Psychology for Lawyers

understanding ourselves
the unconscious realm


"Is there anything more urgent or important than the realization that there is within us a repressed, shadowy element, hidden and unresolved, which lives and weaves its plots quite independently of our own will?"

—Jolande Jacobi, Masks of the Soul 20 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publ., 1976)(Ean Begg transl.)

"The tremendous value of the work of C.G. Jung is that he has developed specific methods and tools with which to understand and amplify the dimension of reality which comes to us from beneath the conscious threshold."

—Ira Progoff, Jung's Psychology and Its Social Meaning xvi (New York: Grove Press, 1953)

"The remarkable potency of unconscious contents . . . always indicates a corresponding weakness in the conscious mind nd its functions. It is as though the latter were threatened with impotence. For primitive man this danger is one of the most terrifying instances of 'magic.' So we can understand why this secret fear is also to be found among civilized people. In serious cases it is the secret fear of going mad; in less serious, the fear of the unconscious—a fear which even the normal person exhibits in his resistance to psychological views and explanations. This resistance borders on the grotesque when it comes to scouting all psychological explanations of art, philosophy, and religion, as though the human psyche had, or should have, absolutely nothing to do with these things. The doctor knows these well-defended zones from his consulting hours: they are reminiscent of island fortresses from which the neurotic tries to ward off the octopus. ('Happy neurosis island,' as one of my patients called his conscious state!) The doctor is well aware that the patient needs an island and would be lost without it. It serves as a refuge for his consciousness and as the last stronghold against the threatening embrace of the unconscious. The same is true of the normal person’s taboo regions which psychology must not touch. But since no war was ever won on the defensive, one must, in order to terminate hostilities, open negotiations with the enemy and see what his terms really are. Such is the intention of the doctor who volunteers to act as a mediator. He is far from wishing to disturb the somewhat precarious island idyll or pull down the fortifications. On the contrary, he is thankful that somewhere a firm foothold exists that does not first have to be fished up out of the chaos, always a desperately difficult task. He knows that the island is a bit cramped and that life on it is pretty meager and plagued with all sorts of imaginary wants because too much life has been left outside, and that as a result a terrifying monster is created, or rather is roused out of its slumbers. He also knows that this seemingly alarming animal stands in a secret compensatory relationship to the island and could supply everything that the island lacks."

—C.G. Jung, “The Psychology of Transference” (1946), in Collected Works: The Practice of Psychotherapy (vol. 16), 163-323, at 181

"[W]e have merely begun to apprehend the significance, scope, and impact of the unconscious. It still sits beneath, before, and around us—or more accurately, we are immersed in it—as a profound mystery, the boundaries, effects, and implications of which we have only begun to fathom."

—Jeffrey C. Miller, The Transcendent Function: Jung's Model of Psychological Growth through Dialogue with the Unconscious 2 (Albany, New York: State University of New York Press, 2004)

"What we see, and what we seem is not the whole truth. Our knowledge is not reliable; it is partial and undermined by the fact that the unconscious has a separate truth dimension, of which we are mostly oblivious. Ironically, the deeper truth resides in what we habitually dismiss as illusion, fantasy, myth and distortion."

—David Tacey, How To Read Jung 15 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., First American ed., 2007)

Reference (Videos)

Power of the Unconscious Mind
[4:48 mins.] [Dr. Emmett Miller]

The Dynamics of the Psyche: Conscious & Unconscious
[10:48 mins.]

Dreams: A Jungian Perspective
[8:59 mins.] [Murray Stein]

The Real You
[3:58 mins.] [Alan Watts]

The Unconscious Mind Unveiled
[15:00 mins.]

Why We Do What We Do
[22:31 mins.] [TED Talk] [Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that make us do what we do.]

Understanding How Our Minds Work Unconsciously
[55:15 mins.] Pt. 2 [D. Anthony Greenwald, social psychology professor at the University of Washington, describes his research on unconscious mental content, how the unconscious mental content affects our behavior]

Sigmund Freud: The Conscious and the Unconscious
[30:02 mins.] [reading from Sigmund Freud's Dream Psychology, ch.9]

Charles Tart: Self Observation
[10:50 mins.]

Reference (Observations of C.G. Jung)

C.G. Jung on the Unconscious



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