Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) was a son of a minister in Switzerland. He was born on July 26, in the small village of Kesswil on Lake Constance. He was named after his grandfather, a professor of medicine at the University of Basel. He was the oldest child and only surviving son of a Swiss Reform pastor. Two brothers died in infancy before Jung was born. Jung’s mother was a neurotic and often fought with his father. Father was usually lonely and very irritable. When the child could not take his mother’s depressions and his parents’ fights, he sought refuge in the attic, where he played ith a wooden mannikin.
Carl was exposed to death early in life, since his father was a minister and attended many funerals, taking his son with him. Also, Jung saw many fishermen get killed in the waterfalls and also many pigs get slaughtered. When he was eleven, he went to a school in Basel, met many rich people and realized that he was poor, compared to them. He liked to read very much outside of class and detested math and physical education classes. Actually, gym class used to give him fainting spells (neurosis) and his father worried that Jung wouldn’t make a good living because of his pells.
After Carl found out about his father’s concern, the faints suddenly stopped, and Carl became much more studious. He had to decide his profession. His choices included archeology, history, medicine, and philosophy. He decided to go into medicine, partly because of his grandfather. Carl went to the University of Basel and had to decide then what field of medicine he was going to go into. After reading a book on psychiatry, he decided that this was the field for him, although psychiatry was not a respectable field at the time. Jung became n assistant at the Burgholzli Mental hospital in Zurich, a famous medical hospital. He studied under Eugen Bleuler, who was a famous psychiatrist who defined schizophrenia. Jung was also influenced by Freud with whom he later became good friends. Freud called him his crown-prince.
Their relationship ended when Jung wrote a book called “Symbols of Transformation. ” Jung disagreed with Freud’s fundamental idea that a symbol is a disguised representation of a repressed wish. I will go into that later. After splitting up with Freud, Jung had a 2 year period of on-productivity, but then he came out with his “Psychological Types,” a famous work. He went on several trips to learn about primitive societies and archetypes to Africa, New Mexico to study Pueblo Indians, and to India and Ceylon to study eastern philosophy. He studied religious and occult beliefs like I Ching, a Chinese method of fortune telling. Alchemy was also one of his interests. His book, “Psychology and Alchemy,” published in 1944 is among his most important writings.
He studied what all this told about the human mind. One of his methods was word association, which s when a person is given a series of words and asked to respond to them. Abnormal response or hesitation can mean that the person has a complex about that word. His basic belief was in complex or analytical psychology. The goal is psychosynthesis, or the unification and differentiation of the psyche (mind). He believed that the mind started out as a whole and should stay that way. That answered structural, dynamic, developmental questions. I will attempt to restate the major ideas and terms in this book in a pseudo-outline. It will make the understanding a bit more clear.