Memories, Dreams, Reflections by C.G. Jung

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, C. G. Jung undertook the telling of his life story. At regular intervals he had conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffé, and collaborated with her in the preparation of the text based on these talks. On occasion, he was moved to write entire chapters of the book in his own hand, and he continued to w...

Title:Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:0679723951
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:430 pages

Memories, Dreams, Reflections Reviews

  • Ann M
    Nov 18, 2007

    This is an amazing book, from a truly amazing man. Some of the concepts that we toss around that came from Jung:

    * The concept of introversion vs. extroversion

    * The concept of the complex

    * Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was inspired by Jung's psychological types theory.

    * Socionics, similar to MBTI, is also based on Jung's psychological types.

    * Archetype concept, as an element of the archaic common substratum of the mind, or Collective Unconscious mind.

    * Synchronicity idea, as an alterna

    This is an amazing book, from a truly amazing man. Some of the concepts that we toss around that came from Jung:

    * The concept of introversion vs. extroversion

    * The concept of the complex

    * Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was inspired by Jung's psychological types theory.

    * Socionics, similar to MBTI, is also based on Jung's psychological types.

    * Archetype concept, as an element of the archaic common substratum of the mind, or Collective Unconscious mind.

    * Synchronicity idea, as an alternative to the Causality Principle, that has influence even on modern physicists.

    Memories Dreams Reflections tells a lot about how he came to some of these discoveries, his inspiration and how he nurtured it (e.g., active imagination, what some term a shamanic process). He was truly unafraid, in a repressive time, to use whatever systems and methods, western or eastern, that would help.

  • Jon
    Dec 18, 2007

    I delved into this book, a Christmas present from a friend, to learn more about Jung's psychological concepts, namely the collective unconcious; the anima and animas; the shadow; mandalas; the Self. About twenty pages in, though, I amended my purpose. I sought not facts but an answer to this question: Should I, Jon Medders, let myself be more like C.G. Jung?

    See, Jung's narrative demonstrates a way to live one's life that I have often suspected might work well for me: minimize one's tendencies

    I delved into this book, a Christmas present from a friend, to learn more about Jung's psychological concepts, namely the collective unconcious; the anima and animas; the shadow; mandalas; the Self. About twenty pages in, though, I amended my purpose. I sought not facts but an answer to this question: Should I, Jon Medders, let myself be more like C.G. Jung?

    See, Jung's narrative demonstrates a way to live one's life that I have often suspected might work well for me: minimize one's tendencies toward rational thought and maximize one's reliance on rationality's opposite (intuition, hunches, coincidences, God, the unconcious). So, as I read Jung's repeated accounts of rushing into projects and life decisions based on dreams, visions, and other numinous experiences, including contact with ghosts, I realized that his willingness to engage "the unseen" was integral to his becoming the creative force he was.

    I am still sorting through the answers to my question. I will say that anyone who thinks that reason or intellectual conception provides the only valid basis for action in this world should take a close look at Jung's life and work.

  • Nathanimal
    May 13, 2010

    I love Jung. I love him so much I bought the t-shirt. Seriously, for my birthday I got a t-shirt with Jung's big white face on it, and I wear it all the time. He looks pretty serious. I want people to know that Jung is watching them, so behave.

    Sometimes I wonder, Am I a Jungian? Not really. But I could be. Everytime I read Jung I feel a greater part of myself converted. I do have a compulsive interest in dreams. Murakami's short stories do strike a chord with me. As skeptical as I am about every

    I love Jung. I love him so much I bought the t-shirt. Seriously, for my birthday I got a t-shirt with Jung's big white face on it, and I wear it all the time. He looks pretty serious. I want people to know that Jung is watching them, so behave.

    Sometimes I wonder, Am I a Jungian? Not really. But I could be. Everytime I read Jung I feel a greater part of myself converted. I do have a compulsive interest in dreams. Murakami's short stories do strike a chord with me. As skeptical as I am about everything I have to admit that in my heart I'm monk who yearns for a religion.

    I love Jung because:

    His psycho-gospel is a path of intense personal spirituality. It's an attitude of searching for and claiming a truth peculiar to oneself. It's a cry against the materialism of super-rational modernism. Meaninglessness, he says, is a mental illness. The alternative is a milieu of your own images and symbols and intuitive experiences, that while deeply subjective, serves to make the world a bigger place. Now how could an aspiring writer like me not sign up for that? The individuation process is basically what a novel does.

    The seriousness of his play. When Jung got stuck he drew mandalas and built sandcastles. He approached these playful activities with all seriousness of thought. I admire anyone who "works out his own salvation with fear and trembling" by playing games, by trying on costumes, by making up stories.

