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Memories, Dreams, Reflections

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In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, C. G. Jung undertook the telling of his life story. At regular intervals he had conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffé, and collaborated with her in the preparation of the text based on these talks. On occasion, he was moved to write entire chapters of the book in his own hand, and he continued to work on the final stages of the manuscript until shortly before his death on June 6, 1961.

430 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1961

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About the author

C.G. Jung

1,020 books8,767 followers
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, literature, and related fields. He was a prolific writer, many of whose works were not published until after his death.

The central concept of analytical psychology is individuation—the psychological process of integrating the opposites, including the conscious with the unconscious, while still maintaining their relative autonomy. Jung considered individuation to be the central process of human development.

Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular psychometric instrument, has been developed from Jung's theory of psychological types.

Though he was a practising clinician and considered himself to be a scientist, much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas such as Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts. Jung's interest in philosophy and the occult led many to view him as a mystic, although his ambition was to be seen as a man of science. His influence on popular psychology, the "psychologization of religion", spirituality and the New Age movement has been immense.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,065 reviews
Profile Image for Rowena.
500 reviews2,466 followers
July 11, 2013
“The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me. Or, conversely, I myself am a question which is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise I am dependent upon the world’s answer.” – Carl Jung; Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

I know very little about psychology but it’s a subject I’m very interested in. A friend recommended Jung to me when I began writing down my dreams some months ago and started noticing some patterns.

I think this is a great introduction to Jung. Jung takes us through his psychic life from a child to an old man, and explains how his experiences, his dreams and interpretations of dreams shaped his life and brought him to self-realization. It also goes into his doomed friendship with Freud, his interest in symbology, and his travels (to India, Africa, New Mexico etc).

This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I loved Jung’s approach to psychiatry. His quest to understand the human psyche is nothing short of admirable, and it’s clear that so many have been helped by his work. His dedication into his research and understanding is remarkable.

Although Jung’s views on alchemy and religion were definitely a bit out there for me, I still respect him for articulating his beliefs in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

I recognized a lot of Jung’s thinking patterns in my own, and was quite surprised I wasn’t the only one who’d had those same thoughts. As Carl Jung put it, ““I was going about laden with thoughts of which I could speak to no one; they would have been misunderstood.” A lot of what Jung said greatly resonated with me and I wonder whether his Myer-Briggs typography was similar or the same as mine (INFJ).

This is a book I think everybody should read. Reading it has definitely enriched my life.

“I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum.”- Carl Jung
Profile Image for Jon.
36 reviews18 followers
March 2, 2008
I delved into this book, a Christmas present from a friend, to learn more about Jung's psychological concepts, namely the collective unconcious; the anima and animas; the shadow; mandalas; the Self. About twenty pages in, though, I amended my purpose. I sought not facts but an answer to this question: Should I, Jon Medders, let myself be more like C.G. Jung?

See, Jung's narrative demonstrates a way to live one's life that I have often suspected might work well for me: minimize one's tendencies toward rational thought and maximize one's reliance on rationality's opposite (intuition, hunches, coincidences, God, the unconcious). So, as I read Jung's repeated accounts of rushing into projects and life decisions based on dreams, visions, and other numinous experiences, including contact with ghosts, I realized that his willingness to engage "the unseen" was integral to his becoming the creative force he was.

I am still sorting through the answers to my question. I will say that anyone who thinks that reason or intellectual conception provides the only valid basis for action in this world should take a close look at Jung's life and work.
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,152 reviews1,690 followers
October 13, 2022

Gustav Klimt: Danae (1907-8).

L’impressione più consistente è che il titolo sia più che azzeccato: semplicemente perfetto.
Perché ricordi, sogni e riflessioni sono quello che la lettura mi ha suscitato.

Del libro ricordo pochino, della vita di Jung ancor meno.
Ma ricordo bene i miei primi anni di analisi, il lettino, le parole, i silenzi, le spremute d’occhi, la voce dell’analista, la luce fuori della finestra, che più spesso era luce buia, gli incontri erano quasi sempre serali.
I primi passi di quel percorso che si usa chiamare psicoterapia sono poggiati su ricordi e sogni. I ricordi andavano a go go. I sogni erano più distillati, ma non ne perdevo uno: dormivo col quaderno e la penna a portata di mano, mi svegliavo nel cuore della notte e annotavo, consapevole che al mattino sarebbe rimasta solo una nebbia, palpabile ma comunque imprecisa, sfocata.
Man mano, le sedute aumentano, passano gli anni, e i ricordi diminuiscono, e i sogni diminuiscono, e non occorre più scriverli, si racconta quello che resta, l’essenza.
Le riflessioni, invece, durano più a lungo, cominciano pressoché subito e accompagnano tutto il cammino. E vengono con noi anche quando ci chiudiamo dietro quella porta. Che, proprio grazie alla riflessione, rimane sempre aperta.

Gustav Klimt
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
November 17, 2020
Erinnerungen, Träume, Gedanken = Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C.G. Jung

Memories, Dreams, Reflections is a partially autobiographical book by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung and an associate, Aniela Jaffé. First published in German in 1962, an English translation appeared in 1963.

'A book of mine is always a matter of fate. There is something unpredictable about the process of writing, and I cannot prescribe for myself any predetermined course. Thus this "autobiography" is now taking a direction quite different from what I had imagined at the beginning. It has become a necessity for me to write down my early memories. If I neglect to do so for a single day, unpleasant physical symptoms immediately follow. As soon as I set to work they vanish and my head feels perfectly clear.'

عنوانها: «خ‍اطرات‌، روی‍اه‍ا، ان‍دی‍ش‍ه‌ه‍ا»؛ «زندگی‌نامه من: خاطرات، خواب‌ها و تفکرات»؛ نویسنده: ک‍ارل‌ گ‍وس‍ت‍او ی‍ون‍گ‌؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش سال 1992میلادی

عنوان: خ‍اطرات‌، روی‍اه‍ا، ان‍دی‍ش‍ه‌ه‍ا؛ نویسنده: ک‍ارل‌ گ‍وس‍ت‍او ی‍ون‍گ‌؛ مت‍رج‍م: پ‍روی‍ن‌ ف‍رام‍رزی؛ م‍ش‍ه‍د آستان قدس رضوی، معاونت فرهنگی‏‫، 1370؛ در 425ص؛ چاپ دوم 1371؛ چاپ سوم 1378؛ شابک 9646700365؛ چاپ چهارم م‍ش‍ه‍د آستان قدس رضوی، شرکت به نشر 1390؛ در 448ص؛ شابک 9789640216064؛ موضوع روان‌‌شناسان و نویسندگان سوئیس - سرگذشتنامه ک‍ارل‌ گ‍وس‍ت‍او ی‍ون‍گ‌، ‏‫1875م -‏ ‏1961میلادی - سده 20م

عنوان: زندگی‌نامه من: خاطرات، خواب‌ها و تفکرات؛ نویسنده: کارل گوستاویونگ؛ مترجم: بهروز ذکا؛ تهران کتاب پارسه، ‏‫‏‏1390؛ در 623ص؛ چاپ دوم 1392؛ شابک 9786005733150؛ چاپ سوم 1396؛

خوانشگران بیشمار آثار «یونگ»، در این کتاب، روند زندگی ایشان را، که از کودکانگی ایشان آغاز میشود، درمیابند؛ ایشان زندگی خویش، و چگونگی شکلگیری دیدگاههای خود را، در این کتاب بازگو میکنند.؛ این سبک روایت، فرایند شکلگیری اندیشه های «یونگ» را، به خوانشگران مینمایاند، انگار کنید این اثر، برای خوانش دیگر آثار ایشان، مقدمه ای به شمار میآید

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 26/08/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Maxwell Purrington.
9 reviews15 followers
May 22, 2011
Why Memories, Dreams and Reflections is meaningful for me.

