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The Quotable Jung by C. G. Jung

C. G. Jung (1875–1961) was a preeminent thinker of the modern era. In seeking to establish an interdisciplinary science of analytical psychology, he studied psychiatry, religion, mysticism, literature, physics, biology, education, and criminology. He introduced the concepts of extraversion and introversion, and terms such as complex, archetype, individuation, and the collective unconscious. He stressed the primacy of finding meaning in our lives.

The Quotable Jung is the single most comprehensive collection of Jung quotations ever assembled. It is the essential introduction for anyone new to Jung and the Jungian tradition. It will also inspire those familiar with Jung to view him in an entirely new way. The Quotable Jung presents hundreds of the most representative selections from the vast array of Jung's books, essays, correspondence, lectures, seminars, and interviews, as well as the celebrated Red Book, in which Jung describes his own fearsome confrontation with the unconscious. Organized thematically, this collection covers such topics as the psyche, the symbolic life, dreams, the analytic process, good and evil, creativity, alchemical transformation, death and rebirth, the problem of the opposites, and more. The quotations are arranged so that the reader can follow the thread of Jung’s thought on these topics while gaining an invaluable perspective on his writings as a whole.

Succinct and accessible, The Quotable Jung also features a preface by Judith Harris and a detailed chronology of Jung’s life and work.

  • The single most comprehensive collection of Jung quotations ever assembled
  • Features hundreds of quotes
  • Covers such topics as the psyche, dreams, good and evil, death and rebirth, and more
  • Includes a detailed chronology of Jung’s life and work
  • Serves as the ideal introduction to Jung and the Jungian tradition

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691181196
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 07/24/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 1,196,686
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Judith Harris is former President of the Philemon Foundation and a Jungian analyst in private practice. She is a senior training analyst in Zurich and the author of Jung and Yoga: The Psyche-Body Connection.

Read an Excerpt

The Quotable Jung

By Judith R. Harris


Copyright © 2016 Princeton University Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4008-7334-0


The Unconscious

Man started from an unconscious state and has ever striven for greater consciousness. The development of consciousness is the burden, the suffering, and the blessing of mankind.

"Men, Women, and God" (1955), C. G. Jung Speaking, p. 248.

[T]he attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave man victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself.

"The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man" (1933/1934), CW 10, § 289.

"All that is outside, also is inside," we could say with Goethe. But this "inside," which modern rationalism is so eager to derive from "outside," has an a priori structure of its own that antedates all conscious experience. It is quite impossible to conceive how "experience" in the widest sense, or, for that matter, anything psychic, could originate exclusively in the outside world. The psyche is part of the inmost mystery of life, and it has its own peculiar structure and form like every other organism. Whether this psychic structure and its elements, the archetypes, ever "originated" at all is a metaphysical question and therefore unanswerable. The structure is something given, the precondition that is found to be present in every case. And this is the mother, the matrix — the form into which all experience is poured.

"Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype" (1938/1954), CW 9i, § 187.

The psyche is the starting point of all human experience, and all the knowledge we have gained eventually leads back to it. The psyche is the beginning and end of all cognition. It is not only the object of its science, but the subject also. This gives psychology a unique place among all the other sciences; on the one hand there is a constant doubt as to the possibility of its being a science at all, while on the other hand psychology acquires the right to state a theoretical problem the solution of which will be one of the most difficult tasks for a future philosophy.

"Psychological Factors Determining Human Behaviour" (1937), CW 8, § 261.

What most people overlook or seem unable to understand is the fact that I regard the psyche as real.

Answer to Job (1952), CW 11, § 751.

Man knows only a small part of his psyche, just as he has only a very limited knowledge of the physiology of his body. The causal factors determining his psychic existence reside largely in unconscious processes outside consciousness, and in the same way there are final factors at work in him which likewise originate in the unconscious.

Aion (1951), CW 9ii, § 253.

The fact that individual consciousness means separation and opposition is something that man has experienced countless times in his long history.

"The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man" (1933/1934), CW 10, § 290.

The world itself becomes a reflection of the psyche.

The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga:Notes of the Seminar Given in 1932 (26 October, 1932), p. 50.

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.

"Concerning Rebirth" (1940/1950), CW 9i, § 206.

[T]he psyche consists essentially of images. It is a series of images in the truest sense, not an accidental juxtaposition or sequence, but a structure that is throughout full of meaning and purpose; it is a "picturing" of vital activities. And just as the material of the body that is ready for life has need of the psyche in order to be capable of life, so the psyche presupposes the living body in order that its images may live.

"Spirit and Life" (1926), CW 8, § 618.

[A]ll psychic processes whose energies are not under conscious control are instinctive.

Psychological Types (1921), CW 6, § 765.

