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The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease (The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 3 / Bollingen Series, No. 20)

Carl Jung: What, then, is a latent psychosis exactly?

In my experience of almost forty years I have seen quite a number of cases who developed either a psychotic interval or a lasting psychosis out of a neurotic condition.

Let us assume for the moment that they were really suffering from a latent psychosis, concealed under the cloak of a neurosis.

What, then, is a latent psychosis exactly?

It is obviously nothing but the possibility that an individual may become mentally deranged at some period of his life.

The existence of strange unconscious material proves nothing.

You find the same material in neurotics, modern artists, and poets, and also in fairly normal people who have submitted to a careful
investigation of their dreams.

Moreover, you find most suggestive parallels in the mythology and symbolism of all races and times. The possibility of a future psychosis has nothing to do with the peculiar contents of the unconscious.

But it has everything to do with whether the individual can stand a certain panic, or the chronic strain of a psyche at war with itself.

Very often it is simply a matter of a little bit too much, of the drop that falls into a vessel already full, or of the spark that accidentally lands on a heap of gunpowder. Carl Jung, CW 3, Para 520