Thursday, 8 December 2016

Carl Jung on the “Community and the Individual

[Carl Jung on the “Community and the Individual – Anthology.]
It is one of the most difficult and thankless of tasks to say anything of importance about the civilized man of today ... for the speaker finds himself caught in the same presuppositions and is blinded by the same prejudices as those whom he wishes to view from a superior standpoint. ~Carl Jung, CW 10 Para104
The man we call modern, the man who is aware of the immediate present, is by no means the average man.
He is rather the man who stands upon a peak, or at the very edge of the world, the abyss of the future before him, above him the heavens, and below him the whole of mankind with
a history that disappears in primeval mists.
The modern man—or, let us say again, the man of the immediate present—is rarely met with, for he must be conscious to a superlative degree.
Since to be wholly of the present means to be fully conscious of one's existence as a man, it requires the most intensive and extensive consciousness, with a minimum of unconsciousness.
It must be clearly understood that the mere fact of living in the present does not make a man modern, for in that case everyone at present alive would be so.
He alone is modern who is fully conscious of the present. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 149
We always find in the patient a conflict which at a certain point is connected with the great problems of society.
Hence, when the analysis is pushed to this point, the apparently individual conflict of the patient is revealed as a universal conflict of his environment and epoch.
Neurosis is thus nothing less than an individual attempt, however unsuccessful, to solve a universal problem; indeed it cannot be otherwise, for a general problem, a "question," is not an ens per se, but exists only in the hearts of individuals. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 438
In the case of psychological suffering, which always isolates the individual from the herd of so-called normal people, it is of the greatest importance to understand that
the conflict is not a personal failure only, but at the same time a suffering common to all and a problem with which the whole epoch is burdened.
This general point of view lifts the individual out of himself and connects him with humanity. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 116
A man can find satisfaction and fulfilment only in what he does not yet possess, just as he can never be satisfied with something of which he has already had too much.
To be a social and adapted person has no charms for one to whom such an aspiration is child's play.
Always to do the right thing becomes a bore for the man who knows how, whereas the eternal bungler cherishes a secret longing to be right for once in some distant future.
The needs and necessities of mankind are manifold.
What sets one man free is another man's prison.
So also with normality and adaptation.
Even if it be a biological axiom that man is a herd animal who only finds optimum health in living as a social being, the very next case may quite possibly invert this axiom and show us that he is completely healthy only when leading an abnormal and unsocial life. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 162
Man is not a machine in the sense that he can consistently maintain the same output of work.
He can meet the demands of outer necessity in an ideal way only if he is also adapted to his own inner world, that is, if he is in harmony with himself.
Conversely, he can only adapt to his inner world and achieve harmony with himself when he is adapted to the environmental conditions. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 75
The old religions with their sublime and ridiculous, their friendly and fiendish symbols did not drop from the blue, but were born of this human soul that dwells within us at this moment.
All those things, their primal forms, live on in us and may at any time burst in upon us with annihilating force, in the guise of mass-suggestions against which the individual is defenseless.
Our fearsome gods have only changed their names: they now rhyme with ism.
Or has anyone the nerve to claim that the World War or Bolshevism was an ingenious invention?
Just as outwardly we live in a world where a whole continent may be submerged at any moment, or a pole be shifted, or a new pestilence break out, so inwardly we live in a world where at any moment something similar may occur, albeit in the form of an idea, but no less dangerous and untrustworthy for that.
Failure to adapt to this inner world is a negligence entailing just as serious consequences as ignorance and ineptitude in the outer world. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 326
The mere act of enlightenment may have destroyed the spirits of nature, but not the psychic factors that correspond to them, such as suggestibility, lack of criticism, fearfulness,
propensity to superstition and prejudice—in short, all those qualities which make possession possible.
Even though nature is depsychized, the psychic conditions which breed demons are as actively at work as ever.
The demons have not really disappeared but have merely taken on another form: they have become unconscious psychic forces. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 431
No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead.
Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim.
And that won't be difficult.
Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey. . . .
We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious
nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers. ~Carl Jung, Diagnosing the Dictators." In Hearst's International
Cosmopolitan January 1939, Page 22,
Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.
In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality.
Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology
into our fellow human beings.
In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 50?
The vast majority of people are quite incapable of putting themselves individually into the mind of another.
This is indeed a singularly rare art, and, truth to tell, it does not take us very far.
Even the man whom we think we know best and who assures us himself that we understand him through and through is at bottom a stranger to us.
He is different.
The most we can do, and the best, is to have at least some inkling of his otherness, to respect it, and to guard against the outrageous stupidity of wishing to interpret it. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 363
For the primitive anything strange is hostile and evil.
