C.G. JUNG'S THEORY OF THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS:
A RATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
WALTER AVORY SHELBURI.E
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FUIFILJMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08666 238 3
It-halter Avory Shelburne
I would like to gratefully acknowledge the persons of my supervisory
committee for their help in this project: labrilyn ameig, Tom Auxter,
Franz Epting, RLchard Haynes and Tom Simon. Special thanks to Iarilyn
and Tom Simon for their time, encouragement and helpful criticism. I
would also like to thank Debbie Bouers of the Graduate School, who, in
addition to her technical advice, has through her friendliness contri-
buted in an immeasurable and intangible way to the final preparation of
In addition to this personal assistance, I would also like to acknou-
ledge the help of the following agencies: the spirit of Carl Gustav Jung,
the Archetype of the Self, and the three luminous beings who cleansed my
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABSTRACT.......... ......................... ................... .... vi
TRODUCTION.o ..... ..... ................ ................... .o... 1
CHAPTER 1 JMIG'S RENTAL CONSTRUCTS ................................. 3
Unconscious........................ ...... ......*.......** 16
Collective Unconscious.................................... 19
Notes........ o ........... ............... ........ ..... 28
CHAPTER 2 THEORY OF ARCHETYPES: PART I........................... 30
Introduction ............... ............................... 30
The Symbolic Nature of the Archetypes................... 43
Archetypes and Instincts............................... 47
Notes .............. ............................. ..... 53
CHAPTER 3 THEORY OF ARCHETYPES: PART II.......................... 54
The Origin of the Archetypes............................. 54
Archetypal Image and Archetype Per Se.................... 63
The Archetypes as Autonomous Factors..................... 72
Archetypes and Synchronicity ............................. 77
Archetypes and Tbhporality............................... 82
Notes .................................... ............. 85
CHAPTER I CRITICISIIS OF THE ARCIHETYPAL THEORY:
GEHERAL COINSIDERATIONS............................ .... 89
Preliminary Remarks ....................................... 89
Psychoanalytic Criticism......... ........ ................ 9
Notes... ....................................... ..... .....111
CHAPTER JUNIG AND THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE: PART I................. 116
The Relevance of the Question............................116
The Charge of Iyrsticism.................................. 117
Itysticism Characterized................................. 119
Is Jung a Ny-stic? .......................................... 120
Jung's Attitude Toward Science............................. 127
Notes........ ....................... ... ... ......... ..141.
CHAPTER 6 JUIIG AMD THE SCIENTIFIC ATTITUDE: PART II................16
Can There Be A Science of Archetypes?.....................146
Jung's Ibthodology. ......................................163
Ibtes........ ........... ..................... .......... 171
CHAPTER 7 THE STUDY OF ARCHETYPES AS A SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE........ 174
Introduction..... ........................................ 17
Falsifiability ......................................... 176
Archetypes and BEolution Theory....................... 196
Loes........ ........................... * ..... ............ 199
Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial flfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
C.G. JUNGIS THEORY OF THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS:
A RATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION
Walter Avory Shelburne
Chairman: !brilyn Zreig
Major Department: Philosophy
This study is an examination of Jung's idea of the collective un-
conscious being primarily concerned with the chief aspect of the collec-
tive unconscious, the concept of the archetype.
In the first half of the dissertation, an attempt is made to
understand what Jung means by the archetypes. The exposition of the
theory of archetypes begins with a look at the basic Jungian mental
constructs, psyche and unconscious, and with a sketch of Jung's theory
of mind. Then the various aspects of the idea of the archetype are
discussed treating such topics as the ontological status of the archetype,
the archetypes as a priori conditioners of experience, the symbolic
nature of archetypes, the archetypes and the instincts, the origin of
archetypes, the phenomenology of archetypes, personification of arche-
types, the archetypes and synchronicity and changes in archetypes through
The exposition of the archetypal theory is undertaken with the aim
in mind of showing how the idea of archetypes can be construed as a
plausible scientific theory compatible with standard scientific
understanding. In the second half of the dissertation, we discuss
problematic aspects of our reconstruction from the point of viet of
criticisms which have been brought against the theory. After a
preliminary chapter in which criticisms of a general nature are
discussed, we treat specific problematic aspects involved with under-
standing the archetypal theory as a plausible scientific one. The
rationality of the archetypal theory is discussed in reply to the
accusation that Jung's theory is mystical rather than scientific.
In addition to the question of rationality, we treat the relationship
between the practical and theoretical aspects of the theory in order
to distinguish between a theoretical and therapeutic discourse about
archetypes, with the latter discourse being concerned with personal
meaningful interpretation of archetypal experience and hence often
justifiably employing philosophical and religious terminology. Thus
we attempt to show how the use of such terminology by Jung in dis-
cussions of archetypes does not count against the scientific nature
of theoretical claims about archetypes.
In addition to attempting to show how the archetypal theory is
a rational one and how its relationship to philosophy and religion
does not count against it as a scientific theory, we also examine
how the theory can be understood in the context of general criteria
for scientific theories. In this regard we discuss the problem of
falsification showing how the theory can not be interpreted as com-
patible with all observational states of affairs. VI also discuss
the explanations and predictions which can be expected from the
theory. Finally the evidence for the theory is discussed.
The conclusion is reached that the archetypal theory can satisfy
general scientific criteria and also meet specific criticisms of it
from the scientific point of vieu and that thus the scientific plau-
sibility of the theory should be admitted.
In this study we attempt a rational reconstruction of Jung's
theory of archetypes with the goal in view of showing that this
theory is a scientifically plausible one. In regard to this task,
some preliminary questions need to be addressed. What is meant
by a rational reconstruction? TIy is the reconstruction undertaken
from a scientific point of view and what is the purpose of showing
that the archetypal theory is scientifically plausible?
So far as the first question is concerned, the idea of a rational
reconstruction is to clarify the meaning and interrelationship of the
basic concepts of a theory so that the theory can be shoum to be con-
sistent and to be a theory with a clearly specified meaning.
In Jung's style of theorizing, clarity and precision of basic
concepts are much less important than fullness of meaning and phe-
nonenologically accurate characterization of events. As a consequence
many of Jung s ideas are as vague and ambiguous as they are fas-
cinating and insightful. However, the purpose of a rational recon-
struction as we understand it is not to oppose the spontaneity and
richness of creativity with a simple desire for order and clarity.
Rather the aim of a rational reconstruction is the transformation
of the untidy richness of creativity into a more directly useable
form. By attempting to clarify the meaning of the archetypal theory
then, we hope to bring about a wider acknowledgement and study of
the theory so as eventually to contribute to its dissemination as a
fruitful conceptual scheme.
However, our reconstruction from the scientific point of view
needs some justification. For a survey of Jungian literature in-
dicates on the whole a tendency to emphasize the therapeutic aspect
of the theory and its immediate personal relevance.rather than its
employment in an attempt to gain scientific knowledge. But unless
the scientific plausibility of the archetypal theory can be established
on firm ground, the personal and therapeutic relevance of the theory
will be undermined. In Jung's terminology, the dilemma of modern
man is that he can no longer simply believe, he must know. The
modern individual's desire for a comprehensive understanding of
the world can thus not be satisfied by views which are incompatible
with scientific understanding.
But if the author must confess that he is attracted to the arche-
typal theory from the standpoint of its personal existential relevance,
it should not be concluded that the archetypal theory is seen only
as a therapeutic tool. For in arguing for scientific plausibility,
we have in mind a more ambitious goal of eventually showing how the
theory can be used to gain theoretical understanding in a wide range
of scientific disciplines. Vb believe that the theory is not only
scientifically plausible, but that it should be accepted and employed
as well. However, this more ambitious aim must await the outcome
of our attempt to argue for scientific plausibility. For a rational
reconstruction of the theory is necessary before its true scientific
merit can be appreciated.
JUNG'S MENTAL CONSTRUICTS
In order to gain a full understanding of Jung's theory of arche-
types, it is necessary to see his views on this matter within the con-
text of his psychology as a whole. However, within the scope of this
study of the archetypes, we can not attempt to trace the relationship
between all of Jung's views and the archetypes. A principle omission
in this regard is Jung's theory of individuation where he attempts to
examine the role which the archetypes play in the development of per-
But if -we can not consider all of Jung's views which are related
to the archetypal theory, it is essential to gain an understanding of
his mental constructs. Thus, as a preliminary to discussing the arche-
typal theory itself, we will examine these constructs. Our approach in
this regard will be to begin with the mental constructs of the widest
application. It will consider first then the most general of the Jungian
mentalistic terms, the psyche.
Jung emphasizes that his notion of the psyche is not intended to be
a precise notion in the sense that its limits are well defined. "I know
that very many people have difficulties with the word psychologicall'
To put these critics at ease, I should like to add that no one knows
what 'psyche' is, and one knows just as little how far into nature
'psyche' extends. I1
Before attempting a definitive characterization of the psyche then,
we will examine how the concept is used. For if the psyche is a vague
notion, we have, nonetheless, little trouble for the most part with
regard to deciding whether or not to apply it in specific cases.
Since by the psychic Jung has in mind something close in meaning
to mental, one fruitful way to see how Jung uses this concept is to
explore the intended .relation between psyche and body.
nh this regard then, it is clear that by psyche Jung does not
mean to imply a Cartesian dualism in which the psyche would be a
mental substance. For rather than a thing or a substance, the psyche
is to be considered in terms of a system of energy relations. The
term "libido" is used by Jung to designate the psychic energy. This
energetic viewpoint seems to suggest a reductionist position in which
the psyche understood as physical energy was seen as reducible to
physico-chemical terms or else a vitalist position in which a special
type of mind energy was postulated.
The possibility that Jung might be taking a reductive position is
suggested by the fact that the purpose of the energetic standpoint is
to enable the psychologist to understand psychological phenomena in
such terms as entropy, conservation of energy and equilization of
differences in an analogous way to the manner in which physical phe-
nomena can be so understood. Thus Jung believes that the concept of
libido "accomplishes for psychology the same advance that the concept
of energy introduced into physics" (Vol. IV, p. 112).
Th the absence of any methods of exact measurement of the energy,
quantitative estimations can be reached through appeal to the system
of psychological values, as the value intensity of psychological
phenomena idll be held to be a quantitative estimate of the amount of
psychic energy involved (Vol. VIII, p. 9).
However, Jung makes clear that the analogy between physical energy
and psychic energy cannot be taken in too literal a sense:
. in spite of the nonmeasurability of psychic
processes, the perceptible changes effected by
the psyche cannot possibly be understood except
as a phenomenon of energy. This places the
psychologist in a situation which is highly re-
pugnant to the physicist: the psychologist also
talks of energy although he has nothing measurable
to manipulate, besides which the concept of en-
ergy is a strictly defined mathematical quan-
tity which cannot be applied to anything psychic. . .
If psychology nevertheless insists on employing
its oim concept of energy for the purpose of
expressing the activity . of the psyche, it
is not of course being used as a mathematical
formula, but only as its analogy (Vol. VIII, p. 233).
Jung's energetic standpoint is then obviously not an attempt to
bring about a reduction of psychology to psychophysics. Jung in-
sists on the autonomous position of psychology in relation to
Since, unfortunately, we cannot prove scien-
tifically that a relation of equivalence exists
between physical and psychic energy, we have
no alternative except either to drop the ener-
getic viewpoint altogether, or else to postu-
late a special psychic energy--which would be
entirely possible as a hypothetical opera-
tion. Psychology as much as physics may avail
itself of the right to build its own concepts . .
(Vol. VII, p. 15-16).
But this characterization of libido as a "special psychic energy"
would seem to imply a vitalist position. This suspicion seems confirmed
when we read: "From a broader standpoint libido can be understood
as vital energy in general, or as Bergon's elan vital" (Vol. IV, p.
248), and . ie would probably do best to regard the psychic
process simply as a life-process. In this way we enlarge the
narrower concept of psychic energy to a broader one of life-
energy, which includes 'psychic energy' as a specific part" (Vol.
VIII, p. 17).
However, Jung makes clear that "this broader standpoint" is
a hypothetical and problematic one.2 In order to maintain its func-
tional autonomy, psychology must not conflate its concept of psychic
energy with a possible biological concept of vital energy. "I have
therefore suggested that, in view of the psychological use we intend
to make of it, we call our hypothetical life-energy 'libido.' To
this extent I have differentiated it from a concept of universal
energy, so maintaining the right of biology and psychology to form
their own concepts" (Vol. VIII, p. 17). There is also an explicit
disclaimer of the concept of vitalism: "1' shall not be disturbed
if we are met with the cry of vitalism. Ue are as far removed from
any belief in a specific life-force as from any other metaphysical
assertion" (Vol. IV, p. 125).
It see then that in regard to the question of reductionism,
Jung wants to avoid commitment to either reductionism or vitalism.
Jung's stand on this issue can then best be characterized as de
facto antireductionist. Pather,than attempting to defend the a
priori nonreduction of psychological phenomena to physics or chem-
istry, Jung holds to a de facto antireductionism. This nonreduction
as a matter of fact is supportable by the available empirical evidence
and is strictly speaking neutral with respect to the issue of reduc-
tion in principle.
Jung's noncormnital stand on reductionism is characteristic of
his psychology as a whole where he attempts to define his psycholog-
ical constructs in ways which are as free as possible from philoso-
phical controversy. However, this dislike for philosophy frequently
leads to the situation of unclarity with regard to the full implica-
tions of Jung's views. This situation of ambiguity if well e:empli-
fied when we attempt to comprehend what sort of psyche-body relation
Jung has in mind in constructing his psychology. For Jung's non-
commital views on reductionism fail to give us a definite clue as
to his position on the mind-body problem.
However, in regard to this clue, there are indications that
Jung holds to a nondualistic position in which the psyche is seen
as necessarily dependent on the brain, with psyche entailing em-
So far as our experience permits of any inference
at all about the nature of the psyche, it shows
the psychic process as a phenomenon dependent on
the nervous system (Vol. VIII, p. 322, 1926).
. the human psyche lives in indissoluble
union with the body (Vol. VIII, p. 114, 1936).
And just as the material of the body that is
ready for life has need of the psyche in order
to be capable of life, so the psyche pre-
supposes the living body in order that its
images may live (Vol. VIII, p. 326, 1926).
But Jung seems to call into question the view that the psyche is
necessarily embodied, thus suggesting a dualistic position. In a
1934 essay we read such statements as the following:
. the psyche's attachment to the brain, i.e.,
its space-time limitation, is no longer as self-
evident and incontrovertible as we have hitherto
been led to believe (Vol. VIII, p. 113).
The hypothetical possibility that the psyche
touches on a form of existence outside space
and time presents a scientific question-mark
that merits serious consideration for a long
time to come (Vol. VIII, p. 414).
[At death] we may establish with reasonable
certainty that an individual consciousness as
it relates to ourselves has come to an end.
But whether this means that the continuity of
the psychic process is also interrupted re-
mains doubtful, since the psyche's attachment
to the brain can be confirmed with far less
certitude today than it could fifty years ago.
Psychology must first digest certain para-
psychological facts, which it has hardly begun
to do yet (Vol. VIII, p. 412).
One way to come to terms with this apparent radical shift in
position is to attempt to distinguish an earlier necessary embodi-
ment view from a later view when, in the last years of his life,
Jung held to the belief in the existence of disembodied psyches. A
consideration of the dates of the above quoted statements, however,
casts doubt on the idea that Jung's position can be neatly divided
into an earlier and later period.3 Although there certainly is a slow
gradual shift away from the necessary embodiment view, the certitude
with which Jung states that the psyche has a necessary connection
with the body is never replaced with another position which Jung
can state in an unhypothetical way and which can easily be integrated
with the rest of his views.
Just as the parapsychological data have to an extent proved to
be anomalies inexplicable in terms of present physical laws, so do
the considerations concerning the related phenomena which caused
Jung to doubt the psyche's necessary connection with the brain prove
to be anomalous with respect to his psychology as a whole. In order
then to understand the place of these anomalous statements in relation
to the totality of what Jung says about the psyche, the sort of
distinction we must bear in mind is that between a well-worked out
and fruitful concept, the notion of the psyche as embodied and de-
pendent on the brain, versus tentative, hypothetical attempts to
see h]ow this view could be expanded, or perhaps revised, in order
to take into account the full range of the parapsychological phe-
Although a full discussion of Jung's parapsychological reflec-
tions can not be attempted here, it would seem that the parapsycho-
logical data did not lead Jung to conclude that commitment to a
position of dualism, in the sense that psyche and matter are radi-
cally different types of entities, was necessary. Rather, present
in the latest as well as earlier writings is the view that psyche
and body (matter) are different aspects of a common fundamental
. it is not only possible but fairly probable,
even, that psyche and matter are two different
aspects of one and the same thing (Vol. VIII,
p. 215, 1946).
