ung’s work received several influences , not only from the time he was born and from the thinkers who preceded him, but also from the set of his personal experiences.
Thus, in order to know the epistemological foundations of Jungian thought, we must know the man who lived and created this theory, in addition to men who were previous or contemporary to him and who, in some way, influenced him. Among them are 18th century thinkers, such as Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Hartmann and Nietzsche .
Kant’s influence on Jungian Psychology
According to Clarke (1992), knowledge for Kant (1724-1804) was limited by the way things seem to the five human senses, so that what we know is what we perceive of reality, and there is not necessarily a correspondence between the way things look and reality. Jung shared the idea that what we know is derived from our perception , so that all the knowledge we have is mediated by the mind and limited to human experience.
Kant said that the necessary condition for the possibility of knowledge was the fact that it is organized and articulated in terms of category “which are not in themselves derived from experience, but, exist a priori in the mind and constitute a set of rules that determine the way we experience and understand the world ”(Clarke, 1992: 53).
Thus, the a priori categories would be a logically necessary condition for knowledge. According to this same author, the a priori structures of Jung’s work are the archetypes that constitute the structure of the psyche, common to humanity, that make knowledge possible.
According to Clarke (1992), although Jung had many influences from the neo-Kantian work, as did his contemporary Ernst Cassirer (1874-1945) Jewish-German thinker, he defended the idea that the experiences of the world do not give us access to reality , but it is only through the mediation of symbols and myths that knowledge becomes possible . In addition, such elements of mediation vary according to history and cultural evolution. Thus, each culture has different symbolic structures.
Hegel’s influence on Jung
George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) considered that all reality was subject to a constant and complex dialectical movement.
Clarke (1992) comments that both Hegel and Jung conceived that the psyche was not static. For Jung, there is a continuous evolution of the psyche from unconscious roots, which is committed to reaching a higher state of self-realization and expression .
Such an endeavor has essentially a dialectical nature , that is, part of a conflict between “opposing tendencies which, through its own opposition, provides the energy through which the psyche is sublimated and reaches a higher state” (Clarke, 1992: 94) .
However, Jung rejected Hegel’s rationalist idea about the inevitable succession of stages through which history takes place and the hypothesis that such a succession would culminate in a final outcome. It is worth remembering, however, that Jung realized the importance of considering his psychological studies within a cultural and historical context.
According to Clark, another point in common between Hegel and Jung is the belief that the development of human potential is what gives meaning to life. During this development process, it would be essential to have a greater awareness of Consciousness, which would lead to self-awareness; We would then be referring to the search for the integration of the total personality.
Schopenhauer’s influence on Analytical Psychology
Like Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) believed in the evolution of the mind. Schopenhauer considered reality as something uninterrupted,
“Extending from the most primitive and undifferentiated aspects of nature, in one extreme, to the most differentiated and highly developed forms, in the other, driven forward in the direction of greater dissimilarity, according to what they called“ the principle of individuation ”. This latter expression was later used by Jung to characterize what he believed to be the ultimate goal and ideal of human development ”(Clarke, 1992: 98).
For Clarke, the most important common point between Schopenhauer and Jung was the idea that the consciousness of the self comes from a deeper level of reality, the rational forms of consciousness are nothing more than illusory appearances and the essence of all things it hurts law and reason: conscience is the mere surface of our mind , of which, like the earth, we do not know the interior, but only the crust (Schopenhauer, 1974). However, unlike Schopenhauer, Jung never suggested that rational consciousness was just a manifestation of the unconscious, determined by him.
Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906) had Schopenhauer influences and, according to Clarke (1992), Jung mentioned him as someone who contributed to the formulation of the concept of the unconscious in its cultural and personal aspects.
Nietzsche’s influence on Jung
Another philosopher who received influences from Schopenhauer was Nietzsche (1844-1900), who, like Jung, “categorically rejected the idea of the self as a type of simple substance, sovereign in its own domain, which is revealed in the immediacy of consciousness of the self. ”
(Clarke, 1992: 103), because human consciousness was conceived as part of a dynamic process of human life and individuation was the possibility of meaning in life .
The influence of Jung’s life on Analytical Psychology
Jung sought to know and research human nature through its most diverse manifestations at all times to try to outline a profile of what the psyche is.
“In archeology, in history, in religions, in art of all times and in all places, he has been collecting and researching human characteristics. He also sought in physics and ancient chemistry (alchemy) how knowledge of life and the world had been formulated, in this way he found intriguing and mysterious similarities ”(Pena, 1995, 15).
It is worth mentioning that, in addition to philosophical and cultural influences, Jung’s personal experiences influenced his view of man and the world:
“ My works can be considered as stations in my life; they constitute the very expression of my inner development (…). My life is my action, my work devoted to the spirit is my life; it would be impossible to separate one from the other ”. (Jung, 1963: 194).
Jung understood man as being constituted by a body intrinsically integrated with the psychic, creator as well as a creature of culture and a participant in the environment, that is, an eco-bio-psychic-social being, which contains genetically inherited aspects, which it defines and is common to its species, at the same time that it confers impairment, that is, individuality.
The world for Jung is, was and is constantly being created and recreated. Formed and transformed from the possibilities that man brings within himself, through his existential manifestations and achievements. From these possibilities, man creates, makes, elaborates, builds and is formed, created and built.
To investigate the contents of the unconscious, Jung (1981) reports in his first lecture that he uses the association of words, analysis of dreams and active imagination .
According to Penna (1995), we can consider the method used by Jung as circuambulatory, in other words, a method consists of apprehending the object of study considering what is around him in order to know all its facets; in addition, Jung amplifies (by means of the amplification method ) this view of the object through the analysis of symbolic material, so there is a possibility for consciousness to apprehend new aspects of the object.
At the same time, the way of perceiving the world and man is hermeneutic, that is, an interpretative form of the object of study considering the reasons, the purpose, the time and the context in which it is inserted.