Our consciousness does not create itself—it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood it awakens gradually, and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depths of sleep from an unconscious condition. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 935

Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, other contents can also arise from it.

Besides a majority of mere recollections, really new thoughts and creative ideas can appear which have never been conscious before.

They grow up from the dark depths like a lotus. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 37.

The world comes into being when man discovers it.

But he only discovers it when he sacrifices his containment in the primal mother, the original state of unconsciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 5, Para 652

If one reflects upon what consciousness really is, one is deeply impressed by the extremely wonderful fact that an event which occurs outside in the cosmos produces simultaneously an inner image.

Thus it also occurs within; in other words, it becomes conscious. ~Carl Jung, Basel Seminar, Para i

How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious?

Primitive man’s perception of objects is conditioned only partly by the objective behaviour of the things themselves, whereas a much greater part is often played by intrapsychic facts which are not related to the external objects except by way of projection.

This is due to the simple fact that the primitive has not yet experienced that ascetic discipline of mind known to us as the critique of knowledge.

To him the world is a more or less fluid phenomenon within the stream of his own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 187

The primitive cannot assert that he thinks; it is rather that “something thinks in him.”

The spontaneity of the act of thinking does not lie, causally, in his conscious mind, but in his unconscious.

Moreover, he is incapable of any conscious effort of will; he must put himself beforehand into the “mood of willing,” or let himself be put—hence his rites d’entree et de sortie.

His consciousness is menaced by an almighty unconscious: hence his fear of magical influences which may cross his path at any moment; and for this reason, too, he is surrounded by unknown forces
and must adjust himself to them as best he can.

Owing to the chronic twilight state of his consciousness, it is often next to impossible to find out whether he merely dreamed something or whether he really experienced it.

The spontaneous manifestation of the unconscious and its archetypes intrudes everywhere into his conscious mind, and the mythical world of his ancestors—for instance, the aljira or bugari of the Australian aborigines—is a reality equal if not superior to the material world.

It is not the world as we know it that speaks out of his unconscious, but the unknown world of the psyche, of which we know that it mirrors out empirical world only in part, and that, for the
other part, it moulds this empirical world in accordance with its own psychic assumptions.

The archetype does not proceed from physical facts but describes how the psyche experiences the physical fact, and in so doing the psyche often behaves so autocratically that it denies tangible reality
or makes statements that fly in the face of it. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 260

The world is as it ever has been, but our consciousness undergoes peculiar changes.

First, in remote times (which can still be observed among primitives living today), the main body of psychic life was apparently in human and in nonhuman objects: it was projected, as we should say now.

Consciousness can hardly exist in a state of complete projection.

At most it would be a heap of emotions.

Through the withdrawal of projections, conscious knowledge slowly developed.

Science, curiously enough, began with the discovery of astronomical laws, and hence with the withdrawal, so to speak, of the most distant projections.

This was the first stage in the despiritualization of the world.

One step followed another: already in antiquity the gods were withdrawn from mountains and rivers, from trees and animals.

Modern science has subtilized its projections to an almost unrecognizable degree, but our ordinary life still swarms with them.

You can find them spread out in the newspapers, in books, rumours, and ordinary social gossip.

All gaps in our actual knowledge are still filled out with projections.

We are still so sure we know what other people think or what their true character is. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 140

Whatever name we may put to the psychic background, the fact remains that our consciousness is influenced by it in the highest degree, and all the more so the less we are
conscious of it.

The layman can hardly conceive how much his inclinations, moods, and decisions are influenced by the dark forces of his psyche, and how dangerous or helpful they may be in shaping his destiny.

Our cerebral consciousness is like an actor who has forgotten that he is playing a role.

But when the play comes to an end, he must remember his own subjective reality, for he can no longer continue to live as Julius Caesar or as Othello, but only as himself, from whom he has become estranged by a momentary sleight of consciousness.

