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Friday, October 23, 2015

Carl Jung: Dissolving an image means that you become that image.

I told you last time about the dream concerning the killing of the hero and then the fantasy about Elijah and Salome.

Now the killing of the hero is not an indifferent fact, but one that involves typical consequences.

Dissolving an image means that you become that image.

Doing away with the concept of God means that you become that God.

This is so because if you dissolve an image it is always consciously, and then the libido invested in the image goes into the unconscious.

The stronger the image the more you are caught by it in the unconscious, so if you give up the hero in the conscious you are forced into the hero role by the unconscious.

I remember a case in point in this connection.

This was a man who was able to give me a very excellent analysis of his situation.

His mother had repeatedly told him, as he was growing up, that he would someday be a savior of mankind, and though he did not quite believe it, still it got him in a certain way, and he began to study and finally went to the university.

There he broke down and went home.

But a savior does not have to study chemistry, and moreover a savior is always misunderstood, and so nursed along in these ideas by his mother and by his own fantasy, he allowed himself to slump completely on his conscious side.

He was content to take a position in an insurance company which amounted to little more than licking stamps.

All the time he was playing the secret role of the despised of men.

Finally he came to me.

When I analyzed him I found this fantasy of the savior.

He had understood it only intellectually, and so the emotional grip it had had on him remained unchanged—in spite of all he thought about it, he was still drawing satisfaction out of being an unrecognized savior. It seemed as though the analysis would arouse him sufficiently, but even that did not sink in.

He thought it was very interesting to live in such an odd fantasy.

Then he began to do better in his work, and later applied for and won a directorship in a large factory.

Here he collapsed utterly.

He could not see that he had not realized the emotional value of the fantasy, and that it was the operation of these unrealized emotional values that had made him apply for a position he was in no way fitted to fill.

His fantasy was really nothing but a power fantasy, and his desire to be a savior was based on a power motive.

One can thus come to a realization of such a fantasy system, and yet have its activity persist in the unconscious.

The killing of the hero, then, means that one is made into a hero and something hero-like must happen.

The killing of the hero, then, means that one is made into a hero and something hero-like must happen.

Besides Elijah and Salome, there was a third factor in the fantasy I began to describe, and that is the huge black snake between them.

The snake indicates the counterpart of the hero.

Mythology is full of this relationship between the hero and the snake.

A northern myth says the hero has eyes of a snake, and many myths show the hero being worshipped as a snake, having been transformed into it after death.

This is perhaps from the primitive idea that the first animal that creeps out of the grave is the soul of the man who was buried.

The presence of the snake then says it will be again a hero myth.

As to the meaning of the two figures, Salome is an anima figure, blind because, though connecting the conscious and the unconscious, she does not see the operation of the unconscious.

Elijah is the personification of the cognitional element, Salome of the erotic.

Elijah is the figure of the old prophet filled with wisdom.

8 One could speak of these two figures as personifications of Logos and Eros very specifically shaped.

This is practical for intellectual play, but as Logos and Eros are purely speculative terms, not scientific in any sense, but irrational, it is very much better to leave the figures as they are, namely as events, experiences.

As to the snake, what is its further significance? ~Carl Jung, Analytical Psychology Seminar 1925, Pages 95-97.

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