Carl Jung answers Can I help the spirit of my dead father…

QUESTION 5: Can I help the spirit of my dead father by trying to live in accordance with the demands of the unconscious?

Dr. Jung: Yes, provided—one must always add—that the spirit of the dead father [remains a living idea].

I call this idea hygienic, because when I think that way everything is right in my psychic life and when I don’t think that way everything goes wrong, then somewhere things don’t click, at least in the biological sense.

It’s as if I ate something that rationally considered is harmless but it doesn’t agree with me—I get the stomach ache.

But if I eat something that rationally considered is not good, it does agree with me so why shouldn’t I eat it?

It is even advisable to do so.

For instance, for many people there is no harm in drinking a glass of red wine, while for others it is sheer poison and can have very bad consequences, but that doesn’t mean that because it has bad consequences sometimes, one shouldn’t drink wine.

Rationally one can argue that the enjoyment of alcohol is harmful, but it is not true in general, only in certain cases.

So it is much better that we do what agrees with us than what does not agree with us.

It agrees with human beings to have ideas about things they cannot know.

And if they have these ideas that suit them, they are better off psychologically.

They feel better, they sleep better, have a better appetite, and that’s the only criterion we have.

It means a tremendous lot to people if they can assume their lives have an indefinite continuity; they live more sensibly, they don’t need to hurry any more.

They have centuries to waste, so why this senseless rush?

But of course one always wants to know whether it is really so—as if anyone knew whether it is really so! We know nothing at all.

Think of the physicists, they are the closest to reality, and yet they speak of models, of fields of probability.

That’s it, we just don’t know.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE: But the fact that such a need exists—We have many needs!

Yes, but just this one seems to indicate that something in the psyche proves that this idea—

Yes, but now go and ask a rationalist, he will say, Quite, quite!

And if you feel the need for a large income, what then ?—This need exists too, or to own a fine car, but that doesn’t prove he’ll get it.

We have many needs, you see.

The existence of a need proves only that it should be satisfied, and from that we deduce that we ought to have just those ideas which correspond to this need.

But for this need to arise, there must be something in it, like the psyche’s striving towards a goal.

Yes, but that still doesn’t prove anything.

It’s like when you have a patient who says, I simply must have a fine car, or else. So you tell him,

Then get one, go to it, work!

That is his reality, but it proves nothing.

Similarly, when someone says, I want to be immortal, that doesn’t make him immortal.

He has that need, but you can find many people who don’t admit to any such need.

And when you come to think of it, how frightful it would be to have to sit on a cloud for ten thousand years playing a harp!

Now the idea of the spirit of the dead father is a transcendent idea, but it serves a purpose and I would call it “reasonable.”

It is reasonable to think that way.

So supposing this spirit has a subjective existence, a consciousness of its own, then there also exists an ethical relation to what it is or what it wants or what it needs.

And if I live in such a way that it helps this spirit, it is a moral achievement from which I can expect satisfaction.

But the question we are being asked is: if I live in accordance with the demands of the unconscious.

That is too general.

In such a case I would say: What corresponds to the urgent need of the father should be compensated, not simply the unconscious—that’s going too far.

For instance, something the father has left unfinished.

Or the father appears to his daughter and tells her in a dream or in reality that he has buried a treasure somewhere which didn’t belong to him, but was stolen property and she should give it back.

These are situations that occur in reality.

Or he tells her that he had a philosophy which actually made him unhappy and so the daughter must think differently.

Only these specific relationships are really satisfactory.

They must fit the real character of the father, then the corresponding reaction can be expected, in so far as these transcendent ideas are any use at all.

This may be a quite ruthless question, but the real criterion is: Do they serve a purpose? Are they an advantage?

For if they accomplish nothing, why should I have these ideas?

But if I feel they are a positive advantage, then why shouldn’t I have them?

They cannot decide the issue one way or another, any more than we are in a position to understand actual reality and establish what it is: there are only fields of probability.

There are average predictable phenomena and there are just as many that are unpredictable—were it otherwise there would be no statistics! ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 383-386.

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Carl Jung on the Second Half of Life.

Question 3. In what respect, if any, does the treatment of neurosis in the second half of life—that means after thirty—differ from that in the first half of life?

Dr. Jung: This is also a question which you could discuss for several hours.

