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The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not?

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Memories Dreams Reflections A Biography by Aniela Jaffe

The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life.

Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interest upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance.

Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty.

The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life.

He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy.

If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.

In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.

In our relationships to other men, too, the crucial question is whether an element of boundlessness is expressed in the relationship.

The feeling for the infinite, however, can be attained only if we are bounded to the utmost.

The greatest limitation for man is the “self”; it is manifested in the experience: “I am only that!”

Only consciousness of our narrow confinement in the self forms the link to the limitlessness of the unconscious. In such awareness we experience ourselves concurrently as limited and eternal, as both the one and the other.

In knowing ourselves to be unique in our personal combination that is, ultimately limited we possess also the capacity for becoming conscious of the infinite.

But only then! ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams Reflections, Page 325