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Carl Gustav Jung was born in Switzerland at Kesswil, near Lake Constance, on July 26, 1875, a parson’s son. He died at the age of 85 on June 6, 1961 as one of the great pioneers of depth psychology, in his house in Kusnacht on Lake Zurich, where he had lived and worked for more than 50 years. His external life was relatively uneventful, in contrast to the riches of his inner life, as he stated at the end of his life. It was the inner life—psychic reality—as he called it, which captured his tireless and careful attention, and formed his life and work.
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In 1895, Jung began his medical studies at the University of Basle. The sudden death of his father in 1986 caused some ﬁnancial troubles, and left him to take care of his mother and sister Gertrud, who was nine years younger than him. His poverty contrasted with the continued reputation of both of his late well- known grandfathers, both fathers of 13 children and both professors of Basle University. Carl Gustav Jung senior (1794–1864), a political refugee from Mannheim, Germany, had been a professor of medicine and president of Basle University. Samuel Preiswerk (1799–1871), C. G. Jung’s grandfather on his mother’s side, professor of theology and ancient Hebrew at the university, had served as the president of the reformed ministers in the Basle Canton. After his exams in December 1900 Jung decided to leave Basle and to follow a professional career as a psychiatrist at the psychiatric hospital at Burgholzli in Zurich.
The Burgholzli hospital, a representative building on a hill in the south of the city of Zurich, was aﬃliated with the newly founded University of Zurich. Since 1898, the hospital had been directed by Eugen Bleuler (1857–1936), who followed his teacher Auguste Forel. Forel was the doyen of Swiss psychiatry and had established professional standards not only for his institution but for Swiss psychiatry as a whole. Confronting strong mistrust towards the new institution from the Zurich population, he established control of the medical direction of the administration of the hospital, set legal conditions for the admission, treatment, and release of patients, and last but not least, emphasized, with regard to the discipline of psychiatry, an unbiased empirical approach to mental phenomena, focusing on the neurological, psychological, and social aspects of mental disorders. Most importantly, Forel (a Swiss francophone) introduced hypnosis (as practiced by the French School of Nancy) as a ﬁrst psychotherapeutic treatment for inpatients. In hypnosis he found the proof for the existence of subconscious processes which were equivalent to externally observable neurological phenomena (scientiﬁc monism).
Jung experienced his ﬁrst time at Burgholzli hospital, where he lived as an intern together with about 400 mentally ill patients, about 80 attendants, and only three other medical colleagues (including Bleuler; see Bleuler, Eugen (1857–1939)), as quite a shock: ‘My inability to understand gave me such a sense of inferiority, that I couldn’t bear to go outside the hospital’ (Jung 1989). He read through the available literature and dedicated himself to the study of his cases. Soon he began his dissertation, ‘On the psychology and pathology of so-called occult phenomena’ (1902).
In this ﬁrst scientiﬁc publication Jung studied his spiritualistic experiments with his cousin Helene Preiswerk carried out at the end of his medical studies, and treated her case in the context of other (hysterical) patients of the Burgholzli hospital. In a quite minor context he referred to Freud and Breuer’s Studies on Hysteria and to Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, but mainly he relied on the new studies of Pierre Janet, and Theodore Flournoy. Flournoy, professor of psychology in Geneva, had just published a scientiﬁc best- seller Les Indes a la planete Mars (1900, see Flournoy 1994), a long-term study of a spiritualistic medium. Jung got in touch with Flournoy and showed special appreciation for his ‘objective-distanced’ approach to mental phenomena (which was inﬂuenced by his personal friend William James; see James, William (1842–1910)) and his having arranged the new ﬁndings in a bigger context. Jung’s untroubled friendship with Flournoy outlasted the much more famous, but never as untroubled, friendship with Freud, which began several years later.
In October 1902, Jung quit his strenuous job at Burgholzli for the ﬁrst time. He went to Paris to study at the College de France with Pierre Janet and also learnt English at the Berlitz School. He then married the 21-year-old Emma Rauschenbach (1882–1955), the daughter of a factory owner, and settled in a town residence in Zurich. At the end of the 1903, he returned to Burgholzli hospital, initially as an external representative for absent colleagues. In December 1904, he ﬁnally took over the regular post of resident doctor, and moved into the resident doctor’s family apartment at the hospital. Three of his ﬁve children were born there and grew up together with Bleuler’s family. Bleuler had also recently married the philologist and writer Hedwig Waser, one of the ﬁrst academic women in Switzerland. Both women shared the interests of their husbands and took part in their scientiﬁc discussions.
