Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875– June 6, 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology. The following has been adapted from the Wikipedia website.
Although Jung was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician for most of his life, much of his life's work was spent exploring other realms: Eastern vs. Western philosophy, alchemy,
astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. Jung also emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern humans rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit
from integrating spirituality and appreciation of the unconscious realm. Jungian ideas are not typically included in curriculum of most major universities' psychology departments, but are occasionally explored
in humanities departments.
Many pioneering psychological concepts were originally proposed by Jung, including:
* The Archetype
* The Collective Unconscious
* The Complex
In addition, the popular career test currently offered by high school and college career centers and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is strongly
influenced by Jung's theories.
Jung developed his own distinctive approach to the study of the human mind. In his early years when working in a Swiss hospital with schizophrenic patients and working with Sigmund
Freud and the burgeoning psychoanalytic community, he took a closer look at the mysterious depths of the human unconscious. Fascinated by what he saw (and spurred on with even more passion by the experiences
and questions of his personal life) he devoted his life to the exploration of the unconscious. Unlike many before him, Jung did not feel that experimenting using natural science was the best means to understand
the soul. For him, an empirical investigation of the world of dream, myth, and soul represented the most promising road to deeper understanding. Self Realization is the final stage of Jung's stages of development
and that within this stage there is still some room for growth and development. This process is also called individuation, which is the process of becoming an individual.
The overarching goal of Jung's work was the reconciliation of the life of the individual with the world of the supra-personal archetypes. He came to see the individual's encounter with the unconscious as central to this process. The
human experiences the unconscious through symbols encountered in all aspects of life: in dreams, art, religion, and the symbolic dramas we enact in our relationships and life pursuits. Essential to the encounter with the unconscious, and the reconciliation
of the individual's consciousness with this broader world, is learning this symbolic language. Only through attention and openness to this world (which is quite foreign to the modern Western mind) are individuals able to harmonize their lives with these
suprapersonal archetypal forces.
"Neurosis" results from a disharmony between the individual's consciousness and the greater archetypal world. The aim of psychotherapy is to assist the individual in reestablishing a healthy relationship to the unconscious
(neither being swamped by it — a state characteristic of psychosis — nor completely shut off from it — a state that results in malaise, empty consumerism, narcissism, and a life cut off from deeper meaning). The encounter between consciousness
and the symbols arising from the unconscious enriches life and promotes psychological development. Jung asserted that neuroses and other psychological problems were not merely difficulties to be overcome or repressed, but that they represented opportunities
for growth and maturation, whereby parts of the unconscious could be integrated into our psyche. He considered this process of psychological growth and maturation (which is known as individuation) to be of critical importance to the human being, and ultimately
to modern society.
To undergo the individuation process, the individual must be open to the parts of oneself beyond one's own ego. The modern individual must pay attention to dreams, explore the world of religion and spirituality, and question the assumptions
of the operant societal world view (rather than just blindly living life in accordance with dominant norms and assumptions).
The collective unconscious
Jung's concept of the collective unconscious has often been misunderstood. In order to understand this concept, it is essential to understand his idea of the archetype, something typically foreign to the highly rational, scientifically-oriented
The collective unconscious could be thought of as the DNA of the human psyche. Just as all humans share a common physical heritage and predisposition towards specific physical forms (like having two legs, a heart, etc.)
so do all humans have a common psychological predisposition. However, unlike the quantifiable information that composes DNA (in the form of coded sequences of nucleotides), the collective unconscious is composed of archetypes.
In contrast to the objective material world, the subjective realm of archetypes cannot be fully plumbed through quantitative modes of research. Instead it can be revealed more fully through an examination of the symbolic communications
of the human psyche —
in art, dreams, religion, myth, and the themes of human relational/behavioral patterns. Devoting his life to the task of exploring and understanding the collective unconscious, Jung theorized that certain symbolic themes exist across all cultures, all
epochs, and in every individual.
The shadow is an unconscious complex that is defined as the repressed and suppressed aspects of the conscious self.
There are constructive and destructive types of shadow.
On the destructive side, it often represents everything that the conscious person does not wish to acknowledge within themselves. For instance, someone who identifies as being kind has a shadow that is harsh or unkind. Conversely, an
individual who is brutal has a kind shadow. The shadow of persons who are convinced that they are ugly appears to be beautiful.
On the constructive side, the shadow may represent hidden positive influences. This has been referred to as "the gold in the shadow". Jung points to the story of Moses and Al-Khidr in the 18th Book of the Koran as an example.
Jung emphasized the importance of being aware of shadow material and incorporating it into conscious awareness, lest one project these attributes on others.
The shadow in dreams is often represented by dark figures of the same gender as the dreamer.
According to Jung the human being deals with the reality of the Shadow in four ways: denial, projection, integration and/or transmutation.
Anima and Animus
Jung identified the anima as being the unconscious feminine component of men and the animus as the unconscious masculine component in women. However, this is rarely taken as a literal definition: many modern day Jungian practitioners
believe that every person has both an anima and an animus. Jung stated that the anima and animus act as guides to the unconscious unified Self, and that forming an awareness and a connection with the anima or animus is one of the most difficult and rewarding
steps in psychological growth. Jung reported that he identified his anima as she spoke to him, as an inner voice, unexpectedly one day.