He must know once again that he was merely

a figure on the stage who was playing a piece by Shakespeare, and that there was a producer as well as a director in the background who, as always, will have something very important to say about his acting, ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 332

Since the stars have fallen from heaven and our highestsymbols have paled, a secret life holds sway in the unconscious.

That is why we have a psychology today, and whywe speak of the unconscious.

All this would be quite superfluous in an age or culture that possessed symbols.

Symbols are spirit from above, and under those conditions the spirit is above too.

Therefore it would be a foolish and senseless undertaking for such people to wish to experience or investigate an unconscious that contains nothing but the silent, undisturbed sway of nature.

Our unconscious, on the other hand, hides living water, spirit that has become nature, and that is why it is disturbed.

Heaven has become or us the cosmic space of the physicists, and the divine empyrean a fair memory of things that once were.

But “the heart glows,” and a secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 50

Empirical psychology loved, until recently, to explain the “unconscious” as mere absence of consciousness—the term itself indicates as much—just as shadow is an absence of

Today accurate observation of unconscious processes has recognized, with all other ages before us, that the unconscious possesses a creative autonomy such as a mere shadow could never be endowed with. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 141

Rationalism and superstition are complementary.

It is a psychological rule that the brighter the light, the blacker the shadow; in other words, the more rationalistic we are in our conscious minds, the more alive becomes the spectral
world of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 18 Para 10

Anyone who penetrates into the unconscious with purely biological assumptions will become stuck in the instinctual sphere and be unable to advance beyond it, for he will be
pulled back again and again into physical existence. ~Carl Jung, CW 11 Para 843

Just as, in its lower reaches, the psyche loses itself in the organic-material substrate, so in its upper reaches it resolves itself into a “spiritual” form about which we know as
little as we do about the functional basis of instinct. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 380

Psychic processes therefore behave like a scale along which consciousness “slides.”

At one moment it finds itself in the vicinity of instinct, and falls under its influence; at another, it slides along to the other end where spirit predominates and even assimilates the instinctual processes most opposed to it. 53 : 408

Nowhere and never has man controlled matter without closely observing its behaviour and paying heed to its laws, and only to the extent that he did so could he control it.

The same is true of that objective spirit which today we call the unconscious: it is refractory like matter, mysterious and elusive, and obeys laws which are so non-human or suprahuman that they seem to us like a crimen laesae majestatis hiimanae.

If a man puts his hand to the opus, he repeats, as the alchemists say, God’s work of creation.

The struggle with the unformed, with the chaos of Tiamat, is in truth a primordial experience. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, Para 286

We know that the mask of the unconscious is not rigid —it reflects the face we turn towards it.

Hostility lends it a threatening aspect, friendliness softens its features. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 29

The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and
intellectual judgment go, is completely neutral.

It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong.

To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 329

The unconscious mind of man sees correctly even when conscious reason is blind and impotent. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 608

In the unconscious is everything that has been rejected by consciousness, and the more Christian one’s consciousness is, the more heathenishly does the unconscious behave, if
in the rejected heathenism there are values which are important for life. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 713

The unconscious is the unwritten history of mankind from time unrecorded. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 280

The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not—which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams.

The unconscious is an autonomous psychic entity; any efforts to drill it are only apparently successful, and moreover harmful to consciousness.

It is and remains beyond the reach of subjective arbitrary control, a realm where nature and her secrets can be neither improved upon nor perverted, where we can listen but may not meddle.
~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 51

Any attempt to determine the nature of the unconscious state runs up against the same difficulties as atomic physics the very act of observation alters the object observed.

Consequently, there is at present no way of objectively determining the real nature of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 88

Nobody can say where man ends.

That is the beauty of it. The unconscious of man can reach God knows where.

There we are going to make discoveries. ~Carl Jung, Richard L. Evans Interview. Para 62

It suits our hypertrophied and hybristic modern consciousness not to be mindful of the dangerous autonomy of the unconscious and to treat it negatively as an absence of

The hypothesis of invisible gods or daemons would be, psychologically, a far more appropriate formulation, even though it would be an anthropomorphic projection.

