9780486424996 / 0486424995

Psychology of the Unconscious


Publisher:Dover Publications



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About the book:

Breaking from Freud by allowing for nonsexual psychic forces driving the libido, Carl Jung made a more lasting name for himself than did his mentor. Psychology of the Unconscious is a prodigious leap away from Freud's dictatorial constraints, exploring the mythic aspects of our interior lives in exquisite detail. While he sometimes sacrifices readability for erudition, this is no failing for the interested student, who strives to follow Jung as he moves from Norse mythology to Shakespeare to Sanskrit etymology quickly but seamlessly. Focusing in particular on the vivid dream and fantasy life of "Miss Miller," he often uses her words as a kind of airstrip from which to take off on his own flights of imagination, always careful to stay focused on analysis and understanding and limited only by his exhaustive knowledge.

Having demonstrated to his own satisfaction that the libido (the energy of the unconscious) transcends sex, Jung sets about showing the reader how it is so. Never denying Freud's crucial insights into sexual history and fantasies, he goes beyond them to tell a story prefiguring mythicists like Joseph Campbell's. The libido becomes a hero, escaping from confinement, having multifarious adventures in the world, but always returning to the source of its power--the unconscious--in dreams and imagination. This powerful, elastic theory is still in use today, and Jung's Psychology of the Unconscious deservedly takes its place among those books that have most greatly influenced the way we think about ourselves. --Rob Lightner

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