Table of Contents
- The image of the island of Patmos
- The image of the voice from behind
- Visions vs active imagination
- The image of the lamp-stand
- The image of the Son of Man
- The image of brilliant light
- The image of sword and mouth
- The image of the seven stars
- The image of the seven letters
- The image of the crown of life
- The image of the hidden manna
- The image of the white stone
- The image of the authority over the nations/pagans
- The image of the white robe
- The image of the book of life
- The image of the pillars in the sanctuary
- The image of the kingship
The image of the island of Patmos
This is class number 2 on the apocalypse archetype and our assignment is chapters 1, 2 and 3. Let’s plunge right in! I’m going to skip the introductory address and greeting and start with verse 9, which reads as follows:
"1:9 My name is John, and through our union in Jesus I am your brother and share your sufferings, your kingdom, and all you endure. I was on the island of Patmos[*c] for having preached God’s word and witnessed for Jesus;
1:10 it was the Lord’s day and the Spirit possessed me, and I heard a voice behind me, shouting like a trumpet,
1:11 ‘Write down all that you see in a book, and send it to the seven churches of Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea’."
Stop there for a moment. This is the opening scene and the setting then for what’s to come namely the experience of the numinosum. We learn that John is imprisoned, Patmos was a prison island. Now, that’s significant psychologically, I think, if we consider the experience of imprisonment both objectively and subjectively we realize that it amounts to having severe restrictions imposed on one’s natural libido-flow, there’s narrow confinement, restriction, limitation, and if we think of that not just a physical event but as also something that can happen psychologically then it’s not too far fetched to think of being imprisoned by a very narrow confining life-attitude for instance or being imprisoned by one’s neurotic complexes, that’s very common. Sometimes we see people whose complexes are so severe they can’t even go out of the house. So we have here right in the beginning the image of imprisonment and the net result of that condition is a build-up of libido, it’s not permitted it’s natural, spontaneous discharge. When this happens it can reach explosive proportions and the irruption of the numinosum is a psychological explosion, the Book of Revelation is a psychological explosion, real fireworks in it, cosmic fireworks, it’s an explosion. It’s an energy phenomenon and imprisonment, in the symbolic sense especially, is generating a precondition for an explosion. That happens in our actual prisons too you know. Riots. If libido in a collectivity is too pent up too long it has to explode.
The image of the voice from behind
Now characteristically John’s attention is drawn to a voice that he hears coming from behind him. That means it’s coming from the Unconscious. He’s then obliged to turn around and face it. That would mean, thinking of it psychologically, that he’s obliged to pay attention to the Unconscious. Ordinarily when we’re just going about our usual activities we don’t pay attention to the Unconscious, it’s behind us and the outer world in front of us, but if something goes on behind us and from within that gets our attention then we have to turn around and that’s what happened to John. That’s what the analytic process does. It’s a deliberate turning around to look at what’s behind one on the assumption that it can be helpful what’s going on back there.
Visions vs active imagination
Analysis of course goes farther than John does, it does more than just turn around and listen, because it proceeds to the next step and tries to promote a dialog between the Ego and the Unconscious, there’s no dialog in the Book of Revelation, just a one-way communication. There’s a voice that makes the announcements and a listener. This is what we call a visionary or a mystical experience, the one-way experience, passive imagination, not active imagination. One should be clear to make a distinction.
It’s what mystics of all ages try for. Characteristically they deliberately and voluntarily generate prison conditions for themselves in the psyche by fasting and solitude and procedures of that sort and the result is that libido is stored up in the Unconscious and then under certain circumstances it will irrupt into a visionary experience.
All visions request you the same thing: in order to develop the libido to create the vision, it has to be stored-up in a way or another so that it becomes available to the Unconscious which can then use it to irrupt with, you see. It takes energy to irrupt. What happens then within those visions is that the one having the experience gets a glimpse into the transpersonal psyche and to the Collective Unconscious and this experience will be formulated according to whatever religious conceptions the mystic is living by, he will have a whole set of symbolic images that he lives by and he will interpret his experience in terms of that symbol-system. The basic experience is what we call the Collective Unconscious.
