An archetype is the most basic form of something that is shared universally.
Identification is a focus of thought.
Thought complex is a collection of thoughts that resonate and are associated with one another.
A group of thoughts that are brought together through association are a thought complex. What is thought of as “thoughts.” are usually a thought complex. For an example we will use something that is archetypical, something that all people will have thought about.
The word “mother,” will elicit many thoughts. A lifetime of experiences and emotional content is packed behind this focus of thought. A myriad of separate identifications that may span from physical attributes to relationship status to specific memories of shocking events or loss build up the mental focus of “mother.”
The archetype of “mother” is almost universally agreed upon as an archetype. Everyone on earth, perhaps every living thing, has some sort of conception of mother. Regardless of the individual identifications with our own particular mother each one of us has, we all share in this experience in some way. In this way mother, or the feminine aspect, is a universal archetypical experience.
While we all may experience the archetype of mother, the experience itself is a very personal experience. Each identification with the person that fills, or did not fulfill, the mother position for us is unique to each of us. We consider our mother, when we worry, she may be upset without decisions. We consider our mother in another way when we feel she would be proud of us. We may be attached to her embrace, and willingness to listen, or angry at her lack of attention.
All of these various identifications combine together when we form a mental image of mother. This mixture of identifications culminates in a thought complex. A thought complex functions automatically. When the focus rests on anything that triggers associations with, “mother” for instance, this thought complex is going to start running. It is with great effort and difficulty that this automatic functioning of thought complexes is prevented.
When all is said and done the concept of mother is a something that all people identify with. Due to this universality mother is an archetype of identifications that we all share. But each person’s thought complex for mother, is going to be composed of identifications created from different experiences, creating a different perception of, “mother.”