Archetypes of the Collective and Personal Unconscious

Among the first to formulate a hypothesis about the archetypes was the Greek philosopher Plato. Jung . Jung took from his alchemist studies and has pointed out, it is also mentioned by a few of the early Christian writers. The concept can also be found in Kepler’s astrology and in Teihard de Chardin’s book “The Phenomenon of Man.” At least several of Teihard’s concepts of the emergence of reflective thought toward collective can be related to the evolution of the archetype. As C.G. Jung, the books stresses the point that archetypes are not inherited only structural patterns of potential representation. When they are touched by the light of the conscious mind they may become in the lower plane instincts and the higher realm images.

That, while it is the core of the matter, can said simpler  Say, instincts transport in an instant information and trigger predefined reaction and save the soldier’s life. As a Management Consultant, my job was to communicate complex issues to those who shuns, even hate it.  Same here. Good manager can make decisions I needed to work out the punch line, the primordial image, the elevator pitch. Ideally I could get the message across with the headline, a simple picture.  That is what an archetype is all about. One of the most used archetypes is that of a King. Why? Because I don’t need to explain what a good King  or weak King is or enumerate his virtues or deficits. We know it since  thousands of years, Plato has written a long book about it (and good leader).

Manifest archetypes (not per se!) may be equated in Jung’s with complexes, particularly the those of personal unconscious (like shadow, soul, persona  and self) which are often refered as functional complexes. Symbols  are  perceptible to the conscious mind  and are for  the most part a representation of archetypes per se conscious mind.  Again simpler that, they are visualizations. Obviously  they can can be inherited and they my personal or collective as  source of all mythic, symbolic and dream representations. According to the psychological model of C. G. Jung the archetypes originate in the collective unconscious, described as a repository for all of mankind’s experience and knowledge and are therefore  not available directly —only its images and created patterns can become manifest as symbols potentially unlimited in number and variety. Symbols are the core of our culture being the universal patterns of myth, religious symbols and ideas.  Lets face it, Archetypes  are numerous and ambiguous  under the Jungian folk.

The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

A deeper level manifests itself in universal archaic images expressed in dreams, religious beliefs, myths, and fairytales. Those archetypes, as unfiltered psychic experience, appear sometimes in their most primitive and naive forms (in dreams), sometimes in a considerably more complex form due to the operation of conscious elaboration (in myths). Archetypal images expressed in religious dogma in particular are thoroughly elaborated into formalized structures which, while by expressing the unconscious in a circuitous manner, prevent direct confrontation with it. Since the Protestant Reformation rejected nearly all of the carefully constructed symbol structures, man has felt increasingly isolated and alone without his gods; at a loss to replenish his externalized symbols, he must turn to their source in the unconscious. The search into the unconscious involves confronting the shadow, man’s hidden nature; the anima/animus, a hidden opposite gender in each individual; and beyond, the archetype of meaning. These are archetypes susceptible to personification; the archetypes of transformation, which express the process of individuation itself, are manifested in situations. As archetypes penetrate consciousness, they influence the perceived experience of normal and neurotic people; a too powerful archetype may totally possess the individual and cause psychosis. The therapeutic process takes the unconscious archetypes into account in two ways: they are made as fully conscious as possible, then synthesized with the conscious by recognition and acceptance. It is observed that since modern man has a highly developed ability to dissociate, simple recognition may not be followed by appropriate action; it is thus felt that moral judgment and counsel is often required in the course of treatment.

In addition to the personal unconscious generally accepted by medical psychology, the existence of a second psychic system of a universal and impersonal nature is postulated. This collective unconscious is considered to consist of preexistent thought forms, called archetypes, which give form to certain psychic material which then enters the conscious. Archetypes are likened to instinctual behavior patterns. Examples of ideas such as the concept of rebirth, which occur independently in various cultures and ages, are advanced as evidence for the collective unconscious. It is felt that there are as many archetypes as there are recurring situations in life, that when a situation occurs that corresponds to a particular archetype, the archetype presses for completion like an instinctual drive; resistance to its expression may result in neurosis. The existence of archetypes is demonstrated in the analysis of adult and childhood dreams, active imagination, psychotic delusions, and fantasies produced in the trance state. A case history of a paranoid schizophrenic is examined in terms of the manifestation of archetypes in the patient’s delusional system.

The formulation of the archetypes is described as an empirically derived concept, like that of the atom; it is a concept based not only on medical evidence but on observations of mythical, religious and literary phenomena, these archetypes are considered to be primordial images, spontaneous products of the psyche which do not reflect any physical process, but are reflected in them. It is noted that while the theories of materialism would explain the psyche as an epiphenomenon of chemical states in the brain, no proof has yet been found for this hypothesis; it is considered more reasonable to view psychic production as a generating rather than a generated factor. The anima is the feminine aspect of the archetypal male/female duality whose projections in the external world can be traced through myth, philosophy and religious doctrine. This duality is often represented in mythical syzygy symbols, which are expressions of parental imagos; the singular power of this particular archetype is considered due to an unusually intense repression of unconscious material concerning the parental imagos. Archetypal images are described as preexistent, available and active from the moment of birth as possibilities of ideas which are subsequently elaborated by the individual. The anima image in particular is seen to be active in childhood, projecting superhuman qualities on the mother before sinking back into the unconscious under the influence of external reality. In a therapeutic sense, the concept of the amma is considered critical to the understanding of male psychology. 16 references.

