on Self-realization

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

Fires of knowledge: Ashes of wisdom

Ash is a product of fire. When fire burns, things perish. Ash remains. As a symbol of purification, ash is the essence that remains when all else burns away. Carl … Continue reading

October 1, 2015 · 6 Comments

Encountering the Demon of Ignorance

In becoming aware of the supreme Self, we are likely to behold the demons and shadows of the individual self. Carl Jung believed that an encounter with the demon or … Continue reading

August 20, 2015

Divine Union: creative force & origin

In Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung explores the dynamic relation between the masculine and feminine as an archetypal image of sacred cohabitation. One such image is the Lingam and Yoni. … Continue reading

June 7, 2014 · 7 Comments

Rebirth from the Archetypal Mother: Jerusalem as sacred image

In Symbols of Transformation (CW5), Carl Jung speaks of the aims and instincts of the human soul. One of the most fundamental instincts of the human soul is a “longing … Continue reading

May 31, 2014

The Hero as Soul Image: aims and instincts

The hero symbolizes the ideas, forms, forces of the soul, expressing the trials and tribulations of the soul, as encountered upon the path to Self-realization.

May 22, 2014 · 16 Comments

Divine Child: symbol of the soul’s fulfillment

We are in deep winter: days short, nights long. Father sun seems so far away, mother earth lonely. All the creatures mourn in winter. They burrow in their little holes … Continue reading

December 25, 2013 · 14 Comments

Religion and the Unsayable

“This, then, is the ultimate paradox of thought: to want to discover something that thought itself cannot think.” -Søren Kierkegaard Carl Jung understood that there are two aspects of the … Continue reading

November 4, 2013 · 14 Comments

Self-realization: the dialectical struggle & the Elixir of Immortality

To live is to struggle. Whether we are rich or poor, beautiful or plain, famous or more humble, we will struggle. The struggle arises from within. It is a struggle … Continue reading

November 2, 2013 · 11 Comments

Theo-Sophia: divine wisdom in Jung & Böhme’s work

Last week I pondered Böhme’s visions. This week I am reminded of this image from the Frontispiece of The Way to the Sabbath of Rest (1709) by Thomas Bromley. If you … Continue reading

October 10, 2013 · 4 Comments

Jakob Böhme & the split within God

Yesterday I wrote a post in which I discussed Carl Jung’s comments on Böhme. Today I want to include a second image to illustrate the notion further. In this image … Continue reading

October 3, 2013 · 1 Comment

Jakob Böhme & the dynamic unity of light and dark (Mandala Image)

Jakob Böhme (1575 – 1624) was a German mystic.  He wrote several mystical treatises which influenced G.W.F. Hegel, Carl Jung, and other German thinkers. Carl Jung speaks of Böhme’s work. He says: “A historical example of the … Continue reading

October 2, 2013 · 3 Comments

Christ’s Androgyny

As I have illustrated in some of my previous posts, the hermaphrodite image appears from time to time throughout history, taking various forms. The symbol shows up in art, myths, … Continue reading

September 20, 2013 · 2 Comments

Rising Dawn: the soul in the Aurora Consurgens

A few days ago, I spoke of the hermaphrodite as the child of Hermes and Aphrodite in Ovid’s writings. Ovid wrote at the Augustan height of Roman literature. About fifteen … Continue reading

September 14, 2013 · 4 Comments

The Hermaphrodite in Ovid

In many spiritual traditions we find images of gods and goddess in union. Jung calls these unity symbols the syzygy. They are images of wholeness appearing in art, religious arcana, … Continue reading

September 9, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Quaternity in 14th Century French Art

This image is from the Hours of Étienne Chevalier by Jean Fouquet.  It is one image from Fouquet’s paintings of the book of hours. It was commissioned by king Charles VII … Continue reading

September 1, 2013 · 2 Comments

The Self: immanent divine

“God is a psychic fact of immediate experience.“ Carl Jung speaks of the immanent aspects of God when he says “God is a psychic fact”. In Carl Jung’s view, God … Continue reading

August 25, 2013 · 8 Comments

Notes on Jung: ‘The animus often appears as a painter’

“The animus often appears as a painter or has some kind of projection apparatus, or is a cinema-operator or owner of a picture-gallery. All this refers to the animus as … Continue reading

June 19, 2013

Notes on Jung: The anima … “can appear as a … tiger.”

