I. Introduction to the understanding of archetypal constellations through the lens of primordial mental activity

This book is inspired by my doctoral research that investigated how the neurophysiology of brain, the affective and somatic experiences and acts of the body, and the processes of language acquisition and use are deeply interconnected in the attribution of meaning that individuals emotionally and rationally ascribe to phenomenon. My focus of attention in discussing this intersection of a-rational and cognitive spheres of knowing for the emergence of personal understanding upon phenomena is centred in what Jung, Jungians, and post-Jungians describe as archetypal constellations. These are taken as central to my analysis because in reviewing the relevant theoretical literature that approaches them, it is divulged that their manifestations entail:

  • • a lowering of the individual’s consciousness,
  • • the happening of highly-charged affective situations,
  • • the occurrence of intuitive processes,
  • • the activation of a type of thinking that encompasses contents taken as previously unknown to the individual, but felt as if known, and
  • • a synergetic dynamism between the perception of a person/thing, of an action, or of a thought and the meaning of the event that unfolds in the immediacy of the interaction of the perceiver with her/it, as if there was an underlying reciprocity in the anticipated or predisposing ‘reading’ that the individual has of (A) the perceptual spatio-temporal mappings used to code the ‘metaphors’1 that structure the phenomenological reality with (B) specific contents of her inner life.

In this sense, manifestations of archetypal constellations are privileged instances to evaluate how affective tones, images, behaviours, and thoughts coalesce in the experience of an event, being as if consistently unified. In considering this consistence, it is essential to emphasise that the occurrence of an archetypal constellation creates an archetypal field in which the expectations held in the inner reality of the individual are as if reflected in -and lived through - her outer reality. This archetypal field depends on themanifestation of a strong affective interrelationship that allows for an archetypal image borne by the individual (A) to be projected and matched to the quality of the acts or speech manifested in that who or which interacts/ relates with her (B), determining a certain course of action or thought in the one who perceives (A) this given relationship. In considering the outcomes that can result from the constellation, we have that, depending on levels of awareness, types of attention and perceptual biases, quality of affective regulation, and personal capacities for modulating affects into identified emotions, individuals involved in an archetypal ‘field’ of interrelationship can actualise, enact, or symbolically resolve the situation undergone by them.

In the cases in which the archetypal inclination is discharged in the actions of the body, that is, in behaviours - through actualisation or enactments -I expose that an activation of subcortical areas of the brain, which, in the context of interrelationships, is what scaffold the possibility for meaning to be formed, does not become satisfactorily modulated or gradually suppressed by the cortical areas, overwhelming the capacity of the individual to develop a cognitive approach to the situation that is at hands, or compromising the logicality of this capacity. In this sense, the ways in which the individual ‘feels’ a situation are taken not only as the emotional background to an occurrence, but as the unfolding of the situation per se; hence, the feeling becomes the happening, and not that which propels towards it, and her reactions to it are, accordingly, expressed by how this feeling is sensorily experienced in the body. To support this starting claim of mine, I discuss the latest research deriving mainly from a correlation of (A) an appreciation for the philosophical concepts of the historic-social study of consciousness, and (B) knowledge from Analytical Psychology concerning the affective foundation of rationality and imagination, with the most current research in the fields of [Affective] Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Attachment theory, Embodied Cognition, and Cognitive Linguistics.

It is also important to affirm that, in providing this interdisciplinary perspective on archetypal constellations, I do not intend to validate Jungian theory with regard to brain physiology. Instead, I see this book as a [survival] strategy to recruit more practitioners to our field, for it aims to speak to and compel also a younger audience of readers interested in mental health discussions, an audience that is currently over exposed to the knowledge that derives from Cognitive and Behavioural psychological practices, and that, perhaps, is unaware of how distant psychoanalytic claims on human nature are the driving, yet unspoken forces behind the greatest contemporary neuroscientific ‘discoveries’.

