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Man and His Symbols

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  19,669 ratings  ·  686 reviews
Man and His Symbols owes its existence to one of Jung's own dreams. The great psychologist dreamed that his work was understood by a wide public, rather than just by psychiatrists, and therefore he agreed to write and edit this fascinating book. Here, Jung examines the full world of the unconscious, whose language he believed to be the symbols constantly revealed in dreams ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 415 pages
Published August 15th 1968 by Dell (first published 1964)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  19,669 ratings  ·  686 reviews

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Owen Spencer
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
My university professors never introduced me to Carl Jung. I understand why, I guess, but it's a shame that I didn't read Jung's work until now. Jungian psychology is amazing. It addresses the unconscious and the "self"/"psyche" in a unique and enlightening way. And, unlike most other psychologists, Jung did not shy away from unexplained phenomena and the so-called "paranormal". His theory provides insights into "unexplained" phenomena and is the only major psychological theory that includes the ...more
May 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology
I have a strange love / hate relationship with Jung. There are so many things about him that I find utterly fascinating and then others that I think are just crazy. I would rather think one thing or the other, but since he was obsessed with dualities, perhaps he would be happy with my conflicting and opposite feelings towards him.

There are things about his ideas that I find incredibly appealing. A personal story might help make that clear. I started reading this book a while ago now – before I s
Nandakishore Varma
This is one of the three books which influenced my literary and mythical outlook (The Hero With a Thousand Faces and The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales being the other two). All my life, I have been fascinated by symbols and their near-universality: the weird way they recur in dreams and the way they keep on popping up in mythologies. I have also been fascinated by journeys in literature, myth and movies.

Jung tied it all together for me, in this collection of essa
Natacha Pavlov
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was my first book on Jung and it had me hooked. The introduction states that this book was written with the simple, typical reader in mind—which makes this particular volume easy to read. I’m definitely keen on wanting to read more of Jung’s work now, however I’ve heard that his writing can be very difficult to process due to advanced language and/or abstract concepts. I can only hope that it won’t be anything too strenuous once I get there!
Given that I’ve been interested in the study of dr
John Kulm
Apr 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, although the used "Dell" edition I bought is falling apart. I'll have to buy another copy. The book has much to say about dreams and art. I'm adding some quotes from the book to the review I posted a few days ago.

If you think about the following quote while viewing paintings, you might find insights about artists who often, unconsciously, express their conscious attitude to the right of the canvas and their unconscious attitude on the left: “Among other things ‘right’ often me
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
The quote below by T. Burckhardt sums it all up pretty neatly (also check the end of the review for some recommendations) :

""Frithjof Schuon, after reading the present chapter, [Modern Psychology] sent me the following reflections in writing: 'People generally see in Jungism, as compared with Freudism, a step towards reconciliation with the traditional spiritualities, but this is in no wise the case. From this point of view, the only difference is that, whereas Freud boasted of being an irrecon
Sidharth Vardhan
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, europe
Hands down, it is one of the best books I have read and I wish I had read it earlier. This book is a perfect gateway into Jung's ideas written expressly for the layman (like yours truly) to understand them.

I think even if you don't know the details, you know that his ideas provided a new dimension to psychology, taking it beyond nightmares and childhood traumas. Freud took away the extraordinary - the possessing demons as well as fantasies etc from psychology, Jung provides us with a hope that
Jimmy Ele
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uber-favorites
If you want to get an idea of Jungian philosophy and method of analysis especially when it comes to dream interpretation then I highly recommend this book. To Jung, dreams carry significant meaning for each individual person. Every symbol in Jungian dream analysis can mean something different for each individual. Jung believes that our dreams are rich with great clues that lead to revelations about what is needed to balance our psyche. For instance, if one has been an introvert, but one's new me ...more
Lyla Rose
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing

I am still reading this one. I'm a slow reader when it comes to non-fiction but this book is absolutely RIVETING. I had no idea that psychology could feel so... supernatural.

** ** ***

My copy is a very old, tiny and densely printed copy I got for free from a psychology library in San Francisco that was moving to a new location and clearing out the stacks. I taped together the spine where it was started to fall apart. I'm still only about 100 pages in but it is UNBELIEVABLY fascinating and I can't
Bob Nichols
Oct 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
This is a collection of essays on Jungian thought. The initial essay was written by Jung, who also approved the other essays (as true to his thinking) shortly before his death in 1961.

The Jungian approach integrates the unconscious and the conscious so that individuals can be whole, which generally involves tapping into our psychic center that is distinct from our conscious ego. Civilization's focus on the ego and denial or ignorance of the unconscious results in all sorts of psychological healt
Kevin Fuller
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A symbol, Jung explains, is a word, picture, photograph, statue, etc. that always signifies something much larger than what we immediately know, and therefore points to the unconscious.

In this book, Jung first introduces us (the lay public) to the unconscious and it's machinations that can be found in personal ticks, social characteristics, dreams and fantasies. The unconscious can manifest personally in the complex, those group of personal characteristics we acquire through private experience,
No review can give this book its due! Reading it is indispensable. Basically, it presents an outline of Jung's work for the general reader.

The emphasis is on dream symbols that emerge from the depths of the unconscious, providing guidance for the individual depending on his psychological condition and stage of development. This guidance can take on a benevolent form, and sometimes an ominous nightmarish one. The key lies in acquiring sufficient knowledge in mythology and symbolism in order to be
Ana-Maria Petre
Jun 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Some brilliant parts and a bit of nonsense. Unsure what to rate this, I'll leave it with three stars for now.
Dawn-a very sensitive romance reader
Loved it.

