Category Archives: Man and His Symbols

Carl Jung: “That is my stone. I must have it!”

The Rejected Stone

 

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The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

Psalm 118: 22

From Memories, Dreams, Reflections

The story of how this stone came to me is a curious one. I needed stones for building the enclosing wall for the so-called garden, and ordered them from the quarry near Bollingen. I was standing by when the mason gave all the measurements to the owner of the quarry, who wrote them down in his notebook.

When the stones arrived by ship and were unloaded, it turned out that the cornerstone had altogether the wrong measurements; instead of a triangular stone, a square block had been sent: a perfect cube of much larger dimensions than had been ordered, about twenty inches thick. The mason was furious and told the barge men to take it right back with them.

But when I saw the stone, I said, “No, that is my stone, I must have it!” For I had seen at once that it suited me perfectly and that I wanted to do something with it. Only I did not yet know what. The first thing that occurred to me was a Latin verse by the alchemist Arnaldus de Villanova. I chiseled this into the
stone; in translation it goes:

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

This verse refers to the alchemist’s stone, the lapis, which is despised and rejected. 

From Man and His Symbols

Biblical references to the “stone” are numerous. “Christ is the stone that the builders rejected which became head of the corner.”(Luke XX:17). Christ is also called the spiritual rock from which the water of life springs.” (I Cor. X:4). Many religions use a stone to signify God or to mark a place of worship. The holiest sanctuary of the Islamic world is the Ka’abe, the black stone in Mecca to which all pious Moslems hope to make their pilgrimage.

Carl G. Jung, Man and His Symbols, (Doubleday, 1964), pp. 209-210.



Lyrics:

Sing it, brother!
The stone that the builder refused
Will always be the head cornerstone

You’re a builder – here I am a stone
Don’t you think and refuse me
‘Cause the things people refuse
Are the things they should use
Do you hear me? Hear what I say!

The stone that the builder refused
Will always be the head cornerstone
Tell me what!
The stone that the builder refused
Will always be the head cornerstone

Here I am, baby
I’m a builder’s stone
Don’t you pick and refuse me, listen!
The things people refuse
Are the things they should use
Do you ‘ear me? Hear what I say!

The stone that the builder refused
Will always be the head cornerstone
The stone that the builder refused
Will always be the head cornerstone

I can be soft as a pillow
Weep like a willow
Caress and bring happiness
Don’t refuse me, don’t you refuse
Don’t, don’t, don’t you refuse