Psyche's Immateriality

The primal psyche is an immaterial entity. It simply is, and for that reason no real insights about its properties can be gained if it is fundamentally regarded and treated as material or physical. I could not stress enough that the unconscious must not be objectified, or its existence and workings reduced to material conditions if one wishes to learn anything of meaning about it. While it is certainly true that a change in material conditions, e.g. brain damage or hormone treatments, can change psychological experience, it is not the psyche itself that changes, but the composition of the object, the condition of which it merely reflects. Equally, whatever objects are created, or ideas are materialised as a result of psychological activity must be distinguished from and never be confused with the basic nature of the unconscious itself. The three great guardians of the primal nature of psyche in the modern world – Freud, Jung and notably Hillman - knew and defended this each in their own right. The reason their intimacy with and their insights into the unconscious were so profound is because they insisted that understanding of the human psyche could only be gained by staying and working with it on the level of its immateriality. The genius of these men lies not only in their awareness, but in their acceptance of the tremendous importance of the intangible image-making facility of the unconscious and the utmost significance of insight by way of accepting ones roles in the plays of psyche’s fiction.