With this in mind, I discuss aspects of the manifestation of unconscious physical affects and feelings of the body-proper that primarily articulate the possibility for the elaboration of the symbolic-centred aspect of psychic reality. My intention is to accentuate the inseparability of the mindbody dilemma; that is, debating how the affective- and perceptual-somatic adaptation to reality and the development of cognition are interdependent, and how in the experiences undergone by individuals according to the con-textualisation achieved in relation to their emotions and their cognition thereof, either mental health or mental pathologies, result. In addition, I encompass in these discussions the ways in which caregivers, as the primary agents who act and dialogue with the infant with the objective of helping it to ‘digest’ the intensity and impact of its emotional waves, are influenced by cultural, inter-generational, religious, and financial variables in their construction of the caregiving environment and observe how the infant’s temperament is an active and defining aspect in the formation of the attachment bond, impacting the quality and appropriateness of the parenting skills.

Thus, the main objective of this book is to introduce the concept of primordial mental activity (henceforth PMA), coined by Michael Robbins2 (2011) as the mental capacity that, in my understanding and probably not his, biologically participates in the priming, storage, and activation of archetypes-as-such (as they are developmentally discussed by Dr Jean Knox - 2003, 2004 -, hence, image-schemas), and affords them their fundamental affective tone, thus rendering them more than merely psychic images, since they become clothed with an emotionality that, in their manifestation, impacts the individual as if transcending her ego. Here, PMA is presented as the neural circuitry (a neuronal network formed by anatomical and functional connections among distinct circuits) that, being responsible for the non-rational and affectively-charged sensory-perceptual and motor adaptation of individuals to life, scaffolds and codes, through the bodily states it physiologically processes, neural maps that re-describe into mental representations (archetypes-as-such/image-schemas), the emotional information that is absorbed from and expressed in interpersonal interactions, giving meaning to these experiences through the enactment or symbolic exchange that occurs within them.

Hence, I aim to communicate how the discussion of affects, perception, image schematic compounds, Mirror Neuron System (MNS), somatic states, inducers, effectors, and markers, all concepts associated with the operations articulated by PMA, participate in the occurrence and accumulation of qualities of embodiments (experiences of bodily states) which, being felt, acted, imitated, imagined, or simulated, underpin the literal meaning of the words that are used to conceptually communicate content (especially emotional content). Thus, in this book, cognition is approached as influenced by the individual’s bodily experiences in the physical world, which participate in the formulation of abstract concepts and of abstract thinking - which is mainly metaphorical.3 Thus, I show how the symbolic derivations of archetypal contents are dependent on and influenced by the body - by how it is felt, isolated, and interchanging with other bodies (animate and inanimate), that is, moving, sensing, perceiving while simultaneously estimating, and developing also an emotional approximation to the concepts of mass, length, distance, density, time, temperature, pressure, etc., building from the regularities of the affects it undergoes in relating to them the character of the significant themes that will be recurrent to the individual.

With these ideas in mind, I discuss further the concept of archetype, that, although central to Analytical Psychology’s discussion of it being the gateway for access to psychic contents - images, myths, metaphors, symbolic representations - via the collective unconscious, is riddled with difficulties in its theoretical definition. In Jung’s perspective, archetypes-as-such are described as irrepresentable factors, the biological dispositions that sustain the core that dynamically organises experiences for the personality, which reside in the collective unconscious, underlie universal human themes,4 and engender their different qualities of expression. Archetypes-as-such become known to consciousness indirectly through: (1) the activation of archetypal images (Jung, 1947/1954, para. 417), which, being culturally elaborated, present the ‘character of a fantasy idea’ (Jung, 1921/1971, para. 473), and (2) the activity of personal complexes - clusters of affectively toned ideations - that gather around them (Jung, 1949/1961, para. 744), and arise as a result of personal and archetypal conflicts (Jacobi, 1959, p. 25). These representations of archetypes-as-such that structure the understanding of the experiences already acquired by the individual (Jung, 1918/1970, para. 10), or participate in the precipitating stages of incoming occurrences, are unconsciously activated in and elected from within the individual,5 through her sensory-affective perceptions and hence become actualised experientially.

