Jung on Living as Part of Nature

“We must give time to nature so that she may be a mother to us. I have found the way to live here as part of nature, to live in my own time. People in the modern world are always living so that something better is to happen tomorrow, always in the future, so they don’t think to live their lives. They are up in the head. When a man begins to know himself, to discover the roots of his past in himself, it is a new way of life.”

Jung (c. 1958)[1]

“Nature is an incomparable guide if you know how to follow her. She is like the needle of the compass pointing to the North, which is most useful when you have a good man-made ship and when you know how to navigate.”

Jung (1940)[2]

“Analytical psychology seeks to break through these walls by digging up again the fantasy-images of the unconscious which our rationalism has rejected. These images lie beyond the walls; they are part of the nature in us, which apparently lies buried in our past and against which we have barricaded ourselves behind the walls of reason. Analytical psychology tries to resolve the resultant conflict not by going “back to Nature” with Rousseau, but by holding on to the level of reason we have successfully reached, and by enriching consciousness with the knowledge of man’s psychic foundations.”

Jung (19 )[3]

“If we kill the animal in ourselves we kill the really good things in ourselves too, not the apparently good things. Therefore for us to kill the bull would be blasphemous, a sin, it would mean killing the natural thing in us, the thing that naturally serves God. That is our only hope – to get back to a condition where we are right with nature. We must fulfill our destiny, according to nature’s laws or we cannot become true servants of God.”

Jung (1928)[4]

“Whenever we touch nature we get clean. Savages are not dirty – only we are dirty. Domesticated animals are dirty, but never wild animals. Matter in the wrong place is dirt. People who have got dirty through too much civilization take a walk in the woods, or a bath in the sea. They may rationalize it in this or that way, but they shake off the fetters and allow nature to touch them. It can be done within or without. Walking in the woods, lying on the grass, taking a bath in the sea, are from the outside; entering the unconscious, entering yourself through dreams, is touching nature from the inside and this is the same thing, things are put right again.”

Jung (1929)[5]

Jung often spoke of how modern people have gone astray, one-sided in our rationalism, ungrounded in our rootlessness, alienated from Nature. In this essay, we consider just what Jung meant by living “as part of nature,” why this is important, how we wound up in this situation, and how we might “get back to a condition where we are right with nature.”

Definitions, Features and Functions of Nature

The dictionary provides multiple definitions of “nature:” “the world; all things except those made by man; the sum total of the forces at work throughout the universe; the instincts or inherent tendencies directing conduct; reality; a primitive, wild condition; the condition of human beings before social organization; what a thing really is–its quality, character; the basic conditions of a living organism; a natural desire or function.[6]

In his seminars, letters, and essays, Jung used several of these definitions: “nature” as “vast,”[7] encompassing all things or forces; “nature” as instincts or tendencies that can direct our lives;[8] and “nature” as a primitive or wild condition.[9] But Jung also went beyond the dictionary, e.g. in referring to nature as “Mother Nature, the great-grandmother”[10] to which human beings must yield; nature as “not matter only, she is also spirit;”[11] and nature as “a whole essence with a soul.”[12]

Features of Nature. Jung described nature as “two-faced,”[13] i.e. like all archetypes, it has both a positive side and a negative. On the positive side, besides being “vast,”[14] nature is eternal,[15] encompassing the very old (billion-year-old rock strata, million-year-old fossils, thousand-year-old trees) and the very young (the new shoots of plants in the Spring, foals and kids), in non-linear patterns of growth (the “spiral”[16] of the circumambulatio). As we have seen recently in the volcanic eruption in Hawaii, nature has superhuman power, which can be displayed in physical forms, but also in chemical forms (e.g. the communications among trees in a forest)[17] and psychic manifestations (e.g. dreams, fantasies, and parapsychology). As a psychic force, nature can be illuminating[18] (reflecting contents of our unconscious); as a factor in daily life, nature is impersonal[19] (not existing for humans’ sake) and amoral (“knowing nothing of moral squalor,”[20] having no moral intention); as an evolutionary force, nature is experimental,[21] constantly changing and developing news species and conditions. Jung refers repeatedly to natura abscondita,[22] nature that is hidden, deep, esoteric, dwelling in inanimate matter. The ancient and medieval alchemists spoke of benedicta viriditas,[23] the “blessed greenness” of nature which constantly demands both death and rebirth:[24] the deadness of Winter making possible (and room for) the efflorescence of Spring.

