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The Undiscovered Self pt 2

Meaning for Self
Published onApr 12, 2022
The Undiscovered Self pt 2

Carl Jung has warned us of the psychic driving performed by the state and church; manifesting the warped conflict between ideals brought about by scientific progress and imperial power. The creation of the mass man, resulting in a lack of unconscious exploration and psychic freedom is for Jung the crisis of western civilization.

Jung's moral prophetization is found in his conception of the individual. For Jung, “consciousness is a precondition to being”, and “the individual is the manifestation of the psyche”. A complete “exception to the statistical rule”. So much so that Jung, believed in the individual’s destruction by state or church had not their psyche been of such great benefit. How then can the individual occasion psychic investigation rooted in their soul? Worse still, how is humankind to become aware of their unconscious self while “science completely devalues individuality”, the church “deems it as egoistic obstinacy”, and the state “seeks to atomize it”.

evil, without man’s ever having chosen it, is lodged in human nature itself

An a priori placing of consciousness and thus the individual. We should begin to understand the compulsion Jung felt to reveal the unconscious. The undiscovered self is the only reprieve for the shadow. Under which reprieve our ignorance of the shadow can persist and the mass man is compelled to entire systems of violence for the people, in gods name, due to science, etc.

For Jung, it was with the acknowledgment of humankind’s ability to act evil that one could gain perspective of the shadow and its projections. This was of such great consequence to Jung that he felt a generational responsibility.

There is no sense formulating the task that our age has forced upon us as a moral demand. We can, at best, make the psychological world situation so clear that it can be seen even by the myopic

Jung could not see a moral solution to this issue but found hope in the rapid technologization of travel and communication.

today we live in a unitary world…Exotic races…ceased to be peepshows in ethnological museums. They have become our neighbors, and what was yesterday the prerogative of the ethnologist is today a political and social problem

He felt as immigration and integration continued, the need for individuals to recognize the gulf of experience between each other and engage in closer relationships will allow a further bridging of the subconscious.

As the book ends, it takes the form of an early anti-racist stance. We see Jung transition from the condemnation of racism to the call for us to lift relationships based on a deepened understanding of the other from self-knowledge:

The European has also to answer for all crimes he has committed against the dark skinned people during the process of colonialization …the white man carries a heavy burden. The evil that comes to light in man undoubtedly dwells within him [and] is of gigantic proportions…He does not deny that terrible things have happened and still go on happening...when such deeds belong to the recent or remote past, they…sink into the sea of forgetfulness, and that state of chronic wooly mindedness returns which we describe as “normality”. In shocking contrast to the fact that nothing has finally disappeared and nothing has been made good. The evil, the guilt, the profound unease of conscience, the obscure misgiving are there before our eyes , if only we would see. Man has done these things; I am man, who has his share of human nature; therefore I am guilty with the rest and bear unaltered and indelibly within me the capacity and the inclination to do them again at any time.

From here, Jung reaffirms his principle of understanding.

A human relationship is not based on differentiation and perfection, for those only emphasize the differences or call forth the exact opposite; it is based rather on imperfection, what is weak, helpless, in need of support.

He justifies by saying positive human relationships are key to the fight against the dictator state because it keeps us from being depotentiated social units the state dictator aims for #FuckDonald.

The last chapter is only a few pages long, but here we get more great bars like;

What our age thinks of as “the shadow” and inferior part of the psyche contains more than something merely negative. The very fact that by self knowledge, i.e. by exploring our own souls, we come upon the instincts and their world of imagery should throw light on the powers slumbering in the psyche, of which we are seldom aware long as all go well

And another that made my toes warm;

Happiness and contentment, equability of soul…meaningfulness of life…can be experienced only by the individual and not by a State

And ends in typical “I'm spiritual but not religious fashion”

I am neither spurred on by excessive optimism nor in love with high ideals, but am merely concerned with the fate of the individual human being — that infinitesimal unit on whom a world depends, and in whom, if we read the Christian message aright, even god seeks [its] goal

This book is the result of someone living through a period marked by legitimate fascism, war, and the excess of imperialism. I imagine some of what Jung saw is still ahead, but I remain hopeful humans can come to understand each other.


I find the lack of location of this force that organizes people to collective action representative of an error in perceiving the individual as an atomic unit.

The “shadow” is important metaphorically, or for the vibes, but what does it mean right? For instance, Viktor Frankl identifies a personal aspect of his patient’s human experience and reinforces their ability to reorient the way they perceive a challenge through meaning and purpose. I’m not quite sure if shadow therapy is just talking about myself or taking DMT. This may not be the place for Jung’s analytical methods, but without them, it feels like Jung is telling me to try ecstasy or meditate, I don’t know.

Both culminate in a lack of specificity. There just seems to be an idealistic romanticism of the inner spiritual experience of humans or an essentially amoral character of his beliefs that seeks personal psychic investigation over collective behavior. Neither account for motivation for self-understanding. I vibe with that though.

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