Victor Daniels' website in
The Psychology Department at
Sonoma State University
Notes on

Carl Gustav Jung

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"Trust that which gives you meaning and accept it as your guide."


Jung was born in Switzerland and spent his life there, except for trips to African, India, American Indian tribes, and other peoples as an adult. His father was a minister. Jung spend much of his childhood among the fields and hills and streams of rural Switzerland and as an adult lived on the lakeshore. He was a self-described introverted child who spent much of his time in his rich imagination. As an adult, early in his career he lived on the grounds of a mental hospital and worked with the psychotic patients. He married a woman from a wealthy family, Emma, who made it possible for them to live a very comfortable life. After Alfred Adler broke away from Freud, Jung was the next one anoited by Freud to carry on the psychoanalytic movement, but eventually Jung's differences from Freud became so pronounced that he too left the Freudian psychoanalytic circle. Emma eventually became trained as a Jungian analyst herself. Jung attracted many students and followers. He had two ongoing affairs as an adult, one with a Russian woman who broke off the affair when Jung refused to father a child for her, and the other with Toni Wolff, another student, with whom it appears, remarkably enough, that Emma enjoyed a friendly relationship.Jung lived a long and productive life, left a remarkable treasure of writings, and a unique body of thought.



For Jung the psyche was the great world within. For him this interior world was just as great as the world without, and indeed embodied much of the world without.

For Jung life was also a great mystery, of which we know and understand very little. He never hesitated to say, "I don't know," and readily admitted when he came to the end of his understanding.



"Modern man is even more sick in normality than in the asylum. He is a man in search of his soul." The last thing Jung wanted to do was to merely remove a person's sense of maladjustment.

"Mankind is in great danger, and the only solution is to become more conscious. The only real danger that exists is man himself. He is the real danger." Jung was reacting to the mass psychology of fascism & communism. His comments apply equally to the terrorism and the ecocrisis.

"We have forgotten how to live the symbols in ourselves."


INDIVIDUATION. Jung believed that a human being is inwardly whole, but that most of us have lost touch with important parts of our selves. Through listening to the messages of our dreams and waking imagination, we can contact and reintegrate our different parts. The goal of life is individuation, the process of coming to know, giving expression to, and harmonizing the various components of the psyche. If we realize our uniqueness, we can undertake a process of individuation and tap into our true self. Each human being has a specific nature and calling which is uniquely his or her own, and unless these are fulfilled through a union of conscious and unconscious, the person can become sick. He writes:

  • "Indlviduation means becoming a 'single, homogenenous being, and in ao far as 'individuality' embraces our innermost, last,-and incompa£able uniqueness, it "also implies becoming one's own self. We could therefore tranalate'tindividuation' as 'coming to to selfhood' or 'self-realization.'(Two Essasys on Analytical Psychology, CW 7, p. 171)
  • Often the ego is mis-identified with the self. Individuation is then seen as nothing but ego-centredness.


---------------------THE UNCONSCIOUS AND ITS SYMBOLS-----------------------------------------

THE UNCONSCIOUS was at the center of Jung's interests. In a sense it transcends time. Making the unconscious an honored partner of our conscious selves seemed to Jung the only way of healing the problems and splits that have long bedeviled humankind.

"Theorectically," wrote Jung, "no limits can be set to the field of con~ciousness, since it is capable of indefinite extension. Empirically, however, it alway5 finds its limit when it comes up against the unknown. This consists of everything we do not know, which, therefore, is not related to the ego as the centre of the field of consezousness. The unknown falls into two groups of objects: those which are inside and are experzenced immediately. The first group comprises the unknown in the outer world; the second the unknown in the inner world. We call this latter territory the unconscious." (cited in Aion, Collected Works of Carl Jung, Vol. 9, ii, p. 3)

A basic tenet was that all products of the unconscious are symbolic and can be taken as guiding messages. What is the dream or fantasy leading the person toward? The unconscious will live, and will move us, whether we like it or not.


