Freud, Jung and the Collective Unconscious

Freud, Jung and the Collective Unconscious By David Elkind                           Oct. 4, 1970

On Nov. 24, 1912, Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, who Freud once hoped would succeed him as the leader of the psychoanalytic movement, met for next to the last time in Munich, Germany. It was ostensibly a business meeting, but all those among the small group of psychiatrists who attended were aware of the imminent break between the Father of Psycho analysis and his chosen heir.

After dinner that evening, the discussion turned to the Egyptian pharaoh Ikhnaton, who had destroyed the poly theistic icons of his father and created a monotheistic religion of his own. One of the group suggested that Ikhnaton’s action was a consequence of his father complex. Jung retorted that Ikhnaton’s monotheism was a creative insight that had nothing to do with antagonism toward his father, whom Ikhnaton respected and admired. As Jung spoke, Freud, who had been listening intently, fainted and slid silently to the floor. Jung, who was 6‐foot‐2 and massively built, picked up Freud, carried him to the lounge and laid him gently on the sofa.

Freud’s faint was not the first in similar circumstances. In 1909, Freud and Jung were journeying to America to lecture at Clark University, in Worcester, Mass. In one of their casual conversations, Jung spoke avidly about the then newly discovered “peat bog” corpses, which were of anthropological significance. Freud fainted while listening to that discussion as well —and, on awakening, accused Jung of harboring death wishes toward him.

Apparently, Freud’s faint in Munich also arose from a suspicion that Jung wished him dead. After the Munich episode, the Freud‐Jung relationship became progressive ly colder and terminated altogether in October, 1913, the date of Jung’s last letter to Freud. Jung went on create his own analytical psychology, which has been the only other depth psychology to rival Freud’s influence and worldwide professional following. In recent years, Jung’s work (he died in 1961) on mythology, religion, alchemy and the occult has captured the imagination of young people, and a more general appreciation of Jung seems to be on the way. This appreciation is likely to be aided and abetted by the availability of the Jung‐Freud correspondence, which is scheduled to be published in 1971 by the Princeton University Press.

Although Jung is only now beginning to acquire the widespread popular recognition accorded Freud, many of his concepts have long since become part of the American idiom. It was Jung who introduced the terms “intro version” and “extraversion,” “complex,” “persona,” “archetype” and “collective unconscious” into psychological discussions. Jung was, in addition, the first of the self realization personality theorists (later exponents of this type of theory — none were ever Jungians — are Carl Rogers and the late Abraham Maslow). Jung also anticipated many of the current avant‐garde therapy techniques, including marathon sessions (he once spent 12 hours with a schizophrenic patient) and the existential type of therapeutic relationship in which patient and therapist meet as equals (Jung occasionally told his patients his dreams if they were pertinent to the other

Carl Gustav Jung: He introduced such now familiar terms as “introversion” and “extraversion,” “complex,” “persona,” “archetype” and “collective unconscious” into psychological discussions. therapy). Finally, Jung’s theories regarding the dynamics of personality give an almost prophetic explanation for many contemporary phenomena from the Women’s Liberation movement to youth’s discovery of Eastern religions and drugs.

Jung was born in 1875 in the village of Kessweil on Lake Con stance in Switzerland. From early childhood, he had a rich and vivid life of dreams, fantasies and visionary experiences. Moreover, he grew up in a small country town and was early exposed to the rich lore of superstition, magic and occult phenomena that is, even today, perpetuated in rural villages only several kilometers removed from modern and scientifically oriented metropolitan centers. Jung’s own propensities and his early experience in the country were the root of his life‐long preoccupation with mythological, occult and para-psychological phenomena. Even as a youth, he revealed a prodigious intellect and a true European sense of scholarship—which led him to acquire and read every possible book on a subject in which he was interested. He grew to be big in size as well as intellect; he admired physical strength and appreciated the brute—as well as the romantic— qualities of nature. He enjoyed practical jokes, though he never let them get out of hand.

In his choice of a profession, Jung followed the tradition of his paternal grandfather, who had been a well known physician in Basel. During his student days at the University of Basel, he pursued an interest in oc cult phenomena and attended weekly seances. At one of these, he witnessed a striking case of personality dissociation. Under a kind of trance, a 15‐year‐old girl took on the voice, mannerisms and sophistication of a grown and worldly woman. When she was in the guise of this mature woman, the girl expressed ideas and phantasies which, as far as Jung could determine, had no basis in her personal experience. The girl made a strong impression on Jung and he used his records of her verbal productions as the material for his doctoral thesis, published in 1902, entitled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So‐Called Occult Phenomena.”

Jung had not thought about going into psychiatry, particularly since it was the one vocation his father, a village pastor, had warned him against. When, however, he heard schizophrenia described as a “dis ease of the mind” he knew at once that he wished to be a “doctor of the soul.” Accordingly, he arranged to go to the Burghölzli clinic, the psychiatric hospital associated with the University of Zurich, to undertake his residency training. The clinic was under the directorship of the psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, famous for his work on the delineation of schizophrenia and his concept of “ambivalence.”

