On The Collective Unconscious
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Natural man is not a "self" - he is the mass and a particle in the mass, collective to such a degree that he is not even sure of his own ego. That is why since time immemorial he has needed the transformation mysteries to turn him into something, and to rescue him from the animal collective psyche, which is nothing but an assortment, a variety performance.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12 P.104


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Only through our feebleness and incapacity are we linked up with the unconscious, with the lower world of the instincts and with our fellow beings. Our virtues only enable us to be independent. There we do not need anybody, there we are kings; but in our inferiority we are linked up with mankind.

Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice: The Tavistock Lectures (1935). In CW 18: (retitled) "The Tavistock Lectures" P. 106


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The psychology of the individual can never be exhaustively explained from himself alone: a clear recognition is needed of the way it is also conditioned by historical and environmental circumstances. His individual psychology is not merely a physiological, biological, or personal problem; it is also a contemporary problem.

Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P. 717


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The man who has attained consciousness of the present is solitary. The "modern" man has at all times been so, for every step towards fuller consciousness removes him further from his original, purely animal participation mystique with the herd, from submersion in a common unconscious ness. Every step forward means tearing oneself loose from the maternal womb of unconsciousness in which the mass of men dwells.

"The Spiritual Problems of Modern Man" (1928). In CW 10: Civilization in Transition. P. 150


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Our personal psychology is just a thin skin, a ripple on the ocean of collective psychology. The powerful factor, the factor which changes our whole life, which changes the surface of our known world, which makes history, is collective psychology, and collective psychology moves according to laws entirely different from those of our consciousness. The archetypes are the great decisive forces, they bring about the real events, and not our personal reasoning and practical intellect ... The archetypal images decide the fate of man.

Analytical Psychology: Its Theory and Practice: The Tavistock Lectures (1935). In CW 18: (retitled) "The Tavistock Lectures" P. 183


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The great problems of life, including of course sex, are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious. These images are balancing and compensating factors that correspond to the problems which life confronts us with in reality. This is no matter for astonishment, since these images are deposits of thousands of years of experience of the struggle for existence and for adaptation. Every great experience in life, every profound conflict, evokes the accumulated treasure of these images and brings about their inner constellation. But they become accessible to consciousness only when the individual possesses so much self-awareness and power of understanding that he also reflects on what he experiences instead of just living it blindly. In the latter event he actually lives the myth and the symbol without knowing it.

Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P. 373


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Incisive changes in history are generally attributed exclusively to external causes. It seems to me, however, that external circumstances often serve merely as occasions for a new attitude to life and the world, long prepared in the unconscious, to become manifest. Social, political, and religious conditions affect the collective unconscious in the sense that all those factors which are suppressed by the prevailing views or attitudes in the life of a society gradually accumulate in the collective unconscious and activate its contents. Certain individuals gifted with particularly strong intuition then become aware of the changes going on in it and translate these changes into communicable ideas. The new ideas spread rapidly because parallel changes have been taking place in the unconscious of other people. There is a general readiness to accept the new ideas, although on the other hand they often meet with violent resistance. New ideas are not just the enemies of the old; they also appear as a rule in an extremely unacceptable form.

"The Psychological Foundations of Belief in Spirits" (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P. 594


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In each of us there is a pitiless judge who makes us feel guilty even if we are not conscious of having done anything wrong. Although we do not know what it is, it is as though it were known somewhere.

"Paracelsus as a Spiritual Phenomenon" (1942) In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P. 164




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