The Collective Conscious

“This magic word, which always ends in “ism,” works most successfully with those who have the least access to their interior selves and have strayed the furthest from their instinctual roots into the truly chaotic world of collective consciousness.” 

The wisdom of knowing that we are in the Collective Conscious opens our eyes to a reality that we can navigate.  Instead of being susceptible to the tides of social hysteria, we may have the ability to steer our own ship.

“A collective attitude enables the individual to fit into society without friction, since it acts upon him like any other condition of life.”

Were not the autonomy of the individual the secret longing of many people, this hard-pressed phenomenon would scarcely be able to survive the collective suppression either morally or spiritually.

For this he needs the evidence of inner, transcendent experience which alone can protect him from the otherwise inevitable submersion in the mass.

Masses are always breeding grounds for psychic epidemics

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.

The smaller the personality, the dimmer and more unconscious it becomes, until finally it merges indistinguishably with the surrounding society, thus surrendering its own wholeness and dissolving into the wholeness of the group.  In the place of the inner voice there is the voice of the group with its conventions, and vocation is replaced by collective necessities. 

But even in this unconscious social condition there are not a few who are called awake by the summons of the voice, whereupon they are at once set apart from the others, feeling theselves confronted with a problem about which the others know nothing.  In most cases it is impossible to explain to the others what has happened.

The fact that the conventions always flourish in one form or another only proves that the vast majority of mankind do not choose their own way, but convention, and consequently develop not themselves but a method and a collective mode of life at the cost of their own wholeness

As we are influenced by the collective consciousness, each person’s arising of consciousness affects those around them, or who come in contact with that person.  The collective energy field is strengthened by positive energy and weakened by negative energy. 

Individuation and a life lived by collective values are nevertheless two divergent destinies.  In Jung’s view they are related to one another by guilt.”

(The) great war has taught practically everybody that the things that have the greatest weight are the imponderabilia, the things you cannot possibly weigh, like public opinion or psychical infection.  The whole war was a psychical phenomenon.  If you are looking for the causal root of it, it could not possibly be explained as arising out of the reason of man or out of economic necessity.  One could say that Germany needed a greater expansion and had to go to war, or that France felt threatened and had to crush Germany.  But nobody was threatened – everybody had enough money, the German exports were increasing from year to year, Germany had all the expansion she needed.  All the economic reasons you mention are no good at all’ they don’t explain that phenomenon.  It was simply the time when that thing had to happen from unknown psychical reasons. 

Any great movement of man has always started from psychical reasons; so it is our experience that has taught us to believe in the psychical.  Therefore we are rightly afraid of mob psychology, for instance. 

But the mass-man is good for nothing – he is a mere particle that has forgotten what it is to be human and has lost its soul. What our world lacks is the psychic connection; and no clique, no community of interests, no political party, and no State will ever be able to replace this.  TPoT

This ocean of the collective conscious has much more influence over our behaviour than we think.  Depending on your personal environment a collective negative energy field can influence you to become something you don’t want to be, compared to a collective positive energy field which nourishes and encourages you to become everything you want to be.  That all beings have an effect upon each other in one way or another is indisputable.  Once people give themselves over to this collective energy field they serve at the will of it, which is why incidences such as massacres and holocausts occur.  This dark energy side of the collective is concurrent with ignorance,while the light ‘good’ side coexists with wisdom and spirit.


Fortunately though, any one human being can – with a tremendous burst of mental creative energy – produce a tide of consciousness that can act back on the hidden collective conscious and either modify or add to it.