But since the development of consciousness requires the withdrawal of all the projections we can lay our hands on, it is not possible to maintain any non-psychological
doctrine about the gods.

If the historical process of world despiritualization continues as hitherto, then everything of a divine or daemonic character outside us must return to
the psyche, to the inside of the unknown man, whence it apparently originated. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 111

Since the gods are without doubt personifications of psychic forces, to assert their metaphysical existence is as much an intellectual presumption as the opinion that they could ever be invented.

Not that “psychic forces” have anything to do with the conscious mind, fond as we are of playing with the idea that consciousness and psyche are identical.

This is only another piece of intellectual presumption.

“Psychic forces” have far more to do with the realm of the unconscious.

Our mania for rational explanations obviously has its roots in our fear of metaphysics, for the two were always hostile brothers.

Hence anything unexpected that approaches us from that dark realm is regarded either as coming from outside and therefore as real, or else as an hallucination and therefore not true.

The idea that anything could be real or true which does not come from outside has hardly begun to dawn on. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 387

In the same way that the State has caught the individual, the individual imagines that he has caught the psyche and holds her in the hollow of his hand.

He is even making a science of her in the absurd supposition that the intellect, which is but a part and a function of the psyche, is sufficient to comprehend the much greater whole.

In reality the psyche is the mother and the maker, the subject and even the possibility of consciousness itself.

It reaches so far beyond the boundaries of consciousness that the latter could easily be compared to an island in the ocean.

Whereas the island is small and narrow, the ocean is immensely wide and deep and contains a life infinitely surpassing, in kind and degree, anything known on the island—so that if it is
a question of space, it does not matter whether the gods are “inside” or “outside.”

It might be objected that there is no proof that consciousness is nothing more than an island in the ocean.

Certainly it is impossible to prove this, since the known range of consciousness is confronted with the unknown extension of the unconscious, of which we only know that it exists and by the very fact of its existence exerts a limiting effect on consciousness and its freedom. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 141

Man’s capacity for consciousness alone makes him man. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 412

The reason why consciousness exists, and why there is an urge to widen and deepen it, is very simple: without consciousness things go less well.

This is obviously the reason why Mother Nature deigned to produce consciousness, that most remarkable of all nature’s curiosities.

Even the well-nigh unconscious primitive can adapt and assert himself, but only in his primitive world, and that is why under other conditions he falls victim to countless dangers which
we on a higher level of consciousness can avoid without effort.

True, a higher consciousness is exposed to dangers undreamt of by the primitive, but the fact remains that the conscious man has conquered the earth and not the unconscious one.

Whether in the last analysis, and from a superhuman point of view, this is an advantage or a calamity we are not in a position to decide. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 695

Genesis represents the act of becoming conscious as a taboo infringement, as though knowledge meant that a sacrosanct barrier had been impiously overstepped.

I think that Genesis is right in so far as every step towards greater consciousness is a kind of Promethean guilt: through knowledge, the gods are as it were robbed of their fire, that
is, something that was the property of the unconscious powers is torn out of its natural context and subordinated to the whims of the conscious mind.

The man who has usurped the new knowledge suffers, however, a transformation or enlargement of consciousness, which no longer resembles that of his fellow men.

He has raised himself above the human level of his age (“ye shall become like unto God”), but in so doing has alienated himself from humanity.

The pain of this loneliness is the vengeance of the gods, for never again can he return to mankind.

He is, as the myth says, chained to the lonely cliffs of the Caucasus, forsaken of God and man. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 243

And yet the attainment of consciousness was the most precious fruit of the tree of knowledge, the magical weapon which gave m.an victory over the earth, and which we hope will give him a still greater victory over himself, ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 289

The man who has attained consciousness of the present is solitary.

The “modern” man has at all times been so, for every step towards fuller consciousness removes him further from his original, purely animal participation mystique with the herd, from submersion in a common unconsciousness.

