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The Psyche in Antiquity 2: Gnosticism and Early Christianity

Marie-Louise von Franz, Honorary Patron Studies in Jungian Psychology by Jungian Analysts Daryl Sharp, General Editor

The Psyche in Antiquity BOOK TWO

Gnosticism and Early Christianity -From Paul of Tarsus to Augustine -

EDWARD F. EDINGER Edited by Deborah A. Wesley

See final page for other titles in this series by Edward F. Edinger Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data

Edinger, Edward F. (Edward Ferdinand), 1 922- 1 998 The psyche in antiquity (Studies in Jungian psychology by Jungian analysts ; 85-86) Contents: bk. 1 . Early Greek philosophy bk. 2. Gnosticism and early Christianity Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-9 1 9 1 23-86-4 (v. 1 ) I S B N 0-9 1 9 1 23-87-2 (v. 2) 1 . Jungian psychology. 2. Philosophy, Ancient-Psychological aspects 3. Jung, C.G. (Carl Gustav), 1 875- 1 96 1 . I . Wesley, Deborah A . II. Title. III. Series. B F 1 75.4.P45E34 1 999

1 50. 1 9 ' 54

C99-930320- 1

Copyright Š 1 999 by Dianne D. Cordie. All rights reserved. INNER CITY BOOKS Box 1 27 1 , Station Q, Toronto, Canada M4T 2P4 Telephone (4 1 6) 927-0355 I FAX (4 1 6) 924- 1 8 1 4 Web site: www.inforamp. net/-icb I E-mail: Honorary Patron: Marie-Louise von Franz. Publisher and General Editor: Daryl Sharp. Senior Editor: V. Cowan. INNER CITY BOOKS was founded in 1 980 to promote the understanding and practical application of the work of C. G. Jung.

Cover: Lino prints by Vicki Cowan, Š 1 999. Printed and bound in Canada by University of Toronto Press Incorporated


Book One: Early Greek Philosophy

(published separately)

Author's Note and Illustrations 1 Introduction 2 Milesian Philosophy 3 Pythagoras 4 Heraclitus 5 Parmenides and Anaxagoras 6 Empedocles 7 Socrates and Plato 8 Aristotle 9 Zeno of Citium 10 Philo 11 Plotinus 12 Conclusion Publisher's Tribute to Edward F. Edinger B ibliography Index Book Two: Gnosticism and Early Christianity

Author's Note and Illustrations 6 1 Introduction 7 2 Paul of Tarsus 18 3 Simon Magus 32 4 Marcion 44 5 Basilides of Alexandria 56 6 Valentin us 69 7 Clement of Alexandria 82 8 Origen 93 9 Tertullian 105 10 Mani 118 11 Augustine 129 12 Conclusion 142 B ibliography 152 Index 154

Author's Note

The Psyche in Antiquity began as two lecture series given at the C.G. Jung Institute in Los Angeles in the winters of 1 993 and 1 994. Book One (Early Greek Philosophy) and Book Two (Gnosticism and Early Christianity) were originally transcribed from audiotape by Charles Yates, M.D., who also, along with Dianne Cordie, partially edited Book One. Deborah Wes­ ley edited Book Two, completed work on Book One, and unified the style of the whole. The illustrations are by Charlene M. Sieg. I thank all for their devoted work and especially Deborah Wesley for bearing the responsibility for putting this difficult material into final form. Edward F. Edinger Los Angeles


Page 37: The System of Simon Magus Page 5 1 : The Marcionite System Page 57: Basilides' Theology Page 6 1 : The Ascent of the Soul Page 70: The Valentinian System

1 Introduction

C.G. lung's book A ion, written in 1 95 1 , laid the foundation for a new discipline which can be called archetypal psycho-history. This method studies the move­ ments of the collective unconscious as it becomes manifest through political and cultural history. In this present study, an attempt is made to bring the method to bear on some of the changes that occurred at the beginning of the Christian eon. Two thousand years ago, the collective psyche underwent a profound up­ heaval, one that has remarkable parallels in our own time. This earlier upheaval amounted to the death and rebirth of the functioning God-image. There is evi­ dence that the same phenomenon is occurring today. This great historical drama of early Christian times played itself out largely as a confrontation between two major protagonists, Rome and Judea. In Rome, after decades of a demoralizing civil war that destroyed the Roman Republic, the state was restabilized tempo­ rarily as the Roman Empire, with absolutist rule by a deified emperor. The civic virtue that had been characteristic of the Republic was increasingly replaced by motives of pure greed and power. Authentic religious devotion and patriotic service, which had been typical in the Roman nobility of the Republic, was lost in the Empire. The religion of the people was perverted more and more by the state to serve the personal power motives of its leaders. Even Rome's famous religious tolerance was a cynical power ploy, according to Gibbon's famous remark: The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all con­ sidered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful. 1

It is unlikely that the common people were quite as tolerant as Gibbon says, but for the ruling class such cynicism did prevail in regard to religion. In addi­ tion, the morally corrosive effects of universal slavery went almost entirely un­ challenged, even by the wisest men of the day. Jung says about ancient Rome: The men of that age were ripe for identification with the word made flesh, for the founding of a community united by an idea, in the name of which they could love one another and call each other brothers . . . . [There was] an elementary need i n the 1

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. l, p. 22.


8 Introduction great masses of humanity vegetati ng in spiri tual darkness. They were evidently driven to it by the profoundest i nner necessities, for humanity does not thrive i n a state of licentiousness . . . . We can hardly realize the whirlwinds of brutality and unchained libido that roared through the streets of Imperial Rome ?

Judea, on the other hand, was a tiny province in the vast Roman Empire that had precisely what Rome lacked: a profound, authentic rel igiousness that gov­ erned its everyday life. This faith was rooted in an historical prophetic tradition that was enshrined in holy scripture. Its deficiency, from the standpoint of hu­ manity as a whole, was that it was a concrete, local and highly exclusive relig­ ion; the Jews had a relation to Yahweh that was reserved solely for them. This gave them a spiritual autonomy that allowed them to stand up to the mighty Roman Empire in an astonishing way . At the same time, their spiritual arrogance set them apart and generated animosity on all sides. B ut the Jews were not in a state of psychic stability either, as religious tradi­ tion in Judea was also in upheaval. On the political level, this proud people was chafing under harsh Roman rule. In addition, the priestly religion of animal sac­ rifice and of strict, literal adherence to Mosaic law was being questioned. As early as Jeremiah, we hear about a so-called new covenant, different from the old, which promised that "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in 3 their hearts .'' In addition, a new archetypal image was erupting in the Jewish psyche. The Yahweh God-image was that of the father, but starting a few hundred years be­ fore the new era, we find another image emerging, that of the Son, called either "Son of God" or "Son of man." From the very beginning of Jewish tradition, Yahweh had designated Israel, the collective national entity, as his son. The new formulation was bringing forth another version of the son, a son of a different and more specific nature than the collective sonship of Israel as a whole. Jung discusses this matter in "Answer to Job," where he speaks of the effects of Yahweh ' s encounter with Job.4 Because of that engagement and the con­ sciousness of Yahweh ' s nature that Job acquired, Yahweh was obliged to incar­ nate and to become man. Jung demonstrates that this tendency revealed itself 2

Symbols of Transformation, CW 5 , par. 1 04. [CW refers throughout to The Collected Works of C. G. Jung]


Jer. 3 1 : 3 3 ; A V. [Biblical sources throughout are identified according to the version: A V

(Authorized Version), JB (Jerusalem Bible), NEB (New Engl ish Bible), and KJ ( King James Version)] 4 Psychology and Religion, CW II , pars. 667ff. , 68 1 , 683 .

Introduction 9

successively, first of all in Ezekiel, especially in Ezekiel ' s great vision, then later in the books of Daniel and of Enoch. In all of these sources, the term "Son of man" became prominent. Ezekiel was referred to by Yahweh as the "Son of man," the book of Daniel refers to the "Son of man" and Enoch is specifically designated as "Son of man ." Jung is convinced that Jesus knew the book of Enoch and that he appropriated the term "Son of man" to himself. The image of the "Son of man" has been intensely scrutinized by religious scholars. Any living symbol such as this has a fascinating effect, and scholars and commentators cluster around it like moths around a flame. The idea of the "Son of man" can be understood at two levels. One is the personal, reductive level, where it means nothing more than that one was born of a woman. Obvi足 ously the context of some B iblical passages belies such a simple explanation. At another level, "Son of man" is a messianic and eschatological term. It refers to something that derives from the transpersonal, divine dimension. Psychologically speaking, the fact that the terms "Son of God" and "Son of man" are often interchangeable, especially in the Gospel accounts, is under足 standable because individuation proceeds from two centers within the in足 dividual-both from the Self and from the ego. In this sense, the term "Son of man" is parallel to the ego as a center, and the term "Son of God" is parallel to the Self as a center of the individuating personality . The "Son of man" figure was emerging in the Jewish psyche for two or three centuries in advance of the time of Christ. This same figure was connected as well with the terms "Messiah," "anointed king" and "Christ." Those three words mean exactly the same thing. Christos is the Greek term for anointed . One is anointed by "chrism" (which derives from the same root word). Messiah also means the anointed one. The basic idea is that the Son of man is coming as the anointed one, sent by God to bring salvation to mankind and to function as a mediator between God and humanity, which is in danger of losing its connection to the divine. As the figure of the Messiah was elaborated in the scriptures, it took on a double aspect. One element was that of a suffering servant: unjust suffering was willingly accepted by the Messiah in order to redeem mankind from sin. Isaiah 53 is the classic statement of that face of the Messiah. The other aspect is as a triumphant king coming in judgment, defeating Israel ' s enemies, bringing a per足 petual reign of righteousness-for example the description in Psalms 2. The Jews expected a concrete, literal version of the second, kingly type and it is largely for that reason that they refused to accept Jesus with his humiliating exe-

10 Introduction

cution and the apparently total failure of his life. According to Josephus, there were four competing schools or sects among the 5 Jews at the time of Christ. One was the Sadducees, the temple priesthood, who represented the conservative establishment. They were practical and did not in­ dulge in theological fantasy or elaboration of doctrine. Unlike the Sadducees, the Pharisees were theologians. They were more imaginative, more thoughtful, more introverted. They believed in resurrection and in destiny. Neither of these groups was particularly influenced by the emerging Messiah image, as they were much too rooted in the mainstream daily functioning of the community. The other two sects, gripped by the archetype, were the Essenes and the Zealots. The Zealots were revolutionaries and arsonists who sought to expel Rome from Judea by military means and who were expecting the coming of a political Messiah who would literally free them from Roman rule and reestablish the monarchy of Israel. They were seized by the Messiah archetype in a very con­ crete sense. The other group, the Essenes, was the sect referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They had largely separated themselves from the Jerusalem priest­ hood and had moved to the desert where they lived a monastic life awaiting the Messiah, in daily expectation of the end of the world. They are a striking exam­ ple of the power of the Messiah archetype. Whatever the influence of these sects, the fact remains that the emerging ar­ chetype of the Messiah had its fullest expression and its most enduring effects in the life of Jesus Christ and in the community that crystallized around his figure after his death. The basic ideas of the myth of the Messiah as it emerged in the centuries after Jesus' death are as follows: God ' s preexistent, only-begotten Son empties himself of his divinity and is incar­ nated as a man through the agency of the Holy Ghost who impregnates the Virgin M ary. His birth in humble surroundings is accompanied by numinous events, and he survives grave initial dangers. When he reaches adulthood he submits to ba p­ tism by John the Baptist and witnesses the descent of the Holy Ghost signifying his vocation. He survives temptation by the Devil and fulfills his ministry which pro­ claims a benevolent, loving God, and announces the coming of the "Kingdom of Heaven. " After agonizing uncertainty, he accepts his destined fate and allows him­ self to be arrested, tried, flagellated, mocked and crucified . After three days in the tomb, according to many witnesses, he is resurrected. For forty days he walks and talks with his disciples and then ascends to heaven. Ten days later, at Pentecost, 6 the Holy Ghost descends, the promised Paraclete.

5 Antiq.


XVIII, I, 2-6, in William Whiston, trans., Josephus Complete Works.

Edinger, The Christian A rchetype: A Jungian Commentary on the Life of Christ, p. 1 6.

Introduction II

When we examine what records remain regarding the figure of Jesus, it quickly becomes evident that the personal story of the individual man is so in­ terpenetrated by the description of the archetypal role projected onto him that it is impossible to separate the historical Jesus from the mythological figure. Jung comments on this myth in a letter to Upton Sinclair who had written a life of Jesus and had sent it to Jung for his comments. Sinclair had treated Jesus largely in his personal, human aspect. Jung responded: If Jesus had i ndeed been nothing but a great teacher hopelessly mistaken in H i s messianic expectations, w e should b e a t a complete loss in understanding His his­ torical effect. . . . If, on the other hand, we cannot understand by rational means what a God-Man is, then we don ' t know what the New Testament is all about. But it would be just our task to understand what they meant by a "God-Man." You give an excellent picture of a possible religious teacher, but you give us no understanding of what the New Testament tries to tell, namely the life, fate, and ef­ fect of a God-Man [that is, of the archetype] . . . . These are the reasons why I should propose to deal with the Christian [ur­ phenomenon] in a somewhat different way. I think we ought to admit that we don' t understand the riddle o f the New Testament. With our present means w e cannot unravel a rational story from it unless we interfere with the texts. If we take this risk we can read various stories into the texts and we can even give them a certain amount of probability: I . Jesus is an idealistic, religious teacher of great wisdom, who knows that His teaching would make the necessary impression only if He were willing to sacrifice His life for it. Thus He forces the issue in complete foreknowledge of the facts which He intends to happen. 2. Jesus is a highly strung, forceful personality, forever at vari ance with His surroundings, and possessed of a terri fic will to power. Yet being of su perior intel­ ligence, He perceives that it would not do to assert it on the worldly plane of po­ litical sedition as so many similar zealots in His days had done. He rather prefers the role of the old prophet and reformer of His people, and He institutes a spiri tual kingdom instead of an unsuccessful political rebellion. For this purpose He adopts not only the messianic Old Testament expectations, but also the then popular "Son of Man" figure in the Book of Enoch. But meddling with the political whirlpool in Jerusalem, He gets Hi mself caught in its intrigues and meets a tragic end with a full recognition of His failure. 3. Jesus is an incarnation of the Father-God. As a God-Man He walks the earth drawing to Himself the [chosen] of His Father, announcing the message of univer­ sal salvation and being mostly misunderstood. As the crowning of His short career, He performs the supreme sacri fice in offerin� Himself up as the perfect host, and thus redeems mankind from eternal perdition. 7

Letters, vol. 2, pp. 89f.

12 Introduction

It is evident from this passage (and also from a later letter to Sinclaid that

regarding the historical Jesus, Jung subscribes to the second description. The

third interpretation, of course, is just a picture of the archetype. The life of Christ as it comes down to us appears to be a symbolic image of two separate, superimposed events. In one, the Son of God descends to earth to incarnate as man. In the second, the human being engages the archetype of the God-image and finds himself caught up in embodying it. Speaking psychologically, in the first place the Self enters the ego and in the second place the ego becomes con­ scious of and related to the Self, which is precisely the event that happened in the collective psyche 2,000 years ago. In the Jewish psyche, the Christian sect that arose around the figure of Jesus was a heresy that was eventually extirpated. The same cannot be said about the Greco-Roman psyche, where the consequences were immense. It is obvious that the classical psyche, more than the Jewish one, needed what the new God-image had to offer. The decadent classical psyche was based on the principles of pleas­ ure and power: matter, money, and the power of the State residing in the hands of the deified emperors, who delegated portions of their arbitrary power to fa­ vorites. The Christ figure generated the opposite pole in the collective psyche: the spiritual, other-worldly dimension of existence, the dimension that was missing in the classical soul. As Jung puts it, "[The emergence of] Christianity itself signified the collapse and sacrifice of the cultural values of antiquity, that 9 is, of the classical attitude." He elaborates this in a later work: One of the most shining examples of the meaning of personality that hi story has preserved for us is the life of Christ. In Christianity , which, be it mentioned in passing, was the only religion really persecuted by the Romans, there rose up a di­ rect opponent of the Caesarean madness that afflicted not only the emperor, but every Roman as wel l . . . . The opposition showed itself wherever the worship of Caesar clashed with Christianity . But, as we know from what the evangelists tell us about the psychic development of Christ ' s personality, this opposition was fought out just as decisively in the soul of its founder. The story of the Temptation clearly reveals the nature of the psychic power with which Jesus came into coll i­ sion; it was the power-i ntoxicated devil of the prevai ling Caesarean psychology that led him into dire temptation in the wi lderness. This devi l was the objective psyche that held all the peoples of the Roman Empire under its sway, and that is why it promised Jesus al l the kingdoms of the earth, as if it were trying to make a Caesar of him. Obeying the inner call of his vocation, Jesus voluntarily exposed

8 Ibid., pp. 20Iff. 9 Psychological Types,

CW 6, par. 30.



himself to the assaults of the imperialistic madness that filled everyone, conqueror and conquered alike. In this way he recognized the nature of the objective psyche which had plunged the whole world into misery and had begotten a yearning for salvation that found expression even in the pagan poets. Far from suppressing or allowing himself to be suppressed by this psychic onslaught, he let it act on him consciously, and assimilated it. Thus was world-conquering Caesari sm trans­ formed i nto spiri tual kingship, and the Roman Empire into the universal kingdom of God that was not of this world. While the whole Jewish nation was expecting an imperialistically minded and politically active hero as a Messiah, Jesus fulfilled the Messianic mission not so much for his own nation as for the whole Roman world, and pointed out to humanity the old truth that where force rules there is no love, and where love reigns force does not count. The religion of love was the exact 10 psychological counterpart to the Roman devil-worship of power.

Jung takes up this same theme in another letter: Take the classic case of the temptation of Christ, for example. We say that the devil tempted him, but we could just as well say that an unconscious desire for power confronted him in the form of the devil . Both sides appear here: the light side and the dark. The devil wants to tempt Jesus to proclaim himself master of the world. Jesus wants not to succumb to the temptation; then, thanks to the function that results from every conflict [the transcendent function] , a symbol appears: it is the idea of the Kingdom of Heaven, a spiri tual kingdom rather than a material one. Two things are united in this symbol, the spiritual attitude of Christ and the devi l­ ish desire for power. Thus the encounter of Christ with the devil is a classic exam­ 11 ple of the tran scendent function.

Speaking to a small informal gathering i n New York City i n 1937, Jung made these candid remarks: Jesus, you know, was a boy born of an unmarried mother. Such a boy is called il­ legitimate, and there is a prejudice which puts him at a great disadvantage. He suf­ fers from a terrible feeling of inferiority for which he is certain to have to compen­ sate. Hence the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, in which the kingdom was offered to him. Here he met his worst enemy, the power devil ; but he was able to see that, and to refuse. He said, "My kingdom is not of this world." But "kingdom" it was, all the same. And you remember that strange incident, the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The utter failure came at the Crucifixion in the tragic words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I f you want to understand the ful l tragedy of those words y o u must realize what they meant: Christ s a w that h i s whole life, devoted t o the truth according t o h i s best conviction, had been a terrible illusion. He had li ved it to the full absolutely sincerely, he had made his honest ex10 11

''The Development of Personality," The Development of Personality, CW 1 7 , par. 309.

Letters, vol. 1 , pp. 267f.

14 Introduction periment, but it was nevertheless a compensation. On the Cross his mission de­ serted him. But because he had lived so fully and devotedly he won through to the 12 Resurrection body.

This describes the personal, human ego aspect of the image of Jesus Christ, but the other side of the image, the transpersonal dimension, equates Christ with the supreme Deity. He is one of the three persons of the Trinity, the divine Lo­ gos that has existed from all eternity and is co-regent with God. It is a pro­ foundly paradoxical symbolic image: two natures united in a single individual who is both human and divine. Origen describes this phenomenon rather colorfully, 200 years after Christ: But of all the marvelous and mighty acts related of Him [God], this altogether sur­ passes human admiration, and is beyond the power of mortal frail ness to under­ stand or feel, how that mighty power of divine majesty, that very Word of the Fa­ ther, and that very wisdom of God in which were created all things visible and in­ visible, can be believed to have existed within the limits of that man who appeared in Judea; nay, that the Wisdom of God can have entered the womb of a woman, and have been born an infant, and have uttered wailings like the cries of little chi l­ dren ! And that afterwards it should be related that He was greatly troubled i n death, saying, a s He Hi mself declared, " M y soul is sorrowfu l , even unto death ;" and that at the last He was brought to that death which i s accounted the most shameful among men, although He rose again on the third day. Since, then, we see in Him some things so human that they appear to differ in no respect from the common frailty of mortals, and some things so divine that can appropriately be­ long to nothing else than to the primal and ineffable nature of Deity, the narrow­ ness of human understanding can find no outlet; but, overcome with the amaze­ ment of a mighty admiration, knows not whither to withdraw, or what to take hold of, or whither to tum. If it think of a God, it sees a mortal ; if it think of a man, it beholds Him returning from the grave, after overthrowing the empire of death, laden with its spoils. And therefore the spectacle is to be contemplated with all fear and reverence, that the truth of both natures may be clearly shown to exist in one and the same Being; so that nothing unworthy or unbecoming may be perceived in that divine and ineffable substance, nor yet those things which were done be sup­ posed to be the illusions of imaginary appearances. To utter these things in human ears, and to explain them in words, far surpasses the powers either of our rank, or of our intellect and language. I think that it surpasses the power even of the holy apostles; nay, the explanation of that mystery may perhaps be beyond the grasp of 13 the entire creation of celestial powers. 12 13

C. G. Jung Speaking, pp. 97f. "First Pri nciples," I I , VI, 2, in Alexander J. Roberts and James Donaldson, eds . , The

Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 4, pp. 28 l f.

Introduction 15

This passage is an example of the numinosity that surrounded the paradoxical image of Christ in the early years of our era. Given the fact that the figure of the Messiah has various names attached to it-Son of God, Son of man, Messiah, anointed king, Christ, suffering servant and stern judge of the Last Judgment-how is it to be understood psychologi­ cally by the modern mind? Jung has given the definitive answer to that question, first stated in 1941 in his essay, "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity." Here he says that the figure of Christ is an archetype, specifically the archetype of the Self. He continues:

It was this archetype of the self1 4 in the soul of every man that responded to the Christian message, with the result that the concrete Rabbi Jesus was rapidly a s­ similated by the constellated archetype. In this way Christ realized the idea of the self. But as one can never distinguish empirically between a symbol of the self and a God-image, the two ideas, however much we try to differentiate them, always appear blended together, so that the self appears synonymous with the inner Christ of the Johannine and Pauline writings, and Christ with God ("of one substance with the Father"), just as the atman appears as the individualized self and at the same time as the animating principle of the cosmos, and Tao as a condition of mind and at the same time as the correct behaviour of cosmic events. Psychologi­ cally speaking, the domain of "gods " begins where consciousness leaves off, for at that point man is already at the mercy of the natural order, whether he thrive or perish. 1 5 Jung goes on to say:

The goal of psychological, as of biological, development is self-realization, or in­ dividuation. But since man knows himself only as an ego, and the self, as a total ­ ity, is indescribable and indistinguishable from a God-image, self-realization-to put it in religious or metaphysical terms-amounts to God ' s incarnation. That is already expressed in the fact that Christ is the son of God. And because individua­ tion is an heroic and often tragic task, the most difficult of all, it involves suffering, a passion of the ego . . . . The human and the divine suffering set up a relationship of complementarity with compensating effects. [This is a complementarity be­ tween the Self and the ego. ] Through the Christ-symbol, man can get to know the real meaning of his suffering: he is on the way towards realizing his wholeness. As a result of the integration of conscious and unconscious, his ego enters the "divine " realm, where it participates in "God's suffering. " The cause of the suffering is in 1 4 [Readers will note that the translators of Jung's Collected Works did not capitalize the word "seJr' when it refers to the archetype. In this book, as in most current Jungian writ­ ing, it is capitalized throughout in order to avoid confusion with the ego-self. - Ed. ] 1 5 Psychology and Religion, CW II, par. 23 1 .

16 Introduction

both cases the same, namely "incarnation, " which on the human level appears as "individuation. " The divine hero born of man is already threatened with murder; he has nowhere to lay his head, and his death is a gruesome tragedy. The self is no mere concept or logical postulate; it is a ps)Chic reality, only part of it conscious, while for the rest it embraces the life of the unconscious and is therefore incon­ ceivable except in the form of symbols. The drama of the archetypal life of Christ describes in symbolic images the events in the conscious life-as well as in the life that transcends consciousness--of a man who has been transformed by his higher destin / 6

It is impossible to overemphasize the significance of this discovery of lung' s, a discovery that can be summed up in his one lapidary sentence: "Christ exem­ plifies the archetype of the self." 1 7 Once the meaning of that sentence is truly understood, the whole conflict of our age between scientific secular humanism and traditional religion is resolved . In one stroke, traditional Christianity has been redeemed from irrelevance to the modern mind. The vast body of Christian dogma, disputation, commentary and heresy that has extended for twenty centu­ ries can now be understood as the painful, tortuous workings of the collective unconscious as it strives to bring the divine drama of the evolving God-image into human consciousness. What happened 2,000 years ago with the eruption of the Christ archetype into collective consciousness set off a chain of events that led to a whole new eon, the eon that is now closing. It provoked a huge process in the collective psyche that split into two main streams. In one stream, the Christian church developed, and through various twists and turns and dead ends finally emerged into a single universal Catholic orthodoxy . This took several centuries. The fruit of that de­ velopment was the institution of the Church that was the chrysalis of Western civilization as we know it. The Church survived the dark ages and passed on much of the work of antiquity into the modern world. Its hallmark was a unified, universal, (that is what "catholic" means: universal) coherent belief structure that was built into an institutional framework strong enough to withstand many political storms through the centuries. Fundamentally, it was a collective phe­ nomenon, and what grew out of it was a society, a collective civilization . The other stream was Gnosticism . In contrast to the development of the Church, it fragmented right from the beginning into a multitude of sects and proponents. It was much more individual istic than the Church stream . In that 1 6 Ibid., par. 233. 1 7 A ion, CW 9ii, par.


Introduction 17

respect it foreshadowed the Protestant movement of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The individualism of Gnosticism fed the rich theological and cosmo­ logical fantasies of the movement. Of course such ideas have to stem from indi­ viduals, and once you allow individuals to engage in theological fantasies, you can forget about orthodoxy. The Church had the good sense, in order to create a durable collective, to rig­ orously forbid such individual theological ideas. In the modern world we regret that tendency on the part of the Church, but it was a necessity at the time, so that the Church would be able to perform the historical function that was in store for it. The Gnostics had no such qualms and we see in them a flowering and a dis­ persal of sects which was their glory, but was also their downfall because the Gnostic groups sprang up and then withered. They did not gather sufficient im­ petus to form a durable ongoing tradition, not to mention the fact that they could not stand up against the Church as it crystallized. These two streams, the Church and the Gnostics, are represented right at the beginning of their history by two major figures, Paul of Tarsus and Simon Ma­ gus of Samaria. The first chapters here focus on these two main figures and then on their descendants. Subsequent chapters follow the two lines that stem from them: in the Church lineage there are Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Tertullian and Augustine; in the Gnostic line, Marcion, Basilides, Valentinus and Mani. Finally, a concluding chapter summarizes how these matters have continued evolving up to the current time, and clarifies their psychological significance for us today.

2 Paul of Tarsus

Paul of Tarsus is a giant figure. He was born about 10 A.D. in the capital of Cilicia, near the Mediterranean in southern Asia Minor. Tarsus was one of the large cities of the times, a great commercial center with a population of probably 500,000. After Alexander's conquest, it became a largely Greek city with a thriving university. It also had a sizeable Jewish community. Paul's parents traced their lineage back to Benjamin, youngest son of Jacob. He was first named Saul, after King Saul, but since the parents were Roman citizens they were also required to give him a Roman name, which was short足 ened to Paul. We know he had at least one brother and perhaps other siblings. He probably spoke Aramaic at home. He learned Greek in the city and Hebrew at the synagogue school. In his youth he was wen trained as a Pharisee and thor足 oughly versed in the interpretation of scripture; indeed he became a devotee of Pharisaic Judaism. He had further training in Jerusalem, where he studied under Gamaliel, the leading rabbi of the day. Because an rabbis were required to learn a trade so that they could support themselves, Paul became a tentmaker. He first appears in the New Testament in Acts 7 as a witness at the stoning of Steven which, according to the account, "he consented to." Most likely he was an active participant. He became involved in the persecution of Christians, making every effort to apprehend them and to bring them to trial. It was on a trip to Damascus to apprehend Christians there that he had his famous conversion experience. Fonowing this he disappeared from sight for three years, probably into Arabia. He next appeared in Jerusalem as a devoted Christian, and then, fonowing some dealings with the Christian authorities, began traveling as a mis足 sionary to the Gentiles. There were three major recorded journeys. Finany he was sent to Rome on a charge from Jerusalem and was eventuany martyred in Rome about 67 A.D. During his missionary journeys he wrote numerous letters to the fledgling churches he had founded. These letters make up a good portion of today's New Testament. Paul's significance cannot be overestimated in the evolution and survival of the Christian church. Everything he accomplished and an the fruits of his his足 toric work are rooted in one central event: Paul's encounter with the numinosum on the road to Damascus. Of this he wrote:


Paul of Tarsus 19

As for me, I once thought it was my duty to use every means to oppose the name of Jesus the Nazarene. This I did in Jerusalem; I myself threw many of the saints into prison, acting on authority from the chief priests, and when they were sen­ tenced to death I cast my vote against them. I often went round the synagogues in­ flicting penalties, trying in this way to force them to renounce their faith; my fury against them was so extreme that I even pursued them into foreign cities. On one such expedition I was going to Damascus, armed with full powers and a commission from the chief priests, and at midday as I was on my way . . . I saw a light brighter than the sun come down from heaven. It shone brilliantly round me and my fellow travelers. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you, kicking like this against the goad. " Then I said: Who are you, Lord? And the Lord an­ swered, "I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me. But get up and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this reason: to appoint you as my servant and as witness of this vision in which you have seen me, and of others in which I shall appear to you. I shall deliver you from the people and from the pagans, to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may tum from darkness to light, from the dominion of Satan to God, and receive, through faith in me, forgiveness of their sins and a share in the inheritance of the sanctified." 1 8 "Get up now and go into the city, and you will be told what you have to do. " The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless, for though they heard the voice they could see no one. Saul got up from the ground, but even with his eyes wide open he could see nothing at all, and they had to lead him into Damascus b� the 9 hand. For three days he was without his sight, and took neither food nor drink. The fact is, brothers, and I want you to realize this, the Good News I preached is not a human message that I was given by men, it is something I learned only through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You must have heard of my career as a prac­ ticing Jew, how merciless I was in persecuting the Church of God, how much damage I did to it, how I stood out among other Jews of my generation, and how enthusiastic I was for the traditions of my ancestors. Then God, who had specially chosen me while I was still in my mother's womb, called me through his grace and chose to reveal his Son in me, so that I might preach the Good News about him to the pagans. I did not stop to discuss this with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were already apostles before me, but I went off to Arabia at once and later went straight back from there to Damascus. Even when after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas [Peter ] and stayed with him for fifteen days, I did not see any of the other apostles; I only saw James, the brother of the Lord, and I swear before God 20 that what I have just written is the literal truth. 1 8 Acts 26: 2- 1 8; JB. 1 9 Acts 9 : 6-9; JB. 20 Gal. 1 : 1 1 -2 1 ; JB.

20 Paul of Tarsus

Jung often refers to Paul, and the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus was particularly important to him: I grew up in the heyday of scientific materialism, studied natural science and medicine, and became a psychiatrist. My education offered me nothing but argu­ ments against religion on the one hand, and on the other the charisma of faith was denied me. I was thrown back on experience alone. Al ways Paul' s experience on the road to Damascus hovered before me, and I asked myself how his fate would have fallen out but for his vision. Yet this experience came upon him while he was blindly pursuing his own way. As a young man I drew the conclusion that you must obviously fulfill your destiny in order to get to the point where a [gift of grace] might happen along. But I was far from certain, and always kept the possi­ bility in mind that on this road I might end up in a black hole. I have remained true to this attitude all my life. From this you can easily see the origin of my psychology: only by going my own way, integrating my capacities headlong (like Paul), and th us creating a foun­ dation for myself, co uld something be vo uchsafed to me or built upon it, no matter where it came from, and of which I could be reasonably sure that it was not merely 21 one of my own neglected capacities.

In another letter Jung speaks of the danger of going one ' s own way : S urely there is something the matter with the solitary man; if he is not a beast, he is conscio us of St. Pa ul ' s words : [ "for we also are his offspring."] The Divine Pres­ ence is more than anything else. There is more than one way to the rediscovery of the [divine origin] in us. This is the only thing that really matters. Was there ever a more solitary man than St. Paul? Even his "evangelium" [his gospel] came to him immediately and he was up against the men in Jerusalem as well as the whole Ro­ man Empi re. I wanted the pr oof of a li ving Spirit and I got it. Don ' t ask me at what 21 a p nce. •

Paul ' s experience on the road to Damascus is a classic example of an indi­ vidual ' s encounter with the numinosum. Such an encounter has a deci sive effect on one ' s life. Jung was thinking of Paul ' s experience as well as his own when he wrote the following powerful description in his essay "On Rebirth." In this essay he says that one cannot achieve an authentic enlargement of the personality just by stuffing oneself with external experiences; real increase means enlargement that flows from inner sources. Then he gives some classic examples of enlarge­ ment of personal ity , such as Nietzsche ' s encounter with Zarathustra, "which made of the critic and aphorist a tragic poet and prophet," and Paul ' s encounter 21 22

Letters, vol. 2, pp. 257f. Ibid., vol . I, p. 492.

Paul of Tarsus 21

on his way to Damascus when he was suddenly confronted by Christ: True though it may be that this Christ of St. Paul ' s would hardly have been possi­ ble without the historical Jesus, the apparition of Christ came to St. Paul not from the historical Jesus but from the depths of his own unconscious. When a summit of life is reached, when the bud unfolds and from the Jesser the greater emerges, then, as Nietzsche says, "One becomes Two," and the greater fig­ ure, which one always was but which remained invisible, appears to the Jesser per­ sonality with the force of a revelation. He who is truly and hopelessly little will always drag the revelation of the greater down to the level of his littleness, and will never understand that the day of judgment for his li ttleness has dawned. But the man who is inwardly great will know that the long expected friend of his soul, the immortal one, has now really come, "to lead captivity captive" ; that is, to sei ze hold of him by whom this immortal had always been confined and held prisoner, and to make his l i fe flow into that greater life-a moment of deadliest peri l ! Nietzsche' s prophetic vision of the Tightrope Walker reveals the awful danger that lies in having a "tightrope-walking" attitude towards an event to which St. Paul 23 gave the most exalted name he could find.

Naturally after such a shattering encounter, Paul would need time to integrate its meaning, hence his retirement into Arabia for three years. Only after that pe­ riod did he return to Jerusalem and become part of the Christian community there. Then followed the arra ngement with Peter that he would be the apostle to the Gentiles (which would not require circumcision or strict adherence to Mo­ saic law for admission to the Christian Church). With that, his almost incredible missionary journeys began. The impression is unavoidable that Paul almost singlehandedly created what became the Christian Church. He fought intensely for relaxation of the require­ ments for admission to Christian communities, and he traveled ceaselessly, founding churches and nourishing them with his presence and with his letters. It is easy to be convinced that it was his individual effort that generated large numbers of converts right at the beginning, in the first century ; it created, so to speak, a critical mass of Christians, which then set off the chain reaction that followed. This entire activity came out of his numinous experience on the road to Damascus, an experience which turned him into a "slave of the Self' (which was then called Christ). He uses the term "slave" explicitly in describing himself in his letters. Usually translated "servant," the Greek word dulos really means "slave," which is a more accurate translation of the psychological experience. In the midst of his travels, Paul wrote to his churches numerous thoughtful 23

The A rchetypes and the Collective Unconscious, CW 9i , pars. 2 1 6f.

22 Paul of Tarsus

letters, which became canonized and are at the basis of much of both Catholic and Protestant theology. He not only generated the popular participation that resulted in the institution of the Church, but he also created its fundamental the­ ology which had not existed before him. We have thirteen letters in all, nine of them to various churches scattered throughout the empire and four of them to three different individuals. Following these letters in the canonical arrangement is the so-called Letter to the Hebrews, which in the early times was considered to have come from the hand of Paul. Origen, in the third century, assumed this: We now know that Paul did not literally write the letter, but it describes his the­ ology so well and in such a well-structured way that it can be considered Pauline. According to Biblical scholars the Letter to the Hebrews is by far the most elegant Greek in the New Testament. From these letters can be gleaned quite a profound theology which does not come from the historical Jesus, whom Paul never met. What he created came from his own inner experience. Probably the five most important Pauline letters are Romans, the two Corinthians, Galatians, and Ephesians. On the basis of these letters, which have been studied exhaustively, it is possible to examine a few of Paul's chief theological concepts in psychological terms in order to ap­ proach his experience of the numinosum. The experience he had on the road to Damascus required an intense effort at assimilation. It is parallel to what Jung had to do after his encounter with the unconscious. It took Jung three or four years, and he said that all his scientific work following that experience was an attempt to order and assimilate the eruption of the "fiery magma" that had oc­ 24 curred. A very similar thing happened with Paul. The episode had to be ration­ ally elaborated and generalized so that it could be communicated. It is vitally important that an individual not be totally alienated from his fellow humanity by such an occurrence-that leads to psychosis. Jung integrated his experience by creating his psychology; Paul integrated his by creating his theology, which is spelled out in his letters in Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. For purposes of psychological study, five basic themes of Paul's theology stand out: 1) redemption from original sin; 2) justification by faith; 3) replace­ ment of one dispensation by another (i.e., the dispensation of the Father is re­ placed by the dispensation of the Son or an old covenant is replaced by a new covenant); 4) the mystical Christ; 5) the doctrine of resurrection. According to Paul's view of original sin, both the Gentile world and the

24 See Memories, Dreams, Reflections,

p. 1 99.

Paul of Tarsus 23

Jewish world are doomed; the sin of Adam has been passed on to all humanity. Although the law of Moses was very graciously granted to the Jews to correct the situation, it did not. One had to keep the law, and unfortunately no one is capable of doing so; that fact is spelled out in certain scriptural passages: All have turned aside, all alike are tainted; there is not one 2ood man left, . 1 1s not a smg e one.

Paul emphasizes this point in Romans, saying that in spite of the law, all men remained sinners and were entitled to the wrath of God until Christ came: As we said before, Jews and Greeks are all under sin ' s dominion. As scripture says: There is not a good man left, no, not one; there is not one who understands, not one who looks for God. All have turned aside, tainted all alike; 26 there is not one good man left, not a single one.

He continues, in another passage: Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of "law-breaking" . . . . Divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift. The results of the gift also outweigh the results of one man ' s sin: for after one single fall came j udgement with a verdict of condemnation, now after many falls comes grace with its verdict of acquittal. If it is certain that death reigned over everyone as the consequence of one man ' s fall, it is even more certain that one man, Jesus Christ, will cause eve­ ryone to reign in life who receives the free gift that he does not deserve, of being made righteous. Again, as one man ' s fall brought condemnation on everyone, so the good act of one man brings everyone life and makes them justified . . . . When the law came, it was to multiply the opportunities of falling, but however great the 27 . . num ber o f sms committe d , grace was even greater.

Paul introduces the idea that there are two Adams. The first Adam brought sin and hopelessness into the world; Christ, the second Adam, brought the res­ cue. What does this idea mean in psychological terms? 25 26

Ps. 1 4 : 3 ; J B .


Rom. 5 : 1 2-2 1 ; JB.

Rom. 3 :9- 1 2 ; JB.

24 Paul of Tarsus

Original sin can be understood as an accurate and astute description of the individual psyche in its earliest phases. Freud, for example, spoke of the infan­ tile psyche as being polymorphously perverse. That is a version of original sin. The infantile psyche can also be described as a state of original ego-Self iden­ tity . The ego only very gradually emerges out of the Self?8 The very young ego of early childhood, while it is charming and fresh and delightful, is at the same time a greedy little beast. It is inflated. It operates out of the assumption that it is the center of the universe, and people tend to fall into that assumption and treat the child in just that way . It is a state of omnipotence: all the infant has to do is yell to get whatever it wants . At that early stage, those illusions of omnipotence must be gratified in order for the ego to grow without undergoing too much damage . Nonetheless, it is a horrible inflation and unfortunately residues of it often persist into adult life. The individual ' s realization that this infantile om­ nipotence is unacceptable is the psychological equivalent of the coming of the Mosaic law. There are some people who never psychologically leave the Garden of Eden. They have never had to encounter the "law" that contradicts their original ego­ Self identity and the inflation that goes along with it. Psychologically, they are unborn . A period of encounter with "law" and recognition that one is a sinner­ an encounter with a whole new set of standards-is a necessary way-station in psychological development. It corresponds to the general psychic state of hu­ manity at the time of the early Christian era. Paul recognizes this condition of uni versal sin. His theology announces that the coming of Christ as the son of God rescues humanity from this sinful state by an act of grace. This can be understood psychologically as the discovery of the Self as a second center of the psyche, a center from which one had been al­ ienated while in the sinful state. As a consequence of this discovery, one is flooded with a sense of renewed acceptance. This kind of redemptive experience of the Self, however, cannot take place until the ego has gone through a stage of alienation in which it has been subjected to the scrutiny of critical spirit-based law which brands it as sinful. As Jung says, "[Sin] begins with the dawn of con­ sciousness, which implies 'conscience,' i.e., moral awareness and discrimina­ tion. Cases in which this function is absent are pathological." 29 The next topic, justification by faith, involves two important terms. Justifica28 This

is discussed in detai l in the early chapters of my Ego and A rchetype: Individua­

tion and the Religious Function of the Psyche. 29 Letters, vol . 2, p. 370.

