Benemal, and those few who remain miss their turn on regular basis, there is no discussion about each other's chapters, and the presentations usually seem to lack energy & motivation.

Personally I think that even though the idea about the long intervals of the texts was humane, such a long pause between one's own turns also kills the spark of interest regarding the text. It's not the only reason, but I think it is one of them.
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!"
User avatar
Astraya
Soror
Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:59 pm

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Astraya »

I feel the same way about the long pauses, and apologize the lack of discussion from my behalf. I haven't done so much of reading circles and this particular text is very difficult for me. I still vote not to stop, but if it's inevitable, I'm still going to read the book myself.
“There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion”
― Carl Gustav Jung
User avatar
Insanus
Frater
Posts: 1078
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:06 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Insanus »

Nefastos wrote: Sun Jul 04, 2021 12:54 pm
Insanus (June): XXI The Magician

Are you still with us in this, Insanus?

We have another option: to quit. We have lost Jiva, obnoxion, Benemal, and those few who remain miss their turn on regular basis, there is no discussion about each other's chapters, and the presentations usually seem to lack energy & motivation.

Personally I think that even though the idea about the long intervals of the texts was humane, such a long pause between one's own turns also kills the spark of interest regarding the text. It's not the only reason, but I think it is one of them.
Yeah, I agree with everything you said but let's keep going. I'll post those two chapters in a few days.
With a taste of a poison paradigm
User avatar
Insanus
Frater
Posts: 1078
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 7:06 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Insanus »

XXI - THE MAGICIAN

Old magician Philemon lives with his wife in the countryside. Jung wants to learn magic from him but he refuses, explaining only that the black art is done with sympathy. Philemon however gives three points: to hear nothing, to understand that knowledge of magic is negative and that there is nothing to understand. The "feebleness of old age" has to do with magical ability, seemingly because of the decline of reason and thus sensitiveness to some sort of mystery closed beyond reason.

Next we once again are taught the thematic Red Book teaching: be open to chaos and unreason. I get a strange sense of unease when Jung mentions this. It feels a bit like an appeal to dark mystery that leaves the shadow unintegrated, but perhaps it's the point?

Jung figures Philemon's secret to be love that unites Above and Below. He is a lover of souls whose serpent poison(!) heals in small doses, forcing people to find nourishment in themselves. "The virtue of giving is the sky-blue mantle of the tyrant".
The magician is not a man, but something inhuman and alone whose humanity is the shadow of humanity, the dead. Again this fascination with darkness is a bit unsettling.

Jung plays flute to a serpent and makes it believe she is his soul and discusses banality and union with all humanity with it. The serpent-soul is baffled that it can't lure Jung with the opposites of pathos and banality, and defends this dualism for the sake of personal life because the absolute & united opposites are "as good as a standstill".

Next Jung summons the earth spirits, Cabiri and asks what kind of work should be delegated to them. They answer they are the secret workings of living matter, responsible carrying up what is dead yet enters into the living. They give Jung a sword with which he is supposed to cut off his entanglement with his brain and thus kill the Cabiri, which he does.

Jung then asks the serpent to bring some news from beyond and the serpent goes to Hell to show a hanged man to him. The hanged man has killed his parents and wife to honor God. The serpent chose him as a good example of how boring the beyond is, how there is no personal quality. Satan may be the quintessence of the personal. Personal and absolute cannot be united because they are not opposites, but differences like a day is not the opposite of a year.

Jung reflects on what has happened. By becoming one with the serpent, he has overcome the destructive influence Satan would otherwise have on him. The demands of the dead disappear, having been satisfied. Jung thinks the work is done, but the serpent disagrees. "Life has yet to begin". "Just don't assume that somehow you could ever grasp and embody me."
This also feels like the shadow-work has not actually been done.
However, the serpent gives Jung a reward in images for the work accomplished so far:

