classes ::: book, Carl_Jung, Psychology, Occultism,
children :::
branches :::
see also :::

Instances - Classes - See Also - Object in Names
Definitions - Quotes - Chapters

object:Modern Man in Search of a Soul
author class:Carl Jung
subject class:Psychology
subject class:Occultism


I. Dream Analysis in its Practical Application i
II. Problems of Modern Psycho therapy . 32
III. Aims of Psycho therapy .... 63
IV. A Psychological Theory of Types . . 85
V. The Stages of Life 109
VI. Freud and Jung Contrasts . . .132
VII. Archaic Man 143
VIII. Psychology and Literature . . . 175
IX. The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology ...... 200
X. The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man 226
XI Psycho therapists or the Clergy . . 255












Translated, by




Within the last decade there have been many references
from varied sources to the fact that the western world
stands on the verge of a spiritual rebirth, that is, a funda-
mental change of attitude toward the values of life After
a long period of outward expansion, we are beginning to
look within ourselves once more. There is very general
agreement as to the phenomena surrounding this increasing
shift of interest from facts as such to their meaning and value
to us as individuals, but as soon as we begin to analyse the
anticipations nursed by the various groups in our world
with respect to the change that is to be hoped for, agreement
is at an end and a sharp conflict of forces makes itself felt.

By those who uphold revealed religion, the rebirth that
seems imminent is thought of as a renaissance of Catholicism
or Protestantism, as the case may be. They see mankind
streaming by the million back to the bosom of the Church,
there to be comforted for the disillusionments and disasters
of our post-war world, there to be taught the paths that
will lead out of chaos. Renewal of faith in Christianity,
they say, will bring us back to a sure way of life and restore
the inspiration the world has lost

Another great group of people think that the new attitude
is to be attained by the total destruction of religion as it
has up to now been understood. Religion is, they say,
a relic of superstitious barbarism, and in its place must come


a new and lasting period of " enlightenment Let man
but apply his knowledge in the right way, especially his
knowledge of economics and technology, and all the great
bogies of poverty, ignorance, greed, etc., will vanish into
thin air and man will be restored to his lost paradise. To
them the rebirth is to be in the realm of reason alone, and
the intellect becomes the arbiter of mans fate.

Between these two extremes of traditional faith and
militant rationalism, every conceivable shade of opinion
about this great problem of humanitys next step in psychic
evolution is to be found. It may be said that the middle
position is held by those people who know that they have
outgrown the Church as exemplified in Christianity, but
who have not therefore been brought to deny the fact that
a religious attitude to life is as essential to them as a belief
in the au thenticity of science These people have experienced
the soul as vividly as the body, the body as vividly as
the soul. And the soul has manifested itself to them in
ways not to be explained in terms either of traditional
theology or of materialism. They do not wish to sever the
real piety they feel within themselves from the body of
scientific fact to which reason gives its sanction. They are
convinced that if they can attain to more knowledge of the
inner workings of their own minds, more information about
the subtle but none the less perfectly definite laws that
govern the psyche, they can achieve the new attitude that is
demanded without having on the one hand to regress to what
is but a thinly veiled mediaeval theology, or on the other, to
fall victims to the illusions of nineteenth-century ideology.

It is to this last group of people that Jung speaks in
convincing terms He does not evade the difficult task of
synthesizing his knowledge of the soul, gamed in his many


years of practice as psychiatrist and analyst, into a fund of
information available and applicable to everyone. He gives
those clues to the nature and functioning of the psyche for
which the modem man is painfully groping. The point
of view he lays before us is a challenge to the spirit, and
evokes an active response in everyone who has felt within
himself an urge to grow beyond his inheritance.

With one exception , 1 all the essays which make up this
volume have been delivered as lectures. The German texts
of four of them have been brought out m separate publica-
tions * and the others are to be found in a volume * together
with several other essays which have already appeared in

We are indebted to Mrs. Violet de Laszlo for many helpful
suggestions in regard to the essay. Psycho therapists or the
Clergy. Both Dr. Jung and Mrs Jung have been kind
enough to read and criticize the translations in part

Cary F. Baynes.

Zurich, March 1933

1 Freud and Jung Contrasts, was written at the special request of a
German editor

* (a) For the German text of Psychology and Literature ( Psychologic und
die Literaturwissenschaft) see Vie Philosophic der Literaturwissenschaft, by
Professor Emil Ermatinger, Junker und Dtinnhaut, Berlin, 19Z9 An
English translation by Eugene Jolas appeared in Transition, 1930.

(b) Psycho therapists or the Clergy A Dilemma is in German entitled
Die Benehungen der Psycho therapie tur Seelsorge, Rascher & Cie, Zflnch,
193 2

(c) The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology appeared in the
Europdische Revue for July 1931, under the title. Die Entschleierung der

(d) Dream Analysts In Its Practical Application appears m the Bencht
Uber den VI Allgemetnen drtxhchen Kongress fdr Psycho therapie, Dresden,
April 1930

* Seclenprobleme der Gegenwart, Rascher & Cie, Ztinch, 1931



The use of dream-analysis in psycho therapy is still a
much-debated question Many practitioners find it indis-
pensable in the treatment of neuroses, and ascribe as much
importance to the psychic activity manifested m dreams
as to consciousness itself Others, on the contrary, dispute
the value of dream-analysis, and regard dreams as a negligible
by-product of the psyche

Obviously, if a person holds the view that the unconscious
plays a leading r61e in the formation of neuroses, he will
attn bute practical significance to dreams as direct ex-
pressions of the unconscious. If, on the other hand, he
denies the unconscious or thinks that it has no part in the
development of neuroses, he will minimize the importance
of dream-analysis. It is regrettable that m this year of
grace 1931, more than half a century since Cams formulated
the concept of the unconscious, over a century since Kant
spoke of the immeasurable . . . field of obscure ideas ,
and nearly two hundred years since Leibniz postulated an


unconscious psychic activity, not to mention the achieve-
ments of Janet, Flournoy and Freud that after all this,
the actuality of the unconscious should still be a matter
for controversy. Since it is my intention to deal exclusively
with questions of practical treatment, I will not attempt in
this place a defence of the hypothesis of the unconscious,
though it is obvious enough that dream-analysis stands or
falls with this hypothesis. Without it the dream appears
to be merely a freak of nature, a meaningless conglomerate
of memory-fragments left over from the happenings of the
day. Were the dream nothing more than this, there would
be no excuse for the present discussion We must recognize
the unconscious if we are to treat of dream-analysis at all,
for we do not resort to it as a mere exercise of the wits, but
as a method for uncovering hitherto unconscious psychic
contents which are causally related to the neurosis and
therefore of importance in its treatment. Anyone who
deems this hypothesis unacceptable must simply rule out
the question of the practicability of dream-analysis.

But since, according to our hypothesis, the unconscious
plays a causal part in the neurosis, and since dreams are
the direct expression of unconscious psychic activity, the
attempt to analyse and interpret dreams is entirely justified
from a scientific standpoint. Quite apart from therapeutic
results, we may expect this line of endeavour to give us
scientific insight mto psychic causality. For the practitioner,
however, scientific discoveries can at most be a gratifying
by-product of his efforts in the field of therapy. He will
not feel called upon to apply dream-analysis to his patients
on the chance that it may throw light upon the problem
of psychic causality. He may believe, of course, that the
insight so gained is of therapeutic value in which case



he will regard dream-analysis as one of his professional
duties. It is well known that the Freudian school is of
the opinion that important therapeutic effects are achieved
by throwing light upon the unconscious causal factors
that is, by explaining them to the patient and thus making
him conscious of the sources of his trouble.

If we assume, for the time bemg, that this expectation
is borne out by the facts, we can restrict ourselves to the
questions whether or not dream-analysis enables us to
discover the unconscious causes of the neurosis, and whether
it can do this unaided, or must be used in conjunction with
other methods. The Freudian answer, I may assume, is
common knowledge. My own experience confirms this view
inasmuch as I have found that dreams not infrequently bring
to light in an unmistakable way the unconscious contents
that are causal factors in a neurosis Most often it is the
initial dreams that do this I mean, those dreams that a
patient reports at the very outset of a treatment. An
illustration will perhaps be helpful.

I was consulted by a man who held a prominent position
in the world. He was afflicted with a sense of anxiety and
insecurity, and complained of dizziness sometimes resulting
in nausea, of a heavy head and difficulty in breathing this
being an exact description of the symptoms of mountain-
sickness. He had had an unusually successful career, and
had risen, with the help of ambition, industry and native
talent, from a humble origin as the son of a poor peasant.
Step by step he had climbed, attaining at last an important
post that offered him every opportunity for further social
advancement. He had actually reached a place in life
from which he could have begun his ascent into the upper
regions, when suddenly his neurosis intervened. At this



point of his story the patient could not refrain from that
stereotyped exclamation which begins with the f amili ar
words . And just now, when I . . The fact that he
had all the symptoms of mountain-sickness was highly
appropriate to the peculiar situation in which he found
himself He had brought with him to the consultation two
dreams of the preceding night.

The first dream was as follows I am once more in
the small village where I was bom. Some peasant boys
who went to school with me are standing together in the
street. I walk past them, pretending not to know them I
hear one of them, who is pointing at me, say : He doesnt
often come back to our village. " No tricks of interpretation
are needed to recognize and to understand the allusion to
the humble beginnings of the dreamers career. The dream
says quite clearly . You forget how far down you


Here is the second dream I am in a great hurry
because I am gomg on a journey. I hunt up my baggage,
but cannot find it. Time flies, and the tram will soon be
leaving. Finally I succeed in getting all my things together
I hurry along the street, discover that I have forgotten
a brief-case containing important papers, dash breathlessly
back again, find it at last, and then run towards the station,
but make hardly any headway. With a final effort I rush
on to the platform only to find the tram steaming out into
the yards. It is very long, and runs in a curious S-shaped
curve It occurs to me that if the driver is not careful, and
puts on full steam when he comes to the straight stretch,
the rear coaches will still be on the curve and will be thrown
over by the speed of the train. As a matter of fact the
driver opens the throttle as I try to shout. The rear coaches



rock frightfully, and are actually thrown off the rails. There
is a terrible catastrophe. I awake in terror.

Here, too, we can understand without much difficulty
the situation represented by the dream. It pictures the
patients frantic haste to advance himself still further
Since the driver at the front of the train goes thoughtlessly
ahead, the coaches behind him rock and finally overturn
that is, a neurosis is developed. It is clear that, at this
period of life, the patient had reached the highest point
of his career that the effort of the long ascent from his
lowly origin had exhausted his strength. He should have
contented himself with his achievements, but mstead he
is dnven by his ambition to attempt to scale heights of
success for which he is not fitted The neurosis came upon
him as a warning. Circumstances prevented my treating
the patient, and my view of his case did not satisfy him
The upshot was that events ran their course in the way
indicated by the dream. He tried to exploit the professional
openings that tempted his ambition and ran so violently
off the track that the tram-wreck was realized in actual
hfe The patients anamnesis permitted the inference that
the mountam-sickness pointed to Ins inability to climb any
further. The inference is confirmed by his dreams which
present this inability as a fact

We here come upon a characteristic of dreams that must
take first place in any discussion of the applicability of
dream-analysis to the treatment of neuroses The dream gives
a true picture of the subjective state, while the conscious
mind denies that this state exists, or recognizes it only
grudgingly. The patients conscious ego could see no
reason why he should not go steadily forward ; he continued
his struggle for advancement, refusing to admit the fact



which subsequent events made all too plain that he was
actually at the end of his tether When, m such cases, we
listen to the dictates of the conscious mind, we are always
in doubt. We can draw opposite conclusions from the
patients anamnesis After all, the private soldier may
carry a marshal's baton m his knapsack, and many a son
of poor parents has achieved the highest success. Why
should it not be so in my patients case ? Smce my judge-
ment is fallible, why should my own conjecture be more
dependable than his? At this pomt the dream comes in
as the expression of an involuntary psychic process not
controlled by the conscious outlook It presents the
subjective state as it really is It has no respect for my
conjectures or for the patients views as to how things should
be, but simply tells how the matter stands. I have therefore
made it a rule to put dreams on a plane with physiological
fact If sugar appears in the urine, then the unne contains
sugar, and not albumen or urobilin or something else that
I may have been led to expect. This is to say that I take
dreams as facts that are invaluable for diagnosis

It is the way of dreams to give us more than we ask,
and this is true of those I have just cited as illustrations
They not only allowed us an insight into the causes of the
neurosis, but afforded a prognosis as well. What is more,
they showed us at what point the treatment should begin
The patient must be prevented from going full steam ahead
This is precisely what he tells himself m the dream.

For the time being we will content ourselves with this
hint, and return to the question whether dreams enable
us to explain the causes of a neurosis. I have cited two
dreams that actually do this. But I could equally well
cite any number of initial dreams which do nothing of the



kind, although they are perfectly transparent. I do not
wish for the present to consider dreams which call for
searching analysis and interpretation.

The point is that there are neuroses whose actual origins
we discover only at the very end of an analysis, and there
are also cases m which it is of no benefit to have discovered
the origin of the neurosis. This brings me back to the
Freudian view, mentioned above, that for the purposes of
therapy it is necessary for the patient to become conscious
of the causal factors m his disturbance a view that is little
more than a survival of the old theory of the trauma. I do
not, of course, deny that many neuroses have a traumatic
origin , I simply contest the notion that all neuroses are
of this nature and arise without exception from some
crucial expenence of childhood. This view of the question
results in a causalistic approach. The doctor must give
his whole attention to the patients past ; he must always
ask . Why ? and neglect the equally pertinent question :
" What for ? This is frequently very harmful to the
patient, for he is forced to search in his memory perhaps
over a course of years for a hypothetical event in his
childhood, while things of immediate importance are grossly
neglected A purely causalistic approach is too narrow to
do justice to the true significance, either of the dream, or of
the neurosis A person is biassed who turns to dreams for the
sole purpose of discovering the hidden cause of the neurosis,
for he leaves aside the larger part of the dreams actual
contri bution. The dreams I have cited unmistakably
present the stiological factors in the neurosis , but it is
clear that they also offer a prognosis or anticipation of the
future and a suggestion as to the course of treatment as
well. We must furthermore bear in mind that a great


many dreams do not touch upon the causes of the neurosis,
but treat of quite different matters among others, of the
patients attitude to the doctor. I should like to illustrate
this by recounting three dreams of the same patient. She
consulted three different analysts in turn, and at the
beginning of each treatment she had one of these dreams.

Here is the first : I must cross the frontier into the

next country, but no one can tell me where the boundary
lies, and I cannot find it. The treatment which followed
this dream was unsuccessful, and was soon broken off

The second dream is as follows * " I must cross the

frontier It is a black night, and I cannot find the custom-
house. After a long search I notice a small light far away
and suppose that the frontier lies over there But in order
to reach it, I must cross a valley and pass through a dark
wood, in which I lose my sense of direction Then I notice
that someone is with me. This person suddenly clings to
me like a madman and I awake m terror. That treatment
also was discontinued after a few weeks, the reason being
that the patient was completely disoriented by the analysts
unconscious identification with her.

The third dream took place when the patient came into
my hands. It runs "I must cross a frontier, or rather, I
have already crossed it, and find myself in a Swiss custom-
house. I have only a handbag with me, and believe that
1 have nothing to declare But the customs official dives
mto my bag and, to my astonishment, pulls out two full-
sized mattresses The patient manned during the course of
her treatment with me, but not without a violent resistance
to this step. The cause of her neurotic resistance came to
light only after many months, and there is not a hmt of it
anywhere in these dreams They are without exception



anticipations of the difficulties she is to have with the
analysts to whom she has come for treatment.

I could cite many other dreams to the same effect, but
these may suffice to show that dreams can be anticipatory
and, m that case, must lose their particular me aning if
they are treated in a purely causalistic way These three
dreams give clear information about the analytical situation,
and it is extremely important for the purposes of therapy
that this be rightly understood. The first doctor understood
the situation and sent the patient to the second. Here she
drew her own conclusions from her dream, and decided to
leave My interpretation of her third dream disappointed
her greatly, but she was distinctly encouraged to go on in
spite of all difficulties by the fact that it reported the frontier
already crossed.

Initial dreams are often amazingly transparent and
clear-cut But as the work of analysis progresses, the
dreams in a httle while cease to be clear If they should
prove exceptional, and keep their clarity, we can be sure
that the analysis has as yet not touched some important
part of the personality. As a rule, the dreams become less
transparent, and more blurred, shortly after the beginning
of the treatment. It becomes increasingly difficult to
interpret them, a further reason for this being that a point
may soon be reached where the doctor is unable, if the truth
be told, to understand the situation as a whole This is how
the matter really stands, for to say that the dreams are
unintelligible is a mere reflection of the doctors subjective
opinion Nothing is unclear to the understanding , it is
only when we fail to understand that things appear unintel-
ligible and confused. In themselves, dreams are clear
that is, they are just as they must be under the given



conditions. If we look back at these " unintelligible "
dreams from a later stage of the treatment or from a distance
of some years, we are often astounded at our own blindness.
It is a fact that, as an analysis progresses, we come upon
dreams that are strikingly obscure in comparison with the
initial dreams. But the doctor should not be too sure that
these later dreams are really confused, or be too hasty in
accusing the patient of deliberate resistance He would do
better to take the fact as an indication of his own growing
inability to understand the situation. The psychiatrist
likewise is prone to call a patient confused when he
would do well to recognize the projection and admit his
own confusion, for it is really his understanding that grows
confused in face of the patients strange behaviour. For
the purposes of therapy, moreover, it is highly important
for the analyst to admit his lack of understanding from time
to time, for nothing is more unbearable for the patient
than to be always understood The latter in any case
relies too much upon the mysterious insight of the doctor,
and, by appealing to his professional vanity, lays a dangerous
trap for him. By taking refuge m the doctors self-confidence
and " profound understanding, the patient loses all sense
of reality, falls into a stubborn transference, and retards
the cure.

Understanding is clearly a subjective process It may
be very one-sided, m that the physician understands while
the patient does not In such a case the doctor sometimes
feels it his duty to convince the patient, and if the latter
will not allow himself to be convinced, the doctor accuses
him of resistance. When the understanding is all on my
side, I find it advisable to stress my lack of understanding.
It is relatively unimportant whether the doctor understands



or not, but everything hangs on the patients doing so
What is really needed is a mutual agreement which is the
fruit of joint reflection. It is one-sided, and therefore
dangerous, understanding for the doctor to prejudge the
dream from the standpoint of a certain doctrine and to
make a pronouncement which may be theoretically sound,
but does not win the patients assent. In so far as the
pronouncement fails m this respect, it is incorrect in the
practical sense , and it may also be incorrect in the sense that
it anticipates and thereby cripples the actual development
of the patient. We appeal only to the patients brain if
we try to inculcate a truth ; but if we help him to grow
up to this truth in the course of his own development, we
have reached his heart, and this appeal goes deeper and
acts with greater force

When the doctors interpretation is based merely upon
a one-sided theory or a preconceived opmion, his chances
of convincing the patient or of achieving any therapeutic
results depend chiefly upon suggestion And let no one
deceive himself as to the effects of suggestion. In itself
suggestion is not to be despised, but it has senous limitations,
and reacts upon the patients mdependence of character
m a very undesirable way. A practising analyst may be
supposed to believe m the significance and value of the
widening of consciousness I mean by this the procedure
of bringing to light the parts of the personality which were
previously unconscious and subjecting them to conscious
discrimination and criticism. It is an undertaking which
requires the patient to face his problems, and taxes his
powers of conscious judgement and decision. It is nothing
less than a challenge to the ethical sense, a call to arms that
must be answered by the whole personality. Therefore,



with respect to personal development, the analytical approach
is of a higher order than methods of treatment based upon
suggestion. This is a land of magic that works m the dark
and makes no ethical demands upon the personality.
Methods of treatment based upon suggestion are deceptive
makeshifts , they are incompatible with the principles of
analytical therapy, and should be avoided. But suggestion
can of course be avoided only when the doctor is aware of
the many doors through which it can enter There remains
in the best of circumstances enough and more than
enough unconscious suggestion.

The analyst who wishes to rule out conscious suggestion
must consider any dream interpretation invalid that does
not win the assent of the patient, and he must search until
he finds a formulation that does. This is a rule which,
I believe, must always be observed, especially m dealing
with those dreams whose obscurity is evidence of lack of
understanding on the part of the doctor as well as of the
patient. The doctor should regard every dream as a new
departure as a source of information about unknown
conditions concerning which he has as much to learn as
the patient. It goes without saying that he should hold
no preconceived opinions based upon a particular theory,
but stand ready in every single case to construct a totally
new theory of dreams. There is still a boundless opportunity
for pioneer-work in this field.

The view that dreams are merely imaginary fulfilments
of suppressed wishes has long ago been superseded. It is
certainly true that there are dreams which embody sup-
pressed wishes and fears, but what is there which the
dream cannot on occasion embody ? Dreams may give
expression to ineluctable truths, to philosophical pro-


1 3

nouncements, illusions, wild fantasies, memories, plans,
anticipations, irrational experiences, even telepathic visions,
and heaven knows what besides. One thing we ought
never to forget : almost the half of our lives is passed in
a more or less unconscious state. The dream is specifically
the utterance of the unconscious We may call consciousness
the daylight realm of the human psyche, and contrast it
with the nocturnal realm of unconscious psychic activity
which we apprehend as dreamlike fantasy. It is certain
that consciousness consists not only of wishes and fears,
but of vastly more than these, and it is highly probable that
the unconscious psyche contains a wealth of contents and
living forms equal to or even greater than does conscious-
ness, which is characterized by concentration, limitation
and exclusion

This being the state of affairs, it is imperative that we
should not pare down the meaning of a dream to fit some
narrow doctrine. We must remember that there are not
a few patients who imitate the technical or theoretical
jargon of the doctor, and do this even in their dreams
No language exists that cannot be misused It is hard to
realize how badly we are fooled by the abuse of ideas , it
even seems as if the unconscious had a way of strangling
the physician in the coils of his own theory All this being
so, I leave theory aside as much as possible in analysing
dreams. We cannot, of course, dispense with theory
entirely, for it is needed to make things intelligible. It is
on the basis of theory, for instance, that I expect dreams
to have a meaning. I cannot prove m every case that
dreams are meaningful, for there are dreams that neither
doctor nor patient understands. But I must regard them
as hypothetically meaningful in order to find courage to



deal with them at all. To say that dreams contri bute in an
important way to conscious knowledge, and that a dream
which fails to do so is a dream which has not been properly
interpreted this, too, is a theoretical statement But I
must adopt this hypothesis in order to make it clear to
myself why I analyse dreams On the other hand, every
hypothesis about the nature of the dream, its function and
structure, is merely a rule of thumb and must be subject
to constant modifications. We must never forget in dream-
analysis, even for a moment, that we move on treacherous
ground where nothing is certain but uncertainty. A
suitable warning to the dream-interpreter if only it were
not so paradoxical would be : Do anything you like,
only dont try to understand *

When we take up an obscure dream, our first task is not
to understand and interpret it, but to establish the context
with minute care. What I have in mind is not a boundless
sweep of " free associations starting from any and every
image in the dream, but a careful and conscious illumination
of those chains of association that are directly connected
with particular images Many patients have first to be
educated to this task, for they resemble the doctor in their
urgent desire to understand and to interpret offhand. This
is particularly the case when they have already been
educated or rather, miseducated by their reading or by a
previous analysis that went wrong. They give associations
in accordance with a theory ; that is, they try to understand
and interpret, and thus they nearly always get stuck. Like
the doctor, they wish at once to get behind the dream in
the false belief that it is a mere fa9ade conce aling the true
meaning. Perhaps we may call the dream a facade, but
we must remember that the fronts of most houses by no



means trick or deceive us, but, on the contrary, follow the
plan of the building and often betray its inner arrangement.
The manifest dream-picture is the dream itself, and
contains the " latent meaning If I find sugar in the
urine, it is sugar, and not a facade that conceals albumen.
When Freud speaks of the dream-facade , he is really
speaking, not of the dream itself, but of its obscurity, and
m so doing is projecting upon the dream his own lack of
understanding. We say that the dream has a false front
only because we fail to see into it. We would do better to
say that we are dealing with something like a text that
is unintelligible, not because it has a facade, but simply
because we cannot read it. We do not have to get behind
such a text in the first place, but must learn to read it
We shall best succeed in reading dreams by establishing
their context, as already remarked. We shall not succeed
with the help of free associations, any more than we could
use that means to decipher a Hittite inscription Free
associations will help me to uncover all my own complexes,
but for this purpose I need not start from the dream I
might as well take a sentence in a newspaper or a " Keep
out sign. If we associate freely to a dream, our complexes
will turn up right enough, but we shall hardly ever discover
the meaning of the dream. To do this, we must keep as
close as possible to the dream-images themselves. When
a person has dreamed of a deal table, little is accomplished
by his associating it with his writing-desk which is not
made of deal. The dream refers expressly to a deal table.
If at this point nothing occurs to the dreamer; his hesitation
signifies that a particular darkness surrounds the dream-
image, and this is suspicious. We would expect him to
have dozens of associations to a deal table, and when he



cannot find a single one, this must have a meaning. In
such cases we should return again and again to the image
I say to my patients : " Suppose I had no idea what the
words deal table mean. Describe this object and give me
its history in such a way that I cannot fail to understand
what sort of thing it is. We succeed in this way in
establishing a good part of the context of that particular
dream-image. When we have done this for all the images
in the dream, we are ready for the venture of interpretation

Every interpretation is hypothetical, for it is a mere
attempt to read an unfamiliar text. An obscure dream,
taken by itself, can rarely be interpreted with any certainty,
so that I attach little importance to the interpretation of
single dreams. With a senes of dreams we can have more
confidence in our interpretations, for the later dreams
correct the mistakes we have made m handling those that
went before. We are also better able, in a dream senes, to
recognize the important contents and basic themes, and
I therefore urge my patients to make a careful record of
their dreams and the interpretations given them. I also
show them how to work up their dreams in the way I have
just indicated, so that they can bring me in wnting the
dream and the matenal that forms the context of the
dream. In later stages of analysis I let them work out the
interpretations as well. The patient learns in this way how
to consult the unconscious without the doctors help.

If dreams did nothing more than inform us about the
causal factors in a neurosis, we could safely let the doctor
handle them alone. My way of dealing with them, more-
over, would be quite superfluous if all that we could expect
of them were a collection of hints and insights helpful to
the doctor. But since it is probable, as I have shown in



a few examples, that dreams contain more than practical
helps for the doctor, dream-analysis deserves very special
consideration. Sometimes, indeed, it is a matter of life
and death.

Among many cases of this sort, I have been especially
impressed with one that concerned a colleague of mine
in Zurich. He was a man somewhat older than myself
whom I saw from time to time, and who always teased me
on these occasions about my interest m dream-interpretation.
I met him one day in the street, and he called out to me :
" How are things going ? Are you still interpreting dreams ?
By the way, Ive had another idiotic dream. Does it mean
something too ? He had dreamed as follows : "I am
climbing a high mountain over steep, snow-covered slopes.
I mount higher and higher it is marvellous weather. The
higher I climb, the better I feel. I think : If only I could
go on climbing hke this for ever 1 When I reach the
summit, my happiness and elation are so strong that I
feel I could mount right up into space. And I discover
that I actually can do this. I go on climbing on empty air.
I awake in a real ecstasy. When he had told me his
dream, I said : My dear man, I know you cant give
up mountaineering, but let me implore you not to go alone
from now on. When you go, take two guides, and you
must promise on your word of honour to follow their
directions Incorrigible ' he rephed laughing, and said
good-bye I never saw him again. Two months later came
the first blow. When out alone, he was buried by an
avalanche, but was dug out in the nick of time by a military
patrol which happened to come along. Three months after
this the end came. He went on a climb accompanied by
a younger friend, but without guides. An alpinist standing



below saw him literally step out into the air as he was
letting himself down a rock wall. He fell on to the head
of his friend, who was waiting beneath him, and both were
dashed to pieces far below That was ecstas%s in the full
meaning of the word.

No amount of scepticism and critical reserve has ever
enabled me to regard dreams as negligible occurrences.
Often enough they appear senseless, but it is obviously we
who lack the sense and the mgenuity to read the enigmatical
message from the nocturnal realm of the psyche. When
we see that at least a half of mans life is passed in this
realm, that consciousness has its roots there, and that the
unconscious operates in and out of waking existence, it
would seem incumbent upon medical psychology to sharpen
its perceptions by a systematic study of dreams. No one
doubts the importance of conscious experience ; why then
should we question the importance of unconscious hap-
penings ? They also belong to human life, and they are
sometimes more truly a part of it for weal or woe than any
events of the day.

Dreams give information about the secrets of the inner life
and reveal to the dreamer hidden factors of his personality.
As long as these are undiscovered, they disturb his waking
life and betray themselves only in the form of symptoms
This means that we cannot effectively treat the patient
from the side of consciousness alone, but must bring about
a change in and through the unconscious As far as present
knowledge goes, there is only one way of doing this : there
must be a thorough-going, conscious assimilation of
unconscious contents. By " assimilation , I mean a
mutual interpenetration of conscious and unconscious
contents, and not as is too commonly thought a



one-sided valuation, interpretation and deformation of
unconscious contents by the conscious mind As to the
value and significance cf unconscious contents m general,
very mistaken views are abroad It is well known that the
Freudian school presents the unconscious in a thoroughly
depreciatory light, ]ust as also it looks on primitive man
as little better than a wild beast Its nursery-tales about
the terrible old man of the tribe and its teachings about
the mfantile-perverse-cnminal unconscious have led
people to make a dangerous monster out of the unconscious,
that really very natural thing As if all that is good, reason-
able, beautiful and worth living for had taken up its abode
m consciousness 1 Have the horrors of the World War really
not opened our eyes ? Are we still unable to see that mans
conscious mind is even more devilish and perverse than the
unconscious ?

I was recently reproached with the charge that my
teaching about the assimilation of the unconscious, were
it accepted, would undermine culture and exalt pnmitivity
at the cost of our highest values. Such an opinion can
have no foundation other than the erroneous belief that
the unconscious is a monster. Such a view arises from fear
of nature and of hfe as it actually is Freud has invented
the idea of sublimation to save us from the imaginary claws
of the unconscious But what actually exists cannot be
alchemistically sublimated, and if anything is apparently
sublimated, it never was what a false interpretation took
it to be.

The unconscious is not a demonic monster, but a thing
of nature that is perfectly neutral as far as moral sense,
aesthetic taste and intellectual judgement go. It is dangerous
only when our conscious attitude towards it becomes



hopelessly false. And this danger grows in the measure
that we practise repressions. But as soon as the patient
begins to assimilate the contents that were previously
unconscious, the danger from the side of the unconscious
diminishes. As the process of assimilation goes on, it puts
an end to the dissociation of the personality and to the
anxiety that attends and inspires the separation of the two
realms of the psyche. That which my critic feared I
mean the overwhelming of consciousness by the unconscious
is most likely to occur when the unconscious is excluded
from life by repressions, or is misunderstood and depreciated

A fundamental mistake, and one which is commonly
made, is this . it is supposed that the contents of the
unconscious are unequivocal and are marked with plus or
minus signs that are immutable As I see the question,
this view is too naive. The psyche is a self-regulating
system that maintains itself in equilibrium as the body
does. Every process that goes too far immediately and
inevitably calls forth a compensatory activity. Without
such adjustments a normal metabolism would not exist,
nor would the normal psyche. We can take the idea of
compensation, so understood, as a law of psychic happening
Too httle on one side results m too much on the other.
The relation between conscious and unconscious is com-
pensatory. This fact, which is easily verifiable, affords a
rule for dream interpretation. It is always helpful, when
we set out to interpret a dream, to ask What conscious
attitude does it compensate ?

Although compensation may take the form of imaginary
wish-fulfilment, it generally presents itself as an actuality
which becomes the more strikingly actual the more we try
to repress it. We know that we do not conquer thirst by



repressing it. The dream-content is to be taken in all
seriousness as something that has actually happened to
us ; it should be treated as a contri butory factor m framing
our conscious outlook. If we do not do this, we shall keep
that one-sided, conscious attitude which evoked the uncon-
scious compensation in the first place. But this way holds
little hope of our ever judging ourselves correctly or finding
any balance m life

If anyone should set out to replace his conscious outlook
by the dictates of the unconscious and this is the prospect
which my critics find so alarming he would only succeed
in repressing the former, and it would reappear as an
unconscious compensation. The unconscious would thus
have changed its face and completely reversed its position.
It would have become timidly reasonable, m striking
contrast to its former tone. It is not generally believed
that the unconscious operates in this way, yet such reversals
constantly take place and constitute its essential function.
This is why every dream is a source of information and
a means of self-regulation, and why dreams are our most
effective aids in the task of building up the personality.

The unconscious itself does not harbour explosive
materials, but it may become explosive owing to the
repressions exercised by a self-sufficient, or cowardly,
conscious outlook. All the more reason, then, for giving
heed to that side ! It should now be clear why I have made
it a practical rule always to ask, before trying to interpret
a dream . What conscious attitude does it compensate ?
As may be seen, I thus bring the dream into the closest
possible connection with the conscious state. I even
maintain that it is impossible to interpret a dream with
any degree of certainty unless we know what the conscious



situation is. For it is only in the light of this knowledge
that we can make out whether the unconscious content
carries a plus or minus sign. The dream is not an isolated
psychic event completely cut off from daily kfe. If it seems
so to us, that is only an illusion that arises from our lack
of understanding In reality, the relation between con-
sciousness and the dream is strictly causal, and they interact
in the subtlest of ways.

I should like to show with the help of an illustration how
important it is to find the true value of unconscious contents.
A young man brought me the following dream : My
father is driving away from the house in his new car. He
drives very clumsily, and I get very excited about his
apparent stupidity He goes this way and that, forward
and backward, repeatedly getting the car into a tight place
Finally he runs into a wall and badly damages the car.
I shout at him m a perfect rage, telling him he ought to
behave himself My father only laughs, and then I see
that he is dead drunk. There is no foundation in fact
for the dream The dreamer is convinced that his father
would never behave m that way, even if he were drunk.
The dreamer himself is used to cars ; he is a careful driver,
and very moderate in the use of alcohol, especially when he
has to drive. Bad driving, and even slight injuries to the
car, irritate him greatly. The son's relation to his father
is good He admires him for being an unusually successful
man We can say, without any attempt at interpretation,
that the dream presents a very unfavourable picture of
the father What, then, should we take its meaning to
be as far as the son is concerned ? Is his relation to his
father good only in appearance, and does it really consist
of over-compensated resistances ? If this is so we should



attri bute a plus sign to the dream-content ; we should have
to tell the young man . " This is your actual relation to
your father. But since I could find no thing equivocal or
neurotic in the facts about the son's relation to his father,
I had no warrant for disturbing the young mans feelings
with such a destructive pronouncement. To do so would
have prejudiced the outcome of the treatment.

But if his relation to his father is really excellent, why
must the dream manufacture such an improbable story to
discredit the father ? The dreamers unconscious must have
a distinct tendency to produce such a dream. Has the
young man resistances to his father, after all, which are
perhaps fed by jealousy or a certain sense of inferiority ?
But before we go out of our way to burden his conscience
and with sensitive young people there is always the risk
that we do this too lightly we had better, for once, drop
the question of why he had this dream, and ask ourselves
mstead What for ? The answer, in this case, would be
that his unconscious clearly tries to depreciate his father.
If we take this as a compensation, we are forced to the
conclusion that his relation to his father is not only good,
but even too good. The young man actually deserves the
French sobriquet of fils d papa. His father is still too
much the guarantor of his existence, and he is still living
what I call a provisional life. He runs the risk of failing
to realize hims elf because there is too much father on
every side. This is why the unconscious manufactures a
kind of blasphemy : it seeks to lower the father and to
elevate the son. " An immoral business , we may be
tempted to say. Every father who lacks insight would be
on his guard here. And yet this compensation is entirely
to the point. It forces the son to contrast himself with his


father, and that is the only way in which he can become
aware of himself.

The interpretation ]ust outlined was apparently the
correct one, for it struck home It won the spontaneous
assent of the young man, and did no violence to his feeling
for his father, or to the fathers feeling for him. But this
interpretation was only possible when the father-son relation
had been studied in the light of all the facts that were
accessible to consciousness. Without a knowledge of the
conscious situation the true meaning of the dream would
have remained in doubt.

It is of the first importance for the assimilation of dream-
contents that no violence be done to the real values of
the conscious personality. If the conscious personality is
destroyed, or even crippled, there is no one left to do the
assimilating. When we recognize the importance of the
unconscious we are not embarking upon a Bolshevist
experiment which puts the lowest on top. This would only
bring about a return of the situation we are trying to correct.
We must see to it that the conscious personality remains
intact, for we can only turn the unconscious compensations
to good account when the conscious personality co-operates
in the venture. When it comes to the assimilation of a
content it is never a question of "this or that", but of
this and that ".

Just as the interpretation of dreams requires exact
knowledge of the conscious status quo, so the treatment of
dream symbolism demands that we take into account the
dreamers philosophical, religious and moral convictions.
It is far wiser in practice not to regard the dream-symbols
as signs or symptoms of a fixed character. We should
rather take them as true symbols that is to say, as



expressions of something not yet consciously recognized or
conceptually formulated. In addition to this, they must
be considered in relation to the dreamers immediate state
of consciousness. I emphasize that this way of treating
the dream-symbols is advisable in practice because theoretic-
ally there do exist relatively fixed symbols whose meaning
must on no account be referred to anything whose content
is known, or to anything that can be formulated in concepts.
If there were no relatively fixed symbols, it would be
impossible to determine the structure of the unconscious
There would be nothing in it which could be in any way
laid hold of or described.

It may seem strange that I should attri bute an indefinite
content to the relatively fixed symbols But it is the
indefinite content that marks the symbol as against the
mere sign or symptom. It is well known that the Freudian
school operates with hard and fast sexual symbols ,
but these are just what I should call signs, for they are
made to stand for sexuality, and this is supposed to be
something definitive. As a matter of fact, Freuds concept
of sexuality is thoroughly elastic, and so vague that it
can be made to include almost anything The word itself
is familiar, but what it denotes amounts to an indeter-
minable or variable x that stands for the physiological
activity of the glands at one extreme and the highest
reaches of the spirit at the other. Instead of taking a
dogmatic stand that rests upon the illusion that we know
something because we have a familiar word for it, I prefer
to regard the symbol as the announcement of something
unknown, hard to recognize and not to be fully determined.
Take, for instance, the so-called phallic symbols, which are
supposed to stand for the membrum virile and nothing



more. Psychologically speaking, the membrum is itself
as Kranefeldt has recently pointed out a symbolic image
whose wider content cannot easily be determined. As was
customary throughout antiquity, primitive people today
make a free use of phallic symbols, yet it never occurs to
them to confuse the phallus, as a ritualistic symbol, with
the penis. They always take the phallus to mean the
creative mana, the power of healing and fertility, " that
which is unusually potent , to use Lehmanns expression
Its equivalents in mythology and in dreams are the bull,
the ass, the pomegranate, the yoni, the he-goat, the lightning,
the horses hoof, the dance, the magical cohabitation in the
furrow, and the menstrual fluid, to mention only a few of
many. That which underlies all of these images and
sexuality itself is an archetypal content that is hard to
grasp, and that finds its best psychological expression m
the primitive mana symbol. In each of the images given
above we can see a relatively fixed symbol %.e. the mana
symbol but we cannot for all that be certain that when
they occur in dreams they have no other meaning
The practical need may call for quite another inter-
pretation. To be sure, if we had to interpret dreams m an
exhaustive way according to scientific principles, we should
have to refer every such symbol to an archetype. But, in
practice, this kind of interpretation might be a grave
blunder, for the patients psychological state may require
anything rather than the giving of attention to a theory
of dreams. It is therefore advisable, for the purposes of
therapy, to look for the meaning of symbols as they relate
to the conscious situation in other words, to treat them as
if they were not fixed. This is as much as to say that we
must renounce all preconceived opinions, however knowing



they make us feel, and try to discover the meaning of things
for the patient. If we do this, our interpretations will
obviously not go very far towards satisfying a theory of
dreams ; in fact, they may fall very short in this respect.
But if the practitioner operates too much with fixed symbols,
there is danger of his falling mto mere routine and dogmatism,
thus failing to meet the patient's need. It is unfortunate
that, to illustrate the above, I should have to go into greater
detail than space here permits, but I have elsewhere published
illustrative material that amply supports my statements.

As already remarked, it frequently happens at the very
beginning of a treatment that a dream reveals to the doctor,
in a wide perspective, the general direction in which the
unconscious is moving But, for practical reasons, it may
not be feasible to make clear to the patient, at this early
stage, the deeper meaning of his dream. The demands of
therapy are binding upon us m this way also When the
doctor gams such a far-reaching insight, it is thanks to his
experience m the matter of relatively fixed symbols. Such
insight can be of the very greatest value m diagnosis and
in prognosis as well. I was once consulted in the case of a
seventeen-year-old girl One specialist had suggested that
she might be in the first stages of progressive atrophy of
the muscles, while another thought that she was a hysteric.
Because of this second opinion, I was called in. The clinical
picture made me suspect an organic disease, but the girl
showed traits of hysteria as well I asked for dreams. The
patient answered at once : Yes, I have terrible dreams
Just recently I dreamed I was coming home at night.
Everything is as quiet as death. The door into the living-
room is half open, and I see my mother hanging from the
chandelier and swinging to and fro in a cold wind that


blows in through the open windows. At another time I
dreamed that a terrible noise breaks out in the house at
night. I go to see what has happened, and find that a
frightened horse is tearing through the rooms. At last it
finds the door into the hall, and jumps through the hall
window from the fourth floor down mto the street. I was
terrified to see it lying below, all mangled.

The way in which these dreams allude to death is enough
to give one pause. But many persons have anxiety dreams
now and then. We must therefore look more closely mto
the meaning of the outstanding symbols, " mother and
horse . These figures must be equivalent one to the
other, for they both do the same thing . they commit
suicide The mother symbol is archetypal and refers to
a place of origin, to nature, that which passively creates,
hence to substance and matter, to material nature, the lower
body (womb) and the vegetative functions It connotes
also the unconscious, natural and instinctive hfe, the
physiological realm, the body in which we dwell or are
contained, for the mother is also a vessel, the hollow
form (uterus) that carries and nourishes, and it thus stands
for the foundations of consciousness. Being within some-
thing or contained in something suggests darkness, the
nocturnal a state of anxiety With these allusions I am
presenting the idea of the mother in many of its mythological
and etymological transformations , I am also giving an
important part of the yin concept of Chinese philosophy.
All this is dream-content, but it is not something which
the seventeen-year-old girl has acquired in her individual
existence ; it is rather a bequest from the past. On the
one hand it has been kept alive by the language, and on
the other hand it is inherited with the structure of the



psyche and is therefore to be found in all times and among
all peoples.

The familiar word mother refers apparently to the
best-known of mothers in particular to my mother
But the mother symbol points to a darker meaning which
eludes conceptual formulation and can only be vaguely
apprehended as the hidden, nature-bound hfe of the body.
Yet even this expression is too narrow, and excludes too
many pertinent side-meanings The psychic reality which
underlies this symbol is so mconceivably complex that we
can only discern it from afar off, and then but very dimly
It is such realities that call for symbolic expression.

If we apply our findings to the dream, its meaning will
be the unconscious hfe destroys itself That is the dreams
message to the conscious mind of the dreamer and to
everyone who has ears to hear

Horse is an archetype that is widely current in
mythology and folk-lore. As an animal it represents the
non-human psyche, the sub-human, animal side, and
therefore the unconscious This is why the horse in folk-
lore sometimes sees visions, hears voices, and speaks. As
a beast of burden it is closely related to the mother-
archetype ; the Valkyries bear the dead hero to Valhalla
and the Trojan horse encloses the Greeks. As an animal
lower than man it represents the lower part of the body and
the animal drives that take their rise from there The horse
is dynamic power and a means of locomotion , it carries
one away like a surge of instinct It is subject to panics
like all instinctive creatures who lack higher consciousness.
Also it has to do with sorcery and magical spells especially
the black, night horse which heralds death

It is evident, then, that horse is the equivalent of



mother with a slight shift of meaning. The mother
stands for life at its origin, and the horse for the merely
animal life of the body. If we apply this meaning to the
dream, it says : the animal life destroys itself.

The two dreams make nearly the same assertion, but, as
is usually the case, the second is more specific. The peculiar
subtlety of the dream is brought out in both instances .
there is no mention of the death of the individual. It is
notorious that one often dreams of ones own death, but
that is no serious matter. When it is really a question of
death, the dream speaks another language Both of these
dreams, then, point to a serious, and even fatal, organic
disease. The prognosis was shortly after borne out in fact

As for the relatively fixed symbols, this example gives a
fair idea of their general nature There are a great many
of them, and they may differ in individual cases by subtle
shifts of meaning. It is only through comparative studies
in mythology, folk-lore, religion and language that we can
determine these symbols in a scientific way. The evolu-
tionary stages through which the human psyche has passed
are more clearly discernible in the dream than in conscious
ness. The dream speaks in images, and gives expression
to instincts, that are derived from the most primitive levels
of nature. Consciousness all too easily departs from the
law of nature ; but it can be brought again into harmony
with the latter by the assimilation of unconscious contents
By fostering this process we lead the patient to the
rediscovery of the law of his own being.

I have not been able, in so short a space, to deal with
anything but the elements of the subject. I could not put
together before your eyes, stone by stone, the edifice that
is reared in every analysis from the materials of the



unconscious and finds its completion in the restoration of
the total personality The way of successive assimilations
reaches far beyond the curative results that specifically
concern the doctor. It leads in the end to that distant
goal (which may perhaps have been the first urge to hfe),
the bringing into reality of the whole human being that is,
individuation. We physicians are without doubt the first
scientific observers of these obscure processes of nature.
As a rule we see only a pathological phase of the development,
and lose sight of the patient as soon as he is cured. But
it is only when the cure has been effected that we are in
a position to study the normal process of change, itself
a matter of years or decades. If we had some knowledge
of the ends towards which unconscious, psychic growth is
tending, and if our psychological insight were not drawn
exclusively from the pathological phase, we should have
a less confused idea of the processes revealed by dreams
and a clearer recognition of what it is that the symbols
point to In my opinion, every doctor should be aware of
the fact that psycho therapy in general, and analysis in
particular, is a procedure that breaks into a purposeful and
continuous development, now here and now there, and
thus singles out particular phases which may seem to follow
opposing courses. Since every analysis by itself shows only
one part or aspect of the deeper course of development,
nothing but hopeless confusion can result from casuistic
comparisons. For this reason I have preferred to confine
myself to the rudiments of the subject and to practical
considerations. It is only in actual contact with the facts as
they occur that we can come to anything like a satisfactory


Psycho therapy, or the treatment of the mind by psycho-
logical methods, is identified in popular thought today with
psychoanalysis This word is now so widely accepted
that everyone who uses it seems at the same time to grasp
its meaning ; yet it is seldom that a layman knows precisely
what it covers.

According to the intention of its creator, Freud, it can
be appropriately applied only to his own particular method
of explaining psychic symptoms in terms of certain repressed
impulses Inasmuch as this technique is the consequence
of a particular approach to life, the idea of psychoanalysis
mcludes certain theoretical assumptions, among them the
Freudian theory of sexuality. The founder of psychoanalysis
himself explicitly insists upon this circumscription. But,
Freud notwithstanding, the layman apphes the concept of
psychoanalysis to every land of modem endeavour to
probe the mind by scientific methods. Thus Adler's school
must submit to being labelled " psychoanalytic despite
the fact that Adlers view-point and method are apparently
in irreconcilable opposition to those of Freud. Because
of this contrast, Adler himself does not cedi his teaching
psychoanalysis , but " individual psychology ; while I
prefer to call my own approach " analytical psychology .
I wish the term to stand for a general conception embracing


both psychoanalysis " and individual psychology , as
well as other efforts in this field.

Since the mind is common to mankind it may seem to the
layman that there can be only one psychology, and he may
therefore suppose the divergences between the schools to
be either subjective quibbling, or else a commonplace
disguise for the efforts of mediocrities who seek to exalt
themselves upon a throne. I could easily leng then the
list of " psychologies by mentioning other systems that
are not to be included under the head of analytical
psychology There are, in fact, many methods, stand-
points, views and convictions which are all at war with one
another the main reason for this being that, smce they
fail to be mutually comprehensible, none of them can grant
the validity of any other The many-sidedness and variety
of psychological opinions in our time is nothing less than
astonishing, and it is confusing for the layman that no
general survey of them can be made.

