Inner alchemy archives - Jung

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Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 23:52:46 +0100
From: Nik Lippens


Dear fellow friends,

As you all know (or for those that do not) Carl Jung had a dream
one night. He "dreamt" that he was walking through his house and all of
a sudden he discovered a second wing to his house. He entered the wing
and came into a big library, but when he stepped up to one of the books,
he could only see signs - signs that he had never seen before and that
he couldn't explain. After he had some patients that had simular dreams
with signs in them and after he had this dream a couple of more times he
started his research on alchemy. It took him 10 years to explain
everything about alchemy.....

Now, my question to all of you is - the amount of material that I have
about this is very limited and I was wondering if there was anyone out
there that could help me.

Your friend Nik


From: Michela Pereira
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 19:21:53 +0100

>From: Nik Lippens

>Now, my question to all of you is - the amount of material that I have
>about this is very limited and I was wondering if there was anyone out
>there that could help me.

Dear Nik

I have written two essays on Jung and alchemy, but the problem with them, I
suppose, is that they are written in Italian. I realize that very few people
read Italian, my second book also (which has something on Jung in the first
chapter) is written in Italian and is little known (its main focus is the
ps.Lullian Testamentum).

However I give you details about all of them.
1. Il paradigma della trasformazione. L'alchimia nel Mysterium Coniunctionis
di C.G. Jung, "aut-aut" 229-230, 1980, pp. 197-217
2. L'alchimia e la psicologia di Jung, in Trattato di psicologia analitica,
diretto da Aldo Carotenuto, UTET, Torino, 1992, vol. I, pp. 415-445
3. L'oro dei filosofi. Saggio sulle idee di un alchimista del '300, CISAM,
Spoleto, 1992.

Friendly
Michela Pereira


From: DONALD MINSON
Date: Sat, 18 Jan 1997 13:23:47 +0000

Nik Lippens wrote:

> Now, my question to all of you is - the amount of material that I
> have about this is very limited and I was wondering if there was
> anyone out there that could help me

NIK,

What info do you have? Jung's specific books on alchemy can be
found in the Collected Works...the main one's are... 'Psychology and
Alchemy'(vol. 12)... 'Alchemical Studies'(vol. 13)... 'Mysterium
Coniunctionis'.(vol. 14)..and the somewhat less Alchemically oriented
'Aion'(vol. 9 II)...There is a book out there called: 'CGJung: Word
and Image' that has some more biographical info including some
references to alchemy and some very large pictures of alchemical
emblems/drawings/text/etc....

I personally have found these volumes to be the most helpful in my
alchemical queries...] I am highly interested in Analytic Psychology
and Jung's exposition of alchemy's themes and meanings have drawn me
to this group... I would love to discuss themes ideas and entertain
questions/answers among any who specifically find the Jungian
Alchemical approach fundamental, interesting, or curious..

We have, as a group, inner alchemy as our focus... yet with so many
ideas through the centuries coming into the fold of alchemy it is
impossible to focus 80 or so people on one specific topic... I would
encourage anyone and everyone to begin discussing anything and
everything that they are interested in within the fold of alchemy and
perhaps then we could have several "conversations" going on at once,
perhaps some crossreferencing would then be possible between what
would naturally become sort of arbitrary sub-groups with fluid
borders and welcome interchange... I know that I am very busy and
cannot, though I would like to, research every topic I am interested
in... I feel that with more going on there would be less to do outside
of learning from each other, especially since we would each be able
to elaborate on what we know best, welcome new information, and
sample from the more elaborate discussions going on outside our
specific interests... just a thought... any comments/beginnings?

respectfully

DMINSON


------------
I feel I must reply here to D. Minson's last paragraph especially the
statement "I would encourage anyone and everyone to begin
discussing anything and everything that they are interested in
within the fold of alchemy". It is my experience with e-mail groups that
unless we keep focussed on the subject of the group, then the group
drifts off into irrelevancies and a number of regular contributors turn off
from having to read through a load of material unrelated to alchemy,
leaving the field open for a few individual to pursue their ideosyncracies.
Unless the group remains focussed on alchemy then it goes into a
spiral of pointless and irrelevant postings. I remember on the original
alchemy forum some years ago a group of people thought it a good
idea to pursue the subject of trepanning.

