The autobiography of the esteemed, and in my opinion, most important psychologist to have ever lived, C. G. Jung, is first and foremost a subjective spiritual primer.

I find that all my thoughts circle around God like the planets around the sun, and are as irresistibly attracted by Him. I would feel it to be the grossest sin if I were to oppose any resistance to this force.

The autobiography was scribed by Aniela Jaffe, longtime friend and colleague. She writes:

In his scientific works Jung seldom speaks of God; there he is at pains to use the term “the God-image in the human psyche.” This is no contradiction. In the one case his language is subjective, based upon inner experience; in the other it is the objective language of scientific inquiry. As a scientist, Jung is an empiricist. When Jung speaks of his religious experiences in this book, he is assuming that his readers are willing to enter into his point of view. His subjective statements will be acceptable only to those who have had similar experiences–or, to put it another way, to those in whose psyche the God-image bears the same or similar features.

Jung quips:

I have guarded this material all my life, and have never wanted it exposed to the world; for if it is assailed, I shall be affected even more than in the case of my other books. I have suffered enough from incomprehension and from the isolation one falls into when one says things that people do not understand. The ‘autobiography’ is my life, viewed in the light of the knowledge I have gained from my scientific endeavors. Both are one, and therefore this book makes great demands on people who do not know or cannot understand my scientific ideas.

My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious. Everything in the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality too desires to evolve out of its unconscious conditions and to experience itself as a whole. I cannot employ the language of science to trace this process of growth in myself, for I cannot experience myself as a scientific problem.

Jung, like literally every other scientist whose writings I am familiar with, writes in a painstaking, laborious manner, often repeating himself. He is a very good writer, no doubt, but it clashes with my “less is more” style. As a result there is a lot of material to transcribe.

Yet I would be remiss to allow that laziness to prevent me from perusing the breadth and depth of this man’s contributions and discoveries of the world. This autobiography has inspired me to — long overdue, but better late than never — comb over as many as of Jung’s Collected Works I can get my hands on.