“To this day, god is the name by which I designate all things which cross my wilful path
violently and recklessly;
all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse.”
- C.G. Jung
Initially, Jung had aspirations of becoming a preacher or minister in his early life. There was a strong moral sense in his household and several of his family members were clergymen as well. For a time, Jung had wanted to study archaeology, but his family could not afford to send him further than the University of Basel, which did not teach archaeology. After studying philosophy in his teens, Jung decided against the path of religious traditionalism and decided instead to pursue psychiatry and medicine.[ His interest was immediately captured—it combined the biological and the spiritual, exactly what he was searching for. In 1895 Jung began to study medicine at the University of Basel. Barely a year later in 1896, his father Paul died and left the family near destitute. They were helped out by relatives who also contributed to Jung's studies. During his student days, he entertained his contemporaries with the family legend, that his paternal grandfather was the illegitimate son of Goethe and his German great-grandmother, Sophie Ziegler. In later life, he pulled back from this tale, saying only that Sophie was a friend of Goethe's niece.
In 1900, Jung moved to Zürich and began working at the Burghölzli psychiatric hospital under Eugen Bleuler. Bleuler was already in communication with the Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Jung's dissertation, published in 1903, was titled On the Psychology and Pathology of So-Called Occult Phenomena. In 1905 Jung was appointed as a permanent 'senior' doctor at the hospital and also became a lecturer Privatdozent in the medical faculty of Zurich University. In 1906 he published Diagnostic Association Studies, which Freud obtained a copy of. In 1909, Jung left the psychiatric hospital and began a private practice in his home in Küsnacht.
Eventually a close friendship and a strong professional association developed between the elder Freud and Jung, which left a sizeable correspondence. For six years they cooperated in their work. In 1912, however, Jung published Psychology of the Unconscious, which made manifest the developing theoretical divergence between the two. Consequently, their personal and professional relationship fractured—each stating that the other was unable to admit he could possibly be wrong. After the culminating break in 1913, Jung went through a difficult and pivotal psychological transformation, exacerbated by the outbreak of the First World War. Henri Ellenberger called Jung's intense experience a "creative illness" and compared it favourably to Freud's own period of what he called neurasthenia and hysteria.
Jung & Freud
Jung was thirty when he sent his Studies in Word Association to Sigmund Freud in Vienna in 1906.
The two men met for the first time the following year and Jung recalled the discussion between himself and Freud as interminable. He recalled that they talked almost unceasingly for thirteen hours. Six months later, the then 50-year-old Freud sent a collection of his latest published essays to Jung in Zurich. This marked the beginning of an intense correspondence and collaboration that lasted six years and ended in May 1913. At that time Jung resigned as the chairman of the International Psychoanalytical Association, a position to which he had been elected with Freud's support. Source
Divergence and break between Jung & Freud
While Jung worked on his Psychology of the Unconscious: a study of the transformations and symbolisms of the libido, tensions manifested between him and Freud because of various disagreements, including those concerning the nature of libido. Jung de-emphasized the importance of sexual development and focused on the collective unconscious: the part of the unconscious that contains memories and ideas that Jung believed were inherited from ancestors. While he did think that libido was an important source for personal growth, unlike Freud, Jung did not believe that libido alone was responsible for the formation of the core personality. Jung believed his personal development was influenced by factors he felt were unrelated to sexuality.
In 1912 these tensions came to a peak because Jung felt severely slighted after Freud visited his colleague Ludwig Binswanger in Kreuzlingen without paying him a visit in nearby Zurich, an incident Jung referred to as "the Kreuzlingen gesture". Shortly thereafter, Jung again traveled to the United States and gave the Fordham University lectures, a six-week series, which were published later in the year as Psychology of the Unconscious: a study of the transformations and symbolisms of the libido, (subsequently republished as Symbols of Transformation). While they contain some remarks on Jung's dissenting view on the libido, they represent largely a "psychoanalytical Jung" and not the theory of analytical psychology, for which he became famous in the following decades. Nonetheless it was their publication which, Jung declared, "cost me my friendship with Freud". Source
It was the publication of Jung's book Psychology of the Unconscious in 1912 that led to the break with Freud. Letters they exchanged show Freud's refusal to consider Jung's ideas. This rejection caused what Jung described in his (posthumous) 1962 autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, as a "resounding censure". Everyone he knew dropped away except for two of his colleagues. Jung described his book as "an attempt, only partially successful, to create a wider setting for medical psychology and to bring the whole of the psychic phenomena within its purview." The book was later revised and retitled Symbols of Transformation in 1922. Source
Later years and death
Jung became a full professor of medical psychology at the University of Basel in 1943, but resigned after a heart attack the next year to lead a more private life. He became ill again in 1952.
Jung continued to publish books until the end of his life, including Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (1959), which analyzed the archetypal meaning and possible psychological significance of the reported observations of UFOs. He also enjoyed a friendship with an English Roman Catholic priest, Father Victor White, who corresponded with Jung after he had published his controversial Answer to Job.
In 1961, Jung wrote his last work, a contribution to Man and His Symbols entitled "Approaching the Unconscious" (published posthumously in 1964). Jung died on 6 June 1961 at Küsnacht after a short illness. He had been beset by circulatory diseases. Source
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular psychometric instrument, and the concepts of socionics were developed from Jung's theory of psychological types. Jung saw the human psyche as "by nature religious" and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations. Jung is one of the best known contemporary contributors to dream analysis and symbolization. His influence on popular psychology, the "psychologization of religion", spirituality and the New Age movement has been immense. Source.