The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Part One – Chapter 1 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

Reproduced from:

Part One: Archetypes and Money 

“The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.”
Wallace Stevens1

“The Kingdom is spread out inside you and outside you. But you don’t see it.”
Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas2

Plan of Part One

Part One provides all the tools necessary for this book.

First we need to learn the language by which we can cogently describe collective emotions – the language of archetypes (Chapter 1: The Language of Archetypes).

Then we embark on a historical detective story to find out what happened to the archetype to which money relates most closely (Chapter 2: The Case of the Missing Archetype).

Finally, we build an archetypal map that captures in as simple a way as possible the broadest range of human emotions. (Chapter 3: The Archetypal Human).

It is this map of the Archetypal Human that will be tested later in Part Two against historical evidence; and in Part Three against some important real-life issues related to our contemporary money situation.

Core Ideas of Part One 

“Money is a singular thing.
It ranks with love as man’s greatest source of joy.
And with death as his greatest source of anxiety.”
John Kenneth Galbraith, Economist3

“The mind makes up the world,
And then claims it did not.”
David Böhm, Physicist

Western civilization has been characterized by three foremost taboos: sex, death and money. For centuries, they were topics that were considered inappropriate to bring up in “polite company”. The sexual revolution of the 1960s brought the first one into the open. The AIDS epidemic of the 1980s has made us face death, combined with sex, and talk about it even with our youngsters. This book proposes to tackle the last taboo: money.

The money taboo operates at both the individual and the collective level. It is considered quite improper to ask anybody about how much money he or she has, or where it comes from.

Collectively, there is a remarkable blindness about understanding how our money is really created out of nothing, about the fact that the particular type of money we currently use induces specific collective and individual programming, or even that it creates any emotional or behavioral programming at all.

During our current transition from the Industrial Age to an Information Age, much of what we have taken for granted is now being questioned like never before. Money is no exception. The introduction of the Euro, global monetary and financial crises, the need to rethink jobs in a post-Industrial economy, and the growing awareness of our responsibilities towards the environment all converge to make this unconsciousness about money one that we can’t afford any longer.

What can a fish know about the nature of water? It can’t apprehend it because it swims in it, lives in it. It has to jump out of it in order to gain a perspective. So it is for us with money.

Money is not a thing; it is an agreement within a community to use something as a medium of exchange. An incredible variety of objects or conventions have been used as money by different societies. But in all cases, just about everybody in each society takes completely for granted their own money system. It’s something inherited, and its use goes on unquestioned. This is still the case today, even for the vast majority of economists and financial experts. In other words, money tends to be an unconscious agreement. We swim in it. This is why we need to search for answers about the origin of the emotions around money in the collective unconscious of a society.

The work of Carl Gustav Jung and his followers in Archetypal Psychology provides us with a substantial and established conceptual framework with which to examine the collective unconscious. Using this tool, we will discover that money systems are an important reflection of a society’s perception about the material world, and the feminine in particular.

In societies where the feminine was not repressed, sex, death and money were not the taboo topics they have become in our modern world. Whenever the feminine was repressed, these topics split off from consciousness. As Jung puts it “that which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.” Therefore, in our world, we have become “fated” to have our lives run by our emotions around these three issues. Significantly, sex, death and money happen to be the three main attributes of one single archetype – the Great Mother – that has been the object of systematic repression for several millennia in Western history.

It is my contention that in order to become “whole” – individually and collectively healthy – we need to integrate these split-off energies back into consciousness. It cannot be enough emphasized, however, that reintegrating the Great Mother energies doesn’t mean switching from a patriarchal society to a matriarchal one. The sought-after outcome here is to find a new balance between both masculine and feminine energies, an equilibrium that honors the specific contributions of both genders. The ultimate reward pursued by this book is to bring to light our wounding about money, and thereby make it our servant instead of our master.

This archetypal approach also explains how the three main taboos of Western society – sex, death and money – all relate to each other, and why we should not be surprised to see them manifest historically together in the Modern world. For that same reason, we may now see them challenged – all three – within the time span of one generation.

To start at the beginning, we need to acquaint ourselves with the tools for our exploration – the archetypal language and its relevance to money.

