COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS

A Jungian term denoting the portion of the unconscious which is common to all mankind. It is also called the racial unconscious.In the theory of Carl Jung there are two divisions of the unconscious, the personal and the collective. In his own language, the personal unconscious “embraces all the acquisitions of the personal existence—hence the forgotten, the repressed, the subliminal, perceived, thought, and felt. But in addition to these personal unconscious contents, there exist other contents which do not originate in personal acquisitions but in the inherited possibility of psychic functioning in general, viz., in the inherited brain-structure. These are the mythological associations—those motives and images which can spring anew in every age and clime, without historical tradition or migration. I term these contents the collective unconscious” (1928).Jung had this to say about the contents of the collective unconscious: “All those psychic contents I term collective which are peculiar not to one individual, but to many at the same time, i.e. either to a society, a people, or to mankind in general. Such contents are the ‘mystical collective ideas’ ... of the primitive; they include also the general concepts of right, the state, religion, science, etc., current among civilized men.”

Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/collective-unconscious/ (accessed August 14, 2019).
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