The Psychology of the Transference

I said earlier that the contents which enter into the transference were as a rule originally projected upon the parents or other members of the family.  Owing to the fact that these contents seldom or never lack an erotic aspect or are genuinely sexual in substance (apart from the other factors already mentioned), an incestuous character does undoubtedly attach to them, and this has given rise to the Freudian theory of incest. 



Here I will only say that this fluid substance, with all its paradoxical qualities, really signifies the unconscious which has been projected into it.  The “sea” is its static condition, the “fountain” its activation, and the “process” it’s transformation.  … the gushing up and flowing back of the Mercurial Fountain within its basin completes a circle, and this is an essential characteristic of Mercurius because he is also the serpent that fertilizes, kills, and devours itself and brings itself to birth again.  TPofT 48


Meditation and speculation about the mystery of the coniunctio were inevitable, and this would certainly not leave erotic fantasy untouched, if only because these symbolical pictures spring from the corresponding unconscious contents – half spiritual, half sexual – and are also intended to remind us of that twilit region, for only from indistinguishable night can the light be born.  This is what nature and natural experience teach, but the spirit believes in the lumen de lumine – the light born of light. 

We need only bear in mind one fact:  that the desired coniunctio was not a legitimate union but was always – one could almost say, on principle – incestuous.  The fear that surrounds this complex – the “fear of incest” – is quite typical and has already been stressed by Freud.  It is further exacerbated by fear of the compulsive force which emanates from most unconscious contents.  TPofT  53

As regards the psychology of this picture (figure 2), we must stress above all else that it depicts a human encounter where love plays the decisive part.  TPofT 55

Although the union of close blood-relatives is everywhere taboo, it is yet the prerogative of kings.  Incest symbolizes union with one’s own being, it means individuation or becoming a self, and, because this is so vitally important, it exerts an unholy fascination – not, perhaps, as a crude reality, but certainly as a psychic process controlled by the unconscious, a fact well known to anybody who is familiar with psychopathology. 

It is for this reason, and not because of occasional cases of human incest, that the first gods were believed to propagate their kind incestuously.  Incest is simply the union of like with like, which is the next stage in the development of the primitive idea of self-fertilization.  TPofT 56

… for an integral part of the work is the umbra solis or sol niger of the alchemists, the black shadow which everybody carries with him, the inferior and therefore hidden aspect of the personality, the weakness that goes with every strength, the night that follows every day, the evil in the good.  The realization of this fact is naturally coupled with the danger of falling victim to the shadow, but the danger also brings with it the possibility of consciously deciding not to become its victim.  A visible enemy is always better than an invisible one.  TPofT 57

Cont’d … In this case I can see no advantage whatever in behaving like an ostrich.  It is certainly no ideal for people always to remain childish, to live in a perpetual state of delusion about themselves, foisting everything they dislike on to their neighbours and plaguing them with their prejudices and projections.   How many marriages are wrecked for years, and sometimes forever, because he sees his mother in his wife and she her father in her husband, and neither ever recognizes the other’s reality!  Life has enough difficulties without that; we might at least spare ourselves the stupidest of them.   TPofT 57

It would be quite natural to suppose that the king and queen represent a transference relationship in which the king stands for the masculine partner and the queen for the feminine partner.  But this is by no means the case, because the figures represent contents which have been projected from the unconscious of the adept (and his soror mystica).  Now the adept is conscious of himself as a man, consequently his masculinity cannot be projected, since this only happens to unconscious contents.  As it is primarily a question of man and woman here, the projected fragment of personality can only be the feminine component of the man, i.e., his anima.  TPofT 58

 … the “enlightened” intellect cannot imagine anything greater than man except those tin gods with totalitarian pretensions who call themselves State or Fuehrer.  TPofT 69

Re: Individuation

Individuation has two principal aspects:  in the first place it is an internal and subjective process of integration, and in the second it is an equally indispensable process of objective relationship.  Neither can exist without the other, although sometimes the one and sometimes the other predominates.  This double aspect has two corresponding dangers.  The first is the danger of the patient’s using the opportunities for spiritual development arising out of the analysis of the unconscious as a pretext for evading the deeper human responsibilities, and for affecting a certain “spirituality” which cannot stand up to moral criticism; the second is the danger that atavistic tendencies may gain the ascendancy and drag the relationship down to a primitive level.  Between the Scylla and the Charybdis there is a narrow passage, and both medieval Christian mysticism and alchemy have contributed much to its discovery. 


“He who would be initiated into this art and secret wisdom must put away the vice of arrogance, must be devout, righteous, deep-witted, humane towards his fellows, of a cheerful countenance and a happy disposition, and respectful withal.  Likewise he must be an observer of the eternal secrets that are revealed to him.  My son, above all I admonish thee to fear God who seeth what manner of man thou art and in whom is help for the solitary, whosoever he may be.  And the Rosarium adds from Pseudo-Aristotle: “Could God but find a man of faithful understanding, he would open his secret to him.”  TPofT 74

Wholeness is not so much perfection as completeness.  Assimilation of the shadow gives a man body, so to speak; the animal sphere of instinct, as well as the primitive or archaic psyche, emerge into the zone of consciousness and can no longer be repressed by fictions and illusions.  In this way man becomes for himself the difficult problem he really is.  He must always remain conscious of the fact that he is such a problem if he wants to develop at all.  TPofT 77

Today it is no longer a question of “How can I get rid of my shadow?” – for we have seen enough of the curse of one-sidedness.  Rather we must ask ourselves:  “How can man live with his shadow without its precipitating a succession of disasters?”  Recognition of the shadow is reason enough for humility, for genuine fear of the abysmal depths in man.  This caution is most expedient, since the man without a shadow thinks himself harmless precisely because his is ignorant of his shadow.  The man who recognizes his shadow knows very well that he is not harmless, for it brings the archaic psyche, the whole world of the archetypes, into archaic influences.  TPofT 77

… once the naked truth has been revealed the discussion can get down to essentials; ego and shadow are no longer divided but are brought together in an – admittedly precarious – unity.  This is a great step forward, but at the same time it shows up the “differentness” of one’s partner all the more clearly, and the unconscious usually tries to close the gap by increasing the attraction, so as to bring about the desired union somehow or other.  All this is borne out by the alchemical idea that the fire which maintains the process must be temperate to begin with and must then gradually be raised to the highest intensity.  TPofT 78


The liquid is Mercurius … He stands for the mysterious psychic substance which nowadays we would call the unconscious psyche.  TPofT 79