Often, when people ignore the anima or animus complexes, the anima or animus vies for attention by projecting itself on others. This explains, according to Jung, why we are sometimes immediately attracted to certain strangers: we see
our anima or animus in them. Love at first sight is an example of anima and animus projection. Moreover, people who strongly identify with their gender role (e.g. a man who acts aggressively and never cries) have not actively recognized or engaged their
anima or animus.
Jung attributes human rational thought to be the male nature, while the irrational aspect is considered to be natural female. Consequently, irrationality is the male anima shadow and rationality is the female animus shadow.
The Hero Archetype was described by Jung as a common myth of all cultures. Heroes do various extraordinary tasks from slaying dragons, to pulling children out of burning buildings. For example, look to the classic children's story Robin
Hood, where Robin Hood "steals from the rich and gives to the poor". From fact to fiction one's imagination is captivated by the hero archetype.
Jung introduced the concept of individuation. This brief summary is based on a chapter by Henri Ellenberger in the book
"The Discovery of the Unconscious."
While important to many people, the concept of individuation takes on a deep meaning for adults at midlife—a time at which life’s meaning and purpose come to the fore. In writing about Jung, Ellenberger described midlife
or Lebenswende as representing a profound change, gradual or sudden—that can manifest from "long-repressed intellectual or spiritual needs". This change may be seen as a gift from the unconscious—a warning to take full advantage
and not waste this precious second half of life.
The process of individuating can take a lifetime. It consists of a series of metamorphoses (the death/rebirth cycle), such as birth/infancy, puberty, adulthood, and midlife. If one can individuate at midlife, the ego is no longer at
the center, and the individual makes some sort of peace with her/his mortality.
For the proverbial midlife crisis, Jung suggests that this turning of life may be cured by seriously resuming the practice of religion. However, many are disinclined to take up the practice of traditional religion. For these, Jung suggests
his own approach to therapy—a synthetic-hermeneutic method.
Steps for the Jungian approach to therapy involve the following:
* reading (for some),
* collaboration with the therapist,
* focusing on the situation at present,
* making concrete any insight—and finding a way to put it into practice in everyday life.
The often misunderstood terms extravert and introvert derive from this work. In Jung's original usage, the extraversion -
"is an outward-turning of libido", whereas intraversion - is an inward-turning of libido. Everyone has both the intraversion, and the extraversion mechanisms and just conditional ones or other's superiority defines, whether individual is introvert
According to Jung, the conscious psyche is an apparatus for adaptation and orientation, and consists of a number of different psychic functions. Among these he distinguishes four basic functions:
* sensation - all perceptions by means of the sense organs;
* thinking - function of intellectual cognition the forming logical conclusions;
* feeling - function of subjective estimation;
* intuition - perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents.
Thinking and feeling functions is rational, intuition with sensation is irrational. According to Jung, rationality, it is a figurative thoughts, feelings or actions with reason - a point of view based on objective value, which is set
by practical experience. Whereas irrationality - not based with reason. Jung notes, that elementary existing facts also belongs to this group, but not because they are not logical, but because they, as a thought, have no reason.
In any person, the degree of introversion/extraversion of one function can be quite different to that of another function.
Broadly speaking, we tend to work from our most developed - superior - function, while we need to widen our personality by developing the others. Related to this, Jung noted that the unconscious often tends to reveal itself most easily
through a person's least developed - inferior - function. The encounter with the unconscious and development of the underdeveloped function(s) thus tend to progress together.
Jung was born in Kesswil, in the Swiss canton of Thurgau on July 26, 1875. A very solitary introverted child, Jung was convinced from childhood that he had two personalities—a modern Swiss citizen, and a personality more at home
in the eighteenth century. His father was a parson, but, although Jung was close to both parents, he was rather disappointed in his father's academic approach to faith. Jung wanted to study archaeology at university, but his family was not wealthy enough
to send him further afield than Basel, where they did not teach this subject, so instead Jung studied medicine at the University of Basel from 1894–1900. The formerly introverted student became much more lively here. In 1903, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach,
from one of the richest families in Switzerland.
Towards the end of studies, his reading of Krafft-Ebbing persuaded him to specialize in psychiatric medicine. He later worked in the Burghölzli, a psychiatric hospital in Zürich. In 1906, he published Studies in Word Association,
and later sent a copy of this book to Freud, after which a close friendship between these two men followed for some 6 years (see section on Jung and Freud). Dementia praecox was the name of a chronic psychotic disorder which was renamed schizophrenia
by Jung's colleague at the Burgholzli, Eugen Bleuler, in an article published in 1908.
