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A Talk With Students at the Institute

35a42 82binstitute

C. G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters (Bollingen Series XCVII)

Introduction: During May 1958, Jung came and talked with students at the C. G. Jung Institute of Zurich.

Notes were taken by one of them, Marian Bayes, and published only twelve years later, in Spring, 1970.

Mrs. Bayes’s transcript has been edited to eliminate brackets around some phrases, supplied by the transcriber for tentative readings.

Question: What is man to do with his passionate, primitive, chthonic nature?

Dr. Jung: We tend to identify our chthonic nature with evil and our spiritual nature with good.

We must accept the dark forces and stop projecting them.

Question: What is acceptance?

Dr. Jung: Some things cannot be accepted.

If the analysis is honest it will come to an impossible problem—a problem that has no issue.

A lot of instinctive nature is repressed, and it wells up.

And now what? Nobody can deal with it; nobody knows what to do.

Go to bed.

Think of your problem.

See what you dream.

Perhaps the Great Man, the 2,000,000-year-old man, will speak.

In a cul-de-sac, then only do you hear his voice.

The urge to become what one is is invincibly strong, and you can always count on it, but that does not mean that things will necessarily turn out positively.

If you are not interested in your own fate, the unconscious is.

There is a mountain of symbolism.

It is not designed to prove a theory, as people think.

I have amassed symbols in order to give the analyst a chance to know about symbolism so that he can interpret dreams.

As if we know nature!

Or about the psyche!

The 2,000,000-year-old man may know something.

I have no trouble talking to primitives.

When I talk of the Great Man, or the equivalent, they understand.

The Great Man is something that reacts.

The analyst needs knowledge in order to interpret what the unconscious says, and he must give credit to his own interpretation.

He must have courage, he must help; it is as if a man is bleeding to death, and you ponder!

You can only say, “My God, I don’t know, but if it is an error, the unconscious will correct it. It seems to me it is like this.”—And stand for it! It must be the best you can do.

No cheating, no flippancy or routine; then the devil is after you.

You must be honest about whether it is really the best you can do.

If it is the best before God that you can do, then you can count on things going the right way.

But it may be the wrong way.

We go through difficult things; that is fate.

Man goes through analysis so that he can die.

I have analyzed to the end with the end in sight—to accompany the individual in order that he may die.

The analyst must help life as long as he can.

There is a prejudice that analysis is the art of letting out the unconscious, like opening the cages in a zoo.

That is part of analysis, but it must not be done in an irresponsible and foolish way.

This is only the preparatory part.

The main analysis is what to do with the things that have emerged from the unconscious.

One must see what the underlying trend is—what the will of God is.

You are damned if you don’t follow it.

It will ruin your life, your health.

You have sold part of your soul, or have lost it.

To the primitives it is death to lose the soul.

Analysis is a long discussion with the Great Man—an unintelligent attempt to understand him.

Nevertheless, it is an attempt, as both patient and analyst understand it.

(The Naskapi’ would have a great advantage, because he would realize that it is a discussion with the Great Man.)

Work until the patient can see this.

It, the Great Man, can at one stroke put an entirely different face on the thing—or anything can happen.

In that way you learn about the peculiar intelligence of the background; you learn the nature of the Great Man.

You learn about yourself against the Great Man—against his postulates.

This is the way through things, things that look desperate and unanswerable.

The point is, how are you yourself going to answer this?

There one is alone, as one should be, with the highest ethical distinctions.

Ethics is not convention; ethics is between myself and the Great Man.

During this process, you learn about ethics versus morality.’

The unconscious gives you that peculiar twist that makes the way possible.

The way is ineffable.

One cannot, one must not, betray it. It is like the way of Zen—like a sharp knife, and also twisting like a serpent.

One needs faith, courage, and no end of honesty and patience.

Question: Does the cycle of this dialogue continue permanently, or has man a special role in it?

Dr. Jung: That is what you learn: what your role is, where you are in the divine economy, in the order of things you see yourself in a new light because you have added the information
of the unconscious.

