Aion, by C.G. Jung

What is the mind? What is the mind of a human? What is the mind of the one who investigates the human? Can the human mind understand itself? Can a human mind understand the mind of an other? This is psychology.

Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:23 am

by C.G. Jung
Translated from the first part of Aion: Untersuchungen zur Symbolgeschichte (Psychologische Abhandlungen, VIII), published by Rascher Verlag, Zurich, 1951.



[Librarian's Note: This text does not contain all the Greek symbols.]


Table of Contents:

• Editorial Notes
• Translator's Note
• List of Plates
• Foreword
• Chapter 1: The Ego
• Chapter 2: The Shadow
• Chapter 3: The Syzygy: Anima and Animus
• Chapter 4: The Self
• Chapter 5: Christ, a Symbol of the Self
• Chapter 6: The Sign of the Fishes
• Chapter 7: The Prophecies of Nostradamus
• Chapter 8: The Historical Significance of the Fish
• Chapter 9: The Ambivalence of the Fish Symbol
• Chapter 10: The Fish in Alchemy
o 1. The Medusa
o 2. The Fish
o 3. The Fish Symbol of the Cathars
• Chapter 11: The Alchemical Interpretation of the Fish
• Chapter 12: Background to the Psychology of Christian Alchemical Symbolism
• Chapter 13: Gnostic Symbols of the Self
• Chapter 14: The Structure and Dynamics of the Self
• Chapter 15: Conclusion
• Bibliography
• Index

[C]ontinuing the historical process of assimilation, I add to the many symbolical amplifications of the Christ-figure yet another, the psychological one, or even, so it might seem, reduce the Christ-symbol to a psychological image of wholeness. My reader should never forget, however, that I am not making a confession of faith or writing a tendentious tract, but am simply considering how certain things could be understood from the standpoint of our modern consciousness -- things which I deem it valuable to understand, and which are obviously in danger of being swallowed up in the abyss of incomprehension and oblivion; things, finally, whose understanding would do much to remedy our philosophic disorientation by shedding light on the psychic background and the secret chambers of the soul.... I write as a physician, with a physician's sense of responsibility, and not as a proselyte.


In his sermon on "The Poor in Spirit" (Matt. 5: 3), the Meister says: "The man who has this poverty has everything he was when he lived not in any wise, neither in himself, nor in truth, nor in God. He is so quit and empty of all knowing that no knowledge of God is alive in him; for while he stood in the eternal nature of God, there lived in him not another: what lived there was himself. And so we say this man is as empty of his own knowledge as he was when he was not anything; he lets God work what he will, and he stands empty as when he came from God." Therefore he should love God in the following way: "Love him as he is: a not-God, a not-spirit, a not-person, a not-image; as a sheer, pure, clear One, which he is, sundered from all secondness; and in this One let us sink eternally, from nothing to nothing. So help us God. Amen."

-- Aion, by C.G. Jung
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:23 am


Volume 9 of the Collected Works is devoted to studies of the specific archetypes of the collective unconscious. Part I, entitled The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, is composed of shorter essays; Part II, Aion, is a long monograph on the archetype of the self. The author has agreed to a modification of the sub-title of Aion, which in the Swiss edition appeared in two forms, "Researches into the History of Symbols" and "Contributions to the Symbolism of the Self." The first five chapters were previously published, with small differences, in Psyche and Symbol: A Selection from the Writings of C. G. Jung, edited by Violet S. de Laszlo (Anchor Books, Garden City, New York, 1958).


For this edition corrections have been made in the text and footnotes and the bibliographical references have been brought up to date in relation to the Collected Works. The translation has been corrected in light of further experience of translating Jung' s works.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 am


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following persons, whose translations have been consulted during the preparation of the present work: Mr. William H. Kennedy, for extensive use of his translation of portions of chapters 2 and 3, issued as "Shadow, Animus, and Anima" by the Analytical Psychology Club of New York, 1950; Dr. Hildegarde Nagel, for reference to her translation of the original Eranos-Jahrbuch version (1949) of "Concerning the Self," in Spring, 1951, which original version the author later expanded into Aion, chapters 4 and 5; and Miss Barbara Hannah and Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, for helpful advice with the remaining chapters. Especial thanks are due to Mr. A. S. B. Glover, who (unless otherwise noted) translated the Latin and Greek texts throughout. References to published sources are given for the sake of completeness.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 am

List of Plates

The Mithraic god Aion
Roman, 2nd-3rd century. Museo Profano, Vatican. P: Alinari.

1. The Four Elements

Michael Maier, Scrutinium chymicum (1687), Emblema XVII, p. 49.

2. The Trinity

From a manuscript by Joachim of Flora. Graphics Collection, Zurich Central Library, B x 606.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 am


The theme of this work [1] is the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion). My investigation seeks, with the help of Christian, Gnostic, and alchemical symbols of the self, to throw light on the change of psychic situation within the "Christian aeon." Christian tradition from the outset is not only saturated with Persian and Jewish ideas about the beginning and end of time, but is filled with intimations of a kind of enantiodromian reversal of dominants. I mean by this the dilemma of Christ and Antichrist. Probably most of the historical speculations about time and the division of time were influenced, as the Apocalypse shows, by astrological ideas. It is therefore only natural that my reflections should gravitate mainly round the symbol of the Fishes, for the Pisces aeon is the synchronistic concomitant of two thousand years of Christian development. In this time-period not only was the figure of the Anthropos (the "Son of Man") progressively amplified symbolically, and thus assimilated psychologically, but it brought with it changes in man's attitude that had already been anticipated by the expectation of the Antichrist in the ancient texts. Because these texts relegate the appearance of Antichrist to the end of time, we are justified in speaking of a "Christian aeon," which, it was presupposed, would find its end with the Second Coming. It seems as if this expectation coincides with the astrological conception of the "Platonic month" of the Fishes.

The immediate occasion for my proposing to discuss these historical questions is the fact that the archetypal image of wholeness, which appears so frequently in the products of the unconscious, has its forerunners in history. These were identified very early with the figure of Christ, as I have shown in my book Psychology and Alchemy. [2] I have been requested so often by my readers to discuss the relations between the traditional Christ-figure and the natural symbols of wholeness, or the self, that I finally decided to take this task in hand. Considering the unusual difficulties of such an undertaking, my decision did not come easily to me, for, in order to surmount all the obstacles and possibilities of error, a knowledge and caution would be needed which, unfortunately, are vouchsafed me only in limited degree. I am moderately certain of my observations on the empirical material, but I am fully aware of the risk I am taking in drawing the testimonies of history into the scope of my reflections. I think I also know the responsibility I am taking upon myself when, as though continuing the historical process of assimilation, I add to the many symbolical amplifications of the Christ-figure yet another, the psychological one, or even, so it might seem, reduce the Christ-symbol to a psychological image of wholeness. My reader should never forget, however, that I am not making a confession of faith or writing a tendentious tract, but am simply considering how certain things could be understood from the standpoint of our modern consciousness -- things which I deem it valuable to understand, and which are obviously in danger of being swallowed up in the abyss of incomprehension and oblivion; things, finally, whose understanding would do much to remedy our philosophic disorientation by shedding light on the psychic background and the secret chambers of the soul. The essence of this book was built up gradually, in the course of many years, in countless conversations with people of all ages and all walks of life; with people who in the confusion and uprootedness of our society were likely to lose all contact with the meaning of European culture and to fall into that state of suggestibility which is the occasion and cause of the Utopian mass-psychoses of our time.

I write as a physician, with a physician's sense of responsibility, and not as a proselyte. Nor do I write as a scholar, otherwise I would wisely barricade myself behind the safe walls of my specialism and not, on account of my inadequate knowledge of history, expose myself to critical attack and damage my scientific reputation. So far as my capacities allow, restricted as they are by old age and illness, I have made every effort to document my material as reliably as possible and to assist the verification of my conclusions by citing the sources.

May 1950



1. [In the Swiss edition, this foreword begins as follows: "In this volume (VIII of the Psychologische Abhandlungen) I am bringing out two works which, despite their inner and outer differences, belong together in so far as they both treat of the great theme of this book, namely the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion). While the contribution of my co-worker, Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, describes the psychological transition from antiquity to Christianity by analysing the Passion of St. Perpetua, my own investigation seeks, with the help of" etc., as above. Dr. von Franz's "Die Passio Perpetuae" is omitted from the present volume. -- EDITORS.]

2. [Ch. 5. "The Lapis-Christ Parallel."]
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:25 am


These things came to pass, they say, that Jesus might be made the first sacrifice in the discrimination of composite natures.
-- HIPPOLYTUS, Elenchos, VII, 27. 8

Chapter 1: THE EGO

Investigation of the psychology of the unconscious confronted me with facts which required the formulation of new concepts. One of these concepts is the self. The entity so denoted is not meant to take the place of the one that has always been known as the ego, but includes it in a supraordinate concept. We understand the ego as the complex factor to which all conscious contents are related. It forms, as it were, the centre of the field of consciousness; and, in so far as this comprises the empirical personality, the ego is the subject of all personal acts of consciousness. The relation of a psychic content to the ego forms the criterion of its consciousness, for no content can be conscious unless it is represented to a subject.

With this definition we have described and delimited the scope of the subject. Theoretically, no limits can be set to the field of consciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension. Empirically, however, it always finds its limit when it comes up against the unknown. This consists of everything we do not know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego as the centre of the field of consciousness. The unknown falls into two groups of objects: those which are outside and can be experienced by the senses, and those which are inside and are experienced immediately. The first group comprises the unknown in the outer world; the second the unknown in the inner world. We call this latter territory the unconscious.

The ego, as a specific content of consciousness, is not a simple or elementary factor but a complex one which, as such, cannot be described exhaustively. Experience shows that it rests on two seemingly different bases: the somatic and the psychic. The somatic basis is inferred from the totality of endosomatic perceptions, which for their part are already of a psychic nature and are associated with the ego, and are therefore conscious. They are produced by endosomatic stimuli, only some of which cross the threshold of consciousness. A considerable proportion of these stimuli occur unconsciously, that is, subliminally. The fact that they are subliminal does not necessarily mean that their status is merely physiological, any more than this would be true of a psychic content. Sometimes they are capable of crossing the threshold, that is, of becoming perceptions. But there is no doubt that a large proportion of these endosomatic stimuli are simply incapable of consciousness and are so elementary that there is no reason to assign them a psychic nature -- unless of course one favours the philosophical view that all life-processes are psychic anyway. The chief objection to this hardly demonstrable hypothesis is that it enlarges the concept of the psyche beyond all bounds and interprets the life-process in a way not absolutely warranted by the facts. Concepts that are too broad usually prove to be unsuitable instruments because they are too vague and nebulous. I have therefore suggested that the term "psychic" be used only where there is evidence of a will capable of modifying reflex or instinctual processes. Here I must refer the reader to my paper "On the Nature of the Psyche," [1] where I have discussed this definition of the "psychic" at somewhat greater length.

The somatic basis of the ego consists, then, of conscious and unconscious factors. The same is true of the psychic basis: on the one hand the ego rests on the total field of consciousness, and on the other, on the sum total of unconscious contents. These fall into three groups: first, temporarily subliminal contents that can be reproduced voluntarily (memory); second, unconscious contents that cannot be reproduced voluntarily; third, contents that are not capable of becoming conscious at all. Group two can be inferred from the spontaneous irruption of subliminal contents into consciousness. Group three is hypothetical; it is a logical inference from the facts underlying group two. It contains contents which have not yet irrupted into consciousness, or which never will.

When I said that the ego "rests" on the total field of consciousness I do not mean that it consists of this. Were that so, it would be indistinguishable from the field of consciousness as a whole. The ego is only the latter's point of reference, grounded on and limited by the somatic factor described above.

Although its bases are in themselves relatively unknown and unconscious, the ego is a conscious factor par excellence. It is even acquired, empirically speaking, during the individual's lifetime. It seems to arise in the first place from the collision between the somatic factor and the environment, and, once established as a subject, it goes on developing from further collisions with the outer world and the inner.

Despite the unlimited extent of its bases, the ego is never more and never less than consciousness as a whole. As a conscious factor the ego could, theoretically at least, be described completely. But this would never amount to more than a picture of the conscious personality; all those features which are unknown or unconscious to the subject would be missing. A total picture would have to include these. But a total description of the personality is, even in theory, absolutely impossible, because the unconscious portion of it cannot be grasped cognitively. This unconscious portion, as experience has abundantly shown, is by no means unimportant. On the contrary, the most decisive qualities in a person are often unconscious and can be perceived only by others, or have to be laboriously discovered with outside help.

Clearly, then, the personality as a total phenomenon does not coincide with the ego, that is, with the conscious personality, but forms an entity that has to be distinguished from the ego. Naturally the need to do this is incumbent only on a psychology that reckons with the fact of the unconscious, but for such a psychology the distinction is of paramount importance. Even for jurisprudence it should be of some importance whether certain psychic facts are conscious or not -- for instance, in adjudging the question of responsibility.

