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Main Visions of Jung

Jungian One has to remind oneself again and again that in therapy it is more important for the patient to understand than for the analyst's theoretical expectations to be satisfied. - Carl G. Jung, in Man and His Symbols. (1964) Essay retitled "Symbols and the Interpretation of Dreams" in CW 18: P.61


Jungian Practical analysis [had better be a genuine art] ... Learn your theories as well as you can, but put them [underneath things somehow] when you touch the miracle of the living soul. Not [reducing] theories but your own creative individuality [should be in the front seat then]. - Carl Gustav Jung, Contributions to Analytical Psychology (1928)

Understand, says Jung,

Jungian To be "normal" is the ideal aim for the unsuccessful, for all those who are still below the general level of adaptation. But for people of more than average ability, people who never found it difficult to gain successes and to accomplish their share of the world's work - for them the moral compulsion to be nothing but normal signifies the bed of Procrustes - deadly and insupportable boredom, a hell of sterility and hopelessness. - Carl Gustav Jung, The Principles of Practical Psychology" (1935). In CW 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy. P. 161

The bed of Procrustes is not ideal for rest and recuperation. To deviate well enough - in one or more proper, solid ways that suit you and so on, is a task of often overlooked importance. The process of individuation tells of that, tells Jung. What do you think?

Many thoughts that Jung proposes had better be considered speculation - or theory -, for the lack of reasonable evidence and/or experience that they hold water. Also consider that thoughts that go largely unproved, may or may not be true, generally, up to a point, or sometimes, under given conditions. So one has to restrain oneself and not be too quick to judge. A little reserve may come in handy many a time.

Jungian My views are grounded in experience. - Carl Gustav Jung. [CW18. 1731]

Politely: "What sort of experience?"

Goofs around maintain speculation. Some take it as faith, others as thoughtful theory - Hence, tenets that have not been tried or tested over - say - five or four generations in daily living, may at last be found to be faulty or of not so significant worth that it matters so much. It often happens earlier in the realm of science, where old theories are largely abandoned too, because they do not seem interesting any longer.

This works well: Let the one who asserts or proposes the tenets, also bring about the proof of how valid his or her statements are, under what conditions, and what are the needed specifications. From what "platform" is that credo-guy's utterance, for example? It makes a difference if facets such as these are checked and found not wanting.

Ideas of whatever source or harvested by whatever measures, need to be carefully checked before launched onto others. Maybe crooks and prelates won't do that where empirical know-how in handling ideas has its rightful place. They love to impose a faith instead.

Now, taste on this: In an interview with André Barbault that appeared in the May 26, 1954, issue of Astrologie Moderne, Jung stated,

Jungian One can expect with considerable assurance, that a given well-defined psychological situation will be accompanied by an analogous astrological configuration. - C. G. Jung

If rigorously held speculation is steadily maintained, despite lack of solid evidence, it might become inbringing. Ministers and astrologers worldwide may attest to that. Assertions depend on authority to get accepted.

Somewhere between good and firm evidence and no evidence is the realm of what looks plausible - at least to some. What remains to please a hard-headed researcher, is much and savoury verification of this and that tenet.

In fair science, wherever it can be found, the burden of proof rests on the shoulders of the proponents of this and that grand-looking proposition, hypothesis or assertion. It's not good to leave verifications of this and that onto the receivers, for many persons get dumbfounded by authority figures, scams or otherwise.

Unproved does not always equal untrue. There is a sphere - presumably - where one, some, many or all Jungian tenets may come in handy. There is no real need to become a believer, not even an investigator. For both of these may take time and money out of your life. If not, good for you. Listen to Jung: he says flatly: "I can only hope and wish that no one becomes 'Jungian.'"

The unsettled loom and the limited lab findings

Leading your own life is a lot.

Many findings that have been academically classified as just plausible, could still work very well in real life - that large, looming web we're inside.

What looks good in basic science and its laboratory settings, may fall short in real life, which is another scenario - one marked by much lack of control, not just a few influences, but many, many - and overt difficulties to make sense out of things or possible results.

Hence, thoughts that look good in the limited setting (where experiements are done) may not serve all people anyhow, or a few people. There are such chances.

Statistics is devised to help us handle odds or insecurity by strategical and calculating measures. One result of that sort of averaging business is that you invent the average man - he's just hypothetical.

And more important still, what appears to be valid in average, is not directly related to the single person. You can't deduce anything but odds from something that has been estimated (computed) by use of levelling measures revolving around certain "averages" to one person. That's pinpointed and deserves its saying.

