Aspects of the Masculine 360 Degree Business

by C. G. Jung

Author C G Jung Isbn 978 1138133808 File size 6 35MB Year 2015 Pages 224 Language English File format PDF Category Family and Friendship The concept of masculinity was crucial not only to Jung s revolutionary theories of the human psyche but also to his own personal development If as Jung believed modern man is already so darkened that nothing beyond the light of his own intellect illuminates his world then it is essential to show every man the limits of his understanding and how to o

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Author : C. G. Jung

ISBN : 978 1138133808

Year : 2015

Language: English

File Size : 6.35MB

Category : Family and Friendship



Aspects of the Masculine
“The Editor’s insightful introduction and careful selection of Jung’s papers are
invaluable in enabling the interested reader to trace Jung’s personal quest on the
path to the discovery of his own masculinity through his writings on the Hero; the
personal and collective unconscious; the Stages of Life; the personification of the
opposites; anima/animus; Mercurius and alchemy.”
Ann Casement, Analytical Psychologist and Anthropologist
“He was on a giant scale … he was a master physician of the soul in his insights, a
profound sage in his conclusions. He is also one of western man’s great liberators.”
J. B. Priestley
“Jung was probably the most significant original thinker of the twentieth century.”
Kathleen Raine

Carl Gustav

Jung
Aspects of the Masculine
Edited with an introduction by John Beebe
Translated by R. F. C. Hull

by Routledge & Kegan Paul
First published in the USA 1989
by Princeton University Press, Princeton
First published in Routledge Classics 2003
by Routledge
2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RN
Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
Selection © 1989 Princeton University Press
© 1989, 2003 Estate of C. G. Jung
Typeset in Joanna and Scala Sans by RefineCatch Limited, Bungay, Suffolk
Extracts from the Collected Works of C. G. Jung: “The Origin of the Hero” and “The Battle for Deliverance from the
Mother,” Volume 5, Symbols of Transformation, © 1956 Bollingen Foundation, Inc. “The Stages of Life,” Volume 8, The
Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, © 1960 Bollingen Foundation; second edition © 1969 Princeton University
Press. “On the Psychology of the Unconscious” and “The Personal and Collective Unconscious,” Volume 7, Two Essays
on Analytical Psychology, © 1953 Bollingen Foundation, Inc.; new material © 1966 Bollingen Foundation. “The Love
Problem of a Student,” Volume 10, Civilization in Transition, © 1964 Bollingen Foundation; second edition © 1970
Princeton University Press. “The Significance of the Father in the Destiny of the Individual,” Volume 4, Freud and
Psychoanalysis, © 1961 Bollingen Foundation. “The Personification of the Opposites,” Volume 14, Mysterium
Coniunctionis, © 1963 Bollingen Foundation; second edition © 1970 Princeton University Press. “Concerning the
Archetypes with Special Reference to the Anima Concept” and “The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales,”
Volume 9, i, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, © 1959 Bollingen Foundation, Inc.; new material © 1969
Bollingen Foundation. “The Spirit Mercurius,” Volume 13, Alchemical Studies, © 1967 Bollingen Foundation.
ISBN13: 978-0-415-30769-7 (pbk)
Extracts from other sources: “Lecture VIII, 13 March 1929, Dream [12]” and “Lecture V, 19 February 1930, Dream
[23],” Seminar on Dream Analysis, © 1984 Princeton University Press. “Letter of 12 November 1957,” Volume II of C.
G. Jung: Letters, © 1975 Princeton University Press. “Letter of 26 August 1943,” Volume I of C. G. Jung: Letters, ©
1973 Princeton University Press. “The Houston Films” (© 1964 and 1976 Richard I. Evans) and “Esther Harding’s
Notebooks” (© 1975 C. G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology, Inc.), C.G. Jung Speaking, © 1977 Princeton
University Press.
All the volumes composing of the Collected Works constitute number XX in Bollingen Series, under the editorship of
Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler; executive editor, William McGuire. Seminar on Dream Analysis,
Bollingen Series XCIX, edited by William McGuire. C. G. Jung: Letters, Volumes I and II, Bollingen Series XCV, under
the editorship of Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffé, and translated by R. F. C. Hull. C. G. Jung Speaking, Bollingen Series
XCVII, edited by William McGuire and R. F. C. Hull.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic,
mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any
information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.
British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 10: 0-415-30769-4
ISBN 13: 978-0-415-30769-7

