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CBS News. The Egyptian Hermes: Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology Winter Regrettably, when examining the trends of the 20th century, one seems to find a splitting of research disciplines which resulted in academic specialization Hanegraaff, , p. A n Interpretive Guide to C. The serpent is the earthly essence of man of which he is not conscious. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Since whatever I reject is nevertheless in my nature. I believed that I could destroy it. But it resides in me and has only assumed a passing outer form and stepped toward me. I destroyed its form and believed that I was a conqueror. So this seemingly threatening element of initiation, illustrates a universal experience where the most natural reaction of the majority of initiates is to desperately resist and fight this process of — what would be regarded under any other circumstance as — illumination.
Taking a page from clinical psychology, the ego cannot con- trol the process itself, so it is in this sense that I fundamentally mean the theme of death in initiation. I will identify an answer Jung himself received in The Red Book that alludes to what our initiates also came to realize: In other words, one must face their shadow. It is sensible to call this figure a guardian of a threshold because only when the initiate confronts and solves the enigma of this resistance the serpent figure can he or she now be ready to go beyond this men- tal threshold.
If achieved, this is a significant turning point in initiation. However, the greatest difficulty in acknowledging this aspect of ourselves is, realistically, to question that there is something much more powerful about ourselves that we have no access to with our regular mode of thinking. By the nature of this unexamined, mental habit, we believe ourselves presumably to be the genera- tor of our stream of thoughts. This is normal, as humanity would say. But one must pay close attention to what Hillman acknowledges in this regard: This interpretation by Hillman is made by others who also personally knew Jung see van der Post, , p.
It would take, even if seen as theoretical at first, a major shift in our approach to acknowledging what this insight might fully imply about who we are. For the guardian of the threshold, for this archetypal serpent, this very fact appears to make its existence occult. We are told, as well as was my ob- Vol.
And then the work of understanding is attempting to come to terms with it" Shamadasani and Hillman, , p. Let us remind ourselves that each inner figure Jung encounters has a voice and life of its own.
Each has, more importantly, its own inher- ently restricting and vested interest Nevertheless, this makes for a dialogue in the transcripts of initiatory sessions that is rich, lively and sharp.
Noteworthy to mention here, before closing, our initiates were assisted by an external guide who has already completed this initiatory program ; those who advanced to higher levels, also made contact with their inner guide as the tradition of old would have it. Briefly, I must say, this esoteric element in initiation cannot be undermined. Jung did not keep his journeys to himself; reportedly, he shared his sessions with at least one person, Toni Wolff Hannah, , Ch. To use an analogy, by definition one would only be able to bring this clever shapeshifting guardian to the forefront if initiation took place.
Initiation, the experience of, means to be introduced to or admitted into a living secret that was previously unknown [occult].
Many examples are found in The Red Book that discuss this aspect of the journey, but I will only make note of one here: But if you watch closely, you will see what you have never seen before, namely that things live their life, and that they live off you. Nothing happens in which you are not entangled in a secret manner; for everything has ordered itself around you and plays your innermost , p. The greatest secret withstanding, that in the act of uncovering it, is experienced as a phenomena akin to dying: Because of this real and fundamental issue, many initiates seem to habitual- ly want to turn away — to name here the fight-or-flight [or freeze] response of physiological reaction to stress.
The inner agony is tremendous, perhaps even traumatic. But one would go as far as to say, that a successive initiation process while once lively, but then, when stopped for whatever reason , does not have the appropriate momentum [force] to be picked up again directly in a lifetime. Such insight may come to explain why the editor wrote: One could safely entertain the notion that Jung did what he was obliged to play out in his lifetime, which on its own is Vol. Jung, nor to diminish it.
It appears to be the case, that this com- mon tendency for those close to and involved with Jung belong either in one of the two groups of extremes. This seems to have fol- lowed him throughout his life. I consciously intend on staying away from studying this man from these two extreme perspectives. In light of this approach, I am of the opinion that The Red Book cannot be studied from purely one academic discipline.
A holistic approach seems to serve better. While Jung maybe categorically and commercially placed in the field of psychology, that does not mean he needs to be viewed psychologically to understand his experiences in The Red Book.
Jungian analyst Giegerich proposes something that relates to this endnote dialogue: I will leave the readers to make their own conclusions. In the Reference section, one will surely find research that provides a compre- hensive explanation Hanegraaff, I will let their research speak to these general allegations other biographers and authors made claim for.
It is the bridge of going across and fulfilment. Make note: Firstly, this does not mean the Shadow cannot be camouflaged in other inner figures for the purpose of manipula- tion and concealment, which will often come across as illogical in the overall content.
Secondly, the two personified aspects of the psyche, thinking and feeling, may also manifest in other forms early in initiation until a more intimate encounter emerges for the initiate where he can consciously identify the function of these inner figures of his psyche. Back to our point, if one is thinking-dominant, as is the case generally with male initiates, then the dialogue will mirror this preference with the type of content that manifests in session.
Therefore, when such thinking-dominance is present, as is the case with Jung, then private life, childhood content and feelings in particular, to some degree, are repressed to use a psychological term.
He admits , p. To paraphrase this particular endnote, Jung finds himself not just in his thinking-dominant dialogue but also seems to be at the mercy of the cunning trickery of his Shadow. References Baird, R. Category Formation and the History of Religions.
Boechat, W. The Red Book of C. A Journey into Unknown Depths. Carolyn Hoggarth. Kar- nac Books Ltd. Retrieved from http: Sonu Shamdasani interviewed by Ann Casement. Journal of A nalytical Psychology, 55, Chevalier, J.
A Dictionary of Symbols. John Buchanan-Brown. Penguin Books. Drob, S. Reading the Red Book: A n Interpretive Guide to C. New Orleans, Louisiana: Spring Jour- nal Books. Faivre, A. Access to W estern Esotericism. State University of New York Press. Falzeder, E. Harvard University Press. Fowden, G. The Egyptian Hermes: Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Frantz, G. The Spirit of the Depths. Psychological Perspectives, Giegerich, W. A First Analysis of C. A Journal of Arche- type and Culture, 83, pp. The Flight Into The Unconscious: An A nalysis of C. Spring Journal, Inc. Hakl, H. The Netherlands, Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV. Hanegraaff, W. Altered States of Knowledge: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition, 2: The Birth of Esotericism from the Spirit of Protestantism.
Journal for the Study of W estern Esoter -icism 10, 2, pp.
W estern Esotericism: A Guide for the Perplexed. Bloomsbury Academic. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. Learn how and when to remove these template messages.
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