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evil halves. This notion of a more complete Christ figure also did not fail to stir many medieval alchemists. Their “philosopher’s stone,” which they compared to Christ, was not exclusively good; it was a union of the moral opposites. And beyond that, it also unified mind and matter as well as the human and animal. It was not only a savior of souls like Christ, but also a redeemer of the total nature of the macrocosmos. If we look at how the history of our Western Christian civilization has unfolded externally, we can see that this union of the opposites has not taken place, or at least not yet. On the contrary, Europe is split into a so-called Christian western half and an anti-Christian eastern half. Large parts of the rest of the world have taken sides with one of these or the other. The explicit anti-Christian spiritual development in Europe began with the Renaissance, that is, in the time in which Brother Klaus lived. Thus it is all the more striking that it was precisely at this time that the unconscious in Klaus independently and spontaneously produced a Christ figure, which like the philosopher’s stone of the alchemists, unified the opposites. The dark side— which looks back to the pagan Germanic tradition—is a berserker. When we consider what was wrought by this Wotan-like berserker in World War II, we realize what gruesome destructivity is brought about when this berserker is no longer unified with its opposite and is left to function autonomously. Jung referred to World War II as a “Wotanic experiment” and expressed the fear that we are now in the process of preparing ourselves for a new Wotanic experiment, but this time a worldwide one (letter of September 9, 1960). Such a catastrophe is only possible when the berserker shadow—that is, aggression—remains autonomous and is not integrated into the inner wholeness of man. By completely withdrawing into his hermitage in the Ranft during his desperate depression, Brother Klaus forced this shadow to remain entirely within him, where it fused with the inner Christ. But we know from experience that we are unable to integrate such divine powers of aggression into our ordinary ego. All that hopeful, well-meaning prattle we hear about integrating one’s own aggression is nonsense. Only through effort and suffering can we lend support to the integration of these powers into the Self. In other words, we can only integrate our personal shadow, not the collective shadow of the Self, the dark side of the Godhead.

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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