Carl Jung

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A youngish Jung in 1909.[note 1]
Tell me about
your mother

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Popping into your mind

Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875–6 June 1961), a Swiss psychologist, believed that people in all cultures throughout the world are all similar when it comes to mythology and myth-making, and that these mythologies are ultimately the "human story". Jung also believed that all humanity shares these myths as part of our "collective unconscious" and that nobody can escape them.

Trained as a psychiatrist and active in the newly developing Freudian schools of thought, he believed that dreams could tell dreamers not just about their personal experiences, but about those of their culture and of humanity. He saw religion as necessary to any and all psychological development, suggesting that only through religion can we grow into what we as humans have the potential to become.

Paranormal beliefs[edit]

Jung maintained an interest in paranormal phenomena and occultism throughout his career. For decades he attended seances and claimed to have witnessed ghostly visions, telepathy, telekinesis and other "parapsychic phenomena". While he attributed these experiences to psychological causes at first, over the decades he began to "doubt whether an exclusively psychological approach can do justice to the phenomena in question"[1] and stated that "the spirit hypothesis yields better results".[2]

Jung's ideas about the paranormal culminated in his concept of "synchronicity", the idea that meaningful connections in the world manifest themselves through coincidences where there is no apparent causal link. Despite the fact that Jung's own experiments to test synchronicity failed[3], he held on to the idea and proposed it as an explanation for cases of apparent ESP.[4]

Examples of Jungian archetypes[edit]

Jung's great archetype[5] hunt produced narratological gems such as:

  • The Hero (later clarified as the "Hero's Journey"[6]) — this archetype claims that all men must "travel" in some respect, physical or mental, to some place, real or imagined, in order to grow up to become a man and to leave the home.[note 2]
  • Femmes fatales[7]
  • Forbidden Fruit
  • The Child — All cultures throughout the world have myths that involve children and innocence, and generally the loss of innocence.
  • The Divine CoupleGod and a human couple.

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]


  1. Rumor claims he was "too Jung to be Freudend".
  2. This suits all that "Life as a journey" woo.


  1. Carl Gustav Jung (1997). Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal. Psychology Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-415-15509-0. 
  2. Carl Gustav Jung (1997). Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal. Psychology Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-415-15509-0. 
  3. The Skeptic Encyclopedia of Pseudoscience: Volume One. ABC-CLIO. 2002. pp. 240–241. ISBN 978-1-57607-653-8. 
  4. C. G. Jung (15 April 2013). Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-134-96845-9. 
  5. See the Wikipedia article on archetype.
  6. See the Wikipedia article on Hero's journey.
  7. See the Wikipedia article on Femme fatale.