The Coniunctio archetype is directly linked to the Anima – Animus archetype and both archetypes overlap in places both in terms of time and meaning. This correlation is caused by the fact that the Anima – Animus archetype breaks apart the monolithic nature of female and male antitheses on several planes so that a gradual transformation and gradual union then occur on various levels (instinctual, emotional and spiritual). Antitheses not broken apart cannot be united since instincts will always be on a different level than emotions, and both will be lower than the spiritual component. Instincts unite on the physical level in sexual intercourse of both individuals of the opposite sex. Instincts must be transformed through awareness into feelings, in which the emotional antitheses of anima – animus are born. Only this transformation creates the space for the spiritual aspect of anima – animus, whose union is the goal of the Coniunctio archetype. It can be surmised from the above that the trigger of the Coniunctio archetype is the transformation of the anima – animus from the instinctual to the emotional level.
The Coniunctio archetype is that of a spiritual transformation contingent on the union of antitheses on the emotional level. One of the peak experiences is the symbol of incest, which in our society is labeled one of the worst crimes against humanity, a crime against the very essence of one's own genetic material in one's offspring. I feel that this matter needs to be properly explained so that neither the Coniunctio archetype nor the psychological description of the spiritual path is distorted.
The sexuality of each child is marked first by conception and then by the ensuing birth (see the Basic Perinatal Matrix archetype). In the first phases of his development, the child focuses his curiosity and sexual desire on individuals closest and dearest to him – his parents, siblings or caregivers. The emerging desire for sexual experience and climax is duly pacified at an early age by one's upbringing and society's morals as a fundamental taboo. Desires for sexual experience arise from the very beginning of a child's life. Indigenous tribes release the incestuous bond through ritual. Since this ritual is underappreciated in technically advanced societies, it is partially replaced by other forms of the hidden ritual such as the leaving exam in secondary school, the provision of personal documents at the time of maturity or eligibility or inscription into military service and the likes. In this way the object of sexual interest becomes acceptable for society and the longing for incestuous union is, like an unfulfilled desire, pressed deep into the unconscious of every person without exception! Equipped as such, we make our way through our physical life without much difficulty, for in the material world the anima – animus aspect demonstrates only an instinctual dependency and the unconscious has no reason in a non-conflicting life to reveal the hidden content of the unconscious and the repressed desires of the past, among which is inevitably the once-repressed desire for incest.
Yet the "idyllic" path through an instinctual and emotional life ends with the first conflicts with the unconscious. The misguided conscious attitude stands on one side and the wise unconscious on the other. Through the different and misguided focus of the consciousness, an "army" of helpers is sent out, under mounting pressure from the unconscious, in the form of visions and images so as to "straighten out" the faulty conscious actions, feelings and thoughts. By conflict I don't mean only neurotic and schizophrenic phenomena, but also the spiritual path, which is a conscious turning away from the outside world. A considerable advantage with the spiritual path, however, is that it is the desired path and, consequently, conflicts with the subconscious are resolved without the emotional dependencies that are always a part of uncontrolled neurotic and schizophrenic states. Much has already been written on the curative aspects of neurotic and schizophrenic states in the human soul, and I can only confirm that many images are actually the same. The biggest and most important difference, namely in the degree of mastering the process of establishing contact with the unconscious in full awareness of the desired spiritual path, clearly speaks in favor of the sought and controlled spiritual path. The sensible person understands that there is no other path and that it is only a matter of time (perhaps even of other incarnations) when each being will be pressured by neurosis or schizophrenia to abandon (or will voluntarily do so) the instinctual and then emotional level.
One gradually abandons on the spiritual path the instinctual perception and begins to seek images within oneself that correspond to the desired states without unexpected instinctual and emotional pressures. As I have already written in the Anima – Animus archetype, the two antithetical principles (in me of anima and then of animus) are divided into the instinctual and the emotional. Only this division changes the way of perceiving the antitheses, and rapid inflation of the instinctual components occurs. This necessary inflation causes the emerging incest complex, once pressed into the depths of the unconscious by society's morals and upbringing, to be assimilated only on the emotional level, and never able on the spiritual path to cross over to the physical level.
As with all contents of the unconscious, human mythology as the foundation on which our collective unconscious stands should always be taken into consideration when examining the incest theme. Incest is unabashedly allowed and even understood as a custom with gods and demigods. The reason for this can be precisely formulated. Gods and demigods live above the instinctual level, thereby demonstrating to us in the mythology of nearly all nations that incest on a higher than instinctual level is commonplace, a custom and even a desired goal. It was also this way on earth with the Egyptian pharaohs and Inca rulers. But even here the marriage of siblings or relatives consisted of cohabitation without sexual intercourse, and thus incest did not occur on a physical level. Such a royal pair was again an example to their people of the unity of figures not only on a physical level, but also on an emotional and spiritual level as a personified deity. The people of that age understood and honored it. Only contemporary humanity, deeply drawn into an instinctual life multiplied by the power of the media, considers the instinctual life to be the only one, the emotional life to be possible and the spiritual life to be non-existent. These people will then project their qualities to the outside world (psychological projection) and will seek in any incestuous connection only instinctual sexuality and not the higher aspect of human nature, which has been crushed in their subconscious beneath a heavy layer of lower instincts.
I feel it is worth emphasizing that only the emotional and spiritual experience reveals the secret meaning of incest. I place particular emphasis on the subjectivity of the experience. It would be incredibly stupid to assume that the external relationship with a partner plays the main role. The main and central role is played by the inner confrontation, the struggle, coexistence and ultimately the union of man and anima, of woman and animus. Incest symbolizes the union (coniunctio) with one's own emotional essence without a partner, and it is only for this reason that we can later gain insight into the brilliant transpersonal self.
The entire theme of the archetype is outside the physical and instinctual sphere and is exclusively on an emotional and later spiritual level. Only rarely does one not keep watch over the physical level and then fall into desired physical unions. The union of antitheses already exists on the level of feelings, as attested to by the depth of emotional experience that is practically impossible with normal physical contact. The emotional also controls the physical simply because these unions are also perceived on a physical level.
While the union of emotional antitheses happens in a person's consciousness through the union of the brother and sister, the union of spiritual antitheses happens through the union of the mother and the son or father and daughter (or king and queen or prince and princess). These images obviously have nothing in common with events on the material plane of the world.
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