chapter  5
21 Pages

Opposites in the Jungian model of the psyche

The interplay of opposites is crucial to Jungian psychology. Jung maintains: ‘Life is born only of the spark of opposites’ (Jung, 1917/1926/1943, par. 78). In accordance with the notion that ‘there can be no reality without polarity’ (Jung, 1951, par. 423), the psyche is construed by Jung to be a living system of opposites. Opposition is a necessary condition for the psyche as the very conflict and tension initiated by antithetical forces creates the energy needed by the psyche to generate its momentum and dynamism. Thus, the psyche ‘like any other energetic system is dependent on the tension of opposites’ (Jung, 1954, par. 483).