What is the collective unconscious?

The collective unconscious is a term coined by Carl Jung to describe the portion of the mind that contains universal, instinctual knowledge and memories. This knowledge is not accessible to the conscious mind, but it can influence our thoughts and behavior. The collective unconscious is thought to be passed down through families and cultures, and it can contain both positive and negative memories.

The collective unconscious is said to be the source of our archetypes, which are universal symbols and images that appear in our dreams, fantasies, and myths. These archetypes may represent different aspects of the human experience, such as the animal, the shadow, the self and the persona.

Jung had the idea after having a dream in which he was in a house, where the first floor was well-styled and structured (conscious personality), the ground floor more dreary and shaded (personal unconscious), and eventually the cellar was full of with indications of primitive culture and old skeletons in it (collective unconscious).

The collective unconscious is also said to contain our personal mythologies, which are the stories that we tell ourselves about who we are and where we come from. These myths can be both positive and negative, and they can influence our behavior and outlook on life. It is important to be aware of our personal stories and beliefs because they can help us to understand our place in the world and our relationship with others.

The collective unconscious is a mysterious and fascinating concept, and it continues to be studied and explored by psychologists and researchers.