Genesis

  The emergence of human consciousness can be compared to the Genesis story of creation.  On the first day God divided the light from the darkness and called the light day and the darkness night.  Psychologically translated, this would mean that on the same day the light of consciousness emerged from the chaos of undifferentiation, night, the unconscious, also came into being as an absolute and independent opposite to consciousness.  TGL 139

“Unconscious” is the negative of “conscious,” which is there, presupposed to exist.  Small children have no individual unconscious because they have no corresponding consciousness.  They have their being in a dreamlike, twilight state out of which, with increasing consciousness, they awaken into an ever higher, more consolidated consciousness, oriented towards the outer world.  With consciousness, the unconscious therefore also comes into existence.  TGL 139

If we follow the Genesis story further we read that on the fourth day, after the firmament which separates the waters above from those below has been created and when the lower waters have been collected together to form the seas so that the dry land can appear and bring forth vegetation, God speaks: “Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for season, and for days, and years: And let them be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.  And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.” TGL 139

  The great light of day, the sun, may be compared to the mind, the lesser light which rules the night to the soul.  After the earth, as solidity and consciousness, had been separated from the sea, the surging, fluctuating unconscious, the soul came into being as if arising from the water.  TGL 139

If we keep to the analogy of the Genesis story, the soul, the light of night, makes its first appearance after the creation of a world which it can assimilate.  Mankind, or at any rate Western man, had obviously reached this stage at the rise of Christianity.  The growing consciousness of the soul coincided with this phenomenon, indeed the highest value was attributed to the soul in the Christian religion.  The part played in Christianity by suffering and the Passion clearly indicates (in contrast to some other religions) that a feminine element is included and is of importance, and that the soul could be described as the organ of suffering.  Tertullian’s saying, “Anima naturaliter christiana” (“The soul is Christian by nature”), can also be understood in this sense.  The process of realizing or becoming conscious of the soul was greatly intensified in the Middle Ages and was manifested not only in religion but also in the secular Minnedienst, to which, moreover, a pronouncedly religious character adhered, so that the process finally came round again full circle to its true foundation, the soul. 

   The Book of Genesis is really a translation into patrilineal Hebrew mythology of the earlier Sumerian forms from a thousand years before Genesis was written.  G 78