Alchemy & Psychology #3

Alchemy is as much psychological as it is scientific. The Union of opposites, the yin and yang, YOGIC philosophy and ideals, all relate to a balancing to create equanimity in mind, body and spirit. Being human is an intimate journey, and touch and sexuality are vital for our beings to grow, develop, learn and pass on our genetics through birth of children, and to make relationship connections. Below, is a piece of Jung’s view of Alchemy.

Another consequence is mechanical, soul-less sex. Sex can be an invaluable aid to the achieving personal wholeness and harmony; and it has been recognized as such in the Tantric mystic-meditative traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. But can reach those heights only when there is worship: that is, where each partner acknowledges the worth of his or her sexual opposite. The macho male tends to reduce sex to merely a physical and emotional level, at which his partner is turned into a mere object.

Pg. 38 – 39: The symbolic process is an experience in images and of images. Its development usually shows an enantiodromia structure like the text of the I Ching, as so presents a rhythm of negative and positive, loss and gain, dark and light. Its beginning is almost invariably characterized by one’s getting stuck in a blind alley or in some impossible situation; and its goal is, broadly speaking, illumination of higher consciousness, by means of which the initial situation is overcome on a higher level. As regards the time factor, the process may be compressed into a single dream or into a short moment of experience, or it may extend over months and years, depending on the nature of the initial situation, the person involved in the processes, and the goal to be reached. The wealth of symbols naturally varies from case to case. Although everything is experienced in image form (symbolically) it is by no means a question of fictitious dangers but of very real risks upon which the fate of a whole life may depend. The chief danger is that of succumbing to the fascinating influence of the archetypes, and this is most likely to happen when the archetypal images are not made conscious. If there is already a predisposition to psychosis, it may even happen that the archetypal figures, which are endowed with a certain autonomy anyway, on account of their natural numinosity, will escape from the conscious control altogether and become completely independent, thus producing the phenomena of possession.

Let us look at some of the forms in which the soul-image may appear in dreams. ‘The first bearer of the soul-image,’ says Jung, ‘is always the mother’. This applies to both men and women, and it means that the man or woman has not achieved liberation – independence – from mother. Therefore, the appearance of your mother in a dream – especially if she appears with possessive or devouring characteristics – may well be a symbol of your soul-image. If that is the case, bear in mind that the way to detach yourself from the suffocating influence of your mother is to integrate your anima or animus into your conscious ego. Accept your soul-image, respect it and welcome it as a creative contributor to your personal growth, and you will then find that your soul-image ceases to be represented in dreams by negative devouring mother figures and that you are gaining a proper degree of independence from your mother. (Incidentally, it doesn’t make any difference if your actual mother is alive or dead. Even a dead mother may live on as a forceful presence within your unconscious).

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