Friday, August 26, 2011

C.G. Jung on Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

"Just as we have been compelled to postulate the concept of an instinct determining or regulating our conscious actions, so, in order to account for the uniformity and regularity of our perceptions, we must have recourse to the correlated concept of a factor determining the mode of apprehension. It is this factor which I call the archetype or primordial image. The primordial image might suitably be described as the instinct's perception of itself, or as the self-portrait of the instinct, in exactly the same way as consciousness is an inward perception of the objective life process. Just as conscious apprehension gives our actions form and direction, so unconscious apprehension through the archetype determines the form and direction of the instinct. . .

Archetypes are typical modes of apprehension, and wherever we meet with uniform and regularly recurring modes of apprehension we are dealing with an archetype, no matter whether its mythological character is recognized or not.

The collective unconscious consists of the sum of the instincts and their correlates, the archetypes. Just as everybody possesses instincts, so he also possesses a stock of archetypal images." (pp. 136-138)

C.G. Jung (1919). Instinct and the Unconscious. The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 8., pp. 129-138.

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