Contrary to common misunderstandings Carl Gustav Jung (b. 26th July 1875 – d. 6th June 1961) is not quite as easily read as it may appear, and neither does his mature psychology unfold or become simply explained by a single comprehensive theory. One sympathetic reader has said of his analytical psychology that ‘to make such a simplification seems rather like drawing a map of the world on a sheet of paper: one conveys as little of the true nature of the psychology as of the seas and continents that make our globe.’ Notwithstanding the difficulty at hand of locating something approximate to Jung’s comprehensive thesis, much ought to commend his numerous contributions to the language of depth psychology, psychodynamics, and twentieth century thought more generally. Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who became Sigmund Freud’s close colleague and heir apparent; only to fall into disfavour, as others had also, by disagreeing with Freud about the central role of sexual libidinal drive in human development. However, after what appears to have been for both men a highly traumatic breakdown in their close relationship (1906-1913), Jung founded an approach to human psychology which became known as Analytical Psychology. Analytical Psychology is a form of post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory that deviates from Psychoanalysis chiefly by a de-emphasis of the primacy of the role of ego and sexual libidinal drive in favour of an attachment of importance to the human potential of self-hood and self-realisation through a developmental process he called individuation. Jung’s primary influences suggest themselves as being theology, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology. The psychodynamic historian Henri Ellenberger writes:
“Jung’s analytic psychology, like Freud’s psychoanalysis, is a late offshoot of romanticism, but psychoanalysis is also the heir of Positivism, Scientism, and Darwinism, whereas analytic psychology rejects that heritage and returns to the unaltered sources of psychiatric Romanticism and philosophy of nature … Second, whereas Freud’s aim is to explore that part of the human mind that was known intuitively by the great writers [that is the unconscious part of psyche], Jung claims to have approached objectively and annexed to science a realm of the human soul intermediate between religion and psychology.” (Ellenberger, H. F. 1970: p. 657)
'The Self & Self-psychology'
For Jung, the self can be considered the central co-ordinate and access point for his thought – as it is through an understanding of the coextensive dualism between the personal self and the collective Self that his psychopathology can be said to be founded. Simply put, Jung viewed the self as both the centre and the totality of psyche (cf. monad). Moreover, Jung came to regard the psychology of the self as also the psychology of religious experience:
‘…the spontaneous symbols of the self, or of wholeness, cannot in practice be distinguished from a God-image.’
In this way one can suggest that Jung appears to have positioned the individual as if the hinge between the personal and the collective; that is to say, the individual has been located at an imaginal mid-point of psychic life between the collective consciousness of external reality and the collective unconscious (cf. Colman in Papadopoulos, 2006). That said, it is apparent that in his work entitled Psychological Types (1921), Jung is formulating a concept of self as an entity quite different to that of the ego. Here, then, the self can be considered to always exist between a complex opposition of pairs. Through the process of differentiation between these opposites, for example, between Individual and Collective, a union of opposites may be achieved which bring about transformations toward wholeness and self-realisation (individuation). It is precisely this process of differentiation of self from the opposites which Jung considered to be the essence of the process he called individuation. Jung’s own experiences of active imagination, particularly in the period of ‘creative illness’ after his dramatic split from Freud, suggest themselves as informing his notions of self and individuation. From 1916 into the 1920’s Jung admits openly to painting mandala in an effort to understand his own inner conflict. It is then, according to his memoirs (1963), Jung writes that in 1927 he had a dream which he came to recognise as a revelation; he called the dream the ‘Pool of Life.’ Here, the dream acted to inform Jung as to the meaning and orientation of self:
‘In the centre of the [city] square was a round pool and in the middle of it a small island. On it stood a single tree, a magnolia. It was as though the tree stood in the sunlight and was at the same time the source of light.’
Jung adds the following explanation for his dream:
‘Through this dream I understood that the self is the principle and archetype of orientation and meaning. Therein lies the healing function … The dream depicted the climax of the whole process of development of consciousness. It satisfied me completely, for it gave a total picture of my situation.’
