Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung
Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation

000079 Symbols of transformation. Part I. introduction. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ea., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 3-6).

Freud’s exposition of the incest fantasy, which he derived from the Oedipus legend, is proposed as an example of classical legends which express basic psychological concepts, and which can be more fully understood and appreciated through the exploration of these concepts. The works of Riklin, Rank, Abraham, Maeder, Jones, Silberer, and Pfister are mentioned as contributing clues in historical research that furnish insights into the unconscious of modern man. As the study of the activity of the unconscious in modern man can expand the understanding of the psychology of historical problems and symbolism, so the reverse procedure, a comparative study of historical material, would shed light on individual psychological problems of today. It is in this perspective of gaining new insight into the foundations of psychology that the study of historical material is proposed.

000080 Two kinds of thinking. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ea., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 7-33).

The concept of ontogenetic recapitulation of phylogenetic psychology is explained by showing the relation between man’s unconscious, or nondirected thought, and mythology or legend. Two types of human thought are described: a directed thinking, of which the highest form is science and which is based on speech’ and a nonverbal, undirected, associative thinking, commonly called dreaming. These two modes of thought deal with two activities of man: adapting to outer reality, and reflecting on subjective concerns. Undirected thought is seen as characteristic of ancient cultures, of primitive man, and of children. The parallels that are drawn between the mythological thinking of the ancients and that of children and primitives, or that found in dreams, lead to the supposition that there is a correspondence between ontogenesis or individual development, and phylogenesis, or the racial development of man’ in psychology. An examination of certain fairy tales and myths illustrates the concept that what is in modern man an unexpressed fantasy was once an accepted custom or belief: the source of fantasy in the individual is described as an attempt at compensation, exemplified by the adolescent who dreams of belonging to wealthy, important parents, a fantasy found in myths and legends such as Romulus and Remus, or in the story of Moses. Through the fantasies, directed thinking comes into contact with the product of the unconscious, although not with its motivation. For example, in Anatole France’s story, Abbe Oegger’s unconscious motivation to become a “judas” led to his study of the Judas legend and formulation of the concept of a merciful God, which motivated him to leave the Catholic Church. It is concluded that fantasies experienced in adult life reflect not only individual conflicts, but archaic patterns as well, and that any interpretation of fantasy should be based upon both aspects of the fantasy mechanism. 33 references.

000081 The Miller fantasies: anamnesis. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 34-38).

Flournoy’s publication of the recorded fantasies of a Miss Miller illustrates the autosuggestibility and suggestive influence of this young woman. Of the complicated fantasy system she presents, a few detailed examples illustrate how her fantasies expressed her own immediate conflicts. These conflicts, plus the psychic energy provided by her detachment from reality, are considered the source of her suggestibility and her tendency to experience certain impressions with unusual intensity. 2 references.

000082 The hymn of creation. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967, 557 p. (p. 39-78).

An analysis of the unconscious conflict which produced Miss Miller’s dream poem, “The Hymn of Creation”, and an inquiry into the purpose this dream served for her leads to an investigation of the place of God and religion in man’s psychic adaptation. The “Hymn of Creation”, written down by Miss Miller after waking, represents a projection of her repressed conflicts over her erotic attraction to a sailor she had just met, while her own explanation of the content of her dream shows her identification with Job in protesting innocence and attributing all “evil” to outside sources. The role of God as a projected archetype of the father and the repository of man’s problems is discussed relative to religion’s requirements for confession of sins; the latter activity is seen as keeping conflicts conscious — a requirement of psychotherapy. Love as a characteristic of God, and the difficulties of distinguishing human from spiritual love, are analyzed. The priest as a representative of the archetype is suggested. Christianity as an inevitable reaction to barbarism, and its functioning for moral subjugation of the baser instincts by alienation from reality and encouragement of abstraction, is contrasted with the Mithraic nature worship. The role of Christianity in freeing man’s energy for civilization is reviewed, with the later, scientific attitude toward nature (which Christianity had made possible by its creed of the sovereignty of the idea) and the resultant questioning of the realities of Christian subjective concepts, such as “soul”, are analyzed. 40 references.

