SEEING THRU ART
A MYTHICAL ALCHEMICAL UNION
the secret of Jung's art-based methodology
MORE THAN A MUSE
Traslating the darkness of the Shadow. A dedication to Morgan. To me, she is a figure of Eve, and I seek to reveal a part of her brilliance, born in our hearts as the rich embodied feminine
SERVICE — The dark night of the SOUL
Jung said that Christiana Morgan's images would serve humanity for the next 200 to 300 years and that she was an original example of a feminine individuation. As we confront and embrace Jung's shadow in this work and in Morgan, we come to terms with Jung's perception of the anima who he referred to in The Red Book as a worm, a stupid animal, a temptress, a whore, and vampiric. While Jung said that he spoke for his soul and asked to be he mouthpiece of the anima, he said that becoming a spokeperson for the anima could destroy a man in describing why he never identified as an artis and The Red Book as art. Though Jung (1961) recognized that his soul did no have "speech centers" (p. 186) and lent his to his soul for her to communicate verbally, he never let us, as the audience, know what she said whe she came through with a volcanic and long defence of why the The Red Book was art.
This argument of the soul is something I still want to know. Having read Jung's confrontation with the unconscious or the soul (described as an interfering woman within), I am now aware that Jung did not speak so much for the soul but argued against and with her in The Red Book. He wrestled with a soul complex that centered around core wounding, kicked out of art class becasue he could only draw what stirred his imagination and shamed for looking at naked sculptures as a child. Jung's soul or anima complex was then projected onto Morgan and other woman who were similar to a woman who caretook for Jung when his mother was institutionalialized. This unresolved anima complex was exposed through Morgan who ended up killing herself, cast in the shadow of her relationship with Murray, an analysand of Jung's who patterned his relationship with Morgan after Jung's relationship with Toni Wolf. This section confronts and attempts to translate the darkness that was exposed in Claire Douglases' book Traslate the Darkness (1993).
This site is dedicated to Christiana Morgan whose art Jung (1997) said held “material for the next two or three hundred years” (as cited by Douglas, 1997, p. xxiii). An embodiment of the dark, rejected feminine and Jung’s anima projections her premature death (most-likely suicide) and unpublished work call or redemption. In her posthumous movement from the darkness to the light, may her images be born in our hearts as the rich embodied feminine. To me, she is a figure of Eve, and I seek to reveal a part of her brilliance.
DEDICATION— An "upsurge of the feminine"
Morgan has been covered at times throughout the website, yet she deserves a more thorough introduction. A writer, artist, and psychologist, Morgan was featured in Jung’s Visions seminar, and co-created the TAT or thematic apperception test with her lover, psychologist and Jung’s analysand Henry Murray. In order to give Morgan her due, I am attaching a number of links that give more thorough coverage of her imagery which Jung (1997) described as “material for the next two or three hundred years,” describing it as “a great document humaine” and a “rushing forth of all that has hitherto been unconscious” (as cited by Douglas, pp. 210-211).
Taught by Jung, “Morgan’s active imaginations grew to be a series of over one hundred fantasies that led her through a personal but also archetypal feminine rite of initiation” (Douglas, 1997, p. xiii), and Jung said that she exhibited the only other perfect pitch regarding visioning other than himself. Morgan not only testified to an “upsurge of the feminine” but also to Jung’s gender bias in treating her, “As an alien, more primitive, other in the same unconsciously patronizing way that male explorers of Jung’ era tended to Ätreat any gender, race, religions, or culture different from their own” (p. xxvi), in the words of psychologist Claire Douglas who edited the Visions seminar and wrote Morgan’s biography, Translate the Darkness (1997).
To Introduce Morgan’s Images I use Jung’s concept of BETRACJEN. Jung (1997) The English verb, to look at, does not convey this meaning, but the German betrachten, which is an equivalent, means also to make pregnant. TrÄchting means to carry, to be big with young, pregnant, but it is used only for animals, not for human beings; a pregnant cow is a TrÄchtinge Kuh. So to look at or concentrate upon a thing, betrachten, gives the quality of being pregnant to the object. And if it is pregnant to the object. And if it is pregnant, then something is due to come out of it; it is alive, it prouces, it multiplies.
SOUL JOURNEY — Come, This is the Way
At the outset of The Red Book Jung (2009) called out for his soul, “I am weary, my soul, my wandering has lasted too long, my search for myself outside of myself” (p. 130). Recognizing that he had lost his soul, he admitted: “I did not consider that my soul cannot be the object of my judgement and knowledge; much more are my judgement and knowledge the objects of my soul. Therefore the spirit of the depths forced me to speak to my soul, to call upon her as a living self-existing being. I had to become aware that I had lost my soul” (pp. 128-129). Like Jung, who embodied his soul in images and what she called art, in this art-based process you will learn “to speak to” your “soul as to something far off and unknown” which you do “not exist through, but through whom” you exist (p. 129)
You get to remember and embody your soul, declaring as Jung: “Oh, that you must speak through me that my speech and I are your symbol and expression” (p. 131). Given what Jung called the “primitive” or primordial nature of the feminine soul, this art-based path, as he called it, will lead back to the Garden and to Eden through the dark night of the soul.
The soul is perennial and ancient, and she is alchemical, declaring: “I bind the Above and the Below. I bind God and animal. Something in me is part animal, something part God and a third part human” (p. 577). She breaks “down into three parts” including the “serpent” or animal soul, the “human soul,” and the “celestial soul” or dove (p. 577).
I know you are tired but come, this is the way. Rumi
TRANSCENDENT FUNCTION — Reconciling Opposites
In The Red Book Jung (2009) said that “One can certainly gain outer freedom through powerful actions, but one creates inner freedom only through the symbol” (p.), and he used symbols and symbolic imagery throughout this creative work, referring to this symbolic art as “visionary art” (Jung, 1933, p. 155). The two primary symbols of The Red Book and this website are the serpent and the tree, symbols that bridge between the tension of opposites that Jung labeled the transcendent function, reconciling opposites of above and below. Bridging the thesis and antithesis of the conscious and unconscious, ego and self, symbols are a third thing that synthesizes or transcends the other two.
Jung (2009) explained: “I found the serpent as the third principle. It is a stranger to both principles although it is associated with both. The serpent taught me the unconditional difference in essence between the two principles in me . . . The serpent is the earthly essence of man of which he is not conscious. Its character changes according to peoples and lands, since it is the mystery that flows to him from the nourishing earth-mother” (p. 180) Continuing his theme of nature, Jung also used a sprout, germ, and tree as symbols that performed the transcendent function. In The Red Book advised not to imitate Christ but grow as a tree, as Jung himself demonstrated, repeatedly becoming a tree: “I ate the earth and I drank the sun, and I became a greening tree that stands alone and grows” (p. 262).