The Psychology of CG Jung has always appealed to me. Much more than Freud or any other theorist in psychology. His approach is much more Universal while Freud’s theories and his method of Psychoanalysis always seemed much more limited, and limiting with overemphasis on Neurosis and sex. Although his writings and work encompasses an enormous range, to my mind the singular contribution of Jung to the field is his comprehensive exploration of the concept of Archetypes.
Jung believed that Archetypes arise from and exist within the Collective Unconscious and he suggests that these models are innate, universal and hereditary. Archetypes are unlearned and function to organize how we experience certain things.
“All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes,” Jung explained in his book The Structure of the Psyche. “This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form they are variants of archetypal ideas created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us.”
Jung identified four major archetypes, but also believed that there was no limit to the number that may exist. You may recognise which of these more common Archetypes are fundamental to your nature (and I’m thinking here of +John L humerously accurate comment about the SSS family – the crazy Aunt or (drunkle) Uncle, the unruly Child, Trickster / Deceiver, Wise Old Man / Crone etc. etc.):
The father: Authority figure; stern; powerful.
The mother: Nurturing; comforting.
The child: Longing for innocence; rebirth; salvation.
The wise old man: Guidance; knowledge; wisdom.
The hero: Champion; defender; rescuer.
The maiden: Innocence; desire; purity.
The trickster: Deceiver; liar; trouble-maker.
There is neither the time nor necessity to comment at length on this enormous subject but of the four primary Archetypes identified by Jung, namely The Self, The Shadow, The Anima or Animus, and the Persona I would like to focus on and make a few brief comments about the significance of Shadow.
The Shadow is an archetype that consists of the sex and life instincts. The Shadow exists as part of the unconscious mind and is composed of repressed ideas, weaknesses, desires, instincts and shortcomings. This archetype is often described as the darker side of the psyche, representing wildness, chaos and the unknown. These latent dispositions are present in all of us, Jung believed, although people sometimes deny this element of their own psyche and instead project it onto others.
Jung suggested that The Shadow can appear in dreams or visions and may take a variety of forms. It might appear as a snake, a monster, a demon, a dragon or some other dark, wild or exotic figure.
The Shadow and the Aeon of Horus Part I (to be continued)
s. ‘ .d. ‘ .
In Nomine Serpens, In Nomine Draconis
Embrace the Darkness
N.B. Articles whose titles are *marked by asterisks* are also published at The Sacred Serpent Society