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Oxford's Very Short Introductions series #40

Jung: A Very Short Introduction

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This is the most lucid and timely introduction to the thought of Carl Gustav Jung available to date. Though he was a prolific writer and an original thinker of vast erudition, Jung lacked a gift for clear exposition, and his ideas are less widely appreciated than they deserve to be. Now, in this extremely accessible introduction, Anthony Stevens--one of Britain's foremost Jungian analysts--clearly explains the basic concepts of Jungian psychology: the collective unconscious, complex, archetype, shadow, persona, anima, animus, and the individualization of the Self. A small masterpiece of insight and concision, this volume offers a clear portrait of one of the twentieth century's most important and controversial thinkers.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

192 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 1994

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About the author

Anthony Stevens

59 books35 followers
Anthony Stevens is a well known Jungian analyst and psychiatrist who has written extensively on psychotherapy and psychology.

Stevens has two degrees in psychology and a doctorate in medicine from Oxford University. He studied for a time under John Bowlby. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. He lectures regularly in the United Kingdom, the United States, Switzerland and elsewhere.

Stevens is the author or co-author of many books and articles on psychology, evolutionary psychiatry, Jungian analysis and the significance of archetypal imagery.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 233 reviews
Profile Image for Glenn Russell.
1,356 reviews11.8k followers
March 24, 2023

I have enjoyed a dozen books in the ‘Very Short Introduction’ series but I must say this one on Jung is the best I’ve come across. You will not find a clearer presentation of the life and psychology of Carl Jung. Quite an accomplishment since Jung’s approach to the psyche and therapy is revolutionary and multifaceted.

Since the subjects covered in this short introduction are so rich in content, for the purposes of this review, here are a few quotes along with my comments, starting with Jung’s break with his teacher and mentor in the world of psychoanalysis – Sigmund Freud.

“As time passed, Jung’s differences with Freud became harder to conceal. Two of Freud’s basic assumptions were unacceptable to him: (1) that human motivation is exclusively sexual and (2) that the unconscious mind is entirely personal and peculiar to the individual.”

Turns out, this is the difference for Jung that made all the difference. In Jung’s view, we humans have many reasons for doing what we do well beyond the boundaries of sexuality. And also, the human unconscious taps into the entire range of experiences we have developed as a species over millions of years

“Moreover, beneath the personal unconscious of repressed wishes and traumatic memories, posited by Freud, Jung believed there lay a deeper and more important layer that he was to call the collective unconscious, which contained in potenitia the entire psychic heritage of mankind. . . . The existence of this ancient basis of the mind had first been hinted to him as a child when he realized that there were things in his dreams that came from somewhere beyond himself. Its existence was confirmed when he studied the delusions and hallucinations of schizophrenic patients and found them to contain symbols and images which also occurred in myths and fairy-tales all over the world."

Again, Jung acknowledged there is a personal component to the unconscious realm we encounter in our dreams, but this is only the start: there is an ocean of unconscious energy deeper and wider than the personal – the collective unconscious. Thus, Jung’s lifelong fascination with symbols, such as mandalas, numbers, mythic animals, light-infused and shadowy superhuman presences.

“What distinguishes the Jungian approach to developmental psychology from virtually all others is the idea that even in old age we are growing toward realization of or full potential. . . . aging was not a process of inexorable decline but a time for the progressive refinement of what is essential. ‘The decisive question for a man is: is he related to something infinite or not?"

A critical difference from Freud: what happens in our psyche isn’t always about working out our relationship with our mother and father buried in our personal past; rather, every stage in the human cycle, childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, old age, has its own powerful psychic energies and challenges. It is our task to accept the challenges at each stage of our life to reach the full flowering of our humanity. Thus, for Jung, psychotherapy isn’t so much about curing illness as it is about personal growth.

“Jung held it to be the business of the psychologist to investigate the collective unconscious and the functional units of which it is composed – the archetypes, as he eventually called them. Archetypes are ‘identical psychic structures common to all’, which together constitute ‘the archaic heritage of humanity’."

