Merely knowing your archetypes will help you mature.
Ask yourself where you are still operating with “boy psychology”. Don’t ask yourself if you are, because your mind may simply cover its tracks by answering “no”. Ask yourself where it’s showing up, and you’ll gain the power to choose to be a better man.
In the past, our communities used to feel sure what a man is, and they would have helped you become one by now.
Those ways are gone. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“If ours is an age of individualism in the deepest as well as in the most shallow sense, then let us be individuals! Let us nurture and welcome great individuals – individual men who will, with the benevolence of ancient kings, the courage and decisiveness of ancient warriors, the wisdom of magicians, and the passion of lovers, move energetically to take up the challenge of saving a world that has been cast down before us.”
– King, Warrior, Magician, Lover - 87% on Kindle
In his book, Robert Moore suggests the following four techniques:
- Active Imagination Dialogue
- Admiring Men
- Acting “As if”
1) Active Imagination Dialogue
We all talk to ourselves in some way. Most of the time, it’s nothing more than inane chatter.
Make your self-talk useful by directly addressing one of your archetypes. Or, “call out” to the inner space for “whatever it is” that is causing this or that in your life.
“…the conscious Ego enters into dialogue with various unconscious entities, other focused consciousnesses, other points of view, within us. Behind these different points of view, sometimes in obscure ways, lie the archetypes – in both their positive and their negative forms.”
– King, Warrior, Magician, Lover - 88% on Kindle
When I tried this, I found it hard to “tell” whether the responding voice was really some inner entity, or merely my own over-active Ego “trying” to make the technique work.
I used the Hawkins Letting Go technique to cancel those concerns and continue. Maybe it really was an inner entity. Maybe not. I relaxed myself about it.
Sometimes I would not fully “trust” what the voice said – so I just waited and asked again, or spoke to it like it were a lying child: “Do you really think that, or are you just saying it?”
In the end, I found this technique brought me quite a bit of clarity (some of it difficult to accept) about my childhood development.
When choosing what to talk about (or what to talk to), think of any behaviour that you exhibit that you really wish you wouldn’t. That’s a sign of a hidden desire that you’re not aware of – otherwise, why would you be exhibiting the behaviour? Ask something like, “Who’s there that’s making me do this?” Take pauses, and ask repeatedly, and in different ways, from different angles, until you get a response.
Just as we constantly talk to ourselves in unhelpful ways, we also conjure discouraging images and ideas all day long.
The technique of invocation is simply to use this natural mental mechanism to access masculine archetypes in their fullness.
You might use external images, paintings or movie stills, to help you.
However you do it, bring up images, ideas, sounds, scenes, whatever you like that speaks to you of one of the four archetypes in its fullness.
3) Admiring Men
Boys often “idolise” young men in their lives, such as older brothers, and do their best to behave more like them.
Again, it’s a natural mechanism, and we can use it consciously.
We must all have men in our lives that we look up to. If you have no one who presently meets the bill, read biographies and stories and quotes of men who are up to standard (living or dead).
4) Acting “As if”
The simplest technique to develop maturity and power in any area is to act as if you already have it for a period of time.
Like an actor “getting into character”, you might take a moment to do the same before entering the workplace, the home, or in the shower in the morning.
You won’t need to struggle to hold this “character” all day. Any amount of time spent being the kind of man you want to be has an effect on your psyche. Like a muscle, that side of your mind is developed, bit by bit, through daily “reps” – a few minutes here, an hour there, being a full and mature King or Warrior or Magician or Lover.
Make All Techniques More Powerful By Letting Go
The Hawkins technique of letting go applicable to all the above.
- When in dialogue, let go of the need for the responding voices to be genuine, or the need to “get it right”.
- When invoking, let go and surrender any feelings that come up in resistance to your chosen images and concepts (such as the fear of being a Warrior, or the “guilt” around being a Lover, or “unworthiness” to be the King).
- When admiring other men, let go of pride and accept that yes, you’re doing what little boys do with their older brothers. Cancel the energy behind that thought, and fully pour out your admiration.
- While you’re acting “as if”, you must let go of how you normally are. Though this is the simplest technique, it is the one likely to produce the most resistance. Let go of it all as it comes up, in whatever form it takes.
Letting go means surrendering your right to hold on to a feeling. Whether it’s your righteous anger, your self-recriminating guilt, or your protective terror, every “negative” emotion has a secret (or obvious) pay-off.
Once you see through the illusion that the pay-off is worth the pain of the feeling, it’s a since to let it go. And once you let go of a feeling, you’ve removed an energetic blockage to progress.
That’s the end of this little series on masculine archetypes.
Tomorrow, I’ll swing back to copywriting – the field where my Magician is continuously developing his magic!