13 July, 2008

Carl Jung




Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. As a notable research scientist based at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler, he came to the attention of the Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The two men conducted a lengthy correspondence and collaborated on an initially joint vision of human psychology. Freud saw in the younger man the potential heir he had been seeking to carry on his "new science" of psychoanalysis. Jung's researches and personal vision, however, made it impossible for him to bend to his older colleague's doctrine and a breach became inevitable. This break was to have historic as well as painful personal repercussions that have lasted to this day. Jung was also an artist, craftsman and builder as well as a prolific writer. Many of his works were not published until after his death and some are still awaiting publication.

Among the central concepts of analytical psychology is individuation—the lifelong psychological process of differentiation of the self out of each individual's conscious and unconscious elements. Jung considered it to be the main task of human development. He created some of the best known psychological concepts, including synchronicity, archetypal phenomena, the collective unconscious, the psychological complex, and extraversion and introversion.

Jung's unique approach to psychology has been influential in counter-cultural movements in Europe, the United States and elsewhere since the 1930s. He emphasized understanding the psyche through exploring the worlds of dreams, art, mythology, world religion and philosophy. Although he was a theoretical psychologist and practicing clinician, much of his life's work was spent exploring other realms, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His most notable ideas include the concept of archetypes, the collective unconscious and synchronicity.

Jung emphasized the importance of balance and harmony. He cautioned that modern people rely too heavily on science and logic and would benefit from integrating spirituality and appreciation of unconscious realms.

Jung died in 1961 in Zürich, after a short illness.

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