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Carl Jung

Carl Jung Quotes

Quotes by and about Carl Jung

(Continued from his main entry on the site.)

Jung: "Opposites are not to be united rationally. ... In practice, opposites can be united only ... irrationally."

Jung: "I always proceed from the whole to the part."

Jung: "The intellectually detached classifying point of view is just the thing to be avoided."

Jung: "German policy is not made; it is revealed through Hitler. He is the mouthpiece of the Gods of old. ... He is the Sybil, the Delphic oracle."

Jung: " Hitler is a medicine-man, a form of spiritual vessel, a demi-deity or, even better, a myth."

Jung: "Schopenhauer contrasts the idea of man's psyche with a blind, creating Will. ... It was from Schopenhauer I got the idea that consciousness flows into definite moulds."

Jung: "[Freud is] a great man but ... he is constantly running away from himself. He never asks himself why he has to talk about sex all the time."

Carl Jung as a child

Jung: "The French are really not concerned with ruling the world, it is an affectation that Napoleon, who was not a true Frenchman [but a Corsican], brought - i.e. the idea of dominating Europe."

Jung: "Catholics ... have no need of [psycho]analysis because the unconscious in them ... is kept perpetually drained through their ritual. The unconscious of a Catholic is empty."

Jung: "Women are not to wear trousers; it is undignified."

Jung: "[As a child I had] an intense sensitivity and vulnerability."

Jung: "No one can become aware of his individuality unless he is closely and responsibly related to his fellow beings."

Jung: "The intellect is making darkness, because we've led it take too big a place."

Jung: "[Intellectual] analysis kills and synthesis brings to life."

Jung: "As scientific understanding has grown, so our world has become dehumanized. Man feels himself isolated in the cosmos, because he is no longer involved in nature and has lost his emotional 'unconscious identity' with natural phenomena."

Jung: "I soon discovered that when [Freud] had thought something then it was settled, whereas I was doubting all along the line."

Jung: "If a man has a good brain, Thinking becomes his hero and, instead of Christ, Kant ... becomes his ideal."

Jung: "I was studying Kant. I was steeped in it. ... [Kant] was far from Freud."

Jung: "Zen anecdotes ... not only border on the grotesque but are right there in the middle of it."

Jung: "[Freud] had no philosophical education."

Jung: "What I value in Goethe I cannot 'enjoy'; it is too big, too exciting, too profound."

Carl Jung's tower in Bollingen

Jung: "[My tower in Bollingen] was a great matter for me, because words and paper were not real enough. I had to put down a confession in stone. ... A representation of [my] individuation."

Federico Fellini: "[Jung's tower in Bollingen] impressed me as being gigantic, and yet something which might have been built by a child. ... [It had] a sense of miniature theatre."

[On visiting Jung's tower in Bollingen:]
Federico Fellini: "[Jung had a] collection of small objects, statues, an incredible bric-a-brac, and in a corner the robe of a magician. [Watching it] it seemed like the wardrobe of an initiate or guru."

Carl Jung

Aldo Carotenuto: "[Jung's tower in Bollingen] was very congenial [to Fellini] because along with the [conscious] attempt to reproduce something of antiquity and something medieval, there was also that touch of the theatrical."

Federico Fellini: "Jung especially loves patients with artistic inclinations because he sees himself as sort of a guru or guide."

J.H. van der Hoop: "[Jung has] gone further and further away from Freud. With [Freud], the emphasis ... rests on childhood experiences, while Jung has displaced it more and more to the ... history of mankind."

J.H. van der Hoop: "Freud's [theory of] psychology shows us clearly the faults and failures of others; Jung's theory ... helps us to appreciate their different ways of adaptation."

Sigmund Freud: "[Jung's book 'Psychological Types'] contains no new thought. It is the work of a snob and a mystic."

Jung: "Everyone who calls me a mystic is just an idiot."

Miguel Serrano: "There was in Jung a certain kindness [as well as] a sense of irony. ... Yet above all, I was aware of a certain air of ... mystery about him." [Upon meeting Jung in 1959.]

On Jung's Writing Style

Jung: "The language I speak must be equivocal, that is ambiguous, to do justice to the psychic nature [of things]. I strive consciously and deliberately for ambiguous expressions, because it is superior to unequivocalness and corresponds to the nature of being."

Jung: "My ... style is by no means simple and it wants a specifically trained ear to hear the somewhat suble innuendos, which abound in [my writing]. ... Certain points are misunderstood by [those] who do not grasp the full value."