This living being appears outwardly as the ma-
terial body, but inwardly as a series of images
of the vital activities taking place within it.
They are tuo sides of the same coin, and we can-
not rid ourselves of the doubt that perhaps
this whole separation of mind and body may
finally prove to be merely a device of reason
for the purpose of conscious discrimination--
an intellectually necessary separation of one
and the same fact into two aspects, to which
we then illegitimately attribute an inde-
pendent existence (Vol. VIII, p. 326, 1926).
That even the psychic world, which is so extra-
ordinarily different from the physical world,
does not have its roots outside the one cosmos
is evident from the undeniable fact that causal
connections enist between the psyche and the
body which point to their underlying unitary
nature (Vol. XIV, p. 538, 1954).
If one is mindlling to postulate a pre-established
harmony of physical and psychic events, then
they can only be in a state of interaction. But
the latter hypothesis requires a psyche that
touches matter at some point, and, conversely,
a matter with a latent psyche, a postulate not
so very far removed from certain formulations
of modern physics (Eddington, Jeans, and others).
In this connection I would remind the reader of
the existence of parapsychic phenomena . .
(Vol. VIII, p. 234, 1946).
In order to understand Jung's theory of mind, it would seem
essential to understand two problematic aspects of Jung's views.
On the one hand, ire need to understand how Jung's essentially dou-
ble aspect approach can be made compatible with acceptance of dis-
embodied psyches. On the other hand, as exemplified in the last
quotations, Jung appears to want to hold simultaneously to a double
aspect theory and an interactionist view.5
Since we cannot attempt a full discussion of the relevant
problems in the philosophy of mind which these problems raise, we
will be content to point out that whereas the double aspect theory
and interactionisa can perhaps be shown to be compatible in principle,
it is clear that the acceptance of disembodied psyches would at least
greatly complicate such an endeavor. For if it can be shown that
psyches can exist independently of bodies, then the essentially
monistic double aspect view would be in great difficulty.
But if we have then good cause to try to construe Jung's views
on the psyche-body relation independently of the statements about
disembodied psyches, we can nonetheless understand houi Jung's views
on this matter can seem at one moment to be dualistic, while in another
instance he appears to hold to a monistic double aspect theory. For
the psyche is to be studied from the standpoint of the empirical data
as if it wore a distinct entity from the body, although this phenomeno-
logical approach does not for Jung entail a substantial dualism. He
can then say both that . we have absolutely no means of dividing
what is psychic from the biological process as such" (Vol. VIII, p.
16), and also that "so far, then, as our present !oiowledge goes,
neuroses are to be influenced or cured by approaching them not from
the proximal end, i.e., from the functioning of the glands, but from
the distal end, i.e., from the psyche, just as if the psyche were
itself a substance" (Vol. XI, p. 329).
The dualistic point of view is then assumed when we view the psyche
as phenomena. UIen we stop to consider what the psyche is essentially
and in its relation to the body, we see that the psyche is in all
probability merely another aspect of the body.
Characterization of the Psyche
Keeping these considerations about the psyche-body relation in
mind, we are now prepared to appreciate Jung's positive characteriza-
tion of the psyche. Moreover, this characterization is to serve as
a criterion of applicability of the term, defining the permissible
range of its use and giving us at least a method in principle of
discriminating the psychic from the nonpsychic. It is to be then
a sort of operational definition. From the point of view of onto-
logical considerations, we can not of course specify a psychic realm
as distinct from and uncontaminated with a nonpsychic realm.
Heuristically though we can mate such a specification in principle
as this specification is to indicate the phenomenological difference
between the psychic and nonpaychic.
Jung says then that "what I would call the psyche proper extends to
all functions which can be brought under the influence of a will" (Vol.
VIII, p. 183). Ibreover, by will is understood a form of disposable
energy (Vol. VIII, pages 182-183).
The sort of working model that emerges from this characteriza-
tion then is a separation of the psyche and the truly psychological
from the instincts and the only physiological in terms of the poss-
ibility of modification or flexibility in the otherwise rigid cr-
namisms of physiological compulsion.
An example of what is meant by the nonpsychic in terms of animal
life is perhaps instructive. For in consideration of the insect
world, there seem to be no exceptions to the rigid physiological
determinism of behavior. An insect is essentially a physiological
automaton. However, as we consider more complex forms of organisms
idth more centralized nervous systems, the hypothesis of the exis-
tence of at least a rudimentary form of consciousness becomes more
probable. WIth the higher mammals the e:dstence of psychological
processes becomes evident. Thus Jung explicitly affirms the eris-
tence of psychic processes in dogs and domestic animals (Vol. VIII,
pages 173 and 189). For Jung then the psyche is not restricted to
man but only finds its greatest development there as the outcome of
a continuous developmental sequence of gradual phylogenetic emergence.
In specifying the relationship between the instincts and the
psyche then, the instincts are conceived to be ectopsychic in origin.
Jung summarizes his argument on this point in the following way:
If we started with the hypothesis that the
psyche is absolutely identical with the state
of being alive, then we should have to accept
the existence of a psychic function even in
unicellular organisms. . .
But if we look upon the appearance of the
psyche as a relatively recent event in evo-
lutionary history, and assume that the psychic
function is a phenomenon accompanying a ner-
vous system which in some way or other has be-
come centralized, then it would be difficult
to believe that the instincts were originally
psychic in nature. And since the connection
of the psyche with the brain is a more probable
conjecture than the psychic nature of life in
general, I regard the characteristic compul-
siveness of instinct as an ectopsychic factor
(Vol. VITI, p. 115).
In stating that instincts are ectopsychic, Jung does not of
course wish to deny a psychological aspect to instinctual pheno-
mena; and thus he wishes to make clear that the instincts can be
considered from two points of view: as they appear in conscious-
ness, their psychic impact, as it were, and as physiological stim-
Instinct as a ectopsychic factor would play the
role of a stimulus merely, while instinct as a
psychic phenomenon would be an assimilation of
this stimulus to a pre-existent psychic pattern.
A name is needed for this process. I should
term it psychization. Thus, what we call in-
stinct offhand would be a datum already psychized,
but of ectopsychic origin (Vol. VIII, p. 115).
A further clarification of Jung's theoretical model of the
psyche comes into play when this ambiguous interface region between
the psychological and the physiological is explicitly considered. For
the psychological phenomena associated with the disposable energy
of the will are according to Jung's model merely the end of a con-
tinuum with the physiological at one end and the psychic at the other.
-breover, in the middle of this continuum, Jung identifies psychoid
functions which are quasi-psychic yet not merely physiological. In-
stincts are examples of these psychoid phenomena which though not
psychic in the full sense of Jung's designation yet have psychologi-
cal aspects. Jung states then that the term "psychoid" is "meant
to distinguish a category of events from merely vitalistic phenomena
on the one hand and from specifically psychic processes on the other"
(Vol. VIII, p. 177).
Since in order to be influenced by the disposable energy of the
will a function or process must be capable of becoming conscious, the
characteristic quality of those functions which are psychoid is their
incapability of reaching full consciousness. The sense in which
Jung sees the instincts as not capable of full consciousness is made
clear in the following way:
%1 speak of "instinctive actions, meaning by
that a mode of behaviour of which neither the
motive nor the aim is fully conscious and which
is prompted only by an obscure inner necessity . .
Thus instinctive action is characterized by an
unconsciousness of the psychological motive be- f
hind it, in contrast to the strictly conscious
processes which are distinguished by the conscious
continuity of their motives (Vol. VIII, p. 130).
Now the positive characterization of the psyche in terms of
functions which can become fully conscious and hence capable of being
influenced by the disposable energy of the will is not fully described
by distinguishing between the psyche and the instincts. For Jung
mal s the point that there is another type of function which limits
the will and which cannot be described as instinctual in the physio-
logical sense. This function is called spiritual. Identical with
the factors which Jung calls the archetypes, the spiritual function
is like instinct a psychoid function incapable of fuf consciousness.6
A full discussion of what Jung means by the spiritual idll be
given in Chapter 3. Here it will suffice to state that for Jung the
compulsiveness associated wirth the nonpsychic realm is due not only
to dynamisms of physiological origin, the instincts; but, in addition
to this lower limit, the psyche has an upper limit where the psychic
functions gradually fall under the influence of spiritual determinants.
"Just as, in its loner reaches, the psyche loses itself in the organic-
material substrate, so in its upper reaches it resolves itself into
a 'spiritual' form about which ie know as little as we do about the
functional basis of instinct" (Vol. VIII, p. 183).
In terms of the continuum model then, there would appear to be
psychoid processes on both sides of the psyche, and the psyche could
be figuratively said to be surrounded by psychoid processes. But
from a phylogenetic point of view, the question now arises why the
spiritual function is said to be 'higher" than the instinctual psy-
choid function, since the psyche appears to have developed out of
the psychoid processes considered as a whole and thus to be "higher"
than it in the sense of having developed later.. The solution to
this enigma seems to be that although the archetypal psychoid pro-
cesses are probably present, at least in rudimentary form, through-
out the animal kingdom, it is only with the development of the more
advanced forms of consciousness that there is a clear separation be-
tween instinctual and spiritual psychoid functions. Ioreover, it
seems to be just this separation which brings about the phenomenon
of consciousness so that "psychic processes seem to be balances of
energy flowing between spirit and instinct" (Vol. VIII, p. 207). +
Nor in this separation of spiritual and instinctual functions,
the instinctual energies seem to be channelled by the spiritual forms.
In a sense the spiritual function is then that which allows the en-
ergies of man to be employed in other than instinctual activities.
This is the sense in which the spiritual function is higher than the
instinctual. From the standpoint of phylogern, however, the desig-
nation of "higher" is misleading since both types of psychoid pro-
cesses are unconscious in relation to the later developing conscious-
ness associated with the psyche. "Spirit and instinct are by nature
autonomous and both limit in equal measure the applied field of the
will" (Vol. VIII, p. 183).
Now it would seem that an understanding of the positive charac-
terization of the psyche in terms of the irll leads to the conclusion
that the psyche is to be conceived as equivalent to consciousness or
awareness in opposition to the psychoid functions, the distinguishing
feature of which is their incapability of full consciousness and hence
relative autonomy from the will (Vol. VIII, p. 184). However, it is
only when we consider the attribution of an unconscious dimension to
the psyche that a full characterization of what Jung intends by his
psyche construct can be accomplished.
In order to resolve this apparent paradox of the existence of an
unconscious psyche then, it is necessary to focus on the meaning Jung
gives to the notion of the unconscious. He says that "since we per-
ceive effects whose origin cannot be found in consciousness, we are
compelled to allow hypothetical contents to the sphere of the non-
conscious, which means presupposing that the origin of those effects
lies in the unconscious precisely because it is not conscious" (Vol.
IV, p. 140). Thus . everything in the personality that is not
contained in the conscious should be found in the unconscious" (Vol.
III, p. 201).
The unconscious understood in this negative iay as the non-
conscious is relatively unproblematic. whateverr is not immediately
present in awareness is said to be unconscious. memories, for ex-
ample, can be said to be unconscious contents which can be brought
into consciousness at ill. Other unconscious contents such as re-
pressed experiences or subliminal perceptions may also be brought
into awareness, although a special effort or technique is needed.
Since the latter are not as easily recoverable to awareness as the
former, they are said to belong to a "deeper level" of the uncon-
scious. The analogy of depth then amounts operationally to a func-
tion of energy. Contents with a certain critical energy stay in
consciousness and lacking it become unconscious. Then contents
which are ordinarily unconscious become charged with energy, they
intrude themselves into conscious awareness and produce a so-called
"lowering of consciousness" with a consequent disruption of conscious
The boundary or dividing point then between conscious and un-
conscious is an energy threshold. However, this idea that conscious
and unconscious are qualitatively separate should not be understood
to mean that a sort of energy membrane sharply divides conscious from
unconscious contents. For it rather the case that every psychic
content is to some degree unconscious and that consequently the
psyche is both conscious and unconscious at once.
Consequently there is a consciousness in which
unconsciousness predominates, as weIl as a con-
sciousness in which self-consciousness predomi-
nates. This paradox becomes immediately intelli-
gible when we realize that there is no conscious
content which can with absolute certainty be said
to be totally conscious . (Vol. VIII, pages
%V must, however, accustom ourselves to the thought
that conscious and unconscious have no clear de-
marcations, the one beginning where the other
leaves off. It is rather the case that the psyche
is a conscious-unconscious whole (Vol. VIII, p. 200).
It becomes clear then how the characterization of the psyche
in terms of the iill allows for an unconscious dimension to the
psyche. For it is only the possibility of an influence by the will
that is necessary to characterize the psychic as distinct from the
psychoid. And although it is this possibility which is the distin-
guishing feature of the psyche, rather than being identical with
consciousness, the psyche is better conceptualized as for the most
part unconscious, with the conscious region being of comparatively
The idea of the unconscious then adds a dimension of depth to
the notion of the psyche. Th addition to those items of immediate
awareness, there are other contents on the fringes of consciousness
or just below the threshold of awareness. Jung catalogues these
unconscious contents in the following way: . lost memories,
painful ideas that have been repressed (i.e., forgotten on purpose),
subliminal perceptions, by which are meant sense-perceptions that
were not strong enough to reach consciousness, and finally, content
that are not yet ripe for consciousness" (Vol. VII, p. 66). . .
Brerything forgotten or repressed or otherwise subliminal that has
been acquired by the individual consciously or unconsciously" (Vol.
XVII, p. 116).
Often these unconscious contents group together to form subliminal
functional units which then become sort of "splinter psyches" or "frag-
mentary personalities" (Vol. VIII, p. 97). These focal points of un-
conscious psychic activity are designated as the complexes. They are
groups of often highly emotionally charged feelings, thoughts and
images which are associated together so that, for instance, an
environmental stimulus which activates the complex results in the
entirety of the associated psychic contents coming into play and
affecting consciousness. This often leads to a response which is out
of proportion to the initiating stimulus. For Jung the ego itself is
merely a complex, "the complex of consciousness" (Vol. XIV, p. 357).
In so far as the meaning of the ego is psycho-
logically nothing but a complex of imaginings
held together and fixed by the coenesthetic im-
pressions, bodilyy feelings . the complex
of the ego may well be set parallel with and com-
pared to the secondary autonomous complex (Vol. II,
V&th the description of these unconscious components to the
psyche then, the concept of the psyche according to Jung's "defini-
tion" of it in terms of the will is complete. However, Jung goes
on to describe the psychoid region of the unconscious which is desig-
nated as a collective unconscious in contrast to the region of the
unconscious in relatively close association to consciousness which
he calls the personal unconscious. "As to the no man's land which
I have called the 'personal unconscious,' it is fairly easy to prove
that its contents correspond exactly to our definition of the psychic.
But--as we define 'psychic'--is there a psychic unconscious that is
not a 'fringe of consciousness' and not personal?" (Vol. VIII, p.
The above quotation should make it clear that although according
to Jung's specification of what the psyche means in the strict sense,
it should be applied only to consciousness and the personal unconscious,
Jung frequently uses the term to include the collective impersonal por-
tions of the unconscious as well. Thus Jung often speaks of a collec-
tive psyche or of an impersonal, objective psyche. Further discussion
on this point of how the collective unconscious can be said to be
psychic on the one hand and not to fit into the definition of the
psyche on the other must wait until further in the exposition. The
crucial distinction involves discriminating between the psychic con-
tents as they appear in consciousness and their postulated but unob-
served determinants which are said to be psychoid rather than psychic.
There is then for Jung an impersonal and collective aspect to
the unconscious in contrast to the personal unconscious described
above. Moreover, this collective unconscious is said to constitute
a deeper stratum of the unconscious than the personal. Whereas for
the personal unconscious the "depth" of a content represents a corres-
ponding lack of energy and hence a greater degree of nonassociation
to the central focus of awareness, the collective unconscious is
"deeper" in the additional sense of being the foundation of the
"upper" layers. Consciousness and the personal unconscious then
represent the individual and personal heterogeneity which develops
through maturation from a common and universal homogeneity.
"Individual consciousness is only the flower and the fruit of a
season, sprung from the perennial rhizome beneath the earth . .
(Vol. V, p. xxiv).
Jung then uses the term "collective" to mean the opposite of
personal or individual. "I have chosen the term 'collective' be-
cause this part of the unconscious is not individual but universal;
in contrast to the personal psyche, it has contents and modes of be-
haviour that are more or less the same everywhere and in all indivi-
duals" (Vol. IX-A, pages 3-4).
