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- Sacred marriage
- See coniunctio.
- Psychologically, associated with the need to give up the world of childhood, often signaled by the regression of energy.
One must give up the retrospective longing which only wants to resuscitate the torpid bliss and effortlessness of childhood.["The Sacrifice," CW 5, par. 643.]
For him who looks backwards the whole world, even the starry sky, becomes the mother who bends over him and enfolds him on all sides, and from the renunciation of this image, and of the longing for it, arises the picture of the world as we know it today.[Ibid., par. 646.]
- See psychosis.
- The archetype of wholeness and the regulating center of the psyche; a transpersonal power that transcends the ego.
As an empirical concept, the self designates the whole range of psychic phenomena in man. It expresses the unity of the personality as a whole. But in so far as the total personality, on account of its unconscious component, can be only in part conscious, the concept of the self is, in part, only potentially empirical and is to that extent a postulate. In other words, it encompasses both the experienceable and the inexperienceable (or the not yet experienced). . . . It is a transcendental concept, for it presupposes the existence of unconscious factors on empirical grounds and thus characterizes an entity that can be described only in part.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 789.]
The self is not only the centre, but also the whole circumference which embraces both conscious and unconscious; it is the centre of this totality, just as the ego is the centre of consciousness. ["Introduction," CW 12, par. 44.]
Like any archetype, the essential nature of the self is unknowable, but its manifestations are the content of myth and legend.
The self appears in dreams, myths, and fairytales in the figure of the "supraordinate personality," such as a king, hero, prophet, saviour, etc., or in the form of a totality symbol, such as the circle, square, quadratura circuli, cross, etc. When it represents a complexio oppositorum, a union of opposites, it can also appear as a united duality, in the form, for instance, of tao as the interplay of yang and yin, or of the hostile brothers, or of the hero and his adversary (arch-enemy, dragon), Faust and Mephistopheles, etc. Empirically, therefore, the self appears as a play of light and shadow, although conceived as a totality and unity in which the opposites are united.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 790.]
The realization of the self as an autonomous psychic factor is often stimulated by the irruption of unconscious contents over which the ego has no control. This can result in neurosis and a subsequent renewal of the personality, or in an inflated identification with the greater power.
The ego cannot help discovering that the afflux of unconscious contents has vitalized the personality, enriched it and created a figure that somehow dwarfs the ego in scope and intensity. . . . Naturally, in these circumstances there is the greatest temptation simply to follow the power-instinct and to identify the ego with the self outright, in order to keep up the illusion of the ego’s mastery. . . . [But] the self has a functional meaning only when it can act compensatorily to ego-consciousness. If the ego is dissolved in identification with the self, it gives rise to a sort of nebulous superman with a puffed-up ego.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 430.]
Experiences of the self possess a numinosity characteristic of religious revelations. Hence Jung believed there was no essential difference between the self as an experiential, psychological reality and the traditional concept of a supreme deity.
It might equally be called the "God within us."["The Mana-Personality," CW 7, par. 399.
- Self-regulation of the psyche
- A concept based on the compensatory relationship between consciousness and the unconscious. (See also adaptation, compensation, neurosis, opposites and transcendent function.)
The psyche does not merely react, it gives its own specific answer to the influences at work upon it.["ome Crucial Points in Psychoanalysis," CW 4, par. 665.]
The process of self-regulation is going on all the time within the psyche. It only becomes noticeable when ego-consciousness has particular difficulty in adapting to external or internal reality. That is often the start of a process, proceeeding along the lines outlined in the chart, that may lead to individuation.
The Self-regulation of the Psyche
- Difficulty of adaptation. Little progression of libido.
- Regression of energy (depression, lack of disposable energy).
- Activation of unconscious contents (fantasies, complexes, archetypal images, inferior function, opposite attitude, shadow, anima/animus, etc.). Compensation.
- Symptoms of neurosis (confusion, fear, anxiety, guilt, moods, extreme affect, etc.).
- Unconscious or half-conscious conflict between ego and contents activated in the unconscious. Inner tension. Defensive reactions.
- Activation of the transcendent function, involving the self and archetypal patterns of wholeness.
- Formation of symbols (numinosity, synchronicity).
- Transfer of energy between unconscious contents and consciousness. Enlargement of the ego, progression of energy.
- Assimilation of unconscious contents. Individuation.
Consciousness and the unconscious seldom agree as to their contents and their tendencies. The self-regulating activities of the psyche, manifest in dreams, fantasies and synchronistic experiences, attempt to correct any significant imbalance. According to Jung, this is necessary for several reasons:
(1) Consciousness possesses a threshold intensity which its contents must have attained, so that all elements that are too weak remain in the unconscious.