It is quite impossible for me to go into details; I only can give you a few hints.

The first half of life, which I reckon lasts for the first 35 or 36 years, is the time when the individual usually expands into the world.

It is just like an exploding celestial body, and the fragments travel out into space, covering ever greater distances.

So our mental horizon widens out, and our wishes and expectation, our ambition, our will to conquer the world and live, go on expanding, until you come to the middle of life.

A man who after forty years has not reached that position in life which he had dreamed of is easily the prey of disappointment.

Hence the extraordinary frequency of depressions after the fortieth year.

It is the decisive moment; and when you study the productivity of great artists—for instance, Nietzsche—you find that at the beginning of the second half of life their modes of creativeness often change.

For instance, Nietzsche began to write Zarathustra, which is his outstanding work, quite different from everything he did before and after, when he was between 37 and 38.

That is the critical time. In the second part of life you begin to question yourself.

Or rather, you don’t; you avoid such questions, but something in yourself asks them, and you do not like to hear that voice asking “What is the goal?”

And next, “Where are you going now?”

When you are young you think, when you get to a certain position, “This is the thing I want.”

The goal seems to be quite visible.

People think, “I am going to marry, and then I shall get into such and such a position, and then I shall make a lot of money, and then I don’t know what.”

Suppose they have reached it; then comes another question: “And now what?

Are we really interested in going on like this forever, for ever doing the same thing, or are we looking for a goal as splendid or as fascinating as we had it before?”

Then the answer is: “Well, there is nothing ahead.

What is there ahead?

Death is ahead.”

That is disagreeable, you see; that is most disagreeable.

So it looks as if the second part of life has no goal whatever.

Now you know the answer to that.

From time immemorial man has had the answer: “Well, death is a goal; we are looking forward, we are working forward to a definite end.”

The religions, you see, the great religions, are systems for preparing the second half of life for the end, the goal, of the second part of life.

Once, through the help of friends, I sent a questionnaire to people who did not know that I was the originator of the questionnaire.

I had been asked the question, “Why do people prefer to go to the doctor instead of to the priest for confession?”

Now I doubted whether it was really true that people prefer a doctor, and I wanted to know what the general public was going to say.

By chance that questionnaire came into the hands of a Chinaman, and his answer was, “When I am young I go to the doctor, and when I am old I go to the philosopher.”

You see, that characterizes the difference: when you are young, you live expansively, you conquer the world; and when you grow old, you begin to reflect.

You naturally begin to think of what you have done.

There a moment comes, between 36 and 40—certain people take a bit longer—when perhaps, on an uninteresting Sunday morning, instead of going to church, you suddenly think, “Now what have I lived last year?” or something like that; and then it begins to dawn, and usually you catch your breath and don’t go on thinking because it is disagreeable.

Now, you see, there is a resistance against the widening out in the first part of life—that great sexual adventure.

When young people have resistance against risking their life, or against their social career, because it needs some concentration, some exertion, they are apt to get neurotic.

In the second part of life those people who funk the natural development of the mind—reflection, preparation for the end—they get neurotic too.

Those are the neuroses of the second part of life.

When you speak of a repression of sexuality in the second part of life, you often have a repression of this, and these people are just as neurotic as those who resist life during the first part.

As a matter of fact it is the same people: first they don’t want to get into life, they are afraid to risk their life, to risk their health, perhaps, or their life for the sake of life, and in the second part of life they have no time.

So, you see, when I speak of the goal which marks the end of the second half of life, you get an idea of how far the treatment in the first half of life, and in the second halfi of life, must needs be different.

You get a problem to deal with which has not been talked of before.

Therefore I strongly advocate schools for adult people.

You know, you were fabulously well prepared for life.

We have very decent schools, we have fine universities and that is all preparation for the expansion of life.

But where have you got the schools for adult people? for people who are 40, 45, about the second part of life?


That is taboo; you must not talk of it; it is not healthy.

And that is how they get into these nice climacteric neuroses and psychoses. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 106-108.
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Carl Jung: Have you ever met any people who have seen Ufos

QUESTION 8: Have you ever met any people who have seen Ufos, and were they prepared to interpret this experience purely psychologically and not insist on the physical reality of the Ufos?

Dr. Jung: I actually do know of four cases of people who have seen Ufos or said they did.

They are not in the least prepared to interpret the Ufos psychologically.

