Friday, September 30, 2005



"The goat on the frontispiece carries the sign of the pentagram on the forehead, with one point at the top, a symbol of light, his two hands forming the sign of hermetism, the one pointing up to the white moon of Chesed, the other pointing down to the black one of Geburah. This sign expresses the perfect harmony of mercy with justice. His one arm is female, the other male like the ones of the androgyn of Khunrath, the attributes of which we had to unite with those of our goat because he is one and the same symbol. The flame of intelligence shining between his horns is the magic light of the universal balance, the image of the soul elevated above matter, as the flame, whilst being tied to matter, shines above it. The ugly beast's head expresses the horror of the sinner, whose materially acting, solely reponsible part has to bear the punishment exclusively; because the soul is insensitive according to its nature and can only suffer when it materializes. The rod standing instead of genitals symbolizes eternal life, the body covered with scales the water, the semi- circle above it the atmosphere, the feathers following above the volatile. Humanity is represented by the two breasts and the androgyn arms of this sphinx of the occult sciences."

The Artwork of Luke Brown

Food for Thy Head

"Arbatel of Magick" von Basilea / 1575
"Aradia: Gospel of the witches"
"Book of Ceremonial magic" von Arthur Waite
"Goetia 1" von Solomon
"Theurgia Goetia 2" von Solomon
"Grimoire of Chaos Magick" von Julian Wilde
"Grimoirium imperium" von John Dee
"Mysteries of the Druids" von Winwood / 1861
"Occult Philosophy or Magick" von H.C. Agrippa (Nettesheim)
Book 1 / Book 2 / Book 3 / Book 4
"Techniques of modern Shamanism" von Phil Hine
Book 1 / Book 2 / Book 3
"The key of the mysteries" von E.Levi
"The mystical Qabalah" von Dion Fortune
"The Necronomicon" u.a.
"The sacred magic of Abramelin"
Book 1 / Book 2 / Book 3
"Transcendental magic" von E. Levi
part 1 / part 2
New books (english):
"Elements of the Qabalah" von Eliphas Levi
"Gilles de Rais" von Aleister Crowley
"Kamasutra" von Abika
"Liber Anon" von Frater Adagio
"Liber CLVII" von Aleister Crowley
"Liber CLVIII" von Aleister Crowley
"Liber CLXXL" von Aleister Crowley
"Liber RV VEL Spiritus" von Aleister Crowley
"Liber Samekh" von Aleister Crowley
"Manual of practical magic" von Samael Aun Weor
"Nostradamus and the 3. world war" von Esoteric Library
"Out of body / astralprojection" von Robert Peterson
"Power of concentration" von Theron Q.Dumont
"Rites of Lucifer" von Anton S.LaVey
"Runemagic" von Siegfried Kummer
"Sex Magick / Goetic" von Goldtrend
"The atrallight" von Henry Edge
"The book of lies" von Aleister Crowley
"The book of Lucifer" von Ben Shakur
"The book of WereWolves" von Sabine Baring
"The book: The Tarot" von Tau-Alpha-Rho-Omicron
"The God of the Witches" von Margaret Murray
"The grimoire of Turiel" von Marius Malchus
"The heart of the Master" von Aleister Crowley
"The Kabbalah unveiled" von McGregor Mathers
"The Orgasm" von Osho
"The Tarot" von McGregor Mathers

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Magical Bronze Hand

Magical bronze hand, Roman period

Magia e Bruxaria

Abraxas - Earth-691


Real Name: Unrevealed, possibly Abraxas

Identity/Class: Extra-temporal (Earth-691) human mutate (presumptive)

Occupation: Hunter of Freemen; Auctioneer and Enforcer

Affiliations: servant of the Martian Masters; Business associate of Sabre

Enemies: Killraven and his Freemen; Mint Julep and her Freewomen; Rattack

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: "The Human Squid"

Base of Operations: Washington, D.C., Earth-Killraven

First Appearance: Amazing Adventures II#22 (January, 1974)

Powers: Abraxas was approximately 10-12' tall, which granted him superhuman strength, apparently in the enhanced human range. Both of his arms were in the form of tenatacles, about 12-15' in length. They were covered with powerful suction cups. He could easily lift a man into the air and crush him into unconsciousness or death.

History: Abraxas' origin is unrevealed. He appears to be a human, perhaps mutated by the Martian Masters or other means. He could also have been a mutant, robot, extra-terrestrial, or other.

(Amazing Adventures II#22-24)- Abraxas was first observed acting as auctioneer to a group of Martian Masters, accepting bids for a group of captured human freemen, including Old Skull and Hawk. The freedom fighter Killraven led a band of his allies to free the captured humans. In mid-battle, Abraxas easily captured Killraven and presented the rebel leader to his Martian Masters, who planned a broadcasting of his death to break the resistance of other freemen.

When Killraven's allies freed him, Abraxas was summoned to recapture him, and slay his allies. Abraxas successfully subdued the human mutate Rattack. However, before he could recapture Killraven, he was crushed and apparently killed by the Lincoln Memorial, which had been overturned as result of a stray laser blast used by Sabre against the Martian High Overlord.

Comments: Created by Don McGregor and Herb Trimpe


A term used by the Basilideans, a Gnostic sect of the second century, designating the Supreme Being or god whom they worshipped. They believed that Jesus Christ emanated from Abraxas and was a phantom while here on earth. They believed the name contained great mysteries because it contained the seven Greek letters when computed numerically equaled the number 365, which is the number of days in the year. It was further believed that Abraxas commanded 365 gods, each possessing a virtue, so there was a virtue for each day of the year.

However, older mythologists place Abraxas among the Egyptian gods, while some demonologists cite him to be a demon with the head of a king and serpents forming his feet. He has been represented on amulets with a whip in his hand. The mystic word abracadabra was derived from his name. Many stones and gems were cut with his capricious symbolic markings, such as a human body having a fowl's or lion's heads, and snakes as limbs, which were worn by the Basilideans as amulets. Also, a favorite amulet bore the number 365.


Abraxas of Killraven's timeline has no known connection to:
Abraxas, the powerful extra-dimensional entity who slew an alternate dimensional counterpart of Galactus, @ Fantastic Four Annual 2001
Abraxas, the outside continuity character @ Epic Illustrated #11.

© 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved

The Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe

Abraxas - Zett

- Zett oder Wo der Wunsch
der Vater des Gedankens ist, 1997

Peter Schneider-Rabel

Abraxas - Zed or Where Desire is
the Father of Thoughts, 1997
Peter Schneider-Rabel

drawing from
19 drawings with collage, watercolors, ink, pencil
created 1995-97
size 830 × 515 mm


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Abraxas - Segnung des stuerzenden Engels

- Segnung des stürzenden Engels, 1998
Peter Schneider-Rabel

Abraxas - Blessing of the Falling Angel, 1998
Peter Schneider-Rabel

drawing from
19 drawings with collage, watercolors, ink, pencil
created 1995-97
size 830 × 515 mm


Fantastic Four


For every act of creation there is an act of destruction. Within the core of Eternity, the being encompassing all that is, was, or ever will be, there grew another being… Abraxas. Abraxas as the opposite of Eternity desires nothingness. Eternity made sure that in every reality there was a Galactus to keep Abraxas in check, but when our reality’s Galactus died it unhinged the doors of the multiverse and Abraxas was freed.

Fantastic Four 2001- The skull of Galactus crash lands on Earth. Fantastic Four goes to investigate. The skull winds up not being the one from our universe’s Galactus. Reed also determines that whoever sent the skull at them was controlling its destination. Inside the skull is the alternate reality’s Nova. The Fantastic Four go to the Watcher’s area to talk with him only to find that he not only doesn’t know everything anymore, but in fact he doesn’t even know his own name. Franklin Richards has a nightmare about a shadowed man, the Dark Man, hurting Valeria. Later on, Reed Richards and the alternate reality’s Dr. Druid are taken on a journey by Captain Universe. Captain Universe says, “Come. He expects you.” Captain Universe tells them about the creation of Eternity as the sum of all things within the universe. Captain Universe says that while one Eternity ensures a boundless universe that numerous Eternitys ensure a boundless multiverse. Captain Universe says that the balance between Order and Chaos has been upset. Reed asks Captain Universe if the “he” that is expecting them is Eternity. Captain Universe just tells them to follow. Reed and Druid are lead to a giant green man who stands among a bunch of dead Galactus. The man looks down at them and says, “Abraxas”. Reed tries to ask him what he wants, but he is instantly transported back to Earth. Everyone looks up in the sky and sees giant flame letters that spell out, “I am coming.”

Leader's Lair: Abraxas

Magical Amulet Collection

Taubman Amulet 178 (Bonner 6)

Anguipede, head indistinct but probably meant for that of a cock. Below the abruptly narrowed waist are two thin lines, which were meant for legs or else for the beginning of the snake coils; but at the position where the feet would be is a kilt from which snakes curve upward on each side, their heads opposite the waist of the human part. A very strange representation of the anguipede, apparently without parallel. The right hand holds an uncertain triangular object somewhat like a rhyton or drinking horn (the scratches over it are adventitious). In the left hand is a torch, or possibly a hammer. Round the snake coils is an inscription, apparently in the same unknown characters as those on the reverse. (page 282)

Taubman Medical Library- Magical Amulet Collection- Group 4


Abraxas - Das grosse Finale, 1997
Peter Schneider-Rabel

Abraxas - The Great Final, 1997
Peter Schneider-Rabel

drawing from
19 drawings with collage, watercolors, ink, pencil
created 1995-97
size 830 × 515 mm

Day of the Slaughter

The Ceremony of the Day of the Slaughter of the Old Ones


Required Materials: a meal of any sort, though preferably one containing meat and vegetables both. The meal should not be too big, nor too small, but rather a simple, healthy meal. A glass of water, wine, good beer, or fruit juice. Frankincense.

Preparation: Place the food and drink upon the altar and set the frankincense burning.

1) Perform your customary opening.

2) Face the East and say the formula: IAÔ! Visualize divine light descending upon the food.

3) Hold your right hand above your head and say:
Water poureth down from heaven; the stars tremble; the archers go about; the bones of Aker quake; those beneath take flight when they see me rising as a soul, like a god who liveth upon his fathers and feedeth upon his mothers. I am the lord of wisdom, and my mother knoweth not my name. I hold a noble rank in heaven, my strength is in the horizon like my father Tem; Tem begot me, and I have become stronger than he. My doubles are behind me, and the conquered are beneath my two feet. My gods are on me. My uraei are on my brow. My serpent-guide is before me. My soul seeth the spirit of flame. My powers protect me. I am the bull of heaven that thrusteth with my will, living upon what every god creates, and eating of the food of those who come to fill their bellies with words of power from the lake of flame. I am provided with power over my spirits. I rise like a mighty one, the lord in the seat of the hand of the gods. I am seated with my back to Seb. I weigh my word with the Hidden of Name on this day of the slaughtering of the eldest gods. ABRASAX.

4) Hold your hand over the food and say:
I am the lord of the offering, tying the knot, making my meals for myself. I eat men and live on the gods, the lord of offerings, who examineth the lists of offerings. Behold, he who maketh heads to bow, Am-kehuu hath snared them for me. Behold, Tcheser-tep-f hath known them and he hath driven them to me. Behold, Her-thertu hath bound them. Behold, Khensu the slaughterer of lords hath cut the throats of them for me, and he hath torn out what is in their bellies, for he is the messenger whom I sent to drive them. Behold, Shesemu hath cut them up for me, he hath boiled pieces of them in his blazing cauldrons. I have eaten their words of power, and I have eaten their spirits. Their great ones are for my morning meal, their middle ones are for my evening meal, their little ones are for my night-time meals, and their old ones are for my furnace. Behold, the great one in heaven hath shot flame against the cauldrons beneath them with the thighs of the eldest ones. Perer-amu-pet hath thrown the legs of their women into my cauldrons. ERBÊTH PAKERBÊTH.

