Carl Jung and the Creative Subconscious


Carl Gustav Jung, 1912

Someone told me recently that the pyschologist Carl Jung believed the work reveals something about the author.  We discussed this idea for a few minutes before it hit home in a very scary fashion, because we were discussing my works of horror.  I realized that at least sometimes my own subconscious fears may influence, if not determine, the course of my stories.  Storylines reflecting the subconscious fears of the author makes a lot of sense, because, to my mind at least, dreams and nightmares also originate in and reflect the undercurrents of the subconscious.

So, what do you think?   Is the subconscious wellspring responsible for the creation of dreams the same one responsible for creative works?  What does this say about authors like Yann Martel who wrote “Life of Pi”?   What does it say about authors like Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft and even myself?

While we are at it, here are three quotes from Jung to provide additional food for thought.  What do they say about writers of horror?   I found them at The Painter’s Keys:  Art Quotes from Carl Gustav Jung.

“Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.”

“The secret of artistic creation and the effectiveness of art is to be found in a return to the state of ‘participation mystique’ – to that level of experience at which it is man who lives, and not the individual…”

“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”