Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud were two influential minds of the “unconscious” world with two very differing philosophies. One believed that the unconscious had two layers, a personal unconscious which was located right under the conscious mind and a collective unconscious right under that which held the experiences of all humanity, while the other believed that the unconscious was a part of the mind under the conscious containing repressed sexual feelings and rejected thoughts, events and experiences of the resenting conscious mind. The first was Carl Jung, the latter was Sigmund Freud.
The ironic thing about the two is that the student somewhat surpassed the teacher. Carl Jung was actually a student of Sigmund Freud at one time before he branched off and created his own theories, especially when it came to dream interpretation. Freud usually focuses on the object of a dream while Jung focuses on the subject or subjective level. Jung believed that dreams reveal in a symbolic way a patient’s person transformation and individual growth (individualism). Freud’s dream is retrospective, meaning that it mainly deals with past events from childhood (usually psychological trauma or sexual fixations), while Jung’s dreams were more prospective, again showing what the dreamer can grow into. Freud’s dreams usually were regarded as a manifestation of the repressed sexual urges of the unconscious. For example, if a patient dreamt about a long object, Freud would most likely say that it represents the phallus and ultimately sex, while Jung may say that it has nothing to do with the desire to have sex at all but rather the phallic object could refer to strength or fertility. This is where Jung and Freud had their greatest disconnect. Jung didn’t believe that everything was based so much on sexuality while Freud did. However, this disconnect is not surprising as ultimately, all of Freud’s students and most of his fellow peers didn’t agree with his strong emphasis on sexuality ruling everything. Jung and Freud especially differ in that Jung makes humans seem like beings that can advance and grow together, while Freud makes human seem largely like barbaric beings whose only/main motivation is sex.
Freud, originally an Austrian doctor, is known as the “father of psychoanalysis”. It is said that Freud always considered himself first and foremost a scientist “endeavoring to extend the compass of human knowledge”, and to this end he enrolled at the medical school at the University of Vienna in 1873. He initially studied biology and did research in physiology for six years under the great German scientist Ernst Brunke, who was director of the Physiology Laboratory at the University, and later specialized in neurology. He got his degree in 1886 and later set up a private practice in the treatment of psychological disorders which gave him much of the clinical material on which he based his theories and his “pioneering techniques”.
Freud’s colleague and friend, Josef Breuer, made the observation that when he talked with a woman who seemed to have hysteria, the symptoms went away. The woman was experiencing extensive hysterical symptoms after the death of her father (faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and a "tendency to cause trouble"), and after hypnosis didn’t work long-term for her, Breuer decided to talk to her. She reminisced about various events from the past and about her daydreams, and as she revisited moments from her past, which were associated with the onset of a particular symptom, each symptom seemed to disappear with each emotional outburst.
Freud and Breuer published the case and others in their 1885 book “Studies in Hysteria” and it was then that Freud’s philosophy of psychoanalysis was realized. Freud stated that many neuroses (phobias, some forms of paranoia, hysterical pains, etc.) were deeply rooted in traumatic experiences that the patient went through in the past. These experiences were forgotten and hidden from consciousness. In order to “cure” the patient, the patient must recall the experience so much so that it comes up to the surface and the patient can then consciously confront their feelings and thoughts and etc. By confronting their repressed/forgotten feelings, the patient can finally cry or yell or whatever it is they need to do to discharge their feelings and thus, the underlying cause of the neurotic symptom is removed.
Freud went on to hypothesize that symptoms of hysteria were most likely to occur if the repressed feelings are related to traumatic childhood sexual experiences. This theory was very unconventional at the time (early 1900s), a time in which society shunned open sexuality and especially didn’t like the idea of childhood sexuality, and society labeled Freud as controversial and, for awhile, ostracized him. Freud’s colleague, Breuer, didn’t agree with his excessive emphasis on sex and neurosis and later left Freud, who continued to work on the development of psychoanalysis on his own.
