The Seven Sermons to the Dead – Carl Jung


Systema Munditotius

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With these words my soul vanished.

But I remained anxious and confused for many days. And my soul remained silent and was not to be seen.’4

But one night a dark crowd knocked at my door, and I trembled with fear. Then my soul appeared and said in haste, “They are here and will tear open your door.”

So that the wicked herd can break into my garden? Should I be plundered and thrown out onto the street? You make me into an ape and a child’s plaything. When, Oh my God, shall I be saved from this Hell of fools? But I want to hack to pieces your cursed webs, go to Hell, you fools. What do you want with me?”

But she interrupted me and said, “What are you talking about? Let the dark ones speak.”

I retorted, “How can I trust you? You work for yourself, not for me. What good are you, if you can’t even protect me from the devil’s confusion?”

Be quiet,” she replied, “or else you’ll disturb the work.”

And as she spoke these words, behold, came up to me, dressed in the white robe of a priest, and lay his hand on my shoulder.” Then I said to the dark ones, “So speak, you dead.” And immediately they cried in many voices,” “We have come back from Jerusalem, where we did not find what we sought.” We implore you to let us in. You have what we desire. Not your blood, but your light That is it.”

Then lifted his voice and taught them, saying (and this is the first sermon to the dead):

Now hear I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as the fullness. In infinity full is as good as empty. Nothingness is empty and full. You might just as well say anything else about nothingness, for instance, that it is white, or black, or that it does not exist, or that it exists. That which is endless and eternal has no qualities, since it has all qualities.

‘We call this nothingness or fullness the Pleroma.*’ Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and endless possess no qualities. No one is in it, for he would then be distinct from the Plerotna, and would possess qualities that would distinguish him as something distinct from the Pleroma.

In the Pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is fruitless to think about the Pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution.

Creation is not in the Pleroma, but in itself. The Pleroma is the beginning and end of creation.” It pervades creation, just as the sunlight pervades the air. Although the Pleroma is altogether pervasive, creation has no share in it, just as a wholly transparent body becomes neither light nor dark through the light pervading it.

We are, however, the Pleroma* itself, for we are a part of the eternal and the endless. But we have no share therein, as we are infinitely removed from the Pleroma; not spatially or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the Pleroma in our essence as creation, which is confined within time and space.

*(“fullness”, from the verb plēróō (πληρόω, “to fill”), from plḗrēs (πλήρης, “full”). See fn 82

Yet because we are parts of the Pleroma, the Pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point the Pleroma is endless, eternal, and whole, since small and great are qualities that are contained in it It is nothingness that is whole and continuous throughout. Only figuratively, therefore, do I speak of creation as part of the Pleroma. Because, actually, the Pleroma is nowhere divided, since it is nothingness. We are also the whole Pleroma, because, figuratively, the Pleroma is the smallest point in us, merely assumed, not existing, and the boundless firmament about us. But why then do we speak of the Pleroma at all, if it is everything and nothing?

I speak about it in order to begin somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere without or within there is something fixed or in some way established from the outset. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative. That alone is fixed and certain that is subject to change.

Creation, however, is subject to change; therefore it alone is fixed and determined because it has qualities: indeed, it is quality itself.

Thus we ask” how did the creation come into being? Creatures came into being, but not creation: since creation is the very quality of the Pleroma, as much as noncreation, eternal death. Creation is ever-present, and so is death. The Pleroma has everything, differentiation and nondifferentiation.

Differentiation” is creation. It is differentiated. Differentiation is its essence, and therefore it differentiates. Therefore man differentiates, since his essence is differentiation. Therefore he also differentiates the qualities of the Pleroma that do not exist. He differentiates them on account of his own essence. Therefore he must speak of those qualities of the Pleroma that do not exist

You say: ‘what use is there in speaking about it at all?’ Did you yourself not say that it is not worth thinking about the Pleroma?

“I mentioned that to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the Pleroma. When we distinguish the qualities of the Pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own differentiated state and about our own differentiation, but have effectively said nothing about the Pleroma. Yet we need to speak about our own differentiation, so that we may sufficiently differentiate ourselves. Our very nature is differentiation. If we are not true to this nature we do not differentiate ourselves enough. We must therefore make distinctions between qualities.

You ask: ‘what harm is there in not differentiating oneself?’ If we do not differentiate, we move beyond our essence, beyond creation, and we fall into nondifferentiation, which is the other quality of the Pleroma. We fall into the Pleroma itself and cease to be created beings. We lapse into dissolution in nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die to the same extent that we do not differentiate. Hence the creature’s essence strives toward differentiation and struggles against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the principium individualtonis.eThis principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why nondifferentiation and nondistinction pose a great danger to the creature.

We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the Pleroma. These qualities are pairs of opposites, such as

the effective and the ineffective,

the fullness and the emptiness,

the living and the dead,

the different and the same,

light and darkness, hot and cold, force and matter, time and space, good and evil, the beautiful and the ugly, the one and the many, etc.


82 The Pleroma, or fullness, is a term from Gnosticism. It played a central role in the Valentinian system. Hans Jonas states that “Pleroma is the standard term for the fully explicated manifold of divine characteristics, whose standard number is thirty, forming a hierarchy and together constituting the divine realm” (The Gnostic Religion. The Message ofthe Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity [London: Routledge. 1992], p. 180). In 1929. Jung said: “The Gnostics … expressed it as Pleroma. a state of fullness where the pairs of opposites, yea and nay, day and night, arc together, then when they ‘become,’ it is either day or night In the state of ‘promise’ before they become, they are nonexistent there is neither white nor black, good nor bad” (Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar Given In 1928—1930, ed. William McGuire [Bollingen Series, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984], p. 131). In his later writings, Jung used the term to designate a state of pre-existence and potentiality, identifying it with the Tibetan Bardo: “He must… accustom himselfto the idea that ‘time’ is a relative concept and needs to be compensated by the concept of a ‘simultaneous’ Bardo—or pleromatic existence of all historical processes. What exists in the Pleroma as an eternal ‘process’ appears in time as aperiodic sequence, that is to say, it is repeated many times in an irregular pattern” (Answer to Job, 1952, CW It, §629; see also §§620, 624, 675. 686, 727, 733. 748). The distinction that Jung draws between the Pleroma and the creation has some points of contact with Meister Eckhart’s differentiation between the Godhead and God. Jung commented on this in Psychological Types (1921, CW 6, §4290. The relation of Jung’s Pleroma to Eckhart is discussed by Maillard, op cit, pp. 118-20. In 1955/5$. Jung equated the Pleroma with the alchemist Gerhardus Dorn’s notion of the ‘unus mundus’ (one world) (Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14. §660). Jung adopted this expression to designate the transcendental postulate of the unity underlying the multiplicity of the empirical world (Ibid., §7590.

83 In Psychological Types (1921), Jung described ’Tao’ as “the creative being, begetting as the father and bringing forth as the mother. It is the beginning and end of all beings” (CW 6, §363 ) The relation of Jung’s Pleroma to the Chinese Tao is discussed by Maillard, op cit., p. 75. See also John Peck, The Visio Dorothei: Desert Context, Imperial Setting, Later Alignments, pp, 179—80.

84 Lit. Unterschiedenheit. Cf Psychological Types (1921), CW 6, §705, “Differentiation” [Differenxierung],

85 The principium individuationis is a notion from the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer. He defined space and time as the principium individuationis, noting that he had borrowed the expression from Scholasticism. The principium individuationis was the possibility of multiplicity (The World as Will and Representation (1819). 2 vols., tr. E. J. Payne [New York Dover], pp, 145—46). The term was used by Eduard von Hartmann, who saw its origin in the unconscious. It designated the “uniqueness” of each individual set against the “all-one unconscious’ (Philosophic des Unbewussten: Versuch einer Weltanschauung [Berlin: C. Dunker], 1869, p. 519)- In 1912.. Jung wrote. “Diversity arises from individuation. This feet validates an essential part of Schopenhauer’s and Hartmann’s philosophy in profound psychological terms’ (Transformations and Symbols ofthe Libido, CW B, §289). In a series of papers and presentations later in 1916, Jung developed his concept of individuation (“The structure of the unconscious,” CW 7, and “Individuation and collectivity,” CW 18). In 1921, Jung defined it as follows: “The concept of individuation plays no minor role in our psychology. Individuation is in general the process of the formation and particularization of individual beings; especially die development of the psychological individual, as a being distinct from generality, from collective psychology. Individuation, therefore, is a process of differentiation, having for its goal the development of the individual personality” (Psychological Types, CW 7, §758).


The pairs of opposites are the qualities of the Pleroma that do not exist, because they cancel themselves out. As we are the Pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Since our nature is grounded in differentiation, we have these qualities in the name and under the sign of differentiation, which means:

*First these qualities are differentiated and separate in us; therefore they do not cancel each other out, but are effective. Thus we are the victims of the pairs of opposites. The Pleroma is rent within us.

Second: these qualities belong to the Pleroma. and we must possess and live them only in the name and under the sign of differentiation. We must differentiate ourselves from these qualities. They cancel each other out in the Pleroma, but not in us. Distinction from them saves us.

When we strive for the good or the beautiful, we forget our essence, which is differentiation, and we fell subject to the spell of the qualities of the Pleroma, which are the pairs of opposites. We endeavor to attain the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also seize the evil and the ugly, since in the Pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. But if we remain true to our essence, which is differentiation, we differentiate ourselves from the good and the beautiful, and hence from the evil and ugly. And thus we do not fall under the spell of the Pleroma, namely into nothingness and dissolution.’’

You object: you said that difference and sameness are also qualities of the Pleroma What is it like if we strive for distinctiveness? Are we, in so doing, not true to our own nature? And must we nonetheless fell into sameness when we strive for distinctiveness?

