Volume 1, Number 1                                                                                                                                                           June 1998


"From Archetype to Zeitgeist"
by Herbert Kohl

[from Greek archetypos, exemplary]

An archetype is an original, or model, after which other things are copied.  For example, the archetypes of the light bulb and the phonograph can be found in the Thomas Alva Edison Museum and the archetype of Mickey Mouse can be found in the collection of the Disney company.

[Deep within us, buried deeply, deeply within us...
beneath all the phony and the real,
beneath all the hopes and dreams -
"good ones" and "bad ones",
beneath what should be and what should not be -
the trash and the gold -
far beyond the reach of change and decay....
sits in Awesome Silence,


within The Holy Hush,
on the Throne of Glory...
The Recognition due Him...
the one whose neck is bowed...
whose knee is bent...
whose hands are cleansed...
whose heart is made pure...
whose pride of life is gone, given up...
puny self forsaken...
looking away unto Him Who awaits
the one who looks unto Him for HIS desire...
to guide their every thought...
to direct their feet,
 their every move...
their every desire HIS desire,
the one who looks for HIS Nod, His approval,
His DISapproval...BEFORE
the deed...
His Pleasure.


within the Veil...
within US...

HE Who awaits

The ARCHETYPE of ALL in All:



First "seen" through His Son - THE CHRIST,
(Archetype of the believer) Who is

Who has sat down on HIS ARCHETYPE'S RIGHT HAND,



WHO, in the End, IS...


of All.

Among all the archetypes within,

within me
within you

i bow...mute...deeply]


Jung wrote:

"In order to grasp the "fantasies" which were stirring in me "underground", I knew that I had to let myself plummet down into them, as it were.  I felt not only violent resistance to this, but a distinct fear.  For I was afraid of losing command of myself and becoming a prey to "fantasies" - and as a psychiatrist I realized only too well what that meant.  After prolonged hesitation, however, I saw that there was no other way out.  I had to take the chance, had to try to gain power over them, for I realized that if I did not do so, I ran the risk of their gaining power over me...

"I knew I had to abandon the idea of the superordinate position of the ego...I saw that all the paths I had taken, all the steps I had taken, were leading back to A SINGLE POINT - namely, TO THE MID-POINT.  It became increasingly clear to me that the mandala  is THE CENTRE  [Jung interpreted mandalas as spiritual maps of the relationships among the archetypes of the collective unconscious.  As a technique, he had some of his patients paint mandalas to express the particular [makeup] of the archetypes in their own unconscious, - i.e, the mandala The Lord gave me was the two interlocking rings (ring:  wholeness) expressing ISHI.  Only later did I discover the interlocking rings meant "union" or "marriage"].  It is the exponent of all paths.  It is the path TO THE CENTRE, to individuation...

"I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self.  There is no linear  evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self.  Uniform development exists, at most, only at the beginning; LATER, EVERYTHING POINTS TOWARD THE CENTRE [WITHIN]...

"I had taken the step into darkness.  When that happens, and then such a dream comes [as guidance], one feels it as an act of grace."


From "A History of God"
by Karen Armstrong


 The original pattern or prototype of our world, which was identified with the divine world of the ancient gods....everything here below was seen as a replica or copy of a reality in the celestial world.

Alam al-mithal (Arabic)  The world of pure images: the archetypal world of the imagination that leads the Muslim mystic and contemplative philosopher to God.


Considered Archetypes

Anima ( Man)
Animus (Woman)
The Divine Child
Christ, as the Divine Self
The Hero
Faith (Religion)
The Virgin
The Holy Grail
Healing Serpent
Wise Old Man
Wise Old Woman

"From Archetype to Zeitgeist"
by Herbert Kohl

In philosophy, the word archetype is commonly used to stand for abstract Platonic Ideas which represent concepts such as "goodness", "health", "strength",  "beauty".  The ideas do not represent any SPECIFIC good, healthy, strong, or beautiful person, but the very CONCEPTS themselves which are above and beyond any examples of them.  According to the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, (427-347 B.C.), these archetypes are PREEXISTING and ETERNAL and are THE FOUNDATION of any knowledge of the qualities of things.  Such Ideas, according to Plato, can only be grasped abstractly by certain philosophers, and are usually understood unclearly and in a confused manner by ordinary people.  According to Platonists, this accounts for the sad state of most people's knowledge and justifies allowing philosophers, who see the Ideas clearly, to rule human society.

