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The “old zither player who is the Lord God” in the first tale is a typical manifestation of the Self as the “wise old man” as he appears in the psyche of a man. The sorcerer Merlin appears in similar fashion in ancient stories, as does the god Hermes among the Greeks. The “little woman” with the gut-skin clothes in the above story is something similar, a figure of the Self in a woman. The old musician saved the hero from his destructive anima, and the little woman here saves the heroine from an Eskimo Bluebeard animus in the form of the spirit of the moon. However, afterward, through the fault of the maiden, things still manage to go wrong. We will discuss this later. A Self figure may appear in dreams not only as a wise old man or a wise woman, but just as frequently as a young, even childlike figure, for the Self is something relatively timeless that is at once young and old.33 The following dream of a man provides an example of the Self as a youthful figure: From across the road, a boy came riding down into our garden. (There were no fence and bushes there as in reality. The boundary lay open.) I couldn’t be sure whether he came on purpose or whether the horse brought him here against his will. Standing on the path to the studio, I watched his arrival with great pleasure and feasted my eyes on the sight of the boy on his beautiful beast. It was a very small but extremely powerful wild horse, the very soul of energy (it resembled a boar). It had a thick, silver gray, long-haired, bristly coat. The boy rode by me past the space between the house and the studio, and then dismounted to lead his animal carefully past the new flower border to keep it from treading on any of the red and yellow tulips that bloomed there in glorious profusion. In my dream this bed had just been newly put in by my wife. This youth stands for the Self and the potentiality for a renewal of life, for the creative élan and fresh mental orientation that his appearance produces, in which everything is once more full of life and a spirit of enterprise. Turning to the unconscious can in fact really give this to a person. Suddenly a life that up to that point seemed boring and unfree becomes a rich adventure that never seems to want to end, rich with potential for new directions. For a woman, this same figure often takes the form of a miraculous girl. An example is the following dream of a forty-eight-year-old woman: I was standing in front of a church and cleaning the pavement with a

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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