The last interview with Carl Gustav Jung helps us understand the depth of his look, the foundation of his beliefs and the ins and outs of his theories.
Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist born in 1875. Concerns and disagreements with psychoanalysis led him to found the analytical school. He was a student and collaborator of Sigmund Freud, with whom he disagreed when founding his school. This was strongly influenced by other branches of knowledge, such as anthropology.
On June 7, 1960, Georg Gerster interviewed Jung for a Swiss radio program on his 85th birthday. This interview acquires special relevance, since the Swiss eminence would perish almost a year later, on June 6, 1961.
We invite readers to delve into the universe of this peculiar and fascinating author of the twentieth century.
Jung and his peculiar vision of God
In the interview, the author expresses that religious phenomena basically do not escape anyone. The simplest expressions in which the word God is used have a psychological meaning for who says it.
The unknown, the inexplicable or what transcends us, has a special meaning at an anthropological and psychological level.
“We observe these religious manifestations, mainly in times of emergency, or in very emotional circumstances.”
-Carl Gustav Jung-
The concept of archetype has a great link with that of God. To understand it, it is necessary to separate oneself from the ecclesiastical sense that these can have for people according to their culture or religion. Jung goes beyond this, speaks of an emotional sense much older than we can imagine.
The archetypes are patterns of behavior that are repeated throughout history. As well as man’s need to find in faith the answers to the inexplicable. All this starts from a basic and unconscious psychological need.
“Such an archetype, as for example the notion of a God or a power over natural, appears in situations of great emotionality.”
-Carl Gustav Jung-
The limiting moments
In the interview Jung talks about the moments in which man is dominated by emotions. Fear and uncertainty are the most common.
And it is in those moments, in which spontaneously and without any reflection, the human being evokes “prayers” that escape reason and give it to the unknown.
The phenomena related to the soul
The interview with Carl Gustav Jung leaves important reflections on the soul, since the author speaks of “religious” phenomena as phenomena of the soul. These, far from being taboo, are inescapably part of human nature.
When the soul rescues us
When the man is in an emergency, the instinct comes to his aid. So we refer to the forms of action, thought and feeling that we take in these situations. For Jung those forms are always there and are evoked automatically, as would other animals.
A psychic phenomenon
In this interview, Jung reveals that the phenomena of the soul shape the psyche. They are part of a system of instinctive modes of behavior. We can find several examples in everyday life:
- Uncertainty: When we want something strongly or do not know what will happen. Here we use everything from rituals to small amulets, such as starting with a foot or wearing certain clothes.
- Danger: When we put ourselves in defense position and execute prayers. The promises we make inside are a clear example.
- Decisions: Before a difficult choice of special importance. Our desires without conditioning usually appear in dreams.
“That in some way unconscious powers come to help us when our consciousness is overwhelmed, subjugated.”
-Carl Gustav Jung-
Dreams according to Jung
In the interview with Carl Gustav Jung we can observe his differences with who was his teacher, Freud.
For Jung, dreams fulfill a more complex function than the mere satisfaction of the unconscious. Instead, these may have a social or guiding purpose, which requires an understanding of the culture.
A productive exchange with the unconscious
Far from just satisfying unfulfilled desires, dreams can guide a cure. Every psychologist encounters problems that he can not solve. This is where the patient’s unconscious can manifest itself in the dreams and guide therapy. For example, lucid dreams appear, of transcendent meaning that the author describes in innumerable examples of primitive societies.
An unlimited horizon
In the interview Jung states that people often suffer from having very skewed, highly distorted conceptions. In fact, he affirms that an extremely skeptical vision can cause the neglect of the sentimental sphere.
In these situations, suffering arises from limiting experience and paying little or no attention to issues related to the soul and feelings. Denying dreams is for Jung trying to silence the soul.
Jung: a critical vision of culture
We can say that Jung is a reference of psychology that stands out for not being deterministic. Unlike its predecessors and successors, it does not limit the study of human phenomena to a single vision or method. In addition, the author has a critical facet when analyzing our culture.
Lack of connection with the unconscious: the relationship with the incompressible became taboo. For Jung, he had lost the need to connect with the unknown in spiritual ways.
Rupture of a spiritual tradition: the intellectualism of the time abandoned spirituality. At present, this is blamed for the atrocities that many did in his name.
“We have been too persuaded by the science of the nullity of human life.”
-Carl Gustav Jung-
A man who does not lose hope
The last interview with Carl Gustav Jung concludes with a look at the solution to the problems raised. For the author, it is impossible to change the course of things, but he harbors a hope when he affirms that modern man can live contemplative experiences by questioning how far his certainties reach.