Worlds Meeting Worlds

Psychology - The Jung Section

Articles On Jung and His Work

Carl Jung



CARL GUSTAV JUNG was a Swiss-German psychoanalyst who, with Sigmund Freud, was instrumental in bringing psychology into the twentieth century by developing one of several theories of the unconscious. Indeed, as a young man in Zurich, Jung developed the concept of the autonomous (and unconscious) complex and the technique of free association, well before joining forces with Freud's Viennese school.

Moreover, he soon broke with Freud over the latter's reductionist, psychosexual view of the unconscious, a break foreshadowed in Jung's autobiography as follows:
"I can still recall vividly how Freud said to me, 'My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. . . . we must make a dogma of it, an unshakable bulwark.' . . . In some astonishment I asked him, 'A bulwark--against what?' To whichhe replied, 'Against the black tide of mud'--and here he hesitated for a moment, then added--'of occultism'"
(MDR,Ch. 5).
Ironically, Jung's doctoral dissertation had been "On . . . Occult Phenomena"!

Just before the outbreak of World War I, Jung experienced that "black tide" first hand, in the form of a creativeillness--in other words, while his "visions" from the unconscious nearly led him to psychosis, they also awoke in him a revolutionary appreciation of how close his own dreams were to the primitive myths and rituals of humankind, forcing him to acknowledge forces within the human psyche for which the Freudian view had no explanation. (In addition, Jung's early exposure, in Zurich, to lower-class psychotics, asopposed to the middle-class neurotics encountered by Freudin Vienna, may explain, in part, their theoretical rift.) In Jung's writings, henceforth, the unconscious would encompass not only the biological drives that Freud had emphasized, but also those metaphysical or spiritual aspirations that, Jung now realized, were just as integral and innate a part of human individuality.

Thus, in formulating his theories on the collective unconscious and the archetypes, he would posit an unconscious--and hereditary--source for all of humankind's creative endeavors and spiritual yearnings. And so his definition of the archetype:
"The primordial image, or archetype, is a figure--be it a daemon, a human being, or a process--that constantly recurs in the course of history and appears wherever creative fantasy is freely expressed. Essentially, therefore, it is a mythological figure. . . .In each of these images there is a little piece of human psychology and human fate, a remnant of the joys and sorrowsthat have been repeated countless times in our ancestral history. . . ."
(CW 15: par. 127).

Examples of archetypes of the collective unconscious are the shadow, the anima and animus, and the Self.

Aside from his seminal work on the archetypes, Jung also developed a ground-breaking personality theory that introduced to the world the concepts of extraversion and introversionand explained human behavior as a combination of four psychic functions--thinking, feeling (better English translation:valuing), intuition, and sensation. Along with the psychological processes of repression and projection, terms which he borrowed(and modified) from Freudian psychology, Jung also frequently employed the word compensation in his writings, to refer to the unconscious's continual efforts to correct the ego's one-sided and limited view of reality. He also coined the term"synchronicity"--or "meaningful coincidence"--as an acausal, non-mechanistic explanation for extra-sensory events traditionally deemed "occult." And at last, Jung proposed the concept of individuation for his own brand of human psychological development, a life-long dialectical process of encountering the archetypes within.

Jung spent his later years in Bollingen, beside Lake Zurich, working into stone the mythological dream figures to which he had long devoted his life. On the night of his death, thousands of his friends and disciples throughout the world dreamed in one way or another of his passing; and his favorite tree beside the lake, as if to demonstrate Jung's notion of synchronicity, was split in two by lightning. Perhaps now he was an eternal part of that pantheistic, collective realm that he had intermittently intuited while alive:
"At times I feel as if I am spread outover the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons"
(MDR, Ch. 8).

* Man and His Symbols, eds. Jung & Jacobi (see especially Jung's own chapter, "Approaching the Unconscious")
* The Psychology of C. G. Jung, Jacobi
* Memories, Dreams, Reflections [MDR ], Jung (ed. Jaffé) (his fascinating "spiritual" autobiography)

Almost all of Jung's other major writings can be found in his
* Collected Works [CW ] (1953-78: 20 volumes; most seminal, perhaps, are --Vol. 5: Symbols of Transformation; --Vol. 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology; --Vol. 9i: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious; and --Vol. 9ii: Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self)

"Popular" editions of material now in the CW include
*Modern Man in Search of a Soul;
*The Undiscovered Self;
. . . and several "anthology" collections of his essays, most notably--
*The Portable Jung, ed. Campbell

Jung Lexicon Of Terms
A useful lexicon of terms, particularly related to the psychology of Carl Jung.

Basic Archetypes
A basic look at the nature of archetypes and some of the basic archetypes. A key concept in Jungs psychology.

Intro to Jung
An introduction to the man and his psychology.

Intro to the Complex
A not too 'complex' (sorry) introduction to the psychological term that has become part of everyday language.

Second Introduction to Jung
Actually two very good introductions to Jung and his key concepts run together here.

Introduction to the Complex No. 2
Another good introduction to a key concept of psychology.

Psychological Types by Jung
This is an extract from Jung himself -on psychological types, his method of classifying personality.

Training and Wonder
Ostensibly an article on the training of the psychoanalyst is actually a very good, short piece on maintaining an attitude of wonder to life.

Jung and Synchronicity
An interesting article on one of the esoteric elements of Jungs work - Synchronicity and the Mystery of Chance.

The Wizard Archetype
Magic and the archetype of the wizard in society and through history.

Psychic Interface
A look comparing alchemy (a powerful symbol of Jungs psychology) to modern use of computers !!

Archetypes of the Internet
The Gods of the internet age.

Timeline of Jungs Work
A Time Line of the History and Development of Jung's Works and Theories (1902-1935). An interesting overview of Jungs work and the way it developed as a system.

Jung Abstracts
Selected extracts from Jung himself on the subject of Archetypes.

Jung and the New Age
Actually a picture. A scan of a newspaper article on Jung and the New Age movement - how he might view the changes in religious movements over the last few years.

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