Carl Jung's 11 Best Books

Carl Jung's 11 Best Books

The best books by Carl Jung

Jung’s work is extensive and draws a lot of material from his own autobiography, including books of essays and personal reflections. We can even find the 1906-1913 correspondence between Jung and Freud. These letters delve deeper into the development of the psychoanalytical movement and the relationship between these two figures.

Now,  in this article about the Carl Jung’s best books, our priority is to cite his most representative work. We are looking for the books will delight everyone, from novice to expert “Jungians”, with their concepts, theories, and ideas.

1. Man and His Symbols

At the beginning of this article, we explained the origin of this book. After his BBC interview, a well-known politician asked Jung to share his theoretical concepts with the general public in the simplest and most educational wa possible. He did just that, and this ended up being Carl Jung’s last book which he wrote before his death in 1961. 

In Man and His Symbols , what grabs our attention first are the book’s 500-plus illustrations. These images fully immerse us in the theory of symbolism and the importance of symbols in our dreams , in art, and even in our daily behavior.

“I am not what happened to me. I am who I choose to become” -Carl Gustav Jung-

2. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious

Essential.  This is one of Jung’s most interesting books and the one that defines one of his most controversial topics: archetypes. 

In front of us is a collection of essays that digs into the collective unconscious on one hand and the nature of the archetype on the other. This psychic expression of structures inherited from our fellow beings is, without a doubt, what makes up the cornerstone of much of Jungian work.

carl jung world

3. The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious

As we already know, Carl Jung was the founder of the school of analytic psychology. This book is, without a doubt, the best representation of this approach. It is also, in essence, a reflection of a small part of the history of psychology.

En these pages, Jung guides us through a much more original idea than Freud had offered us at that time regarding the human psyche . His continuous studies and revisions of the subject give us a fuller understanding of the unconscious. Here, Jung establishes the duality between the collective unconscious and its influence on the individual unconscious.

4. Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principal

Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principal  is a little gem that Carl Gustav Jung wrote with Wolfgang Pauli, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. In this book, we can delve into one of the most interesting and well-known Jungian concepts. We are taking, of course, about synchronicity.

Jung spoke about this idea for the first time in the Eranos meetings organized each year in Ascona, Switzerland. Some article, essay, or book always came out of these gatherings. This was in the fifties, and the Swiss psychiatrist presented something as polemic as it was attractive to his colleagues and the rest of the academic word: what we understand as coincidence is not actually due to simple chance, but something that he called synchronicity…

The book also goes into detail about the relationship between said concept and another equally important idea in his work: intuition.

5. Modern Man In Search of a Soul

This is one of Carl Jung’s books that best represents his work. At the same time, it is a wonderful excursion into the world of the unconscious. In spite of the fact that most of the book is about dreams, it is here that we can “track” part of our complex and the limiting behavior that we tend to show in our conscious life.

Jung objective in interpreting dreams was different than Freud’s. He wasn’t seeking to identify classic sexual fixations developed during childhood.  On the contrary, he wanted to trace a “map of the present” and of the context in which his patients lived to be able to understand the reason behind their behavior and emotional suffering.

This is, without a doubt, one of the most indispensable books for understanding Carl Jung’s legacy.

6. Conflicts in the Child’s Soul

Some of our readers might be surprised to see the term “soul” in a book about psychology. It is important to remember that in Carl Jung’s work, this idea, this concept, is ever-present.

In fact, as Jung explained in his own autobiography, no physician could cure a patient without first making contact with the patient’s soul.

This idea gives us a clue of Jung’s holistic approach to human beings. He believed that childhood and youth are the most important phases of a human’s life that we should pay much more attention to them.  In this way, possible conflicts, deficiencies, and prejudices that the child experiences in their family context, as well as the personality of the parents, undoubtedly determine the well-being or potential psychological problems of the child later in life.

Curiously, Sigmund Freud’s daughter dedicated her life to this purpose. She provided psychological help for children with childhood trauma . Freud himself never paid much attention this field and didn’t fully develop it in his work.

carl jung face

7. The Psychology of the Transference

In this blog, we have already spoken on occasion about the interesting concept of transference. This is an idea that is always very present in the psychoanalytical or psychodynamic school of thought.

This is one of Carl Jung’s most representative books on the subject. He also draws an interesting parallel between alchemy and transference between patient and therapist . As we already know, in daily practice psychotherapy can give rise to a phenomenon in which the patient ends up projecting his experiences and emotions on the therapist, which complicates the healing process.

In this book, Jung makes use of his symbolic figures again to explain the dynamic and connections that sometimes form between physician and patient.

8. Psychic Energy and the Essence of Dreams

This book is comprised of six interesting essays.  In these essays, we come to intimately know what we understand as “deep psychology”. This concept represents the true cornerstone of Jung theory. It is important to remember that for this Swiss psychiatrist, all mental phenomena are actually forms of energy.

The primary function of dreams is to try and reesatblish our psychological equilibrium” -Carl Gustav Jung-

In the first essay, titled “On the Energy of the Soul”,  he offers an interesting introduction to better understand certain aspects of our personalities, like introversion and extroversion.  Later, in “General Considerations on the Psychology of Dreams” and “The Essence of Dreams”, he goes deeper into this study of human and social behavior and dreams in a way that helps both novices and experts better understand these representative concepts.

It is also interesting to note that this volume ends with the essay titled “Psychological Foundations of Spiritism”. Here the author explains, with habitual clarity, the objective considerations of Jungian psychology on the subject, which are undoubtedly interesting to keep in mind.

9. Writings on Spirituality and Transcendence

Carl Gustav Jung didn’t believe in God, he believed in spirituality and the way in which each of its aspects defines and traces the essence of our culture and, as a result, humanity itself.

“It would be most unjust of psychology to ignore religion, with all that it is and as close as it is to the human soul,” -Carl Gustav Jung-

This is a personal and passionate book. It is the perfect weekend reading if you want to better understand the extensive vision of analytic psychology that Carl Gustav Jung espoused and left as a wonderful legacy. If there is one thing that he always had in mind, it is that to understand someone’s roots, we cannot forget about the spiritual plane . According to Jung, we must consider all the phenomena and traditions that make up the root of psychic life.

So, we should understand that Carl Jung’s books, Writings on Spirituality and Transcendence , in particular,  are the reflection of his open mind. He was receptive and sensitive to everything he observed and tried to look beyond the ordinary to find meaning in the reality of the human soul. 

This book is an anthology, a trip through anthropology, religion, art, and spirituality that will have an impact on every reader.

11. Memories, Dreams, Thoughts

Now we are in 1957 and Carl Jung is 81 years old. It is the perfect moment for him to begin a cathartic and relevant project, which is the story of his own life. Jung did it with the help of his colleague and friend, Aniela Jaffe. In these pages, we learn about his formative years, about his tense but productive relationships with Freud, and how each trip, conversation, discovery, and experience gave shape to what he calls “the bottom of his soul”.

It is worth mentioning that the reader doesn’t encounter a simple book of memories and personal reflections of someone in the twilight of their life.  Jung takes full advantage of the opportunity to once again lay down the foundations of his theories.  He describes his ideas about the human mind, about the unconscious, the role of symbolism, and the principles of psychotherapy.

This book will help us better understand Carl Jung’s thoughts and his personal work as a psychologist.

11. The Red Book

We’ve left for last one of Carl Jung’s most valuable and also most difficult to understand books.  We are talking, of course, about  The Red Book.  It is so special for a variety of reasons. One of them is that it took him more than 15 years to complete, or at least to decide that it contained everything that he wanted to communicate.