We must keep a focus on alchemy as such - I am afraid I become rather
worried by a call for "anyone and everyone to begin discussing anything
and everything..." An email group like this tends to respond to some
postings which for one reason or another acts like seeds. A discussion
follows involving a number of people and this runs its course and decays.
Another theme arises and so on. This is the nature of e-mail communication,
and indeed of most conversations. This is what we should expect out of an
e-mail group - the opportunity to hold or listen to a conversation with people
separated by many miles. We are all busy people with masses of stuff to
read through each day. I think we should let the e-mail groups proceed
in their own organic way and not try to force the discussion of all sorts
of matters peripheral to alchemy.

The inner alchemy group has been very successful - we have avoided
the unpleasant rows and aggressive attacks on others which stained
the earlier alchemy forum. So let us just accept the gentle pace and nature
of this group and not feel we have to force it into high gear and fill it out it
with loads of irrelevant postings.

Adam McLean


Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 00:28:30 -0800
From: Richard Roberts

TWO HERETICS c1997 Richard Roberts

I should like to offer my views on Valentinus, and then on Fri. a
timely valentine to all our members.It is perhaps to Valentinus that
the Nag Hammadi scrolls were rescued from obscurity. Discovered
in 1947 they were offered for sale to various bidders. Purchase by the
Bollingen Foundation was dependent upon verification of their authenticity
by Valentinian scholar Gilles Quispell. A single page convinced him that
THE GOSPEL OF TRUTH was authored by Valentinus, but many
obstacles would prevent the translations of the many codices until
the 1960s. In the meantime, Jung, who deemed the Gnostics"not so
much heretics as theologians," was presented with parts of Codex I
(the so-called Jung Codex), the only part permitted to leave Egypt in the
1950s. Certainly such an important religious document would not have
been delivered into the hands of a champion of reductionism, so I think
Donald Minson's interpretation is correct: Jung decries the
contemporary "spirit of the age." Brother Athanasius misconstrues
Jung's words when he says that "the world view as advanced by Jung
cannot be reconciled with the alchemical world view," because through
his study of the mystical alchemists Jung by his own account found
what he considered to be the bridge between Gnosticism and the modern
psychology of the unconscious. Why would Jung devote so many years of
his life(vols. 12,13,14 of the collected works) to alchemy if he were indeed
opposed to the "alchemical world view"?

Jung's opposition to reductionism cost him dearly, and still does to
this day.The Jung book talks on-line which Donald Minson also participated
in last week were replete with discussions of Jung's shadow, his so-called
anti-Semitism and crypto-fascism. These are the same charges that were also
unjustly levelled against Joseph Campbell after his death, and they are the
price one pays for taking a stand against reductionism and Marxism when they
embody "the spirit of the age." The Church errs, I think, when it does not
recognize as its friends defenders of the metaphysical world view, such as
Jung and Campbell, because their philoophies do not fit into Church dogma.
Indeed, I honestly believe that Jung and Campbell have kept more people from
going over to the doctrine of the Materialists than have been driven there
by the rigidity of Church dogma.

Jung's true stance is best exemplified by his break with Freud, which
eventually led to innuedos of anti-Semitism from Freud's followers. To
show how far ahead of his times--and Freud--was Jung, some ninety years
ago Freud confided in Jung that he was adopting him "as an eldest son,
anointing him as a successor and crown prince." However, when Jung
inquired what Freud's views might be on precognition and parapsychology,
Freud exclaimed,"Sheer nonsense!"

In Campbell's introduction to Viking's THE PORTABLE JUNG (which he
inscribed to me,"To Dick in celebration of our San Francisco conversations,
with warm affection, and admiration. Ever, Joe") we read:"The next traumatic
event occurred in 1910, the year of the Second Congress of the Association
of Psycho-Analysis, where Freud proposed, and even insisted against
organized oppositon, that Jung should be appointed Permanent President.
'My dear Jung,' he urged on this occasion, as Jung tells, 'promise me never
to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see,
we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.'...In some astonishment
Jung asked him, 'A bulwark against what?' To which he replied, 'Against the
black tide of mud...of occultism.'

"'First of all,' comments Jung on this episode, 'it was the words
"bulwark" and "dogma" that alarmed me; for a dogma, that is to say, an
indisputable confession of faith, is set up only when the aim is to suppress
doubts once and for all. But that no longer has anything to do with
scientific judgment; only with a personal power drive.'"

