Sum it up for me

Apocalypse Archetype – Class 3 by Edward Edinger


Table of Contents


This is class number 3 of the apocalypse archetype and our subject matter tonight is chapters 4 and 5.

Left-over from the class 2

However I have some left-over material from last time and I fear I may have this problem more than once bother me. There were a few items concerning the first 3 chapters that I wanted to elude to.

The image of “standing at the door, knocking”

One of them comes up in Revelation 3:20, where the apocalyptic Christ says to one of the churches:

"3:20 Look, I am standing at the door, knocking. If one of you hears me calling and opens the door, I will come in to share his meal, side by side with him."

I want to draw that to your attention because the image is so relevant in dealing with dreams. It’s a common dream theme, the dream that someone is knocking at the door. Sometimes they’re doing a little more than knocking, sometimes they’re at the window or pushing or more importunate than just knocking. That’s an indication that the Unconscious is clamoring for admission to consciousness and it’s important to follow the proper procedure, the proper internal procedure as opposed to the proper external procedure. If strangers come to your door literally and clamor for admission, concretely speaking it’s not advisable to be too quick and admitting them, but quite different rules prevail in the inner life. That’s always important because we see again and again that the dream Ego behaves towards the inner circumstance the way it would in the outer circumstance. You need to get that straight and then eventually the time will come when the dream Ego will recognize on the spot: oh this belongs to the other category of experience and I’m supposed to open the door and show immediate hospitality, even though it’s a stranger.

The image of a thief

Another item is found in Revelation 3:3, where again the apocalyptic Christ says to one of the churches:

"3:3 and yet do you remember how eager you were. when you first heard the message? Hold on to that. Repent. If you do not wake up, I shall come to you like a thief, without telling you at what hour to expect me."

Now, that theme shows up in other places, for instance in Luke, 12th chapter, verse 35:

"12:35 ‘See that you are dressed for action and have your lamps lit.
12:36 Be like men waiting for their master to return from the wedding feast, ready to open the door as soon as he comes and knocks.
12:37 Happy those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. I tell you solemnly, he will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them."
"12:39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the householder had known at what hour the burglar would come, he would not have let anyone break through the wall of his house.
12:40 You too must stand ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’"

There He is identified with a burglar and then in 1st Thessalonians, chapter 5:

"5:1 You will not be expecting us to write anything to you, brothers, about ‘times and seasons’,
5:2 since you know very well that the Day of the Lord is going to come like a thief in the night.
5:3 It is when people are saying, ‘How quiet and peaceful it is’ that the worst suddenly happens, as suddenly as labour pains come on a pregnant woman; and there will be no way for anybody to evade it."

This is the imagery that becomes applicable if one has not payed attention to the earlier knocking. The response from the Unconscious gets more importunate and forces it’s way in violently and sometimes it does that by creating literal accidents for instance in which one’s attention is forcibly removed external and habitual concerns and one is forcibly shifted to another level.

The image of the key

Now, as you will realize shortly, if it’s not already apparent, this book is an exceedingly dense fabric of allusions and I find it interesting to dissect this dense fabric and draw out some of the various threads of reference, but it can’t be done with all the images, that would be too time consuming, but I’m going to do with a few of them and one of them is the image of the key. In revelation 3:7 the apocalyptic Christ says:

"3:7 Write to the angel of the church in Philadelphia and say, “Here is the message of the holy and faithful one who has the key of David, so that when he opens, nobody can close, and when he closes, nobody can open:[*a]"

That’s a direct quotation from Isaiah chapter 22, verse 22 and in the Isaiah text Yahweh is talking to Shebna. It’s occurring at the time that Babylon is besieging Jerusalem, so the event is occurring at an apocalyptic moment in the history of Israel and Yahweh announces to Shebna, who is the current master of the palace, that He’s fed up with Shebna because of all his grandiose ways in putting on airs and He’s going to depose him from his job as master of the palace and give it to somebody else and He says:

"22:20 and the same day I call on my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah.
22:21 I invest him with your robe, gird him with your sash, entrust him with your authority; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah.
22:22 I place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; should he open, no one shall close, should he close, no one shall open."

