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    Thread: Carl Gustav Jung - Videos, Books, Ruminations

    1. #101
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      Hermeticism... It tends to pop up, and though I'm usually not interested I always get a strong urge to read about it... I haven't yet, because it seemed so unnaccessable before. This looks promising though.

      I know hardly anything about the occult and magik and alchemy, egypt, astrology, and mayas and what and what not. Should I have a foundation of other understandings before I try reading Kybalion?

      Obviously Jung?

      Edit: hahahaha that intro!! It's set up so you feel like the chosen one by virtue of opening the PDF and they totally had me on the hook untill about two thirds in. These bastards sure know how to stroke an ego.


      I feel like I'm about to get played. But fine. I am not afraid of a little trickery so long as it's fun, and this does seem like a very nice text.
      Last edited by LighrkVader; 12-30-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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      Esoteric Hermeticism
      by Darkmatters, on Flickr

      Most of these are by Paul Foster Case. The little purple book on the left is his Book of Tokens, about the Tarot. It's on top of A Concordance of the Book of Tokens, which explains the words and phrases that might give you trouble. The purple book at the right is I Am Affirmations by Peter Mt. Shasta. High School Astrology is by Arisa Victor aka Granny Rainbow. I think the rest are easy enough to make out.

      My Jung studies led me right into Hermeticism - I have several books by Paul Foster Case that are fascinating plus a few others about the Kabbala and the Tarot. It really does complement Jung nicely and I feel like it's a direct link to some of the precursors of Christianity and many of the other big religious systems. Jung is also rife with references to Gnosticism, as well as Alchemy of course. Well, Hermeticism is essentially a blending of Alchemy, Astrology, the Kabbala, and a few other esoteric systems of thought. Apparently there are several different schools of Hermeticism and I think you need to be careful which one(s) you delve into. It seems like many of them are designed to be about sorcery - trying to use magic for your own benefit and to harm others (what in Charmed they would call using magic for personal gain, which is a cosmic no-no and carries a heavy price). I can't claim to know much about it, but from what I've seen so far the Paul Foster Case books aren't about personal gain or power but simply self-develpment -in fact they seem to be about Individuation.

      The whole hermeticism thing leads to ancient secret societies that include the Illuminati, Freemasonry, and a host of others - many of which have chapters still going strong today, and most of which I would not want to have anything to do with. And from what I've read online about it, if you delve into it enough you'll draw the attention of people who are in some of these societies. They claim it's through telepathic influence, but of course today it can be simply through getting placed on watch lists according to your buying habits on Amazon and elsewhere.

      Another closely related thing I've been looking into is Pathworking, which originated with some of these secret societies. It's basically a variant of Active Imagination but you can find some more in-depth instruction into how to do it - the material on Jung's approach leaves something to be desired in terms of actual specific instruction.

      What really fascinates me about all this Hermeticism is it seems to give a direct connection to the earliest bases of religion and magical thought. It goes back at least to ancient Egypt, predating the Old Testament, and nobody knows how far prior to that - the roots obviously go all the way to the beginning of human thought. But it gives what seem to be very accurate information about some of humanities earliest thoughts concerning gods, spirits and magic etc. For instance masonry - the ability to construct buildings and houses - which freed us from living in caves or erecting rough lean-to's as shelter, and kept the predators and the elements at bay for the first time. This was seen as powerful magic and the initiates (the adepts - those educated in the methods and techniques) were seen as magicians. The discovery of the secrets of fire, agriculture and textiles obviously were similarly magical. Learning about all this stuff helps to explain otherwise frustratingly opaque passages in the Bible and other holy books, and reveals that magic, as some science fiction author put it so succinctly decades ago, is simply technology that we don't yet understand. Before the development of Rational Materialism and the Scientific Method people only half understood why and how this stuff worked and attributed it all to Gods and magic. Essentially Hermeticism is what lies at the roots of all religions and spiritual systems, and so studying it gives perspective into how the psyche works.

