Carl Jung on Intuition and Intuitives. Anthology

As a natural scientist, thinking and sensation were uppermost in me and intuition and feeling were in the unconscious and contaminated by the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1925, Page 69.

I most certainly was characterized by thinking … and I had a great deal of Intuition, too. And I had a definite difficulty with Feeling. And my relation to reality was not particularly brilliant. … I was often at variance with the reality of things. Now that gives you all the necessary data for diagnosis. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung, Speaking, Pages 435-6.

We can never reach the level of our intuitions and should therefore not identify ourselves with them. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 114.

We should not rise above the earth with the aid of “spiritual” intuitions and run away from hard reality, as so often happens with people who have brilliant intuitions. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 114.

In the light of the possibilities revealed by intuition, man’s earthliness is certainly a lamentable imperfection; but this very imperfection is part of his innate being, of his reality. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 114.

Half of the psychogenetic diseases occur where it is a matter of too much intuition, because intuition has this peculiar quality of taking people out of their ordinary reality. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 808.

The angels are a strange genus: they are precisely what they are and cannot be anything else. They are in themselves soulless beings who represent nothing but the thoughts and intuitions of their Lord. ~Carl Jung, Memories Dreams and Reflections, Pages 327-328.

Abstraction is an activity pertaining to the psychological functions in general. There is an abstract thinking, just as there is abstract feeling, sensation, and intuition. Abstract thinking singles out the rational, logical qualities of a given content from its intellectually irrelevant components. Abstract feeling does the same with a content characterized by its feeling-values . . . . Abstract sensation would be aesthetic as opposed to sensuous sensation, and abstract intuition would be symbolic as opposed to fantastic intuition. ~Carl Jung; “Definitions,” CW 6, par. 678.

I have always advised analysts: “Have a father confessor, or a mother confessor!” Women are particularly gifted for playing such a part. They often have excellent intuition and critical insight, and can see what men have up their sleeves, at times see also into men’s anima intrigues. They see aspects that the man does not see. That is why no woman has ever been convinced that her husband is a superman! ~Carl Jung; Memories Dreams and Reflections; Page 134.

The capacity for directed thinking I call intellect; the capacity for passive or undirected thinking I call intellectual intuition. ~Carl Jung; “Definitions” Ibid. par. 832.

Our dreams are continually saying things beyond our conscious comprehension. We have intimations and intuitions from unknown sources. Fears, moods, plans, and hopes come to us with no visible causation. These concrete experiences are at the bottom of our feeling that we know ourselves very little; at the bottom, too, of the painful conjecture that we might have surprises in store for ourselves. ~Carl Jung; Aion; CW 9i para. 299.

Intuition [is] perception via the unconscious. ~Carl Jung; “The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious”, 1950.

My psychological experience has shown time and again that certain contents issue from a psyche that is more complete than consciousness. They often contain a superior analysis or insight or knowledge which consciousness has not been able to produce. We have a suitable word for such occurrences-intuition.. ~Carl Jung; Psychology and Religion; Page 49.

Neurosis is an inner cleavage-the state of being at war with one- self. … What drives people to war with themselves is the intuition or the knowledge that they consist of two persons in opposition to one another. ~Carl Jung; Modern Man in Search of a Soul

When Freud coined the phrase that the ego was “the true seat of anxiety,” he was giving voice to a very true and profound intuition. ~Carl Jung, Psychological, CW 11, Page 849.

As you know I call intuition any kind of perception which takes place in a way that cannot be explained by the function of the senses. ~Carl Jung, Letters Volume 1, Pages 420-422.

One source is the unconscious, which spontaneously produces such fantasies; the other source is life, which, if lived with complete devotion, brings an intuition of the self, the individual being. ~Carl Jung, Secret of the Golden Flower, Page 99

This serpent does not represent “reason” or anything approaching it, but rather symbolises a peculiar autonomous mind which can possess one completely, a spirit of revelation which gives us “Intuitionen” (intuitions). ~Carl Jung, ETH, Alchemy, Page 215.

