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«***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HIDDEN SYMBOLISM OF ALCHEMY AND THE OCCULT ARTS*** Hidden Symbolism of ALCHEMY and the OCCULT ARTS (Formerly ...»

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The term “introversion” comes from C. G. Jung. It means A. Introversion And Intro-Determination. 187 sinking into one's own soul; the withdrawal of interest from the outer world; the seeking for joys that can be afforded by the inner world. The psychology of the neuroses has led to the concept of introversion, a province, therefore, which principally treats of morbid forms and functions of introversion. The sinking of oneself into one's own soul also appears exactly as a morbid losing of oneself in it. We can speak of introversion neuroses. Jung regards dementia precox as an introversion neurosis. Freud, who has adopted the concept of introversion [with some restrictions] regards the introversion of the libido as a regular and necessary precondition of every psychoneurosis.

Jung (Jb. ps. F., III, p. 159) speaks of “certain mental disturbances [he means dementia precox] which are induced by the fact that the patients retire more and more from reality, sink into their phantasy, whereby in proportion as reality loses its force, the inner world takes on a reality and determining power.” We may also define introversion as a resignation of the joys of the outer world (probably unattainable or become troubled) and a seeking for the libido sources in one's own ego. So we see how generally self-chastisement, introversion and autoerotism are connected. [244] The turning away from the outer world and turning in to the inner, is required by all those methods which lead to intensive exercise of religion and a mystic life. The experts in mysteries provide for opportunities that should encourage introversion.

Cloisters and churches are institutions of introversion. The symbolism of religious doctrine and rite is full of images of introversion, which is, in short, one of the most important presuppositions of mysticism.

Religious and mythical symbolism has countless images for introversion; e.g., dying, going down, subterranean crypts, vaults, dark temples, into the underworld, hell, the sea, etc.;

being swallowed by a monster or a fish (as Jonah), stay in the wilderness, etc. The symbols for introversion correspond in large part with those that I have described for going to sleep 188 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts and waking (threshold symbolism), a fact that can be readily appreciated from their actual similarity. The descent of Faust to the mothers is an introversion symbol. Introversion fulfills here clearly the aim of bringing to reality, i.e., to psychological reality, something that is attainable only by phantasy (world of the past, Helen).

In Jacob Boehme (De Vita Mentali) the disciple says to the master, “How may I attain suprasensuous life, so that I may see God and hear him speak?” The master says, “When you can lift yourself for one moment into that realm where no creature dwelleth, you will hear what God speaks.” The disciple says, “Is [245] that near or far?” The master says, “It is in yourself.” The hermetics often urge retirement, prayer and meditation, as prerequisites for the work; it is treated of still more in the hieroglyphic pictures themselves. The picture of death is already familiar to us from the hermetic writings, but in the technical language there are still other expressions for introversion, e.g., the shutting up in the receptacle, the solution in the mercury of the sages, the return of the substance to its radical condition (by means of the "radical" or root dampness).

Similar features in our parable are the wandering in the dense forest, the stay in the lion's den, the going through the dark passage into the garden, the being shut up in the prison or, in the language of alchemy, the receptacle.

Introversion is continually connected with regression.

Regression, as may be recalled from the 2d section of Part I, is a harking back to more primitive psychic activities, from thinking to gazing, from doing to hallucinating; a striving back towards childhood and the pleasures of childhood. Introversion accordingly is accompanied by a desire for symbolic form of expression (the mystical education is carried on in symbols), and causes the infantile imagos to revive—chiefly the mother image. It was pre-eminently father and mother who appeared as objects of childish love, as well as of defiance. They are A. Introversion And Intro-Determination. 189 unique and imperishable, and in the life of adults there is no [246] difficulty in reawakening and making active those memories and those imagos. We easily comprehend the fact that the symbolic aim of the previously mentioned katabasis always has a maternal character; earth, hole, sea, belly of fish, etc., that all are symbols for mother and womb. Regression revives the Œdipus complex with its thoughts of incest, etc. Regression leads back to all these relics now done away with in life and repressed. It actually leads into a sort of underworld, into the world of titanic wishes, as I have called them. How far this was the case in the alchemistic parable, I have fully shown in the psychoanalytic treatment of it.

Here I need merely to refer to the maternal nature of the symbols cited: receptacle, mercury of the sages (“mother of metals”) and radical moisture, also called “milk” and the like.

Fairy tales have frequently a very pretty functional symbolism for the way in which introversion leads to the mother imago.

Thus the simpleton in the fairy tale of the feathers comes through the gate of introversion exactly into the family circle, to the mother that cares for him. There his love finds its satisfaction.





There he even gets a daughter, replica of the mother imago, for a wife.

In the parable the wandering in the forest (introversion) is followed by the battle (suggestive of incest) with the lion (father or mother in their awe inspiring form); the inclusion in the receptacle (introversion) by the accomplishment of the incest.

If it is now clear also that in introversion, as a result of the [247] regression that is connected with it, visions of “titanic” emotions (incest, separating of parents, etc.) are encountered, yet it has not become in the slightest degree comprehensible how these visions are related to the treatment of anagogic ideas. And that is indeed the question.

