What is the unlived life? Can you determine your unlived life? Can you reclaim your unlived life? If you cannot reclaim your unlived life, will you be envious and resentful of those who are living your unlived life? In other words, is jealousy and resentment rooted in the unfulfilled desire to live the unlived life?
To answer the initial question, let us consider the life of the father of analytic psychology, Carl Jung.
Unlived Life of Carl Jung
For all its critical analysis philosophy has not yet managed to root out its psychopaths…Philosophy still has to learn that it is made by human beings and depends to an alarming degree on their psychic constitution. In the critical philosophy of the future there will be a chapter on ‘The Psychopathology of Philosophy’…Neurosis addles the brain of every philosopher because he is at odds with himself. His philosophy is nothing but a systematized struggle with his own uncertaintyWords of Carl Jung in a letter written in 1943 to Arnold Künzli
In the above-quoted letter, Jung was expressing his criticism of the existentialist philosophers: Søren Kierkegaard and Martin Heidegger. In fact, Jung accused philosophers of being mentally ill.
By deduction, Jung states that philosophy is a product of minds suffering psychiatric pathologies. To him, philosophy is simply systematized ideas generated by such minds. Therefore, his phrase “Psychopathology of Philosophy” implies that philosophy is defective because it contains knowledge that causes a normal sane person to become insane i.e philosophy transmits mental illness from one person to another.
Ironically, Jung had an interest in philosophy and was poised to study philosophy at the University of Basel, though his main desire was to study archaeology. In reality, he neither studied philosophy nor archaeology, but instead studied psychiatry and medicine. It is from these life sciences that he developed analytic psychology (which is sometimes referred to eponymously as Jungian Analysis or Jungian Psychotherapy). Jung had also read some of the works of Immanuel Kant, Plato, and Socrates. Nonetheless, he seems to have a dislike of philosophers, especially existentialist philosophers. This raises an obvious question: why did Jung dislike philosophers?
To me, the answer is pretty simple: Jung’s unlived life was as an existential philosopher, and he acknowledged this in his description of the differentiation of personalities. When describing what he called his number one personality and number two personality, he explains that…