Bollingen Series XX
The Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche is one of the better volumes of the Princeton/Bollingen Collected Works.
1st comes "On Psychic Energy", the most difficult essay in the volume. Generally, it discusses the "canalization of libido". Jung redefines "libido" by moving away from its purely sexual connotation. For him, libido is simply a generic form of psychic energy which can be redirected into both sexual & non-sexual activities, such as religious rituals, dances, incantations & chants. Only when the intrinsic need for ritual is supressed does the libido tend to direct its energies into sexual perversion. Altho the concept is interesting, the writing style of this essay is rather opaque.
Next comes an essay called "The Transcendent Function", which basically deals with the healing breakthru which is the goal of the patient in psychotherapy.
Next is an essay dealing with "Complex Theory". This essay deals with word-association tests in which the experimenter observes the subjects reactions & hesitations when given a word that evokes embarrassing or painful memories.
Next are three short but profound & informative essays.
Then comes the centerpiece, a potent & spectacular classic of 20th century psychology entitled "On the Nature of the Psyche". This, along with "Answer to Job", is one of Jung's best essays. It deals with a wide range of topics, including the limitations & paradoxes associated with epistemology, & the dualistic & paradoxical interrelationship between the subjective/inner psyche & the objective/outer world. This essay has much to say about the limitations of our subjectivity, & the degree to which we depend on other people & the outside world to attain consciousness. Jung does an excellent job in demarcating the thin line which divides the outer world & the sum of our subjective perceptions. This essay is a mind warping trip into a sea of paradoxical mysteries of the psyche.
After a short essay dealing with spirits, come a series of three: "Spirit & Life", "Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology" & "Analytical Psychology & Weltanschauung". These deal with the delicate issue of fate & determinism vs free will, & the idea of achieving an objective attitude, a Weltanschauung. Jung warns against attempting to unite everyone under one objective attitude or "ism". This can only lead to repression, nationalistic, racist, patriotic bias & war. According to him, when one nation unites under an "ism" or worldview which is erronously believed to be objective & appropriate for everyone, we'll end up with a repression of indivdual, diverse opinions at best, & at worst, will have a worldwide tragedy resulting from the quest to force this attitude on other people. According to Jung, democracy also counts as one of those "ism's" that we shouldn't try to force on others.
Next we have three more short essays which are very good, especially "The Soul & Death".
Finally, we have "Syncronicity", a fascinating essay dealing with paranormal psychic phenomena such as ESP.
Overall, The Structure & Dynamics of the Psyche is a true magnum opus of psychology, recommended to anyone willing to take on a challenge for the pursuit of self-knowledge.--Ross James Browne (edited)