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Date: Sun, 22 Dec 1996 01:51:22 -0800
From: Donald Minson


Hey out there,

Can anyone give their interpretation of the homonculus and, perhaps,
its psychic equivalent??

I have my intuitions as regards subjective applications (and have read
a little bit of Jung's) but I'm curious to others' interpretation. Also,
what are some of your favorite symbols/allegories for contemplation and
why?? One of my fave's is the flask itself... I'm not sure why... any
comments?

With regard,

Donald Minson


Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 09:34:43 -0800
From: Belle

There is something about that flask that is a semblance of the Egyptian's
ankh which is an ansate cross meaning having a handle. It is a hand
mirror. Now flip it 180 degrees and you've got a flask of sorts with
little distillery pipes to drain off the yucky stuff. Maybe the flask is
our own personal hand mirror where we look hard into ourselves at the
refection thereby determining if we love it or choose to transmute it? My
personal feelings are that we each have no choice. The choice has been
made for us by an Eternal Love.And we would do best to be grateful.

This idea of homunculus has been difficult for me because the writers are
male. Could there be such a form as homuncula? Often the
intellect/philosopher has difficulty fitting into the imperfect. Imagine
the difficulty of lacking certain body parts as well. It is Not envy as
Freud contends, but angst. Hmm? Ankh and angst look similar. Perhaps it
was Isis who first felt the painful constriction. My intent here is not
to be sexist, but to be peopleists instead. As men strive to see their
feminine side, woman must reflect on the masculine. That is a part of the
INNER.

Peace,

Belle


Date: 23rd Dec 1996
From: Adam McLean

Belle,

Often the homunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

Adam McLean


Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 14:39:16 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Patz

>From: Donald Minson

>Can anyone give their interpretation of the homonculus and, perhaps,
>its psychic equivalent??

Perhaps the homonculus is addressing the concept of thoughts as things, or
more precisely the tendency of thoughts and feelings to cohere into patterns
of attitude and behaviour.

Habits are another way of talking about this. They can be useful. They can
be obstacles. And in extreme dissociated cases, they can be monsters. In any
case there is a certain amount of autonomy to habititual ways of thinking
and feeling.

In this case the flask you mention is your mind. Each of us set to cleaning
at the commencement of our Work - removing preconceptions, assumptions,
conceits about ourselves, about the world around us, and about our Great Work.

The homonculus we set out to create, is perhaps the constructive work habits
and attitudes that will serve as our assistant in the task at hand.

Feedback?

Richard


Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 00:44:33 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle wrote:
>
> There is something about that flask that is a semblance of the Egyptian's
> ankh which is an ansate cross meaning having a handle. It is a hand
> mirror. Now flip it 180 degrees and you've got a flask of sorts with
> little distillery pipes to drain off the yucky stuff. Maybe the flask is
> our own personal hand mirror where we look hard into ourselves at the
> refection...


I agree with the reflective fuction of the retort...the crux anastasa (ankh)
is bound with regenerative/rebirth symbolism as well...thus, the significance
of its symbolism for eternity...this works well with the idea of the retort...

respectfully,

Donald Minson


Date: Mon, 23 Dec 1996 21:23:26 -0800
From: Belle Hall


> Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.

I know very well what you are saying to me and understand your kindness
in its intent. But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite? I
saw confusion in the adrogyny before I saw it as halfway to where I may
be going? If that even makes any sense. In a way I answered my own
question in that it is what is in the composition of the base metal in
the first place that determines how the alchemist sees the initial
homoncula.

Peace

Belle Hall


Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 00:43:55 -0800
From: Donald Minson


> Richard Patz wrote:
> Perhaps the homonculus is addressing the concept of thoughts as things, or
> more precisely the tendency of thoughts and feelings to cohere into patterns
> of attitude and behaviour.

I hadn't looked at it like that, I like it though...
I had seen the idea of projection onto the alchemical work...but I
hadn't looked at my own manifestations of my own work as an item such
as the Homoncolus.

> Habits are another way of talking about this. They can be useful. They can
> be obstacles. And in extreme dissociated cases, they can be monsters. In any
> case there is a certain amount of autonomy to habititual ways of thinking
> and feeling.

...habits are a good example of the hermaphroditic qualities of the
homonculus, too...observing manifested behaviors I can certainly see
amalgamations of parental influences...

