Jung's Madness: 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections'.

David Cronenberg's film 'A Dangerous Method' (2011) leaves Carl Jung in a personal crisis on the brink of the first World War. Jung provides an account of the events of his life around that time in his autobiographical writings published as 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections' (1954). The following selection is from the chapters entitled 'Confrontation with the Unconscious' and 'Work'.

"Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a sinlge summer. Then it withers away- an ephemeral apparition. [...] I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains."

Confrontation with the Unconscious

After the parting of the ways with Freud, a period of inner uncertainty began for me. [...] I felt totally suspended in mid-air, for I had not yet found my own footing. Above all, I felt it necessary to develop a new attitude toward my patients. I resolved for the present not to bring any theoretical premises to bear upon them, but to wait and see what they would tell of their own accord. My aim became to leave things to chance. The result was that the patients would spontaneously report their dreams and fantasies to me, and I would merely ask, "What occurs to you in connection with that?" or, "How do you mean that, where does that come from, what do you think about it?" The interpretations seemed to follow of their own accord from the patients' replies and associations. I avoided all theoretical points of view and simply helped the patients to understand the dream-images by themselves, without application of rules and theories.
Soon I realized that it was right to take the dreams in this way as the basis of interpretation... . They are the facts from which we must proceed. Naturally, the aspects resulting from this method were so multitudinous that the need for a criterion grew more and more pressing-- the need, I might almost put it, for some initial orientation.

I had explained the myths of peoples of the past; I had written a book about the hero, the myth in which man has always lived. But in what myth does man live nowadays? In the Christian myth, the answer might be, "Do you live in it?" I asked myself. To be honest, the answer was no. For me, it is not what I live by." "Then do we no longer have any myth?" "No, evidently we no longer have any myth." "But then what is your myth--the myth in which you do live?"

I said to myself, "Since I know nothing at all, I shall simply do whatever occurs to me." Thus I consciously submitted myself to the impulses of the unconscious.

Of course I had originally held to Freud's view that vestiges of old experiences exist in the unconscious. But dreams... , and my actual experiences of the unconscious, taught me that such contents are not dead, outmoded forms, but belong to our living being.
The dreams, however, could not help me over my feeling of disorientation. On the contrary, I lived as if under constant inner pressure. At times this became so strong that I suspected there was some psychic disturbance in myself.

Drawing from Jung's 'Red Book'.

Toward the autumn of 1913 the pressure which I had felt was in me seemed to be moving outward, as though there were something in the air. The atmosphere actually seemed to me darker than it had been. It was as though the sense of oppression no longer sprang exclusively from a psychic situation, but from concrete reality. This feeling grew more and more intense.
In October, while I was alone on a journey, I was suddenly seized by an overpowering vision: I saw a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps. When it came up to Switzerland I saw that in the mountains grew higher and higher to protect our country. I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood. This vision lasted about one hour. I was perplexed and nauseated, and ashamed of my weakness.
Two weeks passed; then the vision recurred, under the same conditions, even more vividly than before, and the blood was emphasized. An inner voice spoke. "Look at it well; it is wholly real and it will be so. You cannot doubt it." That winter someone asked me what I thought were the political prospects of the world in the near future. I replied that I had no thoughts on the matter, but that I saw rivers of blood.
I asked myself whether these visions pointed to a revolution, but could not really imagine anything of the sort. And so I drew the conclusion that they had to do with me myself, and decided that I was menaced by a psychosis. The idea of war did not occur to me at all.
Soon afterward, in the spring and early summer of 1914, I had a thrice-repeated dream that in the middle of summer an Arctic cold wave descended and froze the land to ice. [...] All living green things were killed by frost. This dream came in April and May, and for the last time in June, 1914.
In the third dream frightful cold had again descended from out of the cosmos. This dream, however, had an unexpected end. There stood a leaf-bearing tree, but without fruit (my tree of life, I thought), whose leaves had been transformed by the effects of the frost into sweet grapes full of healing juices. I plucked the grapes and gave them to a large, waiting crowd.
At the end of July 1914 I was invited by the British Medical Association to deliver a lecture, "On the Importance of the Unconscious in Psychopathology" at a congress in Aberdeen. I was prepared for something to happen, for such visions and dreams are fateful. In my state of mind just then, with the fears that were pursuing me, it seemed fateful to me that I should have to talk on the importance of the unconscious at such a time!
On August 1 the world war broke out. Now my task was clear: I had to try to understand what had happened and to what extent my own experience coincided with that of mankind in general. Therefore my first obligation was to probe the depths of my own psyche. I made a beginning by writing down the fantasies which had come to me... .

