Carl Gustav Jung was born July 26, 1875, in the small Swiss village
of Kessewil. His father was Paul Jung, a country parson, and his
mother was Emilie Preiswerk Jung. He was surrounded by a fairly
well educated extended family, including quite a few clergymen and
some eccentrics as well.
The elder Jung started Carl on Latin when he was six years old,
beginning a long interest in language and literature -- especially
ancient literature. Besides most modern western European languages,
Jungcould read several ancient ones, including Sanskrit, the language
of the original Hindu holy books.
Carl was a rather solitary adolescent, who didn't care much for
school, and especially couldn't take competition. He went to boarding
school in Basel, Switzerland, where he found himself the object
of a lot of jealous harassment. He began to use sickness as an excuse,
developing an embarrassing tendency to faint under pressure.
Although his first career choice was archeology, he went on to
study medicine at the University of Basel. While working under the
famous neurologist Krafft-Ebing, he settled on psychiatry as his
After graduating, he took a position at the Burghoeltzli Mental
Hospital in Zurich under Eugene Bleuler, an expert on (and the namer
of) schizophrenia. In 1903, he married Emma Rauschenbach. He also
taught classes at the University of Zurich, had a private practice,
and invented word association at this time!
Long an admirer of Freud, he met him in Vienna in 1907. The story
goes that after they met, Freud canceled all his appointments for
the day, and they talked for 13 hours straight, such was the impact
of the meeting of these two great minds! Freud eventually came to
see Jung as the crown prince of psychoanalysis and his heir apparent.
But Jung had never been entirely sold on Freud's theory. Their
relationship began to cool in 1909, during a trip to America. They
were entertaining themselves by analyzing each others' dreams (more
fun, apparently, than shuffleboard), when Freud seemed to show an
excess of resistance to Jung's efforts at analysis. Freud finally
said that they'd have to stop because he was afraid he would lose
his authority! Jung felt rather insulted.
World War I was a painful period of self-examination for Jung.
It was, however, also the beginning of one of the most interesting
theories of personality the world has ever seen.
After the war, Jung traveled widely, visiting, for example, tribal
people in Africa, America, and India. He retired in 1946, and began
to retreat from public attention after his wife died in 1955. He
died on June 6, 1961, in Zurich.