Carl Jung


Compiled by Charles Cowgil (May1997)


Time Line

.......................................Jung's Handprint

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology. He proposed and developed the concepts of the extroverted and introverted personality, archetypes, and the collective unconscious. The issues that he dealt with arose from his personal experiences. For many years Jung felt as if he had two separate personalities. One introverted and other extroverted. This interplay resulted in his study of integration and wholeness. His work has been influential not only in psychology, but in religion and literature as well.

Jung was born on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland, the only son of a Protestant clergyman. At the age of four his family moved to Basel. His childhood was a lonely one. Jung observed his parents and teachers and tried to understand their behavior, especially that of his father. The elder Jung had a failing belief in religion. Jung could never understand why. There were numerous relatives on either side of his family that were clergymen. It was expected of Jung to continue in the family tradition. Jung did not decide to follow, choosing instead to attend the University of Basel from 1895-1900. Before deciding to pursue medicine Jung studied biology, zoology, paleontology, and archaeology. His explorations did not stop with that, he looked at philosophy, mythology, early Christian literature as well as religion. His interest in religion could be attributed to his heritage as well as watching the demise of his father.

After leaving Basel, Jung became an assistant physician at Burgholzli Psychiatric clinic under Eugen Bleuler. In 1902 he obtained his M.D. from the University of Zurich. His dissertation was entitled "On the Psychology and Pathology of So -Called Occult Phenomena". Through this work one of his basic concepts is outlined, the underlying wholeness of the psyche. Jung's first research was conducted in 1904. He studied word association in patients. He found groups of repressed psychic content for which he invented the now famous word "complex." This study brought him close to the work of Sigmund Freud. Jung's work confirmed many of Freud's ideas. Between 1907 and 1912 he and Freud worked very close. Many believed that Jung would continue Freud's psychoanalysis, but this did not occur. Over temperamental and differences concerning the significance of sexuality in human life, the two split. Jung contested Freud's analytic principles, which he claimed were one-sided, overly-concrete, and personalistic. Their relationship was finished forever when Jung published "Psychology and the Unconscious" which argued against some of Freud's ideas . In 1912 "Symbols and Transformations of the Libido" was published. Jung wanted to understand the symbolic meaning of the contents of the unconscious. In order to distinguish between individual psychology and psychoanalysis Jung gave his discipline the name "analytical psychology."

After a break with the start of WWI, Jung wrote the book "Psychological Types". It set the differences between his position and that of Freud. Jung became more interested in the study of mythological and religious symbolism. His studies took him across the globe where he observed many different cultures. He was interested in tracing the analogies between the contents of the unconscious in Western man and the myths, cults, and rituals of primitive peoples. Jungian therapy deals with dreams and fantasies. A discussion is set up between the conscious and the contents of the unconscious. When the therapy works the patient enters an individuation process. This consists of psychological transformations ending in the opposite tendencies working together to achieve personal wholeness. Jung's total amount of work is very large. It is estimated that he authored 200 papers. An edition of his Collected Works in English was completed in 1972 by the Bollingen Foundation in New York and Routledge and Kegan Paul in London.

Theory of Symbols

Jung believed that symbol creation was a key in understanding human nature. Symbol, as defined by Jung, is the best possible expression for something essentially unknown. He wanted to investigate the similarity of symbols that are located in different religious, mythological, and magical systems which occur in many cultures and time periods. To account for these similar symbols occurring across different cultures and time periods he suggested the existence of two layers of the unconscious psyche. The first of the two layers was the personal unconscious. It contains what the individual has acquired in his or her life, but has been forgotten or repressed. The second layer is the collective unconscious which contains the memory traces common to all humankind. These experiences form archetypes. These are innate predispositions to experience and symbolize certain situations in a distinct way. There are many archetypes such as having parents, finding a mate, having children, and confronting death. Very complex archetypes are found in all mythological and religious systems. Near the end of his life Jung added that the deepest layers of the unconscious function independently of the laws of space, time and causality. This is what gives rise to paranormal phenomena. The introvert and the extrovert are the main components of personality according to Jung. The introvert is quiet, withdrawn and interested in ideas rather than people. While the extrovert is outgoing and socially oriented. For Jung a person that had a healthy personality can realize these opposite tendencies within himself/herself and can express each. Dreams serve to compensate for any neglected parts of the personality.

Time Line of Jung's Life

1875 Born in Kesswil, Switzerland
1879 Moved to Basel
1895 Student at University of Basel
1900 Graduated from Basel
1900 Assistant physician under Eugen Bleuler
1902 Obtained M.D. from University of Zurich
1902 Went to Paris and heard Pierre Janet
1902 Went to London
1903 Married Emma Rauschenbach
1904 Research in Word Association
1905 Started lecturing at Zurich
1907 First meeting with Sigmund Freud
1909 Gave up work at Burgholzi
1911 Lectured in the United States with Freud
1911 Elected president of the "International Psychoanalytic Society"
1912 Publication of "Psychology of the Unconscious"
1912 Split with Freud
1913 Gave up lectureship at Zurich
1914 Resigned from the "International Psychoanalytic Society"
1920 Went to Tunis and Algiers
1921 Publication of "Psychological Types"
1924 Studied Pueblo Indians
1926 Studied the inhabitants of Mount Elgon in Kenya
1933 Professor of Psychology at the Federal Polytechnical University of Zurich
1933 Edited the "Central Journal for Psychotherapy and Related Fields"
1935 President of the Swiss Society for Practical Psychology
1937 Visited India
1939 Finished editing the "Central Journal for Psychotherapy and Related Fields"
1941 Retired from The Federal Polytechnical University of Zurich
1943 Professor of Medical Psychology at the University of Basel
1961 Died in Kusnacht, on Lake Zurich


Atwood, G. 1993. Academic American Encyclopedia. Danbury: Grolier Inc., 467-468.
Hothersall, D. 1995. History of Psychology, 3rd ed., Mcgraw-Hill:NY
Jacobi, J. 1996. Jung, Carl Gustav (1875-1961), Colliers Encyclopedia.
Worchel, S. and Shebilske, W. 1992. Psychology, Principles and Applications. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

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