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Title: Psychology of the Unconscious

Author: C. G. Jung

Translator: Beatrice M. Hinkle

Release date: July 23, 2021 [eBook #65903]

Language: English

Credits: Richard Tonsing and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note:

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A Study of the Transformations and Symbolisms of the Libido
A Contribution to the History of the Evolution of Thought

Dr. C. G. JUNG
Of the University of Zurich
Of the Neurological Department of Cornell University Medical School and of the New York Post Graduate Medical School
Copyright, 1916, by
New York
All rights reserved


That humanity is seeking a new message, a new light upon the meaning of life, and something tangible, as it were, with which it can work towards a larger understanding of itself and its relation to the universe, is a fact I think none will gainsay. Therefore, it has seemed to me particularly timely to introduce to the English-speaking world Dr. Jung’s remarkable book, “Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido.” In this work he has plunged boldly into the treacherous sea of mythology and folklore, the productions of the ancient mind and that of the common people, and turned upon this vast material the same scientific and painstaking method of psychologic analysis that is applied to the modern mind, in order to reveal the common bond of desire and longing which unites all humanity, and thus bridge the gaps presumed to exist between ancient and widely separated peoples and those of our modern time. The discovery of this undercurrent affecting and influencing ancient peoples as well as modern serves as a foundation or platform from which he proceeds to hold aloft a new ideal, a new goal of attainment possible of achievement and which can be intellectually satisfying, as well as emotionally appealing: the goal of moral autonomy.

This book, remarkable for its erudition and the tremendous labor expended upon it, as well as for the new vilight which it sheds upon human life, its motives, its needs and its possibilities, is not one for desultory reading or superficial examination. Such an approach will prevent the reader from gaining anything of its real value; but for those who can bring a serious interest and willingness to give a careful study to it the work will prove to be a veritable mine capable of yielding the greatest riches.

The difficulties in translating a book such as this are almost insuperable, but I have tried faithfully to express Dr. Jung’s thought, keeping as close to the original text as possible and, at the same time, rendering the difficult material and complicated German phrasing as simply and clearly as the subject-matter would allow. In all this work I owe much to Miss Helen I. Brayton, without whose faithful assistance the work would never have been completed. I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to Mr. Louis Untermeyer, whose help in rendering the poetic quotations into English verse has been invaluable, and to express as well my gratitude to other friends who have assisted me in various ways from time to time.

B. M. H.
New York, 1915.


When Professor Freud of Vienna made his early discoveries in the realm of the neuroses, and announced that the basis and origin of the various symptoms grouped under the terms hysteria and neuroses lay in unfulfilled desires and wishes, unexpressed and unknown to the patient for the most part, and concerned chiefly with the sexual instinct, it was not realized what far-reaching influence this unpopular and bitterly attacked theory would exert on the understanding of human life in general.

For this theory has so widened in its scope that its application has now extended beyond a particular group of pathologic states. It has in fact led to a new evaluation of the whole conduct of human life; a new comprehension has developed which explains those things which formerly were unexplained, and there is offered an understanding not only of the symptoms of a neurosis and the phenomena of conduct but the product of the mind as expressed in myths and religions.

This amazing growth has proceeded steadily in an ever-widening fashion despite opposition as violent as any of which we have knowledge in the past. The criticism originally directed towards the little understood and viiimuch disliked sexual conception now includes the further teachings of a psychology which by the application to it of such damning phrases as mystical, metaphysical and sacrilegious, is condemned as unscientific.

To add to the general confusion and misunderstanding surrounding this new school of thought there has arisen a division amongst the leaders themselves, so that there now exist two schools led respectively by Professor Sigmund Freud of Vienna and Dr. Carl Jung of Zurich, referred to in the literature as the Vienna School and the Zurich School.

It is very easy to understand that criticism and opposition should develop against a psychology so difficult of comprehension, and so disturbing to the ideas which have been held by humanity for ages; a psychology which furthermore requires a special technique as well as an observer trained to recognize and appreciate in psychologic phenomena a verification of the statement that there is no such thing as chance, and that every act and every expression has its own meaning, determined by the inner feelings and wishes of the individual.

It is not a simple matter to come out boldly and state that every individual is to a large extent the determiner of his own destiny, for only by poets and philosophers has this idea been put forth—not by science; and it is a brave act to make this statement with full consciousness of all its meaning, and to stand ready to prove it by scientific reasoning and procedure.

Developed entirely through empirical investigation and through an analysis of individual cases, Freudian psychology ixseems particularly to belong to that conception of Max Müller’s that “An empirical acquaintance with facts rises to a scientific knowledge of facts as soon as the mind discovers beneath the multiplicity of single productions the unity of an organic system.”[1]

Psychoanalysis is the name given to the method developed for reaching down into the hidden depths of the individual to bring to light the underlying motives and determinants of his symptoms and attitudes, and to reveal the unconscious tendencies which lie behind actions and reactions and which influence development and determine the relations of life itself. The result of digging down into the hidden psyche has been to produce a mass of material from below the threshold of consciousness, so astonishing and disturbing and out of relation with the previously held values, as to arouse in any one unfamiliar with the process the strongest antagonism and criticism.

Although originally studied only as a therapeutic method for the sick it was soon realized through an analysis of normal people how slight were the differences in the content of the unconscious of the sick and of the normal. The differences observed were seen to be rather in the reactions to life and to the conflicts produced by contending forces in the individual.

These conflicts, usually not fully perceived by the individual, and having to do with objectionable desires and wishes that are not in keeping with the conscious idea of self, produce marked effects which are expressed either in certain opinions, prejudices, attitudes of conduct, xfaulty actions, or in some definite pathologic symptom. As Dr. Jung says, he who remains healthy has to struggle with the same complexes that cause the neurotic to fall ill.

In a valuable book called “The Neighbor,” written by the late Professor N. Shaler of Harvard University, there occurs this very far-reaching statement: “It is hardly too much to say that all the important errors of conduct, all the burdens of men or of societies are caused by the inadequacies in the association of the primal animal emotions with those mental powers which have been so rapidly developed in mankind.”

This statement, reached by a process of reasoning and a method of thought and study entirely different from psychoanalysis, nevertheless so completely expresses in brief form the very basis of the postulates developed through psychoanalysis that I quote it here. Such a statement made in the course of a general examination of human relations does not arouse opposition nor seem to be so difficult of acceptance. It appears to be the individual application of these conceptions that has roused such bitter antagonism and violent denunciations.

Rightly understood and used, psychoanalysis may be compared to surgery, for psychoanalysis stands in the same relation to the personality as surgery does to the body, and they aim at parallel results.

It is well recognized that in the last analysis nature is the real physician, the healer of wounds; but prior to the development of our modern asepsis and surgical technique the healing produced by nature was most often of a very xifaulty and imperfect type—hideous scars, distorted and crippled limbs, with functions impaired or incapacitated, resulted from the wounds, or else nature was unable to cope with the hurt and the injured one succumbed.

Science has been steadily working for centuries with the aim of understanding nature and finding means to aid and co-operate with her so that healing could take place with the least possible loss of function or permanent injury to the individual. Marvelous results have rewarded these persistent efforts, as the brilliant achievements of surgery plainly indicate.

Meantime, however, little thought was given to the possibility of any scientific method being available to help man overcome the wounds and conflicts taking place in his soul, hurts which retarded his development and progress as a personality, and which frequently in the struggle resulted in physical pains and symptoms of the most varied character. That was left solely to religion and metaphysics. Now, however, this same assistance that surgery has given to the physical body, psychoanalysis attempts to give to the personality. That it cannot always succeed is as much to be expected, and more, than that surgery does not always succeed, for the analytic work requires much of the individual. No real result can be attained if he has not already developed a certain quality of character and intelligence which makes it possible for him to submit himself to a facing of his naked soul, and to the pain and suffering which this often entails. Here, as in no other relation in life, an absolute truth and an absolute honesty xiiare the only basis of action, since deception of any kind deceives no one but the individual himself and acts as a boomerang, defeating his own aims.

Such deep searching and penetrating into the soul is not something to be undertaken lightly nor to be considered a trivial or simple matter, and the fact is that where a strong compulsion is lacking, such as sickness or a situation too difficult to meet, much courage is required to undertake it.

In order to understand this psychology which is pervading all realms of thought and seems destined to be a new psychological-philosophical system for the understanding and practical advancement of human life, it will be necessary to go somewhat into detail regarding its development and present status. For in this new direction lies its greatest value and its greatest danger.

The beginnings of this work were first published in 1895 in a book entitled “Studien über Hysterie,” and contained the joint investigations into hysteria of Dr. Breuer of Vienna and his pupil Dr. Sigmund Freud. The results of their investigations seemed to show that the various symptoms grouped under the title of hysteria were the result of emotionally colored reminiscences which, all unknown to the conscious waking self, were really actively expressing themselves through the surrogate form of symptoms and that these experiences, although forgotten by the patient, could be reproduced and the emotional content discharged.

Hypnosis was the means used to enable the physician to penetrate deeply into the forgotten memories, for it xiiiwas found through hypnosis that these lost incidents and circumstances were not really lost at all but only dropped from consciousness, and were capable of being revived when given the proper stimuli. The astonishing part about it was that with the revival of these memories and their accompanying painful and disturbing emotions, the symptoms disappeared. This led naturally to the conclusion that these symptoms were dependent upon some emotional disturbance or psychic trauma which had been inadequately expressed, and that in order to cure the patient one merely had to establish the connection between the memory and the emotions which properly belonged to it, letting the emotion work itself out through a reproduction of the forgotten scene.

With further investigation Freud found that hypnosis was unnecessary for the revival of the forgotten experiences, and that it was possible to obtain the lost emotional material in the conscious and normal state. For this purpose the patient was encouraged to assume a passive, non-critical attitude and simply let his thoughts flow, speaking of whatever came into his mind, holding nothing back. During this free and easy discussion of his life and conditions, directed by the law of association of ideas, reference was invariably made to the experiences or thoughts which were the most affective and disturbing elements. It was seen to be quite impossible to avoid this indirect revelation because of the strength of the emotions surrounding these ideas and the effect of the conscious wish to repress unpleasant feelings. This important group of ideas or impressions, with the feelings xivand emotions clustered around them which are betrayed through this process, was called by Jung a complex.

However, with the touching of the complex which always contains feelings and emotions so painful or unpleasant as to be unacceptable to consciousness, and which are therefore repressed and hidden, great difficulties appeared, for very often the patient came to a sudden stop and could apparently recall nothing more. Memory gaps were frequent, relations twisted, etc. Evidently some force banished these memories so that the person was quite honest in saying that he could remember nothing or that there was nothing to tell. This kind of forgetfulness was called repression, and is the normal mechanism by which nature protects the individual from such painful feelings as are caused by unpleasant and unacceptable experiences and thoughts, the recognition of his egoistic nature, and the often quite unbearable conflict of his weaknesses with his feelings of idealism.

At this early time great attention was given towards developing a technique which would render more easy the reproduction of these forgotten memories, for with the abandonment of hypnosis it was seen that some unknown active force was at work which not only banished painful memories and feelings, but also prevented their return; this was called resistance. This resistance was found to be the important mechanism which interfered with a free flow of thought and produced the greatest difficulty in the further conduct of the analysis. It appeared under various guises and frequently manifested itself in intellectual objections based on reasoning xvground, in criticism directed towards the analyst, or in criticism of the method itself, and finally, often in a complete blocking of expression, so that until the resistance was broken nothing more could be produced.

It was necessary then to find some aid by which these resistances could be overcome and the repressed memories and feelings revived and set free. For it was proven again and again that even though the person was not at all aware of concealing within himself some emotionally disturbing feeling or experience with which his symptoms were associated, yet such was the fact, and that under proper conditions this material could be brought into consciousness. This realm where these unknown but disturbing emotions were hidden was called the “Unconscious”—the “Unconscious” also being a name used arbitrarily to indicate all that material of which the person is not aware at the given time—the not-conscious.

This term is used very loosely in Freudian psychology and is not intended to provoke any academic discussion but to conform strictly to the dictionary classification of a “negative concept which can neither be described nor defined.” To say that an idea or feeling is unconscious merely means to indicate that the individual is unaware at that time of its existence, or that all the material of which he is unaware at a given time is unconscious.

With the discovery of the significance in relation to hysteria of these varied experiences and forgotten memories which always led into the erotic realm and usually were carried far back into early childhood, the theory of an infantile sexual trauma as a cause of this neurosis developed. xviContrary to the usual belief that children have no sexuality and that only at puberty does it suddenly arise, it was definitely shown that there was a very marked kind of sexuality among children of the most tender years, entirely instinctive and capable of producing a grave effect on the entire later life.

However, further investigations carried into the lives of normal people disclosed quite as many psychic and sexual traumas in their early childhood as in the lives of the patients; therefore, the conception of the “infantile sexual trauma” as the etiological factor was abandoned in favor of “the infantilism of sexuality” itself. In other words, it was soon realized that many of the sexual traumas which were placed in their early childhood by these patients, did not really exist except in their own phantasies and probably were produced as a defence against the memories of their own childish sexual activities. These experiences led to a deep investigation into the nature of the child’s sexuality and developed the ideas which Freud incorporated in a work called “Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory.” He found so many variations and manifestations of sexual activity even among young children that he realized that this activity was the normal, although entirely unconscious, expression of the child’s developing life, and while not comparable to the adult sexuality, nevertheless produced a very definite influence and effect on the child’s life.

These childish expressions of this instinct he called “polymorphous perverse,” because in many ways they xviiresembled the various abnormalities called perversions when found among adults under certain conditions.

In the light of these additional investigations Freud was led to change his formulation, for instead of the symptoms of the neurotic patient being due to definite sexual experiences, they seemed to be determined by his reactions towards his own sexual constitution and the kind of repression to which these instincts were subjected.

Perhaps one of the greatest sources of misunderstanding and difficulty in this whole subject lies in the term sexuality, for Freud’s conception of this is entirely different from that of the popular sense. He conceives sexuality to be practically synonymous with the word love and to include under this term all those tender feelings and emotions which have had their origin in a primitive erotic source, even if now their primary aim is entirely lost and another substituted for it. It must also be borne in mind that Freud strictly emphasizes the psychic side of sexuality and its importance, as well as the somatic expression.

Therefore, to understand Freud’s theories, his very broad conception of the term sexual must never be forgotten.

Through this careful investigation of the psychic life of the individual, the tremendous influence and importance of phantasy-making for the fate was definitely shown. It was discovered that the indulgence in day-dreams and phantasies was practically universal not only among children but among adults, that even whole lives xviiiwere being lived out in a phantastic world created by the dreamer, a world wherein he could fulfil all those wishes and desires which were found to be too difficult or impossible to satisfy in the world of reality.

Much of this phantasy thinking was seen to be scarcely conscious, but arose from unrealized wishes, desires and strivings which could only express themselves through veiled symbols in the form of phantastic structures not understood, nor fully recognized. Indeed, it is perhaps one of the most common human experiences to find “queer thoughts,” undesired ideas and images, forcing themselves upon one’s attention to such an extent that the will has to be employed to push them out of mind. It is not unusual to discover long-forgotten impressions of childhood assuming a phantastic shape in memory, and dwelt upon as though they were still of importance.

This material afforded a rich field for the searchers into the soul, for through the operation of the law of association of ideas these phantastic products, traced back to their origin, revealed the fact that instead of being meaningless or foolish, they were produced by a definite process, and arose from distinct wishes and desires which unconsciously veiled themselves in these mysterious forms and pictures.

It is conceded that the most completely unconscious product of an individual is his dream, and therefore Professor Freud turned his attention from phantasies and day-dreams to the investigation of the nightly dreams of his patients to discover whether they would throw light upon the painful feelings and ideas repressed out of xixconsciousness, and therefore inaccessible to direct revelation.

This brilliant idea soon led to a rich fruiting, for it became evident that contrary to the usual conception that the dream is a phantastic and absurd jumble of heterogeneous fragments, having no real relation to the life of the individual, it is full of meaning. In fact, it is usually concerned with the problem of life most pressing at the time, which expresses itself not directly, but in symbolic form so as to be unrecognized. In this way the individual gains an expression and fulfilment of his unrealized wish or desire.

This discovery of the symbolic nature of the dream and the phantasy was brought about entirely through the associative method and developed empirically through investigations of the dreams of many people. In this manner it became evident that certain ideas and objects which recurred again and again in the dreams and phantasies of different people were definitely associated with certain unconscious or unrecognized wishes and desires, and were repeatedly used by the mind to express these meanings where a direct form was repressed and unallowed. Thus certain dream expressions and figures were in a general way considered to be rather definite symbols of these repressed ideas and feelings found in the unconscious. Through a comparative and parallel study it soon appeared that there was a similar mechanism at work in myths and fairy tales and that the relationship between the dreams and phantasies of an individual and the myths and folk tales of a people was so close xxthat Abraham could say that the myth is a fragment of the infantile soul life of the race and the dream is the myth of the individual.

Thus through relating his dreams the patient himself furnished the most important means of gaining access to the unconscious and disturbing complexes with which his symptoms were connected.

Besides the dream analysis the patient furnished other means of revelation of his complexes—his mannerisms and unconscious acts, his opening remarks to his physician, his emotional reactions to certain ideas; in short the whole behavior and verbal expressions of the individual reveal his inner nature and problems.

Through all this work it became clear that in the emotional nature lay the origin not only of the various nervous illnesses themselves, but also of the isolated symptoms and individual idiosyncrasies and peculiarities which are the part of all humanity and that the pathogenic cause of the disturbances lies not in the ignorance of individuals, but in those inner resistances which are the underlying basis of this ignorance.

Therefore the aim of the therapy became not merely the relief of the ignorance but the searching out and combating of these resistances.

It becomes evident from even this brief description of the analytic procedure that we are dealing with a very complex and delicate material, and with a technique which needs to make definite use of all influences available for the help of the patient. It has long been recognized that the relation established between physician and patient xxihas a great effect upon the medical assistance which he is able to render—in other words, if a confidence and personal regard developed in the patient towards the physician, the latter’s advice was just so much more efficacious. This personal feeling has been frankly recognized and made of distinct service in psychoanalytic treatment under the name of transference. It is through the aid of this definite relationship which must be established in the one being analyzed towards the analyst that it is possible to deal with the unconscious and organized resistances which so easily blind the individual and render the acceptance of the new valuations very difficult to the raw and sensitive soul.

Freud’s emphasis upon the rôle of the sexual instinct in the production of the neurosis and also in its determining power upon the personality of the normal individual does not imply that he does not also recognize other determinants at the root of human conduct, as for instance, the instinct for preservation of life and the ego principle itself. But these motives are not so violently forbidden and repressed as the sexual impulse, and therefore, because of that repressive force and the strength of the impulse he considers this primary in its influence upon the human being.

The importance of this instinct upon human life is clearly revealed by the great place given to it under the name of love in art, literature, poetry, romance and all beauty from the beginning of recorded time. Viewed in this light it cannot seem extraordinary that a difficulty or disturbance in this emotional field should produce such xxiifar-reaching consequences for the individual. The sexual impulse is often compared with that of hunger, and this craving and need lying in all humanity is called by Freud libido.

The Oedipus Problem

With further investigations into the nature of the repressed complexes a very astonishing situation was revealed. The parental influence on children is something so well recognized and understood that to call attention to it sounds much like a banality. However, here an extraordinary discovery was made, for in tracing out the feelings and emotions of adults it became evident that this influence was paramount not only for children but for adults as well; that the entire direction of lives was largely determined quite unconsciously by the parental associations, and that, although adults, the emotional side of their nature was still infantile in type and demanded unconsciously the infantile or childish relations.

Freud traces out the commencement of the infantile attachment for the parents in this wise.

In the beginning the child derives its first satisfaction and pleasure from the mother in the form of nutrition and care for its wants. In this first act of suckling Freud sees already a kind of sexual pleasure, for he apparently identifies the pleasure principle and the sexual instinct and considers that the former is primarily rooted in the latter. At this early time commence such various infantile actions unconnected with nutrition as thumbsucking, xxiiivarious movements of the body as rubbing, boring, pulling and other manifestations of a definite interest in its own body, a delight in nakedness, the pleasure exhibited in inflicting pain on some object and its opposite, the pleasure from receiving pain. All of these afford the child pleasure and satisfaction, and because they seem analogous to certain perversions in adults they are called by Freud the “polymorphous perverse sexuality” of childhood. The character of these instinctive actions which have nothing to do with any other person, and through which the child attains pleasure from its own body, caused Freud to term this phase of life as autoerotic after Havelock Ellis. However, with the growth of the child there is a parallel development of the psychic elements of its sexual nature and now the mother, the original object of its love, primarily determined by its helplessness and need, acquires a new valuation. The beginnings of the need for a love object to satisfy the craving or libido of the child are early in evidence and, following along sex lines in general, the little son prefers the mother and the daughter the father after the usual preference of the parents.

At this early time children feel deeply the enormous importance of their parents and their entire world is bounded by the family circle. All the elements of the ego which the child possesses have now become manifest; love, jealousy, curiosity, hate, etc., and those instincts are directed in the greatest degree towards the objects of their libido, namely the parents. With the growing ego of the child there is a development of strong wishes xxivand desires demanding satisfaction which can only be gratified by the mother; therefore there is aroused in the small son the feeling of jealousy and anger towards the father in whom he sees a rival for the affection of the mother and whom he would like to replace. This desire in the soul of the child Freud calls the Oedipus complex in recognition of its analogy to the tragedy of King Oedipus who was drawn by his fate to kill his father and win his mother for a wife. Freud presents this as the nuclear complex of every neurosis.

At the basis of this complex, some trace of which can be found in every person, Freud sees a definite incest wish towards the mother which only lacks the quality of consciousness. Because of moral reactions this wish is quickly subjected to repression through the operation of the “incest barrier,” a postulate he compares to the incest taboo found among inferior peoples. At this time the child is beginning to develop its typical sexual curiosity expressed by the question, “Where do I come from?” The interest and investigation of the child into this problem, aided by observations and deductions from various actions and attitudes of the parents, who have no idea of the watchfulness of the child, lead him, because of his imperfect knowledge and immature development, into many false theories and ideas of birth. These infantile sexual theories are held by Freud to be determinative in the development of the child’s character and also for the contents of the unconscious as expressed in a future neurosis.

These various reactions of the child and his sexual curiosity xxvare entirely normal and unavoidable, and if his development proceeds in an orderly fashion then, at the time of definite object choice he will pass smoothly over from the limitations of the family attachment out into the world and find therein his independent existence.

However, if the libido remains fixed on the first chosen object so that the growing individual is unable to tear himself loose from these familial ties, then the incestuous bond is deepened with the developing sexual instinct and its accompanying need of a love object, and the entire future of the young personality endangered. For with the development of the incestuous bond the natural repressions deepen because the moral censor cannot allow these disturbing relations to become clear to the individual. Therefore, the whole matter is repressed more deeply into the unconscious, and even a feeling of positive enmity and repulsion towards the parents is often developed in order to conceal and over-compensate for the impossible situation actually present.

This persistence of the attachment of the libido to the original object, and the inability to find in this a suitable satisfaction for the adult need, interferes with the normal development of the psycho-sexual character, and it is due to this that the adult retains that “infantilism of sexuality” which plays so great a rôle in determining the instability of the emotional life which so frequently leads into the definite neuroses.

These were the conclusions reached and the ground on which Freudian psychology rested, regarding the etiology xxviof the neurosis, and the tendencies underlying normal human mechanisms, when Dr. Carl Jung, the most prominent of Freud’s disciples, and the leader of the Zurich school, found himself no longer able to agree with Freud’s findings in certain particulars, although the phenomena which Freud observed and the technique of psychoanalysis developed by Freud were the material on which Jung worked and the value of which he clearly emphasizes. The differences which have developed lay in his understanding and interpretation of the phenomena observed.

Beginning with the conception of libido itself as a term used to connote sexual hunger and craving, albeit the meaning of the word sexual was extended by Freud to embrace a much wider significance than common usage has assigned it, Jung was unable to confine himself to this limitation. He conceived this longing, this urge or push of life as something extending beyond sexuality even in its wider sense. He saw in the term libido a concept of unknown nature, comparable to Bergson’s élan vital, a hypothetical energy of life, which occupies itself not only in sexuality but in various physiological and psychological manifestations such as growth, development, hunger, and all the human activities and interests. This cosmic energy or urge manifested in the human being he calls libido and compares it with the energy of physics. Although recognizing, in common with Freud as well as with many others, the primal instinct of reproduction as the basis of many functions and present-day activities of mankind no longer sexual in character he repudiates the xxviiidea of still calling them sexual, even though their development was a growth originally out of the sexual. Sexuality and its various manifestations Jung sees as most important channels occupied by libido, but not the exclusive ones through which libido flows.

This is an energic concept of life; and from this viewpoint this hypothetical energy of life or libido is a living power used instinctively by man in all the automatic processes of his functioning; such very processes being but different manifestations of this energy. By virtue of its quality of mobility and change man, through his understanding and intelligence, has the power consciously to direct and use his libido in definite and desired ways.

In this conception of Jung will be seen an analogy to Bergson, who speaks of “this change, this movement and becoming, this self-creation, call it what you will, as the very stuff and reality of our being.”[2]

In developing the energic conception of libido and separating it from Freud’s sexual definition, Jung makes possible the explanation of interest in general, and provides a working concept by which not only the specifically sexual, but the general activities and reactions of man can be understood.

If a person complains of no longer having interest in his work or of losing interest in his surroundings, then one understands that his libido is withdrawn from this object and that in consequence the object itself seems no longer attractive, whereas, as a matter of fact, the object itself is exactly the same as formerly. In other words, it is xxviiithe libido that we bestow upon an object that makes it attractive and interesting.

The causes for the withdrawal of libido may be various and are usually quite different from those that the persons offer in explanation. It is the task of psychoanalysis to discover the real reasons, which are usually hidden and unknown. On the other hand, when an individual exhibits an exaggerated interest or places an over-emphasis upon an idea or situation, then we know there is too much libido here and that we may find as a consequence a corresponding depletion elsewhere.

This leads directly into the second point of difference between Jung’s views and those of Freud. This is concerned with those practically universal childish manifestations of sexuality called by Freud “polymorphous perverse” because of their similarity to those abnormalities of sexuality which occur in adults and are called perversions.

Jung takes exception to this viewpoint. He sees in the various manifestations of childhood the precursors or forerunners of the later fully developed sexuality, and instead of considering them perverse he considers them preliminary expressions of sexual coloring. He divides human life into three stages. The first stage up to about the third or fourth year, generally speaking, he calls the presexual stage, for there he sees the libido or life energy occupied chiefly in the functions of nutrition and growth, and he draws an analogy between this period and that of the caterpillar stage of the butterfly.

The second stage includes the years from this time xxixuntil puberty, and this he speaks of as the prepubertal stage.

The third period is that from puberty onward and can be considered the time of maturity.

It is in the earliest stage, the period of which varies greatly in different individuals, that are fully inaugurated those various manifestations which have so marked a sexual coloring that there can be no question of their relationship, although at that time sexuality in the adult meaning of the word does not exist.

Jung explains the polymorphism of these phenomena as arising from a gradual movement of the libido from exclusive service in the function of nutrition into new avenues which successively open up with the development of the child until the final inauguration of the sexual function proper at puberty. Normally these childish bad habits are gradually relinquished until the libido is entirely withdrawn from these immature phases and with the ushering in of puberty for the first time “appears in the form of an undifferentiated sexual primitive power, clearly forcing the individual towards division, budding, etc.”

However, if in the course of its movement from the function of nutrition to the sexual function the libido is arrested or retarded at any phase, then a fixation may result, creating a disturbance in the harmony of the normal development. For, although the libido is retarded and remains clinging to some childish manifestation, time goes on and the physical growth of the child does not stand still. Soon a great contrast is created xxxbetween the infantile manifestations of the emotional life and the needs of the more adult individual, and the foundation is thus prepared for either the development of a definite neurosis or else for those weaknesses of character or symptomatic disturbances which are not sufficiently serious to be called a neurosis.

One of the most active and important forms of childish libido occupation is in phantasy making. The child’s world is one of imagery and make-believe where he can create for himself that satisfaction and enjoyment which the world of reality so often denies. As the child grows and real demands of life are made upon him it becomes increasingly necessary that his libido be taken away from his phantastic world and used for the required adaptation to reality needed by his age and condition, until finally for the adult the freedom of the whole libido is necessary to meet the biological and cultural demands of life.

Instead of thus employing the libido in the real world, however, certain people never relinquish the seeking for satisfaction in the shadowy world of phantasy and even though they make certain attempts at adaptation they are halted and discouraged by every difficulty and obstacle in the path of life and are easily pulled back into their inner psychic world. This condition is called a state of introversion. It is concerned with the past and the reminiscences which belong thereto. Situations and experiences which should have been completed and finished long ago are still dwelt upon and lived with. Images and matters which were once important but which normally have no significance for their later age are still xxxiactively influencing their present lives. The nature and character of these phantasy products are legion, and are easily recognized in the emotional attitudes and pretensions, the childish illusions and exaggerations, the prejudices and inconsistencies which people express in manifold forms. The actual situation is inadequately faced; small matters are reacted towards in an exaggerated manner; or else a frivolous attitude is maintained where real seriousness is demanded. In other words, there is clearly manifested an inadequate psychic adaptation towards reality which is quite to be expected from the child, but which is very discordant in the adult.

The most important of these past influences is that of the parents. Because they are the first objects of the developing childish love, and afford the first satisfaction and pleasure to the child, they become the models for all succeeding efforts, as Freud has worked out. This he called the nuclear or root complex because this influence was so powerful it seemed to be the determining factor in all later difficulties in the life of the individual.

In this phase of the problem lies the third great difference between Jung’s interpretation of the observed phenomena and that of Freud.

Jung definitely recognizes that there are many neurotic persons who clearly exhibited in their childhood the same neurotic tendencies that are later exaggerated. Also that an almost overwhelming effect on the destiny of these children is exercised by the influence of the parents, the frequent over-anxiety or tenderness, the lack of sympathy or understanding, in other words, the complexes of the xxxiiparent reacting upon the child and producing in him love, admiration, fear, distrust, hate, revolt. The greater the sensitiveness and impressionability of the child, the more he will be stamped with the familial environment, and the more he will unconsciously seek to find again in the world of reality the model of his own small world with all the pleasures and satisfactions, or disappointments and unhappinesses with which it was filled.

This condition to be sure is not a recognized or a conscious one, for the individual may think himself perfectly free from this past influence because he is living in the real world, and because actually there is a great difference between the present conditions and that of his childish past. He sees all this, intellectually, but there is a wide gap between the intellectual grasp of a situation and the emotional development, and it is the latter realm wherein lies the disharmony. However, although many ideas and feelings are connected with the parents, analysis reveals very often that they are only subjective and that in reality they bear little resemblance to the actual past situation. Therefore, Jung speaks no longer of the real father and mother but uses the term imago or image to represent the father or mother, because the feelings and phantasies frequently do not deal with the real parents but with the distorted and subjective image created by the imagination of the individual.

Following this distinction Jung sees in the Oedipus complex of Freud only a symbol for the “childish desire towards the parents and for the conflict which this craving evokes,” and cannot accept the theory that in this xxxiiiearly stage of childhood the mother has any real sexual significance for the child.

The demands of the child upon the mother, the jealousy so often exhibited, are at first connected with the rôle of the mother as protector, caretaker and supplier of nutritive wants, and only later, with the germinating eroticism, does the child’s love become admixed with the developing sexual quality. The chief love objects are still the parents and he naturally continues to seek and to find in them satisfaction for all his desires. In this way the typical conflict is developed which in the son is directed towards the father and in the daughter towards the mother. This jealousy of the daughter towards the mother is called the Electra complex from the myth of Electra who took revenge on her mother for the murder of the husband because she was in this way deprived of her father.

Normally as puberty is attained the child gradually becomes more or less freed from his parents, and upon the degree in which this is accomplished depends his health and future well-being.

This demand of nature upon the young individual to free himself from the bonds of his childish dependency and to find in the world of reality his independent existence is so imperious and dominating that it frequently produces in the child the greatest struggles and severest conflicts, the period being characterized symbolically as a self-sacrifice by Jung.

It frequently happens that the young person is so closely bound in the family relations that it is only with xxxivthe greatest difficulty that he can attain any measure of freedom and then only very imperfectly, so that the libido sexualis can only express itself in certain feelings and phantasies which clearly reveal the existence of the complex until then entirely hidden and unrealized. Now commences the secondary struggle against the unfilial and immoral feelings with a consequent development of intense resistances expressing themselves in irritation, anger, revolt and antagonism against the parents, or else in an especially tender, submissive and yielding attitude which over-compensates for the rebellion and reaction held within.

This struggle and conflict gives rise to the unconscious phantasy of self-sacrifice which really means the sacrificing of the childish tendencies and love type in order to free libido; for his nature demands that he attain the capacity for the accomplishment of his own personal fulfilment, the satisfaction of which belongs to the developed man and woman.

This conception has been worked out in detail by Jung in the book which is herein presented to English readers.

We now come to the most important of Jung’s conceptions in that it bears practically upon the treatment of certain types of the neuroses and stands theoretically in direct opposition to Freud’s hypothesis. While recognizing fully the influence of the parents and of the sexual constitution of the child, Jung refuses to see in this infantile past the real cause for the later development of the illness. He definitely places the cause of the pathogenic xxxvconflict in the present moment and considers that in seeking for the cause in the distant past one is only following the desire of the patient, which is to withdraw himself as much as possible from the present important period.

The conflict is produced by some important task or duty which is essential biologically and practically for the fulfilment of the ego of the individual, but before which an obstacle arises from which he shrinks, and thus halted cannot go on. With this interference in the path of progression libido is stored up and a regression takes place whereby there occurs a reanimation of past ways of libido occupation which were entirely normal to the child, but which for the adult are no longer of value. These regressive infantile desires and phantasies now alive and striving for satisfaction are converted into symptoms, and in these surrogate forms obtain a certain gratification, thus creating the external manifestations of the neurosis. Therefore Jung does not ask from what psychic experience or point of fixation in childhood the patient is suffering, but what is the present duty or task he is avoiding, or what obstacle in his life’s path he is unable to overcome? What is the cause of his regression to past psychic experiences?

Following this theory Jung expresses the view that the elaborate phantasies and dreams produced by these patients are really forms of compensation or artificial substitutes for the unfulfilled adaptation to reality. The sexual content of these phantasies and dreams is only apparently and not actually expressive of a real sexual xxxvidesire or incest wish, but is a regressive employment of sexual forms to symbolically express a present-day need when the attainment of the present ego demand seems too difficult or impossible, and no adaptation is made to what is possible for the individual’s capability.[3]

With this statement Jung throws a new light on the work of analytic psychology and on the conception of the neurotic symptoms, and renders possible of understanding the many apparent incongruities and conflicting observations which have been so disturbing to the critics.

It now becomes proper to ask what has been established by all this mass of investigation into the soul, and what is its value not only as a therapeutic measure for the neurotic sufferer, but also for the normal human being?

First and perhaps most important is the recognition of a definite psychological determinism. Instead of human life being filled with foolish, meaningless or purposeless actions, errors and thoughts, it can be demonstrated that no expression or manifestation of the psyche, however trifling or inconsistent in appearance, is really lawless or unmotivated. Only a possession of the technique is necessary in order to reveal, to any one desirous of knowing, the existence of the unconscious determinants of his mannerisms, trivial expressions, acts and behavior, their purpose and significance.

xxxviiThis leads into the second fundamental conception, which is perhaps even less considered than the foregoing, and that is the relative value of the conscious mind and thought. It is the general attitude of people to judge themselves by their surface motives, to satisfy themselves by saying or thinking “this is what I want to do or say” or “I intended to do thus and so,” but somehow what one thought, one intended to say or expected to do is very often the contrary of what actually is said or done. Every one has had these experiences when the gap between the conscious thought and action was gross enough to be observed. It is also a well known experience to consciously desire something very much and when it is obtained to discover that this in no wise satisfied or lessened the desire, which was then transferred to some other object. Thus one became cognizant of the fact that the feeling and idea presented by consciousness as the desire was an error. What is the difficulty in these conditions? Evidently some other directing force than that of which we are aware is at work.

Dr. G. Stanley Hall uses a very striking symbol when he compares the mind to an iceberg floating in the ocean with one-eighth visible above the water and seven-eighths below—the one-eighth above being that part called conscious and the seven-eighths below that which we call the unconscious. The influence and controlling power of the unconscious desires over our thoughts and acts are in this relative proportion. Faint glimmers of other motives and interests than those we accept or which we believe, often flit into consciousness. These indications, if studied xxxviiior valued accurately, would lead to the realization that consciousness is but a single stage and but one form of expression of mind. Therefore its dictum is but one, often untrustworthy, approach to the great question as to what is man’s actual psychic accomplishment, and as to what in particular is the actual soul development of the individual.

A further contribution of equal importance has been the empiric development of a dynamic theory of life; the conception that life is in a state of flux—movement—leading either to construction or destruction. Through the development man has reached he has attained the power by means of his intelligence and understanding of definitely directing to a certain extent this life energy or libido into avenues which serve his interest and bring a real satisfaction for the present day.

When man through ignorance and certain inherent tendencies fails to recognize his needs or his power to fulfil them, or to adapt himself to the conditions of reality of the present time, there is then produced that reanimation of infantile paths by which an attempt is made to gain fulfilment or satisfaction through the production of symptoms or attitudes.

The acceptance of these statements demands the recognition of the existence of an infantile sexuality and the large part played by it in the later life of the individual. Because of the power and imperious influence exerted by the parents upon the child, and because of the unconscious attachment of his libido to the original object, the mother, and the perseverance of this first love model in the xxxixpsyche, he finds it very difficult, on reaching the stage of adult development and the time for seeking a love object outside of the family, to gain a satisfactory model.

It is exceedingly important for parents and teachers to recognize the requirements of nature, which, beginning with puberty, imperiously demand of the young individual a separation of himself from the parent stem and the development of an independent existence. In our complex modern civilization this demand of nature is difficult enough of achievement for the child who has the heartiest and most intelligent co-operation of his parents and environment—but for the one who has not only to contend with his own inner struggle for his freedom but has in addition the resistance of his parents who would hold him in his childhood at any cost, because they cannot endure the thought of his separation from them, the task becomes one of the greatest magnitude. It is during this period when the struggle between the childish inertia and nature’s urge becomes so keen, that there occur the striking manifestations of jealousy, criticism, irritability all usually directed against the parents, of defiance of parental authority, of runaways and various other psychic and nervous disorders known to all.

This struggle, which is the first great task of mankind and the one which requires the greatest effort, is that which is expressed by Jung as the self-sacrifice motive—the sacrifice of the childish feelings and demands, and of the irresponsibility of this period, and the assumption of the duties and tasks of an individual existence.

It is this great theme which Jung sees as the real xlmotive lying hidden in the myths and religions of man from the beginning, as well as in the literature and artistic creations of both ancient and modern time, and which he works out with the greatest wealth of detail and painstaking effort in the book herewith presented.

This necessitates a recognition and revaluation of the enormous importance and influence of the ego and the sexual instinct upon the thought and reaction of man, and also predicates a displacement of the psychological point of gravity from the will and intellect to the realm of the emotions and feelings. The desired end is a synthesis of these two paths or the use of the intellect constructively in the service of the emotions in order to gain for the best interest of the individual some sort of co-operative reaction between the two.

No one dealing with analytic psychology can fail to be struck by the tremendous and unnecessary burdens which man has placed upon himself, and how greatly he has increased the difficulties of adaptation by his rigid intellectual views and moral formulas, and by his inability to admit to himself that he is actually just a human being imperfect, and containing within himself all manner of tendencies, good and bad, all striving for some satisfactory goal. Further, that the refusal to see himself in this light instead of as an ideal person in no way alters the actual condition, and that in fact, through the cheap pretense of being able only to consider himself as a very virtuous person, or as shocked and hurt when observing the “sins” of others, he actually is prevented from developing xlihis own character and bringing his own capacities to their fullest expressions.

There is frequently expressed among people the idea of how fortunate it is that we cannot see each other’s thoughts, and how disturbing it would be if our real feelings could be read. But what is so shameful in these secrets of the soul? They are in reality our own egoistic desires all striving, longing, wishing for satisfaction, for happiness; those desires which instinctively crave their own gratification but which can only be really fulfilled by adapting them to the real world and to the social group.

Why is it that it is so painful for man to admit that the prime influence in all human endeavor is found in the ego itself, in its desires, wishes, needs and satisfactions, in short, in its need for self-expression and self-perpetuation, the evolutionary impetus in life?

The basis for the unpleasantness of this idea may perhaps be found in an inner resistance in nature itself which forces man to include others in his scheme, lest his own greedy desires should serve to destroy him. But even with this inner demand and all the ethical and moral teachings of centuries it is everywhere evident that man has only very imperfectly learned that it is to his own interest to consider his neighbor and that it is impossible for him to ignore the needs of the body social of which he is a part. Externally, the recognition of the strength of the ego impulse is objectionable because of the ideal conception that self-striving and so-called selfish seeking are unworthy, ignoble and incompatible with a desirable character and must be ignored at all cost.

xliiThe futility of this attitude is to be clearly seen in the failure after all these centuries to even approximate it, as evidenced in our human relations and institutions, and is quite as ineffectual in this realm as in that of sexuality where the effort to overcome this imperious domination has been attempted by lowering the instinct, and seeing in it something vile or unclean, something unspeakable and unholy. Instead of destroying the power of sexuality this struggle has only warped and distorted, injured and mutilated the expression; for not without destruction of the individual can these fundamental instincts be destroyed. Life itself has needs and imperiously demands expression through the forms created. All nature answers to this freely and simply except man. His failure to recognize himself as an instrument through which the life energy is coursing and the demands of which must be obeyed, is the cause of his misery. Despite his possession of intellect and self-consciousness, he cannot without disaster to himself refuse the tasks of life and the fulfilment of his own needs. Man’s great task is the adaptation of himself to reality and the recognition of himself as an instrument for the expression of life according to his individual possibilities.

It is in his privilege as a self-creator that his highest purpose is found.

The value of self-consciousness lies in the fact that man is enabled to reflect upon himself and learn to understand the true origin and significance of his actions and opinions, that he may adequately value the real level of his development and avoid being self-deceived and therefore xliiiinhibited from finding his biological adaptation. He need no longer be unconscious of the motives underlying his actions or hide himself behind a changed exterior, in other words, be merely a series of reactions to stimuli as the mechanists have it, but he may to a certain extent become a self-creating and self-determining being.

Indeed, there seems to be an impulse towards adaptation quite as Bergson sees it, and it would seem to be a task of the highest order to use intelligence to assist one’s self to work with this impulse.

Through the investigation of these different avenues leading into the hidden depths of the human being and through the revelation of the motives and influences at work there, although astonishing to the uninitiated, a very clear and definite conception of the actual human relationship—brotherhood—of all mankind is obtained. It is this recognition of these common factors basically inherent in humanity from the beginning and still active, which is at once both the most hopeful and the most feared and disliked part of psychoanalysis.

It is disliked by those individuals who have prided themselves upon their superiority and the distinction between their reactions and motives and those of ordinary mankind. In other words, they attempt to become personalities through elevating themselves and lowering others, and it is a distinct blow to discover that beneath these pretensions lie the very ordinary elements shared in common by all. On the other hand, to those who have been able to recognize their own weaknesses and have xlivsuffered in the privacy of their own souls, the knowledge that these things have not set them apart from others, but that they are the common property of all and that no one can point the finger of scorn at his fellow, is one of the greatest experiences of life and is productive of the greatest relief.

It is feared by many who realize that in these painfully acquired repressions and symptoms lie their safety and their protection from directly facing and dealing with tendencies and characteristics with which they feel unable to cope. The repression and the accompanying symptoms indicate a difficulty and a struggle, and in this way are a sort of compromise or substitute formation which permit, although only in a wasteful and futile manner, the activity of the repressed tendencies. Nevertheless, to analyze the individual back to his original tendencies and reveal to him the meaning of these substitute formations would be a useless procedure in which truly “the last state of that man would be worse than the first” if the work ceased there. The aim is not to destroy those barriers upon which civilized man has so painfully climbed and to reduce him to his primitive state, but, where these have failed or imperfectly succeeded, to help him to attain his greatest possibilities with less expenditure of energy, by less wasteful methods than nature provides. In this achievement lies the hopeful and valuable side of this method—the development of the synthesis. It is hopeful because now a way is opened to deal with these primitive tendencies constructively, and render their effects not only harmless but useful, by xlvutilizing them in higher aims, socially and individually valuable and satisfactory.

This is what has occurred normally in those individuals who seem capable and constructive personalities; in those creative minds that give so much to the race. They have converted certain psychological tendencies which could have produced useless symptoms or destructive actions into valuable productions. Indeed it is not uncommon for strong, capable persons to state themselves that they knew they could have been equally capable of a wasteful or destructive life. This utilization of the energy or libido freed by removing the repressions and the lifting of infantile tendencies and desires into higher purposes and directions suitable for the individual at his present status is called sublimation.

It must not be understood by this discussion that geniuses or wonderful personalities can be created through analysis, for this is not the aim of the procedure. Its purpose is to remove the inhibitions and restrictions which interfere with the full development of the personality, to help individuals attain to that level where they really belong, and to prepare people to better understand and meet life whether they are neurotic sufferers or so-called “normal people” with the difficulties and peculiarities which belong to all.

This reasoning and method of procedure is only new when the application is made to the human being. In all improvements of plants and animals these general principles have been recognized and their teachings constructively utilized.

xlviLuther Burbank, that plant wizard whose work is known to all the world, says, “A knowledge of the battle of the tendencies within a plant is the very basis of all plant improvement,” and “it is not that the work of plant improvement brings with it, incidentally, as people mistakenly think, a knowledge of these forces, it is the knowledge of these forces, rather, which makes plant improvement possible.”

Has this not been also the mistake of man regarding himself, and the cause, partly at least, of his failure to succeed in actually reaching a more advanced and stable development?

This recognition of man’s biological relationship to all life and the practical utilization of this recognition, necessitates a readjustment of thought and asks for an examination and reconsideration of the facts of human conduct which are observable by any thoughtful person. A quiet and progressive upheaval of old ideas has taken place and is still going on. Analytic psychology attempts to unify and value all of the various phenomena of man which have been observed and noted at different times by isolated investigators of isolated manifestations and thus bring some orderly sequence into the whole. It offers a method whereby the relations of the human being biologically to all other living forms can be established, the actual achievement of man himself adequately valued, and opens a vista of the possibilities of improvement in health, happiness and accomplishment for the human being.

Beatrice M. Hinkle.
10 Gramercy Park.


My task in this work has been to investigate an individual phantasy system, and in the doing of it problems of such magnitude have been uncovered, that my endeavor to grasp them in their entirety has necessarily meant only a superficial orientation toward those paths, the opening and exploration of which may possibly crown the work of future investigators with success.

I am not in sympathy with the attitude which favors the repression of certain possible working hypotheses because they are perhaps erroneous, and so may possess no lasting value. Certainly I endeavored as far as possible to guard myself from error, which might indeed become especially dangerous upon these dizzy heights, for I am entirely aware of the risks of these investigations. However, I do not consider scientific work as a dogmatic contest, but rather as a work done for the increase and deepening of knowledge.

This contribution is addressed to those having similar ideas concerning science.

In conclusion, I must render thanks to those who have assisted my endeavors with valuable aid, especially my dear wife and my friends, to whose disinterested assistance I am deeply indebted.

C. G. Jung.


  Relation of the Incest Phantasy to the Oedipus Legend—Moral revulsion over such a discovery—The unity of the antique and modern psychology—Followers of Freud in this field—The need of analyzing historical material in relation to individual analysis.  
  Antiquity of the belief in dreams—Dream-meanings psychological, not literal—They concern wish-fulfilments—A typical dream: the sexual assault—What is symbolic in our every-day thinking?—One kind of thinking: intensive and deliberate, or directed—Directed thinking and thinking in words—Origin of speech in primitive nature sounds—The evolution of speech—Directed thinking a modern acquisition—Thinking, not directed, a thinking in images: akin to dreaming—Two kinds of thinking: directed and dream or phantasy thinking—Science an expression of directed thinking—The discipline of scholasticism as a forerunner—Antique spirit created not science but mythology—Their world of subjective phantasies similar to that we find in the childmind of to-day; or in the savage—The dream shows a similar type—Infantile thinking and dreams a re-echo of the prehistoric and the ancient—The myths a mass-dream of the people: the dream the myth of the individual—Phantastic thinking concerns wishes—Typical cases, showing kinship with ancient myths—Psychology of man changes but slowly—Phantastic thinking tells us of mythical or other material of undeveloped and no longer recognized wish tendencies in the soul—The sexual base—The wish, because of its disturbing nature, expressed not directly, but symbolically.  
  Miss Miller’s unusual suggestibility—Identifying herself with others—Examples of her autosuggestibility and suggestive effect—Not striking in themselves, but from analytic viewpoint they afford a glance into the soul of the writer—Her phantasies really tell of the history of her love.  
l  Miss Miller’s description of a sea-journey—Really a description of “introversion”—A retreat from reality into herself—The return to the real world with erotic impression of officer singing in the night-watch—The undervaluing of such erotic impressions—Their often deep effect—The succeeding dream, and poem—The denied erotic impression usurps an earlier transference: it expresses itself through the Father-Imago—Analysis of the poem—Relation to Cyrano, Milton and Job—The attempt to escape the problem by a religious and ethical pose—Contrast with real religion—Escape from erotic by transference to a God or Christ—This made effective by mutual transference: “Love one another”—The erotic spiritualized, however—The inner conflict kept conscious by this method—The modern, however, represses the conflict and so becomes neurotic—The function of Christianity—Its biologic purpose fulfilled—Its forms of thought and wisdom still available.  
  The double rôle of Faust: creator and destroyer—“I came not to send peace, but a sword”—The modern problem of choice between Scylla of world-renunciation and Charybdis of world-acceptance—The ethical pose of The Hymn of Creation having failed, the unconscious projects a new attempt in the Moth-Song—The choice, as in Faust—The longing for the sun (or God) the same as that for the ship’s officer—Not the object, however: the longing is important—God is our own longing to which we pay divine honors—The failure to replace by a real compensation the libido-object which is surrendered, produces regression to an earlier and discarded object—A return to the infantile—The use of the parent image—It becomes synonymous with God, Sun, Fire—Sun and snake—Symbols of the libido gathered into the sun-symbol—The tendency toward unity and toward multiplicity—One God with many attributes: or many gods that are attributes of one—Phallus and sun—The sun-hero, the well-beloved—Christ as sun-god—“Moth and sun” then brings us to historic depths of the soul—The sun-hero creative and destructive—Hence: Moth and Flame: burning one’s wings—The destructiveness of being fruitful—Wherefore the neurotic withdraws from the conflict, committing a sort of self-murder—Comparison with Byron’s Heaven and Earth.  
  A backward glance—The sun the natural god—Comparison with libido—Libido, “sun-energy”—The sun-image as seen by the mystic in introversion—The phallic symbol of the libido—Faust’s key—Mythical heroes with phallic attributes—These heroes personifications of the human libido and its typical fates—A definition of the word “libido”—Its etymological context.  
  A widening of the conception of libido—New light from the study of paranoia—The impossibility of restricting the conception of libido to the sexual—A genetic definition—The function of reality only partly sexual—Yet this, and other functions, originally derivations from procreative impulse—The process of transformation—Libido, and the conception of will in general—Examples in mythology—The stages of the libido: its desexualized derivatives and differentiations—Sublimation vs. repression—Splittings off of the primal libido—Application of genetic theory of libido to introversion psychoses—Replacing reality by archaic surrogates—Desexualizing libido by means of phantastic analogy formations—Possibly human consciousness brought to present state in this manner—The importance of the little phrase: “Even as.”  
  An example of transition of the libido—Act of boring with forefinger: an infantile presexual activity—Similar activities in patient’s early childhood—Outcome in dementia præcox—Its phantasies related to mythological products: a reproduction of the creations of antiquity—The freeing of libido from the nutritive to enter the sexual function—The epoch of suckling and the epoch of displaced rhythmic activity—These followed by the beginnings of onanistic attempts—An obstacle in the sexual zone produces regression to a previous mode—These regressions easier in earlier stages of humanity than now—The ethnological phantasy of boring—Examples—The production of fire—Its sexual significance—A substitute for coitus—The invention of fire-making then due to the need of supplying a symbol for the sexual act—The psychological compulsion for such transitions of the libido based on an original division of the will—Regression to incestuous—Prohibition here sends incestuous component of libido back to presexual—Character of its application here—The substitution of Mother-Earth for the parent—Also of infantile boring—Leading then to discovery of fire—An example in Hindoo literature—The sexual significance of the mouth—Its other function: the mating call—The regression which produced fire through boring also elaborated the mating call—The beginnings of speech—Example from the Hindoo—Speech and fire the first fruits of transformation of libido—The fire-preparation regarded as forbidden, as robbery—The forbidden thing onanism—Onanism a cheating of sexuality of its purpose—The ceremonial fire-production a substitute for the possibility of onanistic regression—Thus a transformation of libido ensues.  
  The cause of introversion—The forward and backward flow of the libido—The abnormal third—The conflict rooted in the incest problem—The “terrible mother”—Miss Miller’s introversion—An internal conflict—Its product of hypnagogic vision and poem—The uniformity of the unconscious in all men—The unconscious the object of a true psychology—The individual tendency with its production of the hero cult—The love for the hero or god a love for the unconscious—A turning back to the mother of humanity—Such regressions act favorably within limits—Miss Miller’s mention of the Sphinx—Theriomorphic representations of the libido—Their tendency to represent father and mother—The Sphinx represents the fear of the mother—Miss Miller’s mention of the Aztec—Analysis of this figure—The significance of the hand symbolically—The Aztec a substitute for the Sphinx—The name Chi-wan-to-pel—The connection of the anal region with veneration—Chiwantopel and Ahasver, the Wandering Jew—The parallel with Chidher—Heroes generating themselves through their own mothers—Analogy with the Sun—Setting and rising sun: Mithra and Helios, Christ and Peter, Dhulqarnein and Chidher—The fish symbol—The two Dadophores: the two thieves—The mortal and immortal parts of man—The Trinity taken from phallic symbolism—Comparison of libido with phallus—Analysis of libido symbolism always leads back to the mother incest—The hero myth the myth of our own suffering unconscious—Faust.  
liii  The crowd as symbol of mystery—The city as symbol of the mother—The motive of continuous “union”—The typical journey of the sun-hero—Examples—A longing for rebirth through the mother—The compulsion to symbolize the mother as City, Sea, Source, etc.—The city as terrible mother and as holy mother—The relation of the water-motive to rebirth—Of the tree-motive—Tree of life a mother-image—The bisexual character of trees—Such symbols to be understood psychologically, not anatomically—The incestuous desire aims at becoming a child again, not at incest—It evades incest by creating myths of symbolic rebirth—The libido spiritualized through this use of symbols—To be born of the spirit—This compulsion toward symbolism brings a release of forces bound up in incest—This process in Christianity—Christianity with its repression of the manifest sexual the negative of the ancient sexual cult—The unconscious transformation of the incest wish into religious exercise does not meet the modern need—A conscious method necessary, involving moral autonomy—Replacing belief by understanding—The history of the symbolism of trees—The rise of the idea of the terrible mother a mask of the incest wish—The myth of Osiris—Related examples—The motive of “devouring”—The Cross of Christ: tree of death and tree of life—Lilith: the devouring mother—The Lamias—The conquering of the mother—Snake and dragon: the resistance against incest—The father represents the active repulse of the incest wish of the son—He frequently becomes the monster to be overcome by the hero—The Mithraic sacrificing of the incest wish an overcoming of the mother—A replacing of archaic overpowering by sacrifice of the wish—The crucified Christ an expression of this renunciation—Other cross sacrifices—Cross symbol possesses significance of “union”—Child in mother’s womb: or man and mother in union—Conception of the soul a derivative of mother imago—The power of incest prohibition created the self-conscious individual—It was the coercion to domestication—The further visions of Miss Miller.  
  The appearance of the hero Chiwantopel on horseback—Hero and horse equivalent of humanity and its repressed libido—Horse a libido symbol, partly phallic, partly maternal, like the tree—It represents the libido repressed through the incest prohibition—The scene of Chiwantopel and the Indian—Recalling Cassius and Brutus: also delirium of Cyrano—Identification of Cassius with his mother—His infantile disposition—Miss Miller’s hero also infantile—Her visions arise from an infantile mother transference—Her hero to die from an arrow wound—The symbolism of the arrow—The onslaught of unconscious desires—The deadly arrows strike the hero from within—It means the state of introversion—A sinking back into the world of the child—The danger of this regression—It may mean annihilation or new life—Examples of introversion—The clash between the retrogressive tendency in the individual unconscious and the conscious forward striving—Willed introversion—The unfulfilled sacrifice in the Miller phantasy means an attempt to renounce the mother: the conquest of a new life through the death of the old—The hero Miss Miller herself.  
liv  Chiwantopel’s monologue—His quest for the “one who understands”—A quest for the mother—Also for the life-companion—The sexual element in the wish—The battle for independence from the mother—Its peril—Miss Miller’s use of Longfellow’s Hiawatha—An analysis of Hiawatha—A typical hero of the libido—The miraculous birth—The hero’s birth symbolic because it is really a rebirth from the mother-spouse—The twofold mother which in Christian mythology becomes twofold birth—The hero his own procreator—Virgin conception a mask for incestuous impregnation—Hiawatha’s early life—The identification of mother-nature with the mother—The killing of a roebuck a conquering of the parents—He takes on their strength—He goes forth to slay the father in order to possess the mother—Minnehaha, the mother—Hiawatha’s introversion—Hiding in the lap of nature really a return to the mother’s womb—The regression to the presexual revives the importance of nutrition—The inner struggle with the mother, to overpower and impregnate her—This fight against the longing for the mother brings new strength—The Mondamin motive in other myths—The Savior-hero the fruit of the entrance of the libido into the personal maternal depths—This is to die, and be born again—Hiawatha’s struggle with the fish-monster—A new deliverance from the mother—And so again with Megissogwon, the Magician—The hero must again and again conquer the mother—Then follows his marriage with Minnehaha—Other incidents, his death: the sinking of the sun in the west—Miss Miller also reminded by Chiwantopel’s longing of Wagner’s Siegfried—Analysis of the Siegfried myth—The treasure-guarding dragon—The dragon the son’s repressed longing for the mother—Symbolism of the cave—The separation from the mother, the hero’s conquering of the dragon—The symbolism of the cup—Drinking from the mother—Cup of the blood of Christ—The resultant mysterious union of man—Profane interpretations of this mystery—The phallic significance of the serpent—The snake as representing the introverting libido—Self-procreation: or creation of the world through introversion—The world thus an emanation of the libido—The hero himself a serpent—The psychoanalytic treatment of regression—The hidden libido touched upon causes a struggle: that is, the hero fights the fight with the treasure-guarding dragon—The awakening of Brunhilde—Siegfried finding his mother: a symbol of his own libido—The conquest of the terrible mother brings the love and life-giving mother.  
lv  Miss Miller’s vision again—The paradoxical striving of the libido away from the mother toward the mother—The destroying mother becomes beneficent on being conquered—Chiwantopel a hero of words, not deeds—He has not that will to live which breaks the magic circle of the incestuous—His identification with the author, and her wish for the parents—The end is the devouring of the daughter’s libido by the mother—Sexuality of the unconscious merely a symbol—Idle dreaming the mother of the fear of death—This downward path in the poetry of Hölderlin—The estrangement from reality, the introversion leading to death—The necessity of freeing libido for a complete devotion to life—Otherwise bound by unconscious compulsion: Fate—Sublimation through voluntary work—Creation of the world through cosmic sacrifice—Man discovers the world when he sacrifices the mother—The incest barrier as the producer of thought—Budding sexuality drawing the individual from the family—The mind dawns at the moment the child begins to be free of the mother—He seeks to win the world, and leave the mother—Childish regression to the presexual brings archaic phantasies—The incest problem not physical, but psychological—Sacrifice of the horse: sacrifice of the animal nature—The sacrifice of the “mother libido”: of the son to the mother—Superiority of Christian symbol: the sacrifice, not only of lower nature, but the whole personality—Miss Miller’s phantasy passes from sacrifice of the sexual, to sacrifice of the infantile personality—Problem of psychoanalysis, expressed mythologically, the sacrifice and rebirth of the infantile hero—The libido wills the destruction of its creation: horse and serpent—The end of the hero by means of earthquake—The one who understands him is the mother.  

Therefore theory, which gives to facts their value and significance, is often very useful, even if it is partially false, for it throws light on phenomena which no one observed, it forces an examination, from many angles, of facts which no one had hitherto studied, and it gives the impulse for more extended and more productive researches.

It is, therefore, a moral duty for the man of science to expose himself to the risk of committing error and to submit to criticism, in order that science may continue to progress. A writer has attacked the author for this very severely, saying, here is a scientific ideal very limited and very paltry. But those who are endowed with a mind sufficiently serious and impersonal as not to believe that all that they write is the expression of truth absolute and eternal, approve of this theory which places the aims of science well above the miserable vanity and paltry ‘amour propre’ of the scientist.”—Guglielmo Ferrero.

Les Lois Psychologiques du Symbolisme—1895. Preface, p. viii.



Any one who can read Freud’s “Interpretation of the Dream” without scientific rebellion at the newness and apparently unjustified daring of its analytical presentation, and without moral indignation at the astonishing nudity of the dream interpretation, and who can allow this unusual array of facts to influence his mind calmly and without prejudice, will surely be deeply impressed at that place where Freud calls to mind the fact that an individual psychologic conflict, namely, the Incest Phantasy, is the essential root of that powerful ancient dramatic material, the Oedipus legend. The impression made by this simple reference may be likened to that wholly peculiar feeling which arises in us if, for example, in the noise and tumult of a modern street we should come across an ancient relic—the Corinthian capital of a walled-in column, or a fragment of inscription. Just a moment ago we were given over to the noisy ephemeral life of the present, when something very far away and strange appears to us, which turns our attention to things of another order; a glimpse away from the incoherent multiplicity of the present to a higher coherence in history. Very likely it would suddenly occur to us that on this spot where we now run busily to and fro a similar life and activity prevailed two thousand years ago in 4somewhat other forms; similar passions moved mankind, and man was likewise convinced of the uniqueness of his existence. I would liken the impression which the first acquaintance with the monuments of antiquity so easily leaves behind to that impression which Freud’s reference to the Oedipus legend makes—for while we are still engaged with the confusing impressions of the variability of the Individual Soul, suddenly there is opened a revelation of the simple greatness of the Oedipus tragedy—that never extinguished light of the Grecian theatre.

This breadth of outlook carries in itself something of revelation. For us, the ancient psychology has long since been buried among the shadows of the past; in the schoolroom one could scarcely repress a sceptical smile when one indiscreetly reckoned the comfortable matronly age of Penelope and the age of Jocasta, and comically compared the result of the reckoning with the tragic-erotic struggles in the legend and drama. We did not know at that time (and who knows even to-day?) that the mother can be the all-consuming passion of the son, which perhaps undermines his whole life and tragically destroys it, so that not even the magnitude of the Oedipus Fate seems one jot overdrawn. Rare and pathologically understood cases like Ninon de Lenclos and her son[4] lie too far removed from most of us to give a living impression. But when we follow the paths traced out by Freud, we arrive at a recognition of the present existence of such possibilities, which, although they are too weak to enforce incest, are still strong enough to cause disturbances of considerable magnitude in the soul. The admission 5of such possibilities to one’s self does not occur without a great burst of moral revulsion. Resistances arise which only too easily dazzle the intellect, and, through that, make knowledge of self impossible. Whenever we succeed, however, in stripping feelings from more scientific knowledge, then that abyss which separates our age from the antique is bridged, and, with astonishment, we see that Oedipus is still a living thing for us. The importance of such an impression should not be undervalued. We are taught by this insight that there is an identity of elementary human conflicts existing independent of time and place. That which affected the Greeks with horror still remains true, but it is true for us only when we give up a vain illusion that we are different—that is to say, more moral, than the ancients. We of the present day have nearly succeeded in forgetting that an indissoluble common bond binds us to the people of antiquity. With this truth a path is opened to the understanding of the ancient mind; an understanding which so far has not existed, and, on one side, leads to an inner sympathy, and, on the other side, to an intellectual comprehension. Through buried strata of the individual soul we come indirectly into possession of the living mind of the ancient culture, and, just precisely through that, do we win that stable point of view outside our own culture, from which, for the first time, an objective understanding of their mechanisms would be possible. At least that is the hope which we get from the rediscovery of the Oedipus problem.

The enquiry made possible by Freud’s work has already 6resulted fruitfully; we are indebted to this stimulation for some bold attacks upon the territory of the history of the human mind. There are the works of Riklin,[5] Abraham,[6] Rank,[7] Maeder,[8] Jones,[9]—recently Silberer has joined their ranks with a beautiful investigation entitled “Phantasie und Mythus.[10] We are indebted to Pfister[11] for a comprehensive work which cannot be overlooked here, and which is of much importance for Christian religious psychology. The leading purpose of these works is the unlocking of historical problems through the application of psychoanalytic knowledge; that is to say, knowledge drawn from the activity of the modern unconscious mind concerning specific historical material.

I must refer the reader entirely to the specified works, in order that he may gain information concerning the extent and the kind of insight which has already been obtained. The explanations are in many cases dubious in particulars; nevertheless, this detracts in no way from the total result. It would be significant enough if only the far-reaching analogy between the psychologic structure of the historical relics and the structure of the recent individual psychologic products alone were demonstrated. This proof is possible of attainment for every intelligent person through the work done up to this time. The analogy prevails especially in symbolism, as Riklin, Rank, Maeder, and Abraham have pointed out with illuminating examples; it is also shown in the individual mechanisms of unconscious work, that is to say in repression, condensation, etc., as Abraham explicitly shows.

7Up to the present time the psychoanalytic investigator has turned his interest chiefly to the analysis of the individual psychologic problems. It seems to me, however, that in the present state of affairs there is a more or less imperative demand for the psychoanalyst to broaden the analysis of the individual problems by a comparative study of historical material relating to them, just as Freud has already done in a masterly manner in his book on “Leonardo da Vinci.”[12] For, just as the psychoanalytic conceptions promote understanding of the historic psychologic creations, so reversedly historical materials can shed new light upon individual psychologic problems. These and similar considerations have caused me to turn my attention somewhat more to the historical, in the hope that, out of this, new insight into the foundations of individual psychology might be won.



It is a well-known fact that one of the principles of analytic psychology is that the dream images are to be understood symbolically; that is to say, that they are not to be taken literally just as they are presented in sleep, but that behind them a hidden meaning has to be surmised. It is this ancient idea of a dream symbolism which has challenged not only criticism, but, in addition to that, the strongest opposition. That dreams may be full of import, and, therefore, something to be interpreted, is certainly neither a strange nor an extraordinary idea. This has been familiar to mankind for thousands of years, and, therefore, seems much like a banal truth. The dream interpretations of the Egyptians and Chaldeans, and the story of Joseph who interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, are known to every one, and the dream book of Artemidorus is also familiar. From countless inscribed monuments of all times and peoples we learn of foreboding dreams, of significant, of prophetic and also of curative dreams which the Deity sent to the sick, sleeping in the temple. We know the dream of the mother of Augustus, who dreamt she was to be with child by the Deity transformed into a snake. We will not heap up references and examples to bear witness to the existence of a belief 9in the symbolism of dreams. When an idea is so old, and is so generally believed, it is probably true in some way, and, indeed, as is mostly the case, is not literally true, but is true psychologically. In this distinction lies the reason why the old fogies of science have from time to time thrown away an inherited piece of ancient truth; because it was not literal but psychologic truth. For such discrimination this type of person has at no time had any comprehension.

From our experience, it is hardly conceivable that a God existing outside of ourselves causes dreams, or that the dream, eo ipso, foresees the future prophetically. When we translate this into the psychologic, however, then the ancient theories sound much more reconcilable, namely, the dream arises from a part of the mind unknown to us, but none the less important, and is concerned with the desires for the approaching day. This psychologic formula derived from the ancient superstitious conception of dreams, is, so to speak, exactly identified with the Freudian psychology, which assumes a rising wish from the unconscious to be the source of the dream.

As the old belief teaches, the Deity or the Demon speaks in symbolic speech to the sleeper, and the dream interpreter has the riddle to solve. In modern speech we say this means that the dream is a series of images, which are apparently contradictory and nonsensical, but arise in reality from psychologic material which yields a clear meaning.

Were I to suppose among my readers a far-reaching 10ignorance of dream analysis, then I should be obliged to illustrate this statement with numerous examples. To-day, however, these things are quite well known, so that one must proceed carefully with every-day dream material, out of consideration for a public educated in these matters. It is a special inconvenience that no dream can be recounted without being obliged to add to it half a life’s history which affords the individual foundations of the dream, but there are some few typical dreams which can be told without too great a ballast. One of these is the dream of the sexual assault, which is especially prevalent among women. A girl sleeping after an evening happily spent in dancing, dreams that a robber breaks open her door noisily and stabs through her body with a lance. This theme, which explains itself, has countless variations, some simple, some complicated. Instead of the lance it is a sword, a dagger, a revolver, a gun, a cannon, a hydrant, a watering pot; or the assault is a burglary, a pursuit, a robbery, or it is some one hidden in the closet or under the bed. Or the danger may be illustrated by wild animals; for instance, a horse which throws the dreamer to the ground and kicks her in the body with his hind foot; lions, tigers, elephants with threatening trunks, and finally snakes in endless variety. Sometimes the snake creeps into the mouth, sometimes it bites the breast like Cleopatra’s legendary asp, sometimes it comes in the rôle of the paradisical snake, or in the variations of Franz Stuck, whose pictures of snakes bear the significant titles “Vice,” “Sin,” “Lust.” The mixture of lust and anxiety is expressed incomparably in 11the very atmosphere of these pictures, and far more brutally, indeed, than in Mörike’s charming poem.

The Maiden’s First Love Song
What’s in the net?
But I am afraid,
Do I grasp a sweet eel,
Do I seize a snake?
Love is a blind
Tell the child
Where to seize.
Already it leaps in my hands.
Oh, Pity, or delight!
With nestlings and turnings
It coils on my breast,
It bites me, oh, wonder!
Boldly through the skin,
It darts under my heart.
Oh, Love, I shudder!
What can I do, what can I begin?
That shuddering thing;
There it crackles within
And coils in a ring.
It must be poisoned.
Here it crawls around.
Blissfully I feel as it worms
Itself into my soul
And kills me finally.

All these things are simple, and need no explanation to be intelligible. Somewhat more complicated, but still 12unmistakable, is the dream of a woman; she sees the triumphal arch of Constantine. A cannon stands before it, to the right of it a bird, to the left a man. A shot flashes out of the tube; the projectile hits her; it goes into her pocket, into her purse. There it remains, and she holds her purse as if something very precious were in it. The image disappears, and she continues to see only the stock of the cannon, and over that Constantine’s motto, “In hoc signo vinces.

These few references to the symbolic nature of dreams are perhaps sufficient. For whomsoever the proof may appear insufficient, and it is certainly insufficient for a beginner, further evidence may be found in the fundamental work of Freud, and in the works of Stekel and Rank which are fuller in certain particulars. We must assume here that the dream symbolism is an established fact, in order to bring to our study a mind suitably prepared for an appreciation of this work. We would not be successful if we, on the contrary, were to be astonished at the idea that an intellectual image can be projected into our conscious psychic activity; an image which apparently obeys such wholly other laws and purposes than those governing the conscious psychic product.

Why are dreams symbolic? Every “why” in psychology is divided into two separate questions: first, for what purpose are dreams symbolic? We will answer this question only to abandon it at once. Dreams are symbolic in order that they can not be understood; in order that the wish, which is the source of the dream, may remain unknown. The question why this is so and not otherwise, 13leads us out into the far-reaching experiences and trains of thought of the Freudian psychology.

Here the second question interests us, viz., How is it that dreams are symbolic? That is to say, from where does this capacity for symbolic representation come, of which we, in our conscious daily life, can discover apparently no traces?

Let us examine this more closely. Can we really discover nothing symbolic in our every-day thought? Let us follow our trains of thought; let us take an example. We think of the war of 1870 and 1871. We think about a series of bloody battles, the siege of Strassburg, Belfort, Paris, the Treaty of Peace, the foundation of the German Empire, and so on. How have we been thinking? We start with an idea, or super-idea, as it is also called, and without thinking of it, but each time merely guided by a feeling of direction, we think about individual reminiscences of the war. In this we can find nothing symbolic, and our whole conscious thinking proceeds according to this type.[13]

If we observe our thinking very narrowly, and follow an intensive train of thought, as, for example, the solution of a difficult problem, then suddenly we notice that we are thinking in words, that in wholly intensive thinking we begin to speak to ourselves, or that we occasionally write down the problem, or make a drawing of it so as to be absolutely clear. It must certainly have happened to any one who has lived for some time in a foreign country, that after a certain period he has begun to think in the language of the country. A very intensive train 14of thinking works itself out more or less in word form; that is, if one wants to express it, to teach it, or to convince any one of it. Evidently it directs itself wholly to the outside world. To this extent, this directed or logical thinking is a reality thinking,[14] having a real existence for us; that is to say, a thinking which adjusts itself to actual conditions,[15] where we, expressed in other words, imitate the succession of objectively real things, so that the images in our mind follow after each other in the same strictly causal succession as the historical events outside of our mind.[16]

We call this thinking, thinking with directed attention. It has, in addition, the peculiarity that one is tired by it, and that, on this account, it is set into action only for a time. Our whole vital accomplishment, which is so expensive, is adaptation to environment; a part of it is the directed thinking, which, biologically expressed, is nothing but a process of psychic assimilation, which, as in every vital accomplishment, leaves behind a corresponding exhaustion.

The material with which we think is language and speech concept, a thing which has been used from time immemorial as something external, a bridge for thought, and which has a single purpose—that of communication. As long as we think directedly, we think for others and speak to others.[17]

Speech is originally a system of emotional and imitative sounds—sounds which express terror, fear, anger, love; and sounds which imitate the noises of the elements, the rushing and gurgling of water, the rolling of thunder, 15the tumults of the winds, the tones of the animal world, and so on; and, finally, those which represent a combination of the sounds of perception and of affective reaction.[18] Likewise in the more or less modern languages, large quantities of onomatopoetic relics are retained; for example, sounds for the movement of water,—

Rauschen, risseln, rûschen, rinnen, rennen, to rush, ruscello, ruisseau, river, Rhein.

Wasser, wissen, wissern, pissen, piscis, fisch.

Thus language is originally and essentially nothing but a system of signs or symbols, which denote real occurrences, or their echo in the human soul.

Therefore one must decidedly agree with Anatole France,[19] when he says,

“What is thought, and how do we think? We think with words; that alone is sensual and brings us back to nature. Think of it! The metaphysician has only the perfected cry of monkeys and dogs with which to construct the system of the world. That which he calls profound speculation and transcendent method is to put end to end in an arbitrary order the natural sounds which cry out hunger, fear, and love in the primitive forests, and to which were attached little by little the meanings which one believed to be abstract, when they were only crude.

“Do not fear that the succession of small cries, feeble and stifled, which compose a book of philosophy, will teach us so much regarding the universe, that we can live in it no longer.”

Thus is our directed thinking, and even if we were the loneliest and furthest removed from our fellows, this thinking is nothing but the first notes of a long-drawn-out call to our companions that water had been found, 16that we had killed the bear, that a storm was approaching, or that wolves were prowling around the camp. A striking paradox of Abélard’s which expresses in a very intuitive way the whole human limitation of our complicated thinking process, reads,—“Sermo generatur ab intellectu et generat intellectum.”[20]

Any system of philosophy, no matter how abstract, represents in means and purpose nothing more than an extremely cleverly developed combination of original nature sounds.[21] Hence arises the desire of a Schopenhauer or a Nietzsche for recognition and understanding, and the despair and bitterness of their loneliness. One might expect, perhaps, that a man full of genius could pasture in the greatness of his own thoughts, and renounce the cheap approbation of the crowd which he despises; yet he succumbs to the more powerful impulse of the herd instinct. His searching and his finding, his call, belong to the herd.

When I said just now that directed thinking is properly a thinking with words, and quoted that clever testimony of Anatole France as drastic proof of it, a misunderstanding might easily arise, namely, that directed thinking is really only “word.” That certainly would go too far. Language should, however, be comprehended in a wider sense than that of speech, which is in itself only the expression of the formulated thought which is capable of being communicated in the widest sense. Otherwise, the deaf mute would be limited to the utmost in his capacity for thinking, which is not the case in reality. Without 17any knowledge of the spoken word, he has his “language.” This language, considered from the standpoint of history, or in other words, directed thinking, is here a descendant of the primitive words, as, for instance, Wundt[22] expresses it.

“A further important result of that co-operation of sound and sign interchange consists in the fact that very many words gradually lose altogether their original concrete thought meaning, and turn into signs for general ideas and for the expression of the apperceptive functions of relation and comparison and their products. In this manner abstract thought develops, which, because it would not be possible without the change of meaning lying at the root of it, is indeed a production of that psychic and psychophysical reciprocal action out of which the development of language takes place.”

Jodl[23] denies the identity of language and thought, because, for one reason, one and the same psychic fact might be expressed in different languages in different ways. From that he draws the conclusion that a “super-language thinking” exists. Certainly there is such a thing, whether with Erdmann one considers it “hypologisch,” or with Jodl as “super-language.” Only this is not logical thinking. My conception of it agrees with the noteworthy contribution made by Baldwin, which I will quote here word for word.[24]

“The transmission from pre-judgmental to judgmental meaning is just that from knowledge which has social confirmation to that which gets along without it. The meanings utilized for judgment are those already developed in their presuppositions and applications through the confirmation of social intercourse. Thus, the personal judgment, trained in the methods of social 18rendering, and disciplined by the interaction of its social world, projects its content into that world again. In other words, the platform for all movement into the assertion of individual judgment—the level from which new experience is utilized—is already and always socialized; and it is just this movement that we find reflected in the actual results as the sense of the ‘appropriateness’ or synomic character of the meaning rendered.

“Now the development of thought, as we are to see in more detail, is by a method essentially of trial and error, of experimentation, of the use of meanings as worth more than they are as yet recognized to be worth. The individual must use his own thoughts, his established knowledges, his grounded judgments, for the embodiment of his new inventive constructions. He erects his thought as we say ‘schematically’—in logic terms, ‘problematically,’ conditionally, disjunctively; projecting into the world an opinion still peculiar to himself, as if it were true. Thus all discovery proceeds. But this is, from the linguistic point of view, still to use the current language, still to work by meanings already embodied in social and conventional usage.

“Language grows, therefore, just as thought does, by never losing its synomic or dual reference; its meaning is both personal and social.

“It is the register of tradition, the record of racial conquest, the deposit of all the gains made by the genius of individuals.... The social copy-system, thus established, reflects the judgmental processes of the race, and in turn becomes the training school of the judgment of new generations.

“Most of the training of the self, whereby the vagaries of personal reaction to fact and image are reduced to the basis of sound judgment, comes through the use of speech. When the child speaks, he lays before the world his suggestion for a general or common meaning. The reception he gets confirms or refutes him. In either case he is instructed. His next venture is now from a platform of knowledge on which the newer item is more nearly convertible into the common coin of effective intercourse. The point to notice here is not so much the exact mechanism of the exchange—secondary conversion—by which this gain is made, 19as the training in judgment that the constant use of it affords. In each case, effective judgment is the common judgment.

“Here the object is to point out that it is secured by the development of a function whose rise is directly ad hoc, directly for the social experimentation by which growth in personal competence is advanced as well—the function of speech.

“In language, therefore, to sum up the foregoing, we have the tangible—the actual—the historical—instrument of the development and conservation of psychic meaning. It is the material evidence and proof of the concurrence of social and personal judgment. In it synomic meaning, judged as ‘appropriate,’ becomes ‘social’ meaning, held as socially generalized and acknowledged.”

