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Modern Man in Search of a Soul

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  4,159 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
A provocative and enlightening look at spiritual unease and its contribution to the void in modern civilization

Considered by many to be one of the most important books in the field of psychology, Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a comprehensive introduction to the thought of Carl Gustav Jung. In this book, Jung examines some of the most contested and crucial areas in the
Paperback, 252 pages
Published August 4th 1955 by Mariner Books (first published 1933)
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J.G. Keely
Jun 01, 2012 J.G. Keely rated it it was ok
There are certain people who delight in mythologizing their lives--looking for deep meanings and explanations for who they imagine themselves to be. It is not mere soul-searching, because they dislike even reasonable criticism, and cannot stand to be made aware of the ways their actions conflict with the vision they have of themselves. They want to be special and important, and are less interested in understanding themselves than in creating an image.

There are some rare people for whom the act o
Mar 29, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
this book is not to find yourself, so don't misinterpret the title of it, "modern man in search of a soul". these essays written by the Swiss psychotherapist are to explain the mindset of how a therapist needs to adjust his attitude towards his patients in order to provide effective therapy. it takes an account for the complex beliefs of society through history and experience, so the data can be used to give an accurate explanation of the patient's neuroses. Freud and Adler denied the presence o ...more
Heather Campbell
Feb 17, 2012 Heather Campbell rated it it was amazing
I had to put some space between finishing and reviewing this book. Jung was Freud's student--in my opinion this is one case where the student outshines the teacher. This will be my forever reference to mind/spirit health. Jung's explanation of creativity is amazing--but his real feat is explaining the modern person who has found traditional religious custom lacking and what he should do next. The modern man has broken with the past and the masses, is solitary, needs to be sound and proficient,an ...more
Feb 07, 2009 Cat rated it it was amazing
Jung's lecture "The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man" is so very rich and entirely relevant, still, today. It was delivered in Zurich in 1931 at the cusp of another horrific war. I forgot what a plain-spoken sage he could be at times, deep, elegant and never denying our capacity for both good and evil. I'm still digesting ... If you read only one essay by Carl Jung, this should be the one.
Dec 05, 2008 Jordan rated it it was amazing
Jung is like the Beatles to me
Ann M
Nov 19, 2009 Ann M rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
In answer to those who notice how he criticizes Freud -- Jung was Freud's student when Freud's theories were all the rage, and Freud was not as open to Jung's ideas as he might have been, so Jung was forced to criticize him in order to defend and promote his own work. When he says that psychologists should work together, he means that the powerful, influential and jealous Freud should stop feeling so threatened by him. Nowadays, we take much of Jung's point of view for granted. His theories of a ...more
Aug 17, 2016 Mitchell rated it it was amazing
For every conscious deficit, there arises an unconscious boon. For every unconscious growth, the conscious mind suffers a loss. The compensatory law of opposites relating to the psyche makes this work particularly sublime for me. Jung’s inability to take to task Christianity effectively leaves a bit to be desired, but, that’s just like…my opinion, man. Regardless, Jung’s innovation is undeniable. Borrowing directly from Nietzsche, Jung never falls under the illusion of his own perspective. He co ...more
Léonard Gaya
Jan 15, 2014 Léonard Gaya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a series of essays and lectures, originally collected and translated into French by Dr. Roland Cahen, around the end of WWII. It is an excellent introduction to the extended work of the Swiss psychologist, since it covers a wide range of topics on Jung’s analytical psychology (as opposed to Freud’s psychoanalysis?), such as:
- The unconscious, personal and collective,
- The structure of the psyche, including the conscious functions (feeling, intuition, thought, sensation… this hypothe
Jeremy Allan
Sep 02, 2013 Jeremy Allan rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
I’ve meant to read Jung for sometime now and I’m glad I finally did. This collection of essays serves as a nice primer to his mature thought and how he viewed his practice of psychology alongside those of his peers. While no essay goes into great depth about any topic or idea, notably his concept of archetypes, the general foundations seem to be present, particularly of his view of the psyche and the “collective unconscious.”

