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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Carl Jung on Elijah, Salome and The Serpent




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. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 95.

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.6 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.

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, 1925 Seminar, Pages 96-97.

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