He [Jung] showed a diagram of a cross with Rational/Thinking (Elijah) at the top, Feeling (Salome) at the bottom, Irrational / Intuition (Superior) at the left, and Sensation / Inferior (Serpent) at the right. ~The Red Book, Page 247, Footnote 173.

In the West we are always using our intuition on outward things, but the East turns their Sangskara-skandha inwards. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 13Jan1939, Page 56.

We can understand thinking, feeling and sensation but intuition is another thing. We do not know how we arrive at an intuition, it is perception by way of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture 3Mar1939, Page 99.

The history of energetics is largely intuitive, it starts primitively as intuitions of archetypes, first they were beings, now they are mathematical formulas. ~Carl Jung, Lecture III, 4May1934, Page 100.

Without knowing it man is always concerned with God. What some people call instinct or intuition is nothing other than God. God is that voice inside us which tells us what to do and what not to do. In other words, our conscience. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking, Page 249.

Intuition is not mere perception, or vision, but an active, creative process that puts into the object just as much as it takes out. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, para 610.

Nobody has ever been entirely liberated from the opposites, because no living being could possibly attain to such a state, as nobody escapes pain and pleasure as long as he functions physiologically. He may have occasional ecstatic experiences when he gets the intuition of a complete liberation, f.i. in reaching the state of sat-chit-ananda. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 303.

Intuitives don’t have substance; they have inventiveness, imagination. They don’t complete anything. It is necessary for them to acquire this faculty. ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 51-70.

The most pronounced intuitives have what the Scotch call second sight, they can, for instance, foretell the weather, many animals also have this last power. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lectures, Page 100.

Therefore intuitives develop all sorts of physical trouble, intestinal disturbances for instance, ulcers of the stomach or other really grave physical troubles. Because they overleap the body, it reacts against them. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 1391-1392.

Why is psychology the youngest of the empirical sciences? Why have we not long since discovered the unconscious and raised up its treasure-house of eternal images? Simply because we had a religious formula for everything psychic — and one that is far more beautiful and comprehensive than immediate experience. Though the Christian view of the world has paled for many people, the symbolic treasure-rooms of the East are still full of marvels that can nourish for a long time to come the passion for show and new clothes. What is more, these images — are they Christian or Buddhist or what you will — are lovely, mysterious, and richly intuitive. ~Carl Jung; The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious; Pages 7-8.

What he is describing here is the libido, which is not only creative and procreative, but possesses an intuitive faculty, a strange power to “smell the right place,” almost as if it were a live creature with an independent life of its own (which is why it is so easily personified). It is purposive, like sexuality itself, a favorite object of comparison. ~Carl Jung; CW 5; Symbols of Transformation; para. 182.

While studying astrology I have applied it to concrete cases many times. … The experiment is most suggestive to a versatile mind, unreliable in the hands of the unimaginative, and dangerous in the hands of a fool, as those intuitive methods always are. . . . It is an apt tool only when used intelligently. ~Carl Jung

Norway is the northern country, i.e., the intuitive sector of the mandala. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 448-449.

They [Intuitives] draw the souls out of things and act according to what they discover by this process, just as if what they discovered were ordinary every day facts. ~Carl Jung, Lecture IV, 18May1934, Page 102.

Schopenhauer was primarily a thinker and secondarily an intuitive, whereas the quantities were reversed in Nietzsche. ~Carl Jung, Lecture IV, 18May1934, Page 105.

Intuitives are often very poor because they never wait for the harvest. Carl Jung, Lecture V 25May1934, Page 107.

Intuitives show a quite extraordinary inability to register sensation facts, they have extraordinary fantasies about a thing, they intuit what is inside the locked drawer, but have no idea what the bureau looks like outside. ~Carl Jung, Lecture III, 4May1934, Page 101.

The history of energetics is largely intuitive, it starts primitively as intuitions of archetypes, first they were beings, now they are mathematical formulas. ~Carl Jung, Lecture III, 4May1934, Page 100.