In a discussion of the concept of archetypes, Plato’s concept of the Idea, a primordial disposition that preforms and influences thoughts, is found to be an early formulation of the archetype hypothesis. Other investigators such as Hermann Usener are also noted to have recognized the existence of universal forms of thought. Jung’s contribution is considered to be the demonstration that archetypes are disseminated not only through tradition, language, or migration, but that they can anse spontaneously without outside influence. It is emphasized that an archetype is not predetermined in content; rather it is a possibility of representation which may be actualized in various ways. In this aspect the archetype is likened to the instincts; both are predetermined in form only, and both are only demonstrable through their manifestations.

(1) The mother archetype

Some characteristic aspects of the mother archetype are delineated including the personal mother, grandmother, stepmother and mother-in-law figures; secondly, any woman with whom such a mother like relationship exists, such as nurse; and finally, figurative aspects of mother, such as a goddess. Symbols of the mother are seen in abstractions such as the goal of redemption, objects arousing devotion or awe, such as sea, moon, woods; and items representing fertility, such as a garden. The magical protection this archetype implies is similar to that of the mandala figure. The mother archetype has two aspects: she is both loving and terrible. Positively, the mother archetype has been associated with solicitude, wisdom, sympathy, spiritual exaltation, helpful instincts, growth and fertility; the negative or evil side of the mother archetype is associated with secrets, darkness, the world of the dead, seduction and poison. Because of the power of the mother archetype, it is suggested that the traumatic effects produced by a mother upon her children are of two kinds: first, those corresponding to traits actually present in the mother, and second, those due to traits which are archetypal projections on the part of the child. It is noted that even Freud admits of the importance of infantile fantasy in the development of neurosis. Automatically explaining a child’s neorosis by means of unconscious archetypes leads to errors; instead, a thorough investigation of the parents is indicated. It is felt that the task of the therapist is not to deny the archetypes, but to dissolve their projections in order to restore their contents to the individual.

The mother-complex of the son

The mother archetype is described as forming the foundation of the mother complex in sons; through the early influence of the actual mother, archetypal structure develops around the mother figure, producing fantasies which disturb the mother-child relationship. Typical effects of the mother complex include homosexuality, Don Juanism and sometimes impotence. An equal role is played by the anima and mother archetype in the formation of the mother complex, since for the male child the perception of the mother is complicated by sexual forces. In addition to its pathogenic properties, the mother complex is considered to have possible benefits for the male child in developing and refining in him certain essentially feminine qualities.

The mother-complex of the daughter

The possible effects of the mother complex in the daughter are described as the hyper-trophy of the daughter’s feminine instincts or its opposite, the atrophy of the feminine instincts. The exaggeration of the feminine aspect is manifested in the intensification of all female instincts, especially the maternal instinct; the negative aspect of this hypertrophy is seen in women to whom the husband is merely an object to be looked after, aside from his procreative function. Even her own life is of secondary importance, since the woman’s children are the objects of her complex identification. The conscious development of the Eros in this type of woman is described as exclusively a maternal relationship. The personal Eros remains unconscious and is expressed in a will to power; this ruthlessness may result in the annihilation of her own personality and the lives of her children. When the maternal instinct is atrophied, an overdeveloped Eros forms and generally leads to an unconscious incestuous relationship with the father; the intensified Eros causes an abnormal emphasis on the personality of others. The woman of this type is often seen to engage in sensational behavior for its own sake.

Two alternatives to the overdevelopment of the Eros in the mother complex of a woman are described as identity with the mother and resistance to the mother. In the former case, the daughter projects her personality completely on the mother, loses her own feminine instincts due to feelings of inferiority, and remains devoted to the mother in an unconscious desire to control her. It is noted that the submissive vacuousness these daughters display is often very attractive to men. The resistance to the mother is described as an example of the negative mother complex, in which behavior patterns of the daughter are formed exclusively in opposition to those of the mother’ This complex is seen to result in marital difficulties, indifference to family based societal organizations, and sometimes an extreme intellectual development.

 Positive aspects of the mother-complex

The importance of the archetypes in man’s relationship to the world is emphasized; they are seen to express man’s highest values, which would be lost in the unconscious if not for their projection onto the external environment. An example is the mother archetype, which expresses the ideal mother love. Although the projection of this archetpye on the actual mother — an imperfect human being — may lead to psychological complications, the alternative of rejecting the ideal is seen as even more dangerous; the destruction of this ideal and all other irrational expression is seen as a serious impoverishment of human experience. Further, archetypes relegated exclusively to the unconscious may intensify to the point of distorting perceptive and reasoning powers. The equilibrium of rational and irrational psychic forces is thus considered essential.

 The overdeveloped Eros 

The positive functions an overdeveloped Eros type of mother complex may fulfill are considered. This type of woman, whose behavior often develops in reaction to her own mother’s instinctive and all devouring nature, tends to attract men in need of liberation from similar mothers or wives. Seen in this light, the wrecking of marriages which commonly results from such attraction has a positive aspect. Moreover, the moral conflict aroused in men who are the objects of the attraction is seen as conducive to increased self-knowledge and a higher degree of consciousness. It is suggested that even the woman with this type of mother complex may benefit from the same conflict, becoming more aware of her role of deliverer and possibly even consciously fulfilling it. I reference.

