Jung in Context – Discussion 1

  • “Outer Life”: Family and Freud: in the aspects of Jung’s life introduced so far, what, if anything, is omitted? What impressions do you have of his family relationships with parents, sister, and wife? Similarly, from the evidence of the chapter on Sigmund Freud, how important was Freud to Jung?
  • “Inner Life”: What role do dreams and visions play in these early chapters? How do they effect self-presentation?

I think it’s safe to assume that experiences growing up alongside his sister was omitted for one reason or another as he only mentioned her a few times, including when his dad passed away. I also noticed that his maturity and his level of understanding at an early age was considerably blown out of proportion to mystify his childhood. Additionally, Jung mentioned very little about his transition into puberty which is something that I think every young man can attest as being an essential transition of their consciousness and takes up considerable amounts of energy in early youth.

Freud had similar ideas as Jung when it came to repressed content in dreams; however, when it came to defending his views, Jung attributed his views as Freud’s. In the reading, we find Jung reasoning his approach to supporting Freud for his concern of being identified as a plagiarist. As a result, Jung was able to use Freud as a shield hiding this fact in his “defense” of Freud’s work. In this position, he could use Freud as a buffer, attributing the more controversial ideas to Freud, while still yet furthering his work relatively behind the curtain until he was able to separate from Freud.

Jung’s visions and dreams in early life give the reader a perspective that Jung, unlike many others, was gifted in having profound fantastical experiences. These experiences provide authority to Jung and his expression about the importance of building a relationship with the unconscious versus merely reading about those who have.

 

Dreamwork – Discussion 1

  • Discuss the concept of dreams as wish fulfillments based on how Freud and Jung presented this idea. Then, offer your perception as it relates to your own dream experiences. Reference the readings specifically.

Surprisingly Freud and Jung have similar views when it comes to acknowledging that dreams contain some form of wish fulfillment. Freud, however, oversimplifies dreams in thinking that all content of dreams is attributed to wish fulfillment, whereas Jung does not put this limitation on their content.

Freud states, “What is common is all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealised” (Freud, p. 11). From this quote, we can see how limited Freud’s views are towards the content of dreams, limiting it to the relative past in the form of animal-like desires. Jung uses Freud’s explanation for dream wish fulfillment as the groundwork of many of his ideas, however, extends further by implying that dreams not only provide content which leads us to our waking desires but also, “contributes the material that was lacking and thereby improves the patient’s attitude” (Jung, p.38). The dream in this context extends past what is instinctually wished for when the needs of the individual are in contrast to those wishes (Jung, p.39).

In my reflection towards my dreams, I can see instances where both Freud and Jung were right. In my more sexually changed dreams, I can see that the instinctual energy is present and easily explained by a Freudian perspective. In my “big dreams” however where their content is much more complicated, it would be unwise to attribute them to being simply wish fulfillment. These more complicated dreams provide lessons and perspectives that extend past what is instinctual. In this sense, I can see that it would be essential to keep both Freud and Jung’s diverse perspectives on dreams at hand when attempting to understand dreams.

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