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On the Nature of the Archetype

On the Nature of the Archetype

In his work, On the Nature of the Psyche, Carl Jung differentiates between the modus operandi of the archetype, and the archetype as such: The archetypal representations (images and ideas) mediated to us by the unconscious should not be confused with the archetype as such. They are very varied struc­tures which all point back to one essentially “irrepresentable” basic form. The latter is characterized by certain formal ele­ments and by certain fundamental meanings, although these can be grasped only approximately….

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Danger Lurks Below

Danger Lurks Below

  The supreme danger which threatens individuals as well as whole nations is a psychic danger (Jung 590 ). We usually think of the unconscious mind as being the source of creativity and blessing for our lives. We have been taught that if we could only become more conscious of what lies in the depths below, we would become more balanced and whole. This is true to a certain extent, but there is a ferociousness in the dark abyss of…

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Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

Alchemy: In the Service of Nature

    The Promethean archetype, the desire to steal that which was meant to serve Nature and use it exclusively for human purposes, should not be the blueprint for the practitioner of alchemy. Even individual soul-making, if focused solely on the human, does not assist the Anima Mundi in her transmutation. The primary task of the alchemist, his passion, is to further the improvement of the World Soul. The alchemical practice is not to carry out the Promethean aim of…

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Henry Corbin and the Archetypal Realm

Henry Corbin and the Archetypal Realm

Nicholas Roerich “Song of Shambhala” The active Imagination is the preeminent mirror, the epiphanic place of the Images of the archetypal world; that is why the theory of the mundus imaginalis is bound up with a theory of imaginative knowledge and imaginative function–a function truly central and mediatory, because of the median and mediatory position of the mundus imaginalis. It is a function that permits all the universes to symbolize with one another (or exist in symbolic relationship with one…

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Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

Jung’s Coniunctio: The Chymical Wedding and Heraclitus

                    In the workings of alchemy, the reconciliation of Sol and Luna is often referred to as The Chymical Wedding. Carl Jung’s theory of the conjunction of polarities in the psyche borrows heavily from this teaching. The ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, tells us that “the way up and the way down are one and the same” (qtd. in Wheelwright 78). The idea that opposites complement each other and are actually the…

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