Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

The Practice of Psychotherapy: Essays on the Psychology of the Transference and Other Subjects (Bollingen Series)

If, as many are fain to believe, the unconscious were only nefarious, only evil, then the situation would be simple and the path clear: to do good and to eschew evil.

But what is “good” and what is “evil”? The unconscious is not just evil by nature, it is also the source of the highest good: not only dark but also light, not only bestial, semi-human, and demonic but superhuman, spiritual, and, in the classical sense of the word, “divine.”

The Mercurius who personifies the unconscious is essentially “duplex,” paradoxically dualistic by nature, fiend, monster, beast, and at the same time panacea, “the Philosophers’ son,” sapientia Dei, and donum Spiritus Sancti.

Since this is so, all hope of a simple solution is abolished.

All definitions of good and evil become suspect or actually invalid.

As moral forces, good and evil remain unshaken, andas the simple verities for which the penal code, the ten commandments, and conventional Christian morality take them undoubted.

But conflicting loyalties are much more subtle and dangerous things, and a conscience sharpened by worldly wisdom can no longer rest content with precepts, ideas, and fine words. When it has to deal with that remnant of primeval psyche, pregnant with the future and yearning for development, it grows uneasy and looks round for some guiding principle or fixed point.

Indeed, once this stage has been reached in our dealings with the unconscious, these desiderata become a pressing necessity.

Since the only salutary powers visible in the world today are the great psychotherapeutic systems which we call the religions, and from which we expect the soul’s salvation, it is quite natural that many people should make the justifiable and often successful attempt to find a niche for themselves in one of the existing creeds and to acquire a deeper insight into the meaning of the traditional saving verities.

This solution is normal and satisfying in that the dogmatically formulated truths of the Christian Church express, almost perfectly, the nature of psychic experience.

They are the repositories of the secrets of the soul, and this matchless knowledge is set forth in grand symbolical images.

The unconscious thus possesses a natural affinity with the spiritual values of the Church, particularly in their dogmatic form, which owes its special character to centuries of theological controversy absurd as this seemed in the eyes of later generations and to the passionate efforts of many great men ~Carl Jung, CW 16 Para 391

Carl Jung and Princeton University Press