The book “The Undiscovered Self” by C. G. Jung is a great book where he writes
about philosophical matters in psychological terms; He eloquently explains man’s
position in relation to the state, church, himself, and the meanings of each of those
relations without any empirical evidence. I will be summarizing the book chapter by
The Plight of the Individual in Modern Society
What will the future bring? From time immemorial this question has occupied men’s
minds, though not always to the same degree. Historically, it is chiefly in times of
physical, political, economic, and spiritual distress that men’s eyes turn with anxious
hope to the future, and when anticipations, utopias and apocalyptic visions multiply.
What is the significance of this split, symbolized by the “Iron Curtain,” which divides
humanity into two halves? Most people confuse “self-knowledge” with knowledge of
their conscious ego personalities. Anyone who has ego-consciousness at all takes for
granted that he knows himself. Although he lives in it and with it, most of it is totally
unknown to the layman, and special knowledge is needed to acquaint consciousness with
what is known of the body, not to speak of all that is not known. Since self-knowledge is
a matter of getting to know the individual facts, theories help very little in this respect.
Any theory based on experience is necessarily statistical; that is to say, it formulates an
ideal average which abolishes all exceptions at either end of the scale and replaces them
by an abstract mean. This mean is valid, though it need not necessarily occur in reality.
Therefore what we take to be reality has the character of irregularity. But in
understanding man ALL individual features are of paramount importance. In view of the
fact that in principle, the positive advantages of knowledge work specifically to the
disadvantages of understanding, results in somewhat of a paradox.
Religion as the Counterbalance to Mass-Mindedness
In order to free the fiction of the sovereign state- in other words, the whims of those who
manipulate it- from every wholesome restriction all socio-political movements tending in
this direction invariably try to cut the ground from under the religions. For, in order to
turn the individual into a function of the state, his dependence on anything beside the
State must be taken from him. But religion means dependence on and submission to the
irrational facts of experience. These do not refer directly to social and physical
conditions; they concern far more the individual’s psychic attitude. If statistical reality is
the only reality, then it is the sole authority. There is then only one condition, and no
contrary condition exists, judgment and decision are not only superfluous but impossible.