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A Library Guide to Jung's Collected Works

Explore Jungian psychology resources available from the Pacifica Graduate Library

Reference publications on the Collective Unconscious

Jung on the Collective Unconscious

Jung's essays on the Collective Unconscious from the Collected Works:

Additional resources on the Collective Unconscious

Ebooks available from the library:

Print books available from the library:

Journal articles available from the library:

Burniston, F. (2020). The way up and the way down are one and the same. Psychological Perspectives, 63(1), 95–105.
Abstract: "The author begins in the pitch darkness of the somatic unconscious, works his way up through the instinctual level of the collective unconscious to the imaginal level, and then to the spiritual unconscious. Jung’s concept of synchronicity unifies all four levels. The postscript is an experimental dialogue with Ibn Arabi scholar Samir Mahmoud."

Cashford, J. (2018). “Who is my Jung?” The progressive, though sometimes ambivalent, expansion of Jung’s idea of the collective unconscious: from an “unconscious humanity” to - in all but name - the soul of the world. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 63(3), 322—335.
Abstract: "This paper discusses Jung's idea of myth as a projection of the collective unconscious, suggesting that the term 'projection' separates human beings from nature, withdrawing nature's life into humanity. Jung's discovery of a realm independent of consciousness - in conversations with his soul in The Red Book, and in synchronicity, began a dialogue which finally brought him, through the Alchemical Mercurius, closer to the idea of a world-soul."

von Franz, M.-L. (2016). Confrontation with the collective unconscious. Psychological Perspectives, 59 (3), 295–318. (2016-44047-003).
Abstract: "In this previously unpublished presentation given by Jung's esteemed student and colleague, Marie-Louise von Franz, at the C. G. Jung Institute of Los Angeles in 1976, she discusses the shifting attitudes toward the concept of the collective unconscious and toward the experience of it as a 'tremendous psychic reality' in both positive and negative forms. With her customary wit, von Franz then explores in depth what she identifies as the four stages of active imagination—the method Jung developed for coping with the impact of unconscious contents—and distinguishes it from other methodologies, such as meditation. Using the books by Carlos Castaneda as examples of shifting attitudes, she (sometimes humorously) compares Don Juan's description of dreaming with active imagination, noting 'This Don Juan is a natural genius,' but 'I can't stand Castaneda.' A fascinating question-and-answer section follows the presentation. Throughout, von Franz remains eminently down-to-earth and genuine in her style of communication even as she covers what some regard as highly abstract topics."

Hunt, H. T. (2012). “A collective unconscious reconsidered: Jung’s archetypal imagination in the light of contemporary psychology and social science. The Journal of Analytical Psychology, 57(1), 76—98.
Abstract: "A needed rapprochement between Jung and the contemporary human sciences may rest less on the much debated relevance of a biologistic collective unconscious than on a re-inscribing of an archetypal imagination, as the phenomenological and empirical core of Jungian psychology. The most promising approaches in this regard in terms of theory and research in psychology come from combining the cognitive psychology of metaphor and synaesthesia, individual differences in imaginative absorption and openness to numinous experience and spirituality as a form of symbolic intelligence. On the socio-cultural side, this cognitive psychology of archetypal imagination is also congruent with Lèvi-Strauss on the metaphoric roots of mythological thinking, and Durkheim on a sociology of collective consciousness. This conjoined perspective, while validating the cross cultural commonality of physical metaphor intuited by Jung and Hillman on alchemy, also shows Jung’s Red Book, considered as the expressive source for his more formal psychology, to be far closer in spirit to a socio-cultural collective consciousness, based on metaphoric imagination, than to a phylogenetic or evolutionary unconscious. A mutual re-inscribing of Jung into congruent areas of contemporary psychology, anthropology, sociology, and vice versa, can help to further validate Jung’s key observations and is fully consistent with Jung’s own early efforts at synthesis within the human sciences."

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