The unconscious, as the totality of all archetypes, is the deposit of all human experience right back to its remotest beginnings.
Not, indeed, a dead deposit, a sort of abandoned rubbish-heap, but a living system of reactions and aptitudes that determine the individual’s life in invisible ways —all the more eﬀective because invisible.
It is not just a gigantic historical prejudice, so to speak, an a priori historical condition; it is also the source of the instincts, for the archetypes are simply the forms which the instincts assume.
From the living fountain of instinct ﬂows everything that is creative; hence the unconscious is not merely conditioned by history, but is the very source of the creative impulse.
It is like Nature herself—prodigiously conservative, and yet transcending her own historical conditions in her acts of creation.
No wonder, then, that it has always been a burning question for humanity how best to adapt to these invisible determinants.
If consciousness had never split oﬀ from the unconscious—an eternally repeated event symbolized as the fall of the angels and the disobedience of the ﬁrst parents—this problem would never have arisen, any more than would the question of
environmental adaptation. Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 339.
By means of “active imagination” we are put in a position of advantage, for we can then make the discovery of the archetype without sinking back into the instinctual sphere, which would only lead to blank unconsciousness or, worse still, to some kind of intellectual substitute for instinct. Carl Jung, CW 8, Para 414
Whether this psychic structure and its elements, the archetypes, ever “originated” at all is a metaphysical question and therefore unanswerable. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 187.
The archetype—let us never forget this—is a psychic organ present in all of us. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 271
Man must remain conscious of the world of the archetypes, because in it he is still a part of Nature and is connected with his own roots. Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 174
The archetypes are imperishable elements of the unconscious, but they change their shape continually.Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 301
When, towards middle life, the last gleam of childhood illusion fades—this it must be owned is true only of an almost ideal life, for many go as children to their graves—then the archetype of the mature man or woman emerges from the parental imago: an image of man as woman has known him from the beginning of time, and an image of woman that man carries within him eternally. Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 74
All human control comes to an end when the individual is caught in a mass movement.
Then the archetypes begin to function, as happens also in the lives of individuals when they are confronted with situations that cannot be dealt with in any of the familiar ways. Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 395
Archetypes are, by deﬁnition, factors and motifs that arrange the psychic elements into certain images, characterized as
archetypal, but in such a way that they can be recognized only from the eﬀects they produce.
They exist preconsciously, and presumably they form the structural dominants of the psyche in general. They may be compared to the invisible presence of the crystal lattice in a saturated solution.
As a priori conditioning factors they represent a special, psychological instance of the biological “pattern of be- haviour,” which gives all living organisms their speciﬁc qualities.
Just as the manifestations of this biological ground plan may change in the course of development, so also can those of the archetype.
Empirically considered, however, the archetype did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon of organic life, but entered into the picture with life itself. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 222.
It is only through the psyche that we can establish that God acts upon us, but we are unable to distinguish whether these actions emanate from God or from the unconscious.
We cannot tell whether God and the unconscious are two diﬀerent entities.
Both are border-line concepts for transcendental contents.
But empirically it can be established, with a suﬃcient degree of probability, that there is in the unconscious an archetype of wholeness which manifests itself spontaneously in dreams, etc., and a tendency, independent of the conscious will,to relate other archetypes to this centre.
Consequently, it does not seem improbable that the archetype of wholeness occupies as such a central position which approximates it to the God-image. Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 757
I am not, however, addressing myself to the happy possessors of faith, but to those many people for whom the light has gone out, the mystery has faded, and God is dead.
For most of them there is no going back, and one does not know either whether going back is always the better way.
To gain an understanding of religious matters, probably all that is left us today is the psychological approach.
That is why I take these thought-forms that have become historically ﬁxed, try to melt them down again, and pour them into moulds of immediate experience.
It is certainly a diﬃcult undertaking to discover connecting links between dogma and immediate experience of psychological archetypes, but a study of natural symbols of the unconscious gives us the necessary raw material.Carl Jung, CW 11, Para 148.