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Carl Jung on “Shamanism.”

6e51b shaman

Freud and Psychoanalysis (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 4)

From Dr. Jung 28 January 1913

With regard to your question concerning the applicability of the cathartic procedure, I can say that I adopt the following standpoint: every procedure is good if it helps.

I therefore acknowledge every method of suggestion including Christian Science, mental healing, etc. “A truth is a truth, when it works.”

It is another question, though, whether a scientifically trained doctor can square it with his conscience to sell little bottles of Lourdes water because this suggestion is at times very helpful.

Even the so-called highly scientific suggestion therapy employs the wares of the medicine-man and the exorcising shaman.

And why not?

The public is not much more advanced either and continues to expect miraculous cures from the doctor.

And indeed, we must rate those doctors wise—worldly-wise in every sense—who know how to surround themselves with the aura of a medicine-man.

They have not only the biggest practices but also get the best results.

This is because, apart from the neuroses, countless physical illnesses are tainted and complicated with psychic material to an unsuspected degree.

The medical exorcist betrays by his whole demeanour his full appreciation of that psychic component when he gives the patient the opportunity of fixing his faith firmly on the mysterious personality of the doctor.

In this way he wins the sick man’s mind, which from then on helps him to restore his body to health.

The cure works best when the doctor himself believes in his own formulae, otherwise he may be overcome by scientific doubt and so lose the proper convincing tone. ~Carl Jung, CW 4, Pages 255-256