Re-envisioning Carl Jung from “The Red Book”

Neuroscience

Many modern-day therapists and psychologists – particularly those who work with dreams as a means of exploring a patient’s unconscious – owe a great debt to the Swiss analyst Carl Jung. While he lived, Jung significantly broadened the scope of psychoanalysis from the model established by Sigmund Freud. Whereas Freud largely viewed the Unconscious as a repository of unsavory memories and repressed impulses, Jung believed that it was in many ways aware and responsive, and an untapped reservoir of wisdom, knowledge, and even spiritual revelation. Read More →

The History and Basic Principles of Archetypal Psychology

Archetypal Psychology

The basic philosophy behind archetypal psychology was inspired by Carl Jung’s concept of the archetypes: Primordial symbols, appearing predominantly within our dreams, which are the common heritage of all mankind. The concept of archetypes implies that there are sources of health, healing, strength and wisdom within the psyche that are accessible to all of us. Archetypal psychology seeks to open up connections to this deeper source, believing that the true cures for a wide array of mental and emotional problems can be found there. Read More →

The Relationship Between Freud and Jung

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were colleagues and leading figures in the field of psychiatry in their day. This naturally led to a strong relationship filled with many meetings and numerous correspondences. In total they sent over 350 letters to each other. However, the story of their relationship is more the story of a relationship gone awry. Their close friendship only flourished for a few years before they decided to go their separate ways.

The first known correspondence between Freud and Jung took place in the year 1906, when Jung sent Freud a copy of his book, “Studies in Word Association.” When the two were finally able to meet in 1907 in Vienna, they sat and talked for thirteen hours straight. It seemed that they got along wonderfully. From that day until 1909, their letters were filled with father-son references. Freud took an obviously paternal role to Jung, writing in one letter, “I formally adopt you as eldest son and anoint you . . . as my successor and crown prince.”

Freud, because of the part of his Oedipal theory that said all sons harbored a death wish onto their father, was under the impression that Jung had an unconscious death wish towards him. He blamed Jung’s eventual dissent on this unresolved oedipal problem. On a few occasions this thought seemed to have worried Freud so much that it caused him to faint.

Another source of tension between the two was that Jung viewed Freud’s psychoanalysis as sexually repressive, and wanted to advocate for greater sexual freedom. This was in direct confrontation to Freud, who wanted Jung to promise never to abandon the sexual theory. In fact, he insisted that Jung make it unquestionable dogma. Jung was of the opinion that Freud was no longer using scientific judgement, and wondered why he placed such an importance on sexuality.

Jung was also heading in a direction that Freud did not like with his research as he began looking at mysticism and occultism. He became interested in gods, archetypes, the collective unconscious, and the shadow side of man. He wanted Freud to join in to the crusade to conquer occultism. Freud, though he said that he did not wish to hold Jung back, also wanted nothing to do with it. By May of 1912, Freud had begun to distance himself from Jung’s ideas. Finally on January 3, 1913 he wrote, “I propose we abandon our personal relations entirely.”

Though intense as the relationship between Freud and Jung initially was, it only managed to last roughly six years due to diverting interests and oedipal worries. However, those six years contributed greatly to the future work of both men and left an undeniably important mark in their psychoanalytic field. The ideas and theories that they worked on both together and apart are still discussed by psychologists, psychiatrists, philosophers, and various scholars today.