Jung Carl 1875 - 1961 (86)

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.


Memories, Dreams


“The decisive question for man is: Is he related to something infinite or not? That is the telling question of his life. Only if we know that the thing which truly matters is the infinite can we avoid fixing our interests upon futilities, and upon all kinds of goals which are not of real importance. Thus we demand that the world grant us recognition for qualities which we regard as personal possessions: our talent or our beauty. The more a man lays stress on false possessions, and the less sensitivity he has for what is essential, the less satisfying is his life. He feels limited because he has limited aims, and the result is envy and jealousy. If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change.”

Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875 - June 6, 1961), was a Swiss physician and psychiatrist, the founder of Analytical Psychology. He was born in a small Swiss village as the second child of the family, while the first had died at birth; nine years later he acquired a sister. His father was a Protestant vicar and had to move frequently, his mother suffered from a nervous disorder which had her hospitalized for several months. Carl was a very lonely and antisocial child and used to faint under pressure. For some period, because of frequent fainting, he had stopped school. He overcame the problem on his own.

Growing up, he loved Goethe, whom he called spiritual father, while he had big disagreements with his father because of the latter's bigotry. In 1895 he successfully passed the exam and started at the Basle Medical School. The next year his father died and he faced serious financial problems; with the help of relatives he eventually managed to stay and finish the medical school. In 1899, after reading a psychiatric manual, he decided to become a psychiatrist. In 1900 he finished his studies, and after fulfilling his military duties, he moved to Zurich. He worked at a university clinic and in1903 he married Emma Rosenbach, a wealthy member of an aristocratic family, who had known her since 1896. They had five children and Emma became his companion at work as well, a trainer and analyst at the Jung Institute.

Jung was a keen reader of Freud, and sent Freud a copy of his first book in 1907. Freud invited him to Vienna where they famously talked continuously for 13 hours when they first met. Thus began a professional and personal relationship that last for 6 years. Jung did not believe that so many mental disturbances were derived from sexual complexes, as Freud did. Their friendship finished in 1913, when Jung published the book ‘Symbols of Transformation’. In 1914, having abandoned his academic career, he took military service as a captain and during the years 1916-1918 he served as commander in a training camp for British troops in Switzerland. In 1920 he traveled to Algeria and Tunisia, in 1922 he bought land in the village of Bölingen and built a stone tower. In the following years he traveled endlessly throughout the world, published articles, wrote books, gave lecture and psychoanalytic sessions. His most important trips were in Africa where he met people of a completely different world and in India, since he was always interested in Indian philosophy and religion. Since 1934, with a small circle of his students, he had begun seminars of Zarathustra that lasted until 1939.

In 1944, after an unfortunate fall, and while he was hospitalized, he suffered thrombosis in heart and lungs and nearly died. In 1955 his wife died and that was a very big shock for him. He lived his last years retired to his tower, until 1961, when he suffered a stroke and died on July 6.He was a good-hearted and polite man with a very good sense of humor, enjoying engraving, woodcutting, cooking, playing with children and grandchildren. The school he founded lay on many parts of the planet.