Jung argues that since the body may be said to have certain
universal features which form a common basis for the emergence of
individual differences, it would then be reasonable to expect that
the psyche, which is intimately related to the body, would also have
common and universal features: . Just as the human body shows
a common anatomy over and above all racial differences, so, too,
the human psyche possesses a common substratum transcending all
differences in culture and consciousness" (Vol. [IIl, p. 11). "For
just as there is an objective human body and not merely a subjective
and personal one, so also there is an objective psyche with its
specific structures and activities . (Vol. III, p. 267).
The idea of a collective unconscious thus understood as the
common, universal element of the psyche would seem relatively un-
problematic or perhaps even superflous as a concept since no one
would wish to deny that the psyche has foundations in the structure
of the brain which are common to all men. However, the real import
of Jung's theory of a collective unconscious is brought into clarity
when Jung states that the contents of the collective unconscious are
in fact psychic contents which come into awareness but which are not
the direct consequences of the individual's own personal experiences.
. In addition to memories from a long-distant conscious past,
completely new thoughts and creative ideas can also present themselves
from the unconscious--thoughts and ideas that have never been con-
scious before." The collective unconscious is then not only the
structural element common to the psyches of all men; it is also the
active source of original psychic contents.
Additional features of Jung's concept of the collective uncon-
scious come to light when we learn that . ego-consciousness
seems to be dependent on two factors: firstly, on the conditions
of the collective, i.e., the social, consciousness; and secondly,
on the archetypes, or dominants, of the collective unconscious.
The latter fall phenomenologically into two categories: instinctual
and archetypal" (Vol. VIII, pages 217-218).
Thus both instincts as well as archetypes characterize the
collective unconscious. Ibreover, there is in addition a concept
of collective consciousness which is to be distinguished from the
collective unconscious. Jung states that by collective consciousness
he has something similar in mind to Freud's idea of the superego
(Vol. LX-A, page 3, note 2). Like the superego, the collective
consciousness is partially conscious and partially unconscious.
It consists of "generally accepted truths" (Vol. VIII, p. 218),
i.e., of beliefs, values and ideals which are supposedly held in
common by members of a community and which serve as a sort of common
ideological basis or cultural idea for the community. The contempor-
ary phenomenon of the so-called counter-culture would then represent
a process of development or change in the collective consciousness
of our time.
The collective consciousness has its ultimate source in the
collective unconscious. For through the influence of the collective
unconscious on individuals, new ideals, ethical and religious sys-
tems, and basic scientific discoveries come into awareness for the
first time. However, the symbolic quality of these images from the
unconscious is eventually lost as the images and ideas are subjected
to the interpretative powers of generations in order to assimilate
them to the existing system of culture. Through this process the
manifestation of the collective unconscious in one pioneer individual
is gradually transformed into the cultural heritage and collective
consciousness of the community. The result is then often the sort
of transition that the religious insight of an individual undergoes
in the change from the teachings of the individual in his lifetime
to the formation of a doctrine of established belief by his later
followers. It is the difference between an original religious ex-
perience and the dogma of an established church. Jung states then
that . we can hardly avoid the conclusion that between collec-
tive consciousness and the collective unconscious there is an almost
unbridgeable gulf over which the subject finds himself suspended"
(Vol. VIII, p. 218).
Jung makes the point that through the process of socialization
and in attempting to adapt to the demands of society we tend to iden-
tify ourselves with the consequent roles which we must play in order
to fit smoothly into the social order. This part of the personality
Jung calls the persona. The word means mask and like a mask the
persona is the person that we pretend to be in order to have a
well-defined niche in the commmity.
I1hen we analyse the persona we strip off the mask,
and discover that what seemed to be individual
is at bottom collective; in other words, that
the persona was only a mask of the collective
psyche. Fundamentally the persona is nothing
real: it is a compromise between individual
and society as to what a man should appear to
be (Vol. VZI, p. 158).
By "collective psyche" in this context it is clear that the
collective consciousness is meant. However, there are other
passages in which the term "collective psyche" means collective
unconscious. For example:
It is therefore absolutely essential to make
the sharpest possible demarcation between the
personal and the impersonal attributes of the
psyche. This is not to deny the sometimes
very formidable existence of the contents of
collective unconscious, but only to stress that,
as contents of the collective psyche, they are
opposed to and different from the individual
psyche (Vol. VII, p. 94).
"Collective psyche" is then an ambiguous term leaving still to
be specified the amount of unconsciousness that is implied. This
formulation is sometimes preferable when speaking of the conscious-
ness of a group, particularly when there is a strong group identity.
For since the collective consciousness is grounded in the collective
unconscious, there are then correspondences between the institutions
of culture and the related archetypes. The effectiveness of the
community leader, for example, is often a function of his capacity
to fulfil the expectations brought about by the projection of the
archetype of the hero or Old Wise An upon him, and the guiding ideals
of the community remain cohesive factors for the life of that community
only so long as they remain living symbols capable of constellating
the appropriate archetypal configurations. The ambiguous "collective
psyche" is then sometimes the best description of the Zeitgeist of a
people, as it acknowledges the close relationship between the founda-
tions of culture in the collective unconscious and the embodiments
of those foundations in the accepted standards of collective life.
Ibreover, Jung's use of the ambiguous "collective psyche" be-
comes easier to appreciate when it is made clear that for him the
relationship of the personal psyche to the collective unconscious
is closely analogous to the relationship of the individual to society.
"Now, all that I have said here about the influence of society upon
the individual is identically true of the influence of the collec-
tive unconscious upon the individual psyche" (Vol. VII, p. 154).
Therefore the psychology of a community is not basically different
from the psychology of an individual: . The psyche of a
people is only a somewhat more complex structure than the psyche
of an individual" (Vol. X, p. 86).
Collective consciousness and the collective unconscious may then
both be subsumed under collective psyche due to the close relation-
ship between the two and the similAr relationship of the individual
to the collective aspect in each case. The individual has thus both
an inner and an outer relationship to the collective as he must con-
tend with society without and the collective unconscious within.
One point that should be made clear when use is made of the
term "collective psyche" is that Jung does not mean to imply that
a group consciousness exists in the sense of a psychic entity which
exists over and above the psyches of individuals. For the common
aspects of the psyches of a group can be abstractly said to represent
a group psyche without this having to mean that there is something
psychic which persists independently of the individuals involved.
In so far as the similarities rather than the differences between
collective consciousness and collective unconscious are emphasized as
in "collective psyche," questions then arise concerning the existence
of distinct kinds of group psyches. That is, to what extent is the
idea of a collective unconscious meant to be truly transcultural and
to what extent is there intended to be a different collective uncon-
for each distinct community of men?
Evidence can be found in Jung's work to support either of the
tw7o possible positions suggested above. For example, we find: "The
collective unconscious is simply the psychic expression of the iden-
tity of brain structure irrespective of all racial differences" (Vol.
XIII, p. 11). But there are also statements such as the following:
Io doubt, on an earlier and deeper level of
psychic development, where it is still imposs-
ible to distinguish between an Aryan, Semitic,
Hamitic, or Ibngolian mentality, all human
races have a common collective psyche. But
with the beginning of racial differentiation
essential differences are developed in the
collective psyche as well (Vol. VII, p. 152,
InTasmuch as there are differentiations corres-
ponding to race, tribe, and even family, there
is also a collective psyche limited to race,
tribe, and family over and above the "universal"
collective psyche (Vol. VII, p. 275).
The difficulty of understanding is again partly the result of
the problematic interaction of form and content, of the difference
between a common universal structure and its concrete embodiment in
ways which are characteristic of individual cultures. Ibreover, the
word "collective psyche" tends to obscure these differences which
arise from the fact that the collective unconscious is an abstraction,
a theoretically postulated commonality derived from the phenomena of
concrete cultures in which the archetypes exist as actual symbols
However, this line of explanation is only partially satisfac-
tory in light of the totality of Jung's writings. It seems that
notwithstanding the differences that come about when the common
structure of the psyche is embodied in culturally characteristic
ways, Jung means that the common structure itself is different with
respect to the different ethnic and racial groups. His statements,
for example, about the inapplicability of Indian yoga practises for
the Iestern psyche (Vol. XI, p. 534) and the characteristic quality
of Jewish psychology which might not be appropriate for non-Jewish
peoples (Vol. VII, p. 152, note 8) seem to support this idea.
However, the concept of racial differences in the collective
unconscious seems one of the least defensible of all Jung's ideas on
the unconscious. For notwithstanding the lack of credibility in
the notion that Jewish psychology or Indian yoga are inapplicable to
someone with a Wlstern Christian heritage, it would seem that the
similarities of a universal structure of the psyche would greatly
overshadow any racial differences that might exist in that struc-
ture, just as the bodies of persons of different races and ethnic
groups seem to be of overwhel2dng similarity differing only in very
There are, of course, marked differences in the collective
psyches of distinct. human groups, if by this term is understood the
culturally distinct ways in which the collective unconscious is
developed and expressed. Ihch of what Jung says about the inherent
psychic differences of people of various human groups can be under-
stood in this way without the necessity of postulating significant
racial or ethnic differences in the structure of the collective
1 C.Gr. Jung, Collected Works Vols. I-XIX (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 1977, Vol. VIII, p. 409. Quotations are from the
following editions: Vol. I, Psychiatric Studies. First Edition, 1957;
Vol. II, Eaperrimntal Fesearches, 1973; Vol. III, The Pychoeesis
of Iental disease 960; Vol. IV, Freud and Psychoanalysis, 1961;
Vol. V, Symbols of Transformation First Edition, 1956; Vol. VI,
Psychological Types 1971; Vol. VII, MT EssaysOn Analytical Psy-
cholo Second Edition, 1966; Vol. VIII, The Structure and Iynamics
of the Psych Second edition, 1969; Vol. IX, Part I, The Archetypes
and the Collective hUnconscious, Second Edition, 1968 (hereafter cited
as Vol. I-A.); Vol. IF, Part II, Aion. Second Edition, 1968 (hereafter
cited as Vol. -I-3); Vol. X, Civilization in Transition, First Edition,
1964; Vol. XI, Psychology and Peligion: 'bst and East Second Edition,
1969; Vol. XII, Psychology and Alchem Second Edition, 1968; Vol. XIII,
1968; Vol. 'IV, ITrsterium Coniunctionis, First Edition, 1963; Vol. XT,
The Spirit in ian a, and Literature 1966; Vol. VI, The Practise
of Psychothera ., Second5%ition, 1966; Vol. XVII, The IS oen
rsonality, 195h; Vol. XVIII, Iascellary; Vol. X Bibliograpl and
Index. Hereafter cited by volume number.
2 It is not in the passage where he speaks of Bergson that this
is made clear but in the essay "On Psychic Thergy," Vol. VIII, pages
3-66 where the implications of the libido theory with respect to the
problem of the mind-body relation are discussed in detail. Unfor-
tunately this seems to be characteristic of Jung's style. Mi.sunder-
standings are produced by a causal or parenthetical comment which
then require many lengthy passages or even whole essays to correct.
3 In determining the chronology of Jung's writings the volume
number of the collected works is not a reliable indicator. The
collected works are grouped by subject matter, and while this serves
as a rough guide to different periods of Jung's work, some of the
early and middle writings appear in the last volumes.
T's will consider anomalous facts with respect to a given theory
to be ones which fail to be explained by the theory and which after a
protracted period of such failure lead either to the ad hoc revision
of the theory or to emergence of a new more comprehensive theory which
will be able to encompass their explanation in a context which pre-
serves previously explained data. The sense of anomaly is that used
by T.H. Kuhn in his Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Second Edition
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).
Statements about the disembodied psyche then have this anoma-
lous relationship to Jung's established theory. This becomes evident
when efforts are made to see how the statements can be made consistent
with the established theory.
5 By dual aspect theory is meant the view that mental and phys-
ical are different aspects of some third entity which is itself neither
mental nor physical. Interactionism is the view that mental events can
cause physical events and vice versa.
6 Strictly speaking the archetypes are completely incapable of
being made conscious in the sense that dwat appears in consciousness
is never the archetype per se but only an archetypal image. This
distinction between the archetype per se and the archetypal image
will be fully discussed in Chapter 3.
7 C.G. Jung, editor, Ifa d ag mbols (Iew York: Dell, 1968),
p. 25. Hereafter cited as %an and His Smbols.
THEORY OF ARCHETYPES: PART I
Our discussion of the notion of a collective unconscious serves
as an introduction to the main concern of this study, the concept
of the archetype. For in addition to the instincts, the collective
-unconscious is said to contain archetypes. It is the notion of arche-
types then which gives Jung's collective unconscious its real sub-
stance, and it is the resolution of questions concerning the arche-
types upon which the real point of a concept of a collective un-
Thxny such questions inhabit the fringes of consciousness while
reading about the archetypes: What really is an archetype? What
sort of ontological status is it supposed to have? I-hat is the
relationship between the archetypes and the instincts? Were do
the archetypes come from? What is the difference between the
archetype in itself and as it appears in consciousness? 1hat are
the chief archetypes? hiat causes their appearance in consciousness?
These many questions about the archetype reflect the many aspects
and perspectives from which the idea can be considered. In order to
gain an insight into the unifying elements of these different per-
spectives on the archetypes, our exposition idll proceed with a
conceptual overview followed by a detailed discussion of the different
aspects of the concept. flth this approach we hope to gain a unified
understanding of the archetype which will make clear the reasons for
the characteristic complexity of the idea.
Characterization of the Archetype
It will be remembered from the above discussion of the collective
unconscious then, that the contents of this portion of the psyche were
said to be objective and impersonal in the sense that the collective
unconscious is the supposed source of original contents which appear
in consciousness but which seem not to have been conscious before.
For example, an individual has a dream, vision or fantasy composed
of alien images to which he has no personal associations. Ibreover,
parallels to the phenomena's basic themes can then be found in mater-
ials drawn from comparative symbology which are unknown to the person
previous to his experience of the archetypal event.
The following dream illustrates these characteristic archetypal
In my dream, I am at an amusement park with my
wife and another couple. The first amusement
we decide to see is a sort of "haunted house."
To enter, we descend a flight of stairs into a
cool, damp cellar, consisting of an empty main
room. looking into one room I see nothing.
At this pint a ghost-like figure appears. I
recognize the "ghost" as a child dressed in a
costume, and am friendly to it. The "ghost"
then leaves. In the next room, I see a table.
Upon the table is a small, incomplete child-like
body. A large knife is hovering in the air over
the table, and proceeds to dismember the body.
Blood gushes out, spurting into the air in great
streams. I think that this "show" is a little
too much for an amusement for the general public,
although I personally am not affected by the gore.
The "body" then begins to carry on a normal con-
versation with me, while the blood continues to
spurt and gush over the table top. The htow
is then over, and the "body" disappears.-
In this particular case, it is the archetypal motif of
ritual dismemberment which is the most outstanding feature of the
dream. The dreamer had no idea as to what this image might mean
and was unfamiliar with the frequent occurrence of this theme in
the literature of alchemy.
That Jung means by an archetype then is a disposition in the
collective unconscious to produce such an image in consciousness
as the one above. Ibreover, Jung distinguishes between the actual
image, which he calls the archetypal image, and the archetype per
se, which as a disposition of the unconscious is unobservable in
principle. However, the term "archetype" is used indiscriminately
for both the archetypal manifestation and the archetypal disposition.
The archetypal image is a concrete instantiation of the hypothe-
tical, unobservable archetypal disposition. Ibreover, archetypal
contents which emerge into awareness assume a form which is a
reflection of the individual consciousness. The fact that arche-
types appear in a personal form seems to be an instance of the ten-
dency to structure awareness of unfamiliar phenomena so that they
resemble familiar forms of experience.
The unconscious supplies as it were the archetypal
form, which in itself is empty and irrepresentable.
Consciousness immediately fills it with related
or similar representational material so that it
can be perceived. For this reason archetypal
ideas are locally, temporally, and individually
conditioned (Vol. XIII, p. 3X6).
In the case of the dismemberment dream, this assimilation of the
archetypal motif into an individual context is illustrated when the
uncanny and alien ritual of dismemberment, concerning which the dreamer
had no knowledge, was represented in the familiar setting of an amuse-
Ontological Status of the Archetype
As a disposition the archetype has then the ontological status of
a hypothetical construct. Like the electron, the archetype can be
detected only through the effects which it produces, but, as with
the electron, this unobservability is not held to make the archetype
any less real than directly perceivable objects like chairs and door-
knobs. Unlike the electron, however, the archetypes are unobservable
in principle. Since the unconscious can only be knonm indirectly
through its effect on consciousness, there is no possibility of a
direct perception of these unconscious contents. -breover, the
archetypes per se, existing as dispositions, are only possibilities
to form observable phenomena with the determinate form in which they
appear being the result of the interaction between this disposition
in the collective unconscious and the informing consciousness.
