Compartmentalization, impossible.

🚨 Assume there are spoilers everywhere. 🚨

Here is a quote from “Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15: Spirit in Man, Art, And Literature.

Paracelsus was evidently one of those people who keep their intellect and their feelings in different compartments, so that they can happily go on thinking with the intellect and not run the risk of colliding with what their feelings believe. It is indeed a great relief when the one hand does not know what the other is doing, and it would be idle curiosity to want to know what would happen if the two ever did collide.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15: Spirit in Man, Art, And Literature.

But is it a great relief? Because, this system of keeping the intellect and feelings in different compartments doesn’t seem to have worked for Paracelsus. According to the description in Jung’s work, Paracelsus sounds like a high-functioning crazy person to me.

Very often he forgot how he had called something and then invented a new name for it—which, incidentally, only adds to our difficulties in trying to understand his writings.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15: Spirit in Man, Art, And Literature.

I mean, people forget things. But the amusing irony here is that somehow, the forgetting happens through compartmentalization that is meant to add/improve/multiply intelligence/rationality/logic/reason, etc, etc, etc, etc…

He was a veritable whirlwind, tearing up everything by the roots and leaving behind him a pile of wreckage. Like an erupting volcano he laid waste and destroyed, but he also fertilized and brought to life. It is impossible to be fair to him; one can only underestimate him or overestimate him, and so one remains continually dissatisfied with one’s own efforts to comprehend even one facet of his multitudinous nature. Even if one limits oneself to sketching a picture of Paracelsus the “physician,” one meets this physician on so many different levels and in so many different guises that every attempt at portraiture remains a miserable patchwork. His prodigious literary output has done little to clear up the general confusion, least of all the still controversial question of the genuineness of some of the most important writings, not to speak of the mass of contradictions and arcane terms that make Paracelsus one of the greatest obscurantists of the epoch. Everything about him was on an immense scale, or, we might equally well say, everything was exaggerated. Long dreary stretches of utter nonsense alternate with oases of inspired insight, so rich and illuminating that one cannot shake off the uneasy feeling that somehow one has overlooked the main point of his argument.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15: Spirit in Man, Art, And Literature.

See, Paracelsus sounds like a high-functioning crazy person. Nothing wrong with being crazy. Just, again, amusingly ironic, because at least some of the compartmentalization seems to have been done in the name of logic/rationality/reason, etc, etc, etc, etc. (Again and again.)

About me

🌊 Call me Ithaka. Everything I do is organized here.