I shall begin by telling you of an event that occurred to me at college but which had its genesis four years earlier and the subsequent consequences of which remain to be completely known.

One evening when I was 14 years old I went to bed much as I always had done. Sometime later after falling to sleep I awoke. To my astonishment at the foot of my bed and somewhat elevated into the air were two personages. An elderly man with the wrinkles in his face that bespoke of a life of both dignity and wisdom and alongside him an equally aged woman endowed with a face of gentle kindness. I took them to be husband and wife and decades later would come to name them Philemon and Bacchus.

Upon seeing them I was immediately struck with two emotions. On the one hand I was enraptured by their appearance and on the other hand I was terrified as in my 14 years of life to my knowledge I only knew of two types of people who had visions: Prophets and Madmen. I knew I was not a Prophet.

As I gazed upon them it occurred to me that what I was witnessing may in fact be a dream albeit a most vivid dream. I determined to establish the means of proving whether this was a dream of a waking vision. There was a crayon on my night stand. I slowly reached for the crayon hoping not to interrupt my “visitors.” Gripping the crayon I pressed it against the wall on the side of my bed rubbing it back and forth leaving a most distinguished marking. I figured that when I woke up the following morning that if the mark was not there that I had been dreaming. On the other hand if the mark was on the wall I would know I had had a waking vision and hopefully the marking would prove a stimulus to recalling the episode.

The mark was on my wall upon finally waking.

Jesus famously said that a Prophet is not recognized in his own home. Most assuredly I was not going to tell my family, relatives or friends of my vision fearing ridicule so I remained must as I sought the means of understanding what had happened.

Insofar as I knew that Prophets had visions I determined that I would read the Bible which I had never read before to seek some understanding. I found an old King James Version of the Bible and set about reading it from cover to cover. Every word was read from Genesis straight through Revelations.

This was an enlightening process however the Prophets seems to float above the common humanity within which I lived. Nonetheless I completed my reading of the Bible in about a year’s time and read it completely from cover to cover each successive year until my departure to College.

At College I enrolled as a History Major although I had no tangible plan to make use of History in my life. Briefly the move to college pressed the thought of my vision to the back of my mind. This would not last for long.

I had been attending classes for about six weeks when one day I was passing through the upstairs area above the cafeteria when I spotted a young man in the crowd of students. He was dressed in Army fatigues and I was struck with the undeniable premonition that he was on campus to commit a mass murder.

I fought against this sense and tried to fight against this idea as it seemed so irrational. I walked around outside of the campus for about an hour trying to shake off this premonition but without success. This presented me with a moral dilemma. If I ignored the premonition and a murder did occurred I would bear some responsibility and be an accomplice of sorts. Should I not ignore the premonition what was I to do? Who would listen to me much less believe me?

Suddenly the name of my History 101 professor came to mind. I had never spoken to him before except to ask a couple of questions in class but I sensed that perhaps I could share my premonition with him and perhaps he would know what to do.

So being around noon time I went to the downstairs cafeteria where I thought he might be having lunch with fellow faculty and staff members. The cafeteria area was packed with nary a seat to be found. Well, except for the one lone empty seat next to my professor.

Girding up my loins and with much trepidation I went and sat next to the professor. I introduced myself to him not certain that he would recall me from his History 101 class and proceeded to tell him of my premonition. Amazingly, I thought, without batting an eyelash he listened to my story and then asked me to go upstairs with him to point out the person who had struck me with such fear. I did.

Then the professor went to the Administration Building and spoke with someone in security as well as the University President.

I was not involved directly in what happened next but since the person in question had not actually done anything wrong yet not much of an official nature could be done but a background check was done and it was found that the person was returned from Vietnam and had a mental history.

The means were “set up” to establish a reason a few days later to enter the person’s apartment where there was a diary indicating the desire to commit a mass murder against students who were perceived to be against the war. Additionally photos taken of a civilian massacre in Vietnam were found and subsequently were used as the means of getting the person off campus and into a V.A. Hospital for mental treatment.

I was quite gratified that my premonition proved valid. This gave me solace.

I was also grateful to my professor because he did not publicize the event or in any way bring undo attention to me. As a matter of fact we never discussed the matter again.

This event brought back to the forefront the vision I had had four years earlier.

It struck me one morning that if I could tell my professor of the premonition that perhaps I could entrust him with the Vision and the fear that had accompanied it.

I went to his office and upon being invited in closed the door behind me and sat down and told him of my Vision. Upon completing my story my professor to told me to go to the library and check out a book entitled: Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

I had never heard of Carl Jung before and knew nothing of his work but went to the library and checked out Memories, Dreams and Reflections and went to find a quiet place to read it.

In the beginning of the book Dr. Jung writes of his childhood and as a youngster how he had had a Vision and how it terrified him and how he felt he could not tell his family or friends of it.

We bonded.

I did not know Dr. Jung but somehow he was more “human” to me that the prophets of the Old and New Testament. This would ultimately lead into a lifelong passion to comprehend the structure and dynamics of the psyche.
Profile Image for Suhaib.
236 reviews82 followers
July 9, 2018
"Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible. The loneliness began with the experiences of my early dreams, and reached its climax at the time I was working on the unconscious ... But loneliness is not necessarily inimical to companionship, for no one is more sensitive to companionship than the lonely man, and companionship thrives only when each individual remembers his individuality and does not identify himself with others."

This quotation sums up the spirits of Carl Jung's autobiography, in which restraint in expressing personal matters regarding his closest relationships is more than obvious. A complete bummer for people looking for action-driven and eventual narratives. Outward happenings are naturally compensated by a wonderful portrait of the inner world of Jung, from his earliest childhood dreams to his lonesome school days, student years, relationship with Freud, and finally, my favourite chapter, his encounter with the unconscious—the onslaught of fantasies he experienced in his twenties that ultimately led to his development of analytic psychology.

This book, all in all, keeps true to the title, focusing on inner phenomena rather than external events, as Jung tells us in the prologue.

The one complaint I have against Jung is that he only briefly mentions his wife and kids. I wish Emma had put in the effort in writing a memoir of her own to fill this gap, though I can't help but think that it too would probably have left so much unsaid about their family—she was an introvert as well.

Jung is more vocal when it comes to his mother and father, and, according to Aniela Jaffe, this is the only book in which he talks personally about Christianity.

Anyway, I loved this book for no better reason than seeing pieces of myself in it. Much of what Jung had experienced struck close to home for me.

Memories, Dreams, Reflections is a must-read for anyone interested in Jungian psychology. I think reading Man and His Symbols and then this book would make the perfect introduction into the field.
Profile Image for Gorkem.
140 reviews93 followers
January 17, 2018
Jung, benim hayatımda ve algı dünyamda çok etkili olmuş biri. Kendisinin, spirituel algısı ve insanın ele alışı aynı zamanda hem bir performanscı olarak müziksel algımda hem de eğitimci olarak çocuklar ve gençleri nasıl bir ayna olabileceğim konusunda hep yönlendirici olmuştur.

Anılar, Düşler ve Düşünceleri için söyleyebileceğim tek şey kendi anılarınıza ve düşleriniza ayna tutacak bir yol gösterici, hem de Jung'u daha yakından tanımak için en iyi kitaplardan biri.

İyi okumalar!
Profile Image for Chrissie.
2,737 reviews1,469 followers
June 12, 2017
This book is not an autobiography in the normal sense. We are given little information about family details. We are told in one sentence, "I have a wife and five children." That's about it for family details. At the end of the book are four appendixes, two of which are letters written to his wife when he was traveling in the US and then later in Africa. These letters are in fact special; they showed me the ordinary man, not the man espousing his theories. They were delightfully creative and well written, but there are only a few and they are short. This book is instead about Carl Gustav Jung's (1875 - 1961) theories, his philosophy and how it developed.

