Volume 15: The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature

Abstracts of the Collected Works of C.G. Jung
Volume 15: The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature

000561 Paracelsus. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 3-12).

The life, philosophy, and contributions to modem science of the medieval Swiss physician Paracelsus are discussed in an address presented at Parlacelsus’ birth place. Shadowed by the Alps, it is considered to have had an importantly early biographical influence on Paracelsus, which gave him the typical Swiss qualities of self-reliance, obstinacy, and pride. The most important influence on Paracelsus, however, was his father, whose fate he set out to avenge. Paracelsus’ revenge took the form of withholding love from everyone except his father, for, as far as is known, he never loved anyone else. After extensive travel and study, Paracelsus achieved fame as a selftaught and excellent physician who offended everyone with his arrogance. Toward middle age he became interested in philosophy and medicine. Although emotionally Paracelsus remained a good Catholic, intellectually he embraced a pagan philosophy influenced by the Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino. To designate his highest cosmogonic principle, Paracelsus coined the word “Yliaster,” or “Hylaster,” which might be translated as “cosmic matter.” For him, the spiritual principle took second place to cosmic matter; man and the world were both seen as parts of animate matter. Thus while being a medieval animist who believed nature is full of witches, incubi, and other spirits, Paracelsus was at the same time a modem materialist. According to him, everything consists of animate particles, or entia, diseases included. Diseases, therefore, are natural, necessary constituents of life rather than hated and foreign ones. The sources of Paracelsus’ thought and work were his own psyche, which he probed in depth, and superstitious pagan beliefs which he collected extensively. While working within the confines of existing medieval knowledge, he used the methods of scientific empiricism, thus adding to the modem understanding of the nature of disease and of life itself.

000562 Paracelsus the physician. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15 Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 13-30).

A summary of Paracelsus’s ideas about the nature of the physician’s science is presented, although it is noted that his prodigious literary output, much of it obscure, contradictory, and colored by his abrasive personality, makes interpretation difficult. Quotations from his own work are used extensively in outlining his conservatism, evident in his Catholicism, his belief in alchemy and astrology and emphasis on folklore, as well as his rebellion. against academic medicine. Paracelsus’s central idea is the importance of understanding external things as a way to understanding the internal. The physician is seen as gaining his knowledge of disease not from the patient but from the study of external phenomena, particularly the study of alchemy, which enables the physician to diagnose diseases from their analogy with the diseases of minerals. Astrology is considered to be the other important source of the physician’s knowledge, in that each organ of the body corresponds to a star, a relationship that must be considered during treatment. Paracelsus’s belief in magic is considered to foretell the place of chemistry in modem medicine. The psychotherapeutic aspect of Paracelsus’s work is discussed with examples of his compassion toward his patients. 49 references.

000563 Sigmund Freud in his historical setting. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 33-40).

Freud’s work is evaluated in the light of the influence of its historical conditioning, that of the transition from the Victorian age to the 20th century. The main thrust of Freud’s thought, that pathology results from unnecessary sexual repression, is seen as a necessary antidote to Victorian morality. On the other hand, Freud’s commitment to rational explanations is considered an outgrowth of 18th century thought. It is considered more accurate to view Freud as an exemplar of the resentment of the new century for the old than as a harbinger of new truths. Freud’s emphasis on sexual repression as the cause of neurosis at the expense of other psychological phenomena, and his firm roots in the 19th century European doctor’s consulting room, are viewed as causes of the seemingly parochial nature of his work. It is concluded that, although Freud did not penetrate the deeper truths common to all peoples, he did admirably fulfill his historical task. 1 Reference.

