Carl Jung on what is “Real” and “Reality.”
The image of God has a shadow. The supreme meaning is real and casts a shadow. For what can be actual and corporeal and have no shadow? ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 230
This vision lasted for two hours, it confused me and made me ill. I was not able to interpret it. Two weeks passed then the vision returned, still more violent than before, and an inner voice spoke: “look at it, it is completely real, and it will come to pass. You cannot doubt this.” I wrestled again for two hours with this vision, but it held me fast. It left me exhausted and confused. And I thought my mind had gone crazy. ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 231
Everything to come was already in images: to find their soul, the ancients went into the desert. This is an image. The ancients lived their symbols, since the world had not yet become real for them. Thus they went into the solitude of the desert to teach us that the place of the soul is a lonely desert. There they found the abundance of visions, the fruits of the desert, the wondrous flowers of the soul. Think diligently about the images that the ancients have left behind. They show the way of what is to come. look back at the collapse of empires, of growth and death, of the desert and monasteries, they are the images of what is to come. Everything has been foretold. But who knows how to interpret it? ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 236.
When the desert begins to bloom, it brings forth strange plants. You will consider yourself mad, and in a certain sense you will in fact be mad. To the extent that the Christianity of this time lacks madness, it lacks divine life. Take note of what the
ancients taught us in images: madness is divine. But because the ancients lived this image concretely in events, it became a deception for us, since we became masters of the reality of the world. It is unquestionable: if you enter into the world of the
soul, you are like a madman, and a doctor would consider you to be sick. ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 238.
If you are in your solitude, and all the space around you has become cold and unending, then you have moved far from men, and at the same time you have come near to them as never before. Selfish desire only” apparently led you to men, but in reality it led you away from them and in the end to yourself which to you and to others was the most remote. But now, if you are in solitude, your God leads you to the God of others, and through that to the true neighbor, to the neighbor of the self in others. ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 245
Day does not exist through itself, night does not exist through itself. The reality that exists through itself is day and night. So the reality is meaning and absurdity. ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 242
I: “What my eyes see is exactly what I cannot grasp. You, Elijah, who are a prophet, the mouth of God, and she, a bloodthirsty horror. You are the symbol of the most extreme contradiction.”
Elijah: “We are real and not symbols.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 246.
Elijah: “You may call us symbols for the same reason that you can also call your fellow men symbols, if you wish to. But we are just as real as your fellow men. You invalidate nothing and solve nothing by calling us symbols.”
I: “You plunge me into a terrible confusion. Do you wish to be real?”
E: “We are certainly what you call real. Here we are, and you have to accept us. The choice is yours.” ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 249.
The image of the mother of God with the child that I foresee, indicates to me the mystery of the transformation. If forethinking and pleasure unite in me, a third arises from them, the divine son, who is the supreme meaning, the symbol, the passing over into a new creation. I do not myself become the supreme meaning or the symbol, but the symbol becomes in me such that it has its substance, and I mine. Thus I stand like Peter in worship before the miracle of the transformation and the becoming real of the God in me. ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 250
I earnestly confronted my devil and behaved with him as with a real person. This I learned in the Mysterium: to take seriously every unknown wanderer who personally inhabits the inner world, since they are real because they are effectual.~ Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 260.
I: “Forgive me, but are you real? It’s the sorriest likeness to those foolishly threadbare scenes in novels for me. to assume that you are not simply some unfortunate product of my sleepless brain. Is my doubt then truly confirmed by a situation that conforms so thoroughly with a sentimental romance?”
She: “You wretch, how can you doubt that I am real?”
But still she lies there, crying-yet what if she were real? Then she would be worth feeling sorry for, every man would have compassion for her. If she is a decent girl, what must it have cost her to enter into the room of a strange man! And to overcome her shame in this way?
I: “My dear child, I believe you, despite everything, that you are real. What can I do for you?”
She: “Finally, finally a word from a human mouth!
She gets up, her face beaming. She is beautiful. A deep purity rests in her look. She has a beautiful and unworldly soul, one that wants to come into the life of reality; to all reality worthy of pity; to the bath of filth and the well of health. Oh this beauty
of the soul! To see it climb down into the underworld of reality what a spectacle! ~~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 262
She: “So-you see: even banal reality is a redeemer. I thank you, dear friend, and I bring you greetings from Salome.” ~ Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 263
Incidentally-mustn’t it be a peculiarly beautiful feeling to hit bottom in reality at least once, where there is no going down any further, but only upward beckons at best? Where for once one stands before the whole height of reality? ~Carl Jung; Red Book; Page 266.