(2) Consciousness, because of its directed functions, exercises an inhibition (which Freud calls censorship) on all incompatible material, with the result that it sinks into the unconscious.
(3) Consciousness constitutes the momentary process of adaptation, whereas the unconscious contains not only all the forgotten material of the individual’s own past, but all the inherited behaviour traces constituting the structure of the mind [i.e., archetypes].
(4) The unconscious contains all the fantasy combinations which have not yet attained the threshold intensity, but which in the course of time and under suitable conditions will enter the light of consciousness.["The Transcendent Function," CW 8, par. 132.]
- The psychological function that perceives immediate reality through the physical senses. (Compare intuition.)
An attitude that seeks to do justice to the unconscious as well as to one’s fellow human beings cannot possibly rest on knowledge alone, in so far as this consists merely of thinking and intuition. It would lack the function that perceives values, i.e., feeling, as well as the fonction du réel, i.e., sensation, the sensible perception of reality. ["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par.486.]
In Jung’s model of typology, sensation, like intuition, is an irrational function. It perceives concrete facts, with no judgment of what they mean or what they are worth.
Sensation must be strictly differentiated from feeling, since the latter is an entirely different process, although it may associate itself with sensation as "feeling-tone." Sensation is related not only to external stimuli but to inner ones, i.e., to changes in the internal organic processes.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 792.]
Jung also distinguished between sensuous or concrete sensation and abstract sensation.
Concrete sensation never appears in "pure" form, but is always mix-ed up with ideas, feelings, thoughts. . . . The concrete sensation of a flower . . . conveys a perception not only of the flower as such, but also of the stem, leaves, habitat, and so on. It is also instantly mingled with feeling of pleasure or dislike which the sight of the flower evokes, or with simultaneous olfactory perceptions, or with thoughts about its botanical classification, etc. But abstract sensation immediately picks out the most salient sensuous attribute of the flower, its brilliant redness, for instance, and makes this the sole or at least the principle content of consciousness, entirely detached from all other admixtures. Abstract sensation is found chiefly among artists. Like every abstraction, it is a product of functional differentiation.[Ibid., par. 794.]
- Hidden or unconscious aspects of oneself, both good and bad, which the ego has either repressed or never recognized. (See also repression.)
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. ["The Shadow," CW 9ii, par. 14.]
Before unconscious contents have been differentiated, the shadow is in effect the whole of the unconscious. It is commonly personified in dreams by persons of the same sex as the dreamer.
The shadow is composed for the most part of repressed desires and uncivilized impulses, morally inferior motives, childish fantasies and resentments, etc.–all those things about oneself one is not proud of. These unacknowledged personal characteristics are often experienced in others through the mechanism of projection.
Although, with insight and good will, the shadow can to some extent be assimilated into the conscious personality, experience shows that there are certain features which offer the most obstinate resistance to moral control and prove almost impossible to influence. These resistances are usually bound up with projections, which are not recognized as such, and their recognition is a moral achievement beyond the ordinary. While some traits peculiar to the shadow can be recognized without too much difficulty as one’s personal qualities, in this case both insight and good will are unavailing because the cause of the emotion appears to lie, beyond all possibility of doubt, in the other person.[Ibid., par. 16.]
The realization of the shadow is inhibited by the persona. To the degree that we identify with a bright persona, the shadow is correspondingly dark. Thus shadow and persona stand in a compensatory relationship, and the conflict between them is invariably present in an outbreak of neurosis. The characteristic depression at such times indicates the need to realize that one is not all one pretends or wishes to be.
There is no generally effective technique for assimilating the shadow. It is more like diplomacy or statesmanship and it is always an individual matter. First one has to accept and take seriously the existence of the shadow. Second, one has to become aware of its qualities and intentions. This happens through conscientious attention to moods, fantasies and impulses. Third, a long process of negotiation is unavoidable.
It is a therapeutic necessity, indeed, the first requisite of any thorough psychological method, for consciousness to confront its shadow. In the end this must lead to some kind of union, even though the union consists at first in an open conflict, and often remains so for a long time. It is a struggle that cannot be abolished by rational means. When it is wilfully repressed it continues in the unconscious and merely expresses itself indirectly and all the more dangerously, so no advantage is gained. The struggle goes on until the opponents run out of breath. What the outcome will be can never be seen in advance. The only certain thing is that both parties will be changed.["Rex and Regina," CW 14, par. 514.]
