Feb 112011
 

According to Jung, the reality of the unconscious is manifested by action of a numinous character upon consciousness. This is what Jung says concerning the unconscious:

…the unconscious…by definition and in fact, cannot be circumscribed. It must therefore be counted as something boundless: infinite or infintesimal. Whether it may legitimately be called a microcosm depends simply and solely on whether certain portions of the world beyond individual experience can be shown to exist in the unconscious – certain constants which are not individually acquired but are a priori presences.

The theory of instinct and the findings of biology in connection with the symbiotic relationship between plant and insect have long made us familiar with these things…A general proof of the rightness of this expectation lies in the ubiquitous occurrence of parallel mythologems, Bastian’s ‘folk-thoughts’ or primordial ideas; and a special proof is the autochthonous reproduction of such ideas in the psyche of individuals where direct transmission is out of the question…

Mythologems are the aforementioned ‘portions of the world’ which belong to the structural elements of the psyche. They are constants whose expression is everywhere and at all times the same. (C.G. Jung, Medicine and Psychotherapy).

The unconscious – with its numinous action – is therefore not confined to the individual soul; it surpasses it in every direction. Being ‘something boundless’, the unconscious is the world seen under its psychic aspect. Which means to say that it consists not only of innate – ie, prenatal, individual tendencies and inclinations, but that it also includes what we have designated as ‘spheres’ – namely the ‘sphere of the Holy Spirit’ and that of the ‘false Holy Spirit’.

Action of a numinous character from the unconscious, thus conceived, is certainly a criterion sufficient to distinguish the manifestation of the reality of the unconscious from the manifestation of the subjectivity of the individual soul through the latter’s spontaneous fantasy, feeling and intellectuality, but it does not at all suffice to distinguish the truth within this reality, ie, to distinguish the action of the sphere of the Holy Spirit from that of the sphere of mirages. For the sphere of mirages, also, is real – but reality is one thing and truth is another thing. A mirage is certainly real, but it is not true; it is deceiving.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXII, The World

Jun 192010
 

It is in we ourselves that there is to be found the ‘Edenic’ layer, of that of Paradise before the Fall, of which an account is to be found in the book of Genesis of Moses. Do you doubt the essential truth of this account? Descend into the depths of your own soul, descend as far as the roots, to the sources of feeling, will and intelligence – and you will know.

It expresses in symbolic language the first layer (first in the sense of the root of all that is human in human nature) of human psychic life, or its ‘beginning’. Knowledge of the beginning, initium in Latin, is the essence of initiation. Initiation is the conscious experience of the initial microcosmic state (this is the Hermetic initiation), and of the initial macrocosmic stage (this is the Pythagorean initiation).

The first is a conscious descent into the depths of the human being, to the initial layer. Its method is enstasy, ie, experience of the depths at the foundation within oneself. Here one becomes more and more profound until one awakens within oneself to the primordial layer – or the ‘image and likeness of ‘God’ – which is the aim of enstasy. It is above all by means of the sense of spiritual touch that this experience is effected. One can compare it to a chemical experiment undergone on the psychic and spiritual plane.

The second experience – that we have designated ‘Pythagorean’ from a historical  point of view – is based above all on the auditory sense or sense of spiritual hearing. It is essentially musical, just as the first is substantial or alchemical. It is by ecstasy – or rapture, or going out of oneself – that the macrocosmic layers (spheres or heavens) reveal themselves to consciousness. Pythagoras’ ‘music of the spheres’ was this experience, and it is this which was the source of the Pythagorean doctrine concerning the musical and mathematical structure of the macrocosm.

Christian esotericism unites these two methods of  initiation. The Master had two groups of disciples – ‘disciples of the day’ and ‘disciples of the night’ – the first being disciples of the way of enstasy and the latter those of the way of ecstasy. He also had a third group of disciples ‘of day and night’, ie, those who possess the keys to both doors at once, to the door of ecstasy and that of enstasy. Thus, the apostle, John, author of the Gospel of the Word-made-flesh, was at the same time he who listened to the heart of the Master.

He had a twofold experience – macrocosmic and microcosmic –  of the Cosmic World and the Sacred Heart, of which the litany says: Cor Jesu, rex et centrum omnium cordium. It is thanks to this twofold experience that the Gospel which he wrote is at one and the same time so cosmic and so humanly  intimate – of such heights and depths simultaneously. There, the macrocosmic solar sphere and the microcosmic solar sphere are united, which explains the singular magic of the Gospel.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI, The Lover