Top 10 Carl Jung Quotes

"Wherever an inferiority complex exists, there is a good reason for it."
—Interview, 1943


"The great problems of life—sexuality, of course, among others—are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious. These images are really balancing or compensating factors which correspond with the problems life presents in actuality. This is not to be marveled at, since these images are deposits representing the accumulated experience of thousands of years of struggle for adaptation and existence."
Psychological Types, 1923

#08 - DREAMS

"The conscious mind allows itself to be trained like a parrot, but the unconscious does not—which is why St. Augustine thanked God for not making him responsible for his dreams."
Psychology and Alchemy, 1953


"The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul, which opens into that primeval cosmic night that was soul long before there was a conscious ego and will be soul far beyond what a conscious ego could ever reach."
The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man, 1934

#06 - SHADOW

"Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other."
The Psychology of the Unconscious, 1943


"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism."
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962


"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962


"The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong."
Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 1962


"If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures."
Two Essays on Analytical Psychology: New Paths in Psychology, 1912


"We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself . . . We know nothing of man, far too little. His psyche should be studied because we are the origin of all coming evil."
—BBC interview, 1959

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User Comments - Add a Comment
Alan - 2008-08-10 18:36:23
One of the greatest minds of the 20th century and he certainly wasn't your usual psychologist. His greatness inspired me to become a psychologist.
Brian - 2008-08-13 18:38:09
These quotes make perfect sense to the FOOL who says their is no God
Fools within, fools without... - 2008-10-21 11:50:38

theirs is no god?

Carl - 2008-10-24 13:19:44

What about fools who missed "their" homonym lesson in grade three.

Vic - 2008-11-20 17:21:11

What??? How does one glean anything about the existence of a god in this material? God is an invention. Man is the source and cure for troubles caused by his lack of awareness and intellect. The brilliance of Carl Jung is lost if you begin to drift into the meaningless discussion of an invisible force that rules the universe. What's the point of doing or studying anything? God is for the primitive minds among us. It's for those who feel unworthy, lowly, fearful and confused.

Phil E. Drifter - 2009-01-01 02:24:52

Indeed, I'm glad to see, this is the first board I've ever seen on the web where atheists outnumber theists. God was an invention to explain the unexplainable in primitive man; then, as the great Bertrand Russell once said, "religion was created when the first scoundrel met the first fool." Belief in god, to paraphrase Richard Dawkins, is to take the cowards way out. (The paraphrasing ends here, the rest is my own.) To blindly throw up your arms and claim 'god did it' is to secede from rational thought on the presumption you can get away with it, never having to study science or math or 100 other fields. Religitards make me incredibly angry.

Peter S. Lopez - 2009-02-15 19:53:27

We are still trying to absorb what he shared with us all.

Chris - 2009-07-18 07:05:08

I don't understand how atheists can define human nature or anything else as "evil" because if God does not exist, the saying goes, all things are permissable and violence is the natural order fo things. In a universe without ultimate reality, without objective truth, without God, what is more natural? The fact that mans corrupted nature and evil are a consistant concern throughout human history, across all religions and cultures, is very telling in my view.

Ranger - 2009-07-30 01:53:19

I completely agree Chris. The atheist is free to create a morality, meaning, hope or other metaphysical categories based on societal values, personal preference or whatever they so choose. After all, they are the ultimate authority in their paradigm. Dawkins understands this when at the end of the God Delusion he urges that we create our own meaning...which to him means continuing as a social Christian. The irony is that in the atheist paradigm, this created meaning or metaphysic is just as illusory as theistic belief. It has absolutely no metaphysical underpinnings and flails about with no grounding or direction.

Dave - 2009-09-08 17:47:57

So what exactly is the difference between a person making up a god to explain the inexplicable, or making up a philosophy to explain the same thing? Or even a "scientific" theory? The hard fact is there is a lot that is entirely beyond our ability to comprehend, and people have a real difficulty saying, "I don't know. I'm working on it, but so far, I just don't know." Don't disparage the theists until you have had a good hard look at your own ideology. It may be based on entirely the same sort of reasoning.

