You undoubtedly know that I have a particular love for Dr Jung, though you might wonder why I write from him now more often. That is because, on Facebook, I have recently, by some adorable friends, been upgraded! It might be not such great news, but at least it is a great encouragement for me to work it out. Of course, I have also noticed that it is not an as easy job!
The illustration above is a version that Brother Niklaus von Flüe had to have seen and got the image on the wall of his cell. “”The prototype of a mystic across religious-denominational divisions. Brother Klaus is “the only outstanding Swiss mystic by the grace of God, who had unorthodox primal visions and was able to look unperturbed into the depths of that divine soul, which still contains all denominations of mankind separated by dogmatics united in a symbolic archetype””. C.G. Jung: Brother Klaus. In: Neue Schweizer Rundschau, Neue Serie I/4 (1933), quoted from: On the Psychology of Eastern and Western Religion, Collected Works 11, § 487.
Jung said: “‘God’ is a primal experience of man, and from time immemorial, mankind has made an incredible effort to represent this incomprehensible experience, to assimilate it, through interpretation, through speculation and through dogma, or to deny it”. (C.G. Jung: Brother Klaus. Quoted from: Collected Works, 11, § 480.)
And Dr Jung, as he himself was an extraordinary visioner, mentioned this in his book, “Archetypes.” (Archetypen) He wrote:
What is meant by the archetype is clearly stated by its relation to myth, secret doctrine, and fairy tales just explained. On the other hand, things get more complicated if we try to understand psychologically what an archetype is. Research into myths has always been content with solar, lunar, meteorological, vegetation and other auxiliary ideas. The fact that myths are primarily psychological manifestations that represent the soul’s essence has hardly been accepted up to now.
Why is psychology the very youngest of the empirical sciences? Why hasn’t one discovered the unconscious long ago and raised its treasure trove of eternal images? Relatively simply not because we had a religious formula for all things of the soul that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than direct experience. If the Christian world’s vision has faded for many, the symbolic treasure troves of the East are still full of miracles, which can nourish the desire to look around, and at new clothes for a long time to come. Moreover, these images – be they Christian or Buddhist or anything else – are beautiful, mysterious and foreboding. Admittedly, the more familiar they are to us, the more frequent use has worn them down so that only their banal externality has remained in its almost meaningless paradox. The mystery of the virgin birth, or the Homoousian of the son with the father, or the trinity that is not a triad, no longer inspires philosophical imagination. They have become mere objects of belief. It is not surprising, therefore, if the religious need, the pious mind, and the philosophical speculation of the educated European should be drawn to the symbols of the East, to the grandiose conceptions of divinity in India, and to the abysses of Taoist philosophy in China, as the mind and spirit once were the spirit of ancient man has been caught up in Christian ideas. There are many who first gave themselves over to the influence of the Christian symbol until they became entangled in Kierkegaardian (Kierkegaard) neurosis, or until their relationship to God, as a result of an increasing impoverishment of symbolism, developed into an intolerably acute “I-Thou” relationship, then to succumb to the magic of the fresh strangeness of Eastern symbols.
It is not enough for the primitive to see the sunrise and set. Still, this external observation must at the same time also be a mental event, i.e. the sun in its transformation must represent the fate of a god or hero who, basically, is nowhere dwells differently than in the human soul…
What I mean is probably best illustrated with the example of a Swiss mystic and hermit, the recently canonised Brother Niklaus von Flüe. Probably his most important experience was the so-called Trinity Vision, which engaged him so much that he painted it or had let it paint on the wall of his cell.
The vision is depicted in a contemporary painting preserved in the parish church of Sachseln: It is a mandala divided into six, the centre of which is the crowned face of God. We know that Brother Klaus used the illustrated booklet of a German mystic to research the nature of his vision and tried to bring his primal experience into a form he could understand. He dealt with that for years. This is what I refer to as >editing< the icon. His reflections on the nature of the vision, influenced by the mystical diagrams of his guide, necessarily led to the conclusion that he must have seen the Holy Trinity himself, that is, the >summum bonum<, eternal love itself. The clarified representation in Sachseln also corresponds to this.
That is an abstract or summary of C. G. Jung; “Archetypen; Urbilder und Wirkkräfte des Kollektiven Unbewussten. (Archetypes; archetypes and influential forces of the collective unconscious.)
I will surely come back more on this. 💖🙏