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Carl Jung on “Enlightenment” Anthology


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One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making darkness conscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 13, The Philosophical Tree, Page 264.

Of course, thinks every time, all previous times had been biased, and now we think it more than ever, and has therefore just as wrong as all the previous times, thought so. How often have you experienced it, that the truth has been condemned? It’s sad but unfortunately true, that man learns nothing from history. This fact will cause us the most trouble, because when we are about in such dark somehow enlightened one thing to collect empirical data, we will find it quite sure where all the authorities have assured us that nothing could be found. ~Carl Jung; Synchronicity acausality and occultism, dtv Verlag, Munich, 1990.

Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche. This is the World Power that vastly exceeds all other powers on earth. The Age of Enlightenment, which stripped nature and human institutions of gods, overlooked the God of Terror who dwells in the human soul. ~Carl Jung; The Development of Personality.

Even the enlightened person remains what he is, and is never more than his own limited ego before the One who dwells within him, whose form has no knowable boundaries, who encompasses him on all sides, fathomless as the abysms of the earth and vast as the sky ~Carl Jung; Book of Job; Para. 758.

Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. ~Carl Jung; The Philosophical Tree; CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335

Primitives are really human animals living on the lap of the earth and from its sap. We are merely enlightened! ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, Vol. 2, Page 200.

It is so important to keep close to the earth, as the spirit is always soaring up to heaven like a flame as much destructive as enlightening. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 42.

Thus the anima is always associated with the source of wisdom and enlightenment, whose symbol is the Old Wise Man. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 498-499.

Equally, psychological enlightenment after a psychotic attack can be extraordinarily helpful in some circumstances. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 371.

And so we find them in alchemy also, and the fact is recorded that in deep meditation dissociation occurs between the ego and a “second”, that takes on the form of an inner figure, or represents something quite objective which will answer questions or produce enlightening remarks. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Page 172.

At last I discovered that they [The East] call the unconscious consciousness, indeed enlightenment. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, Page 204.

Paracelsus says that man has a mind in order that he may understand the truths which are made known in the Gospel, and only for this purpose. But on the other hand man has also a “lumen naturae” (a natural light), a source of knowledge hidden in nature, from which he can draw enlightenment. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture V. Page 162.

You should not mix up your own enlightenment with the self-revelation of the self. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 194-196

Buddha’s insight and the Incarnation in Christ break the chain through the intervention of the enlightened human consciousness, which thereby acquires a metaphysical and cosmic significance. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 310-311.

It was the Enlightenment which destroyed this bulwark by reducing the unitary view to nothing but mythology. In its modern usage mythology simply means “it is nothing,” since myths are unrealistic. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 468

One has to be extremely careful in using the word “mythology” as it brings you into head-on collision with the all-pervading infantile arguments of the Enlightenment. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 468

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