Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious
‘We can no longer be dealing, then, with the continued existence of a primitive phantasm, or with an original contamination of opposites.
Rather, as we can see from medieval writings, the primordial idea has become a symbol of the creative union of opposites, a “uniting symbol” in the literal sense. In its functional significance the symbol no longer points back, but forward to a goal not yet reached.
Notwithstanding its monstrosity, the hermaphrodite has gradually turned into a subduer of conflicts and a bringer of healing, and it acquired this meaning in relatively early phases of civilization.
This vital meaning explains why the image of the hermaphrodite did not fade out in primeval times but, on the contrary, was able to assert itself with increasing profundity of symbolic content for thousands of years.
The fact that an idea so utterly archaic could rise to such exalted heights of meaning not only points to the vitality of archetypal ideas, it also demonstrates the rightness of the principle that the archetype, because of its power to unite opposites, mediates between the unconscious substratum and the conscious mind.
It throws a bridge between present-day consciousness, always in danger of losing its roots, and the natural, unconscious, instinctive wholeness of primeval times.
Through this mediation the uniqueness, peculiarity, and onesidedness of our present individual consciousness are linked up again with its natural, racial roots.
Progress and development are ideals not lightly to be rejected, but they lose all meaning if man only arrives at his new state as a fragment of himself, having left his essential
hinterland behind him in the shadow of the unconscious, in a state of primitivity or, indeed, barbarism.
The conscious mind, split off from its origins, incapable of realizing the meaning of the new state, then relapses all too easily into a situation far worse than the one from which the innovation was intended to free it-exemPla sunt odiosa!
It was Friedrich Schiller who first had an inkling of this problem; but neither his contemporaries nor his successors were capable of drawing any conclusions.
Instead, people incline more than ever to educate children and nothing more.
I therefore suspect that the furor paedogogicus is a god-sent method of by-passing the central problem touched on by Schiller, namely the education of the educator.
Children are educated by what the grownup is and not by what he says.
The popular faith in words is a veritable disease of the mind, for a superstition of this sort always leads farther and farther away from man’s foundations and seduces people into a disastrous identification of the personality with whatever slogan may be in vogue.
Meanwhile everything that has been overcome and left behind by so-called “progress” sinks deeper and deeper into the unconscious, from which there re-emerges in the end the primitive condition of identity with the mass.
Instead of the expected progress, this condition now becomes reality. ~Carl Jung, Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, The Psychology of the Child Archetype, Pages 174-175, Para 293.