Jung on nature and the primitive unconscious


Are we not the carriers of the entire history of mankind? When a man is fifty years old, only one part of his being has existed for half a century. The other half may be millions of years old.

An unexpected champion of the naturalist's cause, Jung was an ardent believer in the value of spending time in nature. Despite being one of the greatest minds of his time, having lived through World War II he became disillusioned with modern life and blamed the atrocities of the first half of the 20th century on man's disconnection from his primitive unconscious.

Having allowed our unconscious personality to be suppressed, we are excluded from an understanding of the primitive man's education and civilization. Nevertheless, our unconscious personality still exists and occasionally erupts in an uncontrolled fashion.

For Jung, dreams were the primal or archaic mind making its presence felt, whereas during waking hours we have learnt to ignore our most deeply rooted instincts - unlike primitive people who see waking and dreaming as inseparable, each as real as the other. We now know that the dreaming function in mammals is about 140 million years old and it has a survival function.