The Essential Jung: Selected Writings


The essence of Carl Jung’s life’s work in his own words. Annotated with helpful explanatory notes that link ideas together.

In 3 sentences:

Libido is general psychic energy, not just sexual energy, and it motivates people in many important ways.

The human psyche is made up of three distinct interacting systems – the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious.

Archetypes (specific concepts and images) that show up in religions and literature have universal meanings across cultures and time periods.

Read it if:

You want a dense, intellectually challenging book to read.

You think Freud’s ideas are interesting, and you’d love to learn about similar theories.

You like to understand ideas directly from the source.

You’re interested in Jung, but you don’t want to read the formidable volume of his works from beginning to end.

Skip it if:

You want a simple, accessible introduction into Jung’s theories.

You think psychoanalytic ideas are far-fetched and unrealistic – some of these ideas are a little out-there.

You don’t know who Freud is – this book assumes a deep familiarity with Freud’s theories, and will be much more difficult without it.

You hate having to constantly look up words.

Goodreads Rating: 4.3 / 5

Length: 448 pages

Buy the book: The Essential Jung: Selected Writings

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