The author devotes two entire chapters to Jung’s archetypes: the Self, the ego, the shadow, the persona, the anima/amimus. And, what is an archetype? By way of example, we read: “One example which Jung frequently quoted was that of a schizophrenic patient who told him that if he stared at the sun with half-closed eyes he would see that the sun had a phallus and that this organ was the origin of the wind. Years later Jung came across a Greek text describing an almost identical vision." In other words, the archetype images we encounter in dreams belong to a common dream language we share with all humans, including our prehistoric ancestors and peoples of all world cultures and societies. And, according to Jung, these archetypical images can be understood as promptings to encourage our growth.

“In working on a dream the starting-point for Jung was not interpretation but ‘amplification’ – that is, to enter into the atmosphere of the dream to establish its mood as well as the detail of its images and symbols, in such a way as to amplify the experience of the dream itself. Then its impact on consciousness is enhanced."

Dreams are central to Jungian analysis. And if you are interested in pursuing Jung’s vision of what it means to live a full human life, reading this small book would be a great place to start.

Coda: If you would like to start working with your own dreams in a Jungian way, there is short, clear, easy-to-follow instruction given by James A. Hall, available in booklet form at amazon.com or on audible -- http://www.audible.com/pd/Science-Tec...
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.5k followers
March 27, 2022
Jung: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #40), Anthony Stevens

Originally published: 1994. Part of the Past Masters series, this book provides a concise introduction to the basic concepts of analytical psychology revealing how they arose directly from the life and personality of their originator, Carl Gustav Jung.

This is the most lucid and timely introduction to the thought of Carl Gustav Jung available to date. Though he was a prolific writer and an original thinker of vast erudition, Jung lacked a gift for clear exposition, and his ideas are less widely appreciated than they deserve to be.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز هفدهم ماه می سال2008میلادی

عنوان: یونگ؛ نویسنده: آنتونی استیونس؛ موضوع زندگینامه ی روانپزشک سوئیسی کارل گوستاو یونگ از نویسندگان بریتانیا - سده20م

عنوان: زندگی و باورهای یونگ از دید یک روانپزشک؛ نویسنده: آنتونی استیونس؛ مترجم: محمداسماعیل فلزی؛ تهران، نشر هیرمند؛ سال1399؛ در196ص؛ شابک9789644087172؛

کارل گوستاو یونگ، فیلسوف و روانپزشکی اهل «سوئیس» بودند، که با فعالیت‌ خویش در روانشناسی، و ارائه ی نظریاتی با عنوان: «روان‌شناسی تحلیلی» شناخته می‌شوند؛ «فریدا فوردهام» پژوهشگر آثار «یونگ»، میگویند: (هرچه «فروید» ناگفته بگذاشته، یونگ تکمیل کرده‌ است.)؛

نقل از متن: («یونگ» وابستگی فرد به دولت را که مشخصه ی زمانه او بود به هیچ‌وجه سالم نمی‌دانست، و می‌گفت: ملت دارد گوسفند می‌شود و هر روز بیش از پیش دارد به چوپانی که او را به طرف چراگاهی سرسبز می‌برد دل می‌بندد؛ دیری نمی‌پاید که دارودسته چوپان به سر نیزه و خود چوپان به گرگ تبدیل می‌شود؛ طبع «یونگ» با «نازیسم» سازگار نبود؛ او با همه جنبش‌های توده‌ای سر ستیز داشت، چون اینگونه جنبش‌ها مغایر ارزش اصلی روان فرد بودند؛ او از «ایسم‌ها» بیزار بود و به باورهای جزمی به هر شکل و صورتی که بودند، دلبستگی نداشت)؛ پایان

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 25/02/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 06/01/1401هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Khalid Abdul-Mumin.
172 reviews73 followers
August 19, 2022
Stevens has indeed made a short introduction to various topics of interest to anyone wanting to dip fingers into Jungian concepts without the necessary commitment to the dense body of work by the great analyst.

