S+ Stimulant: CARL JUNG


If you’ve never read any Carl Jung, now’s the time to start.

Carl Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist whose ground-breaking ideas, if put into practice effectively, can be a tremendous help to all artists and creators.

He was a passionate, curious man whose interests included: “Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts.”

Jung founded Analytical Psychology, pioneered  the exploration of dreams, but as far we’re concerned, his most important work related to creativity, lies in his exploration of the unconscious.

“Many artists, philosophers and even scientists owe some of their best ideas to inspirations that appear suddenly from the unconscious. The ability to reach a rich vein of such material and to translate it effectively into philosophy, literature, music or scientific discovery is one of the hallmarks of what is commonly called genius.”

In countless discussions with artists of all disciplines throughout the years, we have heard them repeat that when they are creating their best work, they were in a ‘trance’, or ‘don’t know where it came from’, or ‘felt like someone else’ was creating it. In an interview for artnet, renowned contemporary artist Jules de Balincourt discusses the topic. To watch the video, click  here. (Fast forward to 2:35 to see the segment in question.)

Jung believed that human beings are the most whole when they have succeeded in integrating the conscious with the unconscious while still maintaining their relative autonomy.

Next time you embark on a creative project, try releasing the grip your conscious mind has on you and invite your unconscious mind to take over for a while. We think you’ll be surprised and inspired by the results.

To help you access your unconscious, we encourage you read Carl Jung’s work. He was terrifically prolific and as a result this pursuit can be daunting. As a starting point we recommend this primer, as well as Jung’s Man and His Symbols, and then of course his absolutely, fascinating and astounding work, The Red Book.

Published: September 1st, 2011

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