Plurality of Children: image of in-complete synthesis

Kinder by Marc Spielende Unknown date. US Public Domain
Kinder by Marc Spielende Unknown date. US Public Domain via wikimedia

The child archetype shows up in art, dreams and imagination. In the image above, we see four babies playing. There is a uniformity in color, texture and image.

When interpreting the child archetype it is important to “distinguish between the unity and plurality of its respective manifestations”  (CW 9i, para. 279). Plurality of children in the dreams and imagination of “normal people” tends to represent “an as yet in-complete synthesis of personality.”  Jung says:

“The personality (viz., the “self”) is still in the Plural stage i.e., an ego may be present, but it cannot experience its wholeness within the framework of its own personality, only within the community of the family, tribe, or nation; it is still in the stage of unconscious identification with the plurality of the group.” (Carl Jung CW 9i, para. 279)

It is interesting to note that Jung associates the “in-complete synthesis of personality” with being enmeshed in the “family, tribe, or nation.”



  1. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)