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Analytical Psychology: A Modern Science

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This is a book of two parts: the first focuses on theoretical concepts with special reference to the structure of the psyche, while the second includes more clinical material. Both exemplify the London Society's interest in childhood and the development of ideas about the use of reductive analysis within the Jungian framework.

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Analytical psychology: a modern science

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LEOPOLD STEIN
1958

In 1926 Jung (p. 65) was anxious to prove that psychology was one of the youngest sciences and he has reiterated this claim on several subsequent occasions (e.g. 1938, pp. if.), when, describing himself as an empiricist, he has stressed his scientific, exclusively phenomenological point of view in contrast to an approach based on speculative and naive idealistic preconceptions. Jung holds that medical psychology is to be placed among the natural sciences since it sees everything as a natural phenomenon. It may therefore be expected to explain psychic phenomena as properties of life and to subject them to a strictly scientific inquiry along the lines of biology, a science that ‘has sharpened the eye of the psychiatrist for factual data and made possible a method of description closely approximating to reality’ (1926, p. 86).

Jung is, of course, aware that science does not stop short at factual data. He is, no doubt, acquainted with the idea of scientific prediction and the verification of hypotheses through experimentation. Yet he confines himself to a mere empirical verification of fact and even goes so far. as to admit that the principle of explanation employed by analytical psychology as ‘pure’ psychology is the ignotum per ignotius (ibid., p. 87). This means that what is unknown is explained by reducing it to what is even more unknown. The science of the mind is—paradoxically—constrained to make this necessity into a principle, since it can elucidate the process involved only in the same terms as those in which the phenomenon observed has been described. It is, moreover, a fact that the psyche is both subject and object of the science that deals with it (1938, p. 62).

 

The empirical foundation and theories of the self in Jung's works

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MICHAEL FORDHAM
1963

Jung’s writings are so extensive that it is easy to overlook important contributions on any particular topic. Therefore in this research the indexes in the Collected Works have been used to sample and extract passages on the self. These were recorded on cards and then indexed alphabetically under subject headings. Thus the tendency to select quotations and distort summaries to suit the writer’s convenience was, if not eradicated, at least kept in check. Further, by using this sampling technique it was possible to decide what Jung said once and what repeatedly, to which statements he gave weight and which were intuitions thrown out in passing. The method was found to have yet another advantage: it became easier to notice when different formulations were the result of a major or minor change in his views.

It is claimed that what is recorded in the present paper gives the main trends in Jung’s developing concepts of the self. The study of them proves conclusively that two mutually incompatible definitions have appeared which will be discussed with the aim of resolving the contradiction. It will be shown by analysing Jung’s observations and theories that a solution is possible.

 

What is a symbol supposed to be?

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LEOPOLD STEIN
1957

The idea of the symbol has stood in the centre of the development of analytical thought for many years. So it was also in pre-analytic times, when it was philosophers and especially aesthetes who devoted much energy to the elaboration of this concept. One of them, F. Vischer (1887, p. 154), in a paper which stimulated Aby Warburg, the founder of the Warburg Institute, explicitly stated that the concept was a shape-shifting Proteus, difficult to seize and to pin down. Owing to this awareness, those early workers did not take anything for granted, in contrast with a good many modern psychologists of all denominations, men of letters, historians, philosophers, and linguists who, when using this term, take for granted that they and their readers know what they are talking about. Jung, too in Symbols of transformation, written in 1912, seems to take the meaning of symbolism for granted. In the field of analytical psychology ‘symbol’ is occasionally used as the equivalent of simile even in our days, e.g. when it is said that ‘every system in the whole of the cosmos down to the atom is a simile of the constitution of the human soul’—’dass jedes System in ganzen Kosmos bis zum Atom ein gleichnis istfiir die Verfassung der Menschenseele’ (Morawitz-Cadio, 1955, p. 17). In any case, the literature on the subject is so vast that I will pick out only those views which have helped me to clarify the concept.

 

Symbols: content and process

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ROSEMARY GORDON
1967

The ideas that I want to explore in this paper have been prepared by two papers which, at first sight, may not seem to be in any way connected. I am referring to the paper by Jackson on ‘Symbol formation and the delusional transference’ (1963), and to Edinger’s paper, ‘Trinity and quaternity’ (1963).

Jackson dealt specifically with problems concerning the symbolic process, with its development and its pathology. Edinger in his paper argued persuasively that an archetype of trinity exists as an independent psychic theme, that it symbolizes process and growth and that it is juxtaposed, but complementary, to the archetype of the quaternity, the latter expressing content, structure and wholeness. Edinger contended that any genuine insight into psychic reality requires the representation not only of the ‘four’, but also of the ‘three’, and he demanded, rightfully I think, that we be more alert and more respectful to trinitarian symbolism. His argument seems to me valid not only for the psyche as a whole, but also for any of its particular functions.