This mysterious insight into the phenomenology of self does appear to have informed Jung’s thinking; in the following year (1928) he went on to publish The relations between the ego and the unconscious and also added the section entitled Individuation.
‘Pattern within Pattern’ - On the Personal, the Collective and the Archetype
Jung considered the psyche to be dynamic arrangement comprised of an ego-consciousness and a personal unconscious. That said, Jung went on to develop and place greater emphasis on the hypothesis that the unconscious also had a collective symbolic character, and it is this he demarcated the collective unconscious. The salient characteristics of the collective unconscious are that it uniquely contains universal symbols as its privileged contents which together he designated as primordial images (c. 1912). It is certainly no coincidence, therefore, to find that at this time in Vienna one finds Freud’s writing closely mirrors Jung’s own of this period with his (Freud’s) ontogenic descriptions of the primal scene, primal horde, and the primal father (cf. Totem and Taboo, 1912-13). In 1917 Jung began to write of dominants which he conceived of as special nodal points around which imagery clustered and constellated whilst coextensively attracting cathected libidinal energy. Here, in the thesis of dominants, one can begin to discern the overlapping similarity with Jung’s other cluster thesis of complex as that which refers to a constellation or cluster of energetic investment said to exist within the personal unconscious. By 1919 Jung introduces the term archetype into his writing as a term applied to the consideration of the ways in which the pattern of primordial imagery is transmitted over time and across cultures, and not as some might have us believe, as the ‘content of primordial imagery’ (ectypal objects):
“The first stage in the evolution of archetypal theory arose directly from Jung’s self-analysis and from his work with mainly psychotic patients at the Burghölzli Hospital. He found that imagery fell into patterns, that these patterns were reminiscent of myth, legend, and fairytale, and that the imaginal material did not originate in perceptions, memory or conscious experience. The images seemed to Jung to reflect universal human modes of experience and behaviour”. Samuels, A., (1985), Jung and the post-Jungians, p. 24
Where Freud had believed the ego to emerge from the id and to be the central agency of personality; which, on the one hand, mediated between instinctual drives (as the id), and on the other, the dictates of conscience and reality (as the super-ego), Jung deviates once again from his one time friend and colleague. For Jung, then, the ego and ego-consciousness are like a mirror for the unconscious. One also finds a problematic within Jung’s texts in the way in which he uses the terms ‘ego’, ‘ego-consciousness’, and ‘consciousness’ interchangeably for the same notion of the conscious life. Nevertheless, in the main it can be said that Jung, unlike Freud, always stressed that the ego as an entity of psyche, was at the centre of consciousness. Hence to Jung, therefore, the ego is responsible for such things as identity, memory, and the individuation of the individual within time and space. For Jung, the ego is an example par excellence of the ‘complex.’ Though Freud elevated the ego to the station of the highest position in the individual psyche Jung did not follow. Rather, Jung saw the ego as arising out of, and subordinate to, the self. Jung’s understanding of the meaning of this self refers to the patterning and balancing of the different parts into an integral whole, and, the content of self as an infinite variety of shapes and images:
“The ego stands to the self as the moved to the mover, or as object to subject, because the determining factors which radiate out from the self surround the ego on all sides and are therefore subordinate to it. The self, like the unconscious, is an a priori existent out of which the ego evolves”. Jung, C. G., CW11, para. 391.
By these standards, under the influence of his clinical findings of patterns, and a clear interest in world myths, religions and philosophies, Jung came to believe that the self was also an archetype. Moreover, due to the mutuality of the relation between ego and self the term ego-self axis came to be used extensively within post-Jungian circles. The consideration of Jung’s idea of the part played by the self in psychic processes led him to a further consideration of the part played by those processes in the gradual realisation of the self over a lifetime. This is the process of becoming to which Jung refers using the term individuation. Here, the essence of individuation can be said to be the realisation of the personal melange comprised of both the collective (as universal and public) and the unique and individually subjective (as individual and private). Individuation is a process not a state, and, as such, is never completed [except by death] and therefore it remains an ideal concept. It is also suggestive of becoming oneself, the person that is implied by an acceptance and recognition of both the conscious and unconscious aspects of self. Jung believed that this integration leads not only to a greater degree of self-realisation (as if the acknowledgement of an entelechy for individuation), but, more importantly, also to the awareness that one actually may possess a self.
