Think Jung

Make Life a Mythic Journey

Happy Holy-days: A Greeting Card from Jung and Yeats

(with apologies to “A Dialogue of Self and Soul”)


I summon to the winding ancient stair;

Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,

Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,

Upon the breathless starlit air,

Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;

Fix every wandering thought upon

That quarter where all thought is done:

Who can distinguish darkness from the soul?


Everyone carries a shadow and

 the less it is embodied in

[your] conscious life,

 the blacker and denser it is.


A living man is blind and drinks his drop.

What matters if the ditches are impure?

What matter if I live it all once more?

Endure that toil of growing up;

The ignominy of boyhood; the distress

Of boyhood changing into man;

The unfinished man and his pain

Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;


The inferior and even the worthless

 belongs to me as my shadow

 and gives me substance and mass.

How can I be substantial without

casting a shadow?


The finished man among his enemies?—

How in the name of Heaven can he escape

That defiling and disfigured shape

The mirror of malicious eyes

Casts upon his eyes until at last

He thinks that shape must be his shape?

And what’s the good of  an escape

If honour find him in the wintry blast?


We carry our past with us, to wit,

the primitive and inferior man

with his desires and

emotions, and

it is only with an enormous effort that

we can detach ourselves from this burden.


I am content to live it all again

And yet again, if it be life to  pitch

Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,

A blind man battering blind men;


The goal of the cathartic method

is full confession—not merely

the intellectual recognition of the facts

with the head, but their confirmation

by the heart and the actual release

of suppressed emotion.


I am content to follow to its source

Every event in action  or in thought;

Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!

When such as I cast out remorse

So great a sweetness flows into the breast

We must laugh and we must sing,

We are blest by everything,

Everything we look upon is blest.


Now we are there,

everything has come out,

everything is known,

the last terror lived through

and the last tear shed;

now everything will be all right.

This holiday season give yourself the gift of forgiveness.  Confess to a friend, a spouse, a priest, a rabbi and lift your shadow and let your Self glow!

Paul Marshall Wortman

December 10, 2012

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