Systems of Archetypes

Symbols and allegories.
User avatar
Jiva
Frater
Posts: 515
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:13 am

Systems of Archetypes

Postby Jiva » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:03 pm

Archetypes are frequently mentioned in anything related to esotericism and the occult, but often without much explanation. So I thought I would start a thread where I summarise two of my favourite systems – Carl Jung’s and Simone de Beauvoir’s – and see if anyone has comments or favoured systems (or alternate definitions) of their own to post.

Carl Jung’s most popular system of archetypes is well known, I think, but here’s a short summary anyway of the ones that he most frequently mentioned:
  • The Father (or Wise Old Man) – an authority figure that represents guidance and discipline yet resists any challenges/developments proposed by any student.
  • The Mother (or Maiden) – represents a nurturing impulse that provides wisdom on a more instinctive basis and is thus seen as purer and more innocent.
  • The Child (or Hero) – as a result of the Father and Mother, the heroic ego that longs for development but also perhaps the security of a definite conclusion.
  • The Shadow (or Trickster) – a personal representation of one’s unconscious that is repressed based on the expectations of the three archetypes mentioned above. The Shadow can be considered the ‘evil’ hidden part of the quaternity of the Father, Mother and Child.
  • The Anima/Animus – the expectation of woman/man in a man/woman and accordingly the range of possibilities that the opposite sex can present. It acts as a guide on this route.
Simone de Beauvoir’s area really interesting in themselves, but also because they act as a kind of initiatory movement, which I guess will interest some here. These are from The Ethics of Ambiguity, which I own, but the summaries are paraphrased from Wikipedia because I’m lazy :P:
  • The Child – one who accepts the values of the adults around them. She calls this the attitude of "seriousness," in which the child "escapes the anguish of freedom" by thinking of values as existing objectively, outside oneself, rather than as an expression of one’s freedom.
  • The Sub-Man – one who, after childhood, avoids questions of freedom and accepts oneself as unfree.
  • The Serious Man – one who "gets rid of his freedom by claiming to subordinate it to values which would be unconditioned,” e.g. absolute political causes. Basically a reversion to the Child’s seriousness.
  • The Nihilist – one who, having failed at life, decides not to try anything at all. "Conscious of being unable to be anything, man then decides to be nothing... Nihilism is disappointed seriousness which has turned back upon itself."
  • The Adventurer – one who engages vigorously in various life projects, but without caring for the goal. The Adventurer "does not attach himself to the end at which he aims; only to his conquest. He likes action for its own sake." In doing so he tramples on others in the process: "The adventurer shares the nihilist’s contempt for men." Perhaps someone like this can be summed up as a hedonist.
  • The Passionate Man – one who cares enthusiastically about one’s goal, but shares a similar contempt for others: "Not intending his freedom for men, the passionate man does not recognize them as freedoms either. He will not hesitate to treat them as things." Perhaps views like this can be summed up as following the mentality of the ends justifying the means.
  • Genuine Freedom – one who takes the excitement of the Adventurer and the passion of the Passionate Man and includes with them a concern for other people and other freedoms, as well. "Passion is converted to genuine freedom only if one destines his existence to other existences… To will oneself free is also to will others free.”
On a personal level, I’ve started thinking of de Beauvoir’s archetypes as the vertical Y axis and Jung’s as the horizontal X axis, the origin of which is the archetype of the Child as something that psychologically/philosophically exists before the parents.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
obnoxion
Sodalis
Posts: 1708
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 7:59 pm

Re: Systems of Archetypes

Postby obnoxion » Sun Jul 10, 2016 10:51 am

A fascinating presentation! The de Beauvoir's book you are summarising is actually translated to Finnish ("Moniselitteisyyden etiikka").

Many of de Beauvoirs archtypes reminded me of the puer aeternus/senex pairing of archetypes in jungian psychology - at least if these states continue into adulthood - and the problematic relationship with the Shadow.

The consept of genuine freedom is interestingly almost exactly what fra Nefastos has said, that is, to be free one needs to realize the freedom of others.
One day of Brahma has 14 Indras; his life has 54 000 Indras. One day of Vishnu is the lifetime of Brahma. The lifetime of Vishnu is one day of Shiva.
Sothoth
Frater
Posts: 329
Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 1:18 pm

Re: Systems of Archetypes

Postby Sothoth » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:33 pm

Interesting indeed. I was familiar with Jung's archetypes, but not with SImone de Beauvoir's.