They are more inclined to ask me, Do you think this is psychological? because for them it was felt as thoroughly real.

There was, for instance, the case of a doctor in an American city who together with many other people observed a Ufo for three-quarters of an hour in the form of a small silvery sphere or disc which then suddenly vanished.

Knowing this man to be a regular camera fiend, I assumed he had taken a marvellous photo of this phenomenon.

But astonishingly enough he hadn’t, although he carried his camera with him, “as always.”

Another man was driving with his wife over the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, when she saw in the west about twenty Ufos flying in the Pacific.

She drew her husband’s attention to them and he saw them too.

The spheres or discs gleamed like silver in the sun.

Both sent me eyewitness reports and some time later I saw the man personally, whereupon he expressed his astonishment at my interest in such things.

But this, you see, is also a contribution to psychology. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 389-391

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Jung was invited to lecture at the prestigious Kulturbund, in Vienna, on February 22, 1928, and a day or two earlier he was interviewed—simultaneously, it appears—by several representatives of the Vienna press.

On February 21, different reports appeared in as many newspapers, and three of them are given here.

Though certain themes recur in each article, the reporters seized on different aspects of Jung’s comments and expressed them in different terms.

The reports are complementary, each supplying details the others lack, but it is doubtful whether any of them reproduced Jung’s actual words.

The Kulturbund was a cultural society that sponsored lectures by many European writers, scientists, and political figures, and the invitation to lecture had come from its executive vice-president, Jolande Jacobi (189o-1973).

In 1938, after the Nazi occupation of Austria, Dr. Jacobi emigrated to Zurich, became a leading pupil of Jung, and was one of the founders of the C. G. Jung Institute.


Dr. Jung: Coming back to Vienna again after some eighteen years’ absence’ is coming back to the city from which the fame of Sigmund Freud has radiated into the world.

Even though differences of scientific opinion have brought about a certain estrangement between Professor Freud and myself, a debt of gratitude nevertheless impels me to honor Freud and Janet’ as the men who have guided me in my scientific career.

Vienna also means for me re-encountering a doctor whose theories have very close and important connections and affinities with my own system.

I mean Dr. Bernhard Aschner, whose Konstitutionslehre and Humoralpathologie have a psychic analogue in my system of psychoanalysis.

In the nineteenth century, the century of technology and exact science, we strayed very far from the intuition of earlier periods in history.

Purely intellectualistic, analytical, atomistic, and mechanistic thinking has, in my opinion, landed us in a cul de sac, since analysis also requires synthesis and intuition.

The humoral pathology of Aschner, who, incidentally, has rediscovered medical techniques based predominantly on intuition through his translation of Paracelsus, is for me a proof that the most important insights into body and mind can be gained by ways that are not purely rationalistic.

It is difficult for me to outline the special features of my teachings in a few words.

For me the essential thing is the investigation of the unconscious.

Whereas Freud holds that in order to cure the neuroses, all as you know he derives from sexual roots, it is sufficient to make the unconscious conscious, I maintain that it is necessary to coordinate with consciousness the activities streaming out of the matrix of the unconscious.

I try to funnel the fantasies of the unconscious into the conscious mind, not in order to destroy them but to develop them.

In the case of a neurotic businessman, for example, I might be able to show that his neurosis due to his unfulfilled artistic inclinations.

By examining his dreams, I shall now find out what his special gift is, and the most satisfying cures can be obtained if you can get the neurotic businessman—to stick to this example—to write poems, paint pictures, or compose songs.

It maybe that artistically speaking these works are completely worthless, but for their creator they have an immense subjective value.

Developing fantasy means perfecting our humanity.

In this connection I regard religious ideas as of the most importance, by which I do not, of course, mean any particular creed.

Even so, as a Protestant, it is quite clear to me that, in its healing effects, no creed is as closely akin to psychoanalysis as Catholicism.

The symbols of the Catholic liturgy offer the unconscious such a wealth of possibilities for expression that they act as an incomparable diet for the psyche.

My travels into the interior of Africa and to New Mexico gave me an opportunity to make a thorough study of the manifestations of the unconscious among primitive peoples.

I was able to convince myself that religious ideas are inborn in them, and that religions should not be regarded in any sense as neurotic products, as is now asserted in certain quarters.

