Carl Jung The Last One 6. Nov. 1915
Your letter strengthens my conviction that reaching an agreement on the fundamental principles is impossible, because the point seems to be precisely that we do not agree.
To this end the ucs. uses every means, and be it ever so hair-raisingly stupid.
For intance, I have gone to the most stupid trouble to explain my viewpoint to you, while all the time you have been under a wrong impression in that you did not notice that that sentence in my first letter, in which I talked about the purification of thinking, was purely hypothetical and referred exclusively to the ideally oriented introvert.
It is on precisely this sentence that he is riding, right now, toward the perfection of his type, and thus into hell.
But in my last letter I consistently differentiated between the ideally oriented and the compensated types.
So when you say that the introvert would have to evaluate his thinking by feeling, this is precisely and absolutely correct, and does in no way contradict what I said.
And, by the way, you have of course understood everything quite correctly, but suddenly your ucs. reminds you again of that misunderstood sentence and confuses everything anew.
But this is a comedy, meant to prevent the feared union.
This union, which should not come about, is the union of the pairs of opposites in ourselves.
This is what the devil wants to prevent at any cost.
But it shall be nevertheless. You constantly keep describing to me how the extravert achieves the perfection of his type.
Well, I’ve known that for ages. What I am talking about, however, is how he can get out of his type.
I have given you detailed arguments for why the process of realization is a process of gaining knowledge, and nothing else.
You do not offer the slightest evidence that realization might be something different.
On the contrary, your example of the realization of values shows that this is a process of evaluation.
As already stated, it is only by underestimating the thinking process that you can conceive of evaluation as doing and put the accent on it.
But that’s not where the accent should be.
It has long been a known fact that the extravert realizes his mistrust to a much too little extent.
That’s why I’m talking of it.
As far as the last passage is concerned, well, reread your letter carefully— I haven’t got it with me here— and you will understand my conclusion.
That you had something else in mind I could not know.
It strikes me that, when speaking of knowledge, you always seem to have only the concept of “scientific” knowledge in mind.
That is why I spoke of “living” knowledge as opposed to “scientif c” knowledge.
This distinction seems to have escaped you.
If, as you think, life can be a substitute for this knowledge, we wouldn’t need it.
But then— how really stupid of life to create that knowledge which it does not need at all.
In that case we need no longer bother about knowledge at all but simply go on living without racking our brains.
You are again forgetting that life stands on two legs, doing and thinking.
So, if life can be a substitute for the Christian doctrine, what’s the point of the doctrine?
But how can I come to live a Christian life, if not through the doctrine?
Even Christ taught, and did not simply live.
If he had only lived, nobody would have noticed anything, or, if they noticed, they would not have understood.
If you feel like calling your thinking “feeling,” you should tell me, for then I will also turn the thing around and call my feeling “thinking.”
You would be the first person to protest, because then I would simply foist my feelings on you, making them your thoughts.
You would be flabbergasted by that, because then we would be right in the middle of a neurotic state of mind.
If you conceive of your thinking as feeling, you will leave the door wide open for hysterical projections. Then talking is no longer possible.
I have to remark, by the way, that there is at least one thing the introvert can do better than the extravert, and that is thinking.
So one could well risk trying to give the introvert at least that much credit, namely, that his thinking could be more or less correct.
You are right insofar as the process of realization is a feeling process in the extravert—well, certainly, so long as he is not compensated.
We have just established, however, that we are now speaking of the compensated, and not of the “ideal,” type.
So long as even the realization process is a feeling process, there remains no room for thinking at all.
And if the introvert mistakes even his feeling for thinking, well, what will become of his feeling?
There reigns a terrible confusion about the realization of thoughts and feelings.
The extravert (the ideal type) must realize his feeling, the corresponding introvert his thinking.
In this process, the extravert notices that his feeling is pregnant with thoughts; the introvert, that his thinking is full of feelings.
I call the realization of thoughts hidden in feeling an act of thinking, and the realization of feelings hidden in thinking an act of feeling.
Turning things around again only foolishly confuses matters and leads to nothing.
Moreover, such a reversion leads to reversed results: for if I call my realizing act of feeling an act of thinking, I will again think my feelings as I did before, which is precisely the crazy thing to do, and the extravert will feel his thoughts, thus committing the same blunder as before.
An introvert who does not outgrow his constant thinking is just as untenable as an extravert who cannot get out of his constant feeling.
For starters, he must learn that thinking cannot be replaced at will by feeling, and that a thinking process cannot arbitrarily be seen as feeling. This is exactly the
nonsense from which he suffers.
For the ideal introvert, the purification of his thinking is, as already mentioned, precisely the indigestible morsel he is struggling with.