At points, reading these essays can feel a bit repetitive, particularly
Ismael Galvan
Feb 06, 2013 Ismael Galvan rated it it was amazing
Modern Man in Search of a Soul is a great introduction to Carl Jung’s theories of analytical psychology. The book is broken down into eleven essays dealing with topics of dream analysis, Freudian psychology, spirituality, and religion. Some consider Jung’s ideas radical because they take into account the soul. While many people believe that the soul exists, it’s impossible to prove it either way and thus begin the arguments. Taking this stance introduces an element of metaphysics into treating m ...more
Ahmed Hamad
Mar 17, 2015 Ahmed Hamad rated it it was amazing
This "introductory" book, I believe, has provided an almost perfect analysis and expression of the "soul" of the modern man. The words struck at my very core, with each page forcing me to stare at it for a very long while. I stared at those pages not because of their complexity, but rather because of the necessity of reflection and contemplation it brought about.. because of the flashes of memories that came with those words bringing in views I had not noticed before. As with his other books, I' ...more
Sep 06, 2016 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Having read the Essential Jung by Anthony Storr, this I thought, may be covering much the same ground, but aside from the first chapter on dream analysis, there seemed to be little that was duplicated and thankfully there was no mention of Alchemy which to my mind overcomplicated the former.

This book contains 11 essays that are aimed at giving the reader a comprehensive overview of Jungs'theories and opinions, which mainly pertain to a non-religious spiritual rebalancing of the psyche. Althoug
Tom Schulte
Mar 14, 2012 Tom Schulte rated it it was amazing
The eleven chapters in this work are, save one, lectures delivered by Jung prior to its 1933 publication. Carl Jung snipes at times at the wide target of Freud’s narrowly focused psychology, such as observing that free association merely leads to projecting one’s own complexes. But, at times it seems the crowded dreamscape of Jung’s own archetypes may be a projection of his own issues. Still, I enjoy reading vintage Jung since his relentless probing of the human psyche seems to have given him a ...more
Oct 13, 2007 Patrick rated it it was amazing
Ok, so I wrote a review for this book before I finished it, assuming that it would be adequate. Boy, was I wrong. The last chapter of this book is just...W-O-W! It is the most concise explanation of the intellectual and spiritual struggle of modern man I have ever come across. Aside from that, the last chapter provides more insight about the job/responsibilities of a psychotherapist than any other part of the book. below is my original review of the book.

I haven't finished it yet, but I will go
Vincent Chough
Oct 28, 2013 Vincent Chough rated it it was amazing
I can't say I agree with everything Jung says, but he describes psychiatric/psychic disorders extremely well.

Some of his conclusions were surprisingly short-sighted in my opinion. For example, Jung did not fully explore the depths of the Christian faith. He didn't even come close.

It is one thing is to be religious, but to be spiritual is another thing altogether.

When I say "Christ is my Savior" some might take this as a cliché. Nevertheless, this directs every aspect of my life. I focus not on
Feb 27, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it
I've really been enjoying Jung. He's a breath of fresh air after submerging myself in all of that Freud. Freud always takes the most reductive route, because his focus is on justifying psychology as a science and science is purposely reductive. (I realize now that he wasn't nearly reductive enough to meet current scientific standards.) But Jung corrects a lot of Freud by placing some of the theories that Freud thought of as fundamental in a larger context, and also by seeing around Freud's myopi ...more
I feel a little sheepish to say that this is the longest work I've ever read by Jung. It was a good introduction, though, and I'm looking forward to trying some of his other writing. I think the first portion of the book would be hard for someone who isn't familiar with Freud and the the emergence of psychoanalysis, but anyone with a basic grasp should manage all right. The later portion is much easier to read, ha, but equally informative. Throughout, Jung maintains a frank tone which seems to f ...more
Nov 28, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
It has been so long since I read this book that I barely remember it. It is very much about dream analysis, and Jung seeks to convey the experience of psychoanalysis from the perspective of the analyst. It also underscores the importance of the unconscious, which endeavors to speak to the self through dreams.