Bleuler’s psychiatric approach was formed by his previous experience as director of the remote Rheinau asylum, where he had lived as a bachelor in very close contact with more than 500 ‘incurable’ chronically mentally ill patients. Concerning therapy, he emphasized the therapeutic value of the ‘active community’ (tatige Gemeinschaft), in which everyone worked according to their abilities in meaningful activities. For his special scientiﬁc interest—the dynamics of psychotic behavior—he favored a hypothesis of neurological conditions which caused a discontinuity in the forms of association.
It was with some enthusiasm that, in 1904, Jung and Bleuler set up a psychological laboratory for association experiments. These played a prominent part in psychological research at the time, especially in Wundt’s school. Their ﬁndings soon led to passionate debates in the debating club which Bleuler had established with his friend and colleague, the Swiss Russian pioneer neurologist C. V. Monakow. In giving account not only to the regularities of the test person’s responses to the stimulus words, as was usual in the Wundtian approach, but also to the ‘intruders in the mind,’ the irregularities (delays of reaction times, repetitions and other disturbances), Jung and his co-workers (initially Franz Riklin, Sr., Jung’s wife, and several volunteers) identiﬁed the ‘emotional-toned complexes’ (gefuhlsbetonte Komplexe) of the test per- sons as autonomous expressions of their repressed or dissociated unconscious conﬂicts. These results were particularly decisive for Jung. Behind completely ‘mad’ behavior he discovered quite normal hopes and desires. Paranoiac ideas and hallucinations revealed their hidden sense in the context of the patient’s life stories. ‘At the bottom we discover nothing new and unknown in the mentally ill; rather, we encounter the substratum of our own nature,’ he stated. ‘That was at that time a very moving experience’ (Jung and Jaﬀe 1962).
When Jung was preparing a paper for his application as lecturer at Zurich University in 1905, he realized that his ﬁndings threw a new light on Freud’s theory of repression. He decided to stand up for him, despite Freud’s bad reputation in academic psychiatry. In 1906, Jung published a ﬁrst volume of Association Studies, which he sent to Freud in Vienna. In 1907, he published On the Psychology of Dementia Praecox, which included a detailed case study with association experiments of an old female patient of the clinic, who since Forel’s time had served as a demonstration case for students. These two publications inaugurated a remarkably passionate personal relationship with Freud which is documented in hundreds of letters (McGuire 1974). Bleuler shared a special enthusiasm for Freud, although, like Jung, he was always some- what critical of Freud’s recently elaborated sexual theory. In October 1907, Jung—against some initial opposition from Bleuler—founded an informal ‘Freud Club’ at the Burgholzli, which excluded Freud critics. In April 1908, Jung organized a ﬁrst Psychoanalytical Congress. On this occasion a ﬁrst joint publication was founded—the Jahrbuch, edited by Bleuler and Freud, and compiled by C. G. Jung. Thus Jung, with the decisive support of Bleuler, inaugurated the reception of Freudian psychoanalysis in academic psychiatry, and the beginning of the so-called ‘psychoanalytic movement.’
The culmination of—as well as the turning point in—the relationship of Freud and Jung was their joint trip in September 1909 to the 20th Anniversary Conference of Clark University, Worcester, USA. Both had to lecture and were honored with their ﬁrst honorary degrees. Jung had been invited independently, because of traditional connections between the Burgholzli hospital and Clark University through Forel’s relations. In the six weeks together with Freud during the trip to USA, some strange personal behavior and some critical points in mutual dream interpretations inevitably revealed to Jung the limits of a friendly and cooperative relationship with Freud. Nevertheless, he continued to act for Freud as organizer and founder of the International Psycho- analytical Association, a role which he later remarked on as collaboration a toux prix. In 1910, he was elected president of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Shortly after Freud’s provoked break with Alfred Adler in 1912, Freud challenged Jung’s leadership with the organization of a ‘secret committee,’ consisting only of very ‘conﬁdential’ followers— excluding Jung. Jung subsequently resigned as the editor of the Jahrbuch in October 1913, and as president of the International Psychoanalytic Association in April 1914.
In March 1909, some months before his trip to the USA with Freud, Jung quit his job at the Burgholzli clinic and opened a private practice as psychiatrist in Kusnacht, Lake Zurich. In the 1920s and 1930s, his popularity began to grow. In 1933, he accepted the presidency of the German General Medical Society for Psychotherapy and the editorship of the aﬃliated Zentralblatt fur Psychotherapie. He defended this compromising collaboration with German psychotherapists with his aim to reorganize the society as an international institution in order to help some colleagues maintain their functions, and to prevent a general abolition of psychotherapy as a medical discipline in Germany. Indeed, Jung resigned in 1940 when he saw that his endeavors had been in vain.
