Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Archetypes

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Archetypes

Article excerpt

We bandy about the term as if

we know what we're talking about.

We don't. Nobody does.

Freud said the unconscious mind

is structured like jokes; Jung said

like alchemic transformations.

I say it's structured like chaos, what

the early Americans called "howling wilderness."

Probe that dream you had of driving

along a steep cliff during a mudslide.

Are they endemic to the mind or

to the universe? Did the Ice Man

harken to the moon as I did the other night?

I like to think both, but it makes no difference

since we sift the universe through

our very neurons and can't probe it

any other way-that outer extremity.

Jung says one thing, Eliade another

though I like Jung: "there is good reason

for supposing that the archetypes are the

unconscious images of the instincts themselves,

in other words, that they are patterns

of instinctual behaviour. …

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