Swiss psychologist and psychiatrist Carl G. Jung theorized that you could best understand the human mind by observing a person’s focused behavior, such as determining what we pursue in life, how we pursue it, what we hold most important to us, as well as how we consider ourselves in relation to others who coexist in our sphere of influence (Are we submissive, dominant, extroverted, introverted, play well with others or not so much?).
I’ve been a fan of Carl G. Jung since I first read his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections; and of the many contributions that he made to modern psychology he developed the earliest forms of ‘archetype theory’ based on twelve recognized thinking and behavior patterns in humans, which he gave easily-understood labels or iconic references to help others comprehend how universal these behaviors were to all of us.
He subdivided those twelve behavioral icons into three specific categories that he then labeled EGO, SOUL, and SELF. These focused categories have to do with our attitude toward our life, the manner in which we approach life’s perpetual challenge, and of course, how we see ourselves in the grand scheme of collective behavior.
My suggestion for a more quick-study version of better understanding archetypes and how they might apply to YOUR life is to read Caroline Myss’ book, Sacred Contracts. (Most libraries carry it.)
Myss who is also a fan of Jung’s, quotes him on her own website: “…For Jung, archetypes comprised psychological patterns derived from historical roles in life, such as the Mother, Child, Trickster, and Servant, as well as universal events or situations, including Initiation or Death and Rebirth. Along with our individual personal unconscious, which is unique to each of us, Jung asserted, ‘there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature that is identical in all individuals.’ This collective unconscious, he believed, was inherited rather than developed, and was composed mainly of archetypes.”
As Caroline studied Jung’s archetype system, she began to expand them into her own theory on WHY we incarnate here in this earth-plane classroom, and what iconic human behaviors and attitudes we are actually exploring during the process of living our lives here.
Pertaining to this ‘archetype theory’ in general, Caroline Myss herself lists over 70 specific archetypes on her website. If you do read the book, Sacred Contracts, you’ll easily get the gist of her theories on the REASON we may have for incarnating here, and WHY we are pursuing what we are doing with our lives in the manner that we are.
I doubt that I could do justice to any explanation of either Jung’s or Myss’ archetype theories other than to say that by reading Myss’ book I learned to better recognize my own behaviors, and learned how to shift my perspective on: 1) assessing my personal attitude toward life, 2) determining how I actually viewed those other people around me, and 3) defining what manner or mode of operation I usually defaulted to when faced with a life challenge or a hardship. It was quite revealing. (Not always pleasantly.)
So perhaps discovering your own mode-of-operation in the world might be valuable to you as well. I will mention that for me, reading Myss was easier than reading Jung, but both are invaluable aides to better understanding your own motivations, which are key steps to take in actually finding your own truth.