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Saturday, June 11, 2016

Carl Jung on “Life.”







Analysis, thus understood, is by no means a therapeutic method of which the medical profession holds a monopoly.

It is an art, a technique, a science of psychological life, which the patient, when cured, should continue to practise for his own good and for the good of those amongst whom he lives.

If he understands it in this way, he will not set himself up as a prophet, nor as a world reformer; but, with a sound sense of the general good, he will profit by the knowledge he has acquired during treatment, and his influence will make itself felt more by the
example of his own life than by any high discourse or missionary propaganda. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 502

It is only possible to live the fullest life when we are in harmony with these symbols; wisdom is a return to them. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 794

Psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause.

But the formation of a symbol cannot take place until the mind has dwelt long enough on the elementary facts, that is to say until the inner or outer necessities of the life-process have brought about a transformation of energy. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 47.

Do we ever understand what we think?

We only understand that kind of thinking which is a mere equation, from which nothing comes out but what we have put in.

That is the working of the intellect.

But besides that [Intellect] there is a thinking in primordial images, in symbols which are older than the historical man, which are inborn in him from the earliest times, and, eternally living, outlasting all generations, still make up the groundwork of the human psyche.

There is a widespread prejudice that analysis is something like a “cure,” to which one submits for a time and is then discharged healed.

That is a layman’s error left over from the early days of psychoanalysis.

Analytical treatment could be described as a readjustment of psychological attitude achieved with the help of the doctor.

Naturally this newly won attitude, which is better suited to the inner and outer conditions, can last a considerable time, but there are very few cases where a single “cure” is permanently successful.

It is true that medical optimism has never stinted itself of publicity and has always been able to report definitive cures.

We must, however, not let ourselves be deceived by the all-too-human attitude of the practitioner, but should always remember that the life of the unconscious goes on and continually produces problematical situations.

There is no need for pessimism; we have seen too many excellent results achieved with good luck and honest work for that.

But this need not prevent us from recognizing that analysis is no once-and-for-all “cure”; it is no more, at first, than a more or less thorough readjustment.

There is no change that is unconditionally valid over a long period of time.

Life has always to be tackled anew.

There are, of course, extremely durable collective attitudes which permit the solution of typical conflicts.

A collective attitude enables the individual to fit into society without friction, since it acts upon him like any other condition of life.

But the patient’s difficulty consists precisely in the fact that his individual problem cannot be fitted without friction into a collective norm; it requires the solution of an individual conflict if the whole of his personality is to remain viable.

No rational solution can do justice to this task, and there is absolutely no collective norm that could replace an individual solution without loss.

The new attitude gained in the course of analysis tends sooner or later to become inadequate in one way or another, and necessarily so, because the constant flow of life again and again demands fresh adaptation.

Adaptation is never achieved once and for all.

One might certainly demand of analysis that it should enable the patient to gain new orientations in later life, too, without undue difficulty.

And experience shows that this is true up to a point.

We often find that patients who have gone through a thorough analysis have considerably less difficulty with new adjustments later on.

Nevertheless, these difficulties prove to be fairly frequent and may at times be really troublesome.

That is why even patients who have had a thorough analysis often turn to their old analyst for help at some later period. In the light of medical practice in general there is nothing very unusual about this, but it does contradict a certain misplaced enthusiasm on the part of the therapist as well as the view that analysis constitutes a unique “cure.”

In the last resort it is highly improbable that there could ever be a therapy that got rid of all difficulties.

Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.

What concerns us here is only an excessive amount of them. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Paras 142-143.

The nearer we approach to the middle of life, and the better we have succeeded in entrenching ourselves in our personal attitudes and social positions, the more it appears as if we had discovered the right course and the right ideals and principles of behaviour.

For this reason we suppose them to be eternally valid, and make a virtue of unchangeably clinging to them.

We overlook the essential fact that the social goal is attained only at the cost of a diminution of personality. Many—far too many —aspects of life which should also have been experienced lie in the lumber-room among dusty memories; but sometimes, too, they are glowing coals under grey ashes. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 772

Wholly unprepared, we embark upon the second half of life.

Or are there perhaps colleges for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our young people to a knowledge of the world?

No, thoroughly unprepared we take the step into the afternoon of life; worse still, we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideals will serve us as hitherto.

But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 784

The ego-conscious personality is only a part of the whole man, and its life does not yet represent his total life.

The more he is merely “I,” the more he splits himself off from the collective man, of whom he is also a part, and may even find himself in opposition to him.

But since everything living strives for wholeness, the inevitable onesidedness of our conscious life is continually being corrected and compensated by the universal human being in us, whose goal is the ultimate integration of conscious and unconscious, or
better, the assimilation of the ego to a wider personality. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 557.

The psyche is part of the inmost mystery of life, and it has its own peculiar structure and form like every other organism. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 187.

I am of the opinion that the psyche is the most tremendous fact of human life. Indeed, it is the mother of all human facts; of civilization and of its destroyer, war. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 206.

