Anthony Stevens Quotes
“To Jung, the purpose of life was to realize one's own potential, to follow one's own perception of the truth, and to become a whole person in one's own right. This was the goal of individuation, as he later called it. If he was to keep faith with himself, he had to go his own way: it would have been impossible for him to spend his life playing second fiddle in a two-man band.”
“In many cases in psychiatry, the patient who comes to us has a story that is not told, and which as a rule no one knows of. To my mind, therapy only really begins after the investigation of that wholly personal story. It is the patient’s secret, the rock against which he is shattered. If I know his secret story, I have a key to the treatment. . . . In therapy the problem is always the whole person, never the symptom alone. We must ask questions which challenge the whole personality. (MDR 118)”
“the despair displayed by young children on loss of their mother is a normal response to frustration of their absolute need for her presence ... children usually manage to survive, it is true, but at the cost of developing a defensive attitude to emotional detachment, and by becoming self-absorbed and self-reliant to an unusual degree. Typically, they are left with lasting doubts about their capacity to elicit care and affection.”
“The specious idea that gender differences are due entirely to culture, and have nothing to do with biological or archetypal predispositions, still enjoys wide currency in our society, yet it rests on the discredited tabula rasa theory of human development and is at variance with the overwhelming mass of anthropological and scientific evidence.”
“Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome,’ he wrote. ‘The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away – an ephemeral apparition . . . Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom that passes. The rhizome remains’ (MDR 18). The great secret is to embody something essential in our lives. Then, undefeated by age, we can proceed with dignity and meaning, and, as the end approaches, be ready ‘to die with life’. For the goal of old age is not senility, but wisdom.”
“Sexual differentiation begins approximately six weeks after conception, when in male children the gonads are formed and begin to manufacture male hormone, which has a profound effect on the future development of the embryo. In the female, on the other hand, the ovaries are not formed until the sixth month, by which time the greater size, weight, and muscular strength of the male is already established. This is the biological basis of the sexual dimorphism apparent in the great majority of societies known to anthropology, where child-rearing is almost invariably the responsibility of women, and hunting and warfare the responsibility of men. These differences have less to do with cultural `stereotypes' than some fashionable contemporary notions would have us believe. While it is true that at all ages males and females have far more in common than they have differences between them, there can be no doubt that some differences exist which have their roots in the biology of our species. Jung was quite clear about this. Again and again, he refers to the masculine and the feminine as two great archetypal principles, coexisting as equal and complementary parts of a balanced cosmic system, as expressed in the interplay of yin and yang in Taoist philosophy. These archetypal principles provide the foundations on which masculine and feminine stereotypes begin to do their work, providing an awareness of gender. Gender is the psychic recognition and social expression of the sex to which nature has assigned us, and a child's awareness of its gender is established by as early as eighteen months of age.”
“Where the parents are not 'good enough' the rest of the programme for life may be distorted and later stages in the archetypal sequence may fail to be realized. Thus, the boy whose father was inadequate or absent may fail to actualize his masculine potential sufficiently to establish the social or vocational role his talents equip him for, or he may be unable to sustain a relationship with a member of the opposite sex long enough for him to become an adequate husband or father himself.”
“Had Jung been a Nazi sympathizer, would this provide grounds for rejecting analytical psychology in toto? Some insist that it would, apparently in the belief that a man's views should conform to contemporary notions of political correctness before serious attention can be granted to his work. Their contention could be justified were it proved that analytical psychology, so closely derived from the psychology of its founder, is imbued with a Fascist spirit. Fortunately, its emphasis on the primary importance of the individual psyche and the personal quest for wholeness, combined with its resistance to dogmatism, collectivism, and social conformity, places analytical psychology in an intellectual position as far removed from Fascism as it is possible to be.”
“In addition to the Self, Jung postulated archetypal components which play specific roles in the psychic development and social adjustment of everyone. These include the ego, persona, shadow, anima, and animus. Jung considered these to be archetypal structures which are built into the personal psyche in the form of complexes during the course of development. Each is a psychic organ operating in accordance with the biological principles of adaptation, homeostasis, and growth.”
“Now I knew what it was, and knew even more: that man is indispensable for the completion of creation; that, in fact, he himself is the second creator of the world, who alone has given to the world its objective existence – without which, unheard, unseen, silently eating, giving birth, dying, heads nodding through hundreds of millions of years, it would have gone on in the profoundest night of non-being down to its unknown end. Human consciousness created objective existence and meaning, and man found his indispensable place in the great process of being.”
- Date of birth: March 27, 1933
- Description: Anthony Stevens is a well known Jungian analyst and psychiatrist who has written extensively on psychotherapy and psychology.
Stevens has two degrees in psychology and a doctorate in medicine from Oxford University. He studied for a time under John Bowlby. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. He lectures regularly in the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere.
Stevens is the author or co-author of many books and articles on psychology, evolutionary psychiatry, Jungian analysis and the significance of archetypal imagery.
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.