“The Tao is called Great Mother:
Empty yet inexhaustible,
It gives birth to infinite worlds.”
“That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.”
CARL GUSTAV JUNG
“The Kingdom is spread out inside you and outside you. But you don’t see it.”
Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas*
“If you bring forth that is within you,
What you bring forth will save you.
If you don’t bring forth what is within you, What you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas**
* The Nag Hamadi Library in English (Leiden: E.J.Bril, 1984) Gospel of Thomas verse 3.
** The Nag Hamadi Library in English (Leiden: E.J.Bril, 1984) Gospel of Thomas verse 70.
Three articles got me thinking as of late about the deep wounds we have suffered as a people and how this must have had some severe consequences on our deep collective psyche. They were: Why America’s Existential Crisis is Good for the World, Atlantic freedoms – Haiti, not the US or France, was where the assertion of human rights reached its defining climax in the Age of Revolution, and President-Elect Trump: A Gift? If you have not had a chance to read them, I urge you to do so as they provide some food for thought and some clues of long-term repressed emotions that may have been plaguing us up to this day.
These in turn call for a form of collective cultural psychotherapy to bring to light the shadows that are responsible for our dysfunctional disorderly behaviours. This is not going to be easy for you the reader and is going to cause much anguish and pain, but if we are going to see the light, and this we must, we must first shine the spotlight on the repressed shadows of our individual and collective unconscious so as to bring them to consciousness so that they can be engaged, corrected and rehabilitated with as much sensitivity and love as we can. Although I have been dropping hints over the years in my blog articles that the cause of much of our disorderly dysfunction is our capitalistic cancerous monetary system, I hope to provide the evidence for once and for all to show how this system acts as the DNA of our societies and programmes us and our institutions to act in ways that undermine our individual and collective best interests.
The individual that connected the dots for me and confirmed my suspicions was Professor Bernard Lietear. His unpublished manuscript The Mystery of Money – Emotional Meaning and Operation of a Taboo, his interview with Yes! Magazine Beyond Greed and Scarcity, and his published book coauthored with Stephen Belgin New Money for a New World helped convince me that I was on the right path of understanding.
As he explained at the prologue of Chapter 24 on New Money for a New World:
“When modern psychology and psychotherapy came into being, much of their focus centered on the individual patient—on his or her trauma and personal psychological framework. Many of our challenges and behaviors, however, do not emanate from individual disturbances alone.
Archetypal psychologist James Hillman observed:
Too many people have been analyzing their pasts, their childhoods, their memories, their parents, and realizing that it doesn’t do anything—or that it doesn’t do enough. Psychotherapy theory turns it all on you: you are the one who is wrong. [But] If a kid is having trouble or is discouraged, the problem is not just inside the kid; it’s also in the system, the society…Problems come from the environment, the cities, the economy, racism. They come from architecture, school systems, capitalism, exploitation.337
Problems also derive from money choices. As noted, each type of currency is imbued with specific design features that encourage or discourage particular behaviors and values. Our national currencies were simply not structured to address social, economic, or ethical concerns. Rather, they are international trading currencies designed to promote specific business needs, and to this restricted end they have performed admirably. Though money is not inherently good or bad, and certainly not the root of all evil, the particular design of our national currencies does promote greed, as well as fear of scarcity.338 Given money’s innate capacity to replicate information, and lacking any significant yin-currency system to provide a counterbalance, the skewed yang shadow axis dominates unchallenged, the consequences of which are profound.”
337. James Hillman, “Little Acorns: A Radical New Psychology,” The Sun Magazine (March 1998).
338. What Matthew wrote in his gospel was that the love of money is the root of all evil.
As you can tell he has searched far and wide and has incorporated Eastern Philosophy (Yin-Yang Taoism) and Southern Psychology (Jungian archetypal psychology) to identify the blind spot of our understanding and to find out what is lurking in the shadows of our collective unconscious and how this is related to the nature of our restrictive monetary system.
The most concise account of his insights, save for reading his books and articles listed above and below can be found in Section 15.3 of Transformation Management: Towards the Integral Enterprise by Ronnie Lessem and Alexander Schieffer.
“15.3 Western Reformative Emergence: Sustainable Abundance
15.3.1 THE PLACE OF MONEY IN THE HUMAN PSYCHE
A multifaceted perspective
Bernard Lietaer has a unique multifaceted perspective on the past, present and future of economics and money.8 Such perspective arose out of the depth and breadth of his financial experience. In effect, he developed the first models of global currency management for multinational corporations. Subsequently he has consulted with developing countries on four different continents about improving hard currency earnings. His academic history includes a Professorship of International Finance at the University of Louvain in Belgium. Then, for five years he was head of the Organization and Planning Department at the Central Bank of Belgium, where he was President of the Electronic Payment System. Finally, he served as general manager and currency fund manager of the most successful offshore currency fund of his time. All these took place during his early adulthood.