Jung was well aware of nature’s negative features, e.g. her ruthlessness,[25] irrationality,[26] strangeness[27] and obscurity.[28] Nature can be imperious in her demands,[29] and “alarming in her truth.”[30] Partly because of her hidden side, we can never fully know or understand her workings or her power, although science has been “torturing”[31] nature for centuries to extract her secrets. Jung properly speaks of nature’s “outrage”[32] at these efforts, one result of which is nature’s now being “de-psychized.”[33] By this, Jung refers to how science since the 16th century has ignored and dismissed intangibles, like the psyche.[34] Multiple times in his writings, Jung reminded his readers that he regarded the psyche as real,[35] a living component of nature, central to the health and healing of both human beings and planet Earth. That we now regard nature as soul-less, essentially a “gigantic toolshed”[36] that we can plunder for our immediate (profit-making) purposes reflects this de-psychization.

Our mistreatment of nature hampers her functions. For example, nature never wastes anything. “Everything must go somewhere”[37] is one of the laws of ecology. Before human beings began consuming, wasting and indulging in the “throwaway society,” there were no landfills or garbage dumps. Nature works by recycling, rotting, decaying, composting,[38] and creating the potential for new developments to evolve.

While nature can be “an incomparable guide if you know how to follow her,”[39] nature does not exist for man’s sake. Jung was careful to stress the “how” here: blind subservience to nature can lead to disaster, while, “when you know how to navigate,” nature can function “like the needle of the compass pointing to the North.”[40] We “know how to navigate” when we know and operate within nature’s laws,[41] with an attitude of humility, recognizing just how complex natural systems are.

Over the decades of his practice as a psychiatrist, Jung became skilled in sensing when non-rational, non-linear approaches were required in meeting the needs of a particular patient.[42] Given the nature of most of his patients (white, wealthy, highly educated Europeans and Americans), Jung found that their one-sided over-emphasis on rationality could be profitably addressed by working with the lumen naturae, the Light of Nature,[43]

“… the natural spirit, whose strange and significant workings we can observe in the manifestations of the unconscious now that psychological research has come to realize that the unconscious is not just a “subconscious” appendage or the dustbin of consciousness, but is a largely autonomous psychic system for compensating the biases and aberrations of the unconscious attitude, for the most part functionally, though it sometimes corrects them by force.”[44]

Just as nature works to restore the chemical balances in the human body,[45] and water seeks its own level, so the vix medicatrix naturae–the healing force of nature–works to heal psychological issues. On a level that transcends our rational minds, nature works within us to address dis-ease, restore zest in life and bring us back into a sense of “oneness”[46] with our true selves.

What Jung Meant by “Living Right with Nature”

Jung knew that very few people in Western societies are “living right with nature.”[47] Rather we live cut off from nature, in truncated lives, going through our daily routines “as though [we] were walking in shoes too small for [us].”[48] We find ourselves

“… transplanted into a limited present, consisting of the short span between birth and death. The limitation creates a feeling that [we are] haphazard creatures without meaning, and it is this feeling that prevents [us] from living … life with the intensity it demands if it is to be enjoyed to the full. Life becomes stale and is no longer the exponent of the complete man. That is why so much unlived life falls into the unconscious.”[49]

Living right with nature means getting free of the “rationalistic walls”[50] that keep us “hemmed round,”[51] walls that cut us off from the temporal awareness nature intends us to live within, i.e. that our lives are lived within eternal nature, and have purpose and meaning that transcends years or decades.[52] Primitive and indigenous people understand this quality of eternity and their role in the rhythms of nature.[53]

