OC_Lecturenotes_Pschology_Carl_Jung

Report
CARL JUNG
Psychology and Religion in the
Search for Personal Wholeness
Johann Maree
Summer School, UCT, Jan. 2012
INTRODUCTION: A FORMIDABLE TASK
It is not easy to provide a clear exposition of
Jung’s analytical psychology because he changed
his mind as he went along.
 In the foreword of Frieda Fordham’s book on
Jung, he wrote: “As I cannot claim to have
reached any definite theory my work consists of a
series of different approaches, or one might call
it, a circumambulation of unknown factors. This
makes it rather difficult to give a clear-cut and
simple account of my ideas.”
 It is even harder to do it in 45 minutes as Freud
also needs to make a guest appearance.
 So, without any further delay, here goes.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Carl Jung was born in 1875 in Switzerland and
brought up in or near the historic city of Basel.
 His father was a pastor in the Swiss Reformed
Church. He was continually racked by doubts
about his beliefs.
 His mother was a highly intuitive woman,
possibly with psychic abilities and sensitivities.
 Jung’s childhood experiences and memories of
religion were quite negative: crowds of darkclothed men and weeping women; a hole in the
ground into which a box was put; told Jesus had
taken someone to himself.

DOCTOR JUNG AND DOCTOR FREUD
Jung trained as a doctor and began working in
the famous Burghoelzli psychiatric hospital
linked to University of Zurich.
 Jung was Freud’s junior by 19 years and was one
of first psychiatrists to support Freud’s
controversial theories, but he was also one of the
first to break away from Freud.
 To understand why Jung broke away from Freud
it is necessary to review a few relevant concepts
and theories of Freud first.

SIGMUND FREUD
Freud went to a medical school in Vienna and
initially did research for many years in
neuropsychology.
 He then went to Paris to study with the great
psychiatrist, Charcot.
 He returned to Vienna and set up a practice in
neuropsychiatry with the help of his mentor and
friend, Joseph Breuer.
 They treated young women suffering from
hysterical symptoms.
 Freud was struck by how many of them were
related to repressed traumatic sexual experiences
in childhood.

THE SEXUAL INSTINCT AND LIBIDO
Freud claimed that there was a repression of the
sexual instinct and from this he developed the
idea that sexual instinct provided psychic energy
for the psyche which, in its sublimated form, gave
rise to human achievements.
 He called this psychic energy the libido. This
energy was primarily derived from a sexual
drive.
 Freud linked the libido closely with the id, one of
the three components that make up the mind or
psyche in Freud’s model.

THE ID, EGO AND SUPEREGO
The id is the primitive, animalistic, instinctual
element, libidinous energy demanding immediate
satisfaction. “I want it and I want it now!”
 The sole governing device here is the pleasure
principle.
 The ego is a cluster of cognitive and perceptual
processes including memory, reality-testing,
problem-solving that are conscious and serve to
mediate between the demands of the id and
prohibitions of the superego. It serves like an
executive to maintain psychic balance.
 The superego dictates ethical and moral
conduct.

THE UNCONSCIOUS
One of Freud’s greatest contributions to
psychology was his scientific study of the
unconscious.
 According to Freud, the unconscious is a domain
of the psyche encompassing the repressed id
functions, the memories, images and wishes that
are too anxiety-provoking to be accepted into
consciousness.
 Freud found that there are powerful ideas in the
unconscious, but they cannot become conscious
due to a force that represses them and resists
bringing them out into the open.

JUNG’S SEPARATION FROM FREUD
Jung met Freud for the first time in Vienna in
February 1907. They talked virtually non-stop for
13 hours and Jung vividly describes in Memories,
Dreams, Reflections how the foundations were
laid for their eventual separation.
 Jung subsequently proposes that sexuality is not
the sole source of psychic energy, but that ‘libido’
is a general psychic energy which may flow in
channels serving a range of instincts.
 For Jung the ego is the centre of consciousness
and, as such, does not encompass or understand
the whole person or self.

THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS
From treating psychotic patients at Burghoelzli
and wide reading Jung came to the conclusion
that the unconscious material that emerged could
not have come from the subject’s personal
learning or experience. He postulated that it
came from a collective unconscious derived
through aeons of repetition of human experience.
 Jung wrote: ‘there exists a second psychic system
of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature
which is identical in all individuals. The
collective unconscious does not develop
individually but is inherited.’

ARCHETYPES
In addition, Jung said that the collective
unconscious is not just ‘a dead deposit, a sort of
abandoned rubbish heap, but a living system of
reactions and aptitudes that determine the
individual’s life in invisible ways.’
 It also consists of pre-existent forms that Jung
called archetypes. He first called them primordial
images in that he considered them to be archaic
or primordial types of universal images that date
back to humankind’s remotest beginnings.
 Everyday realities like mother, father, husband
and wife create the mightiest archetypes.

THE ANIMA
The three most important archetypes Jung called
the anima, animus and shadow.
 The anima is the unconscious image of the
feminine that every man has within himself.
 Jung wrote: ‘Every man carries with him the
eternal image of woman. This image is
fundamentally unconscious, an imprint of all the
ancestral experiences of the female, a deposit of
all the impressions ever made by woman.’
 To explain the existence of the anima Jung
invoked the persona by which he means ‘the
formation of the mask behind which most people
live.’

PERSONA
Jung maintained that ‘a compensatory
relationship exists between persona and anima.’
He explained:
 ‘The persona is a complicated system of relations
between individual consciousness and society, a
kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make
a definite impression upon others, and, on the
other, to conceal the true nature of the
individual.’
 ‘Society expects every individual to play the part
assigned to him, so that a man who is a parson
must not only carry out his official functions, but
at all times and in all circumstances play the role
of parson in a flawless manner.’

THE COMPENSATORY RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN PERSONA AND ANIMA
Jung explained: ‘The persona, the ideal picture of
a man as he should be, is inwardly compensated
by feminine weakness, and as the individual
outwardly plays the strong man, so he becomes
inwardly a woman, i.e., the anima, for it is the
anima that reacts to the persona.’
 Jung considered the anima to be a personality
which is easily projected upon a woman.
 This projection means that a man can transfer to
his wife the protective role that his mother
played in his early life. This places the marriage
‘permanently on the brink of explosion’ .

ANIMUS
Similar to a man, every woman carries within
her the eternal image of a man.
 In the same way that man has an unconscious
anima, woman has an unconscious animus which
consists of “masculine” characteristics. The
animus is also an active force on the woman who
is unconscious of its presence.
 The way to remove the negativity of the animus
and to live in harmony with him is for woman to
differentiate between her ego and the animus
instead of assuming them to be one as she
unconsciously does. Similarly, the man has to
differentiate between his ego and the anima.
This is achieved by individuation dealt with later.

SHADOW
The inferior being in ourselves is what Jung calls
the shadow. It consists of all that we are
ashamed of and that we do not want to know
about ourselves.
 It constitutes part of our personal unconscious,
but we also have an archetypal shadow in the
realm of our collective unconscious. It represents
an encounter with evil and facing it can be a
shattering experience.
 The shadow of every person has to be firmly
grasped and acknowledged for a person to
achieve a state of wholeness.

INDIVIDUATION AND THE SELF
The essence of achieving personal wholeness for
Jung lies in the individuation process.
 The end result of the process in which wholeness
is achieved is to bring an undivided Self into
existence. Jung attached a special meaning to
Self. For him the Self is both the centre and the
totality of the psyche. It consists of both the
conscious ego and the unconscious and is only
constituted once there is awareness and
acceptance of the unconscious and its shadowy
contents by the ego.

