Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

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2. "DE VITA LONGA": AN EXPOSITION OF THE SECRET DOCTRINE

169 The treatise De vita longa,1 difficult as it is to understand in parts, gives us some information on this point, though we have to extricate it with an effort from the arcane terminology in which it is embedded. The treatise is one of the few that were written in Latin; the style is exceedingly strange, but all the same it contains so many significant hints that it is worth investigating more closely. Adam von Bodenstein, who edited it, says in a dedicatory letter2 to Ludwig Wolfgang von Hapsberg, governor of Badenweiler, that it was "taken down from the mouth of Paracelsus and carefully revised." The obvious inference is that the treatise is based on notes of Paracelsus's lectures and is not an original text. As Bodenstein himself wrote fluent and easily understandable Latin, quite unlike that of the treatise, one must assume that he did not devote any particular attention to it and made no effort to put it into more intelligible form, otherwise much more of his own style would have crept in. Probably he left the lectures more or less in their original state, as is particularly apparent towards the end. It is also likely that he had no very clear understanding of what they were about, any more than had the supposed translator Oporin. This is not surprising, as the Master himself all too often lacks the necessary clarity when discussing these complicated matters. Under these circumstances it is difficult to say how much should be put down to incomprehension and how much to undisciplined thinking. Nor is the possibility of actual errors in transcription excluded.3 In our interpretation, therefore, we are on uncertain ground from the start, and much must remain conjecture. But as Paracelsus, for all his originality, was strongly influenced by alchemical thinking, a knowledge of the earlier and contemporary alchemical treatises, and of the writings of his pupils and followers, is of considerable help in interpreting some of the concepts and in filling out certain gaps. An attempt to comment on and to interpret the treatise, therefore, is not entirely hopeless, despite the admitted difficulties.

A. THE ILIASTER

170 The treatise is mainly concerned with the conditions under which longevity, which in Paracelsus's opinion extends up to a thousand years or more, can be attained. In what follows I shall give chiefly the passages that relate to the secret doctrine and are of help in explaining it.4 Paracelsus starts by giving a definition of life, as follows: "Life, by Hercules, is nothing other than a certain embalsamed Mumia, which preserves the mortal body from the mortal worms and from corruption5 by means of a mixed saline solution." Mumia was well known in the Middle Ages as a medicament, and it consisted of the pulverized parts of real Egyptian mummies, in which there was a flourishing trade. Paracelsus attributes incorruptibility to a special virtue or agent named "balsam." This was something like a natural elixir, by means of which the body was kept alive or, if dead, incorruptible. 6 By the same logic, a scorpion or venomous snake necessarily had in it an alexipharmic, i.e., an antidote, otherwise it would die of its own poison.

171 Paracelsus goes on to discuss a great many arcane remedies, since diseases shorten life and have above all to be cured. The chief among these remedies are gold and pearls, which latter can be transformed into the quinta essentia. A peculiar potency is attributed to Cheyri, [7] which fortifies the microcosmic body so much that it "must necessarily continue in its conservation through the universal anatomy of the four elements."8 Therefore the physician should see to it that the "anatomy" (= structure) of the four elements "be contracted into the one anatomy of the microcosm, not out of the corporeal, but out of that which preserves the corporeal." This is the balsam, which stands even higher than the quinta essential the thing that ordinarily holds the four elements together. It "excels even nature herself" because it is produced by a "bodily operation."9 The idea that the art can make something higher than nature is typically alchemical. The balsam is the life principle, the spiritus mercurii) and it more or less coincides with the Paracelsan concept of the Iliaster. The latter is higher than the four elements and determines the length of life. It is therefore roughly the same as the balsam, or one could say that the balsam is the pharmacological or chemical aspect of the Iliaster,10 The Iliaster has three forms: Iliaster sanctitus,11 paratetus,12 and magnus, They are subordinate to man ("microcosmo subditi") and can be brought "into one gamonymus." Since Paracelsus attributes a special "vis ac potestas coniunctionis" to the Iliaster, this enigmatic "gamonymus" ([x] = marriage, [x] = name) must be interpreted as a kind of chymical wedding, in other words as an indissoluble, hermaphroditic union.13 There are as many Iliastri as there are men; that is to say in every man there is an Iliaster that holds together each individual's peculiar combination of qualities.14 It therefore seems to be a kind of universal formative principle and principle of individuation.

B. THE AQUASTER

172 The Iliaster forms the starting point for the arcane preparation of longevity. "We will explain what is most needful in this process regarding the Iliaster. In "the first place, the impure animate body must be purified through the separation of the elements, which is done by your meditating upon it; this consists in the confirmation of your mind beyond all bodily and mechanic work."15 In this way a "new form is impressed" on the impure body.

173 I have translated imaginatio here by "meditating." In the Paracelsist tradition imaginatio is the active power of the astrum (star) or corpus coeleste sive supracoeleste (Ruland), that is, of the higher man within. Here we encounter the psychic factor in alchemy: the artifex accompanies his chemical work with a simultaneous mental operation which is performed by means of the imagination. Its purpose is to cleanse away the impure admixture and at the same time to bring about the "confirmation" of the mind. The Paracelsan neologism confirmamentum is probably not without reference to the "firmament." During this work man is "raised up in his mind, so that he is made equal to the Enochdiani" (those who enjoy an unusually long life, like Enoch).16 Hence his "interior anatomy" must be heated to the highest degree.17 In this way the impurities are consumed and only the solid is left, "without rust." While the artifex heats the chemical substance in the furnace he himself is morally undergoing the same fiery torment and purification.18 By projecting himself into the substance he has become unconsciously identical with it and suffers the same process. Paracelsus does not fail to point out to his reader that this fire is not the same as the fire in the furnace. This fire, he says, contains nothing more of the "Salamandrine Essence or Melusinian Ares," but is rather a "retorta distillatio from the midst of the centre, beyond all coal fire." Since Melusina is a watery creature, the "Melusinian Ares"19 refers to the so-called "Aquaster,"20 which stands for the watery aspect of the Iliaster, i.e., the Iliaster which animates and preserves the liquids in the body. The Iliaster is without doubt a spiritual, invisible principle although it is also something like the prima materia, which, however, in alchemical usage by no means corresponds to what we understand by matter. For the alchemists the prima materia was the humidum radicale (radical moisture),21 the water,22 the spiritus aquae,23 and vapor terrae; 24 it was also called the "soul" of the substances,25  the sperma mundi,26 Adam's tree of paradise with its many flowers, which grows on the sea,27 the round body from the centre,28 Adam and the accursed man,29 the hermaphroditic monster,30 the One and the root of itself,31 the All,32 and so on. The symbolical names of the prima materia all point to the anima mundi) Plato's Primordial Man, the Anthropos and mystic Adam, who is described as a sphere (= wholeness), consisting of four parts (uniting different aspects in itself), hermaphroditic (beyond division by sex), and damp (i.e., psychic). This paints a picture of the self, the indescribable totality of man.

174 The Aquaster, too, is a spiritual principle; for instance, it shows the adept the "way by which he can search out divine magic." The adept himself is an "aquastric magician." The "scayolic33 Aquaster" shows him the "great cause" with the help of the Trarames (ghostly spirits). Christ took his body from the celestial Aquaster, and the body of Mary was "necrocomic" 34 and "aquastric." Mary "came from the iliastric Aquaster." There, Paracelsus emphasizes, she stood on the moon (the moon is always related to water). Christ was born in the celestial Aquaster. In the human skull there is an "aquastric fissure," in men on the forehead, in women at the back of the head. Through this fissure women are liable to be invaded in their "cagastric" Aquaster by a crowd of diabolical spirits; but men, through their fissure, give birth, "not cagastrically but necrocomically, to the necrocomic Animam vel spiritum vitae microcosmi) the iliastric spirit of life in the heart." In the "centre of the heart dwells the true soul, the breath of God."35

175 From these quotations it is easy to see what the Aquaster means. Whereas the Iliaster seems to be a dynamic spiritual principle, capable of both good and evil, the Aquaster, because of its watery nature, is more a "psychic" principle with quasimaterial attributes (since the bodies of Christ and Mary partook of it). But it functions psychically as a "necrocomic" (i.e., telepathic) agent related to the spiritual world, and as the birthplace of the spiritus vitae. Of all the Paracelsan concepts, therefore, the Aquaster comes closest to the modern concept of the unconscious. So we can see why Paracelsus personifies it as the homunculus and describes the soul as the celestial Aquaster. Like a true alchemist, he thought of the Aquaster and Iliaster as extending both upwards and downwards: they assume a spiritual or heavenly form as well as a quasi-material or earthly one. This is in keeping with the axiom from "Tabula smaragdina": "What is below is like what is above, that the miracle of the one thing may be accomplished." This one thing is the lapis or filius philosophorum.36 As the definitions and names of the prima materia make abundantly plain, matter in alchemy is material and spiritual, and spirit spiritual and material. Only, in the first case matter is cruda, confusa, grossa, crassa, densa, and in the second it is subtilis. Such, too, is the opinion of Paracelsus.

C. ARES

176 Rather superficially, Adam von Bodenstein conceives "Ares" to be the "prime nature of things, determining their form and species."37 Ruland lumps it together with the Iliaster and Archeus. But whereas the Iliaster is the hypostasis of being in general ("generis generalissimi substantia"), Archeus is given the role of a "dispenser of nature" (naturae dispensator) and "initiator." Ares, however, is the "assigner, who extends the peculiar nature to each species, and gives individual form."38 It can therefore be taken as the principle of individuation in the strict sense. It proceeds from the supracelestial bodies, for "such is the property and nature of supracelestial bodies that they straightway produce out of nothing a corporeal imagination [imaginationem corporalem], so as to be thought a solid body. Of this kind is Ares, so that when one thinks of a wolf, a wolf appears.39 This world is like the creatures composed of the four elements. From the elements arise things which are in no way like their origins, but nonetheless Ares bears them all in himself." 40

177 Ares, accordingly, is an intuitive concept for a preconscious, creative, and formative principle which is capable of giving life to individual creatures. It is thus a more specific principle of individuation than the Iliaster, and as such it plays an important role in the purification of the natural man by fire and his transformation into an "Enochdianus." The fire he is heated with is, as we have seen, no ordinary fire, since it does not contain either the "Melusinian Ares" or the "Salamandrine Essence." The salamander symbolizes the fire of the alchemists. It is itself of the nature of fire, a fiery essence. According to Paracelsus, Salamandrini and Saldini are men or spirits of fire, fiery beings. It is an old tradition that, because they have proved their incorruptibility in the fire, such creatures enjoy a particularly long life. The salamander is also the "incombustible sulphur" -- another name for the arcane substance from which the lapis or filius is produced. The fire for heating the artifex contains nothing more of the nature of the salamander, which is an immature, transitional form of the filius} that incorruptible being whose symbols indicate the self.

178 Paracelsus endows Ares with the attribute "Melusinian." Since Melusina undoubtedly belongs to the watery realm, the realm of the nymphs, this attribute imports a watery character into the concept of Ares, which in itsel£ is spiritual. Ares is thus brought into relationship with the lower, denser region and is intimately connected with the body. As a result, Ares becomes so like the Aquaster that it is scarcely possible to distinguish them conceptually. It is characteristic of Paracelsan thinking, and of alchemy in general, that there are no clear-cut concepts, so that one concept can take the place of another ad infinitum. At the same time every concept behaves hypostatically, as though it were a substance that could not at the same time be another substance. This typical primitive phenomenon is found also in Indian philosophy, which swarms with hypostases. Examples of this are the myths of the gods, which, as in Greek and Egyptian mythology, make utterly contradictory statements about the same god. Despite their contradictions, however, the myths continue to exist side by side without disturbing one another.

D. MELUSINA

179 As we shall meet with Melusina several times more in the course of our interpretation, we must examine more closely the nature of this fabulous creature, and in particular the role she plays in Paracelsus. As we know, she belongs to the realm of the Aquaster, and is a water-nymph with the tail of a fish or snake. In the original old French legend she appears as "mere Lusine," the ancestress of the counts of Lusignan. When her husband once surprised her in her fish-tail, which she had to wear only on Saturdays, her secret was out and she was forced to disappear again into the watery realm. She reappeared only from time to time, as a presage of disaster.

180 Melusina comes into the same category as the nymphs and sirens who dwell in the "Nymphidida," the watery realm.41 In the treatise "De sanguine,"42 the nymph is specified as a Schrottli} 'nightmare.' Melusines, on the other hand, dwell in the blood.43 ParacelsllS tells us in "De pygmaeis" 44 that Melusina was originally a nymph who was seduced by Beelzebub into practising witchcraft. She was descended from the whale in whose belly the prophet Jonah beheld great mysteries. This derivation is very important: the birthplace of Melusina is the womb of the mysteries, obviously what we today would call the unconscious. Melusines have no genitals,45 a fact that characterizes them as paradisal beings, since Adam and Eve in paradise had no genitals either.46 Moreover paradise was then beneath the water "and still is."47 When the devil glided into the tree of paradise the tree was "saddened," and Eve was seduced by the "infernal basilisk."48Adam and Eve "fell for" the serpent and became "monstrous," that is, as a result of their slip-up with the snake they acquired genitals.49 But the Melusines remained in the paradisal state as water creatures and went on living in the human blood. Since blood is a primitive symbol for the soul,50 Melusina can be interpreted as a spirit, or at any rate as some kind of psychic phenomenon. Gerard Dorn confirms this in his commentary on De vila Zanga, where he says that Melusina is a "vision appearing in the mind."51 For anyone familiar with the subliminal processes of psychic transformation, Melusina is clearly an anima figure. She appears as a variant of the mercurial serpent, which was sometimes represented in the form of a snakewoman52 by way of expressing the monstrous, double nature of Mercurius. The redemption of this monstrosity was depicted as the assumption and coronation of the Virgin Mary.53

E. THE FILIUS REGIUS AS THE ARCANE SUBSTANCE (MICHAEL MAIER)

181 It is not my intention to enter more closely into the relations between the Paracelsan Melusines and the mercurial serpent. I only wish to point out the alchemical prototypes that may have had an influence on Paracelsus, and to suggest that the longing of Melusina for a soul and for redemption has a parallel in that kingly substance which is hidden in the sea and cries out for deliverance. Of this filius regius Michael Maier says:54 "He lives and calls from the depths:55 Who shall deliver me from the waters and lead me to dry land? Even though this cry be heard of many, yet none takes it upon himself, moved by pity, to seek the king. For who, they say, will plunge into the waters? 'Who will imperil his life by taking away the peril of another? Only a few believe his lament, and think rather that they hear the crashing and roaring of Scylla and Charybdis. Therefore they remain sitting indolently at home, and give no thought to the kingly treasure, nor to their own salvation."

182 We know that Maier can have had no access to the Philosophumena of Hippolytus, long believed lost, and yet it might well have served him as a model for the king's lament. Treating of the mysteries of the Naassenes, Hippolytus says: "But what that form is which comes down from above, from the Uncharacterized [[x]], no man knows. It is found in earthly clay, and yet none recognize it. But that is the god who dwells in the great flood.56 In the Psalter he calls and cries out from many waters.57 The many waters, they say, are the multitude of mortal men, whence he calls and cries aloud to the uncharacterized Man:58 Save mine Only-Begotten59 from the lions."60

And he receives the reply [Isaiah 43 : 1ff.]: "And now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and formed thee, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, and called thee by thy name. Thou art mine. When thou shalt pass through the waters, I will be with thee, and the rivers shall not cover thee. When thou shalt walk through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, and the flames shall not burn in thee." Hippolytus goes on to quote Psalm 23 : 7ff., (DV), referring it to the ascent ([x]) or regeneration ([x]) of Adam: "Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle .... But who, say the Naassenes, is this King of Glory? A worm and no man, the reproach of men and the outcast of the people."61

183 It is not difficult to see what Michael Maier means. For him the filius regius or Rex marinus, as is evident from a passage in the text not quoted here, means antimony,62 though in his usage it has only the name in common with the chemical element. In reality it is the secret transformative substance, which fell from the highest place into the darkest depths of matter where it awaits deliverance. But no one will plunge into these depths in order, by his own transformation in the darkness and by the torment of fire, to rescue his king. They cannot hear the voice of the king and think it is the chaotic roar of destruction. The sea (mare nostrum) of the alchemists is their own darkness, the unconscious. In his way, Epiphanius63 correctly interpreted the "mire of the deep" (limus profundi) as "matter born of the mind, smutty reflections and muddy thoughts of sin." Therefore David in his affliction had said (Psalm 68 : 3, DV): "I stick fast in the mire of the deep." For the Church Father these dark depths could only be evil itself, and if a king got stuck in them it was on account of his own sinfulness. The alchemists took a more optimistic view: the dark background of the soul contains not only evil but a king in need of, and capable of, redemption, of whom the Rosarium says: "At the end of the work the king will go forth for thee, .crowned with his diadem, radiant as the sun, shining like the carbuncle ... constant in the fire."64 And of the worthless prima materia they say: "Despise not the ash, for it is the diadem of thy heart, and the ash of things that endure."65

184 These quotations give one an idea of the mystic aura that surrounded the figure of the filius regius, and I do not think it superfluous to have drawn attention to that distant period when the central ideas of philosophical alchemy were being freely discussed by the Gnostics. Hippolytus gives us perhaps the most complete insight into their analogical thinking, which is akin to that of the alchemists. Anyone who came into contact with alchemy during the first half of the sixteenth century could not fail to feel the fascination of these Gnostic ideas. Although Maier lived and wrote more than seventy years after Paracelsus, and we have no reason to suppose that Paracelsus was acquainted with the heresiologists, his knowledge of the alchemical treatises, and particularly of Hermes [Fig. B6] which he so often quotes, would have sufficed to impress upon him the figure of the filius regius and also that of the much lauded Mater Natura -- a figure not entirely in accord with the views of Christianity. Thus the "Tractatus aureus Hermetis" says: "O mightiest nature of the natures, who containest and separatest the midmost of the natures, who comest with the light and art born with the light, who hast given birth to the misty darkness, who art the mother of all beings!"66 This invocation echoes the classical feeling for nature, and its style is reminiscent of the oldest alchemical treatises, such as those of pseudo-Democritus, and of the Greek Magic Papyri. In this same treatise we encounter the Rex coronatus and filius noster rex genitus, of whom it is said: "For the son is a blessing and possesses wisdom. Come hither, ye sons of the wise, and let us be glad and rejoice, for death is overcome, and the son reigns; he is clothed with the red garment, and the purple [chermes] is put on." He lives from "our fire," and nature "nourishes him who shall endure for ever" with a "small fire." When the son is brought to life by the opus, he becomes a "warrior fire" or a "fighter of fire."67

F. THE PRODUCTION OF THE ONE, OR CENTRE, BY DISTILLATION

185 After this discussion of some of the basic concepts of alchemy, let us come back to the Paracelsan process of transforming the Iliaster. Paracelsus calls this process a retorta distillatio. The purpose of distillation in alchemy was to extract the volatile substance, or spirit, from the impure body. This process was a psychic as well as a physical experience. The retorta distillatio is not a known technical term, but presumably it meant a distillation that was in some way turned back upon itself. It might have taken place in the vessel called the Pelican [Fig. B7], where the distillate runs back into the belly of the retort. This was the "circulatory distillation," much favoured by the alchemists. By means of the "thousandfold distillation" they hoped to achieve a particularly "refined" result.68 It is not unlikely that Paracelsus had something like this in mind, for his aim was to purify the human body to such a degree that it would finally unite with the maior homo, the inner spiritual man, and partake of his longevity. As we have remarked, this was not an ordinary chemical operation, it was essentially a psychological procedure. The fire to be used was a symbolical fire, and the distillation had to start "from the midst of the centre" (ex medio centri).

