Monday, December 10, 2007

Jung drops the bundle

While recovering from an illness in 1944, Carl Jung had the following experience of ego annihilation:

"...a strange thing happened: I had the feeling that everything was being sloughed away; everything I aimed at or wished for or thought, the whole phantasmagoria of Earthly existence, fell away or was stripped from me - an extremely painful process. Nevertheless something remained: it was as if I now carried along with me everything I had ever experienced or done, everything that had happened around me. I might also say: it was with me, and I was it. I consisted of all that, so to speak. I consisted of my own history, and I felt with great certainty: that is what I am. 'I am this bundle of what has been, and what has been accomplished.' This experience gave me the a feeling of extreme poverty, but at the same time of great fullness. There was no longer anything I wanted or desired. I existed in an objective form; I was what I had been and lived. At first the sense of annihilation predominated, of having been stripped or pillaged; but suddenly that became of no consequence. Everything seemed to be past; what remained was a fait accompli, without any reference back to what had been. There was no longer any regret that something had dropped away. On the contrary: I had everything that I was, and that was everything."

- Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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