The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its
purposes through him.
As a human being he may have moods and a will and personal aims, but as an artist he is “man” in a
higher sense—he is “collective man,” a vehicle and moulder of the unconscious psychic life of
That is his office, and it is some times so heavy a burden that he is fated to sacrifice
happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human
being. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 157
The artist’s relative lack of adaptation turns out to his advantage; it enables him to
follow his own yearnings far from the beaten path, and to discover what it is that would meet the
unconscious needs of his age.
Thus, just as the one-sidedness of the individual’s conscious attitude is corrected by reactions from the
unconscious, so art represents a process of self-regulation in the life of nations and epochs. ~Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 131
The creative process, so far as we are able to follow it at all, consists in the unconscious
activation of an archetypal image, and in elaborating and shaping this image into the
By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and so
makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.
Therein lies the social significance of art: it is constantly at work educating the
spirit of the age, conjuring up the forms in which the age is most lacking.
The unsatisfied yearning of the artist reaches back to the primordial image in the
unconscious which is best fitted to compensate the inadequacy and one-sidedness of the present.
The artist seizes on this image, and in raising it from deepest unconsciousness he brings it into
relation with conscious values, thereby transforming it until it can be accepted by the minds of
his contemporaries according to their powers.>>