186 The accentuation of the centre is again a fundamental idea in alchemy. According to Michael Maier, the centre contains the "indivisible point," which is simple, indestructible, and eternal. Its physical counterpart is gold, which is therefore a symbol of eternity.69 In Christianos the centre is compared to paradise and its four rivers. These symbolize the philosophical fluids ([x]), which are emanations from the centre.70 "In the centre of the earth the seven planets took root, and left their virtues there, wherefore in the earth is a germinating water," says Aurora consurgens.71 Benedictus Figulus72 writes:

Visit the centre of the earth,
There you will find the global fire.
Rectify it of all dirt,
Drive it out with love and ire....


He calls this centre the "house of fire" or "Enoch," obviously borrowing the latter term from Paracelsus. Darn says that nothing is more like God than the centre, for it occupies no space, and cannot be grasped, seen, or measured. Such, too, is the nature of God and the spirits. Therefore the centre is "an infinite abyss of mysteries."73 The fire that originates in the centre carries everything upward, but when it cools everything falls back again to the centre. "The physiochemists call this movement circular, and they imitate it in their operations." At the moment of culmination, just before the descent, the elements "conceive the male seeds of the stars," which enter into the elemental matrices (i.e., the non-sublimated elements) during the descent. Thus all created things have four fathers and four mothers. The conception of the seeds results from the "influxum et impressionem" of Sol and Luna, who thus function as nature gods, though Dorn does not say this quite as c1early.74

187 The creation of the elements and their ascent to heaven through the force of the fire serve as a model for the spagyric process. The lower waters, cleansed of their darkness, must be separated from the celestial waters by a carefully regulated fire. "In the end it will come to pass that this earthly, spagyric foetus clothes itself with heavenly nature by its ascent, and then by its descent visibly puts on the nature of the centre of the earth, but nonetheless the nature of the heavenly centre which it acquired by the ascent is secretly preserved."75 The spagyric birth (spagirica foetura) is nothing other than the filius philosophorum) the inner, eternal man in the shell of the outer, mortal man. The filius is not only a panacea for all bodily defects, it also conquers the "subtle and spiritual sickness in the human mind." "For in the One," says Dorn,76 "is the One and yet not the One; it is simple and consists of the number four. When this is purified by the fire in the sun,77 the pure water78 comes forth, and, having returned to simplicity,79 it [the quaternity as unity] will show the adept the fulfilment of the mysteries. This is the centre of the natural wisdom, whose circumference, closed in itself, forms a circle: an immeasurable order reaching to infinity." "Here is the number four, within whose bounds the number three, together with the number two combined into One, fulfils all things, which it does in miraculous wise." In these relations between four, three, two, and one is found, says Dorn, the "culmination of all knowledge and of the mystic art, and the infallible midpoint of the centre (infallibile medii centrum)."80 The One is the midpoint of the circle, the centre of the triad, and it is also the "novenary foetus" (foetus novenarius), i.e., it is as the number nine to the ogdoad, or as the quintessence to the quaternity.81

188 The midpoint of the centre is fire. On it is modelled the simplest and most perfect form, which is the circle. The point is most akin to the nature of light,82 and light is a simulacrum Dei.83 Just as the firmament was created in the midst of the waters above and below the heavens, so in man there is a shining body, the radical moisture, which comes from the sphere of the heavenly waters.84 This body is the "sidereal balsam," which maintains the animal heat. The spirit of the supracelestial waters has its seat in the brain, where it controls the sense organs. In the microcosm the balsam dwells in the heart,85 like the sun in the macrocosm. The shining body is the corpus astrale) the "firmament" or "star" in man. Like the sun in the heavens, the balsam in the heart is a fiery, radiant centre. We meet this solar point in the Turba,86 where it signifies the "germ of the egg, which is in the yolk, and that germ is set in motion by the hen's warmth." The "Consilium coniugii" says that in the egg are the four elements and the "red sun-point in the centre, and this is the young chick."87 Mylius interprets this chick as the bird of Hermes,88 which is another synonym for the mercurial serpent.

189 From this context we can see that the retorta distillatio ex medio centri results in the activation and development of a psychic centre, a concept that coincides psychologically with that of the self.

G. THE CONIUNCTIO IN THE SPRING

190 At the end of the process, says Paracelsus, a "physical lightning" will appear, the "lightning of Saturn" will separate from the lightning of Sol, and what appears in this lightning pertains "to longevity, to that undoubtedly great Iliaster."89 This process does not take anything away from the body's weight but only from its "turbulence," and that "by virtue of the translucent colours."90 "Tranquillity of mind"91 as a goal of the opus is stressed also by other alchemists. Paracelsus has nothing good to say about the body. It is "bad and putrid." When it is alive, it lives only from the "Mumia." Its "continual endeavour" is to rot and turn back into filth. By means of the Mumia the "peregrinus microcosm us" (wandering microcosm) controls the physical body, and for this the arcana are needed.92 Here Paracelsus lays particular stress on Thereniabin93 and Nostoch94 (as before on Cheyri) and on the "tremendous powers" of Melissa. Melissa is singled out for special honour because in ancient medicine it was considered to be a means of inducing happiness, and was used as a remedy for melancholia and for purging the body of "black, burnt-out blood."95 It unites in itself the powers of the "supracelestial coniunctio," and that is "Iloch, which comes from the true Aniadus." As Paracelsus had spoken just before of Nostoch, the Iliaster has changed under his eyes into Iloch. The Aniadus that now makes its appearance constitutes the essence of Iloch, i.e., of the coniunctio. But to what does the coniunctio refer? Before this Paracelsus had been speaking of a separation of Saturn and Sol. Saturn is the cold, dark, heavy, impure element, Sol is the opposite. 'When this separation is completed and the body has been purified by Melissa and freed from Saturnine melancholy, then the coniunctio can take place with the long-living inner, or astral, man,96 and from this conjunction arises the "Enochdianus." Iloch or Aniadus appears to be something like the virtue or power of the everlasting man. This "Magnale" comes about by the "exaltation of both worlds," and "in the true May, when the exaltations of Aniada begin, these should be gathered." Here again Paracelsus outdoes himself in obscurity, but this much at least is evident, that Aniadus denotes a springtime condition, the "efficacity of things," as Dorn defines it.

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Fig. B1. A fish meal, with accompanying statue of the hermaphrodite. Though the picture is undoubtedly secular, it contains echoes of early Christian motifs. The significance of the hermaphrodite in this context is unknown to me. British Museum, MS. Add. 15268 (13 cent.)

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Fig. B2. The filius or rex in the form of a hermaphrodite. The axiom of Maria is represented by 1 + 3 snakes: the filius, as mediator, unites the one with the three. Characteristically, he has bat's wings. To the right is the Pelican, symbol of the distillatio circulatoria; to the lesft, the arbor philosophica with golden flowers; underneath, the chthonic triad as a three-headed serpent. From Rosarium philosophorum (1550), fol. X, iiiv.

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Fig. B3. The Rebis: from "Book of the Holy Trinity and Description of the Secret of the Transmutation of Metals" (1420), in the Codex GTermanicus 598 (Staatsbibliothek, Munich), fol. 105V. The illustration may have served as a model for the hermaphrodite in the Rosarium (pl. B2).

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Fig. B4. Melusina as the aqua permanens, opening the side of the filius (an allegory of Christ) with the lance of Longinus. The figure in the middle is Eve (earth), who is reunited with Adam (Christ) in the coniunctio. From their union is born the hermaphrodite, the incarnate Primordial Man. To the right is the athanor (furnace) with the vessel in the centre, from which the lapis (hermaphrodite) will arise. The vessels on either side contain Sol and Luna. Woodcut from Reusner's Pandora: Das ist, die edelst Gab Gottes, oder der werde und heilsame Stein der Seysen (Basel, 1588), p. 249.

Image
Fig. B5. The anima as Melusina, embracing a man rising out of the sea (= unconscious): a coniunctio animae cum corpore. The gnomes are the planetary spirits in the form of paradroi (familiars). British Museum, MS. Sloane 5025, a variant of the Ripley Scrowle (1588).

Image
Fig. B6. The King's Son (filius regis) and the mystagogue Hermes on a mountain, an obvious allusion to the Temptation (Luke, ch. 4). The accompanying text says: "Another mountain of India lies in the vessel, which the Spirit and Soul, as son and guide, have together ascended." The two are called spirit and soul because they represent volatile substances which rise up during the heating of the prima materia. From Lambspringk, "De lapide philosophico," fig. XII, in Musaeum hermeticum (Frankfurt a. M., 1678), p. 365.

Image
Fig. B7. Picture of the Pelican, the vessel in which the circulatory distillation takes place. Page from Rhenanus, Solis e puteo emergentis sive dissertationis chymotechnicae libri tres (Frankfurt a. M., 1613).

191 We meet this motif in one of the earliest Greek texts, entitled the "Instruction of Cleopatra by the Archpriest Komarios," 97 where Ostanes98 and his companions say to Cleopatra:

Make known to us how the highest descends to the lowest, and the lowest ascends to the highest, and the midmost draws near to the lowest and the highest, so that they are made one with it;99 how the blessed waters come down from above to awaken the dead, who lie round about in the midst of Hades, chained in the darkness; how the elixir of life comes to them and awakens them, rousing them out of their sleep ....


192 Cleopatra answers:

When the waters come in, they awaken the bodies and the spirits, which are imprisoned and powerless .... Gradually they bestir themselves, rise up, and clothe themselves in bright colours,100 glorious as the flowers in spring. The spring is glad and rejoices in the blossoming ripeness they have put on.


193 Ruland defines Aniada101 as "fruits and powers of paradise and heaven; they are also the Christian Sacraments . . . those things which by thought, judgment, and imagination promote longevity in us."102 They seem therefore to be powers that confer everlasting life, an even more potent [x] than Cheyri, Thereniabin, Nostoch, and Melissa. They correspond to the blessed waters of Komarios and also, apparently, to the Communion substances. In the spring all the forces of life are in a state of festive exaltation, and the opus alchymicum should also begin in the spring103 (already in the month of Aries, whose ruler is Mars). At that time the Aniada should be "gathered," as though they were healing herbs. There is an ambiguity here: it could also mean the gathering together of all the psychic powers for the great transformation. The hierosgamos of Poliphilo likewise takes place in the month of May,104that is, the union with the soul, the latter embodying the world of the gods. At this marriage the human and the divine are made one; it is an "exaltation of both worlds," as Paracelsus says. He adds significantly: "And the exaltations of the nettles burn too, and the colour of the little flame105 sparkles and shines." Nettles were used for medicinal purposes (the preparation of nettle water), and were collected in May because they sting most strongly when they are young. The nettle was therefore a symbol of youth, which is "most prone to the flames of lust."106 The allusion to the stinging nettle and the flammula is a discreet reminder that not only Mary but Venus, too, reigns in May. In the next sentence Paracelsus remarks that this power can be "changed into something else." There are exaltations, he says, far more powerful than the nettle, namely the Aniada, and these are found not in the matrices, that is, in the physical elements, but in the heavenly ones. The Ideus would be nothing if it had not brought forth greater things. For it had made another May, when heavenly flowers bloomed. At this time Anachmus107 must be extracted and preserved, even as "musk rests in the pomander108 and the virtue of gold in laudanum."109 One can enjoy longevity only when one has gathered the powers of Anachmus. To my knowledge, there is no way of distinguishing Anachmus from Aniadus.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:30 am

Part 2 of 2

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Notes:

1 Ed. Sudhoff, III.
 
2 Fol. d2r of the 1st edn. (1562).
 
3 To give but one example: one passage says that "there is nothing of mortality  in the Scaiolae," while another speaks of the "death and life of the Scaiolae"  (infra, pars. 207, 214). Not much reliance should therefore be placed on Bodenstein's  "revision." As against my view that the Vita longa consists of lecture  notes, one must consider the fact that there are original fragments written in German (ed. Sudhoff, III, pp. 295ff.). These may be Paracelsus's drafts for a  German version. The date of composition of the Vita longa is perhaps 1526. No  original MSS. of Paracelsus have been preserved (ibid., pp. xxxiiff.).
 
4 The following discussion makes no attempt to evaluate the treatise as a whole,  for which reason I have not considered the De vita libri tres of Marsilio Ficino  an important contribution in this respect.
 
5 The word aestphara in the Latin may be of Arabic origin. Dorn translates it as  corruptio. Another possible derivation is [x], 'to render invisible,' 'to kill,' and  [x], 'to cleave,' 'to dismember.' Corruption or putrefaction involves decomposition  and hence the disappearance of the previous form. "Nihil mehercle vita est  aliud, nisi Mummia quaedam Balsamita, conservans mortale corpus a mortalibus  vermibus et aestphara, cum impressa liquoris sallium commistura." [Google Translate: Nothing is a difficult life, nothing else but the Mummia a kind of Balsamita, to preserve things of his mortal body from the mortal worms and aestphara with liquid impressed Salles MIXING.
 
6 Ruland, A Lexicon of Alchemy, p. 69 (s.v. Balsamum s. Balsamus): "It is the liquor of an interior salt most carefully and naturally preserving its body from  corruption .... In German the term [is] Baldzamen ['soon together'], i.e., quickly  joined [celeriter coniunctum: hence a means of promoting the coniunctio, see  infra]. External Balsam of the Elements is liquor of external Mercury ... the  firmamental essence of existences, the Quintessence." Hence B. internus is a  liquor Mercurii interni.
 
7 Cheyri is the yellow wallflower [Cheiranthus cheiri, incorrectly given as] Viola  petraea lutea [mountain pansy] in the Herbal of Tabernaemontanus; it is abortifacient and restorative. The plant bears four-petalled yellow blossoms. Galen (De  simplicium medicamentorum facultatibus, Lib. VII) says it has a carminative and  warming effect. In Ruland (Lexicon, p. 98). Cheiri Paracelsicum, as applied to  minerals, is quicksilver; Flos cheri is the white elixir of silver, also the essence  of gold. "Others say it is potable gold," hence it is an arcanum subserving the  philosophical aim of alchemy. Paracelsus himself alludes to its fourfold nature:  " ... and the Spagyric makes a temperate being out of the four [elements], as the  flower Cheiri shows." "Fragmenta medica," ed. Sudhoff, III, p. 301.
 
8 "Quod per universam quatuor elementorum anatomiam perdurare in sua  conservatione debet" (Lib. IV, ch. I). In the German fragments to the Vita longa  Paracelsus says: "For Cheiri is more than Venus, Anthos more than Mars."
 
9 Probably by a process of extraction.

10 [The following passage is a slight condensation of a note entitled "The Concept  of Mercurius in Hermetic Philosophy," dated Einsiedeln, Oct. 11, 1942, discovered  among Jung's posthumous papers:
 
"This concept -- if one can call it such -- not only has a wealth of meanings but  appears in variant form as Iliastrum, lliastes, Iliadus, Yleides, Yleidus, etc. Such  an intensification of Paracelsus's etymological proclivities indicates that a special  importance attaches to an idea so variously named. Sometimes the lliaster is  the principium, the prima matuia, the chaos, the prima compositio, consisting  of the three basic substances, Mercurius, sulphur, and salt; sometimes it is the  aer elementalis or coelum, 'the true spirit in man, which pervades all his limbs';  sometimes the 'occult virtue of nature, by which all thing[s) increase, are  nourished, multiply, and quicken,' as Ruland, a pupil of Paracelsus, defines it  (Lexicon, p. 181); sometimes the spiritus vitae, which is none other than vis  Mercurii. It is thus identical with the Mercurial spirit, which was the central  concept of alchemy from the oldest times to its heyday in the seventeenth century.  Like the Mercurius philosophorum, the Paracelsan Mercurius is a child  of Sol and Luna, born with the help of sulphur and salt, the 'strange son of  chaos,' as Goethe calls Mephistopheles. Paracelsus names it 'omne fumosum et  humidum in quovis corpore,' the moist, breathlike or vaporous soul dwelling  in all bodies. In its highest form the Iliaster signifies the passage of the mind  or soul into another world, as took place with Enoch, Elias, and others. (Ruland,  Lexicon, p. 181. Cf. Ezek. 1 : 13 and Luke 10: 18.) Not only is it the life-giver, it  is the psychopomp in the mystic transformation, leading the way to incorruptibility  or immortality. The 'seed of the Iliastric soul' is the spirit of Cod himself,  and on it is imprinted 'God's likeness.'" - EDITORS.]
 
11 Sanctitus from sancire, 'to make unalterable or inviolable'; sanctitus = affirmatus,  'made firm.' Ruland (Lexicon, p. 181): "The first, or implanted [Iliaster]  is the span of life."
 
12 Probably derived from [x], 'to obtain by prayer,' 'to entreat.' Ruland:  "The second Iliaster, prepared Iliaster."
 
13 The product of Sol and Luna was represented as a hermaphrodite.
 
14 De vita longa, Lib. IV, cap. IV: "Eius ultra mille sunt species .. , potius  iuxta hoc, ut quilibet microcosmus peculiarem suam, atque adeo perfectam  coniunctionem habeat, quilibet, inquam, utrinque perfectam suam ac propriam  virtutem" (There are more than a thousand species thereof … so that each microcosm may have its own special and even perfect conjunction, each, I say,  its own perfect and peculiar virtue).
 
15 Lib. IV, cap. VI: "Quod maxime necessarium est in hoc processu erga iliastrum,  describamus: Principio ut impurum animatum depuretur citra separationem  elementorum, quod fit per tuam ipsius imaginationem, cum ea in animi tui  confirmamento consistit, praeter omnem corporalem ac mechanicum laborem."
 
16 Cf. Gen. 5 : 23-24: "And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and  five years. And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."  According to the chronologist Scaliger (Animadversiones in chronologio Eusebii)  Enoch was responsible for the division of the year. Enoch was also considered a  prefiguration of Christ, like Melchisedek. Cf. Pico della Mirandola ("De arte  cabalistica," Opera omnia, I, p. 3020): "Denuo Simon ait, pater noster Adam,  rursus ex Seth nepotem suscepit, memor eius Cabalae, quam sibi Raziel tradiderat,  quod ex sua propagatione nasceretur homo futurus salvator. Quare vocatus  est Enos, id est, homo." (Again Simon says that our father Adam received another  grandchild from Seth, having in mind that Cabala which Raziel had  handed down to him, that of his seed should be born a man who would be a  saviour. Wherefore he was called Enos, that is, Man.)
 
