Psychologist Carl Jung

In the early 90s, I worked 2 blocks from the main Strands used bookstore on 12th and Broadway. Every day at lunch I would scour the psychology section, and there were NEVER any books by Jung. People were scooping them up as fast as they hit the shelves. I once asked a Jungian analyst in New Haven which of Jung’s works he considered the most important, and he mentioned a small monograph “On The Nature of the Psyche” which I immediately bought and read and have to this day. The monograph speaks of the “psychoid” nature of matter, which strives towards consciousness and an opposite material nature of the psyche (death wish) that yearns to be inanimate. Jung wrote that “if one day a rocket is fired which damages Mars, then Mars will have been damaged by the psychoid aspect of matter.”

It kind of fits in with Schopenhauer’s World as Will and Representation, somewhere in Part II, where he describes nebulae gas clouds congealing to planet surfaces and evolving organic complexes (I am paraphrasing from memory but that is basically what Schopenhauer was talking about).

The relationship between Freud and Jung started in 1906 when the young Swiss psychiatrist, working at the Burghölzli, read and admired the dream theory of Sigmund Freud. In his article, “Psychoanalysis and Association Experiments,” published in 1906, Jung gave generous praise to the theories of Sigmund Freud. He stated, “It appears, from some recent publications, that Freud’s theory … is still consistently ignored. It therefore gives me great satisfaction to draw attention to Freud’s theories—at the risk of also becoming a victim of persistent amnesia” (p. 66). Jung sent Freud a copy of his book on the word association test. In Freud’s brief thank-you note to Jung, he made a prediction: “I am confident that you will often be in a position to back me up, but I shall gladly accept correction” (p. 67).

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