I still remember two natives with whom I climbed a mountain ten thousand feet high in East Africa.

During the night they were trembling with fear, and when I asked the cause of their agitation, one of them answered: “Everything is full of spirits.”

On Wednesday evening I am going to speak in the Kulturbund on “The Structure of the Psyche.”‘

I shall discuss the nature of thinking, feeling, of sensation and intuition, of the will, of instinct, and of the fantasies arising out of the unconscious.

I hope this will lead to some conclusions about the cure of neurosis.

When you consider that various forms of neurosis, especially fatigue neuroses in big cities, are steadily increasing, and remember what a burden of painful feelings, how much unhappiness, how many suicides the neuroses have on their conscience, you will begin to appreciate the value of combatting them.


It is my opinion that sex does not play the all-powerful role in psychic life that Freud and his followers attribute to it.

Sex is after all only a glandular product, and it would be wrong to describe the brain as a mere appendage of the sex glands.

In my conception of dreams and their significance for the sick psyche I am not at one with Freud, either.

As you know, the great Viennese investigator calls the dream a wish-fulfilment.

Wishes that in the waking state were for some reason or other repressed into the pit of the subconscious are supposed, in his view, to find their way back into consciousness in the dream and to determine the content of the dream-images.

In my view the dream is a compensation, a completion of the waking state.

Suppose I am in a disagreeable situation and ought to worry about it. In the waking state for some reason or other I don’t, and then I will worry about it in the sleeping state.

My dream will be this worrying I didn’t do.

The doctor curing a neurosis according to Freud’s method tries to dig up the wishes and tendencies buried in the subconscious of the patient and to bring them into the clear light of consciousness in order to
destroy them.

My method is different.

The repressed tendencies that are made conscious should not be destroyed but, on the contrary, should be developed further.

An example will make this clear.

In everyone some kind of artist is hiding.

Among, savage peoples this is evident from the fact that the warrior decks his spear with feathers or paints his shield.

In our mechanized world this urge for artistic creation is by the one-sideded work of the day and is very often the cause of psychic disturbances.

The forgotten Artist must be fetched up again from the darkness of the subconscious, and a path cleared for the urge for artistic expression—no matter how worthless the paintings and poems may be that are produced in this way.

My friend the great English writer H. G. Wells has drawn a wonderful picture of this state of affairs in a novel.

The hero of his story Christina Alberta’s Father’ is a petty businessman, completely imprisoned in his prosaic surroundings and his business.

But in his few leisure hours another ego gradually emerges from his subconscious.

He fancies he is the re-embodiment of the Babylonian ruler Sargon I, the reincarnation of the king of kings.

Some kind of Sargon, in various disguises, is hiding in everyone of us.

The fact that he cannot get out of the subconscious and is unable to develop himself is often the cause of severe psychic disturbances.

The unconscious search, by people who are imprisoned in our narrow machine-world, for the other ego, for completion, is also the reason for their flight back to the primitive.

One need only remember the tremendous enthusiasm for ancient Egypt at the time when the tomb of Tutankhamen was discovered.

Thirty or forty years ago the tomb would have been a matter of interest only for a few hundred scholars, and would have left the public at large, who still found everything Egyptian distasteful, completely indifferent.

Again one has only to think of the craze for Negro dances, for the Charleston and jazz—they are all symptoms of the great longing of the mass psyche for this more complete—development of the powers immanent within us which primitives possess to a higher degree than we do.

All this is still more evident in America.

There American millionairesses marry Indian chieftains.

That’s just it.

We are, in a sense, cultural cripples.


The world had become impoverished in beauty, and people harked back to the Romans, to their nature-bound thinking, reminding themselves of those distant ages when every bush harbored a shrine, when those most marvellous figures of fantasy, the gods, were nothing other than perfect human beings.

After this epoch, the Renaissance, they began remembering the ancient Greeks, Rousseau preached the return to Nature, and the classicists (among them Schiller) the return to the sun of Homer.

And in our century we want to go still further back into the past in our hounded age there rise up before our wistful eyes epochs when man communed with clouds and sun, wind and tempest, the
Golden Age of humanity, as it is still sporadically reflected in the primitive, becoming more radiant the further we climb exploringly the genealogical tree of the present races, back to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, to the Biblical tribes and their forebears.

