on Self-realization

Self-realization as revealed in art, symbol & sacred text: the archetypes of Carl Jung & the lore of enlightenment

The mystics find ‘in their heart’ the image of the sun

Français : Saint Augustin by Philippe de Champaigne--1645-1650. US public domain via wikimedia

Saint Augustin by Philippe de Champaigne–1645-1650. US public domain.

In the second section of Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung is taking us into the life of the mystic: a path of soul and of divine heart. Jung speaks of “the teachings of the mystics,” he says:

“when they [the mystics] descend into the depths of their own being they find ‘in their heart’ the image of the sun, they find their own life-force which they call the ‘sun’ for a legitimate and, I would say, a physical reason because our source of energy and life actually is sun. Our physiological life, regarded as an energy process, is entirely solar” (para. 176).

Jung is setting the stage for the realization of the divine energy (the God within) that dwells in the human heart. This energy is expressed in the archetypal image of the sun, it is the creative force of the living soul. If the understanding of Saint Augustin is any indication of the soul’s path, then this is a path of longing and love. Saint Augustin wrote books as prayers to God. He says:

“For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee” (Confessions, 398 AD).

The human heart is a restless heart. The soul’s energy, the soul’s instincts, urge us toward something beyond our comprehension– ’till they rest in Thee.’ This is the highest aim of the soul: unity, divine union.


Carl Jung, Cw 5, Symbols of Transformation (in US Pubic Domain, first published 1912)

Saint Augustine, Confessions.

4 comments on “The mystics find ‘in their heart’ the image of the sun

  1. Kneeque
    February 2, 2014

    Here is how to:

    “…The third of the stages of nearness is good conduct. Therefore, it is for the seeker of Haqq (Truth) to transform his unworthy conduct into a praiseworthy one, because every praiseworthy conduct is considered to be a means of nearness to the Lord. As every moral vice is a step in the direction away from Him and which incites His displeasure, the true seeker is obliged to turn himself from the darkness of pride to the light of humility, from the meanness of jealousy to the virtue of affection and compassion, from the baseness of stinginess to the loftiness of magnanimity, from the dark abyss of ingratitude to the bright heights of gratitude, from the darkness of hypocrisy to the light of sincerity, from the desert of attachment to superficial beauty and riches of the corporeal world to the garden of love and reliance upon the Lord of the heavens and the earth, from the darkness of (false sense of) security (and unawareness) to the light of the fear of God, from the obscurity of despair (and distrust) to the light of hope and trust, from the shadows of wrath and anger to the light of patience and tolerance, from the darkness of impatience and anxiety while facing adversity and calamity to the light of patience and unconditional surrender to the bitterness of fate, from the darkness of negligence to the light of awareness and remembrance, from the darkness of perplexity and waywardness to the light of resignation and humility, from the darkness of dependence on worldly means to the light of submission to the will of the Lord of all lords, and from the darkness of slavery of lust and sensuality to the light of obedience to the exalted Creator. Thus, this journey is one of the most important journeys,and it is obligatory for all the seekers of Divine nearness, and the seekers of the. highest felicity and the eternal abode in the Hereafter, to perform this journey….”——-

    Adab al-Suluk
    A Treatise on Spiritual Wayfaring
    Shaykh Najm al-Din Kubra

    Shaykh Najm al-Din Kubra is one of the leading shaykhs of the Sufi path (Tariqah). His name is Ahmad, his title is “al-Tammat al-Kubra” and his birthplace was Khwarazm. His fruitful life lasted nearly seventy-eight years. It is said that he died in 1221.

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 3, 2014

      Thank you so much for the wonderful Sufi quote.
      I treasure such understanding.

  2. Kneeque
    February 3, 2014

    Hi Jenna,

    Thank you for your short and sweet article. It paves the way to understanding which leads to comprehension and ultimately, experience.
    Alas, I am no where near understanding. Just feeling of a noble sentiment…

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 4, 2014


      I sense in you a mystic heart– a desire for spiritual knowing and a reverence for the path. Thank you for sharing such noble sentiments.

Comments are closed.

This blog is a personal meditation on Self-realization and enlightenment. I work with the writings of Carl Jung and analytic theory in a dynamic manner, reading texts with an eye for Self-realization. I read the sacred texts of Vedanta and Tantra with an analytical eye. I offer interpretations of texts that are my own. My textual interpretations are not orthodoxy. These writings are not peer reviewed. My use of texts is spiritual in nature, and should not be used in a definitive sense. If you are seeking a standard interpretation or advice please look elsewhere.

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