When we live right with nature, we don’t “attempt to tell nature what to do,”[54] nor do we ignore the “natural transformation processes which simply happen to us.”[55] Rather we take note of the “psychic affects”[56] that result when nature works to rebalance our one-sidedness or heal our complexes. We appreciate and pay attention to our souls, regarding problems of the soul as being “just as important as the questions and riddles which are presented by the diseases of the body.”[57]

In her c. 1958 meeting with Jung, Elizabeth Osterman described Jung as an example of what it means to live right with Nature:

The force that emanated from this man sitting beside me was amazing. He seemed at once powerful and simple; real, the way the sky and rocks and trees and water around him were real. He seemed to be all they are in his own nature, but what made it so exciting was his awareness of it.[58]

Living aligned with nature and one’s own true nature results in power, a forceful energy field, an authenticity that is compelling, an integrity that is attractive, and an excitement that is infectious. Clearly, such a state is much to be desired. However did we wind up losing it?

How We Got Out of Alignment with Nature

Jung identifies multiple causes for our current estrangement from nature: civilization, Christianity, the rise of modern science, with the premium it puts on objectivity and reason, and the arrogance and headiness that goes with the scientific mind-set.

Civilization. The development of civilization–cities, agriculture, writing and record-keeping, private property, competition, hierarchies, either/or-us/them thinking, militarism, wars–tore our “original experience [of oneness with nature] into antithetical parts,”[59] severing the “interpenetration” of spirit and matter[60] that was a key feature of life for primitive man. Civilization resulted in our clinging “to hard and fast concepts and [getting] caught in … rules and regulations.”[61] Jung considers concepts, rules and regulations as the “essence of civilized consciousness.”[62] To Jung “civilization” means “systems and methods… which… repress the natural man…,”[63] and the growth of civilization over c. 6,000 years has resulted in

“…man’s turning away from instinct–his opposing himself to instinct–that creates consciousness. Instinct is nature and seeks to perpetuate nature, whereas consciousness can only seek culture or its denial. Even when we turn back to nature, inspired by a Rousseauesque longing, we ‘cultivate’ nature.”[64]

and Jung was clear that “cultivating nature” was not at all the same as living aligned with it.

Cultivating nature is the work of the intellect, and Jung recognized that it was civilized intellect which

“… has created a new world that dominates nature, and has populated it with monstrous machines. The latter are so indubitably useful and so much needed that we cannot see even a possibility of getting rid of them or of our odious subservience to them. Man is bound to follow the exploits of his scientific and inventive mind and to admire himself for his splendid achievements.”[65]

Jung was no fan of technology,[66] but he had to admit the utility of things like electricity, plumbing, automobiles and the telephone (all features of civilization that he had in his Kusnacht home, but not in his personal retreat at Bollingen).[67]

Since Jung’s death in 1961, our technologies have become even more powerful, ubiquitous (is there no place now where the cell phone is not found???), and enticing. Jung foresaw this trend, when he lamented how

“… civilized man… strives to dominate nature and therefore devotes his greatest energies to the discovery of natural causes which will give him the key to her secret laboratory.”[68]

As Jung’s reference to “laboratory” suggests, the “civilized man” most focused on discovering the secrets of nature is the scientist.

Science. Science is another cause for our current predicament. Psychiatrist and empiricist that he was, Jung was not about to condemn science: he was a scientist, and he recognized that “the achievements of science deserve our admiration,”[69] but he also recognized that “the psychic consequences of this greatest of human triumphs are equally terrible.”[70] How so? Science “dehumanized”[71] the world, causing human beings to feel themselves “isolated in the cosmos.”[72] Thanks to the rise and pervasive hold science has on our culture, people are