Since archetypes-as-such constitute the structure of the collective unconscious, the latter then represents a much ‘deeper layer’ of the unconscious, understood as a universal formative field of ‘contents [thought-forms] and modes of behaviour’ (Jung, 1934/1969, para. 3). For Jung, the collective unconscious is impersonal (1916/1966, para. 449), inherited (ibid., para. 459), and corresponds to the ancestrality of the meaningful structural elements of the human psyche; hence, it is both the creator and container of expressions of human experience. In this sense, when a lowered level of consciousness taps into it, archetypes-as-such, mediated by archetypal images, give to the themes that compose the individual’s psychic processes their ‘specific charge’ (Jung, 1952/1972, para. 841), through the experience of the affective states they evoke by the attunement to the quality of being in the world that corresponds to the embodiment of a given image. Remembering with this affirmation that the affective image that surfaces to consciousness may be incarnated in the self or may be observed through its projection in the significant others that relate to self, unconsciously orienting consciousness in its relatedness to reality.

Thus, classically speaking, the archetype-as-such ‘is a tendency to form such representations of a motif’ (Jung, Franz, Henderson, Jacobi, &

Jaffe, 1964, italics in original, p. 67), being the motif, that is, the theme of the archetypal imageries, stable, but the imageries that represent it, innumerable. Consequently, this tendency enforces ways of perception and apprehension, organising the individual’s affectively charged unconscious processes in order to trigger an equivalence between her personal perceptual set6 and the archetypal expectations that colour her psychic life in a given moment, through implicated typical ways of learning and knowing what is targeted by awareness. Jung has also stated that archetypes are ‘patterns of behaviour’ (1952/1972, para. 841); that is, they support ways of acting in the world. Lastly, archetypes are deeply connected to the intuitive function (Jung, 1919/1972), relying on the unconscious apprehension of situations. The activity that intuition unconsciously performs through perceptions - in which unconsciously meaningful connections between variables are immediately sensed and experienced, hence, being based on feeling and not on conceptual knowledge - also answers for the inexpressibility contained in the numinous experiences7 that archetypes evoke (when they do). In them, there is the feeling that the concrete and the symbolic intersect, causing a deeply felt interrelationship that is thought and acted by the individual in connection with the objects to which the archetypes refer.

Such a broad definition of archetypes, which has undergone unsystematic changes,8 has been taken by the scientific community not only to represent the complexity of Jung’s thought, but also his lack of commitment to the scientific status of his theoretical perspectives. Critics have branded his theory ‘mysticism’, largely based on Jung’s portrayal of the archetypal collective unconscious as an all-encompassing meaning-making matrix from which all human psychic experience is generated, lived, and ultimately returned to, rendering it circular, that is, becoming both the descriptor and the description of everything that is empirically and phenomenologically experienced. On the other hand, other scholars defend Jung’s not purely objectivist approach to phenomena, an approach that considers comparative religion, theology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, mythology, the mystical traditions of East and West, and hermeneutics.

In considering the changes undergone by scientific theory and practice since Jung died, it is possible to comprehend that his ways of approaching the psyche and the ‘irrational’ forces therein were somehow attuned to Postmodern science-making,9 which questions the possibility of total objectivity in the investigative relation between observer and observed. In defence of this statement, it can be argued that, in his study of archetypes, Jung:

A Observed the inherent ambiguity contained in archetypal images (emphasising both their creative and destructive tendencies), hence complying with the irreducible uncertainty of their expression;

B Discussed the specific difficulties imposed upon the field of Psychology in its quest for objectivity, comprehending that for the psychological inquiry we have the humanity of the professional aiming to understand a human alterity (otherness), and, hence, that the subjectivity of the researcher cannot be removed from the interpretations of reality she construes;

C Admitted the impossibility of establishing one truth in relation to the analysis of a phenomenon, because ‘no judgement can be considered to be final in which its reversibility has not been taken into account’ (Jung et al., 1964, p. 47), accepting the inherent partiality of truth;

D Privileged the well-beingness of the individual analysed over the affirmation of the correctness of a theoretical standpoint, admitting the necessity for a theory to be plural in attending to the needs of different individuals.10

Lastly, it can be said that Jung avoided accepting basic assumptions on causality, as shown in his discussion of synchronicity as an acausal connecting principle.