The “nothing-but” daughter 

The possibility for positive development on the part of a woman who is so identified with her mother that her own instincts are paralyzed is seen to depend upon her emptiness being filled by a male anima projection. Once stolen from her mother, this woman may eventually come to self-awareness through utlimate resentment of her submissive role as a wife. If she remains unconscious of her own personality, however, she is considered capable of endowing her husband with her own undeveloped talents through projection. This type of woman is described as embodying the essential feminine attribute: emptiness (the yin).

The negative mother complex

The possibility for positive development of the woman with a negative mother complex is discussed. Although as a pathological phenomenon this type of woman is an unpleasant and exacting partner in marriage, it is felt that with experience this woman may actually have the best chance to make her marriage a success during the second half of her life. First she must give up fighting her mother in the personal sense; but she will always remain hostile to the feminine qualities of darkness and ambiguity, and will choose clarity and reason. Her cool judgment and objectivity can give this type of woman understanding of the individuality of her husband that goes beyond the erotic; she may become the friend, sister and competent advisor of her husband. All this can only be achieved if the complex is faced and lived out to its fullest. The Biblical character of Lot’s wife is described as an example of this type of woman, who has an unconscious reactive view of reality, dominated by the exclusively feminine aspect. When this type of woman attains greater consciousness of herself, her rare combination of womanliness and masculine understanding is beneficial in the work environment as well as in intimate personal relationships. A man may project a positive mother complex on a woman with masculine qualities because she is easier to understand than one with another type of mother complex. Understanding this type of woman, moreover, is not seen as frightening to a man, rather it is conducive to confidence, a quality often absent in the relationship between men and women.


General observations on the mother complex and examples taken from mythology and history are used to support the concept of an unconscious origin for the mother archetype. The experience of the mother archetype is described as beginning in the state of unconscious identity in which the child first encounters the actual mother. Gradually, as the ego is differentiated from the mother, mysterious qualities originally attached to her are transferred to a female figure close to her, such as a grandmother; finally, as consciousness becomes clearer, the archetype recedes into the unconscious, assuming mythological proportions. Once the mother archetype is projected upon myth or fairytale, its opposite aspects may split apart, creating a good and an evil goddess, for example. The essential diffemece between the operation of the mother image in a man’s psychology and in a woman’s is stressed: the mother typifies a woman’s own conscious life, but is an alien figure to a man, and is surrounded with imagery from the unconscious. It is noted that the mythological projection of the mother archetype, the Great Mother, often appears with her male counterpart, creating the archetype of paired opposites which is the symbol of psychic individuation. The dogma of the Assumption is proposed as a modern effort to compensate the dominance of rational and material science with its archetypal opposite, creating thereby a balanced world. It is suggested that this type of symbolic compensation and unity constitutes the only way man is able to organize and understand his role in the world. 2 references.

(2) Rebirth archetype

Five plus one different forms of rebirth are defined and describedby C.G.Jung

  • Metempsychosis – transmigration of souls
  • Reincarnation –  continuity of personality (main Buddhist theme)
  • Resurrection  – reestablishment of human existence after death (main Christian theme)
  • Rebirth Renovatio – rebirth in the narrow sense within a span of a life with the implication of healing, improvement
  • Rebirth Transmutation  – such as transformation of a mortal in an immortal being
  • Participation in or witnessing of  a process of transformation – mystery of ceremony.

Metempsychosis, or transmigration of souls, is described as life extended in time by passing through different bodily existences, an eternal life interrupted by different reincarnations. This concept does not require a continuity of personality, even in Buddhism where it is of particular importance, but only continuity of karma. In reincarnation, human personality is regarded as continuous; previous existences are at least potentially available to awareness, since the same ego is presumed to exist throughout the various lives. These lives are generally thought to be exclusively human. The third form of rebirth, resurrection, is defined as a reestablishment of human existence after death, with the implication of some change or transformation of the being. A different place or body may be involved in transformation; the change of body can be either in the carnal or the nonmaterial sense. Rebirth in its fourth form (renovatio) is described as rebirth within the span of individual life; this rebirth may either consist of some healing or strengthening of a part of the physical or psychological being without essential change of the whole, or of a profound basic change in the essential nature of the individual, called transmutation. Examples are offered such as the assumption of the body of the Mother of God into heaven after her death. The fifth form of rebirth is seen as an indirect one in which the individual witnesses or takes part in some rite of transformation and thereby shares a divine grace. It is exemplified by the witnessing of transubstantiation in the Mass, or the confession of the initiate in the Eleusinian mysteries. 1 reference.

The psychology of rebirth

The psychic importance of the concept of rebirth and two main types of transformation experiences are discussed. It is felt that the rebirth concept can only be understood by examining history, since rebirth itself is a purely psychic reality transmitted only indirectly through personal statements. The affirmation of the concept of rebirth among many different peoples is taken as support for its archetypal quality. It is contended that psychology must deal with psychic events underlying the affirmations of rebirth, especially regarding the two main groups of transformation experiences: that of the transcendence of life, and that of individual transformation. The experience of the transcendence of life can be induced by ritual, in which the initiate takes part in some sacred rite revealing to him the continuity of life. The transformation does not take place within the initiate, but outside him, although he may become involved in the transformation. The experience of the Christian Mass is described as an example of this type of experience in which life, is transcended in a moment of eternity.

 Experience of the transcedence of life

In addition to transcendence experienced through ritual, a second transcendence of life is described as a spontaneous, ectastic or visionary experience of mystery without the aid of ritual. Nietzsche’s Noontide Vision is discussed as a classic example of this type of transformation: in the myth of Dionysus-Zagreus, who was dismembered and returned to life, the Deity appears in the noon hour, sacred to Pan; Nietzche’s reaction is as though he had been present at a ritual. It is cautioned that these are more esthetic forms of experience, like dreams which have no lasting effect on the dreamer, and that they must be distinguished from those visions which involve permanent change in the individual. 2 references.

