The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 9, pt. 2

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 9, pt. 2

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 9, pt. 2

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 9, pt. 2

Synopsis



Aion, originally published in German in 1951, is one of the major works of Jung's later years. The central theme of the volume is the symbolic representation of the psychic totality through the concept of the Self, whose traditional historical equivalent is the figure of Christ. Jung demonstrates his thesis by an investigation of the Allegoria Christi, especially the fish symbol, but also of Gnostic and alchemical symbolism, which he treats as phenomena of cultural assimilation. The first four chapters, on the ego, the shadow, and the anima and animus, provide a valuable summation of these key concepts in Jung's system of psychology.

Excerpt

The theme of this work is the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion), My investigation seeks, with the help of Christian, Gnostic, and alchemical symbols of the self, to throw light on the change of psychic situation within the “Christian aeon.” Christian -tradition from the outset is not only saturated with Persian and Jewish ideas about the beginning and end of time, but is filled with intimations of a kind of enantiodromian reversal of dominants. I mean by this the dilemma of Christ and Antichrist. Probably most of the historical speculations about time and the division of time were influenced, as the Apocalypse shows, by astrological ideas. It is therefore only natural that my reflections should gravitate mainly round the symbol of the Fishes, for the Pisces aeon is the synchronistic concomitant of two thousand years of Christian development. In this time-period not only was the figure of the Anthropos (the “Son of Man”) progressively amplified symbolically, and thus assimilated psychologically, but it brought with it changes in man’s attitude that had already been anticipated by the expectation of the Antichrist in the ancient texts. Because these texts relegate the appearance of Antichrist to the end of time, we are justified in speaking of a “Christian aeon,” which, it was presupposed, would find its end with the Second Coming. It seems as if this expectation coincides with the astrological conception of the “Platonic month” of the Fishes.

1 [In the Swiss edition, this foreword begins as follows: “In this volume (VIII of the Psychologische Abhandlungen) I am bringing out two works which, despite their inner and outer differences, belong together in so far as they both treat of the great theme of this book, namely the idea of the Aeon (Greek, Aion). While the contribution of my co-worker, Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz, describes the psychological transition from antiquity to Christianity by analysing the Passion of St. Perpetua, my own investigation seeks, with the help of” etc., as above. Dr. von Franz’s “Die Passio Perpetuae” is omitted from the present volume. —EDITORS.]

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