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Course BA (Hons) Interaction Design Arts

Student Nicoleta Faina

Proposed Is recognising the duality of archetypes

Thesis Title important for our society?

Keywords Collective Unconscious, Archetypes,

Symbols, Duality, Unity, Storytelling, Fairy
Tales, Myths, Modern, Culture, Evolution,

20 or 40 Credit 20 credits 40 Credits

Thesis in Final Year

Please tell us why you have selected to do a 20 or 40 credit Thesis.

I believe that the topic I have chosen for my Thesis is relevant to my

prevailing zone of interest and I am determined to write an extended
piece of writing, consisting of 8-10,000 words.

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017


Our world is built up on symbolism.

In my opinion the clues to understanding how the universe functions and
what is our part in it are given to us through the elements of collective
unconsciousness. The basis can be found in Sacred symbols widely used in
different Belief Systems, Secret communication within societies such as
Freemasonry, Illuminati and the messages encoded in ancient works of art.

Myths, Legends and Fairy Tales are important for suggesting the path that
one must travel to achieve the harmony and union of life of the flesh with life
of the spirit.

The symbols can play the role of subconscious triggers. A good example for
this may be human impulses and intuition. Being aware of this gives the
power of knowledge that can awake you from the norms of our society but
also can represent a weapon of control over masses.
The dangers of modern society are ignorance and neglection of important
factors that have the potential to manipulate our unconsciousness.
Advertisings, political companies and religious propaganda illustrates the
usage of principles of crowd psychology in order to engage, control or
influence the desires and direct the behaviour toward a specific action.

Psychoanalysis records a connection between a persons behaviour and his

unconscious mind. This therapy proves that by making conscious what is
hidden from our perception, mental-health disorders can be cured.

Acknowledging, accepting and joining the existence of the opposite qualities

within our nature is vital. The essence of duality, is the core of all spiritual
teaching, psychological questioning and physical existence.

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017


In my thesis, I will research, establish and analyse the importance of

understanding archetypes and their duality for contemporary society.

In order to achieve this I will use a wide variety of literature resources, such
as books, articles, interviews, case studies, computerised databases, historical
records and scientific reports. In my research, I will consider the alternative
ways of communication as well. This includes a detailed study in the fields of
music, movie, animation, photography and other means of human
entertainment and expressing themselves.

Content analysis technique will allow me to discover and describe some of the
unnoticed symbols that exist in our modern culture and to evaluate their
possible effect on us.

I will compare the approach of main contributors towards the human

psychology in relation to mythology by specifying the differences in the form
of analysis found in works of Freud S., Barthes R., Propp V., Peirce C.S., Jung
C. Campbell J., Hillman J. and other notorious researchers.

I will reflect on the problems and potential solutions of unseen interference of

symbolism in modern world, as well as initiate interviews and questionnaires
given to a broad spectrum of people. I will use a series of visual symbols to
assess publics thoughts regarding the signs primordial meaning, how those
images make them feel and if they can relate them to a contemporary

I intend to invent and use my Final Major Studio Project as a tool to test some
hypothesis and evaluate the effects of a journey through a physical fairy-
tale. Working with visual archetypes, I will opt to force the collective
unconscious to prevail over the conscious and to challenge humans nature of
duality. I plan to create a large-scaled mythological labyrinth fused with
transpersonal elements and based on heros adventure depicted by the
monomyth. Along with documented experience from people that will pass the
labyrinth, this lab experiment type of research will allow me to draw well-
structured observations and innovative data.

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017


Throughout the history of human evolution traces of symbolism can be found.

Before the written word, early humans have used symbols as the rst form of graphic
communication. Paleoanthropologist, Genevieve von Petzinger (2015) concluded her
research findings with a statement that there are similarities between the ancient
markings in the caves from different parts of our universe.

The earliest written analysis of signs and their importance can be explored through the
works of Greek philosophers Aristotle and Plato.
Semiotics, the study of symbolism, became a major approach to cultural studies in the late
1960s, when Roland Barthes (1957) collection of essays, entitled Mythologies, offered the
explication of how the signs interfere with our lives and their constant usage within
culture, mass media, advertising and entertainment to create myths.

Charles Sandres Peirce (Sebeok T.A., 1990) believed that the entire universe is perfused
with signs, if not composed exclusively of signs. In 1998, he introduced a theory, stating
that they consist of three inter-related parts: the sign, its object and interpretant. Umberto
Eco (Michael C., 1999) suggested that every cultural phenomenon may be studied as
communication, as a system of signs.

The discovery of dream symbolism was realised by Karl Albert Scherner in 1861.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, affirmed Scherners discovery and modified
it considerably. He described the features of the minds structure and function by dividing
them in 3 parts (1962): the conscious, the preconscious and the unconscious and 3 entities
of our Psyche (1949): instinctual id, ego and superego. According to Freudian theory the
unconscious mind governs behaviour to a greater degree than people suspect. Freud (1875)
considered dreams to be the royal road to the unconscious In his view, symbols, that at
first sight seem to be very different, have a unique signification: they point to the human
sexual life, more precisely to sexual organs. However, Freud was cautious about symbols
and stated that general symbols are more personal than universal.