You must not forget that the Pleroma has no qualities. We create these through thinking. If, therefore, you strive for distinctiveness or sameness, or any qualities whatsoever, you pursue thoughts that flow to you out of the Pleroma thoughts, namely, concerning the non-existing qualities of the Pleroma Inasmuch as you run after these thoughts, you fell again into the Pleroma and attain distinctiveness and sameness at the same time. Not your thinking, but your essence, is differentiation. Therefore you must not strive for what you conceive as distinctiveness, bur for your own essence. At bottom, therefore, there is only one striving, namely the striving for one’s own essence. If you had this striving you would not need to know anything about the Pleroma and its qualities, and yet you would attain the right goal by virtue of your own essence. Since, however, thought alienates us from our essence. I must teach you that knowledge with which you can bridle your thoughts.

“The dead faded away grumbling and moaning and their cries died away in the distance.

But I turned to and said. “My father, you utter strange teachings. Did not the ancients teach similar things? And was it not a reprehensible heresy removed equally from love and the truth? And why do you lay out such a teaching to this horde, which the night wind swirled up from the dark bloodfields of the West?”

My son,” replied, “these dead ended their lives too early. These were seekers and therefore still hover over their graves.

Their lives were incomplete, since they knew no way beyond the one to which belief had abandoned them. But since no one teaches them. I must do so. That is what love demands, since they wanted to hear, even if they grumble. But why do I impart this teaching of the ancients? I teach in this way because their Christian faith once discarded and persecuted precisely this teaching. But they repudiated Christian belief and hence were rejected by that faith. They do not know this and therefore I must teach them, so that their life may be fulfilled and they can enter into death.”

But do you. Oh wise , believe what you teach?”

My son,” replied, “why do you raise this question? How could I teach what I believe? Who would give me the right to such belief? It is what I know how to say, not because I believe it, but because I know it. If I knew better, I would teach better. But it would be easy for me to believe more. Yet should I teach a belief to those who have discarded belief? And, I ask you, is it good to believe something even more, if one does not know better?””

But,” I retorted, “are you certain that things really are as you say?” To this answered, “I do not know whether it is the best that one can know. But I know nothing better and therefore I am certain these things are as I say. If they were otherwise I would say something else, since I would know them to be otherwise. But these things are as I know them, since my knowledge is precisely these things themselves.”

My father, is that your guarantee that you are not mistaken?” “There are no mistakes in these things,” replied, “there are only different levels of knowledge. These things are as you know them. Only in your world are things always other than you know them, and therefore there are only mistakes in your world.”

After these words bent down and touched the earth with his hands and disappeared.



{7} That night stood beside me and the dead drew near and lined the walls and cried out,50 “We want to know about God. Where is God? Is God dead?”’1

But  rose and said (and this is the second sermon to the dead):

God is not dead. He is as alive as ever. God is creation, for he is something definite, and therefore differentiated from the Pleroma. God is a quality of the Pleroma, and everything I have said about creation also applies to him.

But he is distinct from creation in that he is much more indefinite and indeterminable. He is less differentiated than creation, since the ground of his essence is effective fullness. Only insofar as he is definite and differentiated is he creation, and as such he is the manifestation of the effective fullness of the Pleroma.


86 The notion of life and nature being constituted by opposites and polarities featured centrally in the Naturphilosophie of Schelling. The notion that psychic conflict took the form of a conflict of opposites and that healing represented their resolution featured prominently in Jung’s later work; see Psychological Types. 1921, CW 6, ch. 5. and Mysterium Conjunctions, 1955 $6. CW 14.

87 The following paragraphs to the end of this section do not occur in Black Book 6

88 In the published version of the Sermones. these commentaries that follow each sermon do not appear, and nor does Philemon. The person delivering the sermons has been assumed to be Basilides. These commentaries were added in Scrutinies.

89 In his 1959 BBC TV interview. John Freeman asked Jung, “Do you now believe in God?” Jung replied: “Now? [Pause.] Difficult to answer. I know. I don’t need to believe. I know.” William McGuire and R.F.C. Hull. eds.. C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters (p. 428). Philemons statement here seems to be the background for this much cited and debated statement This emphasis on direct experience also accords with classical Gnosticism.

90 January 31.1916. This sentence does not occur in Black Book 6.

91 For Nietzsches discussion of die death of God, see The Gay Science (1882. §§108 and 12s). and Thus Spoke Zarathustra, section 4 (“Retired from service.” p. 27lf). For Jung’s discussion of tliis. see “Psychology and religion,” 1938. CW 11 §l41f Jung commented: “When Nietzsche said: ‘God is dead.’ he expressed a truth which is valid for the greater part of Europe” (ibid., §14$). To Nietzsches statement, Jung noted. “However it would be more correct to say. ’He has discarded our image, and where will we find him again?’ “ (Ibid.) He goes on to discuss rhe motif of the death and disappearance of God in connection with Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.


“Everything that we do not differentiate falls into the Pleroma and is cancelled out by its opposite. If, therefore, we do not differentiate God, effective fullness is canceled out for us.

Moreover, God is the Pleroma itself, just as each smallest point in the created and uncreated is the Pleroma itself.

Effective emptiness is the essence of the devil. God and devil are the first manifestations of nothingness, which we call the Pleroma. It makes no difference whether the Pleroma exists or not, since it cancels itself out completely. Not so creation. Insofar as God and the devil are created beings, they do not cancel each other out, but stand one against the other as effective opposites. We need no proof of their existence. It is enough that we have to keep speaking about them. Even if both were not, creation would forever distinguish them anew out of the Pleroma on account of their distinct essences.

Everything that differentiation takes out of the Pleroma is a pair of opposites, therefore the devil always belongs to God.’92

This inseparability is most intimate and, as you know from experience, as indissoluble in your life as the Pleroma itself, since both stand very close to the Pleroma in which all opposites are canceled out and united.

Fullness and emptiness, generation and destruction, are what distinguish God and the devil. Effectiveness is common to both. Effectiveness joins them. Effectiveness, therefore, stands above both, and is a God above God, since it unites fullness and emptiness through its effectuality.

This is a God you knew nothing about, because mankind forgot him. We call him by his name ABRAXAS.” He is even more indefinite than God and the devil.

To distinguish him from God, we call God HELIOS or sun.” Abraxas is effect. Nothing stands opposed to him but the ineffective; hence his effective nature unfolds itself freely. The ineffective neither exists nor resists. Abraxas stands above the sun and above the devil. He is improbable probability, that which takes unreal effect. If the Pleroma had an essence, Abraxas would be its manifestation.

He is the effectual itself, not any particular effect, but effect in general.

He takes unreal effect, because he has no definite effect.

He is also creation, since he is distinct from the Pleroma.

The sun has a definite effect, and so does the devil. Therefore they appear to us more effective than the indefinite Abraxas.

He is force, duration, change.”

‘The dead now raised a great tumult, for they were Christians.

But when had ended his speech, one after another the dead also stepped back into the darkness once more and the noise of their outrage gradually died away in the distance. When all the clamor had passed, I turned to and exclaimed:

Pity us, wisest one! You take from men the Gods to whom they could pray. You take alms from the beggar, bread from the hungry, fire from the freezing.”

 answered and said, “My son, these dead have had to reject the belief of the Christians and therefore they can pray to no God. So should I teach them a God in whom they can believe and to whom they can pray? That is precisely what they have rejected. Why did they reject it? They had to reject it because they could not do otherwise. And why did they have no other choice? Because the world, without these men knowing it, entered into that month of the great year where one should believe only what one knows.’6 That is difficult enough, but it is also a remedy for the long sickness that arose from the fact that one believed what one did not know. I teach them the God whom both I and they know of without being aware of him, a God in whom one does not believe and to whom one does not pray, but of whom one knows. I teach this God to the dead since they desired entry and teaching. But I do not teach him to living men since they did not desire my teaching. Why, indeed, should I teach them? Therefore, I take away from them no kindly hearer of prayers, their father in Heaven. What concern is my foolishness to the living? The dead need salvation, since they are a great waiting flock hovering over their graves, and long for the knowledge that belief and the rejection of belief have breathed their last. But whoever has fallen ill and is near death wants knowledge, and he sacrifices pardon.”

It appears,” I replied, “as if you teach a terrible and dreadful God beyond measure, to whom good and evil and human suffering and joy are nothing.”

My son,” said , “Did you not see that these dead had a God of love and rejected him? Should I teach them a loving God? They had to reject him after already having long since rejected the evil God whom they call the devil. Therefore they must know a God to whom everything created is nothing, because he himself is the creator and everything created and the destruction of everything created. Have they not rejected a God who is a father, a lover, good and beautiful? One whom they thought to have particular qualities and a particular being? Therefore I must teach a God to whom nothing can be attributed, who has all qualities and therefore none, because only I and they can know such a God.”

But how. Oh my father, can men unite in such a God? Does the knowledge of such a God not amount to destroying human bonds and every society based on the good and the beautiful?”

 answered: “These dead rejected the God of love, of the good and the beautiful; they had to reject him and so they rejected unity and community in love, in the good and the beautiful. And thus they killed one another and dissolved the community of men. Should I teach them the God who united them in love and whom they rejected? Therefore I teach them the God who dissolves unity, who blasts everything human, who powerfully creates and mightily destroys. Those whom love does not unite, fear compels.”

And as spoke these words, he bent down swiftly to the ground, touched it with his hand, and disappeared.

92 Cf. “Attempt at a psychological interpretation of the dogma of the Trinity” (l94°)» CW II, §284/

93 In 1932. Jung commented on Abraxas: “the Gnostic symbol Abraxas, a made-up name meaning three hundred and sixty-five … the Gnostics used it as the name of their supreme deity. He was a time god. The philosophy of Bergson, la durte crda trice, is an expression of the same idea.” Jung described him in a way that echoes his description here: “just as this archetypal world of the collective unconscious is exceedingly paradoxical, always yea and nay, that figure of Abraxas means the beginning and the end, it is life and death, therefore it is represented by a monstrous figure. It is a monster because it is the life of vegetation in the course of one year, the spring and the autumn, the summer and the winter, the yea and nay of nature. So Abraxas is really identical with the Demiurgos, the world creator. And as such he is surely identical with the Purusha. or with Shiva” (November 16. Visions Seminar, vol. 2, pp 806—7). Jung added that “Abraxas is usually represented with the head of a fowl, the body of a man, and the tail of a serpent, but there is also the lion-headed symbol with a dragon’s body, the head crowned with the twelve rays, alluding to the number of months” (June 7, 1933, Visions Seminar, vol. 2, p. 1041—42). According to St Irenaeus, Basil ides held that “the ruler of them is named Abrasaks. and that is why this (ruler) has the number 365 within It” (Layton, ed., The Gnostic Scriptures, p. 425). Abraxas featured in Albrecht Dieterich’s work. Abraxas. Studien zur Religionspeschichte des spdtcrn Altertums. Jung studied this work closely early in 1913, and his copy is annotated. Jung also had a copy of Charles King’s The Gnostics and their Remains (London: Bell and Daldy, 1864), and there are marginal annotations next to the passage discussing the etymology of Abraxas on p 37.