      Incidentally, Darren Aronofsky's new film mother! is a Gnostic account of Genesis. It's a very mixed blessing as far as I'm concerned - I love some aspects of his filmmaking, but certain things about it drive me nuts. I think the cinematography is amazing and I loved trying to puzzle out just what the heck is actually going on and what it's supposed to mean, but it does leave you pretty frustrated. But I'm a fan and overall I love it. This analysis explains it in good solid detail (spoilers obviously):



      Related because Gnosticism.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-30-2017 at 06:49 PM.

    3. #103
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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      Just out of curiosity, has anybody here heard of or read the Kybalion? It's a book published under pseudonyms that compiles and kind of centralizes what is supposedly the essence of esoteric Hermetic wisdom and the overall teachings of Hermes Trismegistus.

      I feel a lot of it actually sort of complements (or perhaps supplements is a better word) what you can learn from Jung's work, Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytic theories, and Nietzsche's philosophy greatly. The ideas and concepts expressed aren't necessarily related all that directly, but taken into consideration with what you learn from the Jung, Nietzsche, and Lacan (and I suppose Freud as well), it allows for a very comprehensive look at reality, existence, and our fellow human beings.

      Well, at least in my opinion. What I feel I've learned and come to understand by digesting and integrating the ideas from those sources is much more complete and whole than any one of them in particular. There's a free PDF of it available for download here.

      I promise my next reply will be more about Jung, lol. I just figured this might be relevant considering my personal experience with Jung's theories and it.
      Aarrrgh.....LOL! thanks snoop, I'm really interested, but something tells me it's going to be a lot more delving for me. The Hermes thing is another of my fascinations, but I haven't had a chance to pursue it yet, know very little...

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      Lol yeah, it's a gigantic rabbit hole for sure!! And the fascination keeps pulling you deeper and deeper.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Lol yeah, it's a gigantic rabbit hole for sure!! And the fascination keeps pulling you deeper and deeper.
      Aarrgh, again.....I read a book about the painter Richard Dadd, who apparently went crazy and killed his own father, (thought he was the devil), but in the book it said he believed in hermeticism and believed his genius came from outside of himself and therefore he could not take credit for it....I was fascinated by that idea....and while reading this book, suddenly my eyes fell upon another book that had sat on my bookshelf untouched for years, it was all about hermeticism, and that was weird, how I just looked up at it, no conscious thought, I'd never thought about the book before, it was one I'd picked up a decade earlier for completely different reasons....

      And I'm aarrrrrgh'ing because I've just read your post above Darkmatters And I don't know where to begin. I would want at least a definition of all these things, like Gnosticism, I don't know what it is.....

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      Ok, if I may ask.....and divert the thread for a moment, what is Hermeticism in brief? lol and then, how does is parallel with Jung? I totally understand if no one has the time to answer me though, but I am genuinely interested, not just being difficult. It's just I don't know where to start....

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      Actually if you read the PDF file Snoop linked to at the very bottom of the last page (I'm reading through it now) it pretty much explains everything you just asked about. It sometimes strikes me that essentially what Jung did was to bring the concepts of Hermeticism into Psychology. Already in the first few chapters of the little book they've discussed the Principle of Mentality (that everything exists in a great Mind, which we think of as Spirit or God or the Logos). It seems they were very close to understanding the Unconscious and its importance! Then there's The Principle of Polarity - aka the Reconciling of Opposites. Everything has its opposite - heat and cold, light and dark, love and hate, etc, but we must understand that these are not truly opposites by actually just extremes along a spectrum - a matter of degree. Where does cold end and heat begin? Same for light and dark. They're not really opposites but opposed ends of a scale (of temperature, of illumination, what have you). Then there's the Principle of Rhythm - that everything tends to move through cycles where it goes up and down in a wavelike motion.

      They also explain what was the premise of Aurora Consurgens - that the Alchemists weren't really talking about transmuting base metal into Gold, but about transmuting the base human mind or spirit into something more transcendent. In other words a religious experience, or what today we think of as Individuation. This is part of the Principle of Mentality I think - that everything they're saying isn't about magic or matter, but about Mind. And thus is also what they're referring to when they say things like "The wise will understand - the unprepared won't" and similar things ("from the lips of the masters to the ears of the students" etc - only a true or advanced Student who understands the Principle of Mentality will really grasp what's being said.)

