Principle of organization: a dynamic-systems view of the archetype-as-such



The personality is a dynamic system. Like all other dynamic systems, it must be self-organized. In this paper I focus upon the archetype-as-such, that is, upon the essential core around which both an archetypal image and a complex are organized. I argue that an archetype-as-such is a pre-existing principle of organization. Within the personality that principle manifests itself as a psychological vortex (a complex) into which we are drawn. The vortex is impersonal. We mediate it through myths and rituals or through consciousness. In this paper I show that Jung's intuition about the archetype-as-such is supported by recent science. I evaluate other concepts of the archetype. My concept is different from that proposed recently by Saunders and Skar. My concept allows each archetype-as-such to be defined precisely in mathematical terms. It suggests a new interpretation of mythology. It also addresses our spiritual experience of an archetype. Because the archetypes-as-such are fundamental to the personality, the better we understand them the better we understand our patients. The paper is grounded with clinical examples.