5) Circumambulate counterclockwise and say:
I have gone round about the double heaven, all of it, and I have gone around about the two halves of Egypt. I am the great sekhem, the sekhem of the sekhemu. I am the great ashem, the ashem of ashemu. What I find on my way, I eat greadily. I am protected before all of the sahu in the horizon. I am the eldest of the old ones. I have gone around thousands, I have offered hundreds. I have been given the hand as the great sekhem, behold Orion with the gods. I have repeated my rising in heaven. I have the seben crown as lord of the horizon. I have counted-up vertibrae and livers. I have taken possession of the hearts of the gods. I have eaten the Red Crown and I have eaten the White Crown. I feed upon fat entrails, and the offerings on which I live are the words of power in their hearts. Behold, I eat what is cast-out from the Red Crown and I flourish. Their words of power are in my belly. The sahu are not turned back from me. I have eaten the intelligence of every god, my life is eternal, my existence is everlasting in my sah. What I am pleased to do I do, and what I hate, I do not, in the limits of the horizon, for ever. Behold, their soul is in me, their spirits are with me, more abundant is my food than that of the gods. My flame is in their bones, behold, their soul is with me, their shadows are with their forms. With these, I am rising, rising, hidden, hidden, a sekhem having performed the ordinances of ploughing. The seat of my heart is among the living on this Earth, for ever.

6) Eat the meal, feeling the power of all of the gods infusing your body, and enjoy.

7) Perform your usual closing.

Tertullian's Description of Abraxas

Tertullian's Description of Abraxas
From Tertullian: Appendix

'Afterwards broke out the heretic Basilides. He affirms that there is a supreme Deity, by name Abraxas, by whom was created Mind, which in Greek he calls Nous; that thence sprang the Word; that of Him issued Providence, Virtue, and Wisdom; that out of these subsequently were made Principalities, powers, and Angels; that there ensued infinite issues and processions of angels; that by these angels 365 heavens were formed, and the world, in honour of Abraxas, whose name, if computed, has in itself this number. Now, among the last of the angels, those who made this world, he places the God of the Jews latest, that is, the God of the Law and of the Prophets, whom he denies to be a God, but affirms to be an angel. To him, he says, was allotted the seed of Abraham, and accordingly he it was who transferred the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt into the land of Canaan; affirming him to be turbulent above the other angels, and accordingly given to the frequent arousing of seditions and wars, yes, and the shedding of human blood. Christ, moreover, he affirms to have been sent, not by this maker of the world, but by the above-named Abraxas; and to have come in a phantasm, and been destitute of the substance of flesh: that it was not He who suffered among the Jews, but that Simon was crucified in His stead: whence, again, there must be no believing on him who was crucified, lest one confess to having believed on Simon. Martyrdoms, he says, are not to be endured. The resurrection of the flesh he strenuously impugns, affirming that salvation has not been promised to bodies.'


NAME: Abrasax, more widely known as Abraxas, this however is due to early writers confusing the Latin Sigma & Xi in the name, also known as Abraxax and other permutations.

SYMBOLS & iMAGES: Chariot whip, Shield. The number 365 representing both the days of the year and emanations / virtues / gods for each day of the year, and a solar circle. Many different versions Abrasax can be found such as a man with the head of a lion and scorpions for feet, a human torso with the head of a rooster and serpents for legs, a cross between a two-legged dragon and serpent with the head of a cockerel, a short, pot bellied, long nosed demon wearing a crown, a great king with the feet of a dragon, a cloud of light, and a white red horse.

HOLY DAYS: Since when you add the numerical equivalents of the Greek letters of his name together you get 365, we have to assume that everyday was a holy day for this god.

SYNODEITIES: Yahweh, Y.V.H.V., Jehovah (Hebrew), Belenus (Celtic), Janus (Roman,)

DETAILS: Trying to figure out just who Abrasax was, at any given time in the past. is like looking at an unevenly cut diamond under a too bright light, though a kaleidoscope with a cracked smoked lens.

That is to say opinions vary!

Each individual who has written about him, be it Basilides, Homer, Simon Magnus, the unknown author of the Gnostic Revelations of Adam, or Carl Jung has their own take on Abrasax.

Basilides gives this name as a stand-in for the name of the Supreme Being, while Homer identifies him as one of the horses of the god Helios, meanwhile in another county we see him referred to in some Gnostic works as one of three "clouds of light from the Great Eternal Realms" who sometimes descend to take living mortals to those realms.

Of the few things that are agreed on by more than just one source, is the idea that Abrasax is a powerful being, who though the source of the 365 emanations / virtues / gods / heavens that make up the days of the year, and while the holds the symbols of virtue & power, he also has a dangerous temper.

Add to all this the Abraxas stones, undecipherable amulets found in museums the world over, (the different ones of which I personally suspect represent one of those 365 virtues/gods above,) and the contention that the word abracadabra comes from his name and I think you have evidence that whatever his origin was, at one time he was a prominent and powerful one.

Or was he?

If, as some writers say, Abrasax was the nexus point of opposites such as good / evil, light / darkness, lies / truthfulness, then might it be that what he was at the very, very beginning of his very checkered career was yet another version of the Trickster god, notorious boundary crosser and endless sewer of confusion, consternation, and wild stories?

It might explain a lot.


The earliest historical mention of abracadabra appears in the writings of the 2nd Century Gnostic healer Quintus Serenus Sammonicus, who said it cured fevers and agues when inscribed properly on a piece of paper folded in the form of a cross and worn as an amulet.

The inscription should be triangular with each repetition of the word abridged by one letter per line, like this, but spaced to form an equilateral triangle:


According to Gnostic lore, it is a formula equivalent to ABRAXAS.

S.A. Mackey, in an 1824 treatise on astrological symbolism, says that it means "The Bull, the only Bull", ab'r-achad-ab'ra. This is probably nothing more than speculation, though.

The word was probably of Greek origin and spelled abrasadabra, the Greek "s" being confused with the English "c". Since the Greek version of ABRAXAS is ABRASAX, this makes a little sense.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Basilides: A Secret Tradition

Basilides (circa 117-138) was an early Christian religious teacher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. His followers, the Basilideans, formed a Gnostic sect. Very little is known with certainty about the teachings of Basilides. An account of his purported heresy is contained in the work Adversus Haereses ("Against Heresies") by Irenaeus of Lyons, but it is impossible to determine how faithful Irenaeus's hostile reading is to the views actually held by Basilides.

Influence: Twentieth-century psychoanalyst Carl Jung wrote his Seven Sermons to the Dead and attributed them to Basilides. The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges was interested in Irenaeus' account of Basilides' Gnostic doctrine and wrote an essay on the subject: "A Vindication of the False Basilides" (1932). Basilides is also mentioned in Borges's short story "Three Versions of Judas" (1944), which opens with the striking passage "In Asia Minor or in Alexandria, in the second century of our faith, when Basilides published that the Cosmos was a reckless or evil improvisation by deficient angels... "

The Basilideans were a Gnostic sect founded by Basilides of Alexandria in the 2nd century.
Basilides claimed to have been taught his doctrines by Glaucus, a disciple of St Peter. The sect had three grades – material, intellectual and spiritual – and possessed two allegorical statues, male and female. The sect's doctrines were very similar to those of the Ophites and also had similarities to Jewish Kabbalism. Members wore stones or gems cut in various symbolic forms, such as the heads of fowl and serpents. The Basilideans worshipped a supreme god called Abraxas (or Abracax) and claimed that Jesus Christ was only a phantom sent to earth by him.

Basilides was "an Alexandrian scholar writing between A.D. 120 and 130. Basilides was conversant with both Hebrew scriptures and Christian Gospels. He was also steeped in Egyptian and Hellenistic thought."
- Baigent, Leigh & Lincoln, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail

"Clement of Alexandria, a Christian theologian of the 3rd century AD, wrote that Basilides claimed to have received a secret tradition--on which he apparently based his gnosis, or esoteric knowledge--from Glaucias, an interpreter of the Apostle Peter. In addition to psalms and odes, Basilides wrote commentaries on the Gospels and also compiled a "gospel" for his own sect; only fragments of these writings have been preserved. Contradictory accounts of Basilides' theology have been provided by Clement, as well as by the theologians Hippolytus of Rome and Saint Irenaeus. While interpreters cite elements of Neoplatonism, the New Testament, and other Gnostic systems, description of the Basilidian system of belief remains incomplete."
- Encyclopaedia Britannica

"Two individuals, the Syrian Starnilus, or Saturnilus, and the Egyptian Basilides, active during the first quarter of the second century, adapted the idea of the Christ - not the history of the man Jesus - to the gnostic panorama of the universe. From John 1:18, Saturnilus took the assertion that the father is unseen (and therefore unknown); he created a world of angels and archangels, principalities and powers (cf. Eph. 1:21, 6:12), seven of which made the world and man. Man was originally a creeping thing, until the supreme power breathed into some the 'spark of life'. Mankind is then divided into two races, a good, spiritual race, and an evil, earthy race (cf. the references to the children of light and the children of this world, e.g. Eph. 5:8). The Father sent his only begotten, the incorporeal Christ, to destroy the evil race and save those who have the spark of life; he was a man in appearance only."
- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies

"The lawless and hostile Archons who rule this world can be vanquished. It is Christ who is the heavenly redeemer, the Pleroma, the light from the Father, the Illuminator, and like Christ, the disciples also are to become 'illuminators in the midst of dead men.'"
- The Letter of Peter to Philip

The Aeons
"What relationship can the absolutely pure, spiritual Father have with the corruptible world of material reality? Basilides taught that the Father had nothing to do with it. The Father is capable only of spiritual activity, by it Nous ('Mind') proceeds from him. This process is called emanation and has nothing in common with physical generation. From the Nous comes the Logos ('Word'). Gnosticism thus took over a fundamental biblical concept, but reduced it in stature from the absolute rank it holds in John 1 to that of a link in a descending sequence of aeons. From the highest aeons process Phronesis ('Prudence'), Sophia ('Wisdom'), and Dynamis ('Power'). Wisdom and Power are attracted to one another in a degrading passion; out of their desire proceed angelic beings, base by comparison with the first Aeons. These angels create the first heaven; other angels arise from them and create a second, and so on until three hundred and sixty-five heavens have been created. The ruler of the angels who made the lowest heaven is the God of the Jews."
- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies

"The God of the Jews produced the Law and sent the Prophets, who thus appear clothed with a measure of authority, but of a subordinate and malign kind. God the Father sent Christ, the firstborn aeon known as Nous (not Logos), to free the souls of the spiritual from the power of the base creative angels who hold them prison in vile physical bodies. According to Basilides, this Christ was a man only in appearance; Simon of Cyrene, whom the Romans pressed into service to help Jesus carry his Cross, was crucified in his place, while the Nous returned to the Father."
- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies

"Yes, they saw me; they punished me. It was another, their father who drank the gall and the vinegar; it was not I. They struck me with the reed; it was another, Simon, who bore the cross on his shoulder. It was another upon whom they placed the crown of thorns. But I was rejoicing in the height over all the wealth of the archons and the offspring of their error, of their empty glory. And I was laughing at their ignorance."
- The Second Treatise of the Great Seth

"There is no doubt that the Second Treatise of the Great Seth is a work that is both Christian and Gnostic.... Knowledge is the means of salvation. The God of this world is evil and ignorant, and can be identified with the God of the Old Testament; in addition all his minions are mere counterfeits and laughingstocks."
- Joseph A. Gibbons in The Nag Hammadi Library

"The myth ends in cosmic annihilation when those who remain below will neither be saved nor know of their need for salvation."
- John Ferguson, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions

The Gnostic Jung

The Gnostic Jung
And the Seven Sermons to the Dead
by Stephan A. Hoeller
Quest Books – 4th printing 1994

The Seven Sermons to the Dead is a mysterious, little known or understood work of C. G. Jung’s, which was privately printed in German, without copyright or date, sometime between 1920 and 1925, and distributed to a select group of friends. Stephan A. Hoeller copied, then translated it from the original. Then he wrote a book in which he not only calls The Seven Sermons a Gnostic document, but also claims that Jung himself was a modern Gnostic.

