‘The Undiscovered Self’ Quotes by Carl Jung

January 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

  • 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 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.
    • p 6

  • The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual.
    • p 14
  • 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.
    • p 23
  • 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 quantité negligeable.
    • p 45
  • 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.
    • p 48
  • You can take away a man’s gods, but only to give him others in return.
    • p 63
  • 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?
    • p 85
  • Reason alone does not suffice.
    • p 98
  • 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.
    • p 110
  • The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, a characteristic also of the child, and as such it appears inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But 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. It is therefore short-sighted to treat fantasy, on account of its risky or unacceptable nature, as a thing of little worth.
    • Ch. 1, p. 82
  • 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.
    • Ch. 5, p. 271
  • 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.
    • Variant translation: We should not pretend to understand the world only by the intellect. The judgement of the intellect is only part of the truth.
    • Conclusion, p. 628


C.G. Jung on Ivy:

C.G. Jung: The Undiscovered Self (1957)

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