Further research on the origin of the signs were leaded by Carl Jung. In 1936, he re-
imagined Freuds concept of the Psyche by dividing it in another 3 different parts:
conscious, personal unconscious and collective unconscious. In support to his theory, Carl
Jung states an existence of identical psychic structure that is common to all human beings.
The elements within our collective unconscious are pre-personal or transpersonal and are
named archetypes by Carl Jung. They are the ancient, unconscious source of much that
we think, do, and say as human beings. We inherit the same structure, the same symbolic
image, but each of us fills them in with the specific form and content. The details of our
personal experience attach meaning to them and project them into the outer world. Carl
Jung provides some of the most important archetypes: The Persona, The Shadow, The
Anima and Animus and the Wholeness. The principle of duality is stated by Jung (1993) to
be at the base of Archetypal structures and within the human nature: Every good quality

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017

has its bad side, and nothing that is good can come into the world without directly
producing a corresponding evil. He exemplifies this theory by bringing up the most
recognisable archetypes from our everyday lives: Male and Female, The God and The Devil
and Goddess and Witch.

Joseph Campbell (1949) in his writing entitled Hero with a thousand faces, evokes the
power of myths, using the archetypal story of the adventurous heros journey as a base for
exploring the essential human truths. As part of this exploration, the author develops
themes relating to the nature of duality and harmony and the function of symbolism in
both story and life. He guides his reader through every step of his deductive process and
solidifies his statements by cross referencing various cultures with specific myths and their
manifestation in the physical world. Joseph Campbell, suggests that the healing,
transformative, illuminative powers of the myths and stories of the past have generally
been lost, but that an understanding of them can ultimately provide significant clues into
an understanding of the human psycho-spiritual condition, unchanged by time, place and
culture. He also stresses out the dangers of myths interpretation solely as manifestations
of historical events, circumstances or science as this leads to transforming the living
images into remote facts; this is when temples become museums.

The mythologist comments frequently that all existence operates on a level of duality two
aspects functioning at the same time, one giving depth and reason to the other. One of the
most important archetypes he analyses through his work is the female and male principle
both the Creators, corresponding to Eros and Libido described in Jungian psychoanalysis
and both the Destructors, corresponding to what Freud described as the Ego. Campbell
states that the nature of duality is the union of the opposites and exemplifies it with
androgynous figures Adam and Eve, Hermaphrodite and Eros, Shiva and Shakti. He
affirms that the myths ultimate purpose is to provide signposts for the Heros journey and
all life, whose goal is the Union, the integration of the apparently contradictory sides of
Self. In his work, Joseph Campbell encourages Freuds point of view but true
transcendency can only be comprehended through consideration of broader and deeper
perspectives as described in Jungian psychoanalysis.

In the Uses of Enchantment written by Bruno Bettelheim (2011) the duality of signs found
in fairy tales is compared to the structure of modern childrens stories. He identifies a
problem within our contemporary culture that came with the neglection and mutilation of
the important parts of folklore stories. In his writing, Bruno Bettelheim suggests that by
presenting the polarities of character, it permits the child to comprehend easily the
difference between opposites. As a result, youngsters choices are based not so much on
wrong versus right as on who arouses sympathy and who antipathy. Jack Zipes (2012) in
The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The cultural and Social History of a Genre states that even
though we do not possess printed records of how people told stories thousands of years
ago, we do have enough archaeological evidence through cave paintings, vases, tombs,
carvings, codices, and other artefacts to enable us to grasp what kind of stories were told
in ancient pagan cultures.

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017

Clearly there is a scope for research that:
Is based on up to date analysis: a new tool for research and new data;
Identifies problems: debates on the fading/evolving symbolism implementation
within the contemporary world;
Operates with a stronger focus on the duality concept;
Involves a closer study of the unconscious of modern society: awakening and

Reference List:
Petzinger, G. (2015). Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe? [online] Available at:
_caves_all_over_europe?language=en [Accessed 21 May 2017].

Barthes, R. (1957). Mythologies. 1st ed. Paris: Editions du Seuil.

Sebeok, T. (1990). Essays in zoosemiotics. 1st ed. Toronto: Toronto Semiotic Circle.

Peirce, C. S. (1998). Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce. Volumes 1-8, Reprinted,
Thoemmes Continuum.

Michael, C. (1999). Umberto Eco: Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Work of Fiction.
Wiley-Blackwell. P.55 ISBN 978-0-7456-0850-1.

Scherner, K. A. (1861). Das Leben des Traums. Berlin: Verlag von Heinrich Schindler,

Freud S. (1875). The Interpretation of Dreams. P.156-157, citing Johannes Volkelt, Die
Traum-Phantasie, Stuttgart: Meyer und Zeller.

Freud S. (1962). Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality. Translation by James Strachey.
New York: Basic Books [First published in 1905]

Freud S. (1949). The Ego and the Id. The Hogarth Press Ltd. London, [First published in

Jung, C. G. (1936). The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. Princeton, N.J.:
Bollingen. ISBN 0-691-01833-2

Jung, C. G. (1933). Modern Man in Search of a Soul. London: Kegan Paul Trench Trubner,
(1955 ed. Harvest Books ISBN 0-15-661206-2)

Campbell, J. (2008). The Hero with a Thousand Faces. 1st edition, Bollingen Foundation,
1949. 2nd edition, Princeton University Press. 3rd edition, New World Library.

Bettelheim, B. (2011). The uses of enchantment. 1st ed. New York: Vintage Books.

Zipes, J. (2012). The Irresistible Fairy Tale: The cultural and Social History of a Genre. 1st

Nicoleta Faina 23.05.2017