Carl Jung: The spirit can be anything, but the earth can only be something deﬁnite
Dr. Jung: Yes, he [Nietzsche] is talking here of super-terrestrial hopes, and that is of course an attempt to divert attention from the real individual life to spiritual possibilities beyond.
The spirit consists of possibilities-one could say the world of possibilities was the world of the spirit. The spirit can be anything, but the earth can only be something deﬁnite.
So remaining true to the earth would mean maintaining your conscious relationship to the body.
Don’t run away and make yourself unconscious of bodily facts, for they keep you in real life and help you not to lose your way in the world of mere possibilities where you are simply blindfolded.
This is of course a somewhat one-sided teaching, and to a person who is nothing but the body, it is all wrong. You must not forget that by far the majority of people are nothing but body.
This teaching, therefore, is only valid for those who have lost it, who have been deceived by the spirit-like Klages, for instance, who deﬁned the spirit as the enemy of the soul, the soul being the life of the body, because he assumed that most people had lost the reality of the body as he had lost it.”
But as a matter of fact there are plenty of people who are entirely in the body, and to those one ought to preach early Christianity, or heathen gods at least, because they haven’t an idea of a spiritual possibility.
You know, a truth is never generally a truth. It is only a truth when it works, and when it doesn’t work it is a lie, it is not valid.
Philosophy and religion are just like psychology in that you never can state a deﬁnite principle: it is quite impossible, for a thing which is true for one stage of development is quite untrue for another.
So it is always a question of development, of time; the best truth for a certain stage is perhaps poison for an- other.
In such matters nature shows that it is thoroughly aristocratic and esoteric.
It is nothing that our liberal minds would hope or wish it to be: that one thing is true and the same everywhere, and such nonsense.
There is an extreme uncertainty about truth; we are confronted with the utter impossibility of creating any- thing which is generally true.
I often think, when I am analyzing, that if another patient should hear what I was saying to this one, he would jump right out of his skin: he could not stand it.
I talk stuﬀ that is complete blasphemy to the other, and they often come just after one another. So I have to turn right round and talk black instead of white.
But it is absolutely necessary.
I learned long ago that there are steps, stages of evolution, a sort of ladder. There are diﬀerent capacities and one has to teach accordingly.
If you teach generally you must be mighty careful to put things in such a way that they are either not under- stood, of if they are, that the understanding tumbles over on the right instead of the wrong side.
But even that does not always help.
Therefore, it is not a grateful metier to teach philosophy or religion or psychology. Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 66-67