Elijah wants to give Salome to Jung as a gift, and Salome wants to give herself. Jung declines, because in his new state he wants to see her overflow her own talent and creativity and interprets this gift as neediness.
Salome cries and Jung asks the serpent what should be done. The serpent transforms into a bird and brings Jung a criwn from Heaven that has the inscription "love never ends". The bird transforms back to serpent.
"I: You are unnerving.
Se: only for him who isn't in agreement with me"
I :that I am certainly not. But how could one? To hang in the air in such a way is gruesome."
This hanging seems to relate to the hanged man from hell, as Jung says: "First I was crucified, now I'm simply hanging - which is less noble but no less agonizing." Footnote 334 mentions that Jung has commented on the motif of hanging in folklore and mythology in "Transformations and symbols of the libido". The hanged man of Tarot obviously comes to mind as well.

"I: Alas what do you want with the crown? I can't understand and I'm suffering unspeakable torment!
Sal (cruelly) : hang until you understand."

So Jung hangs on a swaying branch of the divine tree for three days and nights. The serpent has taken the form of a bird again and goes to look for help. Jung is left considering if eternal love means eternal hanging between heaven and earth. The crown lies far below his feet (!).

"I: is it really true, shall love never end? If this was a blessed message to them, what is it for me?" A raven comes to inform that it depends on the notions of love and the other, and calls Jung an ideologue when he says he has chosen to be a full-fledged man even though heavenly love would be beautiful. Then the serpent appears, explaining that she's only her own half, not one but two. She's ready to take Jung to Hades and then Satan appears.
"Satan: See what comes from the reconciliation of the opposites! Recant, and in a flash you'll be down on the greening earth." Jung refuses. The bird comes back, telling the difference of hovering and hanging is whether one loves the earth or the sky. The crown and serpent are opposites and one.
Jung says the Cabiri have given birth to a cruel law that can't be revoked and thinks it's not the power of flesh, but of love should be broken for the sake of life. "Oh spirit of the darkest depths, do you force me to say that whoever loves does not live and whoever lives does not love?"
This is followed with anger and disgust towards Philemon, but I don't understand the connection. Somehow Philemon tricked Jung to all this, and also Philemon is the Antichrist born from Jung's soul impregnated by the devil's father. This confuses me.
" What do you break apart? You broke life and love in twain. From this ghastly sundering, the frog and the son of frog come forth. Ridicilous - disgusting sight! Irresistible advent! They will sit on the banks of the sweet water and listen to the nocturnal song of the frogs, since their god has been born as the son of frogs. "
The son of frogs is a name of Abraxas if I'm not mistaken.

The serpent wants to tell a story about a king who wants a son and uses witches sorcery to have one. Then he gets scared of his son's strength and uses sorcery to kill him. Then he gets sad and uses sorcery to get him back and gives him his throne.
Thus Jung needs to crown his son, who is the son of frogs, who might also be Philemon or some aspect of him.

"He broke me in two, he cut me up. He yokes the separated. Without him I would fall apart, but my life went on with him. My love remained with me."

Jung is angry that his son should get his power. The son emerges from water to demand Jung's life. He is also apparently God who is leaving to his country of light, egg, sun and the innermost and compressed. He tells Jung is pregnant with a child and leaves him alone.

" I came to my self, a giddy and pitiful figure. My I! I didn't want this fellow as my companion. I found myself with him. I'd prefer a bad woman or a wayward hound, but one's own I - this horrifies me."
With a taste of a poison paradigm
User avatar
Nefastos
Frater
Posts: 4292
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:05 am
Location: Helsinki

Re: Jung, The Red Book

Post by Nefastos »

Insanus wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:09 pmbut let's keep going.

That's the spirit. I too think it would be good to wrestle with this to the end (of it, not ours).

Thus we will still have:
Insanus (July): Scrutinies 1-3 (Reader's Edition p.461-483)
Nefastos (August): Scrutinies 4-6 (RE p.483-515)
Nefastos (September): Scrutinies 7-11 (RE p.515-534)
Wyrmfang (October): Scrutinies 12-14 (RE p.534-553)
Astraya (November): Epilogue & Appendix A (RE p.555-561)
Insanus (December): Appendices B & C (RE p.562-582)

And we're done.
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!"
Post Reply