Consciousness is the mental activity in our state of being preoccupied with external reality-with acting. The unconscious is the mental experience in a state of existence in which we have shut off communications with the outer world are no longer preoccupied with action but with our self-experience. The unconscious is an experience related to a special mode of life – that of non-activity; and the characteristics of the unconscious follow from the nature of this mode of existence. The qualities of consciousness, on the other hand, are determined by the nature of action and by the survival function of the waking state of existence. ― (1951a: The Forgotten Language. An Introduction to the Understanding of Dreams, Fairy Tales and Myths, New York (Rinehart and Co.) 1951, p. 29.)

Our consciousness is all those human experiences of which our particular society permits us to be aware. Usually, aside from very small individual differences, we are aware only of that which our language, our logic, and the taboos of our societies permit us to be aware. There is, you might say, something like a „social filter,“ and only those experiences that can pass through that social filter are the things we are aware of; they are our consciousness. ― And what is our unconscious? Our unconscious is humanity. Our unconscious is the universal man. Our unconscious is all that is human – the good and the bad – all that exists in everybody, minus that small sector which is conscious, which represents the experience, thinking, feeling of the culture that we are thrown into rather accidentally. Our unconscious is the total man. ― (1992m [1962]: A New Humanism as a Condition for the One World, in: E. Fromm, On Being Human, New York (Continuum) 1994, pp. 77f.)