Friday, April 06, 2018

The Shadow of the Boy who Would Be King

In my 2012 book, "Awakening The New Masculine," I write about how archetypes can be the hidden forces at work in our psyches.

While there are more than enough real life examples of how the four major archetypes play out in our lives, few, if any, are more visible or useful than the shadows of the king as played out by the man who currently holds the highest public office in the land.

Played out on the world's stage for all to see, the shadows of Trump's King archetype are the same shadows - our dark sides - we all express to some degree or other. In Trump's case, it a very big "other, indeed.

The shadows of the King are the tyrant - the active shadow of the king - and the weakling - the passive shadow of the king.

Manifestations of the tyrant include bullying, aggressive and negative behaviors, and resentment. How they show up determines whether the shadow plays out as active or passive. Trump exhibits both at different times.

Trump's tyrant thinks he knows it all and will not listen to anyone else. In the end, he will either be overthrown or just ignored. This will come at a  terrible price not just for just the person concerned but, sometimes, in the case of authoritarian rulers, whole countries who will suffer. The tyrant has no conception of service to those under his care, so this fall is inevitable. He has never "followed his bliss" and so cannot bear to see anyone else follow theirs.

The polar opposite of the tyrant is the weakling. The weakling would rather go sulk in the corner than stand up for what he believes in. He may go off and lie on the beach in Bali for years, thinking he is being really cool but in reality not having a clue what his life is about. Whilst not as destructive as the tyrant, he is still of no use to the world as he is giving nothing.

Trumps' weakling - the passive shadow of the king - cannot bring himself to fire a subordinate face-to-face, but rather, has to resort to "tweeting" so he doesn't have to look them in the eye. He wants everyone to see this as him being powerful when in reality he performs an obviously cowardly act of a spoiled child.

And while using Twitter to destroy his enemies, when you put pressure on the weakling king, he will jump to the polar opposite of the tyrant, screaming abuse to all those around him. The weakling and the tyrant can be very close friends.

If you know someone who is out of touch with their king archetype, ask yourself who dominates them? The ones who dominate Trump are the ones he attacks the most. They are the ones who own him, even though they are powerless and he has all the power. They are the ones who get the blame for everything that is not right in the shadow king's life. His child-like narcissistic ego requires that he not only attack, but demolish those he deems his enemies.

He can’t help being dominated by them. They trigger him when he doesn’t get his way or when they manage to accidentally – or on purpose - touch upon his deepest unowned shadows and his wounded elements that he can’t even see, and denies even when someone hauls them out and he’s forced to look at them. That’s when both the tyrant and the weakling are most vulnerable. It’s also when they are the most dangerous.

Other leaders found in foreign governments, corporations, and politics, who understand the workings of humanity’s deep psychological connection to these mythological archetypes, will find it fairly easy to manipulate the boy/king for their own purposes, seemingly supporting the king’s power plays while all the while serving the interests of their own shadow king in a never-ending cycle of psychopathy, treachery and greed.

So what are we to do? Many of us - in a horrific awakening – have shockingly awakened to the reality that a third of us are perfectly content to support authoritarian leadership, even at the expense of the U.S. Constitution and democracy itself in favor of power, hatred, crony capitalism, oligarchy, and fascist rule. We are not going to change their minds.

It’s up to the rest of us. Simply waking up is not enough. We must also awaken to action, or Sacred Activism. We’ve got to take the Democratic Party back to its roots of being the party of the people, instead of the party of Corporate Lite. We need to get real. We need to stop thinking power is an inherently evil thing. It’s what we do with power that is good or bad. We need to stop fighting power and being squeamish about taking that power and wielding it to do good.

Nothing gets done without power, and no one is going to give us power. Power must be taken. The one-third of the country that supports the current administration is not going to give us what we want just because we marched, signed a petition, or called our congressman’s office. It’s not enough to be right. We need to be winning.

And what, then, happens when we win?

We start to lay some Tough Love on the Boy Who Would be King, and set about helping create a better world that works for everyone. The archetypal role of the King in mythology is to oversee the well-being of their kingdom. These times require that we all become benevolent kings and It’s going to take all of us.

