Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

Swiss Psychiatrist, Influential Thinker, and Founder of Analytical Psychology

"Explore daily the will of God."

"History is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood."

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

"If there is anything we wish to change in our children, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves."

"If we want to understand the psyche we have to include the whole world."

"Intuition [is] perception via the unconscious."

"It is in the nature of political bodies always to see the evil in the opposite group, just as the individual has an ineradicable tendency to get rid of everything he does not know and does not want to know about himself by foisting it off on somebody else… Nothing has a more diverse and alienating effect upon society than this moral complacency and lack of responsibility, and nothing promotes understanding and rapprochement more than the mutual withdrawal of projections."

"It is only our deeds that reveal who we are."

"It seems to me… that external circumstances often serve as occasions for a new attitude to life and the world, long prepared in the unconscious, to become manifest."

"Learn your theories but put them aside when you confront the mystery of the living soul."

"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent."

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

"Progressive mental development means, in effect, extension of consciousness."

"Sentimentality is a superstructure covering brutality."

"So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened."

"The afternoon of human life must also have a significance of its own and cannot be merely a pitful appendage to life's morning."

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity."

"The cure works best when the doctor himself believes in his own formulae, otherwise he may be overcome by scientific doubt and so lose the proper convincing tone."

"The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance."

"The doctor should not strive to heal at all costs. One has to be exceedingly careful not to impose one’s own will and conviction on the patient... Sometimes it is really a question whether you are allowed to rescue a man from the fate he must undergo for the sake of his further development."

"The dogma that “mental diseases are diseases of the brain” is a hangover from the materialism of the 1870s. It has become a prejudice which hinders all progress, with nothing to justify it."

"The greater the tension, the greater is the potential. Great energy springs from a correspondingly great tension of opposites."

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

"The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed."

"The more a man’s life is shaped by the collective norm, the greater is his individual immorality."

"The primordial experience is the source of [creativity]… In itself it offers no words or images, for it is a vision seen “as in a glass, darkly.” It is merely a deep presentiment that strives to find expression. It is like a whirlwind that seizes everything within reach and, by carrying it aloft, assume a visible shape."

"The sense of boredom which… appears in analysis is simply an expression of the monotony and poverty of ideas, not of the unconscious… but of the analyst."

"The serious problems in life… are never fully solved. If ever they should appear to be so, it is a sure sign that something has been lost. The meaning and purpose of a problem seems not to lie in its solution but in our working at it incessantly."

"The telling of a person’s life is whether or not [she or] he is related to the infinite."

"The two fundamental points in dealing with dreams are these: First, the dream should be treated as a fact, about which one must make no previous assumption except that it somehow makes sense; and second, the dream is a specific expression of the unconscious."

"The word `happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness."

"To ask the right question is already half the solution of a problem."

"Unless we prefer to be made fools of by our illusions, we shall, by carefully analyzing every fascination, extract from it a portion of our own personality, like a quintessence, and slowly come to recognize that we meet ourselves time and time again in a thousand disguises on the path of life. This, however, is a truth which only profits the man who is temperamentally convinced of the individual and irreducible reality of his fellow man."

"We are susceptible only to those suggestions with which we are already secretly in accord."

"We can never finally know. I simply believe that some part of human self or soul is not subject to the laws of space and time."

"Were it not for the leaping and twinkling of the soul, man would rot away in his greatest passion, idleness."

"What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness; that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then?"

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

"What youth found and must find outside, the man of life’s afternoon must find within himself."

"Within each one of us there is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from how we see ourselves. When, therefore, we find ourselves in a difficult situation, to which there is no solution, he can sometimes kindle a light that radically alters our attitude, the very attitude that led us into the difficult situation."

"Without freedom there can be no morality."

"Without necessity nothing budges, the human personality least of all. It is tremendously conservative, not to say torpid. Only acute necessity is able to rouse it. The developing personality obeys no caprice, no command, no insight, only brute necessity."

"Meaning" differentiates synchronicity from a synchronous event. "

"Man everywhere is dangerously unaware of himself. We really know nothing about the nature of man, and unless we hurry to get to know ourselves we are in dangerous trouble. "

"Meaning makes a great many things endurable-- perhaps everything."

"Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived lives of the parents."

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls."

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