Carl Jung:
Quotes from Carl Jung presented in
THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves,
by alchemical author
Jack Haas
    The following quotes from Carl Jung present his writings in a new light, for they show his intimacy with, and acceptence of, the unknowable nature of all existence, and help us to recognize that any 'Jungian' system of thought, must first and foremost be based on the inexplicable mystery of being, and not on the 'knowable' symbols found within that mystery.
“It is important to have a secret, a premonition of things unknown. It fills life with something impersonal, a numinosum. A man who has never experienced that has missed something important. He must sense that he lives in a world which in some respects is mysterious; that things happen and can be experienced which remain inexplicable; that not everything which happens can be anticipated. The unexpected and the incredible belong in this world. Only then is life whole. For me the world has from the beginning been infinite and ungraspable.”
“One memory comes up which is perhaps the earliest of my life. I am lying in a pram, in the shadow of a tree. It is a fine, warm summer day, the sky blue, and the golden sunlight darting through the green leaves. The hood of the pram has been left up. I have just awakened to the glorious beauty of the day, and have a sense of indescribable well-being. I see the sun glittering through the leaves and blossoms of the bushes. Everything is wholly wonderful, colorful, and splendid.”
“I do not call the man who admits his ignorance an obscurantist; I think it is much rather the man whose consciousness is not sufficiently developed for him to be aware of his ignorance.”
“It is clear  that the God-image corresponds to a definite complex of psychological facts, and is thus a quantity which we can operate with; but what God is in himself remains a question outside the competence of all psychology. …it must now be admitted that things exist in the psyche about which we know little or nothing at all and that they possess at least as much reality as the things of the physical world which ultimately we do not understand either.”
“...a man's attitude towards the self is the only one that has no definable aim and no visible purpose. It is easy enough to say 'self', but exactly what have we said? That remains shrouded in 'metaphysical darkness'?it is a veritable lapis invisibilitatis [and] since we cannot possibly know the boundaries of something unknown to us, it follows that we are not in a position to set any bounds to the self.”
“Nothing but unexpected things kept happening to me. But it was as it had to be; for all came about because I am as I am.  I cannot form any final judgement because the phenomenon of life and the phenomenon of man are too vast. The older I have become, the less I have understood or had insight into or known about myself.  I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness; 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 exist on the foundation of something I do not know.  When Lao-Tzu says: 'All are clear, I alone am clouded,' he is expressing what I now feel in advanced old age. Lao-tzu is the example of a man who at the end of his life desires to return into his own being, into the eternal unknowable meaning. The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things. In fact it seems to me as if that alienation which so long separated me from this world has become transferred into my own inner world, and has revealed to me an unexpected unfamiliarity with myself.”
    Jack Haas is the author of ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, IN, AND OF: memoirs of a mystic journey, and THE DREAM OF BEING: aphorisms, ideograms, and aislings.
      His writings on alchemy and the alchemical process are unique works presenting a new synthesis of Jung's thought.

     To see more about
THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, click here.
Iconoclast Press home page





Other options at






Related links