17 Lib. IV, ch. VI: "Quare microcosmum in sua interiore anatomia reverberari  oportet in supremam usque reverberationem" (Wherefore the microcosm in its  interior anatomy must be reverberated up to the highest reverberation). This  takes place in the reverberatorium, a calcining furnace. "Reverberation is ignition,  reducing substances under the influence of a potent fire, and by means of  reverberation and repercussion, into a fine calx" (Ruland, p. 276).
 
18 The "Tractatus aureus" says (ch. IV): "Burn up the body of the air with very  much fire, and it will imbue you with the grace you seek" (Ars chemica, p. 24).
 
19 Ares is sometimes masculine, too.
 
20 From aqua and astrum = 'water star.'
 
21 Albertus Magnus, "De mineralibus et rebus metallicis" (Borgnet, vol. V,  Tract. I, ch. 2).
 
22 Rupescissa in Hoghelande, "De alchemiae difficultatibus," Theatr. chem., I  (1659), p. 172.
 
23 Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 16.
 
24 Ibid.
 
25 Dialogue between Synesios and Dioskoros in Berthelot, Alch. grecs, II, iii.
 
26 Turba Philosophorum (ed. Ruska), Sermo XIII, p. 122; Hoghelande, in Theatr.  chem., 1(1659), p. 150. A quotation from Senior.
 
27 Abu'l Qasim, Kitab al-'ilm al-muktasab, ed. Holmyard, p. 23.
 
28 Dorn, "Physica genesis," Theatr. chem., I (16,59), p. 349. Dorn says further:  "Of the centre there is no end, and no pen can rightly describe its power and  the infinite abyss of its mysteries."
 
29 Olympiodorus in Berthelot, Alch. grecs, II, iv, 32. The myth of the [x]  is to be found ibid., 52.
 
30 Hoghelande, "De alch. diff.,” p. 159.
 
31 Rosarium philosophorum, in Art. aurif., II, p. 369.
 
32 "Liber Platonis quartorum," Theatr. chem., V (1660), p. 118.
 
33 Scaiolae are something like higher mental functions, comparable psychologically  to the archetypes. See infra, pars. 206ff.
 
34 "Necrocomic" relating to the sphere of the necrocomica, i.e., telepathic  phenomena or events indicative of the future. Ruland (Lexicon, p. 238) describes  them as "signs falling from heaven upon earth."
 
35 "Liber Azoth," pp. 521ff.
 
36 Hortulanus, "Commentarius," De alchemia, pp. 363ff.
 
37 Onomasticon, pp. 18f.
 
38 Ruland, Lexicon, p. 38.
 
39 Ares = Mars. The reference to the wolf supports this interpretation, for the wolf is the animal of Mars. Johannes Braceschus of Brixen, a contemporary of Paracelsus, states in his "Lignum vitae" (Bibl. chem., I, pp. 911ff.) that the principle of the life-prolonging medicine is Mars, to which he refers the saying of Rhazes: "Aceipe petram post ingressum Solis in arietem" (Take the stone after the sun's entry into Aries). Braceschus continues: "This thing [Mars] is a man whose complexion is choleric. ... This hot and bilious man is iron ... it is called a man because it has soul, body, and spirit. ... That metal, although it is begotten by the virtue of all the stars and planets, is nevertheless especially begotten in the earth by virtue of the most high and mighty Pole Star called the Great Bear." Mars is also called the Daemogorgon, "ancestor of all the gods of the Gentiles." "Surrounded on all sides by thick clouds and darkness, he walks in the midmost bowels of the earth, and is there hidden ... not begotten of any, but eternal and the father of all things." He is a "shapeless chimaera." Daemogorgon is explained as the "god of the earth, or a terrible god, and iron." (For Paracelsus, as we saw, the body purified by the fire was associated with iron, in so far as the residue was "without rust.") "The ancients attributed to him eternity and chaos for companions: eternity and the prepared quicksilver, which is ... the eternal liquor." He is the serpent, the aqua mercurialis. "The first son of Daemogorgon was Litigius, that is, the sulphur which is called Mars." "Chaos is that earthly salt called Saturn; for it is matter and in it everything is without form." All living and dead things are contained in it, or proceed from it. Daemogorgon, or Mars, thus corresponds to the Ares of Paracelsus. Pernety (Dictionnaire mytho-hermctique) defines "Daimorgon" as the "genius of the earth," "the fire which quickens nature, and in particular that innate and life-giving spirit of the earth of the sages, which acts throughout the whole course of the operations of the great work." Pernety also mentions "Demorgon" and a treatise of the same name by Raymund Lully. This treatise is not mentioned in Ferguson's Bibliotheca chemica (1906), but it might be a reference to the "Lignum vitae" of Braceschus, which is a dialogue between Lully and a pupil. Roscher (Lexicon, I, col. 987) defines Demogorgon as "an enigmatic god. Might be derived from [x]." Astrologically, Mars characterizes the instinctual and affective nature of man. The subjugation and transformation of this nature seems to be the theme of the alchemical opus. It is worth noting that Colonna's Hypnerotomachia begins with the wolf as the initiating animal; he also has this significance in Canto I of Dante's Inferno, where he appears in a triad of animals. This lower triad corresponds to the upper Trinity; therefore we meet it again as the tricephalous Satan in Canto XXXIV.
 
40 Bodenstein, De vita longa, Lib. I, ch. VII, p. 21.
 
41 "Das Buch Meteorum" (ed. Huser). p. 79. In the Book of Enoch 19: 2 the wives of the fallen angels changed into sirens.
 
42 P.271. 43 Ibid., p. 4; "Philosophia ad Athenienses," Lib. I, ch. XIII.
 
44 Ed. Huser. II, p. 189.
 
45 "Liber Azoth," p. 534.
 
46 Ibid., pp. 523, 537.
 
47 P. 542.
 
48 P. 539.
 
49 Pp. 539, 541.
 
50 Crawley. The Idea of the Soul, pp. 19 and 237.

51 P. 178. See infra, par. 214.
 
52 As in Reusner's Pandora (1588), Codex Germanicus Alchemicus Vadiensis  (St. Gall, 16th cent.), and Codex Rhenoviensis (Zurich, 15th cent.). [Cf. Figs. B  3-5.]
 
[The following (undated) note on Pandora was found among Jung's posthumous  papers:
 
 "Pandora is one of the earliest synoptic accounts of alchemy, and it may be  the first that was written in German. It was first published by Henric Petri in  Basel, 1588. It is apparent from the foreword that the author was the physician  Hieronymus Reusner, who, however, hides under the pseudonym Franciscus  Epimetheus, by whom the book was allegedly 'made.' Reusner dedicates it to  Dr. Ruland, the well-known compiler of the Lexicon alchemiae sive Dictionarium  alchemisticum (Frankfurt a. M., 1612). The text of Pandora is a compilation in  the manner of the Rosarium philosophorum (1550), which is copiously cited. But  other sources are used besides this, for instance the 'Tractatus aureus Hermetis.'  Reusner was a pupil of Paracelsus. His book, being written in German, is a  contribution to the Germanization of medicine that was started by Paracelsus,  and, as the foreword shows, to Paracelsus's revival of the spiritual trends of  alchemy. The actual text remains uninfluenced by these innovations and rum  along the traditional lines. It contains nothing that is not found in the earlier  authors, though the long list of synonyms at the end deserves special mention.  This contains a number of Arabic and quasi-Arabic terms which, it appears,  multiplied greatly during the 16th century. But the chief value of Pandora  lies in the series of eighteen symbolical pictures at the end of the volume. As  usual, they do not explain the text, or only very indirectly, but they are of  considerable interest as regards the secret content of alchemy. Some of the pictures  date from the 15th century and are taken from the Dreifaltigkeitsbuch  (Codex Germanicus 598, 1420, Staatsbibliothek, Munich), but most are from the  16th century. The chief source is probably the 'Alchymistisches Manuscript' in  the Universitatsbibliothek, Rasel. One of the pictures (the Echidna symbol of  Mercurius) may come from a 16th-century MS. in St. Gall." -- EDlTORS]
 
53 See Psychology and Alchemy, Figs. 224 and 232.
 
54 Symbola aureae mensae, p. 380.
 
55 Psalm 129: 1 (DV): "Out of the depth I have cried to thee, O Lord."
 
56 Psalm 29: 10 (AV): "The Lord sitteth upon the flood: yea, the Lord sitteth  King for ever."
 
57 Psalm 28: 3 (DV): "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of  majesty hath thundered; the Lord is upon many waters."
 
58 In the sense of [x].
 
59 [x]. This feminine "only-begotten" seems to refer to a daughter,  or to the soul, as Psalm 34: I7 (DV) affirms: "Rescue thou my soul from their  malice: my only one from the lions."
 
60 Psalm 21 : 22 (DV): "Save me from the lion's mouth .... "
 
61 Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 8. The extreme lowliness of the redeemer's origin is  expressed even more strongly in alchemy: the stone is "cast on the dunghill,"  "found in filth," etc. The "Tractatus Aristotelis" says (Theatr. chem., V, 1660,  p. 787): "Lapidem animalem esse, qui tanquam serpens ex corruptione perfectissimae  naturae humanae de industria inter duos montes emissus gignitur,  scinditur et prolabitur, et in fossa cavernae clauditur" (The living stone which  is industriously brought forth as a serpent between the two mountains from the  corruption of the most perfect human nature, is torn away and slips forth, and  is shut up in a hollow cave). [x] in conjunction with [x], 'outcast,'  might therefore be interpreted as an intestinal worm.
 
62 From [x], the efflorescence of metallic salts. Cf. Lippmann, Entstehung  und Ausbreitung der Alchemie, II, p. 40.
 
63 Panarium (ed. Holl), Haer. 36, cap. 4 (II, pp. 47ff).
 
64 Art. aurif., II, p. 329, quotation from Lilius. Cf. The vision of the "man coming  up from the midst of the sea" (II Esdras 13: 25 and 51).
 
65 Rosarium philosophorum (De alchimia, 1550), fol. L3v.
 
66 Ars chemica, p. 21. The "Tractatus aureus" is of Arabic ongin, but its content  dates back to much older sources. It may have been transmitted by the Harranite  school.
 
67 Bellator ignis is ambiguous. Chermes = arab. kermes = 'purple,’ L. carmesinus  = Ital. chermisi, whence F. cramoisi, E. carmine, crimson. Cf. Du Cange, Glossarium,  s.v. "carmesinus."
 
68 Rupescissa, La Vertu et propriete de la quinte essence de toutes choses, p. 26.
 
69 De circulo physico quadrato, pp. 27ff.
 
70 Berthelot, Alch. grecs, VI, i, 2.
 
71 Ed. von Franz, p. 125.
 
72 Rosarium novum olympicum, Pars. I, p. 71. Enoch is the "son of man" (Book  of Enoch, in Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, II, p. 237).
 
73 "Nam ut ipsa [Divinitas] incomprehensibilis, invisibilis, non mensurabilis, infinita,  indeterminata, et siquid ultra dici potest, omnia similiter in centro quadrare  convenireque certum est. Hoc enim quia locum nullum occupat ob quantitatis  carentiam, comprehendi non potest, videri nec mensurari. Turn etiam cum  ea de causa infinitum sit, et absque terminis, locum non occupat, nec depingi  potest, vel imitatione fingi. Nihilominus omnia quae locum etiam non implent  ob carentiam corpulentiae, ut sunt spiritus omnes, centro comprehendi possunt,  quod utraque sint incomprehensibilia." (For it is certain that it [the Divinity]  is incomprehensible, invisible, immeasurable, infinite, indeterminable, and if  aught more may be said, that it squares and brings all things together in a  centre. For this, because it occupies no space, since it lacks quantity. cannot be  comprehended, seen, or measured. Also because for that reason it is infinite and  has no bounds, it occupies no space, nor can it be depicted, nor can any likeness  of it be made. Nevertheless all things which likewise fill no place because they  lack body, as is the case with all spirits, can be comprehended in the centre, for  both are incomprehensible. As therefore there is no end of the centre, no pen  can rightly describe its power and the infinite abyss of its mysteries.) ("Physica  genesis," Theatr. chem., I, 1659, pp. 339f.)
 
74 Ibid., p. 349. In "Physica Trismegisti" (ibid., p. 375) Dorn says: "[Sol] primus  post Deum pater ac parens omnium vocatus est, cum in eo quorum vis seminaria  virtus atque formalis delitescit." (The Sun is called after God the father and  parent of all things, since in him lies hidden the seminal and formal virtue of  everything whatever.) P. 376: "Lunam esse matrem et uxorem solis, quae foetum  spagiricum a sole conceptum in sua matrice uteroque, vento gestat in aere."  (The moon is the mother and wife of the sun, who bears in her aerial womb  the spagyric foetus conceived from the sun.) From this it is evident that the  filius is begotten of nature gods in a very unchristian manner.
 
75 Ibid., p. 363.
 
76 "Physica Trithemii," Theatr. chem., 1 (1659), p. 391.
 
77 The sun is the birthplace of the "spiritual fire," mentioned above. Light-symbols always refer psychologically to consciousness or to a content that is becoming conscious.
 
78 The aqua pura is the aqua perrnanens of the Latin and Arabic alchemists and  the [x] of the Greeks. It is the spiritus mercurialis in water form, which in  turn serves to extract the "soul" of the substance. The spiritus mercurialis corresponds  to the spiritual fire, hence aqua = ignis. Although these terms are used  indiscriminately, they are not the same, since fire is active, spiritual, emotional, close to consciousness, whereas water is passive, material, cool, and of the nature of the unconscious. Both are necessary to the alchemical process since this is concerned with the union of opposites. Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Fig. 4.
 
79 Khunrath (Von hylealischen Chaos, p. 203) says that the ternarius, purified "by the Circumrotation or Circular Philosophical revolving of the Quaternarius ... is brought back to the highest and most pure Simplicity ... of the plusquamperfect Catholic Monad .... The impure, crude One becomes an exceeding pure and subtle One, through the manifestation of the occult and the occultation of the manifest."
 
80 "Physica Trithemii," p. 391.
 
81 Dorn, "Duellum animi cum corpore," Theatr. chem., I (,659), p. 482. This number symbolism refers to the axiom of Maria: "One becomes Two, Two becomes Three, and out of the Third comes One as the Fourth" (Berthelot, Alch. grecs, VI, v, 6). This axiom runs through the whole of alchemy, and is not unconnected with Christian speculations regarding the Trinity. Cf. my "Psychology and Religion," p. 60, and "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity," pp. 164ff.
 
82 Steeb, Coelum Sephiroticum, p. 19.
 
83 Ibid., p. 38.
 
84 P. 42.
 
85 P. 117.
 
86 Ed. Ruska, p. 94. Cf. Codex Berolinensis 532, fol. 154v: " ... the sun-point, that  is the germ of the egg, which is in the yolk."
 
87 Ars chemica. The "Consilium coniugii" may date from the 13th cent.
 
88 Phil. ref., p. 131.
 
89 There is only one flash of lightning, which changes the darkness of Saturn  into the brightness of Jupiter. Ruland (Lexicon, p. 153) states: "Metallic fulmination  is, with the higher metals, a process of purging .... Fulmination is a metallic  gradation, with excoction, educing the pure part, the perfection thereof being  indicated by an irradiating splendour."
 
90 The colours refer to the cauda pavonis, which appears just before the completion  of the opus.
 
91 Cf. infra, pars. 201f.

92 "For from mortal man can nothing be called forth which produces longevity, for longevity is outside the body." "Fragmenta medica," ed. Sudhoff, III, p. 291.
 
93 Thereniabin is a favourite arcanum of Paracelsus. It is pinguedo mannae (the fat or oil of manna), popularly known as honeydew -- a sticky, resinous coating on leaves, with a sweetish taste. This honey, Paracelsus says, falls from the air. Being a heavenly food, it assists sublimation. He also calls it "maydew." [For a possible connection between ergot-based honeydew and Coleridge's image in "Kubla Khan," see Todd, "Coleridge and Paracelsus, Honeydew and LSD." -- EDITORS.]
 
94 Nostoch is not, as Bodenstein supposes, a species of fire, but a gelatinous alga that appears after continuous rain. These algae are still known as Nostocs in modern botany. It was earlier supposed that Nostocs fell from the air, or from the stars. (They are also called Star jelly and witches'-butter.) Ruland (Lexicon, p. 240) defines it as "a ray or radiation of a certain star, or its offscouring, superfluity, etc, cast on earth." Hence, like thereniabin, it is a sublimating arcanum, becausse it comes from heaven.
 
95 Tabernaemontanus. Herbal, s.v. "Melissa."
 
96 For this reason the coniunctio is depicted as the embrace of two winged beings, as in the Rosarium. Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Fig. 268.

97 The text is assigned to the 1st cent. A.D. Berthelot, Alch. grecs, IV, xx, 8.
 
98 An already legendary (Persian) alchemist of perhaps the 4th cent. B.C.
 
99 I insert in Berthelot's text the reading of MS. Paris 2250 ([x]).  which makes better sense.
 
100 The cauda pavonis of the Latin alchemists.
 
101 The nominative plural corresponding to aniadorum is presumably aniada  rather than aniadi.
 
102 Lexicon, p. 30.
 
103 A derivation that would come closest in meaning to the term Aniadus would  be from [x], 'to perfect, complete.' The form Anyadei, defined by Ruland  (Lexicon, p. 32) as "eternal spring, the new world, the Paradise to come," argues  in favour of this.
 
104 Taurus, the zodiacal sign of May, is the House of Venus. In the Greek·  Egyptian zodiac the bull carries the sun-disk, which rests in the sickle moon (the  ship of Venus), an image of the coniunctio. (Cf. Budge, Amulets and Superstitions,  p. 410.) The Taurus sign is composed of the sun-disk with the moon's  horns: ([x]). Cf. the alchemical parallel in Dee, "Monas hieroglyphica," Theatr.  chem., II (,659), pp. 200ff.
 
105 I have given a literal translation of "nitetque ac splendet flammulae color."  But since Paracelsus was familiar with Agrippa's De occulta philosophia, he  may have been referring to, or quoting, a passage from this work. In Book I,  ch. XXVII, we read of trees and plants that "are armed with sharp thorns, or  burn, prick, or cut the skin by their contact, such as the thistle, nettle, and little  flame (flammula)." Here flammula is the name for various kinds of crowfoot  (ranunculus), which was used as a corrosive and vesicant and is mentioned as such  in Dioscorides (Medica materia, p. 295).
 
