The mystics find in their heart the image of the sun

Saint Augustin by Philippe de Champaigne--1645-1650. US public domain via wikicommons.
Saint Augustin by Philippe de Champaigne–1645-1650. US public domain via wikicommons.
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 the sun. Our physiological life, regarded as an energy process, is entirely solar” (para. 176).

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Sophia: divine wisdom

Icon of Sophia from warm St. George church in Vologda, circa late 16 century. US public Domain via wikimedia
Icon of Sophia from warm St. George church in Vologda, circa late 16 century. US public Domain via wikimedia

In the image above, we see an image of Sophia, as wholly wisdom or divine wisdom. Sophia is an important archetypal image of the divine feminine. Sophia sometimes appears as mother and sometimes as bride.

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Archangel Michael: Bringers of light, enlargers of consciousness

J. M. W. Turner, The Angel Standing in the Sun -1846. US Public Domain.
Joseph Mallord William Turner, The Angel Standing in the Sun -1846. US Public Domain via wikimedia

In the above image by Turner, we see the Archangel Michael appearing on the Day of Judgement with his flaming sword. In the foreground are Old Testament scenes of murder and betrayal: Adam and Eve weep over the body of Abel (left), and Judith stands over the headless body of Holofernes (right)” (Tate Museum)

In Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung tells us that ‘bringers of light’ is an archetypal concept (CW 9i, para. 288). Turner provides a wonderful image of Archangel Michael as a ‘bringer of light’. The angel stands in the Sun with his flaming sword. The Archangel Michael is an angel of healing, a protector of innocence and a bearer of light.

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Sophia

Icon of Sophia from St George Church in Vologda- 16th century. US public domiain via wikimedia
Icon of Sophia from St George Church in Vologda- 16th century. US public domiain via wikimedia

Sophia (Greek Σοφíα), means ‘wisdom.’ [1]  Sophia is the Goddess of Wisdom.  As Goddess of Wisdom, Sophia is a guiding archetype in the transformations of consciousness. What follows is a description of the image by Engelina Smirnova:

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Mater Dei/ Mother of God

Our Lady of Vladimir (12th century), the holy protectress of Russia, now in the Tretyakov Gallery. US Public Domain via Wikimedia
Vladimir Mother of God- painted in 1130 in Constantinople. US Public Domain via Wikimedia

In the above image, we see the Theotokos of Vladimir, an image of the mother of God with the Christ child. The icon is a version of Eleusa (tenderness): the Christ child snuggles up to his mother’s cheek [1]. The image is surrounded by a golden light, expressing divine illumination. Carl Jung tells us that presence of Mary betokens the sacred quaternity. Jung says:

“The old philosophers of nature represented the Trinity, inasmuch as it was “imaginata in natura”, as the… “spiritus,” or volatilia,” viz., water, air and fire” (Carl Jung, 1938, p. 76)

The holy trinity is the father, son, and the holy spirit. Beyond the holy trinity there lies a fourth archetype: wholeness is unified through knowledge of the Divine Mother. The Quaternary adds a fourth aspect to the Trinity. In spiritual symbolism, the fourth aspect is represented by the divine mother. Jung adds:

“The fourth constituent on the other hand was the earth or the body. They symbolized the latter by the Virgin. In this way they added the feminine element to their physical Trinity, producing thereby the quaternary or the circulus quadratus…. The medieval philosophers of nature undoubtedly meant earth and woman by the fourth element… The quaternity in modern dreams is a product of the unconscious… the unconscious is often personified by the anima, a female figure. Apparently the symbol of the quaternity issues from her. She would be the matrix of the quaternity, a Mater Dei, just as the earth was understood to be the mother of God.” ” (ibid)

 

Reference:

  1. Wikipedia on Theotokos of Vladimir
  2. Carl Gustav Jung, Psychology and Religion- 1938

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