Confronting the Archetype of Domination
Rose can’t be stopped now. Dark clouds close in over the forest, causing the temperature to drop. The forecasted thunderstorm has arrived earlier than expected. Erik leaves the injured boy behind and turns to face Rose.
“You don’t scare me,” the man hisses, reaching down to grab a hefty stick of his own. “Come on, Pim. We can take her.”
But Pim is sneaking away into the forest, trying to escape.
“Fine!” Erik yells at his brother. “I’ve been in fights all my life. I don’t need you.” His eyes flash as he sizes up his opponent.
Lightning strikes the ground nearby. The deer stand alert, watching Rose, and so does the raven. Erik clenches his stick and gathers his energy for the attack. Pim finds a hiding place behind a tree and shits his pants. The boy’s body has collapsed on the forest floor. He doesn’t move. Sophia sees her opportunity and rushes to him. He is bleeding heavily in several places, and has passed out. Sam’s dog limps toward her, yelping in pain. The poor animal is barely able to walk.
The forest holds its breath; the air crackles with tension. Thunder clouds roll over the nearby fields and shake the trees of the forest. Rose lifts her stick. The dragon inside her rises up and gives her the raw force she needs. Erik strikes first. “CLACK!” Their sticks clash loudly. Lightning strikes again, this time even closer to where the fight is taking place.
“THIS STOPS NOW!” Rose yells with the full force of her Viking voice. Images of horrific violence, bloodshed, and human sacrifices flood into her mind; not just from the history of this place, but from all over the world. Mother Earth shows her how humanity has been under the cloak of this violence for eons. Each time it arises, they’ve given another justification for the insanity. Rose realizes with painstaking clarity that these nightmares will never cease unless we all declare that THIS STOPS NOW.
Rose is not just fighting Erik; she’s confronting violence itself, and with it, the pattern of domination and oppression that has plagued our world for far too long. She screams at the giant to wake up. Erik has now become a direct conduit for the giant of domination and the shadow forces of a violent darkness that have plagued this Earth for centuries. He is no longer conscious of himself.
The violent invasion of Ukraine by Putin and his Russian military is part of a much larger pattern that has plagued our Earth for far too long. “THIS STOPS NOW!” has to manifest as more than mere economic sanctions or the media focus on the latest aggressors in the human saga. The forest scene from above is from chapter 9 of Return of the Avatars: The Cosmic Architect Tools of Our Future Becoming, book 2 of the Future Humans Trilogy, which I co-authored with Dr. Jean Houston.
Rose plays the lead role in this allegory of the future humans, where fictional characters are woven together with real-life events and real-life characters to change how we play the game of life on planet Earth. See also our interview with Hazel Henderson and Dr. Mariana Bozesan who feature as real-life characters in book 2 of the trilogy to address the necessary mind-shifts and predatory patterns of mainstream economics and politics.
We wrote Return of the Avatars to start the inner journey for confronting and ultimately evolving, the archetype of domination in ourselves and in our systems and cultures. To become aware of how these archetypal patterns of violence and disunity play out, and to offer another way for evolving, developing, and sharing our planet and future. The archetype of domination has taken many different forms throughout history, yet ultimately this is a human lesson that concerns us all.
The build-up to violence and war is always complex, which is why superficial approaches or dualistic strategies won’t work. The bully Eric in the scene above beats up the boy Sam because he is furious about being found out and interfered with. The pattern of domination often plays out in this way, whether between nations, organizations, or people.
The archetype of domination will continue to rise up and act out as long as we give it a role to play in our lives and world. The archetype of domination can mobilize enormous ambition and frustration that create increasingly toxic power dynamics. When people are in the belly of this archetypal beast, they believe themselves to be larger than life and completely justified in their actions. The law and the systems of influence now serve them, or so they believe. The more they feel condemned and wronged by the world around them, the more forceful they become in their resolve to put everyone in their place.
This recent war in Ukraine is not just about how to stop Putin and his apparatus, it’s about stopping and transforming what is beneath it all. And this is a huge systemic task that includes our inner transformations of these violent patterns.
People all over the world are starting to wake up that our fundamental agency as Earth citizens has been undermined and eroded in so many different ways. The shadow dynamics of human divisions have been institutionalized and economized in almost all of humanity’s dominant cultures and systems.
The archetype of domination is part of our collective consciousness and will continue to rise up and cause havoc until we collectively decide THIS STOPS NOW, and act accordingly! When you confront the archetype of domination as a perceived liberator or persecutor, there is a real potential to become what you fight. It’s easy to get caught in the classic drama triangle. Here is another short section from chapter 8 of Return of the Avatars to illustrate this further.