Paul of Tarsus 25

tion means that a right relation to the law is set up over and against the ego. Psy­ chologically, the experience of being justified refers to the ego ' s relation to the Self. It means that one has gone through the earlier omnipotent stages, con­ sciously realized them and then had the experience of the Self as a second center of the personality. Serving the Self gives rise to an inner state of justification corresponding to a sense of wholeness, a state of no longer being split, no longer being at odds with the Self. The other term, faith, is a central concept of Paul ' s . The Greek word is pistis which actually has two basic but very different meanings. One meaning is belief. The second meaning is fidelity or loyalty. These two uses of the word can cause endless confusion. Jung, for example, makes a number of negative statements about blind or thoughtless belief, but on the other hand he affirms the vital im­ portance of pistis in the Pauline sense. He says in the Terry Lectures: I want to make clear that by the term "religion" I do not mean a creed. It is, how­ ever, true that every creed is originally based on the one hand upon the experience of the numinosum and on the other hand upon pis tis, that is to say, trust or loyalty, faith and confidence in a certain experience of a numinous nature and i n the change of consciousness that ensues. The conversion of Paul is a striking example of this. We might say, then, that the term "religion" designates the attitude peculiar to a consciousness which has been changed by experience of the numinosum. 30

Later in the same essay, speaking about a patient, he writes: I began his personal treatment only after he had observed the first series of about three hundred and fifty dreams. Then I got the whole backwash of his upsetting experiences. No wonder he wanted to run away from his adventure ! But, fortu­ nately, the man had religio, that is, he "carefully took account of' his experience, and he had enough [pistis] or loyalty to his experience, to enable him to hang onto it and continue it. He had the great advantage of being neurotic and so, whenever he tried to be disloyal to his experience or to deny the voice, the neurotic condition instantly came back. He simply could not "quench the fire" and finally he had to admit the incomprehensibly numinous character of his experience. He had to con­ 31 fess that the unquenchable fire was "holy." This was the sine qua non of his cure. It is not a question of belief but of experience. Religious experience is absolute; it cannot be disputed. You can only say that you have never had such an experience, whereupon your op �onent will reply: "Sorry, I have." And there your discussion 2 will come to an end.

30 3 3

Psychology and Religion, CW II , par. 9.


Ibid. , par. 74.


Ibid., par. 1 67 .

26 Paul of Tarsus

In his essay "On the Development of the Personality" Jung writes: For the word "fidelity" I should prefer, in this context, the Greek word u sed in the New Testament, [pistis], which is erroneously translated "faith." It really means "trust," "trustful loyalty." Fidelity to the law of one' s own being is a trust in this law, a loyal perseverance and confident hope; in short, an attitude such as a relig­ ious man should have towards God. It can now be seen how portentous is the di­ lemma that emerges from behind our problem: personality can never develop un­ less the individual chooses his own way, consciously and with moral deliberation. Not only the causal moti ve-necessity-but conscious moral decision must lend its strength to the process of building the personality . . A man can make a moral decision to go his own way only if he holds that way to be the best. If any other way were held to be better, then he would live and develop that other personality instead of his own. The other ways are conventionalities of a moral, social, politi­ cal , philosophical, or religious nature. The fact that the conventions always flour­ ish in one form or another only proves that the vast majority of mankind do not choose their own way, but convention, and consequently develop not themselves 33 but a method and a collective mode of life at the cost of their own wholeness. .


This is a statement of the nature of Paul ' s faith in his own experience and in the integration of it. Paul ' s reaction to his experience was so profound that it caught fire in those who met him. Lacking their own direct personal encounter, the reality of Paul ' s was so great that those exposed to it gave it their own loy­ alty and trust. The "replacement of one dispensation by another" is discussed in greatest detail in the book of Hebrews. The idea put forth is that the coming of the divine Son replaces the actions of the Father God . The priesthood of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ replace the priesthood and the sacrificial ritual of the temple of the time of Moses. A new covenant, a new agreement between God and man has been set up to take the place of the old one. In the Biblical Letter to the He­ brews, Paul writes: In the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, the Son that he has appointed to inherit everything and through whom he made 34 everything there is. That is why all you who are holy brothers and have had the same heavenly call should tum your minds to Jesus, the apostle and the high priest of our religion. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just like Moses, who stayed faithful in 33 34

The Development of the Personality, CW 17, par. 296. Heb. 1 : 1 -3 ; J B .

Paul of Tarsus 27

all his house; but he has been found to deserve a greater glory than Moses. It is the difference between the honour given to the man that built the house and to the house itself. Every house is built by someone, of course, but God built everything that exists. It is true that Moses was faithful in the house of God, as a servant, act­ ing as witness to the things which were to be divulged later; but Christ was faithful as a son, and as the master in the house. And we are his house, as long as we cling to our hope with the confidence that we glory in?5 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have pro­ fessed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.36 [We have a new high priest who] has his place at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens, and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent of Meeting which the Lord, and not any man, set up. It is the duty of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to of­ fer. In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are oth­ ers who make the offerings laid down by the Law and these only maintain the service of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities. For Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.

We have seen that he [Jesus] has been given a ministry of a far higher order, and to the same de§ree it is a better covenant of which he is the mediator, founded on better promises. 7

But now Christ has come, as the high priest of all the blessings which were to come. He has passed through the greater, the more perfect tent, which is better than the one made by men's hands because it is not of this created order; and he has entered the sanctuary once and for all, taking with him not the blood of goats and bull calves, but his own blood, having won an eternal redemption for us. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer are sprinkled on those who have incurred defilement and they restore the holi ness of their outward lives; how much more effectively the blood of Christ, who offered himself as the perfect sacrifice to God through the eternal Spirit, can :&urify our inner self from dead actions so that we do our service to the living God. 35 Heb. 3 : 1 -6 ; JB. 36 Heb. 4 : 14- 1 6 ; JB. 37 Heb. 8 : 1 -7 ; JB. 38 Heb. 9 : 1 1 - 1 4 ; JB.

28 Paul of Tarsus

The leading idea of the Hebrew temple priesthood was that the sacrificial ritual appeases divine wrath for human sinfulness and reconnects the worship­ pers with God. The Christians plucked this idea out of its previous context and inserted it into a new symbolic one. Now Christ, a manifestation of God himself, has taken on the human condition, has incarnated, and has performed the re­ deeming sacrificial ritual once and for all, not annually but for all eternity, using himself both as the sacrificing priest and as the sacrificial victim. In effect, the redeeming ritual was changed from a concrete particular possession of Judaism to a universal phenomenon available to all . The Gentile world essentially appro­ priated the spiritual treasures of the Jews. This theme can also be found in other sources, for example in a medieval Christian book of hours. 39 At the beginning of that book, a series of pages repre­ sents the calendar, one page for each month of the year, January to December. On these pages an annual drama is pictured. On one side of the page is the syna­ gogue, and on the other side is the church. In January the synagogue is intact and the foundation of the church is being laid. As the months of the year pro­ ceed, the synagogue is gradually dismantled and the stones are built into the church, so that by December the synagogue is in ruins and the cathedral is com­ pletely constructed. This shows one aspect of emerging Christianity and what it means for some­ thing new to assimilate what went before. This is analogous symbolically to the fact that children who develop themselves fully really do eat their parents. The relationship between the generations is a process of dismemberment. In order to assimilate and build into one ' s own individual psyche that which had been out­ side it, the earlier content has to be broken up into bite-size pieces, eaten, and digested. This is often the meaning behind dismemberment dreams. Jung comments on these ideas: As a rule, the leading idea of a new religion comes from the symbolism of the re­ ligion that preceded it. For instance, the leading idea of a new religion to follow the Chri sti an age would be that everyone is Christ, that Chri st is merely the pro­ jection of an entirely human mystery, and that insofar as we take the Christ pro­ 40 jection back into ourselves each one of us is Chri st.

The implication is that in the individuation process of a person with a Chris­ tian background, the external Church would be subject to this dismemberment 39

The Grandes Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry. The Visions Seminars, vol . 2, p. 3 0 1 . This concept is also discussed in my Creation of Consciousness: lung 's Myth for Modem Man, pp. 88ff.


Paul of Tarsus 29

process and would be rebuilt as the church within. The same process would ap足 ply to anyone within any conventional or orthodox tradition. True i ndividuation requires this whole process of assimilation of the tradition to the individual. Paul sows the seeds for an inner religion through the idea of the mystical or inner Christ. In a number of passages, Paul speaks of the believer as "being in Christ" and in others he speaks of Christ being in the believer. Albert Schweitzer describes these passages as "Paul ' s mysticism ." It could also be called Paul ' s internal religion. I t i s quite understandable that i t would be a part of Paul ' s the足 ology, since his theology is based on inner experience ; he knows what he is talking about when he speaks of the inner Christ. Schweitzer says that the fun足 damental thought of what he calls Pauline mysticism is: I a m in Christ; in Him I know myself a s a being who is raised above t h i s sensuous, sinful, and transient world and already belongs to the transcendent; in Him I am assured of resurrection; in Him I am a Child of God. Another distinctive characteri stic of this mysticism is that being in Christ is conceived as having died and risen again with Him, in consequence of which the participant has been freed from sin and from the law, possesses the Spirit of Chri st, 41 and is assured of resurrection.

Another aspect of this "mystical Christ" is the whole notion of the Church as constituting the body of Christ. This idea is a kind of concrete, explicit way of indicating that all the individual believers who are "in Christ" are in it together. They are in the same body . As long as that experience suffices for one ' s stage of development, one will experience the feeling of redemption and j ustification. However, the time may come when that kind of collective identity is no longer adequate and then one will be cast out and have to go through a period of heresy and alienation from one ' s former collective. Finally, there is Paul ' s doctri ne of resurrection. This is expressed chiefly in the famous fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians. It is commonly used for fu足 neral sermons. Paul begins by affirming the reality of the resurrection of Christ, and in the course of doing so, he makes an amazing statement: I handed on to you the facts which had been imparted to me: that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised to life on the third day . . . that he appeared to Cephas, and afterwards to the Twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred of our brothers at once, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then, he appeared to James, and afterwards to 42 all the apostles. In the end he appeared even to me. 41 42

The Mysticism of Paul the Apostle, p. 3 . I Cor. 1 5 : 3-8; NEB .

30 Paul of Tarsus

Paul knows perfectly well that he never met Christ in the flesh, but here he equates his visionary experience of the risen Christ with the encounters of the risen Christ by the apostles shortly after his death. This indicates how concrete, how utterly real and effective Paul considered his inner numinous experience to be. It comes close to what we now understand as the reality of the psyche. Further into First Corinthians, we come to the famous resurrection passage: The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven . . . . We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed . . . for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this cor­ ruptible must put on i ncorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on i mmortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 0 death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy vic­ 3 tory ?"

This is highly significant psychologically. There is a rather lengthy comment by Jung on the subject. He writes: Since we are psychic beings and not entirely dependent upon space and time, we can easily understand the central importance of the resurrection idea: we are not completely subjected to the powers of annihilation because our psychic totality reaches beyond the barrier of space and time. Through the progressive integration of the unconscious we have a reasonable chance to make experiences of an arche­ typal nature providing us with the feeling of conti nuity before and after our exi s­ tence. The better we understand the archetype, the more we participate in its life 44 and the more we realize its eternity or timelessness. From this point of view it is no longer difficult to see to what degree the story of the Resurrection represents the projection of an indirect realization of the self that 45 had appeared in the figure of a certain man, Jesus of Nazareth.

These suggestive remarks of lung ' s can be carried a little further in the idea that the sum total of conscious wholeness achieved by each individual in his lifetime is deposited in the collective treasury of the archetypal psyche as a per­ manent addition . Perhaps partly by this means, the God-image and the arche­ typal psyche gradually evolve in the course of human history. At the conclusion of his informal discussion in 1937 in New York City, Jung remarked, concern­ ing Jesus: "On the Cross his mission deserted him. But because he had lived so 43 44 45

1 Cor. 1 5 :47-5 5 ;


"On Resurrection," The Symbolic Life, CW 1 8, par. 1 572. Ibid., par. 1 568.

Paul of Tarsus 31

fully and devotedly he won through to the Resurrection body."46 This is a challenging statement. What does he mean by resurrection body? It can be understood as that sum total of consciousness of wholeness achieved by Jesus and deposited as a permanent addition to the archetypal psyche. That res­ urrection body can be thought of as what was "seen" by the apostles after his death and what confronted Paul on the road to Damascus, and was thus ulti­ mately responsible for the creation of the Christian Church and also for the vari­ ous schools of Gnosticism.

46 C. G. lung Speaking,

p. 98.

3 Simon Magus

The activation of the Messiah archetype in the collective psyche 2,000 years ago gave rise to two movements that are personified by Paul and by Simon Magus. Paul ' s efforts led to the development of the Church and to the containment of the Messiah image in a collective institution. Simon was the fountainhead of Gnosticism, in which the archetype tended to take possession of the individual, with the concomitant danger of inflation . Gnosticism differs from ecclesiastical Christianity in two basic ways. Gnostic redemption is achieved by gnosis, the knowledge of sacred things, rather than by faith. Secondary to this and really following from it, redemption is achieved as an individual happening rather than through a collective. This Gnostic emphasis on individual experience unleashed individual theological and cosmological fantasies. The result was a plethora of Gnostic systems and symbolisms, which all had certain common themes but which varied in innumerable ways. Overall it is a confused accumulation of material. The Gnostics agree with the Church that humanity is in a fallen state, but they disagree about the cause. According to the Gnostics, man ' s fallen state and need of redemption arose not because of human sin but because an error of the cosmic powers gave rise to evil-and to matter-almost by accident or mistake. Man足 kind was thought to be in trouble not because of sin but because of ignorance足 agnosia , lack of gnosis. The Gnostics saw humanity as asleep, needing to be awakened to its true nature and to the true nature of the celestial powers that lie behind the world. The solution was personal gnosis, which is characterized by Hans Jonas in this way : What liberates is the knowledge of who we were, what we became ; where we were, whereinto we have been thrown; whereto we speed, wherefrom we are re足 47 deemed; what birth is, and what rebirth.

There is a third difference between Gnosticism and early Christianity, which is the more extreme dual ity of Gnosticism. For the Gnostics, matter and the world are considered to be radically evil, which leads to a quite different moral足 ity and ethics . The Gnostics were not immoral, as some of the Church fathers 47

The Gnostic Religion, p. 45 .


Simon Magus 33

claimed; rather, they had a different morality based on different principles. Although Simon Magus may at first seem rather remote to us, he is actually of considerable interest because he is the prototype of Faust, from whose legend arises the central mythological pattern of the modern mind. There are immediate parallels between the Faust legend as we know it and the story of Simon Magus: both were magicians, with all that implies psychologically; both wanted to fly, a desire which is integral to the imagery of each legend; most important of all, each had Helen of Troy as a consort. S imon is supposed to have been a native of Samaria, which is significant in itself. When Israel split into two kingdoms, Samaria was the location of the northern one. Israel existed separately from the southern kingdom of Judea until it was destroyed and its people subjected to deportation in 722 B .C. Later this northern country was repopulated by colonists and by a motley crew of indi­ viduals that wandered back into the region . As a result, a bastardized form of Yahweh worship emerged in Samaria. The Samaritans did not worship in Jeru­ salem, but had their own holy places and worshiped at separate temples. They were treated with contempt by the Jews, who were not even permitted to speak to Samaritans-they were considered too low. It seems fitting that the arch-her­ esy of Judea-Christianity originated in Samaria, which already had the scent of heresy about it. Very little is known about the historical Simon. Perhaps even more than in the case of the historical Jesus, his figure has been overlaid with archetypal pro­ jections. Most of these are negative, since the descriptions of him come almost exclusively from his enemies, the Church fathers. The main source is the Recog­ nitions of Clement, one of the pseudo-Clementine texts. Clement says, B y nation he i s a Samaritan, from a village of the Gettones ; by profession a magi ­ cian, yet exceedingly well trai ned in the Greek literature; desirous of glory, and boasting above all the human race, so that he wi shes himself to be believed to be an exalted power, which is above God the Creator, and to be thought to be the 48 Christ, and to be called the Standing One.

Here is another synonym for "Messiah"-the Simonian-Gnostic term, the "Standing One." It refers to the one who can remain upright after the blast of the numinosum has flattened everyone else. The pseudo-Clementine text continues with a description of how Simon began as a disciple of a certain Dositheus, who had thirty disciples, one of whom was called Luna. (Helen and Luna are cognate 48 Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers,

vol. 8, pp. 98f.


Simon Magus

names.) Simon asked to be admitted as a disciple and he soon became one of the thirty. Then he started challenging Dositheus. There are legends indicating that Dositheus in his wrath tried to beat Simon, but the stick went right through Si­ mon ' s body "as if it had been smoke . " Finally, according to the legend, Dositheus acknowledged that Simon indeed was the "Standing One" rather than himself, so Simon took Dositheus' place. A few minutes later, Dositheus died. The legend goes on to describe how Simon then took Luna, Dositheus ' consort, for his own. This story follows a familiar pattern : a power-driven, charismatic personality takes over the leadership of an already established religious sect from a weaker leader and at the same time appropriates his concubine. Then using the power of his charisma, his unconscious identification with the numinosum, he gathers adherents who become his psychological servants, in effect, because they are so much under his psychological domination. This same phenomenon can be seen in other religious movements and cults. It needs to be understood in depth be­ cause we will be seeing more examples of it in our own time. As our central containing myth breaks down, lesser mythological identifications can be ex­ pected to emerge, and people in desperate search for meaning will hand them­ selves over to anyone with enough charisma to engage the unconscious. The power of such individuals derives from their identification with the Self, with the God-image, which possesses them in all its paradoxical ambiguity. In its unconscious state, the God-image is Christ and Satan in one, both at the same time. These possessed charismatic leaders are not psychotic or criminal, but un­ fortunately law enforcement authorities do not know of any other types, and so treat them as if they were. Charismatic religious leaders are something quite different. They function with great integrity within their own belief systems, even to the point of total personal sacrifice. They are servants of the Self, religious in the most profound sense of the word . The trouble is that they are serving an unconscious God­ image rather than a conscious one, and that makes all the difference in the world. S imon is the prototype of such individuals. When the powerful dyna­ mism of the God-image falls out of containment in a traditional relig ious belief, it roams the land looking for something or someone to take possession of. It is like a ravening beast. We would do well to heed Peter' s warning of the free-floating God-image released from containment in a traditional context: "Be calm but vigilant, be­ cause your enemy the devil is prowling round like a roaring lion, looking for

Simon Magus 35

someone to eat.' "'9 Jonas quotes a Gnostic text that could very easily have been a sermon of Simon ' s . This example derives from our general knowledge of what the Simonian Gnostics preached: I am God (or a son of God, or a divine Spirit). And I have come. Already the world is being destroyed. And you, 0 men, are to perish because of your iniquities. But I

wish to save you . And you see me returning again with heavenly power. B lessed is he who has worshipped me now ! But I will cast everlasting fire upon all the rest, both on cities and on country places. And men who fail to realize the penalties i n store for them w i l l in vain re� nt and groan. But I w i l l preserve for ever those who have been convinced by me.

This is not quite pure Gnosticism, because it makes a reference to belief, but in characteristic Gnostic fashion knowledge itself is the saving factor. It is clear from this passage that such people as Simon were identified with the Messiah archetype. In Christian theology, identification with the Messiah archetype be­ longs to Christ alone. This makes Christ the third part of the Holy Trinity , al­ though Jesus himself seems to have been circumspect about this. When John the Baptist, in prison, sent to Christ this question : "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Christ' s answer was rather canny. He did not say yes; he said: Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is proclaimed to the poor.5 1

He does not explicitly identify himself as the agent of those miraculous events, which shows a certain circumspection, unlike the Simonian passage just quoted. These distinctions are very relevant psychologically, because any dealing with the Self runs the risk of inflati ng the ego. To be conscious of the Self, so that one does not fall into unconscious identification with it, requires an aware­ ness of the opposites. Whenever one falls into identification with the Self, a per­ secuting opposite (or enemy) automatically-and necessarily-appears. If the constellated opposites are not contained in the one individual, the person imme­ diately calls forth an opposite as his antagonist in the outer world. Jung made a telling remark on this subject to a female patient who had brought him a dream in which there was a very high-ranking and important ecclesiastical figure called 49 I Peter 5 : 8 ; J B . 50


The Gnostic Religion, p. 1 04. Matt. 1 1 :3-5; J B .


Simon Magus

an archimandrite. Jung ' s response to this dream was: To have an animus like an archimandrite is as if to say, You are a priest of the Mysteries. And this needs a �reat humility to counterbalance it. You need to go down to the level of the mice. 2 The Simonian system can be extracted from the writings of Hippolytus. (The figure opposite can help visualize the system.) The cosmos begins with the one root, [which] is unfathomable Silence, pre-existent, limitless power, exist­ ing in singleness. It bestirs itself and assumes a determinate aspect by turning into Thinking ( Nous, i .e., Mind), from which comes forth the Thought ( Epinoia). [As soon as thought is born out of the thinking silence, suddenly one has become two.] . . . Thus through the act of reflection the indeterminate and only negatively de­ scribable power of the Root turns into a positive principle committed to the object of its thinking, even though that object is itself. It is still One in that it contains the Thought in itself, yet al ready divided and no longer in its original integrity. Jonas quotes this passage from Hippolytus and then comments : Now, the whole sequel, here and in other speculations . . . depends on the fact that the Greek words epinoia and ennoia, like the more frequent sophia (wisdom) of other systems, are feminine, and the same is true of their Hebrew and Aramaic equivalents. The Thought begotten by the original One is in relation to it a female principle . . . . Thus the original split comes about by the Nous' educing himself from himself and making manifest to himself his own thought. The manifested Epinoia beholds the Father and hides him as the creative power within herself, and, to that extent the original Power is drawn into the Thought, making an androgy­ nous combination. 53 One becomes two, after which Epinoia or Mother Sophia descends down­ ward and, in the process, brings about the creation of angels, powers, world, matter, and humanity. Eventually, she gets caught in the matter she has been creating. Finally she shows up in the Simonian system as Helen of Troy or Helen of Tyre. Caught, she calls out for help, and Nous , the first power, de­ scends as S imon the "Standing One," to rescue the entrapped Sophia. Let us consider the first event in this sequence. The original act of creation involves a separation of thinking and thought, of nous and ennoia. This corre­ sponds to the mythical image of the separation of the world parents, which Neumann discusses as a whole chapter of his book, The Origins and History of Consciousness. The separation is necessary to the basic di stinction between 5 2 C. G. lung Speaking, p. 29. 5 3 The Gnostic Religion, pp. I 05f.


THE ONE (SIGE [Silence]) ! NOUS (Mind, Thinking) Father

SOPHIA (Thought, Wisdom) Mother

2nd Descent

1 st Descent

The Father as S imon

Creation of:

descends to rescue

angels, powers


& humanity

world, matter, humanity Sophia trapped in matter

S i mon


The System of Simon Magus


Simon Magus

subj ect and object, which is the foundation of our capacity for objectivity, and therefore the basis of all consciousness. Every unconscious complex, every unconscious entity that we approach, must be split apart like this and pass through a series of differentiations. First there is a phenomenon-a symptom or affect-a happening. The patient, the conscious subject, will be identified with the happening (the symptom or affect) to some extent and will therefore experience conflict, asking, "Why do I do this to myself? Why do I create such undesirable happenings for myself?" In other words, there is no objective attitude toward the symptom . The individual does not yet perceive it as a truly autonomous object. As an objective attitude toward the symptom is attained, consciousness grows and one is ready to proceed to the next differentiation. The analytic process then can separate the happening itself into two parts : a happener and a happening, that is, separate a purposeful inten­ tion (the inner subject) from the event or happening (the object). The patient begins to discern that an inner subject with a purposefulness of its own lies be­ hind the symptom. That "inner subject" is ultimately the God-image, the Self. The whole system depicted in the figure is a grand cosmological fantasy that can be seen as a projection of the basic nature of the unconscious psyche. It is a picture of the roots of consciousness, originating like a single-celled organism and then splitting into two and proceeding to proliferate into more and more differentiated forms. As we consider a system like this, we must remember that we are following the sequence from ancient beginnings to the most recent stage; we start with the original undivided power and end up with the whole spectrum of the world and humanity . When we interpret this phenomenon psychologic­ ally, we work in the reverse direction : we start with the latest stage, with the ego on earth, and work our way backward to the source. Just as Jung said that we should read the Tibetan Book of the Dead backward, so we should study systems like this from back to front in order to understand the psychological parallels. One can also work one ' s way backward in terms of the analytic process. Starting from the ego, if one gets back far enough, one returns to Father Nous and Mother Ennoia. Touching that realm, one hits primordial conflict. Those are the basic opposites. Then, if one can endure that conflict without cracking, God willing, the coniunctio comes into view, namely the condition of oneness that existed prior to the original division. This time, however, it is on a different level, because it is being consciously experi enced for the first time. Now it is not a coniunctio that goes regressively back to the original unconscious unity, but it is a re-experiencing of the primordial state consciously, which transforms it into

Simon Magus 39

a different thing, referred to as the upper coniunctio. In Mysterium Coniunctionis, Jung refers to S imon Magus and Helen. He speaks of the great Power, the Mind, bringing forth the great Thought, which then gives birth to all things. He then quotes Hippolytus: Standing opposite one another, they pair together and cause to arise in the space between them an incomprehensible Air, without beginning or end; but in it is a Father who upholds all things and nouri shes that which has beginning and end. Thi s is he who stood, stands, and shall stand, a masculo-feminine Power after the likeness of the pre-existing boundless Power which has neither beginning nor end, abiding in solitude. 54

This particular passage, not used by Jonas, speaks of a third masculine-femi­ nine entity of the upper regions that is the product of the union of Father Nous and Mother Ennoia, and which is named "Air." It is an analog to the upper coni­ unctio. Jung proceeds in this passage to draw a parallel with the alchemical "son of the philosophers," the product of the alchemical process, which is described in the "Emerald Tablet" of Hermes : "Its father is the Sun and its mother is the Moon ." 55 Through these parallel symbolisms, he is linking Gnostic and alchemi­ cal imagery. From the standpoint of alchemy, this so-called "Air," the product of the upper coniunctio, is parallel to the image of the Philosophers' Stone, the product of the conj unction of Sol and Luna. This is the profound psychic level which is referred to by the imagery of the Gnostic system. An interesting feature of the Simon Magus story is his relation to his consort, who in most texts is called Helen (though in one text she appears as Luna). Ac­ cording to some accounts, Simon found her in a brothel in Tyre, where he rec­ ognized her to be the divine Sophia who had fallen from the heights into matter, and who in an earlier incarnation had been Helen of Troy . Several images obvi­ ously constellate around the figure of Helen. Simon then considers that since he is the manifestation of nous, the Standing One, it is his task to reunite himself with his lost heavenly consort, so he unites with Helen as the manifestation of Sophia on the level of incarnated existence. In this legend two things happen simultaneously. From an external view, Si­ mon is a charismatic but quasi-psychotic leader who has stolen the consort of his earlier teacher, or who, from another account, has taken a whore from a brothel as his paramour. There is a concrete sexual involvement on the level of incarS4

CW 1 4, par. 1 60.

55 Ibid. ,

par. 1 62.


Simon Magus

nated existence, which looks dubious from an external point of view . From an i nternal view, at least the internal Gnostic view, there is a coniunctio of the sa­ cred divine powers, and this is the origin of the world and of mankind. If this imagery is taken as serious phenomenology from the depth of the psy­ che, then it has rather significant implications for our understanding of sexual relationships. It is an image which comes up in the course of depth analysis. An example can be found in one of my books, largely a book of pictures, but many of the pictures derive from dreams. This particular picture arose from a dream of a male patient and has an accompanying text: I descend to the basement of a whore house run by a brutal man. I discover a bruised and battered young woman who nevertheless has a glowing beauty. I ki ss her and awaken her. I am overcome momentarily with a sense of compassion for her, for me, for the athos of the human condition. The tough owner stands at the F top of the staircase. 5

This is a clear parallel to the Gnostic theme of Sophia having crawled into the darkness and brutality of matter. The dreamer takes on the role of Simon to res­ cue her. There is another description of this phenomenon in the Gnostic work Pistis Sophia, which speaks of Sophia from the point of view of a more complicated Gnostic system than the Simonian one. Sophia, who is the thirteenth eon, the thirteenth emanation of the original great primal source, was looking back with worshipful gaze at the source of her being. As she looked, she did not realize that she was seeing not her true source but only a reflection of it in parts below. As she moved toward it, she went downward into the world of darkness and matter and into the world where what was called the lion-faced, self-willed one was the ruler. The reflected light that she was looking at existed behind this self­ willed one. It is as though she saw that reflected light through him, and going in the wrong direction, she fell into his hands, and he grabbed her. This is the original rape. It is the origi nal abuse of the woman, the archetype that lies be­ hind all such everyday issues. After she realized what had happened, Sophia cried out for help, and eventually Jesus descended into the lower realm to help her. He said: I despatched out of myself a light-power, and I sent it down to the chaos, so that it might lead Pistis Sophia forth from the deep regions of the chaos, and lead [her] to the higher regions of the chaos , until the command should come . . . that she should be led entirely forth out of the chaos. [The self-willed one pursued Sophia,

56 The Living Psyche,

p. 9 1 .

Simon Magus 41 but nonetheless, when she had been led into the higher regions, she sang prai ses and cried out : ] "Leave me not in the chaos. Save me, 0 Light of the Height, for it 57 is thou that I have praised."

It is a very lengthy dramatic account, elaborated with such loving care that it is clear that the Gnostics poured great quantities of libido into the detailed elabo­ ration of these scriptures. The Gnostic image of Sophia has a long history. It did 58 not begin with the Gnostics. The image arose from two separate sources. One is the early Greek philosophers, who called themselves lovers of Sophia. The other source is the Jewish one, in which Hokmah is found as early as Proverbs. She is identified as the wisdom of Yahweh. She also appears in the Song of Songs, identified with the Shulamite. She appears later in Ecclesiasticus and in the Wisdom of Solomon . The Gnostic references borrow from these earlier sources. In the Middle Ages she is pictured as the sapientia dei, the wisdom of God, whose image lay behind much scholastic speculation. Finally, she appears in alchemy. One important alchemical text involves the Shulamite, who was identified with Wisdom, and who was the personification of the prima mate ria that the alchemists were seeking. Today, she appears in Jung' s conception as the archetypal anima. A very interesting Simonian image that Jonas does not mention, the image of the world fire-tree, is described in Hippolytus. The Simonian Gnosis thought of God, that primordial original entity, as a burning and consuming fire, the origi­ nating principle of the universe. The fire at the root of the universe has a twofold nature: a secret or invisible nature and a manifest or visible one. This superce­ lestial fire is called a treasure. It is like a large tree-just like the one seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, out of which all flesh is nourished. And the manifest [vi sible] portion of the fire . . . [is] the stem, the branches [and] the leaves . . . . The fruit . . . of the tree, when it is fully grown, and has received its own form, i s deposited in a granary, not (flung) into the fire. For . . . the fruit has been produced for the purpose of being laid in the storehouse, whereas the chaff that it may be deli vered over to the fire. (Now the 59 chaff) is stem, (and is) generated not for its own sake, but for that of the fruit.

The visible fire creates the stem or trunk of the tree; the fruit that grows out of it then becomes added to the treasury of the invisible fire and is not destroyed. 57 58

G.R.S. Mead, trans., Pistis Sophia, pp. 93f. A summary of the history of the Sophia image can be found in my Transformation of

the God-Image, pp. 53ff.


Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, p. 76.


Simon Magus

This image can be seen as alluding to the way the effects of individual psycho­ logical development may be deposited in the treasury of the archetypal psyche, beyond our mortal existence, as also happens to the fruit of this fire-tree. Hip­ polytus ' translator expresses this as "the fruit, however, of the tree, when it is fully grown, and has received its own form." G.R.S. Mead translates that phrase as " [this happens to] the fruit of the tree, if its imaging has been perfected."60 The Mead translation reflects our psychological understanding. The fruit of the tree, if its imaging has been perfected, is then deposited in the supercelestial granary. The legend of Simon Magus ends with a particular and unusual event. Peter and Simon were antagonists. A great deal of the pseudo-Ciementine literature is a dispute between Simon and Peter that continues for scores of pages. According to the simple original legend, the conflict between Simon and Peter was finally concluded in Rome by a contest of magic. Each one would perform a feat of magic, and then the other one would try to perform something more impressive . According to the legend, the end finally came when Simon announced that on the following day he was going to fly. It is not quite clear whether he meant to say that he was going to leave the earth and fly up into heaven, back where he came from, or j ust that he would fly. The day came and Simon started to fly. Peter, however, prayed that he should fall . Peter' s prayer was more powerful than Simon ' s magic, so Simon fell to his death. Interesting details of this story keep cropping up; according to one version of thi s legend , when Simon fell, his body broke into four pieces, bringing up the whole symbolism of the quaternio. In another version, when he fell his leg 61 broke into three pieces. This alludes to the problem of the three and the four, and also to the problem of the trinitarian God and an eventual quaternian one. The story pictures the contest between Gnosticism represented by Simon and the Church represented by Peter. The contest was indeed won by the Church, be­ cause it had a better relation to earthly reality. It did not try to fly. Its prayers regarding the earth were answered, so it had a connection with earth. Earth re­ sponded to it, so to speak, because the Church did not, as Gnosticism did, suc­ cumb to the radical dualism that branded matter utterly evil . Though it did not utterly succumb, the Church did promote a very striking polarization between 60 Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, 61

p. 1 72.

For further discussion of this question, see A ion, CW 9ii, pars. 425f. , and "A Psycho­

logical Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity," Psychology and Religion, CW 1 1 , par.

1 84.

Simon Magus 43

matter and spirit with a one-sided emphasis on spirituality. Nevertheless, it made its adaptation to the world and therefore survived. The basic weakness of Gnosticism is its devaluation of matter and the world, and because of this it did not have sufficient adaptational energy to continue earthly existence. Indeed, the rules of most of the Gnostic sects, if they were fol足 lowed strictly, would have led to the annihilation of the human race, since they were against reproduction. Gnosticism in its initial manifestation was defeated, and for all practical purposes it died. However, its rich store of archetypal im足 agery is now being resurrected with the opportunity to integrate it into the larger viewpoint of depth psychology. This same process of death and resurrection has been repeated in alchemy, which likewise perished in its own obscurity, so to speak, with the onset of sci足 entific thinking. It, too, has reappeared and is being assimilated to depth psy足 chology.

4 Marcion

Marcion, who lived from approximately 90 to 1 60, was a wealthy shipowner from Sinopae, in the province of Pontus on the Black Sea. He was evidently a very successful businessman, perhaps in his earlier years an ancient version of Aristotle Onassis. At mid-life he became interested in theology, and all the en­ ergy that he had previously applied to business went into the Church. He not only formulated a theological system, he was also very active in the organi zation of a rival church. The religious historian Adolf Harnack says of Marcion: About 1 39 he came to Rome, already a Christian, and for a short time belonged to the church there. As he could not succeed in his attempt to reform it, he broke away from it about 1 44. He founded a church of his own and developed a very great activity. He spread his views by numerous journeys, and communities bear­ 62 ing his name very soon arose in every province of the Empire.

By about the year 155 , Marcion ' s preaching had spread widely. The Mar­ cionites were numerous in Rome, and even at the time of his death, Marcion had not given up the wish to win over the whole of Christendom. Again and again he sought connection with the main body of the Church. Harnack goes on to say that Marcion cannot, strictly speaking, be numbered among the Gnostics, because like the Church he put his emphasis on faith rather than on gnosis. Jonas, however, has a different view: [Marcion was] . . . indeed the exception to many Gnostic rules. He alone of them all took the passion of Christ seriously, although the interpretation he put on it was unacceptable to the Church; his teaching is entirely free of the mythological fan­ tasy in which Gnostic thought reveled ; he does not speculate about the first begin­ nings; he does not multiply divine and semi-di vine figures ; he rejects allegory . . . . he does not claim possession of a superior, "pneumatic" knowledge . . . . he bases his doctrine entirely on what he claims to be the literal meaning of the gospel . . . . [so he] is entirely free of the syncretism so characteristic of Gnosticism in general. . . . Yet the anti-cosmic dualism [that he expounded] . . . [and] the idea of the un­ known God opposed to that of the cosmos . . . [are so important that he has to be 63 considered truly a Gnostic] . 62

The History of Dogma, vol. I, p. 267 .

63 The Gnostic Religion,

p. 1 37.


Marcion 45

He was a kind of intermediate one, though, in that for some time he had one foot in the orthodox Church and even hoped to be made a bishop of that Church, but this was denied him. Marcion' s basic doctrine can be stated very simply: the Old Testament God and the New Testament God are totally different deities and have nothing what­ ever to do with one another. As a corollary, he rejects the entire Old Testament as irrelevant to the actions and message of the New Testament God. Marcion ' s view reflects an attitude that typically arises during a period o f transformation. During such periods, when a new vision is gradually emerging from a previous one, a strict, logical, literal-minded person is apt to think that the new view, be­ cause it is apparently different, has no relation to the previous one. A sharp, radical dichotomy is made between the two. Marcion based his doctrines on those of Paul, but he took Paul in a one-sided way and carried his ideas to an extreme. He concentrated on Paul ' s distinction between law and grace. Paul ' s notion was that the Old Testament God gave hu­ manity the law, which could make people just if only they could follow it. The New Testament Deity gave humanity his Son, thus rescuing them from the im­ possible strictures of the law. The sacrifice of the Son was an act of pure grace, of unmerited favor (which is the definition of grace). This Pauline doctrine is the foundation of Marc ion ' s whole theology . According to Marcion, the new dis­ pensation that Paul announced comes from a God totally different from Yahweh the Creator. This New Testament God had not previously had any relationship to the world or to humanity . Marcion was a grave threat to the early Church fa­ thers . A number of them, including Origen and Tertullian, wrote exhaustively against him. Despite this, Marcionite churches continued to exist for several centuries and his views were stamped out with some difficulty. Let us look in more detail at the two gods that Marcion postulates. Yahweh was the God of the Old Testament, the creator of the world and mankind, the giver of the law and the Mosaic religion. According to Marc ion, he was an infe­ rior deity in comparison to the other. He was j ust-the chief term applied to him-and indeed harshly so. He was not evil but he was not merciful. What Marcion does in effect is to split the paradoxical good-and -evil God into two. This image was later elaborated by Clement of Rome, who wrote of a God whose one hand was justice and whose other hand was mercy. Marcion ' s second deity was the supreme good God who was completely un­ known to humanity, and who had nothing to do with humankind until he looked down on it one day and felt compassion for the sorry state in which he found it.



In a free gift of grace, he sent his son Jesus Christ to rescue it. Harnack com­ ments: M arcion explained the Old Testament in its literal sense and rejected every alle­ gorical interpretation. He recognized it as the revelation of the creator of the world and the god of the Jews, but placed it, just on that account, i n sharpest contrast to the Gospel. He demonstrated the contradictions between the Old Testament and the Gospel in a voluminous work [entitled Antitheses. This lost book, all copies of which were destroyed by the Church fathers, was written in parallel columns, an Old Testament passage describing the nature of Yahweh next to a New Testament passage descri bing the nature of the god of Jesus Christ.] In the god of the [Old Testament] he saw a being whose character was stem justice, and therefore anger, contentiousness and unmercifulness. The law which rules nature and man appeared to him to accord with the characteri stics of this god and the kind of law revealed by him, and therefore it seemed credible to him that this god is the creator and lord of the world . . . . As the law which governs the world is inflexible and yet, on the other hand, full of contradictions, just and again brutal , and as the law of the Old Testament exhibits the same features, so the god of creation was to Marcion a be­ ing who united in himself the whole gradations of attributes from j u stice to ma­ levolence, from obstinacy to inconsistency . . . . [He] placed the good God of love in opposition to the creator of the world. This God has only been revealed in Christ. He was absolutely unknown before Chri st, and men were in every respect strange to him. Out of pure goodness and mercy, for these are the essential attrib­ utes of this God who judges not and is not wrathful, he espoused the cause of those beings who were foreign to him, as he could not bear to have them any longer tor­ mented by their just and yet malevolent lord. The God of love appeared in Christ and proclaimed a new kingdom. Christ called to himself the weary and heavy laden, and proclaimed to them that he would deliver them from the fetters of their lord and from the world. He shewed mercy to all while he sojourned on the earth, and did in every respect the opposite of what the creator of the world had done to men. They who believed in the creator of the world nailed him to the cross. But in doing so they were unconsciously serving his purpose, for his death was the price by which the God of love purchased men from the creator of the world . . . . The antithesis of spirit and matter appears here as the decisive one, and the good God of love becomes the God of the spirit, the Old Testament god the god of the 64 flesh.