 

The archetypes of the collective unconscious

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R. F. HOBSON

The theories of the archetype and the collective unconscious are the most widely known of any of Jung’s contributions. Because of them Jung has been praised or classed as poet, seer or mystic; but all too seldom has serious consideration been given to his own claim to be an empirical scientist. This is, perhaps, not surprising, for his methods of thought and exposition vary greatly with the context and, if this fact is neglected, isolated quotations seem to be contradictory and can be used to support diverse interpretations of his views. A casual reader of his writings is likely to be left with a very muddled idea about what is meant by the term ‘archetype’ for, as with many concepts of analytical psychology, a formulation can be attempted only after a laborious analysis of Jung’s writings with a background knowledge of his method and aims. Such an analysis has not yet been done, but this essay makes a start by studying a single volume, The archetypes and the collective unconscious (1959).

 

The indivisibility of the personal and collective unconscious

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MARY WILLIAMS
1963

The purpose of this paper is to question a tendency to regard analytic material as belonging to either the personal or the collective unconscious. This tendency will influence interpretation and can be undesirable since it may add to splitting tendencies already operative in the psyche.

The concept of a personal unconscious assumes an ego structure with the unconscious part of it containing unassimilated or actively repressed contents. It forms the shadow aspect of the conscious personal identity. Jung (1959) remarks that as the contents of the personal unconscious are integral components of the individual personality, they could ‘just as well be conscious’ (p. 7). One of my aims is to show why this desirable state is hard to attain. In the same passage, Jung describes the collective unconscious as ‘an omnipresent, unchanging, and everywhere identical quality or substrate of the psyche per se …’ and the archetypes contained in it as the images of instincts. In another passage, (1950a) he describes the effects of the archetypes of the collective substrate on the personality. Certain archetypes, he writes, ‘are permanently or temporarily included within the scope of the personality and through this contact acquire an individual stamp at the shadow, anima and animus, to mention only the best known figures’, (p. 357). This interweaving of the two is basic to my theme.

 

Maturation of ego and self in infancy

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MICHAEL FORDHAM
1971

When I put forward the idea of the original self in 1947 it was part of an explanation for the appearance of integrative self symbols in the imagination and dream imagery of children. While the symbols often indicated a stable state, they also appeared in children showing evidence of omnipotent thought. The imagery seemed related to on-going processes and to ego development.

At that time it was very startling to make these observations because symbols of the self had been observed almost entirely in individuating persons after about the age of thirty to forty years. Then a process starts which leads to a change in consciousness: the controlling function of the ego is relaxed and this allows for the activation of previously unconscious archetypal forms which then present themselves as inner experiences. Gradually a new centre of the personality comes to light which finds symbolic expression in circular mandala and other images symbolizing the wholeness of the person.

At the time I did not know that my observation of self symbols in childhood had been confirmed by Jung himself. He never published his findings, but he presented them at a seminar on children’s dreams and made a brief reference to them in his essay ‘The psychology of the child archetype’ (p. 165). Much encouraged I began to develop the subject as follows. Since the imagery occurred much earlier than had previously been observed it seemed relevant to try to find out just how early in the child’s life self symbols might appear. It was known that childrens’ scrib-blings developed into circular patterns, so I investigated these and found an unusual child who, when under one year of age, used the word T when drawing circles. If the circle could be thought of as a self representation it would indicate just how early they might occur. The single observation expanded the idea of a positive relation between the self and the ego, which I had already observed in older children, to very early on in life.

 

The importance of analysing childhood for assimilation of the shadow

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MICHAEL FORDHAM
1965

Examination of the empirical data and the ideas about the shadow which Jung presents to us in his published work and his seminars shows that no single definition is adequate to elucidate what he means to represent by the term. Therefore I shall start by demonstrating the usefulness of having this concept in mind as a metaphor that helps to organize a number of data from different fields. Later on, we shall employ definitions as instruments to further discussion.

The justification for this method is partly its empirical value and partly the idea that it reflects a dialectic between a clear conscious formula and unconscious processes which are thus elucidated.

Consider first the social field. Here we find that any particular society meets the needs of only some of its members. Others are less satisfied and become resentful, envious or rebellious; others again become antisocial and live a life in opposition to the law, i.e. they are criminals. Thus we can think of the achievements of any society on the one hand with satisfaction and admiration, but can recognize that its one-sided development has also its shadow. If the society is functioning well the shadow compensates the social good, but if it becomes too powerful there will be a disaster of one sort or another.

 

Some views on individuation

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FRIEDA FORDHAM
1969

In this paper I have tried to clear up some confusion by describing in sequence the various ways in which Jung regarded individuation, and to show that, rather than there being two kinds of individuation or else something peculiar to the second half of life, it is one continuous process from the cradle to the grave. This process may be hindered or distorted, and it may also acquire special significance; for instance, by being stimulated and made conscious through analytic work. It is the manifestations of the process in the second half of life that interest many Jungian analysts, but there are others, notably in London, who are also interested and find value in the earlier manifestations and I shall discuss this in the second part of my paper.