The anima … “can appear as a … tiger.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 358) Reference: Carl G.Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – Collected Works volume 9i (originally … Continue reading

June 12, 2013

Notes on Jung: ‘the anima… can appear as a snake.’

“The anima also has affinities with animals, which symbolize her characteristics. Thus she can appear as a snake or a tiger or a bird.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 358) … Continue reading

June 10, 2013 · 2 Comments

Notes on Jung: Kore as nymph

“Another frequent modulation [of the Kore] is the dancer is often formed by borrowings from classical knowledge, in which case the “maiden” appears as the corybant, maenad, or nymph.” (Carl … Continue reading

June 9, 2013

Notes on Jung: sometimes the Kore slithers down to the animal kingdom

“Sometimes the Kore- and mother-figures slithers down altogether to the animal kingdom, the favorite representatives then being the cat, the snake, the bear, else some black monster of the underworld … Continue reading

June 8, 2013

Notes on Jung: Kore as anima figure

“The figure of the Kore that interests us here belongs, when observed in a man, to the anima ; and when observed in a woman to the type of supraordinate … Continue reading

June 8, 2013

Notes on Jung: on rebirth, resurrection, metempsychosis…

Carl Jung contemplates the archetype of rebirth and resurrection. It is through metaphorical experiences of death and rebirth that we come to know what is essential within us. His five … Continue reading

June 7, 2013

Notes on Jung: Kore as water-sprite

“An occasional variant [of the Kore] is the nixie or water-sprite.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 311)

June 6, 2013

Notes on Jung: the child and the Golden Egg

“The phenomenology of the “child’s” birth always points back to an original psychological state of non-recognition, i.e., of darkness or twilight, of non-differentiation between subject and object, of unconscious identity … Continue reading

June 5, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notes on Jung: Child Motif as gnomes, homunculi, dwarfs,

“In the manifold phenomenology of the “child” we have to distinguish between the unity and plurality of its respective manifestations. Where, for instance, numerous homunculi, dwarfs, boys, etc., appear, having … Continue reading

June 4, 2013 · 1 Comment

Child Motif: plurality of children

“In the manifold phenomenology of the “child” we have to distinguish between the unity and plurality of its respective manifestations…. if the plurality occurs in normal people, then it is … Continue reading

June 3, 2013

Notes on Jung: Atman and the Child Archetype

“The size and invincibility of the “child” are bound up in Hindu speculation with the nature of the atman [from a Sanskrit word that means ‘the Self’] , which corresponds … Continue reading

June 2, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notes on Jung: the child archetype as wholeness

“Psychologically speaking…  the “child” symbolizes the pre-conscious and the post-conscious essence of man. His pre-conscious essence is the unconscious state of earliest childhood; his post-conscious essence is an anticipation by … Continue reading

June 1, 2013

Notes on Jung: the child motif expresses the integration of opposites

This is one of my favorite images, which I see as representing the integration of opposites. We have the Christ Child representing the union of the holy mother and father. … Continue reading

May 31, 2013

Notes on Jung: the child represents the urge toward Self-realization

“It is a striking paradox in all child myths that the “child” is on the one hand delivered helpless into the power of terrible enemies and in continual danger of … Continue reading

May 29, 2013 · 2 Comments

Notes on Jung: Child Archetype as Unity

If “the child motif appears in the form of a unity, we are dealing with an unconscious and provisionally complete synthesis of the personality, which in practice, like everything unconscious, … Continue reading

May 28, 2013 · 2 Comments

Notes on Jung: the child image represents the future

“One of the essential features of the child motif is its futurity. The child is potential future. Hence the occurrence of the child motif in the psychology of the individual … Continue reading

