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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 Dr. Bleuler. This is the period of his famous work on the free associations and of observations on psychic manifestations of the mentally ill. Such observations are to be used in his maturity work.

Mandala
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 Symbols of Transformation. Nevertheless, the first signs of Jung's separation from Freudian theories too emerge in this work.

- The period of confrontation with the 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 images. There is constant source here of inspiration for his mature work.

- 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 - in order to prove the close connection between the dreams of a patient and the stages of the alchemical work. He also talks about the symbolic parallelism between the mandala images and the Self.

He also deals with synchronicity, the I Ching - presenting Richard Wilhelm to European conscience - and the UFO phenomenon.

Pa-kua, the eight trigrams of the I Ching
The eight trigrams (pa-kua) of I Ching and their correlation (click to enlarge)
His considerable work is very resistant to systematization. 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 prophetic dreams and interest in occultism).

The various sections of this site 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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