C. G. J. Kilsnacht, December 1926
Foreword to the Third Edition
This essay was written nearly forty years ago, but this time I did not want to publish it in its original form. Since that time so many things have changed and taken on a new face that I felt obliged to make a number of corrections and additions to the original text. It was chiefly the discovery of the collective unconscious that raised new problems for the theory of complexes. Previously the personality appeared to be unique and as if rooted in nothing; but now, associated with the individually acquired causes of the complex, there was found to be a general human precondition, the inherited and inborn biological structure which is the instinctual basis of every human being. From it proceed, as throughout the whole animal kingdom, determining forces which inhibit or strengthen the more or less fortuitous constellations of individual life. Every normal human situation is provided for and, as it were, imprinted on this inherited structure, since it has happened innumerable times before in our long ancestry. At the same time the structure brings with it an inborn tendency to seek out, or to produce, such situations instinctively. A repressed content would indeed vanish into the void were it not caught and held fast in this pre-established instinctual substrate. Here are to be found those forces which offer the most obstinate resistance to reason and will, thus accounting for the conflicting nature of the complex.