Jung: On Good & Evil
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I cannot love anyone if I hate myself. That is the reason why we feel so extremely uncomfortable in the presence of people who are noted for their special virtuousness, for they radiate an atmosphere of the torture they inflict on themselves. That is not a virtue but a vice. And thus, from so-called goodness, which was once really good, something has arisen which is no longer good; it has become an evasion. Nowadays any coward can make himself respectable by going to church and loving his neighbour. But it is simply an untrue state, an artificial world.

From the Basel Seminar (1934)


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Good and evil are feeling-values of human provenance, and we cannot extend them beyond the human realm. What happens beyond this is beyond our judgment: God is not to be caught with human attributes. Besides, where would the fear of God be if only good- i.e., what seems good to us - were to be expected from him?

"A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity" (1942). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.291


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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.

"On the Re-education of the Germans" (1946). In Basler Nachrichten, Nr. 486, November 16.


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The doctrine that all evil thoughts come from the heart and that the human soul is a sink of iniquity must lie deep in the marrow of their bones. Were it so, then God had made a sorry job of creation, and it were high time for us to go over to Marcion the Gnostic and depose the incompetent demiurge. Ethically, of course, it is infinitely more convenient to leave God the sole responsibility for such a Home for Idiot Children, where no one is capable of putting a spoon into his own mouth. But it is worth man's while to take pains with himself, and he has something in his own soul that can grow. It is rewarding to watch patiently the silent happenings in the soul, and the most and the best happens when it is not regulated from outside and from above.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12: P.126


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There are times in the world's history - and our own time may be one of them - when good must stand aside, so that anything destined to be better first appears in evil form. This shows how extremely dangerous it is even to touch these problems, for evil can so easily slip in on the plea that it is, potentially, the better!

"The Development of the Personality" (1934). In CW 17: The Development of the Personality. P.321


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There is no human horror or fairground freak that has not lain in the womb of a loving mother. As the sun shines upon the just and the unjust, and as women who bear and give suck tend God's children and the devil's brood with equal compassion, unconcerned about the possible consequences, so we also are part and parcel of this amazing nature, and, like it, carry within us the seeds of the unpredictable.

"The Development of the Personality" (1934). In CW 17: The Development of the Personality. P.321


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The people who fancy they are sure of themselves are the ones who are truly unsure. Our whole life is unsure, so a feeling of unsureness is much nearer to the truth than the illusion and bluff of sureness. In the long run it is the better adapted man who triumphs, not the wrongly self-confident, who is at the mercy of dangers from without and within.

"Depth Psychology and Self-Knowledge" In DU III:9 September 1943. In CW 18: P.18


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The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.

"Return to the Simple Life" In CW 18: P.56


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To live in perpetual flight from ourselves is a bitter thing, and to live with ourselves demands a number of Christian virtues which we then have to apply to our own case, such as patience, love, faith, hope, and humility. It is all very fine to make our neighbour happy by applying them to him, but the demon of self-admiration so easily claps us on the back and says, "Well done!" And because this is a great psychological truth, it must be stood on its head for an equal number of people so as to give the devil something to carp at. But-does it make us happy when we have to apply these virtues to ourselves? when I am the recipient of my own gifts, the least among my brothers whom I must take to my bosom? when I must admit that I need all my patience, my love, my faith, and even my humility, and that I myself am my own devil, the antagonist who always wants the opposite in everything? Can we ever really endure ourselves? "Do unto others . . ."-this is as true of evil as of good.

"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P. 522


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We still attribute to the other fellow all the evil and inferior qualities that we do not like to recognize in ourselves, and therefore have to criticize and attack him, when all that has happened is that an inferior "soul" has emigrated from one person to another. The world is still full of betes noires and scapegoats, just as it formerly teemed with witches and werewolves.

"Archaic Man" (1931). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 130.


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The real existence of an enemy upon whom one can foist off everything evil is an enormous relief to one's conscience. You can then at least say, without hesitation, who the devil is; you are quite certain that the cause of your misfortune is outside, and not in your own attitude.

"General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.518


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The man who promises everything is sure to fulfil nothing, and everyone who promises too much is in danger of using evil means in order to carry out his promises, and is already on the road to perdition.

