Vegetarian Ideal

Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


“Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology” by Marie-Louise von Franz

“At first, one has to project, or there is no contact, but then one should be able to correct the projection, and it is the same not only as regards human beings, but everything else also. The projection apparatus must of necessity work in us, nothing can ever be seen without the unconscious projection factor. “

“That is why Jung says – and this is a subtle point which is seldom understood when people think about projection – that we can only speak of projection, in the proper sense of the word, when there already exists a certain uneasiness, when the feeling identity is disturbed; that is, when I have an uneasy feeling as to whether what I have said about X is true or not. Until that has happened autonomously within me, there is no projection.”

“But what role does the unconscious play? The unconscious seems to deliver models which can be arrived at directly from within without looking at outer facts, and which afterwards seem to fit outer reality. Is that a miracle or not? There are two possible explanations: either the unconscious knows about other realities, or what we call the unconscious is a part of the same thing as outer reality, for we do not know how the unconscious is linked with matter.”

“Knowledge is either poisonous or healing, it is one or the other, and that is why some myths say that knowledge brings about the corruption of the world and others that knowledge is healing, and then we have the biblical idea which says that it is first corruption, but later turns, thank God, into healing. In the Old Testament it meant corruption, but Christ, who made something out of it, turned it into healing, so one has to have a double attitude about it, the teaching of the felix culpra.
In the actual situation, however, you cannot assume a double attitude. Each time there is the terrible problem, shall I tell them, or not? You have the whole ethical responsibility and each time do not know whether you have done the right or the wrong thing. It is the problem of consciousness…Consciousness, or knowledge, is a terrific problem which we have not solved yet.”

“Jung in his writings sometimes refers to instinct as if it were the same thing as the archetype and sometimes as if it were different. What he means is that the archetype, if we look at it as opposite to instinct, would be an inherited and instinctive way of having emotions, ideas, and representations with symbols, and instinct would be the inherited way of acting physically, a certain kind of physical action.”

“Actual physical behavior according to pattern would be instinct, and the concomitant inner representations, emotions, auditions, visions, would be manifestations of the archetype.
Man has a structural inherited something in him which makes him act and think in a certain way, which is why we are sometimes not clear about the two. Since these contents of the unconscious have a kind of physical aspect, and also a somatic and psychological aspect, sometimes something which should go through the psychological aspect switches over into the physical, or the physical aspect switches into the psychological; they are like communicating taps, and if there is a blockage in one the water flows out from the other.”

“That is one of the eternal conflicts – shall I live it concretely, or shall I take it symbolically? Is this meant as a realization, or must it be simply lived, without thinking about it too much? That is one of our great problems. Here it is said that by blocking, or delaying, a physical urge a progress in consciousness takes place.”

“The search for immortality was actually the search for an incorruptible essence in man which would survive death, an essential part of the human being which could be preserved. Thus the search for immortality, for the eternal in man, is to be found at the very beginning of alchemy. We can say that the emotional drive and interest in the phenomenon of matter was not a modern scientific interest, in the sense of curiosity as to what matter looked like, but that what gave the impulse and libido for the search to understand the mystery of matter was a real emotional drive and desire to find the immortal part of man.”

“A return to the primitive self-evident attitude towards life is a requisite for the experience of the Self, which cannot be found through the conscious mind and with the developed part of the personality, but by first returning to that primitive human attitude.”

“In Chinese philosophy, it is tantamount to paying constant attention to Tao, whether what I am now doing is right, in Tao. Naturally there are also personal arguments, the pros and cons, but to live in a religious way would mean being constantly on the alert for those unknown powers which also guide one’s life.”

“The great difficulty, therefore, to return to the alchemical language, is to extract Osiris from the lead, to save the fantasy which is life giving and cut away the childishness of the wish to realize it. That is so damn subtle. The whole task is to save the nucleus, the fantasy of the Self, and cut away all the childishness, the primitive desires, and so on which surround it, which would mean getting Osiris out of the lead coffin. That is what the alchemist did in a projected form when he said that the divine man had to be extracted from the lead coffin or from the corruptible matter.”

