The Archetype Of The Lover

There are many forms of love. The ancient Greeks spoke of agape, nonerotic love, what the Bible calls “brotherly love.” They spoke of eros both in the narrow sense of phallic or sexual love and in the wider sense of love as the bonding and uniting urge of all things. The Romans spoke of amor, the complete union of one body and soul with another body and soul. These forms, and all other forms of love (for the most part varieties of these), are the living expression of the lover energy in human life.

The Lover is the fourth archetype discussed in the book King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover. When speaking about The Lover, it is not simply just sexual love but a general appetite for life. A lover of life. The Lover energy is exhibited in the vividness, aliveness and the passion with which one lives life. There is a sense of joy that The Lover feels, delight in all sensory experiences.

It lives through the great primal hungers of our species for sex, food, wellbeing, reproduction, creative adaptation of life’s hardships, and ultimately a sense of meaning, without which human beings cannot go on with their lives. The lover’s drive is to satisfy those hungers.

The Lover is one who is able to be in the world and in one’s own body without shame. They have accepted themselves and are comfortable with who they are. In doing so, The Lover is also empathetic towards others and is open to the collective unconscious. The Lover is open to the aesthetic consciousness which allows him to read others and understand how they feel but this openness comes with a cost, namely, by being so open, the Lover also feels pain and feels it deeply.

The Lover is not, then, only the archetype of the joy of life. In his capacity to feel at one with others and with the world, he must also feel their pain. Other people may be able to avoid pain, but the man in touch with the Lover must endure it. He feels the painfulness of being alive–both for himself and for others. Here, we have the image of Jesus weeping—for his city, Jerusalem, for his disciples, for all of humanity—and taking the sorrows of the world upon himself as the “man of sorrows, one acquainted with grief,” as the Bible says.

The Lover energy is in some ways the opposite of the other archetypes. The King, Warrior, and Magician are more concerned with order, boundaries, and discipline while, the Lover is freer and is able to cross boundaries in the search for passionate experiences rather than performing duties.

The two shadow forms of The Lover are Addicted Lover and the Impotent Lover. The Addicted Lover is someone who is a victim of his own sensitivity. He is lost in addiction and this stops the individual from detaching and assessing their own behavior. This lack of detachment can also result in having boundary issues. The individual lacks boundaries and principles that allow the Lover energy to be used for its proper purpose.

The lostness shows up, in the way that the Addict lives for the pleasure of the moment only and locks us into a web of immobility from which we cannot escape.

In his lostness—within and without—the victim of the active pole of the Shadow Lover is eternally restless. This is the man who is always searching for something. He doesn’t know what it is he’s looking for.

The Impotent Lover, on the other hand, suffers from a flattened affect. This effect is one that causes a lack of enthusiasm, vividness, aliveness towards life. The individual is unable to be passionate and open himself to the sensory experiences which life provides. One consequence of The Impotent Lover can be a chronically depressive state.

The Lover is last of the archetypes. The other three are The King, The Warrior, and The Magician. All of which I have attempted covered previously. The archetypes can be useful in assessing one’s own behavior. The archetypes can act as reminders for what one is missing or lacking. The King can remind one to be in service for others and try to help someone else be a better version of themselves. The Warrior may remind one to act and not wait for life to come to you and how through action, one should create the life they wish to have. The Magician can be a reminder of how much growth is possible and how one can gain knowledge to aid their growth. The Lover can remind you to live life in its fullest capacity and not be afraid to experience both the good and the bad sensualities that life can provide you.

The Archetype Of The Magician

The archetype of the King brings order and creativity. The Warrior brings action and clarity. The Magician also has a twofold role: The Magician is the knower and he is the master of technology. By knowing, it is meant that the Magician has an understanding of knowledge that requires special training.

You are spending large amounts of time, energy, and money in order to be initiated into rarefied realms of secret power. You are undergoing an ordeal testing your capacities to become a master of this power. And, as is true in all initiations, there is no guarantee of success.

The Magician initiates this knowledge through ritual processes. Like a master and apprentice relationship where the apprentice learns from the master, who has the understanding which the apprentice requires and in doing so, he comes to follow certain patterns and adopt behaviors that will aid that apprentice in gaining special knowledge.

Also, the fact that the Magician has understanding, he comes to play an important role in society. He can deflate the ego of the King by questioning his decisions and actions. In doing so, he can awaken the King’s conscience.

The Magician archetype in a man is his “bullshit detector”; it sees through denial and exercises discernment. He sees evil for what and where it is when it masquerades as goodness, as it so often does.

