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Jung the father of transpersonal psychology


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Jung the father of transpersonal psychology

  1. 1. Jung, the father of transpersonal psychology Sun, 06 Jan 2008 16:21:59 By Patricia Khashayar, MD., Press TV, Tehran 'It is often tragic to see how blatantly a man bungles his own life and the lives of others yet remains totally incapable of seeing how much the whole tragedy originates in himself, and how he continually feeds it and keeps it going.' - Carl Jung Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) is one of the founding fathers of modern depth psychology. His most famous concept, the collective unconscious, has had a deep influence not only on psychology but also on philosophy and the arts. Jung was born in 1875, in the small Swiss village of Kessewil to Emilie Preiswerk and Johannes Paul Achilles Jung. Carl showed interest in language and literature at an early age when he began learning Latin at the age of six. Aside from modern western European languages, Jung was fluent in several ancient ones like Sanskrit. Despite his passion for archeology he started studying medicine at the University of Baselw where he worked under the famous neurologist Krafft-Ebing, and later selected psychiatry as his profession. In 1900 Jung graduated with a medical degree and began his career as a schizophrenia expert at the Burgholtzi, the Zürich insane asylum and psychiatric clinic. The experience Jung gathered during his nine years in Burgholtzi greatly influenced his future practice. He published his first paper titled 'On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena' in 1902. Thereafter, focusing his studies on parapsychology. In 1903 Jung married Emma Rauschenbach and they had five children. Jung's study on schizophrenia, The Psychology of Dementia Praecox, led him into collaboration with Sigmund Freud; they first met in 1907. Jung believed Freud to be extremely intelligent, shrewd, and altogether remarkable. Jung's disagreement with Freud started over his emphasis on sexuality as the dominant factor in unconscious motivation. The end of this relationship deeply disturbed Jung after which he went through a rather painful self-exploration process that formed the basis of all of his later theories. He recorded his inner experiences in the 'Red Book', illustrated with his own art nouveau style works. He carefully recorded his dreams, fantasies, and visions, and drew, painted, and sculpted them as well. He was especially well-versed in complex mystical traditions such as Gnosticism, Alchemy, Kabala, and similar traditions in Hinduism and Buddhism. His interest in the mythic and archaic elements of literature, led to the publication of several books such as Symbols of Transformaton (1912) and Psychologie und Alchemie (1944). Page 1 of 5Press TV Print 3/26/2008
  2. 2. In 1933 Jung was nominated president of the General Medical Society for Psychotherapy, an organization which had Nazi connections. His writings about racial differences in the magazine were heavily criticized later on. Among his later publications are Aion (1951), Answer to Job (1952), and Mysterium Coniunctionis (1955-56). Jung's Memoirs, Dreams, Reflections which was based on his interviews with Aniela Jaffé appeared in English in 1962. Jung died on June 6th, 1961. Jung's theory Jung dreamt a lot about the dead, the land of the dead, and the rising of the dead. These represented the unconscious itself, not the 'little' personal unconscious of Freud, but a new collective unconscious of humanity itself, an unconscious that could contain all the dead, not just personal ghosts. The experiences of love at first sight, deja vu and the immediate recognition of certain symbols and the meanings of certain myths could all be understood as the sudden conjunction of ones outer reality and the inner reality of the collective unconscious. For Jung, the structures of the psyche were organized by unseen archetypal forces. He used many Freudian terms like 'ego' and 'unconscious' however, they held a different meaning consistent with Jung's theory. Jung's outer world is called maya (illusion) which is created by God but has no reality of its own. Individual egos, jivatman (individual souls) are also something of an illusion. During a dream or in meditation, one sinks into his/her personal unconscious, comes closer the collective unconscious. Synchronicity makes Jung's theory compatible with para psychological phenomena and tries to explain them. Synchronicity is the occurrence of two meaningfully related events that are neither linked causally nor teleologically. People often dream about something like the death of a loved one and find out the next day that their loved one did in fact die like in their dream. Most psychologists would call these things coincidences, or try to show how they are more likely to occur than one thinks. Jung believed there were indications of how one is connected, with his/her fellow humans and with nature in general, through the collective unconscious. Psyche theory Jung's theory divides the psyche into three parts. The major structure of the psyche for Jung is the ego, the personal unconscious, which includes anything, which is not presently conscious, but can be. The ego is comprised of the persona and the shadow. The persona is the 'mask' which the person presents to 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 toward which the individuation process strives for balance and harmony. Page 2 of 5Press TV Print 3/26/2008
  3. 3. The collective unconscious is the part of the psyche which makes Jung's theory stand out from all other theories. It is a kind of knowledge everyone is born with. The theory shows Jung is still attached to his Freudian roots. He emphasizes the unconscious even more than Freudians do. In fact, he might be seen as the logical extension of Freud's tendency to put the causes of things into the past. On the other hand, Jung has a lot in common with the neo-Freudians, humanists, and existentialists. He believes that humans are meant to progress, to move in a positive direction, and not just to adapt, as the Freudians and behaviorists would have it. His idea of self-realization is clearly similar to self-actualization. Archetypes The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes, also called as dominants, images, mythological or primordial images. An archetype is an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way. Archetypes refer to the deep structures of the human mind. From the physiological perspective, they show that everyone has come to the world with a certain structure, they see in a certain way, hear in a certain way, 'process information' in a certain way, and behave in a