Collective Unconscious

Collective Unconscious

In psychology, it was Carl Jung who used the term “collective unconscious”. This is to refer to that part of a person's unconscious which is common to all human beings. This is different from personal unconscious, which is unique to each individual. It is a shared pool of memories, ideas, modes of thought, and so on of a society or community at large.
According to the Jung, Collective Unconscious comes from the life experience of one's ancestors, indeed from the entire human race. It exists beside the personal unconscious, which contains the material of individual experience, and may be regarded as a huge reservoir of ancient wisdom.

According to Jung the collective unconscious contains archetypes, which are forms or symbols that are manifested by all people in all cultures.
Perhaps Jung hoped that this might be the key to the body-mind dichotomy, providing the medium whereby psychology could truly become a study of the mind body system as an integrated unit. The concept of collective unconscious seems to be an insertion of spirituality in the psychology. It shows that the spirits with a large part of commonality among all are encased in separate physical bodies. It is like group of islands scattered in the sea we appear as distinct individuals, but beneath the surface we are all connected.


According to Jung, archetypes are innate prototypes for ideas. These archetypes become involved in the interpretation of observed phenomena.
For Jung the archetypes are similar to psychological organs, and are like bodily organs. Both types of organs are supposed as being morphological givens for the species; both arising through evolutionary processes.
There are four famous forms of archetypes numbered by Jung:

• The Self.
• The Shadow - every manifest part of ourselves has a repressed and opposite counterpart, represented by the shadow.
• The Anima - a young lady represents intuitive wisdom.
• The Animus - a handsome young man represents active, assertive energy.


Jung believed that the universal forces align with the life experiences of an individual. He used the term “synchronicity” for such alignment. He believed that some experienced coincidences in life are not merely “by chance” but reflect a universal will and hence an alignment of these forces.
He thought that to be living in harmony with such forces was possible and he called it “individuation”. One becomes intuitively aware of these universal forces by practice. After individuation one is able to shape events around him. This sounds more like Siddhis of Indian Yogis as described in Tantra. Jung characterized this synchronicity as “acausal connecting principle”. It means a pattern of connection which cannot be explained in terms of cause – effect principle.
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