Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated Jun 27 2018

Jung, Carl Gustav

Early career in psychiatry

Travels and spiritual explorations

Basic contributions

Honors and offices

Jung the man



Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), founder of analytical psychology, was born the son of a clergyman in Kesswil (Thurgau canton, Switzerland) on Lake Constance. At the age of four he went to Basel, which he regarded as his hometown: his mother was born there, and he went to school and received his doctorate in medicine there. Several of his ancestors on his mother’s side were also Protestant theologians, including his grandfather and greatgrandfather. His paternal great-grandfather, however, was a Roman Catholic Kirchenrat (member of a consistory) in Mainz, and his grandfather was in his eighteenth year when he was converted by Schleiermacher to Protestantism. This heritage of concern with religious problems may have been the source of the questioning always characteristic of his work. Despite an inclination toward the humanities, his ancestors on his father’s side also included physicians who exercised an enduring influence on Jung’s intellectual development. His paternal grandfather, an aesthete and poet, was exiled from Germany for his revolutionary views; he was called to the chair of surgery in the University of Basel in 1822 through the intercession of Alexander von Humboldt and later founded the first insane asylum there, as well as the Ansta’t zur Hoffnung, a home for mentally retarded children.

As a young man, Jung was full of enthusiasm for biology, zoology, and paleontology; it was only later that he shifted to medicine. At the same time, philosophy and the history of religion excited him, and the list of great men who had a decisive influence upon him is a long one; it includes Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Meister Eckhart, Paracelsus, Bohme, Joachim of Floris, Goethe, Carus, Hölderlin, Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, and Freud, to name but a few. From as early as 1898 until the end of his life, occultism and mysticism interested him, as did the study of mythology. Thus, his lifework has that significant double aspect that ties it, on the one hand, to the natural sciences and, on the other, to the humanities. As he saw it, this was the only way to do justice to the multilayered structure of the psyche.

Early career in psychiatry

Jung began as an assistant to Eugen Bleuler at Burghölzli, the psychiatric clinic of the University of Zurich. In 1902 the degree of doctor of medicine was conferred upon him for his dissertation, “On the Psychology and Pathology of Socalled Occult Phenomena” (1902). His later fundamental notion that there is in every individual a natural predisposition toward a “totality of the psyche” is first set forth here. He left for Paris that same year, studying with Pierre Janet for a semester, and then went to London to broaden his knowledge of psychopathology. In 1903 he married Emma Rauschenbach of Schaffhausen, who was his loyal companion and scientific collaborator until her death in 1955. With her he moved to their permanent home situated in a large garden in Kiisnacht on the shore of Lake Zurich, where he lived until his death.

Around the time of his marriage, Jung, together with a few associates, began his systematic investigations at the Burghölzli, the first fruits of which were his publication of Studies in Wordassociation in 1904 and 1909. The method of testing that he elaborated in these studies was used to reveal affectively significant groups of ideas in the unconscious region of the psyche. To designate them, he coined the term “complexes,” which has since become part of our everyday language. The association test made him known throughout the world (it won him, among other things, an honorary degree conferred by Clark University in the United States). Today it is still part of the diagnostic equipment of mental hospitals and courts, and it is used for training in personality diagnosis and for vocational guidance of all kinds. It likewise provided the initial impetus for his closer acquaintance in 1907 with Sigmund Freud, in whose work on the interpretation of dreams Jung found his own ideas and observations to be essentially confirmed and furthered.

Jung is generally regarded as a disciple, and an unfaithful one, of Freud. This is not at all correct. Jung did accept Freud’s findings and methods in the years of their close association, but the decisive underlying concept of Jung’s work may be traced back to the very beginnings of his career, many years before he met Freud. Today we know that the role of a lifelong disciple was inconceivable for Jung; his own stature would soon have broken such bonds. Thus it was that their collaboration could last but a short time; nevertheless, it did last from 1907 to 1913. After a joint lecture tour through the United States in 1909 and four years (1909–1913) as an editor of the Bleuler–Freud Jahrbuch fur psychologische und psychopathologische Forschungen and as the president of the International Psychoanalytic Society, which he himself founded, Jung’s path branched off in a different direction. This was foreshadowed as early as 1912 in his book Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (Symbols of Transformation, 1902–1959, vol. 5), in which he sought to elaborate the symbolic meaning of the dreams and fantasies of a young woman by the use of mythological parallels. With this book Jung advanced to a new position. He was unable to accept many of Freud’s most essential doctrines, such as the theory of wish fulfillment and the theory of infantile sexuality. To distinguish his own doctrine from Freud’s “psychoanalysis” and Adler’s “individual psychology,” he thenceforth called his theory “analytical psychology.” Later he himself called its theoretical aspect “complex psychology,” because of the complexity of its subject, but today only the earlier designation is employed.

Jung’s radically different approach was based in the last analysis on a Weltanschauung that differed from Freud’s. Freud’s positions remained grounded in the theories of cognition of the nineteenth century, while Jung’s were linked with that of the twentieth, which has brought with it revolutionary innovations in so many branches of science, especially modern physics and depth psychology.

After publishing numerous studies on psychiatric problems, among which his paper “The Psychology of Dementia Praecox” (1907) and several other of his articles anticipate modern interpretations of schizophrenia, Jung gave up his work at Burgholzli in 1909 and in 1913 resigned his lectureship at the University of Zurich, which he had held since 1905, to devote himself entirely to his private medical and psychotherapeutic practice, scientific research, writing, and travel.

Travels and spiritual explorations

In 1912–1913 Jung traveled repeatedly to France, Italy, and the United States; his travels ended with World War I. In addition to his military duties, Jung entered upon a period of intensive soulsearching and strenuous empirical scientific endeavor. Then there followed other voyages of discovery to study the psychology of primitive peoples by direct contact with them. In 1920 Jung was in Tunis and Algiers, in 1924–1925 among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona, in 1925–1926 among the inhabitants of Mount Elgon in Kenya, and later in Egypt. He was aiming, in particular, to uncover the analogies between the unconscious psychic contents of modern Western man and certain manifestations of the psyche in primitive peoples, as well as of their myths and cults. He also studied Asian culture, for the religious symbols and phenomenology of Buddhism and Hinduism and the teachings of Lao-tzu, Confucius, and Zen always had special significance for him. He traveled to India twice, the second time in 1937.

Jung’s most important works appeared in rapid succession, covering everwidening spheres. In addition to psychiatry, he became more and more involved in Greek and other mythologies, patristics and Christian mysticism, gnosis and cabala, and above all alchemy, turning in his later years to modern physics and parapsychology. Everywhere he sought parallels and illuminating insights that provide a deeper understanding of the creative products of the human soul and its eternally recurring basic forms and statements. Above all, however, it was in the symbolism of alchemy and Hermetic philosophy that he found astounding correspondences to the psychic developmental process of the human being. Then there were the important problems of current events, which he treated with an uncanny clearsightedness, thus investing the chaos of our world with new meaning. To the very end his sense for medical problems led him to pursue the targets sighted in his early works: his last paper on schizophrenia (1958a) takes up an old theme, again pointing out the possible physiological etiology of this disease. He strove constantly to penetrate the deeper meaning of delusions and to interpret the material presented in schizophrenia, which is characteristically rich in symbols, and so became one of the champions of the psychotherapeutic approach to the treatment of schizophrenia.

Basic contributions

Only when we survey the nearly two hundred longer and shorter works of Jung do we realize the tremendous scope of the unique pioneering work he accomplished. His writings have been translated into nearly all European languages and into some Asiatic ones. We shall confine ourselves here to listing in brief form some of his most important principles and concepts.

The following concepts are both original and fundamentally significant:

(a) A new formulation of the libido concept, which refers not only to sexuality but to the whole of vital energy, which flows through the psyche in incessant motion, sometimes rising, sometimes diminishing, making possible a functional approach to psychic events.

(b) The concept of the psyche as a self-regulating system, in which the conscious and the unconscious realms are compensatorily related.

(c) The heuristic concept of the unconscious, which distinguishes between the contents of the personal unconscious and the contents of the collective unconscious: the personal unconscious includes material that originates in ontogenesis, and the collective unconscious includes material that originates in phylogenesis, i.e., those patterns of behavior, or actions and reactions of the psyche, that are determined by race and that Jung termed archetypes. They are imperceptible potentialities that manifest themselves as perceptible archetypal patterns and processes (or symbols) only under certain psychic conditions. They occur in man’s dreams, visions, and fantasies and have been expressed in the myths, religious concepts, fairy tales, sagas, and works of art of all epochs and all cultures. Moreover, Jung explicitly stressed the relationship between archetype and instinct.

(d) The concept of the process of individuation,

i.e., of “the evolution of the psyche to its wholeness,” its way of maturing, in which the archetypes appear both as structural elements and as regulators of the unconscious psychic material and constitute particularly dynamic factors. The phases of this process are characterized by the confrontation of the conscious with some typical components of the unconscious realm (shadow, animus–anima, the great mother, the wise old man, the self, etc.). From the perspective of wholeness, which is always kept in mind, both the first and the second halves of life receive their appropriate significance.

(e) The special consideration and development of the religious function of the psyche, which is an integrating element in mental health, its repression and neglect causing psychic disturbances.

(f) The differentiation between two attitude types: the extrovert (oriented toward the external world) and the introvert (oriented to the internal world) and of four functional types, which are characterized by the primacy of thought, intuition, feeling, and sensation respectively.

(g) The interpretation of dreams, using the elements of the subject’s dreams as representations of intrapsychic data, thus gaining insight into the subject’s projections and facilitating the remission of symptoms. In contrast to the causalreductive interpretation of Freud, attention is centered on the future-oriented aspect of unconscious processes.

(Ji) The positive conception of regression in particular and of neurosis in general. Jung gave the latter concept a new content by freeing it from attachment to the biological and instinctual and by giving it, as well as regression, a deeper spiritual sense.

(i)Synchronicity, i.e., the meaningful coincidence of an interior and an external event, as a principle that explains acausal connections, such as presentiments, prophetic dreams, fortuitous events, etc.

(j) The method of active imagination, a stimulation of the symbol-making ability of the psyche to create spontaneous products in which the unconscious contents are concretized in the form of words, musical sounds, painting, drawing, sculpture, dance, etc., and are able to resolve psychic disturbances.