I have suggested calling the total personality which, though present, cannot be fully known, the self. The ego is, by definition, subordinate to the self and is related to it like a part to the whole. Inside the field of consciousness it has, as we say, free will. By this I do not mean anything philosophical, only the well-known psychological fact of "free choice," or rather the subjective feeling of freedom. But, just as our free will clashes with necessity in the outside world, so also it finds its limits outside the field of consciousness in the subjective inner world, where it comes into conflict with the facts of the self. And just as circumstances or outside events "happen" to us and limit our freedom, so the self acts upon the ego like an objective occurrence which free will can do very little to alter. It is, indeed, well known that the ego not only can do nothing against the self, but is sometimes actually assimilated by unconscious components of the personality that are in the process of development and is greatly altered by them.

It is, in the nature of the case, impossible to give any general description of the ego except a formal one. Any other mode of observation would have to take account of the individuality which attaches to the ego as one of its main characteristics. Although the numerous elements composing this complex factor are, in themselves, everywhere the same, they are infinitely varied as regards clarity, emotional colouring, and scope. The result of their combination -- the ego -- is therefore, so far as one can judge, individual and unique, and retains its identity up to a certain point. Its stability is relative, because far-reaching changes of personality can sometimes occur. Alterations of this kind need not always be pathological; they can also be developmental and hence fall within the scope of the normal.

Since it is the point of reference for the field of consciousness, the ego is the subject of all successful attempts at adaptation so far as these are achieved by the will. The ego therefore has a significant part to play in the psychic economy. Its position there is so important that there are good grounds for the prejudice that the ego is the centre of the personality, and that the field of consciousness is the psyche per se. If we discount certain suggestive ideas in Leibniz, Kant, Schelling, and Schopenhauer, and the philosophical excursions of Carus and von Hartmann, it is only since the end of the nineteenth century that modern psychology, with its inductive methods, has discovered the foundations of consciousness and proved empirically the existence of a psyche outside consciousness.

In psychology the psyche ( /ˈsaɪkiː/) is the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious. Psychology is the scientific or objective study of the psyche. The word has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older texts.

-- Psyche, by Wikipedia

With this discovery the position of the ego, till then absolute, became relativized; that is to say, though it retains its quality as the centre of the field of consciousness, it is questionable whether it is the centre of the personality. It is part of the personality but not the whole of it. As I have said, it is simply impossible to estimate how large or how small its share is; how free or how dependent it is on the qualities of this "extra-conscious" psyche. We can only say that its freedom is limited and its dependence proved in ways that are often decisive. In my experience one would do well not to underestimate its dependence on the unconscious. Naturally there is no need to say this to persons who already overestimate the latter's importance. Some criterion for the right measure is afforded by the psychic consequences of a wrong estimate, a point to which we shall return later on.

We have seen that, from the standpoint of the psychology of consciousness, the unconscious can be divided into three groups of contents. But from the standpoint of the psychology of the personality a twofold division ensues: an "extra-conscious" psyche whose contents are personal, and an "extra-conscious" psyche whose contents are impersonal and collective. The first group comprises contents which are integral components of the individual personality and could therefore just as well be conscious; the second group forms, as it were, an omnipresent, unchanging, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the psyche per se. This is, of course, no more than a hypothesis.

A hypothesis (from Greek ὑπόθεσις; plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. The term derives from the Greek, ὑποτιθέναι – hypotithenai meaning "to put under" or "to suppose". For a hypothesis to be put forward as a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it.

-- Hypothesis, by Wikipedia

But we are driven to it by the peculiar nature of the empirical material, not to mention the high probability that the general similarity of psychic processes in all individuals must be based on an equally general and impersonal principle that conforms to law, just as the instinct manifesting itself in the individual is only the partial manifestation of an instinctual substrate common to all men.

The word empirical denotes information acquired by means of observation or experimentation. Empirical data are data produced by an observation or experiment.A central concept in modern science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses. The term refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment. In this sense of the word, scientific statements are subject to, and derived from, our experiences or observations.

-- Empirical, by Wikipedia



1. Pars. 371 ff.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:26 am

Chapter 2: THE SHADOW

Whereas the contents of the personal unconscious are acquired during the individual's lifetime, the contents of the collective unconscious are invariably archetypes that were present from the beginning. Their relation to the instincts has been discussed elsewhere. [1] The archetypes most clearly characterized from the empirical point of view are those which have the most frequent and the most disturbing influence on the ego. These are the shadow, the anima, and the animus. [2] The most accessible of these, and the easiest to experience, is the shadow, for its nature can in large measure be inferred from the contents of the personal unconscious. The only exceptions to this rule are those rather rare cases where the positive qualities of the personality are repressed, and the ego in consequence plays an essentially negative or unfavourable role.

The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge, and it therefore, as a rule, meets with considerable resistance. Indeed, self-knowledge as a psychotherapeutic measure frequently requires much painstaking work extending over a long period.

Closer examination of the dark characteristics -- that is, the inferiorities constituting the shadow -- reveals that they have an emotional nature, a kind of autonomy, and accordingly an obsessive or, better, possessive quality. Emotion, incidentally, is not an activity of the individual but something that happens to him. Affects occur usually where adaptation is weakest, and at the same time they reveal the reason for its weakness, namely a certain degree of inferiority and the existence of a lower level of personality. On this lower level with its uncontrolled or scarcely controlled emotions one behaves more or less like a primitive, who is not only the passive victim of his affects but also singularly incapable of moral judgment.

Although, with insight and good will, the shadow can to some extent be assimilated into the conscious personality, experience shows that there are certain features which offer the most obstinate resistance to moral control and prove almost impossible to influence. These resistances are usually bound up with projections, which are not recognized as such, and their recognition is a moral achievement beyond the ordinary. While some traits peculiar to the shadow can be recognized without too much difficulty as one's own personal qualities, in this case both insight and good will are unavailing because the cause of the emotion appears to lie, beyond all possibility of doubt, in the other person. No matter how obvious it may be to the neutral observer that it is a matter of projections, there is little hope that the subject will perceive this himself. He must be convinced that he throws a very long shadow before he is willing to withdraw his emotionally-toned projections from their object.

Let us suppose that a certain individual shows no inclination whatever to recognize his projections. The projection-making factor then has a free hand and can realize its object -- if it has one -- or bring about some other situation characteristic of its power. As we know, it is not the conscious subject but the unconscious which does the projecting. Hence one meets with projections, one does not make them. The effect of projection is to isolate the subject from his environment, since instead of a real relation to it there is now only an illusory one. Projections change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face. In the last analysis, therefore, they lead to an autoerotic or autistic condition in which one dreams a world whose reality remains forever unattainable. The resultant sentiment d'incompletude and the still worse feeling of sterility are in their turn explained by projection as the malevolence of the environment, and by means of this vicious circle the isolation is intensified. The more projections are thrust in between the subject and the environment, the harder it is for the ego to see through its illusions. A forty-five-year-old patient who had suffered from a compulsion neurosis since he was twenty and had become completely cut off from the world once said to me: "But I can never admit to myself that I've wasted the best twenty-five years of my life!"

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going. Not consciously, of course -- for consciously he is engaged in bewailing and cursing a faithless world that recedes further and further into the distance. Rather, it is an unconscious factor which spins the illusions that veil his world. And what is being spun is a cocoon, which in the end will completely envelop him.

One might assume that projections like these, which are so very difficult if not impossible to dissolve, would belong to the realm of the shadow -- that is, to the negative side of the personality. This assumption becomes untenable after a certain point, because the symbols that then appear no longer refer to the same but to the opposite sex, in a man's case to a woman and vice versa. The source of projections is no longer the shadow -- which is always of the same sex as the subject -- but a contrasexual figure. Here we meet the animus of a woman and the anima of a man, two corresponding archetypes whose autonomy and unconsciousness explain the stubbornness of their projections. Though the shadow is a motif as well known to mythology as anima and animus, it represents first and foremost the personal unconscious, and its content can therefore be made conscious without too much difficulty. In this it differs from anima and animus, for whereas the shadow can be seen through and recognized fairly easily, the anima and animus are much further away from consciousness and in normal circumstances are seldom if ever realized. With a little self-criticism one can see through the shadow -- so far as its nature is personal. But when it appears as an archetype, one encounters the same difficulties as with anima and animus. In other words, it is quite within the bounds of possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.



1. "Instinct and the Unconscious" and "On the Nature of the Psyche," pars. 397ff.

2. The contents of this and the following chapter are taken from a lecture delivered to the Swiss Society for Practical Psychology, in Zurich, 1948. The material was first published in the Wiener Zeitschrift fur Neroenheilkunde und deren Grenzgebiete, I (1948): 4.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:26 am


What, then, is this projection-making factor? The East calls it the "Spinning Woman" [1] -- Maya, who creates illusion by her dancing. Had we not long since known it from the symbolism of dreams, this hint from the Orient would put us on the right track: the enveloping, embracing, and devouring element points unmistakably to the mother, [2] that is, to the son's relation to the real mother, to her imago, and to the woman who is to become a mother for him. His Eros is passive like a child's; he hopes to be caught, sucked in, enveloped, and devoured. He seeks, as it were, the protecting, nourishing, charmed circle of the mother, the condition of the infant released from every care, in which the outside world bends over him and even forces happiness upon him. No wonder the real world vanishes from sight!

If this situation is dramatized, as the unconscious usually dramatizes it, then there appears before you on the psychological stage 'a man living regressively, seeking his childhood and his mother, fleeing from a cold cruel world which denies him understanding. Often a mother appears beside him who apparently shows not the slightest concern that her little son should become a man, but who, with tireless and self-immolating effort, neglects nothing that might hinder him from growing up and marrying. You behold the secret conspiracy between mother and son, and how each helps the other to betray life.

Where does the guilt lie? With the mother, or with the son? Probably with both. The unsatisfied longing of the son for life and the world ought to be taken seriously. There is in him a desire to touch reality, to embrace the earth and fructify the field of the world. But he makes no more than a series of fitful starts, for his initiative as well as his staying power are crippled by the secret memory that the world and happiness may be had as a gift -- from the mother. The fragment of world which he, like every man, must encounter again and again is never quite the right one, since it does not fall into his lap, does not meet him half way, but remains resistant, has to be conquered, and submits only to force. It makes demands on the masculinity of a man, on his ardour, above all on his courage and resolution when it comes to throwing his whole being into the scales. For this he would need a faithless Eros, one capable of forgetting his mother and undergoing the pain of relinquishing the first love of his life. The mother, foreseeing this danger, has carefully inculcated into him the virtues of faithfulness, devotion, loyalty, so as to protect him from the moral disruption which is the risk of every life adventure. He has learnt these lessons only too well, and remains true to his mother. This naturally causes her the deepest anxiety (when, to her greater glory, he turns out to be a homosexual, for example) and at the same time affords her an unconscious satisfaction that is positively mythological. For, in the relationship now reigning between them, there is consummated the immemorial and most sacred archetype of the marriage of mother and son. What, after all, has commonplace reality to offer, with its registry offices, pay envelopes, and monthly rent, that could outweigh the mystic awe of the hieros gamos? Or the star-crowned woman whom the dragon pursues, or the pious obscurities veiling the marriage of the Lamb?

This myth, better than any other, illustrates the nature of the collective unconscious. At this level the mother is both old and young, Demeter and Persephone, and the son is spouse and sleeping suckling rolled into one. The imperfections of real life, with its laborious adaptations and manifold disappointments, naturally cannot compete with such a state of indescribable fulfilment.

In the case of the son, the projection-making factor is identical with the mother-imago, and this is consequently taken to be the real mother. The projection can only be dissolved when the son sees that in the realm of his psyche there is an imago not only of the mother but of the daughter, the sister, the beloved, the heavenly goddess, and the chthonic Baubo. Every mother and every beloved is forced to become the carrier and embodiment of this omnipresent and ageless image, which corresponds to the deepest reality in a man. It belongs to him, this perilous image of Woman; she stands for the loyalty which in the interests of life he must sometimes forgo; she is the much needed compensation for the risks, struggles, sacrifices that all end in disappointment; she is the solace for all the bitterness of life. And, at the same time, she is the great illusionist, the seductress, who draws him into life with her Maya -- and not only into life's reasonable and useful aspects, but into its frightful paradoxes and ambivalences where good and evil, success and ruin, hope and despair, counterbalance one another. Because she is his greatest danger she demands from a man his greatest, and if he has it in him she will receive it.

This image is "My Lady Soul," as Spitteler called her. I have suggested instead the term "anima," as indicating something specific, for which the expression "soul" is too general and too vague. The empirical reality summed up under the concept of the anima forms an extremely dramatic content of the unconscious. It is possible to describe this content in rational, scientific language, but in this way one entirely fails to express its living character. Therefore, in describing the living processes of the psyche, I deliberately and consciously give preference to a dramatic, mythological way of thinking and speaking, because this is not only more expressive but also more exact than an abstract scientific terminology, which is wont to toy with the notion that its theoretic formulations may one fine day be resolved into algebraic equations.

The projection-making factor is the anima, or rather the unconscious as represented by the anima. Whenever she appears, in dreams, visions, and fantasies, she takes on personified form, thus demonstrating that the factor she embodies possesses all the outstanding characteristics of a feminine being. [3] She is not an invention of the conscious, but a spontaneous product of the unconscious. Nor is she a substitute figure for the mother. On the contrary, there is every likelihood that the numinous qualities which make the mother-imago so dangerously powerful derive from the collective archetype of the anima, which is incarnated anew in every male child.

