A previous post on the practical explanation of symbols (in particular, the symbols of Tarot, Astrology, Alchemy, and Kabbalah) as a means for emotional and spiritual growth, seemed to garner a few common reactions. While the post addresses the way in which our subconscious mind quite naturally assigns universal images to particular abstract concepts, it didn't dive too much into the details. As a result, a few readers seemed to walk away from the post thinking it spoke of symbols in purely subjective, personal terms. In fact, the effects of symbolism and archetype on our subconscious is more of an "objective" phenomenon that can be standardized and leveraged for spiritual awakening.
People tend to assume that because the subconscious mind is a part of their mind, all features of their subconscious mind must be wholly unique to them. To reiterate, the individual subconscious mind is not a purely individual mechanism; the subconscious has observable, predictable and shared features in common with all human beings - and, in particular, with people of the same cultural background. This is much the same way our anatomy has common shared features with all humans. The features of the subconscious mind that are common to all people can be understood in psychological terms, and it was this area of psychological study that comprised a sizable part of the work of Carl Jung (the collective unconscious) and Joseph Campbell ( monomyth).
The symbolism and archetype that affect each of us on a subconscious level is an example of a shared feature of the subconscious mind. Certain archetypes carry with them an inexplicable level of universality across large swaths of the human population. We tend to think that if something is a product of our individual mind it, therefore, must - by definition - be unique toas individuals. The work of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell chips away at this perception. Archetypes and symbols - again, because of the universal nature of our subconscious mind - have surprisingly universal interpretations across all cultures throughout history. Therefore, when the nature of symbols and the abstract concepts associated with them are properly understood, these same symbols can be codified into a system for communicating abstract ideas - ideas that are not easily transmitted through words alone. ...[Continue reading on Mystery Tradition]