Prologue: “The most cursed dilettante”
“Don’t make a legend of me.” ~C. G. Jung, 1930.
Occultist, Scientist, Prophet, Charlatan, Philosopher, Racist, Guru, Anti-Semite, Liberator of Women, Misogynist, Freudian Apostate, Gnostic, Post-Modernist, Polygamist, Healer, Poet, Con-Artist, Psychiatrist and Anti-Psychiatrist – what has C. G. Jung not been called?
Mention him to someone, and you are likely to receive one of these images.
For Jung is someone that people – informed or not – have opinions about.
The swift reaction time indicates that people respond to Jung’s life and work as if they are sufficiently known.
Yet the very proliferation of “Jungs” leads one to question whether everyone could possibly be talking about the same figure.
In 1952, Jung responded to the fact that he had been variously described as a theist, an atheist, amystic, and a materialist by noting:
“When opinions over the same subject differ widely, according to my view, there is the well-founded suspicion that none of them is correct, i.e., that there is a misunderstanding.”
Nearly fifty years later, the number of divergent views and interpretations of Jung has prodigiously multiplied.
He has become a figure upon whom an endless succession of myths, legends, fantasies, and fictions continues to be draped.
Travesties, distortions, and caricatures have become the norm.
This process shows no signs of abating.
From early on, Jung was subject to a welter of rumors.
In 1916, he wrote to his friend and colleague, Alphonse Maeder,
As to what the rumors about my person concern, I can inform you that I have been married to a female Russian student for six years (Ref. Dr. Ulrich), dressed as Dr. Frank, I have recommended immediate divorce to a woman (Ref. Frau E-Hing), two years ago I broke up the Ruff–Franck marriage, recently I made Mrs. McCormick pregnant, got rid of the child and received 1 million for this (Ref Dr. F. & Dr. M. In Z.), in the Club house I intern pretty young girls for homosexual use for Mrs. McCormick, I send their young men for mounting in the hotel, therefore great rewards, I am a baldheaded Jew (Ref. Dr. Stier in Rapperswyl), I am having an affair with Mrs. Oczaret, I have become crazy (Ref. Dr. M. In Z.), I am a con-man (Ref. Dr. St. in Z.), and last not least – Dr. Picht is my assistant. What is one to do? How should I behave to make such rumors impossible? I am thankful for your good advice. The auspices for analysis are bad, as you see! One must simply not do such an unattractive enterprise on one’s own, if one is not to be damaged.
After decades ofmyth making, one question becomes more insistent: who was C. G. Jung?
Once, when asked who he was, Miles Davis replied that he had changed the course of music several times in his life (1990, 371).
Something similar could be said of Jung.
As a psychiatrist, he played a pivotal role in the formation of the modern concept of schizophrenia, and the idea that the psychoses were of psychological origin and hence amenable to psychotherapy.
During his association with Freud, he was the principal architect of the psychoanalytic movement, inaugurating the rite of training analysis, which became the dominant form of instruction in modern psychotherapy.
His formulation of psychological types of introverts and extraverts with numerous sub-varieties has spawned countless questionnaires.
His views on the continued relevance ofmyth were the seed bed for themythic revival. His interest in Eastern thought was the harbinger of the postcolonial Easternization of the West.
Intent on reconciling science and religion through psychology, his work has met with endless controversy at every turn. Alongside a professional discipline of Jungian psychology and Institutes, Societies, Clubs, and Associations still bearing his name, there is a massive counterculture that hails him as a founding figure – and the impact of his work on mainstream twentieth-century Western culture has been far wider than has yet been recognized.
The work of Freud and Jung has been taken on by the general public to a remarkable extent.
For many, their names are the first which come to mind when one thinks of psychology.
They have become iconic images of “the psychologist.” Their names have become proper names for psychology.
Like Russian dolls, they conceal many forgotten figures within them.
They have come to stand in for long-standing debates in European intellectual history and transformations in Western societies from the end of the nineteenth century to the present.
The plethora of positions attributed to Freud and Jung, if collectively assembled, would in both cases cover something approaching the whole spectrum of modern thought.
The figure of “Jung” stands at the interfaces of academic psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, popular psychology, and New Age psychologies.
The rise of these disciplines and movements is one of the decisive developments in twentieth-century Western society.
It may well be its most curious legacy.
The formation of modern psychology and psychotherapy took place at a time of great upheaval in Western thought and culture, in which they were deeply interwoven.
Thus their reconstruction is an essential element in the comprehension of the development of modern Western societies and our present.
From psychiatric wards to pulpits, from university lecture halls to chat shows, from law courts to tabloids, from classrooms to prisons, psychology today is firmly installed. It has effected deep-seated transformations in civic life as well as in individuals’ intimate perception of themselves.
When so much of social reality and “common sense” have come to be pervaded by psychology, psychological ideas have been naturalized, and have taken on the aspect of immediate indubitable certitudes.
They have become standards by which to judge individuals in other times and societies.
An historical account of these unprecedented changes is essential if one is to arrive at a reflective distance from the installation of psychology in contemporary life.
Around 1938, Jung himself had this to say about the societal impact of psychology:
“A ceaseless and limitless talk about psychology has inundated the world in the last twenty years, but it has not as yet produced a noticeable improvement of the psychological outlook and attitude.”
Both laymen and scientists were “bewildered by the luxuriant growth of theoretical standpoints, and by a maze of unbalanced propositions” (ibid.).
The history of psychology may offer a way into, and a way out of, this maze of bewilderment.
The advent of the new psychology
“One must be absolutely modern.” (Arthur Rimbaud, A Season in Hell, 1873)
“Everyone seems to be publishing a Psychology in these days,” wrote William James in 1893 to his friend and fellow psychologist, Theodore Flournoy.
Textbooks, Principles, Outlines, Introductions, Compendiums, and Almanacs of psychology poured forth. Journals, Laboratories, Professorships, Courses, Societies, Associations, and Institutes of psychology were set up.
A horde of witnesses was called forth and interrogated: the Madman, the Primitive, the Genius, the Degenerate, the
Imbecile, the Medium, the Infant and last but not least, the White Rat.
New characters entered the social stage: the Schizophrenic, the Narcissist, the Manic-Depressive, the Anal-Retentive, the Oral-Sadistic and all the “verts” – the Invert, Pervert, Introvert and Extravert.
But what did all this ferment denote?
At the end of the nineteenth century, many figures in the West sought to establish a scientific psychology that would be independent of philosophy, theology, biology, anthropology, literature, medicine, and neurology, whilst taking over their traditional subject matters.
The very possibility of psychology rested upon the successful negotiation of these disciplinary crossings.