His thinking has long since become refined enough, but the feelings therein are not yet realized; feelings can, in God’s name, only be felt, but they can’t— and that’s the devil of it— ever be thought.
It is true that it seems to him as if the realization of his feeling muddied and smudged his thinking, just as it seems to the extravert as if he killed his feelings.
These evil things apply only to the hopelessly rationalistic slant in our thinking and feeling, however—in other words, to our so highly praised reason, into which we have advanced too far.
I won’t say anything more about the “famous extravert,” because I realize that all of a sudden he has now transferred onto the introvert what he had formerly claimed to have taken over from that other extravert.
Here one has to wait until matters have cleared up in him.
I believe you when you say that the feelings of the extravert are not cooled off by the knowledge of the object as it really is, but he himself cools off the object because, contrary to before, he treats it badly, and again disproportionately so.
I do not give the object credit for cooling off, because for the object this is quasi unavoidable.
For the object made the same mistake, by taking the other’s fantasy at face value.
Humans are close to one another only in the collective; in the individual sphere, they are separated by a huge distance, more so because they have to strive for separation and differentiation than because of being actually different.
That the introvert need not be careful with his thinking toward another introvert, but must, on the contrary, help him perfect his own thinking, is certainly true for the beginning of an analysis, provided the other introvert is not someone who has already carried his thinking to extremes (ideal type).
Once the ideal type is reached, a quasi- total blocking of thinking takes place, which is lifted only momentarily when the introvert has realized a feeling.
Vice versa, the same may be true for the extravert.
When I speak of the “intentions” of the extravert, I am well aware that it is just this that the extravert realizes to a much too little extent.
He simply has these intentions (power tendency) in the ucs.
And that is also why the extravert violates his object, for the ucs. takes effect.
The more unconscious, the worse.
Regarding terminology, I must remark that the ideally oriented extravert is always archaic.
He merely has differentiation on the one side, and archaism on the other, just like the introvert.
It is necessary to reach the ideal type.
It seems we agree on that. Now the question is how to get out of it.
This is possible only through self- communion, and this is true for both types, for both of them are too extraverted, because we are too extraverted in general.
This is the task of our time, which still has a monastery or desert of the soul in store for us.
This is what is so damned bitter and difficult.
Contact in the “human” and “civil” spheres, but anything to do with the “soul” cut off nd kept ready for the development of individuality.
“Understanding” is a way toward a collective flattening of the individual and is discarded by fate.
It seems to me that scientifically it is possible to come to an understanding about the general principles of the types but not about the finer nuances. This is simply beyond what language can do.
After all, everyone conceives of the linguistic signs for the various concepts in terms of what they have understood.
Now I would like to arrange the terms in question schematically:
Conscious Thinking as the logical rational function (adapted and universally valid).
Feeling as tones of feelings subordinate to thinking, and as an emotional reaction to what had been cognized by thinking; weak as far as the outward effect is concerned.
Unconscious Feeling as a sporadic act of intuition = a complex of emotion, with an undeveloped thought- content.
Undeveloped, therefore archaic, symbolic, ambiguous, phenomenal, irrational, actus purus naturae, can only imperfectly be formulated and grasped intellectually, projected.
Conscious Feeling as the logical (logic of feeling) rational function (adapted and universally valid).
Thinking as intellectual processes subordinate to feeling, and as a reaction to what had been felt (what had been comprehended by feeling). Weak as far as the outward effect is concerned.
Sensation, subordinate to feeling, a not very distinctive (or even disturbed) organ function.
Thinking as a sporadic act of intuition = a complex of thoughts, with an undeveloped content of feeling and sensation.
The other attributes as above.
The general task is the assimilation of the ucs. The content of the ucs. contains dispositions
- for outer life = concrete actions,
- for inner life = subjective thinking and feeling.
Therefore, the assimilation of the ucs. is achieved by both
- acting (experience via the object) and
- thinking, feeling as purely inner experience, or experience via the subject.
It is not determined a priori what must be done in a concrete way, and what must be inwardly lived. This is decided by what is possible (subjectively and objectively).
- The ucs. content is collective, that is, subjective and objective, exopsychic and endopsychic, irrational, hence interfering with adaptation. (I.e., adaptation to the world and to the subjective condition, insofar as we have rationally cognized and felt it. I am referring only to the analyzed person here.)
- The ucs. content is a unity of outer and inner meaning.
- It is not exclusively valid either (1) for the outer or (2) for the inner realm, but for both together, that is, for their operating together.
The ucs. content is symbolic, that is, encompassing the outside and the inside, because the symbol is (1) an act, but not in the sense of an act pure and simple, and (2) a thought, but not in the sense of a rational concept.
