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Man and His Symbols

Man and His Symbols

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Carl G.Jung

and M.-L. von Franz, Joseph L. Henderson, Jolande Jacobi, Aniela Jaffe'

Editor: Carl G. Jung
and after his death M.-L. von Franz
Co-ordinating Editor: John Freeman
Aldus Editors Text: Douglas Hill
Design: Michael Kitson
Assistants: Marian Morris, Gilbert Doel, Michael Lloyd
Research: Margery MacLaren
Advisers: Donald Berwick, Norman MacKenzie
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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 319 p
 File Size 
 60,930 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 0-385-05221-9       
 Copyright©   
 1964 J.G. FERGUSON PUBLISHING 

Table of Contents
Part 1 Approaching the unconscious 18
Carl G. Jung
Part 2 Ancient myths and modern man 104
Joseph L. Henderson
Part 3 The process of individuation 158
M.-L. von Franz
Part 4 Symbolism in the visual arts 230
Aniela Jaffe
Part 5 Symbols in an individual analysis 272
Jolande Jacobi
Conclusion: Science and the unconscious 304
M.-L. von Franz

Notes 311
Index 316
Illustration credits 319


Introduction: John Freeman
The origins of this book are sufficiently unusual to be of interest, and
they bear a direct relation to its contents and what it sets out to do. So
let me tell you just how it came to be written.
One day in the spring of 1959 the British Broadcasting Corporation
invited me to interview for British television Dr. Carl Gustav Jung.
The interview was to be done "in d e p t h . " I knew little enough at that
time about J u n g and his work, and I at once went to make his acquaintance
at his beautiful lakeside home near Zurich. T h a t was the beginning
of a friendship that meant a great deal to me and, I hope, gave some
pleasure to J u n g in the last years of his life. The television interview
has no further place in this story, except that it was accounted successful
and that this book is by an odd combination of circumstances an endproduct
of that success.
One man who saw J u n g on the screen was Wolfgang Foges, managing
director of Aldus Books. Foges had been keenly interested in the
development of modern psychology since his childhood, when he lived
near the Freuds in Vienna. And as he watched J u n g talking about his
life and work and ideas, Foges suddenly reflected what a pity it was
that, while the general outline of Freud's work was well known to
educated readers all over the Western world, J u n g had never managed
to break through to the general public and was always considered too
difficult for popular reading.
Foges, in fact, is the creator of Man and his Symbols. Having sensed
from the T V screen that a warm personal relation existed between
Jung and myself, he asked me whether I would join him in trying to
persuade J u n g to set out some of his more important and basic ideas in
language and at a length that would be intelligible and interesting to
non-specialist adult readers. I j u m p e d at the idea and set off once more
to Zurich, determined that I could convince J u n g of the value and
importance of such a work. J u n g listened to me in his garden for two
hours almost without interruption — a n d then said no. He said it in the
nicest possible way, but with great firmness; he had never in the past
tried to popularize his work, and he wasn't sure that he could successfully
do so now; anyway, he was old and rather tired and not keen to
take on such a long commitment about which he had so many doubts.
Jung's friends will all agree with me that he was a man of most
positive decision. He would weigh up a problem with care a n d without
hurry; but when he did give his answer, it was usually final. I returned
to London greatly disappointed, but convinced that J u n g ' s refusal was
the end of the matter. So it might have been, but for two intervening
factors that I had not foreseen.
One was the pertinacity of Foges, who insisted on making one more
approach to J u n g before accepting defeat. The other was an event that,
as I look back on it, still astonishes me.
The television program was, as I have said, accounted successful. It
brought J u n g a great many letters from all sorts of people, many of
them ordinary folk with no medical or psychological training, who had
been captivated by the commanding presence, the humor, and the
modest charm of this very great man, and who had glimpsed in his
view of life and human personality something that could be helpful to
them. And J u n g was very pleased, not simply at getting letters (his
mail was enormous at all times) but at getting them from people who
would normally have no contact with him.
