Instinct is a pattern of behaviour. It is action; it is through this action that the symbolic images can be known. It is twofold: the flight/fight response to the unknown, the systole/diastole of the heart. Man is in part an instinctive animal. Jung saw the instincts as the vital foundations which govern all life. A loss of instinct and sense of animal ancestry leads to endless confusion. The need to remain in contact with this is symbolised by ancestor worship, often personalised as animals, by many primitive tribes.
The animal symbol points to the extra-human, the collective unconscious, where resides not only specific human modes of functioning but also man's animal ancestry. The unconscious itself is often portrayed in animal form, the whale, the wolf, the dragon. The form it takes will often be determined by the conscious attitude. The forms are various: the mythical fearful animals like the sphinx, or the helpful creatures of fairy tales.
Evolution embodies the ultimate relationship of living things.
Christianity moved away from Man's animal nature: Buddhism attends to the transformation of the animal within. Jung saw the need for western man to reconcile the two opposing forces. “Eros only thrives when spirit and instinct are in harmony.”
No. 82 Some Aspects of Instinctive Life - E.L. Grant-Watson Edward
No.108 Psychosomatic Medicine - F. Griffith
No.110 The Symbolism of the Toad - Patricia Dale-Green
No.124 The Archetypal Cat - Patricia Dale-Green