“If you have to learn about the subject you do not love, where you have no projection, which means that you have no relationship to it, it does not mean anything to you and is not connected with your flow of libido, so you have to toil and seat at something and learn it for the exam, but ten minutes later you have forgotten it again. If you are fascinated, however, which means that a projection has taken place, then you get emotional and acquire a tremendous amount of consciousness very easily and quickly. That is the whole secret of teaching and learning. You can say that those are simply two aspects of what as a general description one might call attention, which is created either by the concentration of consciousness, or by love, and behind both is projection. Fascination always involves projection.”

“We know quite well that we never make the projection, but that it is done to us…When the Greeks fell in love they were modest enough not to say, “I have fallen in love,” but expressed it more accurately by saying: “The god of love shot an arrow at me.” And that is how it really happens – one suddenly has the painful sting which one has not made oneself, one finds oneself being shot at. “

“…in general we can say that it is always the unconscious, or some aspect of it, which produces the projection. It is the Self or a god. It is always a god who produces the projection, which means that it is always an archetype, the ego complex does not do it.”

“Only when within myself I feel insecure can I begin to speak or projection, and not before. Projection implies that I am no longer entirely convinced, that I am already to a certain extent out of the participation mystique, or archaic identity; until then there is no projection.

Naturally, the onlooker doubts, which is why if one takes a modern case, for instance X falls in love with Y, the onlooker will call that a projection of the animus. But for the person involved there is no projection, and it would be an analytical mistake to say there was – that would be infecting the other person with one’s own doubt. For X that man is now the beloved, and not simply an image of the animus. If I doubt because I am not in the same participation, I have no right to poison the other with that doubt. I have to wait until the analysand begins to feel some disquiet, until the man she loves does not behave as she had expected he would. Once this state of disquiet has manifested, I can say that perhaps she has projected onto that man something within her. But as long as there is no uneasiness, I have no right to cut into that participation by calling it a projection; that is a horrible poisonous mistake people constantly make.

We no longer believe that trees and animals are gods, but it would be wrong to assert that it is projection in the case of the primitive, for what to us is projection is to the primitive the whole experience of reality. It is their truth.”

“Projections die autonomously – suddenly the thing has disappeared, and that happens completely without conscious cooperation. Such things are psychological events per se. Afterwards I can say there was a projection, but that is only a relative and not an absolute truth.”

“Instead of arguing with the drives which carry us away, we prefer to cook them and decide to fantasize about them and ask them what they want. One has to be quite objective, without opinions and without condemning the thing as unreasonable. One must try to find out amicably what the drive really wants, that is, what it is driving at, for it has an objective.

That can be discovered by active imagination, or through a fantasy, or through experimenting in reality, but always with the introverted attitude of observing objectively what the drive really wants or desires to get at. That would be cooking the red sulphur. Generally, strong drives emanate a fantasy content, they comprise a bunch of fantasy material. You could just as well say that to cook something until its soul appears would mean to let the fantasy material emanate from the drive, allow that fantasy material connected with the drive to emerge.”

“The devil is the one who wants the concrete thing. He is the great realizer who says that something which has no existence in concrete reality is just not real, and then begins the conflict between spiritualization of the problem and the concrete thing.”

“We think we are conscious but that is not true; we are conscious in the realm of the collective and we do not even know how little our individual consciousness is. It needs quite a search to find even fragments of consciousness that are personal. If you analyze an individual the sun is always shining; that is collective consciousness in which individual consciousness is enclosed, and the conflict is then either against the unconscious or against reality. People when they have a conflict either are fighting with outer reality – outside things are wrong and they want them corrected – or they are in trouble with their unconscious. Something from within, or something from without, is in opposition. It is quite rightly said that the enemy with which consciousness is confronted is secretly double, for people come saying they have an outer conflict but you discover it is an inner one, or vice versa.”

“We try to bring about a conscious attitude with which the person can keep the door to the unconscious open, which means that one must never be too sure of oneself, never be sure that what one says is the only possibility, never be too sure about a decision.

One should always have an eye and an ear open towards the opposite, the other thing. That does not mean to be spineless, it doesn’t mean just to sit there. It means to act according to one’s conscious conviction, but still always having the humility to keep the door open and be proved wrong. That would be an attitude of consciousness in living connection with the other, dark side.”

