Jung is renowned for his analytical psychology theory and methodology and is thus considered a transpersonal psychologist as well as a psychoanalytical theorist. As such, he believed that, archetypes were models of people, traits and personalities. He suggested that, psyche consisted of three elements which are the ego, the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. He viewed ego as a representative of the conscious. As such, this paper seeks to outline and explain Jung’s theory on levels of each of the three elements. Jung advocated that, the collective unconscious served as a form of psychological inheritance. It is believed that, the collective unconscious evolves with incorporation of new globally recognized and accepted information. Further, his unconscious psyche conforms to the use of collective representations, mythological motifs, the categories of the imagination and the primordial thoughts.
Analysis of Jung’s theory of Collective Unconscious
Carl’s theory included the collective unconscious and personal unconscious, his Freud’s libido construct, the psyche and four psychological purposes that comprised his typology of conduct and synchronicity concept.
As Freud viewed libido as a sexual energy, Jung argued that libido encompassed all forms of energy and in his point of view libido is equated as with broad psychic energy. As such, he based his libido concept on three principles. The principle of equivalence posits that energy is counterbalanced to achieve an opposite goal. Secondly, the principle of opposition maintains the conflicts between opposing forces that creates the psychic energy. Finally, the principle of entropy advocated that, the psychic system is continually shifting to attain equilibrium. As such, he visualized an energy system created by conflicting forces that was able to balance itself, shifting the organism towards stability.
Long after Carl had laid the utmost creed of his logical theory, he addressed the theoretical idea of synchronicity. Carl defined synchronicity as an unfussy linking the occurrence that appeared when an outside event corresponded with the psychological state of mind. The two events, as such, are interconnected in time and space without linking to each other. Further, he advocated that, the combined unconscious of the inner and outer worlds were separated by a narrow corridor of time and space. Clairvoyance and telepathy were believed to be a result of synchronicity. The four psychological functions, which comprise his theory, include: sensing, feeling, intuiting and thinking.
As such, the thinking function is realized by a tendency to employ the intellect to understand and interpret an individual’s experience. Evaluation of one’s experience alongside subjective standards of rejection and acceptance evolves out of the function of feeling. The sensing operation is based upon the sense of sound, sight, smell and taste. Individuals employ the unconscious or intuition to perceive reality and size up situations. Sensing and intuiting are irrational functions as they centers on judgment and reasoning. On the other hand, thinking and feeling are referred to as rational functions as they base their functions on reasoning and judgments. The objective of individuation is the amalgamation and differentiation of the four functions.
Jung’s research took a phase based view of development. As such, he centered on lifespan development transversely through the lifespan, addressing to the year after age 35 or 40, in particular. Jung’s four stages of development system are childhood, youth, middle age and old age.
From birth to adolescence, human’s experience is dominated by the combined and personal unconscious. During the childhood development stages, fantasies arising from archetypes, wish fulfillment and instincts dominate the human child. As such, the human child depends on adults for his/her pleasure, but as ego natures, the organism becomes increasingly independent. As such, Jung suggests three childhood development phase.
During the anarchic phase, the human child is overwhelmed by disordered primitive images that have minimal linkage to each other. The monarchic is essential for offering the child with elementary sense that catalyzes ego development. Nevertheless, in this phase, the children refer to themselves in the third person as they identify ego as an object. The dawning of the dualistic phase marks the connection of conscious thought and the potential to take both a subjective and objective view of the ego.
According to Jung, the youth development stage ushers an era of augmented consciousness. The youthful stage is characterized by the initiation of new occupational and social roles as well as the formation of sexual relationship. As such the substantial development task is turning the individual’s libido outwards and engage life.
After age 35, a human turns their attention to better assimilate the unconscious and conscious rudiments of the psyche. As such, individuals are less extraverted and more introverted and tentatively, spiritual awareness surface in the middle age. In this stage, humans become more homogenous and functional, thus giving room for personality development.
The old age signifies the comeback of the unconscious occupation of the human child. As such, unconsciousness presupposes the position of figure, whereas the consciousness fades away. It is paramount that individuals, at this stage, deals with his or her fear of death as it might result to the blockage of the principal task of old age. Besides factual translation, namely reincarnation, he proposed an elucidation of old age changes and death serves as a metaphor of personality loss.
Collective unconscious is an analytical psychology term, proposed to be a part of the human’s unconscious mind. Jung addressed collective unconscious as one of the foundational structure in personality as well as the ego building and he was of the opinion that, the foundations of personality were significantly ancestral and universal as such, he studied religions, symbols, mythology, dreams as well as visions
Jung viewed religion as meaningful to many individual and that it could be useful as myths, thus being one of the earliest theorists to comprehend that psychoanalysis nature. The nature belonged among the sphere of religion and religions revealed aspects of the unconscious. As a result, he used dreams as avenues into the psyche for purposes self-understanding and self-exploration. Jung delved deeply into the occult, practiced necromancy, and had everyday contact with disembodied spirits-referred to as archetypes. Much of his writing were inspired by entities as such, Philemon was one of Jung’s familiar spirit. Initially, Jung considered Philemon as part of his psyche. Nevertheless, he realized that Philemon was an expression of his inner self, a factor which persuaded him to believe in the existence of a superior entity.