000564 In memory of Sigmund Freud. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 41-49).

The course of Freud’s career and his contributions to psychology are reviewed. Beginning with his initial work on hysteria and hypnosis under Charcot, the development of Freud’s theory of neurosis is traced. The repression of sexual trauma, stemming from the existence of infantile sexuality, is considered to be at the root of all neuroses. This theory, together with the unorthodox idea put forth in “The Interpretation of Dreams”, namely that dreams are an important source of knowledge about the unconscious, are seen as being Freud’s most significant contributions. Freud’s later excursions into philosophy, religion, and primitive psychology are viewed negatively. Since he saw everything through the eyes of a physician and was inadequately trained in other fields, Freud was unable to transfer successfully his views on neurosis to other areas. In addition, he saw only the unfavorable or ambiguous aspects of the unconscious at the expense of its creative and heating powers. Freud’s psychology is considered an important contribution toward destroying the false ideals of the 19th century, but inadequate in fulfilling the needs of the 20th. 2 references.

000565 Richard Wilhelm: in memoriam. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 53-62).

The sinologist Richard Wilhelm’s creation of a bridge between Eastern and Western cultures is discussed in an address originally delivered at a memorial service for him. Wilhelm’s greatest achievement is seen to be his translation of, and commentary on, the I-Ching. Through this work, Wilhelm opened to the European world a different view of science, one based not on the causality principle but on what is tentatively called the synchronistic principle. This term and its relationship to astrology comprise the basic formula of the I-Ching, which is accepted in this address as a premise. It is considered the purest expression of Chinese thought, a badly needed alternative to Western intellectualism and rationalism. A danger is seen nonetheless in embracing this new philosophy too enthusiastically, since its true value lies not in blindly accepting it but in integrating it into our own culture. Wilhelm’s ability to approach an alien culture freely, modestly, and without prejudice is admired, and his clarification and confirmation of much of Jung’s own work is noted. In conclusion, more was learned from Wilhelm than from any other man. 2 references.

000566 On the relation of analytical psychology to poetry. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 65-83).

The relation between psychology and art is discussed in a study of the creative process in poetry and its connection to analytical psychology. The essential definition of art is not discussed here since it is considered to belong to esthetics, not psychology; rather, the emotions and symbols surrounding art are explored. The discussion begins with a criticism of the medical reductionism practiced by Freud. Although Freud is correct in maintaining that a poet’s biography illuminates his work, it does not totally explain it. Analytical psychology is seen as different from medical psychology. The latter must be discarded when examining a work of art, for a work of art is not a disease, and requires a different analytical approach. Two basic types of art are identified and some criteria provided for differentiating between them. The first (introverted) is the result of the artist’s assertion of his own conscious alms upon his material; the second (extraverted) is characterized by the artist’s complete identification with his work. In the second instance, the artist seems to cease being an individual and becomes a nutrient medium for the creation of his art. The creative process is described as a living thing implanted in the human psyche, an autonomous complex which has a life of its own outside ordinary consciousness. The autonomous complex, and specifically the autonomous creative complex, are further defined. The latter arises from the collective unconscious, which consists of primordial images, or archetypes. Ile emotional impact of these images, when they are present in a work of art, is described. In conclusion, the creative process is defined as the unconscious activation of an archetypal image and the shaping of this image into a finished work. The social significance of art is derived from its rediscovery of lost primordial images which are brought up from the deepest unconscious. An analogy is drawn between the role of the unconscious in individual development and that of art in the development of a nation: just as reactions from the unconscious correct the one-sidedness of an individual’s attitude, so too does art represent a process of self-regulation in the life of nations and epochs.

000567 Psychology and literature. Introduction. 1. The work of art. 2. The artist. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 84-105).

