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will eat his fill, but he himself will go hungry; he who takes the middle way will suffer death.” Ivan’s two brothers go right and left and get lost; that is, they succumb to anti-spiritual instinct or anti-instinctual spirituality. The one who rides to the right finds a copper snake (congealed life) and ends up in his father’s prison (tradition). The one who rides to the left is caught in a trapbed by a whore. But when Ivan comes to the same pillar, he cries out tearfully: “It brings the brave lad no honor or fame to ride to the place where he must suffer death.” And so he chooses the way of death—that is, the way of unresolved conflict and of the middle, and on the way he performs the greatest deeds, but does not perish. Thus even in a situation of utter hopelessness, flight does not always seem advisable. Like most other heroes, Ivan attains his goal through courage and strength.15 But sometimes the combination of courage and guile is recommended, as in “The Cunning Little Tailor,”16 who is cocky and quickwitted rather than heroic. Or else the hero’s courage borders on unsuspecting simplicity, as in tales of the Tom Thumb or Stupid Hans variety.17 Indeed innumerable fairy tales seem to recommend innocent naiveté, which goes hand in hand with luck.18 But in Grimm’s story “The Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was,”19 the opposite is the case—the hero has to overcome his naive courage. He finally learns to do so when the queen’s chambermaid, whom he has won as his bride, pours a pail of cold water full of gudgeons over his back. In another version, he learns when someone twists his head, enabling him to see his rear end. Ultimately, it is the unfathomable depths of a man’s unconscious, a man’s own shadow, which, quite justifiably, arouses genuine dread. We encounter the same paradox in fairy tales when we try to determine whether asceticism or light-minded enjoyment of life is more likely to bring success. In Grimm’s tale “The Golden Bird,” only the youngest, who is serious-minded and reserved, and stops at the shabby inn, attains his goal; his brothers, who squander their money feasting at the merry inn, fail to accomplish their task, and turn into scoundrels who are executed at the end. But in the Carinthian tale “The Black Princess,”20 all the watchers over the dead are torn to pieces by a diabolical black princess, who rises at night out of her coffin in the church. Thereupon the soldier, Rudolf, is ordered to keep watch over her coffin. A lazy, light-headed young fellow who spent most of his time in taverns, Rudolf “was more often in the guardhouse than on duty.”

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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