Freud

(Jung on) Freud

   After having, so to speak, put my finger on the same psychological mechanisms as Freud, it was natural that I should become his pupil and collaborator over a period of many years.  But while I always recognized the truth of his conclusions so far as the facts were concerned, I could not conceal my doubts as to the validity of his theories.  His regrettable dogmatism was the main reason why I felt obliged to part company from him.  My scientific conscience would not allow me to lend support to an almost fanatical dogma based on a one-sided interpretation of the facts.  TDoP 67

   Freud’s achievement is by no means inconsiderable.  But while he shares with others the discovery of the unconscious in relation to the aetiology and structure of neuroses and psychoses, his great and unique merit, to my mind, lies in his discovery of a method for exploring the unconscious and, more particularly, dreams.  He was the first to make the bold attempt to throw open the secret doors of the dream.  The discovery that dreams have a meaning and that there is a way to an understanding of them, is perhaps the most significant and most valuable part of this remarkable edifice called psychoanalysis.  I do not wish to belittle Freud’s achievement but I feel I must be fair to all those who have wrestled with the great problems of medical psychology and who, through their labours, have laid the foundations without which neither Freud, nor myself would have been able to accomplish our tasks.  Thus Pierre Janet, Auguste Forel, Theodore Flournoy, Morton Prince, Eugen Bleuler, deserve gratitude and remembrance whenever we speak of the first steps of medical psychology.   TDoP 67

   Freud’s work has shown that the functional neuroses are causally based on unconscious contents whose nature, when understood, allows us to see how the disease came about.  TDoP 68

   Scientific psychology, to begin with, was either physiological psychology, or a rather unorganized accumulation of observations and experiments dealing with isolated facts and functions.  Freud’s hypothesis, though certainly one-sided, gave it a liberating push towards a psychology of psychic complexities.  His work is really a psychology of the ramifications of the sexual instinct in the human psyche.  But despite the undeniable importance of sex, one should not supposed that sex is everything.  Such a broad hypothesis is like wearing coloured spectacles: it obliterates the finer shades so that everything is seen under the same lurid hue.  It is therefore significant that Freud’s first pupil, Alfred Adler, framed an entirely different hypothesis of equally broad applicability.  The Freudians usually fail to mention Adler’s merits, as they make a fanatical creed of their sex-hypothesis.  But fanaticism is always a compensation for hidden doubt.  Religious persecutions occur only where heresy is a menace.  There is no instinct in man that is not balanced by another instinct.  Sex would be absolutely unchecked in man were there not a balancing factor in the form of an equally important instinct destined to counteract an unbridled and therefore destructive functioning of the sexual instinct.  The structure of the psyche is not unipolar.  Just as sex is a force that sways man with its compelling impulses, so there is a natural force of self-assertion in him which enables him to resist emotional explosions.  Even among primitives we find the severest restrictions imposed not only on sex but on other instincts too, without there being any need of the Ten Commandments or of the precepts of the catechism.  All restrictions on the blind operation of sex derive from the instinct of self-preservation, which is what Adler’s self-assertion amounts to in practice.  Unfortunately, Adler in his turn goes too far and, by almost entirely neglecting the Freudian point of view, falls into the same error of one-sidedness and exaggeration.  His psychology is the psychology of the self-assertive tendencies of the human psyche.  TDoP 82

   I must confess that I myself did not find it at all easy to bow my head to Freud’s innovations.  I was a young doctor then, busying myself with experimental psychopathology and mainly interested in the disturbances of mental reactions to be observed in the so-called association experiments.  Only a few of Freud’s works had then been published.  But I could not help seeing that my conclusions undoubtedly tended to confirm the facts indicated by Freud, namely the facts of repression, substitution, and “symbolization.”  Nor could I honestly deny the very real importance of sexuality in the aetiology and indeed in the actual structure of neuroses.  TPoP 29

Freud emphasizes the aetiology of the case, and assumes that once the causes are brought into consciousness the neurosis will be cured.  But mere consciousness of the causes does not help any more than detailed knowledge of the causes of war helps to raise the value of the French franc.  The task of psychotherapy is to correct the conscious attitude and not to go chasing after infantile memories. 

   It looks as if Freud had got stuck in his own pessimism, clinging as he does to his thoroughly negative and personal conception of the unconscious.  You get nowhere if you assume that the vital basis of man is nothing but a very personal and therefore very private affaire scandaleuse.  This is utterly hopeless, and true only to the extent that a Stringdberg drama is true.  But pierce the veil of the sickly illusion, and you step out of your narrow, stuffy personal corner into the wide realm of the collective psyche, into the healthy and natural matrix of the human mind, into the very soul of humanity.  That is the true foundation on which we can build a new and more workable attitude.   TPoP 34