Psychology and Religion: West and East (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 11)

Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be.

When fate, for four whole years, played out a war* of monumental frightfulness on the stage of Europe—a war that nobody wanted—nobody dreamt of asking exactly who or what had caused the war and its continuation.

Nobody realized that European man was possessed by something that robbed him of all free will. And this state of unconscious possession will continue undeterred until we Europeans become scared of our “god-almightiness.”

The catastrophe of the first World War and the extraordinary manifestations of profound spiritual malaise that came afterwards were needed to arouse a doubt as to whether all was well with the white man’s mind.

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing.

A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there.

As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach.

It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy?

There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces. ~Carl Jung, CW 11, Pars 23ff