The animistic archetypal nature of the unconscious

Abstract: The concept of the archetype in modern psychology has its roots in animistic mythological thinking, part and parcel of our unconscious psychology. The unconscious constantly produces animistic motifs. Platonism and Jungian psychology are indebted to animism. The archetype is an expression of the animistic economy of the unconscious. It explains the success of the archetypal notion in understanding the unconscious. It is justified regardless of the nature of the archetype. Its ontological (metaphysical) status is therefore not an urgent issue. The archetype resides as an entity of mind in the unconscious psyche, which is the objective psyche. Such a layer of psyche is suggestive of a “divine” unconscious realm, where autonomous processes of volition and ideation are slowly brewing. The backside is that the Platonic paradigm may trigger a polytheistic regress, exemplified by naive New Age notions. The trinitarian tradition of mysticism could provide a way out for gone astray Jungians and New Agers. The path known as ‘via negativa’ means to gear down, to accomplish a withdrawal from the world. It provides the necessary complement that makes individuation complete.

Keywords: archetype, ontology, animism, lucid dreams, individuation, Plato, Poul Bjerre, Carl Jung, contemplation, complementation.


The question of the nature of the archetype is often raised. My argument is that archetypal thinking, as such, is the way in which the unconscious practices symbolic thought. Regardless of the metaphysical status of the archetype, the archetypal way of thought proceeds naturally in the unconscious. It is an innate form of symbolic cognition predicated on our psychic economy. This means that the notorious problem of the ontological nature of the archetype is relativized. It becomes a less urgent issue. It relates to the time-honoured philosophical issue of form contra substance. Whereas the modern scientific paradigm originates in the thinking of Aristotle, modern psychology, with its archetypal notion, is indebted to Plato. Aristotle argued that what we see around us contains both matter and form (hule and eidos). Thus, contrary to Plato’s argument, the form is not transcendental to the worldly object. Today we know that a tree’s form is programmed into its genes, and in this sense the form of the tree exists within its every cell. Likewise, the extraordinary qualities of water depend on the characteristics of the water molecule. Evidently, Aristotle was formally correct in his contention that the objects carry their form within themselves.

But the Platonic worldview has today renewed its prominence. Plato’s philosophy has animistic roots. His doctrine of pre-existence resembles the animistic notion. It is portrayed as a time when the soul lived among the Forms and learned to know of them by experiencing them directly. Plato’s philosophy of Forms relates to old-fangled animistic notions of spiritual ancestors or gods. The Forms are autonomous. In a sense they are living entities of their own, yet not self-conscious in the way of Olympian gods. They are abstracted in Plato, but it’s incorrect to interpret them as ‘forms’ in the sense of moulds, or as abstract ideals.

Psychology viewed in the light of animism

Arguably, C.G. Jung could be thought of as the modern-day heir of animistic philosophy and its offshoots, namely Platonic and Neoplatonic philosophy. I hold that the whole discussion about ‘archetypes’ boils down to the animistic conception, a mythological worldview extant in the unconscious. We are still thinking, at least unconsciously, along animistic lines. In so far as we remain unaware of our innate animism, we are bound to fall prey to archaic thinking. On the other hand, should we adopt the archetypal notion, it enables us to apply our innate animism in a conscious and controlled way. Regardless of the metaphysical foundation of the ‘archetype’, it originates in the unconscious as an archaic form of cognition. This is good enough justification for the archetype, whether it’s philosophically naive or not.

It has been argued that historical animism, drawing on mythological thought, ought to be viewed as a philosophy in its own right. Despite its naive expression it deserves recognition as a full-fledged worldview. According to animistic cultures (there are some still on earth) each thing has a divine prototype. In consequence, the Parrot says: “I am the forefather of all parrots, all have descended from me. I was the first of all beings. I was before all”. (The Leopard and the Anaconda say the same, so they are not quite in agreement.) These myths are not simply a generative account of the species, rather they are creation myths. According to animism there was once a ‘mythic reality’, a spiritual age when heaven and earth had not yet separated. To the degree that each individual parrot takes part in the mythic reality of his divine ancestor his life will be fulfilled and his powers maximized. This is true also of human beings. Different human tribes tend to have their own ancestor, such as the Parrot (vid. Turner, 1991). When being asked, by anthropologists, how they can be descendants from the Parrot when they are in fact human beings, they are confounded by white man’s ignorance. It’s obvious to them that they are parrots, while being humans all the same. The animists think that we are quite simpleminded and have no notion of the spirit. Paul Radin explains that aborigines view objects of the world from an inner as well as an outer perspective. The internal effect, the thrill, is equally relevant: “Why, so he would contend, should something affect him in this way if it were not true — an argument well known, of course, among us. This is to him as much of a real proof as anything happening outside of him” (Radin, 1957, p.246). Radin comments on the following example of Maori philosophy:
“A missionary speaking to an old man remarked, ‘Your religion is false; it teaches that all things possess a soul.’ The Maori answered, ‘Were a thing not possessed of the wairua of an atua, then that thing could not possess form,’” i.e., it could not have form unless it possessed the soul of a god. (ibid. p.253)
The correspondence to Platonic philosophy is obvious. Animistic philosophy, generally speaking, focuses on spiritual nature, that is, the ‘inner meaning’ of things and beings, which they try to fulfill during their existence on earth. So when the leopard “imitates the prototype” this is not so much in the material sense, but rather how eminently he fulfills the inner meaning of his existence. The leopard becomes more real when he partakes in the spirit. The closer he approximates the Form of the leopard, the more will he be able to fulfill his inner meaning. Typical for animist religion is the notion of how people in a long gone era lived in harmony with the gods. This is reminiscent of the Golden Age in Hellenic religion. Arguably, mythology represents an artifact of animistic thought, extant in the unconscious. Animism could be viewed as a way of looking at existence, i.e., a kind of religio-philosophical worldview.

Animism reasons along archetypal lines, that is, spiritual entities that can take earthly (conscious) shape. This is what underlies the manifestation of all new things in the temporal domain. What’s the difference compared with the modern archetypal notion? Whereas animism represents a metaphysical view of reality archetypal thought is formulated against the backdrop of the psyche (conscious and unconscious). In animism the gods exist in a proximate transcendental (supernatural) reality, e.g. the ‘dream-time’ of Australian Aborigines. As they plunge down to earthly reality, it also implies the termination of their existence as divine beings beyond temporality. Comparatively, the archetype resides in the unconscious. A heightened excitation level may have as consequence that it breaches the border of consciousness, an event that leads to its integration with the ego. When an unconscious content becomes conscious, it means that it has been energized by consciousness, laden with conscious energy. Thus, it becomes rooted in the soil of the conscious world, and it perishes as transcendental and autonomous being.