In midlife and maturity, Lietaer, in the course of realizing himself, has turned to transforming the functioning of money, in theory and also in practice. As we shall see, he thereby linked an immature ‘yang’ attitude towards money with a more mature ‘yin-yang’ one. In this process, he has been influenced by the ‘east’ and the ‘south’, most particular by Chinese philosophy and Jungian psychology. As such, he has reached back into ancient civilisations, historically, and into our ‘collective unconscious’ archetypally. From the outset, money is conceived of by him as a cultural and social artefact rather than as merely an economic and financial mechanism. We start out, then, with Lietaer’s root imagery, drawing upon ‘the soul of money’.
Archetypal origins and psychological destinations of money
Lietaer describes in his forthcoming book entitled The Soul of Money9 how money systems, from their prehistoric origins onward, were attributed primarily to the Great Mother archetype. As western societies were characterized by a systematic repression of this archetype they developed financial systems that embodied what he describes as the ‘shadows’, or repressed parts, of that archetype, reflected in effect in ‘elite globalization’. These shadows turned out to be none other than the collective emotions of greed and fear of scarcity. All professional operators, brokers, fund managers, and financial experts will confirm, according to Lietaer, that financial markets are primarily driven by these two collective emotions.
Greed and fear of scarcity are therefore not an indelible reflection of human nature, as is explicitly assumed in classical and neo-liberal economic theory. Instead, the current money system itself, by providing a systematic incentive to save in the form of money, is constantly creating and reinforcing those two shadow emotions. The real issue, then, is the monopoly accorded to this type of contemporary currency, not leaving any choice in the medium of exchange to be used, regardless of the purposes of the transactions and the relationships involved.
Masculine and feminine money
Lietaer’s claim is that significantly different money systems manifest themselves, depending on whether the feminine is honoured in society or not. He can of course only verify such a hypothesis in societies that have advanced at least to the point of having developed the concept of money in the first place. But in classifying such ‘advanced’ societies according to whether they repress the feminine or honour it, suddenly an intriguing pattern in money systems emerges for him:
•Whenever the feminine archetype has been repressed, as has been the case in almost all of western history, a monopoly of currencies that play simultaneously the role of medium of exchange and of store of value tends to emerge. They could be called patriarchal ‘yang’ currencies.
•When the feminine has been honoured in an ‘advanced’ civilization, complementary monetary systems have appeared, and one of these currencies invariably had an unusual feature that actively discouraged the accumulation of wealth in the form of that currency. In short, this latter currency operated as a pure means of payment and exchange, and was not used as a store of value. These he defines as matriarchal ‘yin’currencies.
Money is one of those cultural forces that has remained mostly invisible to the conscious ‘western’ mind. It is therefore to a civilization as the DNA code is to a species. It replicates structures and behaviour patterns that remain active across time and space for generations. We now turn, with Lietaer, to sustainable abundance.
15.3.2 FROM ECONOMICS TO ECOSOPHY
Our traditional bank-debt national money, which underlies conventional financial management, has, according to Lietaer, been designed from a monopoly of legitimacy for a Yang perspective. Until now, independently of whether one is a man or a woman, a ‘macho’ way of thinking has been needed to succeed in business and economic life. Reaching what he terms ‘sustainable abundance’ is going to require giving equal weight to a feminine perspective on money systems and economics. It is not that the male perspective is ‘wrong’ in itself. On the contrary, it is an indispensable ingredient. But problems arise when it wants to impose a monopoly on legitimately interpreting and directing human activity. In fact the combined concepts of ‘finance’ and ‘economics’, for him, are ripe for transformation.
For Lietaer then ‘ecosophy’ is about how to live wisely together. Such ecosophy recognizes that our monetary, business, economic and political constructs interact with and affect our sociological, psychological and ecological constructs and, as a result, our collective presence on the planet. Such a global mind-shift, for Lietaer and other kindred spirits, involves three overlapping waves:
1. Value Shift Wave: a value shift wave from modernist to integrative;
2. Information Wave: an information wave, enabling unprecedented access to knowledge for vast numbers of people;
3. Money Wave: and most particularly in this case here, though least evident in the world at large, a money wave, whereby new money systems are being conceived of, and to a small but significant degree adopted, complementing the old ones.
For Lietaer, the old scarce national currencies had never been designed to support an explosion of creativity. However, it is only by liberating the extraordinary potential of human creativity of all humans rather than of a small minority, that there is any hope for Planet Earth. Less than 30 per cent of the world’s population has full-time jobs. This could free the vast majority to dedicate themselves to the ‘work’ they feel most passionate about, that is if we were able to reconfigure our economic system. From today’s perspective it looks as if our species was asked to engage in a race blindfolded with feet and hands bound. Our blindness is caused by the disconnect between economy and society, between economic trade and social reciprocity.
