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Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche CW 8

The conflict between ethics and sex today is not just a collision between instinctuality and morality, but a struggle to give an instinct its rightful place in our lives, and to recognize in this instinct a power which seeks expression and evidently may not be trifled with, and therefore cannot be made to fit in with our well-meaning moral laws.

Sexuality is not mere instinctuality; it is an indisputably creative power that is not only the basic cause of our individual lives, but a very serious factor in our psychic life as well.

Today we know only too well the grave consequences that sexual disturbances can bring in their train.

We could call sexuality the spokesman of the instincts, which is why from the spiritual standpoint sex is the chief antagonist, not because sexual indulgence is in itself more immoral than excessive eating and drinking, avarice, tyranny, and other extravagances, but because the spirit senses in sexuality a counterpart equal and indeed akin to itself.

For just as the spirit would press sexuality, like every other instinct, into its service, so sexuality has an ancient claim upon the spirit, which it once—in procreation, pregnancy, birth, and childhood—contained within itself, and whose passion the spirit can never dispense with in its creations.

Where would the spirit be if it had no peer among the instincts to oppose it?

It would be nothing but an empty form.

A reasonable regard for the other instincts has become for us a self-evident necessity, but with sex it is different.

For us sex is still problematical, which means that on this point we have not reached a degree of consciousness that would enable us to do full justice to the instinct without appreciable moral injury.

Freud is not only a scientific investigator of sexuality, but also its champion; therefore, having regard to the great importance of the sexual problem, I recognize the moral justification of his concept of sexuality even though I cannot accept it scientifically. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 107