"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Jung, Carl G.

Swiss Psychologist Carl G. Jung wrote about archetypes or constantly repeating energies (characters) which occur in the dreams of all people and the myths of all cultures. He suggested these archetypes (ancient patterns of personality) reflect different aspects of the human mind; that our personalities divide themselves into these characters to play out the drama of our lives. He noticed a strong correspondence between his patients’ dream figures and the common archetypes of mythology and even suggested both were coming from a deeper source, in the collective unconscious of the human race.
Fairy tales and myths are like the dreams of an entire culture. The same character types seem to occur and remain amazingly constant throughout all times and cultures. An understanding of these forces is one of the most powerful tools a modern storyteller can learn.
The archetypes Jung identified as occurring most frequently were the Hero, the Mentor (wise old man or woman), Threshold Guardian, Herald, Shapeshifter, Shadow and Trickster. To learn more specifics about Jung and his archetypes, please visit http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/jung.html
Scholar Joseph Campbell took Jung’s principles and adapted them to teach screenwriting. In essence he simplified a pattern or outline for writer’s to follow, making it easier for many authors to become successful in his publication of The Hero’s Journey. To read more about Campbell: http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php
I used Christopher Vogler’s (a student of Campbell) book The Writer’s Journey when I was teaching. I used his material instead of Campbell’s because I actually had the pleasure of meeting and learning from him and because I felt he did an excellent job of updating Jung’s original principles. You can find an abridged version: http://www.thewritersjourney.com/hero's_journey.htm
Both Campbell and Vogler have only updated and helped to define Jung’s original ideas of archetypes and the journey of a story. Reading about all three can give you a better understanding of human nature and what we all want from a good book or movie. Good luck with your own writing journey!

26 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Of all the psychologies out there, Jung's is the one the resonates with me the strongest, makes the most sense.

hip-chick said...

What an interesting blog. I love how you get me thinking about things I wouldn't normally be thinking about.

Áine Tierney said...

Great links. Thanks.

Cruella Collett said...

"Fairy tales and myths are like the dreams of an entire culture." I love that! I don't know much about psychology, but reading this made me wish I did! I might have to befriend Mr. Jung ;)

L.G.Smith said...

Interesting stuff. I haven't read the Campbell book yet, but I know I must. Thanks for the links.

Jeffrey Pierce said...

I love Jung! Thank you for sharing. :)

the writing pad said...

Wow - fascinating stuff. Have only heard of Jung, as a pschycologist, and had no idea of his bearing on creative works. I'm learning all the time, and thanks for a great post!
All best
Karla

Lauracea said...

I do so agree about fairy stories and the recurring character-types. It's something that I keep forgetting about and shouldn't.
Great post.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

What an interesting perspective. I was a psych major and am fascinated by Jung. I never thought about his influence on the world of writing.
Thank you.
Robyn

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

Great post. Really interesting.

Sarah Allan said...

I was a Psychology major in college, and I loved learning about the archetypes when we got to the section on Jung. They're very helpful for writers as well, because a lot of the characters we create have these archetypal characteristics. Great "J" post!

Lisa Ricard Claro said...

Interesting post. My dad was a psychologist, and I remember him talking to me about Jung's archetypes. It has been a long time since I've thought about it, and never really considered this in relation to writing. Thanks for putting that spin on it.

Rosalind Adam said...

Fascinating. I've often wondered how come there are ancient stories from many different cultures that appear to have copied each other and yet they had never been in contact.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Great post, I LOVE Vogler's The Writer's Journey (I have it on audiobook). Thanks for the great link to the abridged version.
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

J.L. Campbell said...

Sylvia,

I was particularly interested in this post because I started off with Archetypes in the A-Z Challenge.

Taryn Tyler said...

Campbell is definately on my to read list. I may have to add Jung and Volger as well!

Catherine Ensley said...

I like them all, and was delighted to see a post on Jung!

Shelli said...

I've had a hard time fitting the Hero's Journey into my writing, but I loved the character descriptions from Dramatica (http://www.dramatica.com/theory/theory_book/dtb_ch_3.html). It really resonated with me on a functional level.

And thanks for dropping by my blog! I'm glad you helped me find your blog.

shah wharton said...

Oh loved this topic at university. (I did Psychology). Great choice. Stopping by to return the visit you paid me. Very glad you did - do come again. ;D wordsinsync - Shah. X

India Drummond said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day! I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the A-Z list, so I don't kow how much further I'm going to make it through the 26 days, but it's been great meeting folks like you!

India Drummond

Laura Pauling said...

I have some writing friends who use the Writer's journey and it makes a lot of sense! I didn't realize it traced back to Karl Jung. Cool.

Better is Possible said...

I lean towards a strong Jungian theory in the Play therapy, particularly Sand Play,that I use in my therapeutic work with children (and some adults).

Poddys said...

I didn't know much about Jung, but now I do.

Yvonne said...

I was a lit major in college, I am an avid reader, and an absolute LOVER of words... I am digging your blog! ;) I love the route you've taken with the A to Z challenge and cant wait to check out more! New follower!

makinmartinezmemories.blogspot.com

Rhonda@laugh-quotes said...

Really interesting post. I am not a student of psychology (I was all business and maths), so I always enjoy clear concise articles like this one. Glad you found me through the challenge, or I my not have found you :)

Ellen said...

I enjoyed studying Jung in college. I liked how you related it to writing. Thanks for joining th blog hop. I'm your newest follower from A Season for All Things and look forward to reading more ofyour posts. ~ Ellen