Personal unconscious. That aspect of the psyche which does not usually inter the individual's awareness and which appears in overt behavior or in dreams. It is the source of new thoughts and creative ideals, and produces meaningful symbols.The personal unconscious includes "all more or less intention repression of painful thoughts and feelings. These contents are part of the individual personality. By Jung's definition it also includes everything that

  • I know but am not now thinking about;
  • I was once conscious of but have forgotten
  • Is perceived by the sensed but not noticed by my conscious mind
  • Involuntarily and without noticing it, I feel, think, remember, want and do;
  • Is taking shape in me and will come to consciousness at some point.

Collective unconscious: That aspect of the unconscious which manifests inherited, universal themes which run through all human life. Inwardly, the whole history of the human race, back to the most primitive times, lives on in us. Its orrgin is in heredlty, and instlnctual patterns.Has a unlversal character: Its structure is more or less the same everywhere and in all individuals. It "constitutes a common psychic substrate of a suprapersonal nature which is present in every one of us" In his exploratlons through India, Chloa, Japan, and Africa, he found dreams that belonged to the whole of mankind. In Elgon in Africa, he found that their witch doctor drew the same distinction between personal and collective dreams that he did.

SYMBOLS The symbol is a central part of Jung's thinking. It refers to a namel, term, or picture that is familiar in daily life, yet has other connotations besides its conventional and obvious meaning. It is a key to discovering feelings or preferences of which we are unaware. It implies something vague and partially unknown or hidden. Many different symbols may be essentially equivalent and reflect the same reality. Dream symbols bring messages from the unconscious to the rational mind.

PROJECTION. Jung thought this process very important. "Projections change the world into the replica of one's own unknown face.'' We blame the other for what we will not recognize in ourselves.

DREAMS. Jung devoted more time and thought to dreams than probably any other psychologist before or since. He viewd them as pecific expressions of the unconscous which have a definite, purposeful structure indicating an underlying idea or intention. The general function of dreams is to restore one's total psychic equlilibrium. They tend to play a complementary or compensatory role in our psychic makeup.

He writes, "The dream'is a little hidden door in the innermost and most secret recesses of the psyche, opening into-that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego-consciousness, and which will remain psyche no matter how far our ego-consciousness.may extend... in dreams we put on the likeness of that more universal truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkness of primordial night.. . .There he is still the whole, and the whole is in him, indistlnguishable from:nature and bare:of all egohood. Out~of these all-uniting depths arises the dream, be it never so immoral." Civilization in Transition, CW 10..

  • In working with dreams, Jung emphasized staying in the dream and exploring it as a whole in order to comprehend it in its totality. This is in contrast to the other major post-Freudian way of working with dreams, Gestalt therapy, which includes an openness to "shuttling" back and forth between the dream and the person's present (or unfinished past) existential realities. (I have found value in both ways of working.) The simplest way of working with a dream, Jung said, is to keep it in mind and turn it over and over throughout the day--or week--endeavoring to see what messages it holds for you.
  • Unlike Freud, who viewed most dreams symbols of masked or disguised representations of unconscious impulses that are unacceptable to the conscious "I," Jung thought that some dream symbols are quite transparent and can be taken at face value if we are willing to hear what they tell us.
  • My late friend and colleague Gordon Tappan, a Jungian, developed a kind of dream group in which one person shares a dream, and then in turn each other member "owns" the dreams--pretends it is his or her own--and tells what it means for him or her. This avoids the problems of projection and pseudo-superiority that can occur in the stance of "I know what your dream means for you." Inevitably a variety of different possible meanings articulated. The dreamer then takes and uses whatever he or she finds useful.
  • I have sometimes worked with a dream first using Gordon's Jungian dream group approach, as described just above, and then using the Gestalt working process. Often this provides a fuller and richer window into the dream than either approach alone.



ARCHETYPES of the collective unconscious. These primordial images reflect basic patterns or universal themes common to us all which are present in the unconscious. These symbolic images exist outside space and time. Examples: Shadow, animus, anima, the old wise person, the innocent child. There also seem to be nature archetypes, like fire, ocean, river, mountain.