certain way, because their neurons and glands and muscles are structured in a certain way. Jung said there was no fixed number of archetypes. They overlap and easily melt into each other as needed, and their logic is not the usual kind. The mother archetype The mother archetype is symbolized by the primordial mother or 'earth mother' of mythology, by Eve and Mary in western traditions, and by less personal symbols such as the church, the nation, a forest, or the ocean. According to Jung, a person whose mother failed to satisfy the demands of the archetype may well be one that spends his or her life seeking comfort in the church, or in identification with 'the motherland', or in meditating upon the figure of Mary, or in a life at sea. It refers to the belief that no one would survive without a connection with a nurturing-one during the times of being a helpless infants. Mana Contrary to Freud's instincts, these archetypes are not really biological things. They are more spiritual demands. The shadow In Jung's system, sex and the life instincts in general are represented as an archetype called the shadow. It derives from the prehuman, animal past, when ones concerns were limited to survival and reproduction. It is the 'dark side' of the ego, where the evil is often stored. The persona The persona represents ones public image. So the persona is the mask one puts on before showing oneself to the outside world. At its best, it is just the 'good impression' one wishes to present. Page 3 of 5Press TV Print 3/26/2008
  4. 4. It can also be the 'false impression' when one tries to manipulate people's opinion. And at its worst it can be mistaken even by the individual as his/her true nature. Anima and animus Jung, like Freud and Adler and others, felt that all individuals are bisexual in nature. The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men, and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women. Together, they are referred to as syzygy and are responsible for the love life. The anima may be personified as a young girl, very spontaneous and intuitive, or as a witch or as the earth mother. It is likely to be associated with deep emotionality and the force of life itself. The animus may be personified as a wise old man, a sorcerer, or often a number of males, and tends to be logical, often rationalistic, and even argumentative. Other archetypes Many archetypes are story characters. The hero plays a major as the mana personality and the defeater of evil dragons. Basically, he represents the ego and is often engaged in fighting the shadow. The hero is often out to rescue the maiden who represents purity, innocence and naiveté. The hero is guided by the wise old man. He is a form of the animus and reveals to the hero the nature of the collective unconscious. There is also an animal archetype representing humanity's relationships with the animal world. The most important archetype of all is the self. It is an archetype that represents the transcendence of all opposites so that every aspect of the personality is expressed equally. As a result, every one is neither and at the same time both male and female, ego and shadow, good and bad, conscious and unconscious, an individual and the whole of creation. The self is the ultimate unity of the personality and is symbolized by the circle, the cross, and the mandala figures. Jung felt that perfection of the personality is truly achieved in death. 'From the living fountain of instinct flows everything that is creative; hence the unconscious is not merely conditioned by history, but is the very source of the creative impulse. It is like Nature herself - prodigiously conservative, and yet transcending her own historical conditions in her acts of creation.' Jung's principles Jung believed in three principles, beginning with the principle of opposites. Every wish immediately suggests it's opposite. According to Jung, it is the opposition that creates the power (or libido) of the psyche; it is the contrast that gives energy. The second principle is the principle of equivalence. The energy created from the opposition is 'given' to both sides equally and depends on ones attitude toward the wish that he/she has not fulfilled. If one faces it or keeps it available to the conscious mind, then the energy goes towards a general improvement of the psyche. While when one denies or suppresses it by pretending he/she has never had that evil wish, the energy will go toward the development of a complex which is a pattern of suppressed thoughts and feelings that cluster around a theme provided by some archetype. The final principle is the principle of entropy. This is the tendency for oppositions to come together and for energy to decrease over a person's lifetime. Personality in Jung's point of view Page 4 of 5Press TV Print 3/26/2008
  5. 5. Jung also developed a popular personality typology. He divided people into introvert and extrovert. Introverts are individuals who prefer their internal world of thoughts, feelings, fantasies, dreams, and so on, while extroverts prefer the external world. Introvert or extrovert, everyone needs to deal with the world; and each person has his/her preferred ways of dealing with it. Jung suggests there are four basic ways, or functions: The first is sensing. Sensing means obtaining information by means of the senses. A sensing person is good at looking and listening and generally getting to know the world. Jung called this, one of the irrational functions, meaning that it involved perception rather than the judging of information. The second is thinking. Thinking means evaluating information or ideas rationally and logically. Jung called this a rational function, meaning that it involves decision making or judging, rather than the simple intake of information. The third is intuiting. Intuiting is a kind of perception that works outside of the usual conscious processes. It is irrational or perceptual, like sensing, but comes from the complex integration of large amounts of information, rather than simple seeing or hearing. In Jung's words it is like seeing around corners. The fourth is feeling. Feeling, like thinking, is a matter of evaluating information, this time by weighing one's overall emotional response which Jung calls rational. Most people develop only one or two of the functions, but the final goal should be to develop all four. Once again, Jung sees the transcendence of opposites as the ideal. 'The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purposes through him. As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is 'man' in a higher sense - he is 'collective man', a vehicle and molder of the unconscious psychic life of mankind.' Count of views : 1553 © Press TV 2007. All Rights Reserved. Page 5 of 5Press TV Print 3/26/2008