It is not for nothing that the recent excavations in Egypt and Mesopotamia have aroused such interest, it is not by chance that our civilization was so ready for Negro songs and dances.

We all, long to go home to the joys of the Golden Age, which let us be natural, graceful, and conscious of our strength, delivered from the bane of our time, the neuroses.

The aetiology of the neuroses is the great divide between my theory and that of Sigmund Freud, from whom I parted company some fifteen years ago because of this opposition.

My sojourns among the natives of East Africa and the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico proved to me that the causes of neurosis do not necessarily lie in the repression of the sexual instinct; the repression of any other primary instinct, say of hunger, can produce it just as well.

Freud’s way and mine also diverge very widely in the matter of dream interpretation.

Whereas he will always look for sexual causes, I trace the origin of dreams back to age-old mythological influences.

Deriving from our remotest ancestors, there slumber in all of us subconscious memories which awaken at night and seek to compensate the false attitude modern man has towards nature.

A schizophrenic in my clinic once explained to me that there was a tube in the sun from which it blew out the wind.

Many years later a papyrus was discovered that told the scientific world for the first time of an age-old myth about the wind from the sun tube, a myth that had not only been recorded in the ancient
papyrus but also inherited from generation to generation in the deepest layers of the conscious mind.

Then, in a single case, the enchained fantasy was allowed to burst forth, at first in inexplicable form.

What fell below the threshold of consciousness during the day both in our own lives and those of our ancestors awakens in dreams to posthumous reality.

Proper education is the best safeguard against psychic illness in its manifold forms, which we call neuroses.

A schooling that is not too strict, and is actually what many people would call a bad one, is in my experience the best.

If that doesn’t help, try to awaken the hidden artist who slumbers in every man.

Give him a chance to bring to light the pictures he carries unpainted within himself, to free, the unwritten poems he has shut up inside him, and yet another source of psychic disturbances is removed.

Even though the work he produces will hardly ever amount to anything technically and artistically, it has helped to cleanse and release his psyche.

The play of fantasy is also helped by religion, an indispensable auxiliary for the psychologist.

Catholicism in particular, with its ceremonial and liturgy, gives fantasy a priceless support, for which reason I have found in my practice that believing Catholics suffer less from neurosis and are easier
to cure than Protestants and Jews,

For the need of religion, for its validity as a primary instinct of mankind, there are abundant proofs reaching back to the dawn of time.

Then it was part of man’s unconscious, now it is part of his conscious, psychic diet; to it the doctor must turn when he tries to lead the patient back to himself, to rid him of all the psychic trash that has been pumped into him, to leave more room for the free play of fantasy, to cultivate his open and hidden talents, to make him more balanced, to guide him by the great saying of the Greek poet: Become what
you are.

How great the importance of psychic hygiene, how great the danger of psychic sickness, is evident from the fact that just as all sickness is a watered-down death, neurosis is nothing less than a watered-down suicide, which left to run its malignant course all too often leads to a lethal end.

Out of the many cultural cripples one-sided cerebral thinking has produced, the psychoanalyst who approaches them not merely as medical specimens but as human beings should be able to bring them closer to nature, make them more natural, as nature wanted them to be and as they faced life thousands of years ago.

If the gifts we are endowed with break down before the tasks of life, if they wither away or run riot, we have only our flight from nature to blame, from the Golden Age of our furthest ancestors that returns to us
only in dreams, a flight that leads to suppressed naturalness and to oppressive over-civilization of the psyche. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 38-46

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Carl Jung: The pilgrim’s way is spiked with thorns everywhere,

To the Rev. John A. Sanford

Dear Mr. Sanford, 10 March 1961

Thank you very much for kindly sending me your sermon.

I have read it with interest and pleasure.

It is a historical event, as you are so far as my knowledge goes-the first one who has called the attention of the Christian congregation to the fact that the Voice of God can still be heard if you are only humble enough.

The example you give is very beautiful and meaningful, as it shows the benevolent intention and the meaningful allusion to a continuation of our existence-two important postulates of the Christian creed.

The understanding of dreams should indeed be taken seriously by the Church, since the cura animarum is one of its duties, which has been sadly neglected by the Protestants.

Even if confession is a relatively poor version of the cura the Catholic Church knows at least the function of the directeur de conscience, a highly i mportant function which is unknown to the Protestants.

