Death is not usually something people are pleased to discuss, certainly, corporeal death. However, psychologically speaking death is not just the corporeal death, the cessation of our physical bodies. In psychology death - and rebirth - is a topic that presents itself throughout our lives. For example: the feeling of growing up, leaving home and leaving behind the comforts of home and family - that is an ending, a psychological rebirth is occasioned in such life events. As one phase of life comes to an end another begins, there is an ending and a new beginning. There is a 'death' and a 'rebirth' of the soul into a more adult, more mature outlook on life.

Cross References

A list of references from the text throughout the site where Ω is used to annotate the reference to death.

p. xvi “By soul I mean, first of all, a perspective rather than a substance, a viewpoint toward things rather than a thing itself. This perspective is reflective; it mediates events and makes differences between ourselves and everything that happens. Between us and events, between the doer and the deed, there is a reflective moment - and soul-making means differentiating this middle ground.” What exactly does he mean by differentiating? it simply to demarcate this middle ground between subject and object, between the doer and the deed? this book is a work to define this territory that belongs to soul-making?
“In another attempt upon the idea of soul I suggested that the word refers to that unknown component which makes meaning possible, turns events into experiences, is communicated in love, and has a religious concern. These four qualifications I had already put forth some years ago;4 I had begun to use the term freely, usually interchangeably with psyche (from Greek) and anima (from Latin). Now I am adding three necessary modifications.
First, “soul” refers to the deepening of events into experiences;
second, the significance soul makes possible, whether in love or in religious concern, derives from its special relation to death.
And third, by “soul” I mean the imaginative possibility in our natures, the experiencing through reflective speculation, dream, image, and fantasy - that mode which recognizes all realities as primarily symbolic or metaphorical.” Underline mine. So basically, Soul is the ability for symbolic thinking.
Re-Visioning Psychology

p36 “Sleep and death were two gods who in antiquity were looked upon as the divine brothers Hypnos and Thanatos. ...
If I dream that such and such a person dies, it means that the complex represented by that person is completely repressed - so repressed that I have no further hunches about it. ... That is why in psychosis there is so much symbolism of ghosts and cemeteries and corpses coming out of graves. There is complete, dissociated and autonomous psychological life.”
The Feminine in Fairytales

p264 “But sometimes a new potency of life seems to be attributed to the image of Death itself, and by a kind of resurrection it becomes the instrument of the general revival. Thus in some parts of Lusatia women alone are concerned in carrying out Death, and suffer no male to meddle with it.”
The Golden Bough: The Roots of Religion and Folklore

p266 “Therefore the being which has just ben destroyed - the so-called Death - must be supposed to be endowed with a vivifying and quickening influence, which it can communicate to the vegetable and even the animal world. This ascription of a life-giving virtue to the figure of Death is put beyond a doubt by the custom, observed in some places, of taking pieces of the straw effigy of Death and placing them in the fields to make the crops grow, or in the manger to make the cattle thrive.”
The Golden Bough: The Roots of Religion and Folklore

p269 “The customs, therefore, of bringing in the May and bringing in the Summer are essentially the same; and the Summer-tree is merely another form of the May-tree... Therefore, if the explanation here adopted of the May-tree (namely, that it is an embodiment of the tree-spirit or spirit of vegetation) is correct, the Summer-tree must lifewise be an embodiment of the tree-spirit of spirit of vegetation. But we have seen that the Summer-tree is in some cases a revivification of the effigy of Death. It follows, therefore, that in these cases the effigy called Death must be an embodiment of the tree-spirit of spirit of vegetation.”
Italics mine.
The Golden Bough: The Roots of Religion and Folklore

p136 “Jung suggested that the triadic aspect of Mercurius, who was often represented as a three-headed snake, is the chthonic counterpart to the Christian Trinity.77
77'The Unity and Trinity of Mercurius,' CW13, §§270-2
Transformation of the Psyche

§432 “That the highest summit of life can be expressed through the symbolism of death is a well-known fact, for any growing beyond oneself means death ... Love and death have not a little to do with one another. ” (Emphasis mine) I like this, the summit here that Jung mentions is the death at the end of life - that he calls it a summit is interesting. However, the notion of death accompanying any 'going beyond' stage of life is crucial too.
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§532 “We can see from these accounts how comforting the Eleusinian mysteries were for the celebrant's hopes of a world to come. One epitaph says:
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§553 The sun's journey as a primordial image of life. Worth a read - its a long one. The longing for the mother, for 'the stillness and profound peace of all-knowing non-existence'.
“Even in his highest strivings for harmony and balance, for the profundities of philosophy and the raptures of the artist, he seeks death, immobility, satiety, rest.”
Σ ”... the young person should sacrifice his childhood and his childish dependence on the physical parents, lest he remain caught body and soul in the bonds of unconscious incest. This regressive tendency has been consistently opposed from the most primitive times by the great psychotherapeutic systems which we know as the religions.”
Footnote 97, Zosimos
“... So, as soon as we feel ourselves slipping, we begin to combat this tendency and erect barriers against the dark, rising flood of the unconscious and its enticements to regression, which all too easily takes on the deceptive guise of sacrosanct ideals, principles, beliefs, etc. If we wish to stay on the heights we have reached, we must struggle all the time to consolidate our consciousness and its attitude.” This is not as positive as it sounds, read further to understand that these ideals we hang on to with our consciousness do not last...'we must struggle' as he says!
“ ... Everything young grows old, all beauty fades, all heat cools, all brightness dims, and every truth becomes stale and trite. For all these things have taken on shape, and all shapes are worn thin by the working of time ; they age, sicken, crumble to dust - unless they change. But change they can, for the invisible spark that generated them is potent enough for infinite generation. ... ” (Emphasis mine)
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§572 “... There was also an ” Acherusian“ lake.122 This chasm, therefore, was the entrance to the place where death had been conquered.”
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§617 “If it is not possible for the libido to strive forwards, to lead a life that willingly accepts all dangers and ultimate decay, then it strikes back along the other road and sinks into its own depths, working down to the old intimation of the immortality of all that lives, to the old longing for rebirth.”
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§630 “Near is God, And hard to apprehend. But where danger is, there Arises salvation also.” From 'Patmos'
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

