Freud says the libido, the energy of the psyche, is driven by an untiring impulsion towards oneness with mother. This drive to repeat a primary experience of satisfaction is an inherent urge to restore things to an earlier state. For Freud all instincts lead backward, to an earlier time. There is no forward or progressive urge.
He states this explicitly in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. “There is unquestionably no universal instinct towards higher development observable in the animal or plant world, even though it is undeniable that development does in fact occur in that direction.” (Freud, PFL 11, p 314)
Freud maintains that all psychic processes are regressive. All instincts lead backward, to an earlier time. There is no forward or progressive urge. Psychic energy hearkens back to a lost object and is reduced to the personal mother.
Jung acknowledges that one aspect of libidinal energy is tied to a regressive longing for mother, but he also understands there is a progressive aspect to it. Contained within the longing for the personal mother is also a longing for the Mother as source, the “ocean of divinity”. This can be understood progressively as a longing for wholeness. Libidinal energy is not only regressive, but can be understood teleologically, there is an aim, a goal.
There is, Jung says,
… a regressive movement of libido towards the primordial, a diving down into the source of the first beginnings. Out of this there rises, as an image of the incipient progressive movement, the symbol, which is a condensation of all the operative unconscious factors…The vision of the symbol is a pointer to the onward course of life, beckoning libido towards a distant goal – but a goal that henceforth will burn unquenchably within him, so that his life, kindled as by a flame, moves steadily towards the far-off beacon. This is the specific life-promoting significance of the symbol. (CW 6 par 202)
We must separate from mother in order to return to Mother. By descending into the maternal abyss we are able to do battle with those elements that are infantile, and this allows us to find the value that also lies in the collective unconscious, and thus moves the psyche along in a progressive direction.