    He considered himself a man of science. I have to laugh at that sometimes. Like when he says things such as, "Astrology is in the process of becoming a science," I have to wonder how scientific his science is. And yet he did shed his dogmas and he did seek to observe the psyche with all objectivity. His psycho-gospel was born from those conclusions. And he was most certainly willing to sacrifice to the gods he discovered behind the curtain. When I think of that, all the rigor he applied the texts of dreams and fairy tales and alchemy and gnosticism and crazy-talk, it occurs to me that he may very well have dedicated his entire life to nonsense; and yet something inside me, rather than being turned off by that, says RIGHT ON!

    ~~~~~~

    This is a great book. He loses me at times — he always does — but even when I don't find his conclusions compelling, he, as a character, always compels me. I loved learning that he was a creepy child. I loved the first-hand account of his falling out with Freud. The prologue exudes a wisdom that I can't put a finger on and might function better as an epilogue. It presents, I think, a man reposed in a world of his own making. His world is huge and so he's free to move around it as he pleases. It's well lit too, so he's warm and sure footed and is able to see far ahead.

  • Maxwell Purrington
    May 22, 2011

    Why Memories, Dreams and Reflections is meaningful for me.

    I shall begin by telling you of an event that occurred to me at college but which had its genesis four years earlier and the subsequent consequences of which remain to be completely known.

    One evening when I was 14 years old I went to bed much as I always had done. Sometime later after falling to sleep I awoke. To my astonishment at the foot of my bed and somewhat elevated into the air were two personages. An elderly man with the wrinkles

    Why Memories, Dreams and Reflections is meaningful for me.

    I shall begin by telling you of an event that occurred to me at college but which had its genesis four years earlier and the subsequent consequences of which remain to be completely known.

    One evening when I was 14 years old I went to bed much as I always had done. Sometime later after falling to sleep I awoke. To my astonishment at the foot of my bed and somewhat elevated into the air were two personages. An elderly man with the wrinkles in his face that bespoke of a life of both dignity and wisdom and alongside him an equally aged woman endowed with a face of gentle kindness. I took them to be husband and wife and decades later would come to name them Philemon and Bacchus.

    Upon seeing them I was immediately struck with two emotions. On the one hand I was enraptured by their appearance and on the other hand I was terrified as in my 14 years of life to my knowledge I only knew of two types of people who had visions: Prophets and Madmen. I knew I was not a Prophet.

    As I gazed upon them it occurred to me that what I was witnessing may in fact be a dream albeit a most vivid dream. I determined to establish the means of proving whether this was a dream of a waking vision. There was a crayon on my night stand. I slowly reached for the crayon hoping not to interrupt my “visitors.” Gripping the crayon I pressed it against the wall on the side of my bed rubbing it back and forth leaving a most distinguished marking. I figured that when I woke up the following morning that if the mark was not there that I had been dreaming. On the other hand if the mark was on the wall I would know I had had a waking vision and hopefully the marking would prove a stimulus to recalling the episode.

    The mark was on my wall upon finally waking.

    Jesus famously said that a Prophet is not recognized in his own home. Most assuredly I was not going to tell my family, relatives or friends of my vision fearing ridicule so I remained must as I sought the means of understanding what had happened.

    Insofar as I knew that Prophets had visions I determined that I would read the Bible which I had never read before to seek some understanding. I found an old King James Version of the Bible and set about reading it from cover to cover. Every word was read from Genesis straight through Revelations.

    This was an enlightening process however the Prophets seems to float above the common humanity within which I lived. Nonetheless I completed my reading of the Bible in about a year’s time and read it completely from cover to cover each successive year until my departure to College.

    At College I enrolled as a History Major although I had no tangible plan to make use of History in my life. Briefly the move to college pressed the thought of my vision to the back of my mind. This would not last for long.

    I had been attending classes for about six weeks when one day I was passing through the upstairs area above the cafeteria when I spotted a young man in the crowd of students. He was dressed in Army fatigues and I was struck with the undeniable premonition that he was on campus to commit a mass murder.

    I fought against this sense and tried to fight against this idea as it seemed so irrational. I walked around outside of the campus for about an hour trying to shake off this premonition but without success. This presented me with a moral dilemma. If I ignored the premonition and a murder did occurred I would bear some responsibility and be an accomplice of sorts. Should I not ignore the premonition what was I to do? Who would listen to me much less believe me?