Characteristically the experiences are given the very highest value by those experiencing them and are considered very valuable for the individual’s life but they’re not active imagination and they’re not individuation. Individuation requires and active Ego participation in the dialog and an assimilation of the contents that are transferred from one level to another. The mystical visionary experience is something different it gives us a glimpse but it’s not active imagination or individuation.
The image of the lamp-stand
So, he turn around and here’s what he sees:
"1:12 I turned round to see who had spoken to me, and when I turned I saw seven golden lamp-stands 1:13 and, surrounded by them, a figure like a Son of man,[d] dressed in a long robe tied at the waist with a golden girdle. 1:14 His head and his hair were white as white wool or as snow, his eyes like a burning flame, 1:15 his feet like burnished bronze when it has been refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of the ocean.[e] 1:16 In his right hand he was holding seven stars, out of his mouth came a sharp sword, double-edged, and his face was like the sun shining with all its force."
I brought along just for my own purposes and might for yours a copy of Dürer’s (Albrecht Dürer) woodcuts of that vision. There have been a lot of versions of it. Dürer did a whole series on the apocalypse and I may bring a few more in the course of our sessions too. That’s the first one.
Now, this vision of the numinosum has a number of features about it. I’m gonna make a few remarks about several of them. I had to pick and choose you know, what images I’m going to talk about more or less arbitrarily because we have such a wealth of them we can’t go into detail with very many.
One of the first thing he sees is the seven golden lamp-stands. We know from Zachariah, the 4th chapter of Zachariah had a vision who saw a lamp-stand with seven lights and he is told that these seven lights are the eyes of Yahweh which reign throughout the Earth. We also know that Yahweh in giving his instructions for the construction of the ark, the tabernacle and its furnishings one of the things that was ordered to be in the tabernacle was a lamp-stand with seven lamps on it. That’s one of the features of the tabernacle. What we have here is we have the heavenly original so to speak of the Earthly lamp-stand, the menorah – מְנוֹרָה, which stood in the tabernacle and we’ll find as we go along all the various features of the tabernacle, including The Arc of the Covenant, have their Heavenly origins revealed in this vision. It’s as though as we’re seeing the Platonic original of the Earthly features of the tabernacle. But as Zachariah tells us these seven lights correspond to the seven eyes of God which reigns throughout the Earth. Jung refers to this image in “Answer to Job” in paragraph 579, note 3, he speaks of the fact that at the beginning of the Book of Job Satan had appeared in Heaven after roaming through the Earth and about this passage Jung says:
"Satan is presumably one of God’s eyes which “go to and fro in the earth and walk up and down in it” (Job 1 : 7). In Persian tradition, Ahriman proceeded from one of Ormuzd’s doubting thoughts."
Like these other these other lights from the lamp-stand it’s an eye roaming the Earth and watching what’s going on. This brings up the whole rich symbolism of the “eye of God” which I’m going to talk a little more about on another occasion, but I just noted in passing that this lamp-stand and these eyes indicates a watching process going on, watching of the Ego. The lamp-stand along with the stars, the seven stars, I think will also be a reference to the seven planetary spirits.
We’re gonna hear a lot of the number seven as we proceed. In fact wan could almost say that the Book of Revelation describes a repeated assault of the “seven-archetype” because it’s astonishing how many times the Earth gets hit with seven again and again. That’s significant. We’ll talk about that later.
The image of the Son of Man
I want to go to the next slide of the description. The figure is called the Son of Man. “A figure like a Son of Man” now that’s a direct quote from a vision of Daniel’s. Some of you may remember that Jung goes into a discussion of this “Son of Man” image in “Answer to Job”. It’s important psychologically that it has more than just inquiry and interest that’s why it’s worth paying special attention to. It first show up in Ezekiel which was written about 575 B.C. Ezekiel was called “Son of Man”. It appears again in Daniel about 165 B.C. again in the Book of Enoch not canonical at present although at one time we have early copies of the canon that included the Book of Enoch, so it just missed the cut, but almost got in, that was about 100 B.C. Then as Jung makes clear Christ was probably thoroughly identified with the “Son of Man” as <…> of Book of Enoch and He overtly identified with the term, called himself the “Son of Man”. That would be 30 A.D. Then Revelation was written about 95 A.D. So we have that sequence of the emergence of this particular term. Jung interprets this sequence to indicate that Yahweh was drawing closer to man by presenting a messianic figure that partook his own divine nature labeled the “Son of Man”.
