Monday, 7 November 2016

The Undiscovered Self by C.G.Jung


1. Title of the book: The Undiscovered Self
2. Author: C. G. Jung
3. Translator from German: R. F. C. Hull
4. First Published : 1958
5. Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd
6. Pages :  113
7. ISBN: 0-7100-1625-5(  c )
8. Rating:  *****
Normally  a person  possesses only a  limited degree of self-knowledge. State  tries to influence a person through mass movements while religion  does so  through  baptism en masse. But they do not touch the inner man  and cannot bring about any  real and fundamental change in  an individual . Nothing is achieved by  telling , persuading , admonishing , giving good advice. To  know a person , one  has to  relate to the individuality of the human being .
             We cannot ignore the existence of  the unconscious. Self-knowledge  requires not only conscious knowledge of self but also an understanding of  the unconscious self or psyche. Man’s progressively increasing concern  with consciousness  at the expense of the unconscious  results in many psychic disturbances and difficulties. In this way , man  slips into an unreal world  where the products of  his conscious activity  progressively replace reality. As our consciousness  has  broadened  and differentiated , our moral  nature has lagged behind .This is because we have neglected our unconscious , our soul. Self-knowledge  can be achieved only  by exploring our unconscious.Our unconscious  self is the source of our individuality.
              The salvation of the world consists in the salvation  of the individual  soul. Many aspects of of a neurotic’s life  are in the last analysis  , the direct effects of  the Zeitgeist. Such a condition cries out  for order and synthesis. “Resistance  to the organized mass  can be effected only by the man  who is as well organized  in his individuality  as the mass  itself”.
                 A deep-seated change  of inner man (metamorphosis)  can not come from environment .Religion , as a rule , only confirm  certain tendencies  and does  not change them.An individual  has to remould  his archetypal forms  into ideas  which are adequate to the challenge of the present. He has to give all attention to  his soul, his unconscious. It takes time to bring about psychic changes  that have any prospect of enduring .
                Preaching and persuading  are futile .But any one  who has  insight into  his own actions , his own unconscious ,  involuntarily  exercises an influence  on his environment .Its effect lasts only  so long as  it is not  disturbed by conscious intention. .
                         Our social goals commit the error  of overlooking  the psychology of the person  for whom they are intended .Otherwise they only promote his illusions.
                    This book was written in 1958 in the backdrop of communism  and clod war , but I find that it   affirms  the fundamental  truth that to know and strengthen our self , we have to look into our unconscious .Merely acquiring the knowledge of the external world and our conscious self through that knowledge is  highly inadequate.
               I strongly recommend you to read this outstanding book.