chapter  Chapter One
6 Pages

Jung’s journey to the soul

WithPatricia Anne Elwood

At the turn of the 20th century a new attitude was developing towards the unconscious and its unveiling. C.G. Jung had been intrigued by the activity of the unconscious from early childhood when vivid dreams stirred him to attention. This chapter describes the path he engaged upon to discover the intention of the unconscious and its ultimate goal. In 1903 he chose to pursue psychiatry, which was not considered an enviable medical discipline to follow. Jung began his exploration with a rational approach with his association experiment but soon turned towards spontaneous activities that provide more immediate access to the unconscious. In 1913 Jung published his volume, “Symbols of Transformation,” which contradicted Freud’s theories and created the break between them. Jung, then 38 years old, gave up all his activities in the outer world and initiated a plunge into the depths of his own psyche that lasted 14 years. During this time he produced his famous Red Book. He declared that the knowledge he was seeking could not be found in the science of his days and that he himself must undergo the experience of the psyche himself. Emma Jung and Toni Wolff had both supported him in his quest. During this period in which he recalled the creative boy in himself, Jung resorted to childish spontaneous activities. He found that through these activities his thoughts clarified. During a certain period Jung drew mandalas daily. Jung eventually sought a counterpart of his experience in historical records and found it in alchemy. With the discovery of alchemy Jung felt he had stumbled on the historical counterpart of his own psychology of the unconscious. Jung affirmed that the soul has its own longing for the centre at its core and he paved the way to finding the centre for others.