Jung: His Life and Work by Barbara Hannah

Jung maintained that no child is born a tabula rasa.

It is curious that, although this fact is well known and is now generally recognized in the innate “patterns of behavior” in animals, it still arouses strong opposition when it comes to human beings.

Both Freud and Adler, for instance, regarded the unconscious as a kind of rubbish heap onto which all that is found inconvenient is thrown, and that it therefore consists of material that once was conscious.

Jung fully recognized the existence of this layer, which he called the “personal unconscious,” but one of his greatest discoveries was the so-called “collective unconscious,” deep levels of the unconscious that are common to all mankind.

Jung once used a large colored diagram during a lecture to make the layers in the unconscious particularly clear.

The lowest level of all he called “the central fire” (life itself), and a spark from this fire ascends through all intervening levels into every living creature.

The next layer he called “animal ancestors in general,” and this is also represented in all the higher forms of life.

The next he called “primeval ancestors,” a level present in all mankind.

In the next layer the latter began to split up into large groups, such as Western or Asiatic man.

Key to Diagram

A. Individual (highest point)—Vermilion
B. Family—Crimson
C. Clan—Green
D. Nation—Yellow
E. Large group (e.g., Europe)—Ochre
F. Primeval ancestors—Light Brown
G. Animal ancestors in general—Dark Brown
H. Central fire—Vermilion

Up to this level the foundation, although it supplies most of the archetypal images which form the human “pattern of behavior,” is much the same in any individual belonging to the same large group; with the layer of the nation considerable differences appear.

We need only look at the present state of the world to see how difficult it is for the peoples of the various nations to understand each other, and I have been struck, during my long experience of the many people of different nationalities who were drawn to Jung, and who still come to the C. G. Jung Institute in Zürich, by how necessary it is to have at least some knowledge of the national layers in order to understand the individual. ~Barbara Hannah, Jung His Life and Work, Pages, 42-46