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As a doctor I cannot demand anything of my patients in this respect, also I lack the Church’s means of grace.


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Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12)

I began my introduction with human wholeness as the goal to which the psychotherapeutic process ultimately leads.

This question is inextricably bound up with one’s philosophical or religious assumptions.

Even when, as frequently happens, the patient believes himself to be quite unprejudiced in this respect, the assumptions underlying his thought, mode of life, morale, and language are historically conditioned down to the last detail, a fact of which he is often kept unconscious by lack of education combined with lack of self-criticism.

The analysis of his situation will therefore lead sooner or later to a clarification of his general spiritual background going far beyond his personal determinants, and this brings up the problems I have attempted
to sketch in the preceding pages.

This phase of the process is marked by the production of symbols of unity, the so-called mandalas, which occur either in dreams or in the form of concrete visual impressions, often as the most obvious compensation of the contradictions and conflicts of the conscious situation.

It would hardly be correct to say that the gaping “rift” in the Christian order of things is responsible for this, since it is easy to show that Christian symbolism is particularly concerned with healing, or attempting to heal, this very wound.

It would be more correct to take the open conflict as a symptom of the psychic situation of Western man, and to deplore his inability to assimilate the whole range of the Christian symbol.

As a doctor I cannot demand anything of my patients in this respect, also I lack the Church’s means of grace.

Consequently am faced with the task of taking the only path open to me: the archetypal images—which in a certain sense correspond to the dogmatic images—must be brought into consciousness.

At the same time I must leave my patient to decide in accordance with his assumptions, his spiritual maturity, his education, origins, and temperament, so far as this is possible without serious conflicts.

As a doctor it is my task to help the patient to cope with life. I cannot presume to pass judgment on his final decisions, because I know from experience that all coercion—be it suggestion, insinuation, or any other method of persuasion—ultimately proves to be nothing but an obstacle to the highest and most decisive experience of all, which is to be alone with his own self, or whatever else one chooses to call the objectivity of the psyche.

The patient must be alone if he is to find out what it is that supports him when he can no longer support himself.

Only this experience can give him an indestructible foundation. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Para 32.