Carl Jung on Science:
Every science is a function of the mind, and all knowledge is rooted in it. The mind is the greatest of all cosmic wonders. – “On the Nature of the Psyche” (1947). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.357
If we do not fashion for ourselves a picture of the world, we do not see ourselves either, who are the faithful reflections of that world. Only when mirrored in our picture of the world can we see ourselves in the round? Only in our creative acts do we step forth into the light and see ourselves whole and complete. Never shall we put any face on the world other than our own, and we have to do this precisely in order to find ourselves. For higher than science or art as an end in itself stands man, the creator of his instruments. ~”Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung” (1928). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.737
“Science is not… a perfect instrument, but it is a superb and invaluable tool that works harm only when taken as an end in itself.” (from “Commentary to The Secret of the Golden Flower”, 1929)
If I speak in the spirit of this time, I must say:
no one and nothing can justify what I must proclaim to you. Justification is superfluous to me, since I have no choice, but I
must. I have learned that in addition to the spirit of this time there is still another spirit at work, namely that which rules the
depths of everything contemporary: The spirit of this time would like to hear of use and value. I also thought this way, and my humanity still thinks this way. But that other spirit forces me nevertheless to speak, beyond justification, use, and meaning. Filled with human pride and blinded by the presumptuous spirit of the times, I long sought to hold that other spirit away from me. But I did not consider that the spirit of the depths from time immemorial and for all the future possesses a greater power than the spirit of this time, who changes with the generations. The spirit of the depths has subjugated all pride and arrogance to the power of judgment. He took away my belief in science, he robbed me of the joy of explaining and ordering things, and he let devotion to the ideals of this time die out in me. He forced me down to the last and simplest things. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I am stunned, but I want to be stunned, since I have sworn to you, my soul, to trust you even if you lead me through madness. How shall I ever walk under your sun if I do not drink the bitter draught of slumber to the lees? Help me so that I do not choke on my own knowledge. The fullness of my knowledge threatens to fall in on me. My knowledge has a thousand voices, an army roaring like lions; the air trembles when they speak, and I am their defenseless sacrifice. Keep it far from me, science that clever knower, that bad prison master who binds the soul and imprisons it in a lightless cell. But above all protect me from the serpent of judgment, which only appears to be a healing serpent, yet in your depths is infernal prison and agonizing death. I want to go down cleansed into your depths with white garments and not rush in like some thief seizing whatever I can and fleeing breathlessly. Let me persist in divine astonishment, so that I am ready to behold your wonders. Let me lay my head on a stone before your door, so that I am prepared to receive your light. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
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, rumors, 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. ~”Psychology and Religion” (1938) In CW II: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 140
I am led into a kind of reception room. It is a simple space with old upholstered furniture. The dim light of an antiquated lamp lights the room only very meagerly. The servant knocks on a side door and then quietly opens it. I scan it swiftly: it’s a scholar’s study, with bookshelves on all four walls and a large writing desk, at which an old man sits wearing a long black robe. He beckons me to draw closer. The air in the room is heavy and the old man seems careworn. He is not without dignity-he seems to be one of those ‘who have as much dignity as 9ne can be granted. He has that modest-fearful look of scholarly men who have long since been squashed to nothing by the abundance of knowledge. I think that he is a real scholar who has learned great modesty before the immensity of knowledge and has given himself tirelessly to the material of science and research, anxiously and equably appraising, as if he personally had to represent the working out of scientific truth. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
“Oh Izdubar, most powerful one, what you call poison is science. In our country we are nurtured on it from youth, and that may be one reason why we haven’t properly flourished and remain so dwarfish. When I see you, however, it seems to me as if we are all somewhat poisoned.”
Iz: “But this science is the awful magic that has lamed me. How can it be that you are still alive even though you drink from this poison every day?”~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I: “We’ve grown accustomed to this over time, because men get used to everything. But we’re still somewhat lamed. On the
other hand, this science also has great advantages, as you’ve seen. What we’ve lost in terms of force, we’ve rediscovered many times through mastering the force of nature.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I: “Now you perhaps see that we had no choice. We had to swallow the poison of science. Otherwise we would have met the same fate as you have: we’d be completely lamed, if we encountered it unsuspecting and unprepared. This poison is so insurmountably strong that everyone, even the strongest, and even the eternal Gods, perish because of it. If our life is dear to us, we prefer ‘to sacrifice a piece of our life force rather than abandon ourselves to certain death.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
“You know that I value science extraordinarily highly: But there are actually moments in life where science also leaves us empty and sick. In such moments a book like Thomas’s means very much to me since it is written from the soul.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I: “That’s actually the case. Whenever I want to learn and understand something, I leave my so-called reason at home and give whatever it is that I am trying to understand the benefit of the doubt. I have learned this gradually; because nowadays the world of science is full of scary examples of the opposite.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
“It is as true today as it was yesterday. Never forget that you are a man and therefore you must bleed for the goal of humanity. Practice solitude assiduously without grumbling so that everything will in time become ready. You should become serious, and hence take your leave from science. There is too much childishness in it. Your way goes toward the depths. Science is too superficial, mere language, mere tools. But you must set to work” ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
Why is psychology the youngest of the empirical sciences? Why have we not long since discovered the unconscious and raised up its treasure-house of eternal images? Simply because we had a religious formula for everything psychic — and one that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than immediate experience. Though the Christian view of the world has paled for many people, the symbolic treasure-rooms of the East are still full of marvels that can nourish for a long time to come the passion for show and new clothes. What is more, these images — are they Christian or Buddhist or what you will — are lovely, mysterious, and richly intuitive. ~The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious p.7-8
This grasping of the whole is obviously the aim of science as well, but it is a goal that necessarily lies very far off because science, whenever possible, proceeds experimentally and in all cases statistically. Experiment, however, consists in asking a definite question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant. It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man. She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as partible. For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the question which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer. The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded. If we want to know what these workings are, we need a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leave Nature to answer out of her fullness. ~Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle p. 35
My interests drew me in different directions. On the one hand I was powerfully attracted by science, with its truths based on facts; on the other hand I was fascinated by everything to do with comparative religion. […] In science I missed the factor of meaning; and in religion, that of empiricism. ~Memories, Dreams, Reflections p. 72
All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes. This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form they are variants of archetypal ideas, created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us. ~”The Structure of the Psyche” (1927). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.342
“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 greater 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. (p.236)” — C.G. Jung (Memories, Dreams, Reflections)