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Symbols of Transformation

(Jung's Collected Works #5)

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  714 ratings  ·  30 reviews

A complete revision of Psychology of the Unconscious (orig. 1911-12), Jung's first important statement of his independent position.

Paperback, 590 pages
Published January 1st 1977 by Princeton University Press (first published 1912)
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Jan 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Therapists
As intense and difficult as this work is, it enlightened my understanding of Jung's psychology of the unconscious by providing a clear and thorough path through the the use of one woman's (Miss Miller of NYC) fantasies/dreams. Now I can better focus on my aim as a psychotherapist: to bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious of my patients by giving them access to the meanings their symbols suggest; thereby making it possible for them to "assimilate at least part of the unconscious an ...more
Beka Sukhitashvili
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: swiss, phi-re-psy
თუკი დრამის ფინალური აქტი დედის მუცელში დბრუნებას გულისხმობს, თუკი უნდა ვეცადოთ ყველანაირად დავშორდეთ საკუთარ ოჯახს, გადასარჩენად, მაშინ რაღატომ უჩნდება ინდივიდს კვლავ წრის დასაწყისს მიუბრუნდეს და ყველაფერი თავიდან დაიწყოს, დაქორწინდეს. იუნგი მეტყოდა, რომ ეს ილუზია და ბიოლოგიურად ჩამოყალიბებული წრფივი ხაზია, სადაც კოლექტიური არაცნობიერი, დროებით დაშოშმინებულია. + რამდენი ადამიანი იფიქრებს იუნგის ან ზოგადი ფსიქოლოგიის საკითხებზე და აქედან რამდენი გაიგებს იმ სისწორეს, რაც ხდება. რა გარანტია მაქვს, ...more
Jung es uno de mis gurús. Su literatura me ha ayudado a conocerme más. En una especie de autoanálisis me ha permitido conocer mucho acerca de mi origen emocional y de las formas de pensar y actuar de la gente que me es cercana. Me ha acercado a cierto equilibrio vital. En este libro hay varias de las ideas clave de Jung así como de los conceptos a los cuales llegó en base al estudio y comparación de los orígenes de la cultura religiosa, así como de la familia y de las influencias que ésta implan ...more
Robert Frecer
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jung based this book on the self-published dream-fantasies of an American girl at the turn of the 20th century, but he admits to "have stumbled upon problems of such enormous proportions" that he himself is unsure if he's right about them.

Reading this book was a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes I wanted to put it down because jumping from unsourced Polynesian religious rites to interpreting *everything* as a symbol of the Mother sounded like bullshit; at other times, I felt the underlying relation
Steve Seven
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: depth-psychology
This is Jung's most accessible work and the first of his books I encountered. In English it is entitled "Symbols of Transformation". Jung's introduction has a great explanation about the emotional/psychic power behind words: a must read for anyone interested in the working mechanics of practical magic. First written in 1912 when still collaborating with Freud, this volume was Jung's first, tentative, excursion into the archetypes. The original essay ("Symbols and Transformations of the Libido"), ...more
Erik Graff
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jung fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
The original 1912 edition of this work is of central importance in pointing out the direction in which Jung's "analytical psychology" diverged from psychoanalysis. The issue was, narrowly, libido theory and, broadly, religion. Jung was primarily a discursive, connotative thinker, his mind working by association, glorying in the riches of native imagination. He was, in this sense, an artist. For him, libido was simply the energetic principle of the psyche. Freud was more the scientist, seeking ex ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read this twice now and I can't say I really understand it. But wouldn't mind reading it again to find out.

I get the feeling that Jung himself felt, even knew, he'd discovered something of great importance but didn't really know how to state it clearly, or maybe, which parts needed to be emphasized and which glossed over.

I don't think that trying to extract some kind of concrete formula is the way to go with this book. This is an exploratory effort, as the author admits. But try thinking
Barnaby Thieme
Carl Jung's "Symbole der Wandlung" is a key work from the author's substantial corpus, laying out in detail and for the first time the core elements of the author's mature theory. In a decisive break with Freud, Jung argues that his storied predecessor overemphasized the instinctual and reproductive character of psychological drives, and specifically regards the libido as embodying human creativity as a general phenomenon that pertains not just to sexual reproduction, but to artistic and spiritu ...more
Gaze Santos
Jun 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
When Jung published this book at the age of 37, he made sure to send Freud a copy of it for him to peruse. It marked a crossroads of sorts in how each would ago about Psychological therapy. Psychoanalysis in Freud’s case, and Analytical Psychology in Jung’s. Jung knew that Freud would not like the references to myths and religion in his works, which Freud felt were psychological security blankets that more mature minds really didn’t need. Throughout the book, Jung argues for their importance in ...more
Timothy Ball
Sep 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"If, like Peirithous, he tarries too long in this abode of rest and peace, he is overcome by apathy, and the poison of the serpent paralyses him for all time. If he is to live, he must fight and sacrifice his longing for the past in order to rise to his own heights. And having reached the noonday heights, he must sacrifice his love for his own achievement, for he may not loiter. The sun, too, sacrifices its greatest strength in order to hasten onward to the fruits of autumn, which are the seeds ...more
Jung's gigantic dissertation-book is a mixture of all the positive and negative aspects of his work in general. Jung's language remains concise throughout the book and weaves (like Adriane? ;)) his way through myths, anecdotes, and a long case study.

