We Are All Connected

I love the idea of Namasté…

              “The Divine in me recognizes and honors
                                                                                                   the Divine in you”.



There is a definition of God which has been repeated by many philosophers. God is an intelligible sphere—whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. And the center is right where you’re sitting. And the other one is right where I’m sitting. And each of us is a manifestation of that mystery. That’s a nice mythological realization that sort of gives you a sense of who and what you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

Although not everyone views Namasté this way – as a deeply spiritual acknowledgment of the soul in one,  by the soul in another – this is how I experience it.

Namasté represents a belief that:

  • The Life Force, the Divinity, the Self or the God, in me, is the same in all living things
  • That we are all made from the same One Divine Consciousness
  • According to one source I came across, a spiritual frequency is generated when two people greet each other with Namasté

    They wrote:

    When a person greets another with the feeling that “I am paying obeisance to the soul in the other”, a ring of spiritual emotion is created within him. Where there is spiritual emotion, there is Communion with God, and one is better able to access the sense of God’s presence. As a result, a ring of spiritual emotion  is created around the person who is being greeted as well. This in turn attracts a flow of the Divine Principle or God’s power. Wherever there is Divine Principle, a flow of Bliss is attracted.”   (Spiritual Research Foundation.org).

    Well, I don’t know about that – but I can sense that it may, in fact, be true…

    Namasté

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    Discovering Self Through Stories

    Archetypes offer unique windows to our Soul

    (~ 2 minute read)DT-GameOfThrones- free reuse Flykr

    Archetypal psychology carries with it an approach to life that values the development of the individual soul. There are times when it is developmentally appropriate for people to be self-centered, materialistic, independent, or a warrior. We help people best by honoring the lessons they can gain from each state. Stories and folklore assist in our developmental tasks – using archetypal characters – by helping us make meaning of our lives.

    As I’ve discussed in previous articles, both Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell encourage us to discover our purpose in life – or to glean meaning – through the archetypes which are revealed to us in the stories we hear; the novels we read; in our dreams; and the shows that we watch. These two great thinkers suggest that human beings are biologically hardwired to understand the symbolism and expression of character archetypes. These archetypes are consistencies observed throughout the world and all times, providing meaning to otherwise individual experience. We recognize them, and we understand them.

    Our reactions to the characters in these mythical dramas offer unique windows to our soul, and a chance to work with the “Shadow” side of our psyche.

    Are you willing to tune in to aspects of the self that are ready to be discovered?

    I’m a big fan of Game Of Thrones, for example. I typically avoid exposure to violent content – I don’t want to ‘adapt’ or accept violence in my life. But in Game Of Thrones, there is so much more. Every major archetype is explored and exposed in this drama series. There are righteous Kings, wicked Kings, altruistic Kings, and immature Kings. There are old Wise Ones, young Wise Ones, budding Wise Ones. There are Martyrs, Lovers, Jesters, Warriors and Innocents. And many more.

    One of my favorite characters is Daenerys Targaryen, the young, wise Queen of Dragons, and the woman who wants to rule the seven kingdoms.

    The word ‘hero’ is derived from the Greek word hērōs, which means something along the lines of ‘warrior’ and ‘defender.’  A hero is someone who is ready to sacrifice to protect the greater good.  In fact, the Hero must sacrifice in order to transform herself and the world she is attempting to save, for “the mythological hero is the champion, not of things, but of things becoming.” (Joseph Campbell)

    The female hero can fit into the traditional Hero’s Journey—we prove that Daenerys’ experiences match up quite nicely here—but the lack of ancient questing female hero myths forces us to construct our archetype more from the old idea of the great goddesses. Joseph Campbell recognized this necessity.

    Daenerys Targaryen and her Heroes Journey

    The Hero archetype isn’t just born. They evolve through other archetypal stages. The Hero’s journey, like all journeys, begins with Innocence. The achievement at this stage is the ability to gain others’ trust and optimism because of their endearing innocence.