94 Helios is the Greek Sun God. Jung discussed solar mythologies in Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912. CW B, §l77f) and also in his unpublished concluding talk on Opicinus de Canistris at the Eranos conference in Ascona in 1943 (JA).

95 The following paragraphs to the end of this section do not occur in Black Book 6.

96 The reference is to the Platonic months. See note 273, p. 315.




{8} The following night, (February 1, 1916) the dead approached like fog from a swamp and exclaimed, “Tell us more about the highest God.”

And stepped forward and began to speak (and this is the third sermon to the dead)’’:

Abraxas is the God who is difficult to grasp. His power is greatest, because man does not see it. From the sun he draws the summum bonum;” from the devil the Infinum malum; but from Abraxas LIFE, altogether indefinite, the mother of good and evil.’100

Life seems to be smaller and weaker than the summum bonum; therefore it is also hard to conceive that Abraxas’s power transcends even the sun’s, which is the radiant source of all vital force.

Abraxas is the sun, and at the same time the eternally sucking gorge of emptiness, of the diminisher and dismemberer, of the devil

The power of Abraxas is twofold; but you do not see it, because in your eyes the warring opposites of this power are canceled out.

What the Sun God speaks is life, what the devil speaks is death.

But Abraxas speaks that hallowed and accursed word that is at once life and death.

Abraxas produces truth and lying, good and evil, light and darkness, in the same word and in the same act. Therefore Abraxas is terrible.

He is as splendid as the lion in the instant he strikes down his victim. He is as beautiful as a spring day.

He is the great and the small Pan alike.

He is Priapos.

He is the monster of the underworld, a thousand-armed polyp, a coiled knot of winged serpents, frenzy.

He is the hermaphrodite of the earliest beginning.

He is the lord of toads and frogs, which live in the water and go up on the land, whose chorus ascends at noon and at midnight.

He is the fullness that seeks union with emptiness.

He is holy begetting,

He is love and its murder,

He is the saint and his betrayer,

He is the brightest light of day and the darkest night of madness.

To look upon him. is blindness.

To recognize him is sickness.

“To worship him is death.

To fear him is wisdom.

Not to resist him is redemption.

God dwells behind the sun, the devil behind the night. What God brings forth out of the light, the devil sucks into the night. But Abraxas is the world, its becoming and its passing. Upon every gift- that comes from the sun god the devil lays his curse.

Everything that you request from the Sun God produces a deed from the devil. Everything that you create with the Sun God gives effective power to the devil.

That is terrible Abraxas.

He is the mightiest created being and in him creation is afraid of itself.

He is the manifest opposition of creation to the Pleroma and its nothingness.

He is the son’s horror of the mother.

He is the mother’s love for the son.

He is the delight of the earth and the cruelty of the heavens.

At his sight man’s face congeals.

Before him there is no question and no reply.

He is the life of creation.

He is the effect of differentiation.

He is the love of man.

He is the speech of man.

He is the appearance and the shadow of man.

He is deceptive reality.’’’01

“’Now the dead howled and raged, for they were incomplete.

But when their noisy cries had faded away, I said to : “How, Oh my father, should I understand this God?”

My son, why do you want to understand him? This God is to be known but not understood. If you understand him, then you can say that he is this or that and this and not that Thus you hold him in the hollow of your hand and therefore your hand must throw him away. The God whom I know is this and that and just as much this other and that other. Therefore no one can understand this God, but it is possible to know him, and therefore I speak and teach him.”

But” I retorted, “does this God not bring despairing confusion into the minds of men?”

To this said, “These dead rejected the order of unity and community since they rejected the belief in the father in Heaven who ruled with just measure. They had to reject him. Therefore I teach them the chaos that is without measure and utterly boundless, to which justice and injustice, leniency and severity, patience and anger, love and hate, are nothing. For how can 1 teach anything other than the God whom I know and whom they know, without being conscious of him?”

I replied, “Why, Oh solemn one, do you call the eternally incomprehensible, the cruel contradictoriness of nature, God?”

said, “How should I name it otherwise? If the overpowering essence of events in the universe and in the hearts of men were law, I would call it law. Yet it is also no law, but chance, irregularity, sin, error, stupidity, carelessness, folly, illegality. Therefore I cannot call it law. You know that this must be so, and at the same time you know that it did not have to be so and that at some other time it will not be so. It is overpowering and occurs as if from eternal law, and at another time a slanting wind blows a speck of dust into the works and this void is a superior strength, harder than a mountain of iron. Therefore you know that the eternal law is also no law. So I cannot call it law. But how else should it be named? I know that human language has forever named the maternal womb of the incomprehensible God. Truly, this God is and is not, since from being and nonbeing everything emerged that was, is, and will be.”


98 This sentence does not occur in Black Book 6.

99 Aristotle defined happiness as the supreme good (Summum Bonum). In his Summd Theologha, Thomas Aquinas identified this with God. Jung saw the doctrine of the Summum Bonum as being the source of the concept of the privath bon{, which in his view had led to the denial of the reality of evil. See Ahn, 1951. CW 9,2, §§80 and 94. Hence it is counterbalanced here with the “Infinum Malum.”

IOO In Black Book 6 (sec Appendix CY Jung notes that Abraxas is the God of the frogs and that “The God of die frogs or toads, the brainless one, is the union of die Christian God with Satan” (see below, p. 367). In his later writings, Jung argued that the Christian God image was one-sided, in that it left out the factor of evil Through studying the historical transformations of God-images, he attempted to correct this (especially, Ahn and Answer to Job). In his note on how Answer to Job came to be written he wrote that in Ahn he had “criticized the idea of the privath boni as not agreeing with the psychological findings. Psychological experience shows us dut whatever we call ‘good’ is balanced by an equally substantial “bad’ or ‘evil.’ If‘evil’ is non-existent, then whatever there is must needs be ‘good.’ Dogmatically, neither ‘good’ nor ‘evil’ can be derived from Man, since the ‘Evil One’ existed before Man as one of the ‘Sons of God.’ The idea of the privatio boni began to play a role in the Church only after Mani Before this heresy; Clement of Rome taught that God rules the world with a right and a left hand, the right being Christ, the left being Satan. Clement’s view is clearly monotheistic, as it unites the opposites in one God. Later Christianity, however, is dualistic, inasmuch as it splits off one half of the opposites, personified in Satan … If Christianity’ claims to be a monotheism, it becomes unavoidable to assume the opposites as being contained in God” (1956, CW 11. pp. 357-58)

IOI In 1942. Jung noted: “the concept of an all-encompassing God must necessarily include his opposite. The coincidence of course must not be too radical, otherwise God would cancel himself out The principle of the coincidence of opposites must therefore be completed by its opposite in order to attain full paradoxicality and hence psychological validity” (“The spirit Mercurius,” CW 13, §256).

102 The following paragraphs through the end of the section do not occur in Black Book 6.

But when had spoken the last word, he touched the earth with his hand and dissolved.


{9} The following night, the dead came running sooner, filling the place with their mutterings, and said:

Speak to us about Gods and devils, accursed one.”

And appeared and began to speak (and this is the fourth sermon to the dead)103’:

The Sun God is the highest good, the devil the opposite. Thus you have two Gods. But there are many high and good things and many great evils. Among these are two devil Gods; one is the Burning One, the other the Growing One.

The burning one is eros, in the form of a flame. It shines by consuming.

The growing one is the tree of life. It greens by heaping up growing living matter.

Eros flames up and dies. But the tree of life grows with slow and constant increase through measureless periods of time.

Good and evil unite in the flame.

Good and evil unite in the growth of the tree. In their divinity life and love stand opposed.

The number of Gods and devils is as innumerable as the host of stars.

Each star is a God, and each space that a star fills is a devil. But the empty fullness of the whole is the Pleroma.

Abraxas is the effect of the whole, and only the ineffective opposes him.

Four is the number of the principal Gods, as four is the number of the world’s measurements.

One is the beginning, the Sun God.

“Two is Eros, for he binds two together and spreads himself out in brightness.

Three is the Tree of Life, for it fills space with bodies.

Four is the devil, for he opens all that is closed. He dissolves everything formed and physical; he is the destroyer in whom everything becomes nothing.

Happy am I who can recognize the multiplicity and diversity of the Gods. But woe unto you, who replace this incompatible multiplicity with a single God. In so doing you produce the torment of incomprehension, and mutilate the creation whose nature and aim is differentiation. How can you be true to your own nature when you try to turn the many into one? “What you do unto the Gods is done likewise unto you. “You all become equal and thus your nature is maimed.

Equality prevails not for the sake of God, but only for the sake of man. For the Gods are many, while men are few. The Gods are mighty and endure their manifoldness. Like the stars they abide in solitude, separated by vast distances. Therefore they dwell together and need communion, so that they may bear their separateness. For redemption’s sake I teach you the reprehensible, for whose sake I was rejected.

The multiplicity of the Gods corresponds to the multiplicity of men.

Numberless Gods await the human state. Numberless Gods have been men. Man shares in the nature of the Gods. He comes from the Gods and goes unto the God.

Thus, just as it is no use to reflect upon the Pleroma, it is not worthwhile to worship the multiplicity of the Gods. Least of all does it serve to worship the first God, the effective fullness, and the surnmum bonum. By our prayer we can add nothing to it, and take nothing from it; because effective emptiness gulps down everything. The bright Gods form the heavenly world. It is manifold and extends and increases infinitely. The Sun God is the supreme lord of the world.