      Jung was definitely familiar with this stuff - he must have encountered it when studying the world's religions and spiritual systems to discover the underpinnings of the Psyche. I would say, from what I've seen so far, this little PDF file is a great place to start. And I should also say in the spirit of fairness that, while yes it is a deep rabbit hole and will suck you in, I find it absolutely worthwhile. In fact when I discovered it I stopped reading Jiung and went strictly to Hermeticism for a while - eventually had to put that on hold due to other pressing matters that needed my attention. But I definitely want to get back to it when I can devote the time to it. Jung said that it's absolutely necessary as a modern human to develop "the Religious Attitude" - lacking that is the main cause of nihilism and despair - what has been called The Human Condition in modern times. And while it's not possible for educated intelligent people today to really believe religious or spiritual matters literally, this is absolutely something we can grasp and believe - because despite what it seems like it is not really magical or occult (except in the original sense of the word, meaning hidden) - it's ancient wisdom that predates and anticipates Jungian psychology.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-30-2017 at 11:05 PM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by snoop View Post
      I promise my next reply will be more about Jung, lol.
      As far as I'm concerned, this IS about Jung. Jung in a sense is mysticism brought forward into psychology. In fact, if you've seen the (excellent) Cronenberg movie A Dangerous Method, partly about his split with Freud, that was a big part of their disagreement - Freud was a hard-nosed practical realist and didn't want to tarnish their new field with allegations of mysticism and magic. He thought that might just be the end of it. But Jung persisted, and history was made.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Actually if you read the PDF file Snoop linked to at the very bottom of the last page (I'm reading through it now) it pretty much explains everything you just asked about.
      So I clicked on that link, moved on, forgot about it, had a hissy fit about everything I don't understand.....Thanks for reminding me, and thanks Snoop, going back to that link now.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Actually if you read the PDF file Snoop linked to at the very bottom of the last page (I'm reading through it now) it pretty much explains everything you just asked about. It sometimes strikes me that essentially what Jung did was to bring the concepts of Hermeticism into Psychology. Already in the first few chapters of the little book they've discussed the Principle of Mentality (that everything exists in a great Mind, which we think of as Spirit or God or the Logos). It seems they were very close to understanding the Unconscious and its importance! Then there's The Principle of Polarity - aka the Reconciling of Opposites. Everything has its opposite - heat and cold, light and dark, love and hate, etc, but we must understand that these are not truly opposites by actually just extremes along a spectrum - a matter of degree. Where does cold end and heat begin? Same for light and dark. They're not really opposites but opposed ends of a scale (of temperature, of illumination, what have you). Then there's the Principle of Rhythm - that everything tends to move through cycles where it goes up and down in a wavelike motion.

      They also explain what was the premise of Aurora Consurgens - that the Alchemists weren't really talking about transmuting base metal into Gold, but about transmuting the base human mind or spirit into something more transcendent. In other words a religious experience, or what today we think of as Individuation. This is part of the Principle of Mentality I think - that everything they're saying isn't about magic or matter, but about Mind. And thus is also what they're referring to when they say things like "The wise will understand - the unprepared won't" and similar things ("from the lips of the masters to the ears of the students" etc - only a true or advanced Student who understands the Principle of Mentality will really grasp what's being said.)

      Jung was definitely familiar with this stuff - he must have encountered it when studying the world's religions and spiritual systems to discover the underpinnings of the Psyche. I would say, from what I've seen so far, this little PDF file is a great place to start. And I should also say in the spirit of fairness that, while yes it is a deep rabbit hole and will suck you in, I find it absolutely worthwhile. In fact when I discovered it I stopped reading Jiung and went strictly to Hermeticism for a while - eventually had to put that on hold due to other pressing matters that needed my attention. But I definitely want to get back to it when I can devote the time to it. Jung said that it's absolutely necessary as a modern human to develop "the Religious Attitude" - lacking that is the main cause of nihilism and despair - what has been called The Human Condition in modern times. And while it's not possible for educated intelligent people today to really believe religious or spiritual matters literally, this is absolutely something we can grasp and believe - because despite what it seems like it is not really magical or occult (except in the original sense of the word, meaning hidden) - it's ancient wisdom that predates and anticipates Jungian psychology.
      Interesting and I'm reading the little book and things are forming some order in my brain now. Am I right in thinking that Hermeticism probably came before alchemy and may be the basis of it. Sorry to be so simplistic....but it's how I start with things, lol

      Something else, I've read that Hermes and Hermes Trismegistus may be two different entities, which also confuses me....