Chapter 1: The Language of Archetypes

“That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.”
Carl Gustav Jung

“The dream you dream alone is only a dream.
But the dream we dream together is reality.”
Yoko Ono

Sign under a mirror in a zoo

Our starting proposition is that the kind of money used in a society is a reflection of the collective unconscious in that society. Exploring the unconscious dimension of money is not a trivial pursuit. Even professional psychologists do not always seem to have resolved the issue on a personal level (see sidebar).

Psychologists and Money

Freud identified money with excrement. However, “it is not that clear that the psycho-analytic fee, that pillar of the Freudian analysis, was so clinically self-evident as the founder made out.”4

A survey was made among the members of the American Psychological Association about the biggest professional taboo in relation to clients. It was not “revealing confidential client information”, not even “having sexual relationships with them.” The biggest taboo was “lending them money.”

“Money is as deep and broad as the ocean, the primordially unconscious…To find imagination in yourself or a patient, turn to money behaviors and fantasies. You both will soon be in the underworld (the entrance to which requires a money for Charon.)…That we cannot settle the money issue in analysis shows money to be one main way the mothering imagination keeps our souls fantasizing. To find the soul of modern man and woman, begin by searching into those irreducibly embarrassing facts of the money complex, that crazy crab scuttling across the floors of silent seas.”
James Hillman5

It is hoped that bringing these emotional mechanisms into the open will contribute to freeing us from the “fate” that Jung predicts about whatever we keep buried in the unconscious. So we need to dig up how and why our money system leads us by our noses, even to places none of us may consciously want to go.

This chapter will provide a synthesis of the vocabulary needed to explore this dimension of money. The best tool available to explore the collective unconscious is archetypal psychology. Two key concepts are introduced: archetypes and shadows.

They both elucidate how people get predisposed to feel and act in certain predictable ways. With these archetypes and shadows as building blocks, a map can be sketched of the way humans tend to act toward each other and toward the world around them.

Some Concepts of Collective Psychology

The field of Archetypal Psychology was pioneered by Carl Gustav Jung and further developed by scholars such as Erich Neumann, Joseph Campbell, Jolande Jacobi, Edward Edinger, Christine Downing, and Jean Shinoda Bolen. James Hillman formally founded a school of Archetypal Psychology.6 Among the better-known applications of Jungian collective psychology are the forecasts of fascism in Europe by Jung himself back in the 1920’s, or the dynamics behind the cold war period. However, for our purposes we need to grasp only two key concepts of that field: “archetypes” and “shadows” which will be defined below.


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.

Some Classical Approaches to Archetypes

Archetypes “tend to be metaphors rather than things… All ways of speaking of archetypes are translations from one metaphor to another…But one aspect is absolutely essential to the notion of archetypes: their emotional possessive effect, their bedazzlement of consciousness.” (James Hillman)7

Some of Jung’s own metaphors in this domain illustrate the point.

  • “Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when water deserts them, but which it can find again at any time. An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its old bed.”8
  • “Archetypes are complexes of experience that come upon us like fate, and their effects are felt in our most personal life. The anima no longer crosses our path as a Goddess, but it may be, as an intimately personal misadventure, or perhaps as our best venture. When, for instance, a highly esteemed professor in his seventies abandons his family and runs off with a young red-headed actress, we know that the Gods have claimed another victim.”9
  • “Archetypes are to the soul what instincts are to the body”10

It is important to realize that with such a definition we do not need to accept all the tenets of Jung’s psychological system (see sidebar for some more classical Jungian definitions).11 But the archetypal vocabulary will prove useful to describe behavior patterns of how humans relate to each other and to the universe around them.

I see the process by which archetypes play a role in human evolution in the vein of the historian Arnold Toynbee: as part of a cultural strategy to respond to collective historical challenges, by organizing the emotional dimension of life.

