Sunday, April 5, 2020

Morphogenetic Fields and Archetypal Psychology

Personality theory is one of the most exciting, relevant, significant and research-driven areas of study and research in Psychology. It has given rise to a plethora of psychological paradigms (Aamodt, M. & Raynes, B., 2001; Alfonso, Herminia Corazon M., 2001; Allport, Gordon, 1937; Feist, Jess & Feist, Gregory J., 2006). It is able to develop translation protocols whereby cutting edge research can reach mass consciousness through various literary sources, including massive outputs in the book publishing business year after year. Together with Psychometrics (Psychological testing and measurement) and Psychotherapy, Personality theory research and development is the very heart of Psychology itself (Cattel, R.B., 1990; Eysenck, 1982; Feist, Jess & Feist, Gregory J., 2006; Fraenkel, Wallen & Hyun, 2012; Gardner, 1983; Goleman, 2006). People from all walks of life are fascinated with its findings, lessons and insights.
From one dimension of knowledge acquisition, the field of Archetypal and Analytical Psychology (Jungian Psychology) is one of the most interesting. Though the concept of the archetype has been known since the time of the great Lord Plotinus of Alexandria, the field itself is one of the youngest in the whole array of the social sciences. Given scientific impetus by the brilliant insights of Dr. Carl Jung, research into the archetypes continues to stimulate interesting discussions from all sides of the scientific spectrum. Popularized by current writers of archetypal, transpersonal, evolutionary and humanistic psychology, the once-nebulous concept of the archetype is now definitely instilled in the popular consciousness of modern man. It has driven much research and continues to encourage those courageous enough to explore uncharted territories in the fields of psychology and education. During the time of Jung, he contemplated the possibility of psychology itself and this subfield of Jungian psychology (Archetypal psychology) as the central core in the search for cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary dialogue in the social as well as the natural sciences. This incredible dream can still be a reality.
From another dimension of knowledge acquisition, the field of evolutionary biology is gaining renewed interest. This comes at a time when new research in the cutting edge fields of science like complex systems theory, information theory and quantum physics are just about to reach mass consciousness. Due to the technical sophistication inherent in these fields, their most technical findings have been limited to those who have been mentally initiated at the highest levels. Yet, there is a growing clamour to make the recent findings of these fields more comprehensive to the general reader as well as the avid student of science. In evolutionary biology, the controversial concept of the morphogenetic field is still relevant, since confirmatory research has not been exhausted in this area.
Using the principles of knowledge synthesis, cross-fertilization and integration, this paper attempts to develop a theoretical framework for personality structure and development in archetypal psychology by linking the concept of the collective unconscious with that of the morphogenetic field. While doing this, a parallel objective would be to present a theory of the archetypes from a different point of view, postulating them in the light of the interaction of the collective unconscious with the morphogenetic field. It is the hope of this study to enlighten the general reader on the nature of the archetypes, their functions in personality development, and their nativity as a function of the multidimensional interaction of the collective unconscious with its corresponding morphogenetic fields.
The Collective Unconscious is a cauldron of information characterized by latent imagery, intelligence and archetypal power. On the other hand, the morphogenetic field is a dynamic topology characterized by expressive potency, versatile functionality and dynamic power to demonstrate the archetypes. The former is powerful information at its very core while the latter possesses the dynamic architecture and matrix with which to express the archetypes of mankind. Together, they fuse energy and matter and information and biological architecture into a fluid form which incarnates in space and time. Together, they give rise to Life. They produce Life in all its myriad forms.
The primacy of the collective unconscious is fundamental. In his book, The Origins and History of Consciousness, Erich Neumann makes quite a powerful statement:
The cardinal discovery of transpersonal psychology is that the collective psyche, the deepest layer of the unconscious, is the living ground current from which is derived everything to do with a particularized ego possessing consciousness: upon this it is based, by this it is nourished, and without this it cannot exist. (Neumann, 1954, page 270).