The Gnostic Jung is essentially an attempt – and a very good one at that – to interpret the Seven Sermons, and they certainly need interpretation. Along the way, Hoeller, an almost worshipful admirer of the “Wise Man of Küsnacht”, gives us a clear, skillful elucidation of some of Jung’s essential ideas. But the question is: Was Jung really a Gnostic? Certainly he admired Gnostic thought and his works are liberally sprinkled with references to them. But he never called himself a Gnostic; on the other hand he never identified with any philosophical or religious stream but his own psychoanalytical specialty.

Without doubt Jung’s kind of psychoanalysis was different, approaching what could be called a path of initiation, the analyst becoming a hierophant and the patient a neophyte, or disciple. Mental illness was considered to be a divided or incomplete condition and health as a state of spiritual wholeness – or near wholeness. Jung always insisted that his writings were based upon empirical evidence and personal experience – and not mystical speculation. After his death and the publication of his autobiography, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, and disclosures by his most intimate disciples, it be came clear that Jung underwent an intense period of spiritual experience between 1912 and 1917. This may explain his insistence on the word “empirical” to describe his investigations. The only fragment of his writings from that period which he permitted to be published was The Seven Sermons to the Dead, using terminology and style of second century Gnosticism. Jung attributes the authorship to Basilides, a Gnostic sage who taught in Alexandria around A.D. 125-140. Whether this implies some sort of mediumship or automatic writing is a matter of speculation. However, it should be borne in mind that it was the practice for centuries to ascribe authorship of spiritual treatises to someone who the real author considered to be more spiritually advanced than himself.

It would be futile to attempt a synopsis of Hoeller’s interpretation of The Seven Sermons to the Dead here. At best we can consider a few aspects which especially interested this reviewer.

Western materialism has caused many seekers of spirituality to direct their search toward Eastern mysticism. Jung, surprisingly, contended that the search for the wisdom of the East had almost darkened the mind of the West and that it is a search that continues to lead many astray. It isn’t only the impact of alien cultures that can be dangerous to the Western soul. Much of Hindu and Buddhist thinking is directed towards the obliteration of individual consciousness (egolessness)

“When desire is snuffed out by a variety of meditation and concentration practices, what remains is a psychic corpse from which the libidinal cosmic force of the vital urge has been artificially removed. One can perish of psychic pernicious anemia as well as from its physiological analogue, and the fulfillment of such objectives as desirelessness and egolessness may very well lead to just such a condition. The desire for self-knowledge is just as much a desire as the desire for food or sex.”

In his work The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious Jung restates the message contained in the Second Sermon when he says: “Evil is the necessary opposite of good, without which there would be no good either. It is impossible to even think good out of existence.” Jung was insistent especially on the reality and titanic magnitude of evil, for he felt that western humanity, beginning with Christian theology, has consistently and disastrously dwarfed the picture of evil as arising from the unconscious of humanity. In Civilization in Transition he wrote that evil “is of gigantic proportions, so that for the Church to talk of original sin and to trace it back to Adam’s relatively innocent slip-up with Eve is almost a euphemism. The case is far graver and is grossly underestimated.”

President Bush has been criticized for calling bin Laden and the terrorists responsible for the WTC destruction “evil”. The critics are not saying that bin Laden is “good”, rather are they implying that evil doesn’t exist and we should look for reasons in socio-economic injustice. Although it is not possible to deny that social injustice exists in the world, it would be difficult indeed to characterize these terrorist acts as anything but evil, if we take Jung’s point of view seriously. Of course there are many other kinds of what seems to be pure evil in the world. According to Jung, good and evil are not two opposite poles of a linear dimensionality. They resemble a circle wherein going far enough in either direction is likely to associate one with the opposite polarity. He said that there is no good that cannot produce evil and no evil that cannot produce good. To put this is mundane practical terms – the WTC event could just prove quite beneficial to the Afghans who, long ignored, have already been freed from the Taliban and have been promised much aid.

Hoeller’s Jungian comment on astrology:

"The unenlightened or unconscious person is ruled by the planets, or rather by the psychological force and complexes which are signified by the planets. Thus the unconscious, or non-Gnostic person, is enthralled by the force of Mars when anger invades his personality; another may be possessed by Venus when under the spell of romantic desire; the curiosity and acquisitiveness of Mercury may dominate another, and so on. Unlike the common superstitious believer in popular astrology, the Gnostic considers domination by planets and other heavenly bodies as an invasion of his spiritual privacy, an assault on the sovereign prerogatives of his royal selfhood. Abraxas, the summation and ruler of the sevenfold planetary spectrum, is thus the true archetype of man’s potential freedom and independence from unconscious psychological pressures and compulsions."

The Gnostic teacher Carpocrates, as opposed to the official Christian dogma that salvation is the result of a single, unrepeatable event – the crucifixion of Jesus – postulated this process as continuing through a number of lives of earth. Jung, as far as I know, never included the concept of reincarnation in his psychological works. However, in Memories, Dreams and Reflections, near the end of his life, he muses:

My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me.

According to his theory of wholeness being the conjunction of opposites, Jung always affirmed conscious existence after death and, since one opposite is not possible without the other, neither is “good” or “bad” in itself. We moderns, however, consider death to be an implacable enemy, and therefore idolize youth and life. This is as much an error as the idolization of death, a la bin Laden.

Jung called the process of spiritual growth “individuation”, which requires that individual values replace collective ones. Much is made of group dynamics nowadays and it is certainly true that we need to feel ourselves as members of a group or nation as long as the fullness of the individuation process has not been achieved. But the objective is something quite different and it should be brought to consciousness:

Beneath the thin veneer of culture the wild beast lurks… But the beast is not tamed by locking it up in a cage. There is no morality without freedom. (Jung)

The Sage Lao Tzu goes so far as to recognize the value of the individual principle in the collective area of the state and society: The more taboos and prohibitions there are in the world, the poorer people will be. The more sharp weapons people have, the more troubled the state will be. The more cunning and skill man possesses, the more vicious things will appear. The more law and orders are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.

We are guilty. Are we? Are we guilty of so much? The Catholic and other churches continue to torture children with a sense of guilt because of sins of the flesh such as masturbation and, following what Moses is supposed to have received from the burning bush, adultery – as defined by religious authorities of course. Neither Christian, Jew nor Muslim may even look at a woman in a certain way without exposing himself to the pangs of hellfire. It is not contemplated that women might be subject to similar temptations, so they seem exempt from at least this prohibition. What do little girls confess anyway? The rationalist on the other hand – thanks to Dr. Freud – must be subject to a similar guilt, but which results from yielding to desires arising from instinct, which Freud conceived as a sin against reason. Moses and Freud are both proponents of a lonely, bitter God “…who recognizes no equal and therefore cannot experience the delights and rejections, the agony and the ecstasy of the opposites. Monotheistic orthodoxy and atheistic rationalism are brothers under the skin. The all-spiritual God and the all-logical deity of reason are both blind; neither can accept …his polar opposite and relate to it in creative conflict. Both have fostered a dreary and burdensome condition of mind which is characterized by Judeo-Christian guilt augmented by Freudian neurotic hopelessness.”

According to Jung (or at least to Hoeller, his interpreter here), the individuation of humankind reaches on the one side into the heavens where the divine mother of eternal mind (Mater Coelestis) waits to receive us, while on the other it is rooted in the subterranean power of the phallic Eros (Phallos), the earthly father, whose strength and energy furnishes the force whereby we can ascend. The final union of heaven and earth begets the androgynous Anthropos, the New Man, the Christ of the Gnostics – “the paradigm of the transformed and individuated ego of every individual and of all humanity”. By recognizing the celestial beloved of the Eternal Feminine, Jung’s Sermons agree with Goethe’s vision of the Mater Coelestis in Faust:

All that is past of us
Was but reflected;
All that was lost in us
Here is corrected;
All indescribable
Here we descry;
The Eternal Feminine
Leads us on high.

Today, humanity’s greatest need is the attainment of wholeness which comes to the soul in the form of Gnosis. Religious fanaticism, moral fervor, political ideologies – none are solutions, rather are they dangers to the world and to the individual. As long as many, if not the majority of us, expect all problems to be solved outside of ourselves, we will be beset by “inhumanity upon inhumanity, holocaust upon holocaust”. The predicament we need to resolve is one of a-gnosis – a lack of intimate, personal, experiential knowledge of our authentic nature.

Whether C. G. Jung was the authentic successor to the Gnostics must be judged by each reader. I know of no better place for weighing the arguments then this book, written with a flowing pen by an expert in Jungian thought.

Frank Thomas Smith

Hermann Hesse and the Psychology of C.G. Jung

“It shakes you to the very core and is painful. But it helps …”

Hermann Hesse and the psychology of C.G. Jung

By Günter Baumann (paper given at the 9th International Hesse Colloquium in Calw, 1997)

Hermann Hesse’s involvement with the psychology of C.G. Jung begins in spring of 1916 when the writer has a nervous breakdown and subsequently undergoes a course of
psychotherapy with J.B. Lang, a member of C.G. Jung’s staff. Analysis commences while the patient is still in the “Sonnmatt” sanatorium near Lucerne, yet Hesse seems to have considered it to be so fruitful that he decides, after his discharge, to travel from his home in Berne to see Lang in Lucerne once a week. It is thus that he comes to have 72 three-hour analytical sessions, i.e. two hundred hours of therapy. In autumn of 1917, Hesse meets C.G. Jung for the very first time at a hotel in Berne, and absorbs himself in a gripping discussion on the subject of Jung’s latest psychological ideas and theories. Interestingly, Hesse at the time reacted to Jung with the characteristic ambivalence that was later to increasingly become the determining feature of his relationship both to the man and to depth psychology.

After the meeting, he noted in his diary: “Yesterday, evening, Dr. Jung telephoned me from Zurich … and invited me to the hotel for dinner. I accepted, and was with him until around eleven. My opinion of him changed several times during the course of this first meeting, his confidence having appealed to me very early on but then having put me off, yet my impression on the whole was a very positive one.” At the same time, Hesse begins to read Jung’s writings and pronounces his early works, Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (today: Symbols of Transformation) to be “ingenious.” The strong impression Jung made on him is no doubt the reason why Hesse sought therapeutic assistance from the master himself during the next crisis in his life, his divorce from his first wife and the writer’s block he suffered from during the writing of Siddhartha. In the summer of 1921, there thus ensued a sequence of analysis extending over a period of several weeks in Jung’s apartment in Küsnacht. Hesse’s letters from this period testify to a virtually euphoric sense of enthusiasm over both the personality and the analytical abilities of his therapist. “Here with Jung, I am currently, while going through a difficult, and often almost unbearable, period of my life, experiencing the shock of analysis … It shakes you to the very core and is painful. But it helps …. All I can say is that Dr. Jung is conducting my analysis with extraordinary skill - ingenuity, even.” And, after completing the analysis, he summarizes: “I would have liked to continue psychoanalysis with Jung. In terms of both intellect and character, he is a magnificent, lively, brilliant man. I have a lot to thank him for, and am pleased that I was able to spend a while with him.

When Hesse’s second marriage breaks up in the mid-1920s, he approaches Lang once again and meets him between December 1925 and March 1926 for analytical sessions conducted in a spirit of friendship while he was writing Steppenwolf. During this most difficult crisis in Hesse’s life - he evidently spent a long time contemplating suicide - Lang would appear to have become not only a friend and therapeutic adviser but also one of the most important poles and points of reference for Hesse during this “Steppenwolf winter.” Later, however, the roles in this relationship seem to have been reversed. From around 1927, Hesse becomes the friend and helper of the severely pathological Lang, and was able to repay a large part of the help he himself had received. In the course of his third marriage, Hesse’s life finally stabilized, obviating the need for any further recourse to psychotherapeutic assistance. Despite this, however, he and Lang remained lifelong friends.

