Over 50 years ago Dr. Carl Gustav Jung wrote THE UNDISCOVERED SELF. It was the culmination of a life's work and in my opinion the most important thing he ever published. Though many of the books and essays in his Collected Works can claim to be more ground breaking or scholarly treatise, THE UNDISCOVERED SELF is by far the most relevant for the common man today.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of Dr. Jung's death, but his words are as current and relevant today as they have ever been. The dangers he saw in his day--fascism, Marxism, nationalism, and a host of others--all shared a common bond. Dr. Jung, after a lifetime of study and research into the human mind, saw the trend toward collectivism as the greatest threat to our individual Self.
Dr. Jung noted that whenever individuals are pressed into a group an averaging effect occurs and part of the individual Self is sacrificed in order to fit-in to the norm of the group. We stop thinking in terms of Self and the group becomes our personae. The larger the group the more the individual suffers. He pointed to the Iron Curtain as a physical manifestation and symbol of a psychic schism within mankind.
He also warned that the freedom-loving West was not immune to the psychic infection of the communist Eastern Block, but rather more susceptible because of our free and open-minded societies. The fall of the Iron Curtain in modern times did not symbolize an end to the schism Jung described, but more ominously the acceptance in the West of collective ideals.
Jung's words ring soundly today in our modern electronic society of larger groups, stronger connections, greater integration, and socio-political correctness. Our nationalism has turned to internationalism and our group has become global. Individualism is under greater assault today than at any point in history--Jung's words live on in an almost prophetic sense. The Self continues to drown in a sea of collectivism.
I based much of the psychology in THE COLLECTIVE on the writings of Jung and other like-minded philosophers. Jung's ideas on the compensatory nature of the subconscious, the opposites which battle within us, are represented in the arch-types of The Collective and the ArchAngel network and in the characters themselves. Dr. John Peterson is the embattled voice of the individual Self standing against the supreme power of The Collective.
I endeavored, as an author, to remain neutral. I present the compensatory opposites noted by Dr. Jung. It was his belief that the path to human health and wheal lay in individuation. Others see the road to peace and enlightenment in collective integration. One reader noted that at one point she was pulling for the wrong side, so I think I accomplished my goal. As John says, "The choice has become conscious. It is up to mankind to decide."
I strongly recommend THE UNDISCOVERED SELF to readers of all ages and backgrounds. It was written with the common reader in mind and not as a dry scholarly text. Dr. Jung uses his wonderful wit and colorful vision throughout the narrative to keep the reader enthralled with his words. His delightful personality and love of life come through on every page.