The immersion in the “sea” signifies the solution – “dissolution” in the physical sense of the word and at the same time, according to Dorn, the solution of a problem.  It is a return to the dark initial state, to the amniotic fluid of the gravid uterus.  The alchemists frequently point out that their stone grows like a child in its mother’s womb; they call the vas hermiticum the uterus and its contents the foetus.  What is said of the lapis is also said of the water: “This stinking water contains everything it needs.”  It is sufficient unto itself, like the Uroboros.  TPofT  80

The aqua permanens is one of his many synonyms, and the terms oleum, oleaginitas, unctuosum, untuositas, all refer to the arcane substance which is likewise Mercurius.  TPofT 80

The Rosarium remarks that “the body is Vunus and feminine, the spirit is Mercurius and masculine”; hence the anima, as the “vinculum,” the link between body and spirit, would be hermaphroditic, i.e., a coniunctio Solis et Lunae.  Mercurius is the hermaphrodite par excellence.  From all this it may be gathered that the queen stands for the body and the king for the spirit, but that both are unrelated without the soul, since this is the vinculum which holds them together.  If no bond of love exists, they have no soul.  TPofT 82


Thus the underlying idea of the psyche proves it to be a half bodily, half spiritual substance, an anima media natura, as the alchemists call it, an hermaphroditic being capable of uniting the opposites, but who is never complete in the individual unless related to another individual.  The unrelated human being lacks wholeness, for he can achieve wholeness only through the soul, and the soul cannot exist without its other side, which is always found in a “You.”  Wholeness is a combination of I and You, and these show themselves to be parts of a transcendent unity whose nature can only be grasped symbolically , as in the symbols of the rotundum, the rose, the wheel, or the coniunctio Solis et Lunae. 

(re: picture)     Coming now to the psychology of the picture, it is clearly a descent into the unconscious.  The immersion in the bath is another “night sea journey,” …  TPofT 83


Just as, in the primitive myths, it is so stiflingly hot in the belly of the whale that the hero loses his hair, so the philosophers suffer very much from the intense heat during their confinement.  TPofT 83

The night sea journey is a kind of descensus ad inferos – a descent into Hades and a journey to the land of ghosts somewhere beyond this world, beyond consciousness, hence an immersion in the unconscious. 

Dave - There is more great stuff here … but I’m not including it because it is too advanced for this stage


The real meaning of the coniunctio is that it brings to birth something that is one and united.  TPofT 86

(regarding picture Coniunctio sive figure 5 )   But if we examine more closely we note that the coitus is taking place in the water, the mare tenebrositatis, i.e. the unconscious.  TPofT 86

Our pictures of the coniunctio are to be understood in this sense:  union on the biological level is a symbol of the unio oppositorum at its highest.  This means that the union of opposites in the royal art is just as real as coitus in the common acceptation of the word, so that the opus becomes an analogy of the natural process by means of which instinctive energy is transformed.  TPofT 88


(not at all linked with the regular use of the word – pre-rebirth)

When the opposites unite, all energy ceases: there is no more flow.  TPofT 95

No new life can arise, says the alchemists, without the death of the old.  They liken the art to the work of the sower, who buries the grain in the earth: it dies only to waken to new life.  TPofT 95

As we have seen, there is in the coniunctio a union of two figures, one representing the daytime principle, i.e., lucid consciousness, the other a nocturnal light, the unconscious.  Because the latter cannot be seen directly, it is always projected; for, unlike the shadow, it does not belong to the ego but is collective.  For this reason it is felt to be something alien to us, and we suspect it of belonging to the particular person with whom we have emotional ties.

Cont’d …  In addition a man’s unconscious has a feminine character; it hides in the feminine side of him which he naturally does not see in himself but in the woman who fascinates him.  That is probably why the soul (anima) is feminine.  If, therefore, man and woman are merged in some kind of unconscious identity, he will take over the traits of her animus and she the traits of his anima. 

The main fact is the subjective experience of the situation – in other words, it is a mistake to believe that one’s personal dealings with one’s partner play the most important part.  Quite the reverse:  the most important part falls to the man’s dealings with the anima and the woman’s dealings with the animus.  Nor does the coniunctio take place with the personal partner; it is a royal game played out between the active, masculine side of the woman (the animus) and the passive, feminine side of the man (the anima).  Although the two figures are always tempting the ego to identify itself with them, a real understanding even on the personal level is possible only if the identification is refused.  Non-identification demands considerable moral effort.  Moreover it is only legitimate when not used as a pretext for avoiding the necessary degree of personal understanding.  TPofT 99

(It is) an a priori so universal in scope and incidence that it often seems advisable to speak less of my anima or my animus and more of the anima and the animus.  TPofT 99

( these = Anima & Animus)

As archetypes, these figures are semi-collective and impersonal quantities, so that when we identify ourselves with them and fondly imagine that we are then most truly ourselves, we are in fact most estranged from ourselves and most like the average type of Home Sapiens.  TPofT 99

Thus the encounter with anima and animus means conflict and brings us up against the hard dilemma in which nature herself has placed us.  Whichever course one takes, nature will be mortified and must suffer, even to the death; for the merely natural man must die in part during his own lifetime.  The Christian symbol of the crucifix is therefore a prototype and an “eternal” truth.  There are medieval pictures showing how Christ is nailed to the Cross by his own virtues.  Other people meet the same fate at the hands of their vices.  Nobody who finds himself on the road to wholeness can escape that characteristic suspension which is the meaning of crucifixion.  For he will infallibly run into things that thwart and “cross” him: first, the thing he has no with to be (the shadow); second, the thing he is not (the “other,” the individual reality of the “You”); and third, his psychic non-ego (the collective unconscious).  This being at cross purposes with ourselves is suggested by the crossed branches held by the king and queen, who are themselves man’s cross in the form of the anima and woman’s cross in the form of the animus.  The meeting with the collective unconscious is a fatality of which the natural man has no inkling until it overtakes him.  As Faust says:  “You are conscious only of the single urge / O may you never know the other!”  TPofT100

The supreme aim of the opus psychologicum is conscious realization, and the first step is to make oneself conscious of contents that have hitherto been projected.  This endeavour gradually leads to knowledge of one’s partner and to self-knowledge, and so to the distinction between what one really is and what is projected into one, or what one imagines oneself to be.  Meanwhile, one is so taken up with one’s own efforts that one is hardly conscious of the extent to which “nature” acts not only as a driving-force but as a helper – in other words, how much instinct insists that the higher level of consciousness be attained.  This urge to a higher and more comprehensive consciousness fosters civilization and culture, but must fall short of the goal unless man voluntarily places himself in its service.  TPofT 101