Hence, to support the claim that Jung’s innovative approach to scientific knowledge cannot be discredited, this book aims to discuss a contemporary perspective on archetypes as proposed by Jean Knox, and aided by Michael Robbins’ (2011) concept of PMA. Knox offered a developmental model for the emergence of archetypes that analyses: (A) the individual’s development within family and community contexts, (B) the situated cultural emergence of the symbolic aspects of archetypal imagery, and (C) the self-organisation of the brain. Knox’s revision of Jung’s theory of archetypes[1] utilises advancements in knowledge of the brain, mind, and consciousness as portrayed by the fields of Cognitive Science, Developmental Psychology, and Attachment Theory. In this way, she affirmed many of its claims as well as correcting its unsustainable assumptions (as with her denial of the genetic inheritance for the manifestation of archetypal images), updating Jung’s theory with information that was unthinkable for the epistemological possibilities of his time.

Therefore, Knox portrays image-schemas - a concept that derives from cognitive semanticists - corresponding to archetypes-as-such, defining them as ‘abstract organizing Gestalts of an impersonal nature’ that comprise ‘early developmental mental structures which organise experience while themselves remaining without content and beyond the realm of conscious awareness’ (2003, p. 96). These structures are responsible for ‘sortjing] and classifying] sensory information into meaningful conceptual categories’ (ibid., p. 57), from where innumerable metaphorical extensions (archetypal images) derive. Hence, these patterns of sensorimotor experience that act as redescriptions of perceptual events are exposed in this book as mentally schematizing the internalisation of bodily experience through:

  • 2 Subjective interrelationships, accumulating information on their quality - observing the positive, neutral, or negative valence they arise, duration, and frequency, and mapping the intensity of their mutual influences, levels of closeness, diversity or rigidity of events lived through them, and
  • 3 The manipulation of objects (via sight, hearing, smell, touch, kinaesthetic perception, and detection of internal sensations they inspire -hunger and sleep), what when becoming associated (1, 2, and 3) in the unfolding of events afford the creation of generalisations over perceived similarities in information, and show how the body makes cognition possible.

Hence, my study refers to cognition as inherently embodied, and thus emerging from an a-rational12 basis. Embodiment13 in this book must be approached in the sense that it is from the physicality of the body and the particularities of the context in which it exists that certain conceptual representations are instantiated and developed. Deriving, therefore, from:

A Bodily states and experiences that show the body, intertwined with time and space, as a structure (objectified as a possession, or subjectified as the possibility for being) that dynamically unfolds the individual’s capacities for life through somatic events and emotion-triggered bodily sensations that substantiate her worries, joys, and ethics in various scenarios, interactively creating and displaying significant meaning, emotion, action, and intention, and

B The brain’s modality-specific systems interconnected for this ‘metabo-lisation’ of meaning. PMA refers to both these aspects of embodiment, as a subcortically located neural circuitry that encompasses limbic extensions to the right hemisphere (Robbins, 2013). As such, it is responsible for the learning and expression of unconscious affectively charged sensory-perceptual-motor information that organically develops in the interactions that occur in socio-historically situated contexts and relies initially on both the infant’s constitutional characteristics and the quality of attachment it experiences in relation to its primary caregivers.

The concept of PMA describes how emotional interpersonal interactions, considering their relational affective core, base and contribute to the development of consciousness, the unconscious, and selfhood.14 For Robbins (2011), these interactions must be comprehended from a broad perspective, since, from the onset of human life, they depend on and stimulate the development of the brain’s neuroanatomical structures and neural plasticity, and are initially based on the patterns of relationship between an infant and her parents/caregivers. Robbins maintains that, during the individual’s growth, the impressions acquired from this primary affective configuration through implicit and procedural learning will be further reflected in how the individual relates to extended family members, friends, and other socialising agents of the larger community. Particularly because the maintenance and activation of these impressions derive from implicit and procedural memories, which not in vain are also called ‘performative’ memories, ‘rely[ing] on schemata or patterns deeply embedded in the individual’s central nervous system’ that ‘do not need to engage in explicit recollection or reflection’ to be manifested (Shusterman, 2012, pp. 92-4). Hence, these manifestations demonstrate the basic affective relational patterns of learning and expressing performed by the individual in her lifespan, being a testimonial to the implicit and procedural knowledge accumulated by the individual, which are overtly displayed in her active and reactive patterns of adaptation, exerting an influence on the interpretation of situations, by evoking the affects that are considered apt to direct at these situations, thus feeding their expressions and the behaviours that will be based on them (Zajonc, 1998).

