The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 5

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 5

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 5

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 5

Synopsis


A complete revision of Psychology of the Unconscious (orig. 1911-12), Jung's first important statement of his independent position.

Excerpt

Anyone who can read Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams without being outraged by the novelty and seemingly unjustified boldness of his procedure, and without waxing morally indignant over the stark nakedness of his dream-interpretations, but can let this extraordinary book work upon his imagination calmly and without prejudice, will not fail to be deeply impressed at that point where Freud reminds us that an individual conflict, which he calls the incest fantasy, lies at the root of that monumental drama of the ancient world, the Oedipus legend. The impression made by this simple remark may be likened to the uncanny feeling which would steal over us if, amid the noise and bustle of a modern city street, we were suddenly to come upon an ancient relic—say the Corinthian capital of a long-immured column, or a fragment of an inscription. A moment ago, and we were completely absorbed in the hectic, ephemeral life of the present; then, the next moment, something very remote and strange flashes upon us, which directs our gaze to a different order of things. We turn away from the vast confusion of the present to glimpse the higher continuity of history. Suddenly we remember that on this spot where we now hasten to and fro about our business a similar scene of life and activity prevailed two thousand years ago in slightly different forms; similar passions moved mankind, and people were just as convinced as we are of the uniqueness of their lives. This is the impression that may very easily be left behind by a first acquaintance with the monuments of antiquity, and it seems to me that Freud’s reference to the Oedipus legend is in every way comparable. While still struggling with the confusing impressions of the infinite variability of the individual psyche, we suddenly catch a glimpse of the simplicity and grandeur of the

1 The Interpretation of Dreams, pp. 260-61.

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