J. Gary Sparks
My personal and professional interests grow out the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung. A Swiss psychiatrist and pioneer in the science of depth psychology, Jung lived from 1875 - 1961. Many of his psychological ideas took shape while he was a young psychiatrist at the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic in Zürich. In 1907 he met Sigmund Freud and a collaboration between the two men continued until 1913. Both psychologists richly fertilized the research of each other, with Jung valuing the older and more experienced Freud’s expertise. Although Freud contributed much to Jung’s understanding, from the beginning Jung’s ideas were different than Freud’s, and in 1913 the two pioneers ended their cooperation. Jung then went on to elaborate his own understanding of human development.Completing eight years of training in 1982, I graduated from the C.G. Jung Institute in Zürich and presently make my living as a Jungian analyst. The Jungian approach observes that our personality spontaneously produces images which symbolically communicate the means of resolving a given impasse and—more generally—the unique life course for each individual in pursuit of meaning and satisfaction to follow. In practical terms the Jungian focus studies dreams as a way of getting at this deeper source of knowledge. Such has been my enduring fascination: to learn the nature of our symbolic language, to understand its value in the therapeutic setting and to discover its relevance to solving human problems in general.There are a variety of themes within Jungian psychology that occupy my curiosity—themes to which the analytic tool of symbol interpretation may profitably be applied. These interests include: the state of feminine consciousness in our time; the healthy purpose of darkness, depression, failure and despair; the nature, development and use of the creative imagination; the relationship between an individual and society (i.e., the relevance of the symbols in individuals’ dreams to the larger social problems we face today); the relation between the psychology of an individual and the broader historical process; and the parallels between the paradigms emerging in the new physics and the fresh understanding of human psychology which Jung has initiated.