Analysis Of The Personal And The Collective Unconscious By Carl Jung

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In The Personal and the Collective Unconscious, Carl Jung details a variety of encounters with his patients in order to forward his psychoanalytic theory of the unconscious. Jung argues that the unconscious exists as a space of ongoing psychic activity outside of rational will and human agency; the unconscious will inevitably produce symbolic images separate from contingently formulated thoughts and feelings. In synthesizing the messy overlap of polarized symbols present in the personal unconscious, Jung begins to theorize the existence a collective unconscious, a space of desires and thoughts rooted in primal instincts and nature. Specifically, the dreams of a particular patient leads Jung to consider the possibility that humans have a libidinally …show more content…
Drawing from the fundamental works of Freud on the unconscious, Jung describes an experience with a particular patient that leads him to branch off and theorize the existence of the collective unconscious. For Jung, the collective unconscious is a space of unconscious thought and symbolic expression derived from intergenerational instincts and drives. More specifically, in psychoanalyzing the dreams of this particular patient, Jung begins to grapple with the idea that humans may have a longing for God rooted in the collective unconscious. Having evaluated my own unconscious in an attempt to verify Jung’s thesis, I find that although the concepts of the personal and collective unconscious are believable in the abstract, the idea that we as humans have an innate longing for God seems unevidenced and reliant upon an approach to psychoanalysis that is incredibly abstract and subjective in nature. Thus, although Jungian psychoanalysis is able to accurately describe the two distinct parts of the unconscious, it lacks the ability to defend the existence of any particular instinct as embedded in the human

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