Aion 13

Aion 13
Carl Jung


73 The God-image in man that was damaged by the first sin
can be ”reformed” 20 with the help of God, in accordance with
Romans 12:2: “And be not conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove
what is . . . the will of God” (RSV).


The totality images which
the unconscious produces in the course of an individuation
process are similar “reformations” of an a priori archetype (the
mandala). 21 As I have already emphasized, the spontaneous symbols
of the self, or of wholeness, cannot in practice be distinguished
from a God-image.


Despite the word ^era^op^ovaBe (‘be
transformed’) in the Greek text of the above quotation, the
“renewal” (dyaKaiVwo-is, reformatio) of the mind is not meant as
an actual alteration of consciousness, but rather as the restoration
of an original condition, an apocatastasis.


This is in exact
agreement with the empirical findings of psychology, that there
is an ever-present archetype of wholeness 22 which may easily
disappear from the purview of consciousness or may never be
perceived at all until a consciousness illuminated by conversion
recognizes it in the figure of Christ.


As a result of this “anamnesis”
the original state of oneness with the God-image is restored.
It brings about an integration, a bridging of the split in
the personality caused by the instincts striving apart in different
and mutually contradictory directions.


The only time the split
does not occur is when a person is still as legitimately unconscious
of his instinctual life as an animal. But it proves harmful
and impossible to endure when an artificial unconsciousness—
a repression—no longer reflects the life of the instincts.


74 There can be no doubt that the original Christian conception
of the imago Dei embodied in Christ meant an allembracing
totality that even includes the animal side of man.


Nevertheless the Christ-symbol lacks wholeness in the modern
psychological sense, since it does not include the dark side of
things but specifically excludes it in the form of a Luciferian


Although the exclusion of the power of evil was
something the Christian consciousness was well aware of, all it
lost in effect was an insubstantial shadow, for, through the doctrine
of the privatio boni first propounded by Origen, evil was
characterized as a mere diminution of good and thus deprived
of substance.


According to the teachings of the Church, evil is
simply “the accidental lack of perfection.” This assumption
resulted in the proposition “omne bonum a Deo, omne malum
ab homine.” Another logical consequence was the subsequent
elimination of the devil in certain Protestant sects.


75 Thanks to the doctrine of the privatio boni, wholeness
seemed guaranteed in the figure of Christ. One must, however,
take evil rather more substantially when one meets it on the
plane of empirical psychology.


There it is simply the opposite
of good. In the ancient world the Gnostics, whose arguments
were very much influenced by psychic experience, tackled the
problem of evil on a broader basis than the Church Fathers. For
instance, one of the things they taught was that Christ “cast off
his shadow from himself.” 23


If we give this view the weight it
deserves, we can easily recognize the cut-off counterpart in the
figure of Antichrist. The Antichrist develops in legend as a perverse
imitator of Christ’s life. He is a true avn/u/xov wvevfia, an
imitating spirit of evil who follows in Christ’s footsteps like a
shadow following the body.


This complementing of the bright
but one-sided figure of the Redeemer—we even find traces of it
in the New Testament—must be of especial significance. And
indeed, considerable attention was paid to it quite early.


76 If we see the traditional figure of Christ as a parallel to the
psychic manifestation of the self, then the Antichrist would correspond
to the shadow of the self, namely the dark half of the
human totality, which ought not to be judged too optimistically.


So far as we can judge from experience, light and shadow are so
evenly distributed in man’s nature that his psychic totality
appears, to say the least of it, in a somewhat murky light. The
psychological concept of the self, in part derived from our
knowledge of the whole man, but for the rest depicting itself
spontaneously in the products of the unconscious as an archetypal
quaternity bound together by inner antinomies, cannot
omit the shadow that belongs to the light figure, for without it
this figure lacks body and humanity.


In the empirical self, light
and shadow form a paradoxical unity. In the Christian concept,
on the other hand, the archetype is hopelessly split into two
irreconcilable halves, leading ultimately to a metaphysical dualism—
the final separation of the kingdom of heaven from the
fiery world of the damned.


77 For anyone who has a positive attitude towards Christianity
the problem of the Antichrist is a hard nut to crack. It is nothing
less than the counterstroke of the devil, provoked by God’s
Incarnation; for the devil attains his true stature as the adversary
of Christ, and hence of God, only after the rise of Christianity,
while as late as the Book of Job he was still one of God’s
sons and on familiar terms with Yahweh.24


Psychologically the
case is clear, since the dogmatic figure of Christ is so sublime
and spotless that everything else turns dark beside it. It is, in
fact, so one-sidedly perfect that it demands a psychic complement
to restore the balance.


This inevitable opposition led very
early to the doctrine of the two sons of God, of whom the elder
was called Satanael.25 The coming of the Antichrist is not just a
prophetic prediction—it is an inexorable psychological law
whose existence, though unknown to the author of the Johannine
Epistles, brought him a sure knowledge of the impending


Consequently he wrote as if he were conscious
of the inner necessity for this transformation, though we may be
sure that the idea seemed to him like a divine revelation. In
reality every intensified differentiation of the Christ-image
brings about a corresponding accentuation of its unconscious
complement, thereby increasing the tension between above and



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