It is the primary postulate of this paper that this dynamic interaction of collective unconscious and morphogenetic field is the causative agency that gives rise to the dance of the archetypes, arrayed in logical progression from incipiency to culmination. Using this paradigm, personality structure and development can be viewed as a function of this dynamic interaction in space and time. The secondary postulate of this paper is that this multiphasic interaction can be conceptualized as occurring in twelve distinct but connected stages. These twelve stages are a natural progression of the creation, maintenance and development of a complex dynamic system. Being aware of this dynamic interaction, we can extend the exploratory mandate of this paper as the ability to integrate both Archetypal Psychology and Evolutionary Biology with Complex Systems Theory.
These twelve stages of dynamic interaction between collective unconscious and morphogenetic field can be comprehended better if we associate and represent them with relevant associations in the archetypal world. Let us represent them in a table and then discuss them comprehensively within the table.
Table 1: Phases of Interaction Between Collective Unconscious and Morphogenetic Field
In this initial phase, collective unconscious interfaces with a morphogenetic field. The information potential of the former tries to assert itself in the latter. In order to succeed, its relative strength must exceed that of the latter. Morphogenetic field finds that collective unconscious is irresistible initially. A singularity is born.
The Inceptor/Warrior Archetype. Has overwhelming amounts of energy potential. The fundamental impetus is to express this energy in significant contexts. The capacity of energy to express itself becomes the very attractor state. The personality is driven, impulsive, aggressive, competitive and narcissistic. This has been popularized as child or the warrior archetype.
This second stage is morphogenetic field’s reaction to the first stage. Like an immune system, it reacts in an extreme manner and tries to stabilize the collective unconscious in a topological framework. Dialogue is born between collective unconscious and morphogenetic field. An unstable equilibrium is maintained.
The Builder/Naturalist Archetype. This is a reaction to the first stage. The morphogenetic field, in its attempts to stabilize, encases the incipient collective unconscious in a matrix strong enough to hold it. Here, the personality is attracted to nature and its products as a reflection of this attempted stabilization. The personality is acquisitive, stubborn, materialistic, and determined to master its environment.
In this stage, collective unconscious and morphogenetic field try to improve the relations between each other by attempting all forms of paradigmatic communication and exchange. While respecting each other as separate entities, they nevertheless initiate tentative attempts at cross-fertilization. These attempts to integrate communication protocols achieve novel states of information processing.
The Communicator/Prodigy Archetype. Being a model of initial cross-fertilization, the personality is dualistic, superficial, and easily distracted. On the positive side, it is versatile, open-minded, and has almost unlimited curiosity to explore novel states and experiences. It is also adept at mastering communication protocols. A true genius in information processing is born.
In this stage, collective unconscious and morphogenetic field achieve a unique form of integrated state. Existing now as an informational field with an existing data memory enclave dedicated to the promotion of its uniqueness. States of contemplation are achieved whereby the being reflects on the stream of its shared consciousness framework. The collective unconscious is still predominant at this stage, though and manifests through Art in various forms.
The Caregiver/Nurturer Archetype. This archetype is particularly devoted to memory. Its nativity and history are given paramount significance. Manifesting in personality as emotionality. Emotions serve as the engine of growth. The personality is intuitive, perceptive, emotional, secretive and creative. And there also exists a predilection to be affiliated with nativity and caregiver systems. The personality is unusually attracted to history.
This stage is an emergent stage whereby the alchemical fusion that occurred in the preceding stage culminates in the creation of a new kind of personality, which nevertheless carries elements of the previous developmental phases. The new complex system can be characterized as an adult, able to withstand interpersonal relations with others. As a nucleus of continuing development, the ego develops considerably in this stage. It begins to act as the center of consciousness. Apt descriptions of this stage would be terms such as the adult, or the individuality. A personal unconscious is now sharply defined and differentiated.
