Archetypes and us
We usually tend to put an equal sign between new and better. This is not always true.
Jung’s archetypes are not a new idea, his works were published in the 20th century (he is not even the first one who used this notion as he admits, but he is the one who conceptualized it). Furthermore, the theory is based on religions, myths, and dreams which, at least when it comes to the oniric domain, are as old or even older than what we see today as man or consciousness.
All around us is chaos, and surprisingly we are not panicked at all. If you really analyze it more, you can’t control anything, not even yourself, but that’s ok, finish your coffee, watch another episode of your favorite series, go to work … no problem.
How we managed that? Why are we not anxious all the time?
Well, we try to understand and control. We comprehend by using stories and imperfect representations of reality that make it seem stable and we develop tools like institutions and organizations to control our fake vision. Today I want to talk to you about the way we see the world and if you want we can discuss another time about the status of homo faber.
Most of the time we are in control of the world. Of course, it’s everything a dream because cultures are the dreams of humanity, but hey ! … we are in charge here! Our naratives operate and are real only in the collective imagination (the interpersonal reality). The community acts accordingly to these and leaves artifacts such as houses, temples (banks nowadays), ‘magic objects’ (smartphones) etc.
What is interesting is that all those fictions share the same patterns, regardless of their magnitude of manifestation: personal (the way the individual perceives himself and his role) or collective (society). In every representation, there will be archetypes which may manifest through many forms depending on a variety of factors.
Men were born in a world that he could not understand nor control so over generations they developed this inherited mechanisms that help them navigate the world. Without archetypes, we would go insane because the world is too complex for us. Take a look at the children, when things don’t go as they want, their representation of the world is broken so they start crying and wait for an adult to help reestablish the balance in their world.
We are inhibited by default by archetypes, they are the demons and gods inside and outside us. Personality doesn’t have a unique core, actually very often within us live very contradictory forces. There is not only one you, there are many, some more predominant than others and some that activate only on special occasion ( I know inside me lives a chocolate monster, which into, as Cinderella, I transform only at midnight). What we are always trying to do is to find the balance between all those forces, and this applies to life in general, we always search for equilibrium.
The Mother, The Father, The Hero, The Lover, The Ruler, The Magician, The Explorer, The Outlaw, The Innocent etc. exist within and outside. Their existence must be acknowledged with the good and the bad parts it implies because otherwise when oppressed they tend to manifest violently and suddenly.
VOCATUS ATQUE NON VOCATUS DEUS ADERIT
called or not the gods will be there
As far as I am concerned, there is nothing unnatural in archetypes. Our primate ancestors developed without knowing, this set of maps that help us navigate the world, and passed it on to us through the ways our brains are wired up. I’ll give you 2 examples in order to understand my theory (it is not actually mine):
- Snakes are one of the natural predators of monkeys, over time we started to associate them with concepts such as malevolence or destructions. Satan is represented as a snake. Moreover, the Medusa represents the fury and power of nature and on a metaphorical level the fact that you are transformed into a stone when you look her into eyes describe our universal response to fear, you freeze to death.
- The axis mundi idea can be an abstraction of the trees our ancestors lived in. The tree connected both heavens and hell and it was the center of the earth because it was the place we lived in
What is your opinion?