According to a Jungian depth perspective (depth psychological perspectives that draw from the work of the late Carl Jung), archetypal energies or patterns exist within the collective unconsciousness, and will continue to exist, whether they are embraced by the culture or not. When they are not embraced by the culture, or when they are actively repressed by the culture, like the dynamic force within a pressurized steam engine, they will still escape, or be expressed, elsewhere. Only in this case, the ‘Shadow’ version will be expressed.
We are all familiar with the Shadow Warrior as portrayed in films about unbelievable atrocities that occur in war time, and about men and women who are swept up in the situation or who maybe feel forced, in one way or another, to participate in what will almost certainly constitute a “moral injury” (to use a very soft euphemism) for them later. I strongly suspect that, in order to heal this archetype (if you will), it must be brought into the light of awareness, and it must be embraced, in each of us. Then it can be expressed in its healthiest and most helpful form.
According to a depth psychological perspective, like the Lover, or the Magician, for example, the Warrior is a dynamic energy or an archetype that can be brought in and embraced in each of our personalities and lives. This archetype, or a tradition or discipline associated with it, exists in just about every human culture. The healthy, embraced Warrior has a dynamic, forward-moving energy, it has grit, determination, courage, strength, and discipline (ready to take on whatever ‘training’ and whatever commitment may be required). The healthy, embraced Warrior rises up with a fierce, protective energy when and if needed, and is connected to the instinctual energies in this way. And the healthy, embraced Warrior believes enough in its own potency to not feel the need for big, showy displays of power or strength, but rather wields its potency and strength with humility, and out of duty and commitment to a larger cause.
In some ways, the Warrior overlaps with what might be called the Divine Masculine, the Sacred Masculine, the Wild Masculine, or the Healthy Masculine. That does not mean it belongs only to men. Each of us contains each of these energies and expresses them in unique ways. To take gender out of the equation, one might say that the Healthy Warrior archetype overlaps in many ways with Healthy Yang energy. There is much discussion in the culture about the ‘Divine Feminine’ these days, and for the love of all things sacred, yes, let’s please bring Her back up from underground– I believe we are all dying for that. And yet at the same time, the Masculine is also basically on life support in the culture, in those who are socialized as men especially, and I would argue, in everyone. And we miss Him and need Him too, so very much.
I want to give everyone permission to embrace and know this archetype. I would argue that part of the healthy individuation process, and part of overall psychological health, involves bringing each of these universal archetypes, energies or patterns (whatever you prefer) up into consciousness, and fully realizing their energies and potentials in the personality, and in life. There are so many large scale, and unbelievably worthy causes on the planet today that truly require the health of this archetype. If you’re curious about a depth psychological perspective in traditional psychotherapy, what that entails, and how that can be integrated with other, evidence-based therapeutic approaches, feel free to schedule a free, 20-minute consultation call with me by clicking the link below.