“All one’s dreams are critical at first; the unconscious is full of drives and dissociating factors, destructive factors, and then if we penetrate deeper we see something very light and meaningful. Enlightenment can come from that dark place; that is, if we direct the ray of consciousness upon it, if we warm it up by our conscious attention, then something white comes out and that would be the moon, the enlightenment which comes from the unconscious.
Sometimes one has an awkward dream which disgusts one on waking; it is either indecent or obscene, dreadfully silly or stupid and it is irritating. One wanted a wonderful archetypal dream and then it comes! But then I say, now wait a minute, let us investigate that, and find out what it means and generally it is just such dreams that are the most enlightening if one can get to the meaning. The meaning was not known but it had a dynamic content by which you are much enriched. It is just those dreams which are so valuable; they have an unapproachable, disgusting shell of depressing blackness but within that is the light of the conscious. It is often in the depressing motifs of the dream that the light is to be found, and naturally it is also to be found in the shadowy impulses which are full of meaning if one can lovingly investigate them with an attitude that accepts the paradox.”

“Words are only instruments and not the thing itself.”

“Drivenness – pushing the ego from behind – would illustrate the dark, demonic side of the sun, and there is a misuse of consciousness to justify the drive when the ego is not strong enough to decide on the objective facts but is swept away through the weakness of its passions: fear, power, or sex.   Perfection also, in itself, is hostile to nature.”

“Man, with his consciousness, is a disturbing factor in the order of nature; one could really question whether man was a good invention on the part of nature or not…Whether he is a mistake, or the crown of creation, depends on the functioning of his sun with or without justice. If consciousness functions as it should, it is helpful to life, but when it gets off the track it becomes destructive.

One aim of analysis is to get consciousness to function again according to nature.”

“Every time we make a rule, we have to make an exception, for otherwise consciousness and life are not in accord.”

“It is the quality of genius to produce the unexpected; it is the surprising thing which clicks and yet is not banal. You can never guess what a creative person will produce for it is a new creation and there is no knowing what it will be. From the mind come ideas and from the feeling side come reactions which in such a person are absolutely unique.

The individuation process leads to unique creativeness in each moment and the shut chamber alludes to this secret center of the personality, the secret source of life. It is the shut chamber of the heart, the unique creativeness in each moment of life. Where the process of individuation leads to the realization of this uniqueness others can no longer guess about you, for they cannot see into the shut chamber of your heart from where the unexpected, creative reactions spring.”

“… for ultimately the individual is unique and closed system, a unique thing which centers round and unpredictable source of life. If that becomes real in an individual the one feels the mystery of a unique personality. That has to do with shutting the house, which means separation from collective entanglements and contamination, not only outwardly, but inwardly, separating within oneself from what is ordinary and not oneself.”

“As soon as one touches the uniqueness of the partner in analysis, discretion is imposed. Before it was just a conventional rule, not really necessary, but if the uniqueness is touched upon it is natural never to talk about it to a third person. One realizes it is unique and that it should never be talked about with anybody else, quite naturally. It cannon be, and that has to do with the mystery of meeting with uniqueness in any love relationship, for then the house shuts naturally, by itself.”

“It is Christ Himself, as God Himself, who promises to share His Kingdom, so we must conclude that the person speaking – and the adjectives which here refer to the “I” are always feminine – is the Wisdom of God, in absolute identity with God and Christ, who speaks out of the darkness of the nigredo and calls for help, asking for a human being who will save her soul from the underworld. This shows the tremendous turnabout which has taken place, for suddenly it is the Wisdom of God who cries for help from the depths of the earth, and who needs a human being so as to be pulled out of the darkness. First she appeared as an overwhelming divine factor from above, and now she calls as a helpless feminine being from below who needs the understanding of the human soul.

This is one of the most striking sections and illustrates what Jung described also in Psychology and Alchemy as one of the great mythological themes of alchemical thinking, namely the idea that the divine soul, or the Wisdom of God, or the anima mundi – a kind of feminine figure – falls off the original man, the original Adam, into matter and then has to be rescued.

