Carl Jung
Researched and written by: Matt Tower
I attest that the following biography is a product of my own original work..

“The foundation of all mental illness is the unwillingness to experience legitimate suffering.”
“Religion is a defense against the experience of God.” 


Childhood/Family Life


Carl Jung was born in Kesswil, Switzerland to Johann Paul Achilles Jung and Emilie Preiswerk on July 26, 1875 (Infoplease, 2005). Carl was named after his paternal grandfather who was a surgeon at Basel. His father, Johann, was a Protestant Clergyman who had difficulties with his spiritual life when Emilie’s health declined. Carl and his father rarely saw eye-to-eye on most issues. Emilie suffered from poor health in her later years and was described by Carl as distant emotionally (Frostburg).

As a young child Carl, too, suffered from fragile health. He spent much time studying at home under watchful care. In grade school, he found practically no friends and was relatively disliked (Jung, 2005). Despite this, however, it was recognized that he had “a vivid imagination.”(Jung, 2005, p. 1) Later in grade school, Carl began to suffer from fainting spells from reading (Biography, 2005). He continued to read despite this handicap and eventually grew out of it. After high school, Carl went on to become a medical student at Basel, which his family ties probably dictated. One year into college, his father died and Carl was left to explore other fields of interest. He became interested in parapsychology and wrote his first publication on occult phenomena. Carl graduated from Basel in 1900.

Adult Life


Even in his graduate studies Jung was considered arrogant by his colleagues, but his creativity still shined through. In 1902, he completed his dissertation titled “On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena” (Literature, 2005). A year later, he married Emma Rauschenbach, a rich girl who also had family ties to Basel. Also in 1903, he worked with Riklin to establish an experimental psychology laboratory. Together, they worked out and tested theories of word association tests as they related to psychopathology. In 1905, Jung became senior physician at Burgholzli Psychiatric Clinic and continued to lecture at the University of Zurich (Biography, 2005). One day a paralyzed woman came to see Jung, who put her under hypnosis. Upon awakening she proclaimed herself cured and the image of Jung as a miracle worker began to spread (Frostburg, 2005).

Around 1905, Jung sent some copies of his word association studies to Freud, who was already a big name in psychology. They began to exchange ideas and theories which led to a meeting in 1907 (Literature, 2005). They hit it off having similar views and Freud wished for Jung to continue his work on his theories of psychoanalysis. This would not be the case as Jung disagreed with Freud about sex being man’s great drive, favoring the fear of death instead. This disagreement led to a falling out between the two which left them respectful of each other at a minimum.

After his time with Freud, Jung went on an intense soul search which lasted for four years. He renewed his theories of archetypes and created analytical psychology. In his free time, Carl painted and enjoyed poetry, as well as explored other cultures and traditions. In 1944, Jung had a near-death experience (Williams, 2003). A heart attack left him clinically dead for a few moments before the doctors were able to bring him back. In his autobiography “Memories, Dreams, Reflections,” Jung recalls hating the doctor for bringing him back to life. In 1961, Jung died again; this time, no doctor would bring him back.

Professional Accomplishments


In 1957, Jung wrote “The Undiscovered Self” (1957), which took on a nostalgic tone in reflection of his previous works and theories. In this relatively short book, Jung considers man’s position in relation to the state, church, himself and the meanings of each of those relations. Backed with little to no noted empirical evidence, Jung wrote eloquently about philosophical matters in psychological terms. This work was a typical example of how Jung tended to relate all matters to a handful of topics, such as religion, state, and so on.

One of Jung’s more creative works was “On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry” (1978). He started this piece by noting the difference between the simple creation of art and its essence. Anyone can simply put ink on paper or canvas, but an artist is inspired. Again, he related art to religion as they were both psychic phenomena and occur on different levels within different people. Art came from two main places, the individual creating the art with all of his or her expectation, intentions, faults, etc, and what he called the “collective unconscious”. The collective unconscious was like a living entity which used man as a medium to create. It was also explained as a river of timeless thoughts common to all people. The collective unconscious helped regulate cultures and helped inspire individuals. Inspired art can trigger a certain understanding between people across cultures, time, gender and age. There may be something common, that everyone can relate to. According to Jung, this was the essence of art.

In his autobiography “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”, which was published after his death, Jung wrote about his near-death experience. He recalled seeing the earth from outer space, noting each main body of land and ocean. He then came across a Hindu sitting and waiting for him in front of a temple he had seen in his life. The entire body of his works could be remembered so that he could view his accomplishments. He had feelings of being care-free and peaceful. Jung described the feeling as a middle of something without a beginning or end. The answers, it seemed, would be found in the temple. But before he could enter, his attention was shifted to the doctors bringing him back to life. That was the end of his vision.


Contributions to Psychology

Jung’s greatest theories were some of the more basic ideas that we take for granted today. Jung coined the terms introverted and extraverted in explaining personality types. Archetypes were another common subject today because of Jung. The collective unconscious, noted above, was an interesting theory which Jung managed to work into many of his other theories.

Although Jung worked with Freud, he did not agree that sexual urges were the main drive for all people. Instead Jung focused on coping with death as a main drive. Not only did Jung’s specific theories contribute to the field of psychology, but his way of thinking did as well. Whatever the topic, it often involved theology, religion, and paranormal fields. He had a broad view which included many aspects to the human condition when considering the nature of the human mind.


Frostburg State University: Biography Resource Center. Contemporary authors online. Retrieved March 3, 2005         from

Frostburg State University: Literature Resource Center. Contemporary authors online. Retrieved March 3, 2005              from

John Mark Ministries. Retrieved April 3, 2005, from

Jung, Carl. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved March  3, 2005, from                                                                     

Jung, Carl Gustav. (2004). Infoplease. Retrieved February 2, 2005 from                                                             

Jung, C.G. (1978). The Spirit in Man, Art, and Literature. Princeton University Press,  Fourth ed. Retrieved March       18, 2005 from

Jung, C.G. (1957). The Undiscovered Self. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Williams, K. (2003). Near-death experiences & the afterlife, from



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