There is an awakening interest in Carl Gustav Jung's ideas. Some seem increasingly able to understand his central points. Books on books on him attest to that interest. Jung has a very wide range output, and the main parts are hardly well tested, but for the MBTI types - a typology-based personality test that is based on Jung and has come down to nothing. We can also talk against the ideas behind his word-association test in the light of findings by the Buzan brothers. "The proof of the pudding . . ."

For now it is unreasonably to maintain that all of Jung's tenets are good or bad or in between; only that they are largely unverified, and one seems falsified. Carl Jung took off from Freud's psychoanalysis and established a sort of legitimated belief system in partial competition with it.


Jung on the Psychic Realms

"Speak for yourself," is fit.

"[This] stands for the rejection of mediocrity and conformism, and for the joyful commitment to life . . . - J. J. Clarke (1992:154)

"Critics have suggested [Carl Jung] failed to look sufficiently deeply into the cultural as opposed to the biological origins of sterotypical male or female characteristics. He certainly tended to assume that the male/female distinction as it appears in Western male-dominated society is a universal archetype, and to that extent he was caught up in the prejudices of his culture." - J. J. Clarke (1992:160)

A Few More Jung Quotations

To the civilized man dreams as a rule appear valueless . . . This peculiarity lends plausibility to the view that dreams are inspirations. - Carl G. Jung, "The Psychological Foundations of Belief in Spirits" (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 574

"Obviously it is in the youthful period of life that we have most to gain from a thorough recognition of the instinctual side. A timely recognition of sexuality, for instance, can prevent that neurotic suppression of it which keeps a man unduly withdrawn from life, or else forces him into a wretched and unsuitable way of living with which he is bound to come into conflict. Proper recognition and appreciation of normal instincts leads the young person into life and entangles him with fate, thus involving him in life's necessities and the consequent sacrifices and efforts through which his character is developed and his experience matured. For the mature person, however, the continued expansion of life is obviously not the right principle, because the descent towards life's afternoon demands simplification, limitation, and intensification-in other words, individual culture." [C. G. Jung: "On Psychic Energy" (1928). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 113)

"It even seems as if young people who have had a hard struggle for existence are spared inner problems, while those who for some reason or other have no difficulty with adaptation run into problems of sex or conflicts arising from a sense of inferiority." [C. G. Jung: "The Stages of Life" (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 762]



The persona of Jungian thinking [Cf Olk 32]

The common psychic way of behaving towards the surrounding world is called persona in Jungian thinking. Man comes in touch with and adapts to the surrounding world by a mental connectivity system, is Carl Jung's postulate. The figure suggests how that system also surrounds the "I" like a sheath.

In the figure, thought is reckoned with as the main function; therefore it lords almost completely over the I-sheath, ie, man's persona. The servant functions, intuition and perceptions, take far less part in the persona, and the inferior function of feelings, is almost completely outside, all according to Jung.

The persona is a section of the "I", the part of the "I" that is directed toward the surrounding world. In Jung's thought, the persona is a complex (bundle) of functions for adapting, and is not the same as the individuality. The persona deals solely with linking oneself to outward things, the outer realm. The persona makes itself into a compromise between individuality and society. I may have said: a buffer zone somehow.

The persona's concerns encompass: (a) the egohood ideal, if any is sensed; it is how he wants to look like or emulate; (b) the pictures and attitudes that important and significant elements of the surrounding world have "glued together" of the person in question, according tastes and ideals of the dominating surrounding elements, roughly said. (c) The given bodily and mental conditions that frame in the actualisation of the I-ideals and the ideals of influencing surroundings.

So, in between the surrounding world and the individual's inner, structural make-up we find the persona. An individual that in time builds his persona solely on the features that are endorsed by outer collective units, tends to end up with a mass man's persona, which may work for good or bad or "in between" those poles apart, and with different blends and hues included.

On the other hand, the one who takes into account only is own personal needs, wishes and ideals and tries to live them out, may end up like Adolf Hitler, or prehaps less drastically: he ignores proper concerns for others, gets a reputation as odd, a loner or perhaps a rebel only. But being a rebel can be healthy and OK in some cases.

The persona includes mental abilities, ways of dealing and bartering in social spheres, habitual peculiarities such as the way of walking, posture, hair-cut, clothing, grimaces and facial wrinkling at times, usual smiles and sighs, and so on.

It is thought to be necessary to have a persona to get well-adapted through, but what about the artist? Is is good to have some elastic wall (persona) between the I-ness and others, instead of being "just oneself" primarily and go into contact as such? It could be good. For the persona contains inherent dangers. If all goes well in the "adaptation circus", one may feel like behaving naturally in balanced, regular ways at first. But if the persona becomes something to hide oneself behind because it seems to be an easy way of adjusting oneself at first, the adaptation manoeuvres may stiffen, get rigid, maybe automated or too mechanical too. Then the persona is a fake image of the one inside it, and the impression others may get, tends not to be true. Seducers may have personas like that.