It is my understanding that PMA participates in the association of mental representations of sensory experiences - in the child and adult15 - with metaphorical and metonymical (cortical) ways of experiencing reality, by attaching emotional charges to them. Moreover, it is important for the reader to recognise that when I speak of this process, I refer to the patterns of feeling awareness that predispose, accompany, or organise our perception of phenomena, hence, categorising the qualities of our bodily relation to the gestalt of sensory occurrences. In this sense, I focus on the meeting, the psychosocial attunement that occurs between an embodied sensation and the ‘inscription’ of a feeling in the body, that is inwardly sensed (consciously or unconsciously) in terms of pleasure or displeasure, accompanying this sensation, and also construing the individual’s sense of selfhood and of connectedness to others, as a form of self-awareness that resonates or dissociates from this awareness as born in others. Thus, in my perspective, the metaphorical extensions (archetypal images) that derive from cortical conceptual neural structures (image-schemas/archetypes-as-such), might receive an emotional signature (its feeling awareness, as described above) that is charged with the affective valence that PMA’s impressions have extracted from the individual’s relationship to reality. Therefore, through the high connectivity between cortex and subcortical nuclei, these metaphorical extensions attribute meaning to abstract concepts on a physical and also emotional basis.

The best explanation to understand what I mean when stating that PMA is possibly the mental function that originates and attaches a specifically subjective emotional connotation/signature to an image-schema/archetype-as-such would rest in Samuels’ (1989) definition of the archetypal

as a gradation of affect, something in the eye and heart of the beholder, not in what he or she beholds or experiences. [...] An analogy would be a filter that is always in place, colouring or otherwise influencing what is seen or experienced. There is a sense in which the filter is the experience, [...]. The filter is what we term archetypal.

(p. 18)

In this sense, if we consider Samuel’s explanation in relation to my perspective of PMA, we could start by practically thinking of the image-schema of ‘control’ that, bodily speaking, mainly elicits notions on (1) motor control in moving through space, intersected with time, and visual control as to direct one’s focus of attention, and (2) on functionality, as it evokes impressions of the acts of exerting, or being under control of one’s own body, someone or a situation. The perceptual and somatic experiences that make possible the structuralisation and comprehension of the body as exerting, undergoing, and/or observing the categorisation of the ‘control’ pre-conceptual schema imply the orientation of one’s or the observation of someone else’s body within relationships marked by this quality of association, what, implicitly or not also involve an emotional dimension in it, that can be exemplified by being embraced, held, smacked, restrained, pushed by someone’s hands, stopped by someone’s voice or way of gesturing, or staring at one, losing one’s balance or timing.

If we associate the complexity of these notions, for example, to the function of the father archetype, the individual would have correlated throughout her biopsychosocial development a particular filter (or a conjunct of them) -that is, a more or less stable emotional connotation/signature attached to the image-schema (control) - through which to observe, comprehend, and deal with the perception of the relational situations that involve that archetypal energy. Thus, this filter finds a certain ‘hook’ in the situation that unfolds in the individual’s immediacy to arise, but it is primarily primed in the individual, from where it irradiates, in the main emotion she rigidly associated to an image-schema - not fully in the experience, nor in the social actors (be they mother, father, friend, etc.) participating in it. In my understanding, the ‘origin’ of the filter/emotional signature derives indeed from the perception of the experiences and of social actors that all together exposed the individual to a certain quality of a situated phenomenological field that developed specific emotional charges through the actions or verbal communications in it; but, after this general, somatic and affective impression of meaning became internalised it shows an unconscious way of repeating itself in new situations that do not necessarily elicit its operation.

In this way, if the continuously emotionally lived experiences of feeling immersed in the web of patterns that instantiate the ‘control’ image-schema -that can come from the quality of physically sensing embraces, grips, grasps, groundings, containment, attention, togetherness, separation, etc. - that led, in the overall, to the experience of a positive affective charge within the body of the infant, the structuralisation of the concept of suffering or exerting control over others will be coloured by an accepting, or more active than reactive approach. In other words, the individuals who are interrelated to the individual source of the projection of the filter/image-schema/ archetype-as-such referring to ‘control’ or to constellations of the father archetype will be unconsciously received as prospective trustable carers, enablers, wise and all-embracing presences, to the benefit or the illusion of that who retains the filter. In conclusion, the affective more constant than not quality that is introjected from and superimposed upon the events, involving power dynamics that distribute control, in which an individual is involved, renders her either suppressed, challenged, amazed, encouraged, revolted, or frustrated, depending on the filter she has solidified and through which she sees the image-schema/archetype-as-such of ‘control’.