Th basing the ontology of the archetypes on a position of
scientific realism, Jung wants to carefully distinguish his unobser-
vable theoretical entities from metaphysical concepts such as Plato's
forms. The difference is that the archetypes are empirically derived
and grounded. They are the product of Jung's therapeutic work in
which he found it increasingly difficult to fit all of the phenomeno-
logical material into an explanatory framework which included only
a personal unconscious. There exists then the possibility of falsi-
fication to the extent that the archetypal theory fails to provide
adequate explanation for the observed phenomena. The relationship
between experience and the postulated concepts of metaphysics, on
the other hand, is too vague to allow for the possibility of dis-
confirmation in principle.
Relationship of Archetypes and Instincts
Since the archetypes are not the product of an individual's
personal experience, they must then be the result of inheritance.
Rather than inherited experiences or inherited images, however,
the archetypes are transmitted as the disposition to form images
and ideas. There are close parallels here with the instincts, which
rather than being inherited behaviors are instead inherited dis-
positions to produce certain behaviors when activated by the appro-
priate environmental releasing stimuli. 1'th this similarity to the
instincts in mind, Jung often refers to the archetypes as patterns
. they prove to be typical attitudes, modes
of action--thought-processes and impulses which
must be regarded as constituting the instinctive
behaviour typical of the human species. The
term I chose for this, namely "archetype," there-
fore coincides with the biological concept of the
"pattern of behaviour" (Vol. III, p. 261).
Just as the body develops evolutionarily conditioned modes of
responding to external and internal stimuli, Jung hypothesizes the
development of similar phylogenetic patterns for the psyche. The
archetypes are then somewhat like psychic instincts. Ibreover,
since the body is not functionally a separate entity from the mind,
these 'mental instincts" are parallel psychic counterparts to the
inherited modes of bodily response. . There is good reason
for supposing that the archetypes are the unconscious images of the
instincts themselves . (Vol. IX-A, p. 4~).
The fact that archetypes can be understood as patterns of be-
havior emphasizes then their biological aspect and their continuity
with naturalistically understood processes. With a widening of the
traditional use of "patterns of behavior," this allows for the possi-
bility of archetypes in animals. "There is nothing to prevent us from
assuming that certain archetypes exist even in animals, that they are
grounded in the pecularities of the living organism itself . "
(Vol. VII, p. 69).
Archetypes as A Priori Conditioning Factors
However, the archetypes can also be seen from the cognitive point
of view as inherent categories of apprehension (Vol. VI, p. 376).
This perspective then underlines their role as the structuring elements
of the psyche and focuses on those aspects of the archetypes which
seem least directly connected with instincts as ordinarily understood.
It may then seem difficult to grasp how the archetypes can be at once
both patterns of behavior and "a priori conditioning factors." How-
ever, man's characteristic pattern of behavior is to develop con-
sciousness which can then act at variance with or in relative in-
dependence of the instincts understood as drives of the body. And,
since for Jung, the mind and body are not really separate entities
but merely different points of view, his shift from the archetypes
as patterns of behavior to talk of archetypes as categories of the
psyche can be seen as a plausible move rather than as a logical jump.
"As a prior conditioning factors they represent a special, psycholog-
ical instance of the biological 'pattern of behaviour'" (Vol. XI, p.
l19, note 2).
Now in characterizing the archetypes as a priori conditioning
factors what Jung has in mind is similar to the idea of categories
worked out by Kant. Moreover, it sometimes appears as if Jung is
attempting to broaden Kant's concept so that in addition to
necessary forms of cognition, the archetypes will also be cate-
gories of the imagination.2 Specifically the archetypes are held
to be forms of thought, perception and imagination (Vol. IX-A, p.
44). However, the comparison of the archetypes to the Kantian
categories is only of limited usefulness. For the archetypes can
be said to be necessary only in the biological sense of being part
of our inheritance which will then necessarily influence us. They
are not necessary in the sense that they could not have been other
than they are. The archetypes are products of evolution and are
thus subject to whatever contingent environmental forces made them
an enduring part of the genotype. A hominoid on a different planet
could then conceivably develop different archetypes.3
I-breover, Kant's categories were the necessary formal aspects
to which any experience must conform whereas Jung's archetypes are
the forms of only certain types of experience. Thus, the archetypes
are more properly described as primordial images than as categories
in Kant's sense. For the archetypes as "thought-forms" (Vol. VII,
p. 66), i.e., dispositions to form certain typical images and thoughts
come into consciousness only under unusual circumstances, rather than
being the structuring aspect of experience in general. This is then
what Jung has in mind when he states: "Only, in the case of our
'forms,' we are not dealing with categories of reason but with cate-
gories of the imarienation" (Vol. XI, p. 518).
From the point of view of similarity with Kant, the archetypes
can be seen to be universal, inborn and formal elements of the psyche
(Vol. IX-A, p. 44). Ibreover, the individual and personal aspects
of the psyche are held to develop from a universal substratum in
the collective unconscious. From this perspective the ego is itself
an archetype in the sense that it is prefigured as an a priori possi-
bility in the collective unconscious of the individual before it
emerges by a process of differentiation. All of the complexes,
in fact, although they are predominantly manifestations of the
personal unconscious, have a "nuclear element" (Vol. VIII, p. 12)
which is an archetype.
. every complex, has or is a (fragmentary)
personality. At any rate, this is how it looks
from the purely observational standpoint. But
when Tie go into the matter more deeply, we
find that they are really archetypal forma-
tions (Vol. V, p. 255).
Ilat this archetypal basis of complexes amounts to is that a
complex which can be traced to events in the individual's personal
history is often "magically" complicated because the personal situa-
tion has been assimilated to the archetypal one. For example,
problems originating from the relationship with the parents are
frequently the result of the fact that the individual has since
childhood seen the parents as gods. The father is perceived as
God the Father and the mother in terms of the Archetype of the
Great oIther or Earth Ibther. The troubled individual then can
not successfully distinguish between parents as individuals and the
archetypal projections in terms of which he has habitually perceived
For every typical human situation there is a corresponding
archetype so that the experience of the individual in such a situation
invariably falls under the influence of an archetypal pattern. In
this respect the description of the archetypes as "patterns of in-
stinctual behaviour" seems amply justified.
Ibwever, the archetypal notion runs the risk of being over-
generalized into triviality if the idea of the archetypes as formal
a priori conditioning factors is taken as a guide for explaining all
human behavior. For example, the archetypes can be seen as the
phylogenetic forms to which ontogeny supplies the content. But,
although this understanding of the archetypes is hypothetically
plausible, it is misleading from an operational point of view. For
although in principle all aspects of the personality are founded on
the common structure of the collective unconscious out of which
individuality emerges like an island out of the ocean, the arche-
types can not be exclusively appealed to in order to form a compre-
hensive theory of behavior. This would be an incomplete and one-
sided perspective ignoring the vitally important ontogenetic factors
influencing individual development.
In the case of the complexes, for example, Jung identifies them
trith the personal unconscious. The archetypal nucleus is called upon
as an explanatory principle only when the psychological situation
seems incomprehensible from an exclusively personal point of view.
That there is a common and universal structure to the psyche is then
a true statement but not always an informative one for all distinct
aspects of behavior.
Further Implications of Kantian Influence
On the basis of the discussion so far, it could be fairly
concluded that on the whole it is more accurate to understand the
archetypes as patterns of behavior than to think of them in terms
of Kant's theory of knowledge. This conclusion, however, would be
too hastily arrived at as the full story of Kant's influence on
Jung's idea of the archetypes has yet to be explained.
Jung's insistence on the label of empiricism to characterize his
work, for example, is a consequence of his methodological ideal of
staying within the bounds of possible experience. Ibreover, in terms
of Jung's thought, the concept of the psyche describes these bounds.
There is no possibility of getting outside the psyche to determine
how the psyche interprets the world, for all experience is most
immediately and inescapably psychic experience. The psyche is the
mediator of all experience, both from within and from without.
If a thinker comes up with a metaphysical scheme which he
thinks grasps the essential nature of reality, Jung then cautions
as to the need for a psychological critique. The claims of universal
validity which the system maker has put forth transcend possible ex-
perience and are justified on the basis of an intuitive certainty.
It is just at this point that Jung's theory of archetypes assumes a
deflationary role by explaining the appeal of the metaphysical system
on the basis of its conformity to the fundamental aspects of the
thinker himself rather than to conformity of the system with the
ultimate nature of reality.
Iten a speculative philosopher believes he has
comprehended the world once and for all in his
system, he is deceiving himself; he has merely
comprehended himself and then naively projected
that view upon the world (Vol. III, p. 185).
Archetypes and Scientific Theories
To complicate matters at this point is the fact that basic
scientific insights are held to be founded on archetypes. For
example, Robert lbyer's idea of the conservation of energy (Vol.
VII, p. 67), the concept of the atom (Vol. IX-A, p. 57) and Kekule's
discovery of the structure of the benzene ring (Man and His Symbols
pages 25-26) are all understood as illustrating the effect of arche-
. we speak of "atoms" today because we have
heard, directly or indirectly, of the atomic
theory of D=eocritus. But where did Democritus,
or whoever first spoke of minimal constitutive
elements, hear of atoms? This notion had its
origin in archetypal ideas, that is, in pri-
mordial images which were never reflections of
physical events but are spontaneous products
of the psychic factor (Vol. IX-A, p. 57).
This archetypal basis of scientific theory is supported when it
is shoin that the ideas have been present in the history of diviliza-
tion for many centuries. In Kebkule's case the solution to his
theoretical dilemma came during a state of relaxation when, dozing
before his fireplace, he seemed to see snakelike atoms dancing in
the fire. Then one of the snakes formed a ring by grasping its owm
tail, the idea of the benzene ring was conceived in a flash of in-
sight.4 his image of a snake (or dragon) biting its omm tail is
called the uroboros and dates from at least as early as the third
century B.C. (Ibn and His Symbols, p. 26).
Naturally the role of the unconscious must always be seen in
proper relation to the activity of consciousness in these cases. Had
Keklle not already spent great amounts of time and energy consciously
thinking about the problem of the structure of benzene, the situation
of an insightful archetypal constellation could not have occurred.
I-breover, there was a great deal of effort necessary after the fire-
place episode before the structure of benzene was finally worked out.
Notwithstanding the well-documented and critical role of the uncon-
scious then, it should not be thought that scientific theories exist
preformed in the collective unconscious.
I, might well imitate Kant at this point and ask how this appar-
ent conformity betWeen symbols from the collective unconscious and
scientific theories is possible. Ibreover, it needs to be made clear
why scientific ideas derived from the archetypes are held to be
genuine discoveries and advances, whereas similarly derived meta-
physical ideas are restricted to a sphere of only subjective validity.
In the case of science then, the archetypal constellation some-
times proves to be instrumental in bringing about a progressive
theoretical advance for science when the image from the unconscious
is assimilated in terms of the already existing body of knowledge.
IMay other ideas from the same source are never put to scientific
use because they do not happen to be compatible with the progress of
Thus with scientific theories, archetypes are sometimes an im-
portant influence within the context of discovery. Regardless of the
origin of a scientific hypothesis, however, in order for it to become
acceptable to the scientific community, it must be validated in terms
of criteria of scientific methodology. These criteria of accepta-
bility involve relating the theoretical terms of the hypothesis to
observational statements in such a way as to constitute an empiri-
cally derived decision procedure which will indicate what observational
states of affairs will count for or against the hypothesis.
Idth metaphysical theories based on archetypal experience,
on the other hand, the relationship between the theory and observa-
tions is not specified in such a way as to form the basis for an
objective decision procedure which could be used to adjudicate con-
flicting metaphysical claims.
Ibreovor, the archetypal images are always the partial result of
the individual traits of the embodying consciousness, with aspects of
personal history and cultural background being always associated rith
their appearance. Thus the personal factor can not be eliminated in
order to arrive at an objectively valid metaphysical statement. In
addition to the inevitable contamination of the personal factor, the
archetypes can be said to be unavoidably anthropomorphic. As the
product of human evolution, they mirror man and are man. Although
the archetypes represent man's relationship to the world, it is only
from the historically conditioned human standpoint reflecting how
the universe affects man.
There is for Jung, nonetheless, a possibility of evaluating the
pragmatic value of the metaphysical ideas considered from the stand-
point of their ability to further and enhance human existence. Thus
very similar to IJietzsche, Jung would judge metaphysical ideas on
their life-affirming quality, while maintaining that the final truth
of the ideas in terms of which of them mirror best the ultimate
structure of reality could not be decided.
In Jung's viewr we must be careful to distinguish subjective,
psychological truth from objective truth about the external world.
Thus, although it is an error to see the archetypes as objectively
true in the sense that they represent literal statements about objec-
tive states of affairs, yet the archetypes have a psychological
validity and are psychologically true in the sense that it is possible
to interpret them in a subjectively meaningful way. The validity of
the archetypes in terms of applicability to the human situation must
then be aclInowledged even in absence of the possibility of a scientific
validation of statements based on them. For example, the existence of
a God can not be either proved or disproved scientifically; yet the
existence of an internal God-image or its equivalent must be acknow-
ledged as a psychologically real and effective event.
The gods cannot and must not die. I said just
now that there seems to be something, a kind of
superior power, in the human psyche, and that
if this is not the idea of God, then it is the
"belly." I wanted to express the fact that one
or other basic instinct, or complex of ideas,
will invariably concentrate upon itself the
greatest sum of psychic energy and thus force
the ego into its service (Vol. VII, p. 72).
The Symbolic Hature of the Archetypes
The way in ihbich Jung characterizes the distinctive psychologi-
cal validity of the archetypes is by emphasizing the symbolic nature
of the archetypal images. The archetypes are said to be "symbolic
formulas" (Vol. VI, p. 377).
The symbol for Jung is to be sharply distinguished from the
semiotic function of signs. Signs are representations of known
things. The trademark of a compare, for example, simply represents
the compa~ itself. Symbols, on the other hand, can not be said to
be logically equivalent to their referents. The symbol points be-
yound itself to an unknown.
Thus a word or an image is symbolic when it
implies something more than its obvious and
immediate meaning. It has a wider "uncon-
scious" aspect that is never precisely defined
or fully explained. .. . As the mind explores the
symbol, it is led to ideas that lie beyond the
grasp of reason (Man and His Symbols, p. 4).
Symbols function as interconnecting links between the conscious
and the collective unconscious, as they bring into consciousness in
representable form the othe-rise unImowable archetypes. The symbols
mediate the experience of the archetypes and because of the unavoid-
able personal characteristics due to embodiment in an individual con-
sciousness are products of both the collective unconscious and con-
There is then in the symbol a synthesis of knamw and unknown
and of real and unreal.
If it were only real, it would not be a symbol,
for it would then be a real phenomenon and hence
unsymbolic. . And if it were altogether unreal,
it would be mere empty imagining, which, being
related to nothing real, would not be a symbol either
(Vol. VI, p. 111).
The symbol . unites the antithesis between
real and unreal, because on the one hand it is
a psychic reality (an account of its efficacy),
-while on the other it corresponds to no physical
reality (Vol. VI, pages 128-129).
To a large extent then, what we add to the picture of the
archetype by calling the archetypal images symbols is an emphasis
on the living intensity of the archetypes as they are experienced.
The archetypal images are not abstract intellectual concepts but
symbols which are not transparent to reason and the intellect. More-
over, these symbols have a certain aura of fascination. They appeal
not only to the intellect as puzzles for the understanding but to the
emotions as well. "They are as much feelings as thoughts . "
(Vol. VII, p. 66).
This characteristic quality of the symbol to evoke emotion is
termed its numinosity, the numen being the specific energy of the
Fifth the description of the nmidnosity of the archetypes, the
close relationship between archetypal images and religious motifs
becomes evident. For Jung accepts Rudolf Otto's characterization
of religious experience as a "careful and scrupulous observation
of . the numinosum . (Vol. XI, p. 7). "%h might say, then,
that the term 'religion' designates the attitude peculiar to a con-
sciousness which has been changed by experience of the numinosum"
(Vol. XI, p. 8).
Although originating through individual experiences of the collec-
tive unconscious, religion is, strictly speaking, a phenomenon of
collective consciousness. And since not all experiences of the
archetypes result in their being assimilated in terms of a religious
frame of reference, another wider designation is needed to character-
ize the effect of the numinous quality of archetypes. Thus the arche-
types are said to be "spiritual" factors.