It is possible to go through some of the treatises attacking Marcion which were written by the early Church Fathers, and come close to reconstructing the content of Marcion ' s Antitheses by what the Fathers seem to be defending them­ selves against. Origen, for example, says in his First Principles: 64

The History of Dogma, pp. 27 1 ff.

Marcion 47 Thereupon the heretics [the Marcionites ] , reading that it is written in the law, "A fire has been kindled in Mine anger;" and that "I the Lord am a jealous (God), vis­ iting the sins of the father upon the children unto the third and fourth generation;" and that "it repenteth Me that I anointed Saul to be king;" and "I am the Lord, who make peace and create evil;" and again, ''There is not evil in a city which the Lord hath not done;" and, "Evil s came down from the Lord upon the gates of Jerus a­ lem ;" and, "An evil spirit from the Lord plagued Saul;" and reading many other passages similar to these, which are found in Scri pture, they did not venture to as­ sert that these were not the Scriptures of God, but they considered them to be the words of that creator God whom the Jews worshipped and who, they j udged, ought to be regarded as just only, and not also as good.

Origen goes on to explain the error of these Marcionite heretics, saying: Now the reason of the erroneous apprehension of all these points on the part of those whom we have mentioned above, i s no other than this, that holy Scripture is not understood by them according to its spiri tual , but according to its l iteral . 6 meanmg. 5

From this it is clear that Origen explains away all those passages in the Old Testament which describe the vengeful, wrathful Yahweh, by interpreting them allegorically, an approach which the Marcionites rejected. Tertullian, in his work Against Marcion, also speaks of various Marcionite charges against the Old Testament God, such as that Yahweh knew no other superior to himself; he permitted the existence of sin and death and the devil; he changed his purposes; he repented of the evil he had done; he commanded a fraudulent act in a matter of gold and silver; he required an eye for an eye ; he practiced deception; he ordered a man to be slain. 66 Considering these two gods described by Marcion, we can now ask the ques­ tion : what does this system of two gods mean psychologically? We know that the God-image is synonymous with the Self, so that this cosmogony is a de­ scription of the nature of the Self as it was perceived by this particular group of people. Depth psychology has taught us that the Self operates as a governing and directing influence on the ego throughout its whole lifetime. However, it mani­ fests itself very differently at different stages of development, depending on whether or not the existence of the Self as a second center of the psyche has reached the conscious awareness of the ego. In infancy and childhood, the Self becomes manifest largely in unconscious 65 66

In Roberts and Donaldson, Anti-Nicene Fathers, vol . 4, pp. 356f. II, 28. Ibid. , vol . 3, p. 3 1 9 .



identification with the ego. It then expresses itself quite naively in self-assertion and desire for pleasure and power. As the ego grows into youth and maturity, it takes on more responsibility for itself and for adaptation to the world; uncon足 scious ego-Self identity is less in evidence. At this stage, the Self is likely to reveal itself by the choice of vocation or by intense engagements such as falling in love, or by intense affects that may emerge from the unconscious when a vital value of the individual is threatened. These will all be manifestations of the Self in youth. Still the individual is not aware that he is dealing with a transpersonal authority within him that is a second center other than the ego. This realization can occur only once the individual has had a decisive conscious encounter with the Self, analogous to Paul ' s experience on the road to Damascus. When such an experience has been integrated, redemptive effects arise: the ego undergoes a major reorientation, becoming a servant to the Self, much as Paul experienced it, though seldom as dramatically or as profoundly. Marcion ' s two gods correspond, approximately at least, to the nature and be足 havior of the Self as it is experienced before and after the decisive encounter with the conscious ego. The Yahweh creator God is the Self as experienced in its largely unconscious state. It is experienced through affects or in identification with collective morality, or perhaps via what Freud calls the superego. The good God of salvation and redemption would be the experience of the Self after its decisive conscious encounter with the ego. Now the ego finds a redeeming rela足 tion to its transpersonal roots. The vicissitudes and hardships of life take on a meaning that make them bearable. The individual then is redeemed from the alienated state of feeling all alone, an orphan in an uncaring universe. Jung alludes to this double aspect of the Self in his letter to Eli ned Kotschnig, in which he writes: Inasmuch as God proves His goodness through self-sacrifice He is incarnated, but in view of His infinity and the presumably different stages of cosmic development we don ' t know of, how much of God-i f this is not too human an argument-has been transformed? In this case it can be expected that we are going to contact spheres of a not yet transformed God when our consciousness begi ns to extend into the sphere of the unconscious. There is at all events a defi nite expectation of this kind expressed in the [eternal gospel] of the Revelations contai ning the mes足 sage: Fear God !


Jung is saying that the myth of the incarnation of God involves the idea of God voluntarily undergoi ng transformation, but we do not know how much of 67

Letters, vol . 2, p. 3 1 4.

Marcion 49

the Deity has gone through that transformative process. It may well be that there is a sizable amount of untransformed Deity still lurking around. He goes on : Although the divine incarnation is a cosmic and absolute event, it only manifests empirically in those relatively few individuals capable of enough consciousness to make ethical deci sions, i .e. to decide for the Good. Therefore God can be called good only inasmuch as He i s able to manifest His goodness i n individuals. His moral quality depends upon individuals. That is why He incarnates. Individuation and i ndividual exi stence are indi spensable for the transformation of God the 68 Creator.

Without mentioning Marcion, Jung is describing the two gods of Marcion : the creator God and the transformed good God. The link between them, accord­ ing to Jung, is the individual who has had the conscious experience of the Self in the process of individuation and, as a result of that experience, has contributed to the transformation of a little piece of the Deity. Psychologically, what Marcion did by severing these two God-images-the untransformed and the transformed God-was to split the psyche in two . He could not endure the paradox of the God who is both dark and light, and the re­ sult of this splitting was that the ego was irreparably cut off from the dark God, from the material world, from nature, and from its own past and was confined to the spiritual realm. Orthodox Christianity is not completely guiltless of this amputation, but to a much lesser extent. In rejecting Marcion ' s split, it operated out of sound instinct. It is evident now that Marcion was a narrow rationalist who could not bear a paradox in his God-image. He could not sacrifice the strictures of logic to ac­ commodate the magnitude of the numinous Self. He becomes a prototype of the person who separates himself from his roots and is left alienated from his origins and from the depths. Jung might have had this tendency in mind when he wrote these pregnant words: "Any renewal not deeply rooted in the best spiritual tradi­ tion is ephemeral ; but the dominant that grows from historical roots acts like a living being within the ego-bound man.' o69 This passage recalls an anecdote in which Jung said that personalistic rationalists reminded him of tadpoles wrig­ gling around in a little puddle of rainwater: little do they know that the puddle will be dried up by noon . In spite of these criticisms, as is true of all psychological aberration, Mar68


69 Mysterium Coniunctionis,

CW 1 4, par. 52 1 .



cion ' s theology serves to magnify a certain aspect of the nature of the historical psyche: the before and after versions of the God-image which was then under­ going transformation. His dual gods show the magnitude of the transformation. It was a big change. So far as we know, Marcion did not develop his theological system, but his followers did. The fully developed Marcionite system was described by a man named Esnik who lived around 450. According to his account, pictured opposite, there is the good God with an absolute barrier that separates him from every­ thing below. There is no interchange across that barrier. Above is the world of the good God ; below is the Demiurge and his creations, the angels and Hyle (matter); and then the world and humanity, and down at the bottom, hell. G.R.S . Mead describes Esnik' s system as follows: There were three Heavens; in the highest was the Good God; in the intermediate, the God of Law ; in the lowest, his Angels. Beneath lay Hyle or root-matter. The world was the joint product of the God of the Law and Hyle. The Creative Power perceiving that the world was very good, desired to make man to inhabit i t. So Hyle gave him his body, and the Creative Power, the breath of life, his spirit. And Adam and Eve lived in innocence in Paradise and did not beget children. And the God of the Law desired to take Adam from Hyle and make him serve him alone. So taking him aside, he said: "Adam, I am God and beside me there is no other; if thou worshipest any other God thou shalt die the death." And Adam on hearing of death was afraid, and withdrew himself from Hyle. Now Hyle had been wont to serve Adam; but when she found that he withdrew from her, in revenge she filled the world with idolatry so that men ceased to adore the Lord of Creation. Then was the Creator wrath, and as men died he cast them into Hell . . . from Adam onwards. But at length the Good God [up above the barrier wall] looked down from heaven, and saw the miseries which man suffered through Hyle and the Creator. And He took compassion on them, and sent them down His Son to deli ver them, saying: "Go down, take on Thee the form of a servant. [That would mean a body.] And make Thyself like the sons of the Law. Heal their wounds, give sight to their blind, bring their dead to life, perform without reward the greatest miracles of healing; then will the God of the Law be jealous and instigate his servants to cru­ cify Thee. Then go down to Hell, which will open her mouth to receive Thee, sup­ posing Thee to be one of the dead. Then liberate the captives Thou shalt find there, and bring them up to Me." And thus the souls were freed from Hell and carried up to the Father. Where­ upon the God of the Law was enraged, and rent his clothes and tore the curtain of his palace, and darkened the sun and veiled the world in darkness. Then the Christ descended a second time, but now in the glory of His divinity, to plead with the God of the Law . And the God of the Law was compelled to acknowledge that he had done wrong in thi nking that there was no higher power than hi mself. And the



Demiurge - God of Law - Yahweh

Breath (Spirit)


! Hyle - Root Matter (Body)

The World, Humanity


The Marcionite System


Marcion Christ said unto him: "I have a controversy with thee, but I will take no other j udge between us but thy own law. Is it not written in thy law that whoso killeth another shall himself be killed; that whoso sheddeth innocent blood shall have his own blood shed ? Let me, then, kill thee and shed thy blood, for I am innocent and thou hast shed My blood." And then He went on to recount the benefits He had bestowed on the children of the Creator, and how He had in return been crucified; and the God of the Law could find no defense, and confessed and said: "I was ignorant; I thought Thee but a man, and I did not know Thee to be a god; take the revenge that is Thy due." And the Christ thereupon left him and betook himsel f to Paul [on the road to 70 Damascus] and revealed the path of truth.

Mead is summarizing Esnik' s account. Harnack, too, elaborates this account, but with a different interpretation. Harnack says: The call of Paul was viewed by Marcion as a manifestation of Christ, of equal value with His first appearance in ministry . . . . [And then he quotes Esnik:] ''Then for the second time Jesus came down to the lord of the creatures in the form of his Godhead, and entered into j udgment with him on account of his death . . . . And Je­ sus said to him: 'Judgment is between me and thee, let no one be j udge but thine own laws . . . . Hast thou not written in this thy law, that he who killeth shall die?' And he answered, ' I have so written . . . . ' Jesus said to him, ' Deliver thyself there­ fore into my hands' . . . . The creator of the world said, 'Because I have slain thee, I give thee a compensation, all those who shall believe on thee, that thou mayest do with them what thou pleasest.' Then Jesus left him and carried away Paul, and shewed him the price, and sent him to preach that we are bought with this price, 71 and that all who believe in Jesus are sold by this just god to the good one. "

This version makes the process of salvation a financial transaction. It is a purchase of property, an exchange of ownership. Previously, humanity had be­ longed to Yahweh who had created it. The upper God could not just steal some­ body else ' s property ; he had to buy it. For Marcion, that is the way humanity was redeemed. Paul uses this image once or twice but he does not emphasize it. Psychologically considered, this idea of purchase is quite interesting. In the Old Testament the notion of redemption was originally a purchase arrangement. It referred to the buying back of somebody who was in slavery . In the book of Ruth the term was used in reference to Leverite marriage, in which a widow is taken to wife by a brother-in-law or a near kinsman . Marcion elaborates this image. Humanity, like Ruth, was in effect widowed, and like B oaz, the good 7° 71

Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, pp. 246ff. The History of Dogma, vol . I, p. 279.

Marcion 53

God purchases or redeems it at the price of Christ's death. How does this imagery apply to the psyche? The central idea is that the tran­ sition from one God-image to another-that is, the process of transformation of the inner God-image-is purchased at the price of suffering. Psychological ex­ perience bears this out; the process does indeed seem to involve suffering by the ego. B ut looked at more closely, the suffering turns out to be equally, or perhaps even more, the suffering of the Self, which is the way the religious imagery puts it-as the suffering of the incarnated God-image. The realization by the ego that, in the midst of its travail, the suffering is primarily that of the Self renders the experience meaningful and bearable. It is bearable because it is part of a process with a transformative outcome. Jung describes this situation in discussing alchemical transformation, which is at root the process of the transformation of the God-image. The alchemist spoke of it as the transformation of the matter inside the alchemical retort where it underwent torture and suffering; the alchemists equated the suffering of the substance in the retort with the suffering of Christ. Jung equates it with the inner suffering in the process of individuation, and writes: If the adept [that is the alchemist] experiences his own self, the "true man," in his work, then . . . he encounters the analogy of the true man-Chri st-in new and di­ rect form, and he recognizes in the transformation in which he himself is involved a similarity to the Passion. It is not an "imitation of Chri st" but its exact opposite: an assimilation of the Chri st-image to his own self. . . . It is no longer an effort, an intentional straining after imitation, but rather an involuntary experience of the re­ ality represented by the sacred legend. This reality comes upon him in his work, just as the stigmata come to the saints without being consciously sought. They ap­ pear spontaneously. The Passion happens to the adept, not in its classic form­ otherwise he would be consciously performing spiritual exercises-but in the form expressed by the alchemical myth. It is the arcane substance that suffers those physical and moral tortures; it is the king who dies or is killed, is dead and buried and on the third day rises again. And it is not the adept who suffers all this, rather it suffers in him, it is tortured, it passes through death and rises again. All this hap­ pens not to the alchemist himself but to the "true man," who he feels is near him and in him and at the same time in the retort . . . . [This does not originate in the] contemplation of Christ' s Passion ; it is the real experience of a man who has got involved in the compensatory contents of the unconscious by investigating the un­ known, seriously and to the point of self-sacrifice. He could not but see the like­ ness of his projected contents to the dogmatic images, and he might have been tempted to assume that his ideas were nothing else than the familiar religious con­ ceptions. . . . B ut the texts show clearly that, on the contrary, a real experience of the opus had an increasing tendency to assimilate the dogma or to amplify i tself


Marcion with it. . . . The alchemical Anthropos showed itself to be independent of any 72 dogma.

The theme of purchase is part of the transfonnation of the God-image: the sacrificial suffering is the purchase price whereby the God-image undergoes a transfonnative evolutionary leap forward. Although it is not much emphasized, Marcion was what is called a Docetist. The word comes from the Greek word dokeo meaning "to seem." According to the heresy of Docetism, Christ was not really incarnated in a lowly body of lit­ eral flesh; he only seemed to be. As Pelikan, the Church historian, states: Christ could not have assumed a material body that participated in the created world, for such a body would have been "stuffed with excrement." A material body and a physical birth belonged to the Creator and were unworthy of the true 73 Christ [who came from the untouchable good God.]

Probably the clearest and most concise statement of the Docetist myth can be found in Cerinthus, who is known from only one source, a treatise by Irenaeus called "Against Heresies" : Cerinthus . . . was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians [and] taught that the world was not made by the primary God, but by a certain Power far separated from him, and at a distance from that Principality who is supreme over the uni verse, and ignorant of him who is above all . He [Ceri nthus] represented Jesus as having not been born of a virgin, but as being the son of Joseph and Mary according to the or­ dinary course of human generation, while he nevertheless was more righteous , prudent , and w i se than other m e n . Moreover, after his bapti sm, Christ [the anointed one from the upper God], descended upon him [Jesus] in the form of a dove from the Supreme Ruler, and that then he proclaimed the unknown Father, and performed miracles. But at last Christ departed from Jesus, and that then Jesus suffered and rose again, while Christ remained impassible, inasmuch as he was a . . ' 74 spmtuaI bemg.

The Docetist idea was that Jesus was just an ordinary human being until his baptism, at which time the spiritual Christ figure descended on him, took pos­ session of his body, and Jived out of Jesus, so to speak; when he was on the cross, it departed again. This view fits our psychological understanding. Jung subscribed to it in his


Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 1 4, par. 492. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, vol . I , p. 75. 74 In Roberts and Donaldson, Anti-Nicene Fathers, vol . I , pp. 35 l f.


Marcion 55 75

remarks in 1 93 7 , in which he speaks of Jesus' mission as departing from him on the cross and evoking then his exclamation, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" The psychological val idity of Cerinthus ' view is that i t makes a clear separation between the ego and the Self, and it pictures the ki n d of interchange that can take place between them: the Self can arrive and impose an assignment on the ego and then leave the ego to take the consequences. Another version of this Docetist view comes from the Pis tis Sophia . Mary is speaking to Jesus: When thou wert little, before the spirit had come upon thee, whilst thou wert in a vineyard with Joseph, the spirit came out of the height and came to me in my house, like unto thee; and I had not known him, but I thought that thou wast he. And the spirit said unto me: "Where is Jesus, my brother, that I meet with him?" And when he had said this unto me, I was at a loss and thought it was a phantom to try me. So I seized him and bound him to the foot of the bed in my house, until I went forth to you, to thee and Joseph in the field, and I found you on the vineyard, Joseph propping up the vineyard. It came to pass, therefore, when thou didst hear me speak the word unto Joseph, that thou didst understand the word, wert j oyful and saidest, "Where is he, that I may see him; else I await him in this place." And it came to pass, when Joseph had heard thee say these words, that he was startled. And we went down together, entered the house and found the spirit bound to the bed. And we looked on thee and him and found thee like unto him. And he who was bound to the bed was unloosed ; he took thee in his arms and kissed thee, and 76 thou also didst kiss him. Ye became one.

75 76

C. G. lung Speaking, p. 98.

Mead, Pistis Sophia, p. 1 00.

5 Basilides of Alexandria

Jung speaks of B asilides of Alexandria as "one of those great minds of the early Christian era which Christianity obliterated. "77 He flourished about 1 25 . Some material about the Basilidian system remains in the works of Hippolytus and Irenaeus, but we know very little about Basilides the man. He was an important figure for Jung, who mentions him many times in the later volumes of the Col­ lected Works, as well as in the astonishing message that he received from Basilides which we know as the "Seven Sermons to the Dead."78 B asilides' elaborate theological system has been abstracted here in the figure opposite. The universe begins with an ineffable i ndescribable Deity which is shown at the top of the figure. This God is beyond the categories of being or non-being. It is simultaneously existent and nonexistent. This "nonexistent" De­ ity deposits a universal seed (indicated on the left in the figure), which then gen­ erates a series of further beings. First, it gives rise to three sonships or filiations. The first sonship is the most rarefied. It immediately flies right back to join the ineffable God. The second sonship is less refined. With the help of what is called the limitary pneuma or spirit, it also flies upward, but to a point just be­ low the uppermost world. The third sonship is in a crude, heavy state, and re­ mains buried in the great conglomeration which is indicated at the bottom of the figure. This conglomeration is the massa confusa of the alchemist, an undiffer­ entiated mass which is at the base of the material world. Then there are further events. Two archons or rulers are generated out of the universal seed. The great archon occupies what is called the ogdoad and is the creator God or Demiurge of everything that follows. The second archon occu­ pies the hebdomad, and is identified as the Deity who spoke to Moses. In this system, therefore, the Deity is divided into three: the ineffable Deity, the archon of the ogdoad who is the creator of the world, and the second archon of the hebdomad, the Deity that has intermittent communications with humanity as the Mosaic Yahweh. With the help of the universal seed, each of these archons gen­ erates a son. These sons are called Christs or anointed ones. It turns out that the 77 Letters, vol. l , p. 34 . 78 Memories, Dreams, Reflections,

pp. 378ff. 56


Inneffable World

2nd Sonsh ip

Ethereal World Son of Great Archon t

Great Archon

(Creator God, Demiurge) (Ruler of Ogdoad)

Heavenly World (sub-lunar)

Son of 2nd Archon t

2nd Archon

(God of Moses) (R� Ier of eb om�d) _ _ _ _

Materi al World

� �




3rd Sonsh ip Great Conglomeration Un i versal Seed Bed

Basilides' Theology


Basilides of Alexandria

sons are higher and more enlightened than their fathers, and when the enlight­ enment of the gnosis comes from above, it reaches the sons first, and the sons then transmit it to the fathers. Why is this system so involved? We have said in chapter one that the Son of God archetype, which was constellated two thousand years ago, generated vari­ ous movements which made up the Church and Gnosticism. But why must there be three sonships? Why must there be three different deities and three Christs? The answer to this involves the archetypal nature of the number three. These religious phenomena were all manifestations of the collective psyche. This relig­ ious energy can be understood as arising from an overlap or synthesizing of two archetypes-first, the Son of God archetype and secondly, the Trinity archetype. A similar emphasis on the number three appeared as the theology of the Church developed: the theologians somehow felt obliged to postulate a trinitarian Deity. It is a phenomenon that did not exist in the Old Testament. How are we to un­ derstand this? In psychological terms, the number three pertains to egohood. The ego lives in time. The unconscious lives outside of time, but the ego lives in a world de­ fined in terms of past, present and future. The ego ccupies a position between the separated opposites. Consciousness cannot exist unless the inner opposites have been split. Existing in this third position between the opposites means, concretely, being able to experience opposing viewpoints or desires simultane­ ously, thereby taking up residence in a third position outside of them. 79 The ap­ pearance of "three" symbolism in Basilides' system can be understood as re­ flecting these psychological facts. The whole imagery of the archetype of the Son of God thus has to do with the ego, and the preoccupation with the symbol­ ism of the number three points to the emerging importance of the ego and con­ 80 sciousness at that time. In Basilides' system, each level of being (as shown in the figure) is ignorant of the levels above it. This is most extreme in the case of the third sonship, which is itself trapped in the heavy darkness of the great conglomeration. This unsatisfactory state of affairs is rectified by a compl icated process. We are told that each of the levels in turn catches the fire of gnosis which originates in the highest, ineffable realm, and descends downward: "Just as the vapour of naphtha can catch fire from a flame a great way off from the naphtha, so do the powers 79 For further discussion of this idea, see my Creation of Consciousness, 80

pp. 1 7ff.

There is a further exploration of the symbolism of the number three in my Ego and

Archetype, chap. 7.

Basilides of Alexandria 59

of men ' s spirit pass from below from the formlessness of the conglomeration up to the [highest] Sonship."81 The result is that first the son of the great archon is enlightened. He then passes this knowledge on to his father. As soon as the father learns that there is a god above him, he repents of his arrogance. He had thought he was the only one, the highest one. Next, gnosis comes down upon the son of the second archon, and he goes through the same procedure. He enlightens his father, and the father repents and confesses his sin. Finally, the light of gnosis descends upon Jesus, son of Mary . All three of these sons are called Christ, so there is a series of Gnostic illuminations of three Christs in a row, concluding with Jesus. Next there is a synchronistic or parallel occurrence. Jesus' enlightenment brings about the purification and release and enlightenment of the third sonship which was trapped in matter. Basilides is reported by Hippolytus as saying: Now Jesus became the first sacrifice in the discrimi nation of the natures, and the Passion came to pass for no other reason than the di scrimination of composite things. For in this manner, he says, the sonship that had been left behind in a formless state (amorphia) needed separating into its components, in the same way 82 that Jesus was separated.

This passage was of great importance to Jung, as indicated by the fact that he used it as the epigraph for Aion, in which he discusses this statement along with other aspects of Basilides' thought. His discussion requires careful attention; but without previous acquaintance with Basilides ' system, Jung' s description is al­ most incomprehensible because it is so condensed. After quoting the Hippolytus passage above, Jung goes on to describe something of Basilides' system : According to the rather complicated teachings of Basil ides, the "non-existent" God begot a threefold sonship. The first "son," whose nature was the finest and most subtle, remai ned up above with the Father. The second son, having a grosser na­ ture, descended a bit lower, but received "some such wing as that with which Plato . . . equips the soul in his Phaedrus. " The third son, as his nature needed puri fying, fell deepest into "formlessness." This third "sonship" is obviously the grossest and heaviest because of i ts impurity. In these three emanations or manifestations of the non-existent God it is not hard to see the trichotomy of spirit, soul, and body . . . . Spiri t is the finest and highest; sou l , as the [bond between spirit and body] , i s grosser than spirit, but has "the wings of a n eagle," s o that it may lift its heaviness up to the higher regions. Both are of a "subtle" nature and dwel l, like the ether and the eagle, in or near the region of light, whereas the body, being heavy, dark, and 81 82

Mead, Fragments of a Faith Forgollen, p. 267. Quoted by Jung in Aion, CW 9ii, par. 1 1 8.


Basilides of Alexandria i mpure, is deprived of the light but nevertheless contains the divine seed of the third sonship, though still unconscious and formless. Thi s seed is as it were awak­ ened by Jesus, purified and made capable of ascension, by virtue of the fact that the opposites were separated in Jesus through the Passion (i.e., through his division i nto four). [This refers to his crucifixion on the fourfold cross as equivalent to his division into four.] Jesus is thus the prototype for the awakening of the third son­ 83 ship slumbering in the darkness of humanity. He is the "spiritual inner man . "

What does that mean psychologically? The darkness of humanity refers to the ego-the individual concrete personal human psyche. Jesus is the archetype of the Self in its dynamic or transformative aspect. In Basilides' system, he is the third Christ, the one connected with earth and engaged in earthly affairs and processes. This aspect of the Self submits itself to a process of conscious di s­ crimination and serves as a model for the ego to do likewise. In practical terms this would mean that the process of emerging consciousness derives initially from the unconscious and must then be picked up by the ego and realized. Jung goes on: From a psychological poi nt of view it is particularly important that Jesus corre­ sponds to the third sonship and is the prototype of the "awakener" because the op­ posites were separated in him through the Passion and so became conscious, whereas in the third sonship itself [in the great conglomeration where the sonship resides] they remain unconscious so long as the latter is formless and undifferenti ­ ated. This amounts to saying that in unconscious humanity there is a latent seed that corresponds to the prototype Jesus. Just as the man Jesus became conscious only through the light that emanated from the higher Christ and separated the na­ tures in him, so the seed in unconscious humanity is awakened by the light ema­ nating from Jesus, and is thereby impelled to a similar discrimination of opposites. This view i s entirely in accord with the psychological fact that the archetypal im­ age of the self has been shown to occur in dreams even when no such conceptions 84 exist in the conscious mind of the dreamer.

The symbolic image of the third sonship lost in formlessness being enlight­ ened by a glimpse of the discriminated Jesus, corresponds to the darkness of the human ego being enlightened by a glimpse of the image of the Self emerging from the unconscious in dreams. There is an alchemical parallel to this. The third sonship of Basilides slum­ bering in the formlessness of matter corresponds to the alchemical image of the son of the king, or the son of the philosophers, or the son of the macrocosm, 83 84

Ibid. Ibid. , par. 1 20.

Basilides ofAlexandria 61

who is described in alchemy as slumbering in the darkness of the prima materia. The same phenomenon may be found in the series of pictures which are repro足 duced in Jung ' s "Psychology of the Transference." The seventh picture (below) is entitled "The Ascent of the Soul," and shows a little homunculus figure rising from the dead body of the united lovers. Jung comments on this picture: The fact that the soul is depicted as a homunculus in our picture indicates that it i s o n t h e way t o becoming the filius reg ius, the undivided and hermaphroditic First Man, the Anthropos. Originally he fell into the clutches of Physis, but now he rises again, freed from the prison of the mortal body. He is caught up in a kind of ascen足 sion, and, according to the [emerald tablet] , unites himself with the "upper pow足 ers." He is the essence of the "lower power" which, like the "third filiation" i n the doctrine of B asilides, is ever striving upwards from the depths, not with the inten足 tion of staying in heaven, but solely in order to reappear on earth as a healing 85 force, as an agent of immortality and perfection, as a mediator and saviour.

The Ascent of the Soul


The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW 1 6, par. 48 1 .


Basilides of Alexandria

lung makes the same parallel in Aion: The third sonship has certain analogies with the medieval .filius philosophorum and the filius macrocosmi, who also symboli ze the world-soul slurrbering in matter. Even with B asilides the body acquires a special and unexpected significance, since in i t and its materiality is lodged a third of the revealed Godhead. This means nothing less than that matter is predicated as having considerable numinosity in i t­ self, and I see this as an antici pation of the "mystic" significance which matter subsequently assumed in alchemy and-later on-in natural sci ence.


Matter did later take on a "mystic" significance. This began about 1 500 A.D., following alchemy, with the rise of the scientific revolution, and it led to modem materialism. The numinosum, which fell out of its projection into heaven, fell to a very large extent into matter. The result was that many of the most significant minds of that age found themselves fascinated by matter. That intense curiosity generated modem science. In every good scientist there is an engagement with a numinous object of research, and the object of scientific research in almost all cases except depth psychology, is material. The psychological equivalent of this outer scientific event is the increased emphasis on the human ego which began with the Protestant Reformation . Sym­ bolically speaking, body and matter equal ego. As we have become more and more fascinated with the mysteries of matter in chemistry and physics, we have simultaneously glorified the human ego, to the extent of a considerable inflation. Let us return to the original passage lung used as the epigraph for Aion: Now Jesus became the first sacrifice in the discrimination of the natures, and the Passion came to pass for no other reason than the discrimination of composite things. For in this manner, he says, the sonship that had been left behind i n a formless state [amorphi� needed separating into its components, in the same way that Jesus was separated.

lung makes it clear that what were separated in Jesus were the opposites. We are dealing here with the experience of the separation of the inner opposites. Concretely, this means being exposed to and consciously enduring inner con­ flict. That is the hallmark of the separation of opposites. In parallel, the root of all neurosis is the refusal to accept conflict consciously; once an unconscious conflict becomes conscious, it is no longer neurotic, and neurotic suffering is replaced by authentic suffering, which bri ngs about the healing of neurosis. 86 87

CW 9ii, par. 1 20. Above, p. 59.

Basilides of Alexandria 63

Through this coming to consciousness of the opposites or of inner conflict, the indi vidual (or the third sonship of Basilides, or the son of the macrocosm in al­ chemy) is released from bondage in the formless state and takes on the qualities of a savior. In other words, out of the conscious conflict of opposites endured, the Self is born into awareness. There is some evidence that Basilides and his followers had some direct ex­ periences of this imagery (that is, of consciousness of the opposites) that they elaborated so fully. The evidence is found in their view of world creation and in the ethics that are derived from it. According to Irenaeus, on the lower levels (not included in the figure on page 57), the actual world and humanity were cre­ ated by angels which occupy the lowest heaven . These angels divided up the creative task among themselves. Each angel created a certain segment of hu­ manity and retained for itself rulership over that segment, so that specific na­ tions or ethnic groups were ruled over by a principality or angel which was their immediate progenitor. These angels were in conflict with one another-turf wars-and as a result the various communities that derived from them were likewise in conflict. It was an unsatisfactory state of affairs, so the highest, inef­ fable Father, perceiving that people were destroying one another because of these angelic wars, sent his own first-begotten nous, as he was called, or Christ, to deliver them from the power of those who had made the world. According to this particular account in Irenaeus, Christ did not actually sub­ mit himself to crucifixion. At the last minute, a man named Simon was used as a stand-in for him: He did not himself suffer death, but Simon, a certain man of Cyrene, being com­ pelled, bore the cross in his stead; so that this latter being transfigured by him, that he might be thought to be Jesus, was crucified, through ignorance and error, while Jesus himself received the form of Simon, and, standing by, laughed at them. For since he was an incorporeal power, and the Nous (mind) of the unborn father, he transfigured himself as he pleased, and thus ascended to him who had sent him, de­ riding them, inasmuch as he could not be laid hold of, and was invi sible to all . Those, then, who know these things have been freed from the princi palities who formed the world; so that it is not incumbent on us to confess him who was cruci­ fied . . . . . If any one, therefore . . . confesses the crucified, that man is still a slave, and under the power of those who formed our bodies [one of those angelic pow­ ers ] : but he who denies him has been freed from these beings, and is acquainted with the dispensation of the unborn father . . . . He, then, who has learned [these things] , and known all the angels and their causes, is rendered i nvisible and in­ comprehensible to the angels and all the powers. . . . And as the son was unknown to all, so must they also be known by no one; but while they know all , and pass


Basi/ides of A lexandria through all, they themselves remain invisible and unknown to all ; for [they say] "Do thou . . . know all , but let nobody know thee." For this reason, persons of such a persuasion are also ready to recant [their opinions], yea, rather, it i s i mpossible that they should suffer on account of a mere name, since they are like to all . The multitude, however, cannot understand these matters, but only one out of a thou ­ sand, o r two o u t o f ten thousand. They declare that they are n o longer Jews, and

that they are not yet Christians ; and that it is not at all fitting to sreak openly of 8 their mysteries, but right to keep them secret by preserving silence.

This passage has some interesting implications . The angels who rule over the various nations and ethnic groups correspond to the archetypal powers which lie behind the warring collectivities that are so familiar on the front pages of our newspapers. At the heart of all national, ethnic, religious, and political factions are what could be called collective complexes. These, as is true of every com­ plex, have an archetypal core. So the angels that are referred to in Basilides are the archetypal core at the heart of the collective complexes that are still tearing the world apart by their conflicts. The Basilidians themselves claimed to be invisible to these angels or collec­ tive complexes. This implies that with consciousness of the opposites, one will not identify with either of the opposites or with any particular faction . Every faction has an opposite-or an enemy-by definition; it would not be a faction otherwise. The Basilidians would not be martyred for a factional identification. Once aware of the opposites, one does not identify with a name nor squander life energy in defense of one side of a pair of opposites. One may very well have a preference among the factions or the parties of the world, but one need not be identified with one or another. The passage from Irenaeus-"He, then, who has learned [these things] and known all the angels and their causes, is rendered in­ visible and incomprehensible to the angels and all the powers"-is a description of a state of greater consciousness. The person of larger consciousness is invisi­ ble to the one of lesser consciousness. It seems possible that this idea will one day be elaborated into an archetypal sociology . There is great need for it, because the world is being torn apart by conflict among the various collective complexes of humanity. As this material indicates, these collective complexes are really psychic organisms which were personified by Basilides as ruling an gels. The angels themselves are in conflict with one another, and their individual adherents are like cells that go to make up 88

"Against Heresies," I, 24, in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol . I , pp.


Basilides ofAlexandria 65

a larger organism. In Christian and in Gnostic writings, these collective psychic organisms are called variously "angels," "principalities" or "powers." They are mentioned in a well-known passage by Paul: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against pow­ ers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 89

That is a Gnostic statement. It corresponds exactly to Gnostic doctrine. It is these collective archetypal complexes, these organisms in the collective uncon­ scious, with which one can become identified. Release from this identification comes when one becomes conscious of the opposites, when one has gone through that process of discrimination referred to in the epigraph to A ion: "Jesus became the first sacrifice in the discrimination of the natures." Another way of putting this is to say that when one has become conscious of the opposites, one is immune to shadow projection. Factionalism, by its very nature, is accompa­ nied by shadow projection. Another doctrine of Basilides deals with what is called the appended or ac­ crescent soul . This is an image of the chthonic dark counterpart of the Gnostic ' s spiritual principalities and angels. The accrescent soul i s described b y Mead with quotes from Clement of Alexandria and Isidore the son of Basilides. Refer­ ring to the animal soul or the "body of desire" in the doctrine of Basilides, Mead writes : The Basilidians are accustomed to gi ve the name of appendages [or accretions] to the passions. These essences, they say, have a certain substantial exi stence, and are attached to the rational sou l , owing to a certain turmoil and pri mitive confusion. On to this nucleus [of the rational soul ] other bastard and alien natures of the es­ sence grow, such as those of the wol f, ape, lion, goat, etc. And when the peculiar qualities of such natures appear round the soul, they cause the desires of the soul to become like the special natures of these ani mals, for they imitate the actions of those whose characteri stics they bear. And not only do human souls thus inti­ mately associ ate themselves with the impulses and impressions of irrational ani­ mals, but they even imitate the movements and beauties of plants, because they likewise bear the characteristics of plants appended to them. Nay, there are also certai n characteri stics [of minerals] shown by habits, such as the hardness of ada­ 90 mant.

So animal, vegetable, and mineral accrescent souls are all part of the human >9 90

Ephes. 6: 1 2 ; KJ .

Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, pp. 276f.


Basi/ides of Alexandria

psyche. Mead goes on to point out that although this accrescent soul exists, one cannot use it as an excuse to shirk responsibility for one ' s actions. One must still be guided by the rational soul. lung refers to this idea of the accrescent soul in Mysterium Coniunctionis, speaking about the alchemists : The alchemists, so far as they were still pagans, had a more mystical conception of God dating from late antiquity, which . . . could be described as Gnostic; or if they were Christians, their Christianity had a noticeable admixture of heathenish magi­ cal ideas about demons and di vine powers and an anima mundi inherent or impris­ oned in physical nature. The anima mundi was concei ved as that part of God which formed the quintessence and real substance of Physis [nature), and which was to God . . . as the "accrescent soul" was to the divine soul of man. This accres­ cent soul was a second soul that grew through the mineral , vegetable, and animal ki ngdoms up to man, pervading the whole of nature, and to it the natural forms were attached like appendages. This strange idea of Isidore ' s is so much in keeping with the phenomenology of the collective unconscious that one is justified in call­ ing it a projection of this empirically demonstrable fact in the form of a metaphysi­ 91 cal hypostasis.

lung speaks of the animal passions, but also of the vegetative passions and even the mineral states of the human psyche. The primary emphasis, though, is on the animal passions. These appendages of the accrescent soul correspond to the affective aspects of the spiritual principalities previously discussed. Psycho­ logically, they correspond to the archetypally based complexes in the individual psyche, which must be integrated and made conscious in the process of indi­ viduation. As lung has demonstrated in his essay "On the Nature of the Psyche," the archetype is bipolar. At one pole it expresses itself as instinct. At the oppo­ site pole it is spirit. The angelic principalities are the spiritual dimension of the archetype, and the animal aspects of the accrescent soul are its instinctual di­ mension. The basic necessity is that the individual avoid identification with ei­ ther pole of the archetype. Identifying with the one brings about spiritual infla­ tion, with the other, psychotic passion . When these entities come into consciousness, or as Basilides put it, when the Gnostic knows the nature of the angel ic powers, then he is invisible to them. That means that the archetypal energies cannot overpower the ego anymore. When the opposites are made conscious and these archetypal realities are recog­ nized, both in their lower and their upper manifestations, then there is no longer 91

CW 1 4, par. 374.

Basi/ides of Alexandria 67

any danger of identification with them. In Gnostic terms, one is invisible to them and can make one ' s way right past them . Now we must move forward nineteen hundred years to a modem manifesta­ tion of Basilides, Jung ' s "Seven Sermons to the Dead." Jung attributed the authorship to Basilides. This material came to Jung in 1916. We do not know the exact date, but he wrote a letter to Alphonse Maeder in January 1917, enclosing a copy of the "Seven Sermons to the Dead," which had been privately printed and distributed to a few friends. In the letter he says to Maeder: Allow me to give you personally the enclosed li ttle present-a fragment with far­ reaching associations. I deserve no credit for it, nor does it want or pretend to be anything, it just is-simply that. Hence I could not presume to put my name to it, but chose i nstead the name of one of those great minds of the early Christian era which Christianity obliterated. It fell quite unexpectedly into my lap l ike a ri pe fruit at a time of great stress and has kindled a light of hope and comfort for me in 92 my bad hours.

"Seven Sermons to the Dead" is an amazing document. Its content is outside the scope of this book, but it may be appropriate to ask ourselves the question, how is one to understand this eruption into Jung' s consciousness of a second­ century Gnostic? Jung describes the event in his autobiography, and says that the appearance of the Seven Sermons was preceded by a series of paranormal phenomena of impressive dimensions. He concludes : The experience has to be taken for what it was or as it seems to have been . . . . It was an unconscious constel lation whose peculiar atmosphere I recognized as the 93 numen of an archetype.

But how can one understand the presence of Basilides in the psyche of twen­ tieth-century Jung? It seems possible that Jung had penetrated to the same psy­ chic depth that Basilides had reached and that this activated the resurrection body of B asilides-that is, the eternalized increment that Basilides ' life had contributed to the archetypal psyche.94 The basic theme of the "Seven Sermons to the Dead" is consciousness of the opposites-it all boils down to that. Jung had achieved consciousness of the opposites, and that achievement then acti92 Letters,

vol . I , pp. 33f.


Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 1 9 1 .


For further discussion o f the idea that the consciousness achieved by each individual

during his lifetime is preserved permanently at the archetypal level , see my Creation of Consciousness, pp. 23 ff.


Basilides of Alexandria

vated the archetypal deposits, the resurrection bodies of others who had histori­ cally achieved the same level and who had made their own personified deposits, which were now available to Jung as his partners and companions. There are not many external partners and companions at that level of experience. This then released him from his suffocating sense of isolation and brought with it clarify­ ing concepts and images, along with the sense of hope and comfort which he describes in his letter. One can see similar happenings, on a lesser level, in the course of those analyses which go deep enough.

6 Valentinus

Valentinus had a stature and respect in antiquity which scarcely any other Gnos­ tic figure can match. The Valentinian scholar Kendrick Groebel, who translated and annotated a surviving document that was probably written by Valentinus himself, gives us what background information exists: [He was born] in northern Egypt, probably in a Greek-speaking family, and re­ ceived a thorough Hellenistic education at Alexandria; when he became a Chri s ­ tian is unknown, b u t he w a s already teaching in Egypt before he moved t o Rome, where he lived and worked probably from about 1 36 to 1 65 . He was in an uneasy rapport with the Church in Rome. In fact, he was in and out of the Roman congre­ gation of the great Church. [In other words, he had been ejected and then readmitted more than once. ] . . . Had Valentinus' originality only been harnessed in and by the great Church ! . . . he had expected to be made a bishop, but he was not. Tertu llian does not hesitate to ascribe Valentinus' rupture from the church to his of­ fended dignity at being passed over. [He did finally leave the Church entirel y . ] There i s the additional fact that h e w a s able t o attract t o himself gifted and pas­ 9s sionate disci ples who for several generations taught and expanded his ideas.

There is no personal information beyond that; this chapter will focus on the Valentinian system, which was probably considerably elaborated by his later followers . It is difficult to believe that this formulation as we have it now could have been created exactly as it is by someone who spent a good part of his life in the orthodox Church; the differences are too great. The Valentinian structure is outlined in the chart overleaf. All being begins with the forefather (at the upper left) who was called Bythos or Abyss or Depth ; he was the one beyond all attributes, even existence. Out of himself he generated Thought (also called Ennoia or Sige), and they were the first pair. Then a second pair emerged, No us and A letheia, and out of that pair, two more. The first four beings (they are called eons) were of special importance and were called the Tetrad. The first eight beings were referred to as the Ogdoad . This archetypal four and eight are closely associated to the original single Deity. Out of the last two pairs, a series of further pairs emerged, until there was a total of fifteen pairs or thirty eons to correspond to the number of days in the lunar month. 9


The Gospel of Truth, pp. l 2ff (adapted).


Pair 1 . 2.


� Bythos (abyss) Forefather

E � oia �thought) � S 1 ge (s i lence)

Nous (mind) ----Only-Begotten



6. 7. 8. 9.


Aletheia (truth)


Logos (word)



Zoe (life)




Anthropos (man)


Ecclesia (church)



1 0.


12. 13.

14. 15.

Christos '\.

� j

Sophia (upper)

} ;


Holy Spirit

� Lower Realm


Suffering Sophia (lower) Enthy esis

Turning Back






-F::� Confusion

� The Elements


Matter, World, Jesus

t PI eroma

- Mary

-- Humanity

The Valentinian System


Valentinus 71

This fantasy image of the collective unconscious overlaps the astronomical symbolism of the heavens, but it uses a lunar sequence rather than a solar one. In later material there is much more emphasis given to the number twelve, the number of signs of the zodiac which refers to the solar year. However, the Va­ lentinian vision, which emerged from lunar thinking rather than solar thinking, used the number thirty, the complete cycle of the moon . The moon ' s cycle is a totality image, just as a year is a totality image expressed by the solar cycle. The first fifteen pairs existed in what was called the Pleroma, and the very final eon to be emanated was Sophia, who was so far away from the original forefather that she got homesick. She fell into a suffering. This caused a crisis in the Pleroma and an extra pair of eons, Christos and the Holy Spirit, had to be created. The Christos eon then visited the Sophia eon in the Pleroma and res­ cued her by reconnecting her with the forefather. It was a bungled effort, how­ ever, because in the process Sophia was split. Sophia number two fell out of the Pleroma entirely, into the lower realm, and her suffering became even greater because she was still farther away . Then she fell into a series of passions. Out of her primary passion, which was ignorance, were generated grief, fear and confu­ sion, and these passions, by the process of what was called enthymesis, took on substance; they coagulated. The affects coagulated into substance, and out of them the material elements were created and out of the elements came the world, matter and humanity. That is the story of the unfolding of the divine essence, starting with the in­ comprehensible One, the Abyss, the forefather, and ending with human beings. Running through this whole sequence there is a continuous stream of spiritual substance, indicated in the chart by a series of arrows. All the beings are con­ nected with one another through this stream. This rather elaborate system can be seen as a self-expression of the collective unconscious. It is a symbolic picture of how the human ego is born out of the depths of the unconscious . The words "depth psychology" are relevant here, because the original forefather is called Abyss, bottomless Depth. In the course of Sophia' s fall, a boundary was constructed between the Pleroma and the lower realm. That boundary is called horos or limit, and it is a real obstacle to interchange between the realms. Hans Jonas comments: The Limit obstructs her [Sophia's]

forward rush. She cannot penetrate through him

. . . [and] she fall s prey to every kind of sufferi ng . . . . These passions now pass over into the form of defi nitive states of being, and as such they can become the substance of the world. Thi s substance, then, psychical as well as material , i s nothing else than a sel f-estranged and sunken form of the Spiri t solidified from



acts into habitual condi tions . . . . The account we are mainly using offers . . . the following series of emotions: grief, because she could not get hold of the light; fear, lest besides the light also life might leave her; bewilderment [or confusion] added to these; and all of them united in the basic quality of ignorance. . . . And 6 still another state of mind ensued: the turning. 9 This " turning" is also shown in the chart. As well as four negative passions there is a fifth, a positive one. It is a passion to turn back to where one came from and make a reconnection. In the story of Sophia' s descent and suffering, an interesting concept is em­ bedded, one that has psychological relevance. The word enthymesis is used to describe the process whereby the passions of Sophia are turned into substance, are materialized or coagulated. The word appears in Irenaeus, whose translator simply transliterates the Greek and leaves the word in its original form. Speak­ ing of the suffering Sophia, Irenaeus writes: This collection [of passions] they declare was the substance of the matter from which this world was formed. For from [her desire of] returning [to him who gave her life], every soul belonging to this world, and that of the Demiurge himself, de­ rived its origin. [So according to this account, the desire to turn back to one ' s ori ­ gins is the source of the psyche or soul of humanity.] All other things [all the sub­ stantial things] owed their beginning to her terror and sorrow. For from her tears all that is of a liquid nature was formed; from her smile all that is lucent; and from her grief and perplexity all the corporeal elements of the world . . . . who would not expend all that he possessed, if only he might learn in return, that from the tears of the enthymesis of the Aeon involved in passion, seas, and fountains, and rivers, and every liquid substance derived its origin; that light burst forth from her smile; and that from her perplexity and consternation the corporeal elements of the world have their formationT7 The root of the word enthymesis is themos, a Homeric term that was used as an alternative for the word psyche. Psyche is the soul that is manifested by the breath, the spirit soul , and themos is the soul that is manifested by hot blood. Homer speaks of the great heroes using a term translated as "great-souled ones," but the Greek word is megalothymic-great themos ones. He describes them as great in their heart soul, in their blood soul . Enthymesis is also a process. It re­ fers to taking something to heart, taking it into the themos, having it become affect-laden. It can mean being hurt or angry, but it is a term that also means to 96 The Gnostic Religion, p. 1 87. 97 "Against Heresies," I , 4, 3 , in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol . 32 1 .



Valentinus 73

give things very serious consideration, to take them i nto the heart. Heart i s probably the best modern term, a s it is used in the expression "to take something to heart." This tells us that when a psychological experience is turned into themos, i t is coagulated. It is the way matter is generated, and as we all know, the affect­ laden experiences are the ones we never forget. They are laid down as perma­ nent strata in the foundations of our psyches, whereas what comes out of the spirit soul can j ust blow away . That is why nineteenth-century educators used the ruler to impress the lesson on the themos of the student. If you generate some affect when the lesson is being learned, the lesson is not forgotten. The concept of enthymesis relates to our understanding of the reality of the psyche, of the fact that the psyche is substantial and that it is made substantial by affect. To relate Valentinus' system to the experience of depth analysis, one must start from the bottom of the chart and work one ' s way up. The World and Hu­ manity at the bottom of the figure correspond to the personal concrete life of the adult ego. Exploring the unconscious by means of analysis, one works back through the Elements (psychic facts that we can recognize and discriminate among), back to the affect-laden complexes-Grief, Fear, Confusion-all based on Ignorance, and to the Suffering Sophia. Then it very often happens in the midst of experiences parallel to the suffering Sophia, that one encounters the passion for Turning Back, which really means repentance or metanoia. That then generates a whole new psychological view and gives one a glimpse of the upper realm, the Pleroma, and the quaternity perhaps, or the original One. An interesting feature of this system is that ignorance is considered an effec­ tive agency. Regarding this, Jonas says: "In such a system 'knowledge,' together with its privative [its negative form], ' ignorance, ' is raised to an ontological po­ 9 sition of the first order." 8 Both knowledge and ignorance have substance. Igno­ rance means absence of knowledge, emptiness, but in its usage as a power it corresponds very much to our psychological usage of the term "unconscious." We call a particular entity the unconscious-that which is not conscious-but we also attribute to it all kinds of motivations. For the Gnostics, ignorance itself is the agent of creation. It was the first passion to become embodied, and then it generated the other three passions, so that ignorance in effect is the Demiurge­ everything else is created out of it. In the same way, we say in psychological terms that the ego is created out of the unconscious. <S

The Gnostic Religion, p. 1 74.



Corollary to this is the idea that while ignorance brings about a down-going, its opposite, knowledge, is redemptive. Jonas comments: "Knowledge" too assumes an ontological status far exceeding any merely moral and psychological importance granted to it; and the redemptional claim made on its behalf in all gnostic religion receives here a metaphysical grounding in the doctrine of total existence which makes it [knowledge] convincingly the sole and sufficient vehicle of salvation, and this salvation itself in each soul a cosmic event. . . . knowledge affects not only the knower but the known itself; that by every "private" act of knowledge the objective ground of being is moved and modified; that subject and object are the same in essence . . . these are the tenets of a mystical conception of "knowledge" which yet can have a rational basis in the proper meta­ physical premises . . . . Thi s is the grand "pneumatic equation" of Valentinian thought: the human-individual event of pneumatic knowledge is the i nverse equivalent of the pre-cosmic uni versal event of divine ignorance, and i n its ro­ deeming effect of the same ontological order. The actualization of knowledge i n 99 the person i s a t the same time a n act in the general ground o f being.

This is quite a sophisticated doctrine, at least as Jonas elaborates it, and it certainly j ustifies lung ' s idea that the Gnostics were depth psychologists man­ ques. They were forerunners of depth psychology, and the imagery they elabo­ rated in their metaphysical fantasies has direct application to our understanding of the psyche. From our point of view the defect in their conception is that mat­ ter was not redeemed. Matter was to be escaped from, a husk to be cast off and discarded. They did have the idea that the spirit that was lost in matter was needed by the original Deity for that Deity ' s salvation, but they thought of this as a singular event. They did not have the notion of the transformation of God as a continuing process requiring incarnation . Another psychologically interesting image is that of horos-limit or bound­ ary-which is represented in the chart as a line separating the Pleroma from the lower realm. In psychological terms, this can be seen as an image of a separating boundary between the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. We have descriptions of this boundary in the Gnostic material that can help us to understand its psychological nature. Jonas says: The Limit has . . . a twofold function, a steadying and a separating: in the one he i s called Cross, in t h e other, Limit. Both functions are exerci sed in t w o different places: between the Abyss and the rest of the Pleroma, in order to delimit the be­ gotten Aeons from the unbegotten Father . . . and again, between the Pleroma as a whole and the outside. [The chart shows only the latter function. ] . . . In the se99

Ibid. , pp. 1 75f.

Valentinus 75 quence of the drama, only his role at the outer boundaries is emphasized: "He di足 vides the cosmos from the Pleroma." . . . The meaning of this peculiar figure, which makes its appearance only with the error of Sophia . . . is precisely this, that through the aberration of the Sophia a decisive change has occurred i n the divine order, which makes such a function necessary : it possesses its integrity no longer simply and unquestionably but only in contrast to a negativity posited without. Thi s negativity i s the residue of the disturbance which, through the conversion of the Sophia and the separation it i nvolved, has become hypostatized as a positive realm by itself. Only at this price could the Pleroma be rid of it. Thus the Limit was not planned in the original constitution of the Fullness, i . e . , of the free and adequate sel f-expression of the godhead, but was necessitated by the crisis as a principle of consol idation and protecti ve separation. The appearance of the figure itself is therefore a symbol of the beginning dualism as it dialectically arises out of 100 its original Being itself.

Applying these images to the psychology of conscious beings, we can say that the difference between organisms which have a measure of consciousness and those which are totally contained in nature is that the psyche of the one has been split and the other is still unified. The totally natural organism still operates within the pleroma. It is not clear exactly at what level consciousness begins. It is clear that dogs have some of it; they can be very split. Primarily, however, it is the human being that has consciousness by virtue of the fact that the psyche is spl it. Reflection cannot exist until then. There have to be two entities before one can reflect on the other, before there can be subject and object. It is as though at the very beginning of emerging consciousness, the psyche divides like a one足 celled organism . It splits into two, and then it continues to divide-according to this Gnostic system-into thirty. Horos is the instrument of that splitting. It is interesting that this boundary is also equated with the cross: horos is not only a wall, it is also a quaternity. In the process of analysis, when mandalas with quaternary structure come up in dreams, one can very well see those im足 ages as an expression of horos. According to Jonas, horos has a two-fold func足 tion : a steadying and a separating effect. Mandala images likewise have a steadying and a separating effect. They tend to induce order in one who is in a state of confusion, a steadiness, and at the same time they tend to help the ego disidentify from the unconsc ious contents-one could say, from the pleromatic 0 contents. 1 1 We do not know all the factors that determine the nature of the horos boundary between the personal psyche and the collective unconscious. There is HXl 101

Ibid. , p. 1 84. Jung refers to the identity of horos and Christ ' s cross in A ion, CW 9ii, par. 1 1 8, fn.



some evidence that genetic factors are at work. Some genetic strains of indi足 viduals seem to have a more porous boundary than others. Jonas also addresses the Gnostics' use of the term "proj ection . " He says, "This is the literal Latin equivalent of the Greek probo/e which is the constant term used in these texts for that creative activity more commonly translated as " 02 'emanating. ' 1 The whole unfolding sequence of the original Father into the thirty eons and on down into the lower realm is described as an act of "throwing forth," but is more accurately rendered by the word "projection ." This is reminiscent of one of Jung' s dreams which he reported as follows: In one dream, which I had in October 1 958, I caught sight from my house of two lens-shaped metallically gleaming disks, which hurtled in a narrow arc over the house and down to the Jake. They were two UFOs . . . . Then another body came flying directly toward me. It was a perfectly circular lens, like the objective of a telescope. At a distance of four or five hundred yards it stood still for a moment, and then flew off. Immediately afterward, another came speeding through the air: a lens with a metallic extension which led to a box-a magic lantern. At a distance of sixty or seventy yards it stood still in the air, pointing straight at me. I awoke with a feeling of astonishment. Still half in the dream , the thought passed through my head: "We always think that the UFOs are projections of ours. Now it turns out that we are their projections. I am ,grojected by the magic lantern as C. G . Jung. But 1 who manipulates the apparatus?"

He follows this with another dream in which he is the projection of a yogi in meditation. These dreams are quite analogous to the Gnostic image of emana足 tion, and express something of the same idea: that the human ego is thrown out (or projected) from a depth source beyond its knowing, emphasizing the fact that we do not create ourselves. In the Gnostic myth, another development is the creation of humanity . Ac足 cording to Jonas ' account, Sophia was still suffering in her exile from the upper realms. She was able to form matter and soul out of her passions, but she could not form spirit because it was of the same essence as herself, so that the Demi足 urge, the ignorant fashioner of the material world, had to be involved in the creation of humanity . Without clearly understanding what he was doing, he fashioned the earthly man and breathed into him the psychical man . Ultimately, The gnosis itself is finally brought down to a sufficiently readied mankind by Jesus unified with Christos descending upon the human Jesus at his baptism . . . . [There 102 103

The Gnostic Religion, p. 1 80, fn. Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p. 323.

Valentinus 77 was never] an "original sin" of man, a guilt of the human soul: there was, instead, the ti me-preceding guilt of an Aeon, a divine upheaval, whose reparation in its course required the creation of the world and that of man. Thus the world, unbe­ knownst to its immediate author [the Demiurge ] , is for the sake of salvation, not salvation for the sake of what happened within creation and to creation. And the 104 real object of salvation i s the godhead itself.

This is a very modern idea, an idea that was impossible to sustain two thousand years ago. B ut compare it with Jung' s twentieth-century statements: Man ' s suffering does not derive from his sins but from the maker of his imperfec­ 1 05 tions, the paradoxical God. Buddha' s insight and the Incarnation in Christ break the chain [of suffering) through the intervention of the enlightened human consciousness, which thereby 1 06 acquires a metaphysical and cosmic significance. Individuation and individual existence are indispensable for the transformation of 107 God.

In the Gnostic system, although in the long term it is the Godhead that re­ quires salvation, in the short term mankind must be rescued from its state of ig­ norance and awakened to its heavenly origin. 108 In the Valentinian system the redemption of mankind is performed by the creation of an extra pair of Aeons, Christos and Holy Spirit. It is a complicated story, but one aspect of the Christos Aeon descends from the Pleroma, takes residence in Jesus at his baptism and deserts him at the crucifixion. The purpose of this is to bring gnosis to humanity, awakening it to the realization of its spiritual origins so that it can fulfill its cos­ mic task of restoring the Pleroma to peace and harmony . This imagery corre­ sponds psychologically to the tendency of the acti vated Self to make itself known to the ego in order to enlarge the ego ' s perspective ami read it to a relig­ ious attitude. Finally, let us consider the remarkable, recently-discovered Valentinian document, "The Gospel of Truth." It was found in Egypt in 1 948, among other ancient documents in what is known as the Nag Hammadi library . It was one of 1 04 The Gnostic Religion,


1 06 Letters, 107


pp. 1 95f.

"Jung and Religious Belief," The Symbolic Life, CW 1 8, par. 1 68 1 . vol . 2, p. 3 1 1 .

Ibid., p. 3 1 4. "The Hymn of the Pearl" is a beautiful symbol ic story concerning that event. See

Jonas, The Gnostic Religion, pp. 1 1 2ff. , and my Ego and Archetype, pp. 1 1 9ff.



five tractates bound in a single codex or book. 109 Several Gnostic scholars be­ lieve that this document was written in the middle of the second century by Va­ lentinus himself; it clearly was written by a sizeable personality . It is a beautiful and profound work, but in order to follow it, one needs to be acquainted with the Valentinian system. The work is entitled "Gospel of Truth," and the Greek word for truth is aletheia, who, as the chart shows, was one of the four beings of the original tet­ rad; she is the one the whole document derives from, so to speak. The root of the word aletheia is lethe, which referred originally to the river of oblivion or for­ getfulness . Several scriptural passages from John probably lie behind this "Gospel of Truth." (John is the most Gnostic of the four gospels.) For example : "And ye shall know aletheia, and aletheia shall make you free. " 1 1 0 "I am the way, the aletheia and the life." 1 1 1 "When he, the Spirit of aletheia, is come, he 11 will guide you i nto all aletheia . " 2 "To this end was I born and for this cause 11 came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto aletheia. " 3 Pilate asks, 1 14 "What is aletheia ?" Today we can translate that word as "consciousness," quite as accurately as "truth." "The Gospel of Truth" starts out this way : The gospel of truth is a joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of knowing him, through the power of the Word that came forth from the pleroma-the one who is in the thought and the mind of the Father, that is, the one who is addressed as the Savior, (that) being the name of the work he is to perform for the redemption of those who were ignorant of the Father, while the name [of] the gospel is the proclamation of hope, being discovery for those who search for him. Indeed the all [the totality of creatures] went about searching for the one from whom it had come forth, and the all was inside of him, the incomprehensible, in­ conceivable one who is superior to every thought. Ignorance of the Father brought about anguish and terror. And the anguish grew solid like a fog so that no one was able to see. For this reason error became powerfu l ; it fashioned its own matter foolishly, not havi ng known the truth. It set about making a creature with (all its) might. 109

Through the intervention of a philanthropist, the codex was purchased for the Jung

Institute in Zurich and was gi ven the title, The Jung Codex. 1 1 0 8 : 3 2 ; KJ. Ill

1 4:6; KJ.

1 12 1 6: 1 3 ; KJ. 1 13 1 8 : 3 7 ; KJ. 1 14 1 8 : 3 8 ; KJ.

Valentinus 79

Here there is a little variation from the chart. In this particular version, plane, or error, takes the place of the Demiurge. It is the creator. Error became power­ ful, fashioned its own matter, and set about making a creature. The document goes on : Thi s [is] the gospel of the one who is searched for, which [was] revealed to those who are perfect through the mercies of the Father-the hidden mystery, Jesus the Chri st. Through it he enlightened those who were in darkness. Out of obl i vion [the word is lethe], he enlightened them, he showed (them) a way. And the way i s the truth which he taught them. [Out of lethe , he enlightened them, and the way is aletheia, which he taught them. ] For this reason error grew angry a t him, persecuted him, was distressed a t him, (and) was brought to naught. He was nailed to a tree. [This refers to Jesus the Christ, who brought down the gnosi s . ] . . . He became a fruit of the knowledge of l iS the Father, which did not, however, become destructive because it [was] eaten.

That is a reference to the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but this fruit, Jesus, was the positive fruit of the tree, which reflects the Gnostic idea that the fruit of the tree of gnosis could not be bad. Another section of the document: After all these, there came the little children also, those to whom the knowledge of the Father belongs. Having been strengthened, they learned about the impressions of the Father. They knew, they were known; they were glorified, they glori fied. There was revealed in their heart the living book of the living-the one written in the thought and the mind [of the] Father . . . . No one could have appeared among 1 16 those who believed in salvation unless that book had intervened.

Here is the archetypal image of the book of life, an image that comes up in dreams, and which is also referred to in the B ible. In this text, it is described as the functioning agent of gnosis, the bringing of the saving knowledge. Here is another particularly interesting passage: Those who are to receive teaching [are] the li ving who are inscribed in the book of the li ving. They receive teaching about themsel ves. They recei ve i t from the Fa­ ther, turning again to him. Since the perfection [wholeness] of the all is in the Fa­ ther, it is necessary for the all [that is, all creation] to ascend to him. Then, if one has knowledge, he receives what are his own and draws them to himself. For he who is ignorant is in need, and what he lacks is great since he lacks that which will make him perfect [that is, whole]. Since the perfection of the all is in the Father and it is necessary for the all to ascend to him and for each one to receive what are l iS

1 16

George W. MacRae, trans., "The Gospel of Truth," pp. 37f. Ibid. , p. 39.


Valentinus his own, he enrolled them in advance, having prepared them to give to those who came forth from him. Those whose name he knew in advance were called at the end, so that the one who has knowledge is the one whose name the Father has uttered. For he whose name has not been spoken is ignorant. Indeed, how is one to hear if his name has not been called? For he who is ignorant until the end i s a creature of oblivion [lethe}, and he will vanish along with it. If not, how is it these miserable ones have no name, (how is it that) they do not have the call? Therefore if one has knowl ­ edge, h e is from above. If h e is called, h e hears, h e answers, and h e turns t o him who is calling him, and ascends to him . . . . He who is to have knowledge i n this manner knows where he comes from and where he is going. He knows as one who having become drunk has turned away from his drunkenness (and) having returned 1 17 to himself, has set right what are his own.

There are two important images here. One is the call or vocation; the other is the name, one ' s identity, and the two are linked. The call brings one ' s name, and makes it possible to discover what one ' s identity is. These themes come up in the analytic process. One is called from the unconscious, and following up the clues, one discovers one ' s name, what one is. Another fragment from the "Gospel of Truth" deals with judgment: Judgment . . . [comes] from above. It . . . [passes] judgment on everyone; i t is a drawn sword with two edges cutting on either side. When the Word came i nto the midst, the one that is within the heart of those who utter it-it is not a sound alone but it became a body-a great disturbance took place among the j ars [Previously, the author described individuals as j ars of different natures : full j ars, empty jars, cracked j ars, jars of different quality] because some [jars] had been emptied, others fi lled; that is, some had been supplied, others poured out, some had been purified, still others broken up. All the spaces were shaken and disturbed because they had no order nor stability. Error was upset, not knowing what to do; it was grieved, in mourning, afflicting itself because it knew nothing. When knowledge drew near it-this is the downfall of (error) and all its emanations-error is empty, having 1 18 nothing inside.

This is a particularly vivid image of a certain aspect of encounter with the numinosum-one ' s emptiness is shattered. Those jars that are not sound, not integrated, experience it as a catastrophe, but those which are sound are filled. "The Gospel of Truth" concludes with a passage which has a spiritual bias from the modern standpoint, but which is also a description of a real measure of achieved wholeness: 1 17 1 18

Ibid., p. 40. Ibid., pp. 4 l f.

Valentinus 81 This is the manner of those who possess (something) from above of the immeasur­ able greatness, as they stretch out after the one alone and the perfect one, the one who i s there for them. And they do not go down to Hades nor have they envy nor groaning nor death within them, but they rest in him who is at rest, not striving nor being involved in the search for truth. But they themselves are the truth and the Father is within them and they are in the Father, being perfect, being undivided i n the truly good one, being i n n o w a y deficient in anything, b u t they are set a t rest, refreshed in the Spirit. And they will heed their root. They will be concerned with those (things) in which he will find his root and not suffer loss to his soul. This is 1 19 the place of the blessed; this is their place.

1 19

Ibid. , p. 48.

7 Clement of Alexandria

The scholar Charles B igg gives us this information about the life of Clement of Alexandria, who lived from about 150 to 2 15. He writes: [Clement] was a Greek, and probably an Athenian. He was born about the middle of the second century . . . . He was a child apparently of heathen parents, and . . . l i ke many another ardent spirit i n that restless age he wandered far and wide i n quest of truth, till a t last in Egypt h e [found] Pantaenus [the leader o f the Christian catechetical school of Alexandria at that time. He became the disciple of Pantaenus and then became his successor as the leader of the catechetical school . ] He appar­ ently fled from the persecution of Severus in 203, and did not return to Egypt. . . . [He] was essentially a man of letters, and his genial contemplative temper rendered him averse to direct controversy and the bustle of practical life. His writings are the faithful mirror of his studies and thoughts, but tell us little of incident. In later times he was considered a marvel of learning. . . . The range of his acquaintance with Greek literature, ecclesiastical, Gnostic, and classical, was . . . exten sive.

1 20

Many of the early Fathers, both of Gnosis and of the Church, have abrasi ve sectarian streaks in them, but that is not true of Clement. He was a broad, gener­ ous, inclusive spirit, who could be thought of as the Christian Philo. Philo was a promi nent figure in Alexandria 150 years before Clement, who had made a synthesis of the Hebrew scriptures and Greek philosophy . Clement took over much of Philo' s thinking and method and applied it to his purpose, which was to synthesize the Hebrew scriptures plus the Christian tradition with Greek phi­ losophy and culture. He is the major figure in that synthesis. Bigg says: The Gospel i n his view is not a fresh departure, but the meeting-point of two con­ verging lines of progress, of Hellenism and Judaism. To him all history is one, be­ cause all truth is one. 'There is one ri ver of Truth," he says, "but many streams fall i nto it on this side and on that." Among Christian writers none till very recent times [he is talking about the nineteenth century ] , not even Origen, has so clear and grand a conception of the development of spiri tual life . . . . The fruits of Rea­ son are to be j udged not in the ignorant and sensual , but in [the finest representa­ tives such as] Heraclitus, in Sophocles, in Plato. For such as these S cience had been a covenant of God, it had justified them as the Law justified the Jew. He still repeats the old [idea from Philo] . . . that the Greek philosopher had "stolen" his best ideas from the books of Moses. But his real belief i s seen in the many pas-

12° Christian Platonists of Alexandria,

pp. 44ff.


Clement ofAlexandria 83 sages where he maintains that Philosophy is a gift not of devil s [which i s what some of the Church Fathers clai med] but of God through the Logos, whose light 121 ever beams u pon his earthly image, the intelligence of man.

A few passages from Clement himself will illustrate this description: Before the advent of the Lord, philosophy was necessary to the Greeks for right­ eousness. And now it becomes conducive to piety; being a kind of preparatory training to those who attai n to faith through demonstration . . . . For God is the cause of all good things ; but of some primarily, as of the Old and the New Testa­ ment; and of others by consequence, as philosophy. Perchance, too, philosophy was given to the Greeks directly and primarily, till the Lord should call the Greeks. For this was a schoolmaster to bring "the Hellenic mind," as the Jaw, the Hebrews, "to Christ." Philosoph� , therefore, was a preparation, paving the way for him who 1 2 i s perfected in Christ.

He is a generous great-souled man, and he has a grand view of spiritual reality in all of its manifestations. In another passage: Since, therefore, truth is one . . . just as the Bacchantes tore asunder the limbs of Pentheus, so the sects both of barbarian and Hellenic philosophy have done with truth, and each vaunts as the whole truth the portion which has fallen to its Jot. But all, i n my opinion, are illuminated by the dawn of Light. Let all, therefore, both Greeks and barbari ans , who have aspired after the truth-both those who possess not a little, and those who have any portion-produce whatever they have of the word of truth . . . . [Truth] can collect its proper germs, though they have fallen on foreign soil . For we shall find that very many of the dogmas that are held by such sects as have not become utterly senseless, and are not cut out from the order of nature . . . though appearing unlike one another, correspond in their origin and with the truth as a whole. For they coincide in one, either as a part, or a species, or a ge­ nus. For instance, though the highest note is different from the lowest note, yet both compose one harmony . . . . in the whole uni verse, all the parts, though differ­ ing from one another, preserve their relation to the whole. So, then, the barbarian and the Hellenic philosophy has torn off a fragment of eternal truth not from the mythology of Dionysus, but from the theology of the ever-living Word. And He who brings again together the separate fragments, and makes them one, will with­ 1 23 out peril , be assured, contemplate the perfect Word, the truth.

Those are broad-minded sentiments, coming from the second century. Clem­ ent's chief method for uniting the two streams of Greek philosophy and Judaeo­ Christianity was allegorism, the same method that Philo used. It was character121 1 22 1 23

Ibid. , pp. 47ff. Misc. I, 5, in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 305 . Misc. I , 1 3 , in ibid. , p. 3 1 3 .


Clement ofAlexandria

istic of all the Alexandrians. Clement's allegoric method was not as sophisti­ cated as Philo ' s, but he applied it very broadly. For instance, speaking of the five books of Moses, which he calls the "Mosaic philosophy" (who but an Alex­ andrian Platonist would do that ! ), he says that the contents of the Pentateuch can be separated into four different types of material : first, the historic-the straight factual history ; secondly, the legislative or ethical-the Mosaic laws ; third, the sacrificial, referring to the physical rituals that are called for; and fourth the theological, which he speaks of as " 'vision,' which Plato predicates of the truly great mysteries. And this species Aristotle calls metaphysics." 1 24 This fourth category, the theological content of the Mosaic philosophy, lends itself to alle­ gorical or symbolic interpretation. Clement says it pertains to vision, using the word epoptia, also used to describe the culmi nating experience in the greater Eleusinian mysteries; so it is not just ordinary vision, it is the supreme vision. This brings us to a very important theme in Clement: his understanding of the Eleusinian mysteries and his appl ication of their imagery to Christianity . He refers to the Greek mysteries frequently. Bigg suggests that he may have been an initiate of Eleusis, and on the basis of his writi ngs, thi s seems quite l ikely. Reading his "Exhortation to the Greeks," 125 it becomes clear as well that he has betrayed their secrets; Clement tells us as much. It was forbidden, at the risk of one ' s life, to speak of the mysteries, so this was no small matter. Let us consider a few passages from "Exhortation to the Greeks." Clement has been earlier discussing the Dionysian mysteries involving the Korybantes­ the Maenads-and then he goes on to the Eleusinian Mysteries. He says: Demeter, wandering in quest of her daughter Core, broke down with fatigue near Eleusis, a place in Attica, and sat down on a well overwhelmed with grief. This is even now prohibited to those who are initiated, Jest they should appear to mimic the weeping goddess. The indigenous inhabitants then occupied Eleusis: their names were B aubo, and Dusaules, and Tri ptolemus [this is a di fferent account from the one we are more familiar with ] . . . . Baubo, having received Demeter hospitably, reaches to her a refreshing draught; and on her refusing it, not havi ng any inclination to drink (for she was very sad), and Baubo having become an­ noyed, thi nking hersel f slighted, uncovered her shame and exhibited her nudity to the goddess. Demeter is delighted at the sight and takes, though with difficulty, the draught-pleased, I repeat, at the spectacle. These are the secret mysteries of the Athenians ; these Orpheus records. I shall produce the very words of Orpheus, that you may have the great authority on the mysteries himself, as evidence for this

124 Misc. I , 28, in ibid . , p. 340. 125 Called "Exhortation to the Heathen"

in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers.

Clement of Alexandria 85 piece of turpitude [quoting some account that we don ' t have any knowledge of] : "Having thus spoken, she [Baubo] drew aside her garments, And showed all that shape of the body which it is improper to name, And with her own hand Baubo stripped herself under the breasts. B l andly then the goddess laughed and laughed in her mind, And received the glancing cup in which was the draught. "

Clement goes on : And the following is the token of the Eleusinian mysteries: I hnve fasted, l hnve drunk the cup; I have received from the box; hnving done, I hnve put it into the basket, and out of the basket into the chest. Fine sights truly, and becoming a god­ dess ; mysteries worthy of the night, and flame, and the magnanimous or rather silly people of the [Athenians] and the other Greeks besides . . . . And in truth against these Heraclitus the Ephesian prophesies, as "the night-walkers, the magi , the bacchanals . . . the initiated." These he threatens with what will follow death, and predicts for them fire. For what are regarded among men as mysteries, they celebrate sacrilegiously . . . . What are these mystic chests? [He refers to the state­ ment that "I put it into the basket and out of the basket and into the chest."] For I must expose their sacred things, and di vulge things not fit for speech. Are they not sesame cakes, and pyramidal cakes, and globular and flat cakes, embossed all over, and lumps of salt, and a serpent the symbol of Dionysus . . . ? And besides these, are they not pomegranates, and branches, and rods and ivy leaves? and besides, round cakes and poppy seeds? And further, there are the unmentionable symbols of Themis, marj oram, a lamp, a sword, a woman ' s comb which is a euphemism and mystic expression for the muliebria. [That is the Latin word for a woman ' s se­ cret parts. So it would be an image of the pudernum that is at the root of the epop­

tia, at least as Clement reveals it.]

1 26

Although he criticizes these mysteries and spurns them, he spends a lot of time on them, and as Jung points out, it is not psychologically important whether a person is for or agai nst something; the important thing is the subject of his concern. That indicates what is engaging his psyche. Although Clement criti­ cized the ancient mysteries for their obscenity and primitive nature, he was steeped in the mystery imagery and he transferred it to his understanding of Christianity. In "Exhortation to the Greeks," he writes of the my steries of Dionysus as they are portrayed in Euripides' Bacchae, and he applies the sym­ bolism of the Dionysian mysteries to the Christian experience. He urges the Greeks to abandon their Dionysian mysteries and follow instead the Holy Spirit that will initiate them into different mysteries: 1 26

"Exhortation," II, in ibid. , vol . 2, pp. 1 76f.


Clement of Alexandria Then shalt thou see my God, and be initiated into the sacred mysteries, and come to the fruition of those things which are laid up in heaven reserved for me . . . . " And in sooth methinks I see two suns I And a double Thebes," said one frenzy­ stricken in the worship of idol s, intoxicated with mere ignorance. [That was Pen­ theus i n Euripides' Bacchae. } I would pity him in his frantic intoxication, and thus frantic I would invite him to the sobriety of salvation . . . . Come, 0 madman, not leaning on the thyrsus, not crowned with ivy; throw away the mitre, throw away the fawn-skin; come to thy senses. I will show thee the Word [the logos], and the mysteries of the Word, expounding them after thine own fashion. This is the mountain beloved of God, not the subject of tragedies like Cithaeron, but consecrated to dramas of the truth-a mount of sobriety , shaded with forests of purity; and there revel on it not the Maenades, the sisters of Semele, who was struck by the thunderbol t, practicing in their initiatory rites unholy di v i ­ sion of flesh, but the daughters o f God, the fair lambs who celebrate the holy rites of the Word, raising a sober choral dance. The righteous are the chorus; the music i s a hymn of the King of the uni verse. The maidens strike the lyre, the angels prai se, the prophets speak . . . . Come thou also, 0 aged man, leaving Thebes [that is, Tiresias], and casting away from thee both divination and Bacchic frenzy, allow thyself to be led to the truth. I give thee the staff [of the cross] on which to lean. Haste, Tiresias; believe, and thou wilt see. Christ, by whom the eyes of the blind recover sight, will shed on thee a light brighter than the sun; night will flee from thee, fire will fear, death will be gone; thou, old man, who saw not Thebes, shall see the heavens. 0 truly sacred mysteries ! 0 stainless light ! My way is lighted with torches, and I survey the heavens and God; I become holy whilst I am initi ­ ated. The Lord is the hierophant. . . . Such are the reveries of my mysteries. If it is thy wish, be thou also initi ated ; and thou shalt join the choir along with angels around the unbegotten and undestructible and the only true God, the Word of God, 1 27 rai sing the hymn with us.

Plato appl ied this imagery of initiation into the mysteries to philosophy . He said that the truly initiated ones are the philosophers who have had the vision, the epoptia, of the transcendent realm of Platonic ideas . These initiated ones are referred to as te/eios. That word is translated "in itiated," but its other meaning is "complete"; teleios has a double meaning. Clement uses the same method as Plato; he was steeped in Platonism. But he transfers the images of the mysteries to the epoptia of Christ or the word of God . There is a series of transfers. The philosophers translated the original primitive concretization of the mystery im­ agery into its philosophic version, and Clement then transferred it again to a theological or religious version. This is relevant to depth psychology because, once agai n, we transfer or re1 27

"Exhortation," X I I , in ibid. , p. 205 .

Clement ofA lexandria 87

interpret the symbolism of the mysteries into an understanding of the individua­ tion process, an inner, subjective psychological experience. The same imagery is understood in a new context. We understand that to become initiated, to become teleios, means to become complete by being consciously in connection with the archetype of wholeness. One might ask, what does individuation have to do with the mysteries? It is an experiential fact that one ' s encounter with the Self is a mystery in its essence. This means two things. First of all , the experience has a dimension to it that cannot be grasped or comprehended by the ego. It is also a mystery in the sense that it is inevitably a secret because it is so individual and unique that it cannot be communicated to another person. It can be described, but its essential nature cannot be communicated to anyone who has not had the same experience, and even then, the unique aspects of the experience are forever incommunicable. It is that very uniqueness that crystallizes one ' s experience of being an individual , a windowless monad who, so far as his roots are concerned, is single. It is that experience that is the security against immersion in or re-identification with the collective. There were two stages of initiation in the Eleusinian mysteries. There were the lesser mysteries and the greater ones. The lesser ones were preparatory and involved purification and instruction. The greater one was the initiation leading to the epoptia, the transforming vision. These two levels of mystery initiation were taken over by Clement and applied to the Christian congregation. The con­ gregation was seen as consisting of two classes, the exoteric and the esoteric. The exoteric ones were the simple believers, but the esoteric were the select few who had been initiated into the deeper mysteries and were given access to a se­ cret gospel. We know now for a fact that there was a secret teaching that was reserved for the more advanced ones, and probably the exoteric group didn ' t even know o f it. We have remarkable good fortune in the recent discovery of a letter of Clem­ ent's concerning this very matter. This letter was discovered in the 1 960s by the scholar Morton Smith, who was cataloguing old manuscripts in an Orthodox monastery near the Dead Sea. 1 28 He came across some pages that had been glued together to bind a later manuscript. In those pages was discovered an an­ cient letter by Clement of Alexandria. Apparently someone had written Clement telling him that he had seen a version of the Gospel of Mark that included pas128

Smith published this material in his book The Secret Gospel in 1 973.


