Carl Gustav Jung
When Carl Jung began his work at the turn of the 20th century, the Western world was at a crossroads. Scholarship and scientific inquiry had separated the physical world from the spiritual, the unconscious from the conscious. This split was critical for human development because throughout most of history, the two were indistinguishable. Appreciating their differences was critical for unleashing the powers of rationality from instinctually. Nonetheless, by the beginning of the 20th century, there was the emerging sense that perhaps the separation had gone too far, and that humankind was suffering from a failure of meaning as a result. There was a thirst for their reintegration, albeit in some new form.
Sigmund Freud brought rational analysis to the unconscious processes, but he did not reintegrate them. The ego served as a nervous Nelly frantically running in regressive fashion between the two, and there was little room for concerns of meaning. It remained for Carl Jung to realign consciousness and unconsciousness by recognizing the power of the symbol to act as the bridge connecting consciousness and unconsciousness, physicality and spirituality. The conscious ego now became a purposive energy in service to the unconscious, symbolic world, and a new appreciation for the spirit of meaningfulness was born.
“This is not the old, mindless unity… but a felt reunion; not empty unity, but full unity; not the oneness of indifference, but the oneness attained through differentiation.”
– Karl Joël as cited in Jung, CW5, para. 500n
The Center for Jungian Studies of South Florida is a Not-For-Profit organization that serves the wider community by presenting lectures, workshops, and discussions to address psychological, social and spiritual issues and provide a forum for personal reflection and growth inspired by C.G. Jung's Analytical Psychology.