You may object that the dream image is only an ephemera. But that ephemera represents a principle of organization. Clinical evidence shows that when I dream of being bitten by a snake my analysis may be taking hold at a deeper level. Thus the principle of the snake catalyses change in the personality. I do not inherit the principle. What I inherit is a dynamic system, my personality, which may be gripped by the principle2.
Related to the snake is the principle of the spear which is seen in an airplane's body, a fish's body, a ship's hull and ice skates. The spear is a mathematical solution to the problem of moving through a resistant medium. In the personality it seems obvious that the same mathematical principle is expressed as penetrating phallic power.
We know that Aphrodite personifies the archetype of beauty and sexuality. But she also personifies a principle of sets (a set is a group of numbers enclosed within a boundary): when two sets intersect they create a third set which includes components of the first two. Imagine a fenced-in field of beets which partially overlaps a fenced-in field of cabbages. In the area of overlap they create a new fenced-in field of intermingled beets and cabbages. This is the essence of sexuality, the sharing of genes, the sharing of bodies, and the sharing of psychological qualities.
'Surely,' you object, 'a principle of sets does not do justice to Aphrodite?' It is true that my associations to Aphrodite are much richer, but that is why I personify her. Her principle pre-existed life itself. In my imagination I associate that principle with the image of a woman which I have absorbed from my environment. Then I use all that I know about the woman to elaborate the archetypal image.