The Treasure Archetype

    The Treasure archetype contains images on the theme of the ideas of one's own being and, especially, of the masks of world figures.  Every kingdom or state must have its royal or state treasure that is a source of the nation's wealth and pride; similarly, the unconscious must have its "royal" treasure that is also an inexhaustible source of wealth, though also of pride.

     I consider the use of the term "Treasure" to be apt since it shares attributes with a treasure of material valuables. If we let ourselves be blinded by the glare of gold and precious stones, then we will anyway let ourselves be blinded by the glare of the masks from the pantheon of world figures sensuously offering themselves to the seeker – we will succumb to our own pride and put on the mask of a ruler, nobleman, king, saint or savior. The enticement of exquisite masks is prepared for each of us in the treasure of the unconscious; after putting on these masks we feel unique and distinctive. Some people fall into ecstasy in this phase of spiritual development and then for the remainder of their lives will not realize that they are wearing embarrassing masks with no inner content, without characteristics and without a life of individuality. Human society, geared toward the development of the personality (such as "Western" civilization), greatly assists the intoxication of mask wearing. Then the escapists fill psychiatric asylums where they misguidedly live out their days under the constant influx of sedatives, which does not allow them to break free from the intoxication that their favorite mask provides them with. These words of mine on the threat of identifying with masks is attested to by descriptions from schizophrenic patients, who, following an experience linked to divine images, find their own identification in the masks of saviors and prophets.

    When during a spiritual journey you glimpse into the Treasure archetype, the eye, untrained in resolution, is blinded by the glare of esteemed, famous and powerful individuals. Very few, if any, can resist it. Any hero walking through the unconscious will put on some masks and wear them for a while through life.  The importance lies in recognizing as soon as possible the empty shell of the mask worn with pride, and, instead of the mask, to seek in the treasure that which is truly treasure. These are the qualities hidden deep beneath the masks of personalities, the qualities that enable the hero to go through the rigors of the archetypes and cross the hero's boundaries.

    Once again we return here to tales and legends. In one tale the hero is given as a reward for his deeds the choice from a herd of magnificent horses and, upon the advice of his friend, chooses the ugliest lame horse kept in a filthy stable.  Only this horse could lead him to his desired destination. The Treasure archetype has the same solution – to forget about the splendid masks and seek that lying unnoticed under the aged layer of dust in the corner of a neglected human being. This dearest treasure of all is the compassion that the unconscious patiently teaches man. Again, I must emphasize: compassion is a depersonalizing and purifying virtue. It has nothing in common with sympathy or sentimentality when one can't bear viewing cruel events affecting humanity that the media so abundantly provides. Compassion moves a person to the infinite ends of true humanity; it is a prerequisite for growth toward harmony and for ridding oneself of the remnants of lust; it is the indestructible defense against spiritual decline.

The scheme of the Treasure archetype:

  1. The idea of a being's center
  2. Personality masks
  3. Awareness of a being's contaminated center
  4. Recognizing personality masks
  5. Definitive direction towards compassion

    The Treasure archetype is magical and but also very "treacherous" since it is a relentless seducer. The Treasure archetype has in its hands a magical mirror that shows the true state of a human being in beautiful allegories. The Treasure archetype patiently leads one to the rejection of personality masks and, by recognizing one's own unfortunate actions in the past, guides a person to humanity's most splendent spring – to compassion. We achieve compassion through development and the deep roots of feeling by which spontaneous animal instincts are suppressed and ultimately uprooted.

    Compassion creates a new person to whom it does not occur to accept something for his own emotional happiness; instead, he will want to glow through his emotions to the entire living world in the form of love, understanding and acts of mercy with a single thought in his heart, with a single mantra on his lips:

                    "Subhamastu sarva jagatam. Om." (from Sanskrit)
                    ("May all beings be happy. Om.")

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