Man and His Symbols by C.G. Jung

Man and his Symbols
Man and His Symbols by C.G. Jung
“This book, which was the last piece of work undertaken by Jung before his death in 1961, provides a unique opportunity to assess his contribution to the life and thought of our time, for it was also his first attempt to present his life-work in psychology to a non-technical public. ... What emerges with great clarity from the book is that Jung has done immense service both to psychology as a science and to our general understanding of man in society, by insisting that imaginative life must be taken seriously in its own right, as the most distinctive characteristic of human beings.” — The Guardianاضافة اعلان

Man and His Symbols owes its existence to one of Jung's own dreams. The great psychologist dreamed that his work was understood by a wide public, rather than just by psychiatrists, and therefore he agreed to write and edit this fascinating book. In it, Jung examines the full world of the unconscious, whose language he believed to be the symbols constantly revealed in dreams.

Convinced that dreams offer practical advice, sent from the unconscious to the conscious self, Jung felt that self-understanding would lead to a full and productive life. Thus, the reader will gain new insights into himself from this thoughtful volume, which also illustrates symbols throughout history. Completed just before his death by Jung and his associates, it is clearly addressed to the general reader.

But for a dream, this book would never have been written. That dream — described by John Freeman in the foreword — convinced Jung that he could, indeed should, explain his ideas to those who have no special knowledge of psychology. At the age of 83, Jung worked out the complete plan for this book, including the sections that he wished his four closest associates to write. He devoted the closing months of his life to editing the work and writing his own key section, which he completed only 10 days before his death.

Throughout the book, Jung emphasizes that man can achieve wholeness only through a knowledge and acceptance of the unconscious — a knowledge acquired through dreams and their symbols. Every dream is a direct, personal, and meaningful communication to the dreamer — a communication that uses the symbols common to all mankind but uses them always in an entirely individual way, which can be interpreted only by an entirely individual key.

“Man as we realize if we reflect for a moment, never perceives anything fully or comprehends anything completely. He can see, hear, touch, and taste; but how far he sees, how well he hears, what his touch tells him, and what he tastes depend upon the number and quality of his senses. These limit his perception of the world around him. By using scientific instruments he can partly compensate for the deficiencies of his senses. For example, he can extend the range of his vision by binoculars or of his hearing by electrical amplification. But the most elaborate apparatus cannot do more than bring distant or small objects within range of his eyes, or make faint sounds more audible. No matter what instruments he uses, at some point he reaches the edge of certainty beyond which conscious knowledge cannot pass.” ― C.G. Jung, Man and His Symbols

C. G. Jung (1875–1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who established the school of psychotherapy known as analytical psychology. He wrote a number of influential books, including Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Man and His Symbols; and Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Many of his works were published posthumously, and some remain unpublished to this day