The most significant difference between Freud and Jung


The Tower of Babel


Theories can be built beginning from building blocks of concepts. Additional blocks are arranged onto the collection of these base blocks in order to erect as general a theory as possible. Freud built his theoretical system this way, from observational details towards a more and more general psychoanalytic theory. He tried to see the wholeness with the help of combinations of details, piecing them together to give rise to a higher system. His construction can be compared to the Tower of Babel, which was built more for the praise of man’s intellect than for forces beyond. This lack made it possible for him to leave psyche in the animal-like state, where primarily lower drives and instincts reign and rage. Jung considered this view about unconscious as a trash can that collects all the refuse of the conscious mind.

He had no other choice. He was unable to perceive the inner visions spontaneously, that's why he had, contrary to Jung, to approach dreams from the angle of scientific analysis, and was compelled to erect his analytical construction with his own, arduous work. He had only three of life’s four dimensions in his own consciousness and in his theory of dreams; the individual, biological, and later in his life, increasingly, the social dimension. 

However, what he was lacking, was the fourth dimension, which has no specific name but can be called transpersonal, cosmic, transcendental, younameit, experiences. He considered them to be religiously colored fantasies and primitive remnants from early babyhood experiences. His negative attitude towards religions manifests itself in a conviction expressed in his later life: "I am firmly convinced that the most careful elaboration of the material upon which the problems of religion are based would not shake these conclusions [of psychoanalysis]. He saw religion "as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity".

Down to Earth

Jung’s theory was born in an opposite; top-down way, from the general to the specific, contrary to Freud’s bottom-up approach. When Jung was 37 years old, he was plunged into a very intensive four year long flood of images, for which he then searched appropriate expressions for decades. He writes: "All my works, all my creative activity, has come from those initial fantasies and dreams, which began in 1912, almost fifty years ago. Everything that I accomplished in later life was already contained in them". Images, experienced in both his nightly dreams and his daytime fantasies, were the fiery lava from which his conceptual rock of scientific work was crystallized. 

His material gushed out spontaneously and vividly from same internal sources, from where also dreams rise to the surface of our waking consciousness.


(More detailed treat of this topic is found on pages 51-54 in my book Understanding Dreams - The Gateway to Dreams Without Dream Interpretation)