Friday, February 23, 2018
Another aspect of Jungian theory, barely touched upon in Psychological Types, was destined to cast a longer and more beguiling spell on popular psychology. ‘The collective unconscious,’ wrote Jung in his essay ‘The Structure of the Psyche’ (1927), ‘appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images … In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious.’ The archetypes that Jung initially had in mind were essentially sub-personalities of the ego – the persona (a people-pleasing mask) was juxtaposed against the shadow (the negative qualities hidden by the persona); the anima was the male sexual essence, versus animus, for females. Over the course of four decades, this therapeutic symbolism would expand to include mandalas (expressions of the ‘the specific centre of the personality’) and UFOs (a fantasy that swapped heaven for interstellar space). To ignore these powerful archetypal symbols was, in Jung’s mind, ‘to rob the individual of his roots and guiding instincts’, to let her become a mere ‘particle in the mass’.
Jordan Peterson says that Jung was a genius. I don't know; perhaps he was. But I doubt it in my secret, interior spaces. His thought is just too fanciful to be actually, you know, true. But he could still be a genius I guess. One thing's for sure: His stock is on a tear.