By John R. Van Eenwyk
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Extra resources for Archetypes & Strange Attractors: The Chaotic World of Symbols (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts)
Analytical psychology and physical and mathematical science all employ virtually identical metaphors to understand particular phenomena, but this does not guarantee that they are accurate metaphors or that they describe the same phenomena. The evidence is growing, however, that chaos theory and analytical psychology are describing similar dynamics, albeit in very different realms. Perhaps the most important implication of the correspondence between Jung's theories and chaos research is that fantasies about order, that spurious product of reductionism, being the most desirable state-of-being are slowly giving way to the realization that chaos is far healthier than previously imagined.
To explain this, Jung hypothesized that our minds at birth must contain inherent predispositions to perceive in categories. He called these archetypes, which he defined as "deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity. . a kind of readiness to produce over and over again the same or similar mythical ideas. . "8 In short, the more we notice something, the more recognizable it becomes. Certainly we humans resemble one another in our thoughts and feelings more than we resemble other species.
The premise of this book is that insight into the journey is synonymous with knowledge of the mechanics of symbols. Bear in 1 "Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology," The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche, CW 8, par. 680. G. Jung] Page 13 mind that attempts to understand the mechanics of symbols can often themselves become symbolic, for in order to understand the phenomenon of symbols we may have to experience them. So do not be surprised if this exercise in understanding the mechanics of symbols becomes an experience of the very dynamics we are attempting to understand!