If it’s one thing I’ve learned in going through the hero’s journey, it’s surrender. Not surrender in the hippie-dippie, feather-in-the-wind, Forest Gump sense of the term, but surrender in the sense that, once you start your adventure, you must see it through. Now, I know that sounds more like determination or grit, but from what I’ve observed, experienced, and studied, it’s not about what YOU can do, it’s about what the gods can do FOR you. So when I submitted myself to this life path – to fix myself, to improve, to grow – I swore to the gods that I would see it through, no matter what pain and fear and darkness I had to endure. For their part, the gods responded by sending me both the adversities and the allies that I needed to get better. That afternoon, as I stood on the edge of the parking lot in the blaring sun, watching the world go by without me, I heard the gods speak one word to me, loud and clear: Stop.
As I said in the previous section, I failed my most recent round through the Woman as Temptress Stage. During the Covid lockdown I was tempted by my natural inclination for movement and I caved. I love being busy, and feeling busy – I’m a workhorse and I like that about myself. However, instead of being humble or disciplined and sitting my ass down to work in the same way that everyone else in my office was working – instead of devoting even half of my time to doing the things needed to help my friends and family – I devoted nearly all of my time and energy to something menial that I found fun. I love driving, especially because, despite my recent mishap, I’m good at it. I loved my car, especially since it had a manual transmission. I like being in control, and I NEED to be in motion, but in the moment of the crash I realized I was being humbled. I was suddenly FORCED to stop moving, and actually confront my problems. As I did, however, things started to seem somewhat repetitive.
Psychologist and philosopher Carl Jung said, “Only one who has risked the fight with the dragon and is not overcome by it wins the ‘treasure hard to attain.’ He alone has a genuine claim to self-confidence, for he has faced the dark ground of his self and thereby has gained himself. This experience gives him faith and trust.” As I said in my blogs from the last round, mastery over the Ego – what Robert L. Moore calls “The Dragon of Grandiosity” in his book, Facing the Dragon: Confronting Personal and Spiritual Grandiosity – would be an ongoing process. I’m proud to say that I have enjoyed a great deal of success in getting this beast under control, with only a few notable slip-ups thus far. However, after my car accident it became apparent to me that it was time to go deeper into my unconscious mind so that I could find what other creatures lurked down there, and attain whatever treasures they were hording.
Archetypal patterns aren’t just found in the people around us, they also live inside of us as energetic forms of thought and action, with one being dominant over the others. The YouTuber, Like Stories of Old has an excellent series of videos where he explores the four main archetypes as discussed in the book, King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. In the video discussing the Warrior archetype, he cross-references their work with Carol Pearson’s book, The Hero Within. His synopsis is linked below and I highly recommend you check it out, as well as the other videos in the series.
For me, the warrior sits at the top of my internal archetypal hierarchy, and while the role of the hero naturally extends beyond all archetypal patterns, as anyone can be a hero in the literary sense, the warrior pattern is the one most closely associated with the hero and heroism. Pearson explains why this is the case; “To identify as a warrior is to say; ‘I am responsible for what happens here,’ and ‘I must do what I can to make this a better world for myself and for others.’” Being a warrior, indeed being a hero in general, is to make personal responsibility the chief focus of one’s life. It’s to find purpose in becoming the best version of oneself, and to direct your energy in helping those around you. But as all three authors pointed out, there is a dark side to this archetype, which is where my own struggle comes into focus.
What Carol Pearson calls the “Pseudo-Warrior”, and what Moore and Gillette call the “Infantile Hero”, is essentially the same thing. In this joint concept they describe a fighter who fights for the sake of fighting – to confirm his own legend in his own mind. As Like Stories of Old put it, “When warriors rely on external achievements for inner fulfillment, we enter the realm of the Shadow Warrior.”
Like Stories of Old:
Like Stories of Old – The Archetype of the Warrior:
The Unexplored Depths of Spider Man 3 - Facing the Dragon of Grandiosity:
King, Warrior, Magician, Lover Analysis playlist:
YouTube intro: https://youtu.be/4mBCCi1SNLQ