Potentialities: Borne Along the Stream of Time

Potentialities: Borne Along the Stream of Time

Jung’s commentary on The Golden Flower:

“Now and then it happened in my practice that a patient grew beyond himself because of unknown potentialities, and this became an experience of prime importance to me.  In the meantime, I had learned that all the greatest and most important problems of life are fundamentally insoluble.  They must be so, for they express the necessary polarity inherent in every self-regulating system.  They can never be solved, but only outgrown.  I therefore asked myself whether this outgrowing, this possibility of further psychic development, was not the normal thing, and whether getting stuck in a conflict was pathological.  Everyone must possess that higher level, at least in embryonic form, and must under favourable circumstances be able to develop this potentiality.  When I examined the course of development in patients who quietly, and as if unconsciously, outgrew themselves, I saw that their faces had something in common.  The new thing came to them from obscure possibilities either outside or inside themselves; they accepted it and grew with its help.  It seemed to me typical that some took the new thing from outside themselves, others from inside; or rather, that it grew into some persons from without, and into others from within.  But the new thing never came exclusively either from within or from without.  If it came from outside, it became a profound inner experience; if it came from inside, it became an outer happening.  In no case was it conjured into existence intentionally or by conscious willing, but rather seemed to be borne along the stream of time.”

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