Monday, April 20, 2009

(2) The Archetype

Almost immediately I had plunged into my abbreviated Jungian
analysis with a licensed practitioner--a kindly lady psychologist
who made it comfortable for me. Curiously, but when one gets
more deeply into dreamwork the dreams actually come! My
academic study into symbols and imagery also came into play
when it came to interpreting my dreams, what they might mean,
how they related ego to Self, how they illustrated what I call my
archetypal construct. In shorthand, this experiential effort in what
my analyst called the "Individuation Process" lent a more depth
understanding of my parallel academic effort at the institute.

As Jung's studies pointed out, we can meet a constellation of
archetypes within our dreams. He identified some of them as
the Great Father, the Great Mother, the Hero, the Trickster along
with others. They were part of the Collective Mind, if you will.
More coldly put, they are mental "structures" that we humans
have evolved over the ages--structures that give us parameters
in which to fit our lives. The Mind is an incredible entity that
keeps us moving ever into more and more interesting environs.

My analyst was curious about my particular symbol for the
Great Father that kept re-occuring in my dreams. It was a
monk who I knew to be an abbot--hence the Father, if you will.
I told her about my youth in Canterbury, how I loved its
magnificent cathedral, how--in turn--I had studied about
Benedictine monasticism and that St. Anselm was my hero.
Just for fun, we named my dream monk-abbot "Anselm."

Much to my surprise, the Great Mother in my dreams oft
identified as the Virgin Mary. Really strange, but perhaps not
in that I was a trained theologian. I had come across these
religious characterizations often enough. And my mind had
simply transposed these identities onto the Masculine and
Feminine elements of my personality.

Learning all this utterly amazed me. By this time I was reading
books that covered these human territories of the human psyche.
Blending these scholarly tomes with my dreamwork, I could
readily make sense out all this business of the Archetype.
Originally meant the "Original Typos" or Pattern, our under-
standing of the Archetype had been long coming. Even the
Greek philosophers knew about the Archetype; and if one were
imaginative enough, one could spot these archetypal patterns
in Plato's "Forms." The circle, the square, the triangle, etc., were
representative of these patterns. Before we could conceive the
idea of a triangle, the pattern of the triangle was already in our

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