The Irish philosopher George Berkeley (1685-1753) had a different notion of archetypes.  According to him, they are THE IMAGES OF THINGS THAT EXIST IN THE MIND OF GOD AND WERE USED TO CREATE THE WORLD.

In psychology, the term archetype was used in a technical way by the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961).  For Jung there were several layers to the unconscious mind, among which are THE PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS and THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS.  The personal unconscious contains personal material derived from one's own experience and therefore differs from person to person.  The collective unconscious, however, is characterized by the archetypes of the unconscious.  These archetypes, which are part of an individual's INHERITANCE from the history of the human race, are expressed through religion, myth, and symbol.  For Jung, the creation of religion and myth and the use of symbols are essential psychological functions that express deep and often inaccessible levels of human experience.  Jung believes that people inherit psychological characteristics as well as physical ones, and that these psychological traits represent fundamental truths about the development of the whole person.

The archetypes of the collective unconscious represent components of the personality that, when studied and integrated into consciousness, make it possible for people to become healthy and whole.  Three of the many archetypes that Jung discusses are the Anima, the Animus, and the Shadow [others would be the Hero and the Christ - who, in a sense, is the Ultimate Hero].  The Anima is the FEMALE PRINCIPLE of Eros (love) and sensitivity; the Animus, the MALE PRINCIPLE of Logos (the word) or rationality; and the Shadow, the REPRESENTATION OF THE EVIL SIDE of every personality.  For Jung, all people have both male and female characteristics, both Anima and Animus.  The growth of personality consists, among other things, of integrating these two facets of one's self so that one can be both rationally and emotionally sensitive.

Growth, for Jung, also proceeds by acknowledging, integrating, and balancing the evil WITHIN oneself, that is, one's Shadow.  In that way evil can be brought to the surface whenever it appears, and can be sensitively and rationally controlled.



by Stephan A. Hoeller

Unlike the rationists, positivists, and the followers of Freud, Jung comes to hold the symbolic and mythic content of religion in great reverence.  Not for him the sneering and debunking of Jesus, nor of any great figure of the spirit.  In his teachings concerning THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS, or objective psyche, he brings forward the notion that religious symbols arise from a common human source in the depth of the mind.  The physical reality of a historical Jesus is far less important to Jung than the psychic reality of the Christ figure as discernible within the functioning of the human soul.  The symbols and myths on which various religious faiths are based reveal the powers of interior transformation and redemption that heal and unify the fragmented and tormented mind and hearts of people.   Working from such premises, Jung views the Christian myth with its central redemptive figure of Christ as a great and well-nigh unique gift to humanity.  The psychological and spiritual value of the Christ symbol as a unifying and healing expression of that intrapsychic principle, which he calls the Self, appears as a never-varying recognition in Jung's utterances and writings.  He admits that Osiris, the Son of Man in the Book of Enoch, the Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tse, and Pythagoras all played a psychological role similar to the one of Jesus, but he holds that Jesus mobilized more powerful transformative projections than these other figures.

By recognizing Jesus as the greatest and latest symbolic representative of the archetype of the Self, Jung has given us an invaluable tool to be utilized in the study of Christian origins and indeed within all concerns and disciplines that address themselves to the religious problems of Western culture.  Jung's recognitions may also be taken as signs of hope indicating that the era of negative and confused attitudes regarding this most significant archetype of our culture may be coming to an end.

