kayegersch.com
White swans, a photo taken when I was at Nottingham in England at a week-long workshop with Luce Irigaray, contemporary feminist philosopher

Dr Kaye Gersch PhD 

psychoanalytic psychotherapist | clinical supervisor | couples therapist  


“When the artist creates, it is not the manifestation of the need to communicate something to the world. It is rather that the complex itself simply wants to emerge!”


Sabina Spielrein, Unedited extracts from a diary, page 5

"Never lament casually. If one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty." 


Leonard Cohen

“People who have a creative side and do not live it out are most disagreeable clients. They make a mountain out of a molehill, fuss about unnecessary things, are too passionately in love with somebody who is not worth so much attention, and so on. There is a kind of floating charge of energy in them which is not attached to its right object and therefore tends to apply exaggerated dynamism to the wrong situation.” 


Marie Louise von Franz. Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales

“What we do not make conscious emerges later as fate.”
Carl Jung

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Nobody who finds himself on the road to wholeness can escape that characteristic suspension which is the meaning of crucifixion. For he will infallibly run into things that thwart and "cross" him: first, the thing he has no wish to be (the shadow); second, the thing he is not (the "other", the individual reality of "You"); and third, his psychi non-ego (the Collective Unconscious).


The Psychology of the Transference," Practicve of Psychotherapy, CW 16, para 470.

"The Self is our life's goal, for it is the completest expression of the fateful combination we call individuality..."

C G Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, p 398

C.G Jung on 'religion'.


“By ‘religion’ I mean a kind of attitude which takes careful and conscientious account of certain numinous feelings, ideas and events and reflects upon them.”

In Jung's definition of the god-image, he is referring to a psychological truth, not a theological proposition.


“God (or more accurately god-image) is the name by which I designate all things which cross my wilful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.” 


Here is the quote from Morris West's novel, Shoes of the Fisherman, about the "Whole Person"..

“Yesterday I met a whole person. It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one. It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price… One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return on love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, yet open always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.” 

Quote from St Teresa of Avila.


in The Interior Castle, she says: 


“This magnificent refuge is inside you. Enter. Shatter the darkness that shrouds the doorway. Be bold. Be humble. Put away the incense and forget the incarnations they taught you. Ask no permission from the authorities. Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home” (my emphasis).

Friedrich Nietzsche, 

On the Genealogy of Morals/Ecce Homo


“My formula for human greatness is amor fati: that one wants to have nothing different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely to bear the necessary, still less to conceal it - all idealism is mendaciousness before the necessary - but to love it”.

C. G. Jung


Often the hands know how to solve a riddle with which the intellect has wrestled in vain.” 

Joseph Campbell


"We're in a free fall into future. We don't know where we're going. Things are changing so fast. And always when you're going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. But all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It's a very interesting shift of perspective . . . Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world and everything changes." 

Just before Jung died in 1961 he wrote:


"Nothing is holy any longer (CW 18 para 582). Through scientific understanding our world has become dehumanised. (Our) immediate communication with nature is gone for ever (para 585). No wonder the Western world feels uneasy, for it does not know how much...it has lost through the destruction of its numinosities. Its moral and spiritual tradition has collapsed, and has left a worldwide disorientation and dissociation (para 581)."


    Jung on native spiritualities:


    “Western consciousness is by no means the only kind of consciousness there is: it is historically conditioned and geographically limited, and representative of only one part of mankind. The widening of consciousness ought not to proceed at the expense of the other kinds of consciousness."


    (1934, CW 13, paragraph 84)

“People who have a creative side and do not live it out are most disagreeable clients. They make a mountain out of a molehill, fuss about unnecessary things, are too passionately in love with somebody who is not worth so much attention, and so on. There is a kind of floating charge of energy in them which is not attached to its right object and therefore tends to apply exaggerated dynamism to the wrong situation.”

 

Marie-Louise von Franz, Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales

“Just as conscious contents can vanish into the unconscious, other contents can also arise from it. Besides a majority of mere recollections, really new thoughts and creative ideas can appear which have never been conscious before. They grow from the dark depths like a lotus.”


