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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Carl Jung on "Crime."




Individual existence is the crime against the gods, disobedience to God, the peccatum originale. Out of this projection of spiritual fire is born the anima. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 32.

The anima comes out of an emotional act, taking place in darkness, the compensation for the crime against the fire; the anima is the compensating element that must be extracted from matter. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 32.

Since it is universally believed that man is merely what his consciousness knows of itself, he regards himself as harmless and so adds stupidity to iniquity.

He does not deny that terrible things have happened and still go on happening, but it is always "the others" who do them.

And when such deeds belong to the recent or remote past, they quickly and conveniently sink into the sea of forgetfulness, and that state of chronic woolly-mindedness returns which we describe as "normality."

In shocking contrast to this is the fact that nothing has finally disappeared and nothing has been made good.

The evil, the guilt, the profound unease of conscience, the dark foreboding, are there before our eyes, if only we would see.

Man has done these things; I am a man, who has his share of human nature; therefore I am guilty with the rest and bear unaltered and indelibly within me the capacity and the inclination to do them again at any time.

Even if, juristically speaking, we were not accessories to the crime, we are always, thanks to our human nature, potential criminals.

In reality we merely lacked a suitable opportunity to be drawn into the infernal melee.

None of us stands outside humanity's black collective shadow.

Whether the crime occurred many generations back or happens today, it remains the symptom of a disposition that is always and everywhere present—and one would therefore do well to possess some "imagination for evil," for only the fool can permanently disregard the conditions of his own nature.

In fact, this negligence is the best means of making him an instrument of evil.

Harmlessness and naivete are as little helpful as it would be for a cholera patient and those in his vicinity to remain unconscious of the contagiousness of the disease.

On the contrary, they lead to projection of the unrecognized evil into the "other."

This strengthens the opponent's position in the most effective way, because the projection carries the fear which we involuntarily and secretly feel for our own evil over to the other side and considerably increases the formidableness of his threat.

What is even worse, our lack of insight deprives us of the capacity to deal with evil.

Here, of course, we come up against one of the main prejudices of the Christian tradition, and one that is a great stumbling block to our policies.

We should, so we are told, eschew evil and, if possible, neither touch nor mention it.

For evil is also the thing of ill omen, that which is tabooed and feared.

This apotropaic attitude towards evil, and the apparent circumventing of it, flatter the primitive tendency in us to shut our eyes to evil and drive it over some frontier or other, like the Old Testament scapegoat, which was supposed to carry the evil into the wilderness. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Pages 296-297, Para 572.

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