Jacca - 2009-09-10 08:54:09

Dave, learn to research before spouting nonsense: "A theory, in the scientific sense of the word, is an analytic structure designed to explain a set of empirical observations. A scientific theory does two things: 1. it identifies this set of distinct observations as a class of phenomena, and 2. makes assertions about the underlying reality that brings about or affects this class. In the scientific or empirical tradition, the term "theory" is reserved for ideas which meet baseline requirements about the kinds of empirical observations made, the methods of classification used, and the consistency of the theory in its application among members of the class to which it pertains. These requirements vary across different scientific fields of knowledge, but in general theories are expected to be functional and parsimonious: i.e. a theory should be the simplest possible tool that can be used to effectively address the given class of phenomena." ~ A Theory is not a Hypothesis.

John - 2009-09-19 02:23:12

What I do not understand about atheists who profess to admire Jung is their seeming failure to appreciate that their conception of the God who does not exist is just as much a projection of the psyche as the conception of God possessed by believers. As a deep believer, I continue to be amazed at and baffled by what atheists take to be God, and what they take to be the mindset of believers. In my experience, the concept of the numinous is liberating and comprises ultimate mystery and subtlety. Yet the thinking of the Dawkins crowd is simplistic, and as didactic as anything ever pronounced from the Vatican.

Craig - 2009-09-25 08:04:08

Then I'll help you understand Jon. Your fallacy is in not realising that atheists have no "conception of the God who does not exist". We have no belief in *any* god, there is no need to define each god in which we disbelieve. The only time an atheist might define a god is when talking to a believer in that particular god - but that is not the basis of our disbelief. "... the concept of the numinous is liberating and comprises ultimate mystery and subtlety." That is an *affect* it is having on you. It says nothing about reality. "Yet the thinking of the Dawkins crowd is simplistic, and as didactic as anything ever pronounced from the Vatican." Yet you fail to provide any examples. I can equally assert that what you have written here seems simplistic to me. But it is just that - an assertion.

Nick - 2009-10-11 01:32:50

In my mind, both atheism and theism are both differing ways in which individuals try to understand the forces at work in our universe that are beyond the understand of the vast majority.In both cases, the participants put their faith into a process that they feel is correct. Ultimately they are two different approaches to the same question of how everything works and what is our place in the universe, if we have one at all.

Anonymous - 2009-11-22 01:31:00

Where is no god? Who's god? their god!- See, that's what that complete idiot meant.

Anonymous - 2009-12-06 17:40:06

We were created 5 minutes ago with all our memories by God. Prove me wrong.

Anthony - 2010-01-15 07:50:39

"It's for those who feel unworthy, lowly, fearful and confused." Then isn't it reasonable to assume that the idea of God might be a necessity? Karl Marx once said religion was an opiate for the masses. What does most of the world need, a realistic view of the world? Realistically most of the world sucks. Most people are fine living their lives as long as they are happy. And sacrificing logic for happiness could already be why religion exists. Would you lie to yourself to be happy?

James - 2010-01-17 06:28:28

another wonderful article ruined by a ridiculous theological debate. *sigh* um. I'm an INFP! Carl Jung, Woo!

Lloyd - 2010-02-20 20:30:43

I agree, don't argue with people who won't listen. Watch them to make sure they don't fuck everything up, and let them die out. If they wish to be sheeple, we are the shepherds.

Craig - 2010-03-04 00:03:26

NICK: "In my mind, both atheism and theism are both differing ways in which individuals try to understand the forces... In both cases, the participants put their faith into a process that they feel is correct." Although that is your opinion, atheism is a lack of belief in a particular claim - it is not a 'way' to understand forces. Secondly, the atheist does not "put faith into a process", nor does the scientist. Objective natural methodology does not require faith - theism does. This sounds like another insipid middle-ground attempt to pretend that you can perceive the position of both 'ends', without yourself being subject to those obserations.

God - 2010-03-15 20:30:06

Chill out about the God argument. Theists got shafted because the first person spelled there wrong. Their (haha) should be more comments on how bad ass dreams are.

Mark - 2010-04-17 16:41:51

Jung is clearly over the atheists heads anyway.

tdfd - 2010-06-20 05:20:11

^^i agree oneirology is fascinating. i absolutely love the ways jung writes about dreaming.

Rion - 2010-06-23 18:58:06

Mark: "Jung is clearly over the atheists heads anyway." Evidence? Does Jung appeal to the kind of person who makes sweeping generalisations?

