There is truth to find. Just because the path isn’t straight doesn’t mean there is no destination. Truth is hidden in plain sight. Finding is still an act we do.
To use archetypes, I’m thinking that by our conscious intention to impress upon them we can “change the world” potentially? Indeed, but it’s not really possible to “tag” an archetype. They won’t incorporate psychic graffiti. It’s more setting up a system of relating to the archetype.
An example is the Navajo snake dance ceremony. All cultures recognize the literal facts about snakes. They don’t have a human type of consciousness, and they can be potentially life threatening. But the Navajo people have a different view of the “why.” They evaluate the threat of a snake differently than a white person say. This doesn’t actually change the archetype of the snake, it changes their relationship to it.
Likewise with every other force in existence. For some cultures death is God, for other cultures death is evil, but to both, even if they don’t speak the same language, death is death.
I guess Jung and others have uncovered the archetypes by looking at what is common across the world? Yes, and by examining what people report in relating their experiences during psycho-analysis. As a matter of fact, the universal elements were so common it was the original reason why they chose to focus only on aberrant psychology. The rest seemed like a totally predictable system that they didn’t really feel they could influence.
And the area of dreams is where they come through undisturbed by our filter so it became the area to study? Exactly. Dreams and the spiritual experience they call ecstasy, also known as trance. It’s possible to become so emotionally or sensorial overloaded that the separation between the conscious and subconscious mind is temporarily suspended.
On the topic of archetypes, you made mention of trying to imprint an archetype, and I said it wasn’t really possible. That is sort of paradoxical, because it isn’t really possible, but in a sense it is. Old traditions like shamanism that live in close touch with the archetypal world engage in behaviours that sort of speak the archetypal language. To the Australian aborigines this would also be called the language of dreams, and because they are communicating on that level and in that way, they can use the same channel or level of reality to influence things. To learn the location of hunted animals say, or to induce recovery in a sick person. Sort of a spiritual antibiotic effect.
Native Americans use the animal world in the same way? Yes. They recognized the linkage that gives rise to archetypal symbolism, and learned to communicate back.
Does the modern world we’re in use any of the archetypes effectively? Yes. Though it would be considered black magic by our ancestors, things like advertising agencies have paid large sums of money to learn about what symbolism moves people. What are the parts of the mind they can evoke to produce … really any behaviour they want. They can more or less induce you to sell your soul and people do. They spend all of their free time watching TV, or pursue fads to such a degree that they can develop a mental disorder if they feel they have failed to keep up with them. Evidence is the common presence of eating disorders in young women.
Is their knowledge of archetypes very deep? No, not really, but even their shallow grasp is enough to grant them a great deal of power over others. This is why the media has such social influence. They evoke the “person looking out for you” or parental image, and people absorb their opinions quite quickly and without questioning. They are also aware of the subconscious minds tendency to create only complete pictures, so will use added elements that have nothing to do with the value of what they offer. Like a sexually attractive man or woman to sell perfume or cars, because it adds that archetypal symbol to the idea of their product without the watcher even really paying any attention.
It’s common. I guess knowing it is the way to get away from the influence. Exactly. Once you see you can’t unsee, and you can make informed conceptual choices.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.