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Carl Jung (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Carl_Jung

Carl Jung, philosopher of analytical psychology.

Sources of quotations: WikiQuotes, GoodReads, QuotationsPage, BrainyQuote, AlteringPerspectives,


Quotations from Carl Jung

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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 nation keeps its word. A nation is a big, blind worm, following what? Fate perhaps. A nation has no honour, it has no word to keep. … Hitler is himself the nation. That incidentally is why Hitler always has to talk so loud, even in private conversation — because he is speaking with 78 million voices.

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.

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.

Our blight is ideologies — they are the long-expected Antichrist!

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.

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.

The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual.

You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return.

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.

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

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.

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 take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

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.

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.

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

We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist.

Naturally, every age thinks that all ages before it were prejudiced, and today we think this more than 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.

An ancient Spartan proverb inscribed on Jung’s tomb. Called or uncalled, God will be present.

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

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.

There is no coming to consciousness without pain.

The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

The man who promises everything is sure to fulfill 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.

All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.

When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.

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.

We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgment of the intellect is only part of the truth.

We deem those happy who from the experience of life have learnt to bear its ills without being overcome by them.

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

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.

It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts.

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.

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.

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.

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

Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.

Wherever an inferiority complex exists, there is a good reason for it.
of mere being.

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


COMMENTS on quotations from Carl Jung

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves. This is at the heart of the Stoic philosophy, and the ancients developed techniques for dealing with these ideas and not just making general observations about them. It is the action that changes things, and not observation. Habits can be changed by intentional preplanned and practiced actions that are intended to be made in response to expected observable situations.

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. Jung comes closer, with this statement, to learning effective action, and my suggestion would be to create and recommend specific games for coping with the various problems expected to be encountered in the future.

We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgment of the intellect is only part of the truth. The intellect guides us to choose those things to which we should pay close attention. It helps us decide what to do, but it is the doing of the recommended actions which is the point of all the study and preparation and forethought. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. Saying what you will do clarifies your intent, but the doing accomplishes the action, and sets in place the potential for creating a consistent habit.

If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. The response to this is to seek carefully the reasons for a persons action’s, and to make one’s own actions and statements easy to understand.

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. I would expect these results would be mostly negative, unless they are carefully reviewed and one’s memories are carefully adjusted into making them positive. What Jung is suggesting sounds like a process for creating PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and that is to be intentionally avoided.

It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts. Observing wickedness makes it easier to behave in wicked ways, but training oneself into a habit of behaving in helpful ways overcomes some of this tendency toward evil acts.

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown. The more I read Jung the more his writings seem distorted by a pain-driven inner core. A painful childhood can be overridden by personal self-correction, as did Richard Rhodes.

We cannot imagine events that are connected non-causally and are capable of a non-causal explanation. But that does not mean that such events do not exist. I am thinking here of a convergent evolution concept which possesses a deeper cause than the immediate forcing factors upon an individual, but which is discoverable and can be stated clearly, perhaps as a law.

Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. This is a valid statement only so long as error is recognized. When errors of fact are incorporated into behavior as true they will occasionally generate improper actions. 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.

Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism. Where does addiction end and well-formed habits begin? I would say that good habits are learned to help approach a well-considered end goal, and that addictions are habits formed to cover over existing unresolved pain.

Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering. The problem with neurosis is that it becomes chronic and is slow to resolve itself, and thus an original pain might more appropriately be suffered and adapted to, instead of suppressed only to return and exhibit itself as a distorted personal reality.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate. The unconscious is vast, and our introspection can reveal only a few aspects of it, and yet, we can direct that vast reservoir with our occasional conscious decisions and intentional creation of habits.

It is sad but unfortunately true that man learns nothing from history. It is true that humans are slow to learn, but we do learn, and eventually we do apply our learning.