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The necessity of archetypes

How does evolution deal with the mathematical constraints on an organisms ability to control or predict its environment? There is no optimum solution. One should expect many, approaches and many tradeoffs with complex feedback mechanisms between them. It is important for the fit to survive, but is also important that the survivors do not become too narrow in their approach to survival. What may be the best approach in one set of circumstances may be a disaster as things change. This requires instincts for many different approaches and a decision algorithm to select between them depending on circumstances. No selection is ever certain to be correct. Thus decisions are tentative and the path not chosen still clamors for attention.

One can begin to understand at the level of mathematics why the human psyche must be so diverse and seemingly chaotic. All the approaches to patterns in life that have been built up over the eons are there. It is primarily intuition that first recognizes a match and brings something to consciousness. Both intellect and feeling are essential in evaluating the content both in terms of seeing if it applies to the current situation and understanding how to use it. This process is concerned with individual survival, but it also concerned with survival in the broadest sense. Thus some of the images and ideas may be harmful to the individual, but helpful in a broader sense.

The psychic structures that motivate and inspire us cannot be characterized in any simple way any more than mathematical truth can be. They do not have well defined goals because they are concerned with creative evolution. The struggle between the elements of the psyche is necessary. There is no way to decide what is to be done in a given situation. The different possible approaches must all be given a hearing. Then one decides based on an individual approach to life.


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