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Jung, Carl Gustav

(1875-1961). Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist. Born on July 25, 1875, at Basel, he attended the University of Basel where he studied medicine and then postgraduate study with Pierre Janet in Paris. At the Zurich University he was physician in the psychiatric clinic and later lectured in psychiatry there.

From 1907 to 1912 Jung was an associate of Sigmund Freud in the latter’s psychoanalytic work, but in 1912 Jung differed with Freud over certain of Freud’s theories and went his own way. He was later Professor of Psychology at the University of Basel (1943). Jung died at Küsnacht in Zurich on June 6, 1961.

Jung’s theories of psychology have found favor with many theosophists because he did not ignore the mystical aspect of the human. Jung’s system, which he called analytical psychology, may be briefly outlined as follows:

He classified humanity into introverted and extroverted types with each type originating from certain functions of mind, namely sensation, feeling, thinking and intuition. He emphasized that the “will to live” is the dominant force as opposed to Freud’s emphasis on sexual drive. He held that cooperation is possible between the conscious and the unconscious mind, that is, the conscious mind could, under certain circumstances, modify the unconscious.

From his observations and experience, Jung concluded that human beings share a common unconscious quite apart from each individual’s personal unconscious. He called this shared consciousness as “collective unconscious.” The human psyche consists of archetypes or pre-determined structures arising out of the collective unconscious. In the outermost and the visible part is the “persona,” the mask which copes and deals with the outer world. Hidden from view is the “shadow,” consisting of the suppressed drives of the person. Then there is the anima or animus, our image of the opposite sex. At the center of our conscious experience is the ego, which must deal with the conflicts arising from these different aspects of the psyche. The integration of these archetypes results in the development of the Self, a process which Jung calls “Individuation,” which is the long term aim of any psychotherapy.

Jung did not hesitate to explore aspects of the human psyche that were largely ignored by his contemporaries, such as the significance of Eastern Religions, the MANDALA and rebirth (reincarnation). His views on reincarnation are to be found in his Four Archetypes (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972). An example of his willingness to find correlation between eastern mystical concepts and western psychology is found in the above cited work where he suggests that the CHAKRAS of the Tantric system correspond by and large to the regions where consciousness was earlier localized; anahata (heart center); manipura(navel center); svadhistana (bladder region); visuddhi (throat center — the speech consciousness of modern man).


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