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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
31
4.2 out of 5 stars


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on 27 December 2015
Excellent book. Excellent condition. A must read. Delivered timely.
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on 21 April 2017
Hard to tell the book wasn't new.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 24 September 2012
As mentioned above, this is probably Jung's most influential work of psychology. Even psychologists of a Behaviourist persuasion such as Hans Eysenck found value in the ideas of extrovert and introvert. But Jung's typology goes further, advocating four functions (thinking, feeling, intuition and sensation) which combined with the introvert/extrovert axis also help in defining what type a personality may default to. These have been used in the Myers-Briggs tests that are used by business.

Yet for all the influence this book has had, is it worth reading? My answer is yes, though I am aware that many find Jung difficult, especially in his longer works. In this book, Jung's writing is clear, and free of the difficulties that may be encountered reading, for example, his works on alchemy. The problem some readers may still have is, the not uncommon one, of his erudition. For the first 330 pages, the book concentrates less on the typology as such (though it is alluded to) than on a survey of precedents to the main ideas of the book. This includes a tour of subjects that include the Gnostics, the Roman doctor Galen, German literature and William James to name only a few.

On the whole this is well written. The ideas here are of interest to students and scholars, or those (like me) interested in esoterica. They are also of interest to those interested in Jung's alter work because it is an earlier version of the history of Western consciousness that he was to develop in Aion (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 9 (Part 2): Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self: Aion: Researches into the Phenomenology of the Self v. 9, Pt. 2) and Answer to Job: (From Vol. 11 of the Collected Works of C. G. Jung) (New in Paper) (Jung Extracts). But maybe this is of less interest to general readers.

The full discussion of typology with definition of types and their use in psychotherapy is not discussed until Chapter Ten. After this there is an interesting discussion of the use of types in therapy and glossary of definitions of various Jungian ideas including Anima/Animus, individuation and soul, all of which are of definite interest not least because these are Jung's own words defining his terminlogy.

Also included at the end of the volume are four additional essays also concerned with typology. Readers of Modern Man in Search of a Soul (Routledge Classics) will recognise one of these (A Psychological Theory of Types), which is his most succinct of all his writings on the subject, and an essential read. Readers may find these useful to read these before the main body of the book, as it provides background for the early chapters. Alternatively there is Daryl Sharp's Personality Types: Jung's Model of Typology (Studies in Jungian psychology by Jungian analysts) which gives an elegant overview of type theory, and might even be read as a supplement or even instead of the original if you find it be too heavy.

In the end, I give this five stars to Psychological Types because it is an exhilarating read. There are ideas in here which help me understand people I may initially feel less drawn to. They are of use in understanding how people interact together, even if as Jung himself says in his Epilogue, there may be other types to those discussed here. There is a lot of insight within these pages.
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on 7 January 2017
“The Undiscovered Self” is a book by controversial Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung, published in 1957 at the height of the Cold War. As usual, C G Jung is difficult to read and even more difficult to comprehend. “The Undiscovered Self” is no exception. Jung discusses the fate of the individual in modern society, the role of religion, the psychological origins of Communism and other forms of “fanaticism”, and the necessity of a new form of psychiatry. He jumps back and forth between these subjects, making the presentation hard to follow.

Jung has a strong anti-modernist streak, attacking not only Communism but also the West European welfare states, modern industry and “mass man”. Modern society crushes the unique individual and elevates the collective and the State. This is a universal tendency, present not only in the Soviet bloc or China but also in the democratic West. Jung further believes that atheism and secularism are negative. All humans have a “religious function” (a kind of spiritual instinct) which cannot be destroyed. Modern secular society represses it, but it simply reemerges in distorted form as worship of the absolutist state. Anti-religious fanaticism is really an attempt to repress the religious function within each individual. The West cannot defeat Communism without becoming religious. Also, the individual needs to feel connected to something spiritual and transcendent (call it “God”), since this is the only way to withstand the enormous pressure of modernity, bureaucracy and “mass man”. However, Jung doesn't believe that the Christian churches can provide the necessary spiritual renovation. Nobody believes the Church creeds anymore, liberal theology destroys even the mythological aspect of Christianity, and modern man simply cannot have faith in unproven dogma. Instead, Jung believes, what is needed is a kind of personal gnosis or mystical insight, which replaces faith with true knowledge of the existence of “God” (Jung's scare quotes). At one point, the author explicitly says that the resurrection of Christ and other Christian claims should be interpreted symbolically rather than literally. Christ is a powerful archetype, presumably for the “resurrection” and “salvation” of the individual (individuation).

