Archetypes are a popular but ultimately misunderstood concept in Occultism and Western Esoterica. Even Carl Jung missed the mark when it came to archetypes and their liberating power. We keenly understand the idea of archetypes and their history — from Plato’s Cave to the Gnostic heresy, from ancient creation myths to the penetrating insights of Neoplatonism, all the way to alchemy and foundational psychology. These insights lead us on the sacred and profane pathways into the collective unconscious. In the end, we find the methods to unlock transformative forces that ultimately unveil our Higher Selves in a world of growing shadows.
Astral Guest—Steve Seven, author of The Idea of the Archetype.
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The Idea of the Archetype (from his site):
The concept of the archetype is one which stretches back in the West at least as far as to the philosophical schools in Classical Athens. As has been comprehensively demonstrated throughout the book “The Idea of the Archetype”, the Hebrew and Christian Bibles cannot be fully understood without a theological engagement with the concept. The concept is also a central ingredient in the transformation dynamics of spiritual alchemy. After the introductory volume “The Toad: An occult history”, our two books on the archetype are written as a full explanation of this arcane art. The first, which focuses on the theoretical application of the archetype, is available now. The second; “The Function of the Archetype in Spiritual Alchemy” focuses on the practical application and is scheduled for publication at the end of August 2017.
Despite (or perhaps because of) its ancient legacy the theory of the archetype has become shrouded in controversy and misinterpretation. The theological import of the archetype is especially evident in the mystical element of Christianity and it is also plays a very central role in many other schools of mystic teaching.
The concepts of the so-called ‘collective unconscious’ and the concomitant ‘archetypes’ have become synonymous since the first half of the twentieth century with the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Gustav Jung, who coined the former term.
Contrary to his own better understanding, Jung continually named the subjective symbols that the archetypes produce as the objective archetype as such. This over-working led to an unending confusion of derivative images being labeled archetypes by him and his followers which has seriously dissolved their meaning as a psychological reality. It has also confused the metaphysical understanding of the concept as it is explained throughout the Western intellectual tradition.
Jung was unable to provide appropriate evidence for his contentions which has further brought the concept into disrepute in the larger scientific community. [Read More]