Christ Child: the child motif expresses the integration of opposites

Anonymous Cusco School, The family of Christ Child with the imprisoned soul of Divine Love- c. 1700- 1730. US Public Domain, Wikimedia
Anonymous Cusco School, The family of Christ Child with the imprisoned soul of Divine Love- c. 1700- 1730. US Public Domain, Wikimedia

In the image above, we see the Christ Child in between the holy mother and father. The image may be seen as representing the divine child as union of opposites.

In this image, we also see the soul of Divine Love imprisoned in chains. When the soul connects with the divine spirit, we have the unity of spirit and soul. Through this union,  a release from the soul’s ‘bondage’ is realized. The release from bondage is a spiritual freedom.

Carl Jung speaks to the union of opposites in relation to the child archetype. Jung says:

“In the psychology of the individual there is always, at such moments, an agonizing situation of conflict from which there seems to be no way out-at least for the conscious mind… But out of this collision of opposites the unconscious psyche always creates a third thing of an irrational nature, which the conscious mind neither expects nor understands. It presents itself in a form that is neither a straight “yes” nor a straight “no,” and is consequently rejected by both. For the conscious mind knows nothing beyond the opposites and, as a result, has no knowledge of the thing that unites them. Since, however, the solution of the conflict through the union of opposites is of vital importance, and is moreover the very thing that the conscious mind is longing for, some inkling of the creative act, and of the significance of it, nevertheless gets through. From this comes the numinous character of the “child.” (Carl Jung, CW 9i, para. 286)

Reference:

  1. Carl G.Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious – Collected Works volume 9i (originally published 1934–1954)
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