The other day I saw an incredible movie, A Dangerous Method. It was about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s mistress. As I watched the movie so many insights about work came out it was fascinating. First of all I had no idea that the two renowned psychologists were contemporaries on the scene at the same time. Freud was older than Jung and became like a father figure to him. As time went on the friendship between the two men became strained partially due to Carl Jung’s secret affair with his mistress and her working for both men, but more so because of differing opinions on their work and psychology in general. Sigmund Freud related all dreams, all problems, all psychosis, to sexuality. Although Carl Jung looked up to Freud, he saw things quite differently. He believed that we all have a potential man or woman of a very high order within and the closer we move to the experience this potential, the more happy we become. Freud thought that Jung was moving too closely to the realm of metaphysics and that it had no place in psychology. Sigmund Freud became very disappointed with Carl Jung because of this and Carl Jung was very hurt by Sigmund Freud’s seeming need to be superior. Now that you know the background I will tell you come of the insights I noticed in the film.
1. Carl Jung always looked up to the great Sigmund Freud and after meeting him and sometimes disagreeing with certain ideas, he seemed afraid to express his thoughts and somewhat doubted his own gut feelings and observations about psychology. Even though we look up to experts and heroes in our fields, at some point we must test things for ourselves and ultimately be our own authority.
2. Carl Jung had to go against the grain and ultimately against the most revered man in his field to pursue his endeavors . In life and in our work, we have to be who we truly are and let go of the results in the process. This is not always an easy task.
3. Sigmund Freud was somewhat Jealous when he found out that Carl Jung could research all he wanted and did not have to worry about money because his wife was wealthy. In the meantime Carl Jung was envious of Freud due to his fame and notoriety. Often we don’t realize just how good we have it and find ourselves still wanting something else even when we have it made.
4. When Carl Jung fell out with his colleague and mentor he became very unhappy and was no longer himself. He ended up having a nervous breakdown. We cannot focus on things that make us unhappy and worry about things and people
we have no control over. Once again when it comes to our work and other situations in life we must do what we have to do and let go of the results and surrounding circumstances.
5. Years later Carl Jung reemerged on the scene and went on to produce what was considered to be his best work. Carl Jung is known for his theory of us all moving toward self actualized man. We cannot let naysayers hold us back from our expression. We fall down, but we get up. Don’t be afraid to get back in the game and be who you truly are, truly express yourself.
6. Both men, like all the greats, were very much wrapped up in their work. They were truly working in the field that fascinated them. You want to be great and truly give something to the world? Find something that captures your attention and pour yourself into it. Then share it with the world.
7. Carl Jung’s patient Sabina Spielrein, who became his mistress, went on to become a psychotherapist despite her past illness. Once again we fall down but we get up. We cannot let anything keep us from our dream.
8. It’s also important to note that although Jung parted ways with his mentor, Sigmund Freud, having a mentor to help one find their way is invaluable.
9. Being a part of the community is important too. The men in this field had meetings and associations with one another, published papers and shared their findings. If you want to be a great artist you must hang out with other great artists in your field. Birds of a feather flock together. We become a part of the atmosphere we place ourselves in.