FAIRY TALES

When a myth is enacted in a ritual performance or, in a more general, simpler and profaner fashion, when a fairy-tale is told, the healing factor within it acts on whoever has taken an interest in it and allowed himself to be moved by it in such a way that through this participation he will be brought into connection with an archetypal form of the situation and by this means enabled to put himself “into order”.  Archetypal dreams can have the same effect.  Equally, this putting oneself “into order” or “becoming one with a higher will” is the content of religious experience.   TGL – intro 37 

   The fascination and vitality of myths and fairy-tales lie precisely in the fact that they depict basic forms of human experience.  For this very reason the same motifs are found the world over, not only as the result of migration but also because the human psyche which produces them is everywhere the same.    TGL – intro 37

(Archetypal) images are already present in the psyche as structural forms of the instinct before any individual consciousness arises.  For this reason the child’s world consists more of archetypal forms and images than of ordinary people and objects.  The child lives in a fairy-tale world.  This is understandable when one reflects that the archetype is defined as an inborn pattern or form of perception and behaviour.  TGL 42

The magic of this world is one of the reasons why the state of childhood is greatly loved and worth striving for and why the step into “life” and reality is so difficult.  For the same reason so many myths tell of the origin of human existence in Paradise, or of a golden age that was lost and replaced by a far less perfect world.  TGL 42

   The yearning for the mother can therefore also be understood, in non-mythological language, as the attraction exerted by the unconscious, a constant occurrence that is comparable to the effect of the law of gravity.  The development and preservation of ego consciousness is, for that very reason, often represented by the hero myth, for it is an achievement that can be compared to a fight with an overwhelming monster and which calls for almost superhuman strength.  TGL 43

For I do not know what to say to the patient when he asks me, “What do you advise? What shall I do?”   I don’t know either.  I only know one thing: when my conscious mind no longer sees any possible road ahead and consequently gets stuck, my unconscious psyche will react to the unbearable standstill. 

   This “getting stuck” is a psychic occurrence so often repeated during the course of human history that it has become the theme of many myths and fairytales.  We are told of the Open sesame! to the locked door, or of some helpful animal who finds the hidden way.  In other words, getting stuck is a typical event which, in the course of time, has evoked typical reactions and compensations.  We may therefore expect with some probability that something similar will appear in the reactions of the unconscious, as, for example, in dreams.  TPoP 42