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).

Continue reading “The mystics find in their heart the image of the sun”

Advertisements

The Gift of Love

Gentile Da Fabriano- The Annunciation- circa 1425, currently at held at the Pinacoteca Vaticana, via wikimedia US public domain.
Gentile Da Fabriano- The Annunciation- circa 1425, currently at held at the Pinacoteca Vaticana, via wikimedia US public domain.

Life energy moves through all living things. A seed sprouts, growing and becoming a tree, blossoming and bearing fruit. As long as the tree is healthy and without disease its life energy will follow a path. This is not a scientific declaration, but a poetic one: energy creates transformations in form.

In human terms, we call this energy ‘libido.’ The potential transformations of our energy are shaped by ‘libidinal’ desire: our instincts animate us, drive us. Our desire moves us to seek an object; in pure form libido moves us to seek out an other, not as object but subject.

Continue reading “The Gift of Love”

Via Dolorosa: the soul’s spiritual riddle

Jheronimus_Bosch_or_follower_001
Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516) Christ Carrying the Cross, US public domain via wikimedia

In Symbols of Transformation, Carl Jung speaks of psychical symbols as “psychological riddles” (para. 83). Jung says that if a “problem [is] not worked out consciously”; then, it “goes on working in the unconscious and throws up symbolical fantasies”(ibid). The psyche brings forth spiritual riddles, appearing in myth, dreams, art and other forms of imagination.

Spiritual riddles point to “natural currents of libido.” Symbols transform, creating currents within psychic life (fn. 18). One such current is formed from the transformation of desire. As desire transforms, so do the symbols that appear in dreams and fantasy.  Jung says: “The yearning clothes itself in ecclesiastical garb… where it at last finds its way to freedom.” (ibid)

Continue reading “Via Dolorosa: the soul’s spiritual riddle”

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.

Continue reading “Sophia: divine wisdom”

Jakob Böhme and the three principles of the divine

 Theosophia revelata, das ist, Alle göttliche Schriften, Jakob Böhme, 1730 US public domain via wikimedia
Theosophia revelata, das ist, Alle göttliche Schriften, Jakob Böhme, 1730 US public domain via wikimedia

In Fearful Symmetry,  (1947) Northrop Frye discusses Böhme’s work in relationship to William Blake. This is a great book, highly recommended for all those interested in the imagination. According to Frye, Böhme’s work concerns itself with three stages or ‘principles.’ Frye succinctly describes these principles:

“The first ‘principle’ is God conceived as wrath or fire, who torments himself inwardly until he splits open and becomes the second principle,” (p. 157)

Continue reading “Jakob Böhme and the three principles of the divine”