Dream Circumambulatio

But if the life-mass is to be transformed a circumambulatio is necessary, i.e., exclusive concentration on the centre, the place of creative change.  During this process one is "bitten" by animals; in other words, we have to expose ourselves to the animal impulses of the unconscious without identifying with them and without "running away": for flight from the unconscious would defeat the purpose of the whole proceeding.  We must hold our ground, which means here that the process initiated by the dreamer's self-observation must be experienced in all its ramifications and then articulated with consciousness to the best of his undersanding.  This often entails an almost unbearable tension because the utter incommensurability between conscious life and the unconscious process, which can be experienced only in the innermost soul and cannot touch the visitble surface of life at any point.  The principle of conscious life is:  "Nihil est in intellectu, quod non prius fuerit in sensu."  But the principle of the unconscious is the autonomy of the psyche itself, reflecting in the play of its images not the world but itself, even though it utilizes the illustrative possibilities offered by the sensible world in order to make its images clear.  The sensory datum, however, is not the causa efficiens of this: rather, it is autonomously selected and exploited by the psyche, with the reult that the rationality of the cosmos is constantly being violated in the most distressing manner.  But the sensible world has an equally devastating effect on the deeper psychic processes when it breaks into them as a causa efficiens.  If reason is not to be outraged on the one hand and the creative play of images not violently suppressed on the other, a circumspect and farsighted synthetic procedure is required in order to accomplish the paradoxical union o irreconcilables (i.e. fire and water).  Hence the alchemical parallels in our dreams.