106 Picinellus, Mundus symbolicus, s.v. "urtica."
 
107 Anachmus is mentioned along with the Scaiolae; see infra, par. 207.
 
108 Pomander = pomambra = pomum ambrae. Ambra is a bezoar of the pot-fish  or sperm-whale, prized on account of its perfume (ambergris). These and other  aromatics were used as "plague balls" to drive away the fetid vapours of sick rooms. Muscus is mentioned as an aromatic in Dioscorides (Medica materia, p. 42). In Agrippa (Occult. phil., I, p. xxxiv) the aromatics subordinated to Venus include "laudanum, ambra muscus." In our text "muscus in pomambra" is immediately followed by "laudanum." According to Dioscorides (Med. mat., p. 106), ladanum is the juice of an exotic plant whose leaves "acquire in the spring a certain fattiness ... out of which is made what is called ladanum." Tabernaemontanus says this juice is aromatic.
 
109 Laudanum is the arcane remedy of Paracelsus. It has nothing to do with opium, though it may be derived from the above-mentioned ladanum. Adam von Bodenstein (De vita longa, p. 98) mentions two laudanum recipes of Paracelsus.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:26 am

3. THE NATURAL TRANSFORMATION MYSTERY

194 Aniadus (or Aniadum), interpreted by Bodenstein and Dorn as the "efficacity of things," is defined by Ruland as "the regenerated spiritual man in us, the heavenly body implanted in us Christians by the Holy Ghost through the most Holy Sacraments." This interpretation does full justice to the role which Aniadus plays in the writings of Paracelsus. Though it is clearly related to the sacraments and to the Communion in particular, it is equally clear that there was no question of arousing or implanting the inner man in the Christian sense, but of a "scientific" union of the natural with the spiritual man with the aid of arcane techniques of a medical nature. Paracelsus carefully avoids the ecclesiastical terminology and uses instead an esoteric language which is extremely difficult to decipher, for the obvious purpose of segregating the "natural" transformation mystery from the religious one and effectively concealing it from prying eyes. Otherwise the welter of esoteric terms in this treatise would have no explanation. Nor can one escape the impression that this mystery was in some sense opposed to the religious mystery: as the "nettle" and the flammula show, the ambiguities of Eros were also included in it.1 It had far more to do with pagan antiquity, as is evidenced by the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, than with the Christian mystery. Nor is there any reason to suppose that Paracelsus was sniffing out nasty secrets; a more cogent motive was his experience as a physician who had to deal with man as he is and not as he should be and biologically speaking never can be. Many questions are put to a doctor which he cannot honestly answer with "should" but only from his knowledge and experience of nature. In these fragments of a nature mystery there is nothing to suggest a misplaced curiosity or perverse interest on Paracelsus's part; they bear witness rather to the strenuous efforts of a physician to find satisfactory answers to psychological questions which the ecclesiastical casuist is inclined to twist in his own favour.

195 This nature mystery was indeed so much at odds with the Church-despite the superficial analogies-that the Hungarian alchemist Nicolaus Melchior Szebeny,2 court astrologer to Ladislaus II (1471-1516), made the bold attempt to present the opus alchymicum in the form of a Mass.3 It is difficult to prove whether and to what extent the alchemists were aware that they were in conflict with the Church. Mostly they showed no insight into what they were doing. This is true also of Paracelsus -- except for a few hints about the "Pagoyum." It is the more understandable that no real self-criticism could come about, since they genuinely believed that they were performing a work well-pleasing to God on the principle "quod natura relinquit imperfectum, ars perficit" (what nature left imperfect, the art perfects). Paracelsus himself was wholly filled with the godliness of his profession as a doctor, and nothing disquieted or disturbed his Christian faith. He took it for granted that his work supplemented the hand of God and that he was the faithful steward of the talent that had been entrusted to him. And as a matter of fact he was right, for the human soul is not something cut off from nature. It is a natural phenomenon like any other, and its problems are just as important as the questions and riddles which are presented by the diseases of the body. Moreover there is scarcely a disease of the body in which psychic factors do not playa part, just as physical ones have to be considered in many psychogenic disturbances. Paracelsus was fully alive to this. In his own peculiar way he took the psychic phenomena into account as perhaps none of the great physicians ever did before or after him. Although his homunculi, Trarames, Durdales, nymphs, Melusines, etc., are the grossest superstitions for us so-called moderns, for a man of Paracelsus's time they were nothing of the sort. In those days these figures were living and effective forces. They were projections, of course; but of that, too, Paracelsus seems to have had an inkling, since it is clear from numerous passages in his writings that he was aware that homunculi and suchlike beings were creatures of the imagination. His more primitive cast of mind attributed a reality to these projections, and this reality did far greater justice to their psychological effect than does our rationalistic assumption of the absolute unreality of projected contents. Whatever their reality may be, functionally at all events they behave just like realities. We should not let ourselves be so blinded by the modern rationalistic fear of superstition that we lose sight completely of those little-known psychic phenomena which surpass our present scientific understanding. Although Paracelsus had no notion of psychology, he nevertheless affords -- precisely because of his "benighted superstition" -- deep insights into psychic events which the most up-to-date psychology is only now struggling to investigate again. Even though mythology may not be "true" in the sense that a mathematical law or a physical experiment is true, it is still a serious subject for research and contains quite as many truths as a natural science; only, they lie on a different plane. One can be perfectly scientific about mythology, for it is just as good a natural product as plants, animals or chemical elements.

196 Even if the psyche were a product of the will, it would still not be outside nature. No doubt it would have been a greater achievement if Paracelsus had developed his natural philosophy in an age when the psyche had been discredited as an object of scientific study. As it was, he merely included in the scope of his investigations something that was already present, without being obliged to prove its existence anew. Even so his achievement is sufficiently great, despite the fact that we moderns still find it difficult to estimate correctly the full psychological implications of his views. For what, in the end, do we know about the causes and motives that prompted man, for more than a thousand years, to believe in that "absurdity" the transmutation of metals and the simultaneous psychic transformation of the artifex? We have never seriously considered the fact that for the medieval investigator the redemption of the world by God's son and the transubstantiation of the Eucharistic elements were not the last word, or rather, not the last answer to the manifold enigmas of man and his soul. If the opus alchymicum claimed equality with the opus divinum of the Mass, the reason for this was not grotesque presumption but the fact that a vast, unknown Nature, disregarded by the eternal verities of the Church, was imperiously demanding recognition and acceptance. Paracelsus knew, in advance of modern times, that this Nature was not only chemical and physical but also psychic. Even though his Trarames and whatnot cannot be demonstrated in a test tube, they nevertheless had their place in his world. And even if, like all the rest of them, he never produced any gold, he was yet on the track of a process of psychic transformation that is incomparably more important for the happiness of the individual than the possession of the red tincture.

A. THE LIGHT OF THE DARKNESS

197 So when we try to elucidate the riddles of the Vita Longa we are following the traces of a psychological process that is the vital secret of all seekers after truth. Not all are vouchsafed the grace of a faith that anticipates all solutions, nor is it given to all to rest content with the sun of revealed truth. The light that is lighted in the heart by the grace of the Holy Spirit, that same light of nature, however feeble it may be, is more important to them than the great light which shines in the darkness and which the darkness comprehended not. They discover that in the very darkness of nature a light is hidden, a little spark without which the darkness would not be darkness.4 Paracelsus was one of these. He was a well-intentioned, humble Christian. His ethics and his professed faith were Christian, but his most secret, deepest passion, his whole creative yearning, belonged to the lumen naturae, the divine spark buried in the darkness, whose sleep of death could not be vanquished even by the revelation of God's son. The light from above made the darkness still darker; but the lumen naturae is the light of the darkness itself, which illuminates its own darkness, and this light the darkness comprehends. Therefore it turns blackness into brightness, burns away "all superfluities," and leaves behind nothing but "faecem et scoriam et terram damna tam" (dross and scoriae and the rejected earth).

198 Paracelsus, like all the philosophical alchemists, was seeking for something that would give him a hold on the dark, body-bound nature of man, on the soul which, intangibly interwoven with the world and with matter, appeared before itself in the terrifying form of strange, demoniacal figures and seemed to be the secret source of life-shortening diseases. The Church might exorcise demons and banish them, but that only alienated man from his own nature, which, unconscious of itself, had clothed itself in these spectral forms. Not separation of the natures but union of the natures was the goal of alchemy. From the time of Democritus its leitmotiv had been: "Nature rejoices in nature, nature conquers nature, nature rules over nature."5 This principle is pagan in feeling and an expression of nature worship. Nature not only contains a process of transformation -- it is itself transformation. It strives not for isolation but for union, for the wedding feast followed by death and rebirth. Paracelsus's "exaltation in May" is this marriage, the "gamonymus" or hierosgamos of light and darkness in the shape of Sol and Luna. Here the opposites unite what the light from above had sternly divided. This is not so much a reversion to antiquity as a continuation of that religious feeling for nature, so alien to Christianity, which is expressed most beautifully in the "Secret Inscription" in the Great Magic Papyrus of Paris:6

Greetings, entire edifice of the Spirit of the air, greetings, Spirit that penetratest from heaven to earth, and from earth, which abideth in the midst of the universe, to the uttermost bounds of the abyss, greetings, Spirit that penetratest into me, and shakest me, and departest from me in goodness according to God's will; greetings, beginning and end of irremovable Nature, greetings, thou who revolvest the elements which untiringly render service, greetings, brightly shining sun, whose radiance ministereth to the world, greetings, moon shining by night with disc of fickle brilliance, greetings, all ye spirits of the demons of the air. greetings, ye for whom the greeting is offered in praise, brothers and sisters, devout men and women! O great, greatest. incomprehensible fabric of the world, formed in a circle!

Heavenly One, dwelling in the heavens, aetherial spirit, dwelling in the aether, having the form of water, of earth, of fire, of wind, of light, of darkness, star-glittering, damp-fiery-cold Spirit! I praise thee, God of gods, who hast fashioned the world, who hast established the depths upon the invisible support of their firm foundation, who hast separated heaven and earth, and hast encompassed the heavens with golden, eternal wings, and founded the earth upon eternal bases, who hast hung the aether high above the earth, who hast scattered the air with the self-moving wind, who hast laid the waters round about, who callest forth the tempests, the thunder, the lightning, the rain: Destroyer, Begetter of living things, God of the Aeons, great art thou, Lord, God, Ruler of All!


199 Just as this prayer has come down to us embedded in a mass of magical recipes, so does the lumen naturae rise up from a world of kobolds and other creatures of darkness, veiled in magical spells and almost extinguished in a morass of mystification. Nature is certainly equivocal, and one can blame neither Paracelsus nor the alchemists if, anxiously aware of their responsibilities, they cautiously expressed themselves in parables. This procedure is indeed the more appropriate one in the circumstances. What takes place between light and darkness, what unites the opposites, has a share in both sides and can be judged just as well from the left as from the right, without our becoming any the wiser: indeed, we can only open up the opposition again. Here only the symbol helps, for, in accordance with its paradoxical nature, it represents the "tertium" that in logic does not exist, but which in reality is the living truth. So we should not begrudge Paracelsus and the alchemists their secret language: deeper insight into the problems of psychic development soon teaches us how much better it is to reserve judgment instead of prematurely announcing to all and sundry what's what. Of course we all have an understandable desire for crystal clarity, but we are apt to forget that in psychic matters we are dealing with processes of experience, that is, with transformations which should never be given hard and fast names if their living movement is not to petrify into something static. The protean mythologem and the shimmering symbol express the processes of the psyche far more trenchantly and, in the end, far more clearly than the clearest concept; for the symbol not only conveys a visualization of the process but -- and this is perhaps just as important -- it also brings a re-experiencing of it, of that twilight which we can learn to understand only through inoffensive empathy, but which too much clarity only dispels. Thus the symbolic hints of marriage and exaltation in the "true May," when the heavenly flowers bloom and the secret of the inner man is made manifest, by the very choice and sound of the words convey a vision and experience of a climax whose significance could be amplified only by the finest flights of the poets. But the clear and unambiguous concept would find not the smallest place where it would fit. And yet something deeply significant has been said, for as Paracelsus rightly remarks: "When the heavenly marriage is accomplished, who will deny its superexcellent virtue?"

B. THE UNION OF MAN'S TWO NATURES

200 Paracelsus is concerned here with something of great importance, and in recognition of this I have put in an apologia for the symbol, which unites what is divided. But he too felt the need of some explanation. Thus he says in the second chapter of Book V that man has two life forces: one of them natural, the other "aerial, wherein is nothing of the body." (We would say that life has a physiological and a psychic aspect.) He therefore ends De vita langa with a discussion of incorporeal things. "Miserable in this respect are mortals to whom Nature has denied her first and best treasure, which the monarchy of Nature contains, namely, the lumen naturae!" 7 he exclaims, leaving us in no doubt what the lumen naturae meant to him. He says that he will now go beyond Nature and consider Aniadus. Let no one take exception to what he will now set forth concerning the power of the Guarini, Saldini, Salamandrini, and Melusina. If any should be astonished at his words, he should not let that detain him, but should rather read to the end, when he will understand all.

201 Those live longest, says Paracelsus, who have lived "the aerial life" (vitam aeream). Their life lasts anything from six hundred to a thousand or eleven hundred years, and this is because they have lived in accordance with the "rule of the Magnalia, which are easily understood." One should therefore imitate Aniadus, "and that by means of the air alone" -- that is, by psychic means -- "whose power is so great that the end of life has nothing in common with it. Further, if the said air be wanting, that which lies hidden in the capsule will burst forth." By the "capsule" Paracelsus probably means the heart. The soul or anima iliastri dwells in the fire of the heart. It is impassibilis (nonsentient, incapable of suffering), whereas the cagastric soul, which is passibilis, "floats" on the water of the capsule.8 The heart is also the seat of the imagination, and is the "sun in the Microcosm."9 Hence the anima iliastri can burst forth from the heart when it lacks "air"; that is to say, if psychic remedies are not applied, death occurs prematurely.10 Paracelsus continues: "But if this [i.e., the anima iliastri should be wholly filled with that [air] which renews itself again, and is then moved into the centre, that is, outside that under which it lay hidden before and still lies hid [i.e., in the heart capsule], then as a tranquil thing it is not heard at all by anything corporeal, and resounds only as Aniadus, Adech, and Edochinum. Whence comes the birth of that great Aquaster, which is born beyond Nature" (i.e., supernaturally).11

202 The meaning of this laborious explanation seems to be that by psychic means the soul is not only prevented from escaping but is also brought back into the centre, the heart region. But this time it is not enclosed in the capsula cordis, where it lay hidden and as it were imprisoned till then; it is now outside its previous habitation. This indicates a certain degree of freedom from bondage to the body, hence the "tranquillity" of the soul, which, when it dwelt inside the heart, was too much exposed to the power of imagination, to Ares and the formative principle. The heart, for all its virtues, is a restless and emotional thing, all too easily swayed by the turbulence of the body. In it dwells that lower, earthbound, "cagastric" soul which has to be separated from the higher, more spiritual Iliaster. In this liberated and more tranquil sphere the soul, unheard by the body, can re-echo those higher entities, Aniadus, Adech, and Edochinum, who form the upper triad.

203 We have seen already that Adech stands for the inner homo maximus. He is the astral man, the manifestation of the macrocosm in the microcosm. Since he is named along with Aniadus and Edochinum, they are probably parallel designations. Aniadus certainly has this meaning, as mentioned earlier. Edochinum seems to be a variant of Enochdianus: Enoch belonged to the race of protoplasts related to the Original Man, who "tasted not death," or at any rate lived for several hundred years. The three different names are probably only amplifications of the same conception -- that of the deathless Original Man, to whom the mortal man can be approximated by means of the alchemical opus. As a result of this approximation the powers and attributes of the homo maximus flow like a helpful and healing stream into the earthly nature of the microcosmic mortal man. Paracelsus's conception of the homo maximus does much to elucidate the psychological motives of the alchemical opus in general, since it shows how the main product of the work, the aurum non vulgi or lapis philosophorum, came to have such a variety of names and definitions: elixir, panacea, tincture, quintessence, light, east, morning, Aries, living fount, fruit-tree, animal, Adam, man, homo altus, form of man, brother, son, father, pater mirabilis, king, hermaphrodite, deus terrenus, salvator, servator, filius macrocosmi, and so on.12 In comparison with the "mille nomina" of the alchemists, Paracelsus used only about ten names for this entity, which exercised the speculative fantasy of the alchemists for more than sixteen hundred years.

204 Dorn's commentary lays particular emphasis on the significance of this passage. According to him, these three -- Aniadus, Adech, and Edochinum -- form the one "pure and well-tempered element" (elementum purum temperatum) as contrasted with the four, impure, gross, and worldly elements, which are far removed from longevity. From these three comes the "mental vision" of that great Aquaster, which is born supernaturally. That is to say, from the Aniadic mother, with the aid of Adech and through the power of the imagination, comes the great vision, which impregnates the supernatural matrix so that it gives birth to the invisible foetus of longevity, that is created or begotten by the invisible or extrinsic Iliaster. Darn's insistence on three as opposed to four is based on his polemical attitude to the axiom of Maria and to the relation of the quaternity to the Trinity, which I have discussed elsewhere,13 Characteristically, Dorn overlooks the fact that the fourth is in this case the microcosmic mortal man, who complements the upper triad.14

205 Union with the homo maximus produces a new life, which Paracelsus calls "vita cosmographica." In this life "time appears as well as the body jesahach" (cum locus tum corpus jesahach).15 Locus can mean "time" as well as "space," and since, as we shall see, Paracelsus is here concerned with a sort of Golden Age, I have translated it as "time." The corpus jesahach may thus be the corpus glorificationis) the resurrected body of the alchemists, and would coincide with the corpus astrale.

C. THE QUATERNITY OF THE HOMO MAXIMUS

206 In this last chapter Paracelsus makes almost untranslatable allusions to the four Scaiolae, and it is not at all clear what could be meant. Ruland, who had a wide knowledge of the contemporary Paracelsist literature, defines them as "spiritual powers of the mind" (spirituales mentis vires), qualities and faculties which are fourfold, to correspond with the four elements. They are the four wheels of the fiery chariot that swept Elijah up to heaven. The Scaiolae, he says, originate in the mind of man, "from whom they depart and to whom they are turned back" (a quo recedunt) et ad quem reflectuntur).