...All of this is of great import for our considerations in view of the fact that the Dead Sea Scrolls clearly show that the Essenes came to regard their Teacher of Righteousness as the new Joshua and his teachings as the "new Torah".  Amazingly, even the very mode of the concealment and preservation of the Scrolls effected by the Teacher of Righteousness seems to have followed the example traditionally set by Joshua, son of Nun....

What might thus be called the "Joshua connection" is clearly present.  Joshua, son of Nun, is the first archetypal prefiguration of the messianic principle:  a conqueror, a lawgiver, a concealer, and a preserver of the true Gnosis, or secret doctrine.  He is followed by the Essene Teacher of Righteousness, the new Joshua, author of the New Torah, who is murdered by the "wicked priest" and hung or crucified on a tree in the vicinity of Qumran, known on the basis of biblical reference as the "Diviner's Oak" and to the Essenes as the "Teacher's Oak".  The Teacher of Righteousness leaves behind various prophecies concerning the true and final Messiah (sometimes divided into two figures of the princely and the priestly messiahs).  The time is ripe now for the arrival of the third Joshua, namely, Jesus of Nazareth, who is slain in a manner similar to that of the murder of the Teacher of Righteousness.  Again, Jesus brings a new Law, or Covenant, and foretells His own Second Coming for a future period when the final battle between good and evil shall take place.  As the first two Joshuas hid their secret doctrines and sealed them hermetically, so that only the right people might discover them at the right time, so the Jesus of the Gnostics subsequent to his Resurrection reveals His own secret teachings, which then are hidden by his followers (albeit perhaps two or three centuries later), not to be discovered until the twentieth century in the form of the Nag Hammadi gospels.  TRULY THIS IS A MYTHIC PATTERN OF IMPRESSIVE PROPORTIONS, SHOWING THE UNFOLDMENT AND REPEATED EMBODIMENT OF AN ARCHETYPE:  The three Joshuas have an organic connection with each other - they are conquering, revealing, sacrificing, dying, and reappearing images of a Gnosis that ever seeks its expression, irrespective of the adversities and vicissitudes of human history.

Before leaving the Joshua connection it may be useful to contemplate a passage from the Gnostic Gospel of Philip discovered in the Nag Hammadi find:

Jesus is a concealed name.  Christ a revealed name.  There-
fore (this name of) Jesus really does not exist in any other
language, but his name is (nevertheless) Jesus, as they
might call him thus.  But Christ is called the Messiah in
Syria, but in Greek his name is the Christ.

The Essenes themselves were ever conscious of the archetypal connections of their own teacher with earlier spiritual figures renowned in sacred lore.  Two of these (in addition to Joshua) were the partriarch Joseph and appears to embody the archetypal qualities appearing as the suffering holy one, while Asaph stands for the inspired seer and miracle worker.  The Essenes looked upon Joseph as a prefiguration of their Teacher of Righteousness.

Under the figure of Joseph we are surely meant to discern
someone else, conceivably the True Teacher, who suffered
at the hands of lawless and godless men, and whose be-
lieved death was supposed to bring atonement.  That the
prediction relates to a Joseph-type was discerned by a
Christian interpolator of the "Testaments":  for after the
words "prophecy of Heaven" he inserted the words, "con-
cerning the Lamb of God and Savior of the world", so
relating the prediction to Jesus.

The Christian interpolator, in spite of his possible sectarian intentions, may have discerned the archetypal connection between Joseph, and the Teacher of Righteousness, and Jesus, with a clarity that we ourselves might be well advised to emulate...

It is but one step from these convergences to the undisguised intrapsychic mysticism expressed in the cosmic messiahship of the Gnostics.  The sequence from Joshua to Joseph to Asaph to Jesus logically leads to the Gnostic Christ, THE CELESTIAL ANTHROPOS OR HEAVENLY MAN...

Using the account in the Bible of the favorite son of Jacob -
whose death had been sought by his brothers and who had
been exiled from his land as a Messianic antetype, the
Essenes saw in him the anticipation of their True Teacher.
From this equation, and the doctrine of the two Messiahs,
there emerged the figure of a "Son of Joseph Messiah....
He would be the Man performing the perfect will of God
and suffering accordingly.
Higher flights of esotericism then linked the Man human
with the Man celestial, the primeval Son of Man, in whose
Universe-filling likeness the first man on earth, Adam,
was created."