CONTENTS
EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION
1 The Hero
The Origin of the Hero
The Battle for Deliverance from the Mother
2 Initiation and the Development of Masculinity
The Stages of Life
On the Psychology of the Unconscious
Lecture VIII, 13 March 1929, Dream [12]
The Love Problem of a Student
3 The Father
The Significance of the Father in the Destiny of the Individual
The Personal and the Collective Unconscious
4 Logos and Eros: Sol and Luna
The Personification of the Opposites: The Moon Nature
The Personification of the Opposites: Introduction and Sol
5 The Masculine in Women
Letter of 12 November 1957
The Houston Films
From Esther Harding’s Notebooks
6 The Anima
Concerning the Archetypes with Special Reference to the Anima Concept
The Personification of the Opposites: Interpretation and Meaning of Salt
Letter of 26 August 1943
Lecture V, 19 February 1930, Dream [23]
7 The Spirit
The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales
The Spirit Mercurius

EDITOR’S INTRODUCTION
To understand what C. G. Jung means by “the masculine” is to gain access to the ground
of his entire approach to psychology, for his psychology, as he liked to admit, was his
“personal confession”—the confession of a man seeking to understand human psychology
in the patriarchal context of a private practice in a western European country in the first
half of the twentieth century. Not even the demonstrable universality of the archetypal
world that he uncovered in this endeavor could eliminate the human standpoint of the
pioneer, who remained a man telling us what his experience had been. Therefore the
present collection of excerpts from his writings affords an opportunity to discover what
Jung himself understood of the contribution that gender made to his “personal equation,” a
chance to look at the lens of the telescope through which he made his famous and farreaching observations of the major psychological constellations.
Surprisingly, with the exception of the very early essay, “The Significance of the Father
in the Destiny of the Individual,” written when he was still a Freudian psychoanalyst,
there is no single published work in which Jung devotes himself exclusively to either the
psychology of men or the broader unconscious psychology of the masculine. There is
neither a monograph detailing a man’s process of psychological development nor an essay
devoted to the animus, the masculine archetype that Jung interpreted for women as their
soul-image. One has to pick one’s way through many essays to uncover the thread of
meaning that conveys Jung’s own masculine path through the labyrinth of the
unconscious. The present selection, though far from the only one possible, is an attempt to
reveal this thread to the reader who wants to follow Jung’s track.
The path unfolds from Jung’s own childhood experiences in a vicarage as the son of a
pastor who was losing his faith and the confidence of his wife and son. Paul Jung was both
blocked and incapable of the kind of self-reflection that could have unlocked his spirit; for
the child Jung, with his enormous potential for psychological development, this father was
an unsatisfactory figure with whom to identify. In his extraordinary imaginal
autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung gives us a glimpse of the degree to
which he had to found his own identity upon a private vision of the numinous power of the
masculine. This vision of archetypal masculinity was of the kind that comes to a child who
has at hand no human role model to incarnate the archetypal image and mediate its power
and meaning:
… I had the earliest dream I can remember, a dream which was to preoccupy me all
my life … (when) I was … between three and four years old.
The vicarage stood quite alone near Laufen castle, and there was a big meadow
stretching back from the sexton’s farm. In the dream I was in this meadow. Suddenly I
discovered a dark, rectangular, stone-lined hole in the ground. I had never seen it
before. I ran forward curiously and peered down into it. Then I saw a stone stairway
leading down. Hesitantly and fearfully, I descended. At the bottom was a doorway
with a round arch, closed off by a green curtain. It was a big, heavy curtain of worked
stuff like brocade, and it looked very sumptuous. Curious to see what might be hidden

