What are archetypes and how do they influence our relationships? II

My first post about archetypes was about Plato’s archetypes and you can check it here: What are archetypes and how do they influence our relationships? 

In this current post I will briefly expose Jungian archetypes. Carl Gustav Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. Jung was thirty when he sent his Studies in Word Association to Sigmund Freud in Vienna in 1906. The two men met for the first time the following year and this marked the beginning of an intense correspondence and collaboration that lasted six years and ended in May 1913 because of various disagreements, including those concerning the nature of libido. Jung focused on the collective unconscious: the part of the unconscious that contains memories and ideas which are called archetypes that Jung believed were inherited from ancestors. Here is the explanation of the concept of archetypes according to Jung:

Archetype – a concept “borrowed” from anthropology to denote supposedly universal and recurring mental images or themes. Jung’s definitions of archetypes varied over time and have been the subject of debate as to their usefulness.
Archetypal images – universal symbols that can mediate opposites in the psyche, often found in religious art, mythology and fairy tales across cultures, that will develop into 12 mythic characters that can be checked in images below.

In Jungian psychology, the archetypes represent universal patterns and images that are part of the collective unconscious. Jung believed that we inherit these archetypes much the way we inherit instinctive patterns of behavior. The human psyche was composed of three components: the ego (the conscious mind), the personal unconscious (memories and suppressed memories), and the collective unconscious (psychological inheritance containing all of the human experiences and knowledge).  Archetypes said Jung in The Structure of Psyche “All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes”. He went on by saying: “This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form, they are variants of archetypal ideas created by consciously applying and adapting these ideas to reality. For it is the function of consciousness, not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses but to translate into visible reality the world within us”. Here are the 4 major archetypes:

the persona: or the social mask, how we present ourselves to the world

the shadow: consists of sexual and forbidden instincts that are not socially acceptable

the animus or the anima: the animus is the male image in the woman’s psyche and the anima is the female image in the man’s psyche. It is our true self, in opposition to the persona

the self: or the individuation, the unified unconsciousness and consciousness.

Those major archetypes will lead to 12 universal and mythic characters archetypes which reside in our collective unconscious:


A bit more details about each archetype on the image below:


Everyone can relate to an archetype from which we can explain our reactions and way of being in the world. The Jungian archetypes are more studied as a historical artifact than a therapy pattern.

13 thoughts on “What are archetypes and how do they influence our relationships? II”

      1. Omg. You are such a philosopher! 😄. It’s funny how some philosopher will report on people’s ideas. And then never tell us what they personally think about the content. You are such a teacher also. Lol.

        What is your opinion ?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. We are trained to hide our personal opinion 🤣
        But seriously this stuff is fascinating, like magical. Btw I am fond of irrationality, because I believe there is more to life than rationality.. what do u think?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lol. Damn you effervescent philosopher !

        You know I am studying to be a counselor. So one of the things that they drive into you is that to be a counselor one must know them selves very well in order to keep their bias from influencing the values of the client and their process. It might seem counterintuitive for what most people understand as counseling, but we are trained that the client is the expert on themselves, and we are merely there to help the client in their process, not to tell them what to do or how to do things.

        Of course, this is a little bit different depending on exactly who your client is, for example if they are a child or if you are a family therapist. They have slightly different philosophies, but in general the mode and approach is the same.

        And then on another note, there is a whole history of varying kinds of theory about psychology and psychoanalysis, wellness, mental health, the nature of suffering; I guess like any discipline, one really never knows what it involves until they jump down the rabbit hole.

        Now I found through my theories class, which basically gives you a history and a overview of the larger sets of theoretical categories, and these are generally placed in a historical context in a progressive kind of fashion and they pretty much reflect the particular philosophies, like actual philosophy, that were around at the time. For example, existential counseling theory came around the time of Sartre and Camus, 1940-50. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Victor Frankel, Rollo may. Those are exes stench oh psychotherapist — God damn this fucking cold shit OK come on this way — i’m walking my dog; yesterday it was 80° and today right now it is 30° and it’s going to snow. And I’m voice dictating my reply right here and I don’t have very good circulation in my hands and so one of my hands I have to keep ungloved and it starts to hurt. Lol.