Subjective transformation 

The diminution of personality as the result of a personality transformation is described as different from the changes produced by a mystical experience. It is noted that transformations of personality are already familiar to psychology, and appear in psychopathology. The primitive psychology refers to this diminution of personality as “loss of soul”; the impression that the soul has been suddenly lost is in accordance with the nature of primitive consciousness, which lacks the coherence of that of civilized man. The experience of civilized man is seen as similar to that of primitive man, but felt more as a lessening of conscious tonus; the consequent listlessness and loss of will advance to the point of distintegration, in which individual parts of personality escape from conscious control, as in the case of hysterical phenomena. This diminution of personality (abaissement du niveau mental) is described as resulting from physical or mental fatigue, physical illness, violent emotions, or shock, and leading to a narrowing of mental horizons and possibly to the development of a negative cast which falsifies the original personality.

Enlargement of personality 

The transformation resulting in an enlargement of personality is described as the accretion of new experiences from without coupled with the response of some inner element to these experiences. New experiences cannot be assimilated unless the inner amplitude is equal to the incoming material; therefore, without psychic depth, an individual lacks the capacity to relate to the magnitude of experience, and a difficult task may destroy rather than benefit him. A literary example of such an enlargement is seen in Nietzsche’s description of Zarathustra; religious and cultural illustrations of the process are found in the Christ figure, in Indian culture, and in the Islamic legend of Moses and Khidr. It is noted that the enlargement of personality can occur in smaller ways, as may be illustrated by the case histories of neurotic patients. 2 references.

 Change of internal structure

Changes of personality are detailed that involve structural alterations in personality rather than enlargement or diminution. The phenomenon of possession, in which some idea, content or part of personality gains mastery of the individual, is characterized as one of the most important forms of change in structure. Possession is described as identity of the ego personality with a complex, with no strict differentiation made between possession and paranoia. A common instance of possession and concomitant structural change in the personality is seen in an individual’s identity with the persona, the manner the individual assumes in dealing with the world; life is then lived only as a public biography. Other examples of possession of parts of the personality are described as the possession by an “inferior function” which results in the individual’s living below his own level, and possession by the anima or animus, which gives prominence in the personality characteristics of the opposite sex. In unusual cases states of possession may be observed to involve the soul of some forbear; evidence for this type of transformation is found in Leon Daudet’s book “L’Heredo” and in the common importance of ancestral roles in society. 5 references.

Identification with a group

A form of transformation experience is described which occurs when an individual identifies with a group of people who have a collective experience of transformation. This type of experience is distinguished from participation in a transformation rite, which does not necessarily depend upon, or give rise to, a group identity. Transformation as a group experience is described as taking place on a lower level of consciousness than transformation as an individual, because the total psyche emerging from a group is more like the animal psyche than the human. Although the group experience is easier to achieve, it does not cause a permanent change once the individual is removed from the group. Events in prewar Germany are cited as typifying the results of inevitable psychological regression which takes place in a group when ritual is not introduced to counteract unconscious instinctuality. Although this evaluation of mass psychology is conceded to be essentialiv negative, it is pointed out that the mass can also have positive effects by fostering courage and dignity; however, these gifts are considered to become dangerous if they are taken for granted and stifle personal efforts to achieve them. 4 references.

 Identification with a cult-hero

Identification with some god or hero who is transformed in a sacred ritual is discussed as an important form of personality transformation. The Metamorphosis of Apuleius, the Osiris cult of Egypt, and the Christian tradition are detailed as examples of this phenomenon. The latter is considered to represent a culmination of this transformation in the idea that everyone has an immortal soul and shares in the godhead; further development of this idea is seen to lead to the concept of Christ in each individual. Two forms of this indirect transformation process are described as dromenon, characteristics of the ritual of the Catholic Church, and the gospel, the Protestant preaching of the Word.

Magical procedures

Two further forms of personality transformation beyond identification with a cult hero are suggested. Instead of the transformation occuring through an individual’s participation in a sacred rite, the rite may be expressly utilized to effect the transformation, which takes place from the outside as an individual submits to a technique. Magical transformation techniques of primitive societies usually involve some physical procedure such as pulling a sick person through hole in the wall or through a leather cow, or a renaming, to give the individual another soul. Nonmagical techniques designed to produce psychic changes are exemplified by the practice of yoga. A fairy tale illustrates how spontaneous transformations are replaced by formalized techniques designed to reproduce the original transformation by imitating the procedure.

Natural transformation (individuation)

In addition to technical processes of personality transformation, a natural individuation process is described as involving a spontaneous maturing of the personality. Natural transformation is evidenced in dreams symbolizing rebirth and in the intercourse between consciousness and some inner voice; this latter phenomenon, commonly described as talking to oneself, is seen as meditation in the alchemical sense. The inner voice is generally regarded as nonsense or as the voice of God; its real nature considered to be an unconscious counterpart to the ego. It is felt that if this psychic partner is recognized by the ego consciousness, the conflict between the two can have a positive effect. In alchemy, in ancient cults and in religion this inner presence is found personified as an external being such as Mercurius or Christ. 3 references.

