Book Extract: Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C. G. Jung
A withering inditement of the impact of the Western shadow on the world by one of the fathers of modern depth psychology.
The Occidental burns incense to himself, and his own countenance is veiled from him in the smoke. But how do we strike men of another colour? What do China and India think of us? What feelings do we arouse in the black man? And what is the opinion of all those whom we deprive of their lands and exterminate with rum and venereal disease?
I have a Red Indian friend who is the governor of a pueblo. When we were once speaking confidentially about the white man, he said to me: “We don’t understand the whites; they are always wanting something - always restless - always looking for something. What is it? We don’t know. We can’t understand them. They have such sharp noses, such thin, cruel lines in their faces. We think they are all crazy.”
My friend had recognized, without being able to name it, the Aryan bird of prey with his insatiable lust to lord it in every land - even those that concern him not at all. And he had also noted that megalomania of ours which leads us to suppose, among other things, that Christianity is the only truth, and the white Christ the only Redeemer. After setting the whole East in turmoil with our science and technology, and exacting tribute from it, we send our missionaries even to China. The stamping out of polygamy by the African missions has given rise to prostitution on such a scale that in Uganda alone twenty thousand pounds sterling is spent yearly on preventatives of venereal infection, not to speak of the moral consequences, which have been of the worst. And the good European pays his missionaries for these edifying achievements. No need to mention also the story of suffering in Polynesia and the blessings of the opium trade.
That is how the European looks when he is extricated from the cloud of his own moral incense. No wonder that to unearth buried fragments of psychic life we have first to drain a miasmal swamp. Only a great idealist like Freud could devote a lifetime to the unclean work. This is the beginning of our psychology. For us acquaintance, with the realities of psychic life could start only at this end, with all that repels us and that we do not wish to see.
…At first we cannot see beyond the path that leads downward to dark and hateful things - but no light or beauty will ever come from the man who cannot bear this sight. Light is always born of darkness, and the sun never yet stood still in heaven to satisfy man’s longing or to still his fears.
Modern Man in Search of a Soul by C. G. Jung, pub. Ark Paperbacks 1992
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Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818)... By Caspar David Friedrich - The photographic reproduction was done by Cybershot800i. (Diff), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1020146