Book Summaries Psychology

The King (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover)

The King

The good King is wise. There are two functions that the King has in his fullness, the first is ordering and the second is the providing of fertility and blessing.

The King is the “central archetype.” The good King is at the center of the world, he sits on his throne on the central mountain. And from this view, the world is what is created and organized by the King. What is outside his domain of influence is chaos, noncreation, and the demonic. The function of the king energy is everywhere in mythology – from the sacred Word of Yahweh, to the world created from the Mound in Egyptian mythology.

The healthy, strong, and mentally alert king created prosperity for his people.  

The Shadow King: The Tyrant and the Weakling

The good King is the mature masculine, and we may have experienced this through our father, an uncle or grandfather, or a boss, a teacher, or a minister. But few of us have experienced the King energy in its fullness. We usually experience it in bits. It is sad because this positive energy is lacking in the lives of most men.

Most of what we have experienced is called the Shadow King. This King has an active-passive bipolar shadow structure. The active pole is the Tyrant while the passive pole is the Weakling.

King Herod sends his soldiers to Bethlehem to kill every male child (potential king). Jesus gets away in time, because he is a divine child. The tyrant fears and hates new life. He feels it a threat to his slim grasp on his own kingship.

The Tyrant King manifests when we are pushed to the limit, exhausted, or getting inflated. Mostly, we see it operating in narcissistic personalities. These people feel they are the center of the universe, but usually they aren’t centered themselves. They expect others to serve them. Instead of mirroring others, they seek mirroring from them. Instead of seeing others, they seek to be seen by them.

The man possessed by the Tyrant is sensitive to criticism, and will feel deflated at the slightest remark. He will conceal this, but you will see his rage. Underneath this rage is a sense of worthlessness and weakness. Behind the Tyrant lies the passive pole of the Shadow King, the Weakling – if he can’t identify with the King energy, he feels he is nothing.

The hidden presence of this passive pole explains the hunger for mirroring – for “worship me!” – that we feel sorry for many friends and superiors. This explains their anger at those they think are weak. General Patton had an underlying fear of his own weakness. During World War 2, he went to a hospital and visited each soldier, from bed to bed, congratulating them. But when a soldier tells him his nerves are shot, he does not react in compassion, but bursts out in rage, slaps the soldier and calls him a coward. He has glimpsed the Weakling within.

The man possessed by the Weakling lacks calmness and security. He is paranoid, and this paranoia destroys character.

The Shadow King as Tyrant emerges because the Ego fails to maintain its proper orbit, it has fallen into the sun of the archetype. The Ego takes the King’s place and power. This is the mythological rebellion in heaven, described in many myths, when an upstart god tries to seize the throne of the High God, such as the myth of Satan’s attempted overthrow of God.

When we are not in touch with our own inner King, and give the power of our lives to others, we invite a catastrophe on ourselves much larger than the personal. Those we make our kings may lead us into lost battles, abuse in our families, or genocide. Or they may abandon us due to our own weakness.

Access the King Energy

But when we properly access the King energy, as servants of our inner King, we manifest in our lives the qualities of the good and rightful King. We will experience less anxiety. We will be able to care for others deeply. We will see others as the full persons they are. We will feel centered and calm.

We will feel our anxiety level drop. We will feel centered, and calm, and hear ourselves speak from an inner authority. We will have the capacity to mirror and to bless ourselves and others. We will have the capacity to care for others deeply an genuinely. We will “recognize” others; we will behold them as the full persons they really are. We will have a sense of being a centered participant in creating a more just, calm, and we will recognize the truth of the central commandment around which all of human life seems to be based: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And thy neighbor as thyself.”

"Silence is the best expression of scorn" - G.B. Shaw

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