    The next stage is the Orphan. Daenerys has no desire to join her brother’s wish for power after her parents died. But the orphan wishes to regain safety, away from King Robert’s assassins, yet they also don’t want to be exploited. Though her path was thrust upon her, she found her protector in Khal Drogo, the leader of 40,000 Dothraki warriors, in return for the use of his warriors in invading Westeros. She also eliminated her exploiter (her brother).

    But when she succumbed to her destiny, she discovered her own Warrior spirit. She discovers she is the Queen Of Dragons, and is determined to fight for her new goal – To claim her title of Ruler of the seven kingdoms.

    As the Warrior discovers his/her competence and power, the Caregiver emerges, moved by compassion, generosity, and selflessness to help others. She freed slaves!

    But the caregiver and rescuing others, in and of themseves, weren’t enough. Daenerys took her responsibilities to the next level, embracing the archetype of the Righteous Ruler – Not the power-hungry, self-centered and entitled type of Ruler. But one who embraces all the prior journey’s wisdom, of caring, of being willing to be a warrior for what is “right”.DT-GameOfThrones-Free reuse

    As her journey continues, what other archetypes will emerge? Stay tuned!

    What characters do you relate to? What do these characters reveal to you, about your place in your current journey?

    Article sources: Awakening The Heroes Within;  Season 1 – Game of Thrones Wiki – Wikia

    Life’s Journey(s)

     THE HEROES WITHIN

    Archetypal psychology carries with it an approach to life that values the development of the individual soul. There are times when it is developmentally appropriate for people to be self-centered, materialistic, independent, or a warrior. We help people best by honoring the lessons they can gain from each state. Stories and folklore assist in our developmental tasks – using archetypal characters – by helping us make meaning of our lives.

    These stories (Joseph Campbell uses the term “Myths”) reveal for us the attributes commonly seen as the good and beautiful; or the dangerous and destructive. According to Carl Jung archetypes are deep and abiding patterns in the human psyche that remain powerful and present over time, passed down through the generations through the “collective unconscious.” (Or our DNA?)

    Using Carl Jung’s terminology, the ego is that part of the psyche that experiences separation. At first the young child feels little or no separation from the environment and especially none from the mother. It is only as the individual completes the task of strong ego development that his or her boundaries can expand and make way for the self. This includes the full conscious self, the personal unconscious and access to archetypal images emerging from the collective unconscious. The result is a renewed sense of wonder and oneness with the cosmos and a reclaiming and redefinition of magical thinking.

    So what does the Hero’s Journey have to do with me?

    Identity

    Identity

    Our Soul, I believe, has lessons to learn in this life. Carol Pearson wrote several amazing books which looks at twelve archetypes. These are not the only ones, but they are recognizable to most people. By learning to recognize the qualities of these archetypes throughout our varied life’s journeys, we can see where we may be stuck, and qualities to focus on so we can continue our personal growth. She groups them into three sets of four each.

    The Ego relates to the preparation for the journey and includes: Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, and Caregiver.
    The Soul (the unconscious) relates to the journey itself and includes: Seeker, Lover, Destroyer, and Creator.
    The Self (individuation) relates to the return from the journey and includes: Ruler, Magician, Sage and Fool.

    The following describes these archetypes – their respective tasks, virtues that can be attained, and where we go next. As you read them, ask yourself where you are now? Where have you been?

    Innocent

    Every era has myths of a golden age or of a promised land where life has been or will be perfect. The promise of the Innocent is that life need not be hard. Within each of us, the Innocent is the spontaneous, trusting child that, while a bit dependent, has the optimism to take the journey. Their greatest strength is the trust and optimism that endears them to others and so gain help and support on their quest.
    Goal Remain in safety
    Fear Abandonment
    Dragon/Problem Deny it or seek rescue
    Response to Task Fidelity, discernment
    Gift/ Virtue Optimism, trust, hope, faith, simplicity
    Pitfalls Naiveté, childish dependence, denial, obliviousness
    Addictive Quality Denial
    Addiction Consumerism/sugar/cheerfulness
    Shadow Side Evidenced in a capacity for denial so that you do not let yourself know what is really going on. You may be hurting yourself and others, but you will not acknowledge it. You may also be hurt, but you will repress that knowledge as well. Or, you believe what others say even when their perspective is directly counter to your own inner knowing.
    We begin with the Innocent archetype. The world provides all that we need. Then the “fall” occurs and we are faced with a loss of innocence and the Orphan archetype comes into play.