Honors and offices

It is not surprising that these great achievements were appreciated both at home and abroad, earning Jung official positions and honors. Honorary doctorates were conferred on him by Clark, Fordham, Yale, and Harvard universities in the United States; by Oxford in England; by the universities of Calcutta, Benares, and Allahabad in India; and finally by the University of Geneva and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Jung was awarded the city of Zurich’s literature prize in 1932, and in 1938 he was elected honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in England. He was made an honorary member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in 1944. His academic appointments included the professorship of medical psychology at the University of Basel, which he held for only a brief period because of his health, and the titular professorship of philosophy in the faculty of philosophical and political sciences of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, 1933–1941/1942.

Jung was elected honorary president of the German Medical Society for Psychotherapy in 1930, and from 1933 to 1939 he was president of the International Society for Psychotherapy, during which time he also edited the international periodical Zentralblatt fur Psychotherapie und ihre Grenzgebiete. He was also chairman of the board of trustees of the Lehrinstitut für Psychotherapie in 1939 and, until his death, of the Swiss Society for Practical Psychology, which he had founded in 1935. In 1948 he founded the bilingual (English and German) C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, to which he entrusted the continuation and dissemination of his teachings and research and the training in psychotherapy of the new generation.

Jung the man

Justice would not be done to the genius of Jung if we were to try to understand only the scientific and professional aspects of his career. His was an extraordinary personality, combining the keenest contradictions. Contemplativeness and childlike cheerfulness, delicate sensibility and robust simplicity, cold reserve and true devotion, rigor and tolerance, humor and severity, aloofness and love for mankind, were equally prominent traits in his makeup. Except when he was troubled by the birth pangs of a new book, he generously shared his insights and explanations, both in conversation and in letters.

Freud unlocked the door to modern psychical research and psychotherapy. Jung penetrated into the psyche still deeper, shedding light on the impersonal, primeval forces that the twentieth century has confronted with horror and fear. In his untiring effort to solve intractable riddles, he constantly repeated this warning:

I am convinced that exploration of the psyche is the science of the future… This is the science we need most of all, for it is gradually becoming more and more obvious that neither famine nor earthquakes nor microbes nor carcinoma, but man himself is the greatest peril to man, just because there is no adequate defense against psychic epidemics, which cause infinitely more devastation than the greatest natural catastrophes. (Jung 1944)

Jolande Jacobi

[For the historical context of Jung’s work, seePsychoanalysisand the biographies of Bleuler; Freud; Janet. For further discussion of Jung’s ideas, seeAnalytical Psychology. Other relevant information may be found in Dreams; Fantasy; Literature, article on The Psychology Of Literature; Religion.]


(1902) 1957 On the Psychology and Pathology of Socalled Occult Phenomena. Pages 3–88 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 1: Psychiatric Studies. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Zur Psychologic und Pathologic sogenannter occulter Phänomene.

(1902–1959) 1953— Collected Works. Vols. 1— Edited by Herbert Read et al. New York: Pantheon. → Volume 1: Psychiatric Studies, 1957. Volume 3: The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease, 1960. Volume 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis, 1961. Volume 5: Symbols of Transformation, 1956. Volume 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, 1953. Volume 8:The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, 1960. Volume 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, 1959. Volume 9, Part 2: Aion: Researches Into the Phenomenology of the Self, 1959. Volume 10: Civilization in Transition, 1963. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East, 1958. Volume 12: Psychology and Alchemy, 1953. Volume 14: Mysterium Coniunctionis, 1963. Volume 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy, 1954. Volume 17: The Development of Personality, 1954. Forthcoming volumes include Volume 2: Experimental Researches; Volume 6: Psychological Types; Volume 13: Alchemical Studies; Volume 15: The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature; and final volumes on his minor works, bibliography, and index.

(1904–1909) 1918 Studies in Word-association: Experiments in the Diagnosis of Psychopathological Conditions Carried Out at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Zurich, Under the Direction of C. G. Jung. London: Heinemann. → First published as Diagnostische Assoziationsstudien.

(1906) 1941 Die psychologische Diagnose des Tatbestandes. Zurich: Rascher.

(1907) 1960 The Psychology of Dementia Praecox. Pages 1–151 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 3: The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Über die Psychologie der Dementia Praecox: Ein Versuch.

(1909–1946) 1953 Psychological Reflections: An Anthology of the Writings of C. G. Jung. Selected and edited by Jolande Jacobi. New York: Pantheon.

(1910) 1954 Psychic Conflicts in a Child. Pages 8–35 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 17: The Development of Personality. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Über Konflikte der kindlichen Seele.”

(1913) 1961 Theory of Psychoanalysis. Pages 83–226 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 4: Freud and Psychoanalysis. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Versuch einer Darstellung der psychoanalytischen Theorie.

(1916–1945) 1948 Über psychische Energetik und das Wesen der Trädume. Zurich: Rascher. → Contains six essays, all of which appear in translation in Volume 8 of Jung 1902→1959 as The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche.

(1917) 1953 The Psychology of the Unconscious. Pages 1–117 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Die Psychologic der Unbewussten Prozesse.

(1921) 1959 Psychological Types. London: Routledge. → First published as Psychologische Typen.

(1922–1931) 1959 Modern Man in Search of a Soul. London: Routledge. → First published as Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart.

(1926) 1954 Analytical Psychology and Education: Three Lectures. Pages 65→132 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 17: The Development of Personality. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Analytische Psychologic und Erziehung.

(1928) 1953 The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious. Pages 119–239 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Die Beziehungen zwischen dem Ich und dem Unbewussten.

(1929) 1962 Commentary. Pages 77–137 in T’ai i chin hua tsung chih, The Secret of the Golden Flower: A Chinese Book of Life. New York: Harcourt. → First published as “Europäischer Kommentar.”

(1929–1934) 1947 Wirklichkeit der Seele: Anwendung und Fortschritte der neueren Psychologic. Zurich: Rascher.

(1930–1940) 1950 Gestaltungen des Unbewussten. Zurich: Rascher.

(1932) 1958 Psychotherapists or the Clergy. Pages 325–347 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Die Beziehungen der “Psychotherapie zur Seelsorge.

(1935) 1958 Psychological Commentary on The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Pages 509–526 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Psychologischer Kommentar zum Bardo ThÖdol”

(1935–1947) 1954 Von den Wurzeln des Bewusstseins: Studien Über den Archetypus. Zurich: Rascher.

(1936–1945) 1946 Aufsätze zur Zeitgeschichte. Zurich: Rascher.

(1938) 1958 Psychology and Religion. Pages 3–105 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon. → First published in English.

(1940) 1959 The Psychology of the Child Archetype. Pages 151–181 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Zur Psychologic des KindArchetypus.”

(1941) 1959 The Psychological Aspects of the Kore. Pages 182–203 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Zum psychologischen Aspekt der Kore-Figur.”

1942 Paracelsica: Zwei Vorlesungen über den Arzt und Philosophen Theophrastus. Zurich: Rascher.

(1942–1946) 1953 Symbolik des Geistes: Studien über psychische Phdnomenologie. Zurich: Rascher.

(1943) 1954 The Gifted Child. Pages 135–145 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 17: The Development of Personality. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Der Begabte.”

(1944) 1962 Epilogue. In Carl Gustav Jung, L’homme à la découverte de son âme. 6th ed. Geneva: Éditions du MontBlanc.

(1946) 1954 Psychology of the Transference. Pages 163–321 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Die Psychologic der Übertragung.

(1952 a) 1958 Answer to Job. Pages 355–470 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Antwort auf Hiob.

(1952 b) 1960 Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. Pages 417–519 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Synchronizitat als ein Prinzip akausaler Zusammenhänge.”

(1957) 1963 The Undiscovered Self (Present and Future). Pages 245–305 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Gegenwart und Zukunft.

(1958 a) 1960 Schizophrenia. Pages 256–271 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 3: The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease. New York: Pantheon. → First published in German.

(1958 b) 1963 Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth. Pages 307–433 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. New York: Pantheon. → First published as Ein moderner Mythos: Von Dingen, die am Himmel gesehen werden.

(1958 c) 1963 A Psychological View of Conscience. Pages

437–455 in Carl Gustav Jung, Collected Works. Volume 10: Civilization in Transition. New York: Pantheon. → First published as “Das Gewissen in psychologischer Sicht.”


Abler, Gerhard 1948 Studies in Analytical Psychology. New York: Norton.

Clark, Robert Alfred 1953 Six Talks on Jung’s Psychology. Pittsburgh, Pa.: Boxwood.

Fordham, Michael 1957 New Developments in Analytical Psychology. London: Routledge.

Fordham, Michael (editor) 1963 Contacts With Jung: Essays on the Influence of His Work and Personality.London: Tavistock.

Glover, Edward (1950) 1956 Freud or Jung? New York: Meridian.

Harding, M. Esther 1948 Psychic Energy: Its Source and Goal. With a foreword by C. G. Jung. New York: Pantheon.

Jacobi, Jolande (1940) 1951 The Psychology of C. G. Jung. Rev. ed. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press. → First published in German. A paperback edition was published in 1962 by the Yale University Press.

Jacobi, Jolande (1957) 1959 Complex, Archetype, Symbol in the Psychology of C. G. Jung. New York: Pantheon. → First published in German.

Jacobi, Jolande 1966 The Way to Individuation. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Jung Institut, Zurich 1955 Studien zur analytischen Psychologie C. G. Jungs. 2 vols. Zurich: Rascher.

Progoff, Ira 1953 Jung’s Psychology and Its Social Meaning. New York: Julian.

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated Jun 27 2018

Jung, Carl Gustav

(b. Kesswil, Switzerland, 26 July 1875; d. Küsnacht, Switzerland, 6 June 1961)

analytical psychology.

Jung’s father was a pastor of the Basel Reformed Church; eight of his uncles, as well as his maternal grandfather, were also pastors; and the atmosphere of religious tradition and practice in which he grew up had an all-pervading influence on his life. It is also significant, in view of his choice of career, that his paternal grandfather, an imposing figure, had indential Christian names and was a physician.

Jung’s mother, who suffered from ill health during his childhood, was warm and down-to-earth. Although not an intellectual, she was well enough read to introduce her son to Goethe. She was superstitious and communicated with her son, in whom she confided extensively, on two levels: one was conventional; the other, primitive, superstitious and very direct. These two levels of communication became important to Jung—especially a “Voice” that the truth“told”. Jung’s father had had a successful university career, studying philology and linguistics. A kind, generous man who evoked his son’s affection, he developed intellectual doubts about religion but overinsisted on the need for belief—an attitude that Jung could not accept—and a rift was created between father and son. He gradually became hypochondriacal, irritable, and ill-tempered, and family quarrels occurred. Before he died, Jung’s father started reading a book on psychology, perhaps in an attempt to solve his doubts.