What makes this so important psychologically is that it’s part of the data that whereby we can reach the conclusion the the realized Self is the son of the Ego. One finds the same notion in alchemy because the Philosopher’s Stone the ultimate the grand goal of the Opus one of its synonyms was “Filius Philosophorum” – “Son of the Philosophers”, the philosophers were the alchemists so it was called the “Son of the Alchemists”. That means that not only does it have a divine begetting it also has an Earthly Ego-begetting. Or in the other lapidary phrase that Jung has used “God needs man”. All that is implied in the imagery of the “Son of Man”.
The image of brilliant light
Another feature of the numinosum as John experienced was “brilliant light”. Everything is white. All the way up to the countenance that was shining with all the force of the Sun. Brilliant, brilliant light. What we have here is an image of Sol as the Self. That brings up the question how can an image represent the Self, the totality while yet it is picturing only one side of the pair of opposites? In this case the Solar attribute is greatly emphasized and the dark Lunar side doesn’t appear. We’ll get plenty of darkness later in the Book of Revelation I grant you, but so far as this image is concerned it’s one-sided, isn’t it, and can we therefore say that it’s a genuine symbol of the Self? Yes I think we can, because it does have many features of wholeness. I won’t go into them all but there is the “first and the last”, its eternal nature, its cosmic proportions. I think a way to answer the question I posed is to understand that the manifestation of the Self is always local and it’s therefore usually modified to some extent by the nature of the local conditions of the Ego experiencing it. Namely the level of development of that Ego and the degree of one-sidedness of that Ego will certainly affect the way that the Self manifests.
Certainly in mystical experience brilliant light is a very common feature of the vision as much as the one in John. Also very typical of mystical experience is that it’s preceded by a “dark night of the soul”, so that it’s as though the emphasis on the light and the brightness is carrying a compensatory aspect for the excessive darkness that the Ego is going through. Now in the case of John he was a harbinger of a new aeon and a whole new revelation which was going to bring light to the darkness of paganism and that may also be a reason for the disproportionate emphasis on light. Beyond all that there will be the fact that the Christian attitude itself as it evolved was one that identified with the light and banished the darkness as much as possible.
The image of sword and mouth
Another feature of this image is “sharp sword coming out of the mouth”. I initially thought that this image was an evidence of the originality of the vision, but not at all. In Isaiah, chapter 49, verse 2 the servant of Yahweh is speaking and he says:
"49:2 He made my mouth a sharp sword, and hid me in the shadow of his hand. He made me into a sharpened arrow, and concealed me in his quiver."
The author of the apocalypse is absolutely steeped in Isaiah not to mention then the other books of the Bible. That fact that it’s there doesn’t invalidate the validity that it was a content of the actual vision but at least it’s not as original as I first thought it might be. See, in the vision two different motives are really welded into into a single image. The two are “mouth” and “sword”. They both have the same archetypal reference namely “logos”. That’s the sharp thing that comes out of the mouth: the word. I remind you that with John that he equated logos with God in the 1st chapter of the Gospel of John and it’s only in his writings that this connection is made. It’s a good argument for John is the author of the Book of Revelation actually.
Certain sayings of Christ identify him with the sword, for instance in Matthew 10:34:
"10:34 ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth: it is not peace I have come to bring, but a sword.
10:35 For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
10:36 A man’s enemies will be those of his own household.[*b]"
See this is an image of separatio, it’s an image of the discriminating process of consciousness that cuts off the state of Participation Mistique that kept one contained in a collective soup, to change the image. The Christian aeon was really poised to initiate a vast separatio process that this “sword coming out of the mouth of” alludes to. Spirit and matter were to be torn apart violently and I think we have to understand this event to be a developmental requirement of the age that separatio of the unconscious composite had to take place historically in a decisive way before an authentic coniunctio can occur. I think all of those reflections are alluded to by the “sword in the mouth” and this is an image that can to mind when one encounters sword-dreams, which aren’t too uncommon, although nowadays swords aren’t such common furnishings so it might be a pair of scissors or kitchen-knife or something else but a blade anyway.
