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The Undiscovered Self

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  3,747 ratings  ·  131 reviews
In The Undiscovered Self Jung explains the essence of his teaching for a readership unfamiliar with his ideas. He highlights the importance of individual responsibility and freedom in the context of today's mass society, and argues that individuals must organize themselves as effectively as the organized mass if they are to resist joining it. To help them achieve this he s ...more
Paperback, 79 pages
Published April 4th 2002 by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Books Ltd imprint (first published 1957)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tammy Marie Jacintho
I read this book and I gained a greater appreciation of my own nature. Without self-knowledge there can be no growth. The ills of society and the destructive forces that plague us are due to a lack of reflection or willingness to do personal work. To know one's self is the most important part of being human, because with self-knowledge comes compassion and integrity.

As an artist and an introvert attempting to find her place in a society that is loud and demands that "winners" vie for a turn in
This book is a lot better before you read it -- the distinguished black cover with its thought-provoking image: the profile of a man's head, in white, with a smaller, multicolored profile inside, superimposed by a black labyrinth. It's all so perfectly 1958! (The year The Undiscovered Self -- a beautiful title! -- was released.) But the book itself is basically an acidulous, slightly paranoid attack on Communism, tinged with a faint apology for Jung's onetime acceptance of the Nazis.

In 1958, Sci
Rana Salah
It is amazing how one, perplexed as it might be by our race, finds everything as plain as the back of his hand after reading this perfectly written book. It might sound like a cliché, but yes the message of this book is to make us aware of the importance of this overlooked infinitesimal dot on Earth: the individual.

I won't restate every crucial point made by Jung. Nevertheless, I would like to open up my thoughts about all the truths in this book, in brief.

For all what we have, for all the advan
Bob Nichols
Jung's thesis in this book is that modern society turns individuals into a social mass where they are categorized by statistical averages that dehumanize people who are, inherently, unique beings who operate by "irregularity." Modern society thus turns inevitably into the state with its standardized laws and policies, and is run by rulers that are "mouthpieces of the state doctrine," and by a "Leader" who "almost infallibly becomes the victim of his own inflated ego-consciousness." This is how J ...more
Dec 20, 2008 Ben rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those seeking better self understanding
This book is as timeless as human nature. Cases are made in favor of both freedom (delving into the strains of individuality posed by communism and socialism) and the soul (delving into the strains of individuality posed by over adhearance to most of society's organized religions), all through articulations centered around self knowledge.

Jung's main concept of self knowledge has to do with the power of the unconscious and the pulls from it's dark, simplistic instincts (one's shadow). Without se
Kicy Motley
Everyone needs to read this book. In a society over-saturated with media and driven by mass consumerism, it is hard to figure out who you are as an individual. Jung argues that no society can thrive if individuals to not get to know themselves. Not in the conscious "I like to read" sense but in the unconscious sense.
This is a summary of the human condition. Individuals, the dangers of capitalism and totalitarianism, and the role of personal beliefs and faith. All there.
Петър Панчев
Човешкото отвътре и отвън. Осъзнаването на индивида според Юнг:
Цялото ревю тук:

Съществува не малък процент хора, за които философията и психологията са потенциално опасни и дори вредни. Тяхната претенция за разбиране на обкръжаващия ни свят се гради на опитът им да подредят живота си така, че да понесат най-малко страдание и съответно - да наложат своята гледна точка, въпреки всички доводи, че индивидът е просто част от една група и трябва да покрие опре
John Kulm
Jung's apologia of his approach, and a defense of the individual, seems dated at times as he uses the old West vs. Communists divide to illustrate his point. But the content is so important, at least important to me as I try to take hold of my own individuality, that I find this little book to be important.