Behind the persona that turns into a mask, the individuality may stiffen, get stultified and perhaps weeded out, transgressed against, maybe even choked.

Identifying oneself with position, office and rank may be seductive along the lines we have etched above, and therefore many men and women feel they are nothing much and look down on themselves beyond the allotted or lent "dignity". Many who retire from active work, have severe identity problems in line with these phenomena; and there are others as well.

Jungs cautions against expecting to find much of value behind a persona that has gone rigid. A personality is not found inside that shell, just a pathetic little human being. Dr. Jung's words sound a bit harsh, admittedly. He also considers that we all know the professor who uses up all of his individuality ont he professor's role. Behind that facade or mask there is nothing but sourness and infantility to be found.

So even if a persona works and is confirmed through habitual ways, it should not be allowed to become opaque. There should be transparency through which to get glimpses of who's inside. The persona should not grow so firm that one can't get rid of it. The consciousness of the individual inside it should use it expediency by being very conscious of things like these.

According to Dr. Jung, thinking helps to solve riddles in this line, but he surely considers that most adaptations are more willy-nilly and inferior to that.

Censorship and rigid pressures in the education may foster a wrong development, so that the persona is no longer elastic, a tool or thing to handle from inside. If that happens, one may become a jumping-frog or even laughing-stock in the hands of others. One may in the long run become compulsive through rigid habituation, and perhaps neurotic too. In those situations the persona doesn't work well, is not as differentiated and effective as it needs to be, and may mislead not a few to form wrong estimates of the character involved.

Dr. Jung postulates that there is a collective consciousness that big bosses may or may not express favoured sides of. He also thinks that deep inside anyone are much unconscious depths that contain archetypes of great figures. He may feel fairly attuned to one or more of those, and perhaps read them onto great guys. Among these ideal figures are the revenger, the saviour of humankind, the martyr, the outcast, the vampyre and others.

The more hardened or encrusted the persona turns and the more one identifies with the persona, the more dangers ay accrue. The reason for that is that in such cases the inner personality loses empathy, turns into a cencor too, or gradually begins to harbinger repressed suppressed, undifferentiated content that can be charged with threatening dynamisms and involve psychic crises of various sorts.

But a persona that is well placed and soundly functioning, is a good help to go on living year after year. [Rooted in Jacobi 1968:31-34]


Carl Gustav Jung, Jungian thinking, C. G. Jung ideas, Carl Jung, Literature  

Barbara, Hannah. The Archetypal Symbolism of Animals: Lectures given at the C. G. Jung Institute, Zurich, 1954-1958. Ed. David. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications, 2006.

Barbara, Hannah. The Inner Journey: Lectures and Essays On Jungian Psychology Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts. Toronto: Inner City Books, 2000.

Beebe, John. Integrity in Depth: Analytical Psychology. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1992.

Bishop, Paul, ed. Jung in Contexts: A Reader Milton Park, Abingdon: Taylor and Francis, 2003.

Blakemore, Phyllis, ed. When the Body Speaks: The Archetypes in the Body. Mara Sidoli. London: Routledge, 2000.

Bloom, Benjamin et al. Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. New York: McKay, 1956.

Brooke, Roger. Jung and Phenomenology. London. Routledge, 1991.

Cambray, Joseph. Synchronicity; Nature and Psyche in an Interconnected Universe. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2009.

Carotenuto, Aldo. The Vertical Labyrinth: Individuation in Jungian Psychology. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1985.

Casement, Ann. Post Jungians Today: Key Papers in Contemporary Analytical Psychology. London: Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Clarke, J. J. Jung and Eastern Thought. A Dialogue with the Orient. London: Routledge, 1994.

Clarke, J. J. In Search of Jung: Historical and Philosophical Enquiries. London: Routledge, 1992.

Cohen, Edmund D. C. G. Jung and the Scientific Attitude. New York: Philosophical Library, 1975.

Edinger, Edward F. The Living Psyche: A Jungian Analysis in Pictures. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publishers, 1990.

Evans Wentz, W. Y. ed. The Tibetan Book of the Dead or the After-Death Experiences on the Bardo Plane, according to Lama Kazi Dawa-Samdup's English Rendering. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960. ⍽▢⍽ With a psychological commentary by Dr. Jung.

Fordham, Frieda. An Introduction to Jung's Psychology. 3rd ed. Harmondsworth. Pelican/Penguin, 1966.

Fordham, Michael. Jungian Psychotherapy: A Study in Analytical Psychology. Reprint ed. London: Maresfield Library, 1990.

Gabbard, Glen O., and Eva P. Lester. Boundaries and Boundary Violations in Psychoanalysis. Reissue ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, 2003.