“no longer involved in nature and [have] lost [their] emotional participation in natural events, which hitherto had a symbolic meaning… Thunder is no longer the voice of a god, nor is lightning his avenging missile. No river contains a spirit, no tree means a man’s life, no snake is the embodiment of wisdom, and no mountain still harbors a great demon. Neither do things speak to [them] nor can [they] speak to things, like stones, springs, plants and animals. [They] no longer [have] bush-souls identifying [them] with a wild animal. [Their] immediate communication with nature is gone for ever, and the emotional energy it generated has sunk into the unconscious.[73]

Indigenous people had all these connections and interactions with nature (and some isolated tribes still do), but science has “de-spiritualized nature through its so-called objective knowledge of matter.”[74] Today, it is strictly verboten for a respectable scientist to investigate how animals communicate, or think:[75] such research ventures in the forbidden territory of subjectivity.[76]

The banning of subjective methodologies and considerations was just one criticism Jung had about modern science. He also deplored how experimentation was conducted:

Experiment, however, consists in asking a definite question which excludes as far as possible anything disturbing and irrelevant. It makes conditions, imposes them on Nature, and in this way forces her to give an answer to a question devised by man. She is prevented from answering out of the fullness of her possibilities since these possibilities are restricted as far as practicable. For this purpose there is created in the laboratory a situation which is artificially restricted to the question and which compels Nature to give an unequivocal answer. The workings of Nature in her unrestricted wholeness are completely excluded.[77]

Modern science is reductionistic (rather than holistic), positivistic (relying solely on quantifiable, replicable protocols), mechanistic (interpreting systems more as machines than as highly complex living systems) and, as a result, artificial and divorced from how nature actually operates.[78]

Jung admits that “great progress … has been made in the realm of brain anatomy and pathological physiology”[79] (even moreso since his death) and the seemingly limitless power of science and its technologies have made science the “knowledge base”[80] of our culture. We now look, “always and everywhere, for material causes, and to rest content once we have found them.”[81] But Jung knew that there are other causes–non-material causes, like “metaphysical explanations of Nature”[82] that have been discredited, even though such explanations are vital, useful aspects of a “psychological standpoint.”[83]

Science would like to think it has “conquered Nature,”[84] but Jung is dismissive of this claim. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes and global warming all give the lie to the idea that humans can “steer the ship according to [their] will…”.[85] Science “de-psychized Nature,”[86] but gave her “no other soul, merely subordinating her to human reason…. science considered Nature’s soul not worth a glance.”[87]

            Christianity. Jung was highly critical of “creeds,”[88] the organized religions, which have done little to offer a counter-position to science. One would think that religions would have some concern for “soul,” but over the last 400 years the creeds have done little more than expel “many demons (and piled them up somewhere else),”[89] actions that “effected the de-deification of nature.”[90] Far from supporting our “mystical identification with nature,”[91] Christianity fell into denigrating physicality, the “flesh” (sarx),[92] and Nature itself.

Rationality. The creeds offer no counterweight to the rise of science or to the emphasis on reason that went along with it. The result, after several hundred years of scientific accomplishments, is

” …the exaggerated rationalization of consciousness which, seeking to control nature, isolates itself from her and so robs man of his own natural history. He finds himself transplanted into a limited present, [which] limitation creates a feeling that he is a haphazard creature without meaning,…”[93]

So it is not surprising that we hear these days of substance abuse, domestic violence, the anger of the electorate and a host of other problems–all reflections of the loss of meaning caused by our estrangement from our natural roots.

Jung’s opinions of our hyper-rationalism are caustic: Hemmed in, as we are, by “rationalistic walls,”[94] “we remain dominated by the great Déesse Raison”[95]–a goddess which Jung labels an “overwhelming illusion.”[96] He considers “modern rationalism”[97] “a process of sham enlightenment”[98] which “prides itself morally on its iconoclastic tendencies…”[99]–all of which is, in Jung’s opinion, nothing more than “enlightened stupidity.”[100]

The effect of this rationalism is “that nature herself rises up against him [the rationalistic patient] and annihilates his whole world of conscious values.”[101] In working with such patients, Jung found that he had great difficulty getting them to play: “If he were a little less rational he could play more with life, but such a rationalist cannot play with life, for play is irrational.”[102] Rationalism also fosters an attitude of risk aversion. Jung noted that such patients hated to let go of control, to practice wu wei–action through non-action,[103] “for with him things must be safe, ‘no risks please.'”[104]