Following upon the earlier prototypes (early images) or "antetypes" as Schonfield calls them, came THE EPIPHANY OF THE ARCHETYPE (primeval image) as perceived and proclaimed by the Gnostics.  The Essenes had envisioned it with remarkable insight, but due to their secretive esotericism they could or would not proclaim their vision openly.  Veiled in allegory and concealed by code and cipher, they guarded the messianic archetype in their secret Torah...

An intriguing problem which has presented itself during
the work has been the deciphering of a number of different
secret codes in which several of the works were written...
to keep certain works especially secret.

When contemplating the movement of the esoteric Jewish prototypes and their culmination in the new Messianic archetype of the Gnostic Christ, it is necessary to remember that his development was greatly facilitated by a powerful intellectual-spiritual development that did not have its seat in Palestine but in Alexandria.  The Great City of Alexander, located at the crossroads of many cultures and traditions, harbored a distinguished movement directed toward the synthesis of the deepest and most enlightened elements of the religious traditions of the Jews and the so-called Pagan peoples of antiquity.  As early as 250 years before the birth of Jesus, the wise men of Alexandria were busily at work in their attempt to discern the underlying unity within the structures of Semitic and Greco-Egyptian spirituality.  Every since the learned ruler Ptolemy Philadelphia (325-246 B.C.) commissioned a team of scholars to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek, this Helleno-Jewish spiritual conjunction may be said to have gathered momentum in its development.

It was the greatest representative of the "Helleno-Jewish" spiritual conjunction who became the first thinker to employ the term "archetype" in a sense closely resembling its usage in modern depth psychology.  Philo clearly recognized - as did subsequently the Gnostics - that the gulf separating the monotheistic God from the human soul may be bridged by intermediate spiritual beings as well as by exalted and indeed divinized personages such as some of the greatest figures of the Bible.  Intimately connected with Philo's teachings regarding such beings was his concept of archetypes, which was manifest among others in his teaching regarding the Logos of God.  This principle, said Philo, was in effect the archetypal manifestation of God in relation to humanity.  The Logos was the interpreting prophecies priestly effulgence of God uniquely capable of bringing humans to the knowledge of God.  Not only was this concept obviously utilized by Christian theology subsequently, but it also reminds us powerfully of the principle underlying the thinking of the Essenes, particularly their archetypal spiritual figures such as Joshua, Joseph, Asaph, and the Teacher of Righteousness.  By his own admission, C. G. Jung felt inspired by the teachings of Philo when giving the name "archetype" to a certain phenomenon of the pysche [the soul].

Jung defined an archetype (Primordial image) as "a figure - be it a demon, a human being, or a process - that constantly recurs in the course of history and appears wherever creative fantasy is freely expressed".  When the human being encounters [any] of these images, the impact felt is one of intensity and novelty.  As Jung expresses it, "It is as though chords in us were struck that had never resounded before, or as though forces whose existence we never suspected were unloosed."  Human beings inherently know that the archetypes are autonomous [that the thought, image or action is not from the human being], that they obey their own sovereign laws, and that while they are in the nature of internal experiences they reflect onto the screen of external human experience. Archetypes are thus present simultaneously in the internal structures of the human psyche [soul] and also in the arena of history.  In the course of his life, Jung came to differentiate between the archetype as such and the archetypal image.  The archetype as such, he said, does not reach consciousness, for it is lodged in an inaccessible region of psychic reality.  Archetypal images, on the other hand, regularly manifest to the conscious mind in dreams, visions, imaginative experiences, and altered states of consciousness. Archetypes as such, said Jung, are psychoid, i.e., they transcend the human psyche, namely, they belong to the knowable realm of consciousness.   From Philo this realization proceeded to the Christian Gnostics, who gave expression to their understanding of archetypes and  archetypal images in statements such as the following passage in The Gospel of Philip:

"Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in the
types and images.  It (the world) will not receive it
in any other fashion."

