The psyche, the conscious, and the unconscious appeal to the human mind. There are scholars who deeply studied these phenomena and came up with several theories. PsycholoGenie aims to understand one such concept, called the archetype, and enlists a complete list of Carl Jung archetypes.
The Latent Power
The oriental concept of Kundalini Yoga, which is a dormant spiritual energy in humans, propelled Jung to pen a book called, The Psychology of Kundalini Yoga. This Kundalini energy could be activated in man by the incessant practice of Yoga.
Archetype: A primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious. ―Oxford Dictionary
► Understanding Archetypes
► Primary Archetypes
► Secondary Archetypes
► Fictitious Archetypes
Considering this piece of information, we can derive the meaning of archetype as a specimen, standard, prototype, or a model which is representative of numerous things that can fall under it. It is then that we can recognize it as an archetype. Now before studying this vast subject further, let’s also know about the famous psychologist Carl Jung, who has laid down several types of archetypes which help in understanding the human psychology and behavior in the best possible way.
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist who pioneered Jungian Psychology, which is in essence analytical psychology. This branch of psychology lends importance to the psyche of an individual, or more precisely, individuation. Archetypes, the topic of discussion in this article, is one of the many features of analytical psychology. He also laid down the significance to the concepts of introvert and extrovert personalities, and the whole gamut of the unconscious. Jung noted that an archetype is inherited, it is not developed. It is a storehouse of past experiences and previously existing thoughts which had been acquired by the whole race, and has roots in the unconscious mind. Since his inclination towards the unconscious was so acute, he conducted dedicated studies on the unconscious and its relation with myths, art, philosophy, and even dreams.
In order to understand the vast dimensions and categories of the Jungian archetype, it is quintessential to bear in mind the following concept, which would serve as a formula to better understand all the archetypes that would be explained in the due course of this article. According to Jung, the human psyche, which in layman’s terms is the human mind, has got three clear divisions, viz, the conscious, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. The conscious mind is alternatively known as the ego. It is the last part which actually is the collection of all the knowledge and experiences of humans. The conscious and the unconscious minds integrate to form an individual. The process is known as individuation.
Archetypes dwell in the unconscious mind, and are responsible for the behavior patterns of individuals. Let’s now explore the various archetypes that have been suggested by Jung, and hence are termed as the Jungian archetypes. There are in fact many different types of archetypes that have been proposed by Jung in his career. Some of the most prominent ones have been discussed in this article. For a clear knowledge of the different archetypes, in this article they have been categorized into three forms: primary, secondary, and fictitious.
► The ‘Self’ is the total amalgamation of the opposing and contradicting elements. In this archetype, these opposing factors coexist, coordinate, and unite. The process is facilitated by the means of individuation.
► In a nutshell, we can say that it is the totality of the opposite forces of the conscious and the unconscious. In simpler terms, we can also say that the unconscious contains the elements of the conscious, and vice versa.
► As for an instance, let us suppose that someone is introvert in nature. This implies that his conscious nature is introvert. In the ‘Self’ archetype, when the conscious and the unconscious unite, the unconscious nature would be extrovert.
► Thus, we can simply say that it is the unification of the entire psyche. Jung denoted the self in the form of a mandala or a circle. This is so because, from the central point in a circle or a mandala, the entire figure is made. Likewise, from the self, the man’s psyche is made. Ego rests within the ‘Self’.
► The ‘Shadow’ is representative of the past, the denied, the hidden, the suppressed, the neglected, and the rejected. It is the part which houses desires, weaknesses, negative attitudes, and fears.
► On the whole, it is representative of the unknown and the undiscovered. It surfaces in dreams, which may contain a snake, beast, or simply a vague figure that is not in the recognizable form. It can also surface as hallucinations.
► Since it is there in the unconscious mind, man often denies having any such thing, even if he has it. In many cases, it has been seen that people have successfully integrated their real self and the shadow uniquely.
