Friday, January 9, 2009

Collective Unconscious is Conscious

Jung maintained that all people share the Collective Unconscious. Through it we are connected with each other and the world in a fundamental and dissoluble way. Among the most important archetypes, are the persona, the anima and animus, and the shadow.

The persona is a mask, or public face, that we wear to protect ourselves. The animus and the anima represent both the biological and psychological aspects of masculinity and femininity, which are thought to coexist in both sexes. The shadow has the deepest roots and is the most dangerous and powerful of the archetypes. It represents our dark side, the thoughts, feelings, and actions that are socially reprehensible and those we tend to disown by projecting them outward.

In a dream all of these parts can be considered manifestations of who and what we are. The contents of the Collective Unconscious are the foundation of transpersonal experiences. While we usually experience such archetypes indirectly through dreams, rituals, and symbols, mystical experiences, Jung maintained, are direct experiences of archetypes