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Fruit from the Garden of Wisdom
by Swami Krishnananda

Chapter 12: Archetype/Prototype

Do you know what is archetype? The archetype is the original of a thing. The original is called the "archetype" and the shadow of it, reflection of it, or image of it, is sometimes called "prototype". Often people consider the prototype as the original, but in as much as the archetype is to be considered as the original, you may regard the reflection of it as the prototype.

Suppose you see yourself in water. There are two persons there: one is yourself standing on the bank of the river of water, and something is seen reflected in the water. You are the archetype, you are the original. And that which is seen in the water is the shadowy duplicate. You are now here as a reflection of what you are really as an archetype in heaven. Your real nature is still in heaven only; it is not in this world. That is why you are pulled up every minute to something beyond yourself. Every minute you are unhappy; every second you are unhappy in this world. There is not a single moment when you can be wholly secure or entirely happy. The reason is that you are not in yourself here; you are in another place, and that locality (where you are really) pulls you with such intensity that you cannot have a moment's rest here in this prototype existence, the shadow.

The archetypal existence of all things, even of a little leaf in a tree, is in heaven. Or to make it more clear, you may give the analogy of the stone structure being formed of molecules, the molecule of atoms, the atom of electrons, or something finer. The invisible subtle inward power is the heaven of the stone. The stone is the earth, and the rarefied form of it inside (which appears as the stone, and which is its reality) is the archetype. There are realms of being to which you belong actually in different levels of association by ascent and descent. You are not entirely here. You are now only a fragment of what you really are; and even that fragment is not a real one, it is a reflected fragment. Therefore, there is a dual defect in the human personality. Ore defect is that it is not the original. The original is somewhere else; therefore, it is restless. And even as a fragment it is not genuine, being a reflection.

You are not just a part of the real substance; if that were the case, you would be a little god in this world. People say that man is part of God. It is not so exactly. It is not so simple like that; otherwise, a man would be a little god moving in this world. He is not a little god, he is something totally different. He is a topsy-turvy reflection, as your reflection in the water is topsy-turvy. So many difficulties are there. Firstly, it is a reflection, and therefore, there is no substance. Secondly, it is not even a correct reflection; it is topsy-turvy. You see the up as down and the down as up. That is why in this reflected condition you see the world as outside you, though the world is not really outside.