by Dr. Denise R. Ames
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 2
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.
Trump’s election to the presidency was disturbing to many people; he was bringing to the surface many of the darker elements of American culture that we were forced to confront. Although there are many good qualities about the U.S. and its people that are too numerous to list, there is also a more disturbing side of the country, the shadow, that lies below the surface that we try to keep unseen and from coming out in the open.
The trickster serves as a mirror of our country in some ways. But with the election of Trump these darker elements were exposed by his actions and behaviors, laid bare for all to see and witness. Emerging from the shadow are the darker elements of our country—exploitation, greed, deceit, and discrimination—employed to build this country, just as Trump used these elements to build his personal financial empire.
Although these seedy qualities are part of human nature, we have imagined that our country was different and they were not part of our collective spirit. But these elements are part of us, and Trump has laid bare this unsavory side. In this country, we are in the throes of a moral, individual, ecological, spiritual, and social malaise that is weakening and threatening to destroy our moral and social fabric.
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