2016 Reprint of 1922 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. The book illustrates a theoretical divergence between Jung and Freud on the nature of the libido, and its publication led to a break in the friendship between the two men, both stating that the other was unable to admit he could possibly be wrong. According to Jung, his work is an "extended commentary on a practical analysis of the prodromal stages of schizophrenia" (Jung,  1967: xxv). The analysis is of the Miller Fantasies. These are fantasies of Miss Frank Miller, an American woman Jung did not know, whose writings he had encountered in the work of Théodore Flournoy. In “Psychology of the Unconscious,” Jung seeks a symbolic meaning and purpose behind a given set of symptoms, placing them within the larger context of the psyche. The text examines the fantasies of a patient whose poetic and vivid mental images helped Jung redefine libido as psychic energy, arising from the unconscious and manifesting itself consciously in symbolic form. Jung's commentary on his patient's fantasies offers a complex study of symbolic psychiatry and foreshadows his development of the theory of collective unconscious and its constituents, the archetypes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the first book Jung wrote to establish himself as an independent thinker, rather than a student of Freud. Jung was to pursue, and wrestle with, some of the themes in this book for his entire working life; other themes and concepts that appear here he later revised or dropped. The book appears, heavily revised, in the Complete Works as 'Symbols of Transformation' but it is well worth exploring the earlier edition, infused with a confidence in progress and rational understanding of the psyche that the disasters of the First World War would subsequently put to shame. I think this book is a fine example of the unique combination of articulate 'scientistic' rationality and quasi-metaphysical wackiness that typifies Jung at his best. I enjoyed it.