Blending and Bending Complexes and Archetypes
“We can anyway not rid ourselves of complexes until they have given up on us. Their decaying time is longer than the life of the individual personality, since they continue in a kind of autonomous existence long after we have left th scene; they are part of the psychic inheritance of our children and their children, both natural and spiritual. The complexes are our dosage of sin, our karma, which if given up is really only passed on elsewhere.” (Hillman, Senex and Puer, p. 129)
Complexes and archetypes sort of blend in and shift shape as though the boundaries are porous. As I am learning to understand, they aren’t all that clear as each complex bumps into and merges with other complexes as though in a stew of sorts. The same seems to happen within the domain of archetypes where the shape-shifting makes them tough to contain, let alone name. As an example, Eros is considered to be the oldest of the gods yet also the youngest of the gods, the eternal youth from which life emanates and yet also the same youth who is eternally reborn. He is both the seed (masculine) and the container (feminine). On the complex front, the mother complex is twinned with a father-complex and is combined with the great Mother Earth archetype and the Father Sky archetype, a curious blend of personal complex, cultural complex and historical genetic memory as well as primal numinous image. Both are then combined to create a holy union of masculine and feminine that somehow end up being the holistic Self. Tell me you aren’t confused, that things aren’t definitely blurry. I have to admit that I am still in the dark and that it gives me a good feeling to be there. This is a cosmos that is far beyond the capacity of ego and intellect to really “know.”
It’s enough for me to realise that how I am in relation with another person is more about my history as it is about my present. My relationship to Other is a mixture of my relationship to my own unconscious contents (stuff of which I might never become aware) as well as to my relationship to community, to culture and spirituality; and, my relationship to the other person who also has his or her own history, etc., as well as a relationship to self, community, culture and spirituality. When all is said and done, I don’t really know the Other as the other person doesn’t really know him or herself. There is really nothing objective about objective reality, it is all about fuzzy projections.