chapter  5
18 Pages

Archetypes and experience

Thus, the archetype possesses a fundamental duality: it is conscious and unconscious, symbolical and instinctive, psychic and non-psychic; it is the essential precondition of all psycho-physical events (for the non-psychic, material dimension Jung employed the term psychoid archetype, of which more later). The dual aspects of the archetype are not conceived as ‘opposites’ or as different modalities, but rather as self-complementary ‘antinomies’. It is as a consequence of this dual nature that the archetype achieves expression-or is actualized as Jung would say-both on the objective level of outer behaviour and on the subjective plain of inner conscious experience. In his essay Mind and Earth, Jung wrote: ‘the archetypes are as it were the hidden foundations of the conscious mind, or, to use another comparison, the roots which the psyche has sunk not only in the earth in the narrower sense but in the world in general. Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions’ (my italics). In this conception of the archetype as the common origin of both behavioural and psychic events, Jung made a theoretical contribution of the highest significance, and one which deserves far wider recognition than it has hitherto received, for it permits us to escape from the pitfalls of vitalism and epiphenomenalism (see below) which have hampered the progress of all those who have attempted to unravel the mysteries of the relationship between the body and the mind.