Examples from mythology

Although modern psychology interprets the course of events differently, with scientific coherence, the story is similar in structure. The Narcissus story is a case in point. Narcissus is a god, son of the river god, who roams freely in the wood (the unconscious), were he is hunting with his friends. He suddenly awakes to self-consciousness when he becomes aware of his own shining beauty, signifying the heightened excitation level of the archetype (cmp. the story of Lucifer). As a consequence he passes the border of consciousness. On account of the assimilative property of ego consciousness it becomes conceptualized and appropriated as conscious function. Thus, it takes root in consciousness as part of ego. From the perspective of the unconscious, this implies deflation, dismemberment, and death. That’s why many an ancient religion commemorates the dismemberment and sacrifice of the gods, a primordial event that gave rise to everything that exists in the sublunar realm. In case of Narcissus, he turns into the white Narcissus flower at the edge of the black mere. This relates the image of a conscious ego close to the edge of the dark unconscious. A splendid and free-roaming divine being is deprecated and become temporal, bound to the little world of the ego. Perhaps it manifested as a grand realization, an idea which the ego thinks it has produced wholly by itself. On the other hand, from the perspective of consciousness, the archetype has turned into something “real”, which is better.

Actaeon suffered a similar fate as Narcissus. He, too, was a hunter in the forest, where he stumbled across Artemis (Diana) having a bath. No one may experience the naked beauty of Artemis and live. Enraged, Artemis turned him into a stag and, not recognizing their owner, Actaeon’s dogs tore him to pieces. The divine beauty of Artemis is what catches the awareness of Actaeon the archetype. In this case, what causes the heightened excitation level is a transfer of energy from a more powerful archetype, namely Artemis, who dwells in the deeper regions of the forest. This occurrence, the transfer of energy between archetypes, is a common motif in fairytales. The hero typically receives magical powers from helpful creatures (vid. von Franz, 1996). Actaeon, like Narcissus, became aware (conscious) and thus died as a god. This story also accounts for how the stag entered into creation. Arguably, the animistic interpretation of these events is plausible, provided that we translate it to modern psychological language in archetypal terms. In a sense, conscious realization is a world-creating event. In mythology and ancient religion, new creation on earth always entails the death of a god, i.e. the death of something valuable and wonderful. This is true also of Narcissus and Actaeon.

The solar phallus

As regards the innateness of the archetype and the metaphysical reality of the psyche, the Jungian metaphysical grounding is uncalled-for. It works anyway. The archetype of the unconscious behaves as if it were an autonomous entity. This is all we need to know. On account of this, the psyche must be regarded as real enough. Until further notice, reality must be accepted in the way it presents itself. Thus, there is no need to build a metaphysical philosophy surrounding the psyche in order to magnify it as a reality in itself. Jung develops a strong metaphysical argument, which is ill-advised. The genetic grounding of the archetype is not really in dispute. Genetic heredity, in the weak sense, can hardly be disputed, since we are in every way conditioned by our genetic constitution. Nevertheless, he wishes to explain how the archetype manifests independently in individuals, without regard to outer influences. Accordingly, the “archetype-as-such” is defined as an inherent predisposition of the archetypal image. Jung has often returned to the case of the “solar phallus man” who was an inmate at the Burghölzli Mental Hospital in Zürich (cf. Jung, 1976, p.101ff & p.157f). He believed that the sun had a phallus, responsible for the creation of the wind. Similar notions occur in mythology. Jung exemplifies with the Mithraic liturgy.

sunset with solar phallus He seems to think that this case is a convincing example of archetypal heredity, but it is not very compelling. After all, everybody has seen the solar phallus.
Currituck sunset (Edupic).

The unconscious psyche is bound to take what it sees and forge it according to our animistic predisposition. The result surfaces as dreams and fantasies. The sun is a phallic force that penetrates the waters of mother Earth and impregnates her. Fantasies of this type occur independently in individuals, without recourse to an innate predisposition for a particular solar phallus archetype. What is innate is the symbolic process of thought, and the way in which fantasies continue to develop in the unconscious as archetypal complexes. Jung’s patient said that if the head moves from side to side, the sun’s phallus moves with it. This is a fact of nature. When one’s visual point of view changes, the streak of light follows suit. The archetype, unencumbered by abstruse metaphysics, is a very useful notion. The hermeneutics connected with it is powerful and has improved our understanding of the psyche. But the archetype-as-such is untenable. It is high time to discard the metaphysics underlying the archetypal notion.

The respective backsides of materialism and animism

The Platonic and Aristotelian paradigms are vexed with their own specific problems. The scientific Aristotelian model has given rise to trite materialism, which has had a deadening effect on the soul of man, leading in the end to instinctual atrophy. Wassily Kandinsky says in “Concerning the Spiritual in Art”:
This all-important spark of inner life today is at present only a spark. Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and ideal. The nightmare of materialism, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil, useless game, is not yet past; it holds the awakening soul still in its grip. Only a feeble light glimmers like a tiny star in a vast gulf of darkness. This feeble light is but a presentiment, and the soul, when it sees it, trembles in doubt whether the light is not a dream, and the gulf of darkness reality. This doubt, and the still harsh tyranny of the materialistic philosophy, divide our soul sharply from that of the Primitives. Our soul rings cracked when we seek to play upon it, as does a costly vase, long buried in the earth, which is found to have a flaw when it is dug up once more. For this reason, the Primitive phase, through which we are now passing, with its temporary similarity of form, can only be of short duration. (Kandinsky, 1911, ch.1)
The archetypal Platonic perspective has a backside, too. It opens the door to what Kandinsky terms the Primitive phase, a regressive movement in the animistic direction, as exemplified by James Hillman’s Archetypal Psychology. According to this argument, Jungian psychology itself develops into a “game playing” (ritual) activity, keeping its adherents busy like mice in a labyrinth. Evidently, many succeed in playing the role of scholars. Meanwhile many an amateur is involved in games that are reminiscent of New Age fantasies. It smacks of pagan naiveté, not unlike the idolization of Harry Potter among children. The technique of “active imagination” is easily corrupted by the aesthetic person, when it becomes a product of fantasy and takes off in the tangential direction.