James Graham Johnston: "Many of Jung's terms [are] sometimes used ambiguously or promiscuously ... [and] are still the subject of much debate."

J.H. van der Hoop: "The neglect of typology in the later development of Jungian psychology may have some connection with the fact that [Jung's] concepts have not been very clearly worked out. [One can feel the] need for precision [and] more definite formulations."

Henry A. Murray: "Americans have vulgarized Jung's concepts [but the] Americans cannot be blamed entirely; for amid the abundant illuminations in Jung's book one runs foul of many vague metaphors, confusions and contradictions."

Bernardo J. Carducci: "[Jung's] writing style was difficult for most people to understand."

Walter Kaufmann: "Jung's ... style is such that he is bound to gain in translation."

Anthony Storr: "Almost everyone who has attempted a critical assessment of Jung has come to the conclusion that his thinking was confused, that he contradicts himself, uses words in differing senses, and often makes use of blanket concepts which include so much under a single heading that they actually explain less than at first appears."

Robert C. Smith: "In contrast to Freud, whose style was straightforward and lucid, Jung ... wrote in a diffuse manner, and the connections he makes are at times extremely convoluted."

V.W. Odajnyk: "Jung realized that [his writing] style caused confusion and made him difficult to read."

Sigmund Freud: "[Jung has a] particular manner of expressing himself."

Charles Lindbergh: "[With Jung] one intuitively feels the elements of mysticism and greatness about him - even though they may have been mixed, at times, with elements of charlatanism." [Upon meeting Jung in 1959.]

A painting by Carl Jung

J.H. van der Hoop: "Jung makes chief use of archaic forms and 'collective' psychology to explain the individual."

New York Times Book Review on 'Psychological Types' [in 1923:] "Jung has revealed the inner kingdom of the soul marvelously well and has made the [important] discovery of the value of fantasy."

The Observer: "Like any true prophet or artist he extended the range of the human imagination."

Ximena de Angulo: "[Jung had] great prejudice against Aristotle."

Marilyn Nagy: "Neither extraverted analysts nor extraverted patients have ever felt very much at home in Jungian circles."

Marilyn Nagy: "Jung [proposed] a remedy to the overly objective attitude [of] Freud's analytic method."

Carl Jung as a child

William McGuire: "Jung's psychological type, according to his own statement late in life, was that of intuitive-intellectual introvert. This category of personality seems scarcely proper to an articulate, expressive, humorous, friendly man, ready, even eager, to talk not only with countless friends and acquaintances, [but also] with visitors who were total strangers."

Aniela Jaffe [the biographer to whom Jung told his life story:] "I often asked Jung for specific data on outward happenings, but I asked in vain. Only the spiritual essence of his life's experience remained in his memory, and this alone seemed to him worth the effort of telling."

Desmond Miller: "Jung had a boisterous laughter which has been described by many people who have met him."

Paul Roazen: "Jung was [always] concerned with ... the conflict between the desire to be independent and the need to be dependent."

Paul Roazen: "Jung was more of a loner than Freud - and he had his retreat [i.e. his tower] that he built at the end of the lake."

Henry A. Murray: "Jung was so very imaginative - perhaps too much so."

Henry A. Murray: "Jung has [given many] reasons why the introvert is held back. It is true that he has mentioned many reasons; in fact, I can think of no possibility that he has omitted."


Philip Kuberski: "Unlike Paris or London, Rome was not a city that Jung could consider simply 'visiting.' He says, 'If you are affected to the depths of your being at every step by the spirit that broods there, if a remnant of a wall here and a column there gazes upon you with a face instantly recognized, then it becomes another matter entirely.'"

Jung: "I always wonder how people can travel to Rome as one does, for example, to Paris or to London."

Jay Sherry: "Jung ... considered van der Hoop as his successor."

Shoji Muramoto: "To Freud's great embarrasment, Jung expected psychoanalysis to become a replacement for religion."

Hayao Kawai: "From the beginning, [Jung] pointed out that regression not only has a pathological side, but also has a constructive and creative role."

Michael Fordham: "[Emma Jung] made important contributions to [Jung's work]. ... She also wrote a study of Grail symbolism [but it] was destroyed. This was done at Jung's instigation, and he will not be forgiven by me for it."