This book discusses these happenings (the development of filters, or of archetypal affects) in both artistic expression and shamanic manifestations, emphasising how these activities are privileged channels of expression for the interdependence of body and mind, showing how PMA scaffolds the psychosomatic foundation of the archetype-as-such/image-schema. Part I presents introductory material that justifies archetypes acquiring their modus operandi in the life of the individual departing mainly, but not only, from the quality of attachment style experienced by the infant. I also briefly problematise certain theories of consciousness, to question the veracity of the primacy of consciousness in relation to the intimations of the unconscious mind (personal and collective). In addition, Part I exposes how affectively charged sensations of the body are indivisible from the way in which an individual creates and activates her cognizable adaptation to reality, informing the reader of how the body is what makes conceptualisation of abstract themes possible. Finally, I compare PMA with the concept of the fantasy-thinking mind, revealing how they can be approached as being the same process, when considering certain theoretical recontextualisations I propose as to be applied in the understanding of the latter.

In Part II, I mainly expose how the constellation of archetypes can be analysed through a perspective that honours the corporeal, affective scaffolding of symbolic data, in artistic creations and mystical experiences. I present the particularities of the mystical practice approached by me -rituals of Ayahuasca consumption - and describe the differences that can be assigned to their implementation in Brazilian and European territories. I also provide a discussion of PMA expressions and archetypal imagination in artistic creations of psychotic individuals, exposing how the individual’s perceptual somato-sensorial patterns of affectively relating to the world (managed by PMA) can be detected in the artwork, mainly by identifying the primary metaphor rooted in these artworks, which publicises their main conceptual message, that is, the construal arrangement between the indivisibility of a bodily (emotion, perception, and movement) and social experience projecting inference patterns onto an abstract domain.

Finally, Part III brings together all the many theoretical constructions I investigated in relation to affects, image schematic compounds, and patterns of behaviour, and their associations to theories of consciousness, Jungian and post-jungian knowledge, object relations theory, and neuroscientific claims. I conclude my interpretations of the reasons why archetypal constellations manifest either through behaviour or conceptual exchange of meaning and make recommendations for further research on the topic of this book.


References to the Collected Works of C. G. Jung are cited in the text by offering the year of their original publication and their reprinted date, and paragraph number. The Collected Works (hereafter called CW) are published in English by Routledge & Kegan Paul (UK) and Princeton University Press (USA).