In a sense spiritual and archetypal are almost equivalent and
interchangeable terms. For when we have understood the transpersonal
nature of the archetypes,5 their aura of numinosity and their ability
to generate images which serve as the foundations of culture, then
we have made definite the meaning of the spiritual.
That keeps us from asserting this equivalence of meaning, however,
is the instinctual perspective. For the archetypes are said to be
"patterns of instinctual behaviour" (Vol. IX-A, p. 4h). And it is the
instinctual aspect of man which seems to stand in sharpest contrast
to what we wish to designate as spiritual.
However, Jung points to Christian prejudice as the origin of the
apparent antithesis between spirit and nature.
. very remarkable opposition of spirit and
nature. Bven though spirit is regarded as
essentially alive and enlivening, one cannot
really feel nature as unspiritual and dead.
1t must therefore be dealing here with the
(Christian) postulate of a spirit whose life
is so vastly superior to the life of nature
that in comparison with it the latter is no
better than death (Vol. IX-4, p. 210).
A more in-depth perspective, then, reveals the paradoxical re-
lation between spirit and instinct. For they seem to be similar pro-
cesses of psychic energy which are distinguished by the application
of this energy into diametrically contrasting modes.
Moreover, it is in the description of the relation between the
spiritual and instinctual that Jung's psychological viewpoint is in
sharpest contrast to that of Freud. For Jung does not conceive all
psychic energy as being instinctual energy as does Freud. He uses
the term for psychic energy, libido, in a way which does not imply
its equivalence with instinctual energy. There is then for Jung
no need of a concept of sublimation in which instinctual energy
must be siphoned off for cultural purposes. Any diversion of the
flow of libido from its natural instinctual channels in Jung's view
leads only to neurotic maladjustment. However, there is more psychic
energy available for the human being than is utilized by the natural
instinctual processes. This excess psychic energy can then be used
for other than instinctual purposes, and we might say that this excess
energy represents a degree of freedom for man to pursue cultural
activities for their own sake. The symbolic images from the collec-
tive unconscious then serve as "transformers" of energy in the sense
that the archetypes represent inherent patterns for this energy flow
(Vol. V, p. 232).
Since the spiritual uses of psychic energy are the result of the
influence of the archetypes which are themselves the product of
evolution, it becomes evident that the development of the spirit
in man is his characteristic pattern of behavior.
In reality of course the world-spurning passion
of the "spirit" is just as natural as the
marriage-flight of insects (Vol. V, p. 396).
The spiritual appears in the psyche also as an
instinct, indeed as a real passion, a "consuming
fire" . . It is not derived from any other
instinct . but is a principle sui geris
a specific and necessary form of instinctual
power (Vol. VIII, p. 58).
Archetypes and Instincts
In order to fully understand the meaning of the term "spiritual"
then, a further clarification of the archetype-instinct relation is
necessary. For we need to grasp how the spiritual if to be of the
same type of stuff as the instincts and yet seemingly different from
and even opposed to them.
A look at animals other than man helps to gain an insight into
what Jung has in mind in this regard. For in the examples of patterns
of behavior in animals, we see clearly the unity which in man becomes
a tension of opposites between spirit and instinct.
A key word "pattern" is then the link which enables us to
cormnect the behavior of animals with the archetypes and instincts in
man. For the instinctual behavior of animals is not to be understood
as just a blind impulsion to action. Rather, for each instinctual
act there is present a total pattern which includes a sort of image
of the instinctual situation.
There are, in fact, no amorphous instincts, as
every instinct bears in itself the pattern of
its situation. Always it fulfils an image,
and the image has fixed qualities. The in-
stinct of the leaf-cutting ant fulfils the image
of ant, tree, leaf, cutting, transport, and
the little ant-garden of fungi. If any one of
these conditions is lacking, the instinct does
not function, because it cannot exist with-
out its total pattern, without its image.
Such an image is an aprioritype. It is
inborn in the ant prior to any activity, for
there can be no activity at all unless an
instinct of corresponding pattern initiates
and makes it possible (Vol. VIII, p. 201).
The instinctual acts of animals then seem to be unified by a
pattern which includes a sort of intuitive recognition of the goal
of the instinctual acts as well as the physiological mechanisms
which supply the necessary energy.
Of course, in the case of animals, our use of "image" must
be metaphorical; but it is Jung's point that this regulating prin-
ciple of the instinct, the factor which especially in the insects
makes the operation of instinctual behavior amazingly precise and
selective rather than haphazard, can be recognized.
The organizing factor of the instinct together with its
specific energy make up a unified pattern of behavior for animals.
In man, on the other hand, the representations of this formal factor
of instinct can come into awareness as actual images. Thus, whereas
in animals the archetypes and the instincts exist in a fused, undiffer-
entiated state; in man, with the formation of consciousness, they
become separable and distinct.
In the human realm then the archetypes become the forms which
regulate the instincts. Moreover, the archetypal images are said
to represent the meaning of the instincts and to be "the unconscious
images of the instincts themselves" (Vol. IX-A, p. 44). The arche-
types thus act as guiding factors for the release of instinctual
energy in appropriate ways characteristic of man as a species.
But what are these human instincts? Jung recognizes five types
of instinctual factors for man: "hunger, sexuality, activity,
reflection and creativity" (Vol. VIII, p. 118). He conceded that
any attempt to enumerate the human instincts is at least a matter
of controversy. The principle reason for this confusion as to what
constitutes an instinct in man is the complication of the psycho-
logical factor. For the criterion of what to count as psychic is
the ability of the functioning of the will to modify the otherwise
automatic and compulsive instincts. It would seem evident then
that the reason we can not decide on what to count as purely instinc-
tual in man is due to the fact that instincts are always in part
influenced by the psyche. Thus Jung says that the instincts per
se are ectopsychic and serve the function only of a stimulus,
whereas the determining factor for human behavior is always the
result of an interaction between the ectopsychic instinct and the
psychic situation of the moment (Vol. VIII, p. 115).
This mutual interaction between psyche and instinct in man has
then the result of making the instinctual element ambiguous. For,
on the one hand, all psychic processes seem to be founded on an
instinctual base, whereas, on the other hand, psychic processes
also influence the working of the instincts. . The instincts
are a condition of psychic activity, while at the same time psychic
processes seem to condition the instincts" (Vol. XI, p. 330).
Thus the twofold nature of instinct becomes most evident in
human behavior where for each instinctual action we have to take
into account both the aspect of "dynamism and compulsion" as well
as that of "specific meaning and intention" (Vol. X, p. 287). For
each instinctual action then we can pose the question as to its
The archetypal images are these psychic factors which provide
the meaning for the instincts. They are the necessary forms of
instinctual behavior for man. The sense of saying that something
represents the meaning of an instinct for man is thus clarified by
an understanding of this process of "psychization," the assimilation
of the physiological stimulus to a preexistent psychic pattern (Vol.
VIII, p. 115).
In the animals which have no psyche there is nevertheless pre-
sent a unified pattern of behavior. The instinctual acts are the
ways in which the animal realizes its inherent nature, its possi-
bilities of becoming what it can be. The appropriate fulfilment
of the instinctual nature of an animal is its way of realizing its
If we say then that the archetypes in man are the images of
the instincts and represent their meaning, we are emphasizing this
continuity with the lower animals. man also has his characteristic
patterns of behavior, and the archetypes act as the patterning fac-
tors for these human instincts. I11l the fulfilment of the instincts
in man then also lead to an unfoldment of his inherent human nature?
The answer to this question must of course deal with the factor
of the psyche. Hiat is only dimly prefigured in animals becomes in
man with the development of consciousness his particularly human
way of being. For a human being to realize its nature then implies
the development of consciousness.
This development is like an instinct in the sense that it comes
into being conditioned by the archetypal patterns. However, its
nature is to exist as a factor which can operate as a will and hence
control and regulate the "other" instincts. The nature of con-
sciousness contains then the possibility of being able to act
It is recognized that man living in the state of
nature is in no sense merely "natural" like an
animal, but sees, believes, fears, worships things
whose meaning is not at all discoverable from the
conditions of his natural environment. Their
underlying meaning leads us in fact far away
from all that is natural, obvious, and easily
intelligible, and quite often contrasts most
sharply with the natural instincts. ve have
only to think of all those gruesome rites and
customs against which every natural feeling
rises in revolt, or of all those beliefs and
ideas which stand in insuperable contradiction
to the evidence of the facts. All this drives
us to the assumption that the spiritual prin-
ciple (whatever that might be) asserts itself
against the merely natural conditions with in-
credible strength. One can say that this too
is "natural," and that both have their origin
in one and the same "nature." I do not in
the least doubt this origin, but must point
out that this "natural" something consists
of a conflict between two principles, to
which you can give this or that name according
to taste, and that this opposition is the
expression, and perhaps also the basis, of
the tension we call psychic energy (Vol. VIII,
Thus the fact that archetypes seem to enter the human picture
on two levels-- as patterns of instinctual behavior and as spiritual
factors--is due to the fact that one of the innate human patterns,
the tendency to develop consciousness, can act against the other
lower drives and become a channel of psychic energy in its own
right independently of the instincts. Therefore the archetypes
seem to have two paradoxically opposite qualities: . The
archetype is partly a spiritual factor, and partly like a hidden
meaning immanent in the instincts . (Vol. VIII, 222). Only
in man then is there this potential split between his natural ten-
dencies and the realization of his human-most potentiality of being.
This split, which is the same as that between the conscious and
unconscious, is a state of necessary tension since the development of
awareness and the giving in to the unconsciousness of instinctual
motivations tend to work against each other and to a large extent
they are mutually exclusive activities. However, Jung's psychological
viewpoint as a whole can be understood as the attempt to show how
this necessary tension between conscious and unconscious and between
spirit and instinct need not necessarily be a conflict. For the
integrated personality is one which learns to live with a balance
between these forces of tension rather than excluding one for the
sake of the other.
But if we can reconcile ourselves to the mys-
terious truth that the spirit is the life of
the body seen from within, and the body the out-
ward manifestation of the life of the spirit--
the two being really one--then we can understand
why the striving to transcend the present level
of consciousness through acceptance of the un-
conscious must give the body its due, and why
recognition of the body cannot tolerate a philos-
oply that denies it in the name of the spirit (Vol. I, p. 94).
This dream was provided by a student and friend, George
The fact that Kant had a strong influence on the develop-
ment of Jung' s ideas is amply evidenced by the many explicit re-
ferences to Kant scattered throughout Jung's works. Moreover,
when Jung talks of the philosophers who had been important to his
intellectual development, we again find him acknowledging the
influence of Kant: "The philosophical influence that has pre-
vailed in my education dates from Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer,
Ed. v. Hartmann, and Nietzsche. These names at least character-
ize my main studies in philosophy." C.G. Jung, Letters Vol. I
1906-1950, Vol. II 190-1961, edited by Gerhard Adler and Aniela
Jaffe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), letters
Vol. II, pages 500-501, letter to Joseph F. Rychlak dated 27
April 1959. Hereafter cited as Letters Vol. I or Vol. II.
In his autobiography Jung describes an interest in Kantian
philosophy which was part of a "philosophical development" which
"extended from mr seventeenth year until well into the period of
wr medical studies." C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams. Reflections
(New York: Random House, 1961), p. 70. Hereafter cited as
Memories reams Reflections. The extent of that interest is
revealed when Jung relates that while a medical student "the
clinical semesters that followed kept me so busy that scarcely
any time remained for my forays into outlying fields. I was
able to study Kant only on Sundays" (Manories, reams Reflec-
tions. p. 101).
3 Jolande Jacobi, Com Archetype/ m the Psychology
of C.G. Jung (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971), p. 52.
4 Carl G. Hempel, Philosophy of Natural Science (Biglewood
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1966), p. 165
5By the transpersonal nature of the archetype, we mean to
refer to the fact that archetypal experience is not completely ex-
planable by reference to the individual's past experience or develop-
THEORY OF ARCHETYPES: PART II
The Origin of the Archetypes
The next aspect of the archetypal theory which we must tahe up
for discussion is the question of the origin of the archetypes: there
do the archetypes cone from?
One way of approaching this problem is by considering the rela-
tionshiLp between archetypes and rythological motifs. For since myths
and fairytales are one of the most characteristic ways in which
archetypes manifest themselves, if we can discover how ryths origi-
nate, then perhaps this will shed light on the question of the
origin of the archetypes.I
14rthological motifs then are characteristic archetypal images
so that the archetypes are sometimes designated as '"ythologems" by
The rqthological feature of archetypal manifestation can be seen
to fit in with what was previously said about the archetypal images
being symbols and having a religious or spiritual significance in
that a myth is a phenomenon of collective consciousness. It is the
end product of a conscious elaboration of the original unconscious
content, which often includes the efforts of many generations of
storytellers. In this way the numinous quality of the rsythologem,
the immediate impact of the living intensity of the unconscious
revelation, is lessened, and the genuine symbolic nature of the arche-
types is expressed in a diminished degree. "The so-called religious
statement is still numLnous, a.quality which the myth has already lost
to a great extent" (Vol. XI, p. 301).
Since the religious expression of the archetypes can also suffer
the same fate as myths and cease to become "living" symbols, it would
seem that Jung's distinction between the religious and the mytholog-
ical in terms of numinoslty is not really adequate. hn addition, there
are examples from primitive cultures where the mythological and re-
ligious coincide. "A tribe's mythology is its living religion . "
(Vol. IK-A, p. 154). ~hen then does a religious statement cease to
be religious and becomes mythological? Does Jung mean that when a
religious dogma loses credibility it becomes a myth?
Ibreover, there seems to be at least in ordinary usage an im-
plied difference in content with the mythological involving more
primitive types of thought and being more concerned with naturalistic
phenomena than the religious. Religions then would seem to be more
sophisticated types of mythologies.
At any rate, it is clear that Jung is not particularly concerned
with establishing strict criteria of usage which would keep the terms
distinct as is evidenced by the following:
. ziths of a religious nature can be inter-
preted as a sort of mental therapy for the suffer-
ings and anxieties of mankind in general . .
(Ihn and His Symbols p. 68).
I was driven to ask myself in all seriousness:
"that is the myth you are living?" . So, in
the most natural way, I took it upon myself to
get to know *my" myth, and I regarded this as
the task of tasks, for--so I told myself--how
could I, when treating my patients, mate due
allowance for the personal factor, for my
personal equation, which is yet so necessary
for a laiowledge of the other person, if I was
unconscious of it? I simply had to kiow what
unconscious or preconscious myth was forming
me, from what rhizome I sprang (Vol. V, pages
In speaking about his personal myth as in the above, it is
evident that myths are often used as vehicles of the most symbolic
and numinous manifestations of the unconscious. Thus Jung's use
of the term "myth" deviates somewhat from the ordinary usage. Some-
times he means myth to refer to the symbolic archetypal images
themselves, and at other times he uses myth in the conventional way
to indicate the cultural product as an aspect of the collective
Thus both yrths and religious (spiritual) statements2 can be
original symbolic expressions of the collective unconscious.
. esoteric teaching. Ihis last is a typical
means of expression for the transmission of collec-
tive contents originally derived from the uncon-
Another well-known expression of the archetypes
is myth and fairytale (Vol. IX-A, p. 5).
In attributing a positive function to myths even in the case
of modern man, it is evident that Jung does not see yIiths as a
sort of primitive inferior science, or simply as a crude form of
prescientific explanation. This is because of the symbolic nature
of myths. For if we understand that mythological statements are
not really about the external world but are actually psychological
statements, then we are less apt to criticize the myths for their
variance with current scientific knowledge. Thus myths have a
psychological validity and accurately depict the nature of the
The inability of primitive and other unsophisticated peoples to
distinguish between the psychological and the objective sense of
truth frequently leads then to the phenomenon of projection in
which an unconscious content is perceived as belonging to an object
and being a property of the object. Through the agency of pro-
jection natural phenomena take on qualities stemming from the
collective unconscious so that . the whole of mythology
could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective uncon-
scious" (Vol. VIII, p. 152).
In spite of this confusion about inner and outer observed in
Mythological thinking, Jung asserts that mythology should not be
understood as an attempt to formulate a type of scientific ex-
There can be no doubt that science and
philosophy have grown from this matrix, but
that primitives think up such things merely
from a need for explanation, as a sort of
physical or astronomical theory, seems to
me highly laprobable (Vol. VIII, p. 153).
