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Excerpt: Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung

From Chapter 3 of An Introduction to Jung’s Psychology

Chapter 3

Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

The development of an attitude, either extraverted or introverted, and a function, is part of the process of living, of adapting ourselves to our world and making our mark in it. Unless there is some strong interference, we develop along the lines that are easiest to us, but we also like to ‘put our best foot foremost’. This means that we usually develop our best function, be it thinking or intuition, feeling or sensation, and at the same time have a strong tendency to conform to what is expected of us, to respond to education and social pressure, to behave in an accepted way. In this process much that rightly belongs to the personality is lost, or rather it is not lost but has simply been pushed away into unconsciousness; in psychological terms it has been repressed. Small children left to behave naturally are often lustful, acquisitive, and aggressive, and show all the tendencies that the adult is supposed to have grown or been educated out of. But the mistake of most educators, parents, teachers, and others, is to believe that they have really changed the nature of the children in their care, while all that has happened is that the disagreeable or inferior tendencies have been pushed into the background and forgotten, yet live on in the adult. This forgetting is often so successful that we come to believe that we are exactly as we appear to be, sometimes with disastrous results. These repressed tendencies belong to what Jung calls the personal unconscious, and far from withering away, as one might hope, they seem to be like neglected weeds that flourish in any forgotten corner of the garden.

The process of civilizing the human being leads to a compromise between himself and society as to what he should appear to be, and to the formation of the mask behind which most people live. Jung calls this mask the persona, the name given to the masks once worn by the actors of antiquity to signify the role they played. But it is not only actors who fill a role; a man who takes up a business or a profession, a woman who marries or chooses a career, all adopt to some extent the characteristics expected of them in their chosen position; it is necessary to do so in order to succeed. A business man will try to appear (and even to be) forceful and energetic, a professional man intelligent, a civil servant correct; a professional woman nowadays needs not only to appear intelligent but also well dressed, and a wife is required to be a hostess, a mother, a partner, or whatever her husband’s position demands.

Society expects, and indeed must expect, every individual to play the part assigned to him as perfectly as possible, so that a man who is a parson … must at all times … play the role of parson in a flawless manner. Society demands this as a kind of surety: each must stand at his post, here a cobbler, there a poet. No man is expected to be both … that would be ‘odd’. Such a man would be ‘different’ from other people, not quite reliable. In the academic world he would be a dilettante, in politics an ‘unpredictable’ quantity, in religion a free-thinker — in short, he would always be suspected of unreliability and incompetence, because society is persuaded that only the cobbler who is not a poet can supply workmanlike shoes.1
The persona is a collective phenomenon, a facet of the personality that might equally well belong to somebody else, but it is often mistaken for individuality. The actor or artist with long hair and casual clothes is looked on as someone unique — a personality — while often in fact he has simply adopted the dress and habits of all the other artists of his group. The friendliness and hospitality of Mrs. So-and-So the vicar’s wife, seem to spring from her boundless good nature, but in reality she adopted these ways when she married her husband believing that ‘a vicar’s wife should be the friend of all who need her’. To some extent, it is true, people choose the roles for which they feel best fitted, and to this degree the persona is individual, but it is never the whole man or woman. Human nature is not consistent, yet in filling a role it must appear so, and is therefore inevitably falsified.

The persona, however, is a necessity; through it we relate to our world. It simplifies our contacts by indicating what we may expect from other people, and on the whole makes them pleasanter, as good clothes improve ugly bodies.

People who neglect the development of a persona tend to be gauche, to offend others, and to have difficulty in establishing themselves in the world. There is always the danger, however, of identifying oneself with the role one fills, a danger that is not obvious when the role is a good one and fits the person well. Yet we often say with some concern ‘he plays a part’ or ‘she is not really like that at all’, for we are at least partly aware of the danger of living in a way that is not true to our real natures. Perhaps some crisis will occur which calls for flexibility or a completely new way of reacting, or a human situation may be reached where the lack of a genuinely individual emotional response spells tragedy. Elizabeth Bowen describes such a situation in The Death of the Heart, where the adults in the story are so locked in their conventional roles that they fail completely to understand the needs of a sensitive adolescent girl. Another danger is that too rigid a persona means too complete a denial of the rest of the personality, and all those aspects which have been relegated to the personal or belong to the collective unconscious.