A typical set of symbols illustrating the process of transformation

An example of the symbolism of transformation is found in the Khidr myth of Islamic mysticism which appears in the Eighteenth Sura of the Koran. The cave which appears in this text is seen as a symbol of the unconscious; the entry into the cave is the beginning of a process of psychic transformation which may result in a substantial personality change. Moral observations which follow the legend are considered as counsel to those who will not achieve transformation and who must substitute adherence to the law for true rebirth. The enusing story of Moses and his servant amplifies and explains the first tale; the catch and subsequent loss of the fish by Moses symbolizes an incomplete contact with the nourishing influenc I the unconscious. The appearance of Khidr in the legend is elt to represent the greater self which can guide the ego nsciousness (Moses) toward increased wisdom. An ab t transition follows, and a story is told by Moses concerning Khidr and his friend Dhulguarnein, although it is in fact Moses who is interacting with Khidr; this substitution is interpreted in terms of a retreat from the psychic danger of a direct confrontation of the ego consciousness with the self. An allusion to the rebuilding of walls is seen as a symbol of the protection of the self and of the individuation process. It is concluded that the Khidr figure’s significance in Islamic mysticism is due to this legend’s complete expression of the archetype of individuation. 12 references.

(3) Child archetype

In dream analysis, the existence of typical mythologems among individuals leads to the conclusion that myth forming structural elements must be present in the unconscious psyche. The child archetype is cited as an example of such a primordial image, called archetype, which may be found in myths, fairytales and psychotic fantasies as well as in dreams. Due to the undeveloped nature of primitive man, the unconscious and its archetypes are seen to intrude spontaneously into his conscious mind; thus primitive man does not invent myth but only experience it. In modem man, products of the unconscious may be divided into two categories: fantasies of a personal nature which can be traced to repression by the individual; and fantasies of an impersonal nature, not individually acquired, which correspond to inherited collective elements of the human psyche. This second category is given the name collective unconscious. It is explained that unconscious material can enter the consciousness during a state of reduced conscious intensity such as in dream, when the control of the unconscious by the conscious mind ceases. Archetypes are described as living psychic forces which can promote human growth and which, when neglected, may cause neurotic or even psychotic disorders. The archetype of the child god appears to be widespread: examples from myth and legend, such the Christ child, the alchemical child motif, and the figure of the dwarf or elf are cited. The most significant manifestation of the child motif in psychotherapy is described as ocurring in the maturation process of personality induced by analysis of the unconscious or the individuation process. Here preconscious processes gradually pass into the conscious mind through dreams or through the active imagination. 17 references.

 The archetype as a link with the past 

The difficulty of completely explaining the meaning of an archetype, a psychic organ within every man, is acknowledged, with the warning that a poor explanation of it may result in injury to that psychic organ. It is felt that the explanation of the archetype should be such that an adequate and meaningful connection between the conscious mind and the archetypes is assured, and that the functional significance of the archetype remains unimpaired. The archetype’s role in the psychic structure is described as representing or personsifying certain instinctive data from the unconscious. The preoccupation of the primitive mentality with magic, cited as evidence for the importance of the connection to primitive psychic contents, is seen as the basis of modern religion. The child archetype is defined as a representation of the preconscious childhood aspect of the collective psyche.

The function of the archetype

The function of the child archetype in regard to modern man is outlined. The purpose of the child archetype is seen as the compensation or correction of the inevitable onesidedness and extravagance of the conscious mind, the natural result of conscious concentration on a few contents to the exclusion of all others. Modem man’s developed will is described as affording human freedom, but also the greater possibility of transgression against the instincts. Compensation through the still exist- ing state of childhood is considered necessary to prevent the uprooting of modem man’s differentiated consciousness. Symptoms of compensation, such as backwardness and regressive behavior, are evaluated negatively by modem man, whereas primitive man sees them as natural, in keeping with law and tradition. Dissociation of consciousness is seen to facilitate a separation of one part of the psyche from the rest, resulting in the falsification of the personality through the force of the separated part. Thus if the childhood state of the collective psyche is suppressed, the unconscious may inhibit or even overwhelm the conscious function.

The futurity of the archetype

Since the child is essentially a potential being, the child motif in the psychology of the individual signifies generally the anticipation of future, even though the motif appears to operate in a retrospective manner. In the same manner, the child in the individual is seen to pave the way for a future change of personality. The child motif is explained as a symbol that unites the opposites in one’s personality, in that it anticipates the figure that comes from a synthesis of conscious and unconscious elements. The child as mediator of transformation is represented in numerous symbols, such as the circle or the quaternity; these symbols of wholeness are also identified with the self. The individuation process is concluded to exist in the child in a preconscious state, to be actualized in the adult psyche.

Child god and child hero

The child motif as an archetypal image is noted to manifest itself as unity or plurality. When a number of children appear with no individual characteristics, a dissociation of the personality such as is found in schizophrenia is indicated; while the appearance of the child as a unity is felt to represent a potential synthesis of the personality. The appearance of the child may be in the form of a god or hero, with the miraculous birth and early adversities common to both. The child god is seen as a symbol of the unintegrated unconscious; the child hero, combining human and supernatural qualities, is considered a symbol of the potential for individuation. The typical fates of the child figures are interpreted as symbols of psychic events which occur during the entelechy (genesis) of the self as the psyche struggles toward wholeness.

