Jul 15, 2021
Although the concept of archetypes has philosophical ancestors, Jung’s theory was developed over time and rested on a foundation that was scientific and empirical. Research and experiment enabled Jung to establish the autonomous activity of the unconscious.
He was then able to posit archetypes as a predisposition to form representations of universal human experiences and mythological motifs, such as marriage, the hero’s journey, and death/rebirth. For Jung, archetypes are innate psychic organs that “have a positive, favourable (sic), bright side that points upwards [and] one that points downwards…” Archetypes manifest spontaneously. In the collective, they are the driving force behind mass movements; in individuals, archetypes manifest most frequently as dream images that feel numinous and ‘other.’ Jung says, “The impact of an archetype, whether it takes the form of immediate experience or is expressed through the spoken word stirs us because it summons up a voice that is stronger than our own.” The power of an archetype can either possess us or inspire us.
Here’s the dream we analyze:
“Early morning dream, just before waking, and eerily similar but not the same as one I had several years ago about being shot in the heart and stomach area and killed by a stranger. This time, I was at home in my home office and heard someone entering through my back door. I may have wondered if it was my boyfriend, but he does not live with me, and I wasn’t expecting anyone. I went into the hallway to see who it was, and a man I’ve never seen before walked in. He had the energy of an intruder, and I felt scared. He looked right at me. His hair was white; his clothing was gray, his skin nearly colorless or ashen. His eyes and face were emotionless, without expression. He was oriented above me in my dream as if suddenly I had shrunk to the height of a small child looking up at him. I either asked or was about to ask who he was and what he was doing here. Without changing his blank expression, he pulled out a handgun and shot me, point-blank, in the stomach. This time, I woke up from the dream before I felt the bullet. The feeling was adrenaline-filled, fearful, angry, surprised, and confused. I had/have no idea who this man is or was, or what he represents.”
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