Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous, half possession. That which each can do best, none but his Maker can teach him. No man yet knows what it is, nor can, till that person has exhibited it. Where is the master who could have taught Shakespeare? Where is the master who could have instructed Franklin, or Washington, or Bacon, or Newton? Every great man is a unique. The Scipionism of Scipio is precisely that part he could not borrow. Shakespeare will never be made by the study of Shakespeare. Do that which is assigned you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much. There is at this moment for you an utterance brave and grand as that of the colossal chisel of Phidias, or trowel of the Egyptians, or the pen of Moses, or Dante, but different from all these. Not possibly will the soul all rich, all eloquent, with thousand-cloven tongue, deign to repeat itself; but if you can hear what these patriarchs say, surely you can reply to them in the same pitch of voice; for the ear and the tongue are two organs of one nature. Abide in the simple and noble regions of thy life, obey thy heart, and thou shalt reproduce the Foreworld again.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self Reliance
The Fractious Formational Forces of Individuality
I does not refer to a singularity, but a multiplicity. My body evolved over billions of years of complexification: cells coming together, groups of cells coming together, groups of groups coming together, and so forth at dizzying scale in duration beyond our temporal comprehension, and continuing as we speak.
The mind, which is an overlay of central awareness deriving from a communication network that permeates the physical body, and which is thus inseparable from the body, likewise evolved from the fusion of multitudinous strata of sensory data-gathering sources and data-processing mechanisms.
Our title terms (type, archetype, culture, and self) tend to be used loosely and interchangeably, and require more specific definition and understanding.
In our running series about psychological type, we have been examining patterns of bias and error preference. The collection of all of these patterns of bias across several spectra compile into what people would colloquially refer to as “personality types,” and find their way into sorting systems such as MBTI, the Big Five, and others in various combinations.
Archetype, by contrast, represents the outward expression of mimetic aspiration by a type.
King, Crone, Mother, Warrior, Trickster, and countless hundreds or even thousands of other archetypes reside in the collective unconscious, according to Jung. Importantly, there is no necessary correlation between type and archetype.
Think of two chefs given the same set of ingredients. They are told that they do not have to use all of the ingredients, but they do not get to have any more. The two dishes that come out could be so different that, at first glance, they are completely unrecognizable as being the result of the same ingredients.
Type is like the ingredients, and archetype is like the dish.
A particular type (composite bias pattern) may combine with an archetype (psychological image) to produce a differently-tinted manifestation of that archetype. For example, an individual with a sadistic social bias pattern may attempt to embody the archetype of the King, and produce The Tyrant.
Take the tyrant from Germany and have him born in Brazil instead, and there will be yet a different manifestation. Give him different parents, religion, socioeconomic class, childhood friends, teachers, summer vacations, etc. etc. and the result will be yet more diverse.
This is how 16 or 32 typical patterns of bias can produce truly infinite diversity between individuals.
As Emerson says, ‘God does not deign to repeat himself’.