This knowing aspect of the Magician’s energy is theoretical science. While the applied science is the technological mastery. Technological understanding being the practical knowledge that can be imparted onto another which would include how a certain thing works, what are it’s parts, how to fix it if it breaks and so on.

Understanding and applying the Magician’s energy has three main benefits. Firstly, by having the knowledge, it can allow an individual to detach from oneself and reflect prior to making an important life decision.

Its proper role is to stand back and observe, to scan the horizon, to monitor the data coming in from both the outside and the inside and then, out of its wisdom—its knowledge of power, within and without, and its technical skill in channeling—make the necessary life decisions.

Secondly, by pursuing knowledge you also come to terms with what you don’t know and what you need to know and thus, this understanding can help you focus in order to improve. Lastly, the Magician energy can bring clarity of thinking which can be combined with the Warrior energy and one can act with clarity.

The Magician, then, is the archetype of thoughtfulness and reflection.

Like the previous archetypes, The Magician also has shadow forms. The shadow form is the negative form of The Magician’s energy. His shadow forms are the Manipulator and the Denying “Innocent” One. The Manipulator can withhold information and knowledge which can then allow the individual to manipulate others to his own benefit. For greed or status or other vices, such Manipulators can be anyone from teachers to doctors to psychiatrists. While the “Innocent” One is someone who does not take responsibility that comes with the Magician’s energy but wishes to have its rewards. This individual is often lifeless and envious of others for he does not wish to act but just wants the knowledge.

A benefit of understanding this archetype is that it shows how no one person is complete. In order to gain the benefits of this archetype, you have to seek out other people and ask for help. It acknowledges the fact that we all need someone else to guide us. That learning how to detach, to find mistakes in your actions and to think clearly aren’t something we are born with, rather they are taught to us by someone who is further along the journey of understanding.

This puts us at first a subservient learning position and then an authoritative teaching position but at all times we’re interacting with others and improving one another.

The Archetype Of The Warrior

In the book, King, Warrior, Magician and Lover, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette stated that:

The Warrior should not be identified with human rage in any simple way — quite the opposite. (They) also believe that this primarily masculine energy form (there are feminine Warrior myths and traditions too) persists because the Warrior is a basic building block of masculine psychology, almost certainly rooted in our genes.

We see the great warrior tradition in nearly every civilization. The reason for this is that the Warrior energy is universal.

It is a vital ingredient in our world-building and plays an important role in extending the benefits of the highest human virtues and cultural achievements to all of humanity.

The Warrior archetype relates to a total way of life.

What the samurai called a do. These characteristics constitute the Warrior’s Dharma, Ma’at, or Tao, a spiritual or psychological path through life.

A Warrior is aggressive for it is an aggressive approach toward life that needs to be adopted in order to access the Warrior energy. A passive living will not do but rather one must take the offensive, face life frontally and pursue the things you want in life instead of waiting around for them to come to you. In this manner, a Warrior does not sleep through life, rather, he is someone who is aware and focused. This is aided by a sense of clarity. He is clear in his desires and wants and hence, knows how to act in order to get them.

As a function of his clarity of mind he is a strategist and a tactician.

Clarity is also helped by the fact that life is short. The Warrior understands how fragile life can be and how quickly it can end and so, he is clear in his thought and action as he attempts to decisively achieve his aims.

A man accessing the Warrior archetype has “a positive mental attitude,” as they say in sales training. This means that he has an unconquerable spirit, that he has great courage, that he is fearless, that he takes responsibility for his actions, and that he has self-discipline.

The Warrior is trained, he is disciplined and he is committed. Through training, the Warrior becomes all that he can be in his thoughts, actions, feelings, and speech. With discipline, he comes to control his mind and also learns to suffer in the present in order to gain in the future. The commitment is to something greater than oneself, some ideal that allows detachment from the ego and hence, avoiding the pettiness of everyday life. Such commitment can come in the form of religion, country or an ideal like freedom.

A warrior is also able to detach from his current emotions and feelings and look at what is happening with rational thought.

Often, in life, we need to “step back,” we say, from a situation in order to gain perspective, so that we can act. The Warrior needs room to swing his sword. He needs separation from his opponents in the outer world and from his own inner opponents in the form of negative emotions.

However, the Warrior, just like the King energy, also has a shadow form. The Warrior’s shadow is the Sadist and the Masochist. A Sadist being someone who doesn’t have his mind or feeling under control and uses physical violence and is unable to connect with others. The My Lai massacre is an example of this energy or someone who has a compulsive personality disorder.

While the Masochist is the passive role of the Warrior. He is someone who is a pushover, has cowardly tendencies, has a tough time keeping other’s opinion out of his thoughts and easily gives up.