207 Like the four seasons and the four quarters of heaven, the four elements are a quaternary system of orientation which always expresses a totality. In this case it is obviously the totality of the mind (animus), which here would be better translated as "consciousness" (including its contents). The orienting system of consciousness has four aspects, which correspond to four empirical functions: thinking, feeling, sensation (sense-perception), intuition. This quaternity is an archetypal arrangement.16 As an archetype, it can be interpreted in any number of ways, as Ruland shows: he interprets the four first of all psychologically, as phantasia,17 imaginatio,18 speculatio,19 and agnata fides (inborn faith). This interpretation is of value only so far as it alludes unmistakably to certain psychic functions. Since every archetype is psychologically a fascinosum) i.e., exerts an influence that excites and grips the imagination, it is liable to clothe itself in religious ideas (which are themselves of an archetypal nature). Accordingly Ruland says that the four Scaiolae also stand for the four main articles20 of the Christian faith: baptism, belief in Jesus Christ, the sacrament of the Last Supper, and love of one's neighbour.21 In Paracelsus, Scaioli are lovers of wisdom. He says: "Ye pious filii Scaiolae et Anachmi."22 The Anachmus (= Aniadus) is therefore closely connected with the four Scaiolae. So it would not be overbold to conclude that the four Scaiolae correspond to the traditional quadripartite man and express his all-encompassing wholeness. The quadripartite nature of the homo maximus is the basis and cause of all division into four: four elements, seasons, directions, etc.23 In this last chapter, says Paracelsus, the Scaiolae caused him the greatest difficulties,24 "for in them is nothing of mortality." But, he assures us, whoever lives "by reason of the Scaiolae" is immortal, and he proves this by the example of the Enochdiani and their descendants. Dorn explains the difficulty of the Scaiolae by saying that the mind must exercise itself with extraordinary labours (mentem exercere miris laboribus), and, as there is in the Scaiolae nothing of mortality, this work exceeds our mortal endeavours.25

208 Although Dorn, like Ruland, emphasizes the psychic nature of the Scaiolae ("mental powers and virtues, properties of the arts of the mind"), so that actually they are attributes of the natural man and must therefore be mortal, and although Paracelsus himself says in other writings that even the lumen naturae is mortal, it is nevertheless asserted here that the natural powers of the mind are immortal and belong to the Archa -- the principle that existed before the world. We hear nothing more about the "mortality" of the lumen naturae, but rather of eternal principles, of the invisibilis homo maximus (Dorn) and his four Scaiolae, which appear to be interpreted as mental powers and psychological functions. This contradiction is resolved when we bear in mind that these concepts of Paracelsus were the result not of rational reflection but of intuitive introspection, which was able to grasp the quaternary structure of consciousness and its archetypal nature. The one is mortal, the other immortal.

209 Dorn's explanation as to why the Scaiolae are "difficult" might also be extended to Adech (= Adam, Anthropos),26 who is the ruler of the Scaiolae and/or their quintessence. Paracelsus actually calls him "that difficult Adech." Also, it is "that great Adech" who hinders our intentions.27 The difficulties of the art play no small role in alchemy. Generally they are explained as technical difficulties, but often enough, in the Greek texts as well as in the later Latin ones, there are remarks about the psychic nature of the dangers and obstacles that complicate the work. Partly they are demonic influences, partly psychic disturbances such as melancholia. These difficulties find expression also in the names and definitions of the prima materia, which, as the raw material of the opus, provides ample occasion for wearisome trials of patience. The prima materia is, as one can so aptly say in English, "tantalizing": it is cheap as dirt and can be had everywhere, only nobody knows it; it is as vague and evasive as the lapis that is to be produced from it; it has a "thousand names." And the worst thing is that without it the work cannot even be begun. The task of the alchemist is obviously like shooting an arrow through a thread hung up in a cloud, as Spitteler says. The prima materia is "saturnine," and the malefic Saturn is the abode of the devil, or again it is the most despised and rejected thing, "thrown out into the street," "cast on the dunghill," "found in filth." These epithets reflect not only the perplexity of the investigator but also his psychic background, which animates the darkness lying before him, so that he discovers in the projection the qualities of the unconscious. This easily demonstrable fact helps to elucidate the darkness that shrouds his spiritual endeavours and the labor Sophiae: it is a process of coming to terms with the unconscious, which always sets in when a man is confronted with its darkness. This confrontation forced itself on the alchemist as soon as he made a serious effort to find the prima materia.

D. THE RAPPROCHEMENT WITH THE UNCONSCIOUS

210 I do not know how many or how few people today can imagine what "coming to terms with the unconscious" means. I fear they are only too few. But perhaps it will be conceded that the second part of Goethe's Faust presents only incidentally and in doubtful degree an aesthetic problem, but primarily and in far greater degree a human one. It was a preoccupation that accompanied the poet right into old age, an alchemical encounter with the unconscious, comparable to the labor Sophiae of Paracelsus. It is on the one hand an endeavour to understand the archetypal world of the psyche, on the other hand a struggle against the sanity-threatening danger of fascination by the measureless heights and depths and paradoxes of psychic truth. The denser, concretistic, daytime mind here reaches its limits; for the "Cedurini" (Paracelsus), the "men of crasser temperament" (Dorn), there is no way into "the untrodden, the untreadable regions" -- "and in this place," says Paracelsus, "the Aquaster does not break in" (the damp soul that is akin to matter). Here the human mind is confronted with its origins, the archetypes; the finite consciousness with its archaic foundations; the mortal ego with the immortal self, Anthropos, purusha, atman, or whatever else be the names that human speculation has given to that collective preconscious state from which the individual ego arose. Kinsman and stranger at once, it recognizes and yet does not recognize that unknown brother who steps towards it, intangible yet real. The more it is bound by time and space, the more it will feel the other as "that difficult Adech" who crosses its purpose at every misguided step, who gives fate an unexpected twist, and sets it as a task the very thing it feared. Here we must feel our way with Paracelsus into a question that was never openly asked before in our culture, and was never clearly put, partly from sheer unconsciousness, partly from holy dread. Moreover, the secret doctrine of the Anthropos was dangerous because it had nothing to do with the teachings of the Church, since from that point of view Christ was a reflection -- and only a reflection -- of the inner Anthropos. Hence there were a hundred good reasons for disguising this figure in indecipherable secret names.

211 That being so, we may perhaps be able to understand another dark passage from the concluding chapter, which runs: "If, therefore, I should count myself among the Scaiolae [or: Scaioli, 'lovers of wisdom'] in the manner of the Necrolii [= adepts], that would be something which in my view should be undertaken, but it is hindered by that great Adech, who deflects our purpose but not the procedure. I leave this to you theoreticians to discuss."28

212 One gets the impression that Adech is almost hostile to the adept, or at least intent on frustrating him in some way. From our above reflections, which are based on practical experience, we have seen how problematical is the relation of the ego to the self. \Ve have only to make the further assumption that this is what Paracelsus meant. And this does indeed seem to be the case: he "counts himself" among the Scaioli, the philosophers, or "implants himself" in the Scaiolae, the quaternity of the Original Man -- which seems to me a quite possible conception since another synonym for the quaternity is Paradise with its four rivers, or the eternal city, the Metropolis, with its four gates29 (the alchemical equivalent is the domus sapientiae and the squared circle). He would thus find himself in the immediate vicinity of Adech and would be a citizen of the eternal city -- another echo of Christian ideas. The fact that Adech does not deflect the work (modus here presumably means method, procedure, as contrasted with propositum, purpose, intention) is understandable since Paracelsus is no doubt speaking of the alchemical opus, which always remains the same as a general procedure though its goal may vary: sometimes it is the production of gold (chrysopoea), sometimes the elixir, sometimes the aurum potabile or, finally, the mysterious filius unieus. Also, the artifex can have a selfish or an idealistic attitude towards the work.

_______________

Notes:

1 Confirmation of this may be found in the work of the alchemist and mystic  John Pordage (1607-1681), "Ein Philosophisches Send-Schreiben vom Stein der  Weissheit," printed in Roth-Scholtz, Deutsches Theatrum chemicum, I, pp.  557-596. For text, see my "Psychology of the Transference," pars. 507ff.
 
2 Condemned to death under Ferdinand I, and executed in Prague, May 2, 1531.  See Psychology and Alchemy, par. 480 and n.
 
3 "Add am et processum sub forma missae, a Nicolao Cibinensi, Transilvano, ad  Ladislaum Ungariae et Bohemiae regem olim missum," Theatr. chem., III (1659),  pp. 758ff.
 
4 "Pharmaco ignito spolianda densi est corporis umbra" (The drug being ignited,  the shadow of the dense body is to be stripped away). Maier, Symbola aureae  mensae, p. 91.
 
5. [x] Berthelot, Alch. grecs, II. i, 3.
 
6 Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, I. p. 111.
 
7 "Miseros hoc loco mortals, quibus primum ac optimum thesaurum (quam  naturae monarchia in se claudit) natura recusavit, puta, naturae lumen." De  vita longa, ed. Bodenstein, p. 88.
 
8 "Liber Azoth," p. 534.
 
9 "De pestilitate," Tract. I, ed. Huser, I, p. 334.
 
10 "Nihil enim aliud mors est, nisi dissolutio quaedam, quae ubi accidit, turn dermum moritur corpus .... Huic corpori Deus adiunxit aliud quoddam, puta coeleste, id quod in corpore vitae existit. Hoc opus, hic labor est, ne in dissolutionem, quae mortalium est et huic soli adiuncta, erulllpat." (For death is nothing but a kind of dissolution which takes place when the body dies .... To this body God has added a certain other thing of a heavenly nature, that of the life which exists in the body. This is the task, this the toil: that it burst not forth at the dissolution which is the lot of mortals, but is joined to this [body] alone.) "Fragmenta," ed. Sudhoff, III, p. 292.
 
11 "Sequuntur ergo qui vitam aeream vixerunt, quorum alii a 600 annis ad 1000 et 1100 annum pervenerunt, id quod iuxta praesuiptum magnalium quae facile deprehenduntur, ad hunc modum accipe: Campara aniadum, idque per solum aera, cui us vis tanta est, ut nihil cum ilia commune habeat terminus vitae. Porro si abest iam dictus aer, erumpit extrinsecus id, quod in capsula delitescit. Jam si idem ab illo, quod denuo renovatur fuerit refertum, ac denuo in medium perlatum, scilicet extra id sub quo prius delitescebat, imo adhuc delitescit, iam ut res tranquilla prorsus non audiatur are corporali, et ut solum aniadum adech, denique et edochinum resonet." Lib. V, cap. III.
 
Dorn (De vita Longa, p. 167) comments on this passage as follows:
 
a) The imitation of Abiadus is effected under the influence of "imaginationis,  aestimationis vel phantasiae," which is equivalent to "air" = spirit. By this is obviously meant the kind of active imagination that takes place in yoga or in the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola, who employs the terms consideratio, contemplatio, meditatio, ponderatio, and imaginatio per sensus for the "realization" of the imagined content. (Cf. The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, trans. Rickaby, in particular pp. 40ff., the meditation on Hell.) The realization of Aniadus has about the same purpose as the contemplation of the life of Jesus in these exercises, with the difference that in the former case it is the unknown Primordial Man who is assimilated through individual experience, whereas in the later it is the known, historical personality of the Son of Man.
 
b) The lack of air is explained by Dorn as due to the fact that it was "exhausted" by the efforts required for the realization.

c) That which bursts forth from the heart is evil, which dwells in the heart. Dorn continues: "Indeed it is constrained under the vehicle under which it still lies hid." His conjecture of evil and constraint is not supported by the text. On the contrary, Dorn overlooks the preceding depuratio as a result of which the operation takes place in an already purified ("calcined") body. The reverberatio and the subsequent subliming processes have already removed the denser elements, including the nigredo and evil.
 
d) As a result of his conjecture Dorn is obliged to read "intranquilla" for "tranquilla."
 
e) Dorn here defines Adech as the "imaginary inner man" and Edochinum as Enochdianum.
 
12 "Lapidis philosophorum nomina," MS. 2263-64, Ste. Genevieve, Paris, vol. II,  fol. 129, and Pernety, Fables egyptiennes et grecques, I, pp. 136ff.
 
13 "Psychology and Religion," p. 60.
 
14 Cf. "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity," pp. 164ff.
 
15 Lib. V, cap. V. Jesahach is not a known Hebrew word.
 
16 Concerning the logical aspect of this arrangement see Schopenhauer, "On the  Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason."
 
17 Even at that time phantasia meant a subjective figment of the mind without  objective validity.
 
18. 19 See p. 168.
 
18 An image-making, form-giving, creative activity of the mind. For Paracelsus it was the corpus astrale, or the creative power of the astral man.
 
19 By this is meant "philosophical" thinking.
 
20 Ruland was a Protestant.
 
21 "Whereby we attain not merely prolonged but eternal life," adds Ruland. Dorn (De vita longa, pp. 176f.) agrees with Ruland's psychological interpretation.
 
22 (Sudhoff, XIV, p. 644. This could be translated either as "Ye pious sons, Scaiolae and Anachmi" (nom. pI.) or as "Ye pious sons of Scaiola (gen. fem. sing.) and Anachmus" (gen. masc. sing.). Scaiolae must be fem. and therefore can hardly be in apposition to "filii." The quotation has been located and checked, and begins: "Now mark well in this my philosophy: I have written a special treatise on the nymph is, pygmaeis, silvestribus, gnomis for the love and delectation of the true Scaiolis (den waren Scaiolis zuliebe und gefallen). Therefore, ye pious filii Scaiolae et Anachmi ... " This may be Jung's source for the statement that the "Scaioli are lovers of wisdom." (If Scaiolis is taken as masc. in this context, the nom. sing. would be Scaiolus and the nom. pl. Scaioli.) Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, par. 422, n. 50: "Scayolus ... means the adept." Neither Scaiolus nor Scaioli can be traced from the Registerband to the Sudhoff edn., compiled by Martin Muller (Einsiedeln, 1960).- TRANSLATOR.]
 
23 For this reason it is said that the lapis or filius contains the four elements or is their quintessence, which can be extracted from them, like Aniadus.
 
24 "In quo me plurimum offendunt Scaiolae" (Dorn, p. 174).
 
25 Ibid., p. 177.
 
26 The following passages from Pico delia Mirandola (Opera omnia, I, p. 3018),  on the Cabalistic interpretation of Adam, may have been known to Paracelsus:  "Dixit namque Deus: Ecce Adam sicut unus ex nohis, non ex vobis inquit, sed  unus ex nobis. Nam in vobis angelis, numerus est et alteritas. In nobis, id est,  Deo, unitas infinita, aeterna, simplicissima et absolutissima .... Hinc sane  coniicimus alterum quendam esse Adam coelestem, angelis in coelo demonstratum,  unum ex Oeo, quem verbo fecerat, et alterum esse Adam terrenum …. Iste,  un us est cum Oeo, hic non modo alter est, verumetiam alius et aliud a Oeo.  Quod Onkelus ... sic interpretatur.... Ecce Adam fuit unigenitus meus." (And  God said, Lo, Adam is as one of us -- he said not "of you," but "of us." For  in you angels there is number and difference; but in us, that is, in God, there is  unity, infinite, eternal, simple, and absolute .... Hence we clearly conjecture  that there is a certain other heavenly Adam, shown to the angels in heaven, the  one from God, whom he made by his word, and the other, earthly Adam ....  The former is one with God, the latter not only second, but other and separate  from God…. Which Onkelos thus interprets: Lo, Adam was my only begotten  son.)
 
27 See next note and par. 214.
 
28 "Porro si pro ratione Necroliorum Scaiolis insereret, esset quod excipiendum ducerem, id quod maximus ille Adech antevertit et propositum nostrum, at non modum dcducit: Quod vobis Theoricis discutiendum relinquo" (De vita longa, ed. Dorn, pp. 174f.). Necrolii are the adepts ("Liber Azoth," p. 524). Necrolia or necrolica means "medicine conserving life" (De vita longa, p. 173).
 
29 The Monogenes (filius unigenitus) is identical with the city, and his limbs with its gates. Cf. Baynes, A Coptic Gnostic Treatise, pp. 58 and 89; also Psychology and Alchemy, pars. 138f.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

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4. THE COMMENTARY OF GERARD DORN

213 We now come to the end of the treatise De vita longa. Paracelsus here sums up the whole operation in an extremely condensed way which makes interpretation even more hazardous than usual. As with so many other passages in the Vita longa, we must ask ourselves: Is the author being intentionally obscure, or can't he help it? Or should we ascribe the confusion to his editor, Adam von Bodenstein? The obscurities of this last chapter have no parallel in all Paracelsus's writings. One would be inclined to let the whole treatise go hang did it not contain things which seem to belong to the most modern psychological insights.

214 I now give the original text of Paracelsus together with Dorn's commentary for the benefit of readers who wish to form their own judgment:

Paracelsus: De vita Longa (1562), Lib. V, cap. V, pp. 94f.

Atque ad hunc modum abiit e nymphididica natura intervenientibus Scaiolis in aliam transmutationem permansura Melosyne, si difficilis ille Adech annuisset, qui utrunque existit, cum mors turn vita Scaiolarum. Annuit praeterea prima tempora, sed ad finem seipsum immutat. Ex quibus colligo supermonica 1 figmenta in cyphantis aperire fenestram. Sed ut ea figantur, recusant gesta Melosynes, quae cuiusmodi sunt, missa facimus. Sed ad naturam nymphididicam. Ea ut in animis nostris concipiatur, atque ita ad annumaniadin 2 immortales perveniamus arripimus characteres Veneris, quos et si vos una cum aliis cognoscitis, minime tamen usurpatis. Idipsum autem absolvimus eo quod in prioribus capitibus indicavimus, ut hanc vitam secure tandem adsequamur, in qua aniadus dominatur ac regnat, et cum eo, cui sine fine assistimus, permanet. Haec atque alia arcana, nulla re prorsus indigent. 3 Et in hunc modum vitam longam conclusam relinquimus.

And in this manner, through the intervention of the Scaiolae, Melusina departs from her nymphididic nature, to remain in another transmutation if that difficult Adech permit, who rules over both the death and life of the Scaiolae. Moreover, he permits the first times, but at the end he changes himself. From which I conclude that the supermonic 1 figments in the Cyphanta open a window. But in order to become fixed, they have to oppose the acts of Melusina, which, of whatever kind they may be, we dismiss to the nymphididic realm. But in order that [she] may be conceived in our minds, and we arrive immortal at the year Aniadin, 2 we take the characters of Venus, which, even if you know yourselves one with others, you have nevertheless put to little use. With this we conclude what we treated of in the earlier chapters, that we may safely attain that life over which Aniadus dominates and reigns, and which endures for ever with him, in whom we are present without end. This and other mysteries are in need of nothing whatever.3 And herewith we end our discourse on longevity.