        Anyways. So, there is indeed a postmodern counseling theory, and this includes I kind a new take on young in archetypes that overlaps with narrative therapy and feminist counseling theory.

        I’m sure this is making somewhat sense to you.

        So it took me to the end of class, because postmodern theory is the most recent of theories, to find out that basically my approach, my the theory that fits best with me is indeed the one that is most coherent with philosophy, my philosophical work, coincidentally. Who could’ve known? Lol

        Anyways, so what is interesting to me is how the philosophy gets changed somehow or is extrapolated or extended into actual practice into actual application for a counselor. And I appreciated your link to that applied philosophy website by the way.

        OK so here’s my point: post modern narrative therapy method is basically not to withhold. The therapist basically interacts with a person in a constructivist manner, where both parties are creating meaning, both parties the client and the counselor are involved in the construction of the story that they are involved with at that moment in the therapeutic relationship.

        And yes, my philosophical mind knowing the actual philosophy behind these counseling theories I kind of go crazy in little bit about them but, I am learning a skill and so I’m kind of holding my philosophy and check when it comes down to learning to be a counselor.

        so this reply is turning out to be your evening reading selection🙂

        My answer to the rational/ear rational 😄posit is that a rationality is is a category of thinking, that it doesn’t identify a specific type of thinking, Or rather, the specific type of thinking that it identifies occurs as an idea, as a corresponding idea that does not actually translate or manifest into the term “rational” itself. That in so much as the term “rational“ is identifying a certain kind of thinking there is also a corresponding kind of faith which accompanies that coupling.

        So I think that the term “your rational quoteis merely another type of rational thinking, but one that is excluded from what is rational as a religious kind of theological dogma.

        That being said; coming back to counseling, I really like James Hill man who is an archetypal counselor from the early 80s postmodern trained psychoanalysist but then kind a diverged from the strict kind a Freudian method and the strict kind of Youngin approach.

        But I am developing a theory that even diverges a little bit more.

        But in general I think it is a way of viewing more than it is of a set Of knowable things .

        OK I’m done with my dog walking.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. So funny the walking dog thing in this debate 🤣
        What I wanted to say about rationality is that so many philosophers/philosophy teachers are hung to rationality as if it is our salvation whereas it is a kind of thinking as you point out and it can’t solve everything. Although rationality is what we need daily, too much of it pushed us into instrumental rationality that you can see in consumerism and technology, both as a mentality.
        As for the counselling, philosophy can play a big role in this. I was looking at some docs yesterday from APPA (the link I sent u about philosopher practitioners) and it is to me a mix of logic and Lacan’s psychoanalysis, I don’t know if you know him but check him out if you don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m walking my other dog now.

        The arc type thing is interesting. You know, I didn’t even realize or think about Plato’s archetypes, the forms.

        I do think it’s interesting how Jung Formulated archetypes as “complexes”. Archetypes or complexesare patterns of behavior or patterns of meaning.

        So, from my uninformed very basic understanding, images themselves are archetypal. So if I was doing some sort of archetypal counseling with the person I might ask them about some image that perhaps has been reoccurring in their life or maybe one taken from a dream. And then we might explore what other meaning arises around this image. And then I suppose through perhaps a course of meetings a course of therapy and developing a storyline around these explorations of images we might be able to derive further meaning by finding their association which that with these sort of “collective unconscious” meanings or arc types and a person could thus find themselves within a larger narrative to give their particular circumstances a larger meaning in the context of their life and humanity in general.

        Because archetypes are not implied or imposed upon people; rather it is something that naturally arises in the context of persons making meaning. In other words it just so happens that when we explore these deeper rounds of meaning we find that they tend to tell a story that can be identified with a typical historical mythological archetype in the Youngin sense .
        I think that’s really interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha, what a funny discussion:
        First the question, and after a minimalistic reply a mile-long answer by landzek whilst walking the dog.
        Next comment: “I walk my other dog now” and another half-a-mile comment.
        Added personal bonus for me only : The article was written on my last birthday.

        And to add at least something to the content:
        Your article did remind me of Carolyn Myss’ book “Sacred Contracts” in which she also talks about archetypes versus the tribal consciousness.
        Plus talking Jung: If you are interested in his spiritual views, try to get hold of his “red book” which was released decades after his death.

        Liked by 1 person

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