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Essay/Term paper: Carl jung

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Biography

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Carl Jung



 



Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a son of a minister in Switzerland. He



was born on July 26, in the small village of Kesswil on Lake Constance. He



was named after his grandfather, a professor of medicine at the University



of Basel. He was the oldest child and only surviving son of a Swiss Reform



pastor. Two brothers died in infancy before Jung was born. Jung's mother



was a neurotic and often fought with his father. Father was usually lonely



and very irritable. When the child could not take his mother's depressions



and his parents' fights, he sought refuge in the attic, where he played



with a wooden mannikin. Carl was exposed to death early in life, since his



father was a minister and attended many funerals, taking his son with him.



Also, Jung saw many fishermen get killed in the waterfalls and also many



pigs get slaughtered. When he was eleven, he went to a school in Basel, met



many rich people and realized that he was poor, compared to them. He liked



to read very much outside of class and detested math and physical education



classes. Actually, gym class used to give him fainting spells (neurosis)



and his father worried that Jung wouldn't make a good living because of his



spells. After Carl found out about his father's concern, the faints



suddenly stopped, and Carl became much more studious.



 



He had to decide his profession. His choices included archeology,



history, medicine, and philosophy. He decided to go into medicine, partly



because of his grandfather. Carl went to the University of Basel and had



to decide then what field of medicine he was going to go into. After



reading a book on psychiatry, he decided that this was the field for him,



although psychiatry was not a respectable field at the time. Jung became



an assistant at the Burgholzli Mental hospital in Zurich, a famous medical



hospital. He studied under Eugen Bleuler, who was a famous psychiatrist



who defined schizophrenia. Jung was also influenced by Freud with whom he



later became good friends. Freud called him his crown-prince. Their



relationship ended when Jung wrote a book called "Symbols of



Transformation." Jung disagreed with Freud's fundamental idea that a symbol



is a disguised representation of a repressed wish. I will go into that



later. After splitting up with Freud, Jung had a 2 year period of



non-productivity, but then he came out with his "Psychological Types," a



famous work. He went on several trips to learn about primitive societies



and archetypes to Africa, New Mexico to study Pueblo Indians, and to India



and Ceylon to study eastern philosophy. He studied religious and occult



beliefs like I Ching, a Chinese method of fortune telling. Alchemy was



also one of his interests. His book, "Psychology and Alchemy," published



in 1944 is among his most important writings. He studied what all this



told about the human mind. One of his methods was word association, which



is when a person is given a series of words and asked to respond to them.



Abnormal response or hesitation can mean that the person has a complex



about that word.



 



His basic belief was in complex or analytical psychology. The goal is



psychosynthesis, or the unification and differentiation of the psyche



(mind). He believed that the mind started out as a whole and should stay



that way. That answered structural, dynamic, developmental questions. I



will attempt to restate the major ideas and terms in this book in a



pseudo-outline. It will make the understanding a bit more clear.



 



STRUCTURE



---------



 



Jung said that there are three levels of mind. Conscious, Personal



Subconscious, and Collective Subconscious. The conscious level serves four



functions. The following are the functions of people (not types!):



 



A. Thinking: connecting ideas in ordered strings.



B. Feeling: evaluating ideas upon feelings about them.



C. Sensing: wanting to get experiences.



D. Intuiting: following unfounded ideas.



 



A & B are called rational, and C & D are called irrational. If they



don't make much sense, they will be explained in more detail after



explaining Types.



 



There are also 2 classes of conscious behavior:



 



A. Introverted, which are people who are content to stay within their



own psyche. They base their whole life on analyzing their mind.



 



B. Extroverted, which are people who seek out other people. They care



about the outside world and adjust to it.



 



Also, one of the two classes usually dominates, and rarely does one see



an individual with perfectly balanced classes of behavior. Jung said that



an ego is a filter from the senses to the conscious mind. All ego



rejections go to the personal subconscious. The ego is highly selective.



Every day we are subjected to a vast number of experiences, most of which



do not become conscious because the ego eliminates them before they reach



consciousness. This differs from Freud's definition of ego, which we



studied in class. The personal subconscious acts like a filing cabinet for



those ego rejections. Clusters of related thoughts in the personal



subconscious form Complexes. One type of complex we have talked about in



class is the Oedipus Complex. For example, if one has a mother complex,



(s)he can not be independent of his/her mother or a similar figure.