It would seem rather that the anthropomorphism seen in myth-
ology, the projection of human qualities onto natural phenomena,
is an attempt to grasp the meaning of nature in human terms. It
is then the symbolic meaning of natural phenomena which captures
the interest of the myth-makers. If we look at alchemy, for exam-
ple, only as a sort of proto-chemistry, this can not explain how
the interest in it continued in spite of the failure to produce the
desired objective results over periods of hundreds of years.3 The
alchemist is of course taken in to an extent by his own projections;
but Jung points out that the hubris of assuming that our scientific
world view is thus superior to one founded on mythological projec-
tions is not justified, since if the unsophisticated mind anthropo-
morphizes the world, we have in the present era "mechanicomorphized"4
it with the result that the symbolic quality of our existence is im-
poverished. le must then avoid the mistake of trying to see mythology
as an attempt at explanation in objective terms when its explanations
are symbolic in nature.
Now since the archetypal psyche expresses itself in the language
of myth, it would seen as if the mythological interpretation of na-
ture had been somehow imprinted on the psyche so that these archaic
images reappear in modern man. %e look then to a description of this
process of how the mythological image arises in response to the phy-
sical process in order to gain what apparently is the essential clue
to the question of the origin of the archetypes.
Keeping in mind the previous discussion of the nature of myths,
it is clear that the relationship between the physical process and
images of mythological motifs is not understood by Jung as being one
of simple representation. ihen he says then that the archetypal
image is not to be understood as an allegory of the physical pro-
cess, he means that the objective content of representation is ex-
perienced symbolically and hence takes on psychic aspects due to
It is not the world as we know it that speaks
out of his unconscious, but the uniaiown world
of the psyche, of which we know that it mirrors
our empirical world only in part, and that, for
the most part, it moulds this empirical world
in accordance with its oain psychic assumptions.
Mhe archetype does not proceed from physical
facts, but describes how the psyche experiences
the physical fact, and in so doing the psyche
often behaves so autocratically that it denies
tangible reality or makes statements that fly
in the face of it (Vol. IX-A, p. 154).
Thus original archetypal (mythological) images are postulated
as being the resultant of an interaction between a physical process
and the primitive psyche, with the physical process being interpreted
in terms of a psychic fantasy content. moreover, it is the subjective
part, the fantasies which arise concomitant with the physical pro-
cess, that are the formative elements for the mythological motif.
That we can safely say about mythical images is
that the physical process imprinted itself on
the psyche in this fantastic, distorted form
and was preserved there, so that the uncon-
scious still reproduces similar images today
(Vol. VIII, p. 153).
It is not storms, not thunder and lightning,
not rain and cloud that remain as images in
the psyche, but the fantasies caused by the
effects they arouse (Vol. VIII, pages 154-155).
Still to be explained, however, is the process of psychic im-
printing through which an original mythological image becomes an
enduring aspect of the collective unconscious, which can then pro-
duce images of similar form even to the present day. then we read
Jung on this point, there seems to be an evident appeal to a theory
involving inheritance of acquired characteristics. For although
Jung is careful to make clear that it is the disposition to form
images rather than the images themselves which are inherited, yet
this inherited disposition is held to be a sort of condensation of
the repeated experiences resulting from typical human situations.
These archetypes, whose innermost nature is in-
accessible to experience, are the precipitate
of the psychic functioning of the whole ances-
tral line; the accumulated experiences of
organic life in general, a million times re-
peated, and condensed into types. In these
archetypes, therefore, all experiences are re-
presented uhich have happened on this planet
since primeval times (Vol. VI, p. 400).
The repetition of these typical human experiences leaves a sort
of function trace in the psyche which then can act to produce ana-
logous mythological images in succeeding generations. 7Thus the
archetypes are described as "mnemic deposits."
From the scientific, causal standpoint the pri-
mordial image can be conceived as a mnemic deposit,
an imprint or engram (Semon), which has arisen
through the condensation of countless processes
of a similar kind. In this respect it is a
precipitate and, therefore, a typical basic form,
of certain ever-recurring psychic experiences
(Vol. VI, p. IW3).
This reference to the influence of Richard Semon seems to clar-
ify what Jung had in mind as a mechanism by which archetypes might
be inherited. For the exposition of Semon's theory in his book
The Ih eme reveals a sort of theory of racial memory which tries to
integrate the factors of memory, habit and inheritance under one
theoretical principle and which appeals explicitly to the idea of
the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For example:
. the engraphic effects of stimulation are
not restricted to the irritable substance of
the individual, but that the offspring of that
individual maymanifest corresponding engraphic
However, Jung's mention of Semon and use of his terminology does
not constitute a complete endorsement of his theory. In particular,
Jung is sensitive to the chicken and egg dilemma in relation to the
question of the origin of the archetypes. For the archetypes can
not only be seen as the product of past experiences but can also be
seen as themselves conditioners of experience. Instead of seeking an
explanation of where the archetypes come from by saying that they are
the result of the influence of physical processes on the psyche then,
there is the alternative of conceiving the archetypes as part of the
inherent nature of the psyche itself.
The fact that the sun or the moon or the metero-
logical processes appear, at the very least, in
allegorized form points to an independent colla-
boration of the psyche, which in that case can-
not be merely a product or sterotype of environ-
mental conditions. From whence would it draw
the capacity to adopt a standpoint outside sense
perception? . In view of such questions
Semen's naturalistic and causalistic engram
theory no longer suffices. %e are forced to
assume that the given structure of the brain
does not one its peculiar nature merely to
the influence of surrounding conditions, but
also and just as much to the peculiar and auto-
nomous quality of living matter, i.e., to a
law inherent in life itself (Vol. VI, p. 444).
Jung in the course of his work abandoned Semon's theory of
engrams and talk of mnemic deposits disappears from his later writings.
Archetypes were then simply said to be part of the inherited brain
structure, thus leaving the mechanism of hereditary transmission
lEth Jung's retreat from the position that archetypes are
"deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity" (Vol.
VII, p. 69), we see that the simple correlations he had previously
drawn relating physical processes to the formation of mythological
images must also be reconsidered. that must then be revised in the
theory of mythology is not the concept of projection and the vital
role it plays in mythological thinldng but the implication that
myths were once original contents of consciousness, that they or-
iginate from the fantasizing of individual psyches. With the aban-
donment of the engram theory, Jung is no longer certain he can
reconstruct the process by which the objective physical process and
the interpretive psyche interact to form myths. He seems, on the
whole, in his later work (as exemplified in the quotations immediately
below) to have come to the conclusion that mythological motifs are
not amenable to a simple naturalistic explanation, as if they were
caused by physical processes. Rather the subjective part of the
process, the inherent laws of psychic apprehension, is now thought
to be the essential determining factor.
Thus even the question of how archetypes (mythologems) origi-
nate is not seen by Jung as being a legitimate question since it im-
plies the need for a special explanation of how the archetypes came
to be in the psyche, whereas Jung now sees the archetypes as devel-
oping along with the psyche as part of its inherent pattern of func-
anpirical3y considered, however, the archetype
did not ever come into existence as a phenomenon
of organic life, but entered into the picture
with life itself (Vol. XI, p. 149, note 2).
These images are "primordial" images in so far
as they are peculiar to whole species, and if
they ever "originated" their origin must have
coincided at least with the beginning of the
species. They are the "human quality" of the
human being, the specifically human form his
activities take. This specific form is hered-
itary and is already present in the germ-plasm
(Vol. IX-A, p. 78).
The hope expressed earlier then that Jung's ideas on the way
in which myths originate would prove to be the clue to solving the
riddle of the origin of the archetypes proves to be unjustified, and
we are left without a definitive answer to where the archetypes come
from. Jung is naturally quite happy to abandon questions of ulti-
mate origin to the sphere of metaphysics: "Whether this psychic
structure and its elements, the archetypes, ever 'originated' at all
is a metaphysical question and therefore unanswerable" (Vol. IX-A,
p. 101; and . it is impossible to say where the archetype comes
from, because there is no Archimedean point outside the a prior con-
ditions it represents" (Vol. IX-A, p. 69, note 27).8
But perhaps Jung should not be let off so easily. For rather
than postulating that the archetypes are sort of an ultimate psychic
fact for which no explanation in terms of more basic psychological
theory is possible, it seems evident that, heuristically at least,
we must seek an answer to the question of how it is that the psyche
structures experiences in terms of the archetypes instead of other
simpler modes. Perhaps, as Jung seems to think, the archetypes will
eventually prove to be an ultimate mystery for human. consciousness,
but from the scientific point of view this can not be assumed.
Archetypal Tiage and Archetype Per Se
The claim that the archetypes are ultimately inaccessible must
be further examined. For many difficult points in the articulation
of Jung's theory of archetypes seem to hinge on distinguishing be-
teen the unreachable archetype per se and the archetypal image.
The archetype per se was said to be not truly part of the psyche at
all but rather psychoid and to be incapable of consciousness. As a
consequence it was said to be unobservable in principle. The essen-
tial question in this regard would seem to be how such claims as the
above can be justified from the empirical point of view.
But that nothing in principle would count as a direct observation
of an archetype is a result of the total conceptual framework of the
archetypal theory, which as a whole is grounded empirically. In this
respect it would seem not to differ significantly from other
scientific theories. Moreover, if from the behaviorist point of
view, the suggestion is made to do away with the hypothetical
construct of the archetype per se and instead speak only of arche-
typal images, the reply is that this move would mean that a theory
of archetypes is no longer possible. For there must be postulated
an underlying common collective aspect to the psyches of individuals
which idll mate the archetypal manifestations more than personalistic
and idiosyncratic products. W'hat counts as evidentially conclusive
for the presence of archetypes then is just the appearance of con-
tents which prove to constitute universal themes or motifs which can
be recognized in contexts which transcend the individual's personal
sphere of reference. Unless the archetypes are to be reduced to the
merely personal then, there must be postulated an archetype per se
which will be the transpersonal organizing principle for the personal
and culturally determined archetypal manifestation.
It is better on the whole to think of the archetype per se as
a principle or disposition rather than as an entity, i.e., something
which can be clearly distinguished as an individual thing. Thus
Jung says that the phenomenological material does not justify any-
thing other than the postulation of principles which act to form
distinct archetypal images, without it being possible to conclude
anything definite about the nature of the archetype per se.
Ttien one carefully considers this accumulation
of data, it begins to seem probable that an
archetype in its quiescent, unprojected state
has no exactly determinable form but is in it-
self an indefinite structure which can assume
definite forms only in projection (Vol. I-A,
Moreover, this uncertainty about the nature of the archetype per
se extends even so far as to leave undetermined the number of arche-
types and the point of differentiation between one archetype and
Ehpirically speaking, we are dealing all the
time with "types," definite forms that can be
named and distinguished. But as soon as you
divest these types of the phenomenology pre-
sented by the case material, and try to ex-
amine them in relation to other archetypal forms,
they branch out into such far-reaching ramifi-
cations in the history of symbols that one comes
to the conclusion that the basic psychic ele-
ments are infinitely varied and ever changing,
so as utterly to defy our powers of imagination
(Vol. IX-A, p. 70).
Although helhe investigatoJ is forced, for
epistemological reasons, to postulate an in-
definite number of distinct and separate arche-
types, yet he is constantly overcome by doubt
as to how far they are really distinguishable
from one another. They overlap to such a de-
gree and have such a capacity for combination
that all attempts to isolate them conceptually
must appear hopeless (Vol. XI, p. 288).
In considering the problem of the nature of the archetype per
se, Kant's influence on Jung's views must again be acknowledged.
For Jung accepts the Kantian distinction between the thing-in-itself
and that which appears. In these terms then the archetype per se
is held to be inaccessible on analogy with Kant's noumenon, where-
as the archetypal image is that which appears in the phenomenal
The existence of a transcendental reality is
indeed evident in itself . . That the world
inside and outside ourselves rests on a trans-
cendental background is as certain as our oim
existence, but it is equally certain that the
direct perception of the archetypal world inside
us is just as doubtfully correct as that of the
physical outside us (Vol. fXV, p. 551).
hien I say "atom" I am talking of the model made of
it; when I say "archetype I am talking of ideas
corresponding to it, but never of the thing-in-
itself, which in both cases is a transcendental
mystery. . One must therefore assume that
the effective archetypal ideas, including our
model of the archetype, rests on something actual
even though unknowable, just as the model of the
atom rests on certain unknowable qualities of
matter (letters, Vol. II, p. 54, letter to H.
Haberlandt dated 23 April 1952).
However, it is unnecessary to follow Jung's Kantian way of
construing the archetype per se. For rather than implicating the
archetypal theory rith a problematic phenomena/noumena distinction,
we can interpret the archetype per se as an unobservable hypothe-
tical construct. Thus, although Jung holds that the archetype
per se is an ultimate mystery, the archetypal theory only requires
that it be the unobservable and mostly unknown structuring prin-
ciple responsible for the archetypal image.
To any case, our efforts to discover the nature of the archetype
directly are frustrated since the archetypal image always reflects the
personal history of the consciousness in which it is embodied. Thus when
we attempt to abstract the archetype itself from its personal and cul-
tural matrix, the result is that the distinctiveness of the archetype
vanishes, and we can no longer say what it would be like in itself.
But if the archetype is then essentially an "irrepresentable form," the
question is how ie are to distinguish collective archetypal manifestations
from merely personal contents of consciousness. It would seem that there
must be definite phenomenological differences between the archetypal
images and other contents if we are to be justified in speaking of the
existence of a collective unconscious containing archetypes. For in the
absence of any common features which the individual archetypes manifest in
every person, we must have general criteria for recognizing what con-
stitutes an archetypal content.
As previously mentioned in the example of an archetypal dream,
archetypal images characteristically have an alien, impersonal char-
acter so that they do not appear to be contents which were once con-
scious and then forgotten or repressed. But this does not mean that
the contents attributed to the collective unconscious contain images
which the dreamer can not recognize at all. Rather it seems that
the strange and alien contents amount to fantastic rearrangements
of items of experience already knotn to the dreamer. If one dreams
of God, for example, the image may be conveyed as that of the figure
of Superman. The archetypal images are for the most part then some-
thing familiar appearing in an unfamiliar context. Thus mythological
motifs may appear in dreams but with modern substitutes for the prin-
I'e have only to disregard the dependence of dream
language on environment and substitute "eagle" for
"aeroplane," "dragon" for "automobile" or "train,"
"snake-bite" for "injection," and so forth, in
order to arrive at the more universal and more
fundamental language of mythology (Vol. XI, 289).
It would be perhaps advantageous to distinguish the objective
from the subjective aspects of the phenomenology of archetypes.
Subjectively the archetypal appearance is characterized by its sym-
bolic qualities. It has an aura of numinosity and seems to point
beyond itself to an uniknom. From the third person point of view,
however, the symbolic nature of the archetype is less evident as we
have to do only with a content of consciousness whose origin is
unknown, so that what may appear objectively to be a symbol may
upon closer examination prove to be a sign with a simple representational
In order to verify the presence of an archetype then, both the
views of introspection and extraspection are necessary.10 The sym-
bolic nature of the person's experience and his for the most part
absence of personal association to the material is taken into
account along with the presence of the sane theme or motif in mater-
ial dramu from the history of symbols. The ability of these his-
torical parallels to provide an explanation of the meaning of the
otherwise inexplicable content is then the crucial factor justifying
the employment of the archetypal hypothesis. Ihen such a procedure
provides the most plausible explanation for the presence of contents
of consciousness, we can say that an archetype is present.
Rather than taking one particular image or dream in isolation,
however, the determination of which contents are said to be arche-
typal is best arrived at with an examination of a series of dreams
or other similar experiences. In this way the margin of error in-
volved in any introspective evaluation is lessened. Then we are also
able to see how the alleged archetype functions in more than one con-
text. From the objective point of view, it is not so much how the
supposed archetype appears as what it does and how it functions that
is crucial for deciding about the presence of archetypes. This is
especially so since the archetypes often appear as images which are
themselves ordinary although the role they play in the dream as a
whole is archetypal. For example, the images of actual persons
knoun to the dreamer may function as archetypal images.11
Although there is thus no definite objective criteria by which
one can identify archetypal images out of the context of the function
they play in particular manifestations, Jung does give us an idea
of the objective features which as a matter of fact are associated
with the appearance of mary archetypes.
-An unfallible sign of collective images
seems to be the appearance of the "cosmic"
element, i.e., the images in the dream or
fantasy are connected with cosmic qualities,
such as temporal and spatial infinity, enor-
mous speed and extension of movement, "astro-
logical" associations, telluric, lunar, and
solar analogies, changes in the proportions
of the body, etc. The obvious occurrence of
oythological and religious motifs in a dream
also points to the activity of the collective
unconscious. The collective element is very
often announced by peculiar symptoms, as for
example by dreams where the dreamer is flying
through space like a comet, or feels that he
is the earth, or the sun, or a star; or else
is of immense size, or dwarfishly small; or
that he is dead, is in a strange place, is a
stranger to himself, confused, mad, etc. (Vol.