The psychic life of any civilized man, however, is filled with of atrocities. Human’s psychic processes are made up of large extent of reflections, doubts, and experiments; completely foreign to the unconscious instinctive human mind. It is the growth of consciousness that humans are grateful for the existence of tribulations and instinct is the nature that seeks to perpetuate nature, whereas consciousness can only seek culture or its denial. Nevertheless, provided that humans are submerged in nature, as such live in the security of instinct. Moreover, wherever doubt maintains ground, divergent ways may be realized. Uncertainly, in the case where a variety of ways seem possible, the humans are subjected to feelings of panic. As such, consciousness is responsible for an unquestionable and clearly defined decision.
Psychology emphasizes that, in a definite sense, nonentity in the psyche is old and by its self, it is impossible for psyche to lessen eventually. On the other hand, an individual guarding themselves against the new and strange, and regresses to the past, falls into a neurotic condition. Consequently, an individual who identifies himself with the new and avoids the past falls in the neurotic condition as well. In principle, both individuals reinforce their tapered range of consciousness .Nevertheless, the purpose of the problem lies, not only in its solution, but in the functioning as well. As such, it preserves individuals from stultification and petrifaction.
Limitations of Jung’s Theory of Collective Unconscious
The Collective Unconscious theory fascinated numerous criticisms from a range of quarters ranging from literary critics, religious critics, scientists and other psychologists that argued the theory’s weakness. Jung’s theory of collective unconscious received limited acceptance. Many have argued that, Jung’s work could not readily be applied to everyday life problems. Arguably, the advice worked in a place where psychological, religious and medical therapy had failed. Nevertheless, Christian Fundamentalists questionably declined this claim as they would, by no means, tolerate any spiritual ideologies that did not purposely and exclusively endorse Christ. On the other hand, several spiritual movement that viewed Jung’s theory a spiritual effort ‘plan’ to bring humanity out of dark ages both figuratively and literally (Von Franz, 1985).
Debatably, scientist noted that, Jung was not apprehensive with scientific testing as well as the fact that, his theory of collective unconscious could not be tested nor proved using any scientific methods. By its own, Jung’s ideas may be termed as being mystical as it stretches beyond a variety of scientific forms of reasoning .Tentatively, Jung’s arguments were not based upon researched or experimented ideas; arguably, he clarifies his experiences to the readers. Jung delved deeply into the occult, exercised necromancy and was a victim of disembodied deities, which he referred to as archetypes.
What’s more, according to Literature analysis, Jung had an inexplicable criterion of writing, which meant a variety of his theories gave way for a variety of debates. Numerous terminologies used in addressing the collective unconscious are vague and complex for human comprehension. As a result, it essentially makes it complex to comprehend and value the intended idea. As such, most of his terminologies implied multiple ideas. In addition, Jung employs an extremely obscure reference that renders his theories and writings. Consequently, making it complicated human understanding .Contrastingly, his writings could only be appreciated by exceptionally dedicated students who could attempt figuring out his intended idea.
Moreover, Jung assumed victims of hallucination, experienced collective unconscious that directly conversed to them. Arguably, he regarded this phenomenon to be pathological; instead he opted to consider these individuals as being beneficial to the subject and an imperative tool for self improvement. This fact has attracted substantial attention and contributed to Jung’s theory of collective unconscious being extensively criticized thus a significant limitation. Tentatively, as an alternative of treating the hallucinations, he would treat them as beneficial to the individual (Freud, 1899).Regardless of these limitations; Jung Jung is one of the famous psychologists of his time. Undoubtedly, Jung proceeds in an attempt to challenge Sigmund Freud’s Psycho-sexual theory. Despite numerous critiques Jung is in defense of Christianity.
Jung’s subjective, cultural and intellectual context influenced his logical theory of the human behavior. Subjectively he encountered dualities and polarities of life that fundamentally affected his theory. Culturally, his affinity for secrets may be traced to the repressive Protestant culture that he was raised whereas his abiding interest in symbols can be attributed to his eastern religions study. Intellectually, his religious belief was influenced by Feud whereas his non-rational approach to the world of science was inspired by a German writer. While his theory does not fare well on traditional standards of science viability, it uniquely contributes in addressing the western minds, in particular. Nonetheless, he introduced the introversion-extraversion concept into the psychological taxonomy. Tentatively, he was the first philosopher to discuss his central concept of personality theories. Moreover, he widely discussed the role mythology plays in cultural identity and amalgamation of Eastern religious principles into Western thinking. Based on the above, it is clear that, his name will be mentioned in years whenever theories of personality are broached.