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Reply To: The Editorial Function of Myth


Mars; if I understand what you are saying we may have to agree to disagree on some of this; but my thoughts are still a work-in-progress so I appreciate your thoughtful perspective. The (editor) is a metaphor for a particular function that is being served within the individual; and as I mentioned earlier I’m not quite satisfied with my conclusions and I certainly do not claim to be an authority on this; but these are my impressions so far and of course I’m open up for more “clarity” concerning (Joseph’s) particular theme if you have it to offer.


I want to add an addendum to Stephen’s opening question about what may be informing our blind spot; (which to me seems to refer to the Jungian: “personal unconscious”. I may be off track but I also think this (editor) might have a connection to the “collective unconscious” as well.

From Daryl Sharp’s Lexicon:

“Personal unconscious. The personal layer of the unconscious, distinct from the collective unconscious.
The personal unconscious contains lost memories, painful ideas that are repressed (i.e., forgotten on purpose), subliminal perceptions, by which are meant sense-perceptions that were not strong enough to reach consciousness, and finally, contents that are not yet ripe for consciousness.[The Personal and the Collective Unconscious,” ibid., par. 103.]”

(and concerning the relationship to the: “collective unconscious” also taken from the Lexicon):

“The collective unconscious-so far as we can say anything about it at all-appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. . . . We can therefore study the collective unconscious in two ways, either in mythology or in the analysis of the individual.[“The Structure of the Psyche,” CW 8, par. 325.]

The more one becomes aware of the contents of the personal unconscious, the more is revealed of the rich layer of images and motifs that comprise the collective unconscious. This has the effect of enlarging the personality.

In this way there arises a consciousness which is no longer imprisoned in the petty, oversensitive, personal world of the ego, but participates freely in the wider world of objective interests. This widened consciousness is no longer that touchy, egotistical bundle of personal wishes, fears, hopes, and ambitions which always has to be compensated or corrected by unconscious counter-tendencies; instead, it is a function of relationship to the world of objects, bringing the individual into absolute, binding, and indissoluble communion with the world at large.[The Function of the Unconscious,” CW 7, par. 275.]


I’m not completely satisfied with all of this yet; but it seems to me to suggest that much of what we don’t know about how we as individual’s perceive our world around us and our reactions to things may be pointing in this direction concerning our blind spot and how we react to things. “Emotion” of course takes this subject to whole other level; (especially where the Shadow is concerned because much of this processing has to with repressed psychic content and what stimulates it as well. And our editor is right in the middle of this processing of material by filtering data and helping in the decision making by assigning meaning it.