In the same measure as the conscious attitude may pride itself on a certain godlikeness by reason of its lofty and absolute standpoint, an unconscious attitude develops with a godlikeness oriented downwards to an archaic god whose nature is sensual and brutal. The enantiodromia of Heraclitus ensures that the time will come when this deus ahsconditus shall rise to the surface and press the God of our ideals to the wall. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 150

Old Heraclitus, who was indeed a very great sage, discovered the most marvellous of all psychological laws: the regulative function of opposites. He called it enantiodromia, a running contrariwise, by which he meant that sooner or later everything runs into its opposite. . . . Thus the rational attitude of culture necessarily runs into its opposite, namely the irrational devastation of culture. We should never identify ourselves with reason, for man is not and never will be a creature of reason alone, a fact to be noted by all pedantic culture-mongers. The irrational cannot be and must not be extirpated. The gods cannot and must not die. ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para III

When our natural inheritance has been dissipated, then the spirit too, as Heraclitus says, has descended from its fiery heights. But when spirit becomes heavy it turns to water, and with Luciferian presumption the intellect usurps the seat where once the spirit was enthroned. The spirit may legitimately claim the patria potestas over the soul; not so the earth-born intellect, which is man’s sword or hammer, and not a creator of spiritual worlds, a father of the soul. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 32

The pagan religions met this danger by giving drunken ecstasy a place within their cult. Heraclitus doubtless saw what was at the back of it when he said, “But Hades is that same Dionysos in whose honour they go mad and keep the feast of the wine-vat.” For this very reason orgies were granted religious licence, so as to exorcise the danger that threatened from Hades. Our solution, however, has served to throw the gates of hell wide open. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 182

What does “wholeness” mean? I feel that there is every reason here for some anxiety, since man as a whole being casts a shadow. The fourth was not separated from the three and banished to the kingdom of everlasting fire for nothing. Does not an uncanonical saying of our Lord declare, “Whoso is near unto me is near unto the fire”? Such dire ambiguities are not meant for grown-up children —which is why Heraclitus of old was named “the dark,” because he spoke too plainly and called life itself an “ever-living fire.” And that is why there are uncanonical sayings for those that have ears to hear. ~Carl Jung, CW 12, Para 297

He [Heraclitus] is singularly Chinese in his philosophy and is the only Western man who has ever really compassed the East. If the Western world had followed his lead, we would all be Chinese in our viewpoint instead of Christian. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 84

Just as all energy proceeds from opposition, so the psyche too possesses its inner polarity, this being the indispensable prerequisite for its aliveness, as Heraclitus realized long ago. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Page 346



Liked it? Take a second to support lewislafontaine on Patreon!