The image of the seven stars
Then we’re told that the seven stars that are in the figure’s hand are the angels of the seven churches. In fact the seven stars, the seven lamps, the seven angels and the seven churches are all the same thing essentially, the same thing manifested in different levels. Stars, lamps, angels and churches. As John is instructed to write his letters is to the angles of the seven churches that he is instructed to write. I put up on the board – some people may find it helpful – just to be geographically oriented so that these locations aren’t just hanging in mid-air. The seven churches constitute a kind of a circular ring in Asia-Minor and they’re mentioned in a clockwise fashion to John starting with Ephesus and then going clockwise all the way around. We’re told that the lamps refer to the churches, let’s read it exactly:
"1:20 The secret of the seven stars you have seen in my right hand, and of the seven golden lamp-stands is this: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves."
Now, what piqued my interest here is the fact that John is being told to write to the “angels of the seven churches”. He’s addressing his correspondence to an angel and they didn’t make any more of that but that’s the way it reads. What are these angels? Some biblical scholars interpret them as symbolizing the corporate personalities of the churches. It think probably that’s not so far from the mark if one take that term indeed quite seriously. I think we have here an allusion to a subject that has not even begun to be explored by depth-psychology yet, but I have a few thoughts on it. I think these angels refer to let’s call them “personifications of collective grouping”. Having a depth connection as indicated by the fact that they go all the way back to the stars in the hands of the apocalyptic Christ. So here’s how I think of it. Somewhat arbitrarily I think of the Collective Unconscious as something that one could discriminate different layers from and going from above down the first level of Collective Unconscious would be the family-ancestral layer, the next would be the national layer, followed by the ethnic-tribal layer which I assume to be older and more primitive than the national, then going down to the animal layer and eventually the vegetable layer and the mineral-inorganic layer all the way to the bottom. As I see it every functioning group has a collective soul which could be symbolized by either an angel or a demon. They are the same thing, just with the positive or negative sign attached to them. They are an intangible psychic dynamism.
When an individual is living in a state of Participation Mistique with a group the collective soul of that group is his Spiritus Rector it’s his guiding light and it’s this phenomenon that I think is alluded to in the image of the “angels of the seven churches”. The fact that the churches are equated with the seven lamps of the divine lamp-stand and with the seven stars in the hand of the apocalyptic Christ indicate that the collective souls of those various church groupings are rooted in a psychic depth that’s not derive from there concrete coming together. If a group of individuals of like mind come together and form a group a “group soul” is constituted to some extent, but it may be a very superficial “group soul”, but if it’s a “group soul” that corresponds to one of the stars in the hand of the deity, or one that corresponds to one of the lights in the divine lamp-stand then that means that what’s been constellated by that “group soul” derives from far greater depths than the actions of the individuals who go to make up the group.
The reason I’m going into this as much as I have, this kind of work you know, is no more than a series of long ramblings starting with a given image and then associating through it. The reason I’ve gone into this image of the collective soul as much as I have is that I think that Jungian psychology has a real contribution to make in the creation of an archetypal group psychology that doesn’t yet exist. That I’m hoping to maybe <…> into that subject.
The image of the seven letters
Well, seven letters were written and in general letters start out with more or less critical or threatening remarks to the angels of the church to better shape-up or I’ll get after you but each one ends with a promise of an extraordinary gift. This imagery is so interesting and relevant that I want to take the time to note all seven of those potential gifts that are offered to the seven churches if they behave themselves. With one proviso. In each case the proviso is: if you are victorious. Let’s start, let’s go around the crown of the seven. To Ephesus the apocalyptic Christ says:
"2:7 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: those who prove victorious I will feed from the tree of life set in God’s paradise.”[*a]"
Let’s start by asking, what’s meant by being victorious? Because all of these gifts are dependent upon that proviso, if you’re victorious, you’ll get the gifts, otherwise <…>. We know of course that John so far as he understood the message he was delivering was referring to the persecution of the early Christians and to a possibility of martyrdom, so that to be victorious would mean then concretely and literally to be true to the faith even in the face of persecution and even to the point of death.