15.3.3 TOWARDS THE ‘YIN AND YANG ECONOMY’
Financial and social capital
The fact is there is enough work to be done for everyone in our community to be kept busy for the rest of his or her life. So what can we do to redress the current situation, where we have, at least in the developing world, mass unemployment? The answer, Lietaer suggests, is to create complementary currencies designed to fulfil social functions that the national currency cannot or does not fulfil, so that one currency would produce financial capital, and the other social capital.
They can then operate in symbiosis with each other.
Ultimately, Lietaer proposes that we create a ‘four level’ monetary system.
15.3.4 A FOUR LEVEL MONETARY OPERATION
The four level operation of the monetary system in 2020 could be:
•a global reference currency;
•three main multinational currencies;
•some national currencies;
•local complementary currencies.
What then does this involve?
•A Global Reference Currency evolving through the emergence of barter, which has been around since the dawn of mankind, into a major industry today. In this regard, two significant trade organizations (International Reciprocal Trade Association –IRTA, and the Corporate Barter Council –CBC) are notable examples. Lietaer envisages over the next 20 years the convergence of the barter and cyber economies.
•Multinational Currencies, with the advent of the Euro are likely to build up irresistible pressure to create a Yen Yuan Asian Currency zone, and finally a NAFTA American/ Canadian/ Mexican dollar.
•National Currencies will continue to play an important part, especially for countries that are not members of multinational currency zones, such as Switzerland, but they will no longer be a monopoly.
•Community Currencies finally are proliferating today. Indeed, already in the 1930s, in Western Europe and North America, as well as in Mexico, literally thousands of communities started their own currency systems in the aftermath of depression and hyperinflation, though the central governments ultimately snuffed out all but one, the WIR System in Switzerland. In more recent years there has been a resurgence of such.
•That having been said they pale into insignificance when compared to the power and influence of the international financial markets, the WTO, IMF and World Bank…”
8. Lietaer, B. (2001). The Future of Money. London: Century.
9. Lietaer, B. (Forthcoming). The Soul of Money.
The Soul of Money was forthcoming in his unpublished The Mystery of Money – Emotional Meaning and Operation of a Taboo where he explains what archetypes are and how they are related to the human psyche. What follows are his exploration of archetypes, yin-yang energies and how it connects with our monopolistic fiat bank-debt scarcity producing currency and how this programs us in profound life-dysfunctional, life-disabling and despoiling ways. If you are not motivated to read the manuscript in its entirety, the following will surely whet your appetite to reconsider. Also some of his insights here are reproduced in his co-authored book New Money for a New World.
My working definition of archetypes is simple: An Archetype is a recurrent image that patterns human emotions and behavior, and which can be observed across time and cultures.” p. 18
Besides archetypes, the other concept that will be needed to explore the collective unconscious of money is the Shadow…
…I will define a Shadow as the way an Archetype manifests whenever it is repressed.18
What archetypes and shadows have in common is to pre-dispose people to act in certain predictable ways. The easiest way to understand the connection between an archetype and its shadows is through an example. For instance the archetype embodying the Higher Self is the Sovereign; represented by the King for men, or the Queen for women. If, for whatever reason, someone is repressing his or her Higher Self – i.e. the Sovereign within – he or she will tend to behave either as a Tyrant or as a Abdicator, the two shadows of the Sovereign.19 The Tyrant possesses an excess of a healthy Sovereign’s emotional and behavioral attributes, while the Abdicator has a deficit of the same characteristics. There is always a direct relationship of fear between the two shadows of an Archetype. Indeed a Tyrant is primarily afraid of appearing weak, and an Abdicator is afraid of appearing tyrannical.
Furthermore, it is well known that whenever one scratches below the surface of a Tyrant, one invariably discovers an Abdicator. Conversely, whenever someone weak is given power over someone else, (s)he will typically turn into a Tyrant. Figure 1.1 illustrates these relationships graphically.
What this graph illustrates in the case of the Sovereign is the “splitting” of an archetypal energy that occurs when a fear becomes permanently embodied. It shows graphically how a repressed archetype will manifest in the form of its shadows in an individual or a society. Such splitting by fears into polar shadows can take place with any archetype. For instance, the Warrior has the patterns of the Sadist and the Masochist as shadows. The repressed Lover becomes Addicted or Impotent. In all cases, the two shadows are two faces of the same coin, one being excessive and the other one lacking of the essential energy of the archetype itself. And what all the shadows have in common is the fear of the other polarity. For instance, it is the fear of impotence that provides the energy that pushes someone to become addicted to sex.
Jung points out that Modern rational man has tended to dismiss the power of archaic symbols and archetypes. “It is a folly to dismiss them because, in rational terms, they seem absurd or irrelevant. They are important constituents in our mental make-up and vital forces in the building up of human society and they cannot be eradicated without serious loss. Where they are repressed or neglected, their specific energy disappears into the unconscious with unaccountable consequences. The psychic energy that appears to have been lost in this way in fact […] forms an ever-present and potentially destructive ‘shadow’ to our conscious mind. Even tendencies that might in some circumstances be able to exert a beneficial influence are transformed into demons when they are repressed. This is why many well-meaning people are understandably afraid of the unconscious, and incidentally of psychology.”21
This may be how the hypothesis of a hyper-rational Economic Man, embedded in all of our economic theory, has made us blind to the process by which money is programming our collective emotions. The mystery of the cycles of “irrational” boom and bust that haunt periodically the most sophisticated financial markets will be explained later by this excessive reliance on total rationality.
