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Jungian Models of the Psyche

Jungian Models of the Psyche

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Published by: Netqwest on Jun 24, 2012
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Jungian Models of the Psyche
Circle Models
Jung (1981) says that both conscious and unconscious experiences are relative and he speaks of a “threshold of consciousness” (p. 174) which separates the two. It is the relativity of the unconscious that temps us to label one area as asubconscious and another as a superconscious. Jung (1981) refers to this relativity as a "scale of intensities of consciousness” (p. 187). But we cannot have total consciousness or total unconsciousness in that each always carries withit the germ of the other. In the same way, nature has no complex systems that are totally orderly or totally chaotic, but alldissipative structures have differing degrees of both. We can see this graphically in Figure 5, a simplified circle model of thepsyche (adapted from Jacobi, 1973).
Figure 5. Simplified Circular Model of Jung's Psyche.
In this dynamic model, the ego is shown surrounded by the conscious and unconscious with a shifting line (afractal) dividing the two areas. The arrows indicate the ability of the dividing line to move as we become aware of someunconscious contents, and forget or repress others. This model shows the psyche as a closed system with the ego lookingoutward toward consciousness and inward toward the unconscious. The model is especially useful to demonstrate thedynamics of the thin borderline interface that exists between consciousness and the unconscious.Figure 6 shows another circular model of the psyche (adapted from Jacobi, 1973) in which the ego resides inconsciousness and is surrounded on all sides by the unconscious. This simplified model also shows the psyche as a closedsystem. Here the unconscious is divided into the personal unconscious, adjacent to the ego, and the collectiveunconscious, which is farther removed from the ego.
Figure 6. Another Circular Model of Jung's Psyche.
Jungian Models of the Psychehttp://www.schuelers.com/ChaosPsyche/part_1_17.htm1 of 55/8/2012 5:44 PM
 According to Jung, (1990) the personal unconscious contains various complexes, while the collective unconsciouscontains archetypes and instincts. When we equate consciousness with order, and the unconscious with chaos, we can seefrom the model that our personal unconscious lies immediately between the two extremes. It is sandwiched between order and chaos, and therefore can be viewed as a region of complexity in which the relationships between order/ conscious andchaos/unconscious can best be seen. This is the realm of the imagination.
Conical Model
Figure 7 shows a conical model of the psyche with the major parts of the psyche as portions of a cone (adaptedfrom Jacobi, 1973). Here the ego is illustrated as the tip of a large cone whose base is the collective unconscious. Thecollective unconscious is divided into two main sections: (1) that part which can become conscious, and (2) that part whichwill never become conscious. Each section of the cone rises up from, and exists upon, the lower section. The ego canconsciously perceive part of the collective unconscious. However, the model suggests that we can only view the collectiveunconscious through the filter of our own personal unconscious, and thus perceptions may vary.
 Figure 7. Conical Model of Jung's Psyche.
Wave Model
Figure 8 shows a model of the psyche as a wave rising up from an ocean of what is called
central energy 
. Jacobi(1973) calls the central energy “unfathomable” and says:The central energy runs through all subsequent differentiations; it lives in them all and cuts across them tothe individual psyche; it is the only factor that remains unchanged in every situation. (p. 34)The central energy in Figure 8 is equivalent to the “deepest part of the collective unconscious that can never bemade conscious” in Figure 7. It is the substratum or bedrock of the psyche.
Jungian Models of the Psychehttp://www.schuelers.com/ChaosPsyche/part_1_17.htm2 of 55/8/2012 5:44 PM
Figure 8. Wave Model of Jung's Psyche.
Libido Model
Figure 9 shows the dynamics of the psyche in terms of the flow of libido. The libido in the psyche manifests itself tothe ego as images, and does so through the creative power of the imagination (Jacobi, 1973). The imagination producesimages from unconscious contents and provides them to the ego where they become conscious. In this way, theimagination, in the personal unconscious, serves as a transmitter which “transforms the chaos of the unconscious contentsinto such images as appear in dreams, fantasies, visions, and every variety of creative art” (p. 59). The significance or meaning attributed to any image depends upon its
value intensity 
or level of libido (we will attempt to quantify intensitylater).Libido flows throughout the psyche, seeking balance and harmony. Neurotic symptoms and complexes are causedwhen this flow becomes dammed or blocked for any reason.
Figure 9. Libido Model of Jung's Psyche. 
Open Systems Model
Figure 10 shows a model of the psyche as an open system (adapted from Jacobi 1973). Here the center of thepsyche is the Self, balanced by the ego together with the shadow balanced by the persona. This model illustrates the opennature of Jung’s view of the psyche. At the conscious end, the
acts as a filter for the ego to the external world,while at the unconscious end, the archetype of the
acts as a filter to the collective unconscious. Thepersona is created by the ego as a defense mechanism for the shadow and the two energies tend to balance each other.
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