It gives a general overview of his branch of psychology while having a historical viewpoint that narrates like a narrow biography. It is well researched, original and factual. A comprehensive list of further readings is also included. I'm definitely checking out his other books, they seem quite insightful too.
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
653 reviews7,016 followers
May 20, 2015
Does not succeed in representing Jung’s notoriously disorganized work in a coherent fashion. Instead this VSI is content with being a maximally shortened summary of Jung’s autobiography (Memories, Dreams, Reflections). The later chapters dedicated to the character types are cursory and, to be honest, wikipedia does a better job. Read Jung's Map of the Soul by Murray Stein instead for a better concise introduction.
Profile Image for Philippe.
619 reviews506 followers
January 10, 2022
I tremendously enjoyed this lucid and compact introduction to Jung’s ideas. Much of this was hitherto unknown to me as I was led to believe that Jung was a bit of a crackpot. Not any longer. As a result of reading this book I’ve added him to my personal pantheon of ‘all-time great system thinkers’. I started with the audiobook (expertedly narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith), then switched to the e-reader version as I wanted to add my own notes, and finally also purchased a printed version for my library.
Profile Image for Rashid Saif.
54 reviews6 followers
September 13, 2018
What got me interested in Jung and psychoanalysis was the whole Jordan Peterson craze; with the popularity of his book 12 Rules for Life I thought I would check him out. I saw a lecture he gave where he was describing the Disney movie Pinnochio through the lens of Jungian Archetypal Theory and I thought that was an interesting approach. I was apprehensive of Peterson because he wrote a self-help book (it's a personal prejudice) and I tend to mistrust popular intellectuals, but I thought it would be worthwhile to investigate the source of his psychoanalysis: Jung.

Now Jung is damn scary. How he could have devised his Archetype Theory and then apply it to psychoanalysis is beyond me. One would dismiss this theory as a literary exercise or coincidence if it didn't have strong support from archaeological, mythical/religious and psychological findings. I won't go into the details of this theory but you should definitely check it out.

Jung's psychoanalysis, for me, is more practical and on the whole more optimistic and holistic than Freud. Freud always reduced your mental states to childhood trauma and sexual frustration and more generally the past. He also interprets your dreams in that light too, and for him, you can only hope to cope and not to be cured. Jung however, takes into account your past but also equally, if not more, your present.

For Jung, you are not merely appendages of the past but rather an expectation of the future. He doesn't like the idea of interpreting dreams per se, he takes dreams as symbols formed by your 'Self' to tell to you something about your psychological state that your 'Ego' cannot perceive. Jung's main premise is that, psychologically, your goal is 'Individuation', this consists of fulfilling your archetypal potential he also claims that psychological problems arise from failure to fulfil one's archetypal destiny, this gives hope. What you need to do is not go back in time, but project yourself into the future and realise your archetypal potential.

I enjoyed this book greatly and have developed a new interest in psychology because of it. I think if Jordan Peterson is to be thanked for anything, then it should be for introducing more people to Jung.
Profile Image for Guille.
57 reviews4 followers
May 19, 2022
I'm probably being unfair in the rating. If you can get past the constant motte-and-bailey Stevens uses to defend Jung's theories, it's probably a good introduction to Jung's work. I am finishing this book knowing more about Jung than I did when I started, so that's good. I now know I have no further interest in reading Jung's works, so that's also cool, it definitely saved me time and disappointment.

However, I also had to put up with this, so I think the rating is perfectly warranted:

As an introverted thinking-intuitive type he had an extraverted feeling-sensation shadow.
Profile Image for Lukasz Pruski.
921 reviews111 followers
March 16, 2020
"'My life is the story of the self-realization of the unconscious.'"
(The first sentence of C.G. Jung's autobiography, quoted by A. Stevens)

About a month ago I allowed myself to make fun of the inanities produced by a certain Dr. Freud, who projected his own sexual complexes and hang-ups onto the entire mankind and, even worse, womankind. So I searched for a text about psychology that I could read without bewilderment at the vagaries of a supposedly scientific mind. Jung (1994) by Anthony Stevens has been a perfect antidote for the Freud-induced malaise. Similarly to Storr's Freud, it is a concise (about 130 pages) account of Carl Gustav Jung's life and his contributions to psychological sciences.