What made a lasting impression, though, was Jung's discussion of modern society, and the dilemma of anyone trying to live in a world that runs contrary to basic human needs. We need quiet i
Nov 23, 2015 Yasemin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bu öylesi bir yöneliş ki sorma... Birkaç cümleyle çıkamıyoruz içimizden! Bilinçli, bilinçsiz, düşleri ve gerçek yaşamıyla biz, hayat...Gizli, apaçık, görmek istediklerimiz ve gözden kaçanlar, kaygılar, sanrılar, dile pelesenk olmuş kelimelerimiz ve çıkarımlarımız.. Hepsi veya belki de her Carl Gustav Jung kitabında bir parçası saklıydı. Bilmiyorum tek kitapla anlamlanacak adamlardan değil ki Jung ve hayat!
Jul 06, 2010 Charles rated it really liked it
Some chapters are much better than others, but the best in this book is worth returning to again and again. Jung's imaginative, expansive, playful yet serious view of psychology's role and scope is invigorating, even if not always accurate. Like Freud, even when Jung is wrong, he's brilliantly wrong.
Atlas Can
Sep 28, 2015 Atlas Can marked it as to-read
totally unrelated.
Khalid Obeid
Feb 10, 2016 Khalid Obeid rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of lectures given by the psychologist Carl Jung, 11 lectures in total, all are brilliant, some of the lectures stood out for me and was highly enjoyable, especially (THE POSTULATES OF HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY) , a Lecture in which Jung states that under the influence of the scientific era everything that cannot be seen or touched is held with doubt. And can be laughed at because of it supposed affinity with metaphysics. Nothing is supposed to be scientific or admitted to be tru ...more
JD Estrada
Jan 06, 2016 JD Estrada rated it it was amazing
A marvelous write although dense. Which should be evident from the time it took me to finish it which was just over two years. It's something I had on the side to read in between books, or at least that was the intention. The thing is that sometimes I'd pick it up and read like a page, and other times I'd pick it up and read 50 pages. In that sense it was a curious reading experience for me.

Now enough waffling about that, what about the content? Well that above digression to the side, I see why
Jun 05, 2015 Meghana rated it really liked it
It took me nearly seven months to finish reading Jung's masterpiece. This is not a book for the faint of heart, but I would highly recommend it to dedicated students of psychology, comparative mythology, religion, and psychiatry.

Jung's writing is provocative and incisive, and he often took my breath away with his direct, honest insights into the human psyche. I learned a lot about his most famous theories- of introversion, extroversion, and the collective unconscious. As someone who has long be
Darya Conmigo
Carl Jung is my new hero. Not only he laid the ground for some of the key concepts in modern day psychology and psychoanalysis (from what I understand, not being a psychologist), he is also a wonderful storyteller. He has a talent of framing things that you have kind of known all along in a way that makes you finally know them. If you know what I mean.

Also, this book prompted me to create a bookshelf called Best Cure for Depression. Which it is.

Some quotes in Russian below. (Whenever I cannot re
P is for Polly
May 06, 2012 P is for Polly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dreams, faith

"....But we cannot life the afternoon of life according to according to the programme of life's morning--for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true at evening will have become a lie....After having lavished its light upon the world, the sun withdraws its rays in order to illumine itself....Whoever carries over into the afternoon the law of the morning--that is, tha aims of nature--must pay for so doing with damage to his soul..."

"Since the mind
Jan 02, 2014 Circe rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Jung scholars and psychologists by profession
One line. If you don't listen with your full concentration activated, Jung can drive you insane.

No, just half kidding. I was serious for only about 40%. It also depends on one's comprehension on this particular subject.

I would not recommend this book for non-Jung scholars as he is a non-linear thinker and has a tendency to coin terms to a particular phenomenon to abbreviate definitions to one word. All throughout the book he would use his own terms and if you aren't quite quick and focused on hi
Nov 15, 2007 A rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: psychology majors, anyone looking to learn about jungian theory
Shelves: 2007
While this book gives a solid and intriguing overview of Jung's brand of psychoanalysis, I found it somewhat lacking in further details regarding concepts like the collective unconscious, archetypes, anima/animus, etc. A book like Man and His Symbols, which includes essays from other Jungian psychologists besides Jung himself, goes deeper into the meat of his psychological structures.

Even so, I'm glad I finally read this book, as I always find Jung amiable and illuminating. He does a great job o
Dec 02, 2015 Mohamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a collection of 11 essays that were originally given as lectures (except one that was published as an essay directly). It deals with more than one aspect of Jung's take on psychology, his theory on psychological types, collective unconsciousness and some thoughts on the realization of psychotherapy in real life.
I found it very immersing as his language and thoughts (gratitude for the translator is in order as well) are easy to follow and absorb but still it had a depth that you can c
Apr 29, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it
A friend lent this to me. It's not something I would have picked up, but since I've never read anything in this subject area I knew that I should give it a reading. I'm a little frustrated because I didn't get into it too much (maybe I don't have a soul or I'm not modern enough).
Having said that, it's a good book. Except for a few passages and references, it's mostly accessible in terms of language and terminology - even given that it's from the 1930s. It's compartmentalized into different subto
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Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf jʊŋ]), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, archeology, anthropology, l ...more
More about C.G. Jung...

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