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drink—in the depths of the unconscious in its aspect of nature, pure and without connection with human forms of life.67 Like an animal, she lives in a cave—a mother symbol stemming from an even deeper, more archaic level of the unconscious,68something like the lowest depths of the psyche, where the suffering is so great that, for that reason, suffering can no longer reach one.69 Just at this moment, in a distant and unexpected place, the situation is beginning to turn—through the dream of the young king. In the “royal capital,” where he lives, a situation prevails that is in many ways compensatory to the one portrayed in the family of the heroine. Whereas in the latter, a father and his daughter predominated and the mother was missing, in the king’s court, there are a royal mother and her son, but no father. The old king seems to have disappeared or to be dead. In general “the old king,” who is a typical fairy-tale figure, represents the dominant element within the prevailing collective outlook and is thus for the most part originally a symbol of the Self, which, however, in the course of time has become a mere concept, the conventional central notion of the religious and social order.70 In this late stage, therefore, the aged king often represents an outdated and rigid dominant system that is urgently in need of renewal. When the king dies, then usually a chaotic and dark interregnum begins,71 which lasts until a new religious symbol has won acceptance. And often the old king stands in the way of such a renewal.72 In the royal capital in our tale, behind the scenes the old queen73 obviously continues to a great extent to be in charge; and in our tale it is not the old king who stands in the young king’s way, but the old queen who does not want to let the young woman come into her own. The witchlike old queen signifies an emotional tradition, and also perhaps the habit of a material order that is no longer animated by the spirit, with the result that more and more false emotional values and inauthentic forms of human relationship prevail.74 The new spiritual dominant, the prince, is isolated in this atmosphere, and his unconscious therefore advises him to bring forth a new form of eros—that is, an anima—from the depths of the forest, who is destined to him as his proper companion. Frequently in fairy tales we find the motif of a simple lad who becomes king against the resistance of the old ruler,75 and such reversals of fortune have to do with processes of transformation in the spiritual orientation of the collective consciousness, which probably ultimately derive from transformations and internal life processes in the interior of the Self.76 However, in the fairy tale

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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