Jung was an only child until he was nine years old. Secretive and highly imaginative, he spent considerable time with the peasants, among whom his family lived, and assimilated much of their folklore and easy acceptance of nature.

In his third or fourth year, Jung suffered intense anxieties focusing on the Jesuits, of whom he heard his parents talking, and came to distrust Jesus although he was presented as gentle and mild. His rich imagination began to focus on religious themes and led him to experience God. Together with a strong feeling for dreams this imagination was to develop into a lifelong sense of purpose. The need to understand unconventional and even shocking religious experiences during childhood—especially a vision of God defecating on a cathedral—was a powerful element in Jung’s drive to study relevant and often abstruse topics. This inner life was revealed only in his autobiography, written in his last years.

Jung”s education was typical for a child of his circumstances. At the age of six he entered the village school, which made a considerable impression on him. Forced to adapt in a way that was out of keeping with his home and inner life, he became aware of the need for living as if he were two persons, “personalities number one and two”, as he called them. An intellectually precocious boy, Jung soon read fluently, and his father started teaching him Latin when he was six. He also prepared his son for confirmation, but in an unsatisfying way, because he did not answer his son”s questioning mind. His father’s emphasis on belief became suspect and was a contributing factor in Jung’s turning away from formal religion.

At the age of thirteen he entered the Gymnasium in Basel, where he met the sons of well-to-do-families; his acute awareness of his poverty eventually had significant bearing on his choice of a career.

While still at school, Jung read extensively in religion and philosophy, including Goethe’s Faust, the Scholastic theologians, and to his great fascination the mystical writings of Meister Eckhart. He also studied the Greek philosophers, Hegel, and Schopenhauer, whose relation to Kant drew his attention; later, at the University of Basel, he became fascinated by Nietzsche. In all this he was working and exploring on his own; indeed, there was nobody with whom he could discuss his ideas freely. Jung used to go weekly to an uncle whose family would discourse on theology; he enjoyed the intellectual ingenuity but did not find satisfaction in it.

Jung’s entry in to university life was thus enormously liberating. To his excitement and delight he found others with similar interests and comparable intellectual gifts, with whom he could enjoy a free and broad exchange of ideas. He had difficulty in deciding which subject to take when he won a place and a bursary. Although attracted to the humanities, he had developed a strong interest in science, especially Zoology, paleontology, and geology. Since none of these subjects would enable him to earn the good living that he desired, Jung chose medicine, for which subject he showed considerable aptitude. After graduation, he was offered the post of assistant to his chief, Frederick Müller. A successful career as physician lay before him, but this was not to be.

While still a student Jung had become interested in spiritualism. One day a wood table in his home suddenly split with a bang. After the shock of surprise and incredulity had subsided, his mother remarked, “That means something”. Soon afterward a steel knife broke into several pieces in a way that he could not rationally explain; his mother looked meaningfully at him. It then appeared that some relatives had been engaged in table turning and the group had been thinking of asking Jung to join them. The possibility that the Séances and broken objects were related began Jung’s serious interest in parapsychology and seems to have been the prototype for his theory of synchronicity. But apart from these considerations, noting irrational events and following them up was characteristic of Jung, who always struggled to use his powerful intellectual drive to try to understand them instead of explaining them away.

The data Jung collected from the séances was the subject of his doctoral thesis, delivered at the faculty of medicine of the University of Zurich, in which the influence of Pierre Janet, from whom he took a number of ideas, is first recorded. His thesis “Zur Psychologie und Pathologie sogenannter occulter Phaänomene” was published in 1902. The data from the Séances also marked a turning point in his scientific and professional life, for he discovered that Psychiatry held the best hope of understanding what he had observed. In Krafft-Ebing’s Lehrbuch der Psychiatrie he read that the psychoses could be considered as diseases of the personality rather than of the central nervous system and that a subjective factor was a significant part of psychiatry. These two notions led Jung to a concept of science based upon the interaction of two psychical systems. He was so powerfully affected by this idea that it “wiped out philosophy” as a method of explaining his religious and parapsychological experiences ; they could now be replaced by the psychological point of view. His subsequent decision to become a psychiatrist was the first of two decisive steps (the second was his break with Freud).Each threw into relief his wholehearted way of pursuing his interests regardless of the consequences. Psychiatry was then very much a backwater in the medical profession, and Jung seemed to be sacrificing his career altogether. His contemporaries were astounded that he should be willing to do so.

Fortunately, Eugen Bleuler was conducting research into schizophrenia at the Burghölzli Asylum. Jung found in him support for applying association tests to the Psychology of normal persons and the mentally diseased. The technique had been initiated by Francis Galton and developed in Emil Kraepelin’s laboratory by Gustav Aschaffenburg. By ingeniouosly studying the irregularity in responses to stimulus words, Jung developed a theory of complexes and grasped that they could be explained by Freud’s theory of repression. He started corresponding with Freud, to whom he sent a small volume on schizophrenia in which he unraveled the meaning of a patient’s delusions, hallucinations, and stereotypes. Freud was much interested, and in 1907 a close but complex relationship began which lasted for seven years.

From the outset Jung was greatly impressed by Freud, although he increasingly came to have doubts about the sexual theory to which Freud attached such importance. Jung began to think of it as a concealed religion but kept this view private, as he had kept his religious convictions secret from his father. There were also differences over parapsychology, and the positive importance that Jung gave to religion was unacceptable to Freud. Jung’s doubts increased especially in 1909, when he and Freud lectured at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.

In 1909 Jung resigned his lectureship at the University of Zurich, which he had held since 1905, thus sacrificing his academic prospects. He claimed that this act was due to the pressure of work, but a contributing factor may have been the attacks and threats made because of his promotion of psychoanalysis. At this time Jung was active in the psychoanalytic movement: he became editor of the Jahrbuch fiir Psychoanalytische und Psychopathologische Forschungen, the main psychoanalytic journal, and later the first President of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

With the publication of his large and erudite Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1912), in which he applied psychoanalytic theory to the study of myths, Jung’s relations with Freud and psychoanalysis had become very strained and the work was heavily attacked by Sandor Ferenczi. In 1913 Karl Abraham issued a parallel and devastating criticism of Jung’s lectures entitled “Theory of Psychoanalysis” at Fordham University, New York. He was also criticized for his handling of the International Congress for Psychoanalysis in 1913 when he delivered a short paper on psychological types. At that time the serious conflicts among schools of psychoanalysis evoked intense and even personal animosities; in particular a group differing with Freud on scientific issues began to center on Alfred Adler, who eventually formed his own school.

Jung’s attempt to resolve the conflict by introducing his theory of types was not appreciated, and in 1914 he formally severed all connections with psychoanalysis to from his own school of analytical psychology. The break was the second essential, seemingly catastrophic step Jung took in his personal development and in his scientific and professional career. He was left virtually isolated, a few colleagues remained interested in the development of his concepts and practices.

This period was characterized by profound disorientation. From his own dreams Jung had already derived the idea of a substratum of historical structures in the psyche, which he thought existed in the unconscious beneath the personal level that Freud had investigated. It was as if the personal psyche of man was founded in archaic and historical roots which, expressed in myths, both determined the course of, and gave meaning to, his life. Having developed this concept in The Psychology of the Unconscious, in 1913 Jung began to explore its personal implications; he wanted to discover his own myth. The decision was not entirely voluntary; he experienced a horrifying vision of Europe covered with a sea of blood which lost its spell only at the outbreak of World War I. He came to think of it as an intimation of what was to come, but it also seemed that he had perceived the unconscious processes latent in European man. At this time his dreams became especially significant.

Jung’s intensive exploration of his own inner life began, however, from childhood games played with stones. As his games developed his imagination grew more intense and a stream of imagery, sometimes of visionary quality, began to emerge; with the persons of his fantasy he held an inner dialectic that he later called “active imagination.” This period of “creative illness” sometimes threatened to become a mahifest psychosis, but once the process was under way, he succeeded in controlling and confining it so that it did not seriously disrupt his family life and analytic practice with patients.

In 1903 Jung had married Emma Rauschenbach, a comparatively rich, intelligent, and devoted woman who kept his life running smoothly and assured his material security. Related to this turbulent period was his building of a small house at Bollingen, on a remote part of the Lake of Zurich; it was to be a “representation in stone of my inner thoughts and of the knowledge I had acquired.” Started without detailed plan but based on the huts of primitive people, it was enlarged over the years and Jung often retired to it. His simple life there combined cooking and looking after himself with painting and stone carving. Thus Jung made concrete the two personalities that he had discovered when he went to the village school.

The period of Jung’s intense inner life ended in 1917, when the stream of imagery faded. His careful records of his imagery, dreams, and visions were to form the basis of his conceptual framework. In the theory of conscious systems that he developed, the ego was at the center. Its constituents were arranged by types: there were two attitude types, introversion and extroversion. Of the four function types, thinking and feeling were rational; sensation and intuition were irrational. Within the psychic organization there were combinations of types, but the rational and irrational functions were arranged in opposites and so could not combine. Thinking was thus incompatible with feeling, and sensation with intuition. The unconscious was also relatively organized by inherited archetypes, which Jung inferred from the tendency of fantasy images to show regularities around particular personifications, such as the parent images, the hero, and the child. The unconscious forms compensated the ego and interacted with it to produce, under favorable circumstances, increased consciousness of the self or personality as a whole. The process that brought this about Jung termed “individuation.” As this took place in the person so did it occur in society, and he developed a theory of history and social change

Important in Jung’s formulation was a special theory of symbols in which inner imaginative life, having a validity of its own, was expressed. The irrational nature of symbols made possible the combination of opposites; consequently they had an integrative function, forming, in Jung’s view, the basis of religion. This structural theory required a concept of energy to account for the manifestly dynamic relation of the elements he had defined. As an abstract concept, psychic energy is inevitably neutral; but in relation to structures it operates in terms of gradients. Higher and lower energy potentials exist like the positive and negative poles of an electrical system.

Jung found that his techniques of dream analysis and active imagination applied to those—like himself —in the “second half of life,” to near-psychotics, or in selected cases to the clinically insane, especially to those schizophrenics in whose psychotherapy he had pioneered at the Burghölzli Asylum. He also found that a number of normal persons for whom life had lost its meaning could benefit from his findings. In these cases Jung concluded that the solution was “religious” in nature, although his meaning of the term was essentially refined and psychological.

