Unus Mundus Zodiac Master
  Email Comments

Home > Unus Mundus > The Restless

The Jung and the Restless
"The name Jung seldom leaves people cold. When one mentions this man and his work in academic circles, one almost always encounters emotionally charged rejection or enthusiasm. Rarely does one encounter an objective judgment regarding Jung.

Looking even more closely, one realizes that this charged reaction is really aimed at the 'unconscious' (that god or demon whose very existence so many people today do not wish to admit). And this is why they raise such petty objections to depth psychology, not realizing that they are acting out of fear. Thus Jung's work lies like a stumbling block in the midst of contemporary works of the mind - in a certain way, far too essential and fundamental to be modern." Marie-Louise von Franz

Depth Psychology and the Unconscious...

Uncontested credit for laying the initial basic foundation and building blocks of depth psychology goes to Sigmund Freud. Freud virtually pulled the plug on a one-sided, idealistic view of humanity that was so much in vogue with the academic minds of his era (and now ours).

This idealistic view (that Freud blew out of the water) envisioned humans as beings or entities whose actions/behaviors are primarily controlled by their conscious, rational minds and thoughts. However... in Freud's psychiatric practice, he rediscovered, explored, and studied the long forgotten and neglected realm of the "unconscious."

Sex, Death, Taboo and Childhood
In his practice, Freud explored the "personal unconscious." The personal unconscious is comprised of irrational behaviors that are due much in part to experiences from one's early childhood and past.
These are often traumatic childhood experiences - that in one way or another - we've managed to repress, bury away and/or defend against in order to keep memories of these experiences from resurfacing into our conscious minds (and thoughts). To this day, most of us choose to naively believe these past traumatic experiences of childhood have little or no effect on our present day lives, relationships and actions.

The sad fact is our choosing to believe that these past traumatic experiences have little or no effect on the "current us" ultimately ends up giving these traumatic experiences free reign in our regular, everyday  lives...

Freud Got Stuck
Freud (for many reasons) appeared to get stuck at the outer edge of the unconscious and never chose to dig much deeper...
this outer edge was a region of the unconscious that Carl Jung was later to dub as being the "the personal shadow." Freud attributed virtually everything to what he called the Oedipal complex - that involved death, sex, taboo, and traumatic childhood experiences... Freud saw the unconscious as being little but a forbidden wasteland and trash heap of psychic content...

Freud's tunnel vision may have been due in part to his theories being based on the extensive case studies of his private practice. Freud's practice consisted of wealthy, highly neurotic, members of Vienna, Austria's "upper crust." And so the anxiety disorders that Freud routinely encountered and treated might typically have been found within the province of the unconscious "personal shadow" lying just below the surface.

Jung (once a young protégé of Freud) attributed Freud's obsession of identifying sexual instinct as being the primary driving force of the human psyche to Freud having his own personal and ongoing obsession with sex...

And Then There Was Jung...
On the other hand - Carl Jung's earlier formative years (as a young psychiatrist in Switzerland) had been spent working with severely delusional, psychotic patients in the mental institutions of Switzerland.

Unlike Freud, Jung's early patients were people who'd lost contact with time and space reality - and they'd subsequently been committed (or rather condemned) to live out the rest of their lives in "insane asylums" or "sanitariums."

In Jung's day and time, a "commitment" to an asylum was tantamount to a "life sentence" of being safely tucked away in a padded room. It meant being kept hidden far, far away from the eyes and conscience of "normal" society.

So armed with a powerful desire to bring much needed emotional healing and relief for his patients, Jung made the decision to go far beyond Freud's initial diggings and spade work into the unconscious.

Collective Unconscious
Jung continued (built on, expanded and greatly improved upon) what Freud had begun in his tentative diggings just below the surface.
Jung's studies and research took him much deeper and into the realm of the "collective unconscious"... and into the "far side of madness."

Jung's ground-breaking studies opened up entirely new (to modern thought) dimensions and layers of psychic reality that were lying buried within the unconscious of each and every one of us.

Perhaps, most important of all, Jung discovered that just as our physical bodies display natural biological processes actively garnering energies in the attempt to fight off the ravages of disease and to promote natural healing and health - the human psyche shows a similar propensity and purposefulness toward the natural healing of itself.

In short, Jung discovered that there was indeed, hidden in the depths of the psyche, "method to our madness."

(back to Unus Mundus Menu)