Hephaistos, the Misfit Archetype

According to Carl Jung, marriage is prone to archetypal dysfunction. The myths are but representations of experience learned ten thousand times over and more through all of history and humankind, and these patterns are accessible to each of us through humanity’s collective unconscious. They are like old comfortable clothes that just seem to “fit”. And after the first blush of love’s carmine rose is faded a little, the temptation is to try them on. Why is this? It is because the old clothes are comfortable and – at first – they do not constrict. Also, because creating new clothes is difficult, tiring and time consuming. It takes a great and enduring passion to shrug off the conventions of our culture. Why make when you can buy or borrow? So, we find the archetypal pattern which most suits us whether we have read the myths or not. After all, we know a hundred people or more who have married and have known of many more. These patterns are innate to the human condition, as flashing flecks of silica in the coal which fires the forge. So, whether we are Penelope the abandoned, festooned with unwanted suitors, or a Romeo from the wrong side of town, who needs no introduction, or perhaps an Apollo or Cassandra, the dynamics are often so clear and striking that we wonder at how hackneyed our archetypal lives have become. But only if we are unconscious. Always, this must be our watchword and our code. To make the unconscious, conscious.
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