A few years ago my partner Gina and I were counselling a female struggling to come out of an abusive relationship. We’ll call this female Miss B. The problem she was having was she wasn’t fighting for her rights, she wasn’t fighting for her children, and she was struggling just to break free. She was passive and uncertain and what’s worse, she continually blamed herself for her situation. She constantly asked herself the question “what did I do to deserve this.” Though she could not think of an answer, she assumed that there must be something she had done, perhaps in a past life, to deserve the situation she was in. She felt, for whatever reasons, she was getting what she deserved.This is an intermediate level LP article on ideology and archetypes. For an introduction to ideology and archetypes, see the article “I” is for Ideology.

The idea that “you get what you deserve” is a common Old  Energy Archetype in what we call the Judge and Punish Archetype Constellation.  This archetypal constellation contains archetypes that answer questions like “Why do good/bad things happen to me?” or “Why is that person so rich?”  The answers given by archetypes in this constellation say things like “because you deserve it” and “because you have been  judged worth/unworthy.” In other words, bad things happen to you because you did bad things. Good things happen to you because you did good things. It’s all part of some God-given karmic wheel and your place on it is exactly what you deserve.  The implicit message of this old energy archetype is that judgment and punishment are OK and that the world is exactly the way it should be, either because it’s God’s will or because of some abstract cosmic justice. If you’ve been a good boy or girl, the “karma God(s)” brings you good things. If you’ve done bad things, bad things come circling back to you.

We learn this idea, this archetype, in our churches Like Miss B. did when she was a child, in the New Age books, from Hollywood, from our teachers, and so on. The vast majority of people believe some form of it, but of course, it is not true. Despite propaganda to the contrary, there is no karmic wheel of “justice” in operation and God, however, you want to think about that, certainly doesn’t operate that way. Not only that, but judgment and punishment are not spiritual things, they are toxic things. Punishment is just a euphemism for violence and abuse, and violence and abuse doesn’t make you better or stronger, it damages the Physical Unit and makes connection more difficult.

Why is this archetype taught if it is wrong and bad for our being? We’ll go into more detail about that in advanced archetype study. Here we’ll just say that it is because it justifies the status quo. If everything around you is “unfolding just as it should,” if the rich are rich and the poor are poor because that is what we all deserve, then why bother to change anything.

That these archetypes justify the status quo and all the suffering that this involves is bad enough, but old energy archetypes have deeper psychological, emotional, and spiritual consequences as well. Remember Miss B. here. She was struggling to get out of a toxic relationship, but the ideas she learned from Catholic priests about judgment and punishment sapped away her strength and will to fight. She wasted time spinning around in self-deprecating circles, certain that her ordeal was some kind of justice, some type of judgment, or some type of karma for past actions deserved. In therapy, I addressed these old energy ideas head-on. Using New Energy Archetypes like Joyful, Activation,  and Power,  I taught her to reject the disempowering old energy archetypes. It didn’t take too long–a couple sessions and some gentle reminders that she did nothing to deserve her ordeal, and it was done. The result was truly remarkable. Freed of the old energy archetypes that diminished,  disempowered, and caused her to blame herself, suddenly she began to fight. She got out of the relationship, got full custody of her children, and built a life for herself free of constant abuse. Awesome.

Now, the point of this little excurses through archetypes and domestic abuse isn’t to document a case study of domestic abuse, or to point out the therapeutic use of the Triumph of Spirit Archetypes. The point is more basic than that. The point is simply to highlight the fact that the archetypes and the ideas you have in your head matter. They can empower us to transform the world, or they can enslave us to the conditions of our life. They can unify us in common purpose, or they can divide us and make us feel small. Because archetypes are important, it is essential we understand archetypes. Because the archetypes in our head matter, it is important we learn what archetypes are in our heads. Because many of the archetypes in our  head are old energy archetypes which diminish, disempower, and disconnect, we need to replace the old energy ones with new energy ones that heal, transform and connect. It is important. Having the right archetypes in your head can make the difference between a life where you simply accept violence and abuse, and a life where you fight back and build something better for yourself and your children.

You can get started on the process of learning about and understanding archetypes, and also the process of replacing old energy archetypes in your head with new energy archetypes (a process we call Archetypeal Revision), by visiting the LP Archetype Study page. There you can learn more about archetypes and where they come from. You can also learn new energy archetypes that give you a new way to think about yourself, and that will empower, emancipate, and connect rather than diminish, disempower, and disconnect.

 

 

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