Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice: Begun 2009.04.30

C.G. Jung.
Forward by E.A. Bennett.
New York: Vintage Books (Random House), 1970. Library of Congress Catalogue Card#67-19175.

Began April 30, 2009;
Finished Jun 21, 2009.


This is a brilliant and provocative read! I finally found the source of the citation that Bernie Siegel used from Jung in his book Love, Medicine and Miracles, something I have wondered at for a long time.
...I have noticed that dreams are as simple or as complicated as the dreamer is himself, only they are always a little bit ahead of the dreamer's consciousness. I do not understand my own dreams any better than any of you, for they are always somewhat beyond my grasp and i have the same trouble with them as anyone who knows nothing about dream-interpretation. Knowledge is no advantage when it is a matter of one's own dreams (122).
As always, Jung is provocative.
He argues that a neurosis is a 'positive' thing, because it is the manifestation of the psyche's attempt at compensating/curing a life lived too one-sidedly.
And I suspect that this complex view, perhaps even wise view, of neurotic behaviour, is one of the reasons he is almost unheard of, and even dismissed, from most North American schools.
Anyway, see what you think in this post lecture Q&A:
Dr. Dicks ...Professor Jung, ... you regard the outbreak of a neurosis as an attempt at self-cure, as an attempt at compensation by bringing out the inferior function?

Prof. Jung: Absolutely.

Dr Dicks: I understand, then, that the outbreak of a neurotic illness, from the point of view of man's development, is something favourable?

Prof. Jung: That is so, and I am glad you bring up that idea. That is really my point of view. I am not altogether pessimistic about neurosis. In many cases we have to say: 'Thank heaven he could make up his mind to be neurotic'. Neurosis is really an attempt at self-cure, just as any physical disease is partly an attempt at self-cure. We cannot understand a disease as an ens per se any more, as something detached which not so long ago it was believed to be. Modern medicine — internal medicine, for instance — conceives of disease as a system composed of a harmful factor and a healing factor. It is exactly the same with neurosis. It is an attempt of the self-regulating psychic system to restore the balance, in no way different from the function of dreams — only rather more forceful and drastic (189-90).