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Linking The Legends Essay

1063 words - 4 pages

It’s hard to imagine that mythology has just one basis when there are so many different myths, legends, and tales, but what if it was so? Carl Jung, a psychologist, built upon Sigmund Freud’s ideas of the consciousness, unconscious, and subconscious to propose that there is a collective unconscious within our human population. The collective unconscious can be described as, “collective components in the form of inherited categories or archetypes” (Jung 500). Jung believed that all people have in their unconscious certain images or thought processes since birth that can be activated through dreams. A collective unconscious clearly explains a variety of mythic archetypes that appear across cultures, including floods, resurrected gods, and sacred trees.
One example that supports the collective unconscious is the archetype of the flood, also known as the deluge. A flood appears in different legends thirty five times with the most notable being the biblical flood (“Flood Legends”). Legends of floods are found in countries from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas. Besides having a flood in common, these stories many times have the same story line of a flood covering the entire land and all perish except for a certain number of people, seeds, and animals who land on top of a mountain (“Flood Legends”). This archetypal image of a flood represents the washing away of all that is evil so there can be a new beginning. In modern culture this image is exemplified in songs like Hillary Duff‘s, “Come Clean”, which describes her wanting to start over because she did not like the way her life was going and she did not feel herself. The flood archetype is also seen in movies like Holes. At the end of Holes when the curse is lifted and Stanley Yelnats’s life is finally back on track, it rains and fills up the lake and covers the campsite. The archetype of a flood dates back many centuries from all over the world but can still be seen in today’s culture.
A resurrected being also exemplifies an archetype that is in included in the collective unconscious. Three different accounts are of Osiris an Egyptian, Tammuz who was from Mesopotamia, and Jesus of Nazareth. Osiris was the Egyptian god of the Underworld. He died by drowning in the Nile river because he was tricked by his brother who later cut up his body. His wife, Isis, however, recovered all the pieces and brought Osiris back to life. He lived long enough to see his son born but then died once again and took on his role of god of the underworld (“Osiris”). For Tammuz, there are multiple versions of how he returned to life. One version is when Tammuz dies, his wife Inanna traveled to the underworld and rescued him. In another version, it was his wife that killed him and his sister granted him part of her life so he could live another six months (Hammer). The last account of resurrection is of Jesus of Nazareth. According to the Bible, Jesus was prosecuted and crucified on a...

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