Another point that we have to highlight is that his heirs didn’t want it to be published. It wasn’t until 2009 when we could finally have access to this strange, serpentine, and enigmatic book that is fascinating and disturbing at the same time.  The Red Book,  or Liber Novus, narrates and illustrates the terrifying visions that Jung had between 1913 and 1916. His purpose in writing the book was to try to understand these images and unearth the associated symbols.

carl jung flower

The Red Book isn’t a philosophical, scientific, religious, or literary book.  It is an unclassifiable work with prophetic and mythical nuances that allows for multiple interpretations. It requires multiple approaches if you want to understand or even enjoy it. It is, at the end of the day, a great gem that is worth reading after you understand a little bit more of Jung’s theory.

“Somewhere there was once a Flower, a Stone, a Crystal, a Queen, a King, a Palace, a Lover and his Beloved, and this was long ago, on an Island somewhere in the ocean 5,000 years ago. . . . Such is Love, the Mystic Flower of the Soul. This is the Center, the Self.” -Fragment of  The Red Book-

In conclusion, in spite of the fact that there are many more books, essays, articles, works, etc. by Carl Jung, these 11 recommendations offer an excellent representation of an essential and unforgettable figure who deserves a bit of our time. What we get out of reading this books by Carl Jung is as enriching as it is fascinating.

Jung’s Spiritual Awakening

Carl Gustav Jung is maybe not as iconic as Sigmund Freud in the world of psychology but his spiritual awakening has left an important mark on an so...

Bibliographic References

Jung, Carl G., (1985), Man and His Symbols. Paidos.

Jung, Carl G., (2009), The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Paidos.

Jung, Carl G., (2009), The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious. Paidos.

Jung, Carl G., (1952), Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principal

Jung, Carl G., (2013), Modern Man in Search of a Soul, DeBolsillo

Jung, Carl G., (2011), The Conflicts in the Child’s Soul. Paidos

Jung, Carl G., (1983), The Psychology of the Transference

Jung, Carl G., (1995), Psychic Energy and the Essence of the Soul. Paidos.

Jung, Carl G., (2016), Writings on Spirituality. Trotta

Jung, Carl G., (2001), Memories, Dreams, and Thoughts. Paidos

Jung, Carl G., (2010), The Red Book, Paidos.

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Carl Jung

When was Carl Jung born?

Carl Jung was born on July 26, 1875.

When did Carl Jung die?

Carl Jung died on June 6, 1961.

Why is Carl Jung important?

Carl Jung was the Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded  analytic psychology . His work has been influential in  psychiatry and in the study of religion, literature, and related fields.

Where was Carl Jung educated?

Carl Jung attended the University of Basel (1895–1900) and the University of Zürich (M.D., 1902).

Read a brief summary of this topic

Carl Jung , in full Carl Gustav Jung , (born July 26, 1875, Kesswil, Switzerland—died June 6, 1961, Küsnacht), Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist who founded analytic psychology , in some aspects a response to Sigmund Freud ’s psychoanalysis . Jung proposed and developed the concepts of the extraverted and the introverted personality , archetypes , and the collective unconscious . His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion , literature , and related fields.

(Read Sigmund Freud’s 1926 Britannica essay on psychoanalysis.)

Jung was the son of a philologist and pastor. His childhood was lonely, although enriched by a vivid imagination, and from an early age he observed the behaviour of his parents and teachers, which he tried to resolve. Especially concerned with his father’s failing belief in religion, he tried to communicate to him his own experience of God. In many ways, the elder Jung was a kind and tolerant man, but neither he nor his son succeeded in understanding each other. Jung seemed destined to become a minister, for there were a number of clergymen on both sides of his family. In his teens he discovered philosophy and read widely, and this, together with the disappointments of his boyhood, led him to forsake the strong family tradition and to study medicine and become a psychiatrist. He was a student at the universities of Basel (1895–1900) and Zürich (M.D., 1902).

He was fortunate in joining the staff of the Burghölzli Asylum of the University of Zürich at a time (1900) when it was under the direction of Eugen Bleuler , whose psychological interests had initiated what are now considered classical studies of mental illness . At Burghölzli, Jung began, with outstanding success, to apply association tests initiated by earlier researchers. He studied, especially, patients’ peculiar and illogical responses to stimulus words and found that they were caused by emotionally charged clusters of associations withheld from consciousness because of their disagreeable, immoral (to them), and frequently sexual content. He used the now famous term complex to describe such conditions.

magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). brain. brain scanning. A MRI of a human head back and side view. The MRI is a three-dimensional diagnostic imaging technique used to visualize inside the body without the need for X-rays or other radiation. Health care

These researches, which established him as a psychiatrist of international repute, led him to understand Freud’s investigations; his findings confirmed many of Freud’s ideas, and, for a period of five years (between 1907 and 1912), he was Freud’s close collaborator. He held important positions in the psychoanalytic movement and was widely thought of as the most likely successor to the founder of psychoanalysis. But this was not to be the outcome of their relationship. Partly for temperamental reasons and partly because of differences of viewpoint, the collaboration ended. At this stage Jung differed with Freud largely over the latter’s insistence on the sexual bases of neurosis . A serious disagreement came in 1912, with the publication of Jung’s Wandlungen und Symbole der Libido ( Psychology of the Unconscious , 1916), which ran counter to many of Freud’s ideas. Although Jung had been elected president of the International Psychoanalytic Society in 1911, he resigned from the society in 1914.

His first achievement was to differentiate two classes of people according to attitude types: extraverted (outward-looking) and introverted (inward-looking). Later he differentiated four functions of the mind—thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition—one or more of which predominate in any given person. Results of this study were embodied in Psychologische Typen (1921; Psychological Types, 1923). Jung’s wide scholarship was well manifested here, as it also had been in The Psychology of the Unconscious.

As a boy Jung had remarkably striking dreams and powerful fantasies that had developed with unusual intensity. After his break with Freud, he deliberately allowed this aspect of himself to function again and gave the irrational side of his nature free expression. At the same time, he studied it scientifically by keeping detailed notes of his strange experiences. He later developed the theory that these experiences came from an area of the mind that he called the collective unconscious , which he held was shared by everyone. This much-contested conception was combined with a theory of archetypes that Jung held as fundamental to the study of the psychology of religion . In Jung’s terms, archetypes are instinctive patterns, have a universal character, and are expressed in behaviour and images.

English translations of the writings of the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) are found in two separate series, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung and the Philemon Foundation Series.

Published in twenty volumes between 1953 and 1979, with some ancillary volumes published later, The Collected Works of C. G. Jung is at the heart of Princeton University Press’s Bollingen publishing program. The Collected Works brings together almost all of Jung’s published writings in English translation, grouped by theme rather than chronology. The volumes feature translations commissioned by Bollingen from Richard Francis Carrington Hull. This massive undertaking was coordinated by William McGuire (1917–2009), first at the Bollingen offices in New York and then at the Press.