Cont’d …  The alchemists are of the opinion that the artifex is the servant of the work, and that not he but nature brings the work to fruition.  All the same, there must be will as well as ability on man’s part, for unless both are present the urge remains at the level of merely natural symbolism and produces nothing but a perversion of the instinct for wholeness which, if it is to fulfill its purpose, needs all parts of the whole, including those that are projected into a “You.”  Instinct seeks them there, in order to re-create that royal pair which every human being has in his wholeness, i.e., that bisexual (dual-sexual???) First Man who has “no need of anything but himself.”  Whenever this drive for wholeness appears, it begins by disguising itself under the symbolism of incest, for, unless he seeks it in himself, a man’s nearest feminine counterpart is to be found in his mother, sister, or daughter.  TPofT 101

Con’td …

With the integration of projections – which the merely natural man in his unbounded naiveté can never recognize as such – the personality becomes so vastly enlarged that the normal ego-personality is almost extinguished.  In other words, if the individual identifies himself with the contents awaiting integration, a positive or negative inflation results.  Positive inflation comes very near to a more or less conscious megalomania; negative inflation is felt as an annihilation of the ego.  TPofT  101

Procreation through incest is a royal or divine prerogative whose advantages the ordinary man is forbidden to enjoy.  TPofT  102

Translated into the language of psychology, the mythologem runs as follows:  the union of the conscious mind or ego-personality with the unconscious personified as anima produces a new personality compounded of both – “ut duo qui fuerant, unum quasi corpore fiant.”  Not that the new personality is a third thing midway between conscious and unconscious, it is both together.  Since it transcends consciousness it can no longer be called “ego” but must be given the name of “self.”  TPofT 103

Cont’d … Reference must be made here to the Indian idea of the atman, whose personal and cosmic modes of being form an exact parallel to the psychological idea of the self and the filius philosophorum.  The self too is both ego and non-ego, subjective and objective, individual and collective.  It is the “uniting symbol” which epitomizes the total union of opposites. 

Cont’d … As such and in accordance with its paradoxical nature, it can only be expressed by means of symbols.  These appear in dreams and spontaneous fantasies and find visual expression in the mandalas that occur in the patient’s dreams, drawings, and paintings.   TPofT 103

Hence, properly understood, the self is not a doctrine or theory but an image born of nature’s own workings, a natural symbol far removed from all conscious intention.  TPofT 103

The integration of the self is a fundamental problem which arises in the second half of life.  TPofT 103


This picture carries the putrefactio a stage further.  Out of the decay the soul mounts up to heaven.  Only one soul departs from the two, for the two have indeed become one.  TPotT 105

(W)  The idea of a wholeness made of sponsus and sponsa has its correlate in the rotundus globus coelestis.  TPotT 105

(figure 7)  This picture corresponds psychologically to a dark state of disorientation.  The decomposition of the elements indicates dissociation and the collapse of the existing ego-consciousness.  It is closely analogous to the schizophrenic state, and it should be taken very seriously because this is the moment when latent psychoses may become acute, i.e., when the patient becomes aware of the collective unconscious and the psychic non-ego.  TPotT 105

Intellectual or supposedly scientific theories are not adequate to the nature of the unconscious, because they make use of a terminology which has not the slightest affinity with its pregnant symbolism.  TPotT 108

The waters must be drawn together and held fast by the one water, by the forma ignea verae aquae.  TPotT 108

The kind of approach that makes this possible must therefore be plastic and symbolical, and itself the outcome of personal experience with unconscious contents.  It should not stray too far in the direction of abstract intellectualism; hence we are best advised to remain within the framework of traditional mythology, which has already proved comprehensive enough for all practical purposes.  TPotT 108

Therapy aims at strengthening the conscious mind, and whenever possible I try to rouse the patient to mental activity and get him to subdue the massa confusa of his mind with his own understanding, so that he can reach a vantage-point audessus de la melee.  TPotT 108

Nobody who ever had any wits is in danger of losing them in the process, though there are people who never knew till then what their wits are for.  In such a situation, understanding acts like a life-saver.  It integrates the unconscious, and gradually there comes into being a higher point of view where both conscious and unconscious are represented.  It then proves that the invasion by the unconscious was rather like the flooding of the Nile:  it increases the fertility of the land.     TPotT 109

(O blessed Nature, blessed are thy works, for that thou makest the imperfect to be perfect through the true putrefaction, which is dark and black.  Afterwards thou makest new and multitudinous things to grow, causing with thy verdure the many colours to appear).   TPotT 109

(St. John of the cross) conceives the “spiritual night” of the soul as a supremely positive state, in which the invisible – and therefore dark – radiance of God comes to pierce and purify the soul.  TPotT 109 

“The blackness is called earth.”  The Mercurius in whom the sun drowns is an earth-spirit, a Deus Terrenus, as the alchemist say, or the Sapientia Dei which took on body and substance in the creature by creating it. TPotT 110

The unconscious is the spirit of chthonic nature and contains the archetypal images of the Sapientia Dei.  But the intellect of modern civilized man has strayed too far in the world of consciousness, so that it received a violent shock when it suddenly beheld the face of its mother, the earth.  TPotT 110

The fact that the soul is depicted as a homunculus in our picture indicates that it is on the way to becoming the filius regius, the undivided and hermaphroditic First Man, the Anthropos.  Originally he fell into the clutches of Physis, but now he rises again, freed from the prison of the mortal body.  TPotT 110

He is caught up in a kind of ascension, and, according to the Tabula smaragdina, unites himself with the “upper powers.”  He is the essence of the “lower power” which, like the “third filiation” in the doctrine of Basilides, is ever striving upwards from the depths, not with the intention of staying in heaven, but solely in order to reappear on earth as a healing force, as an agent of immortality and perfection, as a mediator and saviour.  The connection with the Christian idea of the Second Coming is unmistakable.  TPotT 110

I must therefore content myself with a bare mention of the archetype which is inwardly experienced at this stage, namely the birth of the “divine child” or – in the language of the mystics – the inner man.  TPotT 110


The falling dew is a portent of the divine birth now at hand.  Ros Gedeonis (Gideon’s dew) is a synonym for the aqua permanens, hence for Mercurius.   TPotT 111

‘But the water I have spoken of is a king descending from heaven, and the earth’s humidity absorbs it, and the water of heaven is retained with the water of the earth, and the water of the earth honours that water with its lowliness and its sand, and water consorts with water and water will hold fast to water and Albira is whitened with Astuna.’  TPotT 111

The whitening (albedo or dealbatio) is likened to that ortus solis, the sunrise; it is the light, the illumination, that follows the darkness.  TPotT 111

The spirit of Mercurius descends in his heavenly form as Sapientia and as the fire of the Holy Ghost, to purify the blackness. 