The larger share of the questions that psychologists took up had already been posed and elaborated in these prior disciplines.
They had to prise their subjects from the preserves of other specialists.
Through becoming a science, it was hoped that psychology would be able to solve questions that had vexed thinkers for centuries, and to replace superstition, folk wisdom, and metaphysical speculation with the rule of universal law.
In 1892, Flournoy was given a chair in psychology at the University of Geneva.
This was the first chair of psychology in a science, as opposed to philosophy faculty.
In 1896, reflecting back on the significance of this event, Flournoy stated:
the Genevan government has implicitly recognized (perhaps without knowing it) the existence of psychology as a particular science, independent of all philosophical systems, with the same claim as physics, botany or astronomy . . . One is thus right to consider as historically accomplished, with the same authorization and the high consecration of political power, the long procession by which the study of the soul little by little detached itself, in its own fashion, from the general trunk of philosophy to constitute itself at the level of a positive science. As for knowing
up to what point contemporary psychology does justice to this declaration of the majority, and has truly succeeded in freeing itself from all metaphysical tutelage of any colour, that is another question. For here not less than elsewhere the ideal should not be confounded with reality. (1)
This study unfolds within the space of Flournoy’s final qualification.
Proponents of the new psychology proclaimed a radical break with all prior forms of human understanding.
The foundation of modern psychology was held to be nothing less than the final and most decisive act in the completion of the scientific revolution.
Not only did this inform its rhetoric, but also its sense of purpose and mission.
Whether itwas actually ever achieved or not, this conception of an absolute break with the past became a vital element in the self-conception of psychologists, and in how they styled their works.
Flournoy’s celebratory claim expresses a sentiment that was widely felt by psychologists in the 1890s. In 1892, reflecting on the “progress” of psychology,
William James wrote:
When, then, we talk of ‘psychology as a natural science’ we must not assume that means a sort of psychology that stands at last on solid ground. It means just the reverse; it means a psychology particularly fragile, and into which the waters of metaphysical criticism leak at every joint . . . it is indeed strange to hear people talk triumphantly of ‘the New Psychology’, and write ‘Histories of Psychology’, when into the real elements and forces which the word covers not the first glimpse of clear insight exists. A string of raw facts, a little gossip and wrangle about opinions, a little classification and generalization on the mere descriptive level; a strong prejudice that we have states of mind, and that our brain conditions them: but not a single law in the sense in which physics shows us laws, not a single proposition from which any consequence can causally be deduced. Wedon’t even know the terms between which the elementary laws would obtain if we had them. This is no science, it is only the hope of science . . . But at present psychology is in the condition of physics before Galileo and the laws of motion, of chemistry before Lavoisier and the notion that mass is preserved in all reactions. The Galileo and the Lavoisier of psychology will be famous men indeed when they come, as come they some day surely will. (468)
It is a moot point whether in the ensuing decades any such progress had indeed occurred – whether, in Flournoy’s terms, the gap between the ideal and the real had lessened, or that the founding separations of psychology from theology, philosophy, literature, anthropology, biology, medicine, and neurology had successfully taken place – or whether psychology today is in any better shape than James’ estimation of its standing in the 1890s (gossip, wrangle, prejudices, and so on).
Nevertheless, the frequency with which psychologists were likened (or likened themselves) to Galileo, Lavoisier, and Darwin increased dramatically.
Flournoy’s and James’ statements indicate the prospects and problems of the “new” psychology.
At the outset, psychologists sought to emulate the form and formation of established prestigious sciences, such as physics and chemistry.
This emulation – or simulation – took different forms. Central to it was the conception that psychology should also be a unitary discipline.
Yet very quickly, the proliferation of variously styled psychologies demonstrated that there was little consensus as to
what could be considered the aims and methods of psychology.
In 1900, the Berlin psychologist William Stern surveyed the new psychology.
Aside from an empirical tendency and the use of experimental methods, he saw little in the way of common features.
There were many laboratories with researchers working on special problems, together with many textbooks, but they were all characterized by a pervasive particularism.
He said that the psychological map of the day was as colorful and checkered as that of Germany in the epoch of small states, and that psychologists often speak differen languages, and the portraits that they draw up of the psyche are painted with so many different colours and with so many differently accented special strokes that it often becomes difficult to recognize the identity of the represented object. (Stern, 1900b, 415)
Psychology was faced with a welter of unresolved fundamental questions.
Stern concluded: “In short: there are many new psychologies, but not yet the new psychology” (ibid.).
The disunity of psychology increased exponentially by year.
One wonders what images Stern would choose to illustrate the situation today.
The profusion of competing definitions of psychology was such that by 1905, the French psychologist Alfred Binet produced a typology of definitions of psychology (175).
The varieties of psychologies had already become a subject for reflection for psychologists.
He argued that the multiplicity of definitions which had been proffered pointed to their insufficiency.
The only element of commonality underlying the different definitions was that they all happened to designate what they took to be a new field by the same name – psychology.
The multiplicity of definitions of psychology also entailed a corresponding multiplicity of conceptions of why psychology was a science.
Ultimately, the one common denominator was the general assumption that in the field of psychology, it was up to
psychologists themselves to determine the criteria for the scientific status of their discipline.
The glaring disjunction between the disunity of psychology and its would-be status as a unitary science led to one major attempt at rectification, through an attempt to establish a common language for psychology.
This took place at the international congress for experimental psychology in Geneva in 1909, under the presidency of Flournoy.
In their preliminary circular, the organizers proposed that psychology had now arrived at a point of a development common to all sciences, when common unifying conceptions in terminology and technical procedures were necessary
(ed. Clapar`ede, 1910, 6).
A session was devoted to this issue.
The Swiss psychologist Edouard Clapar`ede opened it by noting that there reigned a great confusion in psychology concerning the use of terms.
Part of this was due to disagreements concerning the existence, nature and origin of particular processes.
But he claimed that the greater part was due to the absence of a precise nomenclature.
Thus, many divergences considered to be doctrinal came down to divergences of words.
To rectify this situation, Clapar
ede and the American psychologist James Mark Baldwin put forward suggestions as to how psychologists could come to agree on a common language, through agreeing upon a set of rules and procedures for the adoption of new technical terms (ed. Claparede, 1910, 480–1).
Following this, Ren´e de Saussure argued that this process of unification would ultimately lead to the creation of an international language.
A form of this, however, already existed, in the language of Esperanto, which was admitted at the congress as an official language (ed. Clapar`ede, 1910, 484).
In the later half of the nineteenth century, numerous international auxiliary languages were created. Esperanto had first been developed in 1887 by the Russian Ledger Ludwik Zamenhof, and attracted a great deal of attention.