This line of division serves a purpose, which is why the normal person feels under no obligation to make these projections conscious, although they are dangerously illusory.
War psychology has made this abundantly clear: everything my country does is good, everything the others do is bad.
The centre of all iniquity is invariably found to lie a few miles behind the enemy lines.
Because the individual has this same primitive psychology, every attempt to bring these age-old projections to consciousness is felt as irritating.
Naturally one would like to have better relations with one's fellows, but only on the condition that they live up to our expectations—in other words, that they become
willing carriers of our projections.
Yet if we make ourselves conscious of these projections, it may easily act as an impediment to our relations with others, for there is then no bridge of illusion across which love and hate can stream off so relievingly, and no way of disposing so simply and satisfactorily of all those alleged virtues that are intended to edify and improve others. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 517
It is so much easier to preach the universal panacea to everybody else than it is to take it oneself, and, as we all know, things are never so bad when everybody is in the
same boat.
No doubts can exist in the herd; the bigger the crowd the better the truth—and the greater the catastrophe. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563
Whatever we fight about in the outside world is also a battle in our inner selves.
For we must finally admit that mankind is not just an accumulation of individuals utterly different from one another, but possesses such a high degree of psychological collectivity that in comparison the individual appears merely as a slight variant.
How shall we judge of this matter fairly if we cannot admit that it is also our own problem?
Anyone who can admit this will first seek the solution in himself, and this in fact is the way all the great solutions begin. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 313
What is true of humanity in general is also true of each individual, for humanity consists only of individuals.
And as is the psychology of humanity so also is the psychology of the individual.
The [first] World War brought a terrible reckoning with the rational intentions of civilization.
What is called "will" in the individual is called "imperialism" in nations; for all will is a demonstration of power over fate, i.e., the exclusion of chance.
Civilization is the rational, "purposeful" sublimation of free energies, brought about by will and intention.
It is the same with the individual; and just as the idea of a world civilization received a fearful correction at the hands of war, so the individual must often learn in his life that so-called "disposable" energies are not his to dispose. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 74
We shall probably get nearest to the truth if we think of the conscious and personal psyche as resting upon the broad basis of an inherited and universal psychic disposition which
is as such unconscious, and that our personal psyche bears the same relation to the collective psyche as the individual to society. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 234
All human control comes to an end when the individual is caught in a mass movement.
Then the archetypes begin to function, as happens also in the lives of individuals when they are confronted with situations that cannot be dealt with in any of the familiar ways. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 395
This war* has pitilessly revealed to civilized man that he is still a barbarian, and has at the same time shown what an iron scourge lies in store for him if ever again he should
be tempted to make his neighbour responsible for his own evil qualities.
The psychology of the individual is reflected in the psychology of the nation.
What the nation does is done also by each individual, and so long as the individual continues to do it, the nation will do likewise.
Only a change in the attitude of the individual can initiate a change in the psychology of the nation. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 4
When fate, for four whole years, played out a war* of monumental frightfulness on the stage of Europe—a war that nobody wanted—nobody dreamt of asking exactly
who or what had caused the war and its continuation.
Nobody realized that European man was possessed by something that robbed him of all free will.
And this state of unconscious possession will continue undeterred until we Europeans become scared of our "god-almightiness."
Such a change can begin only with individuals, for the masses are blind brutes, as we know to our cost. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563
Not nature but the "genius of mankind" has knotted the hangman's noose with which it can execute itself at any moment. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 734
When a problem that is at bottom personal, and therefore apparently subjective, coincides with external events that contain the same psychological elements as the personal
conflict, it is suddenly transformed into a general question embracing the whole of society.
In this way the personal problem acquires a dignity it lacked hitherto, since a state of inner discord always has something humiliating and degrading about it, so that one sinks into an ignominious condition both without and within, like a state dishonoured by civil war.
It is this that makes one shrink from displaying before the public a purely personal conflict, provided of course that one does not suffer from an overdose of self-esteem.
But if the connection between the personal problem and the larger contemporary events is discerned and understood, it brings release from the loneliness of the purely personal, and the subjective problem is magnified into a general question of our society. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 119
The great events of world history are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant.
In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual.
This alone makes history, here alone do the great transformations first take place, and the whole future, the whole history of the world, ultimately spring as a gigantic summation from these hidden sources in individuals.
In our most private and most subjective lives we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 315
Incisive changes in history are generally attributed exclusively to external causes.
It seems to me, however, that external circumstances often serve merely as occasions for a new attitude to life and the world, long prepared in the unconscious, to become manifest.
Social, political, and religious conditions affect the collective unconscious in the sense that all those factors which are suppressed by the prevailing views or attitudes in the life of a society gradually accumulate in the collective unconscious and activate its contents.
