Carl Gustav Jung

AZL flag holder TransparentCarl Gustav Jung (26th July 1875 – 6th June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in philosophy, anthropology, archaeology, literature, and religious studies. He was a prolific writer, though many of his works were not published until after his death. Carl Gustav Jung was born in Kesswil, in the Swiss canton of Thurgau as the second and first surviving child of Paul Achilles Jung and Emilie Preiswerk. In 1895 Jung studied medicine at the University of Basel. He did not plan to study psychiatry but when Jung discovered that psychoses are personality diseases his interest was immediately captured—it combined the biological and the spiritual, exactly what he was searching for. Jung’s approach did not sever the psych and extension from traditional healing as Freud did. The publication of Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious in 1912 made manifest the theoretical divergence between himself and Freud. Jung’s work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed was to discover and fulfil our deep innate potential. Jung’s pantheism (nature as the totality of everything identical with divinity) led him to believe that spiritual experience was essential to our well-being, as he specifically identified individual human life with nature as a whole.

Quotes

“Until now I was no anti-Semite, [but] now I’ll become one, I believe.” – Carl Jung 1913 in a letter to the Swedish analyst Poul Bjerre

“Hitler is a spiritual vessel, a demi-divinity; even better, a mythos. The voice he hears is that of the collective unconscious of his race.’ – Carl Gustav Jung – The Observer, London, October 18, 1936

In a BBC interview which aired during October 1959 Jung was asked if he believed in God, he said: “I could not say I believe. I know! I have had the experience of being gripped by something that is stronger than myself, something that people call God.”

A few months before he died Jung summarized the religious emphasis of his life work in a letter to an English correspondent. One of the passages red. “I have failed in my foremost task to open people’s eyes to the fact that man has a soul, that there is a buried treasure in the field and that our religion and philosophy are in a lamentable state.”  

When Carl Gustav Jung died the village pastor declared “He had given man the courage to have a soul again”.

 

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