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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Carl Jung: The term self is often mixed up with the idea of God. I would not do that.




The term self is often mixed up with the idea of God.

I would not do that.

I would say that the term self should be reserved for that sphere which is within the reach of human experience, and we should be very careful not to use the word God too often.

As we use it, it borders on impertinence; it is unlawful to use such a concept too often.

The experience of the self is so marvelous and so complete that one is of course tempted to use the conception of God to express it.

I think it is better not to, because the self has the peculiar quality of being specific yet universal.

It is a restricted universality or a universal restrictedness, a paradox; so it is a relatively universal being and therefore doesn’t deserve to be called “God.”

You could think of it as an intermediary, or a hierarchy of ever-widening-out figures of the self till one arrives at the conception of a deity.

So we should reserve that term God for a remote deity that is supposed to be the absolute unity of all singularities.

The self would be the preceding stage, a being that is more than man and that definitely manifests; that is the thinker of our thoughts, the doer of our deeds, the maker of our lives, yet it is still within the reach of human experience.

And that thing consists of archaic elements, of all the doubtful things with which we have to struggle.

For we have to struggle with the self.

The self is not apparently inimical.

It is really inimical-and it is also of course the opposite.

It is not only our best friend, but also our worst enemy; because it doesn't see, it is as if not conscious of time and space conditions.

We must say to the self, "Now don't be blind; for heaven's sake be reasonable.

I shall do my best to find a place for you in this world, but you don't know the conditions.

You don't know what military service means or tax collectors or reputations.

You have no idea of life in time and space.

So if you want me to do something for you, if you want me to help you to manifest, you must be reasonable and wait.

You should not storm at me.

If you kill me, where are your feet?"

That is what I (the ego) am. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 977-978.

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