Jung was being heretical in the same way that Valentinus was
heretical in the eyes of the Church fathers who condemned him, albeit not
without admiration; for Jerome wrote,"No one can bring a heresy into being
unless he is possessed by nature of an outstanding intellect and has gifts
provided by God. Such a person was Valentinus."In the middle of the second
century A.D.,Valentinus was considered for bishop of Rome, so he once was
held in high regard by the Church. Subsequently, he and his followers drew
more criticism than any other group of Gnostics.

I had the pleasure of meeting the aforementioned Gilles Quispell in
San Francisco when I was researching my collaboration with Campbell
"Tarot Revelations." In Gnosticism the Creator God, known as the
Demiurge, is also called Saklas(Fool) because having been assigned
the task of creating the world by Sophia(Wisdom) he concludes that he
is lord of the universe, and is called "Fool" by Sophia. I wondered to
Quispell if there could be a connection between Tarot's Fool and the
Gnostic Saklas.

Saklas bears a close resemblance to the angry god of the Old
Testament,and the relation to Freudian psychology was not lost upon
Jung, who credited Freud with introducing the Gnostic evil paternal
authority into modern psychology. In Freud's myth, the primal father
became a demon who created aworld of dissappointments, illusions,
and suffering. Missing was the primordial feminine spirit from a higher
god who gave humans the possibility of spiritual transformation. In
"The Gospel of Phillip," Jesus is questioned about his love for Mary
Magdalene, and indirectly replies that she is the manifestation of
Sophia, who in Valentinianism is the bide-to-be of Jesus.
Small wonder that this was considered heretical!

So we have a delicious philosophical irony here in the lives of
these two heretics, Valentinus and Jung. The former is adjudged
heretical in the eyes of the religious "spirit of the age" because he
revolts in thePromethean sense against the dogma of a tyrannical
Father/God. The latter as "anointed son" revolts against the father of
the psychoanalytic movement, not a religious movement at all, but a
reductive, deterministic "spirit of the age." The two come together
perhaps as embodiments of the spiritual aspirations of the human
mind and heart.



Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 15:23:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Joe

Hello Brother A.

In your post you wrote:

>The psyche cannot be its own subject and object.
and then later you said:

>"The criterion of truth is truth itself".

Well I'm a composition teacher and all week I've been
abusing my students with interesting tidbits concerning logical
inconsistancies so I could be just wildly projecting but do I detect a
little bit of that here? The other thing which strikes me about those two
statements is that I believe they are the core of the argument which you're
having with George and others. Here again, my recent tribulations with logic
in the classroom lead me to think there may be a bit of "begging the
question" in both statements. Those statements, to me, are your argument. You
can't logically start the argument by offering them as proven truths. To "the
psyche cannot be its own subject and object" I would answer in the frames of
my own argument: Yes it can. It must. To me, that's the center of what
alchemy is about and the world view of the alchemical drama. To the second:
"The criterion of truth is truth itself" I am reminded of Kurt Goedel and his
"warnings" about deciding that formal systems, logical, mathematical, and
otherwise, are logically consistent and lead towards an endtruth. But you're
right. That just makes me a relativist of sorts. Peace be with you in your
lent, brother. When I was a kid we knelt in a circle, as a family, and said
the rosary for the conversion of Russia every night of lent. Except for
Sunday, my father had convinced himself that Sunday was not a real part of
lent. So on Sunday we got to watch television and Russia could go to hell.
More relativisim.

Joe


From: Br.Athanasius
Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 18:17:03 -1100

Dear Joe,

Interesting information, but logic is limited to the plane of reason,
that is to say rationality, one cannot apply it's methods to knowledge
of a supra-rational quality. The relagating of all types of knowledge
to the dictates of limited logic is a main error of the West. I suggest
that you read the essays " The Contradiction of Relativism" and
the " Rationalism Real and Apparent" by F.Schuon. My argument
on purely formal and rationalistic line would indeed fall. But
it is of a very different order. (By the way. Russia was converted in
988A.D. so you need'nt worry about your T.V watsching on their
account.)

