Civilization in Transition

With this sentence I have set limits to the subject to be covered in my lecture.

Unless I restricted myself to the psychic life of archaic man, I could hardly paint a sufficiently comprehensive picture of him in so small a space.

I should like to confine myself to this picture, and shall say nothing about the findings of anthropology.

When we speak of man in general, we do not have his anatomy, the shape of his skull, or the colour of his skin in mind, but mean rather his psychic world, his state of consciousness, and his mode of life.

Since all this belongs to the subject-matter of psychology, we shall be dealing here chiefly with the psychology of archaic man and with the primitive mentality.

Despite this limitation we shall find we have actually widened our theme, because it is not only primitive man whose psychology is archaic.

It is the psychology also of modern, civilized man, and not merely of individual “throw-backs” in modern society.

On the contrary, every civilized human being, however high his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche. Just as the human body connects us with the mammals and displays numerous vestiges of earlier evolutionary stages going back even to the reptilian age, so the human psyche is a product of evolution which, when followed back to its origins, shows countless archaic traits. ~Carl Jung, CW 10. Para 105