In 1935, he was appointed professor for psychology at the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich (ETH); from 1944–5 he held a professorship in medical psychology at the University of Basle. In 1948, the Jung Institute in Zurich (later Kusnacht) was established by an international committee of some of his associates as a research and training center for Jungian analysts.
1. Analytical Psychology: Contribution To Science
Immediately after his return from the USA, Jung immersed himself in archeological and mythological literature in order to diﬀerentiate his own view of the unconscious from Freud’s. The result was his major work Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido (1912), later published in English as The Psychology of the Unconscious (1916). In contrast with Freud’s personalistic view of the psyche—i.e., his attempt to reduce the unconscious to a hiding place of the personal, sexual conﬂicts of the dreamer—for Jung, sexuality was not the sole determining factor; rather, the main point was that the unconscious had an autonomous life, which reﬂected not only the personal, but also the common, collective history of the mind. The manifestations of the unconscious stood not only for a causal, reductive purpose, but also had a ﬁnal i.e., forward-looking meaning. Relying on some products of automatic writing (two hymns and the dramatic myth of an IndoAmerican hero) produced by a young American, Miss Frank Miller (ﬁrst published in 1905 by Flournoy), Jung presented his own conception of the libido as a general ‘psychic energy’ with a dual nature, split into positive and negative poles with a steady ﬂux between construction and de(con)struction. He also outlined an ‘anatomy and embryology of mental development,’ which followed common patterns of changing imaginary processes in the history of mankind as well as in the personal history of each individual person. Wavering between an analysis of Miss Miller’s fantasies, some hidden self-analysis, a detailed analysis of religious hero myths of humankind from Mithraism to Christianity, and an analysis of classical and romantic philosophy and literature, he developed his theory of the structure and energetic functioning of the psyche without yet coining a decisive terminology of his own.
In the years between 1912 and 1918, Jung experienced a time of personal insecurity and scientiﬁc isolation. He resigned from his post as lecturer at the university; instead, he dedicated himself to his international practice as a psychotherapist, and concentrated on his private studies and on his confrontation with his own unconscious.
In 1921, Jung published his major book, Psychological Types, in which he linked his historical researches with the ﬁndings of his self-analytical process. He outlined the key concepts which later became characteristic of analytical psychology such as ‘types,’ ‘collective unconscious,’ and ‘individuation process.’
He had become interested in the question of psychological types because of the diﬀerences he perceived between Adler and Freud. With critical reference to historical material, Jung elaborated a model of typology, with eight psychological types—two main attitude types of extroverts and introverts, further subdivided by the predominance of one of four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. While sensation conveys concrete reality through the senses, intuition conveys the hidden possibilities in the background. And while thinking leads to a judgment about the meaning of concrete reality, feeling leads to a judgment of its worth. Normally one attitude or function prevails (superior function) and the opposite (inferior) attitude or function remains undeveloped, more unconscious and undiﬀerentiated. The value of this model lies less in its contribution to diﬀerential psychology than in the theory of knowledge and the theory of the therapeutic process as a quest for wholeness.
From this experience of the relativity of every standpoint with respect to psychic reality, Jung high- lighted the signiﬁcance of the ‘personal equation’ as a prior condition of any psychological statements—i.e., the position that what a psychologist claimed to be true of human psychology as a whole was ﬁrst and foremost a subjective confession. Additionally, he developed a conception of the therapeutic process, which involved not only becoming conscious of repressed contents of the unconscious but also integrating the psyche and developing a much more complete approach to inner and outer realities. This process of individuation involved withdrawing projections which are structured according to certain autonomous images of the unconscious (archetypes); these reﬂect the common history of mankind (archetypes of the collective unconscious) as well as the repressed images of one’s own personal history (personal complexes). Common and ubiquitous archetypes are the shadow, the unconscious negative side of the personality; the hero, the idealized picture of the person; the anima, the animus; and the repressed female male soul picture in men and women. This process provokes an ethical conﬂict in each patient: they have to take responsibility for their mental attitudes, and develop a fuller approach to reality not only in ideas, but also in feelings, sensations, and intuition. As a result, the center of a person moves from the ego (the center of consciousness), towards the self (the center of the whole, individual, conscious and unconscious psyche). As therapeutic methods for this process, Jung developed active imagination (as a method of assimilating unconscious contents by several forms of self-expression) and ampliﬁcation (circumambulation) of the symbols (instead of free association in Freudian analysis).
