Friday, March 16, 2018

ego-transcendence, Jung

Jung described the phenomenon at some length (Jung, 1955; Whitmont, 1969; Edinger, 1972)

In the first half of life, Jung believed, an individual develops the ego-the center of conscious identity
and personal will. The ego opposes the unconscious and particularly tries to suppress impulses which conflict with the individual's conscious self-concept. For example, Jung felt that men repress their feminine side in order to fit their conception of masculinity, while women suppress their masculine side. The unconscious is not just a chaotic mass of unacceptable impulses, however. Jung believed that within it lay great creative potential and untapped resources. In particular, he felt the unconscious contained the inner, true Self-a center of harmony, integration, and unity, towards which the individual constantly struggles.

The challenge of the second half of life, Jung felt, involves transcending the narrow dimensions of the conscious ego. The individual can then explore the unfamiliar and often frightening world of the unconscious, seeking the inner self. This true Self, with a capital S, is often symbolized as a divine being in dreams and myths, to emphasize the fact that the Self transcend s the conscious ego, just as the gods transcend man.

JUNG, C. G. (I 955a). Psychology and alchemy. Collected Works, Volume 12. Princeton: Princeton Univ, Press.

JUNG, C. G. (l95Sb). The archetypes and the collective unconscious. Collected Works, Volume 12. Princeton: Princeton Univ, Press.

EDINGER, E. (1972). Ego and archetype: Individuation and the religious function oj the psyche. Middlesex: Penguin.

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