Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prophets and Possession: Carl Jung and Gnosticism

He looked at his own Soul

with a Telescope. What seemed

all irregular, he saw and

shewed to be beautiful

Constellations; and he added

to the consciousness hidden

worlds within worlds.

Coleridge, Notebooks -from the Introduction page to Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections
"In such dream wanderings one frequently encounters an old man who is accompanied by a young girl, and examples of such couples are to be found in many mythic tales. Thus, according to Gnostic tradition, Simon Magus went about with a young girl whom he had picked up in a brothel. Her name was Helen, and she was regarded as the reincarnation of the Trojan Helen. Klingsor and Kundry, Lao-Tzu and the dancing girl, likewise belong in this category.

I have mentioned that there was a third figure in my fantasy besides Elijah and Salome: the large black snake. In myths the snake is a frequent counterpart of the hero. There are numerous accounts of their affinity. For example, the hero has eyes like a snake, or after his death he is changed into a snake and revered as such, or the snake is his mother, etc. In my fantasy, therefore, the prescence of the snake is an indication of a hero-myth. Salome is an anima figure. She is blind because she does not see the meaning of things. Elijah is the figure of the wise old prophet and represents the factor of intelligence and knowledge; Salome, the erotic element. One might say that the two figures are personifications of Logos and Eros. But such a definition would be excessively intellectual. It is more meaningful to let the figures be what they were for me at the time-namely, events and experiences.

Soon after this fantasy another figure arose out of the unconscious. He developed out ot the Elijah figure. I called him Philemon. Philemon was a pagan and brought with him an Egypto-Hellenistic atmosphere with a Gnostic coloration. His figure first appeared to me in the following dream.

There was a blue sky like the sea, covered not by clouds but by flat brown clods of earth. It looked as if the clods were breaking apart and the blue water of the sea were becoming visible between them. But the water was the blue sky. Suddenly there appeared from the right a winged being sailing across the sky. I saw it was an old man with the horns of a bull. He held a bunch of four keys, one of which he clutched as if he were about to open a lock. He had the wings of a kingfisher with its characteristic colors.

Since I did not understand this dream image, I painted it in order to impress it upon my memory. During the days when I was occupied with the painting, I found in my garden, by the lake shore, a dead kingfisher! I was thunderstruck, for kingfishers are quite rare in the vicinity of Zurich and I have never since found a dead one. The body was recently dead-at the most, two or three days-and showed no external injuries.

Philemon and other figures of my fantasies brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force which was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I. He said I treated thoughts as if I generated them myself, but in his view thoughts were like animals in the forest, or people in a room, or birds in the air, and added, "If you should see people in a room, you would not think that you made these people, or that you were responsible for them." It was he who taught me psychic objectivity, the reality of the psyche. Through him the distinction was clarified between myself and the object of my thought. He confronted me in an objective manner, and I understood that there is something in me which can say things that I do not know and do not intend, things which may even be directed against me.

Psychologically, Philemon represented superior insight. He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real, as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what Indians call a guru.

Whenever the outlines of a new personification appeared, I felt it almost as a personal defeat. It meant: "Here is something else you didn't know!" Fear crept over me that the succession of such figures might be endless, that I might lose myself in bottomless abysses of ignorance. My ego felt devalued-although the successes I had been having in worldly affairs might have reassured me. In my darkness (horridas nostrae mentis purga tenebras-"cleanse the horrible darknesses of our mind"-the Aurora Consurgens says I could have wished for nothing better than a real, live guru, someone possessing superior knowledge and ability, who would have disentangled for me the involuntary creations of my imagination. This task was undertaken by the figure of Philemon, whom in this respect I had willy-nilly to recognize as my psychagogue. And the fact was that he conveyed to me many an illuminating idea."

Later, Philemon became revitalized by the emergence of yet another figure, whom I called Ka. In ancient Egypt the "king's ka" was his earthly form, the embodied soul. In my fantasy the Ka-soul came from below, out of the earth as if out of a deep shaft. I did a painting of him, showing him in his earth-bound form, as a herm with base of stone and upper part of bronze. High up in the painting appears a kingfisher's wing, and between it and the head of Ka floats a round glowing nebula. Ka's expression has something demonic about it-one might also say, Mephistophelean. In one hand he holds something like a colored pagoda, or a reliquary, and in the other a stylus with which he is working on the reliquary. He is saying, "I am he who buries the gods in gold and gems."

Philemon had a lame foot, but was a winged spirit, whereas ka represented a kind of earth demon. Philemon was a spiritual aspect, or "meaning." Ka, on the other hand, was a spirit like the Anthroparion of Greek alchemy-with which at the time I was still unfamiliar. Ka was he who made everything real, but who also obscured the halcyon spirit, Meaning, or replaced it by beauty, the "eternal reflection.

