Tuesday, November 13, 2012

C.G. Jung & The Alchemical Journey & Goethe's Faust

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961) considered Faust a key work of Hermetic and alchemical thought, and Goethe as an alchemical Magus. He said, "I regard my work on alchemy as a sign of my inner relationship to Goethe. Goethe’s secret was that he was in the grip of that process of archetypal transformation that has gone on through the centuries. He regarded his Faust as an opus magnum or divinum [great or divine work]. He called it his 'main business', and his whole life was enacted within the framework of this drama."

Rudolf Steiner said that Goethe 
"attained the supreme mysteries."

Faust is the story, superficially, of a man who sells his soul to the Devil in return for ultimate knowledge. In reality, the story is nothing less than an account of the Gnostic struggle for salvation, and few people were better placed to tell it than Goethe, a literary genius and polymath.

Faust is a tragic play/epic poem of the early 19th Century, which contemporary readers might find too alien and obscure for modern taste, but it massively rewards a patient and thoughtful reader. The story is fantastical, full of symbolism, illusion and allusion. The basic story is outlined below, with notes about some of the coded meanings, but there are many layers that we have deliberately not unpeeled. Those who have the necessary dedication and insight can attempt to fathom the myriad secrets of Faust by themselves.

Faust is the Gnostic seeker of truth who experiences the fall of the soul and then redemption. He achieves the alchemical task of converting base metal (his fallen state) into gold  

(his admission to the realm of light).

Continued in this video 
(The Alchemical Journey):

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