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Rand, N. (2004). The Hidden Soul: The Growth of the Unconscious in Philosophy, Psychology, Medicine, and Literature, 1750-1900. Am. Imago, 61(3):257-289.

(2004). American Imago, 61(3):257-289

The Hidden Soul: The Growth of the Unconscious in Philosophy, Psychology, Medicine, and Literature, 1750-1900

Nicholas Rand


To have ideas and yet not be conscious of them seems to be a contradiction, for how can we know that we have them if we are not conscious of them? Still we can be indirectly conscious of having an idea, even though we may not be directly aware of it.… The fact that the realm of our sense perceptions and feelings, of which we are unconscious, though it is past doubt that we indeed have them, that is, the realm of obscure ideas … should be immeasurable, while the clear ones make up but an infinitely small part of the same perceptions and feelings, that on the great map of our emotions only a few sites are illuminated, all of this can make us marvel at our own being.


Nothing prevents me from returning, via the ego I am now conscious of, to a time when it was not yet conscious of itself, from assuming the existence of a realm beyond the presently given consciousness, that is, an activity that does not appear by itself but instead enters my consciousness through its results. Besides conscious and … free activity there must exist another unconscious one through which, disregarding the limitless expression of freedom, something comes about involuntarily and perhaps even against the will of the acting subject.

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