This month as I am focusing this site on how understanding and working with the Elder Leader archetype can help us to achieve our better endings, I find myself thinking more than usually about how the Elder Leader archetype manifests in the world and in my own consciousness. This morning I awoke thinking about this in relation to the idea of POSTULATES and how these orient and direct our actions.
On the level of common human experience it hardly matters what any of our belief systems might be. Atheist, existentialist, agnostic, or theist, we all make our way through life applying conceptual frameworks of one sort or another and operating as if this framework is naturally so.
When I was in my teens into early adulthood, I read a lot of Albert Camus and other existentialists (Nietsche, Beckett, Sartre, Kierkegaard) and at the time this shaped my perceptions and guided my actions considerably. If there is no absolute purpose or meaning to life, I felt then, with Camus I accepted great personal responsibility for the creative unfolding of my little lifetime. “To live and to create in the midst of the Desert” became a creed for me to follow.
Now of course, not all existentialists (or atheists or agnostics) accept this same credo of creative engagement as an answer to the relative or potential meaninglessness of existence. There is wide latitude with this spectrum of outlooks. Some find life to be quite stark; Camus opens his book of essays The Myth of Sisyphus with the line: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” (http://users.humboldt.edu/jwpowell/sisyphus.htm). How a person answers such monumental questions, based on whatever considerations they allow “in” from influential factors and in response to life conditions, shapes their outlook on life and their capacity to act in accordance with postulates they might thereby forge.
Ethics follow from the postulates we hold. The new Star Wars movie (Episode VII) dramatizes quite well differences that may result from holding nihilistic as versus spiritualistic or theist outlooks as true. Genocide, selfish greed and egotism flow from the “Dark side” of the life force; camaraderie and reliance on inner awareness and harmonious synergy determines action from being grounded in the more positive, life affirming “Light side.” Consider though, that these are not equal in the outcomes they inspire, at all. Spoiler alert: Kylo Ren (the newest villain, grandson to Darth Vader) kills his own father from even a playful, evil glee; with no apparent remorse whatsoever. And this is not just scifi fiction (wish that it were!); such outlooks on life and such behaviors permeate our collective realities daily in this age of mass murders and political and so-called religious terrorist plots aiming to draw attention to extreme violence perpetrated against strangers or even family.
For the past forty-two years in my life I have adopted more of a theistic/spiritual outlook, and I find this frames my postulates about life and informs my attitudes and behavior quite differently from my earlier existentialist viewpoint. I still get Camus’ or other non-spiritualistic postulates to live life as NOT under the constant purview of Church or God or congregational fervor or communal judgementalism, but not all spiritualistic postulates require this either. On the other hand I value deeply the sense of holistic interconnectedness with Life Itself—with nature and Cosmos and Spirit inflecting through all! I enjoy the camaraderie of synchronicity and the acceptance and deeply felt sense of the Sacredness of each and every form and inflection of the life force, as noncorporeal Spirit and as embodied Soul. From this vantage point I accept and welcome supra-dimensional at-one-ment with nonphysical and physical agencies that help me consider my every step in life, though it remains my responsibility to set my postulates and frame my ethics and to live accordingly.
Unconditional love becomes (for me) a primary postulate from this spiritualistic outlook.
images are from pixabay.com
What I am saying is that each of us develops—among and interactively with other archetypal persona traits—our own Elder Leader faculties that help us forge and express our postulates day by day and that inform and can shape or allow our behavior. We get to choose—we must choose—what sorts of archetypal forms we accept and enact of ourselves—i.e. Strength or Shadow Elder Leader formations. Hence we are responsible for the postulates that guide our footsteps, and for the consequences that flow from these.
I always welcome your insights and stories.