Biopsychosocial Blog

“Clear your mind, transform your body, nourish your spirit.”

Mind Body and Spirit

The Collective Unconscious

This aspect of the mind (psyche) is inherited (according to Jungian psychology).  I believe that it is not either individualistic or acquired, but hereditary in nature.  it involves instincts and impulses which are carried out in necessary actions without conscious motivation. Collective Unconscious is a priori forms of intuitions. Again, these processes are not based on experience or learning.  Jung noted:

"The whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution is born anew in the brain structure of every individual human."  

The collective unsconscious is a source of instinctual forces within the psych. This phenomena is not relegated only to humans however.  I've often wondered at a dog who has been taken from his mother and cohort, raised in a human home, with no dog friends, knows instinctively how to fetch.  Instinct (a hunch) occurs both in the framework of the personal unconscious (see article on "Getting Out of Your Head" also in this blog), but in the collective unconscious.  Jung referred to the latter as archetypes (preexistent forms and patterns of instinctual nature). In the personal conscious, these instinctive processes are the result of losing the conscious thoughts from the conscious mind (through intentional repression or just forgetting). These, however, can be retrieved. We also receive information into the conscious mind from a genetically passed down process within the unconscious mind. Interestingly, these patterns press forward into our conscious while dreaming. 

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