thirty feet long. The ceiling was arched and of hewn stone. The floor was laid with
flagstones, and in the center a red carpet ran from the entrance to a low platform. On
this platform stood a wonderfully rich golden throne. I am not certain, but perhaps a
red cushion lay on the seat. It was a magnificent throne, a real king’s throne in a fairy
tale. Something was standing on it which I thought at first was a tree trunk twelve to
fifteen feet high and about one and a half to two feet thick. It was a huge thing,
reaching almost to the ceiling. But it was of a curious composition: it was made of skin
and naked flesh, and on top there was something like a rounded head with no face and
no hair. On the very top of the head was a single eye, gazing motionlessly upward.
It was fairly light in the room, although there were no windows and no apparent
source of light. Above the head, however, was an aura of brightness. The thing did not
move, yet I had the feeling that it might at any moment crawl off the throne like a
worm and creep toward me. I was paralyzed with terror. At that moment I heard from
outside and above my mother’s voice. She called out, “Yes, just look at him. That is
the man-eater!” That intensified my terror still more, and I awoke sweating and scared
to death. For many nights afterward I was afraid to go to sleep, because I feared I
might have another dream like that.
This dream haunted me for years. Only much later did I realize that what I had seen
was a phallus, and it was decades before I understood that it was a ritual phallus …
The abstract significance of the phallus is shown by the fact that it was enthroned by
itself, “ithyphallically” (ΊΦυς, upright). The hole in the meadow probably represented
a grave. The grave itself was an underground temple whose green curtain symbolized
the meadow, in other words the mystery of earth with her covering of green
vegetation. The carpet was blood-red. What about the vault? Perhaps I had already
been to the Munot, the citadel of Schaffhausen? This is not likely, since no one would
take a three-year-old child up there. So it cannot be a memory trace. Equally, I do not
know where the anatomically correct phallus can have come from. The interpretation
of the orificium urethrae as an eye, with the source of light apparently above it, points
to the etymology of the word phallus (Φαλος, shining, bright).
At all events, the phallus of this dream seems to be a subterranean God “not to be
named,” and such it remained throughout my youth, reappearing when anyone spoke
too loudly about Lord Jesus. Lord Jesus never became quite real for me, never quite
acceptable, never quite lovable, for again and again I would think of his underground
counterpart, a frightful revelation which had been accorded me without my seeking it.1
How the atmosphere of the nineteenth-century Swiss parsonage emerges from Jung’s
recounting of this dream and his much later associations to it! We are returned to a nowvanished late Reformation world in which the bodies of the parents were never seen, and
the anatomical fact of the erect penis with its urethral orifice was a religious secret, a
delicate matter to be broached only in the church languages of Greek and Latin, with their
mythological overtones. Growing up in this repressive atmosphere, Jung was destined to
meet his masculinity archetypally, and the energy with which the archetype presented

in the psychological literature. But because Jung’s approach to the masculine was so
archetypal (so underground, in the language of this dream), it is easy for its relevance to
the psychology of everyday men and women to remain buried. Therefore some
introduction is needed to the contents of this volume to make Jung’s important insights
more accessible.
The most important of these insights is the association of masculinity with the process
of becoming conscious, in the Socratic sense of seeing one’s existence for what it is. The
equation of masculinity with consciousness is implied in the etymological linkage of
phallus to brightness, and the creative child’s association of the phallic opening with an
eye. This early intuition was one-sided in that it left out the feminine contribution to
consciousness; but its peculiarly monocular insight into the phallic nature of the psyche
was essential for the development of Jung’s thought. It became the basis of Jung’s first
attempt to find a different metaphor for the psyche’s drama than the Oedipus mythologem
that Freud offered. Oedipus implied the doctrine of repression, an eventual self-blinding of
the human in the face of the intolerable imposed upon him by the gods. From Oedipus’s
story had come notions of the dream as a necessarily disguised revelation and of the
psyche as something to be unmasked by a technically skilled analyst against formidable
resistances. This mythologem left out the pressure from within to become conscious,
which for Jung was the strongest drive of the psyche, stronger than sex or the will to
power. Jung’s image of the developing ego in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido was
not of a guiltridden executive bent on repressing his knowledge of shameful libidinal
experience, but rather of a determined solar hero whose quest through the night sea was to
maintain and increase his light against the deep instinctual forces threatening to extinguish
his consciousness. (Ironically, Jung found this masculine image in the unconscious
material of a woman on the brink of a psychosis.) That his hero was, like Oedipus,
inflated, with a dangerous masculine arrogance in the face of the dark and lunar feminine,
was anything but apparent to the thirty-six-year-old Jung who had dared to challenge
Freud with his own more optimistic view of the evolutionary possibilities of egoconsciousness.
Freud’s rejection of these ideas (and of the self-important way in which Jung chose to
present them to the psychoanalytic world) and the concurrent uncertainty of a marital
crisis brought Jung out of his youthful identification with the archetype of the heroic
deliverer. The problem of his marriage was resolved (at cost to all concerned) only after a
difficult decision had been reached to submit concretely and literally to the power of the
feminine by accepting an open liaison with Toni Wolff. Jung’s involvement with his
former patient, now his colleague, occurred with the full knowledge of his wife, whom he
continued to love and honor. This still-controversial solution was never touted by the
mature Jung as an example to others; rather it represented the best he could do against, and
finally with, the power of the anima archetype, which he discovered by having to live it
out. Toni Wolff helped Jung to see theoretically as well as personally that in the deep
psyche the hero delivers himself from the mother archetype (and from the infantile
unconsciousness that the hero’s bondage to her authority represents for the conscious

