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Psychology of the Unconsciousby Carl Gustav Jung
Synopses & Reviews
In this, his most famous and influential work, Carl Gustav Jung made a dramatic break with the Freudian psychoanalytic tradition. Rather than focusing on psychopathology and its symptoms, the Swiss psychiatrist studied dreams, mythology, and literature to define the universal patterns of the psyche. In Psychology of the Unconscious, Jung seeks a symbolic meaning and purpose behind a given set of symptoms, placing them within the larger context of the psyche. The book examines the fantasies of a patient whose poetic and vivid mental images helped Jung redefine libido as psychic energy, arising from the unconscious and manifesting itself consciously in symbolic form. Jung's commentary on his patient's fantasies offers a complex study of symbolic psychiatry, and it foreshadows his development of the theory of collective unconscious and its constituents, the archetypes. Dover's edition of this milestone of psychology will be the lowest-priced edition now available. Unabridged republication of the 1947 printing of the work first published in 1916 by Dodd, Mead and Company, New York, 1947.
Book News Annotation:
In what many consider to be psychologist Jung's most influential work, he used the study of one patient's mental imagery to embark on a search for the universalities of the human psyche in myth, dreams, and literature. His investigations led him to break with his teacher, Sigmund Freud, and to his redefining of the human libido as a psychic energy central to the psyche. This is an unabridged republication of the 1947 printing of the first English translation (1916). Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this, his most famous and influential work, Jung made a dramatic break with the Freudian psychoanalytic tradition. Rather than focusing on psychopathology and its symptoms, the Swiss psychiatrist studied dreams, mythology, and literature to define the universal patterns of the psyche. It foreshadows his development of the theory of collective unconscious.
Table of Contents
Relation of the Incest Phantasy to the Oedipus Legend
Moral revulsion over such a discovery
The unity of the antique and modern psychology
Followers of Freud in this field
The need of analyzing historical material in relation to individual analysis
I. CONCERNING THE TWO KINDS OF THINKING
Antiquity of the belief in dreams
"Dream-meanings psychological, not literal"
They concern wish-fulfilments
A typical dream: the sexual assault
What is symbolic in our everyday thinking?
"One kind of thinking: intensive and deliberate, or directed"
Directed thinking and thinking in words
Origin of speech in primitive nature sounds
The evolution of speech
Directed thinking a modern acquisition
"Thinking, not directed, a thinking in images: akin to dreaming"
Two kinds of thinking: directed and dream or phantasy thinking
Science an expression of directed thinking
The discipline of scholasticism as a forerunner
Antique spirit created not science but mythology
Their world of subjective phantasies similar to that we find in the childmind of to-day; or in the savage
The dream shows a similar type
Infantile thinking and dreams a re-echo of the prehistoric and the ancient
The myths a mass-dream of the people: the dream the myth of the individual
Phantastic thinking concerns wishes
"Typical cases, showing kinship with ancient myths"
Psychology of man changes but slowly
Phantastic thinking tells us of mythical or other material of undeveloped and no longer recognized wish tendencies in the soul
The sexual base
"The wish, because of its disturbing nature, expressed not directly, but symbolically"
II. THE MILLER PHANTASIES
Miss Miller's unusual suggestibility
Identifying herself with others
Examples of her autosuggestibility and suggestive effect
"Not striking in themselves, but from analytic viewpoint they afford a glance into the soul of the writer"
Her phantasies really tell of the history of her love
III. THE HYMN OF CREATION
Miss Miller's description of a sea-journey
"Really a description of "introversion"
A retreat from reality into herself
The return to the real world with erotic impression of officer singing in the night-watch
The undervaluing of such erotic impressions
Their often deep effect
"The succeeding dream, and poem"
The denied erotic impression usurps an earlier transference: it expresses itself through the Father-Imago
Analysis of the poem
"Relation to Cyrano, Milton and Job"
