Jung’s Gnostic Creation Myth: The Creative Shadow Pleroma and the Development of his System of Psychology

This essay is about Jung’s Gnostic creation myth, which he wrote in 1916 as an important part of his encounter with the unconscious.  He called it the Seven Sermons to the Dead, and attributed its writing to Philemon, a winged being he encountered in dreams and fantasies, who assumed the role of guru with superior insight.  I refer to a Vedic creation myth commented on by Sri Aurobindo and a creation story of the Mother as well as relevant passages from Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri for the sake of comparison.  In all four cases there is a primordial creative Shadow and the number of principal beings [deities] is four, suggesting that the qualitative number four [4] is significant as a fundamental truth of existence and individual wholeness. Jung’s myth puts more emphasis on the created world, while Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s accounts tell a story as to how the original luminous fourfold being turned into its opposite. Jung writes that his early fantasies, including the one mentioned above, foreshadowed his entire life and scientific work as a psychologist.  I work through each of the seven sermons and indicate their psychological meaning, while alluding to his developed approach to psychological.  I also briefly analyze two seminal initiation dreams Jung had, one between the age of three [3] and four [4] and one at the age of thirty-seven [37].  The first dream is his initiation into the mystery of the earth, and the second his initiation into the wisdom of alchemical transformation through the Divine Mother as Sophia.  I end this essay by discussing how the path of individuation involves both the psychic being or heart-Self centered transformation and spiritual ascension or spiritual transfiguration as indicated in Jung’s early fantasies.