Bleuler was also a teetotaler—and demanded total abstinence among his clinic associates, as well. So Jung, known as “The Barrel” in his stu dent days, submitted to the edict, and gave up alcohol during his seven years at the Burghölzli.

Under the tutelage of Bleuler, Jung undertook studies in word association. The process consisted of presenting the subject with a list of words to each of which he was asked to respond with the first word that came to mind. Other workers had ignored deviant responses (long de lay; failure to answer) as of no value to the experiment. For Jung, however, it was just these unusual responses that were of the most interest. He found that the long delays and blockings were related to what he came to call emotional “complexes.” These “complexes” were emotion‐charged ideas and images that interfered with the associative system. To illustrate—one of Jung’s subjects responded to the wora “propriety” with “intellect” after a reaction time of 4.6 seconds, when his mean reaction time was 1.2 seconds. Analysis of the case revealed the subject’s complex—namely, his belief that masturbation (i.e., an “impropriety”) destroyed the “intellect.” (Jung later used the phrase “association technique,” combined with equipment for measuring heart rate, blood pressure and skin resistance, in the examination of criminal suspects—and was thus the originator of the “lie detector” in

Jung had read Freud (whose “The Interpretation of Dreams” was published in 1900), and believed that his own word ‐ association results gave experimental support to Freud’s notion that unpleasant impulses and ideas were repressed but remained active in their unconscious state. His book on the association studies, published in 1906, acknowledged this support. Saying so took some courage, because Freudian theory, at that time, was abhorred by professionals and laymen alike. Indeed, Jung was warned by several German psychiatrists that support of Freud would certainly end his career.

Upon publication of the word‐association book, Jung sent Freud a copy. Freud had already heard of it and had bought a copy before the volume sent by Jung arrived, but the gift initiated the Jung‐Freud correspondence, which became increasingly cordial and detailed.

JUNG met Freud for the first time in 1907 in Vienna. The two spent more than 12 hours together, en grossed in conversation. Jung was bursting to talk and flooded Freud with ideas and observations. Freud proceeded to organize the material under general headings so that they could conduct their discussion in a more organized and systematic fashion. He not only was taken by Jung’s brilliance and vitality, but was pleased for another reason as well. Until then, with few exceptions, Freud’s adherents had been Jewish, and Freud was afraid that psycho analysis would become a target of anti‐Semitism. With a non‐Jew like Jung as a follower, this likelihood was diminished. The two men ex changed visits over the next few years; Freud grew increasingly enthusiastic about Jung, and made many references to his wish that Jung might succeed him and take over leadership of the psychoanalytic movement. In retrospect, Freud probably overestimated Jung’s commitment to the cause of psychoanalysis and misread his defense of Freudian theories as due to conviction rather than as, what was more likely the case, an expression of Jung’s independence and self definition.

In 1909, Freud was invited by G. Stanley Hall, the American psychologist and educator, to lecture at Clark University and receive an honorary doctorate. Freud asked Sander Ferenczi, a colleague, to accompany him. Jung was invited by Hall as well, and Freud then took the invitation as a greater honor still. The three men traveled to America together. In the course of their trip, Freud and Jung occasionally interpreted each other’s dreams. Jung would tell a dream and Freud would interpret it, and vice versa. At one point, Freud refused to free‐associate to one of his dreams, saying: “I would lose my authority.” It was then, Jung said later, that Freud indeed ceased to have author ity for him.

The two men reacted to their American experiences quite differently. Jung’s letters read like those of a school boy on his first trip abroad —excited, wide‐eyed and ad miring. Not surprisingly, considering his independent, individualist spirit, Jung liked the land of Lincoln. Thoreau and Emerson, and he was much taken with William James, whom he had the occasion to meet. On this first trip, he picked up some American slang, and for the rest of his life Jung took impish delight in using words like “hell” whenever the conversation was in English. Jung returned to America several times before World War I, and again in the nineteen‐twenties to visit the Pueblo Indians, and in the nineteen‐thirties to lecture at Yale and Harvard. Freud did not like America, to which, probably unjustly, he attributed a life‐long intestinal ailment. Part of his dislike may have been due to his difficulty with the language; in he returned.

Despite their differences during the trip, Freud continued to regard Jung as the son who would assume leadership of the psychoanalytic movement. In 1910, Jung be came the first president of the International Psychoanalytical Association, and was also the editor of the first periodical exclusively devoted to psychoanalysis, The Year book for Psychoanalytical and Psycho-pathological Studies. He had left the Burghölzli the previous year and, with the exception of some university teaching, was spending full time in his private practice. He also returned to the lines of research he had begun in his thesis, which had been interrupted by the ultra-scientific atmosphere of the clinic, where his interest in para psychology was regarded with suspicion. Jung’s research into occult phenomena thus led him to give up his position at the Burghölzli, and was soon to be the cause of his break with Freud. This re search was, however, also the foundation upon which he built his own theory of personality.

