Monday, March 24, 2008

Mysterium Coniunctionis

This drawing, which I did on New Years Day of 2007, was influenced by my reading of the Bollingen edition of the Collected Works of Carl Jung. The following brief description is taken from the Carl Jung Exegesis Wiki:

"The Mysterium Coniunctionis, or Mystery of the Conjunction, is considered by many to be Jung's master work.

In this book Jung reviews the vast literature of Medieval, Renaissance, and post-Renaissance alchemy from a psychological perspective. Jung contends, and convincingly demonstrates, that alchemy at this time was not, as many mistakenly believe, mainly concerned with the transmutation of lead into gold. Rather, the aim was more spiritual and mental transformation of the alchemist him/her-self. In this sense, alchemy was a kind of precursor to modern depth psychology.

Particularly because it developed prior to the excessive rationalization of culture which has occurred in recent centuries, the ideas and, in Jung's view, especially the symbology, of alchemy has much to offer modern psychology.

The "conjunction" referred to in the title refers to an alignment, joining, or resolution of conflict between poles dualities that define human beings. The poles of one duality of special importance can be variously interpreted as Solar/Lunar, Male/Female, Spirit/Matter, Yang/Yin or various other antinomies."

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