This brings up the whole question of how we’re to understand Christian martyrdom in the early centuries? I think the question of being victorious understood psychologically means to have survived what Jung calls the “onslaught of instinct”, that is the onslaught onto the Ego of any affect of passionate intensity. There’s a quotation of Jung’s that I’m so fund of, I used it an epigraph for this little book on “Symbols of Transformation” that comes from paragraph 524 of “Symbols of Transformation”, here’s what Jung says:
" Consequently he appears at first in hostile form, as an assailant with whom the hero has to wrestle. This is in keeping with the violence of all unconscious dynamism. In this manner the god manifests himself and in this form he must be overcome. The struggle has its parallel in Jacob’s wrestling with the angel at the ford Jabbok. The onslaught of instinct then becomes an experience of divinity, provided that man does not succumb to it and follow it blindly, but defends his humanity against the animal nature of the divine power."
That’s the scenario that I see was being lived out concretely at the beginning of the Christian age. The onslaught of instinct represented by the Roman Empire beat upon the newly emerging Christian church and the individuals who were able to literally endure that onslaught even at the cost of their lives were living out concretely the psychological scenario that Jung is speaking of in the quote I just gave. Since the confrontation of martyrdom was concrete and literal therefore the reward for being victorious had to be projected into the afterlife, which does not invalidate it necessarily, but it does de-psychologize it. We like to withdraw as many projections as possible including projection onto the afterlife. Incidentally the apocalypse is also something that was projected into history and into the afterlife. So that’s how I understand the question of being victorious.
So, now I’m going on to the gifts themselves. For the church of Ephesus was promised the Tree of Life in Paradise:
"2:7 … those who prove victorious I will feed from the tree of life set in God’s paradise."
That Tree of Life you know, Adam and Eve were separated from when they were expelled from the Garden and the angel with the flaming sword was set on guard so that they couldn’t get back to it. According to the commentator J. M. Ford, according to Jewish thought Paradise and the Tree of Life were to reappear at the end of time and in a targum God is said to prepare the Garden of Eden for the righteous that they might eat the fruit of the Tree as a reward for having practiced the doctrine of the Law in this world.
There is another more ambiguous reference that I find highly relevant psychologically. Rabbi Nehunaya was seated in the temple of Jerusalem, he’s in a state of ecstasy, his pupils are recording his words which describe the secret chambers of the Merkabah – that’s the Heavenly throne of God – and the message he conveys only four rabbis are said to have entered the Garden of Paradise: Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, Aher and Akibah. The first one died, the second one became insane, the third one apostatized, and the fourth survived. Isn’t that interesting? Enough said.
The image of the crown of life
"2:10 Do not be afraid of the sufferings that are coming to you: I tell you, the devil is going to send some of you to prison to test you, and you must face an ordeal for ten days.[*b] *Even if you have to die, keep faithful, and I will give you the crown of life for your prize*.
2:11 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: *for those who prove victorious there is nothing to be afraid of in the second death*.”"
Here the gift for the victorious is the “crown of eternal life”. Crown represents the solificatio – being anointed with sunlight quality. The golden circle surrounding the head is a halo of sunlight. This imagery comes up in the dream series that Jung talks about in “Psychology and Alchemy”, you’ll also find it in some of the material in volume 5. What it ultimately refers to is the deification of the recipient, identifying him with the Sun, just as the apocalyptic Christ is identified with the Sun by the virtue of the way He is described.
Now, this could be a content of psychosis. It’s a highly ambiguous image when it’s encountered clinically but in the case of authentic individuation it does represent the kingly eternal quality of achieving a connection with transpersonal consciousness.
The image of the hidden manna
To Pergamum is written:
"2:17 If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches: to those who prove victorious I will give the hidden manna and a white stone[d] – a stone with a new name written on it, known only to the man who receives it*.”"
Immediate reference here is to 6th chapter of John where Christ says:
"6:48 I am the bread of life.
6:49 Your fathers ate the manna in the desert and they are dead;
6:50 but this is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.
6:51 I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’"
This is a reference to the nourishing aspect of the contact with the Self which does convey to it a sense of the non-temporal, the eternal dimension of existence that would be symbolized then by the idea of eternal life. But now our text refers not just to “manna”, it refers to “hidden manna” and here if you’ve followed up the footnote that’d be available in the New Jerusalem Bible, you would have learned that in the 2nd chapter of the 2nd Maccabees we are told that when the temple was destroyed at the time of the Babylonian conquest in the Babylonian exile, Jeremiah was instructed by Yahweh to take the Ark of the Covenant with its contents and hide it in a cave in Mount Horeb. And it’s still there, because the Ark and its contents is lost, never been found. I don’t care what movies had been produced, it’s still lost, it’s still hidden. We know from the 9th chapter of Hebrews that one of the contents of the Ark of the Covenant was the manna that was left over from the Exodus, so it’s that “hidden manna” that the victorious will receive.