Not light reading.

Would recommend.
Newton Nitro
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
Man and His Symbols (O Homem e Seus Símbolos) – C.G. Jung | Dell, 1968, 432 pages | Lido de 07.06.16 a 08.06.16

Inspirado em um sonho do autor e concluído apenas dez dias antes de sua morte, ‘O homem e seus símbolos’ constitui uma tentativa de expor os princípios fundamentais da psicologia analítica jungiana para o leitor, sem qualquer obrigatoriedade de conhecimento especializado.

Jung reuniu nesta obra artigos que tratam dos mais diferentes assuntos – dos sonhos e das artes plásticas até
Ricche Khosasi
it was a doubtful when buying this book for the first time, which I am a chinese and the east culture still ingrained inside. But the way Jung brought his idea is beyond the doubt and this is the first book I read about Jung and never regret of the knowledge given especially how the way he reads all the symbols in dreams.
Philippe Malzieu
Sigmund or Gustav? Gustav of course. If I had to do analysis, I choose jung psychanalysis. Sigmund brought back all to sexuality, Gustav spoke to him about the desire in all his forms. At the end of his life, he widened his work by studying mythologies and the religions. He highlights the relations between religions and culture. Why do the Europeans converted with the boudhism have a Christic vision of Bouddha? I find that his work of end-of-life approaches those of Mircéa Eliade.
It is a book ri
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Jung's theories of psychology have always fascinated me. The idea of archetypes and the collective unconscious make perfect sense to me, though I imagine that anyone who has been devouring stories longer than she's been devouring solid food will find it natural to have them applied to the human mind. Living stories is part of what makes the urge to write and read and tell stories so powerful.

It doesn't hurt that there was a psychoanalytical section in my literary criticism class and that Jung w
Steven Fogel
Jung wrote it near the end of his life to describe his work to laypeople. One of Jung's major contributions to our understanding of our consciousness is the importance of dreams. In Man and His Symbols, he writes about what he learned about his own dreams and what he learned about dreams in other cultures. As part of his research, he studied societies that were still untouched by Western civilization, and he discovered that certain dreams and stories are common to all of the societies.
Feb 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of those books that changes the way I look at the world.
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
In Man and His Symbols, Jung and colleagues attempt to lay out the core framework of Jungian thought for a non-technical audience. Throughout the work, the reader is introduced to essential Jungian concepts - of symbols, of the personal/collective un/conscious, of the self, ego, anima/us and the shadow - and explores the psychological significance of hero myths, of initiation rites, of individuation, and of the visual arts. Much of the text is devoted to exploring the unconscious, and mostly thr ...more
Fredrick Danysh
May 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: medical-health
Jung has put together a collection of five essays by himself and four other psychologists on the use of symbology by man. They try to explain it for the average person. One essay deals with the meaning of dreams. Numerous blurry black and white prints are included.
The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was the fact that it had so many interesting images with equally interesting blurbs explaining how they fit in with the various articles and theories that were being written about. The images were beautiful and they enhanced my enjoyment of the book a great deal. As far as the articles go, some were better than others but all were worth reading except for maybe the last section which was an analysis of a certain individual that I really did not care a ...more
David Fleming
Jul 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing

This ranks as one of the most interesting nonfiction books I've read. Jung's theories and capabilities to generalize across cultures and through time are nothing short of astounding.

Much of this information is so dense that it gave me the feeling of learning something and being influenced without being able to list out general principles.

The illustrations throughout help to strengthen the variety of arguements which are developed and the through-line of counterpoint with Fre
May 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family-owned
The first chapter, written by C.G. Jung himself is wonderful. The other chapters quickly become repetitive and redundant, with too many examples and too little clarification, completely confusing you by the end of the first half of the book. The ending is however quite interesting.
I give this 3/5 stars, cause it's really just an introductory book into the world of Jung's psychoanalysis, so I guess it accomplishes this pretty well, but I had my hopes higher when I decided to read it.
I should also
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: loomis, to-finish
Thinly disguised Christian rubbish. Shockingly irrational at times; of course, Jung can get away with any unfounded cognitive leaps because in the text he emphasizes spontaneity over reason. Does such a sentiment unconsciously hide his own difficulties in creating a well-structured, coherent argument? Or am I being too Freudian?
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mind blowing, informative and suggestive. My life was literally changed in all sorts of good ways by this read. Especially the dream analysis alongside synchronicity theory and the I Ching. I remember reading in one of the chapters about an society that worships the female posterior. What a fantastic parallel to the modern age.
Simonas Nugaris
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of the most (if not the most) informative book that ive read. As expected book gave vast amounts of insight into Jungian psychology, relation between consciousness and unconsciousness, symbols in dreams and all other good stuff. If youre interested in psychology or just want to understand how the human mind works this book is definitely worth a read.
Apr 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book a multitude of times. I reccomend this book to everyone. This is Jung's basic theories distilled in a non clinical manner. It is a lot easier to read than the Collective Unconcious. I bought a second copy since my first was full tattered and worn.
Raffi Hayrapet
May 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An entry point into Jung's work and a great example of the holistic, revolutionary nature of this thinking.
His ideas run deep and are rich in suggestion yet, as its addressed to the general public, are laid out in a pretty straightforward way.
One should approach this with an open mind - a lot of his ideas (particularly dream analysis and the individuation process) are not grounded by conventional ways of going about the sciences, but are rather quite intuitive.
In my understanding, Jung viewed t
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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

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