An incessant stream of fantasies had been released, and I did my best not to lose my head but to find some way to understand these strange things. I stood helpless before an alien world; everything in it seemed difficult and incomprehensible. I was living in a constant state of tension... . One thunderstorm followed another. My enduring these storms was a question of brute strength. Others have been shattered by them--Nietzsche, and Holderlin, and many others. But there was a demonic strength in me, and from the beginning there was no doubt in my mind that I must find the meaning of what I was experiencing in these fantasies. When I endured these assaults of the unconscious I had an unswerving conviction that I was obeying a higher will, and that feeling continued to uphold me til I had mastered the task.
I was frequently so wrought up that I had to do certain yoga exercises in order to hold my emotions in check. But since it was my purpose to know what was going on within myself, l would do these exercises only until I had calmed myself enough to resume my work with the unconscious. As soon as I had the feeling that I was myself again, I abandoned this restraint upon the emotions and allowed the images and inner voices to speak afresh. The Indian, on the other hand, does yoga exercises in order to obliterate completely the multitude of psychic contents and images.

Below the threshold of consciousness everything was seething with life.

Drawing from Jung's 'Red Book'.

In order to grasp the fantasies which were stirring in me "underground," I knew that I had to let myself plummet down into them, as it were. I felt not only violent resistance to this, but a distinct fear. For I was afraid of losing command of myself and becoming a prey to the fantasies--and as a psychiatrist I realized only too well what that meant. After prolonged hesitation, however, I saw that there was no other way out. I had to take the chance, had to try to gain power over them; for I realized that if I did not do so, I ran the risk of their gaining power over me. A cogent motive for my making the attempt was the conviction that I could not expect of my patients something I did not dare to do myself. [...] This idea-- that I was committing myself to a dangerous enterprise not for myself alone, but also for the sake of my patients-- helped me over several critical phases.
It was during Advent of the year 1913-- December 12, to be exact-- that I resolved upon the decisive step. I was sitting at my desk once more, thinking over my fears. Then I let myself drop. Suddenly it was as though the ground literally gave way at my feet, and I plunged down into dark depths.

...my heroic idealism had to be abandoned, for there are higher things than the ego's will, and to these one must bow.

In order to seize hold of the fantasies, I frequently imagined a steep descent. I even made several attempts to get to the very bottom. [...] ...I found myself at the edge of a cosmic abyss. ...I had the feeling that I was in the land of the dead. The atmosphere was that of the other world. Near the steep slope of a rock I caught sight of two figures, an old man with a white beard and a beautiful young girl. [...] The old man explained that he was Elijah... . [...] But the girl staggered me even more, for she called herself Salome! She was blind. What a strange couple: Salome and Elijah. But Elijah assured me that he and Salome had belonged together from all eternity, which completely astounded me... .

I have mentioned that there was a third figure in my fantasy besides Elijah and Salome: the large black snake. In myths the snake is a frequent counterpart of the hero. [...] Salome is an anima figure. She is blind because she does not see the meaning of things. Elijah is the figure of the wise old prophet and represents the factor of intelligence and knowledge; Salome, the erotic element. One might say that the two figures are personifications of Logos and Eros. But such a definition would be excessively intellectual. It is more meaningful to let the figures be what they were for me at the time--namely,-- events and experiences.

Soon after this fantasy another figure rose out of the unconscious. He developed out of the Elijah figure. I called him Philemon. Philemon was a pagan and brought with him an Egypto-Hellenistic atmosphere with a Gnostic coloration.

Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force which was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I. He said I treated thoughts as if I generated them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air, and added, "If you should see people in a room, you would not think that you had made those people, or that you were responsible for them." It was he who taught me psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche.

The essential thing is to differentiate oneself from these unconscious contents by personifying them, and at the same time to bring them into relationship with consciousness. That is the technique for stripping them of their power. It is not too difficult to personify them, as they always possess a certain degree of autonomy, a separate identity of their own. Their autonomy is a most uncomfortable thing to reconcile oneself to, and yet the very fact that the unconscious presents itself in that way gives us the best means of handling it.

It is of course ironical that I, a psychiatrist, should at almost every step of my experiment have run into the same psychic material which is the stuff of psychosis and is found in the insane. This is the fund of unconscious images which fatally confuse the mental patient. But it is also the matrix of a mythopoeic imagination which has vanished from our rational age. Though such imagination is present everywhere, it is both tabooed and dreaded, so that it even appears to be a risky experiment or a questionable adventure to entrust oneself to the uncertain path that leads into the depths of the unconscious.

The unconscious contents could have driven me out of my wits. [...] Nietzsche had lost the ground under his feet because he possessed nothing more than the inner world of his thoughts-- which incidentally possessed him more than he it. He was uprooted and hovered above the earth, and therefore he succumbed to exaggeration and irreality. For me, such irreality was the quintessence of horror, for I aimed, after all, at this world and this life. No matter how deeply absorbed or how blown about I was, I always knew that everything I was experiencing was ultimately directed at this real life of mine. I meant to meet its obligations and fulfill its meanings.

In 1916 I felt an urge to give shape to something. I was compelled from within, as it were, to formulate and express what might have been said by Philemon. This was how the Septem Sermones ed Mortuos [The Seven Sermons to the Dead written by Basilides in Alexandria, the City where the East toucheth the West] with its peculiar language came into being.
It began with a restlessness, but I did not know what it meant or what "they" wanted of me. There was an ominous atmosphere all around me. I had the strange feeling that the air was filled with ghostly entities. Then it was as if my house began to be haunted.

The atmosphere was thick, believe me! Then I knew that something had to happen. The whole house was filled as if there were a crowd present, crammed full of spirits. They were packed deep right up to the door, and the air was so thick it was scarcely possible to breathe. As for myself, I was all a-quiver with the question: "For God's sake, what in the world is this?" Then they cried out in chorus, "We have come back from Jerusalem where we found not what we sought." That is the beginning of the Septem Sermones.

...the unconscious corresponds to the mythic land of the dead, the land of the ancestors.

When I look back upon it all today and consider what happened to me during the period of my work on the fantasies, it seems as though a message had come to me with overwhelming force. There were things in the images which concerned not only myself but many others also. It was then that I ceased to belong to myself alone, ceased to have the right to do so. From then on, my life belonged to the generality. [...] It was then that I dedicated myself to service of the psyche. I loved it and hated it, but it was my greatest wealth. My delivering myself over to it, as it were, was the only way by which I could endure my existence and live it as fully as possible.

All my works, all my creative activity, has come from those initial fantasies and dreams which began in 1912, almost fifty years ago. Everything that I accomplished in later life was already contained in them, although at first only in the form of emotions and images.

We allow the images to rise up, and maybe we wonder about them, but that is all. We do not take the trouble to understand them, let alone draw ethical conclusions from them. This stopping-short conjures up the negative effects of the unconscious.

The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.

I... felt that I was confronted with the choice of either continuing my academic career, whose road lay smooth before me, or following the laws of my inner personality, of a higher reason, and forging ahead with this curious task of mine, this experiment in confrontation with the unconscious. But until it was completed I could not appear before the public.
Consciously, deliberately, then, I abandoned my academic career. For I felt that something great was happening to me, and I put my trust in the thing which I felt to be more important sub specie aeternitatis. I knew that it would fill my life, and for the sake of that goal I was ready to take any kind of risk.

