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Stages of Coniunctio Oppositorum, Gerardus Dorneus
Written by Notes from C G Jung's Mysterium Coniunctionis CW14 (1956)
The Three Stages of Conjunction :
The first stage of union, the unio mentalis, represents self-knowledge; the objective recognition of what we are and not who we would like to think we are. It is the recognition of one's own image, the "tight passage" of the shadow who stands in our way and at first produces a complete standstill, a No equal to our Yes. The way of individuation is the way of the cross, which each of us must carry as a "recognition and responsibility for our whole being, our good and bad sides, our superior as well as inferior functions."
The recognition of the shadow produces a "torn and divided state." "Self-knowledge is an adventure that carries us unexpectedly far and deep. Even a moderately comprehensive knowledge of the shadow can cause a good deal of confusion and mental darkness since it gives rise to personality problems which one had never remotely imagined before...Correctly assessing the psychic danger in which he stood, it was therefore of the utmost importance for [the adept] to have a favourable familiar as a helper in his work, and at the same time to diligently devote himself to the spiritual exercise of prayer, all this to meet effectively the consequences of the collision between his consciousness and the darkness of the shadow."
The second stage in the coniunctio represents the conscious realization of circular wholeness, the alchemical means by which spirit (mind, mens) and body are irrationally reconciled, for the conflict between them can only be reconciled on a transcendent plane, where alone the paradoxical wholeness can be realized on a symbolic level "both real and unreal." Here the problem of conscious and unconscious is answered on the plane of the anima. Only Nature can solve the dilemma of the opposites: "Only logic knows a tertium non datura; nature consists entirely of such "thirds," since she is represented by effects which resolve an opposition - just as a waterfall mediates between above and below." She is the incommensurable third unknown to logical antithesis, the Holy Spirit, "the breath that heals and makes whole."
The second coniunctio can "only be effected by active imagination, the alchemical procedure of circular distillation whereby the stone is shaped in symbolic form, producing a subtle body, a transcendent, celestial substance, the anima mundi, the image of God in matter, a uniting symbol." "As a rule this state is represented pictorially by a mandala." This image of the Self is the "word made flesh." "With this production of a physical equivalent the idea of the Self has taken shape."
This is the "humanization of the self" and the reunion with the body, "hoping for and expecting the blessed third union with the first unity", the original unitary world of the Father. "On the basis of a self known by meditation and produced by alchemical means, Dorn "hoped and expected" to be united with the unus mundus...not with the world of multiplicity as we see it but with a potential world, the eternal Ground of all empirical being, just as the Self is the ground and origin of the individual personality, past, present and future."
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