Jacobi, J. (1959) Complex, Archetype and Symbol, Bollingen, Princeton University.

Chapter 1

p3 “The present period is characterised by a terminological tower of Babel. This is particularly true in the field of psychology, …
The very nature of depth psychology prevents it from adopting a procedure which is both possible and desirable in mathematics and physics, … namely the creation of an “intersubjective language” consisting of words and signs of invariable meaning.”
p4 “At the same time it must contend with an often impenetrable tangle of polyvalent psychic phenomena and, in perfecting its nomenclature, do justice to the laws of the inner cosmos, lest it fall victim to a doctrinaire systematization - an all but impossible task.” Well put

p4 “Yet, says Jung, Thus in the last analysis any attempt to formulate psychic phenomena in terms of language is doomed to imperfection, because the means of expression can never be fully adequate to the subject matter.”

p5 “For every statement on psychic phenomena is more crucially influenced by the personal position of the man who makes it, and by the spirit of the age that moulds him, than is the case in other scientific fields.”

p6 “According to Jung,1 it is not dreams (as Freud believed) but complexes2 that provide the royal road to the unconscious.”

p7 Doing the Association experiment tests Jung and his colleagues discovered “the presence and nature of such emotionally toned groups of representations as specific factors disturbing the normal course of the psychic association process.” Emphasis mine

p8 “According to Jung's definition every complex consists primarily of a “nuclear element,” a vehicle of meaning, which is beyond the realm of the conscious will, unconscious and uncontrollable; and secondarily, of a number of associations connected with the nuclear element, stemming in part from innate personal disposition and in part from individual experiences conditioned by the environment.7

Autonomy of the complexes

p9 “We can speak of a “father complex” in this /an individual only if the clash between reality and the individual's own vulnerable disposition in this respect, the clash between the particular inward and outward situations,8 gives this “nuclear element” a sufficiently high emotional charge to carry it out of a state of merely “potential” disturbance into one of actual disturbance. Once constellated and actualized, the complex can openly resist the intentions of the ego consciousness, shatter its unity, split off from it, and act as an “animated foreign body in the sphere of consciousness.”9 Accordingly Jung says:

p9-10 “Complexes may disclose every degree of independence.
[1] Some rest peacefully; embedded in the general fabric of the unconscious, and scarcely make themselves noticed;
[2] others behave aS real disturbers of the psychic “economy”;
[3] still others have already made their way into consciousness, but resist its influence and remain more or less independent, a law unto themselves.”

p10 “Jung writes, “Knowledge of its (the complex) existence seems futile; its harmful action will continue until we succeed in “discharging” it, or until the excess of psychic energy stored up in it is transferred to another gradient, i.e., until we succeed in assimilating it emotionally.”

p10 “These complexes, that are only intellectually known, must he sharply distinguished from those that are really “understood,” i.e., made conscious in a form that actually stops them from exerting a harmful influence. For in these latter cases we are no longer dealing with complexes but with assimilated contents of consciousness …“
p11 “For as long as it remains totally unconscious and the attention of our consciousness is not attracted to it even by the symptoms it causes, it remains inaccessible to any possible understanding. It then possesses the uncontrollable, compulsive character of all autonomous forces to which the ego is exposed for better or worse; it promotes dissociations and so impairs the unity of the psyche.” Emphasis mine

p11 ”…as long as complexes are unconscious they can be enriched with associations and hence “broadened,” but can never he corrected.
They cast off the compulsive character of an automatism only when we raise them to consciousness, a step which is among the most important elements of therapy.
In proportion to their distance from consciousness, the complexes take on in the unconscious an archaic-mythological character and an increasing numinosity through enrichment of their contents, as can easily be observed in cases of schizophrenia. But numinosity is totally impervious to the conscious will and puts the subject into a state of seizure, of will-less subservience.”

p11-12 “From, the functional point of view we may saY that the resolution of a complex and its-emotional assimilation, i.e., the process of raising it to consciousness, always result in a new distribution of psychic energy.”

