Jerusalem and the Self

 Old World Map with Jerusalem as center. Bèunting, Heinrich, 1581. US public domain via wikimedia
Old World Map with Jerusalem as center. Bèunting, Heinrich, 1581. US public domain via wikimedia

This old world map is from the late-16th century, representing the world as a cloverleaf. In the image we see three leaves representing the continents — Asia, Europe, and Africa. At the intersection of the leaves, Jerusalem appears as the Holy City. This image illustrates the idea of the Holy City as image of the Self. In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung says:

“The self, enthroned in the place of the middle, and referred to in Revelation as the beloved city (Jerusalem, the centre of the earth).” (CW 9I, para. 256)

This image reflects the Medieval world view of three continents. The map was created long after the New World discoveries had gained wide acceptance, showing that the map was a representation of past views (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center).

References:

  1. Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious by Carl Jung
  2. Map description from https://www.flickr.com/photos/normanbleventhalmapcenter/

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