When we find the most diverse remedies prescribed in
a text-book of pathology for a given disease, we may con-
fidently assume that none of these remedies is particularly
efficacious. So, when many different ways of approaching
the psyche are recommended, we may rest assured that
none of them leads with absolute certainty to the goal,
least of all those advocated in a fanatical way. The very
number of present-day psychologies amounts to a
confession of perplexity. The difficulty of gaining access to
the mind is gradually borne in upon us, and the mind itself
is seen to be, to use Nietzsches expression, a homed
problem It is small wonder therefore that efforts to attack
this elusive riddle are multiplied, first from one side and
then from another. The variety of contradictory standpoints


and opinions of which we have spoken is the inevitable

The reader will doubtless agree that in discussing psycho-
analysis we should not limit ourselves to its narrower
definition, but deal in general with the results and failures
of the various contemporary endeavours to solve the problem
of the psyche endeavours which we have agreed shall all
be embraced in the concept of analytical psychology.

And moreover, why is there suddenly so much interest
in the human psyche as something to be experienced ?
This has not been the case for thousands of years I wish
merely to raise this apparently irrelevant question, and
will not try to answer it. It is in reality not irrelevant,
because this mterest underlies all such modem movements
as theosophy, occultism, astrology and so forth

All that is embraced today in the laymans idea of
" psychoanalysis originated in medical practice ; and
consequently most of it is medical psychology. It bears
the unmistakable imprint of the physicians consulting-
room a fact which is evident not only in its terminology,
but also in its framework of theory. We constantly come
upon postulates which the physician has taken over from
natural science and in particular from biology. This fact
has largely contri buted to the hostility between modem
psychology and the academic fields of philosophy, history
and classical learning. Modem psychology is empirical
and close to nature, while these studies are grounded m the
intellect. The distance between nature and mind, diffi cult
to bridge at best, is increased by a medical and biological
nomenclature which sometimes appears of practical utility,
but more often severely taxes our good-will.

In view of the confusion of concepts that exists, I have


felt it necessary to indulge in the foregoing general remarks.
I should hke now to turn to the task in hand and consider
the actual achievements of analytical psychology. Since
the various endeavours embraced by this term are so
heterogeneous, it is extremely difficult to take up a generally
mclusive standpoint. If, then, with regard to the aims and
results of these endeavours, I try to distinguish certain
classes, or rather stages, I do it with some reservation.
I regard it as a merely provisional arrangement, and grant
that it may seem as arbitrary as a surveyors triangulation
of a country. Be that as it may, I venture to arrange the
sum-total of findings under the four heads of confession,
explanation, education, and transformation. I shall now
proceed to discuss the meaning of these somewhat unusual

The first beginnings of all analytical treatment are to be
found in its prototype, the confessional Since, however,
the two practices have no direct causal connection, but
rather grow from a common psychic root, it is difficult for
an outsider to see at once the relation between the ground-
work of psychoanalysis and the religious institution of the

As soon as man was capable of conceiving the idea of
sm, he had recourse to psychic concealment or, to put
it in analytical language, repressions arose Anything that
is concealed is a secret. The maintenance of secrets acts
like a psychic poison which alienates their possessor from
the community. In small doses, this poison may actually
be a pnceless remedy, even an essential preliminary to the
differentiation of the individual. This is so much the case
that, even on a primitive level, man has felt an irresistible
need to invent secrets , their possession saves him from


dissolving in the unconsciousness of mere community life,
and thus from a fatal psychic injury. As is well known, the
many ancient mystery cults with their secret rituals served
this instinct for differentiation Even the Christian sacra-
ments were looked upon as mysteries in the early Church,
and, as in the case of baptism, were celebrated in private
apartments and only referred to under a veil of allegory.

However beneficial a secret shared with several persons
may be, a merely private secret has a destructive effect
It resembles a burden of guilt which cuts off the unfortunate
possessor from communion with his fellow-beings. Yet if
we are conscious of what we conceal, the harm done is
decidedly less than if we do not know what we are repressing
or even that we have repressions at all. In the latter
case we not merely keep a content consciously private, but
we conceal it even from ourselves. It then splits off from
consciousness as an independent complex, to lead a separate
existence m the unconscious, where it can be neither
corrected nor interfered with by the conscious mind. The
complex is thus an autonomous portion of the psyche which,
as experience has shown, develops a peculiar fantasy-life
of its own What we call fantasy is simply spontaneous
psychic activity ; and it wells up whenever the repressive
action of the conscious mind relaxes or ceases altoge ther,
as in sleep. In sleep this activity shows itself in the form
of dreams. And we continue to dream m waking life
beneath the threshold of consciousness, especially when
this activity is conditioned by a repressed or otherwise
unconscious complex It should be said in passing that
unconscious contents are by no means exclusively such as
were once conscious and, by being repressed, have later
grown into unconscious complexes. Quite otherwise, the


unconscious has contents peculiar to itself which, slowly
growing upward from the depths, at last come into conscious-
ness. We should therefore in no wise picture the unconscious
psyche to ourselves as a mere receptacle for contents discarded
by the conscious mind.

All psychic contents which either approach the threshold
of consciousness from below, or have sunk only slightly
beneath it, have an effect upon our conscious activities.
Since the content itself is not conscious, these effects are
necessarily indirect. Most of our lapses of the tongue,
of the pen, of memory, and the like, are traceable to these
disturbances, as are likewise all neurotic symptoms These
are nearly always of psychic origin, the exceptions being
shock effects from shell-explosions and other causes The
mildest forms of neurosis are the lapses already referred
to blunders of speech, the sudden forgetting of names
and dates, unexpected clumsiness leading to injuries or
accidents, misunderstandings of personal motives or of what
we have heard or read, and so-called hallucinations of
memory which cause us to suppose erroneously that we
have said or done this or that. In all these cases a thorough
investigation can show the existence of a content which m
an indirect and unconscious way has distorted the conscious

In general, therefore, an unconscious secret is more
harmful than one that is conscious I have seen many
patients in difficult situations of life which might have
driven weaker natures to suicide. These patients had at
times a tendency towards suicide, but, on account of their
inherent reasonableness, would not allow the suicidal urge
to come mto consciousness. But it remained active m the
unconscious, and brought about all kinds of dangerous


accidents as for instance an attack of faintness or hesitation
in front of an advancing motor-car, the swallowing of
corrosive sublimate in the belief that it was a cough mixture,
a sudden zest for dangerous acrobatics, and so forth When
it was possible to make the suicidal leaning conscious,
common-sense could helpfully intervene ; the patients could
then recognize and avoid those situations that tempted them
to self-destruction.

As we have seen, every personal secret has the effect of
a sin or of guilt whether or not it is, from the standpoint
of popular morality, a wrongful secret Now another form
of concealment is the act of " withholding it being
usually emotions that are withheld. As in the case of
secrets, so here also we must make a reservation self-
restraint is healthful and beneficial ; it is even a virtue.
This is why we find self-disciphne to have been one of mans
earliest moral attainments Among primitive peoples it
has its place in the initiation ceremonies, chiefly in the
forms of ascetic continence and the stoical endurance of
pain and fear Self-restraint, however, is here practised
within the secret society as something undertaken in com-
pany with others But if self-restraint is only a pnvate
matter, and perhaps devoid of any religious aspect, then it
may be as harmful as the personal secret. From this kind
of self-restraint come our well-known ugly moods and the
irritability of the over-virtuous. The emotion withheld is
also something we conceal something which we can hide
even from ourselves an art in which men particularly
excel, while women, with very few exceptions, are by nature
averse to doing such violence to their emotions. When
emotion is withheld it tends to isolate and disturb us quite
as much as an unconscious secret, and is equally guilt-laden.


Just as nature bears us ill-will, as it were, if we possess a
secret to which mankind has not attained, so also has she
a grudge against us if we withhold our emotions from our
fellow-men Nature decidedly abhors a vacuum in this
respect, m the long run nothing is more unbearable than
a tepid harmony m personal relations brought about by
withholding emotion The repressed emotions are often of
a kind we wish to keep secret. But more often there is no
secret worthy of the name , there are merely quite avowable
emotions which, from being withheld at some important
juncture, have become unconscious

It is probable that one form of neurosis is conditioned
by the predominance of secrets, and another by the pre-
dominance of restrained emotions At any rate the
hysterical subject, who is very free with his emotions, is
most often the possessor of a secret, while the hardened
psychas thenic suffers from inability to digest his emotions.

To cherish secrets and to restrain emotions are psychic
misdemeanours for which nature finally visits us with
sickness that is, when we do these thmgs in private
But when they are done m communion with others they
satisfy nature and may even count as useful virtues It is
only restraint practised m and for oneself that is unwhole-
some. It is as if man had an inalienable right to behold
all that is dark, imperfect, stupid and guilty in his fellow-
beings for such of course are the things that we keep
private to protect ourselves. It seems to be a sin m the
eyes of nature to hide our insufficiency just as much as to
hve entirely on our inferior side There appears to be a
conscience in mankind which severely punishes the man
who does not somehow and at some time, at whatever cost
to his pride, cease to defend and assert himself, and instead


confess himself fallible and human Until he can do this, an
impenetrable wall shuts him out from the living experience
of feeling himself a man among men. Here we find a key
to the great significance of true, unstereotyped confession
a significance known in all the initiation and mystery cults
of the ancient world, as is shown by a saying from the
Greek mysteries . Give up what thou hast, and then thou
wilt receive

We may well take this saying as a motto for the first
stage in psycho therapeutic treatment It is a fact that the
beginnings of psychoanalysis were fundamentally nothing
else than the scientific rediscovery of an ancient truth ; even
the name catharsis (or cleansing), which was given to the
earliest method of treatment, comes from the Greek initiation
rites. The early method of catharsis consisted in putting
the patient, with or without hypnotic aid, in touch with
the hinterl and of his mind that is to say, into that state
which the Eastern yoga systems describe as meditation or
contemplation In contrast to the meditation found in
yoga practice, the psychoanalytic aim is to observe the
shadowy presentations whether in the form of images or
of feelings that are spontaneously evolved in the uncon-
scious psyche and appear without his bidding to the man
who looks within. In this way we find once more things
that we have repressed or forgotten Painful though it
may be, this is m itself a gam for what is inferior or even
worthless belongs to me as my shadow and gives me
substance and mass. How can I be substantial if I fail to
cast a shadow ? I must have a dark side also if I am to
be whole , and inasmuch as I become conscious of my
shadow I also remember that I am a human bemg like any
other. In any case, when I keep it to myself, this rediscovery


of that which makes me whole restores the condition which
preceded the neurosis or the splitting off of the complex. In
keepmg the matter private I have only attained a partial
cure for I still continue in my state of isolation It is
only with the help of confession that I am able to throw
myself into the arms of humanity freed at last from the
burden of moral exile. The goal of treatment by catharsis
is full confession no merely intellectual acknowledgement
of the facts, but their confirmation by the heart and the
actual release of the suppressed emotions

As can easily be imagined, such confessions have a great
effect with simple people, and their curative results are
often astonishing Yet I do not wish to point to the fact
that some patients are cured as being the mam achievement
of psycho therapy at this level , what I wish to call attention
to is the systematic emphasis given to the significance of
confession It is this which strikes home to all of us For
we are all m some way or other kept asunder by our secrets ,
and instead of seeking through confession to bridge the
abysses that separate us from one another, we choose the
easy by-way of deceptive opinions and illusions. In saying
this, however, I am far from wishing to enunciate a general
maxim It would be hard to go too far in condemning the
bad taste of a common, mutual confession of sins. The fact
established by psychology is simply this : we are dealing
here with a delicate matter. We cannot handle it directly or
by itself, for it offers us a problem with unusually pointed
horns. A consideration of the next stage that of explana-
tion will make this clear.

It is evident enough that the new psychology would have
remained at the stage of confession had catharsis proved
itself a panacea. First and foremost, it is not always possible


to bring certain patients close enough to the unconscious
to enable them to perceive the shadows. Indeed, there
are many patients, for the most part complicated, highly
conscious persons, who are so firmly anchored in conscious-
ness that nothing can pry them loose They often develop
the most violent resistances whenever an attempt is made
to push consciousness aside , they wish to talk with the
physician of things about which they are fully conscious
to make their difficulties intelligible and to discuss them.
They already have quite enough to confess, they say , they
do not have to turn to the unconscious for that For such
patients a complete technique for effecting the approach
to the unconscious is needed

This is one fact which at the outset seriously restricts us
m applying the method of catharsis The other limitation
is revealed later on, and its discussion at once leads us to
the problems of the second stage the stage of explanation.
Let us suppose that in a given case the confession demanded
by the method of catharsis has taken place that the
neurosis has disappeared, or that the symptoms at least
have vanished The patient could now be dismissed as
cured if it depended on the physician alone. But he or
especially she cannot get away. The patient seems bound
to the physician by the act of confession If this apparently
meaningless attachment is forcibly severed, there is a bad

It is both curious and significant that there are cases
where no attachment develops. The patient goes away
apparently cured but he is now so fascinated by the
hinterl and of his own mind that he contmues to practise
catharsis by himself at the expense of his adaptation to
life He is bound to the unconscious to himself not to


the physician. He has obviously shared the experience of
Theseus and his comrade Pirithous in their descent to
Hades to bring back the goddess of the underworld Tiring
on the way, they sat down to rest for a while, only to find
that they had grown to the rocks and could not rise
These curious and unexpected occurrences must be
explained to the patients, while the first-mentioned cases
who were inaccessible to catharsis must also be handled by
the method of explanation In spite of the fact that the
two classes of patients are apparently quite different, it is
at the same point that explanation is called for that is,
where the problem of fixation arises, as was recognized by
Freud This fixation is evident enough in patients who
have undergone catharsis, and it is especially clear m those
who remain attached to the physician. Something similar
has already been observed as an unpleasant result of
hypnotic treatment, but the inner mechanism of such a tie
was not understood. It now appears that the questionable
bond essentially corresponds to the relation between father
and child The patient falls into a sort of childish dependence
from which he cannot protect himself even by reason and
insight. The fixation is at times astonishingly strong so
much so that one suspects it of being fed by forces quite out
of the common. But since the process of transference is
an unconscious one, the patient is unable to give any
information about it We are obviously dealing with a
new symptom a neurotic formation directly induced by
the treatment. The question therefore arises : How is
this new difficulty to be met ? The unmistakable outward
sign of the situation is that the memory-image of the father
with its accent of feeling is transferred to the physician.
Inasmuch as the latter willy-nilly appears m the rdle of


father, the patient slips into a childish relation He has
not, of course, been made childish by this relation , there
was always something childish about him, but it was
suppressed. Now it comes to the surface, and the long-lost
father being found again it tries to reproduce the family
situation of childhood. Freud gave to this symptom the
appropriate name of transference A certain dependence
upon the physician who has helped you is of course normal
and understandable enough What is abnormal and un-
expected is the unusual obstinacy of the transference and
its inaccessibility to conscious correction.

It is one of Freuds outstanding achievements to have
explained the nature of this tie at least in the light of
mans personal history and so to have cleared the way
for an important advance in psychological knowledge It
has today been put beyond a doubt that it is caused by
unconscious fantasies. These fantasies have m the main
what we may call an incestuous character , and this
seems adequately to explain the fact that they remain
unconscious and cannot be expected to turn up m the most
thorough confession Although Freud always speaks of
incest-fantasies as if they were repressed, further experience
shows us that in many cases they have never been conscious
or have been sensed only in the vaguest way for which
reason they could not be intentionally repressed. More
recent research seems to show that the incest-fantasies
are usually unconscious and so remain till they are dragged
to light in analytical treatment. By this I do not mean
that pulling them up from the unconscious is an interference
with nature which we should avoid ; I merely wish to
suggest that the procedure is almost as drastic as a surgical
operation. But it is wholly unavoidable in that the analytical


procedure induces a transference which is abnormal, and
can only be dealt with by reaching the incest-fantasies.

While the method of catharsis restores to the ego such
contents as are accessible to consciousness and are normally
included in it, the process of clearing up the transference
brings to light contents which, because of their nature, were
almost inaccessible to consciousness This is the main
difference between the stage of confession and the stage
of explanation.

We have discussed above two sets of cases those of such
patients as do not lend themselves to the method of catharsis,
and those for whom it gives results We have moreover
just treated of those whose fixation takes the form of a
transference Besides these there are those people we have
also mentioned who develop no attachment to the physician,
but rather one to their own unconscious, in which they
become entangled as in a web. In these cases the parental
image is not transferred to a human object It is seen as
a fantasy, and yet it exerts the same power of attraction
and produces the same attachment as does the transference

The patients who cannot give themselves without reserve
to treatment by catharsis can be understood in the light
of Freudian research We can see that, even before coming
to the doctor, they had identified themselves with their
parents, and derive from this identification that force of
authority, that independence and critical power which
enables them to offer a successful resistance to the treatment.
These are chiefly cultivated and differentiated persons
While others become the helpless victims of the unconscious
parental image, these draw strength from it by unconsciously
identifying themselves with their parents

In the matter of the transference, we can get nowhere


with the help of confession. It was this which drove Freud
to a fundamental renovation of Breuers original technique
of catharsis, and to what he himself called the inter-
pretative method This further step necessarily follows,
for the relationship produced by the transference especially
requires explanation. The layman can hardly appreciate
the importance of this , but the doctor who finds himself
suddenly entangled in a web of incomprehensible and
fantastic notions sees it all too clearly He must interpret
the transference to the patient that is, explain to him
what it is that he projects upon his doctor. Since the
patient himself does not know what it is, the physician is
forced to subject what scraps of fantasy he can obtain from
the patient to analytical interpretation. It is first and
foremost our dreams which furnish this important material.
While investigating the suppression of wishes which are
incompatible with our conscious standpoint, Freud studied
dreams in search of these wishes, and m the process dis-
covered the incestuous contents of which I have spoken.
These were of course not the only materials revealed by
the investigation; he discovered all the filth of which
human nature is capable and it is notorious that it would
require a lifetime to make even a rough inventory of it.

The end-product of the Freudian method of explanation
is a detailed elaboration of mans shadow-side such as had
never been carried out before. It is the most effective
antidote imaginable to all idealistic illusions about the
nature of man ; and it is therefore no wonder that there
arose on all sides the most violent opposition to Freud and
his school. We could expect nothing else of those who
believe in illusions on principle , but I maintain that there
are not a few among the opponents of the method of


explanation who have no illusions as to mans shadow-side,
and who yet object to a biassed portrayal of man from the
shadow-side alone. After all, the essential thing is not the
shadow, but the body which casts it.

Freuds method of interpretation rests upon " reductive
explanations which unfailingly lead backward and downward,
and it has a destructive effect if it is used in an exaggerated
and one-sided way. Nevertheless psychology has profited
greatly from Freuds pioneer work , it has learned that
human nature has also a black side, and that not man alone
possesses this side, but his works, his institutions, and his
convictions as well. Even our purest and holiest beliefs
can be traced to the crudest origins This way of lookmg at
things even has its justification, for the beginning of all
living organisms is simple and lowly , we build our
houses from the foundation up. No thoughtful person will
deny that Salomon Reinachs explanation of the Last Supper
m terms of primitive totemism is fraught with meaning ,
nor will he object to the mcest-theme being pointed out in
the myths of the Greek divinities It is painful there is
no denying it to interpret radiant things from the shadow-
side, and thus in a measure reduce them to their origins m
dreary filth. But it seems to me to be an imperfection m
things of beauty, and a weakness in man, if an explanation
from the shadow-side has a destructive effect. The horror
which we feel for Freudian interpretations is entirely due
to our own barbaric or childish naivete, which believes that
there can be heights without corresponding depths, and
which blinds us to the really final truth that, when
carried to extremes, opposites meet Our mistake would he
in supposing that what is radiant no longer exists because
it has been explained from the shadow-side. This is a


regrettable error into which Freud himself has fallen Yet
the shadow belongs to the light as the evil belongs to the
good, and vice versa. Therefore I cannot regret the shock
that was felt at the exposure of our occidental illusions and
pettiness ; on the contrary, I welcome this exposure and
attach to it an almost incalculable significance It is one
of those swings of the pendulum which, as history has so
often shown, set matters right again. It forces us to accept
a present-day philosophical relativism such as has been
formulated by Einstein for mathematical physics, and which
is fundamentally a truth of the far East whose ultimate
effects upon us we cannot foresee.

Nothing influences our conduct less than do intellectual
ideas. But when an idea is the expression of psychic
experience which bears fruit m regions as far separated and
as free from historical relation as East and West, then we
must look into the matter closely. For such ideas represent
forces that are beyond logical justification and moral
sanction ; they are always stronger than man and his
brain. Man believes indeed that he moulds these ideas, but
m reality they mould h i m and make him their unwitting

To return again to the problem of fixation, I should like
now to deal with the effects of the process of explanation
The patient becomes aware of the unsoundness of his
position with respect to the doctor when his transference
has been traced back to its dark origins , he cannot avoid
seeing how inappropriate and childish his claims are If he
has been inflated by a sense of authority, he will exchange
his elevated position for one that is more modest, and will
accept an insecurity which may prove very wholesome
If he has not yet renounced his infantile claims upon the


doctor, he will now recognize the inescapable truth that to
make claims on others is a childish self-indulgence which
must be replaced by a greater sense of his own responsibility.
The man of insight will draw his own moral conclusions
Convinced of his own deficiencies, he will use this knowledge
as a means of protection ; he will plunge into the struggle
for existence and consume in progressive work and experience
that force of longing which has caused him to cling obstinately
to a childs paradise or at least to look back at it over his
shoulder. A normal adaptation and patience with his own
shortcomings will become his guiding moral principles, and
he will try to free himself from sentimentality and illusion.
The inevitable result will be that he turns away from the
unconscious as from a source of weakness and temptation
the field of moral and social defeat
The problem which now faces the patient is that of being
educated as a social being, and with this we come to the
third stage Mere insight into themselves is sufficient for
morally sensitive persons who have enough driving force
to carry them forward , for those with little imagination
for moral values, however, it does not suffice Without the
spur of external necessity, self-knowledge is ineffective for
them even when they are deeply convinced to say nothing
of those who have been struck by the analysts interpretation
and yet doubt it after all. These last are mentally disciplined
people who grasp the truth of a reductive explanation,
but cannot accept it when it merely invalidates their hopes
and ideals In these cases also mere insight is insufficient.
It is a weakness of the method of explanation that it succeeds
only with sensitive persons who can draw independent
moral conclusions from their understanding of themselves.
It is true that we can get further with explanation than with


uninterpreted confession alone, for it at least trains the
mind, and therefore may awaken sleeping powers which
can intervene in a helpful way. But the fact remains that
the most thorough explanation leaves the patient m many
cases an intelligent but still incapable child. The trouble
is that Freudian explanations in terms of pleasure and its
satisfaction are one-sided and therefore insufficient, especially
when applied to the later stages of development. This
viewpoint will not account for everybody , for even if
everyone possesses this side, it is not always the most
important. A hungry artist prefers bread to a beautiful
painting, and a man in love prefers a woman to his pubhc
career , yet the painting may be of the greatest importance
to the one and pubhc office to the other. On the average,
those who easily achieve social adaptation and social position
are better accounted for by the pleasure principle than are
the unadapted whose social shortcomings leave them with
a craving for power and importance The older brother
who follows in the footsteps of his father and attains a
commanding position, may be tortured by his desires , but
the younger brother who feels repressed and overshadowed
by the other two, may be goaded by ambition or the craving
for respect. He may even yield so completely to this passion
that nothing else is vital to him.

At this point we become aware that Freuds explanation
of things falls short, and it is precisely here that his former
pupil, Adler, comes forward to fill the gap Adler has shown
convincingly that many cases of neurosis can be more
satisfactorily explained on the ground of an urge to power
than by the pleasure principle. His interpretation therefore
is designed to show the patient that he " arranges his
symptoms and exploits his neurosis to attain a fictitious


importance; that even his transference and his other
fixations serve his will to power, and thus represent a
" masculine protest against a fancied subjection. Adler
obviously has his eye on repressed and socially unsuccessful
people whose one passion is for self-assertion. These people
are neurotic because they always imagine themselves
oppressed and tilt at the windmills of their own fancies,
thus putting the goal they most desire quite out of reach.

In essentials, Adlers method begins at the second stage ,
he explains the symptoms m the sense just indicated, and
to this extent appeals to the patients understanding. Yet
it is characteristic of Adler that he does not expect too
much of understanding, but, taking a further step, has
clearly recognized the need for social education. While
Freud is an investigator and interpreter, Adler is chiefly
an educator. In refusing to leave the patient in a childish
condition, helpless for all his valuable understanding, and
in trying by every device of education to make him a
normally adapted person, Adler modifies Freuds procedure
He does all this apparently in the conviction that social
adaptation and normalization are indispensable that they
are even the most desirable goals and the most suitable
fulfilment for a human being. The widespread social
influence of Adlers school is a consequence of this outlook
as also its neglect of the unconscious, which on occasions, it
seems, amounts to complete denial. This is probably a
swing of the pendulum an inevitable reaction to Freuds
emphasis on the unconscious, which corresponds to the
natural aversion for it which we have noted in patients
who are struggling for adaptation and health. For if
the unconscious is held to be a mere receptacle for all
the evil shadow-things in human nature, including even


primeval slime-deposits, we really do not see why we should
still linger on the edge of this swamp into which we once
fell. The investigator may see in the mud-puddle a world
full of wonders, but to the ordinary man it is something
upon which he prefers to turn his back. Just as early
Buddhism recognized no gods because it had to free itself
from an inheritance of nearly two million gods, so must
psychology, if it is to develop further, renounce so essentially
negative an approach to the unconscious as Freuds.

The Adlerian school, with its educational intent, begins
at the very pomt where Freud leaves off, and thus helps
the patient who has learned to see into himself to find the
way to normal hfe It is obviously not enough for him to
know how and why he fell ill, for to understand the causes
of an evil does very httle towards curing it We must
never foiget that the crooked paths of a neurosis lead to
as many obstinate habits, and that, despite any amount
of understanding, these do not disappear until they are
replaced by other habits But habits are only won by
exercise, and appropriate education is the sole means to this
end. The patient must be, as it were, prodded mto other
paths, and this always requires an educating will We can
therefore see why it is that Adlers approach has found
favour chiefly with clergymen and teachers, while Freuds
school has its advocates among physicians and intellectuals,
who one and all are bad nurses hnd educators.

Every stage in our psychic development has something
peculiarly final about it. When we have experienced
catharsis with its wholesale confession we feel that we have
reached our goal at last ; all has come out, all is known,
every anxiety has been lived through and every tear shed ;
now things will go as they ought. After the work of


explanation we are equally persuaded that we now know
how the neurosis arose. The earhest memories have been
unearthed, the deepest roots dug up ; the transference was
nothing but the wish-fulfilling fantasy of a childs paradise
or a regression to the old family situation ; the way to a
normally disillusioned life is now open. But then comes
the period of education, which makes us realize that no
confession and no amount of explaming will make the
ill-formed tree grow straight, but that it must be trained
with the gardeners art upon the trellis before normal
adaptation can be attained.

The curious sense of finality which attends every stage of
development accounts for the fact that there are people
using catharsis today who have apparently never heard
of dream interpretation ; Freudians who do not understand
a word of Adler, and Adlenans who do not wish to hear
any mention of the unconscious Each is deceived by the
sense of finality peculiar to the stage of development at which
he stands, and this gives rise to that confusion of opinions and
views which makes it so hard for us to find our bearings.

But what causes this sense of finality which evokes such
bigoted obstinacy in all directions ? I can only explain it
to myself on the ground that each stage of development
is summed up in a basic truth, and that therefore cases
frequently recur which demonstrate this truth m a striking
way. Our world is so exceedingly rich in delusions that
a truth is priceless, and no one will let it slip because of
a few exceptions with which it cannot be brought into
accord. Whoever doubts this truth is of course looked upon
as a faithless reprobate, while a note of fanaticism and
intolerance creeps into the discussion on all sides.

And yet each of us can carry the torch of knowledge


but a part of the way, until another takes it from him.
Could we but accept this in an impersonal way could we
but grasp the fact that we are not the personal creators
of our truths, but only their exponents who thus make
articulate the psychic needs of our day then much of the
poison and bitterness might be spared and we should be
able to perceive the profound and super-personal continuity
of the human mind.

We generally take too little account of the fact that the
doctor who uses catharsis as a mode of treatment is some-
thing more than the embodiment of an abstract idea which
automatically produces nothing but catharsis. He is also
a man His thinking, to be sure, may be limited to his
special field, but in his behaviour he exerts the influence of
a complete human being. Without being clearly conscious
of it or giving it a name, he unwittingly does a great deal in
the way of explanation and education , and other analysts
do as much m the way of catharsis without raising it to the
level of a principle.

The three stages of analytical psychology so far dealt
with are by no means of such a nature that the last can
replace the first or the second. All three qmte properly
co-exist and are salient aspects of one and the same
problem ; they no more invalidate each other than do
confession and absolution. And the same is true of the
fourth the stage of transformation * it must not claim to
be the finally-achieved and only valid truth. Its part is to
make up a deficit left by the previous stages ; it comes to
meet an additional and still unsatisfied need.

In order to make clear what this fourth stage has in view,
and to throw some light on the curious term " trans-
formation , we must first take account of those psychic


needs of man which were not given a place in the other
stages In other words, we must ascertain what could
seem more desirable or lead further than the claim to be
a normally adapted, social being Nothing is more useful
or fitting than to be a normal human being , but the very
notion of a normal human being suggests a restriction
to the average as does also the concept of adaptation. It
is only a man who, as things stand, already finds it difficult
to come to terms with the everyday world who can see
m this restriction a desirable improvement : a man, let
us say, whose neurosis unfits him for normal hfe. To be
normal is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful, for all
those who have not yet found an adaptation. But for
people who have far more ability than the average, for
whom it was never hard to gam successes and to accomplish
then- share of the worlds work for them restriction to
the normal signifies the bed of Procrustes, unbearable
boredom, infernal sterility and hopelessness. As a conse-
quence there are many people who become neurotic because
they are only normal, as there are people who are neurotic
because they cannot become normal For the former the
very thought that you want to educate them to normality
is a nightmare , their deepest need is really to be able to
lead abnormal fives.

A man can hope for satisfaction and fulfilment only in
what he does not yet possess , he cannot find pleasure in
something of which he has already had too much. To be
a socially adapted being has no charms for one to whom
to be so is mere childs play. Always to do what is right
becomes a bore for the man who knows how, whereas the
eternal bungler cherishes the secret longing to be right for
once m some distant future.


The needs and necessities of individuals vary. What sets
one free is for another a prison as for instance normality
and adaptation. Although it is a biological dictum that
man is a herd animal and is only healthy when he lives as
a social being, yet the first case we observe may seem to
upset this statement, and to prove that man is only healthy
when leading an abnormal and unsocial hfe. It is a terrible
misfortune that practical psychology can offer no generally
valid recipes and norms. There are only individual cases
whose needs and demands are totally different so different
that we really cannot foresee what course a given case will
follow. It is therefore wise of the physician to renounce
all premature assumptions. This does not mean that he
should throw all his assumptions overboard, but that he
should regard them in any given case as hypothetical.

Yet it is not the doctors whole task to instruct or convince
his patient ; he must rather show him how the doctor
reacts to his particular case. For twist and turn the matter
as we may, the relation between physician and patient
remains personal within the frame of the impersonal,
professional treatment. We cannot by any device bring it
about that the treatment is not the outcome of a mutual
influence in which the whole being of the patient as well
as that of the doctor plays its part. Two primary factors
come together in the treatment that is, two persons,
neither of whom is a fixed and determinable magnitude.
Their fields of consciousness may be quite clearly defined,
but they bring with them besides an indefinitely extended
sphere of unconsciousness. For this reason the personalities
of the doctor and patient have often more to do with the
outcome of the treatment than what the doctor says or
thinks although we must not undervalue this latter factor


as a disturbing or healing one. The meeting of two per-
sonalities is hke the contact of two chemical substances :
if there is any reaction, both are transformed. We should
expect the doctor to have an influence on the patient in
every effective psychic treatment ; but this influence can
only take place when he too is affected by the patient
You can exert no influence if you are not susceptible to
influence. It is futile for the doctor to shield himself from
the influence of the patient and to surround himself with
a smoke-screen of fatherly and professional authority If
he does so he merely forbids himself the use of a highly
important organ of information, and the patient influences
him unconsciously none the less. The unconscious changes
in the doctor which the patient thus brings about are well
known to many psycho therapists; they are disturbances,
or even injuries, peculiar to the profession, which illustrate
in a striking way the patients almost chemical influence
One of the best known of them is the counter-transference
which the transference evokes But the effects are often
more subtle, and their nature is best conveyed by the old
idea of the demon of sickness According to this a sufferer
transmits his disease to a healthy person whose powers
subdue the demon but not without a negative influence
upon the well-being of the healer.

In the relation between doctor and patient we meet with
imponderable factors which bring about a mutual trans-
formation In this exchange, the more stable and the
stronger personality will decide the final issue. But I have
seen many cases in which the patient has proved stronger
than the doctor in defiance of all theory and the doctors
intention ; and where this has happened it has most often,
though not always, been to the disadvantage of the doctor.


The fact of mutual influence and all that goes with it
underlies the stage of transformation More than a quarter
of a century of wide practical experience was needed for
the clear recognition of these manifestations. Freud himself
has admitted their importance and has therefore seconded
my demand that the analyst himself be analysed.

But what is the wider meaning of this demand ? It
means nothing less than that the doctor is just as much
in analysis as the patient. He is as much a part of the
psychic process of the treatment as is the patient, and is
equally exposed to the transforming influences Indeed, if
the doctor is more or less inaccessible to this influence, he
is correspondingly robbed of his influence over the patient ,
if he is influenced only unconsciously, he shows a defect of
consciousness which prevents him from seemg the patient
correctly. In both cases the result of the treatment is

The physician, then, is called upon himself to face that
task which he wishes the patient to face. If it is a question
of becoming socially adapted, he himself must become so
or, in the reverse case, appropriately non-adapted There
are of course a thousand different aspects of this requirement
in therapy, according to the situation in a given case. One
doctor believes in overcoming infantilism and therefore
he must have overcome his own infantilism Another
believes in the abreaction of all emotion and so he must
have abreacted all his own emotions A third beheves in
complete consciousness so that he must have reached an
advanced state of consciousness himself. At all events
the doctor must consistently try to meet his own therapeutic
demands if he wishes to assure himself of a proper influence
on his patient. All these guiding principles in therapy


confront the doctor with important ethical duties which
can be summed up in the single rule be the man through
whom you wish to influence others. Mere talk has always
been considered hollow, and there is no tnck, however
cunning, by which one can evade this simple rule for long
The fact of being convinced, and not the subject-matter of
conviction it is this which has always carried weight

The fourth stage of analytical psychology, then, demands
not only the transformation of the patient, but also the
counter-application to himself by the doctor of the system
which he prescribes in any given case. And m dealing with
himself the doctor must display as much relentlessness,
consistency and perseverance as in dealing with his patients
To work upon himself with an equal concentration is truly
no small achievement ; for he brings to bear all the
attentiveness and critical judgement he can summon m
showing his patients their mistaken paths, their false con-
clusions and infantile subterfuges No one pays the doctor
for his introspective efforts ; and moreover, we are generally
not interested enough in ourselves Again, we so commonly
undervalue the deeper aspects of the human psyche that
we hold self-examination or preoccupation with ourselves
to be almost morbid We evidently suspect ourselves of
harbouring rather unwholesome things all too reminiscent
of a sick-room. The physician must overcome these
resistances in himself, for who can educate others while
himself uneducated ? Who can enlighten his fellows while
still in the dark about himself, and who can purify if he is
himself unclean ?

The step from educating others to self-education is
demanded of the doctor in the stage of transformation. It
is the corollary of the demand that the patient transform


himself and thus complete the earlier stages of the treatment.
This challenge to the doctor to transform himself in order
to effect a change in the patient meets with scant popular
approval, for three reasons First of all it seems unpractical ,
secondly, there is a prejudice against being occupied with
ourselves ; and thirdly, it is sometimes very painful to make
ourselves live up to everything that we expect of the patient.
This last is the strongest reason for the unpopularity of the
demand that the doctor examine himself, for if he con-
scientiously doctors himself he will soon discover things
in his nature which are completely opposed to normalization,
or which continue to haunt him in the most disturbing way
in spite of exhaustive explanations and thorough abreaction.
What will he do about these things? He always knows
what the patient should do about them it is his professional
duty to do so. But what will he in all sincerity do about
them when they involve himself or perhaps those who stand
nearest to him ? If he examines himself he will discover
some inferior side which brings him dangerously near to
his patient and perhaps even blights his authority. How
will he handle this tormenting discovery ? This somewhat
neurotic question will touch him on the quick, no matter
how normal he deems himself to be. He will also discover
that the ultimate questions which oppress him as well as his
patients cannot be solved by any amount of treatment ".
He will let them see that to expect solutions from others is
a way of remaining childish ; and he will see for himself
that, if no solutions can be found, these questions must only
be repressed again.

I will not discuss further the matter of self-examination
and the many problems it raises, because the great obscurity
which still surrounds our study of the psyche allows of


little interest in them. I would rather emphasize what has
already been said : that the newest developments of analytical
psychology confront us with the imponderable elements of
human personality , that we have learned to place in the
foreground the personality of the doctor himself as a curative
or harmful factor ; and that we have begun to demand his
own transformation the self-education of the educator.
Everything that happened to the patient must now happen
to the doctor, and he must pass through the stages of
confession, explanation and education so that his personality
will not react unfavourably on the patient The physician
may no longer slip out of his own difficulties by treating the
difficulties of others. He will remember that a man who
suffers from a running abscess is not fit to perform a surgical

Just as the discovery of the unconscious shadow-side
once forced the school of Freud to deal even with questions
of religion, so the latest advance of analytical psychology
makes an unavoidable problem of the doctors ethical
attitude. The self-cnticism and self-examination demanded
of him radically alter our view of the human psyche This
cannot be grasped from the standpoint of natural science ,
it is not only the sufferer but the physician as well ; not
only the object but also the subject , not only a function
of the brain, but the sine qua non of consciousness itself.

What was formerly a method of medical treatment now
becomes a method of self-education, and therewith the
horizon of our modem psychology is immeasurably widened.
The medical diploma is no longer the crucial thing, but
human quality instead. This is a significant step. All the
implements of psycho therapy developed in clinical practice,
refined and systematized, are now put at our service and


can be used for our self-education and self-perfectioning.
Analytical psychology is no longer bound to the consulting-
room of the doctor ; its chains have been severed. We
might say that it transcends itself, and now advances to
fill that void which hitherto has marked the psychic
insufficiency of Western culture as compared with that of
the East. We Occidentals had learned to tame and subject
the psyche, but we knew nothing about its methodical
development and its functions. Our civilization is still
young, and we therefore required all the devices of the
animal-tamer to make the defiant barbarian and the savage
m us in some measure tractable. But when we reach a
higher cultural level, we must forgo compulsion and turn
to self-development For this we must have knowledge of
a way or a method and so far we have known of none
It seems to me that the findings and experiences of analytical
psychology can at least provide a foundation ; for as soon
as psycho therapy requires the self-perfecting of the doctor,
it is freed from its clinical origins and ceases to be a mere
method for treating the sick. It is now of service to the
healthy as well, or at least to those who have a right to
psychic health and whose illness is at most the suffering
that tortures us all. For this reason we may hope to see
analytical psychology become of general use more so even
than the methods which constitute its preliminary stages
and which severally carry a general truth But between
the realization of this hope and the actual present there
lies an abyss over which no bridge is to be found. We have
yet to build it stone by stone.



It is generally agreed today that neuroses are functional
psychic disturbances and are to be cured by psychic methods
of treatment. But when we come to the questions of the
formation of the neurosis and of the basic principles of
therapy, all agreement ends, and we have to acknowledge
that we have as yet no fully satisfactory conception of the
nature of the neurosis nor of the principles of treatment
While it is true that two trends or schools of thought have
gamed a special hearing, their teachings by no means exhaust
the numerous divergent opinions that have come to be
expressed in our time. There are also many non-partisans
who, amid the general conflict of opmion, have formulated
their own views If, therefore, we sought to paint a com-
prehensive picture of the situation, we should have to match
upon our palette the subtle colour-gradations of the rainbow.

I would gladly paint such a picture if it lay in my power,
for I have always felt the need of comparing the numerous
viewpoints. I have never succeeded m the long-run m not
giving divergent opinions their due. Such opmions could
never arise much less secure a following if they did not
correspond to some special disposition, some special character,
some fundamental psychic expenence that is more or less
prevalent. If we were to exclude such opinions as simply
wrong and worthless, we should be rejecting this particular


disposition or this particular experience as a misinterpretation
that is, we should be doing violence to our own empirical
material. The wide approval which greeted Freuds ex-
planation of the neuroses in terms of sexual causation, and
his view that the happenings m the psyche turn essentially
upon infantile pleasure and its satisfaction, should be
instructive to the psychologist. It shows him that this
manner of thinking and feeling coincides with a relatively
widespread tendency or spiritual current which, quite apart
from Freuds theory, has appeared in other places, in other
circumstances, in various minds and in different forms I
should call it a manifestation of the collective psyche. Let
me point first to the works of Havelock Ellis and Auguste
Forel and the contri butors to Anthropophyteta ; also to
the attitude to sexuality in Anglo-Saxon countries during
the post-Victonan period, as well as to the widespread
discussion of sexual matters in general literature which had
already set in with the French realists Freud is one of the
exponents of a present-day psychic predisposition that has
a special history of its own ; but for obvious reasons we
cannot go into that history here.

The approbation which Adler, no less than Freud, has
met with on both sides of the ocean, permits the same
inference. It is undemable that a great many people find
satisfaction in explaining their troubles in terms of an urge
to power arising from a sense of inferiority. Nor can it be
disputed that this view accounts for actual psychic happen-
ings which are not given their due in the Freudian system.
I need hardly mention in detail the forces of the collective
psyche and the social factors which underlie the Adlerian
view and call for precisely this theoretical formulation.
These matters are sufficiently obvious.


It would be an unpardonable error to overlook the element
of truth in both the Freudian and Adlenan viewpoints, but
it would be no less unpardonable to take either of them as
the sole truth. Both truths correspond to psychic realities.
There are actual cases which, m the mam, are best described
and explained by one or other of the two theories. I can
accuse neither of these investigators of error , on the
contrary, I try to apply both hypotheses as far as possible,
because I fully accept their relative validity. It would
certainly never have occurred to me to depart from Freuds
path if I had not stumbled upon facts which forced me to
modify his theory , and the same is true of my relation to
the Adlerian viewpoint It seems hardly necessary to add
that I hold the truth of my own views to be equally relative,
and regard myself also as the exponent of a certain pre-

It is in applied psychology, if anywhere, that today we
should be modest and grant validity to a number of
apparently contradictory opinions ; for we are still far from
having anything like a thorough knowledge of the human
psyche, that most challenging field of scientific enquiry.
For the present we have merely more or less plausible
opinions that defy reconciliation When, therefore, I
undertake to present my views in a general way, I hope I
shall not be misunderstood. I am not recommending a
novel truth ; still less am I heralding an ultimate gospel
I can speak only of attempts to throw light upon psychic
facts that are obscure to me, or of efforts to overcome
therapeutic difficulties.

And it is just with this last question that I should like to
begin, since it is here that we find the most pressing need
for modifications. As is well known, one can get along for


quite a time with an inadequate theory, but not with in-
adequate therapeutic methods. In my psycho therapeutic
practice covering nearly thirty years, I have met with
a fair number of failures which were far more impres-
sive to me, than my successes. Almost anybody, from
the primitive medicine-man and the prayer-healer up,
can gain successes in psycho therapy. But the psycho-
therapist learns little or nothing from his successes. They
mainly confirm him in his mistakes, while his failures, on
the other hand, are priceless experiences in that they not
only open up the way to a deeper truth, but force him to
change his views and methods.

I certainly recognize how much my work has been furthered
first by Freud and then by Adler ; and whenever possible
I apply their standpoints to my practical treatment of
patients. Nevertheless I insist upon the fact that I have
met with failures which I feel could have been avoided had
I taken into consideration those empirical data which later
forced me mto modifications of their views It is impossible
to describe all the situations with which I was confronted,
and I must content myself with singling out a few typical
cases. It was with older patients that I had the greatest
difficulties that is, with persons over forty. In handling
younger people I generally find the familiar viewpoints of
Freud and Adler apphcable enough, for they offer a treat-
ment which brings the patient to a certain level of adaptation
and normality, apparently without leaving any disturbing
after-effects. With older people, according to my experience,
this is often not the case. It seems to me that the elements
of the psyche undergo in the course of life a very marked
change so much so, that we may distinguish between a
psychology of the morning of life and a psychology of its


afternoon. As a rule, the life of a young person is charac-
terized by a general unfolding and a striving toward concrete
ends ; his neurosis, if he develops one, can be traced to his
hesitation or his shrinking back from this necessity. But
the life of an older person is marked by a contraction of
forces, by the affirmation of what has been achieved, and
the curtailment of further growth. His neurosis comes
mainly from his clinging to a youthful attitude which is
now out of season Just as the youthful neurotic is afraid
of hfe, so the older one shrinks back from death. What was
a normal goal for the young man, inevitably becomes a
neurotic hindrance to the older person In the case of the
young neurotic, what was once a normal dependence on his
parents inevitably becomes, through his hesitation to face
the world, an incest-relation which is inimical to hfe. It
must be remembered that, despite all similarities, resistance,
repression, transference, " guiding fictions and so forth,
have one meaning when we find them in young people,
while m older persons they have quite another. The ai ms
of therapy should undoubtedly be modified to meet this
fact The age of the patient seems to me, therefore, a
most important indicium.

But there are also various indicia which we should note
within the period of youth itself Thus, according to my
view, it is a blunder m technique to treat from the Freudian
standpoint a patient of the type to whom the Adlerian
psychology apphes, that is, an unsuccessful person with an
infantile need for self-assertion. Conversely, it would be a
gross error to force the Adlerian viewpoint upon a successful
man whose motives can be understood in terms of the
pleasure principle. In doubtful cases the resistances of the
patient may serve as valuable signposts. I am inclined at



the start to take deep-seated resistances seriously, strange
as this may sound. For I am convinced that the doctor
is not necessarily in a better position to know what is wanted
than is the patients own psychic constitution, which may
be quite unconscious to the patient himself. This modesty
on the part of the doctor is altoge ther appropriate in view
of the situation today Not only have we as yet no generally
valid psychology, but what is more, the variety of psychic
constitutions is untold, and there also exist more or less
individual psyches which refuse to fit into any general

As to this question of psychic constitution, it is well
known that I postulate two different basic attitudes in
accordance with the typical differences already suspected
by many students of human nature the extraverted and
the introverted attitudes These attitudes also I take to
be important indicia, as likewise the predominance of
a particular psychic function over other functions. The
great variability of individual hfe necessitates constant
modifications of theory which are often applied by the
doctor quite unconsciously, but which m principle do not
at all coincide with his theoretical creed.

While we are on this question of psychic constitution, I
must not fail to point out that there are some people whose
attitude is essentially spiritual and others whose attitude
is essentially materialistic. It must not be assumed that
such an attitude is accidentally acquired or springs from
some misunderstanding. These attitudes show themselves
as ingrained passions which no criticism or persuasion can
stamp out ; there are even cases where an apparently
outspoken materialism has its source in the denial of a
religious disposition. Cases of the reverse type are better



known today, although they are not more frequent than the
others. These attitudes also are indicia which, m my
opinion, ought not to be overlooked.

When we use the word indicium it might appear to mean,
as in medical parlance generally, that this or that treatment
is indicated. Perhaps this should be the case, but psycho-
therapy has assuredly reached no such degree of certainty
for which reason our indicia are unfortunately not much
more than mere warnings against one-sidedness.