These arguments of Baldwin abundantly emphasize the wide-reaching limitations of thinking caused by language.[25] These limitations are of the greatest significance, both subjectively and objectively; at least their meaning is great enough to force one to ask one’s self if, after all, in regard to independence of thought, Franz Mauthner, thoroughly sceptical, is not really correct in his view that thinking is speech and nothing more. Baldwin expresses himself more cautiously and reservedly; nevertheless, his inner meaning is plainly in favor of the primacy of speech (naturally not in the sense of the spoken word); the directed thinking, or as we might perhaps call it, the thinking in internal speech, is the manifest instrument of culture, and we do not go astray when we say that the powerful work of education which the centuries have given to directed thinking has produced, just through the peculiar development of thinking from the individual subjective into the social objective, a practical application of the human mind to which we owe 20modern empiricism and technic, and which occurs for absolutely the first time in the history of the world. Inquisitive minds have often tormented themselves with the question why the undoubtedly extraordinary knowledge of mathematics and principles and material facts united with the unexampled art of the human hand in antiquity never arrived at the point of developing those known technical statements of fact, for instance, the principles of simple machines, beyond the realm of the amusing and curious to a real technic in the modern sense. There is necessarily only one answer to this; the ancients almost entirely, with the exception of a few extraordinary minds, lacked the capacity to allow their interest to follow the transformations of inanimate matter to the extent necessary for them to be able to reproduce the process of nature, creatively and through their own art, by means of which alone they could have succeeded in putting themselves in possession of the force of nature. That which they lacked was training in directed thinking, or, to express it psychoanalytically, the ancients did not succeed in tearing loose the libido which might be sublimated, from the other natural relations, and did not turn voluntarily to anthropomorphism. The secret of the development of culture lies in the mobility of the libido, and in its capacity for transference. It is, therefore, to be assumed that the directed thinking of our time is a more or less modern acquisition, which was lacking in earlier times.

But with that we come to a further question, viz., what happens if we do not think directedly? Then our thinking 21lacks the major idea, and the feeling of direction which emanates from that.[26] We no longer compel our thoughts along a definite track, but let them float, sink and mount according to their own gravity. According to Kulpe[27] thinking is a kind of inner will action, the absence of which necessarily leads to an automatic play of ideas. James understands the non-directed thinking, or “merely associative” thinking, as the ordinary one. He expresses himself about that in the following manner:

“Our thought consists for the great part of a series of images, one of which produces the other; a sort of passive dream-state of which the higher animals are also capable. This sort of thinking leads, nevertheless, to reasonable conclusions of a practical as well as of a theoretical nature.

“As a rule, the links of this sort of irresponsible thinking, which are accidentally bound together, are empirically concrete things, not abstractions.”

We can, in the following manner, complete these definitions of William James. This sort of thinking does not tire us; it quickly leads us away from reality into phantasies of the past and future. Here, thinking in the form of speech ceases, image crowds upon image, feeling upon feeling; more and more clearly one sees a tendency which creates and makes believe, not as it truly is, but as one indeed might wish it to be.[28] The material of these thoughts which turns away from reality, can naturally be only the past with its thousand memory pictures. The customary speech calls this kind of thinking “dreaming.”

22Whoever attentively observes himself will find the general custom of speech very striking, for almost every day we can see for ourselves how, when falling asleep, phantasies are woven into our dreams, so that between the dreams of day and night there is not so great a difference. Thus we have two forms of thinking—directed thinking and dream or phantasy thinking. The first, working for communication with speech elements, is troublesome and exhausting; the latter, on the contrary, goes on without trouble, working spontaneously, so to speak, with reminiscences. The first creates innovations, adaptations, imitates reality and seeks to act upon it. The latter, on the contrary, turns away from reality, sets free subjective wishes, and is, in regard to adaptation, wholly unproductive.[29]

Let us leave aside the query as to why we possess these two different ways of thinking, and turn back to the second proposition, namely, how comes it that we have two different ways of thinking? I have intimated above that history shows us that directed thinking was not always as developed as it is at present. In this age the most beautiful expression of directed thinking is science, and the technic fostered by it. Both things are indebted for their existence simply to an energetic education in directed thinking. At the time, however, when a few forerunners of the present culture, like the poet Petrarch, first began to appreciate Nature understandingly[30] there was already in existence an equivalent for our science, to wit, scholasticism.[31] This took its objects from the phantasies of the past, and it gave to the mind a dialectic 23training in directed thinking. The only success which beckoned the thinker was rhetorical victory in disputation, and not a visible transformation of reality.

The subjects of thinking were often astonishingly phantastical; for example, questions were discussed, such as how many angels could have a place on the point of a needle? Whether Christ could have done his work of redemption equally well if he had come into the world as a pea? The possibility of such problems, to which belong the metaphysical problems in general, viz., to be able to know the unknowable, shows us of what peculiar kind that mind must have been which created such things which to us are the height of absurdity. Nietzsche had guessed, however, at the biological background of this phenomenon when he spoke of the “beautiful tension” of the Germanic mind which the Middle Ages created. Taken historically, scholasticism, in the spirit of which persons of towering intellectual powers, such as Thomas of Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Abélard, William of Occam and others, have labored, is the mother of the modern scientific attitude, and a later time will see clearly how and in what scholasticism still furnishes living undercurrents to the science of to-day. Its whole nature lies in dialectic gymnastics which have raised the symbol of speech, the word, to an almost absolute meaning, so that it finally attained to that substantiality which expiring antiquity could lend to its logos only temporarily, through attributes of mystical valuation. The great work of scholasticism, however, appears to be the foundation of firmly knitted intellectual sublimation, the conditio 24sine qua non of the modern scientific and technical spirit.

Should we go further back into history, we shall find that which to-day we call science, dissolved into an indistinct cloud. The modern culture-creating mind is incessantly occupied in stripping off all subjectivity from experience, and in finding those formulas which bring Nature and her forces to the best and most fitting expression. It would be an absurd and entirely unjustified self-glorification if we were to assume that we are more energetic or more intelligent than the ancients—our materials for knowledge have increased, but not our intellectual capacity. For this reason, we become immediately as obstinate and insusceptible in regard to new ideas as people in the darkest times of antiquity. Our knowledge has increased but not our wisdom. The main point of our interest is displaced wholly into material reality; antiquity preferred a mode of thought which was more closely related to a phantastic type. Except for a sensitive perspicuity towards works of art, not attained since then, we seek in vain in antiquity for that precise and concrete manner of thinking characteristic of modern science. We see the antique spirit create not science but mythology. Unfortunately, we acquire in school only a very paltry conception of the richness and immense power of life of Grecian mythology.

Therefore, at first glance, it does not seem possible for us to assume that that energy and interest which to-day we put into science and technic, the man of antiquity gave in great part to his mythology. That, nevertheless, gives 25the explanation for the bewildering changes, the kaleidoscopic transformations and new syncretistic groupings, and the continued rejuvenation of the myths in the Grecian sphere of culture. Here, we move in a world of phantasies, which, little concerned with the outer course of things, flows from an inner source, and, constantly changing, creates now plastic, now shadowy shapes. This phantastical activity of the ancient mind created artistically par excellence. The object of the interest does not seem to have been to grasp hold of the “how” of the real world as objectively and exactly as possibly, but to æsthetically adapt subjective phantasies and expectations. There was very little place among ancient people for the coldness and disillusion which Giordano Bruno’s thoughts on eternity and Kepler’s discoveries brought to modern humanity. The naïve man of antiquity saw in the sun the great Father of the heaven and the earth, and in the moon the fruitful good Mother. Everything had its demons; they animated equally a human being and his brother, the animal. Everything was considered according to its anthropomorphic or theriomorphic attributes, as human being or animal. Even the disc of the sun was given wings or four feet, in order to illustrate its movement. Thus arose an idea of the universe which was not only very far from reality, but was one which corresponded wholly to subjective phantasies.

We know, from our own experience, this state of mind. It is an infantile stage. To a child the moon is a man or a face or a shepherd of the stars. The clouds in the sky 26seem like little sheep; the dolls drink, eat and sleep; the child places a letter at the window for the Christ-child; he calls to the stork to bring him a little brother or sister; the cow is the wife of the horse, and the dog the husband of the cat. We know, too, that lower races, like the negroes, look upon the locomotive as an animal, and call the drawers of the table the child of the table.

As we learn through Freud, the dream shows a similar type. Since the dream is unconcerned with the real condition of things, it brings the most heterogeneous matter together, and a world of impossibilities takes the place of realities. Freud finds progression characteristic of thinking when awake; that is to say, the advancement of the thought excitation from the system of the inner or outer perception through the “endopsychic” work of association, conscious and unconscious, to the motor end; that is to say, towards innervation. In the dream he finds the reverse, namely, regression of the thought excitation from the preconscious or unconscious to the system of perception, by the means of which the dream receives its ordinary impression of sensuous distinctness, which can rise to an almost hallucinating clearness. The dream thinking moves in a retrograde manner towards the raw material of memory. “The structure of the dream thoughts is dissolved during the progress of regression into its raw material.” The reanimation of the original perception is, however, only one side of regression. The other side is regression to the infantile memory material, which might also be understood as regression to the original perception, but which deserves especial mention 27on account of its independent importance. This regression might, indeed, be considered as “historical.” The dream, according to this conception, might also be described as the substitute of the infantile scene, changed through transference into the recent scene.

The infantile scene cannot carry through its revival; it must be satisfied with its return as a dream. From this conception of the historical side of regression, it follows consequently that the modes of conclusion of the dream, in so far as one may speak of them, must show at the same time an analogous and infantile character. This is truly the case, as experience has abundantly shown, so that to-day every one who is familiar with the subject of dream analysis confirms Freud’s proposition that dreams are a piece of the conquered life of the childish soul. Inasmuch as the childish psychic life is undeniably of an archaic type, this characteristic belongs to the dream in quite an unusual degree. Freud calls our attention to this especially.

“The dream, which fulfils its wishes by a short, regressive path, affords us only an example of the primary method of working of the psychic apparatus, which has been abandoned by us as unsuitable. That which once ruled in the waking state, when the psychical life was still young and impotent, appears to be banished to the dream life, in somewhat the same way as the bow and arrow, those discarded, primitive weapons of adult humanity, have been relegated to the nursery.”[32]

All this experience suggests to us that we draw a parallel between the phantastical, mythological thinking of antiquity and the similar thinking of children, between 28the lower human races and dreams.[33] This train of thought is not a strange one for us, but quite familiar through our knowledge of comparative anatomy and the history of development, which show us how the structure and function of the human body are the results of a series of embryonic changes which correspond to similar changes in the history of the race. Therefore, the supposition is justified that ontogenesis corresponds in psychology to phylogenesis. Consequently, it would be true, as well, that the state of infantile thinking in the child’s psychic life, as well as in dreams, is nothing but a re-echo of the prehistoric and the ancient.[34]

In regard to this, Nietzsche takes a very broad and remarkable standpoint.[35]

“In our sleep and in our dreams we pass through the whole thought of earlier humanity. I mean, in the same way that man reasons in his dreams, he reasoned when in the waking state many thousands of years. The first causa which occurred to his mind in reference to anything that needed explanation, satisfied him and passed for truth. In the dream this atavistic relic of humanity manifests its existence within us, for it is the foundation upon which the higher rational faculty developed, and which is still developing in every individual. The dream carries us back into earlier states of human culture, and affords us a means of understanding it better. The dream thought is so easy to us now, because we are so thoroughly trained to it through the interminable stages of evolution during which this phantastic and facile form of theorizing has prevailed. To a certain extent the dream is a restorative for the brain, which during the day is called upon to meet the severe demands for trained thought, made by the conditions of a higher civilization.

“From these facts, we can understand how lately more acute logical thinking, the taking seriously of cause and effect, has been 29developed; when our functions of reason and intelligence still reach back involuntarily to those primitive forms of conclusion, and we live about half our lives in this condition.”

We have already seen that Freud, independently of Nietzsche, has reached a similar standpoint from the basis of dream analysis. The step from this established proposition to the perception of the myths as familiar dream images is no longer a great one. Freud has formulated this conclusion himself.[36]

“The investigation of this folk-psychologic formation, myths, etc., is by no means finished at present. To take an example of this, however, it is probable that the myths correspond to the distorted residue of wish phantasies of whole nations, the secularized dreams of young humanity.”

Rank[37] understands the myths in a similar manner, as a mass dream of the people.[38] Riklin[39] has insisted rightly upon the dream mechanism of the fables, and Abraham[40] has done the same for the myths. He says:

“The myth is a fragment of the infantile soul-life of the people.”


“Thus the myth is a sustained, still remaining fragment from the infantile soul-life of the people, and the dream is the myth of the individual.”

An unprejudiced reading of the above-mentioned authors will certainly allay all doubts concerning the intimate connection between dream psychology and myth psychology. The conclusion results almost from itself, that the age which created the myths thought childishly—that 30is to say, phantastically, as in our age is still done, to a very great extent (associatively or analogically) in dreams. The beginnings of myth formations (in the child), the taking of phantasies for realities, which is partly in accord with the historical, may easily be discovered among children.

One might raise the objection that the mythological inclinations of children are implanted by education. The objection is futile. Has humanity at all ever broken loose from the myths? Every man has eyes and all his senses to perceive that the world is dead, cold and unending, and he has never yet seen a God, nor brought to light the existence of such from empirical necessity. On the contrary, there was need of a phantastic, indestructible optimism, and one far removed from all sense of reality, in order, for example, to discover in the shameful death of Christ really the highest salvation and the redemption of the world. Thus one can indeed withhold from a child the substance of earlier myths but not take from him the need for mythology. One can say, that should it happen that all traditions in the world were cut off with a single blow, then with the succeeding generation, the whole mythology and history of religion would start over again. Only a few individuals succeed in throwing off mythology in a time of a certain intellectual supremacy—the mass never frees itself. Explanations are of no avail; they merely destroy a transitory form of manifestation, but not the creating impulse.

Let us again take up our earlier train of thought.

We spoke of the ontogenetic re-echo of the phylogenetic 31psychology among children, we saw that phantastic thinking is a characteristic of antiquity, of the child, and of the lower races; but now we know also that our modern and adult man is given over in large part to this same phantastic thinking, which enters as soon as the directed thinking ceases. A lessening of the interest, a slight fatigue, is sufficient to put an end to the directed thinking, the exact psychological adaptation to the real world, and to replace it with phantasies. We digress from the theme and give way to our own trains of thought; if the slackening of the attention increases, then we lose by degrees the consciousness of the present, and the phantasy enters into possession of the field.

Here the important question obtrudes itself: How are phantasies created? From the poets we learn much about it; from science we learn little. The psychoanalytic method, presented to science by Freud, shed light upon this for the first time. It showed us that there are typical cycles. The stutterer imagines he is a great orator. The truth of this, Demosthenes, thanks to his energy, has proven. The poor man imagines himself to be a millionaire, the child an adult. The conquered fight out victorious battles with the conquerer; the unfit torments or delights himself with ambitious plans. We imagine that which we lack. The interesting question of the “why” of all this we must here leave unanswered, while we return to the historic problem: From what source do the phantasies draw their materials?[41] We chose, as an example, a typical phantasy of puberty. A child in that stage before whom the whole frightening 32uncertainty of the future fate opens, puts back the uncertainty into the past, through his phantasy, and says, “If only I were not the child of my ordinary parents, but the child of a rich and fashionable count, and had been merely passed over to my parents, then some day a golden coach would come, and the count would take his child back with him to his wonderful castle,” and so it goes on, as in Grimm’s Fairy Tales which the mother tells to her children.[42] With a normal child, it stops with the fugitive, quickly-passing idea which is soon covered over and forgotten. However, at one time, and that was in the ancient world of culture, the phantasy was an openly acknowledged institution. The heroes,—I recall Romulus and Remus, Semiramis, Moses and many others,—have been separated from their real parents.[43] Others are directly sons of gods, and the noble races derive their family trees from heroes and gods. As one sees by this example, the phantasy of modern humanity is nothing but a re-echo of an old-folk-belief, which was very widespread originally.[44] The ambitious phantasy chooses, among others, a form which is classic, and which once had a true meaning. The same thing holds good in regard to the sexual phantasy. In the preamble we have spoken of dreams of sexual assault: the robber who breaks into the house and commits a dangerous act. That, too, is a mythological theme, and in the prehistoric era was certainly a reality too.[45] Wholly apart from the fact that the capture of women was something general in the lawless prehistoric times, it was also a subject of mythology in cultivated epochs. I recall the capture of 33Proserpina, Deianira, Europa, the Sabine women, etc. We must not forget that, even to-day, marriage customs exist in various regions which recall the ancient custom of marriage by capture.

The symbolism of the instrument of coitus was an inexhaustible material for ancient phantasy. It furnished a widespread cult that was designated phallic, the object of reverence of which was the phallus. The companion of Dionysus was Phales, a personification of the phallus proceeding from the phallic Herme of Dionysus. The phallic symbols were countless. Among the Sabines, the custom existed for the bridegroom to part the bride’s hair with a lance. The bird, the fish and the snake were phallic symbols. In addition, there existed in enormous quantities theriomorphic representations of the sexual instinct, in connection with which the bull, the he-goat, the ram, the boar and the ass were frequently used. An undercurrent to this choice of symbol was furnished by the sodomitic inclination of humanity. When in the dream phantasy of modern man, the feared man is replaced by an animal, there is recurring in the ontogenetic re-echo the same thing which was openly represented by the ancients countless times. There were he-goats which pursued nymphs, satyrs with she-goats; in still older times in Egypt there even existed a shrine of a goat god, which the Greeks called Pan, where the Hierodules prostituted themselves with goats.[46] It is well known that this worship has not died out, but continues to live as a special custom in South Italy and Greece.[47]

To-day we feel for such a thing nothing but the deepest 34abhorrence, and never would admit it still slumbered in our souls. Nevertheless, just as truly as the idea of the sexual assault is there, so are these things there too; which we should contemplate still more closely,—not through moral eye-glasses, with horror, but with interest as a natural science, since these things are venerable relics of past culture periods. We have, even to-day, a clause in our penal code against sodomy. But that which was once so strong as to give rise to a worship among a highly developed people has probably not wholly disappeared from the human soul during the course of a few generations. We may not forget that since the symposium of Plato, in which homo-sexuality faces us on the same level with the so-called “normal sexuality,” only eighty generations have passed. And what are eighty generations? They shrink to an imperceptible period of time when compared with the space of time which separates us from the homo-Neandertalensis or Heidelbergensis. I might call to mind, in this connection, some choice thoughts of the great historian Guglielmo Ferrero:[48]

“It is a very common belief that the further man is separated from the present by time, the more does he differ from us in his thoughts and feelings; that the psychology of humanity changes from century to century, like fashions of literature. Therefore, no sooner do we find in past history an institution, a custom, a law or a belief a little different from those with which we are familiar, than we immediately search for some complex meanings, which frequently resolve themselves into phrases of doubtful significance.

“Indeed, man does not change so quickly; his psychology at bottom remains the same, and even if his culture varies much from one epoch to another, it does not change the functioning of his mind. The fundamental laws of the mind remain the same, at 35least during the short historical period of which we have knowledge, and all phenomena, even the most strange, must be capable of explanation by those common laws of the mind which we can recognize in ourselves.”

The psychologist should accept this viewpoint without reservation as peculiarly applicable to himself. To-day, indeed, in our civilization the phallic processions, the Dionysian mysteries of classical Athens, the barefaced Phallic emblems, have disappeared from our coins, houses, temples and streets; so also have the theriomorphic representations of the Deity been reduced to small remnants, like the Dove of the Holy Ghost, the Lamb of God and the Cock of Peter adorning our church towers. In the same way, the capture and violation of women have shrunken away to crimes. Yet all of this does not affect the fact that we, in childhood, go through a period in which the impulses toward these archaic inclinations appear again and again, and that through all our life we possess, side by side with the newly recruited, directed and adapted thought, a phantastic thought which corresponds to the thought of the centuries of antiquity and barbarism. Just as our bodies still keep the reminders of old functions and conditions in many old-fashioned organs, so our minds, too, which apparently have outgrown those archaic tendencies, nevertheless bear the marks of the evolution passed through, and the very ancient re-echoes, at least dreamily, in phantasies.

The symbolism which Freud has discovered, is revealed as an expression of a thinking and of an impulse limited to the dream, to wrong conduct, and to derangements 36of the mind, which form of thinking and impulse at one time ruled as the mightiest influence in past culture epochs.

The question of whence comes the inclination and ability which enables the mind to express itself symbolically, brings us to the distinction between the two kinds of thinking—the directed and adapted on one hand, and the subjective, fed by our own egotistic wishes, on the other. The latter form of thinking, presupposing that it were not constantly corrected by the adapted thinking, must necessarily produce an overwhelmingly subjectively distorted idea of the world. We regard this state of mind as infantile. It lies in our individual past, and in the past of mankind.

With this we affirm the important fact that man in his phantastic thinking has kept a condensation of the psychic history of his development. An extraordinarily important task, which even to-day is hardly possible, is to give a systematic description of phantastic thinking. One may, at the most, sketch it. While directed thinking is a phenomenon conscious throughout,[49] the same cannot be asserted of phantastic thinking. Doubtless, a great part of it still falls entirely in the realm of the conscious, but, at least, just as much goes along in half shadows, and generally an undetermined amount in the unconscious; and this can, therefore, be disclosed only indirectly.[50] By means of phantastic thinking, directed thinking is connected with the oldest foundations of the human mind, which have been for a long time beneath the threshold of the consciousness. The products of this phantastic 37thinking arising directly from the consciousness are, first, waking dreams, or day-dreams, to which Freud, Flournoy, Pick and others have given special attention; then the dreams which offer to the consciousness, at first, a mysterious exterior, and win meaning only through the indirectly inferred unconscious contents. Lastly, there is a so-called wholly unconscious phantasy system in the split-off complex, which exhibits a pronounced tendency towards the production of a dissociated personality.[51]

Our foregoing explanations show wherein the products arising from the unconscious are related to the mythical. From all these signs it may be concluded that the soul possesses in some degree historical strata, the oldest stratum of which would correspond to the unconscious. The result of that must be that an introversion occurring in later life, according to the Freudian teaching, seizes upon regressive infantile reminiscences taken from the individual past. That first points out the way; then, with stronger introversion and regression (strong repressions, introversion psychoses), there come to light pronounced traits of an archaic mental kind which, under certain circumstances, might go as far as the re-echo of a once manifest, archaic mental product.

This problem deserves to be more thoroughly discussed. As a concrete example, let us take the history of the pious Abbé Oegger which Anatole France has communicated to us.[52] This priest was a hypercritical man, and much given to phantasies, especially in regard to one question, viz., the fate of Judas; whether he was 38really damned, as the teaching of the church asserts, to everlasting punishment, or whether God had pardoned him after all. Oegger sided with the intelligent point of view that God, in his all-wisdom, had chosen Judas as an instrument, in order to bring about the highest point of the work of redemption by Christ.[53] This necessary instrument, without the help of which the human race would not have been a sharer in salvation, could not possibly be damned by the all-good God. In order to put an end to his doubts, Oegger went one night to the church, and made supplication for a sign that Judas was saved. Then he felt a heavenly touch upon his shoulder. Following this, Oegger told the Archbishop of his resolution to go out into the world to preach God’s unending mercy.

Here we have a richly developed phantasy system before us. It is concerned with the subtle and perpetually undecided question as to whether the legendary figure of Judas is damned or not. The Judas legend is, in itself, mythical material, viz., the malicious betrayal of a hero. I recall Siegfried and Hagen, Balder and Loki. Siegfried and Balder were murdered by a faithless traitor from among their closest associates. This myth is moving and tragic—it is not honorable battle which kills the noble, but evil treachery. It is, too, an occurrence which is historical over and over again. One thinks of Cæsar and Brutus. Since the myth of such a deed is very old, and still the subject of teaching and repetition, it is the expression of a psychological fact, that envy does not allow humanity to sleep, and that all of us carry, in a 39hidden recess of our heart, a deadly wish towards the hero. This rule can be applied generally to mythical tradition. It does not set forth any account of the old events, but rather acts in such a way that it always reveals a thought common to humanity, and once more rejuvenated. Thus, for example, the lives and deeds of the founders of old religions are the purest condensations of typical, contemporaneous myths, behind which the individual figure entirely disappears.[54]

But why does our pious Abbé torment himself with the old Judas legend? He first went into the world to preach the gospel of mercy, and then, after some time, he separated from the Catholic church and became a Swedenborgian. Now we understand his Judas phantasy. He was the Judas who betrayed his Lord. Therefore, first of all, he had to make sure of the divine mercy, in order to be Judas in peace.

This case throws a light upon the mechanism of the phantasies in general. The known, conscious phantasy may be of mythical or other material; it is not to be taken seriously as such, for it has an indirect meaning. If we take it, however, as important per se, then the thing is not understandable, and makes one despair of the efficiency of the mind. But we saw, in the case of Abbé Oegger, that his doubts and his hopes did not turn upon the historical problem of Judas, but upon his own personality, which wished to win a way to freedom for itself through the solution of the Judas problem.

The conscious phantasies tell us of mythical or other material of undeveloped or no longer recognized wish 40tendencies in the soul. As is easily to be understood, an innate tendency, an acknowledgment of which one refuses to make, and which one treats as non-existent, can hardly contain a thing that may be in accord with our conscious character. It concerns the tendencies which are considered immoral, and as generally impossible, and the strongest resentment is felt towards bringing them into the consciousness. What would Oegger have said had he been told confidentially that he was preparing himself for the Judas rôle? And what in ourselves do we consider immoral and non-existent, or which we at least wish were non-existent? It is that which in antiquity lay widespread on the surface, viz., sexuality in all its various manifestations. Therefore, we need not wonder in the least when we find this at the base of most of our phantasies, even if the phantasies have a different appearance. Because Oegger found the damnation of Judas incompatible with God’s goodness, he thought about the conflict in that way; that is the conscious sequence. Along with this is the unconscious sequence; because Oegger himself wished to be a Judas, he first made sure of the goodness of God. To Oegger, Judas was the symbol of his own unconscious tendency, and he made use of this symbol in order to be able to meditate over his unconscious wish. The direct coming into consciousness of the Judas wish would have been too painful for him. Thus, there must be typical myths which are really the instruments of a folk-psychological complex treatment. Jacob Burckhardt seems to have suspected this when he once said that every Greek of the classical era carried in himself 41a fragment of the Oedipus, just as every German carries a fragment of Faust.[55]

The problem which the simple story of the Abbé Oegger has brought clearly before us confronts us again when we prepare to examine phantasies which owe their existence this time to an exclusively unconscious work. We are indebted for the material which we will use in the following chapters to the useful publication of an American woman, Miss Frank Miller, who has given to the world some poetical unconsciously formed phantasies under the title, “Quelque faits d’imagination créatrice subconsciente.”—Vol. V., Archives de Psychologie, 1906.[56]



We know, from much psychoanalytic experience, that whenever one recounts his phantasies or his dreams, he deals not only with the most important and intimate of his problems, but with the one the most painful at that moment.[57]

Since in the case of Miss Miller we have to do with a complicated system, we must give our attention carefully to the particulars which I will discuss, following as best I can Miss Miller’s presentation.

In the first chapter, “Phénomènes de suggestion passagère ou d’autosuggestion instantanée,” Miss Miller gives a list of examples of her unusual suggestibility, which she herself considers as a symptom of her nervous temperament; for example, she is excessively fond of caviar, whereas some of her relatives loathe it. However, as soon as any one expresses his loathing, she herself feels momentarily the same loathing. I do not need to emphasize especially the fact that such examples are very important in individual psychology; that caviar is a food for which nervous women frequently have an especial predilection, is a fact well known to the psychoanalyst.

Miss Miller has an extraordinary faculty for taking 43other people’s feelings upon herself, and of identification; for example, she identifies herself to such a degree in “Cyrano” with the wounded Christian de Neuvillette, that she feels in her own breast a truly piercing pain at that place where Christian received the deadly blow.

From the viewpoint of analytic psychology, the theatre, aside from any esthetic value, may be considered as an institution for the treatment of the mass complex. The enjoyment of the comedy, or of the dramatic plot ending happily is produced by an unreserved identification of one’s own complexes with the play. The enjoyment of tragedy lies in the thrilling yet satisfactory feeling that something which might occur to one’s self is happening to another. The sympathy of our author with the dying Christian means that there is in her a complex awaiting a similar solution, which whispers softly to her “hodie tibi, cras mihi,” and that one may know exactly what is considered the effectual moment Miss Miller adds that she felt a pain in her breast, “Lorsque Sarah Bernhardt se précipite sur lui pour étancher le sang de sa blessure.” Therefore the effectual moment is when the love between Christian and Roxane comes to a sudden end.

If we glance over the whole of Rostand’s play, we come upon certain moments, the effect of which one cannot easily escape and which we will emphasize here because they have meaning for all that follows. Cyrano de Bergerac, with the long ugly nose, on account of which he undertakes countless duels, loves Roxane, who, for her part unaware of it, loves Christian, because of the beautiful verses which really originate from Cyrano’s 44pen, but which apparently come from Christian. Cyrano is the misunderstood one, whose passionate love and noble soul no one suspects; the hero who sacrifices himself for others, and, dying, just in the evening of life, reads to her once more Christian’s last letter, the verses which he himself had composed.

Roxane, adieu, je vais mourir!
C’est pour ce soir, je crois, ma bien-aimée!
J’ai l’âme lourde encore d’amour inexprimé.
Et je meurs! Jamais plus, jamais mes yeux grisés,
Mes regards dont c’était les frémissantes fêtes,
Ne baiseront au vol les gestes que vous faites;
J’en revois un petit qui vous est familier
Pour toucher votre front et je voudrais crier—.
Et je crie:
Adieu!—Ma chère, ma chérie,
Mon trésor—mon amour!
Mon coeur ne vous quitta jamais une seconde,
Et je suis et je serai jusque dans l’autre monde
Celui qui vous aime sans mesure, celui—

Whereupon Roxane recognizes in him the real loved one. It is already too late; death comes; and in agonized delirium, Cyrano raises himself, and draws his sword:

Je crois, qu’elle regarde....
Qu’elle ose regarder mon nez, la camarde!
(Il lève son épée.)
Que dites-vous?... C’est inutile!
Je le sais!
Mais on ne se bat pas dans l’espoir du succès!
Non! Non! C’est bien plus beau, lorsque c’est inutile!
—Qu’est-ce que c’est que tous ceux-là?—Vous êtes mille?
Ah! je vous reconnais, tous mes vieux ennemis!
Le mensonge!
(Il frappe de son épée le vide.)
45Tiens, tiens, ha! ha! les Compromis,
Les Préjugés, les Lâchetés!...
(Il frappe.)
Que je pactise?
Jamais, jamais!—Ah, te voilà, toi, la Sottise!
—Je sais bien qu’à la fin vous me mettrez à bas;
N’importe: je me bats! je me bats! je me bats!
Oui, vous m’arrachez tout, le laurier et la rose!
Arrachez! Il y a malgré vous quelque chose
Que j’emporte, et ce soir, quand j’entrerai chez Dieu,
Mon salut balaiera largement le seuil bleu.
Quelque chose que sans un pli, sans une tache,
J’emporte malgré vous, et c’est—mon panache.

Cyrano, who under the hateful exterior of his body hid a soul so much more beautiful, is a yearner and one misunderstood, and his last triumph is that he departs, at least, with a clean shield—“Sans un pli et sans une tache.” The identification of the author with the dying Christian, who in himself is a figure but little impressive and sympathetic, expresses clearly that a sudden end is destined for her love just as for Christian’s love. The tragic intermezzo with Christian, however, is played as we have seen upon a background of much wider significance, viz., the misunderstood love of Cyrano for Roxane. Therefore, the identification with Christian has only the significance of a substitute memory (“deckerinnerung”), and is really intended for Cyrano. That this is just what we might expect will be seen in the further course of our analysis.

Besides this story of identification with Christian, there follows as a further example an extraordinarily plastic 46memory of the sea, evoked by the sight of a photograph of a steamboat on the high seas. (“Je sentis les pulsations des machines, le soulèvement des vagues, le balancement du navire.”)

We may mention here the supposition that there are connected with sea journeys particularly impressive and strong memories which penetrate deeply into the soul and give an especially strong character to the surface memories through unconscious harmony. To what extent the memories assumed here agree with the above mentioned problem we shall see in the following pages.

This example, following at this time, is singular: Once, while in bathing, Miss Miller wound a towel around her hair, in order to protect it from a wetting. At the same moment she had the following strong impression:

Il me sembla que j’étais sur un piédestal, une véritable statue égyptienne, avec tous ses détails: membres raides, un pied en avant, la main tenant des insignes,” and so on.

Miss Miller identified herself, therefore, with an Egyptian statue, and naturally the foundation for this was a subjective pretension. That is to say, “I am like an Egyptian statue, just as stiff, wooden, sublime and impassive,” qualities for which the Egyptian statue is proverbial. One does not make such an assertion to one’s self without an inner compulsion, and the correct formula might just as well be, “as stiff, wooden, etc., as an Egyptian statue I might indeed be.” The sight of one’s own unclothed body in a bath has undeniable effects for the phantasy, which can be set at rest by the above formula.[58]

47The example which follows this, emphasizes the author’s personal influence upon an artist:

J’ai réussi à lui faire rendre des paysages, comme ceux du lac Léman, où il n’a jamais été, et il prétendait que je pouvais lui faire rendre des choses qu’il n’avait jamais vues, et lui donner la sensation d’une atmosphère ambiante qu’il n’avait jamais sentie; bref que je me servais de lui comme lui-même se servait de son crayon, c’est à dire comme d’un simple instrument.

This observation stands in abrupt contrast to the phantasy of the Egyptian statue. Miss Miller had here the unspoken need of emphasizing her almost magic effect upon another person. This could not have happened, either, without an unconscious need, which is particularly felt by one who does not often succeed in making an emotional impression upon a fellow being.

With that, the list of examples which are to picture Miss Miller’s autosuggestibility and suggestive effect, is exhausted. In this respect, the examples are neither especially striking nor interesting. From an analytical viewpoint, on the contrary, they are much more important, since they afford us a glance into the soul of the writer. Ferenczi[59] has taught us in an excellent work what is to be thought about suggestibility, that is to say, that these phenomena win new aspects in the light of the Freudian libido theory, in so much as their effects become clear through “Libido-besetzungen.” This was already indicated above in the discussion of the examples, and in the greatest detail regarding the identification with Christian. The identification becomes effective by its receiving an influx of energy from the strongly accentuated 48thought and emotional feeling underlying the Christian motif. Just the reverse is the suggestive effect of the individual in an especial capacity for concentrating interest (that is to say, libido) upon another person, by which the other is unconsciously compelled to reaction (the same or opposed). The majority of the examples concern cases where Miss Miller is put under the effects of suggestion; that is to say, when the libido has spontaneously gained possession of certain impressions, and this is impossible if the libido is dammed up to an unusual degree by the lack of application to reality. Miss Miller’s observations about suggestibility inform us, therefore, of the fact that the author is pleased to tell us in her following phantasies something of the history of her love.



The second chapter in Miss Miller’s work is entitled, “Gloire à Dieu. Poème onirique.

When twenty years of age, Miss Miller took a long journey through Europe. We leave the description of it to her:

“After a long and rough journey from New York to Stockholm, from there to Petersburg and Odessa, I found it a true pleasure[60] to leave the world of inhabited cities—and to enter the world of waves, sky and silence—I stayed hours long on deck to dream, stretched out in a reclining chair. The histories, legends and myths of the different countries which I saw in the distance, came back to me indistinctly blended together in a sort of luminous mist, in which things lost their reality, while the dreams and thoughts alone took on somewhat the appearance of reality. At first, I even avoided all company and kept to myself, lost wholly in my dreams, where all that I knew of great, beautiful and good came back into my consciousness with new strength and new life. I also employed a great part of my time writing to my distant friends, reading and sketching out short poems about the regions visited. Some of these poems were of a very serious character.”

It may seem superfluous, perhaps, to enter intimately into all these details. If we recall, however, the remark made above,—that when people let their unconscious speak, they always tell us the most important things of 50their intimate selves—then even the smallest detail appears to have meaning. Valuable personalities invariably tell us, through their unconscious, things that are generally valuable, so that patient interest is rewarded.

Miss Miller describes here a state of “introversion.” After the life of the cities with their many impressions had been absorbing her interest (with that already discussed strength of suggestion which powerfully enforced the impression) she breathed freely upon the ocean, and after so many external impressions, became engrossed wholly in the internal with intentional abstraction from the surroundings, so that things lost their reality and dreams became truth. We know from psychopathology that certain mental disturbances[61] exist which are first manifested by the individuals shutting themselves off slowly, more and more, from reality and sinking into their phantasies, during which process, in proportion as the reality loses its hold, the inner world gains in reality and determining power.[62] This process leads to a certain point (which varies with the individual) when the patients suddenly become more or less conscious of their separation from reality. The event which then enters is the pathological excitation: that is to say, the patients begin to turn towards the environment, with diseased views (to be sure) which, however, still represent the compensating, although unsuccessful, attempt at transference.[63] The methods of reaction are, naturally, very different. I will not concern myself more closely about this here.

This type appears to be generally a psychological rule 51which holds good for all neuroses and, therefore, also for the normal in a much less degree. We might, therefore, expect that Miss Miller, after this energetic and persevering introversion, which had even encroached for a time upon the feeling of reality, would succumb anew to an impression of the real world and also to just as suggestive and energetic an influence as that of her dreams. Let us proceed with the narrative:

“But as the journey drew to an end, the ship’s officers outdid themselves in kindness (tout ce qu’il y a de plus empressé et de plus aimable) and I passed many amusing hours teaching them English. On the Sicilian coast, in the harbor of Catania, I wrote a sailor’s song which was very similar to a song well known on the sea, (Brine, wine and damsels fine). The Italians in general all sing very well, and one of the officers who sang on deck during night watch, had made a great impression upon me and had given me the idea of writing some words adapted to his melody. Soon after that, I was very nearly obliged to reverse the well-known saying, ‘Veder Napoli e poi morir,’—that is to say, suddenly I became very ill, although not dangerously so. I recovered to such an extent, however, that I could go on land to visit the sights of the city in a carriage. This day tired me very much, and since we had planned to see Pisa the following day, I went on board early in the evening and soon lay down to sleep without thinking of anything more serious than the beauty of the officers and the ugliness of the Italian beggars.”

One is somewhat disappointed at meeting here, instead of the expected impression of reality, rather a small intermezzo, a flirtation. Nevertheless, one of the officers, the singer, had made a great impression (il m’avait fait beaucoup d’impression). The remark at the close of the description, “sans songer à rien de plus sérieux qu’à la 52beauté des officiers,” and so on, diminishes the seriousness of the impression, it is true. The assumption, however, that the impression openly influenced the mood very much, is supported by the fact that a poem upon a subject of such an erotic character came forth immediately, “Brine, wine and damsels fine,” and in the singer’s honor. One is only too easily inclined to take such an impression lightly, and one admits so gladly the statements of the participators when they represent everything as simple and not at all serious. I dwell upon this impression at length, because it is important to know that an erotic impression after such an introversion, has a deep effect and is undervalued, possibly, by Miss Miller. The suddenly passing sickness is obscure and needs a psychologic interpretation which cannot be touched upon here because of lack of data. The phenomena now to be described can only be explained as arising from a disturbance which reaches to the very depths of her being.

“From Naples to Livorno, the ship travelled for a night, during which I slept more or less well,—my sleep, however, is seldom deep or dreamless. It seemed to me as if my mother’s voice wakened me, just at the end of the following dream. At first I had a vague conception of the words, ‘When the morning stars sang together,’ which were the praeludium of a certain confused representation of creation and of the mighty chorals resounding through the universe. In spite of the strange, contradictory and confused character which is peculiar to the dream, there was mingled in it the chorus of an oratorio which has been given by one of the foremost musical societies of New York, and with that were also memories of Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost.’ Then from out of this whirl, there slowly emerged certain words, which arranged themselves into three strophes and, indeed, they seemed 53to be in my own handwriting on ordinary blue-lined writing paper on a page of my old poetry book which I always carried around with me; in short, they appeared to me exactly as some minutes later they were in reality in my book.”

Miss Miller now wrote down the following poem, which she rearranged somewhat a few months later, to make it more nearly, in her opinion, like the dream original.

“When the Eternal first made Sound
A myriad ears sprang out to hear,
And throughout all the Universe
There rolled an echo deep and clear:
All glory to the God of Sound!
“When the Eternal first made Light
A myriad eyes sprang out to look,
And hearing ears and seeing eyes
Once more a mighty choral took:
All glory to the God of Light!
“When the Eternal first gave Love
A myriad hearts sprang into life;
Ears filled with music, eyes with light;
Pealed forth with hearts with love all rife:
All glory to the God of Love!”

Before we enter upon Miss Miller’s attempt to bring to light through her suppositions[64] the root of this subliminal creation, we will attempt a short analytic survey of the material already in our possession. The impression on the ship has already been properly emphasized, so that we need have no further difficulty in gaining possession of the dynamic process which brought about this poetical revelation. It was made clear in the preceding 54paragraphs that Miss Miller possibly had not inconsiderably undervalued the importance of the erotic impression. This assumption gains in probability through experience, which shows that, very generally, relatively weak erotic impressions are greatly undervalued. One can see this best in cases where those concerned, either from social or moral grounds, consider an erotic relation as something quite impossible; for example, parents and children, brothers and sisters, relations (homosexual) between older and younger men, and so on. If the impression is relatively slight, then it does not exist at all for the participators; if the impression is strong, then a tragic dependence arises, which may result in some great nonsense, or be carried to any extent. This lack of understanding can go unbelievably far; mothers, who see the first erections of the small son in their own bed, a sister who half-playfully embraces her brother, a twenty-year-old daughter who still seats herself on her father’s lap, and then has “strange” sensations in her “abdomen.” They are all morally indignant to the highest degree if one speaks of “sexuality.” Finally, our whole education is carried on with the tacit agreement to know as little as possible of the erotic, and to spread abroad the deepest ignorance in regard to it. It is no wonder, therefore, that the judgment, in puncto, of the importance of an erotic impression is generally unsafe and inadequate.

Miss Miller was under the influence of a deep erotic impression, as we have seen. Because of the sum-total of the feelings aroused by this, it does not seem that this impression was more than dimly realized, for the dream 55had to contain a powerful repetition. From analytic experience, one knows that the early dreams which patients bring for analysis are none the less of especial interest, because of the fact that they bring out criticisms and valuations of the physician’s personality, which previously, would have been asked for directly in vain. They enrich the conscious impression which the patient had of his physician, and often concerning very important points. They are naturally erotic observations which the unconscious was forced to make, just because of the quite universal undervaluation and uncertain judgment of the relatively weak erotic impression. In the drastic and hyperbolic manner of expression of the dream, the impression often appears in almost unintelligible form on account of the immeasurable dimension of the symbol. A further peculiarity which seems to rest upon the historic strata of the unconscious, is this—that an erotic impression, to which conscious acknowledgment is denied, usurps an earlier and discarded transference and expresses itself in that. Therefore, it frequently happens, for example, that among young girls at the time of their first love, remarkable difficulties develop in the capacity for erotic expression, which may be reduced analytically to disturbances through a regressive attempt at resuscitation of the father image, or the “Father-Imago.”[65]

Indeed, one might presume something similar in Miss Miller’s case, for the idea of the masculine creative deity is a derivation, analytically and historically psychologic, of the “Father-Imago,”[66] and aims, above all, to replace the discarded infantile father transference in such a way 56that for the individual the passing from the narrow circle of the family into the wider circle of human society may be simpler or made easier.

In the light of this reflection, we can see, in the poem and its “Praeludium,” the religious, poetically formed product of an introversion depending upon the surrogate of the “Father-Imago.” In spite of the incomplete apperception of the effectual impression, essential component parts of this are included in the idea of compensation, as marks, so to speak, of its origin. (Pfister has coined for this the striking expression, “Law of the Return of the Complex.”) The effectual impression was that of the officer singing in the night watch, “When the morning stars sang together.” The idea of this opened a new world to the girl. (Creation.)

This creator has created tone, then light, and then love. That the first to be created should have been tone, can be made clear only individually, for there is no cosmogony except the Gnosis of Hermes, a generally quite unknown system, which would have such tendencies. But now we might venture a conjecture, which is already apparent, and which soon will be proven thoroughly, viz., the following chain of associations: the singer—the singing morning stars—the God of tone—the Creator—the God of Light—(of the sun)—(of the fire)—and of Love.

The links of this chain are proven by the material, with the exception of sun and fire, which I put in parentheses, but which, however, will be proven through what follows in the further course of the analysis. All of these expressions, with one exception, belong to erotic speech. (“My 57God, star, light; my sun, fire of love, fiery love,” etc.) “Creator” appears indistinct at first, but becomes understandable through the reference to the undertone of Eros, to the vibrating chord of Nature, which attempts to renew itself in every pair of lovers, and awaits the wonder of creation.

Miss Miller had taken pains to disclose the unconscious creation of her mind to her understanding, and, indeed through a procedure which agrees in principle with psychoanalysis, and, therefore, leads to the same results as psychoanalysis. But, as usually happens with laymen and beginners, Miss Miller, because she had no knowledge of psychoanalysis, left off at the thoughts which necessarily bring the deep complex lying at the bottom of it to light in an indirect, that is to say, censored manner. More than this, a simple method, merely the carrying out of the thought to its conclusion, is sufficient to discover the meaning. Miss Miller finds it astonishing that her unconscious phantasy does not, following the Mosaic account of creation, put light in the first place, instead of tone.

Now follows an explanation, theoretically constructed and correct ad hoc, the hollowness of which is, however, characteristic of all similar attempts at explanation. She says:

“It is perhaps interesting to recall that Anaxagoras also had the Cosmos arise out of chaos through a sort of whirlwind, which does not happen usually without producing sound.[67] But at this time I had studied no philosophy, and knew nothing either of Anaxagoras or of his theories about the ‘νοῦς,’ which I, unconsciously, was openly following. At that time, also, I was equally 58in complete ignorance of Leibnitz, and, therefore, knew nothing of his doctrine ‘dum Deus calculat, fit mundus.’”

Miss Miller’s references to Anaxagoras and to Leibnitz both refer to creation by means of thought; that is to say, that divine thought alone could bring forth a new material reality, a reference at first not intelligible, but which will soon, however, be more easily understood.

We now come to those fancies from which Miss Miller principally drew her unconscious creation.

“In the first place, there is the ‘Paradise Lost’ by Milton, which we had at home in the edition illustrated by Doré, and which had often delighted me from childhood. Then the ‘Book of Job,’ which had been read aloud to me since the time of my earliest recollection. Moreover, if one compares the first words of ‘Paradise Lost’ with my first verse, one notices that there is the same verse measure.

“‘Of man’s first disobedience ...
“‘When the Eternal first made sound.’

“My poem also recalls various passages in Job, and one or two places in Handel’s Oratorio ‘The Creation,’ which came out very indistinctly in the first part of the dream.”[68]

The “Lost Paradise” which, as is well known, is so closely connected with the beginning of the world, is made more clearly evident by the verse—

“Of man’s first disobedience”

which is concerned evidently with the fall, the meaning of which need not be shown any further. I know the objection which every one unacquainted with psychoanalysis will raise, viz., that Miss Miller might just as well have chosen any other verse as an example, and that, accidentally, she had taken the first one that happened 59to appear which had this content, also accidentally. As is well known, the criticism which we hear equally from our medical colleagues, and from our patients, is generally based on such arguments. This misunderstanding arises from the fact that the law of causation in the psychical sphere is not taken seriously enough; that is to say, there are no accidents, no “just as wells.” It is so, and there is, therefore, a sufficient reason at hand why it is so. It is moreover true that Miss Miller’s poem is connected with the fall, wherein just that erotic component comes forth, the existence of which we have surmised above.

Miss Miller neglects to tell which passages in Job occurred to her mind. These, unfortunately, are therefore only general suppositions. Take first, the analogy to the Lost Paradise. Job lost all that he had, and this was due to an act of Satan, who wished to incite him against God. In the same way mankind, through the temptation of the serpent, lost Paradise, and was plunged into earth’s torments. The idea, or rather the mood which is expressed by the reference to the Lost Paradise, is Miss Miller’s feeling that she had lost something which was connected with satanic temptation. To her it happened, just as to Job, that she suffered innocently, for she did not fall a victim to temptation. Job’s sufferings are not understood by his friends;[69] no one knows that Satan has taken a hand in the game, and that Job is truly innocent. Job never tires of avowing his innocence. Is there a hint in that? We know that certain neurotic and especially mentally diseased people continually defend 60their innocence against non-existent attacks; however, one discovers at a closer examination that the patient, while he apparently defends his innocence without reason, fulfils with that a “Deckhandlung,” the energy for which arises from just those impulses, whose sinful character is revealed by the contents of the pretended reproach and calumny.[70]

Job suffered doubly, on one side through the loss of his fortune, on the other through the lack of understanding in his friends; the latter can be seen throughout the book. The suffering of the misunderstood recalls the figure of Cyrano de Bergerac—he too suffered doubly, on one side through hopeless love, on the other side through misunderstanding. He falls, as we have seen, in the last hopeless battle against “Le Mensonge, les Compromis, les Préjugés, les Lâchetés et la Sottise.—Oui, Vous m’arrachez tout le laurier et la rose!

Job laments

“God delivereth me to the ungodly,
And casteth me into the hands of the wicked,
I was at ease, and he brake me asunder;
Yea, he hath taken me by the neck, and dashed me to pieces:
He hath also set me up for his mark.
His archers compass me round about;
He cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare;
He poureth out my gall upon the ground.
He breaketh me with breach upon breach;
He runneth upon me like a giant.”—Job xvi: 11–15.

The analogy of feeling lies in the suffering of the hopeless struggle against the more powerful. It is as if this conflict were accompanied from afar by the sounds of 61“creation,” which brings up a beautiful and mysterious image belonging to the unconscious, and which has not yet forced its way up to the light of the upper world. We surmise, rather than know, that this battle has really something to do with creation, with the struggles between negations and affirmations. The references to Rostand’s “Cyrano” through the identification with Christian, to Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” to the sorrows of Job, misunderstood by his friends, betray plainly that in the soul of the poet something was identified with these ideas. She also has suffered like Cyrano and Job, has lost paradise, and dreams of “creation,”—creation by means of thought—fruition through the whirlwind of Anaxagoras.[71]

We once more submit ourselves to Miss Miller’s guidance:

“I remember that when fifteen years old, I was once very much stirred up over an article, read aloud to me by my mother, concerning the idea which spontaneously produced its object. I was so excited that I could not sleep all night because of thinking over and over again what that could mean.

“From the age of nine to sixteen, I went every Sunday to a Presbyterian Church, in charge of which, at that time, was a very cultured minister. In one of the earliest memories which I have retained of him, I see myself as a very small girl sitting in a very large pew, continually endeavoring to keep myself awake and pay attention, without in the least being able to understand what he meant when he spoke to us of Chaos, Cosmos and the Gift of Love (don d’amour).”

There are also rather early memories of the awakening of puberty (nine to sixteen) which have connected the idea of the cosmos springing from chaos with the 62don d’amour.” The medium in which these associations occur is the memory of a certain very much honored ecclesiastic who spoke those dark words. From the same period of time comes the remembrance of that excitement about the idea of the “creative thought” which from itself “produced its object.” Here are two ways of creation intimated: the creative thought, and the mysterious reference to the “don d’amour.

At the time when I had not yet understood the nature of psychoanalysis, I had a fortunate opportunity of winning through continual observation a deep insight into the soul of a fifteen-year-old girl. Then I discovered, with astonishment, what the contents of the unconscious phantasies are, and how far removed they are from those which a girl of that age shows outwardly. There are wide-reaching phantasies of truly mythical fruitfulness. The girl was, in the split-off phantasy, the race-mother of uncounted peoples.[72] If we deduct the poetically spoken phantasy of the girl, elements are left which at that age are common to all girls, for the unconscious content is to an infinitely greater degree common to all mankind than the content of the individual consciousness. For it is the condensation of that which is historically the average and ordinary.

Miss Miller’s problem at this age was the common human problem: “How am I to be creative?” Nature knows but one answer to that: “Through the child (don d’amour!).” “But how is the child attained?” Here the terrifying problem emerges, which, as our analytic experience shows, is connected with the father,[73] where 63it cannot be solved; because the original sin of incest weighs heavily for all time upon the human race. The strong and natural love which binds the child to the father, turns away in those years during which the humanity of the father would be all too plainly recognized, to the higher forms of the father, to the “Fathers” of the church, and to the Father God,[74] visibly represented by them, and in that there lies still less possibility of solving the problem. However, mythology is not lacking in consolations. Has not the logos become flesh too? Has not the divine pneuma, even the logos, entered the Virgin’s womb and lived among us as the son of man? That whirlwind of Anaxagoras was precisely the divine νοῦς which from out of itself has become the world. Why do we cherish the image of the Virgin Mother even to this day? Because it is always comforting and says without speech or noisy sermon to the one seeking comfort, “I too have become a mother,”—through the “idea which spontaneously produces its object.”

I believe that there is foundation enough at hand for a sleepless night, if those phantasies peculiar to the age of puberty were to become possessed of this idea—the results would be immeasurable! All that is psychologic has an under and an over meaning, as is expressed in the profound remark of the old mystic: οὐρανὸς ἄνο, οὐρανὸς κάτο, αἰθέρα ἄνο, αἰθέρα κάτο, πᾶν τοῦτο ἄνο, πᾶν τοῦτο κάτο, τοῦτο λαβὲ καὶ εὐτυχει[75]

64We would show but slight justice, however, to the intellectual originality of our author, if we were satisfied to trace back the commotion of that sleepless night absolutely and entirely to the sexual problem in a narrow sense. That would be but one-half, and truly, to make use of the mystic’s expression, only the under half. The other half is the intellectual sublimation, which strives to make true in its own way the ambiguous expression of “the idea which produces its object spontaneously,”—ideal creation in place of the real.

In such an intellectual accomplishment of an evidently very capable personality, the prospect of a spiritual fruitfulness is something which is worthy of the highest aspiration, since for many it will become a necessity of life. Also this side of the phantasy explains, to a great extent, the excitement, for it is a thought with a presentiment of the future; one of those thoughts which arise, to use one of Maeterlinck’s expressions,[76] from the “inconscient supérieur,” that “prospective potency” of subliminal combinations.[77]

I have had the opportunity of observing certain cases of neuroses of years’ duration, in which, at the time of the beginning of the illness or shortly before, a dream occurred, often of visionary clarity. This impressed itself inextinguishably upon the memory, and in analysis revealed a hidden meaning to the patient which anticipated the subsequent events of life; that is to say, their psychologic meaning.[78] I am inclined to grant this meaning to the commotion of that restless night, because the resulting events of life, in so far as Miss Miller consciously 65and unconsciously unveils them to us, are entirely of a nature to confirm the supposition that that moment is to be considered as the inception and presentiment of a sublimated aim in life.

Miss Miller concludes the list of her fancies with the following remarks:

“The dream seemed to me to come from a mixture of the representation of ‘Paradise Lost,’ ‘Job,’ and ‘Creation,’ with ideas such as ‘thought which spontaneously produces its object’: ‘the gift of love,’ ‘chaos, and cosmos.’”

In the same way as colored splinters of glass are combined in a kaleidoscope, in her mind fragments of philosophy, æsthetics and religion would seem to be combined—

“under the stimulating influence of the journey, and the countries hurriedly seen, combined with the great silence and the indescribable charm of the sea. ‘Ce ne fut que cela et rien de plus.’ ‘Only this, and nothing more!’”

With these words, Miss Miller shows us out, politely and energetically. Her parting words in her negation, confirmed over again in English, leave behind a curiosity; viz., what position is to be negated by these words? “Ce ne fut que cela et rien de plus”—that is to say, really, only “le charme impalpable de la mer”—and the young man who sang melodiously during the night watch is long since forgotten, and no one is to know, least of all the dreamer, that he was a morning star, who came before the creation of a new day.[79] One should take care lest he satisfy himself and the reader with a sentence such as “ce ne fut que cela.” Otherwise, it might immediately 66happen that one would become disturbed again. This occurs to Miss Miller too, since she allowed an English quotation to follow,—“Only this, and nothing more,” without giving the source, it is true. The quotation comes from an unusually effective poem, “The Raven” by Poe. The line referred to occurs in the following:

“While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door—
‘’Tis some visitor.’ I muttered, ‘tapping at my chamber door’—
Only this, and nothing more.”

The spectral raven knocks nightly at his door and reminds the poet of his irrevocably lost “Lenore.” The raven’s name is “Nevermore,” and as a refrain to every verse he croaks his horrible “Nevermore.” Old memories come back tormentingly, and the spectre repeats inexorably “Nevermore.” The poet seeks in vain to frighten away the dismal guest; he calls to the raven:

“‘Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend,’ I shrieked, upstarting—
‘Get thee back into the tempest and the night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken, quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’
Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.’”

That quotation, which, apparently, skips lightly over the situation, “Only this, and nothing more,” comes from a text which depicts in an affecting manner the despair over the lost Lenore. That quotation also misleads our poet in the most striking manner. Therefore, she undervalues 67the erotic impression and the wide-reaching effect of the commotion caused by it. It is this undervaluation, which Freud has formulated more precisely as “repression,” which is the reason why the erotic problem does not attain directly conscious treatment, and from this there arise “these psychologic riddles.” The erotic impression works in the unconscious, and, in its stead, pushes symbols forth into consciousness. Thus, one plays hide-and-seek with one’s self. First, it is “the morning stars which sing together”; then “Paradise Lost”; then the erotic yearning clothes itself in an ecclesiastical dress and utters dark words about “World Creation” and finally rises into a religious hymn to find there, at last, a way out into freedom, a way against which the censor of the moral personality can oppose nothing more. The hymn contains in its own peculiar character the marks of its origin. It thus has fulfilled itself—the “Law of the Return of the Complex.” The night singer, in this circuitous manner of the old transference to the Father-Priest, has become the “Eternal,” the “Creator,” the God of Tone, of Light, of Love.

The indirect course of the libido seems to be a way of sorrow; at least “Paradise Lost” and the parallel reference to Job lead one to that conclusion. If we take, in addition to this, the introductory intimation of the identification with Christian, which we see concludes with Cyrano, then we are furnished with material which pictures the indirect course of the libido as truly a way of sorrow. It is the same as when mankind, after the sinful fall, had the burden of the earthly life to bear, or like 68the tortures of Job, who suffered under the power of Satan and of God, and who himself, without suspecting it, became a plaything of the superhuman forces which we no longer consider as metaphysical, but as metapsychological. Faust also offers us the same exhibition of God’s wager.


What will you bet? There’s still a chance to gain him
If unto me full leave you give
Gently upon my road to train him!


But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.—Job i: 11.

While in Job the two great tendencies are characterized simply as good and bad, the problem in Faust is a pronouncedly erotic one; viz., the battle between sublimation and eros, in which the Devil is strikingly characterized through the fitting rôle of the erotic tempter. The erotic is lacking in Job; at the same time Job is not conscious of the conflict within his own soul; he even continuously disputes the arguments of his friends who wish to convince him of evil in his own heart. To this extent, one might say that Faust is considerably more honorable since he openly confesses to the torments of his soul.

Miss Miller acts like Job; she says nothing, and lets the evil and the good come from the other world, from the metapsychologic. Therefore, the identification with Job is also significant in this respect. A wider, and, indeed, 69a very important analogy remains to be mentioned. The creative power, which love really is, rightly considered from the natural standpoint, remains as the real attribute of the Divinity, sublimated from the erotic impression; therefore, in the poem God is praised throughout as Creator.

Job offers the same illustration. Satan is the destroyer of Job’s fruitfulness. God is the fruitful one himself, therefore, at the end of the book, he gives forth, as an expression of his own creative power, this hymn, filled with lofty poetic beauty. In this hymn, strangely enough, two unsympathetic representatives of the animal kingdom, behemoth and the leviathan, both expressive of the crudest force conceivable in nature, are given chief consideration; the behemoth being really the phallic attribute of the God of Creation.

“Behold now behemoth, which I made as well as thee;
He eateth grass as an ox.
Lo, now; his strength is in his loins,
And his force is in the muscles of his belly.
He moveth his tail like a cedar:
The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
His bones are as tubes of brass;
His limbs are like bars of iron.
He is the chief of the ways of God:
He only that made him giveth him his sword....
Behold, if a river overflow, he trembleth not;
He is confident though a Jordan swell even to his mouth.
Shall any take him when he is on the watch.
Or pierce through his nose with a snare?
Canst thou draw leviathan with a fish-hook?
Or press down his tongue with a cord?...
70Lay thy hand upon him;
Remember the battle and do no more.
None is so fierce that dare stir him up:
Who then is he that can stand before me?
Who hath first given unto me, that I should repay him?
Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.”
Job xl: 15–20, 23–24; xli: 1, 8, 10–11.

God says this in order to bring his power and omnipotence impressively before Job’s eyes. God is like the behemoth and the leviathan; the fruitful nature giving forth abundance,—the untamable wildness and boundlessness of nature,—and the overwhelming danger of the unchained power.[80]

But what has destroyed Job’s earthly paradise? The unchained power of nature. As the poet lets it be seen here, God has simply turned his other side outwards for once; the side which man calls the devil, and which lets loose all the torments of nature on Job, naturally for the purpose of discipline and training. The God who created such monstrosities, before whom the poor weak man stiffens with anxiety, truly must hide qualities within himself which are food for thought. This God lives in the heart, in the unconscious, in the realm of metapsychology. There is the source of the anxiety before the unspeakably horrible, and of the strength to withstand the horrors. The person, that is to say his conscious “I,” is like a plaything, like a feather which is whirled around by different currents of air; sometimes the sacrifice and sometimes the sacrificer, and he cannot hinder either. The Book of Job shows us God at work both as creator and destroyer. Who is this God? A thought which humanity in every 71part of the world and in all ages has brought forth from itself and always again anew in similar forms; a power in the other world to which man gives praise, a power which creates as well as destroys, an idea necessary to life. Since, psychologically understood, the divinity is nothing else than a projected complex of representation which is accentuated in feeling according to the degree of religiousness of the individual, so God is to be considered as the representative of a certain sum of energy (libido). This energy, therefore, appears projected (metaphysically) because it works from the unconscious outwards, when it is dislodged from there, as psychoanalysis shows. As I have earlier made apparent in the “Bedeutung des Vaters,” the religious instinct feeds upon the incestuous libido of the infantile period. In the principal forms of religion which now exist, the father transference seems to be at least the moulding influence; in older religions, it seems to be the influence of the mother transference which creates the attributes of the divinity. The attributes of the divinity are omnipotence, a sternly persecuting paternalism ruling through fear (Old Testament) and a loving paternalism (New Testament). These are the attributes of the libido in that wide sense in which Freud has conceived this idea empirically. In certain pagan and also in certain Christian attributes of divinity the maternal stands out strongly, and in the former the animal also comes into the greatest prominence.[81] Likewise, the infantile, so closely interwoven with religious phantasies, and from time to time breaking forth so violently, is nowhere lacking.[82] All this points to the sources 72of the dynamic states of religious activity. These are those impulses which in childhood are withdrawn from incestuous application through the intervention of the incest barrier and which, especially at the time of puberty, as a result of affluxes of libido coming from the still incompletely employed sexuality, are aroused to their own peculiar activity. As is easily understood, that which is valuable in the God-creating idea is not the form but the power, the libido. The primitive power which Job’s Hymn of Creation vindicates, the unconditional and inexorable, the unjust and the superhuman, are truly and rightly attributes of libido, which “lead us unto life,” which “let the poor be guilty,” and against which struggle is in vain. Nothing remains for mankind but to work in harmony with this will. Nietzsche’s “Zarathustra” teaches us this impressively.

We see that in Miss Miller the religious hymn arising from the unconscious is the compensating amend for the erotic; it takes a great part of its materials from the infantile reminiscences which she reawakened into life by the introversion of the libido. Had this religious creation not succeeded (and also had another sublimated application been eliminated) then Miss Miller would have yielded to the erotic impression, either to its natural consequence or to a negative issue, which would have replaced the lost success in love by a correspondingly strong sorrow. It is well known that opinions are much divided concerning the worth of this issue of an erotic conflict, such as Miss Miller has presented to us. It is thought to be much more beautiful to solve unnoticed an 73erotic tension, in the elevated feelings of religious poetry, in which perhaps many other people can find joy and consolation. One is wrong to storm against this conception from the radical standpoint of fanaticism for truth.

I think that one should view with philosophic admiration the strange paths of the libido and should investigate the purposes of its circuitous ways.

It is not too much to say that we have herewith dug up the erotic root, and yet the problem remains unsolved. Were there not bound up with that a mysterious purpose, probably of the greatest biological meaning, then certainly twenty centuries would not have yearned for it with such intense longing. Doubtless, this sort of libidian current moves in the same direction as, taken in the widest sense, did that ecstatic ideal of the Middle Ages and of the ancient mystery cults, one of which became the later Christianity. There is to be seen biologically in this ideal an exercise of psychologic projection (of the paranoidian mechanism, as Freud would express it).[83] The projection consists in the repressing of the conflict into the unconscious and the setting forth of the repressed contents into seeming objectivity, which is also the formula of paranoia. The repression serves, as is well known, for the freeing from a painful complex from which one must escape by all means because its compelling and oppressing power is feared. The repression can lead to an apparent complete suppression which corresponds to a strong self-control. Unfortunately, however, self-control has limits which are only too narrowly drawn. 74Closer observation of people shows, it is true, that calm is maintained at the critical moment, but certain results occur which fall into two categories.

First, the suppressed effect comes to the surface immediately afterwards; seldom directly, it is true, but ordinarily in the form of a displacement to another object (e. g. a person is, in official relations, polite, submissive, patient, and so on, and turns his whole anger loose upon his wife or his subordinates).

Second, the suppressed effect creates compensations elsewhere. For example, people who strive for excessive ethics, who try always to think, feel, and act altruistically and ideally, avenge themselves, because of the impossibility of carrying out their ideals, by subtle maliciousness, which naturally does not come into their own consciousness as such, but which leads to misunderstandings and unhappy situations. Apparently, then, all of these are only “especially unfortunate circumstances,” or they are the guilt and malice of other people, or they are tragic complications.

One is, indeed, freed of the conscious conflict, nevertheless it lies invisible at one’s feet, and is stumbled over at every step. The technic of the apparent suppressing and forgetting is inadequate because it is not possible of achievement in the last analysis—it is in reality a mere makeshift. The religious projection offers a much more effectual help. In this one keeps the conflict in sight (care, pain, anxiety, and so on) and gives it over to a personality standing outside of one’s self, the Divinity. The evangelical command teaches us this:

75“Cast all your anxiety upon him, because he careth for you.”—I Peter v: 7.

“In nothing be anxious; but in every thing by prayer and supplication ... let your requests be made known unto God.”—Phil. iv: 6.

One must give the burdening complex of the soul consciously over to the Deity; that is to say, associate it with a definite representation complex which is set up as objectively real, as a person who answers those questions, for us unanswerable. To this inner demand belongs the candid avowal of sin and the Christian humility presuming such an avowal. Both are for the purpose of making it possible for one to examine one’s self and to know one’s self.[84] One may consider the mutual avowal of sins as the most powerful support to this work of education (“Confess, therefore, your sins one to another.”—James v: 16). These measures aim at a conscious recognition of the conflicts, thoroughly psychoanalytic, which is also a conditio sine qua non of the psychoanalytic condition of recovery. Just as psychoanalysis in the hands of the physician, a secular method, sets up the real object of transference as the one to take over the conflicts of the oppressed and to solve them, so the Christian religion sets up the Saviour, considered as real; “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins....” (Eph. i: 7 and Col. i: 14.)[85] He is the deliverer and redeemer of our guilt, a God who stands above sin, “who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (Pet. ii: 22). “Who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree” (Pet. ii: 24). “Therefore 76Christ has been sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (Heb. ix: 28). The God, thus thought of, is distinguished as innocent in himself and as the self-sacrificer. (These qualities are true also for that amount of energy—libido—which belongs to the representation complex designated the Redeemer.) The conscious projection towards which the Christian education aims, offers, therefore, a double benefit: first, one is kept conscious of the conflict (sins) of two opposing tendencies mutually resistant, and through this one prevents a known trouble from becoming, by means of repressing and forgetting, an unknown and therefore so much more tormenting sorrow. Secondly, one lightens one’s burden by surrendering it to him to whom all solutions are known. One must not forget that the individual psychologic roots of the Deity, set up as real by the pious, are concealed from him, and that he, although unaware of this, still bears the burden alone and is still alone with his conflict. This delusion would lead infallibly to the speedy breaking up of the system, for Nature cannot indefinitely be deceived, but the powerful institution of Christianity meets this situation. The command in the book of James is the best expression of the psychologic significance of this: “Bear ye one another’s burdens.”[86]

This is emphasized as especially important in order to preserve society upright through mutual love (Transference); the Pauline writings leave no doubt about this:

“Through love be servants one to another.”—Gal. v: 13.

“Let love of the brethren continue.”—Heb. xiii: 1.

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and 77good works. Not forgetting our own assembling together as is the custom of some, but exhorting one another.”—Heb. x: 24–25.

We might say that the real transference taught in the Christian community is the condition absolutely necessary for the efficacy of the miracle of redemption; the first letter of John comes out frankly with this:

“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light.”—I John ii: 10.

“If we love one another, God abideth in us.”—I John iv: 12.

The Deity continues to be efficacious in the Christian religion only upon the foundation of brotherly love. Consequently, here too the mystery of redemption is the unresisting real transference.[87] One may properly ask one’s self, for what then is the Deity useful, if his efficacy consists only in the real transference? To this also the evangelical message has a striking answer:

“Men are all brothers in Christ.”

“So Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time apart from sin to them that wait for him unto salvation.”—Heb. ix: 28.

The condition of transference among brothers is to be such as between man and Christ, a spiritual one. As the history of ancient cults and certain Christian sects shows, this explanation of the Christian religion is an especially important one biologically, for the psychologic intimacy creates certain shortened ways between men which lead only too easily to that from which Christianity seeks to release them, namely to the sexual relation with all those 78consequences and necessities under which the really already highly civilized man had to suffer at the beginning of our Christian era. For just as the ancient religious experience was regarded distinctly as a bodily union with the Deity,[88] just so was worship permeated with sexuality of every kind. Sexuality lay only too close to the relations of people with each other. The moral degeneracy of the first Christian century produced a moral reaction arising out of the darkness of the lowest strata of society which was expressed in the second and third centuries at its purest in the two antagonistic religions, Christianity on the one side, and Mithracism on the other. These religions strove after precisely that higher form of social intercourse symbolic of a projected “become flesh” idea (logos), whereby all those strongest impulsive energies of the archaic man, formerly plunging him from one passion into another,[89] and which seemed to the ancients like the compulsion of the evil constellations, as εἱμαρμένη,[90] and which in the sense of later ages might be translated as the driving force of the libido,[91] the δύναμις κινητική[92] of Zeno, could be made use of for social preservation.[93]

It may be assumed most certainly that the domestication of humanity has cost the greatest sacrifices. An age which produced the stoical ideal must certainly have known why and against what it was created. The age of Nero serves to set off effectually the famous extracts from the forty-first letter of Seneca to Lucilius:

79“One drags the other into error, and how can we attain to salvation when no one bids us halt, when all the world drives us in deeper?”

“Do you ever come across a man unafraid in danger, untouched by desires, happy in misfortune, peaceful in the midst of a storm, elevated above ordinary mortals, on the same plane as the gods, does not reverence seize you? Are you not compelled to say, ‘Such an exalted being is certainly something different from the miserable body which he inhabits?’ A divine strength rules there, such an excellent mind, full of moderation, raised above all trivialities, which smiles at that which we others fear or strive after: a heavenly power animates such a person, a thing of this kind does not exist without the coöperation of a deity. The largest part of such a being belongs to the region from which he came. Just as the sun’s rays touch the earth in reality and yet are at home only there from whence they come, so an eminent holy man associates with us. He is sent to us that we may learn to know the divine better, and although with us, still really belongs to his original home. He looks thither and reaches towards it; among us he walks as an exalted being.”

The people of this age had grown ripe for identification with the λόγος (word) “become flesh,” for the founding of a new fellowship, united by one idea,[94] in the name of which people could love each other and call each other brothers.[95] The old vague idea of a μεσίτης (Messiah), of a mediator in whose name new ways of love would be created, became a fact, and with that humanity made an immense step forward. This had not been brought about by a speculative, completely sophisticated philosophy, but by an elementary need in the mass of people vegetating in spiritual darkness. The profoundest necessities had evidently driven them towards that, since humanity did not thrive in a state of dissoluteness.[96] The 80meaning of those cults—I speak of Christianity and Mithracism—is clear; it is a moral restraint of animal impulses.[97] The dynamic appearance of both religions betrays something of that enormous feeling of redemption which animated the first disciples and which we to-day scarcely know how to appreciate, for these old truths are empty to us. Most certainly we should still understand it, had our customs even a breath of ancient brutality, for we can hardly realize in this day the whirlwinds of the unchained libido which roared through the ancient Rome of the Cæsars. The civilized man of the present day seems very far removed from that. He has become merely neurotic. So for us the necessities which brought forth Christianity have actually been lost, since we no longer understand their meaning. We do not know against what it had to protect us.[98] For enlightened people, the so-called religiousness has already approached very close to a neurosis. In the past two thousand years Christianity has done its work and has erected barriers of repression, which protect us from the sight of our own “sinfulness.” The elementary emotions of the libido have come to be unknown to us, for they are carried on in the unconscious; therefore, the belief which combats them has become hollow and empty. Let whoever does not believe that a mask covers our religion, obtain an impression for himself from the appearance of our modern churches, from which style and art have long since fled.

With this we turn back to the question from which we digressed, namely, whether or not Miss Miller has created 81something valuable with her poem. If we bear in mind under what psychologic or moral conditions Christianity came into existence; that is to say, at a time when fierce brutality was an every-day spectacle, then we understand the religious seizure of the whole personality and the worth of that religion which defended the people of the Roman culture against the visible storms of wickedness. It was not difficult for those people to remain conscious of sin, for they saw it every day spread out before their eyes. The religious product was at that time the accomplishment of the total personality. Miss Miller not only undervalues her “sins,” but the connection between the “depressing and unrelenting need” and her religious product has even escaped her. Thus her poetical creation completely loses the living value of a religious product. It is not much more than a sentimental transformation of the erotic which is secretly carried out close to consciousness and principally possesses the same worth as the manifest content of the dream[99] with its uncertain and delusive perishableness. Thus the poem is properly only a dream become audible.

To the degree that the modern consciousness is eagerly busied with things of a wholly other sort than religion, religion and its object, original sin, have stepped into the background; that is to say, into the unconscious in great part. Therefore, to-day man believes neither in the one nor in the other. Consequently the Freudian school is accused of an impure phantasy, and yet one might convince one’s self very easily with a rather fleeting glance at the history of ancient religions and morals as to what kind 82of demons are harbored in the human soul. With this disbelief in the crudeness of human nature is bound up the disbelief in the power of religion. The phenomenon, well known to every psychoanalyst, of the unconscious transformation of an erotic conflict into religious activity is something ethically wholly worthless and nothing but an hysterical production. Whoever, on the other hand, to his conscious sin just as consciously places religion in opposition, does something the greatness of which cannot be denied. This can be verified by a backward glance over history. Such a procedure is sound religion. The unconscious recasting of the erotic into something religious lays itself open to the reproach of a sentimental and ethically worthless pose.

By means of the secular practice of the naïve projection which is, as we have seen, nothing else than a veiled or indirect real-transference (through the spiritual, through the logos), Christian training has produced a widespread weakening of the animal nature so that a great part of the strength of the impulses could be set free for the work of social preservation and fruitfulness.[100] This abundance of libido, to make use of this singular expression, pursues with a budding renaissance (for example Petrarch) a course which outgoing antiquity had already sketched out as religious; viz., the way of the transference to nature.[101] The transformation of this libidinous interest is in great part due to the Mithraic worship, which was a nature religion in the best sense of the word;[102] while the primitive Christians exhibited throughout an antagonistic attitude to the beauties of this 83world.[103] I remember the passage of St. Augustine mentioned by J. Burckhardt:

“Men draw thither to admire the heights of the mountains and the powerful waves of the sea—and to turn away from themselves.”

The foremost authority on the Mithraic cult, Franz Cumont,[104] says as follows:

“The gods were everywhere and mingled in all the events of daily life. The fire which cooked the means of nourishment for the believers and which warmed them; the water which quenched their thirst and cleansed them; also the air which they breathed, and the day which shone for them, were the objects of their homage. Perhaps no religion has given to its adherents in so large a degree as Mithracism opportunity for prayer and motive for devotion. When the initiated betook himself in the evening to the sacred grotto concealed in the solitude of the forest, at every step new sensations awakened in his heart some mystical emotion. The stars that shone in the sky, the wind that whispered in the foliage, the spring or brook which hastened murmuring to the valley, even the earth which he trod under his feet, were in his eyes divine; and all surrounding nature a worshipful fear of the infinite forces that swayed the universe.”

These fundamental thoughts of Mithracism, which, like so much else of the ancient spiritual life, arose again from their grave during the renaissance are to be found in the beautiful words of Seneca:[105]

“When you enter a grove peopled with ancient trees, higher than the ordinary, and whose boughs are so closely interwoven that the sky cannot be seen, the stately shadows of the wood, the privacy of the place, and the awful gloom cannot but strike you, as with the presence of a deity, or when we see some cave at the foot of a mountain penetrating the rocks, not made by human 84hands, but hollowed out to great depths by nature; it fills the mind with a religious fear; we venerate the fountain-heads of great rivers; the sudden eruption of a vast body of water from the secret places of the earth, obtains an altar: we adore likewise the springs of warm baths, and either the opaque quality or immense depths, hath made some lakes sacred.”

All this disappeared in the transitory world of the Christian, only to break forth much later when the thought of mankind had achieved that independence of the idea which could resist the æsthetic impression, so that thought was no longer fettered by the emotional effects of the impression, but could rise to reflective observation. Thus man entered into a new and independent relation to nature whereby the foundation was laid for natural science and technique. With that, however, there entered in for the first time a displacement of the weight of interest; there arose again real-transference which has reached its greatest development in our time. Materialistic interest has everywhere become paramount. Therefore, the realms of the spirit, where earlier the greatest conflicts and developments took place, lie deserted and fallow; the world has not only lost its God as the sentimentalists of the nineteenth century bewail, but also to some extent has lost its soul as well. One, therefore, cannot wonder that the discoveries and doctrines of the Freudian school, with their wholly psychologic views, meet with an almost universal disapproval. Through the change of the centre of interest from the inner to the outer world, the knowledge of nature has increased enormously in comparison with that of earlier times. By this the anthropomorphic conception of the religious dogmas has been definitely thrown 85open to question; therefore, the present-day religions can only with the greatest difficulty close their eyes to this fact; for not only has the intense interest been diverted from the Christian religion, but criticism and the necessary correction have increased correspondingly. The Christian religion seems to have fulfilled its great biological purpose, in so far as we are able to judge. It has led human thought to independence, and has lost its significance, therefore, to a yet undetermined extent; in any case its dogmatic contents have become related to Mithracism. In consideration of the fact that this religion has rendered, nevertheless, inconceivable service to education, one cannot reject it “eo ipso” to-day. It seems to me that we might still make use in some way of its form of thought, and especially of its great wisdom of life, which for two thousand years has been proven to be particularly efficacious. The stumbling block is the unhappy combination of religion and morality. That must be overcome. There still remain traces of this strife in the soul, the lack of which in a human being is reluctantly felt. It is hard to say in what such things consist; for this, ideas as well as words are lacking. If, in spite of that, I attempt to say something about it, I do it parabolically, using Seneca’s words:[106]

“Nothing can be more commendable and beneficial if you persevere in the pursuit of wisdom. It is what would be ridiculous to wish for when it is in your power to attain it. There is no need to lift up your hands to Heaven, or to pray the servant of the temple to admit you to the ear of the idol that your prayers may be heard the better. God is near thee; he is with thee. Yes, Lucilius, a holy spirit resides within us, the observer of 86good and evil, and our constant guardian. And as we treat him, he treats us; no good man is without a God. Could any one ever rise above the power of fortune without his assistance? It is he that inspires us with thoughts, upright, just and pure. We do not, indeed, pretend to say what God; but that a God dwells in the breast of every good man is certain.”