The grand plan on which the unconscious life of the psyche is constructed is so inaccessible to our understanding that we can never know what evil may not be necessary in order to produce good by enantiodromia, and what good may very possibly lead to evil. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 397
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The alchemist saw the union of opposites under the symbol of the tree, and it is therefore not surprising that the unconscious of present-day man, who no longer feels at home in his world and can base his existence neither on the past that is no more nor on the future that is yet to be, should hark back to the symbol of the cosmic tree rooted in this world and growing up to heaven—the tree that is also man.

In the history of symbols this tree is described as the way of life itself, a growing into that which eternally is and does not change; which springs from the union of opposites and, by its eternal presence, also makes that union possible.

It seems as if it were only through an experience of symbolic reality that man, vainly seeking his own “existence” and
making a philosophy out of it, can find his way back to a world in which he is no longer a stranger. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 198

How often in the critical moments of life everything hangs on what appears to be a mere nothing! ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 408

I say to the young psychotherapist: Learn the best, know the best—and then forget everything when you face the patient.

No one has yet become a good surgeon by learning the text-books off by heart.

Yet the danger that faces us today is that the whole of reality will be replaced by words.

This accounts for that terrible lack of instinct in modern man, particularly the city-dweller.

He lacks all contact with the life and breath of nature.

He knows a rabbit or a cow only from the illustrated paper, the dictionary, or the movies, and thinks he knows what it is really like-and is then amazed that cowsheds “smell,” because the dictionary didn’t say so.

It is the same with the danger of making a diagnosis.

One knows that this disease is treated by So-and-so in chapter seventeen, and one thinks that this is the important thing.

But the poor patient goes on suffering. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 882

No man can begin with the present; he must slowly grow into it, for there would be no present but for the past.

A young person has not yet acquired a past, therefore he has no present either.

He does not create culture, he merely exists.

It is the privilege and the task of maturer people, who have passed the meridian of life, to create culture. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 272

In the neurosis is hidden one’s worst enemy and best friend.

One cannot rate him too highly, unless of course fate has made one hostile to life.

There are always deserters, but they have nothing to say to us, nor we to them. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 359

Hidden in the neurosis is a bit of still undeveloped personality, a precious fragment of the psyche lacking which a man is condemned to resignation, bitterness, and everything else that is hostile to life.

A psychology of neurosis that sees only the negative elements empties out the baby with the bath-water, since it
neglects the positive meaning and value of these “infantile”—i.e., creative—fantasies. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 355

The more a man or woman is unconsciously influenced by the parental imago, the more surely will the figure of the loved one be chosen as either a positive or a negative substitute for the parents.

The far-reaching influence of the parental imago should not be considered abnormal; on the contrary, it is a very normal and therefore very common phenomenon.

It is, indeed, very important that this should be so, for otherwise the parents are not reborn in the children, and the parental imago becomes so completely lost that all continuity in the life of the individual ceases.

He cannot connect his childhood with his adult life, and therefore remains unconsciously a child—a situation that is the best possible foundation for a neurosis.

He will then suffer from all those ills that beset parvenus without a history, be they individuals or social groups.

It is normal that children should in a certain sense marry their parents.

This is just as important, psychologically, as the biological necessity to infuse new blood if the ancestral tree is to produce a good breed.

It guarantees continuity, a reasonable prolongation of the past into the present.

Only too much or too little in this direction is harmful.

So long as a positive or negative resemblance to the parents is the deciding factor in a love choice, the release from the parental imago, and hence from childhood, is not complete.

Although childhood has to be brought along for the sake of historical continuity, this should not be at the expense of further development.

Woman’s psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and loosener, whereas from ancient times the ruling principle ascribed to man is Logos.

The concept of Eros could be ex pressed in modern terms as psychic relatedness, and that of Logos as objective interest. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 255

The great events of world history are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual.

This alone makes history, here alone do the great transformations first take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately spring as a gigantic summation from these hidden sources in individuals.

In our most private and most subjective lives we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 315.

Unlived life is a destructive, irresistible force that works softly but inexorably. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 252

Human imperfection is always a discord in the harmony of our ideals.

Unfortunately, no one lives in the world as we desire it, but in the world of actuality where good and evil clash and destroy one another, where no creating or building can be done without dirtying one’s hands. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 263

No one can make history who is not willing to risk everything for it, to carry the experiment with his own life through to the bitter end, and to declare that his life is not a continuation of the past, but a new beginning.

Mere continuation can be left to the animals, but inauguration is the prerogative of man, the one thing he can boast of that lifts him above the beasts. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 268

Whatever man’s wholeness, or the self, may mean per se, empirically it is an image of the goal of life spontaneously produced by the unconscious, irrespective of the wishes and fears of the conscious
mind.

It stands for the goal of the total man, for the realization of his wholeness and individuality with or without the consent of his
will.

The dynamic of this process is instinct, which ensures that everything which belongs to an individual’s life shall enter into it, whether he consents or not, or is conscious of what is happening to him or not.

Obviously, it makes a great deal of difference subjectively whether he knows what he is living out, whether he understands what he is doing, and whether he accepts responsibility for what he proposes to do or has
done. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 745.

A dogma is always the result and fruit of many minds and many centuries, purified of all the oddities, shortcomings, and flaws of individual experience.

But for all that, the individual experience, by its very poverty, is immediate life, the warm red blood pulsating today.

It is more convincing to a seeker after truth than the best tradition. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 88

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