Arguably, we are always involved in the playing of games. Board game players are calculating “variations” and learn “opening variants”. Musicians create “variations”, too. We are very much enticed by the jumble of variations. The share market is a kind of game, and so is the whole competitive market system. Technology has amplified the principle of play and people risk loosing themselves in the endless forest of variations. It’s as if the Wheel of Samsara revolves faster and faster. The trickster archetype grows in dimensions to become a devil. The consequence is that individuation risks coming to a halt. Since technology facilitates play individuation becomes quenched in a jumble of variations that keep the individual busy. Apparently, when people have time and energy to spare, they start playing games. But it has a neurotic backside. The Russian chess master Mikhail Chigorin, at old age, is said to have burnt his chess set, realizing how much valuable life had been wasted on it. Arguably, there is a contradiction between individuation and the gaming motif. The latter can arrest individuation. Today, the game playing element is over-whelming and many are bound to suffer the same fate as Chigorin. Evidently, we need to gear down. It’s as if we are caught in a double-bind, torn between Plato and Aristotle.

Penitence and the trinitarian path

I contend that a remedy can be found in the inclusion of the introverted trinitarian spirit. In Christian theology, the living human beings are in need of redemption from the Holy Spirit, which is a central truth in Christianity. Comparatively, in ancient religion it is the human priest/priestess who is responsible for the redemption of the spirits of the dead. In traditional Indian religion the gods are redeemed by humans, too. Salvation is reversed: men try to save the gods. Indra and Shiva must come down to earth to expiate their sin (cf. Doniger O’Flaherty, 1980, pp.141ff). This is a function of the shaman that is today forgotten. To give life back to gods and spirits is a redemptive work carried out by the shamanic individual. We focus on giving conscious life to humans and on conquering conscious life for ourselves. In keeping with the theme of sacrifice, we should also do the obverse and give life back to the gods, which they once conferred on us and the world, at the time when creation became manifest. It is a payback, of sorts. Theologians and historians of religion have always mulled over the atonement sacrifice of Christ. It could, in a general way, be understood as a requital, following the ancient conception (e.g. Aztec theology), according to which “life-blood” must be returned to the gods (cf. Winther, 2008).

The Passion of the Christ represents the mystery of individuation, which includes ego-privation. “We are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). The Christ is abandoned by God and crucified. Thus, to experience “Christ-identity” is anything but gratifying, as it represents privation of the ego. From ‘The Spiritual Ascent’ by Gerard Zerbolt of Zutphen (1367–1398):
COMPUNCTION is born of fear in manifold ways… compunction cometh when he doth diligently consider his own defects, the passions of his soul and the noxious desires that are still in him, and even though they rule him not yet do shake and vex him; and when he doth remember, with cries and lamentation, how little is the progress he hath made in casting out these evils. (Zutphen, 1908, ch.XVII)
This is the ‘imitatio’ which M-L von Franz and also Martin Luther object to. But this is a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Due to misinterpretation it took a morbid expression, but underlying the imitatio is an archetype central to individuation. If we are prepared to “integrate” the riches that the unconscious has bestowed upon us, then we must also be prepared to make sacrifice of conscious life, to avail unconscious life. Accordingly, we decide to make sacrifice of our time and energy, since it is now payback time. This is the theme of introverted trinitarian tradition, namely the contemplative praxis — an important undercurrent of history. It was incumbent on the Egyptian priest to bring about the resurrection of Osiris (cf. Winther, 2014b, here). This theme, the expiation of the deity, well-known in pagan theology, is unknown in Christian theology. It is all the more surprising considering that God is pictured as a sinner hanging on a cross. Instead, there is in Christianity a one-sided focus on the salvation of the individual. The notion that it works both ways, that also God requires the devotional acts of human beings to achieve liberation from death, is unthinkable. This has, throughout history, affected religious life negatively. In medieval times it was believed that divine grace befalls those who are pious. To save one’s eternal soul it must remain pure, and therefore moral respectability was of utmost importance. Christ was thought of as a stern judge.

In religious communities, the devotional agenda developed into a kind of compulsive neurosis, because the entire focus remained on personal sins and their removal through confession and penance. Martin Luther (1483-1546), who as a monk suffered under a strict regime, came to question the theological edifice and declared that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace to sinner and saint alike. It depends not on good deeds but on the believer’s faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin. But history has judged that Luther’s theological equation was much too simplistic, because in subsequent centuries religious life back-pedaled to moralism, legalism, and personal practices serving to obtain salvation through grace. Modern-day rationalism, as it came to expression in movements such as Pietism, Jansenism, and Puritanism, contributed to making things worse than in medieval times (vid. Placher, 1996). Evidently, Lutheranism didn’t answer up to a strong inner impetus to do godly work. Instead, due to theological one-eyedness, it could only come to expression as an effort to acquire personal justification through an act of a perfect and magnificent God. It is an egotistical motive characteristic of hypocrites, and it is bound to generate inner conflict. It never occurred to theologians that worldly denial and self-abnegation really springs from an urge to save an ailing God. It ought to be understood as a sacrifice on part of the worshiper and not as an attempt of personal salvation. Yet, interestingly, medieval alchemists believed that their work to achieve the resurrection of the god Mercurius, laying dormant in matter, would grant them a vehicle of the soul after death. It is indeed possible to adapt to life through spiritual passion. I had a remarkable dream on this theme, long ago:
Before the creation of the world, angels were sitting on pillars that reached above the clouds. Beneath was an endless sea. They were involved in a discussion about the futility of worldly creation, because whatever you do, the result is so diminutive compared with one’s intentions. One of the angels took down the discussion on a piece of birch bark(?). The piece of bark dropped to the ocean below, and I could see it sailing like a boat on the endless sea. Thus, the realization that creation is futile became the first item of creation in the world.
It is very philosophical. The dream seems to say that the spiritual passion of transcendency, standing apart from the world and realizing its futility, which is characteristic of contemplative and trinitarian tradition, presents a way of taking root in life, and becoming part of creation.


