Carl Jung on “Collective Unconscious” – Anthology
The collective unconscious is the foundation of life, the eternal truth of life, the eternal basis and the eternal goal. It is the endless sea from which life originates and into which life flows back, and it remains forever the same. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Page 380.
Just as the father represents collective consciousness, the traditional spirit, so the mother stands for the collective unconscious, the source of the water of life. ~Carl Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, Page 71.
Our unconscious is surely located in the body, and you mustn’t think this a contradiction to the statement I usually make, that the collective unconscious is everywhere; for if you could put yourself into your sympathetic system, you would know what sympathy is-you would understand why the nervous system is called sympathetic. ~Carl Jung, Zarathustra Seminar, Pages 749-751.
We can never enter the collective unconscious but we can send the anima or animus to bring us information. By making things with your hands without conscious intent you find a vision of the things of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, The Cornwall Seminar, Page 26.
Small children are very old; later on we soon grow younger. In our middle age we are youngest, precisely at the time when we have completely or almost completely lost contact with the collective unconscious, the samskaras. We grow older again only as with the mounting years we remember the samskaras anew. ~Carl Jung, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga, Appendix 1, Page 74.
Children are in the collective unconscious until they acquire a small consciousness of their personality, until they say “I,” or “me,” or their name. They are rooted in the collective unconscious and are uprooted from it by the flood of impressions from the outside. They know everything, but they lose the memory of it. ~C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 51-70.
He said that it was not the least important whether I accomplished anything outwardly in this life since my one task was to contribute to the evolution of the collective unconscious. ~Robert Johnson, C. G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff – A Collection of Remembrances; Pages 36-39.
Where one is identified with the collective unconscious, there is no recognition of the things which come from the unconscious, they cannot be distinguished from those of the self. Such a condition is a possession by the anima or animus. Possession by the animus or anima creates a certain psychological hermaphroditism. The principle of individuation demands a dissociation or differentiation of the male and the female in ourselves. We must dissociate our self from the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Cornwall Seminar, Page 26.
These fantasy-images undoubtedly have their closest analogues in mythological types. We must therefore assume that they correspond to certain collective (and not personal) structural elements of the human psyche…. These cases are so numerous that we are obliged to assume the existence of a collective psychic substratum. I have called this the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, CW 9I, para. 262.
The collective unconscious is common to all; it is the foundation of what the ancients called the ‘sympathy of all things’. ~Carl Jung; Memories Dreams and Reflections; Page 138.
Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and contusion ensues. If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual’s hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality. This state would be pathological. If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned. Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis. “The Psychological Foundation for the Belief in Spirits (1920). ~Carl Jung; CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.595
The world of gods and spirits is truly ‘nothing but’ the collective unconscious inside me. ~Carl Jung; On ‘The Tibetan Book of the Dead; CW 11; Page 857.
. . . poets . . . create from the very depths of the collective unconscious, voicing aloud what others only dream. ~Carl Jung; CW 6: 323.
The collective unconscious is simply Nature — and since Nature contains everything it also contains the unknown. … So far as we can see, the collective unconscious is identical with Nature to the extent that Nature herself, including matter, is unknown to us. I have nothing against the assumption that the psyche is a quality of matter or matter the concrete aspect of the psyche, provided that ‘psyche’ is defined as the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung; Letters, vol. 2, P 450
The God-image in man was not destroyed by the Fall but was only damaged and corrupted (‘deformed’), and can be restored through God’s grace. The scope of the integration is suggested by the descent of Christ’s soul to hell, its work of redemption embracing even the dead. The psychological equivalent of this is the integration of the collective unconscious which forms an essential part of the individuation process. ~Carl Jung; Aion; Page 39; Para 72.
The great problems of life — sexuality, of course, among others — are always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious. These images are really balancing or compensating factors which correspond with the problems life presents in actuality. This is not to be marveled at, since these images are deposits representing the accumulated experience of thousands of years of struggle for adaptation and existence. ~Psychological Types Ch. 5, p. 271
The mental state of the first years of life does not differ from the collective unconscious; it is a world rich of images. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 182.
Through his inner vision the prophet discerns from the needs of his time the helpful image in the collective unconscious and expresses it in the symbol: because it speaks out of the collective unconscious it speaks for everyone-le vrai mot de la situation! ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Pages 59-63.
The human brain is the result of a long process of evolution, as is also the collective unconscious. The individual experience is woven in to this tissue, so it is of vital importance, where we come from, who our parents are, and what our early surroundings were. ~Carl Jung, Modern Psychology, Vol. 2, Page 179.
It is when we come to a summit in life that the archetypal symbols appear. These primeval pictures of human life form the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Modern Psychology, Pages 176-177.
Individuation is the transformational process of integrating the conscious with the personal and collective unconscious ~Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation, Page 301.
This field is the collective unconscious where the treasure is hidden, the royal treasure in the sea. ~Carl Jung, ETH, Lecture XIII, Page 113.
In the collective unconscious the archetypes and the instincts are one and the same thing. ~Carl Jung, ETH Lecture IV 24 May 1935, Pages 213.
The Sambhoga-kaya corresponds exactly to the modern term collective unconscious; and the archetypal figures correspond to the Devatas of our text. ETH Lecture XIII 17Feb1939, Page 86.
The collective unconscious is a source in which all the past and all the future lie, it does not belong to the individual, but to mankind. ~ Carl Jung, Lecture VI 2June1934, Page 113.
