The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 15

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 15

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 15

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 15


Nine essays, written between 1922 and 1941, on Paracelsus, Freud, Picasso, the sinologist Richard Wilhelm, Joyce's Ulysses, artistic creativity generally, and the source of artistic creativity in archetypal structures.


That remarkable man, Philippus Aureolus Bombast von Hohenheim, known as Theophrastus Paracelsus, was born in this house on November 10, 1493. His medieval mind and questing spirit would not take it amiss if, in respectful remembrance of the customs of his day, we first glance at the position of the sun at the time of his birth. It stood in the sign of Scorpio, a sign that, according to ancient tradition, was favourable to physicians, the ministers of poisons and of healing. The ruler of Scorpio is the proud and bellicose Mars, who endows the strong with warlike courage and the weak with a quarrelsome and irascible disposition. The course of Paracelsus’s life certainly did not belie his nativity.

2 Turning now from the heavens to the earth on which he was born, we see his parents’ house embedded in a deep, lonely valley, darkly overhung by woods, and surrounded by the sombre towering mountains that shut in the moorlike slopes of the hills and declivities round about melancholy Einsiedeln. The great peaks of the Alps rise up menacingly close, the might of the earth visibly dwarfs the will of man; threateningly alive, it holds him fast in its hollows and forces its will upon him. Here, where nature is mightier than man, none escapes her influence; the chill of water, the starkness of rock, the gnarled, jutting roots of trees and precipitous cliffs—all this generates in the soul of anyone born there something that can never be extirpated, lending him that characteristically Swiss obstinacy, doggedness,

[An address delivered in the house in which Paracelsus was born, at Einsiedeln (Canton Schwyz), June, 1929, under the auspices of the Literary Club of Zurich, and published in Der Lesezirkel (Zurich), XVI: 10 (Sept., 1929). Reprinted in Wirklichkeit der Seele (Zurich, 1934) and as a pamphlet (St. Gallen, 1952).— EDITORS.]

See the excellent edition of Paracelsus’s writings prepared by Bernhard Aschner.

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