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By Matt Caron
Carl Jung is considered to be one of the most important psychologists to ever exist.
His work on understand the unconscious and its relationship to our actions and thoughts is unparalleled and laid the foundation for a new field of study.
But more than that, he believed that spirituality was an innate part of human existence; something that comes naturally to us, irrespective of religion, culture, or geography. He gave evidence of this by presenting the many similar symbols that societies developed across oceans and time.
Here are 18 quotes from Jung that I feel not only serve as an accurate representation of his work, but also provide much to reflect on.
1. “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
2. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
3. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
4. “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”
5. “Mistakes are, after all, the foundations of truth, and if a man does not know what a thing is, it is at least an increase in knowledge if he knows what it is not.”
6. “I realize that under the circumstances you have described you feel the need to see clearly. But your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Without, everything seems discordant; only within does it coalesce into unity. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes.”
7. “People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn theosophy by heart, or mechanically repeat mystic text from the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls. Thus the soul has been turned into a Nazareth Gradually from which nothing good can come. Therefore let us fetch it from the four corners of the earth – the more far-fetched and bizarre it is the better.”
8. “As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know. Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
9. “A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. They then dwell in the house next door, and at any moment a flame may dart out and set fire to his own house. 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.”
10. “But your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.”
11. “The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness extends.”
12. “Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”
13. “The healthy man does not torture others-generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.”
14. “The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form—an indeterminable form which cannot be superseded by any other.”
15. “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. It may even be assumed that just as the unconscious affects us, so the increase in our consciousness affects the unconscious.”
16. “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”
17. “It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how they are themselves.
18. “Thinking is an act of the soul whereby it becomes conscious of itself and of other things outside itself.”
This post originally appeared on Sivana East.
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