At the age of 81 he agreed, to sit down one afternoon every week to talk with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffé. This book is the result of their collaboration. It was decided that he would write a few chapters about his youth, he felt an inner need to do this, but otherwise the book is based on their conversations which she recorded and edited. A chapter entitled Later Thoughts concludes the book. Both this and the chapters on his youth have a different feel and I bet both were written by him. They are more abstruse. These were the hardest to comprehend, particularly in those parts where he speaks of religion. Nevertheless, having read the book, I do now have a better understanding of his philosophy.

The book is very much an expression of Jung's views. He is telling us how he thinks. There is no debate. Jaffé does not critically analyze or counter with opposing views. We hear neither her questions nor her thoughts.

The book could have been tightened and at times better organized. Sometimes it is extremely wordy. Jung tells us that he disagreed with Freud's emphasis on sexuality. Then later in the book we are old that Freud came to modify his view. How his view changed is not clarified, and this could have been mentioned the first time around.

In the latter half of the book Jung travels to Africa and India and Italy. Some other places too. He states he wants to look at Europeans and himself from a different cultural perspective. He wants to look in from the outside. Here we go deeper into his views on myths and culture. Definitely interesting, but I cannot say I would necessarily draw the same conclusions. This doesn’t really matter though; this is a book about his views, certainly not mine. Except maybe his reasoning hasn’t properly been made clear; this could be classified as a weakness of the book.

Dreams....dreams. He tells us of a zillion dreams and what they mean. These dreams are extremely detailed. Let me just state that his ability to recall such details pushes credibility. I had trouble accepting some of the conclusions drawn. On several occasions he explained dreams after time had passed and after other important events had occurred, claiming the dreams foresaw future events. That is explaining after you have the facts, and I don’t buy such reasoning. There is no proof in this.

At points the mystical and paranormal theories espoused pushed credibility for me.

Jung does not consider this book to be one of the set defining his philosophy. We are quite often referred to those books instead.

The audiobook narration by James Cameron Stewart was absolutely excellent. It could not in any way have been improved. Simple to follow. All of the words are clear, and the speed with which it is read gives you time to think. You need time to think when you read this book! Jung uses lots of terms that you have to get glued into your head if you are to follow his thought processes.

I am glad I read the book. I see it as a primer on Jung’s philosophy much more than a biography / autobiography of his life.
Profile Image for Nikos Tsentemeidis.
405 reviews206 followers
March 17, 2020
Από αυτά τα βιβλία που σου ανοίγουν νέους ορίζοντες στη σκέψη.

«Η επαφή με το κακό κρύβει τον θανάσιμο κίνδυνο της υποταγής σε αυτό. Επομένως, πρέπει να πάψουμε να υποκύπτουμε σε οτιδήποτε, ακόμα και στο καλό. Το λεγόμενο καλό στο οποίο υποτασσόμεθα χάνει τον ηθικό του χαρακτήρα. Όχι ότι υπάρχει τίποτα κακό σε αυτό, αλλά η υποταγή αυτή καθ’ αυτήν εκτρέφει ανωμαλίες. Κάθε μορφή εθισμού είναι κακή, άσχετα αν ο ναρκωτικός παράγοντας είναι το αλκοόλ, η μορφίνη ή ο ιδεαλισμός. Και πρέπει να προσέχουμε να μη θεωρούμε το καλό και το κακό ως απόλυτα αντίθετα, διότι το κριτήριο της ηθικής δράσης δεν μπορεί να στηρίζεται στην απλοϊκή άποψη ότι το καλό έχει πίσω του τη δύναμη της επιτακτικής αναγκαιότητας, ενώ το λεγόμενο κακό πρέπει να αποφεύγεται πάσης θυσία.»

Δεν έχω συναντήσει ποτέ αντίστοιχη επιμέλεια και ποιότητα έκδοσης. Ούτε σε ξενόγλωσσους εκδοτικούς.
Profile Image for Ann M.
346 reviews
January 3, 2008
This is an amazing book, from a truly amazing man. Some of the concepts that we toss around that came from Jung:

* The concept of introversion vs. extroversion
* The concept of the complex
* Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was inspired by Jung's psychological types theory.
* Socionics, similar to MBTI, is also based on Jung's psychological types.
* Archetype concept, as an element of the archaic common substratum of the mind, or Collective Unconscious mind.
* Synchronicity idea, as an alternative to the Causality Principle, that has influence even on modern physicists.

Memories Dreams Reflections tells a lot about how he came to some of these discoveries, his inspiration and how he nurtured it (e.g., active imagination, what some term a shamanic process). He was truly unafraid, in a repressive time, to use whatever systems and methods, western or eastern, that would help.
Profile Image for Corinne.
68 reviews185 followers
September 14, 2015
A lucid and precise book, that is also easy to read. These points touched me the most:

That Jung gives his internal experiences a much higher value than his external experiences. I wonder how long it took him to do that.

That he could continue treating people without fear, even after his life was threatened so many times by crazy patients. I used to think this was a modern disease, but hell no!

The difficulties Jung faced with Freud, and the courage he required to break away from him, yet not criticize nor undermine him. It taught me a valuable lesson.

The part that absorbed me the most was his notion of the collective conscious & unconscious, which are formed through generations, and guide our instincts and logic. It’s really great how he used the mythology from different cultures to prove this.

His trip to India, and how he used Yoga to sustain his work, and his scientific understanding of the spirituality from the East. It opened my eyes really.
Profile Image for Nathanimal.
160 reviews99 followers
May 13, 2010
I love Jung. I love him so much I bought the t-shirt. Seriously, for my birthday I got a t-shirt with Jung's big white face on it, and I wear it all the time. He looks pretty serious. I want people to know that Jung is watching them, so behave.

Sometimes I wonder, Am I a Jungian? Not really. But I could be. Everytime I read Jung I feel a greater part of myself converted. I do have a compulsive interest in dreams. Murakami's short stories do strike a chord with me. As skeptical as I am about everything I have to admit that in my heart I'm monk who yearns for a religion.

I love Jung because:

His psycho-gospel is a path of intense personal spirituality. It's an attitude of searching for and claiming a truth peculiar to oneself. It's a cry against the materialism of super-rational modernism. Meaninglessness, he says, is a mental illness. The alternative is a milieu of your own images and symbols and intuitive experiences, that while deeply subjective, serves to make the world a bigger place. Now how could an aspiring writer like me not sign up for that? The individuation process is basically what a novel does.

The seriousness of his play. When Jung got stuck he drew mandalas and built sandcastles. He approached these playful activities with all seriousness of thought. I admire anyone who "works out his own salvation with fear and trembling" by playing games, by trying on costumes, by making up stories.

He considered himself a man of science. I have to laugh at that sometimes. Like when he says things such as, "Astrology is in the process of becoming a science," I have to wonder how scientific his science is. And yet he did shed his dogmas and he did seek to observe the psyche with all objectivity. His psycho-gospel was born from those conclusions. And he was most certainly willing to sacrifice to the gods he discovered behind the curtain. When I think of that, all the rigor he applied the texts of dreams and fairy tales and alchemy and gnosticism and crazy-talk, it occurs to me that he may very well have dedicated his entire life to nonsense; and yet something inside me, rather than being turned off by that, says RIGHT ON!


