The two papers in this edition of ARAS Connections underline something that I find myself thinking more and more about. When we are younger, the numinous power of archetypal images and emotions attract us like moths to light. As we grow older, we become more and more aware that the archetype is not enough or too much. What is most important is how we relate as individuals and as groups or cultures to the archetypal realm. It is not enough to be fascinated by the archetype. We need a relationship to it, not an identity with it. The two articles of this edition of ARAS Connections both exhibit a conscious relationship of the individual author to the archetypal realm. It is for this reason that they are so appealing.
Jacqueline Thurston begins her paper, Sacred Deities of Ancient Egpyt: Ferocity and the Feminine and Moon and Earth as Expressions of the Divine Masculine, with a narrative of her personal encounter with the archetypal images. It is Thurston’s individual encounter with the archetypal realities of the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses that makes all the difference in how we are able to take it in. Do we become possessed by the archetype or are we able to grow from and differentiate ourselves as individuals in our encounters with the archetype?
The same can be said of Henry Abramovitch’s The Healing Space of My Office: Analysis as Performance Art. What makes this paper so moving and meaningful to me is that Henry has found his own individual way of relating to the archetypes of healer and the temenos of a healing space. Henry is not possessed by the archetype. His office is an expression of a differentiated, human, personal relationship to the archetype. Again, that makes all the difference.
This edition of ARAS Connections celebrates making as conscious as possible the relationship between the individual and the archetype rather than inflating the individual with the archetypal.