Review of 'The Undiscovered Self' by Carl Gustav Jung

Review of 'The Undiscovered Self' by Carl Gustav Jung - The...

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The Undiscovered Self by Carl Gustav Jung Said Saillant AP Psychology Prof. D. Holmes October 9, 2006
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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 chapter. Summary 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.
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This note was uploaded on 06/01/2009 for the course PSYCHOLOGY N/A taught by Professor Unknown during the Fall '06 term at Rutgers.

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Review of 'The Undiscovered Self' by Carl Gustav Jung - The...

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