Denny - 2010-09-08 10:49:55

Those who believe there is no God, in my view, are bereft of humility. There is scientific evidence of God. If the "Big Bang Theory" is accepted as the scientific explanation of how "IT" got here, all of this, there had to be an Original First Cause. IT didn't just happen. God is the Original Cause.

Savanna - 2010-10-19 00:44:35

I've been reading "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious" and Jung repeatedly implies that religion and mythology are all a product of the collective unconscious, and that they are imagined. So to those who claim that these quotes involve God in any way, you might want to actually read his work before making assumptions.

Mr. Ed - 2010-11-24 01:00:53

Harry - 2010-12-26 03:03:10

Theists believe that God exists and atheists believe that God does not exist. Both groups are believers. And yet, Carl Jung stated, "when we have a relationship to a particular thing or experience with it, belief, faith ceases to be a factor. The truth is this, I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God. So, I will never say that I believe that God exists. I must say I know God exists." I have had a similar experience in my life, so do these moments qualify as evidence? From my experience, I can assure you that God and the human animal practice of religion are two different things entirely.

Harry Squared - 2011-01-10 08:24:16

You tell 'em Harry.

maijala - 2011-02-08 00:50:02

One sentence quotes, especially when taken out of context, do not reveal the meaning. Read Jung; specifically Philosophy and Religion, and it will become clear that Jung believed "god" to be a human archetype.

george saul - 2011-02-17 20:21:38

The sons of 'light and darkness' came together to fight 'ignorance'? God is love, that is, balaced ojectivity, jurispudance, thoughtful actions that is righteousness and understanding,that is standing under the aupices/ guidance of our lord and God whoever they may be? Amen. Without extremes we all become free?

Intio - 2011-03-10 00:36:20

Personal experiences are evidence of the experiences - not of what causes them. The arrrogance of those who do not grasp this simple concept stands out a mile away.

Kathleen Paul - 2011-04-22 23:56:59

I am a Native woman who kept my inner being safe. I trusted no one. When I went to college I was late for psych class and had to do a presentation on Jung's "The Undiscovered Self.". It was then that I knew I was not crazy because he validated my two personalities.

Jamie - 2011-08-28 21:37:57
Jung actually believed in God, no actually he said he 'knows' God exists. Of course that wasn't the man in the sky, authoritarian nonsense that primitive religion's use as a tool to control the massed Lets stop this nonsense of theist vs atheist, as is this is the only two categories. Like left and right in politics, they are constructs. Both fundamentalist anthropomorphic religion, and staunch atheism are forms of denial. The question isn't is there God or isn't there a God. The question is....what is from all preconceived idea's and beliefs
suzan - 2011-11-21 19:32:52
Thee Dave Moore - 2012-07-01 04:55:04

As we continue to explore we will continue to discover. What will come forward is the indelible truth that as we act we behave in accordance with a mindset that appears external to us. Until we recognize the motivations that influences us we will continue to think we are the source and not merely the conduit of counter-productive behavior in this world. Carl Jung did not disbelieve in God, he disbelieved in what he thought God was. How can one disbelieve in something if they do not even know what it is?

Joey Bones - 2012-07-02 04:27:13

God thought of a man is simplistic. More like patterns of energy flow "the invisible force"

Mike - 2012-07-03 01:16:26

And by the second comment, this thread degenerates into a debate about the existence of God. Hey, I don't come into your church on Sunday morning and try to tell you what's what.

Spencer - 2012-07-03 05:32:10

Yes, but isn't it the evidence (empirical or otherwise) that we glean from our experiences from which we infer cause and effect? I touched the stove and my burned my hand, so the stove must be hot, etc.. To discount personal evidence from having any sort of weight in determining cause and effect is to deny the existence of any sort of cause, whether that cause be God, or free will, or whatever it is you happen to believe in.

