on 22 July 2004
Jung asserts that he is not a sage, but just a man who "once dipped a hatful of water from a stream". His modesty and humility, as well as his boundless wisdom, shines through in this revealing account of the life and thought of the greatest European mind of modern times. Jung was blessed with the good fortune to have profound access to the unconscious realm, enabling him to see right through mankind and the millenia of its existence. He helps us to understand where we as a species have reached and where we can go from here. Liberation only comes from within, and Jung, highly aware of that fact, is a key to its realisation. When other great minds have come and gone out of fashion, Jung's work will remain as a timeless insight into the constitution of the human being, stripped of all the accretions and distortions of that perhaps brief interlude in history known as modernity. While we say of a genius that he was "ahead of his time", it would not be inaccurate to say of Jung that he belongs to all times. In the unconscious, past, present and future are united. Throughout human history the wisest men and women have encouraged us to "know thyself", and Jung's work, culminating here in his autobiography written at the very end of his life, reinforces that message, which is all the more urgent in this perilous age.
This book is quite long, and usually I get bored of any book after 200 pages. Not this time. Each page is full of new and fascinating insights, the result of Jung's long and thorough exploration of the wisdom of many different cultures. Once you have read it, you are likely to want to read all the rest of his work, as if it is the first step on a long journey of discovery. You won't be wasting your time. Through Jung, like other masters of the soul, you may come to understand your self and your times far better. Then, as he would have wished, you will no longer need him. Genuine objective insight only comes through total subjectivity. Make sure you read this book.
on 2 May 2008
"Memories, Dreams, Reflections" is the most insightful autobiography of Carl G. Jung's life and his humble experiences. I have read his other works, including "Man and His Symbols" and "Dreams," and never fully understand them until I read this last book of his to which brings it all together in terms of his scientific approach. This 400-page book is a window into his inner world, and it is such a remarkable read.
In this book, Jung revealed much wisdom and insights from his early years up to his remainder of his life. One even can learn about oneself from his life. It is very much worth reading. It is both fascinating and inspiring.
My favorite line of Jung from this book:
"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."
on 5 February 2003
Jung manages to explain very comprehensively, in just four hundred or so pages, the bulk of his ideas spanning a long and illustrious career in psychoanalysis. His relationship with Freud is documented and at which point the dichotomy of their friendship was affirmed. this book is particularly good if you are interested in the field but don't want to jump straight into 'the deep end'. He is a good writer, and occasionally parts can get slightly difficult to understand, but if you stick with it, the wealth of knowledge that this book contains will be imparted to you. Myself, I find that reading this book has changed my perspective on life and prompted a new age of psychoanalysis within and without.
on 10 May 2000
This book is an insight into the inner life of one of the world's greatest thinkers. Jung was a man who, by his implacable seeking after the truth of inner experience, uncovered and reinterpreted for modern people, the map of the soul. His influence is profound and will be felt and acknowledged for generations to come. This book is a must for anyone and everyone who is embarked on the only real journey, that of self knowledge.
on 22 January 2010
I am an amateur into the world of psychology / psychiatry / Jung. I read psychology half a year as an introductory course at entering University. After that, I have from time to time read occational books and articles. So I am an amateur and not at all qualified at talking too much about this subject.
But - this meeting with Jung and his world has left - and is going to leave - a lasting impact on me. I have ordered more books by him, so this one proved to be a good starting point. It gives you a glimpse into a real remarkable mind and man. Humble, doing as good as he could he says, someone else might have done better, but he did what he managed to. Now that is one of history's greatest understatements. His journey through religion, alchemy, gnosticism, the occult, psychoanalysis, the world of dreams and visions is a remarkable one. His strange visions in Italy and during meetings with Freud are food for lasting reflections and afterthought. The chapter on life after death is touching. The story of the Seven sermons for the dead likeways.
My only small "objection" is that some small parts of the first chapters - on his childhood and education - might be a bit repetitive. Cutting down 20-30 pages could have made the first half of the book slightly more tight. But then, his strolling through life, following his sudden impulses and no tight scheme is shown in this respect too, so who am I to make this objection?
Buy it - read it - and don't you ever forget it!
on 6 July 2009
This book is a clearly written and interesting account of the life of C.G.Jung, beginning with his early life as the son of a cleric, his working years and finally what he calls 'late thoughts'. For the person who wants to know about Jung and to understand something of his psychology without attempting to read The Collected Works, Memories, Dreams and Reflections is an ideal way to start. Throughout his life and as an analyst, Jung developed a refreshing ability to stand outside himself and to bring so much of his unconscious material into consciousness. In my opinion, reading this book is like stumbling upon an aladdin's cave of fascinating experience and amazing insights which show this great man's lifetime achievements but are relayed with considerable humility.
on 30 October 2007
As the title indicates this is a much more fragmented biography than "Faithfull: An autobiography " from 1994, but again David Dalton appears as a co-writer of the book.
It consists of memories from the fab 60'es, when Marianne was the queen of swinging London, but also from the less fab 70'es where she had fallen from grace and lived as a junkie in Soho.
