Have you ever caught yourself becoming so engrossed in the events and circumstances surrounding a character in your favorite TV series that you physically and emotionally sense every single personal experience that they have?
On the other-hand have you ever felt a deep sense of vehemence towards a politician, a musician, or a celebrity - and for no apparent reason?
If the answer to either of these questions is yes then you have probably fallen under the spell of one or more archetypes.
So then, what exactly is an archetype? In her book, The Power of Archetypes best-selling author of several books on metaphysics and the paranormal, Marie D Jones, explains that at its origin an archetype is an energy pattern that lies within the deepest recesses of our subconscious.
What we tend to do as human-beings is to project these patterns outwards into our wider world where they manifest as people who influence us the most - either positively or negatively.
Today we are surrounded more than ever by archetypal projections and in her book Jones catalogs numerous examples of modern archetypes as they appear in films, books, TV series, and public life. These she organizes into groups according to the human characteristics that they have. Examples that she gives includes;
- The Hero and The Anti-Hero
- The Lover
- The Trickster
- The Mentor
- The Explorer
- The Rebel
- The Visionary
- The Warrior
A Personal Odyssey
Archetypes are not only inner characters that we project out and onto others. They are also frameworks upon which we hang our own personal lives. A good example of this given in the book is that of The Heros Journey as defined by Joseph Campbell in his ground-breaking work The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
In The Power of the Archetypes Jones considers the essential dynamics of many of the key archetypes that as individuals we either inherit or choose to engage with.
These may or may not work for us and in her book, she recommends that we list the primary archetypes that we recognize as having the greatest influence in our lives. This is an exercise that she considers to be important because it enables us to evaluate the core dynamics that unwittingly force us to behave in ways that are detrimental to our well-being.
This process of evaluation Jones refers to as 'back-engineering'. It is one that effectively calls upon us to dismantle the parts of ourselves that are not functioning correctly.
Further on in her book the author broadens out the reader's scope of understanding of the influence of archetypal powers by examining their emergence within dreams, as archangels, power animals, and within astrological terminology.
Towards the end of her book Jones characterizes the process of working with archetypes in the following way.
“Until each of us improves our own identity of who we are and begins to express authenticity and truth within our own minds, projecting it outward into the world, things on a grander scale will continue to be a reflection of the majority of those who simply aren't' happy, whole and fulfilled.”
Clearly the form and nature of the archetypes that we choose to express determines the quality of the life experience that we offer both to ourselves and to those around us. This might well be a good time to start re-examining them.
Our Review of The Power of Archetypes by Marie D Jones
It has been a long time since I have read a self-help pr popular psychology book that is quite as powerful and effectual as The Power of Archetypes by Marie D Jones.
Given that the subject matter being dealt with here drills down into the deepest aspects of human psychology its author has done a noteworthy job of explaining the nature of archetypal forms in such a clear, concise, and interesting way. This is a testament to her skills as a communicator for her skill in this area has resulted in a book that is a joy to read and absorb.
In addition to the writing style, the actual quality of content and its form of presentation are of the same quality as well. Apart from describing what archetypes are and how they work the book also contains additional features, such as deep meditation exercises and interviews with other workers in the field of psychological healing who also employ archetypal teachings. These add a real sense of depth to the book such that I found it to be a book that utterly drew me into its subject material from the start and totally fascinated me throughout. In fact, the further you get into the book the more interesting it becomes.
The Power of Archetypes is a spectacular success in all regards. It is a book that takes its reader deep down into the core of the human psyche and offers us the opportunity to emerge again from its depth feeling both refreshed and renewed. It is a transforming statement, an absorbing narrative, and a thoroughly empowering read.
Moreover, it makes for essential reading for anyone interested in self-development work of any kind.