This is a great book. He loses me at times — he always does — but even when I don't find his conclusions compelling, he, as a character, always compels me. I loved learning that he was a creepy child. I loved the first-hand account of his falling out with Freud. The prologue exudes a wisdom that I can't put a finger on and might function better as an epilogue. It presents, I think, a man reposed in a world of his own making. His world is huge and so he's free to move around it as he pleases. It's well lit too, so he's warm and sure footed and is able to see far ahead.

Profile Image for Marius.
234 reviews
June 20, 2020
O carte absolut fascinantă aparținând unei personalități la fel de fascinante. A stârnit atât interes încât, în paralel, am citit studii și articole pentru a afla cât mai multe despre gândirea jungiană.

Nu știu unde am greșit în formarea personală, fapt este că am citit, cu râvnă, toată opera lui Freud și absolut nimic de Jung. Consider asta un mare minus în dezvoltarea spirituală, o eroare de apreciere din perioada adolescenței.

Jung este mult mai apropiat ființei mele și tot ce scrie zgândărește ape adânci și "mă face la psihic" - cum se zice în cartier. De asta încă amân să citesc Cartea Roșie. N-am instruirea necesară pentru a întreprinde călătorii abisale darămite să găsesc și calea înapoi. Uite ce a pățit Nietzsche care era geniu.

Simplificând la maxim, la Freud complexul lui Oedip se află în centrul teoriilor sale: băiatul vrea să-l ucidă pe tac'su ca să trăiască cu mă-sa. De aici se iscă un conflict între conștient și inconștient de unde răsar tot neamu de psihoze și nebunii.
Dar la Jung, esența învățăturile sale este căutarea Sinelui. Astfel se ajunge la înțelepciune și la calm. Devii una cu tine, un întreg (sună ca la seminariile new age ale lui Eckhart Tolle). Păi asta e și ideea tuturor religiilor. Chiar și la ortodocși am citit despre mintea rațională și mintea noetică. La ortodocși atingi iluminarea dacă repeți o mantră (rugăciunea lui Isus). Astfel mintea rațională (conștiința) se coboară în inimă (inconștient) pentru a-l cunoaște pe Dumnezeu (Sinele?). La Jung te duci la plimbare cu niște arhetipuri, de exemplu cu Anima ta care e ambivalentă, ba te ajută, ba te rătăcește pe drumul către Sine. Dar nu-i problemă, în această "imaginație activă" inconștientul trimite și alte reprezentații arhetipale precum bătrânul cu barbă albă. În concluzie, iată ce fascinantă este psihologia lui Jung. Realizez că am simplificat atât de mult încât acest fragment poate părea ridicol :)

Ca fapt divers, când am aflat că Hermann Hesse a fost tratat de un elev al lui Jung mi-am tras una peste frunte: am priceput care e treaba cu visul/halucinația de la sfârșitul romanului Lupul de stepă.

Tot ca fapt divers, și fiica lui James Joyce, Lucia, a fost tratată de schizofrenie de însuși Jung dar fără mare succes. O istorie interesantă de cercetat. Am petrecut multe ore online cotrobăind prin articole și poze.
Profile Image for T.D. Whittle.
Author 3 books190 followers
July 12, 2019
I love this memoir because it is so deeply personal. I don't fully accept Jung's world view but I've always admired him and appreciated his brilliant mind. These stories of his life and work are so rich and interesting. Unfortunately for him, Jung was often dismissed as a mere mystic by his peers which is professional death for a serious scientist ... And yet, I think it would be hard to come away from this memoir without thinking of him as a mystic and visionary. But I think no less of him for that. In fact, I admire his courage and honesty in sharing his ideas and so much personal information about himself. It's a rare quality in psychiatrists even now, let alone in his era.
Profile Image for Philippe.
619 reviews507 followers
January 10, 2022
As I am discovering more of Carl Jung, my respect for this intellectual giant keeps growing. Anthony Stevens’ compact introduction to Jung’s work was an excellent curtain raiser. This book, Jung’s (quasi-)autobiography, was an ideal follow-up.

According to scientific standards it almost goes without saying that someone who writes about life after death and about UFOs should be dismissed as a crackpot. But that judgment vanishes when one learns about the disciplined and rational way in which Jung approaches these subjects.

His take on the ‘hereafter’, for instance, goes as follows. Jung starts with the observation that nowadays the mythic side of man is given short shrift. He can no longer create fables. “As a result, a great deal escapes him; for it is important and salutory to speak also of incomprehensible things. (…) We are strictly limited by our innate structure and therefore bound by our whole being and thinking to this world of ours. Mythic man, to be sure, demands a ‘going beyond all that,’ but scientific man cannot permit this. To the intellect, all mythologising is futile speculation. To the emotions, however, it is a healing and valid activity; it gives a existence a glamour which we would not like to do without. Nor is there any good reason why we should. (…) A man should be able to say he has done his best to form a conception of life after death, or to create some image of it - even if he must confess his failure. Not to have done so is a vital loss. For the question that is posed to him is the age-old heritage of humanity: an archetype, rich in secret life, which seeks to add itself to our own individual life in order to make it whole. Reason sets the boundaries far to narrowly for us.”

This way of thinking is exemplary for Jung, and I find it truly empowering. Jung’s whole life work was devoted to bringing to light and tapping into repressed potential. The process of individuation invites us to go beyond the bounds of reason, to establish a connection with the mysterious realm of the unconscious and to connect with our guilt-laden shadow persona. We would do well to embrace this disposition also as a planetary society because our collective neuroses are leading us inexorably into catastrophe.

Jung’s accomplishment was huge. He developed a highly idiosyncratic but compelling theory and a powerful therapeutic practice. In this book he narrates how these insights emerged from seminal childhood dreams and visions. Seen from a wider historical perspective, Jung saw his work as a continuation of long tradition of inquiry into matters of mind and spirit, connecting late Antiquity Gnostics to medieval alchemists. All this unfolded in persistent friction with a rationalist Zeitgeist.

The book traces the full arc of his life and intellectual development. While much in the later chapters was edited by his secretary Aniela Jaffé, the voice throughout feels unmistakibly Jung’s. The prose is refreshingly straightforward and clear, even when it deals with matters far beyond the conscious intellect.

The concluding ‘Retrospect’ offers one of the most perplexing sections in this book. It’s a monumental and very moving assessment of Jung’s ultimate place in life. The modesty and honesty are sobering and unique. There is not the slightest impulse to ingratiate himself with his readers. The lines bristle with competing emotions: “I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum. I am incapable of determining ultimate worth or worthlessness. I have no judgment about myself and my life. There is nothing I am quite sure about (…) The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things.”

The discovery of Jung’s thought has been for me a mind-bending experience.
Profile Image for ZaRi.
2,322 reviews766 followers
June 6, 2016
وقتی انسان راه تفرد را دنبال می کند، وقتی زندگی خودش را زندگی می کند، باید خطاها را پبذیرد، زیرا زندگی بدون این اشتباهات کامل نمی شود و یا حتی برای یک لحظه تضمینی نیست که گرفتار خطا نشویم. شاید بیندیشیم راه امنی نیز وجود دارد، اما آن راه، راه مرگ خواهد بود: آنگاه دیگر چیزی رخ نخواهد داد، یعنی لااقل چیزهای درست. آن کس که راه مطمئن در پیش می گیرد با مرده فرقی ندارد...!

Profile Image for Deea.
308 reviews87 followers
July 19, 2018
(You can find the better looking version of this review on my blog: http://elephantsonclouds.blogspot.com...)

Mystics, Gnostics, alchemists, Buddhists, Taoists, philosophers and many others were preoccupied with understanding the mind better. Jung studied all of them by himself, read anything that he could put his hands on about myths, ancient religions, behavior of the primitives. He also studied and interpreted his own dreams, taking into account symbols discovered in all the books he read, his visions, his memories, his encounters with other cultures and his patients’ behavior and connected in his mind all the knowledge he could get (and believe me, it is pretty clear in this book that he was like a sponge for any knowledge of this kind) and reached mindblowing conclusions.

