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Carl Jung on Archetypes

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Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)

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 anima is considered critical to the understanding of male psychology.

There is really a curious coincidence between astrological and psychological facts, so that one can isolate time from the characteristics of an individual, and also, one can deduce characteristics from a certain time.

Therefore we have to conclude that what we call psychological motives are in a way identical with star positions . . . We must form a peculiar hypothesis. This hypothesis says that the dynamics of our psyche is not just identical with the position of the stars . . . better to assume that it is a phenomenon of time – Carl G. Jung in 1929