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Carl Jung on Joy – Anthology

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True joy is simple it comes and exists from itself and is not to be sought here and there. At the risk of encountering black night, you must devote yourself to me and seek no joy. Joy can never ever be prepared but exists of its own accord or exists not at all. All you must do is fulfill your task nothing else. Joy comes from fulfillment, but not from longing. ~Philemon to Carl Jung; The Red Book; Page 341

Joy at the smallest things comes to you only when you have accepted death. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 275.

One needs death to be able to harvest the fruit. Without death, life would be meaningless, since the long-lasting rises again and denies its own meaning. To be, and to enjoy your being, you need death, and limitation enables you to fulfill your being. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 275.

To live oneself means to be one’s own task. Never say that it is a pleasure to live oneself It will be no joy but a long suffering, since you must become your own creator. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 249.

Joy comes from fulfillment, but not from longing. ~Philemon to Carl Jung; The Red Book, Page 341.

The spirit of the depths has subjugated all pride and arrogance to the power of judgment. He took away my belief in science, he robbed me of the joy of explaining and ordering things, and he let devotion to the ideals of this time die out in me. He forced me down to the last and simplest things. ~Carl Jung, The Red Book, Page 229

A life of ease and security has convinced everyone of all the material joys and has even compelled the spirit to devise new and better ways to material welfare, but it has never produced spirit. Probably only suffering, disillusion, and self-denial do that. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Para 1346.

Childlike faith, when it comes naturally, is certainly a charisma. But when “joyful faith” and “childlike trust” are instilled by religious education, they are no charisma but a gift of the ambiguous gods, because they can be manipulated only too easily and with greater effect by other “saviours” as well. ~Carl Jung, CW 18

The primordial image, or archetype, is a figure–be it a daemon, a human being, or a process–that constantly recurs in the course of history and appears wherever creative fantasy is freely expressed. Essentially, therefore, it is a mythological figure. In each of these images there is a little piece of human psychology and human fate, a remnant of the joys and sorrows that have been repeated countless times in our ancestral history. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Page 127.

Inspired by Justinus Kerner’s Kleksographien, I made a whole collection of inkblots back in my high school days, because these irrational configurations stimulated my fantasy activity so delightfully that they often afforded me day-long enjoyment. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 323.

I think we must give it time to infiltrate into people from many centers, to revivify among intellectuals a feeling for symbol and myth, ever so gently to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 17-19.

It is common for very infantile people to have a mystical, religious feeling, they enjoy this atmosphere in which they can admire their beautiful feelings, but they are simply indulging their auto-eroticism. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 11Jan1935, Pages 171.

Owing to rather obvious reasons Protestant theologians are rather reticent and they don’t know yet whether I should be condemned as a heretic or depreciated as a mystic. As you know, mysticism and hereticism enjoy about the same bad reputation in Protestantism. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 382.

I have appeared in the world, if that is good for me. My name enjoys an existence quasi-independent of myself. My real self is actually chopping wood in Bollingen and cooking the meals, trying to forget the trial of an eightieth birthday. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 270

If we can successfully develop that function which I have called transcendent, the disharmony ceases and we can then enjoy the favorable side of the unconscious. The unconscious then gives us all the encouragement and help that a bountiful nature can shower upon a man. ~Carl Jung, CW 14, Para 502.

It illuminates the evening of my days and fills me with joyful serenity that I was granted the favour of putting my best abilities at the service of a great cause. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 104.

Writing it [Philosophical Tree] was an enjoyable substitute for the fact that so few of my contemporaries can understand what is meant by the psychology of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 104

Yet I must tell you how delighted I was by your [Henry Corbin] work. It was an extraordinary joy to me, and not only the rarest of experiences but even a unique experience, to be fully understood. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 115-116.

The spectacle of eternal Nature gives me a painful sense of my weakness and perishability, and I find no joy in imagining an equanimity in conspectu mortis. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 119.

My thoughts about “this world” were not-and are not-enjoyable. The drive of the unconscious towards mass murder on a global scale is not exactly a cheering prospect. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 229-230

Even the Redeemer on the Cross uttered no joyful cry despite his having been credited with completely overcoming the world and himself. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 235-238.

I cannot regret that a false rumour has led you to write your long and painstaking letter, for it has brought back many old memories of that seminal time and also of our enjoyable collaboration. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 355-357.