Certain individuals gifted with particularly strong intuition then become aware of the changes going on in it and translate these changes into communicable ideas.
The new ideas spread rapidly because parallel changes have been taking place in the unconscious of other people.
There is a general readiness to accept the new ideas, although on the other hand they often meet with violent resistance.
New ideas are not just the enemies of the old; they also appear as a rule in an extremely unacceptable form. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 594
The ego lives in space and time and must adapt itself to their laws if it is to exist at all.
If it is absorbed by the unconscious to such an extent that the latter alone has the power of decision, then the ego is stifled, and there is no longer any medium in which the unconscious could be integrated and in which the work of realization could take place.
The separation of the empirical ego from the "eternal" and universal man is therefore of vital importance, particularly today, when mass-degeneration of the personality
is making such threatening strides.
Mass-degeneration does not come only from without: it also comes from within, from the collective unconscious.
Against the outside, some protection was afforded by the droits de L'homme which at present are lost to the greater part of Europe, and even where they are not actually lost we see political parties, as naive as they are powerful, doing their best to abolish them in favour of the slave state, with the bait of social security.
Against the demonism from within, the Church offers some protection so long as it wields authority.
But protection and security are only valuable when not excessively cramping to our existence; and in the same way the superiority of consciousness is desirable only if it does not
suppress and shut out too much life.
As always, life is a voyage between Scylla and Charybdis. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 502
It is, unfortunately, only too clear that if the individual is not truly regenerated in spirit, society cannot be either, for society is the sum total of individuals in need of redemption.
I can therefore see it only as a delusion when the Churches try—as apparently they do—to rope the individual into some social organization and reduce him to a condition of diminished responsibility, instead of raising him out of the torpid, mindless mass and making clear to him that he is the one important factor and that the salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 536
Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 540
Dionysus is the abyss of impassioned dissolution, where all human distinctions are merged in the animal divinity of the primordial psyche—a blissful and terrible experience.
Humanity, huddling behind the walls of its culture, believes it has escaped this experience, until it succeeds in letting loose another orgy of bloodshed.
All well-meaning people are amazed and blame high finance, the armaments industry, the Jews, or the Freemasons. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 118
The catastrophe of the first World War and the extraordinary manifestations of profound spiritual malaise that came afterwards were needed to arouse a doubt as to whether
all was well with the white man's mind.
Before the war broke out in 1914 we were all quite certain that the world could be righted by rational means.
Now we behold the amazing spectacle of states taking over the age-old totalitarian claims of theocracy, which are inevitably accompanied by suppression of free opinion.
Once more we see people cutting each other's throats in support of childish theories of how to create paradise on earth.
It is not very difficult to see that the powers of the underworld—not to say of hell—which in former times were more or less successfully chained up in a gigantic spiritual edifice where they could be of some use, are now creating, or trying to create, a State slavery and a State prison devoid of any mental or spiritual charm.
There are not a few people nowadays who are convinced that mere human reason is not entirely up to the enormous task of putting a lid on the volcano. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 83
Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche.
This is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth.
The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul. ~Carl Jung, CW 17, Para 302
There is indeed reason enough for man to be afraid of the impersonal forces lurking in his unconscious.
We are blissfully unconscious of these forces because they never, or almost never, appear in our personal relations or under ordinary circumstances.
But if people crowd together and form a mob, then the dynamisms of the collective man are let loose—beasts or demons that lie dormant in every person until he is part o£ a mob.
Man in the mass sinks unconsciously to an inferior moral and intellectual level, to that level which is always there, below the threshold of consciousness, ready to break forth as soon as it is activated by the formation of a mass. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 23
The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing.
A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast.
One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there.
As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach.
It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy?
There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces. ~Carl Jung, CW 74, Para 25
It is quite natural that with the triumph of the Goddess of Reason a general neuroticizing of modern man should set in, a dissociation of personality analogous to the splitting
of the world today by the Iron Curtain.
This boundary line bristling with barbed wire runs through the psyche of modern man, no matter on which side he lives. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 544
If only a world-wide consciousness could arise that all division and all fission are due to the splitting of opposites in the psyche, then we should know where to begin. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 575
It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 85
No one can claim to be immune to the spirit of his own epoch or to possess anything like a complete knowledge of it.
Regardless of our conscious convictions, we are all without exception, in so far as we are particles in the mass, gnawed at and undermined by the spirit that runs through the masses. Our freedom extends only as far as our consciousness reaches. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 153
In any age the vast majority of men are called upon to preserve and praise the status quo, thus helping to bring about the disastrous consequences which the prescience of the creative spirit had sought to avert. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 434
The fact that individual consciousness means separation and opposition is something that man has experienced countless times in his long history.
