[paypal_donation_button border=”5″]


Modern Psychology: C. G. Jung’s Lectures at the ETH Zürich, 1933-1941

Lecture XV 16th ·February, 1934

I should like to show you today how the diagram which we were discussing last time came into being and how it functions from a practical point of view.

This diagram is no speculative invention, it grew out of my practical experience and in fact became a necessary groundwork, in the sifting and ordering of the immense and prodigiously complex empirical material.

I came to realise how unbelievably different people are, though outwardly they appear to be one great herd.

Every patient who comes to me has a different psychology and is a new experience, for people are fundamentally different; if we think otherwise we are judging superficially.

Naturally this diversity leads to an immense variety of conceptions and convictions.

This fact is particularly apparent in the history of psychological theories.

Today, if we want to explain a certain fact psychologically, we are confronted with a whole series of possibilities, each
one seen from a different point of view.

These diversities are the sign of the very living quality of a science, but they are also an additional difficulty in the task of explaining the empirical material.

This is one of the reasons why the problem of psychological types, for instance, is so difficult.

Words prove to be not only poor, but misleading.

Take for example the German word “Gefiihl” (feeling); it holds a whole labyrinth of meaning, everybody understands it
in a different way, even the classical authors have confused it with sensation.

When one considers the fact that you use a word and attach a certain meaning to it, yet it conjures up a wholly different picture in the mind of the person you are talking to, one realises the difficulties of reaching an understanding.

It is the recognition of these difficulties which urged me to make this attempt at an elucidation.

Let us see how the material we have been speaking of can be fitted into the diagram. (Diagram V, p. 59.)

Chart I (p. 64) The Clairvoyante of Prevorst.

When we set out to establish the boundaries of the Clairvoyante’s psychology, in order to localise her consciousness, we see that she stands very much on the Left side, for the outstanding fact is that she lived in the reality of inner objects; her consciousness therefore reaches its highest point in Left IV.

The question then arises: how does she stand with regard to Left V?

In what measure is her psychology influenced by something which is really beyond human reach?

The Sun Circle belongs to this sphere.

I should have to take you as far as Tibet in order to prove that such things actually exist.

It is very necessary to find parallels to a patient’s strange experiences, for as long as he can make himself understood he feels that he still stands in the world, and there is hope.

I therefore have to make every effort, when dealing with such cases, to keep the bridge of understanding

If I can, so to speak, nod to a strange experience as to an acquaintance, the patient is related to reality and feels reassured.

If I were to say: “No, that is unheard of, that thing does not exist anywhere except in your imagination”, the last bridge to human relationship would be broken down, the patient would be isolated in his experience and then the only open door would lead to insanity.

The Clairvoyante was able to describe the Sun Circle to her doctor, Kerner, who was really interested, and in this way she related her experience to the world.

She herself, however, did not stand in Left V, the symbol alone is there and it is not very expressive, it is fainter than her experiences in Left IV.

If we proceed to the Right side, we must recognise that the Clairvoyante was very much concerned with her body: she was always ill and absorbed in her own condition, everything had to revolve round her.

Her consciousness, however, stretched very little further into the world of reality, her relationship to people was singularly subjective, her relation to her child, for instance, was fitful and she saw Kerner in a very one-sided way.

From the nature of the curve on this chart we can draw definite conclusions, in the first place how the Clairvoyante stands in relation to the world.

Any one else with exactly the same chart would be forced to react in much the same way.

Her actual reality did not lie on this Right side, but in the spirit world.

The chart shows us further that, whereas she hardly had an interest in the outer world, the emphasis is on the Left side.

If this condition should continue to be stable, the curve would remain as I have marked it on the chart; but, as the Clairvoyante had so little relation to the outer world, should a change set in, we can expect her sphere of consciousness to move still further to the Left; so I have drawn the arrow pointing in that direction.

The long straight line beginning at the end of Left I and running over the whole of Left II and Left III, denotes a break in the continuity of consciousness.

The Clairvoyante was only aware of these sections in a state of somnambulism; and the line does not rise again till Left IV.

Chart II (p. 64) Helene Smith.

This is a totally different case.

Helene’s figure Leopold is very subjectively coloured.

