Why can’t we just get along? This is a question that I have been working on in my new book, Divided: Five Colliding Worldviews and How to Navigate Them. I would like to share with you some ideas that I have been exploring.
Join me in learning about the trickster archetype in this series of blogs. The trickster is surfacing today in our uncertain times. What does the trickster represent and what can we learn from him?
Beware of the Trickster
We are living in uncertain times. Our divisions seem to be intractable. It is a time for us to be attuned to strange occurrences and alert to messages from questionable leaders. Tricksters are most visible when people are in conflict and trauma, whether on an individual, national or local level. Now is such a time!
President Trump: Our Trickster Archetype, Part 1
The trickster is a universal archetypal figure found through the history of humanity. Psychologist Carl Jung coined the term archetype and defined it as universal, archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious. The trickster is one of the most reoccurring of the many archetypes found across time.
Tricksters are always around. But Americans have invited the trickster archetype into our midst in the form of Donald Trump, our trickster president. Why has our society invited a trickster figure like Donald Trump into the inner circles of power? Trump has legitimately seized power and established an audience of millions of people because we are in a historical situation where fear, confusion, uncertainty and the loss of a sense of home are real.
Trump is far from the only trickster character around the globe, but because of the wealth and influence of the U.S., he is the most noticeable and important. Because of uncertainty today, current world politics are increasingly influenced by trickster figures. Because of their influence, we now have no idea what will happen to us.
Both the trickster archetype and President Trump share a commitment to spontaneity and improvisation that always pushes the envelope. Trump clearly enjoys his role as cultural destroyer. He seems determined to break every rule and overturn every norm. Trump as the trickster is more interested in images than issues. Perhaps one of the reasons he has been able to elude criticism by his supporters, is that much of his behavior is primal, unconscious and fed by archetypal forces. It is slippery and ephemeral, hard to pin down.
About the Author:
Dr. Denise R. Ames is a long-time educator, grade 7-university, author of seven books, and president of an educational non-profit, Center for Global Awareness, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. CGA provides books, resources, and services with a holistic, global- focused, and perspective-taking approach for their three programs: Global Awareness for Educators, books and resources for educators and students grade 9-university; Gather, Global Awareness Through Engaged Reflection, a self-organizing study and conversation program for adults focusing on seeing different perspectives of pressing global issues; and their most recent program Turn, Transformative Understanding and Reflection Network, which encourages lifelong and transformative learning to help us arrive at a place of personal and global well-being using a seven “path” approach.
For more about worldviews see Dr. Ames’ book Five Worldviews: How We See the World. $9.95