Quotes from Memories, Dreams, and Reflections – C. G. Jung

Photo Credit Jung is bottom right corner of photo.

I would describe Jung’s Number 1 personality as the ego and Number 2 as the unconscious. Together these two represent the whole psyche and both personalities make up one’s total brain being – each part observing and informing the other. Personality Number 1 is different from Number 2 because it lives only in the conscious part of our psyche. They have an interesting mirror like relationship that is linked conceptually by this universal constant/base unit concept of energy/spirit.

  • #1 Conscious, logical, rational
  • #2 Unconscious, unbounded, instinctual

In my own life experience I connect a visual element to the personalities. In my mind I see myself as some kind of large boat. The Captain in the command center is (#1) – official in charge. The whole of the boat – the nuts and bolts that run the ship plus all the people and their stuff – INCLUDING the ports where people embark/disembark PLUS the weather patterns that affect the boat too (#2).

I’m also connecting this idea to a TED talk where a scientist asks what makes the human brain different from other brains. She explains that our primate brains take up a lot of energy – and that cooking food is how we manage the energy requirements.

It’s exactly this introspective behavior leading to self-knowledge that I believe Jung is getting at with the #1 personality and individuation. I think that Jung’s (#1) ability to observe Number 2 and to recognized the ‘Other’ in Number 1 was key in his development of new concepts to discuss how the mind functions. I also bet that he had a good diet!

While reading about Jung’s early life I was fascinated by his story of the stone and doll figure. It reminded me of a similar magical experience I had as a little kid. I had placed a small stone in the palm of my hand and it disappeared. I was convinced that the stone had been absorbed into the palm of my hand. For years this fact was a comforting and magical thought, I had a rock in my hand. Magic was real, and I was magical. I knew it was true. I really resonated with the significance of the inner world that Jung describes in respect to his secret stone and figure hidden in the attic.

First years

  1. Jung, C. G. (1989). Memories, Dreams, Reflections. (C. Winston & R. Winston, Trans., A. Jaffe, Ed.) (Reissue edition). New York: Vintage.
  2. What we are to our inward vision, and what we man appears to be sub specie aeternitatis, can only be expressed by way of myth. Myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than does science. p3
  3. What we see in the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains. p4
  4. I can understand myself only in the light of inner happenings. p4
  5. Others could light other fires in other caves, but these fires were profane and did not concern me. My fire alone was living and had an unmistakable aura of sanctity. p20
  6. At the time my interest in plants, animals, and stones grew. I was constantly on the lookout for something mysterious. p22
  7. Ultimately, the manikin was a kabir, wrapped in his little cloak, hidden in the kista, and provided with a supply of life-force, the oblong black stone. But these are connections which became clear to me only much later in life. When I was a child I performed the ritual just as I have seen it done by the natives of Africa; they act first and do not know what they are doing. Only long afterward do they reflect on what they have done. p23

School years

  1. I began to see my parents with different eyes, and to understand their cares and worries. p24
  2. If things became too bad I would think of my secret treasure in the attic, and that helped me regain my poise. For in my forlorn state I remembered that I was also the “Other,” the person who possessed the inviolable secret, the black stone and the little man in frock coast and top hat.” p26
  3. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything.” Therefore one could not deal with him as familiarly as with Lord Jesus,who was no “secret.” A certain analogy with my secret in the attic began to dawn on me. p 27
  4. Right into old age I have had the incorrigible feeling that if, like my schoolmates, I could have accepted without a struggle the proposition that a=b, or that sun = moon, dog=cat, then mathematics might have fooled me endlessly–just how much I only began to realize at the age of eighty-four. p.28
  5. The whole bag of tricks was over and done with! That was when I learned what a neurosis is. p 32
  6. The experience seemed to me tremendously important and new: there was “authority” in me. Curiously enough, at the time and also during the months of my fainting neurosis I had lost all memory of the treasure in the attic. p 33
  7. This ME was not only grown up, but important, an authority, a person with office and dignity, an old man, an object of respect and awe. Yet the contrast with reality was so grotesque that in the midst of my fury I suddenly stopped myself, for the question rose to my lips: “who in the world are you, anyway? You are reacting as though you were the devil only knows how important!” p 33
  8. When we were living in Klein-Huningen an ancient green carriage from the Black Forest drove past our house one day. It was truly an antique, looking exactly as if it had come straight out of the eighteenth century. When I saw it, I felt with great excitement: ” That’s it! Sure enough, that comes from my times.” p 34
  9. Who wants to force me to think something I don’t know and don’t wan to know? Where does this terrible will come from? And why should I be the one to be subjected to it? p 37
  10. Therefore it was God’s intention that they should sin. p38
  11. But from h moment I emerged from the mist and became conscious of myself, the unity, the greatness, and the superhuman majesty of God began to haunt my imagination. p 39
  12. His own commandment, something I am resisting with all my strength because I fear eternal damnation? Is it possible that God wishes to see whether I am capable of obeying His will even though my faith and my reason raise before me the specter of death and hell? That might really be the answer! p.39
  13. “Obviously God also desires me to show courage,” I thought. “If that is so and I go through with it, then He will give me His grace and illumination.” p.39
  14. That was what my father had not understood, I thought; he had failed to experience the will of God, had opposed it for the best reasons and out of the deepest faith. And that was why he had never experienced the miracle of grace which heals all and makes all comprehensible. p 40
  15. With the experience of God ad the cathedral I at last had something tangible that was part of the great secret–as if I had always talked of stones falling from heaven and now had one in my pocket. p 41
  16. I always knew that I was two persons. p 44
  17. There was an enormous difference between my mother’s two personalities. That was why as a child I often had anxiety dreams about her. p 50
  18. In the course of my life it has often happened to me that I suddenly knew something which I really could not know at all. p 51
  19. At last I had found confirmation that there were or had been people who saw evil and its universal power, and–more important–the mysterious role it played in delivering man from darkness and suffering. p 61
  20. Suddenly I understood that God was, for me at least, one of the most certain and immediate of experiences.” p 62
  21.  [Schopenhauer] spoke neither of the all-good and all-wise providence of the Creator, nor of the harmony of the cosmos, but stated bluntly hat a fundamental flaw underlay the sorrowful course of human history and the cruelty of nature: the blindness of the world-creating Will. p 63

