which influences human thinking and believes on the ethical, moral, religious and cultural levels.
Jung talks about the archetype (also called
"primordial image") as of the biologists' patterns of behavior (inborn behavior patterns). In short, archetypes are inborn tendencies which shape the human behavior.
"The archetype concept -
Jung writes - derives from the often repeated observation that myths and universal literature stories contain well defined themes which appear every time and everywhere. We often meet these themes in the fantasies,
dreams, delirious ideas and illusions of persons living nowadays".
These themes are representatives of archetypes; they are based on archetypes. They impress, influence and fascinate us (our ego). This is
why we call their tremendous effect numinous - that is, able to arise deep and intense emotions.
Archetypes do not have a well defined shape "but from the moment they become conscious, namely nurtured with the
stuff of conscious experience." Basically an archetype is empty, purely formal, nothing else but a pre-shaping possibility or an innate tendency of shaping things.
We can say that archetypes resemble the
instincts in that that they cannot be recognized as such until they manifest in intention or action.
Archetypes are both negative and positive, that is they have two sides. One may figure out the archetype dualism by
comparison with the symbolism of the well-known yin-yang principle. Though Yin and Yang are parts of the same unity - the T'ai chi -
they have separate and opposite meanings: decline and progress, below and high, night and day and so forth.
Finally, the archetype is psychoid (psychic-like); it shares both psychic and material
aspects and acts as well on a psychic and/or material plane. (See