There are hundreds, even thousands of archetypes. For example, every mythological figure describes an archetype. All of our perennial stories stage archetypes. For instance, Joseph Campbell identified the “Hero with a Thousand Faces” as a universal and quintessential story. This Hero is found in Sumer (Gilgamesh) and Greece (Hercules), in the Middle Ages (Galaat, Gawain, or any other “Knight in shining armor”), as the fearless Samurai in the Edo Era, as “Superman” in the 20th century, or as a figure known only to Amazon tribes. “These hero myths vary enormously in detail, but the more closely one examines them the more one sees that structurally they are very similar. They have, that is to say, a universal pattern, even though groups and individuals developed them without any direct cultural contact with each other – by for instance, tribes in Africa or North American Indians, or the Greeks, or the Incas in Peru. Over and over again one hears tales describing a hero’s miraculous but humble birth, his early proof of superhuman strength, his rapid rise to prominence or power, his triumphant struggle with the forces of evil, his fallibility to the sin of pride (“hubris”), and his fall through betrayal or a “heroic” sacrifice that ends with his death.”12

Other archetypes are just as universal. For instance, the Biblical Salomon and Queen of Sheba embody the archetype of the wise Sovereign. The theme of Romeo and Juliet or the life of Marylin Monroe dramatizes the tragic Lover.

Photograph 1.1

(Moore & Gillette King central section) ¼

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, both representing the archetype of the Sovereign. Stained Glass window from Canterbury Cathedral, 13th century.

In our dreams each one of us regularly visits the archetypal realm. Advertisers, political campaign designers, and Hollywood movies extensively use archetypes to get you to feel or react a certain way. The systematic use of archetypes in successful movies has been formally acknowledged only recently by one of the leading scriptwriters in Hollywood.13 Any media stories that “capture the imagination of the masses” are invariably rich in  archetypal content. The fact that more than one billion people around the world, independently of their cultural affiliation, watched the funeral of Princess Diana reveals the archetypal nature of the tragic princess’ story. Stories which trigger national fascination point to aspects of the collective unconscious of the corresponding culture – for instance the U.S. fascination with the O.J. Simpson trial points to the racial wound in US history, and the media frenzy around Presidential sexual antics highlights the shadow of sexual repression in a Puritan culture. And Michael Moore’s “Bowling for Colombine” has explored the collective role of weapons and violence in the collective American psyche.

Jung claimed that “All the most powerful ideas in history go back to archetypes. This is particularly true of religious ideas, but the central concepts of science, philosophy, and ethics are no exception to this rule. In their present form they are variants of archetypal ideas, created by consciously applying these ideas to reality. For it is a function of consciousness not only to recognize and assimilate the external world through the gateway of the senses, but to translate into visible reality the world within us.”14

This book will show how any society’s money system – including our own – is precisely such a way of “translating into visible reality the world within us”, i.e. of projecting on and enforcing in the physical world mostly unconscious archetypal forces.


Besides archetypes, the other concept that will be needed to explore the collective unconscious of money is the Shadow. The origin of this concept was a dream that Jung described himself in his autobiography (see sidebar).

Jung’s “Shadow Dream”
(Extract from Memories, Dreams and Reflections)

“It was night in some unknown place, and I was making slow and painful headway against a mighty wind. Dense fog was flying along everywhere. I had my hands cupped around a tiny light, which threatened to go out any moment. Everything depended on my keeping this little light alive.

Suddenly I had the feeling that something was coming up behind me. I looked back and saw a gigantic black figure following me… When I awoke I realized at once that the figure was my own shadow on the swirling mist, brought into being by the little light I was carrying. I knew too that this little light was my consciousness, the only light I have.”

I will define a Shadow as the way an Archetype manifests whenever it is repressed.15

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.16 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.

Figure 1.1 The Archetype of the Sovereign and its two Shadows (Moore and

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.”18

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 (Chapter 4).

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 (Chapter 3); applied to classify different types of money systems which have existed historically (chapter 6 and 7), or some that are now in the process of re-emerging (Chapter 8).

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.”19 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 explicitly20 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.

Figure 1.2 The Ego, the Archetype of the Sovereign and its Yin-Yang Shadows

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.”

Figure 1.3 Integration of the Sovereign 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.

The next chapter will explain why this is so, but let’s first find out why paradoxically the Shadow should not be considered as an “enemy”.

Photo 1.1 a (1/4page)

’Darth Vader’ from George Lukas’ Star Wars fame re-enacts in new clothes one of the shadows of the Sovereign archetype: the Tyrant. Even his name plays a phonetic pun on that theme. When the mask is finally removed, an empty human is revealed, who is not in touch with his Higher Self. Any repressed archetype manifests in the form of one of its two polar Shadows: excess or a deficit of the energy of that archetype.