The consequence of my resolve, and my involvement with things which neither I nor anyone else could understand, was an extreme loneliness. I was going about laden with thoughts of which I could speak to no one: they would only have been misunderstood. I felt the gulf between the external world and the interior world of images in its most painful form. I could not yet see that interaction of both worlds which I now understand. I saw only an irreconcilable contradiction between "inner" and "outer."

However, it was clear to me from the start that I could find contact with the outer world and with people only if I succeeded in showing-- and this would demand the most intensive effort-- that the contents of psychic experience are real, and real not only as my own personal experiences, but as collective experiences which others also have. [...] I knew that if I did not succeed, I would be condemned to absolute isolation.

It was only towards the end of the First World War that I gradually began to emerge from the darkness. Two events contributed to this. The first was that I broke with the woman who was determined to convince me that my fantasies had artistic value; the second and principal event was that I began to understand mandala drawings.

...I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing, a mandala, which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time. One day... I received a letter from that aesthetic lady in which she again stubbornly maintained that the fantasies arising from my unconscious had artistic value and should be considered art. The letter got on my nerves. It was far from stupid and therefore dangerously persuasive. The modern artist, after all, seeks to create art out of the unconscious. The utilitarianism and self-importance concealed behind this thesis touched a doubt in myself, namely, my uncertainty as to whether the fantasies I was producing were really spontaneous and natural, and not ultimately my own arbitrary invention. I was by no means free from the bigotry and hubris of consciousness which wants to believe that any half-way decent inspiration is due to one's own merit, whereas inferior reactions come merely by chance, or even derive from alien sources. Out of this irritation and disharmony within myself there proceeded... a changed mandala: part of the periphery had burst open and the symmetry was destroyed. 

Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is: "Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation." And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions.

As a young man my goal had been to accomplish something in my science. But then, I hit upon this stream of lava, and the heat of its fires reshaped my life. That was the primal stuff which compelled me to work upon it, and my works are a more or less successful endeavor to incorporate this incandescent matter into the contemporary picture of the world. 

The years when I was pursuing my inner images were the most important in my life--in them everything essential was decided. It all began then; the later details are only supplements and clarifications of the material that burst forth from the unconscious, and at first swamped me. It was the primo materia for a lifetime's work.


My work on this was an extremely long-drawn-out affair, and it was only after some twenty years of it that I reached some degree of understanding of my fantasies.
First I had to find evidence for the historical prefiguration of my inner experiences. That is to say, I had to ask myself, "Where have my particular premises already occurred in history?" If I had not succeeded in finding such evidence, I would never have been able to substantiate my ideas. Therefore, my encounter with alchemy was decisive for me, as it provided me with the historical basis which I had hitherto lacked.
Analytical psychology is fundamentally a natural science, but it is subject far more than any other science to the personal bias of the observer. The psychologist must depend therefore in the highest degree upon historical and literary parallels if he wishes to exclude at least the crudest errors in judgment. Between 1918 and 1926 I had seriously studied the Gnostic writers, for they too had been confronted with the primal world of the unconscious and had dealt with its contents... . [...] But the Gnostics were too remote for me to establish any link with them in regard to the questions that were confronting me. As far as I could see, the tradition that might have connected Gnosis with the present seemed to have been severed, and for a long time it proved impossible to find any bridge that led from Gnosticism or neo-Platonism to the contemporary world. But when I began to understand alchemy I realized that it represented the historical link with Gnosticism, and that a continuity therefore existed between past and present. Grounded in the natural philosophy of the Middle Ages, alchemy formed the bridge on the one hand into the past, to Gnosticism, and on the other into the future, to the modern psychology of the unconscious.
This had been inaugurated by Freud, who had introduced along with it the classical Gnostic motifs of sexuality and the wicked paternal authority. The motif of the Gnostic Yahweh and Creator-God reappeared in the Freudian myth of the primal father and the gloomy superego deriving from that father. In Freud's myth he became a daemon who created a world of disappointments, illusions, and suffering. But the materialistic trend which had already come to light in the alchemists' preoccupation with the secrets of matter had the effect of obscuring for Freud that other essential aspect of Gnosticism: the primordial image of the spirit as another, higher god who gave to mankind the krater (mixing vessel), the vessel of spiritual transformation.[In the writings of Poimandres, a pagan Gnostic, the footer was a vessel filled with spirit, which the Creator-god sent down to earth so that those who strove for higher consciousness might be baptized in it. It was a kind of uterus of spiritual renewal and rebirth, and corresponded to the alchemical 'vas' in which the transformation of substances took place. The parallel to this in Jung's psychology is the inner transformation process known as individuation (see glossary). A. J.] The krater is a feminine principle which could find no place in Freud's patriarchal world.

