The Seven Sermons to the Dead
Septem Sermones ad Mortuos
by Carl Gustav Jung, 1916
Yet when night was come the dead again approached with lamentable mien and said: There is yet one matter we forgot to mention. Teach us about man.
Man is a gateway, through which from the outer world of gods, daemons, and souls ye pass into the inner world; out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and transitory is man. Already is he behind you, and once again ye find yourselves in endless space, in the smaller or innermost infinity. At immeasurable distance standeth one single Star in the zenith.
This is the one god of this one man. This is his world, his pleroma, his divinity.
In this world is man Abraxas, the creator and the destroyer of his own world.
This Star is the god and the goal of man.
This is his one guiding god. In him goeth man to his rest. Toward him goeth the long journey of the soul after death. In him shineth forth as light all that man bringeth back from the greater world. To this one god man shall pray.
Prayer increaseth the light of the Star. It casteth a bridge over death. It prepareth life for the smaller world and assuageth the hopeless desires of the greater.
When the greater world waxeth cold, burneth the Star.
Between man and his one god there standeth nothing, so long as man can turn away his eyes from the flaming spectacle of Abraxas.
Man here, god there.
Weakness and nothingness here, there eternally creative power.
Here nothing but darkness and chilling moisture.
There wholly sun.
Whereupon the dead were silent and ascended like the smoke above the herdsman’s fire, who through the night kept watch over his flock.