This process of coming to terms with the Other in us is well worth while, because in this way we get to know aspects of our nature which we would not allow anybody else to show us and which we ourselves would never have admitted.["The Conjunction," ibid., par. 706.]
Responsibility for the shadow rests with the ego. That is why the shadow is a moral problem. It is one thing to realize what it looks like-what we are capable of. It is quite something else to determine what we can live out, or with.
Confrontation with the shadow produces at first a dead balance, a standstill that hampers moral decisions and makes convictions ineffective or even impossible. Everything becomes doubtful.[Ibid., par. 708.]
The shadow is not, however, only the dark underside of the personality. It also consists of instincts, abilities and positive moral qualities that have long been buried or never been conscious.
The shadow is merely somewhat inferior, primitive, unadapted, and awkward; not wholly bad. It even contains childish or primitive qualities which would in a way vitalize and embellish human existence, but-convention forbids!["Psychology and Religion," CW 11, par. 134.]
If it has been believed hitherto that the human shadow was the source of all evil, it can now be ascertained on closer investigation that the unconscious man, that is, his shadow, does not consist only of morally reprehensible tendencies, but also displays a number of good qualities, such as normal instincts, appropriate reactions, realistic insights, creative impulses, etc.["Conclusion," CW 9ii, par. 423.]
An outbreak of neurosis constellates both sides of the shadow: those qualities and activities one is not proud of, and new possibilities one never knew were there.
Jung distinguished between the personal and the collective or archetypal shadow.
With a little self-criticism one can see through the shadow-so far as its nature is personal. But when it appears as an archetype, one encounters the same difficulties as with anima and animus. In other words, it is quite within the bounds of possibility for a man to recognize the relative evil of his nature, but it is a rare and shattering experience for him to gaze into the face of absolute evil.["The Shadow," ibid., par. 19.]
- A functional complex in the psyche. (See also Eros, Logos and soul-image.)
While Jung often used the word soul in its traditional theological sense, he strictly limited its psychological meaning.
I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a "personality." ["Definitions," CW 6, par. 797]
With this understanding, Jung outlined partial manifestations of the soul in terms of anima/animus and persona. In his later writing on the transference, informed by his study of the alchemical opus-which Jung understood as psychologically analogous to the individuation process–he was more specific.
The "soul" which accrues to ego-consciousness during the opus has a feminine character in the man and a masculine character in a woman. His anima wants to reconcile and unite; her animus tries to discern and discriminate.["The Psychology of the Transference," CW 16, par. 522.]
- The representation, in dreams or other products of the unconscious, of the inner personality, usually contrasexual. (See also anima and animus.)
Wherever an impassioned, almost magical, relationship exists between the sexes, it is invariably a question of a projected soul-image. Since these relationships are very common, the soul must be unconscious just as frequently.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 809.]
The soul-image is a specific archetypal image produced by the unconscious, commonly experienced in projection onto a person of the opposite sex.
For an idealistic woman, a depraved man is often the bearer of the soul-image; hence the "saviour-fantasy" so frequent in such cases. The same thing happens with men, when the prostitute is surrounded with the halo of a soul crying for succour.[Ibid., par. 811.]
Where consciousness itself is identified with the soul, the soul-image is more likely to be an aspect of the persona.
In that event, the persona, being unconscious, will be projected on a person of the same sex, thus providing a foundation for many cases of open or latent homosexuality, and of father-transferences in men or mother-transferences in women. In such cases there is always a defective adaptation to external reality and a lack of relatedness, because identification with the soul produces an attitude predominantly oriented to the perception of inner processes.[Ibid., par. 809.]
Many relationships begin and initially thrive on the basis of projected soul-images. Inherently symbiotic, they often end badly.
- An archetype and a functional complex, often personified and experienced as enlivening, analogous to what the archaic mind felt to be an invisible, breathlike "presence."
Spirit, like God, denotes an object of psychic experience which cannot be proved to exist in the external world and cannot be understood rationally. This is its meaning if we use the word "spirit" in its best sense.["Spirit and Life," CW 8, par. 626.]
The archetype of spirit in the shape of a man, hobgoblin, or animal always appears in a situation where insight, understanding, good advice, determination, planning, etc., are needed but cannot be mustered on one’s own resources. The archetype compensates this state of spiritual deficiency by contents designed to fill the gap.["The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," CW 9i, par. 398.]
Jung was careful to distinguish between spirit as a psychological concept and its traditional use in religion.