THE INDIVIDUATION PROCESS
By individuation Jung means bringing
antagonistic functions of the personality into
harmony with each other.
 Jung wrote: ‘Individuation means becoming a
single, homogeneous being. It also implies
becoming one’s own self. We could therefore
translate individuation as “coming to selfhood” or
“self-realization.”’
 Individuation entails a lifelong development of
personality from conception to death. Jung
divided a full lifespan into two stages, a first half
of life and a second half.

THREE STAGES OF INDIVIDUATION
Erich Neumann has refined and expanded
lifelong development into three stages:
containment/nurturance, i.e. the maternal stage;
adapting/adjusting, i.e. the paternal stage;
centring/integrating, i.e. a wholeness stage.
 Neumann expands the concept of individuation to
include the process of becoming the personality
that one innately is potentially from the
beginning of life.
 The containment/nurturance stage lasts a long
time in modern societies, much longer than
childhood because it is preparing the person fully
for adulthood.

CONTAINMENT/NURTURANCE (C/N) STAGE
For the individuation process to develop to the
full it is necessary for the person to go through
primary and secondary school as well as some
form of post-school training or education in order
to acquire a profession. This period of dependence
on parents may last as long as thirty years!
 The C/N stage is symbolically defined as
maternal: Nurturance is delivered in the form of
warm support and encouragement. The harsh
realities of life are screened out.
 Nurturance is provided not only by mothers, but
also by fathers, teachers, or institutions such as
schools and churches.

TRANSITION FROM 1ST TO 2ND STAGE
During the first stage a relative amount of
autonomy, independence and self-control is
introduced along the way so that by the end of
this stage people are able to do for themselves
what others have done for them earlier.
 In the second stage, the adapting/adjusting stage,
the father occupies the symbolic centre in order
to instil the rigour of functioning and
performance demanded for adaptation to the
world.

2ND STAGE: ADAPTION/ADJUSTING
The second stage is governed by the law of
consequences for actions taken (the reality
principle).
 The person is exposed to a world in which
standards of performance are paramount and
consequences for behaviour are forcefully and
implacably drawn.
 Strict conditions are imposed upon the
distribution of all rewards, including love and
positive regard.
 This is not the world as ideal but the world as
real.

3RD STAGE: CENTRING/INTEGRATING
The tasks in this stage of life are:
 to embark upon the journey of becoming a
centred and whole individual; and
 to relate to the transcendent as well as the
immediate concrete realities of human existence.
 The ego now begins to answer to an inner call
from the psyche, rather than to an outer demand
derived from society.
 Working to live and survive is no longer
sufficient; one must now find something worth
living for.

CENTRING/INTEGRATING AND THE SELF
Jung speaks of the Self integrating the shadow
and relating in a new conscious way to the anima
and animus.
 The aim of the third stage is thus a degree of
integration of the inner opposites inherent in the
Self.
 The Self is the goal towards which the process of
individuation strives. It represents psychic
wholeness and the process by which self-division
may be healed.

JUNG ON RELIGION
AND GOD
JUNG’S CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE OF GOD
Jung’s impression of institutional religion as a
child was quite negative. He realised that his
father, a Swiss Reformed Church pastor, had lost
his faith. As a child he wanted to help his father,
but did not know how. Later in his life he did.
 At the age of 11 Jung allowed a visionary
revelation to come over him as an act of
obedience to God. It revealed to him that God
shared his view of the institutional church.
 He found the vision completely emancipatory: he
experienced an ‘unutterable bliss’ he had never
known before.

JUNG’S REFLECTION ON HIS EXPERIENCE
Years later Jung wrote: “That was what my
father had not understood, I thought; he had
failed to experience the will of God. He did not
know the immediate living God who stands,
omnipotent and free, above His Bible and His
Church, who calls upon man to partake of His
freedom.”
 “It was obedience which brought me grace, and
after that experience I knew what God’s grace
was. One must be utterly abandoned to God;
nothing matters but fulfilling His will.”

