The Psychoid Archetype – Depth Psychology meets Deep Ecology

AT A DEEP LEVEL the human psyche or soul merges with the outer world. In this Jungian depth psychology accords with deep ecology in recognising that nature is a part of ‘the self’.[i] It was Jung who coined the term ‘psychoid unconscious’ to account for the unitary nature of psyche and world.[ii] It is rooted in the unconscious, rather than being unified by an external metaphysical being or reality. More precisely:

“ the “psychoid unconscious” can be considered a further gradation of the unconscious where self and world meet, and where all opposites are reconciled. In the final analysis, then, the individual becomes the linchpin between the micro- and macrocosm.”[iii]

Jung himself argues that the psyche, “which we have a tendency to take for a subjective fact, is really a fact that extends outside of us, outside of time, outside of space like children’s dreams which are a summary of what will be their life’s problem… Our psyche can function as though space did not exist. The psyche can thus be independent of space, of time and of causality… The archetype is outside of me as well as in me. The psychoid archetype only resembles the psyche: animals, plants, the wind behave like us.” [iv]

[i] See Donald Broadribb (1995) The Mystical Chorus, 248.

[ii] C.G. Jung , ‘Mysterium Conjunctionis’ in: The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, vol.14: paras, 552 and 788.

[iii] Curtis D. Smith, ‘Psychological Ultimacy: Jung and the Human Basis of Religious Meaning’, Religious Humanism, v.25, no.4 ( 1991), 177.

[iv] Lawrence W. Jaffe, Liberating the Heart (Toronto: Inner City Books, 1990), 73; see also Ferne Jensen, (ed.), C.G. Jung, Emma Jung and Toni Wolff (San Francisco: Analytical Psychology Club of San Francisco, 1982), 62 & 65.

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