In developing his theories and practices Jung proceeded empirically, using comparative methods. He compared clinical material, carefully obtained first from himself and then gathered from others, with relevant ethnological material. Thus he followed Freud’s method, in that self-analysis was concurrent with the scientific investigation of patients.

After Jung had tested his theories and begun to publish his conclusions, his practice became international; this expansion was important for testing his concepts of archetypes and the collective unconscious. At one time more English and Americans than Swiss and Germans came to study with him—Jung’s proficiency in languages facilitated this interchange. His method of teaching was to combine personal analytic treatment with seminars on dreams, visions, or a long series on Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra. His remarkable capacity for exposition carried his audience with him. Here his extensive knowledge of philosophy, comparative religion, myths, and other ethnological material was impressively displayed. Pupils who gathered round him returned to their own countries to practice what they had learned.

One path that Jung had been following attracted much attention: the idea that a serious disturbance existed in the European unconscious because of the one-sided development of consciousness. He was particularly struck by the threatening archetypal themes in his German patients. In 1918 Jung published a paper in which he stated that World War I would not be the end of the matter and he thought that Germany would again be a danger to western culture. The assumption of power by the Nazis was therefore no surprise to him—indeed, he was fascinated by this confirmation of his prediction. There is reason to think that Jung hoped his ideas would be of use in understanding the events taking place and that they might even influence their course. He published a number of articles and became president of the International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy in 1934, of which the German National Society was a member; it was a stormy period in which he was attacked either for being a Nazi sympathizer or inimical to the Nazi regime: he was put on their blacklist. Although his political influence was insignificant, it gained Jung the reputation of being a commentator on national and international affairs. It was his second and last excursion into the politics of psychotherapy.

Until World War II, Jung traveled widely, mainly in response to the invitations of scientific and other societies. He went several times to the United States; often to Germany, France, and Great Britain; and once to India—in each country he delivered lectures and seminars. Other travels were made to study primitive cultures: one was to meet the Pueblo Indians; the other longer excursion was to Kenya and Uganda, where he especially studied the life of the Elgonyi tribre. Jung’s account of these travels, which he considered more a personal test than a scientific expedition, appeared only in his autobiography.

Jung’s work attracted a number of specialists, including the sinologist Richard Wilhelm, the student of mythology Carl Kerényi, and the physicist Wolfgang Pauli, with each of whom he published the results of combined study. These intellectual interchanges were enhanced by the annual Eranos conferences at Ascona on Lake Maggiore in Switzerland, which he attended between 1932 and 1951. It attracted scholars in a variety of disciplines who discussed a common topic of psychological relevance. Jung was the focal point of these gatherings, and he used this platform to introduce a series of researches on alchemy and on the psychology of religious themes.

After World War II, Jung ceased traveling. He concentrated intensively on organizing and developing his research on alchemy, gnosticism, and early Christianity and its development (in which many heretical movements seemed a logical outcome). In addition Jung developed his theory of the self as a motive force in history and linked the Judaic and Christian traditions in a highly original way. Acutely concerned with the state of humanity, he developed the theme that man himself must mature in selfrealization if he is not to become the victim of his scientific achievements. Finally he developed a theory of parapsychological data that challenged scientific thinking and method by stressing not the causes but the meaningfulness of random occurrences-the essence of his controversial theory of synchronicity, which also postulated the relativization of time and space.

During his productive last years Jung became mythologized as the “Sage of Zurich”; many traveled to consult him and gain illumination. Interviews often became treasured, recorded, and sometimes published. His profound knowledge of people enabled him to help them, but the role cast for him was not one that he liked or fostered.

Jung was averse to becoming a leader of a school or of anything resembling a sect and took active although not entirely successful steps to prevent it. He never founded an organized school of analytical psychology or trained therapists in a formal sense. He was anxious that his ideas and practices be considered part of the general development of psychological science and that they not be taken dogmatically.

Jung’s recognition came first in a long series of honorary foreign degrees; in Switzerland recognition came relatively late. In 1935 he was named professor at the Eidgenéssische Technische Hochschule; not until 1943 did he become professor at his old University of Basel. By then he was too old to take up his duties.

Jung’s life was essentially identified with his work, which had a dual aspect. On the one hand he studied others first as a psychiatrist and later as an analytical therapist; on the other, he worked on himself and his own development. For the rest, his outer life was stable and calm. His marriage gave him a basic security, and he lived a rather typical Swiss family life with his wife and five children. His wife, who died in 1955, was also his collaborator and contributed useful research of her own.

Jung was widely known as a pioneer, with Freud and Adler, in the early stages of dynamic psychology. Outside psychological circles his influence has been significant not only in religion and art, through his rehabilitation of symbolic expression, but also in history, economics, and the philosophy of science. The influence of Jung’s researches has not yet been fully felt, and before his death groups of analysts formed to develop and modify his theory and practice. His theory of types has been subjected to further experimental investigation, with more support for the basic attitude types than for the function types. Jung’s concept of archetypes has been refined, developed, and applied to childhood; his concepts of the self and individuation have been independently developed by Psychoanalysts. In the process of assimilation the mixture of original theorizing and discovery will no doubt influence and change psychological and psychiatric thinking and will itself be changed by it.


I. Original Works. Jung’s collected works, Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler, eds., are being published as Bollingen Series no. 20 (Princeton, 1953-); 18 vols. have appeared as of 1973. Other recent publications of his works are Memories, Dreams, Reflections (London-New York, 1963); and Letters. Volume I, 1906-1950, Gerhard Adler and Aniela Jaffé, eds., Bollingen Series no. 95 (Princeton, 1972).

II. Secondary Literature. On Jung and his work see Joseph Campbell, ed., Papers From the Eranos Year Books Bollingen Series no. 30, 3 vols. (Princeton, 1954-1957); Henri F. Ellenberger, “Carl Gustav Jung and Analytical Psychology”, in his The Discovery of the Unconscious (New York, 1970), pp. 657-748; F. Fordham, Introduction to Jung“s Psychology (Harmondsworth, 1953); M. Fordham, Children as Individuals (New YOrk-London, 1969); and W. Pauli, “The Influence of Archetypal Ideas on the Scientific Theories of Kepler,” in C. G. Jung and W. Pauli, The Interpretation and Nature of the Psyche (London-New York, 1955), pp. 151-240.

Michael Fordham

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated May 14 2018


mythology, folklore, and religion

JUNG, CARL GUSTAV (1875–1961), Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytic psychology.

Carl Gustav Jung was born in Kesswil on Lake Constance, in 1875. His family moved to Laufen by the Rhine falls when he was six months old. He was the oldest child and had one sister, Gertrud. His father, Paul Jung, was a pastor in the Swiss Reformed Church. His youth was marked by vivid dreams, intense religious questioning, and extensive reading. He was particularly struck with the works of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832), Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900), Meister Johannes Eckhart (c. 1260–?1327), and Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772). From 1895 he studied medicine at the University of Basel and participated in a student debating society, the Zofingia society. Spiritualism, which spread across Europe in the latter half of the nineteenth century, particularly interested him, as the spiritualists appeared to be attempting to use scientific means to explore the supernatural, and prove the immortality of the soul. In 1896 Jung and his fellow students engaged in a long series of seances with his cousin Héléne Preiswerk, who appeared to have mediumistic abilities. These sittings were discontinued when she was caught cheating.


On reading Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Text-Book of Psychiatry in 1899, Jung realized that his vocation lay in psychiatry. After his medical studies, he took up a post as an assistant physician at Burghölzli Hospital at the end of 1900. The Burghölzli was a progressive university clinic, under the directorship of Eugen Bleuler. At the end of the nineteenth century, numerous figures attempted to found a new scientific psychology. It was held that by turning psychology into a science through introducing scientific methods, all prior forms of human understanding would be revolutionized. Thanks to Bleuler and his predecessor Auguste Henri Forel (1848–1931), psychological research and hypnosis played prominent roles at the Burghölzli. It was hoped that the new psychology would transform psychiatry.

In 1902 Jung presented his medical dissertation, which focused on the psychogenesis of spiritualistic phenomena, in the form of an analysis of his seances with Héléne Preiswerk. This work was strongly marked by the impact of the psychological approach to mediumship developed by Frederic William Henry Myers (1843–1901), William James (1842–1910), and in particular Théodore Flournoy (1854–1921). In the same year, Jung became engaged to Emma Rauschenbach, whom he married and with whom he had five children. In 1902 and 1903, he went to Paris to study with the leading French psychologist, Pierre-Marie-Félix Janet, who was lecturing at the Collège de France. On his return, he devoted his work to the analysis of linguistic associations, in collaboration with Franz Riklin.

The conceptual basis of Jung's early work lay in the dynamic psychologies of the subconscious developed by Flournoy and Janet; he attempted to fuse these psychologies with the research methodology of Wilhelm Wundt (1832–1920) and Emil Kraepelin (1856–1926). Jung and Riklin attempted to utilize the associations experiment, in which a subject was read a list of words and asked to respond with the first word that came to mind, as a quick and reliable means for differential diagnosis. They failed in this regard, but were struck by the significance of disturbances of reaction and prolonged response times. They argued that these disturbed reactions were due to the presence of emotionally stressed complexes, and used their experiments to develop a general psychology of complexes.

This work established Jung's reputation as one of the rising stars of European psychiatry. In 1906, he applied his new theory of complexes to study the psychogenesis of dementia praecox (later called schizophrenia), and to demonstrate the intelligibility of delusional formations. For Jung, along with a number of other psychiatrists and psychologists at this time, such as Adolf Meyer and Pierre Janet, insanity was not regarded as something completely set apart from sanity, but rather, as lying on the extreme end of a spectrum.


By 1907 Jung became increasingly disenchanted by the limitations of experimental and statistical methods in psychiatry and psychology. In the outpatient clinic that Forel had established at the Burghölzli, he presented hypnotic demonstrations. This led to his interest in therapeutics and to the use of the clinical encounter as a method of research. Bleuler had introduced psychoanalysis into the Burghölzli and initiated a correspondence with Sigmund Freud (1856–1939). In 1906 Jung entered into communication with Freud. Their relationship has been much mythologized. A Freudocentric legend arose, which viewed Freud and psychoanalysis as the principal source for Jung's work. This has led to the complete mislocation of Jung's work in the intellectual history of the twentieth century. On numerous occasions, Jung protested against this, and insisted that his real teachers were Eugen Bleuler, Théodore Flournoy, and Pierre Janet. It is clear that Freud and Jung came from quite different intellectual traditions and were drawn together by shared interests in the psychogenesis of mental disorders and psychotherapy. Their intention was to form a scientific psychotherapy based on the new psychology, and, in turn, to ground psychology on the in-depth clinical investigation of individual lives.