The dark Gods form the earthly world. It is simple and diminishes and declines infinitely. The devil is its nethermost lord, the moon spirit, satellite of the earth, smaller, colder, and more dead than the earth.

There is no difference between the might of the heavenly and earthly Gods. The heavenly Gods magnify, the earthly Gods diminish. Both directions are immeasurable.”109 Here the dead interrupted ’s speech with angry laughter and mocking shouts, and as they withdrew, their discord, mockery, and laughter faded into the distance. I turned to and said to him:

, I believe you are mistaken. It seems that you teach a raw superstition which the Fathers had successfully and gloriously overcome, that polytheism which a mind produces only when it cannot free its gaze from the force of compulsive desire chained to sensory things.”

My son,” replied, “these dead have rejected the single and highest God. So how can I teach them about the one, only, and not multifarious God? They must of course believe me. But they have rejected their belief. So I teach them the God that I know, the multifarious and extended, who is both the thing and its appearance, and they also know him even if they are not conscious of him.


103 February 3,1916. This sentence does not occur in Black Book 6.

104 In 1917, Jung wrote a chapter on “the sexual theory” in The Psychology of the Unconscious Processes, which presented a critique of the psychoanalytic understanding of the erotic. In his 1928 revision of this chapter, retitled “The Eros theory” he added: “The Erotic … belongs on the one hand to the original drive nature of man … On the other hand it is related to the highest forms of the spirit. It only thrives when spirit and drive are in right harmony… ‘Eros is a mighty daemon.’ as the wise Diotima said to Socrates . .. He is not all of nature within us, though he is at least one of its essential aspects” (CW 7, §§32—33). In the Symposium, Diotima teaches Socrates about the nature of Eros. She tells him that “ ‘He is a great spirit, Socrates. Everything classed as a spirit falls between god and human. / What function do they have?’ I asked. / ‘They interpret and carry messages from humans to gods and from gods to humans. They convey prayers and sacrifices from humans, and commands and gifts in return for sacrifices from gods. Being intermediate between the other two, they fill the gap between them, and enable the universe to form an interconnected whole. They serve as the medium for all divination, for priestly expertise in sacrifice, ritual and spells, and for all prophecy and sorcery. Gods do not make direct contact with humans; they communicate and converse with humans (whether awake or asleep) entirely through the medium of spirits (tr. C. Gill [London: Penguin. 1999], pp. 2O2e-2O3a. In Memories Jung reflected on the nature of Eros, describing it as “a kosmogonos, a creator and father-mother of all consciousness (p. 387). This cosmogonic characterization of Eros needs to be distinguished from Jung’s use of the term to characterize women’s consciousness. See note 161. p. 246.

105 In 1954. Jung wrote an extended study of the archetype of the tree: “The philosophical tree” (CW 13).

106 Black Book 6 continues: “The dead: ‘You are a pagan, a polytheist!’ ” (p. 30).

107 February 5,1916.

108 In Black Book 6, the dark guest (see below, p. 35$) enters here.

109 The following paragraphs to the end of the section do not occur in Black Book 6.


These dead have given names to all beings, the beings in the air, on the earth and in the water. They have weighed and counted things. They have counted so and so many horses, cows, sheep, trees, segments of land, and springs; they said, this is good for this purpose, and that is good for that one. What did they do with the admirable tree? What happened to the sacred frog? Did they see his golden eye? Where is the atonement for the 7,777 cattle whose blood they spilled, whose flesh they consumed? Did they do penance for the sacred ore that they dug up from the belly of the earth? No, they named, weighed, numbered, and apportioned all things. They did whatever pleased them. And what did they do! You saw the powerful—but this is precisely how they gave power to things unknowingly. Yet the time has come when things speak. The piece of flesh says: how many men? The piece of ore says, how many men? The ship says, how many men? The coal says, how many men? The house says: how many men? And things rise and number and weigh and apportion and devour millions of men.

Your hand grasped the earth and tore off the halo and weighed and numbered the bones of things. Is not the one and only, simpleminded God pulled down and thrown onto a heap, the massed seeming of separate things dead and living? Yes, this God taught you to weigh and number bones. But the month of this God is drawing to a close. A new month stands at the door. Therefore everything had to be as it is, and hence everything must become different.

This is no polytheism that I have made up! But many Gods who powerfully raise their voices and tear humanity to bloody pieces. So and so many men, weighed, numbered, apportioned, hacked, and devoured. Therefore I speak of many Gods as I speak of many things, since I know them. Why do I call them Gods? For the sake of their superiority. Do you know about this superior strength? Now is the time when you can learn.

These dead laugh at my foolishness. But would they have raised a murderous hand against their brothers if they had atoned for the ox with the velvet eyes? If they had done penance for the shiny ore? If they had worshiped the holy trees?”0 If they had made peace with the soul of the golden-eyed frog? What say things dead and living? Who is greater, man or the Gods? Truly, this sun has become a moon and no new sun has arisen from the contractions of the last hour of the night.”

And when he had finished these words, <MAHM£2N bent down to the earth, kissed it, and said, “Mother, may your son be strong.” Then he stood, looked up at the heavens, and said, “How dark is your place of the new light.” Then he disappeared.



{10} When the following night came, the dead approached noisily, pushing and shoving; they were scoffing and exclaimed, “Teach us, fool, about the church and holy communion.”

But stepped before them, and began to speak:'” (and this is the fifth sermon to the dead):

The world of the Gods is made manifest in spirituality and in sexuality. The celestial ones appear in spirituality, the earthly in sexuality.”3

Spirituality conceives and embraces. It is womanlike and therefore we call it mater coelestis “3 the celestial mother. Sexuality engenders and creates. It is manlike, and therefore we call it phallos,”4 the earthly father.”5 The sexuality of man is more earthly, that of woman is more spiritual. The spirituality of man is more heavenly, it moves toward the greater.

The spirituality of woman is more earthly, it moves toward the smaller.

Mendacious and devilish is the spirituality of man, and it moves toward the smaller.

Mendacious and devilish is the spirituality of woman, and it moves toward the greater.

Each shall go to its own place.

Man and woman become devils to each other if they do not separate their spiritual ways, for the essence of creation is differentiation.

The sexuality of man goes toward the earthly, the sexuality of woman goes toward the spiritual. Man and woman become devils to each other if they do not distinguish their sexuality.

Man shall know the smaller, woman the greater.

Man shall differentiate himself both from spirituality and sexuality. He shall call spirituality mother, and set her between Heaven and earth. He shall call sexuality Phallos, and set him between himself and earth. For the mother and the Phallos are superhuman daimons that reveal the world of the Gods. They affect us more than the Gods since they are closely akin to our essence.”6 If you do not differentiate yourselves from sexuality and from spirituality, and do not regard them as an essence both above and beyond you, you are delivered over to them as qualities of the Pleroma. Spirituality and sexuality are not your qualities, not things you possess and encompass. Rather, they possess and encompass you, since they are powerful daimons, manifestations of the Gods, and hence reach beyond you, existing in themselves. No man has a spirituality unto himself, or a sexuality unto himself. Instead, he stands under the law of spirituality and of sexuality Therefore no one escapes these daimons. You shall look upon them as daimons, and as a common task and danger, a common burden that life has laid upon you. Thus life, too, is for you a common task and danger, as are the Gods, and first and foremost terrible Abraxas.

Man is weak, and community is therefore indispensable. If your community is not under the sign of the mother, it is under the sign of the Phallos. Absence of community is suffering and sickness. Community in everything is dismemberment and dissolution.

Differentiation leads to singleness. Singleness is opposed to community. But because of man’s weakness with regard to the Gods and daimons and their invincible law, community is necessary, not for man’s sake, but because of the Gods. The Gods drive you to community. Insofar as the Gods impose community upon you, it is necessary; more is bad.

In the community every man shall submit to others, so that the community be maintained, for you need it.

In singleness every man shall place himself above the other, so that every man may come to himself and avoid slavery.

Abstention shall hold good in community, extravagance in singleness.

Community is depth, singleness is height.

Right measure in community purifies and preserves.

Right measure in singleness purifies and increases.

Community gives us warmth, singleness gives us light.’”117


110 This may refer to the advent of Christianity into Germany in the eighth century CE, when sacred trees were chopped down.

111 This sentence does not occur in Black Book 6.

112 In the 1925 seminar, Jung said: “Sexuality and spirituality are pairs of opposites that need each other” (Analytical Psychology, p. 29).

113 Goethe s Faust ends with a vision of the Mater Gloriosa. In his lecture, “Faust and alchemy,” Jung said of this: “The Mater Coelestis should on no account be thought of as Mary or the Church. She is rather Aphrodite urania, as in St. Augustine or Pico de Mirandola, the beatissima mater” (in Irene Gerber-Munch, Goethes Faust: Fine tiefenpsychologtsche Studie uber den Mythos des modernen Menschen. Mit dem Vortrag von C. G. Jung, Faust und die Alchemie [Kiisnacht, Verlag Stiftung fur Jungsche Psychologic,

114 Black Book 6 has Phallus (p. 41), as does the handwritten calligraphic version of the Septem Sermones (p. 21). ,

115 In Transformations and Symbols of the Libido (1912), Jung noted: ”The phallus is the creature that moves without limbs, sees without eyes, and knows the future; and as e ^^resenta^ej^ukKluitous creative power it claims immortality” (CW B, §209). He goes on to discuss phallic Gods.

116 Black Book 6 continues: The mother is the grail. / The phallus is the spear” ^>.43).

117 Black Book 6 continues: ‘In community, we go to the source, which is the mother. / In singleness we go to the future, which is the engendering phallus* (p. 46). In October 1916, Jung gave two presentations to the Psychological Club concerning the relation of individuation to collective adaptation; see “Adaptation, individuation and collectivity.” CW 18. This theme dominated the discussions in the club that year.


