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Archetypes: the source of symbols.

Archetypes emanate from the Ground Spring of Being to produce Mind and Modules of Behaviour. Both entities serve to further the organization and evolution of any species. Archetypes are essentially the predisposing factors enabling the development of perception, ideation or patterns of behaviour. These developments then become embedded in the genetic structure and coded into the central nervous systems of individuals. The pattern, once established as a characteristic of the species, does not disappear even without stimulus and activation over long periods of time. Stevens in ‘Ariadne’s Clue’ states: “Essentially, archetypes are genome-bound units of information which programme the individual member of a species to perceive, respond, and behave in ways which are adapted to the circumstances prevailing in the environment at any given time.’ (22)

The archetypal underpinnings of Earthly existence can be understood to address four categories of living concerns: the issue of rank, i.e. social hierarchy, status within groups; the realities of the life cycle, i.e. birth, death and resurrection; initiation, i.e. trials, ordeals, proof of worth; the issue of group cohesion, i.e. finding a balance between individuals’ needs and desires and the general welfare of the group.

Of these categories, the issues of rank and group cohesion may often become entangled with abuse, struggle, partisanship, destructive polarities, economic disparity and war. The issues of the life cycle and initiation are more conducive to an individual’s own worldly and spiritual evolution and growth, although, when unbalanced influence bears upon the integrity of the individual, the results may affect the social fabric as well.

When we examine this basic understanding of the archetypal structures influencing our lives, we can see that a certain amount of responsible reflection upon, and acceptance of our individual psychic process could contribute to balance and harmony in the personal realm as well as in society. Nurturing awareness of the emotional and motivational impact these energies have on our lives is necessary for the progress of a civilized, humane world.

The power behind the archetypes supports Life; when we choose to act outside of the harmonic dynamic in which they operate, we place ourselves and those around us in danger. The path of wisdom, on the collective as well as the personal levels, is the one that honours the greatness beyond our own understandings as it is shown to us through archetypal symbolic revelations.

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