C.G. Jung

jung in studyCarl Gustav Jung was gifted with an uncannily sharp and inquisitive intellect, and even at a young age was concerned with the nature of the human psyche. He read extensively from the works of Goethe, Kant, Schopenhauer, and Meister Eckhart, to name a few. Though in his student years he was interested in religious thought, philosophy, and archaeology, he chose to pursue a degree in medicine. Upon his graduation from the University of Basel, Jung decided to specialize in psychiatry. He accepted a position at the Burgholzli hospital in Zurich, renowned as a center for the treatment of schizophrenia. Here, psychological research, hypnosis, and other early forms of psychotherapeutic treatment were encouraged. There was an emphasis on the introduction of scientific methods in the hopes of revolutionizing the understanding and effectiveness of psychiatric treatment. Jung had found the ideal home to begin his life’s work. Through the investigation of the contents of his own and his patients’ unconscious, and through a painstaking study of mythology, comparative religions, anthropology, and finally alchemy, Dr. C.G. Jung concluded that the current myth of our time does not meet the psychological needs of the individual. What is missing in our age of hyper-rationalism is the capacity to re-connect with our lost instinctual nature. He coined the term “individuation” for the inner process which propels each of us towards greater wholeness. This process is directed by the uniting archetype, the Self, which is, paradoxically enough, both the center and the entirety of the psyche. Jung reminded us that our own wholeness and the healing of the world soul, the anima mundi, are dependent upon each one of us developing a more conscious relationship with those unexplored or rejected parts of ourselves which lie hidden in the unconscious and which he termed the shadow.