In addition to the works gathered in The Collected Works, Jung left behind thousands of pages of equally important unpublished seminar proceedings, correspondence, and other writings. The Philemon Foundation Series publishes many of these works that have been previously unavailable to English readers. Edited by Sonu Shamdasani, the series is published by the Press in association with the Philemon Foundation, and with the support of the Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 16

Essays on aspects of analytical therapy, specifically the transference, abreaction, and dream analysis. Contains an additional essay, "The Realities of Practical Psychotherapy," found among Jung's posthumous papers.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 13

Five long essays that trace Jung's developing interest in alchemy from 1929 onward. An introduction and supplement to his major works on the subject, illustrated with 42 patients' drawings and paintings.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 17

Papers on child psychology, education, and individuation, underlining the overwhelming importance of parents and teachers in the genesis of the intellectual, feeling, and emotional disorders of childhood. The final paper deals with...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 1)

Essays which state the fundamentals of Jung's psychological system: "On the Psychology of the Unconscious" and "The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious," with their original versions in an appendix.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 12

A study of the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma, and psychological symbolism. Revised translation, with new bibliography and index.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 2)

Aion , originally published in German in 1951, is one of the major works of Jung's later years. The central theme of the volume is the symbolic representation of the psychic totality through the concept of the Self, whose traditional...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 19

As a current record of all of C. G. Jung's publications in German and in English, this volume will replace the general bibliography published in 1979 as Volume 19 of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung. In the form of a checklist, this...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 20

An exceptionally comprehensive index by paragraph numbers. Certain subjects are treated in separate sub-indexes within the General Index. These include alchemy, animals, the Bible, colors, Freud, Jung, and numbers.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 14

Jung's last major work, completed in his 81st year, on the synthesis of the opposites in alchemy and psychology.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 18

This volume is a miscellany of writings that Jung published after the Collected Works had been planned, minor and fugitive works that he wished to assign to a special volume, and early writings that came to light in the course of research.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 5

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

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 6

One of the most important of Jung's longer works, and probably the most famous of his books, Psychological Types appeared in German in 1921 after a "fallow period" of eight years during which Jung had published little. He called it "the...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 2

Includes Jung's famous word-association studies in normal and abnormal psychology, two lectures on the association method given in 1909 at Clark University, and three articles on psychophysical researches from American and English...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 7

This volume has become known as perhaps the best introduction to Jung's work. In these famous essays. "The Relations between the Ego and the Unconscious" and "On the Psychology of the Unconscious," he presented the essential core of his...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 15

Nine essays, written between 1922 and 1941, on Paracelsus, Freud, Picasso, the sinologist Richard Wilhelm, Joyce's Ulysses, artistic creativity generally, and the source of artistic creativity in archetypal structures.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 10

At the turn of the last century C. G. Jung began his career as a psychiatrist. During the next decade three men whose names are famous in the annals of medical psychology influenced his professional development: Pierre Janet, under whom...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 11

Sixteen studies in religious phenomena, including Psychology and Religion and Answer to Job. ?

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 8

A revised translation of one of the most important of Jung's longer works. The volume also contains an appendix of four shorter papers on psychological typology, published between 1913 and 1935.

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 4

This book gives the substance of Jung's published writings on Freud and psychoanalysis between 1906 and 1916, with two later papers. The book covers the period of the enthusiastic collaboration between the two pioneers of psychology...

Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 3

This third volume of Jung's Collected Works contains his renowned monograph "On the Psychology of Dementia Praecox" (1907), described by A. A. Brill as indispensable for every student of psychiatry--"the work which firmly established...

Psychology of the Unconscious

"This book became a landmark, set up on the spot where two ways divided. Because of its imperfections and its incompleteness it laid down the program to be followed for the next few decades of my life." Thus wrote C. G. Jung about his...

The Zofingia Lectures

During his undergraduate years (1896-1899) at Basel University, Jung delivered lectures to his student fraternity, the Zofingia. Dwelling on theology, psychology, spiritism, and philosophy, the Zofingia Lectures illuminate Jung's later...

Psychology of Yoga and Meditation

Jung's illuminating lectures on the psychology of Eastern spirituality

Jung on Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises

Jung’s lectures on the psychology of Jesuit spiritual practice—unabridged in English for the first time

On Theology and Psychology

Jung's correspondence with one of the twentieth century's leading theologians and ecumenicists

Consciousness and the Unconscious

Jung’s lectures on consciousness and the unconscious—in English for the first time

Dream Symbols of the Individuation Process

Jung’s legendary American lectures on dream interpretation

History of Modern Psychology

Jung’s lectures on the history of psychology—in English for the first time

Dream Interpretation Ancient and Modern

Jung's landmark seminar sessions on dream interpretation and its history

On Psychological and Visionary Art

For the first time in English, Jung's landmark lecture on Nerval's hallucinatory memoir

The Question of Psychological Types

The first English translation of correspondence tracing the development of Jung's theory of psychological types

Analytical Psychology in Exile

Two giants of twentieth-century psychology in dialogue

Jung contra Freud

In the autumn of 1912, C. G. Jung, then president of the International Psychoanalytic Association, set out his critique and reformulation of the theory of psychoanalysis in a series of lectures in New York, ideas that were to prove...

Introduction to Jungian Psychology

In 1925, while transcribing and painting in his Red Book , C. G. Jung presented a series of seminars in English in which he spoke for the first time in public about his early spiritualistic experiences, his encounter with Freud, the...

Children's Dreams

In the 1930s C. G. Jung embarked upon a bold investigation into childhood dreams as remembered by adults to better understand their significance to the lives of the dreamers. Jung presented his findings in a four-year seminar series at...

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The 5 Best Jungian Books for Analytical Psychology

Books on analytical psychology are not always easy to interpret.

This is because the theory and practice of the topic, as pioneered by Carl Jung , are not well-known outside of academic and psychiatric circles.

Nevertheless, there are a few good books out there that can help readers learn more about the Jungian framework and apply its teachings for personal development and spiritual growth.

So without further ado, here they are.

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The 5 Best Jungian Books

1. memories, dreams, reflections by c.g. jung.

In Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.G. Jung details his life and work, with a focus on his thoughts and feelings about psychology, spirituality, and the human experience.

He reflects on his personal life and the people who have influenced him, as well as his professional experiences and the development of his theory of psychology.

Jung was born in 1875 to a devoutly religious family; however, he himself was skeptical of religion from an early age.

He began studying medicine at university with the intention of becoming a doctor, but soon became interested in psychiatry after reading Krafft-Ebing’s Psychopathia Sexualis.

After completing his studies, Jung began working at a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland, where he met Sigmund Freud and began collaborating with him.

However, the two eventually had a falling out over disagreements about the nature of the unconscious mind.

After parting ways with Freud, Jung went on to establish his own practice and developed his own theory of psychology, which emphasized the importance of the unconscious mind and its role in shaping our conscious experiences.

He also wrote extensively on topics such as dream analysis, self-growth, and spirituality.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections is an autobiographical account of Jung’s life and work that offers insight into a pioneer of his field.

It provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind of one of history’s most influential psychologists and offers valuable insights into the development of modern psychology.

2. Man and His Symbols by C.G. Jung

In Man and His Symbols, Jung discusses the nature of symbols and their importance in human life.

He argues that symbols are not simply arbitrary images or ideas, but rather have a deep psychological meaning for the individual.

Jung believes that symbols play an important role in both personal and cultural life, and that understanding their meanings is essential to understanding oneself and the world around us.

Jung defines a symbol as “an image or sign which points beyond itself to a hidden reality.”

He suggests that symbols arise from the unconscious, and that they can be interpreted on multiple levels.

For example, a dream may contain a symbol that refers to an event or experience from the dreamer’s past.

However, the symbol may also represent something else entirely- something that is hidden from conscious awareness.

Jung believes that exploring the meaning of symbols can help us to understand our own psychological makeup, as well as the spiritual dimension of life.

Jung stresses the importance of personal experience in understanding symbols.

He argues that it is not enough to simply read about them in a book – one must also explore their own inner landscape.

He provides numerous examples of symbols from different cultures, and explains how they can be interpreted in light of individual experience.

Overall, Man and His Symbols provides a comprehensive overview of the nature and significance of symbols in human life.

It is an insightful exploration of the unconscious mind and its connection to our physical world.

3. The Red Book: Liber Novus by C.G. Jung

The Red Book is a collection of sketches, drawings, and writing that document Jung’s journey into his own psyche; it is considered to be one of the most important books ever written in the field of psychology.

The book begins with a preface in which Jung discusses his motivation for writing the text.

He explains that he was compelled to document it after having a series of powerful dreams and visions that he felt were messages from his unconscious mind.