    Orphan

    The Orphan understands that everyone matters, just as they are. Down-home and unpretentious, it reveals a deep structure influenced by the wounded or orphaned child that expects very little from life, but that teaches us with empathy, realism, and street smarts. To fulfill their quest they must go through the agonies of the developmental stages they have missed. Their strength is the interdependence and pragmatic realism that they had to learn by being disillusioned.

    Goal Regain safety
    Fear Abandonment, Exploitation
    Response to the Dragon/Problem Deny its existence, wishing for rescue.
    Response to Task Overcome denial or identify with being a victim
    Gift/ Virtue Interdependence, realism, resilience, empathy
    Pitfalls wants caretakers and authorities to fix them
    Addictive Quality Cynicism
    Addiction Powerlessness/worrying
    Shadow Side The victim, who blames his or her incompetence, irresponsibility, or even predatory behavior, on others, and expects special treatment and exemption from life because he or she has been victimized or is fragile. When this Shadow of the positive Orphan is in control of our lives, we will attack even people who are trying to help us, harming them and ourselves simultaneously. Or, we may collapse and become dysfunctional (i.e. “You can’t expect anything from me. I’m so wounded/hurt/incompetent”)
    When everything seems lost, the Warrior rides over the hill and saves the day.

    Warrior

    Tough and courageous, this archetype helps us set and achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and persist in difficult times, although it also tends to see others as enemies and to think in either-or terms. The Warrior is relatively simple in their thought patterns; seeking simply to win whatever confronts them, including the dragons that live inside the mind and their underlying fear of weakness.

    Their challenge is to bring meaning to what they do, perhaps choosing their battles wisely, which they do using courage and the warrior’s discipline.

    Goal Win
    Fear Weakness
    Dragon/Problem Stay/confront it
    Response to Task Fight only for what really matters
    Gift/ Virtue Courage, discipline, determination, skill
    Pitfalls Fear of impotence leading to ruthlessness, arrogance
    Addictive Quality Stoicism
    Addiction Achievement/success
    Shadow Side The villain, who uses Warrior skills for personal gain without thought of morality, ethics, or the good of the whole group. It is also active in our lives any time we feel compelled to compromise our principles in order to compete, win, or get our own way. (For example, the shadow Warrior is rampant in the business world today.) It is also seen in a tendency to be continually embattled, so that one perceives virtually everything that happens as a slight, a threat, or a challenge to be confronted.
    As the Warrior discovers his/her competence and power, the Caregiver emerges, moved by compassion, generosity, and selflessness to help others.

    Caregiver

    The inner Caregiver offers aid to those in need. Caregivers first seek to help others, which they do with compassion and generosity.
    Goal Help others
    Fear Selfishness
    Dragon/Problem Take care of it or those it harms
    Response to Task Give without maiming self or others
    Gift/ Virtue Compassion, generosity, nurturance, community
    Pitfalls Martyrdom, enabling others, codependence, guilt-tripping
    Addictive Quality Rescuing
    Addiction Codependence
    Shadow Side Confirms itself in all manipulative or devouring behaviors, in which the individual uses caretaking to control or smother others. It is also found in codependence, a compulsive need to take care of or rescue others.
    When fulfillment is not achieved with Caretaking, our journey takes us into the unknown exploration of the Seeker.

    Seeker

    The Seeker leaves the known to discover and explore the unknown. This inner rugged individual braves loneliness and isolation to seek out new paths. Often oppositional, this iconoclastic archetype helps us discover our uniqueness, our perspectives, and our callings. Seekers are looking for something that will improve their life in some way, but in doing so may not realize that they have much already inside themselves. They embrace learning and are ambitious in their quest and often avoid the encumbrance of support from others. Needing to ‘do it themselves’, they keep moving until they find their goal and their true self.