The human psyche is highly equivocal In every single
case we must consider the question whether an attitude or
a so-called habitus exists in its own right, or is perhaps only
a compensation for the opposite. I must confess that I
have so often been mistaken m this matter, that m any
concrete case I am at pains to avoid all theoretical pre-
suppositions as to the structure of the neurosis and as to
what the patient can and ought to do. As far as possible,
I let pure experience decide the therapeutic aims This
may perhaps seem strange, because it is usually assumed
that the therapist should have an aim But it seems to
me that in psycho therapy especially it is advisable for the
physician not to have too fixed a goal He can scarcely
know what is wanted better than do nature and the will-to-
hve of the sick person. The great decisions of human hfe
have as a rule far more to do with the instincts and other
mysterious unconscious factors than with conscious will and
well-meaning reasonableness The shoe that fits one person
pinches another , there is no recipe for living that suits
all cases. Each of us carries his own life-form an in-
determinable form which cannot be superseded by any

None of these considerations, of course, prevents our



doing everything possible to make the lives of patients
normal and reasonable. If this bnngs about a satisfactory
result, then we can let it go at that ; but if it is insufficient,
then, for better or for worse, the therapist must be guided
by the data presented through the patients unconscious.
Here we must follow nature as a guide, and the course the
physician then adopts is less a question of treatment than of
developing the creative possibilities that lie in the patient

What I have to say begins with the point where treatment
ceases and development sets in. My contri bution to psycho-
therapy is confined to those cases in which rational treatment
yields no satisfactory results. The clinical matenal at my
disposal is of a special nature : new cases are decidedly in
the minority. Most of my patients have already gone
through some form of psycho therapeutic treatment, usually
with partial or negative results About a third of my cases
are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from
the senselessness and emptiness of their hves It seems to
me, however, that this can well be described as the general
neurosis of our time. Fully two-thirds of my patients have
passed middle age

It is difficult to treat patients of this particular kind by
rational methods, because they are in the mam socially
well-adapted individuals of considerable ability, to whom
normalization means nothing. As for so-called normal
people, I am even worse off in their regard, for I have no
ready-made life-philosophy to hand out to them. In the
majority of my cases, the resources of consciousness have
been exhausted ; the ordinary expression for this situation
is : lam stuck. It is chiefly this fact that forces me to
look for hidden possibilities. For I do not know what to



say to the patient when he asks me : " What do you advise ?
What shall I do ? I do not know any better than he. I
know only one thing that when to my conscious outlook
there is no possible way of going ahead, and I am therefore
stuck , my unconscious will react to the unbearable

This commg to a standstill is a psychic occurrence so
often repeated in the evolution of mankind, that it has become
the theme of many a fairy-tale and myth. We are told of
the Open Sesame to the locked door, or of some helpful
animal who finds the hidden way We might put it in this
way : gettmg stuck is a typical event which, m the course
of time, has evoked typical reactions and compensations.
We may therefore expect with a certain degree of probability
that something similar will appear in the reactions of the
unconscious, as, for example, m dreams.

In such cases, therefore, my attention is directed more
particularly to dreams. This is not because I am tied to the
notion that dreams must always be called to the rescue, or
because I possess a mysterious dream-theory which tells me
how everything must shape itself , but quite simply from
perplexity. I do not know where else to go for help, and so
I try to find it m dreams ; these at least present us with
images pointing to something or other, and that is at any
rate better than nothing. I have no theory about dreams ,
I do not know how dreams arise. I am altoge ther in doubt
as to whether my way of handling dreams even deserves
the name of method .

I share all my readers prejudices against dream inter-
pretation as being the quintessence of uncertainty and
arbitrariness. But, on the other hand, I know that if we
meditate on a dream sufficiently long and thoroughly if



we take it about with us and turn it over and over some-
thing almost always comes of it. This something is of course
not of such a land that we can boast of its scientific nature
or rationalize it, but it is a practical and important hint
which shows the patient in what direction the unconscious
is leading him. I even may not give first importance to the
question whether our study of the dream gives a scientifically
verifiable result , if I do this, I am following an exclusively
personal aim, and one which is therefore auto-erotic I
must content myself with the fact that the result means
something to the patient and sets his life into motion again.
I may allow myself only one criterion for the validity of my
interpretation of the dream and this is that it works. As
for my scientific hobby my desire to know why it is that
the dream works this I must reserve for my spare tame.

The contents of the initial dreams are infinitely varied
I mean those dreams which the patient relates to me at the
beginning of the treatment. In many cases they point
directly to the past and bring to mind what is forgotten and
lost to the personality It is from these very losses that
one-sidedness results, and this causes the standstill and
consequent disorientation. In psychological terms, one-
sidedness may lead to a sudden loss of libido. All our
previous activities become uninteresting, even senseless, and
the goals towards which we strove lose their value. What
in one person is merely a passing mood may m another
become a chronic condition. In these cases it often happens
that other possibilities of development of the personality
lie somewhere or other in the past, and no one, not even the
patient, knows about them. But the dream may reveal the
clue. In other cases the dream points to present facts, as
for example marriage or social position, which have never


been consciously accepted as sources of problems and

These possibilities fall within the scope of rational explana-
tion, and it is not difficult to make such initial dreams
plausible. The real difficulty begins when dreams, as is
often the case, do not point to anything tangible especially
when they show a kind of foreknowledge of the future. I do
not mean that such dreams are necessarily prophetic, but
that they anticipate or reconnoitre Such dreams
contain inklings of possibilities, and therefore can never be
made plausible to an outsider. They are often not plausible
even to me, and then I say to my patients . " I dont believe
it, but follow up the clue As I have said, the stimulating
effect is the sole criterion, and it is by no means necessary
that we should understand why such an effect takes place
This is especially true of dreams containing mythological
images which are sometimes incredibly strange and baffling.
These dreams contain something like unconscious meta-
physics , they are expressions of undifferentiated psychic
activity which may often contain the germs of conscious
thought. 1

In a long initial dream of one of my normal patients,
the illness of his sisters child played an important part. She
was a little girl of two. Some time before, this sister really
had lost a boy through illness, but otherwise none of her
children were ill. The image of the sick child m the dream
at first proved baffling to him undoubtedly because it m
no way fitted in with the facts Since there was no direct
and close connection between the dreamer and his sister he

1 Platos vision of the cave is an imaginative anticipation of the
problem of knowledge which was to occupy philosophers for centuries tj*
come Dreams and fantasies on occasion show a philosophic msig$i
which is comparable to such a vision (Trans )


could find in this image little that was personal to him. Then
suddenly it occurred to him that two years earlier he had
taken up the study of occultism, and that it was this which
had led him to psychology. The child was evidently his
interest m the things of the psyche, an idea which I should
never have hit upon of my own accord. Looked at from
the side of theory, this dream-image can mean anything or
nothing For that matter, does a thing or a fact ever mean
anything in and of itself ? We can only be sure that it is
always the human being who interprets, that is, gives
meaning to a fact. And that is the gist of the matter for
psychology. It impressed the dreamer as a new and interest-
ing idea that the study of occultism might have something
sickly about it Somehow the thought struck home And
this is the decisive point * the interpretation works, however
we may elect to account for its working For the dreamer
this thought contained a criticism, and through it a certain
change m attitude was brought about. By such slight
changes, which one could never think out rationally, things
begin to move and the dead point is overcome

In commenting upon this example I could say in a figure
of speech that the dream meant that the occult studies of
the dreamer had something sickly about them. And in
this sense I may also speak of " unconscious metaphysics ,
if the dreamer is brought by his dream to this very thought.
But I go still further ; I not only give the patient an oppor-
tunity to see what occurs to him m connection with his
dream, but I allow myself to do the same. I give him the
benefit of my guesses and opinions. If, in doing this I
should open the door to so-called " suggestion , I see no
occasion for regret ; it is well known that we are susceptible
only to those suggestions with which we are already secretly



in accord. No harm is done if now and then one goes astray
in this riddle-reading. Sooner or later the psyche rejects
the mistake, much as an organism does a foreign body
I need not try to prove that my dream interpretation is
correct, which would be a somewhat hopeless undertaking,
but must simply help the patient to find what it is that
activates him I was almost betrayed into saying what is

It is of especial importance for me to know as much as
possible about primitive psychology, mythology, archaeology
and comparative religion, for the reason that these fields
afford me priceless analogies with which I can enrich the
associations of my patients Working together, we are then
able to find the apparently irrelevant full of meaning and
vastly increase the effectiveness of the dream Thus to
enter a realm of immediate experience is most stimulating
for those who have done their utmost in the personal and
rational spheres of life and yet have found no meaning and
no satisfaction there. In this way, too, the matter-of-fact
and the commonplace come to wear an altered countenance,
and can even acquire a new glamour For it all depends
on how we look at things, and not on how they are m them-
selves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in
life than the greatest of things without it.

I do not think that I underestimate the risk of this under-
taking. It is as if one began to build a bridge out into space.
Indeed, one might even allege as has often been done that
in following this procedure the doctor and his patient are
both together indulging in mere fantasies. And I do not
consider this an objection, but quite to the point. I even
make an effort to second the patient in his fantasies. Truth
to tell, I have a very high opinion of fantasy. To me, it is



actually the maternally creative side of the masculine spirit.
When all is said and done, we are never proof against fantasy.
It is true that there are worthless, madequate, morbid and
unsatisfying fantasies whose sterile nature will be quickly
recognized by every person endowed with common-sense ;
but this of course proves nothing against the value of creative
imagination. All the works of man have their origin in
creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate
imagination ? In the ordinary course of things, fantasy does
not easily go astray ; it is too deep for that, and too closely
bound up with the tap-root of human and animal instinct.
In surprising ways it always rights itself agam The creative
activity of the imagination frees man from his bondage to
the " nothing but and hberates in him the spirit of play.
As Schiller says, man is completely human only when he is

My aim is to bring about a psychic state m which my
patient begins to experiment with his own nature a state
of fluidity, change and growth, in which there is no longer
anything eternally fixed and hopelessly petrified. It is of
course only by stating its general principles that I can
present my technique here. In handling a dream or a
fantasy I make it a rule never to go beyond the meaning
which has an effect upon the patient ; I merely strive in
each case to make this meaning as conscious to him as
possible, so that he can also become aware of its supra-
personal connections. This is important, for when some-
thing quite universal happens to a man and he supposes it
to be an experience peculiar to himself, then his attitude
is obviously wrong, that is, too personal, and it tends to
exclude him from human society. We require not only a
present-day, personal consciousness, but also a supra-



personal consciousness which is open to the sense of historical
continuity. However far-fetched it may sound, experience
shows that many neuroses are caused by the fact that people
blind themselves to their own religious promptings because
of a childish passion for rational enlightenment. The
psychologist of today ought to realize once and for all that
we are no longer dealing with questions of dogma and creed
A religious attitude is an element m psychic hfe whose
importance can hardly be overrated. And it is precisely
for the religious outlook that the sense of historical continuity
is indispensable.

To return to the question of my technique, I ask myself
to what extent I am indebted to Freud In any case I
learned it from Freuds method of free association, and I
regard my technique as a further development of this

As long as I help the patient to discover the effective
elements in his dream, and as long as I try to show him the
general meaning of his symbols, he is still, psychologically
speaking, m a state of childhood For the time being he
depends on his dreams and is always asking himself whether
the subsequent dream will give him new light or not More-
over, he is dependent on my having ideas about his dreams
and on my ability to mcrease his insight through my know-
ledge Thus he is still m an undesirably passive condition
in which everything is uncertain and questionable ; neither
he nor I know the journeys end. Often it is not much more
than a groping about in Egyptian darkness. In this condition
we must not expect any very marked effects, for the un-
certainty is too great. Moreover we constantly run the
risk that what we have woven by day, the night will unravel.
The danger is that nothing comes to pass ; that nothing



keeps its shape. It not infrequently happens in these
circumstances that the patient has an especially colourful
or curious dream, and says to me : Do you know, if only
I were a painter I would make a picture of it Or the
dreams treat of photographs, of paintings, drawings or
illuminated manuscripts, or perhaps of the films.

I have turned these hints to practical account, and I now
urge my patients at such times actually to paint what they
have seen in dream or fantasy As a rule, I am met with
the objection : I am not a painter. To this I usually
reply that neither are modem painters for which very
reason modem painting is absolutely free and that it is
anyhow not a question of the beautiful, but merely of the
trouble one takes with the picture How httle my way of
painting has to do with art I saw recently in the case of
a talented portraitist ; she had to begin all over again with
pitiably childish efforts literally as if she had never
had a brush in her hand. To paint what we see before
us is a different matter from painting what we see

Many of my more advanced patients, then, begin to paint.
I can well understand that everyone will consider this as an
utterly futile sort of dilettantism However, it must be
remembered that we are speaking not of people who have
still to prove their social usefulness, but of those who can
no longer find significance in their value to society, and who
have come upon the deeper and more dangerous question of
the meaning of their individual fives. To be a particle in a
mass has meaning and charm only for the man who has not
yet advanced to that stage, but none for the man who has
experienced it to satiety. The importance of individual life
may always be denied by the educator whose pride it is



to breed mass-men. But any other person will sooner or
later be driven to find this meaning for himself.

Although from time to time my patients produce artistic-
ally beautiful creations which might very well be shown
in modem art exhibitions, I nevertheless treat them as
wholly worthless according to the tests of senous art. It is
even essential that no such value be allowed them, for
otherwise my patients might imagine themselves to be
artists, and this would spoil the good effects of the exercise.
It is not a question of art or rather it should not be a
question of art but of something more, something other
than mere art namely the living effect upon the patient
himself. The meaning of individual life, whose importance
from the social standpoint is negligible, is here accorded the
highest value, and for its sake the patient struggles to give
form, however crude and childish, to the inexpressible

But why do I encourage patients to express themselves
at a certain stage of development by means of brush, pencil
or pen ? My purpose is the same here as in my handling of
dreams : I wish to produce an effect In the childish con-
dition described above, the patient remains in a passive
state , but now he begins to play an active part. At first
he puts on paper what has come to him in fantasy, and there-
by gives it the status of a deliberate act He not only talks
about it, but he is actually dotng something about it Psycho-
logically speaking, it is one thing for a person to have an
interesting conversation with his doctor twice a week the
results of which hang somewhere or other in mid-air and
quite another thing to struggle for hours at a time with
refractory brush and colours, and to produce in the end
something which, at its face value, is perfectly senseless
Were his fantasy really senseless to him, the effort to paint


it would be so irksome that he could scarcely be brought
to perform this exercise a second time But since his
fantasy does not seem to him entirely senseless, his busying
hims elf with it increases its effect upon him. Moreover, the
effort to give visible form to the image enforces a study of it
in all its parts, so that in this way its effects can be com-
pletely experienced. The discipline of drawing endows the
fantasy with an element of reality, thus lending it greater
weight and greater driving power. And actually these
crude pictures do produce effects which, I must admit, are
rather difficult to describe When a patient has seen once
or twice how he is freed from a wretched state of mind by
working at a symbolical picture, he will thenceforward turn
to this means of release whenever things go badly with him.
In this way something invaluable is won, namely a growth
of independence, a step towards psychological maturity. The
patient can make himself creatively independent by this
method if I may call it such. He is no longer dependent
on his dreams or on his doctors knowledge, but can give
form to his own inner expenence by painting it. For what
he paints are active fantasies it is that which activates
him. And that which is active within is himself, but not
in the sense of his previous error when he mistook his
personal ego for the self ; it is himself in a new sense, for
his ego now appears as an object actuated by the life-forces
within. He strives to represent as fully as possible in his
picture-senes that which works within him, only to discover
in the end that it is the eternally unknown and alien the
hidden foundations of psychic life.

I cannot possibly picture to you the extent to which these
discoveries change a patients standpoint and values, and
how they shift the centre of gravity of the personality. It



is as though the ego were the earth, and it suddenly dis-
covered that the sun (or the self) was the centre of the
planetary orbits and of the earths orbit as well.

But have we not always known all this to be so ? I myself
beheve that we have always known it. But I may know
about something with my head which the other man in me
is far from knowing, and I may in fact live as though I did
not know it Most of my patients knew the deeper truth,
but did not live it And why did they not hve it ? Because
of that bias which makes us all put the ego m the centre of
our hves and this bias comes from the over-valuation of

It is highly important for a young person who is still
unadapted and has as yet achieved nothing, to shape the
conscious ego as effectively as possible that is, to educate
the will. Unless he is positively a genius he even may not
believe in anything active within himself that is not identical
with his will He must feel himself a man of will, and he
may safely depreciate everything else within himself or
suppose it subject to his will for without this illusion he can
scarcely bring about a social adaptation.

It is otherwise with the patient in the second half of life
who no longer needs to educate his conscious will, but who,
to understand the meaning of his individual life, must learn
to experience his own inner being. Social usefulness is no
longer an aim for him, although he does not question its
desirability. Fully aware as he is of the social unimportance
of his creative activity, he looks upon it as a way of working
out his own development and thus benefiting himself. This
activity likewise frees him progressively from a morbid
dependence, and he thus wins an mner firmness and a new
trust in himself. These last achievements in turn serve to



further the patient in his social existence For an inwardly
sound and self-confident person will be more adequate to his
social tasks than one who is not on good terms with his

I have purposely avoided weighting down my essay with
theory, for which reason many things must remain obscure
and unexplained. But m order to make intelligible the
pictures produced by my patients, certain theoretical points
must at least be mentioned. A feature common to all these
pictures is a primitive symbolism which is conspicuous both
in the drawing and in the colouring The colours are usually
quite barbanc in their mtensity ; often, too, an archaic
quality is present. These peculiarities pomt to the nature
of the creative forces which have produced the pictures
They are non-rational, symbolistic currents in the evolution
of man, and are so archaic that it is easy to draw parallels
between them and similar manifestations m the fields of
archaeology and comparative religion. We may therefore
readily assume that these pictures originate chiefly in that
realm of psychic life which I have called the collective
unconscious By this term I designate an unconscious
psychic activity present in all human beings which not only
gives rise to symbolical pictures today, but was the source
of all similar products of the past. Such pictures spring
from and satisfy a natural need. It is as if, through these
pictures, we bring to expression that part of the psyche
which reaches back into the primitive past and reconcile it
with present-day consciousness, thus mitigating its disturbing
effects upon the latter.

It is true, I must add, that the mere execution of the
pictures is not all that is required. It is necessary besides to
have an intellectual and emotional understanding of them ;


they must be consciously integrated, made intelligible, and
morally assimilated. We must subject them to a process of
interpretation. But despite the fact that I have so often
travelled this path with individual patients, I have not yet
succeeded in making the process clear to a wider circle
and in working it up in a form suitable for publication
This has so far been accomplished only in a fragmentary

The truth is, we are here on perfectly new ground, and
a ripening of experience is the first requisite For very
important reasons I should like to avoid over-hasty con-
clusions We are dealing with a region of psychic life
outside consciousness, and our way of observing it is indirect.
As yet we do not know what depths we are trying to plumb
As I indicated above, it seems to me to be a question of
some kind of centring process, for many pictures which
patients feel to be decisive point in this direction It is a
process which brings mto being a new centre of equilibrium,
and it is as if the ego turned in an orbit round it. What
the aim of this process may be remains at first obscure.
We can only remark its important effect upon the conscious
personality. From the fact that the change heightens the
feeling for life and maintains the flow of hfe, we must
conclude that a peculiar purposefulness is inherent in it.
We might perhaps call this a new illusion but what is
illusion ? By what criterion do we ]udge something to be
an illusion ? Does there exist for the psyche anything
which we may call illusion ? What we are pleased to
call such may be for the psyche a most important factor of
life something as indispensable as oxygen for the organism
a psychic actuality of prime importance. Presumably the
psyche does not trouble itself about our categories of reality.



and it would therefore be the better part of wisdom for us
to say : everything that acts is actual.

He who would fathom the psyche must not confuse it
with consciousness, else he veils from his own sight the
object he wishes to explore. On the contrary, to recognize
the psyche, even, he must learn to see how it differs from
consciousness. It is highly probable that what we call
illusion is actual for the psyche for which reason we cannot
take psychic actuality to be commensurable with conscious
actuality. To the psychologist there is nothing more stupid
than the standpoint of the missionary who pronounces the
gods of the poor hea then to be illusions. But unfor-
tunately we keep blundering along in the same dogmatic
way, as if what we call the real were not equally full of
illusion. In psychic life, as everywhere in our experience,
all things that act are actual, regardless of the names man
chooses to bestow on them. To understand that these
happenings have actuality that is what is important to
us ; and not the attempt to give them one name instead
of another. To the psyche the spirit is no less the spirit
even though it be called sexuality.

I must repeat that the various technical terms and the
changes rung upon them never touch the essence of the
process described above. It cannot be compassed by the
rational concepts of consciousness any more than life itself.
It is because they feel the whole force of this truth that
my patients turn to symbolical expression. In the repre-
sentation and interpretation of symbols they find something
more effective and adequate to their needs than rational



Character is the fixed individual form of a human being
Smce there is a form of body as well as of behaviour or
mind, a general characterology must teach the significance
of both physical and psychic features. The enigmatic
oneness of the living being has as its necessary corollary
the fact that bodily traits are not merely physical, nor
mental traits merely psychic. The continuity of nature
knows nothing of those antithetical distinctions which the
human intellect is forced to set up as helps to understanding.

The distinction between mind and body is an artificial
dichotomy, a discrimination which is unquestionably based
far more on the peculiarity of intellectual understanding
than on the nature of things. In fact, so intimate is the
intermingling of bodily and psychic traits that not only
can we draw far-reaching inferences as to the constitution
of the psyche from the constitution of the body, but we can
also infer from psychic peculiarities the corresponding bodily
characteristics. It is true that the latter process is more
difficult ; but this is surely not because there is a greater
influence of the body over the mind than vice versa, but for
quite another reason. In taking the mind as our starting-
point we work our way from the relatively unknown to the
known ; while in the opposite case we have the advantage of
starting from something known, that is, from the visible


body. Despite all the psychology we think we possess
today, the psyche is still infinitely more obscure to us than
the visible surface of the body. The psyche is still a foreign,
almost unexplored country of which we have only indirect
knowledge , it is mediated by conscious functions that are
subject to almost endless possibilities of deception.

This being so, it appears safer for us to proceed from the
outer world inward, from the known to the unknown, from
the body to the mind. Therefore all attempts at charac-
terology have started from the outside world , astrology,
in ancient times, turned even to stellar space in order to
determine those lines of fate whose beginnings are contained
in man himself. To the same class of interpretations from
outward signs belong palmistry, Galls phrenology, Lavaters
study of physiognomy, and more recently, graphology,
Kretschmers physiological study of types and Rorshachs
klexographic method. As we can see, there are any number
of paths leading from without inward, from the physical
to the psychic, and it is necessary that research should follow
this direction until certain elementary psychic facts are
established with sufficient certainty But once having
established these facts, we can reverse the procedure We
can then put the question : What are the bodily correlatives
of a given psychic condition ? Unfortunately we are not
yet far enough advanced to answer this question even
roughly. The first requirement is to establish the primary
facts of psychic hfe, and this has by no means as yet been
accomplished. Indeed, we have only just begun the work
of compiling an inventory of the psyche, and our results
have not always been successful.

Merely to establish the fact that certain people have this
or that appearance is of no significance if it does not allow


us to infer a psychic correlative. We have learned something
only when we have determined what mental attri butes go
with a given bodily constitution. The body means as little
to us without the psyche as the latter without the body.
When we try to derive a psychic correlative from a physical
characteristic, we are proceeding as already stated from
the known to the unknown

I must, unfortunately, stress this point, since psychology
is the youngest of all the sciences, and therefore the one
that suffers most from preconceived opinions. The fact
that we have only recently discovered psychology shows
plainly enough that it has taken us all this time to make
a clear distinction between ourselves and the contents of
our minds Until this could be done, it was impossible to
study the psyche objectively. Psychology, as a natural
science, is actually our most recent acquisition ; up to
now it has been just as fantastic and arbitrary as was
natural science in the Middle Ages. Heretofore it has been
thought that psychology could dispense with empirical data
and be created as it were by decree a prejudice under
which we are still labouring. Yet the events of psychic
life are what is most immediate to us, and apparently what
we know most about. Indeed, they are more than familiar
to us, we yawn over them We are amazed at the banality
of these everlasting commonplaces ; m short, we actually
suffer under the immediacy of our psychic life and do
everything in our power to avoid thinking about it. The
psyche, then, being immediacy itself, and we ourselves
being the psyche, we are almost forced to assume that we
know it through and through in a way that cannot be
questioned. This is why each of us has his own private
opinion about psychology and is even convinced that he


knows more about it than anyone else. Psychiatrists,
because they must struggle with their patients families and
guardians whose understanding is proverbial, are
perhaps the first as a professional group to become aware
of that blind prejudice which encourages every man to
take himself as his own best authority m psychological
matters. But this of course does not prevent the psychiatrist
also from becoming a know-all . One of them went so
far as to confess : " There are only two normal people in
this city Professor B is the other.

Since this is how matters stand in psychology today, we
must admit that what is closest to us is the very thing we
know least about, although it seems to be what we know
best of all Furthermore, we must admit that everyone else
probably understands us better than we do ourselves. At
any rate, as a starting-point, this would be a most useful
heuristic principle As I have said, it is just because the
psyche is so close to us that psychology has been discovered
so late. Being still in its initial stages as a science, we lack
the concepts and definitions with which to grasp the facts.
If concepts are lacking to us, facts are not ; on the contrary
we axe surrounded almost buried by these facts This
is a striking contrast to the state of affairs in other sciences
where the facts have first to be unearthed. Here the
classification of primary data results in the formation of
descriptive concepts covering certain natural orders, as, for
example, the grouping of the elements m chemistry and of
genera in botany. But it is quite different in the case of
the psyche. Here an empirical and descriptive standpoint
leaves us at the mercy of the unchecked stream of our own
subjective experiences, so that whenever any sort of inclusive
generalization emerges from this welter of impressions, it


is usually nothing more than a symptom Because we
ourselves are psyches, it is almost impossible for us to give
free rein to psychic happenings without being practically
dissolved m them and thus robbed of our ability to recognize
distinctions and to make comparisons

This is one difficulty The other lies in the circumstance
that the more we turn from special phenomena and come to
deal with the spaceless psyche, the more impossible it
becomes to determine anything by exact measurement It
becomes difficult even to establish facts If, for example,
I want to emphasize the unreality of something, I say that
I merely thought it. I say : I would never even have
had this thought unless so-and-so had happened , and
besides, I never think things like that Remarks of this
kind are quite usual, and show how nebulous psychic facts
are, or rather how vague they are on the subjective side in
reality they are just as objective and as definite as historical
events. The truth is that I actually did think thus and thus,
regardless of the conditions and stipulations I may attach
to this fact Many people have to wrestle with themselves in
order to make this perfectly obvious admission, and it often
costs them a great moral effort These, then, are the diffi-
culties we encounter when we draw inferences about the state
of affairs m the psyche from the things we observe outside.

Now my more limited field of work is not the clinical
determination of external characteristics, but the investiga-
tion and classification of the psychic data which can be
inferred from them. The first result of this work is a
descriptive study of the psyche, which enables us to formulate
certain theories about its structure. From the empirical
application of these theories there is finally developed a
conception of psychological types.


Clinical studies are based upon the description of symptoms,
and the step from this to the descriptive study of the psyche
is comparable to the step from a purely symptomatic
pathology to the pathology of the cell and of metabolism.
That is to say that the descriptive study of the psyche
brings into view those psychic processes in the hinterl and
of the mind which produce the clinical symptoms. As
we know, this insight is gained by the application of
analytical methods. We have today a substantial knowledge
of those psychic processes which produce the neurotic
symptoms, for our descriptive study of the psyche has
advanced far enough to enable us to determine the com-
plexes. Whatever else may be taking place within the
obscure recesses of the psyche and there are notoriously
many opinions as to this matter one thing is cert am it
is first and foremost the so-called complexes (emotionally
toned contents having a certain amount of autonomy)
which play an important part there The expression
autonomous complex has often met with opposition,
although, as it seems to me, un]ustifiably. The active
contents of the unconscious do behave in a way I cannot
describe better than by the word autonomous . The
term is used to indicate the fact that the complexes offer
resistance to the conscious intentions, and come and go
as they please. According to our best knowledge about
them, complexes are psychic contents which are outside the
control of the conscious mind. They have been spht off
from consciousness and lead a separate existence in the
unconscious, being at all times ready to hinder or to reinforce
the conscious intentions.

A further study of the complexes leads inevitably to the
problem of their origin, and as to this a number of different



theories are current. Apart from theories, experience shows
us that complexes always contain something like a conflict
they are either the cause or the effect of a conflict At
any rate, the characteristics of conflict that is, shock,
upheaval, mental agony, inner strife are peculiar to the
complexes They have been called in French bites noires,
while we refer to them as " skeletons in the cupboard
They are vulnerable points which we do not like to
remember and still less to be reminded of by others, but
which frequently come back to mind unbidden and m the
most unwelcome fashion They always contain memories,
wishes, fears, duties, needs, or views, with which we have
never really come to terms, and for this reason they con-
stantly interfere with our conscious life in a disturbing and
usually a harmful way.

Complexes obviously represent a land of inferiority m
the broadest sense a statement I must at once qualify
by saying that to have complexes does not necessarily
indicate inferiority It only means that something incom-
patible, unassimilated, and conflicting exists perhaps as
an obstacle, but also as a stimulus to greater effort, and so,
perhaps, as an opening to new possibilities of achievement.
Complexes are therefore, in this sense, focal or nodal points
of psychic hfe which we would not wish to do without.
Indeed they must not be lacking, for otherwise psychic
activity would come to a fatal standstill. But they indicate
the unresolved problems of the individual, the points at
which he has suffered a defeat, at least for the time being,
and where there is something he cannot evade or overcome
his weak spots in every sense of the word.

Now these characteristics of the complex throw a significant
light on its genesis. It obviously arises from the clash


between a requirement of adaptation and the individuals
constitutional inability to meet the challenge. Seen in this
light, the complex is a symptom which helps us to diagnose
an individual disposition.

Experience shows us that complexes are infinitely varied,
yet careful comparison reveals a relatively small number of
typical primary patterns, all of which have their origins in
the first experiences of childhood. This must necessarily
be so, because the individual disposition is already a
factor in childhood ; it is innate, and not acquired m the
course of life. The parental complex is therefore nothing
but the first manifestation of a clash between reality
and the individual's constitutional inability to meet the
requirements it demands of him. The first form of the
complex cannot be other than a parental complex, because
the parents are the first reality with which the child comes
into conflict

The existence of a parental complex therefore tells us
little or nothing about the peculiar constitution of the
individual. Practical experience soon teaches us that the
crux of the matter does not lie in the presence of a parental
complex, but rather in the special way in which the complex
works itself out in the life of the individual. As to this we
observe the most striking variations, and only a very small
number can be attri buted to the special traits of parental
influence. There are often several children who are exposed
to the same influence, and yet each reacts to it in a totally
different way.

I have turned my attention to these very differences,
because I believe that it is through them that specifically
individual dispositions can be recognized. Why, in a
neurotic family, does one child react with hysteria, another


with a compulsion neurosis, the third with a psychosis, and
the fourth apparently not at all ? This problem of the
choice of the neurosis , with which Freud also was
confronted, robs the parental complex as such of all
aetiological meaning, and shifts the enquiry to the reacting
individual and his special disposition

Although Freuds attempts to solve this problem leave
me entirely unsatisfied, I am myself unable to answer the
question. Indeed, I think the time is not yet ripe for raising
this question of the choice of the neurosis. Before we take
up this extremely difficult problem, we must know a great
deal more about the way in which the individual reacts
The question is How does a person react to an obstacle ?
For instance, we come to a brook where there is no bridge
The stream is too broad to step across, and we must jump.
To make this possible, we have at our disposal a complicated
functional system, namely, the psycho-motor system It
is completely developed and needs only to be released
But before this happens, something of a purely psychic
nature takes place, that is, the decision is made about what
is to be done. This is followed by activities which settle
the issue in some way and are different for each individual.
But, significantly enough, we rarely, if ever, recognize these
events as characteristic, for we cannot as a rule see ourselves
at all, or only at the very end. This is to say that, just as
the psycho-motor apparatus is automatically at our disposal,
so there is an exclusively psychic apparatus ready for our
use m the making of decisions which works also by habit
and therefore unconsciously.

Opinions differ very widely as to what this apparatus is
like. It is certain only that every individual has his
accustomed way of meeting decisions and of dealing with



difficulties. One person will say he jumped the brook for
the fun of the thing ; another that it was because there
was no alternative ; a third that every obstacle he meets
challenges him to overcome it. A fourth person did not
jump the brook because he hates useless effort, and a fifth
refrained because he saw no urgent necessity for crossing
to the other side.

I have purposely chosen this commonplace example in
order to show how irrelevant these incentives seem. They
appear so futile, indeed, that we push them all to one side
and are inclined to substitute our own explanation And
yet it is just these variants that furnish us with valuable
insight into the individual systems of psychic adaptation.
If we examine, in other situations of life, the person who
crossed the brook because it gave him pleasure to jump,
we shall probably find that for the most part what he does
and omits to do can be explained in terms of the pleasure
it gives him. We shall observe that the one who sees no
other means of getting across, goes through life carefully,
but unwillingly, always making reluctant decisions In
all these cases special psychic systems are in readiness to
carry out decisions offh and We can easily imagine that
the number of these attitudes is legion. The particular
variations are certainly as innumerable as the variations of
crystals which nevertheless may be recognized as belonging
to one or another system. But just as crystals show basic
uniformities which are relatively simple, so do these personal
attitudes show certain fundamental traits which allow us to
assign them to definite groups
Since the earliest times, attempts have repeatedly been
made to classify individuals according to types and thus to
bring order into what was confusion. The oldest attempt


of this sort known to us was made by oriental astrologers
who devised the so-called trigons of the four elements, air,
water, earth and fire The tngon of the air as it appears
in a horoscope consists of the three aerial signs of the
zodiac, Aquarius, Gemini and Libra ; the trigon of fire is
made up of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. According to this
age-old view, whoever is bom in these trigons shares in their
aerial or fiery nature and reveals a corresponding disposition
and destiny. This ancient cosmological scheme is the parent
of the physiological type-theory of antiquity according to
which the four dispositions correspond to the four humours
of the body What was first represented by the signs of
the zodiac was later expressed in the physiological terms of
Greek medicine, giving us the classification into phlegmatic,
sanguine, choleric, and melancholic These are merely
terms for the supposed humours of the body As is well
known, this classification lasted nearly seventeen centuries.
As for the astrological type-theory, to the astonishment of the
enlightened, it remains mtact today, and is even enjoying
a new vogue

This historical retrospect may set our minds at rest as
to the fact that our modem efforts to formulate a theory of
types axe by no means new and unprecedented, even if our
scientific conscience no longer permits us to revert to these
old, intuitive ways of handling the question We must
find our own answer to this problem an answer which
satisfies the demands of science

And here we meet the chief difficulty of the problem of
types that is, the question of standards or criteria. The
astrological criterion was simple , it was given by the
constellations As to the way in which the elements of
human character could be ascribed to the zodiacal signs and


the planets, this is a question which reaches back into the
grey mists of prehistory and remains unanswerable The
Greek classification according to the four physiological
dispositions took as its criteria the appearance and behaviour
of the individual, exactly as is done today in the case of
modern physiological types But where shall we seek our
criterion for a psychological theory of types ? Let us return
to the previously mentioned instance of the vanous indi-
viduals who had to cross a brook How, and from what
standpoint, should we classify their habitual incentives ?
One person does it from pleasure, another acts because not
to act is more troublesome, a third does not act because he
has second thoughts, and so forth. The list of possibilities
seems both endless and useless for purposes of classification

I do not know how other people would set about the
task. I can therefore only tell you how I myself have
approached the matter, and I must submit to the reproach
that my way of solving the problem is the outcome of my
individual prejudice. Indeed, this objection is so entirely
true, that I should not know how to meet it I might,
perhaps, content myself by referring to Columbus, who,
by using subjective assumptions, a false hypothesis, and a
route abandoned by modem navigation, nevertheless dis-
covered America. Whatever we look at, and however we look
at it, we see only through our own eyes For this reason
a science is never made by one man, but by many. The
individual merely offers his contri bution, and in this sense
only do I dare to speak of my way of seeing things.

My profession has always forced me to take account of
the peculiarities of individuals. This has made it necessary
for me to establish certain average truths, as also has the
circumstance that in the course of many years I have had



to treat innumerable married couples and have been faced
with the task of making the standpoints of husb and and
wife mutually plausible. How many times, for example,
have I not had to say : Look here, your wife has a very
active nature, and it cannot be expected that her whole
existence should centre round housekeeping. This is the
beginning of a type-theory, a sort of statistical truth : there
are active natures and passive ones. But this time-worn
truth did not satisfy me Therefore I next tned to say that
there were some persons given to reflection, and others who
were unreflective, because I had observed that apparently
passive natures are in reality not so much passive as given
to forethought They first consider a situation and then
act ; and because they do this habitually they miss oppor-
tunities where immediate action without forethought is
called for, thus coming to be stigmatized as passive. The
persons who did not reflect always seemed to me to jump
into a situation without any forethought, only perhaps to
observe afterwards that they had landed in a swamp. Thus
they could be considered unreflective , and this seemed
a more appropnate designation than "active . Forethought
is in certain cases a very important form of activity, just as
it is a reasonable course of action m contrast to the
effervescence of the person who must act at once at all
costs. But I very soon discovered that the hesitation of
the one was by no means always forethought, and that the
quick action of the other was not necessarily want of
reflection. The hesitation of the former often arises
from habitual timidity, or at least from something like a
customary shrinking backward as if faced with too heavy
a task , while the immediate activity of the second is
frequently made possible by a predominating self-confidence


with respect to the object. This observation caused me to
formulate these typical distinctions m the following way :
there is a whole class of men who at the moment of reaction
to a given situation at first draw back a little as if with
an unvoiced " No , and only after that are able to react ;
and there is another class who, in the same situation, come
forward with an immediate reaction, apparently confident
that their behaviour is obviously right. The former class
would therefore be characterized by a certain negative
relation to the object, and the latter by a positive

As we know, the former class corresponds to the intro-
verted and the second to the extraverted attitude. But with
these two terms in themselves as httle is gamed as when
Moh^res bourgeois gentilhomme discovered that he ordinarily
spoke in prose. These distinctions attain meaning and value
only when we realize all the other characteristics that go
with the type.

One cannot be introverted or extraverted without being
so m every respect. By the term introverted we mean
that all psychic happenings take place in the way we posit
as true of introverted people. Thus also, to establish the
fact that a certain individual is extraverted would be as
irrelevant as proving that his height is six feet, or that
he has brown hair, or is brachycephahc. These statements
bring httle more to light than the bare fact they express.
But the expression extraverted claims to have more
meaning. It states that, when a person is extraverted, his
consciousness as well as his unconscious have definite
qualities ; that his general behaviour, his relation to people,
and even the course of his life, show certain typical



Introversion or extraversion, as a typical attitude, means
an essential bias which conditions the whole psychic process,
establishes the habitual reactions, and thus determines not
only the style of behaviour, but also the nature of subjective
experience. And not only so, but it also denotes the kind
of compensatory activity of the unconscious which we may
expect to find.

When the habitual reactions are determined, we can feel
fairly certain of having hit the mark, because they govern
external behaviour on the one hand, and on the other
mould specific experience. A certain kind of behaviour
brings corresponding results, and the subjective under-
standing of these results gives rise to the experiences which
in turn influence behaviour, and thus close the circle of an
individual's destmy.

Although there need be no doubt that with the habitual
reactions we touch upon a decisive matter, there remains
the dehcate question as to whether we have satisfactorily
characterized them There can be an honest difference of
opinion about this even among persons with an equally
intimate knowledge of the special field. In my book on
types 1 I have gathered together all that I could find in
support of my conception, but I have made it very clear
that I do not hold mine to be the only true or possible
type-theory. This theory is simple enough, consisting as
it does in the contrast between introversion and extra-
version , but simple formulations are unfortunately most
open to doubt They all too easily cover up the actual
complexities, and so deceive us. I speak here from my own
experience, for scarcely had I published the first formulation
of my criteria, when I discovered to my dismay that somehow

1 Psychological Types, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co , London


or other I had been taken in by it. Something was out of
gear. I had tried to explain too much in too simple a way,
as often happens in the first ]oy of discovery.

What struck me now was the undeniable fact that while
people may be classed as introverts or extraverts, these
distinctions do not cover all the dissimilarities between the
individuals in either class. So great, indeed, are these
differences that I was forced to doubt whether I had observed
correctly in the first place. It took nearly ten years of
observation and comparison to clear up this doubt.

The question as to the great variation observable among
the members of each class entangled me in unforeseen
difficulties which for a long time I could not master. To
observe and recognize the differences gave me comparatively
little trouble, the root of my difficulties being now, as before,
the problem of criteria. How was I to find the right terms
for the characteristic differences ? Here I realized for the
first time and to the full extent how young psychology
really is. It is still little more than a chaos of arbitrary
opinions, the better part of which seems to have been produced
in the study and consulting-room by spontaneous generation
from the isolated and therefore Jovian brains of learned
scholars. Without wishing to be irreverent, I cannot refrain
from confronting the Professor of Psychology with the
mentality of women, of the Chinese, and of Austr alian
Negroes. Our psychology must embrace all life, otherwise
we simply remain enclosed in the Middle Ages.

I have realized that no sound criteria are to be found in
the chaos of contemporary psychology. They have first to
be made not out of whole cloth, of course, but on the basis
of the invaluable preparatory work done by many men whose
names no history of psychology will pass over in si fp nc e .


Within the limits of an essay, I cannot possibly mention
all the separate observations that led me to pick out certain
psychic functions as criteria for the designation of the
differences under discussion. I wish only to show how they
appear to me as far as I have been able to grasp them.
We must realize that an introvert does not simply draw
back and hesitate before the object, but that he does so
in a very definite way. Moreover he does not behave in
all respects like every other introvert, but in a particular
manner. Just as the hon strikes down his enemy or his
prey with his fore-paw, in which his strength resides, and
not with his tail like the crocodile, so our habitual reactions
are normally characterized by the application of our most
trustworthy and efficient function ; it is an expression of
our strength However, this does not prevent our reacting
occasionally in a way that reveals our specific weakness
The predominance of a function leads us to construct or to
seek out certain situations while we avoid others, and
therefore to have experiences that are peculiar to us and
different from those of other people. An intelligent man will
make his adaptation to the world through his intelligence,
and not in the manner of a sixth-rate pugilist, even though
now and then, in a fit of rage, he may make use of his fists.
In the struggle for existence and adaptation everyone
instinctively uses his most developed function, which thus
becomes the criterion of his habitual reactions
The question now becomes How is it possible to subsume
all these functions under general concepts, so that they can
be distinguished in the welter of merely contingent events ?
In social life a rough grouping of this sort has long ago come
about, and as a result we have types like the peasant, the
worker, the artist, the scholar, the warrior, and so forth


down the list of the various professions. But this sort of
typifi cation has very little to do with psychology, because
as a well-known scholar has maliciously remarked there
are savants who are merely intellectual porters
A type-theory must be more subtle. It is not enough,
for example, to speak of intelligence, for this is too general
and too vague a concept. Almost any behaviour can be
called intelligent if it works smoothly, quickly, effectively
and to a purpose. Intelligence, like stupidity, is not a
function but a modality ; the term tells us nothing more
than how a function works. The same holds true of moral
and aesthetic cntena. We must be able to designate what it
is that functions outstandingly in the individual's habitual
way of reacting. We are thus forced to resort to something
which at first glance alarmingly resembles the old faculty
psychology of the eighteenth century ; in reality, however,
we are only returning to current ideas in daily speech,
perfectly accessible and comprehensible to everyone. When,
for instance, I speak of " thinking , it is only the philosopher
who does not know what I mean , no layman will find it
incomprehensible. He uses this word every day, and always
in the same general sense, though it is true enough that he
is not a little embarrassed if he is called upon suddenly to
give an unequivocal definition of thinking. The same is
true of " memory or " feeling . However difficult it
is to define such notions scientifically and thus make of
them psychological concepts, they are easily intelligible in
current speech. Speech is a storehouse of images founded
on experience, and therefore concepts which are too abstract
do not easily take root in it, or quickly die out again for
lack of contact with reality. But thinking and feelin g are
so obtrusively real that every language above the primitive


level has absolutely unmistakable expressions for them-
We can therefore be sure that these expressions coincide
with perfectly definite psychic facts, no matter what the
scientific definitions of these complex facts may be Everyone
knows, for example, what consciousness is, and nobody
doubts that the concept covers a definite psychic condition,
however far science may be from defining it satisfactorily.

So it came about that I simply formed my concepts of
the psychic functions from the notions expressed in current
speech, and used them as my criteria in judging the dif-
ferences between persons of the same attitude-type For
example, I took thinking as it is generally understood,
because I was struck by the fact that many persons habitually
do more thinking than others, and accordingly give more
weight to thought when making important decisions. They
also use them thinking m trying to understand and adapt
themselves to the world, and whatever happens to them is
subjected to consideration and reflection, or at least reconciled
with some principle sanctioned by thought Other people
conspicuously neglect thinking in favour of emotional
factors, that is, feehng They mveterately follow a " policy "
dictated by feehng, and it takes an extraordinary situation
to make them reflect. These persons exhibit a striking and
unmistaka ble contrast to the former This difference is
most patent when, for example, a person of one kind is the
partner in business or marriage of a person of the other
kind. Now a man may give preference to thinking whether
he be extraverted or introverted, but he always uses it in
the way that is characteristic of his attitude-type.

However, the predominance of one or the other of these
functions does not explain all the differences to be found
What I call the thinking or feelrng types embrace two groups


of persons who again have something in common which I
cannot designate except by the word rationality. No one
will dispute the statement that thinking is essentially
rational, but when we come to feeling, certain objections
may be raised which I do not want simply to overrule ; on
the contrary I freely admit that this problem of feeling has
been one over which I have racked my brains. Yet, not
to burden this essay with the various existing definitions
of this concept, I shall confine myself briefly to my own
view. The chief difficulty hes in the fact that the word
feeling can be applied in all sorts of different ways
This is especially true in the German language, but is
noticeable to some extent m English and French as well
First of all, then, we must make a careful distinction between
the concepts of feeling and sensation, the latter bemg taken
to cover the sensory processes And in the second place
we must recognize that a feeling of regret is something quite
different from a feeling that the weather will change
or that the price of our aluminium shares will go up. I
have therefore proposed using the term " feeling m the
first instance, and dropping it so far as psychological
terminology is concerned in the other two instances
Here we should speak of sensation when the sense
organs are involved, and of intuition if we are dealing with
a kind of perception which cannot be traced directly to
conscious sensory experience. I have therefore defined
sensation as perception through conscious sensory processes,
and intuition as perception by way of unconscious contents
and connections.

Obviously we could argue until Doomsday about the
fitness of these definitions, but the discussion eventually
turns upon a mere question of terms. It is as if we debated


whether to call a certain animal a puma or a mountain-lion,
when all that is needed is to know what we wish to designate
in a given way. Psychology is an unexplored field of study,
and its particular idiom must first be fixed. It is well known
that temperature can be measured according to Reaumur,
Celsius or Fahrenheit, but we must indicate which system
we are using

It is evident, then, that I take feehng as a function in
itself and distinguish it from sensation and intuition.
Whoever confuses these last two functions with feehng
in this narrower sense, can obviously not acknowledge the
rationality of feeling. But if they are separated from
feehng, it becomes quite clear that feeling values and feehng
judgements that is to say, our feelings are not only
reasonable, but are also as discriminating, logical and
consistent as thinking Such a statement seems strange to
a man of the thinking type, but we can understand this when
we realize that in a person with a differentiated thinking
function, the feeling function is always less developed, more
primitive, and therefore contaminated with other functions
these being precisely the functions which are not rational,
not logical, and not evaluating, namely, sensation and
intuition. These two last are by their very nature opposed
to the rational functions When we think, it is m order to
judge or to reach a conclusion, and when we feel it is in
order to attach a proper value to somethmg ; sensation and
intuition, on the other hand, are perceptive they make us
aware of what is happening, but do not interpret or evaluate
it. They do not act selectively according to principles, but
are simply receptive of what happens. But what happens "
is merely nature, and therefore essentially non-rational.
There are no modes of inference by which it can be proved


that there must be so many planets, or so many species
of warm-blooded animals of this or that sort. Lack of
rationality is a vice where thinking and feeling are called
for rationality is a vice where sensation and intuition
should be trusted.

