Meaning of Archetype

The first thing to do in order to know the meaning of the term archetype is to discover its etymological origin. In this case, it must be stated that it comes from the Greek, specifically, it derives from the word “arjetypes” that is the result of the sum of two clearly differentiated parts such as these:
-The noun “arj√©”, which can be translated as “origin ”
-The name “types”, which is equivalent to “models”.

An archetype is the first model of something. The concept, in this sense, can be linked to a prototype: the original mold in which an object is first produced.

Archetypes are patterns from which other elements or ideas derive. It can be something physical or symbolic, always capable of generating something more from themselves.

The archetype can also be considered as an example. From the archetype, behaviors and ways of thinking are molded that are constructed by imitation or in search of similarity.

For philosophy, archetypes are thoughts that are shared collectively and that are universal. Individual thought, and its corresponding actions, arise on the basis of these archetypes, which allow to order and classify the world.

In the field of biology, archetypes were used from the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century as original and ideal types from which the rest of the species belonging to the same edge derived.

For his part, the psychologist and psychiatrist doctor Carl Gustav Jung appealed to the notion of an archetype to explain the construction of the collective unconscious: the set of primitive symbols shared by people from all places and all times that express elements of the psyche that they exceed the field of reason.

The Jungian archetype, in this way, is made up of fantasies and dream representations that are linked to legends, myths and religious concepts and that shape the experiences of individuals. The hero figure, for example, is an archetype mentioned by Jung.

According to the proposals made by this illustrious figure, we find several kinds of archetypes, such as these:
-Anima, which becomes the archetype of the feminine in the mind of man.
-Animus, which is the male side of the female personality.
-Father, who is an authority figure. In the same way, she is the one in charge of coming to share certain tips and information about how to carry on with life.
-Mother, who is the archetype used to refer to ancestors, origins, motherhood …
-Wise, who is in charge of bringing light to the hero so that he can achieve his goals and continue on his way.
-The person, who becomes the archetype of the image that we project to others and, therefore, they have of us.

The trickster or the aforementioned hero are other of the archetypes that are within the approach made by Carl Gustav Jung. Many of these are found in literary works, movies… as would be the case, for example, of “Matrix”.


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