Visions : Notes of the seminar given in 1930-1934 (2 Volume Set) (Bollingen)
Mrs. Pierz: Is it not perhaps that in going down into the ghost land, this schizophrenic effect would be produced by the loss of value on the ego complex? That is to say, there is no longer an ego center, and according to the picture, it is the Self that steps into the center of the mandala. So the Self becomes the center of the whole system, and that is the protective effect.
Yes, it is as if the egocentricity-the ego as the center of the psychical system, that is-were too weak by itself to resist the dismembering or schizophrenic effect of the unconscious.
But when the Self steps into the center, it would be the equivalent of that dismembering power of the unconscious, it would be a Titan against Titans.
Of course, in formulating the thing like that, we are still moving in the field of mythological expression, we use symbols or mythological metaphors.
If you try to reduce it to psychological common sense, you might say that if you are in a situation which is quite impossible looked at from a collective point of view, where collectively you could not possibly see a way out, the Self would find the way.
But that is still mythological.
Or you can say there is an individual way which is not law abiding-in this particular case there is a particular hole through which you get out of the situation.
You can also say that there are certain situations into which anybody can get, but there is one individual path or individual hole into which you fit, you particularly, nobody else, and you naturally get into that.
I have often expressed this problem in another, somewhat grotesque way.
You see, one is always inclined to handle a psychological problem from the standpoint of the eleven thousand virgins-what would the eleven thousand virgins do?
That is like asking what all humanity can do.
They can do nothing at all.
Things will remain the same forever if a problem is looked at in that way; it is simply postponed or put onto other people.
That we think in terms of statistical numbers is the contemporary prejudice, our particular insanity; we think how a certain individual problem could be solved as a sort of mass production, as if it were manufactured in a factory.
We have so many virgins too many, and now what are we going to do about them?
Or what shall they do?
Nobody can say.
Yet we want to erect a factory in which the solution is manufactured as a standard model and handed out to a million virgins, which is of course absolutely wrong.
The problem is always this particular girl in the particular situation in which she finds herself, with such and such qualities, such and such conditions in general and in particular, and she will do such and such a thing which will eventually settle her and in the end she will be buried.
Then that case is settled.
And what takes place on the way is her own business, it has nothing to do with the ten thousand nine hundred ninety-nine other virgins.
Not as a standard article, or by a general description, but by the individuality of the case is the problem answered.
All the talk of a general solution, a sociological solution, for instance, is bunk; nobody will do anything about it, nobody can do anything about it, it will always be the same.
We can only ask ourselves what can be done when this particular girl gets into trouble, or out of trouble-for some suffer because there is too little trouble and others suffer because there is too much of it.
This is the only way to deal with the problem, it is quite certain that there is no general solution. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Pages 1287-1288