Clement of A lexandria

sages that were not in the orthodox version. He asked Clement about its authen­ ticity. Clement is replying to this question in his letter: To Theodore: You did well in si lencing the unspeakable teachings of the Car­ pocratians. For these are the "wandering stars" referred to in the prophecy, who wander from the narrow road of the commandments into a boundless abyss of the carnal and bodily sins. For, priding themselves in knowledge, as they say, "of the deep [things] of Satan," they do not know that they are casting themselves away into "the nether world of the darkness" of falsity, and, boasting that they are free, they have become slaves of servile desires. Such [men] are to be opposed in all ways and altogether. For, even if they should say something true, one who loves the truth should not . . . agree with them. For not all true [things] are the truth, nor should that truth which [merely] seems true according to human opinions be pre­ ferred to the true truth, that according to the faith. Now of the [things] they keep saying about the divinely inspired Gospel ac­ cordi ng to Mark, some are altogether fal sifications, and others, even i f they do contain some true [elements ] , nevertheless are not reported truly. For the true [things], being mixed with inventions, are falsified, so that as the saying [goes], even the salt loses its savor. [As for] M ark, then, during Peter' s stay in Rome he wrote [an account of] the Lord ' s doings, not, however, decl aring all [of them ] , nor yet hinting at the secret [ones] , but selecting those he thought most useful for increasing the faith of those who were being instructed. But when Peter died as a martyr, Mark came over to Alexandria, bringing both his own notes and those of Peter, from which he trans­ ferred to his former book the things sui table to whatever makes for progress to­ ward knowledge [gnosis]. [Thus] he composed a more spiritual Gospel for the use of those who were being perfected [who were being made teleios. ] Nevertheless, he yet did not divulge the things not to be uttered, nor did he write down the hiero­ phantic teaching of the Lord, but to the stories already written he added yet others and, moreover, brought in certain sayings of which he knew the interpretation would, as a mystagogue, lead the hearers into the innermost sanctuary of that truth hidden by seven [veils]. Thus, in sum, he prearranged matters, neither grudgingly nor incautiously, in my opinion, and, dying, he left his composition to the church in Alexandria, where it even yet is most carefully guarded, being read only to those who are being initiated into the great mysteries. But since the foul demons are always devising destruction for the race of men, Carpocrates, i nstructed by them and using deceitful arts, so enslaved a certai n presbyter of the church in Alexandria that he got from him a copy of the secret Gospel , which he both interpreted according to his blasphemous and carnal doc­ trine and, moreover, pol luted, mixing with the spotless and holy words utterly shameless lies. From this mixture is drawn off the teaching of the Carpocratians. To them, therefore, as I said above, one must never give way, nor, when they put forward their fal sifications, should one concede that the secret Gospel is by M ark, but should even deny it on oath. For "Not all true [things] are to be said to

Clement ofAlexandria 89 all men. " For this [reason] the Wi sdom of God, through Solomon, advises, "Answer the fool from his folly," teaching that the light of the truth should be hid­ den from those who are mentally blind. Again i t says, "From him who has not, shall be taken away," and "Let the fool walk in darkness." But we are "children of light," having been illuminated by "the dayspring" of the Spirit of the Lord "from on high," and "Where the Sg irit of the Lord is," it says, "there is liberty," for "All 9 things are pure to the pure."

Clement goes on to describe certain things that are in the secret gospel of Mark that are not in our canonical gospel, but that leads too far afield. However, the letter does make the point that there was a secret teaching which Clement specifically identified with the greater mysteries of the Eleusinians. The letter also leads to another question : who was the Carpocrates that he refers to; who were the Carpocratians, and what were their "unspeakable teach­ ings"? Some passages from Irenaeus describe Carpocrates: Carpocrates . . . and h i s followers maintain that the world and the things which are therein were created by angels greatly inferior to the unbegotten Father. They also hold that Jesus was the son of Joseph, and was just like other men, . . . [but] he per­ fectly remembered those things which he had witnessed within the sphere of the unbegotten God. On this account, a power descended upon him from the Father, that by means of it he might escape from the creators of the world [those would be the Archons] . . . . After passing through them all, and remaining in all points free, [it] ascended again to [the Father] . . . . They further declare that the soul of Jesus, although educated in the practices of the Jews, regarded these with contempt, and that for this reason he was endowed with faculties, by means of which he de­ stroyed those passions which dwelt in men as a punishment [for their sins]. The soul, therefore, which is like that of Chri st can despise those rulers who were the creators of the world, and, in like manner, recei ves power for accom­ plishing the same results. This idea has rai sed them to such a pitch of pride, that some of them declare themselves similar to Jesus . . . . [They consider that] their souls, descending from the same sphere as his, and therefore despising in l i ke manner the creators of the world, are deemed worthy of the same power, and again depart to the same place . . . . So unbridled is their madness, that they declare that they have in their power all things which are irreligious and impious, and are at liberty to practice them ; for they maintain that things are evil or good, simply in virtue of human opinion. They deem it necessary, therefore, that by means of transmigration from body to body , souls should have experience of every kind of life a s well a s every kind of ac tion . . . doing all those things which we dare not either speak or hear of, nay, which we must not even conceive in our thoughts . . . . [They say that] no one can escape

1 29

Ibid., pp. 1 4ff.


Clement of Alexandria from the power of those angels who made the world, but that he must pass from body to body, until he has experience of every kind of action which can be prac­ ticed in this world, and when nothing is longer wanting to him, then his liberated soul should soar upwards to that God who is above the angels, the makers of the world. In this way also all souls are saved, whether their own which, guarding against all delay, participate in all sorts of actions during one incarnation; or those, again, who, by passing from body to body, are set free, on fulfilling and accom­ plishing what is requisite in every form of life into which they are sent, so that at 1 30 length they shall no longer be [shut up] in the body.

The idea is that in order to pass through every possible human experience, either one goes through a series of reincarnations to make the entire circuit, or else one can do it all at once in one single lifetime. Jung comments: There is no good that is not opposed by evil . "No man can be redeemed from a sin he has not committed," says Carpocrates; a deep saying for all who wish to under­ stand, and a golden opportunity for all those who prefer to draw false conclusions. What is down below is not just an excuse for more pleasure, but something we fear because it demands to play its part in the life of the more conscious and more 131 complete man.

Jung makes a much lengthier comment in the Terry Lectures, during a dis­ cussion of integrating the shadow, the primitive inferior being which is laden with desires and emotions. It took a huge effort on the part of humanity to sepa­ rate from the shadow, and now humanity has the task of reconnecting on a con­ scious level. Jung says: This i s a very serious problem for all those who are themselves in such a predica­ ment or have to help sick people back to normal life. Mere suppression of the shadow is as little of a remedy as beheading would be for headache. To destroy a man ' s morality does not help either, because it would kill his better self, without which even the shadow makes no sense. The reconciliation of these opposites i s a major problem, and even in antiquity it bothered certai n minds. Thus we know of an otherwise legendary personality of the second century , Carpocrates, a Neopla­ tonist philosopher whose school, according to Irenaeus, taught that good and evil are merely human opinions and that the soul, before its departure from the body, must pass through the whole gamut of human experience to the very end i f it is not to fall back into the prison of the body. It is as if the soul could only ransom itself from imprisonment in the somatic world of the demiurge by complete fulfillment of all life ' s demands. The bodily existence in which we find ourselves is a kind of 1 30

"Against Heresies," XXV, 1 -4, in Roberts and Donaldson, Anti-Nicene Fathers, vol.

1 , pp. 350f. 131 "Woman in Europe," Civilization in Transition, CW 1 0, par. 27 1 .

Clement ofAlexandria 91 hostile brother whose conditions must fi rst be known. It was in this sense that the Carpocratians interpreted M atthew 5 : 25 f. . . . : "Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the j udge. "

Jung says later that this passage from Matthew should be restated as, "Agree with thyself quickly . . . " The adversary is an inner one, rather than an outer one. The text continues : If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thou hast aught against thyself [rather than against thy brother] . . . first be reconciled to thyself. . . agree with thyself quickly, whiles thou art in the way with thyself; lest at any time thou deliverest thyself to the judge." From here it is but a step to the uncanonical saying: "Man, if indeed thou knowest what thou doest, thou art blessed; but if thou knowest not, thou art cursed, and a transgressor of the law." . . . I f the repressed tendencies, the shadow as I call them, were obviously evi l , there would b e n o problem whatever. B u t the shadow i s merely somewhat inferior, primitive, unadapted, and awkward; not wholly bad. It even contains childish or primitive qualities which would in a way vitalize and embellish human existence, but-convention forbids ! The educated public, flower of our present civilization, has detached i tself from its roots, and is about to lose its connection with the earth as well. There is no civilized country nowadays where the lowest strata of the population are not in a state of unrest and dissent. In a number of European nations such a condition i s overtaking the upper strata too. This state of affairs demon­ strates our psychological problem on a gigantic scale. Inasmuch as collecti vities are mere accumulations of individuals, their problems are accumulations of indi­ vidual problems. One set of people identifies itself with the superior man and can­ not descend, and the other set identi fies itself with the inferior man and wants to get to the top. Such problems . . . are solved only by a general change of attitude. And the change does not begin with propaganda and mass meetings, or with violence. It begins with a change in individuals . . . and only the accumulation of these indi­ 1 32 vidual changes will produce a collective solution.

Jung ' s lengthy comment following his mention of Carpocrates emphasizes the psychological importance of the issue of the shadow. Carpocrates' basic idea is that one cannot be redeemed from a sin one did not commit. That is dangerous doctrine. Taken literally, it leads to criminality, but understood psychologically, it leads to individuation. One cannot be redeemed from a conflict one is not con­ scious of, or from the will of the shadow until one has integrated it. This re­ quires consciously recognizing and accepting the shadow ' s factual reality in all aspects, not living it out in unconscious identification. Viewed in that way, the 1 32

"Psychology and Religion," Psychology and Religion, CW I I , pars. 1 3 3ff.


Clement of Alexandria

Carpocratian circuit of the whole human condition can be seen as an image of the perigrinatio that lung discusses in Mysterium Coniunctionis as a feature of the individuation process. It is necessary to make the complete circuit of one ' s entire being in order t o constellate wholeness. O f course, when visiting every way station of the human condition, one will fall into partial identification with some of them, some shadowy ones. It is not possible to make the complete cir足 cuit without being hooked again and again. A great deal of criminality, which often has a heroic dimension to it, can be seen as a perversion of the individua足 tion process. These questions are reminiscent of a statement by John Foster Dulles, Eisen足 hower's Secretary of State, who was dealing with some of the nefarious aspects of Soviet Communism in the 1 950s. He made the public remark that he had no imagination in evil. lung took him to task for that, saying that public figures are very dangerous if they have no imagination in evil . Unconsciousness of the shadow is dangerous. What Carpocrates pointed out, understood psychologi足 cally, is the necessity of a rich imagination in evil. If one cannot be redeemed from a sin one did not commit, one must commit every available sin in order to have the full experience of redemption. Psychologically, that amounts to a very rich imagination in evil, plumbing the nature of the shadow in its totality.

8 Origen

Origen was Clement's successor. He li ved from about 1 85 to 254 and he re­ placed Clement as the director of the catechetical school at Alexandria; he and Clement were the major Christian Platonists. Origen was an Egyptian, a Copt, born in Alexandria. He was the son of Christian parents, although he had an Egyptian name. He was named for the deity Origenes, which means the child of Hor, the god of light. As a youngster he was brilliant and precocious. When he was seventeen, his father was martyred in the arena during the persecution of Septimius Severus. He wanted to join his father in martyrdom, and the story is that he was only pre­ vented from doing so because his mother hid all his clothes. He had received an excellent double education in the Hebrew scriptures and in pagan culture, and he combined his intellectual brilliance with a very passionate nature. Almost unbe­ lievably, he was made the master of the catechetical school when he was only seventeen years old, at the time that Clement fled to escape persecution . Within a few years after taking over the directorship of the catechetical school, he castrated himself. This action was said to have arisen from his reflec­ tions on the passage from Matthew which reads, All men cannot receive thi s saying, save they to whom it is gi ven. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother' s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven' s sake. He that is able to re­ ceive it, let him receive it. [ 1 9: 1 1 f. , KJ]

His brilliance in teaching and his encyclopedic knowledge led to many invi­ tations to travel . At the invitation of the bishop of Caesarea, he spent a good bit of time teachi ng in Palestine. He was a teacher and not a preacher; in other words, he was a member of the laity . However, eventually his competence was such that there was pressure on him to become a priest, and he was ordained by the bishop at Caesarea in 228. This offended his Alexandrian bishop and led to considerable conflict and a long dispute on the matter. He began writing in ear­ nest when he was about thirty-eight and continued unceasingly. He had the good fortune of a wealthy patron, Ambrosius, who was so i nterested in having Ori­ gen ' s material recorded that he paid for seven secretaries to whom Origen could 93



dictate. A vast quantity of material was produced in this way . Evidently the bishop of Alexandria was envious of Origen. He made life so difficult for him that he finally moved to Caesarea permanently, where he was outside the bishop ' s j urisdiction and able to work uninterrupted by conflict. One of his let­ ters gives us a glimpse of how he worked: The work of correction leaves us no time for supper, or . . . for exercise and repose. Even at these times we are compelled to debate questions of interpretation and to emend manuscripts. Even the night cannot be given up altogether to the needful re­ freshment of sleep, for our discussions extend far into the evening. I say nothing about our morning labor continued from dawn to the ninth or tenth hour. For all 1 33 earnest students devote this time to study of the Scriptures and reading.

B igg comments on this: The volume of writing thus produced was enormous. B u t it is evident that n o man can accomplish the best work of which he is capable under these conditions, har­ assed by the demands of pupils, toiling with feverish anxiety to master the ever­ growing mountains of minute facts, and in hardly won intervals pouring out the ea­ ger flow of extemporaneous thought to nimble-fingered stenographers. The marvel is not that Origen composed so much, but that he composed so well. And to these professional labors must be added a far-reaching personal influ­ ence, with all its responsibilities . . . . Origen was essentially a man of the student type, but he wielded that powerful charm which attaches to high intellectual gifts when combined with an ardent and sympathetic nature. His pupil Gregory Thau­ maturgus speaks of his "sweet grace and persuasion mingled with a certain con­ strai ning force," and uses towards him that strong Greek word by which Plato de­ scri bes the love of the soul for its ideal . Such a charm is a practical power, and works with more freedom and pungency in a pri vate station of life. It constituted Origen the unofficial representative, arbiter, peacemaker of the Eastern Church. A provincial governor consults him on affairs of the soul, the Christian or half­ Chri stian Emperor Philip corresponds with him, the Empress Mother M ammaea summons him to Antioch and provides him with a guard of honor. The churches of Achaea and Arabi a make him their umpire, and peace follows his award. In the furnace of affliction he has grown to be one of those magnetic natures that test the 1 34 capacity for love and veneration in everyone that comes within their sphere.

Origen was buried in Tyre, succumbing to the effects of torture during im­ prisonment at the time of the persecution of Decius. It is very clear that he was a man of great charm and power in relationships, a part of his strong appeal to students. Fundamentally, Origen was an eros man ; 1 33 1 34

Bigg, Christian Platonists of Alexandria, p. 1 20. Ibid., pp. 1 20ff.

Origen 95

that was the source of his attraction and relatedness, and it is probably at bottom what led to his self-castration. As the head of the catechetical school, he taught young catechumens, students both male and female. It is l ikely that because of his ardent nature, he was afraid of erotic attachments to the young women he was teaching. Jung has this to say about Origen : Origen is a classic example of the extraverted type. His basic orientation was to­ wards the object; this showed itself in his scrupulous regard for objective facts and their conditions, as well as in the formulation of that supreme principle: amor et vi­ sio Dei [the love and vision of God ] . The Christi an process of development en­ countered in Origen a type whose ulti mate foundation was the relation to the ob­ ject-a relation that has always symbol ically expressed itself in sexuality and ac­ counts for the fact that there are certain theories today which reduce all the essen­ tial psychic functions to sexuality too. Castration was therefore an adequate ex­ pression of the sacrifice of the most valuable function . . . . Origen was led to the sacrijicium phalli, because the Christian process demands a complete abolition of the sensual tie to the object; in other words, it demands the sacrifice of the hitherto most valued function, the dearest possession, the strongest instinct. . . . Origen, by mutilating himself, sacrificed his sensual tie to the world. For him, evidently, the specific danger was not the intellect but feeling and sensation, which bound him to the object. Through castration he freed himself from the sensual ity that was coupled with Gnosticism; he could then surrender without fear to the treasures of Gnostic thought.


Origen ' s sacrifice can be seen in another way as well. In many respects he was a unique and exemplary figure of the new eon that he was working to inau­ gurate. It seems likely that his life was of such a magnitude that it took on a collective symbolic dimension, such that his personal destiny and the collective destiny of the new eon overlapped. So he became a symbolic expression of the psychic nature of the new eon, which was to dissociate spirit and instinct. This is the fate of all great historic personalities-that the personal destiny overlaps the collective destiny. His works were voluminous. Even though he was later declared to be a here­ tic and the majority of them have perished, we still have quite a lot of his writ­ ings. His First Principles is the best available work on Christian theology that antiquity produced. It is concise, organized, comprehensive and temperate, and it is largely from this work that we derive our understanding of Origen' s theol­ ogy . What follows will touch on some of this material that is relevant psy­ chologically. His overall contribution is summarized by Harnack: 135

Psychological Types, CW 6, pars. 24, 26.


Origen A mong the theologians of ecclesiastical antiquity Origen was the most i mportant and influential alongside Augustine. He proved [to be] the father of ecclesiastical science . . . . He proclaimed the reconciliation of science [that really means Greek philosophy] with the Christian faith and the compatibility of the highest culture with the Gospel within the bosom of the Church, thus contributing more than any 136 other to convert the ancient world to Christianity.

Even in that age of polemics, Origen was not a polemicist. He did not dog足 matize; he explicated. Origen's tone is not found in any other early theological works. He lays out the Church' s teaching, its basis, and then as he expands with further ideas that have not yet been approved by the Church, he takes a very open, almost modern tone, saying often that he is putting forth his opi nions and that other views are possible. He was keenly aware, as was Clement, of the great gap between the simple, naive believers in the congregation and those few who had another level of understanding of what he called "the mysteries of Christ." He honored both levels, both the esoteric and the exoteric, and he shows no contempt for the naive view. Harnack comments: By acknowledging not only the relative correctness of the beliefs held by the great mass of simple Christians . . . but also the indispensableness of their faith as the foundation of speculation, Origen like Clement avoided the dilemma of becoming [either] a heterodox Gnostic or an ecclesiastical traditionalist. He was able to maintain this standpoint, because in the first place his Gnosis required a guaran足 teed sacred literature which he found only in the Church, and because in the sec足 ond place this same Gnosi s had extended its horizon far enough to see that what the heretical Gnosis had regarded as contrasts were di fferent aspects of the same thing. [This relative way of looking at things is characteristic of Origen. ] . . . As an orthodox traditionalist and decided opponent of all heresy Origen acknowledged that Christianity embraces a sal vation which is offered to all men and attained by faith, that it is the doctrine of historical facts to which we must adhere, that the content of Chri stianity has been appropri ately summarized by the Church in her rule of faith, and that belief is of itself sufficient for the renewal and salvation of man. But, as an idealistic philosopher, Origen transformed the whole content of 1 37 ecclesiastical faith into ideas.

Although simple Christianity is to be honored, nevertheless it remains de足 termined by fear and hope of reward, more or less lowly motivations, and so it is based on an uninformed and irrational faith, and that leads only to what Origen calls "somatic Christianity." 1 36 1 37

The History of Dogma, vol. 2, pp. 332f. Ibid., pp. 335f.

Origen 97 It is the task of theology [according to Origen, Harnack writes] to decipher "spiritual Christianity" from the Holy Scriptures, and to elevate faith to knowledge and clear vision. This is effected by the method of Scripture exegesis, which as足 1 38 certains the high est revelations of God.

Origen considered the holy scriptures to be the revelation of the Deity, and he submitted them to a thoroughgoing exegesis very similar to the psychological approach to a dream. We consider dreams to be revelations of the psyche and to require translation into rational categories of understanding in order to be as足 similated into consciousness. Our goal is not a theology-not a logos of theos, but a psychology-a logos of psyche. The approach and the viewpoint are very similar, however. Origen introduces his method of exegesis with these words: Now that we have spoken cursorily about the inspiration of the divine scriptures it is necessary to discuss the manner in which they are to be read and understood, since many mistakes have been made in consequence of the method by which the holy documents ought to be interpreted . . . . For the hard-hearted and ignorant members of the circumcision have refused to believe in our Savior because they think that they are keeping closely to the language of the prophecies that relate to him, and they see that he did not literally "proclaim release to capti ves" or build what they consider to be a real "city of God" or "cut off the chariots from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem" or "eat butter and honey, and choose the good be足 fore he knew or preferred the evil." Further, they think that it is the wolf, the four-footed animal , which i s said i n prophecy t o b e going t o "feed with the lamb, and t h e leopard t o lie down with the kid, and the calf and bull and lion to feed together, led by a little child, and the ox and the bear to pasture together, their young ones growing up with each other, and the lion to eat straw like the ox;" and having seen none of these events literally happening during the advent of him whom we believe to be Christ they did not ac足 cept our Lord Jesus, but crucified him on the ground that he had wrongly called himself Christ. Now the reason why all those we have mentioned hold false opinions and make impious or ignorant assertions about God appears to be nothing else but this, that scripture is not understood in its spiritual sense, but is interpreted according to the bare letter. On this account we must explain to those who believe that the sacred books are not the works of men, but that they were composed and have come down to us as a result of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the will of the Father of the universe through Jesus Chri st, what are the methods of interpretation that appear right to us, who keep to the rule of the heavenly Church of Jesus Christ through the 1 39 succession from the Apostles. 138 1 39

I b i d p. 347. . ,

"Fi rst Principles," IV, 2, in G.W. Butterworth, trans., Origen on First Principles, p.




Origen then outlines three levels of spiritual or scriptural interpretation: One must therefore portray the meaning of the sacred writings in a threefold way upon one ' s soul, so that the simple man may be edified by what we may call the flesh of the scripture, this name being given to the obvious interpretation; while the man who has made some progress may be edified by its soul, as it were; and the man who is perfect [teleios is the word used], . . . this man may be edified by the spiritual law, which has "a shadow of the good things to come." For just as man consists of body, soul and spirit, so in the same way does the scripture, which has 1 40 been prepared by God to be gi ven for man ' s sal vation.

In "Homily on Numbers" he puts this idea neatly, using the image of the nut: In the school of Christ the teaching of the Law and the Prophets is clearly like this. On the outside it i s bitter; it prescribes circumcision of the flesh and sacri fices. Then comes the second covering, which i s moral instruction in continence; these things are necessary, but they must vanish one day. Finally, enclosed and hidden within all the coverings, will be found the meaning of the mysteries of the Wisdom 1 41 and Knowledge of God . . . which nouri shes and restores the souls of the saints.

These three levels of instruction and of interpretation of the scriptures corre­ spond approximately to what is required at different stages of ego development in the individual . Childhood training requires domestication of the infantile power and pleasure drives, which involves certain stern, bitter limits. Young maturity requires emphasis on moral responsibility ; that is the intermediate cov­ ering of the nut. In the second half of life, initiation into individuation comes through a conscious encounter with the Self, and that brings with it a knowledge of the transpersonal dimension that corresponds to what Origen calls "the wis­ dom and knowledge of God." There are other analogies also. These three approaches have certain parallels in different levels of dream interpretation . We distinguish, for instance, between the objective and subjective levels of the dream , and between the reductive and the synthetic, and again between the personal and the archetypal . The analogies are not exact, but we can say that the literal understanding of the scripture corre­ sponds approximately to a naive objective interpretation of dreams, which as­ sumes that the mean ing of the dream image lies in the concrete object. The moral level of interpretation would correspond to a subjective, personal under­ standing of the dream, and the spiritual level would correspond to the archetypal interpretation of dreams. 140 141

Ibid., p p . 275f. I X , 7. Quoted in Jean Danielou, A History of Early Christian Doctrine, vol . 2, p. 284.

Origen 99

Orige n ' s method of exegesis can best be glimpsed by reading his commen­ taries on the B ible, and they are extensive even though most of what he wrote is lost. 142 They are remarkable works . He had an encyclopedic knowledge of scripture, a command of philosophic ideas and amazing powers to make intui­ tive connections. These all combine to make his the richest B iblical commen­ taries of all the Church Fathers. They are really studies in ampli fication. He takes each passage of scripture quite as if it were a dream , and amplifies it ac­ cording to its context and through the symbolic connections of its imagery with other passages in the Bible. B igg comments: The plan which he laid down for himself in the Commentaries was to give first the literal, then the moral, then the spiritual sense of each verse in regular succession. The text is but the threshi ng-floor on which he pours out all the harvest of his knowledge, his meditations, his hopes. Any word may open up a train of thought extending throughout all Scri pture and all time. Hence there is much repetition and confusion. Even here the object is not so much instruction as the deepening of the Chri stian life. We lose in perspicuity, but we never miss the inspiriting sense of 143 immediate contact with a great character. An

example of his method is his explication of John 2 : 1 8-22:

[A group of Jews is speaking to Christ, and they say to him:] "What sign can you show us to justify what you haye done?" Jesus answered, "Destroy this sanctuary, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this sanctuary : are you going to raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body. [JB]

Origen takes that one sentence, "he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body ," and gives it a lengthy amplification . On the first level , of course, it is a reference to Christ ' s bodily resurrection, but it is not only that. He takes the phrase to the next level and points out that the church of believers is called the body of Christ, so that the reference will also be to the Church: The body is the Church, and we learn from Peter that it is a house of God, built of living stones , a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. Thus the son of David, who builds this house, is a type of Chri st. He builds it when his wars are at an end and a period of profound peace has arri ved; he builds the temple for the glory of God in the Jerusalem on earth, so that worship may no longer be celebrated in a movable erection like the tabernacle. Let us seek to find in the Church the truth of each statement made about the temple.

Orig e n then goes through all the scriptural references describing how Solo142 See Roberts and Donaldson, Ante·Nicene Fathers, 14 3 Christian Platonists of Alexandria, p. 1 3 1 .

vol . 1 0.



mon ' s temple was built and what its form and structure were, and he applies each detail to the body of Christ as the Church. After much more elaboration, with an enormous number of details about Solomon ' s temple, he finally says, In this temple there are also windows, placed obliquely and out of sight, so that the illumination of the di vine light may enter for salvation, and . . . that the body of Christ, the Church, may be found having the plan of the spiritual house and temple of God. As I said before, we require that wisdom which is hidden in a mystery, and which he alone can apprehend who is able to say, "But we have the mind of Chri st,"-we require that wisdom to interpret spiritually each detail of what is said in accordance with the will of Him who caused it to be written. To enter into these details is not in accordance with our present subject. What has been said may suf­ 1 44 fice to let us understand how "He spake about the temple of His body."

That is a small example of his exegesis, and if the appropriate translations are made, much of what he has to say about perceiving the spiritual meaning of scripture applies to perceiving the archetypal meaning of dreams. A certain per­ sonal connection with the deep levels of symbolic reality is necessary in order even to see the archetypal level in a dream. Without that connection, the deeper meaning remains unseen. Origen ' s theological system involved quite a grand plan. In outline, it was this: the original supreme God, the One, unfolds himself in a great diversity of created forms, both spiritual and material . These creatures progressively lose contact with their origin and fall into sin and despair. They are rescued by the knowledge brought by Christ, and as a result of this redemption, eventually all of creation will undergo a restoration to its original state, an apocatastasis, whereby it is reunited to the One, God, the source of its being. Origen 's doctrine of creation has some interesting psychological implications. In First Principles he writes: In the beginning, as we contemplate it, God created by an act of his will as large a number of intelligent beings as he could control. For we must maintain that even the power of God is finite, and we must not, under pretext of prai sing him, lose sight of his li mitations. For if the divine power were infinite, of necessity, it could not even understand itself, since the infinite is by its nature incomprehensible. He made therefore just as many as He could grasp and keep in hand and subject to his providence. In the same way he prepared just as much matter as He could reduce 14' to order. 1 44

"Commentary on John 23-25," in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.

1 0, pp. 404ff.

1 4'

II, 9, I , in B utterworth, Origen on First Principles, p. 1 29.

Origen 101

If God is infinite, Origen tells us, he cannot understand himself. This means that the Deity who is infinite needs relation to a finite creature in order to pro­ mote his own self-comprehension. In another section, on the great variety of created beings, Origen says: These beings, disturbed and drawn away from that state of goodness, and then tossed about by the diverse motions and desires of their souls, have exchanged the one undivided goodness of their original nature for minds that vary in quality ac­ cording to their different tendencies. [All these creatures nevertheless] . . . combine to make up the fulness and perfection of a single world, the very variety of minds tending to one end, perfection [teleiosis]. For there is one power which binds and holds together all the diversity of the world and guides the various motions to the accomplishment of one task, lest so immense a work as the world should be di s­ sol ved by the conflicts of souls . . . . God . . . has so ordered everything that each spirit or soul, or whatever else rational existences ought to be called, should not be compelled by force against its free choice to any action except that to which the motions of its own mind lead it. [Choice is brought into existence by the creation of the diverse variety of creatures.] . . . Although, therefore, the whole world i s ar­ ranged i n diverse parts and functions, we must not suppose that its condition is one of discord and self-contradiction; but as our "one body" is composed of "many members" and is held together by one soul, so we should, I think, accept the opin­ ion that the universe is as it were an immense, monstrous animal, held together by 146 the power and reason of God as by one soul.

That comes right out of Plato. Origen then cites various passages of scripture that confirm this view, such as, "Do not I fill heaven and earth, said the Lord?" and "Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool of my feet." He goes on : The world should have a conclusion simi lar to its beginning. Now there is no doubt that its end must be looked for in much di versity and variety, and thi s vari­ ety, when found to exist at the end of this world, will in its tum provide causes and occasions of diversity in that other world which is to come after thi s ; for clearly the end of this world is the beginning of the world to come. If the course of our discussion has revealed this to be the case, it seems to fol ­ low that, a s the di versity o f the world cannot exist apart from bodies, w e should 147 discuss the question of bodily nature.

these passages, Origen presents the idea that in order for diversity to come into manifestation out of the single Deity, matter or bodies are required. He goes on to say that this incarnation of the spiritual Deity in matter is inevitably and In

146 147

Ibid. , II, I , pp. 77f.

Ibid., p. 78.



essentially accompanied by sin. Origen ' s doctrine of sin is different from the orthodox one, which attributes sin to Adam ' s disobedience ; Origen ' s doctrine is much more subtle. Harnack says that, according to Origen, "Sin is rooted in the whole earthly condition of men; it is the weakness and error of the spirit parted 1 48 from its origin." But separation of the spirit from its origin is necessary for creation to occur. Creation requires that spirit leave its origin and assume bodily existence. That means that the human being cannot be held accountable for his sinful nature (although he may be accountable for his sinful actions). This view is similar to Jung' s statement that man ' s suffering does not derive from his sins, but from the maker of his imperfections, the paradoxical God. According to Origen, the price that God must pay in order to diversify himself and in order to create "choice" (or, we would say, consciousness) in the uni­ verse, is the existence of evil or sin. It is a subtle insight. In psychological terms, it means that for the God-image to come into conscious realization it must in­ carnate itself in individual human egos. It must endure a split into the opposites. It must expose itself to the conflict between those opposites in order to recover its state of wholeness on a conscious level. In other words, God brings about creation in order to diversify and differenti­ ate Himself and generate choice in the universe, and there can be no such thing as choice as long as only original unity exists. Conscious ness requires diversity and the separation of opposites. Diversity cannot exist apart from bodies, as Ori­ gen puts it. That means that matter is required for the emergence of conscious­ ness in the Deity , and matter, understood in psychological symbolism, refers to egohood. Incarnation is required for the emergence of consciousness in the uni­ verse and in the Deity, but this state of diversity brings about a "fall." It is a fall from the original state of wholeness, because it creates a distancing of the crea­ tures, the created ones, from the source of their being, and that is the essential nature of sin-a distancing and loss of connection between the creature and its creator. Therefore, a redemptive process sets in, in which all created beings are gradually made aware of their source and reconnected again with the One. This is the grand restitution that Origen speaks about as the ultimate event, what is called the apocatastasis . It is referred to several times in the New Tes­ tament, most notably in Acts 3: 1 9-2 1 , where Peter says, Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and he shall send Je1 48

The History of Dogma, p. 365 .

Origen 103 sus Chri st, which was before preached unto you : whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. [KJ]

The Greek word translated here as "restitution" is apocatastasis. So the believ­ ers were instructed to be patient and follow all the rules, waiting until the time when heaven would receive Jesus Christ, until the apocatastasis. Another feature of the apocatastasis is that evil will also be redeemed, even the devil himself. Origen says: There i s a resurrection of t h e dead, an d there is punishment, b u t not everlasting. For when the body i s punished the soul is gradually purified, and so i s restored to its ancient rank. For all wicked men, and for daemons, too, punishment has an end, 14 and both wicked men and daemons shall be restored to their former rank. 9

In other places, he speculates that this includes the devil. This was the most shocking item in his theology and it guaranteed Anathema, if nothing else did. Jerome quotes Origen as saying that, "After many ages and the one restoration of all things Gabriel will be in the same state as the devil, Paul as Caiaphas, and , ISO v1rgms as prostitutes. This sequence in Origen (from creation to diversity to sin to redemption), corresponds to what we know about the development of the ego. The ego is the entity that has emerged out of the creative impulse of the unconscious . With early ego development, it undergoes a great process of differentiation o ut of its original containment in the Self. After a successful discrimination process, it rediscovers its source on a conscious level , and then has the opportunity to inte­ grate its previously conflicted and warring diversities into a new level of whole­ ness. Apocatastasis is a phenomenon of the individuation process, and it could well be that the same sequential process may be occurring in the historic evolu­ tion of the human race. Origen more or less postulates that idea. There is a great deal more in Origen ' s theology that is relevant psychologically. One topic deals with the nature of the Holy Spirit. He writes: •

I am of the opinion, then, that the activity of the Father and the Son [the two per­ sons of the Trinity] is to be seen both in saints and in sinners, in rational men and in dumb animal s , yes, and even in lifeless things and in absolutely everything that exists; but the acti vity of the Holy Spirit does not extend at all either to lifeless things, or to things that have life but yet are dumb, nor is it to be found in those

149 First Principles,


II, 1 0, in Butterworth, Origen on First Principles, p. 1 46.

First Principles, I, 6, ibid., p. 57n.



who, though rational , still lie in wickedness . . . . Only in those who are already turning to better things and walking in the ways of Jesus Christ, that is, who are engaged in good deeds and who abide in God, is the work of the Holy Spirit, I 151 think, to be found . . . . Therefore, the working of the power of God the Father and God the Son is spread i ndiscriminately over all created beings, but a share in the Holy S pirit is possessed . . . by the saints alone . . . . He who has sinned against the Son of M an i s worthy of forgiveness, because he who is a sharer in the word or reason seems, if he ceases to live according to reason, to have fallen into ignorance or folly and so to deserve forgiveness ; whereas he who has once been counted worthy to share in the Holy Spirit and then turns back again is by this very act i n ­ 1 52 deed said t o have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit.

It is an interesting idea that only good people can be in contact with the Holy Spirit. In psychological terminology, this would mean that the dynamic energy of the Self, as we can translate "Holy Spirit," works for good only in individu­ ated people. In other words, the energy of the Self works for good only when it is accompanied by sufficient consciousness. Jung says this explicitly in a 1 956 letter: God can be called good only inasmuch as He is able to manifest His goodness in individuals [those relatively few indi viduals capable of enough consciousness to make ethical decisions] . His moral quality depends upon individuals. That is why He incarnates. Individuation and individual existence are indi spensable for the 153 transformation of God the Creator.

The doctrine of Marcion split the God-image into two irreconcilable Gods, the just God and the loving God. Origen found a formula which reconciled that conflict. He said "God rewards in justice and punishes in kindness." 1 54 That is an authentic third position, with the paradoxical quality typical of the reconciling symbol : God rewards justly, and punishes kindly .

1 5 1 First Principles, 1 52

1 53 1 54

I, 3; ibid . , p. 34.

Ibid. , pp. 36f.

Letters, vol. 2, p. 3 1 4. Harnack, The History of Dogma, p. 35 1 .

9 Tertullian

Tertullian is the first Latin author to be discussed here, and he is, in fact, consid­ ered the father of Latin Christianity. He lived from about 1 60 to 230. He was born in Carthage in North Africa, the son of a Roman centurion. His parents were pagan. He himself said that in his youth he was a "sinner of every dye, and born for nothing save repentance." 155 He was well educated in ancient philos o­ phy, literature and history, and may even have had some legal training. It could be said that he had the psychology of a brilliant, passionate prosecuting attorney. He was married and probably had one or more children. W.H.C. Frend writes: Tertul l i an was one of the born rebel s of history, a man i n revolt successively against the army mess life of his father' s household, against the purposelessness of

Roman provincial culture, then as a Christian against the laxness and complacency of the Church . . . , and finally even against the sect-life of the Montani sts. He was a man i n love with truth which he identified with a puritanical and martyr-directed Christianity. Today he would have been a political journal i s t turning o u t t h e weekly 4,000-word article, topical t o the day, and profoundly sensi ­ tive to wrong and injustice. He was a born debater with a superb command of lan­ guage . . . . There is a vein of splendid sarcasm in his style. . . . But all the time his wit, his exaggeration and malice were turned to one end, the vindication of Chri s ­ tianity acf ainst the Greco-Roman world in preparation for the millennium of the 15 saints.

Tertullian was a true son o f h i s Roman soldier father. H e had a warrior tem­ perament and he was a warrior for the Church j ust at a time when the Church needed that most, when it was under severe persecution. In more tolerant times, Tertullian has not been so popular. A famous passage from Gibbon ' s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire shows how the Enlightenment thought of Tertul­ lian. Writing of the Christians of that time and their beliefs, Gibbon says: The condemnation of the wi sest and most virtuous of the Pagans, on account of their ignorance or disbelief of the divine truth, seems to offend the reason and the humanity of the present age. But the primitive church, whose faith was of a much firmer consistence, deli vered over, without hesitation, to eternal torture the far greater part of the human species. A charitable hope might perhaps be indulged in I ss

"On Repentance," 1 2, in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol . 2, p. 666.

156 The Early Church,

p. 80.

1 05



favor of Socrates, or some other sages of antiquity . . . . But it was unanimously af­ fi rmed that those who, since the birth or the death of Christ, had obstinately per­ sisted in the worship of the daemons, neither deserved, nor could expect, a pardon from the irritated justice of the Deity. These rigid sentiments, which had been un­ known to the ancient world, appear to have infused a spirit of bitterness into a system of love and harmony. The ties of blood and friendship were frequently tom asunder by the difference of religious faith; and the Christians, who, in this world, found themselves oppressed by the power of the Pagans, were sometimes seduced by resentment and spiritual pride to delight in the prospect of their future triumph. "You are fond of spectacles," exclaims the stem Tertullian ; "expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal judgment of the uni verse. How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs, and fancied gods, groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates, who persecuted the name of the Lord, liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against the Christians; so many sage philosophers blushing in red-hot flames, with their deluded scholars; so many celebrated poets trembling before the tribunal, not of Minos, but of Christ; so many tragedians, more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; so many dancers- ! " But the humanity of the reader will permit me to draw a veil over the rest of this infernal description, which the zealous Afri­ m can pursues in a long variety of affected and unfeeling witticisms.

They were two of a kind, Gibbon and Tertullian. Jung has this to say about Tertullian : He was a pagan, and h e abandoned himself t o the lascivious life o f h i s city until about his thirty-fi fth year, when he became a Christian. . . . Most clearly of all we see [in his writings] his unparalleled noble-hearted zeal , his fi re, his passionate temperament, and the profundity of his religious understanding. He was a fanatic, brilliantly one-sided in his defense of a recognized truth, possessed of a matchless fighting spirit, a merciless opponent who saw victory only in the total annihilation of his adversary . . . . He was a creator of the Church Latin that lasted for more than a thousand years . . . . His i mpassioned thinking was so inexorable that again and again he alienated himself from the very thing for which he had given his heart ' s blood . Accordingly h i s ethical code was bi tterly severe. Martyrdom he com­ manded to be sought and not shunned; he permitted no second marriage, and re­ quired the permanent veiling of persons of the female sex. Gnosis, which in reality is a passion for thinking and knowinJi , he attacked with unrelenting fanaticism, to­ ' gether with philosophy and science.

If Tertullian were no more than a fanatical defender of the Church, he would not be very interesting psychologically, but he is interesting psychologically be157 Decline and Fall,

vol. I, pp. 365f. Gibbon here refers to Tertullian ' s "De Spectaculis,"

XXX (quoted in Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 9 1 ). 1 58 Psychological Types, CW 6, par. 1 7 .

