|THE WORLD IS PSYCHEby Paul Levy
September 13, 2010
One of Jung’s greatest discoveries is what he called “the reality of the
psyche,” by which he means that the psyche exists in its own right, in its
own open-ended sphere of seemingly unlimited influence.
To quote Jung, “The psychic is a phenomenal world in itself, which can be
reduced neither to the brain nor to metaphysics” (Note: “psychic” is
used throughout this article as the adjective form of “psyche” and not
with any parapsychological connotation).
Jung is using the word “psyche” in an all-inclusive sense, as he means the
totality of all psychic processes, both conscious and unconscious. Jung
says, “[i]For me, the psyche is an almost infinite phenomenon. I absolutely
don’t know what it is in itself and know only very vaguely what it is
The psyche is not an epiphenomenon of biochemical processes in the
brain, however, as it cannot be reduced to physical matter, or anything
other than itself for that matter. Instead of the matter of the brain being
the source of the psyche, to quote Jung, “We might well say, on the
contrary, that physical existence is a mere inference, since we know of
matter only in so far as we perceive psychic images.”[iii]
The psyche can’t be factored out of our experience of either matter, or
metaphysics, as it is inseparable from and connects both the seemingly
opposite physical and metaphysical realms. Any physical or metaphysical
experiences are mediated by the psyche by virtue of both of them
essentially arising out of and being experiences within the psyche.
Jung states, “Metaphysical assertions, however, are statements of the
psyche…It is the psyche which, by the divine creative power inherent in it,
makes the metaphysical assertion; it posits the distinctions between
Not only is it the condition of all metaphysical reality, it is that reality.”[iv]…..