Since the anima is an archetype that is found in men, it is reasonable to suppose that an equivalent archetype must be present in women; for just as the man is compensated by a feminine element, so woman is compensated by a masculine one. I do not, however, wish this argument to give the impression that these compensatory relationships were arrived at by deduction. On the contrary, long and varied experience was needed in order to grasp the nature of anima and animus empirically. Whatever we have to say about these archetypes, therefore, is either directly verifiable or at least rendered probable by the facts. At the same time, I am fully aware that we are discussing pioneer work which by its very nature can only be provisional.

Just as the mother seems to be the first carrier of the projection- making factor for the son, so is the father for the daughter. Practical experience of these relationships is made up of many individual cases presenting all kinds of variations on the same basic theme. A concise description of them can, therefore, be no more than schematic.

Woman is compensated by a masculine element and therefore her unconscious has, so to speak, a masculine imprint. This results in a considerable psychological difference between men and women, and accordingly I have called the projection-making factor in women the animus, which means mind or spirit. The animus corresponds to the paternal Logos just as the anima corresponds to the maternal Eros. But I do not wish or intend to give these two intuitive concepts too specific a definition. I use Eros and Logos merely as conceptual aids to describe the fact that woman's consciousness is characterized more by the connective quality of Eros than by the discrimination and cognition associated with Logos. In men, Eros, the function of relationship, is usually less developed than Logos. In women, on the other hand, Eros is an expression of their true nature, while their Logos is often only a regrettable accident. It gives rise to misunderstandings and annoying interpretations in the family circle and among friends. This is because it consists of opinions instead of reflections, and by opinions I mean a priori assumptions that lay claim to absolute truth. Such assumptions, as everyone knows, can be extremely irritating. As the animus is partial to argument, he can best be seen at work in disputes where both parties know they are right. Men can argue in a very womanish way, too, when they are anima-possessed and have thus been transformed into the animus of their own anima. With them the question becomes one of personal vanity and touchiness (as if they were females); with women it is a question of power) whether of truth or justice or some other "ism" -- for the dressmaker and hairdresser have already taken care of their vanity. The "Father" (i.e., the sum of conventional opinions) always plays a great role in female argumentation. No matter how friendly and obliging a woman's Eros may be, no logic on earth can shake her if she is ridden by the animus. Often the man has the feeling -- and he is not altogether wrong -- that only seduction or a beating or rape would have the necessary power of persuasion. He is unaware that this highly dramatic situation would instantly come to a banal and unexciting end if he were to quit the field and let a second woman carryon the battle (his wife, for instance, if she herself is not the fiery war horse). This sound idea seldom or never occurs to him, because no man can converse with an animus for five minutes without becoming the victim of his own anima. Anyone who still had enough sense of humour to listen objectively to the ensuing dialogue would be staggered by the vast number of commonplaces, misapplied truisms, cliches from newspapers and novels, shop-soiled platitudes of every description interspersed with vulgar abuse and brain-splitting lack of logic. It is a dialogue which, irrespective of its participants, is repeated millions and millions of times in all the languages of the world and always remains essentially the same.

This singular fact is due to the following circumstance: when animus and anima meet, the animus draws his sword of power and the anima ejects her poison of illusion and seduction. The outcome need not always be negative, since the two are equally likely to fall in love (a special instance of love at first sight). The language of love is of astonishing uniformity, using the well-worn formulas with the utmost devotion and fidelity, so that once again the two partners find themselves in a banal collective situation. Yet they live in the illusion that they are related to one another in a most individual way.

In both its positive and its negative aspects the anima/animus relationship is always full of "animosity," i.e., it is emotional, and hence collective. Affects lower the level of the relationship and bring it closer to the common instinctual basis, which no longer has anything individual about it. Very often the relationship runs its course heedless of its human performers, who afterwards do not know what happened to them.

Whereas the cloud of "animosity" surrounding the man is composed chiefly of sentimentality and resentment, in woman it expresses itself in the form of opinionated views, interpretations, insinuations, and misconstructions, which all have the purpose (sometimes attained) of severing the relation between two human beings. The woman, like the man, becomes wrapped in a veil of illusions by her demon-familiar, and, as the daughter who alone understands her father (that is, is eternally right in everything), she is translated to the land of sheep, where she is put to graze by the shepherd of her soul, the animus.

Like the anima, the animus too has a positive aspect. Through the figure of the father he expresses not only conventional opinion but -- equally -- what we call "spirit," philosophical or religious ideas in particular, or rather the attitude resulting from them. Thus the animus is a psychopomp, a mediator between the conscious and the unconscious and a personification of the latter. Just as the anima becomes, through integration, the Eros of consciousness, so the animus becomes a Logos; and in the same way that the anima gives relationship and relatedness to a man's consciousness, the animus gives to woman's consciousness a capacity for reflection, deliberation, and self-knowledge.

The effect of anima and animus on the ego is in principle the same. This effect is extremely difficult to eliminate because, in the first place, it is uncommonly strong and immediately fills the ego-personality with an unshakable feeling of rightness and righteousness. In the second place, the cause of the effect is projected and appears to lie in objects and objective situations. Both these characteristics can, I believe, be traced back to the peculiarities of the archetype. For the archetype, of course, exists a priori. This may possibly explain the often totally irrational yet undisputed and indisputable existence of certain moods and opinions. Perhaps these are so notoriously difficult to influence because of the powerfully suggestive effect emanating from the archetype. Consciousness is fascinated by it, held captive, as if hypnotized. Very often the ego experiences a vague feeling of moral defeat and then behaves all the more defensively, defiantly, and self-righteously, thus setting up a vicious circle which only increases its feeling of inferiority. The bottom is then knocked out of the human relationship, for, like megalomania, a feeling of inferiority makes mutual recognition impossible, and without this there is no relationship.

As I said, it is easier to gain insight into the shadow than into the anima or animus. With the shadow, we have the advantage of being prepared in some sort by our education, which has always endeavoured to convince people that they are not one-hundred-per-cent pure gold. So everyone immediately understands what is meant by "shadow," "inferior personality," etc. And if he has forgotten, his memory can easily be refreshed by a Sunday sermon, his wife, or the tax collector. With the anima and animus, however, things are by no means so simple. Firstly, there is no moral education in this respect, and secondly, most people are content to be self-righteous and prefer mutual vilification (if nothing worse!) to the recognition of their projections. Indeed, it seems a very natural state of affairs for men to have irrational moods and women irrational opinions. Presumably this situation is grounded on instinct and must remain as it is to ensure that the Empedoclean game of the hate and love of the elements shall continue for all eternity. Nature is conservative and does not easily allow her courses to be altered; she defends in the most stubborn way the inviolability of the preserves where anima and animus roam. Hence it is much more difficult to become conscious of one's anima/animus projections than to acknowledge one's shadow side. One has, of course, to overcome certain moral obstacles, such as vanity, ambition, conceit, resentment, etc., but in the case of projections all sorts of purely intellectual difficulties are added, quite apart from the contents of the projection which one simply doesn't know how to cope with. And on top of all this there arises a profound doubt as to whether one is not meddling too much with nature's business by prodding into consciousness things which it would have been better to leave asleep.

Although there are, in my experience, a fair number of people who can understand without special intellectual or moral difficulties what is meant by anima and animus, one finds very many more who have the greatest trouble in visualizing these empirical concepts as anything concrete. This shows that they fall a little outside the usual range of experience. They are unpopular precisely because they seem unfamiliar. The consequence is that they mobilize prejudice and become taboo like everything else that is unexpected.

So if we set it up as a kind of requirement that projections should be dissolved, because it is wholesomer that way and in every respect more advantageous, we are entering upon new ground. Up till now everybody has been convinced that the idea "my father," "my mother," etc., is nothing but a faithful reflection of the real parent, corresponding in every detail to the original, so that when someone says "my father" he means no more and no less than what his father is in reality. This is actually what he supposes he does mean, but a supposition of identity by no means brings that identity about. This is where the fallacy of the enkekalymmenos ('the veiled one') comes in.[4] If one includes in the psychological equation X's picture of his father, which he takes for the real father, the equation will not work out, because the unknown quantity he has introduced does not tally with reality. X has overlooked the fact that his idea of a person consists, in the first place, of the possibly very incomplete picture he has received of the real person and, in the second place, of the subjective modifications he has imposed upon this picture. X's idea of his father is a complex quantity for which the real father is only in part responsible, an indefinitely larger share falling to the son. So true is this that every time he criticizes or praises his father he is unconsciously hitting back at himself, thereby bringing about those psychic consequences that overtake people who habitually disparage or overpraise themselves. If, however, X carefully compares his reactions with reality, he stands a chance of noticing that he has miscalculated somewhere by not realizing long ago from his father's behaviour that the picture he has of him is a false one. But as a rule X is convinced that he is right, and if anybody is wrong it must be the other fellow. Should X have a poorly developed Eros, he will be either indifferent to the inadequate relationship he has with his father or else annoyed by the inconsistency and general incomprehensibility of a father whose behaviour never really corresponds to the picture X has of him. Therefore X thinks he has every right to feel hurt, misunderstood, and even betrayed.

One can imagine how desirable it would be in such cases to dissolve the projection. And there are always optimists who believe that the golden age can be ushered in simply by telling people the right way to go. But just let them try to explain to these people that they are acting like a dog chasing its own tail. To make a person see the shortcomings of his attitude considerably more than mere "telling" is needed, for more is involved than ordinary common sense can allow. What one is up against here is the kind of fateful misunderstanding which, under ordinary conditions, remains forever inaccessible to insight. It is rather like expecting the average respectable citizen to recognize himself as a criminal.

I mention all this just to illustrate the order of magnitude to which the anima/animus projections belong, and the moral and intellectual exertions that are needed to dissolve them. Not all the contents of the anima and animus are projected, however. Many of them appear spontaneously in dreams and so on, and many more can be made conscious through active imagination. In this way we find that thoughts, feelings, and affects are alive in us which we would never have believed possible. Naturally, possibilities of this sort seem utterly fantastic to anyone who has not experienced them himself, for a normal person "knows what he thinks." Such a childish attitude on the part of the "normal person" is simply the rule, so that no one without experience in this field can be expected to understand the real nature of anima and animus. With these reflections one gets into an entirely new world of psychological experience, provided of course that one succeeds in realizing it in practice. Those who do succeed can hardly fail to be impressed by all that the ego does not know and never has known. This increase in self-knowledge is still very rare nowadays and is usually paid for in advance with a neurosis, if not with something worse.

The autonomy of the collective unconscious expresses itself in the figures of anima and animus. They personify those of its contents which, when withdrawn from projection, can be integrated into consciousness. To this extent, both figures represent functions which filter the contents of the collective unconscious through to the conscious mind. They appear or behave as such, however, only so long as the tendencies of the conscious and unconscious do not diverge too greatly. Should any tension arise, these functions, harmless till then, confront the conscious mind in personified form and behave rather like systems split off from the personality, or like part souls. This comparison is inadequate in so far as nothing previously belonging to the ego-personality has split off from it; on the contrary, the two figures represent a disturbing accretion. The reason for their behaving in this way is that though the contents of anima and animus can be integrated they themselves cannot, since they are archetypes. As such they are the foundation stones of the psychic structure, which in its totality exceeds the limits of consciousness and therefore can never become the object of direct cognition. Though the effects of anima and animus can be made conscious, they themselves are factors transcending consciousness and beyond the reach of perception and volition. Hence they remain autonomous despite the integration of their contents, and for this reason they should be borne constantly in mind. This is extremely important from the therapeutic standpoint, because constant observation pays the unconscious a tribute that more or less guarantees its co-operation. The unconscious as we know can never be "done with" once and for all. It is, in fact, one of the most important tasks of psychic hygiene to pay continual attention to the symptomatology of unconscious contents and processes, for the good reason that the conscious mind is always in danger of becoming one-sided, of keeping to well-worn paths and getting stuck in blind alleys. The complementary and compensating function of the unconscious ensures that these dangers, which are especially great in neurosis, can in some measure be avoided. It is only under ideal conditions, when life is still simple and unconscious enough to follow the serpentine path of instinct without hesitation or misgiving, that the compensation works with entire success. The more civilized, the more conscious and complicated a man is, the less he is able to follow his instincts. His complicated living conditions and the influence of his environment are so strong that they drown the quiet voice of nature. Opinions, beliefs, theories, and collective tendencies appear in its stead and back up all the aberrations of the conscious mind. Deliberate attention should then be given to the unconscious so that the compensation can set to work. Hence it is especially important to picture the archetypes of the unconscious not as a rushing phantasmagoria of fugitive images but as constant, autonomous factors, which indeed they are.

