This is a really profound and historical interview with Carl Gustav Jung. It was conducted by a British interviewer in 1959, by the name of John Freeman. This interview took place in his home in Switzerland, which is on a lake. What is amazing is how good his English is and how prolific he could speak in this language. Even the accent is very lite. Some of the wonderful comments that caused awe and interest for me the most are noted below:
“When I was in my 11th year…I am. I am what I am.” in response to the question “Do you remember when you first felt consciousness in your own individual self?” After thinking this thought, he wondered about who he was before, now that he saw this realization. He realized he had been in a mist all of this time. I thought of when I was a child and realizing my sense of self at about five and also seeing myself growing into adulthood, while sitting in my little rocking chair. It is almost as if I could say that this was when I realized I was a person or a human being. And, I have no idea what I had thought before.
“Did you often have violent thoughts about people when you were young?” The interviewer’s question after he spoke about a teacher that he “hated” who accused him of plagiarizing a paper that he had spent quite a lot of time being focused on. Dr. Jung’s response was “No, not exactly, only when I got mad.” This is probably one of the funniest statements he makes in the video, though there are others.
“When he thought something, then it was settled,” the realization he had about Dr. Freud over time. Dr. Jung would take time to think things through. Yet, even though the two parted ways, Dr. Jung speaks very respectfully about him in his interview. He talks about his book on the unconsciousness being the end of their relationship. It was a sad departure that the two went separate ways, and at the same time, when people do part, they are able to grow. Dr. Freud and Dr. Jung were not meant to stay together as Dr. Jung had so much more to give to the field of psychology. If Dr. Jung would have fought it and idolized Dr. Freud more, he would have been stifled. To me, it is as if Dr. Freud initiated and Dr. Jung took over and jumped even deeper into the psyche. I believe Dr. Jung’s works are much more relevant today.
Dr. Jung’s path toward personalities came from learning about how Dr. Freud thought. He realized some people think one way, and other people another. This doesn’t make someone “wrong,” (unless they are conspiring to hurt someone), it just makes them different and based on their backgrounds and education. He said we should have compassion for them.
A second thought about Dr. Freud and Dr. Jung’s relationship is that Dr. Jung did not feel that his letters with the former were important. He did not wish to publish them. He didn’t care what happened to them. In fact, they were published posthumously. It would be curious to read but at the same time, I feel strongly if someone did not want this, we shouldn’t.
“I am not my history,” a comment that I think is prevalent today in response to racist attitudes toward White people, with regard to Critical Race Theory and in discussion of blaming White people for the history of [some of] their ancestors. Of course, there is no discussion in CRT about White people who were not from America, during the time of slavery, people who are from various minorities but considered “White,” including Latinos, White people who’s families never had slaves because they were not wealthy, or Appalachians who are living in a very impoverished society. This is why Dr. Jung’s comment hit me the most. If only he were here now!
On Believing in God “I don’t believe, I know!” This is a very interesting statement which gives pause for thought and reflection. I have never thought of what would be the difference between believing in something vs. knowing something to be a fact. Believing, I think, means you just take the word of others. It is your opinion. You have thoughts on this, based on what you have read or learned. To Know something, I think means more that you have had some spiritual moments or truths that have been shown to you that the average person could not realize or share. I loved hearing this comment.
On death, it is sad but you have to live for each day, when you are older. When a person is afraid, he looks back petrified, he dies before his time. “We are all going to die…its a psychological fact.” He went on to say, “When you think in a certain way, you will feel considerably better.”
“Submerge his own individuality in a collective conscious,” part of the interviewer’s last question, as a result of technical advances. “That is entirely possibly. I think there will be a reaction.” He went on to say though that “Man cannot stand a meaningless life.” I can’t imagine his thoughts on social media and the internet, but I feel quite certain he would think as many of us do, in this field, that it has ruined the connection between people. It has made people lazy and they have given up on socialization. I recall growing up where people got together for parties, just for the heck of it. You had “company over,” and this was how we talked about life, our opinions, our concerns, gossiped, made decisions. This was in front of peers, people we loved and knew very well.
Now, we have people living a meaningless life, in front of a computer, with no real social connections, only “friends,” that have “liked” your posts. Due to the pandemic fears thrust on us by the government, people have gotten used to their little caves at home, isolating themselves even more than ever before. The pandemic was most certainly a “reaction.” A very unhealthy, fearful, ridiculous reaction by politicians who took advantage of all of us. And now, we are divided more than ever before. This is our World War III. An end of humanity. Female and male genital mutilation is now normal and acceptable. Liberal governor’s are taking away the rights of Children’s Protective Services and Child Support Agencies to enforce a belief that parent’s have a right to make life changing decisions for their children. This is a war against humanity.
I watched this video twice, because the first time I was on the treadmill and had music blaring at the gym, even through the headphones. The second time was more impactful then the first as I was stopping/starting, to make comments here.
I have never really been able to read Dr. Jung’s books, even though I am a psychotherapist, as they are too cerebral. My friends would find this funny as I am an ESTJ, which should mean he is easy for me. I have a better understanding of him through lectures (where people interpret his words) and by listening to him here, being interviewed and responding to someone elses questions. I would ideally have loved to go to Zurich and study for my own Ph.D. at the Carl G. Jung Institute, as a few of my professors and favorite psychologists have done. However, this has seemed more like a pipe dream then a feasibility in this lifetime. Nonetheless, the education I get through observation and continuing education units, puts me on my own path toward self-realization and discovering more things about the human psyche.