The Guy Quote – Carl Jung

Founder of analytical psychiatry, Jung was the first to view the human psyche as “by nature religious”. He is also famous for his research into dream analysis. As well as his own clinic, he also explored Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology and sociology, as well as literature and the arts. Many psychological concepts were first proposed by the Swiss-born doctor, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity. He collaborated – and then had a massive falling out – with Freud (more here, and pictures of the two of them hanging about in the slideshow below come from here) and was fascinated by Nietzche. While doing all of that, he also studied masonry, to balance out his thinking. All in all an amazing guy.

One of my favourite things about him is that, for someone who is such a star in a field often pigeonholed as the very definition of sober analysis and the pursuit of the rational, he was fascinated by mysticism (and saw spirits as a child, as well as having shaman-y leanings) and had a crazy episode in his late 30s which inspired him to write The Red Book. When he and Freud had a massive barney, Jung found the end of their father-son relationship so traumatic he had prophetic(?) dreams about a mighty flood washing over Europe – this just before the First World War broke out.

It would do too great a disservice to him to attempt to summarise his core beliefs myself – and I’d be way out of my depth – but use this page and this one to find out more and get to other links (this page is fun too). In the mean time… enjoy The Guy Quotes.

ps – if you like this sort of thing, I’ve done other similar posts which you can find listed here.

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Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.

(on being 36 yrs old) The time is a critical one, for it marks the beginning of the second half of life, when a metanoia, a mental transformation, not infrequently occurs.

An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.

Midlife is the time to let go of an overdominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.

Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.

Image is psyche.

One of the most difficult tasks men can perform, however much others may despise it, is the invention of good games.

I have never since entirely freed myself of the impression that this life is a segment of existence which is enacted in a three-dimensional boxlike universe especially set up for it.

The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ — all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself — that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness — that I myself am the enemy who must be loved — what then? As a rule, the Christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us “Raca,” and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.

Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.

We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

Astrology is assured of recognition from psychology, without further restrictions, because astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.

A creative person has little power over his own life. He is not free. He is captive and driven by his daimon.

Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.

Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.

I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life – that is to say, over 35 – there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.

There’s no coming to consciousness without pain.

In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.

Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.

The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.

I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum. I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; I have no judgment about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions – not about anything, really. I know only that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation or something I do not know.

Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.

I have frequently seen people become neurotic when they content themselves with inadequate or wrong answers to the questions of life. They seek position, marriage, reputation, outward success of money, and remain unhappy and neurotic even when they have attained what they were seeking. Such people are usually confined within too narrow a spiritual horizon. Their life has not sufficient content, sufficient meaning. If they are enabled to develop into more spacious personalities, the neurosis generally disappears.

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.

It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going.

Deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, “There is something not right,” no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or moral code.

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.

The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.

It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.

Words are animals, alive with a will of their own.

The true leader is always led.

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.

Sensation tell us a thing is.
Thinking tell us what it is this thing is.
Feeling tells us what this thing is to us.

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 affected 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 in 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.

3 responses to “The Guy Quote – Carl Jung

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