(wisdom)  She it is that Solomon chose to have instead of light, and above all beauty and health; in comparison of her he compared not unto her the virtue of any precious stone.  For all the gold in her sight shall be esteemed as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay; and this is not without cause, for to gain her is better than the merchandise of silver and the most pure gold.  And her fruit is more precious than all the riches of this world, and all the things that are desired are not to be compared with her.  Length of days and health are in her right hand, and in her left hand glory and infinite riches.  Her ways are beautiful operations and praiseworthy, not unsightly nor ill-favoured, and her paths are measured and not hasty, but are bound up with stubborn and day-long toil.  She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her, and an unfailing light.  Blessed shall they be who retain her, for the science of God shall never perish, as Alphidius beareth witness, for he saith:  He who hath found this science, it shall be his rightful food for ever.  TPotT 114

(water) as a symbol of wisdom and spirit can be traced back to the parable which Christ told to the Samaritan woman at the well.  TPotT 114

“There is in Jacob’s well a water which human ingenuity has sought and found.  Philosophy is its name, and it is found through laborious investigation of the world of the senses.  But in the Word of God, which dwells in the depths of the living well of Christ’s humanity, there is a fountain for the refreshment of the spirit.  Here, then, we have Jacob’s well of the senses, the well of reason and the well of wisdom.  From the first well, which is of animal nature and deep, the father drinks, together with his children and cattle; from the second, which is yet deeper and on the very margin of nature, there drink only the children of men, namely those whose reason has awakened and whom we call philosophers; from the third, the deepest of all, drink the sons of the All-Highest, whom we call gods and true theologians.  Christ in his humanity may be called the deepest well. … In this deepest well is the source of wisdom, which brings bliss and immortality. … The living well bears the source of its own life, it calls the thirsty to the waters of salvation that they may be refreshed with the water of saving wisdom.” 

Nicholas de Cusa  TPotT 114

After all this there can be no more doubt that the black darkness is washed away by the aqua sapientiae of “our science,” namely the God-given gift of the royal art and the knowledge it bestows.  TPotT 115

The mundificatio (purification) means, as we have seen, the removal of the superfluities that always cling to merely natural products, and especially to the symbolic unconscious contents which the alchemist found projected into matter. 

(??)  This is what the laboratory work called the extraction animae, and what in the psychological field we would call the working through of the idea contained in the dream.  We know that this requires a necessary premise or hypothesis, a certain intellectual structure by means of which “apperceptions” can be made.  TPotT 116

Hence an attitude that seeks to do justice to the unconscious as well as to one’s fellow human beings cannot possibly rest on knowledge alone, in so far as this consists merely of thinking and intuition.  It would lack the function that perceives values, i.e., feeling, as well as the function du réel, i.e., sensation, the sensible perception of reality.  TPotT 117

Thus if books and the knowledge they impart are given exclusive value, man’s emotional and affective life is bound to suffer.  That is why the purely intellectual attitude must be abandoned.  “Gideon’s dew” is a sign of divine intervention, it is the moisture that heralds the return of the soul.  TPotT 117

(???)  The alchemist’s seem to have perceived the danger that the work and its realization may get stuck in one of the conscious functions.  Consequently they stress the importance of the theoria, i.e., intellectual understanding as opposed to the practica, which consisted merely of chemical experiments.  We might say that the practica corresponds to pure perception, and that this must be supplemented by apperception.  But this second stage still does not bring complete realization.  What is still lacking is heart or feeling, which imparts an abiding value to anything we have understood.  The books must therefore be “destroyed” lest thinking impair feeling and thus hinder the return of the soul.  TPotT 117

Intellectual understanding and aestheticism both produce the deceptive, treacherous sense of liberation and superiority which is liable to collapse if feeling intervenes.  Feeling always binds one to the reality and meaning of symbolic contents, and these in turn impose binding standards of ethical behaviour from which aestheticism and intellectualism are only too ready to emancipate themselves.  TPotT 118

(??)   Consequently it is very easy for the modern mind to get stuck in one or other of the functions and to achieve only an incomplete realization.  It is hardly necessary to add that in time this leads to a neurotic dissociation.  TPotT 118

The alchemists thought that the ops demanded not only laboratory work, the reading of books, meditation, and patience, but also love.  TPotT 118

One is often reminded of Faust’s shattering experience when he was shaken out of the “deadly dull rut” of his laboratory and philosophical work by the revelation that “feeling is all.”  In this we can already see the modern man who has got to the stage of building his world on a single function and is not a little proud of his achievement.  TPotT 118

The pernicious and pathological slogan l’art pour l’art would have struck them as absurd, for when they contemplated the mysteries of nature, sensation, creation, thinking, cognition and feeling were all one to them.  Their state of mind was not yet split up into so many different functions that each stage of the realization process would have needed a new chapter of life.  TPotT 118

(4th stage)

This fourth stage is the anticipation of the lapis.  The imaginative activity of the fourth function – intuition, without which no realization is complete – is plainly evident in this anticipation of a possibility whose fulfillment could never be the object of empirical experience at all:  (the stone that is no stone).   TPotT 119

Cont’d …

Intuition gives outlook and insight; it revels in the garden of magical possibilities as if they were real.  Nothing is more charged with intuitions than the lapis philosophorum.  This keystone rounds off the work into an experience of the totality of the individual.  TPotT 119

After the ascent of the soul, with the body left behind in the darkness of death, there now comes an enantiodromia:  the nigredo gives way to the albedo.  The black or unconscious state that resulted from the union of opposites reaches the nadir and a change sets in.  The falling dew signals resuscitation and a new light: the ever deeper descent into the unconscious suddenly becomes illumination from above.  TPotT 119

Cont’d …

For, when the soul vanished at death, it was not lost; in that other world it formed the living counterpole to the state of death in this world.  Its reappearance from above is already indicated by the dewy moisture.  TPotT 119

(Dew) is synonymous with the aqua permanens, the aqua sapientiae, which in turn signifies illumination through the realization of meaning.  The preceding union of opposites has brought light, as always, out of the darkness of night, and by this light it will be possible to see what the real meaning of that union was.  TPotT 120


