archetype

Archetype of Man: Ideal and Not Ideal

“We have to examine the question whether there exists an ideal archetype of individuals, in other words whether I and every other human human being go back to the Intellectual, every (living) thing having origin and principle there.

“If Socrates, Socrates’ soul, is external then the Authentic Socrates—to adapt the term—must be there; that is to say, the individual soul has an existence in the Supreme as well as in this world. If there is no such permanent endurance and what Socrates may with change of time become another soul and be Pythagoras or someone else—then the individual Socrates has not that existence in the divine.

“But if the soul of the individual contains the Reason-Principle of all that it transverses, once more all men have their (archetypic) existence there; and it is our doctrine that every soul contains all the Reason-Principle exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contains the Reason-Principles that exist in the Cosmos: since then the Cosmos contain the Reason-Principles not merely of man, but also of all living things, so must the soul. Its content of Reason-Principles, then, must be limitless, unless there be a periodical renovation bounding the boundless by the return of a former series.” ~Plotinus

Ideal Archetype

For most spiritual people and in most spiritual schools there is no question that there is indeed an ideal archetype Man (which include women). This archetype is what we were originally, that is, before the Great Fall. It is what we desire to be again. Becoming that archetype Man is possible if we are willing to work at it and develop ourselves. Michelangelo didn’t create David or any of his other great statues by just wishing and hoping for it. He formed the idea in his mind, then worked to make it reality. And he didn’t expect to get his projects done overnight. He knew it took time to get good results.

Intellect and Consciousness

One difficulty with trying to understand the philosophy of Plotinus is that he doesn’t distinguish between intellect and consciousness. As a result, he relates both mind and soul to intellect. In reality, intellect is purely a mind thing and the soul deals with consciousness, which is not the same. The intellect deals only with the physical world. It can speculate on things beyond the physical, but can’t really know them. The soul, on the other hand, connects to universal consciousness that exists in all dimensions, spiritual as well as physical. And the principle of everything living comes from consciousness. Only the physical body is a product of intellect. The realization of the ideal archetype means fully developing both intellect and consciousness, with the emphasis on consciousness. Continue reading “Archetype of Man: Ideal and Not Ideal”

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Solitary Watcher at Heaven’s Gate

“The ‘Being’, which has to remain nameless, is the Tree from which, in subsequent ages, all the great historically known Sages and Hierophants, such as the Rishi Kapila, Hermes, Enoch, Orpheus, etc., have branched off. As objective man, he is the mysterious (to the profane—the ever invisible) yet ever present Personage about whom legends are rife in the East, especially among the Occultists and the students of the Sacred Science. And it is he again who hold spiritual sway over the initiated Adepts, throughout the whole world. He is, as said, the ‘Nameless One’ who has so many names and whose very nature are unknown. He is the ‘Initiator,’ called the ‘GREAT SACRIFICE.’ For sitting at the threshold of LIGHT, he looks into it from within the circle of Darkness, which he will not cross; nor will he quit his post till the last day of this life-cycle. Why does the solitary Watcher remain at his self-chosen post? Why does he sit by the fountain of primeval Wisdom … neither on this Earth, nor in the heaven? Because the lonely sore-footed pilgrims on their way back to their home are never sure to the last moment of not losing the way in this limitless desert of illusion and matter called Earth-Life.” ~H. P. Blavatsky

Solitary Watcher

It seems from the quoted description, and other sources, that this solitary watcher is not a single being, but a type of being. This is the guide along the path of enlightenment. He is the soldier who protects the initiates as much as possible from attack by dark beings. He is the archetype of man, who we all wish to return to, even if we don’t know it. It is the being we wish to become.

Archetype of Man

To Carl Jung, archetypes were universal patterns or images that are part of the collective unconscious. They are potentials, goals. He believed that the subconscious or unconscious mind had layers. He called the second layer the “collective unconscious.” This layer is common to all. In it is found instinctive thought and universal concepts and patterns. Among these patterns are the archetypes. There are actually four archetypes for man. The one that represents the Solitary Watcher is called the Magician. Robert Moore says, “The magician is the knower, He knows secret and hidden knowledge of all kinds”. This sounds, not surprisingly, like a description of Gnosis. The magician is powerful and unafraid.

Or it may be that the Solitary Watcher is more like a combination of the sage, the Soul, and the Magician. Three different, yet related archetypes. He represents the ideal of the spiritual seeker. He wants to better himself, better the world, and learn the truth. He has escaped the illusion. Continue reading “Solitary Watcher at Heaven’s Gate”

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Archetype of Man and Platonic Recollection

“It is now generally agreed that the Platonic doctrine of anamnesis was derived from the Pythagorean tradition. But with Plato it is no longer a matter of personal recollection of personal lives, but of a kind of ‘impersonal memory’ buried deep in each individual, made up of the memories of the time when the soul was directly contemplating the Ideas. There can be nothing personal in these recollection; … we remember only the Ideas. …

“In this Platonic doctrine of Ideas, Greek philosophy renewed and re-valorised the archaic and universal myth of a fabulous, pleromatic illud tempus1, which man has to remember if he is to know the truth and participate in Being. The primitive, just like Plato in his theory of anamnesis, does not attach importance to personal memory: only the myth, the exemplary History is of importance to him.” ~Mircea Eliade

Platonic Recollection

It is popular today among those interested in spiritual things to seek to know about past lives. They do past life regression to find out who they were in the past. But whether yo believe in reincarnation or not, Plato didn’t concern himself or his students with their personal past, if any, but with man’s past. Specifically, Plato wanted us to look back to the beginning, to archetypal man and woman. Why? Because it was their goal to return to that person. They didn’t want to become an ancestor, whether that ancestor was a king or a turnip farmer, they wanted to go back to the beginning: to the perfection of the archetype.

Adam the Archetype

The tale of Adam and Eve is taken too literally by some and laughed at by others. Both those who take it as historical fact and those who consider it complete fantasy are wrong. The story is essentially true, but as an allegorical tale of the archetype of man rather that a literal story of historical facts. That does not make it fantasy. Allegorical tales are just as real as literal ones, but on a different level of consciousness.

Man Has to Remember

It is not so much that man has to remember the archetype in order to “know the truth and participate in Being,” It is that man has to have a path to follow to awaken, develop his spiritual self, and get to the truth. You hear on social media all the time that “everyone’s path is different,” and we all have “our own path to follow”. Nonsense. Yes, we are all starting in different places, but the destination is the same for all of us.

If you want to fly to London, England, which flight you take will not be the same if you start in New York rather than in Paris, France. But in both cases, if you randomly jump on a plane or train with the hope of someday getting to London, the chances of it happening are slim. You need to travel a path that goes in the right direction and towards the destination. That destination is represented by Adam, the archetype of Man. That destination is spirit, not matter, so programs that help the physical body may be useful, but they won’t put you on the path. The goal is to save the soul, not the body, so only a spiritual being can be the archetype of man. That is what Plato wanted his students to understand.


1 – A return to the time of a golden Age of wisdom.

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