Dynamics of the Self by Gerhard Adler

It has often been remarked that Jung himself was the best advertisement for his ideas, that he represented the most convincing example of an integrated and individuated personality. ~ Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 1

It is indeed not easy to grasp the full message of Jung without having met him in the flesh. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 1

It was the last time I saw Jung, a few months before his death. It was a Sunday morning and I had gone out to his Tower at Bollingen. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 1

Jung’s discovery and experimental proof of complexes was an important step in putting the idea of the unconscious on firm ground. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 2

Freud was the first to recognize and acknowledge the importance of Jung’s discovery and it made him eager to make Jung’s acquaintance and win his co-operation. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 2

In consequence of this research Jung became the first psychiatrist to undertake the psychological treatment of schizophrenia, up to then thought unamenable to psychotherapy. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 2

Jung’s work on complexes and schizophrenia led to his collaboration with Freud. ~Adler, Gerhard, Dynamics of the Self, Page 3

Freud could not accept Jung’s wider definition of the nature of the libido as not purely sexual and equally he could not accept Jung’s idea of the symbolic nature of incest. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 3

In spite of much bitterness engendered by it, Freud, towards the end of his life, could admit that Jung’s departure had been a serious loss to himself and to the psychoanalytical movement; Jung, for his part, continued to honour and respect Freud’s courageous pioneering in psychodynamics. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 3

Jung holds that the psyche cannot be understood from a purely causal point of view, but that this approach has to be complemented by a teleologic sense, according to which “causes are understood as means to an end” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 4

When something is ‘symbolic,’ it means that a person divines its hidden, ungraspable nature and is trying desperately to capture in words the secret that eludes him. ” ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 4

It is noteworthy that in his last, unfinished work, An Outline of Psychoanalysis, written over twenty years after Jung had first formulated the concept of the collective unconscious, Freud came virtually to express the same idea. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 7

Jung’s preoccupation with the process of individuation was also the reason behind his alchemical studies to which he devoted so much of his later years. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 9

Needless to say, it was not so much religion in any traditional or dogmatic sense that was Jung’s concern as the individual’s own and immediate experience of religious contents and images. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 10

Synchronistic phenomena, and’ in particular those of ESP, convinced Jung of the existence of a transcendental “absolute knowledge”, independent of the senses. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 10

Researches like these or into alchemy and religious symbolism have led to the frequent misunderstanding of Jung as a mystic, and he has often been attacked for lack of clarity and vagueness. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 10

Thus Jung has restored the dignity of the individual as the creative nuclear element of human civilization and created the basis for a new ethics, based on the authenticity and commitment of the individual. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 13

It is inherent in Jung’s concept of the self that it is active, and thus observable, through the whole of our life. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 16

Human nature has an invincible dread of becoming more conscious of itself. What nevertheless drives us to it is the self … Conscious realization … is in one sense an act of the ego’s will, but in another sense it is a spontaneous manifestation of the self, which was always there. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 16

The protective circle is what Jung has described as mandala. Mandalas in the East are constructed and used as yantras, as instruments of contemplation. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 20

Jung reports that the Abbot of a as that of an inner synthesizing image which has to be constructed by imagination whenever the psychic balance is disturbed. lamaistic monastery explained to him the function of a mandala ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 21

Natural man is not a self – he is the mass and a particle in the mass, collective to such a degree that he is not even sure of his own ego. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 27

This road can be described in Jung’s words as “actualizing those contents of the unconscious which are outside nature, i.e., not a datum of our empirical world, and therefore an a priori of archetypal character.” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 27

In “On the Nature of the Psyche” Jung has put forward the idea of the unconscious as a “multiple consciousness” with its own “luminosity”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 34

Jung has pointed out how the phenomenology of the birth of the divine child “always points back to an original state of nonrecognition”, and how at the same time “the urge and compulsion to self-realization is a law of nature”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 49

Jung has pointed out that “art represents a process of self-regulation in the life of nations and epochs, “[l] and so “is best fitted to compensate the inadequacy of the present.” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 64

In this connection we need only remember Jung’s experience with the Pueblo Indians, whose daily rite of helping their father, the sun, in his journey across the sky gave them their special and meaningful place in the world. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 66

Jung has often pointed out that many people in a crisis can no longer find their way back to a religious collective and end up in a vacuum. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 66

This is where Jung’s analytical psychology comes in: even though it is directed toward the sickness of the individual, it goes beyond the bounds of a pure therapy of the neuroses and expands into a cultural psychology, in which “sickness” is a symbol and starting point for wider insights. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 68

Jung pointed out that the para aspect of Hindu philosophy was for us a purely theoretical abstraction, just as the highest chakras of Kundalini Yoga transcend our concrete understanding and would be explicable only in a distant future. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 71

Jung repeatedly emphasizes this when he speaks of the self as the archetype of order and meaning, and Gerhard Dorn expresses the same thing as the “union of the whole man with the unus mundus”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 78