Student years

  1. Now I knew that No. 1 was the bear of the light, and that No. 2  followed him like a shadow. p88
  2. For the extraordinary idea that in the light of consciousness the inner realm of light appears as a gigantic shadow was not something I would’ve hit on of my own accord. p89
  3. For there was no doubt in my mind that No. 2 had something to do with the creation of dreams, and I could easily credit him with the necessary superior intelligence. p98
  4. A revelation which had not taken shape from one day to the next, but had cast its shadow long in advance. p91
  5. There are factors which, although we do not know them, nevertheless influence our lives, the more so if they are unconscious. p91
  6. I knew enough about epistemology to realize that knowledge of this sort cannot be proved, but it was equally clear to me that it stood in no more need of proof than the beauty of a sunset or the terrors of the night. p92
  7. I recognized that the celebrated faith of his head played this deadly trick on him, and not only on him but on most of the cultivated and serious people I knew. The arch sin of faith, it seemed to me, was that it forestall experience. p94
  8. It was an unforgettable experience, and it forced me for the first time to think about life after death. p97
  9. I would not have missed this time of poverty. One learns to value simple things. p97
  10. The disappointment I felt about this gradually let me to a kind of resigned indifference, and confirmed my conviction that and religious matters only experience counted. p98
  11. Nevertheless, it could be established that at all times and all over the world the same stories have been reported again and again. p99
  12. Plainly the urban world knew nothing of the country world, and the real world of mountains, woods, and rivers, of animals and “God’s thoughts”( plants and crystals ). p100
  13. I could never free myself from the feeling that warm – blooded creatures work into us and not just cerebral automata. p101
  14. That, I thought, was his (Nietzsche’s )morbid misunderstanding: that he fearlessly an unsuspecting let his No. 2 loose upon a world that knew and understood nothing about such things. p103
  15.   I came to see that a new idea, or even just an unusual aspect of an old one, can be communicated only by facts. Facts remain and cannot be brushed aside; sooner or later someone will come upon them and know what he has found. p104
  16. I felt that at sometime or other I had passed through the valley of diamonds, but I could convince no one – not even myself, when I looked at them more closely – that the specimens I had brought back or not mere pieces of gravel. 104
  17. The tabletop had split from the rim to beyond the center, and not along any joint; the split ran right through the solid wood. p105
  18. A few weeks later I heard of certain relatives who had been engaged for sometime in table – turning, and also had a medium, a young girl of fifteen and a half. p.106
  19. I therefore began attending the regular séances which my relatives held every Sunday evening. p106
  20. I soon found out that limiting conditions imposed on the experiment generally had an obstructive effect. p106
  21. All in all, this was the one great experience which wiped out all my earlier philosophy and made it possible for me to achieve a psychological point of view. p107
  22. Here (psychology) at last was the place where the collision of nature and spirit became a reality. p109
  23. This confident feeling that I was a “United double nature” carried me as if on a magical way through the examination, in which I came out at the top. p109
  24. My aim was to show that delusions and hallucinations or not just specific symptoms of mental disease but also had a human meaning. p110