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To the primitive, life is far more voluminous than to us
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1925 Seminar

This freeing of the unconscious of elements that really belong to the conscious is greatly aided by all the old mystery practices.

All who go through the initiation ceremonies in the right spirit find a magic quality in them, which is simply due to the effect they have had upon the unconscious.

One can develop astonishing insights through the release that comes to the unconscious in this way.

One can even come to clairvoyance; but when such a gift as the latter is developed, it makes the person permeable to all sorts of atmospheric conditions that may result in his misery.

When life becomes unbearably impoverished, people reach out for such extensions of powers, only to curse fate often when they have achieved them; but when one has fire, one welcomes the insight.

Those of you who heard Dr. Radin’s last lecture remember the zigzag road that was encountered after the fourth lodge in the Medicine Dance had been passed.

At the end of the fourth lodge the initiate has been given high honors and has won great increase of powers, and now the road becomes full of appalling obstacles.

So when you relieve the unconscious of non-realized contents, you release it for its own special functioning, and it will go ahead like an animal.

You will have the zigzag road with all the fears of the primitive to be met on it, but also you will have all the wealth of his experience.

For it is a fact that, to the primitive, life is far more voluminous than to us, because there is not only the thing but also its meaning.

We look at an animal and say it is such and such a species, but if we knew that animal to be our ghost brother, it would be a different situation for us.

Or, we sit in the woods and a beetle drops down on someone’s head.

“What a nuisance,” is all the comment it elicits, but to the primitive there is meaning in that event.

Sometimes I have met this primitive reaction in my patients—an extraordinary sense of the meaningfulness of apparently trivial things in nature.

After all, an animal is not just a thing with fur on it; it is a complete being.

You may say a coyote is nothing but a coyote, but then along comes one that is Dr. Coyote, a super-animal who has mana and spiritual powers.

So says the primitive. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 115.


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