Auguste Forel, Rudolf Carnap, and Bertrand Russell were among figures greatly interested in it.
Esperanto associations sprang up in major cities, numerous conferences were dedicated to it, and major works of literature were translated into it.
De Saussure argued that Esperanto could serve in all sciences as an international language, and that in psychology in particular, it could form the basis for comparison and unification.
He quickly added that he did not foresee the replacement of individual languages, but simply the creation of a supplementary means of inter-comprehension.
Simply by knowing one’s mother tongue and Esperanto, one would be able to communicate with everybody.
Clapar`ede, Baldwin and de Saussure were proposing a reformation of psychology based on a rectification of its language.
A heated debate followed, in which some of the congress participants spoke in Esperanto.
The critical disagreements were how this unification was to be achieved.
These discussions reveal the deeply felt conviction that psychology, as a science, should function as psychologists imagined other sciences to function.
Like chemistry, it should have its own periodic table. The project was a total failure.
Reference was already made in the discussion to the tower of Babel.
Far from a unification of psychological language, a plethora of incommensurable dialects, idioms, idiolects proliferated.
The relations between schools and orientations of psychology quickly became so warlike and acrimonious that even to talk about any form of collaborative unification of terminology, let alone the increasing impossibility of the task itself, would have been laughed at.
The linkage with Esperanto gives some indication of the hopes that were entertained for psychology – that it would become an international auxiliary language, enabling an unprecedented level of communication and mutual understanding between psychologists, and ultimately, the general public.
Was the dream of a unitary discipline of psychology, with cooperation and collaboration between coworkers, as utopian as the promotion and adoption of Esperanto?
Glossolalia and private languages had come to be the order of the day, amongst psychologists themselves.
The singularity of the term “psychology” should not mislead one into thinking that such a discipline was ever successfully founded.
Or that there is an essence to “psychology” that could encompass the various definitions, methodologies, practices, world-views, and institutions that have used this designation.
Rather it indicates the massive significance that psychologists gave to being seen to be talking about the same thing.
As Edmund Husserl noted, “the history of psychology is actually only a history of crises” (1937, 203).
The continued reference to psychology in the singular, split up and subdivided into tendencies and schools, is an instance of what Kurt Danziger has aptly called “unification by naming”.
As we have just seen, it was what Clapar`ede and Baldwin had explicitly proposed in a programmatic form.
While their project was a failure, the operation of unification by naming did play a critical role in twentieth-century psychology – not through providing the ideal of univocal meaning and the possibility of effective translation and communication, but through papering over and covering up the incommensurabilities and cleavages that multiplied.
This was not only important at a conceptual level, with the promotion of terms such as stimulusresponse learning or the Unconscious, by which psychologists sought to bring all human experience under the rule of one universal master
concept, but in the conception of the field itself. One effect of the singular conception of psychology,
Danziger suggests, was that it furthered the cause of professionalization, by implying that the practically oriented
brancheswere linked to a scientific discipline.
This linkage in turn implied that the more abstruse research had practical significance (1997, 84, 133).
Furthermore, by giving a distinct profile to the discipline, however conflict-ridden, unification by naming masked the epistemological anarchy that prevailed within it.
The ever-increasing fractionation of psychology was partially a consequence of the fact that psychology never was one thing.
Rather, it was an appellation that came to be used to designate a conglomeration of diverse practices and conceptions in different domains.
Already in the 1920s and 1930s, perceptive figures who had participated in the founding of psychology expressed grave doubts as to its progress.
In 1921, Stanley Hall noted that there was a growing consensus amongst “the competent” that the condition of psychology was unsatisfactory and that its inaugural promise had not been fulfilled.
Morever, he thought that its state was likely to get worse (9). According to Hall,
Never in the history of the sciences has there been a stage in any of them (with the possible exception of sociology, if that can be called a science) in which along with great activity there has been such diversity of aims, such tension between
groups and such persistent ignoring by one circle of workers of what is made cardinal by another (for example, the psychoanalysts and the introspectionists). (477)
For Hall, what the world needed was a “psychological Plato” to solve this situation.
A further aspect of the self-conception of psychology as a science is its evolutionary legend, the axiomatic belief that – unlike the understanding of the human condition embodied for instance in literature – psychology undergoes a process of development.
As a consequence, it is widely held that we are better equipped with the theories of today than those of yesteryear through some ill-defined process of natural selection.
This evolutionary legend, which passes unexamined, has lent a normative aspect to the use of contemporary Western psychological concepts, and has led to the implicit relegation of forms of psychological understanding in other cultures.
Furthermore, this legend obscures the extent to which particular psychologies became dominant through historically contingent events, and, not least, through the rescripting of history.
Here we need to differentiate between various theoretical projects to found a scientific psychology, and psychologies as social formations.
The latter designates the resultant disciplines, practices, and effects which arose.
The projects to found psychology played an important role in legitimating the social formations. It is clear that the theoretical difficulties which beset projects for psychology did not impede the rise and “success” of psychologies as social formations.
Far from it.
As Nikolas Rose points out, it was precisely the lack of homogeneity and lack of a single paradigm that enabled the widespread social penetration of psychologies.
They lent themselves to a variety of applications in a variety of sites.
Whatever one’s purposes, from brainwashing to sexual liberation, there was a psychology that offered itself as ideally suited to the task (1996, 60).
The problems posed by psychology’s “will to science” are not to be solved, as some have tried to do, by simply dropping the rubric of science and declaring psychology to be an art, or hermeneutics.
The critical issue is not whether a particular discipline calls itself a science or not, but the nature of its practices and institutions.
Thus in science studies today, one finds that the question of the demarcation between so-called science and so-called pseudoscience has increasingly become a non-issue.
This has been a consequence of the increasing realization that science, with a capital “S,” never existed – in other words, that there is no atemporal essence to something one could call the scientific method.
The significance of the period between the 1870s and 1930s is that the major disciplinary and theoretical forms of modern psychology and psychotherapy were established at this time.
Since then, there has been massive growth in production of psychological literature, in the population of psychologists and of consumers of psychological knowledge.
Psychologists have been resourceful in finding ever new markets and audiences for their knowledge.
There has been an acceleration in the rate of propagation of new psychologies, which shows no sign of slowing down.
One of the most common titles in psychology books this century is “the new psychology of . . .”
Whether the amount of actual innovation matches the massive expansion of psychologies is another question altogether.
At the same time, despite this massive growth, there has been little change in the disciplinary forms and methods of psychologies and psychotherapies.
Experimentation continues to dominate academic psychology, and the couch still forms the bedrock of psychoanalysis.
When confronted with psychology today, there are several options available.
One could simply attempt to ignore it, though this becomes increasingly hard to do.
