“The daemonic … rests entirely on the unconscious forces of negation and destruction and on the reality of evil.  The existence of the daemonic is demonstrated by the fact that black magic is not only possible but uncannily successful, so much so that it is tempting to assume that black magicians are possessed by a daemon.  Hitler’s magic, for instance, consisted in his always saying what everybody was afraid to say out loud because it was considered too disreputable and inferior (resentment against the Jews).  But his daemonism lay in the fact that his methods were uncannily effective and that he himself obviously became the victim of the daemon which had taken total possession of him.  

“…when anyone gives free rein to violent emotion and in this state wishes evil, it will have a magical effect.  This is the quintessence of primitive magic and of the corresponding mass phenomena like Naziism, Communism, etc.  

Dr. Carl G. Jung, September 1, 1952, Letter to Horst Scharschuch, Letters II: 1951-1961, p. 82-83

Many of us know to be afraid of what Donald Trump represents, but we don’t know what it is he represents.  The parallels to Adolph Hitler have been made, but why is it happening and what is to be done?  Actually, Bernie Sanders represents the mirror image of the same phenomenon.  

At Christmas 2015, a conservative friend told me that if he could not vote for Donald Trump, he would vote for Bernie Sanders.  At the time my jaw dropped, but as I read Dr. Jung’s work from more than 60 years ago, I do now get it.

In another work, Dr. Jung wrote:

“The claim to authority is naturally not in itself sufficient…. Its authority must also be backed by the equally vehement need of the multitude.  As this need always arises from a condition of distress, any attempt at explanation will have to examine the psychic situation of those who allow themselves to be convinced ….  It will turn out that the statements of the inspired personality have made conscious just those images and ideas which compensate the general psychic distress.”

Dr. Carl G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis, (1963) ¶785

The distress that the Occupy Wall Street movement manifested is the same distress that is manifesting now in both the Trump and Sanders campaigns, and it is intense.  Losing your life savings and your home to foreclosure, which happened to millions upon millions of Americans, is tantamount to castration for men and mastectomy for women.  The psychic damage is that intense and damaging not only to the individual, but to the psychic health of the Nation as a whole.

The dogs and tear gas used to suppress the Occupy Wall Street movement did nothing to eliminate the distress.  All those methods did was to force the distress underground—into the collective unconscious.  At the first opportunity, it is manifesting again among millions of Americans, regardless of whether they think of themselves as Left or Right, Progressive or Regressive.  

“There can be no doubt that the unconscious comes to the surface … and with its dynamism destroys the orderliness that is characteristic of consciousness.  This process is a phenomenon that can be observed in more or less developed form in all epochs....

“At the present day such things are obviously taking place on the largest scale because the cultural order has suppressed the primitive disorderliness too long and too violently.  If one views modern art prospectively, as I think one can, it plainly announces the uprush of the dissolvent forces of disorder.  It clears the air by abolishing the constraints of order…. It very evidently lacks order and form.  The uprushing chaos seeks new symbolic ideas, which will embrace and express not only the previous order but also the essential contents of the disorder.  Such ideas would have a magical effect by holding the destructive forces of disorder spellbound…. In ancient tradition this magic is called white magic; black magic, on the other hand, exalts the destructive forces into the only valid truth in contrast to the previous order, and moreover compels them to serve the individual in contrast to the collective.  The means used for this purpose are primitive, fascinating, or awe-inspiring ideas and images, unintelligible incantations, outlandish words and shapes, savage rhythms, drumming and suchlike.

Dr. Carl G. Jung, September 1, 1952, Letter to Horst Scharschuch, Letters II: 1951-1961, p. 81-82

Read another way, the Masters of the Universe have been too greedy, taking all to themselves and leaving almost nothing for the rest of us.  Like the times of the American and French Revolutions, the oligarchs being too greedy does lead to revolution.  

As we can clearly see from the 2016 primary election results, something like 70-80% of all Americans feel this distress, and absolutely nothing will stop the ongoing chaos until the Republican party stops its suppressing obstruction, and lets a reasonable amount of gravy through to the rest of us.  If the Republicans should win because they have followed Donald Trump off the precipice, and then Conservatives start cutting back on the safety nets upon which most Americans have relied for 80 years, the results will not be pretty. They won’t be able to hide the consequences of their policies from those of us being fooled by Donald Trump’s antics right now.

Dr. Jung clearly shows us that both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are two sides of the same coin.  He shows they have opened a vein to the unconscious, when he says,

“But, if they do meet with success, this only proves that the “truth” they utter hits on a consensus of opinion, that they are talking of something that is ‘in the air’ and is ‘spoken from the heart’ for their followers too. This, as we know to our cost, applies to good and evil alike, to the true as well as the untrue.

