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many interpretative efforts, can be explained as follows: As an aid to understanding, imagine the archetypes as nuclei or nexus points of a multidimensional network or field where the nexus points represent the archetypes in their relative specificity12 and where the network or field is comparable to the connections between meanings and their partial overlappings and identities and where all archetypes thus appear as contaminated by all other archetypes and even as in part identical with each other.13 The accompanying diagrams only provide a framework intended to suggest a three-dimensional space, but such a model is inadequate insofar as it does not show definite “distances” between the archetypes, because in fact very often in the myths the most distant archetypes14—like snake and light, mother and phallus, animal and spirit—unexpectedly show up as identical; or else several archetypes that one usually thinks of as separate suddenly fuse. To get the relationships halfway correct, either we would have to design an unrepresentable n-dimensional model, or we would have to give up on our attempt at a spatiotemporal ordering altogether, since in the unconscious psyche space and time appear as relativized if not eliminated altogether. Now in every mythologem, the thread of the story follows certain connections between archetypal meanings, which in figure 2 is sketched in with arrow lines. In this way, every individual tale illuminates a quite definite aspect of the collective unconscious, and this is where the meaning and living function of that particular tale lies. This also explains why there are so many relatively similar fairy tales, that is, why from a relatively constant set of building blocks—like the image of the witch, the hero, the helpful animal, etc.—peoples build ever new fairy-tale structures; in the integral just-so-ness of every individual tale there is a special meaning, which is sought out by the collectivity at a particular time and which can be delineated by following the “thread” of that tale in the process of interpretation. The curious thing that emerges in doing this is not only the fact that all the archetypal images in a tale are contaminated—and thus with enough amplification interconnections can be shown to exist between all of them—but also that the “thread,” the “how” of the story’s movement, itself seems to circumambulate a single meaning or content.15 Thus, on the one hand, every single archetypal image occurring in a mythologem is a latent representation of the whole, and on the other, the just-so-ness emerging from the sequence of the many images is

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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