May 27, 2013

Notes on Jung: the child is the precious fruit of Mother Nature

“Abandonment, exposure, danger, ete. are all elaborations of the “child’s” insignificant beginnings and of its mysterious and miraculous birth. This statement describes a certain psychic experience of a creative nature, … Continue reading

May 16, 2013

Notes on Jung: anima as nixie

“The nixie is an even more instinctive version of a magical feminine being whom I call the anima. Moralizing critics will say that these figures are projections of soulful emotional … Continue reading

May 1, 2013

Notes on Jung: A man who is possessed by his shadow…

“A man who is possessed by his shadow…” (Carl Jung, CW 9I, para 222)

April 29, 2013 · 1 Comment

Anima Muzzled

  This drawing, titled Anima Muzzled, by Daniel Mace expresses something archetypal about mankind’s repressive relationship with the anima. In his artwork and accompanying poem Daniel address the aggressive tendencies … Continue reading

April 6, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notes on jung: Anima Mundi

“The development of Western philosophy during the last two centuries has succeeded in isolating the mind in its own sphere and in severing it from its primordial oneness with the … Continue reading

March 18, 2013

Notes on Jung: “Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp.”

Carl Jung often speaks of Hermes as psycho pomp, spiritual friend, or personal guide. He says: From the earliest times, Hermes was the mystagogue and psycho pomp of the alchemists, … Continue reading

March 17, 2013

Notes on Jung: the self & the mystic Buddha

In the last post we learned that the self can be known through archetypal images: “Because of its unconscious component the self is so far removed from the conscious mind … Continue reading

March 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Self and its corresponding figures and symbols

Carl Jung calls the totality of our being the ‘Self’. The Self includes the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious mind is represented by the ‘ego.’ The Self includes the … Continue reading

March 12, 2013 · 4 Comments

Notes on Jung: the hermaphrodite & creative union of opposites

The above images are 15th century alchemical drawings of the Rebis Hermaphrodite from the Alchemica Collection at the John Rylands University. On the left side of the page we see … Continue reading

March 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

Notes on Jung: on the coniunctio in relationship to hermaphrodite images

A passage from the Gospel of Thomas in the Nag Hammadi Library reads:  Jesus said to them, “When you make the two one, and when you make the inside like … Continue reading

March 9, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notes on Jung: The Holy (inner) Family as mother, wise old man, child, shadow, anima/ animus

Carl Jung dedicated many years to the investigation into the nature of the soul. He was one of the patriarchs of the psychoanalytic profession with many years of observing the … Continue reading

March 7, 2013 · 1 Comment

Hieros gamos in the drawings of Opicinus de Canistris

When discussing the Hieros Gamos [sacred marriage] in the Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung speaks the symbolical drawings of Opicinus de Canistris. He says: “While, in Church mysticism, … Continue reading

March 6, 2013 · 1 Comment

Notes on Jung: the goal of individuation is the synthesis of the self

“I have called this wholeness that transcends consciousness the ‘self.’ The goal of the individuation process is the synthesis of the self. …the symbols of wholeness frequently occur at the … Continue reading

March 2, 2013 · 2 Comments

Notes on Jung: symbols unite duality

“There is no position without its negation. In or just because of their extreme opposition, neither can exist without the other. It is exactly as formulated in classical Chinese philosophy: … Continue reading

March 2, 2013 · 4 Comments

Trees depict the living structure of our inner self

If one is to have a dream of tree, one might contemplate the Self.  Tony Crisp (1991) speaks of trees in dreams: “Trees depicts the living structure of our inner … Continue reading

March 1, 2013 · 2 Comments

Notes on Jung: hero as triumph of consciousness over the unconscious

“The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. Day and light are synonyms for consciousness, … Continue reading

February 23, 2013 · 4 Comments

Notes on Jung: serpents & the Self

In the mural below, the Buddha (an image the self) is sitting over a serpent. The Buddha has mastered the impulses arising from “instinctive psyche, the unconscious.” He is no … Continue reading

February 22, 2013 · 3 Comments

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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