Home Article Book Reviews Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Re-Visiting Memories, Dreams, Reflections recorded and edited by Aniela
Jaffe Translated from the German by Richard and Clara Winston.

In the opening prologue to Carl Jung’s remarkable and groundbreaking
autobiography-originally released over 50 years ago- the legendary psychoanalyst and
thinker write: “My life is a story of the self-realization of the unconscious. Everything in
the unconscious seeks outward manifestation, and the personality to desires to evolve
out of its unconscious conditions and to experience itself as a whole. I cannot employ
the language of science to trace this process of growth in myself, for I cannot
experience myself as a scientific problem!

And that, Jung wrote, was due to the limitations that science offers. Unlike his colleague
Sigmund Freud, Jung was comfortable with science and the mysteries of the unknown.
He became irritated with Freud’s obsession with sexuality.

What we get in this autobiography of Jung’s life is a man who is on a lifelong quest to
understand himself at the deepest level.

Jung accepted and allowed “special, secret knowledge not obtained through normal
methods of cognition” to manifest via dreams and visions. This would lead to his
discovery of what he called “synchronicity”. It is Jung’s trailblazing in these realms that
have seemingly led to a renaissance in interest in synchronicity and its offshoot

As Jung grows up he becomes more comfortable with exploring his psyche, something
that he discovers is not for everyone. Most people are not at all comfortable confronting
their “shadow”.

And perhaps because of his unconventional and almost childlike wonderment regarding
his personal discoveries- synchronicity, archetypes of the collective unconscious, the
masculine and feminine found both in men and women- he has been called the
“founding father of the New Age”.

Writes Jung upon realizing his visions were predicting the planet-altering world war that
was to sneak out in summer 1914; “Now my task was clear: I had to try to understand
that had happened and to what extent my own experience coincided with that of
mankind in general. Therefore my first obligation was to probe the depths of my own

And this would only deepen his interest and pursuit of studying his psyche and, as a
widely -regarded psychoanalyst, the psyches of others-he saw himself as a “doctor of
the soul”.

Later in the autobiography, Jung takes us to places far away and places deep inside. In
the mid- 20th century, when the subject of UFOs and flying saucers become de rigueur,
Jung comments that the unexplained phenomenon in his professional estimation is
evidence of “the collective unconscious” manifesting itself everywhere.

How refreshing to have a psychoanalyst who understands and believes in
parapsychology and paraphenomology.

He was a genius not totally recognized for his contribution to the understanding of the
psyche and the psychic.

In a sense, he was an iconoclast who deconstructed some of Freud’s thought. For a
better understanding of the self-read “Memories, Dreams, Reflections”.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here