21 May 1930

You see, as long as man has but one function, he is just aware that he can do something, but he is always up against an overwhelming psychological condition, the three in the unconscious, the majority, on top of him.

Then he acquires a second function and becomes more complete. He gains more balance and acquires something like a philosophical consciousness. He can be aware of himself as such a psychological being. He can say: I want to do this or that, and he can also say: I see how foolish that is. While with only one function that is impossible, there is no reflection; it is only with the acquisition of the two functions that he has acquired a mirror. The left hand can then judge the right hand, and he has thereby gained a sort of divinity, a superior point of view.

The third function makes a second mirror. He can say: I see this fellow here who is watching that chap down there, and I see how he thinks and that he makes a wrong conclusion. With a fourth function there would be still more consciousness.

Obviously, it is a tremendous thing in the growth of consciousness that one can get behind oneself, that one can as a spectator again and again mirror oneself. Probably one can actually do it only to a limited extent, there are presumably certain restrictions to our consciousness, but one can see the possibility of infinite mirrorings and of infinite judgment. In that case, one would arrive naturally at a being who was so fabulously superior to conditions that it would be an almost limitless freedom, like the complete freedom of God that has not to obey conditions because it is the only condition that is.

Therefore the more functions one acquires, the more one deprives the divinity, or the magical factor, the mana factor, of its efficiency. It is as if one were undermining it, or hollowing it out, because one takes away from it and adds to oneself with every new point of view. So one lifts oneself up above conditions. That is the path of redemption in the East, the attainment of successive conditions of consciousness which gradually liberate man from the pairs of opposites, from the qualities, from concupiscentia, from the wheel of death and rebirth, as they express it.

Now, one would conclude that, through this detachment of the functions, we would arrive at a complete assimilation of the Trinity, in other words, a complete assimilation of the divine factor within ourselves. But then nothing would be left apparently. Or is that a wrong conclusion?

. . .

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is a terrible paradox, but you must not mix it up with philosophy. This is psychology, where we really move in paradoxes. The more divine, the farther from Earth–speaking psychologically, and from that you may conclude that God is a most inefficient being. But that is of course metaphysical. It may be true and it may not be true.

Mr. Schmitz: That is the reason why God incarnated himself in the Son. Empirically, he is not, he is incapable, and that is why he has created this terrible world. He must be not only in potentia but in actu.

Dr. Jung: Yes, that is why man is indispensable to God. Without man, God could do nothing. That is not metaphysical. I don’t believe in metaphysics, I only own to psychology, and in our psychology it is surely so–that God finds himself in a very helpless condition. We find that idea in old legends, in that cabalistic legend, for instance, that God in the beginning was all alone, there was nothing except himself, and his loneliness grew and grew to such an extent that he got a terrible headache from it, and realized that there should be something that was not himself.

Suppose one has a tremendous universal insight into things. One shrugs one’s shoulders and says: better that I know nothing at all, for then I could do something. Knowing so much would keep one out of existence,m one wouldn’t know whether one was alive or dead, one would be simply universal.So through that awareness one would be aware of functions, but the interesting thing is that when one is mirroring a thing one does not possess it.

. . .

Mr. Schmitz: Would you say that the divine in analysis might be the method of removing resistances against this honest attempt?

Dr. Jung: Yes, one could say that. For most people’s attempt is not honest, it is an illusion. They make heroic attempts to escape the real attempt, because that is the thing of which people are most afraid. The honest attempt is the worst danger.

Mr. Schmitz: Why danger?

Dr. Jung: Oh, danger because one is afraid of it. It is a risk; one dies by living.