Thank You and God bless you,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery


Date: Fri, 14 Feb 97 11:36:01 UT
From: Mike Dickman

I, too, would like to wish Brother Athanasius a peaceful and profound lenten
retreat... I look forward to hearing from him after the Easter festivities.
Happy St. Valentine's day to one and all!

Love,
md


Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 22:02:00 -1100
From: Br. Athanasius

My essential criticism of Jung and others are that of relativism. I
do not wish to focus on that as opposed to the doctrines of any
one particular expositor of such. Some of you feel the Jung has
been a positive contributor in some sense to the field of religion or
the study of esoteric doctrines, in that his particular insights have
helped people to understand such doctrines. I contend that, from
my perspective, ( at least), this has not been the case. This
touches on the domain of religion proper, and since
we all have very different perspectives, I feel that fruitful discussion
is unlikely, I fear of offending unnecessarily. I would be quite willing
to discuss these matters offlist, as they are not really within the
stated topic of this group. I, myself enjoy direct debate, but I am
aware such is not often the case with many today.

It is my contention that, there is an essential contradiction in
relativism, and I deem that substituting opinion with objective
knowledge is either relativism or leads to it. The psyche cannot be
its own subject and object. Psychology means" science of the soul"
or "word of the soul" and as such what one understands the soul to
be is a critical factor in the judging of the value of such a science.
What is the soul? I contend that the soul, as defined by the
modernist, be they Jung or whomever, is not the same as the soul
as defined by many (if not all) of the traditionalists. Some have
said that this is not the case. George Leake has said that there is
not one alchemical world view. I now ask those who have differed
to give me some indicators from THE PRIMARY SOURCES, the
level of discussion has not appealed to the texts. My assumption
is that one must look to the masters to have some idea of the
science. I wish to move beyond mere opinion. Please cite the
texts that contradict the perspective that I have attempted to
alude to. I must admit that my study of these texts has
been focused on a few of what I consider to be the critical texts,
and I must also admit, that my metaphsical assumptions are not
derived from such things. I more see in them the reality that I have
experienced in another domain, (primarily the religious and the
philosphical)

My metaphsical assumptions presuppose the concept of certitude
that man can and should be certain about certain facets of reality.
What I think some of you have seen as uncharitiable, is the very
key to my metaphysical outlook. I know that today many people
see certitude as simply arrogance. I have often heard the query
"What make you think that you know?" the answer is simply
I know that's who I know. The criterion of truth is truth itself,
Plato tells us that a mark of true knowledge is certitude. I see
this same concept indicated in the Emerald Tablet, The Glory of the
World, The Sophic Hydrolith etc. No one has told me any different.
I want someone to show me how that, these documents (or ones
of your choice) do not support such a contention, and please
George don't just go through my posting and make comments
that you don't agree, I know you don't agree, I want some positive
vision of reality from your perspective. (I probably won't agree
to it, but it will be much more edifying to the readers)

As a final note, Lent is approching soon for the Orthodox, and
as such I will not be able to comment much in this forum,
(Lent in a monastery is extreamly rigerous). I would like to
end this discussion on a positive note, in the next several
weeks. Too, I wish people to know that I do not intend to
offend. I have enjoyed the argument very much.

the servant of God,

Brother Athanasius
Ascension Monastery


Date: Wed, 12 Feb 1997 17:38:12 -0600 (CST)
From: George Leake

>From: Br. Athanasius
>My essential criticism of Jung and others are that of relativism.

I have understood this and am still wondering why I am a "relativist". I
have seen the relativism defined in many ways, but I'm guessing that the
way in which you are characterizing it is for you there is one truth based
on perception of objective reality that has led you to believe, say,
killing of humans is a sin and morally wrong, but perhaps the killing of
cows is not, whereas the relativist might say in this culture we do, but in
Hindu culture killing cows is not condoned.

So, perhaps in order for us to understand what you mean, because most of
us want to hear what you have to say, I definitely value your input, I want
to hear what you mean by relativism.

>I do not wish to focus on that as opposed to the doctrines of any
>one particular expositor of such. Some of you feel the Jung has
>been a positive contributor in some sense to the field of religion or
>the study of esoteric doctrines, in that his particular insights have
>helped people to understand such doctrines.

A lot of the esoteric material Jung has spoken of I hesitate to call
'doctrine'. Here we are talking about alchemy, I fail to see how alchemical
philosophy is doctrinal.