The attempt to escape the problem by a religious and ethical pose
Contrast with real religion
"Escape from erotic by transference: "To a God or Christ"
"This made effective by mutual transference: "Love one another"
"The erotic spiritualized, however"
The inner conflict kept conscious by this method
"The modern, however, represses the conflict and so becomes neurotic"
The function of Christianity
Its biological purpose fulfilled
Its forms of thought and wisdom still available
IV. THE SONG OF THE MONTH
The double rôle of Faust: creator and destroyer
"I came not to send peace, but a sword"
The modern problem of choice between Scylla of world-renunciation and Charybdis of world-acceptance
"The ethical pose of The Hymn of Creation having failed, the unconscious projects a new attempt in the Moth-Song"
"The choice, as in Faust"
The longing for the sun (or God) the same as that for the ship's officer
"Not the object, however: the longing is important"
God is our own longing to which we pay divine honors
"The failure to replace by a real compensation the libido-object which is surrendered, produces regression to an earlier and discarded object"
A return to the infantile
The use of the parent image
"It becomes synonymous with god, sun, fire"
Sun and snake
Symbols of the libido gathered into the sun-symbol
The tendency toward unity and toward multiplicity
One God with many attributes: or many gods that are attributes of one
Phallus and sun
"The sun-hero, the well-beloved"
Christ as sun-god
"Moth and sun" then brings us to historic depths of the soul"
The sun-hero creative and destructive
Hence: Moth and Flame: burning one's wings
The destructiveness of being fruitful
"Wherefore the neurotic withdraws from the conflict, committing a sort of self-murder"
Comparison with Byron's Heaven and Earth
I. ASPECTS OF THE LIBIDO
A backward glance
The sun the natural god
Comparison with libido
The sun-image as seen by the mystic in introversion
The phallic symbol of the libido
Mythical heroes with phallic attributes
These heroes personifications of the human libido and its typical fates
"A definition of the word "libido"
Its etymological context
II. THE CONCEPTION AND THE GENETIC THEORY OF LIBIDO
A widening of the conception of libido
New light from the study of paranoia
The impossibility of restricting the conception of libido to the sexual
A genetic definition
The function of reality only partly sexual
"Yet this, and other functions, originally derivations from procreative impulse"
The process of transformation
"Libido, and the conception of will in general"
Examples in mythology
The stages of the libido: its desexualized derivatives and differentiations
Sublimation vs. repression
Splittings off of the primal libido
Application of genetic theory of libido to introversion psychoses
Replacing reality by archaic surrogates
Desexualizing libido by means of phantastic analogy formations
Possibly human consciousness brought to present state in this manner
"The importance of the little phrase: "Even as"
III. THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE LIBIDO. A POSSIBLE SOURCE OF PRIMITIVE HUMAN DISCOVERIES
An example of transition of the libido
Act of boring with forefinger: an infantile presexual activity
Similar activities in patient's early childhood
Outcome in dementia præcox
Its phantasies related to mythological products: a reproduction of the creations of a
The psychological compulsion for such transitions of the libido based on an original division of the will
Regression to incestuous
Prohibition here sends incestuous component of libido back to pre-sexual
Character of its application here
The substitution of Mother-Earth for the parent
Also of infantile boring
Leading then to discovery of fire
An example in Hindoo literature
The sexual significance of the mouth
Its other function: the mating call
The regression which produced fire through boring also elaborated the mating call
The beginnings of speech
Example from the Hindoo
Speech and fire the first fruits of transformation or libido
"The fire-preparation regarded as forbidden, as robbery"
The forbidden thing onanism
Onanism a cheating of sexuality of its purpose
The ceremonial fire-production a substitute for the possibility of onanistic regression
Thus a transformation of libido ensues
IV. THE UNCONSCIOUS ORIGIN OF THE HERO
The cause of introversion
The forward and backward flow of the libido
The abnormal third
The conflict rooted in the incest problem
"The "terrible mother"