Both these archetypes, as practical experience shows, possess a fatality that can on occasion produce tragic results. They are quite literally the father and mother of all the disastrous entanglements of fate and have long been recognized as such by the whole world. Together they form a divine pair, [5] one of whom, in accordance with his Logos nature, is characterized by pneuma and nous, rather like Hermes with his ever-shifting hues, while the other, in accordance with her Eros nature, wears the features of Aphrodite, Helen (Selene), Persephone, and Hecate. Both of them are unconscious powers, "gods" in fact, as the ancient world quite rightly conceived them to be. To call them by this name is to give them that central position in the scale of psychological values which has always been theirs whether consciously acknowledged or not; for their power grows in proportion to the degree that they remain unconscious. Those who do not see them are in their hands, just as a typhus epidemic flourishes best when its source is undiscovered. Even in Christianity the divine syzygy has not become obsolete, but occupies the highest place as Christ and his bride the Church. [6] Parallels like these prove extremely helpful in our attempts to find the right criterion for gauging the significance of these two archetypes. What we can discover about them from the conscious side is so slight as to be almost imperceptible. It is only when we throw light into the dark depths of the psyche and explore the strange and tortuous paths of human fate that it gradually becomes clear to us how immense is the influence wielded by these two factors that complement our conscious life.

Recapitulating, I should like to emphasize that the integration of the shadow, or the realization of the personal unconscious, marks the first stage in the analytic process, and that without it a recognition of anima and animus is impossible. The shadow can be realized only through a relation to a partner, and anima and animus only through a relation to a partner of the opposite sex, because only in such a relation do their projections become operative. The recognition of the anima gives rise, in a man, to a triad, one third of which is transcendent: the masculine subject, the opposing feminine subject, and the transcendent anima. With a woman the situation is reversed. The missing fourth element that would make the triad a quaternity is, in a man, the archetype of the Wise Old Man, which I have not discussed here, and in a woman the Chthonic Mother. These four constitute a half immanent and half transcendent quaternity, an archetype which I have called the marriage quaternio. [7] The marriage quaternio provides a schema not only for the self but also for the structure of primitive society with its cross-cousin marriage, marriage classes, and division of settlements into quarters. The self, on the other hand, is a God-image, or at least cannot be distinguished from one. Of this the early Christian spirit was not ignorant, otherwise Clement of Alexandria could never have said that he who knows himself knows God. [8]



1. Erwin Rousselle. "Seelische Fuhrung im lebenden Taoismus," Pl. I, pp. 150, 170. Rousselle calls the spinning woman the "animal soul." There is a saying that runs, "The spinner sets in motion." I have defined the anima as a personification of the unconscious.

2. Here and in what follows, the word "mother" is not meant in the literal sense but as a symbol of everything that functions as a mother.

3. Naturally, she is a typical figure in belles-lettres. Recent publications on the subject of the anima include Linda Fierz-David. The Dream of Poliphilo, and my "Psychology of the Transference." The anima as a psychological idea first appears in the 16th-cent. humanist Richardus Vitus. Cf. my Mysterium Coniunctionis, pars. 91ff.

4. The fallacy, which stems from Eubulides the Megarian, runs: "Can you recognize your father?" Yes. "Can you recognize this veiled one?" No. "This veiled one is your father. Hence you can recognize your father and not recognize him."

5. Naturally this is not meant as a psychological definition. let alone a metaphysical one. As I pointed out in "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious" (pars. 296ff.), the syzygy consists of three elements: the femininity pertaining to the man and the masculinity pertaining to the woman; the experience which man has of woman and vice versa; and, finally, the masculine and feminine archetypal image. The first element can be integrated into the personality by the process of conscious realization, but the last one cannot.

6. "For the Scripture says, God made man male and female; the male is Christ, the female is the Church." -- Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, xiv, 2 (trans. by Lake, I, p. 151). In pictorial representations, Mary often takes the place of the Church.

7. "The Psychology of the Transference," pars. 425ff. Cf. infra, pars. 358ff., the Naassene quaternio.

8. Cf. infra, par. 347.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:27 am

Chapter 4: THE SELF [1]

We shall now turn to the question of whether the increase in self-knowledge resulting from the withdrawal of impersonal projections -- in other words, the integration of the contents of the collective unconscious -- exerts a specific influence on the ego-personality. To the extent that the integrated contents are parts of the self, we can expect this influence to be considerable. Their assimilation augments not only the area of the field of consciousness but also the importance of the ego, especially when, as usually happens, the ego lacks any critical approach to the unconscious. In that case it is easily overpowered and becomes identical with the contents that have been assimilated. In this way, for instance, a masculine consciousness comes under the influence of the anima and can even be possessed by her.

I have discussed the wider effects of the integration of unconscious contents elsewhere [2] and can therefore omit going into details here. I should only like to mention that the more numerous and the more significant the unconscious contents which are assimilated to the ego, the closer the approximation of the ego to the self, even though this approximation must be a never-ending process. This inevitably produces an inflation of the ego, [3] unless a critical line of demarcation is drawn between it and the unconscious figures. But this act of discrimination yields practical results only if it succeeds in fixing reasonable boundaries to the ego and in granting the figures of the unconscious -- the self, anima, animus, and shadow -- relative autonomy and reality (of a psychic nature). To psychologize this reality out of existence either is ineffectual, or else merely increases the inflation of the ego. One cannot dispose of facts by declaring them unreal. The projection-making factor, for instance, has undeniable reality. Anyone who insists on denying it becomes identical with it, which is not only dubious in itself but a positive danger to the well-being of the individual. Everyone who has dealings with such cases knows how perilous an inflation can be. No more than a flight of steps or a smooth floor is needed to precipitate a fatal fall. Besides the "pride goeth before a fall" motif there are other factors of a no less disagreeable psychosomatic and psychic nature which serve to reduce "puffed-up-ness." This condition should not be interpreted as one of conscious self-aggrandizement. Such is far from being the rule. In general we are not directly conscious of this condition at all, but can at best infer its existence indirectly from the symptoms. These include the reactions of our immediate environment. Inflation magnifies the blind spot in the eye, and the more we are assimilated by the projection-making factor, the greater becomes the tendency to identify with it. A clear symptom of this is our growing disinclination to take note of the reactions of the environment and pay heed to them.

It must be reckoned a psychic catastrophe when the ego is assimilated by the self. The image of wholeness then remains in the unconscious, so that on the one hand it shares the archaic nature of the unconscious and on the other finds itself in the psychically relative space-time continuum that is characteristic of the unconscious as such. [4] Both these qualities are numinous and hence have an unlimited determining effect on ego-consciousness, which is differentiated, i.e., separated, from the unconscious and moreover exists in an absolute space and an absolute time. It is a vital necessity that this should be so. If, therefore, the ego falls for any length of time under the control of an unconscious factor, its adaptation is disturbed and the way opened for all sorts of possible accidents.

Hence it is of the greatest importance that the ego should be anchored in the world of consciousness and that consciousness should be reinforced by a very precise adaptation. For this, certain virtues like attention, conscientiousness, patience, etc., are of great value on the moral side, just as accurate observation of the symptomatology of the unconscious and objective self-criticism are valuable on the intellectual side.

However, accentuation of the ego personality and the world of consciousness may easily assume such proportions that the figures of the unconscious are psychologized and the self consequently becomes assimilated to the ego. Although this is the exact opposite of the process we have just described it is followed by the same result: inflation. The world of consciousness must now be levelled down in favour of the reality of the unconscious. In the first case, reality had to be protected against an archaic, "eternal" and "ubiquitous" dream-state; in the second, room must be made for the dream at the expense of the world of consciousness. In the first case, mobilization of all the virtues is indicated; in the second, the presumption of the ego can only be damped down by moral defeat. This is necessary, because otherwise one will never attain that median degree of modesty which is essential for the maintenance of a balanced state. It is not a question, as one might think, of relaxing morality itself but of making a moral effort in a different direction. For instance, a man who is not conscientious enough has to make a moral effort in order to come up to the mark; while for one who is sufficiently rooted in the world through his own efforts it is no small moral achievement to inflict defeat on his virtues by loosening his ties with the world and reducing his adaptive performance. (One thinks in this connection of Brother Klaus, now canonized, who for the salvation of his soul left his wife to her own devices, along with numerous progeny.)

Since real moral problems all begin where the penal code leaves off, their solution can seldom or never depend on precedent, much less on precepts and commandments. The real moral problems spring from conflicts of duty. Anyone who is sufficiently humble, or easy-going, can always reach a decision with the help of some outside authority. But one who trusts others as little as himself can never reach a decision at all, unless it is brought about in the manner which Common Law calls an "Act of God." The Oxford Dictionary defines this concept as the "action of uncontrollable natural forces." In all such cases there is an unconscious authority which puts an end to doubt by creating a fait accompli. (In the last analysis this is true also of those who get their decision from a higher authority, only in more veiled form.) One can describe this authority either as the "will of God" or as an "action of uncontrollable natural forces," though psychologically it makes a good deal of difference how one thinks of it. The rationalistic interpretation of this inner authority as "natural forces" or the instincts satisfies the modem intellect but has the great disadvantage that the apparent victory of instinct offends our moral self-esteem; hence we like to persuade ourselves that the matter has been decided solely by the rational motions of the will. Civilized man has such a fear of the "crimen laesae maiestatis humanae" that whenever possible he indulges in a retrospective coloration of the facts in order to cover up the feeling of having suffered a moral defeat. He prides himself on what he believes to be his self-control and the omnipotence of his will, and despises the man who lets himself be outwitted by mere nature.

If, on the other hand, the inner authority is conceived as the "will of God" (which implies that "natural forces" are divine forces), our self-esteem is benefited because the decision then appears to be an act of obedience and the result a divine intention. This way of looking at it can, with some show of justice, be accused not only of being very convenient but of cloaking moral laxity in the mantle of virtue. The accusation, however, is justified only when one is in fact knowingly hiding one's own egoistic opinion behind a hypocritical facade of words. But this is by no means the rule, for in most cases instinctive tendencies assert themselves for or against one's subjective interests no matter whether an outside authority approves or not. The inner authority does not need to be consulted first, as it is present at the outset in the intensity of the tendencies struggling for decision. In this struggle the individual is never a spectator only; he takes part in it more or less "voluntarily" and tries to throw the weight of his feeling of moral freedom into the scales of decision. Nevertheless, it remains a matter of doubt how much his seemingly free decision has a causal, and possibly unconscious, motivation. This may be quite as much an "act of God" as any natural cataclysm. The problem seems to me unanswerable, because we do not know where the roots of the feeling of moral freedom lie; and yet they exist no less surely than the instincts, which are felt as compelling forces.

All in all, it is not only more beneficial but more "correct" psychologically to explain as the "will of God" the natural forces that appear in us as instincts. In this way we find ourselves living in harmony with the habitus of our ancestral psychic life; that is, we function as man has functioned at all times and in all places. The existence of this habitus is proof of its viability, for, if it were not viable, all those who obeyed it would long since have perished of maladaptation. On the other hand, by conforming to it one has a reasonable life expectancy. When an habitual way of thinking guarantees as much as this there is not only no ground for declaring it incorrect but, on the contrary, every reason to take it as "true" or "correct" in the psychological sense. Psychological truths are not metaphysical insights; they are habitual modes of thinking, feeling, and behaving which experience has proved appropriate and useful.

So when I say that the impulses which we find in ourselves should be understood as the "will of God," I wish to emphasize that they ought not to be regarded as an arbitrary wishing and willing, but as absolutes which one must learn how to handle correctly. The will can control them only in part. It may be able to suppress them, but it cannot alter their nature, and what is suppressed comes up again in another place in altered form, but this time loaded with a resentment that makes the otherwise harmless natural impulse our enemy. I should also like the term "God" in the phrase "the will of God" to be understood not so much in the Christian sense as in the sense intended by Diotima, when she said: "Eros, dear Socrates, is a mighty daemon." The Greek words daimon and daimonion express a determining power which comes upon man from outside, like providence or fate, though the ethical decision is left to man. He must know, however, what he is deciding about and what he is doing. Then, if he obeys he is following not just his own opinion, and if he rejects he is destroying not just his own invention.

The purely biological or scientific standpoint falls short in psychology because it is, in the main, intellectual only. That this should be so is not a disadvantage, since the methods of natural science have proved of great heuristic value in psychological research. But the psychic phenomenon cannot be grasped in its totality by the intellect, for it consists not only of meaning but also of value, and this depends on the intensity of the accompanying feeling-tones. Hence at least the two "rational" functions [5] are needed in order to map out anything like a complete diagram of a given psychic content.

If, therefore, in dealing with psychic contents one makes allowance not only for intellectual judgments but for value judgments as well, not only is the result a more complete picture of the content in question, but one also gets a better idea of the particular position it holds in the hierarchy of psychic contents in general. The feeling-value is a very important criterion which psychology cannot do without, because it determines in large measure the role which the content will play in the psychic economy. That is to say, the affective value gives the measure of the intensity of an idea, and the intensity in its turn expresses that idea's energic tension, its effective potential. The shadow, for instance, usually has a decidedly negative feeling-value, while the anima, like the animus, has more of a positive one. Whereas the shadow is accompanied by more or less definite and describable feeling-tones, the anima and animus exhibit feeling qualities that are harder to define. Mostly they are felt to be fascinating or numinous. Often they are surrounded by an atmosphere of sensitivity, touchy reserve, secretiveness, painful intimacy, and even absoluteness. The relative autonomy of the anima- and animus-figures expresses itself in these qualities. In order of affective rank they stand to the shadow very much as the shadow stands in relation to ego-consciousness. The main affective emphasis seems to lie on the latter; at any rate it is able, by means of a considerable expenditure of energy, to repress the shadow, at least temporarily. But if for any reason the unconscious gains the upper hand, then the valency of the shadow and of the other figures increases proportionately, so that the scale of values is reversed. What lay furthest away from waking consciousness and seemed unconscious assumes, as it were, a threatening shape, and the affective value increases the higher up the scale you go: ego-consciousness, shadow, anima, self. This reversal of the conscious waking state occurs regularly during the transition from waking to sleeping, and what then emerge most vividly are the very things that were unconscious by day. Every abaissement du niveau mental brings about a relative reversal of values.

