For Jung the psyche was the great world within. For him this interior world was just as great as the world without. His life was also a great mystery. He lived a long and productive life and left a remarkable treasure of writings and a unique body of thought.
Jung perceived every human being as a whole, but he believed that most people have lost the connection with important parts of themselves. Through listening to the messages of our dreams and waking imagination, we can contact and get in touch with our different parts. The goal of each person’s life is individuation- the process of coming to know, giving expression to and harmonizing the various components of the psyche. Each person has it’s unique nature and calling.
In the center of Jung’s interests was the Unconscious. Making it an honored partner of our conscious selves seemed to him the only way of healing the problems that have long disturbed humankind. The Unconscious consists of everything we don’t know, that is not related to the ego as the center of the field of consciousness. Jung believed that the Unconscious has it’s own, symbolic language and can be taken as a guide. It’s the source of new thoughts and creative ideas.
Jung proposed that rather than being born with a tabula rasa (a “blank state”), we are born with a collective unconscious. This contains a set of shared memories and ideas, which we can all identify with, regardless of the culture that were born into or the time period in which we live. He stated that we have access to the whole history of the human race, back to the most primitive times. Its origin is in heredity and instinctual patterns. Collective unconscious has a universal character, it’s structure is more or less the same in all individuals.
A primary aim of Jungian psychotherapy is to establish an ongoing relationship between consciousness (ego) and the unconscious, between what is happening in the unconscious and what is taking place in day-to-day life. As Jungian theory understands the psyche as containing a drive toward balance and wholeness, the goal is to differentiate and incorporate various elements of the personal unconscious and establishing access to the collective unconscious. In psychotherapy, this unconscious material gradually manifests itself symbolically in dreams, in products of active imagination, and in the transference/countertransference relationship between therapist and patient.