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

Aug 072010
 

The Arcanum “The World” thus communicates to us a teaching of immense practical significance: “TheĀ  world is a work of art. It is animated by creative joy. The wisdom that it reveals is joyous wisdom – that of creative-artistic elan, and not that of an engineer-technician or industrial designer.

Happy is he who seeks wisdom in the first place, for he will find that wisdom is joyous! Unhappy is the one who seeks the joy of joyous wisdom in the first place, for he will fall prey to illusions! Seek first the creative wisdom of the world – and the joy of creativity will be given to you in addition.”

From this teaching there results an important rule of “spiritual hygiene”, namely, that he who aspires to authentic spiritual experiences never confounds the intensity of the experience undergone with the truth of what is revealed – or is not revealed – through it, ie, he does not regard the force of impact of an inner experience as a criterion of its authenticity and truth. For an illusion stemming from the sphere of mirages can bowl you over, whilst a true revelation from above can take place in the guise of a scarcely perceptible “inner whispering”.

Far from imposing itself through force, authentic spiritual experience sometimes requires very awake and very concentrated attention so as not to let it pass by unnoticed….For all the exercises that all serious esotericism prescribes are necessary in order to render attention so awake and intense that it is in a position to perceive within the calm and silent domain of the depth of the soul where spiritual truth reveals itself. And this latter has the quite pronounced tendency to work gently and gradually, although – as in the case of St Paul – there are exceptions.

But as a general rule, the spiritual world does not at all resemble the surging of the sea – at work to break down the dams holding it back, so as to inundate the land. No, what characterises the spiritual world, ie, “the sphere of the Holy Spirit”, is the consideration that it has for the human condition.

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