Arrogance. Closely associated with rationality is pride. Science would purport to conquer Nature, and reason provides all sorts of rationalizations for our “Promethean conquest,”[105] but Jung reminds us that

“In spite of our proud domination of nature we are still her victims as much as ever and have not even learnt to control our own nature, which slowly and inevitably courts disaster.”[106]

We like to think that we can willfully defy the laws of nature, with no ill effects, but the current state of our world–with melting glaciers, coastal flooding, extremes of weather and violent storms, species extinctions, and spreading deserts–shows how this is illusion, an illusion born of our ungroundedness.

Ungroundedness. Arrogant, rational modern man lives in his head.[107] Rather than living in the moment, “People in the modern world are always living so that something better is to happen tomorrow, always in the future,…”.[108] As a result, Jung says, we moderns “don’t think to live [our] lives. [We] are up in the head.”[109]

We have become “so far removed from [our] roots”[110] that we have lost the ability to distinguish what is our true responsibility from what is not. When we think that we “can triumph over natural laws which are the real basis of … life… [we] increase [our] responsibility for things over which man cannot and should not assume responsibility.”[111] Again, the result is “off you go above the clouds,”[112] out of touch with reality. Jung then offers a warning: “And then you are confronted with a situation like Nietzsche’s.”[113] Friedrich Nietzsche went mad.

Nothing good comes out of living wrong with nature. Jung knew this and, ever concerned about the general welfare of the world, he offered suggestions for how we might rectify our situation.

Jung’s Suggestions for How We Can Return to Alignment

Ever the realist, Jung did not propose that we abandon civilization, give up science, and revert to caveman living. While Jung himself lived happily at Bollingen without electricity or plumbing, he recognized that such simplicity would have scant appeal to modern people. So he advocated a middle way, combining science and spirituality:

“If I recognize only naturalistic values, and explain everything in physical terms, I shall depreciate, hinder, or even destroy the spiritual development of my patients. And if I hold exclusively to a spiritual interpretation, then I shall misunderstand and do violence to the natural man in his right to exist as a physical being.”[114]

Jung added that “More than a few suicides in the course of psychotherapeutic treatment are to be laid at the door of such mistakes.”[115] Rather than an either/or attitude, we can “shift [our] concept of reality on to the plane of the psyche…”[116]–the plane on which we recognize both spirit and matter–thus ending “the conflict between mind and matter, spirit and nature,…”.[117] This “ends the conflict”[118] because, Jung knew, “psychic reality still exists in its original oneness,”[119] and when we have grown up enough in terms of consciousness, we will recognize both the spiritual and physical “as constituent elements of one psyche.”[120]

When our culture has achieved this recognition, we will be able to understand and appreciate the alchemists’ adage: “What nature leaves imperfect is perfected by the art.”[121] None of us grows up in a perfect world, with perfect parenting, ideal conditions, or a youth replete with every advantage; in some way life is “imperfect,” and the “art” of soul-healing (psycho-therapy) can repair the damage. We will also appreciate and practice an “extended science”[122] which will “investigate the empirical aspect of Nature not only from the outside but also from the inside.”[123] As we noted above, our current scientific paradigm is truncated, ignoring the “inside”–the subjective, intuitive, intangible aspects of reality–so it produces defective research and offers our society addictive technologies,[124] drugs with harmful side effects,[125] and inventions bereft of life-sustaining values.[126] A new view of science is emerging which includes the psyche in its purview, helping us to be right with nature.