I admire your courage and sincerely hope that you will not become too unpopular for mentioning a topic so heartily hated and despised by most of the theologians.

This is so at least over here.

There are only single individuals who risk the fight for survival.

The pilgrim’s way is spiked with thorns everywhere, even if he is a good Christian, or just therefore.

My best wishes!

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 630

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Carl Jung: Interview on Radio Berlin in 1933


On June 21, 1933, Jung accepted the presidency of the Oberstaatliche Arztliche Gesellschaft fur Psychotherapie (International Medical Society for Psychotherapy), which united national societies in Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Sweden, and Switzerland and had its headquarters in Zurich.

Though Jewish and other anti-Nazi members had been expelled ,from the German national society, Jung as president enabled them to become members of the International Society.

Thus has Jung’s leadership been defended by his followers, while his adversaries have attacked his participation in a Society that had links with Nazi Germany.

The issue has been, and still is, warmly debated.

A document of the time is an interview with Jung by Dr. Adolf Weizsacker, a German neurologist and psychiatrist who had previously been his pupil.

It was recorded and broadcast by Radio Berlin on June 26, 1933.

On the same date Jung began a seminar on dreams, given to a group of analytical psychologists in Berlin, which continued for five days. Its members included at least four analysts who subsequently left Nazi Germany; Gerhard Adler, who settled in London; and James Kirsch, Hilde Silber (Kirsch), and Max Zeller, who settled in Los Angeles, California.

A transcript of the lectures that Jung gave in the seminar and of the radio interview has long been extant in mimeographed form.

Today we have particular pleasure in welcoming to our studio the most progressive psychologist of modern times, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung of Zurich. Dr. Jung is at present in Berlin giving a course of lectures, and he has kindly expressed his willingness to answer a number of questions bearing on contemporary problems.

From this you will see that there is a school of modern psychology which is fundamentally constructive.

We all know very well that psychology and analysis for their own sakes have rightly become suspect nowadays.

We are tired of this continual probing and breaking down along intellectual lines, and it is fortunate for us that there is one psychologist who approaches the human psyche in an entirely different way from the other well known psychologies or psychotherapies, especially Freudian psychoanalysis.

Dr. Jung comes from a Protestant parsonage in Basel.

That is important.

It puts his whole approach to man on a different footing from that of Freud and Adler.

The crucial thing about this psychology is that Dr. Jung does not tear to pieces and destroy the immediacy of our psychic life, the creative element which has always played the decisive role in the history of the German mind, but approaches it with deep reverence and does not devalue it, letting himself be guided in the practical treatment of conflicts or neuroses by the positive and constructive forces which lie dormant in the unconscious psychic life of every man and can be awakened.

Hence his psychology is not intellectual but is imbued with vision; it seeks to strengthen the positive forces in man and does not stop at triumphantly laying bare the negative elements, since that brings nothing
really new into the life of the individual or of the community.

Permit me now, Dr. Jung, to put a number of questions to you and to ask you to answer them, which you can as a Swiss, with a certain detachment, and as a psychologist, with great experience of the human psyche.

I would like to ask you, first, whether there is in your psychological experience a decisive difference between the psychic situation of the Germans and that of Western Europeans and wherein this difference consists?

The fact of the matter is that we are at the moment surrounded by the deepest misunderstandings, and it would interest us to hear, quite briefly, what you think might be the cause of these misunderstandings,
and whether the differences between our nature and theirs are so great as to make these misunderstandings comprehensible to us.

Dr. Jung: There is indeed an enormous difference between the psychic attitude of the Germans and that of Western Europeans.

The nationalism that Western Europeans know seems to them a kind of chauvinism, and they cannot understand how it is that in Germany it has become a nation-building force, because nationalism for them still
means their own brand of chauvinism.

This peculiarity of the Germans can be explained only by the youthfulness of the German nation.

Their enthusiasm for the reconstruction of the German community remains incomprehensible to Western Europeans because this necessity no longer exists for them in the same degree, since they achieved national unity in earlier centuries and in other forms.

Question: Yes, and now I would like to ask a second question which is extraordinarily important for us, because the new turn of events in Germany is being led by the younger generation.
How do you explain the assurance of German youth in pursuit of their visionary goal, and what is the significance of the fact that the older generation cannot quite rid themselves of a kind of reserve even though they would very much like simply to affirm what is happening? What in your view should be done in order to bridge over this hopeless gulf between the generations, which deepens still further the cleavage in our German nationhood? What is the cause of it all?

