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The Unconscious, for Jung, Has a Purpose and Carries Meaning

According to Jung, the unconscious is a repository of relics. His experiences with both psychotics and neurotics added to his observations of the fantasy material produced, which encouraged him to think that there were formative elements that were not in the ego's consciousness, but somewhere else in the psyche. Through the rich material produced by patients, especially through art, Jung began to identify that some images came from complexes, but others were so impersonal and primordial that they could not be explained by the subject's experience. In this way, Jung began to consider the nature of the psyche until he built his psychological theory, in which the unconscious is the bearer of meaning. For example, in certain altered states of consciousness we will find a subliminal subject that is not the ego, but which reveals a certain intention and will. The ego can therefore establish a dialog with this 'sub-personality'.


In many of his writings, Jung cites Bleuler's term psychoid, recognizing it as the sum of the functions of the body and the central nervous system, oriented towards the conservation of life. In Jung's terms, psychoid is a term that describes processes that are quasi-psychic, proposing the consciousness of the ego and the unconscious (personal and collective) as distinct from other life-preserving functions. He recognizes the body as also oriented towards a purpose outside the realm of the psyche, the preservation of life (instincts). Thus, Jung demonstrates that the unconscious has a purpose in its existence, and its processes go beyond the somatic energy of pure bodily processes. In short, the unconscious exerts a very powerful influence on life, emotions and behavior, even though consciousness has no idea of its purpose or meaning. It is our essence, what we really are!


This article was written by:

Regina Nohra

Director-President of IMHEP

Pedagogue, Clinical Psychologist-Hypnotherapist

Reg. MEC nº 54.858 / CRP 05/22916

Human Development Center - Regina Nohra

Support: IMHEP - Milton H. Erickson Institute of Petrópolis

Affiliated with The Milton H. Erickson Foundation, Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, US

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