anima is a root metaphor for an unconscious style of thought and behavior that underlies
conscious choices. This archetype, usually symbolized by a woman closer in age to the
man than his mother, but not invariably depicted as one figure, or even always as a
woman, will become in her many guises his lifelong partner in the struggle for
perspective, an indispensable source of the psychological complexities and ethical
quandaries that will shape his consciousness and in no small measure his fate.
The anima was Jung’s central discovery in the field of masculine psychology, for, as he
learned, only the anima can deliver a man into a consciousness that is based, not on heroic
self-mastery, but rather on empathic participation in life. Understanding the part of the
psyche Jung called the anima is less an insight of the mind than an initiatory experience, a
mystery to be lived until its core of meaningfulness for personality development is at last
revealed. Jung solved the psychologist’s problem of formulating what can only be
experienced by resurrecting the ancient lore of initiation, with its rich symbolic
descriptions of processes through which individuals get from one stage in life to another
along a journey that begins with separation from the mother. The idea of initiation was the
base from which Jung interpreted dreams and the progress of the psychological pilgrims
with whom he worked analytically.
It was this discovery of initiation—the painful submission of the hero to the greater
authority of archetypal forces with the power to mediate the development of
consciousness—that marks Jung’s mature understanding of masculine process and his
radical departure from other depth psychologists of the modern era. As Jung’s pupil (and
analysand) Joseph Henderson was able to make clear in Thresholds of Initiation,2 the hero
role is an archetypal stage in the unconscious, denoting the formation of a strong egoidentity, which precedes the stage of the true initiate. This is a subtle point that Erik
Erikson and other Freudian authors who have followed Jung’s idea of “the stages of life”
with their own models of ego development throughout the life-cycle seem to have missed.
For Jung, as for no other psychological writer, the essence of genuine psychological
development involves a giving up of the hero. When heroic consciousness dominates, one
thinks one knows better than the unconscious who one is and feels one should therefore be
in control of one’s life. The hero is the mythologem of ego psychology and of the
countless self-help books that keep appearing in this age of those who would “develop”
the unconscious.
Obviously, the hero stage is a step forward for people at risk of drowning in the
unconscious. The appearance of a hero in the unconscious of a young man who is not
grounded enough to master such real-life heroic tasks as the completion of a college
education or the overcoming of an addiction is a momentous event. Too often the
archetypal basis of consciousness in youth is an unreal fantasy of greatness supplied by
the puer aeternus, the god whose name means eternal boy. The shadow side of this
archetype is the trickster, who seems to exist only to test psychosocial limits. These
precursors of the hero archetype, as Henderson demonstrates in his book, are hard to
disidentify with, and for many men in our culture their mastery is the work of the first half
of life. It usually requires educational experiences of the right kind to achieve the firm

ego-grounding that the stage of the hero represents.
Among these educational experiences are the early love relationships described by Jung
in “The Love Problem of a Student.” Jung was ahead of his time in realizing that
homosexual relationships, if the erotic expression is bounded by the faithfulness of the
more mature person, can sometimes offer the right initiatory grounding at the preheroic
stage. It is not clear, however, from his published writings whether he could see any value
for individuation in love relationships between members of the same sex beyond this
stage. A concretism in his understanding of the importance of the anima took hold here.
Jung knew that the full psychological potential of being a man is possible only when the
hero finally bows his own head and submits to initiation, not at the hands of an outer man
or woman but according to the dictates of his own anima. Then a certain development of
his eros from within (and not infrequently of his feeling for his place in the lives of others)
will take place; so that he is at once better related to himself and to his fellow human
beings. In Jung’s own life, the development of the anima was intimately associated with
events in his own heterosexual life. I have found, in the experience of my own practice,
that while the stage of anima acceptance in men is almost always accompanied by an
improvement in the quality and depth of relationships with women, the more or less
permanent sexual orientation that appears at this time may be either homosexual or
heterosexual, determined solely by the essential nature of the individual as mediated by
the anima.
Acceptance of the anima is almost invariably difficult. The anima, as Jung points out, is
the root word in animosity, and the anima (as moods) can be another name for resentment.
Initiation by the anima means submitting to painful experiences of betrayal and
disappointment when the projections she creates with her capacity for illusion fail to
produce happiness. Accepting the pain of one’s affects toward those experiences is a
critical part of integrating the anima. Jung sometimes called the anima the “archetype of
life,” and he saw the individual as forced to suffer at the hands of life until life’s power is
sufficiently impressed upon him: the resultant conscious attitude, truly “a pearl of great
price,” is a sense of soul, which is also a respect for life’s autonomy, the sort of wisdom
personified by the Taoist sage Lao Tzu, whose name means “the old one.” The wise old
man stands behind the anima as an archetype of meaning, the masculine purpose and
masculine result of this initiatory acceptance and integration of the feminine. Many
contemporary analysts have questioned whether the anima may not also be an archetype
that can mediate a woman’s experience of herself. If so, the deep inner self revealed will
be a feminine figure of wisdom, a personification of the goddess.
Jung was not ready to emphasize the anima for women. He felt that the women of his
time had a special duty to realize their unconscious masculinity, which in his day was
particularly in danger of being projected onto men. He understood the animus, only in
some ways an analogue of the anima, to have its own particular character, as an archetype
neither of life nor of meaning, but of spirit. Spirit was for Jung characteristically
masculine, in contrast to soul, which he conceived as feminine. Even when he spoke of the
animus as the women’s soul-image, he meant that a woman has an unconscious masculine
spirit where a man has an unconscious soul. Jung recognized that spirit and soul can figure