>I contend that, from
>my perspective, ( at least), this has not been the case.

What books on alchemy do you value, then?

Personally, I think Jung's chapter "Religious Ideas in Alchemy" from his
book Psychology and Alchemy (I'm using the Princeton English translation)
is as straightforward an introduction to alchemy as any(I think it compares
nicely to Atwood in many ways). Rather than making sweeping general
condemnations of Jung, let's get into specifics. If you like, I would be
happy to transcribe some specific passages from this work, and we can
debate it from there.

I also think there's a big difference between Jung himself and
interpreters of Jung.

>This touches on the domain of religion proper, and since
>we all have very different perspectives, I feel that fruitful discussion
>is unlikely, I fear of offending unnecessarily.

I don't see how we can talk about Alchemy at all--especially on an "Inner"
Alchemical Forum--an avoid raising different religious perspectives. My
advice to you, if you can try it, is to step outside of yourself and your
beliefs if you can when discussing these things. Honestly, Brother
Athanasius, I really respect your beliefs and your dedication. When I argue
with you over Jung or relativism or what exactly is meant by gnosis, its my
ideas arguing yours in the abstract Platonic realm of the forms, I'm not
executing a midfield tackle or attempting an assault on your moral or
ethical character.
That said, if you want to say such an such an idea is heretical in context
of this or that church, that's fine, but its not a "relativistic" idea at
all to say that maybe not every person or culture or religious tradition
shares that. Personally, I think the latter types of things are objectively
realistic. Maybe that's because I live in a crowded diverse urban area.


I would be quite willing
>to discuss these matters offlist, as they are not really within the
>stated topic of this group.

Maybe not at this level, but certainly the spiritual context of alchemy as
talked about by Jung indeed is appropriate to the scope of this very forum.
So is, by the way, probably the works of many Church fathers on the one
hand, and the work of Aleister Crowley, on the other, where cogent of
course.


I, myself enjoy direct debate, but I am
>aware such is not often the case with many today.

As long as we can all "get along like good Christians"


>It is my contention that, there is an essential contradiction in
>relativism,

Perhaps. Please define this. The contradiction could be because it is a
faulty external definition.


>and I deem that substituting opinion with objective
>knowledge is either relativism or leads to it.

I'm not sure how this follows...although I definitely see the problem with
"substituting opinion with objective knowledge", if indeed any knowledge
can be deemed objective.


>The psyche cannot be its own subject and object.

Both can be contained within it, and here's how. The separation between
the perceiver and perceived.

Psychology means" science of the soul"
>or "word of the soul" and as such what one understands the soul to
>be is a critical factor in the judging of the value of such a science.

I'm not sure everyone agrees the psyche and soul is the same thing though.


>What is the soul? I contend that the soul, as defined by the
>modernist, be they Jung or whomever, is not the same as the soul
>as defined by many (if not all) of the traditionalists.

I would agree. In fact I would take it further. I say the view of the soul
is not the same amongst most modernists and amongst most "traditionalists".
(course I'm not sure that includes everyone--is there anyone besides those
two, and if so, what are they called, and where is the dividing line?)


>Some have
>said that this is not the case. George Leake has said that there is
>not one alchemical world view. I now ask those who have differed
>to give me some indicators from THE PRIMARY SOURCES, the
>level of discussion has not appealed to the texts.

Hey, I have tried. Frances Yates speaks of some of these people. What
other thinkers have postulated a world view like Giordano Bruno?


>My assumption
>is that one must look to the masters to have some idea of the
>science. I wish to move beyond mere opinion. Please cite the
>texts that contradict the perspective that I have attempted to
>alude to.

I don't think you have enunciated a perspective one could debate. You've
mentioned something about "traditionalist", and some things about objective
reality, and mentioned your standing as a member of an Eastern Orthodox
monastery (I do have some personal familiarity with that faith). Is there
some philosophy or text that represents your perspective? I'm also still
wondering why you got so upset about the Epicurean comments.


> I must admit that my study of these texts has
>been focused on a few of what I consider to be the critical texts,
>and I must also admit, that my metaphsical assumptions are not
>derived from such things. I more see in them the reality that I have
>experienced in another domain, (primarily the religious and the
>philosphical)

Of course, for example, by "the religious" I'm sure you must have a
specific set of texts in mind. Right? For instance, are there any religious
texts outside your domain?