Why was it that Hesse developed a long and close involvement with Jungian psychology? Upon closer examination of the respective lives of the writer and psychologist, one may say that, in terms of spiritual and personal relations, these two men’s paths seemed almost destined to intersect at some point. There are many reasons for this, some of them mutually interdependent. Striking in the first instance are certain biographic elements that they had in common. Both came from decidedly religious families of the Protestant persuasion: Jung was the son of a minister, Hesse the son of a missionary. Both had a strict moral and religious upbringing and training in matters of conscience, and were seriously traumatized as a result.

Hermann Hesse described his upbringing in, for example, the story Kinderseele, or the introduction to Demian, yet fails to mention that the uncomprehending parents, in their maniacal religious zeal to break the will of the unruly son at all cost, drove him so far that he ended up in a mental asylum and attempted to take his own life. Very similar, albeit not quite so dramatic, was the childhood of C.G. Jung. In his autobiography, he writes - without, amazingly, any real insight into the significance of this for his own life - the deep feelings of guilt and the inferiority complex he suffered from as a boy: “I also sensed my inferiority … I am a devil or a swine, I thought, something depraved. The greater my feelings of guilt became, the more incomprehensible God’s mercy appeared to me. I never felt certain of myself. When my mother once said ‘You are a good boy,’ I just couldn’t believe it. Me a good boy? That was something new to me. I always thought I was a dissolute and inferior being.”

The moral sense of inferiority arising from the religious and moralistic upbringing in the parental home are, in my view, what form the common foundation for the psychological development of Hermann Hesse and C.G. Jung. Both of them might well have been quite literally torn asunder in this spiritual and mental torture chamber, yet it is characteristic that their will to live and assert themselves was strong enough to transform these destructive impulses into a source of creativity, enabling these to be ultimately channelled not into madness and suicide but into a highly productive mental constitution, which one could term the “German Rectory Syndrome”: the linking of a quite exceptional intelligence and moral sensitivity to deep feelings of guilt and inferiority. This, in turn, gives rise - once again, in both men - not only to the constant striving to achieve something extraordinary in life to compensate for the trauma of early childhood but also a quite remarkable receptiveness to the very same theory of redemption - to wit, the Christian teaching of original sin and forgiveness. St Paul’s anthropology and theology of humankind’s unredeemed enslavement to evil, and his “nevertheless” justification through God’s mercy becomes - for Hesse and Jung, and for many other tortured souls before and after them - the “Gateway to Paradise.”

In my book Der archetypische Heilsweg, I sought to demonstrate that Hesse and Jung, in their central life experiences also their interpretation of life, follow a basic pattern that extends from Jesus through St Paul and St Augustine to Martin Luther. In his psychological terminology, Jung later calls St Paul’s concept of “original sin” the “shadow,” a morally inferior opponent of the ego, and the redeeming experience of God’s mercy is termed the manifestation of the wholeness of the self. In my view, this teaching was, for Hesse and Jung, and for their religious forerunners from Jesus to Luther, the sole way to save their souls in spite of their hapless childhood. Naturally, this also explains why Hesse so readily embraced Jung’s teaching of the shadow and the “and yet-wholeness” of the individual, reproducing it in his work. To this one must add the psychotherapeutic aspect. In three decisive crisis situations in his life, Hesse seeks, as outlined above, comfort and succour in Jungian analysis. He would therefore appear to have been confronted with a plausible and fruitful pattern of interpretation for his psychic problems, something which is - given his biographical background - only too easy to understand. Jung’s thoughts and teachings grip Hesse to such an extent that he resolves to use them not only for his own personal healing but also in his literary work. He therefore goes on to write his three major novels Demian, Siddhartha, and Der Steppenwolf, successively written works that were closely linked to Jungian psychotherapy, and in which Hesse uses his experiences of psychotherapy, and the impression he gained from reading to give motivational and compositional structure to his own writings. If, however, one is to understand Hesse’s receptiveness to Jungian thought, there is a third factor that also has to be borne in mind, and that concerns aspects relating to the psychology of religion. In Jung’s psychology, Hesse also finds a set of instruments enabling him - in a similar way to Jung himself - to interpret the religious fundament of his life in new, contemporary and stimulating manner, and to harness this for his literary work.

Jung’s teaching furnishes him with the key to the central message of his works from Demian on: the identity of self-awareness and awareness of God. Yet Hesse would, in Jung’s psychology of religion, appear to have found merely confirmation and legitimation of his own religious experiences and awareness, rather than having obtained any new inspiration. He had been prepared for this through his own religious upbringing in the parental home, and his reading of religious classics from the Bible through to the wisdoms of Buddha and Confucius, and the Upanishads and the Tao Teh Ching. Jung’s teachings echoed his own religious views and thoughts, systematizing, legitimizing and supplementing them in fascinating manner, and thus helping him to break free of conventional religious view of the world.

“It shakes you to the very core and is painful. But it helps …”

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Die sieben Belehrungen der Toten

Septem Sermones Ad Mortuos

Die sieben Belehrungen der Toten. Geschrieben von Basilides in Alexandria, der Stadt, wo der Osten den Westen berührt.

Transcribiert von C.G. Jung 1916


Sermo I

Die Toten kamen zurück von Jerusalem, wo sie nicht fanden, was sie suchten. Sie begehrten bei mir Einlass und verlangten bei mir Lehre und so lehrte ich sie:

Höret, ich beginne beim Nichts. Das Nichts ist dasselbe wie die Fülle. In der Unendlichkeit ist voll so gut wie leer. Das Nichts ist leer und voll. Ihr könnt auch ebenso gut etwas anderes vom Nichts sagen, zum Beispiel es sei weiß oder schwarz oder es sei nicht, oder es sei. Ein Unendliches und Ewiges hat keine Eigenschaften, weil es alle Eigenschaften hat. Das Nichts oder die Fülle nennen wir das PLEROMA. Dort drin hört Denken und Sein auf, denn das Ewige und Unendliche hat keine Eigenschaften. In ihm ist keiner, denn er wäre dann vom Pleroma unterschieden und hätte Eigenschaften, die ihn als etwas vom Pleroma unterschieden. Im Pleroma ist nichts und alles: Es lohnt sich nicht über das Pleroma nachzudenken, denn das hieße: Sich selber auflösen.

Die CREATUR ist nicht im Pleroma, sondern in sich. Das Pleroma ist Anfang und Ende der Creatur. Es geht durch sie hindurch, wie das Sonnenlicht die Luft überall durchdringt. Obschon das Pleroma durchaus hindurch geht, so hat die Creatur doch nicht Theil daran, so wie ein vollkommen durchsichtiger Körper weder hell noch dunkel wird durch das Licht, das durch ihn hindurch geht. Wir sind aber das Pleroma selber, denn wir sind ein Theil des Ewigen und Unendlichen. Wir haben aber nicht theil daran, sondern sind vom Pleroma unendlich weit entfernt, nicht räumlich oder zeitlich, sondern WESENTLICH, indem wir uns im Wesen vom Pleroma unterscheiden als Creatur, die in Zeit und Raum beschränkt ist.

Indem wir aber Theile des Pleroma sind, so ist das Pleroma auch in uns. Auch im kleinsten Punkt ist das Pleroma unendlich, ewig und ganz, denn klein und groß sind Eigenschaften, die in ihm enthalten sind. Es ist dies Nichts, das überall ganz ist und unaufhörlich. Daher rede ich von der Creatur als einem Theile des Pleroma, nur sinnbildlich, denn das Pleroma ist wirklich nirgends geteilt, denn es ist das Nichts. Wir sind auch das ganze Pleroma, denn sinnbildlich ist das Pleroma der kleinste nur angenommene, nicht seiende Punkt in uns und das unendliche Weltgewölbe um uns.

Warum aber sprechen wir denn überhaupt vom Pleroma, wenn es doch Alles und Nichts ist ? Ich rede davon, um irgendwo zu beginnen, und um Euch den Wahn zu nehmen, dass irgendwo außen oder innen ein von vornherein Festes oder irgendwie Bestimmtes sei. Alles sogenannte Feste oder Bestimmte ist nur verhältnismäßig. Nur das dem Wandel unterworfene ist fest und bestimmt. Das wandelbare aber ist die Creatur, also ist sie das einzig feste und bestimmte, denn sie hat Eigenschaften, ja sie ist selber Eigenschaft.

Wir erheben die Frage: wie ist die Creatur entstanden? Die Creaturen sind entstanden, nicht aber die Creatur, denn sie ist die Eigenschaft des Pleroma selber, so gut wie die Nichtschöpfung, der ewige Tod. Creatur ist immer und überall, Tod ist immer und überall. Das Pleroma hat alles, Unterschiedenheit und Ununterschiedenheit.

Die Unterschiedenheit ist die Creatur. Sie ist unterschieden. Unterschiedenheit ist ihr Wesen, darum unterscheidet sie auch. Darum unterscheidet der Mensch, denn sein Wesen ist Unterschiedenheit. Darum unterscheidet er auch die Eigenschaften des Pleroma, die nicht sind. Er unterscheidet sie aus seinem Wesen heraus. Darum muss der Mensch von den Eigenschaften des Pleroma reden, die nicht sind.

Ihr sagt: Was nützt es, davon zu reden? Du sagtest doch selbst, es lohne sich nicht, über das Pleroma zu denken. Ich sagte Euch das, um Euch vom Wahne zu befreien, dass man über das Pleroma denken könne. Wenn wir die Eigenschaften des Pleroma unterscheiden, so reden wir aus unsrer Unterschiedenheit und über unsre Unterschiedenheit, und haben nichts gesagt über das Pleroma. Über unsere Unterschiedenheit aber zu reden ist notwendig, damit wir uns genügend unterscheiden können. Unser Wesen ist Unterschiedenheit. Wenn wir diesem Wesen nicht getreu sind, so unterscheiden wir uns ungenügend. Wir müssen darum Unterscheidungen der Eigenschaften machen.

Ihr fragt: Was schadet es, sich nicht zu unterscheiden? Wenn wir nicht unterscheiden, dann geraten wir über unser Wesen hinaus, über die Creatur hinaus und fallen in die Ununterschiedenheit, die die andere Eigenschaft des Pleroma ist. Wir fallen in das Pleroma selber und geben es auf, Creatur zu sein. Wir verfallen der Auflösung im Nichts. Das ist der Tod der Creatur. Also sterben wir in dem Maße, als wir nicht unterscheiden. Darum geht das natürliche Streben der Creatur auf Unterschiedenheit, Kampf gegen uranfängliche, gefährliche Gleichheit.

Dieß nennt man das PRlNCIPIUM INDIVIDUATIONIS. Dieses Princip ist das Wesen der Creatur. Ihr seht daraus, warum die Ununterschiedenheit und das Nichtunterscheiden eine große Gefahr für die Creatur ist. Darum müssen wir die Eigenschaften des Pleroma unterscheiden. Die Eigenschaften sind die GEGENSATZPAARE, als

das Wirksame und das Unwirksame,
die Fülle und die Leere,
das Lebendige und das Tote,
das Verschiedene und das Gleiche,
das Helle und das Dunkle,
das Heiße und das Kalte,
Die Kraft und der Stoff,
die Zeit und der Raum,
das Gute und das Böse,
das Schöne und das Häßliche,
das Eine und das Viele. etc.

Die Gegensatzpaare sind die Eigenschaften des Pleroma, die nicht sind, weil sie sich aufheben. Da wir das Pleroma selber sind, so haben wir auch alle diese Eigenschaften in uns; da der Grund unsres Wesens Unterschiedenheit ist, so haben wir die Eigenschaften im Namen und Zeichen der Unterschiedenheit, das bedeutet:

Erstens: die Eigenschaften sind in uns von einander unterschieden und geschieden, darum heben sie sich nicht auf, sondern sind wirksam. Darum sind wir das Opfer der Gegensatzpaare. In uns ist das Pleroma zerrissen.

