Mantis Weekend 2023 | Lecture 5: Looking Behind Archetypes: Their Origin and Underlying Nature

Mantis Weekend 2023 | Lecture 5: Looking Behind Archetypes: Their Origin and Underlying Nature


About the Presenter

Peter Hodson is a psychiatrist and Jungian analyst and has been in private practice in Cape Town for the last twenty five years. In the last few years he also practices from his home in Wilderness. He is past president of The Southern African Association of Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) and a training analyst within the association. He has a particular interest in psychological transformation and how this happens in psychotherapy and has written and lectured on this subject. He has been actively involved in teaching on SAAJA’s training program for many years.


Abstract – Looking Behind Archetypes: Their Origin and Underlying Nature 

Jung’s archetypal theory postulates that archetypal images are derived from more basic underlying structures which he called the “archetype an sich” or “archetype as such”. These structures, or rather organizing principles are, according to Jung, latent and only become manifest and knowable when they give rise to archetypal images in the human psyche.

In this seminar I am going to suggest that these basic organizing principles, the archetypes as such, might be understood as a tendency to promote homeostasis/predictability and alternatively a tendency towards dissolution/unpredictability and transformation. Peter Hodson suggests that all archetypal images can be thought of in terms of their homeostatic or transformative character or as a combination of the two.

He will discuss how these ideas have been informed by recent developments in neuroscience and consciousness studies, and how they find a rich resonance Jungian thought. These archetypal principles of homeostasis/transformation, have always been fundamental to self-organizing systems both animate and inanimate and predate human consciousness. However, with its emergence, they have become visible and symbolically represented in the mythopoetic creations of the human psyche and the psychic life of the individual. He will illustrate this with reference to Joseph Campbell’s myth of the Hero’s Journey and case material.