Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology. He proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. The issues that he dealt with arose from his personal experiences. For many years Jung felt as if he had two separate personalities. One introverted while the other was extroverted. This interplay results in his study of integration and wholeness. His work has been influential not only in psychology, but in religion and literature as well.
Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland, the only on of a Protestant clergyman. At the age of four his family moved to Basel. His childhood was a lonely one. Jung observed his parents and teachers and tried to understand their behavior, especially that of his father. The elder Jung had a failing belief in religion. Jung could never understand why. There were numerous relatives on either side of his family that were clergymen. It was expected of Jung to continue in the family tradition.
Jung did not decide to follow, instead choosing to attend the University of Basel from 1895-1900. Before deciding on medicine Jung studied biology, zoology, paleontology, and archaeology. His xplorations did not stop with that, he looked at philosophy, mythology, early Christian literature as well as religion. His interest in religion could be attributed to his heritage and watching the demise of his father. After leaving Basel, Jung became an assistant physician at Burgholzli Psychiatric clinic under Eugen Bleuler. In 1902 he obtained his M. D. rom the University of Zurich.
His dissertation was entitled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So -Called Occult Phenomena”. Through this work one of his basic concepts is outlined, the underlying wholeness of the psyche. Jung’s first research was conducted in 1904. He studied word association in patients. He found groups of repressed psychic content for which he invented the now famous word “complex. ” This study brought him close to the work of Sigmund Freud. Jung’s work confirmed many of Freud’s ideas. Between 1907 and 1912 he and Freud worked very close.
Many believed that Jung would continue Freud’s psychoanalysis, but this did not occur. For temperamental and differences over the significance of sexuality in human life the two split. Jung contested Freud’s analytic principles, which he claimed were one-sided, overly-concrete, and personalistic. When Jung published “Psychology and the Unconscious” which went against some of Freud’s ideas the relationship was finished forever. In 1912 “Symbols and Transformations of the Libido” was published. Jung wanted to understand the symbolic meaning of the contents of the unconscious.
In order to distinguish between individual psychology and psychoanalysis Jung gave his discipline the name “analytical psychology. ” After a break with the start of WWI, Jung wrote the book “Psychological Types”. It set the differences between his position and that of Freud. Jung became more interested in the study f mythological and religious symbolism. His studies took him across the globe observing many different cultures. He was interested in tracing the analogies between the contents of the unconscious in Western man and the myths, cults, and rituals of primitive peoples.
Jungian therapy deals with dreams and fantasies. A discussion is set up between the conscious and the contents of the unconscious. When the therapy works the patient enters an individuation process. This consists of psychological transformations ending in the opposite tendencies working together to achieve personal wholeness. Jung’s total amount of work is ery large. It is estimated at 200 papers. An edition of his Collected Works in English was completed in 1972 by the Bollingen Foundation in New York and Routledge and Kegan Paul in London.
Theory of Symbols Jung believed that symbol creation was a key in understanding human nature. Symbol, as defined by Jung, is the best possible expression for something essentially unknown. He wanted to investigate the symbols that are located in different religious, mythological, and magical systems occur in many cultures and time periods. To account for these similar symbols occurring across different cultures and time eriods he suggested the existence of two layers of the unconscious psyche.
The first of the two layers was the personal unconscious. It contains what the individual has acquired in his or her life, but has been forgotten or repressed. While the collective unconscious is the memory traces common to all humankind. These experiences form archetypes. These are innate predispositions to experience and symbolize certain situations in a distinct way. There are many archetypes such as having parents, finding a mate, having children, and confronting death. Very complex archetypes are found in all mythological and religious systems.
Near the end of his life Jung added that the deepest layers of the unconscious function independently of the laws of space, time and causality. This is what gives rise to paranormal phenomena. The introvert and the extrovert are the main components of personality according to Jung. The introvert is quiet, withdrawn and interested in ideas rather than people. While the extrovert is outgoing and socially oriented. For Jung a person that had a healthy personality can realize these opposite tendencies with in ourselves and can express each. The purpose for dreams is to compensate for any neglected parts of the personality.