“The wise man who is not heeded is counted a fool, and the fool who proclaims the general folly first and loudest passes for a prophet or a Führer, and sometimes it is the other way round as well, or else mankind would long since have perished of stupidity.”

Dr. Carl G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis (1963), ¶¶ 782-783

What I know in my heart is that Donald Trump is in Election 2016 for Donald Trump, while Bernie Sanders is campaigning for all Americans.  Here is the problem we are facing in Election 2016:

“These melting processes all express a relativization of the dominants of consciousness prevailing in a given age.  For those who identify with the dominants or are absolutely dependent on them the melting process appears as a hostile, destructive attack which should be resisted with all one’s powers.  Others, for whom the dominants no longer mean what they purport to be, see the melting as a longed-for regeneration and enrichment of a system of ideas that has lost its vitality and freshness and is already obsolete.   The melting process is therefore either something very bad or something highly desirable, according to the standpoint of the observer.”

Ibid., ¶455

What we are seeing in Election 2016 are the results of the melting processes, where the Republican Party has followed a strategy of dividing and conquering for the past 40 years.  In so doing, they have protected the dominants of Wall Street.  They have persuaded their little enclaves of support that only through their dominance, will their interests be protected. 

But, should Donald Trump be elected and start collaborating with the designs of the dominants to destroy Social Security, Military Retirement, Medicare, and other safety net programs, those who have been duped by Trump’s theatrics will turn on him and the dominants forthwith. Average Americans will still be in distress, even worse in all likelihood, but this time they won’t be fooled by the dominants. In that case the question will be whether today’s aristocracy is far enough away, as George III was after the American Revolution, or too close, as Marie Antoinette and Louise XVI were.  In either case, it won’t be a good time to be a member of the 1%.

You need to be a member of Depth Psychology Alliance to add comments!

Join Depth Psychology Alliance

Email me when people reply –


  • Good sunday evening Skip - that is quite the image!  I am neither Jungian nor politically knowing enough to scribe as well as you, however, I did want to add something that came my way on American Hero relevant to this Jungian quote:

    “The wise man who is not heeded is counted a fool, and the fool who proclaims the general folly first and loudest passes for a prophet or a Führer, and sometimes it is the other way round as well, or else mankind would long since have perished of stupidity.”

    Dr. Carl G. Jung, Mysterium Coniunctionis (1963), ¶¶ 782-783


    As Jung had experience with both WW1 + WW2 working in the field of psychiatry...American Hero just released a documentary about the use of meth named Pevitin...and that is how Hilter unduly influenced and got so much control of the masses...he was a poly-addicted junkie to boot [narcotics and stimulants].  I often wonder if Freud and Jung knew this psychiatrist who saturated the army, plus civilians [German culture] with awful chemicals created to make superhuman killing machines with no conscience.  Disturbing what is going on with this drug to this day, continues to be popular in a all kinds of forms [crack, prescription stimulants for ADHD], plus we also have the recent increase, use of Fentanyl overdoses and deaths recently in Canada.  A bloody, global drug culture ugly, so evil.  Peace + Love Linda

    • Publisher

      Linda:  I'm not familiar with the Pevitin information, but I believe Hitler was quite able to achieve what he achieved without it--witness the psychic epidemic that Donald Trump has manifested in the United States.  While there may be druggers among the Trump faithful, I don't believe his popularity is drug dependent.  Both men have simply given permission for the Shadow side of people to emerge from the depths.  Still, I Do acknowledge that Hitler was probably drug addicted himself, as were many of his inner circle.  Our current problems with prescription drugs are a topic for another day, but I'm not convinced it contributes directly to our election psychic epidemics.  Perhaps they DO have some influence though.  Who can say?

      • Skip, 

        I read your piece, thank you.   In the depths, we are being shredded.  In the depths we are engaged in the great battle.  Yet we continue to see only the outer conflicts and terrors and avoid resolving our own.  Jung took those wars into himself and suffered them through.  I quote from the RB Reader, p 199, continued in footnote.


        At that time, the loving light was annihilated, and blood began

        to pour out. This was the great war. But the spirit of the depths

        wants this struggle to be understood as a conflict in every man's

        own nature. Since after the death of the hero our urge to live

        could no longer imitate anything, it therefore went into the depths

        of every man and excited the terrible conflict between the powers

        of the depths.



        The Draft continues: "Therefore they all say that they are fighting for the good and for peace, but one cannot fight one another over the good. But since men don't know that the conflict lies within themselves, the Germans thus believe that the English and the Russians are wrong; but the English and the Russians say that the Germans are wrong. But no one can judge history in terms of right and wrong. Because one-half of mankind is wrong, every man is half wrong. Therefore a conflict resides in his own souL But man is blind and always knows only his half. The German has in him the English and the Russian whom he fights outside of himself.  Likewise, the English and the Russian has in him the German whom he fights. But man appears to see the outer quarrel, not the one within, which alone is the wellspring of the great war. But before man can ascend to light and love, the great battle is needed" 

        Do we know, 100 years later that the great split, the great war, is in ourselves?