I am speaking here of the subjective feeling-value, which is subject to the more or less periodic changes described above. But there are also objective values which are founded on a consensus omnium -- moral, aesthetic, and religious values, for instance, and these are universally recognized ideals or feeling-toned collective ideas (Levy-Bruhl's "representations collectives"). [6] The subjective feeling-tones or "value quanta" are easily recognized by the kind and number of constellations, or symptoms of disturbance, [7] they produce. Collective ideals often have no subjective feeling-tone, but nevertheless retain their feeling-value. This value, therefore, cannot be demonstrated by subjective symptoms, though it may be by the attributes attaching to these collective ideas and by their characteristic symbolism, quite apart from their suggestive effect.

The problem has a practical aspect, since it may easily happen that a collective idea, though significant in itself, is -- because of its lack of subjective feeling-tone -- represented in a dream only by a subsidiary attribute, as when a god is represented by his theriomorphic attribute, etc. Conversely, the idea may appear in consciousness lacking the affective emphasis that properly belongs to it, and must then be transposed back into its archetypal context-a task that is usually discharged by poets and prophets. Thus Holderlin, in his "Hymn to Liberty," lets this concept, worn stale by frequent use and misuse, rise up again in its pristine splendour:

Since her arm out of the dust has raised me,
Beats my heart so boldly and serene;
And my cheek still tingles with her kisses,
Flushed and glowing where her lips have been.
Every word she utters, by her magic
Rises new-created, without flaw;
Hearken to the tidings of my goddess,
Hearken to the Sovereign, and adore! [8]

It is not difficult to see here that the idea of liberty has been changed back to its original dramatic state -- into the shining figure of the anima, freed from the weight of the earth and the tyranny of the senses, the psychopomp who leads the way to the Elysian fields.

The first case we mentioned, where the collective idea is represented in a dream by a lowly aspect of itself, is certainly the more frequent: the "goddess" appears as a black cat, and the Deity as the lapis exilis (stone of no worth). Interpretation then demands a knowledge of certain things which have less to do with zoology and mineralogy than with the existence of an historical consensus omnium in regard to the object in question. These "mythological" aspects are always present, even though in a given case they may be unconscious. If for instance one doesn't happen to recall, when considering whether to paint the garden gate green or white, that green is the colour of life and hope, the symbolic aspect of "green" is nevertheless present as an unconscious sous-entendu. So we find something which has the highest significance for the life of the unconscious standing lowest on the scale of conscious values, and vice versa. The figure of the shadow already belongs to the realm of bodiless phantoms -- not to speak of anima and animus, which do not seem to appear at all except as projections upon our fellow human beings. As for the self, it is completely outside the personal sphere, and appears, if at all, only as a religious mythologem, and its symbols range from the highest to the lowest. Anyone who identifies with the daylight half of his psychic life will therefore declare the dreams of the night to be null and void, notwithstanding that the night is as long as the day and that all consciousness is manifestly founded on unconsciousness, is rooted in it and every night is extinguished in it. What is more, psychopathology knows with tolerable certainty what the unconscious can do to the conscious, and for this reason devotes to the unconscious an attention that often seems incomprehensible to the layman. We know, for instance, that what is small by day is big at night, and the other way round; thus we also know that besides the small by day there always looms the big by night, even when it is invisible.

This knowledge is an essential prerequisite for any integration -- that is to say a content can only be integrated when its double aspect has become conscious and when it is grasped not merely intellectually but understood according to its feeling-value. Intellect and feeling, however, are difficult to put into one harness -- they conflict with one another by definition. Whoever identifies with an intellectual standpoint will occasionally find his feeling confronting him like an enemy in the guise of the anima; conversely, an intellectual animus will make violent attacks on the feeling standpoint. Therefore, anyone who wants to achieve the difficult feat of realizing something not only intellectually, but also according to its feeling-value, must for better or worse come to grips with the anima/animus problem in order to open the way for a higher union, a coniunctio oppositorum. This is an indispensable prerequisite for wholeness.

Although "wholeness" seems at first sight to be nothing but an abstract idea (like anima and animus), it is nevertheless empirical in so far as it is anticipated by the psyche in the form of spontaneous or autonomous symbols. These are the quaternity or mandala symbols, which occur not only in the dreams of modern people who have never heard of them, but are widely disseminated in the historical records of many peoples and many epochs. Their significance as symbols of unity and totality is amply confirmed by history as well as by empirical psychology. What at first looks like an abstract idea stands in reality for something that exists and can be experienced, that demonstrates its a priori presence spontaneously. Wholeness is thus an objective factor that confronts the subject independently of him, like anima or animus; and just as the latter have a higher position in the hierarchy than the shadow, so wholeness lays claim to a position and a value superior to those of the syzygy. The syzygy seems to represent at least a substantial portion of it, if not actually two halves of the totality formed by the royal brother-sister pair, and hence the tension of opposites from which the divine child [9] is born as the symbol of unity.

Unity and totality stand at the highest point on the scale of objective values because their symbols can no longer be distinguished from the imago Dei. Hence all statements about the God-image apply also to the empirical symbols of totality. Experience shows that individual mandalas are symbols of order, and that they occur in patients principally during times of psychic disorientation or re-orientation. As magic circles they bind and subdue the lawless powers belonging to the world of darkness, and depict or create an order that transforms the chaos into a cosmos. [10] The mandala at first comes into the conscious mind as an unimpressive point or dot, [11] and a great deal of hard and painstaking work as well as the integration of many projections are generally required before the full range of the symbol can be anything like completely understood. If this insight were purely intellectual it could be achieved without much difficulty, for the world-wide pronouncements about the God within us and above us, about Christ and the corpus mysticum, the personal and suprapersonal atman, etc., are all formulations that can easily be mastered by the philosophic intellect. This is the common source of the illusion that one is then in possession of the thing itself. But actually one has acquired nothing more than its name, despite the age-old prejudice that the name magically represents the thing, and that it is sufficient to pronounce the name in order to posit the thing's existence. In the course of the millennia the reasoning mind has been given every opportunity to see through the futility of this conceit, though that has done nothing to prevent the intellectual mastery of a thing from being accepted at its face value. It is precisely our experiences in psychology which demonstrate as plainly as could be wished that the intellectual "grasp" of a psychological fact produces no more than a concept of it, and that a concept is no more than a name, a flatus vocis. These intellectual counters can be bandied about easily enough. They pass lightly from hand to hand, for they have no weight or substance. They sound full but are hollow; and though purporting to designate a heavy task and obligation, they commit us to nothing. The intellect is undeniably useful in its own field, but is a great cheat and illusionist outside of it whenever it tries to manipulate values.

It would seem that one can pursue any science with the intellect alone except psychology, whose subject-the psyche-has more than the two aspects mediated by sense-perception and thinking. The function of value -- feeling -- is an integral part of our conscious orientation and ought not to be missing in a psychological judgment of any scope, otherwise the model we are trying to build of the real process will be incomplete. Every psychic process has a value quality attached to it, namely its feeling-tone. This indicates the degree to which the subject is affected by the process or how much it means to him (in so far as the process reaches consciousness at all). It is through the "affect" that the subject becomes involved and so comes to feel the whole weight of reality. The difference amounts roughly to that between a severe illness which one reads about in a textbook and the real illness which one has. In psychology one possesses nothing unless one has experienced it in reality. Hence a purely intellectual insight is not enough, because one knows only the words and not the substance of the thing from inside.

There are far more people who are afraid of the unconscious than one would expect. They are even afraid of their own shadow. And when it comes to the anima and animus, this fear turns to panic. For the syzygy does indeed represent the psychic contents that irrupt into consciousness in a psychosis (most clearly of all in the paranoid forms of schizophrenia). [12] The overcoming of this fear is often a moral achievement of unusual magnitude, and yet it is not the only condition that must be fulfilled on the way to a real experience of the self.

The shadow, the syzygy, and the self are psychic factors of which an adequate picture can be formed only on the basis of a fairly thorough experience of them. Just as these concepts arose out of an experience of reality, so they can be elucidated only by further experience. Philosophical criticism will find everything to object to in them unless it begins by recognizing that they are concerned with facts, and that the "concept" is simply an abbreviated description or definition of these facts. Such criticism has as little effect on the object as zoological criticism on a duck-billed platypus. It is not the concept that matters; the concept is only a word, a counter, and it has meaning and use only because it stands for a certain sum of experience. Unfortunately I cannot pass on this experience to my public. I have tried in a number of publications, with the help of case material, to present the nature of these experiences and also the method of obtaining them. Wherever my methods were really applied the facts I give have been confirmed. One could see the moons of Jupiter even in Galileo's day if one took the trouble to use his telescope.

Outside the narrower field of professional psychology these figures meet with understanding from all who have any knowledge of comparative mythology. They have no difficulty in recognizing the shadow as the adverse representative of the dark chthonic world, a figure whose characteristics are universal. The syzygy is immediately comprehensible as the psychic prototype of all divine couples. Finally the self, on account of its empirical peculiarities, proves to be the eidos behind the supreme ideas of unity and totality that are inherent in all monotheistic and monistic systems.

I regard these parallels as important because it is possible, through them, to relate so-called metaphysical concepts, which have lost their root connection with natural experience, to living, universal psychic processes, so that they can recover their true and original meaning. In this way the connection is reestablished between the ego and projected contents now formulated as "metaphysical" ideas. Unfortunately, as already said, the fact that metaphysical ideas exist and are believed in does nothing to prove the actual existence of their content or of the object they refer to, although the coincidence of idea and reality in the form of a special psychic state, a state of grace, should not be deemed impossible, even if the subject cannot bring it about by an act of will. Once metaphysical ideas have lost their capacity to recall and evoke the original experience they have not only become useless but prove to be actual impediments on the road to wider development. One clings to possessions that have once meant wealth; and the more ineffective, incomprehensible, and lifeless they become the more obstinately people cling to them. (Naturally it is only sterile ideas that they cling to; living ideas have content and riches enough, so there is no need to cling to them.) Thus in the course of time the meaningful turns into the meaningless. This is unfortunately the fate of metaphysical ideas.

Today it is a real problem what on earth such ideas can mean. The world -- so far as it has not completely turned its back on tradition -- has long ago stopped wanting to hear a "message"; it would rather be told what the message means. The words that resound from the pulpit are incomprehensible and cry for an explanation. How has the death of Christ brought us redemption when no one feels redeemed? In what way is Jesus a God-man and what is such a being? What is the Trinity about, and the parthenogenesis, the eating of the body and the drinking of the blood, and all the rest of it? What connection can there be between the world of such concepts and the everyday world, whose material reality is the concern of natural science on the widest possible scale? At least sixteen hours out of twenty-four we live exclusively in this everyday world, and the remaining eight we spend preferably in an unconscious condition. Where and when does anything take place to remind us even remotely of phenomena like angels, miraculous feedings, beatitudes, the resurrection of the dead, etc.? It was therefore something of a discovery to find that during the unconscious state of sleep intervals occur, called "dreams," which occasionally contain scenes having a not inconsiderable resemblance to the motifs of mythology. For myths are miracle tales and treat of all those things which, very often, are also objects of belief.

In the everyday world of consciousness such things hardly exist; that is to say, until 1933 only lunatics would have been found in possession of living fragments of mythology. After this date the world of heroes and monsters spread like a devastating fire over whole nations, proving that the strange world of myth had suffered no loss of vitality during the centuries of reason and enlightenment. If metaphysical ideas no longer have such a fascinating effect as before, this is certainly not due to any lack of primitivity in the European psyche, but simply and solely to the fact that the erstwhile symbols no longer express what is now welling up from the unconscious as the end-result of the development of Christian consciousness through the centuries. This end-result is a true antimimon pneuma, a false spirit of arrogance, hysteria, woolly-mindedness, criminal amorality, and doctrinaire fanaticism, a purveyor of shoddy spiritual goods, spurious art, philosophical stutterings, and Utopian humbug, fit only to be fed wholesale to the mass man of today. That is what the post-Christian spirit looks like.



1. The material for this chapter is drawn from a paper, "Uber das Selbst," published in the Eranos-Jahrbuch 1948.

2. "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious."

3. In the sense of the words used in I Cor. 5 : 2: "Inflati estis [Image] et non magis luctum habuistis" (And you are puffed up. and have not rather mourned) -- with reference to a case of tolerated incest with the mother ("that a man should have his father's wife").

