A discussion of their positive aspects in the theraputic context




Born on July 26, 1875, in Kesswil, Switzerland Jung was aparently a lonely child and developed a liking for dreaming and fantasy that greatly influenced his later work. He greaduated from Basel and Zurich having studied medicine. He worked on a word association theory he called  “complexes”. This work led to a professional association with Freud. In 1912 Jung announced his departure from Freud’s theories with the publication of a published paper. Jung’s theory drew parallels between ancient myths and human motivation. Jung and Freud conflicted with each other in professional and personal terms. Their ongoing personal disputes eventually lead to the termination of all communication. (22p13,23pxix)


Jungs Theory from Jung’s perspective

Jung divided the psyche into three parts.

(1) The Ego (22p212)

The ego is identified with the conscious mind. Closely related is the personal unconscious, which includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be.

The personal unconscious is like most people's understanding of the unconscious in that it includes both memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have been suppressed for some reason. (But it does not include the instincts that Freud included).

(2) Collective unconcious (22p198)

A person’s "psychic inheritance." A reservoir of our experiences as a species, a knowledge we are all born with but which we can never be directly conscious of. It influences all of our experiences and behaviors  (especially emotional ones) but we only know about it indirectly.

There are some experiences that show the effects of the collective unconscious more clearly than others....

.... could all be understood as the sudden conjunction of our outer reality and the inner reality of the collective unconscious.


(3) Archetypes (22p16)

The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes. (Jung also called them dominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images, and a few other names, but archetypes won out over these). An archetype is an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way.

The archetype has no form of its own, but acts as an "organising principle" on the things we see or do. (It works the way that instincts work in Freud's theory): At first, the baby just wants something to eat, without knowing what it wants. It has an  indefinite yearning which can be satisfied by some things and not by others. Later, with experience, the child begins to yearn for something more specific when it is hungry.

The mother (22p84)

All of our ancestors had mothers. We have evolved in an environment that included a mother or mother-substitute. We would never have survived without a mother figure as helpless infants. It stands to reason that we are "built" in a way that reflects that evolutionary environment ie we come into the world ready to want our mother figure, to seek her, to recognize her.

The mother archetype is our built-in ability to recognize a certain relationship, that of "mothering". We are likely to project the archetype out into the world and onto a particular person, generally our own mothers. Even when an archetype doesn't have a particular real person available, we tend to personify the archetype, that is, turn it into a mythological / symbolic character.

Someone whose own mother failed to satisfy the demands of the archetype may well be one that spends his or her life seeking comfort in the church, or in identification with a cause, or in figure worship, or in a life at sea.

Mana (22p122)

Archetypes are not really biological things, like Freud's instincts they are more spiritual demands. For example, if you dreamt about long things, Freud might suggest these things represent the phallus and ultimately sex. But Jung would have argued that even dreaming quite specifically about a penis might not have much to do with some unfulfilled need for sex.

In primitive societies, phallic symbols do not usually refer to sex at all. They usually symbolize mana, or spiritual power. These symbols would be displayed on occasions when the spirits are being called upon to increase the yield of corn, or fish, or to heal someone. The connection between the penis and strength, between semen and seed, between fertilization and fertility are understood by most cultures.


The shadow (22p87/82/279)

Sex and the life instincts are a part of an archetype called the shadow. It derives from our prehuman, animal past, when our concerns were limited to survival and reproduction, and when we weren't self-conscious.

It is the "dark side" of the ego - the shadow is amoral - neither good nor bad. The shadow is a conceptual repository for the parts of ourselves that we can not admit to or accept. The shadow is symbolised by

It often guards the entrance to a cave or a pool of water, which is the collective unconscious.


The persona (22p93/98/87)

The persona represents your public image. The word is, obviously, related to the word person and personality, and comes from a Latin word for mask. So the persona is the mask you put on before you show yourself to the outside world. Although it begins as an archetype, by the time we are finished realizing it, it is the part of us most distant from the collective unconscious.

