Yesterday we covered the Structure of Your Inner Child – the ‘boy psyche’.
Today we’ll unpack the most important mature masculine archetype – the central organiser, the life-affirming ruler – The King.
What is The King?
I’ll start with the first paragraph of chapter 5: The King in King, Warrior, Magician, Lover. It describes The King archetype beautifully:
The King energy is primal in all men. It bears the same relationship to the other three mature masculine potentials as the Divine Child does to the other three immature masculine energies. It comes first in importance, and it underlies and includes the rest of the archetypes in perfect balance. The good and generative King is also a good Warrior, a positive Magician, and a great Lover. And yet, with most of us, the King comes on line last. We could say that the King is the Divine Child, but seasoned and complex, wise, and in a sense as selfless as the Divine Child is cosmically self-involved. The good King is wise with “the wisdom of Solomon.”
Kings have traditionally been seen as divine.
Interestingly, though, it’s not the men themselves who are given such divinity. They were mere stewards of the “King energy”.
“The king is dead; long live the king!”
That line had always confused me, but now it makes sense. The mortal man who had taken the role of king is dead, but The King himself will live on in his next incarnation.
Order Out of Chaos; Harmony Out of Mayhem
(Think of the benevolent King. The King in his fullness. Less Darth Vader, and more Cyrus the Great (full story of Cyrus in Hardcore History #56), who respected the customs and religions of all the nations he conquered. Without him, we may not have Judaism, Christianity, or Islam today.)
The King’s throne is at the centre of his Kingdom.
Many tribes and nations are brought together into order within the King’s empire (your psyche). Where there used to be fighting, there is now trade. People on one side of the kingdom can send letters to people on the other of a completely different race and language, and they can be translated and understood.
The land is multitudes stronger together than it was apart, under the rule of the King.
And so can be your psyche.
The Centre of Your Mind
“In ancient Egyptian mythology… the world arose from the formlessness and chaos of a vast ocean in the form of a central Hill, or Mound…
“The Primeval Hill spread as land was created, and from that central ordering, then, arose all life, the gods and goddesses, human beings, and all of their cultural achievements.”
The idea of a mountain or great hill in the centre of the world, as well as the rest of the world being orderly divided into four realms, arose in many ancient cultures from all over the globe. Many of these cultures had no contact with each other, which suggests these ideas come from something within the human mind. Something in us speaks of a central, nurturing order to an otherwise wild and disordered terrain.
Everything in the kingdom – every man, woman, child and every building, every vehicle, every bacon butty – belongs to the King.
But the mortal king is not the King. Everything belongs to the King “energy”, which reincarnates with each successor. The mortal man is only a temporary steward of this King energy.
When the mortal man identifies too much with the King energy as himself, he enters the Shadow King…
Active Shadow: The Tyrant
We rarely experience the King in his fullness. Most of the time, our ‘kings’ are either tyrants or weaklings, which are, of course, two sides of the same dark coin.
King Herod, upon hearing of the birth of Jesus (The “King of the Jews”), ordered the death of every infant boy in the region. The mortal man had identified with the King energy, believed it to be him, and therefore the idea of a King of the Jews coming to usurp him was unthinkable. He believed every man, woman and child in his kingdom belonged to him, personally, rather than to the station of Kingship that he was holding.
The tyrant is seen in families, too, when the father demeans his children and attacks his wife until they submit, rather than allowing the selfless King energy within him to inspire his family to follow him.
Whenever someone abuses their power, The Shadow King is in control.
When someone identifies with their King archetype, and their ego gets tangled up in it, suddenly any calm or benevolence they had is gone. It is replaced by desperation. The ego knows that it is not the true King. It is a usurper, and it will do everything it can to appear powerful. The appearance of power often takes the form of exploiting and abusing the people of his Kingdom.
In what ways are you ‘tyrannising’ those around you? In what ways are you tyrannising yourself?
Passive Shadow: The Weakling
Lacking centeredness and security within himself, the Weakling King is filled with fear and paranoia.
This paranoia leads directly to tyrannical behaviour (such as Herod’s paranoid freakout leading to mass-infanticide, and countless other examples in history).
If you’re manifesting the Weakling, you may be a doormat externally, while internally beset by fantasies of taking the offending party down a peg or two, or three, or by all their bloody pegs!
You’re likely to appear proud, while at the same time feeling like a fraud.
Like a weak king is constantly glancing at his gossiping courtiers, wondering if they’re talking about a coup (which they probably are), you might walk into the break-room and the conversation your employees were having comes to a swift end. You’re convinced they’re plotting against you, (rather than perhaps discussing sexual positions and are embarrassed to carry on in front of their boss), and you start plotting as to how you might undermine the ‘traitors’.
Thus, The Weakling and The Tyrant are one in the same.
Accessing The King in His Fullness
“The first task in accessing the King energy… is to disidentify our Egos from it.”
A proper relationship to The King is that of a planet to the Sun.
The Sun gives order, warmth and life to the orbiting planets. But if we try to merge with it, to identify with it, destruction ensues.
The “Ego” (the conscious “you”) must think of itself as a steward of the King archetype, not for your own grandiosity, but for the betterment of everyone within your “realm”.
“The King archetype in its fullness possesses the qualities of order, of reasonably and rational patterning, of integration and integrity in the masculine psyche. It stabilizes chaotic emotion and out-of-control behaviors. It gives stability and centeredness. It brings calm. And in its “fertilizing” and centeredness, it mediates vitality, life-force, and joy. It brings maintenance and balance. It defends our own sense of inner order, our own integrity of being and purpose, our own central calmness about who we are, and our essential unassailability and certainty in our masculine identity. It looks upon the world with a firm but kindly eye. It sees others in all their weakness and in all their talent and worth. It honors them and promotes them. It guides them and nurtures them toward their own fullness of being. It is not envious, because it is secure, as the King, in its own worth. It rewards and encourages creativity in us and in others.…
“This is the energy that expresses itself through you when you are able to keep your cool when everybody else in the meeting is losing theirs. This is the voice of calm and reassurance, the encouraging word in a time of chaos and struggle. This is the clear decision, after careful deliberation, that cuts through the mess in the family, at work, in the nation, in the world. This is the energy that seeks peace and stability, orderly growth and nurturing for all people – and not only for all people but for the environment, the natural world. The King cares for the whole realm and is the steward of nature as well as of human society.”
Tomorrow, we move on to The Warrior! Hooyah!
– James (Self Made Copywriter)