David Cronenberg: "Jung's father and six of his uncles were pastors, and although Jung was dismissive of them as a young man, I think that's what he really wanted to become. He wanted to be a spiritual leader. All the things that Freud could see him heading towards, he did head towards. Jung became a mystical, religious leader."

Jung: "The typological problem [i.e. the practice of creating a psychological typology] can be approached from any number of angles."

Jung [in a personal letter to a friend:] "[I am glad that you] find Kierkegaard 'frightful.' ... I find him simply insupportable."

Jung: "[Heidegger bristles with] unconscious and subjective prejudices."

Jung: "Hegel is fit to bust with presumption and vanity."

Jung: "The substance [of Heidegger's thought] was unutterably trashy and banal."

Jung: "For all its critical analysis philosophy has not yet managed to root out its psychopaths. ... Kierkegaard ... belongs to this lot."

Jung: "Nietzsche drips with outraged sexuality."

Jung: "Thunder is no longer the voice of an angry god... No river contains a spirit... no snake the embodiment of wisdom, no mountain cave the home of a great demon. No voices now speak to man from stones, plants and animals, nor does he speak to them thinking they can hear. His contact with nature has gone, and with it has gone the profound emotional energy that this symbolic connection supplied."

Totton & Jacobs: "Jung enjoyed informally discussing personality types, but when speaking 'on the record' [he] tried to avoid encouraging oversimplification."

Totton & Jacobs: "Jung explicitly denies any intention of typecasting individuals. It is, however, equally true that Jung spends quite a lot of time doing exactly what he denies believing in."

James Graham Johnston: "[According to Jung] it is difficult to discern the type preference for a highly evolved individual; so many modes of expression are readily available [to him] that it is difficult to identify which one is the preferred mode."

Plato, Spinoza, and Jung on Extroverted Sensation

Plato: "The strange state into which all the animals are thrown ... when they desire to procreate ... [should be transcended in order] to contemplate the beautiful in general ... so that he may may escape from the mean, meticulous slavery of [adhering to] a single instance, where he must center all his care, like a lackey, upon the beauty of a particular observation."

Baruch Spinoza: "[That] which is esteemed by men ... to be the highest good [is] the pleasures of sense: With [these,] the mind is so absorbed that it has little power to reflect on any different good."

Jung: "The more you cling to worldly desires, the more you are Everyman who has not yet discovered himself and stumbles through the world like a blind man."

Jung: "The spirit of the depths from time immemorial and for all time to come [possesses] a greater power than the spirit of the times, which changes with generations."

Jung: "The new way demands to be discovered ... the undiscovered vein within us is a living part of the psyche."

James Graham Johnston: "[To Jung] we are endowed with a yearning to be part of something big and sacred."

Jung identified the continent of South America with the Sensing function.

Reference: Jung, in a letter to Hermann Keyserling, dated 9 september 1930 Published in: C.G. Jung Letters, volume 1, pp.75-76 (Routledge & Kegan Paul 1976)

Walter Kaufmann: "[According to Hegel] 'a position needs to be seen in relation to opposing views that help us see not only its motivation but also the partiality and inadequacy of both sides.' Jung tried to do just that with Freud and Adler in Psychological Types."

Walter Kaufmann: "Although [Jung] wrote copiously, his bent was really strikingly unsystematic."

Jung [in 1938:] "The only way to save the West - and by the West I mean America too - is not to try and stop Hitler."

Walter Kaufmann: "Strong conformist features. ... [Jung] had these ... and evidently was not aware of them."

Walter Kaufmann: "What is striking again and again is how Jung saw himself as an expert on almost anything ... and how susceptible he was to flattery."

Walter Kaufmann: "Jung [was] quite lacking in the ironical self-disparagement that was so characteristic of Freud."

Painting by Jung

Jung: "I pursued [my] inner images. ... Everything else is to be derived from this. ... The later details hardly matter. ... Everything later was merely the outer classification ... and the integration into life."

Jung: "I am namely not the least bit neurotic."

Sonu Shamdasani: "As [Jung] understood it, the distinguishing trait of psychoanalysis was its total reliance on the personal equation."

Walter Kaufmann: "Jung's attitude was anything but cold and objective."

Walter Kaufmann: "[Jung's works are full of] irrelevant erudition."

Oskar Pfister [in a personal letter to Freud, 1922:] "I have finished for good with the Jungian manner. These hermeneutic acrobatics which pass off every kind of muck as a higher marmalade of the soul. [Jung] is Hegelism transported into psychology: Everything that must be reasonable, if only this theory were reasonable!"

