Where do we find God? Within ourselves, that is the teaching of the esoteric, gnostic traditions of all religions. It was also the discovery of the Alchemists. When we look within ourselves, we find that there is a something objective, which is not the ego. We become aware of this “something” through dreams, it is the source; it authors our dreams. Since this “something” resides within each and every human, it is a connection within all humanity, a gift to each human being on the planet. Yet it is not just a gift of dreaming, it is the indwelling presence itself, which resides in all people. Carl Jung referred to this “something” in a variety of ways. He called it the objective psyche, the image of God, and the Self (note the capitalization).
Marie-Louise von Franz talks about that inner spark in her book (1979, 1997) Alchemical Active Imagination. She is exploring and explaining Alfred Dorn’s Alchemical Treatise (1679), where he says, “nobody can become conscious of himself, if he does not know what and not who he is.” The “what”, which is translated from the Latin word “quid”, is the object with dwells within each person. In Jungian language this object is a mystery, about which we can know certain things, patterns and symbols mostly, but ultimately it is unknown and unknowable as it is in itself (to follow Kant’s way of speaking). In order to talk about the Great Mystery in modern scientific terms, Carl Jung coined the phrase “the Unconscious”. Since all nouns are capitalized in German, this says nothing of the Divine Nature of the Great Mystery. Earlier translations of Jung’s work into English preserved his belief about the nature of the objective psyche by capitalizing the word “Self” when it refers to the Mystery Within. The Unconscious “speaks” to us in many ways, but the most common is in dreams.
When we understand a dream, we have an “Aha!” reaction, we “get it”, the meaning resonates in an almost magical way. Dorn calls these mystical insights “sparks” and when experienced over a period of time, these sparks of light coalesce into a constant awareness of the Light Within. Our everyday beliefs may fluctuate from one pole to the opposite several times a day, depending upon which authority figure is telling us his or her truth. The antidote to this constant chaotic “churning” is to pay attention to our dreams and other sychronistic messages from the Great Mystery. This is how doubt is dissolved over a period of time. von Franz says,
Every understood dream is like a slight electric shock into higher consciousness, normally one has the feeling, “Oh, now I understand,” and that has a vivifying effect. The dream one gets at night is always like a letter from the same inner center, from the Self. Every dream is that, and the writer of the letter is always the same: the Self, the one thing, the quid. Therefore, if you go on for a long time having these “Aha!” reactions, you slowly become aware of the nature of that nocturnal letter writer, or constantly aware of the presence and reality of the Self. That gives the ego peace of mind. If, for instance, you get into any outer jam, you may worry to a certain extent, but then you think you will wait and see what the unconscious, or the Self, says. Thus you have a second source of information. You do not always have to follow your own voice, and that gives the ego a patient attitude and a certain continuity, for it waits to hear the inner source of information through which it will cope with the impossible situation. . . . So the connection with the Self makes for a certain quietness and constancy in the personality. (Alchemical Active Imagination p. 73)
Once we are able to quiet the ego and pay attention to the messages from the Great Mystery, we realize that we are in a relationship with it. And the “it”, the “quid” to which Dorn refers, resides within us, within each human on earth. Of course we don’t always listen to the Voice Within, nor do we open Its letters. Some of us deny the existence of any Inner Voice or Source of dreams. That doesn’t change the truth of Its existence and the ease with which It can be accessed. We are constantly in intimate contact with the Divine, It resides within the individual, within the psyche of each soul on earth. This is one of the reasons the ancient Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul. It is demonstrated in one of the last myths of classical Hellenistic culture, the Myth of Eros and Psyche.