Book Summaries Psychology

Chapter 9: Carl Gustav Jung and Analytical Psychology (The Discovery of the Unconscious)

Carl Gustav Jung, like Adler, broke off his relationship with Freud. But he was also like Freud in that his philosophical ideas are influenced by Romanticism. Jung proclaimed that he discovered an objective truth about human nature that is between science and religion, and this is the most distinguishing feature of his perspective.

His family setting may explain some divergences he eventually had with Freud. While Freud’s mother was beautiful and young, Jung’s mother was more homely. The idea of every boy being secretly in love with his mother and jealous of his father seemed absurd to him. To Jung, it wasn’t that sons were hostile to their fathers, but that they had a deep unconscious bond with their fathers and their fathers’ ancestors.

In his youth, Jung overheard many people discussing Nietzsche. And this would later deeply influence his philosophy.

Jung said that Thus Spoke Zarathustra had a very powerful effect on him, as it did on many young men at the time.

He read extensively in his youth and was very impressed with Schopenhauer, who’s pessimistic philosophy was popular at the time, and took an interest in Goethe’s Faust, which he believed was an enlightening account of the problem of evil.

Between the ages of 15 and 18, he suffered from a religious crisis and had many arguments with his father. He could not believe what he could not explain.

As for his relationship with Freud, the latter wanted his disciples to adopt his ideas without question, something Jung could not accept, given that he rejected the idea of the Oedipus complex and the libido.

They also differed in their ways of retrieving information from the unconscious. Freud used free association, whereas Jung used two techniques: the first was to write down and draw his dreams ever morning, and the second was by telling himself stories and forcing himself to prolong them by writing down everything his imagination could dictate.

This was how the archetypes manifested themselves to him more directly. But while this insight could teach him ideas that he was not aware of, there was a danger of being submerged into the world of archetypes and losing contact with reality. Jung thus had strict rules that he imposed on himself, including fulfilling his family and work obligations.

Jung thought that Nietzsche had similar experiencing when writing Thus Spoke Zarathustra – which contained an eruption of archetypal material. But Nietzsche was without a family and a job, so he was overwhelmed.

One day, while he was writing down the dictates of his unconscious, Jung wondered if what he was doing was scientific. A female voice said, “it is art.” At first Jung denied it, but then he had a conversation with this voice, which he would later call the feminine counterpart to the male personality – the anima.

Jung felt he was slowly emerging from a long night, and the process he was going through led him to discover the most intimate elements of his personality, the self. And this projection from the unconscious to the conscious, and from the ego to the self, was what Jung called individuation.

For six years, Jung experienced what Freud did, a creative illness – a period when both men were strongly preoccupied with the mysteries of the human soul.

The end of a creative illness usually happens rapidly and is followed by a short phase of euphoria, exhilaration, and need for activity. Jung taught that when the individual goes through this, he overcomes extreme introversion and becomes more extroverted. He feels a sense of relief and freedom, he no longer feels the burden of social conventions. A permanent change in the personality occurs.

As for his education, Jung was influenced by the Gnostics, apocryphal gospel and teachings from the east.

The ideas of Jung

Jung could not accept that the libido was merely sexual – it was psychic energy. And the libido appeared in the form of symbols.

In a remark to Freud, Jung wrote, “I do not consider it the business of science to compete for the last word. but rather to work toward the augmentation and deepening of knowledge.”

He rejected the Oedipal Complex because while he accepted that there was a rivalry that existed between child and same sex parent, the mother was a protective and nourishing figure, and not an object of incestuous wishes.

Most accounts of Jung’s psychological types of oversimplified. One should refer to Chapter X of The Psychological Types to understand it well.

Introversion and extroversion are spontaneous or voluntary attitudes – and they exist in individuals in varying degrees. Introverted people are motivated from within (subjective factors) while extroverts are motivated by the outside world (external factors). But the same person may shift from one attitude to another over the course of his life.

People who are extremely introverted or extroverted find it hard to understand an individual from the other type. But introverts and extroverts are complementary to each other, and marriages between them are frequent and happy.

Many people misunderstand archetypes as being results of the individual experience. They are, instead, universal.

The Structure of the Human Psyche

The conscious ego, to Jung, is situated between the exterior world and the interior world. There are many subpersonalities that gravitate around our ego, and their relationships with the ego are constantly changing. These are: the persona, the shadow, the anima or animis, the archetype of the spirit, and the Self.

Toward the exterior, exists a social mask or façade, or what Jung called the persona. The persona is sum total of the conventional attitudes that a person adopts because he belongs to groups, occupation, class, or nation. Some individuals will identify too strongly with these attitudes, and lose touch with their true personality. The most severe manifestations of this appear in racial, social, and national prejudice.

The shadow is the sum of the personal characteristics that the person wants to hide from others and himself. But the more the individual tries to hide it, the more active and evil the shadow becomes.

But the shadow can also be projected unto others – that is, the individual sees his dark features reflected in another person who he chooses as a scapegoat. The idea of the shadow is different from Freud’s concept of the repressed. The shadow is related to unawareness, as opposed to unconsciousness.

Unawareness is when a person cannot see aspects of himself or the world. A man may think of himself as a great husband and caring father but ignores the fact that he is a selfish husband and is hated by his children for being tyrannical.

The persona and shadow are the exterior aspects of an individual, but other subpersonalities are related to the psychic reality of the collective unconscious: these include the archetype of the soul (anima/animus) or the archetype of the spirit (the old wise man, the magna mater, and the most central archetype –  the Self).

The existence in the anima can be seen in the way the man distorts his relationships of the real women of his life: mother, sister, friends, love-objects. The anima can be a source of wisdom or it could lead to deep infatuation that is destructive.

Jung’s idea of the anima is informed by knowledge of narcissistic love – the projection of unconscious self-love on another person.

Nietzsche said of the mother imago which relates to the anima. “Every man keeps in himself an image of the woman deriving from that of his mother, and according tot his image he will be prone ot respect or to despise women.”

Karl Neisser said something similar, “For a man to love a woman she must resemble the women in his ancestry.”

The anima can also be seen as a result of the physiological bisexuality of the human being, because in man exists a feminine component, and in women, a masculine component. Man and woman are attracted to the complementary personality element that they find in each other.

Adler’s idea of masculine protest is considered by Jung as a manifestation of the animus.

The self is the most central of all archetypes. What Jung meant by self is difficult to translate to English. It is the invisible, unconscious, innermost center of personality, and a psychic totality, and results from the unification of the conscious and unconscious. It is not the same as the conscious ego. The self is usually unconscious but manifests itself in projected form or through archetypal figures in dreams.


Jung thought of individuation as the process that normally leads a human being to the unification of his personality. And this process extends over the course of a person’s lifetime.

Jung thought that a person’s life was a series of metamorphoses. A child’s individuality would gradually emerge from his family. In East Africa, the transition from childhood to adulthood was facilitated by initiation rites. The young escaped the dangers of prolonged adolescence that is so frequent in the West. Adulthood brings new concerns related to social responsibilities and problems related to the anima and animus.


One of the main goals of Jung’s psychotherapy is to speed up the process of individuation and re-education. The first step is bringing the patient back to reality, and being aware of the present situation.

Jung tells a story about Tartarin, who believed a joke that was told to him by a blusterer, that the Swiss Alps had tunnels and galleries with employees so that there was no danger in climbing the mountain. Tartarin, the hero, undertook the dangerous climb up the Jungfrau but then was seized with panic when he realized the truth.

Jung thought that many people live a provisional life, some wake up early, some in the middle of their lives, and others very late or even on their deathbed. Sometimes the individual needs to confront a material danger to which he is blind, and more often, must understand the moral implication of what he is doing.

Jung identified two different kinds of patients. One had an infantile hedonism and craved instinctual gratification while others were possessed by the drive to power and superiority. The first group should be treated with Freudian psychoanalytic principles while the second group should be treated along Adlerian principles. It would be a mistake to treat an unsuccessful man with an infantile need for superiority with Freudian methods, and would be egregious to treat a successful man with hedonistic needs with the Adlerian method.

The resort to the unconscious is what is done when all else fails, according to Jung. The first stage is when the patient deals with the persona and the shadow. And when the individual is fully aware of his shadow, he becomes aware of the aspects of his personality that he has refused to see, and then he must assimilate it.

No one can sever himself from the shadow, one must accept it while at the same time making it harmless.

The second stage involves the anima and animus, and this is when dreams of a woman appears in various moods. The subject must realize that in dealing with women, he has always projected his anima upon them. And his task is to bring himself to see the women as they are without the interference of anima projection.  The case is the same for women and their relationship with the animus.

The third stage of therapy includes the archetypes of the old wise man and the magna matter.

The point of Jungian therapy is: become what thou art.

To Jung, many neuroses originate from the evasion of life tasks and from unawareness. The man who does not fulfil his duties as a citizen or the old man who wants to live as a youth. Marriage can be good insofar as neither person projects their anima or animus on each other.


Jung thought that man is naturally religious, and that the religious instinct is as powerful as the instinct of sex or aggression.

He addressed the problem of evil in his book Answer to Job.

In Aion he identifies Christ with the archetype of the Self, and wrote that mankind as a whole is undergoing a process of individuation.

Jung never gave a direct answer when asked if he believed in God. But in one of his last interviews, he said that God was the voice of conscience speaking within us and was the inexplicable events of fate.

He said, “All of what I have learned had led me step by step to an unshakable conviction of the existence of God…. I do not take His existence on belief-! know that He exists.”

Jung’s Influence

One of Jung’s closest desciples was the Swiss economist Eugen Bohler, who related Jungian ideas to the world of business.

He said that economic life was dominated by collective impulses that originated in fantasy and myth. Whereas producing was a rational impulse, consuming was an irrational one. Fantasy is what really underlies economic progress. The modern economy is as much a dream factory as Hollywood. It is to some extent based on real needs, but for the greater part, based on myth and fantasy.

For women, fashion was the “Dionysian release from rationality” and the enhancement of her personality.

Even the Stock Exchange had a mythical function – it is not the brain but the heart of the economy, compensating for the pressures endured by the homo economicus in his relentless pursuit toward organization, order, and thriftiness, and the precision of bookkeeping and computing.

The Stock exchange is at the mercy of collective fantasies, and depression occur when there is a sudden loss of economic myth.

Freudian and Jungian analysis are fundamentally different, and whereas the former can be seen as the sorcerer who reduced man to his devilish instincts, the latter can be visualized as the wizard who was able to sway the moon.

The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic PsychiatryChapter 9: Carl Gustav Jung and Analytical Psychology (The Discovery of the Unconscious) 1

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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