Now there are many persons whose habitual reactions
are non-rational, because they are based chiefly upon
sensation or intuition. They cannot be based upon both at
once, because sensation is just as antagonistic to intuition
as thinking is to feeling When I try to assure myself with
my eyes and ears of what actually occurs, I cannot at the
same time give way to dreams and fantasies as to what lies
round the comer. As this is just what the intuitive type
must do in order to give free play to the unconscious or to
the object, it is easy to see that the sensation type is at
the opposite pole to the intuitive Unfortunately, I cannot
here take up the interesting variations which the extraverted
or introverted attitude produces m non-rational types

Instead, I prefer to add a word about the effects regularly
produced upon the other functions when preference is given
to one. We know that a man can never be everything at
once, never complete ; he always develops certain qualities
at the expense of others, and wholeness is never attained.
But what happens to those functions which are not developed
by exercise and are not consciously brought into daily use ?
They remain in a more or less primitive and infantile state,
often only half-conscious, or even quite unconscious These
relatively undeveloped functions constitute a specific in-
feriority which is characteristic of each type and is an
integral part of the total character. The one-sided emphasis
on thinking is always accompanied by an inferiority in
feeling, and differentiated sensation and intuition are


mutually injurious. Whether a function is differentiated or
not may easily be recognized from its strength, stability,
constancy, trustworthiness and service in adaptedness.
But inferiority in a function is often not so easily described
or recognized. An essential criterion is its lack of self-
sufficiency, and our resulting dependence on people and
circumstances ; furthermore, its disposing us to moods and
undue sensitivity, its untrustworthiness and vagueness, and
its tendency to make us suggestible We are always at a
disadvantage m using the inferior function because we
cannot direct it, bemg in fact even its victims
Smce I must restnct myself here to a mere sketch of the
basic ideas of a psychological theory of types, I must
unfortunately forego a detailed description of individual
traits and actions m the hght of this theory. The total
result of my work in this field up to the present is the
presentation of two general types covering the attitudes
which I call extraversion and introversion Besides these,
I have worked out a fourfold classification corresponding to
the functions of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.
Each of these functions varies according to the general
attitude, and thus eight variants are produced. I have been
asked almost reproachfully why I speak of four functions
and not of more or fewer. That there are exactly four is a
matter of empirical fact. But as the following consideration
will show, a certain completeness is attained by these four.
Sensation establishes what is actually given, thinking enables
us to recognize its meaning, feeling tells us its value,
and finally intuition points to the possibilities of the whence
and whither that lie within the immediate facts. In this
way, we can orientate ourselves with respect to the immediate
world as completely as when we locate a place geographically


by latitude and longitude. The four functions are somewhat
like the four points of the compass ; they are just as
arbitrary and just as indispensable. Nothing prevents our
shifting the cardinal points as many degrees as we like in
one direction or the other, nor are we precluded from giving
them different names. It is merely a question of convention
and comprehensibility.

But one thing I must confess : I would not for anything
dispense with this compass on my psychological journeys of
discovery. This is not merely for the obvious, all-too-human
reason that everyone is in love with his own ideas. I value
the type-theory for the objective reason that it offers a
system of comparison and orientation which makes possible
something that has long been lacking, a critical psychology



To discuss the problems connected with the stages of human
development is an exacting task, for it means nothing less
than unfolding a picture of psychic life in its entirety from
the cradle to the grave Within the narrow frame of this
essay the task can be earned out only on the broadest lines,
and it must be well understood that no attempt will be
made to describe the normal psychic occurrences within the
vanous stages. We shall rather restrict ourselves and deal
only with certain " problems ; that is, with things that
are difficult, questionable or ambiguous ; in a word, with
questions which allow of more than one answer and, more-
over, answers that are always open to doubt For this reason
there will be much to which we must add a question-mark
in our thoughts. And worse still there will be some things
which we must accept on faith, while now and then we must
even indulge in speculations.

If psychic hfe consisted only of overt happenings which
on a primitive level is still the case we could content
ourselves with a sturdy empiricism. The psychic life of
civilized man, however, is full of problems ; we cannot even
think of it except in terms of problems. Our psychic pro-
cesses are made up to a large extent of reflections, doubts
and experiments, all of which are almost completely foreign
to the unconscious, instinctive mind of primitive man.




It is the growth of consciousness which we must thank for
the existence of problems ; they are the dubious gift of
civilization. It is just mans turning away from instinct
his opposing himself to instinct that creates consciousness
Instinct is nature and seeks to perpetuate nature ; while
consciousness can only seek culture or its denial Even
when we turn back to nature, inspired by a Rousseauesque
longing, we cultivate nature. As long as we are still
submerged m nature we are unconscious, and we hve in the
security of instinct that knows no problems Everything
in us that still belongs to nature shrinks away from a
problem ; for its name is doubt, and wherever doubt holds
sway, there is uncertainty and the possibility of divergent
ways. And where several ways seem possible, there we
have turned away from the certain guidance of instinct
and are handed over to fear. For consciousness is now
called upon to do that which nature has always done for
her children namely, to give a certain, unquestionable and
unequivocal decision. And here we are beset by an all-too-
human fear that consciousness our Promethean conquest
may in the end not be able to serve us in the place of nature
Problems thus draw us into an orphaned and isolated
state where we are abandoned by nature and are driven
to consciousness. There is no other way open to us , we
are forced to resort to decisions and solutions where we
formerly trusted ourselves to natural happenings. Every
problem, therefore, brings the possibility of a widening of
consciousness but also the necessity of saying good-bye
to childlike unconsciousness and trust in nature. This
necessity is a psychic fact of such importance that it
constitutes one of the essential symbolic teachings of the
Christian religion. It is the sacrifice of the merely natural


man of the unconscious, ingenuous being whose tragic
career began with the eating of the apple in Paradise The
biblical fall of man presents the dawn of consciousness as
a curse. And as a matter of fact it is m this light that we
first look upon every problem that forces us to greater
consciousness and separates us even further from the paradise
of unconscious childhood. Every one of us gladly turns
away from his problems , if possible, they must not be
mentioned, or, better still, their existence is denied We
wish to make our hves simple, certain and smooth and
for that reason problems are tabu We choose to have
certainties and no doubts results and no experiments
without even seemg that certainties can arise only through
doubt, and results through experiment The artful denial
of a problem will not produce conviction , on the contrary,
a wider and higher consciousness is called for to give us
the certainty and clarity we need
This mtroduction, long as it is, seemed to me necessary
in order to make clear the nature of our subject When we
must deal with problems, we instinctively refuse to try
the way that leads through darkness and obscurity We
wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely
forget that these results can only be brought about when
we have ventured mto and emerged again from the darkness.
But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the
powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer ; as
I have already said, we must even indulge in speculations.
For in treating of the problems of psychic life we perpetually
stumble over questions of principle belonging to the private
domains of the most different branches of knowledge. We
disturb and anger the theologian no less than the philosopher,
the physician no less than the educator ; we even grope



about in the field of the biologist and of the historian. This
extravagant behaviour is not to be charged to our arrogance,
but to the circumstance that mans psyche is a unique
combination of factors which also make up the special
subjects of far-reaching lines of research. For it is out of
himself and out of his peculiar constitution that man
produced his sciences. They are symptoms of his psyche.

If, therefore, we ask ourselves the unavoidable question :
" Why does man, in obvious contrast to the animal world,
have problems ? we run into that inextricable tangle
of thoughts which many thousands of mcisive minds have
brought about m the course of centuries. I shall not perform
the labours of a Sisyphus upon this masterpiece of confusion,
but will try to present quite simply my contn bution toward
mans attempt to answer this basic question

There are no problems without consciousness. We must
therefore put the question in another way * In what way
does consciousness arise ? Nobody can say with certainty ,
but we can observe small children in the process of becoming
conscious. Every parent can see it, if he pays attention.
And this is what we are able to observe . when the child
recognizes someone or something when he knows a
person or a thing then we feel that the child has conscious-
ness. That, no doubt, is also why in Paradise it was the
tree of knowledge which bore such fateful fruit.

But what is recognition or knowledge m this sense ? We
speak of knowing something when we succeed m linking
a new perception to an already established context m such
a way that we hold in consciousness not only the new
perception but this context as well. Knowing is based,
therefore, upon a conscious connection between psychic
contents. We cannot have knowledge of disconnected



contents, and we cannot even be conscious of them. The
first stage of consciousness, then, which we can observe
consists in a mere connection between two or more psychic
contents. At this level, consciousness is merely sporadic,
being limited to the representation of a few connections, and
the content is not remembered later on It is a fact that in
the early years of hfe there is no continuous memory ; at
the most there are islands of consciousness which are like
single lamps or lighted objects in the far-flung darkness
But these islands of memory are not the same as those
initial connections between psychic contents , they contain
something more and something new. This something is
that highly important senes of related contents which
constitutes the so-called ego. The ego quite hke the
lmtial content-senes is an object m consciousness, and for
this reason the child speaks of itself at first objectively, in
the third person. Only later, when the ego-contents have
been charged with energy of their own (very hkely as a
result of exercise), does the feeling of subjectivity or
" I-ness arise. This is no doubt the moment when the
child begins to speak of itself in the first jjerson At this
level the continuity of memory has its beginning Essentially,
therefore, it is a continuity in the ego-memones.

In the childish stage of consciousness there are as yet
no problems ; nothing depends upon the subject, for the
child itself is still wholly dependent upon its parents. It is
as though it were not yet completely bom, but were still
enclosed in the psychic atmosphere of its parents. Psychic
birth, and with it the conscious distinction of the ego from
the parents, takes place in the normal course of things at
the age of puberty with the eruption of sexual life. The
physiological change is attended by a psychic revolution.



For the various bodily manifestations give such an emphasis
to the ego that it often asserts itself without stmt or measure.
This is sometimes called the unbearable age

Until this period is reached the psychic life of the individual
is essentially governed by impulse, and few or no problems
are met with. Even when external limitations oppose the
subjective impulses, these restraints do not put the individual
at variance with himself. He submits to them or circumvents
them, remaining quite at one with himself. He does not yet
know the state of inner tension which a problem brings
about This state only arises when what was an external
limitation becomes an inner obstacle , when one impulse
opposes itself to another. Resorting to psychological terms
we would say the state induced by a problem the state
of being at variance with oneself arises when, side by side
with the senes of ego-contents, a second senes of equal
mtensity comes into being. This second series, because of
its energy-value, has a functional significance equal to that
of the ego-complex ; we might call it another, second ego
which in a given case can wrest the leadership from the
first. This bnngs about an estrangement from oneself
the state that betokens a problem.

With reference to what was said above we can epitomize
as follows : the first stage of consciousness which consists
of recognizing or knowing is an anarchic or chaotic
state The second that of the developed ego-complex
is a monarchic or monistic phase. The third is another step
forward in consciousness, and consists in the awareness of
ones divided state ; it is a dualistic phase.

And here we take up our actual theme, namely the question
of the stages of hfe. First of all we must deal with the
period of youth. It extends roughly from the years just



after puberty to middle life, which itself begins between
the thirty-fifth and fortieth year.

I might well be asked why I choose to begin with the
second period of human existence. Are there no difficult
questions connected with childhood ? The complex psychic
life of the child is of course a problem of the first magnitude
to parents, educators and physicians , but when normal, the
child has no real problems of its own. It is only when a
human being has grown up that he can have doubts about
himself and be at variance with himself.

We are all thoroughly familiar with the sources of the
problems which arise m the period of youth. For most
people it is the demands of life which harshly put an end
to the dream of childhood If the individual is sufficiently
well prepared, the transition to a professional career may
take place smoothly. But if he clings to illusions that
contradict reality, then problems will surely arise No one
takes the step into life without making certain presup-
positions and occasionally they are false That is, they
may not fit the conditions into which one is thrown It is
often a question of exaggerated expectations, of under-
estimation of difficulties, of unjustified optimism or of a
negative attitude One could compile quite a list of the
false presuppositions which give nse to the earliest, conscious

But it is not always the contrast of subjective presupposi-
tions with external facts that gives rise to problems , it may as
often be inner, psychic disturbances. They may exist even
when things run smoothly enough in the outer world. Very
often it is the disturbance of the psychic equilibrium by the
sexual impulse , and perhaps just as often it is the feeling
of inferiority which springs from an unbearable sensitivity.



These inner difficulties may exist even when adaptation to
the outer world has been achieved without apparent effort.
It even seems as if young people who have had to struggle
hard for their existence are spared inner problems, while
those for whom adaptation for some reason or other is
made easy, run into problems of sex or conflicts growing
from the sense of inferiority.

People whose own temperaments offer problems are often
neurotic, but it would be a senous misunderstanding to
confuse the existence of problems with neurosis. There is
a marked distinction between the two in that the neurotic
is ill because he is unconscious of his problems , while the
man with a difficult temperament suffers from his conscious
problems without being ill

If we try to extract the common and essential factors
from the almost inexhaustible variety of individual problems
found in the period of youth, we meet in nearly all cases
with a particular feature . a more or less patent clinging
to the childhood level of consciousness a rebellion against
the fateful forces in and around us which tend to involve
us in the world. Something in us wishes to remain a child ;
to be unconscious, or, at most, conscious only of the ego ;
to reject everything foreign, or at least subject it to our
will ; to do nothing, or m any case indulge our own craving
for pleasure or power. In this leaning we observe something
like the inertia of matter ; it is persistence in a hitherto
existing state whose level of consciousness is smaller,
narrower and more egoistic than that of the duabstic stage.
For in the latter the individual finds himself compelled to
recognize and to accept what is different and strange as a
part of his own life as a kind of " also-I

It is the extension of the horizon of life which is the



essential feature of the dualistic stage and to which
resistance is offered. To be sure, this enlargement or this
diastole, to use Goethes expression had started long before
this. It begins at birth, when the child abandons the narrow
confinement of the mothers womb ; and from then on it
gains steadily untd it reaches a critical point in that phase
when, beset by problems, the individual begins to struggle
against it.

What would happen to him if he simply changed himself
into that other, foreign, also-I , and allowed the earlier
ego to vanish into the past ? We might suppose this to be
a quite practicable course The very aim of religious
education, from the exhortation to put off the old Adam,
backward in time to the rebirth ntuals of primitive races,
is to transform a human being into a new a future man,
and to allow the old forms of life to die away.

Psychology teaches us that, in a certain sense, there is
nothing in the psyche that is old , nothing that can really,
definitively die away. Even Paul was left with a sting in
his flesh. Whoever protects himself against what is new
and strange and thereby regresses to the past, falls into the
same neurotic condition as the man who identifies himself
with the new and runs away from the past The only
difference is that the one has estranged himself from the
past, and the other from the future In principle both are
doing the same thing ; they are salvaging a narrow state
of consciousness. The alternative is to shatter it with the
tension inherent in the play of opposites in the dualistic
stage and thereby to build up a state of wider and higher

This outcome would be ideal if it could be brought about
in the second stage of life but here is the rub. For one



thing, nature cares nothing whatsoever about a hi g her level
of consciousness ; quite the contrary. And then society
does not value these feats of the psyche very highly ; its
prizes are always given for achievement and not for per-
sonality the latter being rewarded, for the most part,
posthumously. This being so, a particular solution of the
difficulty becomes compulsive : we are forced to limit
ourselves to the attainable and to differentiate particular
aptitudes, for in this way the capable individual discovers
his social being.

Achievement, usefulness and so forth are the ideals which
appear to guide us out of the confusion of crowding problems
They may be our lode-stars in the adventure of extending
and solidifying our psychic existences they may help us
in striking our roots in the world , but they cannot guide
us m the development of that wider consciousness to which
we give the name of culture. In the period of youth, at
any rate, this course is the normal one and in all circum-
stances preferable to merely tossing about m the welter of

The dilemma is often solved, therefore, in this way :
whatever is given to us by the past is adapted to the possi-
bilities and the demands of the future. We limit ourselves
to the attainable, and this means the renunciation of all
other potentialities One man loses a valuable piece of his
past, another a valuable piece of his future. Everyone can
call to mind friends or schoolmates who were promising and
idealistic youngsters, but who, when met with years later,
seemed to have grown dry and cramped in a narrow mould
These are examples of the solution given above.

The serious problems of hfe, however, are never fully
solved. If it should for once appear that they are, this



is the sign that something has been lost. The meaning and
design of a problem seem not to lie m its solution, but m
our working at it incessantly. This alone preserves us from
stultification and petrifaction. So also with that solution
of the problems of the period of youth which consists in
restricting ourselves to the attainable . it is only temporarily
valid and not lasting in a deeper sense. Of course, to win
for oneself a place in society and so to transform ones nature
that it is more or less fitted to this existence, is m every
instance an important achievement. It is a fight waged
within oneself as well as outside, comparable to the struggle
of the child to defend his ego. This struggle, we must grant,
is for the most part unobserved because it happens in the
dark , but when we see how stubbornly childish illusions,
presuppositions and egoistic habits are still clung to in later
years we are able to realize the energy it took to form them.
And so it is also with the ideals, convictions, guiding ideas
and attitudes which in the penod of youth lead us out mto
life for which we struggle, suffer and win victories : they
grow together with our own beings, we apparently change
into them, and we therefore perpetuate them at pleasure
and as a matter of course, just as the child asserts its ego
in the face of the world and in spite of itself occasionally
even to spite itself

The nearer we approach to the middle of life, and the
better we have succeeded in entrenching ourselves in our
personal standpoints and social positions, the more it appears
as if we had discovered the right course and the right ideals
and principles of behaviour. For this reason we suppose
them to be eternally valid, and make a virtue of unchangeably
clinging to them We wholly overlook the essential fact
that the achievements which society rewards are won at



the cost of a diminution of personality. Many far too many
aspects of life which should also have been experienced
lie m the lumber-room among dusty memories. Sometimes,
even, they are glowing coals under grey ashes.

Statistical tables show a rise in the frequency of cases of
mental depression in men about forty. In women the
neurotic difficulties generally begin somewhat earlier. We
see that in this phase of life between thirty-five and forty
a significant change in the human psyche is in preparation.
At first it is not a conscious and striking change , it is rather
a matter of indirect signs of a change which seems to take
its rise from the unconscious. Often it is something hke
a slow change in a persons character ; in another case
certain traits may come to light which had disappeared in
childhood , or again, inclinations and interests begin to
weaken and others arise to take their places. It also
frequently happens that the convictions and principles which
have hitherto been accepted especially the moral prin-
ciples commence to harden and to grow increasingly rigid
until, somewhere towards the age of fifty, a period of
intolerance and fanaticism is reached. It is then as if
the existence of these principles were endangered, and it
were therefore necessary to emphasize them all the

The wine of youth does not always clear with advancing
years ; oftentimes it grows turbid. All the manifestations
mentioned above can be most clearly seen in rather one-sided
people, turning up sometimes sooner and sometimes later.
In my opinion, their appearance is often delayed by the
fact that a persons parents are still alive. It is then as
if the period of youth were unduly continued. I have seen
this especially in the cases of men whose fathers were long-



lived. The death of the father then has the effect of a n
overhurried an almost catastrophic ripening

I know of a pious man who was a churchwarden and
who, from the age of forty onward, showed a growing and
finally unbearable intolerance in things of morality and
religion. At the same time his disposition grew visibly
worse. At last he was nothing more than a darkly lowering
pillar of the church In this way he got along until
his fifty-fifth year when suddenly, one mght, sitting up in
bed, he said to his wife : Now at last Ive got it As
a matter of fact Im ]ust a plain rascal. Nor did this
self-realization remain without results. He spent his
declining years in riotous living and in wasting a goodly
part of his fortune. Obviously quite a likeable person,
capable of both extremes >

The very frequent neurotic disturbances of adult years
have this in common, that they betray the attempt to
carry the psychic dispositions of youth beyond the threshold
of the so-called years of discretion Who does not know
those touching old gentlemen who must always warm up
the dish of their student days, who can fan the flames of
life only by reminiscences of their heroic youth and who
for the rest, are stuck in a hopelessly wooden philistinism ?
As a rule, to be sure, they have this one ment which it would
be wrong to undervalue they are not neurotic, but only
boring or stereotyped The neurotic is rather a person
who can never have things as he would like them m the
present, and who can therefore never enjoy the past.

As formerly the neurotic could not escape from childhood,
so now he cannot part with his youth. He shrinks from the
grey thoughts of approaching age ; and, feeling the prospect
before him unbearable, is always straining to look behind



him. Just as a childish person shrinks back from the
unknown in the world and in human existence, so the grown
man shrinks back from the second half of life. It is as if
unknown and dangerous tasks were expected of him ; or
as if he were threatened with sacrifices and losses which he
does not wish to accept , or as if his life up to now seemed
to him so fair and so precious that he could not do without it.

Is it perhaps at bottom the fear of death ? That does
not seem to me very probable, because as a rule death is
still far m the distance, and is therefore regarded somewhat
in the light of an abstraction Experience shows us rather
that the basis and cause of all the difficulties of this transition
are to be found in a deep-seated and peculiar change within
the psyche In order to characterize it I must take for
comparison the daily course of the sun but a sun that is
endowed with human feeling and mans limited conscious-
ness In the morning it arises from the nocturnal sea of
unconsciousness and looks upon the wide, bright world
which hes before it in an expanse that steadily widens the
higher it climbs in the firmament In this extension of its
field of action caused by its own rising, the sun will discover
its significance ; it will see the attainment of the greatest
possible height the widest possible dissemination of its
blessings as its goal. In this conviction the sun pursues
its unforeseen course to the zenith ; unforeseen, because its
career is unique and individual, and its culminating pomt
could not be calculated in advance. At the stroke of noon
the descent begins. And the descent means the reversal of
all the ideals and values that were cherished in the morning
The sun falls into contradiction with itself. It is as though
it should draw in its rays, instead of emitting them. Light
and warmth decline and are at last extinguished.



All comparisons are lame, but this simile is at least not
lamer than others. A French aphorism sums it up with
cynical resignation : St jeunesse savatt, si vteiUesse pouvait.

Fortunately we men are not rising and setting suns, for
then it would fare badly with our cultural values. But
there is something sunlike within us ; and to speak of the
morning and spring, of the evening and autumn of hfe is
not mere sentimental jargon. We thus give expression to
a psychological truth, even more, to physiological facts ;
for the reversal at noon changes even bodily characteristics.
Especially among southern races one can observe that
older women develop rough and deep voices, incipient
moustaches, hard facial expressions and other masculine
traits. On the other hand, the masculine physique is toned
down by feminine features, as for instance adiposity and
softer facial expressions.

There is an interesting report m ethnological literature
about an Indian wamor-chief to whom m middle age the
Great Spirit appeared m a dream The spirit announced
to him that from then on he must sit among the women
and children, wear womens clothes and eat the food of
women He obeyed the dream without suffering a loss of
prestige This vision is a true expression of the psychic
revolution of hfes noon of the beginning of hfes decline
Mans values and even his body tend to undergo a reversal
into the opposite.

We might compare masculinity and femininity with their
psychic components to a particular store of substances of
which, in the first half of life, unequal use is made. A man
consumes his large supply of masculine substance and has
left over only the smaller amount of feminine substance,
which he must now put to use. It is the other way round



with a woman ; she allows her unused supply of masculinity
to become active.

This transformation weighs more heavily still in the
psychic realm than in the physical. How often it happens
that a man of forty or fifty years winds up his business, and
that his wife then dons the trousers and opens a little shop
where he sometimes performs the duties of handyman.
There are many women who only awake to social responsi-
bility and to social consciousness after their fortieth year.
In modem business life especially in the United States
nervous breakdown in the forties or after is a very common
occurrence. If one studies the victims a little closely one
sees that the thing which has broken down is the masculine
style of hfe which held the field up to now ; what is left
over is an effeminate man. Contrariwise, one can observe
women in these self-same business spheres who have
developed in the second half of life an uncommon masculinity
and an incisiveness which push the feelings and the heart
aside. Very often the reversal is accompanied by all sorts
of catastrophes in marriage ; for it is not hard to imagine
what may happen when the husb and discovers his tender
feelings, and the wife her sharpness of mind.

The worst of it all is that intelligent and cultivated people
have these leanings without even knowing of the possibility
of such transformations. Wholly unprepared, they embark
upon the second half of hfe. Or are there perhaps colleges
for forty-year-olds which prepare them for their coming
life and its demands as the ordinary colleges introduce our
young people to a knowledge of the world and of life ? No,
there are none. Thoroughly unprepared we take the step
into the afternoon of hfe ; worse still, we take this step with
the false presupposition that our truths and ideals will serve



us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life
according to the programme of life's morning for what was
great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in
the morning was true will at evening have become a he.
I have given psychological treatment to too many people
of advancing years, and have looked too often into the
secret chambers of their souls, not to be moved by this
fundamental truth.

Ageing people should know that their lives are not
mounting and unfolding, but that an inexorable inner
process forces the contraction of life For a young person
it is almost a sin and certainly a danger to be too much
occupied with himself ; but for the ageing person it is a
duty and a necessity to give serious attention to himself.
After having lavished its light upon the world, the sun
withdraws its rays in order to illumine itself Instead of
doing likewise, many old people prefer to be hypochondriacs,
niggards, doctrinaires, applauders of the past or eternal
adolescents all lamentable substitutes for the illumination
of the self, but inevitable consequences of the delusion that
the second half of life must be governed by the principles
of the first

I said just now that we have no schools for forty-year-
olds. That is not quite true. Our religions were always
such schools in the past, but how many people regard them
as such today ? How many of us older persons have really
been brought up in such a school and prepared for the second
half of life, for old age, death and eternity ?

A human being would certainly not grow to be seventy
or eighty years old if this longevity had no meaning for the
species to which he belongs. The afternoon of human life
must also have a significance of its own and cannot be



merely a pitiful appendage to lifes morning. The significance
of the morning undoubtedly lies in the development of the
individual, our entrenchment in the outer world, the pro-
pagation of our kind and the care of our children. This
is the obvious purpose of nature. But when this purpose
has been attained and even more than attained shall the
earning of money, the extension of conquests and the
expansion of life go steadily on beyond the bounds of all
reason and sense ? Whoever carries over into the afternoon
the law of the morning that is, the aims of nature must
pay for so doing with damage to his soul just as surely as
a growing youth who tries to salvage his childish egoism
must pay for this mistake with social failure. Money-
making, social existence, family and posterity are nothing
but plain nature not culture. Culture hes beyond the
purpose of nature Could by any chance culture be the
meaning and purpose of the second half of life ?

In primitive tnbes we observe that the old people are
almost always the guardians of the mysteries and the laws,
and it is in these that the cultural heritage of the tribe is
expressed. How does the matter stand with us ? Where
is the wisdom of our old people where are their precious
secrets and their visions ? For the most part our old people
try to compete with the young. In the United States it is
almost an ideal for the father to be the brother of his sons,
and for the mother if possible to be the younger sister of
her daughter.

I do not know how much of this confusion comes as a
reaction to an earlier exaggeration of the dignity of age,
and how much is to be charged to false ideals. These
undoubtedly exist, and the goal of those who hold them lies
behind, and not in front. Therefore they are always striving



to turn back. We have to grant to these persons that it is
hard to see what other goal the second half of life can offer
than the well-known goal of the first Expansion of hfe,
usefulness, efficiency, the cutting of a figure in social life,
the shrewd steering of offspring into suitable marriages and
good positions are not these purposes enough ? Unfor-
tunately this is not enough meaning or purpose for many
persons who see in the approach of old age a mere diminution
of hfe, and who look upon their earlier ideals only as some-
thing faded and worn out. Of course, if these persons had
filled up the beaker of hfe earlier and emptied it to the lees,
they would feel quite differently about everything now ,
had they kept nothing back, all that wanted to catch fire
would have been consumed, and the quiet of old age would
be very welcome to them. But we must not forget that
only a very few people are artists in hfe , that the art of hfe
is the most distinguished and rarest of all the arts. Who
ever succeeded in draining the whole cup with grace ? So
for many people all too much unhved hfe remains over
sometimes potentialities which they could never have hved
with the best of wills , and so they approach the threshold
of old age with unsatisfied claims which inevitably turn
their glances backward

It is particularly fatal for such people to look backward
For them a prospect and a goal in the future are indis-
pensable. This is why all great religions hold the promise
of a hfe beyond , it makes it possible for mortal man to
live the second half of hfe with as much perseverance and
aim as the first For the man of today the enlargement of
life and its culmination are plausible goals ; but the idea
of life after death seems to him questionable or beyond
belief. And yet hfes cessation, that is, death, can only be



accepted as a goal when existence is so wretched that we
are glad for it to end, or when we are convinced that the
sun strives to its setting " to illumine distant races
with the same perseverance it showed in rising to the zenith.
But to believe has become today such a difficult art, that
people, and particularly the educated part of humanity,
can hardly find their way there. They have become too
accustomed to the thought that, with regard to immortality
and such questions, there are many contradictory opmions
and no convincing proofs Since science has become
the catchword which carries the weight of conviction in
the contemporary world, we ask for scientific proofs.
But educated people who can think, know that proof of this
kind is out of the question We simply know nothing
whatever about it

May I remark that, for the same reasons, we cannot know
whether anything happens to a person after he is dead ?
The answer is neither yes nor no. We simply have no
definite scientific proofs about it one way or another, and
are therefore m the same position as when we ask whether
the planet Mars is inhabited or not And the inhabitants
of Mars, if there are any, are certainly not concerned whether
we affirm or deny their existence. They may exist or not.
And that is how it stands with so-called immortality with
which we may shelve the problem.

But here my physicians conscience awakes and urges me
to say a word which is essential to this question I have
observed that a directed life is m general better, richer and
healthier than an aimless one, and that it is better to go
forwards with the stream of time than backwards against
it. To the psycho therapist an old man who cannot bid
farewell to life appears as feeble and sickly as a young man



who is unable to embrace it. And as a matter of fact, in
many cases it is a question of the selfsame childish covetous-
ness, of the same fear, the same obstinacy and wilfulness, in
the one as in the other. As a physician I am convinced that
it is hygienic if I may use the word to discover in death
a goal towards which one can strive ; and that shrinking
away from it is something unhealthy and abnormal which
robs the second half of life of its purpose. I therefore
consider the religious teaching of a life hereafter consonant
with the standpoint of psychic hygiene. When I hve in a
house which I know will fall about my head within the next
two weeks, all my vital functions will be impaired by this
thought ; but if on the contrary I feel myself to be safe,
I can dwell there in a normal and comfortable way. From
the standpoint of psycho therapy it would therefore be
desirable to think of death as only a transition one part
of a life-process whose extent and duration escape our

In spite of the fact that by far the larger part of mankind
does not know why the body needs salt, everyone demands
it none the less because of an instinctive need. It is the
same in the things of the psyche. A large majority of people
have from time immemorial felt the need of believing in
a continuance of hfe. The demands of therapy, therefore,
do not lead us mto any bypaths, but down the middle of
the roadway trodden by humankind. And therefore we
are thinking correctly with respect to the meaning of life,
even though we do not understand what we think.

Do we ever understand what we think ? We only under-
stand that thinking which is a mere equation, and from which
nothing comes out but what we have put in That is the
working of the intellect. But beyond that there is a thinking^


in primordial images in symbols which are older than
historical man ; which have been ingrained in him from
earliest times, and, eternally living, outlasting all generations,
still make up the groundwork of the human psyche It is
only possible to hve the fullest life when we are m harmony
with these symbols ; wisdom is a return to them. It is
neither a question of belief nor of knowledge, but of the
agreement of our thinking with the primordial images of
the unconscious. They are the source of all our conscious
thoughts, and one of these primordial thoughts is the idea
of life after death. Science and these symbols are incom-
mensurables. They are indispensable conditions of the
imagination ; they are primary data the materials whose
expediency and warrant to exist science cannot deny offh and
It can only treat of them as given facts, much as it can
explore a function like that of the thyroid gland, for example
Before the nineteenth century the thyroid was regarded as
a meaningless organ, merely because it was not understood.
It would be equally short-sighted of us today to call the
primordial images senseless For me these images are
something like psychic organs, and I treat them with the
very greatest care. It happens sometimes that I must say
to an older patient : " Your picture of God or your idea of
immortality is atrophied , consequently your psychic
metabolism is out of gear. The ancient athanasias
phartnakon, the medicament of immortality, is more profound
and meaningful than we supposed.

In this place I would like to return again for a moment
to the comparison with the sun The one hundred and
eighty degrees of the arc of life are divisible into four parts.
The first quarter, lying to the east, is childhood that state
in which we are a problem for others, but are not yet



conscious of any problems of our own. Conscious problems
fill out the second and third quarters , while in the last
in extreme old age we descend again into that condition
where, unworried by out state of consciousness, we again
become something of a problem for others. Childhood and
extreme old age, to be sure, are utterly different, and yet
they have one thing in common : submersion in unconscious
psychic happenings. Since the mind of a child grows out
of the unconscious, its psychic processes though not easily
accessible are not as difficult to discern as those of a very
old person who has plunged again mto the unconscious, and
who progressively vanishes within it. Childhood and old
age are the stages of hfe without any conscious problems,
for which reason I have not taken them into consideration



The difference between Freud's views and my own ought
really to be dealt with by someone who stands outside the
circles of influence of those ideas which go under our
respective names. Can I be credited with sufficient impar-
tiality to rise above my own ideas ? Can any man do this ?
I doubt it. If I were told that someone had rivalled Baron
Munchausen by accomplishing such a feat, I should feel
sure that his ideas were borrowed ones.

It is true that widely accepted ideas are never the personal
property of their so-called author ; on the contrary, he is
the bond-servant of his ideas. Impressive ideas which are
hailed as truths have something peculiar to themselves
Although they come into being at a definite time, they are
and have always been timeless ; they arise from that realm
of procreative, psychic life out of which the ephemeral mind
of the single human being grows like a plant that blossoms,
bears fruit and seed, and then withers and dies. Ideas
spring from a source that is not contained within one man's
personal life. We do not create them ; they create us. To
be sure, when we deal in ideas we inevitably make a con-
fession, for they bring to the light of day not only the best
that in us lies, but our worst insufficiencies and personal
shortcomings as well. This is especially the case with ideas
about psychology. Whence should they come except from




the most subjective side of life ? Can experience with the
objective world save us from subjective prejudgements ?
Is not every experience, even m the best of circumstances,
to a large extent subjective interpretation ? On the other
hand, the subject also is an objective fact, a piece of the
world. What issues from it comes, after all, from the
universal soil, just as the rarest and strangest organism is
none the less supported and nourished by the earth which
we all share in common. It is precisely the most subjective
ideas which, bemg closest to nature and to the living being,
deserve to be called the truest. But what is truth ?

For the purposes of psychology, I think it best to abandon
the notion that we are today in anything like a position to
make statements about the nature of the psyche that are
true or " correct The best that we can achieve is
true expression. By true expression I mean an open avowal
and a detailed presentation of everything that is subjectively
noted. One person will stress the forms into which this
material can be worked, and will therefore believe that he
has created what he finds within himself. Another will
lay most weight upon the fact that he plays the part of
an observer ; he will be conscious of his receptive attitude,
and insist that his subjective material presents itself
to him. The truth lies between the two. True expression
consists in giving form to what is observed.

The modem psychologist, however unbounded his hopes,
can hardly claim to have achieved more than the right sort
of receptivity and a reasonable adequacy of expression. The
psychology we at present possess is the testimony of a few
individuals here and there regarding what they have found
within themselves. The form in which they have cast it
is sometimes adequate and sometimes not. Since each



individual conforms more or less to a type, his testimony
can be accepted as a fairly valid description of a large
number of people. And since those who conform to other
types belong none the less to the human species, we may
conclude that the description applies, though less fully, to
them too. What Freud has to say about sexuality, infantile
pleasure, and their conflict with the principle of reality ,
as well as what he says about incest and the like, can be
taken as the truest expression of his own psychic make-up
He has given adequate form to what he has noted m hims elf.
I am no opponent of Freuds ; I am merely presented in
that hght by his own short-sightedness and that of his
pupils. No experienced psycho therapist can deny having met
with dozens of cases at least which answer in all essentials
to Freuds descriptions. By his avowal of what he has
found in himself, Freud has assisted at the birth of a great
truth about man. He has devoted his hfe and his strength
to the construction of a psychology which is a formulation
of his own being

Our way of looking at things is conditioned by what we
are And smce other people are differently constituted, they
see things differently and express themselves differently
Adler, one of Freuds earliest pupils, is a case in pomt.
Working with the same empirical material as Freud, he
approached it from a totally different standpoint His way
of looking at things is at least as convincing as Freuds,
because he also represents a well-known type. I know that
the followers of both schools flatly assert that I am in the
wrong, but I may hope that history and all fair-minded
persons will bear me out Both schools, to my way of
thinking, deserve reproach for over-emphasizing the patho-
logical aspect of life and for interpreting man too exclusively



in the light of his defects. A convincing example of this
in Freuds case is his inability to understand religious
experience, as is clearly shown in his book : The Future of
an Illusion. For my part, I prefer to look at man in the
light of what in him is healthy and sound, and to free the
sick man from that point of view which colours every page
Freud has written. Freuds teaching is definitely one-sided
in that it generalizes from facts that are relevant only to
neurotic states of mind ; its validity is really confined to
those states. Within these limits Freuds teaching is true
and valid even when it is in error, for error also belongs to
the picture, and carries the truth of a true avowal In any
case, Freuds is not a psychology of the healthy mind

The morbid symptom in Freuds psychology is this . it
is based upon a view of the world that is uncnticized, or
even unconscious, and this is apt to narrow the field of
human expenence and understanding to a considerable
extent It was a great mistake on Freuds part to turn his
back on philosophy. Not once does he criticize his premises
or even the assumptions that underlie his personal outlook.
Yet to do so was necessary, as may be inferred from what
I have said above , for had he critically examined his
assumptions, he would never have put his peculiar mental
disposition naively on view, as he has done in The Interpre-
tation of Dreams At all events, he would have had a taste of
the difficulties which I have met with I have never refused
the bitter-sweet drink of philosophical criticism, but have taken
it with caution, a little at a time. All too httle, my opponents
will say , almost too much, my own feeling tells me. All
too easily does self-criticism poison ones naivete, that
priceless possession, or rather gift, which no creative man
can be without. At any rate, philosophical criticism has


helped me to see that every psychology my own included
has the character of a subjective confession. And yet I
must prevent my critical powers from destroying my
creativeness. I know well enough that every word I utter
carries with it something of myself of my special and
unique self with its particular history and its own particular
world. Even when I deal with empirical data, I am
necessarily speaking about myself. But it is only by
accepting this as inevitable that I can serve the cause of
mans knowledge of man the cause which Freud also wished
to serve, and which, in spite of everything, he has served.
Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.

It is perhaps here, where the question arises of accepting
the fact that every psychological teaching which is the work
of one man is subjectively coloured, that the hne between
Freud and myself is most sharply drawn.

A further difference seems to me to consist in this, that
I try to free myself from all unconscious and therefore
uncriticized assumptions as to the world m general I say
I try , for who can be sure that he has freed himself
from all his unconscious assumptions ? I try to save myself
at least from the crassest prejudices, and am therefore
inclined to recognize all manner of gods provided only that
they are active in the human psyche I do not doubt that
the natural instincts or drives are forces of propulsion in
human life, whether we call them sexuality or the will to
power ; but I also do not doubt that these instincts come
into collision with the spirit, for they are continually
colliding with something, and why should not this something
be called spirit ? I am far from knowing what spirit is in
itself, and equally far from knowing what instincts are. The
one is as mysterious to me as the other, yet I am unable



to dismiss the one by explaining it in terms of the other.
That would be to treat it as a mere misunderstanding. The
fact that the earth has only one moon is not a misunder-
standing There are no misunderstandings in nature ; they
are only to be found in the realms that man calls under-
standing Certainly instinct and spirit are beyond my
understanding They are terms that we allow to stand for
powerful forces whose nature we do not know.

As may be seen, I attri bute a positive value to all religions.
In their symbolism I recognize those figures which I have
met with m the dreams and fantasies of my patients In
their moral teachings I see efforts that are the same as or
similar to those made by my patients, when, guided by
their own insight or inspiration, they seek the right way of
dealing with the forces of the inner hfe Ceremonial, ritual,
initiation ntes and ascetic practices, in all their forms and
variations, interest me profoundly as so many techniques
for bringing about a proper relation to these forces. I
likewise attri bute a positive value to biology, and to the
empiricism of natural science in general, in which I see a
herculean attempt to understand the human psyche by
approaching it from the outer world. I regard the gnostic
religions as an equally prodigious undertaking in the opposite
direction as an attempt to draw knowledge of the cosmos
from within. In my picture of the world there is a vast
outer realm and an equally vast inner realm , between these
two stands man, facing now one and now the other, and,
according to his mood or disposition, taking the one for the
absolute truth by denying or sacrificing the other.

This picture is hypothetical, of course, but it offers a
hypothesis which is so valuable that I will not give it up.
I consider it heuristically and empirically verified ; and.


what is more, it is supported by the consensus gentxum.
This hypothesis certainly came to me from an inner source,
though I might imagine that empirical findings had led to
its discovery. Out of it has come my theory of types, and
also my reconciliation with views as different from my own
as those of Freud.

I see in all happening the play of opposites, and derive
from this conception my idea of psychic energy. I hold
that psychic energy involves the play of opposites in much
the same way as physical energy involves a difference of
potential, which is to say, the existence of such opposites
as warm and cold, high and low. Freud began by taking
sexuality as the only psychic driving power, and only after
my break with him did he grant an equal status to other
psychic activities as well. For my part, I have subsumed
the various psychic drives or forces under the concept of
energy in order to avoid the arbitrariness of a psychology
that deals with drives or impulses alone I therefore speak,
not of separate drives or forces, but of " value intensities 1
By what has just been said I do not mean to deny the
importance of sexuality in psychic life, though Freud
stubbornly maintains that I do deny it. What I seek is to
set bounds to the rampant terminology of sex which threatens
to vitiate all discussion of the human psyche , I wish to
put sexuality itself in its proper place. Common-sense will
always return to the fact that sexuality is only one of the
life-instmcts only one of the psycho-physiological functions
though one that is without doubt very far-reaching and

Beyond all question, there is a marked disturbance today

1 Compare the essay "On Psychical Energy" m Contri butions to
Analytical Psychology, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co , London, 1928


in the realms of sexual life. It is well known that when we
have a bad toothache, we can think of nothing else. The
sexuality which Freud describes is unmistakably that sexual
obsession which shows itself whenever a patient has reached
the point where he needs to be forced or tempted out of
a wrong attitude or situation It is an over-emphasized
sexuality piled up behind a dam ; and it shrinks at once to
normal proportions as soon as the way to development is
opened. It is being caught in the old resentments against
parents and relations and in the boring emotional tangles of
the family situation which most often brings about the
damming-up of the energies of life And it is this stoppage
which shows itself unfailingly in that kind of sexuality which
is called infantile It is really not sexuality proper, but
an unnatural discharge of tensions that belong to quite
another province of life This bemg so, what is the use of
paddling about in this flooded country ? Surely, straight
thinking will grant that it is more important to open up
drainage canals We should try to find, in a change of
attitude or in new ways of hfe, that difference of potential
which the pent-up energy requires. If this is not achieved
a vicious circle is set up, and this is in fact the menace
which Freudian psychology appears to offer. It points no
way that leads beyond the inexorable cycle of biological
events This hopelessness would drive one to exclaim with
Paul : Wretched man that I am, who will dehver me from
the body of this death ? And our man of intellect comes
forward, shaking his head, and says in Fausts words .
Thou art conscious only of the single urge , namely of
the fleshly bond leading back to father and mother or
forward to the children that have sprung from our flesh
incest with the past and incest with the future, the


original sin of the perpetuation of the family situation.
There is nothing that can free us from this bond except that
opposite urge of life, the spirit. It is not the children of
the flesh, but the " children of God who know freedom.
In Ernst Barlachs tragic novel of family life, Der Tote Tag,
the mother-daemon says at the end : The strange thing
is that man will not learn that God is his father. That is
what Freud would never learn, and what all those who
share his outlook forbid themselves to learn. At least, they
never find the key to this knowledge. Theology does not
help those who are looking for the key, because theology
demands faith, and faith cannot be made : it is in the
truest sense a gift of grace. We modems are faced with
the necessity of rediscovering the life of the spirit ; we must
experience it anew for ourselves. It is the only way in which
we can break the spell that binds us to the cycle of biological

My position on this question is the third point of difference
between Freuds views and my own Because of it I am
accused of mysticism. I do not, however, hold myself re-
sponsible for the fact that man has, everywhere and always,
spontaneously developed religious forms of expression, and
that the human psyche from time immemorial has been
shot through with religious feelings and ideas. Whoever
cannot see this aspect of the human psyche is blind, and
whoever chooses to explain it away, or to enlighten it
away, has no sense of reality. Or should we see in the
father-complex which shows itself in all the members of
the Freudian school, and in its founder as well, convincing
evidence of any release worth mentioning from the inexorable
family situation ? This father-complex, fanatically defended
with such stubbornness and over-sensitivity, is a cloak for


religiosity misunderstood ; it is a mysticism expressed in
terms of biology and the family relation. As for Freuds
idea of the " super-ego , it is a furtive attempt to smuggle
in his time-honoured image of Jehovah in the dress of
psychological theory. When one does things like that, it
is better to say so openly. For my part, I prefer to call
things by the names under which they have always been
known. The wheel of history must not be turned back,
and mans advance toward a spiritual life, which began with
the primitive ntes of initiation, must not be denied. It is
permissible for science to divide its field of enquiry and to
set up limited hypotheses, for science must work in that
way ; but the human psyche may not be parcelled out. It
is a whole which embraces consciousness, and is the mother
of consciousness. Scientific thought, being only one of its
functions, can never exhaust all the possibilities of life.
The psycho therapist must not allow his vision to be coloured
by the glasses of pathology , he must never allow himself to
forget that the ailing mind is a human mind, and that, for
all its ailments, it shares in the whole of the psychic life of
man. The psycho therapist must even be able to admit
that the ego is ill for the very reason that it is cut off from
the whole, and has lost its connection with mankind as well
as with the spirit. The ego is indeed the place of fears , as
Freud says in The Ego and the Id, but only so long as it has
not returned to the " father and mother . 1 Freud ship-
wrecks on the question of Nicodemus . " Can a man enter
his mother's womb a second time and be bom again ? To
compare small things with great, we might say that history
repeats itself here, for the question once more comes to the
front today in a domestic quarrel of modem psychology.

1 I e , spirit and nature ( Trans )



For thousands of years, rites of initiation have been
teaching spiritual rebirth ; yet, strangely enough, man
forgets again and again the meaning of divine procreation.
This is surely no evidence of a strong life of the spirit ; and
yet the penalty of misunderstanding is heavy, for it is
nothing less than neurotic decay, embitterment, atrophy and
sterility. It is easy enough to drive the spirit out of the
door, but when we have done so the salt of life grows flat
it loses its savour. Fortunately, we have proof that the
spirit always renews its strength in the fact that the central
teaching of the ancient initiations is handed on from
generation to generation. Ever and again human beings
arise who understand what is meant by the fact that God
is our father. The equal balance of the flesh and the spirit
is not lost to the world

The contrast between Freud and myself goes back to
essential differences in our basic assumptions. Assumptions
are unavoidable, and this being so, it is wrong to pretend
that we have made no assumptions. That is why I have
dealt with fundamental questions ; with these as a starting-
point, the manifold and detailed differences between Freuds
views and my own can best be understood.