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 (see sidebar). When the Ego has narrowed the feelings to an “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.

The Master, the Butler and the Henchmen21

The Master of a large household needs to go abroad for an indeterminate length of time. He decides to leave his trusted, capable Butler in charge of his affairs. After many years, the Master returns, only to discover that the Butler no longer recognizes him; the Butler has come to believe he is the Master of the house. He even forgot how he got the job in the first place, and uses and abuses all his powers to maintain his position.

So the Master needs to send in his Henchmen. They appear to the Butler as ever growing obstacles to his work, as his worst fears – whatever these are specifically for him. Finally, after long and painful struggles, the Butler is humbled and forced to surrender to the Master’s greater power – the voice of the Soul, the Greater Self.

The false Ego (the Butler) can no longer reign supreme in the household. The Shadows (the Henchmen) will force him to surrender. So notwithstanding the breakdowns and suffering they impose, the Shadows are not the enemy.

“The experience of the Higher Self is always a defeat of the Ego.”
C.G. Jung

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 (see sidebar on next page below).

Shadow Work as seen by non-psychologists

“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.”



“I dreamt last night,
Oh marvelous error,
That there were honeybees in my heart,
Making honey out of my old failures.”

Antonio Machado


“The Dark is the Light we cannot yet see”

V.J. Shawkar


“Chaque ombre à son âme reconnait la lumière”
(Each shadow in its soul recognizes the light)

Christian Tzara


“If only it were all so simple!
If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds,
And it was necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.
But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.
And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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 next step will be to combine a set of archetypes and shadows in order to draw a useful map of the human psyche.

A Map of the Human Psyche

A map is a simplified model of reality that is useful because it highlights specific aspects, and ignores the superfluous. For instance, a road map emphasizes landmarks important for a driver, and ignores the geology, plant life and many other features less relevant for its purpose.

Many maps have been made of that most complex of all terrains: the human psyche. Each culture’s mythology and pantheon is such a map. For instance, Jean Shinoda Bolen provided two comprehensive maps based on Greek mythology, one for women and one for men.22

I will attempt to draw a map of the Archetypal Human, i.e. one single map that captures the essential aspects of both the male and female energy in a balanced way. My criterion in selecting archetypes for such a map is to capture as broad a spectrum of contemporary human emotions as possible, with a minimum number of archetypes. In other words, I will try to draw the simplest map with the most explanatory power.

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 Gillette23. 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).

Figure 1.4 Jung’s Quaternio of Major Archetypes (as interpreted by Moore and Gillette)

 An entire book is available about each one of these archetypes. Here a short synopsis of the key characteristics of each will suffice. [Editor: present text of each archetype and its corresponding picture on one complete page, or have them on facing pages?]

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.

Photograph 1.2-½ page

The archetype of the Sovereign (in this case the King), integrating all polarities. Richard I represents himself on his Seal as holding in his right hand the Sword of death, and in his left hand the Tree of Life. The sun and the moon, the cosmic symbols of the complementary masculine and feminine energies, surround him. Reproduction of the 2d Great Seal of Richard I ½ page

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.24 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.

Photograph 1.3 of Etruscan Warrior (Moore & Gilette Warrior color pg) ½ page

An Etruscan Warrior in terracotta (fifth century BC) captures the calm assurance of the warrior, master of his discipline and force.

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.25

Photograph 1.4 of Lovers (Rodin) (Moore & Gilette Lover pg 129) ½ page

Rodin’s Lovers in ecstatic play, display, and fusion. The Lover archetype breaks down the barriers and borders that the Warrior creates and protects.

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.

Photograph 1.5 of Einstein ½ page

The magician changes himself and the world by understanding and using the laws governing the different realms. Each century has magicians in its own style, ranging from Merlin and Faust to Einstein.

Anne Wilson Schaef26 succinctly described the three Yang myths under which the Apollonian hyper-rationalist shadow operates. That shadow is convinced that:

  • It is the only thing that exists;
  • It is innately superior because it knows and understands everything;
  • It is possible to be totally logical, rational and objective.

