Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Inflation

  • Leon SchlammEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_330

Jung’s Definition of Inflation

C. G. Jung defined inflation – an unconscious psychic condition – as expansion of the personality beyond its proper limits by identification with the persona or with an archetype, or in pathological cases with a historical or religious figure. It produces an exaggerated sense of one’s self-importance and is usually compensated by feelings of inferiority (Jung 1934–1939, 1963). Most of Jung’s comments about inflation are concerned with an identification of the ego or consciousness with the numinosity of an archetype (Jung 1934/1950, 1952), leading to a distortion or even dissolution of the former. The key to avoiding inflation is knowledge of the proper boundaries of the ego or consciousness, and this is achieved by discrimination between it and the archetypal contents of the collective unconscious – the self, anima, animus, and shadow – which possess psychic autonomy. When the ego can distinguish what belongs to itself from what belongs to the objective...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of European Culture and Languages, Religious Studies SectionUniversity of KentCanterburyUK