If you remember, Jung explains that this represents what happens when something is projected, namely that there is the archetypal idea of the divine man, of the feminine Godhead, and that archetype is projected into matter, which actually means the image falls into matter. Such myths amplify what the alchemist did not know consciously, or only in part – that really they were looking for the unconscious, or the image of the feminine Godhead, or for the experience of the divine man in matter. That was what they sought, as I tried to explain with the Greek alchemical text.

That would correspond to a modern man getting to know a woman, being very much attracted to her and then dreaming that an image of the goddess entered her. The image of the Godhead before was carried within and now has entered this woman. That is how the unconscious pictures a projection; it is not something we do or even realize, it just happens to us and such dreams often show that a projection has taken place. Here the alchemical imagery says that this has happened and the alchemist is unconsciously searching for such a figure.”

“The Wisdom of God is simply an experience of God Himself but in His feminine form, and the beloved bridegroom of this feminine appearance of God is the author who replaces Christ and becomes Christlike.
Christ Himself predicted that through the spreading of the Holy Ghost many would do greater works than He, leading to the idea of the Christlikeness of each individual. Christ was not the unique case of the incarnation of God, but through the Holy Ghost this would continue and spread among the many and every individual would, to a certain extent, become Christ and therefore deified. This was predicted in the Bible by Christ Himself but has been ignored in theological interpretation because it is an awkward statement and means nothing more nor less than that each human individual could potentially live the same fate as Christ and be identical with the Godhead.
This aspect was ignored in medieval theology and not brought out into the light; it was carefully not preached about because it is nothing other than the process of individuation. It means that to follow Christ is not to follow outer rules, not the outward imitation, but to take upon oneself the total experience of Christ Himself in one’s own form – to go through the whole process oneself. Because this was too difficult, or people were not up to such a task, it was ignored and therefore reappears here as unconscious pressure in the form of God who, as a woman, elects a human being as her bridegroom, a human who understands her. As the text says, this is the relationship of God the Father and God the Son.”

“Many repetitions are required before the experience is consolidated, until finally the work holds.”

“Unconscious feeling, or thinking in a certain way, is a corruptible humidity which we do not notice and it is the aim of the opus to cook all that out. The dreams spot the fact and by interpreting and integrating what they say we slowly get rid of that corruptible humidity. But if we go on too long, if we overanalyse, we miss a certain very decisive moment in the process which should be contained only for a certain time since if it is contained too long people become unspontaneous.

You may have met such overanalysed people who have lost any kind of spontaneity in life. Before they even greet you they say they know they will project the anima onto you, or they come and say that they hate So-and-So and are sure it is a shadow projection. But why shouldn’t one dislike somebody? Overanalysing, continuing the process too long, creates a second neurosis, which is a very general disease and very difficult to cure. Naturally it is a kind of unconsciousness too. We could therefore call it the second phase, the return to the water of life, the return to spontaneity, return to an immediate and natural and spontaneous way of living without forgetting what one has learned.”

“… as Dr. Jung says, one does not solve conflicts, one outgrows them. Therefore to come out of a problem means an evolution, either long or short.”

“It is as if a part of the conscious alertness of the personality remained steadily concentrated on the meaningfulness of any event in life, so that one is never unconsciously lost or caught in it. Psychological captivity is an emotional factor. Being caught is simply being caught in something emotional or instinctive. If one is caught in a projection, or feeling of hate or love, one can’t get out of it, which is why people always say: “I am awffully sorry, but I can’t help it.”

That is a prison, for a prison is any kind of psychological factor in which one feels trapped, while if one has an awareness of and constant alertness to the Self, one is no longer caught in anything; there is an innermost part of the personality which remains free and cannot be caught any more. The state of helplessness in which one is caught by one’s own inner processes stops, which amounts to a tremendous steadying of the innermost core of the personality; that is comparable to the philosopher’s stone, which is symbolically what the steady inner experience forms.”

“If one is filled with 10,000 devils one can only be burnt up in them until they quiet down and are still, and the infantile demand on the analyst or anybody else, that he should redeem one with some kind of comforting trick, does not help. If an analyst pretends he can do that, then he is just a quack, because there is no such thing, and anyway it would be meaningless. If he tries to get analysands out of the suffering it means he takes away from them what is most valuable; cheap comforting is wrong, for by that you get people away from the heat, the place where the process of individuation takes place.