    Suddenly the name of my History 101 professor came to mind. I had never spoken to him before except to ask a couple of questions in class but I sensed that perhaps I could share my premonition with him and perhaps he would know what to do.

    So being around noon time I went to the downstairs cafeteria where I thought he might be having lunch with fellow faculty and staff members. The cafeteria area was packed with nary a seat to be found. Well, except for the one lone empty seat next to my professor.

    Girding up my loins and with much trepidation I went and sat next to the professor. I introduced myself to him not certain that he would recall me from his History 101 class and proceeded to tell him of my premonition. Amazingly, I thought, without batting an eyelash he listened to my story and then asked me to go upstairs with him to point out the person who had struck me with such fear. I did.

    Then the professor went to the Administration Building and spoke with someone in security as well as the University President.

    I was not involved directly in what happened next but since the person in question had not actually done anything wrong yet not much of an official nature could be done but a background check was done and it was found that the person was returned from Vietnam and had a mental history.

    The means were “set up” to establish a reason a few days later to enter the person’s apartment where there was a diary indicating the desire to commit a mass murder against students who were perceived to be against the war. Additionally photos taken of a civilian massacre in Vietnam were found and subsequently were used as the means of getting the person off campus and into a V.A. Hospital for mental treatment.

    I was quite gratified that my premonition proved valid. This gave me solace.

    I was also grateful to my professor because he did not publicize the event or in any way bring undo attention to me. As a matter of fact we never discussed the matter again.

    This event brought back to the forefront the vision I had had four years earlier.

    It struck me one morning that if I could tell my professor of the premonition that perhaps I could entrust him with the Vision and the fear that had accompanied it.

    I went to his office and upon being invited in closed the door behind me and sat down and told him of my Vision. Upon completing my story my professor to told me to go to the library and check out a book entitled: Memories, Dreams and Reflections.

    I had never heard of Carl Jung before and knew nothing of his work but went to the library and checked out Memories, Dreams and Reflections and went to find a quiet place to read it.

    In the beginning of the book Dr. Jung writes of his childhood and as a youngster how he had had a Vision and how it terrified him and how he felt he could not tell his family or friends of it.

    We bonded.

    I did not know Dr. Jung but somehow he was more “human” to me that the prophets of the Old and New Testament. This would ultimately lead into a lifelong passion to comprehend the structure and dynamics of the psyche.

  • Rowena
    Jul 07, 2013

    “The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me. Or, conversely, I myself am a question which is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise I am dependent upon the world’s answer.” – Carl Jung; Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

    I know very little about psychology but it’s a subject I’m very interested in. A friend recommended Jung to me when I began writing down my dreams some months ago and started noticing some patterns.

    I think this is a great

    “The meaning of my existence is that life has addressed a question to me. Or, conversely, I myself am a question which is addressed to the world, and I must communicate my answer, for otherwise I am dependent upon the world’s answer.” – Carl Jung; Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

    I know very little about psychology but it’s a subject I’m very interested in. A friend recommended Jung to me when I began writing down my dreams some months ago and started noticing some patterns.

    I think this is a great introduction to Jung. Jung takes us through his psychic life from a child to an old man, and explains how his experiences, his dreams and interpretations of dreams shaped his life and brought him to self-realization. It also goes into his doomed friendship with Freud, his interest in symbology, and his travels (to India, Africa, New Mexico etc).

    This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. I loved Jung’s approach to psychiatry. His quest to understand the human psyche is nothing short of admirable, and it’s clear that so many have been helped by his work. His dedication into his research and understanding is remarkable.

    Although Jung’s views on alchemy and religion were definitely a bit out there for me, I still respect him for articulating his beliefs in an intelligent and thoughtful manner.

    I recognized a lot of Jung’s thinking patterns in my own, and was quite surprised I wasn’t the only one who’d had those same thoughts. As Carl Jung put it, ““I was going about laden with thoughts of which I could speak to no one; they would have been misunderstood.” A lot of what Jung said greatly resonated with me and I wonder whether his Myer-Briggs typography was similar or the same as mine (INFJ).

    This is a book I think everybody should read. Reading it has definitely enriched my life.

    “I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once, and cannot add up the sum.”- Carl Jung

  • Corinne
    Sep 07, 2015

    A lucid and precise book, that is also easy to read. These points touched me the most:

    That Jung gives his internal experiences a much higher value than his external experiences. I wonder how long it took him to do that.

    That he could continue treating people without fear, even after his life was threatened so many times by crazy patients. I used to think this was a modern disease, but hell no!