At the time when he became a psychiatrist, nobody really understood much how mental conditions could be treated and they were not even trying to find ways to help the patients. They were just diagnosing most people with mental conditions as suffering from schizophrenia and considered them freaks, putting them in secluded places so as to keep them from harming themselves or others. Jung regarded his work as a psychiatrist as a challenge, as a way to better understand himself and mind in general and he succeeded greatly at that, becoming a pioneer in treating these conditions through psychoanalysis. Most of his theories are, even if some might not be regarded as entirely correct, really very interesting and intriguing and they are great food for thought. This book presents how he reached most of his conclusions and how they all presented to him in a way or another through dreams and visions. His continuous struggles and victories to decipher them displayed vastly in this book made me realize how great and superior a mind he had.
His theories about the collective unconscious, about good and evil as being facets of a whole (pertaining to his theory about the shadows which is brilliant), of God arranging in his omniscience so that Adam and Eve would have to sin by having created the serpent before them and therefore placing in them the possibility of doing it (this echoed both Steinbeck’s view from East of Eden and Spinoza’s philosophy of the lack of will and of a God who sees the bigger picture in which bad is not really bad which I was happening to read in the morning – should I categorize this as synchronicity, a concept also defined by Jung?), all these helped me have a more comprehensive view of life and they also helped me understand myself better.
"Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away – an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains."
No, this is not a biography per se. So, if you expect it to be like one, you’ll be disappointed. Jung chiefly speaks here of inner experiences, being most certain that these and only these form the prima materia of his scientific work. He is sure that inner experiences also set their seal on the outward experiences that came his way and assumed importance for him in his youth or later on. He discovered that anxiety presented itself in dreams of objects that were now small, now suffocatingly large (God, I’ve wondered so many times why, when I closed my eyes sometimes, I had this very disturbing image in my head). He discovered the basis for his theory of persona (the mask that we are wearing when interacting with others) when he was in primary school, he became conscious of the concept of ego in himself at some point when he was seized with rage that someone had dared to insult him.

Most of what he said seemed somehow familiar to me. I have, sometimes in the past, in one moment or another, felt the way he had felt and I was not able to reach a conclusion or put the feeling into words as well as he did. Like the passage below, for instance:
"I knew so little about myself, and the little was so contradictory that I could not with a good conscience reject any accusations. As a matter of fact I always had a guilty conscience and was aware of both actual and potential faults. For that reason I was particularly sensitive to reproofs, since all of them more or less struck home. Although I had not in reality done what I was accused of, I felt that I might have done it. I would even draw up a list of alibis in case I should be accused of something. I felt positively relieved when I had actually done something wrong. Then, at least I knew what my guilty conscience was for. Naturally I compensated my inner insecurity by an outward show of security, or – to put it better – the defect compensated itself without the intervention of my will."
The dream that he had which made him realize what consciousness really means in our human psyche is most interesting and I choose to add it here below. I will however add this as a spoiler (and the rest of the review as well) as I feel that I cannot summarize the richness of his ideas in a short text and this review will become way too long if I do not do this. It is up to you if you choose to read on or not.
Profile Image for Sherah.
22 reviews17 followers
February 19, 2011
I really, really, really, really, really enjoyed the first part of this book. I developed a strong crush on Dr. Jung due to his extreme sensitivity, reflection, and openmindedness displayed naturally from a very young age. We often fall for those who've been through the same fundamental inner experiences; I related so hard to his battle with religious doubt as a pre-teen and teenager. I highlighted so much of the section of this book in which he explains his thoughts about God, as I'd had the same thoughts growing up in a religious home. Additionally, I was an "outsider" type as a child, an experience he documents as part of his own childhood pain. The integrity with which he approaches his personal belief system as a child impressed me, and he took that quality with him through the rest of his life, pursuing all of his interests with such analysis and then adding intuition on top of it, to enhance this already-solid eye. An amazing man.

I was into this book up through the parts where he described some patients, establishing himself as a psychiatrist, having fallouts with Freud. Once he started going into his visions (not just dreams--visions!), he started to lose me. I haven't read any of his other works yet, so I don't know how "ready" I am to "get" the symbolism he seems to see in his subconscious expressions. It was at least interesting for a while, but then I started finding the analyses to be tedious, far-fetched, and even anxiety-provoking. Perhaps my own subconscious is being repressed and is fighting back against being seen!?!?! Ha. Who knows. I sure don't, and I'm too much of a psych-n00b to really get why.

I started keeping a dream log as a result of this reading. I had originally decided to read this book because I wanted to have more insight into my dreams, but I didn't realize what I was in for. Maybe after reading more accessible works I'll be able to return to Jung's self-analytics and appreciate them more. For now, ignorance colors it hokey and far-fetched. At least I'm keeping tabs on my dreams for future reference.

Some quotes of note:
"I was concerned with investigating truth, not with questions of personal prestige."

"...it sometimes happens to the best analyst that he is unable to unlock the riddle of a dream."

"The collective unconscious is common to all; it is the foundation of what the ancients called the 'sympathy of all things'."

"The kernel of all jealousy is lack of love."

"Dreams are, after all, compensations for the conscious attitude."
Profile Image for Virginia Cornelia.
182 reviews93 followers
April 26, 2022
Amintirile, visele si reflectiile lui Jung (colectate sub forma unor conversatii ulterior transcrise de fosta lui asistenta) acopera viata acestuia, din primii ani, pana aproape de moarte.
Împărțite in capitole, copilaria, adolescenta , universitatea, capata ulterior limite mai putin precise .
Mi a placut si nu mi a placut.
Prima jumatate a cartii, prima jumatate a vietii , pana spre 40 de ani mi s a parut extrem de interesanta.
Intamplarile, reactiile la ce vine din afara si analiza lor minutioasa m au intrigat si poate, sper eu , am si invatat ceva de acolo.
Un moment important al vietii lui -explorarea inconstientului propriu dureaza cativa ani, timp in care Jung este foarte retras, deseneaza, sculpteaza, noteaza vise.
Consecutiv acelei perioade iau nastere conceptele moderne de arhetip , anima si animus, inconstient colectiv, notiuni care vor ajuta indirect (prin ajutorul psihologilor profesionisti ; exista oare psihologi care sa il fi citit integral si inteles macar partial?) oamenii sa aiba o viata mai buna. Aportul cultural, stiintific si medical adus de Jung este incontestabil.
Totusi, ce m a frapat , la sfarsitul acelui capitol a fost marturia lui Jung.
Afundant in abisul propriului inconstient , povesteste ca ar fi luat calea lui Nietzsche sau a altora care au avut un sfarsit tragic si prematur, daca nu ar fi avut pe pamantul si in realitatea aceastei lumi ancora ferma a propriei familii -sotia si copiii lui l au "extras" din "ghearele nebuniei".
Este periculos , fascinant, misterios psihicul uman, asa-i ?

A doua jumatate a cartii/ vietii -calatoriile prin lume, interesul pentru alchimie si diverse fenomene oculte mi s a parut cel putin bizara Ce am gasit bizar a fost felul in care in calatorii, dar si mai tarziu, isi autointerpreta visele pe care si le amintește si descrie "en detail" .
Ulterior, intr o etapa a vietii mature, experientele parapsihologice, capacitatea declarata de a prevedea anumite intamplari si inca o data analiza viselor au facut aceasta "autobiografie" mai putin atragatoare pentru mine. Fara a nega faptul ca un vis poate avea o semnificatie, fara a nega , dar nici afirma capacitatea unor oameni de a avea experiente parapsihologice sau ca exista / nu exista UFO , recunosc ca aceste subiecte, cel putin in momentul cand scriu aceste randuri, nu prezinta interes pentru mine.
In schimb, renunțarea la religia locului unde intamplarea a facut sa se nasca si câștigarea in timp a propriei viziuni asupra eternitatii universului din care venim si catre care ne intoarcem , mi au placut si m au interesat.

