Quest Story – Carl Jung

In 1913, when Carl Jung was 44, he spent the better part of the year engaging daily in a sensing activity from his childhood that unlocked his work with his intuitive function confronting his own unconscious and paved the way for his concept of the collective unconscious.

After his noon meal, Carl Jung played a building game he used to play when he was 11.  He walked along the lakeshore outside his home gathering small stones.  Then he built miniature villages complete with cottages, castles, and churches.  Weather permitting he did this every day until his patients arrived, and often continued into the evening after they left.  This daily sensing activity grounded him (Jung said, “in the course of this activity my thoughts clarified.”) and allowed his intuition function to leap freely (“I was able to grasp the fantasies whose presence in myself I dimly felt.”)

Jung found it difficult to give himself over to this childhood game, despite its incredible value to him.  He said, “this…was a turning point in my fate, but I gave in only after endless resistances…for it was a painfully humiliating experience: to realize that there was nothing to be done except play childish games.”

Still, he continued.  And when he questioned himself, “Now, really what are you about?” he answered by saying, “I had no answer…only the inner certainty that I was on the way to discovering my own myth.”

Long after he stopped building his little villages, Jung continued to use his sensing function to support his intuitive work.  He said, “…at any time in my later life when I came up against a blank wall, I painted a picture or hewed stone.  Each such experience proved to be a rite de’ entrée for the ideas and works that followed hard upon it.”

When his wife died he sculpted stone as a form of self-therapy.  “It cost me a great deal to regain my footing, and contact with stone helped me.”

Carl Jung was the founder of analytical psychology.  His work connected science and logic with spirituality, eastern religion, literature and the arts.  Jung’s theory of psychological types formed the basis of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicatory (MBTI).  Some of his other contributions include the concept of the archetype, the collective unconscious, and synchronicity, which has influenced modern physicists.

Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s team building and team development activities:

MBTI Team Quest – Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.
MBTI Step II – Learn which of 20 different underlying facets are most important to you and guide you in every decision – how you communicate, where you focus your attention, how you make decisions, how you handle differences, how you approach deadlines, sequence tasks, and much, much more.
MBTI Team Building Quest – MBTI Team Building Quest leverages fun team building activities and exercises to build strong MBTI teams.

This entry was posted in Quest Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
Do you want to be at your best every day?
Subscribe with your email address

Be at your best by following Rob Fletcher on Twitter:@robfletcher1