Thoughts on: Man and his Symbols by Carl Jung

According to Jung, dreams carry an important role, and by interpreting their symbols we can get hints from our unconscious when the time has come to change attitudes and value systems in order to move to the next level of psychic maturity.

Dreams are a bridge between the conscious and unconscious.

This is my first encounter with Jungs work and certain parts of this book were some of the most intense and fascinating pages I’ve ever read.

Each chapter is written by different authors, each with their own angle on Jungian psychology. Unfortunately all of them don’t live up to the high standards of the introductory chapter by Jung himself.

📝 “It takes a lot of courage to take the unconscious seriously and to tackle the problems it raises.”


📝 Archaic remnants: (Freud’s term) mental forms whose presence can’t be explained by anything in the individuals own life and which seem aboriginal, innate, and inherited shapes of the human mind.


📝 “A sense of a wider meaning to ones existence is what raises a man beyond mere getting and spending. If he lacks this sense, he is lost and miserable”


📝 Civilized Man: He can do what he sets out to do without chanting and drumming. Even daily prayer and divine aid is unnecessary. “His gods and demons have not disappeared at all; they have merely got new names. They keep him on the run with relentless, vague apprehension, psychological complications, an insatiable need for pills, alcohol, tobacco, food -and, above all, a large array of neuroses.


📝 “If a man devoted himself to the instructions of his own unconscious, it can bestow this gift, so that suddenly life, which has been stale and full, turns into a rich, unending inner adventure, full of creative possibilities.”


⭐️ TAKEAWAY: I especially enjoyed reading about the individuation process and civilized vs. primitive man, and the archaic symbols of the original psyche. Initiation rites and the origin of rituals also had my full attention!


Complex, uneven but a all-in-all fantastic book!



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Book reviewer and human lab rat on a mission to put life changing books in the hands of 1 million people. By providing reviews of the best books money can buy on the topics of psychology, philosophy, human nature and human potential, I hope to inspire you to take on the calling to lifelong learning.

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