80 short quotes from the corpus of C. G. Jung

“A true symbol appears only when there is a need to express what thought cannot think or what is only divined or felt.”

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

“It is only the things we don’t understand that have any meaning. Man woke up in a world he did not understand, and that is why he tries to interpret it.”

“My speech is imperfect. Not because I want to shine with words, but out of the impossibility of finding those words, I speak in images. With nothing else can I express the words from the depths.”

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

“Whether you call the principle of existence “God,” “matter,” “energy,” or anything else you like, you have created nothing; you have merely changed a symbol.”

“Every step closer to my soul excites the scornful laughter of my devils, those cowardly ear-whisperers and poison-mixers.”

“But there is no energy unless there is a tension of opposites; hence it is necessary to discover the opposite to the attitude of the conscious mind.”

“Our suffering comes from our unlived life–the unseen, unfelt parts of our psyche.”

“Fanaticism is always a sign of repressed doubt.”

“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?”

“Heaven has become for us the cosmic space of the physicists… But ‘the heart glows,’ and a secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being.”

“Man’s task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”

“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.”

“What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate.”

“If you think along the lines of Nature then you think properly.”

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

“Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.”

“We are always human and we should never forget the burden of being only human.”

“We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from him the need for mythology.”

“One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.”

“It would be a ridiculous and unwarranted presumption on our part if we imagined that we were more energetic or more intelligent than the men of the past—our material knowledge has increased, but not our intelligence.”

“. . . the paradox is one of our most valued spiritual possessions. . .”

“You are what you do, not what you say you will do.”

“In the last analysis, most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old forgotten wisdom stored up in us.”

“The dream gives a true picture of the subjective state, while the conscious mind denies that this state exists, or recognizes it only grudgingly.”

“Know all the theories, master all the techniques, but as you touch a human soul be just another human soul.”

“The ideas of the moral order and of God belong to the ineradicable substrate of the human soul.”

“If only a world-wide consciousness could arise that all division and fission are due to the splitting of opposites in the psyche, then we should know where to begin.”

“Each is deceived by the sense of finality peculiar to the stage of development at which he stands.”

“To be “normal” is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful. . .”

“Dreams give information about the secrets of the inner life and reveal to the dreamer hidden factors of his personality.”

“My friends, it is wise to nourish the soul, otherwise you will breed dragons and devils in your heart.”

“Hidden in our problems is a bit of still undeveloped personality, a precious fragment of the psyche. Without this, we face resignation, bitterness and everything else that is hostile to life.”

“We should grow like a tree that likewise does not know its law. We tie ourselves up with intentions, not mindful of the fact that intention is the limitation, yes, the exclusion of life.”

“You do not have an inferior function, it has you.”

“For underlying all philosophies and all religions are the facts of the human soul, which may ultimately be the arbiters of truth and error.”

“Our biggest problems cannot be resolved. They must be outgrown.”

“The fool is the precursor to the savior.”

“In spite of our proud domination of nature, we are still her victims, for we have not even learned to control our nature.”

“’Good advice’ is often a doubtful remedy, but generally not dangerous because it has so little effect. . .”

“Archetypal images decide the fate of man.”

“The underlying, primary psychic reality is so inconceivably complex that it can be grasped only at the farthest reach of intuition, and then but very dimly. That is why it needs symbols.”

“Nobody is immune to a nationwide evil unless he is unshakably convinced of the danger of his own character being tainted by the same evil.”

“Life calls, not for perfection, but for completeness.”

“To the scientific mind, such phenomena as symbolic ideas are most irritating, because they cannot be formulated in a way that satisfies our intellect and logic.”

“What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”

“It is precisely the most subjective ideas which, being closest to nature and to the living being, deserve to be called the truest.”

“Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that the people are as we imagine them to be.”

“Only the ‘complete’ person knows how unbearable man is to himself.”

“A man may be convinced in all good faith that he has no religious ideas, but no one can fall so far away from humanity that he no longer has any dominating representation collective.”

“There are so many indications that one does not know what one sees. Is it the trees or is it the woods?”