Jung felt that it was important for him to record these experiences so that he could better understand them.

He also believed that it was important for him to share these insights with others in order to help them understand their own psyches.

Jung’s psychological journey is broken down into three main stages: the first stage is called “the dark night of the soul” and is characterized by feelings of isolation, despair, and darkness.

The second stage is called “the way of ascent” and is characterized by a journey towards light and enlightenment.

The third stage is called “the great mother” and is characterized by a return to the womb-like state of the unconscious mind.

Throughout the book, Jung discusses his encounters with various archetypes that reside within the unconscious mind.

These archetypes include the Self, the Shadow, the Anima/Animus, and the Trickster.

He also discusses his encounters with various symbols which he believes represent aspects of the unconscious mind.

The Red Book is a genre-defining book in the field of psychology.

It provides an inside look at how Jung’s psyche evolved over time and sheds light on some of the key concepts that he developed later in his career, such as archetypes and symbols.

4. Jung’s Map of the Soul: An Introduction by Murray B. Stein

Murray Stein’s Jung’s Map of the Soul is a dense, but informative read on Carl Jung’s map of the human psyche.

Stein provides an in-depth exploration of each stage of Jung’s model, delving into the meanings and symbolism associated with each phase.

He also provides anecdotes and case studies to illustrate how the stages play out in people’s lives.

Jung’s map of the soul is a complex but insightful model of the human experience, dividing the psyche into three main parts; the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious.

The ego is the conscious mind, while the personal unconscious consists of all the memories and experiences that have been repressed or forgotten.

The collective unconscious is a repository for all the knowledge and experience that humans have shared throughout history.

Each stage of Jung’s map represents a different phase of psychological development.

Jung’s map of the soul has broad applications for understanding human behavior.

It can be used to explain why people behave in certain ways, as well as to help them understand their own psychological development.

Furthermore, it can also be used to diagnose mental disorders and prescribe appropriate treatments.

5. Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche by Robert A. Johnson

In his book, Robert A. Johnson explores the dark side of the psyche, arguing that we must confront our shadow selves in order to become whole individuals.

The shadow, according to Johnson, is the part of the psyche that we repress and deny. It is often associated with negative traits such as anger, envy, and greed.

However, the shadow also contains positive aspects such as creativity and power.

Johnson believes that the shadow can be a powerful force for good or evil depending on how it is used, proposing that we must learn to own our shadow selves in order to use its power for positive ends.

To do this, we must first become aware of our shadow and its influence on our lives, learning to accept all aspects of ourselves, including the dark ones.

According to Johnson, the process of owning our shadow can be difficult but ultimately rewarding.

He provides a number of shadow work exercises designed to help readers confront their deeper selves and work through their negative emotions, offering advice on how to use the power of the shadow for personal growth and transformation.

In conclusion, Owning Your Own Shadow is a comprehensive guide to understanding and working with the dark side of the psyche.

It is an insightful book that offers a fresh perspective on psychological growth and self-awareness.

If you’re looking to learn more about analytical psychology, Jungian psychology, or just want to better understand the human psyche, then any one of these five books would be a great addition to your reading list.

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What Are the Jungian Archetypes?

Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

psychology books jung

Personal vs. Collective Unconscious

The Main Archetypes

Archetypical figures, frequently asked questions.

Archetypes are universal, inborn models of people, behaviors, and personalities that play a role in influencing human behavior. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung's theory suggested that these archetypes were archaic forms of innate human knowledge passed down from our ancestors.

In Jungian psychology, these archetypes represent universal patterns and images that are part of the collective unconscious. Jung believed that we inherit these archetypes much in the way we inherit instinctive patterns of behavior.

Jung was originally a follower of Sigmund Freud . The relationship eventually fractured over Jung's criticism of Freud's emphasis on sexuality during development, which led Jung to develop his own psychoanalytic approach known as analytical psychology.

While Jung agreed with Freud that the unconscious played an important role in personality and behavior, he expanded on Freud's idea of the personal unconscious to include what Jung called the collective unconscious.

Jung believed that the human psyche was composed of three components:

According to Jung, the ego represents the  conscious mind , and the personal unconscious contains memories—including those that have been suppressed.

The collective unconscious is a unique component in that Jung believed that this part of the psyche served as a form of psychological inheritance. It contained all of the knowledge and experiences that humans share as a species.

The Origins of Jungian Archetypes

Jung believed that archetypes come from the collective unconscious. He suggested that these models are innate, universal, unlearned, and hereditary. Archetypes organize how we experience certain things.

"All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes," Jung explained in his book, "The Structure of the Psyche."

"This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form, they are variants of archetypal ideas created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses but to translate into visible reality the world within us," he suggested.

Jung rejected the concept of tabula rasa , or the notion that the human mind is a blank slate at birth to be written solely by experience. He believed that the human mind retains fundamental, unconscious, biological aspects of our ancestors. These "primordial images," as he initially dubbed them, serve as a basic foundation of how to be human.

The archaic and mythic characters that make up the archetypes reside with all people from all over the world, Jung believed. Archetypes symbolize basic human motivations , values, and personalities.

Jung believed that each archetype played a role in personality , but felt that most people were dominated by one specific archetype. According to Jung, the actual way in which an archetype is expressed or realized depends upon a number of factors, including an individual's cultural influences and uniquely personal experiences.

Jung identified four major archetypes but also believed that there was no limit to the number that may exist. The existence of these archetypes cannot be observed directly but can be inferred by looking at religion, dreams, art, and literature. Jung's four major archetypes are: the persona, the shadow, the anima/animus, and the self.

The Persona

The persona is how we present ourselves to the world. The word "persona" is derived from a Latin word that literally means "mask." It is not a literal mask, however.

The persona represents all of the different social masks that we wear among various groups and situations. It acts to shield the ego from negative images. According to Jung, the persona may appear in dreams and take different forms.

Over the course of development, children learn that they must behave in certain ways in order to fit in with society's expectations and norms. The persona develops as a social mask to contain all of the primitive urges, impulses, and emotions that are not considered socially acceptable.

The persona archetype allows people to adapt to the world around them and fit in with the society in which they live. However, becoming too closely identified with this archetype can lead people to lose sight of their true selves.

The shadow is a Jungian archetype that consists of sex and life instincts. The shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts, and shortcomings.

The shadow forms out of our attempts to adapt to cultural norms and expectations. It is this archetype that contains all of the things that are unacceptable not only to society, but also to one's own personal morals and values. It might include things such as envy, greed, prejudice , hate, and aggression.

Jung suggested that the shadow can appear in dreams or visions and may take a variety of forms. It might appear as a snake, a monster, a demon, a dragon, or some other dark, wild, or exotic figure.

This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos, and the unknown. These latent dispositions are present in all of us, Jung believed, although people sometimes deny this element of their own psyche and instead project it on to others.

The Anima or Animus

The anima is a feminine image in the male psyche, and the animus is a male image in the female psyche. The anima/animus represents the "true self" rather than the image we present to others and serves as the primary source of communication with the collective unconscious.

Jung believed that physiological changes as well as social influences contributed to the development of sex roles and gender identities . Jung suggested the influence of the animus and anima archetypes were also involved in this process. According to Jung, the animus represents the masculine aspect in women while the anima represented the feminine aspect in men.

These archetypal images are based upon both what is found in the collective and personal unconscious. The collective unconscious may contain notions about how women should behave while personal experience with wives, girlfriends, sisters, and mothers contribute to more personal images of women.

In many cultures, however, men and women are encouraged to adopt traditional and often rigid gender roles. Jung suggested that this discouragement of men exploring their feminine aspects and women exploring their masculine aspects served to undermine psychological development.

The combined anima and animus is known as the syzygy or the divine couple. The syzygy represents completion, unification, and wholeness.

