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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 painful duty of killing a part of self is beautifully expressed in the Bhagavad-Gita, where the hero, Aryuna, hesitates to fight against his “kindred,” to shoot at them—the bow falls from his hand.

Dying relates to the old realms. The old laws expire to make room for the new. The new life cancels the old deeds. (Cf. Paul, [299] Rom. VII-VII.) Vedanta doctrine: But as to the duty of the scripture canon and B. Effects Of Introversion. 229 perception, both last as long as Sams ra, i.e., until the awakening.

If this is attained, perception is annulled, and if you derive thence the objection that thereby the veda is annulled, it must be noted that according to our own doctrine father is not father and the Veda is not the veda. (Deussen, Syst. d. Ved., p. 449.)

Bhagavad-Gita, IV, 37:

“Like fire when it flames and turns all the firewood to ashes.” So the fire of knowledge burns for you all deeds to ashes.

For several reasons the father image is peculiarly suited to represent what has to be resolved. By the father, the old Adam (totality of inherited instincts) and the strongest imperatives are implanted in the child. The father is also the type of tenacious adherence to the ancestors. Again we meet the antithesis, old generation, new generation, in ourselves after the introdetermination.

The mystical death (sacrifice) is not to be accomplished by mere asceticism, as it were, mechanically; the alchemists warn us carefully against severe remedies. The work is to take a natural course; the work is also, although indeed a consummation of nature, yet not above nature.

“Nature rejoices in nature Nature overcomes nature Nature rules nature.” [300] Thus the magician Osthanes is said to have taught. And the

Bhagavad-Gita (VI, 5-7) says:

“Let one raise himself by means of self, and not abase self, Self is his own friend, is also his own enemy.

To him is his self his own friend, who through self conquers self, Yet if it battle with the external world, then self becomes enemy to self.” 230 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts In the “Clavis Philosophiae et Alchymiae Fluddanae” (p. 57) we read: “So it is impossible to rise to the supramundane life, in so far as it does not happen by means of nature. From the steps of nature Jacob's ladder is reached and the chain to Jupiter's throne begins on earth.” The idea of self-sacrifice (with dismemberment) appears very prettily in an allegorical vision of the old hermetic philosopher Zosimos, who seems to have copied it, as Reitzenstein notes, from an Egyptian Nekyia. I quote from Hoefer (Hist. Chim., I,

pp. 256-259):

“I slept and saw a priest standing before an altar shaped like a cup and with several steps by which to climb to it. [First 15, later 7 steps are mentioned.] And I heard a voice crying aloud, ‘I have finished climbing and descending these 15 steps, resplendent with light.’ After listening to the priest officiating at the altar I asked him what this resounding voice was whose sound had struck my ear. The priest answered me, saying: ‘I am he who is (µ0¼v A d½), the priest of the sanctuary, and I am under the [301] weight of the power that overwhelms me. For at the break of day came a deputy who seized me, killed me with a sword, cut me in pieces; and after flaying the skin from my head, he mixed the bones with the flesh and burned me in the fire to teach me that the spirit is born with the body. That is the power that overwhelms me.’ While the priest was saying that, his eyes became as blood, and he vomited all his flesh. I saw him mutilate himself, rend himself with his teeth and fall on the ground. Seized with terror I awoke, and I began to ponder and ask myself if this indeed was the nature and the composition of the water. And I congratulated myself upon having reasoned well [namely in a train of thought preceding the vision]. Soon I slept again and perceived the same altar, and on this altar I saw water boiling with a noise and many men in it. Not finding any one in the neighborhood to explain this phenomenon, I advanced to enjoy the spectacle at the altar. Then I noticed a man with gray hair and thin, who said to me, ‘What are B. Effects Of Introversion. 231 you looking at?’ ‘I am looking,’ I answered with surprise, ‘at the boiling of the water and the men who are boiling there still alive.’ ‘The sight you see,’ replied he, ‘is the beginning, the end and the transmutation (¼µÄ±²¿»u).’ I asked him what the transmutation was. ‘It is,’ he said, ‘the place of the operation which is called purification [in the original, topos askeseos], for the people who wish to become virtuous come there and become spirits shunning the body.’ And I asked him, ‘Are you also a spirit [pneuma]?’ [302] ‘I am,’ said he, ‘a spirit and the guardian of spirits.’ During this conversation and amid the noise of the boiling water and the cries of the people, I perceived a man of brass, holding in his hand a book of lead, and I heard him tell me in a loud voice: ‘See, I command all those who are subjected to punishments to learn from this book. I command every one to take the book of lead and to write in it with his hand until his pharynx is developed, the mouth is opened, and the eyes have taken their place again.’ The act followed the word, and the master of the house, present at this ceremony, said to me, ‘Stretch your neck and see what is done.’ ‘I see,’ said I. ‘The brazen man that you see,’ said he, ‘and who has left his own flesh, is the priest before the altar.





It is he who has been given the privilege of disposing of this water.’ In going over all this in my imagination I awoke and said to myself, ‘What is the cause of this occurrence? What indeed is it? Is it not the water white, yellow, boiling, divine?’ I found that I had reasoned well.... Finally, to be brief, build, my friend a temple of a single stone [monolith]... a temple that has neither beginning nor end, and in the interior of which there is found a spring of purest water, and bright as the sun. It is with the sword in hand that one must search and penetrate into it, for the entrance is narrow. It is guarded by a dragon, which has to be killed and flayed. By putting the flesh and the bones together you make a pedestal up which you will climb to reach the temple, [303] where you will find what you are looking for. For the priest, who is the brazen man whom you saw sitting near the spring, 232 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts changes his nature and is transformed into a man of silver, who can, if you wish, change himself into a man of gold.... Do not reveal anything of this to any one else and keep these things for yourself, for silence teaches virtue. It is very fine to understand the transmutation of the four metals, lead, copper, tin, silver, and to know how they change into perfect gold....” Psychoanalysis, like comparative mythology, makes it probable that the killing or dismemberment of the father figure is equivalent to castration. That has, according to introdetermination, an anagogic, a wider sense, if we compare the organ of generation to the creative power, and a narrower, if we compare it to sexuality. The wider conception does not require immediate interpretation. With regard to the narrower, I observe that the mystical manuals show that the most active power for spiritual education is the sexual libido, which for that reason is partially or entirely withdrawn from its original use.

(Rules of chastity.) “Vigor is obtained on the confirmation of continence.” (Patanjali, Yoga-Sutra, II, 38.) These instruction books have recognized the great transmutability of the sexual libido. (Cf. ability of sublimation in the alchemistic, as well as in the Freudian terminology.) Naturally the reduction of sexuality had to occur at the beginning of the work in order to furnish that power; hence the castration at the commencement of the [304] process. The killing of the phallic snake amounts, of course, to the same thing. The snake with its tail in its mouth is the cycle of the libido, the always rolling wheel of life, of procreation, which always procreates itself, and of the creation of the world.

The same cycle is represented by a god who holds his phallus in his mouth, and so (in accordance with infantile and primitive theory) constantly impregnates himself. The serpent is good and also evil. Whoever breaks through the ring frees himself from the wheel of compulsion, raises himself above good and evil, in order to put in its place later a mystical union [Hieros Gamos].

Regarded from the point of view of knowledge, the formation B. Effects Of Introversion. 233 of types reveals itself as a symbolic presentiment of an anagogic idea, not at first clearly conceivable. For the spirit, what cannot yet be clearly seen (mythological level of knowledge) or can no longer be seen (going to sleep, etc.) is pictured in symbolic form. [More details will be found in my essays, “Phantasie und Mythos,” “Ueber die Symbolbildung,” and “Zur Symbolbildung” (Jb. ps. F., II, III, IV).] This symbol form is the form of knowledge adapted to the spirit's capacity as it then existed. Not that any mysterious presentiment or prophetic gift of vision must be assumed. The circumstance that man can get ever deeper meaning from his symbols gives them the appearance of being celestial harbingers sent forth by the latest ideas that they express. In a certain sense, however, the last meaning [305] is implicated in the first appearance of the typical symbol. It has already been explained by intro-determination how that was possible. The psyche, whose inventory of powers is copied symbolically in the elementary types, knows, even if only darkly at first, the possible unfolding of the powers. These unfoldings are originally not actual but potential. [See Note F.] The more then that the psyche is so developed, that what was originally only a possible presentiment of actuality and that hence tends to come nearer the merely potential, begins to become actual, the more symbolism has the value of a “program.” According to Jung, Riklin, etc., the phantasy (dream, myth-making) can be conceived not only as with Freud, “as a wish fulfillment, wherein older and infantile material expresses the wish for something unsettled, unattained or suppressed, but also as a mythological first step in the direction of conscious and adapted thinking and acting, as a program.... Maeder has discussed the teleological functions of the dream and the unconscious. In the course of an analytic treatment we discover the continuous transformations of the libido symbol in the dream current, till a form is reached which serves as an attempt to adapt oneself to actuality. There are epochs in the history of civilization 234 Hidden Symbolism of Alchemy and the Occult Arts which are particularly characterized by a storing of the libido in the sense that from the reservoir of mythological and religious thought forms, new adaptations to the real processes and data are made. A significant example is the Renaissance, which [306] a study of renaissance literature and a visit to the renaissance cities, e.g., Florence, make evident in a high degree. The analysis of romanticism... confirms these processes of development.” (Zentralblatt f. Psa., III, p. 114.) We have here the thought that the “program” is expressed in art, which therefore has prescience in a certain degree of the coming event. Jung (Jb. ps. F., III, pp. 171 ff.) writes: “It is a daily experience in my professional work (an experience whose certainty I must express with all the caution that is required by the complexity of the material) that in certain cases of chronic neuroses, a dream occurs at the time of the onset of the malady or a long time before, frequently of visionary significance, which is indelibly imprinted on the memory and holds a meaning, concealed from the patient, which anticipates the succeeding experiences, i.e., the psychological significance. Dreams appear to stay spontaneously in memory so long as they suitably outline the psychological situation of the individual.” The more the program is worked out the more the value of the symbolism (whose types can always remain the same in spite of changes in their appearance) changes into that of the functional symbolism in the narrower sense; for the functional symbolism in the restricted sense is that which copies the actual play of forces in the psyche.

To the functional symbolism of actual forces belong, e.g., in large part the faces in my lecanomantic experiments, although [307] they also contain program material; further, in purest form, the previously related autosymbolic vision of the mountains. The progress of a psychoanalytic treatment is, apart from the program connections, generally copied in the dream in correspondence to the momentary psychic status, and therefore actually and C. Regeneration. 235 functionally. It is quite probable that the progress of the mystical work is represented to the mystic in his phantasying (dreams, visions, etc.) in a symbolic manner. But when one happens upon written phantasy products of the mystics, of course only he who has mystical experiences of his own can venture to say whether a program symbolism or an actually functional symbolism is exhibited. For example, I make no judgment on the degree of actuality in the anagogic symbolism of the parable.

C. Regeneration.

In the favorable issue of introversion, i.e., when we conquer the dragon, we liberate a valuable treasure, namely, an enormous psychic energy, or, according to the psychoanalytic view, libido, which is applicable to the much desired new creation (as the titanic aspect of which we recognize the “reforming”). The symbolic type, either openly or hiddenly expressed, of the setting free of an active libido, is birth. A libido symbol with the characteristic of active life comes out of a mother symbol. (The former is either explicitly a child or even a food, or it is phallic or animal. Zbl. Psa., III, p. 115.) As the mystic is author of this, [308] his birth, he has become his own father.



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