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The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche (Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Volume 8)

[Carl Jung: “Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world…”]

Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing.

The synchronicity phenomena point, it seems to me, in this direction, for they show that the nonpsychic can behave like the psychic, and vice versa, without there being any causal connection between them.

Our present knowledge does not allow us to do much more than compare the relation of the psychic to the material world with two cones, whose apices, meeting in a point without extension—a real zero-point—touch and do not touch.

In my previous writings I have always treated archetypal phenomena as psychic, because the material to be expounded or investigated was concerned solely with ideas and images.

The psychoid nature of the archetype, as put forward here, does not contradict these earlier formulations; it only means a further degree of conceptual differentiation, which became inevitable as soon as I saw myself obliged to undertake a more general analysis of the nature of the psyche and to clarify the empirical concepts concerning it, and their relation to one another.

Just as the “psychic infra-red,” the biological instinctual psyche, gradually passes over into the physiology of the organism and thus merges with its chemical and physical conditions, so the “psychic ultra-violet,” the archetype, describes a field which exhibits none of the peculiarities of the physiological and yet, in the last analysis, can no longer be regarded as psychic, although it manifests itself psychically.

But physiological processes behave in the same way, without on that account being declared psychic.

Although there is no form of existence that is not mediated to us psychically and only psychically, it would hardly do to say that everything is merely psychic.

We must apply this argument logically to the archetypes as well.

Since their essential being is unconscious to us, and still they are experienced as spontaneous agencies, there is probably no alternative now but to describe their nature, in accordance with their chiefest effect, as “spirit,” in the sense which I attempted to make plain in my paper “The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales.”

If so, the position of the archetype would be located beyond the psychic sphere, analogous to the position of physiological instinct, which is immediately rooted in the stuff of the organism and, with its psychoid nature, forms the bridge to matter in general.

In archetypal conceptions and instinctual perceptions, spirit and matter confront one another on the psychic plane.

Matter and spirit both appear in the psychic realm as distinctive qualities of conscious contents.

The ultimate nature of both is transcendental, that is, irrepresentable, since the psyche and its contents are the only reality which is given to us without a medium. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Pages 215-216.