The self is an archetype that represents the unified unconsciousness and consciousness of an individual. Jung often represented the self as a circle, square, or mandala.

Creating the self occurs through a process known as individuation, in which the various aspects of personality are integrated. Jung believed that disharmony between the unconscious and the conscious mind could lead to psychological problems. Bringing these conflicts into awareness and accommodating them in conscious awareness was an important part of the individuation process.

Jung suggested that there were two different centers of personality:

You can think of this by imagining a circle with a dot right at the center. The entire circle makes up the self, where the small dot in the middle represents the ego.

For Jung, the ultimate aim was for an individual to achieve a sense of cohesive self, similar in many ways to Maslow's concept of self-actualization .

Other Jungian Archetypes

Jung suggested that the number of existing archetypes was not static or fixed. Instead, many different archetypes may overlap or combine, creating new archetypes such as the father (a stern, powerful authority figure), the hero (a champion, defender, or rescuer), and the trickster (a deceiver, liar, and troublemaker).

Jung acknowledged that the four main archetypes can intermingle and give rise to 12 archetypical figures (also known as archetypical images). These include:

A Word From Verywell

Jung's ideas have not been as popular as Freud's and his archetypes have not been viewed favorably in modern psychology. This might be because his work tended to veer into the mystical and pseudoscientific, and is therefore often studied more as a historical artifact and in realms of literary criticism and popular culture applications of mythology than as a major contribution to the science of the mind and behavior.

Other criticisms of Jung's archetypes suggest that they are overly stereotyped, reductionistic , and culturally biased.

In addition to his theory of archetypes, Jung also introduced a theory of personality that became the basis for the MBTI personality typology. Jung's eight personality types are:

According to Jung, your persona is the social mask that you wear and present to the world. It is designed to make an impression on others, but it also serves to conceal your true self.

APA Dictionary of Psychology. Archetype . American Psychological Association.

APA Dictionary of Psychology. Collective unconscious . American Psychological Association.

Jung C. Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 8: Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche . Adler G, Hull R, eds. Princeton University Press. doi:10.2307/j.ctt5hhr1w

Stevens A.  Living Archetypes: The selected works of Anthony Stevens . Routledge.

APA Dictionary of Psychology. Anima . American Psychological Association.

Jung CG. Four Archetypes . Routledge.

Watts J, Cockcroft K, Duncan N. Developmental Psychology . UCT Press.

By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.

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psychology books jung

What is Jungian Psychology?

Posted on: January 25, 2022

At its fundamental level, Jungian psychotherapy, also referred to as Jungian analysis, is a thorough, analytical approach to talk therapy that seeks to bring balance and union between the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind.

Created by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (also known as Carl Gustav Jung or CG Jung) in the first half of the 20th century, Jungian therapy is built on the idea that the unconscious is a source of wisdom and guidance that can help encourage psychological growth.

Although we now often refer to his approach as Jungian therapy, Jung preferred to call it Analytical Psychology. Furthermore, although Jungian therapy and Jungian analysis are sometimes used interchangeably, Jungian analysis can only be practiced by official Jungian analysts. To become a Jungian analyst, practitioners must complete a training program approved by the International Association for Analytical Psychology.

Jungian psychology is a complex and vast area of depth therapy that can require many years of research and study to get a firm grasp on its various methods and meanings. However, one of its core tenets is that when one’s authentic self is blocked, mental health issues can form and grow into depression, addiction, anxiety and more. This then leads to destructive relationship patterns within one’s life.

Jungian psychology will work with those suffering from these issues through an exploration toward personal growth and defining historical causes of psychological problems, such as childhood trauma. Instead of focusing on specific symptoms, such as anxiety, Jungian therapy utilizes a holistic approach to cultivating wellness in the entire personality. Each treatment is unique to the specific individual being treated and strives to have the client dig into the deeper, sometimes darker, elements of their mind to find their “true” self rather than who they present to the world.

For a more extensive exploration into Carl Jung, his history and the creation of Analytical Psychology, check out Ruth Williams’s C.G. Jung: The Basics .

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Carl Jung


Who Was Carl Jung?

Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875, in Kesswil, Switzerland. The only son of a Protestant clergyman, Jung was a quiet, observant child who packed a certain loneliness in his single-child status. However, perhaps as a result of that isolation, he spent hours observing the roles of the adults around him, something that no doubt shaped his later career and work.

Jung's childhood was further influenced by the complexities of his parents. His father, Paul, developed a failing belief in the power of religion as he grew older. Jung's mother, Emilie, was haunted by mental illness and, when her boy was just three, left the family to live temporarily in a psychiatric hospital.

As was the case with his father and many other male relatives, it was expected that Jung would enter the clergy. Instead, Jung, who began reading philosophy extensively in his teens, bucked tradition and attended the University of Basel. There, he was exposed to numerous fields of study, including biology, paleontology, religion and archaeology, before finally settling on medicine.

Jung graduated the University of Basel in 1900 and obtained his M.D. two years later from the University of Zurich.

Career Beginnings

While attending the University of Zurich, Jung worked on the staff at Burgholzli Asylum, where he came under the guidance of Eugene Bleuler, a pioneering psychologist who laid the groundwork for what is now considered classical studies of mental illness.

At the hospital, Jung observed how different words elicited emotional responses from patients, which he believed represented subconscious associations around immoral or sexual content. These observations led the way for Jung to develop the term "complex" to describe the conditions.

Working with Freud

Jung's growing reputation as a psychologist and his work dealing with the subconscious eventually led him to the ideas of Freud and, later, to the man himself.

Over a five-year period beginning in 1907, the two men worked closely together, and Jung was widely believed to be the one who would continue the work of the elder Freud. However, viewpoints and temperament ended their collaboration and, eventually their friendship. In particular, Jung challenged Freud's beliefs around sexuality as the foundation of neurosis. He also disagreed with Freud's methods, asserting that the elder psychologist's work was too one-sided.

The final break came in 1912 when Jung published Psychology of the Unconscious. In it, Jung examined the unconscious mind and tried to understand the symbolic meaning of its contents. In the process, the work also took head-on a number of Freud's theories.

Analytical Psychology

But breaking with Freud had consequences for Jung. Freud closed off his inner circle to the younger psychologist, and others in the psychoanalytic community also shunned him. In 1914, he resigned from the International Psychoanalytic Society and continued undaunted in the development of his ideas.

Seeking to further distinguish his work from Freud's, Jung adopted the term "analytical psychology" and delved deep into his work. His most important development from this early period was his conception of introverts and extroverts and the notion that people can be categorized as one of the two, depending on the extent to which they exhibit certain functions of consciousness. Jung's work in this area was featured in his 1921 publication Psychological Types .

During this period he also allowed himself to explore his own mind, eventually proposing the idea that there was not only a personal unconscious but also a collective unconscious from which certain universal symbols and patterns have arisen throughout history. At the heart of analytical psychology is the interplay of these with the ego, a process he labeled individuation, by which a person develops into his or her own "true self."

For much of his later life, Jung traveled the globe to study different cultures. He published extensively on his findings, authoring some 200 works on his theories, including Modern Man in Search of a Soul (1933) and The Undiscovered Self (1957). He also held professorships at the Federal Polytechnical in Zurich and the University of Basel.

Jung's ideas continue to resonate today, in fields as varied as archaeology, religion, literature and even pop culture.

Awards & Honors

In 1932 Jung was awarded Zurich's literature prize. Six years later he was elected honorary fellow of England's Royal Society of Medicine. In 1944 he was named an honorary member of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences.

Personal Life & Death

Jung married Emma Rauschenbach in 1903. The couple had five children and remained together until Emma's death in 1955.

Jung died at his home in Zurich on June 6, 1961.