Andrew - 2012-07-04 17:38:50

The origin of the monotheistic god dates back to the older, original belief that "god" is just the universe, and thus the question of whether or not god exists really answers is like asking whether or not the universe exists. I do not believe in a God but i do believe the universe exists...I am just one configuration down one possible track the matter in me could have taken since the big bang, thus god did give me life, and whatever I happen to experience is god's will - just the result of the forces of nature, and fully explainable, albeit not today, in scientific terms. The universe is deterministic with an inherent probability associated with the field of quantum mechanics, meaning yes, god did create me, but saying he created me on purpose is just saying that the laws of nature worked in such a way as to bring about my being. Believing in the universe as god lends one a sense of morality, as if you conceive of the entire universe as a whole thing comprised of parts, its silly for one part to beat another down for one part's sake, likewise we'd think it silly if one of our cells decided it was better than other - each cell works together to make the whole. Honestly, while religion has alleviated, and sometimes caused, suffering, I believe the concept of a single God was an idea hijacked by other men to create an ideology in which femininity is repressed (femininity in men and women), but since women are conditioned to act in a more feminine manner, this system ultimately served the purpose of allowing whatever man could use it to free sex. As a result of this system we all walk around with bloated egos, it is really no wonder why so many people (including myself) are unhappy. Anyone who claims to be religious yet talks bad of atheists is really missing the point of their own beliefs. Any scientist who claims there is no God (if there is this being only intended me to be indirectly) that is the source of energy must have some extra knowledge that i don't have because that idea can't be tested.

Dave - 2012-07-05 04:06:40

An atheist thinking he's better than a theist, or a theist thinking he's better than an atheist are both examples of ego inflation.

Rick - 2012-07-05 13:37:52

My philosophy, which seems to be the most logical way to live, is to go through life as if there is a God, be a good model of Christianity and treat others as you wish to be treated. This makes sense to me because if I die and there is no God, well that's it, but if I die and it turns out that there is a God, then I am thankful that I, at the very least chose to live a good, christian modeled life. So God or no God, it does not change the ideal model for humanity, religion is merely a hobby if you are interested to learn more.

Smuntez - 2012-07-05 15:48:10

For you atheists on this board... Carl Jung's Tombstone says: VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT Latin, translated to English - Invoked or not invoked, God is present Supposedly the last words he uttered on his deathbed. Also:

Bruni Brewin - 2012-07-06 12:41:07

No wonder so many people turn away from religion. People believe, yet abuse children, themselves and others. Buddha had the right idea when he said; "Do not believe anything you see written, or what has been told you, unless it goes with your own reasoning and your own common sense." And the Dalia Lama when asked what his religion was, said; "My religion is simple, my religion is kindness." All research is only the belief of the researcher at that time it was written. When new data is available, that research is no longer valid. Books of religion rely on belief that what was written was accurate, yet a mere few hundred years ago maybe only 1 out of every 100 people knew how to read or write. I wonder how many knew 4,000 years ago? We were a suspicious tribe that wore posies on our belts to ward off evil spirits and indoctrinated into fear of not believing. I rest my case.

Kevin - 2012-07-06 20:03:10

I just want to point out that this is a four year long argument...

alfatanker- Fridrich Hláva from Slovak republic- in Europe for USA citizens - 2012-07-07 14:12:12

There is no god at all- otherwise will be not so much evil in this world- USA bombing of Lybia, terrorist support in Syria from USA, and doing evil to all of those, who are not ready to "obey" the almighty USA and the supremacists Yankees!! Jung was right- there is no god- and only we, the humans are the only decisive factor on this Earth- what we will make for ourselves- this we will have in future!!! So education in the sense of Jung and education to the good sides of human nature- this is a key to success- if we are willing to live on this world- NOBODY will help us except OURSELVES!!

Rocco - 2012-07-10 01:22:11

We are all entitled to our opinions. Jung was a brilliant psychologist and his work has also inspired some of my drive to become a psychologist. I do not agree with everything he says because no one person or being's thoughts comply with all my thoughts, morals and ideas. Personally, I do believe in a power greater than my own with a conscious outside of all. I call it God because that is what I grew up calling that power. The titles that we throw, I am guilty of this myself, only delegates an "us" and them "them" which only further seperates one from another. Alright! God talk over. Care to agree and disagree. The continuations that Jung, what this article was actually about, had lasting and positive contributions to the realm of psychological research. We may not have agreed with his own personal views on theism and other worldly powers, but his research helped shape what modern psychology is today andfor that, I reaped him immensely.

Michael - 2012-08-07 02:41:54

So a person who does not believe in "God" is a fool... Call me crazy, but it seems a bit foolish to say that any one man's perspective is objectively "wrong".

Jeremiah - 2012-08-21 07:53:44

When the conversation breaks down into those who believe in a god and those who don't, I think we've missed the point Jung was trying to bring across. What was that last quote, that we need to understand better the mind of mankind? We are obviously falling very short in speaking of god.