Bref, cartea este o mica fereastra pe care Jung o deschide, pentru noi , catre interiorul lui. Fara sa atinga deloc subiectele sotie, copii, amante, exploreaza relatiile din copilarie si impactul lor asupra a ceea ce Jung a devenit.
Spune undeva in carte, ca multe ganduri proprii le a tinut pentru el. Nu a crezut ca poate fi inteles corect si pana la capat. Totodata celebra "carte rosie" desenele de o frumusete si simbolistica rara, a fost publicata de familia psihiatrului la 50 de ani de la moartea acestuia, si , cu toate ca a scris si publicat nenumarate carti si articole, multe sunt inca, la cererea lui, in paza familiei, departe de ochii curiosilor ca mine.
Adevarat, citind anumite lucruri in carte, ma gandeam este aici o minte tulburata. A mea sau a lui? Glumesc. Pur si simplu m am luptat sa nu pun etichete, dar iata, am pierdut acesta lupta. Geniile au momentele lor , in care pentru noi ,cei de rand, ar trece drept momente de nebunie curata.

O personalitate cu o sete nestavilita de cunoastere, un om de o vasta cultura , un creator si un vizionar, un scriitor prolific, si totodata un barbat longeviv si cu o mare pofta de viata.

Pentru o biografie a lui Jung, cautati in alta parte.
Pentru a ne face o idee despre cum a ajuns Jung sa gandeasca si sa scrie ceea ce a scris, este o lectura ideala.

"La urma urmei, omul este un eveniment care nu se judeca singur, ci cade prada judecatii altora-for better or worse".

Ce bucurie sa vezi omul si viata ca pe un eveniment!

Sau asa cum atat de frumos spunea Nichita, prin intermediul lui Nicu Alifantis:

"Ce bine ca ești, ce mirare ca sunt!"
Profile Image for Martha Love.
Author 4 books259 followers
December 22, 2015
If you only read one book that is written by Carl Jung, this is the book to read. It is the most understandable book he has written and one I enjoy reading over and over!

Jung wrote this book as more of a case study than as an autobiography, giving you a first hand understanding of his inner process. We do not usually get this kind of information from our great ones in psychology, rather we only get to read of their theories once formed and perhaps studies with their clients. But we rarely are privileged to the inner story like Jung reveals in this book, with the history and questions about self, along with his process of introspection and self-discovery that propelled his curiosity of the human condition and lead him to formulate his psychological theories about the individuation process.

Martha Love,
Author of What's Behind Your Belly Button? A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and Gut Instinct and
Increasing Intuitional Intelligence: How the Awareness of Instinctual Gut Feelings Fosters Human Learning, Intuition, and Longevity
Profile Image for James Curcio.
Author 14 books67 followers
July 18, 2010
If you read anything by Jung, read this book. This deals with his psychological theories in a much more personal way than his other work, and, as it is written in the twilight of his life, he has no fear of academic or personal reprisal. His analysis of Freud is particularly revealing- both damning and humanizing. It also gives a very powerful insight into the way that myths can be opened up for personal growth & analysis. Of course, if you want to get the most out of this book, it may help to have a book such as the Complete Works of Jung handy, so you can familiarize yourself with his terminology and the progress of his ideas.

On the other hand, if you get pissed off when "scholars" begin sentences with "I think..." or "I feel...", leave it be. You'll just hurt yourself. He's completely fine with subjectivity.

Read for the Immanence of Myth project www.modernmythology.net
Profile Image for Damla.
167 reviews49 followers
February 7, 2019
“Geçmiş ürkünç bir gerçektir ve varlığını s��rdürürken tatmin edici bir yanıt bulup canını kurtaramayan herkesi yakalar.”

Genelde okuduğumuz kitaplara kıyasla yer yer “yavaş ilerleyen” bir kitap olduğunu inkar edemeyeceğim. Ama sonuçta bu her şeyden önce “ruhun çok derin bir gerçek olduğuna inanan” bir adamın otobiyografisi, fazla aksiyon içermiyor.
Elimde olsa herkesin -kendileri için doğru zaman geldiğinde- bu kitabı okumasını sağlardım. Carl Jung psikoloji ve psikiyatri için varlığına şükredeceğimiz bir isim ve anılarını okumak benim için en az psikoloji ders kitabımız kadar faydalı oldu.

“Birey, bilincine varabilirse dünyanın yarısının ruhtan oluştuğunu anlar. Bu nedenle ruh bireysel bir sorun değil bir dünya sorunsalıdır ve bir psikiyatrist tüm dünyayla uğraşmak zorundadır.”
Profile Image for ساره.
37 reviews13 followers
June 14, 2020
اگر یونگ در زندگیتون موثر بوده و میخواین بدونین چطوری یونگ ش�� این کتاب کاملا آگاهتون میکنه.
برام دشواره با همه ی عقاید یونگ عزیز و به قول فروید موهوم پرستی ها و علاقه ش به علوم مرموز موافق باشم. حداقل الان نه. این نفرت عجیب یونگ از علم مداری و عقل گرایی فعلا برام غامضه. اما با همه ی اینها توی زندگی و خط فکری من و مسیر خودشناسیم راهنما و پیشروست. یونگ مثل هیچکس دیگه ای نبود و خودش این رو از کودکی میدونست و تنهایی رو به این صورت تعریف میکرد که "تنهایی از این نیست که آدم کسانی را در اطراف نداشته باشد از این است که آدم نتواند چیزهایی را منتقل کند که مهم می پندارد، از این است که آدم صاحب عقایدی باشد که برای دیگران پذیرفتنی نیست."
یونگ برای عقایدش کتابها خوند و سفرها کرد. با آدمهای زیادی همکلام شد و دائما در تکاپو و جست و جو و درون کاوی بود و این ها یونگ رو از خیلی افراد دیگه متمایز میکنه.
کتاب رو پیشنهاد میکنم که با ذهنی بازو حتما در کنار بقیه کتابهای یونگ بخونین.

Profile Image for Nick Craske.
120 reviews179 followers
August 18, 2020
Down the rabbit hole I went, upwards into the ethereal realm of the unconscious, looking sideways at the mirrored self, reflecting on the emerging patterns of reflections, dreams, memories, backwards turning forwards. Is it synchronicity or confirmation bias… I enjoyed the spirit and energy of this but as open minded as I am, as soon as Jung began insisting on the validity of clairvoyance he lost me as a reader and I closed the book.
Profile Image for Mack Hayden.
440 reviews18 followers
August 23, 2019
If this book shows us anything, it’s that Jung straddled the line between madman and mystic for his entire life. His life is peppered with paranormal occurrences, his mind responsible for some of the most beautiful theories of the human experience that could never be verified by much beyond intuition, and his dreams and visions place him in that uncomfortable category of people—is he a prophet or a schizophrenic? It can meander a bit, but it’s still a great time from start to finish.
Profile Image for Erik Graff.
5,006 reviews1,117 followers
December 25, 2012
Jung's autobiography was not really written by Jung. As the cover says, it was "recorded and edited by Aniela Jaffe" between 1957 and his death in 1961. She therefore deserves much credit for producing a readable narrative which is quite entertaining, though not to be completely trusted.