Alternatively, one can take up an active interest in it, install oneself into one of the already existing schools of psychology, take up an eclectic position or form a school of one’s own.
The majority of responses to psychology fall into one of these options. However, there is another possibility, which would be to study the psychology-making process itself.
For psychology itself has now become a phenomenon of contemporary life that pressingly calls for explication.
A major difficulty in evaluating twentieth-century psychology and psychotherapy is that their conceptions of the human subject have themselves partially transformed the subject that they set out to explain.
Their interpretive categories have been adopted by large-scale communities and subcultures, and have given rise to new forms of life.
If there is one thing that psychology and psychotherapy have demonstrated in the twentieth century, it is the malleability of individuals, who have been willing to adopt psychological concepts to view their lives (and that of others), in terms of a play of conditioned reflexes, a desire to kill one’s father and sleep with one’s mother, a psychomachia between the good and the bad breast, a parade of dissociated alters, a quest for self-actualization through peak experiences or contorted twists through the hoola hoops of the symbolic, imaginary, and the real.
A comparative study of these varieties of psychological experience has yet to be undertaken.
What is important to note is that the formation of different schools of psychology and psychotherapy, with their particular languages and dialects, has led to the rise of archipelagoes of warring communities and subcultures.
Whatever the status of the entities, processes and structures that have been posited, it is clear that these have become the unquestioned assumptions of increasingly large groups of individuals.
“Psychic reality” is, par excellence, the fabricated real.10 This is but to extend William James’ remarks apropos the trance state, that its most remarkable “property” was its capacity to present itself according to whatever theory one held about it.
A distinctive trait of modern psychology and psychotherapy is their peculiarly historical identity. Contemporary psychoanalysis and Jungian psychology trace themselves back to Freud and Jung in a manner quite unlike other disciplines.
Historical lineages and genealogies have provided important means of legitimation and authorization for current professionals, whilst these narratives themselves pass unexamined.
The historian is provided with the unusual spectacle of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century texts being transposed and translated into novel contexts and used as the basis for diverse practices.
At the same time, the names of Freud and Jung are regularly invoked as masks for conceptions and practices which have no inherent or necessary connections to their work.
A new scholasticism has arisen, and their names are used to sign and underwrite an endless series of blank theoretical cheques.
Jung without Freud
In popular perception as well as in the historical field, Jung’s name is so closely bound with Freud that it is hard to even consider Jung without Freud.
In histories of psychiatry, psychology, and psychoanalysis, Jung’s psychology is usually classed as an offshoot of psychoanalysis, as one of the myriad neopsychoanalytic schools.12
Whilst, following Henri Ellenberger, copious critical work has been done on the “Freudian Legend,” nothing comparable has been done on what may be termed the “Jungian Legend” in which Jung is portrayed as the rebel heretic of psychoanalysis, who, out of the perceived shortcomings of psychoanalysis, broke away to form his own school, based on his own “discoveries.”
Evaluations of Jung have generally assumed this view, and differed only in how they have assessed Jung’s move away from psychoanalysis – as a fall from grace or a return to something approaching sanity.
Following the logic of this location, one may surmise that as Jung’s psychology was supposedly an offshoot from psychoanalysis, revisionistic scholarship on the origins of psychoanalysis, coupled with close scrutiny of the break between Freud and Jung, should be sufficient to account for the genealogy of complex psychology.
Since the publication in 1974 of the Freud–Jung letters (“that accursed correspondence,” as Jung termed it),13 this has been the perspective that has generally been followed.
In the plethora of studies of the Freud–Jung relation, commentators have generally been in agreement on one thing – that the period in question marked a crucial epoch in the institutional and theoretical development of psychoanalysis, and what was later to become complex psychology.
With few exceptions, these works have uniformly suffered from the Freudocentric frame in which they have viewed the genesis of complex psychology.
For much of the twentieth century, itwas widely held that Freud discovered the unconscious, that he was the first to study dreams and sexuality scientifically and to disclose their psychological meanings to a startled public, and that he invented modern psychotherapy.
Furthermore, it was maintained that these discoveries and innovations were based on his selfanalysis and the analysis of his patients.
Henri Ellenberger dubbed this the “Freudian legend” and demonstrated that these claims had less to do with historical actuality than with how Freudians rescripted history in their favour.
Since then, these claims have been subjected to decades of critical scrutiny. Historians have recontextualized the “origins of psychoanalysis” within late nineteenth-century developments in neurology, psychiatry, biology, psychotherapy, and related areas.
Whilst a great deal of controversy remains concerning these issues, it is nevertheless clear that the larger share of the claims for Freud’s originality have not been sustained. At the same time, Jung’s derivative position with regard to
psychoanalysis has not been seriously challenged.
The adequacy of the Freudocentric view of Jung, in which psychoanalysis features as the key determining context for the emergence of complex psychology, has been assumed as self-evident.
This represents nothing less than the complete mislocation of Jung and complex psychology in the intellectual history of
the twentieth century.
The Freudian legend has mystified the formation of modern psychotherapy and psychologies of the unconscious.
Indeed, the terms “Freud” and “Jung” have in effect become sign-systems that refer, unknowingly, to several critical decades of debates in modern European thought.
Meanwhile, many of the protagonists and issues have been completely forgotten.
This has led to the curious situation today when one is faced with “answers” without the “questions” that they were purportedly addressed to.
These answers have, in turn, been taken as ready-mades, objets trouv´es, whose original design and function have been erased.
How then should Jung’s psychology be approached?
To answer this, one first needs to consider the formation of modern psychology, and clarify what he intended his psychology to be.
The current discipline of Jungian psychology as a school of psychotherapy claiming descent from Jung obscures the question of what exactly Jung set out to achieve, as it is generally assumed that it must have been the discipline bearing his name.
It is important here not to confound the present profession with the discipline that he attempted to found.
To begin with, it does not even bear his chosen designation.
While Jung had initially used the term analytical psychology to designate his psychology, in the 1930s he renamed it “complex psychology.”
In the commemorative volume for his sixtieth birthday, The Cultural Significance of Complex Psychology, Toni Wolff noted that in recent years, Jung had come to refer to his psychology as complex psychology, especially when dealing with it from a theoretical viewpoint.
By contrast, she noted that the term analytical psychology was appropriate when dealing with the practical methods of psychological analysis (1936, 7).
Thus the change in term was not only stylistic, but also signalled a shift in emphasis from practical analysis to general psychology.
In 1954, Jung wrote:
“Complex psychology means the psychology of ‘complexities’ i.e. of complex psychical systems in contradistinction from relatively elementary factors.”
C. A. Meier suggested that compared to “analytical” psychology, “complex” psychology had the value of being less restricted to the pathological associations of the consulting room (1984, xi).
