New to Jung?
compiled by J. Gary Sparks
• • Who was Carl Gustav Jung? • •
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the science of depth psychology (dealing with the unconscious and dreams). He lived from 1875 until 1961. Many of his psychological ideas took form during the early 1900's while he was a young psychiatrist. In 1907 he met Sigmund Freud and a collaboration between the two continued until 1913. Both men richly fertilized each other's work, with Jung valuing the expertise of the older and more experienced Freud. Although Freud contributed much to Jung's understanding, from the beginning Jung's ideas were different, and in 1913 the two pioneers ended their cooperation. Jung then elaborated his own understanding of human development.
Jungian psychology does not dismiss Freud's emphasis on the importance of past events in shaping a person's behavior, but it also sees an inborn healing process in each individual which, when properly understood, can exhibit a powerful influence over emotional growth. Jung's psychological research illustrates the nature of the healing process, the role of symbols in expressing it, and the therapeutic attitudes that support it.
• Getting Started with Jung •
June Singer, Boundaries of the Soul. Warmly readable; written in the seventies and revised in the nineties; an extremely pleasant introduction with many examples; sometimes the reader gets more of Singer than Jung.
Frieda Fordham, An Introduction to Jung's Psychology. The shortest and clearest introduction available; a bit dry.
Daryl Sharp, Digesting Jung: Food for the Journey. Affectionately and well-written from the dean of Jungian humor; a narrative account of Jung's psychology; easily accessible prose. Available in paperback and also as a free download.
_____, Jung Uncorked Quartet: Includes Jung Uncorked: Books One, Two, Three and Four. Close explication of Jung's ideas in his Collected Works. Thoughtful and accurate examination of Jung's ideas, first presented in Jung's own words then succinctly explained by the author in a down-to-earth way.
C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols, especially chapters 1 and 3. The hardcover edition's rich illustrations make it worth the extra cost. Jung composed his essay—the last he wrote—in English to force himself to explain the material clearly.
(if you prefer ample pictures)
Aniela Jaffé, ed., C.G. Jung: Word and Image. A beautiful introduction to Jung's life and work with many photographs.
Gerhard Wehr, An Illustrated Biography of C.G. Jung. Another introduction to Jung's life and work, also with very fine pictures.
• Getting Started with Dreams •
(read this book first or second)
Robert Johnson, Inner Work. A clear, step-by-step introductory account of how to work with dreams; a good first book if you are totally new to Jung and dreams; a reliable guide presenting interpretive basics.
(listen to these tapes first or second)
Marion Woodman, Dreams: Language of the Soul. Sounds True audio tape, ISBN 1564550524. An easily understandable introduction to dreamwork by a fine and gracious teacher.
(read the three dream essays third)
C.G. Jung, "The Practical Use of Dream-Analysis" (1934), in Collected Works [hereafter CW], vol. 16.
_____, "General Aspects of Dream Psychology" (1948), in CW , vol. 8.
_____, "On the Nature of Dreams" (1948), in CW, vol. 8.
The three essays by Jung are a next read after becoming familiar with the absolute basics as, for example, Johnson and Woodman present them. The three essays are also available in one paperback volume:
C.G. Jung, Dreams.
(read this volume fourth)
C.G. Jung, Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar.... A transcription of a seminar Jung gave in English from 1928 - 1930; the text is the easiest of Jung's more complex works to understand since he is speaking, not writing; in the seminar he discusses thirty dreams of one individual during a year's analysis; the presentation is done in a step-by-step fashion; the reader can clearly follow the development of the man's personality over the course of the year's dreams; an excellent work and very rewarding read; see the study guide at my website.
• Jung's Life •
Barbara Hannah, Jung: His Life and Work. An commendable account of Jung's life and the events in it from one of his closest students.
C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. His autobiography; not easy reading but a must.
Laurens van der Post, Jung and the Story of our Time. A sensitive biography in heartfelt style from one of Jung's close friends.
Marie-Louise von Franz, C.G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time. A distinguished account of Jung's life and the development of his ideas and work.
• Intermediate Jung •
Jolanda Jacobi, The Psychology of C.G. Jung. Thorough, accurate, dry.
C.G. Jung, Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice. Introductory lectures given at the Tavistock Clinic in England; a little terse but very informative.
_____, Jolanda Jacobi and R.F.C. Hull eds., C.G. Jung: Psychological Reflections. Selections from Jung's collected works; the cream of Jung's writings.
_____, W. McGuire and R.F.C. Hull eds., C.G. Jung Speaking. Collected interviews of Jung on his life and work; very pleasant reading.
_____, The Undiscovered Self. A very satisfying discussion of Jung's psychology and the problem of individuality in our time.
John Sanford, The Invisible Partners. A clear exposition of anima/us, but I feel he gets lost after p. 67.
Marion Woodman, Conscious Femininity. Easily digestible interview-styled presentation of practical implications and applications of Jung's work.
• Jung on the WWW •
The C.G. Jung Page contains a wealth of up-to-date information on Jungian psychology and has links to various Jung institutes, societies and resources.