000083 The song of the moth. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 79-117).

The symbolism underlying Miss Miller’s poem “The Song of the Moth” is explored in detail, and an attempt is made to describe Miss Miller’s psychological state on the basis of this symbolism and her explanations of the poem’s content. Like the “Hymn of Creation”, this is a dream poem, and the same complex is being worked out. As Miss Miller herself interprets the longing of the moth for the sun as representing the longing of man for God, so research on the symbolism of the sun repeats this theme. The poem is seen to serve the psychological purpose of transforming her desire for the man, her love objective (a singer), into a desire for God. Psychic. energy (the libido) creates the God image using archetypal patterns, leading to the psychic force itself being worshiped as divine; this enables man to feel divinity within himself, giving him an increased feeling of importance and power. Numerous texts and references support the symbolism of sun, light and fire as representations of the Divine. These recurrent concepts are considered to exemplify an archetype — not an inherited idea, but a disposition of man to produce similar ideas. By tracing the historical precedents of the symbols “moth” and “sun”, it is the sun hero for whom Miss Miller’s soul moth bums. Miss Miller’s death fantasies are seen as representative of the ambivalence of the worshiper toward his passion, whose power is both beneficent and destructive. 32 references.

000084 Symbols of transformation. Part II. Introduction. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 121-131).

Classic references of the symbolism referred to in the dream poem “The Song of the Moth” and the symbolism of the phallus in legends are discussed in relation to the psychological concept of libido. References to the sun as an image of God, the sun representing the creative power of the soul (libido) are quoted. The rationality of sun worship, considering man’s physical dependence on the sun, is pointed out. Quotations from the Shvetashvatara Upanishad and the Kasha Upanishad present phallic symbols such as Tom Thumbs and dwarfs as well as the sun as divinities, similar in potency to the key presented Faust by Mephistopheles. All of these symbols are seen as representing the power of the libido, the phallus particularly representing creative divinity. These examples serve to illustrate that the “libido” introduced by Freud is not exclusively sexual, although sexuality is one component of its force. Cicero’s definition of libido as “unbridled desire” in contrast to “will” and St. Augustine’s broad definition of libido are quoted to support a wider use of the term. 19 references.

000085 The concept of libido. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 132-141).

Freud’s original definition of libido is discussed, and the reasons for modification of the definition are presented. Although Freud considered at one time equating libido with interest in general, he ultimately returned to his original definition of libido as sexual energy which overflows into the other instincts, and felt that paranoia could be explained by a loss of libidinal interest. There is more lacking in the schizophrenic than mere erotic interest — what is lost is the whole relation to reality, and consequently the libido is identified with what is termed psychic energy, appetite in its natural state. Differentiation in the human psyche of elemental needs and drives deriving from the reproductive instinct has created complex psychic functions which are now independent of sexuality. This broader, energic conception of libido is considered to explain the observed fact that one instinct can be depotentiated in favor of another; disturbances found in the sexual sphere, in neurosis, are thus secondary, not primary phenomena. The loss of reality in schizophrenia, then, is not caused by an uncontrolled libido, but stems from the investment of psychic energy in archaic fantasy. Reality in neurosis is seen as falsified rather than lost, and the fantasy is of individual rather than archaic origin. A value to man of this investment off psychic energy into analogy making is felt to exist in the general development of the human mind from prehistory to the present. 14 references.

000086 The transformation of libido. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 142-170).

The patterns of regressive reactivation of the presexual stage in a schizophrenic patient are examined and compared with the transformation of libido associated with fire making and rhythmic movement in earlier stages of human development. The case history demonstrates a regression to early rhythmic movements, such as are found in the rhythmic sucking of infants when libido is still primarily invested in the nutritional zone. With the transformation of libido in the developing child, this model of rhythmic movement is transferred to the zones of other functions, with sexuality as its ultimate goal. The period from birth to the first clearly sexual actions, however, is labeled as the “presexual stage.” Literature and legend provide instances of the relation between the rhythmic, boring activity seen in the patient’s regression and fire making. Examples from different periods of history and different peoples are provided to support the existence of a widespread similarity between fire making rituals and sexuality. As sexuality is the psychic component with the strongest affective tone, regressions as well as primitive rituals will show analogies to it while they are actually derived from a presexual libidinal stage. The transformation of libido is seen as presexual as well. While fear is undoubtedly involved, the suppression of libido is based on external and internal factors rather than on the incest taboo proposed by Freud. The strength for such suppression comes from primordial images, archetypes with characteristically numinous effects. Indian literature on fire making; the legends of fire coming from the mouth; references to fire from the mouth in the Bible; and Goethe’s poetry fusing sound, light, speech and fire are given as examples of the conversion of libido focusing on the nutritive zone, rather than the sexual, as a point of origin. Fire symbolism is further discussed in references to the book of Daniel, the Bhagavad Gita, and Plato, as well as incendiarism and ceremonial fire making. Fire ceremonies are discussed in terms of a paradigm for canalizing psychic energy into progressive activity. 32 references.

