It might be supposed that it is easy for the doctor to show understanding in this respect.
But people forget that even doctors have moral scruples, and that certain patients’ confessions are hard even for a doctor to swallow.
Yet the patient does not feel himself accepted unless the very worst in him is accepted too.
No one can bring this about by mere words; it comes only through the doctor’s sincerity and through his attitude towards himself and his own evil side.
If the doctor wants to offer guidance to another, or even to accompany him a step of the way, he must be in touch with this other person’s psychic life.
He is never in touch when he passes judgment.
Whether he puts his judgments into words, or keeps them to himself, makes not the slightest difference.
To take the opposite position, and to agree with the patient offhand, is also of no use, but estranges him as much as condemnation.
We can get in touch with another person only by an attitude of unprejudiced objectivity.
This may sound like a scientific precept, and may be confused with a purely intellectual and detached attitude of mind.
But what I mean to convey is something quite different.
It is a human quality a kind of deep respect for facts and events and for the person who suffers from them-a respect for the secret of such a human life. The truly religious person has this attitude. He knows that God has brought all sorts of strange and inconceivable things to pass, and seeks in the most curious ways to enter a man’s heart. He therefore senses in everything the unseen presence of the divine will.
This is what I mean by “unprejudiced objectivity.” It is a moral achievement on the part of the doctor, who ought not to let himself be repelled by illness and corruption.
We cannot change anything unless we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. I am the oppressor of the person I condemn, not his friend and fellow-sufferer. I do not in the least mean to say that we must never pass judgement in the cases of persons whom we desire to help and improve. But if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is.
And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is.
Perhaps this sounds very simple, but simple things are always the most difficult.
In actual life it requires the greatest discipline to be simple, and the acceptance of oneself is the essence of the moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook upon life.
That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ-all these are undoubtedly great virtues.
What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ.
But what if I should discover that the least amongst them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy him-that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness-that I myself am the enemy who must be loved-what then?
As a rule, the Christian’s attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long suffering; we say to the brother within us “Raca,” and condemn and rage against ourselves.
We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.
Had it been God himself who drew near to us in this despicable form, we should have denied him a thousand times before a single cock had crowed.
~ Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Page 234-235