We read about Jung's solitary childhood and youth, his medical studies, and his decision to become a psychiatrist. Several years of close friendship with Freud, 19 years Jung's senior, end when Jung rejects Freud's assumptions of predominantly sexual origins of human motivation and the entirely personal nature of human unconscious mind. The concept of "collective unconscious" is Jung's most important contribution to psychology:
"Jung held it to be the business of the psychologist to investigate the collective unconscious and the functional units of which it is composed - the archetypes [...] Archetypes are 'identical psychic structures common to all' [...] which together constitute 'the archaic heritage of humanity.'"
These archetypes might be thought of as patterns of behavior common for all people. They exhibit a "fundamental duality": they are both psychic structures and neurological structures. The author emphasizes that many other disciplines have produced similar concepts: for example, Levi-Strauss's infrastructures in anthropology or Chomsky's deep structures in linguistics. Jacques Monod, the famous molecular biologist, stated a very similar conclusion:
"Everything comes from experience, yet not from actual experience, reiterated by each individual with each generation, but instead from experience accumulated by the entire ancestry of the species in the course of its evolution."
I find the chapter on archetypes by far the most interesting. It is also very well written - to the extent that such an ignoramus in the field as this reviewer seems to have understood it. I am very curious now how the concept of archetypes relates to the most recent knowledge in the field of genetics.

In the chapter The stages of life we read about the Self (the "psychic nucleus" of a person) and other components that play a role in psychic and social development of all of us: the ego, persona, shadow, anima, and animus. The next chapter, Psychological types presents Jung's psychological typology. He distinguishes four main functions: sensation, thinking, feeling, and intuition, and two attitudes: extraverted and introverted. This produces eight psychological types and the book presents them in detail. To me, it all borders on pop-psychology, particularly the examples of professions typically chosen by people of specific type. The author also seems to reserve full support for the typology.

The next chapter Dreams will certainly interest many readers; it is wasted on me as I have not been able to remember any dream in 20 years or so. Continuing on a personal note, I found the following statement (in one of the previous chapters) optimistic and uplifting:
"For Jung, ageing was not a process of inexorable decline but a time for the progressive refinement of what is essential."
Yay! I have just realized how refined I must be! In the chapter on Jung's methods of therapy the author clearly states that "the school of analysis that is carried in Jung's name is his chief legacy to our culture." We read how Jung's analytical method of therapy was based on an interaction of two equals, two real persons, the therapist and the patient. The author praises the "open-minded humanity of [Jung's] approach," and emphasizes that he remained "undogmatic to the end."

Jung is a concise yet good introduction to the life and work of Carl Gustav Jung. I am now interested in reading more about Jung's psychology.

Three-and-three-quarter stars.
Profile Image for Hamza.
9 reviews15 followers
April 25, 2021
Was an extremely fun read and managed to present jungs ideas as concisely and clearly as possible
Profile Image for Harold.
48 reviews21 followers
March 8, 2021
I should've just bought Jung's autobiography and read some wiki article as supplement but I didn't really think of that when I bought it at work.

It was alright it's just the final bit about Jung's supposed anti-semitism was so weird and tied to the end it just threw me off, the whole thing about trying to prove analytical psychology isn't rooted in fascism was similarly as weird, could the author not have written this elsewhere or was this discourse in 2001?

Honestly I think I prefer Freud academically (?) but Jung is really interesting for occult topics.
Profile Image for Malum.
2,222 reviews128 followers
August 19, 2020
A short biography followed by a great introduction to Jung. I understood more about Jung's ideas from this than I did from actually reading Jung's own works.
Profile Image for Harlan Vaughn.
Author 7 books32 followers
July 25, 2013
The sentences and phrases are so clear and easy to understand, which is a feat considering the density of the subject matter. The initial chapters about Jung's history were a little dry, but I was deeply curious about that part of his life, especially about his friendship slash "daddy complex" with Freud. It really gave a lot of insight to how his practice developed in his later life.