000087 The origin of the hero. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 171-206).

The hero, called the “finest symbol of the libido” is discussed as he appears in mythology, legend and the dramatic dream of one patient, Miss Miller. A passive introversion which rejects an external object of love and a concentration of the libido on an internal substitute created by the unconscious is considered the source of Miss Miller’s vision. For mankind in general, this internalization of libidinal attention is seen in the cult of the hero, who symbolizes archaic psychic power suppressed to conform to society. This human need is recognized by the Catholic Church by providing Jesus as a visible hero, a sought after superman who symbolizes the idea, the forms, and the forces of the soul. Ramifications of the meaning of the Sphinx which appeared in Miss Miller’s dream are explored, and it is concluded that it means for her what it did for Oedipus, the incest danger. A masculine figure, an Aztec, emerging from the Sphinx, supports this interpretation, and symbolic meanings of the figure’s dress and appearance are discussed. The processes of repression and regression which lead to such archetypal figures appearing from the unconscious, are explained. Since these products of the unconscious are made of repressed infantile material, the psychology of the child’s interest in excremental and anal concerns, his confusion between creation and defecation, and other symbolic meanings, are examined. The creation of personality by the unconscious is explored through the legend of the Wandering Jew, another figure in Miss Miller’s dream. Related legend and tradition from Christian, Islamic, and Mithraic history are reviewed, returning to the symbols of the sun, and finding the fish as a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Heroes in these references are seen to be simultaneously mortal and immortal. Regularly the psychic life force, the libido, symbolizes itself in the sun or personifies itself in figures of heroes with solar attributes, again a sign of mortality and immortality. Unconscious motivations such as the incest problem and desires striving for consciousness are briefly discussed. 28 references.

000088 Symbols of the mother and of rebirth. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 207-273).

Through exploration of the symbols for mother and rebirth, Miss Miller’s vision of communication with a god/hero is interpreted, and the cultural importance of canalization of libido through the use of symbols is demonstrated. In Miss Miller’s vision the city is a maternal symbol as it is in the myth of Ogyges, in Hindu mythology, and in the Bible. In these myths and in others referring to sea journeys, (also found in Miss Miller’s vision), an expression of the longing to return to the womb and to become immortal through rebirth is found. This symbol creating process analyzes the libido and allows it to be progressive again at a higher level of consciousness. Other symbols of the mother imago, such as water, wood of life and tree of life, are examined and studied. From these examples, support is found for the contention that the object of desire is rebirth not incestuous cohabitation. The incest taboo provides an obstacle, forcing canalization upon the libido, and spiritualizing it. Religion aids in systematizing the canalization. Symbolism and symbol formation are viewed as civilizing and natural, with the symbol representing a psychological truth, though not an external one. In many maternal symbols the motifs of devouring and entwining recur, as in the symbol of the tree entwined by a snake. This symbol, as it appears there and in many other myths, is interpreted as an example of the archetypal father opposing pure instinctuality. It is concluded that incest is a narrow and crude explanation for symbol formation, and that the law which expresses itself as the “incest prohibition” should be interpreted as the impulse to domestication, with religious systems seen as institutions which organize the instinctual forces of man’s nature and make them available for higher purposes. 65 references.

000089 The battle for deliverance from the mother. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 274-305).

In examining Miss Miller’s vision of her hero on horseback, threatened by an Indian arrow, the symbolic meanings of the fantasy are explored and the vision is shown to be an expression of Miss Miller’s impending need to discard infantile dependence on her mother. The hero of the vision expresses his author’s infantile demands and even behaves in a feminine way, reflecting Miss Miller’s continuing infantilism and identification with her parent. The analysis is expanded by reviewing the symbolism of the horse and the arrow as they appear in mythology, drama and poetry. Wounding of the hero is seen as a symbolic piercing of self in which the libido turns inward to replenish itself, as if returning into the mother. This internalizing is characterized as occurring whenever man faces a difficult phase in his struggle for personal independence (from the mother and from the entire atmosphere of infancy). The mother image and the maternal archetypes are discussed, with the distinction made between the attitudes held toward them during the first and second half of life. In Miss Miller’s vision, the arrow does not fell the hero, which indicates that Miss Miller is not yet ready to give up the connection with her mother. 29 references.

