Handout on Carl Gustav Jung

"Trust that which gives you meaning and accept it as your guide."


INDIVIDUATION. Jung believed that a human being is inwardly whole, but that most of us have lost touch with important parts of our selves. Through listening to the messages of our dreams and waking imagination, we can contact and reintegrate our different parts. The goal of life is individuation, the process of coming to know, giving expression to, and harmonizing the various components of the psyche. If we realize our uniqueness, we can undertake a process of individuation and tap into our true self. Each human being has a specific nature and calling which is uniquely his or her own, and unless these are fulfilled through a union of conscious and unconscious, the person can become sick.

STORY. Jung concluded that every person has a story, and when derangement occurs, it is because the personal story has been denied or rejected. Healing and integration comes when the person discovers or rediscovers his or her own personal story.

NEUROSIS. Jung had a hunch that what passed for normality often was the very force which shattered the personality of the patient. That trying to be "normal", when this violates our inner nature, is itself a form of pathology. In the psychiatric hospital, he wondered why psychiatrists were not interested in what their patients had to say.

MYSTERY. For Jung life was a great mystery. We know and understand very little of it. He never hesitated to say, "I don't know." Always admitted when he came to the end of his understanding.

THE UNCONSCIOUS. A basic tenet: All products of the unconscious are symbolic and can be taken as guiding messages. What is the dream or fantasy leading the person toward? The unconscious will live, and will move us, whether we like it or not.