It does not seem to have occurred to people that when we say "psyche" we are alluding to the densest darkness it is possible to imagine.

"Transformation Symbolism in the Mass" (1942/1954), CW 11, § 448.

Psychic energy is a very fastidious thing which insists on fulfilment of its own conditions. However much energy may be present, we cannot make it serviceable until we have succeeded in finding the right gradient.

On the Psychology of the Unconscious (1917/1926), CW 7, § 76.

"[A]t bottom" the psyche is simply "world."

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940), CW 9i, § 291.

We also speak of the "objective world," by which we do not mean that this objective world is the one we are conscious of. There is no object of which we are totally conscious. So, too, the collective unconscious becomes conscious in part and to that extent it is then a conscious object. But over and above that it is still present unconsciously, though it can be discovered. It behaves exactly like the world of things, which is partly known, partly unknown, the unknown being just as objectively real as that which is known to me. I chose the term "objective psyche" in contradistinction to "subjective psyche" because the subjective psyche coincides with consciousness, whereas the objective psyche does not always do so by any means.

Letter to Jolande Jacobi, 15 April 1948, Letters, Vol. I, p. 497.

No one who has undergone the process of assimilating the unconscious will deny that it gripped his very vitals and changed him.

The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious (1916/1928), CW 7, § 361.

There is no morality without freedom.

Psychological Types (1921), CW 6, § 357.

The psyche does not merely react, it gives its own specific answer to the influences at work upon it.

"Some Crucial Points in Psychoanalysis" (1914), CW 4, § 665.

I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious and unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a "personality."

Psychological Types (1921), CW 6, § 797.

I have never asserted, nor do I think I know, what the unconscious is in itself. It is the unconscious region of the psyche. When I speak of psyche, I do not pretend to know what it is either, and how far this concept extends. For this concept is simply beyond all possibility of cognition. It is a mere convention of giving some kind of name to the unknown which appears to us psychic. This psychic factor, as experience shows, is something very different from our consciousness.

Letter to Pastor Jahn, 7 September 1935, Letters, Vol. I, p. 196.

[J]ust as the unconscious world of mythological images speaks indirectly, through the experience of external things, to the man who surrenders wholly to the outside world, so the real world and its demands find their way indirectly to the man who has surrendered wholly to the soul; for no man can escape both realities. If he is intent only on the outer reality, he must live his myth; if he is turned only towards the inner reality, he must dream his outer, so-called real life.

Psychological Types (1921) CW 6, § 280.

The primitive mentality does not invent myths, it experiences them.

"The Psychology of the Child Archetype" (1940), CW 9i, § 261.

The unconscious is on no account an empty sack into which the refuse of consciousness is collected, as it appears to be in Freud's view; it is the whole other half of the living psyche.

Letter to Dr. N.,1 5 February 1934, Letters, Vol. I, p. 143.

It is difficult for me to outline the special features of my teachings in a few words. For me the essential thing is the investigation of the unconscious. Whereas Freud holds that in order to cure the neuroses, all of which as you know he derives from sexual roots, it is sufficient to make the unconscious conscious, I maintain that it is necessary to coordinate with consciousness the activities streaming out of the matrix of the unconscious. I try to funnel the fantasies of the unconscious into the conscious mind, not in order to destroy them but to develop them.

"Three Versions of a Press Conference in Vienna" (1928), C. G. Jung Speaking, pp. 39–40.

[T]he unconscious is not just a receptacle for all unclean spirits and other odious legacies from the dead past — such as, for instance, that deposit of centuries of public opinion which constitutes Freud's "superego." It is in very truth the eternally living, creative, germinal layer in each of us, and though it may make use of age-old symbolical images it nevertheless intends them to be understood in a new way. Naturally a new meaning does not come ready-made out of the unconscious, like Pallas Athene springing fully-armed from the head of Zeus; a living effect is achieved only when the products of the unconscious are brought into serious relationship with the conscious mind.

"Introduction to Kranefeldt's Secret Ways of the Mind" (1930), CW 4, § 760.

In the Tower at Bollingen it is as if one lived many centuries simultaneously. The place will outlive me, and in its location and style it points backward to things of long ago. There is very little about it to suggest the present. If a man of the sixteenth century were to move into the house, only the kerosene lamp and the matches would be new to him; otherwise, he would know his way about without difficulty. There is nothing to disturb the dead, neither electric light nor telephone. Moreover, my ancestors' souls are sustained by the atmosphere of the house, since I answer for them the questions that their lives once left behind. I carve out rough answers as best I can. I have even drawn them on the walls. It is as if a silent, greater family, stretching down the centuries, were peopling the house.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1962), p. 237.

[T]he unconscious is that which we do not know, therefore we call it the unconscious.

Nietzsche's Zarathustra:Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934–1939, Vol. II (19 October 1938), p. 1348.