Complexes are often highly visible to people, but unfelt by the individual



who has the complex. As already mentioned, complexes can be revealed by



word association, which will cause hang-ups, if mentioned. A strong or



total complex will dominate the life of a person, and weak or partial



complex will drive a person in a direction of it, but not too strongly. A



complex, as Jung discovered, need not be a hindrance to a person's



adjustment. In fact, quite the contrary. They can be and often are



sources of inspiration and drive which are essential for outstanding



achievement. Complexes are really suppressed feelings. Say you want to be



a fireman, but your parents don't let you, so you might have suppressed



feelings about it and let it drive you, so you might think that firemen are



heroes, because you never could be one.



 



The Collective Subconscious is hereditary. It sets up the pattern of



one's psyche. A collection of so called primordial images which people



inherit, also called archetypes are stored here. They are universal



inclinations that all people have in common somewhere by means of heredity.



The four important archetypes that play very significant roles in



everyone's personality are Persona, Anima(us), Shadow, and the Self. Here



is a brief explan ation of each.



 



Persona - from Latin word meaning "mask." Something actors wore to portray



a certain personality. In Jungian psychology, the persona



archetype serves a similar purpose; it enables one to portray a



character that is not necessarily his own. The persona is the



mask or facade one exhibits publicly, with the intention of



presenting a favourable impression so that society will accept



him. This is necessary for survival, for the reason that it



enables us to get along with people, even those we diskike, in an



amicable manner. Say, you have to get a job, and what is expected



of you is such personal characteristics such as grooming,



clothing, and manners, so even if you don't exhibit those at



home, you have to demonstrate them at work, in order to get this



job. A person may also have more than one persona.



 



Anima, Animus - Jung called the persona the "outward face" of the psyche



because it is that face which the world sees. The "inward face"



he called the anima in males and the animus in females. The anima



archetype is the female side of the masculine psyche; the animus



archetype is the masculine side of the female psyche. Man has



developed his anima archetype by continous exposure to women over



many generations, and woman has developed her animus arch etype



by her exposure to men. Anima and animus archetype, like that of



the persona, have strong survival value. If a man exhibits only



masculine traits, his feminine traits remain unconscious and



therefore these traits remain undevel oped and primitive. This,



if you will remember, is like Jack, who was a macho guy, and was



encouraged to discard all feminine traits. Jung said that since



this image is unconscious, it is always unconsciously projected



upon the person of the beloved, (i.e. girlfriend) and is one of



the chief reasons for passionate attraction or aversion. So, for



example, if I always thought that women were nagging, then I



would project that notion onto my wife, and think that she is



nagging, although she is perfectly customary. If he experiences



a "passionate attraction," then the woman undoubtedly has the



same traits as his anima-image of woman. Western civilization



seems to place a high value on conformity and to disparage



femininity in men and masculinity in women. The disparagement



beings in childhood when "sissies" and "tomboys" are ridiculed.



Peter was expected to be kind and gentle, which would bring deri



sion. Boys are simply expected to conform to a culturally



specified masculine role and girls to a feminine role. Thus, the



persona takes precedence over and stifles the anima or animus.



 



The Shadow - This is another archetype that represents one's own gender and



that influences a person's relationships with his own sex. The



shadow contains more of man's basic animal nature than any other



archetype does. Because of its extremely deep roots in



evolutionary history, it is probably the most powerful and



potentially the most dangerous of all the archetypes. It is the



source of all that is best and worst in man, especially in his



relations with others of the same sex. In order for a person to



become an integral member of the community, it is necessary to



tame his animal spirits contained in the shadow. This taming is



accomplished by suppressing manifestations of the shadow and by



developing a strong persona which counteracts the power of the



shadow. For example, if a person suppresses the animal side of



his nature, he may become civilized, but he does so at the



expense of decreasing the motive power for spontaneity,



creativity, strong emotions, and deep insights. A shadowless



life tends to become shallow and spiritless. The shadow is



extremely persistent and does not yield easily to suppression.



Say, a farmer was in spired to be a psychology teacher.



Inspirations are always the work of the shadow. The farmer does



not think this inspiration is feasible at the time, probable



since his persona as a farmer is too strong, so he rejects it.



But the idea keeps plaguing him, because of the persistent



pressure exerted by the shadow. Finally, one day he gives in and



turns from farming to teaching psychology. When the ego and the



shadow work in close harmony, the person feels full of life and



vigor.



