‘The devices,’ Jory remembers Malory telling him, ages ago now, ‘aren’t spirits, you know. They’re not ghosts or gods, or any kind of objective psychic entities existing outside ourselves. That’s a fantasy, although a lot of Knights of the Circle have found it convincing over the years.’
‘But –’ Jory said.
‘Quiet. I’m the expert, remember? The devices,’ Malory elaborated, ‘are living patterns in the human mind. That’s all a device is, in heraldry: a shape superimposed on a field. Jung would have called them archetypes, inhabiting the human collective unconscious and existing by virtue of our belief. I’m sure Dawkins would say they were memes, transmitting themselves like viruses from person to person.’
‘A meme’s not the same thing as an archetype,’ Jory objected.
‘Of course not,’ Malory agreed. ‘But both models seek to explain how each culture ends up with a pool of shared concepts like – in our case – King Arthur, Camelot, the Holy Grail and so on. What I find interesting is that both Dawkins and Jung, with their very different perspectives, allow for the possibility that these ideas are somehow alive. Or at least analogical to life.’
– The Pendragon Protocol, pp88-89