Post by Alerith on Feb 24, 2018 6:09:44 GMT -5
The Last Unicorn: A Ji-lead INF Myth
(Warning: Spoilers Abound!)
(Warning: Spoilers Abound!)
I believe the story of the Last Unicorn to be a quintessential example of the INF narrative:
This story is actually something quite personally sacred to me. I related strongly with the theme as a child; being a lone outcast who is misunderstood and used by humanity, and searching for the 'others of her kind' in order to quell her loneliness and return magic to the world..
"Butterfly, in all your wanderings, have you seen others like me? Have you seen even one?"
The narrative expresses the self-reflective tendencies of the INF, as well as their fixation on the question of "Who am I, and what is my place in this world?" It seems that the introverted, intuitive and feeling aspects often coalesce into a lifepath which includes the search for home/belonging. And this search has an undertone of deep longing and sorrow, as if for an essential lost meaning central to one's existence. What is the nature of home? What does it mean to belong? If we take the story of the unicorn as an answer, then it may be said that home is where you return to after you have found yourself, and belonging is the recognition of that self by others.
What's interesting about the unicorn's story is that it's simultaneously a hero's journey, whereby she seeks to establish her place in the world, as well as a more individualistic seeking for the self in both a literal and symbolic sense. She searches for her own literal image/identity in the other unicorns, and refers to herself not by a name, but as 'unicorn'. This seems to reveal something very true about the nature of the journey of self-discovery - it is indeed embarked upon both internally and externally simultaneously. One finds one's self in part through their relationship to others and through their perception of how they fit into the grand scheme of Life at large. At its deepest philosophical level, this process reveals that we are both an individual and a representation of a broader aspect of the whole.
This is what Jung referred to as the Self, or the Archetype of Wholeness. The integration of the Self means that one is no longer solely identified with the character of the ego, and it is realized that they are all things human. What was once a series of opposites become balanced dualities, and identity expands to include what was once thought to be 'other'. The unicorn is an ancient symbol of this archetype, its form represents a unification of opposite traits - masculine (horse, the horn as phallus) and feminine (allusive, healing, purity, spirit of nature.)
The character of the unicorn, and the particular way her journey unfolds, seem to represent the traits of a Ji-lead and the general challenges they would go through during psychological development. Despite the ambiguity of her identity, the unicorn also is self-kept and prideful like a typical Ji-lead. She demands respect in a low key yet direct sort of way, as in what she says to the butterfly, "Be a little respectful, butterfly! Do you know who I am?" She also has an air of nobility, as well as of being separate from and above the world around her. She is an immortal magical being, one which has no regrets - because supposedly unicorns only ever do as they intend and their intentions are completely pure (the Ji myth of perfect alignment to principle). Part of the tragedy of the story is that the unicorn is transformed into a human girl, which lowers her existence into a realm she was not meant for, and by the end of it she has regrets for the things she did as a human.
As with many depictions of the hero journey, the unicorn goes through a transformation of character by facing her fears. But her fears take an interesting form symbolically, a ferocious fiery bull, which could be interpreted to represent the qualities of Je. The symbol of the bull represents vigor, virility and will. Fire also is a symbol of power, and of alchemical transformation; fire is libido, it is the force which combines elements and manifests outcomes. At first the unicorn runs from the bull, completely overwhelmed and feeling powerless against it, but her transformation takes place when she incorporates the behavior of the bull and chases it and drives it into the sea. Thus she releases the unicorns from their oppressive captivity in the ocean. This is a clear representation of the realization of the Self (unicorn) out from the unconscious (ocean), as the Shadow (bull) recedes from the conscious personality once its opposed content (in this case Je) is integrated.
This could be a metaphor for the individuation of the Ji-lead - the unicorn simultaneously as ego and Self, meets the fiery bull (i.e. disassociated Je/Shadow) on its own level, and incorporates both vigor and practicality into its character.