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The Undiscovered Self: Answers to Questions Raised by the Present World Crisis

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  6,538 ratings  ·  298 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 82 pages
Published December 18th 2014 by Routledge (first published 1957)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
Gegenwart und Zukunft = The Undiscovered Self, C.G. Jung
These essay, written late in Jung's life, reflect his responses to the shattering experience of World War II and the dawn of mass society. Among his most influential works, "The Undiscovered Self" is a plea for his generation--and those to come--to continue the individual work of self-discovery and not abandon needed psychological reflection for the easy ephemera of mass culture. Only individual awareness of both the conscious and
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
Roy Lotz
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: germanophilia
I opened this book without any expectations, so I can’t say I was surprised by its contents; but I am indeed surprised that it is still so well-liked and widely read. The Undiscovered Self is a book mired in a Cold War mentality—fear of communism, totalitarianism, technology, world destruction—so I find it interesting how many people feel that it hasn’t lost any of its relevance. Well, perhaps they’re right; after all, we still have oppressive governments, dangerous mass-movements, and weapons ...more
Kicy Motley
Dec 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 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,
Jordan Peterson introduced me to Jung thru his books and his videos. While walking into work last week i stumbled upon a box of books in the trash and The Undiscovered Self just so happened to be in the mix, so I read it. This was my first Jung book and I honestly wasn’t blown away but I couldn’t put it down. Some of the material is above my pay grade however that which I could grasp I could definitely dig it. I look at it this way, here’s this book lying on its death bed about to be sent into a ...more
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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 ...more
Mona M.Abd El-Rahman
Underwhelming. Maybe It was my high expectations for this book that I found it 'okay' with no brilliant insights.
Rana Salah
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Erik Graff
Aug 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  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 ...more
John Kulm
Aug 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
The Undiscovered Self - C.G. Jung

Since the dawn of time man have always been on the hunt towards understanding and discovering himself. A topic that has occupied man’s minds for ages. In this compelling work, C.G Jung approaches the topic of individuality in such a unique way. Presenting the individual’s struggle for moral and spiritual integrity against the “mass psychology’ generated by political fanaticism, scientific materialism and technological triumphalism on a global scale.

- The Plight
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
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow this was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be about breaking down the individual mind into ego, id ect. Instead for the most part it's about groups of people and what drives their actions. Written during the height of the cold war much of the text deals with the west and communism but in truth is just as relevant in the USA today with the deep divides of the alt right and the far left.
Jon Ungerland
Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  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.
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: important, psychology
Absolutely loved this book. Jung explains the result of treating the individual as a unit of the mass, how the State can replace religion, how real change can only start with the individual and much more.
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply one of the best books I have read. This book goes beyond psychology, it embraces much more than that
Abubakar Mehdi
Sep 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For such a slender book, this one packs a serious wallop. Jung doesn’t waste any time. In the first page or two he’s already digging straight into his profound case for why truly self-aware human beings are our only hope for resisting the all-engulfing forces of mass-scale extreme tribalism, dogma, and tyrannical government that threaten to destroy our world. Jung’s fundamental premise is that man does not know himself. Humankind is, by and large, enslaved to vast forces that the average person ...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, ...more
Lindu Pindu
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
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.
Mack Hayden
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psych
Similar to Fromm’s Escape from Freedom and Horkheimer’s Eclipse of Reason, this book is almost eerily prescient, prophetic even. Jung foresaw how the atomization of humankind, compounded with the fact we were losing nearly all metaphysical metanarratives and also knew astonishingly little about our own psyches, would lead to many people yielding to authoritarian and totalitarian ideals and regimes. Jung’s solution is one that still rings so true today: the greatest bulwark against abuse of power ...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 ...more
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
Apr 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 ...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, ...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
Dalia Ismail
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: need-to-reread
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 ...more
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good short read. I would say it's relevance is increasing by the day. The book doesn't preach much except for basic things which I believe every individual has to be aware of before choosing to agree or disagree. Not a difficult read either. I could easily conjure suitable examples for the points it puts forth.

This was the first book of his I've read despite being familiar with (and a fan of) many of his ideas through other forums.

Instead of trying to tell something from this book and risk
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General Discussion of the Undiscovered Self 2 5 Aug 17, 2019 04:21AM  
Goodreads Librari...: combine editions 2 17 Feb 08, 2015 04:12AM  
Seeking help about the sentence "apostrophize" 8 16 Jul 04, 2011 02:37AM  
خود شناسي در روانشناسي اچتماعي 1 24 Apr 05, 2008 03:21AM  

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Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf jʊŋ]), 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, archeology, anthropology, ...more
“The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual becomes.” 122 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.” 32 likes
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