Civilization in Transition CW 10

A neurosis is by no means merely a negative thing, it is also something positive.

Only a soulless rationalism reinforced by a narrow materialistic outlook could possibly have overlooked this fact.

In reality the neurosis contains the patient’s psyche, or at least an essential part of it; and if, as the rationalist pretends, the neurosis could be plucked from him like a bad tooth, he would have gained nothing but would have lost something very essential to him.

That is to say, he would have lost as much as the thinker deprived of his doubt, or the moralist deprived of his temptation, or the brave man deprived of his fear.

To lose a neurosis is to find oneself without an object; life loses its point and hence its meaning.

This would not be a cure, it would be a regular amputation; and it would be cold comfort indeed if the psychoanalyst then assured the patient that he had lost nothing but his infantile paradise with its wishful chimeras, most of them perverse.

Very much more would have been lost, for hidden in the neurosis is a bit of still undeveloped personality, a precious fragment of the psyche lacking which a man is condemned to resignation, bitterness, and everything else that is hostile to life.

A psychology of neurosis that sees only the negative elements empties out the baby with the bath-water, since it neglects the positive meaning and value of these “infantile”—i.e., creative—fantasies.

So often its main endeavour seems to lie in trying to explain everything backwards and downwards, and there is of course nothing that is not capable of some obscene caricature.

But this will never prove that the symbol or symptom so explained really has that meaning; it merely demonstrates the adolescent smutty-mindedness of the explainer. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 355