Before I discovered alchemy, I had a series of dreams which repeatedly dealt with the same theme. Beside my house stood another, that is to say, another wing or annex, which was strange to me. Each time I would wonder in my dream why I did not know this house, although it had apparently always been there. Finally came a dream in which I reached the other wing. I discovered there a wonderful library, dating largely from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Large, fat folio volumes, bound in pigskin, stood along the walls. Among them were a number of books embellished with copper engravings of a strange character, and illustrations containing curious symbols such as I had never seen before. At the time I did not know to what they referred; only much later did I recognize them as alchemical symbols. In the dream I was conscious only of the fascination exerted by them and by the entire library. It was a collection of medieval incunabula and sixteenth century prints.
The unknown wing of the house was... an aspect of myself; it represented something that belonged to me but of which I was not yet conscious. It, and especially the library, referred to alchemy, of which I was ignorant, but which I was soon to study. Some fifteen years later I had assembled a library very like the one in the dream.

The late alchemical texts are fantastic and baroque; only after we have learned how to interpret them can we recognize what treasures they hide.

Occasionally I would look at the pictures, and each time I would think, "Good Lord, what nonsense! This stuff is impossible to understand." [...] Finally I realized that the alchemists were talking in symbols- those old acquaintances of mine. "Why, this is fantastic," I thought. "I simply must learn to decipher all this."

I therefore decided to start a lexicon of key phrases with cross references. [...] I worked along philological lines, as if I were trying to solve the riddle of an unknown language.

I had very soon seen that analytical psychology coincided in a most curious way with alchemy. The experiences of the alchemists were, in a sense, my experiences, and their world was my world. This was, of course, a momentous discovery: I had stumbled upon the historical counterpart of my psychology of the unconscious. The possibility of a comparison with alchemy, and the uninterrupted intellectual chain back to Gnosticism, gave substance to my psychology. When I pored over these old texts everything fell into place: the fantasy-images, the empirical material I had gathered in my practice, and the conclusions I had drawn from it. I now began to understand what these psychic contents meant when seen in historical perspective. My understanding of their typical character, which had already begun with my investigation of myths, was deepened. The primordial images and the nature of the archetype took a central place in my researches, and it became clear to me that without history there can be no psychology, and certainly no psychology of the unconscious. A psychology of consciousness can, to be sure, content itself with material drawn from personal life, but as soon as we wish to explain a neurosis we require an anamnesis which reaches deeper than the knowledge of consciousness. And when in the course of treatment unusual decisions are called for, dreams occur that need more than
personal memories for their interpretation.

Goethe... was in the grip of that process of archetypal transformation which has gone on through the centuries. He regarded his Faust as an opus magnum or divinum. He called it his "main business," and his whole life was enacted within the framework of this drama. Thus, what was alive and active within him was a living substance, a suprapersonal process, the great dream of the mundus archetypus (archetypal world).
I myself am haunted by the same dream... .

In 1912... my friendship with Freud came to an end. From then on, I had to make my way alone.
I had a starting point in my intense preoccupation with the images of my own unconscious. This period lasted from 1913 to 1917; then the stream of fantasies ebbed away. Not until it had subsided and I was no longer held captive inside the magic mountain was I able to take an objective view of that whole experience and begin to reflect upon it.