I must call your attention to the fact that I cannot possibly tell you what a man who has enjoyed complete self-realization looks like, and what becomes of him. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 474-475

Who must God have made love to in order to have given birth to all this sound, to this sacred spectrum of colors, scents, and music from wind’s body and existence’s plea for mercy – that plea for the real mercy, unbearable joy? P.97. ~Carl Jung, Selected Writings, Page 97

The joyous Christian tells us how things ought to be, but he is careful not to touch things as they are. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 556-558

The ideally oriented introverted person is faced with the fact that he scares away from himself precisely the human love and joy that he is really trying to find behind all his desire to impress and to be superior, and that he keeps and chains to himself only those inferior persons who know best how to cater to his desire. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Schmid Correspondence, Pages 55-62.

He thinks the sensation type spends his life with corpses, but once he has taken up this inferior function in himself, he begins to enjoy the object as it really is and for its own sake instead of seeing it through an atmosphere of his projections. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 90

I do not particularly enjoy a discussion in which everybody agrees with me—there is no obstacle to overcome, no tension, no productive flow. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 244-251

There might be a reason for such a sudden death in youth. Anyhow he did not know that he died. He vanished at the moment of joy. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Page 45

I have the need to tell you once again of the special joy I felt yesterday evening when I saw how close we are in spirit to one another in our different ways. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 33-34

Owing to rather obvious reasons Protestant theologians are rather reticent and they don’t know yet whether I should be condemned as a heretic or depreciated as a mystic. As you know, mysticism and hereticism enjoy about the same bad reputation in Protestantism. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 382.

The Church has the doctrine of the devil, of an evil principle, whom we like to imagine complete with cloven hoofs, horns, and tail, half man, half beast, a chthonic deity apparently escaped from the rout of Dionysus, the sole surviving champion of the sinful joys of paganism. An excellent picture, and one which exactly describes the grotesque and sinister side of the unconscious; for we have never really come to grips with it and consequently it has remained in its original savage state. Probably no one today would still be rash enough to assert that the European is a lamblike creature and not possessed by a devil. The frightful records of our age are plain for all to see, and they surpass in hideousness everything that any previous age, with its feeble instruments, could have hoped to accomplish. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 388

Life demands for its completion and fulfilment a balance between joy and sorrow. But because suffering is positively disagreeable, people naturally prefer not to ponder how much fear and sorrow fall to the lot of man.

So they speak soothingly about progress and the greatest possible happiness, forgetting that happiness is itself poisoned if the measure of suffering has not been fulfilled. ~Carl Jung, CW 16, Para 185

The rapid development of the towns, with the specialization of work brought about by the extraordinary division of labour, the increasing industrialization of the countryside, and the growing sense of insecurity, deprive men of many opportunities for giving vent to their affective energies. The peasant’s alternating rhythm of work secures him unconscious satisfactions through its symbolical content—satisfactions which the factory workers and office employees do not know and can never enjoy. What do these know of his life with nature, of those grand moments when, as lord and fructifier of the earth, he drives his plough through the soil, and with a kingly gesture scatters the seed for the future harvest; of his rightful fear of the destructive power of the elements, of his joy in the fruitfulness of his wife, who bears him the daughters and sons who mean increased working-power and prosperity? From all this we city-dwellers, we modern machine-minders, are far removed. Is not the fairest and most natural of all satisfactions beginning to fail us, when we can no longer regard with unmixed joy the harvest of our own sowing, the “blessing” of children? ~Carl Jung, CW 7, Para 428

Perhaps art has no “meaning,” at least not as we understand meaning. Perhaps it is like nature, which simply is and “means” nothing beyond that. Is “meaning” necessarily more than mere interpretation—an interpretation secreted into something by an intellect hungry for meaning? Art, it has been said, is beauty, and “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” It needs no meaning, for meaning has nothing to do with art. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 121

The genius, too, has to bear the brunt of an outsize psychic complex; if he can cope with it, he does so with joy, if he can’t, he must painfully perform the “symptomatic actions” which his gift lays upon him: he writes, paints, or composes what he suffers. ~Carl Jung, CW 1, Para 176

The truth is that we do not enjoy masterless freedom; we are continually threatened by psychic factors which, in the guise of “natural phenomena,” may take possession of us at any moment.

One must have a far-reaching psychological understanding in order to enjoy the I Ching with advantage. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 159-150