How Archetypes Guide the Individual Psyche

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung examines how psychic archetypes guide the individual psyche towards wholeness:

When first I took this direction I did not know where it would lead. I did not know what lay hid in the depths of the psyche—that region which I have since called the "collective unconscious", and whose contents I designate as "archetypes." Since time immemorial, eruptions of the unconscious have taken place, and ever and again they have repeated themselves. Consciousness did not exist from the beginning, and in every child it has to be built up anew in the first years of life. Consciousness is very weak in this formative period, and history shows us that the same is true of mankind—the unconscious easily seizes power.

Confronting the Spiritual Problem of Modern Man

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung examines the spiritual crux of modern man:  how to achieve spiritual happiness in a world that embraces consciousness while largely ignoring the unconscious mind:

To me, the crux of the spiritual problem of today is to be found in the fascination which psychic life exerts upon modern man. If we are pessimists, we shall call it a sign of decadence; if we are optimistically inclined, we shall see in it the promise of a far-reaching spiritual change in the Western world. At all events, it is a significant manifestation. It is the more noteworthy because it shows itself in broad sections of every people; and it is the more important because it is a matter of those imponderable psychic forces which transform human life in ways that are unforeseen and—as history shows—unforeseeable.

Understanding the Psyche through the Shadow Self

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung elucidates how understanding the shadow self leads to psychic health:

Not infrequently the soul is identified with the shadow, for which reason it is a deadly insult to tread upon a person's shadow. For the same reason, noon-day, the ghost-hour of southern latitudes, is considered threatening; the shadow then grows small, and this means that life is endangered. This conception of the shadow contains an idea which was indicated by the Greeks in the word synopados, "he who follows behind." They expressed in this way the feeling of an intangible, living presence—the same feeling which led to the belief that the souls of the departed were shadows.

How the Collective Unconscious Guides the Individual Psyche

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, Carl Jung explains his concept of the collective unconscious and how the collective unconscious guides the individual psyche towards health:

Psychology can do nothing towards the elucidation of this colourful imagery except bring together materials for comparison and offer a terminology for its discussion. According to this terminology, that which appears in the vision is the collective unconscious. We mean by collective unconscious, a certain psychic disposition shaped by the forces of heredity; from it consciousness has developed. In the physical structure of the body we find traces of earlier stages of evolution, and we may expect the human psyche also to conform in its make-up to the law of phylogeny. It is a fact that in eclipses of consciousness—in dreams, narcotic states and cases of insanity—there come to the surface psychic products or contents that show all the traits of primitive levels of psychic development.

Achieve Individuation: Conscious - Unconscious Assimilation

In Modern Man in Search of a Soul, C.G. Jung discusses the keys to assimilating the unconscious mind with the conscious mind and achieving the ultimate goal of individuation:

Dreams give information about the secrets of the inner life and reveal to the dreamer hidden factors of his personality. As long as these are undiscovered, they disturb his waking life and betray themselves only in the form of symptoms. This means that we cannot effectively treat the patient from the side of consciousness alone, but must bring about a change in and through the unconscious. As far as present knowledge goes, there is only one way of doing this: there must be a thorough-going, conscious assimilation of unconscious contents. By "assimilation", I mean a mutual interpenetration of conscious and unconscious contents, and not—as is too commonly thought—a one-sided valuation, interpretation and deformation of unconscious contents by the conscious mind.