The foundation of the dynamic concept which became known as analytical psychology and the institutionalization of Jungian analysis were connected with the founding of the Psychological Club in 1916. This was made possible by the generous ﬁnancial gift of Jung’s US patient, Edith Rockefeller McCormick. After Jung’s separation from the Burgholzli clinic and the Freudian circle, the ‘Club’ reestablished an important debating forum in which he could communicate his ideas to interested patients, colleagues, and scientists. Here many of his former patients—among them his life-long special assistant and friend Toni Wolﬀ (1888–1953), his secretary and the compiler of his biography, the psychologist Aniela Jaﬀe (1903–91), and the philologist in ancient languages Marie Louise von Franz (1915– 98)—were encouraged to take up public lecturing. In the ‘Club’ he also met outstanding academics in his main subjects of interest, such as mythology, religious studies, philosophy, psychology, and archeology. ‘Club’ lecturers included Karl Kerenyi (1897–1973), pioneer in Greek mythology, the young Mircea Eliade (1907–86; see Eliade, Mircea (1907–86)), pioneer in the science of religions, and other representatives of diﬀerent Christian, Indian, Jewish, and Eastern religious traditions. Richard Wilhelm (1873–1930), missionary to China and sinologist, had special impact on Jung. Wilhelm shared with him the old mystical Taoist text The Secret of the Golden Flower. It was in this text that Jung ﬁrst discovered the correspondence of his individuation concept with Eastern philosophy and worked out his mandala symbolism for psychic wholeness or the self.
From 1933 on, the ‘Club’ lectures and Jung’s public lectures at ETH were supplemented also by the Eranos Conferences, which took place every summer for a fortnight in Ascona, Lake Maggiore, at the house of Olga Frobe, an enthusiastic admirer of Jung, Richard Wilhelm, and the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber (1878–1965). In the atmosphere of these meetings with contemporary authorities and pupils, Jung ﬁrst presented his view of traditional Christianity and medieval alchemy, and the archetypes of the collective unconscious.
An encounter with death in 1944 marked the beginning of the period of Jung’s ﬁnal elaboration of ideas. His main work on traditional Christianity, Answer to Job (1952) and his major work on alchemy Mysterium Conjunctionis (Mystery of Conjunction) (1955) appeared at this time. The common principles of the reconciliation of the opposites of the dual nature of the psyche, which he had worked out in this major book, led to the ﬁnal formulation of his main pioneering concept, Synchronicity as a Principle of Acausal Relations (1952), which he published in collaboration with Wolfgang Pauli (1900–58), professor of physics at ETH. The idea of an ultimate psychoid archetype represents the connecting principle of psyche and matter, which are two aspects of the same thing and can realize themselves in both dimensions ‘synchronistically.’ The relative autonomy and unpredictability of the synchronistic phenomena correspond with the new ﬁndings of the subatomic and cosmic physics, and hint toward a metaphysical order to which both the psyche of the perceiving person as well as nature itself submit.
2. Contemporary Inﬂuence
In contrast with Freud, who gave the impression that psychoanalysis ‘may be likened to Athena’s springing forth fully armed from the head of Zeus’ (Eissler 1965), Jung always tried to trace back his ideas to older, universal traditions. His pioneering work was the rediscovery of an uninterrupted chain of psychic manifestations and spiritual traditions from gnosticism through alchemy to the present. His early claim for a constructive, forward-looking meaning in unconscious manifestations led to some changes in early psychoanalytic treatment which are now common in psychotherapy: for instance, the symmetrical setting (instead of the patient lying down), focus on present conditions as responsible for the outbreak of neurosis, and focus on transference and counter-transference as the crucial in changing mental attitude. In addition, Jung’s conception of the spiritual nature of psychic life inﬂuenced the later transpersonal and humanistic schools of psychotherapy. His concern with spiritual mystical traditions often led to controversial claims that he himself was a mystic, selling false dreams of spiritual redemption. The alleged evidence of a recent recriminatory voice (Noll 1997) has been traced back to an obviously misidentiﬁed and misinterpreted document and shown to be fallacious (Shamdasani 1998). Jung emphasized that he had no ‘doctrine’ to oﬀer, but rather some methods of looking at facts, phenomena, and natural laws. His approach to these facts is empirical in the sense of a critical reﬂection on the nature of all experience which relates to self-experience and the nature of the perceiving psyche.
This view, which valuates the psyche as ‘the mother of all science and arts,’ reveals its special importance in the approach to religious phenomena. The unconscious psyche with its autonomous operators (collective archetypes) reﬂects the numinous, awful, frightening, and timeless spirit in changing images which correspond to changing religious images from ancient times to the present. In diﬀerentiating between religious images and religion itself, Jung pointed to the inner experiences open to everyone independently of every external belief system.
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