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Carl Jung Foreword: The Inner World of the Child

Carl Jung Depth Psychology Facebook Group

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Symbolic Life

Frances G. Wickes’ book, which first appeared in America in 1938 is now available in a German translation.

It is the fruit of a long and industrious life, uncommonly rich in experience of people of all classes and ages.

Anyone who wishes to form a picture of the inner life of the psyche and broaden his knowledge of psychic phenomena in general is warmly recommended to read this book.

The author has taken the greatest pains to express the inner experiences of her patients with the help of the viewpoints I have introduced into psychology.

Her collection of case histories is of the greatest value to the skilled psychotherapist and practising psychologist, not to mention the layman, for whom she opens vistas into a world of experience hitherto inaccessible to him.

If, as in this book, fantasy is taken for what it is—a natural expression of life which we can at most seek to understand but cannot correct—it will yield possibilities of psychic development that are of the utmost importance for the cure of psychogenic neurosesand of the milder psychotic disturbances.

Fantasies should not be negatively valued by subjecting them to rationalistic prejudices; they also have a positive aspect as creative compensations of the conscious attitude, which is always in danger of incompleteness and one-sidedness.

Fantasy is a self-justifying biological function, and the question of its practical use arises only when it has to be channeled into so-called concrete reality.

So long as this situation has not arisen, it is completely beside the point to explain fantasy in terms of some preconceived theory and to declare it invalid, or to reduce it to some other biological process.

Fantasy is the natural life of the psyche, which at the same time harbours in itself the irrational creative factor.

The neurotic’s involuntary over- or under-valuation of fantasy is as injurious to the life of the psyche as its rationalistic condemnation or suppression, for fantasy is not a sickness but a natural and vital activity which helps the seeds of psychic development to grow.

Frances Wickes illustrates this in exemplary fashion by describing the typical figures and phases that are encountered in involuntary fantasy processes. ~Carl Jung, CW 18, Pages 517-528