A little later Miss Miller travelled from Geneva to Paris. She says:

“My weariness on the railway was so great that I could hardly sleep an hour. It was terrifically hot in the ladies’ carriage.”

At four o’clock in the morning she noticed a moth that flew against the light in her compartment. She then tried to go to sleep again. Suddenly the following poem took possession of her mind.

The Moth to the Sun
“I longed for thee when first I crawled to consciousness.
My dreams were all of thee when in the chrysalis I lay.
Oft myriads of my kind beat out their lives
Against some feeble spark once caught from thee.
And one hour more—and my poor life is gone;
Yet my last effort, as my first desire, shall be
But to approach thy glory; then, having gained
One raptured glance, I’ll die content.
For I, the source of beauty, warmth and life
Have in his perfect splendor once beheld.”

Before we go into the material which Miss Miller offers us for the understanding of the poem, we will again cast a glance over the psychologic situation in which the poem originated. Some months or weeks appear to 88have elapsed since the last direct manifestation of the unconscious that Miss Miller reported to us; about this period we have had no information. We learn nothing about the moods and phantasies of this time. If one might draw a conclusion from this silence it would be presumably that in the time which elapsed between the two poems, really nothing of importance had happened, and that, therefore, this poem is again but a voiced fragment of the unconscious working of the complex stretching out over months and years. It is highly probable that it is concerned with the same complex as before.[107] The earlier product, a hymn of creation full of hope, has, however, but little similarity to the present poem. The poem lying before us has a truly hopeless, melancholy character; moth and sun, two things which never meet. One must in fairness ask, is a moth really expected to rise to the sun? We know indeed the proverbial saying about the moth that flew into the light and singed its wings, but not the legend of the moth that strove towards the sun. Plainly, here, two things are connected in her thoughts that do not belong together; first, the moth which fluttered around the light so long that it burnt itself; and then, the idea of a small ephemeral being, something like the day fly, which, in lamentable contrast to the eternity of the stars, longs for an imperishable daylight. This idea reminds one of Faust:

“Mark how, beneath the evening sunlight’s glow
The green-embosomed houses glitter;
The glow retreats, done is the day of toil,
It yonder hastes, new fields of life exploring;
89Ah, that no wing can lift me from the soil
Upon its track to follow, follow soaring!
Then would I see eternal Evening gild
The silent world beneath me glowing....
Yet, finally, the weary god is sinking;
The new-born impulse fires my mind,—
I hasten on, his beams eternal drinking,
The day before me and the night behind,
Above me heaven unfurled, the floor of waves beneath me,—
A glorious dream! though now the glories fade.
Alas! the wings that lift the mind no aid
Of wings to lift the body can bequeath me.”

Not long afterwards, Faust sees “the black dog roving there through cornfields and stubble,” the dog who is the same as the devil, the tempter, in whose hellish fires Faust has singed his wings. When he believed that he was expressing his great longing for the beauty of the sun and the earth, “he went astray thereover” and fell into the hands of “the Evil One.”

“Yes, resolute to reach some brighter distance,
On earth’s fair sun I turn my back.”

This is what Faust had said shortly before, in true recognition of the state of affairs. The honoring of the beauty of nature led the Christian of the Middle Ages to pagan thoughts which lay in an antagonistic relation to his conscious religion, just as once Mithracism was in threatening competition with Christianity, for Satan often disguises himself as an angel of light.[108]

The longing of Faust became his ruin. The longing for the Beyond had brought as a consequence a loathing for life, and he stood on the brink of self-destruction.[109] 90The longing for the beauty of this world led him anew to ruin, into doubt and pain, even to Marguerite’s tragic death. His mistake was that he followed after both worlds with no check to the driving force of his libido, like a man of violent passion. Faust portrays once more the folk-psychologic conflict of the beginning of the Christian era, but what is noteworthy, in a reversed order.

Against what fearful powers of seduction Christ had to defend himself by means of his hope of the absolute world beyond, may be seen in the example of Alypius in Augustine. If any of us had been living in that period of antiquity, he would have seen clearly that that culture must inevitably collapse because humanity revolted against it. It is well known that even before the spread of Christianity a remarkable expectation of redemption had taken possession of mankind. The following eclogue of Virgil might well be a result of this mood:

Ultima Cumæi venit jam carminis ætas;[110]
Magnus ab integro Sæclorum nascitur ordo,
Jam redit et Virgo,[111] redeunt Saturnia regna;
91Jam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.
Tu modo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primum
Desinet ac toto surget gens aurea mundo,
Casta fave Lucina: tuus jam regnat Apollo.
Te duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri,
Inrita perpetua solvent formidine terras.
Ille deum vitam accipiet divisque videbit
Permixtos heroas et ipse videbitur illis,
Pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem.[112]

The turning to asceticism resulting from the general expansion of Christianity brought about a new misfortune to many: monasticism and the life of the anchorite.[113]

Faust takes the reverse course; for him the ascetic ideal means death. He struggles for freedom and wins life, at the same time giving himself over to the Evil One; but through this he becomes the bringer of death to her whom he loves most, Marguerite. He tears himself away from pain and sacrifices his life in unceasing useful work, through which he saves many lives.[114] His double mission as saviour and destroyer has already been hinted in a preliminary manner:


With what a feeling, thou great man, must thou
Receive the people’s honest veneration!


Thus we, our hellish boluses compounding,
Among these vales and hills surrounding,
Worse than the pestilence, have passed.
Thousands were done to death from poison of my giving;
And I must hear, by all the living,
The shameless murderers praised at last!

92A parallel to this double rôle is that text in the Gospel of Matthew which has become historically significant:

“I came not to send peace, but a sword.”—Matt. x: 34.

Just this constitutes the deep significance of Goethe’s Faust, that he clothes in words a problem of modern man which has been turning in restless slumber since the Renaissance, just as was done by the drama of Oedipus for the Hellenic sphere of culture. What is to be the way out between the Scylla of renunciation of the world and the Charybdis of the acceptance of the world?

The hopeful tone, voiced in the “Hymn to the God of Creation,” cannot continue very long with our author. The pose simply promises, but does not fulfil. The old longing will come again, for it is a peculiarity of all complexes worked over merely in the unconscious[115] that they lose nothing of their original amount of affect. Meanwhile, their outward manifestations can change almost endlessly. One might therefore consider the first poem as an unconscious longing to solve the conflict through positive religiousness, somewhat in the same manner as they of the earlier centuries decided their conscious conflicts by opposing to them the religious standpoint. This wish does not succeed. Now with the second poem there follows a second attempt which turns out in a decidedly more material way; its thought is unequivocal. Only once “having gained one raptured glance ...” and then—to die.

From the realms of the religious world, the attention, just as in Faust,[116] turns towards the sun of this world, 93and already there is something mingled with it which has another sense, that is to say, the moth which fluttered so long around the light that it burnt its wings.

We now pass to that which Miss Miller offers for the better understanding of the poem. She says:

“This small poem made a profound impression upon me. I could not, of course, find immediately a sufficiently clear and direct explanation for it. However, a few days later when I once more read a certain philosophical work, which I had read in Berlin the previous winter, and which I had enjoyed very much, (I was reading it aloud to a friend), I came across the following words: ‘La même aspiration passionnée de la mite vers l’étoile, de l’homme vers Dieu.’ (The same passionate longing of the moth for the star, of man for God.) I had forgotten this sentence entirely, but it seemed very clear to me that precisely these words had reappeared in my hypnagogic poem. In addition to that it occurred to me that a play seen some years previously, ‘La Mite et La Flamme,’ was a further possible cause of the poem. It is easy to see how often the word ‘moth’ had been impressed upon me.”

The deep impression made by the poem upon the author shows that she put into it a large amount of love. In the expression “aspiration passionnée” we meet the passionate longing of the moth for the star, of man for God, and indeed, the moth is Miss Miller herself. Her last observation that the word “moth” was often impressed upon her shows how often she had noticed the word “moth” as applicable to herself. Her longing for God resembles the longing of the moth for the “star.” The reader will recall that this expression has already had a place in the earlier material, “when the morning stars sang together,” that is to say, the ship’s officer who sings 94on deck in the night watch. The passionate longing for God is the same as that longing for the singing morning stars. It was pointed out at great length in the foregoing chapter that this analogy is to be expected: “Sic parvis componere magna solebam.

It is shameful or exalted just as one chooses, that the divine longing of humanity, which is really the first thing to make it human, should be brought into connection with an erotic phantasy. Such a comparison jars upon the finer feelings. Therefore, one is inclined in spite of the undeniable facts to dispute the connection. An Italian steersman with brown hair and black moustache, and the loftiest, dearest conception of humanity! These two things cannot be brought together; against this not only our religious feelings revolt, but our taste also rebels.

It would certainly be unjust to make a comparison of the two objects as concrete things since they are so heterogeneous. One loves a Beethoven sonata but one loves caviar also. It would not occur to any one to liken the sonata to caviar. It is a common error for one to judge the longing according to the quality of the object. The appetite of the gourmand which is only satisfied with goose liver and quail is no more distinguished than the appetite of the laboring man for corned beef and cabbage. The longing is the same; the object changes. Nature is beautiful only by virtue of the longing and love given her by man. The æsthetic attributes emanating from that has influence primarily on the libido, which alone constitutes the beauty of nature. The dream recognizes this well when it depicts a strong and beautiful feeling by 95means of a representation of a beautiful landscape. Whenever one moves in the territory of the erotic it becomes altogether clear how little the object and how much the love means. The “sexual object” is as a rule overrated far too much and that only on account of the extreme degree to which libido is devoted to the object.

Apparently Miss Miller had but little left over for the officer, which is humanly very intelligible. But in spite of that a deep and lasting effect emanates from this connection which places divinity on a par with the erotic object. The moods which apparently are produced by these objects do not, however, spring from them, but are manifestations of her strong love. When Miss Miller praises either God or the sun she means her love, that deepest and strongest impulse of the human and animal being.

The reader will recall that in the preceding chapter the following chain of synonyms was adduced: the singer—God of sound—singing morning star—creator—God of Light—sun—fire—God of Love.

At that time we had placed sun and fire in parentheses. Now they are entitled to their right place in the chain of synonyms. With the changing of the erotic impression from the affirmative to the negative the symbols of light occur as the paramount object. In the second poem where the longing is clearly exposed it is by no means the terrestrial sun. Since the longing has been turned away from the real object, its object has become, first of all, a subjective one, namely, God. Psychologically, however, God is the name of a representation-complex which is grouped 96around a strong feeling (the sum of libido). Properly, the feeling is what gives character and reality to the complex.[117] The attributes and symbols of the divinity must belong in a consistent manner to the feeling (longing, love, libido, and so on). If one honors God, the sun or the fire, then one honors one’s own vital force, the libido. It is as Seneca says: “God is near you, he is with you, in you.” God is our own longing to which we pay divine honors.[118] If it were not known how tremendously significant religion was, and is, this marvellous play with one’s self would appear absurd. There must be something more than this, however, because, notwithstanding its absurdity, it is, in a certain sense, conformable to the purpose in the highest degree. To bear a God within one’s self signifies a great deal; it is a guarantee of happiness, of power, indeed even of omnipotence, as far as these attributes belong to the Deity. To bear a God within one’s self signifies just as much as to be God one’s self. In Christianity, where, it is true, the grossly sensual representations and symbols are weeded out as carefully as possible, which seems to be a continuation of the poverty of symbols of the Jewish cult, there are to be found plain traces of this psychology. There are even plainer traces, to be sure, in the “becoming-one with God” in those mysteries closely related to the Christian, where the mystic himself is lifted up to divine adoration through initiatory rites. At the close of the consecration into the Isis mysteries the mystic was crowned with the palm crown,[119] he was placed on a pedestal and worshipped as Helios.[120] In the magic papyrus of the Mithraic liturgy 97published by Dieterich there is the ἱερός λόγος[121] of the consecrated one:

Ἐγώ εἰμι σύμπλανος ὑμῖν ἀστὴρ καὶ ἐκ τοῦ βάθους ἀναλάμπων.[122]

The mystic in religious ecstasies put himself on a plane with the stars, just as a saint of the Middle Ages put himself by means of the stigmata on a level with Christ. St. Francis of Assisi expressed this in a truly pagan manner,[123] even as far as a close relationship with the brother sun and the sister moon. These representations of “becoming-one with God” are very ancient. The old belief removed the becoming-one with God until the time after death; the mysteries, however, suggest this as taking place already in this world. A very old text brings most beautifully before one this unity with God; it is the song of triumph of the ascending soul.[124]

“I am the God Atum, I who alone was.
I am the God Rê at his first splendor.
I am the great God, self-created, God of Gods,
To whom no other God compares.”

“I was yesterday and know to-morrow; the battle-ground of Gods was made when I spoke. I know the name of that great God who tarries therein.

“I am that great Phoenix who is in Heliopolis, who there keeps account of all there is, of all that exists.

“I am the God Min, at his coming forth, who placed the feathers upon my head.[125]

“I am in my country, I come into my city. Daily I am together with my father Atum.[126]

98“My impurity is driven away, and the sin which was in me is overcome. I washed myself in those two great pools of water which are in Heracleopolis, in which is purified the sacrifice of mankind for that great God who abideth there.

“I go on my way to where I wash my head in the sea of the righteous. I arrive at this land of the glorified, and enter through the splendid portal.

“Thou, who standest before me, stretch out to me thy hands, it is I, I am become one of thee. Daily am I together with my Father Atum.”

The identification with God necessarily has as a result the enhancing of the meaning and power of the individual.[127] That seems, first of all, to have been really its purpose: a strengthening of the individual against his all too great weakness and insecurity in real life. This great megalomania thus has a genuinely pitiable background. The strengthening of the consciousness of power is, however, only an external result of the “becoming-one with God.” Of much more significance are the deeper-lying disturbances in the realm of feeling. Whoever introverts libido—that is to say, whoever takes it away from a real object without putting in its place a real compensation—is overtaken by the inevitable results of introversion. The libido, which is turned inward into the subject, awakens again from among the sleeping remembrances one which contains the path upon which earlier the libido once had come to the real object. At the very first and in foremost position it was father and mother who were the objects of the childish love. They are unequalled and imperishable. Not many difficulties are needed in an adult’s life to cause those memories to 99reawaken and to become effectual. In religion the regressive reanimation of the father-and-mother imago is organized into a system. The benefits of religion are the benefits of parental hands; its protection and its peace are the results of parental care upon the child; its mystic feelings are the unconscious memories of the tender emotions of the first childhood, just as the hymn expresses it:

“I am in my country, I come into my city. Daily am I together with my father Atum.”[128]

The visible father of the world is, however, the sun, the heavenly fire; therefore, Father, God, Sun, Fire are mythologically synonymous. The well-known fact that in the sun’s strength the great generative power of nature is honored shows plainly, very plainly, to any one to whom as yet it may not be clear that in the Deity man honors his own libido, and naturally in the form of the image or symbol of the present object of transference. This symbol faces us in an especially marked manner in the third Logos of the Dieterich papyrus. After the second prayer[129] stars come from the disc of the sun to the mystic, “five-pointed, in quantities, filling the whole air. If the sun’s disc has expanded, you will see an immeasurable circle, and fiery gates which are shut off.” The mystic utters the following prayer:

Ἐπακουσόν μου, ἀκουσόν μου—ὁ συνδήσας πνεύματι τὰ πύρινα κλεῖθρα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, δισώματος πυρίπολε, φωτὸς κτίστα—πυρίπνοε, πυρίθυμε, πνευματόφως, πυριχαρῆ, καλλίφως, φωτοκράτωρ, πυρισώματε, φωτοδότα, πυρισπόρε, πυρικλόνε, φωτόβιε, πυριδῖνα, φωτοκινῆτα, 100κεραυνοκλόνε, φωτὸς κλέος, αὐξησίφως, ἐνπυρισχησίφως, ἀστροδάμα.[130]

The invocation is, as one sees, almost inexhaustible in light and fire attributes, and can be likened in its extravagance only to the synonymous attributes of love of the mystic of the Middle Ages. Among the innumerable texts which might be used as an illustration of this, I select a passage from the writings of Mechthild von Magdeburg (1212–1277):

“O Lord, love me excessively and love me often and long; the oftener you love me, so much the purer do I become; the more excessively you love me, the more beautiful I become; the longer you love me, the more holy will I become here upon earth.”

God answered: “That I love you often, that I have from my nature, for I myself am love. That I love you excessively, that I have from my desire, for I too desire that men love me excessively. That I love you long, that I have from my everlastingness, for I am without end.”[131]

The religious regression makes use indeed of the parent image without, however, consciously making it an object of transference, for the incest horror[132] forbids that. It remains rather as a synonym, for example, of the father or of God, or of the more or less personified symbol of the sun and fire.[133] Sun and fire—that is to say, 101the fructifying strength and heat—are attributes of the libido. In Mysticism the inwardly perceived, divine vision is often merely sun or light, and is very little, or not at all, personified. In the Mithraic liturgy there is found, for example, a significant quotation:

Ἡ δὲ πορεία τῶν ὁρωμένων θεῶν διὰ τοῦ δίσκου, πατρός μου, θεοῦ φανήσεται.[134]

Hildegarde von Bingen (1100–1178) expresses herself in the following manner:[135]

“But the light I see is not local, but far off, and brighter than the cloud which supports the sun. I can in no way know the form of this light since I cannot entirely see the sun’s disc. But within this light I see at times, and infrequently, another light which is called by me the living light, but when and in what manner I see this I do not know how to say, and when I see it all weariness and need is lifted from me, then too, I feel like a simple girl and not like an old woman.”

Symeon, the New Theologian (970–1040), says the following:

“My tongue lacks words, and what happens in me my spirit sees clearly but does not explain. It sees the invisible, that emptiness of all forms, simple throughout, not complex, and in extent infinite. For it sees no beginning, and it sees no end. It is entirely unconscious of the meanings, and does not know what to call that which it sees. Something complete appears, it seems to me, not indeed through the being itself, but through a participation. For you enkindle fire from fire, and you receive the whole fire; but this remains undiminished and undivided, as before. Similarly, that which is divided separates itself from the first; and like something corporeal spreads itself into several lights. This, 102however, is something spiritual, immeasurable, indivisible, and inexhaustible. For it is not separated when it becomes many, but remains undivided and is in me, and enters within my poor heart like a sun or circular disc of the sun, similar to the light, for it is a light.”[136]

That that thing, perceived as inner light, as the sun of the other world, is longing, is clearly shown by Symeon’s words:[137]

“And following It my spirit demanded to embrace the splendor beheld, but it found It not as creature and did not succeed in coming out from among created beings, so that it might embrace that uncreated and uncomprehended splendor. Nevertheless it wandered everywhere, and strove to behold It. It penetrated the air, it wandered over the Heavens, it crossed over the abysses, it searched, as it seemed to it, the ends of the world.[138] But in all of that it found nothing, for all was created. And I lamented and was sorrowful, and my breast burned, and I lived as one distraught in mind. But It came, as It would, and descending like a luminous mystic cloud, It seemed to envelop my whole head so that dismayed I cried out. But flying away again It left me alone. And when I, troubled, sought for It, I realized suddenly that It was in me, myself, and in the midst of my heart It appeared as the light of a spherical sun.”

In Nietzsche’s “Glory and Eternity” we meet with an essentially similar symbol:

“Hush! I see vastness!—and of vasty things
Shall man be done, unless he can enshrine
Them with his words? Then take the night which brings
The heart upon thy tongue, charmed wisdom mine!
“I look above, there rolls the star-strewn sea.
O night, mute silence, voiceless cry of stars!
And lo! A sign! The heaven its verge unbars—
A shining constellation falls towards me.”[139]

103It is not astonishing if Nietzsche’s great inner loneliness calls again into existence certain forms of thought which the mystic ecstasy of the old cults has elevated to ritual representation. In the visions of the Mithraic liturgy we have to deal with many similar representations which we can now understand without difficulty as the ecstatic symbol of the libido:

Μετὰ δὲ τὸ ειπεῖν σε τὸν δεύτερον λόγον, ὅπου σιγὴ δὶς καὶ τὰ ἀκόλουθα, σύρισον δὶς καὶ πόππυσον δὶς καὶ εὐθέως ὄψει ἀπὸ τοῦ δίσκου ἀστέρας προσερχομένους πενταδακτυλιαίους πλείστους καὶ πιπλῶντας ὅλον τὸν αέρα. Σὺ δὲ πάλιν λέγε: σιγή, σιγή. Καὶ τοῦ δίσκου ἀνοιγέντος ὄψει ἄπειρον κύκλωμα καὶ θύρας πυρίνας ἀποκεκλεισμένας.[140]

Silence is commanded, then the vision of light is revealed. The similarity of the mystic’s condition and Nietzsche’s poetical vision is surprising. Nietzsche says “constellation.” It is well known that constellations are chiefly therio- or anthropo-morphic symbols.

The papyrus says, ἀστέρας πενταδακτυλιαίους[141] (similar to the “rosy-fingered” Eos), which is nothing else than an anthropomorphic image. Accordingly, one may expect from that, that by long gazing a living being would be formed out of the “flame image,” a “star constellation” of therio- or anthropo-morphic nature, for the symbolism of the libido does not end with sun, light 104and fire, but makes use of wholly other means of expression. I yield precedence to Nietzsche:

The Beacon[142]
“Here, where the island grew amid the seas,
A sacrificial rock high-towering,
Here under darkling heavens,
Zarathustra lights his mountain-fires.
“These flames with grey-white belly,
In cold distances sparkle their desire,
Stretches its neck towards ever purer heights—
A snake upreared in impatience:
“This signal I set up there before me.
This flame is mine own soul,
Insatiable for new distances,
Speeding upward, upward its silent heat.
“At all lonely ones I now throw my fishing rod.
Give answer to the flame’s impatience,
Let me, the fisher on high mountains,
Catch my seventh, last solitude!”

Here libido becomes fire, flame and snake. The Egyptian symbol of the “living disc of the sun,” the disc with the two entwining snakes, contains the combination of both the libido analogies. The disc of the sun with its fructifying warmth is analogous to the fructifying warmth of love. The comparison of the libido with sun and fire is in reality analogous.

There is also a “causative” element in it, for sun and fire as beneficent powers are objects of human love; for example, the sun-hero Mithra is called the “well-beloved.” 105In Nietzsche’s poem the comparison is also a causative one, but this time in a reversed sense. The comparison with the snake is unequivocally phallic, corresponding completely with the tendency in antiquity, which was to see in the symbol of the phallus the quintessence of life and fruitfulness. The phallus is the source of life and libido, the great creator and worker of miracles, and as such it received reverence everywhere. We have, therefore, three designating symbols of the libido: First, the comparison by analogy, as sun and fire. Second, the comparisons based on causative relations, as A: Object comparison. The libido is designated by its object, for example, the beneficent sun. B: The subject comparison, in which the libido is designated by its place of origin or by analogies of this, for example, by phallus or (analogous) snake.

To these two fundamental forms of comparison still a third is added, in which the “tertium comparationis” is the activity; for example, the libido is dangerous when fecundating like the bull—through the power of its passion—like the lion, like the raging boar when in heat, like the ever-rutting ass, and so on.

This activity comparison can belong equally well to the category of the analogous or to the category of the causative comparisons. The possibilities of comparison mean just as many possibilities for symbolic expression, and from this basis all the infinitely varied symbols, so far as they are libido images, may properly be reduced to a very simple root, that is, just to libido and its fixed primitive qualities. This psychologic reduction and simplification 106is in accordance with the historic efforts of civilization to unify and simplify, to syncretize, the endless number of the gods. We come across this desire as far back as the old Egyptians, where the unlimited polytheism as exemplified in the numerous demons of places finally necessitated simplification. All the various local gods, Amon of Thebes, Horus of Edfu, Horus of the East, Chnum of Elephantine, Atum of Heliopolis, and others,[143] became identified with the sun God Rê. In the hymns to the sun the composite being Amon-Rê-Harmachis-Atum was invoked as “the only god which truly lives.”[144]

Amenhotep IV (XVIII dynasty) went the furthest in this direction. He replaced all former gods by the “living great disc of the sun,” the official title reading:

“The sun ruling both horizons, triumphant in the horizon in his name; the glittering splendor which is in the sun’s disc.”

“And, indeed,” Erman adds,[145] “the sun, as a God, should not be honored, but the sun itself as a planet which imparts through its rays[146] the infinite life which is in it to all living creatures.”

Amenhotep IV by his reform completed a work which is psychologically important. He united all the bull,[147] ram,[148] crocodile[149] and pile-dwelling[150] gods into the disc of the sun, and made it clear that their various attributes were compatible with the sun’s attributes.[151] A similar fate overtook the Hellenic and Roman polytheism through the syncretistic efforts of later centuries. The beautiful prayer of Lucius[152] to the queen of the Heavens furnishes an important proof of this:

107“Queen of Heaven, whether thou art the genial Ceres, the prime parent of fruits;—or whether thou art celestial Venus;—or whether thou art the sister of Phœbus;—or whether thou art Proserpina, terrific with midnight howlings—with that feminine brightness of thine illuminating the walls of every city.”[153]

This attempt to gather again into a few units the religious thoughts which were divided into countless variations and personified in individual gods according to their polytheistic distribution and separation makes clear the fact that already at an earlier time analogies had formally arisen. Herodotus is rich in just such references, not to mention the systems of the Hellenic-Roman world. Opposed to the endeavor to form a unity there stands a still stronger endeavor to create again and again a multiplicity, so that even in the so-called severe monotheistic religions, as Christianity, for example, the polytheistic tendency is irrepressible. The Deity is divided into three parts at least, to which is added the feminine Deity of Mary and the numerous company of the lesser gods, the angels and saints, respectively. These two tendencies are in constant warfare. There is only one God with countless attributes, or else there are many gods who are then simply known differently, according to locality, and personify sometimes this, sometimes that attribute of the fundamental thought, an example of which we have seen above in the Egyptian gods.

With this we turn once more to Nietzsche’s poem, “The Beacon.” We found the flame there used as an image of the libido, theriomorphically represented as a snake (also as an image of the soul:[154] “This flame is 108mine own soul”). We saw that the snake is to be taken as a phallic image of the libido (upreared in impatience), and that this image, also an attribute of the conception of the sun (the Egyptian sun idol), is an image of the libido in the combination of sun and phallus. It is not a wholly strange conception, therefore, that the sun’s disc is represented with a penis, as well as with hands and feet. We find proof for this idea in a peculiar part of the Mithraic liturgy: ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ὁ καλούμενος αὐλός, ἡ ἀρχὴ τοῦ λειτουργοῦντος ἀνέμου. Ὄψει γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ δίσκου ὡς αὐλὸν κρεμάμενον.[155]

This extremely important vision of a tube hanging down from the sun would produce in a religious text, such as that of the Mithraic liturgy, a strange and at the same time meaningless effect if it did not have the phallic meaning. The tube is the place of origin of the wind. The phallic meaning seems very faint in this idea, but one must remember that the wind, as well as the sun, is a fructifier and creator. This has already been pointed out in a footnote.[156] There is a picture by a Germanic painter of the Middle Ages of the “conceptio immaculata” which deserves mention here. The conception is represented by a tube or pipe coming down from heaven and passing beneath the skirt of Mary. Into this flies the Holy Ghost in the form of a dove for the impregnation of the Mother of God.[157]

Honegger discovered the following hallucination in an insane man (paranoid dement): The patient sees in the 109sun an “upright tail” similar to an erected penis. When he moves his head back and forth, then, too, the sun’s penis sways back and forth in a like manner, and out of that the wind arises. This strange hallucination remained unintelligible to us for a long time until I became acquainted with the Mithraic liturgy and its visions. This hallucination threw an illuminating light, as it appears to me, upon a very obscure place in the text which immediately follows the passage previously cited:

εἰς δὲ τὰ μέρη τὰ πρὸς λίβα ἀπέραντον οἷον ἀπηλιώτην. Ἐὰν ᾖ κεκληρώμενος εἰς δὲ τὰ μέρη τοῦ ἀπηλιώτου ὁ ἕτερος, ὁμοίως εἰς τὰ μέρη τὰ ἐκείνου ὄψει τὴν ἀποφορὰν τοῦ ὁρμάτος.

Mead translates this very clearly:[158]

“And towards the regions westward, as though it were an infinite Eastwind. But if the other wind, towards the regions of the East, should be in service, in the like fashion shalt thou see towards the regions of that side the converse of the sight.”

In the original ὅραμα is the vision, the thing seen. ἀποφορά means properly the carrying away. The sense of the text, according to this, might be: the thing seen may be carried or turned sometimes here, sometimes there, according to the direction of the wind. The ὅραμα is the tube, “the place of origin of the wind,” which turns sometimes to the east, sometimes to the west, and, one might add, generates the corresponding wind. The vision of the insane man coincides astonishingly with this description of the movement of the tube.[159]

110The various attributes of the sun, separated into a series, appear one after the other in the Mithraic liturgy. According to the vision of Helios, seven maidens appear with the heads of snakes, and seven gods with the heads of black bulls.

It is easy to understand the maiden as a symbol of the libido used in the sense of causative comparison. The snake in Paradise is usually considered as feminine, as the seductive principle in woman, and is represented as feminine by the old artists, although properly the snake has a phallic meaning. Through a similar change of meaning the snake in antiquity becomes the symbol of the earth, which on its side is always considered feminine. The bull is the well-known symbol for the fruitfulness of the sun. The bull gods in the Mithraic liturgy were called κνωθακοφύλακες, “guardians of the axis of the earth,” by whom the axle of the orb of the heavens was turned. The divine man, Mithra, also had the same attributes; he is sometimes called the “Sol invictus” itself, sometimes the mighty companion and ruler of Helios; he holds in his right hand the “bear constellation, which moves and turns the heavens.” The bull-headed gods, equally ἱεροὶ καὶ ἄλκιμοι νεανίαι with Mithra himself, to whom the attribute νεώτερος, “young one,” “the newcomer,” is given, are merely attributive components of the same divinity. The chief god of the Mithraic liturgy is himself subdivided into Mithra and Helios; the attributes of each of these are closely related to the other. Of Helios it is said: ὄψει θεὸν νεώτερον εὐειδῆ πυρινότριχα 111ἐν χιτῶνι λευκῷ καὶ χλαμύδι κοκκίνῃ, ἔχοντα πύρινον στέφανον.[160]

Of Mithra it is said: ὄψει θεὸν ὑπερμεγέθη, φωτινὴν ἔχοντα τὴν ὄψιν, νεώτερον, χρυσοκόμαν, ἐν χιτῶνι λευκῳ καὶ χρυσῳ στεφάνῳ καὶ ἀναξυρίσι, κατέχοντα τῇ δεξιᾷ χειρὶ μόσχου ὦμόν χρύσεον, ὅς ἐστιν ἄρκτος ἡ κινοῦσα καὶ ἀντιστρέφουσα τὸν οὐρανόν, κατὰ ὥραν ἀναπολεύουσα καὶ καταπολεύουσα. ἔπειτα ὄψει αὐτοῦ ἐκ τῶν ὀμμάτων ἀστραπὰς καὶ ἐκ τοῦ σώματος ἀστέρας ἁλλομένους.[161]

If we place fire and gold as essentially similar, then a great accord is found in the attributes of the two gods. To these mystical pagan ideas there deserve to be added the probably almost contemporaneous vision of Revelation:

“And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks. And in the midst of the candlesticks[162] one like unto the son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. And his head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow, and his eyes were as a flame of fire. And his feet like unto burnished brass, as if it had been refined in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars,[163] and out of his mouth proceeded a sharp two-edged sword,[164] and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.”—Rev. i: 12 ff.

“And I looked, and beheld a white cloud, and upon the cloud 112I saw one sitting like unto the son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”[165]Rev. xiv: 14.

“And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and upon his head were many diadems. And he was arrayed in a garment[166] sprinkled with blood.... And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen,[167] white and pure. And out of his mouth proceeded a sharp sword.”—Rev. xix: 12–15.

One need not assume that there is a direct dependency between the Apocalypse and the Mithraic liturgy. The visionary images of both texts are developed from a source, not limited to one place, but found in the soul of many divers people, because the symbols which arise from it are too typical for it to belong to one individual only. I put these images here to show how the primitive symbolism of light gradually developed, with the increasing depth of the vision, into the idea of the sun-hero, the “well-beloved.”[168] The development of the symbol of light is thoroughly typical. In addition to this, perhaps I might call to mind the fact that I have previously pointed out this course with numerous examples,[169] and, therefore, I can spare myself the trouble of returning to this subject.[170] These visionary occurrences are the psychological roots of the sun-coronations in the mysteries. Its rite is religious hallucination congealed into liturgical form, which, on account of its great regularity, could become a generally accepted outer form. After all this, it is easily understood how the ancient Christian Church, on one side, stood in an especial bond to Christ as “sol novus,” and, on the other side, had a certain difficulty in freeing itself from the earthly symbols of Christ. Indeed 113Philo of Alexandria saw in the sun the image of the divine logos or of the Deity especially (“De Somniis,” 1:85). In an Ambrosian hymn Christ is invoked by “O sol salutis,” and so on. At the time of Marcus Aurelius, Meliton, in his work,[171] περὶ λούτρου, called Christ the Ἥλιος ἀνατολης ... μόνος ἥλιος οὗτος ἀνέτειλεν ἀπ’ οὐρανοῦ.[172]

Still more important is a passage from Pseudo-Cyprian:[173]

O quam præclara providentia ut illo die quo factus est sol, in ipso die nasceretur Christus, v. Kal. Apr. feria IV, et ideo de ipso ad plebem dicebat Malachias propheta: ‘Orietur vobis sol iustitiæ et curatio est in pennis ejus,’ hic est sol iustitiæ cuius in pennis curatio præostendebatur.[174][175]

In a work nominally attributed to John Chrysostomus, “De Solstitiis et Aequinoctiis,”[176] occurs this passage:

Sed et dominus nascitur mense Decembri hiemis tempore, VIII. Kal. Januarias, quando oleæ maturæ præmuntur ut unctio, id est Chrisma, nascatur—sed et Invicti natalem appellant. Quis utique tam invictus nisi dominus noster qui mortem subactam devicit? Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est sol iustitiæ, de quo Malachias propheta dixit: ‘Dominus lucis ac noctis conditor et discretor qui a propheta Sol iustitiæ cognominatus est.’[177]

114According to the testimony of Eusebius of Alexandria, the Christians also shared in the worship of the rising sun, which lasted into the fifth century:

οὐαῖ τοῖς προσκυνοῦσι τὸν ἥλιον καὶ τὴν σελήνην καὶ τοὺς ἀστέρας. Πολλοὺς γὰρ οἶδα τοὺς προσκυνοῦντας καὶ εὐχομένους εἰς τὸν ἥλιον. Ἤδη γὰρ ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου, προσεύχονται καὶ λέγουσιν “Ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς” καὶ οὐ μόνον Ἡλιογνώσται καὶ αἱρετικοὶ τοῦτο ποιοῦσιν ἀλλὰ καὶ χριστιανοὶ καὶ ἀφέντες τὴν πίστιν τοῖς αἱρετικοῖς συναμίγνυνται.[178]

Augustine preached emphatically to the Christians:

Non est Dominus Sol factus sed per quem Sol factus est—ne quis carnaliter sapiens Solem istum (Christum) intelligendum putaret.

Art has preserved much of the remnants of sun-worship,[179] thus the nimbus around the head of Christ and the halo of the saints in general. The Christian legends also attribute many fire and light symbols to the saints.[180] The twelve apostles, for example, are likened to the twelve signs of the zodiac, and are represented, therefore, with a star over the head.[181]

It is not to be wondered at that the heathen, as Tertullian avows, considered the sun as the Christian God. 115Among the Manichaeans God was really the sun. One of the most remarkable works extant, where the Pagan, Asiatic, Hellenic and Christian intermingle, is the Ἐξήγησις περὶ των ἐν Περσίδι πραχθέντων, edited by Wirth.[182] This is a book of fables, but, nevertheless, a mine for near-Christian phantasies, which gives a profound insight into Christian symbolism. In this is found the following magical dedication: Διὶ Ἡλίῳ θεῳ μεγάλῳ βασιλεῖ Ἰησοῦ—.[183] In certain parts of Armenia the rising sun is still worshipped by Christians, that “it may let its foot rest upon the faces of the worshippers.”[184] The foot occurs as an anthropomorphic attribute, and we have already met the theriomorphic attribute in the feathers and the sun phallus. Other comparisons of the sun’s ray, as knife, sword, arrow, and so on, have also, as we have learned from the psychology of the dream, a phallic meaning at bottom. This meaning is attached to the foot as I here point out,[185] and also to the feathers, or hair, of the sun, which signify the power or strength of the sun. I refer to the story of Samson, and to that of the Apocalypse of Baruch, concerning the phœnix bird, which, flying before the sun, loses its feathers, and, exhausted, is strengthened again in an ocean bath at evening.

Under the symbol of “moth and sun” we have dug down into the historic depths of the soul, and in doing this we have uncovered an old buried idol, the youthful, beautiful, fire-encircled and halo-crowned sun-hero, who, forever unattainable to the mortal, wanders upon the 116earth, causing night to follow day; winter, summer; death, life; and who returns again in rejuvenated splendor and gives light to new generations. The longing of the dreamer concealed behind the moth stands for him.

The ancient pre-Asiatic civilizations were acquainted with a sun-worship having the idea of a God dying and rising again (Osiris, Tammuz, Attis-Adonis),[186] Christ, Mithra and his bull,[187] Phœnix and so on. The beneficent power as well as the destroying power was worshipped in fire. The forces of nature always have two sides, as we have already seen in the God of Job. This reciprocal bond brings us back once more to Miss Miller’s poem. Her reminiscences support our previous supposition, that the symbol of moth and sun is a condensation of two ideas, about one of which we have just spoken; the other is the moth and the flame. As the title of a play, about the contents of which the author tells us absolutely nothing, “Moth and Flame” may easily have the well-known erotic meaning of flying around the flame of passion until one’s wings are burned. The passionate longing, that is to say, the libido, has its two sides; it is power which beautifies everything, and which under other circumstances destroys everything. It often appears as if one could not accurately understand in what the destroying quality of the creative power consists. A woman who gives herself up to passion, particularly under the present-day condition of culture, experiences the destructive side only too soon. One has only to imagine one’s self a little away from the every-day moral conditions in order to understand what feelings of extreme insecurity overwhelm 117the individual who gives himself unconditionally over to Fate.

To be fruitful means, indeed, to destroy one’s self, because with the rise of the succeeding generation the previous one has passed beyond its highest point; thus our descendants are our most dangerous enemies, whom we cannot overcome, for they will outlive us, and, therefore, without fail, will take the power from our enfeebled hands. The anxiety in the face of the erotic fate is wholly understandable, for there is something immeasurable therein. Fate usually hides unknown dangers, and the perpetual hesitation of the neurotic to venture upon life is easily explained by his desire to be allowed to stand still, so as not to take part in the dangerous battle of life.[188] Whoever renounces the chance to experience must stifle in himself the wish for it, and, therefore, commits a sort of self-murder. From this the death phantasies which readily accompany the renunciation of the erotic wish are made clear. In the poem Miss Miller has voiced these phantasies.

She adds further to the material with the following:

“I had been reading a selection from one of Byron’s poems which pleased me very much and made a deep and lasting impression. Moreover, the rhythm of my last two verses, ‘For I the source, etc.,’ and the two lines of Byron’s are very similar.

‘Now let me die as I have lived in faith,
Nor tremble though the universe should quake.’”

This reminiscence with which the series of ideas is closed confirms the death phantasies which follow from 118renunciation of the erotic wish. The quotation comes—which Miss Miller did not mention—from an uncompleted poem of Byron’s called “Heaven and Earth.”[189] The whole verse follows:

“Still blessed be the Lord,
For what is passed,
For that which is;
For all are His,
From first to last—
The vast known and immeasurable unknown
He made and can unmake,
And shall I for a little gasp of breath
Blaspheme and groan?
No, let me die as I have lived in faith,
Nor quiver though the universe may quake!”

The words are included in a kind of praise or prayer, spoken by a “mortal” who is in hopeless flight before the mounting deluge. Miss Miller puts herself in the same situation in her quotation; that is to say, she readily lets it be seen that her feeling is similar to the despondency of the unhappy ones who find themselves hard pressed by the threatening mounting waters of the deluge. With this the writer allows us a deep look into the dark abyss of her longing for the sun-hero. We see that her longing is in vain; she is a mortal, only for a short time borne upwards into the light by means of the highest longing, and then sinking to death, or, much more, urged upwards by the fear of death, like the people before the deluge, and in spite of the desperate conflict, irretrievably given over to destruction. This is a mood which recalls 119vividly the closing scene in “Cyrano de Bergerac”:[190]

Oh, mais ... puisqu’elle est en chemin,
Je l’attendrai debout ... et l’épée à la main.
Que dites-vous?... C’est inutile? Je le sais.
Mais on ne se bat pas dans l’espoir du succès.
Non, non. C’est bien plus beau lorsque c’est inutile.
Je sais bien qu’à la fin vous me mettrez à bas....

We already know sufficiently well what longing and what impulse it is that attempts to clear a way for itself to the light, but that it may be realized quite clearly and irrevocably, it is shown plainly in the quotation “No, let me die,” which confirms and completes all earlier remarks. The divine, the “much-beloved,” who is honored in the image of the sun, is also the goal of the longing of our poet.

Byron’s “Heaven and Earth” is a mystery founded on the following passage from Genesis, chapter vi:2: “And it came to pass ... that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair, and they took them wives of all that they chose.” Byron offers as a further motif for his poem the following passage from Coleridge: “And woman wailing for her Demon lover.” Byron’s poem is concerned with two great events, one psychologic and one telluric; the passion which throws down all barriers; and all the terrors of the unchained powers of nature: a parallel which has already been introduced into our earlier discussion. The angels Samiasa 120and Azaziel burn with sinful love for the beautiful daughters of Cain, Anah and Aholibama, and force a way through the barrier which is placed between mortal and immortal. They revolt as Lucifer once did against God, and the archangel Raphael raises his voice warningly:

“But man hath listened to his voice
And ye to woman’s—beautiful she is,
The serpent’s voice less subtle than her kiss.
The snake but vanquished dust; but she will draw
A second host from heaven to break heaven’s law.”

The power of God is threatened by the seduction of passion; a second fall of angels menaces heaven. Let us translate this mythologic projection back into the psychologic, from whence it originated. Then it would read: the power of the good and reasonable ruling the world wisely is threatened by the chaotic primitive power of passion; therefore passion must be exterminated; that is to say, projected into mythology. The race of Cain and the whole sinful world must be destroyed from the roots by the deluge. It is the inevitable result of that sinful passion which has broken through all barriers. Its counterpart is the sea and the waters of the deep and the floods of rain,[191] the generating, fructifying and “maternal waters,” as the Indian mythology refers to them. Now they leave their natural bounds and surge over the mountain tops, engulfing all living things; for passion destroys itself. The libido is God and Devil. With the destruction of the sinfulness of the libido an essential 121portion of the libido would be destroyed. Through the loss of the Devil, God himself suffered a considerable loss, somewhat like an amputation upon the body of the Divinity. The mysterious hint in Raphael’s lament concerning the two rebels, Samiasa and Azaziel, suggests this.

“... Why,
Cannot this earth be made, or be destroyed,
Without involving ever some vast void
In the immortal ranks?...”

Love raises man, not only above himself, but also above the bounds of his mortality and earthliness, up to divinity itself, and in the very act of raising him it destroys him. Mythologically, this self-presumption finds its striking expression in the building of the heaven-high tower of Babel, which brings confusion to mankind.[192] In Byron’s poem it is the sinful ambition of the race of Cain, for love of which it makes even the stars subservient and leads away the sons of God themselves. If, indeed, longing for the highest things—if I may speak so—is legitimate, then it lies in the circumstances that it leaves its human boundaries, that of sinfulness, and, therefore, destruction. The longing of the moth for the star is not absolutely pure and transparent, but glows in sultry mist, for man continues to be man. Through the excess of his longing he draws down the divine into the corruption of his passion;[193] therefore, he seems to raise himself to the Divine; but with that his humanity is destroyed. Thus the love of Anah and Aholibama for their angels becomes the ruin of gods and men. The invocation 122with which Cain’s daughters implore their angels is psychologically an exact parallel to Miss Miller’s poem.

From thy sphere!
Whatever star[195] contains thy glory.
In the eternal depths of heaven
Albeit thou watchest with the ‘seven,’
Though through space infinite and hoary
Before thy bright wings worlds will be driven,
Yet hear!
Oh! think of her who holds thee dear!
And though she nothing is to thee,
Yet think that thou art all to her.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Eternity is in thy years,
Unborn, undying beauty in thine eyes;
With me thou canst not sympathize,
Except in love, and there thou must
Acknowledge that more loving dust
Ne’er wept beneath the skies.
Thou walkest thy many worlds,[196] thou seest
The face of him who made thee great,
As he hath made of me the least
Of those cast out from Eden’s gate;
Yet, Seraph, dear!
Oh hear!
For thou hast loved me, and I would not die
Until I know what I must die in knowing,
That thou forgettest in thine eternity
Her whose heart death could not keep from o’erflowing
For thee, immortal essence as thou art,[197]
Great is their love who love in sin and fear;
And such, I feel, are waging in my heart
A war unworthy: to an Adamite
123Forgive, my Seraph! that such thoughts appear.
For sorrow is our element....
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
The hour is near
Which tells me we are not abandoned quite.
Appear! Appear!
My own Azaziel! be but here,
And leave the stars to their own light.
I call thee, I await thee and I love thee.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Though I be formed of clay,
And thou of beams[198]
More bright than those of day on Eden’s streams,
Thine immortality cannot repay
With love more warm than mine
My love. There is a ray[199]
In me, which though forbidden yet to shine,
I feel was lighted at thy God’s and mine.[200]
It may be hidden long: death and decay
Our mother Eve bequeathed us—but my heart
Defies it: though this life must pass away,
Is that a cause for thee and me to part?
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
I can share all things, even immortal sorrow;
For thou hast ventured to share life with me,
And shall I shrink from thine eternity?
No, though the serpent’s sting[201] should pierce me through,
And thou thyself wert like the serpent, coil
Around me still.[202] And I will smile
And curse thee not, but hold
Thee in as warm a fold
As—but descend and prove
A mortal’s love
For an immortal....

124The apparition of both angels which follows the invocation is, as always, a shining vision of light.

The clouds from off their pinions flinging
As though they bore to-morrow’s light.
But if our father see the sight!
He would but deem it was the moon
Rising unto some sorcerer’s tune
An hour too soon.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Lo! They have kindled all the west,
Like a returning sunset....
On Ararat’s late secret crest
A wild and many colored bow,
The remnant of their flashing path,
Now shines!...

At the sight of this many-colored vision of light, where both women are entirely filled with desire and expectation, Anah makes use of a simile full of presentiment, which suddenly allows us to look down once more into the dismal dark depths, out of which for a moment the terrible animal nature of the mild god of light emerges.

“... and now, behold! it hath
Returned to night, as rippling foam,
Which the leviathan hath lashed
From his unfathomable home,
When sporting on the face of the calm deep,
Subsides soon after he again hath dash’d
Down, down to where the ocean’s fountains sleep.”

125Thus like the leviathan! We recall this overpowering weight in the scale of God’s justice in regard to the man Job. There, where the deep sources of the ocean are, the leviathan lives; from there the all-destroying flood ascends, the all-engulfing flood of animal passion. That stifling, compressing feeling[203] of the onward-surging impulse is projected mythologically as a flood which, rising up and over all, destroys all that exists, in order to allow a new and better creation to come forth from this destruction.

The eternal will
Shall deign to expound this dream
Of good and evil; and redeem
Unto himself all times, all things;
And, gather’d under his almighty wings,
Abolish hell!
And to the expiated Earth
Restore the beauty of her birth.
And when shall take effect this wondrous spell?
When the Redeemer cometh; first in pain
And then in glory.
New times, new climes, new arts, new men, but still
The same old tears, old crimes, and oldest ill,
Shall be amongst your race in different forms;
But the same mortal storms
Shall oversweep the future, as the waves
In a few hours the glorious giants’ graves.

126The prophetic visions of Japhet have almost prophetic meaning for our poetess; with the death of the moth in the light, evil is once more laid aside; the complex has once again, even if in a censored form, expressed itself. With that, however, the problem is not solved; all sorrow and every longing begins again from the beginning, but there is “Promise in the Air”—the premonition of the Redeemer, of the “Well-beloved,” of the Sun-hero, who again mounts to the height of the sun and again descends to the coldness of the winter, who is the light of hope from race to race, the image of the libido.




Before I enter upon the contents of this second part, it seems necessary to cast a backward glance over the singular train of thought which the analysis of the poem “The Moth to the Sun” has produced. Although this poem is very different from the foregoing Hymn of Creation, closer investigation of the “longing for the sun” has carried us into the realm of the fundamental ideas of religion and astral mythology, which ideas are closely related to those considered in the first poem. The creative God of the first poem, whose dual nature, moral and physical, was shown especially clearly to us by Job, has in the second poem a new qualification of astral-mythological, or, to express it better, of astrological character. The God becomes the sun, and in this finds an adequate natural expression quite apart from the moral division of the God idea into the heavenly father and the devil. The sun is, as Renan remarked, really the only rational representation of God, whether we take the point of view of the barbarians of other ages or that of the modern physical sciences. In both cases the sun is the parent God, mythologically predominantly the Father God, from whom all living things draw life; He is the fructifier and 128creator of all that lives, the source of energy of our world. The discord into which the soul of man has fallen through the action of moral laws[204] can be resolved into complete harmony through the sun as the natural object which obeys no human moral law. The sun is not only beneficial, but also destructive; therefore the zodiacal representation of the August heat is the herd-devouring lion whom the Jewish hero Samson[205] killed in order to free the parched earth from this plague. Yet it is the harmonious and inherent nature of the sun to scorch, and its scorching power seems natural to men. It shines equally on the just and on the unjust, and allows useful living objects to flourish as well as harmful ones. Therefore, the sun is adapted as is nothing else to represent the visible God of this world. That is to say, that driving strength of our own soul, which we call libido, and whose nature it is to allow the useful and injurious, the good and the bad to proceed. That this comparison is no mere play of words is taught us by the mystics. When by looking inwards (introversion) and going down into the depths of their own being they find “in their heart” the image of the Sun, they find their own love or libido, which with reason, I might say with physical reason, is called the Sun; for our source of energy and life is the Sun. Thus our life substance, as an energic process, is entirely Sun. Of what special sort this “Sun energy” seen inwardly by the mystic is, is shown by an example taken from the Hindoo mythology.[206] From the explanation of Part III of the “Shvetâshvataropanishad” we take the following quotation, which relates to the Rudra:[207]

129(2) “Yea, the one Rudra who all these worlds with ruling power doth rule, stands not for any second. Behind those that are born he stands; at ending time ingathers all the worlds he hath evolved, protector (he).

(3) “He hath eyes on all sides, on all sides surely hath faces, arms surely on all sides, on all sides feet. With arms, with wings he tricks them out, creating heaven and earth, the only God.

(4) “Who of the gods is both the source and growth, the Lord of all, the Rudra. Mighty seer; who brought the shining germ of old into existence—may he with reason pure conjoin us.”[208]

These attributes allow us clearly to discern the all-creator and in him the Sun, which has wings and with a thousand eyes scans the world.[209]

The following passages confirm the text and join to it the idea most important for us, that God is also contained in the individual creature:

(7) “Beyond this (world) the Brahman beyond, the mighty one, in every creature hid according to its form, the one encircling Lord of all, Him having known, immortal they become.

(8) “I know this mighty man, Sun-like, beyond the darkness, Him (and him) only knowing, one crosseth over death; no other path (at all) is there to go.

(11) “... spread over the universe is He the Lord therefore as all-pervader, He’s benign.”

The powerful God, the equal of the Sun, is in that one, and whoever knows him is immortal.[210] Going on further with the text, we come upon a new attribute, which informs us in what form and manner Rudra lived in men.

(12) “The mighty monarch, He, the man, the one who doth the essence start towards that peace of perfect stainlessness, lordly, exhaustless light.

130(13) “The Man, the size of a thumb, the inner self, sits ever in the heart of all that’s born, by mind, mind ruling in the heart, is He revealed. That they who know, immortal they become.

(14) “The Man of the thousands of heads (and) thousands of eyes (and) thousands of feet, covering the earth on all sides, He stands beyond, ten finger-breadths.

(15) “The Man is verily this all, (both) what has been and what will be, Lord (too) of deathlessness which far all else surpasses.”

Important parallel quotations are to be found in the “Kathopanishad,” section 2, part 4.

(12) “The Man of the size of a thumb, resides in the midst within the self, of the past and the future, the Lord.

(13) “The Man of the size of a thumb like flame free from smoke, of past and of future the Lord, the same is to-day, to-morrow the same will He be.”

Who this Tom-Thumb is can easily be divined—the phallic symbol of the libido. The phallus is this hero dwarf, who performs great deeds; he, this ugly god in homely form, who is the great doer of wonders, since he is the visible expression of the creative strength incarnate in man. This extraordinary contrast is also very striking in “Faust” (the mother scene):

I’ll praise thee ere we separate: I see
Thou knowest the devil thoroughly:
Here take this key.
That little thing!
Take hold of it, not undervaluing!
It glows, it shines, increases in my hand!
How much it is worth, thou soon shalt understand,
The key will scent the true place from all others!
Follow it down!—’twill lead thee to the Mothers![211]

Here the devil again puts into Faust’s hand the marvellous tool, a phallic symbol of the libido, as once before in the beginning the devil, in the form of the black dog, accompanied Faust, when he introduced himself with the words:

“Part of that power, not understood,
Which always wills the bad and always creates the good.”

United to this strength, Faust succeeded in accomplishing his real life task, at first through evil adventure and then for the benefit of humanity, for without the evil there is no creative power. Here in the mysterious mother scene, where the poet unveils the last mystery of the creative power to the initiated, Faust has need of the phallic magic wand (in the magic strength of which he has at first no confidence), in order to perform the greatest of wonders, namely, the creation of Paris and Helen. With that Faust attains the divine power of working miracles, and, indeed, only by means of this small, insignificant instrument. This paradoxical impression seems to be very ancient, for even the Upanishads could say the following of the dwarf god:

132(19) “Without hands, without feet, He moveth, He graspeth: Eyeless He seeth, (and) earless He heareth: He knoweth what is to be known, yet is there no knower of Him. Him call the first, mighty the Man.

(20) “Smaller than small, (yet) greater than great in the heart of this creature the self doth repose ... etc.”

The phallus is the being, which moves without limbs, which sees without eyes, which knows the future; and as symbolic representative of the universal creative power existent everywhere immortality is vindicated in it. It is always thought of as entirely independent, an idea current not only in antiquity, but also apparent in the pornographic drawings of our children and artists. It is a seer, an artist and a worker of wonders; therefore it should not surprise us when certain phallic characteristics are found again in the mythological seer, artist and sorcerer. Hephaestus, Wieland the smith, and Mani, the founder of Manicheism, whose followers were also famous, have crippled feet. The ancient seer Melampus possessed a suggestive name (Blackfoot),[212] and it seems also to be typical for seers to be blind. Dwarfed stature, ugliness and deformity have become especially typical for those mysterious chthonian gods, the sons of Hephaestus, the Cabiri,[213] to whom great power to perform miracles was ascribed. The name signifies “powerful,” and the Samothracian cult is most intimately united with that of the ithyphallic Hermes, who, according to the account of Herodotus, was brought to Attica by the Pelasgians. They are also called μεγάλοι θεοί, the great gods. Their near relations are the “Idaean dactyli” (finger or Idaean 133thumb),[214] to whom the mother of the gods had taught the blacksmith’s art. (“The key will scent the true place from all others! follow it down!—’twill lead thee to the Mothers!”) They were the first leaders, the teachers of Orpheus, and invented the Ephesian magic formulas and the musical rhythms.[215] The characteristic disparity which is shown above in the Upanishad text, and in “Faust,” is also found here, since the gigantic Hercules passed as an Idaean dactyl.

The colossal Phrygians, the skilled servants of Rhea,[216] were also Dactyli. The Babylonian teacher of wisdom, Oannes,[217] was represented in a phallic fish form.[218] The two sun heroes, the Dioscuri, stand in relation to the Cabiri;[219] they also wear the remarkable pointed head-covering (Pileus) which is peculiar to these mysterious gods,[220] and which is perpetuated from that time on as a secret mark of identification. Attis (the elder brother of Christ) wears the pointed cap, just as does Mithra. It has also become traditional for our present-day chthonian infantile gods,[221] the brownies (Penates), and all the typical kind of dwarfs. Freud[222] has already called our attention to the phallic meaning of the hat in modern phantasies. A further significance is that probably the pointed cap represents the foreskin. In order not to go too far afield from my theme, I must be satisfied here merely to present the suggestion. But at a later opportunity I shall return to this point with detailed proof.

The dwarf form leads to the figure of the divine boy, the puer eternus, the young Dionysus, Jupiter Anxurus, Tages,[223] and so on. In the vase painting of Thebes, 134already mentioned, a bearded Dionysus is represented as ΚΑΒΕΙΡΟΣ, together with a figure of a boy as Παῖς, followed by a caricatured boy’s figure designated as ΠΡΑΤΟΛΑΟΣ and then again a caricatured man, which is represented as ΜΙΤΟΣ.[224] Μίτος really means thread, but in orphic speech it stands for semen. It was conjectured that this collection corresponded to a group of statuary in the sanctuary of a cult. This supposition is supported by the history of the cult as far as it is known; it is an original Phœnician cult of father and son;[225] of an old and young Cabir who were more or less assimilated with the Grecian gods. The double figures of the adult and the child Dionysus lend themselves particularly to this assimilation. One might also call this the cult of the large and small man. Now, under various aspects, Dionysus is a phallic god in whose worship the phallus held an important place; for example, in the cult of the Argivian Bull—Dionysus. Moreover, the phallic herme of the god has given occasion for a personification of the phallus of Dionysus, in the form of the god Phales, who is nothing else but a Priapus. He is called ἑταῖρος or σύγκωμος Βάκχου[226].[227] Corresponding to this state of affairs, one cannot very well fail to recognize in the previously mentioned Cabiric representation, and in the added boy’s figure, the picture of man and his penis.[228] The previously mentioned paradox in the Upanishad text of large and small, of giant and dwarf, is expressed more mildly here by man and boy, or father and son.[229] The motive of deformity which is used constantly by the 135Cabiric cult is present also in the vase picture, while the parallel figures to Dionysus and Παῖς are the caricatured Μίτος and Πρατόλαος. Just as formerly the difference in size gave occasion for division, so does the deformity here.[230]

Without first bringing further proof to bear, I may remark that from this knowledge especially strong sidelights are thrown upon the original psychologic meaning of the religious heroes. Dionysus stands in an intimate relation with the psychology of the early Asiatic God who died and rose again from the dead and whose manifold manifestations have been brought together in the figure of Christ into a firm personality enduring for centuries. We gain from our premise the knowledge that these heroes, as well as their typical fates, are personifications of the human libido and its typical fates. They are imagery, like the figures of our nightly dreams—the actors and interpreters of our secret thoughts. And since we, in the present day, have the power to decipher the symbolism of dreams and thereby surmise the mysterious psychologic history of development of the individual, so a way is here opened to the understanding of the secret springs of impulse beneath the psychologic development of races. Our previous trains of thought, which demonstrate the phallic side of the symbolism of the libido, also show how thoroughly justified is the term “libido.”[231] Originally taken from the sexual sphere, this word has become the most frequent technical expression of psychoanalysis, for the simple reason that its significance is wide enough to cover all the unknown and 136countless manifestations of the Will in the sense of Schopenhauer. It is sufficiently comprehensive and rich in meaning to characterize the real nature of the psychical entity which it includes. The exact classical significance of the word libido qualifies it as an entirely appropriate term. Libido is taken in a very wide sense in Cicero:[232]

(Volunt ex duobus opinatis) bonis (nasci) Libidinem et Lætitiam; ut sit lætitia præsentium bonorum: libido futurorum.—Lætitia autem et Libido in bonorum opinione versantur, cum Libido ad id, quod videtur bonum, illecta et inflammata rapiatur.—Natura enim omnes ea, quæ bona videntur, sequuntur, fugiuntque contraria. Quamobrem simul objecta species cuiuspiam est, quod bonum videatur, ad id adipiscendum impellit ipsa natura. Id cum constanter prudenterque fit, ejusmodi appetitionem stoici βούλησιν appellant, nos appellamus voluntatem; eam illi putant in solo esse sapiente, quam sic definiunt; voluntas est quæ quid cum ratione desiderat: quæ autem ratione adversa incitata est vehementius, ea libido est, vel cupiditas effrenata, quæ in omnibus stultis invenitur.[233]

The meaning of libido here is “to wish,” and in the stoical distinction of will, dissolute desire. Cicero[234] used “libido” in a corresponding sense:

137Agere rem aliquam libidine, non ratione.[235]

In the same sense Sallust says:

Iracundia pars est libidinis.

In another place in a milder and more general sense, which completely approaches the analytical use:

Magisque in decoris armis et militaribus equis, quam in scortis et conviviis libidinem habebant.[235]


Quod si tibi bona libido fuerit patriæ, etc.

The use of libido is so general that the phrase “libido est scire” merely had the significance of “I will, it pleases me.” In the phrase “aliquam libido urinæ lacessit” libido had the meaning of urgency. The significance of sexual desire is also present in the classics.

This general classical application of the conception agrees with the corresponding etymological context of the word, libido or lubido (with libet, more ancient lubet), it pleases me, and libens or lubens = gladly, willingly. Sanskrit, lúbhyati = to experience violent longing, lôbhayati = excites longing, lubdha-h = eager, lôbha-h = longing, eagerness. Gothic = liufs, and Old High German liob = love. Moreover, in Gothic, lubains was represented as hope; and Old High German, lobôn = to praise, lob = commendation, praise, glory; Old Bulgarian, ljubiti = to love, ljuby = love; Lithuanian, liáupsinti 138= to praise.[236] It can be said that the conception of libido as developed in the new work of Freud and of his school has functionally the same significance in the biological territory as has the conception of energy since the time of Robert Mayer in the physical realm.[237] It may not be superfluous to say something more at this point concerning the conception of libido after we have followed the formation of its symbol to its highest expression in the human form of the religious hero.



The chief source of the history of the analytic conception of libido is Freud’s “Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory.” There the term libido is conceived by him in the original narrow sense of sexual impulse, sexual need. Experience forces us to the assumption of a capacity for displacement of the libido, because functions or localizations of non-sexual force are undoubtedly capable of taking up a certain amount of libidinous sexual impetus, a libidinous afflux.[238] Functions or objects could, therefore, obtain sexual value, which under normal circumstances really have nothing to do with sexuality.[239] From this fact results the Freudian comparison of the libido with a stream, which is divisible, which can be dammed up, which overflows into branches, and so on.[240] Freud’s original conception does not interpret “everything sexual,” although this has been asserted by critics, but recognizes the existence of certain forces, the nature of which are not well known; to which Freud, however, compelled by the notorious facts which are evident to any layman, grants the capacity to receive “affluxes of libido.” The hypothetical idea at the basis is the symbol of the “Triebbündel”[241] (bundle of impulses), wherein the sexual impulse figures as a partial impulse of the whole 140system, and its encroachment into the other realms of impulse is a fact of experience. The theory of Freud, branching off from this interpretation, according to which the motor forces of a neurotic system correspond precisely to their libidinous additions to other (non-sexual) functional impulses, has been sufficiently proven as correct, it seems to me, by the work of Freud and his school.[242] Since the appearance of the “Three Contributions,” in 1905, a change has taken place[243] in the libido conception; its field of application has been widened. An extremely clear example of this amplification is this present work. However, I must state that Freud, as well as myself, saw the need of widening the conception of libido. It was paranoia, so closely related to dementia præcox, which seemed to compel Freud to enlarge the earlier limits of the conception. The passage in question, which I will quote here, word for word, reads:[244]

“A third consideration which presents itself, in regard to the views developed here, starts the query as to whether we should accept as sufficiently effectual the universal receding of the libido from the outer world, in order to interpret from that, the end of the world: or whether in this case, the firmly rooted possession of the ‘I’ must not suffice to uphold the rapport with the outer world. Then one must either let that which we call possession of the libido (interest from erotic sources) coincide with interest in general, or else take into consideration the possibility that great disturbance in the disposition of the libido can also induce a corresponding disturbance in the possession of the ‘I.’ Now, these are the problems, which we are still absolutely helpless and unfitted to answer. Things would be different could we proceed from a safe fund of knowledge of instinct. But the truth is, we have nothing of that kind at our disposal. We understand instinct as the resultant of the reaction of the somatic and the psychic. 141We see in it the psychical representation of organic forces and take the popular distinction between the ‘I’ impulse and the sexual impulse, which appears to us to be in accord with the biological double rôle of the individual being who aspires to his own preservation as well as to the preservation of the species. But anything beyond this is a structure, which we set up, and also willingly let fall again in order to orient ourselves in the confusion of the dark processes of the soul; we expect particularly, from the psychoanalytic investigations into diseased soul processes, to have certain decisions forced upon us in regard to questions of the theory of instinct. This expectation has not yet been fulfilled on account of the still immature and limited investigations in these fields. At present the possibility of the reaction of libido disturbance upon the possession of the ‘I’ can be shown as little as the reverse; the secondary or induced disturbances of the libido processes through abnormal changes in the ‘I.’ It is probable that processes of this sort form the distinctive character of the psychoses. The conclusions arising from this, in relation to paranoia, are at present uncertain. One cannot assert that the paranoiac has completely withdrawn his interest from the outer world, nor withdrawn into the heights of repression, as one sometimes sees in certain other forms of hallucinatory psychoses. He takes notice of the outer world, he takes account of its changes, he is stirred to explanations by their influence, and therefore I consider it highly probable that the changed relation to the world is to be explained, wholly or in great part, by the deficiency of the libido interest.”

In this passage Freud plainly touches upon the question whether the well-known longing for reality of the paranoic dement (and the dementia præcox patients),[245] to whom I have especially called attention in my book, “The Psychology of Dementia Præcox,”[246] is to be traced back to the withdrawal of the “libidinous affluxes” alone, or whether this coincides with the so-called objective interest in general. It is hardly to be assumed 142that the normal “fonction du réel” (Janet)[247] is maintained only through affluxes of libido or erotic interest. The fact is that in very many cases reality disappears entirely, so that not a trace of psychological adaptation or orientation can be recognized. Reality is repressed under these circumstances and replaced by the contents of the complex. One must of necessity say that not only the erotic interest but the interest in general has disappeared, that is to say, the whole adaptation to reality has ceased. To this category belong the stuporose and catatonic automatons.

I have previously made use of the expression “psychic energy” in my “Psychology of Dementia Præcox” because I was unable to establish the theory of this psychosis upon the conception of the displacement of the affluxes of libido. My experience, at that time chiefly psychiatric, did not enable me to understand this theory. However, the correctness of this theory in regard to neuroses, strictly speaking the transference neuroses, was proven to me later after increased experience in the field of hysteria and compulsion neuroses. In the territory of these neuroses it is mainly a question whether any portion of the libido which is spared through the specific repression becomes introverted and regressive into earlier paths of transference; for example, the path of the parental transference.[248] With that, however, the former non-sexual psychologic adaptation to the environment remains preserved so far as it does not concern the erotic and its secondary positions (symptoms). The reality which is lacking to the patients is just that portion 143of the libido to be found in the neurosis. In dementia præcox, on the contrary, not merely that portion of libido which is saved in the well-known specific sexual repression is lacking for reality, but much more than one could write down to the account of sexuality in a strict sense. The function of reality is lacking to such a degree that even the motive power must be encroached upon in the loss. The sexual character of this must be disputed absolutely,[249] for reality is not understood to be a sexual function. Moreover, if that were so, the introversion of the libido in the strict sense must have as a result a loss of reality in the neuroses, and, indeed, a loss which could be compared with that of dementia præcox. These facts have rendered it impossible for me to transfer Freud’s theory of libido to dementia præcox, and, therefore, I am of the opinion that Abraham’s investigation[250] is hardly tenable theoretically, from the standpoint of the Freudian theory of libido. If Abraham believes that through the withdrawal of the libido from the outer world the paranoid system or the schizophrenic symptomatology results, then this assumption is not justified from the standpoint of the knowledge of that time, because a mere libido introversion and regression leads, speedily, as Freud has clearly shown, into the neuroses, and, strictly speaking, into the transference neuroses, and not into dementia præcox. Therefore, the transference of the libido theory to dementia præcox is impossible, because this illness produces a loss of reality which cannot be explained by the deficiency of the libido defined in this narrow sense.

It affords me especial satisfaction that our teacher also, 144when he laid his hand on the delicate material of the paranoic psychology, was forced to doubt the applicability of the conception of libido held by him at that time. The sexual definition of this did not permit me to understand those disturbances of function, which affect the vague territory of the hunger instinct just as much as that of the sexual instinct. For a long time the theory of libido seemed to me inapplicable to dementia præcox. With increasing experience in analytical work, however, I became aware of a gradual change in my conception of libido. In place of the descriptive definition of the “Three Contributions” there gradually grew up a generic definition of the libido, which rendered it possible for me to replace the expression “psychic energy” by the term “libido.” I was forced to ask myself whether indeed the function of reality to-day does not consist only in its smaller part of libido sexualis and in the greater part of other impulses? It is still a very important question whether phylogenetically the function of reality is not, at least in great part, of sexual origin. To answer this question directly in regard to the function of reality is not possible, but we shall attempt to come to an understanding indirectly.

A fleeting glance at the history of evolution is sufficient to teach us that countless complicated functions to which to-day must be denied any sexual character were originally pure derivations from the general impulse of propagation. During the ascent through the animal kingdom an important displacement in the fundamentals of the procreative instinct has taken place. The mass of 145the reproductive products with the uncertainty of fertilization has more and more been replaced by a controlled impregnation and an effective protection of the offspring. In this way part of the energy required in the production of eggs and sperma has been transposed into the creation of mechanisms for allurement and for protection of the young. Thus we discover the first instincts of art in animals used in the service of the impulse of creation, and limited to the breeding season. The original sexual character of these biological institutions became lost in their organic fixation and functional independence. Even if there can be no doubt about the sexual origin of music, still it would be a poor, unæsthetic generalization if one were to include music in the category of sexuality. A similar nomenclature would then lead us to classify the cathedral of Cologne as mineralogy because it is built of stones. It can be a surprise only to those to whom the history of evolution is unknown to find how few things there really are in human life which cannot be reduced in the last analysis to the instinct of procreation. It includes very nearly everything, I think, which is beloved and dear to us. We spoke just now of libido as the creative impulse and at the same time we allied ourselves with the conception which opposes libido to hunger in the same way that the instinct of the preservation of the species is opposed to the instinct of self-preservation. In nature, this artificial distinction does not exist. Here we see only a continuous life impulse, a will to live which will attain the creation of the whole species through the preservation of the individual. Thus far this conception coincides with 146the idea of the Will in Schopenhauer, for we can conceive Will objectively, only as a manifestation of an internal desire. This throwing of psychological perceptions into material reality is characterized philosophically as “introjection.” (Ferenczi’s conception of “introjection” denoted the reverse, that is, the taking of the outer world into the inner world.)[251] Naturally, the conception of the world was distorted by introjection. Freud’s conception of the principle of desire is a voluntary formulation of the idea of introjection, while his once more voluntarily conceived “principle of reality” corresponds functionally to that which I designate as “corrective of reality,” and R. Avenarius[252] designates as “empiriokritische Prinzipialkoordination.” The conception of power owes its existence to this very introjection; this has already been said expressively by Galileo in his remark that its origin is to be sought in the subjective perception of the muscular power of the individual. Because we have already arrived at the daring assumption that the libido, which was employed originally in the exclusive service of egg and seed production, now appears firmly organized in the function of nest-building, and can no longer be employed otherwise; similarly this conception forces us to relate it to every desire, including hunger. For now we can no longer make any essential distinction between the will to build a nest and the will to eat. This view brings us to a conception of libido, which extends over the boundaries of the physical sciences into a philosophical aspect—to a conception of the will in general. I must give this bit of psychological “Voluntarismus” into the hands of the 147philosophers for them to manage. For the rest I refer to the words of Schopenhauer[253] relating to this. In connection with the psychology of this conception (by which I understand neither metapsychology nor metaphysics) I am reminded here of the cosmogenic meaning of Eros in Plato and Hesiod,[254] and also of the orphic figure of Phanes, the “shining one,” the first created, the “father of Eros.” Phanes has also orphically the significance of Priapus; he is a god of love, bisexual and similar to the Theban Dionysus Lysios.[255] The orphic meaning of Phanes is similar to that of the Indian Kâma, the god of love, which is also the cosmogenic principle. To Plotinus, of the Neo-Platonic school, the world-soul is the energy of the intellect.[256] Plotinus compares “The One,” the creative primal principle, with light in general; the intellect with the Sun (♂), the world-soul with the moon (♀). In another comparison Plotinus compares “The One” with the Father, the intellect with the Son.[257] The “One” designated as Uranus is transcendent. The son as Kronos has dominion over the visible world. The world-soul (designated as Zeus) appears as subordinate to him. The “One,” or the Usia of the whole existence is designated by Plotinus as hypostatic, also as the three forms of emanation, also μία οὐσία ἐν τρισὶν ὑποστάσεσιν.[258] As Drews observed, this is also the formula of the Christian Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost) as it was decided upon at the councils of Nicea and Constantinople.[259] It may also be noticed that certain early Christian sectarians attributed a maternal significance 148to the Holy Ghost (world-soul, moon). (See what follows concerning Chi of Timæus.) According to Plotinus, the world-soul has a tendency toward a divided existence and towards divisibility, the conditio sine qua non of all change, creation and procreation (also a maternal quality). It is an “unending all of life” and wholly energy; it is a living organism of ideas, which attain in it effectiveness and reality.[260] The intellect is its procreator, its father, which, having conceived it, brings it to development in thought.[261]

“What lies enclosed in the intellect, comes to development in the world-soul as logos, fills it with meaning and makes it as if intoxicated with nectar.”[262]

Nectar is analogous to soma, the drink of fertility and of life, also to sperma. The soul is fructified by the intellect; as oversoul it is called heavenly Aphrodite, as the undersoul the earthly Aphrodite. “It knows the birth pangs,”[263] and so on. The bird of Aphrodite, the dove, is not without good cause the symbol of the Holy Ghost.

This fragment of the history of philosophy, which may easily be enlarged, shows the significance of the endopsychic perception of the libido and of its symbolism in human thought.

In the diversity of natural phenomena we see the desire, the libido, in the most diverse applications and forms. We see the libido in the stage of childhood almost wholly occupied in the instinct of nutrition, which takes care of the upbuilding of the body. With the development of the body there are successively opened new spheres of application 149for the libido. The last sphere of application, and surpassing all the others in its functional significance, is sexuality, which seems at first almost bound up with the function of nutrition. (Compare with this the influence on procreation of the conditions of nutrition in lower animals and plants.) In the territory of sexuality, the libido wins that formation, the enormous importance of which has justified us in the use of the term libido in general. Here the libido appears very properly as an impulse of procreation, and almost in the form of an undifferentiated sexual primal libido, as an energy of growth, which clearly forces the individual towards division, budding, etc. (The clearest distinction between the two forms of libido is to be found among those animals in whom the stage of nutrition is separated from the sexual stage by a chrysalis stage.)

From that sexual primal libido which produced millions of eggs and seeds from one small creature derivatives have been developed with the great limitation of the fecundity; derivatives in which the functions are maintained by a special differentiated libido. This differentiated libido is henceforth desexualized because it is dissociated from its original function of egg and sperma production; nor is there any possibility of restoring it to its original function. Thus, in general, the process of development consists in an increasing transformation of the primal libido which only produced products of generation to the secondary functions of allurement and protection of the young. This now presupposes a very different and very complicated relation to reality, a true 150function of reality, which, functionally inseparable, is bound up with the needs of procreation. Thus the altered mode of procreation carries with it as a correlate a correspondingly heightened adaptation to reality.[264]

In this way we attain an insight into certain primitive conditions of the function of reality. It would be radically wrong to say that its compelling power is a sexual one. It was a sexual one to a large extent. The process of transformation of the primal libido into secondary impulses always took place in the form of affluxes of sexual libido, that is to say, sexuality became deflected from its original destination and a portion of it turned, little by little, increasing in amount, into the phylogenetic impulse of the mechanisms of allurement and of protection of the young. This diversion of the sexual libido from the sexual territory into associated functions is still taking place.[265] Where this operation succeeds without injury to the adaptation of the individual it is called sublimation. Where the attempt does not succeed it is called repression.

The descriptive standpoint of psychology accepts the multiplicity of instincts, among which is the sexual instinct, as a special phenomenon; moreover, it recognizes certain affluxes of libido to non-sexual instincts.

Quite otherwise is the genetic standpoint. It regards the multiplicity of instincts as issuing from a relative unity, the primal libido;[266] it recognizes that definite amounts of the primal libido are split off, as it were, associated with the newly formed functions and finally merged in them. As a result of this it is impossible, from the genetic standpoint, to hold to the strictly limited conception 151of libido of the descriptive standpoint; it leads inevitably to a broadening of the conception. With this we come to the theory of libido that I have surreptitiously introduced into the first part of this work for the purpose of making this genetic conception familiar to the reader. The explanation of this harmless deceit I have saved until the second part.

For the first time, through this genetic idea of libido, which in every way surpasses the descriptive sexual, the transference was made possible of the Freudian libido theory into the psychology of mental disease. The passage quoted above shows how the present Freudian conception of libido collides with the problem of the psychoses.[267] Therefore, when I speak of libido, I associate with it the genetic conception which contains not only the immediate sexual but also an amount of desexualized primal libido. When I say a sick person takes his libido away from the outer world, in order to take possession of the inner world with it, I do not mean that he takes away merely the affluxes from the function of reality, but he takes energy away, according to my view, from those desexualized instincts which regularly and properly support the function of reality.

With this alteration in the libido conception, certain parts of our terminology need revision as well. As we know, Abraham has undertaken the experiment of transferring the Freudian libido theory to dementia præcox and has conceived the characteristic lack of rapport and the cessation of the function of reality as autoerotism. This conception needs revision. Hysterical introversion 152of the libido leads to autoerotism, since the patient’s erotic afflux of libido designed for the function of adaptation is introverted, whereby his ego is occupied by the corresponding amount of erotic libido. The schizophrenic, however, shuns reality far more than merely the erotic afflux would account for; therefore, his inner condition is very different from that of the hysteric. He is more than autoerotic, he builds up an intra-psychic equivalent for reality, for which purpose he has necessarily to employ other dynamics than that afforded by the erotic afflux. Therefore, I must grant to Bleuler the right to reject the conception of autoerotism, taken from the study of hysterical neuroses, and there legitimate, and to replace it by the conception of autismus.[268] I am forced to say that this term is better fitted to facts than autoerotism. With this I acknowledge my earlier idea of the identity of autismus (Bleuler) and autoerotism (Freud) as unjustified, and, therefore, retract it.[269] This thorough revision of the conception of libido has compelled me to this.

