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Memories, Dreams and Reflections - 5 - C.G.Jung

I hated going to church. The one exception eas Christmas Day. The Christmas carol "This Is the Day That God has made" pleased me enormously. And then in the evening, of course, came the Christmas tree. Christmas was the only Christian festival I could celebrate with fervor. All others left me cold.I hated going to church. The one exception eas Christmas Day. The Christmas carol "This Is the Day That God has made" pleased me enormously. And then in the evening, of course, came the Christmas tree. Christmas was the only Christian festival I could celebrate with fervor. All others left me cold.New Year's Eve alone had something of the attractiveness of Christmas, but definitely took second place; Advent had a quality about it that somehow did not fit in with the coming Christmas.

It had to do with night storms, and wind, and also with the darkness of the house.There was something whispering, something queer going on.I return now to the discovery I made in the course of associating with my rustic schoolmates. I found that they alinated me from myself. When I was with them I became different from the way I was at home. I joined in their pranks, or invented ones which at home would never have occurred to me, so it seemed; although, as I knew only too well, I could hatch up all sorts of things when I was alone. It seemed to me that the change in myself was due to the influence of my schoolfellows, who somehow misled me or compelled me to be different from what I thought I was.

The influence of this wider world.this world which contained others besides my parents, seemed to me dubious if not altogether suspect and, in some obscure way, hostile. Though I became increasingly aware of the beauty of the bright daylight world  where " golden sunlight filters through green leaves," at the same time I had a premonition of an inescapable world of shadows filled with frightening, unanswerable questions which had met at their mercy.My nightly prayer did, of course, grant me a ritual protection since it concluded the day properly and just as properly ushered in night and sleep. But the new peril lurked by day. It was as if I sensed a splitting of myself, and feared it. My inner security was threatened.I also recall from this period (seven to nine) that I was fond of playing with fire. in our garden there was an old wall built of large blocks of stone, the interstices of which made interesting caves.

I used to tend a little fire in one of these caves, with other children helping me; a fire that had to burn forever and therefore had to be constantly maintained by our united efforts, which consisted in gathereing the necessary woodNo one but myself was allowed to tend this fire. Others could light other fires in other caves, but these fires were profane and did not concern me. My fire alone was living and had an unmistakable aura of sanctity.In front of this wall was a slope in which was embedded a stone that jutted out-my stone. Often, when I was alone, I sat down on this stone, and then began my imaginary game that went something like this: " I am sitting on top of this stone and it is underneath.

" But the stone also could say "I" and think:"I am lying here on this slope and he is sitting on top of me."The question then arose:"Am I the one who is sitting on the stone, or am I the stone on which he is sitting?" This question always perplexed me, and I would stand up, wondering who was what now. The answer remained totally unclear, and my uncertainty was accompanied by a feeling of curious and fascinating darkness.  But there was no doubt whatsoever that this stone stood in some secret relationship to me. I could sit on it for hours, fascinated by the puzzle it set me.

Thirty years blater I again stood on that slope. I was a married man, had children, a house, a place in the world, and a head full of ideas and plans and suddenly again I was again the child who had kindled a fire full of secret significance and sat down on a stone without knowing whether it was or I was it. I thought suddenly of my life in Zurich, and it seemed alien to me, like news from some remote world and time. This was frightening, for the world of my childhood in which I had just become absorbed was eternal, and I had been wrenched away from it and had fallen into a time that continued to roll onward, moving farther and farther away.Thirty years blater I again stood on that slope.

I was a married man, had children, a house, a place in the world, and a head full of ideas and plans and suddenly again I was again the child who had kindled a fire full of secret significance and sat down on a stone without knowing whether it was or I was it. I thought suddenly of my life in Zurich, and it seemed alien to me, like news from some remote world and time. This was frightening, for the world of my childhood in which I had just become absorbed was eternal, and I had been wrenched away from it and had fallen into a time that continued to roll onward, moving farther and farther away.

The pull of that other worldwas so strongthat I had to tear myself violently from the spot in order not to lose hold of my future. I have never forgotten that moment, for it illuminated in a flash of lightning the quality of eternity in my childhood. What this meant was revealed soon afterward, in my tenth year. My disunion with myself and uncertainty in the world at large led me to an action which at the time was quite incomprehensible to me.The pull of that other world was so strongthat I had to tear myself violently from the spot in order not to lose hold of my future. I have never forgotten that moment, for it illuminated in a flash of lightning the quality of eternity in my childhood. What this meant was revealed soon afterward, in my tenth year. My disunion with myself and uncertainty in the world at large led me to an action which at the time was quite incomprehensible to me.

I had in those days a yellow, varnished pencil case of the kind commonly used in primary-school pupils, with a little lock and the customary ruler. At the end of this ruler I now carved a little manikin, about two inches long, with frock coat, top hat, and shiny black boots. I colored him black with ink, sawed him off the ruler, and put him in the pencil case, where I made him a little bed. I even made a coat for him out of a bit of wool.I had in those days a yellow, varnished pencil case of the kind commonly used in primary-school pupils, with a little lock and the customary ruler. At the end of this ruler I now carved a little manikin, about two inches long, with frock coat, top hat, and shiny black boots. I colored him black with ink, sawed him off the ruler, and put him in the pencil case, where I made him a little bed. I even made a coat for him out of a bit of wool. 

Reference: Memories, Dreams, Reflections: C.G. Jung

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