IN SFINDOS #0491/01 0322425
O 015425Z DEC 04

Stereotypes and Archetypes: Dis~Tinctions

In this world, there are stereotypes and then there are archetypes.

Accordingly, one can live a life that is governed by stereotypes or one can live a life that is governed by archetypes.
Or both – to a certain extent.

It is important to make this distinction because depending on the trajectory our subject chooses, their life unfolds in a very particular way.


A life governed by stereotypes is very different from a life governed by archetypes. It is most strongly experienced at the moment of death, especially in cases when stereotypical nature of one’s existence was obfuscated by some sort of pretence of the stereotype itself to be something more than a mere stereotype (proliferation on meta-level).

Alternatively, an archetype can also be highly stereotypical, so the real question is not in the distinction itself, but in the origin and dynamics of this dichotomy.

We use examples from various field studies performed on location in order to confirm or disconfirm our analysis.


First, there is a cafe, which has a clean, modern design that could be referred to as “hip” (in this world, such aesthetics is achieved through a combination of simple elements lacking in everyday life of an urban person: such as raw wood and metal – bringing the ground closer to those who are missing it in front of the plastic tables and screens, glass surfaces, and various recycled materials).


In that cafe we encounter several individuals, most of them dressed in black (usually referred to as “hipsters”, although that was an obsolete term by then). They emanate soft hush sounds most often of the Anglo-Saxon origin, which we may refer to as a “discussion” (from Latin discuss – ‘dashed to pieces, or the verb discutere, from dis- ‘apart’ + quatere ‘shake.’) The contents of this discussion varies, but the most common identified patterns are touching on swapping ready-made prefabricated opinions about the current state of affairs alternated by gossip-like chatter concerning relationships in order to lower the degree of intensity.

Any attempt to find novelty in those intersubjective exchanges is destined to fail as it is neither a goal nor a point for those engaged. It is performed merely to confirm status quo and to celebrate the collective spirit of dis/agreement, which strengthens the tribal ego of the participants and creates a warm comfortable feeling for everyone involved. The location, therefore, represents mother’s womb, further fortified with the raw structures, amplified with the woolen coffee-mug holders.


The origin of opinions exchanged does not matter as much as their stated originality. They will most likely be different from the mainstream (more on that later) – which produces the most dangerous type of stereotype: that with a pretence (we refer to it as PS – Pretentious Stereotype, which is the most dangerous form of a stereotype – to be demonstrated later).

The participants, therefore, are engaged in an endless exchange of simulations. They are indwelled with the shiny facets of their dead-born reality, focusing on the constant reiteration of verges and surfaces. There is no need to look for an essence or to find an origin. Those words are long-forgotten or, alternatively, profanized through the endless procreation of their replicas.



Second, there is a place that is dream-like. We don’t really know where it is and we don’t really see anything clearly. The familiar shapes are engaged in the constant state of metamorphosis, so it is impossible to define their precise shapes. Shiny facets give way to infinite fractal realms. Definitions melt into chaos. The experience of the one who is present links the origins to the divine. The material shapes do exist, but only to the extent that is necessary for supporting the process of life-procreation inside the physical realm. They also serve as a reminder, that’s why the aesthetics may seem familiar (let’s say the subjects are also dressed in black – the messengers of the underworld). The participants experience all the planets moving at 10000 miles per hour in a spiral-like helix shape towards the infinite Cosmos. They are indwelled with the infinite multifractal dynamics, channeling through the cosmos and their own body-vessels, as exemplified by the heart-beat, breathing, and wave-like patterns proliferating through their bodies.


In that situation we are witnessing archetypes, where the origins (e.g. waves, repetitive life-scale rhythms and patterns) flow through the structures in an amplified and non-obfuscated way to continue into eternity in order to come back to their origin and continue re-iteration with the renewed pathos and strength. And while in that world there is also a space for materials, objects, defilements, desires, borders, limitations and such – the presence of that circular flow between the origin and the divine purifies the essence and serves as a reminder for what is really important. The facets and verges are not the final destination, they merely serve as the means to an end, which is endless in its infinite origin.


Archetypes are often hiding behind stereotypes or may become stereotypical themselves. As soon as representation comes into play there is always a danger of proliferating the form without the essence. A simple search on Google for “archetype” confirms this finding.

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It is perhaps also worth noting that in itself, the very notion of “archetype” is etymologically related to the notion of “primitive”, which was profanized over years to mean something that is simple, when, in fact, it is rooted in the notion of “origin”.
This could be one of the symptoms or origins of the confusion.


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One important aspect of any stereotype is that it’s inevitably connected to an archetype. It appears to be easier for stereotypes to disseminate across cultural, social and geographical divides, therefore, they may serve as the portal into the originating archetype. Like a system of mirrors reflecting each other into infinity, which a thorough and a truly enquiring gaze can nevertheless penetrate and – eventually – transcend. Therefore, it is sometimes advised to regard stereotypes as the messengers, as long as the agents are aware of quest for the origin in each particular encounter.