It is after Freud is somewhat already established that Carl Jung comes into the picture. Jung was attracted to the theory of the unconscious mind and psychoanalytic theory, but he too was put off by the excessive emphasis on sex. Jung thought that there was more to humans than just libido or sex drive. Here is where Jung and Freud start to branch off from the same path; Freud concluded that the human mind is made up of the id, the ego and the super ego. The id is our unconscious drives (mostly sex), and knows nothing of morality or reality. It exists only to serve our pleasure principle. Following the id is the ego, which is our conscious perceptions, memories, and thoughts that enable a person to deal effectively with reality. The ego serves our reality principle. The super ego, or conscious, is always in conflict with the id and tries to partially fulfill id drives through socially acceptable behaviors.
For example, let’s take the id’s biggest want; sex. Freud believed that sexual pleasure began in early infancy (oral, anal and phallic stages, then Oedipus Complex by age five) and that humans go through sublimation, where you take a want that can't be fulfilled, or shouldn't be fulfilled, and turn the energy into something useful and productive. Since humans can’t have sex all the time as that would definitely interfere with our work schedules, we subliminate most of our desires for sexual pleasure and channel that energy into something else, such as playing a sport or working on a project for school. This is our super ego partially fulfilling id drives through socially acceptable behaviors.
Jung also divides the psyche into three parts; the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, however Jung’s interpretations are more “positive” and he draws a lot from Eastern philosophy/religion such as Buddhism and Hinduism. To Jung the ego is the conscious, the personal unconscious includes both memories that are brought to mind and memories that have been suppressed for some reason, but do not contain the instincts that Freud spoke of, and the collective unconscious includes our experience as a species, knowledge that we are born with/everyone just knows such as love at first sight or déjà vu. We know what’s happening indirectly, but we can never be fully conscious of it.
Jung also developed his own principles which varied greatly from Freudian principles. The principle of opposites states that “every wish suggests the opposite”. For every good thought you have, there’s also a bad thought inside of you. In order to have a concept of good, you have to have a concept of bad. The second principle is the principle of equivalence which states that the energy created from the opposition is "given" to both sides (good and bad) equally. A person chooses which side they want (good or bad) and, for example, if a person decides to return the lost wallet they found instead of keeping it and acknowledges that they did think about keeping it and that they do have the capacity to lie, cheat, steal, etc., then the person’s psyche will be okay and they’ll grow from it. However, if a person denies that they do have the capacity to do anything that is not good and thinks that they are good all the time, then they may end up developing a complex and a “shadow” of your dark side will develop and could lead to “evil” on your conscience or, an extremity, multiple personalities. This is how a person who is “innocent” and thinks they can do wrong can end up turning into a party animal who does illegal drugs. If the evil within is never acknowledged, then eventually the repressed evil will want to be not only acknowledged but put into effect! Anyway, the third and final principle is the principle of entropy, that over time oppositions will come together, energy will decrease and everything will even out. This explains why children have so much energy and adolescents live at the extremes (boys try to be macho, girls try to be feminine, can be wild and crazy one moment and then finding themselves the next), and why older adults are more centered, not trying to be super “macho” or “feminine’ or anything, but settle down and become more balanced.
Another big difference between Jung and Freud is that Jung believed that everyone had archetypes, an unlearned tendency to experience things in the same way (part of the collective unconscious). However, it is kind of similar to Freud’s instincts as they are both unlearned things we feel, but differ in that they are not biological like Freud, but more spiritual things. Jung says that there is no set number of archetypes, but some include the mother archetype, how everyone wants/relates to a mother figure, the father archetype, a guide or authoritative figure, the shadow which is the “dark side” of the ego or rather more animalistic side where sex and life instincts are, the persona, which represents our public image, what we put out there (whether it be the real us or not), and the anima and animus, the male and female aspects that each person possess. The anima is the female aspect present in the collective unconscious of men and the animus is the male aspect present in the collective unconscious of women and together they are referred as syzygy. Usually our roles are chosen by our gender, which is shaped by society, as before we were born, when we were fetuses, we were neither male nor female, and as newborns we didn’t know how to act! However, society depicts how women should act and how men should act, and Jung thinks that because of this, we will only develop half of our potential.
The psychoanalytic branch of psychology is one that is filled with different ideas and theories, and the unconscious mind is still one that cannot be mastered. Although Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud had very differing approaches to psychoanalysis and the unconscious, they both agree on one thing in regards to our anima and animus; we are all really bisexual in nature.