Every advance in culture is, psychologically, an extension of consciousness, a coming to consciousness that can take place only through discrimination.
– Carl Jung
Carl Jung was born in a rural region of Switzerland in 1875. He was a very lonely child, mostly interacting with the natural world surrounding him. He realized at a very early age that the world is full of unseen forces.
Jung is best known for his work with the conscious, the unconscious, archetypes, the shadow self, dreams, and synchronicity. He believed that MORE than the conscious, then unconscious and subconscious played a major part in our life.
In order to become conscious we must become aware of our thoughts, sensations and and feelings bubbling up from the subconscious and the collective unconscious.
Mindfulness is a great modality to help us become more conscious and engage our attention, compassion, knowledge and desire.
The unconscious consists of the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious.
The personal unconscious is the terrain of personal memories, feelings, and behaviors. It is also where we store what we learn in our lifetime. For example, in learning to read, we first learn letters, then how to string those letters into words. Eventually, without conscious intervention, the strings of letters become words and the strings of words become sentences. The words flow without conscious intervention. This pattern is also true of behaviors learned as an adult, such as driving.
The collective unconsciousness is ancient wisdom—all of the images and behaviors that have been repeated throughout the history of mankind, as well as into the future. This is where archetypes reside. The collective unconscious contains information that can be accessed by anyone at any time. It appears to have no limits in time or space. That is, it can access information that was recorded by primitive people as well as information about events that have not yet taken place.
Archetypes refer to images and behaviors related to people in our current or past lives. These images and behaviors can be rooted in cultural heritage or personal knowledge. For example, the father archetype might refer to a patriarchy or to your particular father.
We all have different archetypes that influence our lives. These archetypes usually correspond to acertain stage of our psychological development, and are useful in enacting transition and transformation.
Clear awareness of Archetypes, residing in the collective unconscious, can influence us and assist us through our stages of transition and transformation.
A Review of some Archetypes:
The Goddess is the archetype that provides transcendent experience, a re-connecting with source, and nurturing of divine essence. The Goddess embodies the deep inspirational spark of life, flowing energy of creation and evolution. She represents the mystery of the unknown and she ignites Eros, the desire and vital force to seek new experience, new associations, new possibilities and connections.
She resonates transpersonal, harmonious love for everyone and all beings. She is the domain of spirituality, mystical experience and intuition. Her presence is inspiring and causes one to feel renewed stimulated and revitalized. She seeks solutions, collaboration and consensus.
The Queen is perhaps the strongest archetype representing duty, authority and caregiver. To give life to another is the most profound accomplishment one can experience. The Queen archetype brings order, blessings, benevolence, fertility, balance, compassion and unconditional love. She is the domain of material manifestation, family, kingdom and also material wealth and abundance. Her demeanor carries wisdom --not impulsiveness. She rejoices in the success and happiness of those who enjoy her care and selfless loving.
The Priestess archetype is possibly the least known and understood. She is the domain of intuitive awareness and insight, of secret knowledge of the unknown, spirit realm. The priestess has a magical connection to the great mystery of the pregnant void, mother of all creation, source energy. She is a connector and master of her spiritual and material realities showing a confidence of knowing how to call forth and transform energies. She is grounded in her own depth and intellect and knows how to connect to deep inner truths and resources. She moves with grace and Insight.
The warioress is decisive and has clarity of thought, genuine humility, and the courage to do what is right even when it is a personal challenge to do so. She recognizes and supports causes that are for the greater good. She is selfless and maintains a warm connection to those that she serves. She is full of confidence, and her strength of stature is evident and unheralded. The woman who embodies the qualities of the warrioress makes you feel safe without being oppressed.
The lover archetype has been contorted into a selfish expression of lust and erotic expression. However, the lover archetype actually contains a much fuller divine expression. She is the energy of passion, exquisite engagement with life and the ecstatic being, alive and vivid. She is the epitome of sensuality in her mood, look, walk, bearing and engagement. She is intimately interested in all forms of sensory contact, experiencing the world in all its splendor. She is the archetype of play and healthy erotic embodiment without shame. She engages through her body with the vital energy of dance, yoga, or movement.
The Wise Woman
The shaman is the vision of the wise woman. She knows her self, mines her intuitive wisdom, and produces solutions that forward the advancement of resolution of opposites and difficult circumstances. She is the essential archetype for the survival of her clan community, family and human species. She is the expression of the Ego in service to the higher self. She quietly orchestrates wise counsel and supports the wisdom of others. She is thoughtful and reflective and rests in her connection with spirit and the earth.
-What are some things that you unconsciously do by “rote”?
-What are some areas of your life where you can benefit from more conscious awareness?
-What archetypes can you discover that play a role in your life?
-What archetype might be useful to you in your present journey?