FREUD AND JUNG BOTH SAID, "YES IT DOES!"
It is time to turn to the other member of the psychiatric duo. We direct our attention now to Jung. The same question arises, “Does the Unconscious Speak?” The same proposition is considered namely, the components of the Victorian Consciousness impacting on the Mind of Jung.
Therefore, in my view he is also a TRANSITIONAL VICTORIAN, striding both worlds like Freud.
OK, let us get some background. Who was this man, and what were his contributions to unravelling the secrets of the mind.
Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was born in Switzerland and died in the same country aged 85. He made several unique contributions to psychology including Dream Analysis, and Analytical Psychology, He is credited with the idea that by nature the psyche of man is RELIGIOUS and must be explored along these lines.
As far as our topic concerning the Unconscious is concerned we need to look at Jung’s ideas on INDIVIDUATION. But that is not all. He formulated ideas concerning ARCHETYPES, THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS, and many, many more. In fact his ideas and investigations were enormous. I can only isolate three main themes: 1. The idea of the Collective Unconscious 2. The basic difference between his ideas and those of Freud 3. His experience of the Victorian Paranormal.
Yes, he certainly believed that THE UNCONSCIOUS SPEAKS and set out to demonstrate that idea.
HERE IS JUNG IN AROUND 1909 THREE YEARS AFTER MEETING FREUD
Before delving into the main theme, let us get a hold on his background.
In 1895 Jung studied Medicine at the University of Basel. In 1900 he worked under Eugen Bleuler (April 30, 1857 – July 15, 1939). Bleuler was a Swiss Psychiatrist and contributed in large measure to the understanding of severe mental conditions. In fact, the term ‘schizophrenia’ was first used by him. At the time Jung met him Bleuler had begun to work with hypnotic techniques and concluded that certain complex mental activities could be unconscious, but could nevertheless produce pathological physical and mental symptoms.
EUGEN BLEULER WHO KICK-STARTED JUNG
This meeting with Bleuler was the kick- start that Jung needed. He came to realise that pathological conditions of the Human Mind interested him more than any other branch of Medicine. Accordingly his Doctoral Dissertation, published in 1903, was entitled, On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena. This hints at the Victorian Preoccupations, which I have discussed in other Posts.
Three years later Jung Published Studies in Word Association . He was clearly groping towards the idea that the Unconscious Mind would communicate, or speak if fed with a stimulus. The technique was to feed a word to the patient to motivate him to reply spontaneously without thinking. Jung sent a copy of the book to Sigmund Freud in 1906 and a friendship between the two men resulted, which lasted for six years
Jung continued to probe and formulate his ideas concerning the Unconscious more and more. In 1912 Jung published, ‘the Psychology of the Unconscious .
FREUD AND OTHER ANALYSTS IN 1909. NOTICE JUNG AMONG THE ‘JOLLY’ TEAM AND SIGNIFICANTLY FREUD IS NOT IN THE CENTRE OF THE GROUP
As a result of this book the friendship between himself and Freud was severed.
Why was this?
For one thing their views of the Unconscious were completely opposite. Freud believed that the Unconscious was nothing more than a VAST REPOSITORY of Instincts, animalistic drives, traumatic experiences (child abuse etc), repressed anti-social tendencies and so on – nothing positively creative here. All of which was concealed from the Conscious Mind. To clinch it, Freud believed that the Sex Drive underpinned it all, and that repression caused these drives to surface in the form of Mental and Physical illness. Yes, the Unconscious was certainly speaking.
This was far too dogmatic and narrow a view for Jung to stomach. His view was that the Human Mind has at least, not one, but two components. One of which is THE PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS. In brief, the PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS includes anything, which is not presently conscious, but can be brought forward. It includes contents, which had at one time been conscious but had disappeared from surface consciousness because of forgetfulness or repression. Therefore, according to Jung, the PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS includes both memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have been removed from consciousness for some reason. This region is not necessarily negative, nor driven exclusively by the sexual impulse.
In his stride now, Jung went beyond Freud and formulated the existence of a second, far deeper form of the Unconscious lying at the base of the personal one. He termed this THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS. This was a factor causing the final rupture between them. Freud always considered himself the Master and could not take contradiction of any sort, especially from Jung, whom he considered to be his Disciple.
FREUD AND HIS SUPPORTERS IN 1922. TWO THINGS ARE SIGNIFICANT: JUNG IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PICTURE AND FREUD HAS MOVED TO CENTRE STAGE
How then, according to Jung, was the COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS CONSTRUCTED?
The contents of the COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS are composed of all the drives, including CREATIVE impulses, which the ENTIRE Human race shares. It is like a vast pool including even memory patterns derived from one’s ancestors. Such is part of the structure of the Human Body and Brain of EVERY PERSON on earth. Thus, if a person could learn to get the Collective Unconscious to speak he could produce work of an overwhelming CREATIVE sort, either by drawing ideas from within or dipping into the Universal Pool of Consciousness.
Within the Collective Unconscious ‘live’ the ARCHETYPES. What are the Archetypes?
The notion of the ARCHETYPE is not easy to define. Even Jung was not truly precise, but the understanding of Archetypes can be sensed. In short, it relates to some sort of INHERITED framework, common to all mankind. Archetypes express themselves in symbols or patterns, or ideas common to every race on earth. So the best I can do is to give some sort of rough definition.
Archetypes seem to be so common throughout the world that they seem to be an integral part of what Humans are, or have inherited psychically. They include the following:
The ANIMA, that is the masculine side of the Female Nature or the Essential characteristics of the Male. It has many facets among them the notion of the Hunter and the Adventurer.
TARZAN THE PERSONIFICATION OF THE ADVENTURER OR HUNTER THE ANIMA ARCHETYPE
The ANIMUS, relates to either the feminine side of the Male Nature or the dominant characteristic of a Woman. Obviously all of these facets are complex. I can only isolate one or two.