"After the Catastrophe" (1945). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 413.


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Only with Christ did the devil enter the world as the real counterpart of God, and in early Jewish Christian circles Satan was regarded as Christ's elder brother.

Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P. 113


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Evil needs to be pondered just as much as good, for good and evil are ultimately nothing but ideal extensions and abstractions of doing, and both belong to the chiaroscuro of life. In the last resort there is no good that cannot produce evil and no evil that cannot produce good.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12: P.36


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The view that good and evil are spiritual principles outside us, and that man is caught in the conflict between them is more bearable by far than the insight that the opposites are the ineradicable and indispensable preconditions of all psychic life, so much so that life itself is guilt. Even a life dedicated to God is still lived by an ego, which speaks of an ego and asserts an ego in God's despite, which does not instantly merge itself with God but reserves for itself a freedom and a will which it sets up outside God and against him.

Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955). CW 14: 266


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We know of course that without sin there is no repentance and without repentance no redeeming grace, also that without original sin the redemption of the world could never have come about; but we assiduously avoid investigating whether in this very power of evil God may not have placed some special purpose which it is most important for us to know. One often feels driven to some such view when, like the psychotherapist, one has to deal with people who are confronted with their blackest shadow.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12: P.36


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Where is a height without depth, and how can there be light that throws no shadow? There is no good that is not opposed by evil. "No man can be redeemed from a sin he has not committed," says Carpocrates; a deep saying for all who wish to understand, and a golden opportunity for all those who prefer to draw false conclusions. What is down below is not just an excuse for more pleasure, but something we fear because it demands to play its part in the life of the more conscious and more complete man.

"Woman In Europe" (1927). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P.271


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It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others becomes our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts.

"After the Catastrophe" (1945). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 413.


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The tendency to separate the opposites as much as possible and to strive for singleness of meaning is absolutely necessary for clarity of consciousness, since discrimination is of its essence. But when the separation is carried so far that the complementary opposite is lost sight of, and the blackness of the whiteness, the evil of the good, the depth of the heights, and so on, is no longer seen, the result is one-sidedness, which is then compensated from the unconscious without our help.

Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955). CW 14: 470


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Even on the highest peak we shall never be "beyond good and evil," and the more we experience of their inextricable entanglement the more uncertain and confused will our moral judgment be. In this conflict, it will not help us in the least to throw the moral criterion on the rubbish heap and to set up new tablets after known patterns; for, as in the past, so in the future the wrong we have done, thought, or intended will wreak its vengeance on our souls, no matter whether we turn the world upside down or not.

"A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity" (1942). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.267


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Besides the "right" kind of conscience there's a "wrong" one, which exaggerates, perverts, and twists evil into good and good into evil just as our own scruples do; and it does so with the same compulsiveness and with the same emotional consequences as the "right" kind of conscience. Were it not for this paradox the question of conscience would present no problem: we could then rely wholly on its decisions so far as morality is concerned. But since there is great and justified uncertainty in this regard, it needs unusual courage or-what amounts to the same thing-unshakable faith for a person simply to follow the dictates of his own conscience. As a rule one obeys only up to a certain point, which is determined in advance by the moral code. This is where those dreaded conflicts of duty begin. Generally they are answered according to the precepts of the moral code, but only in a very few cases are they really decided by an individual act of judgment. For as soon as the moral code ceases to act as a support, conscience easily succumbs to a fit of weakness.

"A Psychological View of Conscience" (1958). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 835


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If, as many are fain to believe, the unconscious were only nefarious, only evil, then the situation would be simple and the path clear: to do good and to eschew evil. But what is "good" and what is "evil"? The unconscious is not just evil by nature, it is also the source of the highest good: not only dark but also light, not only bestial, semi-human and demonic but superhuman, spiritual, and, in the classical sense of the word, "divine."

"The Psychology of Transference" (1946). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P. 389


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Christ espoused the sinner and did not condemn him. The true follower of Christ will do the same, and, since one should do unto others as one would do unto oneself, one will also take the part of the sinner who is oneself. And as little as we would accuse Christ of fraternizing with evil, so little should we reproach ourselves that to love the sinner who is oneself is to make a pact with the devil. Love makes a man better, hate makes him worse even when that man is oneself.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12: P.37


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