With the lead of Bleuler and Jung, the Burghölzli became the center of the psychoanalytic movement. Because of their advocacy, psychoanalysis gained a hearing in the German psychiatric world. In 1908 a journal was founded, the Jahrbuch für psychoanalytische und psychopathologische Forschungen, with Bleuler and Jung as the editors. In 1909 Jung received an honorary degree from Clark University for his association researches. The following year, an international psychoanalytic association was formed with Jung as the president. During the period of his collaboration with Freud, he was a principal architect of the psychoanalytic movement. From the start, the movement was riven by dissensions and acrimonious disagreements.

mythology, folklore, and religion

In 1908 Jung bought some land by the shore of Lake Zürich in Küsnacht and had a house built, where he resided for the rest of his life. In 1909 he resigned from the Burghölzli to devote himself to his private practice and research. This coincided with a shift in his research interests to the study of mythology, folklore, and religion, and he assembled a vast private library of scholarly works. These researches culminated in Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1911–1912; Transformations and Symbols of the Libido). Taking his cue from William James, Jung contrasted directed thinking and fantasy thinking. The former was verbal and logical. The latter was passive, associative, and imagistic. The former was exemplified by science and the latter by mythology. Reiterating the anthropological equation between the prehistoric, the primitive, and the child, he held that the elucidation of current-day fantasy thinking in adults would concurrently shed light on the thought of children, savages, and prehistoric peoples.

The end of the nineteenth century saw an explosion of scholarship in the newly founded disciplines of comparative religion and Völkerpsychologie. Primary texts were collected and translated for the first time and subjected to historical scholarship in collections such as Max Müller's Sacred Books of the East (1879–1910). Drawing on this large body of work, Jung synthesized nineteenth-century theories of memory, heredity, and the unconscious and posited a phylogenetic layer to the unconscious that was still present in everyone, consisting of mythological images. For Jung, myths were symbols of the libido and they depicted its typical movements. He used the comparative method of anthropology to assemble a vast panoply of myths, and then subjected them to analytic interpretation. He later termed his use of the comparative method "amplification." One particular myth was given a central role: that of the hero. For Jung, this represented the life of the individual, attempting to become independent and to free himself from the mother. He interpreted the incest motif as an attempt to return to the mother to be reborn. He later heralded this work as marking the discovery of the collective unconscious, though the term itself was of a later date.

In a series of articles from 1912, Jung's colleague Alphonse Maeder, taking his cue from Flournoy, argued that dreams had a function other than that of wish fulfillment, which was a balancing or compensatory function. Dreams were attempts to solve the individual's moral conflicts. As such, they did not merely point to the past, but prepared the way for the future. Jung was working along similar lines and adopted Maeder's positions. For Jung and Maeder, the alteration of the conception of the dream brought with it an alteration of all other phenomena associated with the unconscious.

In 1913 Jung developed his conception of personality types, a subject which had been much debated in individual psychology. He argued that corresponding to the differences between hysteria and schizophrenia, there existed two general classes of person, who could be characterized by whether their libido tended to move toward the world (extraverts) or toward themselves (introverts). Through developing type theory, Jung shifted his concerns from psychopathology to a general psychology of normal functioning.

By the outbreak of war, Jung had made critical interlinked contributions to the development of psychical research, dynamic psychiatry, psychological testing, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, cultural psychology, and the psychology of personality, hence playing an important role in the rise of modern psychological culture. In the summer of 1914, Jung and the Zurich Psychoanalytic Association ceded from the International Psychoanalytic Association, and formed the Association for Analytical Psychology, citing Freud's attempt to assert absolute authority over theoretical developments in psychoanalysis as the reason for their secession. Jung was now the head of his own school of psychology, which he called analytical psychology, synthesizing his earlier work to form its theoretical underpinnings. As a "popular" psychology and as a psychotherapy, this was to have significant and long-standing ramifications in the twentieth century.

See alsoFreud, Sigmund; Psychoanalysis; Psychology.


Bennet, Edward Armstrong. Meetings with Jung: Conversations Recorded by E. A. Bennet during the Years 1946–1961. Einsiedeln, 1982.

Ellenberger, Henri. The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry. New York, 1970.

Hannah, Barbara. Jung: His Life and Work, A Biographical Memoir. New York, 1976.

Heisig, James. Imago Dei: A Study of C. G. Jung's Psychology of Religion. Lewisburg, 1979.

Jung, C. G. Collected Works. Edited by Sir Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, and Gerhard Adler; executive editor, William McGuire; translated by Richard Hull. London and Princeton, N.J., 1944–.

——. Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1925. Edited by William McGuire. London and Princeton, N.J., 1989.

McGuire, William, ed. The Freud/Jung Letters: The Correspondence between Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung. Translated by Ralph Mannheim and R. F. C. Hull. London and Princeton, N.J., 1974.

Shamdasani, Sonu. Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science. Cambridge, U.K., 2003.

Sonu Shamdasani

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated May 18 2018


(b. Kesswil, Switzerland, 26 July 1875; d. Küsnacht, Switzerland, 6 June 1961),

analytical psychology, psychiatry, comparative religion. For the original article on Jung see DSB, vol. 7.

This article gives an account of the main shifts in the historical understanding of Jung’s work since the 1970s, and in particular highlights the dismantling of the Freudocentric legend of Jung, the authorship of Memories, Dreams, Reflections, the contextualization of his work, and the commencement of research into his unpublished papers.

The Jungian Legend . For much of the twentieth century, Jung’s name was considered to be so closely bound with that of Sigmund Freud that biographical, historical, and evaluative works gave pride of place to his relation with Freud. Such a framing of Jung’s work forms part of the “Jungian legend.” The key components of this may be summarized as follows: that Freud was the founder of psychotherapy; that Jung was a disciple of Freud and derived his ideas from him; that the two most important figures for Jung in the genesis of his work were Freud and Jung’s Russian patient and associate Sabina Spielrein; that after his break with Freud, Jung had a breakdown; that during this “confrontation with the unconscious” he discovered (or invented) his ideas of the collective unconscious, archetypes, and individuation; that analytical psychology represents a revision of psychoanalysis; that Jung wrote an autobiography, which has been taken as the main source of information about his life and work; and that analytical psychology in the early twenty-first century directly descends from Jung, and indeed, was founded by him. Followers and critics have generally only differed in whether they have considered Jung’s deviations from psychoanalysis in a positive or negative light.

In this form, the Jungian legend is in part a tributary to what has been called the “Freudian legend.” The main elements of this interpretative narrative are the claims that psychoanalysis has had a major impact on twentieth-century society, and has led to wide-scale transformations in social life; that Freud discovered the unconscious; that Freud was the first to study dreams and discover their meaning; that Freud was the first to study sexuality scientifically and discovered infantile sexuality and its role; that his discoveries provoked a storm of disapproval due to Victorian repression; that he invented modern psychotherapy, and that psychoanalysis was the most advanced form of psychotherapy; and that these discoveries were based on his self-analysis and observation of patients.

The Freudocentric view of the origins of Jung’s analytical psychology impeded the development of scholarly work on Jung, as it implied that the historical contextualization of Freud’s work together with a close study of the Freud-Jung correspondence would be sufficient to grasp the genesis of analytical psychology, as these were seen to provide the theoretical backdrop that, together with the personal and affective impetus, would lead to Jung’s later work. This perspective eventually came to be seen as seriously wanting, and a major realignment of the understanding of Jung’s work has taken place. This has been brought about by a series of interlinked developments.

First, until the last quarter of the twentieth century, biographical and “historical” works on psychoanalysis and analytical psychology had been dominated by the work of disciples. Professional scholars started to work on these fields, and an extensive literature on Freud developed. It came to be seen that the epochal significance that had widely been attributed to Freud’s work was actually the result of an active process of legend making on the part of Freud and his disciples. Freud’s work began to be contextualized within the development of neurology, psychopathology, hypnosis, and evolutionary biology in the late nineteenth century. Second, the broader fields of the formation of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century psychology, psychotherapy, and psychiatry began to attract scholarly attention after decades of neglect. Third, primary historical research on Jung commenced.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections . In particular, the bestselling Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which had been taken to be Jung’s autobiography and hence the definitive firsthand statement on his life and work was shown to be nothing of the kind. Its history may be briefly narrated. For many years, the publisher Kurt Wolff had unsuccessfully tried to get Jung to write an autobiography. In the summer of 1956, he suggested a new project to Jung, along the lines of Johann Peter Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe. It was to be presented in the first person, and Jung’s secretary, Aniela Jaffé, was proposed to take the role of Eckermann. Jaffé undertook a series of regular interviews with Jung, in which he spoke about a wide range of subjects. Jaffé, with the close involvement of Wolff, selected material from these interviews and arranged it thematically. This was then organized into a series of approximately chronological chapters.

During this process, Jung wrote a manuscript at the beginning of 1958 titled “From the Earliest Experiences of My Life.” With Jung’s permission, Jaffé incorporated this manuscript into Memories. His request to have this clearly demarcated from the rest of the book was not followed through. Passages were deleted and added by Jaffé, and further changes were made by others involved in the project. Jaffé also incorporated excerpted versions of some other unpublished manuscripts of Jung, such as material from a seminar he presented in 1925 seminar and accounts of some of his travels.

During the composition of the work, there were many disagreements between the parties involved concerning what the book should contain, its structure, the relative weighting of Jung’s and Jaffé’s contributions, the title, and the question of authorship. It was clear that for the publishers, an autobiography of Jung—or something that could be made to look as much like one as possible— held far greater sales potential than a biography by the then as yet unknown Jaffé. In 1960 a resolution was drawn up between the participants in which Jung formally stated that the work should not be regarded as an autobiography, but rather as a work by Jaffé to which he had made contributions. Jung’s attitude toward the project fluctuated. After reading the early manuscript, he criticized Jaffé’s handling of the text, complaining that he had been turned into an old maid. He died, however, before he could rectify the situation. He never saw the final manuscript, and the drafts that he did see went through considerable editing after his death.