[T]he unconscious is unfavourable or dangerous only because we are not at one with it and therefore in opposition to it. A negative attitude to the unconscious, or its splitting off, is detrimental in so far as the dynamics of the unconscious are identical with instinctual energy. Disalliance with the unconscious is synonymous with loss of instinct and rootlessness.

On the Psychology of the Unconscious (1917/1926/1943), CW 7, § 195.

[T]he unconscious can make a fool of you in no time.

Visions: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1930–1934, Vol. II (15 June 1932), p. 747.

The unconscious is useless without the human mind. It always seeks its collective purposes and never your individual destiny. Your destiny is the result of the collaboration between the conscious and the unconscious.

Letter to Mrs. N., 20 May 1940, Letters, Vol. I, p. 283.

I cannot see why it is a mystery how the unconscious can ever become known to consciousness. It is a fact of everyday experience that formerly unconscious contents more or less suddenly emerge into consciousness. As a matter of fact our consciousness couldn't function if the unconscious psychic process didn't support it by providing it with the necessary material. For instance, if you have forgotten a name and the unconscious obstinately retains it, then you depend almost entirely upon the good will of the unconscious that it allows you to recall it. It happens very often that your memory fails you in an almost diabolical way.

Letter to W. Y. Evans- Wentz, 9 February 1939, Letters, Vol. I, p. 262.

The world comes into being when man discovers it. But he only discovers it when he sacrifices his containment in the primal mother, the original state of unconsciousness.

Symbols of Transformation (1912/1952), CW 5, § 652.

[T]he unconscious itself initiates the process of renewal.

Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955–56), CW 14, § 548.

Where instinct predominates, psychoid processes set in which pertain to the sphere of the unconscious as elements incapable of consciousness. The psychoid process is not the unconscious as such, for this has a far greater extension.

"On the Nature of the Psyche" (1947/1954), CW 8, § 380.

The unconscious is not simply the unknown, it is rather the unknown psychic; and this we define on the one hand as all those things in us which, if they came to consciousness, would presumably differ in no respect from the known psychic contents, with the addition, on the other hand, of the psychoid system, of which nothing is known directly. So defined, the unconscious depicts an extremely fluid state of affairs: everything of which I know, but of which I am not at the moment thinking; everything of which I was once conscious but have now forgotten; everything perceived by my senses, but not noted by my conscious mind; everything which, involuntarily and without paying attention to it, I feel, think, remember, want, and do; all the future things that are taking shape in me and will sometime come to consciousness: all this is the content of the unconscious. These contents are all more or less capable, so to speak, of consciousness, or were once conscious and may become conscious again the next moment. Thus far the unconscious is "a fringe of consciousness," as William James put it. To this marginal phenomenon, which is born of alternating shades of light and darkness, there also belong the Freudian findings we have already noted. But, as I say, we must also include in the unconscious the psychoid functions that are not capable of consciousness and of whose existence we have only indirect knowledge.

"On the Nature of the Psyche" (1947/1954), CW 8, § 382.

It is as if you were ruler of a land which is only partially known to yourself, king of a country with an unknown number of inhabitants. You don't know who they are or what their condition may be; time and again you make the discovery that you have subjects in your country of whose existence you had no idea. Therefore, you cannot assume the responsibility; you can only say, "I find myself as the ruler of a country which has unknown borders and unknown inhabitants, possessing qualities of which I am not entirely aware." Then you are at once out of your subjectivity, and are confronted with a situation in which you are a sort of prisoner; you are confronted with unknown possibilities, because those many uncontrollable factors at any time may influence all your actions or decisions. So you are a funny kind of king in that country, a king who is not really a king, who is dependent upon so many known quantities and conditions that he often cannot carry through his own intentions. Therefore, it is better not to speak of being a king at all, and be only one of the inhabitants who has just a corner of that territory in which to rule. And the greater your experience, the more you see that your corner is infinitely small in comparison with the vast extent of the unknown against you.

Nietzsche's Zarathustra: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1934–1939, Vol. I (20 February, 1935), p. 390.


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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Note to the Reader xiii

Acknowledgments xv

C. G. Jung Chronology xvii

Permissions xix

1. The Unconscious 1

2. The Structure of the Psyche 33

3. The Symbolic Life 56

4. Dreams 68

5. The Analytic Process 85

6. The Development of the Personality 100

7. Men and Women 127

8. Jung and Culture 137

9. The Problem of the Opposites 147

10. East and West 158

11. Religious Experience and God 170

12. Good and Evil 206

13. Body and Soul 217

14. Creativity and the Imagination 226

15. Alchemical Transformation 247

16. On Life 259

17. The Individuation Process 283

18. Death, Afterlife, and Rebirth 299

Suggested Further Reading 319

Works Cited 323

Index 325

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