Sunday, October 27, 2013

The gods have become diseases

--- C G Jung, “Commentary on ‘The Secret of the Golden Flower,’” Collected Works 13, para. 54, cited by  James Hollis in Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up (2005), p. 161; see Alchemical Studies (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 13)  p. 37

Quote in context:
We think we can congratulate ourselves on having already reached such a pinnacle of clarity, imagining that we have left all these phantasmal gods far behind. But what we have left behind are only verbal specters, not the psychic facts that were responsible for the birth of the gods. We are still as much possessed today by autonomous psychic contents as if they were Olympians. Today they are called phobias, obsessions, and so forth; in a word, neurotic symptoms. The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer  rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.