Carl Gustav Jung
Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) is the most famous follower of Sigmund Freud. Jung used Freud's psychoanalytic techniques in his medical practice, and both men agreed on the significant role played by the unconscious. Freud was fond of Jung and began to see him as his heir apparent, the successor who would carry on the Freudian school of thought.
A Parting of Ways
Eventually, Jung and Freud had an acrimonious split about the nature of the unconscious. Jung veered away from the emphasis of sexual forces being the driving factors that could explain every action and motivation. Not thinking and acting as objective men of science, each felt betrayed, and the split led not only to the end of a friendship and professional rapport, but it was instrumental in bringing about Jung's being shunned as a pariah by his fellows.
Jung took a radical sabbatical wherein he indulged in the unheard of practice of self-analysis. He chronicled this in his memoir
The Collective Unconscious
While Freud was fond of the iceberg analogy to explain the unconscious (the unconscious part of our mind and personality being the 90 percent of the glacier that is below the surface), Jung made the comparison of a cork gently bobbing on a vast ocean. The cork is our conscious mind, and the ocean is the unconscious. The cork is tossed about at the whim of the cruel sea unless we get a handle of the nature of the true Self (of which we are only dimly aware, if at all) via the psychotherapeutic process he called
The best modern example of the Hero's Journey is the first
Jung's most famous theory is that of the
Jung encountered a wide array of archetypes in his journey within. For many of his contemporaries, this bordered on fantasy. Men of science found the idea of mythical energies springing forth from a primordial reservoir and dwelling within every human a little too poetic a principle.
Jung also proposed that within every man there is an inner woman, and within every woman there is an inner man — a feminine and masculine energy, actually, which he labeled the
Are you a different person in public than you are alone?
Of course you are. The self that you show the public is what Jung called the Persona. It is both revealing and concealing. We act differently with our boss than we do with our sweetheart; we're different with one friend than we are with another.
This theory is often criticized these days, and Jung is accused of some politically incorrect gender stereotyping. He suggested a man with a dominant anima was an overemotional whiner, and the woman with a powerful animus was overbearingly bossy and obnoxious. And the cliché of a man trying to embrace his feminine side has become fodder for standup comics and sitcom writers.
Jung has his own variation on Freud's theory of the Ego, Superego, and Id. Like Freud, Jung's definition of ego is the conscious part of the mind. The ego is that cork bobbing on the ocean, and its goal is to seek what Jung called
Jung called his equivalent of the Id and Superego combined the Shadow. The Shadow is, in simple terms, a person's dark side, the impulses and desires and traits that remain beneath the surface after years of parental and societal pressure. Jung felt people have a tendency to project those negative shadow elements on people that we dislike.
Do you remember the Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk was split in two because of a transporter accident? His “good” half is gentle and passive; his “bad” self is lustful and aggressive. The “evil Kirk” is a pop culture representation of Freud's theory of the “Id” and Carl Jung's “Shadow.”
Think about it: Have you ever had an immediate dislike for someone for no apparent reason? And after time, if you are honest with yourself, you realize that you saw aspects of yourself in that person. Just as you can see your own soul reflected back at you through your beloved's eyes, you can see your shadow in the obnoxious neighbor or coworker.
Jung felt that the objective was to own your shadow and not try to bury it. Burying it never works. The shadow will be heard, usually when you least expect it. Everyone has aspects of himself or herself that they're not proud of. Jung believed we must own it and integrate it on the path to Wholeness.