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Carl Jung, famous Swiss
psychologist, created a specific system of understanding the dynamics of the
human psyche known as Jungian psychology. Jungian psychology maintains a strong
focus on individuation, whereby an individual comes to terms with his or her
sense of self.
Here not only do the ego and personal unconscious come into play
but also a hallmark of this theory of psychology, the collective unconscious. Another
well-known focus of Jungian psychology is symbolism, such as in the discussion
of archetypal figures and the employment of dream interpretation.
Unlike many of his contemporaries,
Jung did not consider neuroses (psychic blocks that impact an individual's
life) as inherently negative, but rather things upon which special focus must
be placed, because understanding them would lead to a deeper understanding of
The "anima" and
"animus" (male and female, respectively) represent the soul. The
"self" is seen to be not only one's own sense of self, but the self
with God or divinity included as a cohesive whole. This self is created through
individuation. The "shadow" represents one's dark, unknown nature.
In Jungian dream interpretation,
anything remembered from one's dream must be put into terms that someone
completely unfamiliar with the objects or dynamics of the dreamer's life may clearly
understand. Sometimes, according to Jung, inexplicable dreams or dream images
are not results of one's personal dream, but rather a collective dream spawned
from the collective unconscious.
One of the most notable deviations
from his colleagues was Jung's idea of the collective unconscious. Seen in
Jungian psychology as the third part of the psyche (the other two parts being
the ego and the personal unconscious), this collective unconscious is common to
all of humanity and has nothing to do with individual, personal experience; it
is impersonal, identical and instinctive to all people.
Much of Jungian psychology builds
from this key concept; the collective unconscious, among other things, serves
as a repository for symbols known to humans around the world. This is easily
seen with the concept of Jungian archetypes.
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