And just as for the individual a time of dissociation is a time for sickness, so it is in the life of nations.
We can hardly deny that ours is a time of dissociation and sickness.
The political and social conditions, the fragmentation of religion and philosophy, the contending schools of modern art and modern psychology all have one meaning in this respect.
And does anyone who is endowed with the slightest sense of responsibility feel any satisfaction at this turn of events?
If we are honest, we must admit that no one feels quite comfortable in the present-day world; indeed, it becomes increasingly uncomfortable.
The word "crisis," so often heard, is a medical expression which always tells us that the sickness has reached a dangerous climax. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 290
Loss of roots and lack of tradition neuroticize the masses and prepare them for collective hysteria.
Collective hysteria calls for collective therapy, which consists in abolition of liberty and terrorization.
Where rationalistic materialism holds sway, states tend to develop less into prisons than into lunatic asylums. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 282
Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and confusion ensues.
If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual's hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality.
This state would be pathological.
If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned.
Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 595
Masses are always breeding grounds of psychic epidemics. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 227
Who are we to imagine that "it couldn't happen here"?
We have only to multiply the population of Switzerland by twenty to become a nation of eighty millions, and our public intelligence and morality would then be automatically
divided by twenty in consequence of the devastating moral and psychic effects of living together in huge masses.
Such a state of things provides the basis for collective crime, and it is then really a miracle if the crime is not committed .... It has filled us with horror to realize all that man is
capable of, and of which, therefore, we too are capable.
Since then a terrible doubt about humanity, and about ourselves, gnaws at our hearts. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 412
The "common man," who is predominantly a mass man, acts on the principle of realizing nothing, nor does he need to, because for him the only thing that commits mistakes
is that vast anonymity conventionally known as the "State" or "Society."
But once a man knows that he is, or should be, responsible, he feels responsible also for his psychic constitution, the more so the more clearly he sees what he would have to be in order to become healthier, more stable, and more efficient.
Once he is on the way to assimilating the unconscious he can be certain that he will escape no difficulty that is an integral part of his nature. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 410
If a man is capable of leading a responsible life himself, then he is also conscious of his duties to the community. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 56
Since everybody is blindly convinced that he is nothing more than his own extremely unassuming and insignificant conscious self, which performs its duties decently and earns
a moderate living, nobody is aware that this whole rationalistically organized conglomeration we call a state or a nation is driven on by seemingly impersonal, invisible but terrifying power which nobody and nothing can check.
This ghastly power is mostly explained as fear of the neighbouring nation, which is supposed to be possessed by a malevolent fiend. Since nobody is capable of recognizing just
where and how much he himself is possessed and unconscious, he simply projects his own condition upon his neighbour, and thus it becomes a sacred duty to have the
biggest guns and the most poisonous gas.
The worst of it is that he is quite right.
All one's neighbours are in the grip of some uncontrolled and uncontrollable fear, just like oneself.
In lunatic asylums it is a well-known fact that patients are far more dangerous when suffering from fear than when moved by rage or hatred. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 85
The mass is swayed by participation mystique, which is nothing other than an unconscious identity.
Supposing, for example, you go to the theatre: glance meets glance, everybody observes everybody else, so that all those who are present are caught up in an invisible web of mutual unconscious relationship.
If this condition increases, one literally feels borne along by the universal wave of identity with others.
It may be a pleasant feeling—one sheep among ten thousand!
Again, if I feel that this crowd is a great and wonderful unity, I am a hero, exalted along with the group.
When I am myself again, I discover that I am Mr. So-and-So, and that I live in such and such a street, on the third floor.
I also find that the whole affair was really most delightful, and I hope it will take place again tomorrow so that I may once more feel myself to be a whole nation,
which is much better than being just plain Mr. X.
Since this is such an easy and convenient way of raising one's personality to a more exalted rank, mankind has always formed groups which made collective experiences of transformation—often of an ecstatic nature—possible.
The regressive identification with lower and more primitive states of consciousness is invariably accompanied by a heightened sense of life. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 226
Human beings have one faculty which, though it is of the greatest utility for collective purposes, is most pernicious for individuation, and that is the faculty of imitation.
Collective psychology cannot dispense with imitation, for without it all mass organizations, the State and the social order, are impossible.
Society is organized, indeed, less by law than by the propensity to imitation, implying equally suggestibility, suggestion, and mental contagion.
But we see every day how people use, or rather abuse, the mechanism of imitation for the purpose of personal differentiation: they are content to ape some eminent personality, some striking characteristic or mode of behaviour, thereby achieving an outward distinction from the circle in which they move.
We could almost say that as a punishment for this the uniformity of their minds with those of their neighbours, already real enough, is intensified into an unconscious, compulsive
bondage to the environment.
