You see, the trouble is that nobody understands these things apparently.
It seems quite strange to me that one doesn’t see what an education without the humanities is doing to man. He loses his connection with his family, his connection with his whole past—the whole stem, the tribe —that past in which man has always lived. We think that we are born today tabula rasa without a history, but man has always lived in the myth. To think that man is born without a history within himself— that is a disease. It is absolutely abnormal, because man is not born every day. He is born into a specific historical setting with specific historical qualities, and therefore, he is only complete when he has a relation to these things. If you are growing up with no connection from the past, it is like being born without eyes and ears and trying to perceive the external world with accuracy. Natural science may say, “You need no connection with the past; you can wipe it out,” but that is a mutilation of the human being. Now I saw from a practical experience that this kind of proceeding has a most extraordinary therapeutic effect. I can tell you such a case.
There was a Jewish girl. Her father was a banker. She had been educated more through worldly experience and formal education, and was decidedly lacking in any understanding of tradition. I examined her history further and found out that her grandfather had been an ascetic in Galicia. With this insight, I knew the whole story, and let me explain why. This particular girl suffered from phobia, a terrible phobia, and had been under psychoanalytic treatment already with no effect. She was really badly plagued by that phobia, in excited states and so on. I observed that this girl had blocked significant influences of her past. For instance, the fact that her grandfather was an ascetic, that he lived in the myth, was one influence she had blocked. Her father too had resisted this ascetic influence. So I simply told her, “You will stamp out your fears if you gain insight into what you have lost or are resisting. Your fear is the fear of the influences from the past.” You know, the effect was that within a week she was cured from so many years of bad anxiety states, because this insight went through her like a lightning bolt. I was able to interpret the source of the problem so quickly because I knew that she was absolutely lost. She thought she was in the middle of things, functioning well, but actually she was in a sense lost or gone.
Evans: What can we learn from this remarkable case, Dr. Jung?
Jung: Well, it illustrates that it makes no sense and that our existence is incomplete when we are just “average numbers.” The more you make people into average numbers, the more you destroy our society. The “ideal state” and the “slave state” come into being. If you want to be an “average number,” go to Russia. There it is wonderful; there you can be a number. But one pays very dearly; our whole life goes to blazes, like in the case of the girl. I have plenty of cases of a similar kind.
I need to stop fancying dead guys.
I recommend his biography, unlike most of the genre, it isn’t boring.