Dorn: De vita Zanga (1583), p. 178

[Paracelsus] ait Melosinam, i.e. apparentem in mente visionem ... e nymphididica natura, in transmutationem abire, in qua permansura[m] esse, si modo difficilis ille Adech, interior homo vdl. annuerit, hoc est, faveret: qui quidem utrunque efficit, videlicet mortem, et vitam Scaiolarum, i.e. mentalium operationum. Harum tempora prima, i.e. initia annuit, i.e. admittit, sed ad finem seipsum immutat, intellige propter intervenientes impedientes distractiones, quo consequantur effectum inchoatae scl. operationes. Ex quibus [Paracelsus] colligit supermonical figmenta, hoc est, speculationes aenigmaticas, in cyphantis [vas stillatorium], i.e. separationum vel praeparationum operationibus, aperire fenestram, hoc est, intellectum, sed ut figantur, i.e. ad finem perducantur, recusant gesta Melosines, hoc est, visionum varietates, et observationes, quae cuius modi sunt (ait) missa facimus. Ad naturam nymphididicam rediens, ut in animis nostris concipiatur, inquit atque hac via ad annum aniadin 2 perveniamus, hoc est, ad vitam longam per imaginationem, arripimus characteres Veneris, i.e. amoris scutum et loricam ad viriliter adversis resistendum obstaculis: amor enim omnem difficultatem superat: quos et si vos una cum aliis cognoscitis, putato characteres, minime tamen usurpatis. Absolvit itaque iam Paracelsus ea, quae priori bus capitibus indicavit in vitam hanc secure consequendam, in qua dominatur et regnat aniadus, i.e. rerum efficicia et cum ea is, cui sine fine assistimus, permanet, aniadus nempe coelestis: Haec atque alia arcana nulla re prorsus indigent. 3

[Paracelsus] says that Melusina, i.e., the vision appearing in the mind, departs from her nymphididic nature into another transmutation, in which she will remain if only that difficult Adech, that is, the inner man, permit, that is, approve: who brings about both, that is, death and life, of the Scaiolae, that is, the mental operations. The first times, that is, the beginnings, of these he permits, that is, favours; but at the end he changes himself, namely because of the distractions that intervene and impede, so that the things begun, that is, the operations, do not obtain their effect. From which [Paracelsus] concludes that the supermonic 1 figments, that is, enigmatical speculations, in the Cyphanta [distilling vessel], open a window, that is, the understanding, by means of the operations of separation or preparation; but in order to become fixed, that is, brought to an end, they have to oppose the acts of Melusina, that is, divers visions and observations, which of whatever kind they may be, he says, we dismiss. Returning to the nymphididic realm, in order that [she] may be conceived in our minds, and that in this way we may attain to the year Aniadin, 2 that is, to a long life by imagination, we take the characters of Venus, that is, the shield and buckler of love, to resist manfully the obstacles that confront us, for love overcomes all difficulties; which characters, even if you know yourselves one with others, you have nevertheless put to little use. And thus Paracelsus brings to an end those things which he treated of in the earlier chapters, that we may safely obtain that life over which Aniadus, that is, the efficacity of things, dominates and reigns, and which endures for ever with him, namely the heavenly Aniadus, in whom we are present without end: this and other mysteries are in need of nothing whatever. 3


A. MELUSINA AND THE PROCESS OF INDIVIDUATION

215 The text certainly needs a commentary! The Scaiolae, as the four parts, limbs, or emanations of the Anthropos,4 are the organs with which he actively intervenes in the world of appearances or by which he is connected with it, just as the invisible quinta essentia, or aether, appears in this world as the four elements or, conversely, is composed out of them. Since the Scaiolae, as we have seen, are also psychic functions, these must be understood as manifestations or effluences of the One, the invisible Anthropos. As functions of consciousness, and particularly as imaginatio, speclllatio, phantasia, and fides, they "intervene" and stimulate Melusina, the water-nixie, to change herself into human form. Dorn thinks of this as a "vision appearing in the mind" and not as a projection on a real woman. So far as our biographical knowledge extends, this latter possibility does not seem to have occurred to Paracelsus either. In Colonna's Hypnerotomachia Poliphili the Lady Polia attains a high degree of reality (far more so than Dante's ethereal Beatrice but still not as much as Helen in Faust II) yet even she dissolves into a lovely dream as the sun rises on the first day of May:

... tears shone in her eyes like clear crystals, like round pearls, like the dew which Aurora strews on the clouds of dawn. Sighing like a heavenly image, like incense of musk and amber rising to give delight to the spirits of heaven, she dissolved into thin air, leaving nought behind her but a breath of heavenly fragrance. So, with my happy dream, she vanished from my sight, saying as she went: Poliphilo, most dear beloved, farewell! 5


216 Polia dissolves just before the long-desired union with her lover. Helen, on the other hand, vanishes only with the dissolution of her son Euphorion. Though Paracelsus gives clear indications of the nuptial mood with his "exaltation" in May and his allusion to the stinging nettle and the little flame, he disregards entirely the projection on a real person or a concretely visualized, personified image, but chooses instead the legendary figure of Melusina. Now this figure is certainly not an allegorical chimera or a mere metaphor: she has her particular psychic reality in the sense that she is a glamorous apparition who, by her very nature, is on one side a psychic vision but also, on account of the psyche's capacity for imaginative realization (which Paracelsus calls Ares), is a distinct objective entity, like a dream which temporarily becomes reality. The figure of Melusina is eminently suited to this purpose. The anima belongs to those borderline phenomena which chiefly occur in special psychic situations. They are characterized by the more or less sudden collapse of a form or style of life which till then seemed the indispensable foundation of the individual's whole career. When such a catastrophe occurs, not only are all bridges back into the past broken, but there seems to be no way forward into the future. One is confronted with a hopeless and impenetrable darkness, an abysmal void that is now suddenly filled with an alluring vision, the palpably real presence of a strange yet helpful being, in the same way that, when one lives for a long time in great solitude, the silence or the darkness becomes visibly, audibly, and tangibly alive, and the unknown in oneself steps up in an unknown guise.

217 This peculiarity of the anima is found also in the Melusina legend: Emmerich, Count of Poitiers, had adopted Raymond, the son of a poor kinsman. The relation between adoptive father and son was harmonious. But once, on the hunt, when pursuing a wild boar, they got separated from the rest and went astray in the forest. Night fell and they lit a fire to warm themselves. Suddenly the Count was attacked by the boar, and Raymond struck at it with his sword. But by an unlucky accident the blade rebounded and dealt the Count a mortal blow. Raymond was inconsolable, and in despair mounted his horse to flee he knew not where. After a time he came to a meadow with a bubbling spring. There he found three beautiful women. One of them was Melusina, who by her clever counsel saved him from dishonour and a homeless fate.

218 According to the legend, Raymond found himself in the catastrophic situation we have described, when his whole way of life had collapsed and he faced ruin. That is the moment when the harbinger of fate, the anima, an archetype of the collective unconscious, appears. In the legend Melusina sometimes has the tail of a fish and sometimes that of a snake; she is half human, half animal. Occasionally she appears only in snake form. The legend apparently has Celtic roots,6 but the motif is found practically everywhere. It was not only extraordinarily popular in Europe during the Middle Ages, but occurs also in India, in the legend of Urvashi and Pururavas, which is mentioned in the Shatapatha-Brahmana.7 It also occurs among the North American Indians.8 The motif of half-man, half-fish is universally disseminated. Special mention should be made of Conrad Vecerius, 9 according to whom Melusina, or Melyssina, comes from an island in the sea where nine sirens dwell, who can change into any shape they want. This is of particular interest as Paracelsus mentions Melusina along with "Syrena."10 The tradition probably goes back to Pomponius Mela,11 who calls the island "Sena" and the beings who dwell there "Senae." They cause storms, can change their shape, cure incurable diseases, and know the future.12 Since the mercurial serpent of the alchemists is not infrequently called virgo and, even before Paracelsus, was represented in the form of a Melusina, the latter's capacity to change her shape and to cure diseases is of importance in that these peculiarities were also predicated of Mercurius, and with special emphasis. On the other hand, Mercurius was also depicted as the grey-bearded Mercurius senex or Hermes Trismegistus, from which it is evident that two empirically very common archetypes, namely the anima and the Wise Old Man,13 flow together in the symbolic phenomenology of Mercurius. Both are daemons of revelation and, in the form of Mercurius, represent the panacea. Again and again Mercurius is called versatilis, versipellis, mutabilis, servus or cervus fugitivus) Proteus, etc.

219 The alchemists, and Paracelsus too, were no doubt confronted often enough with the dark abyss of not-knowing, and, unable to go forward, were on their own admission dependent on revelation or illumination or a helpful dream. For this reason they needed a "ministering spirit," a familiar or [x], to whose invocation the Greek Magic Papyri bear witness. The snake form of the god of revelation, and of spirits in general, is a universal type.

220 Paracelsus seems to have known nothing of any psychological premises. He attributes the appearance and transformation of Melusina to the effect of the "intervening" Scaiolae, the driving spiritual forces emanating from the homo maximus. The opus was subordinated to them, for its aim was to raise man to the sphere of the Anthropos. There is no doubt that the goal of the philosophical alchemist was higher self-development, or the production of what Paracelsus calls the homo maior) or what I would call individuation. This goal confronts the alchemist at the start with the loneliness which all of them feared, when one has "only" oneself for company. The alchemist, on principle, worked alone. He formed no school. This rigorous solitude, together with his preoccupation with the endless obscurities of the work, was sufficient to activate the unconscious and, through the power of imagination, to bring into being things that apparently were not there before. Under these circumstances "enigmatical speculations" arise in which the unconscious is visually experienced as a "vision appearing in the mind." Melusina emerges from the watery realm and assumes human form -- sometimes quite concretely, as in Faust I, where Faust's hopelessness leads him straight into the arms of Gretchen, in which form Melusina would doubtless remain were it not for the catastrophe which drives Faust still deeper into magic: Melusina changes into Helen. But she does not remain even there, for all attempts at concretization are shattered like the retort of the homunculus against the throne of Galatea. Another power takes over, "that difficult Adech," who "at the end changes himself." The greater man "hinders our purpose," for Faust has to change himself at death into a boy, the puer aeternus) to whom the true world will be shown only after all desirousness has fallen away from him. "Miserable mortals, to whom Nature has denied her first and best treasure, the lumen naturae!"

221 It is Adech, the inner man, who with his Scaiolae guides the purpose of the adept and causes him to behold fantasy images from which he will draw false conclusions, devising out of them situations of whose provisional and fragile nature he is unaware. Nor is he aware that by knocking on the door of the unknown he is obeying the law of the inner, future man, and that he is disobedient to this law whenever he seeks to secure a permanent advantage or possession from his work. Not his ego, that fragment of a personality, is meant; it is rather that a wholeness, of which he is a part, wants to be transformed from a latent state of unconsciousness into an approximate consciousness of itself.

222 The "acts of Melusina" are deceptive phantasms compounded of supreme sense and the most pernicious nonsense, a veritable veil of Maya which lures and leads every mortal astray. From these phantasms the wise man will extract the "supermonic" elements, that is, the higher inspirations; he extracts everything meaningful and valuable as in a process of distillation, 14 and catches the precious drops of the liquor Sophiae in the ready beaker of his soul, where they "open a window" for his understanding. Paracelsus is here alluding to a discriminative process of critical judgment which separates the chaff from the wheat-an indispensable part of any rapprochement with the unconscious. It requires no art to become stupid; the whole art lies in extracting wisdom from stupidity. Stupidity is the mother of the wise, but cleverness never. The "fixation" refers alchemically to the lapis but psychologically to the consolidation of feeling. The distillate must be fixed and held fast, must become a firm conviction and a permanent content.

B. THE HIEROSGAMOS OF THE EVERLASTING MAN

223 Melusina, the deceptive Shakti, must return to the watery realm if the work is to reach its goal. She should no longer dance before the adept with alluring gestures, but must become what she was from the beginning: a part of his wholeness.15 As such she must be "conceived in the mind." This leads to a union of conscious and unconscious that was always present unconsciously but was always denied by the one-sidedness of the conscious attitude. From this union arises that wholeness which the introspective philosophy of all times and climes has characterized with an inexhaustible variety of symbols, names, and concepts. The "mille nomina" disguise the fact that this coniunctio is not concerned with anything tangible or discursively apprehensible; it is an experience that simply cannot be reproduced in words, but whose very nature carries with it an unassailable feeling of eternity or timelessness.

224 I will not repeat here what I have said elsewhere on this subject. It makes no difference anyway what one says about it. Paracelsus does, however, give one more hint which I cannot pass over in silence: this concerns the "characters of Venus." 16

225 Melusina, being a water-nixie, is closely connected with Morgana, the "sea-born," whose classical counterpart is Aphrodite, the "foam-born." Union with the feminine personification of the unconscious is, as we have seen, a well-nigh eschatological experience, a reflection of which is to be found in the Apocalyptic Marriage of the Lamb, the Christian form of the hierosgamos. The passage runs (Revelation 19: 6-10):

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

And he saith unto me: Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren ...


226 The "he" of the text is the angel that speaks to John; in the language of Paracelsus, he is the homo maior, Adech. I need hardly point out that Venus is closely related to the love-goddess Astarte, whose sacred marriage-festivals were known to everyone. The experience of union underlying these festivals is, psychologically, the embrace and coming together again of two souls in the exaltation of spring, in the "true May"; it is the successful reuniting of an apparently hopelessly divided duality in the wholeness of a single being. This unity embraces the multiplicity of all beings. Hence Paracelsus says: "If you know yourselves one with others." Adech is not my self, he is also that of my brothers: "I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren." That is the specific definition of this experience of the coniunctio: the self which includes me includes many others also, for the unconscious that is "conceived in our mind" does not belong to me and is not peculiar to me, but is everywhere. It is the quintessence of the individual and at the same time the collective.

227 The participants in the marriage of the Lamb enter into eternal blessedness; they are "virgins, which were not defiled with women" and are "redeemed from among men" (Rev. 14 : 4). In Paracelsus the goal of redemption is "the year Aniadin," or time of perfection, when the One Man reigns for ever.

C. SPIRIT AND NATURE

228 Why did Paracelsus not avail himself of the Christian imagery, when it expresses the same thought so very clearly? Why does Venus appear in the place of Melusina, and why is it not the marriage of the Lamb, but a hierosgamos of Venus and Mars, as the text itself hints? The reason is probably the same as that which compelled Francesco Colonna to make Poliphilo seek his beloved Polia not with the Mother of God but with Venus. For the same reason the boy in Christian Rosencreutz's Chymical Wedding17 led the hero down to an underground chamber, on the door of which was a secret inscription graven in copper characters. Copper (cuprum) is correlated with the Cyprian (Aphrodite, Venus). In the chamber they found a three-cornered tomb containing a copper cauldron, and in it was an angel holding a tree that dripped continually into the cauldron. The tomb was supported by three animals: an eagle, an ox, and a lion.18 The boy explained that in this tomb Venus lay buried, who had destroyed many an upright man. Continuing their descent, they came to the bedchamber of Venus and found the goddess asleep on a couch. Indiscreetly, the boy twitched the coverlet away and revealed her in all her naked beauty.19

229 The ancient world contained a large slice of nature and a number of questionable things which Christianity was bound to overlook if the security of a spiritual standpoint was not to be hopelessly compromised. No penal code and no moral code, not even the sublimest casuistry, will ever be able to codify and pronounce just judgment upon the confusions, the conflicts of duty, and the invisible tragedies of the natural man in collision with the exigencies of culture. "Spirit" is one aspect, "Nature" another. "You may pitch Nature out with a fork, yet she'll always come back again," says the poet.20 Nature must not win the game, but she cannot lose. And whenever the conscious mind clings to hard and fast concepts and gets caught in its own rules and regulations-as is unavoidable and of the essence of civilized consciousness-nature pops up with her inescapable demands. Nature is not matter only, she is also spirit. Were that not so, the only source of spirit would be human reason. It is the great achievement of Paracelsus to have elevated the "light of nature" to a principle and to have emphasized it in a far more fundamental way than his predecessor Agrippa. The lumen naturae is the natural spirit, whose strange and significant workings we can observe in the manifestations of the unconscious now that psychological research has come to realize that the unconscious is not just a "subconscious" appendage or the dustbin of consciousness, but is a largely autonomous psychic system for compensating the biases and aberrations of the conscious attitude, for the most part functionally, though it sometimes corrects them by force. Consciousness can, as we know, be led astray by naturalness as easily as by spirituality, this being the logical consequence of its freedom of choice. The unconscious is not limited only to the instinctual and reflex processes of the cortical centres; it also extends beyond consciousness and, with its symbols, anticipates future conscious processes. It is therefore quite as much a "supraconsciousness."

230 Convictions and moral values would have no meaning if they were not believed and did not possess exclusive validity. And yet they are man-made and time-conditioned assertions or explanations which we know very well are capable of all sorts of modifications, as has happened in the past and will happen again in the future. All that has happened during the last two thousand years shows that they are reliable signposts for certain stretches of the way, then comes a painful upheaval, which is felt as subversive and immoral, until a new conviction takes root. So far as the essential traits of human nature remain the same, certain moral values enjoy permanent validity. The most meticulous observance of the Ten Commandments, however, is no obstacle to the more refined forms of turpitude, and the far loftier principle of Christian love of one's neighbour can lead to such tangled conflicts of duty that sometimes the Gordian knot can only be cut with a very unchristian sword.

D. THE ECCLESIASTICAL SACRAMENT AND THE OPUS ALCHYMICUM

231 Paracelsus, like many others, was unable to make use of the Christian symbolism because the Christian formula inevitably suggested the Christian solution and would thus have conduced to the very thing that had to be avoided. It was nature and her particular "light" that had to be acknowledged and lived with in the face of an attitude that assiduously overlooked them. This could only be done under the protective aegis of the arcanum. But one should not imagine Paracelsus or any other alchemist settling down to invent an arcane terminology that would make the new doctrine a kind of private code. Such an undertaking would presuppose the existence of definite views and clearly defined concepts. But there is no question of that: none of the alchemists ever had any clear idea of what his philosophy was really about. The best proof of this is the fact that everyone with any originality at all coined his own terminology, with the result that no one fully understood anybody else. For one alchemist, Lully was an obscurantist and a charlatan and Geber the great authority; while for another, Geber was a Sphinx and Lully the source of all enlightenment. So with Paracelsus: we have no reason to suppose that behind his neologisms there was a clear, consciously disguised concept. It is on the contrary probable that he was trying to grasp the ungraspable with his countless esotericisms, and snatched at any symbolic hint that the unconscious offered. The new world of scientific knowledge was still in a nascent dreamstate, a mist heavy with the future, in which shadowy figures groped about for the right words. Paracelsus was not reaching back into the past; rather, for lack of anything suitable in the present, he was using the old remnants to give new form to a renewed archetypal experience. Had the alchemists felt any serious need to revive the past, their erudition would have enabled them to draw on the inexhaustible storehouse of the heresiologists. But except for the "Aquarium sapientum,"21 which likewise treats of heresies, I have found only one alchemist (of the sixteenth century) who shudderingly admits to having read the Panarium of Epiphanius. Nor are any secret traces of Gnostic usages to be found, despite the fact that the texts swarm with unconscious parallels.

232 To return to our text: it is clear that it describes a procedure for attaining nothing less than immortality ("that we may arrive immortal at the year Aniadin"). There is, however, only one way to this goal, and that is through the sacraments of the Church. These are here replaced by the "sacrament" of the opus alchymicum, less by word than by deed, and without the least sign of any conflict with the orthodox Christian standpoint.

233 Which way did Paracelsus hold to be the true one? Or were both of them true for him? Presumably the latter, and the rest he "leaves to the theoreticians to discuss."