Nobody who finds himself on the road to wholeness can escape that characteristic suspension which is the meaning of crucifixion. For he will infallibly run into things that thwart and “cross” him: first, the thing he has no wish to be (the shadow); second, the thing he is not (the “other,” the individual reality of the “You”); and third, his psychic non-ego (the collective unconscious). ~Carl Jung, CW 16, par. 470.
He [Jung] said that it was not the least important whether I accomplished anything outwardly in this life since my one task was to contribute to the evolution of the collective unconscious. ~Robert A. Johnson, J.E.T., Pages 36-39.
It [Music] expresses in sounds what fantasies and visions music express in Visual images…music represents the movement, development and transformation of motifs of the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 542.
Hence there is only one collective unconscious, which is everywhere identical with itself, from which everything psychic takes shape before it is Personalized, modified, assimilated, etc. by external influences. ~Carl Jung, Letters Volume I, Page 408.
It is not, however, the actual East we are dealing with but the collective unconscious which is omnipresent. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. 1, Page 87
The unconscious has first to be activated; then we must extricate ourselves, doubting all the things we have hitherto believed; then we can turn back and resume our place in the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Jung-Ostrowski, Page 10.
The collective unconscious…appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Par. 325.
Astrology, like the collective unconscious with which psychology is concerned, consists of symbolic configurations: The “planets” are the gods, symbols of the powers of the unconscious. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 175.
It looks as if the collective character of the archetypes would manifest itself also in meaningful coincidences, i.e., as if the archetype (or the collective unconscious) were not only inside the individual, but also outside, viz. in one’s environment, as if sender and percipient were in the same psychic space, or in the same time (in precognition cases). ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 43-47.
The integration of the collective unconscious amounts roughly to taking cognizance of the world and adapting to it. This does not mean that one would have to learn to know the whole world, or that one must have lived in all climates and continents of the world. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 159.
It is an astonishing fact, indeed, that the collective unconscious seems to be in contact with nearly everything. There is of course no empirical evidence for such a generalization, but plenty of it for its indefinite extension. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 163-174
Your argument and the beautiful quotations make it very clear that Rilke drew from the same deep springs as I did-the collective unconscious. He as a poet or visionary, I as a psychologist and empiricist. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 381-382.
When you say that an experience of wholeness is the same as a “dynamic irruption of the collective unconscious,” this is an indubitable error. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 456.
If I speak of the collective unconscious I don’t assume it as a principle, I only give a name to the totality of observable facts, i.e., archetypes. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 567
The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands. ~Carl Jung, CW 8, Page 195, Para 392.
I had killed my intellect, helped on to the deed by a personification of the collective unconscious, the little brown man with me. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 62
Why doesn’t the inferior function come up at once? The inferior function is hooked up with the collective unconscious and has to come up first in the collective fantasies, which of course, in their first aspect, do not seem to be collective. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 68
When one gets an intuition of the collective unconscious, if there is any creative power in the individual a definite figure is formed, rather than that the material comes through in a fragmentary form. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 71
When an artist has a figure from the collective unconscious, he at once begins to play with it esthetically, and usually makes some concretization of it as a monument, etc. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 71
As a natural scientist, thinking and sensation were uppermost in me and intuition and feeling were in the unconscious and contaminated by the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 75
If we release the energy of the collective unconscious until we have no more, then we arrive at differentiation. The archetypes are sources of energy. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 99
Moral views do not touch the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 99
When it comes to the rather delicate task of locating the collective unconscious, you must not think of it as being compassed by the brain alone but as including the sympathetic nervous system as well. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 140
On this basis the main body of the collective unconscious cannot be strictly said to be psychological but psychical. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 140
We cannot repeat this distinction too often, for when I have referred to the collective unconscious as “outside” our brains, it has been assumed that I meant hanging somewhere in mid-air. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 141
After this explanation it will become clear to you that the collective unconscious is always working upon you through trans-subjective facts which are probably inside as well as outside yourselves. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 141
I am concerned with phenomenal religion, with its observable facts, to which I try to add a few psychological observations about basic events in the collective unconscious, the existence of which I can prove. Beyond this I know nothing and I have never made any assertions about it. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Pages 570-573
In a way the collective unconscious is merely a mirage because unconscious, but it can be also just as real as the tangible world. ~Carl Jung, 1925 Seminar, Page 40
So the Self is part of the collective unconscious, but it is not the collective unconscious; it is that unit which apparently comes from the union of the ego and the shadow. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 754
Just as the Self is a unit in the collective unconscious, so we are units in the Self. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 754
They [Children’s Dreams] must come from the psychology of the collective unconscious; one could say they were remnants of things they had seen before they were born, and that is really vision. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 424.
For we may assume that the collective unconscious is in absolute peace until the individual appears. ~Carl Jung, Visions Seminar, Page 263
The accumulated libido activates images lying dormant in the collective unconscious, among them the God-image, that engram or imprint which from the beginning of time has been the collective expression of the most overwhelmingly powerful influences exerted on the conscious mind by unconscious concentrations of libido. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 412
For the collective unconscious which sends you these dreams already possesses the solution: nothing has been lost from the whole immemorial experience of humanity, every imaginable situation and every solution seem to have been foreseen by the collective unconscious. ~Carl Jung, C.G. Jung Speaking, Page 231.
It is not only possible, but for certain reasons quite probable, that the collective unconscious coincides in a strange and utterly inconceivable way with objective events. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. I, Pages 532-533
He [Jung] said it was always like this with his dreams; he would dream of what he would write – like the mediaeval house dream and the notion of the collective unconscious. ~E.A. Bennet, Meetings with Jung, Page 83