HELEN OF TROY AN ARCHETYPE SYMBOLISING DESIRABLE FEMININE BEAUTY AND THE CAPABILITY TO ACHIEVE WORLDLY SUCCESS
Another archetype is that of THE MOTHER. There are many characteristics of this Archetype such as Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Maiden, or Virgin, suggests independent women who are often unmarried. The Mother relates to fertility, nurturing and growth. The last stage, the Crone, is the archetypal expression of the “wise old woman” ; she might even be a witch.
THE VIRGIN MARY PERSONIFYING THE CARING, AFFECTIONATE AND PROTECTIVE NATURE OF THE MOTHER ARCHETYPE
Moving to the TRICKSTER, this Archetype is also complex. It can be characteristic of a clown, a rebel against conformity, craftiness and so on. The Trickster is a favourite image in Fairy Tales such as Brer Rabbit and Reynard the Fox
REYNARD THE FOX IN THE CHILDREN’S STORY OF THE SAME TITLE DEPICTS THE TRICKSTER WHO USES HIS WITS TO TRIUMPH OVER BRUTE STRENGTH.
A key archetype is the SHADOW. The Shadow designates any part of ourselves that we reject, and so do not permit to manifest itself, particularly in our dealings with others. Often individuals project onto others those attributes we most dislike in ourselves
THE SHADOW ARCHETYPE REPRESENTING THINGS WE DISLIKE ABOUT OURSELVES AND THEREFORE PROJECT ONTO OTHERS.
The OLD MAN is an Archetype usually represented as a kind, wise, older father- figure. He is a person who uses his knowledge and experience to guide and assist others. Interestingly, the ‘absent minded professor’ is incorporated into this Archetype.
THE ARCHETYPE OF THE WISE OLD MAN, REMBRANDT’S PICTURE OF THE PHILOSOPHER IN HIS STUDY
Having outlined the ideas behind the world of Archetypes, I am sure you are now able to identify the various archetypes used in Fairy Tales and Myths . This is too big a topic to go into now, but I will go more deeply into this theme in a later blog.
So, if you want to get the best out of Jung’s Archetypes, carefully do three things:
1. Look at YOURSELF and see how many Archetypal Features you can find.
2. Look at people you know and see which Archetypes they appear to correspond to.
3. Read some Fairy Tales, and study one or two Famous Paintings and see how many archetypes you can identify.
Remember this. All of these Archetypal Forms and the various forms of Art in which they appear are UNIVERSAL and are noticeable in Cultures all over the world.
For me, Jung’s notion of the Archetypes as part of the Unconscious was a Master-stroke.
But what has this to do with, ‘Does the Unconscious Speak?. I am sure you have guessed. The Archetypes often appear in DREAMS, or in HALLUCINATIONS. I could say much, much more on this, for it is so rich. But I shall return to it eventually and dig into in depth.
To complete this section on the Unconscious Mind according to Jung we need to turn to his beliefs concerning INDIVIDUATION.
It seems to be true to say that the core of Jung’s work on the unconscious was his idea regarding INDIVIDUATION.
Individuation is a process which attempts to INTEGRATE the whole personality. In short it is an attempt to UNITE the ORDINARY CONSCIOUSNESS, THE PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS, and THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS. This is done by DREAM ANALYSIS or In FREE ASSOCIATION. In so doing, any mental (or perhaps physical) illness a patient may have will, hopefully be cured. Remember it is all about getting an understanding of WHAT THE UNCONSCIOUS IS TRYING TO SAY.
Let us get to the ideas behind these two techniques.
Jung believed that the psyche is a self-regulating interconnected organism. In the Dream State whatever deficiencies are experienced in ordinary Consciousness, somehow the Dream State will compensate for them.
According to Jung there are two basic approaches to analysing the contents of a dream. They are the OBJECTIVE and the SUBJECTIVE APPROACH. In the objective approach, every person in the dream refers to individual characters as in a play. Thus mother is mother, father is the father and so on. In the subjective approach, every person in the dream represents an aspect of the dreamer. Thus, if the dreamer is being assaulted on the street, the dreamer will perhaps be led to recognize his own aggressive impulses.
Archetypes, Jung believed, often manifest themselves in dreams. The Unconscious, according to Jung, is trying to point out some aspect of the self, which is hidden from the Conscious Mind. For example, a woman who continually dreams of a Maiden, may well be receiving messages about her own sexual morality. He believed that the more attention one paid to the contents of the dream, including the Archetypes that manifest, the more one is able to integrate them into the personality and become WHOLE.
FREE ASSOCIATION is another attempt to draw out the Unconscious and get it to speak. Thus, there is so much hidden in the Unconscious that people need to learn about themselves. This is possible if the Unconscious can be drawn out. For example there may well be reasons for various phobias that people have and of course many other things, all of which are hidden from the Conscious mind. So using FREE ASSOCIATION maybe the root cause can be uncovered, dealt with, and the patient becomes whole.
But how is it done?
FREE ASSOCIATION is a technique wherein there is no planned agenda or any attempt to construct a logical conversation on the part of the Analyst or the Patient. The patient is allowed to say ANYTHING that comes into his head and even LEAP from one idea to another in a disconnected way. After a sufficient number of sessions, what might appear to be rambling verbal garbage, may well reveal an underlying theme, give a deeper insight into the patients psyche and result in complete integration and healing.
I think we can safely break off here. I hope I have shown HOW the Unconscious speaks, if only we learn to listen.
In my next posting I intend to finish off the idea by discussing Jung’s encounter with the Unconscious and other entities.
I hope you have enjoyed the Posting.
Picture credits Wikimedia Commons.