conjunction in the psyche of individuals. Nevertheless, with his women patients he
concentrated on the recognition and integration of the spirit as their urgent psychological
work. This therapeutic focus on the animus comes through clearly in what he says in the
second selection from Two Essays on Analytical Psychology about the woman with a
father transference to him and in his comments to his analysand and colleague Esther
Harding as recorded in her personal notebook. When the spirit was an unconscious
animus, projected onto men, he had to be freed up enough to function as an inner figure
with whose help the woman could approach her own nature. Only then could she
discriminate accurately who she was.
A man, by contrast, needed to learn with the help of a freed-up anima to relate to his
nature with the right emotional attitude. Jung observed that among the men he saw, eros—
defined as relatedness—tended to be more unconscious than in women. Logos—defined
as discrimination—tended to be more unconscious in women. At times he went so far as
to assert that eros was the woman’s principle and logos the man’s, which often sounds in
our present cultural context like a sexist rigidity. Yet the unconscious vulnerability to eros
in men and to logos in women seems to me to be a human fact, illustrating the everyday
usefulness of Jung’s gender psychology when applied to the area of his real expertise, the
unconscious behavior of men and women. My own practice has taught me that, although
neither women nor men have a monopoly on good judgment or good capacity for
relationship, the unconscious of a woman reacts far more violently to opinions that
threaten her world-concept while the unconscious of a man is more easily upset by
feelings that violate his emotional equilibrium. Women seem, that is, to have a greater
tolerance than men for feelings that challenge their prevailing patterns of relationship and
men for ideas they disagree with. This notable difference seems to imply a more
differentiated eros in women and a more differentiated logos in men.
On the other hand, Jung’s idea of logos as the masculine principle and eros as the
feminine principle has led to premature dogmatizing by some Jungian analysts as to the
essential psychological character of men and of women and a storm of protest by other
analysts, who have argued rightly for the complexity of individual experience. It is
important to recognize that logos and eros are styles of consciousness available ultimately
to both sexes, and that they represented opposites within Jung’s own masculine nature. For
(as the excerpts from the Dream Analysis seminar and Esther Harding’s notebooks
illustrate) it is precisely a masculine eros that anima development brings to consciousness
in a man, and a feminine logos that animus development brings to a woman. In Mysterium
Coniunctionis, Jung devoted far more space to his descriptions of the character of Sol and
of Luna as personifications of these paradoxical opposites than to his earlier intuitive
concepts of logos and eros. It is to this late masterwork that the reader should turn for a
sense of Jung’s mature thinking as to the nature of the psychological difference between
men and women and between the masculine and feminine in both natures. A careful
reading of that late work will enable one to dispense with the notion that Jung thought of
the feminine as simply relatedness and the masculine as simply conscious discrimination.
Indeed, there is a certain unrelatedness to the deep feminine spirit symbolized by Luna,