As a rule these specious attempts at individual differentiation stiffen into a pose, and the imitator remains at the same level as he always was, only several degrees more sterile than before. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 242
The element of differentiation is the individual.
All the highest achievements of virtue, as well as the blackest villainies, are individual.
The larger a community is, and the more the sum total of collective factors peculiar to every large community rests on conservative prejudices detrimental to individuality, the more will the individual be morally and spiritually crushed, and, as a result, the one source of moral and spiritual progress for society is choked up.
Naturally the only thing that can thrive in such an atmosphere is sociality and whatever is collective in the individual.
Everything individual in him goes under, i.e., is doomed to repression. The individual elements lapse into the unconscious, where, by the law of necessity, they are transformed
into something essentially baleful, destructive, and anarchical.
Socially, this evil principle shows itself in the spectacular crimes—regicide and the like—perpetrated by certain prophetically-inclined individuals; but in the great mass of
the community it remains in the background, and only manifests itself indirectly in the inexorable moral degeneration of society. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 240
It is a notorious fact that the morality of society as a whole is in inverse ratio to its size; for the greater the aggregation of individuals, the more the individual factors are
blotted out, and with them morality, which rests entirely on the moral sense of the individual and the freedom necessary for this.
Hence every man is, in a certain sense, unconsciously a worse man when he is in society than when acting alone; for he is carried by society and to that extent relieved of his individual responsibility. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 240
Any large company composed of wholly admirable persons has the morality and intelligence of an unwieldy, stupid, and violent animal.
The bigger the organization, the more unavoidable is its immorality and blind stupidity {Senatus bestia, senatores boni viri).
Society, by automatically stressing all the collective qualities in its individual representatives, puts a premium on mediocrity, on everything that settles down to vegetate in an easy, irresponsible way.
Individuality will inevitably be driven to the wall.
This process begins in school, continues at the university, and rules all departments in which the State has a hand.
In a small social body, the individuality of its members is better safeguarded; and the greater is their relative freedom and the possibility of conscious responsibility.
Without freedom there can be no morality. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 240
The heaping together of paintings by Old Masters in museums is a catastrophe; likewise, a collection of a hundred Great Brains makes one big fathead. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 944
A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 535
Our admiration for great organizations dwindles when once we become aware of the other side of the wonder: the tremendous piling up and accentuation of all that is
primitive in man, and the unavoidable destruction of his individuality in the interests of the monstrosity that every great organization in fact is.
The man of today, who resembles more or less the collective ideal, has made his heart into a den of murderers. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 240
The levelling down of the masses through suppression of the aristocratic or hierarchical structure natural to a community is bound, sooner or later, to lead to disaster.
For when everything outstanding is levelled down, the signposts are lost, and the longing to be led becomes an urgent necessity. ~Carl Jung, CW 17, Para 248
Nature cares nothing whatsoever about a higher level of consciousness; quite the contrary.
And then society does not value these feats of the psyche very highly; its prizes are always given for achievement and not for personality, the latter being rewarded for the most part posthumously. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 768
The present attempts to achieve full individual consciousness and to mature the personality are, socially speaking, still so feeble that they carry no weight at all in relation to
our historic needs.
If our European social order is not to be shaken to its foundations, authority must be restored at all costs.
This is probably one reason for the efforts now being made in Europe to replace the collectivity of the Church by the collectivity of the State. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 221
The increasing dependence on the State is anything but a healthy symptom; it means that the whole nation is in a fair way to becoming a herd of sheep, constantly relying on a shepherd to drive them into good pastures.
The shepherd's staff soon becomes a rod of iron, and the shepherds turn into wolves. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 413
Far too little attention has been paid to the fact that, for all our irreligiousness, the distinguishing mark of the Christian epoch, its highest achievement, has become the congenital
vice of our age: the supremacy of the word, of the Logos, which stands for the central figure of our Christian faith.
The word has literally become our god, and so it has remained, even if we knew of Christianity only by hearsay.
Words like "Society" and "State" are so concretized that they are almost personified.
In the opinion of the man in the street, the "State," far more than any king in history, is the inexhaustible giver of all good; the "State" is invoked, made responsible, grumbled at, and so on and so forth.
Society is elevated to the rank of a supreme ethical principle; indeed, it is even credited with positively creative capacities.
No one seems to notice that this worship of the word, which was necessary at a certain phase of man's mental development, has a perilous shadow side.
That is to say, the moment the word, as a result of centuries of education, attains universal validity, it severs its original connection with the divine Person.
There is then a personified Church, a personified State; belief in the word becomes credulity, and the word itself an infernal slogan capable of any deception. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 554
Childlike faith, when it comes naturally, is certainly a charisma.