Tertullian 107

cause he underwent development. The scholars usually do not speak in these terms, but it is clear that at some point he had a sizeable inner crisis and under­ went a real shift. As Jung spells out for us, in a situation parallel to that of Ori­ gen, who sacrificed his dominant eros function, Tertullian sacrificed his power­ ful, rational intellect by what he called the sacrificium intellectus. He is an ex­ ample for modern rationalists, indicating how psychic development proceeds when reason has reached a dead end. In this connection, Jung refers to Tertul­ Iian ' s famous remark: To him is ascribed the sublime confession: credo quia absurdum est (l believe be­ cause it is absurd). Thi s does not altogether accord with historical fact, for he merely said : "And the Son of God died, which is immediately credible because it i s absurd. And buried he rose again, which is certain because it is impossible." Thanks to the acuteness of his mind, he saw through the poverty of philosophi ­ cal and Gnostic knowledge, and contemptuously rejected it. He invoked against it the testimony of his own inner world, his own inner realities, which were one with his faith . . . . The irrational inner reality had for him an essentially dynamic nature; it was his principle, his foundation in face of the world and of all collectively valid and rational science and philosophy . . . . The self-mutilation performed by Tertullian in the sacrificium intellectus led him to an unqualified recognition of the irrational inner reality . . . . He crystallized [this] in the incomparable formula anima natura/iter christiana (the soul is by na­ ture Christian) . . . . Tertullian i s a classic example of introverted thinking. His very considerable and keenly developed intellect was fl anked by an unmistakable sensuality. The psychological process of development which we call speci fically Christian Jed him to the sacrifice, the amputation, of the most valuable function . . . . Through the sacrificium intellectus the way of purely intellectual development was closed to him; it forced him to recognize the irrational dynami sm of his soul as the founda­ tion of his being . 59 .

It is clear to the psychologist that Tertullian came to an awareness of the re­ ality of the psyche. The harsh, polemical , intellectual lawyer that we see in a great deal of his writing is subdued and largely invisible in his works that deal with the soul . He sacrificed his overbearing intellect and thereby made connec­ tion to the irrational reality of the psyche, and his view of that reality is de­ scribed quite succinctly in his essay "The Testimony of the Soul ." There is also 160 a larger work, Treatise on the Sou/, which elaborates his view more fully. These writings show that he was really a forerunner of modern phenomenolo1 59

Ibid. , pars. 1 7ff.

1 60

Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, pp. 1 8 l ff.



gists of the psyche. Tertullian gathered much of his testimony of the soul by the empirical method. He looked at what individuals did when they were reacting spontaneously and not in a consciously contrived way . He particularly studied people ' s sudden reactions to unexpected events. That was what he called the testimony of the soul : what we would call today the spontaneous expressions of the unconscious that emerge in times of great emotion or stress. He would no­ tice, for instance, that sudden fear or joy causes people to involuntarily refer to God or to some divine agency, whether they have any conscious religious be­ liefs or not. This is the soul ' s testimony, and we bear witness to God even when we curse. Some years ago, there was a serious subway accident in New York City, and some of the news organizations broadcast videotapes of survivors leaving one of the undamaged cars. As they exited, they had the opportunity to witness the ter­ rible carnage in the cars that had been damaged, and one by one, as people saw the dreadful view, each exclaimed, "Oh my God, oh my God !" That is an exam­ ple of what Tertullian was talking about. Though some may have been atheists, the spontaneous testimony of the soul burst forth when something awesome was confronted. In his treatise entitled "The Apology," he makes his most famous statement: This is the crowning guilt of men, that they will not recognize One, of whom they cannot possibly be ignorant. Would you have the proof from the works of H i s hands, so numerous and s o great, which both contain y o u and sustain you, which minister at once to your enj oyment, and strike you with awe; or would you rather have it from the testimony of the soul itself? Though under the oppressive bondage of the body, though led astray by depraving customs, though enervated by lusts and passions, though in slavery to false gods; yet, whenever the soul comes to it­ self, as out of a surfeit, or a sleep, or a sickness, and attains something of its natu­ ral soundness, it speaks of God; using no other word, because this is the peculiar name of the true God. "God is great and good"-"Which may God give," are the words on every lip. It bears witness, too, that God is j udge, exclaiming, "God sees," and, "I commend myself to God," and "God will repay me." 0 noble testi­ 161 mony of the soul by nature Chri stian !

That is the famous phrase: "the soul by nature Christian," which is a kind of localized, specific way of saying that the soul is by nature mythological and that it has an archetypal basis. The Christian body of symbolism is only one version of that archetypal basis. 161

Ibid. , pp. 31 f.

Tertullian 109

In "The Testimony of the Soul," Tertullian develops this idea further: I cal l in a new testimony, yea, one which is better known than all literature, more discussed than all doctri ne, more publ ic than all publications, greater than the whole man . . . . Stand forth, 0 soul, whether thou art a divine and eternal sub­ stance, as most philosophers believe-if it be so, thou will be the less likely to lie--or whether thou art the very opposite of divine, because indeed a mortal thing, as Epicurus alone thinks-in that case there will be the less temptation for thee to speak fal sely in this case: whether thou art recei ved from heaven, or sprung from earth ; whether thou art formed of numbers, or of atoms; whether thine existence begins with that of the body, or thou art put into it at a later stage; from whatever source, and in whatever way, thou makest man a rational being, in the hi �hest de­ 62 gree capable of thought and knowledge-stand forth and give thy witness.

He then gives a number of examples of the spontaneous expressions of the soul, and then he sums up in a passage which Jung quotes at the beginning of "Answer to Job" : These testimonies of the soul are simple as true, commonplace as simple, universal as commonplace, natural as universal, divine as natural. I don ' t think they can ap­ pear fri volous or feeble to anyone, if he reflect on the majesty of nature, from which the soul derives its authority. If you acknowledge the authority of the mis­ tress, you will own it also in the disciple. Well, nature is the mistress here, and her disciple is the sou l . But everything the one has taught or the other learned, has come from God-the Teacher of the teacher. And what the soul may know from the teachings of its chief instructor, thou canst judge from that which is within thee. Think of that which enables thee to think ; reflect on that which in forebod­ ings is the prophet, the auger in omens, the foreseer of coming events. Is it a won­ derful thing, if, being a gift of God to man, it knows how to divine? Is it anything 1 63 very strange, if it knows the God by whom it was bestowed?

That particular passage, which speaks of an empirical approach to the spon­ taneous expressions of the psyche, has a certain Gnostic flavor, and indeed, a Gnostic made a very similar statement, about a generation before Tertullian. That Gnostic was Monoimos. In Aion, Jung quotes this particular passage, writ­ ten by Monoimos probably around 1 50 A.D. He is speaking of the divine mo­ nad, the tiny dot that is the Gnostic image of God : Seek him from out thyself, and learn who it is that taketh possession of everything in thee, saying: my god, my spirit, my understanding, my soul, my body; and learn whence is sorrow and joy, and love and hate, and waking though one would not, 162 163

Ibid. , p. 1 75 . Ibid., p. 1 78 .



and sleeping though one would not, and getting angry though one would not, and falling in love though one would not. And if thou shouldst closely investigate these things, thou wilt find Him in thyself, the One and the Many, like to that little point . . . for in thyself thou wilt fi nd the starting-point of thy transition and of thy deliv1 64 erance.

The same empirical attitude informs that passage and Tertullian ' s remarks about the testimony of the soul. In his later years, Tertullian became a Montanist, a follower of Montanus, who later turned out to be a heretic . Montanus gave a great deal of emphasis to the spontaneous manifestation of the Holy Spirit. An acquaintance of Tertullian ' s, Saint Perpetua, was martyred in the arena of Carthage in 203 A.D. Tertullian, it is generally agreed, took the materials that Saint Perpetua had put together, including a description of her last days and the visions or dreams that she had prior to her martyrdom, and transcribed them in the form that we now have. Scholars differ on exactly when Tertullian became a Montanist, but one scholar puts the date tentatively at about 1 99 . So it is possi足 ble that he became a Montanist, with its emphasis on the spontaneous manifes足 tations of the Holy Spirit, as a consequence of his experience of Perpetua's martyrdom-that is, it came to him through a woman. We know of two women, Priscilla and Maximilla, who were conduits to the Holy Spirit for Montanus; that fits our general knowledge of masculine psychology-that as a rule the deeper layers of the unconscious manifest through a mediatrix . At any rate, we can guess that Tertullian ' s developmental crisis occurred at the time of Perpetua' s martyrdom, and the result is that we have a totally different tone in his later work concerning the soul than in his earlier polemical writings. He has now be足 come a devoted investigator concerning the nature and function of the soul. Tertullian also took an interest in dreams. He speaks of them in his "Treatise on the Soul": We ar e bound t o expound a t this point what is the opinion of Chri stians respecting dreams, as i ncidents of sleep and as no slight or trifling excitements of the sou l , which w e have declared t o b e always occupied and active owing t o i t s perpetual movement, which again is a proof and evidence of its divine quality and immortal足 ity. When, therefore, rest accrues to human bodies, it being their own especial comfort, the soul , disdaining a repose which is not natural to it, never rests; and since it receives no help from the limbs of the body, it uses its own . . . . Thi s power we call ecstasy [the word ecstasis means "standing outside oneselr'], in which the sensuous soul stands out of itself, in a way which even resembles madness. Thus in

1 64 CW 9ii, par. 347.

Tertullian 1 1 1 the very beginning sleep was inaugurated b y ecstasy. "And God sent a n ecstasy upon Adam, and he slept." [Gen. 2 : 2 1 ] The sleep came on his body to cause i t to rest, but the ecstasy fell on his soul to remove rest: from that very circumstance it 1 65 still happens ordinarily . . . that sleep is combined with ecstasy.

Then he reviews the opinions about dreams by various previous authors and philosophers, and concludes with these remarks. He has decided that there are three types of dreams, one caused by demons, one caused by God, and one caused by nature: We declare, then, that dreams are inflicted on us mainly by demons, although they sometimes turn out true and favorable to us. When, however, with the deliberate aim after evil , of which we have just spoken, they assume a flattering and capti­ vating style, they show themselves proportionately vain, and deceitful, and ob­ scure, and wanton, and impure . . . . But from God . . . must all those visions be regarded as emanating, which may be compared to the actual grace of God, as being honest, holy, prophetic, inspired, instructive, inviting to virtue, the bountiful nature of which causes them to over­ flow even to the profane, since God with grand impartiality, "sends His showers and sunshine on the just and on the unjust." It was, indeed, by an inspiration from God that Nebuchadnezzar dreamt his dreams; and almost the greater part of man­ kind get their knowledge of God from dreams. Thus is it that, as the mercy of God superabounds to the heathen, so the temptation of the evil one encounters the saints, from whom he never withdraws his malignant efforts to steal over them as best he may in their very sleep, if unable to assault them when they are awake . . . . The third class of dreams will consist of those which the soul itself apparently creates for itself from an intense application to special circumstances. Now, inas­ much as a soul cannot dream of its own accord . . . how can it become to itself the cause of any vision? Then must this class of dreams be abandoned to the action of nature, reserving for the soul, even when in the ecstatic condition, the power of enduring whatever incidents befall it? Those, moreover, which evidently proceed neither from God, nor from diabolical inspiration, nor from the soul , being beyond the reach as well of ordinary expectation, usual interpretation, or the possibility of being intelligibly related, will have to be ascribed in a separate category to what is 1 66 purely and simply the ecstatic state and its peculiar conditions.

Dreams from God, dreams from demons, and dreams from nature. That can be translated quite directly: dreams from the Self; dreams from autonomous ar­ chetypal complexes; and personal dreams of no deeper reference. Finally he even writes something about the dreams of infants: 165 166

Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 3, p. 223. Ibid. , p p . 225f.



As for those persons who suppose that infants do not dream, on the ground that all the functions of the soul throughout life are accomplished according to the capac­ ity of age, they ought to observe attenti vely their tremors, and nods, and bright smiles as they sleep, and from such facts understand that they are the emotions of their soul as it dreams, which so readily escape to the surface through the delicate 1 67 tenderness of their infantine body.

Tertullian ' s conversion to Montanism in his later years means that he was ultimately a heretic . There are some important psychological parallels to the 6 doctrine of Montanus ; 8 who flourished around 1 50 A.D. He lived in Phrygia, and his chief doctrine concerned the continuing workings of the Holy Spirit. The Montanists thought that the Paraclete, the advocate promised by Christ, was i n their midst generating new prophecies. Their scriptural foundations were the passages on the Paraclete in John. Christ is talking to his disciples and preparing them for his death, which is to come shortly: I f ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter [Paraclete] , that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you , and shall be in you . 69 I will not leave you comfortless [i.e., orphans] : I will come to you ! I tell you the truth. It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not awa6 , the 17 [Paraclete] will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

Montanus even identified himself personally with the Paraclete, so that in the Montanists ' gatherings, some of the same phenomena occurred that are found in modem Pentecostal meetings-glossolalia and spontaneous expressions of vari­ ous kinds when the Holy Spirit descends on an individual. Pelikan writes: Montanus hi mself seems to have made the claim that the promise of Jesus con­ cerning the Paraclete had been uniquely fulfilled in him [Montanus]. He was gifted with visions and special revelations. One of these seems to have been that the end was near at hand, and that the coming of the Paraclete was the last sign to precede that end . . . . [He] believed he had inspiration from God. What is more, he prom-

1 67 168

Ibid., pp. 226f. A good description of Montanism can be found in Pelikan, The Christian Tradition,

vol . I , pp. 97ff. 1 69 John 1 4: 1 5- 1 8 ; KJ. 1 70 John 1 6: 7 ; KJ.

Tertullian 1 13 ised this inspiration to his adherents. Notably, it descended upon two of his disci足 ples, both women [they would be Priscilla and M aximilla] . . . filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke what was revealed to them in this ecstatic condition.

Then Pelikan mentions that "the Passion of Perpetua and Felicitas spoke of acknowledging and honoring the new prophecies and visions and the other powers of the Holy Spirit,'' 1 7 1 a good indication that Tertullian was a Montanist by the time he wrote or edited that particular material . "It seems likely," says Peli kan, "that when he was caught up in ecstatic rapture, Montanus spoke of the Paraclete in the first person: 'I am the Paraclete. ' " 172 However, Pelikan suggests that Montanus was not identified with the Holy Spirit i n an inflated way . He says, "it would appear, rather, that such formulas express the sense of passivity as an instrument or a mouthpiece of the divine 3 which is characteristic of this practice ."17 Pelikan goes on to speak of the Church' s reaction to Montanus' teaching: .



More critical than Montani sm's theory of the role of the Spiri t in the Trinity was its conception of the role of the Spirit in the church, and it was at this point that the principal doctrinal battle was joined. Montanism laid claim to supernatural insp足 ration by the Holy Spiri t as the source of its prophecy, and it pointed to the moral decli ne of the church as the main reason for its having lost this power of the l74 Spirit.

The ordinary Church congregations did not have ecstatic happenings; they were much more sacramental and ritualistic . The Church could not tolerate this challenge or the idea that new prophecies modifying or elaborating the previous ones could be allowed . Chaos could ensue if any person with a weak ego, an entree into the unconscious, started raving and announcing new prophecy . The Church would collapse in fragmentation. So the Church took a hard line against the Montanists, declaring that prophecy had ceased after the writing of the New Testament. If anybody claimed possession by the Holy Spirit and voiced some new prophecy, by definition he was possessed by demons and a heretic. Montanus' idea of the continuous workings of the Paraclete has great rele足 vance to depth psychology . In a sense, lung' s essay on the Holy Spirit-his let足 ter to Pere Lachat--could be thought of as modern Montanism. So could Tertul171 The Christian Tradition, 1 7 2 Ibid., p. 1 02. 1 7 3 Ibid. 174 Ibid. , p. 1 05.

p. 1 00.

1 14


lian ' s statement that dreams come from God. The modern mind which has lost its containment in the traditional religious myth can no longer accept the doc­ trine that the Holy Spirit "is well chained up" in the Church, as lung puts it. m These remarks of his about the spontaneous expression of the Holy Spirit come from the letter to Pere Lachat: There were very good reasons why the Catholic Church has carefully puri fied Chri st and his mother from all contaminations by the [original sin.] Protestantism was more courageous, even daring or-perhaps?-more oblivious of the conse­ quences, i n not denying [expressly] the human nature (in part) of Christ and (wholly) of his mother. Thus the ordinary man became a source of the Holy Spirit, though certainly not the only one. It is like lightning, which issues not only from the clouds but also from the peaks of the mountains. This fact signifies the contin­ ued and progressive divine incarnation. Thu s man is received and integrated into the di vine drama. He seems destined to play a decisive part i n it; that i s why he must recei ve the Holy S piri t . I look upon the receiving of the Holy Spirit as a highly revolutionary fact which cannot take place until the ambivalent nature of 1 76 the Father is recognized.

That is modern Montanism. The passion of Perpetua was mentioned earlier. We have a document gener­ ally thought to have been written and/or edited by Tertullian, using the materials that Perpetua left behind. Perpetua was a twenty-two-year-old woman who had only recently been baptized as a Christian in Carthage, and who had very re­ cently given birth and had a nursing iqfant. She was martyred in the arena at Carthage during the persecution of Septimius Severns of 202 and 203 ; she was set upon by wild animals. Before her martyrdom, while she was waiting in prison for some days, she had a series of dreamlike visions. Marie-Louise von 17 Franz wrote about these visions in considerable detail. 1 Several of these visions fit in so well with the psychology of Tertullian and Montanus and of the whole Christian eon that they really belong to a consideration of Tertullian, especially since he experienced her martyrdom, and since that experience may very well have had a decisive effect on his own psychological development. Perpetua had four visions: The first one involved a golden ladder ascending to heaven. A second one involved seeing her dead brother who died of an illness 1 75 1 76 1 77

The Symbolic Life, CW 1 8, par. 1 534. Ibid. , par. 1 55 1 . Published as The Passion of Perpetua. (Her essay was originally printed i n the journal

Spring 1949. )

Tertullian 1 15

at the age of seven. The dead brother in the vision is next to a fountain of water, but it is too high and he cannot reach it. In her third vision, she again sees the dead brother, who can now reach the fountain of water. He is happy now, and he is released from a state of punishment. The fourth vision occurs in the arena where she has to fight an Egyptian and is victorious over him. This is the mate­ rial that went through the hands of Tertullian, who had been a witness, we can be fairly certain, of the actual events, which certainly must have had a profound effect on him. The first vision was this: I s a w a golden ladder of marvelous height, reaching up even t o heaven and very narrow , so that persons could only ascend it one by one; and on the sides of the ladder was fixed every kind of i ron weapon. There were swords, lances, hooks, daggers; so that i f anyone went up carelessly, or not looking upwards, he would be tom to pieces, and his flesh would cleave to the iron weapons. And under the lad­ der itself was crouching a dragon of wonderful size, who lay in wait for those who ascended. [That "dragon" could just as well be translated "snake." The words are equi valent. ] And Saturus went up fi rst [he was a fellow Christian who had previ­ ously been martyred] , who had subsequently delivered himself up freel y on our account, not having been present at the time that we were taken prisoners. And he attained the top of the ladder, and turned towards me. and said to me, "Perpetua, I am waiting for you ; but be careful that the dragon do not bite you." And I said, "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, he shall not hurt me." And from under the lad­ der itself, as if in fear of me, he slowly lifted up his head; and as I trod upon the first step, I trod upon his head. And I went up, and I saw an immense extent of gar­ den, and in the midst of the garden a white-haired man sitting in the dress of a shepherd, of a large stature, milking sheep; and standi ng around were many thou ­ sand white-robed ones. And he rai sed his head, and looked upon me, and said to me, ''Thou art welcome, daughter." And he called me, and from the cheese as he was milking he gave me as it were a little cake, and I received it with folded hands; and I ate it, and all who stood around said Amen. And at the sound of their voices I was awakened, still tasting a sweetness which I cannot describe. And I i mmedi­ ately related this to my brother, and we understood that i t was to be a passion, and 178 we ceased henceforth to have any hope in this world.

This is a striking sublimatio dream, characterized by the upward ascent and the establishment of an upper level of being. It illustrates vividly the basic psy­ chological theme of the whole Christian eon : to split the psyche into two, in or­ der to create an unassailable spiritual level which is contrary to nature, matter, earth and instinct. It was that historical, archetypal dynamism that so gripped the 178

Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 5, p. 700. This dream is also dis­

cussed in my Anatomy of the Psyche: Alchemical Symbolism in Psychotherapy, pp. 1 37f.



early Christian martyrs that they could face their deaths in an astonishing way . T o have material like this from the time o f these happenings i s very precious indeed, as we try to gain historical understanding. The fourth vision occurred on the day before she went into the arena: I saw in a vision that Pomponius the deacon [of the Church] came hither to the gate of the pri son, and knocked vehemently. I went out to him, and opened the gate for him; and he was clothed in a richly ornamented white robe . . . . And he said to me, "Perpetua, we are waiting for you ; come ! " And he held his hand to me, and we began to go through rough and winding places. Scarcely at length had we arri ved breathless at the amphitheater, when he led me into the middle of the arena, and said to me, "Do not fear, I am here with you, and I am laboring with you ;" and he departed. And I gazed upon an immense assembly in astonishment. And because I knew that I was gi ven to the wild beasts, I marvelled that the wild beasts were not let loose u pon me. Then there came forth against me a certain Egyptian, horrible in appearance, with his backers, to fight with me. And there came to me, as my hel p­ ers and encouragers, handsome youths; and I was stripped, and became a man. Then my helpers began to rub me with oil, as i s the custom for contest; and I be­ held that Egyptian on the other hand rolling in the dust. And a certain man came forth , of wondrous height, so that he even overtopped the top of the amphitheater; and he wore a loose tunic and a purple robe . . . and he carried a rod, as if he were a trainer of gladiators, and a green branch upon which were apples of gold. And he called for silence, and said, "This Egyptian, if he should overcome this woman, shall kill her with the sword; and if she shall conquer him, she shall receive this branch . " [Then they fought, Perpetua and the Egyptian . ] . . . He sought to lay hold of my feet, while I struck at his face with my heels; and I was li fted up in the air, and began thus to thrust at him as if spurning the earth . . . . I took hold upon his head, and he fell on his face, and I trod upon his head . . . . [And then she was given the branch by the trainer. ] Then I awoke, and perceived that I was not to fight with 179 beasts, but against the devii .

Several similar themes are presented in different forms. In the first dream, her antagonist was the dragon or snake that she trod upon as she ascended the lad­ der. In the fourth vision, her antagonist is the Egyptian whom she treads upon as she defeats him, and her victory derives from the fact that she has been elevated in the air and can go at him from above. Treading on the dark, lower nature from the elevated position is the basic theme. In the first dream, when she arri ves in heaven, in the upper realm, she is given a piece of white cheese, and she joins others who are clothed in white robes. This corresponds to the alchemical albedo, the whitening. It is the goal of 179

Roberts and Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol . 5, p. 702.

Tertullian 1 1 7

one stage o f the alchemical process, but s o far a s individuation symbolism i s concerned, it i s not the ultimate goal ; whenever w e encounter a predominance of whiteness in dreams, the question is, where is the darkness? Of course, that question is appropriate only if the individual concerned has the potential for in­ dividuation as we now understand it. Certainly for a Christian of the second or third century, the goal of psychological development would have been to reach the spiritual position that Perpetua achieves. The a lbedo, that whole area of lightness which is victorious over the lower darkness she has j ust left, would have been the goal. It is also true that in modern times we have representatives of all historical levels in our midst. We must be careful not to impose a developmental expecta­ tion on individuals which does not apply to their actual psychic level. There are still a good number of second century Christians in our world. We have exam­ ples of them; you can read about them every day in the newspaper. For instance, one of the Watergate conspirators, Charles Colson, was converted to Christianity while he was in prison . He is a second-century Christian . There are a lot of drug addicts and gang members who find authentic religious connection, undergo conversion and become missionaries, so to speak, in the prisons and gang neigh­ borhoods. They, too, are examples of second-century Christians; they are ful­ filling their appropriate psychic level of being, and should be recognized as do­ ing so.

10 Mani

In a 1 929 letter, Jung wrote: "Jesus-Mani-Buddha-Lao-tse are for me the four pillars of the temple of the spirit. I could give none preference over the other." 180 Mani was born in Babylonia, which was then a province of the Persian Em足 pire, on April 1 4, 2 1 6. His family lived in a Mandean community in what is now Iraq . The Mandeans were a Gnostic Christian Baptist cult that is actually still extant in very small numbers in the swampy region of southern Iraq. According to the Manichaean scholar Widengren, Mani is supposed to have had his first revelation at the age of twelve. A celestial being called a "twin" came to him, saying, "Forsake this congregation ! Thou art not of its followers. The guidance of morals, the restraint of appetites, these are thy tasks. Yet because of thy youth the time is not come to stand forth openly ." Later in life, Mani said about this event: The Living Paraclete came down and spoke to me. He revealed to me the hidden mystery, hidden from the ages and the generations of Man: the mystery of the Deep and the High: the mystery of Light and of Darkness, the mystery of the 181 Contest, the War, and the Great War, these he revealed unto me.

Mani laid low for the next twelve years, a period of seclusion and prepara足 tion . At age twenty-four, he had his next revelation. This time he was ap足 proached by "The Messenger," who called him an apostle, one who has been sent. He was told that the time had come to proclaim "the message of the truth," and he decided to dedicate himself to this task. For the next thirty-five years, he engaged in tireless missionary activity-preaching, founding churches, and trav足 eling. He journeyed east all the way to India and west to Alexandria. Like Paul, he founded churches everywhere he went. He was also on good terms with the great King Shapur of Persia, and for a time there was even a possibility that his system, Manichaeism, might become the religion of the realm. However, he was opposed by the orthodox Zoroastrian priests who were the ecclesiastical establishment of the time. They were quite hostile to him, and later 180 Letters, vol . I , p. 66. 18 1 G. Widengren, Mani and Manichaeism,

p. 26.

1 18

Mani 1 1 9

the successor to King Shapur turned against Mani. Finally, through the machi­ nations of the Zoroastrian priests, Mani was imprisoned, held in chains and tor­ tured. This continued for twenty-six days, as the Manichaean church elaborated the story . The twenty-six days were called the Passion of the Illuminator, and referred to by his followers as his "crucifixion," an analogy to Christ. He died in prison in 276. That is the bare bones of Mani ' s life as the scholars give it, but there is another life of Mani, perhaps more than one. Jung gives a legendary one: Mani is the best-known example of the "son of the widow." His original name was said to be Cubricus; later he changed it to Manes, a B abylonian word meaning "vessel. " As a four-year-old boy he was sold as a slave to a rich widow. She came to love him, and later adopted him and made him her heir. Together with her wealth he inherited the "serpent' s poison" of his doctrine-the four books of Scythianos, the original master of h i s adoptive father Terebinthos, named "Budda." Of this Scythianos there i s a legendary biography which equates him with Simon Magus; like him, he i s said to have come to Jerusalem at the time of the apostles. He propounded a dualistic doctrine which . . . was concerned with pairs of opposites . . . . From these books [that he inherited through his dead adop­ tive father] , he concocted what the Christians said was] his pernicious heresy 82 which poisoned the nations.


This double account of his life corresponds to the double account we have of Christ' s life. There is a largely personal story with a secondary mythological one superimposed on it. According to the myth of Christ' s life, he was the son of a virgin, and he had no personal father to stand between him and the father ar­ chetype. The myth of Mani tells that Mani was the "son of the widow," and he had no personal father to stand between him and the secret wisdom that he in­ herited from the ancestral fathers. There is a similar pattern there, even though the details are not precisely the same. This state of affairs-a missing personal father combined with a particular openness to a connection with the archetypal father-is a recognizable pattern in the psychology of certain men. When a father is missing in the early formative years of the child, a hole is created at the personal level of the psyche. There is a direct availability or openness between the ego and the deeper layers of the ar­ chetypal psyche, especially the father archetype, since that is the one that has not undergone the usual personal incarnation through a relationship with a human father. There is no buffer between the ego and the archetype. 1 83 In many single1 82 Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 1 4, par. 3 1 . 183 This is discussed further in my Anatomy of the Psyche,

pp. 97ff.



parent families, the absence of the father is quite disastrous; the emergence of a religious prophet is not the usual consequence. Lack of a father is more likely to breed an individual in whom the primitive, atavistic aspects of the masculine archetype erupt. B ut when the ego is sufficient to the task, archetypal wisdom can break through, and there are the makings of a prophet. Christ, in this situa足 tion, experiences himself as the son of his heavenly father; Mani knows himself to be the heir of Scythianos, the ancestral father. Although the personal figure is missing, the archetypal wisdom flows through directly, so to speak. Let us turn now to Mani' s system. It is a rich, complex and profound body of imagery that is quite relevant to psychic phenomenology . True, it is deeply tilted toward a radical dualism, which prejudices psychologists against it, since we think in terms of the unitary nature of the psyche. But it should be kept in mind that this dualistic bias makes Manichaeism an even better magnifying glass to reveal to us the experience of the split psyche. It is the nature of the psyche in the Christian eon to be split, and since we all participate in that nature, we are all to a greater or lesser degree split ourselves, in spite of our protestations of psy足 chic unity. That is one of the reasons we talk about it so much-we do not have it. For all those reasons, Manichaean symbolism is highly relevant to our psy足 chological condition. The Manichaean universe is irrevocably divided between the eternal realm of light and the eternal realm of darkness which have nothing to do with each other. The Church rejected this image out of a sound instinct, but nonetheless a fair amount of the world-negating attitude of the Manichaeans crept into the Christian picture of the universe. Some medieval Christian pictures show that the consequences of the Last Judgment will be assignment to either heaven or hell, with no connection between them. It is a Manichaean image. To introduce Mani ' s system, some generalizations from an essay by H.C. Puech in the Encyclopedia Britannica will set the stage: Like every form of Gnosticism, Manichaeism arose out of the anguish inherent in the human condition. The situation into which man is thrown proves to him to be alien, unbearable, and radically evi l . He feels enslaved to his body, to time, and to the world; he feels entangled in evil, constantly threatened and defiled by it; and he desires to be deli vered from it. . . . As he gets to know himself as essentially a stranger in the world, he learns that God himself can also only be a stranger in it. God who i s nothing other than goodness and truth can not have willed this suffer足 ing and deceit. Thus, it is necessary to attribute this responsibility to a principle that is evil and opposed to God [which leads to the notion of the split universe] . . . . An essential point [is that] . . . souls share in the very nature of God; souls are

Mani 1 21 nothing other than a part of God that has fallen here below. M an is thus assured that God will not lose interest in the salvation of his own members . . . God will recover those members and reintegrate them into hi mself. . . . The element to be 1&4 saved is man ' s soul; the saving element is . . [nous]. .

Puech describes the unfolding of the myth in three phases: a past period when the universe was perfectly separated, with no commerce between the light and the dark; a middle period corresponding to the present, when the two layers have become mixed; and then a future period in which the original state of total sepa­ ration will be reestablished. Those are the three phases of Manichaean mytho­ logical history : original separation, mixture, final separation. The Manichaean story has many direct parallels to psychological experience. It starts with two primal realms totally separate from one another, the realm of light and the realm of darkness. The realm of light is one of eternal rest, bliss and goodness. The realm of darkness is a state of tumult, hatred and constant warfare between different fragments of the darkness, so it is a state of dyna­ mism, as opposed to the stable state of the light. The realm of light has at its center the Father of Greatness, who is an embodiment of spirit; the realm of darkness has as its center the King of Darkness, who is actively evil; he embod­ ies matter. This state of total segregation is broken by the darkness when it first initiates an attack on the light realm. Jonas writes: What caused the Darkness to mount up and fight against the Light? . . . The Dark­ ness had first to reach its own outer limits, and to these it was pushed at some time in the course of the internal warfare in which the destructive passion of its mem­ bers was ceaselessly engaged. For the nature of Darkness is hate and strife, and it must fulfill this nature against itself until the encounter with the Light presents an external and better object. . . . The threatened attack of the Darkness stirs the realm of Light out of its repose and forces it to do something that would not otherwise 1 8s have occurred to it, namely, "creations" [to create something] .

This is an authentic image of how the unconscious can operate in relation to the conscious personality under certain circumstances. In a badly split and dis­ sociated psyche, there is an approximation of the Manichaean image of totally separated realms of light and darkness. In such a case, the highly charged un­ conscious, with all its rejected shadow energies, may very well initiate an attack against the realm of consciousness. Consciousness, of course, is trying to main­ tain a state of restful, passive stability , the happy condition, and it abhors the 1 &4 ISS

1 5th ed. , vol . 1 1 , p. 445.

The Gnostic Religion, pp. 2 1 3 ff.



eruption of these primitive, dark, tumultuous energies from the unconscious. The situation corresponds to one of the images in William Blake ' s engravings for the B ook of Job, in which Satan, surrounded by darkness, attacks Job ' s fam­ ily who are in the light ! 86 This is the state of affairs with patients who have par­ ticularly extreme dissociated shadow problems. Such a sequence of events need not occur only on an internal level. It can very well take place externally, when the inner psychological state constellates the antagonist in the patient ' s envi­ ronment, and that antagonist attacks from without and makes the individual' s life hell. It i s the same phenomenon. So the realm of light had to create something, just as the assaulted ego is obliged to do something, and the first thing to be created was what is called Pri­ mal Man-the prototype, the original platonic form of what later became hu­ manity . Primal Man was created to do battle against the King of Darkness and to protect the realm of Light, but Primal Man was defeated. Jonas says: After they had struggled long with one another, the Arch-devil overcame the Pri ­ mal Man. Thereupon the Primal Man gave himself and his five Sons as food to the five Sons of Darkness, as a man who has an enemy mixes a deadly poison in a cake and gives it to him. The Arch-devil devoured part of his light [namely his five sons]. . . . As the Sons of Darkness had devoured them, the five luminous gods were deprived of understanding, and through the poison of the Sons of Darkness they became like a man who has been bitten by a mad dog or a serpent. And the 1 87 fi ve parts of Light became mixed with the five parts of Dark ness.

Now there is a mixture of light and dark. Jonas goes on to describe the impli­ cations of this. The Sons of Light lose their light and their understanding, but in the Sons of Darkness, the world of Light that they have consumed acts like a soothing poison, and whether its desire has been satisfied or dulled, its attack has by this means been stopped. Both substances are poison to each other, so that some versions make the Primal Man not so much be defeated as in anticipation of the ef­ fect voluntarily give himself to be devoured by the Darkness [as a way of subvert­ 1 88 ing them from within, so to speak].

This image of light poisoning the darkness is psychologically relevant. If the conscious ego descends into the unconscious, it runs the risk of being at least temporarily overwhelmed by the darkness it is entering, but then it works from 1 86

See my Encounter with the Self: A Jungian Commentary on William Blake 's Illustra­

tions of the Book of Job, picture 3, p. 22. 1 87 Ibid. , p. 2 1 8. 1 88 Ibid., p. 2 1 9.

Mani 123

within the unconscious tQ neutralize its effects. This is what happens when one deliberately goes to meet an unconscious complex, knowing that contact with it will set one on fire and result in an overwhelming affective reaction . Probably one will be temporarily possessed by primitive affect and act it out to some de­ gree. B ut when the episode is over, reflection is possible and one may recognize what has happened. If so, the incident will have an effect of whittling away a portion of the complex. After deliberately doing this a number of times, the complex will be gradually assimilated. Each time, one injects the complex with a certain amount of light substance that poisons it from within. That does not happen if there is no consciousness at all. Without awareness of what is hap­ pening, one can be possessed by a complex an endless number of times with no visible change. That is of no help; it is meaningless suffering. But the suffering that one deliberately goes into for the purpose of conscious assimilation is meaningful sacrificial suffering and it is redemptive. The image of the defeat of Primal Man applies to the psychology of defeat as opposed to victory . Defeat is a necessary part of the individuation process (although it is not a good way to begin one ' s life in childhood). In the course of the life process, however, defeat is necessary in order to achieve a realization of, and a reconciliation of the opposites. This will not happen with one-sided suc­ cess. Jung tells us that the experience of the Self is always a defeat for the ego, 1 89 so that the Self is potentially born out of the experience. However, defeat is not worth anything if it is not accompanied by enough reflective consciousness to assimilate it into a larger standpoint. Defeat can be disaster, too, not necessarily individuation, but as Jung puts it, "the widening of consciousness is at first up­ 190 heaval and darkness, then a broadening out of man to the whole man." That is a Manichaean image. It is what Primal Man experienced-upheaval and dark­ ness-in his apparent defeat by the King of Darkness. But that defeat also went on to further developments. We are told that the five sons of the Primal Man are devoured by the five sons of the King of Darkness, and these five Sons of Light go to make up the soul that has now been imprisoned in matter-matter now has a soul. This image corresponds to the figure of Sophia that is encountered in other Gnostic systems. She is the one that falls into matter and into imprisonment and embrace by the darkness. But that state of affairs is not tolerable, so that God is then compelled 1 89 Mysterium Coniunctionis, 190 Ibid. , par. 209.

CW 1 4, par. 778.



to create the world and send further emissaries to it in order to rescue the trapped light, the trapped soul stuff, which is of his own nature. He cannot ac­ cept eternal imprisonment of his own essence. A striking image that the Manichaeans use to picture this process of redemp­ tion of the lost soul stuff is the Manichaean "wheel of light." The zodiac is thought of as a great water wheel with each zodiacal house as a bucket. As it revolves, it dips under the earth and gathers the light and imprisoned soul stuff in its buckets and then circles around and deposits that light in the moon. The moon in turn transports the light to the sun, and the sun sends it on up to the higher realms, to the realm of eternal light. A vast circulatio process is pictured here. Jung speaks of this image in Psychology and Alchemy : In the Manichean system the savior constructs a cosmic wheel with twelve buck­ ets-the zodiac-for the raising of souls. This wheel has a significant connection with the rota or opus circulatorium of alchemy, which serves the same purpose of sublimation. As Dorn says: "The wheel of creation takes its rise from the prima

materia, whence it passes to the simple elements." Enlarging on the idea of the [philosophical wheel], Ripley says that the wheel must be turned by the four sea­ sons and the four quarters, thus connecting this symbol with the perigrinatio and the quaternity. The wheel turns into the wheel of the sun rolling round the heavens, and so becomes identical with the sun-god or -hero who submits to arduous l a­ bours and to the passion of self-cremation, like Herakles, or to captivity and di s­ memberment at the hands of the evil principle, like Osiris . . . . The circle described by the sun i s the "line that runs back on itself, l ike the snake that with its head bites its own tail." . . . [the] "shining clay moulded by the wheel . . . and hand of the Most High and Almighty Potter" into that earthl r sub­ 19 stance wherein the sun' s rays are collected and caught. This . . . is the gold.

The alchemical idea of circulatio is that the material to be transformed must go through repeated cycles of change in its nature in order to bring about even­ tual transformation, so that if it starts out as heavy coagulated stuff, it must be sublimated and turned into spirit. When it has reached that elevated state, it must be recoagulated. This could also be described as going through all the four ele­ ments. It must turn from earth to water to air to fire, around and around and around. Understood psychologically, the circulatio image pictures the dynamic re­ volving process of the Self, which is going through what another alchemical text refers to as the perigrinatio, a cycling through all the four quarters, through all the different realms of the world. The Self, as a dynamic entity, is constantly 191

CW 1 2, pars. 469f.

Mani 125

making the circuit of one ' s psychic totality, and as the ego comes into a connec­ tion to the Self, the ego is taken along on that trip, subjected to repeated circuits of its wholeness. That is usually not a very pleasant experience, because the ego is being tossed back and forth between opposites as it makes that circuit. The circle touches all the bases-upper and lower, matter and spirit, good and evil, and as the cycle comes into consciousness, it begins to create a center by its cir­ cling. Of course a latent center has to exist before the circle can be inscribed; that is part of the paradox. But until the circle comes into conscious visibility, the ego will not be aware that the totality has a center. That center is equivalent to the experience of a unity that embraces and recon ciles all the opposites ranged along the circumference of the circle. This aspect of centering and reconciliation of opposites is just what is missing in the Manichaean system, although it is dem­ onstrated in alchemical symbolism and in the discoveries of depth psychology. A further Manichaean image is called Jesus patibilis. One of the procedures used to rescue the trapped light was the creation of the figure of the luminous Jesus, who then approached Adam in order to liberate him. Describing this event, Jonas quotes a text from the Manichaean Theodore bar Konai : Jesus the Luminous approached the innocent Adam. He awakened him from the sleep of death, so that he might be delivered from the many demons . . . . [He] awakened him, made him sti r, shook him awake, drove away from him the se­ ducing Demon and removed the mighty Archon . . . . And Adam examined himself and discovered who he was. Jesus showed him the Fathers on high and his own Self ca:;t into all things, [in]to the teeth of panthers and elephants, devoured by them that devour, consumed by them that consume, eaten by the dogs, mingled and bound in all that is, imprisoned in the stench of darkness. He raised him up and made him eat of the tree of life. Then Adam cried and lamented: terribly he raised his voice like a roaring lion . . . smote his breast, and spoke: "Woe, woe unto the shaper of m� body, unto those who fettered my soul, and unto the rebel s that en­ 92 slaved me!"