4. Cf. "On the Nature of the Psyche," pars. 414ff., 429ff.

5. Cf. Psychological Types, Defs., "Rational" and "Irrational."

6. Les Fonctions mentales dans les societes inferieures.

7 ."On Psychic Energy," pars. 14ff., 20ff.

8. Samtliche Werke, I, p. 126.

9. Cf. my "Psychology of the Child Archetype"; also Psychology and Alchemy, index, s.v. "filius Philosophorum," "child," "hermaphrodite."

10. Cf. Psychology and Alchemy, Part II, ch. 3.

11. [Cf. infra, par. 340.]

12. A classic case is the one published by Nelken: "Analytische Beobachtungen uber Phantasien eines Schizophrenen." Another is Schreber's Memoirs of My Nervous Illness.
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Re: Aion, by C.G. Jung

Postby admin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:38 am

Part 1 of 2


The dechristianization of our world, the Luciferian development of science and technology, and the frightful material and moral destruction left behind by the second World War have been compared more than once with the eschatological events foretold in the New Testament. These, as we know, are concerned with the coming of the Antichrist: "This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son." [1] "Every spirit that dissolveth Jesus ... is Antichrist ... of whom you have heard that he cometh." [2] The Apocalypse is full of expectations of terrible things that will take place at the end of time, before the marriage of the Lamb. This shows plainly that the anima christiana has a sure knowledge not only of the existence of an adversary but also of his future usurpation of power.

Why -- my reader will ask -- do I discourse here upon Christ and his adversary, the Antichrist? Our discourse necessarily brings us to Christ, because he is the still living myth of our culture. He is our culture hero, who, regardless of his historical existence, embodies the myth of the divine Primordial Man, the mystic Adam. It is he who occupies the centre of the Christian mandala, who is the Lord of the Tetramorph, i.e., the four symbols of the evangelists, which are like the four columns of his throne. He is in us and we in him. His kingdom is the pearl of great price, the treasure buried in the field, the grain of mustard seed which will become a great tree, and the heavenly city. [3] As Christ is in us, so also is his heavenly kingdom. [4]

These few, familiar references should be sufficient to make the psychological position of the Christ symbol quite clear. Christ exemplifies the archetype of the self. [5] He represents a totality of a divine or heavenly kind, a glorified man, a son of God sine macula peccati, unspotted by sin. As Adam secundus he corresponds to the first Adam before the Fall, when the latter was still a pure image of God, of which Tertullian (d. 222) says: "And this therefore is to be considered as the image of God in man, that the human spirit has the same motions and senses as God has, though not in the same way as God has them." [6] Origen (185-254) is very much more explicit: The imago Dei imprinted on the soul, not on the body, [7] is an image of an image, "for my soul is not directly the image of God, but is made after the likeness of the former image." [8] Christ, on the other hand, is the true image of God, [9] after whose likeness our inner man is made, invisible, incorporeal, incorrupt, and immortal. [10] The God-image in us reveals itself through "prudentia, iustitia, moderatio, virtus, sapientia et disciplina." [11]

St. Augustine (354-430) distinguishes between the God-image which is Christ and the image which is implanted in man as a means or possibility of becoming like God. [12] The God-image is not in the corporeal man, but in the anima rationalis, the possession of which distinguishes man from animals. "The God-image is within, not in the body.... Where the understanding is, where the mind is, where the power of investigating truth is, there God has his image." [13] Therefore we should remind ourselves, says Augustine, that we are fashioned after the image of God nowhere save in the understanding: ". . . but where man knows himself to be made after the image of God, there he knows there is something more in him than is given to the beasts." [14] From this it is clear that the God-image is, so to speak, identical with the anima rationalis. The latter is the higher spiritual man, the homo coelestis of St Paul. [15] Like Adam before the Fall, Christ is an embodiment of the God-image, [16] whose totality is specially emphasized by St. Augustine. "The Word," he says, "took on complete manhood, as it were in its fulness: the soul and body of a man. And if you would have me put it more exactly -- since even a beast of the field has a 'soul' and a body -- when I say a human soul and human flesh, I mean he took upon him a complete human soul." [17]

The God-image in man was not destroyed by the Fall but was only damaged and corrupted ("deformed"), and can be restored through God's grace. The scope of the integration is suggested by the descensus ad inferos, the descent of Christ's soul to hell, its work of redemption embracing even the dead. The psychological equivalent of this is the integration of the collective unconscious which forms an essential part of the individuation process. St. Augustine says: "Therefore our end must be our perfection, but our perfection is Christ," [18] since he is the perfect God-image. For this reason he is also called "King." His bride (sponsa) is the human soul, which "in an inwardly hidden spiritual mystery is joined to the Word, that two may be in one flesh," to correspond with the mystic marriage of Christ and the Church. [19] Concurrently with the continuance of this hieros gamos in the dogma and rites of the Church, the symbolism developed in the course of the Middle Ages into the alchemical conjunction of opposites, or "chymical wedding," thus giving rise on the one hand to the concept of the lapis philosophorum, signifying totality, and on the other hand to the concept of chemical combination.

The God-image in man that was damaged by the first sin can be "reformed" [20] with the help of God, in accordance with Romans 12: 2: "And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is ... the will of God" (RSV). The totality images which the unconscious produces in the course of an individuation process are similar "reformations" of an a priori archetype (the mandala). [21] As I have already emphasized, the spontaneous symbols of the self, or of wholeness, cannot in practice be distinguished from a God-image. Despite the word Image ('be transformed') in the Greek text of the above quotation, the "renewal" (Image, reformatio) of the mind is not meant as an actual alteration of consciousness, but rather as the restoration of an original condition, an apocatastasis. This is in exact agreement with the empirical findings of psychology, that there is an ever-present archetype of wholeness [22] which may easily disappear from the purview of consciousness or may never be perceived at all until a consciousness illuminated by conversion recognizes it in the figure of Christ. As a result of this "anamnesis" the original state of oneness with the God-image is restored. It brings about an integration, a bridging of the split in the personality caused by the instincts striving apart in different and mutually contradictory directions. The only time the split does not occur is when a person is still as legitimately unconscious of his instinctual life as an animal. But it proves harmful and impossible to endure when an artificial unconsciousness -- a repression-no longer reflects the life of the instincts.

There can be no doubt that the original Christian conception of the imago Dei embodied in Christ meant an all-embracing totality that even includes the animal side of man. Nevertheless the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of things but specifically excludes it in the form of a Luciferian opponent. Although the exclusion of the power of evil was something the Christian consciousness was well aware of, all it lost in effect was an insubstantial shadow, for, through the doctrine of the privatio boni first propounded by Origen, evil was characterized as a mere diminution of good and thus deprived of substance. According to the teachings of the Church, evil is simply "the accidental lack of perfection." This assumption resulted in the proposition "omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine." Another logical consequence was the subsequent elimination of the devil in certain Protestant sects.

Thanks to the doctrine of the privatio boni, wholeness seemed guaranteed in the figure of Christ. One must, however, take evil rather more substantially when one meets it on the plane of empirical psychology. There it is simply the opposite of good. In the ancient world the Gnostics, whose arguments were very much influenced by psychic experience, tackled the problem of evil on a broader basis than the Church Fathers. For instance, one of the things they taught was that Christ "cast off his shadow from himself." [23] If we give this view the weight it deserves, we can easily recognize the cut-off counterpart in the figure of Antichrist. The Antichrist develops in legend as a perverse imitator of Christ's life. He is a true Image, an imitating spirit of evil who follows in Christ's footsteps like a shadow following the body. This complementing of the bright but one-sided figure of the Redeemer -- we even find traces of it in the New Testament -- must be of especial significance. And indeed, considerable attention was paid to it quite early.

If we see the traditional figure of Christ as a parallel to the psychic manifestation of the self, then the Antichrist would correspond to the shadow of the self, namely the dark half of the human totality, which ought not to be judged too optimistically. So far as we can judge from experience, light and shadow are so evenly distributed in man's nature that his psychic totality appears, to say the least of it, in a somewhat murky light. The psychological concept of the self, in part derived from our knowledge of the whole man, but for the rest depicting itself spontaneously in the products of the unconscious as an archetypal quaternity bound together by inner antinomies, cannot omit the shadow that belongs to the light figure, for without it this figure lacks body and humanity. In the empirical self, light and shadow form a paradoxical unity. In the Christian concept, on the other hand, the archetype is hopelessly split into two irreconcilable halves, leading ultimately to a metaphysical dualism -- the final separation of the kingdom of heaven from the fiery world of the damned.

For anyone who has a positive attitude towards Christianity the problem of the Antichrist is a hard nut to crack. It is nothing less than the counterstroke of the devil, provoked by God's Incarnation; for the devil attains his true stature as the adversary of Christ, and hence of God, only after the rise of Christianity, while as late as the Book of Job he was still one of God's sons and on familiar terms with Yahweh. [24] Psychologically the case is clear, since the dogmatic figure of Christ is so sublime and spotless that everything else turns dark beside it. It is, in fact, so one-sidedly perfect that it demands a psychic complement to restore the balance. This inevitable opposition led very early to the doctrine of the two sons of God, of whom the elder was called Satanae. [25]The coming of the Antichrist is not just a prophetic prediction -- it is an inexorable psychological law whose existence, though unknown to the author of the Johannine Epistles, brought him a sure knowledge of the impending enantiodromia. Consequently he wrote as if he were conscious of the inner necessity for this transformation, though we may be sure that the idea seemed to him like a divine revelation. In reality every intensified differentiation of the Christ-image brings about a corresponding accentuation of its unconscious complement, thereby increasing the tension between above and below.

In making these statements we are keeping entirely within the sphere of Christian psychology and symbolism. A factor that no one has reckoned with, however, is the fatality inherent in the Christian disposition itself, which leads inevitably to a reversal of its spirit -- not through the obscure workings of chance but in accordance with psychological law. The ideal of spirituality striving for the heights was doomed to clash with the materialistic earth-bound passion to conquer matter and master the world. This change became visible at the time of the "Renaissance." The word means "rebirth," and it referred to the renewal of the antique spirit. We know today that this spirit was chiefly a mask; it was not the spirit of antiquity that was reborn, but the spirit of medieval Christianity that underwent strange pagan transformations, exchanging the heavenly goal for an earthly one, and the vertical of the Gothic style for a horizontal perspective (voyages of discovery, exploration of the world and of nature). The subsequent developments that led to the Enlightenment and the French Revolution have produced a worldwide situation today which can only be called "antichristian" in a sense that confirms the early Christian anticipation of the "end of time." It is as if, with the coming of Christ, opposites that were latent till then had become manifest, or as if a pendulum had swung violently to one side and were now carrying out the complementary movement in the opposite direction. No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. The double meaning of this movement lies in the nature of the pendulum. Christ is without spot, but right at the beginning of his career there occurs the encounter with Satan, the Adversary, who represents the counterpole of that tremendous tension in the world psyche which Christ's advent signified. He is the "mysterium iniquitatis" that accompanies the "sol iustitiae" as inseparably as the shadow belongs to the light, in exactly the same way, so the Ebionites [26] and Euchites [27] thought, that one brother cleaves to the' other. Both strive for a kingdom: one for the kingdom of heaven, the other for the "principatus huius mundi." We hear of a reign of a "thousand years" and of a "coming of the Antichrist," just as if a partition of worlds and epochs had taken place between two royal brothers. The meeting with Satan was therefore more than mere chance; it was a link in the chain.

Just as we have to remember the gods of antiquity in order to appreciate the psychological value of the anima/animus archetype, so Christ is our nearest analogy of the self and its meaning. It is naturally not a question of a collective value artificially manufactured or arbitrarily awarded, but of one that is effective and present per se, and that makes its effectiveness felt whether the subject is conscious of it or not. Yet, although the attributes of Christ (consubstantiality with the Father, coeternity, filiation, parthenogenesis, crucifixion, Lamb sacrificed between opposites, One divided into Many, etc.) undoubtedly mark him out as an embodiment of the self, looked at from the psychological angle he corresponds to only one half of the archetype. The other half appears in the Antichrist. The latter is just as much a manifestation of the self, except that he consists of its dark aspect. Both are Christian symbols, and they have the same meaning as the image of the Saviour crucified between two thieves. This great symbol tells us that the progressive development and differentiation of consciousness leads to an ever more menacing awareness of the conflict and involves nothing less than a crucifixion of the ego, its agonizing suspension between irreconcilable opposites. [28] Naturally there can be no question of a total extinction of the ego, for then the focus of consciousness would be destroyed, and the result would be complete unconsciousness. The relative abolition of the ego affects only those supreme and ultimate decisions which confront us in situations where there are insoluble conflicts of duty. This means, in other words, that in such cases the ego is a suffering bystander who decides nothing but must submit to a decision and surrender unconditionally. The "genius" of man, the higher and more spacious part of him whose extent no one knows, has the final word. It is therefore well to examine carefully the psychological aspects of the individuation process in the light of Christian tradition, which can describe it for us with an exactness and impressiveness far surpassing our feeble attempts, even though the Christian image of the self -- Christ -- lacks the shadow that properly belongs to it.