The "good stuff" here are the breakdowns of the complex psychological concepts. Anyone interested in psychology, mythology, or archetypes will be interested in these sections. They go on for a large chunk of the book and I was in heaven. As simple as the language is, I re-read a few sections to compare and contrast, as a lot of Jung's ideas are interwoven. The ideas about evolving archetypes as people age were particularly interesting.

All in all, a good read. Though it is "a very short introduction," it will still take some time to get through if you want to study it. I gave myself plenty of time for long pauses and reflection. Any book that warrants that is a good one.

Also, I just love Jung.
Profile Image for Ozan.
120 reviews1 follower
July 18, 2021
Daha önce Jung'un 4-5 kitabını okumuştum ve çeşitli derslerde kuramının bir kısmını öğrenmiştim. Ancak yine de yakın zamanda Jung'u derinlemesine incelemek gibi bir hedefim olduğundan ve Jung'a bir süredir uzak kaldığımdan onu bana derli toplu sunan bir kitap okumak istedim. Açıkçası bu kitapta aradığımı fazlasıyla buldum. Zihnim bu kitabı okurken Jung'la ilgili ısınma hareketleri yaptı sanki.

"A Very Short Introduction" serisinden okuduğum ilk kitaptı, umarım serinin diğer kitapları da bu kadar iyidir. En kısa sürede diğer kitaplara da göz atacağım.
Profile Image for Maan Kawas.
722 reviews57 followers
November 17, 2017
A excellent book about the sophisticated and complex ideas and tenets of Carl Jung's 'Analytical Psychology'. I enjoyed it but I need to read more about the archetypes, the individuation process, and active imagination. I recommend as a good start for beginners.
Profile Image for David.
783 reviews1 follower
April 11, 2018
4 stars on the “simple intro” scale. But this is a nice overview for sure. Answers a lot of the lazy critiques of Jung and persuasively sketches why his thinking still matters.
Profile Image for Michael A..
413 reviews73 followers
June 22, 2018

Scattered remarks:

Stevens says: "The specious idea that gender differences are due entirely to culture, and have nothing to do with biological or archetypal predispositions, still enjoys wide currency in our society, yet it rests on the discredited tabula rasa theory of human development and is at variance with the overwhelming mass of anthropological and scientific evidence." What evidence? He cites none. Also, does anti-essentialism necessarily entail tabula rasa?

Then he says: "Virtually everywhere, it appears that girls tend to be more nurturant and affiliative than boys ..... boys, on the other hand, are less interested in social interaction for its own sake and tend to prefer some form of physical activity..." I get that this is a 'very short introduction" but he doesnt give one example and makes the extremely broad, sweeping claim that virtually everywhere boys and girls conform to gender roles found within our culture today! strange. This is more a fault on Stevens than Jung, as Stevens doesn't really seem to make a distinction between sex or gender, thus leading to confused thinking.

Jung implicitly(?) reinforces the gender binary with his notions of "anima" (man) and "animus" (woman) and by extension endorses gender essentialism. What of this concept in intersexed people? Or hermaphrodites? Did Hercule Barbin primarily have anima or animus? He says both man and woman contains anima and animus. His idealist dimorphism to match the supposed clean-cut sexual dimorphism of humans is severely lacking.

Jung wrote “Individuation is an expression of that biological process …. by which every living thing becomes what it was destined to become from the beginning.” Stevens states that later Jung thought it took place in non-organic matter as well. On one hand Stevens writes as if individuation you have control over, and perhaps this Jung quote is taken out of context or he means something differently, but that quote to me heavily implies something you have little to no control over (“destined to become from the beginning”). Maybe there's some weird compatibilism going on here or he was just speaking ~*~enigmatically~*~ because he has a strong mysticism to his ideology.

Jung's psychological types are presented in this book like its some bad online personality test and Jung himself even admitted there's no “pure” type and we're all an amalgam. There's some justification given for it but it wasn't convincing. It's just a horoscope for smart people. To be fair Stevens says its oversimplified and Jung goes much more in depth, so perhaps its more convincing. But I don't find psychological typologies convincing in the first place.