Special phenomenology of the child archetype

Danger to and abandonment of the archetypal child figure are interpreted in psychological terms. The universal themes of the child’s insignificant beginnings and miraculous birth are interpreted as psychic experiences whose object is the emergence of a new and as yet unknown content. Moments of psychic conflict from which there is no conscious means of escape are described as causing the unconscious to create a third presence of an irrational nature, which the conscious mind neither expects nor understands. One example of this unknown content is the symbolic emergence of the child figure. Since the child figure represents a moving towards psychic independence, the symbol of abandonment is a necessary precondition for the detachment of the child motif from its origins. The symbol of the child anticipates a new higher state of consciousness which may remain only a mythological projection if it is not actually integrated in the being of the individual. It is noted that the moral conflict unique to modem man, like the physical conflict of primitive times, is still a life threatening situation affording no escape, as evidenced by the numerous child figures appearing as modem culture heroes.

 The invincibility of the child

The psychological significance of the seemingly paradoxical invincibility of the child in myth is examined; although the child is often delivered into dangerous situations and is in continual danger of extinction, he possesses supernatural powers far beyond the human. Similarly, in situations of conflict within the conscious mind, the combatant forces are described as so overwhelming that the child as an isolated content bears no relation to the conscious elements present, and may easily return to unconsciousness; yet the child personifies the most vital urge to realize the self, and as such has great power. The development of the power of the child is traced through ancient myth and alchemical symbolism; Hindu thought is noted to recognize the psychological necessity of detachment and confrontation with the unconscious to make the progress of consciousness possible. It is considered necessary for modem medicine to realize that the archetypes underlying these fantasies cannot be dismissed as unreal. They arise from the depths of the psyche, having their ultimate source in the collective unconscious, identified by Kerenyi as the world itself. 1 reference.

The hermaphroditism of the child

The hermaphroditic nature of the child archetype and the majority of cosmogonic gods is interpreted as a symbol of the creative union of opposites, a dynamic symbol directed toward a future goal. The continuous renewal of this symbol from pagan mythology through Christian tradition is considered to support its identity as a universal primordial figure. In light of the recent development of psychology, the projection of the hermaphrodite figure is seen to symbolize the ideal psychic goal of self-realization through the unification of the psyche, which is in itself bisexual, consisting of a conscious, dominant gender and its unconscious opposite. 6 references.

 The child as beginning and end 

The association of the child archetype with both the beginning and end of life is interpreted psychologically in terms of the preconscious and postconscious essence of man; the preconscious state of early childhood is seen as repeated in the return to psychic wholeness after death. The evidence for this hypothesized psychic wholeness existing beyond the life of man is found in the analogous existence and activity of the unconscious beyond the conscious mind. This preexistent psychic whole is expressed in the symbol of the child, who is helpless but powerful, initially insignificant but ultimately triumphant.


The study of the nature and function of the archetype is described as inexact, in that archetypal symbols form such an interpenetrating network that it is difficult to separate one from the rest; the value of considering them is seen to lie more in their presentation as a whole than in the examination of a single one. Psychology itself is seen as a mythology, a system which can provide its believers with a means of counteracting dissociation from psychic origins. The therapeutic function of archetypes is described in terms of the patient’s gradual confrontation with the self through the understanding and demystification of fantasy. The differentiation of conscious and unconscious processes through objective observation leads ideally to the synthesis of the two and to a shift in the center of the personality from the ego to the self.

(4) Kore Archetype

The result of a phenomenological study of psychic structure, consisting of the observance and description of the products of the unconscious, is described as the development of a psychological typology of situations and figures, called motifs, in the psychic processes of man. The principal types of motifs of the human figure include the shadow, the wise old man, the child, the mother as a supraordinate personality or a maiden, the anima in man and the animus in woman. One such motif is the Kore figure, belonging in man to the anima type and in woman to the supraordinate personality, or the self; like the other psychic figures, the Kore is observed to have both positive and negative manifestations. Images such as the Kore are considered to rise from an area of the personality which has an impersonal, collective nature, and to express this psychic material in the conscious. The experience of these archetypal expressions has the effect of widening the scope of consciousness. Several dream visions described by men and women are analyzed in their manifestations of the Kore symbol as supraordinate personality and anima.

(5) Spirit Archetypes

A definition of the word “spirit” is proposed and a descniption of the historical and mythical characteristics of the spirit is presented. The great number of different definitions of the term in use today is considered to make it difficult to delimit any one concept; however, these definitions in combination are considered to provide a vivid and concrete view of the phenomenon. In the psychological sense, spirit is defined as a fundamental complex which was originally felt as an invisible but dynamic living presence; this concept is seen to precede the Christian view of the spirit as superior to nature. The contrasting materialistic view, developed under antiChristian influence, is based on the premise that the spirit is in fact determined by nature, just as the psychic functions are considered to depend on neurochernical phenomena. It is contended that while spirit and matter may eventually be revealed as identical, at present the reality of psychic contents and processes in themselves cannot be denied. The spirit is conceived as originally external to man; now, although it has been internalized in the consciousness, it is still creative rather than created, binding man and influencing him just as the external physical world does. It is seen as autonomous and therefore capable of manifesting itself spontaneously in the conscious. 1 reference.

 Selfrepresentation of the spirit in dreams

Interpretations and implications of the psychic manifestations of the spirit in dreams are discussed. The spirit is considered to depend on the existence of an autonomous, primordial, archetypal image in the preconscious makeup of mankind. The moral character of spirits in dreams is considered impossible to establish, since the unconscious process which produces the spirit is capable of expressing both good and evil. The figure of the wise old man is observed to appear where insight is needed that the conscious is unable to supply; thus the archetype compensates for conscious spiritual deficiency. Again, this insight is considered impossible to judge morally, as it often represents an interplay of good and evil. 1 reference.