I reread the book and indexed it when taking a course on Jung with the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago during the first semester of 1982/83. Ironically, although the copy of the first edition I read had no index, a subsequent copy purchased did, so the work did not have its intended benefit.
Profile Image for Shrikanya.
24 reviews10 followers
May 15, 2021
Carl Jung had the same visions of his dead father just like I had. Hence, this book resonates with me. I wish I had read it earlier. There is also another essence that you have to travel in order to gain wisdom. You will have to expose yourself to new ideas. Thirdly, never be afraid to stand for what you believe in even if the entire world stands against you. We must remember that the creator has some plans for us and that is the best plan.
Profile Image for Andy McKenzie.
105 reviews21 followers
August 14, 2013
I went through love/hate cycles with the words, sentences, paragraphs, and themes in this book. There is much that is profound and that I found potentially useful, but there is also much that seems dangerously delusional.


1) Jung is an expert on the unconscious and that knowledge is on full display. The chapter "Confrontation with the Unconscious" is great on this. In particular, the sections near p 187 discuss how one should strive to differentiate oneself from one's unconscious contents by naming and personifying them, so as to better negotiate and vibe with them. Most mental operations are unconscious -- this much is now accepted neuropsyc wisdom -- so techniques to tap into and shape our unconscious processes deserve to percolate through our memeplexes even further.

2) To Jung, keeping secrets involves a trade-off: the downside is that they are isolating, but the upside is that they allow and incentivize individuals keeping them to grow. This idea is fascinating and is something I have not seen explored as in-depth elsewhere. Section II of the "Last Thoughts" chapter, which focuses on this and takes it to all of its logical conclusions, is insanely money.

3) At the end of the day, Jung was a successful clinician-scientist. As someone who aspires to straddle this divide as well, it is interesting to see how his path evolved. E.g., I empathized with his lamentation that during medical school he was "able to study Kant only on Sundays", as I too feel pressure to put more abstract pursuits on hold during M1 and M2. I also enjoyed his description of how he decided on psychiatry as a specialty once he read about "diseases of the personality" and realized that pursuing it would allow him to synthesize his various interests. Finally, I respected his decision to leave academia when he felt it was too stifling of his long-term creative autonomy. I don't want this paragraph to make it seem that I am comparing myself to him in any favorable way, since I have accomplished basically nothing, but this a major part of what I got out of the book, and an honest review demands that I acknowledge it.


1) In my view he downplays the effect of *randomness* on the events in his life. This starts in the first chapter when he interprets a childhood accident as indicating an unconscious suicidal urge (I wrote "lol what" in the margin), and continues throughout. The most salient example of this occurs in his first interaction with Freud, during which he heard a loud sound in a bookcase, interpreted it as a "catalytic exteriorization phenomenon", predicted that it would happen again, and then cheerfully reported that it did.

I have two explanations for why he might have viewed these random, independent events as actually related to one another: a) that this was a necessary occupational hazard of his amazing ability to make connections between disparate ideas in history and psychology, and b) more charitably, he knew that any given connection between ideas might be a bit ridiculous, but wanted to encourage a culture in which discussing narratives, myths, and personal missions that might not be completely true was more acceptable. Evidence for (b) is his example about how the Taos Pueblo Native Americans had so much more meaning in their lives because they believed that their rituals were literally responsible for keeping the sun up in the sky.

2) His descriptions of his clinical successes, as described throughout the book but in particular on p 143, are shockingly self-serving and non-transparent. He claims that 2/3 of his patients were at least considerably improved, and that of the 1/3 who were not improved, it was hard to tell because they may not have gotten better until many years later. Yes, but he doesn't mention that many patients may have gotten worse many years later and not told him; he likely doesn't mention this because of the insidious effects of confirmation bias. Data, data, data: there needed to be more of it.

3) It seems to me that the goal of life, for him, is as much inner peace and contentment as hunter gatherers might have ideally had, rather than better living through technology. This is fine for what it is worth -- as Kevin Kelly says in *What Technology Wants*, luddites have a point -- but he does not embrace or even discuss the trade-offs that such a worldview imposes and requires. Thus I was put-off by his constant harping about how things used to be better in earlier, pre-Enlightenment eras (e.g. on p 240), and this deeply tainted the way I think about his book and life.


On people who claim that children are innocent and cannot have interesting thoughts:

"Oh, these good, efficient, healthy-minded people, they always remind me of those optimistic tadpoles who bask in a puddle in the sun, in the shallowest of waters, crowding together and amiably wriggling their tails, totally unaware that the next morning the puddle will have dried up and left them stranded."

On the anxiolytic effects of nightly prayer:

"My nightly prayer did, of course, grant me a ritual protection since it concluded the day properly and just as properly ushered in night and sleep."

On the suffering inherent in the world (via Schopenhauer):

"Here at last was a philosopher who had the courage to see that all was not for the best in the fundamentals of the universe."

On what the word God meant to him:

"This expression, "God's world," may sound sentimental to some ears. For me it did not have this character at all. To "God's world" belonged everything superhuman--dazzling light, the darkness of the abyss, the cold impassivity of infinite space and time, and the uncanny grotesqueness of the irrational world of chance. "God," for me, was everything--and anything but "edifying.""

On the public's perception of new ideas:

"Hitherto I had encountered only the brick wall of traditional views, but now I came up against the steel of people's prejudice and their utter incapacity to admit unconventional possibilities."

On Freud's insensitivity:

"When Freud visited me in Zurich in 1909, I demonstrated the case of Babette to him. Afterward he said to me, "You know, Jung, what you have found out about this patient is certainly interesting. But how in the world were you able to bear spending hours and days with this phenomenally ugly female?""

On jealousy:

"It frequently happens that women who do not really love their husbands are jealous and destroy their friendships. They want the husband to belong entirely to them because they themselves do not belong to him. The kernel of all jealousy is lack of love."

Against celebrity:

"My patients brought me so close to the reality of human life that I could not help learning essential things from them. Encounters with people of so many different kinds and on so many different psychological levels have been for me incomparably more important than fragmentary conversations with celebrities. The finest and most significant conversations of my life were anonymous."

On objectivity:

"The pendulum of the mind oscillates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong."

On tolerance:

"Freud himself had a neurosis, no doubt diagnosable and one with highly troublesome symptoms, as I had discovered on our voyage to America. Of course he had taught me that everybody is somewhat neurotic, and that we must practice tolerance."

On the necessity of actually putting oneself "out there" with our words:

"There is a tremendous difference between intending to tell something and actually telling it."

On the trade-offs to fantasies:

"This is the fund of unconscious images which fatally confuse the mental patient. But it is also the matrix of a mythopoeic imagination which has vanished from our rational age."

On having something to protect:

"Particularly at this time, when I was working on the fantasies, I needed a point of support in "this world," and I may say that my family and my professional work were that to me. It was most essential to have a normal life in the real world as a counterpoise to that strange inner world. My family and my profession remained the base to which I could always return, assuring me that I was an actually existing, ordinary person. The unconscious contents could have driven me out of my wits. By my family, and the knowledge: I have a medical diploma from a Swiss university, I must help my patients, I have a wife and five children, I live at 228 Seestrasee in Kusnacht--these were actualities which made demands upon me and proved to me again and again that I really existed, that I was not a blank page whirling about in the winds of the spirit, like Nietzsche... For me, such irreality was the quintessence of horror, for I aimed, after all, at this world and this life. No matter how deeply absorbed or how blown about I was, I always knew that everything I was experiencing was ultimately directed at this real life of mine. I meant to meet its obligations and fulfill its meanings. My watchword was: Hic Rhodus, hic salta!["Here is Rhodes, jump here!"; meaning prove yourself here and now]."

