Bridging psychological type and depth psychology

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Red Book Ruminations

It is no small matter to acknowledge one’s yearning. For this many need to make a particular effort at honesty. All too many do not want to know where their yearning is, because it would seem to them impossible or too distressing. And yet yearning is the way of life. If you do not acknowledge your yearning, then you do not follow yourself but go on foreign ways that others have indicated to you. So you do not live your life but an alien one. But who should live your life if you do not live it? It is not only stupid to exchange your own life for an alien one, but also a hypocritical game, because you can never really live the life of others, you can only pretend to do it, deceiving the other and yourself since you can only live your own life.

If you give up your self you live it in others; thereby you become selfish to others, and thus you deceive others. Everyone thus believes that such a life is possible. It is, however, only apish imitation. Through giving in to your apish appetite, you infect others, because the ape stimulates the apish. So you turn yourself and others into apes. Through reciprocal imitation you live according to the average expectation.

The Red Book, p. 288, para. 68.


Copyright © 2009 by The Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung
Translation Copyright © 2009 by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani

Text and image courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company and The Philemon Foundation.


    A cause of disease in the shamanic traditions stems from not living one’s authentic life. I am continuously pleased and appreciative of how Jung perceived, identified and validated the deeper dimensions of our unconscious and the archetypal dimensions that nourish our psyches.

  • it is indeed no small thing to acknowledge ones yearnings. I am reminded of
    Bob Dylan’s line–“if they knew what was in my mind they would put my head in a guillotine” (sic). That fear stops me, or used to stop me from letting them be known. But I have learned (duh) that the deep yearnings that seemed so weird and so awful or foolish are more often than I could have hoped welcomed, appreciated, and shared. And the speaking of them is often a gift to the other and always lets me see what in me is indeed worthy of love.
    And the most “disgusting” of them is of course also close to and pointing to gold inside. And the reading of that sign post is often aided by sharing.

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