Raleigh Drohan: "Jung, much more than Adler or Freud, wanted to be a guru."

Walter Kaufmann: "Jung had ... imagination, but a profoundly uncritical mind."

Walter Kaufmann: "It would be hard to say whom Jung misunderstood more: Nietzsche or Freud."

Calvin Hall: "Jung has far less appeal than Freud because there is such a strong flavour of occultism, mysticism and religion in Jung's writings and this repels."

Murray Stein: "Jung was ... a visionary in the tradition of Meister Eckhart, Boehme, Blake, and Emerson. Many of his most important intuitions originated in his experiences of the sublime, which came to him in dreams, visions, and active imagination."

Murray Stein: "[Jung] used the images and materials that were available to him and made something new which had not been seen before in quite the same combination of elements."

Jung: "[My heart] is much too soft, and people of my stature generally have such a heart."

Jeffrey Masson: "[When Jung speaks about his dreams] there are many elements that sound improbable as dreams as opposed to narrative fictions."

Jeffrey Masson: "What I find totally absent in Jung's accounts [of seeing patients] is any sense of all the tragedies that go on in people's lives. The real world is simply absent from his books. I cannot believe that Jung's patients never spoke about the real world. I find it far more likely that these concerns did not correspond to Jung's [personal] interests."

Robert Bly: "It is said that whenever a friend reported enthusiastically, 'I have just been promoted!' Jung would say, 'I'm very sorry to hear that; but if we all stick together, I think we will get through it.' If a friend arrived depressed and ashamed, saying, 'I've just been fired,' Jung would say, 'Let's open a bottle of wine; this is wonderful news; something good will happen now.'"

Clarissa Pinkola Estes: "Jung noted that if someone came to his office complaining of a sexual issue, the real issue was more often a problem of spirit and soul. When a person told of a spiritual problem, often it was really a problem about the sexual nature."

Aniela Jaffe: "[Jung's] depressed patients hoped in vain for exhortation or comfort. Jung gave them something else: he wanted to get them to integrate the necessary suffering into their lives, to accept and bear it as part of their wholeness - for without darkness and sorrow there is no life."

Lucy Huskinson: "Jung equates human greatness with wholeness, and [according to him] this is achieved only through the union of opposites."

Jung: "The causes for [sexual] repression [in America] can be found in the specific American Complex, namely in the living together with lower races, especially with Negroes."

Jung: "The 'Aryan' unconscious has a higher potential than the Jewish."

Jeffrey Masson: "If any patient came to Jung complaining of the 'senselessness' and 'emptiness' of his or her life, Jung would immediately interpret this to be a religious crisis and would also envisage a religious solution."

Is 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections' a Reliable Work?

Walter Kaufmann: "I dare say that what we have here are not memories but dreams and reflections."

Sonu Shamdasani: "[Only] a number of chapters in the book are based on Jung's own writings. ... The manuscripts Jung wrote do not exactly correspond to what was printed in the final work."

Sonu Shamdasani: "In her introduction, Jaffe claims that Jung 'read through the final manuscript and approved it.' However, this simply could not have been the case, as Jung never saw the final manuscript."

Editorial Committee of Jung's Collected Works: "C.G. Jung always maintained that he did not consider this book as his own enterprise."

Helen Wolff: "It really is his book, and in his heart he knows it is his. I wonder who gave him the idea that it is not good enough to be his."

Jung: "I want to ... confirm once more that I do not regard this book as my undertaking but expressly as a book which Frau A. Jaffe has written. ... The book should be published under her name and not under mine since it does not represent [a work] composed by myself."

R.F.C. Hull: "[Jung] turned up ... said ... that there was some controversy going on as to the 'authentic' text [of 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections']. ... He impressed upon me, with the utmost emphasis ... that he did not want his work to be tantifiziert ('auntified' or 'old-maid-ified' ... ). I thereupon asked Jung 'how' to 'de-oldmaidify' the text. ... 'In those cases,' he said, 'the big guns will go into action,' pointing to himself."

Sonu Shamdasani: "It seems that before Jung, the 'big gun' could go into action, he died."

Jung: "For me it is essential that both the rational as well as the irrational are accepted."

Jung: "An intellectual formula never has been and never will be devised which could embrace and express the manifold possibilities of life."

Jung: "The prerequisite for a good marriage ... is the license to be unfaithful."

