unconcious mind freud repression psychoanalysis
[collective unconcious mind]
unconcious jung

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The unconcious mind

The possibility that people have an unconcious mind aspect to their psychologies has a long history of support amongst psychologists and philosophers.
Two of the more prominent of the psychological thinkers and theorists who proposed the recognition of an unconcious mind being Sigmund Freud and Karl Gustav Jung.

For Freud the unconcious mind was principally a reservoir of repression in the form of repressed memories of traumatic experiences and also repressed socially unacceptable ideas, wishes or desires. Freud held that this reservoir of repression could act, in ways unconcious to the concious mind of the individual concerned, to affect how an individual subsequently behaved or how an individual felt comfortable whilst behaving.  

People might be reluctant to explicitly face the socially unacceptable impulses or traumatic events that they had psychologically repressed but through psychoanalysis, with the aid of therapists acting as mediators, individuals might be helped by faciltating them in facing their repressions allowing what was hidden in revealing itself.

Freud held that unconscious thoughts not directly accessible to ordinary introspection could be interpreted by special methods and techniques such as random association and dream analysis as tested and conducted during psychoanalysis. People might also make verbal slips, of a sort now widely known as Freudian slips, that could reveal something of their underlying psychology.  

unconcious mind

  Jung's theorisings were largely based on a period of intense self-analysis, later made a distinction between the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. The individual unconscious could be seen as the set of repressed feelings and thoughts experienced and developed during an individual person's lifetime. The collective unconscious could be seen as the set of inherited and typical modes of expression, feeling, thought, and memory that were seemingly innate to all human beings.

  Jung saw the collective unconscious as being made up of so-called "archetypes". These archetypes being potentialities, or proclivities, that can find a channel of expression in the finding of a mate, religion, art, myth, and even in the eventual facing of death.


An idea of potential or proclivity, of an unconcious expression of individual Humanity composed of such aspects as honesty, manhood and good fellowship is hinted at by Shakespeare when he writes:-  

  There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good fellowship in thee.

It is widely known that Plato, pupil of and close friend to Socrates, accepted that Human Beings have a " Tripartite Soul " where individual Human Psychology is composed of three aspects - Wisdom-Rationality, Spirited-Will and Appetite-Desire.

What is less widely appreciated is that such major World Faiths as Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism see "Spirituality" as being relative to "Desire" and to "Wrath" as these brief excerpts from Hindu scriptures illustrate:-

In the Bhagavad Gita we read -

Arjuna spoke.
  But by what is a man impelled, O Varshneya! when he commits sin even against his will, as if compelled by force?

The Holy One spoke.
  It is lust: it is wrath, born from the "passion" mode: know that this, all-devouring, all-defiling, is here our foe.

Bhagavad Gita 3: 36- 37

and again -

  He who even here, ere he is freed from the body, can resist the impulse of lust and wrath, he is devout; he is blessed.
  He who is happy in himself, pleased with himself, who finds also light in himself, this Yogin, one with Brahman, finds nirvãna in him.
  The (wise and holy men) whose sins are destroyed, whose doubts are removed, who are self-restrained and pleased with the well-being of all that live, obtain nirvãna in Brahman.
  They who are freed from lust and wrath, who are subdued in nature and in thought, and who know the soul, are near to nirvãna in Brahman.

Bhagavad Gita 5: 22-26

Introductory quotations
Jean Piaget
Dr. William Sheldon on personality and temperament
Carl Gustav Jung
B.F. Skinner


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The unconcious mind