Zweitens: Die Eigenschaften gehören dem Pleroma, und wir können und sollen sie nur im Namen und Zeichen der Unterschiedenheit besitzen oder leben. Wir sollen uns von den Eigenschaften unterscheiden. Im Pleroma heben sie sich auf, in uns nicht. Unterscheidung von ihnen erlöst. Wenn wir nach dem Guten oder Schönen streben, so vergessen wir unsres Wesens, das Unterschiedenheit ist und wir verfallen den Eigenschaften des Pleroma, als welche die Gegensatzpaare sind. Wir bemühen uns, das Gute und Schöne zu erlangen, aber zugleich auch erfassen wir das Böse und Hässliche, denn sie sind im Pleroma eins mit dem Guten und Schönen. Wenn wir aber unserm Wesen getreu bleiben, nämlich der Unterschiedenheit, dann unterscheiden wir uns vom Guten und Schönen, und darum auch vom Bösen und Hässlichen, und wir fallen nicht ins Pleroma, nämlich in das Nichts und in die Auflösung

Ihr werfet ein: Du sagtest, dass das Verschiedene und Gleiche auch Eigenschaften des Pleroma seien. Wie ist es, wenn wir nach Verschiedenheit streben? Sind wir dann nicht unserm Wesen getreu? Und müssen wir dann auch der Gleichheit verfallen, wenn wir nach Verschiedenheit streben?

Ihr sollt nicht vergessen, dass das Pleroma keine Eigenschaften hat. Wir erschaffen sie durch das Denken. Wenn Ihr also nach Verschiedenheit oder Gleichheit oder sonstigen Eigenschaften strebt, so strebt Ihr nach Gedanken, die Euch aus dem Pleroma zufließen, nämlich Gedanken über die nichtseienden Eigenschaften des Pleroma. Indem Ihr nach diesen Gedanken rennt, fallet Ihr wiederum ins Pleroma und erreicht Verschiedenheit und Gleichheit zugleich. Nicht euer Denken, sondern euer Wesen ist Unterschiedenheit. Darum sollt Ihr nicht nach Verschiedenheit, wie Ihr sie denkt, streben, sondern NACH EUERM WESEN. Darum giebt es im Grunde nur ein Streben, nämlich das Streben nach dem eigenen Wesen. Wenn Ihr dieses Streben hättet, so brauchtet Ihr auch gar nichts über das Pleroma und seine Eigenschaften zu wissen und kämet doch zum richtigen Ziele kraft eures Wesens. Da aber das Denken vom Wesen entfremdet, so muss ich Euch das Wissen lehren, womit Ihr euer Denken im Zaume halten könnet.

Sermo II

Die Toten standen in der Nacht den Wänden entlang und riefen: Von Gott wollen wir wissen, wo ist Gott? Ist Gott tot? Gott ist nicht tot, er ist so lebendig wie je. Gott ist Creatur denn er ist etwas Bestimmtes und darum vom Pleroma unterschieden. Gott ist Eigenschaft des Pleroma, und alles was ich von der Creatur sagte gilt auch von ihm.

Er unterscheidet sich aber von der Creatur dadurch, dass er viel undeutlicher und unbestimmbarer ist, als die Creatur. Er ist weniger unterschieden als die Creatur, denn der Grund seines Wesens ist wirksame Fülle, und nur insofern er bestimmt und unterschieden ist, ist er Creatur, und insofern ist er die Verdeutlichung der wirksamen Fülle des Pleroma.

Alles, was wir nicht unterscheiden, fällt ins Pleroma und hebt sich mit seinem Gegensatz auf. Darum, wenn wir Gott nicht unterscheiden, so ist die wirksame Fülle für uns aufgehoben. Gott ist auch das Pleroma selber, wie auch jeder kleinste Punkt im Geschaffenen und im Ungeschaffenen das Pleroma selber ist.

Die wirksame Leere ist das Wesen des Teufels. Gott und Teufel sind die ersten Verdeutlichungen des Nichts, das wir Pleroma nennen. Es ist gleichgültig, ob das Pleroma ist, oder nicht ist, denn es hebt sich in allem selber auf. Nicht so die Creatur. Insofern Gott und Teufel Creaturen sind, heben sie sich nicht auf, sondern bestehen gegen einander als wirksame Gegensätze. Wir brauchen keinen Beweis für ihr Sein, es genügt, dass wir immer wieder von ihnen reden müssen. Auch wenn beide nicht wären, so würde die Creatur, aus ihrem Wesen der Unterschiedenheit heraus, sie immer wieder aus dem Pleroma heraus unterscheiden.Alles was die Unterscheidung aus dem Pleroma herausnimmt, ist Gegensatzpaar, daher zu Gott immer auch der Teufel gehört. Diese Zusammengehörigkeit ist so innig, und wie Ihr erfahren habet, auch in euerem Leben so unauflösbar, wie das Pleroma selber. Das kommt davon, dass die Beiden ganz nahe am Pleroma stehen, in welchem alle Gegensätze aufgehoben und eins sind.

Gott und Teufel sind unterschieden durch voll und leer, Zeugung und Zerstörung. Das WIRKENDE ist ihnen gemeinsam. Das Wirkende verbindet sie. Darum steht das Wirkende über beiden und ist ein Gott über Gott, denn es vereinigt die Fülle und die Leere in ihrer Wirkung. Dies ist ein Gott, von dem Ihr nicht wusstet, denn die Menschen vergaßen ihn. Wir nennen ihn mit seinem Namen ABRAXAS. Er ist noch unbestimmter als Gott und Teufel.


Um Gott von ihm zu unterscheiden, nennen wir Gott HELIOS oder Sonne. Der Abraxas ist Wirkung, ihm steht nichts entgegen, als das Unwirkliche, daher seine wirkende Natur sich frei entfaltet. Das Unwirkliche ist nicht, und widersteht nicht. Der Abraxas steht über der Sonne und über dem Teufel. Er ist das unwahrscheinlich Wahrscheinliche, das unwirklich Wirkende. Hätte das Pleroma ein Wesen, so wäre der Abraxas seine Verdeutlichung.

Er ist zwar das Wirkende selbst, aber keine bestimmte Wirkung, sondern Wirkung überhaupt. Er ist unwirklich wirkend, weil er keine bestimmte Wirkung hat. Er ist auch Creatur, da er vom Pleroma unterschieden ist. Die Sonne hat eine bestimmte Wirkung, ebenso der Teufel, daher sie uns viel wirksamer erscheinen als der unbestimmbare Abraxas. Er ist Kraft, Dauer, Wandel. Hier erhoben die Toten großen Tumult denn sie waren Christen.

Sermo III

Die Toten kamen heran wie Nebel aus Sümpfen und riefen: Rede uns weiter über den obersten Gott.Der Abraxas ist der schwer erkennbare Gott. Seine Macht ist die größte, denn der Mensch sieht sie nicht. Von der Sonne sieht er das summum bonum, vom Teufel das infimum malum, vom Abraxas aber das in allen Hinsichten unbestimmte LEBEN, welches die Mutter des Guten und des Übels ist. Das Leben scheint kleiner und schwächer zu sein als das summum bonum, weshalb es auch schwer ist zu denken, dass der Abraxas an Macht sogar die Sonne übertreffe, die doch der strahlende Quell aller Lebenskraft selber ist.

Der Abraxas ist Sonne und zugleich der ewig saugende Schlund des Leeren, des Verkleinerers und Zerstücklers, des Teufels. Die Macht des Abraxas ist zwiefach. Ihr seht sie aber nicht, denn in Euern Augen hebt sich das Gegeneinander gerichtete dieser Macht auf. Was Gott Sonne spricht, ist Leben, was der Teufel spricht, ist Tod.

Der Abraxas aber spricht das verehrungswürdige und verfluchte Wort, das Leben und Tod zugleich ist. Der Abraxas zeugt Wahrheit und Lüge, Gutes und Böses, Licht und Finsterniß im selben Wort, und in derselben Tat. Darum ist der Abraxas furchtbar. Er ist prächtig wie der Löwe im Augenblick, wo er sein Opfer niederschlägt. Er ist schön wie ein Frühlingstag. Ja, er ist der große Pan selber und der kleine. Er ist Priapos. Er ist das Monstrum der Unterwelt, ein Polyp mit tausend Armen, beflügeltes Schlangengeringel, Raserei.

Er ist der Hermaphrodit des untersten Anfanges. Er ist der Herr der Kröten und Frösche, die im Wasser wohnen und ans Land steigen, die am Mittag und um Mitternacht im Chore singen. Er ist das Volle, das sich mit dem Leeren einigt. Er ist die heilige Begattung, Er ist die Liebe und ihr Mord, Er ist der heilige und sein Verräter. Er ist das hellste Licht des Tages und die tiefste Nacht des Wahnsinns. Ihn sehen, heißt Blindheit, Ihn erkennen heißt Krankheit, Ihn anbeten heißt Tod, Ihn fürchten heißt Weisheit, Ihm nicht widerstehen heißt Erlösung.

Gott wohnt hinter der Sonne, der Teufel wohnt hinter der Nacht. Was Gott aus dem Licht gebiert, zieht der Teufel in die Nacht. Der Abraxas aber ist die Welt, ihr Werden und Vergehen selber. Zu jeder Gabe des Gottes Sonne stellt der Teufel seinen Fluch. Alles, was Ihr vom Gott Sonne erbittet, zeugt eine Tat des Teufels. Alles, was Ihr mit Gott Sonne erschafft, giebt dem Teufel Gewalt des Wirkens.

Das ist der furchtbare Abraxas.
Er ist die gewaltigste Creatur und in ihm erschrickt die Creatur vor sich selbst.
Er ist der geoffenbarte Widerspruch der Creatur gegen das Pleroma und sein Nichts.
Er ist das Entsetzen des Sohnes vor der Mutter.
Er ist die Liebe der Mutter zum Sohne.
Er ist das Entzücken der Erde und die Grausamkeit der Himmel.
Der Mensch erstarrt vor seinem Antlitz.
Vor ihm giebt es nicht Frage und nicht Antwort.
Er ist das Leben der Creatur.
Er ist das Wirken der Unterschiedenheit.
Er ist die Liebe des Menschen.
Er ist die Rede des Menschen.
Er ist der Schein und der Schatten des Menschen.
Er ist die täuschende Wirklichkeit.
Hier heulten und tobten die Toten, denn sie waren Unvollendete.

Sermo IV

Die Toten füllten murrend den Raum und sprachen: Rede zu uns von Göttern und Teufeln, Verfluchter. Gott Sonne ist das höchste Gut, der Teufel das Gegenteil, also habt Ihr zwei Götter. Es gibt aber viele hohe Güter und viele schwere Übel, und darunter giebt es zwei Gottteufel, der eine ist das BRENNENDE und der andere das WACHSENDE. Das Brennende ist der EROS in Gestalt der Flamme. Sie leuchtet, indem sie verzehrt. Das Wachsende ist der BAUM DES LEBENS, er grünt, indem er wachsend lebendigen Stoff anhäuft. Der Eros flammt auf und stirbt dahin, der Lebensbaum aber wächst langsam und stetig durch ungemessene Zeiten.

Gutes und Übles einigt sich in der Flamme. Gutes und Übles einigt sich im Wachstum des Baumes. Leben und Liebe stehen in ihrer Göttlichkeit gegeneinander. Unermesslich, wie das Heer der Sterne ist die Zahl der Götter und Teufel. Jeder Stern ist ein Gott und jeder Raum, den ein Stern füllt, ist ein Teufel. Das Leervolle des Ganzen aber ist das Pleroma. Die Wirkung des Ganzen ist der Abraxas, nur Unwirkliches steht ihm entgegen. Vier ist die Zahl der Hauptgötter, denn vier ist die Zahl der Ausmessungen der Welt. Eins ist der Anfang, der Gott Sonne.