Where can you take power?

Wednesday, April 04, 2018


by Gary Stamper
Integral Life Coaching:  Finding Purpose and Meaning After Retirement
Congratulations!  You’ve retired from whatever you’ve been doing in your professional life. It may have been a single career, a journey through a particular industry, or, like me, a continuous birth and rebirth process of many professional lives.  No matter how you pursued your professional life, if you were blessed, that journey filled you with purpose and meaning
The question now is, what’s going to bring you purpose and meaning - and joy - from here on out? After all, there’s only so much rest, relaxation, and recreation a person can take before they start to feel unfulfilled and restless, driving everyone around them nuts! Awful? Now imagine what your retirement will be (is?) like if you can't retire?
I know a lot about this. With only social security, I'm going to work, one way or another. At the ripe old age of 73 years young, I'm fortunate to be healthy enough to continue working. I also know that the phrases "Welcome to WalMart" or "Would you like fries with that" are never going to be part of my vocabulary. I enjoy being busy, and I've learned how to turn my many passions - including art and music - into multiple streams of income to supplement my somewhat meager SS checks. And, I know what I'm passionate about.
Like this...My counseling and Integral Life Coach services. Today I'm speaking directly to men, about how to re-purpose their lives after retirement, but everything I'll be doing will apply equally to women as well.

Man's Search For Meaning

Like Freud a citizen of Vienna and a practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Viktor Frankl also became a university professor and prolific author. His most widely read work is Man's Search For Meaning, a keenly observed account of his experiences in the Nazi death camps during World War II.

As he saw in the camps, those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, "the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

Frankl believed that the very pursuit of happiness is what thwarts happiness, but once you have a reason to be happy – i.e. a meaning – happiness comes automatically.

"Happiness is about looking inward. It’s about satisfying your needs and wants. Happiness without meaning results in a shallow, self-absorbed life. When things go well, when your needs and desires are satisfied, you’re happy. When things get difficult, watch out."
"Meaning is different. It’s focused outwards, on others. It’s about taking care of others and contributing to your community or society as a whole. When we see our purpose as larger than ourselves, we no longer need to pursue happiness. It comes naturally, even in the face of temporary setbacks and discomforts."
Why is that important and how does it apply to you? I'm glad you asked!

The Ugly Statistics

Experts point out that men are more susceptible to depression in retirement, in part because their identity is more closely tied to their careers compared to women. In their careers, men developed strong routines and many of their friendships come from work and when they retire, their social networks disappear as does their meaning, their sense of accomplishment, their purpose, According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirement increases the probability of suffering from Clinical depression by about 40%.

Men live an average of seven years fewer than women, suffer far more from ulcers and stress-related disease than women, and are more likely than women to die from the fifteen leading causes of death.

Over 80% of all suicides are committed by men. Statistics from the U.S. -based Center for Disease Control and Prevention show the highest increase in suicide is in men 50 and over, and over the age of 85, men are fourteen times as likely to commit suicide as women!

How To Help Yourself

I initially imagined that helping other "retirees" could be done in an online cohort of a couple of a dozen like-minded seekers for a smaller individual cost to each but quickly realized that I had that backward: That I would need to focus my attention onto individuals using my counseling experiences as what I'm calling an "Integral Life Coach," working one-on-one with men around "repurposing their lives."

As a pastoral counselor and a men's and couples workshop facilitator with ten years under my belt working with people in groups and as individuals around their issues, I've seen that the biggest obstacle getting ion the way of happiness is almost always a lack of Purpose. It's what the masculine is all about.  For the last 15 years, my passion and my purpose has been, and is, helping others rediscover their purpose.

I'm not going to tell you how I'm going to do that for you in this writing. That's part of a larger one-on-one conversation between you and me as I learn who you are and what you need to successfully transition to your new life, your new or re-discovered joy, your purpose, to uncover and expose your new passion about your life. 

Whadd'ya think? Is this something you'd be interested in? With approximately 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day*, there should be quite a few of you willing to explore this path with other seekers...and I can't help all of them. But I can help you!