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Man and His Symbols

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  18,222 ratings  ·  594 reviews
Illustrated throughout with revealing images, this is the first and only work in which the world-famous Swiss psychologist explains to the layperson his enormously influential theory of symbolism as revealed in dreams.
Mass Market Paperback, 415 pages
Published August 15th 1968 by Dell (first published 1964)
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 ·  18,222 ratings  ·  594 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
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
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
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
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
Sidharth Vardhan
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: europe, non-fiction
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
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
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 ...more
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
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
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
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
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.
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 ...more
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
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
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: to-finish, loomis
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?
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.
Owlseyes inside Notre Dame, it's so strange a 15-hour blaze and...30-minutes wait to call the firemen...and

"The general function of dreams is to try to restore our psychological balance by producing dream material that re-establishes in a subtle way the total psychic equilibrium".

("O how I dreamt of things impossible" by William Blake)

Carl Gustav Jung,
26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961

Happy birthday, Mr Jung.
Birau Catalin
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great. Obligatory reading.
Izmir Raja
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-book-books
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, a
Jaymes Dunlap
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was impressed with this book: although written for the general public in 1964, it incorporates a variety of materials describing how the unconscious manifest itself through a variety of dream symbols. The authors (including the famous psychologist, Carl Jung) present information in ways that incorporates a wide variety of fields, including the hard sciences, soft sciences, art, literature, mythology, history, anthropology, sociology, and more. Many famous aspects of Jungian psychology are ...more
Stanislav Sokolenko
Apr 02, 2012 rated it did not like it
While I can appreciate some of the discussion on the importance of the unconscious and its evolutionary ramifications, this book was of little redeeming value. My biggest problem was its heavy use of anecdotal 'evidence.' Throughout the book, the authors were able to draw convenient examples to illustrate their points from a variety of sources, but never considered the myriad of other interpretations that are possible. At the end of the book, I was no more convinced of the majority of their ...more
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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, ...more
“The girl dreams she is dangerously ill. Suddenly birds come out of her skin and cover her completely ... Swarms of gnats obscure the sun, the moon, and all the stars except one. That one start falls upon the dreamer.” 77 likes
“Life is a battleground. It always has been, and always will be; and if it were not so, existence would come to an end.” 59 likes
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