It is somewhat difficult for us today to appreciate the import of the archetypal element in connection with such figures of religious lore as Joshua, Joseph, Asaph, the Teacher of Righteousness, and Jesus.  An insightful Jungian writer, Lucindi F. Mooney, wrote concerning this:

Archetypal symbols, primordial images, actually do have
the same meanings as always.  What has changed in the
Christian world is the Westerner's religious attitude
toward them.  For example, the form or physical representa-
tion of the symbol, created by our earlier fathers in an
effort to express externally an internal drama, is almost
universally rejected as a mere piece of carving or plaster.
Nothing else.  Once such symbols are seriously questioned
as being indicators  for something beyond rationality,
they die.  Thus, our culture is one commonly referred to
as stripped of its symbols, as floundering between two
myths, as rejecting its own hereditary home.

As in the Gospel of Matthew quoted at the outset of the present chapter, so today we may be justly reminded that "flesh and blood" cannot reveal the true nature of the archetype to us.  "Flesh and blood" are represented in our contemporary world by our alienated egos enmeshed in an alienated culture.  Still, there is hope.  Much of this hope seems to be embodied in the documents of the Essenes and of the Gnostics, restored to us after a period of many centuries.  When conjoined with an insightful psychological understanding of their meaning, these scriptures may yet reverse the sad trend of spiritual impoverishment alluded to by the quotation above.  THE MESSIANIC ARCHETYPE declares to us, as it did of old, that it seems to us like a stranger, for it is of another race, but twentieth-century depth psychology fortified by the authentic heritage of the long-lost Essene and Gnostic core of Western spirituality increases our familiarity with the shining and mysterious stranger.  The old religious keywords salvation, sin, fear of God, blind obedience to dogma, and commandment are losing their influence upon the growing edge of the culture.  New hallmarks of spirituality have arisen, mostly deriving from psychological theory: self-knowledge, integration, authenticity, spiritual growth, wholeness.  In spite of confusion, reaction, and an often childish naivete, a certain Gnosis has appeared in our midst.  An image, a persona that characterizes the people who are responsive to this Gnosis has begun to constellate itself.  It is an image that is in itself archetypal in nature and thus may be said to resonate with all that possesses the radiance of that other, archetypal reality.  This new image may indeed be the harbinger of a newly dawning and more adequate myth for the West, a myth that would supply the missing compensatory elements Jung felt our culture desperately cried out for under the fateful, overriding imperative for its wholeness.

The search for the archetypes and prototypes of Essene and Gnostic lore is not without a vital contemporary meaning.  THE ANCIENTS WISELY HELD THAT THE GODS ARE IMMORTAL, referring thus to their polytheistic vision of the ARCHETYPAL POWERS OF THE SOUL.  Beginning in the dim mists of ancient Semitic lore, the transformative and redemptive image of messiahship moves on the pathways of history.  From Joshua and Joseph to Jesus and beyond him to the mystical and cosmic hero-God of the Gnostics, we see the unfolding of a mighty principle of redemption and wholeness, which has not lost its urgency for us even today.  The diminished recognition given to this messianic image in recent times is not a circumstance to be accepted or condoned.  Referring to this very condition.  Jung warned us:  "For it seems to me that the world, if it should lose sight of these archetypal statements, would be threatened with unspeakable impoverishment of mind and soul."

Happily we now possess means for the prevention of such an impoverishment in the form of the evidence in behalf of the spiritual importance and distinguished archetypal history of the Messiah-Christ image.  The nearness of the redemptive power of the Living God as evidenced by the prototypes of the Christ Image among the Essenes is but one important component within this evidence.  The inescapable nearness of Divinity reaches new and even greater heights of recognition in the flowering of the Gnostic tradition proper, to the investigation of which we shall devote ourselves.