Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Child Archetype (August 01, 2007).

I have long been intrigued by the relation between the anima and the child archetype. I think I have finally solved it, and want to present my solution for scrutiny and inspiration. Let me start with my first proposition (which I call "mine" because I have not found it explicitly in Jung's writings). The child archetype is a symbol of the Self. It is a symbol of wholeness, of the union of opposites.

My second proposition is that Jung defined the anima (at times) as the male human being's personified unconscious, which has a feminine character (cf. Zur Psychologie des Kindarchetypus, "Towards a Psychology of the Child Archetype", section 3C). Likewise, the animus is supposed to be the female human being's personified unconscious, which has a masculine character (I cannot corroborate this, as I am a guy, but an allegory of this might be Pallas Athena's birth from the head of Zeus, even as the ego or conscious self originates in the unconscious).

The child archetype is a symbol of the integrated Self, i.e., of a synthesis of consciousness and the unconscious. It anticipates the synthesis of the Self, which is the goal of the individuation process. It is an image of the result of the union between the masculine and the feminine, namely between consciousness and the unconscious (respectively, in the case of the male). Thus the anima or animus is indeed intimately related to the child archetype. But confusing them is detrimental: for by meditating on the anima or animus, the distinction between that and one's conscious self becomes ever starker, whereas meditation on the child archetype has the effect of a harmonization of the two. The anima should not be the object of contemplation; it should be part of the subject. The task is "the shifting of the personality center from the ego to the Self", as Jung puts it in the concluding section of said essay.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, in the second section, that the male ego has a masculine character and the female a feminine one. This is implied in the third section, though.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home