By 1913, however, especially after Jung had published Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (known in English as The Psychology of the Unconscious) Jung's and Freud's theoretical ideas had diverged so sharply that the two men fell out,
each suggesting that the other was unable to admit he could possibly be wrong. After this falling-out, Jung had some form of psychological transformative experience, exacerbated by news of the First World War, which had a dire effect on Jung even in his
own neutral Switzerland. Henri Ellenberger called Jung's experience a "creative illness" and compared it to Freud's period of what he called neurasthenia and hysteria.
Following World War I, Jung became a worldwide traveler, facilitated by his wife's inherited fortune as well as the funds he realized through psychiatric fees, book sales, and honoraria. He visited Northern Africa shortly after, and
New Mexico and Kenya in the mid-1920s. In 1938, he delivered the Terry Lectures, Psychology and Religion, at Yale University. It was at about this stage in his life that Jung visited India, and while there, had dreams related to King Arthur. His experience
in India led him to become fascinated and deeply involved with Eastern philosophies and religions, helping him come up with key concepts of his ideology, including integrating spirituality into everyday life and appreciation of the unconscious.
Jung's marriage with Emma produced five children and lasted until Emma's death in 1955, but she certainly experienced emotional torments, brought about by Jung's relationships with women other than herself. The most well-known women
with whom Jung is believed to have had extramarital affairs are Sabina Spielrein and Toni Wolff. Jung continued to publish books until the end of his life, including a work showing his late interest in flying saucers. He also enjoyed a friendship with
an English Catholic priest, Father Victor White, who corresponded with Jung after he had published his controversial study of the Book of Job. Jung died in 1961 in Zürich, Switzerland.
Jung and Freud
Jung was thirty when he sent his work Studies in Word Association to Sigmund Freud in Vienna. Half a year later, the then 50 year old Freud reciprocated by sending a collection of his latest published essays to Jung in Zürich,
which marked the beginning of an intense correspondence and collaboration that lasted more than six years and ended shortly before World War I in May 1914, when Jung resigned as the chairman of the International Psychoanalytical Association.
Today Jung and Freud rule two very different empires of the mind, so to speak, which the respective proponents of these empires like to stress, downplaying the influence these men had on each other in the formative years of their lives.
But in 1906 psychoanalysis as an institution was still in its early developmental stages. Jung, who had become interested in psychiatry as a student by reading Psychopathia Sexualis by Richard Krafft-Ebing, professor in Vienna, now worked as a doctor
under the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler in the Burghölzli and became familiar with Freud's idea of the unconscious through Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) and was a proponent of the new
"psycho-analysis". At the time, Freud needed collaborators and pupils to validate and spread his ideas. The Burghölzli was a renowned psychiatric clinic in Zürich at which Jung was an up-and-coming young doctor. Another difficulty
Freud faced was that his slowly growing followership in Vienna was almost exclusively comprised of Jews, which Eugen Bleuler and Carl Jung were not.
In 1908, Jung became editor of the newly founded Yearbook for Psychoanalytical and Psychopathological Research. The following year, Jung traveled with Freud and Sandor Ferenczi to the U.S. to spread the news of psychoanalysis and in
1910, Jung became chairman for life of the International Psychoanalytical Association. While Jung worked on his Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (Symbols of Transformation), tensions grew between Freud and himself, due in a large part to their disagreements
over the nature of libido and religion . In 1912 these tensions came to a peak because Jung felt severely slighted after Freud visited his colleague Ludwig Binswanger in Kreuzlingen without paying him a visit in nearby Zürich, an incident Jung referred
to as the Kreuzlingen gesture. Shortly thereafter, Jung again traveled to the U.S.A. and gave the Fordham lectures, which were published as The Theory of Psychoanalysis, and while they contain some remarks on the Jung's dissenting view on the nature of
libido, they represent largely a "psychoanalytical Jung" and not the theory Jung became famous for in the following decades.
In November 1912, Jung and Freud met in Munich for a meeting among prominent colleagues to discuss psychoanalytical journals. At a talk about a new psychoanalytic essay on Amenhotep IV, Jung expressed his views on how it related to
actual conflicts in the psychoanalytic movement. While Jung spoke, Freud suddenly fainted and Jung carried him to a couch.
Jung and Freud personally met for the last time in September 1913 for the Fourth International Psychoanalytical Congress, also in Munich. Jung gave a talk on psychological types, the introverted and the extroverted type, in analytical
psychology. This constituted the introduction of some of the key concepts which came to distinguish Jung's work from Freud's in the next half century.
In the following years Jung experienced considerable isolation in his professional life, exacerbated through World War I. His Seven Sermons to the Dead (1917) reprinted in his autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections (see bibliography)
can also be read as expression of the psychological conflicts which beset Jung around the age of forty after the break with Freud.
Jung's primary disagreement with Freud stemmed from their differing concepts of the unconscious. Jung saw Freud's theory of the unconscious as incomplete and unnecessarily negative. According to Jung (though not according to Freud),
Freud conceived the unconscious solely as a repository of repressed emotions and desires. Jung believed that the unconscious also had a creative capacity, that the collective unconscious of archetypes and images which made up the human psyche was processed
and renewed within the unconscious.
The following Biography of Carl Jung was adapted from the website of Dr. C. George Boeree.
Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar's gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart
through out the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic
sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human
soul. -- Carl Jung
Freud said that the goal of therapy was to make the unconscious conscious. He certainly made that the goal of his work as a theorist. And yet he makes the unconscious sound very unpleasant, to say the least: It is a cauldron of seething
desires, a bottomless pit of perverse and incestuous cravings, a burial ground for frightening experiences which nevertheless come back to haunt us. Frankly, it doesn't sound like anything I'd like to make conscious!
A younger colleague of his, Carl Jung, was to make the exploration of this "inner space" his life's work. He went equipped with a background in Freudian theory, of course, and with an apparently inexhaustible knowledge of
mythology, religion, and philosophy. Jung was especially knowledgeable in the symbolism of complex mystical traditions such as Gnosticism, Alchemy, Kabala, and similar traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. If anyone could make sense of the unconscious
and its habit of revealing itself only in symbolic form, it would be Carl Jung.
He had, in addition, a capacity for very lucid dreaming and occasional visions. In the fall of 1913, he had a vision of a "monstrous flood" engulfing most of Europe and lapping at the mountains of his native Switzerland. He
saw thousands of people drowning and civilization crumbling. Then, the waters turned into blood. This vision was followed, in the next few weeks, by dreams of eternal winters and rivers of blood. He was afraid that he was becoming psychotic.
But on August 1 of that year, World War I began. Jung felt that there had been a connection, somehow, between himself as an individual and humanity in general that could not be explained away. From then until 1928, he was to go through
a rather painful process of self-exploration that formed the basis of all of his later theorizing.
He carefully recorded his dreams, fantasies, and visions, and drew, painted, and sculpted them as well. He found that his experiences tended to form themselves into persons, beginning with a wise old man and his companion, a little
girl. The wise old man evolved, over a number of dreams, into a sort of spiritual guru. The little girl became "anima," the feminine soul, who served as his main medium of communication with the deeper aspects of his unconscious.
A leathery brown dwarf would show up guarding the entrance to the unconscious. He was "the shadow," a primitive companion for Jung's ego. Jung dreamt that he and the dwarf killed a beautiful blond youth, whom he called Siegfried.
For Jung, this represented a warning about the dangers of the worship of glory and heroism which would soon cause so much sorrow all over Europe -- and a warning about the dangers of some of his own tendencies towards hero-worship, of Sigmund Freud!
Jung dreamt a great deal about the dead, the land of the dead, and the rising of the dead. These represented the unconscious itself -- not the "little" personal unconscious that Freud made such a big deal out of, but a new
collective unconscious of humanity itself, an unconscious that could contain all the dead, not just our personal ghosts. Jung began to see the mentally ill as people who are haunted by these ghosts, in an age where no-one is supposed to even believe in
them. If we could only recapture our mythologies, we would understand these ghosts, become comfortable with the dead, and heal our mental illnesses.
Critics have suggested that Jung was, very simply, ill himself when all this happened. But Jung felt that, if you want to understand the jungle, you can't be content just to sail back and forth near the shore. You've got to get into
it, no matter how strange and frightening it might seem.
Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875, in the small Swiss village of Kessewil. His father was Paul Jung, a country parson, and his mother was Emilie Preiswerk Jung. He was surrounded by a fairly well educated extended family, including
quite a few clergymen and some eccentrics as well.
The elder Jung started Carl on Latin when he was six years old, beginning a long interest in language and literature -- especially ancient literature. Besides most modern western European languages, Jung could read several ancient ones,
including Sanskrit, the language of the original Hindu holy books.
Carl was a rather solitary adolescent, who didn't care much for school, and especially couldn't take competition. He went to boarding school in Basel, Switzerland, where he found himself the object of a lot of jealous harassment. He
began to use sickness as an excuse, developing an embarrassing tendency to faint under pressure.
Although his first career choice was archeology, he went on to study medicine at the University of Basel. While working under the famous neurologist Krafft-Ebing, he settled on psychiatry as his career.
After graduating, he took a position at the Burghoeltzli Mental Hospital in Zurich under Eugene Bleuler, an expert on (and the namer of) schizophrenia. In 1903, he married Emma Rauschenbach. He also taught classes at the University
of Zurich, had a private practice, and invented word association at this time!
Long an admirer of Freud, he met him in Vienna in 1907. The story goes that after they met, Freud canceled all his appointments for the day, and they talked for 13 hours straight, such was the impact of the meeting of these two great
minds! Freud eventually came to see Jung as the crown prince of psychoanalysis and his heir apparent.
But Jung had never been entirely sold on Freud's theory. Their relationship began to cool in 1909, during a trip to America. They were entertaining themselves by analyzing each others' dreams (more fun, apparently, than shuffleboard),
when Freud seemed to show an excess of resistance to Jung's efforts at analysis. Freud finally said that they'd have to stop because he was afraid he would lose his authority! Jung felt rather insulted.
World War I was a painful period of self-examination for Jung. It was, however, also the beginning of one of the most interesting theories of personality the world has ever seen.