There are some parts of Jung that do seem more likely to be true than others. I think the aspect of his concept of the collective unconscious that has the most merit is how certain myths from cultures seem very similar, and this is a result of humans have similar psychical structures. For example Stevens uses the “hero archetype” in myths is essentially symbolic for a coming-of-age....for men. Women are relegated to a passive role (he mentions Sleeping Beauty since heroes get “princesses” as rewards [symbolically a partner or spouse]....literally the most passive and dependent fictional princess I can think of) which continues the theme of Jung and Stevens on being awful with sex and gender.

The other parts of collective unconscious, like there's some shared unconscious that is passed down somehow (a two-million year old man is inside us) is too hard to accept unless you're spiritual and/or susceptible to deception, and it definitely seems Lemarckian-tinged and the “refutation” of this in the book is not convincing. His “archetype” idea is also really bad – apparently if people arrive at the same idea independently from across the world its part of the collective unconscious. Also synchronicity is bullshit. Boy there's a lot of dumb concepts to comment on here! He's essentially a mystico-idealist that touches way too close to being pure new age bullshit.

I agree with parts of Jungian dream analysis, I think he is more right than Freud about the meaning of dreams (i.e. they aren't predominantly sexual. They can be, but they are more broad than that). His idea of using dreams to help you now and in the future also seems more helpful than looking back in the past, but I feel like both Jungian and Freudian dream analysis has truth in it.

Jungian therapy seems more personable and human than Freudian therapy, which is nice. It's too bad a lot of the stuff grounding a Jungian paradigm seems incorrect to me. I guess I'm not surprised that a guy who spent 4 years in a psychotic state (with insight, so he was still cognizable) thought he was discovering some deep truth about the unconscious. Yeah, when I was psychotic I thought I was discovering deep truths too. Instead they're just delusions, and that's precisely what the bulk of Jungian imitates: that of a psychotic delusion. His bizarre interest in parapsychology doesn't help his credibility. Also his conception of mental illness being "a time for growth" and "creative" is really shitty and implies it'll just go away or something and you'll be all better. I'm pretty sure I'll have bipolar disorder for the rest of my life so how exactly am I growing and not suffering from this, unless you want to say "suffering is growth" but I would disagree and say suffering is a slow decaying of the mind.
Also he believed in alchemy. So....

The penultimate chapter is “Jung's Alleged Anti-Semitism”. Woo boy. However, I think what is revealing is a quote by Jung( quoted by Stevens): “Are we really to believe that a tribe which has wandered through history for several thousand years as “God's chosen people” was not put up to such an idea by some quite special psychological peculiarity? If no differences exist, how do we recognize Jews at all?” This was in the context of him saying, among other things, that his and Freud's approach deviated partly because Freud was Jewish and Jung was a Christian. This, to me, is open to the charges of an “inheritance of x-ness” where x is something contingent like religion or nation. It's probably related to his collective unconscious concept, but to me it seems like he's positing an psychological essentialist view. Also this is right after Stevens is talking about a paper he published in 1932 about how there were differences between Aryan and Jewish psychology. Ok, sure, maybe there were but he attributes it totally to an interior thing (its repeated often Jung is introspective....wow hes so deep) so he ignores the material conditions that lead to such differences in psychology. He uses the inner (psychological differences) to justify or explain the outer (conflict) (idealism) when its the other way around, the material conditions of a sociohistorical conjuncture (outer) explain and heavily influence the inner (psychology). This chapter is laughably bad and saying well Freud the same thing as Jung and sarcastically remarks “Well he can say it because he's a Jew”. Hmm, yeah probably? and Stevens concludes that people still call Jung a fascist/nazi/anti-semitic because they, deep down in their “shadow' (Jungian term) they have repressed fascism within them and project them onto Jung....so really it is you who are the racist if you think he had Nazi sympathies.

The last chapter is bad too and starts off with some offhand remark about “political correctness”. Wow. Whatever.

Overall, the book seemed good as an introduction to Jung because it's presented virtually uncritically (sometimes Stevens says Jung could have used a better term....I think thats as far as he goes in criticism) so you get an academic who is really into Jung so you get the most “positive' interpretation of him. However, it may have been better for me to get a critical introduction, if that exists.

