Jung Relating to Freud, Adler, and Rank
Dr. Evans: Dr. Jung, many of us who have read a great deal of your work are aware of the fact that in your early work you were in association with Dr. Sigmund Freud, and I know it would be of great interest to many of us to hear how you happened to hear of Dr. Freud and how you happened to become involved with some of his work and ideas.
Dr. Jung: Well, as a matter of fact, it was the year 1900, in December, soon after Freud’s book about dream interpretation had come out, that I was asked by my chief, Professor Bleuler, to give a review of the book.
I studied the book very attentively, and I did not understand many things in it, which were not clear to me at all; but from other parts I got the impression that this man really knew what he was talking about.
I thought “this is certainly a masterpiece—full of future.”
I had no ideas then of my own; I was just beginning.
It was just when I began my career as assistant in the psychiatric clinic.
And then I began with experimental psychology or psychopathology.
I applied the experimental association methods of Wundt, the same that had been applied in the psychiatric clinic in Munich, and I studied the results and had the idea that one should go once more over it.
So I made use of the association tests, and I found out that the important thing in them has been missed, because it is not interesting to see that there is a reaction—a certain reaction—to a stimulus word.
That is more or less uninteresting.
But the interesting thing is why people could not react to certain stimulus words, or only react in an entirely inadequate way.
Then I began to study these places in the experiment where the attention, or the capability of this person apparently began to waver or to
disappear, and I soon found out that it was a matter of intimate personal affairs people were thinking of, or which were in them, even if they momentarily did not think of them when they were unconscious with other words; that the inhibition came from the unconscious and hindered the expression in speech.
Then, in examining all these cases as carefully as possible, I saw that it was a matter of what Freud called repressions
.I also saw what he meant by symbolization.
Dr. Evans: In other words, from your word association studies, some of the things in The Interpretation of Dreams began to fall into
Dr. Jung: Yes! And then I wrote a book about psychology of dementia praecox, as it was called then— now it is schizophrenia—and I sent the book to Freud, writing to him about my association experiments and how they confirmed his theory thus far.
That is how my friendship with Freud began.
Dr. Evans: There were other individuals who also became interested in Dr. Freud’s work, and one of them was Dr. Alfred Adler.As you
remember Dr. Adler, what in your estimation led him to become interested in Dr. Freud’s work?
Dr. Jung: He belonged; he was one of the young doctors that belonged to his surroundings there.
There were about twenty young doctors who followed Freud there, who were—who had a sort of little society.
Adler was one who happened to be there, and he learned— he studied Freud’s psychology in that circle.
Dr. Evans: Another individual, of course, who joined this group was Otto Rank, and he, unlike yourself, Dr. Adler, and Dr. Freud was not a
physician; did not have the Doctor of Medicine degree. Was this regarded by your group at the time as something unusual, to have someone become interested in these ideas who was not by training a physician?
Dr. Jung: Oh no! I have met many people who represented different faculties who were interested in psychology.
All people who had to do with human beings were naturally interested; theologians, lawyers, pedagogues; they all had to do with the human mind and these people were naturally interested.
Dr. Evans: Then your group, including Freud, did not feel that this was exclusively an area of interest for the physician? This was something
that might appeal to many?
Dr. Jung: Oh my, yes! Mind you, every patient you have gets interested in psychology.
Nearly everyone thinks he is meant to be an analyst, inevitably.
Jung’s Appraisal of Freudian Psychosexual Development
Dr. Evans: One of the very fundamental ideas of the original psychoanalytic theory was Freud’s conception of the libido as a sort of broad,
psychic sexual energy. Of course, we all know that you began to feel that Dr. Freud might have laid, perhaps, a little too much stress on
sexuality in his theories. When did you first begin feeling this?
Dr. Jung: In the beginning, I had naturally certain prejudices against this conception, and after a while, I overcame them.
I could do that from the weight of my biological training. I could not deny the impulses of the sexual instinct, you know.
Later on, however, I saw that it was really one-sided because, you see, man is not only governed by the sex instinct; there are other instincts as well.
For instance, in biology you see that the nutritional instinct is just as important as the sex instinct.
Although in primitive societies sexuality plays a role, food does much more. Food is the all-important interest and desire. Sex—that is something they can have everywhere —they are not tried.
But food is difficult to obtain, you see, and so it is the main interest.
Then in other societies—I mean civilized societies— the power drive plays a much greater role than sex. For instance, there are many big
business men who are impotent because their full energy is going into money making or dictating the roles to everybody ‐ else.
