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Modern Man in Search of a Soul

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:28 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.5 
  • Words: 2139
  • Essay Grade: 2,50 /5 (2 Graders)
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In his book, Modern Man In Search Of A Soul, C.G. Jung gives a layperson insight into his ideas on dream analysis. Jung's primary objective in this book is to educate the reader as to what a psychoanalyst does when analyzing a patient's dreams. The principal message in the section of the book centered on dream analysis is that dreams should never stand alone. Dreams are meaningless in a vacuum, but on the other hand when put against a strict set of rules, they are oftentimes misunderstood. The unconscious is a fluid entity and cannot be handled either in isolation or with a static set of guidelines. Dreams are reflections of the unconscious and can represent many different things inside of a person. Modern Man In Search Of A Soul describes the techniques of dream analysis that a psychoanalyst following Jung's ideas would ideally follow.

In the time when Modern Man In Search Of A Soul was written, 1931, many psychiatrists did not believe in the unconscious. Jung says that the unconscious exists and that without it dreams would be "merely a freak of nature". Without the unconscious the dream would simply be a group of memory fragments assembled in a strange order. With the unconscious dreams represent a window into the inner thoughts which are causally related to neuroses and are therefore important in a patients treatment. Apart from the therapeutic implications of this hypothesis, it can lead to scientific insight into psychic causality. Therapists who are interested in the scientific aspects of dream analysis will find that their scientific understandings are therapeutic and will most likely share them to gain insight on the present neurosis.

During the course of an analysis, which may last many months, dreams often become deluded and make less sense. This is because a relationship will develop and the analyst's interpretations are clouded by their previous judgements of the person. This does not allow for any change in the patient's inevitable...


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  2. You missed the point
    • Jul 19, 2003 - Evaluator: (DepthDoc)
    • It seems the reader read only one chapter of the book. Above all, Jung sets forth his argument for the autonomy of the psyche. What Jung so brilliantly acknowledges is that civilization is merely a reflection of the individual consciousness which is in flux - ever changing and adapting; growing in conscious awareness - continuous and discontinuous, seeking continuity, yet cultivating disruption. As modern man turns toward the manifestations of psyche, he must by design be present - cognizant of the past and attentive to the potentials of the future. The spiritual problem of modern man in search of a soul is in recognizing the autonomy of the psyche and its relevance as it “becomes something in its own right” (Jung, 1933, p. 201). It requires a disengagement and relinquishment to some degree, of the cultural religious forms previously thought essential in the service of society and the soul, and a turning inward to discover the personal symbolic nature of the individual psyche whether in dreams or other psychic manifestations. This is more evident in this age, Jung argues in essence, because our collective psychic energies have failed to find an outlet for adequate regulation. And so, the energies back up on us and we must deal with them within the psyche. (p. 202) This is significant as our attentions turn from the exclusive outer forms of objective knowledge toward the inner psychic processes as a distinctly unique phenomenology. He also argues for the psychotherapist to assume a religious function in the treatment of the individual. " . . . if the doctor wishes to help a human being he must be able to accept him as he is. And he can do this in reality only when he has already seen and accepted himself as he is." (p. 235) Jung states, "Today this eruption of destructive fores has already taken place, and man suffers from it in spirit. That is wy patients force the psychotherapist into the role of a priest, and expecxt and demand of him that he shall free them from their distress. That is why we psychotherapists must occupy ourselves with problems which, strictly speaking, belong to the theologian."