GOD AS AN ARCHETYPE
Jung arrived at the view that ‘the soul possesses
by nature a religious function.’
 Because of this natural religious function of the
soul Jung maintained that there is a God
archetype in the collective unconscious of all
human beings.
 However, Jung made a distinction between the
God-image archetype and God himself. In the
collective unconscious there is only a God-image.
 Jung’s main concern was with the ways in which
the God-archetype had manifested itself in actual
experiences.

GOD ONE OF THE SOUL’S DEEPEST AND
CLOSEST INTIMACIES
Jung adopted the concept ‘numinous’ from Rudolf
Otto to designate the particular emotional
quality of archetypal experiences of God. Otto
describes the experience as the mysterium
tremendum at fascinens (terrifying and
fascinating mystery). It implies an emotional
apprehension of God as wholly other, awesome,
overpowering, urgent and fascinating.
 For Jung, it is ‘psychologically quite unthinkable’
for God to be ‘wholly other’. This is because ‘a
wholly other could never be one of the soul’s
deepest and closest intimacies – which is
precisely what God is.’

JUNG’S TREATMENT OF CHRISTIANITY
Murray Stein has argued that Jung’s stance
towards Christianity was basically that of
therapist. Frieda Fordham sees this as Jung’s
childhood mission to restore his father’s faith by
integrating his psychological insights into
existing Christian dogma.
 People who found salvation in Christ, said Jung,
had assimilated the historical Jesus into the
archetype of the self. ‘This archetypal idea is a
reflection of the individual’s wholeness, i.e. of the
self, which is present in him as an unconscious
image.’

PERFECTION BUT NOT WHOLENESS IN GOD
But this Christ-figure ‘lacks the darkness of
spirit, and is also without sin. Without the
integration of evil there is not totality.’
 According to Jung, the Trinity, Father, Son and
Holy Spirit, represents perfection, but not
wholeness. This is because Christianity has
recognised the need to face the question of
human and cosmic evil, but has excluded and
repressed evil from the presence of the Trinity.

JUNG SUGGESTS A QUATERNITARIAN GOD
Jung suggested that evil be included within the
doctrine of God: that Satan be the fourth figure
in the Godhead. The Devil, he argued, represents
God the Father’s eternal adversary and should be
placed back in the realm from which it
originated.
 In this way, said Jung, ‘the act of love embodied
in the Son is counterbalanced by Lucifer’s denial.’
 The quaternitarian pattern implies completeness
in distinction from perfection which is implied by
the Trinitarian pattern. Evil is the element of
reality that Trinitarian thought excludes.

EVALUATION OF JUNG
Appreciative
 Jung made advances on Freud by broadening the
concept of libido to general psychic energy and
introducing the concept collective unconscious.
 Individuation as a process of ‘the dialectical
discussion between the conscious mind and the
unconscious’ in order to attain wholeness in the
Self is one of Jung’s great contributions to
humanity. Individuation encompasses the
integration and reconciliation of the unconscious
dark side of our human nature into the conscious
ego thereby helping us become whole people.

SHORTCOMINGS AND CRITICISMS
Jung constructed a very complex structure of the
human psyche that is not easy to understand
fully and clearly. He also changed his mind from
time to time which shows how tenuous some of
his concepts and theories were.
 On the other hand, Jung was very dogmatic
about some of his theories. Renos Papadopoulos
writes that Jung stuck to theories he invented
and propagated them ‘with the fervour of a
zealot’.
 It was a mistake of Jung to restrict religion to
numinous experiences as many devout believers
pursue their religion without such experiences.

MOVING BEYOND JUNG
Although there is much in Jungian analytical
psychology that is of value, we should not
hesitate to move beyond it to other schools of
thought in psychology and psychotherapy. Not
one of them has a monopoly on truth and insights
into the human psyche. Rather, they each bring
different insights into knowing ourselves better
and dealing with challenges we face.
 We can strive to reach that of God in us by
different means, not only numinous experiences.
Praying, listening and meditating are some of the
routes we can take.


similar documents