The collective unconscious is a psychological concept of Carl Jung with which he has recurring and intersubjective patterns in the mental life of people within cultures that were not interconnected (and therefore had no possibility to To exchange this information culturally with each other) wanted to explain.
According to Jung, first, each individual has a personal unconscious.This is very similar to the Freudian unconscious and consists of subjective desires, sublimations, etc.
But this personally unconscious can not explain how it is possible that people around the world share so many ideas, symbols and concepts with each other.There must be something, something that is hidden in every human psyche, to explain how these recurring patterns may exist.
This is how we come to the collective unconscious.The collective unconscious is the part of the psyche that each person of our species, the Homo sapiens, shares with each other, but this lies deeply hidden and far away from consciousness.
The collective unconscious shows itself in the mental life of man as, how Jung called them, archetypes.
Archetypes are the symbolic expressions of these recurring patterns.
Example: The motive of the snake often repeats itself in the dreams of people, even in those who have never seen a snake.In one way or another, the snake has a certain symbolic force which often shows itself in the mental life of man. Jung connects this to the collective unconscious. Also, archetypes such as ‘ the hero ‘ or ‘ the villain ‘ are examples of recurring symbols in human narrative.
What is contemporary collective consciousness?
With the collective consciousness is meant the collection of shared ideas, moral attitudes and beliefs in a certain time.
That most of us find that killings are bad is an example of a moral attitude in the collective consciousness.Indeed, this moral attitude was not always as pronounced as it was today.
The collective consciousness thus changes constantly while the collective unconscious has a static character.
100, 50, and even 10 years ago, the collective consciousness was different from that of now while in all these times the same collective unconsciousness was present.
The relationship between the two is that the collective consciousness arises from the collective unconsciousness in relation to a new era.According to Jung, the collective consciousness will always show patterns of the collective unconscious, while new patterns will arise that deal with the new changes of time. For example, the hero’s archetype repeats itself (collective unconscious), but the way a hero is interpreted varies by time (collective consciousness).