Jung on Alchemy (3): Meditation and Imagination


Brigit Marlin, "Meditation on Emptiness" Brigit Marlin, “Meditation on Emptiness”

Alchemy speaks a secret language, which, provided there is a basic soul readiness, can be learnt through a slow and arduous process, yet abounding in moments of rapture and revelation. Its method of explanation was best summarized by a Latin phrase obscurum per obscurium, ignotium per ignotius (the obscure by the more obscure, the unknown by the more unknown):

“The real mystery does not behave mysteriously or secretively;… it adumbrates itself by a variety of images which all indicate its true nature. I am not speaking of a secret personally guarded by someone, with a content known to its possessor, but of a mystery, a matter or circumstance which is ‘secret,’ i.e. known only through vague hints but essentially unknown. The real nature of matter was unknown to the alchemist: he knew it only in hints. In seeking to explore it he projected the unconscious…

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