The Numinosity and Luminosity of Archetypes



“We would well to think of ego-conscious as surrounded by little luminosities.”

The hypothesis of multiple luminosities rests partly,as we have seen, on quasi-conscious states of the unconscious contents, and partly on the incidence of certain images which must be regarded as symbolical.

They are to be found in the dreams and visual fantasies of modern individuals, and can also be traced in historical records.

As the reader may be aware, one of the most important sources for symbolical ideas in the past is alchemy

For this I take first and foremost the idea of the scintallae — sparks – which appear as visual illusions in the “arcane substance”….

It is clear the certain of the alchemists had already divined the psychic nature of these luminosities.

They were seeds of light broadcast in the chaos, which Kunrath calls “mundi futuri seminarium, “the seed plot of a world to come.”

One such spark is the human mind….

One would have to conclude from these alchemical visions that the archetypes have about them a certain effulgence or quasi-consciousness, and that numinosity entails luminosity…

We would well to think of ego-conscious as surrounded by little luminosities.


Collected Works 8

Paragraph 378

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