Every step forward means tearing oneself loose from the maternal womb of unconsciousness in which the mass of men dwells. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 150

Before the bar of nature and fate, unconsciousness is never accepted as an excuse; on the contrary there are very severe penalties for it. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 745

Every advance in culture is, psychologically, an extension of consciousness, a coming to consciousness that can take place only through discrimination.

Therefore an advance always begins with individuation, that is to say with the individual, conscious of his isolation, cutting a new path through hitherto untrodden territory.

To do this he must first return to the fundamental facts of his own being, irrespective of all authority and tradition, and allow himself to become conscious of his distinctiveness.

If he succeeds in giving collective validity to his widened consciousness, he creates a tension of opposites that provides the stimulation which culture needs for its further progress. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para iii

It is just man’s turning away from instinct—his opposing himself to instinct—that creates consciousness.

Instinct is nature and seeks to perpetuate nature, whereas consciousness can only seek culture or its denial.

Even when we turn back to nature, inspired by a Rousseauesque longing, we “cultivate” nature.

As long as we are still submerged in nature we are unconscious, and we live in the security of instinct which knows no problems.

Everything in us that still belongs to nature shrinks away from a problem, for its name is doubt, and wherever doubt holds sway there is uncertainty and the possibility of divergent ways.

And where several ways seem possible, there we have turned away from the certain guidance of instinct and are handed over to fear.

For consciousness is now called upon to do that which nature has always done for her children namely, to give a certain, unquestionable, and unequivocal decision.

And here we are beset by an all-too-human fear that consciousness—our Promethean conquest—may in the end not be able to serve us as well as nature. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 750

When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness.

We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness.

But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 752

If psychic life consisted only of self-evident matters of fact—which on a primitive level is still the case—we could content ourselves with a sturdy empiricism.

The psychic life of civilized man, however, is full of problems; we cannot even think of it except in terms of problems.

Our psychic processes are made up to a large extent of reflections, doubts, experiments, all of which are almost completely foreign to the unconscious, instinctive mind of primitive man.

It is the growth of consciousness which we must thank for the existence of problems; they are the Danaan gift of civilization, ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 750

“Reflection” should be understood not simply as an act of thought, but rather as an attitude.

It is a privilege born of human freedom in contradistinction to the compulsion of natural law.

As the word itself testifies (“reflection” means literally “bending back”), reflection is a spiritual act that runs counter to the natural process; an act whereby we stop, call something to mind, form a picture, and take up a relation to and come to terms with what we have seen.

It should, therefore, be understood as an act of becoming conscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 235

There is no other way open to us; we are forced to resort to conscious decisions and solutions where formerly we trusted ourselves to natural happenings.

Every problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of consciousness, but also the necessity of saying goodbye to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature.

This necessity is a psychic fact of such importance that it constitutes one of the most essential symbolic teachings of the Christian religion.

It is the sacrifice of the merely natural man, of the unconscious, ingenuous being whose tragic career began with the eating of the apple in Paradise.

The biblical fall of man presents the dawn of consciousness as a curse.

And as a matter of fact it is in this light that we first look upon every problem that forces us to greater consciousness and separates us even further from the paradise of unconscious childhood. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 751

The unconscious is the only available source of religious experience.

This is certainly not to say that what we call the unconscious is identical with God or is set up in his place. It is simply the medium from which religious experience seems to flow.

As to what the further cause of such experience might be, the answer to this lies beyond the range of human knowledge.

Knowledge of God is a transcendental problem. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 565

Since we cannot imagine—unless we have lost our critical faculties altogether—that mankind today has attained the highest possible degree of consciousness, there must be some potential unconscious psyche left over whose development would result in a further extension and a higher differentiation of consciousness.

No one can say how great or small this “remnant” might be, for we have no means of measuring the possible range of conscious development, let alone the extent of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 387

Gleaming islands, indeed whole continents, can still add themselves to our modern consciousness. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 387

There are many people who are only partially conscious.