It’s an exact quotation. Now, why am I making so much of that? Because there are other references in other places too to the image of the key. The reason is that this quotation that is embedded in the account of the grand eschatological apocalypse refers to a concrete specific historical event, involving specific persons, so it demonstrates the fact that different levels of the psyche are interwoven into the text in the same way that happens in dreams. You see when one works on a dream of any magnitude you find the same phenomenon and if you study it carefully you can dissect various components. Some aspects of it derive maybe from yesterday, some aspects derive from one’s personal childhood, and some aspects derive from the archetypal level that have historical antecedents that have parallels hundreds or more years ago and those threads will be all woven together in the fabric of the dream and which threads you recognize will depend on what your level of consciousness is and what particular theories of the psyche you hold. You won’t be able to see any more than your school of psychology allows you allows you to see, that’s the point. That’s why it’s so important to study mythology and the various manifestations of archetypal imagery because unless you became thoroughly acquainted with them you won’t recognize them when you see them in their natural habitat which is in the spontaneous dream-work. That’s why I want to make an issue of that.

There are other Biblical references to the key. Revelation 1:18 the apocalyptic Christ says:

"1:18 I was dead and now I am to live for ever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of the underworld."

In Revelation 9:1 an angel is given a key to the shaft leading down to the abyss and that happens again in 21. In Matthew chapter 16 Christ says to Peter:

"16:18 So I now say to you: You are Peter[b] and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld[c] can never hold out against it.
16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven.'[*d]"

That particular passage is the basis that the Roman Catholic Church claims for its authority and the pope’s seal you know has the keys of the kingdom pictured on it, crossed keys. I see as we review these various references to keys, we have descriptions of 4 different kinds of key:

  • we’ve got the key of the palace of David, which was a concrete literal, historical key;
  • we have the keys of death and the underworld;
  • we have the key of the abyss;
  • and we have the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.

Psychologically we would understand that those various descriptions to represent different aspects of the same key. Basically the key refers to that entity that living, symbolic, operative efficacy that opens the Unconscious and the Unconscious may be opened in heavenly form, or it may be opened in hellish form, or it may be just opened in the way you relate to a concrete situation such as the key of the palace of David. Its various aspects reference to the image of the key.

The image of the rapture

Another item I want to refer to comes from Revelation 3:10, where we read the apocalyptic Christ says:

"3:10 Because you have kept my commandment to endure trials, I will keep you safe in the time of trial which is going to come for the whole world, to test the people of the world."

That text is taken by fundamentalist scholars to refer to what they call “the rapture”. You will notice that I included that term in my chart of the archetype. The idea is that with the coming of the apocalyptic Christ and the time of great tribulation that going to occur then the believing Christians are going to be spared all that, they are going to be rapped, they are going to be seized and removed from Earth and deposited in Heaven where they are safely released from all the tribulation. That’s the idea of the rapture. On of the texts they refer to is in John 14 where is said:

"14:2 There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you,"

But the chief rapture texts is found in the 4th chapter of 1st Thessalonians, where it says this:

"4:16 At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise,
4:17 and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them; to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever."

That’s the image of the rapture, being caught-up and if you watch certain TV-evangelists you can even send off and get a painting of the rapture that has the freeways all spread-out, the Los Angeles freeways and a lot of empty cars because people have all been caught-up. It really is a serious conviction and it’s very widespread, over 50% of the population believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible in the United states, over 50%! I don’t have the exact figure, I think it’s around 60. But, this idea of rapture is very widespread among mainstream fundamentalist churches. Of course it allows those people then to anticipate the terrors of the apocalypse with a relative equanimity because they’re gonna be caught-up and spared.

We can’t take this image literally and concretistically of course. On the other hand it is part of the living myth and we do need try to understand what it means. I think it refers to – equanimity maybe too strong a word, but to – the capacity to bear, to endure great hardship and distress if one understands the circumstances of the events to be meaningful. If he sees the events he’s having to endure to be part of a larger, purposeful pattern that has a goal. That gives one a certain viewpoint above them so to speak, outside the immediate concrete events and it doesn’t put you in heavenly bliss in any sense but it does make them bearable. I think our psychological experience fares out that way of thinking of it. So that’s what I had to offer anyway as to what the rapture might mean psychologically.

