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!
Lessons from the 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.
So what lessons can we learn from our love affair with the trickster? The trickster is a transformer who appears when a way of thinking becomes outmoded, needs to be torn down, and built anew. He signals a wake-up call and a warning as to what is going on in the shadow lands of the American and global psyche.
The trickster prods us to question things, to not accept things blindly. The presence of the trickster signals a dangerous time, but he also signals a golden opportunity to become more conscious of ourselves psychologically, and to potentially heal our divided selves. This is the hidden meaning and value that the trickster brings to us.
Jung would say the trickster is a manifestation of our own collective unconscious. The archetype relates to our “shadow side”, loosely those darker aspects of ourselves that we don’t acknowledge but which are often the source of creativity, and which need to be consciously integrated in order for us to function with more authenticity and purpose.
Trump’s ascendance is a call for the nation to take a long, hard look at what the trickster is mirroring to us. When we glance in the mirror we see an idealized version of who we are but when the trickster holds up the mirror that image is different. We see the reality but the ideal, but hopefully we all will gear up to improve the real image to one that is more the ideal.
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