Two Essays on Analytical Psychology

So far as our present experience goes, we can lay it down that the unconscious processes stand in a compensatory relation to the conscious mind.

I expressly use the word “compensatory” and not the word “contrary” because conscious and unconscious are not necessarily in opposition to one another, but complement one another to form a totality, which is the self.

According to this definition the self is a quantity that is supraordinate to the conscious ego.

It embraces not only the conscious but also the unconscious psyche, and is therefore, so to speak, a personality which we also are.

It is easy enough to think of ourselves as possessing part-souls.

Thus we can, for instance, see ourselves as a persona without too much difficulty.

But it transcends our powers of imagination to form a clear picture of what we are as a self, for in this operation the part would have to comprehend the whole.

There is little hope of our ever being able to reach even approximate consciousness of the self, since however much we may make conscious there will always exist an indeterminate and indeterminable amount of unconscious material which belongs to the totality of the self.

Hence the self will always remain a supraordinate quantity. ~Carl Jung, CW 6, Para 274