That is much more interesting to them than the affairs of women.
Dr. Evans: So in a sense, as you began to look over Dr. Freud’s emphasis on sexual drive, you began to think in terms of other cultures, and
it seemed to you that this emphasis was not of sufficient universality to be assessed primary importance.
Dr. Jung: Well, you know, I couldn’t help seeing it, because I had studied Nietzsche. I knew the work of Nietzsche very well.
He had been a professor at Basel University, and the air was full of talk about Nietzsche; so naturally I had studied his works.
And from this I saw an entirely different psychology, which was also psychology—a perfectly competent psychology, but built upon the power drive.
Dr. Evans: Do you think it possible that Dr. Freud was either ignoring Nietzsche, or had perhaps not wanted to be influenced by Nietzsche?
Dr. Jung: You mean his personal motivation?
Dr. Evans: Yes.
Dr. Jung: Of course it was a personal prejudice
.It happened to be his main point, you know, that certain people are chiefly looking for this side, and other people are looking for another side.
So, you see, the inferior Dr. Adler, the younger and weaker, naturally had a power complex.
He wanted to be the successful man. Freud was a successful man; he was on top, and so he was interested only in pleasure and the
pleasure principle, and Adler was interested in the power drive.
Dr. Evans: You feel that it was a sort of function of Dr. Freud’s own personality?
Dr. Jung: Yes, it is quite natural; it is one of two ways how to deal with reality.
Either you make reality an object of pleasure, if you are powerful enough already; or you make it an object of your desire to grab or to possess.
Dr. Evans: Some observers have speculated that the patients whom Dr. Freud saw in the Vienna of this period were so often sexually
repressed that they may have been representative of a cultural type; or, in other words, since these patients were a part of a Viennese
society, believed to have been a rather “repressed” society, Freud’s patients, perhaps, demonstrated an undue tendency to react to sexual
frustration, reinforcing his ideas of a sexual libido.
Dr. Jung: Well, it is certainly so that at the end of the Victorian age there was a reaction going over the whole world against the sex taboos,
.One didn’t properly understand any more why or why not; and Freud belongs in that time, a sort of liberation of the mind of such
Dr. Evans: There was a reaction, then, against the sort of tight, inhibited culture he was living in.
Dr. Jung: Yes, Freud, in that way—on that side, really belonged to the category of a Nietzschean mind.
Nietzsche had liberated Europe from a great deal of such prejudices, but only concerning the power drive and our illusions as to motivations of our morality.
It was a time critical of morality.
Dr. Evans: So Dr. Freud, in a sense, was taking it from another direction—
Dr. Jung: Yes.And then, moreover, sex being the main instinct and the dominating instinct in a more or less safe society, when the social
conditions are more or less safe, sexuality is apt to predominate because people are taken care of.
They have their positions.
enough food. When there is no question of hunting or seeking food, or something like that, then it is quite probable that patients you meet have more or less all some sexual complex.
Dr. Evans: So the sex drive is potentially the drive in that particular society most likely to be inhibited?
Dr. Jung: Yes. It is a sort of finesse, almost, when you find out that somebody has a power-drive and their sex only serves the purpose of
For instance, a charming man whom all women think is the real hero of all hearts; he is a power-fable, like a Don Juan, you know.
The woman is not his problem; his problem is how to dominate. So in the second place after sex comes the power drive, and even that is not the end.
Dr. Evans: To proceed further, in the orthodox psychoanalytic view, as you well know, there is much attention paid to what Freud called
psychosexual development, in that the individual encounters a series of problems in sequence which he must resolve in order to progressively mature. It appears that one of the earliest problems the individual seems to have centers around, you might say, primitive oral satisfactions; or oral zone experiences, including weaning, represent some of the first frustrations for the infant.
Dr. Jung: I think, you see, that when Freud says that one of the first interests, and the foremost interest is to feed, he doesn’t need such a
peculiar kind of terminology like “oral zone.” Of course, they put it into the mouth—
Dr. Evans: Then you look at Freud’s oral level of development in a less complicated sense without a sexual connotation?
Dr. Jung: Science consists to a great extent of meal talk.