From the psychological point of view, the phenomenon of spirit, like every autonomous complex, appears as an intention of the unconscious superior to, or at least on a par with, intentions of the ego. If we are to do justice to the essence of the thing we call spirit, we should really speak of a "higher" consciousness rather than of the unconscious.["Spirit and Life," CW 8, par. 643.]
The common modern idea of spirit ill accords with the Christian view, which regards it as the summum bonum, as God himself. To be sure, there is also the idea of an evil spirit. But the modern idea cannot be equated with that either, since for us spirit is not necessarily evil; we would have to call it morally indifferent or neutral.["The Phenomenology of the Spirit in Fairytales," CW 9i, par. 394.]
- A term used to describe the dissociation of the personality, marked by attitudes and behavior patterns determined by Bcomplexes. (See also neurosis.)
Although this peculiarity is most clearly observable in psychopathology, fundamentally it is a normal phenomenon, which can be recognized with the greatest ease in the projections made by the primitive psyche. The tendency to split means that parts of the psyche detach themselves from consciousness to such an extent that they not only appear foreign but lead an autonomous life of their own. It need not be a question of hysterical multiple personality, or schizophrenic alterations of personality, but merely of so-called "complexes" that come entirely within the scope of the normal. ["Psychological Factors in Human Behaviour," CW 8, par. 253].
- Subjective level
- The approach to dreams and other images where the persons or situations pictured are seen as symbolic representations of factors belonging entirely to the subject’s own psyche. (Compare objective level.)
Interpretation of an unconscious product on the subjective level reveals the presence of subjective judgments and tendencies of which the object is made the vehicle. When, therefore, an object-imago appears in an unconscious product, it is not on that account the image of a real object; it is far more likely that we are dealing with a subjective functional complex. Interpretation on the subjective level allows us to take a broader psychological view not only of dreams but also of literary works, in which the individual figures then appear as representatives of relatively autonomous functional complexes in the psyche of the author.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 813.]
In the analytic process, the main task after the reductive interpretation of images thrown up by the unconscious is to understand what they say about oneself.
To establish a really mature attitude, he has to see the subjective value of all these images which seem to create trouble for him. He has to assimilate them into his own psychology; he has to find out in what way they are part of himself; how he attributes for instance a positive value to an object, when as a matter of fact it is he who could and should develop this value. And in the same way, when he projects negative qualities and therefore hates and loathes the object, he has to discover that he is projecting his own inferior side, his shadow, as it were, because he prefers to have an optimistic and one-sided image of himself.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 813.]
- Subjective psyche
- See personal unconscious.
- Subtle body
- The somatic unconscious, a transcendental concept involving the relationship between mind and body.
The part of the unconscious which is designated as the subtle body becomes more and more identical with the functioning of the body, and therefore it grows darker and darker and ends in the utter darkness of matter. . . . Somewhere our unconscious becomes material, because the body is the living unit, and our conscious and our unconscious are embedded in it: they contact the body. Somewhere there is a place where the two ends meet and become interlocked. And that is the [subtle body] where one cannot say whether it is matter, or what one calls "psyche."["Nietzsche's Zarathustra," vol. 1, p. 441.]
- Superior function
- See primary function.
- Supraordinate personality
- An aspect of the psyche superior to, and transcending, the ego. (See also self.)
The "supraordinate personality" is the total man, i.e., man as he really is, not as he appears to himself. . . . I usually describe the supraordinate personality as the "self," thus making a sharp distinction between the ego, which, as is well known, extends only as far as the conscious mind, and the whole of the personality, which includes the unconscious as well as the conscious component. The ego is thus related to the self as part to whole. To that extent the self is supraordinate.["The Psychological Aspects of the Kore," CW 9i, pars. 314f.]
- A psychological state where contents of one’s personal unconscious are experienced in another person. (See also projection and soul-image.)
Symbiosis manifests in unconscious interpersonal bonds, easily established and difficult to break. Jung gave an example in terms of introversion and extraversion. Where one of these attitudes is dominant, the other, being unconscious, is automatically projected.
Either type has a predilection to marry its opposite, each being unconsciously complementary to the other. . . . The one takes care of reflection and the other sees to the initiative and practical action. When the two types marry, they may effect an ideal union. So long as they are fully occupied with their adaptation to the manifold external needs of life they fit together admirably.["The Problem of the Attitude-Type," CW 7, par. 80.]
Problems in such relationships typically surface only later in life, accompanied by strong affect.
