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Carl Jung´s Archetypes

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Carl Jung discovered that there are certain images in dreams which are seen by all dreamers, no matter where they may live or in which historical time. These images are the archetypes.

They are found also in artistic and religious manifestations from ancient times until today, especially in fairy tales.

We have the impression that these images were formed and fixed in the human psyche as the human being evolved, with time, passing through the same experiences and facing the same problems, as well as being delighted by the same happy moments. They represent the most important characteristics of human behavior and at the same time the most important ideas and facts of human life.

They didn’t start appearing in our dreams as we evolved though, because they are produced by the unconscious mind in order to teach us how we can fight against the primitive side of our conscience, which is still alive inside us and tries to destroy our human side. They are images that the unconscious mind fixed in the human psyche, because they give us basic lessons about human behavior and the dangers of life.

The persona for example, is an archetype that represents the social personality of someone. It is a mask we use when we face the outside world, while the shadow is an archetype that represents the wild unknown region of the human psyche, and must be transformed to human. It is our dark, unknown side, where not only many of our defects are hidden as well as many of our capacities, since the shadow represents the content that was not tamed and developed like the human side of our conscience, but remains in a primitive condition.

The known archetypes are many; however if we want to simplify the scientific method of dream interpretation discovered by Carl Jung, which is the only correct one, because he was really able to decipher the mysterious dream language of the unconscious mind, we can simply consider all archetypes that are personified in human form as parts of our own personality, without characterizing them specifically, according to Jung’s definitions, because we don’t need to care about their origin like he did. We only need to understand their meaning in dreams and how this knowledge can help us solve our problems.

As a scientist Jung cared about providing scientific proof in order to justify his statements, and this is why he gives us detailed explanations about the origin of each archetype, showing us where and when it appeared in the history of mankind.

He was really able to prove that the archetypes are part of our unconscious mind and that they have a specific meaning that can be found if we analyze the stories, paintings and dreams where they appear. We can therefore continue from this point, believing him, and stop caring about the archetype’s origin.

Now we can care more about their meaning and the messages they give us in a symbolic form, understanding that each archetypical image is the reflection of the anti-conscience, our primitive and wild side, or the reflection of our one-sided human conscience that was not yet completely developed, even though it doesn’t remain in the same animal condition like the anti-conscience.

When we analyze the meaning of archetypes that are not personified, like rebirth, we understand that they are representing the psychical transformation which our psyche has to pass through in order to eliminate the primitive anti-conscience, transforming it into human content.

The rebirth represents the death of the imperfect human being after the recognition of his absurdity, ignorance and selfishness, and the new life of his spirit, after his purification.

This purification is accomplished as he understands all his mistakes and changes his behavior, becoming always more sensible and sensitive.

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