As I begin this Lenten Season I am choosing not to deprive myself or "give up" something like coffee or chocolate or sugar but rather to sit in meditation (which I have gotten away from these last 2 years with going back to school and all) and reconnect with that which is Source for me, and to do so by studying and awakening my brain to some larger thoughts. I started by doing some looking into where I am now in my life, and what archetypes are showing up for me at this time. Who am I? Where am I going? Why am I here? archetypes are defined as the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations, "a universal and recurring image, pattern, or motif representing a typical human experience.". The concept of the archetype relies on the work of three men Carol Jung, Northrup Frye, and Joseph Campbell. Carl Jung, a pioneer in the field of psychology, focused on the psychoanalytic features of the archetype. He defined an archetype as "a universal and recurring image, pattern, or motif representing a typical human experience." Archetypes are patterns and behaviors; primordial images which are part of our psyche and social systems. Archetypes are not fully developed pictures but are rather the form of the image that we fill in with the corresponding real-life experience. Jung writes, "A primordial image is determined as to its content only when it becomes conscious and is therefore filled out with the material of conscious experience." Northrop Frye, working in the field of literature, defined an archetype as a symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one’s literary experience as a whole. Another way of thinking about archetypes is to imagine that in some way it is possible to plot the important aspects of a story onto a graph. If enough points from several stories were plotted a pattern would start to appear. If one then drew a line that approximated the pattern that emerged in the points, that best fit line would be an archetype. No story perfectly matches the archetype, and some stories will diverge from the archetype more than others. Still, recognizing that a pattern exists can be a powerful tool in understanding and comparing literature. Then there is Joseph Campbell-I am a huge fan of his, still. From Myth & Meaning :: As a teacher in more recent times Joseph Campbell understood, and helped others to understand, that through the study of mythology, and the comparison of many systems of belief, we can see the common threads that run through our human existence. In recognizing our commonality, we may be less inclined to mindlessly join the camps of those who believe this and those who believe that. There are three concepts that are important in understanding Joseph Campbell's work with mythology. The first two are from Carl Jung: the related concepts of the collective unconscious and archetypes. In Jung's work, the importance of the archetype includes the way that the individual might be influenced by one or more of the archetypal models and have a certain kind of personality. In Campbell's work the importance of the archetype has to do with the way that myths with similar themes developed concurrently across cultures and that the themes have resonance and meaning because they originate in the unconscious archetypes. So the groundwork is laid as this: the collective unconscious is a reservoir of unconscious forms that we are born with, these forms are identifiable as archetypes, and mythology is born from the archetypes and speaks directly to our lives metaphorically.
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