    Goal Search for better life
    Fear Conformity
    Dragon/Problem Flee from it
    Response to Task Be true to deeper self
    Gift/ Virtue Autonomy, ambition, identity, expanded possibilities
    Pitfalls Inability to commit, chronic disappointment, alienation, and loneliness
    Addictive Quality Self-centeredness
    Addiction Independence/perfection
    Shadow Side: The Perfectionist, always striving to measure up to an impossible goal or to find the “right” solution. We see this in people whose main life activity is self-improvement, one self-improvement course to another, yet never feeling ready to commit to accomplishing anything.
    When fulfillment is not achieved through self understanding, our journey begins to look Outward, to the relationship of the Lover.

    Lover

    The Lover archetype governs all kinds of love—from parental love, to friendship, to spiritual love—but we know it best in romance. Although it can bring all sorts of heartache and drama, it helps us experience pleasure, achieve intimacy, make commitments, and follow our bliss. The Lover seeks the bliss of true love – of the divine couple. They often show the passion that they seek in a relationship in their energy and commitment to gaining the reciprocal love of another.

    Goal Bliss
    Fear Loss of love
    Dragon/Problem Love it
    Response to Task Follow your bliss
    Gift/ Virtue Passion, commitment, enthusiasm, sensual pleasure
    Pitfalls Objectifying others, romance/sex addictions, out of control sexuality
    Addictive Quality Intimacy problems
    Addiction Relationships/sex
    Shadow Side Includes the sirens (luring others from their quests), seducers (using love for conquest), sex or relationship addicts (feeling addicted to love), and anyone who is unable to say no when passion descends, or is totally destroyed when a lover leaves.
    When disillusionment is realized by the Lover, our journey takes us into the chaotic lands of the Destroyer.

    Destroyer

    The Destroyer embodies repressed rage about structures that no longer serve life even when these structures still are supported by society or by our conscious choices. Although this archetype can be ruthless, it weeds the garden in ways that allow for new growth. The Destroyer is a paradoxical character whose destructiveness reflects the death drive and an inner fear of annihilation. Their quest is to change, to let go of whatever force drives them and return to balance, finding the life drive that will sustain them.

    Goal Metamorphosis
    Fear Annihilation
    Dragon/Problem Allow dragon to slay it
    Response to Task Let go
    Gift/ Virtue Humility, metamorphosis, revolution, capacity to let go
    Pitfalls Doing harm to self/others, out of control anger, terrorist tactics
    Addictive Quality Self-destructiveness
    Addiction Suicide/self-destructive habits
    Shadow Side Includes all self-destructive behaviors—addictions, compulsions, or activities that undermine intimacy, career success, or self-esteem—and all behaviors—such as emotional or physical abuse, murder, rape—that have destructive effects on others.
    Once we have learned the lesson of letting go from the destroyer, we reach outward even more, seeking meaning through a New identity

    Creator

    The Creator archetype fosters all imaginative endeavors, from the highest art to the smallest innovation in lifestyle or work. Adverse to stasis, it can cause us to overload our lives with constant new projects; yet, properly channeled, it helps us express ourselves in beautiful ways. Creators, fearing that all is an illusion, seek to prove reality outside of their minds. A critical part of their quest is in finding and accepting themselves, discovering their true identity in relation to the external world.
    Goal Identity
    Fear Inauthenticity
    Dragon/Problem Claims it as part of the self
    Response to Task Self-creation, self-acceptance
    Gift/ Virtue Creativity, vision, individuality, aesthetics, imagination, skill, vocation
    Pitfalls Self-indulgence, poverty, creating messes, prima-donna behaviors
    Addictive Quality Obsessiveness
    Addiction Work/creativity
    Shadow Side Shows itself to be obsessive, creating so that so many possibilities are being imagined that none can be acted upon fully. We can fill our emptiness with yet another inessential project, challenge, or new thing to do. One variety of this is workaholism, in which we can always think of just one more thing to do. Creators, fearing that all is an illusion, seek to prove reality outside of their minds. A critical part of their quest is in finding and accepting themselves, discovering their true identity in relation to the external world.
    Once we have discovered our uniqueness amongst others, we are ready to face life as it is and seek to make the best of our circumstances.