18 More conventional definitions include the following: “a negative ego-personality that includes all those qualities that we find painful or regrettable” (Carl Gustav Jung Collective Works Vol 12 Psychology and Alchemy pg 177 in notes. Or Erich Neumann defines the shadow as “the unknown side of the personality…in the form of a dark, uncanny figure of evil to confront whom is always a fateful experience for the individual.” (Neumann E. Depth Psychology and a New Ethic (New York: G.P. Putnam and sons, 1969) pg 137. A clinical definition of the Shadow is “an autonomous complex, often resulting from a childhood trauma, of an aspect of ourselves that we do not accept.”
19 This dual-shadow scheme is often presented as the “negative” and “positive” poles of the shadow (for example by Sandner D. and Beebe J. “Psychopathology and Analysis” in Stein M. Jungian Analysis (Boston: Shambala, 1984) pp 294-334). Two Jungian analysts, Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette, who have written five volumes involving the archetypes of the King, the Warrior, the Lover and the Magician, originally developed the version used here. This particular quaternio will become the starting point for the Archetypal Human model presented later.
20 Moore and Gillette’s The King Within (New York: Avon Books, 1992) pg 40.
21 Jung, Carl Gustav et al. Man and his Symbols (London: Picador, 1978) pg 83″
“Yin, Yang and Jung
I will now tie into the scheme of two polar shadows the age-old Taoist concepts of Yin-Yang. Taoists conceived all forces in complementary pairs like heaven-earth, fire-water, inhaling-exhaling, pulling-pushing, etc. Although obviously separate forces, they are really part of a single ultimate unity, and therefore necessary to each other. In the specific money and societal context of this book, the Yin-Yang notion refers among other qualities to the polarities of cooperation-competition, egalitarian-hierarchical, intuitive-logical, feminine-masculine, etc. The usefulness of this concept will become more obvious when the archetypal map will be generalized; applied to classify different types of money systems which have existed historically, or some that are now in the process of re-emerging.
C.G. Jung was one of the first to express regret that our culture is not more familiar with this concept: “Unfortunately, our Western mind, lacking all culture in this respect, has never yet devised a concept, nor even a name, for the ‘union of opposites through the middle path’, that most fundamental item of inward experience, which could respectably be set against the Chinese concept of Tao.”22 So if I am using the Yin-Yang vocabulary, at the risk of appearing exotic or New Age, it is simply because we don’t have precise equivalent words in our Western languages.
The Yin-Yang concept now will be explicitly23 integrated in the scheme of the Jungian theory of shadows as shown in the following Figure (Figure 1.2). It shows that the two shadows form a polarity in which the Tyrant is what Taoists would call an “excess Yang” deviation of the Archetype, while the Abdicator embodies an “excess Yin” imbalance. Psychologist point to this same process when saying that the archetypal energy “inflates the Ego” in the former case; or “weakens” it in the latter.
Consciousness can be seen as a personal theater where the Ego (i.e. the conscious perception of the individual self), the personal unconscious and the collective Archetypes all play their respective roles. Since the Ego is unaware of these other actors, it normally has the illusion that it alone is in charge, operating under its own “free will.” However, as long as someone is afraid of a shadow, the Ego will tend to remain stuck in the fear-ridden axis between the two shadows and invariably “act out” one of them. In short, an Ego who has not learned to properly access an archetype will be possessed by that archetype’s shadows. This is graphically illustrated in the following figure for the case of the Sovereign archetype and its shadows.
Furthermore, someone who is stuck with one of the shadows will automatically tend to attract around him or her, people who embody the opposite shadow. A Tyrant will tend to be surrounded by Abdicators, and vice versa. All this illustrates the well-known psychological quandary that whatever we do not accept in ourselves (i.e. our shadows) we will tend to project onto others and our surroundings.
The only way to escape from the control of Shadows is to embrace them, i.e. to stop being fearful of either shadow. For example, King Solomon – the biblical figure who represents a fully integrated Sovereign King – was neither afraid of being very harsh nor very lenient, as the situation demanded. The episode in which he threatens to cut a child in two to reveal which one of two quarreling women is the real mother is an illustration of this capacity.
Figure 1.3 below shows graphically what happens when someone has succeeded in embracing the two shadows: it frees the Ego to move toward integration with the Archetype and can continue until the Ego coincides with the Archetype itself. This is what is meant with “integrating the archetype.”
