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Thinking from The Red Book – Anthology
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Red Book

My spirit is a spirit of torment, it tears asunder my contemplation, it would dismantle everything and rip it apart. I am still a victim of my thinking. When can I order my thinking to be quiet, so that my thoughts, those unruly hounds, will crawl to my feet? How can I ever hope to hear your voice louder, to see your face clearer, when all my thoughts howl?

Forethinking also comes before thought.

The way of life writhes like the serpent from right to left and from left to right, from thinking to pleasure and from pleasure to thinking. Thus the serpent is an adversary and a symbol of enmity, but also a wise bridge that connects right and left through longing, much needed by our life.

When commenting on this in the 1925 seminar, Jung noted that there were many accounts in mythology of the relation between a hero and a serpent, so the presence of the serpent indicated that “it will again be a hero myth” (p. 89). He showed a diagram of a cross with Rational/Thinking (Elijall) at the top, Feeling (Salome) at the bottom, Irrational / Intuition (Superior) at the left, and Sensation / Inferior (Serpent) at the right (p. 90). He interpreted the black serpent as the introverting libido: “The serpent leads the psychological movement apparently astray into the kingdom of shadows, dead and wrong images, but also into earth, into concretization …
Inasmuch as the serpent leads into the shadows, it has the function of the anima; it leads you into the depths, it connects the Above and Below … the serpent is also the symbol of wisdom” (Analytical Psychology, pp. 94-95).

He who prefers to feel than to think leaves his thinking in darkness, where it spins its nets in gloomy places, desolate webs in which mosquitos and gnats become enmeshed. The thinker feels the disgust of feeling, since :the feeling in him is mainly disgusting. The one who feels thinks the disgust of thinking, since the thinking in him is mainly disgusting. So the serpent lies between the thinker and the one who feels. They are each other’s poison and healing.

May the thinking person accept his pleasure, and the feeling person accept his own thought. Such leads one along the way.

In 1913, Jung presented his paper, “On the question of psychological types,” in which he noted that the libido or psychic energy in an individual was characteristically directed toward the object (extraversion) or toward the subject (introversion); CW 6. Commencing in the summer of 1915 he had extensive correspondence with Hans Schmid on this question, in which he now characterized the introverts as being dominated by the function of thinking, and the extraverts as being dominated by the function of feeling. He also characterized the extraverts as being dominated by the pleasure-pain mechanism, seeking out the love of the object, and unconsciously seeking tyrannical power. Introverts unconsciously sought inferior pleasure, and had to see that the object was also a symbol of their pleasure.

On August 7, 1915, he wrote to Schmid: “The opposites should be evened out in the individual himself’ (The}ung-Schmid Correspondence, eds. John Beebe and Ernst Falzeder, tr. Ernst Falzeder with Tony Woolfson [Philemon Series, forthcoming)). This linkage between thinking and introversion and feeling and extraversion was maintained in his discussion of this subject in 1917 in The Psychology of the Unconscious Processes. In psychological Types (1921), this model had expanded to encompass two main attitude types of introverts and extraverts further subdivided by the predominance of one of the four psychological functions of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition.

Just as my thinking is the son of fore thinking, so is my pleasure the daughter of love, of the innocent and conceiving mother of God.

“I recognized the father because I was a thinker, and thus I did not know the mother, but saw love in the guise of pleasure and called it pleasure,
and therefore this was Salome to me. Now I learn that Mary is the mother, the innocent and love-receiving, and not pleasure, who bears the seed of evil in her heated and seductive nature. / If Salome, evil pleasure, is my sister, then I must be a thinking saint, and my intellect has met with a sad fate. I must sacrifice my intellect and confess to you that what I told you about pleasure, namely that it is the principle opposed to forethought, is incomplete and prejudiced. I observed as a thinker from the vantage point of my thinking, otherwise I could have recognized that Salome, as Elijah’s daughter, is an offspring of thought and not the principle itself which Mary, the innocent Virgin Mother, now appears as”

If you go to thinking, take your heart with you. If you go to love, take your head with you. Love is empty without thinking, thinking hollow without love.

Some have their reason in thinking, others in feeling. Both are servants of Logos, and in secret become worshipers of the serpent.

In psychological Types (1921), Jung considered thinking and feeling to be the rational functions (CW 6, §731).

When thinking leads to the unthinkable, it is time to return to simple life. What thinking cannot solve, life solves, and what action never decides is reserved for thinking.

On the right is my thinking, on the left is my feeling. I enter the space of my feeling which was previously unknown to me, and see with astonishment the difference between my two rooms.

In the Draft a passage occurs here, a paraphrase of which follows: Since I was a thinker, my feeling was the lowest, oldest, and least developed. When I was brought up against the unthinkable through my thinking and what was unreachable through my thought power, then I could only press forward in a forced way But I overloaded on one side, and the other side sank deeper. Overloading is not growth, which is what we need (p. 376). ~Red Book Footnote.