Jung himself came to lay more and more stress on the two principal aspects of analysis: the inner, subjective process of integration, and the objective process of relationship, which can be experienced only with a human partner. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 81

Is it not conceivable that a future age will look back on our age of atomic fission and fusion in exactly the same way as Jung’s researches have taught us to look back on alchemy? ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 85

I was 26 years old when I first went out to Zurich to start analysis with Jung. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 85

In the winter of 1934 I had gone to one of the by now almost legendary seminars which Jung used to give on Wednesday mornings at what was then the Psychological Club in Zurich. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 88

“The problem ·of crucifixion is the beginning of individuation, there is the secret meaning of the Christian symbolism, a path of blood and suffering – like any other step forward on the road of the evolution of human consciousness. Can man stand a further increase of consciousness? ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 90

But I confess that I submitted to the divine power of this apparently unsurmountable problem and I consciously and intentionally made my life miserable, because I wanted God to be alive and free from the suffering man has put on him by loving his own reason more than God’s secret intentions. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 90

There is a mystical fool in me that proved to be stronger than all my science. I think that God in his turn has bestowed life upon me and has saved me from petrification … ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 90

Thus I suffered and was miserable, but it seems that life was never wanting and in the blackest night even, and just there, by the grace of God, I could see a Great Light. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 90

When I read Jung’s Memories for the first time I was deeply moved and disturbed by the immense loneliness which they revealed. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 91

With indignation he told me that he had been made the scapegoat for the breakdown of a patrician Swiss marriage, the partners of which he did not even know. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 91

So far from being a mere epiphenomenon or what has been called a Cartesian “ghost in the machine”, the psyche was for Jung in his own words “superlatively real”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 94

Jung was only too aware of this quandary, but he had deliberately decided to forego “scientific” clarity for the sake of psychological truth which demands an “open” and equivocal language, doing justice to the hidden and symbolical meaning of psychic processes. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 94

“I am always astounded to see that what is laid down, ordered, factual, is never enough to embrace the whole truth, that life always brims over the rim of every vessel”. ~Boris Pasternak, Dynamics of the Self, Page 95

Jung’s interest in every human phenomenon, every aspect of man’s psyche, led him to the exploration of subjects which many people regarded as “unscientific”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 95

He [Carl Jung] had the courage to stand by his experiences even where they seemed to transcend the limits of rational explanation. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 95

Jung has written a foreword to the 1950 English translation of the I Ching where he calls it “a great and singular book”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 95

“Although this (sacrificial) act is an eternal happening, taking place within the divinity, man is nevertheless included in it as an essential component … Just as, in the sacrificial act, God is both agens et patiens, so too is man according to his limited capacity … ” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 96

He [Jung] has shown the potentialities of human consciousness for further development, pointing in the direction of an ever deeper relation to the pregnant depth of the psyche and its reality. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 96

Henri Bergson once remarked that humanity has from all eternity been surrounded by electricity, but that it took milleniums until man discovered it. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 97

“Action as we know can take place only in the third dimension, and the fourth dimension is that which actually wants to grow into our conscious three-dimensional world. This realization is man’s task par excellence. All culture is an extension of consciousness, and just as modern physics can no longer do without four-dimensional thinking, so our psychological view of the world will have to concern itself with these problems … ” ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 98

I am constantly impressed by the interest of the young generation in Jung’s ideas, or in such related books as those of Hermann Hesse, or the I Ching; and even more impressed by the seriousness of their searching which characterizes the best among them. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 100

On the one hand my primal experience of Jung’s concepts was based on my analytical work with Jung himself and with the unforgettable Tony Wolff, and on the whole atmosphere of Zurich as it was in the early thirties. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 103

The Talmudists go to Freud, the Cabbalists come to me. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 108

As understanding deepens, the further removed it becomes from knowledge. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 111

Between the conscious and the unconscious there is a kind of “uncertainty relationship” because the observer is inseparable from. the observed, and always disturbs it by the act of observation”. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 112

In his obituary of Jung, Michael Fordham stated that for him Jung’s incompatibility with Freud, and the resultant separation, appears a disaster “from which we will suffer and will continue to do so until we have repaired the damage” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 114

A phenomenon like the I Ching is not just a peripheral problem but is representative of the heart and essence of Jung’s approach.  ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 114

The ‘absolute knowledge’ which is characteristic of synchronistic phenomena, a knowledge not mediated by the sense organs, supports the hypothesis of a self-subsistent meaning, or even expresses its existence. Such a form of existence can only be transcendental … ”  ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 116

While I thought I was learning how to live,

I have been learning how to die.