Angela - 2012-09-21 22:38:54

He was the first person to suggest to a patient his alcoholism could be arrested by a "spiritual experience." That patient was the founder of of AA and 12 step principles. Check the internet for "Letters between Carl Jung and Bill Wilson." Bill Wilson was a founder of AA.

Gruno Granovsky - 2012-10-04 02:08:21

Accepting the existence of God is wise for the poor, a non factor for the middle class, and useful for the rich and powerful. Adapted from that silly git Cicero.

Carl Jung - 2012-11-24 15:31:51

Here is a link to hundreds of Carl Jung Quotations most of which have Sources that I have compiled over the years.

jungApprentice - 2012-12-30 22:06:07

Not that this should be about God, but those of you rushing to somehow defend Carl Jung against the believers should know that in at least one interview Carl Jung expressed he did believe in God. It is also true that we have the ability to harness our own salvation through understanding and self revelation.

James Smith - 2013-04-25 14:33:10

@ Brian. First, it's "there" not "their". I would not expect anyone that believes in a god to be smart enough to know the difference between those two. Thank you for confirming that, you fool.

Gregory - 2013-04-26 12:11:13

If you need a God in order to discern right from wrong, good from bad, beauty from ugly then you are already lost. Atheists and non-theists do the right thing because of inner prompting, not fear of being zapped by a psychotic god.

David Cartwright - 2013-04-30 16:27:41

It always surprises me how people will take from a reading and make of it what they wish.Most of the comments seem to have little in common with the quotes.We can put a twist on anything so that it seems to support our own beliefs

Ricardo - 2013-10-29 21:55:35

Vic,the Gravitational Field is an invisible force that ruled peoples live long before it was discovered in the 1800's. Don't be ignorant.

Scott - 2014-01-01 15:12:10

I love the fact that in the last 3 photo's, he is smoking a falcon pipe. I have one of those, LIKE A BOSS!!

Theo - 2014-01-16 03:10:32

The God argument can go on in a side channel...the point is the man (Jung) left us a map into the human psyche that we all need to take advantage of. The recent publication of his Red Book is also a great gift to humanity and the editor spent many years translating from German and compiling 1500 or so footnotes and a great introduction to the volume. Jung's work with the Red Book was his most polished thoughts without the psychological terminology that the book helped him develop. He says it deals with the "Lament of the Dead"...that humankind's main problem is: our Future looking perspective which results in a denial of death (our mortality)...we deny the dead of humanity and they have a voice (which animates us all, whether or not we realize it). If we don't deal with the fact that we all will die and that is how it works, the dead will find a way to speak their anger with us. My theory is the dead are speaking: the current fascination with Zombies and Vampires shows the dead coming back to life....only to attack us! That is the only way the popular culture mind has been able to deal with something to fear. Too bad we lost Hillman recently. He could have helped us with implementing Jung's Cure today.

Collective Consciousness - 2014-06-07 03:36:16

Jung delved deeply within me... Into my inner realms... Whereas all of you posters have meaninglessly, to greater or lesser degree have been spewing drivel skimmed from my shallows.

Simplemanmike - 2015-07-02 10:53:03

I "believe" God is Man. Remove Man from the universe and you remove God. As with most thinking we use our limited capacity to mold the universe into our pea brain consciousness. Let me say this another way. We feel therefore we think that our feelings are fundamental to the universe. We confuse feelings with matter. God is a feeling like all feelings we have. Love, Hate, right, wrong are feelings and feelings are a design of the brain using chemical reactions. If you take brain and alter it chemically in certain regions then that non believer will have a religious experience. God only exits in the mind the same as hunger or pain does. There is no right or wrong or good or evil where there is no man. So the question is how do we explain the existence of the universe using our limited set of tools. We lack the proper brain to understand things not of the mind. Now a computer may have the best way to see things as they are without emotions. But like we cant live without feelings. Feelings drive our reasons for living. I think man matters very little to the universe. We were put on this rock because we are a virus that if let out of the box would infect and destroy all we can. WE are not capable of understanding that understanding is only a feeling and not a force of matter. We only know what we are. what I see is a reflection of what i am. But we project what we know onto what we dont know as a way of justifying our actions. Mmm thats some good smoke. lol. Its like expecting a dog to make rational decisions. We are just as limited as expecting a worm to fly an 747 airliner. We are just a chemical reaction with an ego.