Here in the northern hemisphere of the Americas, ’tis the season for watching televised reruns of our favorite Christmas movies. Why do we love them so much? What is it that brings us back, again and again, to re-experience stories we’ve heard so many times?
With our preference for the conscious ego’s rational processes above all our other functions, western culture tends to devalue the psyche’s natural, intuitive, imaginative processes. This split between the rational mind and nature created the seriously dysfunctional attitudes and practices which have brought us to the brink of destruction.
We don’t just hurt ourselves when we blanket our shadows (everything we disown about ourselves) under thick, impenetrable layers. We also hurt others. Because the longer we ignore our own darkness, the more power it acquires to become the very opposite of who our masks proclaim us to be.
In The Hero Within, Pearson highlights six major archetypes which are influential on the hero’s journey. These are the Innocent, Orphan, Martyr, Wanderer, Warrior and Magician.
Have you ever had that dream where you need to go to the bathroom but experience all sorts of problems? Just about everybody has. Some of mine feature public bathrooms with several stalls in which all the toilets are stopped up and disgusting. Or there’s no toilet paper. Or all the stalls are being used.
Did anyone sign your high school yearbook, “Don’t ever change”? Maybe you wrote it in a few yearbooks yourself. This is the normal desire of an adolescent ego. What it wants is so simple: to be old enough to drive, get a job, earn a lot of money, become independent, satisfy all its instinctual desires as much as it wants to…and then stop growing.
How do we account for the phenomenon of the Disney Princesses? Some see them as positive role models for their daughters, but many see them as stereotypes which are bound to scar our daughters’ minds. Why do they think this?
Archetypes have enormous power over us whether we realize it or not. Usually we do not, and it is precisely our ego’s ignorance of them that fuels their power. Most people could care less about archetypes. Some of you will stop reading at this point because what I’ve just said holds absolutely no meaning for you.But if you’re still reading, indulge me for a moment in a little experiment.