Carl Jung Man and His Symbols -- ARCHETYPES

Carl Jung Man and His Symbols -- ARCHETYPES
(including ideas from Joseph L. Henderson, Ancient Myths and Modern Man; M..L. Franz, The Process of
Individuation, and Joseph Campbell, The Hero With a Thousand Faces)
Man as a symbol making person:
sign versus symbol
We use symbolic terms for concepts we cannot fully understand (such as divinity)
Man also spontaneously and unconsciously produces symbols in dreams -- dreams are a universally
accessible source for the investigation of man’s symbol making facility
Logic of stories versus logic of dreams
Primitive people acknowledged a connection to the world of things—e.g. spirit of the trees, of the rivers.
We no longer acknowledge our “halo of unconscious associations” with the world of things. Our dreams
however present images that are analagous to these primitive ideas, myths, and rites.
These symbols are not just individual but also collective in origin. We share associations with certain
Just as our body has an entire evolutionary history to it, so too does our mind. These archaic remnants are
called ARCHETYPES or “primordial images”. The archetype is a tendency to form representatives of a
motif. Instincts and stages of biological development also have psychic correlations and reveal their
presence by symbolic images or archetypes. There are a number of basic archetypes, but a myriad of ways
that images are developed to express these archetypes.
Dictionary definition of archetype: In psychology, according to the theory of the psychologist Jung, an
idea or way of thinking that has been inherited from the experience of the race and remains in the
consciousness of the individual, influencing his perception of the world.
COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS or UNIVERSAL UNCONSCIOUS is this tendency of humans to share
basic archetypal images. The part of the psyche which retains and transmits the common psychological
inheritance of mankind.
Ancient myths and rituals as well as modern dreams both draw on this symbol making capacity.
The myths and symbols relate to stages of an individual’s life (with their biological correlates). Many
stories relate to the development from child to adult and realizing a new self or whole identity in society.
THE ARCHETYPES: (some of them…)
Trickster: A figure whose physical appetites dominate his behavior. His mentality is that of an infant.
Lacking any purpose beyond gratification of his primary needs, he is cynical, cruel, and unfeeling. E.g.,
Brer Rabbit, the coyote.
The Shadow: Realization of the shadow (the dark side of one’s ego or personality); the acceptance of
what seems to be “criticism” from the unconscious. Acquainted with aspects of one’s personality that for
various reasons one has preferred not to look at too closely. Through recognizing the shadow, a person
becomes aware of, and ashamed of, those qualities and impulses he denies I himself but can plainly see in
others – e.g. egotism, mental laziness and sloppiness, unreal fantasies, schemes, and plots, carelessness and
cowardice, inordinate love of money and possessions.
The problem of the shadow is deciding whether the shadow shows a shortcoming we should overcome or a
meaninful bit of life we should accept. At the bottom of one’s own being, one generally does know ehere
one should go and what one should do.
The shadow prevails when we live out our worst nature and repress our better side.
Twins: Two aspects of man’s nature. Often introvert/extrovert. They belong together, yet at the same
time are often dangerous or sickened from their own power when together.
Anima (woman within); Animus (man within): The anima is the personification of all feminine
psychological tendencies in a man’s psyche – e.g., vague feelings and moods, prophetic hunches,
receptiveness to the irrational, capacity for personal love, feelings for nature, one’s own relation to the
unconscious. Animal takes both positive and negative forms.
The self: symbols of totality: for men, it is the masculine initiator and guardian, wise old man, spirit of
nature, a symbol of coming together or acceptance of one’s various natures
Often these motifs are used to tell a common story, the story of the transformation of an individual from
own stage to another, often the development of a young person to an adult’s understanding or role in
The Call to adventure: Frequently associated with water: the soul, the unconscious. Crossing a river
associated with a fundamental change in attitude. Often a dark forest, a great tree, a babbling spring – all
associated with the soul, the unconscious.
Long journey or pilgrimage which becomes a spiritual transcendence.
More symbols of the depths: snakes – symbols of transcendence.
Process of individuation (becoming an individual) often begins with the wounding of the personality and
the suffering that accompanies it.
Supernatural Aid: For those who take the call, often the first encounter of the hero’s journey is with a
protective figure – often a croen or old man – who provides the adventurer with an amulet or secret to
protect him against harm.
Crossing of the first threshold: Entrance to the zone of magnified power, the zone of the unexplored.
This zone frees unconscious desires (patricide, free libido) Frequently characterized as a desert, jungle,
deep sea, alien land, etc.
Dangerous zone just beyond protection of normal society: Pan and “panic”/Russian peasant “wile
women”: live in the forest, dance, help people they like, take lovers, tickle people to death
Belly of the whale: Nation of transit to a magical world is symbolized in a worldwide womb image of the
belly of the whale. The hero is swallowed into the underworld, into the unconscious, into the ritual space
of transformation.
Road of trials: Hero, often with aid, must survive a succession of trials
e.g., Psyche’s quest for lost Cupid and her many trials
Atonement: After initiate has been transformed, he goes on to achieve atonement, or is “at one” with his
new self and with his life. He is now truly a hero. He has a new level of skill and awareness.
Richer/stronger, better leader, more able fighter, more enlightened spiritually.
Refusal of Return: Sometimes the hero, after completing his hourney, refuses to return to the world and
bring back his gift to the world.