Huxley – Jung – White

Reading his books, you feel that here is a man who does genuinely understand human beings in the profound intuitive way in which a good novelist, like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky, understands them. I know of no other professional psychologist of whom one feels the same. Others know their business well enough; but Jung seems really to understand, not merely with the intellect, but with his whole being, intimately and intuitively. And he is not only an intuitive knower of human nature; he is also an acute analyst, a philosopher, and a scholar. The psychologist who would tell us something significant must be possessed of a multiplicity of talents.

Proper Studies – Aldous Huxley, 1927

Is the LSD-drug mescalin? It has indeed very curious effects – vide Aldous Huxley – of which I know far too little. I don’t know either what its psychotherapeutic value with neurotic or psychotic patients is. I only know there is no point in wishing to know more of the collective unconscious than one gets through dreams and intuition. The more you know of it, the greater and heavier becomes our moral burden, because the unconscious contents transform themselves into your individual tasks and duties as soon as they begin to become conscious. Do you want to increase loneliness and misunderstanding? Do you want to find more and more complications and increasing responsibilities? You get enough of it. If I once could say that I had done everything I know I had to do, then perhaps I should realize a legitimate need to take mescalin. But if I should take it now, I would not be sure at all that I had not taken it out of idle curiosity. I should hate the thought that I had touched on the sphere where the paint is made that colours the world, where the light is created that makes shine the splendour of the dawn, the lines and shapes of all form, the sound that fills the orbit, the thought that illuminates the darkness of the void. There are some poor impoverished creatures, perhaps, for whom mescalin would be a heaven-sent gift without a counterpoison, but I am profoundly mistrustful of the “pure gifts of the Gods.” You pay very dearly for them. Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. (“[Men of Troy, trust not the horse!] Be it what it may, I fear the Danaans, though their hands proffer gifts” – Virgil, Aeneid, I, 48).
This is not the point at all, to know of or about the unconscious, nor does the story end here; on the contrary it is how and where you begin the real quest. If you are too unconscious it is a great relief to know a bit of the collective unconscious. But it soon becomes dangerous to know more, because one does not learn at the same time how to balance it through a conscious equivalent. That is the mistake Aldous Huxley makes: he does not know that he is in the role of the “Zauberlehrling,” who learned from his master how to call the ghosts but did not know how to get rid of them again:

“I cannot get rid / Of the spirits I bid.” (Goethe’s poem “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”)

It is really the mistake of our age. We think it is enough to discover new things, but we don’t realize that knowing more demands a corresponding development of morality. Radioactive clouds over Japan, Calcutta, and Saskatchewan point to progressive poisoning of the universal atmosphere.
I should indeed be obliged to you if you could let me see the material they get with LSD. It is quite awful that the alienists have caught hold of a new poison to play with, without the faintest knowldge or feeling of responsibility. It is just as if a surgeon had never leaned further than to cut open his patient’s belly and to leave things there. When one gets to know unconscious contents one should know how to deal with them. I can only hope that the doctors will feed themselves thoroughly with mescalin, the alkaloid of divine grace, so that they learn for themselves its marvellous effect. You have not finished with the conscious side yet. Why should you expect more from the unconscious? For 35 years I have known enough of the colective unconscious and my whole effort is concentrated upon preparing the ways and means to deal with it.

C.G. Jung to Father Victor White, 10 April 1954

Naqueles idos, Jung convidou o Huxley para visitá-lo, mas este não pôde porque estava na fase mais intensa de sua pesquisa sobre as “portas da percepção” e tentava evitar qualquer contado que pudesse interromper esse processo e um encontro com Jung certamente iria desestabilizar tudo, especialmente porque apesar de ter uma admiração gigantesca pelo Jung, Huxley achava que o método junguiano ficava aquém das reais possibilidades de um auto-descobrimento e era incompleto. Resumindo: Huxley achava que só através de alucinógenos seria possível o conhecimento completo do ser – assim como achavam Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary, Cary Grant, DH Lawrence e Gregory House (rá!) – mas há quarenta anos esse método é ilegal, o que nos leva a não profissionais ministrando LSD, ayahuasca e mescalina a psicóticos e esquizofrênicos, o que só pode dar em merda (vide Glauco), muitas vezes por indução religiosa quando o acompanhamento necessário deve ser absolutamente neutro – coisa de que só um bom terapeuta é capaz e não líderes de cultos ou xamãs. O ideal mesmo é unir ambos os métodos, manter a terapia e eventuamente algumas vezes ao ano trabalhar com alucinógenos para que se possa enfrentar o que possivelmente não conseguiu sair com o outro método. Ora bolas, já fiz mais descobertas sobre o que rola no inconsciente através de alucinógenos do que em anos de terapia convencional, embora esta seja absolutamente essencial para se traduzir as imagens obtidas por aqueles e manter o mínimo de sanidade mental.

4 thoughts on “Huxley – Jung – White

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  2. Pingback: Huxley, Lawrence, Jung, Gross | Quixotando

  3. Pingback: 24 Frames: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Michael Powell, 1955) | Quixotando

  4. Pingback: Hoje é o famoso 26 de julho… | Quixotando

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