She had very changeable looks, as so many intuitives do, and could sometimes look beautiful and sometimes quire plain. Her extraordinary brilliant eyes-mystic’s eyes-were always expressive. ~Helena Henderson on Toni Wolff, Carl, Emma, Toni Remembrances, P. 31.

The method like all divinatory or intuitive techniques is based on an acausal or synchronistic connective principle. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Page 452.

Fishing is an intuitive attempt to “catch” unconscious contents (fishes). ~Carl Jung, Aion, Para 137.

The problem nearest to Freud’s heart was unquestionably the psychology of the unconscious, but none of his immediate followers has done anything about it. I happen to be the only one of his heirs that has carried out some further research along the lines he intuitively foresaw. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 306-310.

Carl Jung on God and a God-Image


Dear Dr. N., 2 January 1957

Many thanks for your detailed letter, the contents of which interested me very much.

I was impressed above all by the fact that in the discussion between you and Frau X there is constant talk of “God” and of what he does or what he is.

I miss any explicit recognition of the epistemological threshold.

We cannot speak of “God” but only of a God-image which appears to us or which we make.

If, for instance, we were to create a myth, we would say that “God” has two aspects, spiritual and chthonic, or rather: material.

He appears to us as the world-moving spirit (= wind) and as the material of the world.

That is the image we create for ourselves of the prima causa.

But in reality we can say nothing at all about “God.”

We can only project a conception of him that corresponds to our own constitution: a body perceived by the senses and a spirit (= psyche) directly conscious of itself.

After this model we build our God-image.

Coming now to cosmogony, we can assert nothing except that the body of the world and its psyche are a reflection of the God we imagine.

The split in this image is an unavoidable trick of consciousness for making us aware of anything at all.

But we cannot assert that this split actually exists in the objective world.

Rather, we have every reason to suppose that there is only one world, where matter and psyche are the same thing, which we discriminate for the purpose of cognition.

As regards the Incarnation, the idea of God’s descent into human nature is a true mythologem.

What we can experience empirically as underlying this image is the individuation process, which gives us clear intimations of a greater “Man” than our ego.

The unconscious itself characterizes this “Man” with the same symbols it applies to God, from which we can conclude that this figure corresponds to the Anthropos, in other words God’s son, or God represented in the form of a man.

The greater “Man” (the self) does not become identical with the empirical man in such wise that the ego is replaced by the self.

The self becomes only a determining factor, and it is not bounded by its apparent entry into consciousness; in spite of this it remains an ideal, i.e., purely imagined, entity dwelling essentially in the background, just as we also imagine God existing in his original boundless totality in spite of the Creation and Incarnation.

So far as the integration of personality components are concerned, it must be borne in mind that the ego-personality as such does not include the archetypes but is only influenced by them; for the archetypes are universal and belong to the collective psyche over which the ego has no control.

Thus animus and anima are images representing archetypal figures which mediate between consciousness and the unconscious.

Though they can be made conscious they cannot be integrated into the ego-personality, since as archetypes they are also autonomous.

They behave like the God-image, which while objectivating itself in the world nevertheless subsists of itself in the Unus Mundus.

These are problems that cannot be discussed at all if epistemology is disregarded.

They can be tackled only if you are constantly aware of epistemological criticism, in other words, if you do not forget that absolute reality can be conceived only in psychological terms.

At the same time the psyche, or rather consciousness, introduces the prerequisites for cognition into the picture-the discrimination of particulars or qualities which are not necessarily separated in the self-subsistent world.

We distinguish an organic and an inorganic world, for example.

The one is alive, the other is dead; the one has psyche, the other not.

But who can guarantee that the same vital principle which is at work in the organic body is not active in the crystal?

It seems to me that due regard for the epistemological standpoint would make discussions with Frau X considerably easier.

With best greetings,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 341-343.

Carl Jung: I am concerned with the world as it is today,namely godless and spiritually disoriented.