When had finished, the dead remained silent and did not move, but looked at with expectation. But when saw that the dead remained silent and waited, he continued (and this is the sixth sermon to the dead) :

The daimon of sexuality approaches our soul as a serpent. She is half human soul and is called thought-desire.

The daimon of spirituality descends into our soul as the white bird. He is half human soul and is called desire-thought.

The serpent is an earthly soul, half daimonic, a spirit, and akin to the spirits of the dead. Thus too, like these she swarms around in the things of earth, making us fear them or else having them arouse our craving. The serpent has a female nature, forever seeking the company of those dead who are spellbound by the earth, and who did not find a way across to singleness. The serpent is a whore. She courts the devil and evil spirits; she is a mischievous tyrant and tormentor, forever inveigling the most evil company. The white bird is a half-celestial soul of man. He abides with the mother, descending from time to time. The bird is manlike, and is effective thought. He is chaste and solitary, a messenger of the mother. He flies high above the earth. He commands singleness. He brings knowledge from the distant ones, who have departed before and attained perfection. He bears our word up to the mother. She intercedes, she warns, but she is powerless against the Gods. She is a vessel of the sun. The serpent descends and cunningly lames the phallic daimon, or else goads him on. She bears up the too-crafty thoughts of the earthly, those thoughts that creep through every hole and cleave to all things with craving. Although the serpent does not want to, she must be of use to us. She flees our grasp, thus showing us the way, which our human wits could not find.”

“’When had finished, the dead looked on with contempt and said, “Cease this talk of Gods and daimons and souls. We have known this for a long time.”

But smiled and replied, “You poor souls, poor in flesh and rich in spirit, the meat was fat and the spirit thin. But how do you reach the eternal light? You mock my stupidity, which you too possess: you mock yourselves. Knowledge frees one from danger. But mockery is the other side of your belief Is black less than white? You rejected faith and retained mockery Are you thus saved from faith? No, you bound yourselves to mockery and hence again to faith. And therefore you are miserable.”

But the dead were outraged and cried, “We are not miserable, we are clever; our thinking and feeling is as pure as clear water. We praise our reason. We mock superstition. Do you believe that your old folly reaches us? A childish delusion has overcome you, old one, what good is it to us?”

replied: “What can do you any good? I free you from what still holds you to the shadow of life. Take this wisdom with you, add this folly to your cleverness, this unreason to your reason, and you will find yourselves. If you were men, you would then begin your life and your life’s way between reason and unreason and live onward to the eternal light, whose shadow you lived in advance. But since you are dead, this knowledge frees you from life and strips you of your greed for men and it also frees your self from the shrouds that the light and the shadow lay on you, compassion with men will overcome you and from the stream you will reach solid, ground, you will step forth from the eternal whirl onto the unmoving stone of rest, the circle that breaks flowing duration, and the flame will die down.

I have fanned a glowing fire, I have given the murderer a knife, I have torn open healed-over wounds, I have quickened all movement, I have given the madman more intoxicating drink, I have made the cold colder, the heat hotter, falseness even falser, goodness even better, weakness even weaker.

This knowledge is the axe of the sacrificer.”

But the dead cried, “Your wisdom is foolishness and a curse. You want to turn the wheel back? It will tear you apart, blinded one!”

 replied, “So this is what happened. The earth became green and fruitfill again from the blood of the sacrifice, flowers sprouted, the waves crash into the sand, a silver cloud lies at the foot of the mountain, a bird of the soul came to men, the hoe sounds in the fields and the axe in the forests, a wind rushes through the trees and the sun shimmers in the dew of the risen morning the planets behold the birth, out of the earth climbed the many-armed, the stones speak and the grass whispers. Man found himself, and the Gods wander through Heaven, the fullness gives birth to the golden drop, the golden seed, plumed and hovering.”

The dead now fell silent and stared at and slowly crept away. But bent down to the ground and said: “It is accomplished, but not fulfilled. Fruit of the earth, sprout, rise up—and Heaven, pour out the water of life.”

Then disappeared.

I was probably very confused when approached me the following night, since I called to him saying “What did you do. Oh ? What fires have you kindled? What have you broken asunder? Does the wheel of creations stand still?”

But he answered and said, “Everything is running its usual course. Nothing has happened, and yet a sweet and indescribable mystery has taken place: I stepped out of the whirling circle.”

What’s that?” I exclaimed, “Your words move my lips, your voice sounds from my ears, my eyes see you from within me. Truly, you are a magician! Ybu stepped out of the whirling circle? What confusion! Are you I, am I you? Did I not feel as if the wheel of creation was standing still? And yet you say that you have stepped out of the whirling circle? I am truly bound to the wheel—I feel the rushing swaying of it—and yet the wheel of creation also stands still for me. What did you do, father, teach me!”

Then said, “I stepped onto what is solid and took it with me and saved it from the wave surge, from the cycle of births, and from the revolving wheel of endless happening. It has been stilled. The dead have received the folly of the teaching they have been blinded by truth and see by mistake. They have recognized, felt, and regretted it; they will come again and will humbly inquire. Since what they rejected will be most valuable to them.”


118 This paragraph is not in Black Book 6.

119 The following paragraphs to the end of the section are not in Black Book 6.

120 This section does not occur in Black Book 6.



I wanted to question , since the riddle distressed me. But he had already touched the earth and disappeared. And the darkness of the night was silent and did not answer me. And my soul stood silently, shaking her head, and did not know what to say about the mystery that had indicated and not given away.

{12} Another day passed and the seventh night fell.



And the dead came again, this time with pitiful gestures and said, “We forgot to mention one thing, that we would like you to teach us about men.”

And stepped before me, and began to speak (and this is the seventh sermon to the dead)

Man is a gateway, through which you pass from the outer world of Gods, daimons, and souls into the inner world, out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and inane is man, already he is behind you, and once again you find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller or inner infinity.

At immeasurable distance a lonely star stands in the zenith.

This is the one God of this one man, this is his world, his Pleroma, his divinity.

In this world, man is Abraxas, the creator and destroyer of his own world.

This star is the God and the goal of man.

This is his one guiding God, in him man goes to his rest, toward him goes the long journey of the soul after death, in him everything that man withdraws from the greater world shines resplendently

To this one God man shall pray.

Prayer increases the light of the star,

it throws a bridge across death,

it prepares life for the smaller world, and assuages the hopeless desires of the greater.

When the greater world turns cold, the star shines.

Nothing stands between man and his one God, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas.

Man here, God there.

Weakness and nothingness here, eternally creative power there.

Here nothing but darkness and clammy cold there total sun.”

124But when had finished, the dead remained silent. Heaviness fell from them, and they ascended like smoke above the shepherd’s fire, who watches over his flock by night.

But I turned to and said, “Illustrious one, you teach that man is a gateway? A gateway through which the procession of the Gods passes? Through which the stream of life flows? Through which the entire future streams into the endlessness of the past?”

 answered, saying, “These dead believed in the transformation and development of man. They were convinced of human nothingness and transitoriness. Nothing was clearer to them than this, and yet they knew that man even creates its Gods, and so they knew that the Gods were of no use. Therefore they had to learn what they did not know, that man is a gateway through which crowds the train of the Gods and the coming and passing of all times. He does not do it, does not create it, does not suffer it, since he is the being, the sole being, since he is the moment of the world, the eternal moment. Whoever recognizes this stops being flame; he becomes smoke and ashes. He lasts and his transitoriness is over. He has become someone who is. You dreamed of the flame, as if it were life. But life is duration, the flame dies away. I carried that over, I saved it from the fire. That is the son of the fire flower. You saw that in me, I myself am of the eternal fire of light. But I am the one who saved it for you, the black and golden seed and its blue starlight. You eternal being—what is length and brevity? What is the moment and eternal duration? You, being, are eternal in each moment. What is time? Time is the fire that flares up, consumes, and dies down. I saved being from time, redeeming it from the fires of time and the darkness of time, from Gods and devils.”

But I said to him, “Illustrious one, when will you give me the dark and golden treasure and its blue starlight?”

replied, “When you have surrendered everything that wants to burn to the holy flame.”123

And as OLAHMQN spoke these words, a dark form with golden eyes approached me from the shadows of the night.1 was startled and cried, “Are you an enemy? Who are you? Where do you come from? I have never seen you before! Speak, what do you want?”


121 February 8, i9l6.

122 This sentence dpes not occur in Black Book 6

123 On February 29,1919, Jung wrote a letter to Joan Corrie and commented on the Sermones, with particular reference to the last one: “The primordial creator of the world, the blind creative libido, becomes transformed in man through individuation & out of this process, which is like pregnancy, arises a divine child, a reborn God. no more (longer) dispersed into the millions of creatures, but being one & this individual, and at the same time all individuals, the same in you as in me. Dr. L[ong] has a little book VII sermones ad mortuous. There you find the description of the Creator dispersed into his creatures, & in the last sermon you find the beginning of individuation, out of which, the divine child arises … The child is a new God, actually born in many individuals, but they don’t know it. He is a spiritual God. A spirit in many people, yet one and the same everywhere. Keep to your time and you will experience His qualities” (Copied in Constance Long’s diary. Countway Library of Medicine, pp. 21-22).