Leonardo da Vinci, Cadice Atlantico  ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 119

Jung, in his early writings, frequently deals with the phenomenon of forgetting, particularly in the form of amnesia.  ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 121

“the coming into consciousness of a memory-image which is not recognized as such in the first instance, but only secondarily, if at all, by means of subsequent recollection or abstract reasoning”. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 121

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;

The Soul that’ rises with us, our life’s Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home … ~Wordsworth, Dynamics of the Self, Page 133

Moreover, something is or seems,

That touches me with mystic gleams,

Like glimpses off forgotten dreams

Of something felt, like something here;

Of something done, I know not where;

Such as no language may declare. ~Tennyson, Dynamics of the Self, Page 133-134

it was a picture of something utterly alien and outside my experience, but on the other hand a most intense sentiment of deJa vu … as .if I knew that dark-skinned man who had been waiting for me for five thousand years. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 134

“As always when an external event touches on some unconscious knowledge, this knowledge can reach consciousness. The event is recognized as a deja vu, and one remembers a pre-existent knowledge about it.” ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 136

“This is a warning that the neglected self can kill, but also that it is always there to remind us of our neglect on the one hand, and of our task on the other.” ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 140

“We should not try to ‘get rid’ of a neurosis, but rather to experience what it means, what it has to teach, what its purpose is. We should even learn to be thankful for it, otherwise we pass it by and miss the opportunity of getting to know ourselves as we really are. A neurosis is truly removed only when it has removed the false attitude of the ego. We do not cure it – it cures us.  ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 140

In the Bhagavad Gita Krishna knows all his births (IV, 5):

You and I, Arjuna,

Have lived many lives.

I remember them all:

You do not remember. ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 144-145

“From the psychological point of view, life in the hereafter world seems to be a logical continuation of the psychic life of old age.” But he continues: “We lack concrete proof that anything of us is preserved for eternity. At most we can say that there is some probability that something of our psyche continues beyond physical death. Whether what continues to exist is conscious of itself, we do not know either. ” ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 145

Time present and time past

Are both perhaps Present in time future,

And time future contained in time past.  ~T.S. Eliot, Dynamics of the Self, Page 148

In his Memories Jung says that life after death can be only a psychic kind of life and he quotes with approval the dream of a woman of 60 which made it clear that “immediately after death people have to give accounts of the total experience of their lives” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 148

the sine qua non of all forms of higher spiritual development, whether we call it meditation, contemplation, yoga, or spiritual exercises …. Relinquishment of the ego is not an act of the will and not a result arbitrarily produced; it is an event, an occurrence, whose inner, compelling logic can be disguised only by wilful self-deception. In this case and at this moment the ability to ‘let go’ is of decisive importance. But since everything passes, the moment may come when the relinquished ego must be reinstated in its functions.  ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 158

…Mechthild von Magdeburg, living in the thirteenth century, exclaims, “Thou shall woo the nothingness, thou sha’ll flee the ego,” expressing again the need for egolessness, for forgetting, as the way towards the unio mystica ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 159

“Where the creative man ends, there God begins”. ~Meister Eckhardt, Dynamics of the Self, Page 159

“In order to see God’s secret, you have to abandon senses and sensuality; you should concentrate on letting go of yourself, forgetting all the fore-named things”.  ~, Dionysius the Areopagite: Dynamics of the Self, Page 159

“Dear Child, drown into the divine ground, into your nothingness.” To him [Johannes Tauler] the deus absconditus, “the divine darkness which is of unspeakable clarity”,  “Towards it carry your own abysmal darkness and let the abyss of the divine darkness illuminate you.” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 159

Jacob Bohme, almost 150 years later, experiences the “Ungrund, the nothingness, which goes still deeper than God”, ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 159

“I forget everything in my longing to see God; and this abandonment and loneliness seems better than all the company in the world.” ~St. Teresa of Avila, Dynamics of the Self, Page 160

Not I, the I that I am, know these things; but God knows them in me” “Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Gal. 2:20). ~Jacob Bohme, Dynamics of the Self, Page 160

With his gentle hand he wounded my neck

And caused all my senses to be suspended.

I remained, lost in oblivion; my face I reclined on the Beloved

All ceased and I abandoned myself,

Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.  St. John of the Cross, 1~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 61

Rabbi Elimelekh said the Prayer of Sanctification on the Sabbath, he occasionally took out his watch and looked at it. For in that hour, his soul threatened to dissolve in bliss, and so he looked at his watch in order to steady himself in Time and the world. ” ~Gerhard Adler, Dynamics of the Self, Page 161

Are you willing to be made nothing? dipped into oblivion? If not, you will never really change. ~D.H. Lawrence, Dynamics of the Self, Page 162

The overcoming of all the usual barriers between the individual and the Absolute is the great mystic achievement. In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness. ~William James, Dynamics of the Self, Page 162

“Man’s task on earth is to achieve identity with the Absolute by passing beyond the realm of the mental” – “through a supra-mental stage; the mental level does not constitute the limit of man’s progress because it does not constitute the limit of his fundamental nature. ” ~Sri Aurobindo, Dynamics of the Self, Page 163

We simply do not know the ultimate derivation of the archetype any more than we know the origin of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, Dynamics of the Self, Page 163

 

 

 

 

 

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