The word " archaic means primal original While it is
one of the most difficult and thankless of tasks to say any-
thing of importance about civilized man of today, we are
apparently in a more favourable position with regard to
archaic man. In the first case we try to reach a commanding
point of view, but actually are caught in the same pre-
suppositions and blinded by the same prejudices as are
those about whom we wish to speak. In the case of the
archaic man, however, we are far removed from his world
in time, and our mental capacities are more differentiated
than his. It is therefore apparently possible for us to occupy
a pomt of vantage from which we can overlook his world
and the meaning it held for him

This sentence delimits the subject to be covered in the
present essay. Save by restricting myself to the psychic
hfe of archaic man, I could hardly paint his picture in so
small a space I shall confine myself to the task of making
this picture sufficiently inclusive, and shall not consider
the findings of anthropology with regard to primitive races.
When we speak of man in general, we do not have his anatomy
the shape of his skull or the colour of his skin in mind,
but mean rather his psychic world, his state of consciousness
and his mode of life. Since all this belongs to the subject-
matter of psychology, we shall be dealing here chiefly with



archaic or primitive mentality. Despite this limitation it
turns out that we have actually widened our theme, because
it is not only primitive man whose psychic processes are
archaic. The civilized man of today shows these archaic
processes as well, and not merely in the form of sporadic
" throw-backs from the level of modem social life On
the contrary, every civilized human being, whatever his
conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper
levels of his psyche. Just as the human body connects us
with the mammals and displays numerous relics of earlier
evolutionary stages going back even to the reptilian age, so
the human psyche is likewise a product of evolution which,
when followed up to its origins, shows countless archaic

When first we come into contact with primitive peoples
or read about primitive mentality in scientific works, we
cannot fail to be deeply impressed with the strangeness of
archaic man. Levy-Bruhl himself, an authority in the
field of the psychology of primitive societies, never weanes
of insisting upon the striking difference between the pre-
logical state of mmd and our conscious outlook. It seems
to him, as a civilized man, inexplicable that the primitive
should disregard the obvious lessons of experience, should
flatly deny the most evident causal connections, and instead
of accounting for things as accidents or on reasonable
grounds, should simply take their collective representa-
tions to be valid offhand. By collective representations "
L^vy-Bruhl means widely current ideas whose truth is held
to be self-evident, such as the primitive ideas regarding
spirits, witchcraft, the power of medicines, and so forth.
While it is perfectly understandable to us that people die
of advanced age or as the result of diseases that are



recognized to be fatal, this is not the case with primitive
man. When old persons die, he does not believe it to be
as a result of age. He argues that there are persons who
have grown much older. Likewise, no one dies as the result
of disease, for there have been other people who recovered
from the same disease, or never contracted it To him,
the real explanation is always magic. Either a spirit has
killed the man, or sorcery has done so. Many primitive
tribes recognize death in battle as the only natural death
Still other tribes regard even death in battle as unnatural,
holding that the adversary who brought it about must
either have been a sorcerer or have used a charmed weapon.
This grotesque idea can on occasions take an even more
impressive form. For instance, two anklets were found in
the stomach of a crocodile shot by a European The natives
recognized the anklets as the property of two women who,
some time before, had been devoured by a crocodile At
once the charge of witchcraft was raised, for this quite
natural occurrence, which would never have aroused the
suspicions of a European, was given an unexpected inter-
pretation in the light of one of those presuppositions which
L6vy-Bruhl calls collective representations The natives
said that an unknown sorcerer had summoned the crocodile
and had bidden it to bring him the two women The crocodile
had carried out the command. But what about the anklets
in the beasts stomach ? The natives maintained that
crocodiles never ate people unless bidden to do so. The
crocodile had received the anklets from the sorcerer as
a reward.

This story is a perfect example of that capricious way of
accounting for things which is a feature of the pre-logical
state of mind. We call it pre-logical, because to us such an



explanation seems absolutely illogical. But it only strikes
us in this way because we start from assumptions wholly
different from those of primitive man. If we were as con-
vinced as he is of the existence of sorcerers and of mystenous
powers, instead of believing in so-called natural causes, his
inferences would seem to us perfectly reasonable. As a
matter of fact, primitive man is no more logical or illogical
than we are. His presuppositions are not the same as ours,
and that is what distinguishes him from us. His thinking
and his conduct are based on assumptions other than our
own. To all that is in any way out of the ordinary and
that therefore disturbs, frightens or astonishes him, he
ascribes what we should call a supernatural origin For
him, of course, these things are not supernatural , on the
contrary, they belong to his world of experience We feel
we are statmg a natural sequence of events when we say
this house was burned down because the lightning struck it.
Primitive man senses an equally natural sequence when he
says a sorcerer has used the lightning to set fire to this
particular house There is nothing whatever within the
experience of primitive man provided that it is at all
unusual or impressive that will not be accounted for on
similar grounds. In explaining things in this way he is
just like ourselves : he does not examine his assumptions.
To him it is an unquestionable truth that disease and other
ills are caused by spirits or witchcraft, just as for us it is
a foregone conclusion that an illness has a natural cause.
We would no more lay it down to sorcery than he to natural
causes. His mental activity does not differ in any funda-
mental way from ours. It is, as I have said, his assumptions
alone that set him apart from ourselves.

It is often supposed that primitive man has other feelings



than we, and another moral outlook that the pre-
logical state of mind differs from ours in these respects
also. Undoubtedly he has a different code of morals. When
questioned as to the distinction between good and bad
a negro chieftain declared : " When I steal my enemys
wives, it is good, but when he steals mine, it is bad In
many regions it is a terrible insult to tread upon a persons
shadow, and m others it is an unpardonable sin to scrape
a sealskin with an iron knife instead of a flint one. But
let us be honest Do we not think it sinful to eat fish with
a steel knife, for a man to keep his hat on in a room, or to
greet a lady with a cigar in his mouth ? With us, as well as
with primitive man, such things have nothing to do with
ethics There are true and loyal head-hunters, and there
are men who piously and conscientiously practise cruel
ntes, or commit murder from righteous conviction Primitive
man is no less prompt than we are to value an ethical
attitude His good is just as good as ours, and his evil is
just as bad as ours Only the forms under which good and
evil appear are different , the process of ethical judgement
is the same

It is likewise thought that primitive man has keener
sense-organs than we, or that they somehow differ from ours.
But his highly refined sense of direction or of hearing and
vision is entirely a question of his occupations If he is
confronted with situations that are foreign to his experience,
he is amazingly slow and clumsy. I once showed some
native hunters, who were as keen-sighted as hawks,
magazine pictures in which any of our children would have
instantly recognized human figures But my hunters
turned the pictures round and round until one of them,
tracing the outlines with his finger, finally exclaimed:


" These are white men. It was hailed by all as a great


The incredibly accurate sense of locality shown by many
natives is a matter of practice. It is absolutely necessary
that they should be able to find their way in forests and
jungles. Even the European, after a short while m Africa,
begins to notice things he would never have dreamed of
noticing before ; he does it out of the fear of going hopelessly
astray in spite of his compass.

Nothing goes to show that primitive man thinks, feels,
or perceives in a way that differs fundamentally from ours.
His psychic functioning is essentially the same only his
primary assumptions are different Compared to this it
is a relatively unimportant fact that he has, or seems to
have, a smaller area of consciousness than we, and that he
is not very capable, or is quite incapable, of concentrated
mental activity. This last, it is true, strikes the European
as strange. For instance, I could never hold a palaver for
longer than two hours, since by that time the natives always
declared themselves tired. They said it was too difficult,
and yet I had only asked quite simple questions in a
desultory way. These same natives showed an astonishing
concentration and endurance when out hunting or on a
journey. My letter-carrier, for instance, could run seventy-
five miles at a stretch. I saw a woman in her sixth month
of pregnancy, carrying a baby on her back and smoking a
long pipe of tobacco, dance almost the whole night through
round a blazing fire when the temperature was 95 0 , without
collapsing. It cannot be denied that primitive people are
capable of concentrating upon things that interest them.
If we try to give our attention to uninteresting matters, we
soon notice how feeble our powers of concentration are.



We ourselves, like them, are dependent upon emotional

It is true that primitive man is simpler and more childlike
than we, in good and evil alike. This in itself does not
impress us as strange. And yet, when we approach the
world of archaic man, we have the feeling of something
prodigiously strange. As far as I have been able to analyse
it, this feeling comes mainly from the fact that the primary
assumptions of archaic man differ essentially from ours
that he hves, if I may use the expression, in a different
world. Until we come to know his presuppositions, he is a
riddle hard to read, but when we know them, all is relatively
simple. We might equally well say that primitive man
ceases to be a riddle when we have come to know our own

It is a rational presupposition of ours that everything has
a natural and perceptible cause. We are convinced of this.
Causality, so understood, is one of our most sacred dogmas.
There is no legitimate place in our world for invisible,
arbitrary and so-called supernatural forces unless, indeed,
we follow the modem physicist in his scrutiny of the minute
and secret world of the atom wherein, as it appears, curious
things come to pass. But that lies far from the beaten
track. We distinctly resent the idea of invisible and arbitrary
forces, for it is not so long ago that we made our escape
from that frightening world of dreams and superstitions,
and constructed for ourselves a picture of the cosmos worthy
of rational consciousness that latest and greatest achieve-
ment of man. We are now surrounded by a world that is
obedient to rational laws. It is true that we do not know
the causes of everything, but they will in time be discovered,
and these discoveries will accord with our reasoned expecta-



tions. That is our hope, and we take it as much for granted
as primitive man does his own assumptions. There are
also chance occurrences, to be sure, but these are merely
accidental, and we have granted them a causality of their
own. Chance occurrences are repellent to the mind that
loves order. They have a laughable and therefore irritating
way of throwing out of gear the predictable course of events.
We resent the idea of chance occurrences as much as that
of invisible forces, for they remind us too much of Satanic
imps or of the capnce of a deus ex machina. They are the
worst enemies of our careful calculations and a continual
threat to all our undertakings. Being admittedly contrary
to reason, they deserve contempt, and yet we should not
fail to give them their due. The Arab shows them greater
respect than we He writes on every letter Insha-allah, If
if please God , for only then will the letter arrive. In spite
of our reluctance to admit chance, and in spite of the fact
that events run true to general laws, it is undeniable that
we are always and everywhere exposed to incalculable
accidents And what is more invisible and arbitrary than
chance ? What is more unavoidable and more annoying ?

If we consider the matter, we might as well say that the
causal connection of events according to general laws is
a theory which is borne out about half the time, while for
the rest the demon of chance has his way. A chance
occurrence also has its natural causes, and we must often
discover to our sorrow that they are commonplace enough.
It is not the fact that the cause of the accidents is unknown
to us that annoys us ; the irritating thing about them is
that they befall us here and now in an apparently arbitrary
way. That is how it strikes us, at least. An accident is
always irritating, and even the most dyed-in-the-wool



rationalist may be moved to curse it. However we interpret
an accidental event, we cannot alter the fact that it has
the power to affect us The more the conditions of existence
become subject to regulation, the more is chance excluded
and the less do we need to protect ourselves against it.
None the less, everyone takes account of the possibility of
accidental occurrences, or counts upon them, even though
the official " credo does not countenance this belief.

It is our assumption, amounting to a positive conviction,
that everything has causes which we call natural and which
we at least suppose to be perceptible Primitive man, on
the other hand, assumes that everything is brought about
by invisible, arbitrary powers in other words, that every-
thing is chance. Only he does not call it chance, but
intention. Natural causation is to him a mere semblance
and not worthy of mention If three women go to the river
to draw water, and a crocodile seizes the one m the centre
and pulls her under, our view of things leads us to the
verdict that it was pure chance that that particular woman
was seized The fact that the crocodile seized her seems to
us natural enough, for these beasts occasionally do eat human
beings For primitive man such an explanation completely
obhterates the facts, and accounts for no aspect of the
whole exciting story Archaic man is right in holding our
view of the matter to be superficial or even absurd, for the
accident might not have happened and still the same inter-
pretation would fit the case. The prejudice of the European
does not allow him to see how little he really explains things
in such a way.

Primitive man expects more of an explanation. What
we call chance is to him arbitrary power It was therefore
the intention of the crocodile as everyone could observe



to seize the woman who stood between the other two. If it
had not had this intention it would have taken one of the
others. But why did the crocodile have this intention ?
These animals do not ordinarily eat human beings. This
assertion is correct quite as correct as the statement that
there is no rainfall in the Sahara. Crocodiles are really
timid animals, and are easily frightened. Considering their
numbers, they kill astonishingly few people, and it is an
unexpected and unnatural event when they devour a man.
Such an event calls for explanation. Of his own accord
the crocodile would not take a human life. By whom, then,
was he ordered to do so ?

It is on the facts of the world around him that primitive
man bases his verdicts. When the unexpected occurs he
is justifiably astonished and wishes to know the specific
causes. To this extent he behaves exactly as we do. But
he goes further than we. He has one or more theories about
the arbitrary power of chance. We say . Nothing but
chance. He says : Calculating intention. He lays the chief
stress upon the confusing and confused breaks m the chain
of causation upon those occurrences that fail to show the
causal connections which science expects, and that constitute
the other half of happenings in general. He has long ago
adapted himself to nature in so far as it conforms to general
laws ; what he fears is unpredictable chance whose power
makes him see m it an arbitrary and incalculable agent.
Here again he is right. It is quite understandable that
everything out of the ordinary should frighten him. Ant-
eaters are fairly numerous in the regions south of Mount
Elgon where I stayed for some time. The anteater is a shy,
nocturnal animal that is rarely seen. If one happens to be
seen by day, it is an extraordinary and unnatural event



which astonishes the natives as much as the discovery of a
brook that occasionally flows uphill would astonish us. If
we knew of actual cases in which water suddenly overcame
the force of gravity, such knowledge would cause us no
little anxiety. We know that tremendous masses of water
surround us, and can easily imagine what would happen
if water no longer conformed to gravitational law. This is
the situation in which primitive man finds himself with
respect to the happenings in his world. He is thoroughly
familiar with the habits of anteaters, but when one of them
transgresses the laws of nature it acquires an incalculable
sphere of action. Primitive man is so strongly impressed
by things as they are, that a transgression of the laws of his
world exposes him to unforeseen possibilities. Such an
exception is a portent, an omen, comparable to a comet or
an eclipse. Since in his view such an unnatural event as
the appearance of an anteater by day can have no natural
causes, some m visible power must be behind it And the
alarming manifestation of a power which can annul cosmic
laws calls of course for extraordinary measures of placation
or self-defence. The neighbouring villages must be aroused,
and the anteater must be dug up with the utmost pains,
and killed. The oldest maternal uncle of the man who saw
the anteater must then sacrifice a bull. The man descends
into the sacrificial pit and receives the first piece of the
animals flesh, whereupon the uncle and the other partici-
pants m the ceremony also eat. In this way the dangerous
caprice of nature is expiated

As for us, we should certainly be alarmed enough if water
began to run uphill for unknown reasons, but are not when
an anteater is seen by day, or an albino is bom, or an eclipse
takes place. We know the meaning and the sphere of action



of such happenings, while primitive man does not. Ordinary
events constitute for him a coherent whole in which he and
all other creatures are embraced. He is therefore extremely
conservative, and does what others have always done. If
something happens, no matter where, to break the coherence
of this whole, he feels there is a rift in his well-ordered world.
Then anything may happen heaven knows what. All
occurrences that are m any way striking are at once brought
into connection with the unusual event For instance, a
missionary set up a flagstaff in front of his house so that he
could raise the Union Jack on Sundays But this innocent
pleasure cost him dear It was a singular and disturbing
action, and when shortly afterwards a devastating storm
broke out, the flagstaff was of course made responsible.
This sufficed to start a general uprising against the missionary.
It is the regularity of common occurrences that assures
primitive man of a sense of security in his world Every
exceptional event seems to him the threatening act of an
arbitrary power that must be expiated. It is not only a
momentary interruption of the ordinary course of things,
but also the portent of other untoward events.

This strikes us as nothing less than absurd inasmuch as
we forget how our grandparents and our great-grandparents
still felt about the world. A calf is bom with two heads and
five legs. In the next village a cock has laid an egg. An
old woman has had a dream, a comet appears in the sky,
there is a great fire in the nearest town, and the following
year a war breaks out. In this way history was always
written from remote antiquity on down to the eighteenth
century. This juxtaposition of facts, so meaningless to
us, is significant and convincing to primitive man. And,
contrary to all expectation, he is right to find it so. His



powers of observation can be trusted. From age-old
experience he knows that such connections actually exist.
What seems to us a wholly senseless heaping-up of single,
haphazard occurrences because we pay attention only to
single events and their particular causes is for primitive
man a completely logical sequence of omens and of happenings
indicated by them. It is a fatal outbreak of demonic power
showing itself in a thoroughly consistent way.

The calf with two heads and the war are one and the
same, for the calf was only an anticipation of the war.
Primitive man finds this connection so unquestionable and
convincing because the capnce of chance seems to him a
far more important factor in the happenings of the world
than regularity and conformity to laws Thanks to his
close attention to the unusual he has preceded us in dis-
covering that chance events arrange themselves in groups
or senes The law of the duphcation of cases is known to
all doctors engaged in clinical work. An old professor of
psychiatry at Wurzburg always used to say of a particularly
rare clinical case : Gentlemen, this is an absolutely umque
case tomorrow we shall have another just like it. I have
myself often observed the same thing during my eight
years practice in an insane asylum On one occasion a
person was committed for a rare twilight-state of conscious-
ness the first case of this kind I had ever seen. Within
two days we had a similar case, and that was the last.
Duphcation of cases is with us a joke of the clinics, but
it has also been, from time immemorial, a fact of primitive
science A recent investigator has ventured the statement :
Magic is the science of the jungle. Astrology and other
methods of divination may undoubtedly be called the science
of antiquity.



What happens regularly is easily observed because we
are prepared for it. Knowledge and skill are only needed
in situations where the course of events is arbitrarily dis-
rupted in a way hard to fathom Generally it is one of the
cleverest and shrewdest men of the tribe who is entrusted
with the observation of events. His knowledge must suffice
to explain all unusual occurrences, and his art to combat
them. He is the scholar, the specialist, the expert on the
subject of chance occurrences, and at the same time the
keeper of the archives of the tribes traditional lore. Sur-
rounded by respect and fear, he enjoys great authority,
yet not so great but that his tribe is secretly convinced that
their neighbours have a sorcerer who is stronger than theirs.
The best medicine is never to be found close at hand, but
as far away as possible. I stayed for a time with a tribe
who held their old medicine-man in the greatest awe.
Nevertheless he was consulted only for the minor ailments
of cattle and men. In all serious cases a foreign authority
was called in a Mganga (sorcerer) who was brought at a
high price from Uganda just as with us

Chance events occur most often in larger or smaller series
or groups. An old and well-tried rule for foretelling the
weather is this, that when it has rained for several days it
will also rain tomorrow. A proverb says " Misfortunes
never come singly. Another has it that It never rains
but it pours. Such proverbial wisdom is primitive science.
The people believe it and hold it in awe, while the educated
man smiles at it until something unusual happens to him .
I will tell you a disagreeable story. A woman I know was
awakened one morning by a peculiar tinkling on her night-
table. After looking about her for a while she discovered
the cause : the rim of her tumbler had snapped off in a ring



about a quarter of an inch wide. This struck her as peculiar,
and she rang for another glass About five minutes later
she heard the same tinkling, and again the rim of the glass
had broken off. This time she was greatly disquieted, and
had a third glass brought. Within twenty minutes the rim
broke off again with the same noise Three such accidents
in immediate succession were too much for her. She gave
up her belief in natural causes on the spot, and brought out
m its place a collective representation the conviction
that an arbitrary power was at work Something hke this
happens to many modem people provided they are not
too hard-headed when they are confronted with events
which natural causation fails to explain We naturally
prefer to deny such occurrences They are unpleasant
because they disrupt the orderly course of our world and
make anything seem possible. Their effect upon us shows
that the primitive mmd is not yet dead

Primitive mans belief in arbitrary power does not arise
out of thin air, as was always supposed, but is grounded in
experience What we have always called his superstition is
justified by the grouping of chance occurrences. There is
a real measure of probability that unusual events will
coincide in time and place. We must not forget that our
experience is not fully to be trusted in this regard Our
observation is inadequate because our point of view leads
us to overlook these matters. For instance, in a serious
mood it would never occur to us to take the following events
as a sequence : in the morning a bird flies into your room,
an hour later you witness an accident in the street, in the
afternoon a relative dies, in the evening your cook drops
the soup tureen, and, on coming home late at night, you
find that you have lost your key. Primitive man would



not have overlooked a single item in this chain of events,
for every new link would have answered to his expectations
And he is right he is much more nearly right than we are
willing to admit. His anxious expectations are justified
and serve a purpose. Such a day, he holds, is ill-omened,
and on it nothing should be undertaken. In our world this
would be reprehensible superstition, but in the world of
primitive man it is highly appropriate shrewdness In
that world man is far more exposed to accidents than we
in our protected and well-regulated existence When you
are in the wilderness you dare not take too many chances
The European soon comes to appreciate this.

When a Pueblo Indian does not feel in the right mood,
he stays away from the mens council When an ancient
Roman stumbled on the threshold as he left his house, he
gave up his plans for the day. This seems to us senseless,
but under primitive conditions of life such an omen inclines
one at least to be cautious. When I am not in full control
of myself, my bodily movements may be under a certain
constraint ; my attention is easily distracted ; I am some-
what absent-minded. As a result I knock against something,
stumble, let something fall or forget something Under
civilized conditions these are mere trifles, but in the primeval
forest they mean mortal danger It is fatal to make a false
step upon the rain-soaked trunk of a tree that serves as
a bridge high over a river teemmg with crocodiles. Suppose
I lose my compass in the deep grass, or forget to load my
rifle and blunder into a rhinoceros trail in the jungle. If I
am preoccupied with my thoughts, I may tread upon a
puff-adder. At nightfall I forget to put on my mosquito-
boots in time, and eleven days later I die from an onset of
tropical malaria. To forget to shut ones mouth while



bathing suffices to bring on a fatal attack of dysentery.
For us a distracted state of mind is the natural cause of
such accidents. For primitive man they are objectively
conditioned omens, or sorcery.

But it may be more than a question of inattention. In
the Kitoshi region south of Mount Elgon I went for an
excursion into the Kabras forest There, in the thick grass,
I nearly stepped on a puff-adder, and only managed to
jump away just m time In the afternoon my companion
returned from a hunt, deathly pale and trembling m every
limb. He had almost been bitten by a seven-foot mamba
which darted at his back from a termite hill Without a
doubt he would have been killed had he not been able at
the last moment to wound the animal with a shot At
nine oclock that mght our camp was attacked by a pack
of ravenous hyenas which had surprised and mauled a man
in his sleep the day before In spite of the fire they swarmed
into the hut of our cook who fled screaming over the stockade
Thenceforth there were no accidents throughout the whole
of our journey Such a day gave our negroes food for
thought For us it was a simple multiplication of accidents,
but for them the inevitable fulfilment of an omen that had
occurred upon the first day of our journey into the wilds.
It so happened that we had fallen, car, bridge and all, into
a stream we were trying to cross Our boys had exchanged
glances on that occasion as if to say : Well, thats a fine
start. To cap the chmax a tropical thunderstorm blew up
and soaked us so thoroughly that I was prostrated with
fever for several days On the evening of the day when my
friend had had such a narrow escape out hunting, I could
not help saying to him as we white men sat looking at one
another : It seems to me as if the trouble had begun


still further back. Do you remember the dream you told
me in Zurich just before we left ? At that time he had
had a very impressive nightmare. He dreamed that he
was hunting in Africa, and was suddenly attacked by a
huge mamba, so that he woke up with a cry of terror The
dream had greatly disturbed him, and he now confessed to
the thought that it had portended the death of one of us
He had of course assumed that I was to die, because we
always hope it is the " other fellow But it was he who
later fell ill of a severe malarial fever that brought him to
the edge of the grave.

To read of such a conversation in a comer of the world
where there are no snakes and no malaria-bearing mosquitoes
means very httle One must imagine the velvety blue of
a tropical night, the overhanging black masses of gigantic
trees standing in a virgin forest, the mysterious voices of
the nocturnal spaces, a lonely fire with loaded rifles stacked
beside it, mosquito-nets, boiled swamp-water to drink, and
above all the conviction expressed by an old Afrikander
who knew what he was saying . This isnt mans country
its Gods country. There man is not king ; it is rather
nature the animals, plants and microbes. Given the mood
that goes with the place, one understands how it is that we
found a dawning significance in things that anywhere else
would provoke a smile. That is the world of unrestrained,
capricious powers with which primitive man has to deal
day by day. The extraordinary event is no joke to him.
He draws his own conclusions. It is not a good place
The day is unfavourable and who knows what dangers
he avoids by following such warnings ?

Magic is the science of the jungle. A portent effects the
immediate modification of a course of action, the abandon-



ment of a planned undertaking, a change of psychic attitude.
These are all highly expedient reactions in view of the fact
that chance occurrences tend to fall in sequences and that
primitive man is wholly unconscious of psychic causality.
Thanks to our one-sided emphasis upon so-called natural
causation, we have learned to distinguish what is subjective
and psychic from what is objective and natural . For
primitive man, on the contrary, the psychic and the objective
coalesce m the external world. In the face of something
extraordinary it is not he who is astonished, but rather the
thing which is astonishing It is mana endowed with
magic power. What we would call the powers of imagination
and suggestion seem to him invisible forces which act upon
him from without. His country is neither a geographical
nor a political entity It is that territory which contains his
mythology, his religion, all his thinking and feeling m so far
as he is unconscious of these functions His fear is localized
m certain places that are not good The spirits of the
departed inhabit such or such a wood. That cave harbours
devils which strangle any man who enters. In yonder
mountam lives the great serpent , that hill is the grave of
the legendary king , near this spring or rock or tree every
woman becomes pregnant ; that ford is guarded by snake-
demons ; this towering tree has a voice that can call certain
people. Primitive man is unpsychological Psychic happen-
ings take place outside him in an objective way. Even the
things he dreams about seem to him real ; that is his only
reason for paying attention to dreams. Our Elgonyi porters
seriously maintained that they never had dreams only the
sorcerer had them. When I questioned the sorcerer, he
declared that he had stopped having dreams when the
British entered the land. His father had still had big



dreams, he told me, and had known where the herds strayed.
Where the cows took their calves, and when there was going
to be a war or a pestilence. It was now the District Com-
missioner who knew everything, and they knew nothing.
He was as resigned as certain Papuans are who believe that
the crocodiles have in good part gone over to the Bntish
Government. It happened that a native convict had escaped
from the authorities and been badly mangled by a crocodile
while trying to cross a river. They therefore concluded that
it must have been a police crocodile. God now speaks in
dreams to the British, and not to the medicine-man of the
Elgonyi, he told me, because it is the British who have the
power Dream activity had emigrated. Occasionally the
souls of the natives emigrate, and the medicine-man catches
them in cages as if they were birds ; or strange souls
immigrate and cause diseases.

This projection of psychic happenings naturally gives
rise to relations between men and men, or between men and
animals or things, that to us are inconceivable A white
man shoots a crocodile. At once a crowd of people come
running from the nearest village and excitedly demand
compensation. They explain that the crocodile was a
certain old woman in their village who had died at the
moment when the shot was fired. The crocodile was
obviously her bush-soul. Another man shot a leopard that
was lying in wait for his cattle. Just then a woman died m
a neighbouring village. She and the leopard were one and
the same.

Ldvy-Briihl has coined the expression participation
mystique for these curious relationships. It seems to me that
the word " mystical is not well chosen. Primitive man does
not see anything mystical in these matters, but considers them



perfectly natural. It is only we who find anything strange
about them, and the reason is that we seem to know nothing
about such psychic phenomena . 1 In reality, however, they
occur in us too, but we give them more civilized forms of
expression. In daily life it happens all the time that we
presume that the psychic processes of other people are the
same as ours We suppose that what is pleasmg or desirable
to us is the same to others, and that what seems bad to us
must also seem bad to them It is only of late that our
courts of law have adopted a psychological standpoint and
admitted the relativity of guilt in pronouncing sentence
Unsophisticated people are still moved to rancour by the
tenet quod licet Jovt non licet bovi. Equality before the law
still represents a great human achievement ; it has not yet
been superseded And we still attri bute to "the other
fellow all the evil and inferior qualities that we do not
like to recognize in ourselves That is why we have to
criticize and attack him What happens in such a case,
however, is that an inferior " soul emigrates from one
person to another. The world is still full of bites noires and
of scapegoats, just as it formerly teemed with witches and

Psychic projection is one of the commonest facts of
psychology It is the same as that participation mystique
which Levy-Bruhl remarked as a peculiar trait of primitive
man. We merely give it another name, and as a rule deny
that we are guilty of it. Everything that is unconscious in
ourselves we discover in our neighbour, and we treat him
accordingly. We no longer subject him to the test of drinking
poison ; we do not bum him or put the screws on him ; but
we injure him by means of moral verdicts pronounced with

1 I.e. dissociation and projection ( Trans )


the deepest conviction. What we combat m him is usually
our own inferior side.

The simple truth is that primitive man is somewhat more
given to projection than we because of the undifferentiated
state of his mind and his consequent inability to criticize
himself. Everything to him is perfectly objective, and his
language reflects this in a radical way. With a touch of
humour we can picture to ourselves a leopard woman. We
often represent a person as a goose, a cow, a hen, a snake,
an ox, or an ass As uncomplimentary epithets these images
are familiar to us all. But when primitive man attri butes
a bush-soul to a person, the poison of the moral verdict is
absent. Archaic man is too naturalistic for that , he is too
much impressed by things as they are to pass judgement
readily, and is therefore much less prone to do so than we.
The Pueblo Indians declared m a matter-of-fact way that I
belonged to the Bear Totem in other words, that I was a
bear because I did not come down a ladder frontwards
like a man, but backwards, using my hands like a bear. If
a European said that I had the nature of a bear this would
come to much the same thing, with perhaps a slightly different
shade of meaning The theme of the bush-soul, which seems
so strange when we meet with it in primitive societies, has
become with us, like so much else, a mere figure of speech.
If we take our metaphors in a concrete way we return to a
primitive point of view. For instance we have the medical
expression to " handle a patient In concrete terms this
means to lay the hands upon to work at with the hands.
And this is precisely what the medicine-man does with his

We find the bush-soul hard to understand because we are
baffled by such a concrete way of looking at things. We



cannot conceive of a soul as an entity that emigrates and
takes up its abode in a wild animal. When we describe
someone as an ass, we do not mean that he is in every respect
the quadruped called an ass. We mean that he resembles
an ass in some particular respect. As far as the person in
question is concerned, we isolate a part of his personality or
psyche and concretize this part of him m the image of an
ass. So, for primitive man, the leopard-woman is a human
being, and only her bush-soul is a leopard. Since all un-
conscious psychic life is concrete and objective for archaic
man, he supposes that a person descnbable as a leopard has
the soul of a leopard. If the concretizing goes further, he
assumes that such a soul lives in the bush in the form of a
real leopard

These identifications, brought about by the projection of
psychic happenings, create a world in which man is contained
not only physically, but psychically as well To a certain
extent he coalesces with it. In no way is he master of this
world, but rather its component Primitive man, in Africa
for instance, is still far from the glorification of human
powers. He does not dream of regarding himself as the lord
of creation. His zoological classification does not culminate
in homo sapiens, but in the elephant. Next comes the lion,
then the python or the crocodile, then man and the lesser
beings. It never occurs to him that he might be able to rule
nature ; it is civilized man who strives to dominate nature
and therefore devotes his greatest efforts to the discovery of
natural causes which will give him the key to natures secret
laboratory. That is why he strongly resents the idea of
arbitrary powers and denies them Their existence would
amount to proof that his attempt to dominate nature is
futile after all.



Summing up, we may say that the outstanding trait of
archaic man is his attitude towards the capriciousness of
chance which he considers a far more important factor m
cosmic happening than natural causes Chance occurrences
have two aspects ; on the one hand it is a fact that they
tend to take place in series, and on the other that they
are endowed with an apparent purposefulness through the
projection of unconscious psychic contents in other words
by " participation mystique Archaic man, to be sure,
does not draw this distinction, for he projects psychic
happenings so completely that they coalesce with physical
events. An accident seems to him to be an arbitrary and
intentional act an interference by an animated being
because he does not realize that unusual events move him
only in so far as he invests them with the force of his own
astonishment or fear. Here, it is true, we move on treacherous
ground. Is a thing beautiful because I attri bute beauty to
it ? It is well known that great minds have wrestled with
the question whether it is the glorious sun that illumines the
worlds, or whether it is the human eye by virtue of its relation
to the sun. Archaic man beheves it to be the sun, and
civilized man believes it is the eye so far, at any rate, as
he reflects at all and does not suffer from the disease of
poets. He must strip nature of psychic attri butes in order
to dominate it ; to see his world objectively he must take
back all his archaic projections.

In the primitive world everything has psychic qualities.
Everything is endowed with the elements of mans psyche
or let us say, of the human psyche, of the collective un-
conscious, for there is as yet no individual psychic life. Let
us not forget, in this connection, that what the Christian
sacrament of baptism purports to do is of the greatest


importance for the psychic development of mankind
Baptism endows the human being with a unique soul I
do not mean, of course, the baptismal rite in itself as a
magical act that is effective at one performance. I mean
that the idea of baptism lifts a man out of his archaic
identification with the world and changes him into a being
who stands above it. The fact that mankind has risen to
the level of this idea is baptism in the deepest sense, for it
means the birth of spiritual man who transcends nature.

It is an axiom m the study of the unconscious that every
relatively independent, psychic content is personified when-
ever the opportunity arises. We find the clearest instances
of this in the hallucinations of the insane and in mediumistic
communications. An invisible person arises wherever and
whenever an autonomous psychic component is projected
This explains the spirits of an ordinary spiritualistic stance and
the ghosts which appear to primitive man. If an important
psychic content is projected upon a human being, he becomes
mana that is, endowed with the power of producing unusual
effects. He or she becomes a sorcerer, a witch, a werewolf,
or the like. The primitive belief that the medicine-man
catches the souls that have wandered away by night and
puts them into cages like birds, strikingly illustrates this.
Psychic projections endow the medicine-man with mana ,
they cause animals, trees and stones to speak , because they
are psychic activities, they compel the individual to obey
them. For this reason an insane person is hopelessly at the
mercy of his voices. That which is projected is his own
psychic activity Without knowing it, he is the one who
speaks through his voices, just as he is the one who hears,
sees and obeys.

From the psychological point of view, primitive mans



belief that the arbitrary power of chance answers to the
intentions of spirits and of sorcerers is perfectly natural,
because it is an unavoidable inference from the facts as he
sees them. And let us not delude ourselves m this connection.
If we explain our scientific views to an intelligent native
he will credit us with a ludicrous superstitiousness and a
disgraceful want of logic He believes that the world is
lighted by the sun, and not by the human eye. My friend
Mountain Lake, a Pueblo chief, once called me sharply to
account because I had given voice to the Augustiman tenet .
Non est hie sol Dominus nosier, sed qut lUum fecit. Pointing
to the sun, he declared indignantly He who goes there
is our father. You can see him From him comes all hght,
all life there is nothing that he has not made He became
greatly excited, struggled for words, and finally exclaimed
Even a man in the mountains who goes alone cannot
make his fire without him. The archaic standpoint can
hardly be more beautifully expressed than by these words.
The f>ower that rules us comes from the external world, and
through it alone are we permitted to live. With us, religious
thought still keeps alive the archaic state of mind, even
though our time is bereft of gods. Untold millions of people
still think m this way.

In speaking of primitive mans outlook upon the caprice
of chance, I expressed the view that this attitude serves a
purpose, and therefore has a meaning. Shall we, for the
moment at least, venture the hypothesis that the primitive
belief in arbitrary powers is justified by the facts and not
merely from a psychological point of view ? This sounds
alarming, but I have no intention of jumping from the
frying-pan into the fire and trying to prove that witchcraft
actually exists. I wish only to consider the conclusions to



which we shall be led if we follow primitive man in supposing
that all light comes from the sun, that things are beautiful
in themselves and that a human part-soul is a leopard. In
doing this we accept the primitive idea of mana. According
to this idea, the beautiful moves us, and it is not we who
create beauty A certain person is a devil we have not
projected our own evil upon him and in this way made a
devil out of him. There are people mana personalities
who are impressive in their own right, and in no way thanks
to our imagination. The mana conception has it that there
exists something like a widely distri buted force in the
external world that produces all those effects which are out
of the common Everything that exists, acts, for otherwise
it would not be actual. It is only actual thanks to its
inherent energy Being is a field of force The primitive
mana conception, as we can see, is of the nature of a crude
theory of energy

So far we can easily follow this primitive idea The
difficulty arises when we try to carry its implications further,
for they reverse the process of psychic projection of which I
have spoken These implications are as follows : it is not
my imagination or my awe that makes a sorcerer of the
medicine-man , on the contrary, he ts a sorcerer and projects
his magical powers upon me Ghosts are not hallucinations
of my mind, but appear to me of their own volition Al-
though such statements are logical derivatives of the mana
idea, we hesitate to accept them and begin to look around
us for our comfortable theory of psychic projection The
question is nothing less than this : does the psychic in
general that is, the spirit, or the unconscious arise in us ;
or is the psyche, in the early stages of consciousness, actually
outside us in the form of arbitrary powers with intentions of



their own, and does it gradually come to take its place
within us in the course of psychic development ? Were
the dissociated psychic contents to use our modem terms
ever parts of the psyches of individuals, or were they rather
from the beginning psychic entities existing in themselves
according to the primitive view as ghosts, ancestral spirits
and the like ? Were they only by degrees embodied by man
in the course of development, so that they gradually con-
stituted in him that world which we now call the psyche ?

This whole idea strikes us as dangerously paradoxical, and
yet we are able to conceive something of the kind Not
only the religious teacher, but the pedagogue as well, assumes
that it is possible to implant in the human psyche something
that was not previously there. The power of suggestion and
influence is a fact , even the most modem behaviourism
expects far-reaching results from this quarter. The idea of
a complicated building-up of the psyche is expressed in
primitive form m many widespread beliefs for instance,
possession, the incarnation of ancestral spirits, the im-
migration of souls, and so forth When someone sneezes,
we still say God bless you , and mean by it * I hope
your new soul will do you no harm When in the course
of our own development we grow out of many-sided con-
tradictions and achieve a unified personality, we experience
something hke a complicated growing-together of the
psyche. Smce the human body is built up by inheritance
out of a number of Mendelian units, it does not seem
altoge ther out of the question that the human psyche is
similarly put together.

The materialistic views of our day have a tendency which
we can discern in archaic thought. Both lead to the conclu-
sion that the individual is a mere resultant ; in the first



case, he is the resultant of natural causes, and in the second,
of chance occurrences. According to both accounts, human
individuality is nothing m its own right, but rather the
accidental product of forces contained in the objective
environment. This is through and through the archaic
conception of the world according to which the single human
being is never considered unique, but always interchangeable
with any other and easily dispensable. By way of a narrow
view of causahty, modem materialism has returned to the
standpoint of archaic man But the materialist is more
radical, because he is more systematic, than primitive man.
The latter has the advantage of being inconsistent , he
makes an exception of the mana personality. In the course
of history these mana personalities were exalted to the
position of divine figures , they became heroes and kings
who shared m the immortality of the gods by eating of their
rejuvenating food This idea of the immortality of the
individual and of his imperishable worth is to be found in
primitive societies, first of all in the belief in ghosts, and then
m myths of the age when death had not yet gained an entrance
into the world through human carelessness or folly.

Primitive man is not aware of this contradiction in his
views. Our negro porters assured me that they had no
idea what would happen to them after death According
to them a man is simply dead , he does not brea the any
longer, and the corpse is carried into the bush where the
hyenas eat it. That is what they think about it by day,
but the night teems with the spirits of the dead who bring
diseases to cattle and man, who attack and strangle the
nocturnal traveller and indulge in other forms of violence.
The primitive mind is full of such contradictions They
could worry a European out of his skm, and it would never


occur to him that something quite similar is to be found in
our civilized midst. We have universities where the idea
of divine intervention is considered beneath dispute but
where theology is a part of the curriculum. A research
worker in natural science may hold it obscene to attri bute
the smallest variation of an animal species to an act of God,
but may have another drawer in his mind in which he keeps
a full-blown Christian faith which he likes to parade on
Sundays. Why should we excite ourselves about primitive
inconsistency ?

It is not possible to derive any philosophical system from
the elementary thoughts of primitive man. They furnish
us only with antinomies And yet it is just these which are
the inexhaustible source of all mental effort and provide the
problems of thought m all tunes and m all civilizations
Are the " collective representations of archaic man really
profound, or do they only seem so ? I cannot answer this
most difficult of questions, but I can tell of an observation
which I made among the mountain tribe of the Elgonyi.
I searched and enquired far and wide for traces of religious
ideas and ceremonies, and for weeks on end I discovered
nothing. The natives let me see everything and were free
with their information. I could talk with them without the
hindrance of an interpreter, for many of the old men spoke
Swahili. At first they were reluctant enough, but when the
ice was broken, I was cordially received. They knew nothing
of religious customs. But I never gave up, and finally, at
the close of one of many fruitless palavers, an old man
exclaimed : "In the morning, when the sun comes up, we
leave our huts, spit in our hands, and hold them up to the
sun. I got them to perform the ceremony for me and
describe it exactly. They hold their hands before their



mouths and spit or blow into them vigorously. Then they
turn their hands round and hold the palms toward the sun.
I asked them the meaning of what they did why they blew
or spat in their hands. My question was futile. That is
how it has always been done , they said It was impossible
to get an explanation, and I was perfectly convinced that
they knew only what they did, and not why they did it
They see no meaning in their action. They greet the new
moon with the same gestures

Let us suppose that I am a total stranger m Zurich and
have come to this city to explore the customs of the place.
First I settle down in the outskirts near some suburban
homes, and come into neighbourly contact with their owners.
I then say to Messrs Muller and Meyer Please tell me
something about your religious customs. Both gentlemen
are taken aback. They never go to church, know nothing
about it, and emphatically deny that they practise any such
customs. One morning I surprise Mr Muller at a curious
occupation He is busily running about the garden, hiding
coloured eggs and setting up peculiar rabbit idols. I have
caught him m flagrante delicto. " Why did you conceal this
highly interesting ceremony from me ? I ask him. " What
ceremony ? he retorts. This is nothing Everybody
does this at Eastertime But what is the meaning of

these idols and eggs and why do you hide them ? Mr.
Muller is stunned. He does not know, and just as little does
he know the meaning of the Christmas-tree. And yet he
does these things. He is just like primitive man. Did the
distant ancestors of the Elgonyi know what they did ? It
is highly improbable Archaic man does what he does and
only civilized man knows what he does.

What is the meaning of the Elgonyi ceremony just cited ?



Clearly it is an offering to the sun which for these natives is
tnungu that is, tnatia, or divine only at the moment of
rising. If they have spittle on their hands, this is the
substance which, according to primitive belief, contains the
personal tnana, the force that cures, conjures and sustains
life. If they brea the upon their hands, breath is wind and
spirit it is roho, in Arabic ruch, in Hebrew ruach, and in
Greek pneuma. The action means : I offer my living spirit
to God. It is a wordless, acted prayer, which could equally
well be spoken Lord, into thy hands I commend my
spirit. Does this merely happen so, or was this thought
already incubated and purposed before man existed ? I
must leave this question unanswered.



It is obvious enough that psychology, being the study of
psychic processes, can be brought to bear upon the study of
literature, for the human psyche is the womb of all the
sciences and arts. We may expect psychological research,
on the one hand, to explain the formation of a work of art,
and on the other to reveal the factors that make a person
artistically creative The psychologist is thus faced with
two separate and distinct tasks, and must approach them
in radically different ways.

In the case of the work of art we have to deal with a
product of complicated psychic activities but a product
that is apparently intentional and consciously shaped In
the case of the artist we must deal with the psychic apparatus
itself. In the first instance we must attempt the psychological
analysis of a definitely circumscribed and concrete artistic
achievement, while in the second we must analyse the
living and creative human being as a unique personality.
Although these two undertakings are closely related and even
interdependent, neither of them can yield the explanations
that are sought by the other. It is of course possible to
draw inferences about the artist from the work of art, and
vtce versa, but these inferences are never conclusive. At
best they are probable surmises or lucky guesses. A know-
ledge of Goethes particular relation to his mother throws



some light upon Fausts exclamation : The mothers
mothers how very strange it sounds 1 But it does not
enable us to see how the attachment to his mother could
produce the Faust drama itself, however unmistakably we
sense in the man Goe the a deep connection between the
two Nor are we more successful in reasoning in the reverse
direction. There is nothing in The Ring of the Ntbelungs
that would enable us to recognize or definitely infer the fact
that Wagner occasionally liked to wear womanish clothes,
though hidden connections exist between the heroic masculine
world of the Nibelungs and a certain pathological effeminacy
in the man Wagner.

The present state of development of psychology does not
allow us to establish those rigorous causal connections which
we expect of a science. It is only m the realm of the psycho-
physiological instincts and reflexes that we can confidently
operate with the idea of causality. From the point where
psychic life begins that is, at a level of greater complexity
the psychologist must content himself with more or less
widely ranging descriptions of happenings and with the
vivid portrayal of the warp and weft of the mind in all its
amazing intricacy. In doing this, he must refrain from
designating any one psychic process, taken by itself, as
necessary . Were this not the state of affairs, and could
the psychologist be relied upon to uncover the causal connec-
tions within a work of art and in the process of artistic
creation, he would leave the study of art no ground to stand
on and would reduce it to a special branch of his own science.
The psychologist, to be sure, may never abandon his claim
to investigate and establish causal relations m comphcated
psychic events. To do so would be to deny psychology the
right to exist. Yet he can never make good this claim


1 77

in the fullest sense, because the creative aspect of life which
finds its clearest expression in art baffles all attempts at
rational formulation. Any reaction to stimulus may be
causally explained ; but the creative act, which is the
absolute antithesis of mere reaction, will for ever elude the
human understanding. It can only be described in its
manifestations ; it can be obscurely sensed, but never
wholly grasped. Psychology and the study of art will always
have to turn to one another for help, and the one will not
invalidate the other It is an important principle of
psychology that psychic events are derivable. It is a
principle in the study of art that a psychic product is some-
thing in and for itself whether the work of art or the
artist himself is in question Both principles are valid in
spite of their relativity

The Work of Art

There is a fundamental difference of approach between the
psychologists examination of a literary work, and that of
the literary critic. What is of decisive importance and
value for the latter may be quite irrelevant for the former.
Literary products of highly dubious merit are often of the
greatest interest to the psychologist. For instance, the
so-called psychological novel is by no means as rewarding
for the psychologist as the literary-minded suppxse. Con-
sidered as a whole, such a novel explains itself. It has done
its own work of psychological interpretation, and the
psychologist can at most criticize or enlarge ujxm this. The
important question as to how a particular author came to
write a particular novel is of course left unanswered, but I


wish to reserve this general problem for the second part of
my essay.

The novels which are most fruitful for the psychologist are
those in which the author has not already given a psycho-
logical interpretation of his characters, and which therefore
leave room for analysis and explanation, or even invite it by
their mode of presentation. Good examples of this kind of
writing are the novels of Benoit, and English fiction in the
manner of Rider Haggard, including the vein exploited by
Conan Doyle which yields that most cherished article of
mass-production, the detective story Melvilles Moby Dick,
which I consider the greatest American novel, also comes
within this class of writings. An exciting narrative that is
apparently qmte devoid of psychological exposition is just
what interests the psychologist most of all Such a tale is
built upon a groundwork of implicit psychological assump-
tions, and, in the measure that the author is unconscious of
them, they reveal themselves, pure and unalloyed, to the
critical discernment. In the psychological novel, on the
other hand, the author himself attempts to reshape his
material so as to raise it from the level of crude contingency
to that of psychological exposition and illumination a
procedure which all too often clouds the psychological sig-
nificance of the work or hides it from view. It is precisely to
novels of this sort that the layman goes for "psychology,
while it is novels of the other kind that challenge the
psychologist, for he alone can give them deeper meaning.

