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The Portable Jung by Carl G. Jung
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The Portable Jung (1976)

by Carl G. Jung, Joseph Campbell (Editor)

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The first thing that I will say is that this is an amazing book. This is well worth the trip down to the local bookstore; finding the Psychology section; searching through what is really "self-help" (late night crapola that has become popular) to find this gem. If you're like most people then you'll probably go to amazon or some other place so I will save you the trouble and post the link.http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Jung-Viking-Library/dp/0140150706Now to the book.Edited by Joseph Campbell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell) and translated by R.F.C. Hull this collection of works (which I've found to be very extensive but by far just the tip of the proverbial iceberg) is humbly life changing.It took me a bit longer to finish this book than what I thought mainly because I underestimated how much I would love this book. I underestimated how much that I would want to dissect and ponder line by line, page by page of the shear soundness of the logic, reason, and thought that this book revealed. Also, throwing it in the back pack and forgetting it; reading on lunch breaks, the Bart, bus, and before sleep and not being diligent for an hour a day like I normally am added a few weeks.This tome opens with his "Stages of Life" which discusses the stages of psychological development (and problems there of) as a person ages. The child state or "the unbearable age" which is marked by birth and roughly puberty where it is said that one said to be govern by "instinct" rather than conscience. The next state roughly is from puberty to mid life where he explains the the development of "self" and the desire for one to gain achievement, social standing, family, friends, religion. Then the last stage where he discuses logically and insightfully the latter part of life. He explains how and why some people become rigid, unwilling to embrace anything "new" and or "different" to the other extreme of rejecting the "old way" or "mid life crisis". The riding of what has worked in the past to embrace any idea that is not new and different.The next work is "The Structure of the Psyche". Here we are introduced to one of the most famous and ground breaking ideas in modern psychological thought "Collective Unconscious"The collective unconscious so far as we can say anything about it at all appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious.C. G. JungThis idea in its time not only revolutionized the world of psychology but the world in general. The idea that all people no matter what or where are connected not just by the mere physically form of the human being but in some way the human mind is also connected to all other human minds. This idea still sends chills down some spines while being disregarded at the same time. If we fast forward to chapter 4 "The Concept of the Collective Unconscious" Jung goes more in dept in his explanation of his idea and introduces the archetypal factors of collective unconscious.If we fast forward another 4 chapters we get to what Jung is probably most famous for "Psychological Types". Here he introduces the "Introvert" and the "Extraverted" types. Which again has been so revolutionary they remain a part of our lexicon and are halfway understood by most people today. I challenge anyone to fill out an survey online (for fun or for work) and not see the questionAre you more introverted or extraverted?A word of cation; when reading understand (and it is said at the end of the chapter) most people are a mixture of both and most people gravitate slightly more to one or the other. So don't freak out if you see yourself in one of these types because he does get down and dirty in explaining the failings of both. The problem arises when one is so extreme that one is strictly one or the other. Again that is likely not to happen but, compared to modern psychological studies you see how one can easily fall in OCD patterns or bouts of exhibitionism. This chapter was one of my favorites in the whole book I read it twice which again added to the time.Going back a few chapters to 6 "Aion: Phenomenology of Self" I think is another one of the pillars that modern psychology is based upon. If your a dork like me you will absolutely love every single word and eventually end up highlighting every page of this chapter.Part 2 of the book was however a tad bit disappointing. The fervor that worked you into fanatic fascination in part one was brought to a mild hum in part two. "The Transcendent function" I found agreeable and a natural fulfillment of chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6. I disagree with his stand point in "Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry.Art by its very nature is not science, and science by its very nature is not art; both these spheres of the mind have something in reserve that is peculiar to them and can be explained only in its own terms. Hence when we speak of the relation of psychology to art, we shall treat only of that aspect of art which can be submitted to psychological scrutiny without violation its nature. Whatever the psychologist has to say about art will be confined to the process of artistic creation and has noting to do with its innermost essence. He can no more explain this than the intellect can describe or even understand the nature of feelingC.G. JungI agree and disagree with this statement. While it is true that we should not go out and arrest Steve King or Hideo Yamamoto based on the content of their artistic expression any good criminal psychologist will tell you that the truly insane and the truly disturbed killers, rapists, and what have you see their destruction as art. Take Manson for example. The difference is that while writers and artist can freely write, draw, and or paint about killing, raping and pillaging, the fact that they do not act on the idea separates the criminal malfunction from artistic expression.Chapter 12 "The Spiritual Problem of Modern Man" I found to be the saving grace of part two of the bookIt must be clearly understood that the mere fact of living in the present does not make a man modern, for in that case everyone at the present alive would be so. He alone is modern who is fully conscious of the present.C. G. JungI think that if this had been written today it might be categorized in the dreaded "self help" section rather than its rightful place of psychology. This was a reminder to me that some of these men that come on late night television and public broadcasting networks and spout out ideas (however watered down they may be) are really saying things that ancient people like Lou Tzu and modern people like C.G. Jung have said time and time again. Only they have re-worded/written them to sound as if it was their own shiny new thing.Part three was a true let down. "Synchronicity" I feel should have been more expansive and his "Answer to Job" would have been better left out as I felt it took away from the other works.To sum it all up if your a dork like me and you like psychological works and think that Freud was a complete idiot you will absolutely love Jung and this book. Stay away from part three and as a homosexual man I found chapter 7 "Marriage as a Psychological Relationship" and his views on homosexuality very interesting and understandable (but not excusable) for a man of his time. Get two copies of this book so after you have highlighted, dogeared, tagged, and folded the first one you still have one that you can read over and over again. ( )
  a1abwriter | Sep 25, 2012 |
Review while reading for each section:
Section 1: The Stages of Life
This section refers to the dynamics of psyche according to Jung. Yes, there is psychoanalysis, incorporated but it's all through symbolic constructs. He speaks of a physiological change in flux with a psychic revolution, meaning that man's physiology can't not be insinc with man's true instincts. He speaks about the process of thinking (or thoughts) how this is confusing to man, as man continues to change from childhood-to adolescence and then to adulthood. But more importantly, Jung claims somewhere either centered or periphery in our thoughts there are primordial images or archetypes. This is the beginning of what he explains to us as how we are all essentially the same. He uses examples later about hypochondriacs and schizophrenics explaining that though their cognition starts out the same, how they deal with this images isn't. ( )
  nieva21 | Aug 15, 2010 |
A great introduction to Jung, but more explanatory footnotes would prove useful. ( )
  openset | Nov 27, 2006 |
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Carl G. Jungprimary authorall editionscalculated
Campbell, JosephEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To discuss the problems connected with the stages of human development is an exacting task, for it means nothing less than unfolding a picture of psychic life in its entirety from the cradle to the grave.
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Presents a compilation of writings by the Swiss psychoanalyst.

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