If we ask ourselves why did John catch a cold? We put the intellect in a slightly different direction than we directed it if we ask ourselves why does man get sick? This is the kind of differentiation that Jung made with the development of his research on the collective unconscious, of course, not so much as a discovery, but as a novelty in that he took it on as an objective subject of study. That is, to analyse how much is common in a human group and that makes it act in a way that generates satisfaction or collective sufferings without being aware of it.
As part of his research on the collective unconscious, Jung studied the dreams of numerous individuals of various nationalities. Taking advantage of his travels, when he came into contact with different civilizations, he recorded the differences, but above all the similarities in the representations that each group manifested regarding their deities, and what kind of images those individuals who suffered from some kind of disorder conceived in their dreams. The artistic expressions of patients, healers and shamans were also part of the enormous mosaic that he built over the years. And let’s remember that back then there were no personal computers.
In coming into contact with cultures where religiosity was still deeply rooted, Jung realizes how much had been lost in Europe, and in the West in general, that relationship of man with his deity. The myth, he understood, was by no means just a fantastic construction that served to explain some phenomenon, but was the result of a collective system of perception and, therefore, a natural channel of communication. Losing the myths means, therefore, losing those natural channels with which we once communicated at higher levels of consciousness without much effort.
Regardless of the characteristics of the different peoples, they all agree on a mythological starting point where something transcended the individual. When morals were still subject to mythological conditioning, people remained healthy, since they also exercised an identity as a whole. So it was the loss of identity since the destruction of the myths that caused a lot of upheaval in the individuals of the native peoples, what did the healer of a tribe have to do with the arrival of the white man’s vaccines, for example, what would a Christian do without crucifixes?
Jung, also rescuing tools from Alchemy, with his patients applied the value of image as a vehicle of communication. Having understood the deep meaning of mythology, he gave the patient the opportunity to create his own story in which each symbol and its meaning had enough weight to be used in therapy. For this reason, there was no “a” recipe, or “a” treatment, but each case was the possibility of a new world to discover in which the affected person would become the protagonist. The therapist became a companion guide, not a healer.