      Also is Mercurious Hermes Trismegistus (sorry to throw in another one, I was reading a paper about it, it's on my old computer which is being fixed, but if I can I will find the article and share it with others.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Freud was a hard-nosed practical realist and didn't want to tarnish their new field with allegations of mysticism and magic. He thought that might just be the end of it. But Jung persisted, and history was made.
      As a psychology student, it is interesting to know about Sigmund Freud's academic history & clinical work and why he had beef Carl Jung. I have not finished watching the movie, but I do have a history of psychology textbook, containing the beef between Freud and Jung, that I have completed for leisure sake.

      Freud was a good neuroanatomist, but Freud without a fMRI in the late 19th century could not make a living off of neurology, so he turned his work to treating people with hysteria. Because of the early failures of neurology and clinical psychology (it was practically nonexistent), Freud was frustrated with not being able to help with his clients. In fact, one of the ways that Freud treated a client is to give him "baths, massage, electrotherapy, and rest cures - but found them ineffective" (as expected). He wanted something that is "scientific," which is why he was intrigued by hypnotic and free association and not Jung's mysticism and magic; of course, the irony is that Freud to Karl Popper's eyes was practicing pseudoscience.

      However, Williams Jame, the well-known American philosopher and psychologist, will take Carl Jung with open arms. James was willing to explore every facets of human behaviors including parapsychology as he was "a founder of the American Society for Psychical Research".

      My reference is B. R. Hergenhahn and Tracy B. Henley's "An Introduction to the History of Psychology" 7th edition.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rosanna View Post
      Am I right in thinking that Hermeticism probably came before alchemy and may be the basis of it. Sorry to be so simplistic....but it's how I start with things, lol
      Hermes Trismegistus (I think originally just called Hermes - apparently Trismegistus means "the Thrice-Great") was the inventor of Alchemy. So they sort of are the same thing, or at least were born at the same time and of the same father, though actually Alchemy is just one part of Hermeticism, which also includes Astrology and the Kabbala. I'm not sure if there's more stuff in there as well. I suppose the way to look at is is that Hermeticism is the combination of all 3. Oh, also Tarot. Yeah, that's in Hermeticism too.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rosanna View Post
      Something else, I've read that Hermes and Hermes Trismegistus may be two different entities, which also confuses me....
      All I can say is what I just read in the PDf - but it seems centuries after his death the Egyptians or somebody (Greeks?) promoted him to Godhood, giving us the God Hermes. I didn't know that until just now, so I would have said they were not the same. But now I see they are. I believe many people don't know that, so would say one is a man and one a God.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rosanna View Post
      Also is Mercurious Hermes Trismegistus?
      (Question mark added for clarity )

      Yes, Hermes is just another name for Mercurius or Mercury. I believe it's the old Greek/Roman thing you know, they had basically the same Gods but gave them different names. The Roman names became the names of the planets while the Greek ones became parts of the Psyche (including Psyche itself). Interestingly (and I just noticed this a moment ago) this is an example of "As it is above, so it is below" - when you consider that by above they mean the psyche and by below they mean material reality as we know it. The Gods gave name to both the planets and the parts of the psyche. Inside and outside (which is another meaning of above and below in Hermeticism, though essentially it means the same thing). The gods exist outside of us as the planets, and inside as our Psyche.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-31-2017 at 12:02 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by NeoHenry View Post
      As a psychology student, it is interesting to know about Sigmund Freud's academic history & clinical work and why he had beef Carl Jung...
      Thanks NeoHenry - that is really cool stuff! It's funny how people tend to divide along the fault line of Spirituality/Materialism.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Rosanna View Post
      Aarrgh, again.....I read a book about the painter Richard Dadd, who apparently went crazy and killed his own father, (thought he was the devil), but in the book it said he believed in hermeticism and believed his genius came from outside of himself and therefore he could not take credit for it....I was fascinated by that idea....and while reading this book, suddenly my eyes fell upon another book that had sat on my bookshelf untouched for years, it was all about hermeticism, and that was weird, how I just looked up at it, no conscious thought, I'd never thought about the book before, it was one I'd picked up a decade earlier for completely different reasons....