Jonas comments : Jesus is here the god with the mission of revelation to man, a more specialized hy­ postasis or emanation of the Messenger, whose mission was to the captive Light in general. . . . That it is he who makes Adam eat from the Tree of Knowledge ex­ plains the Christian accusation that the Manichaeans equated Christ with the ser­ pent in Paradise. Of the content of his revelation, the doctrine concerning "his own self cast into all things" requires comment. It expresses the other aspect of this di1 92

The Gnostic Religion, pp. 86f.



vine figure: in addition to being the source of all revelatory acti vity in the history of mankind, he is the personification of all the Light mixed into matter; that is, he is the sufferi ng form of Primal Man. This original and profound i nterpretation of the fi gure of Christ was an important article of the Manichaean creed and is known as the doctri ne of the Jesus patibilis, the [suffering or] "passible Jesus" who "hangs from every tree," "is served up bound in every dish," "every day is born, suffers and dies." He is dispersed in all creation, but his most genuine realm and embodiment seems to be the vegetable world, that is, the most passive and the only innocent form of life. Yet at the same time with the active aspect of his nature he is transmundane Nous who, coming from above, liberates this captive substance and continual! � until the end of the world collects it, i. e., himself, out of the physical 3 dis persal !

When this profound image is grasped, it yields insight into the most problem­ atic experiences. It shows us that the transpersonal source o f consciousness, of meaning and value, is to be found scattered throughout the darkness of our most difficult and banal human experiences. That is the light imprisoned in the dark­ ness. Not only is it imprisoned, it is suffering, and as in certain alchemical im­ ages, the suffering individual, whether it be the Sophia or the drowning king. cries out to the alchemist, "Please rescue me from this condition, and I will re­ ward you bountifully." Those images correspond to the Manichaean Jesus pati­ bilis found at the center of all life events. It is the life energy itself with its latent potential for consciousness, imprisoned in the darkness of the unconscious. The Manichaeans, of course, thought that the end result of this whole process would be an ultimate separatio, whereby the realm of light would be restored to its original pristine state and totally cut off from the evil realm of darkness. A psychological viewpoint would consider this separation to be just one step in the individuation process. Starting out with a mixture, there is a need for separation, purification, so that the opposites are sorted out and seen clearly, not mingled. That separation would correspond to the first stage of the coniunctio as it is dis­ cussed by Jung in Mysterium Coniunctionis. 194 B ut that stage, properly speaki ng, is to be followed by a coniunctio, a recon­ ciliation between those separated opposites. An alchemical recipe, for instance, says, "Sow your gold in white foli ated earth." The gold is purified stuff; white foliated earth is earth that has gone through a state of purification and sublima­ tion so that it is what might be called clean earth-earth that is not mi xed up with other components. These purified opposites are the materials of the authen193 Ibid., pp. 228f. 194 CW 1 4, pars. 738ff.

Mani 127

tic coniunctio . Then one can sow one ' s gold in the white foliated earth. The Manichaean imagery did not get to that stage, but we cannot expect more of the Manichaeans than we expect of Christian theology, which did not get that far either. In an essay on the idea of redemption in Manichaeism, the scholar H.C. Puech brings these issues to bear on actual human experience and moral ques­ tions. He says that the texts make clear that sin originates in the soul ' s immersion in mixture: existence itself is sin. The soul is not intri nsically sinful, and fundamentally it is not responsible for sin: it does not succumb to sin from its own impulsion but through its mixture with the flesh . . . . This evil, which lies i n the nature of matter, has always existed and al­ ways will exist: time can only increase and propagate it but it cannot extinguish it. The sin of the soul, however, has no reality in itself, or at most has an ephemeral reality: it ari ses from a momentary and unwil led attraction of the soul by matter 195 and leaves no trace except in the memory.

This Manichaean concept that existence itself is sin corresponds to our psy­ chological understanding that ego consciousness by its essential nature is ac­ companied by guilt, that to be conscious is to be guilty . Jung says: The one-after-another is a bearable prelude to the deeper knowledge of the side­ by-side, for this i s an incomparably more difficult problem. Agai n, the view that good and evil are spiritual forces outside us, and that man is caught in the conflict between them, is more bearable by far than the insight that the opposites are the ineradicable and indispensable preconditions of all psychic life, so much so that 96 life itself is guilt !

To Jung ' s statement should be added the proviso that conscious life itself is guilt. The animals are not guilty . Jung ' s remark corresponds to the Manichaean imagery with a great difference, however: whereas Jung considers the mixture to be necessary and proper to promote ongoing transformation of the God-image, the Manichaeans considered that the process should end in a final separatio in which there is no reconciliation . The Manichaean view is that the world will come to an end in a final confla­ gration . When all the residual light has been gathered together from out of the darkness of the world, it assembles itself into what is called a "last statue," or "last pillar." Jonas writes: 195

''The Concept of Redemption in Manichaeism," in The Mystic Vision: Papers from the

Eranos Yearbooks, vol. 6, p. 290. 196 Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 1 4, par. 206.



When this Last Statue is perfected in all its members, then it shall escape and be lifted up out of that great struggle through the Living Spirit, its father, who comes 1 97 and . . . fetches the members out of . . . the dissolution and the end of all things.

The light assembled in the last statue streams off and returns to its original source, the realm of light, leaving the realm of darkness deprived. This image of a statue comes up again in alchemy . It is a Self image, a totality image. Ju n g discusses it in Mysterium Coniunctionis. He quotes an alchemical text that speaks of an image of the Philosophers ' Stone as being a living statue, and then comments : Thi s living statue refers to the end-result of the work ; and the work . . . was on the one h and a repetition of the creation of the world, and on the other a process of re­ demption, for which reason the lapis was paraphrased as the risen Chri st. . . . It i s remarkable that the statue i s mentioned in connection with the eschatological ideas of the Manichaeans.

Jung then quotes the Manichaean text given above which describes how the last statue will constellate itself and then be carried off, and says: I t is clear from these extracts that the statue or pillar is either the perfect Primordial M an [the teleios Anthropos] or at least his body, both at the beginning of creation 1 98 and at the end of time.

In the very midst of this ultimate Manichaean separatio idea is embedded an image of the Self in the form of the statue. This indicates that the dynamic of the Self manifests itself and lives through this Manichaean process, even though the reconciliation of opposites is not achieved at this stage of things. It can be said that the presence of this Self-image of individuation foreshadows a future level of psychic consummation that will be a coniunctio instead of a separatio.

1 97

The Gnostic Religion, p. 235. CW 1 4 , par. 567. There is a discussion of this image of the statue in relation to a dream in my Ego and Archetype, pp. 220f. 1 98

11 Augustine

Augustine is the only post-Nicene figure to be considered here. The Council of Nicea in 325 was a watershed in early Christian history. The Emperor Constan­ tine had been converted and the Church was consolidating its dogma, a process which Augustine effectively completed. He is a towering figure. In many re­ spects, he is the personification of the orthodox Christian Church. A number of different movements go back to him: orthodox Catholicism, medieval scholasti­ cism, Christian mysticism to a large extent, and-strange as it seems-the Prot­ estant Reformation. They are all rooted in Augustine. The whole second half of his complex working life was spent as a devoted parish priest serving simple believers. As B ishop of Hippo, he was a high-level ecclesiastical administrator. He was a profound and subtle theologian and pro­ duced voluminous commentaries on the Scriptures. Beyond all that, he was a mystic in a certain sense, who cultivated the inner life of prayer and contempla­ tion. It is quite a combination for one person: he simultaneously established the authority and sacraments of the Church and at the same time set forth the inner life as the basis of religion. Augustine was born in a small town in Algeria. His father was a pagan, and his mother, Monica, was an intensely devoted Christian. He showed great intel­ lectual promise as a youth and was given an excellent education in the expecta­ tion that he would enter government service. He pursued worldly pleasures much like any other adolescent, but at the age of nineteen he was converted to philosophy by reading Cicero. A few years later, he joined the Manichaean church. He formed a liaison with a woman of low birth, had a son by her and was faithful to her for ten or fifteen years. He originally taught in Carthage, but at the age of twenty-eight he moved to Italy, where he had connections, and obtained a professorship at Milan. There he met Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan. Although Ambrose did not actively convert Augustine, the encounter with Ambrose taught him that all Christians were not intellectually defective. It was especially true in the early years of the religion that Christians seemed rather simple-minded folk and if you were highly edu­ cated, the Christian message was something of an assault on your intelligence. While in Milan, he had another conversion. He encountered neo-Platonism, 1 29



probably through reading Plotinus, and even had a mystical experience i nvolv­ ing a changeless light. But the effect of it was only temporary, and he returned to a state of chronic inner conflict that he had suffered intermittently for many years. It was a conflict between his fleshly desires and the Christian message which his mother had so assiduously implanted. Finally, at the age of thirty-two, he had a decisive conversion, which finally committed him to Christianity . A few months later he was baptized, to the great delight of his mother, who then died, as though her mission had been completed. S hortly after this, Augustine returned to Africa, with the intention of found­ ing a monastic community devoted to the life of study and contemplation. But his brilliance and talents were so marked that on a visit to Hippo, he was almost kidnapped by members of the congregation who insisted that he be ordained a priest and start functioning in that capacity . He was not unwilling, but nonethe­ less, he had no original intention of becoming a priest. A few years later the old bishop died, and Augustine replaced him and spent the rest of his life as the B ishop of Hippo, a major city in what is now Algeria. There he did all his writ­ ing as well as parish and episcopal work, and finally died at the age of seventy­ six in 430, just when the barbarian Vandal armies were besieging Hippo. In his Confessions, Augustine describes the experience of his conversion to Christianity. The content of the Confessions is summarized on the cover of Henry Chadwick' s translation: Augustine tells of his wrestl ings to master his sexual drive, his rare ascent from a humble Algerian farm to the edge of the corridors of high power at the i mperial court of Milan, and his renunciation of secular ambition and marriage as he recov ­ ered t h e faith that his mother had taught h i m . It w a s i n a Mi lan garden that Augustine finally achieved the act of will to Christian conversion, which he com­ pared to a lazy man in bed finally deciding it is time to get up and face the day.

What led up to this experience was a visit to a friend while he was in the midst of his long-standing conflict between sexuality and spirit. Earlier in his Confessions, he says that on previous occasions he would pray to God for chas­ tity and continence, "but not yet." He writes: In the middle of that grand struggle . . . which I had vehemently stirred up with my soul i n the intimate chamber of my heart, distressed not only i n mind but i n ap­ pearance, I turned on Alypius [my friend] and cried out: "What is wrong with us? What i s this that you have heard? Uneducated people are rising up and capturing heaven, and we with our high culture without any heart-see where we roll in the mud of flesh and blood. I s it because they are ahead of us that we are ashamed to follow? Do we feel no shame at making not even an attempt to follow?" .



Augustine 131 [Aiypius looked at me] in astonished si lence. For I sounded very strange. My ut­ tered words said less about the state of my mind than my forehead, cheeks, eyes, 1 99 My old loves held me back. They tugged at the

color, and tone of voice.

garment of my flesh and whispered: "Are you getti ng rid of us? And "from this moment we shall never be with you again, not forever and ever." . . . What filth, what disgraceful things they were suggesti ng ! I was listening to them with much less than half my attention. They were . . . whispering behind my back . . . furtively tugging at me . . . . Nevertheless, they held me back. I hesitated to detach myself, to be rid of them, to make the leap to where I was being called. Meanwhile the over­ whelmi ?1 force of habit was saying to me: "Do you think you can live without 2 them?" Suddenly I heard a voice . . . chanting as if it might be a boy or a girl . . . saying and repeating over and over again "Pick up and read, pick up and read." [The e x­ perience is often referred to by the Latin phrase tolle lege. } At once my count<> nance changed, and I began to think i ntently w hether there might be some sort of children' s game i n which such a chant is used. But I could not remember having heard of one . . . . I interpreted it solely as a divine command to me to open the book and read the first chapter I might find . . . . So I hurried back to the place where Alypius was sitting. There I had put down the book of the apostle [referring to Pau l ]. . . . I seized it, opened it, and in silence read the fi rst passage on which my eyes lit [from Romans 1 3 : 1 3] : "Not in riots and drunken parties, not i n eroti­ cism and indecencies, not in strife and ri valry, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in its lusts." I neither wished nor needed to read further. At once, with the last words of this sentence, it was as if a light of relief from all anxiety flooded into my heart. All the 201 shadows of doubt were dispelled.

That was a common ancient practice. A book of Virgil was often used-Vir­ gil would be picked up and opened at random, and whatever passage one fell upon was taken to be the divine message. It was a version of consulting the I Ching. So that was it. His conflict was over, and in contrast to his other so-called conversion experiences, this one held. It was the real thing. In terms of modern psychology, the conversion represents a decisive disso­ ciation. It was the split between instinct and spirit that then continued for the rest of Augustine ' s life. However, in terms of fourth-century psychology, it surely means more than that. It represents Augustine' s acceptance of his destiny as the representative of the Christian eon and it was thereby a decisive step in his indi­ viduation . It allowed him to proceed with his historical task of bringing the 1 99 200


Henry Chadwick, trans. , Augustine 's Confessions, book 8, p. 1 46. Ibid., p. 1 5 1 . Ibid., p. 1 53 .


A ugustine

Christian eon and Western civilization into being. It often happens that from one vantage point, an experience like this is seen as only a stage, one of a series in the alchemical process-in this case the separatio process. From outside, it looks as though wholeness is being sacrificed. But it may be that from the per­ spective of the particular individual it is an expression of his latent wholeness, in which case the Self is the agency of it. This seems to have been the case with Augustine. The power of the Self accounts for the immense energy he was able to give, in such a devoted fashion, to the Church and to its scriptures. From a purely personal standpoint, we could see his conflict as deri ving from the difference between his pagan father and his Christian mother, and from that point of view his mother won. Late in life, even his pagan father was converted. But Monica's prompt death after Augustine ' s conversion indicated that her task had been fulfilled; it also had the effect of releasing Augustine from dependence on his personal mother and allowing his devotion to flow into mother Church. Augustine' s contribution is so massive that it cannot be briefly summarized, but certain aspects are particularly relevant psychologically. Three streams of thought run through his work. One is neo-Platonism: he was immersed in Plot­ inus in particular, and of course in Plato. The second was Manichaeism, and the third was the scriptural religion based on the Old and New Testaments. It may seem odd to include Manichaeism, since he renounced it so totally, at least on a conscious level . We know, however, that any issue of passionate intensity, whether positive or negative, has an important influence on an individual ' s life, and that was certainly the case with Augustine and Manichaeism. When he was sixty-seven years old, a good friend asked him to write a sum­ mary of Christian theology, a kind of manual. Augustine complied with a vol­ ume we now know as the Enchiridion, which means handbook. The following brief discussion of seven basic doctrines of Augustine is based on this book. The first doctrine deals with the Trinity, about which he wrote a sizeable es­ say in his later years. In discussing it as a metaphysical structure, Augustine, true to his tendency to attend to the inner life, drew parallels between the trini­ tarian structure of the Deity and the structure of the human mind. He illustrated his ideas about the Trinity by analogy with the psychological process of think­ ing. Henry Chadwick comments: B ecause we are made in the image of God [Augustine says that] we may expect to fi nd some "footprints" of the Trinity in the soul of man. Augustine . . . suggests that there is a triad within the personality of man consisting of the "memory" (by which Augustine means the profound center of the personal ity, including the sub­ conscious mind), intelligence, and will. The intelligence is a reflection, in some

A ugustine 133 measure, of the divine Reason who is the Son; the conative, appetitive will mirrors 202

that Love which is the Holy Spirit.

Augustine is asserting here that the Father in the Holy Trinity corre sponds to the human mind itself, with the psyche as its basic reality . The Son corresponds to the intellect, the capacity for reflection-for examining, ordering and ma­ nipulating the images that make up the mind. The Holy Spirit is parallel to the will, and corresponds to the desires, the libido energy that drives the psychic life process ; the intellect could not perform its operation unless it was fueled by the libido, by desirousness. Hence, according to Augustine, the Holy Trinity in the metaphysical realm mirrors itself in the structure of the human psyche. Turning to the metaphysical level, Chadwick says about the Trinity : Augustine' s doctri ne of the "double procession" became for his successors much more than an illustration or analogy. It appears as formal theology in the "Athana­ sian" Creed, and in S pain during the sixth century came to be affirmed as an indi s­ pensable, anti-Arian proposition. Gradually the word "and the Son" (Filioque) came to be added to Western creeds . . . until . . . the addition to the ecumenical creed began to be the subject of mutual criticism and even recri mination between the Greek East and the Latin West. How, the Greeks asked, could the West j u stify the interpolation in the text of the ecumenical counci l ' s creed? It was a step 203 that contributed a little to the widening gulf between East and West. 0


The creed which Chadwick refers to was, by Augustine ' s time, the estab­ lished statement of beliefs which all prospective candidates for the Church had to affirm. One of the sentences in the creed read, "We believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father." A great deal of controversy developed over this phrase, because a sizable group in the Church wanted to add the phrase "and the Son." The issue was more or less settled by Augustine, who opted for what is called the double procession of the Holy S pirit: the Holy Spirit proceeds not only from the Father, but also from the Son. From this historical distance, it is hard for us to understand how previous ages could become so incensed about such questions. However, the issue was a heated one, and the fact that it was so intense demonstrates that a very crucial psychological issue was at the root of it. There is a reason for every psychologi­ cal phenomenon; that is the very basis of psychological empiricism. We cannot discount as nonsense or superstition or ignorance any psychic phenomenon at any stage of development that carries an intense, passionate quality. We need to 202 203

The Early Church, pp. 235f. Ibid., p. 236.



understand the root of it. In this case the root issue was the question of the rela­ tion of the ego to the Self. The Son is the ego and the Father is the Self; the ego is the son of the Self. So the question that was in dispute was, in psychological terms: is the ego an equal partner with the Self, or is it, relatively speaking, a puppet? If it is an equal partner, then the dynamic bond that links the two pro­ ceeds from both of them . This same issue lay behind the so-called homoousia dispute. This was the question of whether the Father and the Son in the Trinity are of the same sub­ stance, which would be homoousia, or only of similar substance, the Son being of a lesser substance than the Father, which would be homoiousia . The Western Church-Roman Catholicism-opted for the formula of homoousia, that the Father and Son are of the same substance, again meaning psychologically that ego and Self are equal partners. The Eastern Church went the other way. It is not inconceivable that this difference in fundamental religious mythology accounts for a certain difference between Eastern and Western egos. It might even be pos­ sible to infer something about the differences between Croats and Serbs ; one belongs to the Western Church and the other to the Eastern Church. The second doctri ne deals with original sin. According to this precept, God created angels and then humanity, and some time after that there was a lapse in both the angelic and the human realms. In the Enchiridion, Augustine writes, Some of the angels deserted God i n impious pride and were cast into the lowest darkness from the brightness of their heavenly home, the remaining number of the 204 angels persevered in eternal bliss and holiness with God.

Following this angelic desertion, Adam and Eve defected. Augustine describes the beginning of sin in this way : The cause of evil is the defection of the will of a being who is mutably good from the [larger] Good which is immutable . . . . This was the pri mal lapse of the rational creature, that is, his first privation of the good. In train of this there crept in, even without his wil ling it, ignorance of the right things to do and also an appetite for noxious things. And these brought along with them, as their companions, error and misery . . . . After he had sinned, man was bani shed, and through his sin he sub­ jected his descendants to the punishment of sin and damnation, for he had radically corrupted them, in hi mself, by his si nning . . . . All those descended from him and his wife . . . all those born through carnal lust . . . all these entered i nto the in­ heritance of original sin . . . . This, then, was the situation: the whole mass of the human race stood condemned. [The word used is translated literally as "a lump of 204

IX, 28, p. 355.

Augustine 135 perdition." Humanity is a lump of perdition.]


This rather gloomy view of human nature means that there is no chance whatever of rescue unless divine grace, unmerited, is bestowed from heaven. Otherwise, humanity is irretrievably damned by its very nature. The whole pic­ 2 ture has considerable psychological parallel. 06 Psychologically, there is a certain validity to it, one-sided and twisted though it may be. Original sin corresponds to the state of the infantile ego when it first emerges out of its total identification with the original Self. It is in an inflated, grandiose state, full of pride and lust. Viewing an infant by adult standards, one quickly reaches that conclusion. As it begins to recognize itself as an autonomous being, the infant assumes aspects of Deity . "King Baby" is how we speak of it, and in psychological work with pa­ tients, King Baby isn ' t completely invisible even in later years. That is the state of origi nal sin, and it exists because the nascent ego is emerging into self­ consciousness. The ego could never come into existence at all without commit­ ting that original sin of pride, that crime of separating itself from the original wholeness, the state of nature; ego consciousness in its essence is a crime. Jung interprets the doctrine of original sin this way : [The book of] Genesis represents the act of becoming conscious as a taboo in­ fringement, as though knowledge meant that a sacrosanct barrier had been i m­ piously overstepped. I think that Genesis is right in so far as every step towards greater consciousness is a kind of Promethean guilt: through knowledge, the gods are as i t were robbed of their fire, that is, something that was the property of the unconscious powers is torn out of its natural context and subordinated to the whims of the conscious mind. The man who has usurped the new knowledge suf­ fers, however, a transformation or enlargement of consciousness, which no longer resembles that of his fellow men. He has raised himself above the human level of his age . . . but in so doing has alienated hi msel f from humanity. The pain of this loneliness i s the vengeance of the gods . . . . He is, as the myth says, chained to the 207 lonely cliffs of the Caucasus, forsaken of God and man.

Jung refers to this again in Mysterium Coniunctionis. He says that conscious awareness of the opposites leads to the realization that "life itself is guilt." Even a life dedicated to God is still lived by an ego which speaks of an ego and as­ serts an ego in God ' s despite, which does not instantly merge i tself with God but reserves for itsel f a freedom and a will which it sets up outside God and against 205

Enchiridion, VIII, 23-27, pp. 354f.

206 This is discussed in my Ego and A rchetype, 2f17 Two Essays, CW 7, par. 243 fn.

chap. 2.



him. How can it do this against the overwhelming might of God? Only through self-assertion, which is as sure of its free will as Lucifer. All distinction from God i s se � aration, estrangement, a falling away. The Fall was inevitable even in para­ 08 dise.

Augustine' s third doctrine is the doctrine of grace. If humanity is not to be totally condemned, the idea of original sin leads naturally into the question of grace. Since humanity is inherently corrupt, just a lump of perdition, it has no chance without some kind of outside help in the form of divine grace, the most notable expression of which, according to Christian theology, is the incarnation in Christ. Much of Augustine' s theology can be traced, in part at least, to Plato and Plotinus, but the concept of grace does not exist in the Greek tradition. It comes from the Hebrew scriptures and derives from the conception of a Deity that has a personal relation to humanity rather than an abstract, impersonal one, as had Zeus. About Augustine and the doctrine of grace, Pelikan writes: The Latin church was correct when it designated [Augustine] not only a "doctor of the church," but speci fically the "doctor of grace." For if there was a doctrinal ac­ cent that bound together most of what he said and wrote, it was divine grace . . . . Grace i s God ' s unmerited love and favor . . . . It touches man ' s inmost heart and will. It guides and impels the pilgrimage of those cal led to be faithful. It draws and raises the soul to repentance, faith, and praise. It transforms the human will so that it is capable of doing good. It relieves man ' s religious anxiety by forgiveness and the gift of hope. It establ ishes the ground of Christian humility by abolishing the 09 ground of human pride. 2

Everyone who has had any meaningful encounter with the unconscious has experienced the psychological equivalent of divine grace. A familiar example arises with the use of the ancient Chinese oracle the I Ching. Many modern peo­ ple have found that at moments of distress and concern, it is dependably helpful. That is experienced as grace. The I Ching, of course, is just one of the agents of the unconscious. When one is alert to them, dreams and all sorts of spontaneous happenings have a grace component to them. This can be described abstractly by saying that when one is in a conscious state of distress, the unconscious has a tendency to constellate a contrasting condition in order to compensate. B ut that abstract way of putting it does not do justice to the feeling dimension of the ex­ perience, which is of an encounter with grace. The doctrine that comes directly out of the doctrine of grace, as a kind of 208

CW 1 4, par. 206.

209 The Christian Tradition,

p. 294.

Augustine I37

corollary to it, is the doctrine of predestination. Pelikan says this about it: [He had] a doctrine of predestination more thoroughgoing than that of any major orthodox thinker since Paul. He defined predestination as "God ' s arrangement of his future works in his prescience, which cannot be deceived and changed" . . . . he came eventually to include the human will in the order of effects of the divine pre­ destination; for "according to that will of his [God 's] which is as eternal as his pre­ science, certainly he has already done in heaven and on earth all the things that he has willed-not only things past and present, but even things still future" . . . . Pre­ destination was the preparation for grace, while grace was the bestowal of the gift itself. . . . [Some he predestined to grace but] even in the case of the damned, the omnipotence of God achieved its purpose and the will of God was done on earth . . . . Why then did God create those whose fall he foreknew? To manifest his wrath and to demonstrate his power. Human history was the arena for this demonstration, in which the "two societies of men" were predestined, the one to reign eternally with God and the other to undergo eternal suffering with the devil. But double pre­ destination applied not only to the city of God and the city of earth, but also to in­ 10 dividuals. Some were predestined to eternal life, others to eternal death ?

That foreshadows Calvin, who comes directly out of Augustine. Now, what is the meaning here? The psychological issue seems clear: it involves the para­ doxical relation between the ego and the Self. That reflects a vast theological problem that has been the subject of ongoing dispute for centuries, between grace versus works as the agency of salvation. This theological conflict ex­ presses the psychological question of whether the ego is dependent on the Self or creates its own faith through its free will. The nature of individuation instructs us that a pair of opposites such as these is only resolved through a third condi­ tion that supersedes them . The basic question is, does the Self predetermine which ego will achieve salvation (indi viduation), or does the free action of the individual ego bring it about? Jung says: The self, like the unconscious, is an a priori existent out of which the ego evolves. It i s an unconscious prefiguration of the ego. It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself. . . . But, fundamental as it is, it can only be half the psychologi­ cal truth . If i t were the whole truth it would be tantamount to determinism, for if man were merely a creature that came into being as a result of something already existing unconsciously, he would have no freedom and there would be no point i n consciousness. Psychology must reckon with the fact that despite the causal nexus man does enjoy a feeling of freedom, which is identical with autonomy of con­ sciousness. However much the ego can be proved to be dependent and precondi­ tioned, it cannot be convi nced that it has no freedom. An absolutely preformed

2 10

Ibid. , p. 297.



consciousness and a totally dependent ego would be a pointless farce . . . . The ex­ istence of ego consciousness has meaning only if it is free and autonomous. By stati ng these facts we have, it is true, established an antinomy, but we have at the same time given a picture of things as they are . . . . In reality both are always pres­ ent: the supremacy of the self and the hybri s of consciousness. If ego conscious­ ness follows its own road exclusively, it is trying to become like a god or a super­ man. But exclusive recognition of its dependence only leads to a childish fatalism . . 211 . I arrogance. an d to a world -negatmg and m1santh rop1c spmtua . .

The passage from Augustine quoted above, which pictures the two predeter­ mined groups-one eternally saved and the other eternally damned-is a vivid image of the split Christian (and Augustinian) psyche. It pictures the dis­ sociation at the root of the whole Christian eon. For Augustine this dissociation finally occurred with his conversion at the age of thirty-two, so that his conflict between body and spirit was resolved by identification with the spirit. In other passages, Augustine describes the nature of the Last Judgment, a situation in which the eternally blessed reside in one layer of the cosmos and the eternally damned i n another layer. These images show the ultimate triumph of Manichaeism in the soul of Augustine, because they correspond precisely to the Manichaean image of the nature of the cosmos: the realm of light and the realm of darkness that at the end of time will have nothing to do with one another; they will be totally separated. The fifth doctrine is the precept of the privatio boni, which is a logical consequence of the psychic dissociation. This is how Augustine describes it: What, after all, is anything we call evi l except the pri vation of good? In animal bodies, for instance, sickness and wounds are nothing but the privation of health. When a cure is effected, the evils which were present do not retreat and go else­ where. Rather, they simply do not exist any more. For such evil is not a substance; the wound or the disease is a defect of the bodily substance . . . . Evil, then, is an accident, a privation of that good which is called health. Thus, whatever defects there are in a soul are pri vations of a natural good. When a cure takes place, they are not transferred elsewhere . . . . They no longer exist at all . . . . When a thing is corrupted, its corruption is an evil because it is by just so much, a privation of the good. Where there is no privation of the good, there is no evil. Where there is evil, there is a corresponding diminution of the good. . . . Every being, insofar as it is a being, is good . . . . Nothing evil exists in itself. . . . In so far as a thing is an entity, it is unquestionably good. If it is an incorruptible entity, it is a great good. But 211

The Mysteries: Papers from the Eranos Yearbooks, vol . 2 , p. 324. This passage, with the exception of the last two sentences, also appears in ''Transformation Symbolism in the M ass," Psychology and Religion, CW 1 1 , par. 39 1 .

Augustine 139 even if it is a corruptible entit r , it still has no mode of existence except as an as­ 12 pect of something that i s good.

lung has written extensively against the doctrine of the privatio boni.2 1 3 In a foreword to Father Victor White ' s book, God and the Unconscious, lung de­ scribes how the doctrine was drawn to his attention through a patient who was using the privatio boni doctrine as an excuse for living out some aspects of his shadow. He then briefly criticizes the precept on psychological grounds. He points out that with an understanding of the opposites, one cannot posit one op­ posite and annihilate the other. He continues: For these reasons I have felt compelled to contest the validity of the privatio boni so far as the empirical realm is concerned. For the same reasons I also criticize the dictum deri ved from the privatio boni, namely [all good from God, all bad from man] ; for then on the one hand man is deprived of the possibility of doing anything good, and on the other he is given the seducti ve power of doing evil. . . . Criticism can be applied only to psychic phenomena, i.e., to ideas and concepts, and not to metaphysical entities. These can only be confronted with other meta­ 21 physi cal enti ties. Hence my criticism is valid only within the empirical realm. 4

lung considers that one cannot make any valid statements about any realm except the empirical one. From the standpoint of empirical psychology, the pri­ vatio boni is a perversion of abstract thinking, in effect. Although it obviously fit the nature of the Christian eon, since it was adopted, and it is still the widely prevailing view, in the coming eon it must be replaced. It can be said that the privatio boni doctrine is one stage in a process that has unfolded itself in archetypal psychohistory. First there arose Manichaeism and the other dualistic Gnostic systems that radically separated spirit and matter, and good and evil, but did not deny evil the full reality of a cosmic principle. It was taken seriously. Then came Augustine, the Manichaean turned Christian who had to discredit Manichaean dualism in order to support his own position. He "solved" the dualistic conflict temporarily, by denying evil any essential reality, and that answer survived for a good many centuries. The third stage in this his­ torical process stems from the Analytical Psychology of lung, which provides a reconciling third to the previous two by empirically demonstrating the double nature of the paradoxical God-image, which contains within itself good and evil, the two opposites, side by side. Those opposites become problematical only 212 213 2 14

Enchiridion, I I I , p p . 343ff. There is a discussion of the subject in Aion, CW 9ii, par. 80.

Psychology and Religion, CW I I , pars. 458f.



when they are touched by a conscious ego which causes them to separate and which then must deal with the conflict that is aroused. Augustine possessed a brill iant symbolic imagination, which he applied to the Scriptures, especially to the Psalms. An example is his symbolic elaboration of the six days of Creation. In his commentaries on the Psalms, he speaks of the six days in terms of six ages in Biblical history . This quotation is from his com­ mentary on Psalm 92: As therefore God made man in His own image on the sixth day: thus we find that our Lord Jesus Christ came into the sixth age, that man might be formed anew af­ ter the i mage of God. For the first period, as the first day, was from Adam until Noah; the second, as the second day, from Noah unto Abraham ; the third, as the third day, from Abraham unto David; the fourth, as the fourth day, from David unto the removal to Babylon; the fifth period, as the fifth day, from the removal to B abylon unto the preaching of John. The sixth day beginneth from the preaching of John, and lasteth unto the end; and after the end of the sixth day, we reach our 2 15 rest. The sixth day, therefore, is even now passing. He

continues to spin out this imagery in The City of God, in which the six days refer to levels of human consciousness. Jung comments on this passage in ''The Spirit Mercurius": Thus, with Augustine, the first day of creation begins with self-knowledge . . . by which is meant a knowledge not of the ego but of the self, that objecti ve phenome­ non of which the ego is the subject. Then, following the order of the days of crea­ tion in Genesis, comes knowledge of the firmament, of the earth, the sea, the plants, the stars, the ani mals of the water and air, and finally, on the si xth day, knowledge of the land animals and of . . . man himself. The [morning knowledge] i s self-knowl edge, but the [evening knowledge] is knowledge of man. As Augustine describes it, the [morning knowledge] gradually grows old as it loses it­ self in the "ten thousand things" and finally comes to man. . . . His real meaning is that self-knowledge is . . . a morning light revealed after a night during which con­ sciousness slumbered, wrapped in the darkness of the unconscious. But the knowl­ edge ari sing with this first light finally and inevitably becomes . . . the knowledge of man, who asks himself: "Who is it that knows and understands everything? Why, it is myself." That marks the comi ng of darkness, out o f which arises the seventh day, that of rest: "But the rest of God signifies the rest of those who rest in God." The Sabbath is therefore the day on which man returns to God and receives anew the light of the [morning knowledge]. And this day has no evening . . . . It seems to me that Augustine apprehended a great truth , namely that every spiritual truth gradually turns into something material , becoming no more than a tool in the hand of man. In consequence, man can hardly avoid seeing himself as a 2 1s

V. Bourke, ed. , The Essential Augustine, p. 224.

Augustine 141 knower, yes, even as a creator, with boundless possibi lities at his command. The alchemist was basically this sort of person, but much less so than modem man. An alchemist could still pray : "Purge the horrible darknesses of our mind," but mod足 ern man is already so darkened that nothing beyond the light of his own intellect illuminates his world . . . . That surely is why such strange things are happening to our much lauded civilization, more like a Gotterdammerung than any normal twi 足 216 light.

Finally, Augustine ' s doctrine of love. Probably Augustine ' s most famous statement is, "Love and do what you will." He writes: When we look at di ffering actions, we find that charity may cause a man to be fierce, and wickedness to speak smoothly. A boy may be struck by his father, and have fair words from a slave-dealer. Were you to offer a choice between blows and smooth words, who would not choose the fair words and shun the blows? B ut if you look to the persons from whom they come, it is charity that strikes and wick足 edness that i ngratiates. You see the point we are making, that the actions of men are discerned only according to their root in charity. Many things can be done that look well, yet do not issue from the root of charity . . . . Some actions seem harsh or savage, but are performed for our discipline at the dictate of charity. Thus, a short and simple precept is gi ven you once for all : Love, and do what you will. Whether you keep silence, keep silence in love; whether you exclaim, exclaim i n love ; w hether you correct, correct in love; whether you forbear, forbear in love. Let 2 17 love ' s root be within you, and from that root, nothing but good can spring.

That sounds good, with one very sizable caveat. Do we know down to the very root of our being that our motivation is indeed love? Is there no uncon足 scious shadow that may be contaminating what we think is love? This formula, after all, could have been used to justify the Inquisition. There is a psychological alternative, which is also not without its dangers. The psychological alternative would be: "Be conscious and do what you will ." Of course, the same warning applies: can one be sure of one's motivations? Nonetheless, perhaps it is better than Augustine ' s formula.

216 217

''The Spirit Mercurius," A lchemical Studies, CW 1 3 , pars. 301 ff. "Homily on I John," in Library of Christian Classics, vol. 8, p. 3 1 6.

12 Conclusion

The previous chapters have explored the psychological consequences of the eruption of an archetype into the collective psyche two thousand years ago. That was the archetype of the Son of God, also called Christ or the Anointed One. This profound symbol represents the incarnation of the image of Deity into visi­ ble earthly manifestation, a descent of the God-image into human form to rescue mankind from a state of sin and darkness. We have observed that the effects of this archetypal eruption formed into two main streams. One was the array of Gnostic systems that emphasized knowledge and individual personal experience as the gateway to redemption, and the other was the ecclesiastical formulation that emphasized faith and loving communion with fellow believers in a collective context. It was this second stream which led finally to the establishment of the orthodox Catholic Church. For a period of time a bitter conflict ensued between the two approaches, a struggle initiated primarily on the ecclesiastic side. The outcome was a victory for the ecclesiastic forces, and, as so often happens with victors, they eradicated all remnants of their enemy to the extent that they could. Gnostic literature was systematically destroyed, as a result of which we have had virtually no direct first-hand knowledge of Gnostic material for about seventeen hundred years. Only in the nineteenth century did some original Gnostic texts begin to emerge out of the depths of the earth, and then the twentieth century witnessed some remarkable discoveries of lost Gnostic documents. It is surely synchronistic that these texts should emerge only now, at a time when humanity is ready to receive them, so to speak. So the ecclesiastical stream crystallized into the Catholic Church, which in tum assimilated the fragments of the ruined Roman Empire and incorporated much of its administrative structure. With that assimilation, the Church was pre­ pared to survive the Middle Ages and function as a chrysalis out of which West­ em civilization was born. And thus the Christian eon unfolded. Jung has elaborated the subject of the psychological nature of the Christian eon quite extensively in his book A ion. The basic feature of that psychology, which was established in the early centuries and perpetuated itself throughout the eon, is a radical split between spirit and matter, and between some other op1 42

Conclusion 143

posites such as good and evil, Christ and Antichrist, male and female. The eccle­ siastical God-image that emerged was a trinitarian one, and this Holy Trinity was pitted against a kind of infernal trinity-the world, the flesh, and the devil. We can understand this historical development as a necessary process through which the discrimination of opposites took place in the collective psyche. The consequence of that discrimination was that a solid spiritual principle was es­ tablished, separated from the principle of nature and instinct which had gov­ erned the later Roman Empire in a degraded form. However, in due course, the split between spirit and matter, although necessary at one stage, began develop­ ing its own particular problems. It proved to be no satisfactory end state. Jung demonstrated in A ion how the Christ-Antichrist antithesis, which is symbolized by the two fishes in the constellation Pisces, played itself out his­ torically as the Christian eon unfolded. During the first millennium, the fish symbolizing Christ prevailed, and during that time, the Church emerged trium­ phant and became the spiritual authority for the European civilization to which it had given birth. B ut during the second millennium, the Church sustained a whole series of assaults. There were scandals in the Papacy, there was the Prot­ estant Reformation, there was the scientific revolution, there was Deism and the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, and finally in the nineteenth century, the coup de grace was administered with the appearance of the ideas of Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche and Freud-significantly, a quaternity, not a trinity. Today, in the territory of the once-triumphant ecclesiastic stream, the body of Christ is dismembered. There are over four hundred different denominations, reducing the Church to an aggregation of these conflicting groups . Although their internecine conflict is much mitigated in the present compared to its inten­ sity a few centuries ago, little importance attaches to it, chiefly because of the impotence and irrelevance of the contenders, who no longer play the role in the real world that the Church once did. Rationalistic secularism and scientific mate­ rialism rule the modern world, and all of this is symbolized by the image of the dominion of Christ replaced by the dominion of Antichrist. As Jung spells it out in Aion, a watershed occurred about 1 500 A.D., a deci­ sive time when the God-image fell out of heaven and into the human psyche. That means it shifted from projection in metaphysical systems to embodi ment in the human realm where it could be encountered directly. This event signaled a vast energizing of humanity . All the great enterprises of the modern world were initiated in this time: the Reformation, the Renaissance, geographic exploration, scientific investigation, rediscovery of ancient culture, renewed interest in tech-



no logy . As the God-image fell into the human psyche, it also tempted mankind into a vast hubris, an overvaluation of the human ego of such proportions that the world now stands on the brink of catastrophe. All of these phenomena, as Jung has pointed out, are manifestations of the Antichrist. The Christian eon is the age of the splitting of the opposites ; one opposite prevailed in the first mil­ lennium, the other in the second millennium. The return of the repressed has occurred, it could be said, on a grand psychohistorical level. The early Church Fathers thought of Gnosticism as belonging to the realm of Antichrist, which is why they attacked it with such vigor. To them, it belonged to the realm of evil, even though most Gnostic sects shared the Church' s im­ agery of the dissociation of good and evil . In spite of this similarity, the Gnostic imagery did grant numinosity to matter and to the realm of darkness by virtue of its myth of the light trapped in the darkness. That meant that the Gnostics had to pay attention to the realm of evil and darkness, since precious light was impris­ oned in it. They also respected it enough to grant that realm the status of a cos­ mic principle. They did not subscribe to the notion of privatio boni, that evil was nothing but the absence of something else. For that reason, Gnostic symbolism contains at least the latent seeds of rec­ onciliation between nature and spirit, in spite of the fact that most individual Gnostics were j ust as dissociated, or even more so, than their orthodox ecclesi­ astical colleagues. This possible reconciling imagery makes it significant that, in spite of all the efforts of the Church, Gnosticism did not disappear completely . Although it was conquered and was n o longer a factor in the conscious life of the collective, it went underground psychically and it reemerged fitfully in some of the following centuries. Manichaeism, for instance, survi ved in small remote groups in eastern Europe and finally reemerged with some force in the Cathar movement of the twelfth century in southern France. Some Gnostic imagery also surfaced in the Jewish Kabbala, but the main evidence of the survival of underground Gnosti­ cism is found in the development of alchemy, starting with Greek alchemy in Alexandria, followed by Arabic alchemy in the Middle Ages and flowering in Latin alchemy from about the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries. Jung rescued alchemy from the trash heap of history where the modern mind had deposited it, and made it available to modern understanding. Presenting his findings in Psychology and Alchemy, published first in 1 944, he begins with a chapter that reveals the depth and breadth of his vision. He writes:

Conclusion 145 The poi nt is that alchemy is rather l ike an undercurrent to the Christi anity that ruled on the surface. It is to this surface as the dream is to consciousness, and just as the dream compensates the conflicts of the conscious mind, so alchemy endeav­ 18 ors to fill in the gaps left open by the Christian tension of opposites ?

