8 Facts About Carl Jung

Central Press/Getty Images
Central Press/Getty Images

Perhaps second only to Sigmund Freud—though he may have been reticent to admit it—Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a renowned Swiss psychologist who pioneered the idea of exploring a person’s interior life to better understand their behaviors. If you’ve ever been labeled an extrovert or introvert, you can thank Jung for that. Have a look at our analysis of this fascinating thinker.

1. HE WAS A LONER AS A CHILD.

Born to Paul and Emilie Jung on July 26, 1875 in Kesswil, Switzerland, Jung was said to have been a child who largely kept to himself. He had no siblings and his mother was an unreliable presence in the house; she suffered from a mental disorder and was institutionalized briefly when Jung was just 3 years old. Jung tended to internalize his emotions, turning to books on philosophy instead of following in his father’s footsteps by joining the clergy. He graduated from the University of Basel in 1900 and, later, the University of Zurich, earning both his M.D. and Ph.D.

2. HE PIONEERED THE “COMPLEX” THEORY OF PSYCHOLOGY.

While at the University of Zurich, Jung joined the staff at Burghölzli Asylum, where he first noticed patients who expressed different reactions when hearing certain words. Those reactions drove Jung to explore the idea of a “complex,” a condition experienced by people who could be profiled according to their subconscious fears of insecurity, inferiority, or superiority, among others. Jung believed he had both a "father complex" and a "mother complex," harboring feelings of resentment for both his father's passive personality and his mother's unpredictable behavior.

3. HE WAS INTERESTED IN THE OCCULT.

At the turn of the 20th century, Jung was drawn to unusual subjects for a psychologist. Jung looked to witchcraft, alchemy, folklore, and then-exotic yoga to explore his principles. Followers of Sigmund Freud criticized Jung for such activities, believing them to be outside the purview of science. Jung argued that so many people had devoted so much time to thinking about such things that it must make up a portion of the collective conscious and was worth studying.

4. FREUD HELPED BLACKBALL HIM.

Jung and Freud shared a fascination with the unconscious mind, an interest that led to a fruitful five-year working relationship between 1907 and 1912. But Jung raised Freud’s ire when he published a book, Psychology of the Unconscious, that contradicted some of Freud’s theories. (Freud was adamant that psychological issues stemmed from childhood sexual development; Jung agreed but argued humankind had a religious instinct that was just as influential.) The volume so offended Freud that he cut off contact with Jung and encouraged the rest of the psychoanalytic community to do the same. Undaunted, Jung continued to pursue his work.

5. HE WAS A CHRONIC WOMANIZER.

Jung was hardly one to respect the limits of the doctor-patient relationship. Despite his marriage to Emma Rauschenbach, whom he married in 1903 and had five children with, Jung was a notorious womanizer. He carried on with mistresses as well as patients—some during, and some after, their treatment. When Jung had an affair with medical student Sabina Spielrein, Emma told Spielrein's parents of the dalliance. Rather than feel shamed, Jung wrote to them and bluntly offered to stop seeing her if they paid him more for her counseling.

6. HE WROTE A DIARY THAT WAS KEPT HIDDEN FOR DECADES.

Jung’s fascination with peering inside the crevices of the mind led to a personal crisis of his own—one that some Jung scholars believe was flirting with insanity. In 1913, Jung began hearing voices and having visions. Jung later wrote that he would sometimes grip a table for fear he might be coming apart at the seams and even compared it to a drug trip. Instead of fighting it, Jung embraced it, trying to induce hallucinations to acknowledge whatever his unconscious mind might be trying to tell him. He charted his experiences in what he called the Red Book, an unkempt diary of thoughts, illustrations, and theories. The work was so personal that when Jung died in 1961, his family declined to allow anyone to see it. It was finally published in 2009.