From these considerations it follows necessarily that the descriptive psychologic conception of libido must be given up in order for the libido theory to be applied to dementia præcox. That it is there applicable is best shown in Freud’s brilliant investigation of Schreber’s phantasies. The question now is whether this genetic conception of libido proposed by me is suitable for the neuroses. I believe that this question may be answered affirmatively. “Natura non fecit saltum”—it is not merely to be expected but it is also probable that at least temporary functional disturbances of various degrees appear 153in the neuroses, which transcend the boundaries of the immediate sexual; in any case, this occurs in psychotic episodes. I consider the broadening of the conception of libido which has developed through the most recent analytic work as a real advance which will prove of especial advantage in the important field of the introversion psychoses. Proofs of the correctness of my assumption are already at hand. It has become apparent through a series of researches of the Zurich School, which are now published in part,[270] that the phantastic substitution products which take the place of the disturbed function of reality bear unmistakable traces of archaic thought. This confirmation is parallel to the postulate asserted above, according to which reality is deprived, not merely of an immediate (individual) amount of libido, but also of an already differentiated or desexualized quantity of libido, which, among normal people, has belonged to the function of reality ever since prehistoric times. A dropping away of the last acquisition of the function of reality (or adaptation) must of necessity be replaced by an earlier mode of adaptation. We find this principle already in the doctrines of the neuroses, that is, that a repression resulting from the failure of the recent transference is replaced by an old way of transference, namely, through a regressive revival of the parent imago. In the transference neurosis (hysterical), where merely a part of the immediate sexual libido is taken away from reality by the specific sexual repression, the substituted product is a phantasy of individual origin and significance, with only a trace of those archaic traits found in the phantasies of those 154mental disorders in which a portion of the general human function of reality organized since antiquity has broken off. This portion can be replaced only by a generally valid archaic surrogate. We owe a simple and clear example of this proposition to the investigation of Honegger.[271] A paranoic of good intelligence who has a clear idea of the spherical form of the earth and its rotation around the sun replaces the modern astronomical views by a system worked out in great detail, which one must call archaic, in which the earth is a flat disc over which the sun travels.[272] (I am reminded of the sun-phallus mentioned in the first part of this book, for which we are also indebted to Honegger.) Spielrein has likewise furnished some very interesting examples of archaic definitions which begin in certain illnesses to overlay the real meanings of the modern word. For example, Spielrein’s patient had correctly discovered the mythological significance of alcohol, the intoxicating drink, to be “an effusion of seed.”[273] She also had a symbolism of boiling which I must place parallel to the especially important alchemistic vision of Zosimos,[274] who found people in boiling water within the cavity of the altar.[275] This patient used earth in place of mother, and also water to express mother.[276] I refrain from further examples because future work of the Zurich School will furnish abundant evidence of this sort.

My foregoing proposition of the replacement of the disturbed function of reality by an archaic surrogate is supported by an excellent paradox of Spielrein’s. She says: “I often had the illusion that these patients might 155be simply victims of a folk superstition.” As a matter of fact, patients substitute phantasies for reality, phantasies similar to the actually incorrect mental products of the past, which, however, were once the view of reality. As the Zosimos vision shows, the old superstitions were symbols[277] which permitted transitions to the most remote territory. This must have been very expedient for certain archaic periods, for by this means convenient bridges were offered to lead a partial amount of libido over into the mental realm. Evidently Spielrein thinks of a similar biological meaning of the symbols when she says:[278]

“Thus a symbol seems to me to owe its origin in general to the tendency of a complex for dissolution in the common totality of thought.... The complex is robbed by that of the personal element.... This tendency towards dissolution (transformation) of every individual complex is the motive for poetry, painting, for every sort of art.”

When here we replace the formal conception “complex” by the conception of the quantity of libido (the total effect of the complex), which, from the standpoint of the libido theory, is a justified measure, then does Spielrein’s view easily agree with mine. When primitive man understands in general what an act of generation is, then, according to the principle of the path of least resistance, he never can arrive at the idea of replacing the generative organs by a sword-blade or a shuttle; but this is the case with certain Indians, who explain the origin of mankind by the union of the two transference symbols. He then must be compelled to devise an analogous thing in order to bring a manifest sexual interest upon an asexual expression. 156The propelling motive of this transition of the immediate sexual libido to the non-sexual representation can, in my opinion, be found only in a resistance which opposes primitive sexuality.

It appears as if, by this means of phantastic analogy formation, more libido would gradually become desexualized, because increasingly more phantasy correlates were put in the place of the primitive achievement of the sexual libido. With this an enormous broadening of the world idea was gradually developed because new objects were always assimilated as sexual symbols. It is a question whether the human consciousness has not been brought to its present state entirely or in great part in this manner. It is evident, in any case, that an important significance in the development of the human mind is due to the impulse towards the discovery of analogy. We must agree thoroughly with Steinthal when he says that an absolutely overweening importance must be granted to the little phrase “Gleich wie” (even as) in the history of the development of thought. It is easy to believe that the carryover of the libido to a phantastic correlate has led primitive man to a number of the most important discoveries.



In the following pages I will endeavor to picture a concrete example of the transition of the libido. I once treated a patient who suffered from a depressive catatonic condition. The case was one of only a slight introversion psychosis; therefore, the existence of many hysterical features was not surprising. In the beginning of the analytic treatment, while telling of a very painful occurrence she fell into a hysterical-dreamy state, in which she showed all signs of sexual excitement. For obvious reasons she lost the knowledge of my presence during this condition. The excitement led to a masturbative act (frictio femorum). This act was accompanied by a peculiar gesture. She made a very violent rotary motion with the forefinger of the left hand on the left temple, as if she were boring a hole there. Afterwards there was complete amnesia for what had happened, and there was nothing to be learned about the queer gesture with her hand. Although this act can easily be likened to a boring into the mouth, nose or ear, now transferred to the temple, it belongs in the territory of infantile ludus sexualis[279]—to the preliminary exercise preparatory to sexual activity. Without really understanding it, this gesture, 158nevertheless, seemed very important to me. Many weeks later I had an opportunity to speak to the patient’s mother, and from her I learned that her daughter had been a very exceptional child. When only two years old she would sit with her back to an open cupboard door for hours and rhythmically beat her head against the door[280]—to the distraction of the household. A little later, instead of playing as other children, she began to bore a hole with her finger in the plaster of the wall of the house. She did this with little turning and scraping movements, and kept herself busy at this occupation for hours. She was a complete puzzle to her parents. From her fourth year she practised onanism. It is evident that in this early infantile activity the preliminary stage of the later trouble may be found. The especially remarkable features in this case are, first, that the child did not carry out the action on its own body, and, secondly, the assiduity with which it carried on the action.[281] One is tempted to bring these two facts into a causal relationship and to say, because the child does not accomplish this action on her own body, perhaps that is the reason of the assiduity, for by boring into the wall she never arrives at the same satisfaction as if she executed the activity onanistically on her own body.

The very evident onanistic boring of the patient can be traced back to a very early stage of childhood, which is prior to the period of local onanism. That time is still psychologically very obscure, because individual reproductions and memories are lacking to a great extent, the same as among animals. The race characteristics (manner of life) predominate during the entire life of the animal, 159whereas among men the individual character asserts itself over the race type. Granting the correctness of this remark, we are struck with the apparently wholly incomprehensible individual activity of this child at this early age. We learn from her later life history that her development, which is, as is always the case, intimately interwoven with parallel external events, has led to that mental disturbance which is especially well known on account of its individuality and the originality of its productions, i. e. dementia præcox. The peculiarity of this disturbance, as we have pointed out above, depends upon the predominance of the phantastic form of thought—of the infantile in general. From this type of thinking proceed all those numerous contacts with mythological products, and that which we consider as original and wholly individual creations are very often creations which are comparable with nothing but those of antiquity. I believe that this comparison can be applied to all formations of this remarkable illness, and perhaps also to this special symptom of boring. We have already seen that the onanistic boring of the patient dated from a very early stage of childhood, that is to say, it was reproduced from that period of the past. The sick woman fell back for the first time into the early onanism only after she had been married many years, and following the death of her child, with whom she had identified herself through an overindulgent love. When the child died the still healthy mother was overcome by early infantile symptoms in the form of scarcely concealed fits of masturbation, which were associated with this very act of boring. As already observed, the primary 160boring appeared at a time which preceded the infantile onanism localized in the genitals. This fact is of significance in so far as this boring differs thereby from a similar later practice which appeared after the genital onanism. The later bad habits represent, as a rule, a substitution for repressed genital masturbation, or for an attempt in this direction. As such these habits (finger-sucking, biting the nails, picking at things, boring into the ears and nose, etc.) may persist far into adult life as regular symptoms of a repressed amount of libido.

As has already been shown above, the libido in youthful individuals at first manifests itself in the nutritional zone, when food is taken in the act of suckling with rhythmic movements and with every sign of satisfaction. With the growth of the individual and the development of his organs the libido creates for itself new avenues to supply its need of activity and satisfaction. The primary model of rhythmic activity, producing pleasure and satisfaction, must now be transferred to the zone of other functions, with sexuality as its final goal. A considerable part of the “hunger libido” is transferred into the “sexual libido.” This transition does not take place suddenly at the time of puberty, as is generally supposed, but very gradually in the course of the greater part of childhood. The libido can free itself only with difficulty and very slowly from that which is peculiar to the function of nutrition, in order to enter into the peculiarity of the sexual function. Two periods are to be distinguished in this state of transition, so far as I can judge—the epoch of suckling and the epoch of the displaced rhythmic activity. 161Suckling still belongs to the function of nutrition, but passes beyond it, however, in that it is no longer the function of nutrition, but rhythmic activity, with pleasure and satisfaction as a goal, without the taking of nourishment. Here the hand enters as an auxiliary organ. In the period of the displaced rhythmic activity the hand appears still more clearly as an auxiliary organ; the gaining of pleasure leaves the mouth zone and turns to other regions. The possibilities are now many. As a rule, other openings of the body become the objects of the libido interest; then the skin, and special portions of that. The activity expressed in these parts, which can appear as rubbing, boring, picking, and so on, follows a certain rhythm and serves to produce pleasure. After longer or shorter tarryings of the libido at these stations, it passes onward until it reaches the sexual zone, and there, for the first time, can be occasion for the beginning of onanistic attempts. In its migration the libido takes more than a little of the function of nutrition with it into the sexual zone, which readily accounts for the numerous and innate correlations between the functions of nutrition and sexuality. If, after the occupation of the sexual zone, an obstacle arises against the present form of application of the libido, then there occurs, according to the well-known laws, a regression to the nearest station lying behind, to the two above-mentioned periods. It is now of special importance that the epoch of the displaced rhythmic activity coincides in a general way with the time of the development of the mind and of speech. I might designate the period from birth until the occupation of the sexual zone as the presexual 162stage of development. This generally occurs between the third and fifth year, and is comparable to the chrysalis stage in butterflies. It is distinguished by the irregular commingling of the elements of nutrition and of sexual functions. Certain regressions follow directly back to the presexual stage, and, judging from my experience, this seems to be the rule in the regression of dementia præcox. I will give two brief examples. One case concerns a young girl who developed a catatonic state during her engagement. When she saw me for the first time, she came up suddenly, embraced me, and said, “Papa, give me something to eat.” The other case concerns a young maidservant who complained that people pursued her with electricity and that this caused a queer feeling in her genitals, “as if it ate and drank down there.”

These regressive phenomena show that even from the distance of the modern mind those early stages of the libido can be regressively reached. One may assume, therefore, that in the earliest states of human development this road was much more easily travelled than it is to-day. It becomes then a matter of great interest to learn whether traces of this have been preserved in history.

We owe our knowledge of the ethnologic phantasy of boring to the valuable work of Abraham,[282] who also refers us to the writings of Adalbert Kuhn.[283] Through this investigation we learn that Prometheus, the fire-bringer, may be a brother of the Hindoo Pramantha, that is to say, of the masculine fire-rubbing piece of wood. The Hindoo fire-bringer is called Mâtariçvan, and the activity 163of the fire preparation is always designated in the hieratic text by the verb “manthâmi,”[284] which means shaking, rubbing, bringing forth by rubbing. Kuhn has put this verb in connection with the Greek μανθάνω, which means “to learn,” and has explained this conceptual relationship.[285] The “tertium comparationis” might lie in the rhythm, the movement to and fro in the mind. According to Kuhn, the root “manth” or “math” must be traced from μανθάνω (μάθημα, μάθησις) to προ-μηθέομαι to Προμηθεύς,[286] who is the Greek fire-robber. Through an unauthorized Sanskrit word “pramâthyus,” which comes by way of “pramantha,” and which possesses the double meaning of “Rubber” and “Robber,” the transition to Prometheus was effected. With that, however, the prefix “pra” caused special difficulty, so that the whole derivation was doubted by a series of authors, and was held, in part, as erroneous. On the other hand, it was pointed out that as the Thuric Zeus bore the especially interesting cognomen Προ-μανθεύς, thus Προ-μηθεύς might not be an original Indo-Germanic stem word that was related to the Sanskrit “pramantha,” but might represent only a cognomen. This interpretation is supported by a gloss of Hesychius, Ἰθάς: ὁ τῶν Τιτάνων κήρυξ Προμηθεύς.[287] Another gloss of Hesychius explains ἰθαίνομαι (ιαίνω) as θερμαίνομαι, through which Ἰθάς attains the meaning of “the flaming one,” analogous to Αἴθων or Φλεγύας.[288] The relation of Prometheus to 164pramantha could scarcely be so direct as Kuhn conjectures. The question of an indirect relation is not decided with that. Above all, Προμηθεύς is of great significance as a surname for Ἰθάς, since the “flaming one” is the “fore-thinker.” (Pramati = precaution is also an attribute of Agni, although pramati is of another derivation.) Prometheus, however, belongs to the line of Phlegians which was placed by Kuhn in uncontested relationship to the Indian priest family of Bhṛgu.[289] The Bhṛgu are like Mâtariçvan (the “one swelling in the mother”), also fire-bringers. Kuhn quotes a passage, according to which Bhṛgu also arises from the flame like Agni. (“In the flame Bhṛgu originated. Bhṛgu roasted, but did not burn.”) This view leads to a root related to Bhṛgu, that is to say, to the Sanskrit bhrây = to light, Latin fulgeo and Greek φλέγω (Sanskrit bhargas = splendor, Latin fulgur). Bhṛgu appears, therefore, as “the shining one.” Φλεγύας means a certain species of eagle, on account of its burnished gold color. The connection with φλέγειν, which signifies “to burn,” is clear. The Phlegians are also the fire eagles.[290] Prometheus also belongs to the Phlegians. The path from Pramantha to Prometheus passes not through the word, but through the idea, and, therefore, we should adopt this same meaning for Prometheus as that which Pramantha attains from the Hindoo fire symbolism.[291]

The Pramantha, as the tool of Manthana (the fire sacrifice), is considered purely sexual in the Hindoo; the Pramantha as phallus, or man; the bored wood underneath as vulva, or woman.[292] The resulting fire is the 165child, the divine son Agni. The two pieces of wood are called in the cult Purûravas and Urvaçî, and were thought of personified as man and woman. The fire was born from the genitals of the woman.[293] An especially interesting representation of fire production, as a religious ceremony (manthana), is given by Weber:[294]

“A certain sacrificial fire was lit by the rubbing together of two sticks; one piece of wood is taken up with the words: ‘Thou art the birthplace of the fire,’ and two blades of grass are placed upon it; ‘Ye are the two testicles,’ to the ‘adhârarani’ (the underlying wood): ‘Thou art Urvaçî’; then the utarârani (that which is placed on top) is anointed with butter. ‘Thou art Power.’ This is then placed on the adhârarani. ‘Thou art Purûravas’ and both are rubbed three times. ‘I rub thee with the Gâyatrîmetrum: I rub thee with the Trishtubhmeṭrum: I rub thee with the Jagatîmetrum.’”

The sexual symbolism of this fire production is unmistakable. We see here also the rhythm, the metre in its original place as sexual rhythm, rising above the mating call into music. A song of the Rigveda[295] conveys the same interpretation and symbolism:

“Here is the gear for function, here tinder made ready for the spark.
Bring thou the matron:[296] we will rub Agni in ancient fashion forth.
In the two fire-sticks Jâtavedas lieth, even as the well-formed germ in pregnant women;
Agni who day by day must be exalted by men who watch and worship with oblations;
Lay this with care on that which lies extended: straight hath she borne the steer when made prolific.
166With his red pillar—radiant in his splendor—in our skilled task is born the son of Ilâ.”[297]Book III. xxix: 1–3.

Side by side with the unequivocal coitus symbolism we see that the Pramantha is also Agni, the created son. The Phallus is the son, or the son is the Phallus. Therefore, Agni in the Vedic mythology has the threefold character. With this we are once more connected with the above-mentioned Cabiric Father-Son-Cult. In the modern German language we have preserved echoes of the primitive symbols. A boy is designated as “bengel” (short, thick piece of wood). In Hessian as “stift” or “bolzen” (arrow,[298] wooden peg or stump). The Artemisia Abrotanum, which is called in German “Stabwurz” (stick root), is called in English “Boy’s Love.” (The vulgar designation of the penis as “boy” was remarked even by Grimm and others.) The ceremonial production of fire was retained in Europe as late as the nineteenth century as a superstitious custom. Kuhn mentions such a case even in the year 1828, which occurred in Germany. The solemn, magic ceremony was called the “Nodfyr”—“The fire of need”[299]—and the charm was chiefly used against cattle epidemics. Kuhn cites from the chronicle of Lanercost of the year 1268 an especially noteworthy case of the “Nodfyr,”[300] the ceremonies of which plainly reveal the fundamental phallic meaning:

Pro fidei divinæ integritate servanda recolat lector, quod cum hoc anno in Laodonia pestis grassaretur in pecudes armenti, quam vocant usetati Lungessouht, quidam bestiales, habitu claustrales non animo, docebant idiotas patriæ ignem confrictione de lignis educere et simulacrum Priapi statuere, et per hæc bestiis succurrere. 167Quod cum unus laicus Cisterciensis apud Fentone fecisset ante atrium aulæ, ac intinctis testiculis canis in aquam benedictam super animalis sparsisset, etc.[301]

These examples, which allow us to recognize a clear sexual symbolism in the generation of fire, prove, therefore, since they originate from different times and different peoples, the existence of a universal tendency to credit to fire production not only a magical but also a sexual significance. This ceremonial or magic repetition of this very ancient, long-outlived observance shows how insistently the human mind clings to the old forms, and how deeply rooted is this very ancient reminiscence of fire boring. One might almost be inclined to see in the sexual symbolism of fire production a relatively late addition to the priestly lore. This may, indeed, be true for the ceremonial elaboration of the fire mysteries, but whether originally the generation of fire was in general a sexual action, that is to say, a “coitus-play,” is still a question. That similar things occur among very primitive people we learn from the Australian tribe of the Watschandies,[302] who in the spring perform the following magic ceremonies of fertilization: They dig a hole in the ground, so formed and surrounded with bushes as to 168counterfeit a woman’s genitals. They dance the night long around this hole; in connection with this they hold spears in front of themselves in a manner to recall the penis in erection. They dance around the hole and thrust their spears into the ditch, while they cry to it, “Pulli nira, pulli nira, wataka!” (Non fossa, non fossa, sed cunnus!) Such obscene dances appear among other primitive races as well.[303]

In this spring incantation are contained the elements of the coitus play.[304] This play is nothing but a coitus game, that is to say, originally this play was simply a coitus in the form of sacramental mating, which for a long time was a mysterious element among certain cults, and reappeared in sects.[305] In the ceremonies of Zinzendorf’s followers echoes of the coitus sacrament may be recognized; also in other sects.

One can easily think that just as the above-mentioned Australian bushmen perform the coitus play in this manner the same performance could be enacted in another manner, and, indeed, in the form of fire production. Instead of through two selected human beings, the coitus was represented by two substitutes, by Purûravas and Urvaçi, by Phallus and Vulva, by borer and opening. Just as the primitive thought behind other customs is really the sacramental coition so here the primal tendency is really the act itself. For the act of fertilization is the climax—the true festival of life, and well worthy to become the nucleus of a religious mystery. If we are justified in concluding that the symbolism of the hole in the earth used by the Watschandies for the fertilization of 169the earth takes the place of the coitus, then the generation of fire could be considered in the same way as a substitute for coitus; and, indeed, it might be further concluded as a consequence of this reasoning that the invention of fire-making is also due to the need of supplying a symbol for the sexual act.[306]

Let us return, for a moment, to the infantile symptom of boring. Let us imagine a strong adult man carrying on the boring with two pieces of wood with the same perseverance and the energy corresponding to that of this child. He may very easily create fire by this play. But of greatest significance in this work is the rhythm.[307] This hypothesis seems to me psychologically possible, although it should not be said with this that only in this way could the discovery of fire occur. It can result just as well by the striking together of flints. It is scarcely possible that fire was created in only one way. All I want to establish here is merely the psychologic process, the symbolic indications of which point to the possibility that in such a way was fire invented or prepared.

The existence of the primitive coitus play or rite seems to me sufficiently proven. The only thing that is obscure is the energy and emphasis of the ritual play. It is well known that those primitive rites were often of very bloody seriousness, and were performed with an extraordinary display of energy, which appears as a great contrast to the well-known indolence of primitive humanity. Therefore, the ritual activity entirely loses the character of play, and wins that of purposeful effort. If certain Negro races can dance the whole night long to three tones in 170the most monotonous manner, then, according to our idea, there is in this an absolute lack of the character of play pastime; it approaches nearer to exercise. There seems to exist a sort of compulsion to transfer the libido into such ritual activity. If the basis of the ritual activity is the sexual act, we may assume that it is really the underlying thought and object of the exercise. Under these circumstances, the question arises why the primitive man endeavors to represent the sexual act symbolically and with effort, or, if this wording appears to be too hypothetical, why does he exert energy to such a degree only to accomplish practically useless things, which apparently do not especially amuse him?[308] It may be assumed that the sexual act is more desirable to primitive man than such absurd and, moreover, fatiguing exercises. It is hardly possible but that a certain compulsion conducts the energy away from the original object and real purpose, inducing the production of surrogates. The existence of a phallic or orgiastic cult does not indicate eo ipso a particularly lascivious life any more than the ascetic symbolism of Christianity means an especially moral life. One honors that which one does not possess or that which one is not. This compulsion, to speak in the nomenclature formulated above, removes a certain amount of libido from the real sexual activity, and creates a symbolic and practically valid substitute for what is lost. This psychology is confirmed by the above-mentioned Watschandie ceremony; during the entire ceremony none of the men may look at a woman. This detail again informs us from whence the libido is to be diverted. But this gives 171rise to the pressing question, Whence comes this compulsion? We have already suggested above that the primitive sexuality encounters a resistance which leads to a side-tracking of the libido on to substitution actions (analogy, symbolism, etc.). It is unthinkable that it is a question of any outer opposition whatsoever, or of a real obstacle, since it occurs to no savage to catch his elusive quarry with ritual charms; but it is a question of an internal resistance; will opposes will; libido opposes libido, since a psychologic resistance as an energic phenomenon corresponds to a certain amount of libido. The psychologic compulsion for the transformation of the libido is based on an original division of the will. I will return to this primal splitting of the libido in another place. Here let us concern ourselves only with the problem of the transition of the libido. The transition takes place, as has been repeatedly suggested by means of shifting to an analogy. The libido is taken away from its proper place and transferred to another substratum.

The resistance against sexuality aims, therefore, at preventing the sexual act; it also seeks to crowd the libido away from the sexual function. We see, for example, in hysteria, how the specific repression blocks the real path of transference; therefore, the libido is obliged to take another path, and that an earlier one, namely, the incestuous road which ultimately leads to the parents. Let us speak, however, of the incest prohibition, which hindered the very first sexual transference. Then the situation changes in so far that no earlier way of transference is left, except that of the presexual stage of development, 172where the libido was still partly in the function of nutrition. By a regression to the presexual material the libido becomes quasi-desexualized. But as the incest prohibition signifies only a temporary and conditional restriction of the sexuality, thus only that part of the libido which is best designated as the incestuous component is now pushed back to the presexual stage. The repression, therefore, concerns only that part of the sexual libido which wishes to fix itself permanently upon the parents. The sexual libido is only withdrawn from the incestuous component, repressed upon the presexual stage, and there, if the operation is successful, desexualized, by which this amount of libido is prepared for an asexual application. However, it is to be assumed that this operation is accomplished only with difficulty, because the incestuous libido, so to speak, must be artificially separated from the sexual libido, with which, for ages, through the whole animal kingdom, it was indistinguishably united. The regression of the incestuous component must, therefore, take place, not only with great difficulty, but also carry with it into the presexual stage a considerable sexual character. The consequence of this is that the resulting phenomena, although stamped with the character of the sexual act, are, nevertheless, not really sexual acts de facto; they are derived from the presexual stage, and are maintained by the repressed sexual libido, therefore possess a double significance. Thus the fire boring is a coitus (and, to be sure, an incestuous one), but a desexualized one, which has lost its immediate sexual worth, and is, therefore, indirectly useful to the propagation of the 173species. The presexual stage is characterized by countless possibilities of application, because the libido has not yet formed definite localizations. It therefore appears intelligible that an amount of libido which reaches this stage through regression is confronted with manifold possibilities of application. Above all, it is met with the possibility of a purely onanistic activity. But as the matter in question in the regressive component of libido is sexual libido, the ultimate object of which is propagation, therefore it goes to the external object (Parents); it will also introvert with this destination as its essential character. The result, therefore, is that the purely onanistic activity turns out to be insufficient, and another object must be sought for, which takes the place of the incest object. The nurturing mother earth represents the ideal example of such an object. The psychology of the presexual stage contributes the nutrition component; the sexual libido the coitus idea. From this the ancient symbols of agriculture arise. In the work of agriculture hunger and incest intermingle. The ancient cults of mother earth and all the superstitions founded thereon saw in the cultivation of the earth the fertilization of the mother. The aim of the action is desexualized, however, for it is the fruit of the field and the nourishment contained therein. The regression resulting from the incest prohibition leads, in this case, to the new valuation of the mother; this time, however, not as a sexual object, but as a nourisher.

The discovery of fire seems to be due to a very similar regression to the presexual stage, more particularly to the 174nearest stage of the displaced rhythmic manifestation. The libido, introverted from the incest prohibition (with the more detailed designation of the motor components of coitus), when it reaches the presexual stage, meets the related infantile boring, to which it now gives, in accordance with its realistic destination, an actual material. (Therefore the material is fittingly called “materia,” as the object is the mother as above.) As I sought to show above, the action of the infantile boring requires only the strength and perseverance of an adult man and suitable “material” in order to generate fire. If this is so, it may be expected that analogous to our foregoing case of onanistic boring the generation of fire originally occurred as such an act of quasi-onanistic activity, objectively expressed. The demonstration of this can never be actually furnished, but it is thinkable that somewhere traces of this original onanistic preliminary exercise of fire production have been preserved. I have succeeded in finding a passage in a very old monument of Hindoo literature which contains this transition of the sexual libido through the onanistic phase in the preparation of fire. This passage is found in Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad:[309]

“In truth, he (Âtman)[310] was as large as a woman and a man, when they embrace each other. This, his own self, he divided into two parts, out of which husband and wife were formed.[311] With her, he copulated; from this humanity sprang. She, however, pondered: ‘How may he unite with me after he has created me from himself? Now I shall hide!’ Then she became a cow; he, however, became a bull and mated with her. From that sprang the horned cattle. Then she became a mare; he, however, 175became a stallion; she became a she-ass; he, an ass, and mated with her. From these sprang the whole-hoofed animals. She became a goat; he became a buck; she became an ewe; he became a ram, and mated with her. Thus were created goats and sheep. Thus it happened that all that mates, even down to the ants, he created—then he perceived: ‘Truly I myself am Creation, for I have created the whole world!’ Thereupon he rubbed his hands (held before the mouth) so that he brought forth fire from his mouth, as from the mother womb, and from his hands.”

We meet here a peculiar myth of creation which requires a psychologic interpretation. In the beginning the libido was undifferentiated and bisexual;[312] this was followed by differentiation into a male and a female component. From then on man knows what he is. Now follows a gap in the coherence of the thought where belongs that very resistance which we have postulated above for the explanation of the urge for sublimation. Next follows the onanistic act of rubbing or boring (here finger-sucking) transferred from the sexual zone, from which proceeds the production of fire.[313] The libido here leaves its characteristic manifestation as sexual function and regresses to the presexual stage, where, in conformity with the above explanation, it occupies one of the preliminary stages of sexuality, thereby producing, in the view expressed in the Upanishad, the first human art, and from there, as suggested by Kuhn’s idea of the root “manth,” perhaps the higher intellectual activity in general. This course of development is not strange to the psychiatrist, for it is a well-known psychopathological fact that onanism and excessive activity of phantasy are very closely related. (The sexualizing-autonomizing of the 176mind through autoerotism[314] is so familiar a fact that examples of that are superfluous.) The course of the libido, as we may conclude from these studies, originally proceeded in a similar manner as in the child, only in a reversed sequence. The sexual act was pushed out of its proper zone and was transferred into the analogous mouth zone[315]—the mouth receiving the significance of the female genitals; the hand and the fingers, respectively, receiving the phallic meaning.[316] In this manner the regressively reoccupied activity of the presexual stage is invested with the sexual significance, which, indeed, it already possessed, in part, before, but in a wholly different sense. Certain functions of the presexual stage are found to be permanently suitable, and, therefore, are retained later on as sexual functions. Thus, for example, the mouth zone is retained as of erotic importance, meaning that its valuation is permanently fixed. Concerning the mouth, we know that it also has a sexual meaning among animals, inasmuch as, for example, stallions bite mares in the sexual act; also, cats, cocks, etc. A second significance of the mouth is as an instrument of speech, it serves essentially in the production of the mating call, which mostly represents the developed tones of the animal kingdom. As to the hand, we know that it has the important significance of the contrectation organ (for example, among frogs). The frequent erotic use of the hand among monkeys is well known. If there exists a resistance against the real sexuality, then the accumulated libido is most likely to cause a hyperfunction of those collaterals which are most adapted to compensate for the resistance, that is to say, 177the nearest functions which serve for the introduction of the act;[317] on one side the function of the hand, on the other that of the mouth. The sexual act, however, against which the opposition is directed is replaced by a similar act of the presexual stage, the classic case being either finger-sucking or boring. Just as among apes the foot can on occasions take the place of the hand, so the child is often uncertain in the choice of the object to suck, and puts the big toe in the mouth instead of the finger. This last movement belongs to a Hindoo rite, only the big toe was not put in the mouth, but held against the eye.[318] Through the sexual significance of the hand and mouth these organs, which in the presexual stage served to obtain pleasure, are invested with a procreating power which is identical with the above-mentioned destination, which aims at the external object, because it concerns the sexual or creating libido. When, through the actual preparation of fire, the sexual character of the libido employed in that is fulfilled, then the mouth zone remains without adequate expression; only the hand has now reached its real, purely human goal in its first art.

The mouth has, as we saw, a further important function, which has just as much sexual relation to the object as the hand, that is to say, the production of the mating call. In opening up the autoerotic ring (hand-mouth),[319] where the phallic hand became the fire-producing tool, the libido which was directed to the mouth zone was obliged to seek another path of functioning, which naturally was found in the already existing love call. The excess of libido entering here must have had the usual 178results, namely, the stimulation of the newly possessed function; hence an elaboration of the mating call.

We know that from the primitive sounds human speech has developed. Corresponding to the psychological situation, it might be assumed that language owes its real origin to this moment, when the impulse, repressed into the presexual stage, turns to the external in order to find an equivalent object there. The real thought as a conscious activity is, as we saw in the first part of this book, a thinking with positive determination towards the external world, that is to say, a “speech thinking.” This sort of thinking seems to have originated at that moment. It is very remarkable that this view, which was won by the path of reasoning, is again supported by old tradition and other mythological fragments.

In Aitareyopanishad[320] the following quotation is to be found in the doctrine of the development of man: “Being brooded-o’er, his mouth hatched out, like as an egg; from out his mouth (came) speech, from speech, the fire.” In Part II, where it is depicted how the newly created objects entered man, it reads: “Fire, speech becoming, entered in the mouth.” These quotations allow us to plainly recognize the intimate connection between fire and speech.[321] In Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad is to be found this passage:

“‘Yayñavalkya,’ thus he spake, ‘when after the death of this man his speech entereth the fire, his breath into the wind, his eye into the sun, etc.’”

A further quotation from the Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad reads:

179“But when the sun is set, O Yayñavalkya, and the moon has set, and the fire is extinguished, what then serves man as light? Then speech serves him as light; then, by the light of speech he sits, and moves, he carries on his work, and he returns home. But when the sun is set, O Yayñavalkya, and the moon is set, and the fire extinguished, and the voice is dumb, what then serves man as light? Then he serves himself (Atman) as light; then, by the light of himself, he sits and moves, carries on his work and returns home.”

In this passage we notice that fire again stands in the closest relation to speech. Speech itself is called a “light,” which, in its turn, is reduced to the “light” of the Atman, the creating psychic force, the libido. Thus the Hindoo metapsychology conceives speech and fire as emanations of the inner light from which we know that it is libido. Speech and fire are its forms of manifestation, the first human arts, which have resulted from its transformation. This common psychologic origin seems also to be indicated by certain results of philology. The Indo-Germanic root bhâ designates the idea of “to lighten, to shine.” This root is found in Greek, φάω, φαίνω, φάος[322]; in old Icelandic bán = white, in New High German bohnen = to make shining. The same root bhâ also designates “to speak”; it is found in Sanskrit bhan = to speak, Armenian ban = word, in New High German bann = to banish, Greek φᾱ-μί, ἔφαν, φấτις.[323] Latin fâ-ri, fânum.

The root bhelso, with the meanings “to ring, to bark,” is found in Sanskrit bhas = to bark and bhâs = to talk, 180to speak; Lithuanian balsas = voice, tone. Really bhel-sô = to be bright or luminous. Compare Greek φάλος = bright, Lithuanian bálti = to become white, Middle High German blasz = pale.

The root , with the meaning of “to make sound, to bark,” is found in Sanskrit las, lásati = to resound; and las, lásati = to radiate, to shine.

The related root lesô, with the meaning “desire,” is also found in Sanskrit las, lásati = to play; lash, láshati = to desire. Greek λάσταυρος = lustful, Gothic lustus, New High German Lust, Latin lascivus.

A further related root, lásô = to shine, to radiate, is found in las, lásati = to radiate, to shine.

This group unites, as is evident, the meanings of “to desire, to play, to radiate, and to sound.” A similar archaic confluence of meanings in the primal libido symbolism (as we are perhaps justified in calling it) is found in that class of Egyptian words which are derived from the closely related roots ben and bel and the reduplication benben and belbel. The original significance of these roots is “to burst forth, to emerge, to extrude, to well out,” with the associated idea of bubbling, boiling and roundness. Belbel, accompanied by the sign of the obelisk, of originally phallic nature, means source of light. The obelisk itself had besides the names of techenu and men also the name benben, more rarely berber and belbel.[324] The libido symbolism makes clear this connection, it seems to me.

The Indo-Germanic root vel, with the meaning “to wave, to undulate” (fire), is found in Sanskrit ulunka 181= burning, Greek ἀλέα, Attic ἁλέα = warmth of the sun, Gothic vulan = to undulate, Old High German and Middle High German walm = heat, glow.

The related Indo-Germanic root vélkô, with the meaning of “to lighten, to glow,” is found in Sanskrit ulkă = firebrand, Greek Ϝελχᾶνος = Vulcan. This same root vel means also “to sound”; in Sanskrit vâní = tone, song, music. Tschech volati = to call.

The root svénô = to sound, to ring, is found in Sanskrit svan, svánati = to rustle, to sound; Zend qanañt, Latin sonâre, Old Iranian senm, Cambrian sain, Latin sonus, Anglo-Saxon svinsian = to resound. The related root svénos = noise, sound, is found in Vedic svánas = noise, Latin sonor, sonorus. A further related root is svonós = tone, noise; in Old Iranian son = word.

The root své (n), locative svéni, dative sunéi, means sun; in Zend qeñg = sun. (Compare above svénô, Zend qanañt); Gothic sun-na, sunnô.[325] Here Goethe has preceded us:

“The sun orb sings in emulation,
’Mid brother-spheres, his ancient round:
His path predestined through Creation,
He ends with step of thunder sound.”
Faust. Part I.
“Hearken! Hark! the hours careering!
Sounding loud to spirit-hearing,
See the new-born Day appearing!
Rocky portals jarring shatter,
Phœbus’ wheels in rolling clatter,
With a crash the Light draws near!
Pealing rays and trumpet-blazes,
Eye is blinded, ear amazes;
182The Unheard can no one hear!
Slip within each blossom-bell,
Deeper, deeper, there to dwell,—
In the rocks, beneath the leaf!
If it strikes you, you are deaf.”
Faust. Part II.

We also must not forget the beautiful verse of Hölderlin:

“Where art thou? Drunken, my soul dreams
Of all thy rapture. Yet even now I hearken
As full of golden tones the radiant sun youth
Upon his heavenly lyre plays his even song
To the echoing woods and hills.”

Just as in archaic speech fire and the speech sounds (the mating call, music) appear as forms of emanation of the libido, thus light and sound entering the psyche become one: libido.

Manilius expresses it in his beautiful verses:

Quid mirum noscere mundum
Si possunt homines, quibus est et mundus in ipsis
Exemplumque dei quisque est in imagine parva?
An quoquam genitos nisi cælo credere fas est
Esse homines?
Stetit unus in arcem
Erectus capitis victorque ad sidera mittit sidereos oculos.[326]

The idea of the Sanskrit têjas suggests the fundamental significance of the libido for the conception of the world in general. I am indebted to Dr. Abegg, in Zurich, a 183thorough Sanskrit scholar, for the compilation of the eight meanings of this word.

Têjas signifies:

1. Sharpness, cutting edge.

2. Fire, splendor, light, glow, heat.

3. Healthy appearance, beauty.

4. The fiery and color-producing power of the human organism (thought to be in the bile).

5. Power, energy, vital force.

6. Passionate nature.

7. Mental, also magic, strength; influence, position, dignity.

8. Sperma.

This gives us a dim idea of how, for primitive thought, the so-called objective world was, and had to be, a subjective image. To this thought must be applied the words of the “Chorus Mysticus”:

“All that is perishable
Is only an allegory.”

The Sanskrit word for fire is agnis (the Latin ignis);[327] the fire personified is the god Agni, the divine mediator,[328] whose symbol has certain points of contact with that of Christ. In Avesta and in the Vedas the fire is the messenger of the gods. In the Christian mythology certain parts are closely related with the myth of Agni. Daniel speaks of the three men in the fiery furnace:

“Then Nebuchadnezar, the King, was astonished, and rose up in haste and spake, and said unto his counsellors: ‘Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?’

184“They answered and said: ‘True, O King!’

“He answered and said: ‘Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.’”

In regard to that the “Biblia pauperum” observes (according to an old German incunabulum of 1471):

“One reads in the third chapter of the prophet Daniel that Nebuchadnezar, the King, caused three men to be placed in a glowing furnace and that the king often went there, looked in, and that he saw with the three, a fourth, who was like the Son of God. The three signify for us, the Holy Trinity and the fourth, the unity of the being. Christ, too, in His explanation designated the person of the Trinity and the unity of the being.”

According to this mystic interpretation, the legend of the three men in the fiery furnace appears as a magic fire ceremony by means of which the Son of God reveals himself. The Trinity is brought together with the unity, or, in other words, through coitus a child is produced. The glowing furnace (like the glowing tripod in “Faust”) is a mother symbol, where the children are produced.[329] The fourth in the fiery furnace appears as Christ, the Son of God, who has become a visible God in the fire. The mystic trinity and unity are sexual symbols. (Compare with that the many references in Inman: “Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism.”) It is said of the Saviour of Israel (the Messiah) and of his enemies, Isaiah x:17:

“And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame.”

In a hymn of the Syrian Ephrem it is said of Christ: “Thou who art all fire, have mercy upon me.”

185Agni is the sacrificial flame, the sacrificer, and the sacrificed, as Christ himself. Just as Christ left behind his redeeming blood, φάρμακον ἀθανασίας,[330] in the stimulating wine, so Agni is the Soma, the holy drink of inspiration, the mead of immortality.[331] Soma and Fire are entirely identical in Hindoo literature, so that in Soma we easily rediscover the libido symbol, through which a series of apparently paradoxical qualities of the Soma are immediately explained. As the old Hindoos recognized in fire an emanation of the inner libido fire, so too they recognized, in the intoxicating drink (Firewater, Soma-Agni, as rain and fire), an emanation of libido. The Vedic definition of Soma as seminal fluid confirms this interpretation.[332] The Soma significance of fire, similar to the significance of the body of Christ in the Last Supper (compare the Passover lamb of the Jews, baked in the form of a cross), is explained by the psychology of the presexual stage, where the libido was still in part the function of nutrition. The “Soma” is the “nourishing drink,” the mythological characterization of which runs parallel to fire in its origin; therefore, both are united in Agni. The drink of immortality was stirred by the Hindoo gods like fire. Through the retreat of the libido into the presexual stage it becomes clear why so many gods were either defined sexually or were devoured.

As was shown by our discussion of fire preparation, the fire tool did not receive its sexual significance as a later addition, but the sexual libido was the motor power which led to its discovery, so that the later teachings of the 186priests were nothing but confirmations of its actual origin. Other primitive discoveries probably have acquired their sexual symbolism in the same manner, being also derived from the sexual libido.

In the previous statements, which were based on the Pramantha of the Agni sacrifice, we have concerned ourselves only with one significance of the word manthâmi or mathnâmi, that is to say, with that which expresses the movement of rubbing. As Kuhn shows, however, this word also possesses the meaning of tearing off, taking away by violence, robbing.[333] As Kuhn points out, this significance is already extant in the Vedic text. The legend of its discovery always expresses the production of fire as a robbery. (In this far it belongs to the motive widely spread over the earth of the treasure difficult to attain.) The fact that in many places and not alone in India the preparation of fire is represented as having its origin in robbery, seems to point to a widely spread thought, according to which the preparation of fire was something forbidden, something usurped or criminal, which could be obtained only through stratagem or deeds of violence (mostly through stratagem).[334] When onanism confronts the physician as a symptom it does so frequently under the symbol of secret pilfering, or crafty imposition, which always signifies the concealed fulfilment of a forbidden wish.[335] Historically, this train of thought probably implies that the ritual preparation of fire was employed with a magic purpose, and, therefore, was pursued by official religions; then it became a ritual mystery,[336] guarded by the priests and surrounded with 187secrecy. The ritual laws of the Hindoos threaten with severe punishment him who prepares fire in an incorrect manner. The fact alone that something is mysterious means the same as something done in concealment; that which must remain secret, which one may not see nor do; also something which is surrounded by severe punishment of body and soul; therefore, presumably, something forbidden which has received a license as a religious rite. After all has been said about the genesis of the preparation of fire, it is no longer difficult to guess what is the forbidden thing; it is onanism. When I stated before that it might be lack of satisfaction which breaks up the autoerotic ring of the displaced sexual activity transferred to the body itself, and thus opens wider fields of culture, I did not mention that this loosely closed ring of the displaced onanistic activity could be much more firmly closed, when man makes the other great discovery, that of true onanism.[337] With that the activity is started in the proper place, and this, under certain circumstances, may mean a satisfaction sufficient for a long time, but at the expense of cheating sexuality of its real purpose. It is a fraud upon the natural development of things, because all the dynamic forces which can and should serve the development of culture are withdrawn from it through onanism, since, instead of the displacement, a regression to the local sexual takes place, which is precisely the opposite of that which is desirable. Psychologically, however, onanism is a discovery of a significance not to be undervalued. One is protected from fate, since no sexual need then has the power to give one up to life. For with onanism one has 188the greatest magic in one’s hands; one needs only to phantasy, and with that to masturbate, then one possesses all the pleasure of the world, and is no longer compelled to conquer the world of one’s desires through hard labor and wrestling with reality.[338] Aladdin rubs his lamp and the obedient genii stand at his bidding; thus the fairy tale expresses the great psychologic advantage of the easy regression to the local sexual satisfaction. Aladdin’s symbol subtly confirms the ambiguity of the magic fire preparation.

The close relation of the generation of fire to the onanistic act is illustrated by a case, the knowledge of which I owe to Dr. Schmid, in Cery, that of an imbecile peasant youth who set many incendiary fires. At one of these conflagrations he drew suspicion to himself by his behavior. He stood with his hands in his trouser pockets in the door of an opposite house and gazed with apparent delight at the fire. Under examination in the insane asylum, he described the fire in great detail, and made suspicious movements in his trouser pockets with his hands. The physical examination undertaken at once showed that he had masturbated. Later he confessed that he had masturbated at the time when he had enjoyed the fire which he had enkindled himself.

The preparation of fire in itself is a perfectly ordinary useful custom, employed everywhere for many centuries, which in itself involved nothing more mysterious than eating and drinking. However, there was always a tendency from time to time to prepare fire in a ceremonious and mysterious manner (exactly as with ritual eating and 189drinking), which was to be carried out in an exactly prescribed way and from which no one dared differ. This mysterious tendency associated with the technique is the second path in the onanistic regression, always present by the side of culture. The strict rules applied to it, the zeal of the ceremonial preparations and the religious awe of the mysteries next originate from this source; the ceremonial, although apparently irrational, is an extremely ingenious institution from the psychologic standpoint, for it represents a substitute for the possibility of onanistic regression accurately circumscribed by law. The law cannot apply to the content of the ceremony, for it is really quite indifferent for the ritual act, whether it is carried out in this way or in that way. On the contrary, it is very essential whether the restrained libido is discharged through a sterile onanism or transposed into the path of sublimation. These severe measures of protection apply primarily to onanism.[339]

I am indebted to Freud for a further important reference to the onanistic nature of the fire theft, or rather the motive of the treasure difficult of attainment (to which fire theft belongs). Mythology contains repeated formulas which read approximately as follows: The treasure must be plucked or torn off from a taboo tree (Paradise tree, Hesperides); this is a forbidden and dangerous act. The clearest example of this is the old barbaric custom in the service of Diana of Aricia: only he can become a priest of the goddess who, in her sacred grove, dares to tear off (“abzureissen”) a bough. The tearing off has been retained in vulgar speech (besides 190“abreiben,” rubbing) as a symbol of the act of onanism. Thus “reiben,” to rub, is like “reissen,” to break off, both of which are contained in manthami and united apparently only through the myth of the fire theft bound up in the act of onanism in a deeper stratum wherein “reiben,” properly speaking, “reissen,” is employed, but in a transferred sense. Therefore, it might perhaps be anticipated that in the deepest stratum, namely, the incestuous, which precedes the autoerotic stage,[340] the two meanings coincide, which, through lack of mythological tradition, can perhaps be traced through etymology only.



Prepared by the previous chapters, we approach the personification of the libido in the form of a conqueror, a hero or a demon. With this, symbolism leaves the impersonal and neuter realm, which characterizes the astral and meteorologic symbol, and takes human form: the figure of a being changing from sorrow to joy, from joy to sorrow, and which, like the sun, sometimes stands in its zenith, sometimes is plunged in darkest night, and arises from this very night to new splendor.[341] Just as the sun, guided by its own internal laws, ascends from morn till noon, and passing beyond the noon descends towards evening, leaving behind its splendor, and then sinks completely into the all-enveloping night, thus, too, does mankind follow his course according to immutable laws, and also sinks, after his course is completed, into night, in order to rise again in the morning to a new cycle in his children. The symbolic transition from sun to man is easy and practicable. The third and last creation of Miss Miller’s also takes this course. She calls this piece “Chiwantopel,” a “hypnagogic poem.” She gives us the following information about the circumstances surrounding the origin of this phantasy:

“After an evening of care and anxiety, I lay down to sleep at about half past eleven. I felt excited and unable to sleep, 192although I was very tired. There was no light in the room. I closed my eyes, and then I had the feeling that something was about to happen. The sensation of a general relaxation came over me, and I remained as passive as possible. Lines appeared before my eyes,—sparks and shining spirals, followed by a kaleidoscopic review of recent trivial occurrences.”

The reader will regret with me that we cannot know the reason for her cares and anxieties. It would have been of great importance for what follows to have information on this point. This gap in our knowledge is the more to be deplored because, between the first poem in 1898 and the time of the phantasy here discussed (1902), four whole years have passed. All information is lacking regarding this period, during which the great problem surely survived in the unconscious. Perhaps this lack has its advantages in that our interest is not diverted from the universal applicability of the phantasy here produced by sympathy in regard to the personal fate of the author. Therefore, something is obviated which often prevents the analyst in his daily task from looking away from the tedious toil of detail to that wider relation which reveals each neurotic conflict to be involved with human fate as a whole.

The condition depicted by the author here corresponds to such a one as usually precedes an intentional somnambulism[342] often described by spiritualistic mediums. A certain inclination to listen to these low nocturnal voices must be assumed; otherwise such fine and hardly perceptible inner experiences pass unnoticed. We recognize in this listening a current of the libido leading inward 193and beginning to flow towards a still invisible, mysterious goal. It seems that the libido has suddenly discovered an object in the depths of the unconscious which powerfully attracts it. The life of man, turned wholly to the external by nature, does not ordinarily permit such introversion; there must, therefore, be surmised a certain exceptional condition, that is to say, a lack of external objects, which compels the individual to seek a substitute for them in his own soul. It is, however, difficult to imagine that this rich world has become too poor to offer an object for the love of human atoms; nor can the world and its objects be held accountable for this lack. It offers boundless opportunities for every one. It is rather the incapacity to love which robs mankind of his possibilities. This world is empty to him alone who does not understand how to direct his libido towards objects, and to render them alive and beautiful for himself, for Beauty does not indeed lie in things, but in the feeling that we give to them. That which compels us to create a substitute for ourselves is not the external lack of objects, but our incapacity to lovingly include a thing outside of ourselves. Certainly the difficulties of the conditions of life and the adversities of the struggle for existence may oppress us, yet even adverse external situations would not hinder the giving out of the libido; on the contrary, they may spur us on to the greatest exertions, whereby we bring our whole libido into reality. Real difficulties alone will never be able to force the libido back permanently to such a degree as to give rise, for example, to a neurosis. The conflict, which is the condition of every neurosis, 194is lacking. The resistance, which opposes its unwillingness to the will, alone has the power to produce that pathogenic introversion which is the starting point of every psychogenic disturbance. The resistance against loving produces the inability to love. Just as the normal libido is comparable to a steady stream which pours its waters broadly into the world of reality, so the resistance, dynamically considered, is comparable, not so much to a rock rearing up in the river bed which is flooded over or surrounded by the stream, as to a backward flow towards the source. A part of the soul desires the outer object; another part, however, harks back to the subjective world, where the airy and fragile palaces of phantasy beckon. One can assume the dualism of the human will for which Bleuler, from the psychiatric point of view, has coined the word “ambitendency”[343] as something generally present, bearing in mind that even the most primitive motor impulse is in opposition; as, for example, in the act of extension, the flexor muscles also become innervated. This normal ambitendency, however, never leads to an inhibition or prevention of the intended act, but is the indispensable preliminary requirement for its perfection and coördination. For a resistance disturbing to this act to arise from this harmony of finely attuned opposition an abnormal plus or minus would be needed on one or the other side. The resistance originates from this added third.[344] This applies also to the duality of the will, from which so many difficulties arise for mankind. The abnormal third frees the pair of opposites, which are normally most intimately united, 195and causes their manifestation in the form of separate tendencies; it is only thus that they become willingness and unwillingness, which interfere with each other. The Bhagavad-Gîtâ says, “Be thou free of the pairs of opposites.”[345] The harmony thus becomes disharmony. It cannot be my task here to investigate whence the unknown third arises, and what it is. Taken at the roots in the case of our patients, the “nuclear complex” (Freud) reveals itself as the incest problem. The sexual libido regressing to the parents appears as the incest tendency. The reason this path is so easily travelled is due to the enormous indolence of mankind, which will relinquish no object of the past, but will hold it fast forever. The “sacrilegious backward grasp” of which Nietzsche speaks reveals itself, stripped of its incest covering, as an original passive arrest of the libido in its first object of childhood. This indolence is also a passion, as La Rochefoucauld[346] has brilliantly expressed it:

“Of all passions, that which is least known to ourselves is indolence: it is the most ardent and malignant of them all, although its violence may be insensible, and the injuries it causes may be hidden; if we will consider its power attentively, we will see that it makes itself, upon all occasions, mistress of our sentiments, of our interests, and of our pleasures; it is the anchor, which has the power to arrest the largest vessels; it is a calm more dangerous to the most important affairs than rocks and the worst tempest. The repose of indolence is a secret charm of the soul which suddenly stops the most ardent pursuits and the firmest resolutions; finally to give the true idea of this passion, one must say that indolence is like a beatitude of the soul which consoles it for all its losses and takes the place of all its possessions.”

196This dangerous passion, belonging above all others to primitive man, appears under the hazardous mask of the incest symbol, from which the incest fear must drive us away, and which must be conquered, in the first place, under the image of the “terrible mother.”[347] It is the mother of innumerable evils, not the least of which are neurotic troubles. For, especially from the fogs of the arrested remnants of the libido, arise the harmful phantasmagoria which so veil reality that adaptation becomes almost impossible. However, we will not investigate any further in this place the foundations of the incest phantasies. The preliminary suggestion of my purely psychologic conception of the incest problem may suffice. We are here only concerned with the question whether resistance which leads to introversion in our author signifies a conscious external difficulty or not. If it were an external difficulty, then, indeed, the libido would be violently dammed back, and would produce a flood of phantasies, which can best be designated as schemes, that is to say, plans as to how the obstacles could be overcome. They would be very concrete ideas of reality which seek to pave the way for solutions. It would be a strenuous meditation, indeed, which would be more likely to lead to anything rather than to a hypnagogic poem. The passive condition depicted above in no way fits in with a real external obstacle, but, precisely through its passive submission, it indicates a tendency which doubtless scorns real solutions and prefers phantastic substitutes. Ultimately and essentially we are, therefore, dealing with an internal conflict, perhaps after the manner of those earlier conflicts 197which led to the two first unconscious creations. We, therefore, are forced to conclude that the external object cannot be loved, because a predominant amount of libido prefers a phantastic object, which must be brought up from the depths of the unconscious as a compensation for the missing reality.

The visionary phenomena, produced in the first stages of introversion, are grouped among the well-known phenomena[348] of hypnagogic vision. They form, as I explained in an earlier paper, the foundation of the true visions of the symbolic autorevelations of the libido, as we may now express it.

Miss Miller continues:

“Then I had the impression that some communication was immediately impending. It seemed to me as if there were re-echoed in me the words, ‘Speak, O Lord, for Thy servant listens; open Thou mine ears!’”

This passage very clearly describes the intention; the expression “communication” is even a current term in spiritualistic circles. The Biblical words contain a clear invocation or “prayer,” that is to say, a wish (libido) directed towards divinity (the unconscious complex). The prayer refers to Samuel, i:3, where Samuel at night was three times called by God, but believed that it was Eli calling, until the latter informed him that it was God himself who spoke, and that he must answer if his name was called again—“Speak, O Lord, for Thy Servant hears!” The dreamer uses these words really in an inverse sense, namely, in order to produce God with them. 198With that she directs her desires, her libido, into the depths of her unconscious.

We know that, although individuals are widely separated by the differences in the contents of their consciousness, they are closely alike in their unconscious psychology. It is a significant impression for one working in practical psychoanalysis when he realizes how uniform are the typical unconscious complexes. Difference first arises from individualization. This fact gives to an essential portion of the Schopenhauer and Hartmann philosophies a deep psychologic justification.[349] The very evident uniformity of the unconscious mechanism serves as a psychologic foundation for these philosophic views. The unconscious contains the differentiated remnants of the earlier psychologic functions overcome by the individual differentiation. The reaction and products of the animal psyche are of a generally diffused uniformity and solidity, which, among men, may be discovered apparently only in traces. Man appears as something extraordinarily individual in contrast with animals.

This might be a tremendous delusion, because we have the appropriate tendency always to recognize only the difference of things. This is demanded by the psychologic adaptation which, without the most minute differentiation of the impressions, would be absolutely impossible. In opposition to this tendency we have ever the greatest difficulty in recognizing in their common relations the things with which we are occupied in every-day life. This recognition becomes much easier with things which are more remote from us. For example, it 199is almost impossible for a European to differentiate the faces in a Chinese throng, although the Chinese have just as individual facial formations as the Europeans, but the similarity of their strange facial expression is much more evident to the remote onlooker than their individual differences. But when we live among the Chinese then the impression of their uniformity disappears more and more, and finally the Chinese become individuals also. Individuality belongs to those conditional actualities which are greatly overrated theoretically on account of their practical significance. It does not belong to those overwhelmingly clear and therefore universally obtrusive general facts upon which a science must primarily be founded. The individual content of consciousness is, therefore, the most unfavorable object imaginable for psychology, because it has veiled the universally valid until it has become unrecognizable. The essence of consciousness is the process of adaptation which takes place in the most minute details. On the other hand, the unconscious is the generally diffused, which not only binds the individuals among themselves to the race, but also unites them backwards with the peoples of the past and their psychology. Thus the unconscious, surpassing the individual in its generality, is, in the first place, the object of a true psychology, which claims not to be psychophysical.

Man as an individual is a suspicious phenomenon, the right of whose existence from a natural biological standpoint could be seriously contested, because, from this point of view, the individual is only a race atom, and has a significance only as a mass constituent. The ethical 200standpoint, however, gives to the human being an individual tendency separating him from the mass, which, in the course of centuries, led to the development of personality, hand in hand with which developed the hero cult, and has led to the modern individualistic cult of personages. The attempts of rationalistic theology to keep hold of the personal Jesus as the last and most precious remnant of the divinity which has vanished beyond the power of the imagination corresponds to this tendency. In this respect the Roman Catholic Church was more practical, because she met the general need of the visible, or at least historically believed hero, through the fact that she placed upon the throne of worship a small but clearly perceptible god of the world, namely, the Roman Pope, the Pater patrum, and at the same time the Pontifex Maximus of the invisible upper or inner God. The sensuous demonstrability of God naturally supports the religious process of introversion, because the human figure essentially facilitates the transference, for it is not easy to imagine something lovable or venerable in a spiritual being. This tendency, everywhere present, has been secretly preserved in the rationalistic theology with its Jesus historically insisted upon. This does not mean that men loved the visible God; they love him, not as he is, for he is merely a man, and when the pious wished to love humanity they could go to their neighbors and their enemies to love them. Mankind wishes to love in God only their ideas, that is to say, the ideas which they project into God. By that they wish to love their unconscious, that is, that remnant of ancient humanity and the centuries-old 201past in all people, namely, the common property left behind from all development which is given to all men, like the sunshine and the air. But in loving this inheritance they love that which is common to all. Thus they turn back to the mother of humanity, that is to say, to the spirit of the race, and regain in this way something of that connection and of that mysterious and irresistible power which is imparted by the feeling of belonging to the herd. It is the problem of Antæus, who preserves his gigantic strength only through contact with mother earth. This temporary withdrawal into one’s self, which, as we have already seen, signifies a regression to the childish bond to the parent, seems to act favorably, within certain limits, in its effect upon the psychologic condition of the individual. It is in general to be expected that the two fundamental mechanisms of the psychoses, transference and introversion, are to a wide extent extremely appropriate methods of normal reaction against complexes; transference as a means of escaping from the complex into reality; introversion as a means of detaching one’s self from reality through the complex.

After we have informed ourselves about the general purposes of prayer, we are prepared to hear more about the vision of our dreamer. After the prayer, “the head of a sphinx with an Egyptian headdress” appeared, only to vanish quickly. Here the author was disturbed, so that for a moment she awoke. This vision recalls the previously mentioned phantasy of the Egyptian statue, whose rigid gesture is entirely in place here as a phenomenon of the so-called functional category. The light 202stages of the hypnosis are designated technically as “Engourdissement” (stiffening). The word Sphinx in the whole civilized world signifies the same as riddle: a puzzling creature who proposes riddles, like the Sphinx of Oedipus, standing at the portal of his fate like a symbolic proclamation of the inevitable. The Sphinx is a semi-theriomorphic representation of that “mother image” which may be designated as the “terrible mother,” of whom many traces are found in mythology. This interpretation is correct for Oedipus. Here the question is opened. The objection will be raised that nothing except the word “Sphinx” justifies the allusion to the Sphinx of Oedipus. On account of the lack of subjective materials, which in the Miller text are wholly lacking in regard to this vision, an individual interpretation would also be excluded. The suggestion of an “Egyptian” phantasy (Part I, Chapter II) is entirely insufficient to be employed here. Therefore we are compelled, if we wish to venture at all upon an understanding of this vision, to direct ourselves—perhaps in all too daring a manner—to the available ethnographic material under the assumption that the unconscious of the present-day man coins its symbols as was done in the most remote past. The Sphinx, in its traditional form, is a half-human, half-animal creature, which we must, in part, interpret in the way that is applicable to such phantastic products. The reader is directed to the deductions in the first part of this volume where the theriomorphic representations of the libido were discussed. This manner of representation is very familiar to the analyst, through 203the dreams and phantasies of neurotics (and of normal men). The impulse is readily represented as an animal, as a bull, horse, dog, etc. One of my patients, who had questionable relations with women, and who began the treatment with the fear, so to speak, that I would surely forbid him his sexual adventures, dreamed that I (his physician) very skilfully speared to the wall a strange animal, half pig, half crocodile. Dreams swarm with such theriomorphic representations of the libido. Mixed beings, such as are in this dream, are not rare. A series of very beautiful illustrations, where especially the lower half of the animal was represented theriomorphically, has been furnished by Bertschinger.[350] The libido which was represented theriomorphically is the “animal” sexuality which is in a repressed state. The history of repression, as we have seen, goes back to the incest problem, where the first motives for moral resistance against sexuality display themselves. The objects of the repressed libido are, in the last degree, the images of father and mother; therefore the theriomorphic symbols, in so far as they do not symbolize merely the libido in general, have a tendency to present father and mother (for example, father represented by a bull, mother by a cow). From these roots, as we pointed out earlier, might probably arise the theriomorphic attributes of the Divinity. In as far as the repressed libido manifests itself under certain conditions, as anxiety, these animals are generally of a horrible nature. In consciousness we are attached by all sacred bonds to the mother; in the dream she pursues us as a terrible animal. The Sphinx, mythologically 204considered, is actually a fear animal, which reveals distinct traits of a mother derivate. In the Oedipus legend the Sphinx is sent by Hera, who hates Thebes on account of the birth of Bacchus; because Oedipus conquers the Sphinx, which is nothing but fear of the mother, he must marry Jocasta, his mother, for the throne and the hand of the widowed queen of Thebes belonged to him who freed the land from the plague of the Sphinx. The genealogy of the Sphinx is rich in allusions to the problem touched upon here. She is a daughter of Echnida, a mixed being; a beautiful maiden above, a hideous serpent below. This double creature corresponds to the picture of the mother; above, the human, lovely and attractive half; below, the horrible animal half, converted into a fear animal through the incest prohibition. Echnida is derived from the All-mother, the mother Earth, Gaea, who, with Tartaros, the personified underworld (the place of horrors), brought her forth. Echnida herself is the mother of all terrors, of the Chimaera, Scylla, Gorgo, of the horrible Cerberus, of the Nemean Lion, and of the eagle who devoured the liver of Prometheus; besides this she gave birth to a number of dragons. One of her sons is Orthrus, the dog of the monstrous Geryon, who was killed by Hercules. With this dog, her son, Echnida, in incestuous intercourse, produced the Sphinx. These materials will suffice to characterize that amount of libido which led to the Sphinx symbol. If, in spite of the lack of subjective material, we may venture to draw an inference from the Sphinx symbol of our author, we must say that the Sphinx represents an original incestuous amount 205of libido detached from the bond to the mother. Perhaps it is better to postpone this conclusion until we have examined the following visions.

After Miss Miller had concentrated herself again, the vision developed further:

“Suddenly an Aztec appeared, absolutely clear in every detail; the hands spread open, with large fingers, the head in profile, armored, headdress similar to the feather ornaments of the American Indian. The whole was somewhat suggestive of Mexican sculpture.”

The ancient Egyptian character of the Sphinx is replaced here by American antiquity—by the Aztec. The essential idea is neither Egypt nor Mexico, for the two could not be interchanged; but it is the subjective factor which the dreamer produces from her own past. I have frequently observed in the analysis of Americans that certain unconscious complexes, i.e. repressed sexuality, are represented by the symbol of a Negro or an Indian; for example, when a European tells in his dream, “Then came a ragged, dirty individual,” for Americans and for those who live in the tropics it is a Negro. When with Europeans it is a vagabond or a criminal, with Americans it is a Negro or an Indian which represents the individual’s own repressed sexual personality, and the one considered inferior. It is also desirable to go into the particulars of this vision, as there are various things worthy of notice. The feather cap, which naturally had to consist of eagles’ feathers, is a sort of magic charm. The hero assumes at the same time something of the sun-like character of this bird when he adorns himself with 206its feathers, just as the courage and strength of the enemy are appropriated in swallowing his heart or taking his scalp. At the same time, the feather crest is a crown which is equivalent to the rays of the sun. The historical importance of the Sun identification has been seen in the first part.[351]

Especial interest attaches to the hand, which is described as “open,” and the fingers, which are described as “large.” It is significant that it is the hand upon which the distinct emphasis falls. One might rather have expected a description of the facial expression. It is well known that the gesture of the hand is significant; unfortunately, we know nothing about that here. Nevertheless, a parallel phantasy might be mentioned, which also puts the emphasis upon hands. A patient in a hypnagogic condition saw his mother painted on a wall, like a painting in a Byzantine church. She held one hand up, open wide, with fingers spread apart. The fingers were very large, swollen into knobs on the ends, and each surrounded by a small halo. The immediate association with this picture was the fingers of a frog with sucking discs at the ends. Then the similarity to the penis. The ancient setting of this mother picture is also of importance. Evidently the hand had, in this phantasy, a phallic meaning. This interpretation was confirmed by a further very remarkable phantasy of the same patient. He saw something like a “sky-rocket” ascending from his mother’s hand, which at a closer survey becomes a shining bird with golden wings, a golden pheasant, as it then occurs to his mind. We have seen in the previous chapter that 207the hand has actually a phallic, generative meaning, and that this meaning plays a great part in the production of fire. In connection with this phantasy, there is but one observation to make: fire was bored with the hand; therefore it comes from the hand; Agni, the fire, was worshipped as a golden-winged bird.[352] It is extremely significant that it is the mother’s hand. I must deny myself the temptation to enter more deeply into this. Let it be sufficient to have pointed out the possible significance of the hand of the Aztec by means of these parallel hand phantasies. We have mentioned the mother suggestively with the Sphinx. The Aztec taking the place of the Sphinx points, through his suggestive hand, to parallel phantasies in which the phallic hand really belongs to the mother. Likewise we encounter an antique setting in parallel phantasies. The significance of the antique, which experience has shown to be the symbol for “infantile,” is confirmed by Miss Miller in this connection in the annotation to her phantasies, for she says:

“In my childhood, I took a special interest in the Aztec fragments and in the history of Peru and of the Incas.”

Through the two analyses of children which have been published we have attained an insight into the child’s small world, and have seen what burning interests and questions secretly surround the parents, and that the parents are, for a long time, the objects of the greatest interest.[353] We are, therefore, justified in suspecting that the antique setting applies to the “ancients,” that is to say, the parents, and that consequently this Aztec has 208something of the father or mother in himself. Up to this time indirect hints point only to the mother, which is nothing remarkable in an American girl, because Americans, as a result of the extreme detachment from the father, are characterized by a most enormous mother complex, which again is connected with the especial social position of woman in the United States. This position brings about a special masculinity among capable women, which easily makes possible the symbolizing into a masculine figure.[354]

After this vision, Miss Miller felt that a name formed itself “bit by bit,” which seemed to belong to this Aztec—“the son of an Inca of Peru.” The name is “Chi-wan-to-pel.” As the author intimated, something similar to this belonged to her childish reminiscences. The act of naming is, like baptism, something exceedingly important for the creation of a personality, because, since olden times, a magic power has been attributed to the name, with which, for example, the spirit of the dead can be conjured. To know the name of any one means, in mythology, to have power over that one. As a well-known example I mention the fairy tale of “Rumpelstilzchen.” In an Egyptian myth, Isis robs the Sun god Rê permanently of his power by compelling him to tell her his real name. Therefore, to give a name means to give power, invest with a definite personality.[355] The author observed, in regard to the name itself, that it reminded her very much of the impressive name Popocatepetl, a name which belongs to unforgettable school memories, and, to the greatest indignation of the patient, very often emerges 209in an analysis in a dream or phantasy and brings with it that same old joke which one heard in school, told oneself and later again forgot. Although one might hesitate to consider this unhallowed joke as of psychologic importance, still one must inquire for the reason of its being. One must also put, as a counter question, Why is it always Popocatepetl and not the neighboring Iztaccihuatl, or the even higher and just as clear Orizaba? The last has certainly the more beautiful and more easily pronounced name. Popocatepetl is impressive because of its onomatopoetic name. In English the word is “to pop” (popgun), which is here considered as onomatopoesy; in German the words are Hinterpommern, Pumpernickel; Bombe; Petarde (le pet = flatus). The frequent German word Popo (Podex) does not indeed exist in English, but flatus is designated as “to poop” in childish speech. The act of defecation is often designated as “to pop.” A joking name for the posterior part is “the bum.” (Poop also means the rear end of a ship.) In French, pouf! is onomatopoetic; pouffer = platzen (to explode), la poupe = rear end of ship, le poupard = the baby in arms, la poupée = doll. Poupon is a pet name for a chubby-faced child. In Dutch pop, German Puppe and Latin puppis = doll; in Plautus, however, it is also used jokingly for the posterior part of the body; pupus means child; pupula = girl, little dollie. The Greek word ποππύζω designates a cracking, snapping or blowing sound. It is used of kissing; by Theocritus also of the associated noise of flute blowing. The etymologic parallels show a remarkable relationship between the part of the 210body in question and the child. This relationship we will mention here, only to let it drop at once, as this question will claim our attention later.

One of my patients in his childhood had always connected the act of defecation with a phantasy that his posterior was a volcano and a violent eruption took place, explosion of gases and gushings forth of lava. The terms for the elemental occurrences of nature are originally not at all poetical; one thinks, for example, of the beautiful phenomenon of the meteor, which the German language most unpoetically calls “Sternschnuppe” (the smouldering wick of a star). Certain South American Indians call the shooting star the “urine of the stars.” According to the principle of the least resistance, expressions are taken from the nearest source available. (For example, the transference of the metonymic expression of urination as Schiffens, “to rain.”)

Now it seems to be very obscure why the mystical figure of Chiwantopel, whom Miss Miller, in a note, compares to the control spirit of the spiritualistic medium,[356] is found in such a disreputable neighborhood that his nature (name) was brought into relation with this particular part of the body. In order to understand this possibility, we must realize that when we produce from the unconscious the first to be brought forth is the infantile material long lost in memory. One must, therefore, take the point of view of that time in which this infantile material was still on the surface. If now a much-honored object is related in the unconscious to the anus, then one must conclude that something of a high valuation was 211expressed thereby. The question is only whether this corresponds to the psychology of the child. Before we enter upon this question, it must be stated that the anal region is very closely connected with veneration. One thinks of the traditional fæces of the Great Mogul. An Oriental tale has the same to say of Christian knights, who anointed themselves with the excrement of the pope and cardinals in order to make themselves formidable. A patient who is characterized by a special veneration for her father had a phantasy that she saw her father sitting upon the toilet in a dignified manner, and people going past greeted him effusively.[357] The association of the anal relations by no means excludes high valuation or esteem, as is shown by these examples, and as is easily seen from the intimate connection of fæces and gold.[358] Here the most worthless comes into the closest relation with the most valuable. This also happens in religious valuations. I discovered (at that time to my great astonishment) that a young patient, very religiously trained, represented in a dream the Crucified on the bottom of a blue-flowered chamber pot, namely, in the form of excrements. The contrast is so enormous that one must assume that the valuations of childhood must indeed be very different from ours. This is actually the truth. Children bring to the act of defecation and the products of this an esteem and interest[359] which later on is possible only to the hypochondriac. We do not comprehend this interest until we learn that the child very early connects with it a theory of propagation.[360] The libido afflux probably accounts for the enormous interest in this act. The 212child sees that this is the way in which something is produced, in which something comes out. The same child whom I reported in the little brochure “Über Konflikte der kindlichen Seele,” and who had a well-developed anal theory of birth, like little Hans, whom Freud made known to us, later contracted a habit of staying a long time on the toilet. Once the father grew impatient, went to the toilet and called, “Do come out of there; what are you making?” Whereupon the answer came from within, “A little wagon and two ponies.” The child was making a little wagon and two ponies, that is to say, things which at that time she especially wished for. In this way one can make what one wishes, and the thing made is the thing wished for. The child wishes earnestly for a doll or, at heart, for a real child. (That is, the child practised for his future biological task, and in the way in which everything in general is produced he made the doll[361] himself as representative of the child or of the thing wished for in general.[362]) From a patient I have learned a parallel phantasy of her childhood. In the toilet there was a crevice in the wall. She phantasied that from this crevice a fairy would come out and present her with everything for which she wished. The “locus” is known to be the place of dreams where much was wished for and created which later would no longer be suspected of having this place of origin. A pathological phantasy in place here is told us by Lombroso,[363] concerning two insane artists. Each of them considered himself God and the ruler of the world. They created or produced the world by making it come forth from the rectum, 213just as the egg of birds originates in the egg canal. One of these two artists was endowed with a true artistic sense. He painted a picture in which he was just in the act of creation; the world came forth from his anus; the membrum was in full erection; he was naked, surrounded by women, and with all insignia of his power. The excrement is in a certain sense the thing wished for, and on that account it receives the corresponding valuation. When I first understood this connection, an observation made long ago, and which disturbed me greatly because I never rightly understood it, became clear to me. It concerned an educated patient who, under very tragic circumstances, had to be separated from her husband and child, and was brought into the insane asylum. She exhibited a typical apathy and slovenliness which was considered as affective mental deterioration. Even at that time I doubted this deterioration, and was inclined to regard it as a secondary adjustment. I took especial pains to ascertain how I could discover the existence of the affect in this case. Finally, after more than three hours’ hard work, I succeeded in finding a train of thought which suddenly brought the patient into a completely adequate and therefore strongly emotional state. At this moment the affective connection with her was completely reëstablished. That happened in the forenoon. When I returned at the appointed time in the evening to the ward to see her she had, for my reception, smeared herself from head to foot with excrement, and cried laughingly, “Do I please you so?” She had never done that before; it was plainly destined for me. The impression which I received 214was one of a personal affront and, as a result of this, I was convinced for years after of the affective deterioration of such cases. Now we understand this act as an infantile ceremony of welcome or a declaration of love.

The origin of Chiwantopel, that is to say, an unconscious personality, therefore means, in the sense of the previous explanation, “I make, produce, invent him myself.” It is a sort of human creation or birth by the anal route. The first people were made from excrement, potter’s earth, or clay. The Latin lutum, which really means “moistened earth,” also has the transferred meaning of dirt. In Plautus it is even a term of abuse, something like “You scum.” The birth from the anus also reminds us of the motive of “throwing behind oneself.” A well-known example is the oracular command, which Deucalion and Pyrrha, who were the only survivors from the great flood, received. They were to throw behind them the bones of the great mother. They then threw behind them stones, from which mankind sprang. According to a tradition, the Dactyli in a similar manner sprang from dust, which the nymph Anchiale threw behind her. There is also humorous significance attached to the anal products. The excrements are often considered in popular humor as a monument or memorial (which plays a special part in regard to the criminal in the form of grumus merdæ); every one knows the humorous story of the man who, led by the spirit through labyrinthian passages to a hidden treasure, after he had shed all his pieces of clothing, deposited excrement as a last guide post on his road. 215In a more distant past a sign of this kind possessed as great a significance as the dung of animals to indicate the direction taken. Simple monuments (“little stone figures”) have taken the place of this perishable mark.

It is noteworthy that Miss Miller quotes another case, where a name suddenly obtruded itself, parallel to the emerging into consciousness of Chiwantopel, namely, A-ha-ma-ra-ma, with the feeling that it dealt with something Assyrian.[364] As a possible source of this, there occurred to her “Asurabama, who made cuneiform bricks,”[365] those imperishable documents made from clay: the monuments of the most ancient history. If it were not emphasized that the bricks are “cuneiform,” then it might mean ambiguously “wedged-shaped bricks,” which is more suggestive of our interpretation than that of the author.

Miss Miller remarks that besides the name “Asurabama” she also thought of “Ahasuerus” or “Ahasverus.” This phantasy leads to a very different aspect of the problem of the unconscious personality. While the previous materials betrayed to us something of the infantile theory of creation, this phantasy opens up a vista into the dynamics of the unconscious creation of personality. Ahasver is, as is well known, the Wandering Jew; he is characterized by endless and restless wanderings until the end of the world. The fact that the author has thought of this particular name justifies us in following this trail. The legend of Ahasver, the first literary traces of which belong to the thirteenth century, seems to be of Occidental origin, and belongs to those ideas which possess indestructible 216vital energy. The figure of the Wandering Jew has undergone more literary elaboration than the figure of Faust, and nearly all of this work belongs to the last century. If the figure is not called Ahasver, still it is there under another name, perhaps as Count of St. Germain, the mysterious Rosicrucian, whose immortality was assured, and whose temporary residence (the land) was equally known.[366] Although the stories about Ahasver cannot be traced back any earlier than the thirteenth century, the oral tradition can reach back considerably further, and it is not an impossibility that a bridge to the Orient exists. There is the parallel figure of Chidr, or “al Chadir,” the “ever-youthful Chidher” celebrated in song by Rueckert. The legend is purely Islamitic. The peculiar feature, however, is that Chidher is not only a saint, but in Sufic circles[367] rises even to divine significance. In view of the severe monotheism of Islam, one is inclined to think of Chidher as a pre-Islamitic Arabian divinity who would hardly be officially recognized by the new religion, but might have been tolerated on political grounds. But there is nothing to prove that. The first traces of Chidher are found in the commentaries of the Koran, Buchâri and Tabare and in a commentary to a noteworthy passage of the eighteenth sura of the Koran. The eighteenth sura is entitled “the cave,” that is, after the cave of the seven sleepers, who, according to the legend, slept there for 309 years, and thus escaped persecution, and awoke in a new era. Their legend is recounted in the eighteenth sura, and divers reflections were associated with it. The wish-fulfilment idea of the legend 217is very clear. The mystic material for it is the immutable model of the Sun’s course. The Sun sets periodically, but does not die. It hides in the womb of the sea or in a subterranean cave,[368] and in the morning is “born again,” complete. The language in which this astronomic occurrence is clothed is one of clear symbolism; the Sun returns into the mother’s womb, and after some time is again born. Of course, this event is properly an incestuous act, of which, in mythology, clear traces are still retained, not the least of which is the circumstance that the dying and resurrected gods are the lovers of their own mothers or have generated themselves through their own mothers. Christ as the “God becoming flesh” has generated himself through Mary; Mithra has done the same. These Gods are unmistakable Sun-gods, for the Sun also does this, in order to again renew himself. Naturally, it is not to be assumed that astronomy came first and these conceptions of gods afterwards; the process was, as always, inverted, and it is even true that primitive magic charms of rebirth, baptism, superstitious usages of all sorts, concerning the cure of the sick, etc., were projected into the heavens. These youths were born from the cave (the womb of mother earth), like the Sun-gods, in a new era, and this was the way they vanquished death. In this far they were immortal. It is now interesting to see how the Koran comes, after long ethical contemplations in the course of the same sura, to the following passage, which is of especial significance for the origin of the Chidher myth. For this reason I quote the Koran literally:

218“Remember when Moses said to his servant, ‘I will not stop till I reach the confluence of the two seas, or for eighty years will I journey on.’

“But when they reached their confluence they forgot their fish, and it took its way in the sea at will.

“And when they had passed on, Moses said to his servant, ‘Bring us our morning meal, for now we have incurred weariness from this our journey.’

“He said, ‘What thinkest thou? When we repaired to the rock for rest, then verily I forgot the fish; and none but Satan made me forget it, so as not to mention it; and it hath taken its way in the sea in a wondrous sort.’

“He said, ‘It is this we were in quest of.’ So they both went back retracing their footsteps.

“Then found they one of our servants to whom we had vouchsafed our mercy, and whom we had instructed with our knowledge;[369]

“Moses said to him, ‘Shall I follow thee that thou teach me, for guidance of that which thou hast been taught?’

“He said, ‘Verily, thou canst by no means have patience with me; and how canst thou be patient in matters whose meaning thou comprehendest not?’”—Trans. Rodwell, page 188.

Moses now accompanies the mysterious servant of God, who does divers things which Moses cannot comprehend; finally, the Unknown takes leave of Moses, and speaks to him as follows:

“They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnein (the two-horned).[370] Say: ‘I will recite to you an account of him.’

“Verily, we established his power upon the earth and we gave him a means to accomplish every end, so he followed his way;

“Until when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it to set in a miry forest; and hard by, he found a people....”