Here are a few passages that I liked from the book:

“If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories
Jon Ungerland
Jul 30, 2007 Jon Ungerland rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people doubting the war
if you take this book, and examine everything he says about the cold war, communism, and the iron curtain, then you will understand the threat we face as a western world against the current adversary of radical islam.
Simply one of the best books I have read. This book goes beyond psychology, it embraces much more than that
This is a very small book but it is packed with so much knowledge that writing its review is a precarious task. Jung's main focus is to warn us, that the key to a prosperous and happier future understanding our individual selves. In order to resist the collective forces of society, we must understand ourselves, that is our unconscious mind or "The Undiscovered Self". It is only by gaining awareness of ourselves that we dissent, and make society a better place. We must strive not to be just anoth ...more
Dalia Ismail
I rate books mainly based on their amusement level, the enlightening power folded in the author's words, and the writing style. The Undiscovered Self endowed at least a thousand bytes of electrical information, now secured in some form in my brain, and a thousand questions to ask. Dr. Jung's sentences are, to say the least, flawless. He occasionally left me awe-inspired at his precise usage of words and the flow of ideas, which, quite frankly, unraveled slowly when I stared them down for a whi ...more
My first foray into Carl Jung! Unfortunately, I wasn't too impressed... his notion of the "individual" seems so simplistic. And while he has occasional flashes of insight, the notion of an "authentic" self that's oppressed by its surrounding society just seems like something you can't really substantiate. It makes sense, with Jung being all "I don't believe God exists, I know God exists," that he would predicate his assumptions about human nature on there being an undying soul. Consequently, unl ...more
Gertrude & Victoria
The Undiscovered Self is a fascinating, but more importantly, a compelling view of the individual, who, is constantly being overwhelmed by the collectives forces in society. To better understand ourselves, Jung states that the individual needs to better understand his own unconscious mind. Through the understanding of both our conscious and unconscious minds, we can better understand how to preserve the individual will from being consumed in extreme ideological collectivism. Jung writes with the ...more
Erik Graff
Jun 20, 2011 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jungians
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
This book, contained in Volume 10 of The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, was one of the first I read, having found this cheap paperback in a used bookstore. A critique of mass culture, it may be read in reference both to Jung's early estimations of National Socialism in Germany--estimations he later qualified heavily--and to the Cold War which was at its height during the time of composition. Written for the general public (and published in The Atlantic), this essay is a light read and will not se ...more
Valdemar Gomes
What a strike: another bad book!
If I ever were to quit a book, it'd be this.
His defence that the doctor should see the patient as an individual and take more care in his job is small but good. Instead of seeing the patient as a broken leg that needs fixing, to see him as a human being that needs to be cured of his broken leg. Yet it's terribly founded on the basis of the overrepeated statistic fallacy (per example human beings have on average 1 testicle but it's very rare to find a person with o
I love Jung, wow!! The sage of the West should be his official title. His work has the potential to push Western Civilization towards the next step in its social and cultural evolution if only his works were better understood by the majority of Westerners, especially Americans.

"In view of this uncomfortable situation the question is heard again and again in the west: What can we do to counter this threat from the East? Even though the West has considerable industrial power and a sizable defense
Fack You
Jesus motherfucking christ this book THIS BOOK. Basically the whole point is: look within yourself, find yourself as an individual, and don't be afraid of it! Like yourself as an individual, you're probably NOT crazy like you thought. What's crazy is the system, which is PLOT TWIST- NOT REAL. I think this book has a very taoist or zen buddhist perspective, in which duality is not real, what matters is yourself, the universe is created from you thinking it into existence, etc. Read it! Don't list ...more
Jerome Baladad
I think the book's dated right before reading it but I figured I could spare time to read and understand what Jung wanted to share and say. It's seldom these days that I find books written by a medical practitioner who's also a psychiatrist (and a pioneering one, at that!). Even if I've read him only in his translated works, he remains to be a favorite right, which started after we were required to read his works in college when I was studying Psychology in undergraduate school. The book's a ver ...more
Greg Carew
An interesting book, though definitely not Jung's best. It's quite uneven in my opinion, with very insightful passages hedged in between others attacking Communism in a somewhat paranoid manner. While some reviewers have mentioned that the prophecies of this book proved false through the collapse of totalitarian regimes, it seems to me that the dangers Jung speaks of are as prevalent in a world caught up with Consumerism as they ever have been. For, while it may be different to State control, th ...more
A short, though interesting exploration of the relationship between the individual and the state from the point of view of early psychology.

The book is colored throughout by the Red Scare, as Jung seems to see the Communist countries as the most extreme examples of State, or impersonal group that yields power over the individual.

Religion is explored as is self-knowledge and the meaning of both in the context.