>My metaphsical assumptions presuppose the concept of certitude
>that man can and should be certain about certain facets of reality.
>What I think some of you have seen as uncharitiable, is the very
>key to my metaphysical outlook. I know that today many people
>see certitude as simply arrogance. I have often heard the query
>"What make you think that you know?" the answer is simply
>I know that's who I know. The criterion of truth is truth itself,
>Plato tells us that a mark of true knowledge is certitude.

So you're saying the fact you're convinced, alone, is proof enough for you
of the existence of God?

>I see this same concept indicated in the Emerald Tablet,

I'd love to see how the Emerald Tablet supports that...


>The Glory of the
>World, The Sophic Hydrolith etc. No one has told me any different.

Well, naturally, the Emerald Tablet talks about certitude, but how do you
know you and the writer of the Emerald Tablet (who do you think wrote it,
btw?) are certain about the same things??

>I want someone to show me how that, these documents (or ones
>of your choice) do not support such a contention, and please
>George don't just go through my posting and make comments
>that you don't agree, I know you don't agree, I want some positive
>vision of reality from your perspective. (I probably won't agree
>to it, but it will be much more edifying to the readers)

Ok, I'm not just agreeing and disagreeing. I want to see a more fleshed
out version of your philosophy--unless it is that certitude (some say
faith) is proof enough. If that's your philosophy, then I'll comment.
Otherwise, I think we need a better idea.


>As a final note, Lent is approching soon for the Orthodox, and
>as such I will not be able to comment much in this forum,
>(Lent in a monastery is extreamly rigerous). I would like to
>end this discussion on a positive note, in the next several
>weeks. Too, I wish people to know that I do not intend to
>offend. I have enjoyed the argument very much.

I have enjoyed it as well, and good luck in your pursuits.

George Leake


From: Donald Minson
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 01:52:03 +0000

Brother Athanasius,
I do not wish to defend Carl Jung to you brother but I do so feel
compelled to defend the essay from which you pulled your quotes...
context is everything and the one in which you used his quotes to
serve your opinions is far from the content of the essay and further
from its meaning...the essays were published in 1933 and not written
collectively nor in any same year...with psychology as a fledgling
science suffering the materialistic scientific worldview that marked
the spirit of the age to which Jung was opposed he took on a task
of convincing scientists of the importance of including the spirit
and soul in their assays of the psyche ...a most precarious position
as you might well imagine... in doing so he described the thinking of
the spirit of the age to demonstrate its faults in swinging,
oppositly to former thinking, completely to a onesided view of psyche
as matter...one must often explain diplomatically in order to
convince rather that offend...stimulating negative emotions is never
a logical approach to gaining understanding...I have chosen a few
quotes of my own from the essay.

He begins the essay talking about how scientific materialism came
into being and says (174)" there were always a fair number of
intelligent scientists who had enough insight and depth of thought to
accept this irrational reversal of standpoint ONLY UNDER PROTEST"
...here it seems he is in agreement with the insightful and
intelligent...

"the fact that a metaphysics of the mind was supplanted... by a
metaphysics of matter, is a mere trick...(174)"

...further describing the mind-set he says:

"Intangible, inner happenings seem to have to yield place to things
in the external, tangible world, and no value exists if it is not
founded on a so-called fact. aT LEAST THAT'S HOW IT APPEARS
TO THE SIMPLE MIND"(175) (all emphasis is mine)

...no doubt he didn't consider himself a simple mind...
...here again he admonishes the spirit of the age:

"the spirit of the age cannot be compassed by the processes of
human reason. It is an inclination, an emotional tendency that works
upon weaker minds...(175)"

...defending again that a onesided mindset is inappropriate:

"But people who are not above the general level of consciousness
have not yet discovered that it is just as presumptious and fantastic
for us to assume that matter produces spirit; that apes give rise to
human beings...(176)"

"What or who, indeed is this all powerful matter?(176)"

"if our consciousness were not of today only, but had historical
continuity, we should be reminded of similar transformations of the
divine principle in Greek philosophy, and this might dispose us to be
more critical of our present philosophical assumptions. We are,
however, effectively prevented from indulging in such reflections by
the spirit of the age...(176-77)"

...here he speaks, I think, for the collective generally...the simple
minds..."the crowd-mind (177)"

" We delude ourselves with the thought that we know much more about
matter than about a "metaphysical' mind, and so we overestimate
physical causation and believe that it alone affords us a true
explanation of life...(177)"

...an obvious admonition...