It was at this moment that he dreamed a dream of the greatest
importance to him. (And as you read this book, you will understand
just how important that can be.) He dreamed that, instead of sitting
in his study and talking to the great doctors and psychiatrists who used
to call on him from all over the world, he was standing in a public
place and addressing a multitude of people who were listening to him
with rapt attention and understanding what he said. . . .
When, a week or two later, Foges renewed his request that J u ng
should undertake a new book designed, not for the clinic or the philosopher's
study, but for the people in the market place, J u n g allowed
himself to be persuaded. He laid down two conditions. First, that the
book should not be a single-handed book, but the collective effort of
himself and a group of his closest followers, through whom he had
attempted to perpetuate his methods and his teaching. Secondly, that I
should be entrusted with the task of co-ordinating the work and resolving
any problems that might arise between the authors and the
publishers.
Lest it should seem that this introduction transgresses the bounds of
reasonable modesty, let me say at once that I was gratified by this
second condition — b u t within measure. For it very soon came to my
knowledge that J u n g ' s reason for selecting me was essentially that he
regarded me as being of reasonable, but not exceptional, intelligence
and without the slightest serious knowledge of psychology. Thus I was
to J u n g the "average r e a d e r " of this book; what I could understand
would be intelligible to all who would be interested; what I boggled
at might possibly be too difficult or obscure for some. Not unduly flattered
by this estimate of my role, I have none the less scrupulously insisted
(sometimes, I fear, to the exasperation of the authors) on having
every paragraph written and, if necessary, rewritten to a degree of
clarity and directness that enables me to say with confidence that this
book in its entirety is designed for and addressed to the general reader,
and that the complex subjects it deals with are treated with a r a r e and
encouraging simplicity.
After much discussion, the comprehensive subject of this book was
agreed to be Man and his Symbols; and J u n g himself selected as his
collaborators in the work Dr. Marie-Louise von Franz of Zurich, perhaps
his closest professional confidante and friend; Dr. Joseph L. Henderson
of San Francisco, one of the most prominent and trusted of
American J u n g i a n s ; Mrs. Aniela Jaffe of Zurich, who, in addition to
being an experienced analyst, was J u n g ' s confidential private secretary
and his biographer; and Dr. J o l a n d e J a c o b i , who after J u n g himself
is the most experienced author among J u n g ' s Zurich circle. These four
people were chosen partly because of their skill and experience in the
particular subjects allocated to them and partly because all of them
were completely trusted by J u n g to work unselfishly to his instructions
as members of a team. J u n g ' s personal responsibility was to plan the
structure of the whole book, to supervise and direct the work of his
collaborators, and himself to write the keynote chapter, "Approaching
the Unconscious."
The last year of his life was devoted almost entirely to this book, and
when he died in J u n e 1961, his own section was complete (he finished
it, in fact, only some 10 days before his final illness) and his colleagues'
chapters had all been approved by him in draft. After his death, Dr.
von Franz assumed over-all responsibility for the completion of the
book in accordance with J u n g ' s express instructions. T h e subject matter
of Man and his Symbols and its outline were therefore laid down—
and in detail—by J u n g . The chapter that bears his name is his work
and (apart from some fairly extensive editing to improve its intelligi-
bility to the general reader) nobody else's. It was written, incidentally,
in English. T h e remaining chapters were written by the various authors
to J u n g ' s direction and under his supervision. The final editing of the
complete work after J u n g ' s death has been done by Dr. von Franz with
a patience, understanding, and good humor that leave the publishers
and myself greatly in her debt.
Finally as to the contents of the book itself:
J u n g ' s thinking has colored the world of modern psychology more
than many of those with casual knowledge realize. Such familiar terms,
for instance, as " e x t r a v e r t , " " i n t r o v e r t , " and "archetype" are all
J u n g i a n concepts—borrowed and sometimes misused by others. But his
overwhelming contribution to psychological understanding is his concept
