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Book Review #1: "The Undiscovered Self" by Carl Jung

Carl Jung, one of the greatest minds in modern history and one of the least understood, has an interesting thesis within The Undiscovered Self, an essay written with a large degree of passion and intelligence, written as a pseudo protest piece and a cry for help for a world torn apart.

The essay was written after World War 2 and during the time period when the Cold War started to heat up a bit. I write the words “cry for help” as this essay was an examination of what was the beginning of an actual New World Order, how this will affect culture, and how this will affect the individual within that culture.

Taking a hard anti-authoritarian stance, Jung dissects what it means when a government favors the Collective rather than the Individual, which has a painful yet intriguing irony since we are having this discussion today.

Politics aside, it’s interesting to see how half a century ago Jung seemed to predict the current average person’s psyche: an odd paradox of self-centered mindsets masked by the concept of helping. A whole other book could be written on that alone, yet Jung does so within roughly 60 or so pages.

According to Carl Jung, the antidote to nothing short of total Dystopia is for the singular person to understand themselves on a level so deep many will genuinely not be able to do that. That is not Jung’s opinion, but 2020 T.L Oberheu’s opinion. There is a clear mental weakness occurring today, which actually explains the cry for totalitarianism. If you cannot succeed in this world, it only makes sense to tear it down and rebuild it into something that suits you. The painful irony is that this Collectivism is incredibly egotistical. It’s not taking your ball and going home, it’s banning anyone from playing the game that you lost at. Call me insensitive all you want, but if you are offended by my statement, ask yourself why that is? You might not like the answer, but it’s necessary you meditate on why you don’t like that answer, and what can you do to to avoid that psychic pitfall in the future.

Granted there are some inconsistencies within Jung’s essay: after all this essay is half political prediction and half advice. That being said, Jung does hold the right to give that advice, if you are unaware of who Carl Jung exactly is, he was the famous psychiatrist, more so than Sigmund Freud (the two actually knew each other and frequently did a dance of agreeing and debating their theories).

Of course, this essay is in two parts on the book sitting on the coffee table as I write this blog posts, the second essay being Symbols and The Interpretation of Dreams which I will be writing about soon (of course I realize I have said that before regarding my inactivity on this blog, I promise I will try my damn hardest to be more attentive of it).

That being said, The Undiscovered Self is an important and controversial piece that everyone should read. You may disagree with parts. You may disagree with all of it. That being said, by refusing to read until you finish because you don’t agree with a writer’s viewpoint, you do a tremendous job of proving them correct.

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