      And I'm aarrrrrgh'ing because I've just read your post above Darkmatters And I don't know where to begin. I would want at least a definition of all these things, like Gnosticism, I don't know what it is.....
      Sorry, I missed this post before. Lots going on in this thread today! I can hardly keep up!

      I know who Richard Dadd is - he did very intricate fairy illustrations around the same time as Arthur Rackham was working I believe. I really admire his work. And yes, I understand that at one time people didn't talk about someone having genius, but rather having a genius - as in something not themselves but that worked through them. Hmm - that sounds familiar - like I've seen it somewhere recently (oh yeah, a little earlier on this thread I believe ). Nice Synchronicity with looking right up at the book - I've done that many times myself.

      Gnosticism - it was an early variant of Christianity that was hated by the official Church because their beliefs were different from the prevailing Roman Catholic ones. Jung was familiar with it just as he was with Hermeticism. In fact sometimes it seems like his psychology consists of about half Alchemy and half Gnosticism. The video I posted earlier today would give you some ideas about it, but probably not explain it very well - it's pretty dense and confusing I'm afraid. You'd be best off if you want to understand it hitting up Wikipedia or Google. Just to be clear though - you don't need to know anything about Gnosticism in order to read about Hermeticism. Gnosticism came much later. I only mention them together sometimes because they both have such a strong influence on Jung's thought.
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-31-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Thanks NeoHenry - that is really cool stuff! It's funny how people tend to divide along the fault line of Spirituality/Materialism.
      As my fencing master, Maestro Ramon Martinez, said,

      "There is the Trinity, the mind, body, and spirit. People throw away the spirit (and even the mind depending on who you talk to), but that is wrong. The spirit is something to strive to, an object and a way for the mind and body to work for."
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      I know who Richard Dadd is - he did very intricate fairy illustrations around the same time as Arthur Rackham was working I believe. I really admire his work. And yes, I understand that at one time people didn't talk about someone having genius, but rather having a genius - as in something not themselves but that worked through them. Hmm - that sounds familiar - like I've seen it somewhere recently (oh yeah, a little earlier on this thread I believe ). Nice Synchronicity with looking right up at the book - I've done that many times myself.
      Thanks Darkmatters....what I'm wondering is how does the 'external genius' idea, or of genius coming to you and through you linked to Hermeticism...

      thanks for your responses, appreciate it as I am being spoon fed atm, lol

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      It was something I said to Snoop on page 4 - that the archetypes work through us, but we are not them, and it's a mistake to take credit for what they do through us. The proper attitude is, as Dadd said, to give credit where credit is due and to show gratitude. That in fact is a large part of the religious attitude - the gratitude attitude.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      It was something I said to Snoop on page 4 - that the archetypes work through us, but we are not them, and it's a mistake to take credit for what they do through us. The proper attitude is, as Dadd said, to give credit where credit is due and to show gratitude. That in fact is a large part of the religious attitude - the gratitude attitude.
      I guess I see the archetypes as inside my own head, but they're not? When I think of genius moving through someone, I imagine some kind of spirit, outside of ourselves. I don't know if I believe that of course, but I like it in an imaginative sense, and it's also my experience (at least how it feels when I get a good idea or something, lol)....I would never have equated this with the archetypes....but now I'm thinking that it can be described as going on inside or outside of ourselves? Either the archetypes leading us further into the unconscious, or an external spirit, leading us closer to something divine (divine inspiration). I though Dadd saw it as external.