Not incidentally, the published text represented the apotheosis of the Freudocentric legend of Jung. In the published text, Freud was the sole figure with a chapter dedicated to him. Jung’s comments on contemporary figures such as Pierre Janet, Eugen Bleuler, William McDougall, William James, Alfred Binet, and others were simply omitted from the manuscript, which had the effect of dissociating Jung from much of his psychological network. The work was taken to be Jung’s autobiography, and became the preeminent source of his life and work.

From a historiographical perspective, the Freudocentric legend of Jung had its genesis in Freud’s On the History of the Psycho-Analytical Movement. In this work, Freud annexed Jung’s early work on the associations experiment (in which subjects were asked to respond with one word in turn to a list of one hundred words) and on the psychology of dementia praecox (later called schizophrenia), claiming that what Jung had done was simply to apply psychoanalytic theory to interpret associations and the psychogenesis of psychotic symptoms. For Freud, Jung’s work simply consisted in the application of the theory and procedures of psychoanalysis into areas in which they had not yet been utilized: experimental psychology and psychiatry. In actuality, Jung’s early work represented a complex fusion of the French psychology of the subconscious together with German experimental psychopathology. Jung’s alliance with Freud came to be seen within the context of a broader psychotherapeutic and psychogenic movement that was sweeping across America and Europe. Freud’s assessment of Jung’s work was that what was valuable in it lay in its application and extension of his own discoveries, and Jung’s supposedly new innovations represented a secession from psychoanalysis and a descent into mystical obscurantism. This judgment has subsequently generally been subscribed to by the psychoanalytic community. A number of Jung’s subsequent writings took the form of commencing with a critique of a number of Freud’s positions before presenting his own. Jung’s rhetorical mode of presentation came to be mistaken as indicating the genesis and source of his ideas.

Contextualizing Jung . The critique of the Freudian rewriting of history and the manner in which it cast Jung in a subordinate position to Freud together with the opening of the field of the history of late-nineteenth-century psychology created the possibility for the relocation of the genesis of Jung’s work within a complex series of networks of debate and interactions. In particular, Jung’s relations

with figures such as Bleuler, Janet, Théodore Flournoy, and James came in for extended study, together with his readings of figures such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich von Schiller, Henri Bergson, and Lucien Lévy-Bruhl.

Furthermore, Jung’s psychology came to be resituated within the myriad attempts to form a science of psychology at the turn of the twentieth century, in the competing terrain of the human sciences. Much that had been attributed solely to Jung came to be seen as representing the confluence of networks of debates and discussions in European and American psychology, psychiatry, philosophy, and the human sciences spanning several decades. Jung’s work came to be seen as drawing from quite distinct and counterposed intellectual traditions than those from which Freud drew. At the same time, historical work began on Jung’s patients and his relations with some of his followers. In place of the conception of Jung as a solitary figure, the social and institutional networks between him and his followers started to be reconstructed, and the extent to which analytical psychology owed its existence to a collective endeavor began to be grasped.

The contextualisation of Jung’s ideas has enabled the development of his work to be grasped, as well more clearly outlining what was particular to Jung. Much that was hitherto seen as idiosyncratic has come to be seen as embedded within intersecting networks of debate in late nineteenth and early twentieth century intellectual history. This recontextualization of Jung’s works has gone hand in hand with the commencement of research in his unpublished papers. It is still not widely realized that Jung’s Collected Works are far from complete, and that much of the existing secondary literature has been based on an incomplete textual corpus, together with unscholarly and not wholly reliable editions and deficient translations. In 1993 a catalog of Jung’s papers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology was compiled, and they were made available for study. The scale of the unpublished materials proved to be quite unexpected. The holdings revealed sufficient unpublished manuscripts, notes, and drafts to fill ten volumes, together with an equal amount of unpublished seminars, and more than thirty thousand unpublished letters. In terms of bulk, the extent of the unpublished materials exceeds that of what has already been published. An initiative to publish this material is currently underway; see http://www.philemonfoundation.org.

Paradoxically, one of the main achievements of recent historical scholarship on Jung has been the demonstration of the unreliability of much of what had been taken as fact, and the growing realization of how much basic primary research still remains to be undertaken, and the necessity for a complete critical historical edition of his writings before his work can be adequately assessed.



Analytical Psychology: Notes of the Seminar Given in 1925. Edited by William McGuire. Bollingen series 99. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.


Bishop, Paul, ed. Jung in Contexts: A Reader. London: Routledge, 1999.

Elms, Alan. “The Auntification of Jung.” In Uncovering Lives: The Uneasy Alliance of Biography and Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Shamdasani, Sonu. “Memories, Dreams, Omissions.” Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture 57 (1995): 115–137.

———. Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Taylor, Eugene. “The New Jung Scholarship.” Psychoanalytic Review 83 (1996): 547–568.

Sonu Shamdasani

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)

views updated Jun 11 2018

JUNG, CARL GUSTAV (1875-1961)

A Swiss physician and psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung, founder of analytical psychology, was born on July 26, 1875, in a little village on the shores of Lake Constanz on the Swiss-German border. He died on June 6, 1961, in Kussnacht, Switzerland.

Jung's father was a rural Protestant minister. When Jung was one year old, the family moved to a rural village just outside Basel, where Jung spent the remainder of his childhood. A sister was born when Jung was nine.

When Jung was three his mother became depressed and was unavailable for several months. Jung always felt much closer to his mother than to his father. He experienced his father as having lost the faith, whereas he experienced his mother as having a deeply intuitive and religious nature.

He entered the University of Basel in 1895 to study medicine, and completed his medical studies in the winter of 1900. He then began his psychiatric studies at the Burghölzli Clinic under the direction of Eugen Bleuler. His father died in 1896. His medical school thesis, The Psychology of So-Called Occult Phenomena, a study of spiritualistic seances of his cousin, was published in 1902. That same year, he spent several months in Paris as a student of Pierre Janet.

Jung began his scientific work with word-association experiments while at the Burghölzli Clinic. He discovered consistent patterns of expression and inhibition when select words were given to a subject who was instructed to react with the first word that came to mind. Jung coined the term "complex" for the cluster of images and emotion revealed when he inquired closely about the subject's experience of inhibition. He interpreted the results using Freud's theory of repression. In 1906 Jung broadened his studies to include patients at the Burghölzli, out of which experience came his classic monograph on The Psychology of Dementia Praecox.

In 1903 he married Emma Rauschenbach, the daughter of a prominent family in Schauffhausen. They had five children, four daughters and one son. Jung relied on her strong character and native intelligence, and later on she became an analyst in her own right. He remained at the Burghölzli until 1909, when he opened a private practice in the village of Kussnacht just outside Zurich where he remained for the rest of his life.

The work on complexes led to a correspondence with Freud and then to a meeting in 1907. The next six years saw their intense friendship and professional collaboration. Jung became the "crown prince," the first president of the International Psychoanalytical Association, editor of the Jahrbuch, and a defender of psychoanalysis. They traveled to Clark University in Massachusetts together in 1909, analyzing each other's dreams on the long ocean voyage. But, as Jung began to delve into mythology, a divergence on the meaning of libido became a central point of conflict between the two men. Jung defined libido as meaning interest in general, and believed that all libido cannot be reduced to sexuality, other instincts such as hunger and culture having equal value. In 1911 Jung published the first half of his work A Study of the Transformations and Symbolisms of the Libido in the Jahrbuch. The second half came out in 1913. Here Jung focused on incest in terms of the mother-son pattern, and the need for the son to be delivered from the poser of the maternal unconscious. By this time the relationship between Freud and Jung had become so strained that Freud urged Jung to leave the psychoanalytic fold,

From 1913 until 1918 Jung withdrew into a period of intense self-analysis, resigning his position at the University of Zurich. He called this his "confrontation with the unconscious." All his later writings were an assimilation and understanding of his inner experiences during those years.

Jung's first major work of his post-Freudian phase was Psychological Types, in which he formulated the concepts of introversion and extroversion, along with the function types: sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition. For Jung this work continued his struggle for identity in relationship to Freud and Adler. Also, in the appendix he defined all the concepts for which his work would become most famous; collective unconscious, archetypes, individuation, dreams, psychic energy, etc. Furthermore, during this period he explicated his notions of psychotherapy as a dialectic between therapist and patient, who are equal partners in the psychological transformation.

As his fame spread he began to receive analysands from many parts of the world. He also traveled widely, to the American Southwest, North Africa, Central Africa, and India. He received honorary doctorates from many institutions, including Harvard and Oxford Universities.

Jung's most controversial episode occurred in 1933. He replaced Ernst Kretschmer as president of the German Society of Psychotherapy and immediately made it into an International Society, so that Jewish members could retain membership. He remained president until 1940, which meant he had to work closely with the Nazis. Some of his statements during this period have been construed as anti-Semitic, and those who have wished to discredit his work seized upon them as a pretext for their dismissal. This issue has surfaced periodically for the past fifty years, but there is no definitive evidence that Jung ever was a Nazi sympathizer.

On the other hand, we do know that he warned repeatedly against the dangers of mass movements, and that in 1936 he published Wotan, an uncompromising analysis of the psychological, and specifically archetypal, reasons for Nazism and of the risks it represented for the individual.

In 1944 Jung had a massive, nearly fatal heart attack. He describes his visions during the attack in Memories, Dreams, and Reflections (1962/1966). His recovery was complete, but he retired from practice, continuing his research into alchemical studies, and writing two important books, The Psychology of the Transference and Mysterium Conjunctionis. Jung had become interested in alchemy in 1928 when a good friend, Richard Wilhelm, introduced him to the Chinese alchemical text, The Secret of the Golden Flower. Noting the similarities between alchemy and the unconscious patterns he observed in his analysands, he saw alchemy as the missing link between the mythology of the pre-Christian psyche and modern dreams.

Jung valued his introversion greatly, and beginning in 1923 he built a tower in Bollingen, where he would spend solitary weeks. He died after a brief illness on June 6, 1961, in the house in which he had lived since 1908.

Thomas Kirsch

Works discussed: Psychology of Dementia præcox; Psychology of the Unconscious, The.