As I worked with my fantasies, I became aware that the unconscious undergoes or produces change. Only after I had familiarized myself with alchemy did I realize that the unconscious is a process, and that the psyche is transformed or developed by the relationship of the ego to the contents of the unconscious. In individual cases that transformation can be read from dreams and fantasies. In collective life it has left its deposit principally in the various religious systems and their changing symbols. Through the study of these collective transformation processes and through understanding of alchemical symbolism I arrived at the central concept of my psychology: the process of individuation.
An essential aspect of my work is that it soon began to touch on the question of one's view of the world, and on the relations between psychology and religion. [...] Through Paracelsus I was finally led to discuss the nature of alchemy in relation to religion and psychology or, to put it another way, of alchemy as a form of religious philosophy. This I did in Psychology and Alchemy (1944). Thus I had at last reached the ground which underlay my own experiences of the years 1913 to 1917; for the process through which I had passed at that time corresponded to the process of alchemical transformation discussed in that book.

In 1939 I gave a seminar on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola. At the same time I was occupied on the studies for Psychology and Alchemy. One night I awoke and saw, bathed in
bright light at the foot of my bed, the figure of Christ on the Cross. It was not quite life-size, but extremely distinct; and I saw that his body was made of greenish gold. The vision was marvelously beautiful, and yet I was profoundly shaken by it. A vision as such is nothing unusual for me, for I frequently see extremely vivid hypnagogic images.
I had been thinking a great deal about the Anima Christi, one of the meditations from the Spiritual Exercises. The vision came to me as if to point out that I had overlooked something in iny reflections: the analogy of Christ with the aurum non vulgi and the viriditas of the alchemists. 11 [11 The more serious alchemists realized that the purpose of their work was not the transmutation of base metals into gold, but the production of an aurum non vulgi ("not the common gold") or aurum philosophicum ("philosophical gold"). In other words, they were concerned with spiritual values and the problem of psychic transformation. A.J.] When I realized that the vision pointed to this central alchemical symbol, and that I had had an essentially alchemical vision of Christ, I felt comforted.
The green gold is the living quality which the alchemists saw not only in man but also in inorganic nature. It is an expression of the life-spirit, the anima mundi or films macrocosmi, the Anthropos who animates the whole cosmos. This spirit has poured himself out into everything, even into inorganic matter; he is present in metal and stone. My vision was thus a union of the Christ-image with his analogue in matter, the filius macrocosmi. If I had not been so struck by the greenish-gold, I would have been tempted to assume that something essential was missing from my "Christian" view in other words, that my traditional Christ-image was somehow inadequate and that I still had to catch up with part of the Christian development. The emphasis on the metal, however, showed me the undisguised alchemical conception of Christ as a union of spiritually alive and physically dead matter.

I took up the problem of Christ again in Aion. Here I was concerned not with the various historical parallels but with the relation of the Christ figure to psychology. Nor did I see Christ as a figure stripped of all externalities. Rather, I wished to show the development, extending over the centuries, of the religious content which he represented. It was also important to me to show how Christ could have been astrologically predicted, and how he was understood both in terms of the spirit of his age and in the course of two thousand years of Christian civilization. This was what I wanted to portray, together with all the curious marginal glosses which have accumulated around him in the course of the centuries.
As I delved into all these matters the question of the historical person, of Jesus the man, also came up. It is of importance because the collective mentality of his time-- one might also say: the archetype which was already constellated, the primordial image of the Anthropos-- was condensed in him, an almost unknown Jewish prophet. The ancient idea of the Anthropos, whose roots lie in Jewish tradition on the one hand and in the Egyptian Horus myth on the other, had taken possession of the people at the beginning of the Christian era, for it was part of the Zeitgeist. It was essentially concerned with the Son of Man, God's own son, who stood opposed to the deified Augustus, the ruler of this world. This idea fastened upon the originally Jewish problem of the Messiah and made it a world problem.