The definition of the word ‘individuation’ implies a process of “othering”, necessary to create a sense of self and to differentiate out of group identity. To see the “Other” is necessary for a true relationship to develop, and mustn’t be regarded anti-social. Webster’s Dictionary defines individuation:
(1) : the development of the individual from the universal.
(2) : the determination of the individual in the general.
 b : the process by which individuals in society become differentiated from one another.
We are averse to remaining existentially alone, disconnected from everything else in the universe. Individuation is experienced as a painful process, whereas the playing of games is self-gratifying, even addictive. It seems that individuation is a necessary prerequisite for attaining that divine form of unconsciousness which mystics have termed ‘Unio Mystica’ —  the mystical union with God. Individuation implies that consciousness is extended. To more and more stand out from collective unconsciousness through disidentification means to gain a perspective. It requires one to abandon that “ideology of sameness”, which permeates society. At a point in time one must allow oneself to sink back into the darkness of God. Unpolluted by collective identification and unconsciousness the individuant descends into that other form of unconsciousness — the dark night of the soul — as into a cleansing bath. The disidentified and differentiated individual may once again become one with God.

Jung often cited Empedocles (490-430 BC) who said that “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere.” The “centre” of God stands for the differentiated individual. So a human being may only attain wholeness by becoming an individual, i.e. to achieve separation from unconscious wholeness and collective identity. But a person who is enveloped in the playing of games upholds an unconscious attitude and cannot attain a liberated consciousness and true individuality. It is remarkable how much time people spend in the playing of games. For instance, married couples tend to devote much time and energy to the matter of food, the planning of next dinner, going to the supermarket, etc. This continual search after paltry gratification is uncharacteristic of manliness. It’s suggestive of a little mouse running around in a labyrinth, searching after tidbits. How can one solve this problem, this obsession with playing games? The following is an excerpt from “A Serious Call to A Devout and Holy Life” by William Law (1729).
»The happiness of a life wholly devoted to God farther proved, from the vanity, the sensuality, and the ridiculous poor enjoyments, which they are forced to take up with who live according to their own humours. This represented in various characters.«
   WE MAY STILL see more of the happiness of a life devoted unto God, by considering the poor contrivances for happiness, and the contemptible ways of life, which they are thrown into, who are not under the directions of a strict piety, but seeking after happiness by other methods.
   If one looks at their lives, who live by no rule but their own humours and fancies; if one sees but what it is which they call joy, and greatness, and happiness; if one sees how they rejoice, and repent, change and fly from one delusion to another; one shall find great reason to rejoice, that God hath appointed a strait and narrow way, that leadeth unto life; and that we are not left to the folly of our own minds, or forced to take up such shadows of joy and happiness, as the weakness and folly of the world has invented. I say invented; because those things which make up the joy and happiness of the world are mere inventions, which have no foundation in nature and reason, are no way the proper good or happiness of man, no way perfect either in his body, or his mind, or carry him to his true end.
   As for instance; when a man proposes to be happy in ways of ambition, by raising himself to some imaginary heights above other people, this is truly an invention of happiness, which has no foundation in nature, but is as mere a cheat of our own making, as if a man should intend to make himself happy by climbing up a ladder.
   If a woman seeks for happiness from fine colours or spots upon her face, from jewels and rich clothes, this is as merely an invention of happiness, as contrary to nature and reason, as if she should propose to make herself happy by painting a post, and putting the same finery upon it. It is in this respect that I call these joys and happiness of the world mere inventions of happiness, because neither God, nor nature, nor reason, hath appointed them as such; but whatever appears joyful, or great, or happy in them, is entirely created or invented by the blindness and vanity of our own minds.
   And it is on these inventions of happiness that I desire you to cast your eye, that you may thence learn, how great a good religion is, which delivers you from such a multitude of follies, and vain pursuits, as are the torment and vexation of minds that wander from their true happiness in God. (Law, 1729, ch.XII)
Jung presents an alternative to the traditional ways of taking root in life. The idea is that the unconscious as the fount of meaning shall serve as foundation for psychic growth. Accordingly, he renounces spiritual tradition, such as mysticism, downplays religion and repudiates modern art. He emphasizes that intellectual consciousness mustn’t be overly developed, because it leads to psychological one-sidedness. In fact, following the maxim esse in anima, the unconscious is regarded the very foundation of the universe in the form of a transcendental “psychoid” layer termed unus mundus (cf. Jung, 1977, pp.537ff). Jung’s disavowal of historical varieties of conscious tradition serves the purpose of elevating the alternative path of the unconscious. But it is not possible to take root in the unconscious, because unconscious is protean nature and a quagmire. We cannot establish the transcendental function (signifying a stable conscious-unconscious conduit) as the pillar of our lives. In this sense, Jungian theory has been faulted.

It is deleterious not to develop conscious passion, which some have called love, because there is nothing else in life. Jung’s notion according to which conscious passion is reduced to salaried employment and societal responsibility, doesn’t hold water. It isn’t good enough. Indeed, it is ideal to become passionately interested in abstract forms painted on a canvas, or captivated by the natural world, such as the world of insects and flowers, or devote oneself to religious studies, meditation and prayer. As long as we take heed of the dream messages of the unconscious, this is the proper way of individuation.

On the surface, it seems that Jung’s devaluation of conscious passion concords with spiritual apophatic tradition. But one must keep in mind that the latter represents zest for the spirit, for the conscious substance itself, which is divine. The spiritual pilgrim opens his eyes to the Forms, or the soul-sparks, present in the natural world. Detachment from the temporal means to establish another fervour and learning to see the light that surrounds existence. Mystics keep using the notion of love, that is, conscious passion, as such. However, in Jung’s thought, the mystical path represents opening the gates to the unconscious, allowing for unconscious invasion. This is really a completely different notion, which accords with LSD therapy — an experiment that did not fare well. Except for therapeutic purposes, it represents a blind alley for personality. I put forward that it is essentially different than apophatic and kataphatic mystical tradition (which are really the two sides of the same coin).


Also contemplative tradition is fraught with difficulties. From to the book “From St. John of the Cross to Us” by J. Arraj:
Fr. Keating had met people who had devoted themselves to the life of prayer, even for many years, and yet did not seem to have ever experienced mystical graces, that is, the kinds of infused prayer that Teresa and John talk about. They might even have spent their lives in contemplative religious communities, and not had the experience of contemplation. In fact, “less than five percent of cloistered contemplatives that I know have the mystical experiences that Teresa or John of the Cross describe. They generally experience the night of sense, and a few experience the night of spirit. Their consolations are few and far between.” (14) We are back to the familiar subject of the night of sense in the wide sense of the term, which is the dilemma that Tomás de Jesús faced so many years before, and it goes like this: “I have given myself to a life dedicated to contemplation, and yet I don’t experience it.” (Arraj, 1999, ch.13)
Arguably, mystical union requires a progression of individuation. As long as the contemplative has not succeeded in differentiating himself from collective identity, he may not experience the “dark night of the soul” characteristic of mysticism. Perhaps this is what fails the contemplatives. They have faith in the “ideology of sameness”, although individuation really requires that the individual sheds the illusion of sameness. I don’t know what it takes to rise out of unconsciousness. Perhaps there must exist an unconscious impetus which is lacking in the average person.