See also: AllgemeineÄrztliche Gesellschaft fürPsychotherapie; Analytical psychology; "Autobiographical Study, An"; Belief; Bleuler, Paul Eugen; Burghölzli asylum; Clark University; Complex; Cryptomnesia; Deferred action; Delusions and Dreams in Jensen's "Gradiva" ; Ego-libido/object-libido; First World War: The effect on the development of psychoanalysis; Free association; "From the History of an Infantile Neurosis" (Wolf Man); Great Britain; Gross, Otto Hans Adolf; Hirschfeld, Elfriede, Imago; International Psychoanalytical Association; Jahrbuch der Psychoanalyse ; Libido; Mother goddess. Midlife crisis; Mysticism; "On Narcissism: An Introduction"; "On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement"; Primal scene; Psychoanalysis of Fire, The ; "Psycho-Analytic Notes on an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia (Dementia Paranoides)"; Religion and psychoanalysis; Schizophrenia; Self-consciousness; Spielrein, Sabina; Splits in psychoanalysis; Switzerland (German-speaking); Symbolization, process of; Telepathy; Totem and Taboo.


Jung, Carl Gustav. (1916). The structure of the unconscious. Coll. Works (Vol. 7). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

. (1966). Memories, dreams, reflections. London: Routledge. (Original work published at 1962)

McGuire William. (1974) The Freud-Jung letters: The correspondence between Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Wehr, Gerhard. (1987) Jung. Boston and London: Shambhala.

Further Reading

Mijolla, Alain de. (1989). Images of Freud: From his correspondence. International Forum for Psychoanalysis, 5, 87-110.

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated Jun 08 2018


Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961), who was born in the village of Kessweil, Switzerland on July 26, and died on June 6 in Zurich was, along with Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), a creator of depth psychology. His controversial research in this area has ethical implications for both makers and users of modern technology. Jung received an undergraduate degree in psychiatry at the University of Basel and completed his doctoral studies at Burghölzli mental hospital in 1902. In 1907 he achieved international recognition with his seminal study of dementia praecox (schizophrenia), leading to a five-year collaboration with Freud, the originator of psychoanalysis. By 1912, however, Jung found his ideas diverging from those of Freud, and from that point until the end of his life, Jung's intellectual journey was both creative and independent.

Like his former mentor, Jung was determined to penetrate and comprehend the human psyche at the deepest possible level. Unlike Freud, who emphasized the central importance of childhood experience in the understanding of neuroses, Jung focused on adult psychology, treating patients whose neuroses did not seem rooted in infantile experiences and fantasies. Among Jung's now-familiar concepts are the personality traits of introversion and extroversion; psychological types (which lead to the standardized Myers-Briggs typology test); stage of life distinctions, including description of the mid-life crisis; primitive mental frameworks called archetypes embedded in acollectiveunconscious;and thenotionof the Shadow, a part of the psyche all but inaccessible to the conscious mind but often revealed in dreams.

Jung's body of work, together with that of Freud and Alfred Adler (1870–1937), formed the basis of modern psychoanalytic techniques. These methods of treating mental disorders are today used alongside behavioral and cognitive therapy and (increasingly) psychoactive drugs. Criticism of Jung has tended to focus on the teleological (i.e., that psychic events have a purpose towards future development) and mystical elements of his thought, a significant source of the latter being his explorations of his own complex psyche. His belief in synchronicity, a non-causal linkage of mental and physical phenomena, has also been criticized as speculative and without scientific foundation.

Can the concepts of the collective unconscious and the Shadow help people to better understand their connection to the natural world and to their own technological creations? Prominent Jungian psychologists James Hillman (b. 1926), Stephen Aizenstat, Marie-Louise von Franz (1915–1998), and Robert Sardello have postulated that psychological health in the modern world may demand less focus on the narrow confines of the human mind and more on the connection of the human mind, both conscious and unconscious, with the rest of the natural and technological world. Historian Theodore Roszak (b. 1933) has suggested that an ecological unconscious links the human psyche with the natural world just as Jung's collective unconscious links human beings with each other, while biologist Edward O. Wilson (b. 1929) has argued that evolution has built into human beings an innate connection with and affinity for the natural world that should be explored by psychologists.

Jung himself was much concerned with the impacts of modern life on the psyche. Four years before his death, he published The Undiscovered Self, in which he argues that European civilization's obsession with the externalities of life had left largely untouched the mysteries of the human mind.

The psyche, which is primarily responsible for all the historical changes wrought by the human hand on the face of this planet, remains an insoluble puzzle and an incomprehensible wonder, an object of abiding perplexity—a feature it shares with all of Nature's secrets. In regard to the latter, says Jung, human beings still have hope of making more discoveries and finding answers to the most difficult questions. But in regard to the psyche and psychology there seems to be a curious hesitancy to explore.

Jung's fear was that humankind's collective Shadow, empowered by modern technology, could be released destructively in all its irrational fury. "The more power man had over nature, the more his knowledge and skill went to his head, and the deeper became his contempt for the merely natural and accidental, for all irrational data—including the objective psyche, which is everything that consciousness is not" (Jung 1957, p. 47).

Failure to advance self-understanding thus becomes, in Jung's view, a dangerous moral problem:

It is not that present-day man is capable of greater evil than the man of antiquity or the primitive. He merely has incomparably more effective means with which to realize his propensity to evil. As his consciousness has broadened and differentiated, so his moral nature has lagged behind. That is the great problem before us today. Reason alone no longer suffices. (Jung 1957, p. 54, Jung's emphasis)

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961), Jung'spersonal memoir completed just weeks before his death, he stresses that the solution to the problem of evil lies in self-knowledge, to be arrived at through psychological inquiry:

Today we need psychology for reasons that involve our very existence … [W]e stand face to face with the terrible question of evil and do not know what is before us, let alone what to pit against it. And even if we did know, we still could not understand "how it could happen here." (Jung 1961, p. 331)

His argument for the necessity of such psychological knowledge remains a basic challenge for the future development of scientific technology. For Jung, solutions to the problems of evil do not lie in simply extending power over nature, but in better understanding humankind and its place in the universe.


SEE ALSO Freud, Sigmund;Psychology.


Bair, Dierdre. (2003). Carl Jung: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown.

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1969). Collected Works, trans. Richard Francis Carrington Hull. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Definitive English edition of Jung's complete works and letters.

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1989 [1961]). Memories, Dreams, Reflections, trans. Richard Winston, and Clara Winston. New York: Random House. Jung's autobiography, oriented towards personal transformations and inner discoveries rather than narrative.

Jung, Carl Gustav. (1990 [1957]). The Undiscovered Self, trans. Richard Francis Carrington Hull. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Jung stresses the importance of exploring the human psyche.

Main, Roderick. (1997). Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Roszak, Theodore, Mary E. Gomes, and Allen D. Kanner, eds. (1995). Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth and Healing the Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. Collection of essays, with introductions by Lester Brown and James Hillman, exploring how the health of the earth affects the minds of human beings.

Roszak, Theodore. (2002). The Voice of the Earth: An Exploration of Ecopsychology, 2nd edition. Kimball, MI: Phanes Press. The historian's latest work on the connection between the human psyche and the planet Earth.

Wilson, Edward O. (1986). Biophilia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Prominent biologist argues that love of all life can be expressed by the "conservation ethic."

Carl Gustav Jung

views updated May 14 2018

Carl Gustav Jung

The Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a founder of modern depth psychology.

Carl Jung was born on July 26, 1875, in Kesswil, the son of a Protestant clergyman. When he was 4, the family moved to Basel. As he grew older, his keen interest in biology, zoology, paleontology, philosophy, and the history of religion made the choice of a career quite difficult. However, he finally decided on medicine, which he studied at the University of Basel (1895-1900). He received his medical degree from the University of Zurich in 1902. Later he studied psychology in Paris.

In 1903 Jung married Emma Rauschenbach, his loyal companion and scientific collaborator until her death in 1955. The couple had five children. They lived in Küsnacht on the Lake of Zurich, where Jung died on June 6, 1961.

Jung began his professional career in 1900 as an assistant to Eugen Bleuler at the psychiatric clinic of the University of Zurich. During these years of his internship, Jung, with a few associates, worked out the so-called association experiment. This is a method of testing used to reveal affectively significant groups of ideas in the unconscious region of the psyche. They usually have a disturbing influence, promoting anxieties and unadapted emotions which are not under the control of the person concerned. Jung coined the term "complexes" for their designation.

Association with Freud

When Jung read Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams, he found his own ideas and observations to be essentially confirmed and furthered. He sent his publication Studies in Word Association (1904) to Freud, and this was the beginning of their collaboration and friendship, which lasted from 1907 to 1913. Jung was eager to explore the secrets of the unconscious psyche expressed by dreaming, fantasies, myths, fairy tales, superstition, and occultism. But Freud had already worked out his theories about the underlying cause of every psychoneurosis and also his doctrine that all the expressions of the unconscious are hidden wish fulfillments. Jung felt more and more that these theories were scientific presumptions which did not do full justice to the rich expressions of unconscious psychic life. For him the unconscious not only is a disturbing factor causing psychic illnesses but also is fundamentally the seed of man's creativeness and the roots of human consciousness. With such ideas Jung came increasingly into conflict with Freud, who regarded Jung's ideas as unscientific. Jung accused Freud of dogmatism; Freud and his followers reproached Jung for mysticism.

Topology and Archetypes

His break with Freud caused Jung much distress. Thrown back upon himself, he began a deepened self-analysis in order to gain all the integrity and firmness for his own quest into the dark labyrinth of the unconscious psyche. During the years from 1913 to 1921 Jung published only three important papers: "Two Essays on Analytical Psychology" (1916, 1917) and "Psychological Types" (1921). The "Two Essays" provided the basic ideas from which his later work sprang. He described his research on psychological typology (extro-and introversion, thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition as psychic functions) and expressed the idea that it is the "personal equation" which, often unconsciously but in accordance with one's own typology, influences the approach of an individual toward the outer and inner world. Especially in psychology, it is impossible for an observer to be completely objective, because his observation depends on subjective, personal presuppositions. This insight made Jung suspicious of any dogmatism.

Next to his typology, Jung's main contribution was his discovery that man's fantasy life, like the instincts, has a certain structure. There must be imperceptible energetic centers in the unconscious which regulate instinctual behavior and spontaneous imagination. Thus emerge the dominants of the collective unconscious, or the archetypes. Spontaneous dreams exist which show an astonishing resemblance to ancient mythological or fairy-tale motifs that are usually unknown to the dreamer. To Jung this meant that archetypal manifestations belong to man in all ages; they are the expression of man's basic psychic nature. Modern civilized man has built a rational superstructure and repressed his dependence on his archetypal nature—hence the feeling of self-estrangement, which is the cause of many neurotic sufferings.