The word archetvpe has been in use for centuries and means the orlginal patternb or prototype from which copies are made. In the collective unconscious contents, we are dealing with archaic, primordial types universal images that have existed since remotest times.

While the form of an archetype is universal, the specific content is individual, is filled in from personal experience, and cannot be predicted from knowledge of the form alone.

Some archetypes often mentioned by Jung include the wise old man or woman, The wounded healer, The puer eternis (eternal child), e. Nature archetypes such as the sun or a river or stream. . Two very important archetypes that Jung forgot to mention, in my observation, are family/in-group and enemy/out-group.

THE PERSONA. The "mask" or image we present to the world. Designed to make a particular impression on others, while concealing our true nature.

  • To a certain extent it is a figure in the unconscious--that is, we do not realize that we are wearing the mask. It prescribes conduct in accord with requirements of everyday life.
  • Represents conscious ego with its many variations. It is the person's adaptation to the world; the manner he or she assumes in dealing with it. Must not be mistaken for whole person.
  • If person identifies fully with persona, this becomes a denial of the other parts of the personality, including the rest of the unconscious.
  • Jung: "One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not r but which oneself as well as others think one is." (The Archetypes and.the Collective.Unconscious,CW 9, ir pp. 122

THE SHADOW. The side of our personality which we do not conscousnly display in public. May have positive or negative qualities. If it remains unconscious, the shadow is often projected onto other individuals or groups. The Real Bad Dude, for example, may push his friendly, nourishing sides into the shadow.

  • In dreams an unknown figure of the same sex as the dreamer often appears. Like burgler in dream. An unfamiliar facet of one's nature is brought to attention. May or not be negative or unpleasant --just disowned.
  • To know our shadow involves recognizing dark aspects of personality as present & real. Shadow wants to do all the things we do not allow ourselves to do. "I was not myself" or "I don't know what came over me." To some extend we are all Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When we especlally dislike someone, often it is a quality of our own we find in the other.
  • The narrower and more restrictive the societv in whichwe live, the larger will be our shadow.
  • The shadow is unavoidable and we are incomplete without it.
  • It is in the nature of human life that there should be light dark, sun and shade, laughter & sorrow.
  • Superstition holds that the person without a shadow ls the devil hlmself. We are cautious with someone "too good to be true.

ANIMA AND ANIMUS. Anima and Animus are Personifications of the feminine nature of a man's unconscious and the masculine nature of a woman's. This psychological bisexuality is a reflection of the biological fact that it is the larger number of male (or female) genes which is the decisive factor in the determination of sex. Anima and animus manifest themselves most typically in personified form as figures in dreams and fantasies (dream girl,. dream lover") or in the irrationalities of a man's feeling and a woman's thinking. As regulators of behavior they are two of the most influential archetypes.

The animus and the anima should function as a bridge, or a door, leading toithe images of the collective unconscious, as the persona shoula be a sort of bridge into the world. (Unpublished Seminar Notes. "visions. I,p. 116)

ANIMA is the Archetype symbolizing the unconscious female component of the male psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "feminine." Anima is latin word for "soul" or "breath of life" --that which animates. In a society in which womanis dominated by man, anima is crucial. It is a personification of the feminine values. Venus, Persephone, Ariadne, & others are personofications of anima archetype. Appeared in his own dreams and life. He found them to be central resource from his unconscious self.

