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Carl Jung on “Fish” – Anthology

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Indeed I have often thought: if only I could have opened my own father’s eyes! But he died before I had caught the fish whose liver contains the wonderworking medicine. Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 193-194.

“If as seems probable, the aeon of the fishes is ruled by the archetypal motif of the ‘hostile brothers,’ then the approach of the next Platonic month, namely Aquarius, will constellate the problem of the union of opposites. It will then no longer be possible to write off evil as a mere privatio boni; its real existence will have to be recognized”). ~Liber Novus, Page 316, Footnote 275

He [Jung] notes that around 7 BC there was a conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter, representing a union of extreme opposites, which would place the birth of Christ under Pisces. Pisces (Latin for “fishes”) is known as the sign of the fish and is often represented by two fish swimming in opposite directions. ~Liber Novus, Page 316, Footnote 273.

It was not I who invented all the fish symbols there are in Christianity: the fisher of men, the pisciculi christianorum. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 410-423

In our era the fish is the content; with the Water-pourer, he becomes the container. It’s a very strange symbol. I don’t dare interpret it. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 410-423

This was the spread of knowledge laterally as well as vertically (that is spiritually), and he [Jung] said he had mentioned this in Aion, and that Pisces – he pronounced it with a hard ‘c’, Piskes – was like this: the sign was a perpendicular and a horizontal fish, they went in opposite directions. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 302

When my soul fell into the hands of evil, it was defenseless except for the weak fishing rod which it could use, again with its power, to pull the fish from the sea of emptiness. ~Carl Jung, Liber Novus, Page 289.

As I see it, the psyche is a world in which the ego is contained. Maybe there are fishes who believe that they contain the sea. We must rid ourselves of this habitual illusion of ours if we wish to consider metaphysical assertions from the standpoint of psychology. ~Carl Jung, CW 13Para 51.

I am an orphan, alone; nevertheless I am found everywhere. I am one, but opposed to myself. I am youth and old man at one and the same time. I have known neither father nor mother, because I have had to be fetched out of the deep like a fish, or fell like a white stone from heaven. In woods and mountains I roam, but I am hidden in the innermost soul of man. I am mortal for everyone, yet I am not touched by the cycle of eons. ~Carl Jung, Quoting an Alchemical Text, MDR 227.

Fishing is an intuitive attempt to “catch” unconscious contents (fishes). ~Carl Jung, Aion, Para 137.

As “contemporary” symbols of the opposites, the fishes have a tendency to devour each other if only they are left alone. In the end you have no alternative but to take the conflicts on yourself by ceasing to identify now with one side and now with the other. You become what happens in the middle. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 291.

…the line of the ecliptic, at present traversing the second fish of the sign of Pisces, the fish of the Anti-Christ, does not pass through its head but below. This would mean that, according to the stars, the sinister forces do not reach their maximum, do not quite “come to a head.” ~ Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters and Pages 171-179

Thus, the sickness of dissociation in our world is at the same time a process of recovery, or rather, the climax of a period of pregnancy which heralds the throes of birth. A time of dissociation such as prevailed during the Roman Empire is simultaneously an age of rebirth. Not without reason do we date our era from the age of Augustus, for that epoch saw the birth of the symbolical figure of Christ, who was invoked by the early Christians as the Fish, the Ruler of the aeon of Pisces which had just begun. He became the ruling spirit of the next two thousand years. Like the teacher of wisdom in Babylonian legend, Cannes, he rose up from the sea, from the primeval darkness, and brought a world-period to an end. It is true that he said, “I am come not to bring peace but a sword.” But that which brings division ultimately creates union. Therefore his teaching was one of all-uniting love. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 293

Oh Izdubar, most powerful one, what you call poison is science. In our country, we are nurtured on it from youth, and that may be one reason why we haven’t properly flourished and remain so dwarfish. When I see you, however, it seems to me as if we are all somewhat poisoned.” ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 278.

At your low point you are no longer distinct from your fellow beings. You are not ashamed and do not regret it, since insofar as you live the life of your fellow beings and descend to their lowliness you also climb into the holy stream of common life, where you are no longer an individual on a high mountain, but a fish among fish, a frog among frogs. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 266.

This being so, it is imperative that we should not pare down the meaning of the dream to fit some narrow doctrine. We must remember that there are not a few patients who imitate the technical or theoretical jargon of the doctor, and do this even in their dreams, in accordance with the old tag, Canis panem somniat, piscator pisces. This is not to say that the fishes of which the fisherman dreams are fishes and nothing more. There is no language that cannot be misused. As may easily be imagined, the misuse often turns the tables on us; it even seems as if the unconscious had a way of strangling the doctor in the coils of his own theory. Therefore I leave theory aside as much as possible when analysing dreams-not entirely, of course, for we always need some theory to make things intelligible. It is on the basis of theory, for instance, that I expect dreams to have a meaning. I cannot prove in every case that this is so, for there are dreams which the doctor and the patient simply do not understand. But I have to make such an hypothesis in order to find courage to deal with dreams at all. To say that dreams add something important to our conscious knowledge, and that a dream which fails to do so has not been properly interpreted -that, too, is a theory. But I must make this hypothesis as well in order to explain to myself why I analyse dreams in the first place. All other hypotheses, however, about the function and the structure of dreams are merely rules of thumb and must be subjected to constant modification. In dream-analysis we must never forget, even for a moment, that we move on treacherous ground where nothing is certain but uncertainty. If it were not so paradoxical. one would almost like to call out to the dream interpreter: “Do anything you like, only don’t try to understand!” ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 318