234 What is meant by the "characters of Venus" remains obscure. The "sapphire"22 which Paracelsus prized so much, the cheyri, ladanum, muscus, and ambra belong, according to Agrippa,23 to Venus. The goddess undoubtedly appears in our text on a higher level, in keeping with her classical cognomens: dacta, sublimis, magistra rerum humanarum divinarumque, etc.24 One of her characters is certainly love in the widest sense, so Dorn is not wrong when he interprets them as the "shield and buckler of love." Shield and buckler are martial attributes, but there is also a Venus armata.25 Mythologically, the personified Amor is a son of Venus and Mars, whose cohabitation in alchemy is a typical coniunctio.26 Dorn, despite being a Paracelsist, had a decidedly polemical attitude towards certain fundamental tenets of alchemy,27 so that a Christian love of one's neighbour, well armed against evil, suited him very well. But so far as Paracelsus is concerned this interpretation is doubtful. The word Venus points in quite another direction, and since the Christian gifts of grace were included in his Catholic faith he had in any case no need of a christianized Amor. On the contrary, a Venus Magistra or Aphrodite Urania, or even a Sophia, would have seemed to him more appropriate to the mystery of the lumen naturae. The words "minime tamen usurpatis" might also be a hint at discretion.28 Hence the Venus episode in the Chymical Wedding may have more bearing on the interpretation of this cryptic passage than Dorn's well-meant circumlocution.

235 The concluding reference to a "life without end" under the dominion of Aniadus is very reminiscent of Rev. 20: 4: " ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." The year Aniadin would thus correspond to the thousand-year reign in the Apocalypse.

236 In conclusion I would remark that the survey of the secret doctrine which I have attempted to sketch here makes it seem likely that besides the physician and Christian in Paracelsus there was also an alchemical philosopher at work who, pushing every analogy to the very limit, strove to penetrate the divine mysteries. The parallel with the mysteries of the Christian faith, which we can only feel as a most dangerous conflict, was no Gnostic heresy for him, despite the most disconcerting resemblances; for him as for every other alchemist, man had been entrusted with the task of bringing to perfection the divine will implanted in nature, and this was a truly sacramental work. To the question "Are you, as it would seem, an Hermetic?" he could have replied with Lazarello: "I am a Christian, O King, and it is no disgrace to be that and an Hermetic at the same time."29

_______________

Notes:

1 From super = 'above; and monere = 'inspire; hence 'inspired from above.'
 
2 Not found anywhere else. May be interpreted as the "time of perfection."
 
3 A favourite saying of the alchemists, applied to the lapis.
 
1 See above.
 
2, 3 See above.
 
4 For a parallel, d. Enoch 40: 2, where God has four faces and is surrounded by  the four angels of the Face.
 
5 The Dream of Poliphilo (ed. Fierz-David), p. 210. 
 
6 Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, I, p. 434.
 
7 Sacred Books of the East, XXVI, p. 91.
 
8 Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages, pp. 502ff.
 
9 "De rebus gestis Imperatoris Henrici VII," Germaniae Historicum (ed.  Urstisius), II, pp. 63f.
 
10 Paragranum, p. 105. [Cf. "Paracelsus the Physician," par. 24.]
 
11 Fl. 1st cent. A.D.

12 Chronographia, ed. Frick, p. 67.
 
13 Cf. my "Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" and "Concerning the  Archetypes, with Special Reference to the Anima Concept."
 
14 "And so this spirit is extracted and separated from the other spirit, and then  the Spagyric has the wine of health." ("Fragmenta," ed. Sudhoff, III, p. 305.)
 
15 The apparent contradiction between the rejection of the gesta Melosines and  the assimilation of the anima is due to the fact that the gesta occur in a state  of anima possession, for which reason they must be prevented. The anima is  thereby forced into the inner world, where she functions as the medium between  the ego and the unconscious, as does the persona between the ego and the environment.
 
16 This recalls the "signs and characters of the planets" in Agrippa, which are  imprinted on man at birth as on everything else. But man has, conversely, the  faculty of re-approximating himself to the stars: "Potest enim animus noster per  imaginationem vel rationem quandam imitatione, ita alicui stellae conformari,  ut subito cuiusdam stellae muneribus impleatur. ... Debemus igitur in quovis  opere et rerum applicatione vehementer affectare, imaginari, sperare firmissimeque  credere, id enim plurimum erit adiumento ... animum humanum quando per  suas passiones et effectus ael opus aliquod attentissimus fuerit, coniungi ipsum  cum stellarum animis, etiam cum intelligentiis: et ita quoque coniunctum causam  esse ut mirabilis quaedam virtus operibus ac rebus nostris infundatur, cum quia  est in eo rerum omnium apprehensio et potestas, tum quia omnes res habent  naturalem obedientiam ad ipsum, et de necessitate efficaciam et movent ad id  quod desiderat nimis forti desiderio. Et secundum hoc verificatur artificium  characterum, imaginum, incantationum et sermonum, etc .... Animus enim  noster quando fertur in aliquem magnum excessum alicuius passion is vel virtutis,  arripit saepissime ex se ipso horam vel opportunitatem fortiorem, etc. ... hic  est modus per quem invenitur efficacia [operationum]." (For through a certain  mental faculty our spirit can thus by imitation be made like to some star, so  that it is suddenly filled with the functions of a star. ... We ought therefore  in every work and application of things eagerly to aspire, imagine, hope, and  most firmly believe, for that will be a very great help .... [De occult. phil., Lib.  I, cap. 66.] The human spirit, when through its passions and operations it is highly  intent upon any work, should join itself with the spirits of the stars, yea, with  their intelligences; and when thus conjoined, be the cause that a certain wonderful  virtue is infused into our works and affairs, both because there is in it a  grasping of and power over all things, and because all things have a natural and  necessarily efficacious obedience to it, and move towards what it desires with an  extremely strong desire. And according to this is verified the work of the characters,  images, incantations, and words, etc .... For when our spirit is moved  to any great excess of any passion or virtue, it very often snatches for itself a more  effective hour or opportunity, etc. ... This is the way by which the efficacy [of  the operations] is found.) (Lib. I, cap. 67.)
 
17 Trans. Foxcroft. pp. 126ff.
 
18 The lower triad, corresponding to the upper Trinity, and consisting of the  theriomorphic symbols of the three evangelists. The angel as the fourth symbol  occupies a special position, which in the Trinity is assigned to the devil. Reversal  of moral values: what is evil above is good below, and vice versa.
 
19 In the Golden Ass of Apuleius the process of redemption begins at the moment  when the hero, who has been changed into an ass because of his dissolute life,  succeeds in snatching a bunch of roses from the hand of the priest of Isis, and  eating them. Roses are the flowers of Venus. The hero is then initiated into the  mysteries of Isis, who, as a mother goddess, corresponds to the Mater Gloriosa in  Faust II. It is of interest to note the analogies between the prayer to the Mater  Gloriosa at the end of Faust and the prayer to Isis at the end of the Golden Ass:
 
(Faust II, trans. Wayne, p. 288)
 
 O contrite hearts, seek with your eyes
The visage of salvation;

Blissful in that gaze, arise

Through glad regeneration.

Now mar every pulse of good Seek to serve before thy face;

Virgin, Queen of Motherhood, Keep us. Goddess, in thy grace.

 
(Golden Ass)
 
You are indeed the holy preserver of  humankind,
 
Offering amid the evil chances of the unfortunate the kindly protection of a mother,

And no smallest moment that passes is devoid of your favours,

But both by land and by sea you care for men, driving off life's storms and stretching out to them your saving hand; wherewith you unravel the most tangled webs of fate. and calm the tempests of fortune, and control the varied wanderings of the stars.

Wherefore, poor though I am, I will do what I may, as a devotee,

To keep ever hidden in my heart the vision of your divine face and most holy godhead.

 
20 Horace, Epist. 1. x. 24.
 
21 Musaeum hermeticum, pp. 73ff. [This sentence has been altered in accordance  with the correction given in Psychology and Alchemy, 2nd edn., par. 431, n. 11.-  TRANSLATOR.]
 
22 "For before the sapphire existed, there was no arcanum" (Paragranum, p. 77).  De vita longa, ed. Dorn, p. 72: "They are to be referred to the cheyri and the sapphirine  flower, i.e., to those two precious stones of the philosophers." Bodenstein  (Onomasticon, p. 64): "The sapphirine material: that liquid in which there is no  harmful matter."
 
23 Occult. phil., I, cap. 28, p. xxxiv.
 
24 Carter, Epitheta Deorum, s.v. "Venus."
 
25 Ibid.
 
26 The hermaphroditic Venus was regarded as typifying the coniunctio of Sulphur  and Mercurius. Cf. Pernety, Fables egyptiennes et grecques, II, p. 119.
 
27 Cf. "Psychology and Religion," p. 60.
 
28 It could be translated as "you have mentioned not at all."
 
29 Lazarello. Crater Hennetis (1505). fol. 32r-v. (As in Reitzenstein, Poimandres,  P. 320.)
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Tue Jul 30, 2019 12:41 am

5. EPILOGUE

237 I had long been aware that alchemy is not only the mother of chemistry, but is also the forerunner of our modern psychology of the unconscious. Thus Paracelsus appears as a pioneer not only of chemical medicine but of empirical psychology and psychotherapy.

238 It may seem that I have said too little about Paracelsus the self-sacrificing physician and Christian, and too much about his dark shadow, that other Paracelsus, whose soul was intermingled with a strange spiritual current which, issuing from immemorial sources, flowed beyond him into a distant future. But-ex tenebis lux -- it was precisely because he was so fascinated by magic that he was able to open the door to the realities of nature for the benefit of succeeding centuries. The Christian and the primitive pagan lived together in him in a strange and marvellous way to form a conflicting whole, as in other great Renaissance figures. Although he had to endure the conflict, he was spared that agonizing split between knowledge and faith that has riven the later epochs. As a man he had one father, but as a spirit he had two mothers. His spirit was heroic, because creative, and as such was doomed to Promethean guilt. The secular conflict that broke out at the turn of the sixteenth century, and whose living image stands before our eyes in the figure of Paracelsus, is a prerequisite for higher consciousness; for analysis is always followed by synthesis, and what was divided on a lower level will reappear, united, on a higher one.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:54 pm

IV: THE SPIRIT MERCURIUS

[Given as two lectures at the Eranos Conference, Ascona, Switzerland, in 1942, the theme of which was "The Hermetic Principle in Mythology, Gnosis, and Alchemy." Published as "Der Geist Mercurius," Eranos-Jahrbuch 1942 (Zurich, 1943); revised and expanded in Symbolik des Geistes: Studien uber psychische Phanomenologie ... (Psychologische Abhandlungen, VI; Zurich, 1948). An English translation by Gladys Phelan and Hildegard Nagel, titled The Spirit Mercury, was published as a book by the Analytical Psychology Club of New York, Inc., in 1953, and forms the basis of the present translation. Some brief chapters have been combined. -- EDITORS.]

[x] (Hermes, ruler of the world, dweller in the heart, circle of the moon,
Round and square, inventor of the words of the tongue,
Obedient to justice, wearer of the chlamys, shod in winged sandals,
Guardian of the many-sounding tongue, prophet to mortals.)

-- A Magic Papyrus (Preisendanz, II, p. 139)


Part I

1. THE SPIRIT IN THE BOTTLE


239 In my contribution1 to the symposium on Hermes I will try to show that this many-hued and wily god did not by any means die with the decline of the classical era, but on the contrary has gone on living in strange guises through the centuries, even into recent times, and has kept the mind of man busy with his deceptive arts and healing gifts. Children are still told Grimm's fairy tale of "The Spirit in the Bottle," which is ever-living like all fairy tales, and moreover contains the quintessence and deepest meaning of the Hermetic mystery as it has come down to us today:

Once upon a time there was a poor woodcutter. He had an only son, whom he wished to send to a high school. However, since he could give him only a little money to take with him, it was used up long before the time for the examinations. So the son went home and helped his father with the work in the forest. Once, during the midday rest, he roamed the woods and came to an immense old oak. There he heard a voice calling from the ground, "Let me out, let me out!" He dug down among the roots of the tree and found a well-sealed glass bottle from which, clearly, the voice had come. He opened it and instantly a spirit rushed out and soon became half as high as the tree. The spirit cried in an awful voice: "I have had my punishment and I will be revenged! 1 am the great and mighty spirit Mercurius, and now you shall have your reward. Whoso releases me, him I must strangle." This made the boy uneasy and, quickly thinking up a trick, he said, "First, 1 must be sure that you are the same spirit that was shut up in that little bottle." To prove this, the spirit crept back into the bottle. Then the boy made haste to seal it and the spirit was caught again. But now the spirit promised to reward him richly if the boy would let him out. So he let him out and received as a reward a small piece of rag. Quoth the spirit: "If you spread one end of this over a wound it will heal, and if you rub steel or iron with the other end it will turn into silver." Thereupon the boy rubbed his damaged axe with the rag, and the axe turned to silver and he was able to sell it for four hundred thaler. Thus father and son were freed from all worries. The young man could return to his studies, and later, thanks to his rag, he became a famous doctor.2


240 Now, what insight can we gain from this fairy tale? As you know, we can treat fairy tales as fantasy products, like dreams, conceiving them to be spontaneous statements of the unconscious about itself.

241 As at the beginning of many dreams something is said about the scene of the dream action, so the fairy tale mentions the forest as the place of the magic happening. The forest, dark and impenetrable to the eye, like deep water and the sea, is the container of the unknown and the mysterious. It is an appropriate synonym for the unconscious. Among the many trees -- the living elements that make up the forest -- one tree is especially conspicuous for its great size. Trees, like fishes in the water, represent the living contents of the unconscious. Among these contents one of special significance is characterized as an "oak." Trees have individuality. A tree, therefore, is often a symbol of personality.3 Ludwig II of Bavaria is said to have honoured certain particularly impressive trees in his park by having them saluted. The mighty old oak is proverbially the king of the forest. Hence it represents a central figure among the contents of the unconscious, possessing personality in the most marked degree. It is the prototype of the self, a symbol of the source and goal of the individuation process. The oak stands for the still unconscious core of the personality, the plant symbolism indicating a state of deep unconsciousness. From this it may be concluded that the hero of the fairy tale is profoundly unconscious of himself. He is one of the "sleepers," the "blind" or "blindfolded," whom we encounter in the illustrations of certain alchemical treatises.4 They are the unawakened who are still unconscious of themselves, who have not yet integrated their future, more extensive personality, their "wholeness," or, in the language of the mystics, the ones who are not yet "enlightened." For our hero, therefore, the tree conceals a great secret.5

242 The secret is hidden not in the top but in the roots of the tree;6 and since it is; or has, a personality it also possesses the most striking marks of personality -- voice, speech, and conscious purpose, and it demands to be set free by the hero. It is caught and imprisoned against its will, down there in the earth among the roots of the tree. The roots extend into the inorganic realm, into the mineral kingdom. In psychological terms, this would mean that the self has its roots in the body, indeed in the body's chemical elements. Whatever this remarkable statement of the fairy tale may mean in itself, it is in no way stranger than the miracle of the living plant rooted in the inanimate earth. The alchemists described their four elements as radices, corresponding to the Empedoclean rhizomata, and in them they saw the constituents of the most significant and central symbol of alchemy, the lapis philosophorum, which represents the goal of the individuation process.

243 The secret hidden in the roots is a spirit sealed inside a bottle. Naturally it was not hidden away among the roots to start with, but was first confined in a bottle, which was then hidden. Presumably a magician, that is, an alchemist, caught and imprisoned it. As we shall see later, this spirit is something like the numen of the tree, its spiritus vegetativus, which is one definition of Mercurius. As the life principle of the tree, it is a sort of spiritual quintessence abstracted from it, and could also be described as the principium individuationis. The tree would then be the outward and visible sign of the realization of the self. The alchemists appear to have held a similar view. Thus the "Aurelia occulta" says: "The philosophers have sought most eagerly for the centre of the tree which stands in the midst of the earthly paradise."7 According to the same source, Christ himself is this tree.8 The tree comparison occurs as early as Eulogius of Alexandria (c. A.D. 600), who says: "Behold in the Father the root, in the Son the branch, and in the Spirit the fruit: for the substance [oilvia] in the three is one."9 Mercurius, too, is trinus et unus.

244 So if we translate it into psychological language, the fairy tale tells us that the mercurial essence, the principium individuationis, would have developed freely under natural conditions, but was robbed of its freedom by deliberate intervention from outside, and was artfully confined and banished like an evil spirit. (Only evil spirits have to be confined, and the wickedness of this spirit was shown by its murderous intent.) Supposing the fairy tale is right and the spirit was really as wicked as it relates, we would have to conclude that the Master who imprisoned the principium individuationis had a good end in view. But who is this well-intentioned Master who has the power to banish the principle of man's individuation? Such power is given only to a ruler of souls in the spiritual realm. The idea that the principle of individuation is the source of all evil is found in Schopenhauer and still more in Buddhism. In Christianity, too, human nature is tainted with original sin and is redeemed from th is stain by Christ's self-sacrifice. Man in his "natural" condition is neither good nor pure, and if he should develop in the natural way the result would be a product not essentially different from an animal. Sheer instinctuality and naive unconsciousness untroubled by a sense of guilt would prevail if the Master had not interrupted the free development of the natural being by introducing a distinction between good and evil and outlawing the evil. Since without guilt there is no moral consciousness and without awareness of differences no consciousness at all, we must concede that the strange intervention of the master of souls was absolutely necessary for the development of any kind of consciousness and in this sense was for the good. According to our religious beliefs, God himself is this Master-and the alchemist, in his small way, competes with the Creator in so far as he strives to do work analogous to the work of creation, and therefore he likens his microcosmic opus to the work of the world creator.10

245 In our fairy tale the natural evil is banished to the "roots," that is, to the earth, in other words the body. This statement agrees with the historical fact that Christian thought in general has held the body in contempt, without bothering much about the finer doctrinal distinctions.11 For, according to doctrine, neither the body nor nature in general is evil per se: as the work of God, or as the actual form in which he manifests himself, nature cannot be identical with evil. Correspondingly, the evil spirit in the fairy tale is not simply banished to the earth and allowed to roam about at will, but is only hidden there in a safe and special container, so that he cannot call attention to himself anywhere except right under the oak. The bottle is an artificial human product and thus signifies the intellectual purposefulness and artificiality of the procedure, whose obvious aim is to isolate the spirit from the surrounding medium. As the vas Hermeticum of alchemy, it was "hermetically" sealed (i.e., sealed with the sign of Hermes);12 it had to be made of glass, and had also to be as round as possible, since it was meant to represent the cosmos in which the earth was created.13 Transparent glass is something like solidified water or air, both of which are synonyms for spirit. The alchemical retort is therefore equivalent to the anima mundi, which according to an old alchemical conception surrounds the cosmos. Caesarius of Heisterbach (thirteenth century) mentions a vision in which the soul appeared as a spherical glass vessel.14 Likewise the "spiritual" or "ethereal" (aethereus) philosophers' stone is a precious vitrum (sometimes described as malleabile) which was often equated with the gold glass (aurum vitreum) of the heavenly Jerusalem (Rev. 21 : 21).

