The Red Book: A Reader’s Edition (Philemon)
Humans have an uncanny knack of referring to the thoughts they have as their own possessions but exactly how entitled are we to make statements such as “I thought.”
In the Red Book Dr. Jung writes of the nature of “Thoughts.”
Through giving my soul all I could give, I came to the place of the soul and found that this place was a hot desert, desolate and unfruitful. No culture of the mind is enough to make a garden out of your soul. I had cultivated my spirit, the spirit of this time in me, but not that spirit of the depths that turns to the things of the soul, the world of the soul. The soul has its own peculiar world. Only the self enters in there, or the man who has completely become his self, he who is neither in events, nor in men, nor in his thoughts. Through the turning of my desire from things and men, I turned my’ self away from things and men, but that is precisely how I became the secure prey of my thoughts, yes, I wholly became my thoughts. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I also had to detach myself from my thoughts through turning my desire away from them. And at once, I noticed that my self became a desert, where only the sun of unquiet desire burned. I was overwhelmed by the endless infertility of this desert. Even if something could have thrived there, the creative power of desire was still absent. Wherever the creative power of desire is, there springs the soil’s own seed. But do not forget to wait. Did you not see that when your creative force turned to the world, how the dead things moved under it and through it, how they grew and prospered, and how your thoughts flowed in rich rivers? If your creative force now turns to the place of the soul, you will see how your soul becomes green and how its field bears wonderful fruit. ~Carl Jung; Red Book.
I know that everything you say, Oh my soul, is also my thought. But I hardly live according to it. The soul said, “How; tell me, do you then believe that your thoughts should help you?” I would always like to refer to the fact that I am a human being, just a human being who is weak and sometimes does not do his best. But the soul said, “Is this what you think it means to be human?” You are hard, my soul, but you are right. How little we still commit ourselves to living. We should grow like a tree that likewise does not know its law. We tie ourselves up with intentions, not mindful of the fact that intention is the limitation, yes, the exclusion of life. We believe that we can illuminate the darkness with an intention, and in that way aim past the light. How can we presume to want to know in advance, from where the light will come to us? ~Carl Jung, Red Book.
On account of my thoughts, I had left myself; therefore my self became hungry and made God into a selfish thought. If I leave myself my hunger will drive me to find my self in my object, that is, in my thought. Therefore you love reasonable and orderly thoughts, since you could not endure it if your self was in disordered, that is, unsuitable thoughts. Through your selfish wish, you pushed out of your thoughts everything that you do not consider ordered, that is, unfitting. You create order according to what you know, you do not know the thoughts of chaos, and yet they exist. My thoughts are not my self and my I does not embrace the thought. Your thought has this meaning and that, not just one, but many meanings. No one knows how many.
My thoughts are not my self but exactly like the things of the world, alive and dead.199 Just as I am not damaged through living in a partly chaotic world, so too I am not damaged if I live in my partly chaotic thought world. Thoughts are natural events that you do not possess, and whose meaning you only imperfectly recognize. Thoughts grow in me like a forest, populated by many different animals. But man is domineering in his thinking, and therefore he kills the pleasure of the forest and that of the wild animals. Man is violent in his desire, and he himself becomes a forest and a forest animal. Just as I have freedom in the world, I also have freedom in my thoughts. Freedom is conditional. ~Carl Jung, Red Book.