Yeah, yeah, the whole archetypal psychology approach to men's growth is so 1990s. But there is still some very useful ideas in that work. Moore and Gillette, in their well-known book, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine.
This article takes a look at that work. Try to ignore the ads for products - the site is trying to sell us their products.
Welcome everybody. This is Matt Clarkson of The Mind-Body Training Company … welcome.This Sunday is Father’s Day. So a big thank you to all the Dad’s out there! Today I want to talk about how to develop mature qualities of confidence, courage and a sense of unshakable mental stability … qualities that are often associated with the energy of the mature masculine. First of all, I want to back up a bit and talk about two concepts that are essential to what I’m going to talk about today and in fact everything we do here at The Mind-Body Training Company. Throughout all our programs and everything we teach you’ll always see two key concepts come up over and over again. We believe they are essential for a life of health, happiness and success.
Key Concept #1: Training or Practice.
So why training? Well, Western culture is all about getting the result. It’s about “push-button” results and get-rich-quick. Nothing wrong with that if it actually produces the results you want without any negative consequences. But more often than not, these things get you nowhere and waste your time. Now it might be a better marketing strategy to say “instant results” but what we’re interested in at The Mind-Body Training Company is what works in the long term. And when you look at ANY successful result in ANY area of life, there’s always been training and practice that led to it.
We believe that effective training is the true path to excellence in any area of your life — in terms of your health, relationships, finances and spiritually. If we want a result in life, whether that is better health, more financial abundance, better relationships, anything at all, we accept that regular training or practice is crucial. It’s not even so much about the individual results we think we want along the way, (the new car or the new lover) it’s about the training, the process, the practice that allows you to continually grow and evolve.
Key Concept #2: A balanced and holistic approach in our training.
The second important concept is that training should be holistic and balanced in nature. We’re not interested in half measures that only partially address the real issues. We know that effective training needs to be complete, balanced and holistic. We need to train the MIND and the BODY we need to train BOTH SIDES of the opposite.
So with this Sunday being Father’s day, I thought it would be good to talk a little about the qualities of the balanced, mature masculine energy. Don’t worry if you’re a woman — this applies to you as well! I’ll explain how in a minute. I recently read a great book called “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine” by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. This book has really helped me identify some areas where frankly, I still had some growing up to do. So I thought it would be good to take the time to share these insights with you on Father’s Day.
Moore and Gillette argue that Western society is in a real mess right now because we’ve forgotten what mature masculinity means. We think mature masculinity is abusive or domineering and society has suffered immensely for that. Moore and Gillette say that we’ve got into this situation for two reasons. First of all, unlike primitive cultures, Western culture has no ritualized initiation of boys into manhood. Also, in recent times, women have reclaimed more of their power after much suffering and injustice at the hands of IMMATURE men. Both men and women NEED mature men and we need mature masculine energies to encourage us, nurture our development and help us grow.
So let’s celebrate Father’s day by talking about qualities of the mature masculine.
Get ready because this is deep stuff!
The concepts from “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover” come from the work of Carl Jung and his theory of the archetypal Self. Jung thought that we come hard-wired with what he called “archetypes”. These are core-level programs or pre-dispositions that influence how we develop and grow throughout the various stages of life. Jung thought that we come in with these biological mechanisms that pre-dispose us to grow in certain ways. Of course, we still need the correct external role models and influences to help develop these energies correctly.
So what are the energies of maturity?
As the title of Moore & Gillette’s book suggests, Jung thought that the archetypes of mature masculinity are The King, The Warrior, The Magician and The Lover. Today, most of Jung’s contemporaries agree that these archetypes apply as much to the mature feminine and they do the mature masculine. We tend to develop one of the archetypes of King (or Queen), Warrior, Magician or Lover more fully than the others. This is called a Jungian “temperament”. But more importantly, Jung argued that to be mature, we need to access EACH of the FOUR archetypes correctly and in the balanced proportions. So let’s look at each of the archetypes now.
My personal favourite! The Magician is the master of knowledge, both technological and spiritual. For example, over the last few years I’ve been pretty focused on marketing, growing and reaching more people with The Mind-Body Training Company. I’ve spent a lot of time accessing “The Magician” archetype — reading books about human behaviour, working with people to help them change their lives, figuring out how best to develop myself and others.
The Magician archetype is concerned with knowledge, both spiritual and technological. Examples of the Magician would be your local Medicine Man, Merlin in the stories of King Arthur, Don Juan in the famous books by Carlos Castaneda. But in modern times, the magicians are also the scientists and the technologists who make “miracles” happen. The Magician is the knowledge worker — both scientific/technological and spiritual.
The Secret to Understanding Archetypes
Moore & Gillette argue that if ANY the archetypes are not accessed correctly, we see the “Shadow” or dysfunctional version of the archetype manifesting itself. This basically means there is either an unhealthy attachment to this energy type or an aversion to it. On the attachment side of the Magician’s Shadow, we get “the detached manipulator”. This is the person who is more interested in accumulating power for himself rather than what’s best for all.
Unfortunately, our society is awash with the manifestations of the “detached manipulator”. We see this all the time in TV advertising. We also see it a great deal in the self-help community when the focus is on learning “tricks” and “techniques” to manipulate others and get your own way. There’s nothing wrong with learning techniques and understanding what makes people tick, but when it’s all about manipulating people for your own benefit, then the healthy Magician energy has fallen into that shadow aspect.