Such an extended science will encompass more than just left-brained rationality. In the early years of his practice, Jung found he had to do this in his work with patients:

“I… abandoned my rationalistic attempts in order–with ill-concealed mistrust–to give nature a chance to correct what seemed to me to be her own foolishness. … this taught me something extraordinarily important, namely the existence of an unconscious self-regulation.”[127]

Jung was a Thinking type, so abandoning rationalism did not come easily, nor was it easy initially for him to trust his intuition and rely on “nature,” i.e. on the innate healing force that lies within all of us. In time Jung worked out an  analytical method that

“tries to resolve the … conflict [between science and psyche] not by going ‘back to Nature’ with Rousseau, but by holding on to the level of reason we have successfully reached, and by enriching consciousness with the knowledge of man’s psychic foundations.”[128]

Reversion to a “noble savage” ideal à la Rousseau was neither realistic nor necessary.

Experience showed Jung that he could trust his intuition. It also proved to him that he could trust Nature herself. He came to rely on the “guidance of instinct,”[129] and developed “a method of inquiry which imposes the fewest possible conditions, or if possible no conditions at all, and then leaves Nature to answer out of her fullness.”[130] These “answers” showed up in his patients’ dreams, fantasies, visions, drawings and, in some instances, in synchronicities (e.g. the scarab beetle showing up at Jung’s window just as the rationalist patient described her dream of a scarab).[131] Numerous experiences in both his own life and in the lives of his patients showed Jung that, while our instincts are “perpetually jostling each other,” this “struggle [is] not …a chaotic muddle but [is] aspiring to some higher order.”[132] Rather than focusing on diagnosing a patient’s problem, Jung inquired into what Nature sought–the goal or purpose that lay behind the problem.

This inquiry reflected Jung’s understanding that we all have a destiny, some goal or direction that our psyche knows and wants fulfilled.[133] This goal was not perfection–we are not meant to strive for perfection, but rather for completion, as Jung told the students in his dream seminar:

“That is my idea of the complete individual, not perfect, but individual. Complete in their virtures and in their vices. Fulfilling the meaning of the species, utterly collective, and at the same time individual. I say that you cannot be a really collective being without being completely individual, because only when you are humbly the thing that nature intended you to be, fulfilling decently the experiment nature is trying to make, only then are you a decent member of society. Not society with a capital letter, you might well be a holy terror to that society.”[134]

With his public avowal of two wives,[135] his crude manners[136] and rumpled attire,[137] Jung surely was a “holy terror” to the staid bourgeois society of Zurich! But he lived what he preached, and he recognized that each of us is an “experiment nature is trying to make.”[138]

We would do well to reflect on our lives as “experiments.” The root of our English word is Latin: ex + perior: “discoveries we make out of risking.” We enter into risky business when we experiment, and risk-taking is another way we can get right with nature. Jung was explicit on this score:

“We must be able to say of certain things, ‘I will try it even with the conviction that it might be an error.’ Only when you live in this way can you make something of life, perhaps today one way, tomorrow another. Every root in the earth has to find its way around a stone. It may take the wrong direction. As soon as you come to the idea of growth and development you are confronted with the irrationality of nature.”[139]

As we noted above, die-hard rationalists don’t like this. They don’t want to deal with the irrational, and try to avoid risk, hence all the algorithms and bizarre mental gymnastics[140] we see these days in the financial world–all attempts to avoid risk.

If we wish to get right with nature, we have to be willing to take risks, to live our own way in our own time, giving “time to nature so that she may be a mother to us.”[141] In this way we can come to know ourselves, to “discover the roots of [our own] past,”[142] to “find the natural man again.”[143] Jung suggested that we wash away the “dirt” of civilization by “touching” nature:

“Whenever we touch nature we get clean. Savages are not dirty – only we are dirty. Domesticated animals are dirty, but never wild animals. Matter in the wrong place is dirt. People who have got dirty through too much civilization take a walk in the woods, or a bath in the sea. They may rationalize it in this or that way, but they shake off the fetters and allow nature to touch them. It can be done within or without. Walking in the woods, lying on the grass, taking a bath in the sea, are from the outside; entering the unconscious, entering yourself through dreams, is touching nature from the inside and this is the same thing, things are put right again.”[144]

We don’t have to have woods next door, or live on the seacoast. We have nature ready to hand right in our imaginations, our creativity, our dreams (nocturnal and diurnal). Within or without–the approach does not matter. What matters is that we “get back to a condition where we are right with nature,”[145] fulfilling “our destiny, according to nature’s laws…”.[146] In this way we can heal, grow and support the healing of our world.

