This book is an absolute gem. Yes, it was pieced together as an addendum of sorts to the Collected Works, but the quality speaks for itself. You can read the other volumes first and utilize this one as a sort of conclusion, but you could also read it first as a sort of introduction or overview of what lies in store for you in the other volumes. It doesn't matter: the material speaks for itself. I chose 46 quotes from it for my collection. There actually is a unifying topic, the symbolic life-which Jung makes the object of human development-the life an individuated person leads. Thus, this book covers lots of ground regarding the way we view the world and the main life roles and arenas we build our lives around:
THE NATURE OF THE SYMBOLIC LIFE-[the individuated person]
pp. 282-3 the very fact that you live the symbolic life has an extraordinary civilizing influence. Those people are far more civilized and creative on account of the symbolic life. People who are only rational have very little influence; it is all talk, and with talk you get nowhere.
p. 605 The majority of normal people (quite apart from the 10 per cent or so who are inferior) are ridiculously unconscious and naïve and are open to any passing suggestion...The more people live together in heaps, the stupider and more suggestible the individual becomes.
THE RELATION OF SCIENCE TO INTUITION AND SYMBOLS-[science & scientists]
p. 251 In all the higher grades of science, imagination and intuition play an increasingly important role over and above intellect and its capacity for application. Even physics, the most rigorous of all the applied sciences, depends to an astonishing degree on intuition which works by way of the unconscious processes and not by logical deductions, although it is possible to demonstrate afterwards what logical procedure might have led to the same result...Intuition is almost indispensable in the interpretation of symbols.
p. 252 Nothing is more vulnerable and ephemeral than scientific theories, which are mere tools and not everlasting truths.
THE VALUE OF RITUAL-[religion]
p. 271 we should not change anything in a ritual. A ritual must be done according to tradition, and if you change one little point in it, you make a mistake. You must allow your reason to play with it.
HOW TO PRACTICE PSYCHOTHERAPY-[psychology]
p. 276 I talk the language of my patients. When I talk with lunatics, I talk the lunatic language, otherwise they don't understand me. And when I talk with neurotics, I talk neurotic with them.
PARENTING-[parents and children]
p. 485 The behavior of the parents, whether they have open or hidden conflicts, etc., has an incalculable effect on the unconscious of the child. The causes of infantile neuroses are to be sought less in the children than in the parents or teachers. The teacher should be more conscious of his shadow than the average person, otherwise the work of one hand can easily be undone by the other. It is for this reason that medical psychotherapists are required to undergo a training analysis, in order to gain insight into their own unconscious psyche.
POLITICS-[government and legislation]
p. 564 99 per cent of politics are mere symptoms and anything but a cure for social evils. About 50 per cent of politics is definitely obnoxious inasmuch as it poisons the utterly incompetent mind of the masses...we are exasperatingly careless when it comes to the even more dangerous collective diseases of the mind.
p. 625 no rules can cope with the paradoxes of life.
p. 630 reality consists mainly of exceptions to the rule.