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Carl Jung: To be normal is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful
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Modern Man In Search of a Soul

Carl Jung: To be ” normal” is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful… (2015-12-29 14:52)

In order to make clear what this fourth stage has in view, and to throw some light on the curious term “transformation,” we must first take account of those psychic needs of man which were not given a place in the other stages.

In other words, we must ascertain what could seem more desirable or lead further than the claim to be a normally adapted, social being.

Nothing is more useful or fitting than to be a normal human being; but the very notion of a “normal human being” suggests a restriction to the average-as does also the concept of adaptation.

It is only a man who as things stand, already finds it difficult to come to terms with the everyday world who can see in this restriction a desirable improvement: a man, let us say, whose neurosis unfits him for normal life.

To be ” normal” is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful, for all those who have not yet found an adaptation.

But for people who have far more ability than the average, for whom it was never hard to gain successes and to accomplish their share of the world’s work-for them restriction to the normal signifies the bed of Procrustes, unbearable boredom, infernal sterility and hopelessness.

As a consequence there are many people who become neurotic because they are only normal, as there are people who are neurotic because they cannot become normal.

For the former the very thought that you want to educate them to normality is a nightmare; their deepest need is really to be able to lead “abnormal” lives. Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Pages 47-48.