The incident was reported to Jung, who, it happened, was reading a book by a Ger man philologist, Albrecht Diterich, which dealt with a liturgy derived from a so called magic papyrus in Greek. In the liturgy described in the papyrus, the initiate was asked to look at the sun, where he would see a tube hanging down—swinging to the right to produce the east wind, and then to the left to produce the west wind. The parallel between the vision of the in sane man and the liturgy was striking because there was so little chance that the patient had ever had any acquaintance with the Greek papyrus. During his stay at the Burghölzli, Jung encountered other such parallels between the fantasy productions of the insane and the mythology of ancient times.

When he left the clinic and began treating private patients, he encountered still more phenomena that gave weight to the observations he had made of institutionalized patients. Freud had already described the “transference” phenomenon, the fact that in treatment the patient tends to project his conception of the parent onto the therapist, who thereupon becomes a “father figure” (or “mother figure” if the therapist is a woman). Such transference projections involve attributing traits of the parent to the therapist and also investing the therapist with the same powers over the patient that the parent once held.

Jung encountered just such transference phenomena in his own patients. In addition, however, he also noted that the transference often went beyond making him a parent figure. Some of his patients appeared eventually to endow him with godlike or demonic traits that were not part of their parent conceptions. It seemed to Jung as if the patients were raising the relationship to a higher power— mythologizing it and him. It was observations such as these, together with the mythological elements en countered in children’s dreams and the universality of certain mythological motifs among widely separated and isolated primitive peoples, that led Jung to reconsider Freud’s conception of the unconscious.

In Freud’s theory, the unconscious is constituted mainly of impulses, ideas and wishes that the individual has come to regard as evil and reprehensible as a consequence of his exposure to social and cultural mores and taboos. These materials are repressed but remain active in an unconscious state and are at the root of neuroses as well as of more everyday phenomena such as forgetting and slips of the tongue and pen. Jung observed much evidence for this type of unconscious material but began to believe that there was still another stratum of unconscious elements that could not be traced to the personal experience and repressions of the individual. This deeper Stratum of the unconscious, he began to think, might contain inherited potentialities which derived from the collective experience of the species and could thus ac count for the parallels be tween elements of ancient mythology and the projections of his patients.

Although Jung was coming to these hypotheses while he was at the clinic and during his friendship with Freud, he was reluctant to make his ideas public until he had amassed sufficient evidence to support his case. It was during this period (1907‐09) that he came across some material published by the Genevan psychologist Theodore Flournoy that contained the transcript of the dreams and phantasy productions of an American woman, Miss Miller. In them Jung found numerous parallels with mythological characters, themes and settings. Since he had never seen the patient and so could not be accused of influencing her, he seized up on the material as data upon which to test his own, broad er conception of the unconscious.

Freud was, of course, aware of this work but looked upon it indulgently as the waywardness of a prodigal son who would eventually return. He wrote to Jung on May 12, 1911

Dear Friend,

…I know that your deep est inclinations are impel ling you toward a study of the occult and do not doubt that you will return with a rich cargo. There is no stopping that, and it is always right for a person to follow the bithlings of his own impulses. The reputation you have won with your “Dementia” [Jung’s classic summary and integration of the literature on schizophrenia, published in 1907] will stand against the charge of “mystic” for quite a while. Only don’t stay too long away from us in those lush tropical colonies, it is necessary to gov ern at home. . . . With cordial greetings and the hope that you will write me again after a shorter interval this time.

Your Faithful Freud.

But Jung’s work in those “lush tropical colonies” was taking him even further away from psychoanalysis than Freud suspected. Indeed, Jung knew, as he began to write the results of his researches on the Miller phantasies, that it would cost him his friend ship with Freud. As he was writing the final chapter, en titled “The Sacrifice,” he suffered a severe writing block that lasted for two months. In that chapter, Jung de scribed the Oedipus complex as but one manifestation of the mythological theme of incest and thus robbed it of the central place which it held in Freud’s theory. Jung also challenged Freud’s description of the libido as consisting of sexual energy alone and postulated that the libido had to be thought of as general psychic energy.

The publication of “Psychology of the Unconscious” did indeed alienate Freud. While he was generally open‐minded scientifically, he regarded his sexual theories as the very basis of his system; if anyone differed on that fundamental point, what they were doing could no longer be considered psychoanalysis. After Jung’s book appeared, correspondence between the two men became increasingly more formal (“Dear Friend” turned into “Dear Dr. Jung”) and terminated altogether in 1913, when Jung resigned from the presidency of the International al Psychoanalytical Association and gave up all editorial responsibilities with the year book. A year later, he also re signed his university lecture ship, and thereafter devoted his full time to private practice and research.

