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What is the Collective Unconscious exactly?

I read about 3/4's of Jungs collective works on this subject. I had to put it down. I was left baffled. While reading the book I got the impression the Collective Unconscious was some sort of reservoir of ancient myths and memories we all carry in our deep subconscious, which historically repeat themselves, in the forms of stories, and people. I understand the bare bones interpretation and applicable theory: that all our psyches are molded from a sort of blueprint, a psychological structure if you will, which everyone is born with. This blueprint being separate from our personal psyches which develop with experience, but just as pervasive in our everyday experience. Am I getting close to the mark here?

I would also like to discuss Jung's beliefs and interpretations, as well as anyone elses.

- Individuation.
- Archetypes.
- Synchronicity.
- The unconscious. Is it something we all have in common or something we all share? As in one collective unconscious, as opposed to many of the same unconsciouses.


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  • Aug 1 2013: Here's my opinion: consciousness is something born out of physical states, and thus relies on a specific structure of the brain leading to it's development and existence. But from there I think the mind is something linked to but separate from the physical brain, as they both seem to influence each other, the brain through physical states, and the mind through mental states, both effecting chemical and mental changes in each other. So the physical structure of the brain allowed for the existence of the mind, but did not directly create it, hence my view could be described as Strong Emergentism, which is a subset of [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_mind] Property Dualism. [/url]

    Thus, my belief is that physical events can bear non-physical events (which are called mental properties in Property Dualism) not fully explainable by their physical origin, hence consciousness, and a collective unconscious, existing alongside our known physical structures.

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