The alchemists were so steeped in their inner experiences that their sole concern was to devise fitting images and expressions regardless of whether these were intelligible or not.  Although in this respect they remained behind the times, they nevertheless performed the inestimable service of having constructed a phenomenology of the unconscious long before the advent of psychology.  We, as heirs to these riches, do not find our heritage at all easy to enjoy.  Yet we can comfort ourselves with the reflection that the old masters were equally at a loss to understand one another, or that they did so only with difficulty.  TPotT 127

(Only he who knows how to make the philosopher’s stone can understand their words concerning it).  Rosarium  TPotT 127

Experience shows that the carrier of the projection is not just any object but is always one that proves adequate to the nature of the content projected – that is to say, it must offer the content a “hook” to hang on.  TPotT 129

Although the process is essentially transcendental, the projection brings it down to reality by violently affecting the conscious and personal psyche.  The result is an inflation, and it then becomes clear that the coniunctio is a hierosgamos of the gods and not a mere love-affair between mortals.  TPotT 129

(??)  Lesser men have correspondingly more need of greatness, hence they must make others think more highly of them.)  TPotT 130

If there is such a thing as an unconscious that is not personal – i.e., does not consist of individually acquired contents, there must also be processes going on in this non-ego, spontaneous archetypal events which the conscious mind can only perceive when they are projected.  They are immemorially strange and unknown, and yet we seem to have known them from everlasting; they are also the source of a remarkable fascination that dazzles and illuminates at once.  TPotT 130

The coniunctio is one of these archetypes.  The absorptive power of the archetype explains not only the widespread incidence of this motif but also the passionate intensity with which it seizes upon the individual, often in defiance of all reason and understanding.  TPotT 130

   The extreme consequence of this is the dissolution of the ego in the unconscious, a state resembling death.  It results from the more or less complete identification of the ego with unconscious factors, or as we would say, from contamination.  This is what the alchemists experienced as immunditia, pollution.  TPotT 130

Hence the mundificatio – purification - is an attempt to discriminate the mixture, to sort out the coincidentia oppositorum in which the individual has been caught.  The rational man, in order to live in this world, has to make a distinction between “himself” and what we might call the “eternal man.”  Although he is a unique individual, he also stands for “man” as a species, and thus he has a share in all the movements of the collective unconscious.  In other words, the “eternal” truths become dangerously disturbing factors when they suppress the unique ego of the individual and live at his expense.  TPotT 131

The ego lives in space and time and must adapt itself to their laws if it is to exist at all.  If it is absorbed by the unconscious to such an extent that the latter alone has the power of decision, then the ego is stifled, and there is no longer any medium in which the unconscious could be integrated and in which the work of realization could take place.  The separation of the empirical ego from the “eternal” and universal man is therefore of vital importance, particularly today, when mass-degeneration of the personality is making such threatening strides.  Mass degeneration does not come only from without:  it also comes from within, from the collective unconscious.  TPotT 130

Against the outside, some protection was afforded by the droits de l’homme which at present are lost to the greater part of Europe (As this book was written in 1943, I leave this sentence as it stands, in the hope of a better world to come.) and even where they are not actually lost we see political parties, as naïve as they are powerful, doing their best to abolish them in favour of the slave state, with the bait of social security.  Against the daemonism from within, the Church offers some protection so long as it wields authority.  But protection and security are only valuable when not excessively cramping to our existence; and in the same way the superiority of consciousness is desirable only if it does not suppress and shut out too much of life.  As always, life is a voyage between Scylla and Charybdis.  TPotT 132

The process of differentiating the ego from the unconscious, then, has its equivalent in the mundificatio, and, just as this is the necessary condition for the return of the soul to the body, so the body is necessary if the unconscious is not to have destructive effects on the ego-consciousness, for it is the body that gives bounds to the personality.  The unconscious can be integrated only if the ego holds its ground.  TPotT 132

(elsewhere)  The unconscious can be integrated only if the ego holds its ground.  TPotT 132

Consequently, the alchemist’s endeavour to unite the corpus mundum, the purified body, with the soul is also the endeavour of the psychologist once he has succeeded in freeing the ego-consciousness from contamination with the unconscious.  TPotT 132

In alchemy the purification is the result of numerous distillations; in psychology too it comes from an equally thorough separation of the ordinary ego-personality from all inflationary admixtures of unconscious material.  This task entails the most painstaking self-examination and self-education, which can, however, be passed on to others by one who has acquired the discipline himself. 

The process of psychological differentiation is no light work; it needs the tenacity and patience of the alchemist, who must purify the body from all superfluities in the fiercest heat of the furnace, and pursue Mercurius “from one bed chamber to the next.”

As alchemical symbolism shows, a radical understanding of this kind is impossible without a human partner.  A general and merely academic “insight into one’s mistakes” is ineffectual, for then the mistakes are not really seen at all, only the idea of them.  But they show up acutely when a human relationship brings them to the fore and when they are noticed by the other person as well as by oneself.  Then and only then can they really be felt and their true nature recognized.  Similarly, confessions made to one’s secret self generally have little or no effect, whereas confessions made to another are much more promising.  TPotT 132

(sidebar somewhere)   confessions made to one’s secret self generally have little or no effect, whereas confessions made to another are much more promising.  TPotT 133

The “soul” which is reunited with the body is the One born of the two, the vinculum common to both.  It is therefore the very essence of relationship.  TPotT 133

Cont’d … Equally the psychological anima, as representative of the collective unconscious, has a collective character.  The collective unconscious is a natural and universal datum and its manifestation always causes an unconscious identity, a state of participation mystique.  If the conscious personality becomes caught up in it and offers no resistance, the relationship is personified by the anima (in dreams, for instance), who then, as a more or less autonomous part of the personality, generally has a disturbing effect. 

Cont’d … 

But if, as the result of a long and thorough analysis and the withdrawal of projections, the ego has been successfully separated from the unconscious, the anima will gradually cease to act as an autonomous personality and will become a function of relationship between conscious and unconscious.  So long as she is projected she leads to all sorts of illusions about people and things and thus to endless complications.  The withdrawal of projections makes the anima what she originally was: an archetypal image which, in its right place, functions to the advantage of the individual.  TPotT 133

Cont’d …

Interposed between the ego and the world, (the anima) acts like an every-changing Shakti, who weaves the veil of Maya and dances the illusion of existence.  But, functioning between the ego and the unconscious, the anima becomes the matrix of all the divine and semi-divine figures, from the pagan goddess to the Virgin, from the messenger of the Holy Grail to the saint. 

