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Carl Jung on Science

999 science

Why is psychology the youngest of the empirical sciences?

Why have we not long since discovered the unconscious  and raised up its treasure-house of eternal images?

Simply because we had a religious formula for everything psychic — and one that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than immediate experience.

Though the Christian view of the world has paled for many people, the symbolic treasure-rooms of the East are still full of marvels that can nourish for a long 􀢢me to come the passion for show and new clothes.

What is more, these images — are they Christian or Buddhist or what you will — are lovely, mysterious, and richly intuitive. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious p.7-8

This grasping of the whole is obviously the aim of science as well, but it is a goal that necessarily lies very far off because science, whenever possible, proceeds experimentally and in all cases statistically.

Experiment, however, consists in asking a definite question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant.

It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man.

She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as partible.

For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the ques􀢢on which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer.

The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded.

If we want to know what these workings are, we need a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leave Nature to answer out of her fullness. Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle p. 35

My interests drew me in different directions.

On the one hand I was powerfully attracted by science, with its truths based on facts; on the other hand I was fascinated by everything to do with comparative religion. […]

In science I missed the factor of meaning; and in religion, that of empiricism. Memories, Dreams, Reflections p. 72

All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes. This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form they are variants of archetypal ideas, created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality.

For it is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us. ”The Structure of the Psyche” (1927). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.342