► It is thus the unconscious part of one’s personality which the ego declines. But apart from the negatives, the ‘Shadow’ may also contain the positives, which are sometimes not acknowledged by the person. Hence, in totality, most of the things that an individual doesn’t like about himself or herself are thrust upon the ‘Shadow’.
► The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is perhaps a burning example of this archetype.
The Anima and the Animus (Syzygy)
► This is the unison of a man and his woman. The ‘Anima’ denotes femininity and female traits, as opposed to ‘Animus’, which denotes masculinity and male traits.
► According to the theory of Jung, this archetype concludes that men have a dormant female tendency, and women too have male dormant tendencies. The ‘Anima’ may be present in men in the nature of his reactions, moods, and also impulsive nature. The ‘Animus’ could be seen in women as inspirations, commitments, and beliefs.
► One classic example of this archetype is the symbol of Tao, which has both the Yang and the Yin components. The Yang is representative of masculinity and the Yin represents femininity.
► When a man exhibits the virtues of care, emotions, compassion, imagination, intuition, and the like, we say that he has got active ‘Anima’. If the ‘Anima’ is neglected, it takes on negativity instead of the virtues attached to it.
► Likewise, when a woman exhibits virtues of courage, logic, assertion, strength, etc., she has active ‘Animus’. Once neglected, the negative sides of rebellion, aggression, recklessness, and anger replace the virtues of ‘Animus’.
►The unison of the ‘Anima’ and the ‘Animus’ results in the formation of the ‘Syzygy’. This results in wholeness, completion, perfection, unison, and thus soul-mates are formed.
► The shield or the cloak we wear to protect the ego from the outside world is known as the ‘Persona’.
► To make it simpler, it is the public image we make of ourselves. It is the bridge between the conscious mind and the outside world. It is the impression that we give about ourselves to society.
► The breaking down of one’s persona leads to excessive disintegration and chaos. For the individuation process to carry on successfully, it is utterly important to do away with ‘Persona’.
► In other words, it is important to emancipate oneself from the stretches of ‘Persona’, else the process of self-realization is inhibited.
► The Latin word for mask is ‘Persona’. It is therefore all the more easy to understand that ‘Persona’ is fake. It is complex to the maximum.
► One easy way to understand this concept is by referring to the public images of celebrities.
► The ‘Father’ archetype is the combination of law, discipline, authority, love, protection, and care. We tend to associate this with someone who holds authority in our life, and is responsible for guiding us through.
► It can be a teacher, senior, and sometimes it is also associated with God. He is the source of guidance to all, and is responsible for the achievement of tasks. This part of the ‘Father’ archetype is known as the ‘Positive Father’ archetype.
► The negative or the ‘Shadow Father’ archetype is the presence of traits like authority, dominance, pride, ego, and rigidity. In most scenarios, the ‘Father’ archetype becomes our role model.
► This archetype is representative of the several qualities which are associated with mother. The primary being the process of nurturing.
► The warmth we experience from our mothers are manifested in the qualities of this archetype. It is also associated with Divinity, Great Mother, or the Supreme Mother – a deity who is worshiped.
► This is true for people of all faiths. She is the mother who lends us love, care, and encouragement to achieve the things which we desire.
► But there are also some negative traits associated with this archetype. The negativity can be the aggression which one faces from a step-mother. It opposes nurturing and the caring nature.
► This archetype symbolizes innocence, transformation, loyalty, and liberty.
► It is filled with positivity. It is associated with the hope of a fresh beginning that promises better things that would come to stay and not go astray.
► It drives us towards creative energy. It is also sometimes encountered in dreams in the form of infants or the Divine Child.
The Wise Old Man or the Sage
► The ‘Old Man’ is the representative of wisdom, wit, judgment, and knowledge. He is considered all-knowing, and is looked up to in search of advice.
► They are the idols whom people seek inspiration from. They act as the pathfinders for the commoners.
► This archetype has been used innumerable times in literature and films to give the ‘god-father’ essence to a character.
► In many occasions, we have seen such characters guiding the protagonist to do the right thing. Thus, he is the mentor whom Jung has categorized as a vital archetype.
