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 About Carl Jung

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Number of posts : 33
Registration date : 2006-09-06

PostSubject: About Carl Jung   Wed Sep 20, 2006 10:05 pm


"The fact that artistic, scientific, and religious propensities still slumber peacefully together in the small child, or that with primitives the beginnings of art, science, and religion coalesce in the undifferentiated chaos of the magical mentality, or that no trace of 'mind' can be found in the natural instincts of animals - all this does nothing to prove the existence of a unifying principle which alone would justify a reduction of the one to the other. For if we go so far back into the history of the mind that the distinctions between its various fields of activity become altogether invisible, we do not reach an underlying principle of their unity, but merely an earlier, undifferentiated state in which no separate activities yet exist. But the elementary state is not an explanatory principle that would allow us to draw conclusions as to the nature of the later, more highly developed states, even though they must necessarily derive from it. A scientific attitude will always tend to overlook the peculiar nature of these more differentiated states in favour of their causal derivation, and will endeavor to subordinate them to a general but more elementary principle."
- Carl Jung

Carl Jung (1875-1961) is truly one of the great minds of psychology. Jung was a close colleague of Freud -- in fact, Freud himself considered Jung to be his theoretical heir, thus casting himself in a father-like role with Jung as the crowned prince of psychoanalysis. With Freud's theory of the Oedipus complex, he should have known better, for their Oedipal rivalry led to a harsh and traumatic split. Jung, it seems, had gone too far afield in his reconceptualization of Freud's original insights. Yet, these very insightful innovations of Jung were truly brilliant, foreshadowing the "third force" movement in psychology. In many ways, Jung can be considered the 'father' of humanistic and transpersonal psychology.

Along with Freud's "personal unconscious," Jung felt that he had discovered evidence for a "collective unconscious" shared by all human beings. While the personal unconscious is organized by complexes (i.e., Oedipal complex), the collective unconscious is characterized by "archetypes," "instinctual patterns of behavior and perception," which can be traced in dreams and myths. Joseph Campbell, influenced by Jung, traced archetypal patterns in the mythologies of all cultures. Jung, in general, placed less emphasis on the sexual drives, since he felt the unconscious is driven by the process of "individuation," a drive toward wholeness and balance between the contrary forces of the psyche through the "transcendent function." Like the humanistic psychologists would argue, Jung felt that the unconscious is also a source of health and vitality rather than simply pathological forces. However, Jung also felt that the unconscious holds the potential for evil as well as good.

For Jung, the structures of the psyche are organized by unseen archetypal forces. He used many of the same terms as Freud, such as ego and unconscious, but they hold a different meaning when considered in the light of Jung's whole theory. The major structures of the psyche for Jung include the ego, which is comprised of the persona and the shadow. The persona is the 'mask' which the person presents the world, while the shadow holds the parts of the self which the person feels ashamed and guilty about. In men, the anima represents the feminine aspects of the psyche, while the animus represents the masculine aspects of the psyche in women. The whole of the archetypal organization of the person, for Jung, is called the Self, the unity of the whole towards which the individuation process strives for balance and harmony.
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