Jung’s  book cost him not only Freud’s friendship but that of other co‐workers as well. Jung had made a daring hypothesis which most scientifically trained men at that time could not even entertain. What he was arguing, in effect, was that there are two sources of human experience —not just one. The traditional, philosophical and scientific view is that all our experience originates in the physical world of things out side ourselves (animals, trees, rocks and so on). Nonetheless, we never confront the external world in “the raw,” so to speak, because the mind always imposes an organization prior to experience. When a group of notes is played in sequence, we hear a melody — not just a sequence of sounds. The organizing categories of the conscious mind, within which all experience comes to us, are those of space, time and causality.

But, said Jung, there was another source of human experience in addition to the external world—one that is contained within the human psyche itself. This inner source of experience is the deeper stratum of the unconscious, which Jung called the “collective unconscious.”

Just as the individual never experiences the external world “in the raw,” so does he never experience the internal world of the collective unconscious in its unadulterated form. The organizing structures of this psychic source of experience are “archetypes,” the structures which provide the pat terns for dreams, phantasies and imagination.

Archetypes are most clearly elaborated in myths which, in ancient times, served the same function as the therapist does today — i.e., ,to serve as a screen upon which to project the products of the collective unconscious. The nature of archetypes can, therefore, be gleaned from the basic elements of mythological drama. There are archetypal characters (the hero, the wise old man, etc.), archetypal themes (love, hate, faith), archetypal settings (the cave, the river crossing), archetypal plots (the chase, the battle, the search) and archetypal moods (storm and turbulence, serenity and rest).

Accordingly, we know the external world only as it has been transformed by the organizing categories of space, time and causality, and we know the internal world only as it is presented in the dramatic categories of the archetypes.

It should be said here that Jung regarded the collective unconscious as a purely psychological hypothesis to the effect that all peoples, of whatever race or culture, share, at some psychic level, an archaic heritage of archetypal forms. These collective archetypes, like the materials of the personal unconscious described by Freud, are active and come to the fore in human experience in both direct and indirect ways throughout an individual’s lifetime. In a sense, Jung was saying that our behavior is not a simple matter of reflex es and habits, but rather that each of us lives a myth — a drama, if you will — in which archetypal characters, themes, plots and settings play a considerable role. While Jung believed that such archetypal patterns were inherited, he was also convinced that there were not sufficient data to warrant speculation about the biological nature of this inheritance.* As a consequence of this scientific caution, his statements about the collective unconscious often seemed vague and won him the label of “mystical” — a euphemism for “unscientific and soft‐ headed.”

Jung was, however, any thing but soft‐headed, and he saw the hypothesis of a collective unconscious as opening up a whole new territory for psychological research. The inner world of experience within the psyche was al most totally unexplored country as far as modern Western man was concerned, although it was familiar terrain to primitive man and to the practitioners of such Eastern philosophies as Zen Buddhism and yoga. Jung saw his next task as a dangerous and formidable one, the exploration of the collective unconscious. Such an exploration was essential for the problem that was to preoccupy him for the rest of his life—i.e., the significance of the collective unconscious for the development of the individual and of society.

THE ensuing period in Jung’s life — roughly, the years 1913 to 1917 — he described as his “confrontation with the unconscious.” By variety of techniques, including meditation and painting, Jung opened himself to the materials originating in the collective unconscious. In particular, he found that, to re‐establish the vivid inner life he had experienced as a child, there was nothing for it but to play childish games. On the Zurich lake shore, he began collecting stones and building a miniature village, including a castle, cottages and a church. The building game had the desired effect and released a stream of vivid phantasies.

 

It was a dangerous period, because much of the phantasy material he encountered was the stuff of psychosis and there was always a danger of being trapped by the imagery and of going insane. His family (his wife, Emma, who was also an analyst, and their four daughters and a son) and his practice served as reality counterpoises to his descent into the depths. Jung was sure that the same material was in everyone but that it seemed so fearful most people turned away with fear and trembling. Clearly, Jung was thinking of Faust: “Now let me dare to open wide the gate/Past which men’s steps have ever flinching trod.” As Jung described that self exploration: “Unpopular, ambiguous and dangerous, it is a voyage of discovery to the other pole of the world.”

During this entire period, he made careful transcriptions of his dreams, phantasies and visionary experiences that became the data for much of his later work. The period ended with several spontaneous productions. One of these was the almost automatic setting down of the “Seven Sermons to the Dead,” which was written in the style of the Gnostics (an early Christian heretical sect) and which foreshadowed many of his later ideas about the human personality.

A few excerpts from the “Seven Sermons” may help to convey its flavor:

Yet when night was come the dead again approached with lamentable mien and said: There is yet one matter we forgot to mention. Teach us about man.

Man is a gateway, through which from the outer world of gods, daemons and souls ye pass into the inner world; out of the greater into the smaller world. Small and transitory is man. Already he is behind you, and once again ye find yourselves in endless space, in the small er or innermost infinity. At immeasurable distance standeth one single Star in the zenith.

This is the one god of this one man. This is his world, his pleroma [nothingness and complete ness], his divinity.

