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We go on thinking and acting as if we were simplex and not duplex.

358 gravest

Undiscovered Self

Our rational philosophy does not bother itself with whether the other person in us, pejoratively described as the “shadow,” is in sympathy with our conscious plans and intentions. Evidently it does not know that we carry in ourselves a real shadow whose existence is grounded in our instinctual nature.

The dynamism and imagery of the instincts together form an a priori which no man can overlook without the gravest risk to himself.

Violation or neglect of instinct has painful consequences of a physiological and psychological nature for whose removal medical help, above all, is required.

For more than fifty years we have known, or could have known, that there is an unconscious as a counterbalance to consciousness.

Medical psychology has furnished all the necessary empirical and experimental proofs of this.

There is an unconscious psychic reality which demonstrably influences consciousness and its contents.

All this is known, but no practical conclusions have been drawn from it.

We still go on thinking and acting as before, as if we were simplex and not duplex.

Accordingly, we imagine ourselves to be innocuous, reasonable and humane.

We do not think of distrusting our motives or of asking ourselves how the inner man feels about the things we do in the outside world.

But actually it is frivolous, superficial and unreasonable of us, as well as psychically unhygienic, to overlook the reaction and standpoint of the unconscious.

One can regard one’s stomach or heart as unimportant and worthy of contempt, but that does not prevent overeating or overexertion from having consequences that affect the whole man.

Yet we think that psychic mistakes and their consequences can be got rid of with mere words, for “psychic” means less than air to most people.

All the same, nobody can deny that without the psyche there would be no world at all, and still less, a human world.

Virtually everything depends on the human soul and its functions.

It should be worthy of all the attention we can give it, especially today, when everyone admits that the weal or woe of the future will be decided neither by the attacks of wild animals nor by natural catastrophes nor by the danger of world-wide epidemics but simply and solely by the psychic changes in man.

It needs only an almost imperceptible disturbance of equilibrium in a few of our rulers’ heads to plunge the world into blood, fire and radioactivity.

The technical means necessary for this are present on both sides.

And certain conscious deliberations, uncontrolled by any inner opponent, can be indulged in all too easily, as we have seen already from the example of one “Leader.”

The consciousness of modern man still clings so much to outward objects that he makes them exclusively responsible, as if it were on them that the decision depended.

That the psychic state of certain individuals could emancipate itself for once from the behavior of objects is something that is considered far too little, although irrationalities of this sort are observed every day and can happen to everyone. ~Carl Jung, Undiscovered Self, Page 59-61