Now follows a moral reflection; then the narrative continues:

219“Then he followed his course further until he came to the place where the sun rises....”

If now we wish to know who is the unknown servant of God, we are told in this passage he is Dhulqarnein, Alexander, the Sun; he goes to the place of setting and he goes to the place of rising. The passage about the unknown servant of God is explained by the commentaries in a well-defined legend. The servant is Chidher, “the verdant one,” the never-tiring wanderer, who roams for hundreds and thousands of years over lands and seas, the teacher and counsellor of pious men; the one wise in divine knowledge—the immortal.[371] The authority of the Tabari associates Chidher with Dhulqarnein; Chidher is said to have reached the “stream of life” as a follower of Alexander, and both unwittingly had drunk of it, so that they became immortal. Moreover, Chidher is identified by the old commentators with Elias, who also did not die, but who was taken to Heaven in a fiery chariot. Elias is Helios.[372] It is to be observed that Ahasver also owes his existence to an obscure place in the holy Christian scriptures. This place is to be found in Matthew xvi:28. First comes the scene where Christ appoints Peter as the rock of his church, and nominates him the governor of his power.[373] After that follows the prophecy of his death, and then comes the passage:

“Verily, I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Here follows the scene of the transfiguration:

220“And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

“And behold there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

“Then answered Peter and said unto Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee and one for Moses and one for Elias.’”[374]

From these passages it appears that Christ stands on the same plane as Elias, without being identified with him,[375] although the people consider him as Elias. The ascension places Christ as identical with Elias. The prophecy of Christ shows that there exist aside from himself one or more immortals who shall not die until Parousai. According to John xxi: 22nd verse, the boy John was considered as one of these immortals, and in the legend he is, in fact, not dead but merely sleeping in the ground until Parousai, and breathes so that the dust swirls round his grave.[376] As is evident, there are passable bridges from Christ by way of Elias to Chidher and Ahasuerus. It is said in an account of this legend[377] that Dhulqarnein led his friend Chidher to the “source of life” in order to have him drink of immortality.[378] Alexander also bathed in the stream of life and performed the ritual ablutions. As I previously mentioned in a footnote, according to Matthew xvii: 12th verse, John the Baptist is Elias, therefore primarily identical with Chidher. Now, however, it is to be noted that in the Arabian legend Chidher appears rather as a companion or accompanied (Chidher with Dhulqarnein or with Elias, “like unto them”; or identified with them[379]). There are therefore, two similar figures who resemble each other, 221but who, nevertheless, are distinct. The analogous situation in the Christian legend is found in the scene by the Jordan where John leads Christ to the “source of life.” Christ is there, the subordinate, John the superior, similar to Dhulqarnein and Chidher, or Chidher and Moses, also Elias. The latter relation especially is such that Vollers compares Chidher and Elias, on the one side, with Gilgamesh and his mortal brother Eabani; on the other side, with the Dioscuri, one of whom is immortal, the other mortal. This relation is also found in Christ and John the Baptist,[380] on the one hand, and Christ and Peter, on the other. The last-named parallel only finds its explanation through comparison with the Mithraic mysteries, where the esoteric contents are revealed to us through monuments. Upon the Mithraic marble relief of Klagenfurt[381] it is represented how with a halo Mithra crowns Helios, who either kneels before him or else floats up to him from below. Mithra is represented on a Mithraic monument of Osterburken as holding in his right hand the shoulder of the mystic ox above Helios, who stands bowed down before him, the left hand resting on a sword hilt. A crown lies between them on the ground. Cumont observes about this scene that it probably represents the divine prototype of the ceremony of the initiation into the degree of Miles, in which a sword and a crown were conferred upon the mystic. Helios is, therefore, appointed the Miles of Mithra. In a general way, Mithra seems to occupy the rôle of patron to Helios, which reminds us of the boldness of Hercules towards Helios. Upon his journey towards Geryon, Helios burns 222too hotly; Hercules, full of anger, threatens him with his never-failing arrows. Therefore, Helios is compelled to yield, and lends to the hero his Sun ship, with which he was accustomed to journey across the sea. Thus Hercules returns to Erythia, to the cattle herds of Geryon.[382] On the monument at Klagenfurt, Mithra is furthermore represented pressing Helios’s hand, either in farewell or as a ratification. In a further scene Mithra mounts the Chariot of Helios, either for the ascension or the “Sea Journey.”[383] Cumont is of the opinion that Mithra gives to Helios a sort of ceremonious investiture and consecrates him with his divine power by crowning him with his own hands. This relation corresponds to that of Christ to Peter. Peter, through his symbol, the cock, has the character of a sun-god. After the ascension (or sea journey) of Christ, he is the visible pontiff of the divinity; he suffers, therefore, the same death (crucifixion) as Christ, and becomes the great Roman deity (Sol invictus), the conquering, triumphant Church itself, embodied in the Pope. In the scene of Malchus he is always shown as the miles of Christ, to whom the sword is granted, and as the rock upon which the Church is founded. The crown[384] is also given to him who possesses the power to bind and to set free. Thus, Christ, like the Sun, is the visible God, whereas the Pope, like the heir of the Roman Cæsars, is solis invicti comes. The setting sun appoints a successor whom he invests with the power of the sun.[385] Dhulqarnein gives Chidher eternal life. Chidher communicates his wisdom to Moses.[386] There even exists a report according to which 223the forgetful servant of Joshua drinks from the well of life, whereupon he becomes immortal, and is placed in a ship by Chidher and Moses, as a punishment, and is cast out to sea, once more a fragment of a sun myth, the motive of the “sea journey.”[387]

The primitive symbol, which designates that portion of the Zodiac in which the Sun, with the Winter Solstice, again enters upon the yearly course, is the goat, fish sign, the αἰγωκέρως. The Sun mounts like a goat to the highest mountain, and later goes into the water as a fish. The fish is the symbol of the child,[388] for the child before his birth lives in the water like a fish, and the Sun, because it plunges into the sea, becomes equally child and fish. The fish, however, is also a phallic symbol,[389] also a symbol for the woman.[390] Briefly stated, the fish is a libido symbol, and, indeed, as it seems predominately for the renewal of the libido.

The journey of Moses with his servant is a life-journey (eighty years). They grow old and lose their life force (libido), that is, they lose the fish which “pursues its course in a marvellous manner to the sea,” which means the setting of the sun. When the two notice their loss, they discover at the place where the “source of life” is found (where the dead fish revived and sprang into the sea) Chidher wrapped in his mantle,[391] sitting on the ground. According to another version, he sat on an island in the sea, or “in the wettest place on earth,” that is, he was just born from the maternal depths. Where the fish vanished Chidher, “the verdant one,” was born as a “son of the deep waters,” his head veiled, a Cabir, 224a proclaimer of divine wisdom; the old Babylonian Oannes-Ea, who was represented in the form of a fish, and daily came from the sea as a fish to teach the people wisdom.[392] His name was brought into connection with John’s. With the rising of the renewed sun all that lived in darkness, as water-animal or fish, surrounded by all terrors of night and death,[393] became as the shining fiery firmament of the day. Thus the words of John the Baptist[394] gain especial meaning:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.”

With Vollers we may also compare Chidher and Elias (Moses and his servant Joshua) with Gilgamesh and his brother Eabani. Gilgamesh wandered through the world, driven by anxiety and longing, to find immortality. His path led him across the seas to the wise Utnapishtim (Noah), who knew how to cross the waters of death. There Gilgamesh had to dive down to the bottom of the sea for the magical herb which was to lead him back to the land of men. When he had come again to his native land a serpent stole the magic plant from him (the fish again slid into the sea). But on the return from the land of the blessed an immortal mariner accompanied him, who, banished by a curse of Utnapishtim, was forbidden to return to the land of the blessed. Gilgamesh’s journey had lost its purpose on account of the loss of the magic herb; instead he is accompanied by an immortal, whose fate, indeed, we cannot learn from the fragments 225of the epic. This banished immortal is the model for Ahasver, as Jensen[395] aptly remarked.

Again we encounter the motive of the Dioscuri, mortal and immortal, setting and rising sun. This motive is also represented as if projected from the hero.

The Sacrificium Mithriacum (the sacrifice of the bull) is in its religious representation very often flanked by the two Dadophores, Cautes and Cautopates, one with a raised and the other with a lowered torch. They represent brothers who reveal their character through the symbolic position of the torch. Cumont connects them, not without meaning, with the sepulchral “erotes” who as genii with the reversed torches have traditional meaning. The one is supposed to stand for death and the other for life. I cannot refrain from mentioning the similarity between the Sacrificium Mithriacum (where the sacrificed bull in the centre is flanked on both sides by Dadophores) to the Christian sacrifice of the lamb (ram). The Crucified is also traditionally flanked by the two thieves, one of whom ascends to Paradise, while the other descends to Hell.[396] The idea of the mortal and the immortal seems to have passed also into the Christian worship. Semitic gods are often represented as flanked by two Paredroi; for example, Baal of Edessa, accompanied by Aziz and Monimoz (Baal as the Sun, accompanied by Mars and Mercury, as expressed in astronomical teachings). According to the Chaldean view, the gods are grouped into triads. In this circle of ideas belongs also the Trinity, the idea of the triune God, in which Christ must be considered in his unity with the 226Father and the Holy Ghost. So, too, do the two thieves belong inwardly to Christ. The two Dadophores are, as Cumont points out, nothing but offshoots[397] from the chief figure of Mithra, to whom belongs a mysterious threefold character. According to an account of Dionysus Areopagita, the magicians celebrated a festival, “τοῦ τριπλασίου Μίθρου.”[398][399] An observation likewise referring to the Trinity is made by Plutarch concerning Ormuzd: τρὶς ἑαυτὸν αὐξήσας ἀπέστησε τοῦ ἡλίου.[400] The Trinity, as three different states of the unity, is also a Christian thought. In the very first place this suggests a sun myth. An observation by Macrobius 1:18 seems to lend support to this idea:

Hæ autem ætatum diversitates ad solem referuntur, ut parvulus videatur hiemali solstitio, qualem Aegyptii proferunt ex adyto die certa, ... æquinoctio vernali figura iuvenis ornatur. Postea statuitur ætas ejus plenissima effigie barbæ solstitio æstivo ... exunde per diminutiones veluti senescenti quarta forma deus figuratur.[401][402]

As Cumont observes, Cautes and Cautapates occasionally carry in their hands the head of a bull, and a scorpion.[403] Taurus and Scorpio are equinoctial signs, which clearly indicate that the sacrificial scene refers primarily to the Sun cycle; the rising Sun, which sacrifices itself at 227the summer solstice, and the setting Sun. In the sacrificial scene the symbol of the rising and setting Sun was not easily represented; therefore, this idea was removed from the sacrificial image.

We have pointed out above that the Dioscuri represent a similar idea, although in a somewhat different form; the one sun is always mortal, the other immortal. As this entire sun mythology is merely a psychologic projection to the heavens, the fundamental thesis probably is as follows; just as man consists of a mortal and immortal part, so the sun is a pair of brothers,[404] one being mortal, the other immortal. This thought lies at the basis of all theology in general. Man is, indeed, mortal, but there are some who are immortal, or there is something in us which is immortal. Thus the gods, “a Chidher or a St. Germain,” are our immortal part, which, though incomprehensible, dwells among us somewhere.

Comparison with the sun teaches us over and over again that the gods are libido. It is that part of us which is immortal, since it represents that bond through which we feel that in the race we are never extinguished.[405] It is life from the life of mankind. Its springs, which well up from the depths of the unconscious, come, as does our life in general, from the root of the whole of humanity, since we are indeed only a twig broken off from the mother and transplanted.

Since the divine in us is the libido,[406] we must not wonder that we have taken along with us in our theology ancient representations from olden times, which give the triune figure to the God. We have taken this τριπλάσιον 228Θεόν[407] from the phallic symbolism, the originality of which may well be uncontested.[408] The male genitals are the basis for this Trinity. It is an anatomical fact that one testicle is generally placed somewhat higher than the other, and it is also a very old, but, nevertheless, still surviving, superstition that one testicle generates a boy and the other a girl.[409] A late Babylonian bas-relief from Lajard’s[410] collection seems to be in accordance with this view. In the middle of the image stands an androgynous god (masculine and feminine face[411]); upon the right, male side, is found a serpent, with a sun halo round its head; upon the left, female side, there is also a serpent, with the moon above its head. Above the head of the god there are three stars. This ensemble would seem to confirm the Trinity[412] of the representation. The Sun serpent at the right side is male; the serpent at the left side is female (signified by the moon). This image possesses a symbolic sexual suffix, which makes the sexual significance of the whole obtrusive. Upon the male side a rhomb is found—a favorite symbol of the female genitals; upon the female side there is a wheel or felly. A wheel always refers to the Sun, but the spokes are thickened and enlarged at the ends, which suggests phallic symbolism. It seems to be a phallic wheel, which was not unknown in antiquity. There are obscene bas-reliefs where Cupid turns a wheel of nothing but phalli.[413] It is not only the serpent which suggests the phallic significance of the Sun; I quote one especially marked case, from an abundance of proof. In the antique collection at Verona 229I discovered a late Roman mystic inscription in which are the following representations:

These symbols are easily read: Sun—Phallus, Moon—Vagina (Uterus). This interpretation is confirmed by another figure of the same collection. There the same representation is found, only the vessel[414] is replaced by the figure of a woman. The impressions on coins, where in the middle a palm is seen encoiled by a snake, flanked by two stones (testicles), or else in the middle a stone encircled by a snake; to the right a palm, to the left a shell (female genitals[415]), should be interpreted in a similar manner. In Lajard’s “Researches” (“The Cult of Venus”) there is a coin of Perga, where Artemis of Perga is represented by a conical stone (phallic) flanked by a man (claimed to be Men) and by a female figure (claimed to be Artemis). Men (the so-called Lunus) is found upon an Attic bas-relief apparently with the spear but fundamentally a sceptre with a phallic significance, flanked by Pan with a club (phallus) and a female figure.[416] The traditional representation of the Crucified flanked by John and Mary is closely associated with this circle of ideas, precisely as is the Crucified with the thieves. From this we see how, beside the Sun, there emerges again and again the much more primitive comparison 230of the libido with the phallus. An especial trace still deserves mention here. The Dadophor Cautapates, who represents Mithra, is also represented with the cock[417] and the pineapple. But these are the attributes of the Phrygian god Men, whose cult was widely diffused. Men was represented with Pileus,[418] the pineapple and the cock, also in the form of a boy, just as the Dadophores are boyish figures. (This last-named property relates them with Men to the Cabiri.) Men has a very close connection with Attis, the son and lover of Cybele. In the time of the Roman Cæsars, Men and Attis were entirely identified, as stated above. Attis also wears the Pileus like Men, Mithra and the Dadophores. As the son and lover of his mother he again leads us to the source of this religion-creating incest libido, namely, to the mother. Incest leads logically to ceremonial castration in the Attic-Cybele cult, for the Hero, driven insane by his mother, mutilates himself.[419] I must at present forego entering more deeply into this matter, because the incest problem is to be discussed at the close. Let this suggestion suffice—that from different directions the analysis of the libido symbolism always leads back again to the mother incest. Therefore, we may surmise that the longing of the libido raised to God (repressed into the unconscious) is a primitive, incestuous one which concerns the mother. Through renouncing the virility to the first beloved, the mother, the feminine element becomes extremely predominant; hence the strongly androgynous character of the dying and resurrected Redeemer. That these heroes are nearly always wanderers[420] is a psychologically 231clear symbolism. The wandering is a representation of longing,[421] of the ever-restless desire, which nowhere finds its object, for, unknown to itself, it seeks the lost mother. The wandering association renders the Sun comparison easily intelligible; also, under this aspect, the heroes always resemble the wandering Sun, which seems to justify the fact that the myth of the hero is a sun myth. But the myth of the hero, however, is, as it appears to me, the myth of our own suffering unconscious, which has an unquenchable longing for all the deepest sources of our own being; for the body of the mother, and through it for communion with infinite life in the countless forms of existence. Here I must introduce the words of the Master who has divined the deepest roots of Faustian longings:

“Unwilling, I reveal a loftier mystery.—
In solitude are throned the Goddesses,
No Space around them, Place and Time still less:
Only to speak of them embarrasses.
“Goddesses unknown to ye,
The Mortals,—named by us unwillingly.
Delve in the deepest depths must thou to reach them:
’Tis thine own fault that we for help beseech them.
“Where is the way?
“No way! To the Unreachable,
Ne’er to be trodden! A way to the Unbeseechable,
Never to be besought! Art thou prepared?
There are no locks, no latches to be lifted!
Through endless solitudes shalt thou be drifted!
Hast thou through solitudes and deserts dared?
232And hadst thou swum to farthest verge of ocean
And there the boundless space beheld,
Still hadst thou seen wave after wave in motion,
Even though impending doom thy fear compelled.
Thou hadst seen something—in the beryl dim
Of peace-lulled seas, the sportive dolphins swim;
Hadst seen the flying clouds, sun, moon and star;
Nought shalt thou see in endless Void afar—
Not hear thy footstep fall, nor meet
A stable spot to rest thy feet.
“Here, take this key!
The Key will scent the true place from all others;
Follow it down! ‘Twill lead thee to the Mothers.
“Descend then! I could also say: Ascend!
’Twere all the same. Escape from the Created
To shapeless forms in liberated spaces!
Enjoy what long ere this was dissipated!
There whirls the press, like clouds on clouds unfolding;
Then with stretched arm swing high the key thou’rt holding!
“At last a blazing tripod,[422] tells thee this,
That there the utterly deepest bottom is.
Its light to thee will then the Mothers show,
Some in their seats, the others stand or go,
At their own will: Formation, Transformation,
The Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation,
Forms of all Creatures,—there are floating free.
They’ll see thee not! for only wraiths they see.
So pluck up heart,—the danger then is great.
Go to the tripod ere thou hesitate,
And touch it with the key.”


The vision following the creation of the hero is described by Miss Miller as a “throng of people.” This representation is known to us from dream interpretation as being, above all, the symbol of mystery.[423] Freud thinks that this choice of symbol is determined on account of its possibility of representing the idea. The bearer of the mystery is placed in opposition to the multitude of the ignorant. The possession of the mystery cuts one off from intercourse with the rest of mankind. For a very complete and smooth rapport with the surroundings is of great importance for the management of the libido and the possession of a subjectively important secret generally creates a great disturbance. It may be said that the whole art of life shrinks to the one problem of how the libido may be freed in the most harmless way possible. Therefore, the neurotic derives special benefit in treatment when he can at last rid himself of his various secrets. The symbol of the crowd of people, chiefly the streaming and moving mass, is, as I have often seen, substituted for the great excitement in the unconscious, especially in persons who are outwardly calm.

234The vision of the “throng” develops further; horses emerge; a battle is fought. With Silberer, I might accept the significance of this vision as belonging, first of all, in the “functional category,” because, fundamentally, the conception of the intermingling crowds is nothing but the symbol of the present onrush of the mass of thought; likewise the battle, and possibly the horses, which illustrate the movement. The deeper significance of the appearance of the horses will be seen for the first time in the further course of our treatment of the mother symbolism. The following vision has a more definite and significantly important character. Miss Miller sees a City of Dreams (“Cité de Rêves”). The picture is similar to one she saw a short time before on the cover of a magazine. Unfortunately, we learn nothing further about it. One can easily imagine under this “Cité de Rêves” a fulfilled wish dream, that is to say, something very beautiful and greatly longed for; a sort of heavenly Jerusalem, as the poet of the Apocalypse has dreamed it. The city is a maternal symbol, a woman who fosters the inhabitants as children. It is, therefore, intelligible that the two mother goddesses, Rhea and Cybele, both wear the wall crown. The Old Testament treats the cities of Jerusalem, Babel, etc., as women (Isaiah xlvii:1–5):

“Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal; uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. That thy nakedness 235shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen; sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt no more be called the lady of the kingdoms.”

Jeremiah says of Babel (I:12):

“Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed.”

Strong, unconquered cities are virgins; colonies are sons and daughters. Cities are also whores. Isaiah says of Tyre (xxiii:16):

“Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot; thou hast been forgotten.”


“How does it come to pass that the virtuous city has become an harlot?”

We come across a similar symbolism in the myth of Ogyges, the mythical king who rules in Egyptian Thebes and whose wife was appropriately named Thebe. The Bœotian Thebes founded by Cadmus received on that account a surname, “Ogygian.” This surname was also given to the great flood, as it was called “Ogygian” because it occurred under Ogyges. This coincidence will be found later on to be hardly accidental. The fact that the city and the wife of Ogyges bear the same name indicates that somewhere a relation must exist between the city and the woman, which is not difficult to understand, for the city is identical with the woman. We meet a similar idea in Hindoo lore where Indra appears as the 236husband of Urvara, but Urvara means “the fertile land.” In a similar way the occupancy of a country by the king was understood as marriage with the ploughed land. Similar representations must have prevailed in Europe as well. Princes had to guarantee, for example, a good harvest at their accession. The Swedish King Domaldi was actually killed on account of the failure of the harvest (Ynglinga sâga 18). In the Rama sâga the hero Rama marries Sîtâ, the furrow of the field.[424] To the same group of ideas belongs the Chinese custom of the Emperor ploughing a furrow at his ascension to the throne. This idea of the soil being feminine also embraces the idea of continual companionship with the woman, a physical communication. Shiva, the Phallic God, is, like Mahadeva and Parwati, male and female. He has even given one-half of his body to his consort Parwati as a dwelling place.[425] Inman[426] gives us a drawing of a Pundite of Ardanari-Iswara; one-half of the god is masculine, the other half feminine, and the genitals are in continuous cohabitation. The motive of continuous cohabitation is expressed in a well-known lingam symbol, which is to be found everywhere in Indian temples; the base is a female symbol, and within that is the phallus.[427] The symbol approaches very closely the Grecian mystic phallic basket and chests. (Compare with this the Eleusinian mysteries.) The chest or box is here a female symbol, that is, the mother’s womb. This is a very well-known conception in the old mythologies.[428] The chest, basket or little basket, with its precious contents, was thought of as floating on the water; a remarkable 237inversion of the natural fact that the child floats in the amniotic fluid and that this is in the uterus.

This inversion brings about a great advantage for sublimation, for it creates enormous possibilities of application for the myth-weaving phantasy, that is to say, for the annexation to the sun cycle. The Sun floats over the sea like an immortal god, which every evening is immersed in the maternal water and is born again renewed in the morning. Frobenius says:

“Perhaps in connection with the blood-red sunrise, the idea occurs that here a birth takes place, the birth of a young son; the question then arises inevitably, whence comes the paternity? How has the woman become pregnant? And since this woman symbolizes the same idea as the fish, which means the sea, (because we proceed from the assumption that the Sun descends into the sea as well as arises from it) thus the curious primitive answer is that this sea has previously swallowed the old Sun. Consequently the resulting myth is, that the woman (sea) has formerly devoured the Sun and now brings a new Sun into the world, and thus she has become pregnant.”

All these sea-going gods are sun symbols. They are enclosed in a chest or an ark for the “night journey on the sea” (Frobenius), often together with a woman (again an inversion of the actual situation, but in support of the motive of continuous cohabitation, which we have met above). During the night journey on the sea the Sun-god is enclosed in the mother’s womb, oftentimes threatened by dangers of all kinds. Instead of many individual examples, I will content myself with reproducing 238the scheme which Frobenius has constructed from numberless myths of this sort:

 _To devour_ _West_      _East_ _W-E movement—(sea journey)_ _Heat-hair_ _To slip out_ _To open_ _To land_ _Sea journey_ _To set on fire or To cut off the heart_

Frobenius gives the following legend to illustrate this:

“A hero is devoured by a water monster in the West (to devour). The animal carries him within him to the East (sea journey). Meanwhile, he kindles a fire in the belly of the monster (to set on fire) and since he feels hungry he cuts off a piece of the hanging heart (to cut off the heart). Soon after he notices that the fish glides upon the dry land (to land); he immediately begins to cut open the animal from within outwards (to open) then he slides out (to slip out). In the fish’s belly, it had been so hot, that all his hair had fallen out (heat-hair). The hero frequently frees all who were previously devoured (to devour all) and all now slide out (slip out).”

A very close parallel is Noah’s journey during the flood, in which all living creatures die; only he and the life guarded by him are brought to a new birth. In a Melapolynesian legend (Frobenius) it is told that the hero in the belly of the King Fish took his weapon and cut open the fish’s belly. “He slid out and saw a splendor, and he sat down and reflected. ‘I wonder where I am,’ he said. Then the sun rose with a bound and turned from 239one side to the other.” The Sun has again slipped out. Frobenius mentions from the Ramayana the myth of the ape Hanuman, who represents the Sun-hero. The sun in which Hanuman hurries through the air throws a shadow upon the sea. The sea monster notices this and through this draws Hanuman toward itself; when the latter sees that the monster is about to devour him, he stretches out his figure immeasurably; the monster assumes the same gigantic proportions. As he does that Hanuman becomes as small as a thumb, slips into the great body of the monster and comes out on the other side. In another part of the poem it is said that he came out from the right ear of the monster (like Rabelais’ Gargantua, who also was born from the mother’s ear). “Hanuman thereupon resumes his flight, and finds a new obstacle in another sea monster, which is the mother of Rahus, the sun-devouring demon. The latter draws Hanuman’s shadow[429] to her in the same way. Hanuman again has recourse to the earlier stratagem, becomes small and slips into her body, but hardly is he there than he grows to a gigantic mass, swells up, tears her, kills her, and in that way makes his escape.”

Thus we understand why the Indian fire-bringer Mâtariçvan is called “the one swelling in the mother”; the ark (little box, chest, cask, vessel, etc.) is a symbol of the womb, just as is the sea, into which the Sun sinks for rebirth. From this circle of ideas we understand the mythologic statements about Ogyges; he it is who possesses the mother, the City, who is united with the mother; therefore under him came the great flood, for it is a 240typical fragment of the sun myth that the hero, when united with the woman attained with difficulty, is exposed in a cask and thrown into the sea, and then lands for a new life on a distant shore. The middle part, the “night journey on the sea” in the ark, is lacking in the tradition of Ogyges.[430] But the rule in mythology is that the typical parts of a myth can be united in all conceivable variations, which adds greatly to the extraordinary difficulty of the interpretation of a particular myth without knowledge of all the others. The meaning of this cycle of myths mentioned here is clear; it is the longing to attain rebirth through the return to the mother’s womb, that is to say, to become as immortal as the sun. This longing for the mother is frequently expressed in our holy scriptures.[431] I recall, particularly the place in the epistle to the Galatians, where it is said (iv:26):

(26) “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

(27) “For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that beareth not: break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband.

(28) “Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

(29) “But as he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the spirit, even so it is now.

(30) “Nevertheless, what sayeth the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of a bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of a freewoman.

(31) “So, then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Chapter v:

241(1) “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free.”

The Christians are the children of the City Above, a symbol of the mother, not sons of the earthly city-mother, who is to be cast out; for those born after the flesh are opposed to those born after the spirit, who are not born from the mother in the flesh, but from a symbol for the mother. One must again think of the Indians at this point, who say the first people proceeded from the sword-hilt and a shuttle. The religious thought is bound up with the compulsion to call the mother no longer mother, but City, Source, Sea, etc. This compulsion can be derived from the need to manifest an amount of libido bound up with the mother, but in such a way that the mother is represented by or concealed in a symbol. The symbolism of the city we find well-developed in the revelations of John, where two cities play a great part, one of which is insulted and cursed by him, the other greatly desired. We read in Revelation (xvii:1):

(1) “Come hither: I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth on many waters.

(2) “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

(3) “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit on a scarlet colored beast, full of the names of blasphemy, and having seven heads and ten horns.

(4) “And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colors, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup[432] in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication.

(5) “And upon her forehead was a name written: Mystery. 242Babylon the great. The Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.

(6) “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her I wondered with a great admiration.”

Here follows an interpretation of the vision unintelligible to us, from which we can only emphasize the point that the seven heads[433] of the dragon means the seven hills upon which the woman sits. This is probably a distinct allusion to Rome, the city whose temporal power oppressed the world at the time of the Revelation. The waters upon which the woman “the mother” sits are “peoples and throngs and nations and tongues.” This also seems to refer to Rome, for she is the mother of peoples and possessed all lands. Just as in common speech, for example, colonies are called daughters, so the people subject to Rome are like members of a family subject to the mother. In another version of the picture, the kings of the people, namely, the fathers, commit fornication with this mother. Revelation continues (xviii: 2):

(2) “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

(3) “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

Thus this mother does not only become the mother of all abominations, but also in truth the receptacle of all that is wicked and unclean. The birds are images of 243souls;[434] therefore, this means all souls of the condemned and evil spirits. Thus the mother becomes Hecate, the underworld, the City of the damned itself. We recognize easily in the ancient idea of the woman on the dragon,[435] the above-mentioned representation of Echnida, the mother of the infernal horrors. Babylon is the idea of the “terrible” mother, who seduces all people to whoredom with devilish temptation, and makes them drunk with her wine. The intoxicating drink stands in the closest relation to fornication, for it is also a libido symbol, as we have already seen in the parallel of fire and sun. After the fall and curse of Babylon, we find in Revelation (xix:6–7) the hymn which leads from the under half to the upper half of the mother, where now everything is possible which would be impossible without the repression of incest:

(6) “Alleluia, the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

(7) “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come,[436] and his wife hath made herself ready.

(8) “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

(9) “And he saith unto me, ‘Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.’”

The Lamb is the son of man who celebrates his marriage with the “woman.” Who the “woman” is remains obscure at first. But Revelation (xxi:9) shows us which “woman” is the bride, the Lamb’s wife:

(9) “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.[437]

244(10) “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God.”

It is evident from this quotation, after all that goes before, that the City, the heavenly bride, who is here promised to the Son, is the mother.[438] In Babylon the impure maid was cast out, according to the Epistle to the Galatians, so that here in heavenly Jerusalem the mother-bride may be attained the more surely. It bears witness to the most delicate psychologic perception that the fathers of the church who formulated the canons preserved this bit of the symbolic significance of the Christ mystery. It is a treasure house for the phantasies and myth materials which underlie primitive Christianity.[439] The further attributes which were heaped upon the heavenly Jerusalem make its significance as mother overwhelmingly clear:

(1) “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.

(2) “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of nations.

(3) “And there shall be no more curse.”

In this quotation we come upon the symbol of the waters, which we found in the mention of Ogyges in connection with the city. The maternal significance of water belongs to the clearest symbolism in the realm of mythology,[440] so that the ancients could say: ἠ θάλασσα—τῆς γενέσεως σύμβολον.[441] From water comes life;[442] 245therefore, of the two gods which here interest us the most, Christ and Mithra, the latter was born beside a river, according to representations, while Christ experienced his new birth in the Jordan; moreover, he is born from the Πηγή,[443] the “sempiterni fons amoris,” the mother of God, who by the heathen-Christian legend was made a nymph of the Spring. The “Spring” is also found in Mithracism. A Pannonian dedication reads, “Fonti perenni.” An inscription in Apulia is dedicated to the “Fons Aeterni.” In Persia, Ardvîçûra is the well of the water of life. Ardvîçûra-Anahita is a goddess of water and love (just as Aphrodite is born from foam). The neo-Persians designate the Planet Venus and a nubile girl by the name “Nahid.” In the temples of Anaitis there existed prostitute Hierodules (harlots). In the Sakaeen (in honor of Anaitis) there, occurred ritual combats as in the festival of the Egyptian Ares and his mother. In the Vedas the waters are called Mâtritamâh—the most maternal.[443] All that is living rises as does the sun, from the water, and at evening plunges into the water. Born from the springs, the rivers, the seas, at death man arrives at the waters of the Styx in order to enter upon the “night journey on the sea.” The wish is that the black water of death might be the water of life; that death, with its cold embrace, might be the mother’s womb, just as the sea devours the sun, but brings it forth again out of the maternal womb (Jonah motive[444]). Life believes not in death.

“In the flood of life, in the torrent of deeds,
I toss up and down,
246I am blown to and fro!
Cradle and grave,
An eternal sea;
A changing web,
A glowing life.” —Goethe: Faust.

That ξύλον ζωῆς, the wood of life, or the tree of life, is a maternal symbol would seem to follow from the previous deductions. The etymologic connection of ὕο, ὕλε, υἱός, in the Indo-Germanic root suggests the blending of the meanings in the underlying symbolism of mother and of generation. The tree of life is probably, first of all, a fruit-bearing genealogical tree, that is, a mother-image. Countless myths prove the derivation of man from trees; many myths show how the hero is enclosed in the maternal tree—thus dead Osiris in the column, Adonis in the myrtle, etc. Numerous female divinities were worshipped as trees, from which resulted the cult of the holy groves and trees. It is of transparent significance when Attis castrates himself under a pine tree, i. e. he does it because of the mother. Goddesses were often worshipped in the form of a tree or of a wood. Thus Juno of Thespiæ was a branch of a tree, Juno of Samos was a board. Juno of Argos was a column. The Carian Diana was an uncut piece of wood. Athene of Lindus was a polished column. Tertullian calls Ceres of Pharos “rudis palus et informe lignum sine effigie.” Athenaeus remarks of Latona at Dalos that she is ξὐλινον ἄμορφον, a shapeless piece of wood.[445] Tertullian calls an Attic Pallas “crucis stipes,” a wooden pale or mast. The wooden pale is phallic, as the name 247suggests, φάλης, Pallus. The φαλλός is a pale, a ceremonial lingam carved out of figwood, as are all Roman statues of Priapus. Φάλος means a projection or centrepiece on the helmet, later called κῶνος just as ἀναφαλ-αντίασις signifies baldheadedness on the forepart of the head, and φαλακρός signifies baldheadedness in regard to the φάλος-κῶνος of the helmet; a semi-phallic meaning is given to the upper part of the head as well.[446] Φάλληνος has, besides φαλλός, the significance of “wooden”; φαλ-άγγωμα, “cylinder”; φάλαγξ, “a round beam.” The Macedonian battle array, distinguished by its powerful impetus, is called φάλαγξ; moreover, the finger-joint[447] is called φάλαγξ. φάλλαινα or φάλαινα is a whale. Now φαλός appears with the meaning “shining, brilliant.” The Indo-Germanic root is bhale = to bulge, to swell.[448] Who does not think of Faust?

“It grows, it shines, increases in my hand!”

That is primitive libido symbolism, which shows how immediate is the connection between phallic libido and light. The same relations are found in the Rigveda in Rudra’s utterances.

Rigveda 1, 114, 3:

“May we obtain your favor, thou man ruling, Oh urinating Rudra.”

I refer here to the previously mentioned phallic symbolism of Rudra in the Upanishads:

(4) “We call for help below to the flaming Rudra, to the one bringing the sacrifice; him who encircles and wanders (wandering in the vault of Heaven) to the seer.”

2482, 33, 5:

“He who opens up the sweet, who listens to our calls, the ruddy one, with the beautiful helmet, may he not give us over to the powers of jealousy.

(6) “I have been rejoiced by the bull connected with Marut, the supplicating one with strong force of life.

(8) “Sound the powerful song of praise to the ruddy bull to the white shining one; worship the flaming one with honor, we sing of the shining being Rudra.

“May Rudra’s missile (arrow) not be used on us, may the great displeasure of the shining one pass us by: Unbend the firm (bow or hard arrow?) for the princes, thou who blessest with the waters of thy body (generative strength), be gracious to our children and grandchildren.”[449]

In this way we pass from the realm of mother symbolism imperceptibly into the realm of male phallic symbolism. This element also lies in the tree, even in the family tree, as is distinctly shown by the mediæval family trees. From the first ancestor there grows upward, in the place of the “membrum virile,” the trunk of the great tree. The bisexual symbolic character of the tree is intimated by the fact that in Latin trees have a masculine termination and a feminine gender.[450] The feminine (especially the maternal) meaning of the forest and the phallic significance of trees in dreams is well known. I mention an example.

It concerns a woman who had always been nervous, and who, after many years of marriage, became ill as a result of the typical retention of the libido. She had the following dream after she had learned to know a young man of many engaging free opinions who was very pleasing to her: She found herself in a garden where stood 249a remarkable exotic tree with strange red fleshy flowers or fruits. She picked them and ate them. Then, to her horror, she felt that she was poisoned. This dream idea may easily be understood by means of the antique or poetic symbolism, so I can spare information as to the analytic material.

The double significance of the tree is readily explained by the fact that such symbols are not to be understood “anatomically” but psychologically as libido symbols; therefore, it is not permissible to interpret the tree on account of its similar form as directly phallic; it can also be called a woman or the uterus of the mother. The uniformity of the significance lies alone in the similarity to the libido.[451] One loses one’s way in one “cul de sac” after another by saying that this is the symbol substituted for the mother and that for the penis. In this realm there is no fixed significance of things. The only reality here is the libido, for which “all that is perishable is merely a symbol.” It is not the physical actual mother, but the libido of the son, the object of which was once the mother. We take mythologic symbols much too concretely and wonder at every step about the endless contradictions. These contradictions arise only because we constantly forget that in the realm of phantasy “feeling is all.” Whenever we read, therefore, “his mother was a wicked sorcerer,” the translation is as follows: The son is in love with her, namely, he is unable to detach his libido from the mother-imago; he therefore suffers from incestuous resistance.

The symbolism of water and trees, which are met with 250as further attributes in the symbol of the City, also refer to that amount of libido which unconsciously is fastened to the mother-imago. In certain parts of Revelation the unconscious psychology of religious longing is revealed, namely, the longing for the mother.[452] The expectation of Revelation ends in the mother: καὶ πᾶν κατάθεμα οὐκ ἔσται ἔτι (“and there shall be no more curse”). There shall be no more sins, no repression, no disharmony with one’s self, no guilt, no fear of death and no pain of separation more!

Thus Revelation echoes that same radiant mystical harmony which was caught again 2,000 years later and expressed poetically in the last prayer of Dr. Marianus:

“Penitents, look up, elate,
Where she beams salvation;
Gratefully to blessed fate
Grow, in recreation!
Be our souls, as they have been,
Dedicate to thee!
Virgin Holy, Mother, Queen,
Goddess, gracious be!” —Goethe: Faust.

One principal question arises at the sight of this beauty and greatness of feeling, that is, whether the primary tendency compensated by religion is not too narrowly understood as incestuous. I have previously observed in regard to this that I consider the “resistance opposed to libido” as in a general way coincident with the incest prohibition. I must leave open for the present the definition of the psychological incest conception. However, I will here emphasize the point that it is most especially the 251totality of the sun myth which proves to us that the fundamental basis of the “incestuous” desire does not aim at cohabitation, but at the special thought of becoming a child again, of turning back to the parent’s protection, of coming into the mother once more in order to be born again. But incest stands in the path to this goal, that is to say, the necessity of in some way again gaining entrance into the mother’s womb. One of the simplest ways would be to impregnate the mother, and to reproduce one’s self identically. But here the incest prohibition interferes; therefore, the myths of the sun or of rebirth teem with all possible proposals as to how incest can be evaded. A very simple method of avoidance is to transform the mother into another being or to rejuvenate[453] her after birth has occurred, to have her disappear again or have her change back. It is not incestuous cohabitation which is desired, but the rebirth, which now is attained most readily through cohabitation. But this is not the only way, although perhaps the original one. The resistance to the incest prohibition makes the phantasy inventive; for example, it was attempted to impregnate the mother by means of a magic charm of fertility (to wish for a child). Attempts in this respect remain in the stage of mythical phantasies; but they have one result, and that is the exercise of the phantasy which gradually produces paths through the creation of phantastic possibilities, in which the libido, taking an active part, can flow off. Thus the libido becomes spiritualized in an imperceptible manner. The power “which always wishes evil” thus creates a spiritual life. Therefore, in 252religions, this course is now raised to a system. On that account it is exceedingly instructive to see how religion takes pains to further these symbolic transferences.[454] The New Testament furnishes us with an excellent example in regard to this. Nicodemus, in the speech regarding rebirth, cannot forbear understanding the matter very realistically.

John iii:4:

(4) “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?”

But Jesus endeavors to raise into purity the sensuous view of Nicodemus’s mind moulded in materialistic heaviness, and announces to him—really the same—and yet not the same:

(5) “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

(6) “That which is born of the flesh is flesh: and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.

(7) “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

(8) “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is everyone that is born of the spirit.”

To be born of water means simply to be born from the mother’s womb. To be born of the spirit means to be born from the fructifying breath of the wind; this we learn from the Greek text (where spirit and wind are expressed by the same word, πνεῦμα) τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τῆς σαρκος σάρξ ἐστιν, καὶ τὸ γεγεννημένον ἐκ τοῦ 253πνεύματος πνεῦμά ἐστιν.—Τὸ πνεῦμα ὅπου θέλει πνεῖ,[455] etc.

This symbolism rose from the same need as that which produced the Egyptian legend of the vultures, the mother symbol. They were only females and were fertilized by the wind. One recognizes very clearly the ethical demand as the foundation of these mythologic assertions: thou must say of the mother that she was not impregnated by a mortal in the ordinary way, but by a spiritual being in an unusual manner. This demand stands in strict opposition to the real truth; therefore, the myth is a fitting solution. One can say it was a hero who died and was born again in a remarkable manner, and in this way attained immortality. The need which this demand asserts is evidently a prohibition against a definite phantasy concerning the mother. A son may naturally think that a father has generated him in a carnal way, but not that he himself impregnated the mother and so caused himself to be born again into renewed youth. This incestuous phantasy which for some reason possesses an extraordinary strength,[456] and, therefore, appears as a compulsory wish, is repressed and, conforming to the above demand, under certain conditions, expresses itself again, symbolically, concerning the problem of birth, or rather concerning individual rebirth from the mother. In Jesus’s challenge to Nicodemus we clearly recognize this tendency: “Think not carnally or thou art carnal, but think symbolically, then art thou spirit.” It is evident 254how extremely educative and developing this compulsion toward symbolism can be. Nicodemus would remain fixed in low commonplaces if he did not succeed in raising himself through symbols above this repressed incestuous desire. As a righteous philistine of culture, he probably was not very anxious for this effort, because men seem really to remain satisfied in repressing the incestuous libido, and at best to express it by some modest religious exercises. Yet it seems to be important, on the other side, that man should not merely renounce and repress and thereby remain firmly fixed in the incestuous bond, but that he should redeem those dynamic forces which lie bound up in incest, in order to fulfil himself. For man needs his whole libido, to fill out the boundaries of his personality, and then, for the first time, he is in a condition to do his best. The paths by which man may manifest his incestuously fixed libido seem to have been pointed out by the religious mythologic symbols. On this account Jesus teaches Nicodemus: “Thou thinkest of thy incestuous wish for rebirth, but thou must think that thou art born from the water and that thou art generated by the breath of the wind,[457] and in this way thou shalt share in eternal life.”

Thus the libido which lies inactive in the incestuous bond repressed and in fear of the law and the avenging Father God can be led over into sublimation through the symbol of baptism (birth from water) and of generation (spiritual birth) through the symbol of the descent of the Holy Ghost. Thus man becomes a child[458] again and is born into a circle of brothers and sisters; but his mother 255is the “communion of the saints,” the church, and his circle of brothers and sisters is humanity, with whom he is united anew in the common inheritance of the primitive symbol.

It seems that at the time in which Christianity had its origin this process was especially necessary; for that period, as the result of the incredible contrast between slavery and the freedom of the citizens and masters, had entirely lost the consciousness of the common bond of mankind. One of the next and most essential reasons for the energetic regression to the infantile in Christianity, which goes hand in hand with the revival of the incest problem, was probably to be found in the far-reaching depreciation of women. At that time sexuality was so easily attainable that the result could only be a very excessive depreciation of the sexual object. The existence of personal values was first discovered by Christianity, and there are many people who have not discovered it even in the present day. However, the depreciation of the sexual object hinders the outflow of that libido which cannot be satisfied by sexual activity, because it belongs to an already desexualized higher order. (If it were not so, a Don Juan could never be neurotic; but the contrary is the case.) For how might those higher valuations be given to a worthless, despised object? Therefore, the libido, after having seen a “Helen in every woman” for so long a time, sets out on a search for the difficult to obtain, the worshipped, but perhaps unattainable, goal, and which in the unconscious is the mother. Therefore the symbolic needs, based on the incest resistance, 256arise again in an increased degree, which promptly transforms the beautiful, sinful world of the Olympian Gods into incomprehensible, dreamlike, dark mysteries, which, with their accessions of symbols and obscure meaningful texts, remove us very far from the religious feelings of that Roman-Græco world. When we see how much trouble Jesus took to make acceptable to Nicodemus the symbolic perception of things, that is to say, really a repression and veiling over of the actual facts, and how important it was for the history of civilization in general, that people thought and still think in this way, then we understand the revolt which is raised everywhere against the psychologic discovery of the true background of the neurotic or normal symbolism. Always and everywhere we encounter the odious realm of sexuality, which represents to all righteous people of to-day something defiled. However, less than 2,000 years have passed since the religious cult of sexuality was more or less openly in full bloom. To be sure, they were heathen and did not know better, but the nature of religious power does not change from cycle to cycle. If one has once received an effectual impression of the sexual contents of the ancient cults, and if one realizes oneself that the religious experience, that is, the union[459] with the God of antiquity, was understood by antiquity as a more or less concrete coitus, then truly one can no longer fancy that the motor forces of a religion have suddenly become wholly different since the birth of Christ. Exactly the same thing has occurred as with the hysteric who at first indulges in some quite unbeautiful, infantile sexual manifestations 257and afterwards develops a hyperæsthetic negation in order to convince every one of his special purity. Christianity, with its repression of the manifest sexual, is the negative of the ancient sexual cult. The original cult has changed its tokens.[460] One only needs to realize how much of the gay paganism, even to the inclusion of unseemly Gods, has been taken into the Christian church. Thus the old indecent Priapus celebrated a gay festival of resurrection in St. Tychon.[461] Also partly in the physicians Sts. Kosma and Damien, who graciously condescended to accept the “membra virilia” in wax at their festival.[462] St. Phallus of old memories emerges again to be worshipped in country chapels, to say nothing of the rest of the paganism!

There are those who have not yet learned to recognize sexuality as a function equivalent to hunger and who, therefore, consider it as disgraceful that certain taboo institutions which were considered as asexual refuges are now recognized as overflowing with sexual symbolism. Those people are doomed to the painful realization that such is still the case, in spite of their great revolt. One must learn to understand that, opposed to the customary habit of thought, psychoanalytic thinking reduces and resolves those symbolic structures which have become more and more complicated through countless elaboration. This means a course of reduction which would be an intellectual enjoyment if the object were different. But here it becomes distressing, not only æsthetically, but apparently also ethically, because the repressions which are to be overcome have been brought about by our best 258intentions. We must commence to overcome our virtuousness with the certain fear of falling into baseness on the other side. This is certainly true, for virtuousness is always inwardly compensated by a great tendency towards baseness; and how many profligates are there who inwardly preserve a mawkish virtue and moral megalomania? Both categories of men turn out to be snobs when they come in contact with analytic psychology, because the moral man has imagined an objective and cheap verdict on sexuality and the unmoral man is entirely unaware of the vulgarity of his sexuality and of his incapacity for an unselfish love. One completely forgets that one can most miserably be carried away, not only by a vice, but also by a virtue. There is a fanatic orgiastic self-righteousness which is just as base and which entails just as much injustice and violence as a vice.

At this time, when a large part of mankind is beginning to discard Christianity, it is worth while to understand clearly why it was originally accepted. It was accepted in order to escape at last from the brutality of antiquity. As soon as we discard it, licentiousness returns, as impressively exemplified by life in our large modern cities. This step is not a forward step, but a backward one. It is as with individuals who have laid aside one form of transference and have no new one. Without fail they will occupy regressively the old path of transference, to their great detriment, because the world around them has since then essentially changed. He who is repelled by the historical and philosophical weakness of the Christian dogmatism and the religious 259emptiness of an historical Jesus, of whose person we know nothing and whose religious value is partly Talmudic, partly Hellenic wisdom, and discards Christianity, and therewith Christian morality, is certainly confronted with the ancient problem of licentiousness. To-day the individual still feels himself restrained by the public hypocritical opinion, and, therefore, prefers to lead a secret, separate life, but publicly to represent morality. It might be different if men in general all at once found the moral mask too dull, and if they realized how dangerously their beasts lie in wait for each other, and then truly a frenzy of demoralization might sweep over humanity. This is the dream, the wish dream, of the morally limited man of to-day; he forgets necessity, which strangles men and robs them of their breath, and which with a stern hand interrupts every passion.

It must not be imputed to me that I am wishing to refer the libido back by analytical reduction to the primitive, almost conquered, stages, entirely forgetting the fearful misery this would entail for humanity. Indeed, some individuals would let themselves be transported by the old-time frenzy of sexuality, from which the burden of guilt has been removed, to their own greatest detriment.

But these are the ones who under other circumstances would have prematurely perished in some other way. However, I well know the most effectual and most inexorable regulator of human sexuality. This is necessity. With this leaden weight human lust will never fly too high.

To-day there are countless neurotics who are so simply 260because they do not know how to seek happiness in their own manner. They do not even realize where the lack lies. And besides these neurotics there are many more normal people—and precisely people of the higher type—who feel restricted and discontented. For all these reduction to the sexual elements should be undertaken, in order that they may be reinstated into the possession of their primitive self, and thereby learn to know and value its relation to the entire personality. In this way alone can certain requirements be fulfilled and others be repudiated as unfit because of their infantile character. In this way the individual will come to realize that certain things are to be sacrificed, although they are accomplished, but in another sphere. We imagine that we have long renounced, sacrificed and cut off our incest wish, and that nothing of it is left. But it does not occur to us that this is not true, but that we unconsciously commit incest in another territory. In religious symbols, for example, we come across incest.[463] We consider the incestuous wish vanished and lost, and then rediscover it in full force in religion. This process or transformation has taken place unconsciously in secular development. Just as in Part I it is shown that a similar unconscious transformation of the libido is an ethically worthless pose, and with which I compared the Christianity of early Roman antiquity, where evidently licentiousness and brutality were strongly resisted, so here I must remark in regard to the sublimation of the incestuous libido, that the belief in the religious symbol has ceased to be an ethical ideal; but it is an unconscious transformation of 261the incest wish into symbolic acts and symbolic concepts which cheat men, as it were, so that heaven appears to them as a father and earth as a mother and the people upon it children and brothers and sisters. Thus man can remain a child for all time and satisfy his incest wish all unawares. This state would doubtless be ideal[464] if it were not infantile and, therefore, merely a one-sided wish, which maintains a childish attitude. The reverse is anxiety. Much is said of pious people who remain unshaken in their trust in God and wander unswervingly safe and blessed through the world. I have never seen this Chidher yet. It is probably a wish figure. The rule is great uncertainty among believers, which they drown with fanatical cries among themselves or among others; moreover, they have religious doubts, moral uncertainty, doubts of their own personality, feelings of guilt and, deepest of all, great fear of the opposite aspect of reality, against which the most highly intelligent people struggle with all their force. This other side is the devil, the adversary or, expressed in modern terms, the corrective of reality, of the infantile world picture, which has been made acceptable through the predominating pleasure principle.[465] But the world is not a garden of God, of the Father, but a place of terrors. Not only is heaven no father and earth no mother and the people not brothers nor sisters, but they represent hostile, destroying powers, to which we are abandoned the more surely, the more childishly and thoughtlessly we have entrusted ourselves to the so-called Fatherly hand of God. One should never forget the harsh speech of the first Napoleon, 262that the good God is always on the side of the heaviest artillery.

The religious myth meets us here as one of the greatest and most significant human institutions which, despite misleading symbols, nevertheless gives man assurance and strength, so that he may not be overwhelmed by the monsters of the universe. The symbol, considered from the standpoint of actual truth, is misleading, indeed, but it is psychologically true,[466] because it was and is the bridge to all the greatest achievements of humanity.

But this does not mean to say that this unconscious way of transformation of the incest wish into religious exercises is the only one or the only possible one. There is also a conscious recognition and understanding with which we can take possession of this libido which is bound up in incest and transformed into religious exercises so that we no longer need the stage of religious symbolism for this end. It is thinkable that instead of doing good to our fellow-men, for “the love of Christ,” we do it from the knowledge that humanity, even as ourselves, could not exist if, among the herd, the one could not sacrifice himself for the other. This would be the course of moral autonomy, of perfect freedom, when man could without compulsion wish that which he must do, and this from knowledge, without delusion through belief in the religious symbols.

It is a positive creed which keeps us infantile and, therefore, ethically inferior. Although of the greatest significance from the cultural point of view and of imperishable beauty from the æsthetic standpoint, this 263delusion can no longer ethically suffice humanity striving after moral autonomy.

The infantile and moral danger lies in belief in the symbol because through that we guide the libido to an imaginary reality. The simple negation of the symbol changes nothing, for the entire mental disposition remains the same; we merely remove the dangerous object. But the object is not dangerous; the danger is our own infantile mental state, for love of which we have lost something very beautiful and ingenious through the simple abandonment of the religious symbol. I think belief should be replaced by understanding; then we would keep the beauty of the symbol, but still remain free from the depressing results of submission to belief. This would be the psychoanalytic cure for belief and disbelief.

The vision following upon that of the city is that of a “strange fir tree with gnarled branches.” This vision does not seem extraordinary to us after all that we have learned of the tree of life and its associations with the city and the waters of life. This especial tree seems simply to continue the category of the mother symbols. The attribute “strange” probably signifies, as in dreams, a special emphasis, that is, a special underlying complex material. Unfortunately, the author gives us no individual material for this. As the tree already suggested in the symbolism of the city is particularly emphasized through the further development of Miss Miller’s visions 264here, I find it necessary to discuss at some length the history of the symbolism of the tree.

It is well known that trees have played a large part in the cult myth from the remotest times. The typical myth tree is the tree of paradise or of life which we discover abundantly used in Babylonian and also in Jewish lore; and in prechristian times, the pine tree of Attis, the tree or trees of Mithra; in Germanic mythology, Ygdrasil and so on. The hanging of the Attis image on the pine tree; the hanging of Marsyas, which became a celebrated artistic motive; the hanging of Odin; the Germanic hanging sacrifices—indeed, the whole series of hanged gods—teaches us that the hanging of Christ on the cross is not a unique occurrence in religious mythology, but belongs to the same circle of ideas as others. In this world of imagery the cross of Christ is the tree of life, and equally the wood of death. This contrast is not astounding. Just as the origin of man from trees was a legendary idea, so there were also burial customs, in which people were buried in hollow trees. From that the German language retains even now the expression “Totenbaum” (tree of death) for a coffin. Keeping in mind the fact that the tree is predominantly a mother symbol, then the mystic significance of this manner of burial can be in no way incomprehensible to us. The dead are delivered back to the mother for rebirth. We encounter this symbol in the Osiris myth, handed down by Plutarch,[467] which is, in general, typical in various aspects. Rhea is pregnant with Osiris; at the same time also with Isis; Osiris and Isis mate even in the mother’s womb (motive of the night 265journey on the sea with incest). Their son is Arueris, later called Horus. It is said of Isis that she was born “in absolute humidity” (τετάρτῃ δὲ τῆν Ἴσιν ἐν πανύγροις γενέσθαι[468]). It is said of Osiris that a certain Pamyles in Thebes heard a voice from the temple of Zeus while drawing water, which commanded him to proclaim that Osiris was born μέγας βασιλεὺς εὐεργέτης Ὄσιρις.[469] In honor of this the Pamylion were celebrated. They were similar to the phallophorion. Pamyles is a phallic demon, similar to the original Dionysus. The myth reduced reads: Osiris and Isis were generated by phallus from the water (mother womb) in the ordinary manner. (Kronos had made Rhea pregnant, the relation was secret, and Rhea was his sister. Helios, however, observed it and cursed the relation.) Osiris was killed in a crafty manner by the god of the underworld, Typhon, who locked him in a chest. He was thrown into the Nile, and so carried out to sea. Osiris, however, mated in the underworld with his second sister, Nephthys (motive of the night journey to the sea with incest). One sees here how the symbolism is developed. In the mother womb, before the outward existence, Osiris commits incest; in death, the second intrauterine existence, Osiris again commits incest. Both times with a sister who is simply substituted for the mother as a legal, uncensured symbol, since the marriage with a sister in early antiquity was not merely tolerated, but was really commended. Zarathustra also recommended the marriage of kindred. This 266form of myth would be impossible to-day, because cohabitation with the sister, being incestuous, would be repressed. The wicked Typhon entices Osiris craftily into a box or chest; this distortion of the true state of affairs is transparent. The “original sin” caused men to wish to go back into the mother again, that is, the incestuous desire for the mother, condemned by law, is the ruse supposedly invented by Typhon. The fact is, the ruse is very significant. Man tries to sneak into rebirth through subterfuge in order to become a child again. An early Egyptian hymn[470] even raises an accusation against the mother Isis because she destroys the sun-god Rê by treachery. It was interpreted as the ill-will of the mother towards her son that she banished and betrayed him. The hymn describes how Isis fashioned a snake, put it in the path of Rê, and how the snake wounded the sun-god with a poisonous bite, from which wound he never recovered, so that finally he had to retire on the back of the heavenly cow. But this cow is the cow-headed goddess, just as Osiris is the bull Apis. The mother is accused as if she were the cause of man flying to the mother in order to be cured of the wound which she had herself inflicted. This wound is the prohibition of incest.[471] Man is thus cut off from the hopeful certainty of childhood and early youth, from all the unconscious, instinctive happenings which permit the child to live as an appendage of his parents, unconscious of himself. There must be contained in this many sensitive memories of the animal age, where there was not any “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not,” but all was just 267simple occurrence. Even yet a deep animosity seems to live in man because a brutal law has separated him from the instinctive yielding to his desires and from the great beauty of the harmony of the animal nature. This separation manifested itself, among other things, in the incest prohibition and its correlates (laws of marriage, etc.); therefore pain and anger relate to the mother, as if she were responsible for the domestication of the sons of men. In order not to become conscious of his incest wish (his backward harking to the animal nature), the son throws all the burden of the guilt on the mother, from which arises the idea of the “terrible mother.”[472] The mother becomes for him a spectre of anxiety, a nightmare.[473]

After the completed “night journey to the sea,” the chest of Osiris was cast ashore by Byblos, and lay in the branches of an Erica, which grew around the coffin and became a splendid tree. The king of the land had the tree placed as a column under his roof.[474] During this period of Osiris’s absence (the winter solstice) the lament customary during thousands of years for the dead god and his return occurs, and its εὕρεσις is a feast of joy. A passage from the mournful quest of Isis is especially noteworthy:

“She flutters like a swallow lamenting around the column, which encloses the god sleeping in death.”

(This same motive returns in the Kyffhäuser saga.)


268Later on Typhon dismembers the corpse and scatters the pieces. We come upon the motive of dismemberment in countless sun myths,[475] namely, the inversion of the idea of the composition of the child in the mother’s womb.[476] In fact, the mother Isis collects the pieces of the body with the help of the jackal-headed Anubis. (She finds the corpse with the help of dogs.) Here the nocturnal devourers of bodies, the dogs and jackals, become the assistants of the composition, of the reproduction.[477] The Egyptian vulture owes its symbolic meaning as mother to this necrophagic habit. In Persian antiquity the corpses were thrown out for the dogs to devour, just as to-day in the Indian funeral pyres the removal of the carcasses is left to the vultures. Persia was familiar with the custom of leading a dog to the bed of one dying, whereupon the latter had to present the dog with a morsel.[478] The custom, on its surface, evidently signifies that the morsel is to belong to the dog, so that he will spare the body of the dead, precisely as Cerberus was soothed by the honey-cakes which Hercules gave to him in the journey to hell. But when we bear in mind the jackal-headed Anubis who rendered his good services in the gathering together of the dismembered Osiris, and the mother significance of the vulture, then the question arises whether something deeper was not meant by this ceremony. Creuzer has also concerned himself with this idea, and has come to the conclusion that the astral form of the dog ceremony, that is, the appearance of Sirius, the dog star, at the period of the sun’s highest position, is related to this in that the introduction of the dog has a compensatory significance, death being thereby made, reversedly, 269equal to the sun’s highest position. This is quite in conformity with psychologic thought, which results from the very general fact that death is interpreted as entrance into the mother’s womb (rebirth). This interpretation would seem to be supported by the otherwise enigmatic function of the dog in the Sacrificium Mithriacum. In the monuments a dog always leaps up upon the bull killed by Mithra. However, this sacrifice is probably to be interpreted through the Persian legend, as well as through the monument, as the moment of the highest fecundity. The most beautiful expression of this is seen upon the magnificent Mithra relief of Heddernheim. Upon one side of a large stone slab (formerly probably rotating) is seen the stereotyped overthrowing and sacrifice of the bull, but upon the other side stands Sol, with a bunch of grapes in his hand, Mithra with the cornucopia, the Dadophores with fruits, corresponding to the legend that all fecundity proceeds from the dead bull of the world, fruits from the horns, wine from its blood, grain from the tail, cattle from its sperma, leek from its nose, and so on. Silvanus stands above this scene with the animals of the forest arising from him. The significance suspected by Creuzer might very easily belong to the dog in this connection.[479] Let us now turn back to the myth of Osiris. In spite of the restoration of the corpse accomplished by Isis, the resuscitation succeeds only incompletely in so far as the phallus of Osiris cannot again be produced, because it was eaten by the fishes; the power of life was wanting.[480] Osiris as a phantom once more impregnated Isis, but the fruit is Harpocrates, 270who was feeble in τοῖς κάτωθεν γυίοις (in the lower limbs), that is, corresponding to the significance of γυῖον (at the feet). (Here, as is plainly evident, foot is used in the phallic meaning.) This incurability of the setting sun corresponds to the incurability of Rê in the above-mentioned older Egyptian sun hymn. Osiris, although only a phantom, now prepares the young sun, his son Horus, for a battle with Typhon, the evil spirit of darkness. Osiris and Horus correspond to the father-son symbolism mentioned in the beginning, which symbolic figure, corresponding again to the above formulation,[481] is flanked by the well-formed and ugly figures of Horus and Harpocrates, the latter appearing mostly as a cripple, often represented distorted to a mere caricature.[482]

He is confused in the tradition very much with Horus, with whom he also has the name in common. Hor-pi-chrud, as his real name[483] reads, is composed from chrud, “child,” and Hor, from the adjective hri = up, on top, and signifies the up-coming child, as the rising sun, and opposed to Osiris, who personifies the setting sun—the sun of the west. Thus Osiris and Horpichrud or Horus are one being, both husband and son of the same mother, Hathor-Isis. The Chnum-Ra, the sun god of lower Egypt, represented as a ram, has at his side, as the female divinity of the land, Hatmehit, who wears the fish on her head. She is the mother and wife of Bi-neb-did (Ram, local name of Chnum-Ra). In the hymn of Hibis,[484] Amon-ra was invoked:

“Thy (Chum-Ram) dwells in Mendes, united as the quadruple god Thmuis. He is the phallus, the lord of the gods. The 271bull of his mother rejoices in the cow (ahet, the mother) and man fructifies through his semen.”

In further inscriptions Hatmehit was directly referred to as the “mother of Mendes.” (Mendes is the Greek form of Bi-neb-did: ram.) She is also invoked as the “Good,” with the additional significance of ta-nofert, or “young woman.” The cow as symbol of the mother is found in all possible forms and variations of Hathor-Isis, and also in the female Nun (parallel to this is the primitive goddess Nit or Neith), the protoplasm which, related to the Hindoo Atman,[485] is equally of masculine and feminine nature. Nun is, therefore, invoked as Amon,[486] the original water,[487] which is in the beginning. He is also designated as the father of fathers, the mother of mothers. To this corresponds the invocation to the female side of Nun-Amon, of Nit or Neith.

“Nit, the ancient, the mother of god, the mistress of Esne, the father of fathers, the mother of mothers, who is the beetle and the vulture, the being in its beginning.

“Nit, the ancient, the mother who bore the light god, Râ, who bore first of all, when there was nothing which brought forth.

“The cow, the ancient, which bore the sun, and then laid the germ of gods and men.”

The word “nun” has the significance of young, fresh, new, also the on-coming waters of the Nile flood. In a transferred sense “nun” was also used for the chaotic primitive waters; in general for the primitive generating matter[488] which was personified by the goddess Nunet. From her Nut sprang, the goddess of heaven, who was 272represented with a starry body, and also as the heavenly cow with a starry body.

When the sun-god, little by little, retires on the back of the heavenly cow, just as poor Lazarus returns into Abraham’s bosom, each has the same significance; they return into the mother, in order to rise as Horus. Thus it can be said that in the morning the goddess is the mother, at noon the sister-wife and in the evening again the mother, who receives the dying in her lap, reminding us of the Pietà of Michelangelo. As shown by the illustration (from Dideron’s “Iconographie Chrétienne”), this thought has been transferred as a whole into Christianity.

Thus the fate of Osiris is explained: he passes into the mother’s womb, the chest, the sea, the tree, the column of Astartes; he is dismembered, re-formed, and reappears again in his son, Hor-pi-chrud.

Before entering upon the further mysteries which the beautiful myth reveals to us, there is still much to be said about the symbol of the tree. Osiris lies in the branches of the tree, surrounded by them, as in the mother’s womb. The motive of embracing and entwining is often found in the sun myths, meaning that it is the myth of rebirth. A good example is the Sleeping Beauty, also the legend of the girl who is enclosed between the bark and the trunk, but who is freed by a youth with his horn.[489] The horn is of gold and silver, which hints at the sunbeam in the phallic meaning. (Compare the previous legend of the horn.) An exotic legend tells of the sun-hero, how he must be freed from the plant entwining around him.[490] 273A girl dreams of her lover who has fallen into the water; she tries to save him, but first has to pull seaweed and sea-grass from the water; then she catches him. In an African myth the hero, after his act, must first be disentangled from the seaweed. In a Polynesian myth the hero’s ship was encoiled by the tentacles of a gigantic polyp. Rê’s ship is encoiled by a night serpent on its night journey on the sea. In the poetic rendering of the history of Buddha’s birth by Sir Edwin Arnold (“The Light of Asia,” p. 5) the motive of an embrace is also found:

“Queen Maya stood at noon, her days fulfilled,
Under a Palso in the palace grounds,
A stately trunk, straight as a temple shaft,
With crown of glossy leaves and fragrant blooms;
And knowing the time come—for all things knew—
The conscious tree bent down its boughs to make
A bower about Queen Maya’s majesty:
And earth put forth a thousand sudden flowers
To spread a couch: while ready for the bath
The rock hard by gave out a limpid stream
Of crystal flow. So brought she forth the child.”[491]

We come across a very similar motive in the cult legend of the Samian Hera. Yearly it was claimed that the image disappeared from the temple, was fastened somewhere on the seashore on a trunk of a Lygos tree and wound about with its branches. There it was “found,” and was treated with wedding-cake. This feast is undoubtedly a ἱερὸς γάμος (ritual marriage), because in Samos there was a legend that Zeus had first had a long-continued secret love relation with Hera. In Plataea 274and Argos, the marriage procession was represented with bridesmaids, marriage feast, and so on. The festival took place in the wedding month “Γαμηλιών” (beginning of February). But in Plataea the image was previously carried into a lonely place in the wood; approximately corresponding to the legend of Plutarch that Zeus had kidnapped Hera and then had hidden her in a cave of Cithaeron. According to our deductions, previously made, we must conclude from this that there is still another train of thought, namely, the magic charm of a rejuvenation, which is condensed in the Hierosgamos. The disappearance and hiding in the wood, in the cave, on the seashore, entwined in a willow tree, points to the death of the sun and rebirth. The early springtime Γαμηλιών (the time of Marriage) in February fits in with that very well. In fact, Pausanias informs us that the Argivian Hera became a maiden again by a yearly bath in the spring of Canathos. The significance of the bath is emphasized by the information that in the Plataeian cult of Hera Teleia, Tritonian nymphs appeared as water-carriers. In a tale from the Iliad, where the conjugal couch of Zeus upon Mount Ida is described, it is said:[492]

“The son of Saturn spake, and took his wife
Into his arms, while underneath the pair,
The sacred Earth threw up her freshest herbs:
The dewy lotos, and the crocus-flower,
And thick and soft the hyacinth. All these
Upbore them from the ground. Upon this couch
They lay, while o’er them a bright golden cloud
Gathered and shed its drops of glistening dew.
275So slumbered on the heights of Gargarus
The All-Father overcome by sleep and love,
And held his consort in his arms.”
—Trans. by W. C. Bryant.

Drexler recognizes in this description an unmistakable allusion to the garden of the gods on the extreme western shore of the ocean, an idea which might have been taken from a Prehomeric Hierosgamos hymn. This western land is the land of the setting sun, whither Hercules, Gilgamesh, etc., hasten with the sun, in order to find there immortality, where the sun and the maternal sea unite in an eternally rejuvenating intercourse. Our supposition of a condensation of the Hierosgamos with the myth of rebirth is probably confirmed by this. Pausanias mentions a related myth fragment where the statue of Artemis Orthia is also called Lygodesma (chained with willows), because it was found in a willow tree; this tale seems to be related to the general Greek celebration of Hierosgamos with the above-mentioned customs.[493]

The motive of the “devouring” which Frobenius has shown to be a regular constituent of the sun myths is closely related to this (also metaphorically). The “whale dragon” (mother’s womb) always “devours” the hero. The devouring may also be partial instead of complete.

A six-year-old girl, who goes to school unwillingly, dreams that her leg is encircled by a large red worm. She had a tender interest for this creature, contrary to what might be expected. An adult patient, who cannot separate from an older friend on account of an extraordinarily 276strong mother transference, dreams that “she had to get across some deep water (typical idea!) with this friend; her friend fell in (mother transference); she tries to drag her out, and almost succeeds, but a large crab seizes on the dreamer by the foot and tries to pull her in.”

Etymology also confirms this conception: There is an Indo-Germanic root vélu-, vel-, with the meaning of “encircling, surrounding, turning.” From this is derived Sanskrit val, valati = to cover, to surround, to encircle, to encoil (symbol of the snake); vallî = creeping plant; ulûta = boa-constrictor = Latin volûtus, Lithuanian velù, velti = wickeln (to roll up); Church Slavonian vlina = Old High German, wella = Welle (wave or billow). To the root vélu also belongs the root vlvo, with the meaning “cover, corium, womb.” (The serpent on account of its casting its skin is an excellent symbol of rebirth.) Sanskrit ulva, ulba has the same meaning; Latin volva, volvula, vulva. To vélu also belongs the root ulvorâ, with the meaning of “fruitful field, covering or husk of plants, sheath.” Sanskrit urvárâ = sown field. Zend urvara = plant. (See the personification of the ploughed furrow.) The same root vel has also the meaning of “wallen” (to undulate). Sanskrit ulmuka = conflagration. Ϝαλέα, Ϝέλα, Gothic vulan = wallen (to undulate). Old High German and Middle High German walm = heat, glow.[494] It is typical that in the state of “involution” the hair of the sun-hero always falls out from the heat. Further the root vel is found with the meaning “to sound,[495] and to will, to wish” (libido!).

277The motive of encoiling is mother symbolism.[496] This is verified by the fact that the trees, for example, bring forth again (like the whale in the legend of Jonah). They do that very generally, thus in the Greek legend the Μελίαι νύμφαι[497] of the ash trees are the mothers of the race of men of the Iron Age. In northern mythology, Askr, the ash tree, is the primitive father. His wife, Embla, is the “Emsige,” the active one, and not, as was earlier believed, the aspen. Askr probably means, in the first place, the phallic spear of the ash tree. (Compare the Sabine custom of parting the bride’s hair with the lance.) The Bundehesh symbolizes the first people, Meschia and Meschiane, as the tree Reivas, one part of which places a branch in a hole of the other part. The material which, according to the northern myth, was animated by the god when he created men[498] is designated as trê = wood, tree.[499] I recall also ὕλη = wood, which in Latin is called materia. In the wood of the “world-ash,” Ygdrasil, a human pair hid themselves at the end of the world, from whom sprang the race of the renewed world.[500] The Noah motive is easily recognized in this conception (the night journey on the sea); at the same time, in the symbol of Ygdrasil, a mother idea is again apparent. At the moment of the destruction of the world the “world-ash” becomes the guardian mother, the tree of death and life, one “ἐγκόλπιον.”[501][502] This function of rebirth of the “world-ash” also helps to elucidate the representation met with in the Egyptian Book of the 278Dead, which is called “the gate of knowledge of the soul of the East”:

“I am the pilot in the holy keel, I am the steersman who allows no rest in the ship of Râ.[503] I know that tree of emerald green from whose midst Râ rises to the height of the clouds.”[504]

Ship and tree of the dead (death ship and death tree) are here closely connected. The conception is that Râ, born from the tree, ascends (Osiris in the Erika). The representation of the sun-god Mithra is probably explained in the same way. He is represented upon the Heddernheim relief, with half his body arising from the top of a tree. (In the same way numerous other monuments show Mithra half embodied in the rock, and illustrate a rock birth, similar to Men.) Frequently there is a stream near the birthplace of Mithra. This conglomeration of symbols is also found in the birth of Aschanes, the first Saxon king, who grew from the Harz rocks, which are in the midst of the wood[505] near a fountain.[506] Here we find all the mother symbols united—earth, wood, water, three forms of tangible matter. We can wonder no longer that in the Middle Ages the tree was poetically addressed with the title of honor, “mistress.” Likewise it is not astonishing that the Christian legend transformed the tree of death, the cross, into the tree of life, so that Christ was often represented on a living and fruit-bearing tree. This reversion of the cross symbol to the tree of life, which even in Babylon was an important and authentic religious symbol, is also considered entirely probable by Zöckler,[507] an authority on the history of the cross. The pre-Christian meaning of the symbol does not contradict this interpretation; on the contrary, its meaning is life. The appearance of the cross in the sun worship (here the cross with equal arms, and the swastika cross, as representative of the sun’s rays), as well as in the cult of the goddess of love (Isis with the crux ansata, the rope, the speculum veneris ♀, etc.), in no way contradicts the previous historical meaning. The Christian legend has made abundant use of this symbolism.


279The student of mediæval history is familiar with the representation of the cross growing above the grave of Adam. The legend was that Adam was buried on Golgotha. Seth had planted on his grave a branch of the “paradise tree,” which became the cross and tree of death of Christ.[508] We all know that through Adam’s guilt sin and death came into the world, and Christ through his death has redeemed us from the guilt. To the question in what had Adam’s guilt consisted it is said that the unpardonable sin to be expiated by death was that he dared to pick a fruit from the paradise tree.[509] The results of this are described in an Oriental legend. One to whom it was permitted to cast one look into Paradise after the fall saw the tree there and the four streams. But the tree was withered, and in its branches lay an infant. (The mother had become pregnant.[510])

This remarkable legend corresponds to the Talmudic tradition that Adam, before Eve, already possessed a demon wife, by name Lilith, with whom he quarrelled for mastership. But Lilith raised herself into the air through 280the magic of the name of God and hid herself in the sea. Adam forced her back with the help of three angels.[511] Lilith became a nightmare, a Lamia, who threatened those with child and who kidnapped the new-born child. The parallel myth is that of the Lamias, the spectres of the night, who terrified the children. The original legend is that Lamia enticed Zeus, but the jealous Hera, however, caused Lamia to bring only dead children into the world. Since that time the raging Lamia is the persecutor of children, whom she destroys wherever she can. This motive frequently recurs in fairy tales, where the mother often appears directly as a murderess or as a devourer of men;[512] a German paradigm is the well-known tale of Hansel and Gretel. Lamia is actually a large, voracious fish, which establishes the connection with the whale-dragon myth so beautifully worked out by Frobenius, in which the sea monster devours the sun-hero for rebirth and where the hero must employ every stratagem to conquer the monster. Here again we meet with the idea of the “terrible mother” in the form of the voracious fish, the mouth of death.[513] In Frobenius there are numerous examples where the monster has devoured not only men but also animals, plants, an entire country, all of which are redeemed by the hero to a glorious rebirth.

The Lamias are typical nightmares, the feminine nature of which is abundantly proven.[514] Their universal peculiarity is that they ride upon their victims. Their counterparts are the spectral horses which bear their riders along in a mad gallop. One recognizes very easily in these symbolic forms the type of anxious dream which, 281as Riklin shows,[515] has already become important for the interpretation of fairy tales through the investigation of Laistner.[516] The typical riding takes on a special aspect through the results of the analytic investigation of infantile psychology; the two contributions of Freud and myself[517] have emphasized, on one side, the anxiety significance of the horse, on the other side the sexual meaning of the phantasy of riding. When we take these experiences into consideration, we need no longer be surprised that the maternal “world-ash” Ygdrasil is called in German “the frightful horse.” Cannegieter[518] says of nightmares:

Abigunt eas nymphas (matres deas, mairas) hodie rustici osse capitis equini tectis injecto, cujusmodi ossa per has terras in rusticorum villis crebra est animadvertere. Nocte autem ad concubia equitare creduntur et equos fatigare ad longinqua itinera.[519]

The connection of nightmare and horse seems, at first glance, to be present also etymologically—nightmare and mare. The Indo-Germanic root for märe is mark. Märe is the horse, English mare; Old High German marah (male horse) and meriha (female horse); Old Norse merr (mara = nightmare); Anglo-Saxon myre (maira). The French “cauchmar” comes from calcare = to tread, to step (of iterative meaning, therefore, “to tread” or press down). It was also said of the cock who 282stepped upon the hen. This movement is also typical for the nightmare; therefore, it is said of King Vanlandi, “Mara trad han,” the Mara trod on him in sleep even to death.[520] A synonym for nightmare is the “troll” or “treter”[521] (treader). This movement (calcare) is proven again by the experience of Freud and myself with children, where a special infantile sexual significance is attached to stepping or kicking.

The common Aryan root mar means “to die”; therefore, mara the “dead” or “death.” From this results mors, μόρος = fate (also μοῖρα[522]). As is well known, the Nornes sitting under the “world-ash” personify fate like Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. With the Celts the conception of the Fates probably passes into that of matres and matronæ, which had a divine significance among the Germans. A well-known passage in Julius Cæsar (“De Bello Gallico,” i: 50) informs us of this meaning of the mother:

Ut matres familias eorum sortibus et vaticinationibus[523] declararent, utrum prœlium committi ex usu esset, nec ne.[524]

In Slav mara means “witch”; poln. mora = demon, nightmare; mōr or mōre (Swiss-German) means “sow,” also as an insult. The Bohemian mura means “nightmare” and “evening moth, Sphinx.” This strange connection is explained through analysis where it often occurs that animals with movable shells (Venus shell) or wings are utilized for very transparent reasons as symbols of the female genitals.[525] The Sphingina are the twilight 283moths; they, like the nightmare, come in the darkness. Finally, it is to be observed that the sacred olive tree of Athens is called “μορία” (that was derived from μόρος). Halirrhotios wished to cut down the tree, but killed himself with the axe in the attempt.

The sound resemblance of mar, mère with meer = sea and Latin mare = sea is remarkable, although etymologically accidental. Might it refer back to “the great primitive idea of the mother” who, in the first place, meant to us our individual world and afterwards became the symbol of all worlds? Goethe said of the mothers: “They are encircled by images of all creatures.” The Christians, too, could not refrain from reuniting their mother of God with water. “Ave Maris stella” is the beginning of a hymn to Mary. Then again it is the horses of Neptune which symbolize the waves of the sea. It is probably of importance that the infantile word ma-ma (mother’s breast) is repeated in its initial sound in all possible languages, and that the mothers of two religious heroes are called Mary and Maya. That the mother is the horse of the child is to be seen most plainly in the primitive custom of carrying the child on the back or letting it ride on the hip. Odin hung on the “world-ash,” the mother, his “horse of terror.” The Egyptian sun-god sits on the back of his mother, the heavenly cow.

We have already seen that, according to Egyptian conceptions, Isis, the mother of god, played an evil trick on the sun-god with the poisonous snake; also Isis behaved treacherously toward her son Horus in Plutarch’s tradition. 284That is, Horus vanquished the evil Typhon, who murdered Osiris treacherously (terrible mother = Typhon). Isis, however, set him free again. Horus thereupon rebelled, laid hands on his mother and tore the regal ornaments from her head, whereupon Hermes gave her a cow’s head. Then Horus conquered Typhon a second time. Typhon, in the Greek legend, is a monstrous dragon. Even without this confirmation it is evident that the battle of Horus is the typical battle of the sun-hero with the whale-dragon. Of the latter we know that it is a symbol of the “dreadful mother,” of the voracious jaws of death, where men are dismembered and ground up.[526] Whoever vanquishes this monster has gained a new or eternal youth. For this purpose one must, in spite of all dangers, descend into the belly of the monster[527] (journey to hell) and spend some time there. (Imprisonment by night in the sea.)

