Psychology and Alchemy Quotes

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Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works 12) Psychology and Alchemy by Carl Jung
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“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
“The real mystery does not behave mysteriously or secretively; it speaks a secret language, it adumbrates itself by a variety of images which all indicate its true nature. I am not speaking of a secret personally guarded by someone, with a content known to its possessor, but of a mystery, a matter or circumstance which is “secret,” i.e., known only through vague hints but essentially unknown. The real nature of matter was unknown to the alchemist: he knew it only in hints. In seeking to explore it he projected the unconscious into the darkness of matter in order to illuminate it. In order to explain the mystery of matter he projected yet another mystery - his own psychic background -into what was to be explained: Obscurum per obscurius, ignotum per ignotius! This procedure was not, of course, intentional; it was an involuntary occurrence.”
C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
“If a blind man can gradually be helped to see it is not to be expected that he will at once discern new truths with an eagle eye. One must be glad if he sees anything at all, and if he begins to understand what he sees.”
C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
“When the alchemist speaks of Mercurius, on the face of it he means quicksilver (mercury), but inwardly he means the world-creating spirit concealed or imprisoned in matter. The dragon is probably the oldest pictoral symbol in alchemy of which we have documentary evidence. It appears as the Ouroboros, the tail-eater, in the Codex Marcianus, which dates from the tenth or eleventh century, together with the legend ‘the One, the All’. Time and again the alchemists reiterate that the opus proceeds from the one and leads back to the one, that it is a sort of circle like a dragon biting its own tail. For this reason the opus was often called circulare (circular) or else rota (the wheel). Mercurius stands at the beginning and end of the work: he is the prima materia, the caput corvi, the nigredo; as dragon he devours himself and as dragon he dies, to rise again in the lapis. He is the play of colours in the cauda pavonis and the division into the four elements. He is the hermaphrodite that was in the beginning, that splits into the classical brother-sister duality and is reunited in the coniunctio, to appear once again at the end in the radiant form of the lumen novum, the stone. He is metallic yet liquid, matter yet spirit, cold yet fiery, poison and yet healing draught - a symbol uniting all the opposites.”
C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy
“La exigencia de la imitación de Cristo o sea, imitar el ejemplo y llegar a ser semejantes a éste, debiera tener como objetivo el desarrollo y la elevación del hombre interior; pero el creyente superficial, que tiende a las fórmulas mecánicas, ha hecho de Cristo un objeto de culto que está fuera del hombre, al que, precisamente por la veneración, se le impide penetrar en la profundidad del alma humana y crear la integridad correspondiente al modelo que sirve de ejemplo. De esta suerte, el mediador divino se queda en una imagen exterior, mientras que el ser humano continúa siendo un fragmento intacto en lo más profundo de su naturaleza. Sí, Cristo puede ser imitado hasta la estigmatización sin que el imitador se haya ajustado ni siquiera aproximadamente al modelo y el sentido de éste. Pues no se trata sólo de una imitación pura y simple, la cual deja sin transformar a la persona, con lo que se queda en un simple artificio. Antes bien, se trata de una realización del modelo con los propios medios —Deo concedente— en la esfera de la vida individual.”
C.G. Jung, Psicologia y Alquimia