Nowhere are we closer to the sublime secret of all origination than in the recognition of our own selves, whom we always think we know already. Yet we know the immensities of space better than we know our own depths, where -even though we do not understand it-we can listen directly to the throb of creation itself.
"Analytical Psychology and Weltanshauung" (1928). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 737
An inflated consciousness is always egocentric and conscious of nothing but its own existence. It is incapable of learning from the past, incapable of understanding contemporary events, and incapable of drawing right conclusions about the future. It is hypnotized by itself and therefore cannot be argued with. It inevitably dooms itself to calamities that must strike it dead.
Psychology and Alchemy (1944). In CW 12. P. 563
You always become the thing you fight the most.
"Diagnosing the Dictators." In Hearst's International Cosmopolitan, January 1939 pp.22
Only a life lived in a certain spirit is worth living. It is a remarkable fact that a life lived entirely from the ego is dull not only for the person himself but for all concerned.
"Spirit and Life" (1926). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 645
"But why on earth," you may ask, "should it be necessary for man to achieve, by hook or by crook, a higher level of consciousness?" This is truly the crucial question, and I do not find the answer easy. Instead of a real answer I can only make a confession of faith: 1 believe that, after thousands and millions of years, someone had to realize that this wonderful world of mountains and oceans, suns and moons, galaxies and nebulae, plants and animals, exists. From a low hill in the Athi plains of East Africa I once watched the vast herds of wild animals grazing in soundless stillness, as they had done from time immemorial, touched only by the breath of a primeval world. I felt then as if I were the first man, the first creature, to know that all this is. The entire world round me was still in its primeval state; it did not know that it was. And then, in that one moment in which I came to know, the world sprang into being; without that moment it would never have been. All Nature seeks this goal and finds it fulfilled in man, but only in the most highly developed and most fully conscious man.
"Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype" (1939). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 177
The so-called "forces of the unconscious" are not intellectual concepts that can be arbitrarily manipulated, but dangerous antagonists which can, among other things, work frightful devastation in the economy of the personality. They are everything one could wish for or fear in a psychic "Thou." The layman naturally thinks he is the victim of some obscure organic disease; but the theologian, who suspects it is the devil's work, is appreciably nearer to the psychological truth.
"Religion and Philosophy: A Reply to Martin Buber" (1952). In Jung, Gesammelte Werke, II: and in CW 18. P.659
When the ego has been made a "seat of anxiety," someone is running away from himself and will not admit it.
"The State of Psychotherapy Today" (1934). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.360
So far as we know, consciousness is always ego-consciousness. In order to be conscious of myself, I must be able to distinguish myself from others. Relationship can only take place where this distinction exists.
"Marriage as a Psychological Relationship" (1925). In CW 17: The Development of the Personality. P.326
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 I'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.
"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P.502
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 Me.
"The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious" (1953) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.227
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.
Psychological Types (1921). CW 6. P.88
The truth is that we do not enjoy masterless freedom; we are continually threatened by psychic factors which, in the guise of "natural phenomena," may take possession of us at any moment. The withdrawal of metaphysical projections leaves us almost defenseless in the face of this happening, for we immediately identify with every impulse instead of giving it the name of the "other," which would at least hold it at arm's length and prevent it from storming the citadel of the ego.
"Psychology and Religion" (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 143
If man were merely a creature that came into being as a result of something already existing unconsciously, he would have no freedom and there would be no point in consciousness. Psychology must reckon with the fact that despite the causal nexus man does enjoy a feeling of freedom, which is identical with autonomy of consciousness. However much the ego can be proved to be dependent and preconditioned, it cannot be convinced that it has no freedom. An absolutely preformed consciousness and a totally dependent ego would be a pointless farce, since everything would proceed just as well or even better unconsciously. The existence of ego consciousness has meaning only if it is free and autonomous. By stating these facts we have, it is true, established an antinomy, but we have at the same time given a picture of things as they are. There are temporal, local, and individual differences in the degree of dependence and freedom. In reality both are always present: the supremacy of the self and the hubris of consciousness.
"Transformation Symbolism in the Mass" (1942) Eranos Jahrbuch 1940/1941. In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.391
Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists.
"The Visions of Zosimos" (1938). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.142
Instead of waging war on himself it is surely better for a man to learn to tolerate himself, and to convert his inner difficulties into real experiences instead of expending them in useless fantasies. Then at least he lives, and does not waste his life in fruitless struggles. If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbour; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures.
Appendix I: "New Paths in Psychology" (1912) Variant Readings. In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P. 439
We always start with the naive assumption that we are masters in our own house. Hence we must first accustom ourselves to the thought that, in our most intimate psychic life as well, we live in a kind of house which has doors and windows to the world, but that, although the objects or contents of this world act upon us, they do not belong to us. For many people this hypothesis is by no means easy to conceive, just as they do not find it at all easy to understand and to accept the fact that their neighbour's psychology is not necessarily identical with their own.
"The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious" (1953) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.329
The essential thing is that we should be able to stand up to our judgment of ourselves. From outside this attitude looks like self-righteousness, but it is so only if we are incapable of criticizing ourselves. If we can exercise self criticism, criticism from outside will affect us only on the outside and not pierce to the heart, for we feel that we have a sterner critic within us than any who could judge us from without. And anyway, there are as many opinions as there are heads to think them. We come to realize that our own judgment has as much value as the judgment of others. One cannot please everybody, therefore it is better to be at peace with oneself.
"The Swiss Line in the European Spectrum" (1928). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.911
We say that it is egoistic or "morbid" to be preoccupied with oneself; one's own company is the worst, "it makes you melancholy"-such are the glowing testimonials accorded to our human make-up. They are evidently deeply ingrained in our Western minds. Whoever thinks in this way has obviously never asked himself what possible pleasure other people could find in the company of such a miserable coward.
"The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious" (1953) In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.323
The foremost of all illusions is that anything can ever satisfy anybody. That illusion stands behind all that is unendurable in life and in front of all progress, and it is one of the most difficult things to overcome.
An Introduction to Zen Buddhism (1949). Foreword by C.G. Jung. In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.905
We all have a great need to be good ourselves, and occasionally we like to show it by the appropriate actions. If good can come of evil self-interest, then the two sides of human nature have co-operated. But when in a fit of enthusiasm we begin with the good, our deep-rooted selfishness remains in the background, unsatisfied and resentful, only waiting for an opportunity to take its revenge in the most atrocious way.
"Return to the Simple Life" In DU I:3 (May 1941) In CW 18: P. 56
"Love thy neighbors is wonderful, since we then have nothing to do about ourselves; but when it is a question of "love thy neighbour as thyself" we are no longer so sure, for we think it would be egoism to love ourselves. There was no need to preach "love thyself" to people in olden times, because they did so as a matter of course. But how is it nowadays? It would do us good to take this thing somewhat to heart, especially the phrase "as thyself." How can I love my neighbour if I do not love myself? How can we be altruistic if we do not treat ourselves decently? But if we treat ourselves decently, if we love ourselves, we make discoveries, and then we see what we are and what we should love. There is nothing for it but to put our foot into the serpent's mouth. He who cannot love can never transform the serpent, and then nothing is changed.
From the Basel Seminar (1934).