An archetype is an original pattern of which all things of the same "type" are representations (copies).
Carl Gustav Jung (1875 - 1961), the famous Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, utilized the concept of archetype in his theory of the human spirit. He believed that universal archetypes, an inherited mode of thought, evolved (resided) within the collective unconscious of the human race.
“What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits." Carl G. Jung
Although there are many differing archetypes, Jung specified 12 primary types that characterize basic human impulses. The 12 types can be divided into three categories of four types.
The archetypes within each of the three categories have a common driving force. In addition, most people have several archetypes underlying their personal human motivations. However, one archetype tends to generally dominate the personality.
Innocent -- a childlike approach to the world, mostly optimistic, everything will work out just fine, unrealistic goals, naive innocence, romantic dreamer
- Goal -- seek happiness, trust others, be safe
- Fear -- abandonment, being punished
- Strategy -- do the right thing, problems solved by denial or seek rescue
- Gift -- trust, optimism, loyalty
Orphan -- self-reliant loner, independent, cynical, mistrustful of authority, solid citizen, superficial relationships
- Goal -- safety, connection to others, to belong
- Fear -- exploitation, being left out
- Strategy -- hopeful of rescue, reluctant compliance
- Gift -- realist, empathetic
Hero -- warrior, achievement of goals, team player, crusader, arrogant, need to fight battles, violence to resolve problems
- Goal -- be courageous, masterful
- Fear -- vulnerability, cowardice
- Strategy -- be strong & gallant & competent
- Gift -- forcefulness, guile, loyal to code of conduct
Caregiver -- emotional support of others, sense of community, offering guidance, self-sacrifice, guilt tripping, possible martyrdom, could become exploited
- Goal -- help others
- Fear -- ingratitude, selfishness
- Strategy -- taking care of others
- Gift -- compassion, generosity
Explorer -- seeking freedom through journeying, being true to one's soul, quest for betterment, discover the world & higher truths, escape boredom, could lead to aimless wandering
- Goal -- fulfillment in life
- Fear -- conformity, trapped, inner angst, lack of commitment
- Strategy -- seeking new things, exploring, running away from problems
- Gift -- ambition, autonomy
Rebel -- malcontent, need for dramatic change, destroy what is not working, break rules, seek revenge, radical freedom, misfit, iconoclastic
- Goal -- radical change, growth
- Fear -- stagnation, conformity, being powerless
- Strategy -- disruption, antagonist, outlaw
- Gift -- revolutionary
Lover -- desire to please others at risk of own identity, enthusiastic, seeking relationship with people & work & surroundings, passionate engagement with life
- Goal -- relationship, intimacy
- Fear -- being unwanted, unloved
- Strategy -- become more emotionally & physically attractive
- Gift -- passion, commitment, gratitude
Creator -- Creativity, authentic expressions of the self, living in a dream world, manifestation, give form to visions
- Goal -- creation of something new, realize a vision
- Fear -- mediocre execution, failure
- Strategy -- self-expression, create something of enduring value
- Gift -- imagination, flashes of inspiration
Jester -- live in the moment having a great time, levity, goofiness, lighten up the world, amusement of others with antics, irreverence, life is a game, pleasure of the journey
- Goal -- enjoyment, fun & games
- Fear -- boring others, irresponsibility
- Strategy -- playful, be funny, aliveness, play tricks on others
- Gift -- make jokes, liberation
Sage -- contemplative, seeking knowledge, thinker, philosopher, uses wisdom to help others as a mentor or teacher
- Goal -- discover the truth
- Fear -- ignorance, deception
- Strategy -- analyze the world & beyond, value knowledge
- Gift -- self-reflection, intelligence, skepticism, wisdom
Magician -- shaman, healer, make things happen, inventor, perceive the connections of life & cosmos
- Goal -- transformation, make dreams come true,
- Fear -- unintended negative consequences
- Strategy -- align with the universe & beyond, synchronistic experiences
- Gift -- finding solutions
Ruler -- organizer of groups & processes, ensure domain is in proper working order, protection of others, exercise power & authority over everything, leadership
- Goal -- to control, seeking prosperity & harmony
- Fear -- chaos, loss of control, inability to delegate
- Strategy -- be responsible, find solutions
- Gift -- competence, responsibility
There are also many minor archetypes -- such as Accountant, Actor, Addict, Adonis, Alchemist, Amateur, Ambassador, Analyst, Anchorite, Angel, Apprentice, Arbitrator, Architect, Artist, Athlete, Author, Avenger, etc., etc.
We all fall into at least one of the 12 major types, perhaps several of them concurrently, and possibly numerous minor archetypes as well.
Of the major archetypes, I seem to be a multi-layered -- Creator, Sage, Explorer, with a bit of Rebel thrown in. Nevertheless, I am content with my existence.
Without pain and suffering, there is no joy -- change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Life is good -- it's just not easy.
Tomorrow is another day.
Quote for the Day -- “Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” Carl G. Jung
Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where dreaming is a form of planning.