The symbol is thought and act combined into a unity, collectively and individually, socially and egoistically.
The general analytical task is accomplished by the assimilation of the ucs. content. Therefore the ucs. content is the object at which the analytically educated libido aims. (The way of education is via the object and the subject.)
The general object at which the libido aims has the significance of a cultural ideal. It is the dearest and the highest (the treasure hard to obtain), hence a religious goal, thus hinting at bringing together all the strongest strivings.
Company of like types eases things, and holds fast to what is already given, thus serving the extension and consolidation of what had been taken [from the other]. Balance and understanding are possible, desirable, and absolutely to be strived for. (Being.)
Company of unlike types complicates things, as it is an obstacle, and for that very reason an absolute necessity of development, hence also a temptation to regression. He who does not win in this process, loses. Balance and understanding are impossible, neither desirable nor to be strived for. The disparity can be obscured only by deceit and violence. The only thing in common is the goal. (Becoming.)
In the meantime, and after long deliberation, the problem of resistance against understanding and coming to an agreement has become clear to me.
It was Birgitta of Sweden (1302–73) who helped me to gain that insight.
She saw the devil in a vision; he spoke to God, and said the following about the psychology of devils: “Her belly is so swollen, because her greed was boundless, for she filled herself and was not sated, and so great was her greed that, had she been able to gain the whole world for herself, she would gladly have made the effort and, moreover, would have liked to reign also in the heavens.
I have the same greed. Could I win all the souls in heaven and earth and in the purgatory, I would gladly capture them.”
So the devil is the devourer.
To understand = comprendere = katasyllambanein, and also to devour.
Understanding and agreement are an act of swallowing.
One should not let oneself be swallowed, however, unless one is really someone who can overpower the monster from within.
Provided, too, that the other accepts the role of Fafnir and devours indigestible heroes.
So it is better not to “understand” people who might be heroes, because this will not agree at all with oneself.
One can go under through them. In the wish to understand, which seems to be so ethical and all human, there lurks a devil’s will, which, though I myself may not notice it at first, definitely makes itself felt to the other.
Understanding is a terribly binding power, possibly a veritable soul murder when it levels out vitally important differences.
The core of the individual is a mystery of life, which dies when it is “grasped.”
That is also why symbols want to keep their secrets; they are mysterious not only because we are unable to clearly see what is at their bottom.
For the symbol wants to prevent Freudian interpretations, which are indeed so pseudo- correct that they never fail to have an effect.
For ill people, “analytical” understanding is as healingly destructive as cauterization or thermocautery, but healthy tissue is banefully destroyed by it.
After all, it is a technique we learned from the devil, always destructive, but useful where destruction is necessary.
We can commit no greater error, however, than to apply the principles of this technique to an analyzed psychology.
But there’s still more to this!
All understanding as such, being an integration into general viewpoints, contains the devil’s element, and kills.
It tears another life out from its own peculiar course, and forces it into something foreign in which it cannot live.
That is why, in the later stages of analysis, we must help the other to come to those hidden and unopenable symbols, in which the seed of life lies securely hidden like the tender seed in the hard shell.
Actually, there must not be any understanding and agreement on this, even if it were possible, as it were.
But if understanding and agreement on this have become generally and obviously possible, the symbol is then ripe for destruction, because it no longer covers the seed, which is about to outgrow the shell.
Now I understand a dream I once had, and which greatly impressed me: I was standing in my garden, and I had dug open a rich spring of water, which gushed forth mightily.
Then I had to dig a trench and a deep hole, in which I collected all the water and let it flow back into the depths of the earth again.
In this way salvation is given to us in the unopenable and unsayable symbol, for it protects us by preventing the devil from swallowing the seed of life.
The threatening and dangerous thing about analysis is that the individual appears to be understood: the devil takes away and eats up his soul, which had been born into the light as a naked and exposed child, robbed of its protective cover.
This is the dragon, the murder, which always threatens the newborn Son of God.
He must be hidden once again from the “understanding” of men.
True understanding, however, seems to be what is not understood, yet still is and is effective.
When Ludwig the Saint once visited St. Giles incognito, and when the two, who did not know each other, caught sight of each other, they both fell to their knees before the other, and embraced and kissed— but did not talk.
Their gods knew each other, and their humanness followed.
We must understand the divine within us, but not the other, insofar as he is able to go and stand on his own.
We have to understand the ill person, however, for he is in need of the cauterizing remedy.
We should bless our blindness for the other’s mysteries, because it prevents us from devilish deeds of violence.
We should be confidants of our own mysteries, but chastely veil our eyes before the mysteries of the other, insofar as he does not need understanding” because of his own incapability. ~Carl Jung, Hans Schmid Guisan Letters, Page131-142