In those times the omnipresent, crushing power of Rome, embodied in the divine Caesar, had created a world where countless individuals, indeed whole peoples, were robbed of their cultural independence and of their spiritual autonomy. Today, individuals and cultures are faced with a similar threat, namely of being swallowed up in the mass. Hence in many places there is a wave of hope in a reappearance of Christ, and a visionary rumor has even arisen which expresses expectations of redemption. The form it has taken, however, is comparable to nothing in the past, but is a typical child of the "age of technology." This is the worldwide distribution of the UFO phenomenon (unidentified flying objects). [13 13 Cf. Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (NewYork and London, 1959)]

...the major work on the Grail legend, which my wife had made her life's task, was not completed. I recall how often the quest for the Grail and the fisher king came to my mind while I was working on the Ichthys symbol in Aion. Had it not been for my unwillingness to intrude upon my wife's field, I would unquestionably have had to include the Grail legend in my studies of alchemy.

My memory of my father is of a sufferer stricken with an Amfortas wound, a "fisher king" whose wound would not heal that Christian suffering for which the alchemists sought the panacea. I as a "dumb" Parsifal was the witness of this sickness during the years of my boyhood, and, like Parsifal, speech failed me. I had only inklings. In actuality my father had never interested himself in theriomorphic Christ-symbolism. On the other hand he had literally lived right up to his death the suffering prefigured and promised by Christ, without ever becoming aware that this was a consequence of the imitatio Christi.

I still had to overcome the greatest inner resistances before I could write Answer to Job.
The inner root of this book is to be found in Aion. There I had dealt with the psychology of Christianity, and Job is a kind of prefiguration of Christ. The link between them is the idea of suffering. Christ is the suffering servant of God, and so was Job.

The ambivalent God-image plays a crucial part in the Book of Job. Job expects that God will, in a sense, stand by him against God; in this we have a picture of God's tragic contradictoriness. This was the main theme of Answer to Job.
There were outside forces... which impelled me to write this book. The many questions from the public and from patients had made me feel that I must express myself more clearly about the religious problems of modern man. [...] My Answer to Job was meant to be no more than the utterance of a single individual, who hopes and expects to arouse some thoughtfulness in his public. I was far from wanting to enunciate a metaphysical truth. Yet the theologians tax me with that very thing, because theological thinkers are so used to dealing with eternal truths that they know no other kinds.

After this excursion into the world of dreams, I must once more come back to my writings. In Aion I embarked upon a cycle of problems that needed to be dealt with separately. I had attempted to explain how the appearance of Christ coincided with the beginning of a new aeon, the age of the Fishes. A synchronicity exists between the life of Christ and the objective astronomical event, the entrance of the spring equinox into the sign of Pisces. Christ is therefore the "Fish" (just as Hammurabi before him was the "Ram"), and comes forth as the ruler of the new aeon. This led to the problem of synchronicity, which I discussed in my paper "Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle."
The Christ problem in Aion finally led me to the question of how the phenomenon of the Anthropos in psychological terms, the self is expressed in the experience of the individual.

This investigation was rounded out by the Mysterium Coniunctionis, in which I once... followed my original intention of representing the whole range of alchemy as a kind of... basis for depth psychology. In Mysterium Coniunctionis my psychology was at last given its place in reality and established upon its historical foundations.

My life is what I have done... ; the one is inseparable from the other. The work is the expression of my inner development; for commitment to the contents of the unconscious forms the man and produces his transformations. My works can be regarded as stations along my life's way.
All my writings may be considered tasks imposed from within; their source was a fateful compulsion. What I wrote were things that assailed me from within myself. I permitted the spirit that moved me to speak out. I have never counted upon any strong response, any powerful resonance, to my writings. They represent a compensation for our times, and I have been impelled to say what no one wants to hear. For that reason, and especially at the beginning, I often felt utterly forlorn. I knew that what I said would be unwelcome, for it is difficult for people of our times to accept the counterweight to the conscious world. Today I can say that it is truly astonishing that I have had as much success as has been accorded me far more than I ever could have expected. I have the feeling that I have done all that it was possible for me to do. Without a doubt that life work could have been larger, and could have been done better; but more was not within my power.
Note: not sure where this passage fits: “Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.”