Sue Mehrtens is the author of this essay.


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[1] Jung (1977), 163. Jung said this to Elizabeth Osterman during her meeting with him c. 1958.

[2] “Letter to Mrs. N,” 20 May 1940; Letters, I, 283.

[3] Collected Works 8 ¶739. Hereafter Collected Works will be abbreviated CW.

[4] Jung (1984), 37.

[5] Ibid., 142.

[6] World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, II, 1290.

[7] CW 13 ¶196.

[8] “Letter to Mrs. N,” 20 May 1940; Letters, I, 283.

[9] CW 5 ¶89.

[10] Jung (1984), 682-683.

[11] CW 13 ¶229.

[12] CW 12 ¶214.

[13] CW 13 ¶303.

[14] Ibid. ¶196.

[15] Jung (1984), 683.

[16] Ibid., 100.

[17] For a delightful account of the “hidden life of trees,” and how they communicate with each other, see Wohlleben (2015), 6-13.

[18] CW 13 ¶148.

[19] CW 10 ¶34.

[20] CW 16 ¶415.

[21] Jung (1984), 250.

[22] CW 12 ¶447.

[23] CW 13 ¶299.

[24] CW 9i ¶234.

[25] Jung (1984), 88.

[26] Ibid., 250.

[27] CW 9i ¶172.

[28] CW 7 ¶162.

[29] CW 13 ¶196.

[30] CW 16 ¶415.

[31] In her classic The Death of Nature, Carolyn Merchant describes how Francis Bacon (Lord Chancellor of England under James I) suggested Nature be treated just as were the witches he tortured; Merchant (1980), 172. Reading of Bacon’s attitudes one can’t help but wonder if the man had some sort of complex!

[32] CW 11 ¶531.

[33] CW 18 ¶s 1360 & 1366.

[34] CW 8 ¶529.

[35] CW 11 ¶757; for more on the reality of the psyche, see the essay “The Psyche is Real,” archived on this Web site.

[36] This phrase is Clarence Glacken’s, quoted in Ehrenfeld (1981), 177.

[37] This is one of the four laws of ecology identified by Barry Commoner; the other three are “Nature knows best,” “There’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and “Everything is connected to everything else;” Commoner (1971), 33-35.

[38] Ecologists speak of the “4 R’s:” reuse, repair, recondition and recyle; see Elkington (1986), 258.

[39] “Letter to Mrs. N,” 20 May 1940; Letters, I, 283.

[40] Ibid.

[41] CW 7 ¶95.


[42] Ibid. ¶257.

[43] CW 13 ¶s 148, 229, 256 & 303.

[44] Ibid. ¶229.

[45] E.g. in the principle of homeostasis, “the tendency of an organism to maintain internal equilibrium of temperature, fluid content etc.” World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, I, 945.

[46] CW 11 ¶201.

[47] Jung (1984), 37.

[48] CW 8 ¶739.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Jung (1984), 470.

[53] CW 8 ¶682.

[54] CW 7, p. 124.

[55] CW 9i ¶234.

[56] Ibid.

[57] CW 13 ¶195.

[58] Jung (1977), 163.

[59] CW 8 ¶682.

[60] Ibid.

[61] CW 13 ¶229.

[62] Ibid.

[63] CW 11 ¶868.

[64] CW 8 ¶750.

[65] CW 18 ¶597.

[66] CW 11 ¶443; for more on Jung’s attitudes toward technology, see chapter 4 in Mehrtens (2016), 39-46.

[67] Bair (2003), 323.

[68] CW 10 ¶134.

[69] CW 18 ¶1366.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid. ¶585.

[72] Ibid.

[73] Ibid.

[74] CW 11 ¶325.

