Robert C. Smith
Publisher: Northwestern University Press, 1997
Pages displayed by permission of Northwestern University Press. Copyright.
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.