From the essay by C.G.Jung “Approaching the Unconscious”, in Man and His Symbols

Marion Woodman says, in The Ravage Bridegroom


“If men and women are to be equal partners in the outer world, the foundations for that partnership must first be laid within themselves. As within, so without. Nothing can be achieved without if the foundations are not firmly established within. Negotiations between the sexes are bound to collapse into misunderstandings or remain suspended in compromises that satisfy neither, so long as men and women remain strangers to their inner reality” (p13).

Marion Woodman , in The Ravaged Bridegroom.


“Crucial to (the evolution of relationship) is the realization that the inner partner is not the same as the outer partner, and so long as the inner divinity (or ideal) is projected onto the outer human creature, there can be nothing but illusion, confusion, disappointment and despair, to mention but a few of the heartaches that the flesh is heir to. While our relationships to the inner (bride or bridegroom) will influence our outer relationships, he or she is the presence that accompanies us in our inner journey to totality. Our outer partner shares the earthly path. Discriminating between the two can be a humbling and releasing experience. I remember the first time I saw my husband without projection. We had been married 25 years (p 211)."

Jung, in Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, says, 


“The person who cannot create individually won values has to consciously embrace collective values. Only to the extent that a man creates values can he and may he individuate. Every further step in individuation creates new guilt and necessitates new expiation. Hence individuation is possible only so long as substitute, or personal values, are produced. Individuation is exclusive adaptation to inner reality. And what is offered up in expiation for the guilt of not adhering to the collective values, is contribution to the outer world or the collective (page 451).

James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


”Learning to forgive oneself is critical but most difficult. The forgiven self is freer to move forward, armed with the enhancement of consciousness, which makes life so much richer. But such forgiveness of self, with sincere contrition, symbolic recompense and then release, is rare. How difficult, but how necessary, it is to internalize Paul Tillich’s definition of grace: ‘Accept that you are accepted, despite the fact that you are unacceptable’. Such amazing grace, such release of soul to move deeper into the world (p33)".

                                              James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


“Betrayal stings us towards individuation. If the betrayal is of our existential naivete, we are driven towards the embrace of a greater wisdom of the universe whose dialectic seems to be attachment and loss; if the betrayal is our dependency, we are driven to face where we long to remain infantile; if the betrayal is one of conscious being towards another, we are driven to suffer and embrace the polarities which are found not only in the betrayer, but in ourselves as well. In every case, if we do not remain behind, stuck in recriminations, we are enlarged, more complex, more conscious (p 50)".

                                               James Hollis, in Swampland of the Soul, says:


“The most bitter pill in betrayal, then, may be our grudging recognition, often years later, that we ourselves were part of the collusive ballet which led in time to betrayal. If we can swallow such a bitter pill, we will have a much larger sense of our shadow. We will not always like what we are summoned to acknowledge. As Jung said, ‘the experience of the Self is often a defeat for the ego.’ (C.G.Jung Mysterium Coniunctionis, CW 14, par.778). In describing his own descent into his unconscious in the second decade of the 20th century, Jung tells us how he was forced repeatedly to say, ‘Here is another thing you did not know about yourself.’ (C.G.Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, p183). But from such a bitter herb does much consciousness evolve  (p 50)".

James Hollis, in Swamplands of the Soul, says:


“Jung’s concept of individuation, the idea that the purpose of life is to serve the mystery through becoming an individual, is a profound contribution to our time”. Individuation obliges an ongoing dialogue between ego and the Self. Out of their exchange the splits of the sundered psyche may partially heal. A functional definition of the Self, then, would be the archetype of order within us. That is to say, the Self is an activity of psyche whose function is to further the development of the individual. The Self is both purpose and container. Psyche or soul, then, is simply our word for the mysterious process through which we experience the movement towards meaning (12)".

James Hollis on the loneliness of Individuation:


Individuation mostly comes to us through processes that make us feel insecure, because the ego is no longer in command. It is in the swamplands of the soul, where we least want to sojourn, that we discover depth.