In time I was able to integrate both figures through the study of alchemy." OK-lets go from Carl Jung back to Philip K. Dick again. I will call him PKD as I did in the last set of posts. PKD's massive intake of drugs no doubt influenced his thinking-and in many ways maybe not for the best. But he was able to almost alchemically transform some of these experiences into his most remarkable writing. PKD's experience of 20 February 1974, when a dental visit and a follow-up medication delivery by a woman wearing a Christian fish symbol-the vesica pisces was the initial experience that seemed to launch him into an incredible mulitverse of time travel, intergalactic and hyperdimensional information being beamed into his mind and a host of other experiences and ideas the led to the novels Radio Free Albemuth, VALIS, The Divine Invasion and The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. PKD believed for awhile that he was living simultaneously in 1970s California and the Roman Empire in the first century A.D. The information he was receiving from somewhere or something seemed to come into his mind through pink light beams. It was PKD's VALIS or Vast Active Living Intelligence System that led him to believe that the timeframe from 70 AD (when the Romans sacked the temple in Jerusalem under Emperor Vespasian) to 1974 was a mass hallucination. This hallucination was a kind of tear in the space-time continuum fabricated by the spiritual forces of darkness. The information from VALIS in the form of pink light beams and the fall of President Richard M. Nixon in that same year -1974 was a signal to PKD that this phony, hallucinatory era of history had finally come to an end and that "real time" or history had begun again.

PKD's Exegesis once again shows the influences of Gnosticism: WE ARE IN THE BLACK IRON PRISON

1) Ignorance (Occlusion) keeps us unaware of this and hence unresisting prisoners.

2) But the Savior (Valis) is here, discorporate; he restores our memory and gives us knowledge of our true situation (1) and nature (4).

3) Our real nature-forgotten but not lost-is that of being fallen or captured bits of the Godhead, whom the Savior restores to the Godhead. His nature-the Saviors-and ours is identical; we are him and he is us.

4) He breaks the power which this world of determinism and suffering has over us.

5) The Creator of this world is irrational and wars against the Savior who camoflages himself and his prescence here. He is an invader.

6) Thus it is a secret that he is here, nor do we recognize the irrationality of this world and its frauds: that it lies to us.

7) We must balk against this world (more specifically against its irrationality) in order to align ourselves with the Savior.

8) It is us and the Savior vs. this irrational world.

9) To a degree, this world is irreal, counterfeit, esp. time.

In these statements is basically a short summary of the Gnostic worldview from millenia ago. The world is a trap, made by the irrational "Creator of this world" to imprison us, the "fallen bits" of the true Godhead. The Savior, who could also be thought of as Christ or VALIS has launched a divine invasion of this defective "irreal" world to help us break free. PKD considered whether the information transmissions were coming from the past, the future, a scientific lab on earth, an alien spacecraft, or his own brain. Here is what PKD decided about the information beamed into his head, written in his Exegesis shortly before his death: "The beam of pink light fired at my head is , I have always believed deep down underneath, not God, but technology, and technology from the future at that." Some authors such as Adam Gorightly and other conspiracy researchers have wondered whether VALIS could have been a telepathic event and perhaps even mind control experimentation. PKD himself had considered this.

One night a month after his first experiences of February 1974 he began to hallucinate "perfectly formed modern abstract paintings" which he later claimed were the works of Picasso, Kandinsky and Klee. A popular 1970 book, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain, caused PKD to write to a Soviet ESP lab to ask if they were beaming images from the famous Hermitage collection in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). PKD didn't get a reply to this. However, a few years later he found out that the CIA had intercepted not only this letter but others as well. PKD also received information from a female voice he called Aphrodite or the AI (artificial intelligence) Voice. At times he believed this voice to be his anima and other times he thought perhaps it was his dead twin sister. PKD had dreamed that a Russian woman was sending him a letter that would kill him. Some days after this he asked his wife Tessa to open a letter for him. This letter just had a book review with certain words underlined and a return address of a room in a New York hotel. PKD refused to view the letter and asked Tessa to send it to the FBI.

Around this time PKD and Tessa heard the radio in their bedroom emitting songs like "You're No Good" and "You're So Vain" and this would continue to happen even after the radio was unplugged! Tessa had also talked of breaking into the empty house next door and finding strange electronic equipment set up there. In the 1950s PKD would have made a superb UFO contactee and in years afterwards a wonderful abductee. During a trip to Vancouver in 1972 PKD suffered from a two week memory loss. Years after this event he told Tessa that he had been kidnapped by "Mafia-types." These events bore some striking similarities to the reports of the Men-in-Black or MIBs. They had driven PKD around in a black limousine questioning him. PKD had another vision where he encountered 3 grey alien/cyborg creatures who were wrapped up in glass bubbles and surrounded by advanced computer technology that was controlled by Soviet scientists! PKD communicates his views of the universe and reality most lucidly in a 1978 essay entitled "Cosmogony and Cosmology." In this work he talks some about Jacob Boehme, who used a similar term-the Urgrund, or "primoridial ground." Here is a quote from the essay where he cites Jacob Boehme: "This Urgrund has "created" our reality as a sort of mirror image of its maker, so that the maker can obtain an objective standpoint to comprehend itself." PKD calls this "image" or "artifact" and equates it with the Gnostic demiurge. However, "the artifact is unaware that it is an artifact; it is oblivious to the existence of the Urgrund...and imagines itself to be God, the only real God."