Dear Mrs. N., 8 February 1957

Thank you very much for your friendly letter with its kind advice.

You can rest assured that having studied the Gospels for a life-time
(I am nearly 83!)

I am pretty well acquainted with the foundations of our Christianity.

Surely the times of primitive Christianity were bad too, but not as bad as the world is now.

Our plight is decidedly worse, and we have to learn about things the old Fathers of the Church did not even dream of.

I am concerned with the world as it is today, namely godless and spiritually disoriented.

In history there is never a way back.

To be optimistic would mean to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.

This would lead nowhere as it would confirm the childishness of people still more.

They should realize in our days how much depends upon themselves and to what purpose they have been created.

When you are still on the battlefield you cannot think of the good things that may come afterwards.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 346.

Carl Jung on Sleep and Dream

To H. J. Barrett

Dear Mr. Barrett, 27 December 1956

Thank you for your interesting letter. It is indeed an important question, the question of sleep and dream.

As far as my knowledge goes we are aware in dreams of our other life that consists in the first place of all the things we have not yet lived or experienced in the flesh.

Beyond that material we are also aware of things we never can realize in the flesh and not in this life.

Things belonging to the past of mankind and presumably to its future also.

The latter can be realized only very rarely as future events, because we have no means, or very few, to recognize and identify future events before they have happened, as we also cannot understand thoughts we never had before.

All the things which are not yet realized in our daylight experience are in a peculiar state, namely in the condition of living and autonomous figures, sometimes as if spirits of the dead, sometimes as if former incarnations.

These formulations are probably auxiliary means supplied by our unconscious mind to express forms of psychic existence we do not really understand.

I am sorry my time does not allow me to comment in detail about your experiences.

I hope my general observations will help you to a certain extent.

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 341

Carl Jung on Teuton Man

To Pere Bruno de Jesus-Marie

Dear Pere Bruno, 20 November 1956

I have thought over our conversation for a long time and have come to the conclusion that, just as it is the foremost task of the individual to become conscious of himself, it should also be the chiefest concern of a gathering of distinguished personalities to become conscious of their meaning within the greater society.

As I have intimated to you, the spiritual scope of your Academy embraces the whole North , from the North Cape to the Alps, that is to say all those countries which were only partly Romanized, or not at all, and therefore had only indirect or sporadic contacts with the entirely different Mediterranean culture.

In France there is a noticeable difference between the spiritually active North and the static life of the South , which it shares with Spain and Italy.

Southern Europe remained stationary for many centuries after an initial contact had been made between the peoples of the West and the then flourishing Islamic culture.

But when the West had assimilated the remnants of classical culture that were still kept alive by Islam, a state of spiritual coexistence set in, and there were no more contacts between Islam and Christianity.

Both cultures remained mutually isolated and cross-fertilization Ceased.

For the spiritually more mobile West, i.e. , the Latin culture of the northern Mediterranean countries, had now found a different antagonist-the Teuton.

Not cast in the Latin mould, he confronted the civilized Latin peoples with all the diversity of a barbaric, tribally oriented social order.

He brought with him a primitive tradition which had developed autochthonously within his tribes, presumably from the time of the Stone Age, and which despite the curiosity of the youthful barbarian never quite succumbed to the influence of Latin culture.

Mediterranean culture is founded on a three- to four-thousand-year-old rule of order, both political and religious, which had long outgrown the locally conditioned, semi-barbarian forms of society.

Thus the “esprit latin” has secure foundations guaranteeing a relatively problematical state of consciousness.

The Teutonic man of the North, on the contrary, is driven around by the adventurous nomadic restlessness of those who have their roots in a different soil from the one they want to live on.

Whether he will or no, there is a continual conflict in him over his foundations.

He is always seeking his own, for what he usurped some 1500 years ago as a binding form of life would not harmonize with what he brought with him as a usurper.

His polydaemonism had not yet reached the level and clarity of Mediterranean polytheism, and in this state he was suddenly confronted with a religion and view of the world that had sprung from the decay of Olympus and the transformation of the gods into philosophical and theological ideas.