Zwei ist der Eros, denn er verbindet Zwei und breitet sich leuchtend aus. Drei ist der Baum des Lebens, denn er füllt den Raum mit Körpern. Vier ist der Teufel, denn er öffnet alles Geschlossene; er löst auf alles Geformte und Körperliche, er ist der Zerstörer, in dem Alles zu Nichts wird. Wohl mir, dass es mir gegeben ist, die Vielheit und Verschiedenartigkeit der Götter zu erkennen. Wehe Euch dass Ihr diese unvereinbare Vielheit durch den einen Gott ersetzt. Dadurch schafft Ihr die Qual des Nichtverstehens und die Verstümmelung der Creatur, deren Wesen und Trachten Unterschiedenheit ist. Wie seid Ihr eurem Wesen getreu, wenn Ihr das Viele zum Einen machen wollt? Was Ihr an den Göttern tut, geschieht auch an Euch. Ihr werdet alle gleich gemacht und so ist euer Wesen verstümmelt.

Um des Menschen willen herrsche Gleichheit, aber nicht um Gottes willen, denn der Götter sind viele, der Menschen aber wenige. Die Götter sind mächtig, und ertragen ihre Mannigfaltigkeit, denn wie die Sterne stehen sie in Einsamkeit und ungeheurer Entfernung von einander. Die Menschen sind schwach und ertragen ihre Mannigfaltigkeit nicht, denn sie wohnen nahe beisammen und bedürfen der Gemeinschaft, um ihre Besonderheit tragen zu können. Um der Erlösung willen lehre ich Euch das Verwerfliche, um dessentwillen ich verworfen ward. Die Vielzahl der Götter entspricht der Vielzahl der Menschen. Unzählige Götter harren der Menschwerdung. Unzählige Götter sind Menschen gewesen. Der Mensch hat am Wesen der Götter teil, er kommt von den Göttern und geht zum Gotte.

So, wie es sich nicht lohnt über das Pleroma nachzudenken, so lohnt es sich nicht, die Vielheit der Götter zu verehren. Am wenigsten lohnt es sich, den ersten Gott, die wirksame Fülle und das summum bonum, zu verehren. Wir können durch unser Gebet nichts dazu tun und nichts davon nehmen, denn die wirksame Leere schluckt alles in sich auf. Die hellen Götter bilden die Himmelswelt, sie ist vielfach und unendlich sich erweiternd und vergrößernd. Ihr oberster Herr ist der Gott Sonne.

Die dunkeln Götter bilden die Erdenwelt. Sie sind einfach und unendlich sich verkleinernd und vermindernd. Ihr unterster Herr ist der Teufel, der Mondgeist, der Trabant der Erde, kleiner und kälter und toter als die Erde. Es ist kein Unterschied in der Macht der himmlischen und der erdhaften Götter. Die himmlischen vergrößern, die erdhaften verkleinern. Unermesslich ist beiderlei Richtung.

Sermo V

Die Toten spotteten und riefen: Lehre uns, Narr, von Kirche und heiliger Gemeinschaft. Die Welt der Götter verdeutlicht sich in der Geistigkeit und in der Geschlechtlichkeit. Die himmlischen erscheinen in der Geistigkeit, die erdhaften in der Geschlechtlichkeit.

Geistigkeit empfängt und erfasst. Sie ist weiblich und darum nennen wir sie die MATER COELESTIS, die himmlische Mutter. Geschlechtlichkeit zeugt und erschafft. Sie ist männlich und darum nennen wir sie PHALLOS, den erdhaften Vater. Die Geschlechtlichkeit des Mannes ist mehr erdhaft, die Geschlechtlichkeit des Weibes ist mehr geistig. Die Geistigkeit des Mannes ist mehr himmlisch, sie geht zum Größeren.

Die Geistigkeit des Weibes ist mehr erdhaft, sie geht zum Kleineren. Lügnerisch und teuflisch ist die Geistigkeit des Mannes, die zum Kleineren geht. Lügnerisch und teuflisch ist die Geistigkeit des Weibes, die zum Größern geht. Jeder gehe zu seiner Stelle.

Mann und Weib werden aneinander zum Teufel, wenn sie ihre geistigen Wege nicht trennen, denn das Wesen der Creatur ist Unterschiedenheit. Die Geschlechtlichkeit des Mannes geht zum Erdhaften, die Geschlechtlichkeit des Weibes geht zum Geistigen. Mann und Weib werden aneinander zum Teufel, wenn sie ihre Geschlechtlichkeit nicht trennen. Der Mann erkenne das Kleinere, das Weib das Größere.

Der Mensch unterscheide sich von der Geistigkeit und von der Geschlechtlichkeit. Er nenne die Geistigkeit Mutter und setze sie zwischen Himmel und Erde. Er nenne die Geschlechtlichkeit Phallos und setze ihn zwischen sich und die Erde, denn die Mutter und der Phallos sind übermenschliche Dämonen und Verdeutlichungen der Götterwelt. Sie sind uns wirksamer als die Götter, weil sie unserm Wesen nahe verwandt sind. Wenn Ihr Euch von Geschlechtlichkeit und von Geistigkeit nicht unterscheidet und sie nicht als Wesen über Euch und um Euch betrachtet, so verfallt Ihr ihnen als Eigenschaften des Pleroma. Geistigkeit und Geschlechtlichkeit sind nicht Eure Eigenschaften, nicht Dinge, die Ihr besitzt und umfasst, sondern sie besitzen und umfassen Euch, denn sie sind mächtige Dämonen, Erscheinungsformen der Götter, und darum Dinge, die über Euch hinaus reichen und an sich bestehen. Es hat einer nicht eine Geistigkeit für sich oder eine Geschlechtlichkeit für sich, sondern er steht unter dem Gesetz der Geistigkeit und der Geschlechtlichkeit.

Darum entgeht keiner diesen Dämonen. Ihr sollt sie ansehen als Dämonen und als gemeinsame Sache und Gefahr, als gemeinsame Last, die das Leben euch aufgebürdet hat. So ist Euch auch das Leben eine gemeinsame Sache und Gefahr, ebenso auch die Götter und zuvorderst der furchtbare Abraxas.

Der Mensch ist schwach, darum ist Gemeinschaft unerläßlich; ist es nicht die Gemeinschaft im Zeichen der Mutter, so ist es sie im Zeichen des Phallos. Keine Gemeinschaft ist Leiden und Krankheit. Gemeinschaft in jeglichem ist Zerrissenheit und Auflösung. Die Unterschiedenheit führt zum Einzel sein. Einzel sein ist gegen Gemeinschaft. Aber um der Schwäche des Menschen willen gegenüber den Göttern und Dämonen und ihrem unüberwindlichen Gesetz ist Gemeinschaft nötig. Darum sei so viel Gemeinschaft als nötig, nicht um der Menschen willen, sondern wegen der Götter. Die Götter zwingen Euch zur Gemeinschaft. So viel sie Euch zwingen, so viel Gemeinschaft tut not, mehr ist von Übel.

In der Gemeinschaft ordne sich jeder dem andern unter, damit die Gemeinschaft erhalten bleibe, denn Ihr bedürft ihrer. Im Einzel sein ordne sich einer dem andern über, damit jeder zu sich selber komme und Sklaverei vermeide. In der Gemeinschaft gelte Enthaltung, im Einzel sein gelte Verschwendung. Die Gemeinschaft ist die Tiefe, das Einzel sein ist Höhe. Das richtige Maß in Gemeinschaft reinigt und erhält. Das richtige Maß im Einzel sein reinigt und fügt hinzu. Die Gemeinschaft giebt uns die Wärme, das Einzel sein giebt uns das Licht.

Sermo VI

Der Dämon der Geschlechtlichkeit tritt zu unsrer Seele als eine Schlange. Sie ist zur Hälfte Menschenseele und heißt Gedankenwunsch. Der Dämon der Geistigkeit senkt sich in unsre Seele herab als der weiße Vogel. Er ist zur Hälfte Menschenseele und heißt Wunschgedanke.

Die Schlange ist eine erdhafte Seele, halb dämonisch, ein Geist und verwandt den Geistern der Toten. Wie diese, so schwärmt auch sie herum in den Dingen der Erde und bewirkt, dass wir sie fürchten, oder dass sie unsere Begehrlichkeit reizen. Die Schlange ist weiblicher Natur und sucht immer die Gesellschaft der Toten, die an die Erde gebannt sind, solche, die den Weg nicht hinüberfanden, nämlich ins Einzel sein. Die Schlange ist eine Hure und buhlt mit dem Teufel und mit den bösen Geistern, ein arger Tyrann und Quälgeist, immer zu übelster Gemeinschaft verführend. Der weiße Vogel ist eine halbhimmlische Seele des Menschen. Sie weilt bei der Mutter und steigt bisweilen herab. Der Vogel ist männlich und ist wirkender Gedanke. Er ist keusch und einsam, ein Bote der Mutter. Er fliegt hoch über die Erde. Er gebietet das Einzel sein. Er bringt Kunde von den Fernen, die vorangegangen und vollendet sind. Er trägt unser Wort herum in den Dingen der Erde und bewirkt, dass wir sie fürchten, oder dass sie unsere Begehrlichkeit reizen.

Die Toten blickten mit Verachtung und sprachen: Höre auf von Göttern, Dämonen und Seelen zu reden. Das wussten wir im Grunde schon längst.

Sermo VII

Des Nachts aber kamen die Toten wieder mit kläglicher Gebärde und sprachen: Noch eines, wir vergaßen davon zu reden, lehre uns vom Menschen. Der Mensch ist ein Thor, durch das Ihr aus der Außenwelt der Götter, Dämonen und Seelen eintretet in die Innenwelt, aus der größeren Welt in die kleinere Welt. Klein und nichtig ist der Mensch, schon habt Ihr ihn im Rücken, und wiederum seid Ihr im unendlichen Raume, in der kleineren oder inneren Unendlichkeit.In unermesslicher Entfernung steht ein einziger Stern im Zenith.

Dies ist der eine Gott dieses Einen, dies ist seine Welt, sein Pleroma, seine Göttlichkeit. In dieser Welt ist der Mensch der Abraxas, der seine Welt gebiert oder verschlingt. Dieser Stern ist der Gott und das Ziel des Menschen. Dies ist sein einer führender Gott, in ihm geht der Mensch zur Ruhe, zu ihm geht die lange Reise der Seele nach dem Tode, in ihm erglänzt als Licht alles, was der Mensch aus der größeren Welt zurückzieht. Zu diesem einen bete der Mensch. Das ebet mehrt das Licht des Sternes, es schlägt eine Brücke über den Tod, es bereitet das Leben der kleineren Welt, und mindert das hoffnungslose Wünschen der größeren Welt. Wenn die größere Welt kalt wird, leuchtet der Stern. Nichts ist zwischen dem Menschen und seinem einen Gotte, sofern der Mensch seine Augen vom flammenden Schauspiel des Abraxas abwenden kann. Mensch hier, Gott dort. Schwachheit und Nichtigkeit hier, ewige Schöpferkraft dort. Hier ganz Dunkelheit und feuchte Kühle, dort ganz Sonne.

Darauf schwiegen die Toten und stiegen empor wie Rauch über dem Feuer des Hirten, der des Nachts seiner Herde wartete.



