Jung on the importance of archetypes.

What are archetypes? How do they function?What is misunderstood about archetypes?

Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:14 pm

Whether he understands them or not, man must remain conscious of the world of archetypes, because in it he is still a part of Nature and is connected to his own roots. A view of the world or a social order that cuts him off from the primordial images of life not only is no culture at all but, in an increasing degree is a prison or a stable. If the primordial images remain conscious in one form or another, the energy that belongs to them can flow freely into man...I am far from wishing to belittle the divine gift of reason, man's highest faculty. But in the role of absolute tyrant, it has no meaning-- no more than light would have in a world where its counterpart, darkness, is absent...the rational is counterbalanced by the irrational, and what is planned and purposed by what is. (C. G. Jung, Symbols of transformation. , p. 23)
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Archetypal dynamics.

Postby John Ferric » Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:17 am

Epigenesis is a biological concept meaning the development of an organism under the joint influence of heredity and environment. Jung is clear that archetypes are part of our genetic makeup.

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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:42 am

One issue that must be considered is that the term "archetype" is noun. However, archetypes are dynamic processes; Jung writes, "...The archetype is a force. . . ." Verbs are needed here to provide a sense of the dynamic nature of archetypes.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:43 pm

A critical explanation from Jung regarding archetypes. Many get the process turned around.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby Destrudowoman » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:44 am

It seems to me that while archetypes are a product of the collective unconscious, meaning that these images are universal and powerful among large numbers of humans, the interpretation of the archetype with regard to character, influence, description, etc., is distinctly individual. While we may agree on a general personification (The Wise Old Woman, the Shadow, the Wizard, etc) the details come from the individual's own complexes, biases, and perspectives on the aspects of life over which the archetype has influence. The discussions of archetypes that I've read/heard don't address the topic in this way, but I think it accounts for the differences in religious and cultural mythos between groups of people, as well as the unique personal qualities of one's own archetypal forms. My Shadow may serve the same function as someone else's, but is quite unique in personality. Is there current work on the expression of the archetypes as being unique to the individual? Is this generally assumed, or am I making it up?
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:56 am

I think you are correct Destrudowoman. Let me start with a quote from Jung that provides a clue to how our mind works:

There are, moreover, unconscious aspects of our perception of reality. The first is the fact that even when our senses react to real phenomena, sights, and sounds, they are somehow translated from the realm of reality into that of the mind. Within the mind they become psychic events, whose ultimate nature is unknowable (for the psyche cannot know its own psychical substance). Thus every experience contains an indefinite number of unknown factors, not to speak of the fact that every concrete object is always unknown in certain respects, because we cannot know the ultimate nature of matter itself.


The underlined portion is the critical one, and "translated" is the key term. And this fits right in with what you write
archetypes are a product of the collective unconscious.
And the key word here is "product." It seems to me that the collective unconscious does not "contain" archetypes, rather, as you write it "produces" them. My speculation is that the collective unconscious is a universal human biological process that recognizes patterns. When the collective unconscious detects a pattern it "produces" an image. This is the "translation" that Jung writes about in the quote above. And, further, as you write it is the cultural environment we are born into that "names" the archetypal image.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Sat Jan 21, 2012 8:23 am

Is there current work on the expression of the archetypes as being unique to the individual? Is this generally assumed, or am I making it up?


I don't think you are making it up Destrudowoman. But at the same time I am not aware of any current work in the area. Be interesting to keep my eyes open for any new data though. But consider this; thinking in terms of projection here, why do I project my anima, for instance, on certain women but not others? It seems those women must have unique(mostly unconscious) aspects that mirror my anima.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:47 am

. . . There is no lunacy people under the domination of an archetype will not fall prey to. . . .

There are as many archetypes as there are typical situations in life. Endless repetition has engraved these experiences into our psychic constitution, not only in the form of images filled with content, but at first only as forms without content, representing merely the possibility of a certain type of perception and action. When a situation occurs which corresponds to a given archetype, that archetype becomes activated and a compulsiveness appears, which, like an instinctual drive, gains its way against all reason and will, or else produces a conflict of pathological dimensions, that is to say, a neurosis.

C. G. Jung, The Concept of the Collective Unconscious.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:58 am

Some basic information on archetypes can be found on Wikipedia. Here is a general descriptions from Wikipedia:
The archetypes form a dynamic substratum common to all humanity, upon the foundation of which each individual builds his own experience of life, developing a unique array of psychological characteristics. Thus, while archetypes themselves may be conceived as a relative few innate nebulous forms, from these may arise innumerable images, symbols and patterns of behavior. While the emerging images and forms are apprehended consciously, the archetypes which inform them are elementary structures which are unconscious and impossible to apprehend. Being unconscious, the existence of archetypes can only be deduced indirectly by examining behavior, images, art, myths, and religions etc. They are inherited potentials which are actualized when they enter consciousness as images or manifest in behavior on interaction with the outside world.


Read the entire entry at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_archetypes

What DNA is to our biological processes, archetypes are to our psychic processes. Our human development is dependent on our archetypes being actualized. It the timing and the environmental conditions at the archetypal actualization that determine our unique, individual human nature.
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Re: Jung on the importance of archetypes.

Postby John Ferric » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:05 am

Almost a year ago "Destrudowoman" posted, see above, asking at the end:

Is there current work on the expression of the archetypes as being unique to the individual? Is this generally assumed, or am I making it up?


Just recently I came across something from Jung himself, that answers part of her question:

In the same way that the body needs food, and not just any kind of food but only that which suits it, the psyche needs to know the meaning of its existence-not just any meaning, but the meaning of those images and ideas which reflect its nature and which originate in the unconscious. The unconscious sup
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