SEEING THRU ART
A MYTHICAL ALCHEMICAL UNION
the secret of Jung's art-based methodology
RETURN TO EDEN
ADAM & EVE
Paradise lost - The tree of knowledge
Serving the dark night of the soul.
The art-based process of TRB
the school of the soul (Jung's soul)
“Therefore the ancients said that after Adam had eaten the apple, the tree of paradise withered. Your life needs the dark”
~ C Jung, 2009, p. 360
SERVICE — The dark night of the SOUL
Jung referred to his art-based processed of The Red Book as a myth and the school of the soul in which he (and his soul) were both creators and educators. In this website Jung’s art-based approach is illuminated and animated through the myth of creation where it can be seen as the dark night of the soul through which we return to the Garden of Eden, a place of mythic harmony and unity prior to the knowledge of good and evil and hell on earth.
This Edenic vision was the mythic and imaginal landscape of The Red Book where Jung’s soul said they were “playing Adam and Eve” (Jung, 2009, p. 419) and a place that Jung (1961) returned in his nocturnal vision following his near death experience which he called the “garden of pomegranates and the wedding of Tifereth with Malchuth” and described as a “hierosgamos” (sacred union), “marriage of the lamb,” declaring the visions were the “most tremendous things” he “had ever experienced” (pp. 294-295).
The artist is not just a reproducer of appearances but a creator and educator” (Jung, 1921/1990, p. 432).
C. G. JUNG
"The vision of Eve leads astray, to adventurous odyssey, to Circe and Calypso. The vision of the mother of God, on the other hand, turns desire away from the flesh and toward the humble veneration of the spirit. Eros is subject to erro in the flesh, but in the spirit it rises above the flesh and the inferiority of carnal error. It therefore almost imperceptibly becomes the spirit, the power over the flesh in the guise of love, and thus spiritual power casts off the mantle of love; although the former believes it loves the spirit, in effect it rules the flesh" (Jung, 2009, p. 570).
In this website echo Jung's statement that "Eros cannot exist without the flesh. In resisting the inferiority of the flesh, the I resists the female soul" (p. 571). In this process I believe Eve moves into the other four stages of the soul or animal in an evolution or individuation of a woman's psychology from Eve to Helen to Mary to Sophia.
DELIGHT— Fruitful, well-watered...into the depth
Meaning “delight,” Eden derives from an Aramaic root word meaning “fruitful, well-watered” and it conjures a sense of the fathomless depths of the soul as a deep well, filled with the fruitful waters of the unconscious imagination. In Eden we meet Adam (meaning “ground” or earth), enlived by Eve (meaning both “life breath” like the anima or soul and evening). The story of Adam and Eve echoes throughout the ages, repeating the creation of clay with with breath--a story of paradise that Jung said needed to repeat itself. Jung (1970) also said that a women's psychology was a focus of the future.
Yet Eden was pivotal in the myth of psyche as the moment that humanity was cast out into darkness. It also includes the even darker past of Lilith whose name means darkness and night and who was cast in the role of a baby eating demon when she refused to be under Adam. With socio-political as mythical and psychological implications, this power shift marks the rise of patriarchal and monotheistic religion and culture. Jung wrote the introduction to psychologist Esther Harding’ book The Way of All Women (1970), describing Harding’s work as “an attempt” to “perform the entirely feminine task of showing how the knowledge of human nature made available through the study of the unconscious may be applied to everyday experience” (p. xi). Later, Jung extended his notion of women’s work by explaining that: “For man creates the idea and woman transforms it into a living reality” (p. xii). While Harding did not challenge many of Jung’s essentialist notions regarding women, she asked a fundamentally important question.
After noting the origin of women in Genesis as Eve’s descendants, “conceived of as part of man” and made to help him (p. 1), Harding questioned what is the “difference between the woman who is the man’s woman and the woman who is not the man’s woman” (p. 3)? While Eve is taken from Adam’s rib as he lay unconscious, Harding is questioning the role of woman as self-originating and self-determining. Acknowledging that “even when, as in these modern days, attempts are made to give a more objective picture of human beings,” the woman who is “not man’s woman” is “still described, for the most part, from the masculine point of view” (p. 3).
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
SERPENTS — The Earthly Essence of Man
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).