Civilization in Transition

This is a lame analogy, like all analogies, for in the psyche there is nothing that is just a dead relic.

Everything is alive, and our upper storey, consciousness, is continually influenced by its living and active foundations.

Like the building, it is sustained and supported by them.

And just as the building rises freely above the earth, so our consciousness stands as if above the earth in space, with a wide prospect before it.

But the deeper we descend into the house the narrower the horizon becomes, and the more we find ourselves in the darkness, till finally we reach the naked bed-rock, and with it that prehistoric time when reindeer hunters fought for a bare and wretched existence against
the elemental forces of wild nature.

The men of that age were still in full possession of their animal instincts, without which life would have been impossible.

The free sway of instinct is not compatible with a strongly developed consciousness.

The consciousness of primitive man, like that of the child, is sporadic, and his world, like the child’s, is very limited. Indeed, in accordance
with phylogenetic law, we still recapitulate in childhood reminiscences of the prehistory of the race and of mankind in general.

Phylogenetically as well as ontogenetically we have grown up out of the dark confines of the earth; hence the factors that affected us most closely became archetypes, and it is these primordial images which influence us most directly, and therefore seem to be the most powerful.

I say “seem” because what seems to us the most important thing psychically is not necessarily the most important, or at least need not remain so. ~Carl Jung, CW 10, Para 55