The Undiscovered Self is a book that is written in a time of apocalyptic, dystopic visions, the iron curtain and the great division of the East and the West.
Jung opens with a question. “What does the future bring?”
What stops the world from disintegrating into chaos is a stable minority of individuals. The masses drown out reason and individuality, and this inevitably leads to tyranny. The would-be tyrants are psychopaths who bring out to the surface the repressed elements of the masses, but these future tyrants – while a minority – are hard to detect and extremely dangerous.
Our self-knowledge is an offshoot of what our immediate social environment believes it knows about itself. But true self-knowledge can only occur after assessing individual facts about oneself – which is why general theories are poor devices. For example, you might have read some statistics, and know about averages. But theories that tell you about the average are not telling you very much about yourself. Reality is, in fact, found in the irregularities.
“one could say that the real picture consists of nothing but exceptions to the rule, and that, in consequence, absolute reality has predominantly the character of irregularity.” P.5
The Undiscovered Self, Carl Jung