Having received his doctorate in psychiatry in 1905, Jung became chief medical officer of the University of Zurich’s psychiatric clinic, a position he resigned from in 1909, exhausted from work. Jung’s methodology established involvement with the patient; rather than assuming a position of authority, for Jung the therapist had to let the patient affect him personally, both consciously and unconsciously. This implication may explain that rather early exhaustion, such as the fact that a little later it could largely predict the advent of the Nazi party that was the prelude to the Second World War.
In establishing the concept of “person”, Jung notes that in the construction of each person’s personality, a number of aspects are involved, without any necessarily having to be the fundamental one. This inclusive rather than exclusive character would make the difference between his and Freud’s psychoanalysis. For Jung, Freud reduced everything to sexuality, to the realm of Eros; while Nietzsche reduced everything to the Will of Power. To try to understand reality by considering only these perspectives would be a mistake, precisely when neurosis arises from developing the personality on inadequate bases, from playing a role that we detest.
One aspect to highlight is Jung’s moral strength, as evidenced by his open and determined support for Freud when he had all the antipathy of the field, firstly, and then, with the presentation of his own criteria in “Transformations and symbols of libido”, a publication that ended up sealing the break with Freud. Torn apart by this breakup and with the First World War invading all of reality, Jung begins to confront his own unconscious. Having accepted to be at that time a man without myths, not even the Christian, he began to make room for different archetypal representations, such as the Shadow.
Initiated, or rather, allowing himself the conception of archetypes, Jung began his research on Alchemy by studying “GoldeneBlüte” and then “ArtisAuriferaeVoluminaDurno”, and after years of instruction, he came to understand the link between analytical psychology and alchemy, whereas, just as in Alchemy, operations are bi-directional, just as there is a return journey between the self and the unconscious. And something even more transcendental, with Alchemy, Jung ends up grasping the fundamental role of the feminine, such as the different conceptions of the figure of Christ in the collective unconscious.
His depth study of the denial and/or rejection of the feminine allowed Jung to reach a level of understanding of the psyche that was then completely unknown, perhaps unthinkable in Europe (given the masculine constructions of the Christian God). When he reached his intellectual maturity, and after an intense emotional life, with the trips he made to India, Africa and even New Mexico, interacting with ancient Jungian cultures, he ended up realizing how much the western man has lost himself in a useless materialism, by moving away from the primitive rituality and the communication that this allowed with the primitive archetypes.