The self, the psyche and the world: A phenomenological interpretation
This paper takes as its starting point Jung's definition of the self as the totality of the psyche. However, because the term psyche remains conceptually unclear the concept of the self as totality, origin and goal, even centre, remains vague. With reference to Heidegger's analysis of human being as Dasein, as well as Jung's writings, it is argued that Jung's concept of psyche is not a synonym for mind but is the world in which we live psychologically. An understanding of the psyche as existentially situated requires us to rethink some features of the self. For instance, the self as origin is thus not a pre-existential integrate of pure potentiality but the original gathering of existence in which, and out of which, personal identity is constituted. The ego emerges out of the self as the development and ownership of aspects of an existence that is already situated and gathered. Relations between the ego and the self are about what is known, or admitted, and its relation with what is already being lived within the gathering that is existence. The self as psyche, origin, and centre are discussed, as well as the meaning of interiority. Epistemological assumptions of object relations theory are critically discussed. The paper also includes critical discussions of recent papers on the self.