Another product of this period was the drawing and painting of “mandalas.” These are symmetrical designs based on the circle and the square. A rose window in a church is a familiar mandala; a human figure drawn so that its arms and legs extend to form the spokes of a wheel is another. The current peace symbol is also a kind of mandala.

The mandala held a clue to the major question that troubled Jung at this time— what is the adaptive significance of the collective un conscious? Is it merely a troublesome carry‐over from primitive times (like our prehistoric emotional tendency toward fight or flight, which is not appropriate for a mechanized world) or does it have some useful purpose for man and for mankind? The mandala seemed to hold the answer.

Jung gradually came to regard the mandala as a symbol of psychic wholeness which man could move toward only after he had mastered both the inner and the outer worlds with which he must, at some point, contend. The goal of life, Jung came to believe, was individuation, the emergence of a unique and integrated self through confrontation and mastery of both the outer world of man and society and the inner world of mythology and fantasy. The mandala — the square within the circle, or the circle within the square—symbolized the psychic wholeness derived from man’s mastery and integration of his inner and outer worlds of experience. Jung drew and painted mandalas at various points in his own life and they seemed to express both how far he had come and how far he had yet to go in the process of individuation.

Still a third result of Jung’s confrontation with the unconscious was his discovery of alchemy. It was a field of interest that was to concern him for the rest of his life.

Jung’s interest in alchemy came about as a result of some historical considerations. It was clear to Jung that Western man, since the beginning of the Christian era, had taken great pains to shield himself from contact with the collective unconscious. At each point in his tory, however, some group within Western culture seemed burdened with maintaining contact with man’s inner world. In the early Christian era, for example, the task was assumed by the Gnostics (much more recently, the Hasidim played a similar role in Judaism).

Jung’s search for the group which had taken over from the Gnostics the task of maintaining contact with the unconscious led him to alchemy. The alchemists, as Goethe so clearly dramatized in the person of Faust, were occupied with far more important issues than the mere transmuting of base metals into gold: They were concerned with the mystery of the human soul. Jung found in the alchemical practices and symbols parallels both with ancient mythology and with contemporary psycho therapy. This lent support to his view that psychotherapy was modern man’s avenue to contact with the collective unconscious, that there was continuity between the Gnostics, the alchemists and the psychotherapists in this respect. Jung’s study of alchemy led to numerous articles and to one book, “Psychology and Alchemy” (1944).

During the period that he was exploring and recording his collective unconscious materials, Jung was doing other research as well. One of the problems he sought to explore was the difference in viewpoints between Freud and Alfred Adler, the Viennese doctor who broke with the master and made the “inferiority complex” and the “will to power” central to man’s motivation.

It seemed to Jung that the difference had somewhat to do with their respective positions in life, that a man’s psychology reflected his personal situation. Freud, an established and successful physician, had power — so he could concern himself with pleasure, and make this the central motivational issue in life. Adler, in contrast, was just starting out in a new and then‐unaccepted field and lacked power—so he raised this factor to the level of a universal and made it the central motive force in human affairs.

The study of this difference between Adler and Freud, together with his own clinical experience and his vast reading—particularly of Nietzsche — led to Jung’s famous delineation of introversion and extraversion, which he described in the book “Psycho logical Types,” published in 1921. Jung had already used the term “introversion” in a 1913 lecture, and Freud had adopted it in his descriptions of neurosis to indicate a morbid turning inward and away from social reality. The popular conception of introversion and extraversion stems from this early usage and assumes that the introvert—the quiet introspective person is somehow less psychologically healthy than the outgoing, hail‐fellow‐well‐met extravert. This is something of a distortion of Jung’s view.

For Jung, introversion and extraversion were conscious attitudes toward social and physical reality. In some respects, they are close to the outlooks of David Riesman’s inner‐ and other‐directed individuals, in the sense that the extravert tends to be guided by directions and suggestions from without while the introvert tends to be guided by his personal predilections. Introversion and extraversion are, moreover, not absolutes but relative, and most individuals combine both introversion and extra version.

As often happens with typologies, however, Jung’s conceptions of introversion and extraversion, as enunciated in 1913, could be taken as absolutes and Jung felt called upon to differentiate the types further in order to avoid misunderstanding. Some 10 years later, in “Psychological Types,” he indicated that introversion and extraversion were attitudes taken by the four basic functions of the psyche — thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. What Jung argued now was that the types referred to an introverted or extroverted emphasis in one or the other of the basic functions. This made possible eight different types, rather than two.

To illustrate this expanded typology, one might roughly characterize the engineer as an extraverted thinking type (applies thinking to practical matters), whereas the theoretical physicist would be an introverted thinking type (ap plies thinking to conceptual or ideational matters). Like wise, an actor might be regarded as an extraverted feeling type, whereas a writer or artist might be an introverted feeling type. Both types develop feeling more than rea son, but the actor empathizes with the feelings of another person (the character to be portrayed), while the writer and the artist empathize with characters or artistic productions of their own creation.

