The Essential Jung: Selected Writings by C.G. Jung
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
If you like Jung's theories on Collective Unconscious, Synchronicity and personality types you will like this book. He makes a genuine and good attempt at aligning religious and scientific thought.
This book is a collection of the most significant writings of Carl Jung with some introductory notes by Anthory Storr. This has turned out to be very satisfying read where all of Jung’s popular theories are discussed in detail in his own words.
There are descriptions of personality types – basic ones including intraverts and extraverts. There are further interesting descriptions on the properties of the soul/psyche. In the case of men, the soul has many properties one would consider feminine (since that is what is suppressed), while it is the reverse in women. Men inwardly feel while women inwardly reason – this he offers as a reason why men are driven to total hopelessness at times than women.
There are long and fascinating passages on the origin of evil. Another very good discussion item is on looking outward and inward - while there are many who look outward to seek God, there are others who see looking inward as a higher priority. A number of conceptual similarities and differences between Western and Eastern civilization is also discussed.
Expectedly, a good amount of space is devoted to his theories of the “Collective unconscious” and “Synchronicity” with examples from his life. While Freud’s diagnosis of personality (and also possibly Adler) is more simplistic, Jung’s approach takes a wide range of factors into play including personality, upbringing, surroundings, beliefs, etc.
Overall through much of his writing Jung seeks to establish a most needed link between religion and science. If Jung’s theories appeal to you, you will find this book to be a good read.
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