"Carl Jung: wounded healer of the soul"

This illustrated biography by Claire Dunne (2000 and 2003) is by far the most helpful book I've come across during this time.  When I've found my spirits flagging it has been like having a wise companion with me, not in the form of having Jung with me, but reading of his explorations and thinking.  Being of an intensely philosophical nature myself I've greatly appreciated the wide-ranging and wise thoughts that have sprung from his mind about observations of his life and experiences.

It's a beautifully put together book featuring photographs of Jung and his associates but also full of art works illustrative of the text.  Although I've studied art history, and consider myself passably literate in this sense, I must say I found that this was the first time seeing this sort of anthology took on any real meaning and feeling for me.

On page 184 he is quoted as saying:
Loneliness does not come from having no people around one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.
In this book I found much companionship that met just this need.

I don't feel I have to agree with everything to get value from his willingness to wrestle with considerable conflicts both within himself and in relation to others.  He went through his own night of the soul after his split with Freud who was his professional senior and mentor.  In doing so he arrived at his own truths which were different.  I found reading about that time of his life most helpful.

On the subject of God, he said:
When I say that I don't need to believe in God because I "know", I mean I know of the existence of God-images in general and in particular.  I know it is a matter of a universal experience and, in so far as I am no exception, I know that I have such experience also, which I call God.  It is the experience of my will over against another and very often stronger will, crossing my path often with seeming disastrous results, putting strange ideas into my head and manoeuvring my fate sometimes into most undesirable corners or giving it unexpected favourable twists, outside my knowledge and my intention.  The strange force against or for my conscious tendencies is well known to me.  So I say: "I know Him." But why should you call this something "God"?  I would ask: "Why not?"  It has always been called "God".  (page 200, from a letter written in 1959)
On page 63 Claire writes: "Jung was at some pains to point out that the wholeness he spoke of meant completion, not perfection.  Perfection he saw as a masculine concept, completion as a feminine one."  She goes on to quote him:
To get integrated or complete is such a formidable task that one does not dare to set people further goals like perfection. As for instance the ordinary physician neither imagines nor hopes to make of his patient an ideal athlete, so the psychological doctor does not dream of being able to produce saints. He is highly content if he brings forth in himself as well as in others a fairly balanced and more or less sound individual, no matter how far from the state of perfection. Before we strive after perfection, we ought to be able to live the ordinary man without self-mutilation. If anybody should find himself after his humble completion still left with a sufficient amount of energy, then he may begin his career as a saint.
Amen and hooray to that! 

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