Jung calls that other side of ourselves, which is to be found in the personal unconscious, the shadow. The shadow is the inferior being in ourselves, the one who wants to do all the things that we do not allow ourselves to do, who is everything that we are not, the Mr. Hyde to our Dr. Jekyll. We have an inkling of this foreign personality when, after being possessed by an emotion or overcome with rage, we excuse ourselves by saying, ‘I was not myself’, or ‘I really don’t know what came over me’. What ‘came over’ was in fact the shadow, the primitive, uncontrolled, and animal part of ourselves. The shadow also personifies itself: when we particularly dislike someone, especially if it is an unreasonable dislike, we should suspect that we are actually disliking a quality of our own which we find in the other person.

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Co-Creation and Duality

We are people (souls) creating our own experiences using physical energy.  The tools for our creation (creativity) are the physical body and its associated mind.  These are not a part of us, they are being used by us.  The body is physical energy (matter) interacting with physicality.  We are consciousness energy using the body to interpret its physical interactions.  Consciousness energy is a different energy than physical (like light and quantum energy).  

The physical mind manipulates thoughts which coalesce into beliefs.  Thoughts attract like thoughts.  When solidified into beliefs, the beliefs filter out incompatible thoughts as in-believable.  Beliefs, in this way, act as barriers to awareness.  

The body-mind, which we perceive as ‘our’ head, is a shared mind.  It is shared by all other body-minds.  These minds, or thinking devices, can be looked at by more than just our consciousness.  Thoughts of others can be perceived by it.  This leads to co-creation via the mind.  Co-creation via the body is when the bodies work together.

Co-creation includes all density levels within physicality.  Less physically dense body-minds can share thoughts.  Of course the consciousnesses perceiving through the bodies are manipulating these thoughts.  The body-mind systems are used for communication with all participating consciousnesses within these physical energies.  The thoughts we share, we may interpret as our own and not realize someone else is communicating with us.  The less dense body-minds are being used by the same consciousnesses as ourselves.  They just prefer less dense bodies to work with.  

We, as non-physical consciousness energy beings, put our attention into physical energy.  The energy conforms to our thought/emotions, creating bodies mapped to our real bodies and body-minds mapped to our real minds.  Like in Avatar.  Through this body-mind filter, we perceive physicality.  Our actual soul self, the consciousness, exists and can perceive all densities of this physical energy (matter) at once.  It all exists right here, where you are standing or sitting.  When we stop interacting with physical energy, we pull our attention from it and the body returns to its generic physical energy state, un-formed.  

We are playing with physical energy.  Experience here is physics and psychology.  Physics represents our understanding, knowing, that we are playing with physical energy we define as matter.  Our knowing comes from our actual non-physical conscious mind that understands we don’t exist ‘in’ this physical energy, we are just experiencing our interaction with it.  Psychology represents our desire to understand the relationship of the mind to our experience, how the mind manipulates matter (physical energy) and our conscious belief system.  We need to understand ourselves via the mind to re-connect with our actual mind-body and expand our awareness. Through both physics and psychology, we try to understand our perceived reality.  Psychology to understand ourselves, physics to understand our interaction with physical matter.

Duality is experienced because we are currently disconnected (unaware) that we are not actually the body-mind.  This is the yin part.  The other part is us, the actual person, yang.  We can be at war with ‘ourselves’ (duality) because we switch back and forth, perceiving ourselves as the body-mind, then as our soul selves (our actual conscious energy).  We feel both at the same time and mix feelings, thoughts from each up so that we are confused and appear to be insane. 

