C.G. Jung
Memories, Dreams,Reflections
Recorded by Aniela Jaffé
Oxford City Press 2010

Jung Memories Excerpts

113 I have neither the desire nor the capacity to stand outside myself and observe my fate in a truly objective way. I would commit the familiar autobiographical mistake either of weaving an illusion about how it ought to have been, or of writing an apologia pro vita sua. In the end, man is an event which cannot judge itself, but for better or worse, is left to the judgement of others.

141 Wherever there is a reaching down into innermost experience, into the nucleus of personality, most people are overcome by fright, and many run away…The risk of inner experience, the adventure of the spirit, is in any case alien to most human beings. The possibility that such experience might have a psychic reality is anathema to them.

Boe: Deleuze - stopping the world

154 Whenever the psyche is set violently oscillating by a numinous experience there is a danger that the thread by which one hangs may be torn. Should that happen, one man tumbles into a absolute affirmation, another into an equally absolute negation. Nirdvandva (freedom of opposites) is the Orient’s remedy for this. I have not forgotten that. The Pendlum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
The numinosum is dangerous because it delivers men to extremes, so that a modest truth is regarded as the truth and a minor mistake is equated with fatal arror… We are still a long way from understanding what it signifies that nothing has any existence unless some small - and oh, so transitory - consciousness has become aware of it.

Boe: nirdvandva

173 My actual experience of the unconscious, taught me that such contents are not dead, outmoded forms, but belong to our living being…Thereupon I said to myself, “Since I know nothing at all, I shall simply do what ever occurs to me”. Thus I consciously submitted myself to the impulses of the unconscious.

Boe: I Ging - India

174 Naturally, I thought about the significance of what I was doing, and ask myself, “Now, really, what are you about?... I had no answer to my question, only the inner certainty that I was on the way to discovering my own myth.

196 The goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self.

198 ...the goal had been revealed. One could not go beyond the centre. The centre is the goal, and everything is directed toward that centre. The self is the principal and archetype of orientation and meaning. Therein lies its healing function. For me, this insight signified an approach to the centre and therefore to the goal. Out of it emerged the first inkling of my personal myth.

320 With increasing age, contemplation, and reflection, the inner images naturally play an ever greater part in man’s life.”Your all men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17). That, to be sure, presupposes that the psyches of the old men have not become wooden, or entirely petrified – sero medicina paratur cum mala per longas convaluere moras. (The medicine is prepared to late, when the illness has grown strong by long delay.)

In old age one begins to let memories unroll before the mind’s eye and, musing, to recognise oneself in the inner and outer images of the past. This is like a preparation for an existence in the hereafter, just as in Plato’s view philosophy is a preparation for death.

The inner images keep me from getting lost in personal retrospection. Many old people become too involved in their reconstruction of past events. They remain imprisoned in these memories. But if it is reflective and is translated into images, retrospection can be reculer pour mieux sauter. I try to see the line which leads through my life into the world, and out of the world again.

354 Whatever one can say, no words express the whole. To speak of partial aspects is always too much or too little, for only the whole is meaningful… Being a part, man cannot grasp the whole. He is at its mercy.

358 The older I have become, the less I have understood or had insight into or known about myself. I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sun. I have no judgement about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about. I have no definite convictions - not about anything, really. I know only that I was born and exist, and it seems to me that I have been carried along. I exist on the foundation of something I do not know. In spite of all uncertainties, I feel a solidity underlying all existence and the continuity in my mode of being.

The world into which we are born is brutal and cruel, and at the same time of divine beauty. Which element we think outweighs the other, whether meaninglessness or meaning, is a matter of temperament. If meaninglessness were absolutely preponderant, the meaningfulness of life would vanish to an increasing degree with each step in our development. But that is - or it seems to me - not the case. Probably, as in all metaphysical questions, both are true: Life is - or has - meaning and meaninglessness. I cherish the anxious hope that meaning will preponderate and win the battle.

Boe: my answer to Clements


80 …I saw that here the goal had been reached. One could not go beyond the centre. The centre is the goal, and everything is directed towards that centre. Through this dream I understood that the self is the principal and archetype of orientation and meaning. The realisation was that the self is the goal of individuation and that the process of individuation was not a linear, but consisted in a circumambulation of the self.

Boe: Circumnavigare necesse est!

He highlighted the significance of the midlife transition. He argued that the first half of life could be characterised as the natural phase, in which the prime aim was establishing oneself in the world.

81 The process of individuation: He noted that after one had dealt with the fantasies from the personal sphere, one met with fantasies from the impersonal sphere. These were not simply arbitrary, but converged upon a goal. Hence these latter fantasies could be described as processes of initiation, which provided their nearest analogy. For this process to take place, active participation was required: “When the conscious mind participates actively and experiences each stage of the process… Then the next image always starts off on the higher level that has been won, and purposiveness develops.


There is only one way and that is your way; there is only one salvation and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to come willbe created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfil the way that is in you.