The reason for this. as already indicated, is the doctrine of the Summum Bonum. Irenaeus says very rightly, in refuting the Gnostics, that exception must be taken to the "light of their Father," because it "could not illuminate and fill even those things which were within it," [29] namely the shadow and the void. It seemed to him scandalous and reprehensible to suppose that within the pleroma of light there could be a "dark and formless void." For the Christian neither God nor Christ could be a paradox; they had to have a single meaning, and this holds true to the present day. No one knew, and apparently (with a few commendable exceptions) no one knows even now, that the hybris of the speculative intellect had already emboldened the ancients to propound a philosophical definition of God that more or less obliged him to be the Summum Bonum. A Protestant theologian has even had the temerity to assert that "God can only be good." Yahweh could certainly have taught him a thing or two in this respect, if he himself is unable to see his intellectual trespass against God's freedom and omnipotence. This forcible usurpation of the Summum Bonum naturally has its reasons, the origins of which lie far back in the past (though I cannot enter into this here). Nevertheless, it is the effective source of the concept of the privatio boni) which nullifies the reality of evil and can be found as early as Basil the Great (330-79) and Dionysius the Areopagite (2nd half of the 4th century), and is fully developed in Augustine.

The earliest authority of all for the later axiom "Omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine" is Tatian (2nd century), who says: "Nothing evil was created by God; we ourselves have produced all wickedness." [30] This view is also adopted by Theophilus of Antioch (2nd century) in his treatise Ad Autolycum. [31]

Basil says:

You must not look upon God as the author of the existence of evil, nor consider that evil has any subsistence in itself [ Image Image ]. For evil does not subsist as a living being does, nor can we set before our eyes any substantial essence [Image] thereof. For evil is the privation [Image] of good .... And thus evil does not inhere in its own substance [Image], but arises from the mutilation [Image] of the soul. [32] Neither is it uncreated, as the wicked say who set up evil for the equal of good ... nor is it created. For if all things are of God, how can evil arise from good? [33]

Another passage sheds light on the logic of this statement. In the second homily of the Hexaemeron, Basil says:

It is equally impious to say that evil has its origin from God, because the contrary cannot proceed from the contrary. Life does not engender death, darkness is not the origin of light. sickness is not the maker of health .... Now if evil is neither uncreated nor created by God, whence comes its nature? That evil exists no one living in the world will deny. What shall we say, then? That evil is not a living and animated entity, but a condition [Image] of the soul opposed to virtue, proceeding from light-minded [Image] persons on account of their falling away from good. . . . Each of us should acknowledge that he is the first author of the wickedness in him. [34]

The perfectly natural fact that when you say "high" you immediately postulate "low" is here twisted into a causal relationship and reduced to absurdity, since it is sufficiently obvious that darkness produces no light and light produces no darkness. The idea of good and evil, however, is the premise for any moral judgment. They are a logically equivalent pair of opposites and, as such, the sine qua non of all acts of cognition. From the empirical standpoint we cannot say more than this. And from this standpoint we would have to assert that good and evil, being coexistent halves of a moral judgment, do not derive from one another but are always there together. Evil, like good, belongs to the category of human values, and we are the authors of moral value judgments, but only to a limited degree are we authors of the facts submitted to our moral judgment. These facts are called by one person good and by another evil. Only in capital cases is there anything like a consensus generalis. If we hold with Basil that man is the author of evil, we are saying in the same breath that he is also the author of good. But man is first and foremost the author merely of judgments; in relation to the facts judged, his responsibility is not so easy to determine. In order to do this, we would have to give a clear definition of the extent of his free will. The psychiatrist knows what a desperately difficult task this is.

For these reasons the psychologist shrinks from metaphysical assertions but must criticize the admittedly human foundations of the privatio boni. When therefore Basil asserts on the one hand that evil has no substance of its own but arises from a "mutilation of the soul," and if on the other hand he is convinced that evil really exists, then the relative reality of evil is grounded on a real "mutilation" of the soul which must have an equally real cause. If the soul was originally created good, then it has really been corrupted and by something that is real, even if this is nothing more than carelessness, indifference, and frivolity, which are the meaning of the word Image . When something -- I must stress this with all possible emphasis -- is traced back to a psychic condition or fact, it is very definitely not reduced to nothing and thereby nullified, but is shifted on to the plane of psychic reality) which is very much easier to establish empirically than, say, the reality of the devil in dogma, who according to the authentic sources was not invented by man at all but existed long before he did. If the devil fell away from God of his own free will, this proves firstly that evil was in the world before man, and therefore that man cannot be the sale author of it, and secondly that the devil already had a "mutilated" soul for which we must hold a real cause responsible. The basic flaw in Basil's argument is the petitio principii that lands him in insoluble contradictions: it is laid down from the start that the independent existence of evil must be denied even in face of the eternity of the devil as asserted by dogma. The historical reason for this was the threat presented by Manichaean dualism. This is especially clear in the treatise of Titus of Bostra (d. c. 370), entitled Adversus Manichaeos, [35] where he states in refutation of the Manichaeans that, so far as substance is concerned, there is no such thing as evil.

John Chrysostom (c. 344-407) uses, instead of Image (privatio), the expression Image (deviation, or turning away, from good). He says: "Evil is nothing other than a turning away from good, and therefore evil is secondary in relation to good." [36]

Dionysius the Areopagite gives a detailed explanation of evil in the fourth chapter of De divinis nominibus. Evil, he says, cannot come from good. because if it came from good it would not be evil. But since everything that exists comes from good, everything is in some way good, but "evil does not exist at all" (ImageImage ).

Evil in its nature is neither a thing nor does it bring anything forth.

Evil does not exist at all and is neither good nor productive of good [Image].

All things which are, by the very fact that they are, are good and come from good; but in so far as they are deprived of good, they are neither good nor do they exist.

That which has no existence is not altogether evil, for the absolutely non-existent will be nothing, unless it be thought of as subsisting in the good superessentially [Image]. Good, then, as absolutely existing and as absolutely non-existing, will stand in the foremost and highest place [Image], while evil is neither in that which exists nor in that which does not exist [Image] [37]

These quotations show with what emphasis the reality of evil was denied by the Church Fathers. As already mentioned, this hangs together with the Church's attitude to Manichaean dualism, as can plainly be seen in St. Augustine. In his polemic against the Manichaeans and Marcionites he makes the following declaration:

For this reason all things are good, since some things are better than others and the goodness of the less good adds to the glory of the better .... Those things we call evil, then, are defects in good things, and quite incapable of existing in their own right outside good things .... But those very defects testify to the natural goodness of things. For what is evil by reason of a defect must obviously be good of its own nature. For a defect is something contrary to nature, something which damages the nature of a thing -- and it can do so only by diminishing that thing's goodness. Evil therefore is nothing but the privation of good. And thus it can have no existence anywhere except in some good thing .... So there can be things which are good without any evil in them, such as God himself, and the higher celestial beings; but there can be no evil things without good. For if evils cause no damage to anything, they are not evils; if they do damage something, they diminish its goodness; and if they damage it still more, it is because it still has some goodness which they diminish; and if they swallow it up altogether, nothing of its nature is left to be damaged. And so there will be no evil by which it can be damaged, since there is then no nature left whose goodness any damage can diminish. [38]

The Liber Sententiarum ex Augustino says (CLXXVI): "Evil is not a substance, [39] for as it has not God for its author, it does not exist; and so the defect of corruption is nothing else than the desire or act of a misdirected will." [40] Augustine agrees with this when he says: "The steel is not evil: but the man who uses the steel for a criminal purpose, he is evil." [41]

These quotations clearly exemplify the standpoint of Dionysius and Augustine: evil has no substance or existence in itself, since it is merely a diminution of good, which alone has substance. Evil is a vitium, a bad use of things as a result of erroneous decisions of the will (blindness due to evil desire, etc.). Thomas Aquinas, the great theoretician of the Church, says with reference to the above quotation from Dionysius:

One opposite is known through the other, as darkness is known through light. Hence also what evil is must be known from the nature of good. Now we have said above that good is everything appetible; and thus, since every nature desires its own being and its own perfection, it must necessarily be said that the being and perfection of every created thing is essentially good. Hence it cannot be that evil signifies a being, or any form or nature. Therefore it must be that by the name of evil is signified the absence of good. [42]

Evil is not a being, whereas good is a being. [43]

That every agent works for an end clearly follows from the fact that every agent tends to something definite. Now that to which an agent tends definitely must needs be befitting to that agent, since the latter would not tend to it save on account of some fittingness thereto, But that which is befitting to a thing is good for it. Therefore every agent works for a good. [44]

St. Thomas himself recalls the saying of Aristotle that "the thing is the whiter, the less it is mixed with black," [45] without mentioning, however. that the reverse proposition: "the thing is the blacker, the less it is mixed with white," not only has the same validity as the first but is also its logical equivalent. He might also have mentioned that not only darkness is known through light, but that, conversely, light is known through darkness.

As only that which works is real, so, according to St. Thomas, only good is real in the sense of "existing." His argument, however, introduces a good that is tantamount to "convenient, sufficient, appropriate, suitable." One ought therefore to translate "omne agens agit propter bonum" as: "Every agent works for the sake of what suits it." That's what the devil does too, as we all know. He too has an "appetite" and strives after perfection -- not in good but in evil. Even so, one could hardly conclude from this that his striving is "essentially good."

Obviously evil can be represented as a diminution of good, but with this kind of logic one could just as well say: The temperature of the Arctic winter, which freezes our noses and ears, is relatively speaking only a little below the heat prevailing at the equator. For the Arctic temperature seldom falls much lower than 230 ͦ C. above absolute zero. All things on earth are "warm" in the sense that nowhere is absolute zero even approximately reached. Similarly, all things are more or less "good," and just as cold is nothing but a diminution of warmth, so evil is nothing but a diminution of good. The privatio boni argument remains a euphemistic petitio principii no matter whether evil is regarded as a lesser good or as an effect of the finiteness and limitedness of created things. The false conclusion necessarily follows from the premise "Deus = Summum Bonum," since it is unthinkable that the perfect good could ever have created evil. It merely created the good and the less good (which last is simply called "worse" by laymen). [46] Just as we freeze miserably despite a temperature of 230 ͦ above absolute zero, so there are people and things that, although created by God, are good only to the minimal and bad to the maximal degree.

It is probably from this tendency to deny any reality to evil that we get the axiom "Omne bonum a Deo, omne malum ab homine." This is a contradiction of the truth that he who created the heat is also responsible for the cold ("the goodness of the less good"). We can certainly hand it to Augustine that all natures are good, yet just not good enough to prevent their badness from being equally obvious.


One could hardly call the things that have happened, and still happen, in the concentration camps of the dictator states an "accidental lack of perfection" -- it would sound like mockery.

Psychology does not know what good and evil are in themselves; it knows them only as judgments about relationships. "Good" is what seems suitable, acceptable, or valuable from a certain point of view; evil is its opposite. If the things we call good are "really" good, then there must be evil things that are "real" too. It is evident that psychology is concerned with a more or less subjective judgment, i.e., with a psychic antithesis that cannot be avoided in naming value relationships: "good" denotes something that is not bad, and "bad" something that is not good. There are things which from a certain point of view are extremely evil, that is to say dangerous. There are also things in human nature which are very dangerous and which therefore seem proportionately evil to anyone standing in their line of fire. It is pointless to gloss over these evil things, because that only lulls one into a sense of false security. Human nature is capable of an infinite amount of evil, and the evil deeds are as real as the good ones so far as human experience goes and so far as the psyche judges and differentiates between them. Only unconsciousness makes no difference between good and evil. Inside the psychological realm one honestly does not know which of them predominates in the world. We hope, merely, that good does -- i.e., what seems suitable to us. No one could possibly say what the general good might be. No amount of insight into the relativity and fallibility of our moral judgment can deliver us from these defects, and those who deem themselves beyond good and evil are usually the worst tormentors of mankind, because they are twisted with the pain and fear of their own sickness.

Today as never before it is important that human beings should not overlook the danger of the evil lurking within them. It is unfortunately only too real, which is why psychology must insist on the reality of evil and must reject any definition that regards it as insignificant or actually non-existent. Psychology is an empirical science and deals with realities. As a psychologist, therefore, I have neither the inclination nor the competence to mix myself up with metaphysics. Only, I have to get polemical when metaphysics encroaches on experience and interprets it in a way that is not justified empirically. My criticism of the privatio boni holds only so far as psychological experience goes. From the scientific point of view the privatio boni, as must be apparent to everyone, is founded on a petitio principii, where what invariably comes out at the end is what you put in at the beginning. Arguments of this kind have no power of conviction. But the fact that such arguments are not only used but are undoubtedly believed is something that cannot be disposed of so easily. It proves that there is a tendency, existing right from the start, to give priority to "good," and to do so with all the means in our power, whether suitable or unsuitable. So if Christian metaphysics clings to the privatio boni, it is giving expression to the tendency always to increase the good and diminish the bad. The privatio boni may therefore be a metaphysical truth. I presume to no judgment on this matter. I must only insist that in our field of experience white and black, light and dark, good and bad, are equivalent opposites which always predicate one another.