Jung: "Every man carries within him the eternal image of woman, not the image of this or that~particular woman, but a definitive femine image. This~mage is fundamentally unconscious. . . Since this image i8 unconscious, it is always unconsciously projected upon the person of the beloved, and is one of the chief reasons for passionate attraction or aversion." (The Development of Personality, CW 17, p. 198)

The anima has a predilection for everything that is unconscious, dark, equivoc:al, and-at a loose end in a woman, and also for her vanity, . . .helplessness, and so forth. (The Practice of Psychotherapy, CW-16, p. 301)

ANIMUS is Archetype symbolizing the unconscious male component of the female psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "masculine." In women, animus refers to developing the kind of assertive, capable powers often attributed primarily to men. There is also the other side--the "Animus ridden women" --problem of career women who overemphasize animus, in a kind of overcompensation, to the detriment of anima

"In its primary 'unconscious'form the animus is a compound of spontaneous, unpremeditated opinions which exercise a powerful influence on the womah's emotional life, while the anima is similarly compounded of feelings which thereafter influence or distort the man's understanding I'~he has~turned his head').: ConsequentIy the animus likes to project itself upon 'intellectuals''and all kinds of 'heros,' including tenors, artists, sporting celebrities. etc,

SELF. This is the archetype symbolizing the totality of the personality. It represents the striving for unity, wholeness, and integration

  • It.embraces,not only the.conscious but also the unconscious psych..'There is little hope of our ever being able to reach even approximate consciousness of the self, since however much we may make conscious there will always exist an indeterminate and indeterminable amount of unconscious material which belongs to the totality of the self." (Two Essays on.~Analytical Psychology,' (CW: 7, p.l75),
  • "The self is our life's goal, for it is the completest expression of that'fateful--combination.~we call individuality."(Two Essays on Analytical Psychology, (CW 7, p. 238)
  • "The self comprises infinitely more than a mere is-as much one's self, and all other selves, as the ego. Individuation does not shut one out from the world, but gathers the world-to oneself."(The Structure and Dynamics of the~Payche "CW 8, p. 226) In this formulation Jung's conception of self comes close to that of the Yogic conception of the Atman, which is often translated into English as "self."

-------------------------PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES-----------------------------------------------------------

People differ in certain basic ways, even though the instincts which drive us are the same. He distinguished two general attitudes--introversion and extraversion; and four functions--thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting.

  • Extravert: Outer-directed, need for sociability, chooses people as a source of energy, often action-oriented.
  • Introvert: Inner-directed, need for privacy and space; chooses solitude to recover energy, often reflective.
  • Thinking function: Logical, sees cause & effect relations, cool, distant, frank, questioning.
  • Feeling function: Creative, warm, intimate, a sense of valuing positively or negatively. (Note that this is not the same as emotion)
  • Sensing function: Sensory, oriented toward the body and senses, detailed, concrete, present. Takes things as they seem to be, no more or less.
  • Intuitive function.. Sees many possibilities in situations, goes with hunches, impatient with earthy details, impractical, sometimes not present. The function that is opposite to sensation. Intuition is a perception of realities that are not known to consciousness, and that come via the unconscious.

One rarely finds pure types, but it helps to recognize that husband, wife or friend operates in a different way and is not just being obtuse. Neurotics typically have developed one function so highly that others are very neglected. Intuitives often neglect sensation, ~ their own bodies. Thinking types often neglect feeling.

The extraverted thinking person tends to be tied to facts, may believe his ideas represent absolute truth and that "the ends justify the means." dislikes and fears the irrational. Repressed feeling are likely to burst out violently and attach to unsuitable partners,in Jung's view, resulting in unfortunate love affairs.

Introverted thinking person is interested not in facts but ideas. May seem odd.. Pays little attention to relationships with the world.

Extraverted feeling person often seems to be well adjusted. May be tactful, charming, concerned with personal relationships. At best she is sympathetic, helpful, and charming; at worst superficial and insincere and artificial.

Introverted feeling type: 'Still waters run deep" --much sympathy & understanding of intimate friends, or people who are suffering. Doesn't play roles well. Not easily adaptable. May express self in music, poetry, religion.

Extraverted sensing type-- the obiect arousing the sensation is the important thing.

Introverted sensing types--may have trouble expressing themselves.

Extraverted Intuitive lives thru intuitive faculty. The important things are possibilities. Dislikes the familiar, safe, well-established. No respecter of custom. Not religion nor law are sacrosanct. May squander life in possibilities while others reap fruits of his energy & enterprise.