“The symbol-producing function of our dreams is an attempt to bring our original mind back to consciousness, where it has never been before, and where it has never undergone critical self-reflection. We have been that mind, but we have never known it.”

“You should mock yourself and rise above this.”

“Numinous experience elevates and humiliates simultaneously.”

“The future of mankind depends very much upon the recognition of the shadow.”

“Real life is always tragic and those who do not know this have never lived.”

“The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind’s evolution born anew in the brain structure.”

“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self.”

“I frequently have a feeling that they [the Dead] are standing directly behind us, waiting to hear what answer we will give to them, and what answer to destiny.”

“Nothing so promotes the growth of consciousness as [the] inner confrontation of opposites.”

“Nothing is more vulnerable and ephemeral than scientific theories, which are mere tools and not everlasting truths.”

“Be glad that you can recognize [your madness], for you will thus avoid becoming its victim.”

“Myth is the natural and indispensable intermediate stage between unconscious and conscious cognition.”

“I’m sometimes driven to the conclusion that boring people need treatment more urgently than mad people.”

“If you fulfill the pattern that is peculiar to yourself, you have loved yourself, you have accumulated and have abundance; you bestow virtue then because you have luster.”

“The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.”

“Intuition does not say what things ‘mean’ but sniffs out their possibilities. Meaning is given by thinking.”

“Only in our creative acts do we step forth into the light and see ourselves whole and complete.”

“Projections change the world into the replica of one’s own unknown face.”

“Everybody acts out of myth, but very few people know what their myth is. And you should know what myth is because it could be a tragedy and maybe you dont want it to be.”

“It is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into the visible reality the world within us.”

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

“Expressionism in art prophetically anticipated this subjective development, for all art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness.”

“Sentimentality is the supestructure erected upon brutality.”

“The rupture between faith and knowledge is a symptom of the split consciousness which is so characteristic of the mental disorder of our day.”

“Fascination arises when the unconscious has been moved.”

“Luna is really the mother of the Sun, which means, psychologically, that the unconscious is pregnant with consciousness and gives birth to it.”

“The core of an individual is the mystery of life, which dies when it is ‘grasped’. That is also why symbols want to keep their secrets.”

“There is, after all, no harsher bitterness than that of a person who is his own worst enemy.”

“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.”

“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”

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

“Without this playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.”

“My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.”

“Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort. They are found-given-by experience.”

“I am looking forward enormously to getting back to the sea again, where the overstimulated psyche can recover in the presence of that infinite peace and spaciousness.”

“I am no longer alone with myself, and I can only artificially recall the scary and beautiful feeling of solitude. This is the shadow side of the fortune of love.”

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

“Intuition does not denote something contrary to reason, but something outside of the province of reason.”

“Had I left those images hidden in the emotions, I might have been torn to pieces by them.”

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

“Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.”

“When you are up against a wall, put down roots like a tree, until clarity comes from deeper sources to see over that wall and grow.”

“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate; it oppresses.”

“Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity.”

**edit 2: adding another 16**

“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.”

“I find that all my thoughts circle around God like the planets around the sun, and are as irresistibly attracted by Him. I would feel it to be the grossest sin if I were to oppose any resistance to this force.”

“The secret is that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive.”

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

“We can never legitimately cut loose from our archetypal foundations unless we are prepared to pay the price of a neurosis, any more than we can rid ourselves of our body and its organs without committing suicide.”

“The whole nature of man presupposes woman, both physically and spiritually. His system is tuned into woman from the start, just as it is prepared for a quite definite world where there is water, light, air, salt, carbohydrates etc..”

“The growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and … each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement.”

“All ordinary expression may be explained causally, but creative expression which is the absolute contrary of ordinary expression, will be forever hidden from human knowledge.”

“The meaning and design of a problem seem not to lie in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly.”

“No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.”

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

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

“Reason alone does not suffice.”

“Primitive superstition lies just below the surface of even the most tough-minded individuals, and it is precisely those who most fight against it who are the first to succumb to its suggestive effects.”

“It is sometimes difficult to avoid the impression that there is a sort of foreknowledge of the coming series of events.”

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