You have added things you didn’t dream of—a new aspect of yourself and of the world.

This you cannot regulate, or it would be misused.

To clarify your mind you draw a mandala, and it is legitimate.

Another says, “Oh, that’s how to do it!” and draws a mandala.

And that is a mistake; that is cheating, because he is copying.

Never say no or yes on principle.

Say it only when you feel it is really yes. If it is really no, it is no.

If you say yes for any outer reason, you are sunk.

Question: What is the result of an attitude of free decision?

Dr. Jung: The result is that you are always in the game; you are included, you are taken for real.

If you are dishonest, you are excluded from the individuation process.

If you are dishonest, you are nothing for your unconscious.

The Great Man will spit on you, and you will be left far behind in your muddle—stuck, stupid, and idiotic.

If you follow the unconscious closely, your intelligence will not sink below a certain level, and you will add a good deal of intelligence to what you already possess.

If you take the unconscious intellectually, you are lost.

It is not a conviction, not an assumption.

It is a Presence.

It is a fact. It is there.

It happens.

Question: How can we know it?

Dr. Jung: By a certain amount of self-criticism,

When you have an idea, you have not thought about that thing.

It came to you.

When you realize this, then you are honest.

A certain amount of modesty is absolutely necessary.

You have got to accept what the unconscious produces, and you have to understand its language.

It is Nature, and it has to be translated into human forms.

That is the reason for the dignity of man, that he has the ability to do this.

There is no reflection in creation.

To reflect is man’s task, and he can do it when he is not sterilized.

When he puts himself above it, he is sterile.

The attitude is incommensurable with science.

What scientist will observe and say that what he observes does not exist?

When you observe, then you are scientific.

People don’t know whether a thought is theirs or whether they unhooked it in another house.

The naivete of the white man—that he identifies the ego with the Great Man!

Question: Is not the human bond a central vital link in analysis?

Dr. Jung: The thing you are is so much stronger than your feeble words.

The patient is permeated by what you are—by your real being—and pays little attention to what you say.

The analyst has unsolved problems because he is alive—life is a problem daily.

Otherwise he is dead.

In the shortest time each puts his foot into it.

If you take your mistake the right way, it is the way of analysis.

The analyst must know about his complexes, because they will be touched during the work with the patient.

When I dream of a patient, it is usually a sign that one of my complexes has been touched.

Each step ahead that the patient makes can be a step for the analyst.

You cannot be with someone without being permeated by that personality, but the chances are you do not notice it; a certain feeling-atmosphere will take hold of you.

If you are not a feeling type you may have to ask a feeling type about your own “weather” because you are unconscious of your own feelings.

Doesn’t stress on the transference obviate . . . ?

One of the greatest hindrances to understanding is the projection of the shaman—the savior.

As soon as you are elevated to such a rank, you are powerless, lost in a sea of mist.

When signs of this inflation appear, this is a serious warning, and the inflation must be discouraged as soon as possible.

You are just as unable to perform miracles as a shaman as a rule is.

The father complex is at the bottom of it, and when this is analyzed, it is reduced to human size.

But there is still the human being.

The father transference, the Christ transference, etc., each is a mistake, a deviation, produced by the patient’s perplexity.

If the patient were a Naskapi, he would say that the transference is his Great Man.

The analytic conversation is between two Great Men.

(The Naskapi would have a great advantage because he would understand this.)

Work until the patient can see that.

That is the point of the transference.

It is vital to the patient to find out about this, and the analyst must be able to answer these questions.

He can only say, “I am this,” when he knows what this is.

The patient may come to the end of his perplexity and still have a transference.


Then it is something else—the archetypes are in play; that is the Great Man, or whatever he calls it.

At bottom, the transference is by no means a personal fantasy.

You lose an enormous value when you reduce it to the personal, and you must teach the patient about this double possibility: that there is the personal and there is something more in the personality, namely the Great Man. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 359-364

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