In our previous articles, we explored the meaning of judgements of archaism that are made about social situations. It appeared that these judgements should be understood as reflecting visions, ways of being, and types of action that their authors consider unsuitable for the present time. Thus, to say that a practice is archaic is to affirm that it bears witness to the survival of a bygone past, a past in which the author of the judgement cannot recognise himself or herself. However, this survival of the past evokes another interpretation. It is based on the concept of archetype, which is the subject of our third exploration.
(1) “The primitive cannot assert that he thinks; it is rather that ‘something thinks in him.’ The spontaneity of the act of thinking does not lie, causally, in his conscious mind, but in his unconscious.” (C. G. Jung, in Essays on a science of mythology: The myth of the divine child and the mysteries of Eleusis, Bollingen Series XXII, Pantheon Books, 1963.)
(3) I draw here on David Becker and Steven Neuberg, “Archetypes reconsidered as emergent outcomes of cognitive complexity and evolved motivational systems,” Psychological Inquiry, 30(2), 2019, pp. 59-75. The authors mention other basic motivations.
(4) (I translate from the French) “It would be surprising if the psyche were the only biological phenomenon that did not reveal obvious traces of its developmental history” (C. G. Jung, Les racines de la conscience. Etudes sur l’archétype, Editions Buchet / Chastel, 1971).
(5) C. G. Jung, in Essays on a science of mythology, op. cit.
(6) C. G. Jung, “The phenomenology of the spirit in fairytales,” The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 9, part 1, Princeton University Press, 1969.
(7) “Even archetype advocates are keenly aware of the fact that Jung’s archetype theory is difficult to reconcile, even with itself—it is riddled with inconsistencies, contradictions, and fundamental misunderstandings of mathematical, biological, and philosophical principles” (R. L. Boyd, P. Pasca, and D. Conroy-Beam, “You’re only Jung once: Building generalized motivational systems theories using contemporary research on language,” Psychological Inquiry, 30(2), 2019, pp. 93-98).
(8) (I translate from the French) “The archetypes […] are not only the result of the imprints left by the experiences – types which are renewed in the course of the individual existence and of the life of humanity; but moreover, they behave […] like energetic centers, like forces or tendencies which push the subject to renew the same experiences” (C. G. Jung, Psychologie de l’inconscient, Georg, 1983).
(9) C. G. Jung, “On the concept of the archetype,” The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, op. cit. Jung offers an interesting comparison between the actualisation of this form, the archetype, and the determination of the shape of a crystal.
(10) C. G. Jung, “Archetypes of the collective unconscious,” The Collected Works of C. G. Jung, op. cit.
(12) See the actual cases we proposed in our article “Why do we call a situation ‘archaic?’ (1).”
(13) D. V. Becker and S. L. Neuberg, “Archetypes reconsidered as emergent outcomes…,” op. cit.
(14) R. L. Boyd, P. Pasca, and D. Conroy-Beam, “You’re only Jung once…,” op. cit.