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Monday, December 14, 2015

Carl Jung: Insofar as you live in a world, you cannot escape forming a persona.




Lecture 13

Questions and Discussion

Dr. Jung:

I have brought with me some pictures done by a young American who, at the time that he made the pictures, had no knowledge of my theories.

I merely told him to try to express in color the inner condition of his mind, which was very badly muddled.

He had no prescription as to the style in which he should paint, and I explained very little about the pictures to him so as not to disturb the naïveté of his attitude about them.

The pictures follow a progressive series and, as you will see, are a further expression of the transcendent function, that is, an effort to make the unconscious content conscious.

They show a struggle between the pairs of opposites, with an attempt to solve the problem of bringing the two together, and so they really belong to the discussion we had of the pairs of opposites, but I was not able to get them before today.

First picture (see Diagram 1):


In this picture he said he felt clearness above; below, something moving or snakelike, and then the weight of the earth; in between was emptiness, blackness.

We might observe in passing that only an American could produce a symbol like this.

The blue in the top part of the lowest circle is associated with the sea—he actually does feel he is at sea in his present condition.

The black, the unconscious, is associated with the idea of evil.

This picture is typical of masculine psychology: consciousness above, sex below, nothing in the middle.

Second picture:


Two circles separate, one above and one below.

This shows a complete division, Yang above and Yin below.

In the lower circle a tendency to develop primitive ornamentation is shown.

Third picture:


Shows an attempt to get things together.

Yang colors above, Yin below, some signs of growth shown in an effort to depict a tree green in color.

Snakes are coming up from below.

Fourth picture:

Here is a very vigorous attempt at getting things together.

The two principles, Yang and Yin, join in a star-like figure.

The problem of intuition-sensation is shown in a vertical form of design.

As soon as horizontal forms show in design it is the appearance of the rational functions, because they are on our earth.

Fifth picture: Here is shown a more typical Indian or primitive character. “Soul-birds” are shown; helpful animals are needed.

In previous designs he came to an impossibility because a rational function cannot be taken up directly by an irrational type; therefore he has birds.

The Yang has almost disappeared, the birds are in the center.

In the earth peculiar movement is shown: canals, snakes, roots perhaps.

Birds show an instinctive tendency.

If he can see that there are some helpful birds about, that means more to him than any rational function.

Sixth picture:

In the previous picture he approached the earth sphere.

Here he is deeply in it.

The earth reaches up to heaven, the clouds hide the sun, but Yang descends into the earth, deep into the sea.

High up there is a man who is looking to see if he can jump down into the depths of the unconscious.

The unconscious contents are felt as fishes.

There is no connection between the man’s standpoint and the depths; he cannot take the leap.

Seventh picture:

Here the man has taken the leap.

But it is air, not water; it is a desert, skulls are present.

The man is fastened to the bottom with iron balls.

All life is shown above.

This means that the going to the other extreme is as disastrous and full of death as if he had remained above.

He is in the bowels of the earth.

The production of these pictures is a stimulation of the primitive layers of the mind, and the individual will get at instinctive impulses thereby.

The pictures show a marked influence from the East, which is generally characteristic of American psychology as opposed to European.

No European could have produced these drawings.

(There followed some discussion as to the ways in which the various races tend to react toward the primitive cultures with which they come in contact.)

North and South America have followed very different ways in this respect.

The Anglo-Saxon holds himself away from the primitive, while the Latin goes down to his level.

I have come into contact with some very strange psychological problems illustrating this.

The following will show you something of what happens in South America.

I was once consulted by a South American family as to the condition of their son, who had been nearly driven crazy by his friends.

The parents were Austrian and went to South America only after their marriage.

Inside their house European traditions prevailed, but outside everything was Indian, the Latin inhabitants not having resisted those influences.

It was the custom for the Indian families to send their children into the city to work for little or no wages, and in the case of the little girl this meant inevitable sexual abuse.

This way of life got terribly on the nerves of the son of these Austrians, and he went to a professor of whom he was very fond to ask him for advice.

The professor asked him if he had a mascot, and of course the boy had none, so he was given one.

The professor told him he had to take this mascot, which was a doll, and attend to the task of increasing its strength all the time, and the stronger the doll got, the more the boy’s troubles would diminish.

The first thing he had to do with it was to carry it about the streets in his arms, and this the boy did, though with great shame.

Then he took it to the professor and asked him if there was anything more to be done, and was told there was.

The doll was not yet strong enough.

He must take it to a great celebration that was about to be held for the president of the republic and he must break through the cordon of police and swing the doll three times in the face of the president.

The boy did this and of course got into trouble with the police, but was set free when they found that the affair had only to do with the strengthening of a mascot.

The boy went back to the professor.

No, the doll was not yet as strong as it ought to be!

He must now find a little girl and throttle her over the doll until she was nearly dead.

Then the force of her agony as she approached death would go into the doll and it would be really strong.

he boy broke down after this last ordeal, but he was afraid to say anything, for if he did all the strength would go out of the doll, and so he continued in a thoroughly neurotic condition till his parents had
to seek help.

