Excerpt About Archetype

Contrasting Jungian Archetypes with Essential Aspects

The way Jung defined archetypes—as universal processes and patterns in the psyche—makes them a much wider and more general category than the essential aspects. If we define an archetype as any universal form in the soul then obviously essential aspects can be considered archetypes, but in that case so are fatherhood and motherhood. An aspect of Essence, however, is always an ontological presence, which can be experienced in time, but is eternal. This cannot be said about Jungian archetypes in general. That is why, for instance, images can obscure the experience of essential aspects, but tend to illuminate the understanding and recognition of the archetypes. We are focusing on this point because it is our experience that some individuals who are familiar with Jung’s theory of archetypes jump to the conclusion that they know what an essential aspect is because they know the concept of archetype. This can lead to the common illusion that one knows Essence when one is actually thinking of quite a different dimension of experience. Essence is a much less known category of experience than the Jungian archetype. To know Essence is to experience directly the eternal truth of Being.

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