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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Carl Jung: It was the dream of the Middle Ages to make such a little man, and Faust marvels.





Konrad Escher, a Swiss engineer, carried out the great project of draining off large malarial swamps at the foot of the mountains.

He did his work in the spirit of great personal devotion, and Goethe has used this devotion as a symbol in the second part of Faust.

In Holland, in the seventeenth century, the great storms of the sea has broken the dykes and there were plans for building a great dam and winning back the land from the sea.

So in Faust they are building dams and winning back the fertile lands for cultivation.

“The Boy” appears for the first time under the name of “Knabe-Lenker,” the Boy Guide or Charioteer, when Faust is at the court of the king.

In reading the text we cannot see why this boy appears, and Goethe himself was almost embarrassed at his appearance and how to eplain him.

The boy speaks: “I am generosity, poetry.

I am the poet who perfects himself by wasing his own goods.

I am also infinitely rich, and I think of myself as Plutius.

I even animate and decorate his dancing and his meals.

I am spending what he is lacking” (outdoing Plutius, rich beyond all imagination).

He increases in intensity, as if he were getting more and more on fire.

He speaks to the crowd at a great festival: ‘The greatest gifts of my hands I send about, and there behold on this or that head there is a little flame which I have put on.

Now it jumps from head to head.

Here it flares up for a short time, then it escapes.

Rarely it stays, and in many, before they are aware, it dies down sadly exhausted.”

Then the final fate of the Boy Charioteer.

The whole festival ends with fireworks, and suddenly everything bursts into flames and he disappears into the fire, only ashes are left.


That figure is finished.

In the next appearance of Faust he is still moving on in the world doing wonderful things.

He returns and finds Wagner, the rationalist, installed in his former laboratory, where he is doing a marvelous thing, producing a little man in a retort, a homunculus.

It was the dream of the Middle Ages to make such a little man, and Faust marvels.

Then in the night Homunculus escapes in his glass bulb through the air and comes to the Elysian fields.

Mephistopheles played a tremendous role in the Middle Ages, but here he appears in a bewildered condition, for he feels rather like an ass among these figures of Greek Mythology, in the antique world where there is no evil and no good.

Homunculus appears in this world of gods and goddesses and consults with them as to how he can manage to get out of his glass bulb into the real world.

Only the old god Proteus, who is always taking on new forms, can give advice: “When thou wild become, begin first in the smallest things,’ very wise.

Homunculus is glad to receive such good advice

He feels rather like an ass in this antique world where there is no evil and no good. ~Carl Jung, Dream Analysis, Page number needed.]


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