5 Symptoms of Archetype Deficit Disorder

Archetypal Deficit DisorderWHAT IF BEING NUMB to archetype is tantamount to being numb to life? As you read through these five symptoms of Archetype Deficit Disorder, ask yourself, What if archetype is the universal language of self-inquiry and the only free will we really have is between learning to speak and harness these felt meanings or allowing them to harness us?

1. Alienation from the body
Lacking access to the now-born, archetypal messages of everyday life, mind grasps for squeaky clean formulas –  one-size-fits-all conceptual truths that throw a thick blanket of meaning over the glistening chaos. This over-esteeming of objective truth (dogma) tethers us to mental preconception and we become more and more numb to the signals of our body and emotions, thereby losing access to the higher intuitive guidance that moment-to-moment sensing might point us towards.

2. Psychological alienation 
If our inner world is awash with archetypal energies that we do not have the vocabulary to describe, savor and intelligently navigate, is not our relationship with our self significantly stunted? After all, we have a unique body/mind to wake up inside of. If we fail to perceive the archetypal winds that are blowing through our heads, how ever will we master them and wake up as the wizened, sea-worthy skipper?

3. Interpersonal alienation
If interpersonal intimacy is the capacity to share the nuances of our inner life and thereby feel “seen” and loved, how lonely must we feel being awash with these unnameable energies? How can I assess whose style of awakening is compatible with mine, if I am energetically mute to myself?

4. Alienation from community
Groups of people are subject to the same kinds of higher and lower octave archetypal expression as individuals. With no shared understanding of how to navigate the group mind, ego finds community collaboration impossibly stressful and complex. The “solution?” Impersonal hierarchy or lone wolf isolation.

5. Alienation from spiritual guidance
Too many churches attempt to unite their congregations by preaching a frighteningly unambiguous world view. This position-on-everything approach equates the intuitively recognized energies of astrological archetype with moral license and/or paganism. The result? A discrediting of all intuitively won values and insights and a refusal to let life-changing, mystical “a-ha” moments penetrate to our core.

Why so much resistance to the archetypal worldview? Simple. It’s impossible to believe in archetypes. Unlike beliefs, they provide no stable, prepackaged sense of knowing or secure point of view. No matter how much you study the symptomatic qualities of archetypes, the actual act of perceiving them in action requires an attunement to moment-to-moment experience and a kind of storyless sensing that is at odds with self-concept. In short, archetype-spotting is a practice of interpersonal meditation that – if only for a moment – takes the ego apart.

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