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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.





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



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.






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



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



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.






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



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



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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