Cont’d … The unconscious anima is a creature without relationships, an autoerotic being whose one aim is to take total possession of the individual.  When this happens to a man he becomes strangely womanish in the worse sense, with a moody and uncontrolled disposition which, in time, has a deleterious effect even on the hitherto reliable functions – e.g., his intellect – and gives rise to the kind of ideas and opinions we rightly find so objectionable in animus-possessed women.  TPotT 134

Accordingly, if you think to become a learned artist, look with earnestness to the union of your own Mars and Venus, that the nuptial knot be rightly tied and the marriage between them well and truly consummated.  You must see to it that they lie together in the bed of their union and live in sweet harmony; then the virgin Venus will bring forth her pearl, her water-spirit, in your, to soften the fiery spirit of Mars, and the wrathful fire of Mars will sink quite willingly, in mildness and love, into the love-fire of Venus, and thus both qualities, as fire and water, will mingle together, agree, and flow into one another; and from their agreement and union there will proceed the first conception of the magical birth we call Tincture, the love-fire Tincture.  TPotT 136

This child, this tincturing life, must be assayed, proved, and tried in the qualities of nature; and here again great anxiety and danger will arise, seeing that it must suffer the damage of temptation in the body and womb, and you may thus lose the birth.  For the delicate Tincture, this tender child of life, must descend into the forms and qualities of nature, that it may suffer and endure temptation and overcome it; it must needs descend into the Divine Darkness, into the darkness of Saturn, wherein no light of life is to be seen: there is must be held captive, and be bound with the chains of darkness, and must live from the food which the prickly Mercurius will give it to eat, which to the Divine Tincture of life is naught but dust and ashes, poison and gall, fire and brimstone.  It must enter into the fierce wrathful Mars, by whom (as happened to Jonah in the belly of hell) it is swallowed, and must experience the curse of God’s wrath; also it must be tempted by Lucifer and the million devils who dwell in the quality of the wrathful fire.  TPotT 137

Now it seems to the artist that all his work is lost.  What has become of the Tincture?  Here is nothing that is apparent, that can be perceived, recognized, or tasted, but darkness, most painful death, a hellish fearful fire, nothing but the wrath and curse of God; yet he does not see that the Tincture of Life is in this putrefaction or dissolution and destruction, that there is light in this darkness, life in this death, love in this fury and wrath, and in this poison the highest and most precious Tincture and medicament against all poison and sickness. TPotT 137

The old philosophers named this work or labour their descension, their cineration, their pulverization, their death, their putrefaction or the materia of the stone, their corruption, their caput mortuum.  You must not despise this blackness, or black colour, but persevere in it in patience, in suffering, and in silence, until its forty days of temptation are over, until the days of its tribulations are completed, when the seed of life shall waken to life, shall rise up, sublimate or glorify itself, transform itself into whiteness, purify and sanctify itself, give itself the redness, in other words, transfigure and fix its shape.  When the work is brought thus far, it is an easy work:  for the learned philosophers have said that the making of the stone is then woman’s work and child’s play.  TPotT 137

Here, as you see, there is great danger, and the Tincture of life can easily be spoiled and the fruit wasted in the womb, when it is thus surrounded on all sides and assailed by so many devils and this fiery trial and sore temptation, and win the victory: then you will see the beginning of its resurrection from hell, death, and the mortal grave, appearing first in the quality of Venus; and then the Tincture of life will itself burst forth mightily from the prison of the dark Saturn, through the hell of the poisonous Mercurius, and through the curse and direful death of God’s wrath that burns and flames in Mars, and the gentle love-fire of the Venus quality will gain the upper hand, and the love-fire Tincture will be preferred in the government and have supreme command.  And then the gentleness and love-fire of Divine Venus will reign as lord and king in and over all qualities.  TPotT 138

(A/A)   In its primary “unconscious” form the animus is a compound of spontaneous, unpremeditated opinions which exercise a powerful influence on the woman’s emotional life, while the anima is similarly compounded of feelings which thereafter influence or distort the man’s understanding (“she has turned his head”).  Consequently the animus likes to project himself upon “intellectuals” and all kinds of “heroes,” including tenors, artists, sporting celebrities, etc.  The anima has a predilection for everything that is unconscious, dark, equivocal, and unrelated in woman, and also for her vanity, frigidity, helplessness, and so forth.  In both cases the incest element plays an important part:  there is a relation between the young woman and her father, the older woman and her son, the young man and his mother, the older man and his daughter.  TPotT 142

 Even when the conscious mind does not identify itself with the inclinations of the unconscious, it still has to face them and somehow take account of them in order that they may play their part in the life of the individual, however difficult this may be.  TPotT 142

Cont’d …

For if the unconscious is not allowed to express itself through word and deed, through worry and suffering, through our consideration of its claims and resistance to them, then the earlier, divided state will return with all the incalculable consequences which disregard of the unconscious may entail.  If, on the other hand, we give in to the unconscious too much, it leads to a positive or negative inflation of the personality.  Turn and twist this situation as we may, it always remains an inner and outer conflict.  TPotT 142

We are always in doubt:  there is always a pro to be rejected and a contra to be accepted.  All of us would like to escape from this admittedly uncomfortable situation, but we do so only to discover that what we left behind us was ourselves.  To live in perpetual flight from ourselves is a bitter thing, and to live with ourselves demands a number of Christian virtues which we then have to apply to our own case, such as patience, love, faith, hope, and humility.  It is all very fine to make our neighbour happy by applying them to him, but the demon of self-admiration so easily claps us on the back and says, “Well done!”  And because this is a great psychological truth it must be stood on its head for an equal number of people so as to give the devil something to carp at.  TPotT 142

Cont’d …

But – does it make us happy when we have to apply these virtues to ourselves? when I am recipient of my own gifts, the least among my brothers whom I must take to my bosom? when I must admit that I need all my patience, my love, my faith, and even my humility, and that I myself am my own devil, the antagonist who always wants the opposite in everything?  Can we ever really endure ourselves?  “Do unto others …” – this is as true of evil as of good.  TPotT 143

Submission to the fundamental contrariety of human nature amounts to an acceptance of the fact that the psyche is at cross purposes with itself.  Alchemy teaches that the tension is fourfold, forming a cross which stands for the four warring elements.  The quaternio is the minimal aspect under which such a state of total opposition can be regarded.  The cross as a form of suffering expresses psychic reality, and carrying the cross is therefore an apt symbol for the wholeness and also for the passion which the alchemist saw in his work.  Hence the Rosarium ends, not unfittingly, with the picture of the risen Christ and the verses:

