The archetypes given the greatest importance by Jung in terms of their power to shape personality are the persona, the anima and animus, the shadow, and the self (Hall and Nordby 41-42).
Jung believed that dreams aimed to communicate rather than to disguise, and Jung's analytical psychology saw dreams as always related to the primordial images of the collective unconscious and as symbols pointing to the meaning within this collective unconscious. Jung referred to these primordial images as archetypes. Dreams are seen as a way of communicating through these images, with the intent of the unconscious being to convey the meaning behind certain inner states and to show their relationship to the collective unconscious. For Jung, the archetypal symbol serves as a mediator between conscious and unconscious. It enables a dialectical interaction between the two opposing and compensatory systems of the conscious and the unconscious:
The powerful factor, the factor which changes our whole life, which changes the surface of our known world, which makes history, is collective psychology, and collective psychology moves according to laws entirely different from those of our consciousness. The archetypes are the great decisive force, they bring about real events, and not our personal reason and practical intellect (Jung, 1968, 183).
The persona archetype serves the purpose of allowing the individual to portray a character not necessarily his or her own, and the persona is thus a mask exhibited publicly that presents a favorable impression so society will accept the individual. This has also been called the conformity archetype. The persona is necessary for the survival of the individual and makes it possible to get along with people. A person may have more than one mask, presenting one face at home and another at work, for instance. A person can become too obsessed with his or her persona and become alienated from his or her nature ...
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