The spirit in fairytales 

The positive and negative manifestations of the archetypal figure of the wise old man are demonstrated in various myths and fairytales. The old man in fairytales, like the old man of dreams, typically appears when the hero is in a hopeless or desparate situation from which he cannot extricate himself alone. The knowledge needed to overcome the hero’s difficulties appears in the shape of a wise old man. The old men in fairytales often ask questions of the hero or heroine for the purpose of mobilizing their moral forces; another common function is to dispense some magic talisman. The old man figure is described as representing knowledge, reflection, insight, wisdom, cleverness, and intuition, as well as moral qualities such as goodwill and readiness to help, which make his spiritual character clear. Even in fairytales the old man has a clear link with the psychic unconscious, as in the case of a forest king connected with water and wood symbols, which are themselves symbols for the unconscious. The spirit archetype, like all other archetypes, is seen to have a negative as well as a positive aspect, expressed in the actions or appearance of the the wise old man figure. The manifestation of the good and evil aspects are often found combined in one fairytale, indirectly alluding to an inner relationship between the two. 14 references.

Theriomorphic spirit symbolism in fairytales

Descriptions, interpretations and examples of the manifestation of the spirit archetype in the form of an animal are presented. The assumption of animal form is seen as significant in that it shows the psychic contents in question to be beyond human consciousness, in the sense of the superhuman/demoniac or the subhuman/bestial. Thus in many fairytales helpful animals appear with a knowledge superior to man’s, or wicked ones with superior power. A detailed analysis of one fairytale demonstrates the functioning of the animal figure in terms of its relationships with other archetypal symbols such as wholeness and polarity, and the priviledged number of the quaternity. The implication for psychology of triad and quaternity symbolism is discussed in terms of the four functions of consciousness, three of which are susceptible to differentiation, while one remains connected to the unconscious and inaccessible to the will. The complex relationships among these functions and their striving toward wholeness are seen to correspond admirably to the structure of the fairytale in question; this correspondence is seen as natural, given that fairytales as a whole are unusually naive and uncontrived products of the psyche. 2 references.

Investigation of the symbolism

The methodology and results of a psychological investigation of the symbolism in a particular fairytale are discussed. Rational connections among the irrational data of the fairytale are first assumed to exist; the truth of the assumption is subsequently demonstrated by the results of study based upon it. For example, in a fairytale featuring threelegged and fourlegged horses, the threeleggedness is assumed to be a significant quality in itself; it is studied as a separate concept, and relationships to the archetypal triad and tetrad structures are revealed. The interpretation of symbols in the fairytale in question is discovered to be extremely complex, involving the animas and shadows of certain characters being personified in others; the representation of the instinctual unconscious, the animas and animal figures; and most important, the tension of opposites and their eventual resolution. A final interpretation of the fairytale portrays it as a representation of the unconscious processes that compensates the conscious Christian perspective; specifically, the fairytale demonstrates the attainment of wholeness or individuation through the union of negative and positive forces. 4 references.


The picture of the spirit that appears in dreams and fairytales is distinguished from the conscious idea of spirit. Originally the spirit was conceived as a demon which came upon man from the outside; those demon have been partially transformed into voluntary acts by the expansion of consciousness, which has begun to transform formerly unconscious areas of the psyche. It is felt that superhuman positive and negative quafities that the primitive man assigned to the demons are now being ascribed to reason, but that the historical events of modern times, such as war, point to a lack of reason. It is suggested that the human spirit is unaware of the demonism that still clings to him. The advanced technology and science of modern man is described as placing mankind in danger of possession. It is felt that mankind must escape from possession by the unconscious through a better understanding of it. Although Christianity is credited with the understanding that man’s inner nature is of prime importance, this understanding is not considered to have penetrated deeply enough. 2 references.

(6)  Trickster archetype

The Trickster is the collective Shadow – which will lead us to basic (or I call it personal) Archetypes. Individuation denotes the process by which a person becomes a psychological unity or whole through conflict between the two fundamental psychic aspects, the conscious and the unconscious. This process is described as corresponding to alchemical symbols, especially the unity symbol. It is explained that many persons regard consciousness as the whole psychological individual, but that investigation of multiple personality has proved the existence of an unconscious area of personality in addition to the conscious area, There does not appear to be a ruling principle analogous to the ego in the unconscious, as unconscious phenomena are manifested in unsystematic ways. The conscious and unconcious may appear separate in that the conscious is unaware of the contents of the unconscious; yet cases are presented to demonstate that it is possible for the unconscious to swamp the ego, or that under the influence of strong emotion, the ego and the unconscious may change places as the unconscious becomes autonomous. The unconscious contains not only elements of a primitive world of the past, but is directed toward the future as well. The conscious mind is easily influenced by the unconscious, as in the case of intuition which is defined as perception via the unconscious. Elements which exist in the unconscious are described as the anima, that feminine personality hidden in a man, and the animus, the masculine personality hidden in a woman; the shadow, which pesonifies everything the subject does not wish to face in himself; the hero; and the wise old man. These elements are seen to exist in deep levels of the unconscious and bring into mankind’s personality a strange psychic life from the remote past. The desired goal of harmony between conscious and unconscious comes about through the process of individuation, an irrational life experience also commonly expressed in symbols. The task of the analyst is defined as aiding in the interpretation of the symbols, in order to achieve a transcendent union of the opposites. The goal of psychotherapy is described as the development of the personality into a whole.