> In this case the flask you mention is your mind. Each of us set to cleaning
> at the commencement of our Work - removing preconceptions, assumptions,
> conceits about ourselves, about the world around us, and about our Great Work.

I had looked at the flask as a specific function of the mind...a role
of containment for distilling and sublimating qualities or modes of
behavior/operation...I look at it as the field of imagination with
protective borders, borders that can only contain so much so that I
don't confuse so many unnecessary associations when developing on one
idea or effort...Jung talked of the Paracelcian idea of the heart as the
imagination (either in P&A or Alch. Studies) and also the idea of the
egg...in either place the "sunpoint' or the fire i.e., the
libido/psychic energy, existed within to focus, heat up, concentrate on
the imaginative work...in any event the idea of containment is stressed.
It seems very logical to me to assign a "place" where the ideas don't
contaminate other ideas--no leaking out of that particular substance
iinto any place it doesn't belong. A model or personification is such a
container. In this way I can recognize a particular characteristic
belonging to a particular character, identify it and put it in the
"proper" container rather than say let my depression about one issue
invade another facet of my life...it is difficult, of course, but
sometimes effective.

> The homonculus we set out to create, is perhaps the constructive work habits
> and attitudes that will serve as our assistant in the task at hand.

Nice image...I'll use that...thanks.

Respectfully,

D Minson


Date: Tue, 24 Dec 1996 02:58:34 -0500
From: Bernard Bovasso

Belle writes:

>This idea of homunculus has been difficult for me because the
> writers are male. Could there be such a form as homuncula?
>Often the intellect/philosopher has difficulty fitting into the imperfect.
>Imagine the difficulty of lacking certain body parts as well.
>It is Not envy as Freud contends, but angst. Hmm? Ankh and angst
>look similar. Perhaps it was Isis who first felt the painful constriction.
>My intent here is not to be sexist, but to be peopleists instead. As
>men strive to see their feminine side, woman must reflect on the
>masculine.

Belle:
The homunculus as literally "little man" is especially significant
from the standpoint of the feminine psychology. In Jung's
approach to the psyche it would indicate the animus, or an
endopsychic, contrasexual figure and, as such, a nascent
masculine principle necessary as complement to the femine
psychology. Since the animus is more spirit, in the sense of
*geist,* Logos and mind, rather than soul (*anima*) it is especially
developmental. Hence, the little man, Tom Thumb, homunculus,
etc., indicate a potential for inner spiritual growth.

But in the alchemical sense the differentiation is preceded by
the homunculus as hermaphroditic and the event of Sol and
Luna, animus and anima, as one person, first in fusion, then
separation and again as the conniunctio in a process performed
in the *vas hermeticum* or curcubita, the vessel to the inner or
uterine waters.

In this sense the homunculus *separates out* and rises,
representing the freeing of the Mercurius from physis. In the
psychological case this would represent for the woman a rising
up (qua "liberation," "consciousness raising") of the animus
to fuller assertion of her inner (as spiritual) potential.

Bernard Bovasso


Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 01:21:14 -0800
From: Donald Minson

Belle wrote:

> > > Often the humunculus could be seen as hermaphrodite.
>
> But does a man who first contemplates the hermaphrodite
> see emasculation before he sees the uniqueness of the hermaphrodite?

I, as a male, do not see emasculation...my encounters with the
hermaphrodite weren't with the homonculus...they were of Mercurius
and I was elated to find such an archaic symbol of masculine/feminine
conjunction...a union within rather than projected without was such a
relief. Rather than projecting my own unique and DEMANDING
feminine side onto the women of my life I can now give them a more
rewarding relationship rather than a confusing mixture of numinous
adulation and rejection for not meeting with an image that was my
own...the power Bernard spoke of is very real for some men, perhaps
for all at some point, say adolescence??...but I feel it is only associated
to the genitals by way of this same projection...to remove a part of
oneself and cast it on to another is to be pulled to it and without
understanding its powerful draw one may feel so alienated so as to
respond in a way compensatory to inferiority and place the power onto
the obvious "connection" to that physically manifested, "material"
image...perhaps this inspired the initial divorce from the
body---similarly, the clean eye of the soul Br. Athanasius spoke
of--about which the alchemists were so explicit...

Respectfully,

From: Donald Minson