At its best, it is just the "good impression" we all wish to present as we fill the roles society requires of us. But it can also be the "false impression" we use to manipulate people's opinions and behaviors. And, at its worst, it can be mistaken, even by ourselves, for our true nature: Sometimes we believe we really are what we pretend to be!


Anima and animus (22p100/122/221/109/221, 23p35)

A part of our persona is the role of male or female we must play. For most people that role is determined by their physical gender. (But Jung, like Freud and Adler and others, felt that we are all really bisexual in nature). When we begin our lives as fetuses, we have undifferentiated sex organs that only gradually, under the influence of hormones, become male or female. Likewise, when we begin our social lives as infants, we are neither male nor female in the social sense. 

However, soietal conditioing (dolls for girls, action men for boys) tends to have a major impact on development. Different societies will condition in different ways. Development in accord with societal masks can lead to the underdevelopment of the part that is not societally sponsored.

The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. Together, they are refered to as syzygy. (22p100/122)

The anima may be personified as a young girl (spontaneous/intuitive, as a witch/as the earth mother. Likely to be associated with deep emotionality / life force. (22p100/122)

The animus may be personified as a wise old man, a sorcerer, or often a number of males (logical, rationalistic, argumentative). (22p221/109)

The anima or animus is the archetype through which you communicate with the collective unconscious. It is responsible for much of our love life.


Self (22p234/267/271/299/331, 23p3)

The most important archetype of all is the self. The self is the ultimate unity of the personality and is symbolized by the circle, the cross, and mandala figures. (Jung was fond of painting mandalla figures). A mandala is a drawing that is used in meditation because it tends to draw your focus back to the center, and it can be as simple as a geometric figure or as complicated as a stained glass window. The personifications that best represent self are Christ and Buddha, two people who many believe achieved perfection. The perfection of the personality is only truly achieved in death.


Other archetypes

There are no fixed numbers of archetypes. They overlap with each other as needed, and are not logical.


The dynamics of the psyche (22p210/129/203)

Three principles operate the psyche:

(1) principle of opposites (22p18/286/299)

Every wish immediately suggests its opposite. In order to have a concept of good, you must have a concept of bad. According to Jung, it is the opposition that creates the power (or libido) of the psyche.

(2) equivalence  (22p18/286/299)

The energy created from the opposition is "given" to both sides equally. How the enery is dispersed depends on your attitude towards the wish that you didn't fulfill. If you acknowledge it, face it, keep it available to the conscious mind, then the energy goes towards a general improvement of your psyche. You grow, in other words.

But if you pretend that you never had that evil wish, if you deny and suppress it, the energy will go towards the development of a complex. A complex is a pattern of suppressed thoughts and feelings that cluster around a theme provided by some archetype. If a man denies his emotional side, his emotionality might find its way into the anima archetype.

If you pretend all your life that you are only good then all the times when you do good, that other side of you goes into a complex around the shadow. That complex will begin to develop a life of its own, and it will haunt you. If it goes on long enough, the complex may take over, may "possess" you.

(3) entropy  (22p18/286/299)

This is the tendency for oppositions to come together, and so for energy to decrease, over a person's lifetime. Jung borrowed the idea from physics, where entropy refers to the tendency of all physical systems to "run down," that is, for all energy to become evenly distributed.

When we are young, the opposites will tend to be extreme, and so we tend to have lots of energy. For example, adolescents tend to exaggerate male-female differences, with boys trying hard to be macho and girls trying equally hard to be feminine. And so their sexual activity is invested with great amounts of energy! Plus, adolescents often swing from one extreme to another, being wild and crazy one minute and finding religion the next.

(3a) transcendence (22p226)

As we get older, most of us come to be more comfortable with our different facets. We are a bit less naively idealistic and recognize that we are all mixtures of good and bad. We are less threatened by the opposite sex within us and become more androgynous. Even physically, in old age, men and women become more alike. This process of rising above our opposites, of seeing both sides of who we are, is called transcendence.