The boy’s mother was Catholic, but it would be absurd to say that the Church supported such things.

The Spanish clergy is and always has been terribly superstitious in these Latin American countries.

One can find things such as I have described going on in all of them, and it comes from the fact that the Conquistadores mixed with the natives in marriage.

In doing this the Latins have managed to keep out of the split between the conscious and the unconscious, but have lost their superiority.

The Anglo-Saxons did not mix with the primitives, but in the unconscious they sank down to the primitive level.

Miss Taylor’s question: (1) “Do you think that some development of the Mithraic religion may become a living religion in the near future?”

Dr. Jung: I could not assume that anything like that is going to happen.

I merely mentioned the Mithraic religion because my fantasies were so much connected with it.

In itself this religion is as antiquated as can be.

It is only relatively important as being the brother of Christianity, which has assimilated some elements from it.

It is interesting to trace out both those elements that were discarded and those that were accepted by Christianity.

The ringing of the bells in the celebration of the Mass probably comes from the Mithraic cult, where bells were rung at a certain point in the mysteries.

Also, Christmas day is a Mithraic feast.

In early days, Christmas came on the 8th of January, and was a day taken over from the Egyptians, being the day celebrating the finding of the body of Osiris.

It was only in later days, when the Mithraic cult was being overcome, that the Christians took the 25th of December, the day celebrated by the followers of Mithras as the day of Sol invictus, for their Christmas.

To the early Christians, Christmas was the resurrection of the sun, and as late as Augustine, Christ was identified with the sun.

Miss Taylor’s question: (2) “Is the view you expressed in your last lecture a further development of an earlier view that the contents of the unconscious can be deduced from what is lacking in the unconscious?”

Dr. Jung: Yes, but I do not mean to imply a contradiction between my earlier view and what I said the other day about the unconscious being balanced.

I have simply gone one step further.

There is no doubt that to a certain extent the conscious can be deduced from the unconscious and vice versa.

If a dream says such and such a thing, we are justified in saying the conscious attitude must have been thus and so.

If a person is only intellectual he must have repressed feelings in the unconscious, and we have a right to expect to find them there.

I went on further to say that the unconscious shows a balance within itself, over and above the compensatory role it plays to the conscious.

That is, we cannot say that the main contents of the unconscious are nothing but a balance to the conscious, nor vice versa.

Therefore one can perfectly well live wholly in the conscious as most people do, and pay little or no attention to the unconscious.

As long as you can put up with the symptoms and inhibitions that come from such a life, it does not matter.

Now the balance in the conscious consists in weighing processes.

You say yea to this thing and nay to that.

Similarly, if you take a dream, you can find a yea and a nay in that also—that is what I call the ambiguity of a dream; it is never wholeheartedly committed to
one thing or the other, and so I speak of the unconscious as being balanced in itself when it is operating properly.

In all cases where the unconscious is heavily one-sided, it is so because it is out of gear.

A case in point is that of Saul and Paul—had Saul been more balanced in his conscious, his unconscious would have run a different course also, and would not have produced the full-fledged Paul overnight, so to speak.

One can follow this same principle of balance in any separate units holding a compensatory relation to one another—for example, in the relation of men and women to each other.

There is no man who could not exist without a woman—that is, he carries the necessary balance within himself if he be obliged to live his life that way, and the same thing applies to a woman with respect to a man, but if either sex is to have a complete life, it requires the other as a compensatory side.

It is the same thing with the conscious and the unconscious, and we seek analysis just to get at the benefits of the compensation from the unconscious.

Primitives show a much more balanced psychology than we do for the reason that they have no objection to letting the irrational come through, while we resent it.

Sometimes a patient becomes greatly outraged at the mere possibility of a dream or a fantasy having a sexual content, though to be sure, today it has become fashionable to recognize sexuality.

But let a dream show a moral criticism about the individual—let it say there is something unclean and ugly about you—and there is the same violent reaction that used to come with a sexual dream.

Mr. Robertson: Isn’t there another way of looking at the balancing that goes on in the conscious? That is, if all four functions are in operation, does not that mean balance?

Dr. Jung: But even if all four functions are in operation, there are things that are forgotten, and the unconscious contains these.

There is a tendency among some people to make the unconscious carry what properly belongs to the conscious, and this always upsets the functioning of the unconscious.

Such people could remove much both from the personal and from the collective unconscious, and so free the unconscious to function more normally.

For example, you can run across people who think themselves born without a religious sense, and this is just as absurd as if they said they were born without eyes. It simply means they have left all that side of themselves in the unconscious.

If you get these things out of the unconscious into the conscious, then, as I said, the unconscious functions are helped.

As another example, one is always hearing persons who have had some experience of analysis saying, “I won’t make up my mind about that, I’ll see what my dreams say.” But there are hosts of things which call for decisions from the conscious, and about which it is idiotic to “put it up” to the unconscious for a decision.

This freeing of the unconscious of elements that really belong to the conscious is greatly aided by all the old mystery practices.

All who go through the initiation ceremonies in the right spirit find a magic quality in them, which is simply due to the effect they have had upon the unconscious.

