Psyche is essentially conflict between blind instinct and will (freedom of choice). Where instinct predominates, psychoid processes set in which pertain to the sphere of the unconscious as elements incapable of consciousness. The psychoid process is not the unconscious as such, for this has a far greater extension. ["On the Nature of the Psyche," CW 8, para. 380]
It seems to me probable that the real nature of the archetype is not capable of being made conscious, that it is transcendent, on which account I call it psychoid. [Ibid., par. 417]
the archetypes are as it were the hidden foundations of the conscious mind, or, to use another comparison, the roots which the psyche has sunk not only in the earth in the narrower sense but in the world in general. (Jung 1927/1931b: par. 53)To this non-psychic aspect Jung gave the term 'psychoid' archetype and it represents his boldest contribution to the resolution of the body-mind problem." (p. 87) [Read more]
Addison, A. (2017). Jung’s psychoid concept: An hermeneutic understanding. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 9(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/19409052.2016.1267657
Abstract: Jung’s psychoid concept is not one of his most widely published ideas but it is one of his most fundamental, and his thinking on the subject occupied him for most of his career. Theoretically, he grounded the concept in the history of vitalism, but his ideas also had hermeneutic origins, in his self-experimentation and active imagination, as described in The Red Book. This paper reviews such hermeneutic background, and its value for informing a clinically relevant understanding of the psychoid concept.
Addison, A. (2009). Jung, vitalism and “the psychoid”: An historical reconstruction. The Journal of Analytical Psychology, 54(1), 123–142. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5922.2008.01762.x
Abstract: This paper traces the history of Jung’s ideas concerning the psychoid unconscious, from their origins in the work of the vitalist, Hans Driesch, and his concept of Das Psychoid, through the subsequent work of Eugen Bleuler, Director of the Burghölzli Asylum, and his concept of Die Psychoide, to the publication of Jung’s paper On the Nature of the Psyche in 1947. This involves a review of Jung’s early work and of his meeting with Freud, when apparently the two men discussed calling the unconscious ‘psychoid’, as well as a review of Jung’s more mature ideas concerning a psychoid unconscious. I propose to argue that even at the time of their meeting, Jung had already formulated an epistemological approach that was significantly different from that of Freud and that clearly foreshadowed his later ideas as set out in On the Nature of the Psyche.
Clark, G. (1996). The animating body: Psychoid substance as a mutual experience of psychosomatic disorder. The Journal of Analytical Psychology, 41(3), 353–368. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1465-5922.1996.00353.x
Abstract: Starting from Jung’s hypothesis of the psychoid, the author suggests that the concept can be extended and understood as a dynamic, relational and interpersonal experience, especially in regressed analytic relations. The author then defines his use of the term animating body as having to do with primitive animal imagery and with psychosomatic symptoms stemming from disturbed pre-verbal and pre-whole-object stages of development. A case of a borderline patient is presented, whose projective identifications into the analyst infected him with her psychosomatic disorder, with her internalized Oedipal confusion and necessarily induced a mutually similar animal dream symbolism. If these embodied countertransference experiences (of desperate merging and sickening identification) can be lived through (tolerated and survived), thought through and interpreted, then they can actually become enlivening and lead to a therapeutic psychosomatic coordination.
Mills, J. (2014). Jung as philosopher: Archetypes, the psychoid factor, and the question of the supernatural. International Journal of Jungian Studies, 6(3), 227–242. https://doi.org/10.1080/19409052.2014.921226
Abstract: In a previous essay offering an exegesis of Jung’s metaphysics, I concluded that his position on the archetypes emphasizes basic constitutional patterns that manifest as imago, thought, affect, fantasy, and behavior inherent in all forms of human psychic life (bios) that are genetically transmitted yet realized on different stratifications of psychical order, including mystical properties emanating from supernatural origins. Mark Saban and Robert Segal provide thoughtful critiques of my work that challenge my basic premises. Saban represents a particular Jungian camp conforming to empirical apologetics, while Segal is more critical of Jung’s philosophical ideas. The two main themes that emerge from their criticism are that I fail to show that Jung is a metaphysician, and that the archetypes are not supernatural phenomena. Here I will be concerned with recapitulating Jung’s metaphysical postulations about the world and psyche and address more specifically the question of his commitment to supernaturalism.