Dr. Evans: In summary then, Dr. Jung, with reference to the oral level of development, you prefer to look at it rather literally, as a sort of
hunger drive or drive for nutrition. Another rather fundamental point in the development of the ego in the orthodox psychoanalytic view is that the oral level is followed by another critical level, an anal level of development. At this level another crucial, early frustration arises; that is, frustration centering around the problem of toilet-training. In Ego development and later character formation, Freud saw poor resolution of such problems as being rather serious.
Dr. Jung: Well, one can use such terminology because it is a fact that children are exceedingly interested in all orifices of the body and in
doing all sorts of disgusting things, and sometimes such a peculiarity keeps on into later life
.It is quite astonishing what you can hear in this respect.
Now it is equally true that people who have such prevalences also develop a peculiar character.
In early childhood a character is already there. You see, a child is not born tabula rasa as one assumes.
The child is born as a high complexity, with existing determinants that never waver through the whole life, and that give the child his character.
Already, in earliest childhood, a mother recognizes the individuality of her child; and so, if you observe carefully, you see a tremendous difference, even in very small children.
These peculiarities express themselves in every way.
First, the peculiarities express themselves in all childish activities—in the way he plays, in the things he is interested in.
There are children who are tremendously interested in all moving things, in the movement chiefly, and in all things they see that affect the body.
So they are interested in what the eyes do, what the ears do, how far you can bore into the nose with your finger, you know.
They will do the same to the anus; they will do whatever they please with their genitals.
For instance, when I was in school, we once stole the class book where all the punishments were noted, and there our professor of religion had noted, “So-and-so punished with two hours because he was toying with his genitals during the religious hour.”
These interests express themselves in a typically childish way in children. Later on they express themselves in other peculiarities which are
still the same, but it doesn’t come from the fact that they once had done such and such a thing in childhood.
It is the character that is doing it.
There is a definite complexity, and if you want to know something about possible reasons, you must go to the parents.
In any case of a child’s neurosis, I go back to the parents and see what is going on there, because children have no psychology of their own, literally taken.
They are so much in the mental atmosphere of the parents, so much a participation mystique with the parents.
imbued by the maternal or paternal atmosphere, and they express these influences in their childish way.
For instance, take an illegitimate child.
They are particularly exposed to environmental difficulties such as the misfortune of the mother, etcetera, etcetera, and all the
Such a child will miss, for instance, a father.
Now in order to compensate for this, it is just as if they were choosing or nominating a part of their body for a father, a substitution for the father, and they develop, for instance, masturbation.
That is very often so of illegitimate children; they become terribly autoerotic, even criminal.
Dr. Evans: With reference to the role of the parents in development, one of the central parts of psychosexual development in orthodox
psychoanalytic theory is the Oedipal level of development. It is at this level that the problem of premature sexuality relating to the opposite
sex parent emerges. This problem, like the earlier ones mentioned, must also be resolved, or it will result in the formation of an Oedipus
Dr. Jung: That is just what I call an archetype. That is the first archetype Freud discovered; the first and the only one.He thought that this
WAS the archetype.
Of course, there are many such archetypes. You look at Greek mythology and you find them, any amount of them.
Or look at dreams and you find any amount of them.
To Freud, however, incest was so impressive that he chose the term “Oedipus Complex,” because that was one of the outstanding examples of an incest complex; though, mind you, it is only in the masculine form, because women have an incest complex too which, to Freud, was not an Oedipus.
So it is something else?
He saw this only as a term for an archetypal way of behavior. In the case of a man—a man’s relation, say, to his mother.
He also means to his daughter because whatever he was to his mother, he will be it to the daughter too. It can be this way or that way.
Dr. Evans: Then you believe, in other words, that the Oedipus complex is not as important an influence in itself as Freud did, but that it is
only one of many archetypes?
Dr. Jung: Yes. It is only one of the many, many ways of behavior. Oedipus gives you an excellent example of the behavior of an archetype.
It is always a whole situation.
There is a mother; there is a father; there is a son; so there is a whole story of how such a situation develops and to what end it leads finally.
That is an archetype.
An archetype always is a sort of abbreviated drama. It begins in such and such a way, extends to such and such a complication, and finds its solution in such and such a way.
That is the usual form. For instance, take the instinct in birds of building their nests. In the way they build the nests, there is the beginning, the middle, and the end.
The nests are built just to suffice for a certain number of young.
The end is already anticipated.
That is the reason why, in the archetype, it is hard.
There is no time; it is a timeless condition where beginning, middle, and end are just the same; they are all given in one.
That is only a hint to what the archetype can do, you know, but that is a complicated question.
