carl jung Quotes

Carl Jung Quotes

Birth Date: 1875-07-26 (Monday, July 26th, 1875)
Date of Death: 1961-06-06 (Tuesday, June 6th, 1961)

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Quotes

    • The little world of childhood with its familiar surroundings is a model of the greater world. The more intensively the family has stamped its character upon the child, the more it will tend to feel and see its earlier miniature world again in the bigger world of adult life. Naturally this is not a conscious, intellectual process.
    • This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theater where the dreamer is at once scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.
    • The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens to that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach.
    • Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.
    • No one can flatter himself that he is immune to the spirit of his own epoch, or even that he possesses a full understanding of it. Irrespective of our conscious convictions, each one of us, without exception, being a particle of the general mass, is somewhere attached to, colored by, or even undermined by the spirit which goes through the mass. Freedom stretches only as far as the limits of our consciousness.
    • The unconscious is not just evil by nature, it is also the source of the highest good: not only dark but also light, not only bestial, semihuman, and demonic but superhuman, spiritual, and, in the classical sense of the word, 'divine.'
    • Even if the whole world were to fall to pieces, the unity of the psyche would never be shattered. And the wider and more numerous the fissures on the surface, the more the unity is strengthened in the depths.
    • One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games and it cannot be done by men out of touch with their instinctive selves.
    • Hitler belongs in the category of the truly mystic medicine man. His body does not suggest strength. The outstanding characteristic of his physiognomy is its dreamy look. I was especially struck by that when I saw pictures taken of him in the Czechoslovakian crisis; there was in his eyes the look of a seer. This markedly mystic characteristic of Hitler's is what makes him do things which seem to us illogical, inexplicable, and unreasonable.
    • No nation keeps its word. A nation is a big, blind worm, following what? Fate perhaps. A nation has no honor, it has no word to keep. [Therefore, why expect Hitler to keep his word?] Because Hitler is the nation.
    • Any theory based on experience is necessarily statistical; that is to say, it formulates an ideal average which abolishes all exceptions at either end of the scale and replaces them by an abstract mean. This mean is quite valid though it need not necessarily occur in reality. Despite this it figures in the theory as an unassailable fundamental fact...If, for instance, I determine the weight of of each stone in a bed of pebbles and get an average weight of 145 grams, this tells me very little about the real nature of the pebbles. Anyone who thought, on the basis of these findings, that he could pick up a pebbles of 145 grams at the first try would be in for a serious disappointment. Indeed, it might well happen that however long he searched he would not find a single pebble weighing exactly 145 grams. The statistical method shows the facts in the light of the ideal average but does not give us a picture of their empirical reality. While reflecting an indisputable aspect of reality, it can falsify the actual truth in a most misleading way.
    • The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual.
    • Just as man as a social being, cannot in the long run exist without a tie to the community, so the individual will never find the real justification for his existence, and his own spiritual and moral autonomy, anywhere except in an extramundane principle capable of relativizing the overpowering influence of external factors.
    • It is astounding that man, the instigator, inventor and vehicle of all these developments, the originator of all judgements and decisions and the planner of the future, must make himself such a quantite negligeable.
    • Without consciousness there would, practically speaking, be no world, for the world exists as such only in so far as it is consciously reflected and considered by a psyche. Consciousness is a precondition of being.
    • You can take away a man's gods, but only to give him others in return.
    • The seat of faith, however, is not consciousness but spontaneous religious experience, which brings the individual's faith into immediate relation with God. Here we must ask: Have I any religious experience and immediate relation to God, and hence that certainty which will keep me, as an individual, from dissolving in the crowd?
    • Reason alone does not suffice.
    • We are living in what the Greeks called the right time for a 'metamorphosis of the gods,' i.e. of the fundamental principles and symbols. This peculiarity of our time, which is certainly not of our conscious choosing, is the expression of the unconscious man within us who is changing. Coming generations will have to take account of this momentous transformation if humanity is not to destroy itself through the might of its own technology and science.
    • Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable.
    • The great problems of life - sexuality, of course, among others - are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious. These images are really balancing or compensating factors which correspond with the problems life presents in actuality. This is not to be marvelled at, since these images are deposits representing the accumulated experience of thousands of years of struggle for adaptation and existence.
    • We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect; we apprehend it just as much by feeling. Therefore, the judgment of the intellect is, at best, only the half of truth, and must, if it be honest, also come to an understanding of its inadequacy.
    • The woman is increasingly aware that love alone can give her full stature, just as the man begins to discern that spirit alone can endow his life with its highest meaning. Fundamentally, therefore, both seek a psychic relation to the other, because love needs the spirit, and the spirit love, for their fulfillment.
    • Seldom, or perhaps never, does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly and without crises; there is no coming to consciousness without pain.
    • The growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and...each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement.
    • No language exists that cannot be misused... Every Interpretation is hypothetical, for it is a mere attempt to read an unfamiliar text.
    • The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
    • It is in applied psychology, if anywhere, that today we should be modest and grant validity to a number of apparently contradictory opinions; for we are still far from having anything like a thorough knowledge of the human psyche, that most challenging field of scientific enquiry. For the present we have merely more or less plausible opinions that defy reconciliation.
    • The great decisions of human life have as a rule far more to do with the instincts and other mysterious unconscious factors than with conscious will and well-meaning reasonableness. The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form-an indeterminable form which cannot be superseded by any other.
    • Aging people should know that their lives are not mounting and unfolding but that an inexorable inner process forces the contraction of life. For a young person it is almost a sin-and certainly a danger-to be too much occupied with himself; but for the aging person it is a duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.