        • Publisher

          Great question!  Obviously, with the exceptions here, almost no one does.  I only wish that this discussion had been carried on at Archetype in Action, which is a website for the masses, rather within this closed group, where average people cannot see it.  This is an issue we should all think about, because as long as depth psychologists are only talking with one another and their patients, little changes except in onesies and twosies.  

    • I responded to the word "bloody."  I have been sorrowfully reflecting of late that Jung's dream image of "rivers of blood" heralding WWI is upon us.  As we know, we are living in a time where many cultural structures have collapsed, perhaps via the swift virtual overtaking of the Internet , for one thing.  the loss of soul-sustaining myth.  The bloody split of world religions.  The demise of reading and reflection as we knew it.  Not to mention the unconscious terror that has consumed the human heart world wide.  Humanity as refugees fleeing for safety, for soul-home. At this conjecture, one is compelled to look at Jung's realistic solution -- that there can be no world change unless the individual faces his  own evil.  Unless the projections of retaliation cease. Unless we go within.

       This is why, in the face of this political debacle, I am certain that the structure of politics is dying.  I am observing in living color its bloody death: The last screams of nonsensical platitudes, promises, and worn-out positions are in earshot.  Both prophetic and divine, here is the demolishing of something that no longer serves us.  It is not only the Hitler-esque  histrionics awakening the frightened mob that we observe, but this general fright is manifesting globally.

      How fortunate that anyone at all connected to their own depth psychology knows, as awesome as this truth presents itself, that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can be done -- certainly not by casting a ballot for god knows who -- but to grab on to the mast and continue in this growing storm the arduous task of individuation.  

           Hence, in the face of Trump's red, inflated face one can see the blessing.  The end is near.  And in our world of transformative depths, we know that it is also the beginning.

      • Pamela, this was so well said! My thoughts and feelings exactly. If we suppose the solution you presented is the only way forward, and I tend to agree, then I think we're looking at a large scale "die off". For those of us who have come up in the "parasite" system, real change does require a heroic and shamanic transformation, if I take my own experience as an example. This said, I am seeing a natural shift in the consciousness of younger westerners. The only way I can explain it is to say that traditional patriarchal values seem to be less prominent in them. Of course they are more agnostic, but I am seeing a more communal and I might say feminine way of prceiving coming in. Mother Nature seems to be running the show on her own timeline. :-)
        • Colin, 

          Thank you, Die-off it is!  I resonate with this image as I am three years into the candida cleanse both psychic and somatic.  Jung was a shaman, as it has been said.  We are excavating the deeps, though I have found that  earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur as they wish.  Mother Mater  Matter Earth will have her way.   Years ago I worried about that frayed thread Jung talked about.  I now believe that thread has broken, the split has occurred.  One can only try again and again from one small neurotic cellular base to heal the split within.  And stay grounded!

      • Publisher

        Pamela:  It's interesting that you picked up on the "rivers of blood," as I did from The Red Book.  Here is a piece I wrote 3 years ago: "There Will Be Blood".  Perhaps I should port this piece over here.  Many thanks for your very appropriate comments.  It is a "bloody" time!

        I've been reading Dr. Jung's Letters II lately, and there on P. 225 he evokes the Monastic Order of St. Benedict in his letter dated February 22, 1955 to Pater Lucas Menz, OSB.  Dr. Jung was very pessimistic at that time.  He spoke of the fact that "mankind [has] been torn into two halves, and he expressed the wish that the Benedictines might look to preserving culture, as they did in the time of St. Benedict himself in the 6th Century.  He said, "Our apocalyptic epoch likewise contains the seeds of a different, unprecedented, and still inconceivable future which could be bedded in the Christian spirit if only this would renew itself, as happened with the seeds that sprouted from the decay of classical culture."  

        This save can be achieved if only Christianity and other religions revivify themselves. To me this means that they must acknowledge Dr. Jung's prescription in Answer to Job ¶752, when he points out that religions are about the psyche and not the physis (physical world).  They offer the mystery with which each individual can have an individual relationship.  Instead, he felt the scientific age had ridden the mystery and luminosity out of religion.  I agree with him that without such revivification, we may all be for the shredder.

  • Great insight. It explained a lot about my own feelings of fascination with both candidates.

    • Publisher

      Many thanks for your reply Yulia!  It's always good to have professionals seem to concur with what I am saying.  

This reply was deleted.