As early as 1913 we find Jung writing to Loy about a powerful urge to develop one’s own personality, but it is in Psychological types, published in 1921, that he defined what he had now crystallized out as ‘Individuation’. The definition is a long one, but the essential features are that it is

 

A problem of identity in relation to the image of a damaged mother

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DOROTHY DAVIDSON
1965

In this paper I shall attempt to show how one patient has been able to develop a sense of her own identity over against an image of a damaged mother with whom she had previously been unconsciously identified and how, together with this development, the image has changed. The material in the form of dreams, fantasies, and experiences within the transference represents a transition from hysterical symptoms, where the image or fantasy had been, as it were, acted out or embedded in the physical symptom, to the beginnings of a sense of separateness or inner psychic reality.

My particular interest in presenting this material is that it sheds light on Jung’s term primitive or unconscious identity, which he describes as follows:

‘Unconsciousness means non-differentiation. There is as yet no clearly differentiated ego, only events which may belong to me or to another. It is sufficient that somebody should be affected by them’ (i 931, p. 83).

The ‘somebody’ who is going to be affected when a patient is in this state of unconscious identity is, of course, the analyst. Hence the great importance of the analyst’s being able to see himself as an object into which the patient unwittingly projects parts of himself.

 

Invasion and separation

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DOROTHY DAVIDSON
1961

Once I went to some art classes and I was impressed by the fact that, at the end when we were invited in turn round the room to hold up our paintings, not only were all the paintings of the same thing different, as one might expect, but also people added things that were not there and left out things that were. This led me on to think about insides and outsides, because it seemed to me that our individual fantasies endowed the concrete outside object we were trying to paint with all sorts of properties it did not possess and that what one produced in the end was not so much to do with talent, or lack of talent, but with what one brought from one’s own inside to the concrete object. Thus the act of looking, even at an inanimate object, was much more complex than I had supposed. This, of course, became infinitely more complicated when the object happened to be a person.

One of my former patients who was an artist may provide an illustration of what I mean. This man drew pictures of me in the privacy of his home; some of these he showed me, and I found he had portrayed me as a hebephrenic-looking woman who did not resemble me at all, though he was quite a good artist. Later he explained how he felt he could never really paint except when he was alone. When it came to painting portraits with the sitter in front of him, he experienced great difficulties. It seemed that the proximity of the sitter not only inhibited him to the extent that he had to pretend to paint and do most of the real work from memory afterwards, but also the sitter somehow got inside him, and persecuted him, and interfered with his creativity. Apparently the results were similar to the pictures he painted of me, because his sitters complained that he made them look depressed, ill, and ugly. So that his portraits seemed to reflect the bad things that had got inside him and invaded him. This patient had later to be admitted to a mental hospital. In his case I do not think it was possible for him to keep himself separate from the object in any sense, because he involuntarily endowed it with so much of his own subjectivity.

 

Mediation of the image of infant-mother togetherness

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KATHLEEN NEWTON
1965

I am going to discuss the image of infant-mother togetherness which appeared in the analytical material of one of my patients, and its relevance to the original self, unconscious identity, and infantile omnipotence on the one hand, and to a body image and ego integration on the other.

Of this image of togetherness, Jung writes in ‘Psychological aspects of the mother archetype’ (1936):

‘The carrier of the archetype is in the first place the personal mother, because the child lives at first in a complete participation with her, and in a state of unconscious identity. She is the psychic as well as the physical precondition of the child. With the awakening of ego consciousness the participation gradually weakens, and consciousness begins to enter into opposition with the unconscious, its own precondition. This leads to the differentiation of the ego from the mother’, (p. 102).

Jung here depicts the infant’s state of unconscious identity with the mother. It is a state in which there is no consciousness of boundaries; the infant, therefore, is unable to distinguish in terms of actuality between himself and the world. When there is no differentiation between inner and outer there is in effect only ‘oneness’. Marion Milner (1956) puts it imaginatively when she says that the infant experiences this as a feeling that his mother’s arms are his own creation—’All heaven is ours and all power’. She goes on to say that this state in which the baby is omnipotent is inevitably broken up with the frustration of instinctual experiences.

 

The unimaginable touch of time

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LOLA PAULSEN
1967

About three years ago it struck me that time plays a very special role in some analyses, and I started to make notes after sessions in which time, or the discussion of time—in this or that aspect—had been prominent.

My paper has grown out of these notes on nine patients.

The first part is about the sense of time, that is, ego time, for time is experienced by the ego. It is subdivided into: (1) time rigidly imposed on the infant, and (2) the patient’s actions with time, e.g. wasting time, stealing time. The second part of the paper is on the archetypal aspect of time: free time and the devouring mother.

Interest in time—I might almost say fascination with time—sent me to the poets, and I have acknowledged this in the title of the paper, which is taken from the last line of Wordsworth’s poem ‘Mutability’. Time is one of the topics perennially engaging poets: they are aware of its psychic importance, they have represented it in countless images and symbols throughout the ages. Thinking further about time, I realized that it was apposite to my emerging theme that in some languages the word for time is masculine, in others it is feminine or neuter. In this it is like the words for sun, for moon, for death. For example, die Zeit and le temps; der Tod and la mort; die Sonne and le soleil; der Mond and la lune; das Leben, das Schicksal and la vie, le destin. There are also masculine, feminine and androgynous world-creating and life-destroying gods. These observations in the field of mythology and etymology have I think yielded a fuller understanding of the patients’ unconscious links with an archetypal background.

 

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