Zitat:"Jung ließ die «Septem Sermones ad Mortuos» (sieben Reden an die Toten) als Broschüre im Privatdruck erscheinen. Er verschenkte sie gelegentlich an Freunde. Im Buchhandel war sie nie erhältlich. Später bezeichnete er die Unternehmung als eine «Jugendsünde» und bereute dies im Nachhinein. Die Sprache entspricht ungefähr derjenigen des «Roten Buches». Gegenüber den endlos langen Gesprächen mit inneren Figuren im «Roten Buch» stellen die «Septem Sermones» ein in sich abgeschlossenes Ganzes dar. Darum wurden sie als Beispiel gewählt. Sie vermitteln einen, wenn auch bruchstückhaften, Eindruck dessen was Jung in den Jahren 1913 bis 1917 in Atem gehalten, und was er damals gestaltet hatte. Die Schrift enthält bildhafte Andeutungen oder Vorwegnahmen von Gedanken, die in Jungs wissenschaftlichem Werk später eine Rolle spielten, vor allem die Gegensatznatur des Geistes, des Lebens und der psychologischen Aussage. Das Denken in Paradoxien war es, das Jung bei den Gnostikern angezogen hatte. Deshalb identilizierte er sich hier mit dem Gnostiker Basilides (anfangs des 2. Jahrhunderts n. Chr.) und hielt sich zum Teil auch an dessen Terminologie, z. B. Gott als ABRAXAS. Dies entsprach einer spielerischen und beabsichtigten Mystifizierung. Jung gab seine Erlaubnis zur Publikation in seinem Erinnerungsbuch nur zögernd und nur «um der Ehrlichkeit willen». Die Auflösung des Anagramms am Schluß des Buches hat er nicht verraten."

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Septem Sermones ad Mortuos: Jung's Challenge to Christianity

Michael J. Brabazon

Due to the lack of any real progress of finding common cause between religionists generally and Classical Jungians the mundane school of psychology/psychiatry is pulling Jung's legacy down an evermore materialistic path. Concepts which can be taken as statements of Jung's own spirituality are being diminished in favour of a rapprochement with Freudians. It is true that in Jung's schema of man’s psyche, God could exist but it is not necessarily so; the spirit could exist, but that is also not necessarily so. However, by using religious perceptions and insights Jung has managed to bring a potential harmony between modern and ancient thought; his ideas can be used by psychiatrists and mystics alike.

The Freudian response to the claims of homo religiosus is one of confrontation, viz. that religious belief is an identifiable neurosis. Human nature is driven by animal sexuality which the ego and superego struggle to contain, and it is this battleground from which repression and guilt arise. This Freudian existentiality allows for no spiritual man with attendant holiness. In fact the oppressive religious structures which teach holiness only serve to induce unnecessary guilt, the feeling of having sinned. Juxtaposed is Jung. Here we have a psychological schema which apprehends religion as proto-psychology, with Jung as the modern day prophet expressing the numen in twentieth century language. It is this Jungian perspective of constructive criticism of the old by the new, rather than that of sterile confrontation, which sets the scene for a revolution in religious thought. But herein is the Jungian paradox; being new for Jung means an updating of ancient spirituality and using that as a standpoint for a new critique.

He believed himself to be in the line of the ancient Gnostics and alchemists, with a mission to bring to Christianity certain 'missing' elements. When he was asked by John Freeman in a TV interview shortly before his death whether or not he believed in God, Jung replied that he knew God exists. This 'knowledge' is the gnosis of the ancient heretical tradition within early Christianity, the secret understanding of man and his salvation. This central element in Jung's understanding of the importance of his mission and psychological theories must be fully realised before one can comprehend his overall approach to theological anthropology. Jung did not see the new as a schism with the past but believed it was the same life-force - the self at the heart of the collective unconscious - which was constantly being reinterpreted and expressed. To that end one has always to refer to the past in order to correctly orientate oneself: he thought of his own work as a completion of that of his cleric father, his personal incarnation of the incompleteness of Christian doctrine, in particular in relation to the psychological aspects of the Trinity and the nature of evil. By evaluating Christian doctrine in psychological terms and measuring that evaluation against the Jungian schema it was possible to locate its inherent deficiencies. Religion is valuable in a therapeutic sense of offering meaning to the individual, in much the same way that Gnostic teaching stressed the internal goal of the person as against the ecclesiological position of orthodoxy. Holiness is the uniting of the higher spirit with the unknowable deity, not via a corporate body or a set of laws.

Septem Sermones ad Mortuos: Jung's Challenge to Christianity

Saturday, September 17, 2005



Transcribed by Carl Gustav Jung

Sermo I.

The Dead came back from Jerusalem, where they found not what they sought. They prayed me let them in and besought my word, and thus i began my teaching. Harken: I begin with nothingness. Nothingness is the same as fullness. In infinity full is no better than empty. Nothingness is both empty and full. As well might ye say anything else of nothingness,as for instance, white is it, or black, or again, it is not, or it is. A thing that is infinite and eternal hath no qualities, since it hath all qualities. This nothingness or fullness we name the Pleroma.

Therein both thinking and being cease, since the eternal and infinite possess no qualities. In it no being is, for he then would be distinct from the pleroma, and would possess qualities which would distinguish him as something distinct from the pleroma. In the pleroma there is nothing and everything. It is quite fruitless to think about the pleroma, for this would mean self-dissolution. Creatura is not in the pleroma, but in itself. The pleroma is both beginning and end of the created beings. It pervadeth them, as the light od the sun everywhere pervadeth the air. Although the pleroma prevadeth altogether, yet hath created being no share thereof, just as wholly transparent body becometh neither light nor dark through the light nor dark through the light which pervadeth it. We are, however, the pleroma itself, for we are a part of the eternal and the infinite. But we have no share thereof, as we are from the pleroma infinitely removed; not spiritually or temporally, but essentially, since we are distinguished from the pleroma in our essence as creatura, which is confined within time and space.

Yet because we are parts of the pleroma, the pleroma is also in us. Even in the smallest point is the pleroma endless, eternal, and entire, since small and great are qualities which are contained in it. It is that nothingness which is everywhere whole and continuous. Only figuratively, therefore, do I speak of created being as part of the pleroma. Because, actually, the pleroma is nowhere divided, since it is nothingness. We are also the whole pleroma, because, figuratively, the pleroma is the smallest point (assumed only, not existing) in us and the boundless firmanent about us. But wherefore, then, do we speak of the pleroma at all, since it is thus everything and nothing? I speak of it to make a beginning somewhere, and also to free you from the delusion that somewhere, either without or within,there standeth something fixed, or in some way established, from the beginning. Every so-called fixed and certain thing is only relative. That alone is fixed and certain which is subject to change. What is changeable, however, is creature. Therefore is it the one thing which is fixed and certain because it hath qualities: or as even a quality itself.

The question ariseth: How did creatura originate? Created beings came to pass, not creatura: since created being is the very quality of the pleroma, as much as non-creation which is the eternal death.In all times and places is creation, in all times and places is death. The pleroma hath all, distinctiveness and non-distinctiveness. Distinctiveness is creatura. It is distinct. Distinctivness is its essence. and therefore it distinguisheth. Wherefore also he distinguished qualities of the pleroma which are not. He distinguisheth them out of his own nature. Therefore he must speak of qualities of the pleroma which are not.

What use, say ye, to speak of it? Saidst thou not thyself, there is no profit in thinking upon the pleroma? That said I unto you, to free you from the delusion that we are able to think about the pleroma. When we distinguish qualities of the pleroma, we are speaking from the ground of our own distinctiveness and concerning our own distinctiveness. But we have said nothing concerning the pleroma. Concerning our own distinctiveness, however, it is needfull to speak, whereby we may distinguish ourselves enough. Our very nature is distinctiveness. If we are not true to this nature we do not distinguish ourselves enough. Therefore must we make distinctions of qualities.

What is the harm, ye ask, in not distingusihing oneself? If we do not distinguish, we get beyond our own nature, away from creatura. We fall into indistinctiveness, which is the other quality of the pleroma. We fall into the pleroma itself and cease to be creatures. We are given over to dissolution in nothingness. This is the death of the creature. Therefore we die in such measure as we do not distinguish. Hence the natural striving of the creature goeth towards distinctiveness, fighteth against primeval, perilous sameness. This is called the PRINCIPIUM INDIVIDUATIONIS. This principle is the essence of the creature. From this you can see why indistictiveness and non-distinction are a great danger for the creature. We must, therefore, distinguish the qualities of the pleroma.The qualities are PAIRS OF OPPOSITES, such as -

The Effective and the ineffective.
Fullness and Emptiness.
Living and Dead.
Difference and Sameness.
Light and Darkness.
The Hot and the Cold.
Force and Matter.
Time and Space.
Good and Evil.
Beauty and Ugliness.
The One and the Many.

The pairs of opposities are qualities of the pleroma which are not, because each balanceth each. As we are the pleroma itself, we also have all these qualities in us. Because the very ground of our nature is distinctiveness, which meaneth -

1. These qualities are distinct and seperate in us one from the other; therefore they are not balanced and void, but are effective. Thus are the victims of the pairs of opposites. The pleroma is rent in us.

2. The qualities belong to the pleroma, and only in the name and sign of distinctiveness can and must we possess and live them. We must distinguish ourselves from qualities. In the pleroma they are balanced and void; in us not. Being distinguished from them delivereth us.

When we strive after the good or the beautiful, we thereby forget our own nature, which is disinctiveness, and we are delivered over to the qualities of the pleroma, which are pairs of opposites. We labor to attain the good and the beautiful, yet at the same time we also lay hold of the evil and the ugly, since in the pleroma these are one with the good and the beautiful. When, however, we remain true to our own nature, which is distinctiveness, we distinguish ourselves from the good and the beautiful,therefore, at the same time, from the evil and ugly. And thus we fall not into the pleroma, namely, into nothingness and dissolution. Thou sayest, ye object, that difference and sameness are also qualities of the pleroma. How would it be, then, if we strive after difference? Are we, in so doing, not true to our own nature? And must we none the less be given over to the sameness when we strive after difference?

Ye must not forget that the pleroma hath no qualities. We create them through thinking. If, therefore, ye strive after difference or sameness, or any qualities whatsoever, ye pursue thought which flow to you our of the pleroma: thoughts, namely, concerning non-existing qualities of the pleroma. Inasmuch as ye run after these thoughts, ye fall again into the pleroma, and reach difference and sameness at the same time. Not your thhinking, but your being, is distinctiveness. Therefore not after difference, ye think it, must ye strive; but after YOUR OWN BEING. At bottom, therefore, there is only one striving, namely, the striving after your own being. If ye had this striving ye would not need to know anything about the pleroma and its qualities, and yet would ye come to your right goal by virtue of your own being. Since, however, thought estrangeth from being, that knowledge must I trach you wherewith ye may be able to hold your thought in leash.

Sermo II.

In the night the dead stood along the wall and cried: We would have knowledge of god.Where is god? Is god dead? God is not dead. Now, as ever, he liveth. God is creatura, for he is something definite, and therefore distinct from the pleroma. God is quality of the pleroma, and everything I said of creatura also is true concerning him. He is distinguished, however, from created beings through this, that he is more indefinite and indeterminable than they. He is less distinct than created beings, since the ground of his being is effective fullness. Only in so far as he is definite and distinct is he creatura, and in like measure is he the manifestation of the effective fullness of the pleroma.

Everthing which we do not distinguish falleth into the pleroma and is made void by its opposite. If, therefore, we do noy distinguish god, effective fullness is for us extinguished. Moreover god is the pleroma itself, as likewise each smallest point in the created and uncreated is pleroma itself. Effective void is the nature of the devil. God and decil are the first manifestations of nothingness, which we call the pleroma. It is indifferent wether the pleroma is or is not, since in everything it is balanced and void. Not so creatura. In so far as god and devil are creatura they do not extinguish each other, but stand one against the other as effective opposites. We need no proof of their existence. It is enough that we must always be speaking of them. Even if both were not, creatura, of its own essential distinctiveness, would forever distinguish them anew out of the pleroma.

Everything that discrimination taketh out of the pleroma is a pair of opposites. To god, therefore, always belongeth the devil. This inseparability is as close and , as your own life hath made you see, as indissoluble as the pleroma itself. Thus it is that both stand very close to the pleroma, in which all opposites are extinguished
and joined.

