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Book Summaries Psychology

The Lover (King, Warrior, Magician, Lover)

The Lover

There are many forms of love. The ancient Greeks spoke of agape, or non-erotic love, what the Bible calls “brotherly love.” They spoke of Eros in the narrow sense of sexual love and the wider sense of bonding and uniting urge of all things. The Romans spoke of Amor, the union of one body and soul with another. Jungians use the name of the Greek god Eros to talk about the Lover energy, and the term libido. These terms don’t just mean sexual appetites but an appetite for life.

The Lover, by whatever name, is the primary energy pattern of aliveness and passion. It lives through our primal hungers as a species for sex, well-being, food, reproduction, and creative adaption to life’s hardships, and ultimately, a sense of meaning.

The man in touch with the Lover energy experiences his work through aesthetic consciousness. He can do the same with people, he can read them like a book. And he is very sensitive to their changes in mood and can feel their hidden motives. This can be painful.

The Lover is not the only archetype of the joy of life. To feel at one with others and the world, he must feel their pain. Others may be unable to avoid pain, but the man in touch with the Lover must endure it. He feels the painfulness of being alive – for himself and others. This brings the image of Jesus weeping for his city, Jerusalem, for his disciples, and for all of humanity.

The business with hunches is accessing the Lover. And so, do all of us when we have intuitions about people, situations, and our future. In those moments, the unity of things is revealed to us, and we are drawn into the Lover energy. An artistic or creative endeavor draws upon the energies of the lover. So are connoisseurs, those men who really appreciate fine foods and wines.

The Lover archetype is most felt in our love lives. In Western culture, the main avenue for getting in touch with the lover is through romance. Many men live for the thrill of “falling in love.” In this ecstatic state, which even applies to the hardheaded, we delight in our beloved and cherish her body and soul.

The Active Shadow Lover

One man became addicted to learning Hebrew. He was so possessed by the Lover archetype that he neglected everything else in his life. He was oblivious to its drain on his finances, until one day, reality came knocking, and he discovered he was bankrupt. He had to sell his cars just to keep afloat.

There is the story of the artist who felt so compelled to express his art, that he used the last money in the house to buy grease pencils and pastels, instead of formula for his babies. His wife left him with his kids.

And there are stories of addictive personalities, people who can’t stop eating, drinking, smoking, or using drugs. A young heavy cigarette smoker was warned by his doctor to quit, or he would likely get lung cancer (he was showing warning signs.) Even though he wanted to live, he could not quit, he enjoyed the sensual satisfaction of the cigarettes so much. He died from smoking.

Many people’s lives are ruined because they cannot distance themselves from their feelings. This inability to detach from destructive marriages and relationships is because of an emotional addiction – the greatest sign of the Shadow Lover in play.

The victim of the active pole of the Shadow Lover is forever restless. This is the man who is always looking for something. He doesn’t know what it is, but he’s the cowboy at the end of the movie riding off alone into the sunset seeking another excitement or adventure. He is not compelled by the frontiers of knowledge (that would be liberating) but of his sensuality, no matter the cost.

This is where we see the Don Juan syndrome. Monogamy is the product of man’s deep rootedness and centeredness. He is not bounded by external rules, but by his own inner structures and his own sense of his masculine well-being and calm. But the man moving from one woman to another compulsively, searching for something he cannot define, is a man who does not yet have solidified inner structures. He is pushed around by the illusion of wholeness he believes he can find in the world of feminine forms and sensual experiences.

The Passive Shadow Lover

People who are possessed by the Impotent Lover, the passive pole, are chronically depressed. They feel no connection with others and feel cut off from themselves. We know when we are depressed, it is when we lost the motivation to do the things we want to do or must do.

This is common in the elderly. And in many marriages, this can be seen when the man is not interested sexually. It is when a man has fallen into a bland routine, and sees no point to adventure or to the novel.

Accessing the Lover

The Lover needs limits that are imposed by the King. Without them, the Lover’s energy becomes destructive. The Lover needs the Warrior to destroy the Golden Temple, which keeps him fixated. And he needs to Magician to help him back off from the intoxicating effect of his emotions.

The tragic thing is that the unrelenting attacks on our vitality begins early in life. Many of us have repressed the Lover in us that it has become hard to feel passionate about anything in our lives. The trouble with most of us is not that we feel too much passion, but that we feel none.

But let us not surrender our lives! Let us find the spontaneity and joy of life inside ourselves. Then not only will we live our lives more abundantly, but we will enable others to live, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

"A gilded No is more satisfactory than a dry yes" - Gracian

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