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Jung's Collected Works #12

Psychology and alchemy, c.g. jung , herbert read  ( editor ) , michael fordham  ( editor ).

A study of the analogies between alchemy, Christian dogma, and psychological symbolism. Revised translation, with new bibliography and index.

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First published January 1, 1944

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Carl Jung’s Theories: Archetypes, Personality, & Collective Unconscious

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Carl Jung was an early supporter of Freud because of their shared interest in the unconscious. He was an active member of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (formerly known as the Wednesday Psychological Society).

psychology books jung

When the International Psychoanalytical Association was formed in 1910, Jung became president at the request of Freud.

However, in 1912 while on a lecture tour of America, Jung publicly criticized Freud’s theory of the Oedipus complex and his emphasis on infantile sexuality. The following year this led to an irrevocable split between them and Jung went on to develop his own version of psychoanalytic theory.

Most of Jung’s assumptions of his analytical psychology reflect his theoretical differences with Freud . For example, while Jung agreed with Freud that a person’s past and childhood experiences determined future behavior, he also believed that we are shaped by our future (aspirations) too.

Differences between Jung and Freud

Jung - Freud Comparison Table

In This Article

Theory of the Libido

Jung (1948) disagreed with Freud regarding the role of sexuality. He believed the libido was not just sexual energy, but instead generalized psychic energy.

For Jung, the purpose of psychic energy was to motivate the individual in a number of important ways, including spiritually, intellectually, and creatively. It was also an individual’s motivational source for seeking pleasure and reducing conflict

Theory of the Unconscious

Like Freud (and Erikson) Jung regarded the psyche as made up of a number of separate but interacting systems. The three main ones were the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious.

According to Jung, the ego represents the conscious mind as it comprises the thoughts, memories, and emotions a person is aware of. The ego is largely responsible for feelings of identity and continuity.

Like Freud, Jung (1921, 1933) emphasized the importance of the unconscious in relation to personality. However, he proposed that the unconscious consists of two layers.

The first layer called the personal unconscious is essentially the same as Freud’s version of the unconscious. The personal unconscious contains temporality forgotten information and well as repressed memories.

Jung (1933) outlined an important feature of the personal unconscious called complexes. A complex is a collection of thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories that focus on a single concept.

The more elements attached to the complex, the greater its influence on the individual. Jung also believed that the personal unconscious was much nearer the surface than Freud suggested and Jungian therapy is less concerned with repressed childhood experiences.

It is the present and the future, which in his view was the key to both the analysis of neurosis and its treatment.

The Collective Unconscious

However, by far the most important difference between Jung and Freud is Jung’s notion of the collective (or transpersonal) unconscious. This is his most original and controversial contribution to personality theory .

The collective unconscious is a universal version of the personal unconscious, holding mental patterns, or memory traces, which are shared with other members of the human species (Jung, 1928).

These ancestral memories, which Jung called archetypes, are represented by universal themes in various cultures, as expressed through literature, art, and dreams.

‘The form of the world into which [a person] is born is already inborn in him, as a virtual image’ (Jung, 1953, p. 188).

According to Jung, the human mind has innate characteristics “imprinted” on it as a result of evolution. These universal predispositions stem from our ancestral past.

Fear of the dark, or of snakes and spiders might be examples, and it is interesting that this idea has recently been revived in the theory of prepared conditioning (Seligman, 1971).

However, more important than isolated tendencies are those aspects of the collective unconscious that have developed into separate sub-systems of the personality. Jung (1947) called these ancestral memories and images archetypes.

Jungian Archetypes

Jungian archetypes are defined as images and themes that derive from the collective unconscious, as proposed by Carl Jung. Archetypes

have universal meanings across cultures and may show up in dreams, literature, art or religion.

Jung (1947) believes symbols from different cultures are often very similar because they have emerged from archetypes shared by the whole human race which are part of our collective unconscious.

For Jung, our primitive past becomes the basis of the human psyche, directing and influencing present behavior. Jung claimed to identify a large number of archetypes but paid special attention to four.

Jung labeled these archetypes the Self, the Persona, the Shadow and the Anima/Animus.

The Persona

The persona (or mask) is the outward face we present to the world. It conceals our real self and Jung describes it as the “conformity” archetype. This is the public face or role a person presents to others as someone different from who we really are (like an actor).

The Anima/Animus

Another archetype is the anima/animus. The “anima/animus” is the mirror image of our biological sex, that is, the unconscious feminine side in males and the masculine tendencies in women.

Each sex manifests the attitudes and behavior of the other by virtue of centuries of living together. The psyche of a woman contains masculine aspects (the animus archetype), and the psyche of a man contains feminine aspects (the anima archetype).

Next is the shadow. This is the animal side of our personality (like the id in Freud). It is the source of both our creative and destructive energies. In line with evolutionary theory, it may be that Jung’s archetypes reflect predispositions that once had survival value.

Finally, there is the self which provides a sense of unity in experience. For Jung, the ultimate aim of every individual is to achieve a state of selfhood (similar to self-actualization ), and in this respect, Jung (like Erikson) is moving in the direction of a more humanist orientation.

That was certainly Jung’s belief and in his book “The Undiscovered Self” he argued that many of the problems of modern life are caused by “man’s progressive alienation from his instinctual foundation.” One aspect of this is his views on the significance of the anima and the animus.

Jung argues that these archetypes are products of the collective experience of men and women living together.

However, in modern Western civilization men are discouraged from living their feminine side and women from expressing masculine tendencies. For Jung, the result was that the full psychological development both sexes was undermined.

Together with the prevailing patriarchal culture of Western civilization, this has led to the devaluation of feminine qualities altogether, and the predominance of the persona (the mask) has elevated insincerity to a way of life which goes unquestioned by millions in their everyday life.

Critical Evaluation

Jung’s (1947, 1948) ideas have not been as popular as Freud’s. This might be because he did not write for the layman and as such his ideas were not a greatly disseminated as Freud’s. It may also be because his ideas were a little more mystical and obscure, and less clearly explained.

On the whole modern psychology has not viewed Jung’s theory of archetypes kindly. Ernest Jones (Freud’s biographer) tells that Jung “descended into a pseudo-philosophy out of which he never emerged” and to many his ideas look more like New Age mystical speculation than a scientific contribution to psychology.

However, while Jung’s research into ancient myths and legends, his interest in astrology and fascination with Eastern religion can be seen in that light, it is also worth remembering that the images he was writing about have, as a matter of historical fact, exerted an enduring hold on the human mind.

Furthermore, Jung himself argues that the constant recurrence of symbols from mythology in personal therapy and in the fantasies of psychotics support the idea of an innate collective cultural residue. In line with evolutionary theory it may be that Jung’s archetypes reflect predispositions that once had survival value.

Jung proposed that human responses to archetypes are similar to instinctual responses in animals. One criticism of Jung is that there is no evidence that archetypes are biologically based or similar to animal instincts (Roesler, 2012).

Rather than being seen as purely biological, more recent research suggests that archetypes emerge directly from our experiences and are reflections of linguistic or cultural characteristics (Young-Eisendrath, 1995).

However, Jung’s work has also contributed to mainstream psychology in at least one significant respect. He was the first to distinguish the two major attitudes or orientations of personality – extroversion and introversion (Jung, 1923).

He also identified four basic functions (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting) which in a cross-classification yield eight pure personality types.

Psychologists like Hans Eysenck and Raymond Cattell have subsequently built upon this. As well as being a cultural icon for generations of psychology undergraduates Jung, therefore, put forward ideas which were important to the development of modern personality theory.

Jung, C. G. (1921). Psychological types. The collected works of CG Jung, Vol. 6 Bollingen Series XX.