However, with rare exceptions, the term was not taken up by Jung’s followers.
One reason for this was because it was never adopted in the English-speaking world, which became the most influential sector for developments in Jungian psychology after the second world war.
This startling disregard for the name Jung had chosen for his discipline gives an indication by itself of the separation of Jungian psychology from Jung.
Furthermore it also gives an indication of a crucial shift in emphasis in the opposite direction, from general psychology to practical analysis.
Analytical psychology today is largely a professional psychotherapeutic discipline with a problematic relation to the widespread non-professional readership of Jung.
His attempt to establish a general psychology has taken a back seat, though it lingers in the background, playing a legitimating role.
On a number of instances, Jung also expressed himself very critically concerning some of his followers, such as in the following statement:
“There have been so many pupils of mine who have fabricated every sort of rubbish from what they took over from me.”
The history of analytical psychology consists in how the language that Jung developed became reformulated and taken to different ends by those around him.
This process of resignification has been central to its development.
In many instances, Jung’s terms have come to mean radically different things.
In the process, many of the issues and phenomena that he was dealing with – such as those reconstructed in this volume – have been simply forgotten or left to one side.
There has been a proliferation of silent resignifications that seamlessly present themselves as representing Jung’s theories, or faithful elaborations of them. In many instances, his signature concepts are simply employed as markers of professional identity.
They have been extracted from the issues and contexts from which they arose. Consequently, they have taken on an extreme plasticity.
This has opened up an endless terrain for reinventions of Jung. Analytical psychology continues to be spoken of in the singular.
Descriptively speaking, it would be more accurate today to speak of an archipelago of disparate Jungian psychologies, which basically have little to do with one another, or, for that matter, with Jung.
To continue to refer to Jungian psychology today in the singular – even subdivided into schools – has become an
In the first instance, Jung did not intend to form a particular school of psychotherapy, but, in line with the unitary conceptions of psychology in the late nineteenth century, intended to establish psychology in general.
In 1934, he established a Psychology Fund at the Eidgen¨ossischeTechnische Hochschule (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) in Zurich, whose initial aim was to fund a lectureship to be held at a Swiss university.
His stipulations are revealing in this regard:
The treatment of psychology should in general be characterized by the principle of universality.
No special theory or special subject should be propounded, but psychology should be taught in its biological, ethnological, medical, philosophical, cultural-historical and religious aspects.
The aim, he continued, was to free the teaching of the human soul from the “constriction of compartments.”
Jung held that psychology constituted the fundamental scientific discipline, upon which other disciplines should henceforth be based.
In his view, it was the only discipline which could grasp the subjective factor that underlay other sciences.
The establishment of complex psychology was to enable the reformulation of the humanities and revitalize contemporary
The history of Jungian psychology has in part consisted in a radical and unacknowledged diminution of Jung’s goal.
When one considers the attempt of psychologists to separate their discipline from pre-existing disciplines, it becomes evident that one is not simply dealing with single episodes, as is conventionally portrayed in histories of psychology and the obligatory introductory chapters of textbooks of psychology.
Rather, one is dealing with myriad attempts to achieve such ends.
The mode in which these disciplinary crossings were negotiated gave rise to the specific form that particular psychologies took.
The constitutive separations of psychology from pre-existing disciplines did not occur in one single place nor at one single time.
This proposition holds even if one considers the work of a single theorist, such as Jung.
Despite the overriding tendencies of nearly all presentations of his work, it did not obey a straightforward linear chronological evolution.
Standard presentations of the subject, more often than not, obscure more than they reveal. Indeed,
Jung went so far as to nominate this lack of linearity as the hallmark of his work. During the interviews for Memories, Dreams, Reflections, he said to Aniela Jaffe:
I do not know whether the things I have told you are of value to you, and I am sorry that I repeat things. I have also done this in my books, I always consider certain things again, and always from a new angle. My thinking is, so to speak, circular. This is a method which suits me. It is in a way a new kind of peripatetics.
In reading Jung’s work and correspondence, one encounters two distinct modes of thinking and presentation.
In the first, specific theories are advanced, established, and considered to be proven.
This mode, heavily accentuated in the first generation of Jungian analysts and in numerous introductory and expository works, is the most well known.
Thus, “as everybody knows,” he put forward theories of complexes, psychological types, and most notoriously, of the archetypes of the collective unconscious.
The second mode of his thinking consists in an ongoing questioning concerning the conditions of possibility of psychology.
To cite but two instances of this mode, in 1929, he compared the present state of psychology to that of natural philosophy in the middle ages, in which there were only opinions about unknown facts.25 In 1951, he wrote:
Our psychological experience is still too young and too little extended to enable general theories. For the time being, the researcher still needs a quantity of facts which would illuminate the essence of the soul, before we could also even think about putting up universally valid propositions.
When considering Jung’s strictures on the possibility of psychology and his statements about the premature status of general theories in psychology, it is important to realize that he is including his own work in this assessment.
It is precisely this mode of his thinking that tends to be filtered out.
These two modes thread themselves throughout his work, and their interplay is a theme throughout this book.
For many people, Jung’s name is synonymous with the Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious.
They constitute his signature concepts, and generally solicit instant assent or repudiation, presenting an open and shut
Whether one accepts or repudiates them, it is generally assumed that what they designate can be considered as sufficiently well known.
The reasons for this are not hard to find. Jung himself offered a plethora of definitions.
In his wake, there has been no shortage of expository works setting out what these terms are.
Finally, there is hardly a work of Jungian, neo-Jungian or post-Jungian inspiration that does not carry their repeated
It would be hard to characterize an author whose collected works span more than twenty volumes, by economy of expression, or by linguistic parsimony.
Yet in important respects, this is precisely the case with Jung.
His signature concepts contained many different ideas which attempted to resolve major debates in philosophy, psychology, sociology, biology, anthropology, comparative religion, and other fields, and enable the formation of a distinct discipline of psychology.
It is precisely this combinatory operation that gives his psychology its distinctive style and substance.
However, the utilization of the same terms to cover such a range of issues also generates a potential for conceptual confusion, to which any survey of the literature of analytical psychology can amply attest.
This suggests that a certain caution is appropriate in assuming that these terms can indeed be considered to be sufficiently known even to be appropriately evaluated.
Hence the following inquiry will not commence with definitions.
Rather, it will attempt to reconstitute the debates from which Jung drew and which led to the formulation of these terms – in particular, how and why he used the same terms as solutions to distinct questions, and the significance of this combinatory operation.
To grasp his signature concepts, it is critical to realize the issues and debates which he was addressing, and to which they were put forward as attempted solutions.
