Episode 172 – Archetypes

Jul 15, 2021


Photo Credit:  Дмитрий Хрусталев-Григорьев via Unsplash.com

Although the concept of archetypes has philosophical ancestors, Jung’s theory was developed over time and rested on a foundation that was scientific and empirical. Research and experiment enabled Jung to establish the autonomous activity of the unconscious.

He was then able to posit archetypes as a predisposition to form representations of universal human experiences and mythological motifs, such as marriage, the hero’s journey, and death/rebirth. For Jung, archetypes are innate psychic organs that “have a positive, favourable (sic), bright side that points upwards [and] one that points downwards…” Archetypes manifest spontaneously. In the collective, they are the driving force behind mass movements; in individuals, archetypes manifest most frequently as dream images that feel numinous and ‘other.’ Jung says, “The impact of an archetype, whether it takes the form of immediate experience or is expressed through the spoken word stirs us because it summons up a voice that is stronger than our own.” The power of an archetype can either possess us or inspire us.

Here’s the dream we analyze:

“Early morning dream, just before waking, and eerily similar but not the same as one I had several years ago about being shot in the heart and stomach area and killed by a stranger. This time, I was at home in my home office and heard someone entering through my back door. I may have wondered if it was my boyfriend, but he does not live with me, and I wasn’t expecting anyone. I went into the hallway to see who it was, and a man I’ve never seen before walked in. He had the energy of an intruder, and I felt scared. He looked right at me. His hair was white; his clothing was gray, his skin nearly colorless or ashen. His eyes and face were emotionless, without expression. He was oriented above me in my dream as if suddenly I had shrunk to the height of a small child looking up at him. I either asked or was about to ask who he was and what he was doing here. Without changing his blank expression, he pulled out a handgun and shot me, point-blank, in the stomach. This time, I woke up from the dream before I felt the bullet. The feeling was adrenaline-filled, fearful, angry, surprised, and confused. I had/have no idea who this man is or was, or what he represents.”

RESOURCES:

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3 Comments

  1. Todd

    To me, it seems as the zombie and vampire characters were evoking the archetype of the “Hungry Ghost” which is a Buddhist image that Gabor Mate has written about. Zombies are mindless creatures that only seek to devour while the vampire only thrives on the blood of others and has no real consciousness being a creature that can only inhabit the dark.

    Sauron in the Lord of the Rings, is another archetype that i think is rearing its head today. Sauron is the dark lord of power that seeks to be reincarnated into Middle Earth at the end of the Age of Elves and the beginning the Age of Men. Sauron is all powerful and even the great Saruman looks into the Palantir and is immediately seized by the archetype. Only the small, humble hobbit can consciously carry the archetypal image (the One Ring) and resist identifying with its dark master.

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  2. Todd

    sorry just to clarify …Sauron, i believe, is the archetype of Ares and Mars….the gods of War. War is about imposing ones will thru power. Thus Sauron is the shadow of peace, the darkness of power struggle. When things begin to fall apart…as they have and they will continue to do during times of great transition, the Archetype of Power seeks to be reincarnate in the world. Fear gives way in some people to a will to power. Only those who do not pretend to power can withstand its seduction and create a new vision for a new age.

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  3. Simcha

    Amazing podcast – thanks!

    Not sure why Freud disagreed with Jung’s concept of the archetype or even the collective unconscious…

    Freud’s Oedipus Complex is based on an archetype and is part of the collective unconscious because, for Freud, everyone is subject to the Oedipus Complex (along with the phases).

    If Freud used Greek mythology, then why not use other mythologies, as Jung did? Or even: why use Greek mythology for modern Judeo-Christian Viennese? It’s odd, also in light of Freud’s later study on Moses and Monotheism, which considers several mythologies, histories and religious narratives.

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