C.G.Jung / General

Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C.G. Jung, Aniela Jaffe, Clara Winston

It was always astonished when I heard C.G. Jung speaking (on YouTube) how well and simple he can explain his rather complex system. In this book several key ideas are equally well presented. This lead me to believe that the more casual and biographic books are  fine starting point for understanding Jung, not only his life and but also his thoughts:

  • Jaffé, Aniela. Aufsätze zur Psychologic C. G. Jungs. (Essays on the psychology of C. G. Jung). Zürich, Daimon Verlag, 1982. Pp. 160. Paperback (The latter book I found in a heap of books in a second-hand shop).

four essays on the work of Jung
two on more personal aspects of his life

  • The many lives of C. G. Jung.Shortly before his own death, C.G. Jung  finished his autobiographical book erinnerungen-traeume-gedanken. In addition, to  the extremely popular book “Man and his symbols”,  his most important theories of analytical psychology are summarized in a simple way in collaboration with his students. C.G. Jung died after a short illness on June 6, 1961 in Küsnacht on Lake Zürich. Supposedly a chapter about Toni Wolff has been removed on request of his family. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the life of Jung and the events in his life that influenced his work:

Introduction by Aniela Jaffé
Years of schooling
Academic years
Psychiatric activity
Sigmund Freud
The confrontation with the unconscious
On the origin of the work
The Tower
North Africa
The Pueblo Indians
Kenya and Uganda
Ravenna and Rome
About life after death
Late thoughts
Reprinting panels

The later book Jaffé, Aniela. Aufsätze zur Psychologic C. G. Jung’s I found in a heap of books in a second-hand shop. I am captivated by Jung’s thoughts about Christianity and how the associated “myths” belongs to and develop Europe’s culture. I am convinced  that faith needs as well the “spiritual” focus than  a “dogmatic” one. Jung was not afraid to open himself to the dangerous unconscious, even if it meant moving into the unknown and even occult. I belive that Jung offers an invitation into the “larger life” of God, one that values the questions and trusts both the presence and absence of God as necessary to our wholeness.

Reading this autobiography energizes me to move beyond only intellectually connecting with Jung, to seek a deeper understanding and integration of his insights. I intend to be more forthright with myself  listen to my dreams and to “own” my shadow. In particular, given my largely catholic tradition, I’m eager to broaden out the spiritual direction.

Dualism in God: Jung came to see God as embodying both good and evil as well.  He eventually came to see God as embodying the wholeness and synthesis of opposites that every person needs.

Empiric Psychology: Jung has been often exploited esoteric crackpots but all his mystical visions, dreams and overwhelming intuition led to a very useful practice. Yet he struggled long and hard to substantiate his subjective experiences, to verify their occurrence and meaning in the “outer world” cross-culturally and give “reality” its due.

Collective Unconscious: Jung’s notion that we are being “carried along,” sustained and directed by the unconscious archetypal images and energy that seeks to make itself known and become integrated into our conscious life. This concept in proved to be highly useful for my private and professional live in globalized world dealing with many (also high context )cultures.

The Persona: The “mask” helps us get by in the world, the ideal image we have of ourselves. We latch onto these social identities to define us, but as a part of the “collective psyche” they do not distinguish us in any significant way.

The Shadow: There lives within us another side of our personality that is filled with all those aspects of ourselves we hide away, both from ourselves or others, as unacceptable. The shadow has a “dark side,” what we find morally reprehensible – and often project into others, but it also has a “bright side” containing our  potentialities.

The Individuation:  How we seeks to integrate the Persona and Shadow, we under stand better our Ego and find our Self in terms of personal growth.