The study of the formation of complex psychology may be taken as a case history within the wider story of the formation of modern psychology and psychotherapy.
However, this is not to suggest that it should be taken as a paradigmatic instance.
For what is precisely at issue here is the impossibility of any singular encapsulation of the formation of modern
psychology and psychotherapy.
The new encyclopedia
For centuries, individuals have sought to draw up representative compilations of all human knowledge in the form of encyclopedias.
Samuel Johnson defined an Encyclopedia as “the circle of the sciences, the round of learning,” citing Glanvill, “Every science borrows from all the rest, and we cannot attain any single one without the encyclopaedy” (1755, 166).
Psychology, for Jung, was an encyclopedic enterprise.
The fact that he was a man of encyclopedic learning has often been noted. His library, still intact in his house in Kusnacht, presents a panoramic, encyclopedic vista of human learning, without parallel in modern psychology.
Jung’s last major work alone, Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955–1956), contains over 2,300 footnotes.
But what has not been sufficiently noted is the fact that this erudition was constitutive of his psychology, and significantly
contributed to its form.
For Jung, psychology was the discipline to unite the circle of the sciences.
In his understanding, there was no field of human endeavor that was irrelevant for psychology – as in all human affairs, psychology studied the doer of the deed.
He took Terence’s dictum, “nothing human is alien to me,” as his duty.
Consequently, there was no clear delimitation of the provenance of psychology.
The range of subjects that he discussed in the course of works attests to this.
In the history of encyclopedic projects, what was distinctive about Jung’s was that it attempted to ground other disciplines and knowledges through psychology.
This conception was made possible by the birth of the modern human sciences, from the eighteenth century to the end
of the nineteenth.
Correspondingly, the encyclopedic aspect of Jung’s enterprise distinguishes it from other modern psychologies.
This forms its signature trait.
That is not to say that his psychology was systematic. Indeed, he held that the impossibility of encapsulating the soul within a system was dictated by its very nature, and there are many statements of his repudiating any will to system on his part.
The mode in which he attempted to develop his psychology ran counter to the autonomized specialization that generally held the day in psychology.
The work which marked the inauguration of this encyclopedic project was Transformations and Symbols of the Libido.
This is not to suggest that his prior work was extraneous to this enterprise – rather, it was subsequently folded back into it. In 1913, in a letter to the editors of the newly founded Psychoanalytic Review, he noted:
It is beyond the powers of the individual, more particularly of physicians, to master the manifold domains of the mental sciences which should throw some light upon the comparative anatomy of the mind . . . W eneed not only the work of medical psychologists, but also that of philologists, historians, archaeologists, mythologists,
folklore students, ethnologists, philosophers, theologians, pedagogues and biologists.
This was psychology on a grand scale.
The new psychological encyclopedia was an interdisciplinary enterprise which required complex realignments
of existing disciplines and the carving out of a new territory from a terrain which was already occupied.
Its fulfillment would require nothing less than a reformation of the Academy.
The mode in which he chose to embark upon them is indicated by a letter which he wrote in 1940 to Ruth Ananda Anshen, who had invited him to collaborate in a large enterprise.
He noted that through the work that he had done towards the synthesis of sciences, he had become aware of how difficult
it was to achieve cooperation, given the level of specialization.
It has always looked to me as if such an attempt shouldn’t be made from the top, namely that specialists talk in a general way about cooperation. It rather seems to me as if one should begin at the bottom by actual scientific collaboration in the detail. Thus one could show more easily the merits of cooperation. What I mean you can clearly see, when you look into one of my books.
Jung set great store by the interdisciplinary collaborations which he established with Richard Wilhelm, Wilhelm Hauer, Heinrich Zimmer, Karl Ker´enyi, Wolfgang Pauli, and Victor White, in the fields of sinology, indology, mythology, microphysics, and theology respectively.
One project that Jung attempted in the 1930s provides a good illustration of his encyclopedic conception of psychology.
Daniel Brody, the publisher of Rhein Verlag had invited him to edit a new journal, to be called Weltanschauung.
A few years earlier, Jung had published a paper in which he had explored the relations between analytical psychology and a Weltanschauung [world-view].
From Wilhelm Dilthey to Karl Jaspers, the topic of worldviews had been much discussed in German philosophy.
For Jung, a world-view designated not only a conception of the world, but also the manner in which one viewed the world.
He argued that the past 150 years had seen a plethora of world-views, and that the basic notion of a world-view had consequently fallen into discredit.
The problem of all prior world-views had been their claim to provide an objectively valid truth.
In the present situation, the clamour for a new world-view had been raised, and unsuccessful attempts to establish one in the old style had been made, such as in Theosophy and Anthroposophy.
A new worldview had to “abandon the superstition of its objective validity and admit that it is only a picture which we paint to please our souls, and not a magical name with which we can designate objective things.”
In Jung’s conception, analytical psychology was a science, and not a world-view.
But it had a special role to play in the formation of a new world-view.
Its contribution lay in the importance of the recognition of unconscious contents, and in enabling a relativistic conception of a world-view, no longer regarded as an absolute.
Indeed, after Jung, it is clear that his psychology did give rise to a plethora of world-views.
What he would have thought of them is another matter altogether.
The aim of the journal,Weltanschauung, was to bring about a synthesis of the sciences.
Jung approached various scholars to see if they were interested in collaborating in it.
To Zimmer, he wrote:
I have been thinking that in view of the tremendous fragmentation of the sciences today we might well have an organ that could fish out from the ocean of specialist science all the facts and knowledge that are of general interest and make them available to the educated public. Everyone who wants to find his way about
nowadays has to rummage through dozens of periodicals he can’t subscribe to, and thousands of books, wasting a vast amount of time until he comes to what he thinks might be helpful to him.
This journal, ambitiously, was supposed to counter this situation:
“It should be an instrument of synopsis and synthesis – an antidote against the atomizing tendency of specialism which is one of the greatest obstacles to spiritual development” (Letters, 1, 107).
The journal was to be aimed at the general reader, and a group of specialists would select material that would be of general interest and communicate this in an accessible manner.
To Hauer, he explained how the journal would work. Questions would be put to specialists by an editorial committee.
The specialists would prepare an essay, and Jung and his school would supply the psychological material, which would form “a synthesis which would make it possible to understand the living meaning of facts and ideas gathered from
all times and all places.”
The psychological viewpoint, he explained to Jolande Jacobi, was only meant to be a centre, and he had no intention
of squeezing the world into a psychological straitjacket.
He informed her that he had received affirmative replies from Hauer, Zimmer, and Wolfgang Pauli.
