Jung, Carl Gustav

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Jung, Carl Gustav

Carl Gustav Jung (kärl gŏŏs´täf yŏŏng), 1875–1961, Swiss psychiatrist, founder of analytical psychology. The son of a country pastor, he studied at Basel (1895–1900) and Zürich (M.D., 1902). After a stint at the University Psychiatric Clinic in Zürich, Jung worked (1902) under Eugen Bleuler at the Burgholzli Clinic. He wrote valuable papers, but more important was his book on the psychology of dementia praecox (1906), which led to a meeting (1907) with Sigmund Freud. Finding that their theoretical positions had much in common, the two formed a close relationship for a number of years: Jung edited the Jahrbuch für psychologische und psychopathologische Forschungen and was made (1911) president of the International Psychoanalytic Society. However, a formal break with Freud came with the publication of Jung's revolutionary work The Psychology of the Unconscious (1912), which disagreed with the Freudian emphasis on sexual trauma as the basis for all neurosis and with the literal interpretation of the Oedipus complex.

Prior to World War II, Jung became president of the Nazi-dominated International General Medical Society for Psychotherapy. As the Nazis forced their Aryan ideology on the association, Jung became increasingly uncomfortable and resigned. In addition, in 1943 he aided the Office of Strategic Services by analyzing Nazi leaders for the United States. Questions have arisen, however, regarding his alleged racial theories of the unconscious. While Jung's work is of little importance in contemporary psychoanalytic practice, it remains widely influential in such fields as religious studies and literary criticism.

Jungian psychology is based on psychic totality and psychic energism. He postulated two dimensions in the unconscious—the personal (repressed or forgotten content of an individual's mental and material life) and the archetypes (images, patterns, and symbols that are often seen in dreams and fantasies and appear as themes in mythology and religion) of a collective unconscious (those acts and mental patterns shared by members of a culture or universally by all human beings). In Psychological Types (1921) Jung elucidated the concepts of extroversion and introversion for the study of personality types. He also developed the theory of synchronicity, the coincidence of causally unrelated events having identical or similar meaning. Additionally, he was the first person to introduce into the language such terms and concepts as "anima" and "New Age." For Jung the most important and lifelong task imposed upon any person is fulfillment through the process of individuation, the achievement of harmony of conscious and unconscious, which makes a person one and whole. Jung's many works are compiled in H. Read, M. Fordham, and G. Adler, ed., Collected Works of C. G. Jung (20 vol., 1953–79). Long withheld from publication, his mystical and visionary illustrated work The Red Book (Liber Novus) (1914–30) was released in a translated facsimile edition, ed. by S. Shamdasani, in 2009.

See his autobiographical Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1963, repr. 1989); his letters, ed. by G. Adler (2 vol., 1973); his correspondence with Sigmund Freud, ed. by R. Manheim and R. F. Hull (1974); biographies by F. McLynn (1997), R. Hayman (2001), and D. Bair (2003); studies by J. Jacobi (rev. ed. 1973), M. A. Mattoon (1985), A. Samuels (1986), and M. Pauson (1989); M. Stein, ed., Jungian Analysis (1982); R. Noll, The Jung Cult (1994) and The Aryan Christ (1997).

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