000090 The dual mother. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 306-393).

Miss Miller’s vision of the hero Chiwantopel, and the associations she herself suggests with the legends of Hiawatha, Siegfried, and other heros from religion and mythology, are discussed in an expansion of the theory of the hero figure. Chiwantopel, seeking a beloved “She who understands”, is an archetype of the unconscious itself, governed by the mother image. Since Miss Miller’s battle is for independence, the hero enters as a savior figure who does all she cannot do. Detailed analyses of Hiawatha and Siegfried support the theory of hero as symbolic of self. The extraordinary circumstances of the hero’s birth are due to being born of a mother wife; this dual mother motif results in a dual birth: one mortal, the other quasi divine. In the struggle, death and rebirth of the hero, one sees the symbol of the struggle of the self against the attraction of returning to the unconscious (mother). While religion and society condemn and attempt to block this regressive return, it is strongly recommended that therapy support it, for it is not an incestuous return to the mother but a regression to the presexual wholeness of the unconscious. This conflict between the ego conscious and the unconscious is observed to be at the source of the typical representation of the hero as carrying on an unending struggle against hazardous and evil forces. That the hero and his adversary often resemble each other is seen as a symbol of their relationship as two parts of the same whole. Similarly, the treasure which is the goal of many legendary heros is seen as life itself, the resolution of the struggle between conscious and unconscious; through introversion, the entering of the cave, the treasure/self is regained/re born. A similar interpretation of dreams is suggested, since the hero myth as an unconscious drama is in fact a kind of dream.

000091 The sacrifice. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 394-440).

By comparing Miss Miller’s mental attitude with that of the poet Holderlin and with many religious, legendary and mythological sources, the meaning of the death of the hero Chiwantopel is derived. Miss Miller’s conscious mind is seen as threatened by an invasion from the unconscious; were the invasion completed, the conscious mind would be freed to break inertia and move forward. A similar situation is detailed in the poetry of Holderlin, particularly in his increasing estrangement from reality. This material is used to discuss regression as involuntary introversion, of which depression is an unconscious compensation. Holderlin’s poems are further used to illustrate regression as a link with primal material, which must be assimilated by the conscious mind, lest it keep its chaotic form, producing schizophrenia. References to the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ illustrate the poet’s similarity in thought to mythological ideas of death or a hero’s self-sacrifice as leading to immortality. Miss Miller’s sacrifice of Chiwantopel is interpreted as the urging from the unconscious to renounce her longing for regression to the maternal depths. More than just a study in individual psychology, Miss Miller’s problem is seen as reflecting that of humanity in general. The symbols employed in her visions are mythological figures born to the unconscious; it was not the incest taboo that forced mankind forward but the evolutionary instinct from which this and other taboos came. Indian philosophy, as a sort of refined mythology dealing with sacrifice is reviewed with other legendary and mythological sacrifice symbolism, and a comparison is made of the differences between Mithraic and Christian sacrifice. Based on this difference, Miss Miller’s fantasy, which kills both horse and hero, is interpreted as the unconscious urge to renounce not only the biological drives represented by the horse, but her egohood, which is represented by the hero. The drama enacted through Chiwantopel and the horse will now have to be acted out in life by Miss Miller herself. 31 references.

000092 Symbols of transformation. Epilogue. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 441-444).

The conception of the role of psychotherapy in cases such as Miss Miller’s is detailed. It is felt that, at the conclusion of Miss Miller’s visions, the threat to her from the unconscious was apparent, but that she was unable to deal with it and assimilate her hero to her conscious personality, because she had no understanding of the meaning of the symbols present in her fantasies. Fantasy production is described as psychic energy not under conscious control and is seen as a precursor of psychic disturbance. The role of the psychotherapist is to help the patient assimilate part of the unconscious and abolish dissociation by integration of unconscious tendencies with the conscious mind. Miss Miller’s individual case is considered an example of the unconscious manifestations which precede psychic disorder, which led to this survey of problems of greater proportions; thus fantasies, dreams, and delusions as an expression of the patient’s psychic situation are the material with which a scientist augments human knowledge.

000093 Symbols of transformation. Appendix: the Miller fantasies. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 5. 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1967. 557 p. (p. 445-462).

The Miller fantasies, forming the foundation material for “Symbols of Transformation”, are reproduced as written by Miss Frank Miller. They include remarks on suggestion, two dream poems and the hypnagogic vision of the story of Chiwantopel. Brief background information on what she was doing or thinking just before the poems and the story vision occurred to her is given. Miss Miller assumes that all persons of a sympathetic nature experience suggestion or autosuggestion as she does. She explains the dream poems as combinations of impressions from literature, plays and philosophy. The vision of Chiwantopel, experienced in what Miss Miller describes as an anticipatory mood before sleep, is detailed. It includes the appearance of the Aztec, the horses, battle, a dream city, a change of scene to a wood where Chiwantopel defies the threat by an Indian arrow, his search for a soul mate, his despair, the appearance of a viper and the ensuing death of his horse and himself. Miss Miller calls Chiwantopel, hero of the story, her “spirit guide”, and analyzes the vision by finding the everyday sources of its contents (such as the hero’s name and the appearance of the volcano in Shakespeare, Hiawatha, other literature, philosophy, and experiences of her own. She also feels that her search for an original idea, continuing over several days preceding the vision, may have played a role in precipitating the hypnagogic fantasy. She considers her visions generally in a literary and superficial light, without questioning whether any deeper psychic forces have contributed to them.


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