indiscriminate relatedness to Sol, with his bright warmth, that gives him a penetrating
force.
In reading Jung’s alchemical writings, one discovers the tradition into which his selfcontradictory style of psychological explication falls. As others have observed, his is a
hermetic style, one that conceals as much as it reveals, and expresses home truths in
alchemical parables that seem to cancel out one another. Such a style is loyal only to
nature. Jung’s work on Western alchemy began to appear in print after he was sixty years
old, and it is deeply grounded in the experience of masculine individuation after mid-life.
The process of incubating wisdom that the alchemical essays reflect and obliquely
describe is one whose specific character and contents will be known only to those who are
privy to the reflections of psychologically maturing individuals.
As he was putting his alchemical opus together, Jung gradually understood that even the
masculine and feminine principles are not given; they are built up through experience,
although the conditions for their creation follow archetypal laws. I have often observed
that the building up of the feminine principle in a man during mid-life obeys the following
alchemical recipe, one that is only implied in Jung but is mentioned by other writers: salt
conjoined with mercury produces Luna. Luna, the developed feminine principle,
corresponds to an anima who is no longer naive; who has suffered enough (salt: bitterness,
tears) and is capable of tricky ruthlessness in her own defense (mercury: trickster, the
capacity to turn the tables on an aggressor). Men have the special task in mid-life of
making sure that Luna is well-enough integrated. (The brief excerpt from the difficult
essay on salt speaks specifically to this inner work.) Luna is an initiated unconscious that
is ready to interact with the initiated heroic consciousness that is Sol to produce an
integration of personality. This is Jung’s ultimate image of personality development, and it
is obtained through his own masculine perspective.
“The Spirit Mercurius,” source of the final selections in this volume, deserves special
mention because it gives us our best glimpse into the archetypal ground of that
perspective. This is probably the most personal of Jung’s great essays on archetypes in that
it is a description of Jung’s own characteristic spirit and of the consciousness that
governed the writing of his psychology. That Mercurius was for Jung the archetype of the
unconscious tells us finally how masculine Jung’s approach to the unconscious was.
Despite his androgyny, Mercurius is a quintessentially masculine god, although not every
masculinity will be grounded in this mythologem. So, not even this penetrating essay can
be the last word on the masculine. Mercurius is, however, the archetype through which
Jung came to understand his own psychological style. This piece stands among Jung’s
other writings like an ancient herm, an erect phallus placed by the Greeks at the gateways
to new territories in honor of Hermes, who became the Roman Mercurius and the patron
saint of alchemy. The phallic energy that was underground in Jung’s childhood dream
finds its way fully into the open with this essay. In the attributes of this god one can find
Jung’s own seminal ideas—the unconscious as an autonomous, creative being continually
in motion between sets of opposites; the shifting shapes of the unconscious spirit as
signals of its arrival at the gates of different gods; the trend of the unconscious toward

alchemical effort at self-unification, Jung’s ultimate father-figure and masculine way
through the psyche. His is the restless masculine spirit that informs the contents of this
volume.
The editor would like to acknowledge the help of Cathie Brettschneider, Adam Frey,
Joseph Henderson, Loren Hoekzema, John Levy, Daniel C. Noel, William McGuire, and
Mary Webster.
JOHN BEEBE
SAN FRANCISCO, SEPTEMBER 1988
1 C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, recorded and ed. Aniela Jaffé, trans. Richard and Clara Winston (New

York: Pantheon, 1963), pp. 11–13.
2 Joseph Henderson, Thresholds of Initiation (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1967).

1
THE HERO
THE ORIGIN OF THE HERO
251 The finest of all symbols of the libido is the human figure, conceived as a demon or
hero. Here the symbolism leaves the objective, material realm of astral and
meteorological images and takes on human form, changing into a figure who passes
from joy to sorrow, from sorrow to joy, and, like the sun, now stands high at the zenith
and now is plunged into darkest night, only to rise again in new splendour.1 Just as the
sun, by its own motion and in accordance with its own inner law, climbs from morn till
noon, crosses the meridian and goes its downward way towards evening, leaving its
radiance behind it, and finally plunges into all-enveloping night, so man sets his course
by immutable laws and, his journey over, sinks into darkness, to rise again in his
children and begin the cycle anew.
[…]
297 The psychic life-force, the libido, symbolizes itself in the sun59 or personifies itself in
figures of heroes with solar attributes. At the same time, it expresses itself through
phallic symbols. Both possibilities are found on a late Babylonian gem from Lajard’s
collection (fig. 19 [see p. 4]). In the middle stands an androgynous deity. On the
masculine side there is a snake with a sun halo round its head; on the feminine side
another snake with a sickle moon above it. This picture has a symbolic sexual nuance:
on the masculine side there is a lozenge, a favourite symbol of the female genitals, and
on the feminine side a wheel without its rim. The spokes are thickened at the ends into
knobs, which, like the fingers we mentioned earlier, have a phallic meaning. It seems to
be a phallic wheel such as was not unknown in antiquity. There are obscene gems on
which Cupid is shown turning a wheel consisting entirely of phalli.60 As to what the
sun signifies, I discovered in the collection of antiquities at Verona a late Roman
inscription with the following symbols61:

298 The symbolism is plain: sun = phallus, moon = vessel (uterus). This interpretation is
confirmed by another monument from the same collection. The symbols are the same,
except that the vessel62 has been replaced by the figure of a woman. Certain symbols
on coins can probably be interpreted in a similar manner. In Lajard’s Recherches sur la
culte de Vénus there is a coin from Perga, showing Artemis as a conical stone flanked
by a masculine figure (alleged to be the deity Men) and a female figure (alleged to be

flanked by Pan with a club, and a female figure.63 From this it is clear that sexuality as
well as the sun can be used to symbolize the libido.
299 One further point deserves mention here. The dadophor Cautopates is often
represented with a cock64 and pine-cones. These are the attributes of the Phrygian god
Men whose cult was very widespread. He was shown with the pileus65 (or “Phrygian
cap”) and pine-cones, riding on the cock, and also in the form of a boy, just as the
dadophors were boyish figures. (This latter characteristic relates both them and Men to
the Cabiri and Dactyls.) Now Men has affinities with Attis, the son and lover of
Cybele. In Imperial times Men and Attis merged into one. Attis also wears the pileus
like Men, Mithras, and the dadophors. As the son and lover of his mother he raises the
incest problem. Incest leads logically to ritual castration in the Attis-Cybele cult; for
according to legend the hero, driven mad by his mother, mutilates himself. I must
refrain from going into this question more deeply at present, as I would prefer to
discuss the incest problem at the end of this book. Here I would only point out that the
incest motif is bound to arise, because when the regressing libido is introverted for
internal or external reasons it always reactivates the parental imagos and thus
apparently re-establishes the infantile relationship. But this relationship cannot be
reestablished, because the libido is an adult libido which is already bound to sexuality
and inevitably imports an incompatible, incestuous character into the reactivated
relationship to the parents.66 It is this sexual character that now gives rise to the incest
symbolism. Since incest must be avoided at all costs, the result is either the death of the
son-lover or his self-castration as punishment for the incest he has committed, or else
the sacrifice of instinctuality, and especially of sexuality, as a means of preventing or
expiating the incestuous longing. (Cf. fig. 20. [see p. 4]) Sex being one of the most
obvious examples of instinctuality, it is sex which is liable to be most affected by these
sacrificial measures, i.e., through abstinence. The heroes are usually wanderers,67 and
wandering is a symbol of longing,68 of the restless urge which never finds its object, of
nostalgia for the lost mother. The sun comparison can easily be taken in this sense: the
heroes are like the wandering sun, from which it is concluded that the myth of the hero
is a solar myth. It seems to us, rather, that he is first and foremost a self-representation
of the longing of the unconscious, of its unquenched and unquenchable desire for the
light of consciousness. But consciousness, continually in danger of being led astray by
its own light and of becoming a rootless will o’ the wisp, longs for the healing power of
nature, for the deep wells of being and for unconscious communion with life in all its
countless forms. Here I must make way for the master, who has plumbed to the root of
these Faustian longings:

Figure 19 Androgynous divinity. Late Babylonian gem

Figure 20 Cybele and her son-lover Attis. Roman coin
MEPHISTOPHELES: This lofty mystery I must now unfold.
Goddesses throned in solitude, sublime,
Set in no place, still less in any time,
At the mere thought of them my blood runs cold.
They are the Mothers!
… … … … … … … … . .
Goddesses, unknown to mortal mind,
And named indeed with dread among our kind.
To reach them you must plumb earth’s deepest vault;
That we have need of them is your own fault.
FAUST: Where leads the way?
MEPHISTOPHELES: There’s none! To the untrodden,
Untreadable regions—the unforgotten
And unforgettable—for which prepare!
There are no bolts, no hatches to be lifted,
Through endless solitudes you shall be drifted.
Can you imagine Nothing everywhere?

Supposing you had swum across the ocean
And gazed upon the immensity of space,
Still you would see wave after wave in motion,
And even though you feared the world should cease,
You’d still see something—in the limpid green
Of the calm deep are gliding dolphins seen,
The flying clouds above, sun, moon, and star.
But blank is that eternal Void afar.
You do not hear your footfall, and you meet
No solid ground on which to set your feet.
… … … … … … … … . .
Here, take this key.
… … … … … … … … . .
The key will smell the right place from all others:
Follow it down, it leads you to the Mothers.
… … … … … … … … . .
Then to the depths!—I could as well say height:
It’s all the same. From the Existent fleeing,
Take the free world of forms for your delight,
Rejoice in things that long have ceased from being.
The busy brood will weave like coiling cloud,
But swing your key to keep away the crowd!
… … … … … … … … . .
A fiery tripod warns you to beware,
This is the nethermost place where now you are.
You shall behold the Mothers by its light,
Some of them sit, some walk, some stand upright,
Just as they please. Formation, transformation,
Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation.
Thronged round with images of things to be,

