Carl Jung — Theory overview

Carl Jung and The World within

Carl G. Jung is a founder of analytical or Jungian psychology. Based on the main principle of existence of unconscious, it is still different to Freud’s psychoanalysis, mainly in understanding of manifesting energies which work in psyche. Jung was against Freud’s idea about primary function of sexuality in development and life of a soul and insisted that there is a sum of different forces which affect human’s inner life.

Analytical psychology sees psyche as a unity of three parts: ego, personal unconscious and collective unconscious.

Psychology structure by Carl Jung

Ego can be considered as equal to the conscious mind. All thoughts we currently think and our present feelings belong to it. Accordingly, all thoughts and feelings which are not presently in conscious belong to personal unconscious. This includes both kinds of memories — those that are easily brought to mind and those that have been suppressed for some reason.

A bit more complicated is collective unconscious. This term was offered by Jung to describe those parts of each individual psyche which belong to humanity in common:

«My thesis then, is as follows: in addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents.»

Collective unconscious is a summary of experiences of our ancient ancestors; some specific for humankind knowledge which we all possess from the birth. We can never know what is this a matter, because as soon as we realize it, it becomes conscious. Collective unconscious influences every aspects of our life, most especially the emotional ones and this helps us to see and study it. Only through reflection of it on our conscious and our lives we can see and study collective unconscious, its rules and ways of influence.

Patterns of influence, which fill collective unconscious, are called archetypes. Jung also offered other names for them, such as ominants, imagos, mythological or primordial images, but further on they all were summarized into «archetypes».

Some of archetypes can be noticed more often than others and their influence is stronger and more common for everyone. Amongst these are such like «Shadow», «Persona», «Anima» and «Animus», «Mother archetype» and others.

The goal of the life way then is to find and realize The Self. It is also an archetype which represents a sort of equilibrium in one’s soul, when all aspects are expressed equally and cooperate with each other in harmony leading to peace and unity with inner self and outer world.

Introversion and extroversion

After careful observations and studying, Jung offered to divide people into several types depending on their way of thinking and interacting with outer world. Of course this division is approximate and shows only the main point when all the rest is unique for each individual. Nevertheless, this typology is widely used nowadays (for example, Myers-Briggs Test) and many know Jung mostly like its author.

First two typological groups are: extraverts and introverts.

According to Merriam Webster Dictionary extraversion is «the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self». Extraverts tend to be communicative, enjoy social gatherings and activities, spend most of their times with other people, and feel depressed when stay alone.

Introverts, on contrary, prefer loneliness, do not like big gatherings of people, live more in the world of their own thoughts and feelings. The same dictionary gives such explanation for this term: «the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life».

Individuals which belong to either of these two major groups derive also by four basic functions, which are:

  • sensation — perception by means of the sense organs;
  • intuition — perceiving in unconscious way or perception of unconscious contents;
  • thinking — function of intellectual cognition; the forming of logical conclusions;
  • feeling — function of subjective estimation.

These determine the way a person interacts with world and other people.

Different combinations of the two major types and four basic functions give us a variety of characteristic sets, which can be used as approximate guides for understanding a person better. It can be successfully applied in schools, companies or in a situation of psychotherapy.

Carl Jung in interviews and quotes: «The world within»



„The real mystery does not behave mysteriously or secretively; it speaks a secret language, it adumbrates itself by a variety of images which all indicate its true nature.“

- CG Jung