Introduction to Carl Gustav Jung with practical theology from kiwiconnexion

Posted By on October 12, 2019


Welcome to episode 1 of our 8 part series
from 6senses.nz We will explore the shape of the human psyche
through insights from practical theology. By understanding ourselves better we will
understand others better and build more confident relationships at work, home and in all other
activities. So lets begin with a few questions to set
the scene. Is there a bridge between the inner world
of our dreams and our waking conscious state? Are there recognisable types of human personality? Do ancient myths and symbols still convey
deep meanings in today’s scientific age? Carl Gustav Jung thought so. He lived from 1875-1961 a Swiss psychologist
who had a major impact on religious life in the 20th century. In this series we are going to explore some
of Jungs most important contributions to our knowledge of the human psyche or soul. We begin with some background to Jungs life
and how his interest in dreams began. A medical doctor and pioneer in the field
of psychiatry, he was also a prolific author. And, as is often the case with original thinkers,
a highly controversial figure. His life and works seem either to repel or
attract. An unusually gifted man he has been described
as a ‘physician of the soul and profound sage’. Many of his concepts and terms have become
part of every day language, generating new creative insights. There is, however, a shadow side to Jung. This was highlighted in the 2011 film A Dangerous
Method. It is about an affair he had with one of his
patients who later became a trainee analyst. His teacher and colleague, Sigmund Freud,
deplored the lapse which he saw as unprofessional. There were also similar long-term affairs. Jungs wife, however, remained devoted to him. He had married Emma Rauschenbach in 1903,
and they had five children. The son of a pastor, Jung grew up in a small
village in which life had not changed much in centuries. Later in life, he hand-built a stone Tower. A personal retreat. This was on land he had purchased in 1922
at Bollingen. Bollingen is at the edge of Lake Zurich, and
it was there that Jung felt closest to nature. Jung didnt install electricity or telephone. He completed the Tower two years later when
he was 48 years old. From then it became a particular personal
project for him. The Tower was his private retreat. He said that he could live in the Tower like
a man from the 16th century. There he was surrounded by the spirits of
his forebears. Jung also enjoyed an affluent lifestyle. Jungs teacher and close colleague was Sigmund
Freud. Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis. Certainly he was one of the most important
thinkers of that period. Freuds work The Interpretation of Dreams
was seminal. It has proven to be of enduring significance
in the field of psychanalysis. Jung wrote that he had read it by 1900. But it didn’t move him. Quote. I had laid the book aside, at the time, because
I did not yet grasp it. At the age of twenty five I lacked the experience
to appreciate Freuds theories. Such experience did not come until later. Unquote. Jung had already begun research in the field
of mental health,before meeting Freud. His friendship and association with Freud
was of enormous significance to both men. Yet they fell out. How did that happen? Freud insisted that his theory of sexuality,
libido, as the main driving force in the psyche was a bulwark. It was the central dogma of psychoanalysis. Jung could not accept this. Jung who had championed Freud at a critical
period now set out on a different course. There was still much correspondence between
them but the friendship was over. In the same year that Jung read Freuds The
Interpretation of Dreams he had married Emma Rauschenbach. She was a woman of considerable means. Because of that Jung was able to travel widely. He began field research into the myths and
legends of various cultures. He was already steeped in the study of comparative
religion. He argued that a myth cannot be studied independently
of the context from which it arose. Myth symbol and dream formed the basis of
the life work of Carl Jung. Quote. The dream is a hidden door to the innermost
and most secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night. All consciousness separates; but in dreams
we put on the likeness of that more universal truer, more eternal man dwelling in the darkness
of the primordial night. There he is still whole, and the whole is
in him, indistinguishable from nature and bare of all egohood. Unquote. Thanks for watching. Join me next week as we explore what Jung
meant by myths and dreams in our series Practical Theological Reflection for Better Daily Living.

Posted by Lewis Heart

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