Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carl Jung – The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious – The Personal and Collective Unconscious

One of Jung's central issues in his "The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious" is that of integrating the personal unconscious with the collective unconscious. Such integration is meant to allow for patients to reach primal unacknowledged part within him. According to Jung, the splitting of these two types of unconscious allows a person to continue projecting parts of his "shadow" on to others. For Jung, this division does not only mean that we do not take responsibility over our own shadow, but that we also project it onto others. In order to unify both forms of the unconscious Jung thinks that we must make explain the inaccessibility of the unconscious and the manner in which it is hiding from the conscious. The discovery of the unconscious for Jung is not just about personal pathology but also about collective cultural one. When a culture represses some important aspect about it this part might turn into a monster.

Jung argued that the collective unconscious is made up of archetypes, especially: the shadow, the animal, the wise old man, the anima (the feminine side), the animus (masculine side), the mother and the child. All these archetypes are amorphous until they are assigned a with culture specific content. The archetypes of the collective unconscious can serve in therapy to facilitate the process of getting in touch with represses mental content which should, according to Jung, bring about a remedy for psychological problems originating from that repression.

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