  • 1 In a perspective that sees reality as revealed through metaphors, in which the immediate encounter of the individual’s perceptions with the phenomenological reality can be approached as a process of creating metaphors, in which objective reality stands as a generous source for the identification with and projection of innumerable analogies between what is seen (content) and who sees it (container), based on the individual’s attentional inclinations and memory retrieval, emphasising the proximity of meaning in the assessment of what reality ‘is’ or ‘is like’ to her, setting either limitations or expansions to what one can conceive as the realness of reality.
  • 2 ‘Michael D. Robbins, M.D., is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and is a psychoanalyst affiliated with the Boston Psychoanalytic Society’ (Guilford Press, n.d.).
  • 3 For example, as when ‘control’ (an abstract concept) is equated with ‘up’ (an adverb that involves a physical experience of spatial orientation, for it implies that something/someone is in a higher level of position) or ‘above’ because taller people have a tendency to control smaller individuals, or are seen as holding this capacity. Or when, in considering the distribution of power within relationships we can envision a shape (generally a pyramid), that reflects the organisational hierarchies as they are distributed and propagate their influences.
  • 4 For example: rebirth, motherhood, betrayal, engulfment, death.
  • 5 Who presents a varying degree of proximity to the collective unconscious.
  • 6 Whose dynamics imply an anticipatory selection of features of a stimulus and a readiness to perceive phenomena in a particular way, hence, establishing a perceptual bias, that generates expectancy, that is, a formulation of a perceptual assumption in relation to the perceived phenomenon. Perceptual sets can be rigid or fluctuating and are influenced by the individual’s cultural background, her bodily states, needs, and emotions; memories, the motivation that feeds a behaviour, and the context in which the perception occur. In following the economy of the mind, perception occurs as a more preconscious and pre-attentively analysis of input. In this sense, perceived contents that become conscious are mostly selected for the analysis processed by focal-attention, however, it is important to emphasise that the overall meaning built out of this focused analysis is not free from the influences that derive from the non-selected stimuli that were concomitantly occurring with those which became selected.
  • 7 This supposition of a relationship between intuition and numinous experience is supported by Pilard (2015), who sees them occurring simultaneously, but not being equivalent. Pilard states that ‘the “numinous,” therefore, always reveals in Jung’s writings the presence of an archetype, and, as a consequence, of intuition in the form of Anschauung’ (p. 88). For Pilard (2018), from Jung’s first usage of the term ‘archetypes’, they were directly connected with the function of intuition because he wrote ‘die Archetypen der Anschauung, “the archetypes of intuition’”, thus rendering ‘Anschauung, “intuition”, [...] the genitive complement of Archetypen’ and making ‘the structure of archetypes [...] that of intuition’ (p. 77). This means that if an archetype imbues a situation with numinosity, intuition is also an element of it.
  • 8 This may also be considered in relation to the time Jung dedicated to elaborating his interpretations of archetypes, from its first usage in ‘Instinct and the Unconscious’ (1919/1972) to its final appearance in ‘Man and his Symbols’ (Jung et al., 1964).
  • 9 The compatibility between Jung’s perspective and Postmodern science has already been discussed in detail by Christopher Hauke (2000).
  • 10 In this sense, Jung once stated that theories should be put aside ‘when you touch the miracle of the living soul’ (Jung, 1928/1942, p. 361).
  • 11 Some theoreticians have criticised Knox’s reinterpretation of archetypes. For example, Kerslake (2007) expressed that the minimisation of the emotional/ affective and symbolic aspects of the archetype is, in Knox’s view, extreme, rendering that the archetype, when taken solely as an image-schema, contributes ‘to attachment [solely as] mediated by a set of spatio-temporal conditions’ (p. 90), thus removing from it the production of imagination that could somehow be linked to the mental representation enabled by the image-schema in its formation, and not only in its derivations. Goodwyn (2010), who writes from the perspective of Evolutionary Psychology, commented on Knox’s strong denial of the preexisting evolutionary foundation for behaviour, pointing out that it derives from her dismissal of how the brain/mind is wired primarily in its emotional systems; that is, in its affective dimension. In Goodwyn’s perspective, Knox has a very cognitive way of comprehending emotions, which prevents her from observing the existence of innately pre-specified basic motivational programmes which evolution has given to humans and that work as innate value systems, expanded and modulated by environmental experience, not created by it.
  • 12 The ‘a-rational’ quality of PMA operations refers to their capacity to generate a knowledge that is not based on abstract laws, logical inferences, or conscious thinking. However, if we understand that central aspects of rationality and language derive from sensory-motor neural systems, and from unconscious, automatic, and implicit processes, and considering that PMA is what scaffolds analogical meanings that will be construed by reason, we should probably refer to it as ante-rational.
  • 13 Comprehended as the possibility inherent in the body to create, understand, and use symbols, hence permitting reasoning about their meaning based on the ‘activity in systems also used for perception, action and emotion’ (De Vega, Glenberg, & Graesser, 2008, p. 4).
  • 14 In a way that resembles the thoughts of the school of Relational Psychoanalysis, represented by the writings of Greenberg and Mitchell (1983), Emde (1983),

Stern (1989), and Beebe and Lachmann (1988), and more recently the scholarship of Allan N. Schore in affect (dvs)regulation, and neuropsychoanalysis (1994,2002,2003).

15 Because PMA is an aspect of the mind that, throughout the individual’s life continues to work alongside of thought, without becoming it.


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De Vega, M., Glenberg, A., & Graesser, A. (Eds.). (2008). Symbols and embodiment: Debates on meaning and cognition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Emde, R. N. (1983). The prerepresentational self and its affective core. The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 38, 165-192.

Goodwyn, E. (2010). Approaching archetypes: Reconsidering innateness. Journal of Analytical Psychology, 55, 502-521.

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