After my many sufferings and great martyry

I rise again transfigured, of all blemish free

TPotT 143

An exclusively rational analysis and interpretation of alchemy, and of the unconscious contents projected into it, must necessarily stop short at the above parallels and antinomies, for in a total opposition there is no third – tertium non datur!  Science comes to a stop at the frontiers of logic, but nature does not – she thrives on ground as yet untrodden by theory.  Venerabilis natura does not halt at the opposites; she uses them to create, out of opposition, a new birth.  TPotT 143


Our last picture is the tenth in the series, and this is certainly no accident, for the denarius is supposed to be the perfect number.  We have shown that the axiom of Maria consists of 4, 3, 2, 1; the sum of these numbers is 10, which stand for unity on a higher level.  The unarius represents unity in the form of the res simplex, i.e., God as auctor rerum, while the denarius is the result of the completed work.  Hence the real meaning of the denarius is the Son of God.  Although the alchemists call it the filius philosophorum they use it as a Christ-symbol and at the same time employ the symbolic qualities of the ecclesiastical Christ-figure to characterize their Rebis.  TPotT 146

The denarius forms the totius operis summa, the culminating point of the work beyond which it is impossible to go except by means of the multiplicatio. 

Hence the Rebis is described as the cibus sempiternus (everlasting food), lumen indeficiens, and so forth; hence also the assumption that the tincture replenishes itself and that the work need only be completed once and for all time.  TPotT 147

The lapis, understood as the cosmogonic First Man, is the radix ipsius, according to the Rosarium: everything has grown from this One and through this One.  It is the Uroboros, the serpent that fertilizes and gives birth to itself, by definition an increatum(.)   TPotT 147

(sidebar)  It seems to me that theirs was a perfectly natural view:  anything unknowable could best be described in terms of opposites.  TPotT 147


Morienus relates how Hercules told his pupils: “O sons of wisdom, know that God, the supreme and glorious Creator, has made the world out of four unequal elements and set man as an ornament between them.”  TPotT 150

(This) substance [i.e., the arcanum] is extracted from you, and you are its ore; in you the philosophers find it, and, that I may speak more plainly, from you they take it.  And when you have experienced this, the love and desire for it will be increased in you.  And you shall know that this thing subsists truly and beyond all doubt. … For in this stone the four elements are bound together, and men liken it to the world and the composition of the world.  TPotT 150

(Owing) to his position between the four world-principles, man contains within himself a replica of the world in which the unequal elements are united.  This is the microcosm in man, corresponding to the “firmament” or “Olympus” of Paracelsus:  that unknown quantity in man which is as universal and wide as the world itself, which is in him by nature and cannot be acquired.  Psychologically, this corresponds to the collective unconscious, whose projections are to be found everywhere in alchemy.  TPotT 150


As a transcendental idea, immortality cannot be the object of experience, hence there is no argument either for or against.  But immortality as an experience of feeling is rather different.  A feeling is as indisputable a reality as the existence of an idea, and can be experienced to exactly the same degree. 

Cont’d …  On many occasions I have observed that the spontaneous manifestations of the self, i.e., the appearance of certain symbols relating thereto, bring with them something of the timelessness of the unconscious which expresses itself in a feeling of eternity or immortality.  TPotT 151

CU – The idea of the aqua permanens, the incorruptibilitas lapidis, the elixir vitae, the cibus immortalis, etc., is not so very strange, since it fits in with the phenomenology of the collective unconscious. 

(lapis?)  Thus the anonymous author of the Rosarium says:  “It is manifest, therefore, that the stone is the master of the philosophers, as if he (the philosopher) were to say that he does of his own nature that which he is compelled to do; and so the philosopher is not the master, but rather the minister, of the stone.  Consequently, he who attempts through the art and apart from nature to introduce into the matter anything which is not in it naturally, errs, and will bewail his error.” 

Cont’d …


This tells us plainly enough that the artist does not act from his own creative whim, but is driven to act by the stone.  This almighty taskmaster is none other than the self.  The self wants to be made manifest in the work, and for this reason the opus is a process of individuation, a becoming of self.  She self is the total, timeless man and as such corresponds to the original, spherical, bisexual being who stands for the mutual integration of conscious and unconscious.  TPotT 152

For the foregoing we can see how the opus ends with the idea of a highly paradoxical being that defies rational analysis.  The work could hardly end in any other way, since the complexion oppositorum cannot possibly lead to anything but a baffling paradox.  Psychologically, this means that human wholeness can only be described in antinomies, which is always the case when dealing with a transcendental idea.  TPotT 152

Cont’d …

By way of comparison, we might mention the equally paradoxical corpuscular theory and wave theory of light, although these do at least hold out the possibility of mathematical synthesis, which the psychological idea naturally lacks. 

Cont’d …

Our paradox, however, offers the possibility of an intuitive and emotional experience, because the unity of the self, unknowable and incomprehensible, irradiates even the sphere of our discriminating, and hence divided, consciousness, and, like all unconscious contents, does so with very powerful effects.  This inner unity, or experience of unity, is expressed most forcibly by the mystics in the idea of the unio mystica, and above all in the philosophies and religions of India, in Chinese Taoism, and in the Zen Buddhism of Japan.  TPotT 153

(self)  From the point of view of psychology, the names we give to the self are quite irrelevant, and so is the question of whether or not it is “real.”  Its psychological reality is enough for all practical purposes.  The intellect is incapable of knowing anything beyond that anyway, and therefore its Pilate-like questionings are devoid of meaning.  TPotT 153

To come back to our picture:  it shows an apotheosis of the Rebis, the right side of the body being male, the left female.  The figure stands on the moon, which in this case corresponds to the feminine lunar vessel, the vas hermeticum.  Its wings betoken volatility, i.e., spirituality.  In one hand it holds a chalice with three snakes in it, or possibly one snake with three heads; in the other a single snake.  This is an obvious allusion to the axiom of Maria and the old dilemma of 3 and 4, and also to the mystery of the Trinity.  The three snakes in the chalice are the chthonic equivalent of the Trinity, and the single snake represents, firstly, the unity of the three as expressed by Maria and, secondly, the “sinister” serpens Mercurialis with all its subsidiary meanings.  … the snake symbolism  certainly points to the evil principle, which, although excluded from the Trinity, is yet somehow connected with the work of redemption.  Moreover to the left of the Rebis we also find the raven, a synonym for the devil.  The unfledged bird has disappeared:  its place is taken by the winged Rebis.  To the right there stands the “sun and moon tree,” the arbor philosophica, which is the conscious equivalent of the unconscious process of development suggested on the opposite side.  TPotT 153

The symbol of the hermaphrodite, it must be remembered, is one of the many synonyms for the goal of the art.    TPotT page 154   (the art = alchemy)