He was considering inviting Erwin Rousselle for Buddhist studies, Leopold Ziegler for philosophy, his pupil Wolfgang Kranefeldt for psychotherapy and Hermann Broch for modern literature.
He was still looking for contributors for “biology, astrophysics, geology, physiology, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and American archeology, and for antiquity (mysteries!).”
This indicates the enormous scope of Jung’s undertaking.
The project came to nothing, and shortly thereafter, he took over the editorship of the Zentralblatt f ur Psychotherapie, with fateful consequences.
Though this project foundered, Jung sought other means of achieving the same ends.
In 1933, Olga Froebe-Kapetyn founded the annual Eranos lectures in Ascona, at which an invited group of international scholars addressed a particular theme.
The conferences focused on the history of religion and culture, with a particular emphasis on the relation between
the East and the West.
Jung advised Froebe-Kapetyn concerning themes and speakers to invite, whilst being careful to avoid it becoming simply a
vehicle for his school.
In 1938, there was a project to publish a selection of these lectures in English.
Jung wrote a preface for this, in which he took up again the theme of the detrimental effects of specialization.
This had led, he maintained, to a narrowing of the horizon and inbreeding:
The enormous extension of knowledge exceeds the capacity of a single brain, which alone might be able to form a synthesis of the innumerable parts contributed in every department.
Even the greatest genius, equipped with a fabulous power of memory, would be forced to remain an incompetent dilettante in quite a few important respects.
To counteract this situation, and to provide a “complete picture of our world,” information from all branches of knowledge needed to be collated together.
This could be attempted by finding a platform or idea common to many forms of knowledge.
Thiswas precisely what the Eranos meetings attempted.
From the foregoing, it is clear that Jung conceived the cultural role of complex psychology to be to counter the fragmentation of the sciences, and to provide a basis for a synthesis of all knowledge.
This attempt to counter the increasing fragmentation and specialization of disciplines was an enormous, and ultimately insurmountable task.
Towards the end of his life, surveying and assessing his work, Jung frankly stated:
I am the most cursed dilettante that has lived. I wanted to achieve something in my science and then I was plunged in this stream of lava, and then had to classify everything. That’s why I say dilettantism: I live from borrowings, I constantly borrow knowledge from others.
This statement took place in the course of Jung’s interviews with his secretary Aniela Jaff´e thatwent to make Memories, Dreams, Reflections, and it is not surprising that it was omitted, being so far away from prevalent images of Jung.
What follows is in part an explication of this dilettantism.
The incomplete works of Jung
To date, the principal sources for studies of Jung have been the Collected Works, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, The Freud/Jung Letters, and C. G. Jung Letters.
This has had hitherto unsuspected consequences for how his work has been understood.To date, writings on Jung have been hampered by incomplete and unreliable textual sources.
When first presented by Jack Barrett of the Bollingen Foundation with a copy of the first volume of the Collected Works to be published, Jung complained that it looked like a coffin.
The team which produced the Collected Works accomplished much, but the project was never finished.
The Collected Works is far from a Complete Works. It by no means includes all that he published during his lifetime, and there are sufficient unpublished manuscripts to fill half a dozen volumes.
Furthermore, the reproduction of Jung’s texts and the editorial apparatus are not without errors, and the English translation leaves a great deal to be desired.
In 1973 and 1975, a selection of Jung’s letters was published, edited by Gerhard Adler, in collaboration with Aniela Jaff´e. Gerhard Adler stated
that from 1,600 letters written by Jung between the years 1906 and 1961, over 1,000 had been selected.
This gives the impression that approximately two thirds of the letters of Jung’s that have survived were published
in this volume.
This is seriously misleading.
In the Jung papers at the ETH in Zurich, there are approximately 20,000 letters, and there are many letters scattered in public and private archives around the world.
It is safe to say that less than 10 percent of this has been published.
This study is based on the first comprehensive study of this unpublished corpus of manuscripts and letters.
A special problem has been posed by the Memories, Dreams, Reflections, which has been regarded as Jung’s autobiography, and hence the canonical source of information concerning his life.
Its sales have far outstripped any other work by Jung.
Until the researches of Alan Elms and myself, no doubts had been raised concerning its authenticity and reliability.
As the text still continues to be mistakenly considered as Jung’s autobiography, it is necessary to clarify briefly its genesis.
The publisher Kurt Wolff had unsuccessfully tried to get Jung to write an autobiography for years.
In the summer of 1956, he suggested a new project to Jung, along the lines of Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe.
An early provisional title was Carl GustavJung’ s Improvised Memories. It was to be presented in the first person.
Jolande Jacobi proposed Aniela Jaffe for the task, because, as Jung’s secretary, it would be easier for her to ask questions concerning his life in free hours.
Jaffe undertook a series of regular interviews with Jung. In these interviews, Jung spoke about a wide range of subjects.
Jaffe, with the close involvement of Kurt Wolff, selected material from these interviews and arranged it thematically.
This was then organized into a series of approximately chronological chapters.
During this process, Jung wrote a manuscript at the beginning of 1958 entitled “From the earliest experiences of my life.”
With Jung’s permission, Jaffe incorporated this manuscript into Memories.
His request to have this clearly demarcated from the rest of the book was not followed through.
Passages were also deleted and added to this by Jaffe, and further changes were made by others involved in the project.
Thus there are critical differences between Jung’s manuscript and the published version.
Jaffe also incorporated excerpted versions of some other unpublished manuscripts of Jung, such as material from his 1925 seminar, and accounts of some of his travels.
Finally, Jung contributed a chapter entitled “late thoughts.”
According to Richard Hull, parts of this were rewritten by Jaffe.
During the composition of the work, there were many disagreements between the parties involved concerning what the book should contain, its structure, the relative weighting of Jung’s and Jaffe’’s contributions, the title, and the question of authorship. It was clear that for the publishers, an autobiography of Jung – or something that could be made to look as much like one as possible – held far greater sales potential than a biography by the then as yet unknown Aniela Jaffe.
There were also legal wrangles between the publishers involved as to who held the rights of the book.
In 1960, a resolution was drawn up between Jung, Jaffe, and the editorial committee of his Collected Works which contained the following statement:
C. G. Jung has always maintained that he did not consider this book as his own enterprise but expressly as a book written by Mrs. Jaffe.
The chapters written by C. G. Jung were to be considered as his contributions to the work of Mrs. Jaffe.
The book was to be published in the name of Mrs. Jaffe and not in the name of C. G. Jung, because it did not represent an autobiography composed by C. G. Jung. (Shamdasani, 1995, 132–133)
Jung’s attitude towards the project fluctuated.
After reading the early manuscript, he criticized Aniela Jaff´e’s handling of the text, complaining of “auntifications” (ibid., 130).