Introverted intuitive--concerned with collective unconscious.Sees visions, has revelations of religious or cosmic nature, prophetic dreams, etc.


----------------PSYCHOLOGICAL PROBLEMS AND DISORDERS---------------------------------

STORY. At the mental hospital, Jung: Looked for the meaning in people's comments.Jung concluded that every person has a story, and when derangement occurs, whether major or minor, it is because the personal story has been denied or rejected. Healing and integration comes when the person discovers or rediscovers his or her own personal story.

COMPLEXES: Usually unconscious and repressed emotionally-toned symbolic material that is incompatible with consciousness. "Stuck-together" agglomerations of thoughts, feelings, behavior patterns, and somatic forms of expression. Can cause constant psychological disturbances and symptoms of neurosis. With intervent iion, can become conscious and greatly reduced in their impact.

  • Complexes so central to Jung's ideas that orig. called his body of theories "Complex psychology". Historically the term originated with Theodore Ziehen, a German psychiatrist who experimented with reaction timne in world association test responses.
  • Complexes are psychic fragments which have split of$ owing to~traumatic influences or certain.incompatible tendencies, interfere with the intentions of the will and disturb conscious performance, produce disturbances of memory and blockages in the flow of associations, appear and disappear according to their own laws, and can temporarily obsess.conscioueness or influence speech and action in an unconscious way.(The Structure and pynamics of the.Psyche, CW 8, p. l21}
  • A complex is an interrelated cluster of ucs. contents which is part of the shadow. "Strongly accentuated emotionally""a pair of ill-fitting glasses through which one sees situations and other people in exaggerated or otherwise distorted form." (When emotion in commplex becomes overwhelming, we get halluclnation. illusion or delusion, like the "savior complex.")
  • Include disrupted cognitions, compulsive thoughts, and disturbed menories. When a complex is activated, person has a sense of being out of control.May arise from a one-time traumatic incident or an oft-repeated experience. Frequent parental criticism can produce a "criticism complex"
  • Complexes may take on guise of "splinter psyches" that can appear in waking behavior but seem foreign. In a sense, complexes can seem to be like independent~beings, In the voices heard by.the insane they.may even take "personal identities," as in "spirits" who appear through such means as automatic writing..
  • Jung developed the theory of complexes out of experimental as well as clinical evidence. Dvlpd. the theory out of his work on Word Association Test. 100 words were read, and a person's reaction time was measured in fifths of a second. (Sir Francis Galton invented the method in 1879) "It is particularly the associations that awaken memories of an unpleasant nature that take a long time." Developed concept of "'complex-indicators" which included various disturbances in response.
  • By 1906 he was using GSR and breath measurement to note changes in respiration and skin resistance to emotionally charged worlds. Found that indicators cluster around stimulus words which indicate the nature of the subject's complexes. Young man displayed complex indicators around words woman. home. fight. Complex associated with conflict in marriage. Much later L. Ron Hubbard used this approach in Scientology's "auditing," using the "e-meter" (a galvanic skin response indicator) to discern the presence of complexes.
  • Later, clinical data matched word association results so well that Jung stopped using the test.

NEUROSIS. Caused by conflict betweeen two tendencies, one expressed consciously, the other by a complex split off from consciousness. The neurotic usually does not know that it exists? but it interferes, by obtruding unexpectedly into consciousness or by attracting energy, so that less and less is available for conscious and directed activity.

  • Every neurosis is an attempt to compensate for a one-sided attitude to life, and a voice drawing attention to a side of personality that has been englected or repressed.Neurosis should not be viewed as something entirely negative. but a hint of new possibilities of development can be found in it
  • Symptoms are notjJust the effects of long-past causes; they are unsuccessful attempts at a new synthesis of life, with a core of value and meaning.
  • .A neurosis may be miId. We are all sufferers to some extent.
  • Jung had a hunch that what passed for normality often was the very force which shattered the personality of the patient. That trying to be "normal", when this violates our inner nature, is itself a form of pathology. In the psychiatric hospital, he wondered why psychiatrists were not interested in what their patients had to say.
  • .In the second half of life the cultural or spiritual drive is more important than sexuality, power, or some other drives.A neurosis is a kind of psychic disturbance which interferes with the life and often the health of the sufferer

