Psychology for Lawyers

the self and the archetype


"The Self, according to Jung, was the sum total of the psyche, with all its potential included. This is the part of the psyche that looks forward, that contains the drive toward fulfillment and wholeness. In this, the Self was said to drive the process of individuation, the quest of the individual to reach his or her fullest potential."

--"The Jungian Model of the Psyche," Journal Psyche [online text]

"Jung's term ego is virtually identical to Freud's; it is the centre of our conscious identity and selfhood. However, for Jung, the task of the ego is to transform itself by integrating as many contents of the unconscious as possible, in which case it begins to function as an ancillary organ of the Self.

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The Self is an archetype which expresses the totality of the psyche and includes the ego and the unconscious . . . .

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Jung postulated a transcendental element that facilitates our journey towards wholeness. This element, or archetype, Jung calls the Self . . . . For Jung, the ego is the centre of consciousness, the focus of our personal identity, whereas the Self is the centre of the entire psyche, conscious and unconscious, and thus the focus of our transpersonal identity. . . .

[The Self] has no equivalent in the Freudian system . . . .

The Self is virtually a transcendental concept, and it cannot be known directly by the ego, but only indirectly through symbol, dream and myth."

--David Tacey, How To Read Jung 17, 25, 47, 48 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)

"Healing is the capacity for reimagine our relationship to the Self. Underneath the sense of self is the Self itself. It is always there, our nature naturing, seeking to become itself, and it is always expressing its holistic intent. The purpose of therapy, whether in company with a therapist or in dialogue with ourselves, is to attend the teleological voice of the Self when it speaks through the venue of the body, through replicative patterns, through compensatory dream image, through the analysis of complexes, or through the grace of insight and renewing vision.

The source of the self-disorder is not the Self; it is the power of the wounding world. The source of renewal is the still, quiet voice of the Self which may be heard by those who wish to hear, who retain the capacity to hear, or who are driven to hear. As Jung has noted, the encounter with the Self is often experienced as a defeat for the ego. So it is in the experience of defeat that renewal will be found, through a 'terrible grace' in which other images may present themselves to consciousness and through the yearning for meaning which leads us through pain to plenitude.

None of us escapes life unscathed, or evades imprisonment by our reactions and misreadings of life's traumata."

--James Hollis, The Archetypal Imagination 116-117 (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M Press, 2000)


Andrew Samuels, Dethroning the Self, Spring: An Annual of Archetypal Psychology & Jungian Thought 43 (1983)

Audio | Lecture: Edward Edinger

Encounters with the Greater Personality
[1:45:56 mins.] [lecture at the San Diego Friends of Jung, 1984] [begin class presentation at 1:00 mins.]

Basic Videos

Carl Jung: The Self
[5:39 mins.] [audio]

Serving the Deep Self
[3:27 mins.] [Michael Meade]

Thom F. Cavalli on "the Self"
[4:48 mins.] [Jungian analyst]

The 'Self' in Jungian Psychology
[3:47 mins.] [Jordan Peterson]

Introduction to Carl Jung's Archetype of the Self
[13:09 mins.] [Academy of Ideas] [relevant discussion begins at 9:35 mins.] [archetype of self related to individuation]

Jordan Peterson on Carl Jung's Depth Psychology: Persona and Shadow
[1:13:47 mins.]
[commentary on the archetype of the Self begins at 33:58 mins., ends at 37:14 mins.]

Resurrection of Logos
[2:34:51 mins.] [2017] [Jordan Peterson's presentation begins at 51:59 mins., ends at 1:15:46 mins.] [Paterson's comments on archetypes and traditions associated with Christianity with passing references to the archetype of the Self, that begins at 2:03:02 mins,, ends at 2:10:20 mins.]

Carl G Jung Theory: What is the Self?
[5:31 mins.]

Ian Laird Talking about Jungian Psychology
[1:17:41 mins.] [comments on the Self (and the image of wholeness) and ego consciousness (with comments about the persona) begins at 49:39 mins.; ends at 57:43 mins.; include 1:01:45 mins. to 1:03:49 mins. (additional comments on the collective aspects of Self)]

[discussion of the persona and shadow runs from 3:40 mins. and ends at 10:40 mins.] [Ian Laird is a Jungian analyst] ["The shadow is everything that has not been lived, that could be lived. "] [There is another interesting segment of the Ian Laird video at 27:05 mins. that ends at 30:54 mins. with passing references to "active imagination"]

Jungian Psychology: The Self Archetype
[13:41 mins.] [audio with diagrams and illustration]
Pt2 [17:26 mins.]

Reference (C.G. Jung)

Phenomenology of the Self
[42:42 mins.] [a reading from Jung's work]

Jungian Psychology, The Self Archetype
[13:41 mins.]

Reference (Edward Edinger)

Individuation: A Myth for Modern Man
[4:46 mins.] [audio|lecture] [San Diego Friends of Jung, 1988]

Reference (Carl Jung Depth Psychology Reading Group)

Archetype of Wholeness: The God-Image
[14:22 mins.] [Donald L. Conover, group leader]

My Encounter with the Transpersonal Self (God-Image)
[7:57 mins.]

The Resurrection of the Christ Within
[11:40 mins.]

Reference (Video)

Jung and the Ego
[13:48 mins.] [Michael Adams's brief presentation on the ego runs from 1:41 mins. to 2:54 mins.]

C.G. Jung Concepts: Ego
[10:30 mins.] [Dick Pearson & Jungian analyst D. Stephenson Bond]

Who & What Am "I"?
[7:47 mins.] [Mark Solms]

Web Resources

Jung: On the Ego
[from Daryl Sharp's Jung Lexicon]

Ego, Archetype and Self

The Self in Jungian Psychology



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