Dr. Jung: The assurance of German youth in pursuit of their goal seems something quite natural to me.

In times of tremendous movement and change it is only to be expected that youth will seize the helm, because they alone have the daring and drive and sense of adventure.

After all, it’s their future that’s at stake.

It is their venture and their experiment.

The older generation naturally takes a back place and they should possess enough experience of life to be able to go along with this necessary course of events.

They too had their time, once.

The gulf between the older and younger generation is due precisely to the fact that the older generation did not go along with the times and, instead of foreseeing it, was overtaken by the storm of a new epoch.

But that is not by any means specific of the Germans.

It is something you can observe in all countries at the present time.

The older generation have immense difficulty in finding their way about in a new world.

Political changes go hand in hand with all sorts of other changes in art, philosophy, in our religious views.

Everywhere the wind of change is blowing.

And I come very much into contact with people of the older generation who have confessed to me that they have little real understanding of the new time and the utmost difficulty in finding their way about.

Many of them even turn directly to me for advice for with a little psychology one can understand these things.

With a little psychological knowledge, too, it would have been possible to foresee the changes.

But the older generation has, I am bound to say, committed the unforgivable , mistake of overlooking the real man in favor of an abstract idea of man.

This error hangs together with the false intellectualism that characterized the whole nineteenth century.

Question: Thank you, Dr. Jung. We have now heard something of your attitude to the more general problems of the situation as a whole. I would like now to ask some more specific questions about your psychology. What in your view is the position of psychology in general at the present day? What is its task in such a time of activity?

Dr. Jung: It is just because we live in an active and responsible time that we need more consciousness and self-reflection.

In a time like ours, when tremendous political and social movements are afoot, I as a psychologist am very often turned to, as I have said, by people who feel the need for psychic orientation.

This need reflects a sound instinct.

When general confusion reigns, as it does in Europe today, when there is a widespread splintering of opinions, there instinctively arises in us a need for a common Weltanschauung I would say, which allows us to take a unitary view of things and discern the inner meaning of the whole movement.

If we do not succeed in getting this view, it may easily happen that we are as it were unconsciously swept along by events.

For mass movements have the peculiarity of overpowering the individual by mass suggestion and making him unconscious.

The political or social movement gains nothing by this when it has swarms of hypnotized camp followers.

On the contrary there is the danger of equally great disillusion on awaking from the hypnosis.

It is therefore of the greatest value for mass movements to possess adherents who follow not from unconscious compulsion but from conscious conviction.

But this conscious conviction can be based only on a Weltanschauung.

Question: And you think, if I understand you correctly, that such a Weltanschauung can in certain cases best be acquired with the help of psychology—your psychology—so that people can stand firm inwardly in order to work successfully and surely in the outer world, because otherwise their unconscious impulses, moods, and I don’t know what, can obtrude themselves in their outward activities.
You see, the fact is that in Germany today psychology is suspect in many quarters precisely because it is concerned with the self-development of the so-called individual, and so they suspect this
famous parlor individualism or individualism deluxe of belonging to an age which is now really over for us. So I would like to ask you: How, just at the present time, when the collective forces of the whole community have taken the lead in molding our way of life, how are we to assess the efforts of psychology in the practical role it would have to play for the whole of life and the whole community?

Dr. Jung: The self-development of the individual is especially necessary in our time.

When the individual is unconscious of himself, the collective movement too lacks a clear sense of purpose.

Only the self-development of the individual, which I consider to be the supreme goal of all psychological endeavor, can produce consciously responsible spokesmen and leaders of the collective movement.

As Hitler said recently, the leader must be able to be alone and must have the courage to go his own way.

But if he doesn’t know himself, how is he to lead others?

That is why, the true leader is always one who has the courage to be himself, and can look not only others in the eye but above all himself.

Now I come to something quite specific. What difference—though I have already stressed this a little at the beginning—what difference is there between a psychology like yours, imbued with vision, and the psychologies of Freud and Adler, which are built entirely on an intellectual basis?

Dr. Jung: It is, you see, one of the finest privileges of the German mind to let the whole of creation, in all its inexhaustible diversity, work upon it without preconceptions.

