Archetypes and Stereotypes

Archetypes imply narrative arcs. Stereotypes weld these and cultural assumptions to inherent human traits.


I'm Sea Gabriel with mythic deviant. And today I'm talking about archetypes. We use the word archetypes a lot, but we rarely talk about what an archetype is. So I'm going to do that. So the original world archetype comes from two Greek words that I will now completely mispronounce. The first one is ARCA, meaning overarching or umbrella or quality that unified. The second word, two posts means mold. Not the type of mold that you would let accumulate in the refrigerator if you're me, but rather the type of mold that you use to make ceramic duplicates, for example, but the word two posts it's important to recognize means both parts of the mold, meaning it means both of the mold itself, which is a negative. And the item created from the mold, which is a positive, this is an important concept because archetypes are neither positive nor negative, but rather can go either way. Archetypes means an overarching mold. And it immediately was used for the sacred. So from the very beginning, it was used churches, et cetera. So archetype, it's a mold that is overarching that embodies the sacred or a sacred energy, which means the next word I got to take on is sacred. When I looked up sacred, it said consecrated. When I looked up consecrated, it said made sacred in other. Sacred is a concept that most of us get, or at least many of us get enough for there to be a word that we don't dispute yet. We cannot actually define it. So sacred really means something we can feel that we can't talk about in words. And in fact that would be exactly my definition of sacred. Something that defies words that is powerful and moving and word free. So an archetype is a sacred wordless, overarching energy that can be positive or negative. In my personal opinion, the greatest strength of humanity is our ability to work together to cooperate. It is the reason that we are at the top of the food chain. Together, we can conquer pretty much anything so far. I hope we keep with that trend, but nonetheless, until this day we have conquered pretty much everything because of our ability to work as a group. And that depends on our ability to communicate communication is extraordinarily important when you're human, as I am. So we want to talk about these archetypes because they are important things in our lives. And yet we have no good way to talk about these archetypes because they are sacred and by definition kind of wordless. And this leaves us in a big quandary. When we went to talk to each other about the sacred energy, is that our archetypical they're overarching through all human beings. We all have the ability to, to some degree embody these different entities. We want to talk about embodying these different energies. And yet we have no good way to do it. So what we do is we create stories. Stories are fabulous, fabulous things. We create stories so that we can talk to each other about these archetypes. And we do. By creating characters that have experiences that display or illustrate the way that the energy moves through our lives. So we're now conveying archetypes through story. That's a great thing. Stories are awesome, but an archetype is not a character. So in order to have a story that people relate to and can really get into, you actually have to have the character. And these characters are embodying the archetypes. So you essentially have this archetype, which is a sacred energy within a character, and the character has many other qualities. In addition to having the quality of the archetype silver, for example, Character might have brown eyes and long legs and wear a leather jacket and a white t-shirt because that's a great one. So you have your character and your character has many qualities that are not qualities that belong to the architect. But as we create through time, more and more and more stories, we do the great things that human beings do through communication, and we build off each other. So we have one character who has a white t-shirt and a black leather jacket, and pretty soon. We're building other characters that also wear white t-shirts and black leather jackets until we come to the point where we've created a symbol and we can just take anybody and put a white t-shirt black motorcycle jacket on them. And suddenly they have become the rebel archetype. Suddenly they will be interpreted as bringing forward new energy as changing things as having a different perspective. Again, this is not good or bad, but in any case, This becomes a symbol that links directly to the archetype. And that is a fabulous thing. We can go from what is now a small visual image to this experience of sacred movement. We get it. However, it is only fabulous when it is something that you can take off. Some characteristics cannot be removed. Well, I Googled feminine and what I got were a tremendous number of pictures of females, which in some ways makes sense. However, they are not the same. The feminine archetype is the archetype of attracting things toward oneself of luring things in, okay. The masculine archetype is going out and getting and conquering. The feminine archetype is luring things toward you. Not all females are feminine, not all males are masculine. And in fact, all people. Embody both feminine and masculine archetypal energy and can use both of them, hopefully at the appropriate times. No, sometimes not, but in any event, the fact that we have come to identify females with feminine is just completely inaccurate and it leaves women trapped. In a symbol of an archetypal energy that they may or may not carry that may have nothing to do with him. In the moment we have created lifelong prisons for women by using them as a symbol of an archetype. This leads to inappropriate expectations and condemnation. When those expectations are not met, it's really not good. When I look up feminine. I get almost entirely pictures of females, many of whom were not made of flesh. I might add something. We have a physical quality that has become a symbol of an archetype that that person may or may not actually hold. We have created the stereotype. The stereotype is when we were blanketing an entire group of people who share a characteristic and assuming that they embody a sacred archetypal energy because of that characteristic, stereotypes can be harmful to all different degrees. So thinking for a moment about the cop and the donut shop, one could argue. That laughing at police for eating donuts late at night, could in fact, slightly undermine our respect for that office and therefore our security in the world. You could make that argument. It's not a good argument, but it could be made. However, that is nothing compared to women who, if they are tall and thin and blonde and attractive are considered to be arrogant, snotty, cruel. Or who, if they are chubby or short are considered to be loving, caring, nurturing, giving, lacking in self-respect. These are stereotypes that we totally carry with us that