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spiritual and not the chthonic. Lucius had lost his light horse a long time ago and moved completely into the darkness. Now the light and a movement towards consciousness, which had been denied, comes back. Candidus in Latin means “white,” innocent in the sense of being uncomplicated and spontaneous, the virginal white. One could say therefore that Lucius returns to an unsophisticated, spontaneous attitude. Most neurotics, especially men with a negative mother complex, have great difficulty being spontaneous, as their feeling is hurt and sensitive. Such a man does not dare to be open, for he fears in every woman the “terrible mother.” If he assumes an innocent, spontaneous, and candid attitude, any woman can hurt him. We can conclude from this that Lucius discovers again his feeling and idealistic side, previously so badly hurt by the negative mother and lost in the moment of invasion by darkness, and that this innocence has been found in a new form. We can assume that his most pure and spontaneous feelings now belong to the mystery cult of Isis, where his heart can come alive again. The white garment which he receives at the transformation would indicate this. The white garment was also used by Christians at baptism to illustrate the new attitude where all sinfulness fell off and a new beginning could be made. The Christian interpretation was more connected with the idea of ethics and sin. But one could say that any kind of unconscious contamination means not being at one with and true to oneself. When one is true to oneself one finds a new attitude and a new impulse towards life, a return to spontaneity and naturalness. The dream shows us that Thessaly, where Lucius was bewitched, now stands for something positive. It is the archetype of the mother which after all the developments now shows its other side. Seen in this light, even the two witches who murdered Socrates at the beginning of the story were a form of the goddess Isis. It is the great goddess under her double aspect who dominates the life of Lucius. After the negative form of the arche-type had been exhausted, the enantiodromia to the positive aspect has set in. Lucius grows very impatient while waiting to become one of Isis’s initiates, but the text says that the priest checks him, speaking to him in a friendly way, “just as parents reply to the immature wishes of their children.” (One can compare this to the behavior of patients who, after three weeks of analysis, want to become analysts themselves!) But the priest advises him to be patient:

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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