“Searching for a cosmic connection and experiencing a sacred and divine is the core need of the self. To deny this leads to spiritual disintegration, but if we embrace it, the soul with meaning is enlightened.”CGJung
In “Carl Gustav Jung’s Psychotherapy Skills Training Based on Analytical Psychology Theory”, which I have been taking for a while, we examine Jung’s view of the concept of consciousness and the connection between consciousnesses (collective unconscious). Jung, whom Freud regarded as his son and a very close student, is one of the most important thinkers in the field of psychology. The basic concepts of analytical psychology theory or Jungian psychology, which Jung created by examining religions, mythologies, eastern philosophy and alchemy in detail, are consciousness, personal unconscious, complexes, collective unconscious and archetypes. When Jung’s views are considered in terms of today’s social systems and psychology, we see that the basic way to understand people and solve their problems is to be able to address the human soul and understand the structure of the soul. Jung sees mental problems as a great threat to society and states that unfortunately people are not aware of this yet and have not found a solution. Jung says that the ultimate purpose of life is to individuate and integrate.
So what does Jung mean by integrating? According to Jung, the baby, whose self is whole in the first years of life, experiences contrasts and separation as he grows, and when he reaches adolescence, the self is divided into two basic structures as “ego” and “self”. The ego, which is often used to mean being arrogant in daily life, is actually a very important part of the self. The ego acts as a filter between the unconscious and the conscious so that we don’t lose our minds. In other words, the ego is a very important element that provides our perception of reality and prevents the fragmentation of the self. The ego, which we can define as a conscious mind organization, does not like distress and disruption of its order. It sees any source of stress that it thinks will disrupt its order as a threat and produces defense mechanisms. Ego prevents disintegration by ensuring the consistency of identity. He alone is like a child in the 0-7 age range at the same time. For this reason, she needs a parent who will educate her with unconditional acceptance but consistency. Here we call this part of our personality, which has the task of educating the ego, “self”.
The self is a dynamic concept that has undergone many changes since it was first conceptualized as one of the Jungian archetypes. The concept of archetype, which was introduced to the psychology literature by Jung, is defined by Jung as universal thought forms with a very strong emotional aspect. The effects of archetypes, which are the elements that make up the collective unconscious of humanity, are seen in all works of art, and these works give the impression of being the common property of humanity. Archetypes are existential codes that exist in the structure of every human being and continue inherited from generation to generation. Here the ego and self archetypes are the basic archetypes that are very important in the integration of the self. According to Jung, the self archetype (self, self) expresses the union of unconscious and conscious in a person and the representation of the soul as a whole.
Self (self, self) organizes other archetypes in the unconscious and organizes the access of archetypes to consciousness and ensures the integration of the personality. It is about the self that a person can feel himself in harmony. The self usually develops in middle age because it is only by this age that the personality emerges and is fully developed and individualized. According to Jung, the self has a structure that extends to both areas, conscious and unconscious. In this respect, Jung explains the conscious and unconscious as two opposite but complementary structures. According to Jung, individuation and integration, which is the ultimate goal of human life, is about the integration of the conscious and unconscious.
Jung defines the individuation process as the developmental separation of systems in the baby’s personality, which begins his life as an undifferentiated whole. Integration, on the other hand, refers to the merging of opposite features in the personality of the individuated person and the process of this merging to form the self. Jung, who is also closely interested in alchemy, says that this process is very similar to alchemy and defines alchemy as a science that offers the integration of matter and spirit, the unity of opposites and the study of spiritual transformation. According to Jung, the symbols of alchemy show the state of the inner world of man, which is not separated from the outer world.
To summarize, I can say that we are not just ego, our ultimate goal is to integrate our disjointed parts and reach our self, that is, our essence. The goal of providing this integrity of the self includes individualization, self-realization, that is, being a perfect human being. Jung has already taken the concept of self from eastern philosophy. According to Jung, the self, which is the purpose of life, is both transcendent and immanent in the unconscious. The ego is also the reason why the process of reaching the self is not instantaneous and not easy. Because the ego is there long before the self. And the way to integrate and reach the self is to cooperate with the ego.
Mustafa Cem Oguz