When the man has made enough money, or if a fine legacy should drop from the skies and external necessity no longer presses, then they have time to occupy themselves with one another. Hitherto they stood back to back and defended themselves against necessity. But now they turn face to face and look for understanding-only to discover that they have never understood one another. Each speaks a different language. Then the conflict between the two types begins. This struggle is envenomed, brutal, full of mutual depreciation, even when conducted quietly and in the greatest intimacy. For the value of the one is the negation of value for the other.[Ibid.]
The ending of a symbiotic relationship often precipitates an outbreak of neurosis, stimulated by an inner need to assimilate those aspects of oneself that were projected onto the partner.
- The best possible expression for something unknown. (See also constructive and final.)
Every psychological expression is a symbol if we assume that it states or signifies something more and other than itself which eludes our present knowledge.["Definitions," CW 6, par. 817.]
Jung distinguished between a symbol and a sign. Insignia on uniforms, for instance, are not symbols but signs that identify the wearer. In dealing with unconscious material (dreams, fantasies, etc.), the images can be interpreted semiotically, as symptomatic signs pointing to known or knowable facts, or symbolically, as expressing something essentially unknown.
The interpretation of the cross as a symbol of divine love is semiotic, because "divine love" describes the fact to be expressed better and more aptly than a cross, which can have many other meanings. On the other hand, an interpretation of the cross is symbolic when it puts the cross beyond all conceivable explanations, regarding it as expressing an as yet unknown and incomprehensible fact of a mystical or transcendent, i.e., psychological, nature, which simply finds itself most appropriately represented in the cross.[Ibid., par. 815.]
Whether something is interpreted as a symbol or a sign depends mainly on the attitude of the observer. Jung linked the semiotic and symbolic approaches, respectively, to the causal and final points of view. He acknowledged the importance of both.
Psychic development cannot be accomplished by intention and will alone; it needs the attraction of the symbol, whose value quantum exceeds that of the cause. But the formation of a symbol cannot take place until the mind has dwelt long enough on the elementary facts, that is to say until the inner or outer necessities of the life-process have brought about a transformation of energy.["On Psychic Energy," CW 8, par. 47.]
The symbolic attitude is at bottom constructive, in that it gives priority to understanding the meaning or purpose of psychological phenomena, rather than seeking a reductive explanation.
There are, of course, neurotics who regard their unconscious products, which are mostly morbid symptoms, as symbols of supreme importance. Generally, however, this is not what happens. On the contrary, the neurotic of today is only too prone to regard a product that may actually be full of significance as a mere "symptom."["Definitions," CW 6, par. 821.]
Jung’s primary interest in symbols lay in their ability to transform and redirect instinctive energy.
How are we to explain religious processes, for instance, whose nature is essentially symbolical? In abstract form, symbols are religious ideas; in the form of action, they are rites or ceremonies. They are the manifestation and expression of excess libido. At the same time they are stepping-stones to new activities, which must be called cultural in order to distinguish them from the instinctual functions that run their regular course according to natural law.["On Psychic Energy," CW 8, par. 91.]
The formation of symbols is going on all the time within the psyche, appearing in fantasies and dreams. In analysis, after reductive explanations have been exhausted, symbol-formation is reinforced by the constructive approach. The aim is to make instinctive energy available for meaningful work and a productive life.
- A phenomenon where an event in the outside world coincides meaningfully with a psychological state of mind.
Synchronicity . . . consists of two factors: a) An unconscious image comes into consciousness either directly (i.e., literally) or indirectly (symbolized or suggested) in the form of a dream, idea, or premonition. b) An objective situation coincides with this content. The one is as puzzling as the other.["Synchronicity: An Acausal Connecting Principle," ibid., par. 858.]
Jung associated synchronistic experiences with the relativity of space and time and a degree of unconsciousness.
The very diverse and confusing aspects of these phenomena are, so far as I can see at present, completely explicable on the assumption of a psychically relative space-time continuum. As soon as a psychic content crosses the threshold of consciousness, the synchronistic marginal phenomena disappear, time and space resume their accustomed sway, and consciousness is once more isolated in its subjectivity. . . . Conversely, synchronistic phenomena can be evoked by putting the subject into an unconscious state.["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, par. 440.]
Synchronicity was defined by Jung as an "acausal connecting principle," an essentially mysterious connection between the personal psyche and the material world, based on the fact that at bottom they are only different forms of energy.
It is not only possible but fairly probable, even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing. The synchronicity phenomena point, it seems to me, in this direction, for they show that the nonpsychic can behave like the psychic, and vice versa, without there being any causal connection between them.[Ibid., par. 418.]
- See constructive.