Σ §644 “When the libido thus remains fixed in its most primitive form it keeps men on a correspondingly low level where they have no control over themselves and are at the mercy of their affects. ...and the saviour and physician of that time was he who sought to free humanity from bondage to Heimarmene.35
35This was the real purpose of all the mystery religions. They created symbols of death and rebirth. As Frazer points out in The Golden Bough (Part III “The Dying God,” pp. 214ff.), even primitive peoples have in their initiation mysteries the same symbolism of dying and being born again as Apuleius records in connection with the initiation of Lucius in the Isis mysteries, “I approached the very gates of death and set one foot on Proserpine's threshold, yet was permitted to return, rapt through all the elements.” The rites of initiation “approximate to a voluntary death” from which Lucius was “born again”.
This is fantastic - if the experience of Lucius is not similar to skydiving and extreme sports I'm not sure what is. The touching the threshold of death only to return 'rapt through all the elements' is an amazing description! I really enjoyed that.
Symbols of Transformation, Collected Works Vol. 5

§250 “Once the personal repressions are lifted, the individuality and the collective psyche begin to emerge in a coalescent state, thus releasing the hitherto repressed personal fantasies.” Emphasis mine. xRef para. 247 How do the 'personal fantasies' relate to the 'collective fantasies' mentioned above.
“The fantasies and dreams which now appear assume a somewhat different aspect. An infallible sign of collective images seems to be the appearance of the “cosmic” element, i.e., the images in the dream or fantasy are connected with cosmic qualities, such as temporal and spatial infinity, enormous speed and extension of movement, “astrological” associations, telluric, lunar, and solar analogies, changes in the proportions of the body, etc. ... The collective element is very often announced by peculiar symptoms,2 as for example by dreams where the dreamer is flying through space like a comet, or feels that he is the earth, or the sun, or a star; or else is of immense size, or dwarfishly small; or that he is dead, ...” Underline mine
Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, Collected Works Vol. 7

§342 “This transformation is the aim of the analysis of the unconscious. (xRef. para. 360, 387) If there is no transformation, it means that the determining influence of the unconscious is unabated, and that it will in some cases persist in
(1) maintaining neurotic symptoms in spite of all our analysis and all our understanding.
(2) Alternatively, a compulsive transference will take hold, which is just as bad as a neurosis.
... to deal fundamentally with the unconscious, to come to a real settlement with it. This is of course something very different from interpretation. ... in the case of a real settlement it is not a question of interpretation: it is a question of releasing unconscious processes and letting them come into the conscious mind in the form of fantasies. ...
In many cases it may be quite important for the patient to have some idea of the meaning of the fantasies produced. But it is of vital importance that he should experience them to the full ...
...the doctor should assiduously guard against clever feats of interpretation. For the important thing is not to interpret and understand the fantasies, but primarily to experience them. ...
By “human” experience I mean that the person ... should not just be included passively in the vision, but that he should face the figures of the vision actively and reactively, with full consciousness. ...
a real settlement with the unconscious demands a firmly opposed conscious standpoint.”
Emphasis mine. The fact that experience is so important aligns with the energic theory that the image itself, the symbol, the fantasy as a symbol, contains energy and can in itself create the necessary environment for a change in attitude. See next para. 343, para. 350 and para. 358

Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, Collected Works Vol. 7

§429 “Let us reckon up the many sources of discontent: the denial of continual procreation and giving birth, for which purpose nature has endowed us with vast quantities of energy; the monotony of our highly differentiated methods of labour, which exclude any interest in the work itself; our effortless security against war, lawlessness, robbery, plague, child and female mortality - all this gives a sum of surplus energy which needs must find an outlet. But how? Relatively few create quasi-natural dangers for themselves in reckless sport; many more, seeking for some equivalent of the hard life in order to siphon off dangerous accumulations of energy that might burst out even more crazily, are driven to alcoholic excess, or expend themselves in the rush of money-making, or in the frenzied performance of duties, or in perpetual overwork.” Emphasis mine. Although a little dated I most interested in this paragraph on account of Jung's reference to extreme (reckless as he puts it) sport.
Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, Collected Works Vol. 7