I have been speaking in terms of the novel, but I am dealing
with a psychological fact which is not restricted to this
particular form of literary art. We meet with it in the works
of the poets as well, and are confronted with it when we com-
pare the first and second parts of the Faust drama. The



love-tragedy of Gretchen explains itself , there is nothing
that the psychologist can add to it that the poet has not
already said in better words. The second part, on the other
hand, calls for explanation. The prodigious richness of the
imaginative material has so overtaxed the poets formative
powers that nothing is self-explanatory and every verse adds
to the readers need of an interpretation The two parts of
Faust illustrate by way of extremes this psychological
distinction between works of literature

In order to emphasize the distinction, I will call the one
mode of artistic creation psychological, and the other
visionary. The psychological mode deals with materials
drawn from the realm of human consciousness for instance,
with the lessons of hfe, with emotional shocks, the experience
of passion and the crises of human destmy m general all of
which go to make up the conscious life of man, and his feeling
hfe in particular. This material is psychically assimilated
by the poet, raised from the commonplace to the level of
poetic experience, and given an expression which forces the
reader to greater clarity and depth of human insight by
bringing fully mto his consciousness what he ordinarily
evades and overlooks or senses only with a feeling of dull
discomfort The poets work is an interpretation and
illumination of the contents of consciousness, of the in-
eluctable expenences of human life with its eternally re-
current sorrow and joy. He leaves nothing over for the
psychologist, unless, mdeed, we expect the latter to expound
the reasons for which Faust falls in love with Gretchen, or
which drive Gretchen to murder her child ! Such themes go
to make up the lot of humankind ; they repeat themselves
millions of times and are responsible for the monotony of
the police-court and of the penal code. No obscurity


whatever surrounds them, for they fully explain them-

Countless literary works belong to this class : the many
novels dealing with love, the environment, the family,
crime and society, as well as didactic poetry, the larger
number of lyrics, and the drama, both tragic and comic.
Whatever its particular form may be, the psychological
work of art always takes its materials from the vast realm
of conscious human experience from the vivid foreground
of life, we might say I have called this mode of artistic
creation psychological because in its activity it nowhere
transcends the bounds of psychological intelligibility. Every-
thing that it embraces the experience as well as its artistic
expression belongs to the realm of the understandable
Even the basic experiences themselves, though non-rational,
have nothing strange about them ; on the contrary, they
are that which has been known from the beginning of time
passion and its fated outcome, mans subjection to the turns
of destiny, eternal nature with its beauty and its horror.

The profound difference between the first and second parts
of Faust marks the difference between the psychological and
the visionary modes of artistic creation. The latter reverses
all the conditions of the former. The experience that
furnishes the material for artistic expression is no longer
familiar. It is a strange something that derives its existence
from the hinterl and of mans mind that suggests the abyss
of time separating us from pre-human ages, or evokes a
super-human world of contrasting light and darkness. It is
a primordial experience which surpasses mans understanding,
and to which he is therefore in danger of succumbing. The
value and the force of the experience are given by its enor-
mity. It arises from timeless depths ; it is foreign and cold.


many-sided, demonic and grotesque. A grimly ridiculous
sample of the eternal chaos a crimen laesae majestatis
humanae, to use Nietzsches words it bursts asunder our
human standards of value and of aesthetic form The dis-
turbing vision of monstrous and meaningless happenings
that in every way exceed the grasp of human feeling and
comprehension makes quite other demands upon the powers
of the artist than do the experiences of the foreground of
hfe. These never rend the curtain that veils the cosmos ;
they never transcend the bounds of the humanly possible,
and for this reason axe readily shaped to the demands of art,
no matter how great a shock to the individual they may be.
But the primordial experiences rend from top to bottom the
curtain upon which is painted the picture of an ordered
world, and allow a glimpse into the unfathomed abyss of
what has not yet become. Is it a vision of other worlds, or
of the obscuration of the spirit, or of the beginning of things
before the age of man, or of the unborn generations of the
future ? We cannot say that it is any or none of these

Shaping re-shaping

The eternal spirits eternal pastime 1

We find such vision in The Shepherd of Her mas, in Dante,
in the second part of Faust, in Nietzsches Dionysian
exuberance, in Wagners Ntbelungenrtng, in Spittelers
Olympischer Friihhng, in the poetry of William Blake, in
the Ipnerotomachia of the monk Francisco Colonna, and in
Jacob Boehmes philosophic and poetic stammerings. In a
more restricted and specific way, the primordial experience
furnishes material for Rider Haggard in the fiction-cycle

1 Gestaltung, Umgestaltung,

Dts ew'gen Stnnes ewge Unterhaltung (Goethe.)


that turns upon She, and it does the same for Benoit, chiefly
in LAilanitde, for Kubrn in Die Anderc Sate, for Meynnk in
Das Griine Gesicht a book whose importance we should
not undervalue for Goetz m Das Retch ohne Raum, and for
Barlach in Der Tote Tag. This list might be greatly extended.

In dealing with the psychological mode of artistic creation,
we never need ask ourselves what the material consists of
or what it means. But this question forces itself upon us as
soon as we come to the visionary mode of creation We are
astonished, taken aback, confused, put on our guard or even
disgusted and we demand commentaries and explanations.
We are reminded in nothing of everyday, human hfe, but
rather of dreams, night-time fears and the dark recesses of
the mind that we sometimes sense with misgiving. The
reading pubhc for the most part repudiates this kind of
writing unless, mdeed, it is coarsely sensational and even
the literary critic feels embarrassed by it. It is true that
Dante and Wagner have smoothed the approach to it. The
visionary experience is cloaked, in Dantes case, by the
introduction of historical facts, and, in that of Wagner, by
mythological events so that history and mythology are
sometimes taken to be the materials with which these poets
worked. But with neither of them does the moving force
and the deeper significance he there. For both it is con-
tained in the visionary experience. Rider Haggard, pardon-
ably enough, is generally held to be a mere inventor of
fiction. Yet even with him the story is primarily a means
of giving expression to significant material. However much
the tale may seem to overgrow the content, the latter
outweighs the former in importance.

The obscurity as to the sources of the material in visionary
creation is very strange, and the exact opposite of what we

find in the psychological mode of creation. We are even
led to suspect that this obscurity is not unintentional. We
are naturally inclined to suppose and Freudian psychology
encourages us to do so that some highly personal experience
underlies this grotesque darkness. We hope thus to explain
these strange glimpses of chaos and to understand why it
sometimes seems as though the poet had intentionally con-
cealed his basic experience from us. It is only a step from
this way of looking at the matter to the statement that we
are here dealing with a pathological and neurotic art a
step which is justified in so far as the material of the visionary
creator shows certain traits that we find in the fantasies of
the insane The converse also is true ; we often discover
m the mental output of psychotic persons a wealth of mean-
ing that we should expect rather from the works of a genius.
The psychologist who follows Freud will of course be inclined
to take the writings in question as a problem in pathology.
On the assumption that an intimate, personal experience
underlies what I call the primordial vision an ex-
perience, that is to say, which cannot be accepted by the
conscious outlook he will try to account for the curious
images of the vision by calling them cover-figures and by
supposing that they represent an attempted concealment of
the basic experience. This, according to his view, might be
an experience in love which is morally or aesthetically
incompatible with the personality as a whole or at least
with certain fictions of the conscious mind. In order that
the poet, through his ego, might repress this experience and
make it unrecognizable (unconscious), the whole arsenal of
a pathological fantasy was brought into action. Moreover,
this attempt to replace reality by fiction, being unsatisfactory,
must be repeated in a long series of creative embodiments.

x8 4


This would explain the proliferation of imaginative forms, all
monstrous, demonic, grotesque and perverse. On the one
hand they are substitutes for the unacceptable experience,
and on the other they help to conceal it.

Although a discussion of the poet's personality and psychic
disposition belongs strictly to the second part of my essay, I
cannot avoid taking up in the present connection this
Freudian view of the visionary work of art For one thing,
it has aroused considerable attention. And then it is the
only well-known attempt that has been made to give a
scientific explanation of the sources of the visionary
material or to formulate a theory of the psychic processes
that underlie this curious mode of artistic creation. I
assume that my own view of the question is not well known
pr generally understood. With this preliminary remark, I
will now try to present it briefly.

If we insist on deriving the vision from a personal ex-
perience, we must treat the former as something secondary
as a mere substitute for reality. The result is that we strip
the vision of its primordial quality and take it as nothing but
a symptom. The pregnant chaos then shrinks to the pro-
portions of a psychic disturbance. With this account of
the matter we feel reassured and turn again to our picture
of a well-ordered cosmos. Since we are practical and
reasonable, we do not expect the cosmos to be perfect ; we
accept these unavoidable imperfections which we call
abnormalities and diseases, and we take it for granted that
human nature is not exempt from them. The frightening
revelation of abysses that defy the human understanding is
dismissed as illusion, and the poet is regarded as a victim and
perpetrator of deception. Even to the poet, his primordial
experience was " human all too human , to such a degree


that he could not face its meaning but had to conceal it
from himself.

We shall do well, I think, to make fully exphcit all the
implications of that way of accounting for artistic creation
which consists in reducmg it to personal factors. We should
see clearly where it leads. The truth is that it takes us away
from the psychological study of the work of art, and confronts
us with the psychic disposition of the poet himself. That
the latter presents an important problem is not to be denied,
but the work of art is something in its own right, and may
not be conjured away. The question of the significance to
the poet of his own creative work of his regarding it as a
trifle, as a screen, as a source of suffering or as an achieve-
ment does not concern us at the moment, our task being
to interpret the work of art psychologically For this
undertaking it is essential that we give serious consideration
to the basic experience that underlies it namely, to the
vision. We must take it at least as seriously as we do the
experiences that underlie the psychological mode of artistic
creation, and no one doubts that they are both real and
serious It looks, indeed, as if the visionary experience were
something quite apart from the ordinary lot of man, and for
this reason we have difficulty in believing that it is real. It
has about it an unfortunate suggestion of obscure meta-
physics and of occultism, so that we feel called upon to
intervene in the name of a well-intentioned reasonableness.
Our conclusion is that it would be better not to take such
things too seriously, lest the world revert again to a be-
nighted superstition. We may, of course, have a predilection
for the occult ; but ordinarily we dismiss the visionary
experience as the outcome of a rich fantasy or of a poetic
mood that is to say, as a kind of poetic licence psycho-



logically understood. Certain of the poets encourage this
interpretation in order to put a wholesome distance between
themselves and their work. Spitteler, for example, stoutly
maintained that it was one and the same whether the poet
sang of an Olympian Spring or to the theme : May is
here ! The truth is that poets are human beings, and that
what a poet has to say about his work is often far from being
the most illuminating word on the subject. What is required
of us, then, is nothing less than to defend the importance of
the visionary experience against the poet himself.

It cannot be denied that we catch the reverberations of
an initial love-experience in The Shepherd of Hernias, in the
Dtvtne Comedy and m the Faust drama an experience
which is completed and fulfilled by the vision. There is no
ground for the assumption that the second part of Faust
repudiates or conceals the normal, human experience of the
first part, nor are we justified in supposing that Goe the was
normal at the time when he wrote Part I, but m a neurotic
state of mind when he composed Part II Hernias, Dante
and Goe the can be taken as three steps in a sequence covering
nearly two thousand years of human development, and in
each of them we find the personal love-episode not only
connected with the weightier visionary experience, but
frankly subordinated to it. On the strength of this evidence
which is furnished by the work of art itself and which throws
out of court the question of the poets particular psychic
disposition, we must admit that the vision represents a
deeper and more impressive experience than human passion.
In works of art of this nature and we must never confuse
them with the artist as a person we cannot doubt that the
vision is a genuine, primordial experience, regardless of
what reason-mongers may say. The vision is not something


derived or secondary, and it is not a symptom of something
else. It is true symbolic expression that is, the expression
of something existent m its own right, but imperfectly known.
The love-episode is a real experience really suffered, and the
same statement applies to the vision. We need not try to
determine whether the content of the vision is of a physical,
psychic or metaphysical nature. In itself it has psychic
reality, and this is no less real than physical reality. Human
passion falls within the sphere of conscious experience,
while the subject of the vision lies beyond it. Through our
feelings we experience the known, but our intuitions point
to thmgs that are unknown and hidden that by their very
nature are secret. If ever they become conscious, they are
intentionally kept back and concealed, for which reason they
have been regarded from earliest times as mysterious,
uncanny and deceptive. They are hidden from the scrutiny of
man, and he also hides himself from them out of deistdae-
monta He protects himself with the shield of science and the
armour of reason. His enlightenment is bom of fear; m the
day-time he believes in an ordered cosmos, and he tries to
maintain this faith against the fear of chaos that besets him
by night What if there were some living force whose sphere
of action lies beyond our world of every day ? Are there
human needs that are dangerous and unavoidable ? Is
there something more purposeful than electrons ? Do we
delude ourselves in thin long that we possess and comm and
our own souls ? And is that which science calls the " psyche
not merely a question-mark arbitrarily confined within the
skull, but rather a door that opens upon the human world
from a world beyond, now and again allowing strange and
unseizable potencies to act upon man and to remove him, as
if upon the wings of the night, from the level of common


humanity to that of a more than personal vocation ? When
we consider the visionary mode of artistic creation, it even
seems as if the love-episode had served as a mere release
as if the personal experience were nothing but the prelude
to the all-important divine comedy

It is not alone the creator of this kind of art who is in
touch with the night-side of life, but the seers, prophets,
leaders and enlighteners also. However dark this nocturnal
world may be, it is not wholly unfamiliar. Man has known
of it from time immemorial here, there, and everywhere ;
for primitive man today it is an unquestionable part of his
picture of the cosmos. It is only we who have repudiated it
because of our fear of superstition and metaphysics, and
because we strive to construct a conscious world that is
safe and manageable in that natural law holds m it the
place of statute law in a commonwealth. Yet, even in our
midst, the poet now and then catches sight of the figures
that people the night-world the spirits, demons and gods.
He knows that a purposiveness out-reaching human ends is
the life-giving secret for man ; he has a presentiment of
incomprehensible happenings in the pleroma In short, he
sees something of that psychic world that strikes terror into
the savage and the barbarian.

From the very first beginnings of human society onward
mans efforts to give his vague intimations a binding form
have left their traces. Even m the Rhodesian cliff-drawings
of the Old Stone Age there appears, side by side with the
most amazingly life-like representations of animals, an
abstract pattern a double cross contained in a circle. This
design has turned up in every cultural region, more or less,
and we find it today not only in Christian churches, but in
Tibetan monasteries as well. It is the so-called sun-wheel.


and as it dates from a time when no one had thought of
wheels as a mechanical device, it cannot have had its source
in any experience of the external world. It is rather a symbol
that stands for a psychic happening ; it covers an experience
of the inner world, and is no doubt as lifelike a representation
as the famous rhinoceros with the tick-birds on its back.
There has never been a primitive culture that did not possess
a system of secret teaching, and in many cultures this system
is highly developed. The mens councils and the totem-clans
preserve this teaching about hidden things that lie apart from
mans daytime existence things which, from primeval
times, have always constituted his most vital experiences
Knowledge about them is handed on to younger men in the
rites of initiation. The mysteries of the Gneco-Roman
world performed the same office, and the rich mythology of
antiquity is a relic of such experiences in the earliest stages
of human development.

It is therefore to be expected of the poet that he will
resort to mythology in order to give his experience its most
fitting expression. It would be a serious mistake to suppose
that he works with materials received at second-hand The
primordial experience is the source of his creativeness ; it
cannot be fathomed, and therefore requires mythological
imagery to give it form In itself it offers no words or
images, for it is a vision seen as in a glass, darkly It
is merely a deep presentiment that strives to find expression.
It is hke a whirlwind that seizes everything within reach
and, by carrying it aloft, assumes a visible shape. Since
the particular expression can never exhaust the possibilities
of the vision, but falls far short of it in richness of content,
the poet must have at his disposal a huge store of materials
if he is to communicate even a few of his intimations. What



is more, he must resort to an imagery that is difficult to
handle and full of contradictions in order to express the
weird paradoxicality of his vision. Dantes presentiments
are clothed in images that run the gamut of Heaven and
Hell ; Goe the must bring in the Blocksberg and the infernal
regions of Greek antiquity ; Wagner needs the whole body
of Nordic myth ; Nietzsche returns to the hieratic style and
recreates the legendary seer of prehistoric times , Blake
invents for himself indescribable figures, and Spitteler
borrows old names for new creatures of the imagination.
And no intermediate step is missing in the whole range from
the ineffably sublime to the perversely grotesque.

Psychology can do nothing towards the elucidation of this
colourful imagery except bring together materials for com-
parison and offer a terminology for its discussion. According
to this terminology, that which appears in the vision is the
collective unconscious. We mean by collective unconscious,
a certain psychic disposition shaped by the forces of heredity ;
from it consciousness has developed. In the physical
structure of the body we find traces of earlier stages of
evolution, and we may expect the human psyche also to
conform in its make-up to the law of phylogeny. It is a
fact that in eclipses of consciousness in dreams, narcotic
states and cases of insanity there come to the surface
psychic products or contents that show all the traits of
primitive levels of psychic development. The images
themselves are sometimes of such a primitive character that
we might suppose them derived from ancient, esoteric
teaching. Mythological themes clothed in modem dress also
frequently appear. What is of particular importance for
the study of literature in these manifestations of the
collective unconscious is that they are compensatory to the


conscious attitude. This is to say that they can bring a
one-sided, abnormal, or dangerous state of consciousness
into equilibrium in an apparently purposive way. In dreams
we can see this process very clearly in its positive aspect.
In cases of m sanity the compensatory process is often
perfectly obvious, but takes a negative form There are
persons, for instance, who have anxiously shut themselves
off from all the world only to discover one day that their
most intimate secrets are known and talked about by
everyone. 1

If we consider Goethes Faust, and leave aside the
possibility that it is compensatory to his own conscious
attitude, the question that we must answer is this : In
what relation does it stand to the conscious outlook of his
time ? Great poetry draws its strength from the life of
mankind, and we completely miss its meaning if we try to
derive it from personal factors Whenever the collective
unconscious becomes a living experience and is brought to
bear upon the conscious outlook of an age, this event is a
creative act which is of importance to everyone living m that
age. A work of art is produced that contains what may
truthfully be called a message to generations of men. So
Faust touches something in the soul of every German So
also Dantes fame is immortal, while The Shepherd of Her mas
just failed of inclusion in the New Testament canon. Every
period has its bias, its particular prejudice and its psychic
ailment. An epoch is like an individual ; it has its own
limitations of conscious outlook, and therefore requires a
compensatory adjustment. This is effected by the collective
unconscious m that a poet, a seer or a leader allows himself

1 See my article " Mind and the Earth , in Contri butions to Analytical
Psychology Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co , London, 1928


to be guided by the unexpressed desire of his times and shows
the way, by word or deed, to the attainment of that which
everyone blindly craves and expects whether this attain-
ment results m good or evil, the healing of an epoch or its

It is always dangerous to speak of ones own times, because
what is at stake in the present is too vast for comprehension.
A few hints must therefore suffice. Francesco Colonna's
book is cast in the form of a dream, and is the apotheosis of
natural love taken as a human relation , without countenanc-
ing a wild indulgence of the senses, he leaves completely
aside the Christian sacrament of marriage. The book was
written in 1453. Rider Haggard, whose life coincides with
the flowenng-time of the Victorian era, takes up this subject
and deals with it m his own way ; he does not cast it m the
form of a dream, but allows us to feel the tension of moral
conflict. Goe the weaves the theme of Gretchen-Helen-
Mater-Gloriosa like a red thread into the colourful tapestry
of Faust. Nietzsche proclaims the death of God, and
Spitteler transforms the waxing and waning of the gods mto
a myth of the seasons. Whatever his importance, each of
these poets speaks with the voice of thousands and ten
thousands, foretelling changes in the conscious outlook of
his time.


The Poet

Creativeness, like the freedom of the will, contains a secret.
The psychologist can describe both these manifestations as
processes, but he can find no solution of the philosophical
problems they offer. Creative man is a nddle that we



may try to answer in various ways, but always in vain,
a truth that has not prevented modem psychology from
turning now and again to the question of the artist and his
art Freud thought that he had found a key in his procedure
of deriving the work of art from the personal experiences of
the artist . 1 It is true that certain possibilities lay in this
direction, for it was conceivable that a work of art, no less
than a neurosis, might be traced back to those knots in
psychic life that we call the complexes It was Freuds
great discovery that neuroses have a causal origin m the
psychic realm that they take their rise from emotional
states and from real or imagined childhood experiences.
Certain of his followers, like Rank and Stekel, have taken
up related lines of enquiry and have achieved important
results It is undeniable that the poet's psychic disposition
permeates his work root and branch Nor is there anything
new in the statement that personal factors largely influence
the poets choice and use of his materials. Credit, however,
must certainly be given to the Freudian school for showing
how far-reaching this influence is and in what curious ways
it comes to expression

Freud takes the neurosis as a substitute for a direct
means of gratification He therefore regards it as something
inappropriate a mistake, a dodge, an excuse, a voluntary
blindness. To him it is essentially a shortcoming that should
never have been Since a neurosis, to all appearances,
is nothing but a disturbance that is all the more irritating
because it is without sense or meaning, few people will
venture to say a good word for it. And a work of art is
brought into questionable proximity with the neurosis
when it is taken as something which can be analysed in
1 See Freuds essay on Jensens Gradwa and on Leonardo da Vina.


terms of the poets repressions. In a sense it finds itself in
good company, for religion and philosophy are regarded in
the same light by Freudian psychology. No objection can
be raised if it is admitted that this approach amounts to
nothing more than the elucidation of those personal deter-
minants without which a work of art is unthinkable. But
should the claim be made that such an analysis accounts for
the work of art itself, then a categorical denial is called for.
The personal idiosyncrasies that creep into a work of art
are not essential ; in fact, the more we have to cope with
these peculiarities, the less is it a question of art. What is
essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the
realm of personal life and speak from the spirit and heart of
the poet as man to the spirit and heart of mankind The
personal aspect is a limitation and even a sin in the realm
of art When a form of art is primarily personal it
deserves to be treated as if it were a neurosis There may be
some validity in the idea held by the Freudian school that
artists without exception are narcissistic by which is
meant that they are undeveloped persons with infantile and
auto-erotic traits The statement is only valid, however,
for the artist as a person, and has nothing to do with the
man as an artist. In his capacity of artist he is neither
auto-erotic, nor hetero-erotic, nor erotic in any sense. He
is objective and impersonal even inhuman for as an
artist he is his work, and not a human being.

Every creative person is a duality or a synthesis of con-
tradictory aptitudes. On the one side he is a human being
with a personal life, while on the other side he is an im-
personal, creative process. Since as a human being he may
be sound or morbid, we must look at his psychic make-up
to find the determinants of his personality. But we can



only understand him in his capacity of artist by looking at
his creative achievement. We should make a sad mistake if
we tried to explain the mode of life of an English gentleman,
a Prussian officer, or a cardinal in terms of personal factors.
The gentleman, the officer and the clenc function as such in
an impersonal rdle, and their psychic make-up is qualified
by a peculiar objectivity. We must grant that the artist
does not function in an official capacity the very opposite
is nearer the truth. He nevertheless resembles the types I
have named in one respect, for the specifically artistic dis-
position involves an overweight of collective psychic hfe as
against the personal Art is a kmd of innate drive that
seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The
artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his
own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes
through him. As a human being he may have moods and
a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is "man in a
higher sense he is " collective man one who carries and
shapes the unconscious, psychic hfe of mankind. To
perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him
to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth
living for the ordinary human bemg.

All this bemg so, it is not strange that the artist is an
especially interesting case for the psychologist who uses an
analytical method. The artists life cannot be otherwise
than full of conflicts, for two forces are at war within him
on the one hand the common human longing for happiness,
satisfaction and security m hfe, and on the other a ruthless
passion for creation which may go so far as to override
every personal desire The lives of artists are as a rule so
highly unsatisfactory not to say tragic because of their
inferiority on the human and personal side, and not because



of a sinister dispensation. There are hardly any exceptions
to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine
gift of the creative fire It is as though each of us were
endowed at birth with a certain capital of energy. The
strongest force in our make-up will seize and all but
monopolize this energy, leaving so little over that nothing
of value can come of it. In this way the creative force can
drain the human impulses to such a degree that the personal
ego must develop all sorts of bad qualities ruthlessness,
selfishness and vanity (so-called " auto-erotism ) and even
every kind of vice, in order to maintain the spark of life and
to keep itself from being wholly bereft The auto-erotism
of artists resembles that of illegitimate or neglected children
who from their tenderest years must protect themselves from
the destructive influence of people who have no love to give
them who develop bad qualities for that very purpose and
later maintain an invincible egocentrism by remaining all
their hves infantile and helpless or by actively offending
against the moral code or the law How can we doubt that
it is his art that explains the artist, and not the insufficiencies
and conflicts of his personal life ? These are nothing but
the regrettable results of the fact that he is an artist that is
to say, a man who from his very birth has been called to a
greater task than the ordinary mortal A special ability
means a heavy expenditure of energy m a particular direction,
with a consequent drain from some other side of life.

It makes no difference whether the poet knows that his
work is begotten, grows and matures with him, or whether
he supposes that by taking thought he produces it out of the
void His opinion of the matter does not change the fact
that his own work outgrows him as a child its mother. The
creative process has feminine quality, and the creative work



arises from unconscious depths we might say, from the
realm of the mothers. Whenever the creative force pre-
dominates, human life is ruled and moulded by the un-
conscious as against the active will, and the conscious ego is
swept along on a subterranean current, being nothing more
than a helpless observer of events. The work in process
becomes the poets fate and determines his psychic develop-
ment. It is not Goe the who creates Faust, but Faust which
creates Goe the And what is Faust but a symbol ? By this
I do not mean an allegory that points to something all too
familiar, but an expression that stands for something not
clearly known and yet profoundly alive Here it is something
that hves in the soul of every German, and that Goe the has
helped to bring to birth. Could we conceive of anyone but
a German writing Faust or Also sprach Zarathustra ? Both
play upon something that reverberates in the German soul
a primordial image , as Jacob Burckhardt once called
it the figure of a physician or teacher of mankind. The
archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer,
lies buried and dormant in mans unconscious since the
dawn of culture ; it is awakened whenever the times are out
of joint and a human society is committed to a serious
error When people go astray they feel the need of a guide
or teacher or even of the physician. These primordial
images are numerous, but do not appear in the dreams of
individuals or in works of art until they are called into
being by the waywardness of the general outlook. When
conscious hfe is characterized by one-sidedness and by a
false attitude, then they are activated one might say,
" instinctively and come to light m the dreams of in-
dividuals and the visions of artists and seers, thus restoring
the psychic equilibrium of the epoch.



In this way the work of the poet comes to meet the
spiritual need of the society in which he lives, and for this
reason his work means more to him than his personal fate,
whether he is aware of this or not. Being essentially the
instrument for his work, he is subordinate to it, and we have
no reason for expecting him to interpret it for us. He has
done the best that in him lies in giving it form, and he must
leave the interpretation to others and to the future A
great work of art is like a dream , for all its apparent obvious-
ness it does not explain itself and is never unequivocal. A
dream never says : You ought , or : This is the truth .
It presents an image m much the same way as nature allows
a plant to grow, and we must draw our own conclusions If
a person has a nightmare, it means either that he is too
much given to fear, or else that he is too exempt from it ;
and if he dreams of the old wise man it may mean that he is
too pedagogical, as also that he stands in need of a teacher.
In a subtle way both meanings come to the same thing, as
we perceive when we are able to let the work of art act upon
us as it acted upon the artist. To grasp its meaning, we must
allow it to shape us as it once shaped him Then we under-
stand the nature of his expenence. We see that he has
drawn upon the healing and redeeming forces of the collective
psyche that underlies consciousness with its isolation and
its painful errors ; that he has penetrated to that matrix
of life in which all men are embedded, which imparts a
common rhythm to all human existence, and allows the
individual to communicate his feeling and his striving to
mankind as a whole.

The secret of artistic creation and of the effectiveness of
art is to be found in a return to the state of participation
mystique to that level of experience at which it is man who



lives, and not the individual, and at which the weal or woe
of the single human being does not count, but only human
existence. This is why every great work of art is objective
and impersonal, but none the less profoundly moves us each
and all And this is also why the personal life of the poet
cannot be held essential to his art but at most a help or a
hindrance to his creative task. He may go the way of a
Philistine, a good citizen, a neurotic, a fool or a criminal.
His personal career may be inevitable and interesting, but
it does not explain the poet.



It was universally believed in the Middle Ages as well as in
the Graeco-Roman world that the soul is a substance . 1
Indeed, mankind as a whole has held this belief from its
earliest beginnings, and it was left for the second half of the
nineteenth century to develop a psychology without the
soul 2 Under the influence of scientific materialism,
everything that could not be seen with the eyes or touched
with the hands was held in doubt , such things were even
laughed at because of their supposed affinity with meta-
physics Nothing was considered " scientific or admitted
to be true unless it could be perceived by the senses or traced
back to physical causes This radical change of view did
not begin with philosophical materialism, for the way was
being prepared long before When the spiritual catastrophe
of the Reformation put an end to the Gothic Age with its
impetuous yearning for the heights, its geographical con-
finement, and its restricted view of the world, the vertical
outlook of the European mind was forthwith intersected by
the horizontal outlook of modern times. Consciousness
ceased to grow upward, and grew instead in breadth of

1 Substance . * t that which has independent existence ( Trans )

1 " Psychology ohne Seele " compare the works of F A Lange (1828-
1875) It is to be noted that the German word Seele means psyche as well
as soul. (Trans )



view, as well as in knowledge of the terrestrial globe. This
was the period of the great voyages, and of the widening of
mans ideas of the world by empirical discoveries. Belief
in the substantiality of the spirit yielded more and more to
the obtrusive conviction that material things alone have
substance, till at last, after nearly four hundred years, the
leading European thinkers and investigators came to regard
the mind as wholly dependent on matter and material

We are certainly not justified in saying that philosophy or
natural science has brought about this complete volte-face.
There were always a fair number of intelligent philosophers
and scientists who had enough insight and depth of thought
to accept this irrational reversal of standpoint only under
protest ; a few even resisted it, but they had no following
and were powerless against the popular attitude of un-
reasoned, not to say emotional, surrender to the all-import-
ance of the physical world Let no one suppose that so
radical a change in mans outlook could be brought about
by reasoning and reflection, for no chain of reasoning can
prove or disprove the existence of either mind or matter.
Both these concepts, as every intelligent man today may
ascertain for himself, are mere symbols that stand for
something unknown and unexplored, and this something is
postulated or denied according to mans mood and dis-
position or as the spirit of the age dictates. There is nothing
to prevent the speculative intellect from treating the psyche,
on the one hand, as a complicated biochemical phenomenon,
and at bottom a mere play of electrons, or, on the other,
from regarding the unpredictable behaviour of electrons as
the sign of mental life even in them

The fact that a metaphysics of the mind was supplanted


in the nineteenth century by a metaphysics of matter, is a
mere trick if we consider it as a question for the intellect ;
yet regarded from the standpoint of psychology, it is an
unexampled revolution in mans outlook upon the world.
Other-worldliness is converted into matter-of-factness ;
empirical boundaries are set to mans discussion of every
problem, to his choice of purposes, and even to what he
calls " meaning Intangible, inner happenmgs seem to
have to yield place to things in the external, tangible world,
and no value exists if it is not founded on a so-called fact.
At least, this is how it appears to the simple mmd

It is futile, indeed, to attempt to treat this unreasoned
change of opinion as a question of philosophy We had
better not try to do so, for if we maintain that mental
phenomena arise from the activity of glands, we are sure of
the thanks and respect of our contemporaries, whereas if we
explain the break-up of the atom in the sun as an emanation
of the creative Weltgeist, we shall be looked down upon as
intellectual freaks. And yet both views are equally logical,
equally metaphysical, equally arbitrary and equally symbolic
From the standpoint of epistemology it is just as admissible
to derive animals from the human species, as man from
animal species. But we know how ill Professor Daque
fared in his academic career because of his sin against the
spirit of the age, which will not let itself be trifled with It
is a religion, or even more a creed which has absolutely
no connection with reason, but whose significance hes in the
unpleasant fact that it is taken as the absolute measure of
all truth and is supposed always to have common-sense upon
its side.

The spirit of the age cannot be compassed by the processes
of human reason. It is an inclination, an emotional tendency


that works upon weaker minds, through the unconscious, with
an overwhelming force of suggestion that carries them along
with it To think otherwise than our contemporaries think
is somehow illegitimate and disturbing ; it is even indecent,
morbid or blasphemous, and therefore socially dangerous for
the individual He is stupidly swimming against the social
current. Just as formerly the assumption was unquestionable
that everything that exists takes its rise from the creative
will of a God who is spirit, so the nineteenth century dis-
covered the equally unquestionable truth that everything
arises from material causes. Today the psyche does not
build itself a body, but on the contrary, matter, by chemical
action, produces the psyche This reversal of outlook would
be ludicrous if it were not one of the outstanding features of
the spirit of the age. It is the popular way of thinking, and
therefore it is decent, reasonable, scientific and normal.
Mind must be thought to be an epiphenomenon of matter.
The same conclusion is reached even if we say not " mind
but " psyche , and in place of matter speak of brain,
hormones, instmcts or drives To grant the substantiality
of the soul or psyche is repugnant to the spirit of the age,
for to do so would be heresy.

We have now discovered that it was intellectually un-
justified presumption on our forefa thers part to assume
that man has a soul ; that that soul has substance, is of
divine nature and therefore immortal , that there is a
power inherent in it which builds up the body, supports its
life, heals its ills and enables the soul to hve independently
of the body ; that there are incorporeal spirits with which the
soul associates ; and that beyond our empirical present there
is a spiritual world from which the soul receives knowledge
of spiritual things whose origins cannot be discovered in


this visible world But people who are not above the
general level of consciousness have not yet discovered that
it is just as presumptuous and fantastic for us to assume
that matter produces spirit , that apes give rise to human
beings ; that from the harmonious interplay of the drives
of hunger, love, and power Kants Critique of Pure
Reason should have arisen ; that the brain-cells manufacture
thoughts, and that all this could not possibly be other than
it is.

What or who, indeed, is this all-powerful matter ? It is
once more mans picture of a creative god, stripped this
time of his anthropomorphic traits and taking the form of a
universal concept whose meaning everyone presumes to
understand. Consciousness today has grown enormously
in breadth and extent, but unfortunately only in spatial
dimensions ; its temporal reach has not increased, for were
that the case we should have a much more living sense of
history. If our consciousness were not of today only, but
had historical continuity, we should be reminded of similar
transformations of the divine principle in Greek philosophy,
and this might dispose us to be more critical of our present
philosophical assumptions. We are, however, effectively
prevented from indulging in such reflections by the spirit
of the age. It looks upon history as a mere arsenal of
convenient arguments that enables us, on occasion, to say :
" Why, even old Aristotle knew that. This being the
state of affairs, we must ask ourselves how the spirit of the
age attains such an uncanny power. It is without doubt a
psychic phenomenon of the greatest importance at all
events a prejudice so deeply rooted that until we give it
proper consideration we cannot even approach the problem
of the psyche.


As I have said, the irresistible tendency to account for
everything on physical grounds corresponds to the horizontal
development of consciousness in the last four centuries, and
this horizontal perspective is a reaction against the ex-
clusively vertical perspective of the Gothic Age It is a
manifestation of the crowd-mind, and as such is not to be
treated m terms of the consciousness of individuals. Re-
sembling in this the primitives, we are at first wholly
unconscious of our actions, and only discover long afterwards
why it was that we acted m a certain way. In the meantime,
we content ourselves with all sorts of rationalized accounts
of our behaviour, all of them equally inadequate

If we were conscious of the spirit of the age, we should
know why we are so inclined to account for everything on
physical grounds , we should know that it is because, up
till now, too much was accounted for m terms of the spirit.
This realization would at once make us critical of our bias
We should say most hkely we are now making as serious
an error on the other side We delude ourselves with the
thought that we know much more about matter than about
a metaphysical mind, and so we overestimate physical
causation and believe that it alone affords us a true explana-
tion of hfe. But matter is just as inscrutable as mmd. As
to the ultimate we can know nothing, and only when we
admit this do we return to a state of equilibrium. This is
m no way to deny the close connection of psychic happenings
with the physiological structure of the bram, with the glands,
and the body in general We are once for all deeply con-
vinced of the fact that the contents of consciousness are to
a large part determined by our sense-perceptions. We
cannot fail to recognize that unalterable characteristics of a
physical as well as a psychic nature are unconsciously in-


grained in us by heredity, and we are deeply struck by the
power of the instincts which inhibit or reinforce or otherwise
modify our mental capacities. Indeed, we must admit that
as to cause, purpose and meaning, the human psyche
however we approach it is first and foremost a close reflec-
tion of everything we call corporeal, empirical and mundane.
And finally, in the face of all these admissions, we must ask
ourselves if the psyche is not after all a secondary manifesta-
tion an epiphenomenon and completely dependent upon
the body. In the light of reason and of our commitments as
practical men to an actual world, we say yes It is only our
doubts as to the omnipotence of matter which could lead us
to examine in a critical way this verdict of science upon the
human psyche.

The objection has already been raised that this approach
reduces psychic happenings to a kind of activity of the
glands ; thoughts are regarded as secretions of the brain,
and so we achieve a psychology without the psyche. From
this standpoint, it must be confessed, the psyche does not
exist m its own right , it is nothing in itself, but is the mere
expression of physical processes. That these processes have
the qualities of consciousness is just an irreducible fact
were it otherwise, so the argument runs, we could not speak
of the psyche at all ; there would be no consciousness, and
so we should have nothing to say about anything. Conscious-
ness, therefore, is taken as the stne qua non of psychic hfe
that is to say, as the psyche itself. And so it comes about
that all modem " psychologies without the psyche are
studies of consciousness which ignore the existence of
unconscious psychic life.

Yet there is not one modem psychology there are several.
This is curious enough when we remember that there is only


one science of mathematics, of geology, zoology, botany and
so forth. But there are so many psychologies that an
American University was able to publish a thick volume
under the title : Psychologies of 1930 I believe there are
as many psychologies as philosophies, for there is also no
one single philosophy, but many. I mention this for the
reason that philosophy and psychology are linked by in-
dissoluble bonds which are kept m being by the inter-relation
of their subject-matters. Psychology takes the psyche for
its subject-matter, and philosophy to put it briefly takes
the world. Until recently psychology was a special branch
of philosophy, but now we are commg to something which
Nietzsche foresaw the ascendance of psychology in its own
right It is even threatening to swallow philosophy. The
inner resemblance of the two disciplines consists in this,
that both are systems of opinion about subject-matter which
cannot be fully experienced and therefore cannot be compre-
hended by a purely empirical approach. Both fields of study
thus encourage speculation, with the result that opinions are
formed in such variety and profusion that heavy volumes
are needed to contain them all, whether they belong to the
one field or to the other. Neither discipline can do without
the other, and the one always furnishes the implicit and
frequently even unconscious primary assumptions of the

The modem preference for physical grounds of explanation
leads, as already remarked, to a psychology without the
psyche I mean, to the view that the psyche is nothing
but a product of biochemical processes As for a modem,
scientific psychology which starts from the mind as such,
there simply is none. No one today would venture to
found a scientific psychology upon the postulate of an


independent psyche that is not determined by the body.
The idea of spirit in and for itself, of a self-contained world-
system of the spirit that is the only adequate postulate for
the belief in autonomous, individual souls, is extremely
unpopular with us, to say the least. But I must remark that,
in 1914, I attended at Bedford College, London, a joint
session of the Aristotelian Society, the Mmd Association
and the British Psychological Society, at which a symposium
was held on the question : Are individual mmds contained
in God or are they not ? Should anyone in England dispute
the scientific standing of these societies, he would not receive
a very cordial hearing, for their membership includes the
outstanding mmds of the country. And perhaps I was the
only person in the audience who listened with surprise to
arguments that had the ring of the thirteenth century This
instance may serve to show that the idea of an autonomous
spmt whose existence is taken for granted has not died
out everywhere m Europe or become a mere fossil left over
from the Middle Ages

If we keep this in mind, we can perhaps summon up the
courage to consider the possibility of a psychology with
the psyche that is, of a field of study based on the assump-
tion of an autonomous psyche. We need not be alarmed at
the unpopularity of such an undertaking, for to postulate
mind is no more fantastic than to postulate matter Since
we have literally no idea of the way in which what is psychic
can arise from physical elements, and yet cannot deny the
reality of psychic events, we are free to frame our assumptions
the other way about for once, and to hold that the psyche
arises from a spiritual principle which is as inaccessible to
our understanding as matter. To be sure, this will not be a
modem psychology, for to be modem is to deny such a


possibility. For better or worse, therefore, we must turn
back to the teachings of our forefa thers, for they it was who
made such assumptions. The ancient view held that spirit
was essentially the life of the body, the life-breath, or a
kind of life-force which assumed spatial and corporeal form
at birth or after conception, and left the dying body again
after the final breath. The spirit in itself was considered as
a being without extension, and because it existed before
taking corporeal form and afterwards as well, it was con-
sidered as timeless and hence immortal. From the stand-
point of modem, scientific psychology, this conception is of
course pure illusion. But as it is not our intention to indulge
in metaphysics , even of a modem variety, we will
examine this time-honoured notion for once m an un-
prejudiced way and test its empirical justification

The names people give to their experiences are often
quite enlightening What is the origin of the word Seele ?
Like the English word soul, it comes from the Gothic samala
and the Old German saiwalo, and these can be connected with
the Greek atolos, mobile, coloured, iridescent The Greek
word psyche also means butterfly. Saiwalo is related on the
other side to the old Slavonic word sila, meaning strength
From these connections light is thrown on the original
meaning of the word Seele . it is moving force, that is,

The Latin words animus, spirit, and anima, soul, are the
same as the Greek anemos, wind. The other Greek word for
wind, pneuma, means also spirit. In Gothic we find the
same word in us-anan, to brea the out, and in Latin an-helare,
to pant. In Old High German, spintus sanctus was rendered
by alun, breath. In Arabic, wind is rih, and ruh is soul,
spirit. There is a quite similar connection with the Greek


psyche, which is related to psycho, to breathe, psychos, cool,
psychros, cold, and phusa, bellows. These affinities show
clearly how in Latin, Greek and Arabic the names given to
the soul are related to the notion of moving air, the cold
breath of the spirit And this also is why the primitive
point of view endows the soul with an invisible breath-body

It is quite evident that, since breath is the sign of hfe,
breath is taken for life, as are also movement and moving
force. According to another primitive view the soul is
regarded as fire or flame, because warmth also is a sign of
life. A very curious, but by no means rare, primitive con-
ception identifies the soul with the name. The name of an
individual is his soul, and hence arises the custom of using
the ancestors name to reincarnate the ancestral soul in the
new-born child We can infer from this that the ego-
consciousness was recognized as an expression of the soul.
Not infrequently the soul is identified with the shadow, for
which reason it is a deadly insult to tread upon a persons
shadow. For the same reason, noon-day, the ghost-hour of
southern latitudes, is considered threatening ; the shadow
then grows small, and this means that life is endangered.
This conception of the shadow contains an idea which was
indicated by the Greeks m the word synopados, " he who
follows behind . They expressed in this way the feeling
of an intangible, living presence the same feeling which
led to the belief that the souls of the departed were shadows.

These indications may serve to show how primitive man
experienced the psyche. To him the psyche appears as the
source of hfe, the prime mover, a ghost-like presence which
has objective reality. Therefore the primitive knows how
to converse with his soul ; it becomes vocal within him
because it is not he himself and his consciousness. To


primitive man the psyche is not, as it is to us, the epitome
of all that is subjective and subject to the will ; on the
contrary, it is something objective, contained in itself, and
living its own life.

This way of looking at the matter is empirically justified,
for not only on the primitive level, but with civilized man
as well, psychic happenmgs have an objective side. In large
measure they are withdrawn from our conscious control. We
are unable, for example, to suppress many of our emotions ;
we cannot change a bad mood into a good one, and we cannot
comm and our dreams to come or go The most intelligent
man may at times be obsessed with thoughts which he
cannot drive away with the greatest effort of will The
mad tncks that memory plays sometimes leave us in helpless
amazement, and at any time unexpected fantasies may run
through our minds We only beheve that we are masters in
our own house because we like to flatter ourselves. Actually,
however, we are dependent to a startling degree upon the
proper functioning of the unconscious psyche, and must
trust that it does not fail us. If we study the psychic
processes of neurotic persons, it seems perfectly ludicrous
that any psychologist could take the psyche as the equivalent
of consciousness. And it is well known that the psychic
processes of neurotics differ hardly at all from those of so-
called normal persons for what man today is quite sure
that he is not neurotic ?

This being so, we shall do well to admit that there is
justification for the old view of the soul as an objective
reality as something independent, and therefore capricious
and dangerous The further assumption that this being, so
mysterious and terrifying, is at the same time the source
of life, is also understandable in the light of psychology.


Experience shows us that the sense of the I the ego-
consciousness grows out of unconscious hfe. The small
child has psychic hfe without any demonstrable ego-
consciousness, for which reason the earliest years leave
hardly any traces in memory. Where do all our good and
helpful flashes of intelligence come from ? What is the
source of our enthusiasms, inspirations, and of our heightened
feeling for hfe ? The primitive senses in the depths of his
soul the springs of life , he is deeply impressed with the
life-dispensing activity of his soul, and he therefore believes
in everything that affects it in magical practices of every
kind. That is why, for him, the soul is hfe itself He does
not imagine that he directs it, but feels himself dependent
upon it m every respect

However preposterous the idea of the immortality of the
soul may seem to us, it is nothing extraordinary to the
primitive. After all, the soul is something out of the common
While everything else that exists takes up a certain amount
of room, the soul cannot be located in space. We suppose,
of course, that our thoughts are in our heads, but when it
comes to our feelings we begin to be uncertain , they appear
to dwell m the region of the heart. Our sensations are
distri buted over the whole body. Our theory is that the
seat of consciousness is m the head, but the Pueblo Indians
told me that Americans were mad because they believed
their thoughts were in their heads, whereas any sensible
man knows that he thinks with his heart. Certain negro
tribes locate their psychic functioning neither in the head
nor in the heart, but in the belly.

To this uncertainty about the localization of psychic
functions another difficulty is added. Psychic contents in
general ore non-spa tiai except in the particular realm of


sensation. What bulk can we ascribe to thoughts ? Are
they small, large, long, thin, heavy, fluid, straight, circular,
or what ? If we wished to form a vivid picture of a non-
spatial being of the fourth dimension, we should do well to
take thought, as a being, for our model

It would all be so much simpler if we could only deny the
f existence of the psyche. But here we are with our immediate
experiences of something that ts something that has taken
root in the midst of our measurable, ponderable, three-
dimensional reality, that differs bafflingly from this in every
respect and in all its parts, and yet reflects it. The psyche
may be regarded as a mathematical point and at the same
time as a universe of fixed stars. It is small wonder, then,
if, to the unsophisticated mind, such a paradoxical being
borders on the divme. If it occupies no space, it has no
body. Bodies die, but can something invisible and in-
corporeal disappear ? What is more, life and psyche existed
for me before I could say I , and when this I dis-
appears, as in sleep or unconsciousness, life and psyche still
go on, as our observation of other people and our own
dreams inform us. Why should the simple mind deny, m the
face of such experiences, that the soul lives in a realm
beyond the body ? I must admit that I can see as little
nonsense m this so-called superstition as in the findings
of research regarding heredity or the basic instincts.

We can easily understand why higher and even divine
knowledge was formerly ascribed to the psyche if we remem-
ber that in ancient cultures, beginning with primitive times,
man always resorted to dreams and visions as a source of
information. It is a fact that the unconscious cont ains
subliminal perceptions whose scope is nothing less than
astounding. In recognition of this fact, primitive societies


used dreams and visions as important sources of information
Great and enduring civilizations like those of the Hmdus and
Chinese built upon this foundation and developed from
it a discipline of self-knowledge which they brought
to a high pitch of refinement both in philosophy and in

A hi gh regard for the unconscious psyche as a source of
knowledge is by no means such a delusion as our Western
rationalism likes to suppose. We are inclined to assume
that, in the last resort, all knowledge comes from without.
Yet today we know for certain that the unconscious contains
contents which would mean an immeasurable mcrease of
knowledge if they could only be made conscious Modem
investigation of animal instinct, as for example m insects,
has brought together a rich fund of empirical findings which
show that if man acted as certain insects do he would possess
a higher intelligence than at present. It cannot, of course,
be proved that insects possess conscious knowledge, but
common-sense cannot doubt that their unconscious action-
patterns are psychic functions. Mans unconscious likewise
contains all the patterns of life and behaviour inherited
from his ancestors, so that every human child, prior to
consciousness, is possessed of a potential system of adapted
psychic functioning In the conscious life of the adult, as
well, this unconscious, instinctive functioning is always
present and active In this activity all the functions of the
conscious psyche are prepared for. The unconscious per-
ceives, has purposes and intuitions, feels and thinks as does
the conscious mind We find sufficient evidence for this
in the field of psycho-pathology and the investigation of
dream-processes. Only m one respect is there an essential
difference between the conscious and the unconscious


functioning of the psyche. While consciousness is intensive
and concentrated, it is transient and is directed upon the
immediate present and the immediate field of attention ;
moreover, it has access only to material that represents one
individuals experience stretching over a few decades. A
wider range of memory is artificially acquired and consists
mostly of printed paper But matters stand very differently
with the unconscious. It is not concentrated and intensive,
but shades off into obscurity ; it is highly extensive and can
juxtapose the most heterogeneous elements in the most
paradoxical way. More than this, it contains, besides an
indeterminable number of subliminal perceptions, an im-
mense fund of accumulated inheritance-factors left by one
generation of men after another, whose mere existence
marks a step in the differentiation of the species If it were
permissible to personify the unconscious, we might call it a
collective human being combining the characteristics of both
sexes, transcending youth and age, birth and death, and,
from having at his comm and a human experience of one or
two million years, almost immortal. If such a being existed,
he would be exalted above all temporal change , the present
would mean neither more nor less to him than any year in
the one hundredth century before Christ , he would be a
dreamer of age-old dreams and, owing to his immeasurable
experience, he would be an incomparable prognosticator
He would have lived countless times over the life of the
individual, of the family, tribe and people, and he would
possess the living sense of the rhythm of growth, flowering
and decay.