After the war, Jung traveled widely, visiting, for example, tribal people in Africa, America, and India. He retired in 1946, and began to retreat from public attention after his wife died in 1955. He died on June 6, 1961, in Zurich.
Jung's theory divides the psyche into three parts. The first is the ego,which Jung identifies with the conscious mind. Closely related is the personal unconscious, which includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be.
The personal unconscious is like most people's understanding of the unconscious in that it includes both memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have been suppressed for some reason. But it does not include the instincts that Freud would
have it include.
But then Jung adds the part of the psyche that makes his theory stand out from all others: the collective unconscious. You could call it your "psychic inheritance." It is the reservoir of our experiences as a species, a kind
of knowledge we are all born with. And yet we can never be directly conscious of it. It influences all of our experiences and behaviors, most especially the emotional ones, but we only know about it indirectly, by looking at those influences.
There are some experiences that show the effects of the collective unconscious more clearly than others: The experiences of love at first sight, of deja vu (the feeling that you've been here before), and the immediate recognition of
certain symbols and the meanings of certain myths, could all be understood as the sudden conjunction of our outer reality and the inner reality of the collective unconscious. Grander examples are the creative experiences shared by artists and musicians
all over the world and in all times, or the spiritual experiences of mystics of all religions, or the parallels in dreams, fantasies, mythologies, fairy tales, and literature.
A nice example that has been greatly discussed recently is the near-death experience. It seems that many people, of many different cultural backgrounds, find that they have very similar recollections when they are brought back from
a close encounter with death. They speak of leaving their bodies, seeing their bodies and the events surrounding them clearly, of being pulled through a long tunnel towards a bright light, of seeing deceased relatives or religious figures waiting for
them, and of their disappointment at having to leave this happy scene to return to their bodies. Perhaps we are all "built" to experience death in this fashion.
The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes. Jung also called them dominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images, and a few other names, but archetypes seems to have won out over these. An archetype is an
unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way.
The archetype has no form of its own, but it acts as an "organizing principle" on the things we see or do. It works the way that instincts work in Freud's theory: At first, the baby just wants something to eat, without knowing
what it wants. It has a rather indefinite yearning which, nevertheless, can be satisfied by some things and not by others. Later, with experience, the child begins to yearn for something more specific when it is hungry -- a bottle, a cookie, a broiled
lobster, a slice of New York style pizza.
The archetype is like a black hole in space: You only know its there by how it draws matter and light to itself.
The mother archetype
The mother archetype is a particularly good example. All of our ancestors had mothers. We have evolved in an environment that included a mother or mother-substitute. We would never have survived without our connection with a nurturing-one
during our times as helpless infants. It stands to reason that we are "built" in a way that reflects that evolutionary environment: We come into this world ready to want mother, to seek her, to recognize her, to deal with her.
So the mother archetype is our built-in ability to recognize a certain relationship, that of "mothering."
Jung says that this is rather abstract, and we are likely to project the archetype out into the world and onto a particular person, usually our own mothers. Even when an archetype doesn't have a particular real person available, we tend to personify the
archetype, that is, turn it into a mythological "story-book" character. This character symbolizes the archetype.
The mother archetype is symbolized by the primordial mother or "earth mother" of mythology, by Eve and Mary in western traditions, and by less personal symbols such as the church, the nation, a forest, or the ocean. According
to Jung, someone whose own mother failed to satisfy the demands of the archetype may well be one that spends his or her life seeking comfort in the church, or in identification with "the motherland," or in meditating upon the figure of Mary,
or in a life at sea.
You must understand that these archetypes are not really biological things, like Freud's instincts. They are more spiritual demands. For example, if you dreamt about long things, Freud might suggest these things represent the phallus
and ultimately sex. But Jung might have a very different interpretation. Even dreaming quite specifically about a penis might not have much to do with some unfulfilled need for sex.
It is curious that in primitive societies, phallic symbols do not usually refer to sex at all. They usually symbolize mana, or spiritual power. These symbols would be displayed on occasions when the spirits are being called upon to
increase the yield of corn, or fish, or to heal someone. The connection between the penis and strength, between semen and seed, between fertilization and fertility are understood by most cultures.
Sex and the life instincts in general are, of course, represented somewhere in Jung's system. They are a part of an archetype called the shadow. It derives from our prehuman, animal past, when our concerns were limited to survival and
reproduction, and when we weren't self-conscious.
It is the "dark side" of the ego, and the evil that we are capable of is often stored there. Actually, the shadow is amoral -- neither good nor bad, just like animals. An animal is capable of tender care for its young and
vicious killing for food, but it doesn't choose to do either. It just does what it does. It is
"innocent." But from our human perspective, the animal world looks rather brutal, inhuman, so the shadow becomes something of a garbage can for the parts of ourselves that we can't quite admit to.
Symbols of the shadow include the snake (as in the garden of Eden), the dragon, monsters, and demons. It often guards the entrance to a cave or a pool of water, which is the collective unconscious. Next time you dream about wrestling
with the devil, it may only be yourself you are wrestling with!