As for his ideas, I feel like Jung has some interesting things to say but its grounded in esotericism and gnosticism. Perhaps the Post-Jungians (mentioned in the book by Stevens) strip this away or utilize it in a more satisfactory manner. Based off my limited knowledge of each I feel like Freud has more to offer as a theorist (though of course he was wrong, sometimes extremely, about things too) than Jung. But I feel he does express ideas that are very intriguing and could very well be true. I don't really like the writer too much though he exuded rightism.
Profile Image for Kent.
238 reviews6 followers
June 4, 2016
I love this. It has changed my life and worldview. I'm totally on board. I bought Memories, Dreams, Refelctions by Carl Jung and I look forward to the reading experience. Learning about Carl Jung and the theories of individuation and archetypes and spiritual wholeness has totally reawakened my spiritual life. It's a spirituality I can totally gel with. Jung was such a special guy. He kept popping up on my radar in other books and music and movies and I finally decided to find out why this man keeps blipping on my radar. It is the most successful and important scouting mission I have ever been on. I will never look at the world the same way again. I have been given life-changing perspectives on human growth and development. I look at everyone so differently now. I consider everyone's life story with a different slant. I feel like I understand so much more; I'm so much more passionate and forgiving. I think if we all understood these concepts a little bit better we might find it easier to get along, a little easier to feel empathy, or at least be more at peace with the world's disharmony. Shake hands with your shadow consciousness, celebrate everyone's process of individuation.

I have to wonder if we could help ourselves by making everyone read this, especially during an election year. Why hasn't Jung's work proliferated more?? I can't see how everyone can be aware of Freud and not Jung. Freud seems like a simple, bully, insecure dick. Jung seems like an authentic wizard, or as MGMT refers to him, the "Mystic Referee."

I recommend everyone take a peek at Carl Jung. He's the real deal.
Profile Image for Dominika.
6 reviews
September 7, 2020
This book provided me of new insights in psychiatry and in a different point of view of how to treat patients with psychiatric disorders. The most important information which I will remember for my own specialization will be Jung's idea that psychiatric diseases should not be seen as something negative, but as an opportunity for personal development.
273 reviews17 followers
July 10, 2014
This is an excellent introduction to Jung's work and makes his project as a whole much more clear. Before reading this text, I wasn't much interested in what he was doing and saw it as very much nonsense--as that was the impression I'd been given by my academic mentors and teachers; however, this couldn't be more incorrect. Not only does he make much sense out of the problems of Freud (e.g. everything cannot be reduced to sex; complexes are created out of societal notions/archetypes; the analyst needs to be on equal footing with the patient and help them to feel whole; analysts need to deal with their own b.s.; people aren't broken, just not working in their own best interest; etc.), but he explores territories that are dangerous for an academic to study (e.g. alchemy and the occult), which make his work have something not found within academic psychology, a discipline so fixated on being "scientific", that they ignore the thousands of years of heritage we have in psychological matters in the guise of "truth" through novelty and blindly theorizing. All-in-all, Jung makes way more sense than Freud does.
Profile Image for Maan.
21 reviews20 followers
June 6, 2021
I have read the oxford short series. Some short books! This is my most favourite so far!

Anthony is biased! Pure biased! He’s taking full blown side of his idol, inspiration and psychological mentor. And this is the sole reason he’s been able to write such a great, interesting and exciting introduction to a profound psychologist.

Its a shame that The West has only just started giving praise to psychology in last century and such huge figures are being underrated.

Consider Jung to psychology in what Kierkegaard is to philosophy! Unusual, eccentric, individualistic figure.

I was here for starting reading on Jung but i think i will start reading Anthony’s work more interestingly as well!