TREATMENT: The goal is individuation, which involves a deeper contact with one's own spirit, as well as a greater recognition of the common experiences shared with others. Treatment may end when

  • Uunwanted symptoms have vanished,
    There isis satisfactory development. from a childish state,
    A new and better adaptation to life has been achieved,
  • A person has moved byond feeling stuck, or having little meaning in their life, or having no idea where to turn or what they want to do.
  • Whereas early in his career Jung worked with psychotics in a mental hospital, later he found that those who were most receptive to his approach were often people in midlife who had been successful in conventional terms, but found themselves saying, "Now what?"

TRANSFERENCE IN JUNGIAN ANALYSIS. The emphasis lies not on "treatment" but on the relationship between analyst and patient. Jung has likened this meeting of two personalities to the contact of two chemical substances. If there is any reaction, both are transformed.


--------------------------OTHER CONCEPTS-------------------------------------------------------------------

ACTIVE IMAGINATION. A concept embracing a variety of techniques for activating our imaginal processes in waking life in order to tap into the unconscious meanings of our symbols.
AMPLIFICATION. To get a larger sense of a dream, a kind of spreading-out of associations by referring to mythology, art, literature, music. ("Where have we heard this before?") Elaboration and clarification of a dream-image by means of directed association and of parallels from the symbology, mysticism, folklore, history of religion, ethnology, and so on.
ASSOCIATION The linking of ideas, perceptions, etc., according to similarity, coexistence, opposition, and casual dependence. Free association is the method used in Freudian dream interpretation, which relies on spontaneous ideas occurring to the dreamer, which may or may not refer directly to the dream situation. Directed or controlled association is often used in Jungian dream interpretation, in which associations to a given dream situation are continually referred back to it.
INFLATION. Expansion of the personality beyond its proper limits by identification with the persona or an archetype, or in pathological cases with a historical or religious figure. It produces an exaggerated sense of self-importance and is a compensation for some kind of feelinge of inferiority, (We can probably feel Alfred Adler's influence here.)
MANA. Melanesian word for extrordinarily effective power emanating from a human being, object, action, or event, or from supernatural beings and spirits. Also health, prestige, the power to work magic and to heal. A primitive concept of psychic energy.
MANDALA. The Sanskrit word for circle. For Jung, the mandala was a symbol of wholeness, completness, and perfection. Symbolized the self. A magic circle symbolically represented by the circle or quaternity, or both in combination, as in yantras of the Hindu gods and goddesses.
QUATERNITY. "The an archetype of almont universal occurrence. . .For instance, if you want to describe the horizon as a whole, you name the four quarters of heaven...There are always four elements, four prime qualities, four colours, four castes, four ways of spiritual development, etc. So, too, there are four aspects of psychological orientation.....The ideal of completeness is the circle orsphere, but its natural minimal division is a quaternity. (Psychology and Religion: West and East,)
SOUL. C.G.'Jung: "I can only gaze with wonder-ana awe at the'depths and heights of our psychic nature. Its non-spatial universe conceals an untold abundance pf images.which have accumulated over millions of years of-living development and become fixed:in:the organiom.. My consciouenese is like an eye that penetrates to the most~diatant spaces, yet it is.the psychic non-ego that'fills them with . . . images..:And these images are not pale shadows, but tremendously powerful psychic factore.".(Freud and Psychoanalysis, CW,pp. 331) .
SYNCHRONICITY. Jung coined this term for the meaningful coincidence of a psychic and a physical state or event which have no causal relationship to each other. Their connection may be so compelling that they "can no longer be regarded as pure chance but, for lack of a causal explanation, have to be thought of as meaningful arrangements. Their 'inexplicability' is not aue to the fact that the cause is unknown, but to the fact that a cause is not even thinkable in intellectual terms."