The image of the heavenly throne

Now, according to today’s material in chapter 4 what we’re immediately confronted with is a vision of the numinosum and the image of God as a great king sitting on His throne. The vision of the heavenly throne. This image is operative throughout the Old Testament where God was thought of as king of the world. That’s illustrated very well in Psalm 47, let me read it to you, it’s not so long:

"47:1 Clap your hands, all you peoples, acclaim God with shouts of joy;
47:2 for Yahweh, the Most High, is to be dreaded, the Great King of the whole world.
47:3 He brings the peoples under our dominion, he puts the nations under our feet;
47:4 for us he chooses our heritage – the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.
47:5 God rises to shouts of acclamation, Yahweh rises to a blast of trumpets,
47:6 let the music sound for our God, let it sound, let the music sound for our King, let it sound!
47:7 God is king of the whole world: play your best in his honour!
47:8 God is king of the nations, he reigns on his holy throne.
47:9 The leaders of the nations rally to the people of the God of Abraham. Every shield in the world belongs to God. He reigns supreme."

God as king, universal king. The idea of the “coming into visibility of God as king” is central to the apocalypse archetype so I put it in a prominent place on my chart. What should have been added, except I didn’t have room without crowding to put on the chart where the other terms “messiah” and “anointed one” are, because they are both synonyms for “king”. “Messiah” means “anointed” and the word “Christ” is the Greek term for the “anointed one”, so they all mean the same thing, “messiah”, “Christ”, and “anointed”. King is the one who has received his royal status by an anointing. I mentioned last time how Christ claimed kingship for himself with Pilate, when Pilate asked Him if He was a king and Jung’s remark that was: “Christ’s kingdom was not of this world, but it was a kingdom nonetheless”. The point is that the image of the king represents the Self or if we’re dealing with a concrete earthly king, then he represents the divine representative on Earth. That’s where the divine right of kings comes from psychologically.

There are a lot of very interesting psychological insights to be learned by studying the origin and evolution of kingship in early societies. John Perry has written a nice book on this subject, title of it is the “Lord of the Four Quarters”, published back in 1969 and he assembles there a lot of mythological material from all over the world concerning kingship. Human government evolved out of the original phenomenon of a sacred kingship in which the king was quite literally the god. King represents the ultimate authority. I think the word “authority” probably the one most applicable to that image. That’s the basic question in the course of progressive self-understanding namely, what is one’s authority? By what particular authority, ultimately speaking, does one live his life? I don’t think that question is asked in-depth very often, but it’s a crucial question. By whom or by what are you commanded? You see when we state that the image of the king is the symbol of the Self that means then that one’s ultimate authority, if one reaches conscious awareness of it, is internal. To the extent that is consciously realized one has then truly achieved a standpoint, a counter pole that can stand over and against the world. You put the world in the one side of the balance and an individual in relation to the Self on the other side of the balance and they balance. That’s a requirement of consciousness. That’s part of the psychological symbolism that lies behind the drama of Christ and Pilate. He could identify Himself as a king, but not of this world. That’s individuation symbolism and that’s relevant to everyone that strikes deeply enough. That means then that to have a conscious relation to the Self is in a certain sense to be a king, but one has to say in the same breath, it also means to be a servant, because it’s not the Ego that is the king. These are some of the psychological reflections that are generated by this vision of the heavenly throne. I put up little sketch of it up here just to emphasize the fact that it is a mandala. The throne is in the center, the outer circle showing the 24 elders and then the 4 entities surrounding the throne are the 4 animals and the 7 lights are in there. The sea of glass surrounds the throne, that smaller circle is the sea of glass which we now turn to.

The image of the sea of glass/crystal

I just noticed, I’ve been using the text from the first version of the Jerusalem Bible which speaks of a “sea made of glass” and I just noticed that the New Jerusalem Bible has altered that and called it a “sea of crystal”, but the fact is that the Greek word is ὕαλος – “hyalos”, which is “glass”. Why they changed that? I don’t know. The word is “glass”, “glass” is the word in the Greek. I wanna talk about that because it brings up the whole question of the symbolism of glass. John tells us:

"4:6 Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals [*b] with many eyes, in front and behind."