Some negatives: I was specifically reading the book to find his interpretation of Diana the Huntress, Diana Ephesus, and/or Artemis (or Apollo, or Dionysus, or Wotan, etc... I was researching for a very broad paper). While there were many references
Aug 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
A must read for anyone seeking to know the nature of the human psyche and its relationship with the world. You should probably not tackle this one without at least some cursory introductory study in Jungian psychology.
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brandon Bagley
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before reading this or any of Jung's major works, I highly recommend reading "Jung's Map of the Soul" by Murray Stein. It's an easy and quick introduction to Jung's thought, and will help you avoid getting lost in translation.

Here's my attempt at a brief and probably slightly off the mark summary: The professor uses the fantasies of a neurotic woman to illustrate the existence of psychological realities among all mankind. First, the existence of a psychic energy (then termed "libido"), which pow
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Several years ago, when I read Anatomy of Story for the first time, the chapter on character had a fairly in-depth section on archetypes and the importance of knowing which archetypes your characters embodied, whether in their positive or their negative form. This was only the most recent and relevant case of my brush with the topic of archetypes to which Carl Jung has contributed so much. I made a mental note to dig into Jung at some point in the not-too-distant future. It took me three years, ...more
Farouk Ramzan
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Youngsters
I finally get it. Everything Jung's been trying to tell me collapsed on me like an avalanche and did so exactly when I needed to. This book has come to me precisely when I need it, at that stage when one has a foot out the family and the other still lingering behind. Jung explores the hero's journey of becoming independent from the mother imago. The hero must learn to overcome his desire to return back to the mother's womb when life becomes demanding; he must forego the temptation of dissolving ...more
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Quite the transformative trip, reading a translated version of an American woman as she noted down dreams and images from her travels and social life, all the while Jung connects to a rich matrix of soul symbols and cultural artifacts. Neither seemed to have much to do with the other on a conscious level, but together creates a fascinating synthesis of ideas thus proving that there is something more than just repressed sexual instincts happening in the unconscious - as some noted psychologists w ...more
Efthimios Nasiopoulos
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A profound read. Definitely something to come back to for clearer understanding. It’s amazing how oblivious we can be of the strength of the unconscious has in our lives and only when we peel back the layers and take a closer look can we see the gap between the conscious and the unconscious and learn to bridge the gap through understanding, compassion, humility and objectivity. We must put our opinions away and really listen and feel and trust in the unknown and look at our patterns and our role ...more
Douglas Eifert
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is built around a dream diary that Jung is analyzing and really delves into dream analysis and mythology. Very interesting. For a broader overview of Jung's ideas, I'd recommend "Two Essays on Analytical Psychology."
Adam Cantrell
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gediminas Tumėnas
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pirmoji rimta Jungo studija, kurioje tyrinėjama gausa mitologinės bei mitopoetinės medžiagos. Analizuojamas klinikinis pacientės atvejis: remiantis lyginamosios religijotyros bei analitinės psichologijos metodais siekiami suprasti sapnai, haliucinacijos, kūryba, elgesys.
Jungo kolektyvinės pasąmonės bei archetipų koncepciją, remiantis griežtu moksliniu metodu, labai nesunku išmesti į šiukšlių dėžę: konstruktai neįmanomi nei falsifikuoti, nei verifikuoti. Tačiau perskaičius šią knygą nekyla abejo
Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Well, I can't really blame him. Ol' Carl, whom I'd name my children after, if I could, really hadn't gotten his feet under him yet. Plus, he is German. A combination of those two facts makes this, his first forray into archetypal psychology, and his definitive split with Freud a kind of confusing, head scratching and underwhelming read. But I'm sure it was groundbreaking for its time!
Aug 11, 2012 is currently reading it
I'm reading this in conjunction with a lecture series I am attending at the Jung Center in Houston (Fall 2012).
Oct 26, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a weighty tome.

This entire book is devoted to the in-depth analysis of a single dream, with lots
of delving into myth and legend.

Consider reading the appendix first...
Dec 30, 2007 rated it liked it
Some of Jung's early ideas on how to understand the symbolism of the symptoms in a case he thought was pro-dromal (possibly heading towards schizophrenia).
Oct 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
the truth about everything...behind.
Ştefan Bolea
Groundbreaking but terribly prolix.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laliani Laliani
rated it it was amazing
Jul 17, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2020
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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

Other books in the series

Jung's Collected Works (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • Psychiatric Studies (Collected Works, Vol 1)
  • Experimental Researches (Collected Works, Vol 2)
  • The Psychogenesis of Mental Disease
  • Freud and Psychoanalysis (Collected Works, Vol 4)
  • Psychological Types
  • Two Essays on Analytical Psychology (Collected Works 7)
  • The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (Collected Works, Vol 8)
  • The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works 9i)
  • Aion (Collected Works 9ii)
  • Civilization in Transition (Collected Works, Vol 10)

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