On mythology

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Princeton University Press, 1998 - Medical - 275 pages
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At least three major questions can be asked of myth: what is its subject matter? what is its origin? and what is its function? Theories of myth may differ on the answers they give to any of these questions, but more basically they may also differ on which of the questions they ask. C. G. Jung's theory is one of the few that purports to answer fully all three questions. This volume collects and organizes the key passages on myth by Jung himself and by some of the most prominent Jungian writers after him: Erich Neumann, Marie-Louise von Franz, and James Hillman. The book synthesizes the discovery of myth as a way of thinking, where it becomes a therapeutic tool providing an entrance to the unconscious.In the first selections, Jung begins to differentiate his theory from Freud's by asserting that there are fantasies and dreams of an "impersonal" nature that cannot be reduced to experiences in a person's past. Jung then asserts that the similarities among myths are the result of the projection of the collective rather than the personal unconscious onto the external world. Finally, he comes to the conclusion that myth originates and functions to satisfy the psychological need for contact with the unconscious--not merely to announce theexistenceof the unconscious, but to let usexperienceit.

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Contents

Introduction
3
Jung visavis Freud on Myth
49
From The Significance of the Father in the Destiny of
55
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

The Swiss-born Carl Jung was one of the most famous of modern psychologists and psychiatrists. The son of a minister, Jung originally set out to study archaeology. He switched to medicine and began practicing psychiatry in Basel after receiving his degree in 1902. Jung first met Sigmund Freud in 1907 when he became his foremost associate and disciple. The break came with the publication of Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious (1912), which did not follow Freud's theories of the libido and the unconscious. Jung eventually rejected Freud's system of psychoanalysis for his own "analytic psychology." This emphasizes present conflicts rather than those from childhood; it also takes into account the conflict arising from what Jung called the "collective unconscious"---evolutionary and cultural factors determining individual development. Considered as a "deserter" and a "mystic" by Freud's followers, Jung's theories have continued to be the topic of heated discussions. Jung invented the association word test and contributed the word complex to psychology, and first described the "introvert" and "extrovert" types. Jung's interest in the human psyche, past and present, led him to study mythology, alchemy, oriental religions and philosophies, and traditional peoples. Later he became interested in parapsychology and the occult. He thought that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) might be a psychological projection of modern people's anxieties. Jung was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and received an honorary D. Sc. by Oxford University, the first psychologist to receive such an honor in England. He also received honorary degrees from Harvard University, the University of Calcutta, the Banaras Hindu University, the University of Allahabad in India, and the University of Geneva.

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