Personally, archetypes can be a tricky concept to accept. It is not clear if such things are real or not or if they play a significant role in one’s life. However, by adopting certain principles or actions that are associated with these archetypes, one can bring improvement in their life. The Warrior archetype urges movement and decisive action, two things that I know I need to get better at. Far too many times I have been passive and unengaging with life. The existence of such archetypes may be questionable, however, by organizing certain qualities and traits in a manner of archetypes, it can be easier to understand and to apply them in everyday life. By actively thinking about the Warrior archetype and wanting to adopt its mannerisms, you are constantly reminded to engage life and not to hesitate.┬áThe Warrior seeks out his life and does not wait for it.

So, when you to reflect on your past and you notice all the times when you could have used the Warrior energy to your benefit but failed, you are reminded then of the necessity of the archetype and through it, the necessity of action.

The Archetype Of The King

Archetypes are understood as universal patterns that are embedded in the unconscious of all individuals, hence, the collective unconscious of mankind. These archetypes are considered to be inherited potentials which can be actualized when we “discover” the archetype within us. When one speaks of the archetype of the King, it is the ideal King that is being discussed and not the individual on the throne. How an ideal King should act and think, how an ideal King behaves and how it’s the King’s energy that is important for organizing and creating one’s life.

In the book, King, Warrior, Magician and Lover, authors Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette speak upon the different archetypes and the function of each archetype. Additionally, they mention the shadow form of the archetypes as well, the unfulfilled potential or misguided use of the archetypical energy and how such a thing can lead to immaturity in an individual.

Firstly, it is believed that the King has two main functions. The first is that the King energy is ordering, it brings balance, it is the lawmaking energy. The second function of the King energy is that it provides fertility.

Order starts with the King himself. In order for the society to be good, the King must be good. In order for the civilians to respect the law, the King must respect the law. There is a rippling effect from the King to his subjects. So, if the King lives properly, according to good principles then, his subjects will also feel the effect of this order. There is a sense of ownership with this function. The King must own up to his actions, behaviors, and habits and erase those which bring about negative events and consequences and by doing so, his subjects will follow his lead.

In a household, a father must live the way he wishes his children to live. If the father works hard, he is disciplined, he is able to sacrifice immediate pleasure for something greater in the future, then the children benefit as well. They see and they observe and in doing so, they come to view how to act in life through the proper example of the King energy that their father possessed.

Fertility, on the other hand, is associated with the creative ordering of things. The King energy being fertile means that it is positive, it is creative, it wishes for others to grow and become better. This energy nurtures the talents of others, it guides them and recognizes it. It is not destructive or envious or jealous of what others can accomplish.

With this fertile energy, the husband would support his wives decision if she chose to take a break from work and went back to school. The husband would willingly take on the increased burden of providing financially for the household for in the long term, his wife would be happier and the burden will be lifted. In the same way, if the father decides to take time off from work, the son should willingly take on more responsibility for this is what the King energy would have us do.

However, as mentioned before, each archetype is accompanied by a shadow form. A shadow King is one who sometimes possesses the King energy and acts as a proper King but other times he either acts as a Tyrant or the Weakling.

A tyrant is active while the weakling is passive. A tyrant is essentially a narcissist. He envies creative force for it can create new life which can threaten his position. He cares more about himself and his own accomplishments rather than what is good for the community. Think about the worker who only cares about his own paycheck instead of making the company better. These selfish interests create a selfish individual who cannot stand criticism. Even as a father he may envy his own son. He may not give proper praise to his son for his accomplishments or even take credit for what his son has done.

While on the other side of the spectrum, is the weakling. He is someone who is always overcompensating. The reason being that this individual is not secure within himself so he has a need to be noticed because he feels he is nothing. He needs to be adored and worshipped, always drawing attention to himself because he is not satisfied promoting others. Essentially, the weakling lacks centeredness, meaning there is no order or organization which the King energy is supposed to bring.

Perhaps the best way to access the King’s energy without falling into the Shadow King’s influence is by disidentifying the ego from the King. One has to see themselves as a servant to this energy. This can help deflate one’s own ego by associating one’s accomplishments with the King’s energy rather than your own actions. Also, similar to roleplay, before acting, one should perhaps think what would the King do? How would the King act? By doing so, you may come to a decision that doesn’t just benefit you. It may cause you to rethink and change certain behaviors or reshape aspects of your life where you have allowed laziness to seep in and have become undisciplined. The King’s energy may focus your sight onto the things that are in your control which you have not improved and once you take care of that it may have a positive effect on those around you. Also, by keeping the King’s energy in your mind, you can have a shift in how you view others. You may actively seek out ways to help nurture the talents of other people, hence making your life partially less about yourself and more about the wellness of others.