Carl Jung Collective Unconsciousness Psyche Archetypes Anima Persona Animus Ego Mind

Do we really know our selves well? Are we trying to hide something? People have memories and secrets hidden deep inside themselves. People have their public and private selves. People have their unconscious selves as well. Carl Jung’s theory is related to how individual perceive themselves without realizing that they are unique inside and how it differs to different people yet it’s still interconnected.

Carl Jung is an influential Swiss psychologist who coined the term collective unconscious, which refers to the psychic innate nature to experience and represent basic human behavior and situations. Jung’s theory divides the psyche into three parts. The first is the ego which he identified as the conscious mind. This is related to personal unconscious, which includes anything which is not presently conscious, but can be. Personal unconsciousness includes memories that are easily brought to mind and those that have suppressed for some reason.

Jung added a part of the psyche that makes his theory stands out from all the others. It’s called the collective unconscious or “psychic inheritance.” He explained that it is the reservoir of human experiences. It’s a kind of knowledge that everyone was born with but is never directly conscious of. It influences all our experiences and behaviors most especially the emotional ones.

The contents of the collective unconscious are called archetypes. They were also called by Jung as dominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images. An archetype is an unlearned tendency to experience things in a certain way. The archetype has no form of its own, but it acts as an “organizing principle” on the things that humans see or do. It works the way instincts work in Freud’s theory.

There are different archetypes that each human person has. There are four major archetypes. The mother archetype evolved in an environment that included a mother or mother substitute. No humans would survive without a connection with nurturing ones, especially when they were still infants. The mother archetype is the built-in ability to recognize a certain relationship and that is mothering. The self is another archetype which is the regulating center of the psyche and facilitates the individuation, and then there is the shadow which is the opposite of the ego. It is often containing qualities that the ego does not possess.  The anima is an archetype which is the feminine image in a man’s psyche or animus, the masculine image in a woman’s psyche. Last is the persona, a mask which protects the Ego from negative images. It’s the public image of every human.