Page 98

processes of the psyche, tending to bring forth a new and wider field of consciousness. By turning the prince into a duck which has to keep its head under water, the Devil’s daughter warns him not to serve the logos. The same idea is expressed in the Devil’s daughter’s injunction not to raise his head out of the milk. He becomes, as it were, all soul, wholly an expression of his psyche. And perhaps, indeed, it was to this end that nature originally invented the human consciousness, not in order that it might ravage the soul with its principles, judgments, and technology, but in order that it might become an instrument for the expression and fulfillment of the soul. The duck, says the Devil’s daughter, should only swim around in the middle. In other words, it should remain in the center of the mandala, that is, in the Self, as close as possible to God. Only this psychic middle is stronger than the principles of opposition. “God is a circle, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere,” says an old hermetic maxim, which the Church Fathers, alchemists, and medieval mystics never weary of citing.77 Like Job, the hero must cling to the seed of divine wholeness in order to avoid destruction by God.78 This advice is given him by the anima figure. Similarly the hero fleeing from Och, the forest king, is hidden as a grain of wheat beneath the foot of the anima and so saved. There is a parallel Christian conception, namely, the notion that the believer enters into the wound in Christ’s side and, there hidden, escapes the Evil One. “O bone Jesu, exaudi me,” says the “Anima Christi” prayer, “intra tua vulnera absconde me, ne permittas me separari a te, ab hoste maligno defende me.” Przywara compares this entering of the believer into the body of Christ with the grain of wheat that falls to the earth to rise again a thousandfold.79 As Jung has shown in his detailed interpretation of this complex of ideas, this is an entrance into something maternal.80 Because the consciousness of Western man is distinctly active and masculine, his unconscious side, when manifested, shows feminine traits. The Devil is the male principle that wants to lure him back to his former attitude.81 The Christian believer enters into the maternal wound of the son of the luminous half of God, while the (compensatory) fairy tale prince enters into the “human-hearted” daughter of the Devil; that is, of the dark half of the godhead.82 This puts a still stronger accent on the tendency to rely on pure Eros. The image expresses a radical realization of the spiritual attitude initiated in medieval mysticism: Follow only your feeling and your soul, without casting so much as a glance outward.

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

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

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

Advertisement