"Since we have literally no idea of the way in which what is psychic
can arise from physical elements, and yet cannot deny the reality of
psychic events, we are free to frame our assumptions THE OTHER
WAY ROUND FOR ONCE, AND TO HOLD THAT THE PSYCHE
ARISES FROM A SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE which is inaccessible
to our understanding of matter. To be sure, this will not be a modern
psychology, for to be modern is to deny such a possibility. For better
or worse, therefore, we must turn back to the teachings of our
forefathers for it was they who made such assumptions...(180).."

...perhaps you see that it is not he that is "reasonable,
scientific, normal" modern and rational in his outlook but only they
that participate unthinkingly, thoughtlessly in the spirit of the
age, those people who purport the ideas of your quote selection...a
selection drawn from a descriptive of the behavior and attitudes that
were poularized by the spirit of the age which is later admonished
by Jung...

"This being so, we shall do well to admit that ther is justification
for the old view of the soul as an objective reality---(183)"

...and about your comment on the collective unconscious...I think it
innappropriate to compare to the quotes you chose as I have tried to
show with some clarification are not Jungs inclinations... I do,
though, hold a personal opinion which shouldn't be included in
Jung's ideas: that the unconscious is the kingdom within us and that
it is as likely that God would give us this gift to better know him
as every other gift he's given ...I am sorry for all the reductionist
scientific sterility that surrounds the concept of the unconscious
for to me it is a holy place...

It was around or a little after the time of this book that Jung began
his work with alchemy...the metaphysical and spiritual are one of
the things that draw me toJung I feel that his interaction with it
was much more than a simple model or useful tool for his science it
is well known in Jungian circles that he placed it highest on his
list for spiritual interaction with God and to deny the theoretical
possibility that he understood and applied and sought the stone
with religious fervor and sanctity which even we each seek in our
lives, simply with an off-hand comment based on opinion only, is
not a very righteous nor pious consideration of a fellow human being
whose endeavors have brought many back to their religion as well
as into alchemy's fold...

Donald Minson


Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 21:48:40 UT
From: Mike Dickman

Donald Minson's beautiful and spirited defense and my own soft spot for old
C.G. notwhithstanding, I think it only fair to point out, however, that - as
far as extreme oriental stuff was concerned, at any rate - and because, in
this domain, he was always dependent on translations above and beyond his own
control (I think particularly of Evans-Wentz's 'editings' of Dawa Samdup -
Wilhelm's stuff is in another league altogether), he is very often
extraordinarily wide of the mark.

Interested readers are encouraged to look into John Reynolds' "Self-Liberation
Through Seeing With Naked Awareness", Station Hill Press, Barrytown, NY 12507,
1989, for an accurate rendering of the text 'edited' by Wentz as the "Tibetan
Book of the Great Liberation" by a very able Tibetan translator indeed. (Being
one myself, I should know!)

Appendix I very clearly sets forth the problem of the Wentz-Jung
colaborations, at the same time very skilfully demonstrating the actual
considerations of authentic Dzogchen (rdzogs-pa chen-po) view, meditation and
action...

Alors, Jung is Jung sans doute, perhaps, but as far as the Far East is
concerned should definitely be approached with caution.

Respectfully,
md


Date: Fri, 13 Jun 1997
From: Sssolara

At 11:24 AM 6/13/97 +0000, A. McLean wrote:
>As far as I am aware the new system is working okay. So instead of worrying
>that you have been disconnected or unsubscribed from the groups, why not
>just post a message to get the momentum going again.
>

I'll respond since I have been lurking for a while now, getting acquainted
with the group. My interest in alchemy comes from three years as a Jungian
analysand interpreting a dirth of dreams with symbology I can't even begin
to understand! No longer in analysis the dreams still come..vivid, vibrant
and full of textures that leave a taste in my mouth I cannot rinse away. I
continue to read as much as I can, and attend any lectures or course
offerings that appear in the larger cities near me. This listserver,
however..gives me great pleasure.

Sssolara~

Forma . Igne . Arteque . Transformatur