The individuant arising out of unconscious collective identity, going through conscious differentiation, then to immerse himself in the sea of the unconscious — this is the movement of the sun, which leads to rebirth. This would depict the progression of the unconscious Self, and not necessarily the ego. The “archetype of totality” (the Self) is connected with individuation, a process that removes the individual from the totality in the sense of collective identification, i.e., the feeling of belonging to the group. Thus, the ego’s progression need not be as dramatic as its formative ideal, i.e., that of the Self. Yet, the differentiation of the individual must needs lead to the relative abatement of the ego’s energy, sinking in the sea of the Self. The “mystical union” requires a process of individuation, that is, to rise to the zenith like the sun. It represents a differentiated ego consciousness, which has cast aside the illusion of uniformity. To throw off a stagnant wholeness for a new development is central to the theory of Poul Bjerre (see Addendum below: “Death and renewal”). Although the Self is symbolic of wholeness and fulfillment, it also has a dark side, because wholeness is connected with psychological death.

Psyche and Kosmos

Psyche (Gk. ‘soul’) is volition and ideation, whereas kosmos (Gk. ‘world’) is axiom and essence (or law and ontic nature). A psychic content is willful directionality and ideation (libido and meaning) or else it’s not psychic at all. The attempt to establish the archetype as law and ontic nature (the archetype-as-such as ‘archetypus in re’), leads to a genetic interpretation, or to a metaphysic along lines of neutral monism according to which both psyche and kosmos are founded upon the same archetypal universals. Jung himself conceived of the archetype as “psychoid”, i.e., not exclusively psychic. I don’t see it as essential to the understanding of the phenomenology of the archetype. One could equally well do the opposite, namely reduce kosmos to volition and ideation, on lines of idealistic philosophy (e.g., Schopenhauer, “The World as Will and Representation”). Modern people have a very strong preference for monistic models (as in monotheism). It’s either ‘esse in re’ or ‘esse in spiritu’. If the archetype is reduced to brain structure (e.g.), it implies that ‘esse in re’ is elevated as first principle. Comparatively, Christian theology has proposed more advanced bipartite and tripartite models. Neither the nature of Christ nor the nature of the Godhead are rigorously monistic.

Science has shown that the outer world is highly autonomous as phenomena that go beyond our conscious categories may be studied experimentally. Thus, we can no longer interpret the phenomena of physical existence as founded upon ideas. Kant and his idealistic followers have been refuted. Accordingly, psychology has shown that psychic life is highly self-governing. We no longer think of it as directly dependent on outward factors. Psychological models, such as behaviourism, have failed miserably. Although the two aren’t isolated phenomena, the psyche may go its own way while the kosmos proceeds independently. The relation could be described as a mutual conditioning. But the outer world cannot directly enforce any psychic event; nor can the psyche impose its will upon the outer world, along lines of magic.

Accordingly, we have given up the attempt to see the one as directly predicated on the other. Physics has proven the objectivity of material events whereas psychology has verified a high degree of autonomy among mental events. It means that the constituents of the kosmos are real and autonomous. Analogously, the constituents of the psyche, also known as archetypes, are authentic and relatively self-governed. Accordingly, the archetype is real and there is no need to define it in terms of ontic substance (having metaphysical being) and natural laws. Law and ontic nature are characteristics that belong to physical objects. Nor is it required to define the physical world in terms of psychic ideas, which is the most common position in the history of philosophy, representing some form of subjectivist idealism. It seems we must avoid letting one reality encroach upon the other. The autonomous nature of the psyche is demonstrated by the continuous conflict between archetypes having different ideational content and volition. Dreams are produced which seem to point in different directions. Archetypes seem to want different things. However, when laid out on a time-line, the development of personality follows a logical pattern. If a change is going to occur at a point in time, the archetype must begin to affect personality at an early stage, perhaps thirty years before. Thus, it will remain in conflict with other archetypes. Our biology follows natural law, but our psyche doesn’t necessarily. I hold that individuation proceeds according to an alternating process of complementation and integration.

Complementation would signify the unconscious and semi-conscious continual resolution of conflict, the process of completing, and the formulation of opposites as complementary. It allows all the warring elements of the psyche to have a say. Archetypes are allowed to slowly mature, even if they gainsay the ruling conscious standpoint, and regardless if they conflict with each other. Thus, they are permitted to bloom at the appropriate point in time. An archetype must be integrated when it is ripe for it, otherwise complementation is disrupted. Archetypes are mental and possess a modicum of will-power. Thus, their emergence in the conscious sphere isn’t predictable in the same way that physical events, nor can we know the ideational content beforehand. Schopenhauer’s notion of Will and Representation is relevant to the archetype, but not to the kosmos. If Schopenhauer thought that All is will and representation, we should at least be able to say that Psyche is will and representation. We needn’t try and pin down the psyche on notions of ontic substance and axiomatic law. The conclusion is that ‘esse in re’ and ‘esse in anima’ are equally viable formulas, but none of them good enough. Modern philosophers have a dislike for metaphysical dualism, on lines of Descartes, but there are other alternatives (cf. Winther, 2013, here).

Unconscious polytheism

My argument is that the ontology of the archetype is not an urgent issue. The unconscious constantly produces animistic motifs, since this is how our archaic unconscious “thinks”. The archetype is an expression of the animistic economy of the unconscious. This explains the great success of the archetypal notion in understanding the unconscious. The concept of the archetype in modern psychology has its roots in animistic mythological thinking, which remains part and parcel of our unconscious psychology. Platonism and Jungian psychology are indebted to animism. It is justified regardless of the metaphysical nature of the archetype. When the metaphysical status of the psyche is raised to “real” and “autonomous”, a backside is that it gives rise to subjectivism, as in subjective idealism, phenomenologism, and solipsistic narcissism. In the Platonic and Neoplatonic conception, however, the archetypoi reside in a transcendent sphere. Accordingly, Plato’s philosophy has been called ‘objective idealism’ or ‘idealistic realism’. In this way he achieved what he wished, namely to counteract subjectivism and relativism. However, to modern people it appears naive to posit a location of the Ideas relative to the temporal world. Ideas, since they exist in the mind, aren’t located anywhere. So modern philosophy took a turn for subjective idealism. The only thing needed to transform Kant’s idealism into subjective idealism was to remove the transcendental thing-in-itself, corresponding to physis in Plato. This was an easy operation with catastrophic consequences, as Paul Roubiczek (1947) has evinced (here).

