Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung was an influential figure in early psychoanalysis, one whose influence extends into current times. His theories on the unconscious mind, the “psyche”, and Jungian archetypes form the basis for much study. However, it is his theories on the archetype that have garnered the most attention.

Carl Jung archetypes are not easy to understand, yet are as fundamental to psychoanalysis as gravity is to physics. An archetype can be thought of as a symbol, an idealized model representing a person, idea, or object, which is then emulated. Personality archetypes are often stereotypical, and may epitomize a person, their personality or behavior. “Mother figure” is an example of such an archetype.

Jung believed that there was a difference between our individual psychology and the collective psychology of the universe. Not only did we each have our own personal unconscious, we were also able to tap into the collective unconscious for wisdom. He stressed the importance of studying archetypes, or symbols, in dreams, art, religion, mythology, and philosophy as a way to understand the psyche. By understanding the psyche, it was possible to understand why humans acted as they did.

Carl Gustav Jung placed a strong emphasis on uniting spirituality and everyday life. A trip to India in 1938 led to a fascination with Eastern religions and philosophy, which had a profound effect on his ideology. Through these experiences, he gained an appreciation of the unconscious. He began to stress the integration of spirituality and everyday life.

Jung firmly believed that there was more to life than the pursuit of material things. Our job, as he saw it, was to discover our true talents so that we could fulfill our potential. Jung saw this transformative journey in all religions, based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and many others. As we walk to meet the Divine, we go forth to meet ourselves.

In order in order to begin this journey, it is essential to understand the symbolic power of archetypes. Meditation, doodling, viewing art, even auditory stimuli can help us to access the collective unconscious, that Akashic records, and unlock valuable clues to the meanings of our lives. As with all symbols, some are easier to understand than others.

As many teachers before him, Carl Gustav Jung believed that we must integrate all aspects of our life – the spiritual and the mundane. Through careful study, we could identify our talents and use them for the greater good of mankind.

1909 Photo in front of Clark University. Front Row, L-R: Sigmund Freud, Granville Stanley Hall, Carl Gustav Jung. Back Row: Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones, Sandor Ferenczi. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.