“The more we are enmeshed with others, the less differentiated, the less individuated we are; the less individuated, the less we serve the greater purpose of the cosmos for which we were so mysteriously generated. To regress, to seek togetherness, to abstain from the journey towards one’s fuller self, is not only soul-crime, it is denial of the universe itself”. (Swamplands of the Soul, p60) These are strong words! To not engage in the individuation process is soul-crime! And denial of the universe itself! Perhaps we get some sense of the nobility and necessity of the journey. For Jung the process of individuation was solitary, and lonely.  He said: “The consequence of my resolve (to follow the inner images) and my involvement with things which neither I nor anyone else could understand, was an extreme loneliness (C.G.Jung Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Page 194)".


James Hollis on Depression and Anxiety: 


“There is an essential difference between normal anxiety and anxiety that is neurotically crippling. To live fully in the world is to frequently suffer the bouts of anxiety that are our lot as a sentient species. We should never deride ourselves for such anxiety. It becomes a psychological problem only when we are prevented by that anxiety from living our lives as fully as possible. And it becomes a moral problem when our own chosen strategies impair and impede us. So we are anxious?......so we are still obliged to live as fully as possible.

Anxiety is the price of a ticket on the journey of life; no ticket - no journey; no journey – no life. Just as Freud noted that the task of therapy is to move one from neurotic miseries to the normal miseries of life, so we are impelled to face what we cannot face, bear what we cannot bear, name the un-nameable that haunts us.

Again, we are daily forced to choose between depression and anxiety. Depression results from the wounding of the individuation imperative; anxiety results from moving forward into the unknown. The path of anxiety is necessary because therein lies the hope of the person to more nearly become and individual. My analyst once said to me, ‘You must make your fears your agenda.’ When we do take on that agenda, for all the anxiety engendered, we feel better because we know we are living in bonne foi with ourselves.

Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the perception that some things are more important to us than fear. The individuation task, for example, is more important than whatever regressively blocks us. Interestingly enough, we make a great move toward personal liberation when we can acknowledge the existential angst directly, know ourselves to be fragile beings clinging to a spinning planet hurtling through space, and at the same time grateful for such a grand ride. We gain when we are able to move from the anxiety, which, like fog, obscures the forward path. When, in that could, we can identify specific fears, we will often find them groundless to us as adults, though they were once overwhelming as a child. If, for example, one has an inordinate fear of conflict, and avoids speaking at meetings, one needs to find the discrete fear in the cloud of paralysing anxiety. Generally, such an anxious thought will translate into an early fear, such as ‘They won’t approve’, ‘They won’t love me.’”

These primal fears were real for the child, but the adult we have become can have a different experience. What I can make conscious, face directly and deal with as an adult, frees me from unconscious bondage to the past. We truly perceive that something is more important than what we fear. And there is. We are more important than what we fear. This is what is meant by courage.” (Swamplands of the Soul, pp 115-116).

“The sight of evil kindles evil in the soul….  The victim is not the only sufferer; everybody in the vicinity of the crime, including the murderer, suffers with him. Something of the abysmal darkness of the world has broken in on us, poisoning the very air we breathe and befouling the water with the stale, nauseating taste of blood.”


-Jung, 1945. After the catastrophe. Coll. Works. 10. p. 199


“A true symbol appears only when there is a need to express what thought cannot think or what is only divined or felt.”


“The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.”


“It is only the things we don't understand that have any meaning. Man woke up in a world he did not understand, and that is why he tries to interpret it.”


“My speech is imperfect. Not because I want to shine with words, but out of the impossibility of finding those words, I speak in images. With nothing else can I express the words from the depths.”


“All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination.”


“Whether you call the principle of existence "God," "matter," "energy," or anything else you like, you have created nothing; you have merely changed a symbol.”


“Every step closer to my soul excites the scornful laughter of my devils, those cowardly ear-whisperers and poison-mixers.”


“But there is no energy unless there is a tension of opposites; hence it is necessary to discover the opposite to the attitude of the conscious mind.”


“Our suffering comes from our unlived life--the unseen, unfelt parts of our psyche.”


“Fanaticism is always a sign of repressed doubt.”


“Who has fully realized that history is not contained in thick books but lives in our very blood?”


“Heaven has become for us the cosmic space of the physicists... But 'the heart glows,' and a secret unrest gnaws at the roots of our being.”


“Man's task is to become conscious of the contents that press upward from the unconscious.”


