Your Archetypal Autobiography: The Apprenticeship in Finding One's Vocation, Life Partner and Healthy Connection with Oneself. * A Weekend Workshop
“It has always been the prime function of mythology and rite to supply the symbols that carry the human spirit forward, in counteraction to those that tend to tie it back. In fact, it may very well be that the very high incidence of neuroticism among ourselves follows the decline among us of such effective spiritual aid. We remain fixated to the unexorcised images of our infancy, and hence disinclined to the necessary passages of our adulthood." - Joseph Campbell
Satisfaction in life comes from mastering 3 primary aspects to our lives - the relationship we have with a partner, our work and ourselves. Divorce statistics reveal the struggle people undergo to sustain vibrant marriages, job satisfaction figures show how rare it is for people to obtain fulfilling work, while mental health data reports how conflicted many people are with themselves.
The first workshop in this series looked at some of the archetypes that play out during our early years of development and how confronting areas in which we have gotten stuck can help us lead much more effective lives. It finished with the exploration of The Lover archetype, representing the importance of awakening deep levels of passion in each of the 3 aspects.
This second workshop will go on to explore what can be called the apprenticeship phase of our development. What does it take to nurture infatuation into real love, hobbies into vocations and a curiosity about one’s inner workings into clear self-awareness? Dedication, courage and the willingness to move into the maturity of adulthood psychology, rather than remain in perpetual adolescence which afflicts so many.
The Achiever archetype
Having spent our youth taking instruction, moving into adulthood begins with wanting to assert our place in the world. But this natural and healthy desire easily gets out of balance when it is not grounded in the development of emotional intelligence. Much unhappiness is caused when we become single-minded in our ambition, in competition with everyone and remain perpetually in a state of high alert. This archetypal energy can be directed not only into careers but into becoming the model parent, partner or perfect person.
In Greek mythology, Phaethon was the son of the Sun God and he convinced his father to allow him to drive the sun chariot for a day. Once in the chariot, he wasn’t able to control the horses and the earth was in danger of being burnt up. To prevent this disaster, Zeus had to kill him with a thunderbolt.
An absence of passion, desires and strong feelings means we will never quite have the motivation and stamina needed to enhance our 3 primary relationships. On the other hand, emotional overwhelm and hypersensitivity are equally inhibiting. This session will focus on helping you to find the empowering middle path.
The Thinker archetype
The development of the 3 relationships is aided enormously by cultivating right thinking. Too little critical thinking and we fail to understand why events occur, the lessons within challenges and the universal laws and principles behind things. The opposite imbalance of an over-reliance on the intellect leads a person to hide behind knowledge and ensure thought always trumps feelings. Sitting with paradox or simply just having fun then proves elusive.
The Justice card in the tarot is represented by Athena, the astute companion of heroes and the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. Unlike Phaethon, she was known for her calm temperament and only fought for just reasons, never without a purpose. Her judgments were based on ethical principles rather than personal desire. In teaching the civilising arts to humankind, she showed the mind’s ability to hold untamed nature in check and to transform it through clarity and objective planning.
The Loner archetype
Subjecting the opposing forces of our minds and emotions to our will can be very depleting. Throwing ourselves into life and using our thinking helps us make sense of our lives. But to find our true vocations, ideal life partner and equanimity, demands that we also incorporate the contemplative path.
Channelling the majority of our energy into the social aspect of life makes it impossible to bring any depth to our 3 prime relationships. That said, too much contemplation leads to isolation, the inability to connect and a tendency to live in an overly imaginative world.
The Hermit card in the tarot deck reveals a character who has discovered his inner voice and learned how to be alone without being lonely. In leaving the noise and distraction of the herd, he heads back to nature, where the peaceful surrounds foster his psyche’s development as he mulls over the experiences of his life to determine how aligned he has become with the status of those 3 primary relationships.
The Everyman archetype
The Wheel of Fortune tarot card demonstrates the seasons of time and the cyclical nature of life. In moving beyond an adolescent psychology into greater maturity, we realise that all ideas, goals and possibilities have a place and a time. We become aware of our opposing forces and drives, we recognise just how little we know and begin to sense the difference between universal time and linear or arbitrary time. Where most people’s lives cycle through unending dramas and chaos, those who have pursued their development are like the hub of a wheel, centred and less influenced by their circumstances, emotional whims or damaged thinking patterns.
Up until this fourth stage in our apprenticeships, we have looked at three areas of development. Propelled by the passion and optimism associated with The Lover, we begin working with The Achiever, where our emotional development is emphasised. Strong desire only takes us so far and hence we draw on The Thinker to help us formulate goals and reflect on what changes are needed as well as whether our deeper values are being pursued. The Loner amplifies the need for contemplation and endeavours to take us deeper beyond the twin ego aspects of desire and rationality. With the introduction of the soul’s development of our psyche’s we realise we are not the centre of the world and delusions of grandeur recede. Rather than fighting with life, the urge to flow with and trust the process of it begins to build. The Loner gives way to a longing to rejoin society.
The Everyman sees our commonality and interconnectedness. It is the impulse to connect with others and harness our empathy for fellow journeyers. The Everyman feels no need for pretense and treasures authenticity. It doesn’t desire luxury or measure itself by status symbols.
Understanding the value of strong emotion and clear thinking, but not ruled by either, this fourth phase brings everything together. Down to earth, genuine and socially minded, we know ourselves far better than when we entered our apprenticeships. Ideally, we move a long way forward in terms of healthier experiences and greater clarity in our quests to find our vocation, life partner and a healthy sense of self.
Date: Autumn 2018 (Saturday and Sunday)
Location: Katoomba, Blue Mountains NSW
Cost: $290.00/Friends of The Pursuit of Happiness School (attended 3 or more events) $240/Concession: $190.00 - includes morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.