There was more to this-but I suppose I will just start another post. I was about to go to Jacques Vallee's Dimensions believe it or not, but I think I may have air conditioner problems-not 100 percent sure yet-but will know for sure by the time I do a virus scan on the puter, and if I am it probably is not a good thing to be running the puter if it is going to get to 90 degrees in here! So I may be offline a few days unless I am somewhere I can access another puter as AC repair charges an arm and a leg for weekend and holiday calls-and this is Memorial Day weekend in the US until Tuesday. Hopefully I am wrong;-) and if I am I will be back tomorrow or later today. I would like to change these images around and add new -or something-so I will just leave images like they are for now. There are two recently added articles/posts below this one. I will try to check this for errors real quick -kind of read it as a rough draft for now until I can get back 100 percent to check through it. Best as always to anyone stopping by-and thanks so much for your thoughtful and intelligent comments! PS-real quick -all of the Carl Jung information is from his book Memories, Dreams Reflections from pages 183 to 185.


Autumnforest said...

Wow! That's a lot to consider. I think when I read over it, the thing that stood out to me was the irrational world. My hubby is one of those very logic-minded folks who gets angry at the world because it "should" be this way and people "ought" to do things this way... I, however, look at the world and expect people to totally screw up and expect things to go wrong, when people do the "right" things and events occur the way they "should" then I'm pleasantly surprised. It sounds like I'm a negative person, but I'm actually positive. Hubby believes everything should be done the RIGHT way and I believe they should be done the HUMAN way which allows for many motivations, illnesses, handicaps, and other issues that allow us all to be human and the world to be imperfect. By setting his standards he must build up ulcers to meet the criteria, whereas I learn that by allowing others to have bad days and screw up, I allow myself the same leeway to learn and grow. Fantastic post, Devin!

Sub Specie Aeternitatis said...

He looked at his own Soul

with a Telescope. What seemed

all irregular, he saw and

shewed to be beautiful

Constellations; and he added

to the consciousness hidden

worlds within worlds.
Excellent quote to start with, I love that. Good article. I'm too tired to comment properly right now, the gray/pink matter won't comply and the spark within won't ignite. I'll come back tomorrow with a fresh mind. Well, fresher anyway.

Alex Robinson said...

Great mix of mind expanding ideas - thanks Devin.
I may have to thieve just a wee snippett later - don't worry you won't feel a thing :)

All the very best & I hope your AC is behaving better now!

Middle Ditch said...

A great post as per usual Devin. A mighty interesting read.

Devin said...

Autumnforest, Sub Specie, Alex and Middle Ditch-thanks so very much for your lovely comments!! I feel very much as you Sub Specie -am fighting off a terrible cold-thanks so much for stopping by and I will try to get caught up with you all when I am feeling better -again I appreciate your comments so much-best to all of you!!

Anadæ Effro said...

Oh, no, Devin! My wv is panni … Pan, I … & I had just commented on Black Dog Star: Serious About Synchronicity's new Pan-centered blogticle earlier today! LOL! Well, there's that synchromystical thread again! LOL! Jus' like Grandfather Jung said, God's way of speaking to His Children.

Hey, bro, been in Éire with the hubbs, Sequoia, and I must attest to Newgrange being an ancient Stargate, esp. what with my Elfin title of the Bridge Between the 3 Worlds, I can plainly see it … the music that they'd played to send off insterstellar voyagers or conversely welcome incoming galactic citizens must've been … otherworldly.

Well, Devin, stopping over to listen to you here at My Favorite Monsters is like the much-needed oasis stop during a long desert pilgrimage to unknown Kadath. Say, d'I ever steer you to the Gnostic Reverend Illuminatus Maximus' cartoony site, Gnostic Shock yet? Enjoy. I sure do.

Formerly a wearer of the Ophite crossssssss,
Anadæ Effro (•:-)}

Devin said...

Anadae-thanks as always for stopping by-I missed you!! thanks for the links also-I will go to them as soon as I am feeling somewhat human again-all the best to you!!

Michael Skaggs said...

Enjoyed the mix bro! Great work.

The quote was a perfect start, and a nice mix of archetypes and aliens too! PKD makes me think [and of course you know me at THA!] of MK/Monarch experiments, not saying perhaps some of his experiences weren't genuine, but some sound like experiments done to MK/Monarch victims. Maybe these experiments opened up deeper ares of the mind, and he could not discern between what was the actual experience and what was fabricated?

Hope your getting well bro and keeping cool!

Amazing stuff!

Prince NaKi said...

how are you ?

Devin said...

Michael thanks so much for your comment!! I enjoyed that quote greatly also -really appreciate you stopping by and best as always!!

Prince Naki thanks so much for stopping by-I have been kind of sick but slowly getting better-best to you as always!!

Devin said...

Hey Prince Naki-if you come back I hope you are back in the Phillipines-I tried to find your blog to visit and couldn't find it-said page doesnt exist-I hope things are much better for you!! all the best and thanks again to everybody for the comments!!