“We don’t get wounded alone and we don’t heal alone.” ~ Carl Jung
An entire world knows Carl Jung as the brilliant psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His works and his words have impacted the world today in significant ways and it will continue to do so for a long time. And since I personally have learned a great deal from this amazing man, I wanted to share with you
40 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from the Great Carl Jung
1. Every human life contains a potential.
“Every human life contains a potential, if that potential is not fulfilled, then that life was wasted…”
2. The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
3. The greatest problems of life are not meant to be solved, they are meant to be outgrown.
“The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.” ~ Carl Jung
“We don’t so much solve our problems as we outgrow them. We add capacities and experiences that eventually make us bigger than the problems.”
4. We are not what happened to us, we are what we choose to become.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.” ~ Carl Jung
5. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness.
“No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.”
“There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” ~ Carl Jung
“Nobody, as long as he moves among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.”
6. For better to come, good must stand aside.
“For better to come, good must stand aside.”
7. Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort.
“Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort. They are found-given-by experience.”
8. There is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.” ~ Carl Jung
9. The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” ~ Carl Jung
10. You cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning.
“The first half of life is devoted to forming a healthy ego, the second half is going inward and letting go of it.” ~ Carl Jung
“Thoroughly unprepared, we take the step into the afternoon of life. Worse still, we take this step with the false presupposition that our truths and our ideals will serve us as hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be little at evening and what in the morning was true, at evening will have become a lie.” ~ Carl Jung
11. We no longer live in the present day but in the darkness of the future.
“We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will, at last, bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose us.
The less we understand of what our [forebears] sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.”
12. “Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge.” ~ Carl Jung
“If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool.”
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung
14. Where love rules, there is no will to power. Where power predominates, love is lacking.
“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.” ~ Carl Jung
15. The healthy man does not torture others.
“The healthy man does not torture others – generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.”
16. You cannot change anything unless you accept it.
“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” ~ Carl Jung
“Somewhere, right at the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know where one should go and what one should do. But there are times when the clown we call “I” behaves in such a distracting fashion that the inner voice cannot make its presence felt.” ~ Carl Jung
18. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.
“Deep down, below the surface of the average man’s conscience, he hears a voice whispering, “There is something not right,” no matter how much his rightness is supported by public opinion or moral code.” ~ Carl Jung
“Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. Carl Jung
20. In all disorder, there is a secret order.
“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” ~ Carl Jung
21. Life really does begin at forty.
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”~ Carl Jung
22. History is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood.
“Man is not a machine that can be remodeled for quite other purposes as occasion demands, in the hope that it will go on functioning as regularly as before but in a quite different way. He carries his whole history with him; in his very structure is written the history of mankind.” ~ Carl Jung
“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?” ~ Carl Jung
23. It all depends on how you look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” ~ Carl Jung
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.” ~ Carl Jung
25. Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness’s of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
26. People will do anything to avoid facing their own souls.
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.”
“Loneliness does not come from having no people around, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.” ~ Carl Jung
28. A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” ~ Carl Jung
29. What you resist, persists.
“What you resist, persists.”
“Whatever is rejected from the self, appears in the world as an event.”
30. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.
“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
31. You do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
32. The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents.
“The greatest tragedy of the family is the unlived lives of the parents.”
“Shame is a soul eating emotion.”
34. The best political, social, and spiritual work you can do is to withdraw the projection of your shadow onto others.
“The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.”
35. The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.
“The reason for evil in the world is that people are not able to tell their stories.”
36. We meet ourselves time and again in a thousand disguises on the path of life.
“What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me; and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I, myself, am the enemy who must be loved — what then?”
“In each of us there is another whom we do not know.”
37. Theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see.
“With a truly tragic delusion, theologians fail to see that it is not a matter of proving the existence of the light, but of blind people who do not know that their eyes could see. It is high time we realized that it is pointless to praise the light and preach it if nobody can see it. It is much more needful to teach people the art of seeing.”
38. The overstimulated psyche can recover in the presence of the infinite peace and spaciousness of the sea.
“I am looking forward enormously to getting back to the sea again, where the overstimulated psyche can recover in the presence of that infinite peace and spaciousness.”
39. Be silent and listen.
“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too.
Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life…If you want to find paths, you should also not spurn madness, since it makes up such a great part of your nature…
Be glad that you can recognize it, for you will thus avoid becoming its victim. Madness is a special form of the spirit and clings to all teachings and philosophies, but even more to daily life, since life itself is full of craziness and at bottom utterly illogical. Man strives toward reason only so that he can make rules for himself. Life itself has no rules. That is its mystery and its unknown law. What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.” ~ Carl Jung
40. Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth.
“Nobody can fall so low unless he has a great depth. If such a thing can happen to a man, it challenges his best and highest on the other side; that is to say, this depth corresponds to a potential height, and the blackest darkness to a hidden light.” ~ Carl Jung
BONUS: Other Famous Carl Jung Quotes
“We should know what our convictions are, and stand for them. Upon one’s own philosophy, conscious or unconscious, depends one’s ultimate interpretation of facts. Therefore it is wise to be as clear as possible about one’s subjective principles. As the man is, so will be his ultimate truth.” ~ C.G. Jung
“I have done without electricity, and tend the fireplace and stove myself. Evenings, I light the old lamps. There is no running water, and I pump the water from the well. I chop the wood and cook the food. These simple acts make man simple; and how difficult it is to be simple!” ~ Carl G. Jung
“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 meaning of his own existence?” ~ Carl Jung
“The erotic instinct is something questionable, and will always be so whatever a future set of laws may have to say on the matter. It belongs, on the one hand, to the original animal nature of man, which will exist as long as man has an animal body.
On the other hand, it is connected with the highest forms of the spirit. But it blooms only when the spirit and instinct are in true harmony. If one or the other aspect is missing, then an injury occurs, or at least there is a one-sided lack of balance which easily slips into the pathological. Too much of the animal disfigures the civilized human being, too much culture makes a sick animal.” ~ Carl Jung
“I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life – that is to say, over 35 – 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 their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
“Be grateful for your difficulties and challenges, for they hold blessings. In fact… Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health personal growth, individuation and self-actualisation.” ~ Carl Jung
“Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfill the way that is in you.” ~ Carl Jung
“Relationships must be fostered as far as possible and maintained, and thus a morbid transference can be avoided.” ~ Carl Jung
“I am accused of mysticism. I do not, however, hold myself responsible 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.” ~ Carl Jung
“As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.” ~ Carl Gustav Jung
“Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.” ~ Carl Jung
“What is illusion? By what criterion do we judge 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.” ~ Carl Jung
“The psychotherapist 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 psychotherapist 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.” ~ Carl Jung