Jung and Immanence

Spices, their nature and growth, the vanilla bean, a talk on tea (1915) Author McCormick and company. US Public Domain
Spices, their nature and growth, the vanilla bean, a talk on tea (1915)
Author McCormick and company. US Public Domain

Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above the ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost the sense of something that lives and endures beneath the eternal flux. What we see is blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.    – Carl Jung

When Carl Jung wrote that life could be represented as a rhizomal root, he touched upon a profound understanding immanence. Jung believed that this root of life could be found within each individual, in the depths of the unconscious. Carl Jung calls it “the deep truth”, and spoke of “the secret immanence of the divine spirit of life in all things.” Although his writings did not go into the concept of immanence directly, his works continually circled around the concept, touching upon the great mystery that is at the root of life.

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