On February 23, I920, Jung noted in Black Book: “What occurs between the lover and the beloved is the entire fullness of the Godhead. Both are unfathomable riddles to each other. For who understands the Godhead? / But the God is born in solitude, from the secret / mystery of the individual. / The separation between life and love is the contradiction between solitude and togetherness” (p. 88). The next entry in Black Book 7 is on September 5, 1921. On March 4, I920, Jung went to North Africa with his friend Hermann Sigg, returning on April I7.

It is difficult to force this image to make a statement. Yet it is so allegorical that it ought to speak. It differs from the earlier experiences in that it is more witnessed than experienced. For that matter, all the images that I have placed under the title “Mystery play” are rather more allegorical than actual experiences. They are certainly not intended allegories; they have not been consciously contrived to depict experience in either veiled or even fantastic
terms. Rather, they appeared as visions. It was not until I reworked them later that I realized more and more that they could in no way be compared with the experiences portrayed in the other chapters. These images apparently are portrayals of personified unconscious thoughts. That follows from their imagistic manner. They also called for more reflection and interpretation than the other experiences, to which I could not do justice with cogitation, because they were quite simply experiences. The images of the “Mystery play,” on the other hand, personify principles accessible to thinking and intellectual understanding, and their allegorical manner accordingly also invites such an attempt at explanation.

Inscription on top: Armor triumphat.” Inscription at bottom: “This image was completed on 9 January I92I, after it had waited incomplete for 9 months. It expresses I know not what kind of grief, a fourfold sacrifice. I could almost choose not to finish it. It is the inexorable wheel of the four functions, the essence of all living beings imbued with sacrifice.” The functions are those of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition, which Jung wrote about in psychological Types (192I).

Not your thinking, but your essence, is differentiation.

These images apparently are portrayals of personified unconscious thoughts. That follows from their imagistic manner. They also called for more reflection and interpretation than the other experiences, to which I could not do justice with cogitation, because they were quite simply experiences. The images of the “Mystery play,” on the other hand, personify principles accessible to thinking and intellectual understanding, and their allegorical manner accordingly also invites such an attempt at explanation.

Notwithstanding all free thinking, our attitude to Eros, for instance, remains the old Christian view.

In Transformations and Symbols of the Libido, Jung differentiated two kinds of thinking. Taking his cue from William James, among others, Jung contrasted directed thinking and fantasy thinking. The former was verbal and logical, while the latter was passive, associative, and imagistic. The former was exemplified by science
and the latter by mythology. Jung claimed that the ancients lacked a capacity for directed thinking, which was a modern acquisition.

Jung came to realize that Transformations and Symbols of the Libido “could be taken as myself and that an analysis of it leads inevitably into an analysis of my own unconscious processes.” He had projected his material onto that of Miss Frank Miller, whom he had never met. Up to this point, Jung had been an active thinker and had been averse to fantasy: “as a form of thinking I held it to be altogether impure, a sort of incestuous intercourse, thoroughly immoral from an intellectual viewpoint.” He now turned to analyze his fantasies, carefully noting everything, and had to overcome considerable resistance in doing this: “Permitting fantasy in myself had the same effect as would be produced on a man if he came into his workshop and found all the tools flying about doing things independently of his will. “In studying his fantasies, Jung realized that he was studying the myth-creating function of the mind.

To Margaret Ostrowski-Sachs, Jung said “The technique of active imagination can prove very important in difficult situations-where there is a visitation, say. It only makes sense when one has the feeling of being up against a blank wall. I experienced this when I separated from Freud. I did not know what I thought. I only felt, ‘It is not so.’ Then I conceived of ‘symbolic thinking’ and after two years of active imagination so many ideas rushed in on me that I could hardly defend myself The same thoughts recurred. I appealed to my hands and began to carve wood-and then my way became clear”

Jung wrote that it was a difficult task to differentiate the personal and collective psyche. One of the factors one came up against was the persona-one’s “mask” or “role.” This represented the segment of the collective psyche that one mistakenly regarded as individual. When one analyzed this, the personality dissolved into the collective psyche, which resulted in the release of a stream of fantasies: unlocks the treasures of mythological thinking and feeling are unlocked.”

In The Psychology of the Unconscious Processes, Jung developed his conception of the psychological types. He noted that it was a common development that the psychological characteristics of the types were pushed to extremes by what he termed the law of enantiodromia, or the reversal into the opposite, the other function entered in, namely; feeling for the introvert, and thinking for the extravert.

These secondary functions were found in the unconscious. The development of the contrary function led to individuation. As the contrary function was not acceptable to consciousness, a special technique was required to come to terms with it, namely the production of the transcendent function. The unconscious was a danger when one was not at one with it. But with the establishment of the transcendent function, the disharmony ceased. This rebalancing gave access to the productive and beneficent aspects of the unconscious Red Book; Introduction.

Active imagination would thus be one form of inner dialogue, a type of dramatized thinking. It was critical to disidentify from the thoughts that arose, and to overcome the assumption that one had produced them oneself.