On the aversion side of The Magician archetypes’ Shadow, we have someone who is afraid of their own power, the person who denies their knowledge and likes to play dumb. This is the person who is afraid to take responsibility or take the lead in an interaction. The Magician energy, like all the archetypes is a force for good in the psyche and in the world when properly accessed.
Stop for a moment now and consider…
How is your Magician archetype? Do you need to develop more qualities of the Magician? If you do, I’d recommend Secrets Of Meditation, Health & Manifestation as a great introduction to meditation, breathing work and the art of manifesting your desires. If you’re already familiar with meditation and manifesting, I would recommend Secrets Of Abundant Energy. The Magician archetype needs to work with the energy of the King (or Queen) in order to balance the psyche.
The King (or Queen)
The King/Queen servers two functions — the blessing of others and maintaining order. The King is wise and loving. He wants to help others grow and mature. The King keeps order throughout the Kingdom (both internally and externally) and protects the Kingdom from de-stabilizing influences. The King needs to work with the Magician, Warrior and Lover energies in the correct balance for there to be order and positive growth.
An unhealthy attachment to the energy of The King happens when we become identified with it — when we believe we “are” the King energy. Then we fallen under the influence of the King’s shadow archetype, “The Tyrant”. The tyrant wants more than anything else to bolster his own position and his own sense of power. An example of The Tyrant would be Darth Vador in Star Wars or King Herod in the story of Jesus. The tyrant may be ruthless in achieving his objectives, but underneath he’s terrified of his own weaknesses (hence Herod tried to kill the baby Jesus who he saw as a threat).
On the aversion side of the King’s Shadow, we have “The Weakling” who perceives himself to be either unable or unwilling to take control of the situation. He’s paranoid, feels a sense of constant fear and is destabilized at the slightest remark. The King energy properly accessed brings stability, order and a sense of caring for self and others.
Stop for a moment and check inside.
How are you accessing your King archetype? Do you need more of that stabilizing, rational, ordered sense of confidence and community? If so, I highly recommend you take a look at Spiritual Growth Monthly.
The SGM community is run by one of the most mature people I know — Kevin Schoeninger. Kevin is our highly experienced instructor with over 25 years teaching experience. He is a certified personal trainer, meditation instructor and holistic fitness expert. He is here to serve you. He LOVES working with members to help you realize your full potential. Your membership allows you to ask him whatever questions you feel are important. You can ask them on the members blog or email Kevin privately. He answers personally to all coaching questions and we have a great community of people who are here for each other.
The Warrior archetype is not abusive or domineering as we might think. Yes, the Warrior is fierce, courageous and determined, but abusive he is not. If the warrior energy becomes abusive, it has actually become one of the shadow aspects of the Warrior — “The Sadist”. The Warrior has had a bad rap in recent years, mainly because people confuse the Warrior with his shadow archetype The Sadist. The Sadist takes pleasure in dominating others and inflicting suffering for his own amusement.
We often see The Sadist in warfare when our soldiers go too far. In the United States and in the UK, we’ve seen in the news that our soldiers have abused Iraqi prisoners and in some cases, tortured and killed them. This is actually quite common in all warfare on all sides. Of course, the Warrior archetype is an important one. Properly accessed, the Warrior is a motivating force for good providing much of the drive needed for success. The Warrior energy fights for just causes, but perverted it can easily become as bad or even worse than the “enemy”.
Throughout our history, women have suffered terrible abuse and injustice inflicted by the shadow aspect of the warrior — The Sadist. What we need more than anything else is not more sadists but more mature men and women who are accessing their Warrior energy correctly for each other’s benefit.
On the aversion side of the Warrior’s shadow we have “The Masochist”. This is the energy of taking pleasure in your OWN pain and suffering. So how do we access the aversion side of the Warrior’s shadow, the Masochist? Well for me, the best way to access the masochist is to dress myself in leather, cover myself in whip cream, and get a hard spanking until I cry like a girl … Just kidding! But have you noticed how we see these archetypes all over the place — in art, in religion, throughout our culture. The fact that these archetypes appear over and over again is strong evidence that these structures run deep within us.
Do you need to develop the positive aspects of The Warrior archetype? If so, I highly recommend Kevin Schoeninger program The Power Of Practice.
The Lover feels deeply connected to all things. The Lover is creative and likes to express itself through art and other expressive activities. Here was have the musicians, the painters, the sculptors and the poets. Many people in the spiritual community have a deeply developed Lover archetype, sometimes without developing the others as well. The Shadow of the Lover on the attachment side is obsessed with Love and “can’t get enough”. On the aversion side we have the “impotent lover” who feels overwhelmed by the feminine and rejects the oneness in order to maintain his artificial sense of individuality.
Accessing the Lover correctly is going to make us more in touch, in sync and connected with ourselves and others. If you need to develop more of the Lover energy then I think meditation is a great practice to help with that. If you’re new to meditation, check out Secrets Of Meditation, Health & Manifestation. If you’ve been practicing meditation for a while and want to go deeper into natural meditation practices, then check out Kevin Schoeninger’s program Learn Qigong Meditation.
So there we have it … the four archetypes of maturity according to Carl Jung as well as Moore & Gillette. At this point, you might be asking — how do I apply this in my life to become more balanced and mature for myself and for others?
I recommend you start by asking some basic questions…
1) Which archetypes King, Warrior, Magician & Lover are you accessing correctly?
2) In which of the four quadrants are you accessing the Shadow aspects?
3) Which archetypes are you’re preferred temperaments?
4) Which archetypes do you need to work on developing?
If you go back and look above, you’ll see I gave recommendations and links for programs that will help you access these archetypes correctly. Go back and have a look at that.