of the unconscious—not (like the unconscious of Freud) merely
a sort of glory-hole of repressed desires, but a world that is j u s t as much
a vital and real part of the life of an individual as the conscious,
"cogitating" world of the ego, and infinitely wider and richer. The
language and the "people" of the unconscious are symbols, and the
means of communications dreams.
Thus an examination of Man and his Symbols is in effect an examination
of man's relation to his own unconscious. And since in J u n g 's
view the unconscious is the great guide, friend, and adviser of the
conscious, this book is related in the most direct terms to the study of
human beings and their spiritual problems. We know the unconscious
and communicate with it (a two-way service) principally by dreams;
and all through this book (above all in J u n g ' s own chapter) you will
find a quite remarkable emphasis placed on the importance of dreaming
in the life of the individual.
It would be an impertinence on my part to attempt to interpret
J u n g ' s work to readers, many of whom will surely be far better qualified
to understand it than I am. My role, remember, was merely to
serve as a sort of "intelligibility filter" and by no means as an interpreter.
Nevertheless, I venture to offer two general points that seem
important to me as a layman and that may possibly be helpful to other
non-experts. The first is about dreams. To J u n g i a n s the dream is not a
kind of standardized cryptogram that can be decoded by a glossary
of symbol meanings. It is a n integral, important, and personal expression
of the individual unconscious. It is just as " r e a l " as any other
phenomenon attaching to the individual. The, dreamer's individual
unconscious is communicating with the dreamer alone and is selecting
symbols for its purpose that have meaning to the dreamer and to
nobody else. Thus the interpretation of dreams, whether by the analyst
or by the dreamer himself, is for the J u n g i a n psychologist an entirely
personal and individual business (and sometimes an experimental and
very lengthy one as well) that can by no means be undertaken by
rule of thumb.
The converse of this is that the communications of the unconscious
are of the highest importance to the dreamer—naturally so, since the
unconscious is at least half of his total being—and frequently offer him
advice or guidance that could be obtained from no other source. Thus,
when I described J u n g ' s dream about addressing the multitude, I was
not describing a piece of magic or suggesting that J u n g dabbled in
fortune telling. I was recounting in the simple terms of daily experience
how J u n g was "advised" by his own unconscious to reconsider an
inadequate j u d g m e n t he had made with the conscious part of his mind.
Now it follows from this that the dreaming of dreams is not a matter
that the well-adjusted Jungian can regard as simply a matter of
chance. O n the contrary, the ability to establish communications with
the unconscious is a part of the whole man, and Jungians "teach"
themselves (I can think of no better term) to be receptive to dreams.
When, therefore, J u n g himself1 was faced with the critical decision
whether or not to write this book, he was able to d r aw on the resources
of both his conscious and his unconscious in making up his mind. And
all through this book you will find the dream treated as a direct, personal,
and meaningful communication to the dreamer —a communication
that uses the symbols common to ajl mankind, but that uses them
on every occasion in an entirely individual way that can be interpreted
only by an entirely individual "key."
The second point I wish to make is about a particular characteristic
of argumentative method that is common to all the writers of this book
perhaps to all J u n g i a n s . Those who have limited themselves to living
entirely in the world of the conscious and who reject communication
with the unconscious bind themselves by the laws of conscious, formal
life. With the infallible (but often meaningless) logic of the algebraic
equation, they argue from assumed premises to incontestably deduced
conclusions. J u n g and his colleagues seem to me (whether they know it
or not) to reject the limitations of this method of argument. It is not
that they ignore logic, but they appear all the time to be arguing to the
unconscious as well as to the conscious. Their dialectical method is itself
symbolic and often devious. They convince not by means of the narrowly
focused spotlight of the syllogism, but by skirting, by repetition,
by presenting a recurring view of the same subject seen each time from
a slightly different angle — until suddenly the reader who has never