Gray, Frances. Jung, Irigaray, Individuation: Philosophy, Analytical Psychology, and the Question of the Feminine. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, 2008.

Hall, James A. Jungian Dream Interpretation: A Handbook of Theory and Practice. Toronto: Inner City Books, 1983.

Hull, R. F. C., tr. Psychology and Education: C. G. Jung. Paperback ed. Princeton, NJ: Bollingen series XX, Vol 17 / Princeton University Press, 1969.

Jones, Raya A. Jung, Psychology, Postmodernity. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, 2007.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Psychology and the Occult. London: Ark Paperbacks, 1987.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Psykisk energi. Oslo. Cappelen, 1992.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Bollingen Series 20 / Princeton University Press, 1968.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Collected Works. New York: Pantheon (Bollingen Series, Vols 1-20), 1957-1979.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Dreams. Translated by by R. F. C. Hull. Princeton, NJ: Bollingen / Princeton University Press, 1974.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Mandala Symbolism. Princeton, NJ: Bollingen / Princeton University, 1973.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Memories, Dreams, Reflections. London: Fontana, 1995.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Psychology and the Occult. London: Ark paperbacks, 1987.

Jung, Carl Gustav. The Essential Jung: Selected and introduced by Anthony Storr. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983.

Kirsch, Thomas B. The Jungians: A Comparative and Historical Perspective. London: Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2001.

Laughlin, Tom. Jungian Psychology, Volume 2: Jungian Theory and Therapy. Los Angeles, CA: Panarion, Press, 1982.

Main, Roderick. The Rupture of Time: Synchronicity and Jung's Critique of Modern Western Culture. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge, 2004.

Mathers, Dale. An Introduction to Meaning and Purpose in Analytical Psychology. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2004.

Miller, Jeffrey C. The Transcendent Function: Jung's Model of Psychological Growth through Dialogue with the Unconscious. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2004.

Neil, Renée. The Use of Dreams in Couple Counseling: A Jungian Perspective. Toronto: Inner City Books, 2004.

Peat, F. David. Synchronicity the Bridge Between Matter and Mind. New York: Bantam Books, 1987.

Rothgeb, Carrie Lee, ed. Abstracts of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. Houston TX: The Jung Center / National Clearinghouse: 1995-2013.

Rowland, Susan, ed. Psyche and the Arts: Jungian Approaches to Psyche and the Arts: Music, Architecture, Literature, Film and Painting. Hove, East Sussex: Routledge /Francis and Taylor, 2008.

Rowland, Susan. C. G. Jung and Literary Theory. Basingstoke, Hampshire: MacMillan Press, 1999.

Samuels, Andrew. Jung and the Post Jungians. London: Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Schwartz-Salant, Nathan. The Mystery of Human Relationship: Alchemy and the Transformation of the Self. London: Brunner-Routledge / Taylor and Francis, 2005.

Sedgwich, David. Introduction to Jungian Psychotherapy; The Therapeutic Relationship. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge /Taylor and Francis, 2004.

Singer, June K. Boundaries of the Soul: The Practice of Jung's Psychology. New York: Anchor Books / Doubleday, 1973.

Stein, Murray. Jung's Treatment of Christianity. The Psychotherapy of a Religious Tradition. Wilmette, IL: Chiron Publications, 1985.

Stevens, Anthony. Jung. Reissue ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Stevens, Anthony. The Two Million Year Old Self. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1993.

Storr, Anthony. The Essential Jung. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983.

Sugg, Richard P., ed. Jungian Literary Criticism. Evanston, ILL: Northwestern University Press, 1992.

Taylor, Jeremy. Dream Work: Techniques for Discovering the Creative Power in Dreams. Ramsey, NJ: Paulist Press, 1983.

Wiener, Jan. The Therapeutic Relationship: Transference, Countertransference, and the Making of Meaning. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 2009.

In other languages

Bertelsen, Jes. Ouroboros. En undersøgelse af selvets strukturer. Ph.D. dissertation, Århus: Universitetet i Århus. 1974.

Hark, Helmut. Religiöse Traumsymbolik. Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1980.

Jacobi, Jolande. Jungs psykologi. Oslo. Gyldendal, 1968.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Gesammelte Werke. Olten: Walter Verlag, 1958.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Psykologisk typologi. Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1975.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Drømmetydninger. Utval og omsetting ved Ove Steen. Oslo: Pax, 2007.

Jung, Carl Gustav. The Gnostic Jung. Ed. Robert Segal. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Jung, Carl Gustav. Traumanalyse. Olten: Walter Verlag, 1991.

Skogemann, Pia. Kvinnelighet i vekst. Oslo: Gyldendal, 1986.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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