We always find in the patient a conflict which at a certain point is connected with the great problems of society. Hence, when the analysis is pushed to this point, the apparently individual conflict of the patient is revealed as a universal conflict of his environment and epoch.
By soul I mean, first of all, a perspective rather than a substance, a viewpoint toward things rather than a thing itself. Between us and events, between the doer and the deed, there is a reflective moment—and soul-making means differentiating this middle ground.
I had learned that all the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble. (…) They can never be solved, but only outgrown.
We should not forget that in any psychological discussion we are not saying anything about the psyche, but that the psyche is always speaking about itself.
It can be argued that disorders are the root cause of suffering and so should be the prime target of psychotherapy; but we do not treat disorders, we treat suffering people who are vastly more complex than their diagnosis.
Collectively we live in a culture that discards the past as irrelevant, and individually we are convinced that we create ourselves anew every day.
The European national self, as described by early twentieth century psychoanalysis and analytical psychology, was structured as a modern counterpart to the primitive and colonized other.
The question of psychology today is that its world view is too shrunken. And therefore the whole field tends to shrink. It’s not just shrinks that make it shrink. It shrinks by virtue of its own limited worldview.
Psychotherapy today… Still has a vast amount to unlearn and relearn… but first it must cease thinking neurotically and see the psychic process in true perspective.
It is not the literal return to alchemy that is necessary but a restoration of the alchemical mode of imagining. For in that mode we restore matter to our speech – and that is our aim: the restoration of imaginative matter, not of literal alchemy.