chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction

This book concerns C. G. Jung’s peculiar relation to the work and personality of Friedrich Nietzsche. Although the ambiguity that surrounds Sigmund Freud’s reception of Nietzschean thought has been widely reported and to some degree explained,1 the sense that one cannot but have of the even greater confusion and contradiction that envelops Jung’s reception of Nietzsche has barely been investigated. Indeed, while Nietzsche’s anticipation of central themes of Freudian psychoanalytic theory – including psychological drives, the unconscious, guilt, repression, dreaming, wishing, projection and sublimation – has been extensively reported, and is generally agreed to be beyond doubt, Nietzsche’s influence on Jungian analytical psychology has received little attention, and even less by way of thorough evaluation.2 This is surprising, almost embarrassing, as the similarities between the thought of Nietzsche and Jung are obvious. Indeed, Jung’s affinity with the German philosopher, and his acceptance of philosophical speculation in general, is used by him to criticize and dissociate his theory from that of Freud.3