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A Note on Heidegger and C.G. Jung on Wholeness as the Telos of the Human Being

Richard Capobianco
Stonehill College

Too much has been written about Heidegger and Freud (especially via Lacan), and too little has been written on Heidegger and Jung. Yet Heidegger and Jung, and especially the later Heidegger and Jung, is a far more congenial pairing. I have discussed a number similarities in their thinking in other places, but what I highlight here—and what I hope will spur further research and discussion—is how both had in view “wholeness” or completion as the telos (or aim) of the human being. They both offered what we might call a phenomenology of our unfolding toward wholeness. Jung named this unfolding path “individuation,” and he found the evidence in the manifold images of “wholeness” that are spontaneously generated by the human psyche. He referred to these images as “mandalas,” and their distinguishing feature is the Four or Quaternity, the square and the circle. The human psyche moves and strives toward wholeness and completeness—whether the conscious ego wants to or not. Something is happening to us even without us. (more…)