BORGES AND JUNG: A Possible Encounter

borges jung curso

BORGES AND JUNG: A Possible Encounter

We announce the course:
“BORGES AND JUNG: A possible meeting”

Modality: 100% by ZOOM, 4 fortnightly meetings.
It starts on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Certifies: Fundacion de Psicologia Analitica Junguiana FPAJ Pers. Jud. 350A / 14

Reports and registration:

Name and Surname: Santiago Javier Torres
Title: Prof. Lic. In Psychology


3.1) General Objectives.-
Introduce the concepts of Analytical Psychology of C.G. Jung from its application in the work of Borges.

3.2) Specific objectives.-
– Acquire specialized knowledge from the conceptual framework of Psychology
Analytical on his contribution to studies on the work of Borges.
– Understand the importance and analytical interpretation of the symbolisms that are implicit in Borges’s stories.
-Analyze some fundamental concepts of Jungian theory contained in Borges stories.


Borges was born in Buenos Aires Argentina in 1899. Writer by profession, his work consists of poetry, essays and stories. Anyone who has approached Borges’s work knows that it is impregnated with concepts and symbols that are repeated both in his work and in culture (different cultures), philosophy and ancient mythologies. Among the symbols and concepts that should be highlighted are time, dreams, immortality, the labyrinth. Each of these and other symbols is related in a special way to Jungian theories. Some of the related Jungian theories are archetypes, the soul, complexes, synchronization, and the collective unconscious.
For Carl Gustav Jung, archetypes are pure semantic content that we represent through different images. Jacobi (1963) tells us that archetypes are a kind of shaped but invisible crystals, to which we associate one or more images. The “form of the crystal” is a pure meaning (for example knowledge) and the content (what will make the crystal “visible”) that we are going to give it will be the archetypal image. Thus, individuals have an intuition of what knowledge is – to cite an example – and it can be represented in the form of different images, such as the sun, the serpent, the father, etc.
Jacobi (1963) tells us that the archetypes are very similar to Platonic ideas, with the difference that these are only “good and perfect”, having their “negative” or imperfect counterpart in our world, the world of becoming. For Jung, on the other hand, the archetypes contain “light and darkness”, they have a bipolar structure. Borges, without knowing it – or knowing what everyone is given to know, something that belongs to everyone’s knowledge – used more than one archetypal representation in his writings, among which we find the labyrinth (it represents the shadow in Jungian theory), the tiger (represents knowledge), the rose (represents the Self, or the maximum archetype), the Shadow, among others.
Borges’s work is extensive, so as not to extend ourselves more than it should, I will try to choose the stories or writings that he considers most appropriate for each topic related to Jungian theories. The analysis of one or two examples will suffice to understand the close relationship of thought between these two men.
The shadow are primitive representations, representations that can be related to our animal life – Jung tells us -, that are kept in the unconscious and are unpleasant for the conscience. Likewise these, despite not being necessarily bad, instill fear and in dreams often appears as an adversary. The stories where Borges uses the labyrinth as an argument are many, among them it is worth highlighting: Asterión’s house, the garden of forking paths, death and the compass. In all these narrations the labyrinth has a nightmare function, an object imposed on reality that confuses us, challenges us, condemns us, all at the same time. Overcoming the labyrinth as an obstacle means – in Jungian theory – an advance in individuation.

Another of the concepts that can be traced in Borges, specifically in his fantastic narratives, is that of the Self, represented by the rose, or the Aleph, a proper name that Borges would have given to this archetype. Jung affirmed that the Self represented the “coherent whole” of a person, which unifies the conscious with the unconscious, and is the product of individuation, that is, the process of integrating the personality. The Self is usually represented by a circle. Between the concepts of Self and Aleph Borgeanos, there are apparently differences. For Borges the “Aleph”, which is found in one of his narratives, is a specific point, under the staircase –and near a step- in a basement of a house, it is the point where all things in the universe, all the things of the past, of the present and of the future, have all at the same time, without interrupting each other, and, from a certain appropriate position, Borges arrives -in the narrative- to observe this point of the universe from where the entire universe it can be seen. Apparently the only thing that the Jungian archetype would have in common with Borges’s Aleph is the representative image, a small circle, a small point. However, Borges’ Aleph does not contain all the things in the universe, it contains the entire universe that we can experience phenomenologically. In this sense, it is the person who experiences the sensation of facing the entire universe at the same time, in the same place. The person who faces the Aleph is knowing everything that could be made known to him, and knowing everything that our soul can know, we end up knowing ourselves completely. It is a literary representation of the confrontation with fears, the confrontation with pleasures and the consequent integration of the personality.
Borges Fotografía
Borges, was born in Buenos Aires Argentina in 1899. A writer by profession, his work consists of poetry, essays and stories. Anyone who has approached Borges's work knows that it is impregnated with concepts and symbols that are repeated both in his work and in culture (different cultures), philosophy and ancient mythologies.