124 The following paragraphs to the end of the section do not occur in Black Book 6.

125 In September 1916, Jung had conversations with his soul that provided further elaboration and clarification of the cosmology of the Sermones. September 25: [Sou l]: “How many lights do you want, three or seven? Three is the heartfelt and modest, seven the general and encompassing.” [I] “What a question! And what a decision! I must be true: I think I would like seven lights.” [Soul:] “Seven, you say? I thought so. That nas broad scope—cold lights.” [I:] “I need cooling, fresh air. Enough of this stifling mugginess. Too much fear and not enough free breathing. Give me seven lights.” [Sold:] “The first light means the Pleroma. / The second means Abraxas. / The third the sun. / The fourth the moon. / The fifth the earth. / The sixth the phallus. / The seventh the stars.” [I:] “Why were there no birds, and why were the celestial mother and the sky missing?” [I:] “They are all enclosed in the star. As you look at the star, you look through them. They are the bridges to the star. They form the seventh light, the highest, the floating which rises with flapping wings, released from the embrace of the tree of light with six branches and one blossom, in which the God of the star lay slumbering. / The six fights are single and form a multiplicity, the one light is one and forms a unity, it is the blossoming crown of the tree, the holy egg, the seed of the world endowed with wings so it can reach its place. The one gives rise to the many over and again, and the many entails the one” (Black Book 6, pp. 104—6). September 28: [Soul:] “Now let us try this: it is something of the golden bird. It is not die white bird, but the golden one. It is different. The white bird is a good daimon, but the golden one is above you and under your God. It flies ahead of you. I see it in the blue ether, flying toward the star. It is something mat is part of you. And it is at once its own egg containing you. Do you feel me. Then ask!” [I] “Tell me more. It makes me feel queasy.” [Soul:] “The golden bird is no soul; it is your entire nature. People are golden birds as well; not all; some are worms and rot in the earth. But many are also golden birds.” [I]: “Continue, 1 fear my revulsion. Tell me what you have grasped.” [Soul:] “The golden bird sits in the tree of the six lights. The tree grows out of Abraxas’s head, but Abraxas grows out of the Pleroma. Everything from which the tree grows light and Phanes arises from you. Kou have anticipated, but not understood this. At the time you had to separate from Abraxas to become individual, opposed to the drive. Now you become one with Abraxas. This happens through me. You cannot do this. Therefore you must remain with me. Unification with the physical Abraxas occurs through the human female, but that with the spiritual Abr. occurs through me; that is why you must be with me’ (Black Book 6, pp. H420).



The dark one answered, saying, “I come from afar. I come from the east and follow the shining fire that precedes me, . I am not your enemy, I am a stranger to you. My skin is dark and my eyes shine golden.”

What do you bring?” I asked fearfully.

I bring abstinence—abstinence from human joy and suffering. Compassion leads to alienation. Pity, but no compassion—pity for the world and a will held in check toward the other.

Pity remains misunderstood, therefore it works.

Far from longing, know no fear.

Far from love, love the whole.”

I looked at him fearfully and said, “Why are you as dark as the earth of the fields and as black as iron? I’m afraid of you; such pain, what have you done to me?”

You may call me death—death that rose with the sun. I come with quiet pain and long peace. I lay the cover of protection on you. In the midst of life begins death. I lay cover upon cover upon you so that your warmth will never cease.”

You bring grief and despair,” I answered, “I wanted to be among men.”

But he said, “You will go to men as one veiled. Your light shines at night. Your solar nature departs from you and your stellar nature begins.”

You are cruel,” I sighed.

The simple is cruel, it does not unite with the manifold.”

With these words the mysterious dark one vanished. But regarded me with a serious and questioning look. “Did you take a proper look at him, my son?” he said, “you will be hearing from him. But come now, so that I can fulfill what the dark one prophesied for you.”

As he spoke these words, he touched my eyes and opened my gaze and showed me the immeasurable mystery. And I looked for a long time until I could grasp it: but what did I see? I saw the night, I saw the dark earth, and above this the sky stood gleaming in the brilliance of countless stars. And I saw that the sky had the form of a woman and sevenfold was her mantle of stars and it completely covered her.

And when I had beheld it, said:

“Mother, you who stand in the higher circle, nameless one, who shrouds me and him and protects me and him from the Gods: he wants to become your child.

May you accept his birth.

May you renew him. I separate myself from him.’18 The cold is growing and its star blazes brighter.

He needs the bond of childhood.

You gave birth to the godly serpent, you released it from the pangs of birth; take this man to the abode of the sun, he needs the mother.”

A voice came from afar’1’ and was like a falling star:

I cannot take him as a child. He must cleanse himself first.

 said,130 “What is his impurity?”

But the voice said, “It is the commingling: he contains human suffering and joy. He shall remain secluded until abstinence is complete and he is freed from the commingling with men. Then shall he be taken as a child.”

In this moment my vision ended. And went away and I was alone. And I remained apart as I had been told. But in the fourth night I saw a strange form, a man wearing a long coat and a turban; his eyes shone cleverly and kindly like a wise doctor’s.131 He approached me and said, “I speak to you of joy” But I answered, “You want to speak to me of joy? I bleed from the thousandfold wounds of men.”

He replied, “I bring healing. Women taught me this art. They know how to heal sick children. Do your wounds burn you? Healing is at hand. Give ear to good counsel and do not be incensed.”

I retorted, “What do you want? To tempt me? Mock me?”

What are you thinking?” he interrupted, “I bring you the bliss of paradise, the healing fire, the love of women.”132

Are you thinking,” I asked, “of the descent into the frog swamp?133” The dissolution in the many, the scattering, the dismembering?”

But as I spoke, the old man turned into 134 and I saw that he was the magician who was tempting me. But continued:

You have not yet experienced the dismembering. You should be blown apart and shredded and scattered to the winds. Men are preparing for the Last Supper with you.”

What then will remain of me?” I cried.

Nothing but your shadow. You will be a river that pours forth over the lands. It seeks every valley and streams toward the depths.”

I asked, full of grief, “But where will my uniqueness remain?”

You will steal it from yourself,” replied,135 “You will hold the invisible realm in trembling hands; it lowers its roots into the gray darknesses and mysteries of the earth and sends up branches covered in leaves into the golden air.

Animals live in its branches.

Men camp in its shade.

Their murmuring arises from below.

A thousand-mile-long disappointment is the juice of the tree.

It will stay green for a long time.

Silence abides in its treetop.

Silence in its deep roots.”

6I gathered from (MAHMQN’s words that I must remain true to love to cancel out the commingling that arises through unlived love. I understood that the commingling is a bondage that takes the place of voluntary devotion. Scattering or dismembering arises, as had taught me, from voluntary devotion.


126 In Black Book 6, this figure enters on February 5, in the middle of the Sermones (p. 350- See note 108, p. 351 above.

127 February 17,1916. In Black Book 6, this speech is spoken by Jung himself (p. 52).

128 Black Book 6 has here: “I need a new shadow, since I recognized dreadful Abraxas and withdrew from him’ (p. 52)-

129 In Black Book 6, this voice is identified as “mother” (p. 53).

130 In Black Book 6, this is spoken by Jung (p. 53). ,, . r,,. . i > <

131 February 21.1916. Black Book 6 has instead: “[I:] “A Turk? Whence the journey? Do you profess Islam? What you are announcing Mohammed for? [Visitor:] 1 speak of polygamy, houris, and paradise. This is what you shall hear about.’’[I:] “Speak and end this torment” (p. 54)- .nr- i

132 The version of this dialogue in Black Book 6 includes the following interchange: [I:] “What about polygamy, houris, and paradise? [ isitorj. any women amoun o many books. Each woman is a book, each book a woman. The houri is a thought and the thought is a houri. The world of ideas is p e an para se is e wo of ideas. Mohammed teaches that the houris admit the believer into paradise. The Teutons said as much (p. $6). (Cf Yhe Koran 5 .12 39). n orse mytho gy, Valkyries escorted the brave who were slain in battle to Valhalla and tended them there.

133 February 24,1916.

134 This statement does not occur in Black Book 6.

135 February 28,1916.

136 The next two paragraphs do not occur in Black Book 6.


It cancels out the commingling. Through voluntary devotion I removed binding ties. Therefore I had to remain true to love, and, devoted to it voluntarily, I suffer the dismembering and thus attain bonding with the great mother, that is, the stellar nature, liberation from bondage to men and things. If I am bound to men and things, I can neither go on with my life to its destination nor can I arrive at my very own and deepest nature. Nor can death begin in me as a new life, since I can only fear death. I must therefore remain true to love since how else can I arrive at the scattering and dissolution of bondage? How else could I experience death other than through remaining true to love and willingly accepting the pain and all the suffering? As long as I do not voluntarily devote myself to the dismembering, a part of my self secretly remains with men and things and binds me to them; and thus I must, whether I want to or not, be a part of them, mixed in with them and bound to them. Only fidelity to love and voluntary devotion to love enable this binding and mixing to be dissolved and lead back to me that part of my self that secretly lay with men and things. Only thus does the light of the star grow, only thus do I arrive at my stellar nature, at my truest and innermost self, that simply and singly is.

It is difficult to remain true to love since love stands above all sins. He who wants to remain true to love must also overcome sin. Nothing occurs more readily than failing to recognize that one is committing a sin. Overcoming sin for the sake of remaining true to love is difficult, so difficult that my feet hesitated to advance.

When night fell, approached me in an earth-colored robe, holding a silver fish: “Look, my son,” he said, “I was fishing and caught this fish; I bring it to you, so that you may be comforted.” And as I looked at him astonished and questioningly, I saw that a shade stood in darkness at the door, bearing a robe of grandeur.’137 His face was pale and blood had flowed into the furrows of his brow. But knelt down, touched the earth, and said to the shade,’138 “My master and my brother, praised be your name. You did the greatest thing for us: out of animals you made men, you gave your life for men to enable their healing. Your spirit was with us through an endlessly long time. And men still look to you and still ask you to take pity on them and beg for the mercy of God and the forgiveness of their sins through you. You do not tire of giving to men. I praise your divine patience. Are not men ungrateful? Does their craving know no limits? Do they still make demands on you? They have received so much yet still they are beggars.

