…First of all, I want to call attention to one fundamental principle that underlay all his work and that was most extraordinarily exemplified in Jung himself as a person, and this is what I would call his recognition of the polarity of life. That is to say, his resistance to what is to my mind the disastrous and absurd hypothesis that there is in this universe a radical and absolute conflict between good and evil, light and darkness, that can never never never be harmonized.
This conflict has come up to us in a very vivid way with the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and with Arthur Koestler's passionate denunciation of any sort of philosophy of life, and he has in mind particular the eastern philosophies like Buddhism and Hinduism, which so slur the absolute differences between good and evil, that in their names one could justify the sort of crimes which were committed in the concentration camps of Germany. And it's interesting, certain people accused Jung also of Nazi sympathies because he too would not subscribe to the absolute state of a war between good and evil going down to the very roots of the universe.
Obviously when certain crimes are committed and catastrophes occur, human emotions are deeply and rightly aroused, and I would for myself say, that were I in any situation where an Eichmann was operating, I would be roused to a degree of fury that I can hardly imagine in my present existence, but I know it would come out from me. I would oppose those sort of villainies with all the energy that I have, and if I was trapped in such a situation I would fight it till the end; but at the same time I would recognize the relativity of my own emotional involvement. I would know that I was fighting a man like Eichmann in the same way, shall we say, as spider and a wasp; insects that naturally prey upon one another and fight one another do so, but as a human being I would not be able to regard my adversary as a metaphysical devil. That is to say as one who represented the principle of absolute and unresolvable evil. And I think this is the most important thing in Jung, that he was able to point out that to the degree you condemn others and find evil in others, you are to that degree unconscious of the same thing in yourself, or at least of the potentiality of it. There can be Eichmann’s and Hitler’s and Himmler’s just because there are people who are unconscious of their own dark sides, and they project that darkness outward into, say, Jews or communists or whatever the enemy may be, and say there
is the darkness, it is not in me, and therefore because the darkness is not in me I am justified in annihilating the enemy, whether it be with atom bombs or gas chambers or what not, but to the degree that a person becomes conscious that the evil is as much in himself as in the other, to this same degree he is not likely to project it onto some scapegoat, and commit the most criminal acts of violence upon other people. Now this is to my mind the primary thing that Jung saw; that in order to admit and really accept and understand the evil in oneself, one had to be able to do it without being an enemy to it. As he put it, you had to accept your own dark side, and he had this preeminently in his own character…