[75] Safina (2015), 268-272; this whole book is a delightful, readable skewering of the conventional paradigm of science and the blinders it wears when examining animal behavior.

[76] Tart (2009), 94-97.

[77] CW 8 ¶864.

[78] For ten essays by scientists from many disciplines that offer critiques of the current paradigm, see Mehrtens (1996).

[79] CW 3 ¶466.

[80] I first heard this phrase from the late Willis Harman, who was then the President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences; it refers to the fact that we have created a society built on science as the arbiter of truth. Just go into any courtroom and observe the weight given to the testimony of forensic scientists.

[81] CW 3 ¶466.

[82] Ibid.

[83] Ibid.

[84] CW 7 ¶32; cf. CW 18 ¶598.

[85] CW 18 ¶1366.

[86] Ibid. ¶1368.

[87] Ibid.

[88] Jung used “creeds” to distinguish the organized forms from his use of “religion” to refer to our innate ability to reflect and ponder things spiritual and soul-nourishing. For a fuller discussion of Jung’s attitude toward religion, see the essay “The Religious Impulse in the Human Being,” archived on this Web site.

[89] CW 18 ¶1380.

[90] Ibid.

[91] CW 11 ¶375.

[92] The Greek New Testament uses two words to refer to human physicality: soma is used when the author is speaking of the body generally; sarx, usually rendered in English as “the flesh,” means the body which can succumb to the temptation of lust.

[93] CW 8 ¶739.

[94] Ibid.

[95] CW 18 ¶598.

[96] Ibid.

[97] CW 5 ¶113.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Ibid.

[101] CW 7 ¶347.

[102] Jung (1984), 250.

[103] When Jung encountered Chinese thought, thanks to Richard Wilhelm, he was quite taken with the Chinese concept of wu wei; see CW 13 ¶20, for Jung’s discussion of the “art of letting things happen,” and its role in his version of psychology.

[104] Jung (1984), 250.

[105] CW 8 ¶750.

[106] CW 18 ¶597.

[107] Jung (1977), 163.

[108] Ibid.

[109] Ibid.

[110] CW 11 ¶868.

[111] Jung (1998), 167.

[112] Ibid.

[113] Ibid.

[114] CW 8 ¶678.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid. ¶681.

[117] Ibid.

[118] Ibid.

[119] Ibid. ¶682.

[120] Ibid.

[121] CW 11 ¶310.

[122] “Extended science” is another term I learned from Willis Harman; see Harman (1988) and Griffin (1996) for lengthy explanations and descriptions of this emerging paradigm of science.

[123] CW 9ii ¶270.

[124] E.g. the cell phone; for its addictive nature, see Turkle (2015).

[125] Most pharmaceuticals developed by Big Pharma use the conventional allopathic model, based on scientism, with all its limitations and erroneous assumptions; hence the myriad side effects; cf. Whitaker (1995), Corey (2016) and Kenyon (2008).

[126] E.g. the quants’ development of derivatives, which Warren Buffet has called “financial weapons of mass destruction,” referring to their potential to destroy market value, as we saw in the 2008 Great Recession.

[127] CW 7 ¶257.

[128] CW 8 ¶739.

[129] Ibid. ¶750.

[130] Ibid. ¶864.

[131] Jung recounts this experience in ibid. ¶843.

[132] CW 16 ¶469.

[133] Jung (1984), 37.

[134] Ibid., 470.

[135] Bair (2003), 248, 266.

[136] Ibid., 104, 319.

[137] Brome (1978), 40. As he got older, Jung became more casual in his dress, to the point that some people mistook him for the gardener! ibid.,185.

[138] Jung (1984), 470.

[139] Ibid., 250.

[140] E.g. the complex systems of tranches and derivatives designed (in theory) to eliminate risk in investing–truly a trickster’s invention!

[141] Jung (1977), 163.

[142] Ibid.

[143] CW 11 ¶868.

[144] Jung (1984), 142.

[145] Ibid., 37.

[146] Ibid.