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Monday, June 6, 2016

Carl Jung on “Consciousness.”





Only those individuals can attain to a higher degree of consciousness who are destined to
it and called to it from the beginning, i.e., who have a capacity and an urge for higher differentiation.

In this matter men differ extremely, as also do the animal species, among whom there are conservatives and
progressives.

Nature is aristocratic, but not in the sense of having reserved the possibility of differentiation exclusively for
species high in the scale.

So too with the possibility of psychic development: it is not reserved for specially gifted individuals.

In other words, in order to undergo a far-reaching psychological development, neither outstanding
intelligence nor any other talent is necessary, since in this development moral qualities can make up for intellectual shortcomings. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 198

Where instinct predominates, psychoid processes set in which pertain to the sphere of the unconscious as elements incapable of consciousness.

The psychoid process is not the unconscious as such, for this has a far greater extension. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 380

The autonomy of the unconscious therefore begins where emotions are generated.

Emotions are instinctive, involuntary reactions which upset the rational order of consciousness by their elemental outbursts.

Affects are not “made” or wilfully produced; they simply happen.

In a state of affect a trait of character sometimes appears which is strange even to the person concerned, or hidden contents may irrupt involuntarily.

The more violent an affect the closer it comes to the pathological, to a condition in which the ego-consciousness is thrust aside by autonomous contents that were unconscious before.

So long as the unconscious is in a dormant condition, it seems as if there were absolutely nothing in this hidden region.

Hence we are continually surprised when something unknown suddenly appears “from nowhere.” ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 497

The “child” is therefore renatus in novam infantiam [reborn into a new infancy].

It is thus both beginning and end, an initial and a terminal creature.

The initial creature existed before man was not, and the terminal creature will be when man is not.

Psychologically speaking, this means that the “child” symbolizes the pre-conscious and the post-conscious essence of man.

His pre-conscious essence is the unconscious state of earliest childhood; his post-conscious essence is an anticipation by
analogy of life after death.

In this idea the all-embracing nature of psychic wholeness is expressed.

Wholeness is never comprised within the compass of the conscious mind—it includes the indefinite and indefinable extent
of the unconscious as well.

Wholeness, empirically speaking, is therefore of immeasurable extent, older and younger than consciousness and enfolding it in time and space.

This is no speculation, but an immediate psychic experience.

Not only is the conscious process continually accompanied, it is often guided, helped, or interrupted, by unconscious happenings.

The child had a psychic life before it had consciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 299

The personality is seldom, in the beginning, what it will be later on.

For this reason the possibility of enlarging it exists, at least during the first half of life.

The enlargement may be effected through an accretion from without, by new vital contents finding their way into the personality from outside and being assimilated.

In this way a considerable increase of personality may be experienced.

We therefore tend to assume that this increase comes only from without, thus justifying the prejudice that one becomes a personality by stuffing into oneself as much as possible from outside.

But the more assiduously we follow this recipe, and the more stubbornly we believe that all increase has to come from without, the greater becomes our inner poverty.

Therefore, if some great idea takes hold of us from outside, we must understand that it takes hold of us only because something in us responds to it and goes out to meet it.

Richness of mind consists in mental receptivity, not in the accumulation of possessions.

What comes to us from outside, and, for that matter, everything that rises up from within, can only be made our own if we are capable of an inner amplitude equal to that of the incoming content.

Real increase of personality means consciousness of an enlargement that flows from inner sources.

Without psychic depth we can never be adequately related to the magnitude of our object.

It has therefore been said quite truly that a man grows with the greatness of his task.

But he must have within himself the capacity to grow; otherwise, even the most difficult task is of no benefit to him.

More likely he will be shattered by it. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 215

Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other.

If they must contend, let it at least be a fair fight with equal rights on both sides.

Both are aspects of life.

Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious should be given the chance of having its way too—as much of it as we can stand.

This means open conflict and open collaboration at once.

That, evidently, is the way human life should be.

It is the old game of hammer and anvil: between them the patient iron is forged into an indestructible whole, an “individual.”

Since the unconscious gives us the feeling that it is something alien, a non-ego, it is quite natural that it should be symbolized by an alien figure.

Thus, on the one hand, it is the most insignificant of things, while on the other, so far as it potentially contains that “round” wholeness which consciousness lacks, it is the most significant of all.

This “round” thing is the great treasure that lies hidden in the cave of the unconscious, and its personification is this personal being who represents the higher unity of conscious and unconscious.

It is a figure comparable to Hiranyagarbha, Purusha, Atman, and the mystic Buddha.

For this reason I have elected to call it the “self,” by which I understand a psychic totality and at the same time a centre, neither of which coincides with the ego but includes it, just as a larger circle encloses a smaller one.

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-spatial and non-temporal.

The empirical proof of this is the occurrence of so-called telepathic phenomena, which are still denied by hypersceptical critics,
although in reality they are much more common than is generally supposed.

