Source: Von Franz on The Beyond and the Threshold Problem

“The common denominator of those stories shows that sometimes the contact between the Beyond and that sphere which we call reality is complicated, and it is not always possible for certain contents to go over the threshold unaltered; they cannot cross it without suffering certain changes. This sometimes corresponds to the fact that when you wake up in the morning you may still remember that you had a dream that was tremendously numinous and colorful and full of emotion, and that it had many shades in it, but what you actually get onto the paper when you put on the light and take your pencil is some miserable fragment that seems no longer to convey the richness of the unconscious dream experience, of which you have still a kind of flavor in your mouth, but you cannot bring it out anymore. You may have had dreams which have given tremendous enlightenment about a problem, where you understood everything in a flash and knew how it was all connected, and then in the morning you could only remember that you had had the solution in the night, but nothing was left!” p.81-82.

“… This threshold difficulty has also to do with the fact that our consciousness is structured so as to represent things in a spatial and temporal order that does not exist for contents when they appear in the unconscious, where they seem to be present simultaneously. … We might, therefore, work on the hypothesis that in the unconscious there is what Jung calls a relativity of time and space and a certain spatial and temporal simultaneity of the whole content. This corresponds also to certain mystical experiences. For instance, Jakob Boehme, the great mystic, had a sudden enlightenment when looking at a tin plate in which a ray of sunlight was reflected. This threw him into an ecstasy, and he saw what he said was the whole mystery of the cosmos. All his chaotic stammering and bad style are really the effort to put into a spatial and logical time sequence this one experience which he grasped, and by which he had been overwhelmed in one second! Though he did not quite succeed in doing it, he spent the rest of his life trying to work it out, to put into words and into a conscious system. This qualitative difference between things in the unconscious and the same things after they come over the threshold of consciousness probably creates the threshold difficulties. If the two psychic systems, the field of consciousness and what we call the unconscious, were qualitatively the same, there would be no difficulty for the content to come up from the unconscious. At the threshold, however, a certain difficulty is constellated, which you find also in creation myth motifs.

In the Raven example, getting over the threshold is an impoverishment: The Raven has his complete higher form in the Beyond but can only appear on earth, at least outwardly, as a bird, though inwardly he retains his anthropos quality, the quality of a divine human being. A darkening, and impoverishment, takes place when he crosses the threshold.

… The general difficulty is between the realm of consciousness in the unconscious, in bringing over contents from one to the other.” p.83-85

Von Franz, Marie-Louise, Creation Myths, 1972

(My italics)

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