This elementary fact was correctly appreciated in the so-called Clementine Homilies, [47] a collection of Gnostic-Christian writings dating from about A.D. 150. The unknown author understands good and evil as the right and left hand of God, and views the whole of creation in terms of syzygies,or pairs of opposites. In much the same way the follower of Bardesanes, Marinus, sees good as "light" and pertaining to the right hand (Image), and evil as "dark" and pertaining to the left hand (Image). [48] The left also corresponds to the feminine. Thus in Irenaeus (Adv. haer., I, 30, 3), Sophia Prounikos is called Sinistra. Clement finds this altogether compatible with the idea of God's unity. Provided that one has an anthropomorphic God-image -- and every God-image is anthropomorphic in a more or less subtle way -- the logic and naturalness of Clement's view can hardly be contested. At all events this view, which may be some two hundred years older than the quotations given above, proves that the reality of evil does not necessarily lead to Manichaean dualism and so does not endanger the unity of the God-image. As a matter of fact, it guarantees that unity on a plane beyond the crucial difference between the Yahwistic and the Christian points of view. Yahweh is notoriously unjust, and injustice is not good. The God of Christianity, on the other hand, is only good. There is no denying that Clement's theology helps us to get over this contradiction in a way that fits the psychological facts.

It is therefore worth following up Clement's line of thought a little more closely. "God," he says, "appointed two kingdoms [Image] and two ages [Image], determining that the present world should be given over to evil [Image], because it is small and passes quickly away. But he promised to preserve the future world for good, because it is great and eternal." Clement goes on to say that this division into two corresponds to the structure of man: the body comes from the female, who is characterized by emotionality; the spirit comes from the male, who stands for rationality. He calls body and spirit the "two triads." [49]

Man is a compound of two mixtures [Image, lit. 'pastes'], the female and the male. Wherefore also two ways have been laid before him -- those of obedience and of disobedience to law; and two kingdoms have been established -- the one called the kingdom of heaven, and the other the kingdom of those who are now rulers upon earth ... Of these two, the one does violence to the other. Moreover these two rulers are the swift hands of God.

That is a reference to Deuteronomy 32: 39: "I will kill and I will make to live" (DV). He kills with the left hand and saves with the right.

These two principles have not their substance outside of God, for there is no other primal source []. Nor have they been sent forth from God as animals, for they were of the same mind [] with him.... But from God were sent forth the four first elements -- hot and cold, moist and dry. In consequence of this, he is the Father of every substance [], but not of the knowledge which arises from the mixing of the elements. [50] For when these were combined from without, choice [] was begotten in them as a child. [51]

That is to say, through the mixing of the four elements inequalities arose which caused uncertainty and so necessitated decisions or acts of choice. The four elements form the fourfold substance of the body () and also of evil (). This substance was "carefully discriminated and sent forth from God, but when it was combined from without, according to the will of him who sent it forth, there arose, as a result of the combination, the preference which rejoices in evils []." [52]

The last sentence is to be understood as follows: The fourfold substance is eternal () and God's child. But the tendency to evil was added from outside to the mixture willed by God (). Thus evil is not created by God or by anyone else, nor was it projected out of him, nor did it arise of itself. Peter, who is engaged in these reflections, is evidently not quite sure how the matter stands.

It seems as if, without God's intending it (and possibly without his knowing it) the mixture of the four elements took a wrong turning, though this is rather hard to square with Clement's idea of the opposite hands of God "doing violence to one another." Obviously Peter, the leader of the dialogue, finds it rather difficult to attribute the cause of evil to the Creator in so many words.

The author of the Homilies espouses a Petrine Christianity distinctly "High Church" or ritualistic in flavour. This, taken together with his doctrine of the dual aspect of God, brings him into close relationship with the early Jewish-Christian Church, where, according to the testimony of Epiphanius, we find the Ebionite notion that God had two sons, an elder one, Satan, and a younger one, Christ. [53] Michaias, one of the speakers in the dialogue, suggests as much when he remarks that if good and evil were begotten in the same way they must be brothers. [54]

In the (Jewish-Christian?) apocalypse, the "Ascension of Isaiah," we find, in the middle section, Isaiah's vision of the seven heavens through which he was rapt. [55] First he saw Sammael and his hosts, against whom a "great battle" was raging in the firmament. The angel then wafted him beyond this into the first heaven and led him before a throne. On the right of the throne stood angels who were more beautiful than the angels on the left. Those on the right "all sang praises with one voice," but the ones on the left sang after them, and their singing was not like the singing of the first. In the second heaven all the angels were more beautiful than in the first heaven, and there was no difference between them, either here or in any of the higher heavens. Evidently Sammael still has a noticeable influence on the first heaven, since the angels on the left are not so beautiful there. Also, the lower heavens are not so splendid as the upper ones, though each surpasses the other in splendour. The devil, like the Gnostic archons, dwells in the firmament, and he and his angels presumably correspond to astrological gods and influences. The gradation of splendour, going all the way up to the topmost heaven, shows that his sphere interpenetrates with the divine sphere of the Trinity, whose light in turn filters down as far as the lowest heaven. This paints a picture of complementary opposites balancing one another like right and left hands. Significantly enough, this vision, like the Clementine Homilies, belongs to the pre-Manichaean period (second century), when there was as yet no need for Christianity to fight against its Manichaean competitors. It might easily be a description of a genuine yang-yin relationship, a picture that comes closer to the actual truth than the privatio boni. Moreover, it does not damage monotheism in any way, since it unites the opposites just as yang and yin are united in Tao (which the Jesuits quite logically translated as "God"). It is as if Manichaean dualism first made the Fathers conscious of the fact that until then, without clearly realizing it, they had always believed firmly in the substantiality of evil. This sudden realization might well have led them to the dangerously anthropomorphic assumption that what man cannot unite, God cannot unite either. The early Christians, thanks to their greater unconsciousness, were able to avoid this mistake.

Perhaps we may risk the conjecture that the problem of the Yahwistic God-image, which had been constellated in men's minds ever since the Book of Job, continued to be discussed in Gnostic circles and in syncretistic Judaism generally, all the more eagerly as the Christian answer to this question -- namely the unanimous decision in favour of God's goodness [56] -- did not satisfy the conservative Jews. In this respect, therefore, it is significant that the doctrine of the two antithetical sons of God originated with the Jewish Christians living in Palestine. Inside Christianity itself the doctrine spread to the Bogomils and Cathars; in Judaism it influenced religious speculation and found lasting expression in the two sides of the cabalistic Tree of the Sephiroth, which were named hesed (love) and din (justice). A rabbinical scholar, Zwi Werblowsky, has been kind enough to put together for me a number of passages from Hebrew literature which have bearing on this problem.

R. Joseph taught: "What is the meaning of the verse, 'And none of you shall go out at the door of his house until the morning?' (Exodus 12 : 22.) [57] Once permission has been granted to the destroyer, he does not distinguish between the righteous and the wicked. Indeed, he even begins with the righteous." [58] Commenting on Exodus 33: 5 ("If for a single moment I should go up among you, I would consume you"), the midrash says: "Yahweh means he could wax wroth with you for a moment -- for that is the length of his wrath, as is said in Isaiah 26: 20, 'Hide yourselves for a little moment until the wrath is past' -- and destroy you." Yahweh gives warning here of his unbridled irascibility. If in this moment of divine wrath a curse is uttered, it will indubitably be effective. That is why Balaam, "who knows the thoughts of the Most High," [59] when called upon by Balak to curse Israel, was so dangerous an enemy, because he knew the moment of Yahweh's wrath. [60]

God's love and mercy are named his right hand. but his justice and his administration of it are named his left hand. Thus we read in I Kings 22: 19: "I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left." The mid rash comments: "Is there right and left on high? This means that the intercessors stand on the right and the accusers on the left." [61] The comment on Exodus 15: 6 ("Thy right hand, O Lord, glorious in power, thy right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy") runs: "When the children of Israel perform God's will, they make the left hand his right hand. When they do not do his will, they make even the right hand his left hand." [62] "God's left hand dashes to pieces; his right hand is glorious to save." [63]

The dangerous aspect of Yahweh's justice comes out in the following passage: "Even so said the Holy One, blessed be He: If I create the world on the basis of mercy alone, its sins will be great; but on the basis of justice alone the world cannot exist. Hence I will create it on the basis of justice and mercy, and may it then stand!" [64] The midrash on Genesis 18: 23 (Abraham's plea for Sodom) says (Abraham speaking): "If thou desirest the world to endure, there can be no absolute justice, while if thou desirest absolute justice, the world cannot endure. Yet thou wouldst hold the cord by both ends, desiring both the world and absolute justice. Unless thou forgoest a little, the world cannot endure." [65]

Yahweh prefers the repentant sinners even to the righteous, and protects them from his justice by covering them with his hand or by hiding them under his throne. [66]

With reference to Habakkuk 2: 3 ("For still the vision awaits its time ... If it seem slow, wait for it"), R. Jonathan says: "Should you say, We wait [for his coming] but He does not, it stands written (Isaiah 30: 18), 'Therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you.' ... But since we wait and he waits too. what delays his coming? Divine justice delays it." [67] It is in this sense that we have to understand the prayer of R. Jochanan: "May it be thy will, O Lord our God, to look upon our shame and behold our evil plight, Clothe thyself in thy mercies, cover thyself in thy strength, wrap thyself in thy loving- kindness, and gird thyself with thy graciousness, and may thy goodness and gentleness come before thee." [68] God is properly exhorted to remember his good qualities. There is even a tradition that God prays to himself: "May it be My will that My mercy may suppress My anger, and that My compassion may prevail over My other attributes." [69] This tradition is borne out by the following story:

R. Ishmael the son of Elisha said: I once entered the innermost sanctuary to offer incense, and there I saw Akathriel [70] Jahweh Zebaoth [71] seated upon a high and exalted throne. He said to me, Ishmael, my son, bless me! And I answered him: May it be Thy will that Thy mercy may suppress Thy anger, and that Thy compassion may prevail over Thy other attributes, so that Thou mayest deal with Thy children according to the attribute of mercy and stop short of the limit of strict justice! And He nodded to me with His head. [72]

It is not difficult to see from these quotations what was the effect of Job's contradictory God-image. It became a subject for religious speculation inside Judaism and, through the medium of the Cabala, it evidently had an influence on Jakob Bohme. In his writings we find a similar ambivalence, namely the love and the "wrath-fire" of God, in which Lucifer burns for ever. [73]

Since psychology is not metaphysics, no metaphysical dualism can he derived from, or imputed to, its statements concerning the equivalence of opposites. [74] It knows that equivalent opposites are necessary conditions inherent in the act of cognition, and that without them no discrimination would be possible. It is not exactly probable that anything so intrinsically bound up with the act of cognition should be at the same time a property of the object. It is far easier to suppose that it is primarily our consciousness which names and evaluates the differences between things, and perhaps even creates distinctions where no differences are discernible.

I have gone into the doctrine of the privatio boni at such length because it is in a sense responsible for a too optimistic conception of the evil in human nature and for a too pessimistic view of the human soul. To offset this, early Christianity, with unerring logic, balanced Christ against an Antichrist. For how can you speak of "high" if there is no "low," or "right" if there is no "left," of "good" if there is no "bad," and the one is as real as the other? Only with Christ did a devil enter the world as the real counterpart of God, and in early Jewish-Christian circles Satan, as already mentioned, was regarded as Christ's elder brother.

But there is still another reason why I must lay such critical stress on the privatio boni. As early as Basil we meet with the tendency to attribute evil to the disposition () of the soul, and at the same time to give it a "non-existent" character. Since, according to this author, evil originates in human frivolity and therefore owes its existence to mere negligence, it exists, so to speak, only as a by-product of psychological oversight, and this is such a quantite negligeable that evil vanishes altogether in smoke. Frivolity as a cause of evil is certainly a factor to be taken seriously, but it is a factor that can be got rid of by a change of attitude. We can act differently, if we want to. Psychological causation is something so elusive and seemingly unreal that everything which is reduced to it inevitably takes on the character of futility or of a purely accidental mistake and is thereby minimized to the utmost. It is an open question how much of our modern undervaluation of the psyche stems from this prejudice. This prejudice is all the more serious in that it causes the psyche to be suspected of being the birthplace of all evil. The Church Fathers can hardly have considered what a fatal power they were ascribing to the soul. One must be positively blind not to see the colossal role that evil plays in the world. Indeed, it took the intervention of God himself to deliver humanity from the curse of evil, for without his intervention man would have been lost. If this paramount power of evil is imputed to the soul, the result can only be a negative inflation -- i.e., a daemonic claim to power on the part of the unconscious which makes it all the more formidable. This unavoidable consequence is anticipated in the figure of the Antichrist and is reflected in the course of contemporary events, whose nature is in accord with the Christian aeon of the Fishes, now running to its end.

In the world of Christian ideas Christ undoubtedly represents the self. [75] As the apotheosis of individuality, the self has the attributes of uniqueness and of occurring once only in time. But since the psychological self is a transcendent concept, expressing the totality of conscious and unconscious contents, it can only be described in antinomial terms; [76] that is, the above attributes must be supplemented by their opposites if the transcendental situation is to be characterized correctly. We can do this most simply in the form of a quaternion of opposites:

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