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Monday, July 4, 2016

Dr. Jung: Yes, the god Pan is obviously a nature spirit, a sort of philosophical nature god.

Dr. Jung: Yes, the god Pan is obviously a nature spirit, a sort of philosophical nature god.

The original form of Pan was a petty, local field deity, like Priapus or Saturnus.

Priapus was a god of the fields, particularly of the boundary lines; instead of having stones to mark the beginning of a neighbor's estate, they had phallic figures of Priapus, always made of the wood of the fig tree.

They still have such figures in Egypt, but there they have more to do with fertilization, and they look more like scarecrows.

Saturnus was also such a deity, a rather unimportant field demon for fertilizing and protecting the seeds, the growth of the wheat, etc., an agricultural god.

Later on he became identified with the Greek god Chronos, who was the god of creation, having exactly the meaning of what Bergson calls la duree creatrice.

So one could say that Bergson's intuitive idea was only a recrudescence of that archetypal idea of creative time.

Then in Mithraism, there was the Aion, the god with the lion's head encoiled by the snake, the snake's head resting upon the head of the god; that figure was always standing in Mithraic temples somewhere near the altar, and it is identical with the Persian deity Zervan Akarana,

which means infinitely long duration, and this is also la duree creatrice.

Proclus, the Neoplatonist, called Chronos the god of creation and said that wherever there was creation there was time; the creative god was always associated with light, fire, warmth, and time.

Perhaps the most ancient form of the idea is found in Heraclitus, the old Greek philosopher, a contemporary of Lao-tze; he called it pur aeizoon, meaning fire always living, which is exactly what Proclus called Chronos about nine hundred years later.

But Saturn us was originally something like Pan, who was a god of the meadows and the woods.

Pan's flute created the panic fear of the shepherds.

The word panic comes from Pan.

He went about whistling or playing his pipe and frightening the shepherds.

The shepherd's fear islike the stampede of the herds.

Occasionally a herd begins to stampede for no obvious reason, it is as if they were suddenly frightened by something.

That happens to us also; at certain moments in the midst of real nature one is suddenly seized with terror without knowing why.

Sometimes it is a particularly lonely and uncanny spot, but at other times one cannot say what it is, a kind of animal fear seizes one.

It is the great god Pan that causes the panic terror.

Then that nature demon became a great philosophical god on account of the transformation
in the meaning of the name.

The Greek word pas means all, the whole, and pan, the neuter, means the universe; and that meaning became attached to the god as the universal nature spirit. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 580-581