 



The Self - The concept of the total personality or psyche is a central



feature of Jung's psychology. This wholeness, as pointed out in



the discussion of the psyche, is not achieved by putting the



parts together in a jigsaw fashion; it is there to begin with,



although it takes time to mature. It is sometimes manifested in



dreams, it leads to self realization, its the driving force to be



a complete person! The self is the central archetype in the col



lective unconscious, much as the sun us the center of the solar



system. It unites the personality. When a person says he feels



in harmony with himself and with the world, we can be sure that



the self archetype is performing its work effectively.



 



There are three ways how your psyche works together. One structure may



compensate for the weakness of another structure, one component may oppose



another component, and two or more structures may unite to form a



synthesis. Compensation may be illustrated by the contrasting attitudes of



extraversion and introversion. If extraversion is the dominant or superior



attitude of the conscious ego, then the unconscious will compensate by



devel oping the repressed attitude of introversion. Compensation also



occurs between function, which I briefly mentioned earlier. A person who



stresses thinking or feeling in his conscious mind will be an intuitive,



sensation type unconsciously. As we studied in class, this balance, which



compensation provides us with, is healthy. It prevents our psyches from



becoming neurotically unbalanced. We need to have a little Peter and Jack



in all of us. Opposition exists everywhere in the personality: between



the persona and the shadow, between the persona and the anima, and between



the shadow and the anima. The contest between the rational and irrational



forces of the psyche never ceases either. One's integrity of "self" can



actually determine whether or not this opposition will cause a shattering



of a personality. Must personality always by a house divided against



itself, though? Jung thought not. There can always be a union of



opposites, a theme that looms very large in Jung's writings.



 



 



DYNAMICS



--------



 



The psyche is a relatively closed system that has only a fixed amount of



energy also called Values, which is the amount of energy devoted to a



component of the mind. There are some channels into the psyche through



which ene rgy can enter in form of experiences. If the psyche were a



totally closed systems, it could reach a state of perfect balance, for it



would not be subjected to interference from the outside. The slightest



stimulus may have far-reaching consequences on one's mental stability.



This shows that it is not the amount of energy that is added, but the



disruptive effects that the added energy produces within the psyche. These



disruptive effects are caused by massive redistributions of energy within



the system. It takes only the slightest pressure on the trigger of a



loaded gun to cause a great disaster. Similarly, it may take only the



slightest addition of energy to an unstable psyche to produce large effects



in a person's behavior. Psychic energy is also called Libido. It is not



to be confused with Freud's definition of libido. Jung did not restrict



libido to sexual energy as Freud did. In fact, this is one of the



essential differences in the theories of the two men. It can be classified



as actual or potential forces that perform psychological work. It is often



expressed in desires and wants for objects. The values for things are



hidden in complexes.



 



The psyche is always active, yet it is still very difficult for people to



accept this view of a continuously active psyche, because there is a strong



tendency to equate psychic activity with conscious activity. Jung, as well



as Freud, hammered away at this misconception, but it persists even today.



The source of psychic energy is derived from one's instincts and diverted



into other uses. Like a waterfall is used to create energy, you have to



use your instincts to turn into energy as well. Otherwise, just like the



waterfall, your instincts are completely fruitless. For example, if you



think that to get a beautiful wife, you have to be rich, so you direct your



sexual drive into a business persona, which will bring you money.



 



There are two principles of psychic dynamics. What happens to all that



energy?



 



1. Principle of Equivalence. Energy is not created nor destroyed. If



it leaves something, it has to surface. For example, if a child devoted a



lot of energy to reading comics, it might be redirected into a different



persona, som ething like being Mr. Cool Dude! He then will loose interest



in reading comics. Energy also has an inclination to carry tendencies of



its source to its destination.



 



2. Principle of Entropy. Energy usually flows from high to low. If you



have a highly developed structure (persona, for example), instead of



equalizing, it may start drawing values from other systems to boost itself



even higher. Such highly energized systems have a tendency to go BOOOOM!



So, entropy can destroy those high energy systems if they get too big. The



operation of the entropy principle results in an equilibrium of forces.



Just like two bodies of different temperatures touching each other would



soon equalize temperatures. The hotter one will transfer heat to the



cooler one. Once a balance is reached in your psyche, according to Jung, it



will be then difficult to disturb. Tho se two principles influence the



following:



 



Progression and Regression. Progression is the advance of psychological



adaptation. For example, if you need a shadow (creativity, perhaps), you



will try to develop one. When conflicting traits loose power, your psyche



enters regression. Say, your persona and shadow are in opposition and



because they are in opposition, they both would be suppressed, because



neither would get enough libido, or energy.



