With this part, we reach the end of Dr Jung’s short description of his topic; the Collective Unconscious. (Here are again the latter parts: P1, P2, P3, P4.)

In this, he brings with an example, a very interesting paradigm in the form of an old paranoiac man who sees more than what people might see. In my opinion, Dr Jung tries to tell us that if we look deeper into our Weltanschauung, we can see more, or in other words, we will remember what we’ve forgotten!

In any case, our “personal” bygone life patterns and previous history immensely influence our current lives. If we remember these, we might solve the puzzle of our existence. Here we read this gripping example by Master Jung:

4- An Example

I choose as an example a practical case that, although already published, I will use again because its brevity makes it particularly suitable for illustration. Furthermore, I can add a few remarks that were omitted in the earlier publication (Symbol of Change, CW 5, §§ 149 ff. and § 223, and The Structure of the Soul, CW8, § 317.).

About 1906, I encountered a curious phantasy of a paranoiac who had been incarcerated for many years. The patient had suffered from incurable schizophrenia since his youth. He had attended elementary schools and worked as a clerk in an office. He was endowed with no special gifts, and I myself knew nothing of mythology or archaeology at the time; so the situation was in no way suspicious. One day I found him standing by the window, bobbing his head and squinting at the sun. He asked me to do the same and promised I would see something very interesting. When I asked him what he saw, he was surprised that I couldn’t see myself and said, ‘You see the sun penis – if I move my head from side to side, it moves too, and that’s the origin of the wind.’ Of course, I didn’t quite grasp the strange idea, but I wrote it down in a note. About four years later, during my mythological studies, I discovered a book by Albrecht Dieterich, the well-known philologist, which shed light on that fantasy. This work, published in 1910, deals with a Greek papyrus in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Dieterich’d believed to have discovered a Mithraic liturgy in part of the text. It comes from the Alexandrian mystic school and agrees in meaning with the ‘Corpus Hermeticum’. In Dieterich’s text, we read the following instructions:

Hermes-Sun-Moon (With always thanks to Lewis Lafontaine)

Breathe of the rays, drawing in three times as strong as you can, and you will see yourself lifted up and striding on high so that you think you are in the midst of the air region… the way of the visible Gods will appear through the sun, the God my father; similarly will be visible also the so-called tube, the origin of the ministering wind. For you will see from the disc of the sun like a tube hanging down: in the regions to the west infinitely as an east wind; if the destiny to the regions of the east has the other, you will similarly see the rotation (movement) of the vision to the regions of that one. << Dieterich Eine Mithrasliturgie, 1910, p.6f.>> (As Jung found out later, the 1910 edition is actually the second edition. The book appeared in 1903. The patient had been hospitalized a few years before 1903.)

The text shows the author’s intention to enable the reader himself to experience the version that the author had or at least believes in. The reader is to be introduced to the author’s inner experience or, more likely, to one of those mystical communities that exist to which Philo Ludaeus (or Judaeus) bears witness as a contemporary. Because the fire and sun god invoked here is a figure for which historical parallels can be demonstrated, for example, in close connection with the figure of Christ in Revelation. It is, therefore, a collective conception, as are the ritual acts described, such as imitating animal sounds and so on. This version is thus embedded in a religious context of a clearly ecstatic nature and describes a kind of initiation into the mystical experience of the deity.

The Virgin of the Apocalypse by Miguel Cabrera via WikiArt

Our patient was about ten years older than me. He was megalomaniacal, namely, God and Christ in one. His attitude towards me was benevolent – he liked me as the only person who showed any interest in his fanciful ideas. His delusions were predominantly religious in nature, and when he asked me to squint at the sun like him and rock my head from side to side, he seemed intent on letting me share in his vision. He played the role of the mystical sage, and I was his student. He was even the sun god himself, creating the wind by bobbing his head.

The ritual transformation into divinity is attested by Apuleius in the Isis mysteries in the form of a solar apotheosis. The meaning of the ministering wind is, in all likelihood, that of the procreative spirit (pneuma is wind) that emanates from the sun god into the soul and fertilizes it. The combination of sun and wind occurs frequently in ancient symbolism.

It is now necessary to prove that the two individual cases are not just coincidental coincidences. We must therefore show that the notion of a wind tube associated with God or the sun has a collective existence independent of either of these statements or, to put it another way, that it occurs at other times and places as well. Certain medieval paintings depict the Annunciation with a tubular device reaching from the throne of God to the womb of Mary. Either the dove or the Christ child descends into it. The dove signifies the pollinator, the holy spirit wind.

It is now entirely out of the question that the patient could have had any knowledge of a papyrus published four years later, and it is highly unlikely that his vision would have anything to do with the strange medieval depiction of the Annunciation, even if by some inconceivable accident he ever saw a reproduction of such a painting. The patient had been declared insane in his early twenties. He had never travelled. Such a picture does not hang in any public art gallery in his hometown of Zurich.

I mention this case not to prove the vision of an archetype but to show you the procedure of investigation in the simplest possible form. If we only had such cases, our surveys would be relatively easy, but presenting evidence is actually more complicated. First of all, certain symbols must be isolated clearly enough to be recognizable as all typical phenomena and not just as accidental matter. This is done by examining a set of dreams, say a few hundred, for typical characters and observing their development within the series. With this method, it is possible to detect certain continuities and deviations in one and the same figure. You can choose any character whose behaviour in the dream or dreams gives the impression of being an archetype. If the material at one’s disposal is well observed and plentiful enough, interesting facts about the change that the type has undergone can be ascertained. Not only the type itself but also its variants can be clarified by evidence from comparable mythological material. I described this method of investigation in a paper published in 1935 (Fundamentals for Practical Psychotherapy, CW 16; cf. also Psychology and Alchemy, Part 2, CW 12) and also presented the necessary case material.

Now at the end, I hope I have conveyed this important and essential topic to you with these five sections. I believe that it will help us to find out more about ourselves. I appreciate your interest.🙏💖

To simplify the issue, here is a worth-watching video.😊

The painting at the top by Ciro Marchetti


On “The concept” of the collective unconscious (1936): Lecture 1936 in the Abernethian Society at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, under the title “The Concept of the Collective Unconscious < published in the journal of that hospital, XLIV, London 1936/37, p .46-49 and 64-66. The first edition of the German translation in Collected Works (CW), Volume 9/1, pp. 55-66.


  1. elainemansfield

    Thank you, Aladin. I’m an earthbound nature worshipper and rarely experience mystic visions This is an amazing experience and I can only read with wonder. I love how Jung honored his patient by listening and learning from him.

    Liked by 1 person

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