Some correspondences to the SoA system of archetypes:

Jung:

The Father: Saturn as a resisting element (Satan in its masculine aspect) and Jupiter as an authority figure.
The Mother: Magna Mater, the power of the matter, Shakti.
The Child: Azazel, or Lucifer-Christos, the awakened conciousness.
The Shadow: Satan. Appearing also in its Trickster aspect. Shadow is everything we deny, but in itself it is neutral. It is our personality that makes it evil. It is also a great source of power when understood. But in some cases a left hand path magician may identify with his/her shadow, which can be very disastrous.
The Anima/Animus: The fascination to the opposite sex inside us to make us whole. We are inner hermafrodites potentially. It is the image of woman inside man himself which makes a man to fall in love and vice versa.

Some ponderings of Beauvoir's thoughts: The child follows the authority and accepted morals. This is like a Right Hand Path follower and it can appear in both positive or negative ways. The child hasn't experienced true individuation and is trying to avoid it. The sub-man is kinda like a profane person who avoids deep existential questions. The serious man has some values but they are external, for example political ideologies. The nihilist doesn't see meaning in those external values and he hasn't found inner ones either, so he sees everything meaningless. There no point in making the world or oneself better in a nihilist's worldview. The adventurer has a greater will to live than the nihilist, but he doesn't care about values either. He just seeks his personal gratification. The passionate man has some values, but in his worldview end justifies the means so he doesn't necessarily respect others freedom. Finally Genuine freedom is something one would expect an occultist trying to have. He has the fiery excitement of the Adventurer and some strong passion of the Passionate man, but this time all this is seen through a truly ethical viewpoint. So at this stage a man respects other freedoms including his own and wishes to reduce suffering like a true occultist does.
User avatar
Kenazis
Frater
Posts: 938
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:57 pm
Location: Satakunta - Limbo

Re: Systems of Archetypes

Postby Kenazis » Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:28 am

Thank you all for interesting topic! Especially fra Sothoth for sharing SoA correspondences to Jungian archetypes. I think many will see this useful.

I'm familiar with Jung's archetypes, but Simone's were new to me. Even the archetypes and different theories about them are extremely interesting, I haven't study them much and give them attentions they deserve. This error must be corrected some day soon.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
User avatar
Jiva
Frater
Posts: 515
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:13 am

Re: Systems of Archetypes

Postby Jiva » Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:58 pm

I only recently read de Beauvoir’s book, but it’s already become a favourite. She was Sartre’s partner and I get the impression their works are supposed to be interpreted as a single corpus: perhaps Sartre’s published works can be viewed as the more theoretical and de Beauvoir as the more practical. Particularly the Serious Man and the Nihilist invoke Sartre’s being-in-itself to become the object of their desire and gain total control over their situation, i.e. to become god, which could be seen as the extremer examples of Right and Left Hand philosophies.

I also think some of De Beauvoir’s are supposed to invoke Nietzschean philosophy and put it in a certain place. From my perspective there is a clear link between the Adventurer and Sub-Man with Nietzsche’s Master and Slave while, in turn, the Passionate Man seems likely to refer to Nietzsche’s promoted philosophy, just short of Genuine Freedom.
obnoxion wrote:A fascinating presentation! The de Beauvoir's book you are summarising is actually translated to Finnish ("Moniselitteisyyden etiikka").

Many of de Beauvoirs archtypes reminded me of the puer aeternus/senex pairing of archetypes in jungian psychology - at least if these states continue into adulthood - and the problematic relationship with the Shadow.

The consept of genuine freedom is interestingly almost exactly what fra Nefastos has said, that is, to be free one needs to realize the freedom of others.
Interesting that you mentioned the puer aeternus/senex pairing. One thing I didn’t really think of when I read it was the issue of death/dying, so I’ll keep this in mind when I read it for the second time (as I certainly will). And yes, I totally agree with the similarity between the archetype of Genuine Freedom and some of Nefastos' statements; it was interesting to read similar ideas coming from somewhat different perspectives. It’s quite a short book and easy to read, and especially if it’s available in Finnish I heartily recommend it.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest