Carl Gustav Jung was born on July 26, 1875 to a Swiss Pastor and his wife, in Kesswil, Switzerland. He was raised in Basel and attended school in Klein-Huningen. As a young boy Carl was fascinated by language, literature and archeology but was not really interested in school. He eventually enrolled and continued his education at the Humanistisches Gymnasium in Basel, and excelled at Latin. Because of his father’s faith, Jung developed a keen interest in religious history, but settled on the study of medicine at the University of Basel.
He earned his medical degree in 1902 from the University of Zurich and went Paris to study psychology. Jung entered the field of psychiatry as an intern to Eugen Bleuler at the University of Zurich where he explored the unconscious mind and its related complexes. Jung was drafted into World War I and served as an army doctor for the British. In 1903, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach, with whom he had five children. Jung traveled throughout the world to teach and influence others with his psychoanalytical theories.
He published many books relating to psychology, and others that seemed outside the realm science, including Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, which examined and dissected the psychological significance of UFO sightings. Jung’s work embodied his belief that each person has a life purpose that is based in their spiritual self. Through his eastern, western and mythological studies, Jung developed a theory of transformation which he called individuation.
He explained individualism as being the personal development of one’s connection between the ego and self, which was based on Freud’s three part theory of personality. He further pursued and explored the idea of individuation in Psychology and Alchemy, a book in which he detailed the relationship of alchemies in the psychoanalytical process. Jung developed the idea of introversion and extroversion type of personality. He outlined the theory of the four fundamental psychological functions of thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition.
His most difficult concept deals with archetypes which are inherited predispositions to respond to the world in a certain way. Jung’s relationship with Sigmund Freud began with his Studies in Word Association, a book that he published in 1906 and sent to Freud. In 1907 Jung met with Freud and their first discussions lasted 13 hours. In 1909 Jung opened his own practice and travelled to the United States with Freud. Their friendship lasted until 1913, at which time they parted ways due to a difference in academic opinion.
Jung somewhat agreed with Freud’s theory of the unconscious, but believed further in the existence of a much deeper collective unconscious and representative archetypes. He disagreed with the idea that the unconscious is motivated by sexuality. This fundamental difference caused their friendship and professional opinions to be in conflict. Carl Jung is recognized as one of the most influential psychiatrists of all time. He founded Analytical Psychology and was among the first experts in his field to explore the religious nature behind human psychology.
He developed the concept of the complex and identified the parallel roles of extraversion and introversion. He deepened the meaning of the unconscious by stating the existence of the collective unconscious and all of its archetypes. Additionally, the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous were in part inspired by Jung’s belief in an evangelic cure for alcoholism. His works, theories, and schools of thought are still widely discussed in universities and psychology curriculums around the world.