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tonsure of my head, but shewing it openly to all persons.11 The tonsura, the shaven crown, points to the consecration to the service of Isis, for all her priests and initiates had shaven heads, just as the monks of the Catholic Church do. The sentence continues, and many translators omit it:” . . . without being ashamed.” This detail furnishes the answer to our question of why the transformation has to happen in public. The tonsure has the meaning of the sacrificium intellectus. Some of one’s own self-willed thoughts are sacrificed to a higher principle. It is also a symbol of spiritual rebirth, and therefore he has, like a newborn child, a bald head. It is just as the myths say, when Jonah came out of the whale in which he experienced the great mystery, he became quasi modo genitus, again reborn. For from the heat of the whale’s inside he had lost his hair. That is very often a symbol for being a reborn child, a renatus in novam infantiam, which is another aspect of baldness, of having sacrificed oneself and one’s intellectual thoughts, of having gone through a process of rebirth through the underworld, and of being now and forever the sun child of the goddess. By that Lucius-Apuleius really becomes Horus, the reborn child, son, partner, and bridegroom of Isis. That is what he shows by his tonsure, and he has to stick to that in every aspect. The other transformation, during the procession, illustrates another awkward situation. He must eat those roses and stand there naked, and the priest has to get a shirt to cover him up, for everybody will wonder who that is and what is happening. I think the reason for this goes partly along the same lines as the reason for the tonsure, but beyond that it implies that he has to take the full force of the mockery in the open daylight of human life, of the fact of having been an ass, and of having become a human being again. Jung once wrote: “We owe mankind not only our good, but also our inferior side.” Mankind has a claim on that too. We owe that to it, so if we have an inferior side and realize it, then we have to accept it and the humiliation of taking it as such. But then, as Lucius would otherwise not have experienced, the redeeming grace lies in the fact that, to an amazing extent, other human beings then generally become charitable. It is a positive experience for the human beings around you to see you once in your weakness, and through that for you to see them becoming charitable. If you are always top dog, always the one who swings the situation, always the one who behaves right according to your conscience, you become a stone of offense to everybody else, because you give them feelings of inferiority. You never get into the

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie Louise Von Franz - The Golden Ass of Alpulius  

Marie Louise Von Franz - The Golden Ass of Alpulius  

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