7. HE HELPED INSPIRE ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS.

Though Jung has no direct involvement with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, the landmark support group for people struggling with substance abuse, he is widely credited with helping launch the idea of self-improvement through affirmations. In the early 1930s, a man named Rowland H. asked Jung for help with his excessive drinking. Jung believed a spiritual rather than behavioral transformation would be helpful in Rowland’s case, and he recommended he seek out the Oxford Group, then a popular religious movement in America. The Oxford Group practiced self-evaluation through acknowledging and correcting wrongs. Rowland then recommended the method to Bill W., a friend who had tried to treat his alcoholism via medicine. Through this baton-passing, Bill W. went on to found AA.

8. HE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT UFOS.

There is no aspect of the mind that failed to fascinate Jung. While his contemporaries were busy with dry volumes of psychoanalytic theory, Jung published a book titled Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies, in 1958. The book was neither a chronicle of Jung’s own sightings (he didn’t have any) nor an investigation into the credibility of such eyewitness testimony. Instead, Jung explored what might drive the psyche to entertain the idea of alien visitations and what those beliefs revealed about the subconscious mind. An editor for the New Republic hoped to quote Jung in advance of publication, but he declined, claiming that “being rather old, I have to economize my energies.” Jung died at the age of 85 in 1961.

Amazon's Best Black Friday Deals: Tech, Video Games, Kitchen Appliances, Clothing, and More

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Amazon

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Black Friday is finally here, and Amazon is offering great deals on kitchen appliances, tech, video games, and plenty more. We will keep updating this page as sales come in, but for now, here are the best Amazon Black Friday sales to check out.

Kitchen

Instant Pot/Amazon

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- Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition; $190 (save $30)

- Ninja OS301 Foodi 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker and Air Fryer; $125 (save $75)

- Nespresso Vertuo Next Coffee and Espresso Machine by Breville; $120 (save $60)

- KitchenAid KSMSFTA Sifter with Scale Attachment; $95 (save $75)

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Video games

Sony

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Apple/Amazon

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25 Offbeat Holidays You Can Celebrate in December

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ivanastar/iStock via Getty Images

Whether you're a holiday fanatic who wants even more to celebrate, or a Scrooge with a burning desire to buck tradition, we've got plenty of offbeat observances to put on your calendar.

1. December 1: Giving Tuesday

After indulging on Thanksgiving, and shopping on Friday, Monday, and probably the whole weekend in between, Giving Tuesday—which occurs annually on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving—encourages people to engage in charitable activities.

2. December 4: National Cookie Day

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December isn’t exactly lacking in opportunities to indulge in sweet treats, but today it’s your offbeat-holiday-given right to mix, bake, and/or eat as many cookies as you can handle.

3. December 5: Bathtub Party Day

There's a lot to be done between now and the end of the year. Take a minute to breathe, relax, and take in a soak.

4. December 5: International Ninja Day

The official website of Ninja Day alleges this holiday not only honors all things stealth and nunchucks, but also combats the more nautical offbeat holiday Talk Like a Pirate Day, which takes place in September. Creep, sneak, or redirect all of your URLs to Ninja activity—as long as you forgo the “arrrr matey’s” and eye patches for ominous silence and masks, you’re correctly celebrating this international holiday.

5. December 6: National Pawnbrokers Day

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If you thought good ol' St. Nicholas was the patron saint of reindeer and stockings, think again: The actual Nikolaos of Myra was the patron of things like the falsely accused and pawnbrokers, and on this day we acknowledge the latter.

6. December 9: Weary Willie Day

Professional clown Emmett Kelly created one of the more memorable clown characters of the 20th century: “Weary Willie.” Unlike many of his clown predecessors, Weary Willie opted out of white face paint and broad slapstick for the “tramp” look popular among Depression-era derelicts. One of his signature routines involved attempting to sweep up after circus acts, and failing in spite of himself—to the delight and empathy of the audience.