The battle with the night serpent signifies, therefore, the conquering of the mother, who is suspected of an infamous crime, that is, the betrayal of the son. A full confirmation of the connection comes to us through the fragment of the Babylonian epic of the creation, discovered by George Smith, mostly from the library of Asurbanipal. The period of the origin of the text was probably in the time of Hammurabi (2,000 B.C.). We learn from this account of creation[528] that the sun-god Ea, the son of the depths of the waters and the god of wisdom,[529] had conquered Apsû. Apsû is the creator of the great gods (he existed in the beginning in a sort of trinity with Tiâmat—the mother of gods and Mumu, his vizier). 285Ea conquered the father, but Tiâmat plotted revenge. She prepared herself for battle against the gods.

“Mother Hubur, who created everything,
Procured invincible weapons, gave birth to giant snakes
With pointed teeth, relentless in every way;
Filled their bellies with poison instead of blood,
Furious gigantic lizards, clothed them with horrors,
Let them swell with the splendor of horror, formed them rearing,
Whoever sees them shall die of terror.
Their bodies shall rear without turning to escape.
She arrayed the lizards, dragons and Laḫamen,
Hurricanes, mad dogs, scorpion men,
Mighty storms, fishmen and rams.
With relentless weapons, without fear of conflict,
Powerful are Tiâmat’s commands, irresistible are they.
“After Tiâmat had powerfully done her work
She conceived evil against the gods, her descendants;
In order to revenge Apsu, Tiâmat did evil.
When Ea now heard this thing
He became painfully anxious, sorrowfully he sat himself.
He went to the father, his creator, Ans̆ar,
To relate to him all that Tiâmat plotted.
Tiâmat, our mother, has taken an aversion to us,
Has prepared a riotous mob, furiously raging.”

The gods finally opposed Marduk, the god of spring, the victorious sun, against the fearful host of Tiâmat. Marduk prepared for battle. Of his chief weapon, which he created, it is said:

“He created the evil wind, Imḫullu, the south storm and the hurricane,
The fourth wind, the seventh wind, the whirlwind and the harmful wind,
Then let he loose the winds, which he had created, the seven:
To cause confusion within Tiâmat, they followed behind him,
286Then the lord took up the cyclone, his great weapon;
For his chariot he mounted the stormwind, the incomparable, the terrible one.”

His chief weapon is the wind and a net, with which he will entangle Tiâmat. He approaches Tiâmat and challenges her to a combat.

“Then Tiâmat and Marduk, the wise one of the gods, came together,
Rising for the fight, approaching to the battle:
Then the lord spread out his net and caught her.
He let loose the Imḫullu in his train at her face,
Then Tiâmat now opened her mouth as wide as she could.
He let the Imḫullu rush in so that her lips could not close;
With the raging winds he filled her womb.
Her inward parts were seized and she opened wide her mouth.
He touched her with the spear, dismembered her body,
He slashed her inward parts, and cut out her heart,
Subdued her and put an end to her life.
He threw down her body and stepped upon it.”

After Marduk slew the mother, he devised the creation of the world.

“There the lord rested contemplating her body,
Then divided he the Colossus, planning wisely.
He cut it apart like a flat fish, into two parts,[530]
One half he took and with it he covered the Heavens.”

In this manner Marduk created the universe from the mother. It is clearly evident that the killing of the mother-dragon here takes place under the idea of a wind fecundation with negative accompaniments.

The world is created from the mother, that is to say, from the libido taken away from the mother through sacrifice. 287We shall have to consider this significant formula more closely in the last chapter. The most interesting parallels to this primitive myth are to be found in the literature of the Old Testament, as Gunkel[531] has brilliantly pointed out. It is worth while to trace the psychology of these parallels.

Isaiah li:9:

(9) “Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake as in the ancient days, in the generation of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?

(10) “Art thou not it which hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep, that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?”

The name of Rahab is frequently used for Egypt in the Old Testament, also dragon. Isaiah, chapter xxx, verse 7, calls Egypt “the silent Rahab,” and means, therefore, something evil and hostile. Rahab is the well-known whore of Jericho, who later, as the wife of Prince Salma, became the ancestress of Christ. Here Rahab appeared as the old dragon, as Tiâmat, against whose evil power Marduk, or Jehovah, marched forth. The expression “the ransomed” refers to the Jews freed from bondage, but it is also mythological, for the hero again frees those previously devoured by the whale. (Frobenius.)

Psalm, lxxxix:10:

“Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain.”

Job xxvi:12–13:

“He divideth the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smiteth through the proud.

288“By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens, his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.”

Gunkel places Rahab as identical with Chaos, that is, the same as Tiâmat. Gunkel translates “the breaking to pieces” as “violation.” Tiâmat or Rahab as the mother is also the whore. Gilgamesh treats Ishtar in this way when he accuses her of whoredom. This insult towards the mother is very familiar to us from dream analysis. The dragon Rahab appears also as Leviathan, the water monster (maternal sea).

Psalm lxxiv:

(13) “Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

(14) “Thou brakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

(15) “Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou didst dry up mighty rivers.”

While only the phallic meaning of the Leviathan was emphasized in the first part of this work, we now discover also the maternal meaning. A further parallel is:

Isaiah xxvii:1:

“In that day, the Lord with his cruel and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

We come upon a special motive in Job, chap. xli, v. 1:

“Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook in his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?”

289Numerous parallels to this motive are to be found among exotic myths in Frobenius, where the maternal sea monster was also fished for. The comparison of the mother libido with the elementary powers of the sea and the powerful monsters borne by the earth show how invincibly great is the power of that libido which we designate as maternal.

We have already seen that the incest prohibition prevents the son from reproducing himself through the mother. But this must be done by the god, as is shown with remarkable clearness and candor in the pious Egyptian mythology, which has preserved the most ancient and simple concepts. Thus Chnum, the “moulder,” the “potter,” the “architect,” moulds his egg upon the potter’s wheel, for he is “the immortal growth,” “the reproduction of himself and his own rebirth, the creator of the egg, which emerged from the primitive waters.” In the Book of the Dead it says:

“I am the sublime falcon (the Sun-god), which has come forth from his egg.”

Another passage in the Book of the Dead reads:

“I am the creator of Nun, who has taken his place in the underworld. My nest is not seen and my egg is not broken.”

A further passage reads:

“that great and noble god in his egg: who is his own originator of that which has arisen from him.”[532]

Therefore, the god Nagaga-uer is also called the “great cackler.” (Book of the Dead.) “I cackle like 290a goose and I whistle like a falcon.” The mother is reproached with the incest prohibition as an act of wilful maliciousness by which she excludes the son from immortality. Therefore, a god must at least rebel, overpower and chastise the mother. (Compare Adam and Lilith, above.) The “overpowering” signifies incestuous rape.[533] Herodotus[534] has preserved for us a valuable fragment of this religious phantasy.

“And how they celebrate their feast to Isis in the city of Busiris, I have already previously remarked. After the sacrifice, all of them, men and women, full ten thousand people, begin to beat each other. But it would be sin for me to mention for whom they do beat each other.

“But in Papremis they celebrated the sacrifice with holy actions, as in the other places. About the time when the sun sets, some few priests are busy around the image; most of them stand at the entrance with wooden clubs, and others who would fulfil a vow, more than a thousand men, also stand in a group with wooden cudgels opposite them.

“Now on the eve of the festival, they take the image out in a small and gilded temple into another sacred edifice. Then the few who remain with the image draw a four-wheeled chariot upon which the temple stands with the image which it encloses. But the others who stand in the anterooms are not allowed to enter. Those under a vow, who stand by the god, beat them off. Now occurs a furious battle with clubs, in which they bruise each other’s bodies and as I believe, many even die from their wounds: notwithstanding this, the Egyptians consider that none die.

“The natives claim that this festival gathering was introduced for the following reason: in this sanctuary lived the mother of Ares.[535] Now Ares was brought up abroad and when he became a man he came to have intercourse with his mother. The servants of his mother who had seen him did not allow him to enter peacefully, but prevented him; at which he fetched people from another city, who mistreated the servants and had entrance to his 291mother. Therefore, they asserted that this slaughter was introduced at the feast for Ares.”

It is evident that the pious here fight their way to a share in the mystery of the raping of the mother.[536] This is the part which belongs to them,[537] while the heroic deed belongs to the god.[538] By Ares is meant the Egyptian Typhon, as we have good reasons to suppose. Thus Typhon represents the evil longing for the mother with which other myth forms reproach the mother, according to the well-known example. The death of Balder, quite analogous to the death of Osiris (attack of sickness of Rê), because of the wounding by the branch of the mistletoe, seems to need a similar explanation. It is recounted in the myth how all creatures were pledged not to hurt Balder, save only the mistletoe, which was forgotten, presumably because it was too young. This killed Balder. Mistletoe is a parasite. The female piece of wood in the fire-boring ritual was obtained[539] from the wood of a parasitical or creeping plant, the fire mother. The “mare” rests upon “Marentak,” in which Grimm suspects the mistletoe. The mistletoe was a remedy against barrenness. In Gaul the Druid alone was allowed to climb the holy oak amid solemn ceremonies after the completed sacrifice, in order to cut off the ritual mistletoe.[540] This act is a religiously limited and organized incest. That which grows on the tree is the child,[541] which man might have by the mother; then man himself would be in a renewed and rejuvenated form; and precisely this is what man cannot have, because the incest prohibition forbids it. As the Celtic custom shows, the act is performed by the priest only, with the 292observation of certain ceremonies; the hero god and the redeemer of the world, however, do the unpermitted, the superhuman thing, and through it purchase immortality. The dragon, who must be overcome for this purpose, means, as must have been for some time clearly seen, the resistance against the incest. Dragon and serpent, especially with the characteristic accumulation of anxiety attributes, are the symbolic representations of anxiety which correspond to the repressed incest wish. It is, therefore, intelligible, when we come across the tree with the snake again and again (in Paradise the snake even tempts to sin). The snake or dragon possesses in particular the meaning of treasure guardian and defender. The phallic, as well as the feminine, meaning of the dragon[542] indicates that it is again a symbol of the sexual neutral (or bisexual) libido, that is to say, a symbol of the libido in opposition. In this significance the black horse, Apaosha, the demon of opposition, appears in the old Persian song, Tishtriya, where it obstructs the sources of the rain lake. The white horse Tishtriya makes two futile attempts to vanquish Apaosha; at the third attempt, with the help of Ahuramazda, he is successful.[543] Whereupon the sluices of heaven open and a fruitful rain pours down upon the earth.[544] In this song one sees very beautifully in the choice of symbol how libido is opposed to libido, will against will, the discordance of primitive man with himself, which he recognizes again in all the adversity and contrasts of external nature.

The symbol of the tree encoiled by the serpent may also be translated as the mother defended from incest 293by resistance. This symbol is by no means rare upon Mithraic monuments. The rock encircled by a snake is to be comprehended similarly, because Mithra is one born from a rock. The menace of the new-born by the snake (Mithra, Hercules) is made clear through the legend of Lilith and Lamia. Python, the dragon of Leto, and Poine, who devastates the land of Crotopus, are sent by the father of the new-born. This idea indicates the localization, well known in psychoanalysis, of the incest anxiety in the father. The father represents the active repulse of the incest wish of the son. The crime, unconsciously wished for by the son, is imputed to the father under the guise of a pretended murderous purpose, this being the cause of the mortal fear of the son for the father, a frequent neurotic symptom. In conformity with this idea, the monster to be overcome by the young hero is frequently a giant, the guardian of the treasure or the woman. A striking example is the giant Chumbaba in the Gilgamesh epic, who protected the garden of Ishtar;[545] he is overcome by Gilgamesh, whereby Ishtar is won. Thereupon she makes erotic advances towards Gilgamesh.[546] This data should be sufficient to render intelligible the rôle of Horus in Plutarch, especially the violent usage of Isis. Through overpowering the mother the hero becomes equal to the sun; he reproduces himself. He wins the strength of the invincible sun, the power of eternal rejuvenation. We thus understand a series of representations from the Mithraic myth on the Heddernheim relief. There we see, first of all, the birth of Mithra from the top of the tree; the next representation 294shows him carrying the conquered bull (comparable to the monstrous bull overcome by Gilgamesh). This bull signifies the concentrated significance of the monster, the father, who as giant and dangerous animal embodies the incest prohibition, and agrees with the individual libido of the sun-hero, which he overcomes by self-sacrifice. The third picture represents Mithra, when he grasps the head ornament of the sun, the nimbus. This act recalls to us, first of all, the violence of Horus towards Isis; secondly, the Christian basic thought, that those who have overcome attain the crown of eternal life. On the fourth picture Sol kneels before Mithra. These last two representations show plainly that Mithra has taken to himself the strength of the sun, so that he becomes the lord of the sun as well. He has conquered “his animal nature,” the bull. The animal knows no incest prohibition; man is, therefore, man because he conquers the incest wish, that is, the animal nature. Thus Mithra has sacrificed his animal nature, the incest wish, and with that has overcome the mother, that is to say, “the terrible death-bringing mother.” A solution is already anticipated in the Gilgamesh epic through the formal renunciation of the horrible Ishtar by the hero. The overcoming of the mother in the Mithraic sacrifice, which had almost an ascetic character, took place no longer by the archaic overpowering, but through the renunciation, the sacrifice of the wish. The primitive thought of incestuous reproduction through entrance into the mother’s womb had already been displaced, because man was so far advanced in domestication that he believed that the eternal life of the sun is reached, not through the perpetration of incest, but through the sacrifice of the incest wish. This important change expressed in the Mithraic mystery finds its full expression for the first time in the symbol of the crucified God. A bleeding human sacrifice was hung on the tree of life for Adam’s sins.[547] The first-born sacrifices its life to the mother when he suffers, hanging on the branch, a disgraceful and painful death, a mode of death which belongs to the most ignominious forms of execution, which Roman antiquity had reserved for only the lowest criminal. Thus the hero dies, as if he had committed the most shameful crime; he does this by returning into the birth-giving branch of the tree of life, at the same time paying for his guilt with the pangs of death. The animal nature is repressed most powerfully in this deed of the highest courage and the greatest renunciation; therefore, a greater salvation is to be expected for humanity, because such a deed alone seems appropriate to expiate Adam’s guilt.


295As has already been mentioned, the hanging of the sacrifice on the tree is a generally widespread ritual custom, Germanic examples being especially abundant. The ritual consists in the sacrifice being pierced by a spear.[548] Thus it is said of Odin (Edda, Havamal):

“I know that I hung on the windswept tree
Nine nights through,
Wounded by a spear, dedicated to Odin
I myself to myself.”

The hanging of the sacrifice to the cross also occurred in America prior to its discovery. Müller[549] mentions the 296Fejervaryian manuscript (a Mexican hieroglyphic kodex), at the conclusion of which there is a colossal cross, in the middle of which there hangs a bleeding divinity. Equally interesting is the cross of Palenque;[550] up above is a bird, on either side two human figures, who look at the cross and hold a child against it either for sacrifice or baptism. The old Mexicans are said to have invoked the favor of Centeotls, “the daughter of heaven and the goddess of wheat,” every spring by nailing upon the cross a youth or a maiden and by shooting the sacrifice with arrows.[551] The name of the Mexican cross signifies “tree of our life or flesh.”[552]

An effigy from the Island of Philae represents Osiris in the form of a crucified god, wept over by Isis and Nephthys, the sister consort.[553]

The meaning of the cross is certainly not limited to the tree of life, as has already been shown. Just as the tree of life has also a phallic sub-meaning (as libido symbol), so there is a further significance to the cross than life and immortality.[554] Müller uses it as a sign of rain and of fertility, because it appears among the Indians distinctly as a magic charm of fertility. It goes without saying, therefore, that it plays a rôle in the sun cult. It is also noteworthy that the sign of the cross is an important sign for the keeping away of all evil, like the ancient gesture of Manofica. The phallic amulets also serve the same purpose. Zöckler appears to have overlooked the fact that the phallic Crux Ansata is the same cross which has flourished in countless examples in the soil of antiquity. Copies of this Crux Ansata are found in many 297places, and almost every collection of antiquities possesses one or more specimens.[555]

Finally, it must be mentioned that the form of the human body is imitated in the cross as of a man with arms outspread. It is remarkable that in early Christian representations Christ is not nailed to the cross, but stands before it with arms outstretched.[556] Maurice[557] gives a striking basis for this interpretation when he says:

“It is a fact not less remarkable than well attested, that the Druids in their groves were accustomed to select the most stately and beautiful tree as an emblem of the deity they adored, and cutting off the side branches, they affixed two of the largest of them to the highest part of the trunk, in such a manner that those branches extended on each side like the arms of a man, and together with the body presented the appearance of a huge cross; and in the bark in several places was also inscribed the letter Τ (tau).”[558]

“The tree of knowledge” of the Hindoo Dschaina sect assumes human form; it was represented as a mighty, thick trunk in the form of a human head, from the top of which grew out two longer branches hanging down at the sides and one short, vertical, uprising branch crowned by a bud or blossom-like thickening.[559] Robertson in his “Evangelical Myths” mentions that in the Assyrian system there exists the representation of the divinity in the form of a cross, in which the vertical beam corresponds to a human form and the horizontal beam to a pair of conventionalized wings. Old Grecian idols such, for example, as were found in large numbers in Aegina have a similar character, an immoderately long head and 298arms slightly raised, wing-shaped, and in front distinct breasts.[560]

I must leave it an open question as to whether the symbol of the cross has any relation to the two pieces of wood in the religious fire production, as is frequently claimed. It does appear, however, as if the cross symbol actually still possessed the significance of “union,” for this idea belongs to the fertility charm, and especially to the thought of eternal rebirth, which is most intimately bound up with the cross. The thought of “union,” expressed by the symbol of the cross, is met with in “Timaios” of Plato, where the world soul is conceived as stretched out between heaven and earth in the form of an X (Chi); hence in the form of a “St. Andrew’s cross.” When we now learn, furthermore, that the world soul contains in itself the world as a body, then this picture inevitably reminds us of the mother.

(Dialogues of Plato. Jowett, Vol. II, page 528.)

“And in the center he put the soul, which he diffused through the whole, and also spread over all the body round about, and he made one solitary and only heaven, a circle moving in a circle, having such excellence as to be able to hold converse with itself, and needing no other friendship or acquaintance. Having these purposes in view he created the world to be a blessed god.”

This highest degree of inactivity and freedom from desire, symbolized by the being enclosed within itself, signifies divine blessedness. The only human prototype of this conception is the child in the mother’s womb, or rather more, the adult man in the continuous embrace of the mother, from whom he originates. Corresponding to 299this mythologic-philosophic conception, the enviable Diogenes inhabited a tub, thus giving mythologic expression to the blessedness and resemblance to the Divine in his freedom from desire. Plato says as follows of the bond of the world soul to the world body:

“Now God did not make the soul after the body, although we have spoken of them in this order; for when he put them together he would never have allowed that the elder should serve the younger, but this is what we say at random, because we ourselves too are very largely affected by chance. Whereas he made the soul in origin and excellence prior to and older than the body, to be the ruler and mistress, of whom the body was to be the subject.”

It seems conceivable from other indications that the conception of the soul in general is a derivative of the mother-imago, that is to say, a symbolic designation for the amount of libido remaining in the mother-imago. (Compare the Christian representation of the soul as the bride of Christ.) The further development of the world soul in “Timaios” takes place in an obscure fashion in mystic numerals. When the mixture was completed the following occurred:

“This entire compound he divided lengthways into two parts, which he joined to one another at the center like the figure of an X.”

This passage approaches very closely the division and union of Atman, who, after the division, is compared to a man and a woman who hold each other in an embrace. Another passage is worth mentioning:

300“After the entire union of the soul had taken place, according to the master’s mind, he formed all that is corporeal within this, and joined it together so as to penetrate it throughout.”

Moreover, I refer to my remarks about the maternal meaning of the world soul in Plotinus, in Chapter II.

A similar detachment of the symbol of the cross from a concrete figure we find among the Muskhogean Indians, who stretch above the surface of the water (pond or stream) two ropes crosswise and at the point of intersection throw into the water fruits, oil and precious stones as a sacrifice.[561] Here the divinity is evidently the water, not the cross, which designates the place of sacrifice only, through the point of intersection. The sacrifice at the place of union indicates why this symbol was a primitive charm of fertility,[562] why we meet it so frequently in the prechristian era among the goddesses of love (mother goddesses), especially among the Egyptians in Isis and the sun-god. We have already discussed the continuous union of these two divinities. As the cross (Tau [Τ], Crux Ansata) always recurs in the hand of Tum, the supreme God, the hegemon of the Ennead, it may not be superfluous to say something more of the destination of Tum. The Tum of On-Heliopolis bears the name “the father of his mother”; what that means needs no explanation; Jusas or Nebit-Hotpet, the goddess joined to him, was called sometimes the mother, sometimes the daughter, sometimes the wife of the god. The day of the beginning of autumn is designated in the Heliopolitan inscriptions as the “festival of the goddess Jusasit,” as “the arrival of the sister for the purpose of uniting with 301her father.” It is the day in which “the goddess Mehnit completes her work, so that the god Osiris may enter into the left eye.” (By which the moon is meant.[563]) The day is also called the filling up of the sacred eye with its needs. The heavenly cow with the moon eye, the cow-headed Isis, takes to herself in the autumn equinox the seed which procreates Horus. (Moon as keeper of the seed.) The “eye” evidently represents the genitals, as in the myth of Indra, who had to bear spread over his whole body the likeness of Yoni (vulva), on account of a Bathsheba outrage, but was so far pardoned by the gods that the disgraceful likeness of Yoni was changed into eyes.[564] The “pupil” in the eye is a child. The great god becomes a child again; he enters the mother’s womb in order to renew himself.[565] In a hymn it is said:

“Thy mother, the heavens, stretches forth her arms to thee.”

In another place it is said:

“Thou shinest, oh father of the gods, upon the back of thy mother, daily thy mother takes thee in her arms. When thou illuminatest the dwelling of night, thou unitest with thy mother, the heavens.”[566]

The Tum of Pitum-Heliopolis not only bears the Crux Ansata as a symbol, but also has this sign as his most frequent surname, that is, ānχ or ānχi, which means “life” or “the living.” He is chiefly honored as the demon serpent, Agatho, of whom it is said, “The holy demon serpent Agatho goes forth from the city Nezi.” The snake, on account of casting its skin, is the symbol 302of renewal, as is the scarabæus, a symbol of the sun, of whom it is said that he, being of masculine sex only, reproduces himself.

The name Chnum (another name for Tum, always meaning “the sun-god”) comes from the verb χnum, which means “to bind together, to unite.”[567] Chnum appears chiefly as the potter, the moulder of his egg. The cross seems, therefore, to be an extraordinarily condensed symbol; its supreme meaning is that of the tree of life, and, therefore, is a symbol of the mother. The symbolization in a human form is, therefore, intelligible. The phallic forms of the Crux Ansata belong to the abstract meaning of “life” and “fertility,” as well as to the meaning of “union,” which we can now very properly interpret as cohabitation with the mother for the purpose of renewal.[568] It is, therefore, not only a very touching but also a very significant naïve symbolism when Mary, in an Old English lament of the Virgin,[569] accuses the cross of being a false tree, which unjustly and without reason destroyed “the pure fruit of her body, her gentle birdling,” with a poisonous draught, the draught of death, which is destined only for the guilty descendants of the sinner Adam. Her son was not a sharer in that guilt. (Compare with this the cunning of Isis with the fatal draught of love.) Mary laments:

“Cross, thou art the evil stepmother of my son, so high hast thou hung him that I cannot even kiss his feet! Cross, thou art my mortal enemy, thou hast slain my little blue bird!”

The holy cross answers:

303“Woman, I thank thee for my honor: thy splendid fruit, which now I bear, shines as a red blossom.[570] Not alone to save thee but to save the whole world this precious flower blooms in thee.”[571]

Santa Crux says of the relation to each other of the two mothers (Isis in the morning and Isis in the evening):

“Thou hast been crowned as Queen of Heaven on account of the child, which thou hast borne. But I shall appear as the shining relic to the whole world, at the day of judgment. I shall then raise my lament for thy divine son innocently slain upon me.”

Thus the murderous mother of death unites with the mother of life in bringing forth a child. In their lament for the dying God, and as outward token of their union, Mary kisses the cross, and is reconciled to it.[572] The naïve Egyptian antiquity has preserved for us the union of the contrasting tendencies in the mother idea of Isis. Naturally this imago is merely a symbol of the libido of the son for the mother, and describes the conflict between love and incest resistance. The criminal incestuous purpose of the son appears projected as criminal cunning in the mother-imago. The separation of the son from the mother signifies the separation of man from the generic consciousness of animals, from that infantile archaic thought characterized by the absence of individual consciousness.

It was only the power of the incest prohibition which created the self-conscious individual, who formerly had been thoughtlessly one with the tribe, and in this way alone did the idea of individual and final death become 304possible. Thus through the sin of Adam death came into the world. This, as is evident, is expressed figuratively, that is, in contrast form. The mother’s defence against the incest appears to the son as a malicious act, which delivers him over to the fear of death. This conflict faces us in the Gilgamesh epic in its original freshness and passion, where also the incest wish is projected onto the mother.

The neurotic who cannot leave the mother has good reasons; the fear of death holds him there. It seems as if no idea and no word were strong enough to express the meaning of this. Entire religions were constructed in order to give words to the immensity of this conflict. This struggle for expression which continued down through the centuries certainly cannot have its source in the restricted realm of the vulgar conception of incest. Rather one must understand the law which is ultimately expressed as “Incest prohibition” as coercion to domestication, and consider the religious systems as institutions which first receive, then organize and gradually sublimate, the motor forces of the animal nature not immediately available for cultural purposes.

We will now return to the visions of Miss Miller. Those now following need no further detailed discussion. The next vision is the image of a “purple bay.” The symbolism of the sea connects smoothly with that which precedes. One might think here in addition of the reminiscences of the Bay of Naples, which we came across in Part I. In the sequence of the whole, however, we must not overlook the significance of the “bay.” In 305French it is called une baie, which probably corresponds to a bay in the English text. It might be worth while here to glance at the etymological side of this idea. Bay is generally used for something which is open, just as the Catalonian word badia (bai) comes from badar, “to open.” In French bayer means “to have the mouth open, to gape.” Another word for the same is Meerbusen, “bay or gulf”; Latin sinus, and a third word is golf (gulf), which in French stands in closest relation to gouffre = abyss. Golf is derived from “κόλπος,”[573] which also means “bosom” and “womb,” “mother-womb,” also “vagina.” It can also mean a fold of a dress or pocket; it may also mean a deep valley between high mountains. These expressions clearly show what primitive ideas lie at their base. They render intelligible Goethe’s choice of words at that place where Faust wishes to follow the sun with winged desire in order in the everlasting day “to drink its eternal light”:

“The mountain chain with all its gorges deep,
Would then no more impede my godlike motion;
And now before mine eyes expands the ocean,
With all its bays, in shining sleep!”

Faust’s desire, like that of every hero, inclines towards the mysteries of rebirth, of immortality; therefore, his course leads to the sea, and down into the monstrous jaws of death, the horror and narrowness of which at the same time signify the new day.

“Out on the open ocean speeds my dreaming:
The glassy flood before my feet is gleaming,
A new day beckons to a newer shore!
306A fiery chariot borne on buoyant pinions,
Sweeps near me now! I soon shall ready be
To pierce the ether’s high, unknown dominions,
To reach new spheres of pure activity!
This Godlike rapture, this supreme existence....
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
“Yes, let me dare those gates to fling asunder,
Which every man would fain go slinking by!
’Tis time, through deeds this word of truth to thunder;
That with the height of God’s Man’s dignity may vie!
Nor from that gloomy gulf to shrink affrighted,
Where fancy doth herself to self-born pangs compel,—
To struggle toward that pass benighted,
Around whose narrow mouth flame all the fires of Hell:—
To take this step with cheerful resolution,
Though Nothingness should be the certain swift conclusion!”

It sounds like a confirmation, when the succeeding vision of Miss Miller’s is une falaise à pic, “a steep, precipitous cliff.” (Compare gouffre.) The entire series of individual visions is completed, as the author observes, by a confusion of sounds, somewhat resembling “wa-ma, wa-ma.” This has a very primitive, barbaric sound. Since we learn from the author nothing of the subjective roots of this sound, nothing is left us but the suspicion that this sound might be considered, taken in connection with the whole, as a slight mutilation of the well-known call ma-ma.



There now comes a pause in the production of visions by Miss Miller; then the activity of the unconscious is resumed very energetically.

A forest with trees and bushes appears.

After the discussions in the preceding chapter, there is need only of a hint that the symbol of the forest coincides essentially with the meaning of the holy tree. The holy tree is found generally in a sacred forest enclosure or in the garden of Paradise. The sacred grove often takes the place of the taboo tree and assumes all the attributes of the latter. The erotic symbolism of the garden is generally known. The forest, like the tree, has mythologically a maternal significance. In the vision which now follows, the forest furnishes the stage upon which the dramatic representation of the end of Chiwantopel is played. This act, therefore, takes place in or near the mother.

First, I will give the beginning of the drama as it is in the original text, up to the first attempt at sacrifice. At the beginning of the next chapter the reader will find the continuation, the monologue and the sacrificial scene. The drama begins as follows:

308“The personage Chiwantopel, came from the south, on horseback; around him a cloak of vivid colors, red, blue and white. An Indian in a costume of doe skin, covered with beads and ornamented with feathers advances, squats down and prepares to let fly an arrow at Chiwantopel. The latter presents his breast in an attitude of defiance, and the Indian, fascinated by that sight, slinks away and disappears within the forest.”

The hero, Chiwantopel, appears on horseback. This fact seems of importance, because as the further course of the drama shows (see Chapter VIII) the horse plays no indifferent rôle, but suffers the same death as the hero, and is even called “faithful brother” by the latter. These allusions point to a remarkable similarity between horse and rider. There seems to exist an intimate connection between the two, which guides them to the same destiny. We already have seen that the symbolization of “the libido in resistance” through the “terrible mother” in some places runs parallel with the horse.[574] Strictly speaking, it would be incorrect to say that the horse is, or means, the mother. The mother idea is a libido symbol, and the horse is also a libido symbol, and at some points the two symbols intersect in their significances. The common feature of the two ideas lies in the libido, especially in the libido repressed from incest. The hero and the horse appear to us in this setting like an artistic formation of the idea of humanity with its repressed libido, whereby the horse acquires the significance of the animal unconscious, which appears domesticated and subjected to the will of man. Agni upon the ram, Wotan upon Sleipneir, Ahuramazda upon Angromainyu,[575] Jahwe upon the monstrous seraph, Christ upon the ass,[576] Dionysus upon the 309ass, Mithra upon the horse, Men upon the human-footed horse, Freir upon the golden-bristled boar, etc., are parallel representations. The chargers of mythology are always invested with great significance; they very often appear anthropomorphized. Thus, Men’s horse has human forelegs; Balaam’s ass, human speech; the retreating bull, upon whose back Mithra springs in order to strike him down, is, according to a Persian legend, actually the God himself. The mock crucifix of the Palatine represents the crucified with an ass’s head, perhaps in reference to the ancient legend that in the temple of Jerusalem the image of an ass was worshipped. As Drosselbart (horse’s mane) Wotan is half-human, half-horse.[577] An old German riddle very prettily shows this unity between horse and horseman.[578] “Who are the two, who travel to Thing? Together they have three eyes, ten feet[579] and one tail; and thus they travel over the land.” Legends ascribe properties to the horse, which psychologically belong to the unconscious of man; horses are clairvoyant and clairaudient; they show the way when the lost wanderer is helpless; they have mantic powers. In the Iliad the horse prophesies evil. They hear the words which the corpse speaks when it is taken to the grave—words which men cannot hear. Cæsar learned from his human-footed horse (probably taken from the identification of Cæsar with the Phrygian Men) that he was to conquer the world. An ass prophesied to Augustus the victory of Actium. The horse also sees phantoms. All these things correspond to typical manifestations of the unconscious. Therefore, it is perfectly intelligible 310that the horse, as the image of the wicked animal component of man, has manifold connections with the devil. The devil has a horse’s foot; in certain circumstances a horse’s form. At crucial moments he suddenly shows a cloven foot (proverbial) in the same way as in the abduction of Hadding, Sleipneir suddenly looked out from behind Wotan’s mantle.[580] Just as the nightmare rides on the sleeper, so does the devil, and, therefore, it is said that those who have nightmares are ridden by the devil. In Persian lore the devil is the steed of God. The devil, like all evil things, represents sexuality. Witches have intercourse with him, in which case he appears in the form of a goat or horse. The unmistakably phallic nature of the devil is communicated to the horse as well; hence this symbol occurs in connections where this is the only meaning which would furnish an explanation. It is to be mentioned that Loki generates in the form of a horse, just as does the devil when in horse’s form, as an old fire god. Thus the lightning was represented theriomorphically as a horse.[581] An uneducated hysteric told me that as a child she had suffered from extreme fear of thunder, because every time the lightning flashed she saw immediately afterwards a huge black horse reaching upwards as far as the sky.[582] It is said in a legend that the devil, as the divinity of lightning, casts a horse’s foot (lightning) upon the roofs. In accordance with the primitive meaning of thunder as fertilizer of the earth, the phallic meaning is given both to lightning and the horse’s foot. In mythology the horse’s foot really has the phallic function as in this dream. An uneducated 311patient who originally had been violently forced to coitus by her husband very often dreams (after separation) that a wild horse springs upon her and kicks her in the abdomen with his hind foot. Plutarch has given us the following words of a prayer from the Dionysus orgies:

ἐλθεῖν ἥρως Διόνυσε Ἄλιον ἐς ναὸν ἁγνὸν σὺν Χαρίτεσσιν ἐς ναὸν τῷ βοέῳ ποδὶ θύων, ἄξιε ταῦρε, ἄξιε ταῦρε.[583][584]

Pegasus with his foot strikes out of the earth the spring Hippocrene. Upon a Corinthian statue of Bellerophon, which was also a fountain, the water flowed out from the horse’s hoof. Balder’s horse gave rise to a spring through his kick. Thus the horse’s foot is the dispenser of fruitful moisture.[585] A legend of lower Austria, told by Jaehns, informs us that a gigantic man on a white horse is sometimes seen riding over the mountains. This means a speedy rain. In the German legend the goddess of birth, Frau Holle, appears on horseback. Pregnant women near confinement are prone to give oats to a white horse from their aprons and to pray him to give them a speedy delivery. It was originally the custom for the horse to rub against the woman’s genitals. The horse (like the ass) had in general the significance of a priapic animal.[586] Horse’s tracks are idols dispensing blessing and fertility. Horse’s tracks established a claim, and were of significance in determining boundaries, like the priaps of Latin antiquity. Like the phallic Dactyli, a horse opened the mineral riches of the Harz Mountains 312with his hoof. The horseshoe, an equivalent for horse’s foot,[587] brings luck and has apotropaic meaning. In the Netherlands an entire horse’s foot is hung up in the stable to ward against sorcery. The analogous effect of the phallus is well known; hence the phalli at the gates. In particular the horse’s leg turned lightning aside, according to the principle “similia similibus.

Horses also symbolize the wind, that is to say, the tertium comparationis is again the libido symbol. The German legend recognizes the wind as the wild huntsman in pursuit of the maiden. Stormy regions frequently derive their names from horses, as the White Horse Mountain of the Lüneburger heath. The centaurs are typical wind gods, and have been represented as such by Böcklin’s artistic intuition.[588]

Horses also signify fire and light. The fiery horses of Helios are an example. The horses of Hector are called Xanthos (yellow, bright), Podargos (swift-footed), Lampos (shining) and Aithon (burning). A very pronounced fire symbolism was represented by the mystic Quadriga, mentioned by Dio Chrysostomus. The supreme God always drives his chariot in a circle. Four horses are harnessed to the chariot. The horse driven on the periphery moves very quickly. He has a shining coat, and bears upon it the signs of the planets and the Zodiac.[589] This is a representation of the rotary fire of heaven. The second horse moves more slowly, and is illuminated only on one side. The third moves still more slowly, and the fourth rotates around himself. But once the outer horse set the second horse on fire with his fiery 313breath, and the third flooded the fourth with his streaming sweat. Then the horses dissolve and pass over into the substance of the strongest and most fiery, which now becomes the charioteer. The horses also represent the four elements. The catastrophe signifies the conflagration of the world and the deluge, whereupon the division of the God into many parts ceases, and the divine unity is restored.[590] Doubtless the Quadriga may be understood astronomically as a symbol of time. We already saw in the first part that the stoic representation of Fate is a fire symbol. It is, therefore, a logical continuation of the thought, when time, closely related to the conception of destiny, exhibits this same libido symbolism. Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad, i: 1, says:

“The morning glow verily is the head of the sacrificial horse, the sun his eye, the wind his breath, the all-spreading fire his mouth, the year is the belly of the sacrificial horse. The sky is his back, the atmosphere the cavern of his body, the earth the vault of his belly. The poles are his sides, in between the poles his ribs, the seasons his limbs, the months and fortnights his joints. Days and nights are his feet, stars his bones, clouds his flesh. The food he digests is the deserts, the rivers are his veins, the mountains his liver and lungs, the herbs and trees his hair; the rising sun is his fore part, the setting sun his after part. The ocean is his kinsman, the sea his cradle.”

The horse undoubtedly here stands for a time symbol, and also for the entire world. We come across in the Mithraic religion, a strange God of Time, Aion, called Kronos or Deus Leontocephalus, because his stereotyped representation is a lion-headed man, who, standing in a rigid attitude, is encoiled by a snake, whose 314head projects forward from behind over the lion’s head. The figure holds in each hand a key, on the chest rests a thunderbolt, upon his back are the four wings of the wind; in addition to that, the figure sometimes bears the Zodiac on his body. Additional attributes are a cock and implements. In the Carolingian psalter of Utrecht, which is based upon ancient models, the Sæculum-Aion is represented as a naked man with a snake in his hand. As is suggested by the name of the divinity, he is a symbol of time, most interestingly composed from libido symbols. The lion, the zodiac sign of the greatest summer heat,[591] is the symbol of the most mighty desire. (“My soul roars with the voice of a hungry lion,” says Mechthild of Magdeburg.) In the Mithra mystery the serpent is often antagonistic to the lion, corresponding to that very universal myth of the battle of the sun with the dragon.

In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Tum is even designated as a he-cat, because as such he fought the snake, Apophis. The encoiling also means the engulfing, the entering into the mother’s womb. Thus time is defined by the rising and setting of the sun, that is to say, through the death and renewal of the libido. The addition of the cock again suggests time, and the addition of implements suggests the creation through time. (“Durée créatrice,” Bergson.) Oromazdes and Ahriman were produced through Zrwanakarana, the “infinitely long duration.” Time, this empty and purely formal concept, is expressed in the mysteries by transformations of the creative power, the libido. Macrobius says:

315Leonis capite monstratur praesens tempus—quia conditio ejus valida fervensque est.[592]

Philo of Alexandria has a better understanding:

Tempus ab hominibus pessimis putatur deus volentibus Ens essentiale abscondere—pravis hominibus tempus putatur causa rerum mundi, sapientibus vero et optimis non tempus sed Deus.[593][594]

In Firdusi[595] time is often the symbol of fate, the libido nature of which we have already learned to recognize. The Hindoo text mentioned above includes still more—its symbol of the horse contains the whole world; his kinsman and his cradle is the sea, the mother, similar to the world soul, the maternal significance of which we have seen above. Just as Aion represents the libido in an embrace, that is to say, in the state of death and of rebirth, so here the cradle of the horse is the sea, i. e. the libido is in the mother, dying and rising again, like the symbol of the dying and resurrected Christ, who hangs like ripe fruit upon the tree of life.

We have already seen that the horse is connected through Ygdrasil with the symbolism of the tree. The horse is also a “tree of death”; thus in the Middle Ages the funeral pyre was called St. Michael’s horse, and the neo-Persian word for coffin means “wooden horse.”[596] The horse has also the rôle of psycho-pompos; he is the steed to conduct the souls to the other world—horsewomen 316fetch the souls (Valkyries). Neo-Greek songs represent Charon on a horse. These definitions obviously lead to the mother symbolism. The Trojan horse was the only means by which the city could be conquered; because only he who has entered the mother and been reborn is an invincible hero. The Trojan horse is a magic charm, like the “Nodfyr,” which also serves to overcome necessity. The formula evidently reads, “In order to overcome the difficulty, thou must commit incest, and once more be born from thy mother.” It appears that striking a nail into the sacred tree signifies something very similar. The “Stock im Eisen” in Vienna seems to have been such a palladium.

Still another symbolic form is to be considered. Occasionally the devil rides upon a three-legged horse. The Goddess of Death, Hel, in time of pestilence, also rides upon a three-legged horse.[597] The gigantic ass, which is three-legged, stands in the heavenly rain lake Vourukasha; his urine purifies the water of the lake, and from his roar all useful animals become pregnant and all harmful animals miscarry. The Triad further points to the phallic significance. The contrasting symbolism of Hel is blended into one conception in the ass of Vourukasha. The libido is fructifying as well as destroying.

These definitions, as a whole, plainly reveal the fundamental features. The horse is a libido symbol, partly of phallic, partly of maternal significance, like the tree. It represents the libido in this application, that is, the libido repressed through the incest prohibition.

317In the Miller drama an Indian approaches the hero, ready to shoot an arrow at him. Chiwantopel, however, with a proud gesture, exposes his breast to the enemy. This idea reminds the author of the scene between Cassius and Brutus in Shakespeare’s “Julius Cæsar.” A misunderstanding has arisen between the two friends, when Brutus reproaches Cassius for withholding from him the money for the legions. Cassius, irritable and angry, breaks out into the complaint:

“Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come,
Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is a-weary of the world:
Hated by one he loves: braved by his brother:
Check’d like a bondman; all his faults observed:
Set in a note-book, learn’d and conn’d by rote,
To cast into my teeth. O I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes!—There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast; within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus’ mine, richer than gold:
If that thou beest a Roman, take it forth:
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike, as thou didst at Cæsar; for I know
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lov’dst him better
Than ever thou lov’dst Cassius.”

The material here would be incomplete without mentioning the fact that this speech of Cassius shows many analogies to the agonized delirium of Cyrano (compare Part I), only Cassius is far more theatrical and overdrawn. Something childish and hysterical is in his manner. Brutus does not think of killing him, but administers a very chilling rebuke in the following dialogue:

318Brutus: Sheathe your dagger:
Be angry when you will, it shall have scope:
Do what you will, dishonor shall be humor.
O Cassius, you are yoked with a lamb
That carries anger as the flint bears fire:
Who, much enforced, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.
Cassius: Hath Cassius liv’d
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus
When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?
Brutus: When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
Cassius: Do you confess so much? Give me your hand.
Brutus: And my heart too.
Cassius: O Brutus!
Brutus: What’s the matter?
Cassius: Have not you love enough to bear with me
When that rash humor which my mother gave me
Makes me forgetful?
Brutus: Yes, Cassius, and from henceforth
When you are over earnest with your Brutus,
He’ll think your mother chides and leave you so.

The analytic interpretation of Cassius’s irritability plainly reveals that at these moments he identifies himself with the mother, and his conduct, therefore, is truly feminine, as his speech demonstrates most excellently. For his womanish love-seeking and desperate subjection under the proud masculine will of Brutus calls forth the friendly remark of the latter, that Cassius is yoked with a lamb, that is to say, has something very weak in his character, 319which is derived from the mother. One recognizes in this without any difficulty the analytic hall-marks of an infantile disposition, which, as always, is characterized by a prevalence of the parent-imago, here the mother-imago. An infantile individual is infantile because he has freed himself insufficiently, or not at all, from the childish environment, that is, from his adaptation to his parents. Therefore, on one side, he reacts falsely towards the world, as a child towards his parents, always demanding love and immediate reward for his feelings; on the other side, on account of the close connection to the parents, he identifies himself with them. The infantile individual behaves like the father and mother. He is not in a condition to live for himself and to find the place to which he belongs. Therefore, Brutus very justly takes it for granted that the “mother chides” in Cassius, not he himself. The psychologically valuable fact which we gather here is the information that Cassius is infantile and identified with the mother. The hysterical behavior is due to the circumstance that Cassius is still, in part, a lamb, and an innocent and entirely harmless child. He remains, as far as his emotional life is concerned, still far behind himself. This we often see among people who, as masters, apparently govern life and fellow-creatures; they have remained children in regard to the demands of their love nature.

The figures of the Miller dramas, being children of the creator’s phantasy, depict, as is natural, those traits of character which belong to the author. The hero, the wish figure, is represented as most distinguished, because the 320hero always combines in himself all wished-for ideals. Cyrano’s attitude is certainly beautiful and impressive; Cassius’s behavior has a theatrical effect. Both heroes prepare to die effectively, in which attempt Cyrano succeeds. This attitude betrays a wish for death in the unconscious of our author, the meaning of which we have already discussed at length as the motive for her poem of the moth. The wish of young girls to die is only an indirect expression, which remains a pose, even in case of real death, for death itself can be a pose. Such an outcome merely adds beauty and value to the pose under certain conditions. That the highest summit of life is expressed through the symbolism of death is a well-known fact; for creation beyond one’s self means personal death. The coming generation is the end of the preceding one. This symbolism is frequent in erotic speech. The lascivious speech between Lucius and the wanton servant-maid in Apuleius (“Metamorphoses,” lib. ii: 32) is one of the clearest examples:

Proeliare, inquit, et fortiter proeliare: nec enim tibi cedam, nec terga vortam. Cominus in aspectum, si vir es, dirige; et grassare naviter, et occide moriturus. Hodierna pugna non habet missionem.—Simul ambo corruimus inter mutuos amplexus animas anhelantes.[598]

This symbolism is extremely significant, because it shows how easily a contrasting expression originates and 321how equally intelligible and characteristic such an expression is. The proud gesture with which the hero offers himself to death may very easily be an indirect expression which challenges the pity or sympathy of the other, and thus is doomed to the calm analytic reduction to which Brutus proceeds. The behavior of Chiwantopel is also suspicious, because the Cassius scene which serves as its model betrays indiscreetly that the whole affair is merely infantile and one which owes its origin to an overactive mother imago. When we compare this piece with the series of mother symbols brought to light in the previous chapter, we must say that the Cassius scene merely confirms once more what we have long supposed, that is to say, that the motor power of these symbolic visions arises from an infantile mother transference, that is to say, from an undetached bond to the mother.

In the drama the libido, in contradistinction to the inactive nature of the previous symbols, assumes a threatening activity, a conflict becoming evident, in which the one part threatens the other with murder. The hero, as the ideal image of the dreamer, is inclined to die; he does not fear death. In accordance with the infantile character of this hero, it would most surely be time for him to take his departure from the stage, or, in childish language, to die. Death is to come to him in the form of an arrow-wound. Considering the fact that heroes themselves are very often great archers or succumb to an arrow-wound (St. Sebastian, as an example), it may not be superfluous to inquire into the meaning of death through an arrow.

We read in the biography of the stigmatized nun Katherine 322Emmerich[599] the following description of the evidently neurotic sickness of her heart:

“When only in her novitiate, she received as a Christmas present from the holy Christ a very tormenting heart trouble for the whole period of her nun’s life. God showed her inwardly the purpose; it was on account of the decline of the spirit of the order, especially for the sins of her fellow-sisters. But what rendered this trouble most painful was the gift which she had possessed from youth, namely, to see before her eyes the inner nature of man as he really was. She felt the heart trouble physically as if her heart was continually pierced by arrows.[600] These arrows—and this represented the still worse mental suffering—she recognized as the thoughts, plots, secret speeches, misunderstandings, scandal and uncharitableness, in which her fellow-sisters, wholly without reason and unscrupulously, were engaged against her and her god-fearing way of life.”

It is difficult to be a saint, because even a patient and long-suffering nature will not readily bear such a violation, and defends itself in its own way. The companion of sanctity is temptation, without which no true saint can live. We know from analytic experience that these temptations can pass unconsciously, so that only their equivalents would be produced in consciousness in the form of symptoms. We know that it is proverbial that heart and smart (Herz and Schmerz) rhyme. It is a well-known fact that hysterics put a physical pain in place of a mental pain. The biographer of Emmerich has comprehended that very correctly. Only her interpretation of the pain is, as usual, projected. It is always the others who secretly assert all sorts of evil things about her, and this she pretended gave her the pains.[601] The case, however, 323bears a somewhat different aspect. The very difficult renunciation of all life’s joys, this death before the bloom, is generally painful, and especially painful are the unfulfilled wishes and the attempts of the animal nature to break through the power of repression. The gossip and jokes of the sisters very naturally centre around these most painful things, so that it must appear to the saint as if her symptoms were caused by this. Naturally, again, she could not know that gossip tends to assume the rôle of the unconscious, which, like a clever adversary, always aims at the actual gaps in our armor.

A passage from Gautama Buddha embodies this idea:[602]

“A wish earnestly desired
Produced by will, and nourished
When gradually it must be thwarted,
Burrows like an arrow in the flesh.”

The wounding and painful arrows do not come from without through gossip, which only attacks externally, but they come from ambush, from our own unconscious. This, rather than anything external, creates the defenseless suffering. It is our own repressed and unrecognized desires which fester like arrows in our flesh.[603] In another connection this was clear to the nun, and that most literally. It is a well-known fact, and one which needs no further proof to those who understand, that these mystic scenes of union with the Saviour generally are intermingled with an enormous amount of sexual libido.[604] Therefore, it is not astonishing that the scene of the stigmata is nothing but an incubation through the Saviour, only 324slightly changed metaphorically, as compared with the ancient conception of “unio mystica,” as cohabitation with the god. Emmerich relates the following of her stigmatization:

“I had a contemplation of the sufferings of Christ, and implored him to let me feel with him his sorrows, and prayed five paternosters to the honor of the five sacred wounds. Lying on my bed with outstretched arms, I entered into a great sweetness and into an endless thirst for the torments of Jesus. Then I saw a light descending upon me: it came obliquely from above. It was a crucified body, living and transparent, with arms extended, but without a cross. The wounds shone brighter than the body; they were five circles of glory, coming forth from the whole glory. I was enraptured and my heart was moved with great pain and yet with sweetness from longing to share in the torments of my Saviour. And my longings for the sorrows of the Redeemer increased more and more on gazing on his wounds, and passed from my breast, through my hands, sides and feet to his holy wounds: then from the hands, then from the sides, then from the feet of the figure threefold shining red beams ending below in an arrow, shot forth to my hands, sides and feet.”

The beams, in accordance with the phallic fundamental thought, are threefold, terminating below in an arrow-point.[605] Like Cupid, the sun, too, has its quiver, full of destroying or fertilizing arrows, sun rays,[606] which possess phallic meaning. On this significance evidently rests the Oriental custom of designating brave sons as arrows and javelins of the parents. “To make sharp arrows” is an Arabian expression for “to generate brave sons.” The Psalms declare (cxxvii:4):

“Like as the arrows in the hands of the giant; even so are the young children.”

325(Compare with this the remarks previously made about “boys.”) Because of this significance of the arrow it is intelligible why the Scythian king Ariantes, when he wished to prepare a census, demanded an arrow-head from each man. A similar meaning attaches equally to the lance. Men are descended from the lance, because the ash is the mother of lances. Therefore, the men of the Iron Age are derived from her. The marriage custom to which Ovid alludes (“Comat virgineas hasta recurva comas”—Fastorum, lib. ii: 560) has already been mentioned. Kaineus issued a command that his lance be honored. Pindar relates in the legend of this Kaineus:

“He descended into the depths, splitting the earth with a straight foot.”[607]

He is said to have originally been a maiden named Kainis, who, because of her complaisance, was transformed into an invulnerable man by Poseidon. Ovid pictures the battle of the Lapithæ with the invulnerable Kaineus; how at last they covered him completely with trees, because they could not otherwise touch him. Ovid says at this place:

Exitus in dubio est: alii sub inania corpus
Tartara detrusum silvarum mole ferebant,
Abnuit Ampycides: medioque ex aggere fulvis
Vidit avem pennis liquidas exire sub auras.[608]

326Roscher considers this bird to be the golden plover (Charadrius pluvialis), which borrows its name from the fact that it lives in the χαράδρα, a crevice in the earth. By his song he proclaims the approaching rain. Kaineus was changed into this bird.

We see again in this little myth the typical constituents of the libido myth: original bisexuality, immortality (invulnerability) through entrance into the mother (splitting the mother with the foot, and to become covered up) and resurrection as a bird of the soul and a bringer of fertility (ascending sun). When this type of hero causes his lance to be worshipped, it probably means that his lance is a valid and equivalent expression of himself.

From our present standpoint, we understand in a new sense that passage in Job, which I mentioned in Chapter IV of the first part of this book:

“He has set me up for his mark.

“His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare:—he poureth out my gall upon the ground.

“He breaketh me with breach upon breach: he runneth upon me like a giant.”—Job xvi:12–13–14.

Now we understand this symbolism as an expression for the soul torment caused by the onslaught of the unconscious desires. The libido festers in his flesh, a cruel god has taken possession of him and pierced him with his painful libidian projectiles, with thoughts, which overwhelmingly pass through him. (As a dementia præcox patient once said to me during his recovery: “To-day a 327thought suddenly thrust itself through me.”) This same idea is found again in Nietzsche in Zarathustra:

The Magician
Stretched out, shivering
Like one half dead whose feet are warmed,
Shaken alas! by unknown fevers,
Trembling from the icy pointed arrows of frost,
Hunted by Thee, O Thought!
Unutterable! Veiled! Horrible One!
Thou huntsman behind the clouds!
Struck to the ground by thee,
Thou mocking eye that gazeth at me from the dark!
—————— Thus do I lie
Bending, writhing, tortured
With all eternal tortures,
By thee, crudest huntsman,
Thou unfamiliar God.
Smite deeper!
Smite once more:
Pierce through and rend my heart!
What meaneth this torturing
With blunt-toothed arrows?
Why gazeth thou again,
Never weary of human pain,
With malicious, God-lightning eyes,
Thou wilt not kill,
But torture, torture?

No long-drawn-out explanation is necessary to enable us to recognize in this comparison the old, universal idea of the martyred sacrifice of God, which we have met previously in the Mexican sacrifice of the cross and in the sacrifice of Odin.[609] This same conception faces us in 328the oft-repeated martyrdom of St. Sebastian, where, in the delicate-glowing flesh of the young god, all the pain of renunciation which has been felt by the artist has been portrayed. An artist always embodies in his artistic work a portion of the mysteries of his time. In a heightened degree the same is true of the principal Christian symbol, the crucified one pierced by the lance, the conception of the man of the Christian era tormented by his wishes, crucified and dying in Christ.

This is not torment which comes from without, which befalls mankind; but that he himself is the hunter, murderer, sacrificer and sacrificial knife is shown us in another of Nietzsche’s poems, wherein the apparent dualism is transformed into the soul conflict through the use of the same symbolism:

“Oh, Zarathustra,
Most cruel Nimrod!
Whilom hunter of God
The snare of all virtue,
An arrow of evil!
Hunted by thyself
Thine own prey
Pierced through thyself,
Alone with thee
Twofold in thine own knowledge
Mid a hundred mirrors
False to thyself,
Mid a hundred memories
Ailing with each wound
Shivering with each frost
329Caught in thine own snares,
Self knower!
Self hangman!
“Why didst thou strangle thyself
With the noose of thy wisdom?
Why hast thou enticed thyself
Into the Paradise of the old serpent?
Why hast thou crept
Into thyself, thyself?...”

The deadly arrows do not strike the hero from without, but it is he himself who, in disharmony with himself, hunts, fights and tortures himself. Within himself will has turned against will, libido against libido—therefore, the poet says, “Pierced through thyself,” that is to say, wounded by his own arrow. Because we have discerned that the arrow is a libido symbol, the idea of “penetrating or piercing through” consequently becomes clear to us. It is a phallic act of union with one’s self, a sort of self-fertilization (introversion); also a self-violation, a self-murder; therefore, Zarathustra may call himself his own hangman, like Odin, who sacrifices himself to Odin.

The wounding by one’s own arrow means, first of all, the state of introversion. What this signifies we already know—the libido sinks into its “own depths” (a well-known comparison of Nietzsche’s) and finds there below, in the shadows of the unconscious, the substitute for the upper world, which it has abandoned: the world of memories (“’mid a hundred memories”), the strongest and most influential of which are the early infantile memory pictures. It is the world of the child, this paradise-like 330state of earliest childhood, from which we are separated by a hard law. In this subterranean kingdom slumber sweet feelings of home and the endless hopes of all that is to be. As Heinrich in the “Sunken Bell,” by Gerhart Hauptmann, says, in speaking of his miraculous work:

“There is a song lost and forgotten,
A song of home, a love song of childhood,
Brought up from the depths of the fairy well,
Known to all, but yet unheard.”

However, as Mephistopheles says, “The danger is great.” These depths are enticing; they are the mother and—death. When the libido leaves the bright upper world, whether from the decision of the individual or from decreasing life force, then it sinks back into its own depths, into the source from which it has gushed forth, and turns back to that point of cleavage, the umbilicus, through which it once entered into this body. This point of cleavage is called the mother, because from her comes the source of the libido. Therefore, when some great work is to be accomplished, before which weak man recoils, doubtful of his strength, his libido returns to that source—and this is the dangerous moment, in which the decision takes place between annihilation and new life. If the libido remains arrested in the wonder kingdom of the inner world,[610] then the man has become for the world above a phantom, then he is practically dead or desperately ill.[611] But if the libido succeeds in tearing itself loose and pushing up into the world above, then a miracle appears. This journey to the underworld has been a 331fountain of youth, and new fertility springs from his apparent death. This train of thought is very beautifully gathered into a Hindoo myth: Once upon a time, Vishnu sank into an ecstasy (introversion) and during this state of sleep bore Brahma, who, enthroned upon the lotus flower, arose from the navel of Vishnu, bringing with him the Vedas, which he diligently read. (Birth of creative thought from introversion.) But through Vishnu’s ecstasy a devouring flood came upon the world. (Devouring through introversion, symbolizing the danger of entering into the mother of death.) A demon taking advantage of the danger, stole the Vedas from Brahma and hid them in the depths. (Devouring of the libido.) Brahma roused Vishnu, and the latter, transforming himself into a fish, plunged into the flood, fought with the demon (battle with the dragon), conquered him and recaptured the Vedas. (Treasure obtained with difficulty.)

Self-concentration and the strength derived therefrom correspond to this primitive train of thought. It also explains numerous sacrificial and magic rites which we have already fully discussed. Thus the impregnable Troy falls because the besiegers creep into the belly of a wooden horse; for he alone is a hero who is reborn from the mother, like the sun. But the danger of this venture is shown by the history of Philoctetes, who was the only one in the Trojan expedition who knew the hidden sanctuary of Chryse, where the Argonauts had sacrificed already, and where the Greeks planned to sacrifice in order to assure a safe ending to their undertaking. Chryse 332was a nymph upon the island of Chryse; according to the account of the scholiasts in Sophocles’s “Philoctetes,” this nymph loved Philoctetes, and cursed him because he spurned her love. This characteristic projection, which is also met with in the Gilgamesh epic, should be referred back, as suggested, to the repressed incest wish of the son, who is represented through the projection as if the mother had the evil wish, for the refusal of which the son was given over to death. In reality, however, the son becomes mortal by separating himself from the mother. His fear of death, therefore, corresponds to the repressed wish to turn back to the mother, and causes him to believe that the mother threatens or pursues him. The teleological significance of this fear of persecution is evident; it is to keep son and mother apart.

The curse of Chryse is realized in so far that Philoctetes, according to one version, when approaching his altar, injured himself in his foot with one of his own deadly poisonous arrows, or, according to another version[612] (this is better and far more abundantly proven), was bitten in his foot by a poisonous serpent.[613] From then on he is ailing.[614]

This very typical wound, which also destroyed Rê, is described in the following manner in an Egyptian hymn:

“The ancient of the Gods moved his mouth,
He cast his saliva upon the earth,
And what he spat, fell upon the ground.
With her hands Isis kneaded that and the soil
Which was about it, together:
From that she created a venerable worm,
And made him like a spear.
333She did not twist him living around her face,
But threw him coiled upon the path,
Upon which the great God wandered at ease
Through all his lands.
“The venerable God stepped forth radiantly,
The gods who served Pharaoh accompanied him,
And he proceeded as every day.
Then the venerable worm stung him....
The divine God opened his mouth
And the voice of his majesty echoed even to the sky.
And the gods exclaimed: Behold!
Thereupon he could not answer,
His jaws chattered,
All his limbs trembled
And the poison gripped his flesh,
As the Nile seizes upon the land.”

In this hymn Egypt has again preserved for us a primitive conception of the serpent’s sting. The aging of the autumn sun as an image of human senility is symbolically traced back to the mother through the poisoning by the serpent. The mother is reproached, because her malice causes the death of the sun-god. The serpent, the primitive symbol of fear,[615] illustrates the repressed tendency to turn back to the mother, because the only possibility of security from death is possessed by the mother, as the source of life.

Accordingly, only the mother can cure him, sick unto death, and, therefore, the hymn goes on to depict how the gods were assembled to take counsel:

“And Isis came with her wisdom:
Her mouth is full of the breath of life,
Her words banish sorrow,
And her speech animates those who no longer breathe.
334She said: ‘What is that; what is that, divine father?
Behold, a worm has brought you sorrow——’
“‘Tell me thy name, divine father,
Because the man remains alive, who is called by his name.’”

Whereupon Rê replied:

“‘I am he, who created heaven and earth, and piled up the hills,
And created all beings thereon.
I am he, who made the water and caused the great flood,
Who produced the bull of his mother,
Who is the procreator,’ etc.
“The poison did not depart, it went further,
The great God was not cured.
Then said Isis to Rê:
‘Thine is not the name thou hast told me.
Tell me true that the poison may leave thee,
For he whose name is spoken will live.’”

Finally Rê decides to speak his true name. He is approximately healed (imperfect composition of Osiris); but he has lost his power, and finally he retreats to the heavenly cow.

The poisonous worm is, if one may speak in this way, a “negative” phallus, a deadly, not an animating, form of libido; therefore, a wish for death, instead of a wish for life. The “true name” is soul and magic power; hence a symbol of libido. What Isis demands is the retransference of the libido to the mother goddess. This request is fulfilled literally, for the aged god turns back to the divine cow, the symbol of the mother.[616] This symbolism is clear from our previous explanations. The onward urging, living libido which rules the consciousness 335of the son, demands separation from the mother. The longing of the child for the mother is a hindrance on the path to this, taking the form of a psychologic resistance, which is expressed empirically in the neurosis by all manners of fears, that is to say, the fear of life. The more a person withdraws from adaptation to reality, and falls into slothful inactivity, the greater becomes his anxiety (cum grano salis), which everywhere besets him at each point as a hindrance upon his path. The fear springs from the mother, that is to say, from the longing to go back to the mother, which is opposed to the adaptation to reality. This is the way in which the mother has become apparently the malicious pursuer. Naturally, it is not the actual mother, although the actual mother, with the abnormal tenderness with which she sometimes pursues her child, even into adult years, may gravely injure it through a willful prolonging of the infantile state in the child. It is rather the mother-imago, which becomes the Lamia. The mother-imago, however, possesses its power solely and exclusively from the son’s tendency not only to look and to work forwards, but also to glance backwards to the pampering sweetness of childhood, to that glorious state of irresponsibility and security with which the protecting mother-care once surrounded him.[617]

The retrospective longing acts like a paralyzing poison upon the energy and enterprise; so that it may well be compared to a poisonous serpent which lies across our path. Apparently, it is a hostile demon which robs us of energy, but, in reality, it is the individual unconscious, the retrogressive tendency of which begins to overcome 336the conscious forward striving. The cause of this can be, for example, the natural aging which weakens the energy, or it may be great external difficulties, which cause man to break down and become a child again, or it may be, and this is probably the most frequent cause, the woman who enslaves the man, so that he can no longer free himself, and becomes a child again.[618] It may be of significance also that Isis, as sister-wife of the sun-god, creates the poisonous animal from the spittle of the god, which is perhaps a substitute for sperma, and, therefore, is a symbol of libido. She creates the animal from the libido of the god; that means she receives his power, making him weak and dependent, so that by this means she assumes the dominating rôle of the mother. (Mother transference to the wife.) This part is preserved in the legend of Samson, in the rôle of Delilah, who cut off Samson’s hair, the sun’s rays, thus robbing him of his strength.[619] Any weakening of the adult man strengthens the wishes of the unconscious; therefore, the decrease of strength appears directly as the backward striving towards the mother.

There is still to be considered one more source of the reanimation of the mother-imago. We have already met it in the discussion of the mother scene in “Faust,” that is to say, the willed introversion of a creative mind, which, retreating before its own problem and inwardly collecting its forces, dips at least for a moment into the source of life, in order there to wrest a little more strength from the mother for the completion of its work. It is a mother-child play with one’s self, in which lies much weak selfadmiration 337and self-adulation (“Among a hundred mirrors”—Nietzsche); a Narcissus state, a strange spectacle, perhaps, for profane eyes. The separation from the mother-imago, the birth out of one’s self, reconciles all conflicts through the sufferings. This is probably meant by Nietzsche’s verse:

“Why hast thou enticed thyself
Into the Paradise of the old serpent?
Why hast thou crept
Into thyself, thyself?...
“A sick man now
Sick of a serpent’s poison,[620]
A captive now
Whom the hardest destiny befell
In thine own pit;
Bowed down as thou workest
Encaved within thyself,
Burrowing into thyself,
A corpse.
Overwhelmed with a hundred burdens,
Overburdened by thyself.
A wise man,
A self-knower,
The wise Zarathustra;
Thou soughtest the heaviest burden
And foundest thou thyself....”

The symbolism of this speech is of the greatest richness. He is buried in the depths of self, as if in the earth; really a dead man who has turned back to mother earth;[621] a Kaineus “piled with a hundred burdens” and pressed down to death; the one who groaning bears the 338heavy burden of his own libido, of that libido which draws him back to the mother. Who does not think of the Taurophoria of Mithra, who took his bull (according to the Egyptian hymn, “the bull of his mother”), that is, his love for his mother, the heaviest burden upon his back, and with that entered upon the painful course of the so-called Transitus![622] This path of passion led to the cave, in which the bull was sacrificed. Christ, too, had to bear the cross,[623] the symbol of his love for the mother, and he carried it to the place of sacrifice where the lamb was slain in the form of the God, the infantile man, a “self-executioner,” and then to burial in the subterranean sepulchre.[624]

That which in Nietzsche appears as a poetical figure of speech is really a primitive myth. It is as if the poet still possessed a dim idea or capacity to feel and reactivate those imperishable phantoms of long-past worlds of thought in the words of our present-day speech and in the images which crowd themselves into his phantasy. Hauptmann also says: “Poetic rendering is that which allows the echo of the primitive word to resound through the form.”[625]

The sacrifice, with its mysterious and manifold meaning, which is rather hinted at than expressed, passes unrecognized in the unconscious of our author. The arrow is not shot, the hero Chiwantopel is not yet fatally poisoned and ready for death through self-sacrifice. We now can say, according to the preceding material, this sacrifice means renouncing the mother, that is to say, renunciation 339of all bonds and limitations which the soul has taken with it from the period of childhood into the adult life. From various hints of Miss Miller’s it appears that at the time of these phantasies she was still living in the circle of the family, evidently at an age which was in urgent need of independence. That is to say, man does not live very long in the infantile environment or in the bosom of his family without real danger to his mental health. Life calls him forth to independence, and he who gives no heed to this hard call because of childish indolence and fear is threatened by a neurosis, and once the neurosis has broken out it becomes more and more a valid reason to escape the battle with life and to remain for all time in the morally poisoned infantile atmosphere.

The phantasy of the arrow-wound belongs in this struggle for personal independence. The thought of this resolution has not yet penetrated the dreamer. On the contrary, she rather repudiates it. After all the preceding, it is evident that the symbolism of the arrow-wound through direct translation must be taken as a coitus symbol. The “Occide moriturus” attains by this means the sexual significance belonging to it. Chiwantopel naturally represents the dreamer. But nothing is attained and nothing is understood through one’s reduction to the coarse sexual, because it is a commonplace that the unconscious shelters coitus wishes, the discovery of which signifies nothing further. The coitus wish under this aspect is really a symbol for the individual demonstration of the libido separated from the parents, of the conquest 340of an independent life. This step towards a new life means, at the same time, the death of the past life.[626] Therefore, Chiwantopel is the infantile hero[627] (the son, the child, the lamb, the fish) who is still enchained by the fetters of childhood and who has to die as a symbol of the incestuous libido, and with that sever the retrogressive bond. For the entire libido is demanded for the battle of life, and there can be no remaining behind. The dreamer cannot yet come to this decision, which will tear aside all the sentimental connections with father and mother, and yet it must be made in order to follow the call of the individual destiny.



After the disappearance of the assailant, Chiwantopel begins the following monologue:

“From the extreme ends of these continents, from the farthest lowlands, after having forsaken the palace of my father, I have been wandering aimlessly during a hundred moons, always pursued by my mad desire to find ‘her who will understand.’ With jewels I have tempted many fair ones, with kisses I have tried to snatch the secret of their hearts, with acts of bravery I have conquered their admiration. (He reviews the women he has known.) Chita, the princess of my race ... she is a little fool, vain as a peacock, having nought in her head but jewels and perfume. Ta-nan, the young peasant, ... bah, a mere sow, no more than a breast and a stomach, caring only for pleasure. And then Ki-ma, the priestess, a true parrot, repeating hollow phrases learnt from the priests; all for show, without real education or sincerity, suspicious poseur and hypocrite!... Alas! Not one who understands me, not one who resembles me, not one who has a soul sister to mine. There is not one among them all who has known my soul, not one who could read my thought; far from it; not one capable of seeking with me the luminous summits, or of spelling with me the superhuman word, love.”

Here Chiwantopel himself says that his journeying and wandering is a quest for that other, and for the meaning of life which lies in union with her. In the first part of this work we merely hinted gently at this possibility. The fact that the seeker is masculine and the sought-for of 342feminine sex is not so astonishing, because the chief object of the unconscious transference is the mother, as has probably been seen from that which we have already learned. The daughter takes a male attitude towards the mother. The genesis of this adjustment can only be suspected in our case, because objective proof is lacking. Therefore, let us rather be satisfied with inferences. “She who will understand” means the mother, in the infantile language. At the same time, it also means the life companion. As is well known, the sex contrast concerns the libido but little. The sex of the object plays a surprisingly slight rôle in the estimation of the unconscious. The object itself, taken as an objective reality, is but of slight significance. (But it is of greatest importance whether the libido is transferred or introverted.) The original concrete meaning of erfassen, “to seize,” begreifen, “to touch,” etc., allows us to recognize clearly the under side of the wish—to find a congenial person. But the “upper” intellectual half is also contained in it, and is to be taken into account at the same time. One might be inclined to assume this tendency if it were not that our culture abused the same, for the misunderstood woman has become almost proverbial, which can only be the result of a wholly distorted valuation. On the one side, our culture undervalues most extraordinarily the importance of sexuality; on the other side, sexuality breaks out as a direct result of the repression burdening it at every place where it does not belong, and makes use of such an indirect manner of expression that one may expect to meet it suddenly almost anywhere. Thus the 343idea of the intimate comprehension of a human soul, which is in reality something very beautiful and pure, is soiled and disagreeably distorted through the entrance of the indirect sexual meaning.[628] The secondary meaning or, better expressed, the misuse, which repressed and denied sexuality forces upon the highest soul functions, makes it possible, for example, for certain of our opponents to scent in psychoanalysis prurient erotic confessionals. These are subjective wish-fulfilment deliria which need no contra arguments. This misuse makes the wish to be “understood” highly suspicious, if the natural demands of life have not been fulfilled. Nature has first claim on man; only long afterwards does the luxury of intellect come. The mediæval ideal of life for the sake of death needs gradually to be replaced by a natural conception of life, in which the normal demands of men are thoroughly kept in mind, so that the desires of the animal sphere may no longer be compelled to drag down into their service the high gifts of the intellectual sphere in order to find an outlet. We are inclined, therefore, to consider the dreamer’s wish for understanding, first of all, as a repressed striving towards the natural destiny. This meaning coincides absolutely with psychoanalytic experience, that there are countless neurotic people who apparently are prevented from experiencing life because they have an unconscious and often also a conscious repugnance to the sexual fate, under which they imagine all kinds of ugly things. There is only too great an inclination to yield to this pressure of the unconscious sexuality and to experience the dreaded (unconsciously hoped 344for) disagreeable sexual experience, so as to acquire by that means a legitimately founded horror which retains them more surely in the infantile situation. This is the reason why so many people fall into that very state towards which they have the greatest abhorrence.

That we were correct in our assumption that, in Miss Miller, it is a question of the battle for independence is shown by her statement that the hero’s departure from his father’s house reminds her of the fate of the young Buddha, who likewise renounced all luxury to which he was born in order to go out into the world to live out his destiny to its completion. Buddha gave the same heroic example as did Christ, who separated from his mother, and even spoke bitter words (Matthew, chap. x. v. 34):

“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

(35) “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

(36) “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

(37) “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me.”

Or Luke, chap. xii, v. 51:

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay: but rather division.

(52) “For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

(53) “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against the 345daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Horus snatched from his mother her head adornment, the power. Just as Adam struggled with Lilith, so he struggles for power. Nietzsche, in “Human, All Too Human,” expressed the same in very beautiful words:

“One may suppose that a mind, in which the ‘type of free mind’ is to ripen and sweeten at maturity, has had its decisive crisis in a great detachment, so that before this time it was just so much the more a fettered spirit and appeared chained forever to its corner and its pillar.[629] What binds it most firmly? What cords are almost untearable? Among human beings of a high and exquisite type, it would be duties: that reverence, which is suitable for youth, that modesty and tenderness for all the old honored and valued things, that thankfulness for the earth from which they grew, for the hand which guided them, for the shrine where they learnt to pray:—their loftiest moments themselves come to bind them the firmest, to obligate them the most permanently. The great detachment comes suddenly for people so bound.

“‘Better to die than to live here,’—thus rings the imperative voice of seduction: and this here, this ‘at home’ is all, that it (the soul) has loved until now! A sudden terror and suspicion against that which it has loved, a lightning flash of scorn towards that which is called ‘duty,’ a rebellious, arbitrary, volcanic, impelling desire for travelling, for strange countries, estrangements, coolness, frigidity, disillusionments, a hatred of love, perhaps a sacrilegious touch and glance backwards[630] there where just now it adored and loved, perhaps a blush of shame over what it has just done, and at the same time an exultation over having done it, an intoxicating internal joyous thrill, in which a victory reveals itself—a victory? Over what? Over whom? An enigmatic, doubtful, questioning victory, but the first triumph. Of such woe and pain is formed the history of the great detachment. It is like a disease which can destroy men,—this first eruption of strength and will towards self-assertion.”[631]

346The danger lies, as is brilliantly expressed by Nietzsche, in isolation in one’s self:

“Solitude surrounds and embraces him ever more threatening, ever more constricting, ever more heart-strangling, the terrible Goddess and Mater sæva cupidinum.”

The libido taken away from the mother, who is abandoned only reluctantly, becomes threatening as a serpent, the symbol of death, for the relation to the mother must cease, must die, which itself almost causes man’s death. In “Mater sæva cupidinum” the idea attains rare, almost conscious, perfection.

I do not presume to try to paint in better words than has Nietzsche the psychology of the wrench from childhood.

Miss Miller furnishes us with a further reference to a material which has influenced her creation in a more general manner; this is the great Indian epic of Longfellow, “The Song of Hiawatha.”

If my readers have had patience to read thus far, and to reflect upon what they have read, they frequently must have wondered at the number of times I introduce for comparison such apparently foreign material and how often I widen the base upon which Miss Miller’s creations rest. Doubts must often have arisen whether it is justifiable to enter into important discussions concerning the psychologic foundations of myths, religions and culture in general on the basis of such scanty suggestions. It might be said that behind the Miller phantasies such a 347thing is scarcely to be found. I need hardly emphasize the fact that I, too, have sometimes been in doubt. I had never read “Hiawatha” until, in the course of my work, I came to this part. “Hiawatha,” a poetical compilation of Indian myths, gives me, however, a justification for all preceding reflections, because this epic contains an unusual number of mythologic problems. This fact is probably of great importance for the wealth of suggestions in the Miller phantasies. We are, therefore, compelled to obtain an insight into this epic.

Nawadaha sings the songs of the epic of the hero Hiawatha, the friend of man:

“There he sang of Hiawatha,
Sang the songs of Hiawatha,
Sang his wondrous birth and being,
How he prayed and how he fasted,
How he lived and toiled and suffered,
That the tribes of men might prosper,
That he might advance his people.”

The teleological meaning of the hero, as that symbolic figure which unites in itself libido in the form of admiration and adoration, in order to lead to higher sublimations by way of the symbolic bridges of the myths, is anticipated here. Thus we become quickly acquainted with Hiawatha as a savior, and are prepared to hear all that which must be said of a savior, of his marvellous birth, of his early great deeds, and his sacrifice for his fellow-men.

The first song begins with a fragment of evangelism: Gitche Manito, the “master of life,” tired of the quarrels 348of his human children, calls his people together and makes known to them the joyous message:

“I will send a prophet to you,
A Deliverer of the nations,
Who shall guide you and shall teach you,
Who shall toil and suffer with you.
If you listen to his counsels,
You will multiply and prosper.
If his warnings pass unheeded,
You will fade away and perish!”

Gitche Manito, the Mighty, “the creator of the nations,” is represented as he stood erect “on the great Red Pipestone quarry.”

“From his footprints flowed a river,
Leaped into the light of morning,
O’er the precipice plunging downward
Gleamed like Ishkoodah, the comet.”

The water flowing from his footsteps sufficiently proves the phallic nature of this creator. I refer to the earlier utterances concerning the phallic and fertilizing nature of the horse’s foot and the horse’s steps, and especially do I recall Hippocrene and the foot of Pegasus.[632] We meet with the same idea in Psalm lxv, vv. 9 to 11:

“Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it; thou makest it very plenteous.

“The river of God is full of water; thou preparest their corn, for so thou providest for the earth.

“Thou waterest her furrows: thou sendest rain into the little valleys thereof; thou makest it soft with the drops of rain, and blessest the increase of it.

“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.”

349Wherever the fertilizing God steps, there is fruitfulness. We already have spoken of the symbolic meaning of treading in discussing the nightmares. Kaineus passes into the depths, “splitting the earth with a foot outstretched.” Amphiaraus, another chthonic hero, sinks into the earth, which Zeus has opened for him by a stroke of lightning. (Compare with that the above-mentioned vision of a hysterical patient, who saw a black horse after a flash of lightning: identity of horse’s footstep and flash of lightning.) By means of a flash of lightning heroes were made immortal.[633] Faust attained the mothers when he stamped his foot.

“Stamp and descend, stamping thou’lt rise again.”

The heroes in the sun-devouring myths often stamp at or struggle in the jaws of the monster. Thus Tor stamped through the ship’s bottom in battle with the monster, and went as far as the bottom of the sea. (Kaineus.) (Concerning “kicking” as an infantile phantasy, see above.) The regression of the libido to the presexual stage makes this preparatory action of treading either a substitution for the coitus phantasy or for the phantasy of re-entrance into the mother’s womb. The comparison of water flowing from the footsteps with a comet is a light symbolism for the fructifying moisture (sperma). According to an observation by Humboldt (Kosmos), certain South American Indian tribes call the meteors “urine of the stars.” Mention is also made of how Gitche Manito makes fire. He blows upon a forest, so that the trees, rubbing upon each other, burst into 350flame. This demon is, therefore, an excellent libido symbol; he also produced fire.