'The Syzygy: Anima & Animus'
The problems with neat divisions of gender and sexuality into safe compartmentalisations are well known to those familiar with the shifting sands of both Gender Theory and Feminist Theory (cf. Verena Kast, Anima/animus (2006: pp. 113-129). However, for Jung the theoretical division of psychological types between masculinity and femininity turns upon the quaternary of archetypes; Logos and Eros, and, Anima and Animus. Here, for Jung, the opposition of Logos and Eros seeks to find a correspondence between the unflinching patriarchal and authorising words and symbols of Reason [as if prevalent in human males] in opposition to the wordless, emotional, nurturing and above all intuitive symbols of Love [as if prevalent in human females]. In the other vertices, then, we find the opposition of anima [as the archetype for femininity] and animus [as the archetype for masculinity]. It is certainly noteworthy that Jung did not simply believe that the self was comprised, in males for example, exclusively of animus. The male is animus as the female is anima. Rather, that each individual psyche was comprised of a contra-sexual component of its own opposite. Therefore, within each male self there is said to exist a degree of anima, and correspondingly within each female self there is said to exist a degree of animus. The balance, for Jung at least, holds the key to ascertaining sexual preference and object-choice.
Jung’s notion of pathology as well as his notion for the typology of psychic dynamism can be construed to adhere to a schema called a quaternary. Jung envisaged a schema which preserved his theory of opposites as that which comprises of two dualities set upon different vertices, namely, vertical and horizontal, which he demarks into four functions of consciousness (sensation, thinking, feeling and intuition) and two attitudes (extraverted or introverted). Below is a summary of the ‘meaning’ of each of these terms:
Extraverted [E]: Those turned toward the outer world, of people and objects. An extravert, or extraverted type, is one whose dominant function is focused in an external direction. Extraverts are inclined to express themselves, using their primary function, directly.
Introverted [I]: Those turned toward the inner world of symbols, ideals and archetypal forms. An introvert, or introverted type, is one whose dominant function is inwardly focused. Introverts are inclined to express themselves, using their primary function, indirectly, through inference and nuance.
Intuition [N]: Unconscious perceiving; Intuition involves the recognition of patterns, the perception of the abstract; it is a visionary sense. Extraverted intuition perceives the patterns and possibilities of life. Introverted intuition compares a ‘hunch’ of real-world circumstances with that which is ideal. In Jung’s typology, intuition is an irrational function. Intuition’s opposite function is Sensing.
Sensing [S]: Physiological perception; perceiving with the five natural senses. Extraverted sensors are attuned to the world of sights, sounds, smells, touches and tastes. Introverted sensors are most aware of how those perceptions compare with their ideal internal standards. In Jung's typology, sensing is an irrational function. Sensing’s opposite is Intuition.
Thinking [T]: Making decisions impersonally. In Jung’s typology, thinking is a rational function. Thinking’s opposite is Feeling.
Feeling [F]: Making decisions from a personal perspective. In Jung's typology, feeling is a rational function. Feeling's opposite is Thinking.
One can see that there is therefore a minimum of eight possible personality types in the classic Jungian typology. That said, Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers (1980) extended Jung’s types by adding a Judging/Perceiving function to the personality classifications thus doubling the number of personality types to sixteen. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test is used widely to help identify personality types. Perceiving and Judging - For the E (extraverted) types, the letter P means that the dominant function is a Perceiving function (Intuition or Sensing); J means the dominant function is a deciding or Judging function. For Introverts, it is just the opposite. P actually means that the extraverted function is a Perceiving (data-collecting, or irrational) function, but since the dominant function is introverted (by definition for Introverts), the “I _ _ P” types’ first functions are Judging (deciding or rational) functions.
