My soul, my soul, where are you?

Carl Jung’s diary, 12th November 1913
Photo: LOwens via Wikimedia

In 1913, at the age of 38, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung embarked upon a profound and deeply introspective journey that would mark a significant phase in his life and work. Prompted by a series of unsettling dreams and visions amidst his contentious break with Freud, Jung found himself diving into the uncharted waters of his own subconscious—a period of intense personal reflection he recorded in a series of journals later known as the Black Books. This entry, written on 12th November 1913, was his first.

The Diary Entry

12. Nov. 1913

My soul, my soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you—are you there? I have returned, here I am again. I have shaken the dust of all the lands from my feet, and I have come to you again, I am with you. After long years of long wandering, I have come to you anew. Shall I tell you everything I have seen, experienced, and drunk in? Or do you not want to hear about all the noise of life and the world? But one thing you must know, the one thing I have learned is that one must live this life. This life is the way, the long sought-after way to the unfathomable, which we call “divine.”? There is no other way. All other ways are false paths. I found the right way and it led me to you, to my soul. I return, tempered and purified. Do you still know me? How long the separation lasted! Everything has become so different. And how did I find you? How strange my journey was! What words should I use to tell you on what twisted paths a good star has guided me to you?

Give me your hand, my almost forgotten soul! How warm the joy at seeing you again, you long forgotten, long disavowed soul! Life has led me back to you. Let us thank the life I have lived for all the happy and all the sad hours, for every joy and every pain, for every hope and every disappointment. All were stations on the path toward you.

My soul, I found you again, I would like to, no, I will stay with you. My journey should continue with you. I will wander with you and ascend to my solitude, no longer alone as before and greedy and impatient, but with comforting courage and quiet delight.

Further Reading

Spanning nineteen years and seven volumes, The Black Books of C.G. Jung (1913-1932) were translated and edited by Sonu Shamdasani and published in 2020 by W. W. Norton & Company. The above entry is reprinted with permission.


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