I admit that I didn't really like this material. Jung comes across as the all-knowing genius who is really putting forward his own form of psychoanalysis as *the* solution to the world's problems. Like all grumpy ivory tower intellectuals, he despises the purely materialist pursuits of the workers, who seem to prefer social security and a higher standard of living to The Sage of Küsnacht's lofty speculations about the Collective Unconscious. Jung's strong emphasis on the sovereignty of the individual may perhaps attract libertarians and other individualists, but purely individual gnosis is no match for the Communists Jung dreads. Nukes may do the trick, but the author seems to oppose nuclear power and the bomb!

But yes, even Carl Gustav Jung occasionally says things which sound just as relevant today as back in 1957. I'll end with a quotation.

“The West has unfortunately not yet awakened to the fact that our appeal to idealism and reason and other desirable virtues, delivered with so much enthusiasm, is mere sound and fury. It is a puff of wind swept away in the storm of religious faith, however twisted this faith may appear to us. We are faced, not with a situation that can be overcome by rational or moral arguments, but with an unleashing of emotional forces and ideas engendered by the spirit of the times, and these, as we know from experience, are not much influenced by rational reflection and still less by moral exhortation. It has been correctly realized in many quarters that the alexipharmic, the antidote, should in this case be an equally potent faith of a different and nonmaterialistic kind, and that the religious attitude grounded upon it would be the only effective defense against the danger of psychic infection”.

By “religious faith” in the second sentence, Jung is referring to Communism (a distorted religious impulse), while “an equally potent faith” (the antidote) refers to his own version of Gnosticism. Of course, the quotation also works if “religious faith” refers to, say, Muslim fundamentalism. What the antidote to that might be, I leave to the reader to decide. However, I strongly suspect that it won't be your friendly neighborhood analytical psychologist…
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on 29 July 2003
As relevant in todays world of mass marketing and mass production as it was when it was written this volume examines man's relationship with and separation from his social surroundings and questions how much our environment shapes and controls the way we think. Jungs theories of the collective versus the individual are eye opening. One of many arguments that struck me was that the denial of a spiritual self is really a backlash against organised religion. He finally convinced this once hardened agnostic that to truly have an open mind requires accepting and living with an open soul.
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on 16 March 2016
Good.
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on 13 July 2015
great
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on 17 January 2010
Considering the ambitious scope of this book, I feel it has achieved something truly remarkable. It speaks to a depth in our consciousness many of us remain perilously disidentified with; and its recognition or reawakening is both the premise and purpose of the book. Clearly, a longer and more detailed explication of the underlying theories (or, rather, relative realities) would have made some paragraphs a little less abstract and a little more concrete, but I believe this is the book's strength rather than its weakness, as it invites the reader to see its propositions in a more comprehensive and symbolic sense. In a world obsessed with objectification and externalisation, it is a depth charge to submerge in one's unconscious...
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on 13 January 2016
great
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on 1 July 2010
Basic start point for those who seek within to get out, shows the one and only opponent to fight, the only war there is, the only dance to dance.

Undiscovered due to the illusion we keep intact, which can be used to NOT think for yourself (Bill Dawson, Bute).

A bit tough to start on as your first Jung, try first: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology

Read more to design your own visions, Jung is THE non-opinionated writer on the subject not to force the theory onto the reader but let him/her discover his/her own progress items.
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