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Jungian Analysis & the Archetype of the Divine Child

December 31st, 2008 · 10 Comments · archetype, divine child, Jungian, Jungian analysis, Jungian psychology

 

The archetype of the divine child has a particular place in Jungian analysis.  For those from Christian backgrounds, this archetype is exemplified in the narrative of theJungian analysis birth of the infant Jesus amidst all the various threatening circumstances that confronted him forms an important part of this season of the year.

 

The remarkable story of a divine child, apparently so vulnerable and so weak, who survives against all odds made a very compelling impression on me when I was a child.  Despite the harsh and unwelcoming environment, the hostility of the powers that be, and all the forces arrayed against him, the child survives, and even flourishes.

Jungian analysis finds it striking that very many other traditions also have such stories.  We see this in Judaism in the story of the young Moses, and, in the story of Joseph and his brothers.  Similar stories surround the Buddha, Heracles the Greek hero, the Egyptian god Horus and also the Hindu divine avatar Krishna.  In fact, the motif of the Divine Child, in all its various forms, is found around the world.

Jung had some profound things to say about this motif, and about its importance for us in the midst of Infant Laughing for Vibrant Jung Thing Blog our everyday lives here in the modern world.  Divine child is that which appears in our awareness when we least expect it, as the new possibility or potentiality that appears so weak, so powerless that it seems that there can be no possible way for it to survive against the overwhelming odds arrayed against it.  Yet, miraculously, it does survive, and even prevails.

How?  We really don’t know.  But something appears within us, perhaps at the moment when we are nearly ready to despair.  And against all the dictates of rationality, if we are attentive to it, if we are prepared to open ourselves to its reality, its reality becomes our reality: a new way of living that emerges from the ashes of the old in the unconscious.  As Jung would tell us, the alchemists might say, in response to this, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner’, or “That which is ‘smaller than small’ is in reality, ‘larger than large’.”

Among the many figures which may emerge from the unconscious, there is the figure of the divine child.  The child may appear in your dreams.  It may emerge synchronistically in some other way in outer experience.

Have you ever experienced the divine child?

Can you and I be open to this child when he or she appears, as Moses, Krishna, Christ, Buddha, or in some other form unique to our own lives?

I’d be honoured to hear of your dreams, or any other experiences that may have brought you into contact with the reality of the divine child.

Wishing all of you hope, prosperity and authentic, full life on this New Year’s Eve!

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • Paradox name

    This ia a great article. I don’t have any dreams to share, but have a keen interest in exploring the divine child archetype

  • Brian C

    Thank you very much for your comment. The divine child archetype is a very important one, that has a great deal of importance in the individuation process. If you have any questions, or would like to explore the archetype of the divine child more, please feel free to contact me. All the very best, ~Brian

  • Brian C

    Thank you for your comment, Anne. There certainly would seem to be a clear instance of the “divine child archetype” in this dream image of your grand-duaghter. I not particularly that she embodies both the characteristic apparent vulnerability of the divine child as she is appears here, and also the sense of an indomitable life within her. These are two characteristics of the divine child archetype when it appears.

    We should not lose sight of the fact that your grand-daughter is appearing in your dream. If I might, I find myself wondering what aspects of your own self might possibly be embodied in this dream?

  • Rose M Simiao

    On new years day i invited a friend of mine together with some other friends for a lunch at my house. My friend has a two year old extremely fun and lively child. A delightful little being who dances and sings all the time. She really is the light of the party wherever she goes. That day in particular she arrived singing a song she had just learned the night before.We all found it very funny that she was singing this particular very religious song,such song coming out of that two year old mouth. At one point during the party we had all gathered in the living room and i decided to put the song to play for her. We were seating on the floor in front of the small wireless sound system. She stood in front and sang along to the chorus the word: “Hold on to the hand of God and go”. Every Time she repeated it while looking deep into my eyes and strongly holding my hand. I could not help but cry. Overwhelmed by that moment. It was the assurance i needed to keep going forward in the often arduous path of my individuation.. Firmly holding the hand of God Just as per the Child’s suggestion.