Jung, C. G. (1923). On The Relation Of Analytical Psychology To Poetic Art 1 . British Journal of Medical Psychology, 3 (3), 213-231.

Jung, C. G. (1928). Contributions to analytical psychology . New York: Harcourt Brace

Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern man in search of his soul.

Jung, C. G. (1947). On the Nature of the Psyche . London: Ark Paperbacks.

Jung, C. G. (1948). The phenomenology of the spirit in fairy tales. The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious , 9(Part 1), 207-254.

Jung, C. G. (1953). Collected works. Vol. 12. Psychology and alchemy.

Roesler, C. (2012). Are archetypes transmitted more by culture than biology? Questions arising from conceptualizations of the archetype . Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57(2) , 223-246.

Seligman, M. E. P. (1971). Preparedness and phobias. Behavior Therapy, 2(3) , 307-20.

Young-Eisendrath, P. (1995). Struggling with jung: The value of uncertainty . Psychological Perspectives, 31(1) , 46-54.

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Currently trying to make sense of psychology and spirituality. Hope others might find this helpful.

I feel like it’s all just one giant contradiction so making sense of it is pointless. Or this is what I’m being told anyways. Per Don Carveth (professor of sociology and analyst), Freud discovered this, was embarrassed and tried to hide it.

This is what led to Carl Jung and him “breaking up”. He got rid of what he didn’t want to face?

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What exactly do you see as the contradiction?

Jung parted ways with Freud because Freud thought repression was always being sexual, whereas Jung saw there were other types of repression.

What do I see as the contradiction?…I guess life? Everything? Religion. Spirituality.

From Jung: Every good quality has its bad side, and nothing that is good can come into the world without directly producing a corresponding evil. This is a painful fact” (p. 199). One example of this duality is that we cannot achieve wholeness without integrating the dark side of the self.

I’ve had to fake a break from Jung and have been focusing more on human behavior (mainly to study myself). So there’s a lot I don’t understand about Jung. But I guess I’m trying to say that Freud denied this and didn’t want to face it. So cut Jung out of his life.

Now I’m curious. I guess they both decided to cut each other out. For their own various reasons? It looks better when both decide they don’t need the other.

Just to mention that Psychology of the Unconscious is probably not the best book to read if you’re a beginner with Jung.

Previously on r/Jung I replied to someone who found Psychology of the Unconscious basically unreadable and explained this situation as follows:

The importance of the book Psychology of the Unconscious lies pretty much only in its historically marking the end of Jung’s formerly close relationship with Freud. A die-hard Jungian might read this turgid book only to compare it with the version that resulted from the extensive revisions made years later by Jung in the retitled Symbols of Transformation in which he writes in the forward:

I have long been conscious of the fact that this book [Psychology of the Unconscious], which was written thirty-seven years ago, stood in urgent need of revision, but my professional obligations and my scientific work never left me sufficient leisure to settle down in comfort to this unpleasant and difficult task. Old age and illness released me at last from my professional duties and gave me the necessary time to contemplate the sins of my youth. I have never felt happy about this book, much less satisfied with it: it was written at top speed, amid the rush and press of my medical practice, without regard to time or method. I had to fling my material hastily together, just as I found it. There was no opportunity to let my thoughts mature. The whole thing came upon me like a landslide that cannot be stopped. The urgency that lay behind it became clear to me only later: it was the explosion of all those psychic contents which could find no room, no breathing-space, in the constricting atmosphere of Freudian psychology and its narrow outlook.

My guess is that Psychology of the Unconscious started becoming available recently in book form only to cash in on an increased interest in Jung, although fortunately it looks like you were able to obtain a free download of it.

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Joseph Campbell, A Scholar's Life

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For Joseph Campbell, the study of myth was the exploration of the possibilities of consciousness. His lifetime of scholarship was nothing less than the search for the Holy Grail of radiant living. The dialog between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers that became The Power of Myth was an event that changed many lives. It is more than a presentation of fascinating stories from all over the world. It is a vision of a rich inner life available to anyone willing to go on the initiatory adventures.

Joseph Campbell was born in 1904 in a suburb of New York City. His childhood was strongly Irish Catholic. This heritage led to an earnest immersion in the rituals and symbols of the church, including becoming an altar boy. His interest in mythology began at age seven when he saw the Indians in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in Madison Square Garden. Campbell developed an intense fascination with Native American lore that ultimately led to vast learning. His boyhood was spent studying the Indian exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History and reading all the books he could find on Native Americans, including advanced anthropological reports.

Campbell graduated from Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut in 1921. On a crossing of the North Atlantic in 1924, he met Jiddu Krishnamurti, not yet the great world teacher of the Theosophists. This friendship led to a deep interest in the traditions of India. Campbell received his B.A. in English from Columbia University in 1925. He completed his M.A. in Medieval Literature in 1926 with a thesis on The Dolorous Stroke, the origin of the Wasteland symbolism in the Grail legends. His advisor was Roger Loomis, a leading Arthurian scholar.

During 1926, Campbell also took classes at the New York City Religious Science Church taught by one of the founders of that movement, Fenwick Holmes. As part of the course, Campbell read Science of Mind . A year in Paris (1927-28) for dissertation research included other significant learning experiences, such as tutorials in aesthetics with sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. He was impressed with the art of Picasso, Brancusi, and Braque. During this time, Campbell read W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce. He was befriended by Joyce's publisher, Sylvia Beach, who explained the intricacies of Ulysses .

At the University of Munich (1928-29), Campbell studied how Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung used myth in psychology. He also noted mythic dimensions in the novels of Thomas Mann. All these masters of modernity would greatly influence his thinking, leading him later to theorize that mythologies are the artistic expressions of psychological life.

Returning to Columbia University, Campbell wanted to expand the scope of his dissertation topic beyond the Grail myth to include parallels with psychology, literature, and art. His advisors made it clear that such an interdisciplinary perspective would not be acceptable.

Choosing not to complete his doctorate, Campbell spent several years in Woodstock, New York, reading extensively. He visited California in 1931-32 befriending novelist John Steinbeck and biologist Ed Ricketts. During this time, he first read Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West . Campbell's sweeping vision owes much in style to Spengler.

Joseph Campbell was professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College 1933-1972. He married a former student, Jean Erdman, who became prominent in modern dance as both a performer and choreographer. They had no children. He translated The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942), and a four volume series on The Upanishads: A New Translation with Swami Nikhilananda, the leader of a Vedanta center in New York City.

A principle mentor was Indologist Heinrich Zimmer, a colleague of C.G. Jung. Zimmer died suddenly of pneumonia in 1943. Over the next twelve years, Campbell did the editing and substantial writing of four books based on Zimmer's papers.

Campbell's other early writing included the commentary on a Navajo ceremonial story Where the Two Came to Their Father (1943). He also co-authored (with Henry Morton Robinson) A Skeleton Key to Finnegan's Wake (1944). This was the first comprehensive analysis of Joyce's complex novel. It was from Joyce that Campbell drew the concept of the monomyth. This is the one great mythic story told in all eras and regions. It is the initiatory adventure of the hero.

It was the publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces in 1949 that established Joseph Campbell as the preeminent comparative mythologist of the twentieth century. He intended the book to be a guide to reading a myth. Campbell explained how challenging experiences could be seen as initiatory adventures. It was this connection between ancient stories and the emotional concerns of modern life that was distinctive. As Campbell observed:

The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast , stand this afternoon on the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.

Campbell's description of the hero's journey has been used extensively by generations of artists and scholars. It showed the similarities among the great stories of world mythology. It is a model of initiatory elements in myth, religion, literature, and ritual. Campbell worked from a simpler matrix (departure, transformation, return) developed by Arnold van Gennep in The Rites of Passage (1912). Campbell used two theories to explain the universality of the themes. One was the principle of elementary ideas developed by Adolf Bastian. The other was the similar concept of archetypes from the psychology of Carl Jung.

