The Importance of Archetypal Foundations



We can never legitimately cut loose from our archetypal foundations unless we are prepared to pay the price of a neurosis, any more than we can rid ourselves of our body and its organs without committing suicide.

If we cannot deny the archetypes or otherwise neutralize them, we are confronted, at every new stage in the differentiation of consciousness to which civilization attains, with the task of finding a new interpretation appropriate to this stage, in order to connect the life of the past that still exists in us with the life of the present, which threatens to slip away from it.

If this link-up does not take place, a kind of rootless consciousness comes into being no longer oriented to the past, a consciousness which succumbs helplessly to all matters of suggestion, and in practice, is susceptible to psychic epidemics.

With the loss of the past, now become insignificant, devalued, and incapable of re-evaluation, the savior is lost too, for the savior is either the insignificant thing itself, or arises out of it.

Over and over again, in the “metamorphosis of the gods” he rises up as the prophet, or first-born of a new generation, and appears unexpectedly in the unlikeliest of places (sprung from a stone, tree, furrow, water, etc.) and in ambiguous form (Tom Thumb, dwarf, child,a animal and so on).

Collected Works 9i

The Psychology of the Child Archetype 

Paragraph 267

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