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Gabriela Cassar

Theories of Self

Undiscovered Self by Carl Jung

In Carl Jungs book Undiscovered Self there are seven different sections that go along
with how to discover our true self and separate ourselves from modern society. The first chapter,
The Plight of the Individual in Modern Society talks about individualism and abstract
knowledge compared to scientifically proven facts.
Jung shares his opinion of society as a whole; he explains that everyone shouldnt be
treated the same way when were all significantly different inside. When he speaks about
individuality, he explains how in our time today its hard to tell if someone is truly interested in
something or if theyre simply just going along with what others in society find entertaining.
In his second chapter Religion as the counterbalance to the mass-mindedness, Jung
describes religion as a personal intimate relationship with God that is needed to discover our self
morals. At this point in the book I began to become a bit confused by Jungs intellectual thoughts
but I think I grasped his concept that many forms of religion are similar to dictatorship. Jung
writes, Both the dictator State and denominational religion lay quite particular emphasis on the
idea of community. This is the basic ideal of communism, and it is thrust down the throats of
the people so much that it has the exact opposite of the desired effect: it inspires divisive mistrust
(Jung 20). I can agree with Jungs statement, some religions in society tend to push out others

by being taught to not accept certain types of people that dont have the same belief system and
thats not how I personally believe religion should be.
Another quote from Jung that made me think about my personal experiences with God is,
The Churches stand for traditional and collective convictions which in the case of many of their
adherents are no longer based on their own inner experience but on unreflecting belief, which is
notoriously apt to disappear as soon as one begins thinking about (Jung 26). Ive learned that
often religion doesnt leave much room for individuals freedom.
Another part I found fascinating while reading this book was when Jung began to talk
about knowledge and faith. Science has proven certain religious beliefs to be quite impossible
but people continue to have faith in their religion and according to Carl Jung, the rupture
between faith and knowledge is a symptom of the split consciousness (Jung 53). Jung does an
excellent job describing the different view points from the philosophical and psychological
approach to life.
One last quote I found intriguing is Happiness and contentment, equability of soul and
meaningfulness of life these can be experienced only by the individual and not by a State,
which, on the one hand, is nothing but a convention of independent individuals and, on the other,
continually threatens to paralyze and suppress the individual (Jung 78).
This quote, along with many others, has brought to my attention that we cannot know our
inner self until we have found our meaning in life and to find that meaning we each need to have
our own individual experiences and personal thoughts; making us who we are.