Voyages from I to Thou.

Location: Skellig Michel, Ireland

Friday, December 03, 2004

The Son in the Sea

As the grain of fire lies concealed in the hyle, so the King’s Son lies in the dark depths of the sea as though dead, but yet lives and calls from the deep: “Whosoever will free me from the waters and lead me to dry land, him I will prosper with everlasting riches.”

The connection with the Rex marinus of the “Visio Arislei” is obvious. Arisleus tells of his adventure with the Rex marinus , in whose kingdom nothing prospers and nothing is begotten. Moreover, there are no philosophers there. Only like mates with like, consequently there is no procreation. The king must seek the counsel of the philosophers and mate Thabritus with Beya, his two children whom he has hatched in his brain.

When we are told that the King is exanimis, inanimate, or that his land is unfruitful, it is equivalent to saying that the hidden state is one of latency and potentiality. The darkness and depths of the sea symbolize the unconscious state of an invisible content that is projected. Inasmuch as such a content belongs to the total personality and is only apparently severed from its context by projection, there is always an attraction between conscious mind and projected content. Generally it takes the form of a fascination. This, in the alchemical allegory, is expressed by the King’s cry for help from the depths of his unconsious, dissociated state. The conscious mind should respond to this call: one should operari regi, render service to the King, for this would be not only wisdom but salvation as well. Yet this brings with it the necessity of a descent into the dark world of the unconscious ... the perilous adventure of the night sea journey... whose end and aim is the restoration of life, resurrection, and the triumph over death.

CG Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, par. 435-6


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