Two thousand years ago, a new God-image was born. Its essential feature i s that it manifests in human form ; it is Deity incarnated in order t o fulfill a re­ demptive process. When this revelation was developed through centuries of ef­ fort, it revealed itself to have a threefold structure-a Father, Son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously. A passionate debate extending over centuries took place concerning the nature of this Trinity . Some of the questions were: what is the relation between the Father and the Son? Is the Son totally equal to the Father, or is he subordinate to the Father in some respect? Was the Son ' s incarnation a total union with human flesh, or was it mitigated and less than total in some way, or was it even just a seeming taking-on of flesh? Then there was the ques­ tion of the relation of the Holy Spirit to the Father and to the Son. Did the Holy Spirit arise only from the Father, or did it come from both the Father and the Son equally? These questions were inevitable because the very idea of the Holy Trinity was an irrational paradox, since it made the statement that a unity was simultaneously a multiplicity . The incarnation doctrine was also an irrational paradox, because it proclaimed that Jesus Christ was simultaneously both com­ pletely human and completely divine. Controversy is unavoidable whenever rational mentality attempts to grapple with such irrationalities. Psychologists are interested in the meaning of these events and controversies. Why were they so heated? Why was it necessary for the collective psyche to postulate such illogical ideas to begin with, and then why did the different fac­ tions fight about them with such passionate intensity? We can answer that ques­ tion now, because we can understand this imagery to refer to the most crucial issue in human psychology, the issue of the relation between the ego and the Self. From a psychological standpoint, the first question would be, is there such a thing as a transpersonal entity, a God-image? Secondly, has the ego any pros­ pects of connection to that transpersonal entity ? And thirdly, if so, what is that relationship? The basic importance of these questions in human existence can readily explain the passionate debate about the nature of the Holy Trinity that went on in the early centuries of the eon. The statements regarding the Trinity are paradoxes because the ego ' s relation 218

C W 1 2, par. 2 6 . See m y Psyche i n Antiquity, Book One: Early Greek Philosophy,

chap. 1 2, for further discussion of Jung ' s ideas on the historical dimension of alchemy.



to the Self is itself a paradox. The experience of the Self brings about awareness of such antinomies as free will versus determinism, for instance. We have seen that this question came up in the religious context in regard to the nature of God ' s relation to man. The same issue is relevant in the psychological context, as we try to understand the ego ' s relation to the Self. Within the traditional re­ ligious framework, the paradox can be reconciled only by an act of faith, but for the modern mind, that way is no longer available. Jung writes: I do not expect any believing Christian to pursue these thoughts of mine any fur­ ther, for they will probably seem to him absurd. I am not, however, addressing my­ self to the happy possessors of faith, but to those many people for whom the light has gone out, the mystery has faded, and God is dead. For most of them there is no going back, and one does not know either whether going back is always the better way. To gai n an understanding of religious matters, probably all that is left us to­ day is the psychological approach . That is why I take these thought-forms that have become historically fixed, t � to melt them down again and pour them i nto 2 moulds of immediate experience. 1

Pursuing this study of immediate experience at the beginning of a new eon, Jung has demonstrated that the empirical God-image is not a trinity, but a quaternity. Jung discusses this subject at length in his essay on the Trinity in Psychology and Religion. There are two different aspects of trinity imagery de­ pending on whether it refers to a structure or to a process. In Christian theology, the reference is largely to the structure of the Deity, and that means that the De­ ity is an abstract one, a kind of amputated quaternity missing the fourth element that is necessary to bring it into concrete reality. A trinitarian God-image is a product of thinking and not yet a concrete reality . However, when the Trinity image is considered as a process, a different picture appears. Processes are movements in time, and all processes fulfill themselves in a threefold sequence: beginning, middle and end. In psychological terms, the trinity as a process and the symbolism of the number three refer to egohood, as contrasted with the number four which pertains to the Self. The ego exists in time. Space and time as forms of perception are the essence of the ego, the basis of its very existence. Historical manifestation in space and time is implied in the symbolism of the Christian Deity as a trinity. This was expressed first by Montanus in the second century and then by Joachim of Flora in the twelfth century . Each one described the Trinity as a series of historical stages, the age of the Father corresponding to the Old Testament period, the age of the Son corresponding to the New Testa2


"Psychology and Religion," Psyclwlogy and Religion, CW 1 1 , par. 148.

Conclusion 147

ment period, and the age of the Holy Ghost described by Montanus in terms of himself as the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete. Joachim of Flora was more modest. He thought that the Holy Ghost would manifest itself in a new monastic community beginning in his age. From the psychological standpoint, we are very likely to say that the age of the Holy Spirit is starting with us. These three stages, the age of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are also applicable to the psychological development of the individual . Jung spells this out in his Trinity essay : [The world of the Father is ] man in his childhood state . . . . [It] typifies an age which is characterized by a pristine oneness with the whole of Nature [i.e., an age 2 far removed from critical judgment and moral conflict]? 0 [The world of the Son is ] a world filled with longing for redemption and for that state of perfection in which man was still one with the Father. Longingly he looked back to the world of the Father, but it was lost forever, because an irreversible in足 crease in man's consciousness had taken place . . . and made it independent. 22 1 The stage of the "Son " is therefore a conflict situation par excellence: the choice of possible ways is menaced by just as manl possibilities of error. "Freedom from 2 the law" brings a sharpening of opposites? This change takes place as soon as two replaces one; two by its very nature embodies conflict or doubt. When the third arrives on the scene, there is a shift to the world of the Holy Ghost. Jung writes: The advance to the third stage [the Holy Ghost ] means something like a recogni足 tion of the unconscious, if not actual subordination to it. . . . Just as the transition from the first stage to the second demands a sacrifice of childish dependence, so, at the transition to the third stage, an exclusive independence has to be relin足 22 quished. 3 This third stage . . . means articulating one' s ego-consciousness with a supraordi足 nate totality, of which one cannot say that it is "I," but which is best visualized as a 22 more comprehensive being. 4 These ideas of Jung ' s integrate the symbolism of the Trinity as a temporal process into the psychology of individuation . However, the Trinity considered as 220 "A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity," ibid., par. 22 1 Ibid., par. 203. 222 Ibid., par. 272. 223 Ibid., par. 273 . 224 Ibid., par. 276.

20 1 .



a structure remains an amputated or abortive quaternity, an abstraction lacking concrete reality . As a collective historical process and as a metaphysical formu­ lation, the God-image has incarnated itself-in the Church and in Christian the­ ology. But in terms of the psychology of the individual that incarnation has not yet taken place. For the individual it is only a metaphysical abstraction and not yet an experiential reality. The incarnation process has been incomplete and must now be carried further. Jung comments: Christian civilization has proved hollow to a terrifying degree: it is all veneer, but the inner man has remained untouched and therefore un:hanged. His soul is out of key with his external beliefs ; in his soul the Chri stian has not kept pace with exter­ nal developments . . . . Inside reign the archaic gods . . . that is to say the inner cor­ respondence with the outer [Christian] God-i mage is undeveloped . . . . Too few people have experienced the divine image as the innermost possession of their own souls. Christ only meets them from without. . . . So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened. It has yet to be understood that the mys­ terium magnum is not only an actuality but is first and foremost rooted in the hu­ man psyche. . . . it is the pri me task of all education (of adults) to convey the ar­ 25 chetype of the God-image, or its emanations and effects, to the conscious mind ? [Christianity] was founded on the perception of symbols thrown up by the uncon­ scious indi viduation process which always sets in when the collective dominants of human life fall into decay. At such a ti me there is bound to be a considerable number of individuals who are possessed by archetypes of a numinous nature that force their way to the surface in order to form new dominants. This state of posses­ sion shows i tself almost without exception in the fact that the possessed identify themselves with the archetypal contents . . . . they exemplify these concretely in their own li ves, thus becoming prophets and reformers. In so far as the archetypal content of the Chri stian drama was able to gi ve satisfying expression to the uneasy and clamorous unconscious of the many, the consensus omnium raised this drama to a uni versally binding truth-not of course by an act of judgment, but by the ir­ rational fact of possession, which is far more effective. Thus Jesus became the tu­ telary image or amulet against the archetypal powers that threatened to pos sess everyone. The glad tidings announced: "It has happened, but it will not happen to you inasmuch as you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God !" Yet it could and it 226 can and it will happen to everyone in whom the Christian dominant has decayed.

In other words, when, as in the modern Western world, a functioning God­ image dies, falls out of its metaphysical projection, it is no longer available to 225 226

Psychology and Alchemy, CW 1 2, pars. 1 2ff. Ibid., par. 4 1 .

Conclusion 149

protect one from the numinosum. The danger then is that the active archetype can become identified with the ego. The ego inflates. Jung says: The indi vidual ego is much too small, i t s brain is much too feeble, t o incorporate all the projections withdrawn from the world. Ego and brain burst asunder in the effort; the psychiatrist calls it schizophrenia. When Nietzsche said "God is dead," he uttered a truth which is valid for the greater part of Europe. People were infl u­ enced by it not because he said so, but because it stated a widespread psycholog i­ cal fact. The consequences were not long delayed: after the fog of -isms, the catas­ trophe. Nobody thought of drawing the slightest conclusions from Nietzsche' s pro­ nouncement. Yet it has, for some ears, the same eerie sound as that ancient cry which came echoing over the sea to mark the end of the nature gods : "Great Pan is 227 dead."

Jung goes on to point out that this is the situation we are in now. Our collec­ tive mythological dominant has faded, and we are now confronted with the en­ ergies of that archetypal figure in its unmediated form. The problem is to under­ stand the situation sufficiently so that we do not fall into an inflated identifica­ tion with it-which is largely the state of the modem mind. Jung continues: Ultimately, every individual life is at the same time the eternal life of the species. The individual is continuously "hi storical" because strictly time-bound . . . . Since the life of Christ is archetypal to a high degree, it represents to just that degree the l i fe of the archetype. But since the archetype is the unconscious precondition of every human life, its life, when revealed, also reveals the h idden, unconscious ground-life of every indi vidual . That i s to say, what happens in the l i fe of Christ happens always and everywhere. I n the Christian archetype all l i ves of this kind are prefigured and are expressed over and over again or once and for all. And in it, too, the question that concerns us here of God ' s death i s antici pated in perfect 228 form. Chri st hi mself is the typical dying and self-transforming God.

The Christian myth itself depicts the death of God and if we understand it correctly, it speaks to the modern problem. Christ the incarnation of God died on the cross, and yet on Easter morning, when women came to his tomb, they were told, "Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."229 Jung addresses himself to this passage: This is a typical experience that has been repeated many times, and its expression therefore occupies a central place in the Christian mystery . The death or loss must always repeat itself: Christ always dies, and always he is born; for the psychic life 227 228 229

"Psychology and Religion," Psychology and Religion, CW I I , par. 1 45 . Ibid., par. 1 46.

Luke 24:5f. ; KJ .



of the archetype is timeless in comparison with our individual time-boundness . . . . The present is a time of God' s death and disappearance. The myth says he was not to be found w here his body was laid. "Body" means the outward, visible form, the erstwhile but ephemeral setting for the highest value. The myth further says that the value rose again i n a miraculous manner, transformed. It looks like a miracle, for, when a value disappears, it always seems to be lost irretrievably. So it is quite unexpected that it should come back. The three days' descent into hell during death describes the si nking of the vanished value into the unconscious, where, by conquering the power of darkness, it establishes a new order, and then rises up to heaven again, that is, attains supreme clarity of consciousness. The fact that only a few people see the Risen One means that no small difficulties stand in the way of 230 fi nding and recognizing the transformed value.

Here is the answer, in the Christian myth itself, to our current religious di­ lemma. Nietzsche has announced that for us God is dead. But if this fact is un­ derstood psychologically, we can see that the Christian myth has already fore­ told that event. Just as Christ died and was resurrected in the myth, so the body of Christ, the mass of Western humanity who have lived in containment in that myth, can expect to repeat the pattern : to experience a spiritual death followed by a resurrection. What does that mean? It can now be understood that the God­ image we have lived by, whose loss has condemned us to the spiritual death of meaninglessness, will be recovered on a new level of consciousness. The basic theme of the Christian myth is the incarnation of the God-image, and Jung has rescued that theme by his understanding that the process of indi­ viduation corresponds to the continuing incarnation of the God-image. In "Answer to Job," he says: We have always been taught that the Incarnation was a unique historical event. N o repetition o f it was t o b e expected . . . . The sole source o f revelation, and hence the final authority, is the Bible. God is an authority only in so far as he authorized the writings in the New Testament, and with the conclusion of the New Testament the authentic communications of God cease. . . . [But Christ had told his believers that they] are children of God and "fellow heirs with Christ." When Christ leaves the earthly stage, he will ask his father to send his flock a Counsel lor (the "Paraclete") . . . . The Counsellor is the Holy Ghost who will be sent from the father. This "Spirit of truth" will teach the believers "all things" and guide them "into all truth." Ac­ cording to this, Christ envisages a continuing real ization of God in his children, 23 1 and consequently in his (Christ's) brothers and sisters in the spirit.

230 23 1

"Psychology and Religion," Psychology and Religion, CW 1 1 , par. 1 49. "Anwer to Job," ibid., par. 655.

Conclusion 151 God ' s Incarnation in Christ requires continuation and completion because Chri st, owing to his virgin birth and his sinlessness, was not an empirical human being at all . . . . The continuing, direct operation of the Holy Ghost on those who are called to 23 2 be God's children i mplies, in fact, a broadening process of incarnation.

This concept of continuing incarnation provides a connecting link between the mythology of the Christian eon and that of the new eon about to be born. As Jung says, As a rule, the leading idea of a new religion comes from the symbolism of the re­ ligion that preceded it. For instance, the leading idea of a new religion to follow the Chri stian age would be that everyone i s Chri st, that Christ i s merely the pro­ jection of an entirely human mystery, and that insofar as we take the Christ pro­ jection back into ourselves each one of us is Christ.



In other words, the myth of the incarnation of Christ, which is to proceed by continuing incarnation, symbolically describes the individuation process. In that process, the human ego has an encounter with the transpersonal Self (a Job ex­ perience), which generates a new level of awareness concerning the God-image. This new ego consciousness reacts reflexively on the less-conscious God-image, which now becomes more humanized and descends into cooperative relation to the ego. This process brings about an ever-increasing psychic wholeness which heals dissociations and reconciles the paradoxical opposites that have been con­ tained within the unconscious God-image. The net result is that ego and Self become a functional interacting unity. The archetype is egoized and the ego is archetypalized, God becomes man and man becomes God, so to speak, by virtue of his "enlightened human consciousness, which thereby acquires a metaphysical and cosmic significance.' .234

2 2 3 2


Ibid., pars. 657f.

The Visions Seminars, vol . 2, p. 30 1 . 234 Jung, Letters, vol . 2, p. 3 1 1 .

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Adam, 23, 50, 1 02, 1 25

Bigg, Charles: Christian Platonists of

and Eve, 1 34

A lexandria, 82-83, 94, 99

Aeon(s), 72, 74, 77. See also Christian eon ; eon

Blake, William, 1 22 bodily/body/embodiment, 29, 50, 54, 59,

alchemical/alchemist/alchemy, 39, 4 1 , 43,

6 1 -62, 65, 80, 85, 89-90, 98- 1 03 , 1 08, 1 38, 143, 1 50. See also material book of life, 79 boundaries/boundary, 7 1 , 74-76 Buddha, 77, l l 8

53, 56, 60-63 , 66, l l 6- l l 7, 1 24- 1 26, 1 28, 1 32, 1 4 1 , 1 44- 1 45 aletheia (truth), 69, 78. See also Valenti nus allegorism, 83-84 amplification/amplify, 99 analysis/analytic, 38, 40, 68, 73, 75, 80. See also depth psychologist; psychology Analytical Psychology, 1 39 angel(s)langelic, 63-64, 66 anima, 4 1 animus, 3 6 Antichrist, 1 43- 1 44

apocatastasis, 1 00, 1 02- 1 03 archetypaVarchetype(s), 8, 1 0- 1 2, 1 5- 1 6, 30-32, 35, 4 1 -43, 58, 60, 64-69, 79, 87, 1 00, 1 08, I l l , l l 5, l l 9- 1 20, 1 42, 1 48151 o f the number three, 5 8 psychohistory, 7, 1 39, 144 archon(s), 56-51, 59 Augusti ne, 1 29- 1 4 1 basic doctrines, 1 32- 1 4 1 City of God, 1 40 Confessions, 1 30 conversion of, 1 30- 1 3 1 , 1 38 Enchiridion, 1 3 2, 1 34 baptism, 1 0 bar Konai , Theodore, 1 25. See also Mani Basilides of Alexandria, 56-68 theological system, 56, 57, 58 Bible/Biblical, 9, 79, 98-99, 1 40, 1 50. See also Gospel(s); New Testament; Old Testament

Carpocrates/Carpocratians, 88-92 Catholic/Catholicism, 1 6- 1 7, 22, 1 1 4, 1 29,

1 42 Chadwick, Henry, 1 30

The Early Church, 1 32- 1 33 Christ/Christian/Christos, 9- 1 5 , 2 1 -35, 44, 46, 49-56, 59-60, 64-66, 7 1 ' 76-79, 8283-87, 96- 1 00, 1 03- 1 04, 1 07- 1 08, 1 1 2, 1 1 4- 1 20, 1 25- 1 32, 1 36, 1 38- 1 40, 1 421 46, 1 48- 1 5 1 . See also Jesus eon, 7, 1 6, 7 1 , 1 1 4- 1 1 5, 1 20, 1 3 1 - 1 32, 1 38- 1 39, 1 42- 1 44, 1 5 1 Church, 1 6- 1 9, 2 1 -22, 28-29, 3 1 -3 3 , 42, 44-46, 54, 58, 69, 96, 99- 1 00, 1 05- 1 06, 1 1 3, 1 20, 1 29, 1 32- 1 33 , 1 43- 1 44, 1 48 circulatio, 1 24 Clement of Alexandria!Clementine, 42, 45, 65, 82-93, 96 allegorism(s), 83-84 "Exhortation to the Greeks," 84-86 letter on the Gospel of Mark, 87-89 life of, 82 Recognitions of Clement, 33 collective, 8, 1 7, 48, 64-65, 87, 95, 1 07, 142, 1 48- 1 49 consciousness, 1 6, 144 psyche, 7, 1 2, 30, 32, 58, 65, 1 42- 1 45 unconscious, 7, 1 6, 65-66, 7 1 , 74-75 complex, 38, 64-65, I l l , 1 23 coniunctio, 38-40, 1 26- 1 28 conscience, 24

1 54

Index 155 conscious/consciousness, 8, 1 5- 1 6, 24-26,

error, 32, 75, 78-80, 1 34

30-3 1 , 34-35, 38, 47-49, 58, 60-67, 75, 77-78, 87, 90-9 1 , 97-98, 1 02- 1 04, 1 2 1 1 27, 1 32, 1 35- 1 4 1 , 1 44- 1 5 1 Council of Nicea, 1 29 covenant, 8 creation/creator, 36, 4 1 , 45, 50, 52, 54, 56, 63, 7 1 , 73, 76-79, 89, 1 00, 1 02- 1 04, 1 2 1 , 1 24- 1 26, 1 28, 1 40 cross, 75 crucifixion/crucify, 1 0, 1 4, 63, 77

eschatologicaVeschatology, 9 Essenes, 1 0. See also Dead Sea S crolls; Jew(s) Esnik, 50. See also Marcion

dark(ness), 8, 1 3 , 1 9, 40, 49-50, 58-6 1 , 65,

88-89, 1 06, 1 1 6- 1 1 8, 1 20- 1 23, 1 251 28, 1 34, 1 38, 1 40- 1 42, 1 44, 1 50 Dead Sea Scrolls, 1 0 death, 7 , 1 4, 23, 30, 1 1 2, 1 1 6, 1 49- 1 50 deities/Deity, 8, 45 , 49, 56, 58, 69, 74, 97, 1 0 1 - 1 02, 1 32, 1 35- 1 36, 1 42, 145- 1 46 Demiurge, 79 depth psychology, 7 1 , 86, 1 1 3 , 1 25 devil, 1 0, 1 3 , 34, 1 37 dismemberment, 28 dispensation, 22, 26, 45 divine/divinity, 9, 1 4, 1 6, 7 1 Docetism/Docetist, 54 dream(s), 25, 28, 35-36, 40-4 1 , 60, 75, 79, 97, 1 1 0- 1 1 2, 1 1 4- 1 1 7, 1 36, 1 45 interpretation of, 98, 1 00 lung's, 76 Dulles, John Foster, 92 ego, 9, 1 2, 1 4- 1 6, 24-25, 35, 38, 47-49, 53,

55, 58, 60, 62, 66, 7 1 , 73-77, 87, 1 02, 1 1 3, 1 1 9- 1 27, 1 34- 1 38, 1 44- 1 5 1 development, 98, 1 03 Eleusinian mysteries, 84-87, 89. See also Clement of Alexandria

ennoia (mind), 7, 36, 38-39, 69. See also Simon Magus; Valentinus eon(s), 1 6, 40, 69, 7 1 , 76, 95, 1 1 4- 1 1 5 ,

1 20, 1 3 1 - 1 32, 1 38- 1 39, 1 42- 145, 1 5 1 epoptia (vision), 87. See also Clement of Alexandria

evil, 32, 42, 1 20- 1 2 1 , 1 27, 1 34, 1 38- 1 39,

1 44 faith, 22, 24, 32, 44, 96-97, 1 05, 1 07, 1 37,

1 42, 1 46, 1 48 father(s), 47, 1 1 9- 1 20 Church, 32-33, 45-46, 82-83, 99, 1 05 ,

1 44 God the, 8 , 1 1 , 1 4- 1 5, 22, 26, 36, 50, 54,

59, 63, 78-8 1 , 89, 97, 1 03- 1 04, 1 1 2, 1 1 4, 1 20, 1 25, 1 46- 1 47. See also God -i mage, 38-39, 58-59, 63, 69, 7 1 , 74, 76, 1 1 9, 1 33- 1 34, 1 45 personal, 1 1 9- 1 20 Faust, 33 fire, 4 1 -42 -tree, 4 1 free will, 1 37 Frend, W.H.C.: The Early Church, 1 05 Freud, Sigmund, 24, 48, 1 43 Garden of Eden, 24 Gibbon, Edward: The Decline and Fall of

the Roman Empire, 7, 1 05- 1 06 gnosis/Gnostic/Gnosticism, 1 7, 3 1 -35, 39-

44, 58-59, 64-69, 73-79, 95-96, 1 061 07, 1 09, 1 1 8, 1 20, 1 23, 1 39, 1 42, 1 44 God/God-image, 7- 1 5, 23, 27-28, 30, 34, 38, 4 1 -42, 45 , 50, 53, 66, 77, 86, 971 04, 1 08- 1 09, I l l , 1 1 4, 1 20- 1 2 1 , 1 24, 1 34- 1 40, 1 42, 1 44- 1 5 1 . See also Self the creator, 46-50, 52 as father, 8, 26 as son, 8-9, 26-27, 45 Son of, 8- 1 2, 1 5- 1 6, 1 9, 22, 24-27, 35, 45-46, 50, 56, 5 8-60, 63, 1 03- 1 04, 1 07, 1 20, 1 22- 1 23, 1 33- 1 34, 1 42, 1 45- 1 48. transformation of, 54, 74, 77, 1 04, 1 24, 1 27

156 Index Gospel(s), 9, 46, 78, 82, 87-89, 96. See

also B ible; New Testament; Old Testament grace, 1 3 6- 1 37. See also Augustine Greek philosophers, 82-83, 86. See also

Book One, Early Greek Philosophy Groebel, Kendrick: The Gospel of Truth, 69, 80 guilt, 1 27, 1 35 Harnack, Adolf: The History of Dogma, 44, 46, 50, 52, 95-96, 1 02 Hebrew scriptures, 82, 1 36. See also Old Testament Helen of Troy, 3 3 , 36, 39 Hippolytus, 36, 39, 4 1 -42, 56, 59 Holy Ghost, 1 0- 1 1 , 1 47, 1 50- 1 5 1 Holy Spirit, 7 1 , 77, 97, 1 03- 1 04, 1 1 0, 1 1 21 1 4, 1 33, 1 45 , 1 47 Holy Trinity, 35, 1 43 Homer, 72 horos, 7 1 , 74-75 1

Jew(s)/Jewish, 8- 1 2, 22-23, 28, 4 1 , 46-47 Essene(s), 1 0 Kabbala, 1 44 Pharisee(s), 1 0, 1 8 S adducees, 1 0 Zealot(s), 1 0 Joachim o f Flora, 1 46- 1 47 Job, 8, 1 22, 1 5 1 John the Baptist, 1 0, 35 Jonas, Hans: The Gnostic Religion, 32, 3536, 39, 4 1 , 44-45, 7 1 -77, 1 2 1 - 1 22, 1 25, 1 27- 1 28 Josephus, 1 0 Judaic/Judaism/Judea, 7-8, 1 0, 3 3 , 82. See

also Jew(s)/Jewish judgment, 1 5 , 80, 1 20, 1 3 8 Jung, C.G, 22, 38, 68, 74, 85, 92, 1 02, 1 44 A ion, 7, 1 6, 59-62, 65, 1 09, 1 39, 1 42- 1 43 "Answer to Job," 1 09, 1 50 The A rchetypes and the Collective Unconscious, 20-2 1 C. G. Jung Speaking, 1 3- 1 4, 30, 35-36, 54-55

Ching, 1 3 6

identification/identify, 34-35, 3 8 , 4 8 , 6467, 80, 87, 9 1 -92, 1 35, 1 38, 1 48- 1 49 incarnate/incarnation, 8, 1 2, 1 5- 1 6, 28, 3940, 48-49, 5 3-54, 74, 77, 1 0 1 - 1 02, 1 04, 1 1 4, 1 36, 1 42, 1 45, 148- 1 5 1 individuation, 9 , 1 5- 1 6, 29, 49, 53, 66, 77, 87, 9 1 -92, 98, 1 03- 1 04, 1 1 7, 1 23, 1 26, 1 28, 1 3 1 , 1 47- 1 48, 1 5 1 inflation, 24, 32, 35, 62, 66, 1 1 3, 1 35 , 1 49 initiation, 86-87, 98. See also Clement of Alexandria; teleios instinct, 66, 95, 1 1 5 , 1 3 1 , 1 43 Irenaeus, 54, 56, 63-64, 72 "Against Heresies," 89-90

Israel, 8- 1 0, 3 3 . See also Yahweh Jesus, 9- 1 5, 2 1 -23, 27, 30-3 1 , 3 5, 4 1 , 46, 52-55, 59-60, 62, 76-77, 79, 89, 97, 99, 1 03- 1 04, 1 1 2, 1 1 5 , 1 1 8, 1 25 , 1 40, 1 45 , 1 48. See also Christ/Christian/Christos

Civilization in Transition, 90 The Development of Personality, 1 2- 1 3 Letters, 1 1 - 1 3, 20, 24, 48-49, 56, 77, 1 04, 1 1 8, 1 5 1

Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 22, 67, 76

The Mysteries: Papers From the Eranos Yearbook, 1 37- 1 38 Mysterium Coniunctionis, 39, 49, 53-54, 66, 92, 1 1 9, 1 23, 1 26, 1 28, 1 35- 1 36 "On the Nature of the Psyche," 66 The Practice of Psychotherapy, 6 1 " A Psychological Approach t o the Dogma of the Trinity," 1 47 Psychological Types, 1 2, 95, 1 06- 1 07 Psychology and A lchemy, 1 24, 1 44, 1 48 Psychology and Religion, 8, 1 5- 1 6, 2526, 90-9 1 , 1 46, 1 49- 1 50 "Seven Sermons to the Dead," 56, 67 'The Spiri t Mercurius," 1 40- 1 4 1 The Symbolic Life, 30, 77, 1 1 3- 1 1 4

Index 157 Symbols of Transformation, 7-8 Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, 1 35 The Visions Seminars, 28, 1 5 1 justification by faith, 22, 24. See also Paul of Tarsus

Mosaic/Moses, 8, 2 1 , 23-27, 45, 56, 84 mysteries, 36, 62, 64, 84-87, 96, 98. See also Eleusinian mysteries nature, 144, 147 Neumann, Erich: The Origins and History

of Consciousness, 36 Kabbala, 144 Kingdom of God/Heaven, 1 0, 1 3 knowledge, 79-80, 97, 1 42 Lao-tse, 1 1 8 Last Judgment, 1 5, 1 20, 1 3 8 libido, 1 33 light(ness), 1 3, 1 9, 40-4 1 , 49, 59-60, 72,

83, 89, 93, 1 00, 1 1 7- 1 1 8, 1 20- 1 28 , 1 38, 1 40- 1 4 1 , 1 44 limit(s), 7 1 , 74-75 living symbol, 9 Logos, 1 4 love, 1 4 1 . See also Augustine Magus, Simon. See Simon Magus mandala(s), 75 Mani/ Manichaeism, 1 1 8- 1 28, 1 29, 1 32,

1 38- 1 39, 1 44 life of, 1 1 8- 1 1 9 system, 1 20- 1 2 1 Marcion/Marcionite, 44-55 , 1 04 System, 50-52 M ary, 1 0, 54-55 material/matter, 32, 36, 40, 42-43, 50-5 1 ,

53-54, 56, 59-60, 62, 72-74, 79, 1 001 02, 1 1 5, 1 23- 1 24, 1 26- 1 27, 140, 1 44. See also body vs. spirit, 46, 49, 1 2 1 , 1 39, 1 42- 1 43 Mead, G . R . S . : Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, 42, 50-52, 65-66 Messiah/messianic, 9- 1 0, 1 3, 1 5, 32-33, 35 as king, 9, 1 5 myth of, 1 0- 1 1 as servant, 9, 1 5 Montanism/Montanus, 1 1 0, 1 1 2- 1 1 4, 1 46147. See also Tertullian

neurosis, 62 New Testament, 1 1 , 45 , 1 1 3 , 1 32, 1 461 47, 1 50. See also Bible; Gospel(s); Old Testament Acts, 1 8- 1 9, 1 02 1 Corinthians, 22, 29-30 2 Corinthians, 22 Ephesians, 22, 65 Galatians, 1 9 Hebrews, 22, 26-28 John, 78, 99, 1 1 2 Matthew, 35 Peter, 34-35 Romans, 22-23 Nietzsche, Friedrich, 20-21

nous, 36, 38-39, 63, 69. See also S i mon Magus; Valentinus numinosum/numinous, 1 8, 20, 22, 25, 30,

33-34, 49, 62, 80, 144, 1 48- 1 49 Old Testament, 45-47, 52, 58, 1 32. See also B ible; New Testament Daniel, 9 Ecclesiasticus, 4 1 Enoch, 9 Ezekiel, 8-9 Genesis, 1 35 Isaiah, 9 Jeremiah, 8 Job, 8, 1 22, 1 5 1 Psalms 2 , 9 , 23 Proverbs, 4 1 Ruth, 52 Song of Solomon, 41 opposite(s), 35, 38, 58, 60, 62-67, 74, 90,

1 02, 1 1 9, 1 23 , 1 25- 1 28, 1 35 , 1 37, 1 391 40, 1 42- 1 42, 1 44- 1 45, 1 47, 1 5 1

158 Index Origen, 22, 45, 93- 1 04, 1 07 commentaries on the B ible, 98- 1 00

First Principles, 1 4, 46-47, 95, 1 00- 1 04 "Homily on Numbers," 98 life of, 93-94 self-castration, 93-95 t heology of, 95-96, 1 00, 1 03 original sin, 22-24, 1 34- 1 36 Paraclete, I I , 1 1 2- 1 1 3 , 1 1 8, 1 47, 1 50 passion(s), 1 5, 44, 53, 59-60, 62, 65-66,

7 1 -73, 76, 1 1 9 Paul of Tarsus, 1 7-32, 45, 48, 52, 65, 1 1 8, 1 37 conversion of, 1 8- 1 9 theology of, 22-3 1 Pelikan, Jaroslav: The Christian Tradition, 54, 1 1 2- 1 1 3, 1 36- 1 37

archetypal, 67 collective, 7, 1 2, 30, 32, 58, 65, 1 42- 1 45 objective, 1 3 reality of, 30, 73, 1 07 psychohistory, 7, 1 39, 144 psychologist(s)/psychology, 9, 1 2- 1 7, 20-

24, 30, 34-35, 38, 42-43 , 47, 52, 54-55, 58, 60, 62, 66, 7 1 -73, 77, 85, 87, 9 1 -92, 95, 97, 1 00- 1 04, 1 07, 1 1 0, 1 1 2, 1 1 4, 1 26- 1 27, 1 30- 1 35 , 1 39- 1 42, 1 45- 1 50 Puech, Henri-Charles: "Manichaeism,"

1 20- 1 2 1 ''The Concept o f Redemption i n Manichaeism," 1 27

quatemio/quaternity , 42, 73, 75, 1 24, 143, 1 46, 148

Pentecost, I I

redeem/redemption/redemptive, 22, 24, 28,

perigrinatio, 1 24

32, 48, 52, 77, 90, 92, 1 00, 1 02- 1 03, 1 23- 1 24, 1 27- 1 28, 1 42, 1 45, 1 47 religion/religious, 7-8, 25 , 28-29, 34, 58, 77, 1 5 1 vs. science, 1 6, 20 resurrect/resurrection, 1 0, 1 4, 22-24, 293 1 , 67-68, 99, 1 03 , 1 50 Roman/Rome, 7-8, 1 0, 1 2- 1 3, 44, 1 05 , 1 43

Perpetua, Saint, I 1 0, 1 1 4. See also Tertullian visions of, 1 1 4- 1 1 6 personality, 1 2, 20 Peter, 34, 42, 88, 99, 1 02 Pharisee(s), I 0, 1 8. See also Jew(s) Philosophers' Stone, 39, 1 28 Pisces, 1 43 pistis, 25-26, See also faith

Pistis Sophia, 40-4 1 , 55 Plato/Platonism, 86, 1 0 1 , 1 29, 1 32, 1 36 Plotinus, 1 30, 1 32, 1 36 predestination, 1 37. See also Augustine prima materia, 6 1 , 1 24. See also matter Primal Man, 1 22- 1 23 , 1 26. See also Mani privatio boni, 1 38- 1 39, 1 44. See also Augustine project/projection, 1 1 , 28, 30, 33, 38, 53,

65-66, 76, 1 43, 1 48- 1 49, 1 5 1 prophecy/prophetic, 8 Protestant, 1 7, 22 psyche/psychic, 8, 24, 3 1 , 38-42, 47-50, 53, 66, 72-75, 85, 97' 1 08- 1 09, 1 1 5, 1 20- 1 2 ] , 1 25 , 1 27, 1 33 , 1 38, 1 43- 144

Sadducees, 1 0. See also Jew(s) salvation, 52, 96, 98, 1 37 Samaria/Samaritan, 33 sapientia dei, 4 1 . See also Sophia Satan, 34. See also devil Schweitzer, Albert: The Mysticism of Paul

the Apostle, 29 science vs. religion, 1 6, 20 scripture(s), 8, 82, 1 36, 1 40. See also New Testament; Old Testament Self, 9, 1 2, 1 5 - 1 6, 2 1 , 24-25 , 30, 34-35,

38, 47-49, 53, 55, 60, 63, 77, 87, 98, 1 03- 1 04, I l l , 1 23- 1 25, 1 28, 1 32, 1 341 38, 1 40, 1 45- 1 46, 1 5 1 . See also God separatio, 1 26- 1 28, 1 32 shadow, 65, 90-92, 1 2 1 - 1 22, 1 39, 1 4 1

Index 159 Simon Magus, 1 7, 32-43, 1 1 9 life of, 33-34 sin/sinfulness, 9, 19, 22-24, 28, 29, 32, 47,

59, 77, 88-92, 1 00, 1 02- 1 03, 1 1 4, 1 27, 1 34, 1 42, 1 5 1 . See also original sin Sinclair, Upton, l l slave, slavery, 7, 2 1 , 52 Smith, Morton: The Secret Gospels, 81 Son, of God/of Man, 8- 1 0, 1 2, 1 5- 1 6, 1 9, 22-27, 35, 45-46, 50, 56, 58-60, 63, 1 03- 1 04, 1 07, 1 20, 1 22- 1 23, 1 33- 1 34, 1 42, 1 45- 1 48. See also God-image sonship, 56, 58-60, 62-63 . See also B asilides Sophia, 36, 39-4 1 , 7 1 -73, 75-76, 1 23, 1 26 soul, 1 2, 1 4- 1 5 , 2 1 , 50, 59, 6 1 -62, 72-73,

76, 97-98, 1 0 1 , 1 03, 1 07- 1 1 0, 1 20- 1 2 1 , 1 23- 1 23 , 1 27, 1 38, 1 48 accrescent or appended, 65-66. See also B asilides spirit/spiritual, 43, 47, 66, 7 1 . 73, 76-77,

80, 95, 97-98, 1 00- 1 02, l l 5, l l 7, 1 24, 1 3 1 , 1 38, 1 40, 1 43- 1 44, 1 50 vs. matter, 46, 49, 1 2 1 , 1 39, 1 42- 143 Standing One, 33-34, 36, 39 suffering, 9, 1 5, 50, 5 3-54, 62, 7 1 -73, 77. 1 02, 1 20, 1 23, 1 26, 1 37 symbol/symbolism, 1 2- 1 4, 1 6 , 28, 42, 60, 62, 85, 87, 95, 1 00, 1 02, 1 04, 1 08, 1 1 7, 1 20, 1 25, 1 40, 142- 1 44, 1 47- 148, 1 5 1 astronomical, 7 1 living, 9 of various numbers, 58, 7 1 , 146

Treatise on the Soul, l 07, l l 0- 1 1 1 third sonship, 56-63. See also Basilides

Tibetan Book of the Dead, The, 3 8 time, 5 8 transcendent function, 1 3 transformation, 1 3, 1 6, 38, 45 , 48-50, 53,

1 50 of God-image, 54, 74, 77, 1 04, 1 24, 1 27 tree, of knowledge, 79, 1 25 world, 4 1 -42 Trinitarian/Trinity, 1 4, 35, 1 32- 1 33, 1 43 , 1 45- 1 47. See also Augustine truth, 78, 8 1 -83, 1 1 8, 1 20, 1 40, 1 50. See

also Mani; Valentinus unconscious, 1 6, 30, 34-35, 38, 48-49, 53,

58, 60, 62, 7 1 , 73-75 , 9 1 -92, 1 03 , 1 08, 1 1 0, 1 1 3, 1 2 1 - 1 23 , 1 26, 1 35 - 1 36, 1 401 4 1 , 1 47- 1 5 1 collective, 7 , 1 6, 65-66, 7 1 , 74-75 Valentinian/V alentinus, 69-8 1 ''The Gospel of Truth," 77-78 system, 70, 78 Virgin Mary, 1 0 vision(s), 84, 86-87, 1 1 4- 1 1 6. See also Clement of Alexandria; Perpetua von Franz, Marie-Louise: ''The Passion of Perpetua," 1 1 4 wheel of light, 1 24. See also Mani White, Father Victor: God and the

Unconscious, 1 39 wholeness, 1 5, 25-26, 30-3 1 , 79-80, 87,

teleios (initiated/perfect), 86-87, 98. See also Clement of Alexandria temptation, 1 2- 1 3 Tertullian, 45 , 1 05- l l 7 Against Marcion, 41 ''The Apology," 1 08 life of, 1 05 on dreams, 1 1 0- 1 1 2 ''The Testimony of the Soul," l 07, l 09

92, 1 02- 1 03, 1 25, 1 32, 1 35, 1 5 1 Widengren, G . : Mani and Manichaeism,

1 18 world tree, 4 1 -42 Yahweh, 8-9, 4 1 , 45-46, 48, 52, 56. See

also Israel Zealots, 1 0. See also Jew(s)/Jewish

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Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Edinger, Edward - The Psyche in Antiquity:Book 2 - Gnosticism and Early Christianity  

Edinger, Edward - The Psyche in Antiquity:Book 2 - Gnosticism and Early Christianity