I’d like to explain Archetypes as I use them. They are the characters and themes of humanity throughout the ages. The Collective Unconscious is our inherent ability to understand and identify with archetypes because of our common human experience. That’s my simple and practical interpretation of complex Jungian psychology.
Archetypes are found in our stories. They are not static — we can trace the differentiation of cultures and the evolution of humanity through our stories. These stories tap into our subconscious and can bring what we didn’t realize we knew into our conscious awareness, like remembered dreams. They can help us understand ourselves, the development of our lives, and the history and progression of humanity. Stories can help us understand our ancestral past and our connection to all living humans.
The archetypes of Innocents and Orphans describe the extremes of experience for a newly human being. The baby is born guileless, simple, honest, and sincere. They cry about their extensive neediness and vulnerability, and we care for them, protect them, shield them from as much suffering as we can. When the Innocent feels safe and secure, they love and trust naturally. They explore the world with genuine curiosity, wonder, amazement, and joy. Their laughter is pure, unadulterated happiness. The eyes of the Innocent are wide open, they are truly alive and living and hopeful, anything and everything is possible.
It’s harsh that we’re born all naive and susceptible like that, into a world of inevitable corruption that defiles the beauty we are born with.
Slowly but surely, no matter how wonderful your parents are (or very rapidly if you are abused and neglected), we get hurt, disappointed, frustrated. Our purity is polluted and our wonder turns to confusion. Our natural ability to love and trust is tinged by cruelty and hostility. We remember vividly the enthusiasm of unlimited promise we were recently so certain of… we feel cheated, tricked, deserted. We feel alone, unwanted, lost, and safety crumbles into abandonment, hopelessness, helplessness, futility. We are bitter, jaded, homeless, weary… and chronically in pain.
The journey is about comforting that sad, lost Orphan, parenting them so they can finally grow up into the Warrior she or he was meant to be. A warrior who finds and fights for the dreams of the inner Innocent, those hopes that once brought wonder and pure joy to life. A warrior that champions and grows the abeyant potentials of youth, holding the door of possibility open once again for the matured adult.