The Psychology of The Child Archetype (P1)


I believe nothing is so crucial as raising our children with care and awareness. Of course, these loved ones need not only care but also have a deep desire for love and passion. I, myself, haven’t had an easy childhood. It was full of suffering and trauma; although challenging, love was strong among us.

When I became a father (it wasn’t planned), I was in the twilight of my chaotic unclear future and being the right father. I wasn’t prepared to take responsibility though I did my best to do so. At that time, I noticed how a child could be aware of its environment.
My son liked me so much, even when he was crawling, even though I wasn’t always present. And as I had experienced the lacking of father, I tried to avoid him becoming such a vacuum. But it was amazing for me to see how he’d realize and somewhat understand my situation. Since then, I have been convinced that children are much more conscious than we imagine.

Dr Carl Jung quoted this:

The “child” is all that is abandoned and exposed and, at the same time, divinely powerful; the insignificant, dubious beginning and the triumphal end. The “eternal child” in (hu)man is an indescribable experience, an incongruity, a handicap, and a divine prerogative, an imponderable that determines the ultimate worth or worthlessness of a personality. (…) …” (Jung, CW n. 9i, The Archetype of the Child)

Now, as a grandpa, I see this in my grandchildren. For example, my wife and I keep trying to have our grandchildren, Mila and Ilias, alternately sleep with us.
Once it was Ilias’ turn, it looked like it wasn’t his day because, in the beginning, when his father brought him to us, he wasn’t that enthusiastic. Anyway, I took him to the sitting room and brought different toys and playing stuff to play with. As I noticed his uneasiness, I tried to observe his behaviour. He was stunningly aware of this forced situation and knew no other solution existed. He began to play with me with cars and the railway carriage, but I noticed it very well with his sometimes aggressive reactions and how he tried to suppress his anger and dissatisfaction. I could expect it from a grownup but from a two-year-old child? It was exciting. I was more stunned as I asked him after his every outburst, “what is going on? Are you OK? He tried to calm himself, though I believe he didn’t know the reason why precisely.

To care about this phenomenon, we must be absolutely awakened and calm their soul with love and comfort. We need to know more about children and accept that they also have a certain consciousness. I’d call this “Instinct or Intuition. I am sure that they have it.

Carl Gustav Jung, Herbert Read, Michael Fordham, Gerhard Adler (1954). “The development of personality”

Dr Jung, in his book about Archetypes: a) The Archetype as a Past State, explains that;

There is no “reasonable” substitute for the archetype, any more than for the cerebellum or the kidneys. You can explore body organs anatomically, histologically and developmentally. The description of the archetypal phenomenology and a historical-comparative representation of the same corresponds to this. However, the meaning of bodily organs results solely from the teleological question. Hence the question arises: what is the biological purpose of the archetype? As physiology answers the question for the body, it is psychology’s concern to answer the same question for the archetype.

With statements such as that the child motif is a remnant of the memory of one’s own childhood and similar explanations, the question is only evaded. On the other hand, if we say – with a slight modification of this sentence – that the child motif is the image of certain things of our own childhood that we have forgotten, then we come closer to the truth. But since the archetype is always an image that belongs to the whole of humanity and not just to the individual, we might formulate it better: The child motif represents the preconscious childhood aspect of the collective soul.

And he adds as a footnote something essential:

It is perhaps not superfluous to note that lay prejudice is always inclined to equate the child motive with the concrete experience ‘child’ as if the real child were the causal premise for the existence of the child motive. In psychological reality, however, the empirical idea of ‘child’ is only a means of expression (and not even the only one!) for expressing a mental fact that cannot be defined more precisely. That is why the mythological conception of the child is expressly not a copy of the empirical “child” but a symbol that is clearly recognizable as such: it is a question of a divine, wonderful, precisely not human child, begotten, born, and raised under very unusual circumstances. Its deeds are as wonderful or monstrous as its nature or physical condition. It is solely because of these non-empirical properties that there is any need to speak of a ‘child motive’. Moreover, the mythological child is varied as a god, giant, thumbstall, etc., pointing to causality no less than rational or concretely human. The same applies to the archetypes of “father” and “mother”, which are also mythologically irrational symbols.

Images credit: Victor Nizovtsev / Erika C Brothers _ Modern Art on Canvas _

To be continued! 💖

13 thoughts on “The Psychology of The Child Archetype (P1)

  1. This is a wonderful read Aladin! Thank you for sharing. I truly believe that grandchildren need grandparents so much and visa versa, because each seems able to offer the other unconditional love. It’s pure joy to watch these relationships grow and bloom. In many countries, including the UK, parents could not work without grandparents taking up much of childcare responsibilities.

    A great quote by Jung, and that image too! It’s so true, warmth is the vital ingredient in all hearts and souls, no matter the age. Whatever you’re doing, hope you have a lovely weekend. Ostara blessings! Love and light, Deborah.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right, my angel. It is grandiose to find such moments. I must confess, I never thought of having such experiences. Although, the child’s soul is one of the essential matters in our life to overlook and care for. No difference if there are parents or grandparents. Love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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