Plato’s conception is really an adaptation of polytheism. He took the Greek gods and turned them into Forms. What is the nature of this place where Ideas reside, and which transcends kosmos? Ideas reside inside a mind, but it’s not the question of the human subject — it refers to the objective mind of God. So Plato is really referring to an impersonal Godhead when discussing the supersensual world. The conclusion is that objective idealism is essentially the same as a theistic conception. However, Plato’s notion may be reinterpreted according to the modern unconscious notion. The archetype does not transcend the world — it transcends consciousness. Conscious and unconscious are relative opposites, which accords with the Neoplatonic notion of transcendence. It means that conscious transcendence is relative, contrary to Kantian metaphysical (absolute) transcendence, which defies reason. The archetype resides in the deepest layers of the unconscious. Also in the deepest layers of the unconscious psyche is volition and ideation, although the process here would be much slower and require much longer time. The conclusion is that the ontic archetype, as such, could be a red herring. In fact, it obtains as an entity of mind in the unconscious psyche, which is the objective psyche.

At such a deep level of psyche the archetype is undergoing a slow process of formation. Archetypes are not metaphysical imprints, but products of slow but powerful ideation. Unconscious polytheism bears a resemblance to Schopenhauer’s transcendental Will. Comparatively, in “Answer to Job” (1969), Carl Jung poses a largely unconscious Godhead. An unconscious God is largely unaware of worldly events, which arguably solves the theodicy problem. This is really Carl Jung’s Godhead, I believe, although he did not want to emphasize it, because it would make him look unscientific. In relation to God, who vastly surpasses the ego, the latter is deflated. But in the present time, what exacerbates the failing mental health of the collective is the inflationary consequences of a lost relation to the divine. The unconscious resembles a divine realm, “closer” than its complementary, namely the trinitarian deity. Rather than an alternative theological model of God, it is better viewed as a complement of the transcendent deity. Arguably, it is this aspect of God that comes to expression in the worship of the Virgin, to which the Catholic Church has given green light in the dogma of the assumption of the Virgin Mary (cf. Wiki, here). Such an unconscious deity, associated with the feminine, seems to correspond to the “worldly Self of completeness” in my complementarian model of the Self (cf. Winther, 2011, here).


The gist of my proposal is that the archetype subsists as a cognitive activity in the unconscious mind, suggestive of an unconscious deity. The upshot is that there is no need to define the archetype in terms of physicalist science. There is really no subject that “thinks” the archetype. It is thinking itself, as autonomous volition and ideation is its very nature. To denote this activity, which is ever at work in the unconscious psyche, I have suggested the term “complementation”. It represents both the origin and sustainment of the archetype. It is what over the aeons brings new archetypes into existence. We do not know what may emerge from the unconscious. If it were predictable, then it would not be unconscious and unknowable. Jung solves this dilemma by predicting that the number of archetypes are innumerable, which vouches for unpredictability and unknowability. But it seems overly Platonic. It is not to the taste of modern people to postulate the pre-existence of thousand-and-one archetypes. Rather, archetypes are created spontaneously over time, whereas existing archetypes are transformed over time. For more on the complementation notion, see my articles ‘The Complementarian Self’ (here), ‘Critique of Synchronicity’ (here), and ‘Thanatos’ (here).

The subtle body

I have suggested that the alchemical process denoted as ‘circular distillation’ corresponds to the unconscious process of complementation. It deviates from traditional Jungian understanding (cf. Winther, 2011, here) in that conscious integration is no longer the focal point of individuation. During complementation the unconscious Self complements itself, being indirectly aided by consciousness. In theology, resurrection signifies the restitution of the personality, absent the old body. The new body is referred to as the ‘resurrection body’, the ‘subtle body’, or the ‘glorious body’. It corresponds to the glorious resurrection-body of Christ. It is also known as the ‘diamond body’ in Chinese spiritual literature (cf. Wiki, here). In this ancient conception, the Self serves as a psychic body, i.e. a real metaphysical entity, equally real as the physical body. It is the vehicle of the resurrected god, capable of carrying personality after the expiration of the body. So say the teachings of esoteric Christianity, Taoism, Hermeticism, Kriya Yoga, Tibetan and Tantric Buddhism, Sufism, and Alchemy. The medieval alchemists believed they were creating this body in advance, by resurrecting the god Mercurius from his dormancy in matter. They were speeding up the processes of nature and thus contributed to the creation of the subtle body, which survives death. Otherwise this process would take aeons, to be concluded at the Day of Resurrection. M-L von Franz says:
The alchemist’s idea of producing the resurrected body and the elixir of immortality by a chemical procedure is derived from the Egyptian enbalming rites and the ceremonies for the dead Osiris. From the very beginning, therefore, the alchemists were preoccupied with the problem of the post-mortal state of the soul, and though the metaphysical validity of their statements is not susceptible of scientific proof they may well be intuitively correct anticipations of the psychological experience of death. At any rate these statements have to do with a reality far removed from life as ordinarily lived and from the sphere of ego-consciousness.
   The conception of the coniunctio as a post-mortal event runs through the whole history of alchemical symbolism and is found also among the Arabic alchemists who were the sources for Aurora. Thus the Turba says that the res (thing, matter) is buried like a man, and then God gives it its soul and spirit back again, and after the decomposition it grows stronger and is purified, just as after the resurrection a man becomes stronger and younger than he was upon earth. And Calid says: “This hidden thing is of the nature of sun and fire, and it is the most precious oil of all hidden things, and the living tincture, and the permanent water, which ever liveth and remaineth, and the vinegar of the philosophers and the penetrative spirit: and it is hidden, tincturing, aggregating, and reviving: it rectifieth and enlighteneth all the dead and causeth them to rise again” (von Franz, 2000, pp.369-70).
In ancient Egypt the resurrection body was called Osiris. According to the papyri, if a person had gone through the process of becoming Osiris, i.e., had become divine by going through the whole ritual of resurrection, he could appear in any shape at any day. He could leave the tomb and walk through shut doors. This is the goal of becoming Osiris, according to the Egyptian prayers for the dead. The alchemists connected this idea with the Philosopher’s Stone as the divine and immortal nucleus in man (cf. von Franz, 1980, p.236).