The self  (22p19/229/234/267/299)

The goal of life is to realize the self. The self is an archetype that represents the transcendence of all opposites, so that every aspect of your personality is expressed equally. You are then neither and both male and female, neither and both ego and shadow, neither and both good and bad, neither and both conscious and unconscious, neither and both an individual and the whole of creation. And yet, with no oppositions, there is no energy, and you cease to act. Of course, you no longer need to act.

It can be thought of as a new center, a more balanced position, for the psyche. When young, we focus on the ego and worry about the trivialities of the persona. When we are older we focus a little deeper on the self, and become closer to all people, all life, even the universe itself. The self-realized person is less selfish.


Synchronicity (22p331/337/26/235/292)

Personality theorists have argued for many years about whether psychological processes function in terms of mechanism or teleology.

Mechanism  (22p331/337/26/235/292)

The idea that things work in through cause and effect: One thing leads to another which leads to another, and so on, so that the past determines the present. Mechanism is linked with determinism and with the natural sciences.

Teleology (22p331/337/26/235/292)

The idea that we are lead on by our ideas about a future state, by things like purposes, meanings, values, and so on. Teleology is linked with free will and has become rather rare. It is still common among moral, legal, and religious philosophers, and personality theorists.

(Freudians and behaviorists tend to be mechanists, while the neo-Freudians, humanists, and existentialists tend to be teleologists. Jung believes that both play a part. But he adds a third alternative called synchronicity).

Synchronicity is the occurrence of two events that are not linked causally, nor linked teleologically, yet are meaningfully related. For example to deam about a bird and for a bird to actually fly into the room. Most psychologists would call these things coincidences, or try to show how they are more likely to occur than we think. Jung believed the were indications of how we are connected, with our fellow humans and with nature in general, through the collective unconscious. Synchronicity makes Jung's theory one of the rare ones that is not only compatible with parapsychological phenomena, but actually tries to explain them!


Personality topology - introversion and extroversion  (22p18/21/129, 22p129/160/18/140)

Jung developed a popular personality typology which begins with the distinction between introversion and extroversion.

o      Prefer their internal world of thoughts, feelings, fantasies, dreams, and so on.

o      Prefer the external world of things and people and activities.

The words have become confused with ideas like shyness and sociability, partially because introverts tend to be shy and extroverts tend to be sociable. But Jung intended for them to refer more to whether you ("ego") more often faced toward the persona and outer reality, or toward the collective unconscious and its archetypes. In that sense, the introvert is somewhat more mature than the extrovert.


Dealing with the World - The functions (22p18/62/133/134)

Whether we are introverts or extroverts, we need to deal with the world, inner and outer. And each of us has our preferred ways of dealing with it, ways we are comfortable with and good at. Jung suggests there are four basic ways, or functions:

(1) sensing  (22p18/62/133/134)

Getting information by means of the senses. A sensing person is good at looking and listening and generally getting to know the world. Jung called this one of the irrational functions, meaning that it involved perception rather than judging of information.

(2) thinking (22p18/62/133/134)

Evaluating information or ideas rationally, logically. Jung called this a rational function, meaning that it involves decision making or judging, rather than simple intake of information.

(3) intuiting (22p18/62/133/134)

A kind of perception that works outside of the usual conscious processes. It is irrational or perceptual, like sensing, but comes from the complex integration of large amounts of information, rather than simple seeing or hearing. Jung said it was like seeing around corners.

(4) feeling (22p18/62/133/134)

Feeling, like thinking, is a matter of evaluating information, this time by weighing one's overall, emotional response.

Note: We all possess these functions in different proportions along a scale:

Most of us develop only one or two of the functions, Jung proposed that our goal should be to develop all four. Jung saw the “transcendence of opposites” as the ideal to strive for.


Jung’s Theraputic Approach


Jung: Positive Aspects


Referencing method employed:

(99p999) (<publication><page><page number>)

(99) (<publication>) {for example a non-page numbered web-page}

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