How Archetypes Affect Us
Do you realize that part of you is connected to everyone else in the present as well as the past? And that you're also connected to the wisdom of life? That's what Jung's theory of the Collective Unconscious means. Below the level of your own personal unconscious, you are capable of reaching down within yourself and finding a place where you can access timeless wisdom to deal with your life.
Jung's theory of the Collective Unconscious includes his theory of the Archetypes, which make up the contents of the Collective Unconscious. Archetypes are basic patterns of human instincts that we all share. They don't make you do things, but rather, they give some order to your experience of life.
Archetypes are the energies that are available to each of us at birth to help us evolve and grow during this lifetime. And yet, it is our own choices and experiences that shape how we relate to these archetypal energies. In and of themselves, the archetypes are neutral, but we can experience them either positively or negatively.
Some basic archetypes are the Mother, the Father, the Child, the Lover, the Adversary, the Trickster or the Wise One. There are also collective archetypes such as the Judge, the Priest/Priestess, the Bard, the Artist, the King, the Queen and the Warrior.
Any of these archetypes can and do show up in our dreams. Sometimes they come to us in mythic images, such as a king, a clown or a saint. At other times they show up disguised as a friend or associate or family member. Since we can never know the archetypes in themselves, we can only know them through the images we have of them.
Think of archetypes at one end of the spectrum and instincts at the other end, like infra-red and ultra-violet light. It is the same light, but a different form. When we do something instinctually, it just happens without thought. It's a reaction to a life situation. As we become more conscious, the archetypal images help us understand how and why we react the way we do. And that helps us change our behavior. We can make different choices.
As we experience the power of the archetypes in our lives, we begin to understand that we're part of a bigger picture, the grand experiment of life. We are here on Earth to evolve into higher states of consciousness, which can heal our sadness, fear, ignorance or unconsciousness. When we know that our choices in life affect not only our self but the world around us, we can look at our society and decide if we like what we see. We can see if our society reflects our values and hopes and dreams. If it doesn't, then we have the responsibility to change it once we've changed our self.
We are living in times that are calling on us to make different choices about how we live. Both personally and collectively, we are faced with challenges and we need to make changes in the way we think about our life here on Earth. We can change the way we do business, the way we consume, the way we work, the way we connect with others. It just takes consciousness and choice.
The archetypal patterns themselves evolve or one becomes more prominent than another. I had a dream about these changing archetypal themes about a year ago.
I dreamed: I see the constellation of the Pleiades shining brightly in a daytime sky. And then I see another constellation dissolve like fireworks.
This dream of the Pleiades is a dream of hope, because this constellation has always represented the idea of a new dispensation and a new life. Something has changed in our collective consciousness, and the shift in our awareness is mirrored by the Pleiades shining in a daytime sky, clearly visible in our conscious lives.
Archetypes in themselves can't change, but their patterns and their prominence in our collective psyche can change as human consciousness evolves. I think they're changing now and so we'll have their energies to help us make this transition.
If anyone has a star or constellation dream they'd like to share, I'd love to hear them.