After this prologue in the second song, the hero’s previous history is related. The great warrior, Mudjekeewis (Hiawatha’s father), has cunningly overcome the great bear, “the terror of the nations,” and stolen from him the magic “belt of wampum,” a girdle of shells. Here we meet the motive of the “treasure attained with difficulty,” which the hero rescues from the monster. Who the bear is, is shown by the poet’s comparisons. Mudjekeewis strikes the bear on his head after he has robbed him of the treasure.

“With the heavy blow bewildered
Rose the great Bear of the mountains,
But his knees beneath him trembled,
And he whimpered like a woman.”

Mudjekeewis said derisively to him:

“Else you would not cry, and whimper,
Like a miserable woman!
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
But you, Bear! sit here and whimper,
And disgrace your tribe by crying,
Like a wretched Shaugodaya,
Like a cowardly old woman!”

These three comparisons with a woman are to be found near each other on the same page. Mudjekeewis has, like a true hero, once more torn life from the jaws of death, from the all-devouring “terrible mother.” This deed, which, as we have seen, is also represented as 351a journey to hell, “night journey through the sea,” the conquering of the monster from within, signifies at the same time entrance into the mother’s womb, a rebirth, the results of which are perceptible also for Mudjekeewis. As in the Zosimos vision, here too the entering one becomes the breath of the wind or spirit. Mudjekeewis becomes the west wind, the fertilizing breath, the father of winds.[634] His sons become the other winds. An intermezzo tells of them and of their love stories, of which I will mention only the courtship of Wabuns, the East Wind, because here the erotic wooing of the wind is pictured in an especially beautiful manner. Every morning he sees a beautiful girl in a meadow, whom he eagerly courts:

“Every morning, gazing earthward,
Still the first thing he beheld there
Was her blue eyes looking at him,
Two blue lakes among the rushes.”

The comparison with water is not a matter of secondary importance, because “from wind and water” shall man be born anew.

“And he wooed her with caresses,
Wooed her with his smile of sunshine,
With his flattering words he wooed her,
With his sighing and his singing,
Gentlest whispers in the branches,
Softest music, sweetest odors,” etc.

In these onomatopoetic verses the wind’s caressing courtship is excellently expressed.[635]

352The third song presents the previous history of Hiawatha’s mother. His grandmother, when a maiden, lived in the moon. There she once swung upon a liana, but a jealous lover cut off the liana, and Nokomis, Hiawatha’s grandmother, fell to earth. The people, who saw her fall downwards, thought that she was a shooting star. This marvellous descent of Nokomis is more plainly illustrated by a later passage of this same song; there little Hiawatha asks the grandmother what is the moon. Nokomis teaches him about it as follows: The moon is the body of a grandmother, whom a warlike grandson has cast up there in wrath. Hence the moon is the grandmother. In ancient beliefs, the moon is also the gathering place of departed souls,[636] the guardian of seeds; therefore, once more a place of the origin of life of predominantly feminine significance. The remarkable thing is that Nokomis, falling upon the earth, gave birth to a daughter, Wenonah, subsequently the mother of Hiawatha. The throwing upwards of the mother, and her falling down and bringing forth, seems to contain something typical in itself. Thus a story of the seventeenth century relates that a mad bull threw a pregnant woman as high as a house, and tore open her womb, and the child fell without harm upon the earth. On account of his wonderful birth, this child was considered a hero or doer of miracles, but he died at an early age. The belief is widespread among lower savages that the sun is feminine and the moon masculine. Among the Namaqua, a Hottentot tribe, the opinion is prevalent that the sun consists of transparent bacon.

353“The people, who journey on boats, draw it down by magic every evening, cut off a suitable piece and then give it a kick so that it flies up again into the sky.”—Waitz: “Anthropologie,” II, 342.

The infantile nourishment comes from the mother. In the Gnostic phantasies we come across a legend of the origin of man which possibly belongs here: the female archons bound to the vault of Heaven are unable, on account of its quick rotation, to keep their young within them, but let them fall upon the earth, from which men arise. Possibly there is here a connection with barbaric midwifery, the letting fall of the parturient. The assault upon the mother is already introduced with the adventure of Mudjekeewis, and is continued in the violent handling of the “grandmother,” Nokomis, who, as a result of the cutting of the liana and the fall downwards, seems in some way to have become pregnant. The “cutting of the branch,” the plucking, we have already recognized as mother incest. (See above.) That well-known verse, “Saxonland, where beautiful maidens grow upon trees,” and phrases like “picking cherries in a neighbor’s garden,” allude to a similar idea. The fall downwards of Nokomis deserves to be compared to a poetical figure in Heine.

“A star, a star is falling
Out of the glittering sky!
The star of Love! I watch it
Sink in the depths and die.
“The leaves and buds are falling
From many an apple-tree;
354I watch the mirthful breezes
Embrace them wantonly...”

Wenonah later was courted by the caressing West Wind, and becomes pregnant. Wenonah, as a young moon-goddess, has the beauty of the moonlight. Nokomis warns her of the dangerous courtship of Mudjekeewis, the West Wind. But Wenonah allows herself to become infatuated, and conceives from the breath of the wind, from the πνεῦμα, a son, our hero.

“And the West-Wind came at evening,
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Found the beautiful Wenonah,
Lying there amid the lilies,
Wooed her with his words of sweetness,
Wooed her with his soft caresses,
Till she bore a son in sorrow,
Bore a son of love and sorrow.”

Fertilization through the breath of the spirit is already a well-known precedent for us. The star or comet plainly belongs to the birth scene as a libido symbol; Nokomis, too, comes to earth as a shooting star. Mörike’s sweet poetic phantasy has devised a similar divine origin.

“And she who bore me in her womb,
And gave me food and clothing.
She was a maid—a wild, brown maid,
Who looked on men with loathing.
“She fleered at them and laughed out loud,
And bade no suitor tarry;
‘I’d rather be the Wind’s own bride
Than have a man and marry.’
355“Then came the Wind and held her fast
His captive, love-enchanted;
And lo, by him a merry child
Within her womb was planted.”

Buddha’s marvellous birth story, retold by Sir Edwin Arnold, also shows traces of this.[637]

“Maya, the Queen ...
Dreamed a strange dream, dreamed that a star from heaven—
Splendid, six-rayed, in color rosy-pearl,
Whereof the token was an Elephant
Six-tusked and white as milk of Kamadhuk—
Shot through the void; and shining into her,
Entered her womb upon the right.”[638]

During Maya’s conception a wind blows over the land:

“A wind blew
With unknown freshness over lands and seas.”

After the birth the four genii of the East, West, South and North come to render service as bearers of the palanquin. (The coming of the wise men at Christ’s birth.) We also find here a distinct reference to the “four winds.” For the completion of the symbolism there is to be found in the Buddha myth, as well as in the birth legend of Christ, besides the impregnation by star and wind, also the fertilization by an animal, here an elephant, which with its phallic trunk fulfilled in Maya the Christian method of fructification through the ear or the head. It is well known that, in addition to the dove, the unicorn is also a procreative symbol of the Logos.

Here arises the question why the birth of a hero always 356had to take place under such strange symbolic circumstances? It might also be imagined that a hero arose from ordinary surroundings and gradually grew out of his inferior environment, perhaps with a thousand troubles and dangers. (And, indeed, this motive is by no means strange in the hero myth.) It might be said that superstition demands strange conditions of birth and generation; but why does it demand them?

The answer to this question is: that the birth of the hero, as a rule, is not that of an ordinary mortal, but is a rebirth from the mother-spouse; hence it occurs under mysterious ceremonies. Therefore, in the very beginning, lies the motive of the two mothers of the hero. As Rank[639] has shown us through many examples, the hero is often obliged to experience exposure, and upbringing by foster parents, and in this manner he acquires the two mothers. A striking example is the relation of Hercules to Hera. In the Hiawatha epic Wenonah dies after the birth and Nokomis takes her place. Maya dies after the birth[640] and Buddha is given a stepmother. The stepmother is sometimes an animal (the she-wolf of Romulus and Remus, etc.). The twofold mother may be replaced by the motive of twofold birth, which has attained a lofty significance in the Christian mythology; namely, through baptism, which, as we have seen, represents rebirth. Thus man is born not merely in a commonplace manner, but also born again in a mysterious manner, by means of which he becomes a participator of the kingdom of God, of immortality. Any one may become a hero in this way who is generated anew through his own 357mother, because only through her does he share in immortality. Therefore, it happened that the death of Christ on the cross, which creates universal salvation, was understood as “baptism”; that is to say, as rebirth through the second mother, the mysterious tree of death. Christ says:

“But I have a baptism to be baptized with: and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”—Luke xii: 50.

He interprets his death agony symbolically as birth agony.

The motive of the two mothers suggests the thought of self-rejuvenation, and evidently expresses the fulfilment of the wish that it might be possible for the mother to bear me again; at the same time, applied to the heroes, it means one is a hero who is borne again by her who has previously been his mother; that is to say, a hero is he who may again produce himself through his mother.

The countless suggestions in the history of the procreation of the heroes indicate the latter formulations. Hiawatha’s father first overpowered the mother under the symbol of the bear; then himself becoming a god, he procreates the hero. What Hiawatha had to do as hero, Nokomis hinted to him in the legend of the origin of the moon; he is forcibly to throw his mother upwards (or throw downwards?); then she would become pregnant by this act of violence and could bring forth a daughter. This rejuvenated mother would be allotted, according to the Egyptian rite, as a daughter-wife to the sun-god, the father of his mother, for self-reproduction. What action 358Hiawatha takes in this regard we shall see presently. We have already studied the behavior of the pre-Asiatic gods related to Christ. Concerning the pre-existence of Christ, the Gospel of St. John is full of this thought. Thus the speech of John the Baptist:

“This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me; for he was before me.”—John i: 30.

Also the beginning of the gospel is full of deep mythologic significance:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.

(3) “All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.

(4) “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

(5) “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.

(6) “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.

(7) “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light.

(8) “He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

(9) “That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

This is the proclamation of the reappearing light, the reborn sun, which formerly was, and which will be again. In the baptistry at Pisa, Christ is represented bringing the tree of life to man; his head is surrounded by a sun halo. Over this relief stand the words Introitus Solis.

Because the one born was his own procreator, the history of his procreation is strangely concealed under symbolic 359events, which are meant to conceal and deny it; hence the extraordinary assertion of the virgin conception. This is meant to hide the incestuous impregnation. But do not let us forget that this naïve assertion plays an unusually important part in the ingenious symbolic bridge, which is to guide the libido out from the incestuous bond to higher and more useful applications, which indicate a new kind of immortality; that is to say, immortal work.

The environment of Hiawatha’s youth is of importance:

“By the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them.
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.”

In this environment Nokomis brought him up. Here she taught him the first words, and told him the first fairy tales, and the sounds of the water and the wood were intermingled, so that the child learned not only to understand man’s speech, but also that of Nature:

“At the door on summer evenings
Sat the little Hiawatha;
Heard the whispering of the pine-trees,
Heard the lapping of the water,
Sounds of music, words of wonder:
‘Minne-wawa!’[641] said the pine-trees,
‘Mudway-aushka!’[642] said the water.”

360Hiawatha hears human speech in the sounds of Nature; thus he understands Nature’s speech. The wind says, “Wawa.” The cry of the wild goose is “Wawa.” Wah-wah-taysee means the small glowworm which enchants him. Thus the poet paints most beautifully the gradual gathering of external nature into the compass of the subjective,[643] and the intimate connection of the primary object to which the first lisping words were applied, and from which the first sounds were derived, with the secondary object, the wider nature which usurps imperceptibly the mother’s place, and takes possession of those sounds heard first from the mother, and also of those feelings which we all discover later in ourselves in all the warm love of Mother Nature. The later blending, whether pantheistic-philosophic or æsthetic, of the sentimental, cultured man with nature is, looked at retrospectively, a reblending with the mother, who was our primary object, and with whom we truly were once wholly one.[644] Therefore, it is not astonishing when we again see emerging in the poetical speech of a modern philosopher, Karl Joël, the old pictures which symbolize the unity with the mother, illustrated by the confluence of subject and object. In his recent book, “Seele und Welt” (1912), Joël writes as follows, in the chapter called “Primal Experience”[645]:

“I lay on the seashore, the shining waters glittering in my dreamy eyes; at a great distance fluttered the soft breeze; throbbing, shimmering, stirring, lulling to sleep comes the wave beat to the shore—or to the ear? I know not. Distance and nearness become blurred into one; without and within glide into each 361other. Nearer and nearer, dearer and more homelike sounds the beating of the waves; now, like a thundering pulse in my head it strikes, and now it beats over my soul, devours it, embraces it, while it itself at the same time floats out like the blue waste of waters. Yes, without and within are one. Glistening and foaming, flowing and fanning and roaring, the entire symphony of the stimuli experienced sounds in one tone, all thought becomes one thought, which becomes one with feeling; the world exhales in the soul and the soul dissolves in the world. Our small life is encircled by a great sleep—the sleep of our cradle, the sleep of our grave, the sleep of our home, from which we go forth in the morning, to which we again return in the evening; our life but the short journey, the interval between the emergence from the original oneness and the sinking back into it! Blue shimmers the infinite sea, wherein dreams the jelly fish of the primitive life, toward which without ceasing our thoughts hark back dimly through eons of existence. For every happening entails a change and a guarantee of the unity of life. At that moment when they are no longer blended together, in that instant man lifts his head, blind and dripping, from the depths of the stream of experience, from the oneness with the experience; at that moment of parting when the unity of life in startled surprise detaches the Change and holds it away from itself as something alien, at this moment of alienation the aspects of the experience have been substantialized into subject and object, and in that moment consciousness is born.”

Joël paints here, in unmistakable symbolism, the confluence of subject and object as the reunion of mother and child. The symbols agree with those of mythology, even in their details. The encircling and devouring motive is distinctly suggested. The sea, devouring the sun and giving birth to it anew, is already an old acquaintance. The moment of the rise of consciousness, the separation of subject and object is a birth; truly philosophical 362thought hangs with lame wings upon the few great primitive pictures of human speech, above the simple, all-surpassing greatness of which no thought can rise. The idea of the jelly fish is not “accidental.” Once when I was explaining to a patient the maternal significance of water at this contact with the mother complex, she experienced a very unpleasant feeling. “It makes me squirm,” she said, “as if I touched a jelly fish.” Here, too, the same idea! The blessed state of sleep before birth and after death is, as Joël observed, something like old shadowy memories of that unsuspecting, thoughtless state of early childhood, where as yet no opposition disturbed the peaceful flow of dawning life, to which the inner longing always draws us back again and again, and from which the active life must free itself anew with struggle and death, so that it may not be doomed to destruction. Long before Joël, an Indian chieftain had said the same thing in similar words to one of the restless wise men:

“Ah, my brother, you will never learn to know the happiness of thinking nothing and doing nothing: this is next to sleep; this is the most delightful thing there is. Thus we were before birth, thus we shall be after death.”[646]

We shall see in Hiawatha’s later fate how important his early impressions are in his choice of a wife. Hiawatha’s first deed was to kill a roebuck with his arrow:

“Dead he lay there in the forest,
By the ford across the river.”

This is typical of Hiawatha’s deeds. Whatever he kills, for the most part, lies next to or in the water, sometimes 363half in the water and half on the land.[647] It seems that this must well be so. The later adventures will teach us why this must be so. The buck was no ordinary animal, but a magic one; that is to say, one with an additional unconscious significance. Hiawatha made for himself gloves and moccasins from its hide; the gloves imparted such strength to his arms that he could crumble rocks to dust, and the moccasins had the virtue of the seven-league boots. By enwrapping himself in the buck’s skin he really became a giant. This motive, together with the death of the animal at the ford,[648] in the water, reveals the fact that the parents are concerned, whose gigantic proportions as compared with the child are of great significance in the unconscious. The “toys of giants” is a wish inversion of the infantile phantasy. The dream of an eleven-year-old girl expresses this:

“I am as high as a church steeple; then a policeman comes. I tell him, ‘If you say anything, I will cut off your head.’”

The “policeman,” as the analysis brought out, referred to the father, whose gigantic size was over-compensated by the church steeple. In Mexican human sacrifices, the gods were represented by criminals, who were slaughtered, and flayed, and the Corybantes then clothed themselves in the bloody skins, in order to illustrate the resurrection of the gods.[649] (The snake’s casting of his skin as a symbol of rejuvenation.)

Hiawatha has, therefore, conquered his parents, primarily the mother, although in the form of a male animal (compare the bear of Mudjekeewis); and from that 364comes his giant’s strength. He has taken on the parent’s skin and now has himself become a great man. Now he started forth to his first great battle to fight with the father Mudjekeewis, in order to avenge his dead mother Wenonah. Naturally, under this figure of speech hides the thought that he slays the father, in order to take possession of the mother. Compare the battle of Gilgamesh with the giant Chumbaba and the ensuing conquest of Ishtar. The father, in the psychologic sense, merely represents the personification of the incest prohibition; that is to say, resistance, which defends the mother. Instead of the father, it may be a fearful animal (the great bear, the snake, the dragon, etc.) which must be fought and overcome. The hero is a hero because he sees in every difficulty of life resistance to the forbidden treasure, and fights that resistance with the complete yearning which strives towards the treasure, attainable with difficulty, or unattainable, the yearning which paralyzes and kills the ordinary man.

Hiawatha’s father is Mudjekeewis, the west wind; the battle, therefore, takes place in the west. Thence came life (impregnation of Wenonah); thence also came death (death of Wenonah). Hiawatha, therefore, fights the typical battle of the hero for rebirth in the western sea, the battle with the devouring terrible mother, this time in the form of the father. Mudjekeewis, who himself had acquired a divine nature, through his conquest of the bear, now is overpowered by his son:

“Back retreated Mudjekeewis,
Rushing westward o’er the mountains,
365Stumbling westward down the mountains,
Three whole days retreated fighting,
Still pursued by Hiawatha
To the doorways of the West-Wind,
To the portals of the Sunset,
To the earth’s remotest border,
Where into the empty spaces
Sinks the sun, as a flamingo
Drops into her nest at nightfall.”

The “three days” are a stereotyped form representing the stay in the sea prison of night. (Twenty-first until twenty-fourth of December.) Christ, too, remained three days in the underworld. “The treasure, difficult to attain,” is captured by the hero during this struggle in the west. In this case the father must make a great concession to the son; he gives him divine nature,[650] that very wind nature, the immortality of which alone protected Mudjekeewis from death. He says to his son:

“I will share my kingdom with you,
Ruler shall you be henceforward,
Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin,
Of the home-wind, the Keewaydin.”

That Hiawatha now becomes ruler of the home-wind has its close parallel in the Gilgamesh epic, where Gilgamesh finally receives the magic herb from the wise old Utnapishtim, who dwells in the West, which brings him safe once more over the sea to his home; but this, when he is home again, is retaken from him by a serpent.

When one has slain the father, one can obtain possession of his wife, and when one has conquered the mother, one can free one’s self.

366On the return journey Hiawatha stops at the clever arrow-maker’s, who possesses a lovely daughter:

“And he named her from the river,
From the water-fall he named her,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water.”

When Hiawatha, in his earliest childhood dreaming, felt the sounds of water and wind press upon his ears, he recognized in these sounds of nature the speech of his mother. The murmuring pine trees on the shore of the great sea, said “Minnewawa.” And above the murmuring of the winds and the splashing of the water he found his earliest childhood dreams once again in a woman, “Minnehaha,” the laughing water. And the hero, before all others, finds in woman the mother, in order to become a child again, and, finally, to solve the riddle of immortality.

The fact that Minnehaha’s father is a skilful arrow-maker betrays him as the father of the hero (and the woman he had with him as the mother). The father of the hero is very often a skilful carpenter, or other artisan. According to an Arabian legend, Tare,[651] Abraham’s father, was a skilful master workman, who could carve arrows from any wood; that is to say, in the Arabian form of speech, he was a procreator of splendid sons.[652] Moreover, he was a maker of images of gods. Tvashtar, Agni’s father, is the maker of the world, a smith and carpenter, the discoverer of fire-boring. Joseph, the father of Jesus, was also a carpenter; likewise Kinyras, Adonis’s father, who is said to have invented 367the hammer, the lever, roofing and mining. Hephaestus, the father of Hermes, is an artistic master workman and sculptor. In fairy tales, the father of the hero is very modestly the traditional wood-cutter. These conceptions were also alive in the cult of Osiris. There the divine image was carved out of a tree trunk and then placed within the hollow of the tree. (Frazer: “Golden Bough,” Part IV.) In Rigveda, the world was also hewn out of a tree by the world-sculptor. The idea that the hero is his own procreator[653] leads to the fact that he is invested with paternal attributes, and reversedly the heroic attributes are given to the father. In Mânî there exists a beautiful union of the motives. He accomplishes his great labors as a religious founder, hides himself for years in a cave, he dies, is skinned, stuffed and hung up (hero). Besides he is an artist, and has a crippled foot. A similar union of motives is found in Wieland, the smith.

Hiawatha kept silent about what he saw at the old arrow-maker’s on his return to Nokomis, and he did nothing further to win Minnehaha. But now something happened, which, if it were not in an Indian epic, would rather be sought in the history of a neurosis. Hiawatha introverted his libido; that is to say, he fell into an extreme resistance against the “real sexual demand” (Freud); he built a hut for himself in the wood, in order to fast there and to experience dreams and visions. For the first three days he wandered, as once in his earliest youth, through a forest and looked at all the animals and plants:

368“‘Master of life!’ he cried, desponding,
‘Must our lives depend on these things?’”

The question whether our lives must depend upon “these things” is very strange. It sounds as if life were derived from these things; that is to say, from nature in general. Nature seems suddenly to have assumed a very strange significance. This phenomenon can be explained only through the fact that a great amount of libido was stored up and now is given to nature. As is well known, men of even dull and prosy minds, in the springtime of love, suddenly become aware of nature, and even make poems about it. But we know that libido, prevented from an actual way of transference, always reverts to an earlier way of transference. Minnehaha, the laughing water, is so clearly an allusion to the mother that the secret yearning of the hero for the mother is powerfully touched. Therefore, without having undertaken anything, he goes home to Nokomis; but there again he is driven away, because Minnehaha already stands in his path.

He turns, therefore, even further away, into that early youthful period, the tones of which recall Minnehaha most forcibly to his thoughts, where he learnt to hear the mother-sounds in the sounds of nature. In this very strange revival of the impressions of nature we recognize a regression to those earliest and strongest nature impressions which stand next to the subsequently extinguished, even stronger, impressions which the child received from the mother. The glamour of this feeling for her is transferred to other objects of the childish environment 369(father’s house, playthings, etc.), from which later those magic blissful feelings proceed, which seem to be peculiar to the earliest childish memories. When, therefore, Hiawatha hides himself in the lap of nature, it is really the mother’s womb, and it is to be expected that he will emerge again new-born in some form.

Before turning to this new creation arising from introversion, there is still a further significance of the preceding question to be considered: whether life is dependent upon “these things”? Life may depend upon these things in the degree that they serve for nourishment. We must infer in this case that suddenly the question of nutrition came very near the hero’s heart. (This possibility will be thoroughly proven in what follows.) The question of nutrition, indeed, enters seriously into consideration. First, because regression to the mother necessarily revives that special path of transference; namely, that of nutrition through the mother. As soon as the libido regresses to the presexual stage, there we may expect to see the function of nutrition and its symbols put in place of the sexual function. Thence is derived an essential root of the displacement from below upwards (Freud), because, in the presexual stage, the principal value belongs not to the genitals, but to the mouth. Secondly, because the hero fasted, his hunger becomes predominant. Fasting, as is well known, is employed to silence sexuality; also, it expresses symbolically the resistance against sexuality, translated into the language of the presexual stage. On the fourth day of his fast the hero ceased to address himself to nature; 370he lay exhausted, with half-closed eyes, upon his couch, sunk deep in dreams, the picture of extreme introversion.

We have already seen that, in such circumstances, an infantile internal equivalent for reality appears, in the place of external life and reality. This is also the case with Hiawatha:

“And he saw a youth approaching,
Dressed in garments green and yellow,
Coming through the purple twilight,
Through the splendor of the sunset;
Plumes of green bent o’er his forehead,
And his hair was soft and golden.”

This remarkable apparition reveals himself in the following manner to Hiawatha:

“From the Master of Life descending,
I, the friend of man, Mondamin,
Come to warn you and instruct you,
How by struggle and by labor
You shall gain what you have prayed for.
Rise up from your bed of branches;
Rise, O youth, and wrestle with me!”

Mondamin is the maize: a god, who is eaten, arising from Hiawatha’s introversion. His hunger, taken in a double sense, his longing for the nourishing mother, gives birth from his soul to another hero, the edible maize, the son of the earth mother. Therefore, he again arises at sunset, symbolizing the entrance into the mother, and in the western sunset glow he begins again the mystic struggle with the self-created god, the god who has originated entirely from the longing for the nourishing mother. 371The struggle is again the struggle for liberation from this destructive and yet productive longing. Mondamin is, therefore, equivalent to the mother, and the struggle with him means the overpowering and impregnation of the mother. This interpretation is entirely proven by a myth of the Cherokees, “who invoke it (the maize) under the name of ‘The Old Woman,’ in allusion to a myth that it sprang from the blood of an old woman killed by her disobedient sons”:[654]

“Faint with famine, Hiawatha
Started from his bed of branches,
From the twilight of his wigwam
Forth into the flush of sunset
Came, and wrestled with Mondamin;
At his touch he felt new courage
Throbbing in his brain and bosom,
Felt new life and hope and vigor
Run through every nerve and fibre.”

The battle at sunset with the god of the maize gives Hiawatha new strength; and thus it must be, because the fight for the individual depths, against the paralyzing longing for the mother, gives creative strength to men. Here, indeed, is the source of all creation, but it demands heroic courage to fight against these forces and to wrest from them the “treasure difficult to attain.” He who succeeds in this has, in truth, attained the best. Hiawatha wrestles with himself for his creation.[655] The struggle lasts again the charmed three days. The fourth day, just as Mondamin prophesied, Hiawatha conquers him, and Mondamin sinks to the ground in death. As Mondamin 372previously desired, Hiawatha digs his grave in mother earth, and soon afterwards from this grave the young and fresh maize grows for the nourishment of mankind.

Concerning the thought of this fragment, we have therein a beautiful parallel to the mystery of Mithra, where first the battle of the hero with his bull occurs. Afterwards Mithra carries in “transitus” the bull into the cave, where he kills him. From this death all fertility grows, all that is edible.[656] The cave corresponds to the grave. The same idea is represented in the Christian mysteries, although generally in more beautiful human forms. The soul struggle of Christ in Gethsemane, where he struggles with himself in order to complete his work, then the “transitus,” the carrying of the cross,[657] where he takes upon himself the symbol of the destructive mother, and therewith takes himself to the sacrificial grave, from which, after three days, he triumphantly arises; all these ideas express the same fundamental thoughts. Also, the symbol of eating is not lacking in the Christian mystery. Christ is a god who is eaten in the Lord’s Supper. His death transforms him into bread and wine, which we partake of in grateful memory of his great deed.[658] The relation of Agni to the Somadrink and that of Dionysus to wine[659] must not be omitted here. An evident parallel is Samson’s rending of the lion, and the subsequent inhabitation of the dead lion by honey bees, which gives rise to the well-known German riddle:

Speise ging von dem Fresser und Süssigkeit von dem Starken (Food went from the glutton and sweet from the strong).”[660]

373In the Eleusinian mysteries these thoughts seem to have played a rôle. Besides Demeter and Persephone, Iakchos is a chief god of the Eleusinian cult; he was the “puer æternus,” the eternal boy, of whom Ovid says the following:

Tu puer æternus, tu formosissimus alto
Conspiceris cœlo tibi, cum sine cornibus astas,
Virgineum caput est,” etc.[661]

In the great Eleusinian festival procession the image of Iakchos was carried. It is not easy to say which god is Iakchos, possibly a boy, or a new-born son, similar to the Etrurian Tages, who bears the surname “the freshly ploughed boy,” because, according to the myth, he arose from the furrow of the field behind the peasant, who was ploughing. This idea shows unmistakably the Mondamin motive. The plough is of well-known phallic meaning; the furrow of the field is personified by the Hindoos as woman. The psychology of this idea is that of a coitus, referred back to the presexual stage (stage of nutrition). The son is the edible fruit of the field. Iakchos passes, in part, as son of Demeter or of Persephone, also appropriately as consort of Demeter. (Hero as procreator of himself.) He is also called τῆς Δήμητρος δαίμων (Δαίμων equals libido, also Mother libido.) He was identified with Dionysus, especially with the Thracian Dionysus-Zagreus, of whom a typical fate of rebirth was related. Hera had goaded the Titans against Zagreus, 374who, assuming many forms, sought to escape them, until they finally took him when he had taken on the form of a bull. In this form he was killed (Mithra sacrifice) and dismembered, and the pieces were thrown into a cauldron; but Zeus killed the Titans by lightning, and swallowed the still-throbbing heart of Zagreus. Through this act he gave him existence once more, and Zagreus as Iakchos again came forth.

Iakchos carries the torch, the phallic symbol of procreation, as Plato testifies. In the festival procession, the sheaf of corn, the cradle of Iakchos, was carried. (λῖκνον, mystica vannus Iacchi.) The Orphic legend[662] relates that Iakchos was brought up by Persephone, when, after three years’ slumber in the λῖκνον,[663] he awoke. This statement distinctly suggests the Mondamin motive. The 20th of Boedromion (the month Boedromion lasts from about the 5th of September to the 5th of October) is called Iakchos, in honor of the hero. On the evening of this day the great torchlight procession took place on the seashore, in which the quest and lament of Demeter was represented. The rôle of Demeter, who, seeking her daughter, wanders over the whole earth without food or drink, has been taken over by Hiawatha in the Indian epic. He turns to all created things without obtaining an answer. As Demeter first learns of her daughter from the subterranean Hecate, so does Hiawatha first find the one sought for, Mondamin,[664] in the deepest introversion (descent to the mother). Hiawatha produces from himself, Mondamin, as a mother produces the son. The 375longing for the mother also includes the producing mother (first devouring, then birth-giving). Concerning the real contents of the mysteries, we learn through the testimony of Bishop Asterius, about 390 A.D., the following:

“Is not there (in Eleusis) the gloomiest descent, and the most solemn communion of the hierophant and the priestess; between him and her alone? Are the torches not extinguished, and does not the vast multitude regard as their salvation that which takes place between the two in the darkness?”[665]

That points undoubtedly to a ritual marriage, which was celebrated subterraneously in mother earth. The Priestess of Demeter seems to be the representative of the earth goddess, perhaps the furrow of the field.[666] The descent into the earth is also the symbol of the mother’s womb, and was a widespread conception under the form of cave worship. Plutarch relates of the Magi that they sacrificed to Ahriman, εἰς τόπον ἀνήλιον.[667] Lukian lets the magician Mithrobarzanes εἰς χωρίον ἔρημον καὶ ὑλῶδες καὶ ἀνήλιον,[668] descend into the bowels of the earth. According to the testimony of Moses of the Koran, the sister Fire and the brother Spring were worshipped in Armenia in a cave. Julian gave an account from the Attis legend of a κατάβασις εἰς ἄντρον,[669] from whence Cybele brings up her son lover, that is to say, gives birth to him.[670] The cave of Christ’s birth, in Bethlehem (‘House of Bread’), is said to have been an Attis spelæum.

376A further Eleusinian symbolism is found in the festival of Hierosgamos, in the form of the mystic chests, which, according to the testimony of Clemens of Alexandria, may have contained pastry, salt and fruits. The synthema (confession) of the mystic transmitted by Clemens is suggestive in still other directions:

“I have fasted, I have drunk of the barleydrink, I have taken from the chest and after I have labored, I have placed it back in the basket, and from the basket into the chest.”

The question as to what lay in the chest is explained in detail by Dieterich.[671] The labor he considers a phallic activity, which the mystic has to perform. In fact, representations of the mystic basket are given, wherein lies a phallus surrounded by fruits.[672] Upon the so-called Lovatelli tomb vase, the sculptures of which are understood to be Eleusinian ceremonies, it is shown how a mystic caressed the serpent entwining Demeter. The caressing of the fear animal indicates a religious conquering of incest.[673] According to the testimony of Clemens of Alexandria, a serpent was in the chest. The serpent in this connection is naturally of phallic nature, the phallus which is forbidden in relation to the mother. Rohde mentions that in the Arrhetophories, pastry, in the form of phalli and serpents, were thrown into the cave near the Thesmophorion. This custom was a petition for the bestowal of children and harvest.[674] The snake also plays a large part in initiations under the remarkable title ὁ διὰ κόλπου θεός.[675] Clemens observes that the symbol 377of the Sabazios mysteries is ὁ διὰ κόλπων θεός, δράκων δὲ ἐστι καὶ οὗτος διελκόμενος τοῦ κόλπου τῶν τελουμένων.[676]

Through Arnobius we learn:

Aureus coluber in sinum demittitur consecratis et eximitur rursus ab inferioribus partibus atque imis.[677]

In the Orphic Hymn 52, Bacchus is invoked by ὑποκόλπιε,[678] which indicates that the god enters into man as if through the female genitals.[679] According to the testimony of Hippolytus, the hierophant in the mystery exclaimed ἱερον ἔτεκε πότνια κοῦρον, Βριμὼ βριμόν (the revered one has brought forth a holy boy, Brimos from Brimo). This Christmas gospel, “Unto us a son is born,” is illustrated especially through the tradition[680] that the Athenians “secretly show to the partakers in the Epoptia, the great and wonderful and most perfect Epoptic mystery, a mown stalk of wheat.”[681]

The parallel for the motive of death and resurrection is the motive of losing and finding. The motive appears in religious rites in exactly the same connection, namely, in spring festivities similar to the Hierosgamos, where the image of the god was hidden and found again. It is an uncanonical tradition that Moses left his father’s house when twelve years old to teach mankind. In a similar manner Christ is lost by his parents, and they find him again as a teacher of wisdom, just as in the Mohammedan 378legend Moses and Joshua lose the fish, and in his place Chidher, the teacher of wisdom, appears (like the boy Jesus in the temple); so does the corn god, lost and believed to be dead, suddenly arise again from his mother into renewed youth. (That Christ was laid in the manger is suggestive of fodder. Robertson, therefore, places the manger as parallel to the liknon.)

We understand from these accounts why the Eleusinian mysteries were for the mystic so rich in comfort for the hope of a better world. A beautiful Eleusinian epitaph shows this:

“Truly, a beautiful secret is proclaimed by the blessed Gods!
Mortality is not a curse, but death a blessing!”

The hymn to Demeter[682] in the mysteries also says the same:

“Blessed is he, the earth-born man, who hath seen this!
Who hath not shared in these divine ceremonies,
He hath an unequal fate in the obscure darkness of death.”

Immortality is inherent in the Eleusinian symbol; in a church song of the nineteenth century by Samuel Preiswerk we discover it again:

“The world is yours, Lord Jesus,
The world, on which we stand,
Because it is thy world
It cannot perish.
Only the wheat, before it comes
Up to the light in its fertility,
Must die in the bosom of the earth
First freed from its own nature.
379“Thou goest, O Lord, our chief,
To heaven through thy sorrows,
And guide him who believes
In thee on the same path.
Then take us all equally
To share in thy sorrows and kingdoms,
Guide us through thy gate of death,
Bring thy world into the light.”

Firmicus relates concerning the Attis mysteries:

Nocte quadam simulacrum in lectica supinum ponitur et per numeros digestis fletibus plangitur; deinde cum se ficta lamentatione satiaverint, lumen infertur: tunc a sacerdote omnium qui flebant fauces unguentur, quibus perunctis sacerdos hoc lento murmure susurrat: ‘Θαρρεῖτε μύσται τοῦ Θεοῦ σεσωσμένου ἔσται γὰρ ἡμῖν ἐκ πόνου σωτηρία.’”[683]

Such parallels show how little human personality and how much divine, that is to say, universally human, is found in the Christ mystery. No man is or, indeed, ever was, a hero, for the hero is a god, and, therefore, impersonal and generally applicable to all. Christ is a “spirit,” as is shown in the very early Christian interpretation. In different places of the earth, and in the most varied forms and in the coloring of various periods, the Savior-hero appears as a fruit of the entrance of the libido into the personal maternal depths. The Bacchian consecrations represented upon the Farnese relief contain 380a scene where a mystic wrapped in a mantle, drawn over his head, was led to Silen, who holds the “λῖχνον” (chalice), covered with a cloth. The covering of the head signifies death. The mystic dies, figuratively, like the seed corn, grows again and comes to the corn harvest. Proclus relates that the mystics were buried up to their necks. The Christian church as a place of religious ceremony is really nothing but the grave of a hero (catacombs). The believer descends into the grave, in order to rise from the dead with the hero. That the meaning underlying the church is that of the mother’s womb can scarcely be doubted. The symbols of Mass are so distinct that the mythology of the sacred act peeps out everywhere. It is the magic charm of rebirth. The veneration of the Holy Sepulchre is most plain in this respect. A striking example is the Holy Sepulchre of St. Stefano in Bologna. The church itself, a very old polygonal building, consists of the remains of a temple to Isis. The interior contains an artificial spelæum, a so-called Holy Sepulchre, into which one creeps through a very little door. After a long sojourn, the believer reappears reborn from this mother’s womb. An Etruscan ossuarium in the archeological museum in Florence is at the same time a statue of Matuta, the goddess of death; the clay figure of the goddess is hollowed within as a receptacle for the ashes. The representations indicate that Matuta is the mother. Her chair is adorned with sphinxes, as a fitting symbol for the mother of death.


381Only a few of the further deeds of Hiawatha can interest us here. Among these is the battle with Mishe-Nahma, the fish-king, in the eighth song. This deserves to be mentioned as a typical battle of the sun-hero. Mishe-Nahma is a fish monster, who dwells at the bottom of the waters. Challenged by Hiawatha to battle, he devours the hero, together with his boat:

“In his wrath he darted upward,
Flashing leaped into the sunshine,
Opened his great jaws, and swallowed
Both canoe and Hiawatha.
“Down into that darksome cavern
Plunged the headlong Hiawatha,
As a log on some black river
Shoots and plunges down the rapids,
Found himself in utter darkness,
Groped about in helpless wonder,
Till he felt a great heart beating,
Throbbing in that utter darkness.
And he smote it in his anger,
With his fist, the heart of Nahma,
Felt the mighty king of fishes
Shudder through each nerve and fibre.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Crosswise then did Hiawatha
Drag his birch-canoe for safety,
Lest from out the jaws of Nahma,
In the turmoil and confusion,
Forth he might be hurled, and perish.”

It is the typical myth of the work of the hero, distributed over the entire world. He takes to a boat, fights with the sea monster, is devoured, he defends himself against being bitten or crushed[684] (resistance or stamping motive); having arrived in the interior of the “whale dragon,” he seeks the vital organ, which he cuts off 382or in some way destroys. Often the death of the monster occurs as the result of a fire which the hero secretly makes within him; he mysteriously creates in the womb of death life, the rising sun. Thus dies the fish, which drifts ashore, where, with the assistance of “birds,” the hero again attains the light of day.[685] The bird in this sense probably means the reascent of the sun, the longing of the libido, the rebirth of the phœnix. (The longing is very frequently represented by the symbol of hovering.) The sun symbol of the bird rising from the water is (etymologically) contained in the singing swan. “Swan” is derived from the root sven, like sun and tone. (See the preceding.) This act signifies rebirth, and the bringing forth of life from the mother,[686] and by this means the ultimate destruction of death, which, according to a Negro myth, has come into the world, through the mistake of an old woman, who, at the time of the general casting of skins (for men renewed their youth through casting their skin like snakes), drew on, through absent-mindedness, her old skin instead of a new one, and as a result died. But the effect of such an act could not be of any duration. Again and again troubles of the hero are renewed, always under the symbol of deliverance from the mother. Just as Hera (as the pursuing mother) is the real source of the great deeds of Hercules, so does Nokomis allow Hiawatha no rest, and raises up new difficulties in his path, in form of desperate adventures in which the hero may perhaps conquer, but also, perhaps, may perish. The libido of mankind is always in advance of his consciousness; unless his libido calls him forth to new dangers he sinks into slothful inactivity or, on the other hand, childish longing for the mother overcomes him at the summit of his existence, and he allows himself to become pitifully weak, instead of striving with desperate courage towards the highest. The mother becomes the demon, who summons the hero to adventure, and who also places in his path the poisonous serpent, which will strike him. Thus Nokomis, in the ninth song, calls Hiawatha, points with her hand to the west, where the sun sets in purple splendor, and says to him:


383“Yonder dwells the great Pearl-Feather,
Megissogwon, the Magician,
Manito of Wealth and Wampum,
Guarded by his fiery serpents,
Guarded by the black pitch-water.
You can see his fiery serpents,
The Kenabeek, the great serpents,
Coiling, playing in the water.”

This danger lurking in the west is known to mean death, which no one, even the mightiest, escapes. This magician, as we learn, also killed the father of Nokomis. Now she sends her son forth to avenge the father (Horus). Through the symbols attributed to the magician it may easily be recognized what he symbolizes. Snake and water belong to the mother, the snake as a symbol of the repressed longing for the mother, or, in other words, as a symbol of resistance, encircles protectingly and defensively the maternal rock, inhabits the cave, winds itself upwards around the mother tree and guards 384the precious hoard, the “mysterious” treasure. The black Stygian water is, like the black, muddy spring of Dhulqarnein, the place where the sun dies and enters into rebirth, the maternal sea of death and night. On his journey thither Hiawatha takes with him the magic oil of Mishe-Nahma, which helps his boat through the waters of death. (Also a sort of charm for immortality, like the dragon’s blood for Siegfried, etc.)

First, Hiawatha slays the great serpent. Of the “night journey in the sea” over the Stygian waters it is written:

“All night long he sailed upon it,
Sailed upon that sluggish water,
Covered with its mould of ages,
Black with rotting water-rushes,
Rank with flags, and leaves of lilies,
Stagnant, lifeless, dreary, dismal,
Lighted by the shimmering moonlight
And by will-o’-the-wisps illumined,
Fires by ghosts of dead men kindled,
In their weary night encampments.”

The description plainly shows the character of a water of death. The contents of the water point to an already mentioned motive, that of encoiling and devouring. It is said in the “Key to Dreams of Jagaddeva”:[687]

“Whoever in dreams surrounds his body with bast, creepers or ropes, with snake-skins, threads, or tissues, dies.”

I refer to the preceding arguments in regard to this. Having come into the west land, the hero challenges the magician to battle. A terrible struggle begins. Hiawatha 385is powerless, because Megissogwon is invulnerable. At evening Hiawatha retires wounded, despairing for a while, in order to rest:

“Paused to rest beneath a pine-tree,
From whose branches trailed the mosses,
And whose trunk was coated over
With the Dead-man’s Moccasin-leather,
With the fungus white and yellow.”

This protecting tree is described as coated over with the moccasin leather of the dead, the fungus. This investing of the tree with anthropomorphic attributes is also an important rite wherever tree worship prevails, as, for example, in India, where each village has its sacred tree, which is clothed and in general treated as a human being. The trees are anointed with fragrant waters, sprinkled with powder, adorned with garlands and draperies. Just as among men, the piercing of the ears was performed as an apotropaic charm against death, so does it occur with the holy tree. Of all the trees of India there is none more sacred to the Hindoos than the Aswatha (Ficus religiosa). It is known to them as Vriksha Raja (king of trees), Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesvar live in it, and the worship of it is the worship of the triad. Almost every Indian village has an Aswatha,[688] etc. This “village linden tree,” well known to us, is here clearly characterized as the mother symbol; it contains the three gods.

Hence, when Hiawatha retires to rest under the pine-tree,[689] it is a dangerous step, because he resigns himself to the mother, whose garment is the garment of death (the devouring mother). As in the whale-dragon, the 386hero also in this situation needs a “helpful bird”; that is to say, the helpful animals, which represent the benevolent parents:

“Suddenly from the boughs above him
Sang the Mama, the woodpecker;
‘Aim your arrows, Hiawatha,
At the head of Megissogwon,
Strike the tuft of hair upon it,
At their roots the long black tresses;
There alone can he be wounded.’”

Now, amusing to relate, Mama hurried to his help. It is a peculiar fact that the woodpecker was also the “Mama” of Romulus and Remus, who put nourishment into the mouths of the twins with his beak.[690] (Compare with that the rôle of the vulture in Leonardo’s dream. The vulture is sacred to Mars, like the woodpecker.) With the maternal significance of the woodpecker, the ancient Italian folk-superstition agrees: that from the tree upon which this bird nested any nail which has been driven in will soon drop out again.[691] The woodpecker owes its special significance to the circumstance that he hammers holes into trees. (“To drive nails in,” as above!) It is, therefore, understandable that he was made much of in the Roman legend as an old king of the country, a possessor or ruler of the holy tree, the primitive image of the Paterfamilias. An old fable relates how Circe, the spouse of King Picus, transformed him into the Picus Martius, the woodpecker. The sorceress is the “new-creating mother,” who has “magic influence” upon the sun-husband. She kills him, transforms 387him into the soul-bird, the unfulfilled wish. Picus was also understood as the wood demon and incubus, as well as the soothsayer, all of which fully indicate the mother libido.[692] Picus was often placed on a par with Picumnus by the ancients. Picumnus is the inseparable companion of Pilumnus, and both are actually called infantium dii, “the gods of little children.” Especially it was said of Pilumnus that he defended new-born children against the destroying attacks of the wood demon, Silvanus. (Good and bad mother, the motive of the two mothers.)

The benevolent bird, a wish thought of deliverance which arises from introversion,[693] advises the hero to shoot the magician under the hair, which is the only vulnerable spot. This spot is the “phallic” point,[694] if one may venture to say so; it is at the top of the head, at the place where the mystic birth from the head takes place, which even to-day appears in children’s sexual theories. Into that Hiawatha shoots (one may say, very naturally) three arrows[695] (the well-known phallic symbol), and thus kills Megissogwon. Thereupon he steals the magic wampum armor, which renders him invulnerable (means of immortality). He significantly leaves the dead lying in the water—because the magician is the fearful mother:

“On the shore he left the body,
Half on land and half in water,
In the sand his feet were buried,
And his face was in the water.”

Thus the situation is the same as with the fish king, because the monster is the personification of the water 388of death, which in its turn represents the devouring mother. This great deed of Hiawatha’s, where he has vanquished the mother as the death-bringing demon,[696] is followed by his marriage with Minnehaha.

A little fable which the poet has inserted in the later song is noteworthy. An old man is transformed into a youth, by crawling through a hollow oak tree.

In the fourteenth song is a description of how Hiawatha discovers writing. I limit myself to the description of two hieroglyphic tokens:

“Gitche Manito the Mighty,
He, the Master of Life, was painted
As an egg, with points projecting
To the four winds of the heavens.
Everywhere is the Great Spirit,
Was the meaning of this symbol.”

The world lies in the egg, which encompasses it at every point; it is the cosmic woman with child, the symbol of which Plato as well as the Vedas has made use of. This mother is like the air, which is everywhere. But air is spirit; the mother of the world is a spirit:

“Mitche Manito the Mighty,
He the dreadful Spirit of Evil,
As a serpent was depicted,
As Kenabeek, the great serpent.”

But the spirit of evil is fear, is the forbidden desire, the adversary who opposes not only each individual heroic deed, but life in its struggle for eternal duration as well, and who introduces into our body the poison of weakness 389and age through the treacherous bite of the serpent. It is all that is retrogressive, and as the model of our first world is our mother, all retrogressive tendencies are towards the mother, and, therefore, are disguised under the incest image.

In both these ideas the poet has represented in mythologic symbols the libido arising from the mother and the libido striving backward towards the mother.

There is a description in the fifteenth song how Chibiabos, Hiawatha’s best friend, the amiable player and singer, the embodiment of the joy of life, was enticed by the evil spirits into ambush, fell through the ice and was drowned. Hiawatha mourns for him so long that he succeeds, with the aid of the magician, in calling him back again. But the revivified friend is only a spirit, and he becomes master of the land of spirits. (Osiris, lord of the underworld; the two Dioscuri.) Battles again follow, and then comes the loss of a second friend, Kwasind, the embodiment of physical strength.

In the twentieth song occur famine and the death of Minnehaha, foretold by two taciturn guests from the land of death; and in the twenty-second song Hiawatha prepares for a final journey to the west land:

“I am going, O Nokomis,
On a long and distant journey,
To the portals of the Sunset,
To the regions of the home-wind,
Of the Northwest-Wind Keewaydin.
“One long track and trail of splendor,
Down whose stream, as down a river,
390Westward, westward, Hiawatha
Sailed into the fiery sunset,
Sailed into the purple vapors,
Sailed into the dusk of evening.
“Thus departed Hiawatha,
Hiawatha the Beloved,
In the glory of the sunset,
In the purple mists of evening,
To the regions of the home-wind,
Of the Northwest-Wind, Keewaydin,
To the Islands of the Blessed,
To the kingdom of Ponemah,
To the land of the Hereafter!”

The sun, victoriously arising, tears itself away from the embrace and clasp, from the enveloping womb of the sea, and sinks again into the maternal sea, into night, the all-enveloping and the all-reproducing, leaving behind it the heights of midday and all its glorious works. This image was the first, and was profoundly entitled to become the symbolic carrier of human destiny; in the morning of life man painfully tears himself loose from the mother, from the domestic hearth, to rise through battle to his heights. Not seeing his worst enemy in front of him, but bearing him within himself as a deadly longing for the depths within, for drowning in his own source, for becoming absorbed into the mother, his life is a constant struggle with death, a violent and transitory delivery from the always lurking night. This death is no external enemy, but a deep personal longing for quiet and for the profound peace of non-existence, for a dreamless sleep in the ebb and flow of the sea of life. Even in his highest endeavor for harmony and equilibrium, for philosophic 391depths and artistic enthusiasm, he seeks death, immobility, satiety and rest. If, like Peirithoos, he tarries too long in this place of rest and peace, he is overcome by torpidity, and the poison of the serpent paralyzes him for all time. If he is to live he must fight and sacrifice his longing for the past, in order to rise to his own heights. And having reached the noonday heights, he must also sacrifice the love for his own achievement, for he may not loiter. The sun also sacrifices its greatest strength in order to hasten onwards to the fruits of autumn, which are the seeds of immortality; fulfilled in children, in works, in posthumous fame, in a new order of things, all of which in their turn begin and complete the sun’s course over again.

The “Song of Hiawatha” contains, as these extracts show, a material which is very well adapted to bring into play the abundance of ancient symbolic possibilities, latent in the human mind, and to stimulate it to the creation of mythologic figures. But the products always contain the same old problems of humanity, which rise again and again in new symbolic disguise from the shadowy world of the unconscious. Thus Miss Miller is reminded through the longing of Chiwantopel, of another mythic cycle which appeared in the form of Wagner’s “Siegfried.” Especially is this shown in the passage in Chiwantopel’s monologue, where he exclaims, “There is not one who understands me, not one who resembles me, not one who has a soul sister to mine.” Miss Miller observes that the sentiment of this passage has the greatest analogy with the feelings which Siegfried experienced for Brunhilde.

392This analogy causes us to cast a glance at the song of Siegfried, especially at the relation of Siegfried and Brunhilde. It is a well-recognized fact that Brunhilde, the Valkyr, gives protection to the birth (incestuous) of Siegfried, but while Sieglinde is the human mother, Brunhilde has the rôle of “spiritual mother” (mother-imago); however, unlike Hera towards Hercules, she is not a pursuer, but benevolent. This sin, in which she is an accomplice, by means of the help she renders, is the reason for her banishment by Wotan. The strange birth of Siegfried from the sister-wife distinguishes him as Horus, as the reborn son, a reincarnation of the retreating Osiris—Wotan. The birth of the young son, of the hero, results, indeed, from mankind, who, however, are merely the human bearers of the cosmic symbolism. Thus the birth is protected by the spirit mother (Hera, Lilith): she sends Sieglinde with the child in her womb (Mary’s flight) on the “night journey on the sea” to the east:

“Onward, hasten;
Turn to the East.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
O woman, thou cherishest
The sublimest hero of the world
In thy sheltering womb.”

The motive of dismemberment is found again in the broken sword of Siegmund, which was kept for Siegfried. From the dismemberment life is pieced together again. (The Medea wonder.) Just as a smith forges the pieces together, so is the dismembered dead again put together. (This comparison is also found in 393“Timaios” of Plato: the parts of the world joined together with pegs.) In the Rigveda, 10, 72, the creator of the world, Brahmanaspati, is a smith.

“Brahmanaspati, as a blacksmith,
Welded the world together.”

The sword has the significance of the phallic sun power; therefore, a sword proceeds from the mouth of the apocalyptic Christ; that is to say, the procreative fire, the word, or the procreative Logos. In Rigveda, Brahmanaspati is also a prayer-word, which possessed an ancient creative significance:[697]

“And this prayer of the singers, expanding from itself,
Became a cow, which was already there before the world,
Dwelling together in the womb of this god,
Foster-children of the same keeper are the gods.”
Rigveda x: 31.

The Logos became a cow; that is to say, the mother, who is pregnant with the gods. (In Christian uncanonical phantasies, where the Holy Ghost has feminine significance, we have the well-known motive of the two mothers, the earthly mother, Mary, and the spiritual mother, the Holy Ghost.) The transformation of the Logos into the mother is not remarkable in itself, because the origin of the phenomenon fire-speech seems to be the mother-libido, according to the discussion in the earlier chapter. The spiritual is the mother-libido. The significance of the sword, in the Sanskrit conception, têjas, is probably partly determined by its sharpness, as is shown above, in its connection with the libido conception. 394The motive of pursuit (the pursuing Sieglinde, analogous to Leto) is not here bound up with the spiritual mother, but with Wotan, therefore corresponding to the Linos legend, where the father of the wife is also the pursuer. Wotan is also the father of Brunhilde. Brunhilde stands in a peculiar relation to Wotan. Brunhilde says to Wotan:

“Thou speakest to the will of Wotan By telling me what thou wishest: Who ... am I Were I not thy will?”


I take counsel only with myself, When I speak with thee....

Brunhilde is also somewhat the “angel of the face,” that creative will or word,[698] emanating from God, also the Logos, which became the child-bearing woman. God created the world through his word; that is to say, his mother, the woman who is to bring him forth again. (He lays his own egg.) This peculiar conception, it seems to me, can be explained by assuming that the libido overflowing into speech (thought) has preserved its sexual character to an extraordinary degree as a result of the inherent inertia. In this way the “word” had to execute and fulfil all that was denied to the sexual wish; namely, the return into the mother, in order to attain eternal duration. The “word” fulfils this wish by itself becoming the daughter, the wife, the mother of the God, who brings him forth anew.[699]

395Wagner has this idea vaguely in his mind in Wotan’s lament over Brunhilde:

“None as she knew my inmost thought;
None knew the source of my will
As she;
She herself was
The creating womb of my wish;
And so now she has broken
The blessed union!”

Brunhilde’s sin is the favoring of Siegmund, but, behind this, lies incest: this is projected into the brother-sister relation of Siegmund and Sieglinde; in reality, and archaically expressed, Wotan, the father, has entered into his self-created daughter, in order to rejuvenate himself. But this fact must, of course, be veiled. Wotan is rightly indignant with Brunhilde, for she has taken the Isis rôle and through the birth of the son has deprived the old man of his power. The first attack of the death serpent in the form of the son, Siegmund, Wotan has repelled; he has broken Siegmund’s sword, but Siegmund rises again in a grandson. This inevitable fate is always helped by the woman; hence the wrath of Wotan.

At Siegfried’s birth Sieglinde dies, as is proper. The foster-mother[700] is apparently not a woman, but a chthonic god, a crippled dwarf, who belongs to that tribe which renounces love.[701] The Egyptian god of the underworld, the crippled shadow of Osiris (who celebrated a melancholy resurrection in the sexless semi-ape Harpocrates), is the tutor of Horus, who has to avenge the death of his father.

396Meanwhile Brunhilde sleeps the enchanted sleep, like a Hierosgamos, upon a mountain, where Wotan has put her to sleep[702] with the magic thorn (Edda), surrounded by the flames of Wotan’s fire (equal to libido[703]), which wards off every one. But Mime becomes Siegfried’s enemy and wills his death through Fafner. Here Mime’s dynamic nature is revealed; he is a masculine representation of the terrible mother, also a foster-mother of demoniac nature, who places the poisonous worm (Typhon) in her son’s (Horus’s) path. Siegfried’s longing for the mother drives him away from Mime, and his travels begin with the mother of death, and lead through vanquishing the “terrible mother”[704] to the woman:

Off with the imp!
I ne’er would see him more!
Might I but know what my mother was like
That will my thought never tell me!
Her eyes’ tender light
Surely did shine
Like the soft eyes of the doe!

Siegfried decides to separate from the demon which was the mother in the past, and he gropes forward with the longing directed towards the mother. Nature acquires a hidden maternal significance for him (“doe”); in the tones of nature he discovers a suggestion of the maternal voice and the maternal language:

Thou gracious birdling,
Strange art thou to me!
397Dost thou in the wood here dwell?
Ah, would that I could take thy meaning!
Thy song something would say—
Perchance—of my loving mother!

This psychology we have already encountered in Hiawatha. By means of his dialogue with the bird (bird, like wind and arrow, represents the wish, the winged longing) Siegfried entices Fafner from the cave. His desires turn back to the mother, and the chthonic demon, the cave-dwelling terror of the woods, appears. Fafner is the protector of the treasure; in his cave lies the hoard, the source of life and power. The mother possesses the libido of the son, and jealously does she guard it. Translated into psychological language, this means the positive transference succeeds only through the release of the libido from the mother-imago, the incestuous object in general. Only in this manner is it possible to gain one’s libido, the incomparable treasure, and this requires a mighty struggle, the whole battle of adaptation.[705] The Siegfried legend has abundantly described the outcome of this battle with Fafner. According to the Edda, Siegfried eats Fafner’s heart, the seat of life. He wins the magic cap, through whose power Alberich had changed himself into a serpent. This refers to the motive of casting the skin, rejuvenation. By means of the magic cap one can vanish and assume different shapes. The vanishing probably refers to dying and to the invisible presence; that is, existence in the mother’s womb. A luck-bringing cap, amniotic covering, the new-born child occasionally wears over his head (the caul). Moreover, 398Siegfried drinks the dragon’s blood, which makes it possible for him to understand the language of birds, and consequently he enters into a peculiar relation with Nature, a dominating position, the result of his knowledge, and finally wins the treasure.

Hort is a mediæval and Old High German word with the meaning of “collected and guarded treasure”; Gothic, huzd; Old Scandinavian, hodd; Germanic hozda, from pre-Germanic kuzdhó—for kudtho—“the concealed.” Kluge[706] adds to this the Greek κεύθω, έκυθον = “to hide, to conceal.” Also hut (hut, to guard; English, hide), Germanic root hud, from Indo-Germanic kuth (questionable), to Greek κεύθω and κύσθος, “cavity,” feminine genitals. Prellwitz,[707] too, traces Gothic huzd, Anglo-Saxon hyde, English hide and hoard, to Greek κεύθω. Whitley Stokes traces English hide, Anglo-Saxon hydan, New High German Hütte, Latin cûdo = helmet; Sanskrit kuhara (cave?) to primitive Celtic koudo = concealment; Latin, occultatio.

The assumption of Kluge is also supported in other directions; namely, from the point of view of the primitive idea:

“There exists in Athens[708] a sacred place (a Temenos) of Ge, with the surname Olympia. Here the ground is torn open for about a yard in width; and they say, after the flood at the time of Deucalion, that the water receded here; and every year they throw into the fissure wheatmeal, kneaded with honey.”

We have observed previously that among the Arrhetophorian, pastry in the form of snakes and phalli, was thrown into a crevice in the earth. This was mentioned 399in connection with the ceremonies of fertilizing the earth. We have touched slightly already upon the sacrifice in the earth crevice among the Watschandies. The flood of death has passed characteristically into the crevice of the earth; that is, back into the mother again; because from the mother the universal great death has come in the first place. The flood is simply the counterpart of the vivifying and all-producing water: Ὠκεανοῦ, ὅσπερ γένεσις πάντεσσι τέτυκται.[709] One sacrifices the honey cake to the mother, so that she may spare one from death. Thus every year in Rome a gold sacrifice was thrown into the lacus Curtius, into the former fissure in the earth, which could only be closed through the sacrificial death of Curtius. He was the typical hero, who has journeyed into the underworld, in order to conquer the danger threatening the Roman state from the opening of the abyss. (Kaineus, Amphiaraos.) In the Amphiaraion of Oropos those healed through the temple incubation threw their gifts of gold into the sacred well, of which Pausanias says:

“If any one is healed of a sickness through a saying of the oracle, then it is customary to throw a silver or gold coin into the well; because here Amphiaraos has ascended as a god.”

It is probable that this oropic well is also the place of his “Katabasis” (descent into the lower world). There were many entrances into Hades in antiquity. Thus near Eleusis there was an abyss, through which Aidoneus passed up and down, when he kidnapped Cora. (Dragon 400and maiden: the libido overcome by resistance, life replaced by death.) There were crevices in the rocks, through which souls could ascend to the upper world. Behind the temple of Chthonia in Hermione lay a sacred district of Pluto, with a ravine through which Hercules had brought up Cerberus; in addition, there was an “Acherusian” lake.[710] This ravine was, therefore, the entrance to the place where death was conquered. The lake also belongs here as a further mother symbol, for symbols appear massed together, as they are surrogates, and, therefore, do not afford the same satisfaction of desire as accorded by reality, so that the unsatisfied remnant of the libido must seek still further symbolic outlets. The ravine in the Areopagus in Athens was considered the seat of inhabitants of the lower world. An old Grecian custom[711] suggests a similar idea. Girls were sent into a cavern, where a poisonous snake dwelt, as a test of virginity. If they were bitten by the snake, it was a token that they were no longer chaste. We find this same motive again in the Roman legend of St. Silvester, at the end of the fifth century:[712]

Erat draco immanissimus in monte Tarpeio, in quo est Capitolium collocatum. Ad hunc draconem per CCCLXV gradus, quasi ad infernum, magi cum virginibus sacrilegis descendebant semel in mense cum sacrificiis et lustris, ex quibus esca poterat tanto draconi inferri. Hic draco subito ex improviso ascendebat et licet non ingrederetur vicinos tamen aeres flatu suo vitiabat. Ex quo mortalitas hominum et maxima luctus de morte veniebat infantum. (Lilith motive.) Sanctus itaque Silvester cum haberet cum paganis pro defensione veritatis conflictum, ad hoc venit ut dicerent ei pagani: ‘Silvester descende ad draconem et fac eum 401in nomine Dei tui vel uno anno ab interfectione generis humani cessare.’[713]

St. Peter appeared to Silvester in a dream and advised him to close his door to the underworld with chains, according to the model in Revelation, chap, xx:

(1) “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand.

(2) “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

(3) “And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him.”

The anonymous author of a writing, “De Promissionibus,”[714] of the beginning of the fifth century, mentions a very similar legend:

Apud urbem Romam specus quidam fuit in quo draco miræ magnitudinis mechanica arte formatus, gladium ore gestans,[715] oculis rutilantibus gemmis[716] metuendus ac terribilis apparebat. Hinc annuæ devotæ virgines floribus exornatæ, eo modo in sacrificio dabantur, quatenus inscias munera deferentes gradum scalæ, quo certe ille arte diaboli draco pendebat, contingentes impetus venientis gladii perimeret, ut sanguinem funderet innocentem. Et hunc quidam monachus, bene ob meritum cognitus Stiliconi tunc patricio, eo modo subvertit; baculo, manu, singulos gradus palpandos inspiciens, statim ut illum tangens fraudem 402diabolicam repperit, eo transgresso descendens, draconem scidit, misitque in partes: ostendens et hie deos non esse qui manu fiunt.[717]

The hero battling with the dragon has much in common with the dragon, and also he takes over his qualities; for example, invulnerability. As the footnotes show, the similarity is carried still further (sparkling eyes, sword in his mouth). Translated psychologically, the dragon is merely the son’s repressed longing, striving towards the mother; therefore, the son is the dragon, as even Christ is identified with the serpent, which, once upon a time, similia similibus, had controlled the snake plague in the Wilderness. John iii: 14. As a serpent he is to be crucified; that is to say, as one striving backwards towards the mother, he must die hanging or suspended on the mother tree. Christ and the dragon of the Antichrist are in the closest contact in the history of their appearance and their cosmic meaning. (Compare Bousset, the Antichrist.) The legend of the dragon concealed 403in the Antichrist myth belongs to the life of the hero, and, therefore, is immortal. In none of the newer forms of myth are the pairs of opposites so perceptibly near as in that of Christ and Antichrist. (I refer to the remarkable psychologic description of this problem in Mereschkowski’s romance, “Leonardo da Vinci.”) That the dragon is only an artifice is a useful and delightfully rationalistic conceit, which is most significant for that period. In this way the dismal gods were effectually vulgarized. The schizophrenic insane readily make use of this mechanism, in order to depreciate efficient personalities. One often hears the stereotyped lament, “It is all a play, artificial, made up,” etc. A dream of a “schizophrenic” is most significant; he is sitting in a dark room, which has only a single small window, through which he can see the sky. The sun and moon appear, but they are only made artificially from oil paper. (Denial of the deleterious incest influence.)

The descent of the three hundred and sixty-five steps refers to the sun’s course, to the cavern of death and rebirth. That this cavern actually stands in a relation to the subterranean mother of death can be shown by a note in Malalas, the historian of Antioch,[718] who relates that Diocletian consecrated there a crypt to Hecate, to which one descends by three hundred and sixty-five steps. Cave mysteries seem to have been celebrated for Hecate in Samothrace as well. The serpent also played a great part as a regular symbolic attribute in the service of Hecate. The mysteries of Hecate flourished in Rome towards the end of the fourth century, so that the two foregoing 404legends might indeed relate to her cult. Hecate[719] is a real spectral goddess of night and phantoms, a Mar; she is represented as riding, and in Hesiod occurs as the patron of riders. She sends the horrible nocturnal fear phantom, the Empusa, of whom Aristophanes says that she appears inclosed in a bladder swollen with blood. According to Libanius, the mother of Aischines is also called Empusa, for the reason that “ἐκ σκοτεινῶν τόπων τοῖς παισὶν καὶ ταῖς γυναιξίν ὡρμᾶτο.”[720]

Empusa, like Hecate, has peculiar feet; one foot is made of brass, the other of ass’ dung. Hecate has snakelike feet, which, as in the triple form ascribed to Hecate, points to her phallic libido nature.[721] In Tralles, Hecate appears next to Priapus; there is also a Hecate Aphrodisias. Her symbols are the key,[722] the whip,[723] the snake,[724] the dagger[725] and the torch.[726] As mother of death, dogs accompany her, the significance of which we have previously discussed at length. As guardian of the door of Hades and as Goddess of dogs, she is of threefold form, and really identified with Cerberus. Thus Hercules, in bringing up Cerberus, brings the conquered mother of death into the upper world. As spirit mother (moon!), she sends madness, lunacy. (This mythical observation states that “the mother” sends madness; by far the majority of the cases of insanity consist, in fact, in the domination of the individual by the material of the incest phantasy.) In the mysteries of Cerberus, a rod, called λευκόφυλλος,[727] was broken off. This rod protected 405the purity of virgins, and caused any one who touched the plant to become insane. We recognize in this the motive of the sacred tree, which, as mother, must not be touched, an act which only an insane person would commit. Hecate, as nightmare, appears in the form of Empusa, in a vampire rôle, or as Lamia, as devourer of men; perhaps, also, in that more beautiful guise, “The Bride of Corinth.” She is the mother of all charms and witches, the patron of Medea, because the power of the “terrible mother” is magical and irresistible (working upward from the unconscious). In Greek syncretism, she plays a very significant rôle. She is confused with Artemis, who also has the surname ἑκάτη,[728] “the one striking at a distance” or “striking according to her will,” in which we recognize again her superior power. Artemis is the huntress, with hounds, and so Hecate, through confusion with her, becomes κυνηγετική, the wild nocturnal huntress. (God, as huntsman, see above.) She has her name in common with Apollo, ἕκατος ἑκάεργος.[729] From the standpoint of the libido theory, this connection is easily understandable, because Apollo merely symbolizes the more positive side of the same amount of libido. The confusion of Hecate with Brimo as subterranean mother is understandable; also with Persephone and Rhea, the primitive all-mother. Intelligible through the maternal significance is the confusion with Ilithyia, the midwife. Hecate is also the direct goddess of births, κουροτρόφος,[730] the multiplier of cattle, 406and goddess of marriage. Hecate, orphically, occupies the centre of the world as Aphrodite and Gaia, even as the world soul in general. On a carved gem[731] she is represented carrying the cross on her head. The beam on which the criminal was scourged is called ἑκάτη.[732] To her, as to the Roman Trivia, the triple roads, or Scheideweg, “forked road,” or crossways were dedicated. And where roads branch off or unite sacrifices of dogs were brought her; there the bodies of the executed were thrown; the sacrifice occurs at the point of crossing. Etymologically, scheide, “sheath”; for example, sword-sheath, sheath for water-shed and sheath for vagina, is identical with scheiden, “to split,” or “to separate.” The meaning of a sacrifice at this place would, therefore, be as follows: to offer something to the mother at the place of junction or at the fissure. (Compare the sacrifice to the chthonic gods in the abyss.) The Temenos of Ge, the abyss and the well, are easily understood as the gates of life and death,[733] “past which every one gladly creeps” (Faust), and sacrifices there his obolus or his πελανοί,[734] instead of his body, just as Hercules soothes Cerberus with the honey cakes. (Compare with this the mythical significance of the dog!) Thus the crevice at Delphi, with the spring, Castalia, was the seat of the chthonic dragon, Python, who was conquered by the sun-hero, Apollo. (Python, incited by Hera, pursued Leta, pregnant with Apollo; but she, on the floating island of Delos [nocturnal journey on the sea], gave birth to her child, who later slew the Python; that is to say, conquered in 407it the spirit mother.) In Hierapolis (Edessa) the temple was erected above the crevice through which the flood had poured out, and in Jerusalem the foundation stone of the temple covered the great abyss,[735] just as Christian churches are frequently built over caves, grottoes, wells, etc. In the Mithra grotto,[736] and all the other sacred caves up to the Christian catacombs, which owe their significance not to the legendary persecutions but to the worship of the dead,[737] we come across the same fundamental motive. The burial of the dead in a holy place (in the “garden of the dead,” in cloisters, crypts, etc.) is restitution to the mother, with the certain hope of resurrection by which such burial is rightfully rewarded. The animal of death which dwells in the cave had to be soothed in early times through human sacrifices; later with natural gifts.[738] Therefore, the Attic custom gives to the dead the μελιτοῦττα, to pacify the dog of hell, the three-headed monster at the gate of the underworld. A more recent elaboration of the natural gifts seems to be the obolus for Charon, who is, therefore, designated by Rohde as the second Cerberus, corresponding to the Egyptian dog-faced god Anubis.[739] Dog and serpent of the underworld (Dragon) are likewise identical. In the tragedies, the Erinnyes are serpents as well as dogs; the serpents Tychon and Echnida are parents of the serpents—Hydra, the dragon of the Hesperides, and Gorgo; and of the dogs, Cerberus, Orthrus, Scylla.[740] Serpents and dogs are also protectors of the treasure. The chthonic god was probably always a serpent dwelling in a cave, and was fed with πελανοί.[741] In the Asclepiadean of 408the later period, the sacred serpents were scarcely visible, meaning that they probably existed only figuratively.[742] Nothing was left but the hole in which the snake was said to dwell. There the πελανοί[743] were placed; later the obolus was thrown in. The sacred cavern in the temple of Kos consisted of a rectangular pit, upon which was laid a stone lid, with a square hole; this arrangement serves the purpose of a treasure house. The snake hole had become a slit for money, a “sacrificial box,” and the cave had become a “treasure.” That this development, which Herzog traces, agrees excellently with the actual condition is shown by a discovery in the temple of Asclepius and Hygieia in Ptolemais:

“An encoiled granite snake, with arched neck, was found. In the middle of the coil is seen a narrow slit, polished by usage, just large enough to allow a coin of four centimeters diameter at most to fall through. At the side are holes for handles to lift the heavy pieces, the under half of which is used as a cover.”—Herzog, Ibid., p. 212.

The serpent, as protector of the hoard, now lies on the treasure house. The fear of the maternal womb of death has become the guardian of the treasure of life. That the snake in this connection is really a symbol of death, that is to say, of the dead libido, results from the fact that the souls of the dead, like the chthonic gods, appear as serpents, as dwellers in the kingdom of the mother of death.[744] This development of symbol allows us to recognize easily the transition of the originally very primitive significance of the crevice in the earth as mother to the 409meaning of treasure house, and can, therefore, support the etymology of Hort, “hoard, treasure,” as suggested by Kluge, κεύθω, belonging to κὲῦθος, means the innermost womb of the earth (Hades); κύσθος, that Kluge adds, is of similar meaning, cavity or womb. Prellwitz does not mention this connection. Fick,[745] however, compares New High German hort, Gothic huzd, to Armenian kust, “abdomen”; Church Slavonian čista, Vedic kostha = abdomen, from the Indo-Germanic root koustho -s = viscera, lower abdomen, room, store-room. Prellwitz compares κύσθος κύστις = urinary bladder, bag, purse; Sanskrit kustha-s = cavity of the loins; then κύτος = cavity, vault; κύτις = little chest, from κυέω = I am pregnant. Here, from κύτος = cave, κύυαρ = hole, κύαθος = cup, κύλα - depression under the eye, κῦμα = swelling, wave, billow, κῦρος = power, force, κύριος = lord, Old Iranian caur, cur = hero; Sanskrit çura -s = strong, hero. The fundamental Indo-Germanic roots[746] are kevo = to swell, to be strong. From that the above-mentioned κυέω, κύαρ, κῦρος and Latin cavus = hollow, vaulted, cavity, hole; cavea = cavity, enclosure, cage, scene and assembly; caulæ = cavity, opening, enclosure, stall[747]; kuéyô = swell; participle, kueyonts = swelling; en-kueyonts = pregnant, ἐγηυέων = Latin inciens = pregnant; compare Sanskrit vi-çvá-yan = swelling; kûro -s (kevaro -s), strong, powerful hero.

The treasure which the hero fetches from the dark cavern is swelling life; it is himself, the hero, new-born from the anxiety of pregnancy and the birth throes. 410Thus the Hindoo fire-bringer is called Mâtariçvan, meaning the one swelling in the mother. The hero striving towards the mother is the dragon, and when he separates from the mother he becomes the conqueror of the dragon.[748] This train of thought, which we have already hinted at previously in Christ and Antichrist, may be traced even into the details of Christian phantasy. There is a series of mediæval pictures[749] in which the communion cup contains a dragon, a snake or some sort of small animal.[750]

The cup is the receptacle, the maternal womb, of the god resurrected in the wine; the cup is the cavern where the serpent dwells, the god who sheds his skin, in the state of metamorphosis; for Christ is also the serpent. These symbolisms are used in an obscure connection in I Corinthians, verse 10: Paul writes of the Jews who “were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (also reborn) and “did all drink the same spiritual drink; for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” They drank from the mother (the generative rock, birth from the rock) the milk of rejuvenation, the mead of immortality, and this Rock was Christ, here identified with the mother, because he is the symbolic representative of the mother libido. When we drink from the cup, then we drink from the mother’s breast immortality and everlasting salvation. Paul wrote of the Jews that they ate and then rose up to dance and to indulge in fornication, and then twenty-three thousand of them were swept off by the plague of serpents. The remedy for the survivors, however, was the sight of a serpent hanging on a pole. From it was derived the cure.


411“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of one bread.”—I Corinthians x: 16, 17.

Bread and wine are the body and the blood of Christ; the food of the immortals who are brothers with Christ, ἀδελφοί, those who come from the same womb. We who are reborn again from the mother are all heroes together with Christ, and enjoy immortal food. As with the Jews, so too with the Christians, there is imminent danger of unworthy partaking, for this mystery, which is very closely related psychologically with the subterranean Hierosgamos of Eleusis, involves a mysterious union of man in a spiritual sense,[751] which was constantly misunderstood by the profane and was retranslated into his language, where mystery is equivalent to orgy and secrecy to vice.[752] A very interesting blasphemer and sectarian of the beginning of the nineteenth century named Unternährer has made the following comment on the last supper:

“The communion of the devil is in this brothel. All they sacrifice here, they sacrifice to the devil and not to God. There they have the devil’s cup and the devil’s dish; there they have sucked the head of the snake,[753] there they have fed upon the iniquitous bread and drunken the wine of wickedness.”[754]

Unternährer is an adherent or a forerunner of the “theory of living one’s own nature.” He dreams of himself as a sort of priapic divinity; he says of himself:

412“Black-haired, very charming and handsome in countenance, and every one enjoys listening to thee on account of the amiable speeches which come from thy mouth; therefore the maids love thee.”

He preaches “the cult of nakedness.”

“Ye fools and blind men, behold God has created man in his image, as male and female, and has blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and make it subject to thee.’ Therefore, he has given the greatest honor to these poor members and has placed them naked in the garden,” etc.

“Now are the fig leaves and the covering removed, because thou hast turned to the Lord, for the Lord is the Spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom,[755] there the clearness of the Lord is mirrored with uncovered countenance. This is precious before God, and this is the glory of the Lord, and the adornment of our God, when you stand in the image and honor of your God, as God created you, naked and not ashamed.

“Who can ever praise sufficiently in the sons and daughters of the living God those parts of the body which are destined to procreate?

“In the lap of the daughters of Jerusalem is the gate of the Lord, and the Just will go into the temple there, to the altar.[756] And in the lap of the sons of the living God is the water-pipe of the upper part, which is a tube, like a rod, to measure the temple and altar. And under the water-tube the sacred stones are placed, as a sign and testimony of the Lord, who has taken to himself the seed of Abraham.

“Out of the seeds in the chamber of the mother, God creates a man with his hands, as an image of himself. Then the mother house and the mother chamber is opened in the daughters of the Living God, and God himself brings forth a child through them. Thus God creates children from the stones, for the seed comes from the stones.”[757]

History teaches in manifold examples how the religious mysteries are liable to change suddenly into sexual orgies 413because they have originated from an overvaluation of the orgy. It is characteristic that this priapic divinity[758] returns again to the old symbol of the snake, which in the mystery enters into the faithful, fertilizing and spiritualizing them, although it originally possessed a phallic significance. In the mysteries of the Ophites, the festival was really celebrated with serpents, in which the animals were even kissed. (Compare the caressing of the snake of Demeter in the Eleusinian mysteries.) In the sexual orgies of the modern Christian sects the phallic kiss plays a very important rôle. Unternährer was an uncultivated, crazy peasant, and it is unlikely that the Ophitic religious ceremonies were known to him.

The phallic significance is expressed negatively or mysteriously through the serpent, which always points to a secret related thought. This related thought connects with the mother; thus, in a dream a patient found the following imagery: “A serpent shot out from a moist cave and bit the dreamer in the region of the genitals.” This dream took place at the instant when the patient was convinced of the truth of the analysis, and began to free himself from the bond of his mother complex. The meaning is: I am convinced that I am inspired and poisoned by the mother. The contrary manner of expression is characteristic of the dream. At the moment when he felt the impulse to go forwards he perceived the attachment to the mother. Another patient had the following dream during a relapse, in which the libido was again wholly introverted for a time: “She was entirely filled within by a great snake; only one end of the tail 414peeped out from her arm. She wanted to seize it, but it escaped her.” A patient with a very strong introversion (catatonic state) complained to me that a snake was stuck in her throat.[759] This symbolism is also used by Nietzsche in the “vision” of the shepherd and the snake:[760]

“And verily, what I saw was like nothing I ever saw before. I saw a young shepherd, writhing, choking, twitching with a convulsed face, from whose mouth hung a black, heavy serpent.

“Did I ever see so much disgust and pallid fear upon a countenance?[761] Might he have been sleeping, and the snake crept into his mouth—there it bit him fast?

“My hand tore at the serpent and tore—in vain!—I failed to tear the serpent out of his mouth. Then there cried out of me: ‘Bite! Bite! Its head off! Bite!’ I exclaimed; all my horror, my hate, my disgust, my compassion, all the good and bad cried out from me in one voice.

