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often lost, and then religion easily becomes a poison counteracting the drive, and in this way the original relationship of mutual compensation degenerates into the well-known conflict between mind and instinct. But such a split is by no means just an accident and a senseless catastrophe; rather it contributes toward the broadening and further differentiation of human consciousness. In other words, if the conflict reaches a certain unbearable intensity, the unconscious instigates a new reconciliation between instinct and mind by producing symbols that reconcile the opposites. Initially of course people degenerate and fall into conflict with their true nature. They forget their origins, and their consciousness behaves in an autocratic manner that is antagonistic to the instincts. As we can see, this is also the case at the beginning of our fairy tale. People are egotistic and wish to deprive their poor animals of their hardearned old-age upkeep. But this brings about the activation of destructive forces in the unconscious, which are embodied in the thieves. The thieves represent murderous lawlessness and greed. Often also the enemy of the animals is a greedy innkeeper, a witch, or simply an evil person. Behind these, however, in the older versions, is always to be found the wolf Isengrimm and his cohorts. Isengrimm, as Martin Ninck has shown,7is an animal manifestation of Wotan in his dark aspect as the lord of war and the battlefield. He is seen as a gruesome strangler, the pale gray messenger of death, and a rapacious thief. The word vagr means at the same time wolf, thief, outcast, and criminal. Two wolves, Geri and Freki, accompany Odin. The two expressions mean greed and belligerence; and two other wolves, SkÜll the Barker and Hati the Hater, harry the sun at the time of the end of the world. But the wolf Fenrir, who brings the end, is a brother of death, Hel, the son of Angbroda, the bringer of misery. Later Isengrimm was the name of an iron specter of horror, a revenant and companion of Wotan to the savage hunter. He is an embodiment of cold, raging anger. In a Russian parallel, he is a one-legged, one-eyed demon, and in a parallel from the Grimm brothers, the evil one is called Mr. Korbes, who gives the fairy tale its title. This name means the same thing as Knecht Ruprecht or the bogeyman—a severe, harsh man who frightens children8and who also embodies an aspect of the ancient dark father of the gods that survived into Christian times. Thus the enemy of the animals is ultimately an aspect of the deus absconditus and indeed his darkest and most menacing side. He symbolizes the whole hopeless fearsomeness of nature and the darkest pathological and dreadful abysses of

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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