It was somewhat disappointing that the book offers little practical advice on how an
Minh Quan Nguyen
This is the first book of C.G. Jung I have read. This is an interesting book but I think that it is not his best. There is many interesting ideas in this book but they are not very cleared an underdeveloped.
In this book, he remind us of the basic element in society, the element that modern society with its advance science and technology forget: the individual. Jung shows the danger of social engineering (such as Skinner’s) based on the statistical average human being:
“We ought not to underestim
Travis Johnson
A few of the essays really strike a cord for a contemporary audience, while some are out-dated due to a heavy focus of religious idealism. I'd argue it's safe to say half of the book revolves around social and political psychology, whereas half pushes religion onto the audience, often times becoming preachy and exceptionally judgmental. The former, for example, is illustrated by Jung's dualism of democracy versus capitalism, or the split identity of state/religion versus state totalitarianism (w ...more
Lindu Pindu
Living in modern society can be a bitch. Jung understands this perfectly, and proceeds to explain why: the State has replaced the monopoly of the Church on individuals' inner life; people see the psyche as a thing to be easily neglected; the State does not like individuals, only statistical units, etc. A good introduction to Jung's work. I'll probably follow it up with something on archetypes or the collective unconscious.
Albert Williams
One must remember when reading this to consider
the depth of Jung's concepts as they are outside of this book.
If one can grasp the inter-play it will help with finding a greater benefit. If nothing else it is a worthy book to find oppisiton with, Jung is nuturing in this way. I think the title is an important concept in-and-of itself. I enjoyed this text.
Presented in relatively short essay form, the author by necessity had to sacrifice explanation for declaration in describing the relationship of the individual with the society they find themselves in. Brevity of description is my main criticism of the work--I'd rather read a long and comprehensive but ultimately understandable work than a short but abstruse work. Then again, this is the first book I have ever read of the famous Swiss psychiatrist so I perfectly understand that any short and suc ...more
Jefferson F
Simply amazing. I honestly believe that everyone should take the time to read this book through a couple of times. We live in a time and age where people are taking less and less time to understand themselves. If you take the time to read this I honestly believe you will understand yourself and others much better.
Joy Clark
As a behaviorist, I started this book with a bias. I had to read this for a History of Psychology class. Of all the people in the psychoanalysis club, Jung is the most digestable to me. Some of his ideas are very interesting and thought provoking if taken outside of the psychoanalytic context.
Jung's main focus on on the necessity of rediscovering the individual while resisting societal pressures to conform and become just another cog in the machine. I found his theories to be quite interesting, especially when his era was taken into consideration. Communism was the main "enemy" during the 1950s and that is hugely important in understanding his views. Jung is clearly a capitalist, which he seems to believe focuses more on the individual and their actions. He also looks at the tendency ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: combine editions 2 16 Feb 08, 2015 04:12AM  
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  • The Ego and the Id
  • Motivation and Personality
  • Owning Your Own Shadow: Understanding the Dark Side of the Psyche
  • Ego and Archetype: Individuation and the Religious Function of the Psyche
  • The Psychology of Intelligence
  • Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales (C.G. Jung Foundation Book)
  • Man for Himself: An Inquiry into the Psychology of Ethics
  • Boundaries of the Soul: The Practice of Jung's Psychology
  • Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation
  • The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead
  • The Divided Self: An Existential Study in Sanity and Madness
  • Jung's Map of the Soul: An Introduction
  • The Owl Was a Baker's Daughter: Obesity, Anorexia Nervosa, and the Repressed Feminine (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 4)
Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf jʊŋ]; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961), often referred to as C. G. Jung, was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology. Jung proposed and developed the concepts of extraversion and introversion; archetypes, and the collective unconscious. His work has been influential in psychiatry and in the study of religion, philosophy, ...more
More about C.G. Jung...
Memories, Dreams, Reflections Man and His Symbols Modern Man in Search of a Soul The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious (Collected Works 9i) The Portable Jung

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“The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual.” 73 likes
“Naturally, society has an indisputable right to protect itself against arrant subjectivisms, but, in so far as society is itself composed of de-individualized human beings, it is completely at the mercy of ruthless individualists. Let it band together into groups and organizations as much as it likes – it is just this banding together and the resultant extinction of the individual personality that makes it succumb so readily to a dictator. A million zeros joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but our fatally short-sighted age thinks only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hand of a single madman.” 11 likes
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