However, this is yet another example of a transcendental and religious symbol that is better understood as a profound psychological truth. The creation of the diamond body or the Osiris would represent a process of complementation. The reason why such ideas take an otherworldly form is because the unconscious likes to think that way, following archaic ways of thought. The way in which M-L von Franz supports such an unscientific and religious notion is surprising, but it safeguards the Jungian ideals of the Self and conscious integration from an alternative psychological interpretation. This is why we need a psychological term —complementation — as a correlate to the notion of integration. I hold that Jung has occasionally misunderstood symbols, such as the creation of the diamond body, as the integration of the Self, i.e., as the creation of an integrated wholeness as encompassing the opposites of conscious and unconscious. In reality, the diamond body, or the supracelestial body, slowly takes shape in the unconscious, without direct involvement on part of the conscious ego, which is instead toned down. Yet, a psychological interpretation does not rule out “resurrection” in the religious sense.

Lucid dreams

It is relevant, in this connection, to discuss “lucid dreams”. The dreamer wakes up inside the dream, as it were, and the dreamer becomes aware of dreaming. The experience can be pleasurable, for instance, when consciously soaring like an eagle above the clouds. This curious phenomenon has received a lot of hype lately. My argument is that it has symbolic meaning. Unlike what people like to believe, it does not point at an essentially new realm of spiritual life. “Waking up” inside the dream would symbolize how the subject wakes up in his subtle body, as if conscious life may continue wholly inside the spiritual domain, a metaphysical reality existing independently of corporeality. This concept coincides with the shamanistic worldview. Because of our archaic genetic heritage, the unconscious entertains animistic and shamanistic notions. So the unconscious creates an illusion of shamanistic spiritual reality. Why? Arguably, as long as personality remains entangled in in worldly matters, the unconscious will compensate corporeal identification by producing dreams that serve to emancipate personality.

It means that it’s an escapist theme. Since lucid dreams symbolize emancipation of psychic life, the dreamer really longs to escape his/her situation in the world. So the dreamer should probably take measures to become more independent of other people, pecuniary matters, and bother less with one-thousand-and-one worldly obsessions. Lucid dreams would point at the trinitarian spiritual discipline, that is, in some measure to stand aside from the world. Although it is naively portrayed in shamanistic terms, it really signifies the emancipation of consciousness. Consciousness has the capacity to stand aloof from the world, creating in personality a state of harmony and permanence. This is indeed a mystery in itself. Why would the unconscious try to achieve this, rather than an unconscious life according to instinct? The simplest explanation, according to Poul Bjerre’s concept, is to achieve psychological harmony, because it improves general health and perseverance.

Yet, it could hint at very important truths. Perhaps such dreams point at the necessity to engage in spiritual advancement in order to bring the subtle body into existence and to refine it. Although it is largely an autonomous psychic phenomenon, the process can be accelerated through conscious sacrifice and effort. A characteristic of lucid dreams is that if you decide to “do” something, and start to interact with dream figures, etc., you either wake up or go into a dream proper. Thus, it seems to symbolize a state of “doing nothing while keeping awake”. This is very similar to what mystics, such as St John of the Cross, strived after. Lucid dreams could symbolize the essential contemplative activity of mind, supportive of the unconscious process of complementation.


The Platonic worldview is relevant to the relation conscious-unconscious, because this is how the unconscious two-million-year-old man is thinking. It is worthwhile to know how archaic man thinks, and avoid fixation on conscious, linear, and scientific thinking. But the Platonic, archetypal, paradigm has introduced the danger of animistic regression. It can be forestalled with the introverted trinitarian concept of personal sacrifice, which implies that the power of life is given back to the “gods”. The Jungian spiritual path involves an archetypal succession of integration. But the mystical path demands self-abnegation rather than one heroic deed after another. The combination of the paradigms provides the solution. To sink into blessed unconsciousness requires that the individual has first conquered consciousness and achieved psychological emancipation. Following this, consciousness may sink into the sea like the sun.

The psyche functions as if it were an autonomous reality on a par with physical reality. This is how it likes to think of itself, although it remains part of the physical body. It is not required that its ontological status is established in theory. The archetype-as-such needn’t be defined in metaphysical terms. It suffices that the notion is useful and the archetype is experiential. The psychic reality-status depends on the presence of autonomous archetypes that seem to function independently of outer reality. That’s how the unconscious psyche happens to portray itself. If unconscious archetypes behave as deities from the Hellenic age, then we must acknowledge this, regardless of the metaphysical grounding of the theory. Jung’s worldview is monistic, that is, matter and psyche derive from the same underlying reality; the ‘unus mundus’, the abode of “psychoid” archetypes. Such a metaphysical edifice is not crucial to the notion of a collective unconscious. The complementarian perspective does not preclude a psychic existence that is ontically parallel with material reality. However, we needn’t make the assumption that they are essentially the same. This avoids the pitfall of materialistic obsession and also the danger of animistic regression. Long-standing philosophical and metaphysical quandaries can be resolved. We may relinquish contorted and warped philosophical systems, such as physicalism and idealism, that define the one in terms of the other.


© Mats Winther, 2011 (2015: added Addendum; 2016: emendation).


Death and renewal

Is psychological balance and fitness primary or is the individuative drive central to our psychology? Individuation depends on an unconscious impetus, because we must leave childhood naiveté behind and become responsible individuals. Also in adult life we want to make headway in order to feel content. But which is the egg and which is the hen? It is possible to argue that individuation is secondary to psychological harmony. Should personality experience stagnation, one would like to break out from the stagnant condition, even if much has been accomplished. What’s the point in remaining in a beautiful castle if one is bored? So the foundational principle is perhaps that life must keep flowing. But this also means that growth will occur.

In Poul Bjerre’s (1876-1964) thought, individuation is a function of the continual process of “death and renewal”. Any achievement of wholeness will sooner or later turn into a stagnated condition, from which personality must break free. It means that wholeness as a goal also means psychological death. On this view, wholeness is an ambivalent symbol. Although being a goal for personality, its backside is stagnation. It corresponds to the important realization that St Augustine made, i.e., that it is not worthwhile to strive after a worldly paradise (vid. “City of God”).

