As building blocks of the collective unconscious, Jung suggested that archetypes could take just about any particular form, but almost always represented the same basic ideas. “ Jung also called these components dominants or mythological primordial images. The archetype has no form of its own, but rather can be described as a need or an instinct. It is something that is not felt like a specific desire for any one particular thing” (Pierce, 2007). Pulling largely from the individual’ s understandings of mythology and legend, the archetypes can provide a great of information about the various issues one might be dealing with personally, professionally and as a citizen of the world as they operate within the world of the dream.
Some of the more common archetypes identified by Jung include the Mother, the Shadow, the Hero and the Teacher. These are not necessarily individuals or even specific faces that are seen in a dream but are instead used to refer to sets of concepts such as the security, comfort and support one typically associates with images of the mother, or sequential growth process that occurs as a part of every hero journey.
Understanding the archetypes and the messages of the dream include not only understanding the myths from which they come, but also the underlying sociological meanings behind them. For example, the concept of the anima or animus reveals the constraints that society places on us because of our physical gender and exposes those elements of the psyche that do not fit within this narrow definition. The anima provides the man with a means of expressing his softer, ‘ feminine’ while the animus gives the woman a chance to know her stronger, ‘ masculine’ tendencies.
“ The anima or animus is the archetype through which you communicate with the collective unconscious generally, and it is important to get into touch with it.
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