But when "joyful faith" and "childlike trust" are instilled by religious education, they are no charisma but a gift of the ambiguous gods, because they can be manipulated
only too easily and with greater effect by other "saviours" as well. ~Carl Jung, CW 18
Our blight is ideologies—they are the long-expected Antichrist! ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 778
What is the use of technological improvements when mankind must still tremble before those infantile tyrants, ridiculous yet terrible, in the style of Hitler?
Figures like these owe their power only to the frightening immaturity of the man of today, and to his barbarous unconsciousness.
Truly we can no longer afford to underestimate the importance of the psychic factor in world affairs. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 11
The mass as such is always anonymous and always irresponsible.
So-called leaders are the inevitable symptoms of a mass movement.
The true leaders of mankind are always those who are capable of self-reflection, and who relieve the dead weight of the masses at least of their own weight, consciously holding aloof from the blind momentum of the mass in movement.
But who can resist this all engulfing force of attraction, when each man clings to the next and each drags the other with him?
Only one who is firmly rooted not only in the outside world but also in the world within. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 326
The wise man who is not heeded is counted a fool, and the fool who proclaims the general folly first and loudest passes for a prophet and Fuhrer, and sometimes it is luckily
the other way round as well, or else mankind would long since have perished of stupidity. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 83
What depths of despair are still needed to open the eyes of the world's responsible leaders, so that at least they can refrain from leading themselves into temptation? ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 455
One might expect, perhaps, that a man of genius would luxuriate in the greatness of his own thoughts and renounce the cheap approbation of the rabble he despises; yet he succumbs to the more powerful impulse of the herd instinct.
His seeking and his finding, his heart's cry, are meant for the herd and must be heeded by them. ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para 14
The importance of personal prestige can hardly be overestimated, because the possibility of regressive dissolution in the collective psyche is a very real danger, not only for
the outstanding individual but also for his followers.
This possibility is most likely to occur when the goal of prestige —universal recognition—has been reached.
The person then becomes a collective truth, and that is always the beginning of the end.
To gain prestige is a positive achievement not only for the outstanding individual but also for the clan.
The individual distinguishes himself by his deeds, the many by their renunciation of power.
So long as this attitude needs to be fought for and defended against hostile influences, the achievement remains positive; but as soon as there are no more obstacles and universal recognition has been attained, prestige loses its positive value and usually becomes a dead letter.
A schismatic movement then sets in, and the whole process begins again from the beginning. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 238
The office I hold is certainly my special activity; but it is also a collective factor that has come into existence historically through the cooperation of many people and whose
dignity rests solely on collective approval.
When, therefore, I identify myself with my office or title, I behave as though I myself were the whole complex of social factors of which that office consists, or as though I were not only the bearer of the office, but also and at the same time the approval of society.
I have made an extraordinary extension of myself and have usurped qualities which are not in me but outside e. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 227
There is a deep gulf between what a man is and what he represents, between what he is as an individual and what he is as a collective being.
His function is developed at the expense of the individuality.
Should he excel, he is merely identical with his collective function; but should he not, then, though he may be highly esteemed as a function in society, his individuality is wholly on the level of his inferior, undeveloped functions, and he is simply a barbarian, while in the former case he has happily deceived himself as to his actual barbarism. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 111
Through his identification with the collective psyche a patient will infallibly try to force the demands of his unconscious upon others, for identity with the collective psyche
always brings with it a feeling of universal validity—"godlikeness"—which completely ignores all differences in the personal psyche of his fellows.
(The feeling of universal validity comes, of course, from the universality of the collective psyche.)
A collective attitude naturally presupposes this same collective psyche in others.
But that means a ruthless disregard not only of individual differences but also of differences of a more general kind within the collective psyche itself, as for example differences of race.
This disregard for individuality obviously means the suffocation of the single individual, as a consequence of which the element of differentiation is obliterated from the community, ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 240
If man cannot exist without society, neither can he exist without oxygen, water, albumen, fat, and so forth.
Like these, society is one of the necessary conditions of his existence.
It would be ludicrous to maintain that man lives in order to breathe air.
It is equally ludicrous to say that the individual exists for society.
"Society" is nothing more than a term, a concept for the symbiosis of a group of human beings.
A concept is not a carrier of life.
The sole and natural carrier of life is the individual, and that is so throughout nature. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 224
Although biological instinctive processes contribute to the formation of personality, individuality is nevertheless essentially different from collective instincts; indeed, it
stands in the most direct opposition to them, just as the individual as a personality is always distinct from the collective.
His essence consists precisely in this distinction.