Unit I
Application of the concepts Consciousness, personal unconscious and collective unconscious in the following stories: “The writing of God”, “The aleph”, “The Theologians”, “Tlön, Ukbar, Orbis Tertius”.

Unit II
Application of the concepts of Mask, Shadow, Anima and Animus in the following stories: “The traitor and the hero”, “Borges and I”.

Unit III
Application of the concepts of the individuation process and self in the following stories: “Biography of Tadeo Isidoro Cruz”, “The lottery in Babylon”, “Conjectural poem”, “Garden of bifurcating paths”

Unit IV
Jungian analysis of the symbols Labyrinth, Library, the concept of time among the most prominent in Borges’s work


Barei, S., “Borges and literary criticism”, Editorial Tauro, Madrid, 1999
Borges, J.L, “Ficciones” (1944) Complete Works, TI, Emecé Editores, Barcelona, ​​1996.
Borges, J.L, “El Aleph” (1949) Complete Works, TI, Emecé Editores, Barcelona, ​​1996.
Borges, J.L, “The other, the same” (1964) Complete Works, TII, Emecé Editores, Barcelona, ​​1996.
Borges, J.L, Complete Works in collaboration, Emecé Editores, Buenos Aires, 1997.
Campbell, J. (1997) “The hero with a thousand faces. Psychoanalysis of myth ”Ed Fondo de Cultura Económica. Argentina.
Cittadini, M.G. B., “Vindications of infinity”, Ed. Jorge Luis Borges International Foundation, Argentina, 2003
Gutiérrez, E., “Borges and the paths of philosophy”, Grupo Editor Altamira, 2001
Jung, C.G. (2004) The archetypes and the collective unconscious, Vol. 9/1, Trotta, Madrid.
Jung, C.G. (2001) Civilization in Transition, Vol. 10, Trotta / Fund. Carl G. Jung, Mad.
Jung, C.G. (1979) The man and the symbols of him, Aguilar, Spain.
Jung, C.G. (1972) Psychological types, Sudamericana, Bs.As
Rest, J., “The labyrinth of the universe. Borges and nominalist thought ”, Ediciones Librerías Fausto, Buenos Aires, 1976
Salas, H., “Borges, a biography”, Grupo Editorial Planeta, Argentina, 1994
Sarlo, B., “Borges, a writer on the shores”, Grupo Editorial Planeta, Buenos Aires, 2003
Sorrentino, F., “Seven conversations with Jorge Luis Borges”, Editorial El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, 2001
Martos Nuñez, E. (2007) “Traditional tales and legends” Editions of the University of Castilla-La Mancha. Spain
Michelet, J. (2009) “The witch. A study of the superstitions of the Middle Ages ”Ediciones Akal, Spain Ediciones Akal, Spain
Propp, V. (2009) “Morphology of the story” Ediciones Akal, Spain

Jung y Borges
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, psychologist and essayist, a key figure in the initial stage of psychoanalysis; later, founder of the school of analytical psychology, also called complex psychology and deep psychology.

7.1) Face-to-face Activities.-
The course is of a teaching type and open to the discussion of relevant topics. The classes are 100% virtual by ZOOM.
4 meetings will be held, with a duration of 1 hour and 30 min clock.


Days: Friday
Time: 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Duration: Bi-monthly
Frequency: biweekly
Start: October 9, 2020 / End: November 27, 2020
Number of scheduled matches: 4 (four)
Friday 10/9/2020 20:00 to 21:30 Unit I Prof. Lic. Santiago Javier Torres
Friday 10/23/2020 20:00 to 21:30 Unit II Esp. Lic. Luciano Torres
Friday 11/13/2020 20:00 to 21:30 Unit III Prof. Lic. Santiago Javier Torres
Friday 11/27/2020 20:00 to 21:30 Unit IV Guest Teacher


11.1) Total hourly load: 6hs
11.2) Hourly load per meeting 1 hrs 30 min


Aimed at Graduates in Psychology, – Advanced students of the career of psychology, – General Public



Payments can be by Paypal, Mercadopago or Bank Transfer

a) Professionals $ 2500 (Argentine pesos) / $ 40 (dollars) per month
b) Postgraduate students and graduates $ 2000 (Argentine pesos) / $ 30 (dollars) per month

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