Overall, i wish if not all humans, but had Jung alone was able to live thousand years, he would have lived until his death.
Profile Image for Sherif Nagib.
91 reviews370 followers
June 10, 2016
مشكلة كارل يونج الكبرى (اللي هو نفسه كان معترف بيها) إن كتاباته ضخمة جداً وصعبة، وماينفعش الواحد يدخل عليها بنفسه مباشرة. ومن الأفضل إن الواحد يتقرب لها بالقراءة عنها وعنه من ناس درسته وفهمته. الكتاب جيد جداً في محاولة تلخيص حياة وعلم كارل يونج، بالطبع لا يمكن اتهام كتاب عنوانه "مقدمة قصيرة" بالاختزال أو الكروَتة. كان لازم يكروت ويجيب من الآخر. بس مشكلتي إنه ضيع فصل كامل في الدفاع عن اتهام كارل يونج بمعاداة السامية. وكان أفضل لو خصص الصفحات دي لحاجات تانية مهمة عدى عليها بسرعة قوي.

على صعيد آخر، أنا مبهور بكارل يونج ومدرسته على مستويين، المستوى الأول شخصي بحت، لأنه حطني على بداية رحلة ذاتية طويلة المدى. والمستوى التاني بالأثر اللي تركه علمه على صنعة الكتابة والحكي تحديداً، من خلال دراساته في الميثولوجيا والأديان، واللي مررها لنا بشكل أبسط "جوزيف كامبل" من خلال نموذج "رحلة البطل" اللي بقت من بعدها إحدى اسطمبات كتابة الأفلام الشهيرة.

الخلاصة: الكتاب حلو ومدخل جيد لكارل يونج في ظني المتواضع، وشجعني على قراءة المزيد من سلسلة "المقدمات القصيرة".
Profile Image for Daniel Wright.
606 reviews74 followers
September 8, 2017
Defensive and insufficiently critical.

Chapter 1: The man and his Psychology
Chapter 2: Archetypes and the collective unconscious
Chapter 3: The stages of life
Chapter 4: Psychological types
Chapter 5: Dreams
Chapter 6: Therapy
Chapter 7: Jung's alleged anti-Semitism
Chapter 8: The summing-up
Profile Image for Stuart Macalpine.
236 reviews12 followers
March 28, 2021
One evening when I was around 14 a teacher invited a group of students to his family home at a rural boarding school, to talk about Jung. Since that conversation, Jung has always been a presence in my life, a call from somewhere just beyond the known. This very small but thoughtful summary, was lovely to revisit both his ideas and some autobiographical background which was new to me - such as the rumour his grandfather was an illegitimate child of Goethe, or his childhood relationships.

What stuck me most on this re-reading, was that in the Industrial period age is associated with declining productivity, as the person is seen only as their ‘production value’. But in the pre-industrial period, and in a more enlightened and humane one, the wisdom and social capital of age makes it a journey to be welcomed. A stepping into new roles, and a fullness of individuation - hopefully a modest release from the ego and into something larger and more expansive - kinder and more thoughtful. I am not suggesting this is a given - I have experienced those whose need for ego recognition deafens them to the verdant world around them, and it is frankly frightening to me that such a fate could befall someone - but that almost certainly comes from not understanding the nature of the journey ahead. I feel that Jung opens up the gate onto another garden, mindful and loving of the ‘joys when we were girls and boys, and in our youth time seen on the echoing green’, but embracing something deep, lasting and resourceful. It is a journey ahead I look forward to.
Profile Image for M. Ashraf.
1,855 reviews124 followers
November 23, 2017
This is a very good VSI, one of the best of the series so far, it conveyed Carl Jung his life, works, accomplishments and why he is shunned.
Though it started in a weird situations in his early life it progressed quit good with his first work with Eugen Bueler and later with Sigmund Freud and the rift between them. His relationship with his wife and mistress. His concepts of Individualism and the Self, ego, shadow which I find very interesting! the parts about alchemy were :/ and the anti-Semitism chapter was also interesting.
Again I liked the organization of the book, how it started and ended, of course further reading is required but I think it did its job well and it was a very good introduction to Jung and one of the best books in the series so far.

As time passed, Jung’s differences with Freud became harder to conceal. Two of Freud’s basic assumptions were unacceptable to him: that human motivation is exclusively sexual and that the unconscious mind is entirely personal and peculiar to the individual.

What distinguishes the Jungian approach to developmental psychology from virtually all others is the idea that even in old age we are growing toward realization of or full potential.
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