The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 10

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 10

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 10

The Collected Works of C. G. Jung - Vol. 10

Synopsis


Essays bearing on the contemporary scene and on the relation of the individual to society, including papers written during the 1920s and 1930s focusing on the upheaval in Germany, and two major works of Jung's last years, The Undiscovered Self and Flying Saucers.

Excerpt

To the layman’s ears, the word “unconscious” has an undertone of something metaphysical and rather mysterious. This peculiarity, attaching to the whole concept of the unconscious, is primarily due to the fact that the term found its way into ordinary speech as a designation for a metaphysical entity. Eduard von Hartmann, for instance, called the unconscious the “Universal Ground.” Again, the word was taken up by occultism, because people with these leanings are extremely fond of borrowing scientific terms in order to dress their speculations in a “scientific” guise. In contradiction to this, the experimental psychologists, who for a long time regarded themselves—not unjustly—as the representatives of the only truly scientific psychology, adopted a negative attitude towards the concept of the unconscious, on the ground that everything psychic is conscious and that consciousness alone deserves the name “psyche.” They admitted that conscious psychic contents showed varying degrees of clarity, some being “brighter” or “darker” than others, but the existence of unconscious contents was denied as being a contradiction in terms.

2 This view stemmed very largely from the circumstance that work in the laboratory was confined exclusively to “normal” subjects, and also from the nature of the experiments themselves. These were concerned so far as possible with the most elementary psychic processes, while the investigation of the more complex psychic functions, which by their very nature do not lend themselves to experimental procedures based on exact measurement, was almost entirely absent. But a factor far transcending both these reasons in importance was the segregation

1 [Originally published as “Ueber das Unbewusste,” Schweizer land: Monatshefte für Schweizer Art und Arbeit (Zurich), IV (1918), no. 9, 464–72, and no. 11–12, 548–58.—EDITORS.]

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