“Grandma, this is all very interesting, but before we dive deeper into this particular subject, I’d like to ask you something else. It ties back to what we talked about earlier. Do you believe in evil powers or is power always neutral, and we make it good or bad? And what happens if we abuse the laws of nature to serve our own selfish agendas?”
“Why do you want to know, Rose?”
“Oh, no particular reason.” Rose’s cheeks flush pink. “I just want to better understand what magic is all about. And…you know…how we can protect ourselves from any subconscious manipulations of the puppet masters and the addictive algorithms of our social media programs.”
Verdandi suspects that the real reason for her granddaughter’s question has to do with Diego and her fascination with his power. “Be careful with those explorations, love. Evil is not an algorithm or program that you can decode and disarm. Evil is a kind of wicked and reversed intelligence that grows out of our own unconscious shadows. If we are not sufficiently self aware it can take over like a virus by animating its host with programs and promises that ultimately cause the person to self-destruct. Once it’s been able to hook you in, it won’t let go that easily.”
“But viruses aren’t evil,” Rose protests. “They’re part of nature. They play an important role in evolution.”
“Yes, my girl, they do, but they can also be highly contagious. Evil does not have inherent existence. It’s an illusionary state, but one that can be highly attractive and appealing to people. This reversed intelligence or shadow dynamic, as I prefer to refer to it, keeps us stuck in the drama triangle of the savior, victim, and persecutor.”
“What’s a drama triangle?” Rose asks. “I’ve never heard of that.”
“Neither have I,” Li adds.
“The drama triangle is commonly known through the work of Stephen Karpman, which is from before you were born, love. He called it the drama triangle to describe harmful interactions between people that keep us trapped in a loop of pain. Ask your dad more about it. I’m sure he uses this model in his therapy with people.”
“How does a person get into a drama triangle?” Li asks.
“We get into a drama triangle when, although wanting to help, we keep perpetuating the same problems by not resolving the underlying dynamics, and especially our own needs. We get stuck in a drama triangle between victim, rescuer, and persecutor if we identify with any of those roles to satisfy our own emotional needs, rather than examining the bigger picture of what’s truly causing this.”
“Oh, I see now why it’s so attractive to the shadow,” Rose says.
“Yes. The shadow uses any of these three roles to keep us from taking responsibility for our pain and emotional needs. It can project itself as an empathic friend who understands your pain completely and promises to rescue you in its role as savior, or else to convict those who harmed you in its role of persecutor. Or it may convince you to step into the role of savior, rather than helping people to heal their pain and remind them of their inner resourcefulness. Or it could lure you to get onto your high horse and right the wrongs for others, rather than helping the person who has been harmed to speak their truth and discover their own power to stop the abuse.”
“Interesting. So in each of these roles, there’s a kind of codependency, and even a kind of self-righteousness. It all sounds very dualistic,” Rose says.
“So how can I help a person who’s in pain without disempowering them?” Li wonders.
“By reminding them of their own healing power, their own authentic, inner voice, and their own wisdom,” Verdandi explains. “You can support a person who’s been hurt with your love, compassion, and friendship, but not by creating a dependency on you. Don’t try to save them from their pain or to make things right for them. And most importantly, don’t see a person who’s been hurt or wronged as weak or a victim. Remember the person is not the pain or the harm. They’re so much more than that. We each are a divine spark of the greater consciousness.”
“This is really helpful,” Rose smiles. “I do need to get to know my own shadow better.”
“So do I,” Li agrees.
“Good,” Verdandi replies. “And please remember that the shadow never shows its true face. It is always cloaked and masked as something you identify with and deeply desire. It doesn’t have a face of its own. It is a faceless construct that preys on our insecurities and hides in the darkness of ignorance, not the darkness of wisdom. It projects itself as a trusted friend who understands you completely. If it appeals to your victim complex, it will show you how you’ve been wronged. If it appeals to your savior complex, it will show you how to rescue those helpless beings who depend on your interventions. And if it needs to appeal to your persecutor complex, it will tell you all that’s wrong with the world and how to persecute those who need to be corrected.”
The ‘liberator’ feeds into the pattern of the archetype of dominance if the perceived ‘liberation’ is carried out dualistically from the power dynamics of the drama triangle. While the world is focused on the war in Ukraine and Europe, let’s not turn a blind eye on those who profit the most from war, and may even shout the loudest to condemn it. The archetype of domination feeds on the drama of shadow politics and economics, and will continue as long as we don’t shift the power structures underneath it all.
When you stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, please extend this also to the people of Russia who do not support the horrific acts of war and aggression that have been carried out in the name of their country. The same can be said for many other conflicts and wars. More than ever, this is the time to unite in our humanity and collectively become the miracle that our world is crying for right now. What can you do today to give peace a chance?
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