You see what a rich symbolic tapestry lies behind this text and the richness is part of the experience that it’s describing because when one has contact with the Self and the transpersonal dimension a network of rich imagery unfolds and meaning upon meaning reveal themselves and one feels blessed by the network of meaning that one is granted the opportunity to witness.
The image of the white stone
The other thing that they’re were going to be given is a “white stone”. That has a parallel with the alchemical Lapis, the Philosopher’s Stone. But the alchemical Philosopher’s Stone is red. That state of reddening was achieved only after the process had gone through both blackening and whitening, so what we have here is the stone in its albedo aspect. This is another example of a symbol of the Self distorted somewhat by local factors. You see the Christian dispensation which splits spirit and nature and then identify with spirit was in alchemical terms a vast collective separatio, sublimatio, and albedo. So in the case of the “white stone” the albedo is presented as the ultimate stage which is appropriate only for that historical stage.
The image of the authority over the nations/pagans
"2:26 To those who prove victorious, and keep working for me until the end,
2:27 I will give the authority over the pagans[*g]"
Other versions say “nations”, “επι των εθνων”.
"2:28 which I myself have been given by my Father, to rule them with an iron sceptre and shatter them like earthenware. And I will give him the Morning Star.[*h]"
This is a direct quote from Psalm 2. Psalm 2 is generally recognized by all concerned Jewish and Christian scholars to be a messianic psalm as referring to the messiah. It says:
"2:7 Let me proclaim Yahweh’s decree; he has told me, ‘You are my son, today I have become your father.
2:8 Ask and I will give you the nations for your heritage, the ends of the earth for your domain.
2:9 With iron sceptre you will break them, shatter them like potter’s ware.’"
See, it’s an exact quotation. Now, how are we to understand this psychologically? Taken literally of course it just means that the divine favor will give one invincible literal military or political power and there had been plenty times when that’s how the messianic call was interpreted, I can assure you. But understood psychologically I think it can refer to the subtle yet powerful, psychic protectedness that a highly conscious individuated person has. Jung describes it in a passage in the “Undiscovered Self”, he says, this is from paragraph 583 of volume 10, he said:
" What does lie within our reach, however, is the change in individuals who have, or create for themselves, an opportunity to influence others of like mind. I do not mean by persuading or preaching—I am thinking, rather, of the well-known fact that anyone who has insight into his own actions, and has thus found access to the unconscious, involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment."
That’s a very important fact, keep in mind! If you have insight into your own actions and have found access to the Unconscious those psychological facts will manifest themselves. They will have some efficacy, not to serve Ego-purposes, you understand, they are not under the control of the Ego, but to the extent the individual has a connection to the Self then the efficacy of the Self becomes operative in the human-realm and that’s how I would understand the psychological understanding of this gift.
The image of the white robe
"3:5 Those who prove victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot their names out of the book of life, but acknowledge their names in the presence of my Father and his angels."
Now, here again, yet another reference to the albedo, the “white robe”. It also refers to the first stage of the coniunctio what’s called by Dorn the unio mentalis. I’m not gonna take time to give you a quote concerning that, but you can find it if you’re interested in paragraph 671 of Mysterium Coniunctionis. I also discuss it in my “Mysterium Lectures” starting on page 280. But the point is that the “white robe” represents purification of the Ego by spiritualization. That’s what takes place in the first stage of the coniunctio, it’s spiritualization. At the beginning of the Christian-era that was the ultimate goal that could be achieved, because humanity was wallowing in nature and instinct.
