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passionately secret the redemption of her own blackness that is accomplished simultaneously. This is of a piece with the fact that the place she provides for the girl is a little room right by the entrance to her forest castle; in other words she does not admit the girl unreservedly into her realm. At the same time this little room imposes a quite narrow framework on the child, so that she is not overwhelmed by the greater figure of the black woman. Thus a boundary is established, and it is on this “limit line� that the whole further drama is constellated. Seen in terms of personal psychological processes, the likely interpretation of this is that by this means the human ego is set apart from the divine-demonic figure in such a way as to ward off an inflation or an explosion. We could also see this little room as fulfilling the function of a cloister during an initiation, according to the custom of many cults.46 To the extent that the girl actually represents an archetypal ego, such an interpretation would not be off the mark; but the motif has still deeper ramifications. If we take both female figures to be archetypes, then we could say that in the unconscious itself, the differentiation of a dark aspect of the Self from a more human side of the Self is being prepared. This would be a process going on entirely within the core of the psyche itself, which would only become visible in the collective consciousness much later. This process could be compared, mutatis mutandis, with the differentiation of the God image in Christianity, in which also, with the incarnation, an aspect of the ambivalent father deity was differentiated into a more human and more kindly image of the Self (Christ) and a destructive aspect (Satan). During this process the archetype of the Kore is, as it were, more clearly circumscribed (in the form of the little room), and at the same time its effective influence is so intensified (the girl is given the power of wish fulfillment) that it begins to become visible in the reality of the outside world (presumably as synchronicity phenomena). On closer examination, we may well conclude that this last interpretation is the right one. Nonetheless, the above parallels from the personal-human sphere provide us with an image in whose forms is reflected a basic process of this same nature on the level of the life of a human individual. Behind the black woman’s gesture of closing the girl in, there lies the intention, as we have already said, of keeping her from penetrating into her realm, and at the same time it is an attempt to do to the girl what has been

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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