There is a psychological element behind this figure, the animus, which is closely connected with Flournoy; we may, therefore, conclude that Helene was genuinely interested in her doctor.

We can then expect to find a marked emphasis on the Right side, so this case cannot be interpreted
from the Left.

We know that Helene was well adapted to life and efficient in her work.

She was very successful in managing to interest an American, who presented her with enough dollars to provide herself with a comfortable old age; so we may conclude that she was quite clever on the worldly side.

Her spirits on the Left side were very different from those which filled the Clairvoyante’s world,
they were extremely subjective in character.

She relatively objectified her complexes, but they are explained from the Right side.

She produced no mandalas and there were no manifestations in Left IV.

Whereas the Clairvoyante gives us an objective picture of the Left side, Helene’s information is only relatively valid, she really speaks of the Right side under the guise of the Left.

She liked her spirits, they brought her fame, but they remained very subjective.

She would have been greatly disturbed had they become too objective and self-willed.

In Helene’s case the eclipse of consciousness begins immediately behind the ego and covers most of Left I and Left II; had she experienced more of Left I she would have been more self-critical.

Should her condition cease to be static, her sphere of consciousness would move towards the Right side because her chief relation is to the world, so I have drawn the arrow pointing in that direction.

This movement is checked however, by the constellation of the contents of the unconscious.

Chart III (p. 64)

Sigmund Freud.

We will take this world-wide celebrity as a further example.

His summit is reached in the sphere of objective ideas.

His idea in itself is the only salvation, he does not allow other people’s ideas to exist, and he thus cuts himself off from the rest of humanity.

He no longer handles the idea, it handles him, thus he reaches enthusiasm in Right V.

Freud is the psychologist of the complexes, so his curve is high in Left II.

If it were higher one would have to call him neurotic, but this would not be justified.

We can only say that he is very much concerned with complexes and is keenly aware of the negative side of the unconscious.

The shadow is Freud’s disclosure, his fullest consciousness on the Left is in I and he revealed his discoveries in this sphere to an astonished and shocked Europe!

Freud found out that neurotics must be regarded as individuals.

He also realised that as an explorer he had to be able to be subjective, for you can only induce the patient to declare his standpoint when you can tell him what you yourself think of him.

This is a chart where the curve of consciousness is unbroken, it is continuous on the Right side and runs through the centre, but the light ends in Left II.

Therefore everything on the Left is explained by the Right and every fact on the Left side beyond the sphere of the complexes, that is from Left III to Left V, is handled negatively.

Owing to the sphere of consciousness from which he views it, he must be unable to understand religious experience; so when a patient brings him a vision, or he reads of mystics and artists, it is inevitable that he should explain them as complexes. Left IV and Left V do not exist for him, so God is only a complex.

Chart IV (p. 64) Rockefeller.

Here we have a very much simplified curve, consciousness is extremely narrow.

Rockefeller was really just a mountain of gold, and it had been dearly bought.

I stayed with him once in America and was able to study his psychology at close range, which was an interesting experience.

He was almost exclusively preoccupied with his bodily health, thinking of different medicines, new diets and possible new doctors!

He suffered from an extremely bad conscience, so he was conscious of Left I, where the shadow lurks, giving rise to self-criticism.

His secretary had to keep him provided with coins which he distributed among the children he met on his daily walks; he did this to get their thanks, for he was appallingly lonely, and needed such devices in order to reach some kind of human contact.

Rockefeller’s outlook ends in the subjective sphere, his consciousness reaches no further than I and II on either side.

The following conversation will serve to illustrate his subjective thinking; I was an attentive listener in spite of
his slow speech and long artistic pauses.

R – So you are a European, – I like Europeans, but there are some bad people among them.

Dr. J – Yes, people are much the same as elsewhere, good and bad.

R – The Austrians are very bad people.

Dr. J – No, really, I never knew that.

R – You don’t know everything, doctor, but I expect you realise that I am an idealist.

For many years I have been striving to do something for humanity, to establish a standard price for petrol
throughout the world.

Every country agreed except Austria, whose government had just signed a separate agreement with Rumania – the Austrians must be very bad people. ~Carl Jung, Lecture XV, 16Feb1934, Pages 63-67.