► The vast storehouse of knowledge that the ‘Wise Man’ possesses is not the resultant of some vigorous book reading excavation. Instead it is the accumulation of the countless experiences that he has acquired during his eventful life. He, thus, is rightly likened to the ‘Sage’ or the ‘Mentor’, and also in more than one way the ‘Old Man’ resembles the ‘Pope’.
► The ‘Hero’ is the epitome of all heroic deeds.
► He is the liberator, the performer, the strong, the right, the most capable, and the invincible. He is the one who is most revered and trusted.
► He usually has a purpose to serve, and an action to perform. His birth is for a cause, which he has to fulfill in his lifetime.
► He is the sole victor. It is one of the dominant archetypes which is prevalent in all cultures and mythologies.
► Epics are laden with heroes, about whom there are interesting tales which inspire many characters in movies and books.
► The ‘Hero’ archetype is the Jungian archetype which is present in movies and literature. Heroes are created, or have their roots in history and mythology.
► But their importance lies in the fact that man contemplates to imitate them in one or more ways. There are also other connotations to it.
► One such idea is, when one tries to kill his own bad behavior, he is doing something heroic. He is allowing his good self to kill his own bad self. Hence, heroic.
The Trickster or the Villain
► Jung has broadened the concept of ‘Trickster’. Under this umbrella, he has placed multifaceted figures like the Fool, Jester, Magician, and the Villain. It is the archetype which is there in varying amounts in all human beings.
► It also shows the side of a man’s psyche that is not fully developed, and hence, it errs. The ‘Trickster’ is undesirable to have, yet its presence is inevitable.
► It shows up when all things are set in perfection, and manhandles things. His actions are foolish and pose a damaging outcome.
► It is also believed that it is the cloak man puts on in order to hide true feelings within. It is stupid in nature, but this much hated stupidity covers up the deep sorrow within.
► There is another side to our trickster as well. It is also representative of the malice man is filled with. He finds pleasure in putting things haywire, creating widespread troubles.
► In mythology, this archetype is depicted in the human form, and also depicted in the form of animals. In some cultures, it is also shown as a club of human and animal forms.
► There is yet another dimension to the trickster. There are also famous sagas which narrate the tales when there was no distinct identity and existence of separate ‘hero’ and ‘villain’. At the point of time, man himself was shown as a creature which possesses both, the good and the evil in the same body and soul.
► Depending on his intentions, either one would be more active than the other. In fact, this perhaps is the most apt description of ‘Trickster’. It is within us only that both good and evil coexist.
► The ‘maiden’ is the begetter of innocence, chastity, bliss, and grace. She depicts the stages that a woman passes through in her lifetime.
► She is the source of energy, which she lends for the fulfillment of goals. She is also the symbol of life.
► She is the one who encourages humans to keep the child within man alive. She is the depiction of the feminine energy that is usually mystical, latent, yet mighty.
► Within her lies the marvels of the cycles of life and death. She shows to the human race the extraordinary power of the Triple Goddess, which is a hearty combination of the Mother, Maiden, and the Crone.
► This implies that the ‘Maiden’ is symbolic of the various stages and experiences of womanhood.
► It shows the innocence and purity of a chaste girl, the completeness of motherhood, and the rich experiences of an elderly woman who has gained knowledge and experience in her earthly life, and is ready to share her knowledge for the betterment of the woman race. But at times, she is also deceiving and shrewd.
► As science says, it is the organism which is bi-gendered. According to the Jungian concept of hermaphrodite, it is the coexistence of two opposites, i.e, two genders – the male and female.
► This coexistence leads to the ultimate wholeness, and reaches a state of complete stability. It is the form where two souls or two spirits exist in harmony.
► In simple terms, it can be said that it is the path which makes two opposites embrace.
Apart from the above mentioned archetypes, there are also beliefs about the existence of others, which are animal archetypes, denoted by the ‘Dog’, ‘Horse’, ‘Scapegoat’, and the ‘Cat’. The murky concept of death and reincarnation are considered by many as archetypes. There is also an array of spiritual concepts which are also enlisted within the purview of archetypes.