Unconscious, the bread and butter of Psychoanalysis, that has widely believed to have been started its inception in the literature by Sigmund Freud at the end of 19th century, it has been indeed coined by the German philosopher Friedrich Scheeling in 18th century. Probing into the history, in fact, unconscious has been known in the scientific arena long ago and in the written materials, as early as 16th century by Paracelsus, a Swiss physician. William Shakespeare has also explored the unconscious in some of his plays very well, and other philosophers such as Schopenhauer, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hegel, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche have discussed the subject. Indeed Nietzsche in his “Thus Spake Zarathustra” who wrote between 1882 to 1885, not just describes the unconscious (soul/spirit), but the ego and the Self while making a clear distinction between them. “body am I entirely, and nothing more; and soulis only the name of some thing in the body…Ego, sayest thou, and are proud of that word. But the greater thing in which thou art unwilling to believe is thy body with its big sagacity…Instruments and playthings are sense and spirit; behind them there is still the Self. The Self seeketh with the eyes of the senses, it hearkenth also with the ears of the spirit…It ruleth, and is also the ego’s ruler. Behind the thoughts and feelings, my brother, there is a mighty lord, an uknown sage, it is called Self…” He even goes beyond what a century later Freud, the inventor of psychoanalysis discussed, and talks about self-esteem that’s a significant psychological core nowadays. “The creating Self created for itself esteeming and despising, it created for itself joy and woe”.
In psychology even Freud has not been the first one to address the topic, but the American psychology and philosopher, William James in his treatise, “The Principles of Psychology” examined the unconscious and subconscious. In fact Freud was influenced by the French Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist like Freud, who treated his hysterical patients with hypnosis and reached their unconscious minds. This influence drew Freud from neurology to hypnosis, then the world of unconscious and his following theories of compartmentalization of conscious to “ego”, and unconscious into “id” and “superego”, then “repression” of unacceptable ideas, wishes, traumatic memories and painful emotions by the conscious into unconscious. Freud used his “Interpretation of dreams” at the turn of the 20th century and later on his technique of “Free association” by laying down the patients on his psychoanalytic couch, that became the bread and butter of the future analysts, to reach their patients’ hidden worlds so to cure them.
Freud with all his generalization to expand his theories did not go farther than discussing “neuroses” and treating neurotic and hysterical patients. But the Swiss Carl Gustav Jung, another psychiatrist, who initially had the aspiration of becoming a preacher or minister and later on study archaeology and later on mesmerized by the unconscious, brought his original interest in spirituality and mythology into his psychology. Although psychoanalysis like any other non-scientifically based ideas did not pass the test of time and is almost obsolete in our era, this paper analyzes the Jungian psychology that not for its implication in clinical psychological/psychiatric practice, as it is rarely used nowadays, but for its grandiose generalization beyond the field into culture, philosophy, arts, anthropology and so on. “Man and his Symbols” written by Jung and a few of his immediate associates just before his death that published a few years after, and contains most of his ideas is the subject of this analysis.
Jungian Psychology: Back to the ancient mythological psychic reading
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