The Red Book excerpt – On the Service of the Soul

Something about Carl Jung just keeps calling to me. I’m grateful to the library for having this original version in hardcover.

His words to his soul reach my soul and I feel compelled to immerse in them. His stream of consciousness depiction of this confusing time also feels consolingly familiar and intimate… (emphasis added below by me)

“On the following night I had to write down all the dreams that I could recollect, true to their wording. The meaning of this act was dark to me. Why all this? Forgive the fuss that rises in me. Yet you want me to do this. What strange things are happening to me? I know too much not to see on what swaying bridges I go. Where are you leading me? Forgive my excessive apprehension, brimful of knowledge. My foot hesitates to follow you. Into what mist and darkness does your path lead? Must I also learn to do without meaning? If this is what you demand, then so be it. This hour belongs to you. What is there, where there is no meaning? Only nonsense, or madness, it seems to me. Is there also a supreme meaning? Is that your meaning, my soul? I limp after you on crutches of understanding. I am a man and you stride like a God. What torture! I must return to myself, to my smallest things. I saw the things of my soul as small, pitiably small. You force me to see them as large, to make them large. Is that your aim? I follow, but it terrifies me. Hear my doubts, otherwise I cannot follow, since your meaning is a supreme meaning, and your steps are the steps of a God.

I understand, I must not think either; should thought, too, no longer be? I should give myself completely into your hands – but who are you? I do not trust you. Not once to trust, is that my love for you, my joy in you? Do I not trust every valiant man, and not you, my soul? Your hand lies heavy on me, but I will, I will. Have I not sought to love men and trust them, and should I not do this with you? Forget my doubts, I know it is ignoble to doubt you. You know how difficult it is for me to set aside the beggar’s pride I take it in my own thought. I forgot that you are also one of my friends, and have the first right to my trust. Should what I give them not belong to you? I recognize my injustice. It seems to be that I despised you. My joy at finding you again was not genuine. I also recognize that the scornful laughter in me was right.

I must learn to love you. Should I also set aside self-judgment? I am afraid. Then the soul spoke to me and said: “This fear testifies against me!” It is true, it testifies against you. It kills the holy trust between you and me.

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