Unfortunately or rather let us say, fortunately this
being dreams. At least it seems to us as if the collective
unconscious, which appears to us in dreams, had no con-


sciousness of its own contents though of course we cannot
be sure of this, any more than we are in the case of insects.
The collective unconscious, moreover, seems not to be a
person, but something like an unceasing stream or perhaps
an ocean of images and figures which drift into consciousness
in our dreams or in abnormal states of mind

It would be positively grotesque for us to call this immense
system of experience of the unconscious psyche an illusion,
for our visible and tangible body itself is just such a system.
It still carries within it the discernible traces of primeval
evolution, and it is certainly a whole that functions pur-
posively for otherwise we could not live. It would never
occur to anyone to look upon comparative anatomy or
physiology as nonsense. And so we cannot dismiss the
collective unconscious as illusion, or refuse to recognize and
study it as a valuable source of knowledge.

Looked at from without, the psyche appears to us to be
essentially a reflection of external happenings to be not
only occasioned by them, but to have its origin m them.
And it also seems to us that the unconscious can be under-
stood only from without and from the side of consciousness.
It is well known that Freud has attempted an explanation
from this side an undertaking which could only succeed
if the unconscious were actually something which came into
being with the existence and consciousness of the individual.
But the truth is that the unconscious is always there before-
hand as a potential system of psychic functioning handed
down by generations of man. Consciousness is a late-born
descendant of the unconscious psyche. It would certainly
show perversity if we tried to explain the lives of our
ancestors in terms of their late descendants ; and it is just
as wrong, in my opinion, to regard the unconscious as a


derivative of consciousness. We are nearer the truth if we
put it the other way round.

But this was the standpoint of past ages, which always
held the individual soul to be dependent upon a world-
system of the spirit. They could not fail to do so, because
they were aware of the untold treasure of experience lying
hidden beneath the threshold of the transient consciousness
of the individual These ages not only formed an hypothesis
about the world system of the spirit, but they assumed
without question that this system was a being with a will
and consciousness was even a person and they called this
being God, the quintessence of reality. He was for them the
most real of beings, the first cause, through whom alone the
soul could be understood. There is psychological justifica-
tion for this supposition, for it is only appropriate to call
divine an almost immortal being whose experience, compared
to that of man, is nearly eternal

In the foregomg I have shown where the problems he
for a psychology that does not explain everything upon
physical grounds, but appeals to a world of the spirit whose
active principle is neither matter and its qualities nor any
state of energy, but God. We might be tempted at this
juncture by modem philosophy to call energy or the dan
vital God, and thus to blend into one spirit and nature. As
long as this undertaking is restricted to the misty heights
of speculative philosophy, no great harm is done But if
we should operate with this idea in the lower realm of
practical psychology, where our way of explaining things
bears fruit in daily conduct, we should find ourselves involved
in the most hopeless difficulties We do not profess a
psychology shaped to the academic taste, or seek explanations
that have no bearing on life. What we want is a practical


psychology which yields approvable results one which helps
us to explain things in a way that is justified by the outcome
for the patient. In practical psycho therapy we strive to fit
people for life, and we are not free to set up theories which
do not concern our patients or which may even injure them.
Here we come to a question which is often attended by
mortal danger the question whether we base our explana-
tions upon matter or upon spirit. We must never forget
that everything spiritual is illusion from the naturalistic
standpoint, and that the spirit, to ensure its own existence,
must often deny and overcome an obtrusive, physical fact.
If I recognize only naturalistic values, and explain every-
thing in physical terms, I shall depreciate, hinder or even
destroy the spiritual development of my patients And if I
hold exclusively to a spiritual interpretation, then I shall
misunderstand and do violence to the natural man m his
right to existence as a physical being. More than a few
suicides in the course of psycho-therapeutic treatment are
to be laid at the door of such mistakes. Whether energy is
God, or God is energy, concerns me very little, for how, in
any case, can I know such things > But to give appropriate
psychological explanations this I must be able to do.

The modem psychologist occupies neither the one position
nor the other, but finds himself between the two, dangerously
committed to this as well as that a situation which
invitingly opens the way to a shallow opportunism. This
is undoubtedly the danger of the coinctdentta opposttorum
of intellectual liberation from the opposites. How should
anything but a formless and aimless uncertainty result from
giving equal value to contradictory postulates ? In contrast
to this, we can readily appreciate the advantage of an
explanatory principle that is unequivocal. It allows of a


standpoint which can serve as a point of reference. Un-
doubtedly we are confronted here with a very difficult
problem. We must be able to appeal to an explanatory
principle founded on reality, and yet it is no longer possible
for the modem psychologist to believe exclusively in the
physical aspect of reality when once he has given the spiritual
aspect its due Nor will he be able to put weight on the
latter alone, for he cannot ignore the relative validity of a
physical interpretation.

The following train of thought shows my way of attempting
the solution of this problem. The conflict of nature and mind
is itself a reflection of the paradox contained in the psychic
being of man. This reveals a material and a spiritual aspect
which appear a contradiction as long as we fail to under-
stand the nature of psychic life. Whenever, with our human
understanding, we must pronounce upon something that we
have not grasped or cannot grasp, then if we are honest
we must be willing to contradict ourselves, and we must
pull this something mto its antithetical parts in order to
deal with it at all. The conflict of the material and spiritual
aspects of hfe only shows that the psychic is in the last
resort an incomprehensible something. Without a doubt
psychic happenings constitute our only, immediate ex-
perience All that I experience is psychic. Even physical
pain is a psychic event that belongs to my experience My
sense-impressions for all that they force upon me a world
of impenetrable objects occupying space are psychic images,
and these alone are my immediate experience, for they alone
are the immediate objects of my consciousness. My own
psyche even transforms and falsifies reality, and it does this
to such a degree that I must resort to artificial means to
determine what things are like apart from myself. Then I


discover that a tone is a vibration of the air of such and such
a frequency, or that a colour is a wave-length of light of such
and such a length. We are in all truth so enclosed by psychic
images that we cannot penetrate to the essence of things
external to ourselves. All our knowledge is conditioned
by the psyche which, because it alone is immediate, is
superlatively real. Here there is a reality to which the
psychologist can appeal namely, psychic reality.

If we go more deeply into the meaning of this concept, it
seems to us that certain psychic contents or images are
derived from a material environment to which our bodies
also belong, while others, which are m no way less real,
seem to come from a mental source which appears to be very
different from the physical environment Whether I picture
to myself the car I wish to buy, or try to imagine the state
in which the soul of my dead father now is whether it is an
external fact or a thought that occupies me both happen-
ings are psychic reahty. The only difference is that one
psychic happening refers to the physical world, and the
other to the mental world. If I change my concept of
reality in such a way as to admit that all psychic happenings
are real and no other use of the concept is valid this puts
an end to the conflict of matter and mind as contradictory
explanatory principles. Each becomes a mere designation
for the particular source of the psychic contents that crowd
into my field of consciousness. If a fire bums me I do not
question the reality of the fire, whereas if I am beset by the
fear that a ghost will appear, I take refuge behind the
thought that it is only an illusion. But just as the fire is the
psychic image of a physical process whose nature is unknown
so my fear of the ghost is a psychic image from a mental
source ; it is just as real as the fire, for my fear is as real as


the pain caused by the fire As for the mental process that
finally underlies my fear of the ghost it is as unknown to
me as the ultimate nature of matter. And just as it never
occurs to me to account for the nature of fire except by the
concepts of chemistry and physics, so I would never think
of trying to explain my fear of ghosts except in terms of
mental processes.

The fact that all immediate experience is psychic and that
immediate reality can only be psychic, explains why it is
that primitive man puts the appearance of ghosts and the
effects of magic on a plane with physical events. He has not
yet tom his naive experiences mto their antithetical parts
In his world mind and matter still interpenetrate each other,
and his gods still wander through forest and field He is like
a child, only half-bom, still enclosed in a dream-state within
his own psyche and the world as it actually is, a world not
yet distorted by the difficulties m understanding that beset
a dawning intelligence When the primitive world dis-
integrated mto spirit and nature, the West rescued nature
for itself It was prone to a belief in nature, and
only became the more entangled m it with every painful
effort to make itself spiritual The East, on the contrary,
took mind for its own, and by explaining away matter els
mere illusion (may a), continued to dream in Asiatic filth and
misery But smce there is only one earth and one mankind.
East and West cannot rend humanity into two different
halves. Psychic reality exists in its original oneness, and
awaits mans advance to a level of consciousness where he
no longer believes in the one part and denies the other, but
recognizes both as constituent elements of one psyche.

We may well point to the idea of psychic reality as the
most important achievement of modem psychology, though


it is scarcely recognized as such. It seems to me only a
question of time for this idea to be generally accepted. It
must be accepted, for it alone enables us to do justice to
psychic manifestations in all their variety and uniqueness.
Without this idea it is unavoidable that we should explain
our psychic experiences m a way that does violence to a
good half of them, while with it we can give its due to that
side of psychic experience which expresses itself in super-
stition and mythology, religion and philosophy And this
aspect of psychic life is not to be undervalued. Truth that
appeals to the testimony of the senses may satisfy reason,
but it offers nothing that stirs our feelings and expresses
them by giving a meaning to human hfe. Yet it is most
often feeling that is decisive in matters of good and evil,
and if feeling does not come to the aid of reason, the latter
is usually powerless. Did reason and good intentions save
us from the World War, or have they ever saved us from
any other catastrophic nonsense ? Have any of the great
spiritual and social revolutions sprung from reasoning let
us say the transformation of the Graeco-Roman world into
the age of feudalism, or the explosive spread of Islamic
culture ?

As a physician I am of course not directly concerned with
these world-questions , my duties lie with people who are
ill. Medicine has until recently gone on the supposition
that illness should be treated and cured by itself , yet voices
are now heard which declare this view to be wrong, and
demand the treatment of the sick person, and not of the
illness. The same demand is forced upon us in the treatment
of psychic suffering. More and more we turn our attention
from the visible disease and direct it upon the man as a
whole. We have come to understand that psychic suffering


is not a definitely localized, sharply delimited phenomenon,
but rather the symptom of a wrong attitude assumed by the
total personality. We can therefore not hope for a thorough
cure to result from a treatment restricted to the trouble
itself, but only from a treatment of the personality as a

I am reminded of a case which is very instructive in this
connection. It concerns a highly intelligent young man who
had worked out a detailed analysis of his own neurosis after
a senous study of medical literature. He brought me his
findings in the form of a precise and well-written monograph
fit for publication, and asked me to read the manuscript and
to tell him why he was not cured He should have been
according to the verdict of science as he understood it
After reading his monograph I was forced to grant him
that, if it were only a question of insight into the causal
connections of a neurosis, he should in all truth be cured.
Smce he was not, I supposed this must be due to the fact
that his attitude to life was somehow fundamentally wrong
though I had to admit that his symptoms did not betray
it In reading his account of his life I had noticed that he
often spent his winters at St Moritz or Nice. I therefore
asked him who paid for these hohdays, and it thereupon
came out that a poor school-teacher who loved him had
cruelly deprived herself to mdulge the young man in these
visits to pleasure-resorts. His want of conscience was the
cause of his neurosis, and it is not hard to see why scientific
understanding failed to help him. His fundamental error
lay in his moral attitude. He found my way of looking at
the question shockingly unscientific, for morals have nothing
to do with science He supposed that, by invoking scientific
thought, he could spirit away the immorality which he


himself could not stomach He would not even admit that
a conflict existed, because his mistress gave him the money
of her free will.

We can take what scientific position we choose, there
remains the fact that the large majonty of civilized persons
simply cannot tolerate such behaviour The moral attitude
is a real factor in life with which the psychologist must
reckon if he is not to commit the gravest errors. The
psychologist must also remember that certain religious
convictions not founded on reason are a necessity of life
for many persons. It is again a matter of psychic realities
which can cause and cure diseases. How often have I heard
a patient exclaim If only I knew that my life had some
meaning and purpose, then there would be no silly story
about my nerves 1 Whether the person in question is
rich or poor, has family and social position or not, alters
nothing, for outer circumstances are far from giving his life
a meaning. It is much more a question of his unreasoned
need of what we call a spiritual life, and this he cannot obtain
from universities, libraries, or even churches He cannot
accept what these have to offer because it touches only
his head, and does not stir his heart. In such cases, the
physicians recognition of the spiritual factors in their true
light is vitally important, and the patients unconscious
helps him in his need by producing dreams whose contents
are undeniably religious. Not to recognize the spiritual
source of such contents means faulty treatment and failure.

General conceptions of a spiritual nature are indispensable
constituents of psychic life. We can point them out among
all peoples whose level of consciousness makes them in some
degree articulate. Their relative absence or their denial by
a civilized people is therefore to be regarded as a sign of


degeneration Whereas in its development up to the present
psychology has dealt chiefly with psychic processes in the
light of physical causation, the future task of psychology
will be the investigation of their spiritual determinants But
the natural history of the mind is no further advanced today
than was natural science m the thirteenth century. We
have only begun to take scientific note of our spiritual

If modem psychology can boast of having removed any
of the coverings which concealed the picture of the human
psyche, it is only that one which hid from the mvestigator
its biological aspect We may compare the present situation
with the state of medicine in the sixteenth century, when
people began to study anatomy but had not as yet even the
faintest idea of physiology The spiritual aspect of the
psyche is at present known to us only in a fragmentary way.
We have learned that there are spiritually conditioned
processes of transformation in the psyche which underlie,
for example, the well-known initiation rites of primitive
peoples and the states induced by the practice of Hmdu
yoga But we have not yet succeeded m determining their
particular uniformities or laws. We only know that a large
part of the neuroses arise from a disturbance in these pro-
cesses Psychological research has not as yet drawn aside
all the many veils from the picture of the human psyche ,
it remains as unapproachable and obscure as all the deep
secrets of hfe. We can speak only of what we have tried
to do, and what we hope to do m the future, in the way of
attempting a solution of the great riddle



The spiritual problem of modem man is one of those ques-
tions which belong so intimately to the present m which we
are living that we cannot judge of them fully. The modem
man is a newly formed human being , a modem problem is
a question which has just arisen and whose answer lies in
the future. In speaking, therefore, of the spiritual problem
of modem man we can at most state a question and we
should perhaps put this statement in different terms if we
had but the famtest inkling of the answer. The question,
moreover, seems rather vague ; but the truth is that it has
to do with something so universal that it exceeds the grasp
of any single human being. We have reason enough, there-
fore, to approach such a problem with true moderation and
with the greatest caution. I am deeply convinced of this,
and wish it stressed the more because it is just such problems
which tempt us to use high-sounding words and because
I shall myself be forced to say certain things which may
sound immoderate and incautious

To begin at once with an example of such apparent lack
of caution, I must say that the man we call modem, the man
who is aware of the immediate present, is by no means the
average man. He is rather the man who stands upon a

1 The author has made some changes in this essay since its publication
in German (Trans )



peak, or at the very edge of the world, the abyss of the future
before him, above him the heavens, and below him the
whole of mankind with a history that disappears in primeval
mists. The modem man or, let us say again, the man of
the immediate present is rarely met with. There are few
who hve up to the name, for they must be conscious to a
superlative degree Since to be wholly of the present means
to be fully conscious of ones existence as a man, it requires
the most mtensive and extensive consciousness, with a
minimum of unconsciousness. It must be clearly understood
that the mere fact of living in the present does not make a
man modem, for in that case everyone at present alive would
be so. He alone is modem who is fully conscious of the

The man whom we can with justice call modem is
solitary. He is so of necessity and at all times, for every
step towards a fuller consciousness of the present removes
him further from his original participation mystique
with the mass of men from submersion m a common
unconsciousness Every step forward means an act of
tearing himself loose from that all-embracing, pristine
unconsciousness which claims the bulk of mankind almost
entirely. Even in our civilizations the people who form,
psychologically speaking, the lowest stratum, live almost as
unconsciously as primitive races Those of the succeeding
stratum manifest a level of consciousness which corresponds
to the beginnings of human culture, while those of the
highest stratum have a consciousness capable of keeping step
with the life of the last few centuries. Only the man who is
modem in our meaning of the term really lives in the present ;
he alone has a present-day consciousness, and he alone finds
that the ways of life which correspond to earlier levels pall


upon him The values and strivings of those past worlds
no longer interest him save from the historical standpoint.
Thus he has become unhistorical in the deepest sense and
has estranged himself from the mass of men who live entirely
within the bounds of tradition. Indeed, he is completely
modem only when he has come to the very edge of the world,
leaving behind him all that has been discarded and outgrown,
and acknowledging that he stands before a void out of which
all things may grow.

These words may be thought to be but empty sound, and
their meaning reduced to mere banality Nothing is easier
than to affect a consciousness of the present. As a matter
of fact, a great horde of worthless people give themselves
the air of being modem by overleaping the various stages
of development and the tasks of hfe they represent. They
appear suddenly by the side of the truly modem man
as uprooted human beings, bloodsucking ghosts, whose
emptiness is taken for the unenviable loneliness of the
modem man and casts discredit upon him He and his
kind, few m number as they are, are hidden from the un-
disceming eyes of mass-men by those clouds of ghosts, the
pseudo-modems. It cannot be helped ; the modem
man is questionable and suspect, and has always been so,
even in the past.

An honest profession of modernity means voluntarily
declaring bankruptcy, taking the vows of poverty and
chastity in a new sense, and what is still more painful
renouncing the halo which history bestows as a mark of its
sanction. To be " unhistorical is the Promethean sm,
and in this sense modem man lives in sin. A higher level
of consciousness is like a burden of guilt. But, as I have said,
only the man who has outgrown the stages of consciousness


belonging to the past and has amply fulfilled the duties
appointed for him by his world, can achieve a full conscious-
ness of the present. To do this he must be sound and pro-
ficient in the best sense a man who has achieved as
much as other people, and even a little more It is these
qualities which enable him to gain the next highest level
of consciousness.

I know that the idea of proficiency is especially repugnant
to the pseudo-modems, for it reminds them unpleasantly
of their deceits. This, however, cannot prevent us from
taking it as our criterion of the modem man. We are even
forced to do so, for unless he is proficient, the man who claims
to be modem is nothing but an unscrupulous gambler. He
must be proficient in the highest degree, for unless he can
atone by creative ability for his break with tradition, he is
merely disloyal to the past It is sheer juggling to look
upon a denial of the past as the same thing as consciousness
of the present. Today stands between yesterday
and tomorrow , and forms a link between past and
future ; it has no other meaning. The present represents
a process of transition, and that man may account himself
modem who is conscious of it m this sense.

Many people call themselves modem especially the
pseudo-modems. Therefore the really modem man is often
to be found among those who call themselves old-fashioned
He takes this stand for sufficient reasons. On the one hand
he emphasizes the past in order to hold the scales against
his break with tradition and that effect of guilt of which I
have spoken. On the other hand he wishes to avoid being
taken for a pseudo-modem.

Every good quality has its bad side, and nothing that is
good can come into the world without directly producing


a corresponding evil. This is a painful fact. Now there is
the danger that consciousness of the present may lead to an
elation based upon illusion : the illusion, namely, that we
are the culmination of the history of mankind, the fulfilment
and the end-product of countless centuries. If we grant
this, we should understand that it is no more than the proud
acknowledgement of our destitution we are also the dis-
appointment of the hopes and expectations of the ages.
Think of nearly two thousand years of Christian ideals
followed, instead of by the return of the Messiah and the
heavenly millennium, by the World War among Christian
nations and its barbed-wire and poison-gas What a
catastrophe in heaven and on earth !

In the face of such a picture we may well grow humble
again. It is true that modem man is a culmination, but
tomorrow he will be surpassed , he is indeed the end-
product of an age-old development, but he is at the same
time the worst conceivable disappointment of the hopes of
humankind. The modem man is aware of this. He has
seen how beneficent are science, technology and organization,
but also how catastrophic they can be He has likewise seen
that well-meaning governments have so thoroughly paved
the way for peace on the principle in time of peace prepare
for war , that Europe has nearly gone to rack and ruin.
And as for ideals, the Christian church, the brotherhood of
man, international social democracy and the "solidarity
of economic interests have all failed to stand the bap-
tism of fire the test of reality. Today, fifteen years
after the war, we observe once more the same optimism,
the same organization, the same political aspirations, the
same phrases and catch-words at work. How can we but
fear that they will inevitably lead to further catastrophes ?


Agreements to outlaw war leave us sceptical, even while we
wish them all possible success. At bottom, behind every
such palliative measure, there is a gnawing doubt. On the
whole, I believe I am not exaggerating when I say that
modem man has suffered an almost fatal shock, psycho-
logically speaking, and as a result has fallen into profound

These statements, I believe, make it clear enough that my
being a physician has coloured my views. A doctor always
spies out diseases, and I cannot cease to be a doctor But
it is essential to the physicians art that he should not dis-
cover diseases where none exists I will therefore not make
the assertion that the white races in general, and occidental
nations in particular, are diseased, or that the Western
world is on the verge of collapse. I am in no way competent
to pass such a judgement.

It is of course only from my own experience with other
persons and with myself that I draw my knowledge of the
spiritual problem of modem man I know something of the
intimate psychic hfe of many hundreds of educated persons,
both sick and healthy, coming from every quarter of the
civilized, white world , and upon this experience I base my
statements No doubt I can draw only a one-sided picture,
for the things I have observed are events of psychic life ,
they he within us on the inner side, if I may use the
expression. I must point out that this is not always true of
psychic life , the psyche is not always and everywhere to
be found on the inner side. It is to be found on the outside
in whole races or periods of history which take no account
of psychic life as such As examples we may choose any of
the ancient cultures, but especially that of Egypt with its
imposing objectivity and its naive confession of sins that


have not been committed 1 We can no more feel the
Pyramids and the Apis tombs of Sakkara to be expressions
of personal problems or personal emotions, than we can feel
this of the music of Bach

Whenever there is established an external form, be it
ritual or spiritual, by which all the yearnings and hopes of
the soul are adequately expressed as for instance in some
living religion then we may say that the psyche is outside,
and no spiritual problem, stnctly speaking, exists In
consonance with this truth, the development of psychology
falls entirely within the last decades, although long before
that man was introspective and intelligent enough to
recognize the facts that are the subject-matter of psychology.
The same was the case with technical knowledge The
Romans were familiar with all the mechanical principles and
physical facts on the basis of which they could have con-
structed the steam-engine, but all that came of it was the
toy made by Hero of Alexandria There was no urgent
necessity to go further. It was the division of labour and
specialization in the nineteenth century which gave rise to
the need to apply all available knowledge So also a
spiritual need has produced in our time our "discovery of
psychology There has never, of course, been a time when
the psyche did not manifest itself, but formerly it attracted
no attention no one noticed it People got along without
heeding it But today we can no longer get along unless
we give our best attention to the ways of the psyche.

It was men of the medical profession who were the first
to notice this ; for the pnest is concerned only to establish

1 According to Egyptian tradition, when the dead man meets his judges
m the underworld, he makes a detailed confession of the crimes he has not
committed, but leaves unmentioned his actual sins {Trans )


an undisturbed functioning of the psyche within a recognized
system of behef As long as this system gives true expression
to life, psychology can be nothing but a technical adjuvant
to healthy living, and the psyche cannot be regarded as a
problem in itself While man still lives as a herd-being he
has no things of the spirit of his own , nor does he need
any, save the usual belief in the immortality of the soul.
But as soon as he has outgrown whatever local form of
religion he was bom to as soon as this religion can no
longer embrace his life m all its fulness then the psyche
becomes something in its own right which cannot be dealt
with by the measures of the Church alone It is for this
reason that we of today have a psychology founded on
experience, and not upon articles of faith or the postulates
of any philosophical system. The very fact that we have
such a psychology is to me symptomatic of a profound
convulsion of spiritual hfe Disruption in the spiritual life
of an age shows the same pattern as radical change m an
individual. As long as all goes well and psychic energy finds
its application in adequate and well-regulated ways, we are
disturbed by nothing from within No uncertainty or doubt
besets us, and we cannot be divided against ourselves But
no sooner are one or two of the channels of psychic activity
blocked, than we are reminded of a stream that is dammed
up. The current flows backward to its source , the inner
man wants something which the visible man does not want,
and we are at war with ourselves Only then, in this distress,
do we discover the psyche , or, more precisely, we come upon
something which thwarts our will, which is strange and even
hostile to us, or which is incompatible with our conscious
standpoint. Freuds psychoanalytic labours show this
process m the clearest way. The very first thing he discovered


was the existence of sexually perverse and criminal fantasies
which at their face value are wholly incompatible with the
conscious outlook of a civilized man. A person who was
activated by them would be nothing less than a mutineer,
a criminal or a madman

We cannot suppose that this aspect of the unconscious or
of the hinterl and of mans mind is something totally new
Probably it has always been there, in every culture Each
culture gave birth to its destructive opposite, but no culture
or civilization before our own was ever forced to take these
psychic undercurrents in deadly earnest. Psychic hfe always
found expression in a metaphysical system of some sort
But the conscious, modem man, despite his strenuous and
dogged efforts to do so, can no longer refrain from acknow-
ledging the might of psychic forces. This distinguishes our
time from all others We can no longer deny that the dark
stirrings of the unconscious are effective powers that
psychic forces exist which cannot, for the present at least,
be fitted in with our rational world-order We have even
enlarged our study of these forces to a science one more
proof of the earnest attention we bring to them Previous
centuries could throw them aside unnoticed , for us they
are a shirt of Nessus which we cannot strip off.

The revolution in our conscious outlook, brought about
by the catastrophic results of the World War, shows itself
in our inner hfe by the shattering of our faith in ourselves
and our own worth. We used to regard foreigners the
other side as political and moral reprobates ; but the
modem man is forced to recognize that he is politically and
morally just like anyone else. Whereas I formerly believed
it to be my bounden duty to call other persons to order, I
now admit that I need calling to order myself. I admit this


the more readily because I realize only too well that I am
losing my faith m the possibility of a rational organization
of the world, that old dream of the mille nnium , in which
peace and harmony should rule, has grown pale. The modem
mans scepticism regarding all such matters has chilled his
enthusiasm for politics and world-reform , more than that,
it does not favour any smooth application of psychic energies
to the outer world Through his scepticism the modem man
is thrown back upon himself, his energies flow towards
their source and wash to the surface those psychic contents
which are at all times there, but he hidden in the silt as long
as the stream flows smoothly in its course. How totally
different did the world appear to mediaeval man ! For him
the earth was eternally fixed and at rest m the centre of the
universe, encircled by the course of a sun that solicitously
bestowed its warmth. Men were all children of God under
the loving care of the Most High, who prepared them for
eternal blessedness , and all knew exactly what they should
do and how they should conduct themselves in order to rise
from a corruptible world to an incorruptible and joyous
existence. Such a life no longer seems real to us, even in
our dreams. Natural science has long ago tom this lovely
veil to shreds. That age lies as far behind as childhood,
when ones own father was unquestionably the handsomest
and strongest man on earth

The modem man has lost all the metaphysical certainties
of his mediaeval brother, and set up in their place the ideals
of material security, general welfare and humaneness But
it takes more than an ordinary dose of optimism to make it
appear that these ideals are still unshaken Material security,
even, has gone by the board, for the modem man begins
to see that every step in material progress adds just so


much force to the threat of a more stupendous catastrophe.
The very picture terrorizes the imagination. What are we
to imagine when cities today perfect measures of defence
against poison-gas attacks and practise them m dress
rehearsals ? We cannot but suppose that such attacks
have been planned and provided for again on the principle
" in time of peace prepare for war , Let man but accumu-
late his materials of destruction and the devil within him
will soon be unable to resist putting them to then: fated use.
It is well known that fire-arms go off of themselves if only
enough of them are together.

An intimation of the law that governs blind contingency,
which Heraclitus called the rule of enantiodromia (conversion
into the opposite), now steals upon the modem man through
the by-ways of his mind, chilling him with fear and paralysing
his faith m the lasting effectiveness of social and political
measures in the face of these monstrous forces. If he turns
away from the terrifying prospect of a blind world in which
building and destroying successively tip the scale, and if he
then turns his gaze inward upon the recesses of his own mind,
he will discover a chaos and a darkness there which he would
gladly ignore. Science has destroyed even the refuge of the
inner life. What was once a sheltering haven has become a
place of terror.

And yet it is almost a relief for us to come upon so much
evil in the depths of our own minds We are able to believe,
at least, that we have discovered the root of the evil in
mankind Even though we are shocked and disillusioned at
first, we yet feel, because these things are manifestations of
our own minds, that we hold them more or less in our own
hands and can therefore correct or at least effectively suppress
them We like to assume that, if we succeeded in this, we


should have rooted out some fraction of the evil in the world.
We like to think that, on the basis of a widespread knowledge
of the unconscious and its ways, no one could be deceived
by a statesman who was unaware of his own bad motives ;
the very newspapers would pull him up Please have
yourself analysed , you are suffering from a repressed

I have purposely chosen this grotesque example to show
to what absurdities we are led by the illusion that because
something is psychic it is under our control It is, however,
true that much of the evil in the world is due to the fact
that man in general is hopelessly unconscious, as it is also
true that with increasing insight we can combat this evil at
its source in ourselves As science enables us to deal with
injuries inflicted from without, so it helps us to treat those
arising from within.

The rapid and world-wide growth of a psychological
interest over the last two decades shows unmistakably that
modem man has to some extent turned his attention from
material things to his own subjective processes. Should we
call this mere curiosity ? At any rate, art has a way of
anticipating future changes m mans fundamental outlook,
and expressionist art has taken this subjective turn well in
advance of the more general change

This " psychological interest of the present time shows
that man expects something from psychic hfe which he has
not received from the outer world something which our
religions, doubtless, ought to contain, but no longer do
contain at least for the modem man The various forms of
religion no longer appear to the modem man to come from
within to be expressions of his own psychic hfe ; for him
they are to be classed with the things of the outer world.


He is vouchsafed no revelation of a spirit that is not of this
world ; but he tries on a number of religions and convictions
as if they were Sunday attire, only to lay them aside again
like worn-out clothes.

Yet he is somehow fascinated by the almost pathological
manifestations of the unconscious mind. We must admit
the fact, however difficult it is for us to understand that
something which previous ages have discarded should
suddenly comm and our attention. That there is a general
interest in these matters is a truth which cannot be denied,
their offence to good taste notwithstanding. I am not
thinking merely of the interest taken in psychology as a
science, or of the still narrower mterest in the psychoanalysis
of Freud, but of the widespread interest m all sorts of psychic
phenomena as manifested m the growth of spiritualism,
astrology, theosophy, and so forth. The world has seen
nothing like it since the end of the seventeenth century.
We can compare it only to the flowering of Gnostic thought
in the first and second centuries after Christ. The spiritual
currents of the present have, in fact, a deep affinity with
Gnosticism. There is even a Gnostic church in France
today, and I know of two schools in Germany which openly
declare themselves Gnostic. The modem movement which
is numerically most impressive is undoubtedly Theosophy,
together with its continental sister, Anthroposophy ; these
are pure Gnosticism in a Hindu dress. Compared with these
movements the interest in scientific psychology is negligible.
What is striking about Gnostic systems is that they are
based exclusively upon the manifestations of the unconscious,
and that their moral teachings do not baulk at the shadow-
side of life. Even in the form of its European revival, the
Hindu Kundaltni-Yoga shows this clearly. And as every


person informed on the subject of occultism will testify, the
statement holds true in this field as well.

The passionate interest in these movements arises un-
doubtedly from psychic energy which can no longer be
invested in obsolete forms of religion. For this reason such
movements have a truly religious character, even when they
pretend to be scientific It changes nothing when Rudolf
Steiner calls his Anthroposophy " spiritual science , or
Mrs. Eddy discovers a Christian Science These attempts
at concealment merely show that religion has grown suspect
almost as suspect as politics and world-reform.

I do not believe that I am going too far when I say that
modem man, in contrast to his nineteenth-century brother,
turns his attention to the psyche with very great expecta-
tions ; and that he does so without reference to any tradi-
tional creed, but rather in the Gnostic sense of religious
experience We should be wrong m seeing mere caricature
or masquerade when the movements already mentioned try
to give themselves scientific airs , their domg so is rather an
indication that they are actually pursuing science or
knowledge instead of the faith which is the essence of Western
religions. The modem man abhors dogmatic postulates
taken on faith and the religions based upon them He holds
them valid only in so far as their knowledge-content seems
to accord with his own experience of the deeps of psychic
life He wants to know to expenence for himself Dean
Inge of St. Pauls has called attention to a movement in the
Anglican Church with similar objectives.

The age of discovery has only just come to a close in our
day when no part of the earth remains unexplored , it
began when men would no longer believe that the Hyper-
boreans inhabited the land of eternal sunshine, but wanted


to find out and to see with their own eyes what existed
beyond the boundaries of the known world. Our age is
apparently bent on discovering what exists in the psyche
outside of consciousness. The question asked in every
spiritualistic circle is : What happens when the medium
has lost consciousness ? Every Theosophist asks : What
shall I experience at higher levels of consciousness ? The
question which every astrologer puts is this : What are the
effective forces and determinants of my fate beyond the
reach of my conscious intention ? And every psychoanalyst
wants to know : What are the unconscious drives behind
the neurosis ?

Our age wishes to have actual experiences in psychic life.
It wants to experience for itself, and not to make assumptions
based on the experience of other ages. Yet this does not
preclude its trying anything m a hypothetical way for
instance, the recognized religions and the genuine sciences.
The European of yesterday will feel a slight shudder run down
his spme when he gazes at all deeply mto these delvmgs
Not only does he consider the subject of this research all too
obscure and uncanny, but even the methods employed seem
to him a shocking misuse of mans finest intellectual attain-
ments. What can we expect an astronomer to say when he
is told that at least a thousand horoscopes are drawn today
to one three hundred years ago ? What will the educator
and the advocate of phdosophical enlightenment say to the
fact that the world has not been freed of one single super-
stition since Greek antiquity ? Freud himself, the founder
of psychoanalysis, has thrown a glaring light upon the dirt,
darkness and evil of the psychic hinterland, and has presented
these things as so much refuse and slag , he has thus taken
the utmost pains to discourage people from seeking anything


behind them. He did not succeed, and his warning has even
brought about the very thing he wished to prevent it has
awakened in many people an admiration for all this filth.
We are tempted to call this sheer perversity , and we could
hardly explain it save on the ground that it is not a love of
dirt, but the fascination of the psyche, which draws these

There can be no doubt that from the beginning of the
nineteenth century from the memorable years of the French
Revolution onwards man has given a more and more
prominent place to the psyche, his increasing attentiveness
to it being the measure of its growing attraction for him.
The enthronement of the Goddess of Reason in Notre Dame
seems to have been a symbolic gesture of great significance
to the Western world rather like the hewmg down of
Wotans oak by the Christian missionaries For then, as at
the Revolution, no avenging bolt from heaven struck the
blasphemer down.

It is certainly more than an amusing coincidence that just
at that time a Frenchman, Anquetil du Perron, was living
m India, and, in the early eighteen-hundreds, brought back
with him a translation of the Oupnekhat a collection of
fifty Upamshads which gave the Western world its first
deep insight into the baffling mind of the East To the
historian this is mere chance without any factors of cause
and effect But in view of my medical experience I cannot
take it as accident. It seems to me rather to satisfy a
psychological law whose validity m personal life, at least, is
complete. For every piece of conscious life that loses its
importance and value so runs the law there arises a
compensation in the unconscious. We may see in this an
analogy to the conservation of energy in the physical world.


for our psychic processes have a quantitative aspect also.
No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by
another of equivalent intensity. This is a rule which finds
its pragmatic sanction in the daily practice of the psycho-
therapist ; it is repeatedly verified and never fails. Now the
doctor in me refuses point blank to consider the life of a
people as something that does not conform to psychological
law. A people, in the doctors eyes, presents only a some-
what more complex picture of psychic life than the individual
Moreover, taking it the other way round, has not a poet
spoken of the nations of his soul ? And quite correctly,
as it seems to me, for in one of its aspects the psyche is not
individual, but is derived from the nation, from collectivity,
or from humanity even. In some way or other we are part
of an all-embracing psychic life, of a single " greatest man,
to quote Swedenborg.

And so we can draw a parallel just as m me, a single
human being, the darkness calls forth the helpful light, so
does it also in the psychic life of a people In the crowds
that poured into Notre Dame, bent on destruction, dark and
nameless forces were at work that swept the individual off
his feet ; these forces worked also upon Anquetil du Perron,
and provoked an answer which has come down in history.
For he brought the Eastern mind to the West, and its
influence upon us we cannot as yet measure. Let us beware
of underestimating it 1 So far, indeed, there is httle of it
to be seen in Europe on the intellectual surface some
orientalists, one or two Buddhist enthusiasts, and a few
sombre celebrities hke Madame Blavatsky and Annie Besant
These manifestations make us think of tiny, scattered
islands in the ocean of mankind ; in reality they are like
the peaks of submarine mountain-ranges of considerable


size The Philistine believed until recently that astrology
had been disposed of long since, and was something that
could be safely laughed at. But today, rising out of the
social deeps, it knocks at the doors of the universities from
which it was banished some three hundred years ago. The
same is true of the thought of the East ; it takes root in the
lower social levels and slowly grows to the surface Where
did the five or six million Swiss francs for the Anthroposophist
temple at Domach come from? Certainly not from one
individual. Unfortunately there are no statistics to tell us
the exact number of avowed Theosophists today, not to
mention the unavowed But we can be sure that there are
several millions of them To this number we must add a
few million Spiritualists of Christian or Theosophic leanings
Great innovations never come from above ; they come
invariably from below , just as trees never grow from the
sky downward, but upward from the earth, however true
it is that their seeds have fallen from above The upheaval
of our world and the upheaval m consciousness is one and
the same. Everything becomes relative and therefore
doubtful. And while man, hesitant and questioning, con-
templates a world that is distracted with treaties of peace
and pacts of friendship, democracy and dictatorship,
capitalism and Bolshevism, his spirit yearns for an answer
that will allay the turmoil of doubt and uncertainty. And
it is just people of the lower social levels who follow the
unconscious forces of the psyche ; it is the much-derided,
silent folk of the land those who are less infected with
academic prejudices than great celebrities are wont to be.
All these people, looked at from above, present mostly a
dreary or laughable comedy ; and yet they are as im-
pressively simple as those Galileans who were once called


blessed. Is it not touching to see the refuse of mans psyche
gathered together m compendia a foot thick ? We find
recorded in Anthropophyteia with scrupulous care the
merest babblings, the most absurd actions and the wildest
fantasies, while men like Havelock Ellis and Freud have
dealt with the like matters m serious treatises which have
been accorded all scientific honours Their reading public
is scattered over the breadth of the civilized, white world.
How are we to explain this zeal, this almost fanatical worship
of repellent things ? In this way the repellent things
belong to the psyche, they are of the substance of the psyche
and therefore as precious as fragments of manuscript salvaged
from ancient ruins Even the secret and noisome things of
the inner life are valuable to modem man because they
serve his purpose. But what purpose ?

Freud has prefixed to his Interpretation of Dreams the
citation : Flectere si nequeo super os Acheronta movebo If I
cannot bend the gods on high, I will at least set Acheron in
uproar . But to what purpose ?

The gods whom we are called to dethrone are the idolized
values of our conscious world It is well known that it was
the love-scandals of the ancient deities which contri buted
most to their discredit ; and now history is repeating itself
People are laying bare the dubious foundations of our
belauded virtues and incomparable ideals, and are calling
out to us in triumph : There are your man-made gods,
mere snares and delusions tainted with human baseness
whited sepulchres full of dead mens bones and of all un-
cleanness . We recognize a familiar strain, and the Gospel
words, which we never could make our own, now come to
life again.

I am deeply convinced that these are not vague analogies.


There are too many persons to whom Freudian psychology
is dearer than the Gospels, and to whom the Russian Terror
means more than civic virtue. And yet all these people are
our brothers, and in each of us there is at least one voice
which seconds them for in the end there is a psychic hfe
which embraces us all

The unexpected result of this spiritual change is that an
uglier face is put upon the world It becomes so ugly that
no one can love it any longer we cannot even love ourselves
and m the end there is nothing in the outer world to draw
us away from the reality of the hfe within. Here, no doubt,
we have the true significance of this spiritual change. After
all, what does Theosophy, with its doctrines of karma and
reincarnation, seek to teach except that this world of
appearance is but a temporary health-resort for the morally
unperfected 7 It depreciates the present-day world no less
radically than does the modem outlook, but with the help
of a different technique ; it does not vilify our world, but
grants it only a relative meaning in that it promises other
and higher worlds The result is in either case the

I grant that all these ideas are extremely unacademic ,
the truth being that they touch modem man on the side
where he is least conscious. Is it again a mere coincidence
that modem thought has had to come to terms with Einsteins
relativity theory and with ideas about the structure of the
atom which lead us away from determinism and visual
representation ? Even physics volatilizes our material
world. It is no wonder, then, in my opinion, if the modem
man falls back upon the reality of psychic life and expects
from it that certainty which the world demes him

But spiritually the Western world is in a precarious


situation and the danger is greater the more we blind
ourselves to the merciless truth with illusions about our
beauty of soul. The Occidental bums incense to himself,
and his own countenance is veiled from him in the smoke.
But how do we strike men of another colour ? What do
China and India think of us ? What feelings do we arouse
in the black man ? And what is the opimon of all those
whom we deprive of their lands and exterminate with rum
and venereal disease ?

I have a Red Indian fnend who is the governor of a pueblo.
When we were once speaking confidentially about the white
man, he said to me : " We dont understand the whites ,

they are always wanting something always restless
always looking for something. What is it ? We dont
know. We cant understand them. They have such sharp
noses, such thin, cruel lips, such lrnes in their faces. We
think they are all crazy.

My friend had recognized, without being able to name it,
the Aryan bird of prey with his msatiable lust to lord it in
every land even those that concern him not at all. And
he had also noted that megalomania of ours which leads us
to suppose, among other things, that Christianity is the only
truth, and the white Christ the only Redeemer. After
setting the whole East in turmoil with our science and
technology, and exacting tri bute from it, we send our
missionaries even to China. The stamping out of polygamy
by the African missions has given rise to prostitution on
such a scale that in Uganda alone twenty thousand pounds
sterling is spent yearly on preventatives of venereal infection,
not to speak of the moral consequences, which have been of
the worst. And the good European pays his missionaries
for these edifying achievements ! No need to mention also


the story of suffering in Polynesia and the blessings of the
opium trade.

That is how the European looks when he is extricated
from the cloud of his own moral incense No wonder that
to unearth buried fragments of psychic life we have first to
dram a miasmal swamp. Only a great idealist like Freud
could devote a lifetime to the unclean work This is the
beginning of our psychology. For us acquaintance with the
realities of psychic life could start only at this end, with all
that repels us and that we do not wish to see.

But if the psyche consisted for us only of evil and worthless
things, no power m the world could induce a normal man to
pretend to find it attractive. This is why people who see in
Theosophy nothing but regrettable intellectual superficiality,
and in Freudian psychology nothing but sensationalism,
prophesy an early and inglorious end for these movements.
They overlook the fact that they derive their force from the
fascination of psychic life No doubt the passionate mterest
that is aroused by them may find other expressions ; but it
will certainly show itself m these forms until they are replaced
by something better. Superstition and perversity are after
all one and the same. They are transitional or embryonic
stages from which new and nper forms will emerge.

Whether from the intellectual, the moral or the aesthetic
viewpoint, the undercurrents of the psychic life of the West
present an uninviting picture We have built a monumental
world round about us, and have slaved for it with unequalled
energy. But it is so imposing only because we have spent
upon the outside all that is imposing in our natures and
what we find when we look within must necessarily be as
it is, shabby and insufficient.

I am aware that in saying this I somewhat anticipate the


actual growth of consciousness. There is as yet no general
insight into these facts of psychic life. Westerners are only
on the way to a recognition of these facts, and for quite
understandable reasons they struggle violently against it.
Of course Spenglers pessimism has exerted some influence,
but this has been safely confined to academic circles. As
for psychological insight, it always trespasses upon personal
hfe, and therefore meets with personal resistances and
denials I am far from considering these resistances meaning-
less ; on the contrary I see in them a healthy reaction to
something which threatens destruction Whenever relativism
is taken as a fundamental and final principle it has a
destructive effect When, therefore, I call attention to the
dismal undercurrents of the psyche, it is not in order to sound
a pessimistic note ; I wish rather to emphasize the fact that
the unconscious has a strong attraction not only for the sick,
but for healthy, constructive minds as well and this in
spite of its alarming aspect. The psychic depths are nature,
and nature is creative hfe. It is true that nature tears down
what she has herself built up yet she builds it once again.
Whatever values m the visible world are destroyed by
modem relativism, the psyche will produce their equivalents.
At first we cannot see beyond the path that leads downward
to dark and hateful things but no hght or beauty will
ever come from the man who cannot bear this sight. Light
is always bom of darkness, and the sun never yet stood still
in heaven to satisfy mans longing or to still his fears. Does
not the example of Anquetil du Perron show us how psychic
life survives its own eclipse ? China hardly believes that
European science and technology are preparing her ruin.
Why should we believe that we must be destroyed by the
secret, spiritual influence of the East ?


But I forget that we do not yet realize that while we are
turning upside down the material world of the East with our
technical proficiency, the East with its psychic proficiency
is throwing our spiritual world into confusion We have
never yet hit upon the thought that while we are overpower-
ing the Orient from without, it may be fastemng its hold
upon us from within Such an idea strikes us as almost
insane, because we have eyes only for gross material connec-
tions, and fail to see that we must lay the blame for the
intellectual confusion of our middle class at the doors of
Max Muller, Oldenberg, Neumann, Deussen, Wilhelm and
others like them What does the example of the Roman
Empire teach us ? After the conquest of Asia Minor, Rome
became Asiatic , even Europe was infected by Asia, and
remains so today Out of Cilicia came the Mithraic cult
the religion of the Roman army and it spread from Egypt
to fog-bound Britain Need I point to the Asiatic origin of
Christianity ?

We have not yet clearly grasped the fact that Western
Theosophy is an amateurish imitation of the East We are
just taking up astrology again, and that to the Oriental is
his daily bread. Our studies of sexual hfe, originating in
Vienna and in England, are matched or surpassed by Hindu
teachings on this subject. Oriental texts ten centuries old
introduce us to philosophical relativism, while the idea of
indetermination, newly broached in the West, furnishes the
very basis of Chmese science. Richard Wilhelm has even
shown me that certain comphcated processes discovered by
analytical psychology are recognizably described in ancient
Chinese texts. Psychoanalysis itself and the lines of
thought to which it gives rise surely a distinctly Western
development are only a beginner's attempt compared to


what is an immemorial art in the East. It should be
mentioned that the parallels between psychoanalysis and
yoga have already been traced by Oskar A. H. Schmitz.