Miss Miller's introversion
An internal conflict
Its product of hypnagogic vision and poem
The uniformity of the unconscious in all men
The unconscious the object of a true psychology
The individual tendency with its production of the hero cult
The love for the hero or god a love for the unconscious
A turning back to the mother of humanity
Such regressions act favorably within limits
Miss Miller's mention of the Sphinx
Theriomorphic representations of the libido
Their tendency to represent father and mother
The sphinx represents the fear of the mother
Miss Miller's mention of the Aztec
Analysis of this figure
The significance of the hand symbolically
The Aztec a substitute for the Sphinx
The name Chi-wan-to-pel
The connection of the anal region with veneration
"Chiwantopel and Ahasver, the Wandering Jew"
The parallel with Chidher
Heroes generating themselves through their own mothers
Analogy with the Sun
"Setting and rising sun: Mithra and Helios, Christ and Peter, Dhulqarnein and Chidher"
The fish symbol
The two Dadophores: the two thieves
The mortal and immortal parts of man
The Trinity taken from phallic symbolism
Comparison of libido with phallus
Analysis of libido symbolism always leads back to the mother incest
The hero myth the myth of our own suffering unconscious
V. SYMBOLISM OF THE MOTHER AND OF REBIRTH
The crowd as symbol of mystery
The city as symbol of the mother
"The motive of continuous "union"
The typical journey of the sun-hero
A longing for rebirth through the mother
"The compulsion to symbolize the mother as City, Sea, Source, etc."
The city as terrible mother and as holy mother
The relation of the water-motive to rebirth
Of the tree-motive
Tree of life a mother-image
The bisexual character of trees
"Such symbols to be understood psychologically, not anatomically"
"The incestuous desire aims at becoming a child again, not at incest"
It evades incest by creating myths of symbolic rebirth
The libido spiritualized through this use of symbols
To be born of the spirit
This compulsion toward symbolism brings a release of forces bound up in incest
This process in Christianity
Christianity with its repression of the manifest sexual the negative of the ancient sexual cult
The unconscious transformation of the incest wish into religious exercise does not meet the modern need
"A conscious method necessary, involving moral autonomy"
Replacing belief by understanding
The history of the symbolism of trees
The rise of the idea of the terrible mother a mask of the incest wish
The myth of Osiris
"The motive of "devouring"
The Cross of Christ: tree of death and tree of life
Lilith: the devouring mother
The conquering of the mother
Snake and dragon: the resistance against incest
The father represents the active repulse of the incest with of the son
He frequently becomes the monster to be overcome by the hero
The Mithraic sacrificing of the incest wish an overcoming of the mother
A replacing of archaic overpowering by sacrifice of the wish
The crucified Christ an expression of this renunciation
Other cross sacrifices
"Cross symbol possesses significance of "union"
Child in mother's womb: or man and mother in union
Conception of the soul a derivative of mother imago
The power of incest prohibition created the self-conscious individual
It was the coercion to domestication
The further visions of Miss Miller
VI. THE BATTLE FOR DELIVERANCE FROM THE MOTHER
The appearance of the hero Chiwantopel on horseback
Hero and horse equivalent of humanity and its repressed libido
"Horse a libido symbol, partly phallic, partly maternal, like the tree"
It represents the libido repressed through the incest prohibition
The scene of Chiwantopel and the Indian
Recalling Cassius and Brutus: also delirium of Cyrano
Identification of Cassius with his mother
His infantile disposition
Miss Miller's hero also infantile
Her visions arise from an infantile mother transference
Her hero to die from an arrow wound
The symbolism of the arrow
The onslaught of unconscious desires
The deadly arrows strike the hero from within
It means the state of introversion
A sinking back into the world of the child
The danger of this regression
It may mean annihilation or new life
Examples of introversion
The clash between the retrogressive tendency in the individual unconscious and the conscious forward striving
The unfulfilled sacrifice in the Miller phantasy means an attempt to renounce the mother: the conquest of a new life through the death of the old
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