VII, p. 160).
On the whole, the fantastic nature of the archetypal imagery
often bears an alarming similarity to or even identity with the
symptoms of schizophrenia. But the schizophrenic, although he has
gained an access to the collective unconscious, has been figurative-
ly spealdng swallowed up by it, so that he has lost the ability to
function as an ego and relate in a practical iay to the objective
world. In a sense he is unable to wake from his symbolic fantasies,
so that they are more symptoms of psychic brealadown than they are
numinous symbols which can be meaningfUly integrated into the total
pattern of his life.
The difference between archetypes and the dis-
sociated products of schizophrenia is that the
former are entities endowed with personality
and charged with meaning, whereas the latter are
only fragments with vestiges of meaning--in
reality, they are products of disintegration
(Vol. VIII, p. 122).
The phenomenology of the archetypal manifestation is often of
imAediate therapeutic relevance as the contents of the unconscious
take on dark and menacing aspects when the point of view which they
represent is not being acknowledged by the conscious mind.
The guise in which these figures appear depends
on the attitude of the conscious mind: if it is
negative toward the unconscious, the animals will
be frightening; if positive, they appear as the
"helpful animals" of fairytale and legend (Vol.
V, p. 181).
In the form in which the archetypes appear is thus influenced
by the attitude of the conscious mind, it would seem that the man-
ifestation of the archetypes are not random and due to chance but
that their appearance is conditioned by certain necessary circum-
stances in the individual. Moreover, an understanding of these
conditions should shed light on the nature of the relationship
between the collective and personal aspects of the psyche. For
by calling the collective unconscious the impersonal and objective
portion of the psyche, the integral part this aspect of the uncon-
scious plays in the life of the individual is not given adequate
consideration. In this regard we find then that the archetypes
behave in an analogous fashion to other contents of the unconscious
in the sense that their appearance functions in a compensatory
fashion to consciousness. That is, the unconscious supplies con-
tents which compensate the conscious attitude by representing fea-
tures of the person's total situation which are overlooked, re-
pressed or undervalued by the conscious personality. The appearance
of the archetype then usually indicates the need for a collective
compensation. Itat this means is that the true nature of the per-
son's situation corresponds to a universal and typical human pattern,
so that what it is that is missing from the person's conscious
attitude is an understanding of the broader human perspective which
an appreciation of the basic patterns of human exd.stence would give.
The archetypal structure of the unconscious
corresponds to the average run of events. The
changes that mny befall a man are not infinitely
variable; they are variations of certain typical
occurrences which are limited in number. Ihen
therefore a distressful situation arises, the
corresponding archetype will be constellated in
the unconscious (Vol. V, p. 294).
One instructive example to make clearer the meaning of collec-
tive compensation can be drawn from Jung's work on the UFO pheno-
menon. After extensive research lasting a decade, Jung concluded
that the UFO phenomenon represented a sort of modern myth in which
the Archetype of the Self, an archetype expressing "order, deliver-
ance, salvation and wholeness" (Vol. X, p. 328), was being projected
into the heavens. Although unable to reach a definite conclusion
about the physical reality of the reported objects, Jung makes a
convincing case for the activation of the Self archetype as a com-
pensation for the ominous world situation following ltrld War II in
which nuclear annihilation seemed possible at any moment.
It have here a golden opportunity of seeing how
a legend is formed, and how in a difficult and
dark time for humanity a miraculous tale grows
up of an attempted intervention by extra-terrestial
"heavenly" powers . (Vol. X, pages 322-323).
The Archetype of the Self then functions to direct attention
within to the possibility of the realization of an inner center of
order and personal unity. V&th the world threatened with destruction,
the Self can provide an inward source of meaning and unity.
Archetypal manifestations are thus the compensatory response of
the unconscious to typical human situations, with the response being
a representation of an inherent pattern of human functioning. In
this way the archetype supplies the insight of a universal perspec-
tive to what are universally experienced problems.12 This enables
the individual then to grasp the meaning of his situation in its
more than personal aspect. If actual persons appear in archetypal
guise in dreams, for example, we can see that the activation of some
universal human pattern is complicating the personal interrelationship.
If a knotm girl appears as the archetype of the anima then, she also
represents a vehicle of symbolic projection.13
The Archetypes as Autonomous Factors
In our investigation of the conditions under which the archetypes
come into consciousness, we have emphasized the similarity of behav-
ior of archetypes to other contents of consciousness in that their
appearance is the result of the overall compensatory influence of
the unconscious. In this regard it must also be pointed out that
the archetypes behave in a similar fashion to the complexes of the
personal unconscious, i.e., they are autonomous factors. Thus,
although archetypes as a rule arise in response to the needs of the
individual, the end result of their activation may be that the arche-
type subjugates or even possesses the person.
The archetypes are then not only objects of consciousness but
also subjects which can be described as having intentionalities which
may oppose that of the ego personality.
They are spontaneous phenomena which are not subject
to our will, and we are therefore justified in
ascribing to them a certain autonomy. They are to
be regarded not only as objects but as subjects
with laws of their own. From the point of view
of consciousness, we can, of course, describe
them as objects, and even explain them up to
a point, in the same measure as we can describe
and explain a living human being. But then
we have to disregard their autonomy. If that
is considered, we are compelled to treat. them
as subjects; in other words, we have to admit
that they possess spontaneity and purposiveness,
or a kind of consciousness and free will. Ie
observe their behaviour and consider their state-
ments. This dual standpoint, which we are forced
to adopt towards every relatively independent or-
ganism, naturally has a dual result. On the
one hand it tells me what I do to the object,
and on the other hand what it does (possibly
to me) (Vol. XL, p. 362).
In describing the archetypes as autonomous factors, Jung
wants to hold to the distinction between the complexes as contents
of the personal unconscious and the archetypes of a collective un-
conscious. For the word "complex" is used primarily to refer to
the autonomous contents of personal origin, to those contents which
develop ontogenetically. The archetype, on the other hand, is in-
herited and thus seems impersonal in the sense that it can not be
explained in the terms of the person's own life history. Naturally,
this clear separation between the personal and collective aspects
of the unconscious is in reality always more or less an interrelation.
For the complexes appear to have an archetypal nucleus and the arche-
types are always manifested in images made up out of combinations
drawn from the individual's store of experience. Nevertheless, it is
still possible in practise to discriminate between those contents of
consciousness which owe their origin primarily to the individual and
his experience from those which lare impersonal and which point beyond
The archetype behaves like a complex then in that it is a locus
of thoughts, feelings and images which function in a unified way as
a sort of personality. Rather than indicating that the archetypes
are actually entities outside man, however, the personification which
the archetypal images manifest are typical of autonomous contents which
exist in the unconscious without being integrated with the conscious
personality. The less acknowledgement and understanding an unconscious
element is accorded then, the more it tends to function independently
of the conscious personality and even assume the characteristics of a
personality itself. And since the archetypes are symbolic, numinous
factors which do not originate from one's personal experience, the
ability to integrate them into one's personality has definite limita-
tions. They are, in fact, wider than the individual; they have a
universal collective meaning which the individual can only partici-
pate in but can not hope to completely assimilate. There is often the
real danger that the archetypes will even assimilate the ego person-
ality. "It is perfectly possible, psychologically, for the uncon-
scious or an archetype to take complete possession of a man and to
determine his fate down to the smallest detail" (Vol. XI, p. 409).
Plausible examples of this phenomenon are to be seen in the lives
of Christ and Hitler.
The archetypes seem to have a dual nature, being potentialities
for both evil as well as good. Thus what to one person proves to be
a healing experience giving meaning to life, may prove to another
less stable consciousness to be a source of evil, disorientation or
Among the most common archetypes which show a distinct personality
are the shadow archetype and the anima and animus. The shadow is a
representation of the personal unconscious as a whole and usually
embodies the compensating values to those held by the conscious per-
sonality. Thus the shadow often represents one's dark side, those
aspects of oneself which exist but which one does not acknowledge
or identify with. In dreams it may appear as a dark figure of an
Arab or Negro of the same sex as the dreamer.14
The anima archetype appears in men and is his primordial image
of woman. It represents the man's biological expectation of women
but also is a symbol of a man's feminine possibilities, his counter-
sexual tendencies. The experiences of one's mother and other actual
women are a third contributing factor to the form of the archetype.
The anima often appears in dreams as a strange or unkn on woman.
The animus archetype, the analogous image of the masculine which
occurs in women, may appear as a series of strange men.15
The personification of the above archetypes is often of such a
distinct character that dialogues of significant therapeutic value can
be carried on between the ego and the shadow or anima/animus in the
conscious state. This form of communication with the unconscious,
popularized by the method of Gestalt Therapy, was enthusiastically
recommended by Jung (Vol. VII, p. 201).
In addition to the archetypes mentioned above, there are many
other archetypes which appear in personified form notably the Old
I.se Ien, the Great Hbther, the Earth Mother, the Divine Child and
the Archetype of the Self. However, any attempt to give an exhaus-
tive list of the archetypes would be a largely futile exercise since
the archetypes tend to combine with each other and interchange qua-
lities making it difficult to decide where one archetype stops and
another begins. For example, qualities of the shadow archetype may
be prominent in an archetypal image of the anima or animus.
One archetype may also appear in various distinct forms, thus
raising the question whether four or five distinct archetypes should
be said to be present or merely four or five forms of a single type.
There would then seem to be no decision procedure for determining the
exact boundaries of an individual archetype. For what is to count
as a typical situation and thus indicate the presence of an arche-
type can not be decided a priori, so that for instance ire can not
determine on the basis of general considerations that there must be
so many archetypes. And from the phenomenological point of view,
the appearance of distinct types of archetypal images does not per-
mit us to conclude anything definite about how many archetypes per
se there may be. Therefore, it would seem evident that the complete
cataloguing of the archetypes thereby determining their exact number
is an irresolvable matter and an unreasonable expectation of the
In addition to the personified forms mentioned above, there are
many archetypes which do not appear in personal form. For example,
the Archetype of the Self may be manifested as a stone, diamond,
flower or as a four-sided figure. Animals, plants and natural ob-
jects such as the wind, a lake or a mountain may also figure into
archetypal images. There is in fact no determinate condition re-
gulating what form an archetype must assume. This is not to say,
however, that there are not definite conditions an image must
satisfy in order to count as archetypal. But these conditions de-
pend more on the function of the image in the overall context of
the manifestation than they do on the specific form.
ith regard to the question of personification, a paradoxical
situation seems to exist since Jung says that all autonomous contents
of the unconscious are personified. "All autonomous psychic factors
have the character of personality . (Vol. I, p. 42). On the
other hand, the archetypes, which presumably are all more or less
capable of autonomous function in the unconscious, do not all appear
in the form of persons. It would seem clear then that personification
is being used in a general sense to mean ascription of traits of per-
sonality to an entity rather than implying that what is personified
must appear as a distinct personality or in the form of a person.
Archetypes and Synchronicity
In our discussion of the phenomenology of the archetypes, dreams
have been emphasized as a characteristic state of consciousness in
which the archetypes come into awareness. Fantasies and visions are
other altered states of consciousness in which archetypes frequently ap-
pear. But in addition to these modes of manifesting themselves,
Jung states that the archetypes may also affect nonpsychic physical
processes. This effect of the archetypes is described by Jung's
theory of synchronicity. In synchronistic events then, there is a
meaningful correspondence between a physical event and a psychic con-
tent with the possibility of a causal connection between the two
having been ruled out. These events are the often recorded meaning-
ful coincidences which seem to defy understanding in terms of either
causality or chance.
An example Jung describes from his therapeutic work serves to
illustrate these ideas.
A young woman I was treating had, at a critical
moment, a dream in which she was given a golden
scarab. Ittiile she was telling me this dream I
sat with my back to the closed window. Suddenly
I heard a noise behind me, like a gentle tapping.
I turned round and saw a flying insect knocking
against the window-pane from outside. I opened
the window and caught the creature in the air
as it flew in. It was the nearest analogy to
a golden scarab that one finds in our latitudes,
a scarabaeid beetle, the common rose-chafer
(Cetonia aurata), which contrary to its usual
habits had evidently felt an urge to get into
a dark room at this particular moment (Vol.
VIII, p. 438).
There would seem to be no plausibility of attempting a causal
explanation here, although chance seems a possible rational explana-
tion. Other examples of synchronistic events, however, seem to
eliminate the possibility of the meaningful coincidence being the
result of the chance intersection of random events. The best
illustration of synchronicity where chance is ruled out occurs in
experiments attempting to verify the phenomenon of extrasensory
perception, ESP. These tests using card guessing techniques are
sometimes structured so that the subject tries to guess the se-
quence of a deck of cards before they are shuffled by a randomizing
machine. As the subject is guessing the sequence of a future order
of the cards, this of course also eliminates the possibility that
the order of the cards can have a causal effect on the mental state
of the subject. The overall results of this type of experiment re-
vealed a probability of reproducing the same results by chance as
1:4OO,000 (Vol. VIII, p. 433). In another experiment one person
guessed all twenty-five cards in the deck correctly after they had
been shuffled, indicating a probability of 1:298,023,223,876,953,125
(Vol. VIII, p. 433).
In the ESP tests the meaningful coincidence is between a con-
tent of consciousness, the person's idea of what cards will appear,
and the actual order of the cards. The archetypal theory comes into
play then as Jung says that an archetype is manifesting itself syn-
chronously in both a psychic content and a physical process. The
term "synchronous" is used instead of simultaneous in the formulation
of the synchronistic hypothesis to indicate that the meaningful coin-
cidence between the psychic and physical events need not occur at
exactly the same time. The physical event can be slightly before
or after the psychic content.
In the ESP examples, it is the archetype of magical effect, the
expectation that a miraculous event can occur, which seems to be at
work.16 Evidence for this is the fact that the results of the ex-
periments are positively correlated with the emotional state of the
subject, so that an enthusiastic, hopeful subject can score well
above chance probability at the beginning of the experiments; and
then his score will move toward the chance probability as the novelty
of the experiments lessen, or if he becomes bored or depressed (Vol.
VIII, p. 434).
The archetypal influence is clearly seen in the first example
given. The woman patient was at a crisis point in her analysis due
to a too narrow rationalistic view which did not leave her sufficiently
open to the possibility of change which could result from tald.ng ser-
iously the irrationally produced contents of the unconscious. The
meaningful coincidence was then the turning point in this regard and
produced the needed change in attitude allowing the analysis to pro-
gress to a successful conclusion. The scarab motif, moreover, is a
classic symbol of rebirth (Vol. VIII, p. 439) so that it would seem
that the patient's situation of impasse had constellated the arche-
type of rebirth and renewal.
Jung postulates that an archetypal ordering principle is at work
in these instances of synchronicity bringing about a situation in
which an outer event and a psychic content are expressions of the
same meaning. The archetypes in these cases seem to be localized
as much in matter and in the environment as they are in the psyches
The psychoid archetype has a tendency to behave
as though it were not localized in one person
but were active in the whole environment (Vol.
X, pages 451l-452).
. the archetypes are not found exclusively
in the psychic sphere, but can occur just as
much in circumstances that are not psychic
(equivalence of an outward physical process
with a psychic one) (Vol. VIII, p. $15).
In using the designation "psychoid" for the archetypes, it
seems that Jung wanted to imply that the archetypes could be mani-
fested in nonpsychic ways, specifically influencing matter. This
use of "psychoid" does not have the same implications as when the
instincts are said to be psychoid. In the case of the instincts,
the psychoid label describes a sort of interface region between
the psyche and the physiological processes. . term 'psychoid'
. meant to distinguish a category .of events from merely vitalistic
phenomena on the one hand and from specifically psychic processes on
the other" (Vol. VIII, p. 177). ;But the archetype "with its psychoid
nature, forms the bridge to matter in general" (Vol. VIII, p. 216). The
psychoid archetype therefore seems to be "quasi-psychic" in the special
sense that it may be independent of the body.
Synchronicity postulates a meaning which is a
prior in relation to human consciousness and
apparently exists outside man. . the possi-
bility that synchronicity is not only a psycho-
physical phenomenon but might also occur without
the participation of the human psyche . .
(Vol. VIII, pages 501-502, note 71).