As I mentioned last time the Heavenly Court so to speak is the prototype of the earthly tabernacle and the things that John sees in Heaven correspond to the furniture that existed in the tabernacle or in the temple and that’s also true of the “sea of glass”, because just outside the tabernacle was what was called “sea”, a “bronze sea”. It was actually a great basin. It was 15 ft in diameter and 7.5 ft deep. It was a great basin of water that was called the “sea” and it was used for ritual washings. So the “sea of glass” before the Heavenly Throne corresponds to the basin of sea that stands before the earthly tabernacle.

The gnostics have an interesting variation on this image. The Apocryphon of John in the Nag Hammadi library speaks of it this way:

"The Monad is a monarchy with nothing above it."

Monarchy in another words somebody is sitting on a throne.

"A sea of light-water surrounds the monad. This is the spring of the water of life which gives to all the aeons and in every form. He gazes upon his image which He sees in the spring of the spirit. He puts his desire in His light-water that is the spring of the pure light-water which surrounds Him."

The idea then being that God is contemplating His own image as He sees it in this “Heavenly Sea” before His throne and there is the hint that this “sea”, this “Heavenly Sea” is also an agency for some of His later emanations, because that’s the way His reflection got transmitted out to the more distant areas.

But I wanted to take this particular image and use it as an opportunity to speak of at least briefly about the symbolism of glass. I also discuss it in the Mysterium Lectures, starting on page 164. I think the glass and its history and in its imagery is very significant psychologically. Glass was discovered in Egypt probably about the 16th century B.C. and glass-making became something that the Egyptians were highly proficient in. Very interestingly glass is mentioned only once in the Old Testament, that’s in Job, where speaking of wisdom he says: “the gold and the glass cannot equal it”. In another words it was given very high value. Although most of the translations don’t say “glass”, they say “crystal”, but the Septuagint says ὕαλος – “hyalos”, which is “glass”. But anyway that’s the only reference in the Old Testament. According to one scholar’s opinion glass was not used by the ancient Israelites perhaps because of the antipathy to Egyptian products. I would also see as perhaps reflecting an antipathy to Greek rationalism because that kind of consciousness is part of what glass represents. The Greek word for “glass” is ὕαλος – “hyalos”, and we have the word “hyaline” meaning “glassy”. The medical term for instance “hyaline cartilage” which is “glassy cartilage”, transparent. But even that Greek word is said to have had an Egyptian origin. See the striking thing about glass is that it’s transparent, that you can see through it and at the same time it’s got a permanent indestructible quality. It can be broken of course, but it’s not bio-degradable, it endures indefinitely. That’s why the “vitreous body” for the alchemists was one of the synonyms to the Philosopher’s Stone. It was indestructible. With glass we think of bottles, flasks, windows, eye-glasses, mirrors, microscopes, telescopes, all these things that promote the ability to see. So I would think of earthly glass, our literal glass, kind of the Ego’s equivalent to the archetypal sea of glass before the throne of Yahweh.

This is all relevant to dream interpretation because a cup of glass is not an uncommon feature in dreams, often in terms of vessels, but sometimes in terms of windows or other devices. So in dreams when you have some object of glass I would generally think of it as referring to one’s current rational consciousness which involves his containing world-view. Then when we have dreams of glass breaking that indicates a shattering of a particular level of consciousness, hopefully in preparation for an enlargement. The smaller has to be broken through in order to generate the larger. In a nuclear bomb dream that I may report on later, it’s a dream I’ve actually referred to before, at the very end when the dreamer ventured out to see what happened after the bomb had been dropped, what was found was a lot of broken glass, that was the last sentence of the dream. Broken glass is a feature of our age. Take for instance the first stanza of T. S. Eliot’s Hollow Men. He is one of the authentic prophets of our age.

"We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar"

The image of the 4 animals

The next thing that John refers to are the 4 animals located around the throne, Revelation 4:6-8.

