chapter  11
18 Pages

Jung’s shadow

The ambiguities of Jung’s reception of Nietzsche resolved

Jung’s critique of Nietzsche’s model and his diagnosis of Nietzsche’s ego-inflation are derived from Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Jung focuses on this work because its poetic style gives him access to Nietzsche’s unconscious, and the motivations for his philosophical ideas (SNZ, I, p. 461). I believe Jung’s analysis of Nietzsche is inadequate on two counts. First, a thorough interpretation of Nietzsche’s philosophical theories demands more than a close inspection of TSZ; his more ‘theoretical’ or ‘philosophical’ works should also be consulted. Second, I have found that Jung’s inspection of TSZ is not as thorough as his seminar commentaries suggest, for he is selective in the passages of TSZ that he considers. An examination of the passages he chooses to omit supports my claim that Jung’s presentation of Nietzsche is purposely exaggerated to cover up the fact that the theories and personalities of Nietzsche and Jung are similar. In other words, I believe that Jung sets out to present Nietzsche as the definitive neurotic, and to hide any evidence that his diagnosis of Nietzsche is really a self-diagnosis.