We feel both the physical body and our real emotions when we hurt (we=soul).  We switch our attention to our body-suit, our space suit to feel better.  We use the body mind understanding to think of a way to feel better.  This is pacification.  Let’s say that you are unhappy, you, soul-self.  Instead of looking at your actual mind by taking attention off of body-mind, stilling the body and putting attention on the unhappiness (which enables you to listen to your real mind), you use the body-mind to figure out a way to feel better and use the physical body to get pleasure.  For instance, through eating, physical activity, using physical energy to create a sensation in the body which feels like positive energy, making you’feel’ better.  But your self, the ‘soul’, is still unhappy.  You just created an experience using your physical tools to feel as if you felt better by manipulating physical energy to create physical sensations in the body or interact with other physical things.  But you are not physical energy and you are still not happy.  So this physical interaction is a distraction from what is actually bothering you.   This where psychologists come in.  The solution is to ‘meditate’ on yourself, find out why you are unhappy and use your actual conscious mind to figure it out.

If you ignore yourself and just pacify and distract to feel better, then you will eventually become frustrated and give up.  Giving up means you are on autopilot.  Hypnotized as if in a dream, looking out through a physical body and just reacting, not consciously responding.  This is a zombie.  They have forgotten they are not the physical body and have become confused about their identity of self.  What is their actual mind?  How do you hear it?  Do I feel my actual body or is it the physical body?  The body mind can talk in circles to pacify because people want to feel better.  When you have reached this state, stop listening to the body mind.  Stop the body of you have to.  Some people get sick as an attempt to get themselves to just stop and start listening to themselves.  Otherwise you will run with your physical body looking for pleasure to feel better.  

When the physical body dies, your perspective is once again that of your actual consciousness in the non-physical, similar to how you perceive in the dream state.  Unfortunately, what you perceive is defined by what what you believe.  So your awareness can be limited.  You take your beliefs with you when the body dies.  The beliefs you accept because of the reasoning you did while in physicality come with you into non-physicality.  So if you believe in hell, youn experience it.  If you believe you are not dead, you simulate your Earth life, etc.  You do not leave behind your experience here.  It is very relevant, and it helps to achieve awareness before death so you are not living within delusions.  There are people who help people lost within limiting beliefs, but they are confined by the beliefs and must work with them to communicate.  So if you believe you are in hell, they may appear as a demon.  I will create a post about this topic which is also discussed in the Seth books.  This should motive all to clear beliefs before you kill your physical body with the frustrated energy from your soul self who probable wants to get out of physicality because of the pain you are experiencing from not listening to yourself.  Then you find yourself in whatever nightmare your beliefs have you create after death.

Enlightenment is the alignment of the body-mind system to the actual consciousness body-mind so that they are in harmony.  Then you are aware of yourself as the consciousness playing in physical energy and interacting using the body-mind.  You are consciously choosing your thoughts and managing your beliefs.  You are aware of more than just yourself.  Your perception expands to includes what your actual conscious mind perceives.  Your joy is felt within your actual body which then resonates with the physical energy, amplifying the experience.

So, here we are, perceiving through bodies.  Creating physical things with physical matter.  Who created the environment in which we are interacting?  Some consciousnesses co-created all physical aspects of Earth.  We are co-creating with this or these consciousnesses.  Someone is manipulating physical energy to create the Earth system.  It would be a consciousness just like us, but with expanded awareness.  We are interacting with this consciousness via shared thoughts and physical contact with the bodies.  Our beliefs and unawareness, lack of knowledge, also filter thoughts in physicality via the shared mind.  We could be receiving, ‘hearing’ thoughts from the consciousness creating Earth, but blocking thoughts because of our beliefs.  There are many stories of Earth creatures, such as fairies, elementals, which could be the Earth consciousnesses communicating.  We are playing with their creation.  An example of communication with consciousnesses that expresses the energy of human interaction on Earth is the music that is generated.  Music like that of Audiomachine expresses the energy of Earth as experienced by humans. These are some things to think about.

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