"4:6 Between the throne and myself was a sea that seemed to be made of glass, like crystal. In the centre, grouped round the throne itself, were four animals [*b] with many eyes, in front and behind.
4:7 The first animal was like a lion, the second like a bull, the third animal had a human face, and the fourth animal was like a flying eagle.
4:8 Each of the four animals had six wings and had eyes all the way round as well as inside; and day and night they never stopped singing: ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty; he was, he is and he is to come’."

This image a variation, a simplification of Ezekiel’s vision, which is described in the 1st chapter of Ezekiel. It would take as too far of field to go into that vision now, I discuss it in the Mysterium Lectures and also discussed it elsewhere. In Ezekiel’s vision each of the 4 animals have 4 different faces, here the 4 are just distributed one face to each of the 4 figures. What we have is a divine quaternity because it does surround the throne. It’s a divine quaternity that is 3/4 theriomorphic, 1 human face and 3 animal faces. One aspect of that I think would be that it indicates the degree of humanization of the God-Image that had been achieved at the time of the creation of that image. In comparison in the most highly developed modern individuals as indicated by depth-analysis one will see images of 3/4 of the God-Image humanized. Though there is such a thing as psychological progress even though the collective doesn’t demonstrate it clearly. Potential psychological, I don’t want to be optimistic about that.

The image of the Lamb

Then we’re told about the lamb:

"5:1 I saw that in the right hand of the One sitting on the throne there was a scroll that had writing on back and front[a] and was sealed with seven seals. 
5:2 Then I saw a powerful angel who called with a loud voice, ‘Is there anyone worthy to open the scroll and break the seals of it?’ 
5:3 But there was no one, in heaven or on the earth or under the earth, who was able to open the scroll and read it. 
5:4 I wept bitterly because there was nobody fit to open the scroll and read it, 
5:5 but one of the elders said to me, ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root[b] of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it’.
5:6 Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world.[*c]
5:7 The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,"

Though we have to ask ourselves what is this Lamb and how are we to understand it? The Greek word is ἀρνίον – “arnion”, which can be translated as either “lamb” or “ram”. It does make a little bit of a difference which way you’re translating it. It can get a somewhat different set of associations. When John the baptist first saw Jesus he’s exclaimed: “behold the lamb of God, who will take away the sins of the world”. During the Exodus on the night of the Passover the blood of a sacrificial lamb protected the Israelites from the avenging angel. When Abraham was spared the sacrifice of Isaac, he found a ram caught in a thicket that was the substitute sacrifice for Isaac. Also I think it’s relevant that Aries the ram was the spring sign of the ending aeon. We’re dealing with the transition from one aeon to another and those transition-points are apocalyptic moments by their very nature. The ram in its symbolism and in its behavior is a rather fiery, aggressive animal. The lamb on the other hand is associated with innocence and the sacrificial state. The way that the apocalyptic Lamb behaves in the Book of Revelation it’s certainly every bit as much a ram as it is lamb, no doubt about that.

It had 7 horns and 7 eyes and we are specifically told that the 7 eyes are the 7 spirits of Yahweh that roamed about the Earth. What takes place in this image of the Lamb is a consolidation of the 7-fold nature of the deity, it’s now consolidated into a single figure. The horns would correspond I would think to the potencies, the various types of potencies of the deity. Jung tells us in paragraph 4 in Mysterium Coniunctionis that theriomorphic symbolism indicates the transconscious nature of the psychic content. Here’s what he says. He says:

"[4] The elevation of the human figure to a king or a divinity, and on the other hand its representation in subhuman, theriomorphic form, are indications of the transconscious character of the pairs of opposites."
"[4] The pairs of opposites constitute the phenomenology of the paradoxical self, man’s totality."

In our text the opposites are alluded to by speaking of both a lion and a lamb. In Revelation 5:5-6:

"5:5 but one of the elders said to me, ‘There is no need to cry: the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root[b] of David, has triumphed, and he will open the scroll and the seven seals of it’. 
5:6 Then I saw, standing between the throne with its four animals and the circle of the elders, a Lamb that seemed to have been sacrificed; it had seven horns, and it had seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits God has sent out all over the world.[c]"

Lion of the tribe of Judah has triumphed and then immediately following the Lamb. The Lamb and the Lion are certainly a pair of opposites. The “Lion of Judah” is a messianic title that goes back to Genesis 49:9. The Lion and the Lamb as antithesis represent the double nature of the messiah as an apocalyptic king. Jung discusses this double nature of the messiah in Aion, in paragraph 168, I don’t have the time to pursue it any further, but I would draw it to your attention.

