In the introduction to her biography of Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz (1975), an analyst and collaborator with Jung, begins her subject in a way that is highly appropriate to the beginning of this series of essays in analytical psychology. Because of its relevance, I quote von Franz here at length. She begins:
In this passage von Franz does a number of things. First, she presents the reader with the enormity of her task - the difficulty in doing justice to what is basically her two-fold subject, Jung and his psychology. She then lists the reasons for this: Jung’s creativity and originality, his subject matter (the whole human being), the depth of his insights and the wide scope of his interdisciplinary researches. Finally, and for these reasons, von Franz suggests that those seeking access to Jung and his work must pay a high admission price, since understanding only comes with time and through diligence and perseverance in the study of the material. Implicit in all of this is her message that to truly understand Jung, one must dedicate oneself to a process of learning that involves a deep level of commitment and eschews quick answers, easy answers, or absolutes. In a certain sense von Franz offers both an invitation and a warning to her reader: have patience, be persistent and keep an open mind. To this purpose, von Franz sets forth the conditions guiding her study of Jung and his psychology, for to understand Jung’s psychology one must understand Jung; the man and his approach are intertwined. To prepare the reader for what lies ahead, von Franz echoes the tone of the oracular statement that Jung had carved on the lintel above the entrance door to his Kusnacht home, Vocatus atque non vocatus deus aderit, that is, “Called or not the god will be present” (Jung, 1975, p. 611; Jaffe, 1979, p. 136). Jung (1975) explains that:
It is a Delphic oracle.…It says: yes, the god will be on the spot, but in what form and to what purpose? I have put the inscription there to remind my patients and myself: Timor dei initium sapientiae [The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom]. Here another not less important road begins…to God himself and this seems to be the ultimate question (p. 611).
This recognition of the presence of a transcendent power is the principle that directed the course of Jung’s life and work, and that guides the psychotherapeutic practice of analytical psychology today.
Objective unconscious and subjective unconscious, archetype and complex, libido and projection are some of the terms used by Jung to identify psychic phenomena and psychic processes. They are concepts that Jung either adapted to his use or created in order to talk about psyche and to work with psychic phenomenon. By speculating in this way, Jung has been criticized by theologians and religionists for hypostasizing or concretizing psyche (Heisig, 1979; Hostie, 1957), that is, for reducing the unknown to the known, while at the same time has been denounced as unscientific by scientists for his “metaphysical” straying from “factual reality.” These criticisms highlight a major sticking point for many regarding the validity of Jung’s approach, and, although justified to a certain extent, they are nevertheless incorrect. Jung (1969c; 1970) of course defended his psychological approach to psyche and its products, as did his collaborators (Adler, 1968; Neumann, 1954; von Franz, 1975). This is discussed in another essay because it pertains directly to his synthetic method, which is intimately connected to his hypotheses concerning psyche. To return to the main point, Jung created a working model of the psychic structure of the unconscious and of its function in influencing and supporting the development of consciousness. In this sense, Jung’s (1968b) psychology can be broadly thought of as a science of consciousness, since we only know of the unconscious as it presents itself to consciousness through dreams, symbols, fantasies, and the like. Thus, the unconscious psyche is a dynamic entity that is discernable only through its reflection in consciousness by a perceiving consciousness. This is an understanding grounded in the phenomenological approach and in no way should be construed as intending to mean that analytical psychology is an ego-based psychology concerned only with the personalistic layer of psyche (unreflected consciousness) or similar to the non-depth psychological approaches that view psyche as a byproduct of brain processes.
von Franz, M.-L. (1975). C.G. Jung: His myth in our time (W. Kennedy, Trans.). Boston: Little, Brown and Co.