Tuesday, July 12, 2011

map of the soul (introduction)

from the Introduction of Jung's Map of the Soul

Jung's map of the psyche is a massive acheivement of intellect, observation, and creative intuition.

I come back to the question I asked before: Is there really a system in Jung's works?  Is he a systematic thinker? The answer is probably a guarded yes.  The theory is coherent, in the same way that Switzerland is a coherent country although the population speaks four different languages.  The whole hangs together even though the parts look as if they could stand alone and function quite independently.  Jung did not think systematically in the way a philosopher does, building on basic premises and making certain that the parts fit together without contradiction.  He claimed to be an empirical scientist, and so his theorizing matches the disorderliness of the empirical world.  An intuitive thinker, Jung lays out big concepts, elaborates them in some detail, and then proceeds to other big concepts.  He backtracks frequently, repeats himself, and fills in gaps as he goes along.

A story is told of Jung by his students in Zurich.  Once when he was criticized for being inconsistent on some point of theory, he responded:  I have my eye  on the central fire, and I am trying to put some mirrors around it to show it to others.  Sometimes the edges of those mirrors leave gaps and don't fit together exactly.  I can't help that.  Look at what I'm trying to point to!

taken from JUNG'S Map of the Soul by Murray Stein

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