  • Brian C

    Thank you for that eloquent comment, Rose. “Firmly holding the hand of God Just as per the Child’s suggestion.” The Divine Child has this unbreakable, indestructible resilience, and its own eternal wisdom. We can keep moving towards ourself, based on the wisdom inherent in the archetype of the divine child: the Child knows something indestructible.

  • Jimmie Stewart

    I’ve really become incredibly fascinated with Jungian psychology and archetypes of the human mind ever since I read “King Warrior Magician Lover” last year. I think that recently I’ve started to access this Divine Child, even though I just turned 22. I feel like I’ve gotten in touch with the positive aspects of the Divine Child, whereas before, for so many years, I’ve been accessing one of the negative, shadow forms of this archetype (the weakling prince).
    A little background on me: I had a seasonal job through the winter of 2017-18 at a Jet Center, and April 1st (which was also Easter) was my last day. I’ve had several jobs beforehand but haven’t found a job that I want to stick with year round. I think this is because I’m into playing music. I already have a passion but because of where I live (I live with my parents in the mountains) I don’t play in any bands and don’t have much going for me currently with music. I play guitar, electronic drums, and I make my own lyrics and original music, but I haven’t stayed consistent with it everyday in the past. Anyway, over the years there have been periods of 2-4 months where I was jobless and life seemed dull and pointless.

    As the season at the Jet Center was coming to an end, I was beginning to dread the coming several weeks of being jobless again. I also have developed anxiety and depression over the past few years (a manifestation of the weakling prince and other shadow archetypes) and the thought of returning to my jobless life again was filling me with that depression….until I started really thinking during my last week of the job about music, and my approach to it. I started telling myself “You’re not taking music as seriously as you want to. You’re not letting yourself just be with your instruments. You’re not letting yourself really Play and feel Alive through your guitar and drums.” Playing music has always been a form of escape from the mundane world around me, and I started asking myself “am I escaping profoundly enough?” It’s like I kept focusing on the wrong things ever since I started working. So right after my job ended, on April 1st, which was also Easter, I have been spending the past several days just immersing myself in guitar, music, drums, etc, not so I can become some rockstar someday… not just to get attention….not thinking about the future…not thinking about making it into a career….just playing and enjoying myself and being fully in the present with my guitar and drums. I feel like I brought more peace into my life recently by doing this. Today, on my birthday, I practiced guitar for an hour after I woke up. All day my cat has been rubbing on me as if I was some sort of King. Haha! Around noon I drove into the woods to hike but as I hiked I found myself listening to music on my iPhone and singing. I usually don’t sing and when I do I sing quietly even if there’s no one around. But earlier today I felt so hypnotized as I wandered in the woods just singing spontaneously and loudly! I felt peace. I felt a oneness with the wilderness around me. And then, once I got home, my dad came home from work with a birthday card, and in it was written this:
    “Happy 22 to you, my firstborn son, Your daddy loves you! -Scott”

  • collette

    I am one of a group that is accompanying a very special child to a destination. She is a a Divine child , she is not from this time or place but has been sent to do some very important work here. She has the universe in her eyes , her eyes are a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours . I stare into the cosmos that her eyes hold… and wooooooooooah it is a portal to the whole universe and beyond. I warn others not to look in .

  • Rebecca

    Not sure you are still answering comments – but just happened upon your site. Yes, I had a dream about a fat baby girl who was super heavy but bubbly and happy. In the dream it’s not my child exactly, but I’m responsible for it, so I pick it up and take it with me. It accompanied me in all my various activities the whole night. On one dream episode I took it to the Moon. I was shocked to discover there was a commercial plane going to the Moon and back and so I took the baby with me on this trip. It was really loads of fun. I was happy to have the baby around although it was heavy to carry around.

  • Brian C

    Thank you for sharing your comment, Rebecca. This sounds like a very poignant dream. It seems this substantial child represents some possibilities that very much want to manifest, and want you to take them seriously. Your airline flight to the moon should give us pause: often the moon is symbolic of the feminine, and it might be worth reflecting on the connecton between the feminine and this child who is such fun to travel with. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Michelle J

    I fell deeply in love with either a malignant narcissist/or an enlightened psychopath (enlightened magician). When I was rejected…. I lost all sense of self.

    And God came….. and in came my spiritual awakening.

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