Turning to other possibilities, an example of the extraverted sensation type would be the “sensuous” per son who is extremely responsive to externally aroused experiences of touch, taste and smell. The hypochondriacal person, beset with a medley of bodily complaints, provides an illustration of the introverted sensation type who is extremely responsive to aches and pains arising within him self.

The intuitive types are quite different and tend to be more rare. Intuition, in Jung’s sense, has to do with “seeing around corners,” with knowing things without knowing how one knows, with hunches and guesses as to what is going to happen next. An inventor, for example, is often an intuitive extravert trying to devise an apparatus to fill a need that most people are not even aware exists. The introverted intuitive, on the other hand, has consider able self‐knowledge which he seeks to further—while feeling compelled to put himself at the service of mankind. Such men as Marcus Aurelius, Gandhi, and Dag Hammarskjöld would fit within the intuitive introvert category.

 

ANOTHER aspect of Jung’s typology that should be mentioned involves his theory of opposites and compensation. Jung regarded thinking and feeling as rational functions, and sensation and intuition as irrational functions. The paired functions are some what in opposition to one another, and development or differentiation of one is al ways at the expense of the other. The more highly differentiated a man’s thinking, for example, the more child like will be his feelings. A stereotype is the abstracted professor who_ is so childlike that his wife, children and students all must take a protective attitude toward him. Contrariwise, gifted actors, actresses or writers who have developed their feeling function to an extraordinary ex tent are often quite childlike in their thinking and can be temperamental and superstitious in the extreme.

 

The same polarity holds true for intuition and sensation. The intuitive person who is always looking at the whole picture and into the future is often unattuned to the immediate reality around him. It is the intuitive inventor, who has his thoughts fixed on the big problem, who does not notice what color socks he has on. Intuition is developed in such men at the expense of sensation, response to the details of im mediate reality. In contrast, the person whose sensation function is highly developed suffers a corresponding poor ness of intuition, what might be called a lack of imagination. The person in whom sensation dominates is happy with things as they are and as they have been. He wants stability and change is seen as a threat. An extreme case is the housewife who gets up set if a doily is a millimeter out of place.

 

Jung used this typology diagnostically and as a guide to therapeutic tactics. In his view, many neuroses, particularly in people during the second half of life, derive from an exaggerated use of one or another function to the exclusion of the others. An extraverted thinking type, such as a businessman or an engineer, may enter the second half of life having attained all of his rational goals, including financial success and recognition. Nonetheless, these successes and his work no longer bring him the plea sure they once did, and he be gins to feel moody and de pressed. In such cases, Jung feels that previous goals have lost their capacity to mobilize psychic energy and what the individual needs to do is realize some other side to his personality, particularly the feeling side. Such a person, to illustrate, might now find fulfillment in acting (feeling extraversion) or in writing or painting (feeling introversion). Jungian therapy thus tries to help the individual to realize potentialities that have lain dormant while other facets of the personality have been in the foreground.

 

IN such cases, the problem for treatment becomes one of helping the individual to find the unexplored resources and potentials within himself. After years of self‐analysis and after analyzing hundreds of patients, many of whom were gifted, brilliant and internationally known, Jung observed that the process of finding the hidden aspects of the self, which he came to call “individuation,” occurred in several stages and involved successive encounters with the many structures of the human personality.

 

The first structure the individual encounters in the quest of individuation Jung called the persona. An individual’s persona includes the sum total of his social roles —the masks he wears in his interpersonal relations as son, husband, father, employee, employer, friend, etc. In general, men tend to be more identified with their persona than are women. The physician, for example, who gets upset when he is not called “Doctor” is somewhat over identified with his persona. Likewise, the aging actress who refuses to accept matronly roles is over‐identified with her sex‐goddess persona. The first stage of individuation, then, is to begin to differentiate and separate the self from the social mask which is the persona.

 

The next phase in the process of individuation involves confrontation with the shadow. In general, the shadow has to do with those parts of ourselves that we dislike and are reluctant to acknowledge. We like to think of ourselves as honest, straightforward, generous, “only too willing” —when, in fact, we are not really, or at least not always, these things. What happens is that we project the shadow upon others. For example, we often get most angry at our children when they display our own faults. In coming to grips with the shadow, the individual must discover the relativity of good and evil and come to accept the shadow as part of himself and as having some value. This does not mean that the individual condones “evil” within himself, or that he gives up his values as to right and wrong. It means only that he recognizes the “evil” within him so that he can better control and regulate it.

 

In some individuals, the shadow does not stay in the background but intrudes into his thoughts and behavior. Each culture has its caricature of this type of person. In America, he is sometimes described by the phrase: “He’s a menace.” “The men ace” is the fellow who tries to enter a room quietly but proceeds to knock over a vase, catch his foot on the dogs leash and bring the top of the piano crashing down. He is the fellow who always wants to help—and always succeeds in producing a worse mess than when he offered his services. In such a person, the shadow elements — the wish to be the center of attention, to sabotage and destroy—are presented side‐by side with protestations of modesty, goodwill and the de sire to be helpful.

