SEEING THE SOUL
[THE SOUL] IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT;
IT IS TO BE VIEWED; IT IS A PAINTING
PERSONIFICATION OF THE SOUL
Seeing in the Dark
“There can be no rebirth without a dark night of the soul.”
"Perceptual vs. Conception
“Imagination is the eye of the soul”
Jung referred to Eros as a form of knowledge in The Red Book and he wrote of art as maternally creative. His patient and art student Morgan said:
~ C Jung
PERSONIFICATION OF THE SOUL — A gift to give
Jung referred to Eros as a form of knowledge in The Red Book and he wrote of art as maternally creative. His patient and art student Morgan said: I must be mother and that nothing will ever stand between me and the forces which are around me—that I will be eternally alone—looking at these naked things [visions] always unprotected, and then measuring them to the capacity of these several individuals—veiling them and transforming these things that I see to meet the needs of each one—while I see them in the raw. I have the feeling that this may be the real awakening consciousness of women. It makes me feel appallingly alone (Jung, 1997, p. 16).
In ways, this art-based methodology can be seen as a women’s psychology or at least a way of perceiving and creating a women’s psychology, something that Jung said had not been done and was needed in the new age. Reflected in the Emperor and Empress in my own manuscript and dissertation, the feminine was embodied in the insight of the soul that looked within--what Jung referred to in his Cornwall Seminar as a personification that became an integrated function. In this section we will explore this inner approach as an archetypal path to nature within.
FEMININE KNOWLEDGE — A Way of Knowing
The feminine knowledge of The Red Book was described as Eros (and Eve) and a way of knowing that Jung (2009) described as a “movement of Eros the uncanny emphasis that strikes us as magical. The magical effect is the enchantment and underlining of our thought and feeling through dark instinctual impulses of animal nature” (p . 567).
This way of knowing is emerging in our time, since Jung said that “then the necessity will also arise to free Eros from the clutch of Logos, so that the former will regain vision” (p.566). This section helps us to orient to the knowledge of Eros and Eve—of art and tacit, embodied knowledge.
“Wherever Logos rules, there is order” like the “allegory of paradise where there is no struggle and therefore no development is fitting here,” (p. 566). In this mythic narrative, Adam and Eve needed to open their eyes and experientially know the opposition of good and evil, eventually returning to Eden in their reconciliation in the tree of life.
VISIONS — A True Symbolic Expression
Jung (1933) said that: “The vision is not something derived or secondary, and it is not a symptom of something else. It is true symbolic expression of something existent in its own right, but imperfectly known” (p. 162). Instead of “allegories,” Jung (1933) said “rather they appeared as visions,” which “have not been consciously contrived to depict experience in either veiled or even fantastic terms” (p. 562). “These images,” he said, “apparently are portrayals of personified unconscious thoughts,” and their “imagistic manner” (p. 562).
The visions were “set in a dark earthly depth, evidently an allegorical representation of the inner depths beneath the extension of the bright space of consciousness or the psychic field of vision” and “called for more reflection and interpretation than the other experiences, to which I could not do justice with cogitation” (p. 562).
ANIMA — A Feminine Lens
Jung’s anima and animus are gendered concepts, and so are Eros and Logos, gendered principles and personifications of the anima and animus as embodied soul and disembodied mind. While Jung said that the “soul of the man is more inclined to Logos than to Eros, which is more characteristic of the essence of the woman,” the gendered nature is held within all men and women.
Jung (2009) said that Logos has blinded and subjugated Eros, causing “the degeneration of Eros” (p. 566). He said that “Eros is desire, longing, force, exuberance, pleasure, suffering. Where Logos is ordering and insistence. Eros is dissolution and movement. They are t wo fundamental psychic powers that form a pair of opposites, each one requiring the other” (p. 563). In The Red Book these two figures were personified as scholarly fathers and pale locked up, daughters, including the figures of Elijah and Salome and even Jung and his soul.
Combining words and images, this website is an attempt at the union of opposites of Logos and Eros in which words explain and define (acts that Jung’s soul equated with murder in The Red Book) and visual images with limited verbal images illustrate and animate, balancing verbal and visual literacy.
"It is not to be thought; it is to be viewed. It is a painting." Jung of his soul