It may well be a prejudice to restrict the
psyche to being "inside the body" (Vol. UIV,
The phenomena which Jung describes in his theory of synchro-
nicity undoubtedly exist and his efforts to take account of these
events in his overall theory of the psyche seems a worthwhile and
needed endeavor. However, as we have previously stated, the notion
that there can be a psyche independent of a body and archetypes
which persist outside of man is a postulate which can not be un-
problematically integrated in a consistent way with Jung's theory
of archetypes as a whole. Perhaps the ESP phenomena and the other
events associated with synchronicity will eventually lead to a new
scientific model of the universe. But as this major revolution in
the basic theories of science has yet to come about, the best plan
for trying to gain a coherent understanding of the idea of the arche-
type is, as we have previously argued, to parenthesize the postula-
tion of archetypes existing outside man and to regard this idea as
one possible theoretical extension of the archetypal notion which
has yet to be successfully integrated into the overall theory.
Moreover, the interpretational approach we have used in trying
to grasp the meaning of Jung's archetypes has not had to assume that
archetypes exist outside of man. The overall success of this approach
in making the archetypes comprehensible is perhaps a matter to be
left to the judgment of the reader. However, in taking into account
the full panaroma of Jung' s utterances on the archetypes, it has
been necessary only twice to mention this possibility as a way of
understanding the archetypal theory.
So far as the assertion that the archetypes have a psychoid
characteristic is considered then, this may perhaps best be ren-
dered to mean that the archetypes manifest themselves in a psychic
way but seem to be more than psychic or not only psychic. Wtat this
quality may eventually prove to be would seem part of the puzzle of
the nature of the archetype per se. But this way of conceiving the
psychoid characteristic of the archetypes need not imply that they
exist outside of or independently of man.
In any event, the concept of the archetype is not logically
tied to the notion of synchronicity. Although synchronicity may
well require something like an archetypal hypothesis to make it
intelligible, the reverse is certainly not the case.18
Archetypes and Temporality
One final topic which must be taken up before our exposition of
the archetypal theory is complete is the aspect of the changes in
archetypes through time. Two distinct questions seem to be involved.
In the first place, are there emergent archetypes, that is, do new
archetypes come into being in response to the changing situation of
man? Secondly, how can we account for the changes that archetypes
manifest through time as, for example, the changes that the God
archetype undergoes when the Jehovah of the Old Testament is ex-
perienced as the Christian Trinity and Devil?
It seems evident that an answer to our first question must hinge
on our idea of the origin of the archetypes. As will be remembered,
it was concluded in this regard that the archetypes are inherited
in a similar fashion to other biological structures. If we take
changes in archetypes as being strictly analogous to the way that
the body changes through evolution, we would expect that the chance
of new archetypes coming into being through the evolutionary process
constitutes a very low probability. For the evolutionary process
works in an accumulatory fashion in the sense that the origins of
new structures occurs, as a rule, as an addition to the pattern of
the existing genotype. Highly evolved creatures then tend to be
more complex organisms. Moreover, as a structure becomes highly
evolved, there is less probability of major changes occurring in
it since the chance that single mutations in the genotype will
lead to an improvement in the overall structure compatible with
the rest of the existing genotype is very small. bb would not
expect then the appearance of human beings with new basic struc-
tures for the body, a third eye or an extra limb. These occurrences
would be monstrosities rather than improvements to be passed on to
the next generation. Analogously, the origin of new archetypes
through evolution would seem unlikely, especially in the light of
the basic structuring function that the archetypes are held to play
in the psyche. The archetypes are the phylogenetically old aspects
of the psyche and hence those parts least liable to be changed to
the overall benefit of the organism.
A contemporary man is thus genetically very similar to what man
was like ten thousand years ago, and no radical changes in the overall
pattern of inherited human behavior are to be expected, at least not
for the next few millenia. Moreover, what would a new typical human
situation be like corresponding to which a now archetype could arise?
It would seem clear that any changes in the basic human situation would
only be variations of situations which have existed cotemporously with
the emergence of man as a species.
If from phylogenetic considerations we then reject the practical
possibility of the formation of new archetypes through the evolution-
ary process, the observed changes in archetypal manifestation through
time must be explained from the ontogenetic viewpoint, as the result
of cultural and individual development. The changes in archetypal
manifestation do not thereby indicate a change in the archetype it-
self. By comparison we might consider the human brain which genet-
ically is basically the same structure as it was thousands of years
ago at the damw of civilization. fMdern man's degree of conscious-
ness and his overall conception of reality is, however, far differ-
ent today than it was then, as we see reflected in the development
of culture. The cruial importance of the ontogenetic influence in
giving shape and content to the archetypal disposition must then
not be underestimated, as the basic patterning influence of the
archetype itself can take on a seemingly limitless variety of forms.
Although there can be no new archetypes, there can be new sym-
bols and new myths. The UFO phenomenon is a particularly instruc-
tive example in this regard.
It is characteristic of our time that the
archetype, in contrast to its previous mani-
festations, should now take the form of an
object, a technological construction, in order
to avoid the odiousness of mythological per-
sonification (Vol. X, p. 328).
It is then the interaction between the conscious and uncon-
scious aspects of the psyche that accounts for the changes in arche-
types across time. For with the development of consciousness
through the agency of culture, the archetypal images undergo a
gradual transformation. This is, moreover, what would be expected
if the archetypes are to function as compensatory agents for the
1 As will become apparent as we proceed, this hope will, not be
fulfilled. It is only in Jung's earlier writing that he attempts to
explain how archetypes originate through ideas about the origins of
myths. However, due to the fact that Jung's views on this matter
become implicated with ideas about the inheritance of acquired
characteristics, this earlier view merits full discussion.
In the above we have not distinguished the spiritual from
the religious, as in the previous discussion of the spiritual when
the latter tenm referred to the archetypal manifestation and
"religious" to the product of collective consciousness. Jung does
not always use these terms in a consistent way, although from the
contert it is usually clear whether he is referring to the indivi-
dual or the collective manifestation.
However, it is easy to fall into the opposite error of seeing
alchemy solely as a philosophico-religious enterprise and thus fail
to appreciate the important role which alchemical work has played in
the history of chemistry. Jung, in his work with the psychological
significance of alchemical symbols, is particularly open to this
criticism that he has overemphasized the psychological aspect of
alchemy while failing to give due credit to the naturalistic and
practical aspects of the art.
The term "mechanicomorphize" is taken from Joseph F.
Pychlak, A Philosophy of Science for Personality Theory (Boston:
Houghton ILfflin, 1968, 7 p 7. is also possible to take the
opposite approach(to anthropomorphiqsj and assign non-human char-
acteristics to human organisms. Some psychologists feel that
the behaviorist does this when he 'mechanicomorphizes' man . . "
Richard Semon, RThe Te& (New York: MacMillan, 1921), p. 11.
6 Dbid., p. 12.
This transition apparently occurred sometime between 1925
It is evident that by saying in effect that the question of
the origin of the archetypes is not a useful one to ask, Jung is
attempting to avoid the stigma of the doctrine of inheritance of
acquired characteristics. For from the Lamarckian point of view,
it makes sense to ask how the archetypes come to be in the psyche
and to postulate possible environmental causative conditions. 1Ith
his withdrawal from implicit support of the Lamarckian position,
Jung sees no point to raising the question. However, asking about
the origin of archetypes need not imply a Lamarckian answer. One
might legitimately wish to know whether archetypes have a natural,
biological origin or nonnatural origin as result of intervention
by spiritual agencies. Jung speculates about the possibility of
the latter alternative in the following:
The question is nothing less than this: Does
the psychic in general--the soul or spirit or
the unconscious--originate in us, or is the
psyche, in the early stages of conscious evolu-
tion, actually outside us in the form of ar-
bitrary powers with intentions of their on, and
does it gradually take its place within us in the
course of psychic development? . This whole
idea strikes us as dangerously paradoxical, but,
at bottom, it is not altogether inconceivable
(Vol. I, pages 69-70).
The application of the Kantian phenomena/noumena distinction
to the problem of archetype per se versus archetypal image is not
unproblematic. For the appeal to the archetype per se as the prin-
ciple responsible for the archetypal image would seem to imply the
attribution of qualities to the thing-in-itself, i.e., that the latter
was real and had certain effects. Thus, if we take the archetype
per se as strictly analogous to the thing-in-itself, we end up
attributing properties to that which from Kant's viewpoint we are
not supposed to be able to attribute anything at all. See thrard
Casey's article "Towards An Archetypal Imagination" in r 1974,
I0 are using the word "extraspection" in the sense ascribed
to it by Joseph F. irchlak in A Philosonhy of Sience for Personality
eory page 27: "If a theorist takes an extraspective perspective
or frame of reference, he defines his abstractions from his vantage
point as observer, regardless of the point of view of the object of
11 In this portion of a dream of Jung's, for example, the
shadow archetype appears as "Dr. Y. and his son." ~breover, the
image of Jung's father also plays an archetypal role in the dream.
3h contrast to the relationship Jung had with his real father, this
symbolic father acts as a guide to the mysteries of the unconscious.
It started with my paying a visit to my long-
deceased father. He was living in the country--
I did not knoo where. I sar a house in the
style of the eighteenth century, very roomy,
with several rather large outbuildings. . .
Itr father guarded these as custodian.
He was, as I soon discovered, not only the
custodian but also a distinguished scholar
in his omm right--which he had never been in
his lifetime. I met him in his study, and,
oddly enough, Dr. Y.--'who was about my age--
and his son, both psychiatrists, were also
present. I do not Imow whether I had asked
a question or whether my father wanted to
explain something of his own accord, but in
any case he fetched a big Bible down from a
shelf, a heavy folio volume like the Yerian
Bible in my library. The Bible my father
held was bound in shiny fishsldn. He opened
it at the Old Testament--I guessed that he
turned to the Pentateuch--and began inter-
preting a certain passage. He did this so
swiftly and so learnedly that I could not
follow him. I noted only that what he said
betrayed a vast amount of variegated knowledge,
the significance of which I dimly apprehended
but could not properly judge or grasp. I saw
that Dr. Y. understood nothing at all, and
his son began to laugh. They thought that
my father was going off the deep end and what
he said was simply senile prattle. . .
The two psychiatrists represented a limited
medical point of view which, of course, also
infects me as a physician. They represent
my shadow--first and second editions of the
shadow, father and son (Ibmories Dreams
Reflections, pages 217-218).
In talking in this way about the insight of a universal per-
spective, there is a temptation to speak in terms of the "wisdom"
of the unconscious. In regard to collective compensation then,
we must be careful to avoid the misunderstanding that this type of
language implies that the unconscious is a sort of higher con-
sciousness which purposively guides the personality to its destina-
tion. For the sort of "guidance" which the unconscious provides
is that which results from the worldngs of a natural process which
itself has no end in view. Jung makes this point in a discussion
concerning compensation by the unconscious.
Yet it would, in my view, be wrong to suppose that in
such cases the unconscious is wording to a deliberate
and concerted plan and is striving to realize certain
definite ends. I have found nothing to support this
assumption. The driving force, so far as it is
possible for us to grasp it, seems to be in
essence only an urge towards self-realization.
If it were a matter of some general teleologi-
cal plan, then all individuals who enjoy a sur-
plus of unconsciousness would necessarily be
driven towards higher consciousness by an
irresistible urge (Vol. VII, p. 184).
13 The anima is in part man's inner image of woman. See page 75
for further characterization of the anima archetype.
14 this generalization is primarily based on the dream material
of Caucasians. Do the shadows of Negroes and other racial groups then
appear as figures with white skin? To my knowledge this question
has not been resolved through empirical studies.
Although the content of all the archetypes is conditioned
by the individual's personal experience, the shadow and the anima/
animus differ from the other archetypes in the fact that their
content is more directly relatable to the person's personal situa-
tion than the other archetypes. In terms of the analogy of depth
then, these archetypes occupy a position intermediate between con-
sciousness and the personal unconscious and the other aspects of
the collective unconsciousness.
16 See Ira Progoff, JunM Synchronicity, and Human Destin
(Hew York: Delta, 1973), p. 106.
Since causation has been ruled out, the question might well
be raised how the "influence" of the archetype can then be made
intelligible. It would seem that some sort of larlike ordering
principle must be postulated not involving a cause and effect
relationship between the objective event and the correlated internal
state of expectancy. Ilaldng clear how the archetype is supposed to
function as this ordering principle is one of the major conceptual
ambiguities which must be resolved in order to make synchronicity
into a viable explanatory hypothesis.
Compare use of psychoid as discussed on page 13.
Since the position taken here is that a rational recon-
struction of the archetypal theory is not committed to the task of
a rational reconstruction of synchronicity, we will not attempt a
critical assessment of synchronicity in this study. In order to
carry out that task, several crucial questions would have to be
considered. In addition to the problem of making archetypal
"influence" intelligible, additional clarification is needed as
how the crucial distinction between coincidence and meaningful
coincidence can be made operationally sound. Questions can also
be raised as to the validity of Rhine's statistical procedures
and results. See C.E.M. Hansel's ESP (New York: Scribner, 1966).
CRITICISMS OF THE ARCHETYPAL THEORY: GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
The exposition of Jung's concept of the archetype having now
been completed, it is the objective of the second half of this study
to consider criticisms of the theory. To an extent we have anticipated
this task in the first half. For in order to rationally reconstruct
Jung's concept of the archetype, it has proved necessary on occasion
to distinguish between essential aspects of the idea and other aspects
which although linked by Jung on occasion with discussion of arche-
types would, if explored in terms of their full implications, lead
to a situation of either obvious inconsistency or hopeless obscurity
and confusion concerning what is meant to be implied by the concept
of an archetype.
As the chief case in point, we have interpreted the archetypes
naturalistically in the sense that it was assummd that they occur as
a natural phenomenon of man rather than as subsistent entities with
an ontological locus outside of man. Closely related to this natur-
alistic stance on the origin and ontological nature of the archetype
was the position taken asserting the psyche's necessary dependence
on the brain. In addition, in terms of our project of reconstruction,
it was found necessary to emphasize the logical independence of the
idea of archetypes from the hypothesis of synchronicity. The assump-
tion of an extrapsychic locus for the archetype which was entailed by
synchronicity, a locus "in matter," was considered to be an unnecessary
complication to an already cumbersome theory and to be, moreover, an
addition which is incompatible with other aspects of the archetypal
theory as we have reconstructed it.
OCe could, of course, postulate archetypal entities which are
responsible for the phenomena of synchronicity and which subsist in-
dependently of man without having to assume that they were there-
fore supernatural agencies. This supernatural agency hypothesis is
then only one of several conceivable types of nonnaturalistic inter-
pretations.1 However, this assumption of extrapsychic subsistence,
even if it need not invoke the supernatural, still has the effect of
making the archetypes into occult entities, that is, entities which
have very little in common with man as he is understood in terms of
standard scientific knowledge.2
In addition to the questions related to the naturalistic inter-
pretation of the archetypes, we have also previously discussed the in-
fluence of Kantian epistemology on Jung's archetypes (pages 35 and 38).
This topic will be further treated in the third section of this chapter.
The question of evolution theory and its possible consequences
for the plausibility of the archetypal concept, foreshadowed on page 59
will be examined further in the last section of Chapter 7.
The last of Jung's views previously critiqued concerns the ques-
tion of racial differences (page 26). Following Ibrld ar 2I, Jung
appears to have retreated from the implications for racial differences
which he drew from the idea of the collective unconscious. The
claim that different racial groups have a distinctly different collec-
tive unconscious is at any rate not emphasized by Jung in his writings
after Itrld War II, although the quotes in support of such a view
presented on page 26, from Vol. VII, were not retracted by Jung in
the "thorough revision" to which he subjected the book in the fifth
edition in 1942 (Vol. VII, p. 7)3
i.th objections from the scientific perspective and evaluation
of the archetypal concept as a scientific theory having been reserved
for later discussion (Chapters 5,6,7), what remaining criticisms must
then be considered? This question is rendered problematic by the vast
panorama of different types of critical attacks which have been directed
against Jung's views. The project of presenting conclusive counter-
arguments against each individual dissenting author could conceivably
engage one's efforts for several years. But such a volume and variety
of critical literature is not itself a reliable indication of the
inherent weakness of Jung's conceptions nor even of the result of his
violation of beliefs and presuppositions of vested professional in-
terest so much as it is an indication of the obscurity of his method
of presentation, which in its magnificent rhetorical style manages
through its all-encompassing, cosmic scope to have something to offend,
confound or confuse just about everyone. There is also, of course,
a very large and rapidly growing literature from Jungian enthusiasts.
But as the work of even the most immediate Jungian disciples (indivi-
duals such as Aniele Jaffe, Jolande Jacobi and Michael Fordham) offer
supposedly authoritative accounts of Jung's views which differ widely
in interpretational approach and emphasis at crucial points, one begins
to wonder if perhaps there is in fact a problem in that through a com-
bination of intuitive overdetermination5 and lack of precision in for-
mulating and limiting his basic constructs, Jung has tried to explain