Bjerre, who was one of the first psychoanalysts, saw destruction as a central theme in individuation. If life has become stagnant, a renewal must be invoked. But this means that the old Self is abandoned and what has been achieved is thrown off. On this view, individuation can mean destruction, in the sense of breaking out of an old shell. Yet, it conflicts with the psychoanalytic notion of integration, central to which is the integration of disowned psychic aspects. In Jung’s thought, central to individuation is the collecting of psychic content into a ‘complexio oppositorum’. The principle of negation is given little weight. Rather, what counts is assimilation. Yet, evidence suggests that negation is very central. A woman recounts her dream:
I have had recurrent dreams of a woman living in an ivory tower, or other buildings, and being forced to leave. In one dream I was admiring the garden outside the woman’s tower. A disembodied voice said: “This is beautiful, but all this must change.” — In the period following, my life became much more “real” and a lot less beautiful.
The conclusion is that personality isn’t imprisoned in childhood, but we are wholly capable of changing our ways. It’s just that people are reluctant to abandon old habits of life, including cognitive habits. For various reasons personality remains stuck. It could be due to insecurity or inertia. I write something about Bjerre’s view of individuation, which involves also negation and destruction, here (cf. Winther, 2014b). From this perspective it is easier to understand this dream from my early twenties:
I entered a huge library with an enormous cupola, which had a pinkish plastering. In its centre was a round mandala with four black circles in square formation. I was awestruck. On the outside was the blackness of the universe. A voice said: “These are the holes through which the soul leaves at the moment of death”.
In traditional religion, it is a common concept that human beings have four souls that separate at death. For instance, according to Dakota Indians, one soul stays with the corpse, another stays in the village, a third goes into the air, while the fourth goes to the land of souls (cf. Wikia, here). Ancient Egyptians had a similar notion (Ka, Ba, Akh, etc.). The quaternity, which is supposed to mean life’s fulfillment, acquires the meaning of death. The dream seems to compensate the ideal of quaternary wholeness by associating it with death. So the quaternity is like the Mother of Life and Death — it is ambivalent.

The quaternity is supposed to mean fulfillment in terms of psychic integration. But the dream says that the quaternity means the opposite, namely the soul’s disintegration, its splitting into four aspects. Evidently, it represents the quaternity as separation rather than integration. It served the purpose of inciting the young man to adapt to life in a more authentic way. Heidegger says that the presence of Nothingness has this effect. Accordingly, one ought to remain aware of one’s deadly nature and “spend more time in graveyards”. This attitude was characteristic of Ancient Egyptians. Their own departure from the world was of momentous importance. If they could afford it, they invested great sums in preparation for their own death. Yet, they remained strongly attached to life. The ancient Egyptian mentality could best be described as Epicurean.

So the dream compensates a young man’s disillusioned attitude. The books represent the adventure of the spirit, which is being contrasted to the Death Quaternity. The dream is about adaptation to life through spiritual passion. One must take root in life one way or the other, before it is too late, when it is time for the soul to leave through the four holes. The dream represents conscious accomplishment and engagement in the form of a vast library — a kind of temenos, or paradisiacal wholeness. The message is that conscious zest is central. It could signify the Aristotelian passion for the wonders of the natural world, or the more abstract Platonic enthusiasm for the Forms, as it comes to expression in the fine arts, for instance. It means to take root in life. By example, I remember how fascinated I was with a book about flowers and herbs, and their ingenious ways of propagation. It surprised me, because it’s not a very philosophical theme. Jung wasn’t very interested in the natural world. He told his gardener’s son not to say “stars”. He should call them “planets”, instead (as retold in a Swedish Jung paper). So he didn’t even know that the stars are distant suns.


Arraj, J. (1999). From St. John of the Cross to Us. Inner Growth Books. (here)

‘Animism’. Psychology.wikia.com (here)

‘Assumption of Mary’. Wikipedia article. (here)

Augustine, St. (2015). The City of God. Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Ed. (Dods, M. transl., 1871)

‘Body of resurrection’. Wikipedia article. (here)

Doniger O’Flaherty, W. (1980). The Origins of Evil in Hindu Mythology. University of California Press.

Fernandez, J.W. (ed.) (1991). Beyond Metaphor: The Theory of Tropes in Anthropology. Stanford University Press.

Franz, M-L von (1980). Alchemy. Inner City Books.

    ----------        (2000). Aurora Consurgens. Inner City Books.

Franz, M-L von (1996). The Interpretation of Fairy Tales. Shambala.

Law W. (1729). A Serious Call to A Devout and Holy Life. (here)

Jung, C.G. (1969). Psychology and Religion: West and East. Princeton/Bollingen. (CW 11)

   ---------   (1976). Symbols of Transformation. Princeton/Bollingen. (CW 5)

   ---------   (1977). Mysterium Coniunctionis. Princeton/Bollingen. (CW 14)

Kandinsky, W. (1911). Concerning the Spiritual in Art. (transl. Sadler). Kessinger Publishing. (2004)

Placher, W.C. (1996). The Domestication of Transcendence – How Modern Thinking about God Went Wrong. Westminster John Knox Press.

Radin, P. (1957). Primitive man as philosopher. Dover Publications. (1927)

Roubiczek, P. (1968). Misinterpretation of Man. Kennikat Press. (1947, excerpt here)

Turner, T. (1991). ‘“We Are Parrots,” “Twins Are Birds”: Play of Tropes as Operational Structure’ in Fernandez, J.W. (1991).

Winther, M. (2008). ‘The Blood Sacrifice – its symbolism and psychology’. (here)

  --------        (2011). ‘The Complementarian Self’. (here)

  --------        (2013). ‘Complementaris Mundus – a complementarian metaphysic’. (here)

  --------        (2014b). ‘Critique of Individuation’. (here)

Zutphen, G.Z. of (1908). The Spiritual Ascent. Kessinger Publishing (2009).

See also:

Winther, M. (2009). ‘The real meaning of the motif of the dying god’. (here)

  --------      (2012a). ‘Critique of Synchronicity’ (here)

  --------      (2012b). ‘Thanatos – a contribution to the understanding of the collective shadow’ (here).

  --------      (2014a). ‘Complementation in Psychology’. (here)