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About our archetypal nature

Archetypal Nature is an exploration of the ways in which we all find our identity through particular archetypal stories. We look at the ancient, timeless patterns playing out in our lives and the lives of others. We see these patterns in the flow of energy in us, in what we are fascinated by and cannot live without. In recognizing them, we uncover a deeper truth about ourselves and begin to live more fully, with greater wholeness, expressing more of who we actually are. At the same time, we may come to feel that our path is universal and connected to something larger than ourselves; we realize that we are living new versions of eternal paths.

Yet the depth of insight in Archetypal Nature comes from more than simply understanding oneself in relation to a personal archetype. It flows from showing us a pair of primary opposites in Nature and the human psyche. After discovering the Personality Type system that is now commonly known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI),™ Antonia 'Toni' Wolff & C. G. Jung (see Roots) observed another deeper construct beyond personality type–a natural grid of opposites in our paths to identity and fulfillment. These polarities highlight profound differences in what we want and need from life. In recognizing these differences, we project less: we no longer imagine that everyone wants the same things that we do and we become better able give others what they really want. We also become better able to identify and ask for what we need and want. Finding ourselves here allows us to make clear our differences from others; own our strengths and potential. We are also shown clues to the nature of our personal shadow: our unrecognized, unlived parts. Finally, beyond it's personal merit, this understanding of the psyche also offers profound cultural and political insight; Archetypal Nature allows us to better explore our collective shadow: what archetypal paths are supported by our culture and which are not? What archetypal stories are privileged and which are negated? In what ways is our culture as whole unconscious?

What are Archetypes? 

Archetypes are natural structures of the psyche–they transcend our personal history, our culture and our time. Part of the collective unconscious, they are shared worldwide. We gain sight of them in the similar themes of myth, legend and literature across cultures throughout time. In modern Western society, archetypes are especially evident in film and television. Archetypes underlie our behaviour but, if we can become conscious of the particular archetypes that are living through us, we can avoid having them control us unconsciously. If we can own our story, we can keep it from owning us.

How to explore Archetypal Nature?

It’s best to begin your exploration of Archetypal Nature with our Foundations course either live or online. You can read more about the work in this arrticle: Shadows & Light: Understanding Our Archetypal Nature and others on our blog. You can see a description of the historical roots of this work here. Subscribe to our contact list to hear about events in your area. Listen to an interview with Archetypal Nature developer Gary S. Bobroff below and see his bio below.

Gary S. Bobroff, M.A.

When Gary was first introduced to this Archetype model, he knew this material would be his life's work. He has a Master's degree in Jungian-oriented psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara, CA and an undergraduate degree from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Gary is the primary developer and lead facilitator of Archetypal Nature. He delivers the depth of Jungian approaches in a visual engaging and accessible form. He is the founder of Jungian Online a referral site connecting clients with Jungian therapists worldwide. He is the author of Crop Circles, Jung & the Re-Emergence of the Archetypal Feminine (on North Atlantic Books, 2014). He works as a consultant with organizations brining the depth of archetypal insight into strategy design and implementation. He writes and speaks on modern topics from an in-depth, soulful perspective: He is is a certified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

"A rare and gifted man. Gary Bobroff is a stunning writer—graceful, eloquent, subtle." – Andrew Harvey