Path of Soul

The path of soul as revealed in art, dream & archetype … by Jenna Lilla Phd

Creative Power

Hendrik Goltzius, Helios-1588-1590. US public domain.

Hendrik Goltzius, Helios– 1588-1590.       US public domain via wikimedia.

In the second section of Symbols of Transformation, Jung takes us “into a realm of mythological ideas” (para. 176). Here Jung palpates the aims and desires of the living soul. Jung uses archetypal images to dream on the nature of the soul. He allows his soul to speak to our soul through presenting the hieroglyphic communications of the soul. Jung begins with a contemplation of the sun:

“the Creator God [takes] on an astromythological, or rather an astrological, character. He has become the sun, and thus finds a natural expression that transcends his moral division into a Heavenly Father and his counterpart the devil” (ibid).

Monotheism is an archetypal image for the soul, expressing a significant aim and desire of the soul, a desire for wholeness. This image of wholeness is found in both the sun and the God image. Such an image of wholeness ‘transcends’ any divided image, as seen, for example,  in the cloven God and devil.

“The sun… is the only truly ‘rational’ image of God, whether we adopt the standpoint of the primitive savage or of modern science. In either case the sun is the father-god from whom all living things draw life; he is the fructifier and creator, the source of energy for our world. The discord into which the human soul has fallen can be harmoniously resolved through the sun as a natural object which knows no inner conflict” (ibid).

The sun is a ‘rational’ image of God. Such an image is an expression of the archetypal form of wholeness and completeness. It is the image of the father God, the creator, from which ‘all living things draw life.’ This image is the perfect image of and for idealization. We idealize that which is whole, as the image of a promised wholeness.

“The sun is not only beneficial, but also destructive; hence the zodiacal sign for August heat is the ravaging lion which Samson 1 slew in order to rid the parched earth of its torment. Yet it is in the nature of the sun to scorch, and its scorching power seems natural to man. It shines equally on the just and the unjust, and allows useful creatures to flourish as well as the harmful” (ibid).

This idealized image not only offers a life engendering potential, but also that of destruction. The sun is both the source of life and of tormenting, burning heat. The sun brooks no favor, flourishing all and every.

“Therefore the sun is perfectly suited to represent the visible God of this world, i.e., the creative power of our own soul, which we call libido, and whose nature it is to bring forth the useful and to bring forth the useful and the harmful, the good and the bad” (ibid).

The sun is an image of ‘the visible God.’ Notice here Jung is not speaking of the hidden God. But of the God of light and of ‘creative power.’ This creative power is libido, the instinctual energy of the soul. The creative power of the soul represents the soul’s potential:’to bring forth the useful and the harmful, the good and the bad.’

7 comments on “Creative Power

  1. Gary
    February 1, 2014

    Very interested to continue glimpses into your vision of libidinal, instinctual creation, esp in re to the new birth and a new heavens (with a new Sun?) and a new earth. I grieve over our mother, Gaia. What of the soul of the earth?

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 1, 2014

      What of the soul of the earth? She is the anima mundi, the world soul. In the 4th century BC Plato said:

      “This world is indeed a living being endowed with a soul and intelligence … a single visible living entity containing all other living entities, which by their nature are all related” (Timaeus, 29/30).

      Gary, I believe that when the mind is in balance with soul, there is a natural relation with the world, a healing relation. Currently we have a civilization cathected at the ego level. According to Carl Jung our instincts have been ‘denatured,’ and with this a loss of connection to the soul path. For healing of the earth we must reclaim our connection to the life of soul.

      • Gary
        February 1, 2014

        Civilization is destroying the biosphere. It’s perhaps too late for anything to be done socially or politically or economically to halt and reverse civilization. If you are agreed, are you saying that our only “hope” is the connection to the life of the soul? This “life of the soul” … isn’t that life the same life of anima mundi?

        • Jenna Lilla
          February 1, 2014

          Yes, I agree that civilization is destroying the biosphere. It is very sad to watch this happen, to feel powerless against such destructive forces. Human civilization needs to make a profound shift in our relationship to the mother world. We are so blessed and yet we have no reverence for our blessings– for this loving, giving mother earth of ours. I believe we as a civilization have to come to terms with our greed. Western civilization was given so much, and it wanted more and more. For Carl Jung such greed is an example of a ‘denatured’ instinct. If we can find our way back to the soul’s instincts then they will guide us in creative, life affirming transformations.

          The soul’s desire is for life, unity, relationality. If we can find our way back to the soul then we may discover the unifying and life affirming instincts of the soul. This unity includes a reconnection to the anima mundi– as the anima of the world, as world soul.

  2. Rob Two-Hawks
    February 4, 2014

    Jenna….So simply &beautifully described,and yet,there’s so much inside the symbolism of the sun and it’s relationships with the creative instincts of Soul & Libido.And,in light of what you’ve shared here it’s so appropriate that the final leg of the shaman’s quest for wholeness concerns the mystical entrance into the sacred ”Sun Door”.Could this amazing image of reconciliation and wholeness also deeply resonate with the light/alchemic gold discovered after the Soul’s dark night?The mystic’s unitive vision appears to suggest so.Thanks for some very welcome sun in the arctic heart of early February!

    • Jenna Lilla
      February 4, 2014

      I believe it is time to share one of my favorite images with you…

      Sometimes when I am responding to your comments this image comes to mind. I love the eye-eagle form emerging from the sun, emerging from chaos. This, to me, is an image of that ‘something’ to which you are eluding: the alchemist gold, the sun after a dark and cold winter, transformations of the soul.

      • Rob Two-Hawks
        February 4, 2014

        Jenna…it’s been some time since I’ve seen this wonderful eye-eagle image.Thank you so much.I’ll place it upon the brightest windowsill in my heart!

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