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Moore, N. (1983). The Archetype of the Way: Part I. Tao and Inviduation. J. Anal. Psychol., 28(2):119-140.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(2):119-140

The Archetype of the Way: Part I. Tao and Inviduation

Norah Moore

Man follows the earth.

Earth follows heaven.

Heaven follows the Tao.

Tao follows what is natural

Lao Tzǔ: Tao Tê Ching.

This Paper explores some ideas about the archetype of the Way, as a paradigm of the unfolding of the self, of the development of the ego, and of the relationship between ego and self.

The first part of the paper deals with the tao and individuation; the second part, in considering the ego-self relationship, will draw together archetypal material with more personalised developmental psychology.

On the Howardian hills near Terrington in Yorkshire there is a place where several roads meet. There is no village, for it disappeared centuries ago in the Black Death; but cut into the turf are the intertwined circles of a maze, locally called Troy Town. No one quite knows where it came from. Probably the Vikings made it, the story being that they brought the tradition of the maze from the eastern Mediterranean, where their voyages had brought them into contact with vestiges of the Minoan civilisation, the mazes of Knossos and of other Minoan towns, and with the Crane Dance of Delos. Now, this maze is a game for children to hop around in at Easter, in the Troy Game; then, perhaps it was part of the Spiral Dance in the cult of Cybele, the Asian mother-goddess, and of the bull-god rituals.

Many such turf-cut mazes exist at prehistoric sites in England, for example in St Agnes in the Isles of Scilly, Saffron Walden, Uppingham and at many places called Troy Town or Mismaze; pebble ones are common by the seashore in Scandinavia, and spirals are found in Celtic passage graves in France and Ireland. Mazes are also found in churches, as at Chartres, and in the World Map at Hereford cathedral. Some of these mazes exactly resemble the maze inscribed on a clay tablet found at Pylos from the age of the fall of Troy.

The names ‘Troy Town’ and ‘Walls of Troy’ suggest a connection with Troy itself: Geoffrey of Monmouth makes the connection, but archaeological evidence does not support mutual influences between Troy and Crete in prehistoric times, although they traded at that time and, later, warriors went from Knossos to Homeric Troy VI.

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