Carl Jung and the Archetypes
By Adam Horne
Before Carl Jung left his prominent impression on the world of psychology, he was a small boy growing up in the Swiss village of Keeseville. During his youth, Jung was encircled by a well-educated family and began studying Latin at the age of six. This began a life long interested in language and literature. He studied modern and ancient languages, including Sanskrit. He grew into an introverted adolescent, with few close friends, a distaste for school and competition. For most of his youth (and later life) he had a capacity for very lucid dreaming and occasional visions.
Jung’s first career choice was archeology, but that changed ...view middle of the document...
Women mainly fall into the Feeler group, while men will be in the Thinker.
Personal unconscious refers to memories that can be easily brought to mind, or memories that have been suppressed. This personal unconscious is located on the border of the consciousness and contrasts with the collective unconscious.
Jung theorized that the collective unconscious is knowledge every individual in the human race shares, knowledge we were born with. The collective unconscious influences all of our experiences and behaviors, especially the emotional ones. Love at first sight, déjà vu, parallels in myth and literature, dreams and fantasies, creative experiences shared by artists and musicians all over the world and in all times are all examples Jung used to prove the collective unconsciousness. How else could so many people fell, see, tell the same things through the ages if the collective unconscious weren’t real?
The best example of collective conscious would be a near-death experience. People of all ages, religious and cultural backgrounds share the same recollections after begin brought from a close encounter with death. Most tell of seeing a bright light at the end of a long tunnel and of seeing dead relatives and religious figures waiting for them. Most survivors also feel disappointment of leaving these joyous things behind and having to return to their bodies. It maybe we were built this way to view death in a pleasurable way, taking away some of the fear associated with dying.
Archetypes are what Jung called the contents of the collective unconscious. An archetype is an unlearned penchant to experience things in a specific way. The archetypes are not natural things, they are spiritual beliefs. Jung explained several archetypes including, the mother, the shadow and the persona.
The mother archetype is the most prominent of these archetypes as everyone had a mother and we have evolved into a society including others or mother substitutes. We are born needing our mothers for nutrition and protection and these needs continue through our lives. When ill, the first person we seek is our mother, when we accomplish something, we seek our mothers for approval. This archetype is so strong that even if a mother isn’t present in our youth, we will project it on another, going as far as to create a fictitious mother. These projections may continue to be made unconsciously well into adulthood.
The mother archetype may also refer to Mother Earth, the biblical Eve or Mary, or the ocean. This projection may cause a person whose mother didn’t satisfy the archetype in their youth to seek comfort in the church or spending time at sea.
The shadow archetype represent they aspects of sex and life in every person. These instincts stem from our ancient, animal-like pasts when our only concerns were to eat, survive and reproduce and before we grew self-conscious. The shadow archetype could be called the “dark-side” of the ego...