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evidence of Collective Unconscious (Archetypal) Memory

Posted by Pelgrim on 6th June 2010

Empirical Study of Associations Between Symbols and Their Meanings: Evidence of Collective Unconscious (Archetypal) Memory Related Papers

D. H. Rosen, M.D. , S. M. Smith, Ph.D. , H. L. Huston, B.A and G. Gonzalez, B.A

College Station, Texas

D. H. Rosen, M.D. Professor of Analytical Psychology, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, and Professor of Humanities in Medicine, Texas A & M University. Author of numerous publications, and general editor of Fay Book Series in Analytical Psychology. In private practice. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

S. M. Smith, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology, Texas A & M University. Author of numerous publications on human memory research. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

H. L. Huston, B.A Second-year graduate student in clinical psychology (PhD) programme, Texas A & M University. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

G. Gonzalez, B.A Texas A & M University. Address: Department of Psychology, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, Texas 77843, USA.

Introduction

Jung postulated the existence of a collective unconscious that is common to all members of the human family (Jung 8, par. 3), and he makes a distinction between the personal unconscious ‘and an impersonal or transpersonal … collective unconscious because it is detached from anything personal [and is entirely universal]’ (Jung 4, par. 103).

Jung further posited that the collective unconscious contained archetypes: ancient motifs and predispositions to patterns of behaviour that manifest symbolically as archetypal images in dreams, art, or other cultural forms (Jung 10). Harry Prochaska writes:

An archetypal symbol rises from the deepest layers of the unconscious…. The archetypal quality in those instances where it occurs is recognized by the sense that the expression transcends specificities of time and space and ‘speaks’ to common human experiences…. Cultural expressions must transcend the boundaries of their own cultures to become genuine archetypal symbols which are recognizable as such in other times and in other places. (Prochaska 17).

We can infer that associated with the collective unconscious is a collective or archetypal memory that has its basis in biololgy, a result of the psychic evolution which parralels physical evolution.

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