Rubedo – Differentiating Opposites


Just one small comment about the photo, it was edited using Adobe Photoshop Elements.  The photo was created first with no idea on how it would be used or even if it would be used.  Then, in my second attempt at a post for the Rubedo phase, I came to realise that a photo of a bird, or a scene, or an artifact could not evoke what I wanted for this post.  The original photo taken during a moment of doubt and internal conflict was the closest I could come.  It was only after risking the choice of the photo that I then tweaked onto the idea of “reddening” the photo, that I saw that it belonged.  Will the photo offend?  Likely.  There is a chance that I will lose a number of readers here.  However, that risk must be taken.  It isn’t about appeasing the collective, it is about honouring the self in the hope that in being transparent, more is gained than lost.

So we must press onward to the final stage, the rubedo, which has often been called the ‘Marriage of Luna and Sol’, the fusion of the human and divine, the union of the personality (Luna) with the essential Self (Sol). Now the retort can be opened to reveal the philosopher’s stone, the pure gold of Wisdom, the diamond body, the Gnostic Anthropos, the Heavenly Man, Salvator, filius macrocosmi; by whatever name it has been called, there now stands forth the divine original man, long buried and forgotten in the very centre of our being.[Jung, CW 12, p. 256)

Hidden in these words is the key, “the fusion of the human and divine.”  How do I understand this?  Well, in honesty I have two different understandings.  One suggests that the spirit and soul become one, where spirit is consciousness and soul is unconsciousness giving one a state of wholeness – holiness.  Here are a few more words, this time from Daryl Sharp:

Next, the rubedo involves dealing with the opposites – differentiating good from bad, want from need, personal values from those dictated by the collective.  Constellated opposites activate in turn the archetype of crucifixion, which is ubiquitous in the Western unconscious, whether we adhere to Christian beliefs or not.  In short, we are torn between this and that, in conflict wit ourselves. (Sharp, Jung Uncorked:  Book Two, 2008, pp 50-51)

Wow!  To me this reads like a trial by fire in which the heat gets turned up forcing one to fully strip away all dross and allow the self to emerge purged of fear and doubt.  What remains isn’t necessarily a pretty sight in the eyes of others, of the collective.  But, it is honest.  It is only this way that one can rise from our own ashes, integrated, whole . . . holy.

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