His still undifferentiated barbarian world, bursting with the vital seeds of possible future developments, sank down reviled but not explained.

No bridge led from one to the other.

Here, it seems to me, is the source of that Teutonic turmoil which has more than once violently forced its way to the surface.

Here is that tension of opposites which supplies the energy for physical and spiritual adventures.

This is the man who, driven by his inner conflicts, was actually the first to discover the earth and take possession of it.

At this centre of antagonistic forces lies your Academy, under whose auspices are united the most important representatives of Northern culture.

It seems to me that its most urgent task is to create a differentiated consciousness of this state of affairs and to publicize it.

It would be rendering Western man a service of which he stands in the most urgent need at present-a knowledge of himself as he actually is, and who is the cause of the tremendous spiritual confusion
of our time.

As soon as I can I will send you a copy of my “Present and Future” as a further illustration of my point of view.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 336-338.

Carl Jung on the Hungarian Revolution

To Jolande Jacobi

Dear Dr. Jacobi, 6 November 1956

In these terrible days when evil is once again inundating the world in every conceivable form, I want you to know that I am thinking of you and of your family in Hungary, and hope with you that the avenging angel will pass by their door.

The fate of Hungary cries to heaven, and in the West stupidity and delusion have reached a fatal climax.

De profundis clamavi ad te Domine-In affection,

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 336.

Carl Jung: If the Reformation is a heresy, I am certainly a heretic too.

To the Rev. H. L. Philp

Dear Mr. Philp, 26 October 1956

Thank you very much for calling my attention to this new concoction Christian Essays in Psychiatry.

The idea that I convert people, as it were, to the new denomination “Jungianism” or better “Jungian Church” is sheer defamation.

I know a considerable number of people that have converted to the Catholic Church after they were analysed by myself.

A smaller number of Catholics that had become indifferent to the Church before felt completely out of it and adopted the standpoint more or less similar to mine, which I regard as a sort of left-wing Protestantism.

I am definitely inside Christianity and, as far as I am capable of judging about myself, on the direct line of historical development.

If the Pope adds a new and thoroughly unhistorical dogma to Catholicism, I add a symbolic interpretation of all Christian symbols.

At least I am trying to.

If the Reformation is a heresy, I am certainly a heretic too.

There is nothing to be done about it, as once it was a heresy even to suggest that the earth turns round the sun.

It is of course a thorn in the flesh of the churches that I do not belong to any of the recognized sects.

Looked at from a strictly Catholic point of view I make very heretical statements indeed; but there are plenty of reformers that have done the same thing, including the present Pope, declaring the dogma without the slightest apostolic authority and without the consent even of his own Church, which has emphatically resisted any such declaration during at least the 600 years of its early history.

The absolute number of conversions having taken place under my direct or indirect influence is insignificant in comparison with that of the people returning to their original faith, including Parsees returning to their fire-temple, Jews appreciating again the deep significance of their own religion, Chinamen and Hindus understanding again the meaning of their forgotten Taoism and their religious philosophy.

These facts have even prompted my critics to accuse me of a particular lack of character and even of betrayal of my Christian faith.

They all want me therefore to confess my definite belief in certain metaphysical statements and complain bitterly that I do not comply with their wishes.

The trouble with them is that they don’t want to think about their own beliefs.

Whereas I am insisting, with certain Fathers of the Church, that we ought to think about religious matters and that the way to the cognition of God begins with the cognition of oneself.

As nearly everybody does, they also want to circumvent this odious task of self-cognition.

But, I am afraid, we don’t get anywhere by remaining blind in this respect.

I consider it downright immoral to shut one’s eyes to the truth about oneself.

Thus far I am a Protestant in my soul and body, even if most of the Protestant theologians are just as childishly prejudiced as the Catholic priests.

I am busy dictating answers to your questions, but I am not yet

Sincerely yours,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 334-335.