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Collected Letters Vol. II

In the same way, the archetype is not evoked by a conscious act of the will; experience shows that it is activated, independently of the will, in a psychic situation that needs compensating by an archetype.

One might even speak of a spontaneous archetypal intervention.

The language of religion calls these happenings “God’s will”-quite correctly in so far as this refers to the peculiar behaviour of the archetype, its spontaneity and its functional relation to the actual situation.

The situation may be indicative of illness or danger to life, for instance.

Consciousness feels such a situation to be overwhelming in so far as it knows no way of meeting it effectively.

In this predicament, even people who can boast of no particular religious belief find themselves compelled by fear to utter a fervent prayer: the archetype

of a “helpful divine being” is constellated by their submission and may eventually intervene with an unexpected influx of strength, or an unforeseen saving impulse, producing at the last moment a turn in the threatening situation which is felt to be miraculous.

Such crises have occurred countless times in human history.

They are the lot of man, who is exposed to the vicissitudes of Nature and constantly gets into situations where he must call on instinct because his reason fails.

Instinct appears in myths and in dreams as the motif of the helpful animal, the guardian spirit, the good angel, the helper in need, the saint, saviour, etc. “God is nearest where the need is greatest.”

An “instinct” warns birds and quadrupeds of impending catastrophes, and even humans are sometimes gifted with second sight.

Emergencies of other kinds, as we know from experience, evoke the archetypes that correspond to them. ~Carl Jung, Letters Vol. II, Page 541-542