Freud and Jung
SEP 06 2012

Jung vs Freud

Exploring dreams

The dispute among Freud and Jung is one of the most followed by the historical science media. As always in these cases, people tend to take sides for either one of the great scientists. As we are suggesting in this post, we should gratefully profit from both contributions and leave the Jung vs. Freud episode to them.

Freud and Jung

Group photo in front of Clark University (1909) Sigmund Freud, Stanley Hall, C.G.Jung; Back row: Abraham A. Brill, Ernest Jones, Sandor Ferenczi

“I would like to know more about this Dr, Jung” said Doris, my young co-explorer. “You have talked a lot about Dr. Freud, his work on dreams and the subconscious. Now is Jung’s time”·

“His story is fascinating” I said, “and his ideas on psychology are considered innovative and very influential on today’s scientists and doctors. Many of them consider themselves “Jungians” practitioners”.

“… He was not only Dr. Freud disciple but also his close friend. The first time they met personally, in Vienna 1907, they chatted for thirteen hours. Freud considered Jung the heir of his creation; the psychoanalysis.

“… Five years later, their friendship would have come to an end and a very strong and very famous antagonism would have grown between them”

“Why? What happened?”

“Jung would disagree publicly with some Freud’s ideas in a famous conference held in the US; especially the ideas attributing all the mental related illness to sexual trauma. There must be more than one hinge in the universe, Jung would say. 

“… Freud considered it treason. That brutal and sanctimonious Jung! Freud exclaimed” 

“They acted like cheerleaders, if you ask me” Doris said.

“Yes” I said giggling. “They were an odd kind of primadonnas, but they both did contribute largely to the human knowledge.

“ … Like Freud, Jung created some of the best known concepts modern psychology uses, including the terms introvert and extrovert, the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity

“… He founded the Analytical Psychology and proposed that everyone had a personal dilemma to solve: integrating his opposites through a psychological process he called Individuation.” 

“What does integrating the opposites mean? It sounds a like something we learnt in math class.”

“According to Jung, we all have two sides of our personality; the one we show to the world, which everybody – including ourselves – can recognize, and another dark side we unconsciously hide deep within ourselves and nobody knows about.” 

“Yes. I know a couple of people like that.”

“Jung believed that all of the psychological problems that people had to deal with came from the conflict between the two sides of the personality. Once the conflict was detected, the integration of the personalities into one could take place and the problem could be solved.” 

“That makes sense but it’s not too innovative to me. That is, more or less, what we all think psychology is all about” Doris said.

“Maybe it is today, Doris, but Jung was the first one to propose the idea. Before him, psychology only had Freud’s psychoanalysis, which attributed all the psychological illness to traumas suffered in the early childhood. And before Freud, not even that.” 

“How would they treat insane people then?”

“You don’t want to know, dear Doris, Let’s just say that society was ruled by fear and superstition until not so far away in the past. Depending of severity of their diseases, the mentally ill were ignored; keep isolated or submitted to brutal physical treatments and abusive chirurgical procedures.” 

“You mean, like breaking into their heads?… literally?”

“In some cases, yes, but let’s drop the subject, shall we?”

“Ok, what are we talking about now?”

“Let’s return to Dr. Jung.  The next time we meet, we will talk about some kind of information we receive while we sleep and how Mr. Jung himself experienced something that could be considered a dream travel.”

“Now, that’s interesting” Doris, said.


NOTE: If you found this article interesting, you should read our book “Why Do We Dream?”, where we propose a new mind-bending theory about where do dreams come from and the nature of dreams. Find the Amazon version here.

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There are 12 comments

  • Orion Desmond on said:

    It’s a great story of honorable two scientist, Dr, Jung and Dr. Freud. Really it’s very interesting story, which is need to read and know about them to all. Thanks for nice post.

  • Ann on said:

    Very interesting. Yes. Hum. But what does chirurgical mean? That Doris is one smart young lady. Relative? Good blog as usual, Gustavo.

  • Desi on said:

    Love this, Gustavo. You might be shocked to learn that trapanation is still practiced by some. Not therapists or psychologists (or at least, I really, really hope not) but by troubled people who take the mind-body connection a little too seriously. You already know I’m Team Jung, but I do see the value of Freud’s early work. Much of what Freud wrote in later years was misinterpreted or distorted by vitriol, depression, and rapidly declining health. Imagine if his great mind had been born a century later.
    Desi recently posted..Fiction, LIX

  • Kristen on said:

    Love your presentation of the relationship between Jung and Freud. Jung and Freud were certainly revolutionary, especially for their time. I would have to say that each had an interesting and unique contribution to psychology and philosophy. Even though the ups and downs of their relationship seems kind of funny, these epic battles of beliefs are not uncommon in psychology, even today.
    Kristen recently posted..Everything Is Falling Apart

  • gustavo on said:

    You are very welcomed, Orion. Thank you for paying a visit and commenting.

  • gustavo on said:

    Hi Ann, if you are worried about chirurgical related to trepanation, well… you are right. That’s the way they used to do it those days. For what regards to Doris, she is a fictional character based on someone very close to me, who strongly commanded me not to tell anyone that she’s my daughter.
    gustavo recently posted..Jung vs Freud

  • gustavo on said:

    Hi Desi, I totally agree with you. You don’t have to dislike Freud in order to team with Jung. Nobody is perfect and anyone can find bad things in the life of any other. Not so long ago I read about bad actions of two of my biggest heroes: Einstein and Gandhi. After the first disappointment, I had to make myself remember that the good things they both did were made by human beings.
    gustavo recently posted..Jung vs Freud

  • gustavo on said:

    Hi Kristen. Thank you for your comment which is quite a compliment considering it comes from an expert on the field.

  • Ron Mendez on said:

    What an awesome story. Those are two great people that I’d love to read their discoveries in depth. Thanks a for for this awesome sharing.

  • Carl G. Jung. | Frugal Science on said:

    [...] The last time we met we talked about the Individuation, the Analytical Psychology and Dr. Carl G. Jung’s theory about the two sides of our personality we all have to handle. Today we will take a look at what he proposed regarding the dream mystery. [...]

  • Stan Cahn on said:

    I recently read that modern psychiatry has by and large abandoned the work of both of these pioneers. Modern psychiatrist’s depend more on drug therapy, psychoanalysis.
    Stan Cahn recently posted..Orchid Care – Phaleanopsis Orchids

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    Behind Frugal Science
    Hi there! I’m Gustavo and Frugal Science is about helping you rediscover your exploring nature and enjoying the benefits of looking life in a different way. Anybody can become a true explorer –it’s our nature-, all you need is a mindful attention and some frugal science.
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