Monday, April 20, 2009

(3) The Archetype

As my dreamwork continued, I began to wonder where
God-imagery might fit into all this--at least at the personal
level. My analyst explained that the real goal of our individuation
was to encounter the Greater Self and give over our ego-self
to it. Here I balked, mainly because I didn't understand. She
explained that the Greater Self is the Psyche's representative
of "God."

Ooooh! This was getting into some really "far out" territory, at
least for a traditional theologian. No wonder all those theologians
were going back-and-forth with Carl Jung in his day! If this theory
was accepted, this meant that God was really with us! Inside our
minds! (Just like Christ said, when he talked about "dwelling
within us.")

Sticking with it, I eventually discovered the archetypal character-
ization of the Greater Self in my own dreams. There was a young
man whose name translated into a curious meaning. His name
meant "Man-King." I was suddenly struck dumb by this revelation.
I had been encountering this dream character for quite a while and
had not put two-and-two together. But when I did, it added up to
Christ in my mind.

This Man-King archetype served as the Greater Self within my
mind. This particular archetype represented "God" within my
psyche. And this dream character was helping me every inch
of the way through my own individuation process!

This discovery was so profound that I could hardly believe it.
If I had tried to design these special dreams, I would have never
been able--not in a hundred years, not in centuries. The
Archetype, the Original Typos, representing our own personal
psychical structure proved incredible enough. But the Greater
Self had moved onto an even higher level of psychological
understanding. Through dreamwork Jung's Analytical Psychology
had begun to approach "God."

However, my analyst led me back to my personal archetypal
construct--and, especially those archetypes that represented the
Masculine and Feminine elements of my psyche. She explained
that the "guise" in which these elements presented themselves also
pointed towards both my present and future behavior and endeavors.
I surely had to smile at myself, thinking about the Virgin Mary.
Pretty grandiose, to say the least.

But as my analyst and I worked through, the message became more
clear. The Virgin Mary was the "Theotokos," which meant bringing
forth God. As a theologian I was definitely trying to birth new
meaning, new concepts of Who God might be. Strange as it may
seem, this understanding made some sense. Than there was my
monastic Masculine, "Anselm." Easy, once I figured what was going
on. It was that monk in me that not only took a scholarly approach
towards the God Concept, but also was doggedly persistent. Lest I
forget, the great Benedictine mandate for the monk was and is
"To Seek God."

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