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Archetypes and the Fully Functioning Person

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storycon.org H2'ed 9/24/14
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Or are American men more likely than American women to emerge as fully functioning persons?

Or are neither American men nor American women likely to emerge as fully functioning persons?

If neither American men nor American women are likely to emerge as fully functioning persons, then it is simply visionary to discuss the possibility.

But the possibility of both fully functioning American men and fully functioning American women is a prospect that we Americans should think about, because it may not be utopian -- it may be in the realm of the possible. I know, I know, I sound like another one of those big thinkers thinking big thoughts about archetypes.

However, until it becomes the prevailing norm in American culture, American culture will continue to be the waste land that the American-born poet T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) commemorated in his famous poem "The Waste Land" (1922). The wounded Fisher King needs to be healed so that the waste land of American culture today can be revivified at long last.

The wounded Fisher King represents the masculine archetype of maturity that Dr. Moore refers to as the King archetype. So the figure of the wounded Fisher King suggests that the King archetype in the psyches of both American men and American women is symbolically wounded.

But Anthony Stevens, M.D. (born 1933), the Oxford-educated British psychiatrist and Jungian theorist, says that archetypal wounding requires archetypal healing. But it will not be easy for American men and American women today to experience archetypal healing of the King archetype in their psyches.

Now, in the book C. G. Jung: His Myth in Our Time, translated from the German by William H. Kennedy (1975; German original ed., 1972), Marie-Louise von Franz (1915-1998; Ph.D. in classical philology, University of Zurich, 1943) likens Dr. Jung to Merlin in the Grail legends, "the great magician, medicine man, and bard of Celtic mythology" who represents "the pattern of fate of the archaic shaman and medicine man" (pages 275 and 278).

However, the twentieth-century Merlin, the gifted healer and psychotherapist Dr. Jung, did not heal the wounded Fisher King in the psyches of people in Western culture.

The wounded Fisher King is seriously depressed as the result of his being wounded. Archetypal wounding of any of the eight archetypes of maturity that Dr. Moore discusses characteristically results in a certain degree of depression. So in as much as a person who has experienced depression begins to feel a decidedly different spirit arise within his or her psyche, he or she has experienced a measure of relief as the result of archetypal healing.

But depression always involves the feminine spirit in the human psyche. This means that the feminine spirit in the human psyche must be -- how should I put this? -- engaged. This is easier said than done.

Let's review. Arguably the wounded Fisher King symbolically represents the most serious archetypal wounding of the human psyche in Western culture. No doubt the wounded Fisher King symbolically represents archetypal wounding that Dr. Stevens writes about. No doubt the feminine spirit in the human psyche that Dr. Harding writes about is involved. As I explained above, this means that we are clearly in the realm of mysteries. This is not just terminology made up by silly misogynists. The realm of mysteries involving the feminine spirit in the human psyche involves mysteries not only for men but also for women.

For the sake of discussion, let's say that the wounded Fisher King somehow undergoes archetypal healing involving the feminine spirit in the human psyche. What would the Fisher King look like when he emerges from undergoing archetypal healing involving the feminine spirit in the human psyche?

He'd emerge looking like the triumphant warrior/king envisioned in the Christ myth as the Second Coming of Christ. In the Christ myth, the mythic Christ rises to heaven in the ascension. But after an unspecified time, he returns as the triumphant warrior/king -- kind of like King David writ large. As the story goes, there are going to be a lot of dead people when he returns triumphantly leading God's forces of angels. I wouldn't take the imagery about all the dead people literally.

You see, the Second Coming of Christ envisioned in the Christ myth does not involve events in the outer world. That's why it does not involve any dead people in the real world. If and when the event envisioned in the imagery as the triumphant Second Coming of Christ occurs in the real world, it is an inner psychological experience.

Now, I want to return to the unspecified period of time between the ascension of the mythic Christ and the triumphant Second Coming of Christ. During the unspecified period of time, the mythic Christ figure is in heaven. But where exactly is the mythic heaven? Now, do you understand why ancient people referred to mysteries?

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