Dr. Evans: To discuss more specifically Freud’s concept of the Oedipus complex, a rather commonly held belief, again within the confines of
orthodox psychoanalytic theory, is that, in a sense, the child’s early family behavior patterns with the mother, the father, etc., are to some
extent repeatedly relived, and can be regarded as a “repetition compulsion.” For example, when the young man gets married, he may react to his wife as he did to his mother, or he may be searching for someone like his mother. Likewise, the daughter, as she looks for a husband, may be searching for a father. This will be repeated over and over again. This appears to be the heart of what the early Freudians were theorizing. Now, does this type of recapitulation of the very early Oedipus situation fit in with your conceptions?
Dr. Jung: No. You see, Freud speaks of the incest complex just in the way you describe, but he omits completely the fact that with this
Oedipus complex, he is only giving the contrary—namely, the resistance against it.
For instance, if the Oedipus pattern were really predominant, we would have been suffocated in incest half a million years ago, at least.
But there is a compensation. In all of the early levels of civilization you find the marriage laws, namely, exogamic laws.
The first form, the most elemental form, is that the man can marry his cousin on the maternal side.
The next form is that the man can only marry his cousin in the second degree, namely, from the grandmother.
There are four systems; quarter marriages, systems of 8 and 12, and a 6-system.
In China, there are still traces of both a 12-system and of a 6-system.
And those are developments beyond the incest complex and against the incest complex.
Now if sexuality is predominant, particularly incestual sexuality, how can it develop?
These things have developed in a time long before there was any idea of a child—say of my sister. That’s all wrong.
On the contrary, it was a royal prerogative as late as the Caanite kings in Persia, and among the Egyptian Pharaohs, that the Pharaoh had a daughter from his sister; he married that daughter and had a child with her, and then married his granddaughter.
Because that was royal prerogative.
You see, the preservation of the royal blood is always a sort of attempt at the highly appreciated incestuous restriction of the numbers of ancestors, because this is loss of ancestors.
Now, you see, that must be explained too. There is not only the one thing that shows its compensation.
You know this plays a very great role in the history of human civilization.
Freud is always inclined to explain these things by external influences.
For instance, you would not feel hampered in any way if there were not a law against it. No one is hampered by one’s self.
And that’s what he never could admit to me.
Jung’s Appraisal of Freud’s Structural Concepts: Id, Ego, and Super-Ego
Dr. Evans: Going still further into the development of Dr. Freud’s theory, which you acknowledge as a significant factor in the development of many of your own early ideas, Dr. Freud, of course, talked a great deal about the unconscious.
Dr. Jung: As soon as research comes to a question of the unconscious, things becomes necessarily blurred, because the unconscious is
something which is really unconscious!
So you have no object—nothing.
You only can make inferences because you can’t see it; and so you have to create a model of this possible structure of the unconscious.
Now Freud came to the concept of the unconscious chiefly on the basis of the same experience I have had in the association experiment;
namely, that people reacted—they said things—they did things—without knowing that they had done it or had said it.
This is something you can observe in the association experiment; sometimes people cannot remember afterward what they did or what they said in a moment when a stimulus word hits the complex.
In the word association reproduction experiment, you go through the whole list of words.
You see that the memory fades when there is a complex reaction or block.
That is the simple fact upon which Freud based his idea of the unconscious.
There is no end of stories, you know, about how people can betray themselves by saying something they didn’t mean to say at all; yet the
unconscious meant them to say just that thing.
That is what we can see, time and again, when people make a mistake in speech or they say something which they didn’t mean to say; they just make ridiculous mistakes.
For instance, when you want to express your sympathy at a funeral, you go to someone and you say, “I congratulate you”; that’s pretty painful, you know, but that happens, and it is true.
This is something that goes parallel with Freud’s whole idea of the psychopathology of everyday life.
In Paris there was Pierre Janet who worked out another side of the understanding of unconscious reactions.
Now, Freud refers very little to Pierre Janet, but I studied with him while in Paris and he very much helped form my ideas.
He was a first class observer, though he had no systematic, dynamic psychological theory; his is a sort of physiological theory of the unconscious phenomena.
There is a certain depotentiation of the tension of consciousness; it sinks below the level of consciousness and thus becomes unconscious.
That is Freud’s view too, but he says it sinks down because it is helped; it is repressed from above.
That was my first point of difference with Freud.
I think there have been cases in my observations where there was no repression from above; those contents that became unconscious
had withdrawn all by themselves, and not because they were repressed.
