Jung on the Light of the Darkness

20200320_191950_2   The following passage from Jung’s Alchemical Studies (volume 13 of CW, par. 197) struck me today:

“They [alchemists, seekers after truth] discover that in the very darkness of nature a light is hidden, a little spark without which the darkness would not be darkness. … The light from above made the darkness still darker; but the lumen naturae is the light of the darkness itself, which illuminates its own darkness, and this light the darkness comprehends. Therefore it turns blackness into brightness, burns away ‘all superfluities,’ and leaves behind nothing but ‘faecem et scoriam et terram damnatam’ (dross and scoriae and the rejected earth).

Paracelsus, like all the philosophical alchemists, was seeking for something that would give him a hold on the dark, body-bound nature of man, on the soul which, intangibly interwoven with the world and with matter, appeared before itself in the terrifying form of strange, demoniacal figures and seemed to be the secret source of life-shortening diseases. The Church might exorcise demons and banish them, but that only alienated man from his own nature, which, unconscious of itself, had clothed itself in these spectral forms. Not separation of the natures but union of the natures was the goal of alchemy. From the time of Democritus its leitmotiv had been: “Nature rejoices in nature, nature conquers nature, nature rules over nature.” This principle is pagan in feeling and an expression of nature worship. Nature not only contains a process of transformation—it is itself transformation. It strives not for isolation but for union, for the wedding feast followed by death and rebirth. Paracelsus’s ‘exaltation in May’ is this marriage, the ‘gamonymus’ or hierosgamos [a sacred marriage] of light and darkness in the shape of Sol and Luna. Here the opposites unite what the light from above had sternly divided.”

 

 

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5 Responses to Jung on the Light of the Darkness

  1. lampmagician says:

    Powerful 🙏💖💖🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff Japp says:

    “Nature rules over nature.” The lesson here is that humans are part of nature, and we need to stop seeing ourselves as something other, needing to save nature or fight against nature. Nature will take care of itself, even if that means taking care of us. Thanks for a thoughtful post. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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