Basic (personal) Archetypes

The Shadow

The most basic potential for patterning is the Shadow Archetype. This is the potential of experiencing the unconscious side of our unique personalities. As we move deeper into the dark side of our personality personal, identity begins to dissolve into “latent dispositions” common to all men. In the realm of Shadow, represented by Gollum reside rejection, frustration, anger, hate, evil. According to Jung, we all must struggle with our shadow. The shadow is our unconscious self, all the parts of ourselves that we refuse to acknowledge or are shamed by. The more we try to flee from or ignore the shadow, the more it grows and the more power it gains over us. To master the shadow, we need to stop running, turn, and face it.We experience the chaos which indicates that we are drawing close to the material structure of psychic life. This “Other Side” may be manifested in a wealth of images. The image of “wilderness” is fundamental. Remember that Hanzel and Gretel were led “into the woods” and were trapped. Knights discover dragons, ogres, and thieves in the woods. Robin Hood is at home in the wild. The image may be that of the mob and its underworld, an urban equivalent in which “Pretty Boy” Floyd is a hero. There is always “the concrete jungle.” Dragons sail the sea, “the watery wilderness.” Jesus and John the Baptist met God “in the wilderness,” as did Israel at Sinai.

The Shadow is the easiest of the archetypes for most persons to experience. We tend to see it in “others.” That is to say, we project our dark side onto others and thus interpret them as “enemies” or as “exotic” presences that facinate. We see the Shadow everywhere in popular culture. We see it in popular prejudice as well. We “imagine” that the Black Man is our enemy; that Communists are devils. We incline towards Hawaii as the “land of paradise.” We accept people uncritically if we perceive them as “Fair Haired.” Of course, Satan is the great Shadow image of popular religion.  The Shadow is the personification of that part of human, psychic possiblity that we deny in ourselves and project onto others. The goal of personality integration is to integrate the rejected, inferior side of our life into our total experience and to take responsibility for it.

The Soul (Anima Or Animus)

The second most prevalent potential patterning is that of the Soul (Anima is the male name for soul; Animus is the female name for soul). Here we meet our inner opposite. Males meet their Anima; females their Animus. The Anima may appear as an exotic dancing girl or a weathered old hag–the form generally reflects either the condition or the needs of our soul presently. Remember the wicked witch encountered by Hanzel and Gretel. The Animus may appear as an exotic, senual, young man or as an old grouch. Remember the Great Oz who ran the Emerald City? There is always Simon Legree who took in Little Eva. Consider Super Man and Lois Lane. Clark Kent is the inferior, shadow side of Super Man, but he is also closer to ordinary people. Lois Lane has no interest in Clark. She is infatuated with Super Man, her Animus; the masculine completion of her personality. Wonder Woman offers us an example of the Anima in action.

The Syzygy (Divine Couple)

If one comes to terms with the Shadow and the Soul, one will encounter the enchanted castle with its King and Queen. This is a pattern of wholeness and integration. The opposites of the outer and the inner life are now joined in marriage. Great power arises from this integration. Christ and the Church, God and Israel are syzygy images. The believer who aspires to be the “bride of Christ” is modeling his or her experience in response to the syzygy archetype.

The Self

The ultimate pattern is the Self. For Jung this is the God image. Human self and divine self are incapable of distinction. All is Spirit. Images of Spirit abound. Wind and breath being two very common ones. The Spirit descends as a Dove upon Jesus in the wilderness. The voice declares to him his true nature: “Your are my Son, my Beloved.” This is an archetypal drama of the Self. Galahad achieving the Grail and ascending with it to Heaven is likewise an archetypal drama of Self. Lancelot’s failure to achieve the Grail speaks of his failure to achieve the final discovery of Self. Chariots and cars point in this direction. Remember the death car which comes in Darby O’Gill and the Little People? Enoch is taken up in a chariot of fire. Ezekiel Chapter One describes the chariot conveying God into the world.

Functional Complexes

The Ego

Ego is the correct  translation of the German “Ich (I)” used by C.G. Jung and Freud. The term Ego is also common in esoteric  writings often distinguishing the  Ego as a centre of the personality of a higher or true Self not unlike as in C.G. Jung’s psychoanalytic model. The term Ego is widely used In  translations of Buddhist texts for the “I” to overcome. In some languages it attends a negative meaning: to characterize, for example people with a selfish Ego. According to C.G. Jung the Ego can be equated with the conscious mind and includes all thoughts we think at that moment and also our current feelings. In the center of this consciousness we find that “I” or Ego. It guarantees the unity of (thinking, feeling, acting) is focused on physical survival and dealing with everyday demands. All religions (according to the Benedictine monk Anselm Gruen), demand more or less that we must become free from the Ego. This especially applies to our relationship with God. If we do not let go of our Ego we stay materialistic (at best).

The Persona

The Persona: The “mask” helps us get by in the world, the ideal image we have of ourselves. We latch onto these social identities to define us, but as a part of the “collective psyche” they do not distinguish us in any significant way. The persona is as the Shadow a product of our Sozialisation  The shadow has a “dark side,” what we find morally reprehensible – and often project into others, but it also has a “bright side” containing our potentialities. So has the persona, it may be politness and being adjusted, but also seception.  The Individuation seeks integrate the Persona and Shadow, wand to connect from Ego to self and find our Self in terms of personal growth.

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