But with Freud as well as with Adler a particular individual standpoint—for instance, sexuality or the striving for power—is set up as a critique against the totality of the phenomenal world.

In this way a part of the phenomenon is isolated from the whole and broken down into smaller and smaller fragments, until the sense that dwells only in the whole is distorted into nonsense, and the beauty that is proper only to the whole is reduced to absurdity.

I could never take kindly to this hostility to life.

Question: I am particularly grateful to you, Dr. Jung, for that answer I think it will act on many of us like a liberation. In conclusion, I still have a question that is of particular concern to us today, and that is the question of leadership. From your psychological experience, have you anything to say about the idea of personal leadership and of a leading elite that is now acknowledged in Germany, in contradistinction
to an elected government dependent on the opinion of the masses as evolved in Western Europe?

Dr. Jung: Today we are living in a time of barbarian invasions, but they take place inwardly in the psyche of the people.

It is a breaking of the nations.

Times of mass movement are always times of leadership.

Every movement culminates organically in a leader, who embodies in his whole being the meaning and purpose of the popular movement.

He is an incarnation of the nation’s psyche and its mouthpiece.

He is the spearhead of the phalanx of the whole people in motion.

The need of the whole always calls forth a leader, regardless the form a state may take.

Only in times of aimless quiescence does the aimless conversation of parliamentary deliberations drone on, which always demonstrates the absence of a stirring in the depths or of a definite emergency;
even the most peaceable government in Europe, the Swiss Bundesrat, is in times of emergency invested with extraordinary powers, democracy or no democracy.

It is perfectly natural that a leader should stand at the head of an elite, which in earlier centuries was formed by the nobility.

The nobility belies the law of the nature in the blood and exclusiveness of the race. Western Europe doesn’t understand the special psychic emergency of the young German nation because it does not find itself in the same situation either historically or psychologically.

Commentator: Thank you, Dr. Jung, for answering these questions so readily, and also for the gist of your answers, which will surely be of the greatest import for many of our listeners. The fact is that we are living today in a phase of reconstruction where everything depends on inwardly consolidating what has been achieved and building it into the psyche of the individual. For this purpose we need, if I may express
my personal opinion, leaders like you, who really know something about the psyche, the German psyche, and whose psychology is not just intellectual chatter but a living knowledge of human beings.

~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking: Interviews and Encounters, Pages 59-66


1. Jung’s statements and speeches as president of the Society and its various international congresses and editor of its organ, Zentralblatt fur Psychotherapie and ihre Grenzgebiete (Leipzig), are printed in
an appendix to CW 10.

For historical accounts, see Ernest Harms, “Carl Gustav Jung—Defender of Freud and the Jews,” Psychiatric Quarterly (Utica, N.Y.), April 2946, and Aniela Jaffe, “C. G. Jung and National Socialism,” in her From the Life and Work of C. G. Jung, tr. R.F.C. Hull (New York, 1971).

Also see Jung’s letter to James Kirsch, 26 May 1934, in Letters, ed. Adler, vol. r, and below, “On the Attack in the Saturday Review of Literature,” pp. 192ff.

2. For a firsthand account of the seminar by another of its members and a discussion of Jung’s “dim view of the new government and the prospects for Germany” during that visit to Berlin, see Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work (New York, 1976), PP. 209-21 3.

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Carl Jung: OSS Secret Agent 488

[Carl Jung’s letter to Allen W. Dulles]

To: Allen W. Dulles

My dear Dulles 11 February 1945

Since after my illness I get interested once more in the affairs of the world the various ways of propaganda began to interest me.

German propaganda tries inevitably to hollow out a moral hole with the hope of an eventual collapse.

A better propaganda appeals to the moral strength and not to the feebleness of the enemy.

As far as the psychological effectiveness of Allied propaganda is concerned, it strikes me that the best things that have appeared so far are General Eisenhower’s proclamations to the German people.

These proclamations, couched in simple, human language which anyone can understand offer the German people something they can cling to and tend to strengthen any belief which may exist in the justice and humanity of the Americans.

Thus they appeal to the best in the German people, to their belief in idealism, truth, and decency.

They fill up the hole of moral inferiority, which is infinitely better propaganda than destructive insinuations.

General Eisenhower certainly should be congratulated.

Sincerely yours,

~C.G. Jung, ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 356-357.

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