The Theosophists have an amusing idea that certain
Mahatmas, seated somewhere in the Himalayas or Tibet,
inspire or direct every mind in the world. So strong, m fact,
can be the influence of the Eastern belief in magic upon
Europeans of a sound mind, that some of them have assured
me that I am unwittingly inspired by the Mahatmas with
every good thing I say, my own inspirations being of no
account whatever This myth of the Mahatmas, widely
circulated and firmly believed in the West, far from being
nonsense, is hke every myth an important psychological
truth. It seems to be quite true that the East is at the bottom
of the spiritual change we are passing through today. Only
this East is not a Tibetan monastery full of Mahatmas, but
in a sense lies within us. It is from the depths of our own
psychic life that new spiritual forms will arise , they will
be expressions of psychic forces which may help to subdue
the boundless lust for prey of Aryan man. We shall perhaps
come to know something of that circumscription of life which
has grown in the East into a dubious quietism ; also some-
thing of that stability which human existence acquires when
the claims of the spirit become as imperative as the necessities
of social life. Yet in this age of Americanization we are
still far from anything of the sort, and it seems to me that
we are only at the threshold of a new spiritual epoch. I
do not wish to pass myself off as a prophet, but I cannot
outline the spiritual problem of modem man without giving
emphasis to the yearning for rest that arises in a period of
unrest, or to the longing for security that is bred of in-
security. It is from need and distress that new forms of


life take their rise, and not from mere wishes or from the
requirements of our ideals.

To me, the crux of the spiritual problem of today is to be
found in the fascination which psychic hfe exerts upon
modem man. If we are pessimists, we shall call it a sign of
decadence ; if we are optimistically inclined, we shall see
in it the promise of a far-reaching spiritual change in the
Western world. At all events, it is a significant manifesta-
tion. It is the more noteworthy because it shows itself in
broad sections of every people ; and it is the more important
because it is a matter of those imponderable psychic forces
which transform human hfe m ways that are unforeseen and
as history shows unforeseeable These are the forces,
still invisible to many persons today, which are at the bottom
of the present psychological interest. When the attrac-
tive power of psychic hfe is so strong that man is neither
repelled nor dismayed by what he is sure to find, then it has
nothing of sickliness or perversion about it.

Along the great highroads of the world everything seems
desolate and outworn Instinctively the modem man leaves
the trodden ways to explore the by-paths and lanes, just as
the man of the Graeco-Roman world cast off his defunct
Olympian gods and turned to the mystery-cults of Asia.
The force within us that impels us to the search, turning
outward, annexes Eastern Theosophy and magic ; but it
also turns inward and leads us to give our thoughtful atten-
tion to the unconscious psyche. It inspires in us the self-
same scepticism and relentlessness with which a Buddha
swept aside his two million gods that he might come to the
pristine experience which alone is convincing.

And now we must ask a final question. Is what I have said
of the modem man really true, or is it perhaps the result of


an optical illusion ? There can be no doubt whatever that
the facts I have cited are wholly irrelevant contingencies in
the eyes of many millions of Westerners, and seem only
regrettable errors to a large number of educated persons.
But I may ask . What did a cultivated Roman think of
Christianity when he saw it spreading among the people of
the lowest classes ? The biblical God is still a living person
in the Western world as living as Allah beyond the
Mediterranean. One kind of believer holds the other an
ignoble heretic, to be pitied and tolerated if he cannot be
changed What is more, a clever European is convinced
that religion and such things are good enough for the masses
and for women, but are of little weight compared to
economic and political affairs

So I am refuted all along the hne, like a man who predicts
a thunderstorm when there is not a cloud in the sky Perhaps
it is a storm beneath the horizon that he senses and it may
never reach us But what is significant in psychic life is
always below the horizon of consciousness, and when we
speak of the spiritual problem of modem man we are dealing
with things that are barely visible with the most intimate
and fragile things with flowers that open only in the night
In daylight everything is clear and tangible ; but the night
lasts as long as the day, and we live m the night-time also.
There are persons who have bad dreams which even spoil
their days for them. And the days life is for many people
such a bad dream that they long for the night when the
spirit awakes. I even believe that there are nowadays a
great many such people, and this is why I maintain that the
spiritual problem of modem man is much as I have presented
it. I must plead guilty, indeed, to the charge of one-sided-
ness, for I have not mentioned the modem spirit of commit-


ment to a practical world about which everyone has much to
say because it lies in such full view We find it in the ideal
of internationalism or supemationalism which is embodied
m the League of Nations and the hke , and we find it also
in sport and, very expressively, in the cinema and in jazz

These are certainly characteristic symptoms of our time ,
they show unmistakably how the ideal of humanism is made
to embrace the body also Sport represents an exceptional
valuation of the human body, as does also modem dancing
The cinema, on the other hand, like the detective story,
makes it possible to experience without danger all the
excitement, passion and desirousness which must be re-
pressed in a humanitarian ordering of hfe It is not difficult
to see how these symptoms are connected with the psychic
situation. The attractive power of the psyche brings about
a new self-estimation a re-estimation of the basic facts of
human nature We can hardly be surprised if this leads to
the rediscovery of the body after its long depreciation in the
name of the spirit We are even tempted to speak of the
bodys revenge upon the spirit. When Keyserhng sarcasti-
cally singles out the chauffeur as the culture-hero of our time,
he has struck, as he often does, close to the mark. The
body lays claim to equal recognition ; like the psyche, it
also exerts a fascination If we are still caught by the old
idea of an antithesis between mind and matter, the present
state of affairs means an unbearable contradiction ; it may
even divide us against ourselves But if we can reconcile
ourselves with the mysterious truth that spirit is the living
body seen from within, and the body the outer manifestation
of the living spirit the two being really one then we can
understand why it is that the attempt to transcend the


present level of consciousness must give its due to the body.
We shall also see that belief in the body cannot tolerate an
outlook that denies the body in the name of the spirit. These
claims of physical and psychic life are so pressing compared
to similar claims in the past, that we may be tempted to see
in this a sign of decadence Yet it may also signify a
rejuvenation, for as Hfilderlin says :

Danger itself

Fosters the rescuing power . 1

What we actually see is that the Western world strikes up
a still more rapid tempo the American tempo the very
opposite of quietism and resigned aloofness An enormous
tension arises between the opposite poles of outer and inner
life, between objective and subjective reality. Perhaps it is
a final race between ageing Europe and young America ,
jjerhaps it is a desperate or a wholesome effort of conscious
man to cheat the laws of nature of their hidden might and
to wrest a yet greater, more heroic victory from the sleep of
the nations. This is a question which history will answer.

In coming to a close after so many bold assertions, I
would like to return to the promise made at the outset to
be mindful of the need for moderation and caution Indeed,
I do not forget that my voice is but one voice, my experience
a mere drop in the sea, my knowledge no greater than the
visual field in a microscope, my minds eye a mirror that
reflects a small comer of the world, and my ideas a
subjective confession.

1 Wo Gefahr tst,

Wichst das Retlsnde auck. (Holderliii )



It is the urgent psychic problems of patients, much more
than the questions put by scientific workers, which have
given effective impetus to the newer developments m medical
psychology and psycho therapy The science of medicine
has avoided all contact with strictly psychic problems. It
has held to this position m spite of the patients urgent needs,
but on the partly justified assumption that psychic problems
belong to other fields of study. And yet it has been forced
to widen its scope so as to mclude experimental psychology,
just as it has been driven time and time again in view of
mans biological homogeneity to borrow from such branches
of science as chemistry, physics and biology.

It was natural that a new direction should be given to
these adopted branches of science We can characterize
the change by saying that instead of being regarded as ends
m themselves, they were valued because of their possible
application to human beings Psychiatry, for example,
helped itself out of the treasure-chest of experimental
psychology and funded its borrowings in that inclusive body
of knowledge called psychopathology a general name for
the study of complex psychic manifestations. Psycho-
pathology is built for one part upon the findings of psychiatry
in the strict sense of the term, and for the other upon the
findings of neurology a field of study which originally


embraced the so-called psychogenetic neuroses, and still
does so in academic parlance. In practice, however, a gulf
has opened in the last few decades between the trained
neurologist and the psycho therapist, this nft being traceable
to the first researches in hypnotism There was no preventing
this divergence, for neurology is the study of organic nervous
diseases in particular, while the psychogenetic neuroses are
not organic diseases in the usual sense of the term Nor do
these neuroses fall within the realm of psychiatry, whose
particular field of study is the psychoses, or mental diseases
for the psychogenetic neuroses are not mental diseases
as this term is commonly understood Rather do they
constitute a spiecial field by themselves which has
no hard and fast boundaries, and they show many
transitional forms which point in two directions towards
mental disease on the one hand, and disease of the nerves
on the other.

The unmistakable feature of the neuroses is the fact that
their causes are psychic, and that their cure depends entirely
up>on psychic methods of treatment The attempts to
delimit and to explore this spiecial field both from the
side of psychiatry and from that of neurology have led to
a discovery which is very unwelcome to the science of medi-
cine namely, the discovery that the psyche is an aetio-
logies! or causal factor in disease. In the course of the
nineteenth century medicine shaped its methods and theory
m such a way as to become one of the disciplines of natural
science, and it also adopted that primary assumption of
natural science : material causation. For medicine the psyche
did not exist in its own right, and experimental psychology
also did its best to constitute itself a psychology without
the psyche.


Investigation, however, has established beyond a doubt
that the crux of the psycho-neuroses is to be found in the
psychic factor ; that this is the essential cause of the patho-
logical state, and must therefore be recognized m its own
right along with other admitted pathogemc factors such as
inheritance, disposition, bacterial infection, and so forth.
All attempts to explain the psychic factor in terms of more
elementary physical factors were doomed to failure There
was more promise in the attempt to delimit the psychic
factor by the concept of the drive or instinct 1 a
concept taken over from biology. It is well known that
instincts are observable physiological urges which are
traceable to the functioning of the glands, and that, as
experience shows, they condition or influence psychic
processes What could seem more plausible, therefore, than
to seek the specific cause of the psycho-neuroses, not in the
mystical notion of the soul , but in a disturbance of the
impulses which might possibly be curable in the last resort
by medicinal treatment of the glands ? As a matter of
fact, this is Freuds standpoint when establishing his well-
known theory which explains the neuroses m terms of
disturbances of the sexual impulse. Adler likewise resorts
to the concept of the drive, and explains the neuroses
in terms of disturbances of the urge to power We must
admit, indeed, that this concept is further removed from
physiology, and is of a more psychic nature, than that of
the sexual drive.

The concept of instinct is anything but well defined in the
scientific sense. It applies to a biological manifestation of
great complexity, and is not much more than a notion of
quite indefinite content standing for an unknown quantity.

1 The German word Trxeb covers both. (Trans )



I do not wish to enter here upon a critical discussion of the
concept of instinct. Instead I will consider the possibility
that the psychic factor is just a combination of instincts
which for their part may again be reduced to the functioning
of the glands. We may even discuss the possibility that
everything that is usually called psychic is embraced in the
sum-total of instincts, and that the psyche itself is therefore
only an instinct or a conglomerate of instincts, being in the
last analysis nothing but the functioning of the glands A
psycho-neurosis would thus be a glandular disease. This
statement, however, has not been proved, and no glandular
extract that will cure a neurosis has as yet been found On
the other hand, we have been taught by all too many
mistakes that organic medicine fails completely in the
treatment of neuroses, while psychic methods cure them.
These psychic methods are just as effective as we might
suppose the glandular extracts would be So far, then, as
our present experience goes, neuroses are to be influenced
or cured by considering them, not from the side of their
irreducible elements, the glandular secretions, but from that
of psychic activity, which must be taken as a reality. For
example, a suitable explanation or a comforting word to the
patient may have something like a healing effect which may
even influence the glandular secretions The doctors words,
to be sure, are " only vibrations in the air, yet they con-
stitute a particular set of vibrations corresponding to a
particular psychic state in the doctor. The words are
effective only in so far as they convey a meaning or have
significance. It is their meaning which is effective. But
" meaning is something mental or spiritual. Call it a
fiction if you like. None the less it enables us to influence
the course of the disease in a far more effective way than


with chemical preparations We can even influence the
biochemical processes of the body by it. Whether the
fiction arises in me spontaneously, or reaches me from
without by way of human speech, it can make me ill or cure
me. Nothing is surely more intangible and unreal than
fictions, illusions and opinions ; and yet nothing is more
effective in the psychic and even the psychophysical realm.

It was by recognizing these facts that science discovered
the psyche, and we are now in honour bound to admit its
reality. It has been shown that the drive, or instinct, is a
condition of psychic activity, while at the same time
the psychic processes seem to condition the instincts.

It is no reproach to the Freudian and Adlerian theories
that they are based upon the drives ; the only trouble is
that they are one-sided The land of psychology they
represent leaves out the psyche, and is suited to people who
believe that they have no spiritual needs or aspirations In
this matter both the doctor and the patient deceive them-
selves Although the theories of Freud and Adler come much
nearer to getting at the bottom of the neuroses than does
any earlier approach to the question from the side of medicine,
they still fail, because of their exclusive concern with the
drives, to satisfy the deeper spiritual needs of the patient
They are still bound by the premises of nineteenth-century
science, and they are too self-evident they give too httle
value to fictional and imaginative processes In a word, they
do not give meaning enough to life. And it is only the
meaningful that sets us free.

Everyday reasonableness, sound human judgement, and
science as a compendium of common sense, certainly help
us over a good part of the road ; yet they do not go beyond
that frontier of human life which surrounds the commonplace

260 psycho therapists or the clergy

and matter-of-fact, the merely average and normal. They
afford, after all, no answer to the question of spiritual
suffering and its innermost meaning A psycho-neurosis
must be understood as the suffering of a human being who
has not discovered what life means for him But all creative-
ness in the realm of the spirit as well as every psychic advance
of man arises from a state of mental suffering, and it is
spiritual stagnation, psychic sterility, which causes this state.

The doctor who realizes this truth sees a territory opened
before him which he approaches with the greatest hesitation.
He is now confronted with the necessity of conveying to his
patient the healing fiction, the meaning that quickens for
it is this that the patient longs for, over and above all that
reason and science can give him. The patient is looking for
something that will take possession of him and give meaning
and form to the confusion of his neurotic mind.

Is the doctor equal to this task ? To begin with, he will
probably hand over his patient to the clergyman or the
philosopher, or abandon him to that perplexity which is the
special note of our day. As a doctor he is not required to have
a finished outlook on hfe, and his professional conscience
does not demand it of him. But what will he do when he
sees only too clearly why his patient is ill ; when he sees
that it arises from his having no love, but only sexuality ;
no faith, because he is afraid to grope in the dark , no hope,
because he is disillusioned by the world and by life ; and
no understanding, because he has failed to read the me aning
of his own existence ?

There are many well-educated patients who flatly refuse
to consult the clergyman. With the philosopher they will
have even less to do, for the history of philosophy leaves
them cold, and intellectual problems seem to them more


barren than the desert And where are the great and wise
men who do not merely talk about the meaning of life and
of the world, but really possess it ? Human thought cannot
conceive any system or final truth that could give the patient
what he needs m order to live : that is, faith, hope, love and

These four highest achievements of human effort are so
many gifts of grace, which are neither to be taught nor
learned, neither given nor taken, neither withheld nor earned,
since they come through experience, which is something
given, and therefore beyond the reach of human caprice
Experiences cannot be made. They happen yet fortunately
their independence of mans activity is not absolute but
relative. We can draw closer to them that much hes
within our human reach. There are ways which bring us
nearer to living experience, yet we should beware of calling
these ways " methods . The very word has a deadening
effect The way to experience, moreover, is anything but a
clever trick ; it is rather a venture which requires us to
commit ourselves with our whole being.

Thus, in trying to meet the demands made upon him,
the doctor is confronted by a question which seems to
contain an insuperable difficulty How can he help the
sufferer to attain the liberating experience which will bestow
upon him the four great gifts of grace and heal his sickness ?
We can of course advise the patient with the very best
intentions that he should have true love, or true faith, or
true hope , and we can admonish him with the phrase :
Know thyself . But how is the patient, before he has
come to experience, to obtain that which only experience
can give him ?

Saul owed his conversion neither to true love, nor to true


faith, nor to any other truth. It was solely his hatred of
the Christians that set him upon the road to Damascus,
and to that decisive experience which was to decide the
whole course of his life. He was brought to this experience
by following with conviction the course in which he was
most completely mistaken. This opens up for us an
approach to the problems of life which we can hardly take
too seriously. And it confronts the psycho therapist with
a question which brings him shoulder to shoulder with the
clergyman : the question of good and evil

It is in reality the priest or the clergyman, rather than the
doctor, who should be most concerned with the problem of
spiritual suffering. But in most cases the sufferer consults
the doctor in the first place, because he supposes himself
to be physically ill, and because certain neurotic symptoms
can be at least alleviated by drugs. But if, on the other hand,
the clergyman is consulted, he cannot persuade the sick man
that the trouble is psychic As a rule he lacks the special
knowledge which would enable him to discern the psychic
factors of the disease, and his judgement is without the
weight of authority.

There are, however, persons who, while well aware of the
psychic nature of their complaint, nevertheless refuse to
turn to the clergyman They do not believe that he can
really help them Such persons distrust the doctor for the
same reason, and they are justified by the fact that both
doctor and clergyman stand before them with empty hands,
if not what is even worse with empty words We can
hardly expect the doctor to have anything to say about the
ultimate questions of the soul. It is from the clergyman,
not from the doctor, that the sufferer should expect such
help. But the Protestant clergyman often finds himself


face to face with an almost impossible task, for he has to
cope with practical difficulties that the Catholic priest is
spared Above all, the priest has the authority of his
Church behmd him, and his economic position is secure and
independent This is far less true of the Protestant clergy-
man who may be married and burdened with the respon-
sibility of a family, and cannot expect, if all else fails, to be
supported by his community or taken into a monastery.
But the priest, if he is also a Jesuit, even has at his disposal
the psychological teaching of the present day. I know, for
instance, that my own writings were seriously studied in
Rome long before any Protestant pastor thought them
worthy of a glance

We have come to a serious pass. The exodus from the
German Protestant Church is only one of many symptoms
which should make it plain to the clergy that mere admoni-
tions to believe, or to perform acts of charity, do not give
modem man what he is looking for. The fact that many
clergymen seek support or practical help from Freuds
theory of sexuality or Adlers theory of power is astonishing,
inasmuch as both these theories are hostile to spiritual
values, being, as I have said, psychology without the psyche.
They are rational methods of treatment which actually
hinder the realization of meaningful experience. By far the
larger number of psycho therapists are disciples of Freud or
of Adler This means that the great majority of patients
are necessarily alienated from a spiritual standpoint a fact
which cannot be a matter of indifference to one who has the
realization of spiritual values much at heart. The wave of
interest in psychology which at present is sweeping over
the Protestant countries of Europe is far from receding. It
is coincident with the general exodus from the Church.


Quoting a Protestant minister, I may say : " Nowadays
people go to the psycho therapist rather than to the

I am convinced that this statement is true only of relatively
educated persons, not of mankind in the mass. However,
we must not forget that it will be some twenty years before
the ordinary run of people begin to think the thoughts of
the educated person of today. For instance, Buchners
work. Force and Matter, became one of the most widely
read books in German public libraries about twenty years
after educated persons had begun to forget about it. I am
persuaded that what is today a vital interest in psychology
among educated persons will tomorrow be shared by

I should like to call attention to the following facts.
During the past thirty years, people from all the civilized
countnes of the earth have consulted me I have treated
many hundreds of patients, the larger number being
Protestants, a smaller number Jews, and not more than five
or six believing Catholics. Among all my patients in the
second half of life that is to say, over thirty-five there
has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not
that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say
that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which
the living religions of every age have given to their followers,
and none of them has been really healed who did not
regain his religious outlook This of course has nothing
whatever to do with a particular creed or membership of a

Here, then, the clergyman stands before a vast horizon.
But it would seem as if no one had noticed it. It also looks
as though the Protestant clergyman of today was in-


sufficiently equipped to cope with the urgent psychic needs
of our age It is indeed high tune for the clergyman and
the psycho therapist to jom forces to meet this great spiritual

Here is a concrete example which goes to show how
closely this problem touches us all Somewhat more than
two years ago the leaders of the Christian Students
Conference at Aarau (Switzerland) laid before me the question
whether people in spiritual distress prefer nowadays to
consult the doctor rather than the clergyman, and what are
the causes of their choice. This was a very direct and
concrete question. At that time I knew nothing more
than the fact that my own patients obviously had con-
sulted the doctor rather than the clergyman. It seemed
to me to be open to doubt whether this was generally the
case or not. At any rate, I was unable to give a definite
reply. I therefore set on foot an enquiry, through acquain-
tances of mine, among people whom I did not know , I
sent out a questionnaire which was answered by Swiss,
German, and French Protestants, as well as by a few
Catholics. The results are very interesting, as the following
general summary shows. Those who decided for the doctor
represented 57 per cent, of the Protestants and only 25 per
cent of the Catholics, while those who decided for the
divine formed 8 per cent of the Protestants and 58 per cent,
of the Catholics. These were the unequivocal decisions.
There were some 35 per cent, of the Protestants who could
not make up their minds, while only 17 per cent of the
Catholics were undecided.

The reason given for not consulting the minister of the
church was generally his lack of psychological knowledge
and insight, and this covered 52 per cent, of the answers.


Some 28 per cent, were to the effect that he was prejudiced
in his views and showed a dogmatic and traditional bias.
Curiously enough, there was even one clergyman who
decided for the doctor, while another made the irritated
retort : " Theology has nothing to do with the treatment of
human beings . All the relatives of clergymen who
answered my questionnaire pronounced themselves against
the clergy.

In so far as this enquiry was restricted to educated persons,
it is only a straw in the wind I am convinced that the
uneducated classes would have reacted differently But I am
inclined to accept the results as a more or less valid indication
of the views of educated people, the more so as it is a well-
known fact that their indifference in matters of the Church
and religion is steadily growing. And we must not forget
that truth of social psychology to which I have already
referred : that it takes about twenty years for a general
outlook upon life to percolate down from the educated class
to the uneducated masses. Who, for instance, would have
dared to prophesy twenty years ago, or even ten, that Spain,
the most Catholic of European countries, would undergo the
unexampled spiritual transformation we are witnessing
today ? And yet it has broken out with the violence of a

It seems to me, that, side by side with the decline of
religious life, the neuroses grow noticeably more frequent.
There are as yet no statistics which enable us to prove this
increase in actual numbers. But of one thing I am sure,
that everywhere the mental state of European man shows
an alarming lack of balance. We are living undeniably in
a period of the greatest restlessness, nervous tension,
confusion and disorientation of outlook. Among my patients


from many countries, all of them educated persons, there
is a considerable number who came to see me, not because
they were suffering from a neurosis, but because they could
find no meaning m hfe or were torturing themselves with
questions which neither present-day philosophy nor religion
could answer. Some of them perhaps thought that I knew
of a magic formula, but I was soon forced to tell them that
I, too, had no answer to give. And this brings us to practical

Let us take for example that most ordinary and frequent
of questions What is the meaning of my hfe, or of hfe in
general ? Men to-day beheve that they know only too well
what the clergyman will say or, rather, must say to this.
They smile at the very thought of the philosophers answer,
and in general do not expect much of the physician But
from the psycho therapist who analyses the unconscious
from him one might doubtless learn something He has
perhaps dug up from the depths of his mind, among other
things, a meaning for hfe which could be bought for a fee !
It must be a rehef to every serious-minded person to hear
that the psycho therapist also does not know what to say.
Such a confession is often the beginning of the patients
confidence m him

I have found that modem man has an ineradicable aversion
for traditional opinions and inherited troths. He is a
Bolshevist for whom all the spiritual standards and forms
of the past have lost their validity, and who therefore wants
to experiment in the world of the spirit as the Bolshevist
experiments with economics When confronted with this
modem attitude, every ecclesiastical system is in a parlous
state, be it Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist or Confucian.
Among these moderns there are of course certain of those


denigrating, destructive and perverse natures unbalanced
eccentrics who are never satisfied anywhere, and who
therefore flock to every new banner, much to the hurt of
these movements and undertakings, in the hope of finding
something for once which will atone at a low cost for their
own insufficiency. It goes without saying that, in my
professional work, I have come to know a great many
modem men and women, and such pathological pseudo-
modems among them. But I prefer to leave these aside.
Those of whom I am thinking are by no means sickly
eccentrics, but are most often exceptionally able, courageous
and upright persons who have repudiated our traditional
truths for honest and decent reasons, and not from wicked-
ness of heart. Every one of them has the feeling that our
religious truths have somehow or other grown empty.
Either they cannot reconcile the scientific and the religious
outlooks, or Christian tenets have lost their authority and
their psychological justification People no longer feel
themselves to have been redeemed by the death of Christ ,
they cannot believe they cannot compel themselves to
believe, however happy they may deem the man who has a
belief. Sin has for them become something quite relative .
what is evil for the one, is good for the other. After all,
why should not Buddha be in the right, also ?

There is no one who is not familiar with these questions
and doubts. Yet Freudian analysis would brush all these
matters aside as irrelevant. It holds the position that the
basic problem is that of repressed sexuality, and that philo-
sophical or religious doubts only mask the true state of
affairs. If we closely examine the individual case, we do
actually discover peculiar disturbances in the sexual sphere
as well as in the sphere of the unconscious impulses in general.


It is Freuds way to see in these disturbances an explanation
of the psychic disturbance as a whole ; he is interested only
in the causal interpretation of the sexual symptoms. He
completely overlooks the fact that, m certain cases, the
supposed causes of the neurosis were always present, but
had no pathological effect until a disturbance of the conscious
attitude set m and led to a neurotic upset. It is as though,
when a ship was sinking because of a leak, the crew only
interested itself in the chemical constitution of the water
that was pouring m Disturbances in the sphere of the
unconscious drives are not primary, but secondary pheno-
mena When conscious life has lost its meaning and promise,
it is as though a panic had broken loose and we heard the
exclamation " Let us eat and dnnk, for tomorrow we die '
It is this mood, bom of the meaninglessness of hfe, that
causes the disturbance in the unconscious and provokes the
painfully curbed impulses to break out anew. The causes of
a neurosis lie m the present as well as in the past ; and only
a still existing cause can keep a neurosis active. A man is
not tubercular because he was mfected twenty years ago
with bacilli, but because foci of infection are still active today.
The questions when and how the infection took place are even
quite irrelevant to his present condition. Even the most
accurate knowledge of the previous history of the case cannot
cure tuberculosis. And the same holds true of the neuroses.

This is why I regard the religious problems which the
patient brings before me as relevant to the neurosis and as
possible causes of it. But if I take them seriously, I must
admit to the patient that his feelings are justified " Yes,
I agree, Buddha may be right as well as Jesus. Sm is only
relative, and it is difficult to see how we can feel ourselves
in any way redeemed by the death of Christ. As a doctor


I can easily admit these doubts, while it is hard for the
clergyman to do so The patient feels my attitude to be
one of understanding, while the pastors hesitation strikes
him as a traditional prejudice, which estranges them from
one another. He asks himself . " What would the pastor
say if I began to tell him of the painful details of my sexual
disturbances ? He rightly suspects that the pastors
moral prejudice is even stronger than his dogmatic bias.
In this connection there is a good story about the American
president, silent Cal Coolidge When he returned after
an absence one Sunday morning his wife asked him where
he had been. " To church , he replied " What did the
minister say ? He talked about sin. And what did
he say about sm ? He was against it

It might be supposed that it is easy for the doctor to show
understanding m this respect. But people forget that even
doctors have moral scruples, and that certain patients
confessions are hard even for a doctor to swallow. Yet the
patient does not feel himself accepted unless the very worst
in him is accepted too No one can bring this about by mere
words , it comes only through the doctors sincerity and
through his attitude towards himself and his own evil side
If the doctor wants to offer guidance to another, or even to
accompany him a step of the way, he must be in touch with
this other person's psychic life He is never in touch when he
passes judgement. Whether he puts his judgements mto
words, or keeps them to himself, makes not the shghtest
difference. To take the opjjosite position, and to agree with
the patient offhand, is also of no use, but estranges him as
much as condemnation. We can get in touch with another
person only by an attitude of unprejudiced objectivity. This
may sound like a scientific precept, and may be confused with


a purely intellectual and detached attitude of mind, But
what I mean to convey is something quite different. It is a
human quality a kind of deep respect for facts and events
and for the person who suffers from them a respect for the
secret of such a human life. The truly religious person has
this attitude He knows that God has brought all sorts of
strange and inconceivable things to pass, and seeks in the
most curious ways to enter a mans heart He therefore
senses in everything the unseen presence of the divine will
This is what I mean by unprejudiced objectivity. It is
a moral achievement on the part of the doctor, who ought
not to let himself be repelled by illness and corruption. We
cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation
does not liberate, it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the
person I condemn, not his friend and fellow-sufferer. I do
not m the least mean to say that we must never pass judge-
ment in the cases of persons whom we desire to help and
improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being
he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this
in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself
as he is

Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are
always the most difficult In actual life it requires the
greatest discipline to be simple, and the acceptance of
oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the epitome
of a whole outlook upon life. That I feed the hungry, that
I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of
Christ all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I
do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ.
But what if I should discover that the least amongst them
all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all
the offenders, the very enemy himself that these are within^


me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own
kindness that I myself am the enemy who must be loved
what then ? As a rule, the Christians attitude is then
reversed ; there is no longer any question of love or long-
suffering ; we say to the brother within us Raca , and
condemn and rage against ourselves We hide it from the
world , we refuse to admit ever having met this least among
the lowly in ourselves. Had it been God himself who drew
near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied
him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.

The man who uses modem psychology to look behind the
scenes not only of his patients lives but more especially of
his own and the modem psycho therapist must do this if
he is not to be merely an unconscious fraud will admit
that to accept himself in all his wretchedness is the hardest
of tasks, and one which it is almost impossible to fulfil
The very thought can make us livid with fear We therefore
do not hesitate, but lightheartedly choose the comphcated
course of remaining in ignorance about ourselves while
busying ourselves with other people and their troubles and
sins. This activity lends us an air of virtue, and we thus
deceive ourselves and those around us. In this way, thank
God, we can escape from ourselves There are countless
people who can do this with impunity, but not everyone
can, and these few break down on the road to Damascus
and succumb to a neurosis. How can I help these persons
if I am myself a fugitive, and perhaps also suffer from the
morbus sacer of a neurosis ? Only he who has fully accepted
himself has unprejudiced objectivity But no one is
justified in boasting that he has fully accepted himself.
We can point to Christ, who offered his traditional bias as
a sacrifice to the god in himself, and so lived his life as it was


to the bitter end without regard for conventions or for the
moral standards of the Pharisees.

We Protestants must sooner or later face this question :
Are we to understand the imitation of Chnst in the sense
that we should copy his life and, if I may use the expression,
ape his stigmata ; or m the deeper sense that we are to live
our own proper hves as truly as he lived his in all its im-
plications ? It is no easy matter to live a life that is modelled
on Christs, but it is unspeakably harder to live ones own
life as truly as Christ hved his Anyone who did this would
run counter to the forces of the past, and though he might
thus be fulfilling his destmy, would none the less be mis-
judged, derided, tortured and crucified He would be a
kind of mad Bolshevist who deserved the cross We there-
fore prefer the historically sanctioned imitation of Christ
which is transfigured by holiness I should never disturb
a monk in his practice of identifying himself with Christ,
for he deserves our respect. But neither I nor my patients
are monks, and it is my duty as a physician to show my
patients how they can live their lives without becoming
neurotic. Neurosis is an inner cleavage the state of being
at war with oneself. Everything that accentuates this
cleavage makes the patient worse, and everything that
mitigates it tends to heal the patient. What drives people
to war with themselves is the intuition or the knowledge
that they consist of two persons m opposition to one another.
The conflict may be between the sensual and the spiritual
man, or between the ego and the shadow. It is what Faust
means when he says . Two souls, alas, dwell in my breast
apart . A neurosis is a dissociation of personality.

Healing may be called a religious problem In the sphere
of social or national relations, the state of suffering may be


civil war, and this state is to be cured by the Christian virtue
of forgiveness for those who hate us That which we try
with the conviction of good Christians to apply to external
situations, we must also apply to the inner state in the
treatment of neurosis. This is why modem man has heard
enough about guilt and sin. He is sorely enough beset by
his own bad conscience, and wants rather to learn how he
is to reconcile himself with his own nature how he is to
love the enemy in his own heart and call the wolf his

The modem man, moreover, is not eager to know in what
way he can imitate Christ, but in what way he can live his
own individual hfe, however meagre and uninteresting it
may be. It is because every form of imitation seems to him
deadening and sterile that he rebels against the force of
tradition that would hold him to well-trodden ways. All
such roads, for him, lead in the wrong direction. He may
not know it, but he behaves as if his own individual life were
instinct with the will of God which must at all costs be
fulfilled. This is the source of his egoism, which is one of
the most tangible evils of the neurotic state. But the person
who tells him he is too egoistic has lost his confidence, and
rightly so, for that person has driven him still further into
his neurosis.

If I wish to effect a cure for my patients I am forced to
acknowledge the deep significance of their egoism. I should
be blind, indeed, if I did not recognize in it the true will of
God. I must even help the patient to prevail in his egoism ;
if he succeeds in this, he estranges himself from other people.
He drives them away, and they come to themselves as
they should, for they were seeking to rob him of his " sacred
egoism This must be left to him, for it is his strongest and


healthiest power , it is, as I have said, a true will of God,
which sometimes drives him into complete isolation. How-
ever wretched this state may be, it also stands him in good
stead, for in this way alone can he take his own measure and
learn what an invaluable treasure is the love of his fellow-
beings. It is, moreover, only m the state of complete
abandonment and loneliness that we experience the helpful
powers of our own natures.

When one has several times seen this development take
place one can no longer deny that what was evil has turned
to good, and that what seemed good has kept alive the forces
of evil The archdemon of egoism leads us along the royal
road to that ingathering which religious experience demands.
What we observe here is a fundamental law of hfe en-
anitodromta the reversal mto the opposite ; and this it is
that makes possible the reumon of the wamng halves of the
personality and thereby brings the civil war to an end.

I have taken the neurotics egoism as an example because
it is one of his most common symptoms. I might equally
well have taken any other characteristic symptom to show
what attitude the physician must adopt towards the short-
comings of his patients, and how he must deal with the
problem of evil.

No doubt this also sounds very simple. In reality, however,
the acceptance of the shadow-side of human nature verges
on the impossible Consider for a moment what it means to
grant the right of existence to what is unreasonable, senseless
and evil ! Yet it is just this that the modem man insists
upon. He wants to live with every side of himself to know
what he is. That is why he casts history aside. He wants
to break with tradition so that he can experiment with his
life and determine what value and meaning things have in


themselves, apart from traditional presuppositions. Modem
youth gives us astonis hing examples of this attitude. To
show how far this tendency may go, I will instance a
question addressed to me by a German society. I was asked
if incest is to be reprobated, and what facts can be adduced
against it !

Granted such tendencies, the conflicts into which people
may fall are not hard to imagine I can well understand that
one would like to leave nothing untried to protect ones
fellow-beings from such adventures But curiously enough
we find ourselves without means to do this. All the old
arguments against unreasonableness, self-deception and
immorality, once so potent, have lost their effectiveness
We are now reaping the fruit of nineteenth-century education.
Throughout that period the Church preached to young
people the merit of blind faith, while the universities in-
culcated an intellectual rationalism, with the result that
today we plead in vain whether for faith or reason. Tired
of this warfare of opinions, the modem man wishes to find
out for himself how things are. And though this desire
opens bar and bolt to the most dangerous possibilities, we
cannot help seeing it as a courageous enterprise and giving
it some measure of sympathy. It is no reckless adventure,
but an effort inspired by deep spiritual distress to bring
meaning once more into life on the basis of fresh and un-
prejudiced experience. Caution has its place, no doubt,
but we cannot refuse our support to a serious venture which
calls the whole of the personality into the field of action.
If we oppose it, we are trying to suppress what is best in
man his daring and his aspiration. And should we succeed,
we should only have stood in the way of that invaluable
experience which might have given a meaning to life What


would have happened if Paul had allowed himself to be
talked out of his ]oumey to Damascus ?

The psycho therapist who takes his work seriously must
come to grips with this question. He must decide in every
single case whether or not he is willing to stand by a human
being with counsel and help upon what may be a daring
misadventure. He must have no fixed ideas as to what is
right, nor must he pretend to know what is right and what
not otherwise he takes something from the richness of
the experience He must keep in view what actually happens
and only that which acts, is actual. If something which
seems to me an error shows itself to be more effective than
a truth, then I must first follow up the error, for in it he
power and life which I lose if I hold to what seems to me
true. Light has need of darkness otherwise how could it
appear as light ?

It is well known that Freudian psychoanalysis is limited
to the task of making conscious the shadow-side and the
evil within us. It simply brings into action the civil war
that was latent, and lets it go at that. The patient must
deal with it as best he can Freud has unfortunately over-
looked the fact that man has never yet been able single-
handed to hold his own against the powers of darkness
that is, of the unconscious Man has always stood in need of
the spiritual help which each individuals own religion held
out to him. The opening up of the unconscious always means
the outbreak of intense spiritual suffering ; it is as when a
flourishing civilization is abandoned to invading hordes of
barbarians, or when fertile fields are exposed by the bursting
of a dam to a raging torrent. The World War was such an
irruption which showed, as nothing else could, how thin are
the walls which separate a well-ordered world from lurking


chaos. But it is the same with every single human being
and his reasonably ordered world. His reason has done
violence to natural forces which seek their revenge and only
await the moment when the partition falls to overwhelm
the conscious life with destruction. Man has been aware
of this danger since the earliest times, even in the most
primitive stages of culture. It was to arm himself against
this threat and to heal the damage done, that he developed
religious and magical practices. This is why the
medicine-man is also the priest ; he is the saviour of the
body as well as of the soul, and religions are systems of
healing for psychic illness. This is especially true of the
two greatest religions of man, Christianity and Buddhism
Man is never helped m his suffering by what he thinks for
himself, but only by revelations of a wisdom greater than his
own. It is this which lifts him out of his distress.

Today this eruption of destructive forces has already
taken place, and man suffers from it in spirit. That is why
patients force the psycho therapist mto the role of a priest,
and expect and demand of him that he shall free them from
their distress. That is why we psycho therapists must
occupy ourselves with problems which, strictly speaking,
belong to the theologian. But we cannot leave these ques-
tions for theology to answer ; the urgent, psychic needs of
suffering people confront us with them day after day. Since,
as a rule, every concept and viewpoint handed down from
the past fails us, we must first tread with the patient the
path of his illness the path of his mistake that sharpens
his conflicts and increases his loneliness till it grows un-
bearable hoping that from the psychic depths which cast up
the powers of destruction the rescuing forces will come also.

When first I took this direction I did not know where it


would lead. I did not know what lay hid in the depths of
the psyche that region which I have since called the
collective unconscious , and whose contents I designate
as archetypes Since time immemorial, eruptions of the
unconscious have taken place, and ever and again they have
repeated themselves. Consciousness did not exist from the
beginning, and in every child it has to be built up anew in
the first years of life. Consciousness is very weak in this
formative period, and history shows us that the same is
true of mankind the unconscious easily seizes power.
These struggles have left their marks To put it in scientific
terms : instinctive defence-mechanisms have been developed
which automatically intervene when the danger is greatest,
and their coming into action is represented in fantasy by
helpful images which are meradicably fixed in the human
psyche. These mechanisms come into play whenever the
need is great. Science can only establish the existence of
these psychic factors and attempt a rational explanation by
offering an hypothesis as to their sources. This, however,
only thrusts the problem a stage back and in no way answers
the riddle. We thus come to those ultimate questions :
Whence does consciousness come ? What is the psyche ?
And at this point all science ends

It is as though, at the culmination of the illness, the
destructive powers were converted into healing forces. This
is brought about by the fact that the archetypes come to
independent life and serve as spiritual guides for the
personality, thus supplanting the inadequate ego with its
futile willing and striving. As the religious-minded person
would say . guidance has come from God. With most of
my patients I have to avoid this formulation, for it reminds
them too much of what they have to reject I must express

280 psycho therapists or the clergy

myself in more modest terms, and say that the psyche has
awakened to spontaneous life And indeed this formula
more closely fits the observable facts. The transformation
takes place at that moment when in dreams or fantasies
themes appear whose source in consciousness cannot be
shown. To the patient it is nothing less than a revelation
when, from the hidden depths of the psyche, something
arises to confront him something strange that is not the
" I and is therefore beyond the reach of personal caprice
He has gained access to the sources of psychic life, and this
marks the beginning of the cure.

This process, if it is to be made clear, should undoubtedly
be discussed with the help of suitable examples But it is
almost impossible to find one or more convincing illustrations,
for it is usually a most subtle and complicated matter. That
which is so effective is often simply the deep impression
made on the patient by the independent way m which his
dreams treat of his difficulties Or it may be that his fantasy
points to something for which his conscious mind was quite
unprepared. Most often it is contents of an archetypal
nature, connected in a certain way, that exert a strong
influence of their own whether or not they are understood
by the conscious mind. This spontaneous activity of the
psyche often becomes so intense that visionary pictures are
seen or inner voices heard. These are manifestations of the
spirit directly experienced today as they have been from
time immemorial.

Such experiences reward the sufferer for the pains of the
labyrinthine way. From this point forward a light shines
through his confusion ; he can reconcile himself with the
warfare within and so come to bridge the morbid split in his
nature upon a higher level.


The fundamental problems of modem psycho therapy are
so important and far-reaching that their discussion in an
essay precludes any presentation of details, however desirable
this might be for claritys sake. My main purpose was to
set forth the attitude of the psycho therapist in his work.
A proper understanding of this is after all more rewarding
than to cull a few precepts and pointers as to methods of
treatment, for these are m any case not effective unless they
are applied with the right understanding The attitude of
the psycho therapist is infinitely more important than the
theories and methods of psycho therapy, and that is why I
have been concerned to make this attitude known I
believe that I have given a trustworthy account As for
the questions m what way and how far the clergyman can
join the psycho therapist m his efforts and endeavours, I
can only impart information which will allow others to
decide I also believe that the picture I have drawn of the
spiritual outlook of modern man corresponds to the actual
state of affairs though, of course, I make no claim to
infallibility In any case, what I have had to say about the
cure of the neuroses, and the problems involved, is the
unvarnished truth. We doctors would naturally welcome
the sympathetic understanding of the clergy in our en-
deavours to heal psychic suffering, but we are also fully
aware of the fundamental difficulties which stand in the way
of a full cooperation. My own position is on the extreme
left wing of the congress of Protestant opinion, yet I would
be the first to warn people against generalizing from then-
own experience in an injudicious way. As a Swiss, I am an
inveterate democrat, yet I recognize that nature is aristo-
cratic and, what is even more, esoteric Quod licet Jovi, non
licet born is an unpleasant but an eternal truth. Who are


forgiven their many sins ? Those who have loved much.
But as to those who love httle, their few sins are held against
them. I am firmly convinced that a vast number of people
belong to the fold of the Catholic Church and nowhere else,
because they are most suitably housed there I am as much
persuaded of this as of the fact, which I have myself observed,
that a primitive religion is better suited to primitive people
than Christianity, which is so incomprehensible to them and
so foreign to their blood that they can only ape it m a dis-
gusting way. I believe, too, that there must be protestants
against the Catholic Church, and also protestants against
Protestantism for the manifestations of the spirit are truly
wondrous, and as varied as Creation itself.

The living spirit grows and even outgrows its earlier
forms of expression ; it freely chooses the men in whom it
lives and who proclaim it This living spirit is eternally
renewed and pursues its goal m manifold and inconceivable
ways throughout the history of mankind Measured against
it, the names and forms which men have given it mean httle
enough ; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms
on the stem of the eternal tree.


questions, comments, suggestions/feedback, take-down requests, contribute, etc
contact me @ or via the comments below
or join the integral discord server (chatrooms)
if the page you visited was empty, it may be noted and I will try to fill it out. cheers






Modern Man in Search of a Soul
select ::: Being, God, injunctions, media, place, powers, subjects,
favorite ::: cwsa, everyday, grade, mcw, memcards (table), project, project 0001, Savitri, the Temple of Sages, three js, whiteboard,
temp ::: consecration, experiments, knowledge, meditation, psychometrics, remember, responsibility, temp, the Bad, the God object, the Good, the most important, the Ring, the source of inspirations, the Stack, the Tarot, the Word, top priority, whiteboard,

--- DICTIONARIES (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

--- QUOTES [1 / 1 - 19 / 19] (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)

KEYS (10k)

   1 Jordan Peterson


   15 Carl Jung

1:Jordan Peterson's Book List1. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley2. 1984 - George Orwell3. Road To Wigan Pier - George Orwell4. Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky5. Demons - Fyodor Dostoevsky6. Beyond Good And Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche7. Ordinary Men - Christopher Browning8. The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski9. The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang10. Gulag Archipelago (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, & Vol. 3) - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn11. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl12. Modern Man in Search of A Soul - Carl Jung13. Maps Of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief - Jordan B. Peterson14. A History of Religious Ideas (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3) - Mircea Eliade15. Affective Neuroscience - Jaak Panksepp ~ Jordan Peterson,

*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***

1:"No language exists that cannot be misused." ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1933
2:Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also. ~ CGJung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
3:Neurosis is an inner cleavage—the state of being at war with oneself. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
4:"[W]e are still far from having anything like a thorough knowledge of the human psyche." ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1933
5:Ideas spring from a source that is not contained within one man’s personal life. We do not create them; they create us. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
6:A suitable warning to the dream-interpreter—if only it were not so paradoxical—would be "Do anything you like, only don't try to understand! ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
7:A suitable warning to the dream-interpreter—if only it were not so paradoxical—would be "Do anything you like, only don't try to understand!" ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
8:Lack of rationality is a vice where thinking and feeling are called for—rationality is a vice where sensation and intuition should be trusted. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
9:"It is highly important for the analyst to admit his lack of understanding from time to time, for nothing is more unbearable for the patient than to be always understood." ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
10:"Have the horrors of the World War not opened our eyes? Are we still unable to see that man's conscious mind is even more devilish and perverse than the unconscious?" ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1931
11:But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
12:I am convinced that the doctor is not necessarily in a better position to know what is wanted than is the patient's own psychic constitution, which may be quite unconscious to the patient himself. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul)
13:Practical experience soon teaches us that the crux of the matter does not lie in the presence of a parental complex, but rather in the special way in which the complex works itself out in the life of the individual. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
14:"When we recognize the contents of the unconscious, we are not embarking upon a Bolshevist experiment which puts the lowest on top. This would only bring about a return of the situation we are trying to correct." ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1931
15:My aim is to bring about a psychic state in which my patient begins to experiment with his own nature—a state of fluidity, change and growth, in which there is no longer anything eternally fixed and hopelessly petrified. ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
16:We only believe that we are masters in our own house because we like to flatter ourselves. Actually, however, we are dependent to a startling degree upon the proper functioning of the unconscious psyche & must trust that it does not fail us ~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul
17:Psychologist Carl Jung, in his book Modern Man in Search of a Soul, wrote, “About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be described as the general neurosis of our time.”3 Jung wrote those words in the early part of the twentieth century, but with every passing year and decade their truth has become even more glaring. Holocaust ~ David Jeremiah
18:One of the most distinguished psychiatrists living, Dr. Carl Jung, says in his book Modern Man in Search of a Soul (*):
"During the past thirty years, people from all the civilised countries of the earth have consulted me. I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among all my patients in the second half of life-that is to say, over thirty-five-there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given to their followers, and none of them has been really healed who did not regain his religious outlook. ~ Dale Carnegie
19:Jordan Peterson's Book List
1. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
2. 1984 - George Orwell
3. Road To Wigan Pier - George Orwell
4. Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
5. Demons - Fyodor Dostoevsky
6. Beyond Good And Evil - Friedrich Nietzsche
7. Ordinary Men - Christopher Browning
8. The Painted Bird - Jerzy Kosinski
9. The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang
10. Gulag Archipelago (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, & Vol. 3) - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
11. Man's Search for Meaning - Viktor Frankl
12. Modern Man in Search of A Soul - Carl Jung
13. Maps Of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief - Jordan B. Peterson
14. A History of Religious Ideas (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3) - Mircea Eliade
15. Affective Neuroscience - Jaak Panksepp ~ Jordan Peterson,

--- IN CHAPTERS (in Dictionaries, in Quotes, in Chapters)


   1 Psychology

change font "color":
change "background-color":
change "font-family":
change "padding": 37085 site hits