Following the confrontation with the shadow, the individual is ready to come to grips with the anima (in the case of a man, or the animus in the case of a woman). In Jung’s view, the man has some archetypal conceptions of the female which he pro jects outward and that deter mine his relations to women. Among the most frequently projected archetypal anima figures are “mother,” “whore,” “high priestess” and “inspiring woman.” As the man becomes aware of his archetypal projections on to women, these projections gradually lose their power and he comes to see women more realistically as individuals. He is then able to form a more understanding and com passionate relationship with women.

In women, parallel masculine archetypes can be found Again, these figures are projected onto other persons and women at different points in their lives will be attracted to “paternal” men, to men of action, to religious or priestly men. The last case, when the figure of priest or sorcerer is projected upon a real man, can lead to the woman’s enslavement — perhaps explaining the emotional power that a pimp holds over his prostitutes.

Again, to the extent that a woman becomes aware of the masculine archetypes which govern her relations with men, to that extent is she freed from her enslavement by projections — and to that extent are her relationships with men founded on a more realistic and sympathetic basis.

ONCE the individual has dealt with the persona, the shadow and the anima and animus, he has moved far along the road to individuation and to the realization of the self which, for Jung, is the integrating force between our archaic heritage and our personal history. The self integrates all that is acquired with all that is innate in us.

The process of integration is, however, never‐ending and continues so long as we live. There are always new discoveries to make about our selves if we are willing to look inward. No person ever fully realizes all sides of him self and all of his potential because no person is perfect. We can only strive for personal wholeness and completeness and that, in Jung’s psychology, is what life is all about.

It should be said that Jung himself was quite eclectic in his treatment and did not insist upon self‐realization as the goal for all of his patients. He used Freudian and Adlerian procedures and concepts if he thought they were appropriate. He disliked doctrinaire, preconceived approaches. “Each patient” he wrote, “is a new problem for the doctor and he will be cured of his neurosis only if you help him to find his individual way to the solution of his problems.”

An example of Jung’s highly individualized treatment is the case of a woman who was in the habit of slapping her employees and her doctors. She was a big woman, 6 feet tall, and her slaps hurt. She went to Jung, and in the course of their discussion he said something that aroused her anger. As Jung described it

“Furious, she sprang to her feet and threatened to slap me. I too jumped up and said to her, ‘Very well, you are the lady. You hit first—ladies first! But then I hit back.’”

The woman crumpled into her chair and from that moment on the therapy began to succeed.

Jung’s followers have tried to maintain his open‐minded approach to psychotherapy. In their training institutes, Jungian therapists expose their students to the whole range of depth psychologies and to the whole gamut of psychotherapeutic procedures. Likewise, in their practice, Jungian therapists employ whatever methods and techniques seem appropriate to the patients’ problems. What distinguishes Jungian therapists from all others is that they are uniquely informed regarding the archetypes of the collective unconscious and are prepared to deal with these archetypes if and when they appear in the patients’ dreams and artistic productions.

after Jung had worked out some of the implications of the collective unconscious for individual patients, he turned increasingly to problems of society. While he recognized that there are fundamental differences be tween a group of people and an individual, he also recognized certain parallels. In some of his later books, including “The Undiscovered Self,” “Flying Saucers” and “Answer to Job,” he turned his attention to some of the major problems confronting modern man. In these books, as in all his writings, the prose is often dense and obscure, but there are also many clear and insightful passages that enrich literature as well as psychology.

While it is really not possible to summarize these books here, a few dominant themes can be noted. Jung argued that a culture, no less than an individual, can exaggerate a particular attitude or function—with the inevitable compensatory reaction of the opposing function. Thus, in Western society, the deification of reason, of industrialization and technology together with the intellectualization of religion, has progressively alienated modern man from his inner world and from his feeling function. Jung believed that the rapid growth of contemporary interest in the “I Ching” (to which he wrote a famous introduction), in spiritualism, in astrology, in psychology and in Eastern religions is a natural reaction to Western man’s exaggerated extraverted thinking function. Cultures, no less than individuals, can lack wholeness and completeness.