246 It is worth noting that the German fairy tale calls the spirit confined in the bottle by the name of the pagan god, Mercurius, who was considered identical with the German national god, Wotan. The mention of Mercurius stamps the fairy tale as an alchemical folk legend, closely related on the one hand to the allegorical tales used in teaching alchemy, and on the other to the well-known group of folktales that cluster round the motif of the "spellbound spirit." Our fairy tale thus interprets the evil spirit as a pagan god, forced under the influence of Christianity to descend into the dark underworld and be morally disqualified. Hermes becomes the demon of the mysteries celebrated by all tenebriones (obscurantists), and Wotan the demon of forest and storm; Mercurius becomes the soul of the metals, the metallic man (homunculus), the dragon (serpens mercurialis), the roaring fiery lion, the night raven (nycticorax), and the black eagle -- the last four being synonyms for the devil. In fact the spirit in the bottle behaves just as the devil does in many other fairy tales: he bestows wealth by changing base metal into gold; and like the devil, he also gets tricked.

_______________

Notes:

1. I give only a general survey of the Mercurius concept in alchemy and by no  means an exhaustive exposition of it. The illustrative material cited should  therefore be taken only as examples and makes no claim to completeness. [For  the "symposium on Hermes" see the editorial note on p. 191.-EDITORS.]
 
2. [Author's paraphrase. Cf. "The Spirit in the Bottle," Grimm's Fairy Tales  (trans. Hunt, rev. Stern), pp. 458-62.-EDITORS.]
 
3. Concerning personification of trees, see Frazer, The Magic Art, II, ch. 9. Trees  are also the dwelling places of spirits of the dead or are identical with the life  of the newborn child (ibid., I, p. 184).
 
4. Cf. the title-page of Mutus liber, showing an angel waking the sleeper with a trumpet ("The Psychology of the Transference," Fig. 11). Also the illustration in Michelspacher's Cabala, speculum artis et naturae (Psychology and Alchemy, Fig. 93). In the foreground, before a mountain upon which is a temple of the initiates, stands a blindfolded man, while further back another man runs after a fox which is disappearing into a hole in the mountain. The "helpful animal" shows the way to the temple. The fox or hare is itself the "evasive" Mercurius as guide ([x]).

5. For additional material on the tree symbol, see infra, "The Philosophical Tree," Part II.

6. This motif was used in the same sense by the Gnostics. Cf. Hippolytus, Elenchos, V, 9, 15, where the many-named and thousand-eyed "Word of God" is "hidden in the root of All."

7. Theatrum chemicum, IV (1659), p. 500.

8. Ibid., p. 478: "(Christ), who is the tree of life both spiritual and bodily."

9. Krueger, Das Dogma von der Dreieinigkeit und Gottmenschheit, p. 207.

10. In the "Dicta Belini" Mercurius even says: "Out of me is made the bread from which comes the whole world, and the world is formed from my mercy, and it fails not, because it is the gift of God" (Distinctio XXVIII, in Theatr. chem., V, 1660, p. 87).

11. Cf. the doctrine of the status iustitiae originalis and status naturae integrae.

12. Cf. Rev. 20: 3: "and set a seal upon him."

13 "The Fift is of Concord and of Love, / Betweene your Warkes and the Spheare above." -- Norton's "Ordinall of Alchimy," Theatrum chemicum Britannicum, ch. 6, p. 92.

14. Dialogus miraculorum, trans. by Scott and Bland, I, pp. 42, 236.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:50 am

2. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN SPIRIT AND TREE

247 Before continuing our discussion of the spirit Mercurius, I should like to point out a not unimportant fact. The place where he lies confined is not just any place but a very essential one -- namely, under the oak, the king of the forest. In psychological terms, this means that the evil spirit is imprisoned in the roots of the self, as the secret hidden in the principle of individuation. He is not identical with the tree, nor with its roots, but has been put there by artificial means. The fairy tale gives us no reason to think that the oak, which represents the self, has grown out of the spirit in the bottle; we may rather conjecture that the oak presented a suitable place for concealing a secret. A treasure, for instance, is preferably buried near some kind of landmark, or else such a mark is put up afterwards. The tree of paradise serves as a prototype for this and similar tales: it, too, is not identical with the voice of the serpent which issued from it.1 However, it must not be forgotten that these mythical motifs have a significant connection with certain psychological phenomena observed among primitive peoples. In all such cases there is a notable analogy with primitive animism: certain trees are animated by souls -- have the character of personality, we would say -- and possess a voice that gives commands to human beings. Amaury Talbot2 reports one such case from Nigeria, where a native soldier heard an oji tree calling to him, and tried desperately to break out of the barracks and hasten to the tree. Under cross-examination he alleged that all those who bore the name of the tree now and then heard its voice. Here the voice is undoubtedly identical with the tree. These psychic phenomena suggest that originally the tree and the daemon were one and the same, and that their separation is a secondary phenomenon corresponding to a higher level of culture and consciousness. The original phenomenon was nothing less than a nature deity, a tremendum pure and simple, which is moral1y neutral. But the secondary phenomenon implies an act of discrimination which splits man off from nature and thus testifies to the existence of a more highly differentiated consciousness. To this is added, as a tertiary phenomenon testifying to a still higher level, the moral qualification which declares the voice to be an evil spirit under a ban. It goes without saying that this third level is marked by a belief in a "higher" and "good" God who, though he has not finally disposed of his adversary, has nevertheless rendered him harmless for some time to come by imprisonment (Rev. 20 : 1-3).

248 Since at the present level of consciousness we cannot suppose that tree daemons exist, we are forced to assert that the primitive suffers from hallucinations, that he hears his own unconscious which has projected itself into the tree. If this theory is correct -- and I do not know how we could formulate it otherwise today -- then the second level of consciousness has effected a differentiation between the object "tree" and the unconscious content projected into it, thereby achieving an act of enlightenment. The third level rises still higher and attributes "evil" to the psychic content which has been separated from the object. Finally a fourth level, the level reached by our consciousness today, carries the enlightenment a stage further by denying the objective existence of the "spirit" and declaring that the primitive has heard nothing at all, but merely had an auditory hallucination. Consequently the whole phenomenon vanishes into thin air -- with the great advantage that the evil spirit becomes obviously non-existent and sinks into ridiculous insignificance. A fifth level, however, which is bound to take a quintessential view of the matter, wonders about this conjuring trick that turns what began as a miracle into a senseless self-deception -- only to come full circle. Like the boy who told his father a made-up story about sixty stags in the forest, it asks: "But what, then, was all the rustling in the woods?" The fifth level is of the opinion that something did happen after all: even though the psychic content was not the tree, nor a spirit in the tree, nor indeed any spirit at all, it was nevertheless a phenomenon thrusting up from the unconscious, the existence of which cannot be denied if one is minded to grant the psyche any kind of reality. If one did not do that, one would have to extend God's creatio ex nihilo-which seems so obnoxious to the modern intellect-very much further to include steam engines, automobiles, radios, and every library on earth, all of which would presumably have arisen from unimaginably fortuitous conglomerations of atoms. The only thing that would have happened is that the Creator would have been renamed Conglomeratio.

249 The fifth level assumes that the unconscious exists and has a reality just like any other existent. However odious it may be, this means that the "spirit" is also a reality, and the "evil" spirit at that. What is even worse, the distinction between "good" and "evil" is suddenly no longer obsolete, but highly topical and necessary. The crucial point is that so long as the evil spirit cannot be proved to be a subjective psychic experience, then even trees and other suitable objects would have, once again, to be seriously considered as its lodging places.

_______________

Notes:

1 Mercurius, in the form of Lilith or Melusina, appears in the tree in the Ripley Scrowle. To this context belongs also the hamadryad as an interpretation of the so-called "Aenigma Bononiense." Cf. Mysterium Coniunctionis, pp. 68f.

2 In the Shadow of the Bush, pp. 31f.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:54 am

3. THE PROBLEM OF FREEING MERCURIUS

250 We will not pursue the paradoxical reality of the unconscious any further now, but will return to the fairy tale of the spirit in the bottle. As we have seen, the spirit Mercurius bears some resemblance to the "cheated devil." The analogy, however, is only a superficial one, since, unlike the gifts of the devil, the gold of Mercurius does not turn to horse droppings but remains good metal, and the magic rag does not turn to ashes by morning but retains its healing power. Nor is Mercurius tricked out of a soul that he wanted to steal. He is only tricked into his own better nature, one might say, in that the boy succeeds in bottling him up again in order to cure his bad mood and make him tractable. Mercurius becomes polite, gives the young fellow a useful ransom and is accordingly set free. We now hear about the student's good fortune and how he became a wonderworking doctor, but -- strangely enough -- nothing about the doings of the liberated spirit, though these might be of some interest in view of the web of meanings in which Mercurius, with his many-sided associations, entangles us. What happens when this pagan god, Hermes-Mercurius-Wotan, is let loose again? Being a god of magicians, a spiritus vegetativus) and a storm daemon, he will hardly have returned to captivity, and the fairy tale gives us no reason to suppose that the episode of imprisonment has finally changed his nature to the pink of perfection. The bird of Hermes has escaped from the glass cage, and in consequence something has happened which the experienced alchemist wished at all costs to avoid. That is why he always sealed the stopper of his bottle with magic signs and set it for a very long time over the lowest fire, so that "he who is within may not fly out." For if he escapes, the whole laborious opus comes to nothing and has to be started all over again. Our lad was a Sunday's child and possibly one of the poor in spirit, on whom was bestowed a bit of the Kingdom of Heaven in the shape of the self-renewing tincture, with reference to which it was said that the opus needed to be performed only once.l But if he had lost the magic rag he would certainly never have been able to produce it a second time, by himself. It looks as though some Master had succeeded in capturing the mercurial spirit and then hid him in a safe place, like a treasure -- perhaps putting him aside for some future use. He may even have planned to tame the wild Mercurius to serve him as a willing "familiar," like Mephisto-such trains of thought are not strange to alchemy. Perhaps he was disagreeably surprised when he returned to the oak tree and found that his bird had flown. At any rate, it might have been better not to have left the fate of the bottle to chance.

251 Be that as it may, the behaviour of the boy -- successfully as it worked out for him -- must be described as alchemically incorrect. Apart from the fact that he may have infringed upon the legitimate claims of an unknown Master by setting Mercurius free, he was also totally unconscious of what might follow if this turbulent spirit were let loose upon the world. The golden age of alchemy was the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century. At that time a storm bird did indeed escape from a spiritual vessel which the daemons must have felt was a prison. As I have said, the alchemists were all for not letting Mercurius escape. They wanted to keep him in the bottle in order to transform him: for they believed, like Petasios, that lead (another arcane substance) was "so bedevilled and shameless that all who wish to investigate it fall into madness through ignorance." 2 The same was said of the elusive Mercurius who evades every grasp -- a real trickster who drove the alchemists to despair.3

_______________

Notes:

1. "For he that shall end it once for certeyne, / Shall never have neede to begin againe."-- Norton's "Ordinall of Alchimy," Theatr. chem. Brit., ch. 4, p. 48.

2. Olympiodorus in Berthelot, Alchimistes grecs, II, iv, 43.

3. Cf. the entertaining "Dialogus Mercurii alchymistae et naturae," in Theatr. chem., IV (1659), pp. 449ff.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:00 am

Part II

1. INTRODUCTORY


252 The interested reader will want, as I do, to find out more about this spirit -- especially what our forefathers believed and said about him. I will therefore try with the aid of text citations to draw a picture of this versatile and shimmering god as he appeared to the masters of the royal art. For this purpose we must consult the abstruse literature of alchemy, which has not yet been properly understood. Naturally, in later times, the history of alchemy was mainly of interest to the chemist. The fact that it recorded the discovery of many chemical substances and drugs could not, however, reconcile him to the pitiful meagreness, so it seemed to him, of its scientific content. He was not in the position of the older authors, such as Schmieder, who could look on the possibility of goldmaking with hopeful esteem and sympathy; instead he was irritated by the futility of the recipes and the fraudulence of alchemical speculation in general. To him alchemy was bound to seem a gigantic aberration that lasted for more than two thousand years. Had he only asked himself whether the chemistry of alchemy was authentic or not, that is, whether the alchemists were really chemists or merely spoke a chemical jargon, then the texts themselves would have suggested a line of observation other than the purely chemical. The scientific equipment of the chemist does not, however, fit him to pursue this other line, since it leads straight into the history of religion. Thus it was a philologist, Reitzenstein, whom we have to thank for preliminary researches of the greatest value in this field. It was he who recognized the mythological and Gnostic ideas embedded in alchemy, thereby opening up the whole subject from an angle which promises to be most fruitful. For alchemy, as the earliest Greek and Chinese texts show, originally formed part of Gnostic philosophical speculations which also included a detailed knowledge of the techniques of the goldsmith and ironsmith, the faker of precious stones, the druggist and apothecary. In East and "Vest alike, alchemy contains as its core the Gnostic doctrine of the Anthropos and by its very nature has the character of a peculiar doctrine of redemption. This fact necessarily escaped the chemist, although it is expressed clearly enough in the Greek and Latin texts as well as in the Chinese of about the same period.

253 To begin with, of course, it is almost impossible for our scientifically trained minds to feel their way back into that primitive state of participation mystique in which subject and object are identical. Here the findings of modern psychology stood me in very good stead. Practical experience shows us again and again that any prolonged preoccupation with an unknown object acts as an almost irresistible bait for the unconscious to project itself into the unknown nature of the object and to accept the resultant perception, and the interpretation deduced from it, as objective. This phenomenon, a daily occurrence in practical psychology and more especially in psychotherapy, is without doubt a vestige of primitivity. On the primitive level, the whole of life is governed by animistic assumptions, that is, by projections of subjective contents into objective situations. For example, Karl von den Steinen says that the Bororos think of themselves as red cockatoos, although they readily admit that they have no feathers.1 On this level, the alchemists' assumption that a certain substance possesses secret powers, or that there is a prima materia somewhere which works miracles, is self-evident. This is, however, not a fact that can be understood or even thought of in chemical terms, it is a psychological phenomenon. Psychology, therefore, can make an important contribution towards elucidating the alchemists' mentality. What to the chemist seem to be the absurd fantasies of alchemy can be recognized by the psychologist without too much difficulty as psychic material contaminated with chemical substances. This material stems from the collective unconscious and is therefore identical with fantasy products that can still be found today among both sick and healthy people who have never heard of alchemy. On account of the primitive character of its projections, alchemy, so barren a field for the chemist, is for the psychologist a veritable gold-mine of materials which throw an exceedingly valuable light on the structure of the unconscious.

254 Since in what follows I shall often refer to the original texts, it might be as well to say a few words about this literature, some of which is not easily accessible. I shall leave out of account the few Chinese texts that have been translated, and shall only mention that The Secret of the Golden Flower) published by Richard Wilhelm and myself, is representative of its class. Nor can I consider the Indian "Quicksilver System."2 The Western literature I have used falls into four groups:

1. Texts by ancient authors. This group comprises mainly Greek texts, which have been edited by Berthelot, and those transmitted by the Arabs, likewise edited by him. They date from the period between the first and eighth centuries.

2. Texts by the early Latinists. The most important of these are translations from the Arabic (or Hebrew?). Recent research shows that most of these texts derive from the Harranite school, which flourished until about 1050, and was also, probably, the source of the Corpus Hermeticum. To this group belong certain texts whose Arabic origin is doubtful but which at least show Arabic influence -- for instance, the "Summa perfectionis" of Geber and the Aristotle and Avicenna treatises. This period extends from the ninth to the thirteenth century.

3. Texts by the later Latinists. These comprise the principal group and range from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century.

4. Texts in modern European languages. Sixteenth to seventeenth century. After that, alchemy fell into decline, which is why I have only occasionally used eighteenth-century texts.

_______________

Notes:

1. Von den Steinen, Unter den Naturvolkern Zentral-Brasiliens, pp. 352f., 512.
 
2. Cf. Deussen, Allgemeine Geschichte der Philosophie, I, Part 3, pp. 336ff. This undoubtedly alchemical philosophy belongs to the fairly late (medieval) Upa- Puranas, more particularly to the Maheshvarapurana, hence to a doctrine principally concerned with Shiva. "Para-da" (bestowing the Other Shore) signifies quicksilver.
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Re: Alchemical Studies, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:06 am

2. MERCURIUS AS QUICKSILVER AND/OR WATER

255 Mercurius was first understood pretty well everywhere as hydrargyrum1 (Hg), quicksilver or argentum vivum (Fr. vifargent or argent vive). As such, it was called vulgaris (common) and crudus. As a rule, mercurius philosophicus was specifically distinguished from this, as an avowedly arcane substance that was sometimes conceived to be present in mercurius crudus, and then, again, to differ from it completely. It was the true object of the alchemical procedure. Quicksilver, because of its fluidity and volatility, was also defined as water. A popular saying is: "Aqua manus non madefaciens" (the water that does not make the hands wet).2 Other designations are aqua vitae,3 aqua alba,4 aqua sicca.5 The last designation, dry water, is paradoxical, for which reason I should like to call special attention to it as characterizing the nature of the object described. A qua seplies distillala (seven times distilled water) and aqueum subtile6 point to the sublimated ("spiritual") nature of the philosophic Mercurius. Many treatises simply speak of Mercurius as water.7 The doctrine of the humidum radicale (root-moisture or radical moisture) underlies such designations as humidum album,8 humiditas maxime permanens incombuslibilis et uncluosa,9 and humidilas mdicalis.10 Mercurius is also said to arise from the moisture like a vapour11 (which again points to his spiritual nature), or to rule the water.12 The "divine water" ([x]) so often mentioned in the Greek texts is quicksilver.13 Mercurius as the arcane substance and golden tincture is indicated by the designation aqua aurea14 and by the description of the water as Mercurii caduceus.15

_______________

Notes:

1. From [x], 'water,' and [x], 'silver.'

2. E.g., Hoghelande, "De alchemiae difficultatibus," Theatr. chem., I (1659), p. 161.

3. "Aquarium sapientum," Musaeum hermeticum, pp. 84, 93.

4. Ibid., p. 84. Hence also lac virginis, nivis, terra alba foliata, magnesia, etc.

5. Hoghelande, p. 161.

6. Mylius, Philosophia reformata, p. 176.

7. "Novum lumen," Mus. herm., p. 581; "Tractatus aureus," ibid., p. 34; "Gloria mundi," ibid., p. 250; Khunrath, Von hylealischen Chaos, p. 214.

8. Rosarium philosophorum, in Artis auriferae, II. p. 376.

9. "Tractatus aureus," Mus. herm., p. 39.

10. Mylius, Phil. ref., p. 31.

11. "Gloria mundi," p. 244.

12. Aurora consurgens II, in Art. aurif., I, p. 189. This text remarks that the water is fire (p. 212).

13. Berthelot, Alch. grecs, IV, vii, 2.

14. Basilius Valentinus, "Practica," Mus. herm., p. 404.

15. Philaletha, "Metallorum metamorphosis," ibid., p. 771, and "Introitus apertus," ibid., p. 654.
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