The average person is still possessed by collective consciousness and, under its influences, talks as if he knew all the answers.  For example, people tend to regard a humanitarian attitude as being their own, forgetting that it is derived from the Christian WeltanschauungThey fail to realize that it is collective and that it is part of a Weltanschauung they no longer share.  Power is the hidden motivation behind such behaviour.  TPoPA 222


  The growth of culture consists, as we know, in a progressive subjugation of the animal in man.  It is a process of domestication which cannot be accomplished without rebellion on the part of the animal nature that thirsts for freedom.  2EoAP 19

Group Narcissism

In group narcissism, the object is not the individual, but the group to which one belongs.  Group narcissism asserts that "either my country or my religion is the most wonderful, the most cultured, the most powerful and the most peace-loving".       

It has significant sociological functions.  It enhances the solidarity and cohesion of the group.  It gives satisfaction to the members of the group.  Even an individual who usually feels miserable may frequently compensate by feeling a part of "the most wonderful group in the world."  Indeed, one's degree of group narcissism is commensurate with the lack of real satisfaction in one's life.  The ideology of group narcissism ostensibly defends human dignity, decency, morality and right.  Devilish qualities are ascribed to the other group; it is treacherous, ruthless, cruel and basically inhuman.  When group narcissism is inflicted with a wound, real or imaginary, the reaction is very intense, leading to hostility.  JViJP 78

Even adult persons often have no idea how to cope with the problem of living, and on top of that are so unconscious in this regard that they succumb in the most uncritical way to the slightest possibility of finding some kind of answer or certainty.  Were this not so, the numerous sects and –isms would long since have died out.  But, thanks to unconscious, infantile attachments, boundless uncertainty and lack of self-reliance, they all flourish like weeds.  MC 750

The opposites must unite …. At one end everything is order, but rigid; it is a kind of madness, and that overadaptation you get from drugs.  The excess of reasonableness that people have after an episode is a form of madness.  It is mad to be as coldly reasonable as that, and the opposite is another form of madness.  If you cannot keep in the middle between the two you are lost, which is exactly the tragedy of the book.  If you take it on a political level, you see the same thing in society: mad mass-psychosis emotional movements where people go around with either a Celtic cross or a Hakenkreuz, or whatever it maybe be, raving in emotion and feeling whole.  It is so wonderful to walk in thousands through the streets, just howling, for then you feel whole and human.  But then there are the police and order, business order, the law and all the rest (…).  Then you regress into what is called the restitution after revolutions in which everything is in order, but power dominates and people are deadly bored and think how nice it would be if they could go back into the chaos of revolution, where at least life flowed.

You see more and more how nations now switch between those two poles, just as individuals do.  Groups do the same everywhere, and that is why we have to deal with the problem.  It is urgent just now.  For instance, those people behind the barricades in Algeria (1960) with their beautiful Celtic mandala cross, have practically no program!  I am sure most of those young people just enjoy the plentitude of life, feeling whole and heroic and themselves, without any further thought.  They look as though they were moved by a total emotion of some kind, and then that switches back to the boredom of order.   And what can you do with that?  (This order) is cold!      TPoPA 246

Regarding Sports

This collective behaviour, such as in a football game, is enfolded in each individual and in turn each individual is unfolded into the entire crowd.

Watching someone perform an action triggers mirror neurons, making the viewer feel, to an extent, like he is the doer.  The greater the observer's personal draw to the action, the more intensely he feels that he's the one hitting a home run, Hirt says. The end result is "a vicarious sense of success," according to Hirt: For a moment, a fan feels athletically gifted, unstoppable, and adored.  A University of Utah study showed that during tournaments, die-hard fans experience the same hormonal surges athletes do.  "They even become more optimistic about their own life when 'their' team wins and gloomy about their personal future when 'their team loses," says Hirt.   Psychology Today February 2011

‘Diehard fans will continue to back losers when the team is central to their sense of who they are

Scientific American Mind – Sept/Oct 09

“Here we must ask:  Have I any religious experience and immediate relation to God, and hence that certainty which will keep me, as an individual, from dissolving in the crowd? 

TO THIS QUESTION THERE IS A POSITIVE ANSWER ONLY when the individual is willing to fulfill the demands of rigourous self-examination and self-knowledge.