The Star/Artist Archetype. In this developmental stage, a strong ego is of paramount importance. By developing a strong ego, the personality can now begin to express itself on equal terms with other personalities. Also born are such parameters as occupational excellence, and smooth interpersonal relations between it and others. With a strong ego, the individuality is able to wisely manage the massive energy potential still on tap which has been its legacy since the very first incipient stage. The individuality is creative, and attracts all sorts of creative environments.
In previous stages, the being gradually discovers that its morphogenetic field is a very powerful transformer or transducer of energy. Without a strong ego, the being had to rely on the maintenance of a precarious balance between itself and environment. It also surrendered itself to the whims and caprices of this unstable equilibrium. With a strong ego, the individual is now able to manipulate, explore, and express the powers of its morphogenetic field and project this ability towards mastering its environment.
The Worker/Engineer/Logician Archetype. With a strong ego now developed in the preceding stage, the individual is empowered to master its environment. And master its environment, it shall. By leaps and bounds! This personality possesses isomorphic intelligence. He/she is hardworking, determined, precise, and accurate. He takes great pride in his/her work. She/he is a paragon of craftsmanship.
Reflecting stage three where the creation of novel communication protocols is at a maximum, this stage is characterized by a similar objective. The difference is that the individuality, now possessing a mature ego, is able to focus its emergent powers on complementarity, and the ability to enter into significant relationships with others. This phase is a contemplation of self and otherness.
The Diplomat/Lover Archetype. Complementarity is pursued as the personality possesses a healthy blend of awareness of the needs of Self balanced with that of the Other. The personality is diplomatic, charming and given to social constructs and activities. There is the ability to be sensitive to the needs of others. This is the perfect personality for diplomacy.
In this stage, the mature ego is able to contemplate and experience fusion with another on a very intimate level. Reflecting stage four, it prioritizes conjugation protocols whereby large sets of informational memory patterns are exchanged. Exclusivity in conjugation is a must. Alchemical fusion of two beings may occur in ecologies of intimacy. Which means a personal unconscious, with a morphogenetic field set comes into conjugation with another. The resulting fusion and transmutation is extremely powerful.
The Researcher/Detective Archetype. This personality archetype carries a hidden sensuality, but one laced with an intense desire for extreme experience. It is all or nothing for this person. He/she is inspired by potent partners, those who can delve into the depths of an awesome erotic connection. His/her body responds to those who appear challenging, whose own psyches are as tormented by the same intensity of feeling as his/her own. Intimacy must be discreet, dedicated and devouring.
The individuality now achieves another emergent stage. The healthy and mature ego demonstrates a variety of functions. Firstly, it is able to transfer its informational capacity to other individuals by serving as mentor. Secondly, it contemplates and undergoes the wisdom quest, the search for the True Self. Morphogenetic fields should serve the interests of both quest, mature ego, and True Self.
The Mentor/Philosopher Archetype. At this level, the individual is able to integrate a host of experiences, insights and skills into a synthesis. There is the pursuit of adventure for the sake of adventure. However, as the individual matures through life, adventure is sought for its capacity to generate insight through experience. There is a healthy blend of extroversion and introversion.
In this particular stage, the fully mature ego of the personality assumes full control. Thus, it attempts to push the collective unconscious into the background, with varying moments of success. The energies of the personality are marshalled towards perfecting the individual personality in its particular ecology. Self aspires to become master of its environment. The personality interacts with the morphogenetic fields of other beings, but control is the primal objective. Control gives the ego security and stability.
The Leader/Administrator Archetype. Here, the personality is able to integrate its skills, talents and abilities and come up with a very strong and integrated sense of individuality.  These sets of skills are then marshalled to master its environment at all costs. However, this personality has a predilection for sequential control and mobilization of resources. A lower ground is firmly mastered first before moving to higher ground. A sense of power goes with its ability to see the bigger picture.
In this phase, the personality created by the interaction of the morphogenetic field with the collective unconscious is able to interact with other morphogenetic fields without necessarily establishing control from its existential locus. It does this by solidarity linkages, interactive networks that give and receive information. Information processing therefore can partake of a huge plethora of knowledge databases.
