“It’s a luxury to be understood.” Ralph Waldo Emerson. A mission to understand. Know thyself.
I am familiar with forces at work that behave as “Gods” do. As broad as my knowledge base may be, I do have a better grasp of some things from personal experience than others. The only Gods I have experienced are more or less “thought forms”, colonies of psychic energy that act upon the world and those who have an affinity for them.
First some definitions. Archetypes are patterns that show up in human awareness and culture. Memetic characters that have their basis in the fundamental structure of our nervous systems.
Intelligence, as I will use it tonight, is defined by the ability of a system to respond to stimuli. We bear imprints not only of our parents genetics, but of their psychosocial patterns as well. Certain patterns of human psychology have been imprinted long ago on the human psyche.
So archetypes are like building plans? They are, and perhaps the most primal archetypes are the hero figures of which there is an incredibly long list. Personalities, that though they don’t dominate all genetic lines, have imprinted themselves even on less dominant recipients.
For Jung, they expressed the collective wisdom of the collective unconscious. Indeed, and they do contain such wisdom, but they are not static constructs though there has been much conflict regarding the evolution of many of these things.
Or the human condition reveals common problems that archetypes solved. And they show up in the behaviour, or have the potential to show up in the behaviour, of any human being on the planet. Many archetypes have entirely new imagery associated with them, but they had and still have ancient roots. The new building on the old. The “new Gods” stand on the shoulders of the ancients. This is why we speak of John Wayne as being a way that people can behave. It’s said we can cowboy up, things like that. We don’t have to actively learn these patterns. Our bodies and minds are naturally evolved to adopt these attitudes and ideas.
The tough guy is an archetype? It is. Some older tough guys being Hercules, Thor. It’s a long list. Even Jesus fits that bill.
People can have aspects of more than one archetype? Human genetic patterns actually have a finite range of expression. They can only take so many different forms. These forms themselves show up to our observation.
We say people look like their pets. Well, the connection to non-human species is more than symbolic or figurative. Some people manifest traits that reflect being more reptilian in nature, like beady eyed men and self serving behaviour.
People choose pets based on their own behaviour. Sedentary people won’t want a very energetic dog and cat people vs. dog people. Yes, because the social imprinting is strained if it succeeds at all. Whether people like it or not, it’s a rule rather than an exception.
So now we have hero figures and animals, but the ideas go further than that. The behaviour of the sun and moon imprint themselves on our biology, shape how our hormones are timed. The soil composition of our place of birth does as well. Even science is recognizing that time of birth during the year impacts temperament. We say some people have fiery tempers, and we describe some people’s thinking as airy as well as describing “know it alls” as windbags.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.