- Created: Sunday, 11 February 2018 08:26
“A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual…”
In this quote from his essay The Undiscovered Self, Carl Jung is making an impassioned plea for the meaning and purpose of the individual as distinct from the mass statistic of the human population.
It is not that Jung is against community. Rather that he sees true community as made up of individuals. The essay, written in 1956, finds Jung already concerned with the reality of nuclear weapons and the cold war as well as the impact of totalitarian regimes on Eastern Europe. Jung felt that it was the essence or “quality” of the individual that stood in the way of the loss of human freedom.
He continues, “But if the individual, overwhelmed by the sense of his own puniness and impotence, should feel that his life has lost its meaning – which, after all, is not identical with public welfare and higher standards of living – then he is already on the way to State slavery and, without knowing or wanting it, has become its proselyte.”