The concept of the shadow, exactly like most other, if not all, of Jung’s major contributions to psychology, requires of the reader an appreciation with that which Casement (2006) terms ‘the interrelationship between different psychic phenomena’ (2006: p. 94). Here, then, this most illusive concept may also be seen to overlap with those of the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, and the archetypal. Thus, in the sense attributed to the personal, the shadow makes itself known, mostly through the ‘triggers’ of projection and transference, as the manifest contents of our emotional lives whether positive (e.g. idealisation) or negative (e.g. hatred). In the sense attributed to the collective, the shadow may be understood through the positive or negative trend of an era known as a zeitgeist (spirit of the age). A frequently used example of the collective negative shadow might be the scientific racism and the propaganda of hate employed by Nazi party. An example of the collective positive shadow might be the Summer of Love in 1967. Lastly, in the sense attributed to the archetypal, the shadow may be understood as the positive or negative aspects of the God-head or deity. An example of the archetypal positive shadow might be accessed through the notion of and for ‘The Good’; personified through such attributes as exhibited by say: Zoroastrian Ahuramazda; Basilides’ First son; Christianity’s Christ; Spinoza’s One Substance; or even Cinderella’s fairy godmother. Counter examples of the archetypal negative shadow might be accessed through the notion of and for ‘Evil’; personified through such attributes as exhibited by say: Egyptian Typhon or Set; Yahweh’s Leviathan; the alchemical Saturn; the Cathar and Bogomil Rex mundi; or even J.R.R Tolkein’s creation the Balrog.
Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle
Where the causality principle asserts that the connection of cause and effect is a necessary one, the synchronicity principle asserts that the terms of a meaningful coincidence are connected by simultaneity and meaning (1952: para. 916). Which is to say, in other words that series or runs of quite ordinary events are usually viewed in combination as meaningless coincidences which do not require a non-causal explanation. Indeed, this assumption ought to remain true for as long as coincidences do not exceed the limits predicted by Probabilistic Causality. However, should these coincidences exceed the probability of their predicted appearance then it would prove that there are genuinely non-causal combinations of events for which one might be forced to account without recourse to the necessary assumption of causation. Then, one might account for general events as on the one hand related to each other by causal chains whilst, on the other, by a kind of meaningful cross-connection. For Jung, the possibility of non-causal events postulated a factor incommensurate with causality (1952: para. 827) which viewed meaningful cross-connection or meaningful coincidence as something more than mere chance. Initially, Jung writes that he had been influenced by Schopenhauer’s (1891/1913) paper Transcendental Speculations on the Apparent Design in the Fate of the Individual where Schopenhauer uses the geographical illustration of cross-connections between different meridians. However, having found Schopenhauer’s armchair ‘transcendental speculations’ far from empirical, and in fact quite unreliable, logically speaking, Jung turned his growing interest in acausal events toward those contemporary investigations using ‘scientific method’ employed in experimental parapsychological research. It is Jung that first ascribes to the hypothetical principle of synchronicity an archetypal quality that is equal to that which can be found in the principle of causal explanations, thus: ‘synchronicity as a psychically conditioned relativity of space and time’ (1952: para. 840).
It is clearly open to debate as to whether the theories of the often quoted Carl Jung contain much recognisable to the contemporary undergraduate study of human psychology. Nevertheless, what is less open to debate might be: how Jung’s theoretical and clinical collaboration with Freud and the psychoanalytic movement (1906-) changed the course of twentieth century psychotherapies; his foundational contributions to abnormal psychology (word association, the archetype, the collective unconscious, counter-transference, the persona, and not least, self-psychology) having become lasting features of most if not all creative therapies; and that his peculiar humanity and often astonishing writings continue to challenge theorists and clinicians alike with their symbolic and collective anthropological significance. Furthermore, the symbology and semiotic elements obtaining from both Jungian and post-Jungian texts offer much to the interdisciplinary student of philosophy of language and contemporary cognitive linguistics alike. As has been said by several commentators, analytical psychology may be seen to act to aid in the approach to, for example, Noam Chomsky’s notion of and for deep structures. Which is to say that these so-named deep structures are notionally considered to act as a universal grammar of competence which can be said to mediate between the difference of self and other, subject and object, individual and collective patterning; simply put, Chomsky situates language as a phylogenetic predisposition (a phenotype) of our species.
