Jung’s writings on schizophrenia are almost completely ignored or forgotten today. Thepurpose of this paper, along with a follow-up article, is to review the primary themes foundin Jung’s writings on schizophrenia, and to assess the validity of his theories about the disorderin light of our current knowledge base in the fields of psychopathology, cognitive neuroscienceand psychotherapy research. In this article, five themes related to the aetiologyand phenomenology of schizophrenia from Jung's writings are discussed: 1) abaissement duniveau mental; 2) the complex; 3) mandala imagery; 4) constellation of archetypes and 5)psychological versus toxic aetiology. Reviews of the above areas suggest three conclusions.First, in many ways, Jung's ideas on schizophrenia anticipated much current thinking anddata about the disorder. Second, with the recent (re)convergence of psychological and biologicalapproaches to understanding and treating schizophrenia, the pioneering ideas of Jungregarding the importance of both factors and their interaction remain a useful and rich, butstill underutilized resource. Finally, a more concerted effort to understand and evaluate thevalidity of Jung’s concepts in terms of evidence from neuroscience could lead both to importantadvances in analytical psychology and to developments in therapeutic approachesthat would extend beyond the treatment of schizophrenia.
Keywords: Abaissement du niveau mental, aetiology, archetype, cognitive neuroscience,complex, dementia praecox, mandala perception, schizophrenia phenomenology