§429 “It is, in fact, the coming to consciousness of the psychic process, but it is not, in the deeper sense, an explanation of this process, for no explanation of the psychic can be anything other than the living process of the psyche itself. Psychology is doomed to cancel itself out as a science and therein precisely it reaches its scientific goal.” I like this quote for the particular bit about the fact that there can be no explanation 'other than the living process of the psyche itself' ...this makes me think of the extreme sport examples where the sporting endeavour is itself the symbol - a depiction of the process.
The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, Collected Works Vol. 8

§66 “Human interpretation fails, for a turbulent life-situation has arisen that refuses to fit any of the traditional meanings assigned to it. It is a moment of collapse. We sink into a final depth - Apuleius calls it “a kind of voluntary death.” It is a surrender of our own powers, not artificially willed but forced upon us by nature; not a voluntary submission and humiliation decked in moral garb but an utter and unmistakable defeat crowned with the panic fear of demoralization. Only when all props and crutches are broken, and no cover from the rear offers even the slightest hope of security, does it become possible for us to experience an archetype that up till then had lain hidden behind the meaningful nonsense played out by the anima. This is the archetype of meaning, just as the anima is the archetype of life itself.”
The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Collected Works Vol. 9i

§249 “The intuition of immortality which makes itself felt during the transformation is connected with the peculiar nature of the unconscious. It is, in a sense, non-spacial and non-temporal.”
The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Collected Works Vol. 9i

§41 “He took this being to be the “entelechy” of the Aristotle and the “inner Christ” of the apostle Paul, the “spiritual and substantial individuality engendered within the physical and phenomenal personality, and representing, therefore, the rebirth of the man on a plane transcending the material.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§68 “Death is psychologically as important as birth, and, like it, is an integral part of life.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§68 “As a doctor, I make every effort to strengthen the belief in immortality, especially with the older patients when such questions come threateningly close. For, seen in correct psychological perspective, death is not an end but a goal, and life's inclination towards death begins as soon as the meridian is passed.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§76, footnote 2 “To a primitive mind, there is nothing disturbing in this odd mixture of the physical and the spiritual, because life and death are by no means the complete opposites they are for us.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§76, footnote 2 “It is characteristic of Western man that he has split apart the physical and the spiritual for the epistemological purposes. But these opposites exist together in the psyche and psychology must recognise this fact. “Psychic” means physical and spiritual. The ideas in our text all deal with this “intermediate” world which seems unclear and confused because the concept of psychic reality is not yet current among us, although it expresses life as it actually is.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

Jung is talking about metaphysical assertions here in the context of west meets east and the metaphysical language embraced and used by the east in their philosophy. That as a westerner, we are not adept to grasping the metaphysical without firstly understanding the psychological. Only then may the metaphysical concepts, ideas and 'realities' [my words] touch us and become known to us. I find this interesting though in that he relates physical and spiritual with life and death in the primitive mind. I enjoy this as life and death are not different to the psyche, to the unconscious.
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§78 “This remarkable experience seems to me a consequence of detachment of consciousness, thanks to which the subjective “I live” becomes the objective “It lives me”. This state is felt to be higher than the previous one; it is really like a sort of release from the compulsion and impossible responsibility that are the inevitable results of participation mystique.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

Jung is talking here of the release of consciousness in the context of a religious experience but to my mind no less valuable or viable rather when your 'church' is say something like extreme sports where a release of consciousness is possible - an ego death. It is handing over to the unconscious in a way, to the objectives of the Self. This is not possible for long periods of time though, in itself it is not possible at all. But, it is an alignment with the Self, a resonance with the objectives of your Self that bring about this imbued experience of conscious release to something more powerful.
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§104 “In the divine water, whose dyophysite nature is constantly emphasized, two principles balance one another, active and passive, masculine and feminine, which constitute the essence of creative power in the eternal cycle of birth and death. This cycle was represented in ancient alchemy by the symbol of the uroboros...” (italics mine)
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

§135 “Since the long sought water, as we have shown, represents a cycle of birth and death, every process that consists of death and rebirth is naturally a symbol of the divine water.”
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

Σ §225 “Melusina, being a water-nixie, is closely connected with Morgana, the “sea-born,” whose classical counterpart is Aphrodite, the “foam-born.” Union with the feminine personification of the unconscious is, as we have seen, well-nigh eschatological experience, a reflection of which is to be found in the Apocalyptic Marriage of the Lamb, the Christian form of the hierosgamos. The passage runs (Revelation 19:6-10) ...“
Alchemical Studies, Collected Works Vol. 13

Books and texts

Herzog, Edgar (1966) Psyche and Death. Translated 1966 David Cox and Eugene Rolfe. © 1960 by Rasche and Cie. AG, Zurich. English translation © 1966 by Hodder and Stoughton, Ltd. First printed 1966.

von Franz, Marie-Louise (1986) On Dreams & Death. © 1984 Kösel-Verlag GmbH & Co., Munich. Translation © 1986 Shambhala Publications, Inc. Random House publications.

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