The relevance to the money system of this Yin-Yang polarity of shadows is the following. The two key emotions that all modern financial markets exhibit greed and fear of scarcity – are clearly related to each other by fear. Furthermore, greed – the need to relentlessly accumulate – is definitely Yang-type energy, while scarcity is Yin. These emotions have therefore all the features of shadows. They have become so universal in today’s world that we take them for granted…
22 Jung, C.G. Collected Works (translated by R.F.C. Hull) Vol III, pg 203
23 Some recent scholarship claims that Taoism is the underlying backbone of Jung’s entire work and life. See Rosen, David The Tao of Jung (New York: Viking Arkana, 1997).
What follows only makes explicit what Jung himself seems to have implied. “What is meant by the Self is not only in me but in all beings, like the… Tao. It is psychic totality.” Jung, C.G. Collected Works Vol X. Civilization in Transition pg 463. Similarly, Jung’s work on Mysterium Coniunctionis uses the alchemical model of “chemical marriage” which is just another metaphoric language to refer to the union and balance of Yin and Yang.
…The Shadow is not the enemy
It would be quite logical to consider the shadow as “the enemy.” It is by definition the problem of which we would most like to rid ourselves, the face we do not want to acknowledge, the aspect of ourselves that would elicit the most disapproval by our culture, our family, and in our own eyes. However, one of the paradoxes of “consciousness growth” is that the Shadow is also our taskmaster, relentlessly needling us to evolve toward our next evolutionary stage. When the Ego has narrowed the feelings to an C.G. Jung “acceptable range” – the image as to what is proper and appropriate – when all personal power is used to maintain or fake that image; it is at that point that the Shadows begin to haunt us. They take us to places where we would prefer not to go. But they also reconnect us with our vulnerability, open us up to new depths that we had forgotten we had. Therefore, the shadow is not the enemy. Paradoxically, the enemy is our reluctance to face and embrace the shadow.
James Hillman points out that shadow work is our deepest soul work. The suffering it causes is the prelude to the re-awakening of the sacred in daily life, in our relationships and our work. This idea is not a recent one; many wise people mentioned it repeatedly in the past… Working on how we deal with money and its shadows is therefore a soulful pursuit. Growth in consciousness, collectively and individually, is available through such work, just as powerfully as when we work on integrating the shadows of our relationships, our community, and ourselves. Whatever we have learned from dealing with these other shadows can be called upon to gain some clarity and wisdom on how to deal with the money taboo.
“The map of the human psyche that I will use as my starting point in this endeavor is the one developed by the two Jungian psychologists Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette26. It is based on Jung’s quaternio structure, i.e. a structure of four major archetypes. In this case the four major archetypes are the Sovereign, the Warrior, the Lover and the Magician. It has the advantages of being simple and including only some of the best-known archetypes found in all cultures.
Notwithstanding its simplicity it captures a broad range of human experiences. This quaternio is illustrated graphically with its corresponding shadows in Figure 1.4. (Yin shadows are in italics).
The Sovereign is the integrating force at the core of the psyche. As discussed earlier, this archetype represents the Higher Self, which (when healthy) mobilizes, accepts, and integrates the forces of all the other archetypes. In turn it makes the necessary sacrifices (from sacer facere literally “making sacred”) for the good of the whole. It is androgynous (both male and female, integrating the energies of both the King and the Queen). Its two shadows, as seen earlier, are respectively the Tyrant and the Abdicator.
The Warrior masters discipline, asceticism and force. The Warrior protects what needs protecting, expands for the common good, and destroys what needs to be eliminated to enable the blossoming of new life and forms. The ideal of the Western Medieval knight and the Samurai in the Japanese tradition embody this archetype. Its original usefulness came from hunting and/or avoiding being hunted by animals of prey.27 Its two shadows are respectively the Sadist (Yang shadow) and the Masochist (Yin shadow). From the ancient Assyrians who flayed and impaled men alive for sport to the GI’s collecting Viet Cong penises as trophies, the Sadist shadow has been with us for a gruesomely long time.
The Lover masters play and display, sensuous pleasure without guilt. It is the power of empathy and connectedness to other people and everything else. The Lover is particularly sensitive to art and beauty. Its two shadows are respectively the Addicted Lover (Yang shadow) and the Impotent Lover (Yin shadow). Addictions have become one of the most universal features of Modern society. Some addictions have been made illegal, such as heroin or crack cocaine; others are quite legal, such as alcohol, tobacco, and coffee; and some are actually encouraged in our mainstream contemporary culture, such as workaholicism, co-dependency, and addictions to control.28
The Magician masters knowledge and technology in the material world (through crafts, science, technologies) as well as in the immaterial worlds (shaman, healer, priest or priestess) or the connections between both (alchemists, Magus). Its two shadows are respectively the hyper-rationalist Apollonian know-it-all on the Yang side and the indiscriminate Dionysian energy on the Yin side. It is important to distinguish between Reason and hyper-rationality. I do not want to deny the relevance or need for Reason, including logical rigor or the beauty of elegant reasoning. However, hyper-rationalism arises when Reason claims to have the monopoly of legitimate interpretations of reality, when it claims that the only valid thinking is separate from any emotional perception or background…
…Each one of these archetypes is active both at the individual and at the collective level.
