Archetypes as inherently plural

But la trahison des clercs has been to subordinate detached critical intelligence to the servile functions of “political” evangelism. They are thus the inheritors of the sectarian enthusiasms of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries presenting a scientific demonstration of Jung’s social principle: “No psychic value can disappear without being replaced by another of equivalent intensity.”  (Footprints in the Sands of Crime, citing Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 1933)

The cliché (…) is incompatible with other clichés, but the archetype is extremely cohesive; other archetypes’ residues adhere to it. When we consciously set out to retrieve one archetype, we unconsciously retrieve others; and this retrieval recurs in infinite regress. In fact, whenever we “quote” one consciousness, we also “quote” the archetypes we exclude; and this quotation of excluded archetypes1 has been called by Freud, Jung, and others “the archetypal unconscious.” (From  Cliché to Archetype, 21-22)

  1. Such “quotation of excluded archetypes” might be called “the living inter-relational current of forms”. Cf, ‘Media Alchemy in Art and Society’, 1958: “Massive achievements like Sigfried Giedion’s Space, Time, and Architecture or his Mechanization Takes Command offer as it were a vivisectional awareness of the living inter-relational current of forms and information.” Hence, in a letter from McLuhan to J. G. Keogh, July 6, 1972: “my approach to media is metaphysical rather than sociological or dialectical (…) I am not in any way interested in classifying cultural forms. I am a metaphysician, interested in the life of the forms and their surprising modalities.” (Letters, 412,)