Then pluck up heart, the danger here is great,
Approach the tripod, do not hesitate,
And touch it with the key.69

THE BATTLE FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE MOTHER
For Jung, the hero is a symbol of the developing ego’s libido. By libido, Jung means not
simply desire or psychological energy but psychological purpose as well. For him, the
hero myth expresses the ego’s desire to replace dependency upon the unconscious with
self-direction—a purpose that necessitates an ambivalent struggle with the mother, who
symbolizes the unconscious.
441 Once again we recognize the typical elements of a libido myth: original bisexuality,
immortality (invulnerability) through entry into the mother (splitting the mother with
the foot), resurrection as a soul-bird, and production of fertility (rain). When a hero of
this type causes his lance to be worshipped, he probably does so because he thinks it a
valid equivalent of himself.
442 From this standpoint the passage in Job, which we quoted in Part I [not included
here], appears in a new light:
He hath set me up for his mark.
His archers compass me round about,
He cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare;
He poureth out my gall upon the ground.
He breaketh me with breach upon breach,
He runneth upon me like a giant.50
443 Here Job is voicing the torment of soul caused by the onslaught of unconscious
desires; the libido festers in his flesh, a cruel God has overpowered him and pierced
him through with barbed thoughts that agonize his whole being.
444 The same image occurs in Nietzsche:
Stretched out, shivering,
Like one half dead whose feet are warmed,
Shaken by unknown fevers,
Shuddering from the icy pointed arrows of frost,
Hunted by thee, O thought,
Unutterable! veiled! horrible one!
Thou huntsman behind the clouds.

Thou mocking eye that gazeth at me from the dark:
Thus do I lie,
Twisting, writhing, tortured With eternal tortures, Smitten
By thee, cruel huntsman,
Thou unknown—God!
Smite deeper!
Smite once more!
Pierce, rend my heart!
What meaneth this torturing
With blunt-toothed arrows?
Why gazest thou again,
Never weary of human agony.
With sardonic gods’-eyes, flashing lightning?
Why wilt thou not kill,
Only torture, torture?51
445 No long-drawn explanations are needed to see in this comparison the martyred and
sacrificed god whom we have already met in the Aztec crucifixions and in the sacrifice
of Odin.52 We meet the same image in depictions of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian,
where the glowing, girlishly tender flesh of the young saint betrays all the pain of
renunciation which the sensibility of the artist projected into it. An artist cannot prevent
his work from being coloured by the psychology of his time. This is true in even higher
degree of the Christian symbol, the Crucified pierced by the lance. It is a true symbol
of the man of the Christian era, tormented by his desires and crucified in Christ.
446 That the torment which afflicts mankind does not come from outside, but that man is
his own huntsman, his own sacrificer, his own sacrificial knife, is clear from another
poem of Nietzsche’s, where the dualism is resolved into a psychic conflict through the
same symbolism:
O Zarathustra,
Most cruel Nimrod!
Erstwhile hunter of God,
Snare of all virtue,
Arrow of evil!
And now

Self-hunted,
Thine own quarry,
Thyself pierced through …
Now
Alone with thyself,
Split in thine own knowledge,
Amidst a hundred mirrors
To thine own self false,
Amidst a hundred memories
Uncertain,
Languishing with each wound,
Shivering with each frost,
Strangled in thine own snares,
Self-knower! Self-hangman!
Why didst thou hang thyself
With the noose of thy wisdom?
Why hast thou enticed thyself
Into the old serpent’s Paradise?
Why hast thou stolen
Into thyself, thyself?53
447 The deadly arrows do not strike the hero from without; it is himself who hunts, fights,
and tortures himself. In him, instinct wars with instinct; therefore the poet says,
“Thyself pierced through,” which means that he is wounded by his own arrow. As we
know that the arrow is a libido-symbol, the meaning of this “piercing” is clear: it is the
act of union with oneself, a sort of self-fertilization, and also a self-violation, a selfmurder, so that Zarathustra can justly call himself his own hangman (like Odin, who
sacrifices himself to Odin). One should not of course take this psychologem in too
voluntaristic a sense: nobody deliberately inflicts such tortures on himself, they just
happen to him. If a man reckons the unconscious as part of his personality, then one
must admit that he is in fact raging against himself. But, in so far as the symbolism
thrown up by his suffering is archetypal and collective, it can be taken as a sign that he
is no longer suffering from himself, but rather from the spirit of the age. He is suffering
from an objective, impersonal cause, from his collective unconscious which he has in
common with all men.
448 Being wounded by one’s own arrow signifies, therefore, a state of introversion. What

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