been aware of a single, conclusive moment of proof finds that he has
unknowingly embraced and taken into himself some wider truth.
J u n g ' s arguments (and those of his colleagues) spiral upward over
his subject like a bird circling a tree. At first, near the ground, it sees
only a confusion of leaves and branches. Gradually, as it circles higher
and higher, the recurring aspects of the tree form a wholeness and
relate to their surroundings. Some readers may find this "spiraling"
method of argument obscure or even confusing for a few pages—but
not, I think, for long. It is characteristic of J u n g ' s method, and very
soon the reader will find it carrying him with it on a persuasive and
profoundly absorbing journey.
The different sections of this book speak for themselves and require
little introduction from me. J u n g ' s own chapter introduces the reader
to the unconscious, to the archetypes and symbols that form its language
and to the dreams by which it communicates. Dr. Henderson in
the following chapter illustrates the appearance of several archetypal
patterns in ancient mythology, folk legend, and primitive ritual. Dr.
von Franz, in the chapter entitled " T h e Process of Individuation,"
describes the process by which the conscious and the unconscious
within an individual learn to know, respect, and accommodate one
another. In a certain sense this chapter contains not only the crux of
the whole book, but perhaps the essence of J u n g ' s philosophy of life:
Man becomes whole, integrated, calm, fertile, and happy when (and
only when) the process of individuation is complete, when the conscious
and the unconscious have learned to live at peace and to complement
one another. Mrs. Jaffe, like Dr. Henderson, is concerned
with demonstrating, in the familiar fabric of the conscious, man's
recurring interest in—almost obsession with — the symbols of the unconscious.
They have for him a profoundly significant, almost a nour-
ishing and sustaining, inner attraction — whether they occur in the
myths and fairy tales that Dr. Henderson analyzes or in the visual arts,
which, as Mrs. Jaffe shows, satisfy and delight us by a constant appeal
to the unconscious.
Finally, I must say a brief word about Dr. J a c o b i ' s chapter, which
is somewhat separate from the rest of the book. It is in fact an abbreviated
case history of one interesting and successful analysis. T h e value
of such a chapter in a book like this is obvious; but two words of warning
are nevertheless necessary. First, as Dr. von Franz points out, there
is no such thing as a typical J u n g i a n analysis. There can't be, because
every dream is a private and individual communication, and no two
dreams use the symbols of the unconscious in the same way. So every
Jungian analysis is unique — a n d it is misleading to consider this one,
taken from Dr. J a c o b i ' s clinical files (or any other one there has ever
been), as "representative" or " t y p i c a l . " All one can say of the case of
Henry and his sometimes lurid dreams is that they form one true
example of the way in which the J u n g i a n method may be applied to
a particular case. Secondly, the full history of even a comparatively
uncomplicated case would take a whole book to recount. Inevitably, the
story of Henry's analysis suffers a little in compression. The references,
for instance, to the / Ching have been somewhat obscured and lent an
unnatural (and to me unsatisfactory) flavor of the occult by being presented
out of their full context. Nevertheless, we concluded—and I am
sure the reader will agree — t h a t , with the warnings duly given, the
clarity, to say nothing of the human interest, of Henry's analysis
greatly enriches this book.
I began by describing how J u n g came to write Man and his Symbols.
I end by reminding the reader of what a remarkable — perhaps unique
—publication this is. Carl Gustav J u n g was one of the great doctors of
all time and one of the great thinkers of this century. His object always
was to help men and women to know themselves, so that by self-knowledge
and thoughtful self-use they could lead full, rich, and happy lives.
At the very end of his own life, which was as full, rich, and happy as
any I have encountered, he decided to use the strength that was
left him to address his message to a wider public than he had ever
tried to reach before. He completed his task and his life in the same
month. This book is his legacy to the broad reading public.



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First published in the United States of America in 1964
Reprinted in 1968,1970,1971,1972,1974,1975,1976,1979,1983,1988

Printed and bound in Spain by TONSA, San Sebastian

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