In Chapter 4 it will become clear why I am using the “Apollonian-Dionysian” mythological reference in this context.

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.


Table of Contents | INTRODUCTION











  1. Stevens, Wallace Reply to Papini.
  2. The Nag Hamadi Library in English (Leiden: E.J.Bril, 1984) Gospel of Thomas verse 3.
  3. Galbraith, John Kenneth The Age of Uncertainty Chapter 5.
  4. Buchan, James Frozen Desire: the Meaning of Money (New York: Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1997) pg 4.
  5. Hillman, James A Blue Fire (New York: Harper Perennial, 1989) pg 174.
  6. See a.o. Hillman, James Revisioning Psychology (New York: Harper Perennial, 1976) ; Blue Fire (New York: Harper Perennial, 1989) ; Suicide and the Soul (Dallas, Texas: Spring Publications, 1993); The Soul’s Code (New York: Random House, 1996)
  7. Hillman, James Revisioning Psychology (New York: Harper, 1976) pg. xix.
  8. Jung, Carl Gustav Collected Works Volume 10 Civilization in Transition pg 395.
  9. Jung, Carl Gustav “Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious” (1936) in Collected Works Volume 9 Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious pg 62.
  10. Elsewhere, Jung elaborates on this laconic statement: “To the extent that the archetypes intervene in the shaping of the conscious contents by regulating, modifying, and motivating them, they act like instincts.” (Carl Gustav Jung “On the Nature of the Psyche” in Collected Works Volume 8 The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche pg 408.
  11. Specifically, we do not need to accept the view that archetypes are hard-wired components of our genetically transmitted psychic system, or that archetypes have a life all of their own. My definition is therefore less demanding than Jung’s. Nevertheless I will occasionally use the typical Jungian shorthand that seems to give a life of its own to an archetype to avoid to repeat cumbersome expressions such as “this behavior occurs as if such and such an archetype inspires it.”
  12. Jung, Carl Gustav et al. Man and his Symbols (London: Picador, 1978) pg 101
  13. Vogler, Christopher The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers (Studio City, CA: Micheal Wiese Productions, 1998). German version: Die Odyssee des Drehbuchschreibers: Über die mythologische Grundmuster des amerikanischen Erfolgskino (Zweitausendeins, 2000).
  14. Jung, Carl Gustav “The Structure of the Psyche” (1927) in Collected Works Volume 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche pg 342.
  15. 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.”
  16. 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.
  17. Moore and Gillette’s The King Within (New York: Avon Books, 1992) pg 40.
  18. Jung, Carl Gustav et al. Man and his Symbols (London: Picador, 1978) pg 83.
  19. Jung, C.G. Collected Works (translated by R.F.C. Hull) Vol III, pg 203
  20. 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.

  21. Adaptation of the old Sufi story presented in Zweig, Connie & Wolf, Steve: Romancing the Shadow: How to Access the Power Hidden in the Our Dark Side (London: Thorsons, an imprint of Harper Collins, 1997) pg 18-20.
  22. Shinoda Bolen, Jean Gods in Everyman: A New Psychology of Men’s Lives and Loves (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989) and Goddesses in Everywoman: A New Psychology for Women (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1984).
  23. 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 ( Chapter 3: “the Case of the Missing Archetype”).

  24. 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).
  25. For a thought provoking inventory see Schaef, Anne Wilson: When Society becomes an Addict (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987).
  26. Schaef, Anne Wilson When Society becomes an Addict (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987) pg 7-8. Her name for the Hyper-rational shadow is the “Technocratic Materialistic Mechanistic” (TMM) model.

5 thoughts on “The Mystery of Money – Beyond Greed and Scarcity | Part One – Chapter 1 | Bernard Lietaer (2002)

  1. Money is a natural physical function as a behavioral pattern in the first place/ not a psychogical function, although on its turn it creates psychologies, like greed.
    So it’s a fruitless route trying to explain the fenomena from the perspective of psychology.
    A waste of time, although human psychology by itself is interesting enough.
    As long as its natural physical function (which is spacetime equation to put it simply) is not understood at all, it feels like talking to a chimpansee.

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