One can develop astonishing insights through the release that comes to the unconscious in this way.

One can even come to clairvoyance; but when such a gift as the latter is developed, it makes the person permeable to all sorts of atmospheric conditions that may result in his misery.

When life becomes unbearably impoverished, people reach out for such extensions of powers, only to curse fate often when they have achieved them; but when one has fire, one welcomes the insight.

Those of you who heard Dr. Radin’s last lecture remember the zigzag road that was encountered after the fourth lodge in the Medicine Dance had been passed.

At the end of the fourth lodge the initiate has been given high honors and has won great increase of powers, and now the road becomes full of appalling obstacles.

So when you relieve the unconscious of non-realized contents, you release it for its own special functioning, and it will go ahead like an animal.

You will have the zigzag road with all the fears of the primitive to be met on it, but also you will have all the wealth of his experience.

For it is a fact that, to the primitive, life is far more voluminous than to us, because there is not only the thing but also its meaning.

We look at an animal and say it is such and such a species, but if we knew that animal to be our ghost brother, it would be a different situation for us.

Or, we sit in the woods and a beetle drops down on someone’s head.

“What a nuisance,” is all the comment it elicits, but to the primitive there is meaning in that event.

Sometimes I have met this primitive reaction in my patients—an extraordinary sense of the meaningfulness of apparently trivial things in nature.

After all, an animal is not just a thing with fur on it; it is a complete being.

You may say a coyote is nothing but a coyote, but then along comes one that is Dr. Coyote, a super-animal who has mana and spiritual powers.

So says the primitive.

The unconscious should act for us like a super-animal.

When one dreams of a bull, one should not think of it as being below the human only, but also as being above—that is, as of something godlike.

Miss Houghton: If it is permissible to ask the question here, I would like to know why Americans are closer to the Far East than Europeans.

Dr. Jung: First, they are closer geographically, and secondly there are much stronger art connections of the East with America than with Europe, and then Americans are living on the soil of that race.

Miss Houghton: Do you mean ethnologically?

Dr. Jung: Yes. I was enormously struck by the resemblance of the Indian women of the Pueblos to the Swiss women in Canton Appenzell, where we have descendants of Mongolian invaders.

These might be ways of explaining the fact that something in American psychology leans toward the East.

Dr. de Angulo: Is not that to be explained from the conscious?

Dr. Jung: Yes, it might be explained that way too.

That is, Americans, being so split, turn to the East for the expression of the unconscious.

The appreciation of the Chinese in America is extraordinary.

All my knowledge of Chinese things comes from the Anglo-Saxon side, not from Europe—from England, it is true, but America is an extension of England.

Lecture:

I want to give you today a scheme for understanding such figures as I spoke of last time, that is, the anima and the wise old man.

When you analyze a man, you almost always come to these figures if you go deep enough.

At first you might not have them separated—I had three figures—but you might get them fused with an animal, say with a feminine form.

Or the animal can be split off, and there can be a hermaphroditic figure.


Then the old man and the anima are one.

All these figures correspond to certain relations of the conscious ego to the persona, and the symbolism varies according to conscious conditions.

Let us start with this diagram [2].

Take this room as consciousness: I feel myself as a luminous point in this conscious field of vision.

I am not aware of what you think, so it is a field limited in extent—outside it is the world of tangible reality.

This world can be represented to me through an object; thus, if I ask Mr. A. something he becomes my bridge to that world for that specific instant.

But if I ask myself how I establish an absolute or unconditioned connection with the world, my answer is that I can only do that when I am both passive and active at the same time, as much victim as actor.

This only occurs for a man through woman.

She is the factor that links man to the earth.

If you do not marry you may go where you please, but as soon as a man marries, he must be in some particular spot, he must put down roots.

This field of vision of which I speak is my sphere of action, and as far as my action extends, I extend my sphere of influence.

This makes my mask, but when I am active, my action can only get to you by your receiving it, thus you help make my appearance—I cannot make it alone.

In other words, I create a shell around me due to my influence on you and yours on me.

This we call persona.

The fact that there is a shell is no intentional deception; it is simply due to the fact that a system of relationships is there whereby I am never apart from the effect of the object on me.

Insofar as you live in a world, you cannot escape forming a persona.

You can say, “I won’t have such and such a persona,” but as you discard one you get another—unless, of course, you live on Everest.

You can only learn who you are through your effects on other people.

By this means you create your personality.

So much for the conscious.

On the unconscious side, we have to work by inference through dreams.

We must assume a field of vision somewhat the same, but a little peculiar since one is never exactly oneself in dreams; even sex is not always clearly defined in the unconscious.

We can assume that there are things in the unconscious also, namely images of the collective unconscious.

What is your relationship to these things?

Again it is a woman.

If you give up the woman in reality, you fall a victim to the anima.

It is this feeling of inevitability about his connection with woman that man dislikes the most.

Just when he is sure he has cut himself free of her and is moving about at last in an inner world which is his own, behold, he is in his mother’s lap! ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 109-118


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