In order to study archetypal patterns and processes, Jung visited so-called primitive tribes. He lived among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico and Arizona in 1924/1925 and among the inhabitants of Mt. Elgon in Kenya during 1925/1926. He later visited Egypt and India. To Jung, the religious symbols and phenomenology of Buddhism and Hinduism and the teachings of Zen Buddhism and Confucianism all expressed differentiated experiences on the way to man's inner world, a world which was badly neglected by Western civilization. Jung also searched for traditions in Western culture which compensated for its one-sided extroverted development toward rationalism and technology. He found these traditions in Gnosticism, Christian mysticism, and, above all, alchemy. For Jung, the weird alchemical texts were astonishing symbolic expressions for the human experience of the processes in the unconscious. Some of his major works are deep and lucid psychological interpretations of alchemical writings, showing their living significance for understanding dreams and the hidden motifs of neurotic and mental disorders.

Process of Individuation

Of prime importance to Jung was the biography of the stages of inner development and of the maturation of the personality, which he termed the "process of individuation." He described a strong impulse from the unconscious to guide the individual toward its specific, most complete uniqueness. This achievement is a lifelong task of trial and error and of confronting and integrating contents of the unconscious. It consists in an ever-increasing self-knowledge and in "becoming what you are." But individuation also includes social responsibility, which is a great step on the way to self-realization.

Jung lived for his explorations, his writings, and his psychological practice, which he had to give up in 1944 due to a severe heart attack. His academic appointments during the course of his career included the professorship of medical psychology at the University of Basel and the titular professorship of philosophy from 1933 until 1942 on the faculty of philosophical and political sciences of the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. In 1948 he founded the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. Honorary doctorates were conferred on him by many important universities all over the world.

Further Reading

Jung's writings are being assembled in the 18-volume Collected Works (1953—). Studies of Jung's life and work include Gerhard Adler, Studies in Analytical Psychology (1948); Frieda Fordham, An Introduction to Jung's Psychology (1953); Ira Progoff, Jung's Psychology and Its Social Meaning (1953); Richard I. Evans, Conversations with Carl Jung (1964); E. A. Bennett, What Jung Really Said (1967); and Aniela Jaffé, From the Life and Work of C. G. Jung (1970). □

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)

views updated May 18 2018

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961)

Swiss psychologist who made the study of various occult ideas valid within the framework of psychology. Jung was born on July 26, 1875, at Kesswil, Thurgau, Switzerland. He studied medicine at the University of Basel, Switzerland, (1895-1900) and completed his M.D. at the University of Zürich (1902). While still a student he became fascinated with the occult, on which he read a number of books. He also attended several Spiritualist séances. Jung's first publication was an essay on the psychology and pathology of occult phenomena.

Jung became a physician and assisted Eugene Bleuler at the Burghölzi Mental Hospital in Zürich. In 1905 he joined the faculty at the University of Zürich; about the same time he became interested in the new psychoanalysis of Sigmund Freud. He became a leading student of Freud and in 1911 served as president of the International Psychoanalytic Society. In 1913, however, he went his own way as a result of what he regarded as Freud's overemphasis on sexual theories and opposition to occult ideas.

Jung's break with Freudian theory was marked by his paper "Symbols of the Libido," written in 1913. He resigned from the university that year, and for the next twenty years engaged in private practice, which allowed him to develop the approach he termed "analytic psychology." In his 1921 text Psychological Types he introduced his understanding of personality based on a set of polaritiesintrovert/extrovert, feeling/thinking, and sensation/intuition. Jung saw individual personality as determined by the balance or imbalance of these polarities.

Jung developed a view of the individual as consisting of a set of personality aspects he termed the ego (self-awareness), the persona (the expected social role played by each person), the shadow (a dark side), the animus (in a female) or anima (in a male) (the unconscious attitude toward the opposite sex), the self (soul or spirit), and the unconscious. He believed the development of a healthy personality, a process called "individuation," occurs as the various opposites in the personality are differentiated and then balanced.

Out of this basic understanding of the self several concepts of particular relevance to the modern occult community emerged. For example, Jung saw the unconscious as consisting of two layersthe personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious, he said, is a deposit of archetypes or fundamental modes of apprehension that are common to all humanity because of the universality of certain underlying experiences. Archetypes manifest themselves in ancient (and not so ancient) myths, dreams, symbols, and artistic productions. One important appearance of archetypes is in the god forms of the ancient polytheistic religions. Thus one can speak of the archetype of the sky god or the mother goddess. Also from his concept of archetype, Jung speculated on the nature of flying saucers, about which he wrote a short book.

He also introduced the concept of synchronicity, the connecting principle between events, as distinct from conventional cause and effect, an important idea in modern astrology, which has attempted to break out of its deterministic mode of conceptualizing the relationship between humans and the zodiac.

Jung returned to teaching in 1933 as a professor of psychology at the Federal Polytechnical University, Zürich (1933-41) and professor of medical psychology at the University of Basel (1943-44). He spent his last years as a consultant and lecturer at the C. G. Jung Institute (1948-61). His many writings wore compiled in Collected Works (1953).

Jung's perception covered every major area of human experience. His occult experiences are indicated in his book VII Sermones ad Mortuoso, published anonymously, which dramatizes Jung's journey into the unconscious. Some of his reminiscences are recorded in Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963). He died June 6, 1961, at Kuessnacht, Zürich.


Charet, F. X. Spiritualism and the Foundations of C. G. Jung's Psychology. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.

Franz, Marie-Louise von. On Divination and Synchronicity: The Psychology of Meaningful Chance. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1980.

Merkur, Daniel. Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993.

Pleasants, Helene, ed. Biographical Dictionary of Parapsychology. New York: Helix Press, 1964.

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated May 23 2018


Psychiatrist, founder of the school of analytical psychology; b. Kesswyl, Switzerland, July 26, 1875; d. Zurich, Switzerland, June 6, 1961. After receiving his medical degree from the University of Basel, he obtained training in psychiatry from individuals such as Pierre Janet, Eugen Bleuler, and Sigmund Freud. He held staff positions at the Burgholzli Mental Hospital in Zurich and at the University of Zurich. About 1913 he gave up all of his formal institutional affiliations to devote his life to clinical practice, training, research, and writing. Beginning a regular correspondence with Freud in 1906, which ended when he terminated his relationship with Freud in 1913, Jung became closely associated with the psychoanalytical movement and with Freud himself. From the date of its founding in 1910 and until 1914, Jung served as president of the International Psychoanalytical Association. In 1909 Jung and Freud made a historical trip to Clark University in Worcester, Mass., to present a lecture series.

However, in spite of Freud's great confidence in him and their close friendship, Jung began to persist in disagreeing with Freud in many areas. Not only did he feel that Freud's theory of the libido, centering around sexuality, should be broadened to include other drives, such as the urge for power, but also he felt that Freud's theory of the unconscious was too limited. He postulated the concept of a "collective" unconscious that was the seat of archetypesinherited predispositions reflecting symbolically the entire history of man.

Among his other noteworthy contributions was his personality typology. It suggested that along the basic attitudinal spectrum of introversion-extraversion, in combination with the four functions of thinking, feeling, intuition, and emotion, eight modal personality types existed.

Of particular interest to Thomistic scholars was his concept of individuation, which encompassed the ultimate growth and fulfillment of the individual into a "total spiritual being." It is predicated heavily on the concept of self-responsibility in contrast to Freud's emphasis on a biological-historical determinism.

In the area of dream interpretation he believed that the "manifest" content of the dream can be interpreted quite literally in the context of the aspirations for the future of the individual, while Freud stressed the "latent" meaning of the dream as symbolic representation of the now unconscious past.

One interesting aspect of Jung's orientation is that as a youth he had a desire to study archeology; although he eventually became a psychiatrist, his general approach to the understanding of man was archeological. For example, his methodical studies of cultures of the past, for clues to symbols that could be used in support of his theory of archetypes and his concept of the collective unconscious, would appear to reflect his archeological background. Yet, in his approach to psychotherapy, he was much more likely to be concerned with the consciouspresent and futurethan was Freud, whose theory of the repetition compulsion suggested that man was acting out repeatedly the influences of the first few years of life.

Jung was a prolific writer, and much of his thinking, from his spelling out of a theory of personality to a morass of metaphysical speculations, can be found in his many books and articles.

Bibliography: c. g. jung, Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (New York 1917); Contributions to Analytical Psychology (New York 1928); Psychological Types (New York 1923); Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York 1933); Psychology and Religion (New Haven 1938; repr. 1960); The Integration of Personality (New York 1939); Über Psychische Energetik und das Wesen der Träume (2d rev. ed. Zurich 1948); Von den Wurzeln des Bewusstseins (Zurich 1954); Memories, Dreams, Reflections, ed. a. jaffÉ, tr. R. and c. winston (New York 1963). r. i. evans, Conversations with Carl Jung and Reactions from Ernest Jones (Princeton 1964). c. s. hall and g. lindzey, Theories of Personality (New York 1957). r. l. munroe, Schools of Psychoanalytic Thought (New York 1955).

[r. i. evans]

Jung, Carl Gustav

views updated Jun 11 2018

Jung, Carl Gustav (1875–1961). Psychiatrist and analytical psychologist, whose views have been thought by some to be more sympathetic to religion than those of Freud. After an exchange of letters, Jung first met Sigmund Freud in 1907; they collaborated closely until 1913. By 1912, however, Jung could no longer conceal his differences from Freud. After his break with Freud, Jung suffered a psychotic breakdown during which he believed that he confronted his own unconscious. The first fruit of this exploration was his formulation of a general theory of psychological types. Jung's typology has been the subject of debate and application, for example in the Myers Brigg's type indicator (MBTI) which has been widely used in church and other circles in order to enable a dispassionate awareness of one's preferences to be developed.

Jung felt humans to be naturally religious, the religious function being as powerful as the instinct for sex or aggression. He was not a supporter of established religions but he was interested in religious philosophies. Jung could be said to have spent his whole life trying to relate human nature and beings to God. Jung distinguished between God and God-image. From his view that a collective personality is carried in the racial or collective subconscious, he claimed to have located the source which gives rise, not only to artefacts, but to dreams, myths, and religions.

Jung was not so much concerned with the ontological truth of religious assertions as with the role of religious symbols in enabling a healthy life.

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