At the personal level, the best way to identify an archetype is by the way it feels, by reconnecting with the corresponding emotions and personal life experiences that characterize that archetype. Later, some archetypal games will be offered to achieve that aim.
At the collective level we also have organizations that embody these archetypal energies. For instance, government plays the role of the Sovereign; the army and corporations carry most of the Warrior energy; academia, science, technology and religion perform the Magician’s activities. The Lover is expressed in the Arts, but it is significant that in our societies most other expressions of that archetype have been limited to private life.
The above quaternio was the basic reference map (Figure 1.4) with which I started off trying to understand the emotions built into our money system. Yet after a while I had to give up: this map just could not explain the emotions that are observed in our collective money game. What was wrong?
That is how I got involved in an intriguing archetypal detective story…
…Question: How would Inspector Hercule Poirot (the Belgian Sherlock Holmes) discover that an important archetype is missing in the archetypal map of Figure 1.4?
A hint: If an archetype is deeply repressed in a society, it will not show up in its dominant mythologies. Elementary, my dear Watson.
The answer is that:
• A repressed archetype would reveal itself by big “fingerprint” shadows in a society;
• One would know that two shadows belong to the same archetype when they are in Yin-Yang polarity and strongly linked by fear;
• And finally, these shadows would be considered as “normal” human behavior and feelings.
I then remembered that there has been a rather important archetype – the Great Mother – that has been systematically repressed in Western civilization. Furthermore, its shadows fit like an iron gauntlet on the emotions that characterize our relationships with money as shown in Figure 2.1.
Figure 2.1 The Great Mother (Provider) Archetype and her shadows
These two shadows fit indeed all three of our detective’s criteria:
1. Greed and the fear of scarcity are quite prevalent in our societies, and have been for extensive periods of time.
2. As mentioned in the previous chapter, these two shadows form a Yin-Yang polarity, and are linked by fear.
3. They are considered “normal,” in fact so normal that Adam Smith felt the need to develop a whole theory – called economics – whose purpose is to allocate scarce resources through the means of the individual desire to accumulate. I will revisit Adam Smith’s theories later in this chapter.
Our detective would search for evidence in support of this intuitive leap forward, aiming at establishing the following three points:
• That the Great Mother archetype was present and active when money was invented;
• That there is evidence of an important direct connection – beyond the coincidence of time periods – between money systems and the Great Mother archetype;
• That the Great Mother archetype was later repressed and that this affected the money system
[He then goes on to uncover the evidence in the book for each of these points, and if you are interested, his book makes for fascinating reading.]
26 Moore and Gillette have developed their quaternio map in five books, one for each archetype, and one presenting a synthesis of their approach. They are King, Warrior, Magician, Lover (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1991); The King Within (New York: William Morrow, 1991); The Warrior Within (New York, William Morrow, 1992), The Lover Within (New York: Avon Books, 1993) and The Magician Within (New York, Avon Books, 1993). I made a number of modifications to make them more gender balanced. For instance, I use the Sovereign (Queen + King) instead of the King.For our purposes here, I have also modified some attributes of the shadows (for example the shadows of the Magician become the “hyper-rational, Apollonian” and the “indiscriminate Dionysian” instead of “know it all” and “dummy”) . It would be cumbersome to identify each one of such changes in the current text, so the system presented here will in fact integrate elements from the original authors and some of my own. Finally, I will introduce soon an additional archetype – the Provider/Great Mother – as a fifth Archetype to complete the map of the Archetypal Human.
27 The theory of the hunt is the traditional anthropological interpretation, the one of being hunted is more recently developed in Ehrenreich, Barbara : Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War (New York: Metropolitan Books, 1997).
28 For a thought provoking inventory see Schaef, Anne Wilson: When Society becomes an Addict (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987).
pp. 26 -32
Having gotten a gist of what archetypes are and the shadows that manifest when they are repressed individually and collectively, I would proceed with illustrations from the manuscript that would build up a picture of a complete archetypal human, their shadows and how the yin-yang polarities of the shadows seem to bring out the same yin or yang coherence in the individual and why opposite shadows between individuals attracts, and how this manifests at the collective level in dysfunctional disorderly emotions and behaviour.
While going through them, try to determine which shadows exist in your life, that in the institutions where you work, and the community within which you live, and how we can bring these shadows to consciousness and work on them to overcome the chronic maladaptive fears that keep them repressed.