We can really understand these striking facts better if we recall what I have said above about the type formation and the intro-determination of the symbols, namely, that symbols can 190 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts depart from their original narrower meaning and become types for an entire class of experiences whereby an advance is made from the material to the functional meaning. Some examples will elucidate this.

I have observed particularly fine cases of intro-determination in a series of experiments in basin divination (lecanomancy) which I have carried on for several years. Lecanomancy resembles crystal gazing, except that the gazer looks into a basin of water. In the visions of my subject, Lea, typical forms were pictured, which always recurred. Regarded as symbols they were, as subsequent analysis showed, almost all subjected to inward accentuation or intro-determination. Thus, for instance, a black cat appeared. At first it appeared as representative of Lea's grandmother, who was cat-like, malicious and fawning. Later the cat stood for the corresponding traits that she perceived in herself. Above all the cat is the symbol of her grandmother, so the grandmother (or cat) is a mental current of Lea. Frequently there appears in the image a Dyas, sometimes in the shape of [248] a two-headed snake, of two hands, of two feet, or of a woman with two faces, etc. Above all, every antithesis appears to have some external meaning, two men who love each other, etc. So it becomes clear that the common element which finds its most pregnant expression in the double faced woman is the Dyas in itself and that it means bisexuality, psychic hermaphroditism.

More than that it is definitely certain that the deepest sense of the symbol means a complete dissociation of Lea's character into two different personalities, one of which may be called the savage and the other the mild. (Lea herself uses the expressions cynical and ideal personality.) In one of the later experiments Lea saw her cynic double vividly personified and spoke in this character, which is closely related to the “black cat.” The Dyas in the symbols has the value first of a representation of externals (two lovers, etc.), then as symbols of bisexuality. The sexual Dyas can again be conceived as a symbol or characteristic of a still more A. Introversion And Intro-Determination. 191 general and comprehensive dissociation of the ego. A further symbol and one still more tending towards intro-determination was death. Starting from connections with definite external experiences and ideas of actual death, the meaning of the symbol became more and more spiritual, till it reached the meaning of the fading away of psychic impulses. What died symbolically or had to die was represented by an old man who sacrificed himself after suffering all kinds of fortune. The dying of this old man signified, as analysis showed, the same thing that we [249] call the “putting off the old Adam” (turning over a new leaf).

The figure of the old man, originally Lea's grandfather, then her father, came to have this meaning only after a long process of intro-determination.

A few more examples for typical figures.

In many dreams of a woman analyzed by me (Pauline, in my treatise Zur Symbolbildung), a cow appears as a typical image.

The alternation of this cow with more or less definite mother symbols leads to identification of the cow with the mother.

Two circumstantial dreams that were fully analyzed showed, however, that the cow and other forms with which she alternated cannot be translated so correctly by the concept of mother as by that of the maternal authority and finally still more correctly by self-criticism or conscience, of which maternal authority is but a type. Children figure in Pauline's case as a result of various experiences, as typical of obstacles.

In the case of another dreamer the father stands in similar relation as the determinant that paralyzes his resolutions.

The climbing of an ascent, usually a symbol of coitus (hurrying upward which makes us out of breath), turns out often in a deeper relation as the effort to get from the disagreeable things of life to a place of retreat (lonely attics, etc.), inaccessible to other persons (= thoughts); and now we see that this deeper meaning appears without prejudice to the first, for even coitus, like all transport, is only a special case of flight from the outer life, one of the [250] 192 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts forms of spiritual oblivion. Hence in part the mythologically and psychopathologically important comparison of intoxication, intoxicating drink and sperm, soma and semen. Ascent = coitus is in this case a type for a quite comprehensive class of experience.

Marcinowski found in his analyses that the father in dream life often was a “symbol of an outlived, obsolete attitude.” (Z.

Bl. f. Ps., II, 9.) Other examples of types are the phallus, the sun and other religiously revered objects, if we regard them as does Jung (Wandl. u. Sym., Jb. ps. F., III-IV) as a symbol of the libido. [The concept of which is extended by Jung almost to Schopenhauer's Will.] The typical character of divine personalities is moreover quite clearly emphasized by Jung himself.

The snake, about whose significance as a “negative phallus,” etc. [developed in detail by Jung], we shall have more to say, can also be regarded as a typical image. Bull, cow and other animal forms are in mythology as in dreams typical transmutations, with unlimited possibility of intro-determination. Dogs are often in dreams the representations of animal propensities. The beast is often “la bête humaine” in the dreamer's own inner life. We have become acquainted with the terrible lions, the bears, etc., as father types; here we get a new perspective which makes clear the one-sidedness of our first conception.

[251] Since psychoanalysis has found acceptation, many of its followers believe they are able to solve, with their work of analysis alone, all the psychological, esthetic and mythological problems that come up. We understand only half of the psychic impulses, as indeed we do all spiritual development, if we look merely at the root. We have to regard not merely whence we come but also whither we go. Then only can the course of the psyche be comprehended, ontogenetically as well as phylogenetically, according to a dynamic scheme as it were.



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