Journeying Toward Wholeness

Vibrant Jung Thing Blog

"People Don't Say What's On Their Minds"

March 26th, 2009 · Carl Jung, depth psychology, Identity, Jungian analysis, Jungian psychology, Lifestyle, persona, Psychology, Psychotherapy, soul

Masked Man for Vibrant Jung Thing 

This has been an extremely busy time for me, and I apologize to those of you who may have been expecting that I would be posting before now.  I have a number of somewhat longer posts that I expect to put up on the blog before very long, but I thought that today I would leave this quotation with you from Jung.  It's the latest in the series of Jung quotations that I have been posting on this blog. 

It's a fascinating little comment in which Jung tells us something of how he himself first became interested in psychology and psychological growth ,and ultimately, in identity and individuation and the shadow.  It's from an interview of Jung called "On Creative Achievement" by Emil Fisher, which appears in that great little book called C.G. Jung Speaking.  Fisher asks Jung,

What were the circumstances that induced you to work in the field of psychological research?

To which Jung replies,

"Even as a small boy I noticed that people always did the contrary of what was said of them.  I found some of the people who were praised quite unbearable, whereas I though others who were criticized quite pleasant.

I noticed the inconsistencies in the behaviour of adults quite early on, because I spent my formative years in Basel, in a rather odd environment, which was frequented by people with a complicated psychic structure.

When I was barely four years old, someone said to me in an exaggerated childish tone: "Where do you think you are going with your rocking horse?"  I reacted quite the enfant terrible: "Mama, why does this man say such nonsense?"  Even as a child I clearly felt that people did not really say what was on their minds."

"Americans Must Say 'No' in McGuire, William, and Hull, R.F.C., eds.,

C.G. Jung Speaking (Princeton: University Press, 1977)


I think most of us share the sense that Jung had at a very early age, that there is a lot more going on inside people than they really show us on the outside.  And then, it's also true that there's a lot more going on inside ourselves than we show on the outside.  It's something that we've all known for a very long time, and we all really want to understand it.  When it comes to ourselves, there may well come a time in our lives when it's absolutely vital for us to understand what makes us tick.  To open ourselves up to self-knowledge may well be the true beginning of wisdom.

My very best wishes to each of you on your individual journeys to wholeness,

Brian Collinson

Website for Brian's Oakville and Mississauga Practice: ; Email:

Get "Vibrant Jung Thing" posts delivered to your email using the "FeedBurner" box in the left column.

PHOTO CREDITS: © Richard Nelson|

© 2009 Brian Collinson 


→ No Comments

Surface Tension: Jungian Therapy, Persona & Suburbia

June 7th, 2008 · depth psychology, Individuation, Jungian psychology, Jungian therapy, Lifestyle, persona, suburbia

Blog_surface_tension_lily © Stuart Corlett |

Viewed from the point of view of Jungian therapy, suburbia can seem like it is entirely about persona, just living on the surface of life, never penetrating into its true depths.

The suburban experience can sometimes be very caught up with appearances.  We are continually bombarded with an enormous number of messages that tell us that we are how we look, and that our image is everything .  Consequently the house we live in and the car we drive can seem like true determinants of our identity.  Our furniture and our landscaping can be seen as indicators of our worth as human beings — to others, yes, but, even more devastatingly, to ourselves.

The way in which we express our individual selves through our homes and gardens may be true expressions of our individual selves.  In that sense, they have the potential to be true manifestations of soul.  But there is a real danger that we will identify ourselves by means of these things, rather than doing the hard work of turning into ourselves to see who we most fundamentally are.  Thus we lapse into identifying ourselves with what C.G. Jung called the persona, the outward social “mask” that we develop and use to enable us to interact with the outer world.

[