    • Every civilized human being, whatever his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche. Just as the human body connects us with the mammals and displays numerous relics of earlier evolutionary stages going back to even the reptilian age, so the human psyche is likewise a product of evolution which, when followed up to it's origins, show countless archaic traits.
    • No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.
    • A more or less superficial layer of the unconscious is undoubtedly personal. I call it the 'personal unconscious'. But this personal layer rests upon a deeper layer, which does not derive from personal experience and is not a personal acquisition but is inborn. This deeper layer I call the 'collective unconscious'. I have chosen the term 'collective' because this part of the unconscious is not individual but universal; in contrast to the personal psyche, it has contents and modes of behaviour that are more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals.
    • Why is psychology the youngest of the empirical sciences? Why have we not long since discovered the unconscious and raised up its treasure-house of eternal images? Simply because we had a religious formula for everything psychic - and one that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than immediate experience. Though the Christian view of the world has paled for many people, the symbolic treasure-rooms of the East are still full of marvels that can nourish for a long time to come the passion for show and new clothes. What is more, these images - be they Christian or Buddhist or what you will - are lovely, mysterious, richly intuitive.
    • Whereas the personal unconscious consists for the most part of 'complexes', the content of the collective unconscious is made up essentially of 'archetypes'. The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate of the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere. Mythological research calls them 'motifs'; in the psychology of primitives they correspond to Levy-Bruhl's concept of 'representations collectives,' and in the field of comparative religion they have been defined by Hubert and Mauss as 'categories of the imagination'... My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals.
    • We must now turn to the question of how the existence of archetypes can be proved. Since archetypes are supposed to produce certain psychic forms, we must discuss how and where one can get hold of the material demonstrating these forms. The main source, then, is dreams, which have the advantage of being involuntary, spontaneous products of nature not falsified by any conscious purpose. By questioning the individual one can ascertain which of the motifs appearing in the dream are known to him... Consequently, we must look for motifs which could not possibly be known to the dreamer and yet behave functionally of the archetype known from historical sources.
    • All ages before ours believed in gods in some form or other. Only an unparalleled impoverishment in symbolism could enable us to rediscover the gods as psychic factors, which is to say, as archetypes of the unconscious. No doubt this discovery is hardly credible as yet.
    • If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
    • This world is empty to him alone who does not understand how to direct his libido towards objects, and to render them alive and beautiful for himself, for Beauty does not indeed lie in things, but in the feeling that we give to them.
    • Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
    • The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body. On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.
    • Every archetype is capable of endless development and differentiation. It is therefore possible for it to be more developed or less. In an outward form of religion where all the emphasis is on the outward figure (hence where we are dealing with a more or less complete projection) the archetype is identical with externalized ideas but remains unconscious as a psychic factor. When an unconscious content is replaced by a projected image to that extent, it is cut off from all participation in an influence on the conscious mind. Hence it largely forfeits its own life, because prevented from exerting the formative influence on consciousness natural to it; what is more, it remains in its original form - unchanged, for nothing changes in the unconscious.
    • The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not-which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams.
    • We Shall Naturally look round in vain the macrophysical world for acausal events, for the simple reason that we cannot imagaine events that are connectednon-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist... The so-called 'scientific view of the world' based on this can hardly be anything more than a psychologically biased partial view which misses out all those by no means unimportant aspects that cannot be grasped statistically.
    • Primitive superstition lies just below the surface of even the most toughminded individuals, and it is precisley those who most fight against it who are the first to succumb to its suggestive effects.
    • Naturally, every age thinks that all ages before it were prejudiced, and today we think this more then ever and are just as wrong as all previous ages that thought so. How often have we not seen the truth condemned! It is sad but unfortunately true that man learns nothing from history.
    • This grasping of the whole is obviously the aim of science as well, but it is a goal that necessarily lies very far off because science, whenever possible, proceeds experimentally and in all cases statistically. Experiment, however, consists in asking a definate question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant. It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man. She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as practible. For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the question which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer. The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded. If we want to know what these workings are, we need a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leave Nature to answer out of her fullness.
    • My example concerns a young woman patiant who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The Difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably 'geometrical' idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpectedand irrational would turn up, something that burstthe intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite of her one day, with myback to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab-a costly piece of jewellry. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark roo.This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window and immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer, whose colden green color most nearly resembles that of a golden scarabe. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words 'Here is your scarab.' This broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.
    • Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.
    • I know every numbskull will babble on about 'black man,' 'maneater,' 'chance,' and 'retrospective interpretation,' in order to banish something terribly inconvenient that might sully the familiar picture of childhood innocence. Ah, these good, efficient, healthy-minded people, they always remind me of those optimistic tadpoles who bask in a puddle in the sun, in the shallowest of waters, crowding together and amiably wriggling their tails, totally unaware that the next morning the puddle will have dried up and left them stranded.
