黑暗太阳 6

黑暗太阳 6
The Black Sun

Stanton Marlan

chapter 1
The Dark Side of Light

Moore and Gillette have observed that, when the King sits on his
throne and is the center of the world, “world” becomes defined as that
part of reality that is organized and ordered by the King.” What is outside
the boundaries of his influence is noncreation, chaos, the demonic
and non-world.15


This situation sets the stage for a massive
repression and devaluation of the “dark side” of psychic life. It creates
a totality that rejects interruption and refuses the other from within its
narcissistic enclosure.


For a number of philosophers—Heidegger, Foucault, Derrida, and
others—there is a dangerous tendency in modernity toward closure
and tautological reductionism: “totalization, normalization and domination.”
16 Levin has noted that behind our Western visionary tradition
lies the shadow of phallocentrism, logocentrism, and a “heliopolitics”
driven by the violence of Light.


To put it more simply, the
concern about modernity is that it is governed by male desire and
power and by an egocentric rationality that serves political agendas
that conceal intrinsic violence. In his work Writing and Difference,
Derrida speaks of the violence of Light and the imperialism of theory
associated with it.


He notes that this kind of violence also troubled the
philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, whose work was aimed at developing
an ethical theory freed as much as possible from the violence implicit
in Western metaphysical thinking.17 If one agrees with the philosophers
and critics of our tradition, one might imagine our time as one
locked into the tyrannical shadow of a Sun King who bears within
himself the seeds of his own destruction.


Is it possible to imagine this situation as rooted in an unconscious
identification with the King and the Light? If so, such unconscious
identification colors the psyche and has important personal and cultural


On the most personal level, analysts have approached such concerns
not so much philosophically but as they manifest themselves in
clinical situations. In The Anatomy of the Psyche, Jungian analyst Edward
Edinger, for instance, cites the expressions of unconscious kingly
inflations in “outbursts of affect, resentment, pleasure or power demands.”


18 The refinement of these affects is difficult. As an inner figure,
the primitive King/ego must undergo a transformation not only in
our culture but also in the lives of people.


Alchemy recognizes this
fact when it sees that the King is at the beginning—the raw matter of
the philosopher’s stone—and that he must be purified and refined by
undergoing a series of alchemical processes, eventually dying and being


In alchemy, the process of dying, killing, and blackening is part of the
operation of mortificatio. This operation is a necessary component of
the transformative process of the King and other images of the prima
materia such as the Sun, the Dragon, the Toad, and the condition of innocence.


Edinger devotes a chapter of The Anatomy of the Psyche to this
process. The mortificatio process was often thought of as tortuous and
as the “most negative operation in alchemy.”19 “It has to do with darkness,
defeat, torture, mutilation, death and rotting. The process of rotting
is called putrefactio, the decomposition that breaks down organic


Edinger has schematized and charted this operation reproduced in
figure 1.3, an example of what he calls “cluster thinking”—thinking
that is concerned with elaborating a network of expanded meanings
derived from a central image. The process “goes back and forth, returning
to the central image again and again, building up a rich associative
cluster of interconnected images, something like a spider web.


The result of such thinking is a rich tapestry of elaboration around a
central image.”21 Figure 1.3 shows the structural placement of related
images (e.g., the slaying of the King, the Dragon, the Toad, poison,
defeat, humiliation, torture, mutilation, the slaying of the innocent,
corpses, and rotting, as well as the placement of this operation in relation
to other alchemical processes).



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