Yiassemides, A. (2011). Chronos in synchronicity: Manifestations of the psychoid reality. The Journal of Analytical Psychology, 56(4), 451–470. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5922.2011.01923.x
Abstract: Jung’s most obvious time-related concept is synchronicity. Yet, even though “time” is embedded in it ( chronos) there has been no systematic treatment of the time factor. Jung himself avoided dealing explicitly with the concept of time in synchronicity, in spite of its temporal assumptions and implications. In this paper the role of time in synchronicity is examined afresh, locating it in the context of meaning and relating it to the psychoid archetype. Synchronicity is viewed as an expression of the psychoid; the vital parameter for the elucidation of this link appears to be time. The author argues that the psychoid rests on relative time which Jung deemed transcendent. The existence of two different uses of the word “time” in Jung’s opus are emphasized: fixed time that dominates consciousness and relative time that exists in the psyche at large. Since consciousness cannot grasp the psychoid’s temporality it de-relativizes time; examples of this “behaviour” of time can be observed in instances of synchronicity. It is thus argued that synchronicity demonstrates by analogy the nature of the psychoid archetype. Jung’s quaternio, as it developed via his communication with Pauli, is also examined in light of the above presented "time theory"
Cadigan, J. L. (2007). The psychoid: Articulating a psychophysical reality (Publication No. 304716143). [Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Abstract: There is no doubt that we are currently witnessing the end of an era and the emergence of a new one. Understood as a paradigm shift, this movement is not about the addition of new material for thought, but more critically concerns an actual shift in the manner of thought—not a change in what one thinks but how one thinks. According to Jung, this new paradigm is being ushered in by the constellation of new psychic dominants or archetypes, which will bring about, or accompany, a lasting transformation of the collective psyche. Specific to this new paradigm is an expected vision of reality as psychophysical. This work serves to give shape and definition to the emerging psychophysical perspective. Recent discoveries in depth psychology and quantum physics provide ideas and conceptualizations, such as complementarity and synchronicity, which, if sufficiently expanded and appropriately interpreted, are invaluable for constructing a foundation strong enough and large enough to contain a psychophysical perspective. Critical to a psychophysical vision is the discovery that both psyche and world share a single transcendental matrix identified as the psychoid. This psychophysical whole not only contains psyche and world; it also acts autonomously and independent of them. Thus, in the new psychophysical worldview, there are three players: psyche, world, and psychoid. For depth psychologists, this paradigm shift will ultimately relativize the current position of an individual psyche. Psychophysical alignment moves the individual into a functioning role as active participant in reality, along with the world and the psychoid. This evolutionary move is not a subtle one and will require the involvement of many to create and breathe life into the new relationships, processes, images, and goals that must naturally replace those of an outdated aeon.
Eilythia-Misra, J. (2014). Dreams and pregnancy: Psychoid energies (Publication No. 3684132). [Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
Abstract: This research explores how dreams are impacted by pregnancy. Using a heuristic study, the research purports to examine how complexes, unconscious material, and change may occur in the psyche due to pregnancy. The researcher includes ten dreams from the time of pregnancy and their corresponding sketches. Active imagination and a period of incubating dream material was employed. The researcher looks at multiple lenses pertaining to how dream material may aid a mother in understanding psychic material that is lodged and unearthed during the process of pregnancy. How a mother relates to her new role of motherhood, as well as to her developing identity as a mother and to communication that may come by way of dreams and body sensations, was also examined. The study will produce an in-depth portrayal of communication that occurs across the liminal divide between a mother and her developing child. The psychoid layer, at which psyche and matter are undifferentiated, will be understood as being experienced through meta-communications, body sensations, and states of knowing. Psychoid energies may be experienced through dreams, precognition, and telepathic communication, or alpha states, that may occur between a mother and her developing child. The focus is to address the unconscious, as it is known through the interface between the invisible world and form. There may be an interplay in which what happens on the level of the personal mother may also happen across space and time through the gestation of larger, archetypal, possibly universal themes. By taking psyche into account, to uncover what a mother's dreams may say about her internal development, as well as that of her child and ancestral or familial template, may bring more depth into understanding a pregnancy and its overall health. Dreams are part of understanding the inner layers of being that may become more apparent as the inside is harvested through a pregnancy. The unconscious needs to be included in attending to the whole individual as change occurs "in and through the unconscious" (Jung, 1974, p. 99).