Saturday, March 19, 2022

time is a child at play



In 1950, on the occasion of his 75th birthday, Jung set up a stone cube on the lakeshore, just west of the Bollingen Tower, inscribing it on three sides. One side contains a quote taken from the Rosarium philosophorum: Hic lapis exilis extat, pretio quoque vilis, spernitur a stultis, amatur plus ab edoctis. 

Here stands the mean, uncomely stone, ‘Tis very cheap in price! The more it is despised by fools, The more loved by the wise. 

A dedication is also inscribed on this side of the stone: IN MEMORIAM NAT[ivitatis] S[uae] DIEI LXXV C G JUNG EX GRAT[itudine] FEC[it] ET POS[uit] A[nn]O MCML. 

In memory of his 75th birthday, C.G. Jung out of gratitude made and set it up in the year 1950.

The second side of the cube depicts Jung’s Telesphoros figure, bearing a lantern and wearing a hooded cape. It is surrounded by a Greek inscription: «Ὁ Αἰὼν παῖς ἐστι παίζων, πεττεύων· παιδὸς ἡ βασιληίη» · Τελεσφόρος διελαύνων τοὺς σκοτεινοὺς τοῦ κόσμου τόπους, καὶ ὡς ἀστὴρ ἀναλάμπων ἐκ τοῦ βάθους, ὁδηγεῖ «παρ’ Ἠελίοιο πύλας καὶ δῆμον ὀνείρων». 

Time is a child — playing like a child — playing a board game — the kingdom of the child. This is Telesphoros, who roams through the dark regions of this cosmos and glows like a star out of the depths. He points the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams.

"Time is a child at play, gambling; a child’s is the kingship” is a fragment attributed to Heraclitus. 

“He points the way to the gates of the sun and to the land of dreams” is a quote from the Odyssey (Book 24, Verse 12). It refers to Hermes the psychopomp, who leads away the spirits of the slain suitors. 

The second side also contains a four-part mandala of alchemical significance. The top quarter of the mandala is dedicated to Saturn, the bottom quarter to Mars, the left quarter to Sol-Jupiter [male], and the right quarter to Luna-Venus [female]. 

The third side of the cube is the side that faces the lake. It bears a Latin inscription of sayings which, Jung says, “are more or less quotations from alchemy.” 

The inscription reads: I am an orphan, alone; yet, I am found everywhere. I am one, but contrary to myself. I am youth and old man at the same time. I have known neither father nor mother, because I must be lifted up from the depth like a fish, or i fall from the sky like a white stone. In woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of time.


From the one comes two,
from two, three,
and from the third comes the one as the fourth.

—David C. Hamilton 


1 comment:

  1. Amazing video... Thank you... I believe he has written books on Alchemy, which I have not read - maybe someday :)