Saturday, March 12, 2011

C.G. Jung on the Paradox of Learning

In the excerpt below Jung discusses the inherent paradox of learning and the impact of that process on consciousness and instinct.  To leave a comment about the current post just click on the word "comments" immediately below the post:

"Nothing estranges man more from the ground-plan of his instincts then his learning capacity, which turns out to be a genuine drive for progressive transformation of human modes of behavior. It, more than anything else, is responsible for the altered conditions of his existence and the need for new adaptations which civilization brings. It is also the ultimate source of those numerous psychic disturbances and difficulties which are occasioned by man's progressive alienation from his instinctual foundation, i.e. by his uprootedness and identification with his conscious knowledge of himself, by his concern with consciousness at the expense of the unconscious. The result is that modern man knows himself only in so far as he can become conscious of himself....Separation from his instinctual nature inevitably plunges civilized man into the conflict between conscious and unconscious, spirit and nature, knowledge and faith...."

C.G. Jung (1957). The Undiscovered Self.  Collected Works Vol. 10, paragraphs 557-558.

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