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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Carl Jung: on three books written on the Anima theme




Lecture 15

Questions and Discussion

Dr. Jung:

Before taking up the questions, I would like to assign to the class a piece of work I am anxious to have it undertake: that is the analysis of three books written on the anima theme:

She, by Haggard; L’Atlantide, by Benoît; and Meyrink’s Das grüne Gesicht.

I would like you to choose three committees of about five people each for these three books, each committee selecting a chairman who will bring in the findings of the group.

If you do this you will furnish me with a very good idea of what you have gained from these lectures.

Of course you may proceed about it in any way you see fit, but I would like to make the following suggestions:

(1) For the sake of the people in the class who may not have read the particular book under discussion, we should have a résumé of the contents;

(2) then there should be a characterization and interpretation of the dramatis personae;

(3) this should be followed by a presentation of the psychological processes involved, transformations of the libido, and behavior of the unconscious figures from start to finish.

No doubt the presentation of the material will take about one hour, and then we should have about half an hour for discussion.

(It was suggested by the class that, instead of having all three books on anima problems, it would be interesting to have one that dealt with the animus.

On Dr. Jung’s recommendation, a novel called The Evil Vineyard, by Marie Hay,was substituted for Das grüne Gesicht.)

The committees were chosen as follows (the chairman is indicated with §):

comment on the Hay, Haggard, and Benoît novels, cf. “Mind and Earth” (1927; CW 10), pars. 75–91.

For the reports and discussion in the seminar, see below, following the appendix to Lecture 16.

Dr. Harding§ Mr. Aldrich§ Dr. Mann§ Miss Baynes Mrs. Zinno Mr. Robertson She Dr. Bond L’Atlan –tide Miss Houghton The Evil Vineyard Miss Hincks Mr. Radin Miss Sergeant Mr. Bacon Dr. Ward Mr. Bacon Dr. de Angulo

Diagram 5


Lecture

Diagram 5 is of an ideal condition which we never meet in reality, that is, it presupposes a complete consciousness of all the functions.

Therefore I have represented the functions on one plane.

In the center is a virtual nucleus I call the self, which represents the totality or sum of the conscious and unconscious processes.

This is in contradistinction to the ego or partial self, which is not conceived of as being in contact with the unconscious elements of the psychological processes.

Because the ego is not in touch with the unconscious side of our personality—that is, not necessarily in touch with it—we very often have a very different idea of ourselves from what others have of us, even allowing for projections.

The unconscious is continually playing its part, sometimes even an emphatic one, without our being cognizant of its imprint upon ourselves.

I can do what in fact are really very complicated things without knowing that I have done them—as, for instance, in walking down the street, I may carefully weave my way in and out of a crowd of people, and yet if someone asks me at the end of a block or two, “How many people did you pass?”

I am perfectly unable to say.

Each of the people I have passed, however, has been registered separately in my mind; I simply have not brought the results to bear upon my ego.

Similarly, we seldom see to it that we become conscious of the expressions on our faces, and all the time things are peeping out from the unconscious that are perfectly visible to the outside observer, who sometimes finds it hard to realize our ignorance of the things that he can see so clearly.

As long, then, as there remains so much in us that is not taken into account by the ego, the latter cannot be said to represent the totality of the mental processes.

Of course we cannot be too sure that we have this virtual center that I have assumed as existing; it is something that is not susceptible of proof. Instead of one center, we may have two or, as in dementia praecox, a multitude. But when you deal with a fairly normal individual there is always a center to which things lead up, and when something critical happens, it seems to come from that central government.

Some people project the reaction they get from this central core of themselves as a God-given message.

This center of self-regulation, then, is a postulate that is assumed.

I have represented the self as a point in the middle of the diagram, but it could just as well be thought of as including the whole, or indeed as spreading over all the world. Indian philosophy describes the self as I have taken it as being smaller than small, yet greater than great.

Turning to the diagram you will see that I have arranged the functions as sectors of the circle.

Let us start with thinking, or pure intellect.

This as a rational function is connected with the irrational function intuition by what we call speculative thinking, or intuitive thinking.

Then we pass to the polar opposite of thinking, namely feeling, through intuitive feeling, and from there to the polar opposite of intuition, sensation, via emotion of feeling.

Emotion is that sort of feeling which is a physiological condition, and which is perceived by sensation.

From sensation we get back again to thinking through a kind of thinking we call empirical, i.e., thinking to the fact.

We have now the conception that thinking passes by easy transition to both intuition or sensation, or vice versa, but that it is furthest removed from feeling.

Let us now try to arrive at a precise notion of feeling, though, as we have observed in previous lectures, this is a task beset with difficulties.

Will the class volunteer some suggestions as to the essential nature of feeling?

(The class volunteered one or two suggestions but, it must be said, with more enthusiasm for the theme than success in finding a solution.

From one point of view there was an effort to define feeling in such a way that it should be shown to be present in all the other functions, from another point of view it was thought that the definition should be of such a character as to apply to feeling alone.

It was generally agreed that the definition of feeling now accepted in analytical psychology—that is, as the function wherein subjective values are formulated—was not satisfactory, and that a satisfactory efinition
must include the ideal of a dynamic existing between subject and object.

The end of the hour found the class still deep in this discussion.

Dr. Jung was asked to give a brief summary of his viewpoint.)

Dr. Jung: My idea is that feeling is an unthinking kind of appreciation on the one side, and on the other a dynamic relation. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Pages 127-130

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