Read an Excerpt
The Stages of the Journey
The messages our culture gives us about the relative roles of Ego, Self, and Soul can be confusing and contradictory. Most management literature focuses on a healthy Ego, to the exclusion of both Self and Soul. Political theory tends to focus on such Ego concerns as equal access to jobs, pay, education, and status. Psychology generally emphasizes healthy Ego development, and many psychologies do nothing else.
Transpersonal psychology, as well as the better part of contemporary religion (whether Eastern or Western), develops the Soul and Spirit, but many times to the detriment of the Ego. Often this takes the form of a conscious and explicit desire to get rid of the Ego so that the individual can bow completely to God's will. Only archetypal psychology honors all three, and sometimes even in it practical Ego concerns don't get their proper emphasis.
There is a crying need in the contemporary world to honor Ego, Self, and Soul and to recognize the ways that the Ego should be reeducated (not eliminated) when higher order transcendent functions are developed. Indeed, it is the union of Ego and Soul that makes possible the birth of the Self. As I have studied contemporary psychology, theology, politics, management, and self-help literature, I have become more convinced that it is possible for each of us to be happy, successful, "self-actualized," and spiritual. It is also possible to "follow our bliss" and still be a responsible citizen, parent, and friend and to live in responsible and loving community with others. The secret is to take the journey and find yourself.
The twelve heroic archetypesdescribed in Awakening the Heroes Within help our psyches develop. The three stages of the herds journey-preparation, journey, returnparallel exactly the stages of human psychological development: we first develop the Ego, then encounter the Soul, and finally give birth to a unique sense of Self. The journey of the Ego teaches us how to be safe and successful in the world; the journey of the Soul helps us to become real and authentic as we encounter the deepest mysteries of life; and the journey of the Self shows us the way to find and express our authenticity, power, and freedom.
The Ego is the "container" for our life. The Ego creates a boundary between us and everything else and mediates our relationship with the world. It also helps us learn to fit into the world as we know it and to act to change that world to better meet our needs.
The Soul, which Jungians equate with the unconscious or the psyche itself, connects us with the transpersonal. The Soul is also the repository of all the potential of the human species, potential that lies within each one of us, like seeds germinating and ready to sprout if external conditions are propitious (analogous to enough sun, water, and fertile soil). For people who believe in an afterlife, the Soul is the part of us that lives on after the body dies. But it is not necessary to believe in an afterlife to connect with Soul or to use the concepts in this book.
Mandalas of Ego, Soul, and Self
The illustrations that follow place each set of four archetypes in a mandala. According to Jung, the number 4 and the shape of the mandala are associated both with wholeness and with the discovery of the Self.
1. Place your score for each archetype in the box provided below it.
2. Add together your Innocent, Orphan, Warrior, and Caregiver scores to reach your aggregate Ego score. Place that number in the box provided for the heading "Ego."
3. Add together your Seeker, Destroyer, Lover, and Creator scores to reach your aggregate Soul score. Place that number in the box provided for the heading "Soul."
4. Add together your Ruler, Magician, Sage, and Fool scores to reach your aggregate Self score. Place that number in the box provided for the heading "Self."
The three stages of the hero's journey preparation, journey, return-parallel exactly the stages of human psychological development.