    The difficulties Jung faced with Freud, and the courage he required to break away from him, yet not crit

    A lucid and precise book, that is also easy to read. These points touched me the most:

    That Jung gives his internal experiences a much higher value than his external experiences. I wonder how long it took him to do that.

    That he could continue treating people without fear, even after his life was threatened so many times by crazy patients. I used to think this was a modern disease, but hell no!

    The difficulties Jung faced with Freud, and the courage he required to break away from him, yet not criticize nor undermine him. It taught me a valuable lesson.

    The part that absorbed me the most was his notion of the collective conscious & unconscious, which are formed through generations, and guide our instincts and logic. It’s really great how he used the mythology from different cultures to prove this.

    His trip to India, and how he used Yoga to sustain his work, and his scientific understanding of the spirituality from the East. It opened my eyes really.

  • ZaRi
    Mar 29, 2016

    وقتی انسان راه تفرد را دنبال می کند، وقتی زندگی خودش را زندگی می کند، باید خطاها را پبذیرد، زیرا زندگی بدون این اشتباهات کامل نمی شود و یا حتی برای یک لحظه تضمینی نیست که گرفتار خطا نشویم. شاید بیندیشیم راه امنی نیز وجود دارد، اما آن راه، راه مرگ خواهد بود: آنگاه دیگر چیزی رخ نخواهد داد، یعنی لااقل چیزهای درست. آن کس که راه مطمئن در پیش می گیرد با مرده فرقی ندارد...!

  • Chrissie
    Jun 01, 2017

    This book is not an autobiography in the normal sense. We are given little information about family details. We are told in one sentence, "I have a wife and five children." That's about it for family details. At the end of the book are four appendixes, two of which are letters written to his wife when he was traveling in the US and then later in Africa. These letters are in fact special; they showed me the ordinary man, not the man espousing his theories. They were delightfully creative and well

    This book is not an autobiography in the normal sense. We are given little information about family details. We are told in one sentence, "I have a wife and five children." That's about it for family details. At the end of the book are four appendixes, two of which are letters written to his wife when he was traveling in the US and then later in Africa. These letters are in fact special; they showed me the ordinary man, not the man espousing his theories. They were delightfully creative and well written, but there are only a few and they are short. This book is instead about Carl Gustav Jung's (1875 - 1961) theories, his philosophy and how it developed.

    At the age of 81 he agreed, to sit down one afternoon every week to talk with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffé. This book is the result of their collaboration. It was decided that he would write a few chapters about his youth, he felt an inner need to do this, but otherwise the book is based on their conversations which she recorded and edited. A chapter entitled

    concludes the book. Both this and the chapters on his youth have a different feel and I bet both were written by him. They are more abstruse. These were the hardest to comprehend, particularly in those parts where he speaks of religion. Nevertheless, having read the book, I do now have a better understanding of his philosophy.

    The book is very much an expression of

    views.

    is telling us how

    thinks. There is no debate. Jaffé does not critically analyze or counter with opposing views. We hear neither her questions nor her thoughts.

    The book could have been tightened and at times better organized. Sometimes it is extremely wordy. Jung tells us that he disagreed with Freud's emphasis on sexuality. Then later in the book we are old that Freud came to modify his view. How his view changed is not clarified, and this could have been mentioned the first time around.

    In the latter half of the book Jung travels to Africa and India and Italy. Some other places too. He states he wants to look at Europeans and himself from a different cultural perspective. He wants to look in from the outside. Here we go deeper into his views on myths and culture. Definitely interesting, but I cannot say I would necessarily draw the same conclusions. This doesn’t really matter though; this is a book about his views, certainly not mine. Except maybe his reasoning hasn’t properly been made clear; this could be classified as a weakness of the book.

    Dreams....dreams. He tells us of a zillion dreams and what they mean. These dreams are

    detailed. Let me just state that his ability to recall such details pushes credibility. I had trouble accepting some of the conclusions drawn. On several occasions he explained dreams after time had passed and

    , claiming the dreams foresaw future events. That is explaining after you have the facts, and I don’t buy such reasoning. There is no proof in this.

    At points the mystical and paranormal theories espoused pushed credibility for me.

    Jung does not consider this book to be one of the set defining his philosophy. We are quite often referred to those books instead.

    The audiobook narration by James Cameron Stewart was absolutely excellent. It could not in any way have been improved. Simple to follow. All of the words are clear, and the speed with which it is read gives you time to think. You need time to think when you read this book! Jung uses lots of terms that you have to get glued into your head if you are to follow his thought processes.

    I am glad I read the book. I see it as a primer on Jung’s philosophy much more than a biography / autobiography of his life.


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