The reasons for approaching literature from the viewpoint of analytical psychology and the role of the human psyche in both disciplines are outlined. Psychology, a study of psychic processes, can be applied to the study of literature, for the human psyche is the womb of all the arts and sciences. This approach takes two different forms. In the first instance, the object of analysis is a concrete artistic achievement; in the second, it is the creative human being as a unique personality. Although these two aspects of creativity are intimately related, neither can explain the other. Two modes of artistic creation are described: the psychological, dealing with familiar materials drawn from man’s conscious life; and the visionary, dealing with primordial images that transcend human understanding. The first mode is seen as a reduction of the artist’s vision to personal experience, a reduction that deflects our attention from the psychology of the work of art and focuses it on the psychology of the artist. Some examples of literary works using the second, visionary mode are given. This mode brings out night fears to our conscious mind. From the beginnings of human society we find traces of man’s efforts to banish his fears by expressing them in magical or propitiatory forms. It is to be expected, therefore, that the poet will turn to these mythological images to give suitable expression to his own experience. Since these images arise from the collective unconscious, the psychologist can do little to elucidate them other than to provide comparative material and a terminology for their discussion. What is important for the study of literature is that the manifestations of the collective unconscious are compensatory to the conscious attitude. A review of Freud’s ideas on creativity in the artist is provided, and their shortcomings are pointed out. The dual nature of the creative personality is noted: the artist is both a human being with a personal life and an impersonal creative process. This dual nature puts great strain on the artistic personality, arousing the professional interest of the psychologist. Since the artist’s work responds to the needs of his society, it has implications greater than those involving his own personal fate. The archetypal images that the artist uses are morally neutral; therefore a great work of art is always morally and intellectually ambiguous. To grasp its meaning, we must allow it to shape us as it shaped the artist. It is suggested that this participation mystique is the secret of artistic creation and of the effect which great art has on the perceiver. 11 References.

000568 Ulysses: a monologue. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 109-134).

The subjective monologue of James Joyce’s Ulysses, a book that arouses the psychologist’s interest because of its controversial initial reception and its considerable subsequent influence on contemporary authors, is analyzed. The reader’s frustration in trying to decipher this book, whose dominant note is utterly hopeless emptiness, is described. It is suggested that the work is an example of visceral thinking, a process severely restricting cerebral activity and confining itself to information provided by the perceptual processes. Certain similarities with schizophrenia are described. Ulysses, however, is no more a pathological product than is modem art as a whole. The schizophrenic qualities of the latter do not reflect the disease in any individual artist but are a collective manifestation of our time. In the insane, distortions of meaning and reality are a consequence of the destruction of their personality. The distortion present in the artist’s work is not destructive, but rather creative. It is suggested that, despite his seeming paganism, Joyce is actually very much an Irish Catholic. Instead of generating only local interest, as might be expected, Joyce’s Irish Catholicism may account for his book’s popular appeal, as all of us are still citizens of the Catholic Middle Ages. The book’s negativism presents a counterforce to that age’s high moral ideals, whereas the atrophy of feeling in it is explained as a reaction against too much sentimentalism. Detachment of consciousness is seen as the goal, the Ithaca, of the whole book. All the negative aspects of Joyce’s book, all that is cold-blooded, bizarre and banal, grotesque and devilish, is in fact a positive virtue that deserves praise, At the end, Ulysses’s masculine creative power turns into feminine acquiescence — “The Eternal Feminine/Still draws us on.” Ulysses is considered the distillation of a new, universal consciousness. 7 references.

000569 Picasso. In: Jung, C., Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol. 15. Princeton University Press, 1966. 160 p. (p. 135-141).

The psychology, not the esthetics, of Picasso’s art is discussed. By viewing his art as a pictorial representation of psychic processes, analogies may be drawn between Picasso’s work and the art done by mental patients. Both these are forms of nonobjective art that draws its contents from the unconscious. The pictorial expression of these unconscious contents makes them more accessible to the patient’s understanding. The two different types of art produced by neurotic and schizophrenic patients are described and the similarities between Picasso’s work and that of the second group of patients are noted. These similarities do not imply that Picasso is schizophrenic. The two types of art have one thing in common: their symbolic content. In either type of art a series of images begins, as a rule, with the symbol of the Nekyia, the journey to Hades, the descent into the unconscious. Examples of the Nekyia in Picasso’s work are pointed out. The symbol of the Harlequin, whose journey through the psychic history of mankind has as its object the restoration of the whole man by awakening the memories of the blood, is examined. The symbols of madness experienced during a schizophrenic’s period of distintegration are usually followed by images that represent the coming together of opposites. It is noted that in Picasso’s latest paintings this motif is seen very clearly. No predictions are made about Picasso’s future work, although the basic tragedy of the Harlequin figure is noted and compared with a similar figure in Nietzsche’s Zarathustra.


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