1. Title of the book: The Undiscovered Self
2. Author: C. G. Jung
3. Translator from German: R. F. C. Hull
4. First Published : 1958
5. Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd
6. Pages : 113
7. ISBN: 0-7100-1625-5( c )
8. Rating: *****
Normally a person possesses only a limited degree of self-knowledge. State tries to influence a person through mass movements while religion does so through baptism en masse. But they do not touch the inner man and cannot bring about any real and fundamental change in an individual . Nothing is achieved by telling , persuading , admonishing , giving good advice. To know a person , one has to relate to the individuality of the human being .
We cannot ignore the existence of the unconscious. Self-knowledge requires not only conscious knowledge of self but also an understanding of the unconscious self or psyche. Man’s progressively increasing concern with consciousness at the expense of the unconscious results in many psychic disturbances and difficulties. In this way , man slips into an unreal world where the products of his conscious activity progressively replace reality. As our consciousness has broadened and differentiated , our moral nature has lagged behind .This is because we have neglected our unconscious , our soul. Self-knowledge can be achieved only by exploring our unconscious.Our unconscious self is the source of our individuality.
The salvation of the world consists in the salvation of the individual soul. Many aspects of of a neurotic’s life are in the last analysis , the direct effects of the Zeitgeist. Such a condition cries out for order and synthesis. “Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself”.
A deep-seated change of inner man (metamorphosis) can not come from environment .Religion , as a rule , only confirm certain tendencies and does not change them.An individual has to remould his archetypal forms into ideas which are adequate to the challenge of the present. He has to give all attention to his soul, his unconscious. It takes time to bring about psychic changes that have any prospect of enduring .
Preaching and persuading are futile .But any one who has insight into his own actions , his own unconscious , involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment .Its effect lasts only so long as it is not disturbed by conscious intention. .
Our social goals commit the error of overlooking the psychology of the person for whom they are intended .Otherwise they only promote his illusions.
This book was written in 1958 in the backdrop of communism and clod war , but I find that it affirms the fundamental truth that to know and strengthen our self , we have to look into our unconscious .Merely acquiring the knowledge of the external world and our conscious self through that knowledge is highly inadequate.
I strongly recommend you to read this outstanding book.