Notwithstanding the recent renewal of interest in Jung and his analytical psychology (viewed in interdisciplinary terms drawn from the study of linguistics, aesthetics and the post-modern – see Hauke, C., 2000), one can still make out the definite outline of a far more positive therapeutic technique than the one first proposed by Freud. Jung’s theory and technique is an account for our overcoming of ourselves as humans and sets this as lifelong process of learning about the self (individuation). Moreover, it can be added in conclusion that for Jung the individuation of the self within the context of others is the human ‘becoming’ - rather than merely a human ‘being’ – and, as such; always set within that context of others, one might come to avail oneself of the means toward an unblocking of creativity and the inherent potential within through active imagination. And so it seems that Jung - though not a perfect character by any stretch of the imagination - predates the humanistic movement in psychiatry and psychology by many years.
- Jung, Carl Gustav; Marie-Luise von Franz (1964). Man and His Symbols. Doubleday.
- Jung, Carl Gustav, (1990). Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice (The Tavistock Lectures), ISBN 0-7448-0056-0
- The Portable Jung, edited by Joseph Campbell (Viking Portable), ISBN 0-14-015070-6
- Edward F Edinger, Ego and Archetype, (Shambhala Publications), ISBN 0-87773-576-X
- Another recommended tool for navigating Jung's works is Robert Hopcke's book, A Guided Tour of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung, ISBN 1-57062-405-4. He offers short, lucid summaries of all of Jung's major ideas and suggests readings from Jung's and others' work that best present that idea.
- Edward C. Whitmont, The Symbolic Quest: Basic Concepts of Analytical Psychology, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1969, 1979, ISBN 0-691-02454-5
- Anthony Stevens, Jung. A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994, ISBN 0-19-285458-5
- O'Connor, Peter A. (1985). Understanding Jung, understanding yourself. New York, NY: Paulist Press. ISBN 0809127997.
- The Cambridge Companion to Jung, second edition, edited by Polly Young-Eisendrath and Terence Dawson, published in 2008 by Cambridge University Press.
- Dieckmann, H., (1991). Methods in Analytical Psychology: An Introduction. Chiron: Illinois.
Selected Jungian thought:
- Robert Aziz, C.G. Jung’s Psychology of Religion and Synchronicity (1990), currently in its 10th printing, is a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press. ISBN 0-7914-0166-9.
- Robert Aziz, Synchronicity and the Transformation of the Ethical in Jungian Psychology in Carl B. Becker, ed. Asian and Jungian Views of Ethics. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999. ISBN 0-313-30452-1.
- Robert Aziz, The Syndetic Paradigm:The Untrodden Path Beyond Freud and Jung (2007), a refereed publication of The State University of New York Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-6982-8.
- Robert Aziz, Foreword in Lance Storm, ed. Synchronicity: Multiple Perspectives on Meaningful Coincidence. Pari, Italy: Pari Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-88-95604-02-2
- Wallace Clift, Jung and Christianity: The Challenge of Reconciliation. New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1982. ISBN 0-8245-0409-7
- Edward F. Edinger, The Mystery of The Coniunctio, ISBN 0-919123-67-8. A good explanation of Jung's foray into the symbolism of alchemy as it relates to individuation and individual religious experience. Many of the alchemical symbols recur in contemporary dreams (with creative additions from the unconscious e.g. space travel, internet, computers)
- Wolfgang Giegerich, The Soul's Logical Life, ISBN 3-631-38225-1. A critique and extension of Jungian Theory.
- James A Hall M.D., Jungian Dream Interpretation, ISBN 0-919123-12-0. A brief, well structured overview of the use of dreams in therapy.
- James Hillman, "Healing Fiction", ISBN 0-88214-363-8. Covers Jung, Adler, and Freud and their various contributions to understanding the soul.