Every ego-psychology must necessarily exclude and ignore just the collective element that is bound to a psychology of instinct, since it describes that very process by which the
ego becomes differentiated from collective drives. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 88
To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality in fact is. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 242
On closer examination one is always astonished to see how much of our so-called individual psychology is really collective.
So much, indeed, that the individual traits are completely overshadowed by it.
Since, however, individuation is an ineluctable psychological necessity, we can see from the ascendancy of the collective what very special attention must be paid to this delicate plant "individuality" if it is not to be completely smothered. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 241
We yield too much to the ridiculous fear that we are at bottom quite impossible beings, that if everyone were to appear as he really is a frightful social catastrophe would ensue.
Many people today take "man as he really is" to mean merely the eternally discontented, anarchic, rapacious element in human beings, quite forgetting that these same human beings have also erected those firmly established forms of civilization which possess greater strength and stability than all the anarchic undercurrents.
The strengthening of his social personality is one of the essential conditions for man's existence.
Were it not so, humanity would cease to be.
The selfishness and rebelliousness we meet in the neurotic's psychology are not "man as he really is" but an infantile distortion.
In reality the normal man is "civicminded and moral"; he created his laws and observes them, not because they are imposed on him from without—that is a childish delusion—but because he loves law and order more than he loves disorder and lawlessness. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Para 442
No social legislation will ever be able to overcome the psychological differences between men, this most necessary factor for generating the vital energy of a human society.
It may serve a useful purpose, therefore, to speak of the heterogeneity of men.
These differences involve such different requirements for happiness that no legislation, however perfect, could afford them even approximate satisfaction.
No outward form of life could be devised, however equitable and just it might appear, that would not involve injustice for one or the other human type.
That, in spite of this, every kind of enthusiast—political, social, philosophical, and religious—is busily endeavouring to find those uniform external conditions which would bring with them greater opportunities for the happiness of all seems to me connected with a general attitude to life too exclusively.
Although it is certainly a fine thing that every man should stand equal before the law, that every man should have his political vote, and that no man, through hereditary social position and privilege, should have unjust advantage over his brother, it is distinctly less fine when the idea of equality is extended to other walks of life.
A man must have a very clouded vision, or view human society from a very misty distance, to cherish the notion that the uniform regulation of life would automatically ensure a uniform distribution of happiness.
He must be pretty far gone in delusion if he imagines that equality of income, or equal opportunities for all, would have approximately the same value for everyone.
But, if he were a legislator, what would he do about all those people whose greatest opportunities lie not without, but within?
If he were just, he would have to give at least twice as much money to the one as to the other, since to the one it means much, to the other little. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, CW 845
The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environment—a war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature.
Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else.
The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event, ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 693
The optimum of life is not to be found in crude egoism, for fundamentally man is so constituted that the pleasure he gives his neighbour is something essential to him.
Nor can the optimum be reached by an unbridled craving for individualistic supremacy, for the collective element in man is so powerful that his longing for fellowship would destroy all pleasure in naked egoism.
The optimum can be reached only through obedience to the tidal laws of the libido, by which systole alternates with diastole—laws which bring pleasure and the necessary limitations of pleasure, and also set us those individual life-tasks without whose accomplishment the vital optimum can never be attained. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 356
We need not be ashamed of ourselves as a nation, nor can we alter its character.
Only the individual can alter or improve himself, provided he can outgrow his national prejudices in the course of his psychic development.
The national character is imprinted on a man as a fate he has not chosen—like a beautiful or an ugly body.
It is not the will of individuals that moulds the destinies of nations, but supra-personal factors, the spirit and the earth, which work in mysterious ways and in unfathomable darkness. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 921
The mystery of the earth is no joke and no paradox.
One only needs to see how, in America, the skull and pelvis measurements of all the European races begin to indianize
themselves in the second generation of immigrants.
That is the mystery of the American earth.
The soil of every country holds some such mystery.
We have an unconscious of this in the psyche: just as there is a relationship of mind to body, so there is a relationship of body to earth. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 18
The Swiss national character that has been built up over the centuries was not formed by chance; it is a meaningful response to the dangerously undermining influence of the
We Swiss should certainly understand why a mind like Keyserling's judges us so harshly, but he should also understand that the very things he taxes us with belong to our most necessary possessions. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, CW 924
Our loveliest mountain, which dominates Switzerland far and wide, is called the Jungfrau—the "Virgin."
The Virgin Mary is the female patron saint of the Swiss.
Of her Tertullian says: ". . . that virgin earth, not yet watered by the rains," and Augustine: "Truth has arisen from the earth, because Christ is born of a virgin."
These are living reminders that the virgin mother is the earth. From olden times the astrological sign for Switzerland was either Virgo or Taurus; both are earth-signs, a sure indication that the earthy character of the Swiss had not escaped the old astrologers.