Jung never saw nor approved the final manuscript, and the manuscripts he did see went through considerable
editing after his death.
The publication of The Freud/Jung Letters in 1974 marked the first work after Jung’s death which was edited to a high scholarly standard, and rendered a great service to the history of the origins of the psychoanalytic movement.
However, because so little of Jung’s vast correspondences with other figures had been published, coupled with the fact that Jung’s legendary Red Book remained unpublished, this only strengthened the mistaken Freudocentric perspective of the origins of Jung’s work.
From 1912 onwards, Jung engaged in a process of self-experimentation which he termed a “confrontation with the unconscious.”
This principally consisted in provoking an extended series of waking fantasies in himself.
He later called this the method of “active imagination.”
Drawing from these materials, he composed a work in a literary and pictorial form called the Red Book, which he illustrated with his own paintings.
For decades, the Red Book has not been available for study, and has been the subject of
rumour, legend, andmyth-making.
It could best be described as a literary work of psychology. Jung maintained that it formed the foundation of his later work.
In May 2000, the heirs of C. G. Jung decided to release the work for publication, so that it would be first made available to the public in a definitive scholarly edition, to be prepared by the present author.
My work on the Red Book, commenced in 1996, has transformed my understanding of Jung’s work, and enabled me to comprehend its genesis.
Whilst not explicitly cited in the present work, it has critically informed it.
There is today a great appetite for biographical works.
Lives of Freud and Jung sell far better than the works of Freud and Jung.
After a hundred years of psychoanalysis, we have become accustomed to regarding biography as the key to an understanding of an individual’s work.
Regrettably, all biographies of Jung to date have left a great deal to be desired.
Jung himself had this to say about the prospect for biographies of his work:
“unless the development of his thought were central to his biography it would be no more than a series of incidents, like writing the life of Kant without knowing his work.”
This forms a fair depiction of the shortcomings of many works that have been written on Jung, and in all likelihood, of many more to come.
Writing at the termination of a biographical project by Lucy Heyer, Jung expressed his distaste for biographies, and his personal unsuitability as a subject for one:
I’m quite unable to continue this funny kind of playing at a biography. You could just as well ask me to help that foolish American Radio-Company to produce myself in the form of a film. I don’t go to church on Sundays with a prayerbook under my arm, nor do I wear a white coat, nor do I build hospitals, nor do I sit at the organ. So I’m not fodder for the average sentimental needs of the general public. And that will be so with my biography. There is just nothing very interesting in it.
On being presented with a literature prize by the city of Zurich in 1932, he reflected on the increasing recognition that his work was receiving:
With this “I” as a public person no human individual is naturally meant, but rather my mental performance – an idea, whose spokesman I am. This idea is my view of psychology, my individual recognition and confession [Erkennen und Bekennen] in matters of the human soul.
All too many works have collapsed these two together.
Whilst the value and interest of biographical works do not need to be justified, there are critical problems if the work in question is improperly understood, and, as is the case with Jung, there is not an extensive body of informed and reliable
studies to draw upon.
This book thus forms an essential preliminary to any informed biography of him.
This book has been envisaged as a cubist portrait, and presents a multifaceted approach to a multifaceted work.
Decisive stimuli for its form and structure have also been derived from certain works of Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and the writings of Fernando Pessoa. Its final assembly was assisted by certain compositions of Carla Bley and Charlie
Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra.48 It has more than one beginning and more than one end. Instead of presenting an over-determining context and a teleological development that can be read in reverse from an Olympian perspective, this work presents overlapping chronologies, intersecting facets and various angles. Hence no overarching coherence (or
incoherence) of Jung’s work has been presupposed.
Consequently, the same texts and figures are discussed in more than one place, from more than one viewpoint.
It is hoped that the intertwinings and interleavings thus established may illuminate the architecture of Jung’s work, without
reducing its complexity.
The work is divided into a series of sections which deal with major issues in Jung’s work, psychology and related disciplines.
These can be read in different orders, and the introduction can also be read as a conclusion.
Each reconstructs the respective nineteenth and early twentieth-century backdrops for Jung’s work, and situates its emergence and reception in relation to contemporaneous developments in the human and natural sciences.
The interconnections between the sections show the critical linkages of diverse topics through which Jung constituted his psychology.
The range of issues covered is not complete, and further issues will be taken up in a future work.
This can be considered to be a book about Jung, and a book about the rise of modern psychology and psychotherapy.
Both of these subjects have been focal points of my researches.
The attempt to comprehend and locate Jung’s work, commenced in 1981, led me to the view that, at so many critical points, Jung was dealing with broad issues concerning the conditions of possibility of psychology and the human sciences,
upon which many figures in other disciplines were also engaged.
His psychology was so deeply intertwined with these networks, that it simply cannot be understood in isolation.
In turn, in dealing with these issues, it has been helpful to have a point of orientation to provide some minimal
delimitation of the subject.
Jung’s work has generated a vast literature of appraisal, commentary, and critique.
Over the last two decades, I have attempted to cover as much of this as possible.
However, to try to comment upon it in detail here would make the present undertaking unmanageable.
Furthermore, the level of misrecognition of Jung is so high, that to straighten out the welter of fantasies, fictions, and fabrications is a more elaborate task than starting from scratch, as I have recently demonstrated.
Indeed, an increasingly large proportion of the work on Jung falls into the category of “History Lite” (evidence-free history).
Thus the approach adopted here focuses on primary source material.
Whilst it reconstructs elements of the reception of Jung’s work, it engages with secondary materials only when they bear directly on the issues at hand.
It is customary when reading a book to expect a thesis and a conclusion.
While there are many theses explored in this book, there is no conclusion.
For the aim of this work is not to conclude, but to open up new issues.
One implication of this work is that no far-going attempt to evaluate Jung’s psychology can avoid wider consideration of the constitution of psychology as a whole, and of the human sciences in general.
As the evaluation of psychology and its effects upon society involves consideration of to what extent it was ever successful in separating itself from neighboring disciplines and establishing its own domain, it follows that the task of evaluation is necessarily a multifaceted interdisciplinary endeavor.
For this to be possible, an accurate portrayal of the emergence of psychology is indispensable.
This history is a contribution to this task.
There has been no shortage of evaluations of Jung’s work.
But what has hitherto been lacking has been an adequate basis for sound evaluations.
Finally, given the scope of Jung’s erudition, an attempt by one individual to cover historically the selfsame terrain together with the corresponding secondary literature must inevitably succumb to the shortcomings of its own forms of dilettantism.
Thus this enterprise bears more than a passing resemblance to that of Pierre Menard, the protagonist of Jorge Luis Borges’ story, who set out to rewrite the Don Quixote of Cervantes (1939).