    Ruler

    The Ruler archetype inspires us to take responsibility for our own lives, in our fields of endeavor, and in the society at large. The Ruler’s quest is to create order and structure and hence an effective society in which the subjects of the Ruler can live productive and relatively happy lives.
    Goal Order
    Fear Chaos
    Dragon/Problem Find its constructive uses
    Response to Task Take full responsibility for your life
    Gift/ Virtue Responsibility, control, sovereignty, system savvy
    Pitfalls Rigidity, controlling behaviors, attitude of entitlement, elitism
    Addictive Quality High control needs
    Addiction Control/codependence
    Shadow Side The ogre tyrant, insisting on his or her own way and banishing creative elements of the kingdom (or the psyche) to gain control at any price. This is the King or Queen who indulges in self-righteous rages and yells, “Off with his head.” Often people act this way when they are in positions of authority (like parenting) but do not yet know how to handle the attendant responsibility. This also includes people who are motivated by a strong sense to control.
    When we learn that Ruling does not bring fulfillment, we are ready to enter the wonders of the Magician.

    Magician

    The Magician archetype searches out the fundamental laws of science and/or metaphysics to understand how to transform situations, influence people, and make visions into realities. Perhaps their ultimate goal is to transform themselves, achieving a higher plane of existence.
    Goal Transformation
    Fear Evil sorcery
    Dragon/Problem Transform it
    Response to Task Align self with cosmos
    Gift/ Virtue Personal power, transformative, catalytic, healing power
    Pitfalls Manipulation of others, disconnection with reality, cultist guru-like
    Addictive Quality Dishonesty (image/illusion)
    Addiction Power/hallucinogenic drugs, marijuana
    Shadow Side The evil sorcerer, transforming better into lesser options. We engage in such evil sorcery anytime we belittle another, or ourselves or lessen options and possibilities, resulting in diminished self-esteem. The shadow Magician is also the part of us capable of making others and ourselves ill through negative thoughts and actions.
    Satiated by our experience of power, we seek to combine our life’s experiences into an understandable state of wisdom.

    Sage

    The Sage archetype seeks the truths that will set us free by helping us become wise, to see the world and ourselves objectively, and to course-correct based on objective analyses of the results of our actions and choices. The Sage is a seeker after truth and enlightenment

    Goal Truth
    Fear Deception
    Dragon/Problem Transcend it
    Response to Task Attain enlightenment
    Gift/ Virtue Wisdom, nonattachment, knowledge, skepticism
    Pitfalls Being overly critical, pomposity, impracticality, lacking of feeling/empathy
    Addictive Quality Judgmentalism
    Addiction Being right/tranquilizers
    Shadow Side The unfeeling judge—cold, rational, heartless, dogmatic, often pompous—evaluating us or others and saying we (or they) are not good enough or are not doing it right.

    Fool/Jester

    The goal of the Fool/Jester is perhaps the wisest goal of all, which is just to enjoy life as it is, with all its paradoxes and dilemmas. What causes most dread in the Fool/Jester is a lack of stimulation and being ‘not alive’. They must seek to ‘be’, perhaps as the Sage, but may not understand this.

    Goal Enjoyment
    Fear Non-aliveness
    Dragon/Problem Play tricks on it
    Response to Task Trust in the process
    Gift/ Virtue Freedom, humor, life lived in the moment, exuberant joy
    Pitfalls Debauchery, irresponsibility, sloth, cruel jokes, con, artistry.
    Addictive Quality Inebriation
    Addiction Excitement/cocaine/alcohol
    Shadow Side A glutton, sloth, or lecher wholly defined by the lusts and urges of the body without any sense of dignity or self-control.

    Article sources:  awakening-the-hero-within-hero-archetype-test; Awakening The Heroes Within Book;