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The Wounded Jung: Effects of Jung's Relationships on His Life and Work
     

The Wounded Jung: Effects of Jung's Relationships on His Life and Work

by Robert C. Smith
 

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Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, is widely considered an intuitive genius with a profound understanding of the peculiar spiritual dilemmas of modern man. In this book, Robert C. Smith shows how Jung's interest in the healing of the psyche was rooted in the conflicts of his own childhood.

Smith begins by exploring Jung's formative and

Overview


Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, is widely considered an intuitive genius with a profound understanding of the peculiar spiritual dilemmas of modern man. In this book, Robert C. Smith shows how Jung's interest in the healing of the psyche was rooted in the conflicts of his own childhood.

Smith begins by exploring Jung's formative and transformative life experience, including his relationships with a deeply troubled mother and despairing father, with Sigmund Freud, and with the various women in his life. The relationships to his parents, in particular, have been remarkably unexplored by scholars. Smith then shows how these experiences shaped Jung's thoughts and writing -including his reassessment of religion as inner process - as well as his fascination with gnosticism and alchemy; the attention Jung gives to psychology as myth and the realization of selfhood; and his reinterpretation of evil as a process to be integrated into the proper sphere of human existence.

Smith's findings are based on the unprecedented number of primary sources to which he had access, including archival research, his own interviews with many of Jung's intimates, and personal correspondence with Jung himself, as well as on the synthesis of a wide range of recent scholarship on Jung. The culmination of many years of scholarship and reflection, this book should be read by anyone interested in spiritual healing or the connection between psychology and religion.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Jung, an avatar of psychic wholeness, was, as Smith says here, of two minds. Unfortunately, Smith's book isn't well-integrated either, reviewing literature in scholarly journals on one hand, defining "collective unconscious" on the other. In the first part, Smith traces Jung's divided self from his relationships with his contradictory, divided mother and his weak father; his filial feelings toward Freud and the schism that brought on the period of creative crisis; and finally to his relations with women, where the divide was reflected in his parallel relationships with his wife, Emma, and patient/collaborator, Toni Wolff. The analyses of the relationships are often very short (Emma warrants only a few paragraphs), and Smith relies too heavily on Jung's Memories, Dreams, Reflections for his portrayal of Jung's early life without adequately acknowledging that while childhood may illuminate later theories, those theories can also color memory. It is in the second section that Smith, a philosopher and historian of religion, makes his greatest contribution by going beyond the more obvious divides inherent in anima/animus or enantiodromia (a tendency toward opposite), to make subtle observations on Jung's resolution of metaphysics with empiricism; on the impact of other divided souls like Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Goethe; on his often contradictory feelings on the role of the church and religion in finding psychic wholeness. For selective readers already somewhat familiar with the Jung literature, this book will provide valuable insights. (May)
Booknews
Shows how Jung's interest in the healing of the psyche was rooted in the conflicts of his own childhood. Explores his relationships with his parents, with Freud, and with the various women in his life and showing how they influenced his ideas on religion, alchemy, psychology as myth, and the reinterpretation of evil. Based on archival sources, interviews with Jung's intimates, and correspondence. For those interested in the connection between psychology and religion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810115767
Publisher:
Northwestern University Press
Publication date:
10/29/1997
Series:
Psychosocial Issues Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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