By identifying our vulnerabilities and releasing the fear of them and seeing them not as enemies but taskmasters guiding our inner world maturation to a more integrated and individuated person, the scales from our mind’s eyes would be cleared and we would begin to see ourselves and that of society in a more loving and empathic light. Eventually your interactions with yourself and that of others would improve and the level of trust and empathy and cooperation would improve. And if we collectively work together to mutually improve our society, maybe, just maybe, all of our institutions from our families, schools, churches, businesses and government will no longer be shadows of darkness, distrust, and mis-managed by dysfunctional disorderly mis-leaders, but would now be stewarded by fully functional life-coherent leaders.
Figure 3.4 Archetypal Human and Relationships to Others and the Universe
1. Archaic Structure: started about 1 to 1.6 million years ago in hominids (Homo Erectus). This structure of consciousness has no concept of time or death; life is succession of “here-now’s.” Sensations and feelings exist, but are not conceptualized; there is no concept of “good” or “evil.” It is a the stage of consciousness we still visit every night in deep sleep (theta brainwaves).
2. Magic Structure: began probably around 150,000 years ago.
The concept of time and death emerges; rituals are being developed. The first elites are magi/shamans divining and influencing the universe. Emotions are the key basis of perception. It is the stage we still visit as part of normal sleep and biofeedback (alpha brainwaves).
Economic activity appears in the form of the first (stone age) manufacturing, accompanied by barter exchanges.
3. Mythic Structure: began between 25,000-3,000 years ago depending on regions. First matrifocal societies, followed by early “Civilizations” founded with social rules imposed by elites to gain control over the “Gods.” Beginning Patriarchy where mythological figures become predominantly hierarchical male Gods. Imagination becomes the main basis of cognition. It is the state we still visit in dreams (“rapid eye movement” sleep) and daydreaming.
Appearance of first systematic specialized productions (first stone artifact “factories”, later bronze and metallurgical productions). Money is invented.
4. Rational Structure595: began about 3,000 years ago and accentuated particularly over the past 500 years with a climax in the West over the past 200 years. It is the latter period described earlier (Chapter 1) among the successive layers of civilizations leading to the Western mind. It is the state we call rational reflection, that has been bestowed with the monopoly of legitimate interpretation of reality as Patriarchal Yang energy became triumphant.
Economic growth without consideration of environmental impact. Modern economies develop.
5. Integrative Structure596: just beginning now in the form of a subculture that Paul Ray has labeled Cultural Creatives (explained below). It integrates non-linearity, multiple causality as well as acausal relationships in perception of reality. E.g. holistic medicine, environmentalism, post-capitalist economies as described by Peter Drucker597. Given its importance for our topic, we will return in more detail to this Integrative structure later.
595 Gebser distinguishes between a “Mental” structure and a “Rational” structure, the latter of which he describes as a “deficient form of the mental consciousness structure.” I will follow Kamenetzky in calling both “Rational.” But I will handle Gebser’s “deficient form” issue as the “hyper-rational”, i.e. the shadow phenomenon of the Magician.
596 Gebser calls this the “Integral, aperspectival, and arational” Structure, I prefer “Integrative” following Kamenetsky because it describes the process, and not a static result. As will be demonstrated in Chapter 12, I have come to the conclusion that we have started to create the “Integrative” Consciousness structure, but it may take a few centuries or millennia before we reach a fully “Integral” structure.
597 Drucker, Peter Post-Capitalist Society (New York: Harper Business, 1993) and The New Realities: In Government and Politics, in Economics and Business, in Society and World View. New York: Harper Business, 1995). pp. 241-242
“This figure illustrates three phenomena:
On the one side, the Archaic and Magic consciousness structure is quite compatible with the Great Mother archetype, because the unitary consciousness, the immersion into the whole, the participation mystique with nature were “natural” states in these two oldest structures of consciousness. They were also quite consistent with the Great Mother archetype. On the other side, we have already seen that the Rational consciousness structures fit like a glove with the world-view of the Magician archetype.
In consequence of the above, as consciousness evolved from the earlier structures to the Rational one, the Great Mother archetype would be automatically left out in the cold. The big arrow redirecting the energy from the Great Mother archetype to the Magician in Figure 8.3 shows this graphically.
However, as the Integrative consciousness manages to re-integrate the Magic and Archaic structures automatically the Great Mother archetype will return into focus. Vice versa, the honoring of the Great Mother archetype will mean in practice re-legitimizing processes such as emotions, story telling, intuitive inputs, and other non-linear, non-rational approaches for perceiving and interpreting reality. The difference with the past is that both archetypes that relate to our interpretation of the universe – the Magician and the Great Mother – will be active at the same time and complement each other.” pp. 244-245
Appendix A: A Brief Glossary
Archetype: A recurrent image that patterns human emotions and behavior, and that can be observed across time and cultures.
Ego, Conscious and Unconscious: A good metaphor for these psychological concepts comes from a non-psychologist – Joseph Campbell. He uses a graphic definition as follows.638 The psyche is a circle emanating from a center, the soul from where all our energy comes. The horizontal line represents the separation between the conscious and the unconscious.
