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

Speaking of the foolishness of the wise, he said one must always recognize it but one does not know what a dream means, especially one’s own dream.

For the unconscious always finds the chink in the wall of one’s own theory or built-up system.

The unconscious wants to come through into consciousness, and when we build up a systematic body of knowledge we necessarily keep the unconscious out.

Nature is just what we do not know.

So, he said, in speaking of such things it is much better to use a symbolic way of speech, for that says much more-even what you do not know yourself.

If you limit yourself to known facts, what you say may be true of the thousand other cases, but just not of this one.

The truth escapes [people who] are always trying to systematize, and they have to use power to try to convince.

One must allow one’s own foolishness, for Nature is naive; there is always the joke, the just-so.

[The user of] fat words cannot put it into simple language.

He is impressed with the powerful idea and tries to impress others with it.

If he were really impressed with its reality, he would stammer and get great feelings of inferiority before it.

Every true experience of the numinosum has this effect.

But such a man is afraid to show his littleness in face of the great idea.

He gets inflated and struts.

He would be shown to be really wise if he could admit that he could say nothing in the face of the great experience. (A man who is truly in love can
only stammer, “I love you.”)

And yet, he said one must make a theory or system, especially for teaching purposes, only one must not take it as representing the facts.

As an illustration of the use and limitations of a formulated system, he said, it is as though you find an uninhabited island.

You must begin at once to orient yourself.

There is a mountain over there, a group of trees here, and the coastline along there.

The mountain is perhaps ten miles away, but it may be fifteen, then your calculations will be put out.

Also you do not know how high it is, so you cannot triangulate from it.

Or there may be a river between you and it that you cannot cross.

Yet you must say, “Here is a map of the island I discovered, but, for goodness sake, don’t believe it!”

And you must say the same to students when you teach them the theory of analysis. ~E. Harding, Conversations with Jung, Page 15.