7. December 10: Jane Addams Day

December 10 is the day that the Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies have been held every year since 1901. Consequently, there are a lot of firsts that fall on this date, like the first American woman to be honored. That would be Jane Addams, founder of our current social work industry and prominent women's suffrage leader. On the anniversary of that award, given in 1931, we remember her life and work.

8. December 11: Official Lost And Found Day

Visit a thrift store, see if you can find that book you’ve misplaced, or invest in a memory-boosting regime so you’ll be losing things less frequently.

9. December 12: Poinsettia Day

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This day doesn't just celebrate the festive flower—it also marks the death of its namesake, Joel Roberts Poinsett. The botanist (and first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico) brought clippings of Euphorbia pulcherrima back to the States from southern Mexico, and grew the plant at his South Carolina home.

10. December 12: Gingerbread Decorating Day

Whether you’re a craftsman or an eater, today is the day for you.

11. December 13: National Day Of The Horse

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In 2004, the Senate signed legislation to officially make the second Saturday of December the National Day of the Horse. We really shouldn’t have to explain the reason horses need to be celebrated—just look at them!

12. December 13: National Cocoa Day

The weather outside is starting to get frightful, but what better cure for the temperature blues than a nice cup of hot cocoa? A down coat or a wool hat simply can’t compete in the taste department.

13. December 14: Monkey Day

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Officially, Monkey Day is an “annual celebration of all things simian, a festival of primates, a chance to scream like a monkey and throw feces at whomever you choose.” The origins of the holiday are unknown, though it has been observed since at least 2003.

14. December 15: Cat Herders Day

Technically this day is for all those who work jobs that could be described as like trying to herd cats, but it’s also probably acceptable to celebrate by trying to wrangle a cute feline.

15. December 16: Barbie And Barney Backlash Day

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Doesn’t seem like a coincidence that this holiday occurs in December: It’s the one day a year when you can tell your kids that Barbie and Barney don’t exist.

16. December 17: Wright Brothers Day

Made an official holiday in 1963 by Presidential Proclamation, this holiday marks the day in 1903 when Orville and Wilbur Wright achieved the first ever successful (documented) controlled airplane flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

17. December 18: Underdog Day

Observed annually on the third Friday of December since 1976, this is a reminder to honor the little guy. We’re always rooting for them, but there’s a holiday to celebrate, too.

18. December 21: Humbug Day

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Get out all your bahs and scowls and growls now: no one will tolerate them come Christmas.

19. December 21: Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day

In Jules Verne's 1873 classic novel Around the World in 80 Days, Phileas Fogg bets that he can travel the entire globe, between 8:45 p.m. on October 2, and 8:45 p.m. on December 21. Keep an eye out for him on this day.

20. December 22: Forefathers’ Day

On December 21, 1620 (it was a Monday) the Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and since that basically kick-started our country's history since then, we celebrate it.

21. December 23: Festivus!

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For those who shy away from the more traditional December holidays, there’s always Festivus for the rest of us. Created by a Seinfeld writer's father and popularized by Frank Costanza, this secular holiday that involves gathering around an aluminum pole and airing your grievances has continued to gain a following since its introduction in 1997. If you haven’t seen the episode, there’s an entire website that spells out how to celebrate Festivus from start to finish. (Test your Festivus knowledge with this quiz.)

22. December 25: A’phabet Day

A pun on noel, this offbeat ce'ebration is designed to high'ight the arbitrary nature of many of the year's si''ier ho'idays. Whi'e you're unwrapping presents and eating your Christmas feast, 'eave a'' the Ls out of written and spoken communication for a festive activity that wi'' sure'y infuriate your 'oved ones.

23. December 26: National Whiners Day

Get it all out, whiners. Today is your day.

24. December 29: Tick Tock Day

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In case you needed another reminder of the inevitable passage of time and/or an occasion to reevaluate how those 2019 resolutions are going!

25. December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day

Tomorrow’s a new year! Time to fight that indecisiveness and make a decision—maybe even a resolution, if you will.