we impose upon other people in ways that probably don't fit, forcing them to disappoint the world. By the fact that the world has assigned them an archetype, they don't carry. And yet this is nothing compared to the archetypes of color. We inherently have the experience of darkness being frightening. We can't see in the dark, we don't know what's going on in the dark. So we have an archetype of darkness. However, light allows us to see. I feel more comfortable. At least we have some idea what's going on in our mind. So we create archetypes of light. Now I mentioned before that the mold has both a positive and a negative quality. There are a positive and a negative to light and dark to the dark archetype is also three dimensional. So the archetype of not knowing which is darkness or things being off the scale. Yeah. Has its own dark aspect. So the dark aspect of dark is evil. And that's what we usually think of when we think of dark archetypes. However, the light aspect of the dark archetypes. Is that there are things there to be discovered and they are probably going to be discovered soon. So the light aspect of the dark archetype is that something is becoming conscious. Things that we've been doing to undermine ourselves are coming to the light so that we can change them. We're about to have a healthier relationship with our own lives and our own world, because we're about to discover something that will empower us. That is the light aspect of the dark archetype. The dark aspect of the light archetype is shallow. So the dark aspect of the light archetype is something being completely shallow and impossible or elusive or delusional. The light aspect of the light archetype of course, is bringing light to that. Darkness is about illuminating, beautifying, understanding gracing. Okay. So we have dark and light great archetypes, not so great. When we apply them to human beings, they have nothing to do with skin color. They have nothing to do with hair color. They don't even have to do with the way we dress though. We might make that choice. Harvard has some lovely quizzes where you can go to see your unconscious attitudes, people, they weren't you before you take the quiz that you might disagree with, what your quiz reveals, which I think is kind of funny. I don't want to be a racist. Better to discover that one isn't racist and change it then to deny that one is a racist and continue to be. We should never let pretending we're good people get in the way of actually becoming them. So you can read headlines everywhere about the way different people of different skin colors are treated. However, there was a test done where people were shown a photograph of a gentlemen, and then they were told about the gentlemen and they were told lots of nice, good things about this dark skinned gentlemen. And then they were shown a variety of pictures where his skin tones were made lighter or darker. And the more positively they felt toward him, the lighter his skin tone became when they tried to identify him later, that is creepy. Our entire culture has bought in to the stereotype, our entire culture. And yes, I mean our entire culture. There might be a few individual exceptions, but there are only a few because the culture dictates it in our films and our television shows and our ads. We put forth the notion that dark people embody the dark aspect of dark energy and light people embody the light aspect of light energy. And this is completely inappropriate, wrong and deadly. This is horrific. The other day, I walked by a church that was not very far from my house. The other day, I walked by a church, not very far from my house. This particular church has a rape recovery program for teenagers. And there were two large signs on the side of the church wall. There was a dark girl talking about. The horror of drugs and alcohol. And then there was a light girl talking about how great it is to be free of them and how she can choose her own destiny. And that is so perverse. So we're taking a dark girl, who's into a dark thing and we're giving her the dark aspect of that darkness. Then we're taking a light girl who's gotten into a dark. But who is shown as bringing forth the light that dark girl may live in that prison for the rest of her life. She may eternally be condemned as the dark human being who went into a dark world and did dark things and then conveyed them through dark notions. That is horrifying. She may be condemned forever. She is a teenager. She made a mistake. Then we have the light girl who also made a mistake, but she is carrying the light qualities and the light energy, and she is going to move forward and be beautiful. Only in reality, she doesn't have that power because she is three dimensional. She is a human being. She is not an archetype, even if she were she'd have a dark and light aspect, she will either have the option of living in denial for the rest of her life. And pretending that she really can embody that light arc. The light aspect all the time I'll light, or she will have to face the fact on a regular basis that she is a complete and utter failure that she will never, ever, as long as she lives, be able to always body the light quality, the light aspect of the like archetype. So while it's nowhere near as bad for him, It's still bad for her. This is a no win game for anyone because we are all being flattened from our divine and sacred archetypes, which we all carry from the light and dark aspects, which we all carry into. These two dimensional perceptions, symbols for one. Rather than lives for ourselves. So what in the world do we do about this? And I would love your thoughts on that as well. My thought is that we need to start actually portraying a variety of archetypes with a variety of people as it is now, our hero is generally a white man and he has a buddy. Who's also largely a white man, but sometimes a man of color and occasionally a white woman. And then the villain, of course, that's a dark people. There is no need for this at all. Anyone can portray a hero. And in fact, everyone portrays a hero in their own life. Everyone is perfectly capable of carrying the hero archetype. We need it to survive in the world and we can take people who generally portray a particular type of architecture. And mix them up. So right now we got a guy, we go, Hey, that guy looks heroic. He's going to be the hero forever. Instead of doing that, we need to move him into a variety of archetypes so that we can show in one fell swoop that a single human being can actually hold all of these different archetypes so that as people, we have choices, we can use different energies in different ways. At different times, we are not symbols for each other. We are the containers of the sacred for ourselves. That's my lecture on the archetypes. I needed to get it out of the way, because I'm going to start going into the different archetypes, which I promise we'll have more stories and frankly, be more fun. Thank you so much. And I look forward to next time.

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