Archetypes as Systems of Readiness for Action

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Archetypes, Emotions, and Primordial Images

 

Archetypes are systems of readiness for action, and at the same time images and emotions.

They are inherited with the brain structure-indeed they are its psychic aspect.

They represent, on the one hand, a very strong instinctive conservatism, while on the other hand they are the most effective means conceivable of instinctive adaptation.

They are thus, essentially, the chthonic portion of the psyche, if we may use such an expression — that portion through which the psyche is attached to nature, or in which its link with the world is most tangible.

The psychic influence of the earth and its laws is seen most clearly in these primordial images.

 

C.G. Jung
Collected Works 10
Mind and Earth
Paragraph 53

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