Mini View of Jungian Theories
The PSYCHE is defined as three interactive aspects operating within every individual.
- The Conscious is the only part of the mind known by an individual.
- The Personal Unconscious encompasses all experiences that an individual’s ego fails to recognize or remember.
- The Collective Unconscious are memories of mental patterns inherited from our ancestral past. A rich environment filled with educational opportunities and other ways of learning are necessary for humans to become aware of these patterns and choose to change. Jung calls this “individuation,” that is, understanding and letting go of old beliefs about how to express oneself and, thereby, claiming one’s uniqueness.
Archetypes develop in these ancient mental patterns. We describe our genetic manifestations from one generation to another as “A chip off the old block.” Original patterns are seen in our myths, folktales and our projections on one another.
The ego is a small part of our total Psyche or Self, essentially the conscious mind, according to Jung. It is a necessary tool in the individual’s psychological makeup. The ego acts like a distillery allowing highly selective thoughts into its awareness. Knowing our inner selves it attempts to hang on to the familiar way we think we should be or are used to being. It can become outsized and demanding if an individual identifies only with this aspect of the Self. When we become aware that the ego is only an aspect of us, not the whole of us, we can open to the Psyche’s or Self’s broader views of who we are.