The persona represents your public image. The word is, obviously, related to the word person and personality, and comes from a Latin word for mask. So the persona is the mask you put on before you show yourself to the outside world.
Although it begins as an archetype, by the time we are finished realizing it, it is the part of us most distant from the collective unconscious.
At its best, it is just the "good impression"
we all wish to present as we fill the roles society requires of us. But, of course, it can also be the "false impression" we use to manipulate people's opinions and behaviors. And, at its worst, it can be mistaken, even by ourselves, for our
true nature: Sometimes we believe we really are what we pretend to be!
Anima and animus
A part of our persona is the role of male or female we must play. For most people that role is determined by their physical gender. But Jung, like Freud and Adler and others, felt that we are all really bisexual in nature. When we begin
our lives as fetuses, we have undifferentiated sex organs that only gradually, under the influence of hormones, become male or female. Likewise, when we begin our social lives as infants, we are neither male nor female in the social sense. Almost immediately
-- as soon as those pink or blue booties go on -- we come under the influence of society, which gradually molds us into men and women.
In all societies, the expectations placed on men and women differ, usually based on our different roles in reproduction, but often involving many details that are purely traditional. In our society today, we still have many remnants
of these traditional expectations. Women are still expected to be more nurturant and less aggressive; men are still expected to be strong and to ignore the emotional side of life. But Jung felt these expectations meant that we had developed only half
of our potential.
The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. Together, they are referred to as syzygy. The anima may be personified as
a young girl, very spontaneous and intuitive, or as a witch, or as the earth mother. It is likely to be associated with deep emotionality and the force of life itself. The animus may be personified as a wise old man, a sorcerer, or often a number of males,
and tends to be logical, often rationalistic, even argumentative.
The anima or animus is the archetype through which you communicate with the collective unconscious generally, and it is important to get into touch with it. It is also the archetype that is responsible for much of our love life: We
are, as an ancient Greek myth suggests, always looking for our other half, the half that the Gods took from us, in members of the opposite sex. When we fall in love at first sight, then we have found someone that "fills"
our anima or animus archetype particularly well!
Jung said that there is no fixed number of archetypes which we could simply list and memorize. They overlap and easily melt into each other as needed, and their logic is not the usual kind. But here are some he mentions:
Besides mother, their are other family archetypes. Obviously, there is father, who is often symbolized by a guide or an authority figure. There is also the archetype family, which represents the idea of blood relationship and ties that
run deeper than those based on conscious reasons.
There is also the child, represented in mythology and art by children, infants most especially, as well as other small creatures. The Christ child celebrated at Christmas is a manifestation of the child archetype, and represents the
future, becoming, rebirth, and salvation. Curiously, Christmas falls during the winter solstice, which in northern primitive cultures also represents the future and rebirth. People used to light bonfires and perform ceremonies to encourage the sun's return
to them. The child archetype often blends with other archetypes to form the child-god, or the child-hero.
Many archetypes are story characters. The hero is one of the main ones. He is the mana personality and the defeater of evil dragons. Basically, he represents the ego -- we do tend to identify with the hero of the story -- and is often
engaged in fighting the shadow, in the form of dragons and other monsters. The hero is, however, often dumb as a post. He is, after all, ignorant of the ways of the collective unconscious. Luke Skywalker, in the Star Wars films, is the perfect example
of a hero.
The hero is often out to rescue the maiden. She represents purity, innocence, and, in all likelihood, naivete. In the beginning of the Star Wars story, Princess Leia is the maiden. But, as the story progresses, she becomes the anima,
discovering the powers of the force -- the collective unconscious -- and becoming an equal partner with Luke, who turns out to be her brother.
The hero is guided by the wise old man. He is a form of the animus, and reveals to the hero the nature of the collective unconscious. In Star Wars, he is played by Obi Wan Kenobi and, later, Yoda. Notice that they teach Luke about the
force and, as Luke matures, they die and become a part of him.
You might be curious as to the archetype represented by Darth Vader, the "dark father." He is the shadow and the master of the dark side of the force. He also turns out to be Luke and Leia's father. When he dies, he becomes
one of the wise old men.
There is also an animal archetype, representing humanity's relationships with the animal world. The hero's faithful horse would be an example. Snakes are often symbolic of the animal archetype, and are thought to be particularly wise.
Animals, after all, are more in touch with their natures than we are. Perhaps loyal little robots and reliable old spaceships -- the Falcon-- are also symbols of animal.
And there is the trickster, often represented by a clown or a magician. The trickster's role is to hamper the hero's progress and to generally make trouble. In Norse mythology, many of the gods' adventures originate in some trick or
another played on their majesties by the half-god Loki.
There are other archetypes that are a little more difficult to talk about. One is the original man, represented in western religion by Adam. Another is the God archetype, representing our need to comprehend the universe, to give a meaning
to all that happens, to see it all as having some purpose and direction.
The hermaphrodite, both male and female, represents the union of opposites, an important idea in Jung's theory. In some religious art, Jesus is presented as a rather feminine man. Likewise, in China, the character Kuan Yin began as
a male saint (the bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara), but was portrayed in such a feminine manner that he is more often thought of as the female goddess of compassion!
The most important archetype of all is the self. The self is the ultimate unity of the personality and is symbolized by the circle, the cross, and the mandala figures that Jung was fond of painting. A mandala is a drawing that is used
in meditation because it tends to draw your focus back to the center, and it can be as simple as a geometric figure or as complicated as a stained glass window. The personifications that best represent self are Christ and Buddha, two people who many believe
achieved perfection. But Jung felt that perfection of the personality is only truly achieved in death.
The dynamics of the psyche
So much for the content of the psyche. Now let's turn to the principles of its operation. Jung gives us three principles, beginning with the principle of opposites. Every wish immediately suggests its opposite. If I have a good thought,
for example, I cannot help but have in me somewhere the opposite bad thought. In fact, it is a very basic point: In order to have a concept of good, you must have a concept of bad, just like you can't have up without down or black without white.
This idea came home to me when I was about eleven. I occasionally tried to help poor innocent woodland creatures who had been hurt in some way -- often, I'm afraid, killing them in the process. Once I tried to nurse a baby robin back
to health. But when I picked it up, I was so struck by how light it was that the thought came to me that I could easily crush it in my hand. Mind you, I didn't like the idea, but it was undeniably there.
According to Jung, it is the opposition that creates the power (or libido) of the psyche. It is like the two poles of a battery, or the splitting of an atom. It is the contrast that gives energy, so that a strong contrast gives strong
energy, and a weak contrast gives weak energy.
The second principle is the principle of equivalence. The energy created from the opposition is "given" to both sides equally. So, when I held that baby bird in my hand, there was energy to go ahead and try to help it. But
there is an equal amount of energy to go ahead and crush it. I tried to help the bird, so that energy went into the various behaviors involved in helping it. But what happens to the other energy?
Well, that depends on your attitude towards the wish that you didn't fulfill. If you acknowledge it, face it, keep it available to the conscious mind, then the energy goes towards a general improvement of your psyche. You grow, in other
But if you pretend that you never had that evil wish, if you deny and suppress it, the energy will go towards the development of a complex. A complex is a pattern of suppressed thoughts and feelings that cluster -- constellate -- around
a theme provided by some archetype. If you deny ever having thought about crushing the little bird, you might put that idea into the form offered by the shadow (your "dark side"). Or if a man denies his emotional side, his emotionality might
find its way into the anima archetype. And so on.
Here's where the problem comes: If you pretend all your life that you are only good, that you don't even have the capacity to lie and cheat and steal and kill, then all the times when you do good, that other side of you goes into a
complex around the shadow. That complex will begin to develop a life of its own, and it will haunt you. You might find yourself having nightmares in which you go around stomping on little baby birds!
If it goes on long enough, the complex may take over, may "possess" you, and you might wind up with a multiple personality. In the movie The Three Faces of Eve, Joanne Woodward portrayed a meek, mild woman who eventually discovered
that she went out and partied like crazy on Saturday nights. She didn't smoke, but found cigarettes in her purse, didn't drink, but woke up with hangovers, didn't fool around, but found herself in sexy outfits. Although multiple personality is rare, it
does tend to involve these kinds of black-and-white extremes.
The final principle is the principle of entropy. This is the tendency for oppositions to come together, and so for energy to decrease, over a person's lifetime. Jung borrowed the idea from physics, where entropy refers to the tendency
of all physical systems to "run down," that is, for all energy to become evenly distributed. If you have, for example, a heat source in one corner of the room, the whole room will eventually be heated.
When we are young, the opposites will tend to be extreme, and so we tend to have lots of energy. For example, adolescents tend to exaggerate male-female differences, with boys trying hard to be macho and girls trying equally hard to
be feminine. And so their sexual activity is invested with great amounts of energy! Plus, adolescents often swing from one extreme to another, being wild and crazy one minute and finding religion the next.
As we get older, most of us come to be more comfortable with our different facets. We are a bit less naively idealistic and recognize that we are all mixtures of good and bad. We are less threatened by the opposite sex within us and
become more androgynous. Even physically, in old age, men and women become more alike. This process of rising above our opposites, of seeing both sides of who we are, is called transcendence.
The goal of life is to realize the self. The self is an archetype that represents the transcendence of all opposites, so that every aspect of your personality is expressed equally. You are then neither and both male and female, neither
and both ego and shadow, neither and both good and bad, neither and both conscious and unconscious, neither and both an individual and the whole of creation. And yet, with no oppositions, there is no energy, and you cease to act. Of course, you no longer
need to act.
To keep it from getting too mystical, think of it as a new center, a more balanced position, for your psyche. When you are young, you focus on the ego and worry about the trivialities of the persona. When you are older (assuming you
have been developing as you should), you focus a little deeper, on the self, and become closer to all people, all life, even the universe itself. The self-realized person is actually less selfish.