“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.”


“What is not brought to consciousness, comes to us as fate.”


“If you think along the lines of Nature then you think properly."


“Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.”


“Our psyche is set up in accord with the structure of the universe, and what happens in the macrocosm likewise happens in the infinitesimal and most subjective reaches of the psyche.”


“We are always human and we should never forget the burden of being only human.”


“We can keep from a child all knowledge of earlier myths, but we cannot take from him the need for mythology.”


“One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.”


“It would be a ridiculous and unwarranted presumption on our part if we imagined that we were more energetic or more intelligent than the men of the past—our material knowledge has increased, but not our intelligence.”


“. . . the paradox is one of our most valued spiritual possessions. . .”


“You are what you do, not what you say you will do.”


“In the last analysis, most of our difficulties come from losing contact with our instincts, with the age-old forgotten wisdom stored up in us.”


“The dream gives a true picture of the subjective state, while the conscious mind denies that this state exists, or recognizes it only grudgingly.”


“Know all the theories, master all the techniques, but as you touch a human soul be just another human soul.”


“The ideas of the moral order and of God belong to the ineradicable substrate of the human soul.”


“If only a world-wide consciousness could arise that all division and fission are due to the splitting of opposites in the psyche, then we should know where to begin.”


“Each is deceived by the sense of finality peculiar to the stage of development at which he stands.”


“To be "normal" is a splendid ideal for the unsuccessful. . .”


“Dreams give information about the secrets of the inner life and reveal to the dreamer hidden factors of his personality.”


“My friends, it is wise to nourish the soul, otherwise you will breed dragons and devils in your heart.”


“Hidden in our problems is a bit of still undeveloped personality, a precious fragment of the psyche. Without this, we face resignation, bitterness and everything else that is hostile to life.”


“We should grow like a tree that likewise does not know its law. We tie ourselves up with intentions, not mindful of the fact that intention is the limitation, yes, the exclusion of life.”


“You do not have an inferior function, it has you.”


“For underlying all philosophies and all religions are the facts of the human soul, which may ultimately be the arbiters of truth and error.”


“Our biggest problems cannot be resolved. They must be outgrown.”


“The fool is the precursor to the savior.”


“In spite of our proud domination of nature, we are still her victims, for we have not even learned to control our nature.”


“'Good advice' is often a doubtful remedy, but generally not dangerous because it has so little effect. . .”


“Archetypal images decide the fate of man.”


“The underlying, primary psychic reality is so inconceivably complex that it can be grasped only at the farthest reach of intuition, and then but very dimly. That is why it needs symbols.”


“Nobody is immune to a nationwide evil unless he is unshakably convinced of the danger of his own character being tainted by the same evil.”


“Life calls, not for perfection, but for completeness.”


“To the scientific mind, such phenomena as symbolic ideas are most irritating, because they cannot be formulated in a way that satisfies our intellect and logic.”


“What you call knowledge is an attempt to impose something comprehensible on life.”


“It is precisely the most subjective ideas which, being closest to nature and to the living being, deserve to be called the truest.”


“Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that the people are as we imagine them to be.”


“Only the 'complete' person knows how unbearable man is to himself.”


“A man may be convinced in all good faith that he has no religious ideas, but no one can fall so far away from humanity that he no longer has any dominating representation collective.”


“There are so many indications that one does not know what one sees. Is it the trees or is it the woods?”


“The symbol-producing function of our dreams is an attempt to bring our original mind back to consciousness, where it has never been before, and where it has never undergone critical self-reflection. We have been that mind, but we have never known it.”


“You should mock yourself and rise above this.”


“Numinous experience elevates and humiliates simultaneously.”


“The future of mankind depends very much upon the recognition of the shadow.”


“Real life is always tragic and those who do not know this have never lived.”


“The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution born anew in the brain structure.”


“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self.”


“I frequently have a feeling that they [the Dead] are standing directly behind us, waiting to hear what answer we will give to them, and what answer to destiny.”


“Nothing so promotes the growth of consciousness as [the] inner confrontation of opposites.”


“Nothing is more vulnerable and ephemeral than scientific theories, which are mere tools and not everlasting truths.”


