My role in awakening and transformation is to illustrate, with the help of archetypes, how an instinctual image-making process is engineered to teach and awaken. There is collective value in archetypes—we all experience versions of them in our dreams, art and fantasy. We experience archetypes through others as well. Archetypes are energies within us, like roles or scripts we assume throughout our lives. These energies have the power to direct our lives.
Archetypes can be experienced, to introduce them, as universal themes and characters similar to those found in myths and stories. Consider the story of Snow White. While Snow White was beautiful, an enviable trait, this trait negatively influenced her life as well, in the form of jealousy. A woodcutter was employed to kill Snow White, as the story goes. While the story has a happy ending, the path included near death experiences, including a poison apple. There is an archetypal scenario here, beautiful girl and jealous rival, which is archetypal because it’s a scenario that occurs often and universally.
Archetypes are a language in and of themselves. They are the imagistic language of the Individuation experience, “a process in and of images” according to Jung. Archetypes lead on a symbolic journey. They lead to interpretations through a language of metaphors and parables. They demonstrate and manifest in ways that only archetypes can. Jung refers to this phenomenon as dream language and pictorial language. I have worked with archetypes for almost 2 decades. I began my research into archetypes when I recognized that my concrete poetry images were dream-like creations, fantasy images (Jung), a series of energy-filled shapes.
ARCHETYPES AND HEALING
Transformation is a path that heals itself first through body, mind & soul. Healing means threads being connected, and it means that there is a plan for good that exists for everyone. Enlightenment is a place where positive/negative, good/bad, etc. can dwell comfortably inside and outside of the personal psyche.
It’s easy to see how archetypes contributed to Jung’s theories. I have researched extensively into the writings of C. G. Jung, depth psychologists, speakers, artists, and writers. The Jungian healing path, or modality, includes coming to conscious awareness through a process that is instinctual, natural. Jung defined the process as “in and of images” -- the Process of Individuation. The process is tasked toward wholeness and healing the psyche. The point of an archetypal “dream-series” or “picture-series” (my poetry-art series) is to present, make known, and reconcile discordant parts within the psyche.
Jung’s theory pertaining to healing the personality was, in most part, to integrate incompatible energies. A successful effort to create harmony between conscious and unconscious and to end the battles of “a psyche at war with itself” (Jung) leads to the healing transformation associated with the process of individuation. The personality or the “Self” takes shape, no longer fragmented but whole, a reconciliation of natural opposites, good and evil, yin and yang. The psyche becomes balanced and centered, never totally free from life’s demands, but free from the ego’s stronghold over unconscious forces that, nonetheless, affect individual psychic processes.
Archetypes are experienced individually, yet collectively and universally as well, which is a distinguishing feature of Jungian, as Jung described them, archetypes. An example of an archetype is a Mermaid. A mermaid varies from image to image, but is still a mermaid!! Archetypes alter through a series of guises or “motifs” that make them dynamic and changeable, yet ever the same. They are experienced differently by different people. A fun-loving mermaid image varies from an alluring siren image, but both images belong to essentially the same archetype.