I’ve been re-reading a book on interpreting fairy tales by Marie-Louis Von Franz – a Jungian analyst and author. At one point she discusses the collective unconscious – a Jungian concept of the archetypal energy available to all humans. These archetypes show up in all human cultures. But, I’m wondering if there may be differences in emphasis between places or cultures or groups of people. I’m looking at the “culture” of this small town where I’ve been living for the past 12 years. It still seems so foreign to me. Could this area have developed its own group unconscious? Could it have to do with the energy of the geographical place itself? Could it consist of parts of the personal unconscious of the people who lived here for many years? Perhaps the many families who lived here for generations each have their own family unconscious. The various forms of family unconscious could have merged over years of many intermarriages to create a town unconscious which is shared by the people who grew up here. It may also be shared by some people who move here and feel that they fit in – because they bring with them a very similiar family unconscious.
Here’s a quote I found on the internet a few minutes ago by James Harvey Stout, which seems to agree with what I’m thinking:
There are sub-categories of the collective unconscious. While the collective unconscious is shared by all of creation, there is a “group unconscious” for every group of people (e.g., family, culture, sub-culture, ethnic group, religion, etc.); we might also find a group unconscious for non-human groups, e.g., animal species and inanimate objects (e.g., stars, minerals, etc. — if we believe that inanimate objects have any type of consciousness). We can discern this “group unconscious” in the shared myths, symbols, legends, heroes, behaviors, beliefs, assumptions, fears, and other undercurrents of a group; those things are constellations of thoughts, images, energy tones, and actions.