On the contrary, they have a certain autonomy.
They have discovered the concept of autonomy in that these contents that disappear have the power to move independently from my will.
Either they appear when I want to say something definite; they interfere and speak themselves instead of helping me to say what I want to say; they make me do something which I don’t want to do at all; or they withdraw in the moment that I want to use them.
They certainly disappear!
Dr. Evans: And this then is independent of any of the, you might say, pressures on the consciousness as Freud suggested?
Dr. Jung: Yes. There can be such cases, sure enough, but besides them, there are also the cases that show that the unconscious contents
acquire a certain independence.
All mental contents having a certain feeling tone that is emotional have the value of an emotional affect—have the tendency to become autonomous.
So, you see, anybody in an emotion will say and do things which he cannot vouch for.
He must excuse himself of a mistake; he was non compos mentis.
Dr. Evans: Dr. Freud suggested that the individual is born under the influence of what he called the Id, which is unconscious and undeveloped, a collection of animal drives. It is not very easily understood where all these primitive drives—all these instincts—come from.
Dr. Jung: Nobody knows where instincts come from.
They are there and you find them. It is a story that was played millions of years ago.
Their sexuality was invented, and I don’t know how this happened; I wasn’t there!
Feeding was invented very much longer ago than even sex, and how and why it was invented, I don’t know.
So we don’t know where the instinct comes from. It is quite ridiculous, you know, to speculate about such an impossibility.
So the question is only—where do those cases come from where instinct does not function.
That is something within our reach, because we can study the cases where instinct does not function.
Dr. Evans: Could you give us some rather specific examples of what you mean by cases where instinct does not function?
Dr. Jung: Well, you see, instead of instinct, which is a habitual form of activity, take any other form of habitual activity.
Consider a thing that is absolutely controlling which fails to function; then it’s worse, and suddenly we can’t think of any other thing.
For instance, a man who writes fluently suddenly makes a ridiculous mistake; then his habit hasn’t functioned.
Also, when you ask me something, I’m supposed to be able to react to you; but certainly if I am pushed beyond, or if you succeed in touching upon one of my complexes, you will see that I become absolutely perplexed.
Words fail me.
Dr. Evans: We haven’t seen you very perplexed yet, Dr. Jung.
Dr. Jung: I am a good example of psychology, you know, a fellow who knows his stuff quite well—the professor asks him and he cannot say a word.
Dr. Evans: To continue, another part of Dr. Freud’s theory, of course, that became very important, to which we have already alluded, was the
idea of the conscious; that is, out of this unconscious, instinctual “structure,” the Id, an Ego emerges. Freud suggested that this ego resulted from the organism’s contact with reality, perhaps a product of frustration as reality is imposed on the individual. you accept this conception of the ego?
Dr. Jung: If man has an ego at all, that is your question.
Ah, that is again such a case as before; I wasn’t there when it was invented.
However, in this case, you see, you can observe it to a certain extent with a child.
A child definitely begins in a state where there is no ego, and about the fourth year or before, the child develops a sense of ego—”I, myself.”
There is, in the first place, a certain identity with the body. For instance, when you ask primitives, they emphasize always the body.
When you ask—who has brought this thing here—the Negro will say “I brought it,” no accent on the “I,” simply “brought it.” Then if you say—why have YOU brought it—he will say, you know, ME, ME, Yes, I, MYSELF, this given object, this thing here.
So the identity with the body is one of the first things which makes an ego; it is the spatial separateness that induces, apparently, the concept of an ego.
Then, of course, there are lots of other things. Later on there are mental differences and other personal differences of all sorts.
You see, the ego is continuously building up; it is not ever a finished product—it builds up. You see, no year passes when you do not discover a new little aspect in which you are more ego than you have thought.
Dr. Evans: Dr. Jung, there has been much discussion about how certain experiences in the early years influence the formation of the ego. For example, one of the most extreme views concerning such early influences was advanced by Otto Rank. He spoke of the birth trauma and suggested that the trauma of being born would not only leave a very powerful impact on the developing ego, but would have residual
influence throughout the life of the individual.
Dr. Jung: I should say that it is very important for an ego that it is born; this is highly traumatic, you know, when you fall out of heaven.
Dr. Evans: However, do you take literally Dr. Otto Rank’s position that the birth trauma has a profound psychological effect on the individual? ~C.G. Jung Speaking, Page 277-286