An entire world knows Carl Jung as the brilliant psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His works and his words have impacted the world today in significant ways and it will continue to do so for a long time. And since I personally have learned a great deal from this amazing man, I wanted to share with you 38 of these many lessons.
1. Every human life contains a potential.
“Every human life contains a potential, if that potential is not fulfilled, then that life was wasted…”
2. The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
3. The greatest problems of life are not meant to be solved, they are meant to be outgrown.
“The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.” – Carl Jung
4. We are not what happened to us, we are what we choose to become.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Jung
5. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness.
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. 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.” ~ Carl Jung
“Nobody, as long as he moves among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.”
6. For better to come, good must stand aside.
“For better to come, good must stand aside.”
7. Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort.
“Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort. They are found-given-by experience.”
8. There is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” ~ Carl Jung
9. The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” ~ Carl Jung
10. You cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning.
“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” ~ Carl Jung
“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl Jung
11. We no longer live in the present day, but in the darkness of the future.
“We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of grater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our [forebears] sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Neitzche called the spirit of gravity.”
12. Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.
“If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.”
13. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung
14. Where love rules, there is no will to power. Where power predominates, love is lacking.
“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” ~ Carl Jung
15. The healthy man does not torture others.
“The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.”
16. You cannot change anything unless you accept it.
“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” ~ Carl Jung
17. Your heart knows the answer.
“Somewhere, right at the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know where one should go and what one should do. But there are times when the clown we call “I” behaves in such a distracting fashion that the inner voice cannot make its presence felt.” ~ Carl Jung
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
18. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it
“Deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, “There is something not right,” no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or moral code.” ~ Carl Jung
19. Pride is deceitful.
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. Carl Jung
20. In all disorder there is a secret order.
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” ~ Carl Jung
21. Life really does begin at forty.
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”~ Carl Jung
22. History is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood.
“Man is not a machine that can be remodelled for quite other purposes as occasion demands, in the hope that it will go on functioning as regularly as before but in a quite different way. He carries his whole history with him; in his very structure is written the history of mankind.” ~ Carl Jung
“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?” ~ Carl Jung
23. It all depends on how you look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” ~ Carl Jung
24. There is no coming to consciousness without pain.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~ Carl Jung
25. Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” ~ Carl Jung
26. People will do anything to avoid facing their own souls.
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
27. Loneliness does not come from having no people around.
“Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
28. A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”
29. What you resist, persists.
“What you resist, persists.”
“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”
30. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
31. You do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
32. The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents.
“The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents.”
33. Shame is a soul eating emotion.
“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”
34. The best political, social, and spiritual work you can do is to withdraw the projection of your shadow onto others.
“The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.”
35. The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”
36. We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
“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?”
“In each of us there is another whom we do not know.”
37. Theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see.
“With a truly tragic delusion, theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see. It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing.”
38. The overstimulated psyche can recover in the presence of the infinite peace and spaciousness of the sea.
“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.”