Archetypes and Riverbeds



The Metaphor of Archetypes and Rivers

“Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water deserts them, but which it can find again at any time.

An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself.

The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its old bed.”

C.G. Jung
Collected Works 10
Civilization in Transition
“Wotan” (1936).
Paragraph 395


Image: Colorado River Delta

Carl Jung: Archetypes as metaphor

  “Archetypal images, as universal patterns or motifs…” Archetypal images, as universal patterns or motifs which come from the collective unconscious, are the basic content of religions, mythologies, legends and fairy tales. An archetypal content expresses itself, first and foremost, in metaphors. If such a content should speak of the sun and identify with it…Click to continue

Carl Jung talks about the archetypal hero-myth of fighting the dragon

  – “The prize which the hero wrests from the fight with the dragon.”–   “Absorption into the instinctual sphere, therefore, does not and cannot lead to conscious realization and assimilation of instinct, because consciousness struggles in a regular panic against being swallowed up in the primitivity and unconsciousness of sheer instinctuality. This fear is…Click to continue

Jung: “When one dreams of baptizing, taking a bath, the ocean or in water generally….

Ivan Aivazovsky The Ninth Wave When one dreams of baptizing, taking a batch, the ocean or in water generally – you must realize you are being pushed into the unconscious for purification, you have to go into the water because of the renewal. But it remains unknown what comes after.   From The Psychology of…Click to continue