Sitting in hell and roasting there is what brings forth the philosopher’s stone; and it is said here, the fire is extinguished with its own inner measure. Passion has its own inner measure; there is no such thing as chaotic libido, for we know that the unconscious itself, as pure nature, has an inner balance. The lack of balance comes from childishness of the conscious attitude. If you only follow your own passion according to its own indications it will never to too far, it will always lead to its own defeat.

Inordinate passion seeks defeat. People who have an inordinately passionate nature, a kind of devilish nature, are lovingly searching for a human person, or a situation, against which they can knock their heads, and they despise any partner or situation, against which they can knock their heads, and they despise any partner or situation in which their passion wins out.

Instinctively they seek defeat. It is as though something within them knows this devil has to be hit on the head, which is why if one is friendly or weak, or understanding towards such fire, one does not help the person; generally such people walk out on you, because that is not what they want. The fire of the passion looks for that which will extinguish it, and that is why the urge for individuation, as long as it is a natural inordinate urge, seeks impossible situations; it will always lead to its own defeat.”

“When, for instance, an analysand refuses to discuss something, that would be hardening and that covers up a weakness; obstinacy and rigidity are hard, and that usually has to do with destructive and negative childhood experiences. For instance, such people write off love or this or that, and in the process even write off themselves. They set their will on success and money or something of that kind and inwardly they are as if frozen up.

Very often the analytical process consists in softening the hard corners of the personality, which is generally in a suffering cramp. To harden is a symptom of weakness, therefore solidifying what is weak would be a part of the same process, for it si where one feels weak that one stiffens, while where one is strong one remains flexible. The rigidity of people springs from weakness and fear – fright stiffens them and makes them close up – therefore at the same time weakness has to be strengthened – ego weakness or feeling weakness or whatever it may be, there are many weaknesses. So the psychological process often consists in softening up those parts of the personality which have stiffened, and at the same time solidifying the nucleus of the personality, the Self, and that would be bringing together the opposites of male and female.

Then comes the fourth effect, illumination. That is where one experiences a feeling of comprehension, when certain problems become clear. That is also called the coloring and whitening, for things become clear and the life feeling begins to flow again. Then the spirit segregates the pure from the impure so that all accidental things are removed – bad odors and so on.

To comment on that alchemically, very often the philosopher’s stone is surrounded by foreign material which does not belong to it and therefore has to be either washed or burnt away. It is a fact that in the alchemical process not everything has to be integrated; there is something called either the damned earth, terra damnata, or res extraneae, exterior or outer things, which have to be cast out and not integrated. They have just to be thrown away. Often people who have read a little about Jungian psychology think that everything, whatever happens, belongs to the process of and must be integrated, but that is only true cum grano salis; it is a fact that not everything belongs. Like all psychological truths, it all belongs in one way and not at all in another.”

“Libido and energy should not be wasted on things which do not belong. Therefore it can be said that there is just as much separation as integration, and that would be regeneration through fire until, as the text says, one reaches a condition of tranquility, for when people can let go of wrong ideals or collective attitudes they suddenly become peaceful. “

“… there are many layers and something can always be understood on a new and deeper level. You understand it with a part of yourself and then the penny drops deeper, as it were, and you realize the same thing but in a much more living and rich way than before, and that can continue indefinitely until it becomes completely real. Even if you feel you have realized something you should always have the humility to say that that is how you feel for the time being; a few years later you may say you did not know at all before but now can understand what was meant.”

“If one has experienced for long enough those great ups and downs which are entailed by the meeting with the unconscious, then slowly an unshakable kernel is formed. I think that even a psychological cure or development, which is the same thing, does not change the conflict or cure a problem; what is really changed is the ability to stand it better, and that is the real development.”

“… but the first step is to be able to stand it better, not to be dissolved by it, to be detached and have a standpoint, to know that it is one’s weakness to which one does not intent to give way and that it will pass.”

“If you have touched the bottom of hell there is nothing further down, and that is where the solid rock begins.”

“… it is a rock which is also a well, and therefore it is the most liquid thing and the opposite of rigidity or hardening.”

“… one cannot force a process of growth. It is foolish to storm at a little oak tree, telling it to grow more quickly, for that is against nature. It would be better to water it and put some dung at its roots.”

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