Understanding Our Reactions Through an Archetypal Lens – by Casey Marlin

Archetypes in the written form govern the fictitious world, dictate our languages, and have dominion over our corporal lives. Archetypes have found their way into every branch of commercial psychology to target you and empathize with you.

What is an archetype? Archetypes are any title that one could operate under that defines their behavior, some examples are an executive, servant,  socialite, or a rebel. As psychology and understanding human behavior make it to the forefront of peoples common interests today, we have the gift of room for the ever-expanding approaches to understanding our minds. Categorizing peoples personalities is nothing new and we have people like Carl Jung to thank for that, but today our scholars have dug even deeper to understand the many different aspects within each individual. In the progressive works of the author and speaker, Dr. Caroline Myss describes that we can view ourselves with at least 12 of these archetypes with four consistent pillars within everyone. The integration of these four pillars will dictate our emotional maturity and can point us to the location of the roots our reactions grow from.

The four Archetypes that stay with us throughout our entire lives as Myss describes are the child, saboteur, victim, and the prostitute. These are our survival archetypes and help us integrate into the social dynamics of the world. They all represent different issues that we will need to overcome. They are not negative in nature because they represent how we go forth with our integrity.

First, we will look at the prostitute since it is the most surprising character on the list. Your prostitute simply refers to your ability to sell yourself to the highest bidder, this happens when we choose careers, friends, partners… It is your ability to be bought and sold, and your ability to buy others into the behavior you want from them. 

The child within us never leaves us, there is no day it changes or evolves strictly into adulthood no matter the circumstance. An individual that does not repress this aspect is a playful person full of wonder. To keep this aspect intact you may have to re-cultivate a sense of innocence and a sense of deserving.

The victim has a bad reputation, but a powerful purpose. We need the victim to alert us to know we are about to be victimized. If we begin to lead with our victim we start to feel that we are always victimized, and we victimize others. It is critical to understand this attitude to outrun your fears.

The saboteur may be the one we can recognize the most as we grab for a cookie on our diets. This is the most dynamic hardworking archetype we have. This is the reminder of the fear we have about starting a project or a relationship. We need to make this our ally and predict its behavior. A fantastic book on this subject is called Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts–Becoming the Person You Want to Be – by Marshall Goldsmith. It is hilariously eye-opening how predictive we can be. The many stories we tell ourselves why we don’t start now or can take a break from our disciplines.

“The more conscious you can remain about the archetypal patterns influencing your behavior, the more likely that your choices, and lessons, will be positive.” – Dr. Caroline Myss, she has also exclaimed that if one of these four archetypes is leading, don’t go shopping. 

If you’re interested in the vault of information Caroline Myss has worked on since the 1980s when she accompanied Harvard trained neurosurgeon, Dr. Norm Shealy, to check her out at http://www.myss.com

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