On the bigotry of consciousness (towards unconsciousness):

"I was by no means free from the bigotry and hubris of consciousness which wants to believe that any halfway decent inspiration is due to one's own merit, whereas inferior reactions come merely by chance, or even derive from alien sources."

On summarizing his life:

"I am this bundle of what has been, and what has been accomplished."

On the evolution of consciousness:

"Consciousness is phylogenetically and ontogenetically a secondary phenomenon. It is time this obvious fact were grasped at last."

Random Notes

- if it seems like a patient should have a father complex, but does not seem to, Jung asks about the grandfather
- increasing meaning in life leads to decreased neurosis, in general, in Jung's conception
- he is anti-pure intellectuals, seems true and jives with the modern fusion of rationality as strictly subservient to one's emotions, goals, and values
- at their first meeting, Freud asked Jung to meet him at 1 pm in the afternoon, and they were up talking for 13 hours straight
- in Jung's telling, Freud was literally dogmatic about his sexual theory, and in Jung's interpretation, this was because Freud was worried about drifting into more mystical explanations for repressions
- seems like psychogenic fainting fits were much more common back in that era--is this true? If so, could it be explained by nutrition?
- he had one dream about a house in which deeper levels corresponded to different levels of consciousness, which was cool and reminded me of *Inception* (which was Jungian)
- respect Jung's intellectual honesty in breaking with Freud and being temporarily isolated from his intellectual peers as a result
- interesting how he started building castles with blocks as he did when he was 10 or 11 in order to deal with anxiety ("psychic disturbance") he was having, reminds me of Charlie Hoehn's idea to "play" (charliehoehn.com/2013/05/19/how-i-cur...‎)
- in order to interpret dreams in Jungian style, it seems that one must posses broad knowledge of myths. How convenient, then, that this is precisely what Jung possessed
- symbolism throughout history that Jung found interesting: Christianity, Merlin, the Holy Grail, Goethe's *Faust*, and alchemy
- the science of psychology has come a long way since his work, and at least in some part that should be credited to the excitement that he stirred about it

Spaced Repetition Flashcards

1) q: Biography: why couldn't Carl Jung learn math?

a: he had moral qualms with the idea that two things which were different from one another (e.g., a and b) could be set equal
> "whereas a = b seemed to me a downright lie or a fraud"

2) q: Throughout history, what have boys tended to draw pictures of?

a: battle scenes
> and pictures of fighters, warriors
> e.g., Carl Jung drew these as a child
> e.g., Russian child from Middle ages, Onfirm

3) Jung: the idea became fixed in my mind that I must live near a [...]; without [...], I thought, nobody could live at all.

lake ... water
> from Memories, Dreams, Reflections
> a la Sachs, "I think I belong in the water ... I think we all belong in the water"

4) q: What are the columns in Winer's version of Jung's association test?

a: word, reaction time (RT), response

> for RT, leave blank if the response is basically immediate, and count the # of seconds of pause if it seems more than immediate

5) q: q: "What are your dreams?"

a: "I have none". Response? (Jung)

a: "you will soon have some"
> "anyone else would have probably have dreamt that very night" (p 135)

6) define collective unconscious

ancestral patterns of memories, instincts, and experiences common to all mankind
> these patterns are inherited, may be arranged into archetypes, and are observable through their effects on dreams, behaviour

7) q: What was Jung's major difference from Freud w/r/t repression mechanisms during neurosis?

a: Jung thought that they were not necessarily sexual
> "I was familiar with numerous cases of neurosis in which the question of sexuality played a subordinate part, other factors standing in the foreground--for example, the problem of social adaptation, of oppression by tragic circumstance of life, prestige considerations, and so on"

8) q: Accd to Jung, what was Freud's greatest accomplishment w/r/t psychiatry?

a: taking neurotic patients seriously and entering into their peculiar individual psychology
> "he had the courage to let the case material speak for itself ... he saw with the patient's eyes, so to speak, and so reached a deeper understanding of mental illness than had hitherto been possible"

9) q: Accd to Jung, what was Freud's greatest accomplishment w/r/t society?

a: evaluating dreams as a source to uncover unconscious processes
> "the impetus which he gave to our civilization sprang from his discovery of an avenue to the unconscious... he gave back to mankind a tool that had seemed irretrievably lost"

10) q: What was the purpose of Jung's yoga exercises?

a: to calm himself enough to resume his work
> with the unconscious
> "the Indian, on the other hand, does yoga exercises in order to obliterate completely the multitude of psychic contents and images"

11) q: What was Carl Jung's "something to protect" when he was working on understanding his fantasies?

a: his family and his professional work
> "it was most essential to have a normal life in the real world as a counterpoise to that strange inner world"

12) q: Accd to Jung, there is no better means of intensifying the feeling of individuality than what?

a: the possession of a secret which the individual is pledged to guard
> "the individual needs a secret which for various reasons he may not or cannot reveal. Such a secret reinforces him in the isolation of his individual aims. A great many individuals cannot bear this isolation... as a rule they end up by surrendering their individual goal to their craving for collective conformity--a procedure which all the opinions, beliefs, and ideals of their environment encourage."
Profile Image for John Kulm.
Author 12 books38 followers
December 27, 2009
I could probably learn something new each time I read this book, although, I might need a few years before I pick it up again. The book became tedious for me toward the end. I think his protege and successor Marie-Louise von Franz distills and presents Jung's ideas with more clarity. But maybe that’s just me.

This is a different sort of autobiography because its focus is more internal than external. In the prologue to Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung wrote, "In the end the only events in my life worth telling are those when the imperishable world interrupted into this transitory one. That is why I speak chiefly on inner experiences, amongst which I include dreams and visions.”

I was disappointed that he wrote very little about his wife, Emma, and he said nothing about Antonia Wolff. I was curious of what he’d have to say about them, and surely these two women presented an inner experience interrupting between the imperishable world and Jung’s transitory world. Forgive my curiosity, and if you’re not curious about that sort of thing maybe you should ask yourself why you aren’t.

Jung did go into his relationship with Freud in a very honest and revealing chapter, which I felt was a particularly interesting section.

There’s so much to learn in this book, however, that I’m sure I’ll have to come back to it. Here’s a brief quote, for example, from a section discussing transference: “For psychotherapy to be effective a close rapport is needed, so close that the doctor cannot shut his eyes to the heights and depths of human suffering. The rapport consists, after all, in a constant comparison and mutual comprehension, in the dialectical confrontation of two opposing psychic realities. If for some reason these mutual impressions do not impinge on each other, the psychotherapeutic process remains ineffective, and no change is produced. Unless both doctor and patient become a problem to each other, no solution is found.”

Profile Image for Цветозар Бонев.
276 reviews79 followers
February 25, 2018
"Единствената цел на човешкото съществуване е да палим светлината в мрака на чистото битие."

Автобиографията на Юнг е толкова много неща в едно и всички от тях са на място. Тази автобиография е парагонът на това какво една автобиография трябва да представлява - парче от душата на човек. А каква душа е имал Юнг е просто впечатляващ факт, няма вече хора с неговото образование и начин на мислене, или ако има, то те са рядкост из рядкостта. Юнг разкрива ранните години на детството си, студентството си, практиката си, връзките си, пътешествията си, размислите си и всичко друго. Юнг показва същността на дестилираната мисъл, показва бистрия, невъзможно дълбок извор на човешкото съзнание и дуалистичната сигурност/несигурност, която митологията поражда. И всичко това, докато се придържа към може би най-мъдрото нещо в тази книга, а именно:
"Човек трябва да се наведе, за да гребне от потока."
Юнг се навежда от името на всички ни и като се има на предвид, че е живял през най-променливото време в човешката история, именно началото на XX век, то нещата, които той осъзнава за природата на човека, не могат да бъдат подминати.
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