p12 “Thus the complex - as is clearly shown by dreams - may appear in personified form. … She then goes on to quote Jung:

p13 “Since the autonomous complexes are by nature unconscious, they seem - like all manifestations of the unconscious - not to belong to the ego, i.e., to be outside objects or persons, in other words, projections.” Emphasis mine

p13 Footnote 18 quotes Jung again on the matter of the ego:

p14 “We can break their (the complex) power only by “making conscious” their repressed and unconscious content. …
Intellectual understanding is by no means sufficient. Only emotional experience liberates; it alone can bring about the necessary revolution and transformation of energies.” Emphasis mine

p14 Quoting Jung again:

On the phenomenology of the complex

p15-16 A breakdown of complex states:
a) Unconscious.
Energy: Not significant energy but still has an impact on the natural processes of the psyche
Experience: Appears in slip ups and very minor symptoms.

b) Unconscious.
Energy: Swollen to the point of behaving as though it were a second ego
Experience: The Individual is caught between two truths, two conflicting streams of will.

c) Unconscious.
Energy: Sufficient enough for the “complex ego” to split off and break out of psychic organization, become autonomous
Experience: “Dual personality” (Janet)

d) Unconscious.
Energy: Significant so that the complex attains an autonomous state, sufficient enough even to draw the conscious ego into its sphere. The complex to a greater or lesser degree is ruler of the house
Experience: Identification with the complex ego.
Such identity between complex and ego can of course vary in degree; it may cover only parts or the whole of the ego.

e) Since unconscious contents are experienced only in projected form, the unconscious complex appears first in projection as an attribute of an outward object or person.
Energy: Significant so that the complex attains an autonomous state, “split off.” Experience: Complete projection

f) The complex is known to the conscious mind, but known only intellectually and hence retains all its original force. Only the emotional experience coupled with the understanding and integration of its content can resolve it.23
23Cf. pp. 23ff., below.

p16-17 “The inability to distinguish between contents of the conscious mind and those stemming from the unconscious compleX, which “becloud” consciousness - as is always the case in d) and. e) - constitutes a great danger; it prevents the individual from properly adapting himself to his inward and outward reality; it impairs his ability to form clear judgments, and above all thwarts any satisfactory hunan contact. This phenomenon of “participation,” i.e., deficient ability to distinguish between subject and object, is often observed not only in neurotics but also in the primitive peoples who practice animistic religions, in small children, and in many adults who have remained in high degree unconscious.”

p17-18 “Accordingly the ego can take four different attitudes toward the complex:
1 total unconsciousness of its existence,
2 identification,
3 projection, or
4 confrontation. (Conscious)
But only confrontation can help the ego to come to grips with the complex and lead to its resolution.”

p18 “One of the most frequent causes of complexes is indeed the so-called “moral conflict,” i.e., apparent inability to affirm the whole of mans nature.

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The difference between the conceptions of Jung and Freud

The two kinds of complexes

p22 ”[1] Many complexes are split off from consciousness because the latter preferred to get rid of them by repression.
[2] But there are others that have never been in consciousness before,31 and therefore could never have been arbitrarily repressed. They grow out of the unconscious and invade the conscious mind with their weird and unassailable convictions and impulses.”32

p25 “If a “nodal point” is enriched only by mythological or universal human material, we may speak of a complex originating in the realm of the collective unconscious; but if individually acquired material is superimposed on it, i.e., if it appears in the cloak of a personally conditioned conflict, then we may speak of a complex originating in the domain of the personal unconscious.

Summing up, we may say that complexes have:
two kinds of roots

  1. they are based on infantile or
  2. actual events or conflicts

two kinds of nature (xRef p22)

  1. “morbid” or
  2. “healthy”

two modes of expression according to the circumstance

  1. negative or
  2. positive

Complexes belong to the basic structure of the psyche

Neurosis and Psychosis

p30 Quoting Jung again:

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Chapter 2

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