The feeling of immortality, it seems to me, has its origin in a peculiar feeling of extension in space and time, and I am inclined to regard the deification rites in the mysteries as a projection of this same psychic phenomenon. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 248-249

The attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave man victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 289

The fact that individual consciousness means separation and opposition is something that man has experienced countless times in his long history. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 290
.
The role of the unconscious is to act compensatorily to the conscious contents of the moment.

By this I do not mean that it sets up an opposition, for there are times when the tendency of the unconscious coincides with that of consciousness, namely, when the conscious attitude is approaching the optimum.

The nearer it approaches the optimum, the more the autonomous activity of the unconscious is diminished, and the more its value sinks until, at the moment when the optimum is reached, it falls to zero.

We can say, then, that so long as all goes well, so long as a person travels the road that is, for him, the individual as well as the social optimum, there is no talk of the unconscious.

The very fact that we in our age come to speak of the unconscious at all is proof that everything is not in order. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 21.

And yet the attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave man victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 289

Without consciousness there would, practically speaking, be no world, for the world exists for us only in so far as it is
consciously reflected by a psyche.

Consciousness is a precondition of being.

Thus the psyche is endowed with the dignity of a cosmic principle, which philosophically and in fact gives it a position coequal with the principle of physical being.

The carrier of this consciousness is the individual, who does not produce the psyche of his own volition but is, on the
contrary, preformed by it and nourished by the gradual awakening of consciousness during childhood.

If therefore the psyche is of overriding empirical importance, so also is the individual, who is the only immediate manifestation of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 528

Most people confuse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of their conscious ego-personalities.

Anyone who has any ego-consciousness at all takes it for granted that he knows himself.

But the ego knows only its own contents, not the unconscious and its contents. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 491

The fact that individual consciousness means separation and opposition is something that
man has experienced countless times in his long history. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 290


It is, however, true that much of the evil in the world comes from the fact that man in general is hopelessly unconscious, as it is also true that with increasing insight we can combat this evil at its source in ourselves, in the same way that science enables us to deal effectively with injuries inflicted from without. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 166

It is indeed no small matter of know of one’s guilt and one’s own evil, and there is certainly nothing to be gained by losing sight of one’s shadow.

When we are conscious of our guilt we are in a more favourable position— we can at least hope to change and improve ourselves.

As we know, anything that remains in the unconscious is incorrigible; psychological corrections can be made only in consciousness.

Consciousness of guilt can therefore act as a powerful moral stimulus.

In every treatment of neurosis the discovery of the shadow is indispensable, otherwise nothing changes.

In this respect, I rely on those parts of the German body-politic which have remained sound to draw conclusions from the facts.

Without guilt, unfortunately, there can be no psychic maturation and no widening of the spiritual horizon.

Was it not Meister Eckhart who said: “For this reason God is willing to bear the brunt of sins and often winks at them, mostly sending them to people for whom he has prepared some high destiny.

See! Who was dearer to our Lord or more intimate with him than his apostles?

Not one of them but fell into mortal sin, and all were mortal sinners.” ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 440

Just as there is a relationship of mind to body, so there is a relationship of body to earth. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 19

Personality consists of two things: first, consciousness and whatever this covers, and second, an indefinitely large hinterland of unconscious psyche.

So far as the former is concerned, it can be more or less clearly defined and delimited; but as for the sum total of personality, one has to admit the impossibility of a complete description or definition.

In other words, there is bound to be an illimitable and indefinable addition to every personality, because the latter consists of a conscious and observable part which does not contain certain factors whose existence, however, we are forced to assume in order to explain certain observable facts.

The unknown factors form what we call the unconscious part of the personality. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 66.

What does man possess that God does not have?

Because of his littleness, puniness, and defenselessness against the Almighty, he possesses, as we have already suggested, a somewhat keener consciousness based on self-reflection; he must, in order to survive, always be mindful of his impotence.

God has no need of this circumspection, for nowhere does he come up against an insuperable obstacle that would force him to hesitate and hence make him reflect on himself. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 579

Yahweh’s decision to become man is a symbol of the development that had to supervene when man becomes conscious of the sort of God-image he is confronted with.

God acts out of the unconscious of man and forces him to harmonize and unite the opposing influences to which his mind is exposed from the unconscious.

The unconscious wants both: to divide and to unite.

In his striving for unity, therefore, man may always count on the help of a metaphysical advocate, as Job clearly recognized.

The unconscious wants to flow into consciousness in order to reach the light, but at the same time it continually thwarts itself, because it would rather remain unconscious.

That is to say, God wants to become man, but not quite.

The conflict in his nature is so great that the incarnation can only be bought by an expiatory self-sacrifice offered up to the wrath of God’s dark side. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 740

I take his cancer to be a spontaneous growth, which originated in the part of the psyche that is not identical with
consciousness.

It appears as an autonomous function intruding upon consciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 21.

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