Today we pay tribute to Switzerland’s Carl Gustav Jung, the analytical psychologist who – like the artist William Blake and the civil rights leader Malcolm X – has risen to become a modern day World Prophet of the West not through any contemporary public’s mass reaction to his heroic deeds of the day, but through the sheer continued U S E F U L L N E S S of his New World View which, having filtered down through the decades to this present time, still daily presents we 21st Century Moderns with a rigorous enough paradigm to keep on keeping on. So hail to thee, mighty Carl Jung who dared not only to split with Freud, but whose Visions (and extraordinarily thorough research papers) regarding the so-called Collective Unconscious made of him nothing less than a latter day Zarathustra, better still a northern Odin in the truest frontiersman sense, for Jung DARED to judge, to stand one before the other, point a finger and say: ‘That one!’
Whereas Freud in his concept of the non-personal mind saw only murk and jettisoned human debris, C.G. Jung’s vision of the Collective Unconscious was an almost infinitely-levelled psychic ocean of all past collective human experience from whose unfathomable depths even the most forgotten experiences could with consideration yet be retrieved. Nothing was lost forever, only buried deep in the silt of time. And Jung it was who set the West on its head with his research into UFO’s, alchemy and the occult, his adventuresome spirit always craftily concealed beneath his fierce reputation as a cold analyst and hefty scientific credentials, which the good doctor, throughout his long career, cannily deployed at any opportunity in order to trespass into the kind of obscure areas of bizarre, unauthentic research that would have ruined the careers of lesser men.
So let us raise our glasses to C.G. Jung, this Sage of the Scientific Age, this Freer of the West whose decades of visions, research and literature has so aided our first tentative steps into this post-Christian Age.
[Written by Julian Cope]
I’ll drink to that!
Abso-freakin’-lutely – !
– Well said (…as usual).
…Read somewhere someone made point that Jung was already a Doctor of the Mind – w/ actual Patients in actual Institutions – before meeting Freud (…analogous to Lennon asserting he was an Artist & a Beatnik before ‘Beatles’ – ??; I digress…)
– altho’ Freud obviously a great thinker who – I’m guessing – like Marx got dogmatic w/ his constructs when so widely attacked (??)…
– Has been remarked that Freud ‘never cured anyone’ (…!…) – altho’ to be fair – I regard Jung himself as much as a Philosopher as Medical Doctor
– altho’ Jung’s point anyway was that Health & Wholeness come only from alddressing the Complete Human – Philosophy & all – !…
…Joseph Campbell also a favorite Philosopher worth attention I feel – who – I think – carried Jung’s ideas into later 20th Century after C.G.’s passing (…directly on the eve of the 1960’s revolutions…) & took then home even further in common American language (Campbell even paid his way as a Jazz musician for a bit – !)…
He is also much more readable than Freud.
In the early years of the last century, Einstein was a dinner guest of Jung’s,
and Jung credits Einstein for creating in Jung a thought about “psychic
relativity” – i.e., the ability of “mind” to transcend space and time.
In the 1930s, Jung met Professor W. Pauli, and their association lasted
over 25 years, (1932-1958). Their letters were published under title,
“atom and archetype.” (Pauli, Nobel laureate-physics).
If you truly want to understand, best to start with his concept
of “meaninful coincidences” – i.e., the synchronicity principle.
The essay best explains transcendence, and there are final conclusions
in it. (Synchronicity-an acausal connecting principle).
“such is the nature of reality, that anyone can experience that which
is least understood.” TDL
Aww…I’ve always had my reservations about Jung. The sort of folklore-driven psychology he advocated is really a sort of sibling to the fascist nationalisms that tore up Europe in the mid-twentieth century. The sort of navel-gazing he advocated is ultimately a way to soothe the bad conscience of a bourgeousie haunted by the exploitation of the poor. The problem is not that we live in an unjust society, he would have us believe, but that we are alienated from our true selves. I don’t think so. And his whole myth of the quest is really a translation of a European colonial ideology…the answer to to go a quest to some strange place and get rich! Like maybe Africa or India!
On the other hand, Jung himself, despite many accusations has been acquitted of numerous charges of Anti-Semitism and Nazi sympathies.
Ultimately, being a creature of the bourgeois, I find his vision seductive. But I really sense there’s something oddly amiss in it.
But maybe we live in an unjust society because people who are alienated from their true selves are capable of acting in inhumane and exploitative ways.