The Maine Jung Center is a supportive community devoted to personal growth and the pursuit of a meaningful life through study of the work of C.G Jung.

When many of us attended our first programs here, we can remember being a bit confused or intimidated by some of the “jargon.”  These days, we do our best to use plain language, and foster a community where all are comfortable asking questions . . . but since there is still some unique terminology, we hope these paragraphs may put you more at ease.

Jung’s work alone fills 18 volumes and many others have clarified and expanded on his theories. As a whole this represents a large and rich body of work that can at first seem overwhelming, not unlike being lost in an enchanted forest. However, there is comfort in knowing that you’re not alone as you make your way.

A familiarity with a few of Jung’s fundamental concepts at the outset can make a Maine Jung Center membership more rewarding. One concept that sets Jung’s psychology apart from that of other theorist is the concept of the collective unconscious. According to Jung the collective unconscious is a deep structure of the unconscious mind that contains archetypes and is shared by all human beings.

Archetypes can be thought of as unconscious dispositions, a form that is activated and filled in by experience. For example the mother archetype that we all share in our psyches is differentiated by our experience of our own mothers.

Another important concept is individuation. Individuation is a lifelong process of becoming whole, fully integrated, and your true self. This process is guided by an organizing archetype: the self. The self guides us toward experiences that activate our own unique combination and expression of the archetypes that are available to all of us in the collective unconscious.

Since these psychic structures are unconscious and involve complexity that is beyond a literal explanation or understanding we can know and relate to them only through symbols. To Jung symbols transcend the opposites of our experienced world and join our inner and outer experience.

At the Maine Jung Center we use Jungian concepts to enrich our process of individuation through the study of symbolic representations of our inner world as it is reflected in the world’s religions, sciences, fairytales, mythology, music, and the written and visual arts.

Joy Vaughan, Surfacing