Behold, my master and my brother, they do not love me, but they long for you with greed, for they also crave their neighbor’s possessions. They do not love their neighbor, but they want what is his. If they were faithful to their love, they would not be greedy. But whoever gives, attracts desire. Should they not learn love? Fidelity to love? Freely willed devotion? But they demand and desire and beg from you and have learned no lesson from your awe-inspiring life. They have imitated it, but they have not lived their own fives as you have lived yours. Your awe-inspiring life shows how everyone would have to take their own life into their own hands, faithful to their own essence and their own love. Have you not forgiven the adulteress?’139 Did you not sit with whores and tax-collectors?  Did you not break the command of the Sabbath?’4‘ You lived your own life, but men fail to do so; instead they pray to you and make demands on you and forever remind you that your work is incomplete. Yet your work would be completed if men managed to live their own lives without imitation. Men are still childish and forget gratitude, since they cannot say, Thanks be to you, our lord, for the salvation you have brought us. We have taken it unto ourselves, given it a place in our hearts, and we have learned to carry on your work in ourselves on our own. Through your help we have grown mature in continuing the work of redemption in us. Thanks to you, we have embraced your work, we grasped your redemptive teaching, we completed in ourselves what you had begun for us with bloody struggle. We are not ungrateful children who desire our parents’ possessions. Thanks to you, our master, we will make the most of your talent and will not bury it in the earth and forever stretch out our hands helplessly and urge you to complete your work in us. We want to take your troubles and your work upon ourselves so that your work may be completed and so that you may lay your weary tired hands in your lap, like the worker after a long day’s hard burden. Blessed is the dead one, who rests from the completion of his work.

I wanted people to address you in this way. But they have no love for you, my master and brother. They begrudge you the price of peace. They leave your work incomplete, eternally needing your pity and your care.

But, my master and my brother, I believe you have completed your work, since the one who has given his life, his entire truth, all his love, his entire soul, has completed his work. What one individual can do for men, you have done and accomplished and fulfilled. The time has come when each must do his own work of redemption. Mankind has grown older and a new month has begun.”142

143When had finished, I looked up and saw that the place where the shade had stood was empty. I turned to and said, “My father, you spoke of men. I am a man. Forgive me!”

But dissolved into the darkness and I decided to do what was required of me. I accepted all the joy and every torment of my nature and remained true to my love, to suffer what comes to everyone in their own way. And I stood alone and was afraid.

{14} On a night when everything was silent, I heard a murmur like that of many voices and a bit more clearly I heard the voice of , and it was as if he were giving a speech. And as I listened more closely, I heard his words:

l44“Afterward, when I had impregnated the dead body of the underworld, and when it had given birth to the serpent of the God, I went to men and saw the fullness of their affliction and their madness. I saw that they were slaying each other and that they sought the grounds for their actions. They did this because they did not have anything different or better to do. But because they were accustomed to doing nothing for which they could not account, they devised reasons that compelled them to go on killing. Stop, you are out of your minds, said the sage. Stop, for Heaven’s sake, and take stock of what damage you have done, said the canny one. 


137 I.e., Christ.

138 April 12,1916. In Black Book 6, this speech is not attributed to Philemon.

139 Cf.John 8:1-11.

141 Cf.John 9:l3f

142 The reference is to the Platonic months. See note 273, p. 315.

143 The next six paragraphs do not occur in Black Book 6.

144 The next two passages also occur in “Dreams” after entries for the middle of July 1917, introduced by the statement: “Fragments of the next book” (p. 18).


But the fool laughed, since honors had been conferred upon him overnight. Why do men not see their stupidity? Stupidity is a daughter of the God. Therefore men cannot stop murdering, since thus they serve the serpent of the God without knowing it. It is worth giving one’s life for the sake of serving the serpent of the God. Hence be reconciled! But it would be far better to live despite the God. But the serpent of the God wants human blood. This feeds it and makes it shine. Not wanting to murder and die amounts to deceiving the God. Whoever lives has become one who deceives the God. Whoever lives invents his life for himself. But the serpent wants to be deceived, out of hope for blood. The greater the number of men who stole their lives from the Gods, the greater the harvest feeding the serpent from the blood-sown field. The God grows strong through human murder. The serpent grows hot and fiery through the drenching flood. Its fat burns in the blazing flame. The flame becomes the light of men, the first ray of a renewed sun, He, the first appearing light.”

I could not grasp what else said. I spent a long time pondering his words, which evidently he had spoken to the dead, and I was horrified by the atrocities that attend the rebirth of a God.

145And soon afterward I saw Elijah and Salome in a dream. Elijah appeared concerned and alarmed. Therefore, when in the following night that light was extinguished and every living sound fell still, I called Elijah and Salome so that they would answer my questions. Elijah came forward and said:

I have become weak, I am poor, an excess of my power has gone to you, my son. “You took too much from me. You went too far away from me. I heard strange and incomprehensible things and the peace of my depths became disturbed.”

I asked, “But what did you hear? What voice did you hear?”

Elijah answered, “I heard a voice full of confusion, an alarmed voice full of warning and the incomprehensible.”

What did it say,” I asked, “did you hear the words?”

Indistinctly, it was confused and confusing. The voice spoke first of a knife cutting something or perhaps harvesting, perhaps the grapes that go to the wine press. Perhaps the one wearing the red robe treads the winepress from which the blood flows. Thereupon the voice spoke of gold that lies below, and that kills whoever touches it. Then it mentioned fire that burns terribly and that should flare up in our time. And then there was a malicious word, that I would rather not utter.”

A malicious word? What was it?” I asked.

He answered, “A word about the death of God. There is only one God and God cannot die.”

Then I replied, “I am astonished, Elijah. Do you not know what happened? Do you not know that the world has put on a new garb? That the one God has gone away, and that in turn many Gods and many daimons have come to man? Truly, I am surprised; I am extremely surprised! How could you not have known? Know you nothing of the new that has come to pass? Yet you know the future! You have foresight! Or maybe you should not know what is? Do you ultimately deny what is?”148

Salome interrupted me: “What is, gives no pleasure. Pleasure comes only from the new. Your soul would also like a new husband—ha ha!—she loves change. You are not pleasurable enough for her. In that respect she is unteachable and therefore you believe she is mad. We love only what is coming, not what is. Only the new gives us pleasure. Elijah does not think about what is, only about what is to come. Therefore he knows it.”

I answered, “What does he know? He should say.”

Elijah said, “I have already uttered the words: the image that I saw was crimson, fiery colored, a gleaming gold. The voice that I heard was like distant thunder, like the wind roaring in the forest, like an earthquake. It was not the voice of my God, but it was a thunderous pagan roar, a call my ancestors knew but which 1 have never heard. It sounded prehistoric, as if from a forest on a distant coast; it rang with all the voices of the wilderness. It was full of horror yet harmonic.”

To this I replied, “My good old man, you heard correctly, as I thought you had. How wonderful! Shall I tell you about it? After all, I told you that the world has acquired a new face. A new cover was thrown over it. How odd that you don’t know!

Old Gods have become new. The one God is dead—yes, truly, he died. He disintegrated into the many, and thus the world became rich overnight. And something also happened to the individual soul—who would care to describe it! But therefore men too became rich overnight. How is it possible that you didn’t know this?

The one God became two, a multiple one, whose body consists of many Gods, and a single one, whose body is a man and yet he is brighter and stronger than the sun.

What shall I tell you about the soul? Haven’t you noticed that she has become multiple? She has become the closest, nearest, near, far, further, furthest and yet she is one, as before. First she divided herself into a serpent and a bird, then into a father and mother, and then into Elijah and Salome—How are you, my good fellow? Does it disturb you? Yes, you must be realizing that you are already very far removed from me, so that I can hardly reckon you as being part of my soul; since if you belonged t? my soul, you would have to know what is happening. Therefore I must separate you and Salome from my soul and place you among the daimons. You are connected to what is primordially old and always exists, therefore you also know nothing of the being of men but simply of the past and future.

Nevertheless it is good that you came to my call. Take part in that which is. For what is ought to be such that you can take part in it.

But Elijah sullenly replied, “I do not like this multiplicity. It is not easy to think it.”

And Salome said, “The simple alone is pleasurable. One need not think about it. “

I replied, “Elijah, you need not contemplate it at all. It is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting”

And to Salome I said, “Salome, it is not true that only the simple is pleasurable; over time it is even boring. In truth the multiple captivates you.”


145 May 3,1916.

148 In Memories, Jung stated: “The figures of the unconscious are also ‘uninformed,’ and need man, or contact with consciousness, in order to attain to knowledge. When I began working with the unconscious, I found myself much involved with the figures of Salome and Elijah. Then they receded, but after about two years they reappeared. To my complete astonishment, they were completely unchanged; they spoke and acted as if nothing had happened in the meanwhile. In actually the most incredible things had taken place in my life. I had, as it were, to begin from the beginning again, to tell them all about what had been going on, and explain things to them. At the time I had been greatly surprised by this situation. Only later did I understand what had happened: in the interval the two had sunk back into the unconscious and into themselves—I might equally put, into timelessness. They remained out of contact with the 1 and the l‘s changing circumstances, and therefore were ‘ignorant’ of what had happened in the world of consciousness” (pp. 338-39). This appears to refer to this conversation.

146 See above, p. 300.

147 See above, p. 348.


But Salome turned to Elijah and said, “Father, it seems to me that men have outstripped us. He is right the many is more pleasurable. The one is too simple and always the same”’4

Elijah seemed saddened and said, “What about the one in this case? Does the one still exist if it stands next to the many?”

I answered, “That is your old and ingrained mistake, that the one excludes the many. But there are many individual things. The multiplicity of individual things is the one multiple God from whose body many Gods arise, but the uniqueness of the one thing is the other God, whose body is a man but whose spirit is as large as the world.”

But Elijah shook his head and said, “That is new, my son. Is the new good? What was, is good; and what was, will be. Is that not the truth? Has there ever been anything new? And was what you call new, ever good? Everything remains the same if you give it a new name. There is nothing new, there can be nothing new; how could I then look ahead? I look at the past and therein I see the future, as in a mirror. And I see that nothing new happens, everything is but mere recurrence of what has been since time immemorial.’50 What is your being? An appearance, a darting light; tomorrow it is no longer true. It is gone; it is as if it never was. Come, Salome, let us go. One is mistaken in the world of men.”

But Salome looked back and whispered to me while leaving, “Being and multiplicity appeal to me, even if it is not new and not eternally true.”

Thus they disappeared into the dark night and I returned to the burden signified by my existence. And I sought to do everything correctly that seemed to me to be a task and to take every way that seemed to me to be necessary for myself. But my dreams became difficult and laden with anxiety, and I did not know why. One night my soul suddenly came to me, as if worried, and said,’51 “Listen to me: I am in a great torment, the son of the dark womb besieges me. Therefore your dreams are also difficult, since you feel the torment of the depths, the pain of your soul, and the suffering of the Gods.”

