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supported) his voice as the small organ the large. And from out of the origin he heard three perfect words that stood out . . . and when he had heard these, he was unable to speak a single word.” At this point the pilgrim asked Niklaus for a gift. And then suddenly he had a penny in his hand, which he put into the pilgrim’s hat. When Niklaus asked him where he came from, he said only, “I come from there,” and would say no more. As Niklaus beheld him, abruptly he changed. His head was now uncovered, his coat was bluish green, and he was of great beauty. After many other miracles, the pilgrim took on another form, and he stood before him and was clad in a bearskin with a jacket and trousers. The bearskin was sprinkled with golden color and “was particularly becoming to him.” The bearskin clad one then disappeared after taking four steps and once more removing his hat and bowing to Niklaus by way of farewell. Niklaus felt love for him rising within himself, and he saw in his mind that his whole body “was as full of loving humility as a vessel filled with honey to the point where there is room for not a single drop more.” It also seemed to him “as though he had made known to him everything that was in heaven and earth.” The continuously changing god has features of Wotan, who was called Svipall, “the changing one,” or Tveggi, “the twofold one,” or Grimmir, “the masked one.”12 He is the divine berserker, the bearskin-clad one, who in this form could conquer all his enemies. Thus in this vision, in a process I have explained elsewhere, the Christian image of God is enriched by traits of the pre-Christian god Wotan. This does not mean a regression to pagan religion, but rather progress in the direction of a more complete integration of the Christian message, an increase in the nearness of God and man and an integration of the dark side of God, the deus absconditus. Jung writes in a letter about the berserker motif in the vision of Brother Klaus: “The manacharged, or numinous, person has theriomorphic properties and thus reaches beyond the ordinary man not only in an upward direction but also downwards. . . . As we can see, the figure of Christ appears here in two forms: first as pilgrim, who like the mystic is making a peregrinatio animae, and second, as a bear, whose pelt has a golden lustre. . . . Brother Klaus recognizes himself in his pilgrimhood and in his instinctive (bearlike, i.e., hermitlike) subhumanness as Christ. . . . The brutal coldness of feeling that the saint requires to separate himself from woman and child and friendship is found in the subhuman animal kingdom. Thus the saint casts an animal shadow. . . . He who is capable of bearing the highest and the lowest together

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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