Knowing Your Own Darkness

Knowing your own darkness
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“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darkness of other people.” – Carl Jung

Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist known as the father of analytical psychology. He is best known for his studies of the human psyche, dream analysis, archetypes, and the collective unconscious but he was also influential in other fields like philosophy, anthropology, and literature.

When he was 12, a classmate pushed him so hard to the ground that he lost consciousness. Ever since the encounter, he started fainting anytime he was supposed to go to school. It led his parents and doctors to believe that he might have epilepsy. He got over it eventually and developed a renewed focus on academics when he overheard his father lamenting that his son would never be able to live a normal life as an adult. It was his first encounter with neurosis.

Fascinated with medicine and spirituality, he made a career move from medicine to psychiatry. As a psychiatrist he used his personal experiences as inspiration in his study of the human psyche, which resulted to his identification of major archetypes and psychological types.

In the later years, he developed a profound interest in the subconscious mind and used his own experiences again for study. He devoted himself to exploring his own thoughts by recording them in a previously unpublished book called “The Red Book.” He worked on it for 15 years and was finally published in 2009, years after his death. In the epilogue it says: “To the superficial observer, it will appear like madness.”

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