Having spent some time, in my previous series, trying to establish that there is a real, permanent self, which is usually called the ego, contrary to the statements of modern neuroscience, I am now going to suggest that, even though it is real, it is only a surface level of the self, that there are deeper levels beyond.
A simple example of this idea can be found in the psychology of Carl Jung, who talks about the persona, which means a mask, therefore our public face in society. This obviously conceals some aspects that the person might be more willing to reveal in private. In Jung’s words the persona is “the individual’s system of adaptation to, or the manner he assumes in dealing with, the world… One could say, with a little exaggeration, that the persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is” (1).
This is not what I am talking about here, however. In Jung’s psychology, the real deeper personality is called the Self, the god-image in humans, which is the goal of what he calls the Individuation Process. In Roberto Assagioli’s Psychosynthesis, the deeper self is called the Higher Self. Religious traditions believe in the existence of a soul. These ideas are not understood in the same way, but they are all pointing in the same direction, saying that there is a deeper level of the self beyond the ego.
In this next series, I am going to provide evidence that this deeper self exists, and argue that it goes way beyond the personal unconscious, the individual personality. (In fact, I am going to suggest, somewhat controversially, that the deeper self has access to the whole of human knowledge.) I’ll do this by examining four topics: Freudian slips, dreams, synchronicity, and automatic writing.
Up to a point, I have already discussed this topic in a previous article, The Spirit of Guidance. In this series I shall be providing new material, which goes further, but readers may be interested in reading the earlier article first.
(1) The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, Volume 9, part I of Collected Works, Princeton University Press, 1990, p123