Whenever we encounter a manifestation of the Self the opposites are a prominent part of the phenomenology. The lion and the lamb, the ram and the lamb are examples of that phenomenon.

The image of the eye(s) of God

We are told that the Lamb had 7 eyes. These are the eyes of God and they are all united in the Lamb. This is a very important image, the eye of God. I’ve discussed it at some length in the Creation of Consciousness starting on page 35. It’s an image that is crucial to the apocalypse archetype. See the coming of the Self into visibility by the Ego is accompanied by the experience of being looked at, being seen, being stripped of all disguises and seen for exactly what you are. That’s no easy experience to endure. That’s the nature of the so-called final judgement. That’s not a fabrication of a priest that’s imposed on human beings on the outside, that’s an archetypal psychic reality that is projected from the Unconscious into this mythological material. Practically all the religions of the world have the notion of a final judgement, not necessarily coming in some future time, but often just coming after death, postmortem, projected either into the afterlife or into the future as done by the Book of Revelation. But actually that is an experience that you don’t have to die to have. I wanna quote you a dream that’s quoted in this book by Michael Ortiz Hill. I’ve mentioned this before, he got a collection of end of the world dreams. This dream was dreamed by Dr Michihiko Hachiya. This is one of the few dreams where the dreamer is identified at all. He dreamed it on August 24th, 1945 about 3 weeks after he after he experienced the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.

"I was in Tokyo after the great earthquake and around me were decomposing bodies heaped in piles all of whom were looking right at me. I saw an eye sitting in the palm of a girl's hand. Suddenly it turned and leaped into the sky and then came flying back toward me, so that looking up I could see a great bare eyeball bigger than life hovering over my head staring point-blank at me. I was powerless to move. I awakened short of breath and my heart pounded."

Look what’s happened there. This man had the shattering experience of literally seeing the nuclear explosion and that experience activated the apocalypse archetype which then in his dream expresses itself in terms of the “eye of God”, the “eye of the other” scrutinizing. There’s nothing in being nuked in itself that’s going to generate the idea of being looked at with a great bare eyeball. That comes from the psyche. It’s the psyche’s response to that terrible experience you see.

There is another dream that is referred to in this book. It’s a long dream and I may very well read more of it to you later but one part of the dream describes a great fireball and the dreamer says: “the fireball is fixed yet moving staring at me like an eye”, so there the same imagery is coming up.

The image of sacrifice

We’ve been introduced to this Lamb and here is what more is said about it:

"5:7 The Lamb came forward to take the scroll from the right hand of the One sitting on the throne,
5:8 and when he took it, the four animals prostrated themselves before him and with them the twenty-four elders; each one of them was holding a harp and had a golden bowl full of incense made of the prayers of the saints.
5:9 They sang a new hymn: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and break the seals of it, because you were sacrificed, and with your blood you bought men for God of every race, language, people and nation
5:10 and made them a line of kings and priests,[*d] to serve our God and to rule the world’."
"5:12 shouting, ‘The Lamb that was sacrificed is worthy to be given power, riches, wisdom, strength, honour, glory and blessing’."

This passage is indicating that sacrifice can generate a huge power, because it’s specifically the power and glory that is imputed to the sacrificed Lamb, derives from the fact that it is sacrificed. It bought all its power with its sacrificial blood. That brings up the complex question of how to understand sacrifice psychologically. Very fortunately we have a splendid discussion on this subject by Jung. You will find in his essay “The Transformation Symbolism in the Mass”, in volume 11. I wanna read some snippets from that. The whole section entitled “The Psychological Meaning of Sacrifice” is relevant. It starts on paragraph 381 and continues for many paragraphs, but Jung goes into full, concrete, personal detail on this subject. In his later work he is not know for doing that very often, concrete personal detail, but here he does. He talks about what it means for an individual to sacrifice, to give up something that has value for one to offer it as a gift and he says: “such gifts always carry a claim with them”. If anyone here that fancies himself or herself to be particularly generous person, I would repeat that statement: “a gift always carries a claim with it”. It’s the nature of the human psyche. Don’t plume yourself into thinking that it doesn’t apply to you. It does. The only question is whether you’re conscious of the claim or not. And that’s what makes all the difference. I’m paraphrasing Jung, but this is Jung talking:

"Important thing is whether you're conscious of the claim or not. If you're conscious of your claim then you can sacrifice it because it's your possession. If you're not conscious of it, it's not your possession and we cannot sacrifice what we don't yet own and we only own it by being conscious of it."

So having gone into that subject he then goes on, I want to read bit. We are in the process of trying to understand what gives the sacrificed Lamb so much power, that’s what we are looking for. Jung says:

"[397] What I sacrifice is my own selfish claim, and by doing this I give up myself. Every sacrifice is therefore, to a greater or lesser degree, a self-sacrifice."
"[397] If it's a big gift I shall challenge my ego personality to revolt. I can also be sure that the power which suppresses this claim, and thus suppresses me, must be the self. Hence it is the self that causes me to make the sacrifice; nay more, it compels me to make it. The self is the sacrificer, and I am the sacrificed gift, the human sacrifice."
"[398] Now, since the relation of the ego to the self is like that of the son to the father, we can say that when the self calls on us to sacrifice ourselves, it is really carrying out the sacrificial act on itself."
"[398] a sacrifice only takes place when we feel the self actually carrying it out on ourselves."
"[398] in so far as the self stands to us in the relation of father to son, the self in some sort feels our sacrifice as a sacrifice of itself."

He’s thinking of the example of Abraham and Isaac here.

"[398] From that sacrifice we gain ourselves—our “self”—for we have only what we give. But what does the self gain? We see it entering into manifestation, freeing itself from unconscious projection, and, as it grips us, entering into our lives and so passing from unconsciousness into consciousness, from potentiality into actuality. What it is in the diffuse unconscious state we do not know; we only know that in becoming ourself it has become man."

So it’s a process then that corresponds to the incarnation myth. This archetype of sacrifice of course can express itself in psycho-pathological form too. It can be perverted, so-called “martyr complexes” are example of that, it’s not too uncommon to see someone who presents – I think of the word “herself” and it usually is a her at matter of fact – herself as the suffering one with the iron fist just below surface. That’s totally unconscious. Everybody in her environment is aware of it. Or there will be cases where the living out the martyr role has the effect not so much of a power motive against one’s environment but a power motive against one’s own developmental urge and then it becomes a means of arresting one’s development and refusing to confront ongoing life.

OK, that’s a good place to stop.

I’ve had a question presented to me <…>. The question is this:

Von Franz on the inferior function:

"Touching the inferior function resembles an inner breakdown at a certain crucial point in one's life."

This is a quote from Von Franz:

"The inferior function is an important bridge to the experience of the deeper layers of the Unconscious. Going to it and staying with it, not just taking a quick path in it, affects a tremendous change in the whole structure of the personality."

That’s a quote from Von Franz and then based on that quote is the question:

"If one has avoided the inferior function, say through having a spouse carry it, or projecting it onto a child. With the death of the spouse, or divorce, or child leaving home can be experienced as a catastrophe or an apocalypse and the encounter with the inferior function quite hellish?"

Well, the way to answer that question unequivocally in any given case is by noticing the imagery that comes up in dream or fantasy at the time of the experience. If you’ve got any of the telltale images of the apocalypse archetype as I charted then that indicates that you can call it by that name, after all it’s just a name. Basically the answer to the question is yes, because when one encounters the 4th function, the final one, the one that nature has worked on but a little it is in such a primitive state that characteristically it drags up the whole Collective Unconscious with it, so that it carries the power of the primitive Self. As soon as that is recognized, one recognizes then that it’s no longer adequate just to describe the experience in terms of typology because one has transcended the typological schema so to speak when the inferior function is activated. It brings up everything else along with it. What it brings up is a revelation and that’s what the word apocalypse means, revelation, with all the ambiguous features that accompany it.

OK, our time’s up. See you next week!

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