Personality theorists have argued for many years about whether psychological processes function in terms of mechanism or teleology. Mechanism is the idea that things work in through cause and effect: One thing leads to another which
leads to another, and so on, so that the past determines the present. Teleology is the idea that we are lead on by our ideas about a future state, by things like purposes, meanings, values, and so on. Mechanism is linked with determinism and with the
natural sciences. Teleology is linked with free will and has become rather rare. It is still common among moral, legal, and religious philosophers, and, of course, among personality theorists.
Among the people discussed in this book, Freudians and behaviorists tend to be mechanists, while the neo-Freudians, humanists, and existentialists tend to be teleologists. Jung believes that both play a part. But he adds a third alternative
Synchronicity is the occurrence of two events that are not linked causally, nor linked teleologically, yet are meaningfully related. Once, a client was describing a dream involving a scarab beetle when, at that very instant, a very
similar beetle flew into the window. Often, people dream about something, like the death of a loved one, and find the next morning that their loved one did, in fact, die at about that time. Sometimes people pick up he phone to call a friend, only to find
that their friend is already on the line. Most psychologists would call these things coincidences, or try to show how they are more likely to occur than we think. Jung believed the were indications of how we are connected, with our fellow humans and with
nature in general, through the collective unconscious.
Jung was never clear about his own religious beliefs. But this unusual idea of synchronicity is easily explained by the Hindu view of reality. In the Hindu view, our individual egos are like islands in a sea: We look out at the world
and each other and think we are separate entities. What we don't see is that we are connected to each other by means of the ocean floor beneath the waters.
The outer world is called maya, meaning illusion, and is thought of as God's dream or God's dance. That is, God creates it, but it has no reality of its own. Our individual egos they call jivatman, which means individual souls. But
they, too, are something of an illusion. We are all actually extensions of the one and only Atman, or God, who allows bits of himself to forget his identity, to become apparently separate and independent, to become us. But we never truly are separate.
When we die, we wake up and realize who we were from the beginning: God.
When we dream or meditate, we sink into our personal unconscious, coming closer and closer to our true selves, the collective unconscious. It is in states like this that we are especially open to "communications" from other
egos. Synchronicity makes Jung's theory one of the rare ones that is not only compatible with parapsychological phenomena, but actually tries to explain them!
Introversion and extroversion
Jung developed a personality typology that has become so popular that some people don't realize he did anything else! It begins with the distinction between introversion and extroversion. Introverts are people who prefer their internal
world of thoughts, feelings, fantasies, dreams, and so on, while extroverts prefer the external world of things and people and activities.
The words have become confused with ideas like shyness and sociability, partially because introverts tend to be shy and extroverts tend to be sociable. But Jung intended for them to refer more to whether you ("ego") more often
faced toward the persona and outer reality, or toward the collective unconscious and its archetypes. In that sense, the introvert is somewhat more mature than the extrovert. Our culture, of course, values the extrovert much more. And Jung warned that
we all tend to value our own type most!
We now find the introvert-extravert dimension in several theories, notably Hans Eysenck's, although often hidden under alternative names such as "sociability" and "surgency."
Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we need to deal with the world, inner and outer. And each of us has our preferred ways of dealing with it, ways we are comfortable with and good at. Jung suggests there are four basic ways, or
The first is sensing. Sensing means what it says: getting information by means of the senses. A sensing person is good at looking and listening and generally getting to know the world. Jung called this one of the irrational functions,
meaning that it involved perception rather than judging of information.
The second is thinking. Thinking means evaluating information or ideas rationally, logically. Jung called this a rational function, meaning that it involves decision making or judging, rather than simple intake of information.
The third is intuiting. Intuiting is a kind of perception that works outside of the usual conscious processes. It is irrational or perceptual, like sensing, but comes from the complex integration of large amounts of information, rather
than simple seeing or hearing. Jung said it was like seeing around corners.
The fourth is feeling. Feeling, like thinking, is a matter of evaluating information, this time by weighing one's overall, emotional response. Jung calls it rational, obviously not in the usual sense of the word.
We all have these functions. We just have them in different proportions, you might say. Each of us has a superior function, which we prefer and which is best developed in us, a secondary function, which we are aware of and use in support
of our superior function, a tertiary function, which is only slightly less developed but not terribly conscious, and an inferior function, which is poorly developed and so unconscious that we might deny its existence in ourselves.
Most of us develop only one or two of the functions, but our goal should be to develop all four. Once again, Jung sees the transcendence of opposites as the ideal.
Quite a few people find that Jung has a great deal to say to them. They include writers, artists, musicians, film makers, theologians, clergy of all denominations, students of mythology, and, of course, some psychologists. Anyone interested
in creativity, spirituality, psychic phenomena, the universal, and so on will find in Jung a kindred spirit.
But scientists, including most psychologists, have a lot of trouble with Jung. Not only does he fully support the teleological view (as do most personality theorists), but he goes a step further and talks about the mystical interconnectedness
of synchronicity. Not only does he postulate an unconscious, where things are not easily available to the empirical eye, but he postulates a collective unconscious that never has been and never will be conscious. In fact, Jung takes an approach
that is essentially the reverse of the mainstream's reductionism: Jung begins with the highest levels -- even spiritualism -- and derives the lower levels of psychology and physiology from them.