The unconscious is the theater where Archetypes and Shadows play out their favorite scenarios. This unconscious has in turn two layers: the individual and the collective unconscious.
The Ego is that aspect of our consciousness with which we identify as our center. But the Ego is in fact way off-center. We tend to believe the Ego is running the show by itself, while in fact it is only one of the actors in the scene.
638 Campbell, Joseph with Moyers, Bill The Power of Myth (New York: Doubleday, 1988) pg. 142
Fiat Currency: A currency created out of nothing, by the power of an authority. For example: all our conventional national currencies, including the Euro, are fiat currencies. p 285
Individuation: A concept initially introduced by C.G. Jung, referring to the conscious realization of one’s unique psychological reality, including one’s strengths and weaknesses. It is the final result of the integration of the shadows of all five archetypes. Full individuation is still a rare human achievement at this point of our evolution. p. 285
Integral Economy: an economic system that has achieved a balance between the Yin and Yang economic circuits, creating and nurturing respectively social and financial capital, while respecting at the same time both physical and natural capital.
An Integral Economy is claimed to be indispensable for a truly sustainable society to function. One way to achieve that is to have Yin and Yang currencies operational as dual, complementary monetary systems. An integral economy supports the spiritual human evolution towards integration and individuation, in ways that a purely Yang economy cannot achieve. (Chapter 9).
Integration and specifically Integration of an Archetype: process of losing the fear and embracing of the two shadows of that archetype. It frees the Ego to move toward integration with the Archetype and can continue until the Ego coincides with the Archetype itself, accepting its full energy by dissolving into it. If all archetypes are integrated, a human has achieved full individuation.
Matriarchal means that women dominate an official governance system which excludes men from power (see Patriarchy as the prototype). It appears at this point that this is a mythical form of society for which no archeological or historical evidence has yet been found (e.g. the Amazon society imagined by Greek mythology).
Matrifocal means that the focus of both the mythology and of the system of rewards and appreciation in a society is honoring the feminine. In contrast with Matriarchal societies, there are many examples of Matrifocal societies. These two concepts are sometimes assumed to overlap, but they are not the same. For example, Dynastic Egypt was certainly not matriarchal (particularly not in its public administrative functions); but both its mythology and the social reward system were honoring the feminine, justifying that it be called a matrifocal society.
Modernism: A worldview that started with the European Renaissance and became the dominant one during Modern times. Its main values are secularism, universalism, personal freedom and achievement, leading to upward mobility and specifically financial materialism. Organizationally, Modernists believe in the management and technological practices that have arisen from the Industrial Age, including traditional economic theory. They believe that technology will ultimately prevail over all problems. Modernists today still dominate almost completely the media and the other two main contemporary subcultures: Traditionalists and Cultural Creatives. See details in chapter 8 and in Ray, Paul & Anderson, Sherry: The Cultural Creatives (New York, Harmony Books, 2000)
Cultural Creatives: An emerging subculture which was still statistically insignificant 25 years ago (less than 3% of the adult population); but represents in the year 2000 about 29% of Western adult population, and is growing by about 1% per year. Its main values are environmentalism and self-actualization (i.e. inner growth as opposed to exterior social prestige). Quality of personal relationships is critical to them as well as the need to rebuild community. They are one of the three main subcultures in Western society (with Traditionalists and Modernists), but are the only ones that are typically unaware of their own importance in numbers. See details in chapter 8; and in Ray, Paul & Anderson, Sherry: The Cultural Creatives (New York Harmony Books, 2000)
Money : An agreement within a community to use something as a means of payment.
Mutual Credit currencies: currencies that are created as a simultaneous debit and credit among participants themselves at the moment of a transaction. Typical contemporary examples include Time Dollars and Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS, Talent, etc.)
Patriarchy: “manifestation and institutionalization of male dominance over women and children in the family, and by extension in the society. It implies that men hold power in all the important institutions in society and that women are deprived of access to such power.”639 Such important institutions include religious, social, political, economic and educational organizations.
639 Lerner, Gerda The Origins of Patriarchy pg 239.
Shadow: Manifestation of an archetype when it is repressed. It can be repressed individually and create an individual shadow; or collectively when it creates a collective shadow. It is always characterized by a permanently embodied fear.
Yin-Yang: Taoist concept of relationship between polarities. Figure 3.2 presents a list of the polarities most relevant for the study of money systems.
Yang Currency, Economy: A Yang currency is one whose issuance is based on hierarchy, which encourages accumulation in the form of currency, and which tends to generates competition among its participants. All conventional national currencies are Yang currencies, because they exhibit each one of these features. This is why the competitive economy that they fuel will be called the “Yang economy”. The Yang economy tends to build financial capital.
Yin Currency, Economy: A Yin currency is one whose issuance is based on egalitarianism, which discourages accumulation, and which encourages cooperation among its users. Well-designed complementary currencies will tend to activate a cooperative “Yin economy”. The Yin economy tends to build social capital.