Cont’d … In order to avoid unnecessary repetition I would refer the reader to the material collected in Psychology and Alchemy, and particularly to the lapis-Christ parallel, to which we must add the rarer and, for obvious reason, generally avoided comparison of the prima materia with God.  Despite the closeness of the analogy, the Lapis is not to be understood simply as the risen Christ and the prima materia as God; the Tabula smaragdina hints, rather, that the alchemical mystery is a “lower” equivalent of the higher mysteries, a sacrament not of the paternal “mind” but of maternal “matter.”  The disappearance of theriomorphic symbols in Christianity is here compensated by a wealth of allegorical animal forms which tally quite well with mater nature.  Whereas the Christian figures are the product of spirit, light, and good, the alchemical figures are creatures of night, darkness, poison, and evil.  These dark origins do much to explain the misshapen hermaphrodite, but they do not explain everything.  The crude, embryonic features of this symbol express the immaturity of the alchemist’s mind, which was not sufficiently developed to equip him for the difficulties of his task.  He was underdeveloped in two senses: firstly he did not understand the real nature of chemical combinations, and secondly he knew nothing about the psychological problem of projection and the unconscious.  All this lay as yet hidden in the womb of the future.  The growth of natural science has filled the first gap, and the psychology of the unconscious is endeavouring to fill the second.  TPotT page 155

Cont’d … Had the alchemist understood the psychological aspects of their work, they would have been in a position to free their “uniting symbol” from the grip of instinctive sexuality where, for better or worse, mere nature, unsupported by the critical intellect, was bound to leave it.  Nature could say no more than that the combination of supreme opposites was a hybrid thing.  And there the statement stuck, in sexuality, as always when the potentialities of unconscious do not come to the assistance of nature – which could hardly have been otherwise in the Middle Ages owing to the complete absence of psychology.  TPotT page 155

Cont’d    So things remained until, at the end of the nineteenth century, Freud dug up this problem again.  There now ensued what usually happens when the conscious mind collides with the unconscious: the former is influenced and prejudiced in the highest degree by the latter, if not actually overpowered by it.  TPotT page 155

Cont’d … The problem of the union of opposites had been lying there for centuries in its sexual form, yet it had to wait until scientific enlightenment and objectivity had advanced far enough for people to mention “sexuality” in scientific conversation. 

Cont’d   The sexuality of the unconscious was instantly taken with great seriousness and elevated to a sort of religious dogma, which has been fanatically defended right down to the present time: such was the fascination emanating from those contents which had last been nurtured by the alchemists.  The natural archetypes that underlie the mythologems of incest, the hierosgamos, the divine child, etc., blossomed forth – in the age of science into the theory of infantile sexuality, perversions, and incest, while the coniunctio was rediscovered in the transference neurosis.  TPotT page 156

The sexualism of the hermaphrodite symbol completely overpowered consciousness and gave rise to an attitude of mind which is just as unsavoury as the old hybrid symbolism.  The task that defeated the alchemists presented itself anew: how is the profound cleavage in man and the world to be understood, how are we to respond to it, and if possible, abolish it?  So runs the question when stripped of its natural sexual symbolism in which it had got stuck only because the problem could not push its way over the threshold of the unconscious.  The sexualism of these contents always denotes an unconscious identity of the ego with some unconscious figure (either anima or animus), and because of this the ego is obliged, willing and reluctant at once, to be a party to the hierosgamos, or at least to believe that it is simply and solely a matter of an erotic consummation.  And sure enough it increasingly becomes so the more one believes it – the more exclusively, that is to say, one concentrates on the sexual aspect and the less attention one pays to the archetypal patterns.  As we have seen, the whole question invites fanaticism because it is so painfully obvious that we are in the wrong.  If, on the other hand, we decline to accept the argument that because a thing is fascinating it is the absolute truth, then we give ourselves a chance to see that the alluring sexual aspect is but one among many – the very one that deludes our judgment.  This aspect is always trying to deliver us into the power of a partner who seems compounded of all the qualities we have failed to realize in ourselves.  Hence unless we prefer to be made fools of by our illusions, we shall by carefully analyzing every fascination, extract from it a portion of our own personality, like a quintessence, and slowly come to recognize that we meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.  This however is a truth which only profits the man who is temperamentally convinced of the individual and irreducible reality of his fellow man.  TPotT page 156

We know that in the course of the dialectical process the unconscious produces certain images of the goal.  In Psychology and Alchemy I have described a long series of dreams which contain such images (including even a shooting target).  They are mostly concerned with ideas of the mandala type, that is, the circle and the quaternity.  The latter are the plainest and most characteristic representations of the goal.  Such images unite the opposites under the sign of the quaternio, i.e., by combining them in the form of a cross, or else they express the idea of wholeness through the circle or sphere.  The superior type of personality may also figure as a goal-image, though more rarely.  Occasionally special stress is laid on the luminous character of the centre.  TPotT page 157

I have never come across the hermaphrodite as a personification of the goal, but more as a symbol of the initial state, expressing an identity with anima or animus.  TPotT page 157

These images are naturally only anticipations of a wholeness which is, in principle, always just beyond our reach.  Also, they do not invariably indicate a subliminal readiness on the part of the patient to realize that wholeness consciously, at a later stage; often they mean no more than a temporary compensation of chaotic confusion and lack of orientation.  Fundamentally, of course, they always point to the self, the container and organizer of all opposites.  But at the moment of their appearance they merely indicate the possibility of order in wholeness.  TPotT page 157

What the alchemist tried to express with his Rebis and his squaring of the circle, and what the modern man also tries to express when he draws patterns of circles and quaternities, is wholeness – a wholeness that resolves all opposition and puts an end to conflict, or at least draws its sting.  The symbol of this is a coincidentia oppositorum which , as we know, Nicholas of Cusa identified with God. 

… a successful transference can – at least temporarily – cause the whole neurosis to disappear, and for this reason it has been very rightly recognized by Freud as a healing factor of first-rate importance, but, at the same time, as a provisional state only, for although it holds out the possibility of a cure, it is far from being the cure itself.  2EoAP 130

(regarding a case with a strong transference) … I saw how the transpersonal control-point developed – I cannot call it anything else – a guiding function and step by step gathered to itself all the former personal over-valuations; how, with this afflux of energy, it gained influence over the resisting conscious mind without the patient’s consciously noticing what was happening.  From this I realized that the dreams were not just fantasies, but self-representations of unconscious developments which allowed the psyche of the patient gradually to grow out of the pointless personal tie.   2EoAP 134