- Andrew Samuels, Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis, ISBN 0-415-05910-0
- June Singer, Boundaries of the Soul, ISBN 0-385-47529-2. On psychotherapy
- Marion Woodman, The Pregnant Virgin: A Process of Psychological Transformation ISBN 0-919123-20-1. The recovery of feminine values in women (and men). There are many examples of clients' dreams, by an experienced analyst.
Selected academic source material:
- Dieckmann, H., 1991. Methods in Analytical Psychology: An Introduction. Chiron: Illinois.
- Hogenson, G. B., 1994. Jung's Struggle with Freud,. Chiron: Illinois.
- Hopcke, R., 1995. Persona: Where Sacred Meets Profane. Shambhala: Boston
- Hyde, M. and McGuinness, M., 1992. Jung for Beginners. Icon Books: Cambridge.
- Jung, C.G. (conceived and edited by), 1964. Man and his Symbols. Basic Books: New York.
- Jung, C.G. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. London and New York: Routledge
- Jung, C. G., 1989. Essays on Contemporary Events: The psychology of Nazism, trans. R. F. C. Hull. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
- Jung, C.G., 1985 The Practice Of Psychotherapy: Essays on the Psycholgy of the Transference and other subjects, trans. R. F. C. Hull. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
- Jung, C.G., 1984. Dream Analysis: Notes of the seminar given in 1928-30, ed. W. McGuire. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
- Jung, C.G., 1968. Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice. Random House: New York.
- Maidenbaum, Aryeh and Stephen A. Martin, eds. Lingering Shadows: Jungians, Freudians, and Anti-Semitism. Shambalah Publications.
- Nagy, M., 1991. Philosophical Issues in the Psychology of C. G. Jung. State University of New York Press: New York.
- Neumann, E., 1993. The Origins and History of Consciousness, trans. R. F. C. Hull. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
- Noll, R., 1994. The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement. Princeton University Press: New Jersey.
- von Franz, M.-L., 1993. Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology: Reflections of the Soul, trans. W. H. Kennedy. Open Court: London.
- von Franz, M.-L., 1980. Alchemy: An Introduction to the Symbolism and the Psychology. Inner City Books: Toronto
- von Franz, M.-L., 1979. Problems of the Feminine in Fairy Tales, ed. P. Berry. Spring: Dallas.
- Samuels, A. (1985). (Jung and the post-Jungians (Routledge)
- Samuels, A. The Political Psyche (Routledge), ISBN 0-415-08102-5.
- Lucy Huskinson, Nietzsche and Jung: The Whole Self in the Union of Opposites (Routledge), IBSN 1583918337 - An excellent analysis of the highly significant anticipation and influence of the philosophy of Nietzsche on Jung.
- Papadopoulos, R. K. (2006). The Handbook of Jungian Psychology. London: Routledge
On the Jung-Freud relationship:
- Kerr, John. A Most Dangerous Method : The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein. Knopf 1993. ISBN 0-679-40412-0.
- Hogenson, G. B., (1994). Jung's Struggle with Freud. Chiron: Illinois.
- van der Post, Laurens, "Jung and the story of our time", New York : Pantheon Books, 1975. ISBN 0-394-49207-2
- Hannah, Barbara, "Jung, his life and work; a biographical memoir", New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1976. SBN: 399-50383-8
Critical Jungian scholarship:
- Richard Noll, The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement (Princeton University Press, 1994); and
- Richard Noll, The Aryan Christ: The Secret Life of Carl Jung (Random House, 1997)
- Sonu Shamdasani, Cult Fictions, ISBN 0-415-18614-5. Critique of the above works by Noll.
- Sonu Shamdasani, Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology : The Dream of a Science, ISBN 0-521-53909-9. A comprehensive study of the origins of Jung's psychology which places it in a historical and philosophical context. The author calls this a "Cubist history".
- Sonu Shamdasani, Jung Stripped Bare, ISBN 1-85575-317-0. Critique of Jung biographies.
- Bair, Deirdre. Jung: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 2003.