I answered, “Can I help? Or is it superfluous that a man elevates himself to being a mediator of the Gods? Is it presumption or should a man become a redeemer of the Gods, after men are saved through the divine mediator?”

You speak the truth,” my soul replied, “the Gods need a human mediator and rescuer. With this man paves the way to crossing over and to divinity. I gave you a frightening dream so that your face would turn to the Gods. I let their torment reach you so that you would remember the suffering Gods. You do too much for men since they are the masters of your world. You can in effect help men only through the Gods,’not directly Alleviate the burning torment of the Gods.”

I asked her, “So tell me, where do I begin? I feel their torment and mine at the same time, and yet it is not mine, both real and unreal.”

That is it; and this is where separation should occur,” my soul replied.

But how? My wits fail me. You must know how.”

Your wits fail quickly,” she retorted, “but the Gods need precisely your human wits.”

And I the wits of the Gods,” I added; “and thus we run aground.”

No, you are too impatient; only patient comparison provides a solution, not one side taking a quick decision. It requires work.”

I asked, “What do the Gods suffer from?”

Well,” my soul replied, “you have left them with torment, and since then they have suffered.”

Rightly so,” I cried, “they have tormented men enough. Now they should get a taste of it.”

She answered, “But what if the torment also reaches you? What have you gained then? You cannot leave all suffering to the Gods or else they will draw you into their torment. After all, they possess the power to do so. To be sure, I must confess that men too possess a wondrous power over the Gods through their wits.”

I answered, “I recognize that the torment of the Gods reached me; therefore I also recognize that I must yield to the Gods. What is their desire?”

They want obedience,” she replied.

So be it,” I answered, “but I fear their desire, therefore I say: I want to do what I can. On no account will I take back onto myself all the torment that I had to leave to the Gods. Not even Christ took torment away from his followers, but rather he heaped it on. I reserve conditions for myself. The Gods should recognize this and direct their desire accordingly. There is no longer any unconditional obedience, since man has stopped being a slave to the Gods. He has dignity before the Gods. He is a limb that even the Gods cannot do without. Giving way before the Gods is no more. So let their wish be heard. Comparison shall accomplish the rest so that each will have his appropriate part.”

My soul answered, “The Gods want you to do for their sake what you know you do not want to do.”

I thought so,” I exclaimed, “of course that is what the Gods want. But do the Gods also do what I want? I want the fruits of my labor. What do the Gods do for me? They want their goals to be fulfilled, but what about mine?”

This infuriated my soul and she said, “You are unbelievably defiant and rebellious. Consider the fact that the Gods are strong.”

I know,” I replied, “but no longer is there any unconditional obedience. When will they use their strength for me? They also want me to place mine in their service. What is their payment in kind? That they are tormented? Man suffered agony and the Gods were still not satisfied, but remained insatiable in their devising of new torments. They allowed man to become so blinded that he believed that there were no Gods, and that there was only one God who was a loving father, so that today someone who struggles with the Gods is even thought to be crazy. They have thus prepared this shame too for those who recognize them, out of boundless greed for power, since leading the blind is not easy. They will corrupt even their slaves.”

You do not want to obey the Gods?” my soul cried, astonished.

I answered, “I believe that has already gone on more than enough. Hence the Gods are insatiable, because they have received too many sacrifices: the altars of blinded humanity are streaming with blood. But dearth makes contentment, not abundance. May they learn dearth from men. Who does something for me? That is the question that I must pose. In no case will I do what the Gods would have to do. Ask the Gods what they think of my suggestion.”

Then my soul divided herself. As a bird she swooped up to the higher Gods and as a serpent she crawled down to the lower Gods. Soon afterward, she returned and said, troubled, “The Gods are outraged that you do not want to be obedient.”

That bothers me very little,” I replied, “I have done everything to placate the Gods. May they do their share now. Tell them. I can wait. I will let no one tell me what to do. The Gods may devise a service in return. You can go. I will call you tomorrow so that you can tell me what the Gods have decided.”


149 The rest of this dialogue does not occur in Black Book 6.

150 See note 261, p. 311.

151 May 31,1916.



As my soul departed, I saw that she was shocked and worried, since she belonged to the race o£ the Gods and daimons and forever sought to convert me to their kind, as my humanity would like to convince me that I belong to the clan and must serve it. When I was asleep, my soul came again and in a dream cunningly painted me as a horned devil to terrify me and make me afraid of myself. In the following night, however, I called my soul and said to her, “Your trick was recognized. It is to no avail. You do not frighten me. Now speak and convey your message!”

She answered, “The Gods give in. You have broken the compulsion of the law. Therefore I painted you as a devil, since he is the only one among the Gods who bows to no compulsion. He is the rebel against the eternal law, to which, thanks to his deed, there are also exceptions. Thus one does not necessarily have to. The devil is helpful in this respect. But it should not happen without seeking counsel from the Gods. This detour is necessary, or else you will fall prey to their law despite the devil.”

Here the soul drew near to my ear and whispered, “The Gods are even happy to turn a blind eye from time to time, since basically they know very well that it would be bad for life if there were no exception to eternal law. Hence their tolerance of the devil.”

She then raised her voice and cried loudly, “The Gods have mercy upon you and have accepted your sacrifice!”

And so the devil helped me to cleanse myself from commingling in bondage, and the pain of one-sidedness pierced my heart and the wound of being tom apart scorched me.

{15}152It was noon on a hot summer’s day and I was taking a stroll in my garden; when I reached the shade of the high trees, I met strolling in the fragrant grass. But when I sought to approach him, a blue shade’” came from the other side, and when saw him, he said, “I find you in the garden, beloved. The sins of the world have conferred beauty upon your countenance.

The suffering of the world has straightened your shape.

You are truly a king.

Your crimson is blood.

Your ermine is snow from the coldness of the poles.

Your crown is the heavenly body of the sun, which you bear on your head.

Welcome to the garden, my master, my beloved, my brother!”

The shade replied, “Oh Simon Magus or whatever your name may be, are you in my garden or am I in yours?”’154

said, “You are, Oh master, in my garden. Helena, or whatever you choose to call her, and I are your servants. You can find accommodation with us. Simon and Helena have become and Baucis and so we are the hosts of the Gods. We granted hospitality to your terrible worm. And since you come forward, we take you in. It is our garden that surrounds you.”’155

The shade answered, “Is this garden not mine? Is not the world of the heavens and of the spirits my own?”

said, “You are. Oh master, here in the world of men. Men have changed. They are no longer the slaves and no longer the swindlers of the Gods and no longer mourn in your name, but they grant hospitality to the Gods. The terrible worm’156 came before you, whom you recognize as your brother insofar as you are of divine nature, and as your father insofar as you are of human nature.’57 You dismissed him when he gave you clever counsel in the desert. You took the counsel, but dismissed the worm: he finds a place with us. But where he is, you will be also.’158 When I was Simon, I sought to escape him with the ploy of magic and thus I escaped you. Now that I gave the worm a place in my garden, you come to me.”

The shade answered, “Do I fall for the power of your trick? Have you secretly caught me? Were not deception and lies always your manner?”

But answered, “Recognize, Oh master and beloved, that your nature is also of the serpent.’159 Were you not raised on the tree like the serpent? Have you laid aside your body, like the serpent its skin? Have you not practiced the healing arts, like the serpent? Did you not go to Hell before your ascent? And did you not see your brother there, who was shut away in the abyss?”160

Then the shade said, “You speak the truth. You are not lying. Even so, do you know what I bring you?”

This I know not,” answered, “I know only one thing, that whoever hosts the worm also needs his brother. What do you bring me, my beautiful guest? Lamentation and abomination were the gift of the worm. What will you give us?”

The shade answered, “I bring you the beauty of suffering. That is what is needed by whoever hosts the worm.”


152 June 1,1916.

153 In Black Book 6. the shade is identified as Christ (p. 85).

154 Simon Magus (first century) was a magician. In the Acts of the Apostles (8:9-24), after becoming a Christian, he wished to purchase the power of transmitting the Holy Spirit from Peter and Paul (Jung saw this account as a caricature). Further accounts of him are found in the apocryphal acts of Peter, and in writings of the Church fathers. He has been seen as one of the founders of Gnosticism, and in the second century a Simonian sect arose. He is said to have always traveled with a woman, whom he found in a brothel in Tyre, who was the reincarnation of Helen of Troy. Jung cited this as an example of the anima figure (“Soul and earth,” 1927, CW 10, §75). On Simon Magus, see Gilles Quispel, Gnosis als Weltreligion (Zurich: Origo Verlag 1951), pp. 51-70, and G.R.S. Mead, Simon Magus: An Essay on the Founder ofSimonianism Based on the Ancient Sources with a Reevaluation of His Philosophy and Teachings (London: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1892).

155 In Memories, Jung commented: “In such dream wandering one frequently encounters an old man who is accompanied by a young girl, and examples of such couples are to be found in many mythic tales. Thus, according to Gnostic tradition,’ Simon Magus went about with a young girl whom he had picked up in a brotheL Her name was Helen, and she was regarded as the reincarnation of the Trojan Helen. Klingsor and Kundry, Lao-tzu and the dancing girl, likewise belong in this category” (p. 206).

156 I.e., Satan.

157 In Black Book 6, this sentence reads: “Your brother came before you, Oh master, the terrible worm, whom you dismissed, when he gave you clever counsel in the desert with a tempting voice” (p. 86).

158 Black Book 6 continues: “since he is your immortal brother’ (p. 86).

159 Jung commented on the serpent as an allegory of Christ in Aion (1952, CW 9, 2, §§369, 385, and 390).

160 See above, p. 243.



Let Stephan Hoeller introduce us on Carl Jung’s ‘Scrutinies’ which is part of Jung’s “Libre Novus” also called “The Red Book” a part of which is “The Seven Sermons to the Dead”.


The Seventh Sermon





Systema Munditotius