Marie Louise von Franz on Alchemy


Carl Jung Depth Psychology

From “Alchemy,” Louise-Marie von Franz, pp. 169-170:

“It is a strange thing, if we look at it naively, that in alchemy the end product is something which in the order of nature we look upon as very low, namely a stone, something whose quality is just to be there. A stone neither eats nor drinks nor sleeps, it just remains there for all eternity. If you kick it, then it stays where you kicked it and does not move. But in alchemy this despised thing is the symbol of the goal. We have to go deep into the mystical language of the East and of alchemy and of certain other Christian mystiques to get an idea of what this means.

If through fighting and meeting the unconscious one has suffered long enough, a kind of objective personality is established; a nucleus forms in the person which is at peace, quiet…

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