The Unconscious World of Dream
Is A Little
Archetypes As Defined By Carl Jung
Archetypes - Self-portraits of the instincts. The instinctive forces and instinctive strategies or ways of behaving. 'Archetypal images' are the symbols through which these instinctive things show themselves in dreams.
Archetypal images include symbols that occur in mythology, fairytales and religions. They are older than mankind and belong to the collective unconscious. Archetypal images are symbols that represent contents within the psyche that were never conscious experiences.
They are the 'universal' symbols that are available to us all even though we have no knowledge of them in our waking lives.
Archetypes are common psychic structures that parallel the common human physical stucture.
The Archetypal Patterns
The Nature of the Archetypes
Dreams and myths are constellations of archetypal images. They
are not free compositions by an artist who plans them for artistic or
informational effects. Dreams and myths happen to human beings. The archetype
speaks through us. It is a presence and a possibility of "significance." The
ancients called them "gods" and "goddesses."
then is an archetype? Jung discovered that humans have a "preconscious psychic
disposition that enables a (man) to react in a human manner." These potentials
for creation are actualized when they enter consciousness as images. There is a
very important distinction between the "unconscious, pre- existent disposition"
and the "archetypal image." The archetype may emerge into consciousness in
myriads of variations. To put it another way, there are a very few basic
archetypes or patterns which exist at the unconscious level, but there are an
infinite variety of specific images which point back to these few patterns.
potentials for significance
are not under conscious control, we may tend to fear them and deny their
existence through repression. This has been a marked tendency in Modern Man, the
man created by the French Revolution, the man who seeks to lead a life that is
totally rational and under conscious control.
the archetypes come from? In his earlier work, Jung tried to link the archetypes
to heredity and regarded them as instinctual. We are born with these patterns
which structure our imagination and make it distinctly human. Archetypes are
thus very closely linked to our bodies. In his later work, Jung was convinced
that the archetypes are psychoid,
that is, "they shape matter (nature) as well as mind (psyche)" (Houston Smith,
40). In other words, archetypes are elemental forces which play a vital role in
the creation of the world and of the human mind itself. The ancients called them
How do archetypes operate? Jung found the archetypal patterns and images in
every culture and in every time period of human history. They behaved according
to the same laws in all cases. He postulated the
to account for this fact. We humans do not have separate, personal unconscious
minds. We share a single Universal Unconscious. Mind is rooted in the
Unconscious just as a tree is rooted in the ground. Imagine the Universal
Unconscious as a cosmic computer. Our minds are subdirectories of the root
directory. If we look in our personal "work areas," we find much material that
is unique to our historical experience--could only have happened to us--but it
is shaped according to universal patterns. If we humans have the courage to seek
the source to which our "account" belongs, we begin to discover ever more
impersonal and universal patterns. The directories of the cosmic computer to
which we can gain access are filled with the myths of the human species.
man fancies that he has escaped the myths through his conscious repudiation of
in favor of a purely rational
(read: Natural Science). But consider his theories of human origin. In the
beginning, there was a Big Bang, a cosmic explosion. This is an image from which
reason may begin to work, but it is not itself a rational statement. It is a
mythical construct. Consider the theory of biological evolution. Man's ancestors
emerge from the seas, and they in turn emerged from a cosmic soup of DNA. The
majority of creation myths also begin with the same image of man emerging from
primordial oceans. See Genesis 1 or the Babylonian creation epic. Consider the
Modern tendency to call ourselves persons from the Latin
The term derives from the "mask" of Dionysus. Moderns are the wearers of masks!
The reality is concealed in the darkness of mystery. This too is a mythical
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, identity begins to dissolve into
"latent dispositions" common to all men. 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.
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 fascinate. We see
the Shadow everywhere in popular culture. He is Batman. She is Spider Woman. It
is the Ninja Turtles. 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 (Consider: the word only occurs 54 times in the entire Bible.)
Shadow is the personification of that part of human, psychic possibility 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 Anima Or Animus
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,
sensual, 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)
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.
Child Archetype is a pattern related to the hope and promise for new beginnings.
It promises that Paradise can be regained. Child images like the New Year's Babe
obviously derive from this archetype. So do the golden ring and the golden ball
and most flower and circle related images. The birth of the Christ Child who
unites Heaven and Earth, Man and God, is a powerful archetypal event. Were the
life of Jesus not interpreted by this archetype, it would lose most of its
meaning. Jesus would just be one more teacher from the Hellenistic world.
ultimate pattern is the
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.