 



 



DEVELOPMENT



-----------



 



Jung stated that there are basically four stages of life. They are



Childhood, Youth and Young Adulthood, Middle Age, and Old Age. In the



beginning (childhood), a person's psyche is undefferentiated and this



person becomes a projection of the parents psyche. Children are not



individuals in the beginning of their life, because their ir memories don't



have too much stored in them and they lack a sense of continuity because of



that. As they gain experience, they realize that they are their own person



and not their parents' projection. The stage of youth and adulthood is



announced by the physiological changes that occur during puberty. During



this stage, an individual establishes his/her position in life. His



vocation and marriage partner are determined. A person usually uses his



Anima and Shadow to d ecide those things. Values are channeled into his



establishment in the outside world. Once one is independent, even a small



experience can influence him greatly. The Middle Age is the one often



neglected by psychiatrists. Lots of people have problems in this stage.



They usually don't know what to do with the energy left over that was



devoted to establishing positions in society as youth. As the principle of



entropy suggests, the energy is conserved, so once an adult put it to use,



he must redirect it elsewhere. Jung stated that those left-over energies



can be usefully diverted into spiritual contemplation and expansion.



Nothing much happens in old age. People have so much energy of experiences



in their psyche that even a major experience won't upset their



psychological balance.



 



Often, society will force people to assume prefered types. Types are



categories of classifications of psyches which are non-absolute and have no



definite boundaries. There are eight "types." Types are combinations of



functions and attitudes (page 3). The following are the eight main types:



 



1. Extraverted Thinking Type. This type of man elevates objective



thinking into the ruling passion of his life. He is typified by the



scientist who devotes his energy to learning as much as he can about



the objective world. The most developed extraverted thinker is an



Einstein.



 



2. Introverted Thinking Type. This type is inward-directed in his



thinking. He is exemplified by the philosopher or existential



psychologist who seeks to understand the reality of his own being.



He may eventually break his ties with reality and become



schizophrenic.



 



3. Extraverted Feeling Type. This type, which Jung observes is more



frequently found in women, subordinates thinking to feeling.



 



4. Introverted Feeling Type. This type is also more commonly found



among women. Unlike their extraverted sisters, introverted feeling



persons keep their feelings hidden from the world.



 



5. Extraverted Sensation Type. People of this type, mainly men, take an



interest in accumulating facts about the external world. They are



realistic, practical, and hardheaded, but they are not particularly



concerned about what things mean.



 



6. Introverted Sensation Type. Like all introverts, the introverted



sensation type stands aloof from external objects, immersing himself



in his own psychic sensations. He considers the world to be banal



and uninteresting.



 



7. Extraverted Intuitive Type. People of this type, commonly women, are



characterized by flightiness and instability. They jump from



situation to situation to discover new possibilities in the external



world. They are always looking for new worlds to conquer before they



have conquered old ones.



 



8. Introverted Intuitive Type. The artist is a representative of this



type, but it also contains dreamers, prophets, visionaries, and



cranks. He usually thinks of himself as a misunderstood genius.



 



Variations in the degree to which each of the attitudes and functions are



consciously developed or remain unconscious and undeveloped can produce a



wide range of differences among individuals.



 



This book is an extremely valuable source of thought provoking logic.



Jung wrote with common sense, passion, and compassion, and the reader



experiences a "shock of recognition"; he will recognize truths he has



known, but which he has not been able to express in words. This book made



me think about myself, and people in general. How people's minds work,



including my own. I found a lot of "truth" or at least I though I did in



Jung's teachings. I could relate some of the reading material to elements



studied in class. One will be astounded by the number of Jung's ideas that



anticipated those of later writers. Many of the new trends in psychology



and related fields are indebted to Jung, who first gave them their



direction. The book is also interesting, because of its challenging



nature. I suppose that not all people would enjoy reading such type of



literature, since many people in this world are sensational types. I



certainly did enjoy it, and have found out some things about myself in the



process. The book is very well written. It has many good analogies and



explanations which even the most sensational type would understand. The



collection of information is tremendous. There is so much information



bundled in 130 pages, that it makes you think that 500 pages would not be



enough to really explain deeply the subject matter. This book can be



faultlessly us ed as a textbook, which could prove to be salutary in



psychology classes. I strongly recommend reading this book to all



audiences that want to. A person, content with the world around him, not



wishing to challenge the puzzles of nature, should not. This book is a



treasure for all who seek to explore the human mind.



 



Ilya Shmulevich

 

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