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In my last entry on Jungian psychology I talked of complexes. Most folks are familiar with Freud’s Oedipus Complex. Freud thought is universal and central to human development. Jung thought the Oedipus Complex was only one of countless complexes. He believed there are far more primal and universal and important ones to be in touch with and resonate.

Four Complexes especially appealing to the male Psyche are the King, the Warrior, the Magician and the Lover. These four fellows are important to both male and female psyches, but I will focus on the male versions. It is hoped a man has a healthy relations with these four ‘fellows within him’.

Mind! There is no such thing as a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ Complex. They all have good and bad elements. Any one of them too weak or with too much power/libido is hazardous.
If they ally with the Shadow in our psyches they can be terrible.

The King
The King is the Ruler, the part of you that has mastery of life and realm. He makes the decisions (based on council) and runs the state.  He takes the brunt when things are bad. A man with good King energy rules out of respect, not out of fear. A man with bad King? Well, we all know these types. You see them in tyrannical bosses,  weak presidents manipulated by others, and in tyrants who do not care for the kingdom’s well being but only in his own power and needs.

Good Kings; Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, Captain Picard in Star Trek The Next Generation, Abraham Lincoln.       Bad Kings; Idi Amin, Henry VIII.

The Magician
The Magician is the Magus, the Shaman, the part of you with the creativity, intuition and the ability to see beyond the logic. He does not rule (being too busy learning life’s secrets) but advises the King. Merlin was by King Arthur’s side to give council. Men in touch with the Magician make good scientists, teachers, doctors, therapists, and pastors. They can be mysterious and a bit fearsome as they know the secrets. A good magician is the guru you trust; the bad magician is the charlatan, the quack who hoodwinks and betrays you.

Good Magician; Einstein, Pasteur.        Bad Magician; The leaders of Enron

The Warrior
This is the one who fights for the right, knows when not to back down and when not to fight. Of the 4 Complexes, people have the hardest time with him. Often people want him gone, or reduced or chained up. But where would we be without our Warriors? They make the world better. Bad Warriors are the mindless Soldiers who pillage and rape and kill without reason. Bad Warriors of the male gender can not tolerate the Warrior in Woman. Warriors are not brutes. Many great Warriors were not violent or ‘macho’ men either.

Good Warrior; Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and some AIDS activists I knew.
Bad Warrior; religious extremists of many types who must eradicate others not like them.

The Lover

He is the one in tune with the sensual world. He is in touch with the Erotic and with Creation. Those in tune with The Lover make good poets, writers, artists and musicians, not just good sex partners. They make human life lovely and intercourse (social and sexual) numinous. Gay men are usually far more in tune with the Lover than straight. But the ‘negative’ side is seen when the Lover is “trying to be the King’. When this happens, mindless, anonymous never ending affairs and exploits ensue, and no work gets down/the house falls apart, the bills don’t get paid.
Good Lover; Any great artist, poet, or creator of things marvelous.
Bad Lover; My example Casanova. While he seduced countless women, they were all empty exploits that left no Love behind. I recall a play in which he dies and goes to hell and the Devil commands him to wear a Clown suit for eternity. He is rebuffed; after all, he was Europe’s greatest lover! So the Devil allows him to get out of it if the Don can identify one of his exploits. He fails but when he learns that one of them really loved him, he decides he was a fool, and takes the suit.


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December 2006

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