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Visionary painting, mid-January 1917 by Carl Jung

Jung, in his massive Red Book, painted mandalas and images from dreams and (more often) dialogs in a hypnogogic state which he calls "active imagination". This one appears to be nondream. It seems to be a four-armed mutant version of god Osiris steering the Ship of the Sun (awareness, the broader self) across the underworld at night, as our consciousness navigates the sea of dreams (or, often, fails to).

The ship of the sun sails a monster-infested sea; Plate 55 of Jung's 'Red Book'. Click to enlarge.

The sea monster is not merely decorative. In later lectures Jung characterized struggles with seamonsters in myth and dreams as an explicit struggle for self-awareness in a sea of unconscious behavior--whether instinctive, cultural or habitual.

The verse at the top, translated, reads:

One word that was never spoken
One light that was never lit
An unparalleled confusion
And a road without end.
--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Jung's Red Book (2009), image, plate 55; notes based on footnotes, p. 286. Date estimated from bracketing material (Jan 3 & Jan.17)



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