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Reply To: Archetypal-Mechanics from an Unseen Aid,” with Craig Deininger, Ph.D.”


Thanks you for your many insights. And founded on deep and thorough scholarship/understanding. Deeper indeed than I am equipped to engage on its level. Nonetheless, all the more interesting to me as I dive in. Also, let me share the obvious that I was attempting to unpack archetype, unseen aid, and the rest, all within a 1,000 word limit. And within these very broad strokes, there is abundant content that falls apart under different approaches or simply under more precise investigation. But then, that’s always been the challenge with summation, with extracting formulas and structures, the mechanics, from specific phenomena: the briefer and pithier they become, the more general they become, and the more that gets overlooked or even excluded–one reason why I emphasize, for myself at least, the exception-formula (irony noted). And why, of the many insights you shared that I resonate with, is your observation: “unlike mathematics, we use the whole human, not just reason, to judge and argue for similarity, analogy, etc.”

And although you share this in the context of analogy (and bookmark that), it’s the “use of the whole human” part that I key in on. And I suppose it has to do with uniqueness, individuation, and the like, and from there, the relationship of these to such things as encounters with figures, or with calling,  or even destiny (and you mention “synchronicity”, bookmark that, too)—not that I’m going to figure these out or anything, but rather that I like to be near them and am able to somewhat do so by considering them, inquiring into them, wrestling with what they may be and be about. And that in so doing, I get to be in their company in a way, although so very marginally. I’ll take what I can get. And then there are other ways in: art, meditation, dreamwork, all that. One last thing on working with mechanics, meaning the likes of archetype, symbol, image…: they are (the mechanics, that is), to me, complementary. And further down on my list on the stuff that actually gets me “there.”

Nonetheless, they are so very effective in contributing to opening the ways. Anyway, just wanted to provide a context on where I come from before wrestling with the mechanics-angel. And on that note, your question “are archetypes necessarily deduced?” I would answer yes and no, and at least refine it to: Yes, in our investigations and designs of how they function, in the language, graphs, etc., we employ to express its function. And no, when approaching, or better, “imagining” the archetype per se (for how else can we approach it on its own terms?), as its own phenomenon, as (and now based on our designs) a source. But I like your point more, sharing Jung’s Answer to Job, and the futility of studying it at all. Indeed, that’s my kind of environment.

Anyway, I want to get hands dirty and get into some of the mechanics and content you share, but must pick this up tomorrow after work, since I’m fighting the sleep now even as I type, but wanted to at least get some response back to you. As potential areas of diving in, one is that I would very much like to hear more of your take on: analogy, since you have a keen understanding of it. I have been wrestling for years over its relationship to metaphor, if and where they overlap and where they go their separate ways.  Or not, we can stick with the archetype (and not the image) (my attempt at humor). And as I bookmarked, your mention of synchronicity—which for me, spills over into, I want to say, spiritual, stuff, but now too tired to wield words with much precision etc. So to be picked up tomorrow early evening. And either in response to what I’ve shared here, or to remain with what you’ve already shared, please feel free to respond and share an area or two, from your side or mine, that you’d like to dive into more thoroughly. And we can do so. Thank you! Craig