"The point of archetypal images, like the point of myths, is not problem solving but imagining, questioning, going deeper. Archetypal images free us from identifying ourselves with our literal failures and successes or from seeing our lives as banal, or trivial. The aim in attending to these images is to awaken us to a sense of our yet unrealized latent possibilities, to save us from our sense of isolation and meaninglessness. It is to open up our lives to renewal and reshaping. Attending to the images creates a new bond between our personal lives and the collective experience of humankind."
"The recognition that I shared my deepest feelings, my most profound hopes and fears, my most valued accomplishments and most regretted failures with others gave me an entirely new sense of being connected to all humanity not just through outward relationships but at the very core of my being." Christine Downing, Prologue
"Archetypal images provide us with a 'self-portrait' of the psyche."
"The sense of being in touch with something that feels collective, shared, is indeed part of what 'archetypal' connotes." Christine Downing, Prologue
"Archetypal images are not remnants of archaic thought, not a dead deposit, but part of a living system of interactions between the human psyche and the outer world."
"The Greek root, 'arche', refers to beginnings, to origins; 'type' derives from a Greek verb meaning 'to strike' and from the related noun that refers to an impression or model. 'Archetype' thus signifies the model from which copies are cast, the underlying pattern, the beginning point from which something develops."
"Archetypal images feel basic, necessary, and generative. They are connected to something original….They seem to give energy and direction. Archetypal images give rise to associations and lead us to other images; and we therefore experience them as having resonance, complexity, and depth. They feel universal."
"When we speak of archetypal images we are not referring simply to dream images or to mythological or literary images. We are, instead, speaking of a way to respond to our ordinary lives with our imaginations, rather than only pragmatically or logically. We are speaking of a way of being in the world that is open to many dimensions of meaning, open to resonances, echoes, to associative and synchronous connections, not only causal ones. We are speaking of a world discovered to be full of sign-ificance – of signs, symbols, metaphors, images."
"We carry within us an intimation of a whole Self…that draws us toward a richer, fuller life."