Levels of the Psyche

Jung, like Freud, based his personality theory on the assumption that the mind, or psyche, has both a conscious and an unconscious level. Unlike Freud, however, Jung strongly asserted that the most important portion of the unconscious sprhigs not from personal experiences of the hidividual but from the distant past of human existence, a concept Jung called the collective unconscious. Of lesser importance to Jun-gian theory are the conscious and the personal unconscious.


Accordhig to Jung, conscious images are those that are sensed by the ego, whereas unconscious elements have no relationship with the ego. Jung's notion of the ego is more restrictive than Freud's. Jung saw the ego as the center of consciousness, but not the core of personality. Ego is not the whole personality, but must be completed by the more comprehensive self, the center of personality that is largely unconscious. In a psychologically healthy person, the ego takes a secondary position to the unconscious self (Jung, 195 l/1959a). Thus, consciousness plays a relatively minor role in analytical psychology, and an overemphasis on expanding one's conscious psyche

104 Part II Psychodynamic Theories can lead to psychological unbalance. Healthy individuals are in contact with their conscious world but they also allow themselves to experience then unconscious self and thus to achieve individuation, a concept we discuss in the section titled Self-Realization.

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