Excerpt About Alchemy

Carl Jung’s Psychology stayed on the Level of the Mind

Although it is clear that in texts like these references to substances are not symbolic, modern authors continue to take the symbolic meaning. This is of course a reflection of the fact that these authors are bound by their minds; they cannot see that essence is something more fundamental and more substantial than the mind and its manifestations. They remain on the mental realm of symbols and images and shy away from the embodied experience of being. A well-known example is that of the psychologist Carl Jung and his followers. He understood alchemical language to be symbolic of mental and psychic processes. He took the terms water of life, the philosopher's stone, Mercurius, and many others as symbols and metaphors of psychic and spiritual processes. In this way he got closer to the truth than those people who totally dismiss alchemy but he fell short of the truth of alchemy. He could not go beyond his mind and his intuition, and so his development could not go to essential realization. His psychology stayed on the level of the mind, and his archetypes remained as disembodied images. He saw the soul as containing images, instead of actual presence…

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