It also consists of portraits of other celebrities and friends: Kenneth Anger (the filmmaker), Caroline Blackwood (the writer) just to name a few and personal reflections on her own life from childhood up till now. She tells openly of her private life: the collapse on stage in Milan in 2005, which meant that she had to cancel the rest of her tour, her fight against breast cancer, the weight problems, giving up smoking etc., but also about her professional life as an acclaimed artist (singer, performer and actress).
What I loved the most about the book was some of its more humorous episodes, e.g. when we are told, that she is not actually riding a motor bike, but sits on a trolley with a wind machine in "Girl on a Motorcycle" (what a disappointment!). Although she has some reservations about the film, she is pleased that she made it, because:" it preserved her in aspic at one of the periods when she looked really good." I agree, but I also think she looks fabulous today - what a charisma - I saw her on her last tour in Copenhagen in May 2007. I also loved the more intimate episodes, e.g. the very loving portrait of her mother Eva and a rather critical portrait of the Beat Poets: Allan Ginsburg, William Burroughs, etc.
As a bonus you get some nice photos of Marianne herself, her grandparents and some of the friends, but none of her beloved Francois Ravard to whom the book is dedicated - I wonder why?
on 29 October 2011
"Memories, Dreams, Reflections" (MDR) is often regarded as Carl Gustav Jung's autobiography. In reality, Jung only wrote a few chapters, and even these were edited by his secretary Aniela Jaffé, the real mover and shaker behind MDR. The rest of the book is Jaffé's creation. Apparently, Jung never saw the finished manuscript and MDR wasn't published until after his death. The full story is told in "Jung stripped bare" by Sonu Shamdasani.
Despite this, MDR is nevertheless of considerable interest. Regardless of whether it reflects the "real" Jung or not, it certainly shows us the Jung of the Jungians. This is how most Jung fans *want* Jung to be, and what draws them to Jungianism in the first place.
Personally, I found the following chapters interesting: "Visions", "On life after death" and "Late thoughts". Jung describes a near-death experience, discusses the possibility of reincarnation, and explains his views on good and evil. Of course, there is a lot of interesting (and frankly bizarre) material in the rest of the book, as well. Jung had strange visions of an anti-Christian and phallic nature already as a child, and as an adult he met a spirit-being named Philemon, who became his guru. Philemon was a bearded man with two horns and the wings of a kingfisher. (If you ever see him again, please call NBC News!) Jung also tells the famous story of how his house in Switzerland was haunted by the souls of dead crusaders, and how Jung calmed them down by writing "Seven sermons to the dead".
Theologically, pardon the expression, Jung seems to have been a pantheist or impersonal panentheist. His view of God was bipolar: evil is part of God. There is also a strong streak of antinomianism: God prods people to do evil deeds so they can experience his grace, everyone must confront "the shadow", etc. This is the least sympathetic part of Jung's message. Overall, his worldview is pantheistic, animistic and Gnosticizing. Only Jung's scientific pretensions stopped him from sounding like another version of Rudolf Steiner or Madame Blavatsky. (The Theosophical Society Adyar have published a book called "The Gnostic Jung". Hardly a co-incidence.)
At least this is how C.G. Jung comes across in MDR. And whether we like it or not, this is the "archetypal" Jung, the Jung of the Gospels, so to speak, in contrast to "the historical Jung", who may or may not have been somebody else entirely. MDR gives us the culture icon, the spiritual sage preaching to an increasingly secular age in which Man has lost his Soul.
Or something. ;-)
on 30 June 2016
This book recalls Marianne's drug-taking period in detail. While I am glad that she finally beat her addiction I think she should be relieved that she survived it, instead of treating it as a sort of jolly walk in the park. We all know about her relationship with Mick of the Rolling Stones but it was a long time ago and I think she should remind us that she is a passable, if not brilliant, singer, and concentrate on other aspects of her life. Sorry but I was disappointed. I think Marianne could do better.
on 24 April 2013
Although presented as an autobiography, 'Memories, Dreams, Reflections' was the project of German Jungian Analyst Aniela Jaffe, written with the permission and assistance of C G Jung in his very late years. It is not, at his request, considered part of his 'Collected Works'.
Jung's personal relationships are outside the scope of this book - rather he agreed only to share aspects of his life relevant to his ideas. To ensure this, Jung himself wrote the chapters concerning his childhood and school days, and also a chapter 'Late Thoughts' which is a commentry on how the carefully selected exposures are linked to his life's work.
Chapters primarily written by Jaffe cover Jung's divergence from Freudian Psychology, his confrontation with his own unconscious (which really helps unlock the meaning behind his famous 'Red Book'), influences from other cultures and summaries of his major works. All are illustrated using real case examples and vivid dream recollections and make for an enjoyable read.
Perhaps the most frank and revealing part of the book is the brief final chapter in which a somewhat solemn tone is taken in describing a path that was in many ways lonely to experience.
Whilst it is by no means a substitution for Jung's papers themselves, this book is a very compelling insight into the life and experiences that led to the development of his theories. It adds a new level of understanding to a serious student, and provides an easy to read account of a highly influential psychologist to many others.