Organization in the personality
Jung found empirically that dreams, myths, legends and fairy tales all show how the personality is organized. In this tale the text itself affirms its psychological purpose. By personality I mean all the instincts, memories, images, ideas, affects, feelings, dynamisms and relationships, conscious and unconscious, which constitute a person's psychology. This definition is related to, but different from, what Jung meant by psyche.
A human has a very small number of genes (20-25,000), little more than a microscopic nematode (19,000) which is one of the simplest animals. Moreover, humans evolved from a species of ape - the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees - within the last five to seven million years.
Nematodes. Microscopic, multicellular, 'tube within a tube' animals, free-living in soil.
Photo: source unknown.
Ardipithecus ramidus.. Earliest known hominid skeleton: 4.4 million years old. Ardipithecus's brain was the same size as that of modern chimpanzees. Ardipithecus shows a point in our evolution when we had developed upright stature but probably were no more informed by spirit and culture than modern apes.
Illustration: J.H. Matternes, Science
These two facts prove that the claim made by evolutionary psychologists (that the human personality has evolved through genetic changes) cannot be true. The rate at which genes mutate is unchanging: seven million years is only long enough to permit a small number of mutations which, it has been proven, achieve their dramatic effects mainly by coding for differences in timing in the process by which a fertilized egg develops into an adult.
For example, one genetically-coded difference between a human and an ape is that, in human development, the cerebral cortex continues to grow in volume for a longer period of time. The result is that a human has a bigger cortex.
The greater complexity of the human cortex cannot be specified for by mutations because, by astronomically large orders of magnitude, there are not enough mutations to do so. Therefore its greater complexity must be specified - during growth - by information absorbed from the environment.
When a child learns to speak, the language centers in the human cortex expand relative to adjacent cortical areas. If the child does not learn to speak, those areas do not expand. Thus the information required for the structure of the language centers in the brain is acquired by learning to speak, that is, from the environment.
(Experiments with ferrets have confirmed this. Visual information from the eyes was surgically redirected to the auditory region of the ferrets' developing cortex: the auditory region became a visual region.)
It follows that the structure of the personality must also be specified almost entirely by information from the environment. Much information comes from interacting with family and peers but information from the wider culture also contributes. For example, wisdom is transmitted through legends and fairy tales. But from whence comes the wisdom contained within fairy tales?