In the realm of religion Jung introduced still other themes. His view was, in the words of a leading Jungian analyst, Dr. Edward F. Edinger, “that man is naturally religious in the sense that he has an inborn urge to realize and to relate at a transpersonal level of being.” But to relate at the transpersonal level, man needs what Jung called “living symbols”—representations which retain some indefiniteness of meaning and mystery. Living symbols give man’s religious archetypes a medium of expression and realization. Such symbols were once provided by the church, but modern religion — particularly Protestantism—has given up most of its symbols. Those which do exist are to a large extent “dead,” in that they have be come so intellectualized that they have lost the uncertainty and mystery that made them such a welcome host to archetypal projections. Jung warns that God is an archetype which will be projected into something — and that where religion fails, the demagogue

Jung’s conception of opposites, compensation and symbolism helps to explain some other contemporary phenomena. The sexual and maternal sides of women’s functions have been so exploited and exaggerated that their symbols have lost their meaning. What women are looking for today, in Jung’s terms, would be new symbols to express the creative and intellectual components of their personalities. Likewise, today’s youths are generally disdainful of the dead symbols of institutional religion, but are intensely interested in spiritual matters, in finding new ways to explore inner experience and in finding new symbols to guide their explorations — hence their interest in Eastern religions, whose symbols seem to be alive in the sense that they retain an air of mystery.

In many domains, therefore, Jung offered prophetic in sights about modern man which are only now coming to be widely appreciated. Nonetheless, he and his work have been criticized from many different points of view. The personal animosities dating from his break with Freud still shoulder and cause some what over determined Freudians. Even objective scholars, including Jung’s own followers, acknowledge the obscurity of some of his writing, the contradictions in his pronouncements and the lack of systematization in his ideas. Some critics find his prophetic interpretation of dreams and symbols a kind of mysticism, and dismiss him as a man who did some good scientific work while young, but who became progressively more diffuse and less scientific as the years rolled on. Finally, the stigma of anti Semitism lingers on.

In 1933, Jung accepted an invitation to become president of the International General Medical Society for Psycho therapy and editor of its journal, after the Jewish psychiatrists who had filled these positions resigned their posts. Jung at that time also made some statements about differences between Germanic and Jewish psychology which, while they were not anti‐Semitic in themselves, were easily transformed into malicious propaganda by the Nazis. At the same time, how ever, he made the association truly international and made its membership open to all, including Jews. Indeed, one interpretation of his actions was that he accepted the presidency and editorship to save the association and to protect its members by giving it the sanctity of “Aryan” leadership.

From this point in history,, Jung’s behavior seems best regarded as an act of political naiveté, engendered, in part, perhaps, by some initial enthusiasm, as a German‐speaking Swiss, for National Socialism and the restorative effect it seemed to be having on a dead Germany. This enthusiasm soon died, and his genuine concern for the fate of the society’s members in Jung continue his association as long as he did (three years). Thereafter, Jung openly condemned the Nazis in his lectures and in print. The matter did not die, how ever, and there were, over the years, repeated discussions in the popular press and in scientific journals which enlarged Jung’s alleged anti Semitism far out of proportion to his actions and to the significance and importance of his scientific contributions.

Although the charge of anti‐Semitism — and of being a mystic—alienated many professionals and kept them from taking Jung’s work seriously, this was not universally the case. Men like Arnold Toynbee, Paul Tillich and J. B. Priestley were his supporters and regarded Jung as having made a large and significant contribution to the under standing of modem man and his present condition. Jung’s patients and students, more over, uniformly credit him with having had a profound influence upon their lives, which became fuller and rich er for having been associated with him.

There is, in addition, evidence of steadily increasing interest in Jung’s analytical psychology by both professionals and laymen alike. The sales of his collected works, first published by the Bollingen Foundation, have been growing steadily, as have the sales of the Modern Library’s “The Basic Writings of C. G. Jung” and the Anchor anthology entitled “Psyche and Symbol.”

The number of Jungian analysts is also increasing, and there are now clusters of Jungian therapists in New York, Chicago, Texas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The International Association for Analytical Psychology, founded a little more than a decade ago, already has affiliated societies in America, England, Switzerland, France,. Italy and Israel. There is every indication that this growth of interest will continue as Jung’s works become more generally known and as the significance of his monumental contribution becomes more widely appreciated.

Toward the end of his life, when Jung gave up his practice, he spent much time at The Tower, a circular stone house that he built on the lake of Zurich, near the village of Bollingen. At The Tower, Jung read, meditated, sculptured, sailed and practiced an extraordinary culinary skill. Writing was some thing of a chore for him (though his output was tremendous—his collected works, published by Princeton, will run to 20 volumes, besides correspondence, seminars and letters) and he was always relieved when a piece was finished and he could go back to his reading. His autobiography, “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” written in collaboration with Aniela Jaffé and published posthumously, has been compared with Goethe’s “Dichtung and Warhead.” At his home near Zurich, in Kushnacht (where Freud had visited him in the years of their friendship), he kept the enormous library he had collected over the years and in which he delighted. Despite failing health, he conducted a prolific correspondence even in his last years. Jung died at Kusnacht in June, 1961.

Jung always maintained that his psychology was a personal confession of value only to him and to those of similar inclinations, and he expressed this confession most simply as follows:

“Fulfill something you are able to fulfill, rather than run after what you will never achieve. Nobody is perfect. Remember the saying ‘None is good but God alone.’ And nobody can be. It is an illusion. We can modestly strive to fulfill ourselves and to be as complete human beings as possible, and that will give us trouble enough.”

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