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guarantees his life on earth. When Christ died he took his body with him. He left no relics of his earthly life except his blood, which the early Christian mystics interpreted as his psychic life, the anima Christi, which lived on in the Grail vessel. That is how the story of the Grail tradition started in the Middle Ages. It is the mystery of the vessel containing the secret of the death and rebirth of the god image, the numinous possibility of the rebirth of the Horus child, of the god symbol, the symbol of the Self, which is no longer a partial principle but again comprises the totality of existence. Horus is identical with the reborn Osiris when he leaves the vessel. After that comes the sunrise. Primitive tribes make gestures of worship not to the sun, but to that numinous moment when the sun rises.8 When the sun is a bit over the horizon it is no longer divine. Sunrise, the aurora consurgens,9 is the moment when the realization of the Self appears out of the vessel of the unconscious psyche. It can perhaps be best described, or amplified, by modern African material whence this Egyptian and Grail symbolism mostly comes. In Abomey, Nigeria, there lived natives who worshipped the oracle god called Gbaadu. He personified the truth which expresses itself in oracles.10 It was said that Gbaadu represented the highest degree of self-knowledge that a human being can attain. A parallel is the god Fa. Fa’s names consist also of an entire African sentence: “The sun rises and the walls become rosecolored.” And an old medicine man added: “When one understands the truth, it is as if the sun rises and the gray walls become rose-colored.” This is Horus-Osiris, when he comes out of the vessel! The ass Lucius sees the procession pass by and, following his own dream, searches for the eyes of the priest who carries a wreath of roses. As soon as he sees him, he presses through the crowd. The priest, having been ordered in a dream to do so, stretches the roses toward the ass, who succeeds in eating them. As soon as Lucius eats the flowers he loses his ass form, which falls off like a coat, and he stands there as a naked man. The priest calls to someone to bring him a linen garment and then addresses Lucius in front of everybody, telling that now he is free and saved by the great goddess Isis and must therefore become her servant. Everyone is amazed, and the people acclaim the goddess. Then the procession continues: I was not deceived of the promise made onto me: for my deform and assy face abated, and first the rugged hair of my body fell off, my thick skin

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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