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The Four Stages in Jung's Life

C.G. Jung's life may be divided into a few basic stages:

- His activity in the Burgholzli clinic run by the famous Bleuler. This is the period of his famous work on free associations and of observations on psychic manifestations of the mentally ill. Such observations are to be used in his maturity work.

Mandala a symbolical image of the Center in analytical psychology (click to enlarge)
- His collaboration with Sigmund Freud. Such as proved by their letter exchanges, for several years Jung carried out a fervent activity in support of the "cause", that is for the promotion and reinforcement of Freudian psychoanalysis in the medical conscience of the day.

This period left its print on his work "Metamorphoses of the Libido and Its Symbols". Nevertheless, the first signs of Jung's separation from Freudian theories too emerge in this work.

- The period of confrontation with unconscious. Jung gives up his medical career and withdraws from all positions previously held in the psychoanalytical movement. He makes a brutal break from Freud and, in almost complete solitude and a mood verging to schizophrenia, devotes himself to the study of his own unconscious mind. There is constant source here of inspiration for his mature work.

eight trigrams of I Ching
The eight trigrams (pa-kua) of I Ching and their correlation (click to enlarge)
- The period concerned with the elaboration of analytic psychology and Jung's maturity work. He is drawn to alchemy, wherein he finds a confirmation of his own theories concerning the individuation process. He wrote a monumental book: "Psychology and Alchemy", illustrating the individuation process as well his own relationships to mediaeval alchemy by analysing a patient's dreams.

He also deals with synchronistic phenomena, I Ching - presenting Richard Wilhelm to European conscience.

He wrote alchemist and astrological works and comments of great importance. His considerable work is very resistant to systematisation. His doctrine - rather philosophical than psychological - determined Freud to assert his former disciple's alienation from psychoanalytical theories and his attraction to prophetic movement (a hint to Jung's testimonies of his dreams and prophetic visual impressions).

The various columns of the present site will approach each of these stages separately, while trying to provide an as truthful and pragmatic image as possible of Jungian psychology.

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