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Excerpted from We by Robert A. Johnson. Copyright 1983 by Robert A. Johnson. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.

"Each person's psyche has an inborn evolutional urge to grow, to integrate the contents of the unconscious."

Robert A. Johnson, We, Part 3

After many years of living in the rich world of the psyche and learning its laws, Carl Jung saw a vast evolutional Power at work in the psychic universe. He saw that the human psyche strives always toward wholeness, strives to complete itself and become more conscious. The unconscious mind seeks to move its contents up to the level of consciousness, where they can be actualized and assimilated into a more complete conscious personality. Each person's psyche has an inborn evolutional urge to grow, to integrate the contents of the unconscious, to bring together all the missing parts of the total individual into a complete, whole, and conscious self.

Jung teaches us that the unconscious is the source: the primal matter from which our conscious minds and ego personalities have evolved. All the values, ideas, feelings, capacities, and attitudes that we have developed into functioning parts of our conscious personalities originated in the raw, primal material of the unconscious.

To get a clear image of this, we may picture a coral island that gradually rises out of the sea. The ocean slowly creates this island out of its own matter and pushes it finally above the water into the sunlight. After centuries, topsoil and plant life develop, animals and people appear, and the little island becomes a tiny center of human life and consciousness. Like the vast ocean, the collective unconscious gives birth to a tiny island; it is the conscious psyche, the ego, the "I" the part of me that is aware of itself.

This little ego-mind, surrounded by the vastness of the unconscious, has a high and noble task, a special destiny to live out. Its role in this evolution is to integrate more and more of the unconscious until the conscious mind truly reflects the wholeness of the self.

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