January 05, 2007

The ultimate Reality not "unconscious"

Jung has contributed to the study of the nature of personality and to the understanding of the action of human groups by positing the "Collective Unconscious." By an extensive study and analysis of myths, legends, customs. and early cultural history of many races he arrives the Collective Unconscious" as the psychological substratum which explains the behaviour of the individual and of the groups of men. The late Dr. Ananda Coomaraswamy also has made very extensive study of comparative myths. The positing of the "Collective Unconscious " means that Jung abandons, by implication, at least, the naturalistic stand in psychology; for, one could ask,
  • where does the " Collective Unconscious " abide?
  • Is it in the material or non-material medium?
  • Is it of the vital or mental stuff ?

So far as the study of human personality is concerned Jung admits that the roots of personality are veiled in mystery. The term "Collective Unconscious" reminds the Indian Student of the terms "Collective Consciousness", and "Cosmic Consciousness" already used in our Ancient Sacred "books. This Cosmic Consciousness and even a supra cosmic-transcendent-Consciousness mentioned in Indian books, are Superconscient to the ordinary man, but they are regarded as capable of being experienced by men if certain psychological conditions are fulfilled.¹

Dr. Harish Chowdhari finds this 'Collective Unconscious a "blanket term " and says, "It is too inadequate to carry any exact senses." To Jung the collective unconscious is not a state of Consciousness, because, according to him "relatedness to an ego is an essential condition of consciousness." This is a limited view of consciousness, as it takes for granted the mental as the only possible consciousness.
All spiritual experience, including that of Sri Aurobindo, always speaks of the ultimate Reality not as "unconscious" but as Supreme and infinite conscious- ness. It does not depend upon nor does it require an 'ego' for its support. It is spoken of as the golden Purusha and the golden Light and the unconscious is described as the "dark". Sri Aurobindo speaks of it as "luminous uttermost super-conscience" as against the "dark inconscience. " Jung's failure to realise the distinction between the two, the Super-conscient Infinite and the Inconscient Infinite is responsible for his description of the ultimate reality as "Collective Unconscious." Page - 121 Home > E-Library > Works Of Disciples > A B Purani > Sri Aurobindo-Some Aspects Of His Vision > Psychology

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