The Genius/Iconoclast Archetype. A strong sense of individuality is combined with fraternal sensitivity. This predisposes this individual to seek to commune with group spirit. There is a great deal of openness and solidarity. It is said that these individuals love Humanity as a whole, but hate people.
This is the final stage in the dialogue between the unconscious and its variety of morphogenetic fields. Ideally, centroversion directs movement towards wholeness, unity and individuation. The individuality contemplates and experiences the dissolution of the ego in the fullness of the True Self. The cosmic voyage reaches culmination in the ambient fire of the True Self. The circle is complete.
The Mystic/Recluse/Hermit Archetype. In this culmination stage, centroversion directs the personality into arenas of wholeness. Concepts, images, and experiences of unity preoccupy the ego. Individuation is of paramount importance. Dissolution of the ego is met with acceptance and understanding. The personality display ideal traits of compassion, humility, maturity, balance, altruism, wisdom and the capacity to experience empathy with all beings.

Classical paradigms in physics and the natural sciences have established laws governing the nature of physical reality. These paradigms revolve around the study of energy and matter. The dance of energy and matter comprise the nature of reality itself, in its various levels and dimensions. The fabric of reality is the nuanced perspective that arises when energy and matter interact within space, time and scale. From an analogous standpoint, psychology and the social sciences (Kuhn & Hacking, 2012; Larsen & Buss, 2008;   Maddi, 1996;  Mayer, Caruso, & Salovey, 2000; Wiggins, 1996) can benefit from the understanding that personality dynamics arise as a consequence of the multimodal interaction between the collective unconscious and the morphogenetic field. Viewed in this way, personality dynamics (Alfonso, 2001; Conley, 2012; Goleman, 2006; Gray, 2014; Hall, Lindzey, & Campbell, 1998; Sparrow & Knight, 2009) can be understood as the foreground and manifestation of interactional perspectives that arise when collective unconscious and morphogenetic field dance in the background. This conceptual framework is a powerful way of explicating the myriad personality traits that exist in the human psychological ecosystem.
To conclude, this paper has attempted to develop a strong theoretical framework for an understanding of archetypal personality structure and development using a fusion of the combined powers of Archetypal Psychology and Evolutionary Biology. The inception and development of the archetypes, essential parameters of personality development, has been explained and illustrated as the dynamic phases of the dialogue and interface between the Collective Unconscious and its complexes with the Morphogenetic Field and its energetic properties. These phases demonstrate a natural flow from incipiency to culmination, from creation to wholeness. In all these phases, the developing ego is shown to be striving towards self-individuation.
As recommendations, this author makes the following: First, it is our hope that more students of Psychology in general and Jungian psychology in particular explore, study, analyze and research more correlates of the archetypes using a variety of other methods, while allowing for cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary integration. Second, that more applied research be performed on Archetypal Psychology in the various social sciences, as they are veritable sources of data. May this paper inspire and encourage more studies into Archetypal Psychology in general.
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Sensei Erwin Rimban was born in the Philippine Islands. Since a young age he has been fascinated by the esoteric realm and avidly read books on world history, philosophy, astrology, mythology, the social sciences and similar fields. Educated at the University of the Philippines, where he graduated Cum Laude, he added Evolutionary Biology to his plethora of interests. After graduating from college, he spent many years in the tourist destination of Baguio City where he pursued a career in writing and teaching, while at the same time finding time to be a meditation teacher. His hobbies include chess, poetry and Tarot counseling. Currently, he is active in organizational work, where he is promoting advocacies in educational philosophy, spiritual counseling, and environmental issues. He is also the founder and mentor of a learning organization and Wisdom Community, the ANAM CARA Philippines Learning Organization. He has written numerous essays on wisdom, metaphysics, mysticism, psychology, history, educational philosophy and psychotherapy