©2008 NewFoundations

Jung On "Woman"

edited 8/19/11

Jung's pioneering and widely influential approach to psychology stresses investigations of mythology, world religions, dreams, literature, sociology, art and both eastern and western philosophy as a means of illuminating psychological processes. His most prominent contributions include his conception of the Jungian archetype, the collective unconscious, and his theory of synchronicity.

At age 28, Jung married Emma Rauschenbach, whose family was among Switzerland’s richest. His wife’s inherited fortune made life considerably easier for Jung. He and Emma eventually had five children. Although the couple remained together until Emma’s death in 1955, their life together was troubled by Jung’s persistent extramarital affairs that included two of his former patients.

Jung, in fact, had an undisguised ten-year affair with one of them, Toni Wolff, whom he called his “second wife.” This unconventional arrangement nearly scuttled Jung’s marriage; but an accommodation eventually developed between Toni and Emma. Emma, however, never really adjusted to having Toni as a habitual guest for Sunday dinner. Toni died at age 60, and by then she and Carl were no longer lovers or even friends. It is of interest that Carl chose not to attend her funeral.


Carl Jung (1875-1961) –
Swiss psychiatrist, important theorist, clinician and founder of analytic psychiatry.

 The feminine mind is the earth waiting for the seed.
-- Letters (March 22, 1935)

Everything is the other way round with women.
-- Letters (October 3, 1942)

With women the inner pressure must be raised with some pumped-in carbonic acid, but it is advisable for a man to fix a spigot on the barrel so that he does not leak away completely.
-- Letters (October 3, 1942)

The animus of women is an answer to the spirit which rules the man.
It has its origin in father's mind and shows what the girl has received from the lovely, kind, and incompetent father. His family weakness on the other hand he owes to the animus of his mother and thus the evil is handed on from generation to generation.
-- Letters (November 5, 1942)

In the long run the psychological influence of women isn't necessarily helpful. The more helpless a man is, the more the maternal instinct is called upon, and there is no woman who could resist such a call. But a man's psychology gets badly undermined by too much motherliness.  
 --  Letters (November 1, 1951)

Anything you acquire by your own efforts is worth a hundred years with a woman analyst
. -- Letters (November 1, 1951)

I find it incomprehensible how anybody can credit me with being opposed to female suffage out of fear it might lead to the danger of "masculinization. My experience has impressed the tenacity and toughness of the female nature, which nothing has changed for thousands of years, far too deeply upon me for me to suppose that
the right to vote could bring such a wonder to pass. -- Letters (January 24, 1959)

In an utterly feminine way a woman can have a -- from her point of view -- well-founded opinion without suffering the slightest injury to her nature.
-- Letters (January 24, 1959)

There are countless women who succeed in public life without losing their femininity. On the contrary, they succeed precisely because of it.
-- Letters (January 24, 1959)

Women know psychology chiefly as a means to an end, while a man has an incomparably more complete intuition about it although he knows very much less of it than a woman. A woman thinks she is moving in a sphere of more or less known factors, while a man is terrified by the certainty of having to deal with the well known "Unknowns."
-- Letters (April 12, 1959)

Perfection is a masculine desideratum, while woman inclines by nature to completeness. And it is a fact that, even today, a man can stand a relative state of perfection much better and for a longer period than a woman, while as a rule it does not agree with women and may even be dangerous for them. If a woman strives for perfection she forgets the complementary role of completeness, which, though imperfect by itself, forms the necessary counterpart to perfection.
-- Psychology and Religion, West and East

No one can evade the fact, that in taking up a masculine calling, studying and working in a man's way, woman is doing something not wholly in agreement with, if not directly injurious to, her feminine nature. … Female psychology is founded on the principle of Eros, the great binder and deliverer; while age-old wisdom has ascribed Logos to man as his ruling principle.
-- Contributions to Analytical Psychology