This essay is radically ‘Post'-Jungian. As with other essays that I have written it can only exist due to the immersion within Jungian psychology. But in effect I am working through Jungian psychology. Hence one is indebted to Jung but nevertheless, most definitely post-Jungian. Carl Jung was psychologically pre-modern. He had a thinking and feeling side but when he applied the thinking side to the feeling side of his psychology it was only to declare the feeling side as consisting of untouchable psychic contents which he called archetypes. They were untouchable on the grounds of their sacred luminosity. Part 1 of this essay agrees with Jung on his definitions of directed thinking and fantasy thinking. Part 1 is the briefest part of this essay. Part 2 demonstrates how I go beyond Jung and beyond James Hillman, and endorse Wolfgang Giegerich's psychology. In general this essay builds on my previous essay that was titled ‘A Post-Jungian Perspective on the Psychology of the Pre-Modern Person in today's Modern Western Culture.' Part 3 then looks specifically at the main hypothesis of orthodox Jungian psychology; the archetypes and the collective unconscious. In that part of the essay we will quote Jung and then critically respond to what he says.
[...] Jung writes that collective representations are longer contents of the unconscious, but have already been changed into conscious formulae according to tradition, generally in the form of esoteric teaching. This last is a typical means of expression for the transmission of collective contents originally derived from the unconscious.”5 What Jung calls archetypes have their place in Sociology. It is true that psychological feeling-tone is projected out onto the external world but then that's it as far as the psychological is concerned. [...]
[...] Thinking through equates to psychological ability that psychologically adapts one to the modern world. Part 3 Jung's psychology is, as Giegerich puts it, privatizing of the contents of the former public traditional knowledge, of myth, religion and metaphysics.”1 The Jungian collective unconscious (as opposed to the personal unconscious) is invented. The previous traditions of alchemy, traditional Christianity, Eastern spirituality and so on, are consumed and then are contents of the psyche, labeled archetypes; they are always there, albeit taken as facts. [...]
[...] Feeling-tone will always be present but it is thinking and intellect that are the tools that are applied in order to psychically liberate and attain clear vision. Of course, psychic inflation is common in thinkers, not just fantasy highly feeling-toned pre-moderns. However, if one is applying their thinking to psychological matters (and if they are genuine) then psychic inflation will be thought through and hence seen to be neurotic and therefore not wanted. Moreover, a modern area of study is thinking practice. [...]
[...] As Jung says, that would equate to “exhaustion”.2 However there is a message in this essay to place emphasis on thinking with directed attention because such thinking equates to “thinking that is adapted to reality.”3 Fantasy- thinking is a necessity because of the directed thinking exhaustion factor. But it is only with thinking with directed attention that we can bring the psyche to order. So we must allow ourselves to make mistakes through fantasy thinking (as the mistakes will occur anyway) but then, for our own sake, to reflect on the fantasy thinking and realize where we go wrong. [...]
[...] Conclusion Jung is remarkably unwilling to modernize psychology in-tune with the times. If myth had died then he would admit it and then act as if it had not died. Life and psyche go together but Jung would not respect cultural movement. Yet psyche is inextricably linked to that movement. Instead, Jung opted for invention. That is; Jung opted for inventing the archetypes and the collective unconscious. Or more precisely the collective unconscious is invented whilst the archetypes are collective representations that once had life as culturally collective representations but are now dying or dead. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee