Happiness Academy Online

A Blog about Psychology (Jungian), Spirituality and Happiness, By Roberto Lima Netto.

Archetypes and the collective unconscious

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We have been frequently using Jungian psychology in our discussions and it is fair to present some of its basic ideas and concepts developed by Jung in simplified words. In this post we will deal with the collective unconscious.

The structure of the psyche was one of the points of disagreement between were Freud and Jung. Freud developed the notion that human beings carry inside their psyche an unconscious portion, with all the repressed personal material gathered since we were born. Jung went further. In addition to the personal material kept in the personal unconscious, we have a collective unconscious with the material gathered since the beginning of humanity.

Our body evolved through time, but the memory of the past is still there – our coccyx being the remains of a tail. Likewise our mind also keeps in the collective unconscious all the evolution of humanity in the form or archetypes. Freud never accepted such a broad definition of the unconscious.and this was one of the motives of the separation of the two.

The archetype is a difficult concept to understand, but can be easily explained with a simple metaphor. The dry bed of a river is not the river, but it is prepared to carry the water when the rain pours. When the water comes, that bed will give form to the river. The same happens to the archetypes within the collective unconscious of the human mind. They are prepared to channel the stimuli which rains on its dry bed.

Jung explains that the concept of the archetype stems from the recurring observation that myths and the subjects of universal literature encompass well-defined themes that reappear constantly. We find these very same themes in our fantasies and in our dreams. These images are representations of the archetypes which appear in the psyche of modern man.

Roberto Lima Netto believes that our objective in life is to be happy, and that Jungian psychology and Spirituality, his main areas of interest, can help us in this search for happiness. He is the author of several books, including “The Little Prince for Grown-ups”  and  “The Jungian Bible”  that can be found in Amazon. His blog is www.HappinessAcademyOnline.org.

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I was involved in the business world, as an executive of large companies and university professor since recently. I was the president CSN, the largest steel-mill of Latin America and was responsible for its turn-around. My first encounter with the teachings of the Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung, one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century, was during my midlife crisis. Reading "Man and his Symbols" at that time, inspired me to go into Jungian analysis and to begin devouring the writings of Jung and his disciples. Since then, I've been studying psychology, especially Jungian psychology and, after reaching my seventies, I decided to become a full time writer, specializing on books on Jungian psychology and psychological thrillers. Every masterpiece of literature can be absorbed through multiple interpretations, and yield powerful insights for our daily lives. My first Jungian book, “The Little Prince for Grown-ups“, in its fourth edition in Brazil, was based on the famous book of Saint-Exupéry. The second, - “The Jungian Bible” - interprets some stories of the Old Testament and world myths. As I get older and, with a bit of luck, wiser, I want to pass on to the younger generations the lessons life has taught me. Jesus Christ taught that it was easier to sell ideas with stories. Following the Master, I published in English "The Amazon Shaman" and "In Search of Happiness", two psychological thrillers around the theme of happiness.

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