The image of the book of life
The book of life which is the other thing: “I shall not blot their names out of the book of life”. This is mentioned several places. You can find it in Philippians 4:3 and Revelation 21:27. The idea is that God keeps a book listing all those who are entitled to or are destined for eternal life. Now one encounters in dreams now and then images of a great book, kind of a transpersonal register of some kind. It’s my hypothesis that the symbolic reference is that if one reaches sufficient consciousness of wholeness during his Ego-lifetime that a permanent deposit of that consciousness will be left in the archetypal psyche symbolized by “name in the book of life”. But it requires a degree of individual differentiation to the extent that one is just a mass-person, just part of the contents of the pond or the collective soup there will be no name in the book of life, there has to be unique individual differentiation to achieve that status. That’s personal hypothesis on my part, I don’t have enough data to make it to a scientific fact, you understand.
The image of the pillars in the sanctuary
"3:12 Those who prove victorious I will make into pillars in the sanctuary of my God, and they will stay there for ever; I will inscribe on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God in heaven, and my own new name as well."
That corresponds very closely to a passage in 1st Peter 2, where Peter says:
"2:4 He is the living stone, rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him; set yourselves close to him
2:5 so that you too, the holy priesthood that offers the spiritual sacrifices which Jesus Christ has made acceptable to God, may be living stones making a spiritual house."
So there is the idea of the individual can be stones that go to build up a temple. What first comes to my mind when I read this particular gift that says: “I will make into pillars in the sanctuary of my God” is the dream that Max Zeller reported, you can find it in his book “The Dream: The Vision of the Night”, I quoted it in “Creation of Consciousness”, I’ll read it to you:
"A temple of vast dimensions was in the process of being built. As far as I could see ahead, behind, right and left there were incredible numbers of people building on gigantic pillars. I too was building on a pillar. The whole building process was in its very beginning but the foundation was already there. The rest of the building was starting to go up and I and many others were working on it."
And when Jung was told the dream he said:
"Ja, you know, that is the temple we all build on.
We don’t know the people because, believe me, they build in India and China and in Russia and all over the world.
That is the new religion. You know how long it will take until it is built?”
I said, “How should I know? Do you know?”
He said, “I know.”
I asked how long it will take.
He said, “About six hundred years.”
“Where do you know this from?” I asked.
He said, “From dreams. From other people’s dreams and from my own.
This new religion will come together as far as we can see.”"
The image of the kingship
To Laodicea, the apocalyptic Christ says:
"3:21 Those who prove victorious I will allow to share my throne, just as I was victorious myself and took my place with my Father on his throne."
What He’s saying in effect is: I’ll make you a king, just like I’m a king. This is basically the same idea as the one we talked about concerning crowning. Concerning this question of coronation and enthronement by a psychological experience there’s a very relevant statement made by Jung, you find it in his essay on the “Development of Personality” in volume 17, paragraph 309, I quote it in “Christian Archetype” page 53. In his encounter with Pilate, after Christ is arrested, Pilate is interested in knowing if Christ is a king because people have been calling him the “king of the Jews” and the Romans were on the lookout for any competing <…>, so he asked Christ “are you a king?” and His reply was “yes, but my kingdom is not of this world”. Jung makes the observation that: “Christ said my kingdom is not of this world, but kingdom it was all the same.”. Now, with that as a background let me conclude by reading the passage I referred to:
" The story of the Temptation clearly reveals the nature of the psychic power with which Jesus came into collision: it was the power-intoxicated devil of the prevailing Caesarean psychology that led him into dire temptation in the wilderness. This devil was the objective psyche that held all the peoples of the Roman Empire under its sway, and that is why it promised Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth, as if it were trying to make a Caesar of him. Obeying the inner call of his vocation, Jesus voluntarily exposed himself to the assaults of the imperialistic madness that filled everyone, conqueror and conquered alike. In this way he recognized the nature of the objective psyche which had plunged the whole world into misery and had begotten a yearning for salvation that found expression even in the pagan poets. Far from suppressing or allowing himself to be suppressed by this psychic onslaught, he let it act on him consciously, and assimilated it. Thus was world-conquering Caesarism transformed into spiritual kingship, and the Roman Empire into the universal kingdom of God that was not of this world."
That passage if you reflect on it I think will give you some hint of what psychological kingship means when it’s achieved consciously rather than when one falls into a state of possessed by identification with the onslaught of instinct that would make him a literal king and thus cause him to fall into possession by the power-motive.
Well, I have a bit more, but I’ll finish it up next time.