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Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Archetype?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Archetype

Archetypes Don't Actually Exist in Reality

An archetype is a concept you have to remember. There are no such things as archetypes that actually exist in reality. We can experience ourselves as the mother, but there is no such thing as something everyone could experience in the same way. Some people at some point are mothers. That's the reality. The archetype of the mother doesn't exist; it's an image, a concept. It is not a Presence.

Brilliancy is the Archetype of Synthesis on the Essential Level

Synthesis has to do with putting things together: seeing the whole picture and comprehending it as a unified truth. We take the analyzed experience—experience broken down into components—and then see the elements in a new combination. So we begin inquiry with disparate elements of experience: memories and impressions, observations and reactions. Understanding emerges only when an integration occurs—seeing all of the elements together in such a way that the whole forms a particular meaning. This meaning of the whole is what we call a synthesis.Of course, there must be a prototype, an underlying basis for this ability to synthesize. What is that prototype? Because Brilliancy is the original synthesis of all qualities, it is the prototype and archetype of synthesis on the essential level. And because it is an inherent synthesis, an intrinsic unity, its presence makes it possible for us to see the underlying synthesis in the various elements that we have analyzed. Brilliancy functions as the capacity for synthesis in any dimension, just as the Red Essence functions as the capacity for discrimination in any dimension. The dimension we are discussing here is understanding.

Contrasting Jungian Archetypes with Essential Aspects

The way Jung defined archetypes—as universal processes and patterns in the psyche—makes them a much wider and more general category than the essential aspects. If we define an archetype as any universal form in the soul then obviously essential aspects can be considered archetypes, but in that case so are fatherhood and motherhood. An aspect of Essence, however, is always an ontological presence, which can be experienced in time, but is eternal. This cannot be said about Jungian archetypes in general. That is why, for instance, images can obscure the experience of essential aspects, but tend to illuminate the understanding and recognition of the archetypes. We are focusing on this point because it is our experience that some individuals who are familiar with Jung’s theory of archetypes jump to the conclusion that they know what an essential aspect is because they know the concept of archetype. This can lead to the common illusion that one knows Essence when one is actually thinking of quite a different dimension of experience. Essence is a much less known category of experience than the Jungian archetype. To know Essence is to experience directly the eternal truth of Being.

Limitation of the Archetype Concept

For instance, we have already mentioned the essential aspect of the diamond body and related it to the archetype of the wise old man. The archetype tells us it is the part of our collective unconscious that functions as a guide for inner development. This is true of the diamond body, and hence the archetypal image is useful here. However, if we stay on the level of the image, we will not come to the diamond body; we will miss seeing that it is a guide because it is pure objective knowledge. Thus, we will not have complete and permanent access to this guide and its knowledge.

The Soul is the Essential Archetype of a Growing Organism

We see here that the potential of the soul is a potential for growth, for increasing development and maturation. It is not only a potential for greater numbers and types of forms of experience, but most significantly for a maturing organism. This is why we call the soul an organism of consciousness; it grows similarly to how a physical organism does; in fact, it is the essential archetype or prototype of a growing organism. We can experience our soul as growing, as an organically growing consciousness. Growth is a particular experiential category, an experienceable concept. Our experience of the growth of our bodies gives us a vague notion of the actual sense of growth in the soul.

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