The Book of Carl Gustav Jung


(1875 – 1961)

I don’t aspire to be a good man. I aspire to be a whole man.

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

I know only that I was born to exist, and it seems to me I have been carried along. I exist in the foundation of something I do not know.

I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous, I am all things at once, and cannot add up the sum.

I know only that I am, without knowing what I am. That is enough.

What if I should discover that I, myself, am the enemy who must be loved – what then? (Reminds me of the comic strip character Pogo who once said “I have met the enemy and he is me.”)

The privilege of a life-time is to become who you truly are. 

It is easier to go to Mars or the moon than it is to penetrate one’s own being. 

There are times when the clown “I” behaves in such a distracting way that the inner voice cannot makes its presence felt. 

We meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life. 

The serious problems of life … are never fully solved …. The meaning and purpose of a problem seems to be not in its solution but in our working at it incessantly.

Failures are priceless experiences that open the way to a deeper truth.

The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. 

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

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

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

The first half of life is developing a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go…. What you resist, persists 

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

Freedom of will is to do gladly that which I must do. (That is a most profound statement, for who is the “I”?)

The fact that a man who goes his own way ends in ruin means nothing. He must obey his own law, as if it was a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths …. To the extent that a man is untrue to the law of his being … he has failed to realize his own life’s meaning. 

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

Sometimes you have to do something unforgiveable just to be able to go on living. 

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

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 … [So]  … It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity. 

No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell. 

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

Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering. 

The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents. 

There can be no transforming of darkness into light and apathy into movement without emotion… [But]  … Shame is a soul-eating emotion. 

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 debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable. 

Intuition doesn’t denote something contrary to reason, but something outside the province of reason. 

Thinking is difficult, that is why some people judge. 

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

Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upwards from the unconscious. Neither should he persist in his unconsciousness, nor remain identical with the unconscious elements of his being thus evading his destiny, which is to create more and more consciousness.

In short, the purpose of human life, as he sees is, “is the creation of consciousness”.  But I think that that is a different kind of consciousness from the Consciousness that some believe creates everything.

Lastly, and this is a little unkind, but demonstrates Jung’s humanness,

I have always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of people who do not use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an incredibly stupid way. 

Footnote: Interesting that I now consider “stupid” to be an abusive word. So, for me the KISS principle now becomes Keep It Simple and Sensible.