“Ye intrepid ones around me! solve for me the riddle which I saw, make clear to me the vision of the lonesomest one.

“For it was a vision and a prophecy; what did then I behold in parable? And who is it who is still to come?

“Who is the shepherd into whose mouth crept the snake? Who is the man into whose throat all the heaviness and the blackest would creep?[762]

“But the shepherd bit, as my cry had told him; he bit with a huge bite! Far away did he spit the head of the serpent—and sprang up.

“No longer shepherd, no longer man, a transfigured being, an illuminated being, who laughed! Never yet on earth did a man laugh as he laughed!

“O my brethren, I heard a laugh which was no human laughter—and now a thirst consumeth me, a longing that is never allayed.

“My longing for this laugh eats into me. Oh, how can I suffer still to live! And how now can I bear to die!”[763]

415The snake represents the introverting libido. Through introversion one is fertilized, inspired, regenerated and reborn from the God. In Hindoo philosophy this idea of creative, intellectual activity has even cosmogenic significance. The unknown original creator of all things is, according to Rigveda 10, 121, Prajâpati, the “Lord of Creation.” In the various Brahmas, his cosmogenic activity was depicted in the following manner

“Prajâpati desired: ‘I will procreate myself, I will be manifold.’ He performed Tapas; after he had performed Tapas he created these worlds.”

The strange conception of Tapas is to be translated, according to Deussen,[764] as “he heated himself with his own heat,[765] with the sense of ‘he brooded, he hatched.’” Here the hatcher and the hatched are not two, but one and the same identical being. As Hiranyagarbha, Prajâpati is the egg produced from himself, the world-egg, from which he hatches himself. He creeps into himself, he becomes his own uterus, becomes pregnant with himself, in order to give birth to the world of multiplicity. Thus Prajâpati through the way of introversion changed into something new, the multiplicity of the world. It is of especial interest to note how the most remote things come into contact. Deussen observes:

“In the degree that the conception of Tapas (heat) becomes in hot India the symbol of exertion and distress, the ‘tapo atapyata’ began to assume the meaning of self-castigation and became related to the idea that creation is an act of self-renunciation on the part of the Creator.”

416Self-incubation and self-castigation and introversion are very closely connected ideas.[766] The Zosimos vision mentioned above betrays the same train of thought, where it is said of the place of transformation: ὁ τόπος τῆς ἀσκήσεως.[767] We have already observed that the place of transformation is really the uterus. Absorption in one’s self (introversion) is an entrance into one’s own uterus, and also at the same time asceticism. In the philosophy of the Brahmans the world arose from this activity; among the post-Christian Gnostics it produced the revival and spiritual rebirth of the individual, who was born into a new spiritual world. The Hindoo philosophy is considerably more daring and logical, and assumes that creation results from introversion in general, as in the wonderful hymn of Rigveda, 10, 29, it is said:

“What was hidden in the shell,
Was born through the power of fiery torments.
From this first arose love,
As the germ of knowledge,
The wise found the roots of existence in non-existence,
By investigating the hearts impulses.”[768]

This philosophical view interprets the world as an emanation of the libido, and this must be widely accepted from the theoretic as well as the psychologic standpoint, for the function of reality is an instinctive function, having the character of biological adaptation. When the insane Schreber brought about the end of the world through his libido-introversion, he expressed an entirely rational psychologic view, just as Schopenhauer wished to abolish 417through negation (holiness, asceticism) the error of the primal will, through which the world was created. Does not Goethe say:

“You follow a false trail;
Do not think that we are not serious;
Is not the kernel of nature
In the hearts of men?”

The hero, who is to accomplish the rejuvenation of the world and the conquest of death, is the libido, which, brooding upon itself in introversion, coiling as a snake around its own egg, apparently threatens life with a poisonous bite, in order to lead it to death, and from that darkness, conquering itself, gives birth to itself again. Nietzsche knows this conception:[769]

“How long have you sat already upon your misfortune.
Give heed! lest you hatch an egg,
A basilisk egg
Of your long travail.”

The hero is himself a serpent, himself a sacrificer and a sacrificed. The hero himself is of serpent nature; therefore, Christ compares himself with the serpent; therefore, the redeeming principle of the world of that Gnostic sect which styled itself the Ophite was the serpent. The serpent is the Agatho and Kako demon. It is, indeed, intelligible, when, in the Germanic saga, they say that the heroes had serpents’ eyes.[770] I recall the parallel previously drawn between the eyes of the Son of man and those of the Tarpeian dragon. In the already mentioned mediæval pictures, the dragon, instead of the 418Lord, appeared in the cup; the dragon who with changeful, serpent glances[771] guarded the divine mystery of renewed rebirth in the maternal womb. In Nietzsche the old, apparently long extinct idea is again revived:[772]

“Ailing with tenderness, just as the thawing wind,
Zarathustra sits waiting, waiting on his hill,
Sweetened and cooked in his own juice,
Beneath his summits,
Beneath his ice he sits,
Weary and happy,
A Creator on his seventh day.
It is my truth!
From hesitating eyes—
From velvety shadows
Her glance meets mine,
Lovely, mischievous, the glance of a girl.
She divines the reason of my happiness,
She divines me—ha! what is she plotting?
A purple dragon lurks
In the abyss of her maiden glance.[773]
Woe to thee, Zarathustra,
Thou seemest like some one
Who has swallowed gold,
Thy belly will be slit open.”[774]

In this poem nearly all the symbolism is collected which we have elaborated previously from other connections. Distinct traces of the primitive identity of serpent and hero are still extant in the myth of Cecrops. Cecrops is himself half-snake, half-man. Originally, he probably was the Athenian snake of the citadel itself. As a buried god, he is like Erechtheus, a chthonic snake god. Above his subterranean dwelling rises the Parthenon, the temple 419of the virgin goddess (compare the analogous idea of the Christian church). The casting of the skin of the god, which we have already mentioned in passing, stands in the closest relation to the nature of the hero. We have spoken already of the Mexican god who casts his skin. It is also told of Mani, the founder of the Manichaean sect, that he was killed, skinned, stuffed and hung up.[775] That is the death of Christ, merely in another mythological form.[776]

Marsyas, who seems to be a substitute for Attis, the son-lover of Cybele, was also skinned.[777] Whenever a Scythian king died, slaves and horses were slaughtered, skinned and stuffed, and then set up again.[778] In Phrygia, the representatives of the father-god were killed and skinned. The same was done in Athens with an ox, who was skinned and stuffed and again hitched to the plough.

In this manner the revival of the fertility of the earth was celebrated.[779]

This readily explains the fragment from the Sabazios mysteries, transmitted to us by Firmicus:[780] Ταῦρος δράκοντος καὶ πατὴρ ταύρου δράκων[781].

The active fructifying (upward striving) form of the libido is changed into the negative force striving downwards towards death. The hero as zodion of spring (ram, bull) conquers the depths of winter; and beyond the summer solstice is attacked by the unconscious longing for death, and is bitten by the snake. However, he himself is the snake. But he is at war with himself, and, therefore, the descent and the end appear to him as the 420malicious inventions of the mother of death, who in this way wishes to draw him to herself. The mysteries, however, consolingly promise that there is no contradiction[782] or disharmony when life is changed into death: ταῦρος δράκοντος καὶ πατήρ ταύρου δράκων.

Nietzsche, too, gives expression to this mystery:[783]

Here do I sit now,
That is, I’m swallowed down
By this the smallest oasis—
—It opened up just yawning,
Its loveliest maw agape.
Hail! hail! to that whalefish,
When he for his guests’ welfare
Provided thus!
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Hail to his belly
If he had also
Such a lovely oasis belly—
The desert grows, woe to him
Who hides the desert!
Stone grinds on stone, the desert
Gulps and strangles.
The monstrous death gazes, glowing brown,
And chews—his life is his chewing ...
Forget not, O man, burnt out by lust,
Thou art the stone, the desert,
Thou art death!”

The serpent symbolism of the Last Supper is explained by the identification of the hero with the serpent: The god is buried in the mother: as fruit of the field, as food coming from the mother and at the same time as drink of immortality he is received by the mystic, or as a serpent he unites with the mystic. All these symbols represent 421the liberation of the libido from the incestuous fixation through which new life is attained. The liberation is accomplished under symbols, which represent the activity of the incest wish.

It might be justifiable at this place to cast a glance upon psychoanalysis as a method of treatment. In practical analysis it is important, first of all, to discover the libido lost from the control of consciousness. (It often happens to the libido as with the fish of Moses in the Mohammedan legend; it sometimes “takes its course in a marvellous manner into the sea.”) Freud says in his important article, “Zur Dynamik der Übertragung”:[784]

“The libido has retreated into regression and again revives the infantile images.”

This means, mythologically, that the sun is devoured by the serpent of the night, the treasure is concealed and guarded by the dragon: substitution of a present mode of adaptation by an infantile mode, which is represented by the corresponding neurotic symptoms. Freud continues:

“Thither the analytic treatment follows it and endeavors to seek out the libido again, to render it accessible to consciousness, and finally to make it serviceable to reality. Whenever the analytic investigation touches upon the libido, withdrawn into its hiding-place, a struggle must break out; all the forces, which have caused the regression of the libido, will rise up as resistance against the work, in order to preserve this new condition.”

Mythologically this means: the hero seeks the lost sun, the fire, the virgin sacrifice, or the treasure, and fights the 422typical fight with the dragon, with the libido in resistance. As these parallels show, psychoanalysis mobiles a part of the life processes, the fundamental importance of which properly illustrates the significance of this process.

After Siegfried has slain the dragon, he meets the father, Wotan, plagued by gloomy cares, for the primitive mother, Erda, has placed in his path the snake, in order to enfeeble his sun. He says to Erda:

All-wise one,
Care’s piercing sting by thee was planted
In Wotan’s dauntless heart
With fear of shameful ruin and downfall.
Filled was his spirit by tidings
Thou didst foretell.
Art thou the world’s wisest of women?
Tell to me now
How a god may conquer his care.
Thou art not
What thou hast said.

It is the same primitive motive which we meet Wagner: the mother has robbed her son, the sun-god, of the joy of life, through a poisonous thorn, and deprives him of his power, which is connected with the name. Isis demands the name of the god; Erda says, “Thou art not what thou hast said.” But the “Wanderer” has found the way to conquer the fatal charm of the mother, the fear of death:

“The eternals’ downfall
No more dismays me,
Since their doom I willed.
423“I leave to thee, loveliest Wälsung,
Gladly my heritage now.
To the ever-young
In gladness yieldeth the god!”

These wise words contain, in fact, the saving thought. It is not the mother who has placed the poisonous worm in our path, but our libido itself wills to complete the course of the sun to mount from morn to noon, and, passing beyond noon, to hasten towards evening, not at war with itself, but willing the descent and the end.[785]

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra teaches:

“I praise thee, my death, the free death, which comes to me because I want it.

“And when shall I want it?

“He who has a goal and an heir wants death at the proper time for his goal and his heir.

“And this is the great noonday, when man in the middle of his course stands between man and superman, and celebrates his path towards evening as his highest hope: because it is the path to a new morning.

“He who is setting will bless his own going down because it is a transition: and the sun of his knowledge will be at high noon.”

Siegfried conquers the father Wotan and takes possession of Brunhilde. The first object that he sees is her horse; then he believes that he beholds a mail-clad man. He cuts to pieces the protecting coat of mail of the sleeper. (Overpowering.) When he sees it is a woman, terror seizes him:

“My heart doth falter and faint;
On whom shall I call
That he may help me?
424Mother! Mother!
Remember me!
“Can this be fearing?
Oh, mother! Mother!
Thy dauntless child!
A woman lieth asleep:—
And she now has taught him to fear!
“Awaken! Awaken!
Holiest maid!
Then life from the sweetness of lips
Will I win me—
E’en tho’ I die in a kiss.”

In the duet which follows the mother is invoked:

“O mother, hail!
Who gave thee thy birth!”

The confession of Brunhilde is especially characteristic:

“O knewest thou—joy of the world,
How I have ever loved thee!
Thou wert my gladness,
My care wert thou!
Thy life I sheltered;
Or ere it was thine,
Or ere thou wert born,
My shield was thy guard.”[786]

The pre-existence of the hero and the pre-existence of Brunhilde as his wife-mother are clearly indicated from this passage.

Siegfried says in confirmation:

“Then death took not my mother?
Bound in sleep did she lie?”

425The mother-imago, which is the symbol of the dying and resurrected libido, is explained by Brunhilde to the hero, as his own will:

“Thyself am I
If blest I be in thy love.”

The great mystery of the Logos entering into the mother for rebirth is proclaimed with the following words by Brunhilde:

“O Siegfried, Siegfried,
Conquering light!
I loved thee ever,
For I divined
The thought that Wotan had hidden—
The thought that I dared
Not to whisper—[787]
That all unclearly
Glowed in my bosom
Suffered and strove;
For which I flouted
Him, who conceived it:[787]
For which in penance
Prisoned I lay,
While thinking it not
And feeling only,
For, in my thought,
Oh, should you guess it?
Was only my love for thee.”

The erotic similes which now follow distinctly reveal the motive of rebirth:

“A glorious flood
Before me rolls.
426With all my senses
I only see
Its buoyant, gladdening billows.
Though in the deep
I find not my face,
Burning, I long
For the water’s balm;
And now as I am,
Spring in the stream.[788]
O might its billows
Engulf me in bliss.”

The motive of plunging into the maternal water of rebirth (baptism) is here fully developed. An allusion to the “terrible mother” imago, the mother of heroes, who teaches them fear, is to be found in Brunhilde’s words (the horse-woman, who guides the dead to the other side):

“Fearest thou, Siegfried?
Fearest thou not
The wild, furious woman?”

The orgiastic “Occide moriturus” resounds in Brunhilde’s words:

“Laughing let us be lost—
Laughing go down to death!”

And in the words

“Light-giving love,
Laughing death!”

is to be found the same significant contrast.

The further destinies of Siegfried are those of the Invictus: 427the spear of the gloomy, one-eyed Hagen strikes Siegfried’s vulnerable spot. The old sun, who has become the god of death, the one-eyed Wotan, smites his offspring, and once again ascends in eternal rejuvenation. The course of the invincible sun has supplied the mystery of human life with beautiful and imperishable symbols; it became a comforting fulfilment of all the yearning for immortality, of all desire of mortals for eternal life.

Man leaves the mother, the source of libido, and is driven by the eternal thirst to find her again, and to drink renewal from her; thus he completes his cycle, and returns again into the mother’s womb. Every obstacle which obstructs his life’s path, and threatens his ascent, wears the shadowy features of the “terrible mother,” who paralyzes his energy with the consuming poison of the stealthy, retrospective longing. In each conquest he wins again the smiling love and life-giving mother—images which belong to the intuitive depths of human feeling, the features of which have become mutilated and irrecognizable through the progressive development of the surface of the human mind. The stern necessity of adaptation works ceaselessly to obliterate the last traces of these primitive landmarks of the period of the origin of the human mind, and to replace them along lines which are to denote more and more clearly the nature of real objects.



After this long digression, let us return to Miss Miller’s vision. We can now answer the question as to the significance of Siegfried’s longing for Brunhilde. It is the striving of the libido away from the mother towards the mother. This paradoxical sentence may be translated as follows: as long as the libido is satisfied merely with phantasies, it moves in itself, in its own depths, in the mother.[789] When the longing of our author rises in order to escape the magic circle of the incestuous and, therefore, pernicious, object, and it does not succeed in finding reality, then the object is and remains irrevocably the mother. Only the overcoming of the obstacles of reality brings the deliverance from the mother, who is the continuous and inexhaustible source of life for the creator, but death for the cowardly, timid and sluggish.

Whoever is acquainted with psychoanalysis knows how often neurotics cry out against their parents. To be sure, such complaints and reproaches are often justified on account of the common human imperfections, but still more often they are reproaches which should really be directed towards themselves. Reproach and hatred are always futile attempts to free one’s self apparently from the parents, but in reality from one’s own hindering longing for 429the parents. Our author proclaims through the mouth of her infantile hero Chiwantopel a series of insults against her own family. We can assume that she must renounce all these tendencies, because they contain an unrecognized wish. This hero, of many words, who performs few deeds and indulges in futile yearnings, is the libido which has not fulfilled its destiny, but which turns round and round in the kingdom of the mother, and, in spite of all its longing, accomplishes nothing. Only he can break this magic circle who possesses the courage of the will to live and the heroism to carry it through. Could this yearning hero-youth, Chiwantopel, but put an end to his existence, he would probably rise again in the form of a brave man seeking real life. This necessity imposes itself upon the dreamer as a wise counsel and hint of the unconscious in the following monologue of Chiwantopel. He cries sadly:

“In all the world, there is not a single one! I have sought among a hundred tribes. I have watched a hundred moons, since I began. Can it be that there is not a solitary being who will ever know my soul? Yes, by the sovereign God, yes! But ten thousand moons will wax and wane before that pure soul is born. And it is from another world that her parents will come to this one. She will have pale skin and pale locks. She will know sorrow before her mother bears her. Suffering will accompany her; she will seek also, and she will find, no one who understands her. Temptation will often assail her soul—but she will not yield. In her dreams, I will come to her, and she will understand. I have kept my body inviolate. I have come ten thousand moons before her epoch, and she will come ten thousand moons too late. But she will understand! There is only once in all the ten thousand moons that a soul like hers is born.”

430Thereupon a green serpent darts from the bushes, glides towards him and stings him on the arm, then attacks the horse, which succumbs first. Then Chiwantopel says to his horse:

“‘Adieu, faithful brother! Enter into rest! I have loved you, and you have served me well. Adieu. Soon I will rejoin you!’ Then to the snake: ‘Thanks, little sister, you have put an end to my wanderings.’”

Then he cried with grief and spoke his prayer:

“‘Sovereign God, take me soon! I have tried to know thee, and to keep thy law! O, do not suffer my body to fall into corruption and decay, and to furnish the vultures with food!’ A smoking crater is perceived at a distance, the rumbling of an earthquake is heard, followed by a trembling of the ground.”

Chiwantopel cries in the delirium of suffering, while the earth covers his body:

“I have kept my body inviolate. Ah! She understands. Ja-ni-wa-ma, Ja-ni-wa-ma, thou who comprehendeth me.”

Chiwantopel’s prophecy is a repetition of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha,” where the poet could not escape sentimentality, and at the close of the career of the hero, Hiawatha, he brings in the Savior of the white people, in the guise of the arriving illustrious representatives of the Christian religion and morals. (One thinks of the work of redemption of the Spaniards in Mexico and Peru!) With this prophecy of Chiwantopel, the personality of the author is again placed in the closest relation to the hero, and, indeed, as the real object of Chiwantopel’s longing. 431Most certainly the hero would have married her, had she lived at his time; but, unfortunately, she comes too late. The connection proves our previous assertion that the libido moves round in a circle. The author loves herself; that is to say, she, as the hero, is sought by one who comes too late. This motive of coming too late is characteristic of the infantile love: the father and the mother cannot be overtaken. The separation of the two personalities by ten thousand moons is a wish fulfilment; with that the incest relation is annulled in an effectual manner. This white heroine will seek without being understood. (She is not understood, because she cannot understand herself rightly.) And she will not find. But in dreams, at least, they will find each other, “and she will understand.” The next sentence of the text reads:

“I have kept my body inviolate.”

This proud sentence, which naturally only a woman can express, because man is not accustomed to boast in that direction, again confirms the fact that all enterprises have remained but dreams, that the body has remained “inviolate.” When the hero visits the heroine in a dream, it is clear what is meant. This assertion of the hero’s, that he has remained inviolate, refers back to the unsuccessful attempt upon his life in the previous chapter (huntsman with the arrow), and clearly explains to us what was really meant by this assault; that is to say, the refusal of the coitus phantasy. Here the wish of the unconscious obtrudes itself again, after the hero had repressed it the first time, and thereupon he painfully and hysterically 432utters this monologue. “Temptation will often assail her soul—but it will not yield.” This very bold assertion reduces—noblesse oblige—the unconscious to an enormous infantile megalomania, which is always the case when the libido is compelled, through similar circumstances, to regressions. “Only once in all the ten thousand moons is a soul born like mine!” Here the unconscious ego expands to an enormous degree, evidently in order to cover with its boastfulness a large part of the neglected duty of life. But punishment follows at its heels. Whoever prides himself too much on having sustained no wound in the battle of life lays himself open to the suspicion that his fighting has been with words only, whilst actually he has remained far away from the firing-line. This spirit is just the reverse of the pride of those savage women, who point with satisfaction to the countless scars which were given them by their men in the sexual fight for supremacy. In accordance with this, and in logical continuation of the same, all that follows is expressed in figurative speech. The orgiastic “Occide moriturus” in its admixture with the reckless laughter of the Dionysian frenzy confronts us here in sorry disguise with a sentimental stage trickery worthy of our posthumous edition of “Christian morals.” In place of the positive phallus, the negative appears, and leads the hero’s horse (his libido animalis), not to satisfaction, but into eternal peace—also the fate of the hero. This end means that the mother, represented as the jaws of death, devours the libido of the daughter. Therefore, instead of life and procreative growth, only phantastic self-oblivion results. 433This weak and inglorious end has no elevating or illuminating meaning so long as we consider it merely as the solution of an individual erotic conflict. The fact that the symbols under which the solution takes place have actually a significant aspect, reveals to us that behind the individual mask, behind the veil of “individuation,” a primitive idea stands, the severe and serious features of which take from us the courage to consider the sexual meaning of the Miller symbolism as all-sufficient.

It is not to be forgotten that the sexual phantasies of the neurotic and the exquisite sexual language of dreams are regressive phenomena. The sexuality of the unconscious is not what it seems to be; it is merely a symbol; it is a thought bright as day, clear as sunlight, a decision, a step forward to every goal of life—but expressed in the unreal sexual language of the unconscious, and in the thought form of an earlier stage; a resurrection, so to speak, of earlier modes of adaptation. When, therefore, the unconscious pushes into the foreground the coitus wish, negatively expressed, it means somewhat as follows: under similar circumstances primitive man acted in such and such a manner. The mode of adaptation which to-day is unconscious for us is carried on by the savage Negro of the present day, whose undertakings beyond those of nutrition appertain to sexuality, characterized by violence and cruelty. Therefore, in view of the archaic mode of expression of the Miller phantasy, we are justified in assuming the correctness of our interpretation for the lowest and nearest plane only. A deeper stratum of meaning underlies the earlier assertion that the figure of 434Chiwantopel has the character of Cassius, who has a lamb as a companion. Therefore, Chiwantopel is the portion of the dreamer’s libido bound up with the mother (and, therefore, masculine); hence he is her infantile personality, the childishness of character, which as yet is unable to understand that one must leave father and mother, when the time is come, in order to serve the destiny of the entire personality. This is outlined in Nietzsche’s words:

“Free dost thou call thyself? Thy dominant thought would I hear and not that thou hast thrown off a yoke. Art thou one who had the right to throw off a yoke? There are many who throw away their last value when they throw away their servitude.”

Therefore, when Chiwantopel dies, it means that herein is a fulfilment of a wish, that this infantile hero, who cannot leave the mother’s care, may die. And if with that the bond between mother and daughter is severed, a great step forward is gained both for inner and outer freedom. But man wishes to remain a child too long; he would fain stop the turning of the wheel, which, rolling, bears along with it the years; man wishes to keep his childhood and eternal youth, rather than to die and suffer corruption in the grave. (“O, do not suffer my body to fall into decay and corruption.”) Nothing brings the relentless flight of time and the cruel perishability of all blossoms more painfully to our consciousness than an inactive and empty life. Idle dreaming is the mother of the fear of death, the sentimental deploring of what has been and the vain turning back of the clock. Although man can forget in the long- (perhaps too long) guarded 435feelings of youth, in the dreamy state of stubbornly held remembrances, that the wheel rolls onward, nevertheless mercilessly does the gray hair, the relaxation of the skin and the wrinkles in the face tell us, that whether or not we expose the body to the destroying powers of the whole struggle of life, the poison of the stealthily creeping serpent of time consumes our bodies, which, alas! we so dearly love. Nor does it help if we cry out with the melancholy hero Chiwantopel, “I have kept my body inviolate”; flight from life does not free us from the law of age and death. The neurotic who seeks to get rid of the necessities of life wins nothing and lays upon himself the frightful burden of a premature age and death, which must appear especially cruel on account of the total emptiness and meaninglessness of his life. If the libido is not permitted to follow the progressive life, which is willing to accept all dangers and all losses, then it follows the other road, sinking into its own depths, working down into the old foreboding regarding the immortality of all life, to the longing for rebirth.

Hölderlin exemplifies this path in his poetry and his life. I leave the poet to speak in his song:

To the Rose.
“In the Mother-womb eternal,
Sweetest queen of every lea,
Still the living and supernal
Nature carries thee and me.
“Little rose, the storm’s fierce power
Strips our leaves and alters us;
Yet the deathless germ will tower
To new blooms, miraculous.”

436The following comments may be made upon the parable of this poem: The rose is the symbol of the beloved woman (“Haidenröslein,” heather rose of Goethe). The rose blooms in the “rose-garden” of the maiden; therefore, it is also a direct symbol of the libido. When the poet dreams that he is with the rose in the mother-womb of nature, then, psychologically, the fact is that his libido is with the mother. Here is an eternal germination and renewal. We have come across this motive already in the Hierosgamos hymn (Iliad XIV): The nuptials in the blessed West; that is to say, the union in and with the mother. Plutarch shows us this motive in naïve form in his tradition of the Osiris myth; Osiris and Isis copulating in the mother’s womb. This is also perceived by Hölderlin as the enviable prerogative of the gods—to enjoy everlasting infancy. Thus, in Hyperion, he says:

“Fateless, like the sleeping nursling,
Breathe the Heavenly ones;
Chastely guarded in modest buds,
Their spirits blossom eternally,
And their quiet eyes
Gaze out in placid
Eternal serenity.”

This quotation shows the meaning of heavenly bliss. Hölderlin never was able to forget this first and greatest happiness, the dreamy picture of which estranged him from real life. Moreover, in this poem, the ancient motive of the twins in the mother’s womb is intimated. (Isis and Osiris in the mother’s womb.) The motive is archaic. There is a legend in Frobenius of how the great 437serpent (appearing from the little serpent in the hollow tree, through the so-called stretching out of the serpent) has finally devoured all men (devouring mother—death), and only a pregnant woman remains alive; she digs a ditch, covers it with a stone (grave—mother’s womb), and, living there, she gives birth to twins, the subsequent dragon-killers (the hero in double form, man and phallus, man and woman, man with his libido, the dying and rising sun).

This existence together in the mother is to be found also very beautifully expressed in an African myth (Frobenius):

“In the beginning, Obatala, the heaven, and Odudua, the earth, his wife, lay pressed firmly together in a calabas.”

The guarding “in a modest bud” is an idea which has appeared already in Plutarch, where it is said that the sun was born in the morning from a flower bud. Brahma, too, comes from the bud, which also gave birth in Assam to the first human pair.

(An unfinished poem.)
“Scarcely sprouted from the waters, O Earth,
Are thy old mountain tops and diffuse odors,
While the first green islands, full of young woods, breathe delight
Through the May air over the Ocean.
“And joyfully the eye of the Sun-god looked down
Upon the firstlings of the trees and flowers;
Laughing children of his youth, born from thee;
When on the fairest of the islands....
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
438Once lay thy most beautiful child under the grapes;
Lay after a mild night; in the dawn,
In the daybreak a child born to thee, O Earth!
And the boy looks up familiarly
To his Father, Helios,
And, tasting the sweet grapes,
He picked the sacred vine for his nurse,
And soon he is grown; the beasts
Fear him, for he is different from them:
This man; he is not like thee, the father,
For the lofty soul of the father,
Is in him boldly united with thy pleasures,
And thy sadness, O Earth,
He may resemble the eternal Nature,
The mother of Gods, the terrible Mother.
“Ah! therefore, O Earth,
His presumption drives him away from thy breast,
And thy gifts are vain, the tender ones;
Ever and ever too high does the proud heart beat.
“Out from the sweet meadow of his shores
Man must go into the flowerless waters,
And tho his groves shine with golden fruit,
Like the starry night, yet he digs,
He digs caves in the mountains, and seeks in the mines,
Far from the sacred rays of his father,
Faithless also to the Sun-god,
Who does not love weaklings, and mocks at cares.
“Ah! freer do the birds of the wood breathe:
Although the breast of man heaves wilder and more proudly,
His pride becomes fear, and the tender flowers
Of his peace do not bloom for long.”

This poem betrays to us the beginning of the discord between the poet and nature; he begins to be estranged from reality, the natural actual existence. It is a remarkable 439idea how the little child chooses “the vine for his nurse.” This Dionysian allusion is very old. In the significant blessing of Jacob it is said of Judah (Genesis, chap. xlix, verse 11):

“Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine.”

A Gnostic gem has been preserved upon which there is a representation of an ass suckling her foal, above which is the symbol of Cancer, and the circumscription D.N.I.H.Y.X.P.S.: Dominus Noster Jesus Christus, with the supplement Dei filius. As Justinus Martyr indignantly observes, the connections of the Christian legend with that of Dionysus are unmistakable. (Compare, for example, the miracle of the wine.) In the last-named legend the ass plays an important rôle. Generally speaking, the ass has an entirely different meaning in the Mediterranean countries than with us—an economic one. Therefore, it is a benediction when Jacob says (Genesis, chap. xlix, verse 14):

“Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens.”

The above-mentioned thought is altogether Oriental. Just as in Egypt the new-born sun is a bull-calf, in the rest of the Orient it can easily be an ass’s foal, to whom the vine is the nurse. Hence the picture in the blessing of Jacob, where it is said of Judah:

“His eyes are ruddy with wine and his teeth white with milk.”

The mock crucifix of the Palatine, with an ass’s head, evidently alludes to a very significant background.

440To Nature.
“While about thy veil I lingered, playing,
And, like any bud, upon thee hung,[790]
Still I felt thy heart in every straying
Sound about my heart that shook and clung.
While I groped with faith and painful yearning,
To your picture, glowing and unfurled,
Still I found a place for all my burning
Tears, and for my love I found a world!
“To the Sun my heart, before all others,
Turned and felt its potent magicry;
And it called the stars its little brothers,[791]
And it called the Spring, God’s melody;
And each breeze in groves or woodlands fruity
Held thy spirit—and that same sweet joy
Moved the well-springs of my heart with beauty—
Those were golden days without alloy.
“Where the Spring is cool in every valley,[792]
And the youngest bush and twig is green,
And about the rocks the grasses rally,
And the branches show the sky between,
There I lay, imbibing every flower
In a rapt, intoxicated glee,
And, surrounded by a golden shower,
From their heights the clouds sank down to me.[793]
“Often, as a weary, wandering river
Longs to join the ocean’s placid mirth,
I have wept and lost myself forever
In the fulness of thy love, O Earth!
Then—with all the ardor of my being—
Forth I rushed from Time’s slow apathy,
Like a pilgrim home from travel, fleeing
To the arms of rapt Eternity.
Blessed be childhood’s golden dreams, their power
Hid from me Life’s dismal poverty:
441All the heart’s rich germs ye brought to flower;
Things I could not reach, ye gave to me![794]
In thy beauty and thy light, O Nature,
Free from care and from compulsion free,
Fruitful Love attained a kingly stature,
Rich as harvests reaped in Arcady.
“That which brought me up, is dead and riven,
Dead the youthful world which was my shield;
And this breast, which used to harbor heaven,
Dead and dry as any stubble-field.
Still my Springlike sorrows sing and cover
With their friendly comfort every smart—
But the morning of my life is over
And the Spring has faded from my heart....
“Shadows are the things that once we cherished;
Love itself must fade and cannot bide;
Since the golden dreams of youth have perished,
Even friendly Nature’s self has died.
Heart, poor heart, those days could never show it—
How far-off thy home, and where it lies ...
Now, alas, thou nevermore wilt know it
If a dream of it does not suffice.”
“What gathers about me, Earth, in your dusky, friendly green?
What are you blowing towards me, Winds, what do you bring again?
There is a rustling in all the tree-tops....
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
“Why do you wake my soul?
Why do ye stir in me the past, ye Kind ones?
Oh, spare me, and let them rest; oh, do not mock
Those ashes of my joy....
“O change your changeless gods—
And grow in your youth over the old ones.
442And if you would be akin to the mortals
The young girls will blossom for you.
And the young heroes will shine;
And, sweeter than ever,
Morning will play upon the cheeks of the happy ones;
And, ravishing-sweet, you will hear
The songs of those who are without care....
“Ah, once the living waves of song
Surged out of every bush to me;
And still the heavenly ones glanced down upon me,
Their eyes shining with joy.”
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·

The separation from the blessedness of childhood, from youth even, has taken the golden glamour from nature, and the future is hopeless emptiness. But what robs nature of its glamour, and life of its joy, is the poison of the retrospective longing, which harks back, in order to sink into its own depths:

“Thou seekest life—and a godly fire springs to thee,
Gushing and gleaming, from the deeps of the earth;
And, with shuddering longing,
Throws thee down into the flames of Aetna.
“So, through a queen’s wanton whim,
Pearls are dissolved in wine—restrain her not!
Didst thou not throw thy riches, Poet,
Into the bright and bubbling cup!
“Still thou art holy to me, as the Power of Earth
Which took thee away, lovely assassin!...
And I would have followed the hero to the depths,
Had Love not held me.”

443This poem betrays the secret longing for the maternal depths.[795]

He would like to be sacrificed in the chalice, dissolved in wine like pearls (the “crater” of rebirth), yet love holds him within the light of day. The libido still has an object, for the sake of which life is worth living. But were this object abandoned, then the libido would sink into the realm of the subterranean, the mother, who brings forth again:

(Unfinished poem.)
“Daily I go a different path.
Sometimes into the green wood, sometimes to the bath in the spring;
Or to the rocks where the roses bloom.
From the top of the hill I look over the land,
Yet nowhere, thou lovely one, nowhere in the light do I find thee;
And in the breezes my words die away,
The sacred words which once we had.
“Aye, thou art far away, O holy countenance!
And the melody of thy life is kept from me,
No longer overheard. And, ah, where are
Thy magic songs which once soothed my heart
With the peace of Heaven?
How long it is, how long!
The youth is aged; the very earth itself, which once smiled on me,
Has grown different.
“Oh, farewell! The soul of every day departs, and, departing, turns to thee—
And over thee there weeps
The eye that, becoming brighter,
Looks down,
There where thou tarriest.”

444This distinctly suggests a renunciation, an envy of one’s own youth, that time of freedom which one would like to retain through a deep-rooted dislike to all duty and endeavor which is denied an immediate pleasure reward. Painstaking work for a long time and for a remote object is not in the nature of child or primitive man. It is difficult to say if this can really be called laziness, but it seems to have not a little in common with it, in so far as the psychic life on a primitive stage, be it of an infantile or archaic type, possesses an extreme inertia and irresponsibility in production and non-production.

The last stanza portends evil, a gazing towards the other land, the distant coast of sunrise or sunset; love no longer holds the poet, the bonds with the world are torn and he calls loudly for assistance to the mother:

“Lordly son of the Gods! Because you lost your loved one,
You went to the rocky coast and cried aloud to the flood,
Till the depths of the holy abyss heard and echoed your grief,
From the far reaches of your heart. Down, deep down, far from the clamor of ships,
Deep under the waves, in a peaceful cave,
Dwelt the beautiful Thetis, she who protected you, the Goddess of the Sea,
Mother of the youth was she; the powerful Goddess,
She who once had lovingly nursed him,
On the rocky shore of his island; she who had made him a hero
With the might of her strengthening bath and the powerful song of the waves.
And the mother, mourning, hearkened to the cry of her child,
And rose, like a cloud, from the bed of the sea,
Soothing with tender embraces the pains of her darling;
And he listened, while she, caressing, promised to soften his grief.
445“Son of the Gods! Oh, were I like you, then could I confidently
Call on the Heavenly Ones to hearken to my secret grief.
But never shall I see this—I shall bear the disgrace
As if I never belonged to her, even though she thinks of me with tears.
Beneficent Ones! And yet Ye hear the lightest prayers of men.
Ah, how rapt and fervently I worshipped you, holy Light,
Since I have lived, the Earth and its fountains and woodlands,
Father Ether—and my heart has felt you about me, so ardent and pure—
Oh, soften my sorrows, ye Kind Ones,
That my soul may not be silenced, may not be struck dumb too early;
That I may live and thank Ye, O Heavenly Powers,
With joyful songs through all the hurrying days.
Thank ye for gifts of the past, for the joys of vanished Youth—
And then, pray, take me, the lonely one,
Graciously, unto yourselves.”

These poems describe more plainly than could be depicted with meagre words the persistent arrest and the constantly growing estrangement from life, the gradual deep immersion into the maternal abyss of the individual being. The apocalyptic song of Patmos is strangely related to these songs of retrogressive longing. It enters as a dismal guest surrounded by the mist of the depths, the gathering clouds of insanity, bred through the mother. In it the primitive thoughts of the myth, the suggestion clad in symbols, of the sun-like death and resurrection of life, again burst forth. Similar things are to be found in abundance among sick people of this sort.

I reproduce some significant fragments from Patmos:

“Near is the God
And hard to comprehend,
446But where Danger threatens
The Rescuer appears.”

These words mean that the libido has now sunk to the lowest depths, where “the danger is great.” (Faust, Part II, Mother scene.) There “the God is near”; there man may find the inner sun, his own nature, sun-like and self-renewing, hidden in the mother-womb like the sun in the nighttime:

“... In Chasms
And in darkness dwell
The eagles; and fresh and fearlessly
The Sons of the Alps pass swiftly over the abyss
Upon lightly swinging bridges.”

With these words the dark phantastic poem passes on. The eagle, the bird of the sun, dwells in darkness—the libido has hidden itself, but high above it the inhabitants of the mountains pass, probably the gods (“Ye are walking above in the light”), symbols of the sun wandering across the sky, like the eagle flying over the depths:

“... Above and around are reared
The summits of Time,
And the loved ones, though near,
Live on deeply separated mountains.
So give us waters of innocence,
And give us wings of true understanding,
With which to pass across and to return again.”

The first is a gloomy picture of the mountains and of time—although caused by the sun wandering over the mountains, the following picture a nearness, and at the 447same time separation, of the lovers, and seems to hint at life in the underworld,[796] where he is united with all that once was dear to him, and yet cannot enjoy the happiness of reunion, because it is all shadows and unreal and devoid of life. Here the one who descends drinks the waters of innocence, the waters of childhood, the drink of rejuvenation,[797] so wings may grow, and, winged, he may soar up again into life, like the winged sun, which arises like a swan from the water (“Wings, to pass across and to return again”):

“... So I spoke, and lo, a genie
Carried me off, swifter than I had imagined,
And farther than ever I had thought
From my own house!
It grew dark
As I went in the twilight.
The shadowy wood,
And the yearning brooks of my home-land
Grew vague behind me—
And I knew the country no longer.”

After the dark and obscure words of the introduction, wherein the poet expresses the prophecy of what is to come, the sun journey begins (“night journey in the sea”) towards the east, towards the ascent, towards the mystery of eternity and rebirth, of which Nietzsche also dreams, and which he expressed in significant words:

“Oh, how could I not be ardent for eternity, and for the nuptial ring of rings—the ring of the return! Never yet have I found the woman from whom I wish children, unless she would be this woman whom I love; for I love thee, O eternity.”

448Hölderlin expresses this same longing in a beautiful symbol, the individual traits of which are already familiar to us:

“... But soon in a fresh radiance
Blossoming in golden smoke,
With the rapidly growing steps of the sun,
Making a thousand summits fragrant,
Asia arose!
And, dazzled,
I sought one whom I knew;
For unfamiliar to me were the broad roads,
Where from Tmolus
Comes the gilded Pactol,
And Taurus stands and Messagis—
And the gardens are full of flowers.
But high up in the light
The silvery snow gleams, a silent fire;
And, as a symbol of eternal life,
On the impassable walls,
Grows the ancient ivy.[798]
And carried by columns of living cedars and laurels
Are the solemn, divinely built palaces.”

The symbol is apocalyptic, the maternal city in the land of eternal youth, surrounded by the verdure and flowers of imperishable spring.[799] The poet identifies himself here with John, who lived on Patmos, who was once associated with “the sun of the Highest,” and saw him face to face:

“There at the Mystery of the Vine they met,
There at the hour of the Holy Feast they gathered,
And—feeling the approach of Death in his great, quiet soul,
449The Lord, pouring out his last love, spoke,
And then he died.
Much could be said of it—
How his triumphant glance,
The happiest of all,
Was seen by his companions, even at the last.
       ·       ·       ·       ·       ·
Therefore he sent the Spirit unto them,
And the house trembled, solemnly;
And, with distant thunder,
The storm of God rolled over the cowering heads
Where, deep in thought,
The heroes of death were assembled....
Now, when he, in parting,
Appeared once more before them,
Then the kingly day, the day of the sun, was put out,
And the gleaming sceptre, formed of his rays,
Was broken—and suffered like a god itself.
Yet it shall return and glow again
When the right time comes.”

The fundamental pictures are the sacrificial death and the resurrection of Christ, like the self-sacrifice of the sun, which voluntarily breaks its sceptre, the fructifying rays, in the certain hope of resurrection. The following comments are to be noted in regard to “the sceptre of rays”: Spielrein’s patient says, “God pierces through the earth with his rays.” The earth, in the patient’s mind, has the meaning of woman. She also comprehends the sunbeam in mythologic fashion as something solid: “Jesus Christ has shown me his love, by striking against the window with a sunbeam.” Among other insane patients I have come across the same idea of the solid substance of the sunbeam. Here there is also a hint of the 450phallic nature of the instrument which is associated with the hero. Thor’s hammer, which, cleaving the earth, penetrates deeply into it, may be compared to the foot of Kaineus. The hammer is retained in the interior of the earth, like the treasure, and, in the course of time, it gradually comes again to the surface (“the treasure blooms”), meaning that it was born again from the earth. (Compare what has been said concerning the etymology of “swelling.”) On many monuments Mithra holds a peculiar object in his hands, which Cumont compares to a half-filled tube. Dieterich proves from his papyrus text that the object is the shoulder of the bull, the bear constellation. The shoulder has an indirect phallic meaning, for it is the part which is wanting in Pelops. Pelops was slaughtered by his father, Tantalus, dismembered, and boiled in a kettle, to make a meal for the gods. Demeter had unsuspectingly eaten the shoulder from this feast, when Zeus discovered the outrage. He had the pieces thrown back into the kettle, and, with the help of the life-dispensing Clotho, Pelops was regenerated, and the shoulder which was missing was replaced by an ivory one. This substitution is a close parallel to the substitution of the missing phallus of Osiris. Mithra is represented in a special ceremony, holding the bull’s shoulder over Sol, his son and vice-regent. This scene may be compared to a sort of dedication, or accolade (something like the ceremony of confirmation). The blow of the hammer as a generating, fructifying, inspiring function is retained as a folk-custom and expressed by striking with the twig of life, which has the significance 451of a charm of fertility. In the neuroses, the sexual meaning of castigation plays an important part, for among many children castigation may elicit a sexual orgasm. The ritual act of striking has the same significance of generating (fructifying), and is, indeed, merely a variant of the original phallic ceremonial. Of similar character to the bull’s shoulder is the cloven hoof of the devil, to which a sexual meaning also appertains. The ass’s jawbone wielded by Samson has the same worth. In the Polynesian Maui myth the jawbone, the weapon of the hero, is derived from the man-eating woman, Muriranga-whenua, whose body swells up enormously from lusting for human flesh (Frobenius). Hercules’ club is made from the wood of the maternal olive tree. Faust’s key also “knows the mothers.” The libido springs from the mother, and with this weapon alone can man overcome death.

It corresponds to the phallic nature of the ass’s jawbone, that at the place where Samson threw it God caused a spring to gush forth[800] (springs from the horse’s tread, footsteps, horse’s hoof). To this relation of meanings belongs the magic wand, the sceptre in general. Σκῆτρον belongs to σκᾶπος, σκηπάνων, σκήπων = staff; σκηπτός = stormwind; Latin scapus = shaft, stock, scapula, shoulder; Old High German Scaft = spear, lance.[801] We meet once more in this compilation those connections which are already well known to us: Sun-phallus as tube of the winds, lance and shoulder-blade.

The passage from Asia through Patmos to the Christian 452mysteries in the poem of Hölderlin is apparently a superficial connection, but in reality a very ingenious train of thought; namely, the entrance into death and the land beyond as a self-sacrifice of the hero, for the attainment of immortality. At this time, when the sun has set, when love is apparently dead, man awaits in mysterious joy the renewal of all life:

“... And Joy it was
From now on
To live in the loving night and see
The eyes of innocence hold the unchanging
Depths of all wisdom.”

Wisdom dwells in the depths, the wisdom of the mother: being one with it, insight is obtained into the meaning of deeper things, into all the deposits of primitive times, the strata of which have been preserved in the soul. Hölderlin, in his diseased ecstasy, feels once more the greatness of the things seen, but he does not care to bring up to the light of day that which he had found in the depths—in this he differs from Faust.

“And it is not an evil, if a few
Are lost and never found, and if the speech
Conceals the living sound;
Because each godly work resembles ours;
And yet the Highest does not plan it all—
The great pit bears two irons,
And the glowing lava of Aetna....
Would I had the power
To build an image and see the Spirit—
See it as it was!”

453He allows only one hope to glimmer through, formed in scanty words:

“He wakes the dead;
They who are not enchained and bound,
They who are not unwrought.
... And if the Heavenly Ones
Now, as I believe, love me—
... Silent is his sign[802]
In the dusky sky. And one stands under it
His whole life long—for Christ still lives.”

But, as once Gilgamesh, bringing back the magic herb from the west land, was robbed of his treasure by the demon serpent, so does Hölderlin’s poem die away in a painful lament, which betrays to us that no victorious resurrection will follow his descent to the shadows:

“... Ignominiously
A power tears our heart away,
For sacrifices the heavenly ones demand.”

This recognition, that man must sacrifice the retrogressive longing (the incestuous libido) before the “heavenly ones” tear away the sacrifice, and at the same time the entire libido, came too late to the poet. Therefore, I take it to be a wise counsel which the unconscious gives our author, to sacrifice the infantile hero. This sacrifice is best accomplished, as is shown by the most obvious meaning, through a complete devotion to life, in which all the libido unconsciously bound up in familial bonds, must be brought outside into human contact. For it is necessary for the well-being of the adult individual, 454who in his childhood was merely an atom revolving in a rotary system, to become himself the centre of a new system. That such a step implies the solution or, at least, the energetic treatment of the individual sexual problem is obvious, for unless this is done the unemployed libido will inexorably remain fixed in the incestuous bond, and will prevent individual freedom in essential matters. Let us keep in mind that Christ’s teaching separates man from his family without consideration, and in the talk with Nicodemus we saw the specific endeavor of Christ to procure activation of the incest libido. Both tendencies serve the same goal—the liberation of man; the Jew from his extraordinary fixation to the family, which does not imply higher development, but greater weakness and more uncontrolled incestuous feeling, produced the compensation of the compulsory ceremonial of the cult and the religious fear of the incomprehensible Jehovah. When man, terrified by no laws and no furious fanatics or prophets, allows his incestuous libido full play, and does not liberate it for higher purposes, then he is under the influence of unconscious compulsion. For compulsion is the unconscious wish. (Freud.) He is under the dominance of the libido εἱμαρμένη[803] and his destiny does not lie in his own hands; his adventures, Τύχαι καὶ Μοῖραι,[804] fall from the stars. His unconscious incestuous libido, which thus is applied in its most primitive form, fixes the man, as regards his love type, in a corresponding primitive stage, the stage of ungovernableness and surrender to the emotions. Such was the psychologic situation of 455the passing antiquity, and the Redeemer and Physician of that time was he who endeavored to educate man to the sublimation of the incestuous libido.[805] The destruction of slavery was the necessary condition of that sublimation, for antiquity had not yet recognized the duty of work and work as a duty, as a social need of fundamental importance. Slave labor was compulsory work, the counterpart of the equally disastrous compulsion of the libido of the privileged. It was only the obligation of the individual to work which made possible in the long run that regular “drainage” of the unconscious, which was inundated by the continual regression of the libido. Indolence is the beginning of all vice, because in a condition of slothful dreaming the libido has abundant opportunity for sinking into itself, in order to create compulsory obligations by means of regressively reanimated incestuous bonds. The best liberation is through regular work.[806] Work, however, is salvation only when it is a free act, and has in itself nothing of infantile compulsion. In this respect, religious ceremony appears in a high degree as organized inactivity, and at the same time as the forerunner of modern work.

Miss Miller’s vision treats the problem of the sacrifice of the infantile longing, in the first place, as an individual problem, but if we cast a glance at the form of this presentation, then we will become aware that here it must concern something, which is also a problem of humanity in general. For the symbols employed, the serpent which killed the horse[807] and the hero voluntarily 456sacrificing himself, are primitive figures of phantasies and religious myths streaming up from the unconscious.

In so far as the world and all within it is, above all, a thought, which is credited with transcendental “substance” through the empirical need of the same, there results from the sacrifice of the regressive libido the creation of the world; and, psychologically speaking, the world in general. For him who looks backward the world, and even the infinite starry sky, is the mother[808] who bends over and encloses him on all sides, and from the renunciation of this idea and from the longing for this idea arises the image of the world. From this most simple fundamental thought, which perhaps appears strange to us only because it is conceived according to the principle of desire and not the principle of reality,[809] results the significance of the cosmic sacrifice. A good example of this is the slaying of the Babylonian primitive mother Tiâmat, the dragon, whose body is destined to form the heaven and the earth. We come upon this thought in its most complete form in Hindoo philosophy of the most ancient date; namely, in songs of Rigveda. In Rigveda 10: 81, 4, the song inquires:

“What was the tree, what wood in sooth produced it, from which they fashioned out the earth and heaven?
Ye thoughtful men inquire within your spirit, whereon he stood when he established all things.”

Viçvakarman, the All-Creator, who created the world from the unknown tree, did so as follows:

457“He who, sacrificing, entered into all these beings
As a wise sacrificer, our Father, who,
Striving for blessings through prayer,
Hiding his origin,
Entered this lowly world,
What and who has served him
As a resting-place and a support?”[810]

Rigveda 10: 90, gives answer to these questions. Purusha is the primal being who

“... covered earth on every side and
Spread ten fingers’ breadth beyond.”

One sees that Purusha is a sort of Platonic world soul, who surrounds the world from without. Of Purusha it is said:

“Being born he overtopped the earth
Before, behind, and in all places.”

The mother symbolism is plain, it seems to me, in the idea of Purusha. He represents the mother-imago and the libido of the child clinging to her. From this assumption all that follows is very easily explained:

“As sacrificial animal on the bed of straw
Was dedicated the Purusha,
Who was born on the straw,
Whom the Gods, the Blest, and the Wise,
Meeting there, sacrificed.”

This verse is very remarkable; if one wishes to stretch this mythology out on the procrustean bed of logic, sore violence would have to be committed. It is an incredibly 458phantastic conception that, beside the gods, ordinary “wise men” unite in sacrificing the primitive being, aside from the circumstance that, beside the primitive being, nothing had existed in the beginning (that is to say, before the sacrifice), as we shall soon see. If the great mystery of the mother sacrifice is meant thereby, then all becomes clear:

“From that great general sacrifice
The dripping fat was gathered up.
He formed the creatures of the air,
And animals both wild and tame.
From that great general sacrifice
Richas and Sama-hymns were born;
Therefrom the metres were produced,
The Yajus had its birth from it.
“The moon was gendered from his mind
And from his eye the Sun had birth;
Indra and Agni from his mouth
Were born, and Vâyu from his breath.
“Forth from his navel came midair;
The sky was fashioned from his head;
Earth from his feet, and from his ears
The regions. Thus they formed the worlds.”

It is evident that by this is meant not a physical, but a psychological cosmogony. The world arises when man discovers it. He discovers it when he sacrifices the mother; that is to say, when he has freed himself from the midst of his unconscious lying in the mother. That which impels him forward to this discovery may be interpreted psychologically as the so-called “Incest barrier” 459of Freud. The incest prohibition places an end to the childish longing for the food-giving mother, and compels the libido, gradually becoming sexual, into the path of the biological aim. The libido forced away from the mother by the incest prohibition seeks for the sexual object in the place of the forbidden mother. In this wider psychologic sense, which expresses itself in the allegoric language of the “incest prohibition,” “mother,” etc., must be understood Freud’s paradoxical sentence, “Originally we have known only sexual objects.”[811] This sentence must be understood psychologically throughout, in the sense of a world image created from within outwards, which has, in the first place, nothing to do with the so-called “objective” idea of the world. This is to be understood as a new edition of the subjective idea of the world corrected by reality. Biology, as a science of objective experience, would have to reject unconditionally Freud’s proposition, for, as we have made clear above, the function of reality can only be partly sexual; in another equally important part it is self-preservation. The matter appears different for that thought which accompanies the biological function as an epiphenomenon. As far as our knowledge reaches, the individual act of thought is dependent wholly or in greatest part on the existence of a highly differentiated brain, whereas the function of reality (adaptation to reality) is something which occurs in all living nature as wholly independent from the act of thought. This important proposition of Freud’s applies only to the act of thought, for thinking, as we may recognize from manifold traces, arose dynamically 460from the libido, which was split off from the original object at the “incest barrier” and became actual when the first budding sexual emotions began to flow in the current of the libido which goes to the mother. Through the incest barrier the sexual libido is forced away from the identification with the parents, and introverted for lack of adequate activity. It is the sexual libido which forces the growing individual slowly away from his family. If this necessity did not exist, then the family would always remain clustered together in a solid group. Hence the neurotic always renounces a complete erotic experience,[812] in order that he may remain a child. Phantasies seem to arise from the introversion of the sexual libido. Since the first childish phantasies most certainly do not attain the quality of a conscious plan, and as phantasies likewise (even among adults) are almost always the direct derivates of the unconscious, it is, therefore, highly probable that the first phantastic manifestations arise from an act of regression. As we illustrated earlier, the regression goes back to the presexual stage, as many traces show. Here the sexual libido obtains again, so to speak, that universal capacity of application, or capacity for displacement, which it actually possessed at that stage when the sexual application was not yet discovered. Naturally, no adequate object is found in the presexual stage for the regressive sexual libido, but only surrogates, which always leave a wish; namely, the wish to have the surrogate as similar as possible to the sexual goal. This wish is secret, however, for it is really an incest wish. The unsatisfied unconscious wish creates innumerable secondary objects, 461symbols for the primitive object, the mother (as the Rigveda says, the creator of the world, “hiding his origin,” enters into things). From this the thought or the phantasies proceed, as a desexualized manifestation of an originally sexual libido.

From the standpoint of the libido, the term “incest barrier” corresponds to one aspect, but the matter, however, may be considered from another point of view.

The time of undeveloped sexuality, about the third and the fourth year, is, at the same time, considered externally, the period when the child finds himself confronted with increased demands from the world of reality. He can walk, speak and independently attend to a number of other things. He sees himself in a relation to a world of unlimited possibilities, but in which he dares to do little or nothing, because he is as yet too much of a baby and cannot get on without his mother. At this time mother should be exchanged for the world. Against this the past rises as the greatest resistance; this is always so whenever man would undertake a new adaptation. In spite of all evidence and against all conscious resolutions, the unconscious (the past) always enforces its standpoint as resistance. In this difficult position, precisely at this period of developing sexuality, we see the dawning of the mind. The problem of the child at this period is the discovery of the world and of the great transsubjective reality. For that he must lose the mother; every step out into the world means a step away from the mother. Naturally, all that which is retrogressive in men rebels against this step, and energetic attempts are 462made against this adaptation in the first place. Therefore, this period of life is also that in which the first clearly developed neuroses arise. The tendency of this age is one directly opposed to that of dementia præcox. The child seeks to win the world and to leave the mother (this is a necessary result). The dementia præcox patient, however, seeks to leave the world and to regain the subjectivity of childhood. We have seen that in dementia præcox the recent adaptation to reality is replaced by an archaic mode of adaptation; that is to say, the recent idea of the world is rejected in favor of an archaic idea of the world. When the child renounces his task of adaptation to reality, or has considerable difficulties in this direction, then we may expect that the recent adaptation will again be replaced by archaic modes of adaptation. It would, therefore, be conceivable that through regression in children archaic products would naturally be unearthed; that is to say, old ways of functioning of the thought system, which is inborn with the brain differentiation, would be awakened.

According to my available but as yet unpublished material, a remarkably archaic and at the same time generally applicable character seems to appertain to infantile phantasy, quite comparable with the products of dementia præcox. It does not seem improbable that through regression at this age those same associations of elements and analogies are reawakened which formerly constituted the archaic idea of the world. When we now attempt to investigate the nature of these elements, a glance at the psychology of myths is sufficient to show us that the 463archaic idea was chiefly sexual anthropomorphism. It appears that these things in the unconscious childish phantasy play an extraordinary rôle, as we can recognize from examples taken at random. Just as the sexualism of neuroses is not to be taken literally but as regressive phantasy and symbolic compensation for a recent unachieved adaptation, so is the sexualism of the early infantile phantasy, especially the incest problem, a regressive product of the revival of the archaic modes of function, outweighing actuality. On this account I have expressed myself very vaguely in this work, I am sure, in regard to the incest problem. This is done in order not to be responsible for the idea that I understand by it a gross sexual inclination towards the parents. The true facts of the case are much more complicated, as my investigations point out. Originally incest probably never possessed particularly great significance as such, because cohabitation with an old woman for all possible motives could hardly be preferred to mating with a young woman. It seems that the mother has acquired incestuous significance only psychologically. Thus, for example, the incestuous unions of antiquity were not a result of a love inclination, but of a special superstition, which is most intimately bound up with the mythical ideas here treated. A Pharaoh of the second dynasty is said to have married his sister, his daughter and his granddaughter; the Ptolemies were accustomed also to marriage with sisters; Kambyses married his sister; Artaxerxes married his two daughters; Qobad I (sixth century A. D.) married his daughter. The Satrap Sysimithres married his 464mother. These incestuous unions are explained by the circumstance that in the Zend Avesta the marriage of relatives was directly commanded;[813] it emphasized the resemblance of rulers to the divinity, and, therefore, was more of an artificial than a natural arrangement, because it originated more from a theoretical than from a biological inclination. (A practical impetus towards that lay often in the peculiar laws of inheritance left over from the Mutter recht, “maternal right” [matriarchal], period.) The confusion which certainly frequently involved the barbarians of antiquity in regard to the choice of their sexual objects cannot very well be measured by the standard of present-day love psychology. In any case, the incest of the semi-animal past is in no way proportionate to the enormous significance of the incest phantasy among civilized people. This disproportion enforces the assumption that the incest prohibition which we meet even amongst relatively lower races concerns rather the mythical ideas than the biological damage; therefore, the ethnical prohibition almost always concerns the mother and seldom the father. Incest prohibition can be understood, therefore, as a result of regression, and as the result of a libidinous anxiety, which regressively attacks the mother. Naturally, it is difficult or impossible to say from whence this anxiety may have come. I merely venture to suggest that it may have been a question of a primitive separation of the pairs of opposites which are hidden in the will of life: the will for life and for death. It remains obscure what adaptation the primitive man tried to evade through introversion and regression to the 465parents; but, according to the analogy of the soul life in general, it may be assumed that the libido, which disturbed the initial equilibrium of becoming and of ceasing to be, had been stored up in the attempt to make an especially difficult adaptation, and from which it recedes even to-day.

After this long digression, let us turn back to the song of the Rigveda. Thinking and a conception of the world arose from a shrinking back from stern reality, and it is only after man has regressively assured himself again of the protective parental power[814] that he enters life wrapped in a dream of childhood shrouded in magic superstitions; that is to say, “thinking,”[815] for he, timidly sacrificing his best and assuring himself of the favor of the invisible powers, step by step develops to greater power, in the degree that he frees himself from his retrogressive longing and the original lack of harmony in his being.

Rigveda 10, 90, concludes with the exceedingly significant verse, which is of greatest importance for the Christian mysteries as well:

“Gods, sacrificing, rendered homage to the sacrifice: these were the earliest holy ordinances,
The mighty ones attained the height of heaven, there where the Sâdhyas, goddesses of old, are dwelling.”

Through the sacrifice a fulness of power was attained, which extends up to the power of the “parents.” Thus the sacrifice has also the meaning of a psychologic maturation process.

466In the same manner that the world originated through sacrifice, through the renunciation of the retrospective mother libido, thus, according to the teachings of the Upanishads, is produced the new condition of man, which may be termed the immortal. This new condition is again attained through a sacrifice; namely, through the sacrificial horse which is given a cosmic significance in the teaching of the Upanishads. What the sacrificial horse means is told by Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad 1: 1:


“1. The dawn is truly the head of the sacrificial horse, the sun his eye, the wind his breath, his mouth the all-spreading fire, the year is the body of the sacrificial horse. The sky is his back, the atmosphere his body cavity, the earth the vault of his belly, the poles are his sides, the space between the poles his ribs, the seasons his limbs, the months and half-months his joints, day and night his feet, the stars his bones, the clouds his flesh, the food, which he digests, are the deserts; the rivers, his veins; liver and lungs, the mountains; the herbs and trees, his hair; the rising sun is his forepart, the setting sun his hind-part. When he shows his teeth, that is lightning; when he trembles, that is thunder; when he urinates, that is rain; his voice is speech.

“2. The day, in truth, has originated for the horse as the sacrificial dish, which stands before him; his cradle is in the world-sea towards the East; the night has originated for him as the sacrificial dish, which stands behind him; its cradle is in the world-sea of the evening; these two dishes originated in order to surround the horse. As a charger he generated the gods, as champion he produced the Gandharvas, as a racer the demons, as horse mankind. The Ocean is his relative, the ocean his cradle.”

As Deussen remarks, the sacrificial horse has the significance of a renunciation of the universe. When the horse is sacrificed, then the world is sacrificed and destroyed, 467as it were—a train of thought which Schopenhauer also had in mind, and which appears as a product of a diseased mind in Schreber.[816] The horse in the above text stands between two sacrificial vessels, from one of which it comes and to the other of which it goes, just as the sun passes from morning to evening. The horse, therefore, signifies the libido, which has passed into the world. We previously saw that the “mother libido” must be sacrificed in order to produce the world; here the world is destroyed by the repeated sacrifice of the same libido, which once belonged to the mother. The horse can, therefore, be substituted as a symbol for this libido, because, as we saw, it had manifold connections with the mother.[817] The sacrifice of the horse can only produce another state of introversion, which is similar to that before the creation of the world. The position of the horse between the two vessels, which represent the producing and the devouring mother, hint at the idea of life enclosed in the ovum; therefore, the vessels are destined to “surround” the horse. That this is actually so the Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad 3: 3 proves:

“1. From where have the descendants of Parikshit come, that I ask thee, Yâjñavalkya! From where came the descendants of Parikshit?

“2. Yâjñavalkya spake: ‘He has told thee, they have come from where all come, who offer up the sacrificial horse. That is to say, this world extends so far as two and thirty days of the chariot of the Gods (the sun) reach. This (world) surrounds the earth twice around. This earth surrounds the ocean twice around. There is, as broad as the edge of a razor or as the wing of a fly, a space between (the two shells of the egg of the world). 468These were brought by Indra as a falcon to the wind: and the wind took them up into itself and carried them where were the offerers of the sacrificial horse. Somewhat like this he spoke (Gandharva to thee) and praised the wind.’

“Therefore is the wind the special (vyashti) and the wind the universal (samashti). He, who knows this, defends himself from dying again.”

As this text tells us, the offerers of the sacrificial horse come in that narrowest fissure between the shells of the egg of the world, at that place, where the shells unite and where they are divided. The fissure (vagina) in the maternal world soul is designated by Plato in “Timaeus” by Χ, the symbol of the cross. Indra, who as a falcon has stolen the soma (the treasure attainable with difficulty), brings, as Psychopompos, the souls to the wind, to the generating pneuma, which carries them forward to the fissure or vagina, to the point of union, to the entrance into the maternal egg. This train of thought of the Hindoo philosophy briefly and concisely summarizes the sense of innumerable myths; at the same time it is a striking example of the fact that philosophy is internally nothing else but a refined and sublimated mythology. It is brought to this refined state by the influence of the corrector of reality.[818] We have emphasized the fact that in the Miller drama the horse is the first to die, as the animal brother of the hero. (Corresponding to the early death of the half-animal Eabani, the brother friend of Gilgamesh.) This sacrificial death recalls the whole category of mythological animal sacrifices. Volumes could be filled with parallels, but we must limit ourselves here to suggestions. The sacrificial animal, where it has 469lost the primitive meaning of the simple sacrificial gift, and has taken a higher religious significance, stands in a close relation to both the hero and the divinity. The animal represents the god himself;[819] thus the bull[820] represents Zagreus, Dionysus and Mithra; the lamb represents Christ,[821] etc. As we are aware, the animal symbols represent the animal libido. The sacrifice of the animal means, therefore, the sacrifice of the animal nature. This is most clearly expressed in the religious legend of Attis. Attis is the son lover of the divine mother, Agdistis Cybele. Agdistis was characteristically androgynous,[822] as symbol of the mother-libido, like the tree; really a clear indication that the mother-imago has in addition to the significance of the likeness of the real mother the meaning of the mother of humanity, the libido in general. Driven mad by the insanity-breeding mother enamored of him, he emasculates himself, and that under a pine tree. (The pine tree plays an important rôle in his service. Every year a pine tree was wreathed about and upon it an image of Attis was hung, and then it was cut down, which represents the castration.) The blood, which spurted to the earth, was transformed into budding violets. Cybele now took this pine tree, bore it into her cavern and there wept over it. (Pietà.) The chthonic mother takes her son with her into the cavern—namely, into the womb—according to another version. Attis was transformed into the pine tree. The tree here has an essentially phallic meaning; on the contrary, the attaching of the image of Attis to the tree refers also to the maternal meaning. (“To be attached to the mother.”) In Ovid (“Metamorphoses,” 470Book X) the pine tree is spoken of as follows:

Grata deum matri, siquidem Cybeleius Attis
Exuit hac hominem, truncoque induruit illo.[823]

The transformation into the pine tree is evidently a burial in the mother, just as Osiris was overgrown by the heather. Upon the Attis bas-relief of Coblenz Attis appears growing out of a tree, which is interpreted by Mannhardt as the “life-principle” of vegetation inherent in the tree. It is probably a tree birth, just as with Mithra. (Relief of Heddernheim.) As Firmicus observes, in the Isis and Osiris cult and also in the cult of the virgin Persephone, tree and image had played a rôle.[824] Dionysus had the surname Dendrites, and in Boeotia he is said to have been called ἔνδενδρος, meaning “in a tree.” (At the birth of Dionysus, Megaira planted the pine tree on the Kithairon.) The Pentheus myth bound up with the Dionysus legend furnishes the remarkable and supplementary counterpart to the death of Attis, and the subsequent lamentation. Pentheus,[825] curious to espy the orgies of the Maenades, climbed upon a pine tree, but he was observed by his mother; the Maenades cut down the tree, and Pentheus, taken for an animal, was torn by them in frenzy,[826] his own mother being the first to rush upon him. In this myth the phallic meaning of the tree (cutting down, castration) and its maternal significance (mounting and the 471sacrificial death of the son) is present; at the same time the supplementary counterpart to the Pietà is apparent, the “terrible mother.” The feast of Attis was celebrated as a lamentation and then as a joy in the spring. (Good Friday and Easter.) The priests of Attis-Cybele worship were often eunuchs, and were called Galloi.[827] The archigallus was called Atys (Attis).[828] Instead of the animal castration, the priests merely scratched their arms until they bled. (Arm in place of phallus, “the twisting of arms.”) A similar symbolism of the sacrificial impulse is met in the Mithraic religion, where essential parts of the mysteries consist in the catching and the subduing of the bull.

A parallel figure to Mithra is the primitive man Gayomard. He was created together with his bull, and the two lived for six thousand years in a blissful state. But when the world came into the cycle of the seventh sign of the Zodiac (Libra) the evil principle entered. Libra is astrologically the so-called positive domicile of Venus; the evil principle, therefore, came under the dominion of the goddess of love (destruction of the sun-hero through the mother-wife—snake, whore, etc). As a result, after thirty years, Gayomard and his bull died. (The trials of Zartusht lasted also thirty years; compare the span of Christ’s life.) Fifty-five species of grain came from the dead bull, twelve kinds of salubrious plants, etc. The sperma of the bull entered into the moon for purification, but the sperma of Gayomard entered into the sun. This circumstance possibly suggests a rather feminine meaning of bull. Gosh or Drvâçpa is the soul 472of the bull, and was worshipped as a female divinity. She would not, at first, from diffidence, become the goddess of the herds, until the coming of Zarathustra was announced to her as consolation. This has its parallel in the Hindoo Purâna, where the coming of Krishna was promised the earth. (A complete analogy to Christ.[829]) She, too, travels in her chariot, like Ardvîçûra, the goddess of love. The soul of the bull is, therefore, decidedly feminine. This myth of Gayomard repeats only in an altered form the primitive conception of the closed ring of a male-female divinity, self-begetting and forth-bringing.

Like the sacrificial bull, the fire, the sacrifice of which we have already discussed in Chapter III, has a feminine nature among the Chinese, according to the commentaries[830] of the philosopher Tschwang-Tse:

“The spirit of the hearth is called Ki. He is clad in bright red, which resembles fire, and appears as a lovely, attractive maiden.”

In the “Book of Rites” it is said:

“Wood is burned in the flames for the spirit of Au. This sacrifice to Au is a sacrifice to old departed women.”

These spirits of the hearth and fire are the souls of departed cooks and, therefore, are called “old women.” The kitchen god develops from this pre-Buddhistic tradition and becomes later (male sex) the ruler of the family and the mediator between family and god. Thus the old feminine fire spirit becomes a species of Logos. (Compare with this the remarks in Chapter III.)

473From the bull’s sperma the progenitors of the cattle came, as well as two hundred and seventy-two species of useful animals. According to Mînôkhired, Gayomard had destroyed the Dév Azûr, who was considered the demon of evil appetites.[831] In spite of the efforts of Zarathustra, this demon remained longest on the earth. He was destroyed at last at the resurrection, like Satan in the Apocalypse of John. In another version it is said that Angromainyus and the serpent were left until the last, so as to be destroyed by Ahuramazda himself. According to a surmise by Kern, Zarathustra may mean “golden-star” and be identical with Mithra. Mithra’s name is connected with neo-Persian Mihr, which means “sun and love.”

In Zagreus we see that the bull is also identical with the god; hence the bull sacrifice is a god sacrifice, but on a primitive stage. The animal symbol is, so to speak, only a part of the hero; he sacrifices only his animal; therefore, symbolically, renounces only his animal nature. The internal participation in the sacrifice[832] is expressed excellently in the anguished ecstatic countenance of the bull-slaying Mithra. He does it willingly and unwillingly[833] hence the somewhat hysterical expression which has some similarity to the well-known mawkish countenance of the Crucified of Guido Reni. Benndorf says:[834]

“The features, which, especially in the upper portion, bear an absolutely ideal character, have an extremely morbid expression.”

Cumont[835] himself says of the facial expression of the Tauroctonos:

474“The countenance, which may be seen in the best reproductions, is that of a young man of an almost feminine beauty; the head has a quantity of curly hair, which, rising up from the forehead, surrounds him as with a halo; the head is slightly tilted backwards, so that the glance is directed towards the heavens, and the contraction of the brows and the lips give a strange expression of sorrow to the face.”[836]

The Ostian head of Mithra Tauroctonos, illustrated in Cumont, has, indeed, an expression which we recognize in our patients as one of sentimental resignation. Sentimentality is repressed brutality. Hence the exceedingly sentimental pose, which had its counterpart in the symbolism of the shepherd and the lamb of contemporaneous Christianity, with the addition of infantilism.[837]

Meanwhile, it is only his animal nature which the god sacrifices; that is to say, his sexuality,[838] always in close analogy to the course of the sun. We have learned in the course of this investigation that the part of the libido which erects religious structures is in the last analysis fixed in the mother, and really represents that tie through which we are permanently connected with our origin. Briefly, we may designate this amount of libido as “Mother Libido.” As we have seen, this libido conceals itself in countless and very heterogeneous symbols, also in animal images, no matter whether of masculine or feminine nature—differences of sex are at bottom of a secondary value and psychologically do not play the part which might be expected from a superficial observation.

The annual sacrifice of the maiden to the dragon probably represented the most ideal symbolic situation. In 475order to pacify the anger of the “terrible mother” the most beautiful woman was sacrificed as symbol of man’s libido. Less vivid examples are the sacrifice of the first-born and various valuable domestic animals. A second ideal case is the self-castration in the service of the mother (Dea Syria, etc.), a less obvious form of which is circumcision. By that at least only a portion is sacrificed.[839] With these sacrifices, the object of which in ideal cases is to symbolize the libido drawing away from the mother, life is symbolically renounced in order to regain it. By the sacrifice man ransoms himself from the fear of death and reconciles the destroying mother. In those later religions, where the hero, who in olden times overcomes all evil and death through his labors, has become the divine chief figure, he becomes the priestly sacrificer and the regenerator of life. But as the hero is an imaginary figure and his sacrifice is a transcendental mystery, the significance of which far exceeds the value of an ordinary sacrificial gift, this deepening of the sacrificial symbolism regressively resumes the idea of the human sacrifice. This is partly due to the preponderance of phantastic additions, which always take their subject-matter from greater depths, and partly due to the higher religious occupation of the libido, which demanded a more complete and equivalent expression. Thus the relation between Mithra and his bull is very close. It is the hero himself in the Christian mysteries who sacrifices himself voluntarily. The hero, as we have sufficiently shown, is the infantile personality longing for the mother, who as Mithra sacrifices the wish (the libido), and as Christ 476gives himself to death both willingly and unwillingly. Upon the monuments of the Mithraic religion we often meet a strange symbol: a crater (mixing bowl) encoiled by a serpent, sometimes with a lion, who as antagonist opposes the serpent.[840] It appears as if the two were fighting for the crater. The crater symbolizes, as we have seen, the mother, the serpent the resistance defending her, and the lion the greatest strength and strongest will.[841] The struggle is for the mother. The serpent takes part almost regularly in the Mithraic sacrifice of the bull, moving towards the blood flowing from the wound. It seems to follow from that that the life of the bull (blood) is sacrificed to the serpent. Previously we have pointed out the mutual relationship between serpent and bull, and found there that the bull symbolizes the living hero, the shining sun, but that the serpent symbolizes the dead, buried or chthonic hero, the invisible sun. As the hero is in the mother in the state of death, the serpent is also, as the symbol of the fear of death, the sign of the devouring mother. The sacrifice of the bull to the serpent, therefore, signifies a willing renunciation of life, in order to win it from death. Therefore, after the sacrifice of the bull, wonderful fertility results. The antagonism between serpent and lion over the crater is to be interpreted as a battle over the fruitful mother’s womb, somewhat comparable to the more simple symbolism of the Tishtriya song, where the demon Apaosha, the black horse, has possession of the rain lake, and the white horse, Tishtriya, must banish him from it. Death from time to time lays its destroying hand upon life and 477fertility and the libido disappears, by entering into the mother, from whose womb it will be born renewed. It, therefore, seems very probable that the significance of the Mithraic bull sacrifice is also that of the sacrifice of the mother who sends the fear of death. As the contrary of the Occide moriturus is also intended here, so is the act of sacrifice an impregnating of the mother; the chthonic snake demon drinks the blood; that is to say, the libido (sperma) of the hero committing incest. Life is thus immortalized for the hero because, like the sun, he generates himself anew. After all the preceding materials, it can no longer be difficult to recognize in the Christian mysteries the human sacrifice, or the sacrifice of the son to the mother.[842] Just as Attis emasculates himself on account of the mother, so does Christ himself hang upon the tree of life,[843] the wood of martyrdom, the ἑκάτη,[844] the chthonic mother, and by that redeems creation from death. By entering again into the mother’s womb (Matuta, Pietà of Michelangelo) he redeems in death the sin in life of the primitive man, Adam, in order symbolically through his deed[845] to procure for the innermost and most hidden meaning of the religious libido its highest satisfaction and most pronounced expression. The martyrdom of Christ has in Augustine as well actually the meaning of a Hierosgamos with the mother (corresponding to the Adonis festival, where Venus and Adonis were laid upon the nuptial couch):

Procedit Christus quasi sponsus de thalamo suo, præsagio nuptiarum exiit ad campum sæculi; pervenit usque ad crucis 478torum (torus has the meaning of bed, pillow, concubine, bier) et ibi firmavit ascendendo conjugium: ubi cum sentiret anhelantem in suspiriis creaturam commercio pietatis se pro conjuge dedit ad pœnam et copulavit sibi perpetuo iure matronam.

This passage is perfectly clear. A similar death overtakes the Syrian Melcarth, who, riding upon a sea horse, was annually burned. Among the Greeks he is called Melicertes, and was represented riding upon a dolphin. The dolphin is also the steed of Arion. We have learned to recognize previously the maternal significance of dolphin, so that in the death of Melcarth we can once more recognize the negatively expressed Hierosgamos with the mother. (Compare Frazer “Golden Bough,” IV, p. 87.) This figurative expression is of the greatest teleological significance. Through its symbol it leads that libido which inclines backward into the original, primitive and impulsive upwards to the spiritual by investing it with a mysterious but fruitful function. It is superfluous to speak of the effect of this symbol upon the unconscious of Occidental humanity. A glance over history shows what creative forces were released in this symbol.[846]

The comparison of the Mithraic and the Christian sacrifice plainly shows wherein lies the superiority of the Christian symbol; it is the frank admission that not only are the lower wishes to be sacrificed, but the whole personality. The Christian symbol demands complete devotion; it compels a veritable self-sacrifice to a higher purpose, while the Sacrificium Mithriacum, remaining fixed on a primitive symbolic stage, is contented with an 479animal sacrifice. The religious effect of these symbols must be considered as an orientation of the unconscious by means of imitation.

In Miss Miller’s phantasy there is internal compulsion, in that she passes from the horse sacrifice to the self-sacrifice of the hero. Whereas the first symbolizes renunciation of the sexual wishes, the second has the deeper and ethically more valuable meaning of the sacrifice of the infantile personality. The object of psychoanalysis has frequently been wrongly understood to mean the renunciation or the gratification of the ordinary sexual wish, while, in reality, the problem is the sublimation of the infantile personality, or, expressed mythologically, a sacrifice and rebirth of the infantile hero.[847] In the Christian mysteries, however, the resurrected one becomes a supermundane spirit, and the invisible kingdom of God, with its mysterious gifts, are obtained by his believers through the sacrifice of himself on the mother. In psychoanalysis the infantile personality is deprived of its libido fixations in a rational manner; the libido which is thus set free serves for the building up of a personality matured and adapted to reality, who does willingly and without complaint everything required by necessity. (It is, so to speak, the chief endeavor of the infantile personality to struggle against all necessities and to create coercions for itself where none exist in reality.)

The serpent as an instrument of sacrifice has already been abundantly illustrated. (Legend of St. Silvester, trial of the virgins, wounding of Rê and Philoctetes, symbolism of the lance and arrow.) It is the destroying 480knife; but, according to the principle of the “Occide moriturus” also the phallus, the sacrificial act represents a coitus act as well.[848] The religious significance of the serpent as a cave-dwelling, chthonic animal points to a further thought; namely, to the creeping into the mother’s womb in the form of a serpent.[849] As the horse is the brother, so the serpent is the sister of Chiwantopel. This close relation refers to a fellowship of these animals and their characters with the hero. We know of the horse that, as a rule, he is not an animal of fear, although, mythologically, he has at times this meaning. He signifies much more the living, positive part of the libido, the striving towards continual renewal, whereas the serpent, as a rule, represents the fear, the fear of death,[850] and is thought of as the antithesis to the phallus. This antithesis between horse and serpent, mythologically between bull and serpent, represents an opposition of the libido within itself, a striving forwards and a striving backwards at one and the same time.[851] It is not only as if the libido might be an irresistible striving forward, an endless life and will for construction, such as Schopenhauer has formulated in his world will, death and every end being some malignancy or fatality coming from without, but the libido, corresponding to the sun, also wills the destruction of its creation. In the first half of life its will is for growth, in the second half of