“There is a nice German word, hintergedanken, which means a thought in the very far far back of your mind,” says Watts. “Jung had a hintergedanken in the back of his mind that showed in the twinkle in his eye. It showed that he knew and recognized what I sometimes call the element of irreducible rascality in himself. And he knew it so strongly and so clearly, and in a way so lovingly, that he would not condemn the same thing in others, and would therefore not be led into those thoughts, feelings, and acts of violence towards others which are always characteristic of the people who project the devil in themselves upon the outside, upon somebody else, upon the scapegoat.” And so, whether we enter into this field of thought through Watts, through Jung, or through anyone else, it always seems to comes back to the ancient Greeks: “Know thyself.”
There are two kinds of suffering. Suffering imposed on us by the outside and suffering created by ourselves. All we can do with suffering imposed by the outside is share it in the human family and show compassion, love and empathy for those who’ve been hurt. Suffering created by ourselves is referred to as neurotic suffering i.e. ‘inauthentic suffering’. At bottom, neurosis is a moral and ethical problem.
In other words symptoms like neurotic anxiety, depression, compulsions, ulcers, headaches etc. occur primarily because we try to manipulate others.
We do this in a variety of ways…i.e. blaming, withholding feelings and affection, using guilt to have others do our bidding, temper tantrums and primarily abusing power. The opposite of love is power, not hatred.
[ … ]A calling may be postponed, avoided, or intermittently missed. It may also possess one completely. Eventually it wins out and makes its claim either in a soulful life, or if ignored, in meaninglessness, cynicism, hoarding, loneliness and alienation.
The dragon we must slay is no more that the monster of everyday expectations about how we “ought” to live our lives. If we realize this, we will be back in the world, but “no longer of it”. We will be able to interact with others without submitting to their definition of who we are supposed to be! This precious pearl that is one’s individual worth can only be found when we are willing to stand alone. By consciously choosing to pursue the inner journey, we transform impersonal fate into our own personal destiny.
“More abstractly, it’s a method of consciously entering into a dialogue with the unconscious, which triggers the transcendent function, a vital shift in consciousness, brought about through the union of the conscious and unconscious minds. Unexpected insights and self-renewal are some of the results of the transcendent function. It achieves what I call that elusive Goldilocks’ condition, the just right’ of having the conscious and unconscious minds work together, rather than being at odds. In the process it produces a third state more vivid and real’ than either; in it we recognize what consciousness should be like and see our normal’ state as at best a muddling-through”
by Gary Lachman
20th July 1958
The question you asked me is -I’m afraid- beyond my competence. It is a question of fate in which you should not be influenced by any outer arbitrary influence. As a rule I am all for walking in two worlds at once since we are gifted with two legs, remembering that spirit is pneuma which means “moving air”. It is a wind that all too easily can lift you up from the solid earth and carry you away on uncertain waves. It is good therefore, as a rule, to keep at least one foot upon terra firma. We are still in the body and thus under the rule of heavy matter. Also it is equally true that matter not moved by the spirit is dead and empty.
Over against this general truth one has to be flexible enough to admit all sorts of exceptions, as they are the unavoidable accompaniments of all rules. The spirit has no merit in itself and it has a peculiarly irrealizing effect if not counterbalanced by its material opposite. Thus think again, and if you feel enough solid under your feet, follow the call of the spirit.
My best wishes.
The Psychology of C.G. Jung in the Works of Hermann Hesse by Emanuel Maier
“While the ideas of Dr. Jung have had profound influence upon the
creative work of Hermann Hesse, other influences are not thereby excluded.
Other dissertations might wish to examine the influence of Ludwig Klages,8
Sigmund Freud, or Oriental philosophy, or of German Pietism.9 H. Mauerhofer
even went so far as to characterize all of Hesse‘s works as the expression of
introversion.10 A man of the stature of Hermann Hesse is open to all the
intellectual and cultural achievements of man. He has taken from all and has
given back to the world a new synthesis which bears the imprint of his own
As long as man is unconscious of his anima, she is frequently projected upon a real woman, and the man’s fantasy equips her with all the fascinating qualities peculiar to the anima