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dynamically charged “nuclei” existing in darkness in a state of latency, which can mutually reinforce, repel, obliterate, or absorb each other. Every mythologem illuminates a fragment of such a process in the collective unconscious; at the same time other aspects, which may also be present, remain latent. However, it seems to me unavoidable to think in terms of some factor that acts as a trigger, causing this particular psychic process and not another to appear as a sequence of images on the threshold of consciousness. It must be presumed that the roots of the mythologem are, mutatis mutandis, the same as those in dreams observable in individuals,8 and in that case one must basically think in terms of the following possibilities: (1) The mythologem reflects contents of the collective consciousness, for example, dominant religious views or generally accepted philosophical conceptions and ideas. (2) The myth gives form to contents of the unconscious constellated by the above-mentioned conscious contents. These would be, for example, symbols standing in a compensatory relationship to consciously accepted social and religious symbols, as Jung showed was the case with, among others, alchemical ideas, which compensated for the symbolism of Christianity.9 (3) In a third category would be contents occasioned by creative unconscious processes. Such a creative function of the collective unconscious can be seen, for example, in such secular processes as Jung demonstrated in Aion. He showed in this work that, at the time of the changing of so-called astrological ages,10 something like a creative moment in the collective unconscious occurs, which is manifested in historical time, inter alia, as synchronicity phenomena. It would be rewarding for a scholar of mythology to attempt an ordering of myths in terms of such “ages.” (4) In a fourth category of the roots of myth fall unconscious reactions to physical and psychic environmental conditions, such as those that might come about as a result of migrations of peoples or of invasion and domination by alien cultures.11 In my experience, these factors make it possible to date most mythologems accurately within a few centuries and also to connect them with a broadly defined locale. This works best in practice through asking oneself which historically known configuration of consciousness is most aptly compensated for by the meaning of a given tale. This can be further elucidated with the help of the following example. A further consideration, which has forced itself upon me in the course of

Profile for Lewis Lafontaine

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

Marie - Louise Von Franz - Archetypal Dimensions of the Psyche -  

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