    • Sometimes I had an overwhelming urge to speak, not about that, but only to hint that there were some curious things about me which no one knew of. I wanted to find out whether other people had undergone similar experiences. I never succeeded in discovering so much as a trace of them in others. As a result, I had the feeling that I was either outlawed or elect, accursed or blessed.
    • My interests drew me in different directions. On the one hand I was powerfully attracted by science, with its truths based on facts; on the other hand I was fascinated by everything to do with comparative religion. [...] In science I missed the factor of meaning; and in religion, that of empiricism.
    • As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.
    • Because we cannot discover God's throne in the sky with a radiotelescope or establish (for certain) that a beloved father or mother is still about in a more or less corporeal form, people assume that such ideas are 'not true.' I would rather say that they are not 'true' enough, for these are conceptions of a kind that have accompanied human life from prehistoric times, and that still break through into consciousness at any provocation.
    • Modern man may assert that he can dispense with them, and he may bolster his opinion by insisting that there is no scientific evidence of their truth. But since we are dealing with invisible and unknowable things (for God is beyond human understanding, and there is no mean of proving immortality), why should we bother with evidence?
    • A shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. See above 'Modern Man in Search of a Soul' p. 69
    • All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination?
    • An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.
    • Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar's gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throughout the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.
    • Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense- he is 'collective man'- one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic forms of mankind.
    • Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
    • Death is psychologically as important as birth... Shrinking away from it is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.
    • Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
    • Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
    • Follow that will and that way which experience confirms to be your own.
    • Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.
    • I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice.
    • I could not say I believe- I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God. (In a film, when asked if he believed that God exists.)
    • I have never encountered a difficulty that was not truly the difficulty of myself.
    • If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.
    • If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
    • In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
    • India did not pass me by without a trace: it left tracks which lead me from one infinity to another infinity.
    • It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
    • It was most essential for me to have a normal life in the real world as a counterpoise to that strange inner world. My family and my profession remained the base to which I could return...
    • Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
    • Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.
    • Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
    • Man's task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.
    • Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.
    • Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.
    • Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood.
    • Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
    • Our heart glows, and secret unrest gnaws at the root of our being. Dealing with the unconscious has become a question of life for us.
    • People cannot stand too much reality.
    • People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.
    • Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.
    • Science is the tool of the Western mind and with it more doors can be opened than with bare hands. It is part and parcel of our knowledge and obscures our insight only when it holds that the understanding given by it is the only kind there is.
    • Sentimentality is a superstructure covering brutality.
    • Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.
    • Shrinking away from death is something unhealthy and abnormal which robs the second half of life of its purpose.
    • Sometimes, indeed, there is such a discrepancy between the genius and his human qualities that one has to ask oneself whether a little less talent might not have been better.
    • Superstition and accident manifest the will of God.
    • The achievements which society rewards are won at the cost of diminution of personality.
    • The attainment of wholeness requires one to stake one's whole being. Nothing less will do; there can be no easier conditions, no substitutes, no compromises.
    • The brain is viewed as an appendage of the genital glands. (Comment upon Freudian psychology).
    • The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
    • The foundation of all mental illness is the avoidance of true suffering.
    • The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.
    • The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.
    • The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.
    • The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.
    • The man who promises everything is sure to fulfil nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.
    • The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.
    • The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
    • The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
    • The psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains its equilibrium just as the body does. Every process that goes too far immediately and inevitably calls forth compensations, and without these their would be neither a normal metabolism nor a normal psyche. In this sense we can take the theory of compensation as a basic law of psychic behavior. Too little on one side results in too much on the other. Similarly, the relation between conscious and unconscious is compensatory.
    • The word 'belief' is a difficult thing for me. I don't believe. I must have a reason for a certain hypothesis. Either I know a thing, and then I know it- I don't need to believe it.
    • There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
    • Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.
    • Understanding does not cure evil, but it is a definite help, inasmuch as one can cope with a comprehensible darkness.
    • We are born at a given moment, in a given place and, like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.
    • We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.
    • We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.
    • We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.
    • We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself...
    • What is the use of a religion without a mythos, since religion means, if anything, precisely that function which links us back to eternal myth?
    • When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.
    • Whenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units.
    • You can exert no influence if you are not susceptible to influence.
    • Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart ... Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
    • Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit.
    • Psychological type
    • carl jung

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