      Sorry to ramble on, I'll probably exhaust myself and disappear again soon, lol

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      This is one of the central ideas of Jung - that what we perceive as happening outside of ourselves - when it seems like magic or spirit or God or something (or genius) - is actually happening in the unconscious. People characterize the emanations of the unconscious as feeling cold and alien. It seems to be outside of us because it absolutely is outside of the ego, which is the conscious mind and is the part we think of as "me". This is why when an archetype or a complex or something affects our behavior (possesses us) it seems to be an external force, and why God also seems to be external, when he is actually the unconscious Self. It's true of course that the unconscious is technically inside, at least physically, but it certainly doesn't feel that way when you experience it. And it definitely is not inside of the ego.

      I think of it as something like a little person (you - your Ego/your conscious mind) carrying a lantern (awareness) through a dark forest (the unconscious) or even on a small boat afloat on the ocean (another metaphor for the unconscious). We think of the little figure as Me, and the circle of light from the lantern as our entire field of thought, when in reality everything out in the darkness is also a part of our own mind (the unconscious part). I think this becomes easier to understand when you think about dreams. People have a tendency to think the dream self character is them, but actually everything in the dream is them - it's all produced by the unconscious. So not only all the characters but the environment too is part of you - part of your unconscious.

      Another way in which the unconscious seems to be 'out there' is because we have a tendency to project it. Onto other people or onto circumstances or the world - whatever is convenient. Anything that comes from inside that we don't want to own up to as our own, we project and disidentify with. Hm - is disidentify not actually a word? Well I'm making it one, right here and now!!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 12-31-2017 at 06:20 AM.
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    20. #120
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      Quote Originally Posted by Rosanna View Post
      Ok, if I may ask.....and divert the thread for a moment, what is Hermeticism in brief? lol and then, how does is parallel with Jung? I totally understand if no one has the time to answer me though, but I am genuinely interested, not just being difficult. It's just I don't know where to start....
      Hermeticism is basically a set of principles that apply to the nature of reality that more or less makes very few unsafe assumptions about the truth of that nature... along with statements made by exploring those principles and following them to their logical conclusion and taking all that and integrating it all together into a comprehensive, all-encompassing understanding of the nature of existence itself.

      It does so while retaining the more spiritual side of things without falling into the trap of scientific reductivism.


      @DarkMatters

      After starting to re-read the Kybalion, it's actually kind of funny how my two earlier posts talking about the thought loops and whatnot all concerns things you can read at pretty much the very beginning of the PDF, haha. I didn't realize how deeply related to it they were.

      edit:

      @Rosanna again
      A good way of explaining what DarkMatters said about the archetypes working through us but not being us is something I heard put best by the psychologist Jacques Lacan. Lacanian psychology is all about our mirror image and our inability to reconcile the wholeness of it and the fractured and multi-faceted nature of our conscious experiences of life and ourselves. The idea is that at a very young age, before we acquire the ability to speak, we see a mirror image of ourselves one way or another and we both wind up simultaneously recognizing and mistaking that image as our self. You see, though we are correct in our understanding that it is us in the reflection, we also mistakenly believe that our image (something that merely symbolizes or represents us in a singular, unified package) is us.

      This is something he explains by creating the concepts of the signifier and the signified. The signifier is always a gestalt concept that we recognize that represents or symbolizes the signified, which is our multi-faceted perceptual and experiential understanding of it. The signifier is something possessing oneness or wholeness, whereas in reality what's signified is fundamentally lacking in wholeness. Likewise, archetypes arise naturally as part of the unconscious mind as a result of the structure of the biological system resulting in our consciousness and are part of us, but indeed are not us. This is similar to how you might say your body is a part of you, but at the same time, your body is not you.

      As a natural result of our capacity for understanding language and our communication with one another, ideas and concepts that we create in a sense acquire a spirit of their own and gain an existence of their own outside ourselves... living, evolving, and dying much like a material organism. So, not only do the archetypes exist within your mind, but they exist externally as well.

      This helps give some much needed context to form a real understanding of what the old guy making those great vids was saying that Jung asserted about. The blind libido gave rise to creation, existence and therefore God itself (or in the context of the Kybalion, the ALL) became embodied in the flesh through man (and really any other conscious animal), and then through man was reborn in spirit as a concept/idea/understanding.