The hero's journey as described in The Hero with a Thousand Faces explains an initiatory sequence. The opening stage includes: the call to adventure, meeting the mentor, and the threshold passage. Once into the adventure, the challenges involve: finding allies and guides, facing ordeals, resisting temptations, braving enemies, enduring the dark night of the soul, surviving the supreme ordeal, and winning the elixir (the boon). The concluding steps are: the return threshold passage, resurrection, celebration, accepting a role of service (sharing the elixir), and, finally, merging two worlds.

Campbell shows why societies must have heroes to incarnate values upon which a nation or world-order thrives or dies. The seeker provides a society with the vitality essential for continued existence.

The Hero with a Thousand Faces showed the similarities among the mythological traditions. Campbell followed this with a series of writings on the great differences among the world myths.

The four-volume MASKS OF GOD: Primitive Mythology, Oriental Mythology, Occidental Mythology, Creative Mythology, 4 volume set (I - IV) :

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Campbell introduced one of his principal theoretical constructs in the Masks of God series. It was in Occidental Mythology (1964), that Campbell outlined the four functions of myth:

Chumash art, painted caves, Santa Barbara, California

The psychological function was the principal focus of Campbell's scholarship. He credited his women students at Sarah Lawrence College, with making his work accessible. He noted their insistence on hearing how the material from mythological traditions was relevant to their lives. Partly in response to their perseverance, Campbell put great emphasis on how the wisdom literature reflected psychological dynamics. The use of myth as a guide to the inner life simultaneously gained Campbell a large following and substantial criticism. Some colleagues believed that the original purposes of the mythic texts were primarily sociological.

Campbell was the editor of many books, beginning with The Portable Arabian Nights (1952). He was general editor of the series Man and Myth (1953-1954), which included major works by Maya Deren Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti 1953), Karl Kerenyi ( The Gods of the Greeks , 1954), and Alan Watts ( Myth and Ritual In Christianity , 1954). He was the editor of The Portable Jung (1972) which included a lengthy introduction on Jung's thought.

Campbell's involvement in the Eranos Conferences (founded by Carl Jung) led to editing six volumes of papers from the meetings: Spirit and Nature (1954), The Mysteries (1955), Man and Time (1957), Spiritual Disciplines (1960), Man and Transformation (1964), and The Mystic Vision (1969).

Campbell retired from Sarah Lawrence College in 1972, to focus on writing. His interest went beyond the texts to other dimensions of the mythic imagination. He argued that timeless wisdom can be approached from three directions. The mythic story would be a clear form of access to the mysteries beyond conscious knowing. The next primary avenue would be through ritual. Ceremonial practices often accompany major myths and allow participants to enter into a personal experience of the story through dramatic re-enactment of part of the text. The third means of entry would be the image. This could be a sacred image such as a statue or painting of a religious exemplar. It could be an image from a dream or the imagination. For example, pondering mythic stories brings images to mind. The image represents much beyond itself. This larger content can be reached through consideration of the metaphor implied by the image. Campbell wrote a richly illustrated book, The Mythic Image (1974) to explain this point.

Campbell was discovered by a new generation when George Lucas based much of his screenplay for Star Wars (1977) on what he had summarized from The Hero with a Thousand Faces . The most successful film series in history was retelling the initiatory adventures that Campbell had so vividly described. Lucas acknowledged using Campbell's work and considered him a mentor.

In his eighties, Campbell launched a multi-volume Historical Atlas of World Mythology that set out to investigate the major mythological periods. He proposed a stage model of cultural development. The earliest era is indicated by shamanistic hunter-gatherers. This is the beginning of symbolic thinking. Next come the planters' rituals of birth, death, and rebirth. The third stage involves high civilizations of Goddesses, heroes, and priestly orders. Finally, a stage that leads into the current era, in which the individuals are able to comprehend illumination directly as an internal state. All regions of the planet to not go through these stages simultaneously. In contemporary time, cultures can be found that exhibit the perspectives of each of the four stages.

Campbell's lasting eminence owes much to his gifts as a public speaker. He was able to convey the essence of ancient teachings through vivid storytelling and commentary. A series of public lectures at the Cooper Union in New York City became the very accessible book, Myths to Live By (1972). He presented annual seminars for seventeen years at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. For decades, he gave annual workshops at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. He also spoke frequently for C.G. Jung Institutes, University of California Extension in Berkeley, and the Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara.

His prizes and awards included several honorary doctorates. The Hero with a Thousand Faces won the National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Contributions to Creative Literature. In 1985, he received the National Arts Club medal for honor for literature for his work on the Historical Atlas of World Mythology . At the ceremony, Psychologist James Hillman said, "No one in our century - not Freud, not Thomas Mann, not Levi-Strauss - has so brought the mythical sense of the world and its eternal figures back into our everyday consciousness." In 1987, Campbell was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

The most memorable contribution of Campbell's career was made by way of television. It was the six-part series The Power of Myth with Bill Moyers. Most of the interviews were conducted at Skywalker Ranch, the film studio built by George Lucas in California's Marin County. The interviews for the last episode were done at the American Museum of Natural History. This was where Campbell had pondered Native American artifacts as a boy. Public television stations broadcast the series for the first time in late 1987. It has been rebroadcast many time since then. This book based on the transcripts of the interviews became a best-seller in America. The Power of Myth radically increased public awareness of the wisdom to be found in mythology. In 1987 Joseph Campbell died at his Honolulu home from cancer of the esophagus. In his last days, he was once again reading the The Bhagavad Gita . An obituary in Newsweek summarized his accomplishments, "Campbell has become one of the rarest of intellectuals in American life: a serious thinker who has been embraced by the popular culture."

As it was for so many others, my own first encounter with Joseph Campbell was a life-altering event. His view of the great wisdom traditions vastly expanded my awareness of the richness of living. It was a great honor to assist Campbell at seminars in the last few years of his life. When I was later selected to be the founding curator of his archives, I felt the sense of calling that he had so vividly described. The years I spent on that project involved gathering books and papers from his homes in New York City and Honolulu. Those materials are now archived on the campus of the Pacifica Graduate Institute, just outside of Santa Barbara, California. I can only say that working with Joseph Campbell and establishing his library has been an experience of true wonder.

Several books have been published posthumously, based on papers and recorded lectures. An Open Life is a book of interviews originally given on a radio series. A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living is based on tapes of a seminar given at the Eselan Institute in Big Sur, California. Thou Art That is a collection of studies of the meanings of key metaphors in the Judeo-Christian traditions.

Campbell still stimulates debates in myth and folklore scholarship about whether it is appropriate to use mythology to illustrate psychological principles. Meanwhile, an ever-expanding audience is seeing and studying the Moyers interviews. The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell is set to include several additional new books based on lectures and papers. It is clear that Joseph Campbell's vision of the mythic imagination will have a lasting influence.

Related Articles and Interviews

Psychology Online interviewed Jonathan Young on Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung .

More about Joseph Campbell and his own Mythic Journey

A discussion of storytelling and myth: Keeper of the Sacred Stories

Jonathan Young served as assistant to Joseph Campbell and was the original archivist for the Joseph Campbell Archives at Pacifica. He was interviewed for the Joseph Campbell Centennial: Remembering A Master Mythologist

An Interview on the importance of sacred stories in a spiritual life: Sacred Stories, Holy Paths

Learning Resources

Mythic distance learning resources for the general public

Mythic seminars for the general public

Mythic learning resources for the general public and professionals

Source: Adapted from: Young, Jonathan (2005) Joseph Campbell. Dictionary of Modern American Philosophy. Bristol, UK: Thoemmes Press

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