God and devil are distinguished by the qualities of fullness and emptiness, generation and destruction. EFFECTIVENESS is common to both. Effectiveness joineth them. Effectiveness, therefore, standeth above both; is a god above god, since in its effect it uniteth fullness and emptiness. This is a god whom ye knew not, for mankind forgot it. We name it by its name ABRAXAS. It is more indefinite still than god and devil. That god may be distinguished from it, we name god HELIOS or sun. Abraxas is effect. Nothing standeth opposed to it but the ineffective; hence its effective natyre freely unfoldeth itself. The ineffective is not, therefore resisteth not. Abraxas standeth above the sun and above the devil. It is improbable probability, unreal reality. Had the pleroma a being, Abraxas would be its manifestation. It is the effective itself, nor any particular effect, but effect in general.

It is unreal reality, because it hath no definite effect. It is also creatura, because it is distinct from the pleroma. The sun hath a definite effect, and so hath the devil. Wherefore do they appear to us more effective than indefinite Abraxas. It is force, duration, change. The dead now raised a great tumult, for they were Christians.

Sermo III.

Like mists arising from a marsh, the dead came near and cried: Speak further unto us concerning the supreme god. Hard to know is the deity of Abraxas. Its power is the greatest, because man perceiveth it not. From the sun he draweth the summum bonum; from the devil the infimum malum: But from Abraxas LIFE, altogether indefinite, the mother of good and evil.

Smaller and weaker life seemeth to be than the summum bonum; wherefore is it also hard to conceive that Abraxas transcendeth even the sun in power, who is himself the radient source of all the force of life. Abraxas is the sun, and at the same time the eternally sucking gorge of the void, the belittling and dismembering devil.

The power of Abraxas is twofold; but ye see it not, because for your eyes the warring opposites of this power are extinguished. What the god-sun speaketh is life. What the devil speaketh is death. But Abraxas speaketh that hallowed and accursed word which is life and death at the same time. Abraxas begetteth truth and lying, good and evil, light and darkness, in the same word and in the same act. Wherefore is Abraxas terrible.

It is splendid as the lion in the instant he striketh down his victim.
It is beautiful as a day in spring.
It is the great Pan himself and also the small one.
It is Priapos.
It is the monster of the under-world, a thousand-armed polyp, coiled knot of winged serpents, frenzy.
It is the hermaphrodite of the earliest beginning.
It is the lord of the toads and frogs, which live in the water and gets up on the land, whose chorus ascendeth at noon and at midnight.
It is abundance that seeketh union with emptiness.
It is holy begetting.
It is love and love`s murder.
It is the saint and his betrayer.
It is the brightest light of day and the darkest night of madness.
To look upon it, is blindness.
To know it, is sickness.
To worship it, is death.
To fear it, is wisdom.
To resist it not, is redemption.

God dwelleth behind the sun, the devil behind the night. What god bringeth forth out of the light of the devil sucketh into the night. But Abraxas is the world, its becoming and its passing - Upon every gift that cometh from the god-sun the devil layeth his curse.

Everything that ye entreat from the god-sun begetteth a deed from the devil. Everything that ye create with the god-sun giveth effective power to the devil. That is terrible Abraxas.

It is the mightiest creature, and in it the creature is afraid of itself.
It is the manifest opposition to the pleroma and its nothingness.
It is the son`s horror of the mother.
It is the mother`s love for the son.
It is the delight of the earth and the cruelty of the heavens.
Before its countenance man becometh like stone.
Before it there is no question and no reply.
It is the life of creatura.
It is the operation of distinctiveness.
It is the love of man.
It is the speech of man.
It is the appearance and the shadow of man.
It is illusory reality.

Now the dead howled and raged, for they were unperfected.

Sermo IV.

The dead filled the place murmuring and said; Tell us of gods and devils, accursed one! The god-suun is the highest good, the devil its opposite. Thus have ye two gods. But there are many high and good things and many great evils. Among these are two god-devils; the one is the Burning One , the other the Growing One. The burning one is EROS, who hath the form of flame. Flame giveth light because it consumeth. The growing one is the TREE OF LIFE.. It buddeth, as in growing it heapeth up living stuff. Eros flameth up and dieth. But the tree of life groweth with slow and constant increase through unmeasured time. Good and evil are united in the flame. Good and evil are united in the increase of the tree. In their divinity stand life and love opposed.

Innumerable as the host of the stars is the number of gods and devils. Each star is a god, and each space that a star filleth is a devil. But the empty-fullness of the whole is the pleroma. The operation of the whole is Abraxas, to whom only the ineffective standeth opposed. Four is the number of the principal gods, as four is the number of the world`s measurements. One is the beginning, the god-sun. Two is Eros; for he bindeth twain together and outspreadeth himself in brightness. Three is the Tree of Life, for it filleth space with bodily forms. Four is the devil, for he openeth all that is closed. All that is formed of bodily nature doth he dissolve; he is the destroyer in whom everything is brought to nothing.

For me, to whom knowledge hath been given of the multiplicity and diversity of the good, it is well. But woe unto you, who replace these incompatible many by a single god. For in so doing ye beget the torment which is bred from not understanding, and ye mutilate the creature whose nature and aim is distinctiveness. How can ye be true to your own nature when ye try to change the many into one? What ye do unto the gods is done likewise unto you. Ye all become equal and thus is your nature maimed.

Equalities shall prevail not for god, but only for the sake of man. For the gods are many, whilst men are few. The gods are mighty and can endure their manifoldness. For like the stars they abide in solitude, parted one from the other by immense distances. Therefore they dwell together and need communion, that they may bear their separateness. For redemtion`s sake I teach you the rejected truth, for the sake of which I was rejected.

The multiplicity of the gods correspondeth to the multiplicity of man. Numberless gods await the human state. Numberless gods have been men. Man shareth in nature of the gods. He cometh from the gods and goeth unto god. Thus, just as it serveth not to reflect upon the plerome, it availeth not to worship the multiplicity of the gods. Least of all availeth it to worship the first god, the effective abundance and the summum bonum.. By our prayer we can add to it nothing, and from it nothing take; because the effective void swalloweth all.

The bright gods form the celestial world. It is manifold and infinitely spreading and increasing. The god-sun is the supreme lord of the world. The dark gods form the earth-world. They are simple and infinitely diminishing and declining. The devil is the earth-world`s lowest lord, the moon-spirit, satellite of the earth, smaller, colder, and more dead than the earth. There is no difference between the might of the celestial gods and those of the earth. The celestial gods magnify, the earth-gods diminish. Measurelesss is the movement of both.

Sermo V.

The dead mocked and cried: Teach us, fool, of the Church and the holy Communion. The world of the gods is made manifest in spirituality and in sexuality. The celestial ones appear in spirituality, the earthly in sexuality. Spirituality conceiveth and embraceth. It is womanlike and therefore we call it MATER COELESTIS, the celestial mother. Sexuality engendereth and createth. It is manlike, and therefore we call it PHALLOS, the earthly father. The sexuality of man is more of the earth, the sexuality of woman is more of the spirit. The spirituality of man is more of heaven, it goeth to the greater. The spirituality of woman is more of the earth, it goeth to the smaller. Lying and devilish is the spirituality of the man which goeth to the smaller. Lying and devilish is the spirituality of the woman which goeth to the greater. Each must go its own place. Man and woman become devils one to the other when they divide not their spiritual ways, for the nature of the creatura is distinctiveness. The sexuality of man hath an earthward course, the sexuality of woman a spiritual.

Man and woman becomes devils one to the other if they distinguish not their sexuality. Man shall know of the smaller, woman the greater. Man shall distinguish himself both from spirituality and sexuality. He shall spirituality Mother, and set her between heaven and earth. He shall call sexuality Phallos, annd set him between himself and earth. For the Mother and the Phallos are super-human daemons which reveal the world of the gods. They are for us more effective than the gods, because they are closely akin to our own nature.

Should ye not distinguish yourselves from sexuality and from spirituality, and not regard them as of a nature borh above you and beyond, then are ye delivered over to them as qualities of the pleroma. Spirituality and sexuality are not your qualities, not things ye possess and contain. But they possess and contain you; for they are powerfull daemons, manifestations of the gods, and are, therefore, things which reach beyond you, existing in themselves. No man hath a spirituality unto himself, or a sexuality unto himself. But he standeth under the law of Spirituality and of sexuality. No man, therefore, escapeth these daemons. Ye shall look upn them as daemons, and as a common task and danger, a common burdon which life hath laid upon you. Thus is life for you also a common task and danger, as are the gods, and first of all terrible Abraxas.

Man is weak, therefore is communion indispensable. If your communion be not under the sign of the Mother, then is it under the sign of the Phallos. No communion is suffering and sickness. Communion in everything is dismemberment and dissolution. Distinctiveness leadeth to singleness. Singleness is opposed to communion. But because of man`s weakneess over against the gods and daemons and their invincible law is communion needful, not for man`s sake, but because of the gods.

The gods force you to communion. As much as they force you, so much is the communion needed, more is evil. In communion let every man submit to the others, that communion be maintained, for ye need it. In Singleness the one man shall be superior to the others, that every man may come to himself and avoid slavery. In communion there shall be continence. In Singleness there shall be prodigality. Communion is depth. Singleness is height. Right measure in communion purifieth and preserveth. Right measure in Singleness purifieth and increaseth. Communion giveth us warmth, Singleness giveth us light.

Sermo VI.

The daemons of sexuality approacheth our soul as a serpent. It is half human and appeareth as thought-desire. The daemon of spirituality descendeth into our soul as the white bird. It is half human and appeareth as desire-thought. The Serpent is an earthly soul, half daemonic, a spirit, and akin to the spirits of the dead. Thus too, like these, she swarmeth around in the things of earth, making us either fear them or pricking us with intemperate desires. The Serpent hath a nature like unto woman. She seeketh company of the dead who are held by the spell of the earth, they who found not the way beyond that leadeth to singleness. The Serpent is a whore. She wantoneth with the devil and with evil spirits; a mischievous tyrant and tormentor, ever seducing to evilest company.

The White Bird is a half-celestial soul of man. He bideth with the Mother, from time to time descending.The bird hath a nature like unto man, and is effective thought. He is chaste and solitary, a messenger of the Mother. He flieth high above earth. He commandeth singleness. He bringeth knowledge from the distant ones who went before and are perfected. He beareth our word above to the Mother. She intercedeth, she warneth, but against the gods she hath no power. She is a vessel of the sun. The serpent goeth below and with her cunning she lameth the phallic daemon, or else goadeth him on. She yieldeth up the too crafty toughts of the earthy one, those thoughts which creep through every hole and cleave to all things with desirousness. The Serpent, doubtless, willeth it not, yet she must be of use to us. She fleeth our grasp , thus showing us the way, which with our human wits we could not find.

With disdainful glance the dead spake: Cease this talk of gods and daemons and souls. At this hath long been known to us.

Sermo VII.

Yet when night was come the dead again approached with lamentable mien and said: There is yet one matter we forgot to mention. Teach us about man. Man is a gateway, through which from the outer world of gods, daemons, and souls ye pass into the inner world; out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and transitory is man. Already is he behind you, and once again ye find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller of innermost infinity. At immeasurable distance standeth one single Star in the zenith. This is the one god of this one man. This is his world, his pleroma, his divinity. In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and destroyer of his one world.

This Star is the god and the goal of man. This is his one guiding god. In him goeth man to his rest. Toward him goeth the long journey of the soul after death. In him shineth forth as light all that man bringeth back from the greater world. To this one god man shall pray. Prayer increaseth the light of the Star. It casteth a bridge over death. It prepareth life for the smaller world and assuageth the hopleless desires of the greater. When the greater world waxeth cold, burneth the Star. Between man and his one god there standeth nothing, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas. Man here, god there. Weakness and nothingness here, there eternally creative power. Here nothing but darkness and chilling moisture. There Wholly Sun.

Whereupon the dead were silent and ascended like the smoke above the herdman`s fire, who through the night kept watch over his flock.


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