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Memories, Dreams, Reflections Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're looking for a book "about" the life of Carl Jung, keep on looking. This is not so much a biography as it is a window into the process of Jung's experience. Think of this as Jung's "case summary" of his life. We don't read many of the amusing anectdotes, or "objective" critical insights that other biographies offer in abundance. Instead we get to experience Jung's auto-mythos for ourselves.
Jung reveals much, imparts wisdom, offers us early memories, and paints the canvas of his life for us. It's an incredible gift from a wise and self-reflective man. Jung was not without his faults, as other biographers have pointed out, he had many--some quite appalling! More than one of his analysands became his lover--behavior that would cost him his license today. But again, this is material you should look elsewhere for. Here he ponders his fears, his weaknesses, the ones that he has already accepted and worked with.
I recommend this book for people who have never read Jung before. It teaches more about his approach than any of his other books. It finds the meaning in his own life, viewed through his approach to life. "Meaninglessness inhibits fullness of life and is therefore the equivalent to illness. Meaning makes a great many things endurable--perhaps everything." (p. 340)
Jung had a difficult but remarkable childhood, to which he devotes a substantial portion of the text. Both blessed and plagued by heretical visions which he was unprepared to understand or interpret (among them: God defecating on a cathedral; an enormous cyclopean phallus enthroned in a subterranean chamber), Jung also found himself unable to seek advice from his father, a country parson suffering from a crisis of faith, or his mother, whom Jung believed to have a weird and "uncanny" "second personality" which only emerged at night. In time, the awkward young Carl came to believe that he had a guiding "second personality" of his own, which he perceived to belong to a mature and intellectually accomplished man of 18th century Europe (as an adult, Jung would adopt another "psychic being," whom he called "Philemon," as his personal "daimon," mentor, and guide). Already tending temperamentally towards remove from others, these experiences only acerbated Jung's boyhood sense of rural backwardness, loneliness, and social isolation.
Due to both its subjective nature and the enormous scope of Jung's experiences and speculative beliefs, 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections' is the sort of book that hardline scientists and skeptics may scoff at, especially since Jung is largely concerned with discovering the liminal crossroads where objective truth, physical law, spirituality, and human psychology converge.Read more ›
This book is basically an autobiography and it is very dense reading. Jung was highly educated in a variety of fields and without some basic understanding of philosophy, major literary figures and mythology, it may be a difficult reading. However, if taken slowly, it is truly manageable and you will discover many gems.
I agree with some of the other excellent reviews that suggest that this volume presents Jung the legend more than being an objective account of his life. However, it offers a lot of insight into his thinking, major influences, etc. It is a fascinating story in itself.
I think this book is most useful and interesting to people who already know a lot about Jung. It is not the best introduction to Jung. If you want a good introduction, I would suggest Murray Stein's "Jung's Map of the Soul." Another concise introduction in Jung's own words is Aion. I would read one or both of these first before tackling this volume.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kind of a long dull read, I guess if you're into the guy or psychology it would be good. But for someone just wanting to get a feel for him and the subject it wasn't for mePublished 1 month ago by D S
If I could invite Carl Jung to dinner, I would. This book serves as incredible insight to his masterful mind.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Helps you understand Jung as a person in light of his beliefs and experience.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Sometimes is too much for my limited knowledge. But is great author.Published 3 months ago by comunadia
While Jung's ideas have permeated mainstream psychology, his exploration of mysticism has received less attention. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Susana M.
With all due respect to Carl Jung, this is lazily organized, as told to, ramblings of an 83-year old man who deserved better. Read morePublished 4 months ago by J. Rodeck
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