Page Level Ad

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dr. Jung on Freud and Adler




To Ernst Hanhart

Dear Colleague, 2 March 1957

Best thanks for your explanatory remarks.

With your permission, I will annotate your MS in places

I should be glad if you would treat my analysis of Freud's character with discretion.

I have communicated my views to you sub secreta medici.

Since my views spring from my intimate acquaintance with him, and in addition point to a rather delicate background for persons in the know, I would prefer discretion to prevail in this matter.

People always assume anyway that my critical set-to with Freud was the result of a merely personal animosity on my part.

Instead of using Freud and Adler as paradigms, you could use Nietzsche and Wagner as representing the Dionysian and Apollinian, or else Jordan's descriptions.

It should also be noted that my characterization of Adler and Freud as,
respectively, introverted and extraverted does not refer to them personally but only to their outward demeanour.

The question of the real personal type still remains open.

I had little personal knowledge of Adler and so can say little about his real personality.

Freud, on the other hand, I knew very well.

He was unquestionably a neurotic.

As I said before, I know from experience that in neurotic cases it is often extraordinarily difficult to make out the real type, because at first and for a long time afterwards you don't know what you are observing, the conscious or the unconscious behaviour.

Freud's thinking had a definitely extraverted character, i.e., pleasure and unpleasure in the object.

Adler's character, on the contrary, was introverted in so far as he gave paramount importance to the power of the ego.

As for your main question, the problem of small but decisive chance events, perhaps I may point out that I have not only never denied them but have even made them the subject of a special investigation (my essay in The Interpretation of Nature and the Psyche which I brought out with W. Pauli).

Adler, by the way, once coined the nickname "iunctim"4 for these Phenomena.

As meaningful coincidences, they present us with the quite special problem of "acausal arrangements" -if I may risk such a paradox.

As regards the tendency to self-punishment it would, for the sake of scientific accuracy, have to be divested of its ego character.

Since it operates unconsciously, no participation by the ego can be proved.

It is rather that objective processes not chosen by the ego take place, which in view of the one-sidedness of the ego have a complementary or compensatory character.

The term "self-punishment" is therefore misleading on closer examination since it imputes to the ego an intention which in reality does not exist.

What does in fact exist seems to be an objective psychic background, the unconscious, which predates consciousness and exists independently alongside it.

With collegial regards,

Yours sincerely,

C.G. Jung ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 349-350