      -----------------------------

      As an interesting aside, it's interesting to note the occurrence of threes in regards to... well, lots of things, and how they relate specifically to human beings. We have the heart, mind, and soul. Then there's the id, ego, and superego. Then you have the infinite blind creative libido of God, God as flesh or in Christian terms the Son of Man, and God in (holy) spirit. Not only does it appear that way in Judeo-Christian religions, but naturally as well via an understanding facilitated through the lens of Jungian psychology and philosophy. This is the kind of stuff where I don't know if it's an "as above, so below" thing or if it's specifically related to a limitation or at least a proclivity to conceptualize things according to how our unconscious and conscious minds are structured. How perfectly it all fits just screams out at me.
      Last edited by snoop; 12-31-2017 at 12:35 PM.
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      Well said Sir Snoopington! Very well said.

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      Thanks Snoop, I'm still processing everything you said, but this is starting to make more sense to me now :-)

      Thanks Darkmatters!

      My brain is in danger of exploding atm, so I will just reflect this evening. I'm staying home as I have the flu and won't be out celebrating, but will be watching the celebrations all around the world on tv. Wishing you all a great New Year!
      Last edited by Rosanna; 12-31-2017 at 09:41 PM.

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      Something else going through my mind, is the 'psychopomp' or the one that leads us to the unconscious. I've read in a few places that this is the animus/anima, but is it always? Hermes was referred to as a psychopomp....Just thinking it surely can't always be the case that it is our opposite 'sex' that has to take us into the unconscious....why would that be? Whats the difference between that and a mentor?

      Sorry for my simplistic language, I live in the centre of a town, the world is celebrating and I can't hear my own thoughts too well

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      Man, you got me? I know the shadow and then the anima/animus are the normal way to get to wholeness according to Jung's individuation process - because of course those things you have either repressed or haven't yet realized/activated/encountered about yourself are what you need to achieve balance. Makes perfect sense. But then he gets into all his Alchemy stuff, which is where he starts to talk about Hermes/Mercurius - and I'm not nearly well versed enough in advanced Jung to understand any of that stuff yet. It's possible they're sort of 2 different ways of saying the same thing too? Hermes/Mercury is the messenger of the Gods - and I think he/they have a hermaphroditic aspect? Of course hermaphrodite is a combination of Hermes and Aphrodite - I think they had an offspring that was half and half. But I'm not very well versed in my Greek mythology.

      Maybe we're talking about 2 different things though. You're saying "leads us into the unconscious" - I'm not sure if you mean the same thing as individuation? I seem to recall Hermes/Mercury was a sort of herald - he would show up and prepare people to meet one of the really powerful Gods - like maybe an archetype. And in the Red Book Jung met all kinds of characters. It was like an endless parade of weird characters - it wasn't just direct like Shadow, Animus then Self. Those were just the big stages along the way - the milestones. And of course it was a long and arduous process - so there's room for all kinds of different processes and characters along the way. Maybe Hermes serves a specific purpose along the way. Maybe early in the process, before you get in very deep?

      Another thing I know about Mercury, from my reading in Hermeticism - of course it's not just a God, it's also an alchemical metal - Quicksilver - the stuff in thermometers. We used to break them open and play with the Mercury on the table top - it moves like when the T-1000 (from Terminator 2) turns into silver metal that runs around and re-forms into his body. Fun stuff, though pretty toxic. Its quality is changeability. Like a chameleon, it keeps changing form. The very essence of transformation/transmutation. So as a God he's a trickster. Sorry, I'm just blathering here, spewing out everything I can think of. Jung would call it Amplification or Circumambulation. I'm also a little tipsy already - got a bit of an early start on festivities. WOOO!!!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-01-2018 at 12:02 AM.

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      Just found this - Jung speaks about Mercurius 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 pictorial 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.”

      Psychology and Alchemy
      Part 3,
      Chapter 3.1

      Wow - so it sounds like he's everything we both said above and then some!!

      • The hermaphrodite who splits into the classical brother/sister duality and is reunited in the coniunctio. So, anima and animus both?
      • He stands at the beginning and the end of the process -- of Individuation.
      • A symbol uniting all the opposites. So Shadow as well as Anima/Animus. Fun stuff!
      Last edited by Darkmatters; 01-01-2018 at 12:29 AM.

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