Carl Gustav Jung was a strange melancholic child who had no brothers or sisters until he was nine, so he played his own imaginary games. Jung was born in 1875 in Kesswill, Switzerland, the only son of a Swiss Reformed Church Evangelical minster. The family were steeped in religion. Jung has 8 uncles in the clergy, as well as his married maternal grandfather. It is important to understand Jung’s background if you’re to later speculate about his relationship with Freud.
Jung claimed that his intellectual life began with a dream at the age of three. In this dream, he descended into a hole in the ground, into a large chamber with a red carpet occupied by a golden throne and a strange being. Decades later, Jung came across a reference to the motif of cannibalism of the Mass; only then did the image of the “man-eater” make sense to him. He realised that the “dark Lord Jesus, the Jesuit and the phallus were identical. They represented a dark creative force in nature, the investigation of which he pursued throughout his life.
After effectively denouncing religion and God, Jung came to describe his personality in two forms. Number 1 was involved in the ordinary, everyday world. He could burst into emotions and seemed childish and undisciplined. Yet he was also ambitious for academic success and aimed to achieve a privileged life style. The number two personality was much more troublesome, the “other”, identified with his stone (secret imaginary place) and the secret of god’s grace. Number 2 carried meaning and seemed to stretch back into history in an odd manner. Years later Jung recognised that the task of the psychoanalyst was to discover a patient’s secret.
For the next few years Jung grew up and went through medical school to become a doctor. He gravitated towards science and philosophy, winning a scholarship to study medicine at Basel University. He enjoyed reading the past works of early psychology but decided he had been searching for everything contained within Psychiatry. It was at this time Jung met Freud and their association began. He originally shared many ideas with Freud and perhaps saw him as a father figure, something Freud later blamed for the parting.
When Jung eventually surfaced from exploring his unconscious mind he spent the rest of his life trying to explain them. He developed several theories and ideas ranging from mandala’s, to the basics of ideas that were still used in profiling today – instinct and archetypes.
Jung was one of the first to suggest that dreams, like visions, radiate from a hidden archetypal centre of meaning. Jung valued prophetic meaning of both dreams and visions, he believed that dreams, like various systems of divination, reveal psychic realities and sometimes offer a prophetic revelation. Whatever emerges from the unconscious, whether it is an idea, image or illusion, creates a psychic reality. It is a psychic condition of fact. Images from dreams or active – or spirits like Philemon – are not simply delusions of fantasies. On this “workable” basis, Jung developed his analytical psychology to explore the nature of psychic reality.
This work led Jung to later develop his work on the structure of the Psyche and, following on from this, the instantly recognisable psychological terms of Introvert and Extrovert. Jung then built this model up to reflect the eight psychological types – something we still refer to today.
Jung’s work then largely tailed off into religious conjecture. He did, however, devote some time to investigating coincidences that he considered to be meaningful