American University
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Nietzsche and Jung: Wholeness through the union of opposites

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posted on 2023-09-06, 02:52 authored by Patricia Eileen Dixon

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that the quest for wholeness, a prominent theme in C. G. Jung's psychology, is the dominating theme in the life and work of Friedrich Nietzsche. it is held that the basic tenets of analytical psychology, as developed by Jung, illustrate and verify Nietzsche's message. Both men share the same basic concerns, make the same cultural criticisms, and propose the same solutions. The striving for wholeness is designated by Jung as the "process of individuation." Like Nietzsche's "revaluation of values," it is a psychological process of self-integration: by recognizing and affirming the opposing aspects of his nature--both the rational and irrational, good and evil, male and female--man transcends the duality; embracing both, be becomes a new creature--a whole man--with a higher level of spiritual awareness and moral consciousness. The goal is achieved by means of the mutual participation of the conscious and unconscious. When the point of fullest tension of opposition is reached between these two opposing aspects of the psyche--when neither is suppressed by the other--a new equilibrium is established where the center of the personality no longer coincides with the conscious ego but with a point midway between the conscious and unconscious. The new center of the personality Jung calls the "self" (Nietzsche the "higher self")--the center and the totality of the personality which integrates all of its opposing aspects into one harmonious whole. Symbols of the "self" represent the ultimate expression of what Jung terms the "transcendent function," a process that is implicit throughout Nietzsche's work and basic to his philosophy. The transcendent function is a two-fold process: the energy created by the tension of opposites in equilibrium engenders the spontaneous emergence of a unifying symbol that reconciles opposing elements and occasions the birth of a new attitude--a new and deeper awareness of oneself as well as a more fully integrated and encompassing world view.







Ph.D. American University 1988.


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