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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Archetype

The ideal, abstract type from which others may be derived. The word has been used in several senses. In Plato’s metaphysics, archetypes refer to primordial abstract forms from which objects in the universe are patterned. In Kabbalah, they are the models in the archetypal world. Helena P. Blavatsky stated however that the word “Archetypal” in the Kabbalistic system “must not be taken . . . in the sense that the Platonists gave to it, i.e., the world as it existed in the Mind of the Deity; but in that of a world made as a first model, to be followed and improved upon by the worlds that succeed it physically — though deteriorating in purity” (SD I:200).

In modern psychology, the word has been used by Carl G. JUNG to refer to innate patterns in the human psyche, such as anima, persona, ego and Self.

 

 

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