From the earth-boundness of the Swiss come all their bad as well as their good qualities: their down-to earthness, their limited outlook, their non-spirituality, their
parsimony, stolidity, stubbornness, dislike of foreigners, mistrustfulness, as well as that awful Schwizerdutsch and their refusal to be bothered, or to put it in political terms,
their neutrality.
Switzerland consists of numerous valleys, depressions in the earth's crust, in which the settlements of man are embedded.
Nowhere are there measureless plains, where it is a matter of indifference where a man lives; nowhere is there a coast against which the ocean beats with its lore of distant lands.
Buried deep in the backbone of the continent, sunk in the earth, the Alpine dweller lives like a troglodyte, surrounded by more powerful nations that are linked with the wide world, that expand into colonies or can grow rich on the treasures of their soil.
The Swiss cling to what they have, for the others, the more powerful ones, have grabbed everything else.
Under no circumstances will the Swiss be robbed of their own.
Their country is small, their possessions limited.
If they lose what they have, what is going to replace it? ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 914
We are in reality unable to borrow or absorb anything from outside, from the world, or from history.
What is essential to us can only grow out of ourselves.
When the white man is true to his instincts, he reacts defensively against any advice that one might give him.
What he has already swallowed he is forced to reject again as if it were a foreign body, for his blood refuses to assimilate anything sprung from foreign soil. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 31
Does neutral Switzerland, with its backward, earthy nature, fulfil any meaningful function in the European system?
I think we must answer this question affirmatively.
The answer to political or cultural questions need not be only: Progress and Change, but also: Stand still! Hold fast!
These days one can doubt in good faith whether the condition of Europe shows any change for the better since the war.
Opinions, as we know, are very divided, and we have just heard Spengler's lamentations on the decline of the West.
Progress can occasionally go down-hill, and in the face of a dangerously rapid tempo standing still can be a life-saver.
Nations, too, get tired and long for political and social stabilization.
The Pax Romana meant a good deal to the Roman Empire. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 922
There are two kinds of interference which cause the hackles of the Swiss to rise: political and spiritual.
Everyone can understand why they should defend themselves to the utmost against political interference, and this utmost is the art of neutrality born of necessity.
But why they should defend themselves against spiritual interference is rather more mysterious.
It is, however, a fact, as I can confirm from my own experience.
English, American, and German patients are far more open to new ideas than the Swiss.
A new idea for the Swiss is always something of a risk; it is like an unknown, dangerous animal, which must if possible be circumvented or else approached with extreme
caution. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 916
If it be true that we are the most backward, conservative, stiff-necked, self-righteous, smug, and churlish of all European nations, this would mean that in Switzerland the
European is truly at home in his geographical and psychological centre.
There he is attached to the earth, unconcerned, self-reliant, conservative, and backward—in other words, still intimately connected with the past, occupying a neutral position between the fluctuating and contradictory aspirations and opinions of the other nations or functions.
That wouldn't be a bad role for the Swiss: to act as Europe's centre of gravity. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 920
We do not sufficiently distinguish between individualism and individuation.
Individualism means deliberately stressing and giving prominence to some supposed peculiarity, rather than to collective considerations and obligations.
But individuation means precisely the better and more complete fulfilment of the collective qualities of the human being, since adequate consideration of the peculiarity of the
individual is more conducive to better social achievement than when the peculiarity is neglected or suppressed. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 268
Nobody can know himself and differentiate himself from his neighbours if he has a distorted picture of him, just as no one can understand his neighbour if he has no relationship
to himself. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 739
The revolution in our conscious outlook, brought about by the catastrophic results of the [first] World War, shows itself in our inner life by the shattering of our faith in ourselves
and our own worth.
We used to regard foreigners as political and moral reprobates, but the modern man is forced to recognize that he is politically and morally just like anyone else.
Whereas formerly I believed it was my bounden duty to call others to order, I must now admit I need calling to order myself. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 162
The horror which the dictator States have of late brought upon mankind is nothing less than the culmination of all those atrocities of which our ancestors made themselves
guilty in the not so distant past.
Quite apart from the barbarities and blood baths perpetrated by the Christian nations among themselves throughout European history, the European has also to answer for all the crimes he has committed against the coloured races during the process of colonization.
In this respect the white man carries a very heavy burden indeed.
It shows us a picture of the common human shadow that could hardly be painted in blacker colours.
The evil that comes to light in man and that undoubtedly dwells within him is of gigantic proportions. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 571
The principal and indeed the only thing that is wrong with the world is man. ~ Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 441
Today humanity, as never before, is split into two apparently irreconcilable halves.
The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside, as fate.
That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict and be torn into opposing halves. ~Carl Jung, CW 9ii, Para 126

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