Thursday, April 25, 2019

JUNG: THE SOLAR VOYAGE and THE SEA MONSTER

This is a painting from Jung's Red Book. I have it on my wall. The Red Book is the product of the WWI years, when Jung was being initiated into the spirit world at a deeper level. It would be called the shaman's illness in a Siberian culture, when the spirits make you an offer you cannot refuse - not, at any rate, if you want your life back. What is required, in a way, is a commitment to your own soul. And the Red Book is largely an account of Jung's conversations with a spirit guide, Philemon. That is why it was not published until recently, after his son, who was concerned for his father's scientific reputation, had died.


The painting depicts the solar voyage of consciousness towards its goal. But accompanying the ship, unseen, is a sea monster. Coming to terms with those depths - with Pluto, if you like - is the real purpose of the journey. There is no goal, nowhere to travel to, that is just a delusion of rational ego-consciousness, what is nowadays called 'spiritual bypass'. 

There is only the ever-closer approach to the centre, to who we always were. And this is a theme of the 2nd Saturn Return, when we can let go of the striving, and trust in what emerges from within. And we can trust it because, instead of judging and fighting him, we have formed a relationship with the sea monster.

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