Archetypes LO26432

From: Gavin Ritz (
Date: 03/25/01

Replying to LO26411 --

Hi Richard, Winfried

Richard Holloway wrote:

> Richard Tarnas writes, in his "Passion of the Western Mind," that:
> "In his later work, however, and particularly in relation to his study of
> synchronicities, Jung began to move toward a conception of archetypes as
> autonomous patterns of meaning that appear to structure and inhere in both
> psyche and matter, thereby in effect dissolving the modern subject-object
> dichotomy. Archetypes in this view were more mysterious than a priori
> categories--more ambiguous in their ontological status, less easily
> restricted to a specific dimension, more like the original Platonic and
> Newplatonic conception of archetypes."

Unfortunately my Jungian knowledge is a bit weak, I have read some of his
works but I always thought archetypes in this sense were symbolic forms. A
little different to systems thinking archetypes.

> Plato (through the words of Socrates) would have us believe that
> archetypes have a real nature and exist independently of the phenomena
> which are merely their shadows.

Also my knowledge here is a bit weak, of how Socrates and Plato saw

> It's interesting to note that both Plato
> and Augustine believed that our ideas (logos) are illuminated by
> archetypes; and Aristotle and Aquinas believed that we must know the
> concrete things before we can see the universal form. It seems to me that
> Senge's archetypes are more similar to the latter than the former.

I think the names are just that labels and they are not really archetypes.

> In "Psychological aspects of LO's LO26302" Gavin asked me:
> >A question for you. What do you think is the structure- process behind the
> >archetypes.? What makes the archetypes the way they are?
> Winfried answered, in part:
> I have nothing to say with confidence on archetypes. I have encountered
> this word in two contexts, C.G. Jung and Senge. A day after reading this
> question, my imagination was ignited by a harmless umlomo-sentence in a
> book which I browsed intentlessly in an andrewlike manner: Archetypes are
> form without content. My imagination browsed a universe in itself, which a
> million words cannot describe and the poet within me is not yet mature so
> as to put it in a few words. Yet I wrote some stumbling rambling, which
> started it's own odysee, hopefully not a faustian drama.
> Now let me put these ramblings up in the light of this delightful list and
> see what will become of it's colours.
> We have written on ontology - the form behind content,

I thought the ontology is the study of beings or structure.

> I have asked about
> the becoming of such form: Such becoming is shaping our world today - for
> good or worse. Now Gavin asked for the essentialities, and about
> archetypes. Archetypes are also form without content. How do they become?

Well that is my exact question? What is the process? But is content not
also a structure? (or a being)

> They evolve by giving them attention, by filling them with content, by
> transforming energy into them, by entropy production.

Is content entropy production? I seems more like entropy to me. Are they
not both structural.

If Systems thinking included form and content then it would indeed be
systems thinking.

> Is this why souls
> realize themself in physical bodies to evolve?

I am afraid this is an area of which I know very little.




Gavin Ritz <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.