Sigmund Freud: "There is a kernel of dishonesty in [Jung's] being."

Sabina Spielrein: "When [Jung] is sure that one believes in his honesty, then this becomes a mighty prop for the better part of his personality, especially given his proclivity to be so proud and so labile in his affects."

John Launer: "Jung told Spielrein that she was an extraordinary individual while his wife was an ordinary woman."

Jung: "Nobody is absolutely right in psychological matters."

Walter Kaufmann: "Many of those who turn to Jung ... are moved by religious needs."

Gerhard Adler: "There is a family tradition according to which Jung's grandfather ... was an illegitimate son of Goethe's. Although this tradition could not be proved, it amused Jung to speak of it."

Paul J. Stern: "Jung was not free of major blind spots; to the attentive if not unsympathetic reader of his work their presence is obvious."

Paul J. Stern: "[Jung's] emphatic spirituality blinded him to the darker specifics of much that went on inside him."

Paul J. Stern: "Jung was not, as his more incensed critics have charged, either a fascist or an anti-Semite, in the usual sense. It is true that for a time he beheld the phenomenon of Nazism with fascinated benevolence and said so. His statements enabled his foes to string together quotations that seemed to brand Jung as at least a fellow-traveler of the Nazis."

Robert C. Smith: "Even in his early days, Jung had been quite interested in Schopenhauer."

Robert C. Smith: "For [someone who professed to be] an empirical investigator, Jung had a great deal to say about metaphysics."

Aniela Jaffe: "[Jung always said] that the 'man of the people' understood him better than intellectuals."

Sonu Shamdasani: "[Jung's work] was disseminated more widely among the general public than in the ... scientific and scholarly arenas in which he yearned for acceptance. ... For many, Jung's work was seen to valorize an anti-intellectual stance: that everything of significance could be found within the individual."

Don McGowan: "[Jung's usual theories] ... are Hegelian, but [his] type [theory] is not."

Aniela Jaffe: "[Jung] felt particularly drawn to Meister Eckhart."

Bradley Lehman: "[Jung's notion of the] collective unconsciousness ... is merely a convenient front to excuse naivete, promote superficial dabbling, and to belittle the value both of serious work and of practical understanding."

Jay Sherry: "Jung can be counted among those intellectuals that Isaiah Berlin identified as belonging to the counter-Enlightenment who upheld the aristocratic principle against the leveling tendencies of modern society."

Jay Sherry: "[Jung had flirted with Nazism and] concerns about Jung's post-war reputation factored into the decision to publish Jung's Collective Works in a standard English translation by R.F.C. Hull. Hull took many liberties with the text in order to minimize any taint of Nazi sympathies on Jung's part."

Don McGowan: "It is as if Jung had been born with blue filters in his eyes and would only accept a photo as accurate if it had been taken through a blue filter. So he goes one step further and convinces other people to put blue filters in their eyes. Now he and they see the world in the same way, and therefore he will listen to their opinions."

Don McGowan: "[Jung] had a substantial body of literature against which he could have compared his theories to see if they aligned with the previous scholasticism. Yet he did not choose to [do so] ... instead, he applied his own interpretative hypothesis, a method followed in every analysis ... he ever undertook."

Don McGowan: "Unfalsifiability [is always] creeping into Jung's diagnoses."

Don McGowan: "For all his strange statements and his forced logic ... Jung did make a substantial contribution to the field of personality theory. 'Psychological Types' is not the definitive book on the topic, and certainly there were both problems and oversights in his approach but [it] is definitely seminal in the field. All investigators after Jung ... have had to at least consider his thoughts on personality theory, whether they accept them or not."

Jung: "[My books] have never had a good review but, like Schopenhauer, people read me and people will read me."

Frank McLynn: "It was typical of [Jung] to muddy the waters so that a good argument became dissolved in a bad one."

Jung: "Biographies should show people in their undershirts. Goethe had his weaknesses, and Calvin was often cruel. Considerations of this kind reveal the true greatness of a man. This way of looking at things is better than false hero worship!"

Jung: "The philosophical influence that has prevailed in my education [is] Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer ... and Nietzsche. ... Aristotle's point of view had never particularly appealed to me; nor Hegel, who ... is not even a philosopher but a misfired psychologist."

Jung: "I have never studied Hegel properly. ... There is no possibility of inferring a direct dependence, but ... there is, of course, a remarkable coincidence between certain tenets of Hegelian philosophy and my findings concerning the collective unconscious."