Even among absolutely civilized Europeans there is a disproportionately high number of abnormally unconscious individuals who spend a great part of their lives in an unconscious state.

They know what happens to them, but they do not know what they do or say.

They cannot judge of the consequences of their actions.

These are people who are abnormally unconscious, that is, in a primitive state.

What then finally makes them conscious?

If they get a slap in the face, then they become conscious; something really happens, and that makes them conscious.

They meet with something fatal and then they suddenly realize what they are doing. ~Carl Jung, CW 11:6*

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. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 563

Everything that man should, and yet cannot, be or do be it in a positive or negative sense—lives on as a mythological figure and anticipation alongside his consciousness, either as a religious projection or—what is still more dangerous—as unconscious contents which then project themselves spontaneously into incongruous objects, e.g., hygienic and other “Salvationist” doctrines or practices.

All these are so many rationalized substitutes for mythology, and their unnaturalness does more harm than good. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 287

The stirring up of conflict is a Luciferian virtue in the true sense of the word.

Conflict engenders fire, the fire of affects and emotions, and like every other fire it has two aspects, that of combustion and that of creating light.

On the one hand, emotion is the alchemical fire whose warmth brings everything into existence and whose heat burns all superfluities to ashes {pmnes superfiuitates comburii) .

But on the other hand, emotion is the moment when steel meets flint and a spark is struck forth, for emotion is the chief source of consciousness.

There is no change from darkness to light or from inertia to movement without emotion. ~Carl Jung CW 9i, 179

Since the differentiated consciousness of civilized man has been granted an effective instrument for the practical realization of its contents through the dynamics of his will, there is all the more danger, the more he trains his will, of his getting lost in one-sidedness and deviating further and further from the laws and roots of his being. ~Carl Jung, Basel Seminar, Para 276

When there is a marked change in the individual’s state of consciousness, the unconscious contents which are thereby constellated will also change.

And the further the conscious situation moves away from a certain point of equilibrium, the more forceful and accordingly the more dangerous become the unconscious contents that are struggling
to restore the balance.

This leads ultimately to a dissociation: on the one hand, ego-consciousness makes convulsive efforts to shake off an invisible opponent (if it does not suspect its next-door neighbour of being the devil!), while on the other hand it increasingly falls victim to the tyrannical will of an internal “Government opposition” which displays all the characteristics of a daemonic subman and superman combined.

When a few million people get into this state, it produces the sort of situation which has afforded us such an edifying object-lesson every day for the last ten years.

These contemporary events betray their psychological background by their very singularity.

The insensate destruction and devastation are a reaction against the deflection of consciousness from the point of equilibrium.

For an equilibrium does in fact exist between the psychic ego and non-ego, and that equilibrium is a religio, a “careful consideration” of ever-present unconscious forces which we neglect at our peril. 77 : 394/

Nothing is so apt to challenge our self-awareness and alertness as being at war with oneself.

One can hardly think of any other or more effective means of waking humanity out of the irresponsible and innocent half-sleep of the primitive mentality and bringing it to a state of conscious
responsibility. 70:964

The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious.

The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. “And God said, ‘Let
there be light’ ” is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 284

Without consciousness there would, practically speaking, be no world, for the world exists for us only in so far as it is consciously reflected by a psyche.

Consciousness is a precondition of being.

Thus the psyche is endowed with the dignity of a cosmic principle, which philosophically and in fact gives it a position co-equal with the principle of physical being.

The carrier of this consciousness is the individual, who does not produce the psyche of his own volition but is, on the contrary, preformed by it and nourished by the gradual awakening of consciousness during childhood. If therefore the psyche is of overriding empirical importance, so also is the individual, who is the only immediate manifestation of the psyche. Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 528

“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: I 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. ~Carl Jung CW 9i, Para 177

~[C.G. Jung; Psychological Reflections, Pages 23-37