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Carl Jung: That is the secret of great art, and of its effect upon us.


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The Spirit in Man, Art, & Literature (Collected Works of Jung Vol. 15)

That is the secret of great art, and of its effect upon us.

The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious activation of an archetypal image, and in elaborating and shaping this image into the finished work.

By giving it shape, the artist tranit into the language of the present, and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.

Therein lies the social significance of art: it is constantly at work educating the spirit of the age, conjuring up the forms in which the age is most lacking.

The unsatisfied yearning of the artist reaches back to the primordial image in the unconscious which is best fitted to compensate the inadequacy and one-sidedness of the present.

The artist seizes on this image, and in raisin it from deepest unconsciousness he brings it into relation with conscious values, thereby transforming it until it can be accepted by the minds of his contemporaries according to their powers. Carl Jung, CW 15, On the Relation of analytical Psychology to Poetry, Pages 82-83