“Be glad that you can recognize [your madness], for you will thus avoid becoming its victim.”


“Myth is the natural and indispensable intermediate stage between unconscious and conscious cognition.”


“I'm sometimes driven to the conclusion that boring people need treatment more urgently than mad people.”


“If you fulfil the pattern that is peculiar to yourself, you have loved yourself, you have accumulated and have abundance; you bestow virtue then because you have lustre.”


“The way is within us, but not in Gods, nor in teachings, nor in laws. Within us is the way, the truth, and the life.”


“Intuition does not say what things 'mean' but sniffs out their possibilities. Meaning is given by thinking.”


“Only in our creative acts do we step forth into the light and see ourselves whole and complete.”


“Projections change the world into the replica of one’s own unknown face.”


"Everybody acts out of myth, but very few people know what their myth is. And you should know what myth is because it could be a tragedy and maybe you don't want it to be."


"It is the function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into the visible reality the world within us."


“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”


“Expressionism in art prophetically anticipated this subjective development, for all art intuitively apprehends coming changes in the collective unconsciousness.”


“Sentimentality is the superstructure erected upon brutality.”


“The rupture between faith and knowledge is a symptom of the split consciousness which is so characteristic of the mental disorder of our day.”


“Fascination arises when the unconscious has been moved.”


“Luna is really the mother of the Sun, which means, psychologically, that the unconscious is pregnant with consciousness and gives birth to it.”


“The core of an individual is the mystery of life, which dies when it is 'grasped'. That is also why symbols want to keep their secrets.”


“There is, after all, no harsher bitterness than that of a person who is his own worst enemy.”


“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”


“To find out what is truly individual in ourselves, profound reflection is needed; and suddenly we realize how uncommonly difficult the discovery of individuality is.”


“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”


“Without this playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.”


“My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.”


“Faith, hope, love, and insight are the highest achievements of human effort. They are found-given-by experience.”


“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.”


“I am no longer alone with myself, and I can only artificially recall the scary and beautiful feeling of solitude. This is the shadow side of the fortune of love.”


“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”


“Intuition does not denote something contrary to reason, but something outside of the province of reason.”


“Had I left those images hidden in the emotions, I might have been torn to pieces by them.”


“I don't aspire to be a good man. I aspire to be a whole man.”


“Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.”


“When you are up against a wall, put down roots like a tree, until clarity comes from deeper sources to see over that wall and grow.”


“We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate; it oppresses.”


“Psychological or spiritual development always requires a greater capacity for anxiety and ambiguity.”


“This whole creation is essentially subjective, and the dream is the theatre where the dreamer is at once scene, actor, prompter, stage manager, author, audience, and critic.”


“Emotion is the chief source of all becoming-conscious. There can be no transforming of darkness into light and of apathy into movement without emotion.”


“I find that all my thoughts circle around God like the planets around the sun, and are as irresistibly attracted by Him. I would feel it to be the grossest sin if I were to oppose any resistance to this force.”


“The secret is that only that which can destroy itself is truly alive.”


“Our blight is ideologies — they are the long-expected Antichrist!”


“We can never legitimately cut loose from our archetypal foundations unless we are prepared to pay the price of a neurosis, any more than we can rid ourselves of our body and its organs without committing suicide.”


“The whole nature of man presupposes woman, both physically and spiritually. His system is tuned into woman from the start, just as it is prepared for a quite definite world where there is water, light, air, salt, carbohydrates etc..”


“The growth of the mind is the widening of the range of consciousness, and … each step forward has been a most painful and laborious achievement.”


“All ordinary expression may be explained causally, but creative expression which is the absolute contrary of ordinary expression, will be forever hidden from human knowledge.”


“The meaning and design of a problem seem not to lie in its solution, but in our working at it incessantly.”


“No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.”


“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.”


“You can take away a man's gods, but only to give him others in return.”


“Reason alone does not suffice.”


“Primitive superstition lies just below the surface of even the most tough-minded individuals, and it is precisely those who most fight against it who are the first to succumb to its suggestive effects.”


“It is sometimes difficult to avoid the impression that there is a sort of foreknowledge of the coming series of events.”

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