A return from the over-estimation of the property of consciousness is the indispensable preliminary to any genuine insight into the course of psychic events... The unconscious must be accepted as the general basis of the psychic life. The unconscious is the larger circle which includes the smaller circle of the conscious; everything conscious has a preliminary unconscious stage, whereas the unconscious can stop at this stage, and yet claim to be considered a full psychic function.
Mental activity, which works in its way from the memory-image to the production of identity of perception via the outer world, merely represents a roundabout way to wish-fulfillment made necessary by experience. Thinking is indeed nothing but a substitute for the hallucinatory wish; and if the dream is called a wish-fulfillment, this becomes something self-evident, since nothing but a wish can impel our psychic apparatus to activity.
The dream, which fulfills its wishes by following the short regressive path, has thereby simply preserved for us a specimen of the primary method of operation of the psychic apparatus, which has been abandoned as inappropriate. What once prevailed in the waking state, when our psychic life was still young and inefficient, seems to have been banished into our nocturnal life; just as we still find in the nursery those discarded primitive weapons of adult humanity, the bow and arrow.
The unconscious is the true psychic reality; in its inner nature it is just as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is just as imperfectly communicated to us by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the reports of our sense-organs.
A man’s Self is the sum-total of all that he can call his, not only his body, and his psychic powers, but this clothes and his house, his wife and children, his ancestors and friends, his reputation and works, his land and horse and yacht and bank account.
Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is "man" in a higher sense- he is "collective man" - one who carries and shapes the unconscious, psychic forms of mankind.
There is no light without shadow and no psychic wholeness without imperfection. To round itself out, life calls not for perfection but for completeness; and for this the 'thorn in the flesh' is needed, the suffering of defects without which there is no progress and no ascent.
I need my enemy in my community. He keeps me alert, vital... But beyond what we specifically learn from our enemies, we need them emotionally, our psychic economy cannot get along well without them... Our enemy is as necessary for us as is our friend. Both together are part of authentic community.
In short, human society is a product of evolution. It is created by natural selection and environmental pressures which bring individuals together in a special and powerful way, but it requires no physical change or mutation. It is a composition of ideas and beliefs - a new and essentially psychic phenomenon. A kind of supermind.
One of the great difficulties we physicians have in trying to help nervous patients is their tendency to jump to the conclusion that pains of psychic origin must be mild and wholly imaginary.
The interpretation of dreams is the via regia [i.e., royal road] to a knowledge of the unconscious element in our psychic life.
There is a snare, however, in the very essence of knowledge in that it has to be a form of faith, and faith is something psychic rather than spiritual.
The money, technology, and human energy now devoted to the military could perform miracles in cleaning up the earth we live on. But the cost of the arms race is not only the enormous waste of resources. There is a psychic cost - the creation of an atmosphere of fear all over the world.
Every action, no matter how trivial, is not the simple effect of the prior psychic state and does not result from a linear determinism but rather is integrated as a secondary structure in global structures and finally in the totality which I am.
We generally prefer our illusions to reality, even though the illusions may lead to tragic consequences... How much of our psychic energy is channeled away by those who drain our lives to enrich theirs.
Science could not survive without a community sharing scientific values. Moral systems do not continue unless individuals subscribe to a common set of ethics. Values are so ephemeral that they require the joining psychic input of a group to retain their hold on each person’s attention. They may be created by individuals, but they must be maintained by the collectivity.
A good society makes it possible for each person to develop the skills necessary to experience flow in socially productive activities. At the same time, it guards against anyone’s exploiting the psychic energy of another person for his or her own advantage. There is a constant watch for oppressors and parasites. According to this perspective, freedom does not apply to doing, but to being.
From the point of view of an individual, it does not matter what the ultimate goal is - provided it is compelling enough to order a lifetime's worth of psychic energy... As long as it provides clear objectives, clear rules for action, and a way to concentrate and become involved, any goal can serve to give meaning to a person's life.
In the lives of many people it is possible to find a unifying purpose that justifies the things they do day in, day out – a goal that like a magnetic field attracts their psychic energy, a goal upon which all lesser goals depend… Without such a purpose, even the best-ordered consciousness lacks meaning.
Problems linked to illness, such as psychic crises, but also pains of a physiological nature (fever, migraines, rheumatic pains) can be assumed to be just so many initiatory trials. Uncovering the religious significance of illness and physical pain constitutes in effect shamanism’s essential contribution to the history of spirit.