The world is used to macho images of Vladimir Putin hunting bears, harpooning whales or fly-fishing. A German TV journalists was recently granted unprecedented hunting lessons by the Russian prime minister. Vladimir Putin appeared as witty, well-informed and surprisingly likeable man, just harpooned…
I know this is off topic, but lets just look at it from the psychological point of view. I am certainly not a friend of Putin, but I am embarrassed. When you are not sure if Germans foreign policy and inadequate media can get any more confused, it hits a new low. A strong political male slaughtered an androgen neuter. The body language of both is very telling, but also from models based on a book of Robert Moore for whom the Jungian derived archetypes king, warrior, magician, lover are the pattern of matured masculinity.
It is a C. G. Jung based interpretation of masculine behavior and personality in the light of social context, mythology, poetry and art. Good book – that is if you cut out the New Age stuff. The book is loosely based on C.G. Jung using bipolar “shadows” and on his image from archetypal itself, nevertheless, extends it a little bit. Each of these four qualities owns a positive side and a shadow side and that model can be applied to this interview:
- The warrior (courage, concentration, motivation): Putin strongly is driven by the Warrior archetype (sales rep as street warrior) archetype that regulates how he interacts.
- The magician (intuition, wisdom): The KGB aspect of Putin’s life is represented by the magician (secrecy, manipulative).
- The lover (passion, empathy): The degree how Putin defines the world in foes and friends has a lot to do with this archetype. Passion can be seen, empathy I am not sure.
- The King (responsibility leadership): The managerial aspect of organisation is driven by the King archetype that decides how Russia performs. The degree of his political and economic success (and survival) has a lot to do with this archetype. His history and this interview shows an authoritarian side to say the least.
Putin’s counterpart seems to have too little on all of those four archetype but most lacking the warrior. His party membership seems to be the primary reason for his media position, true for many German journalists today, and he knew little of his trade, knew little period. One could also clearly see, that the current German generation lacks positive aspects of the warrior archetype. The Warrior archetype translates into vitality, competition, discipline, focus and determination. Warrior organizations usually have a cause and are able to enlist others striving for it. These organizations value the actions of the Warrior and recognize them with a number of rewards. Organisations with strong warrior energy are ready to exert themselves completely for an important aim. They are purposeful, persevering, and well prepare for her challenges. Putin knows his tools, was in control and acted.
Two years ago I went to a spiritual retreat in a catholic monastery led by a priest who holds a diploma in Jungian depth psychology. He based his group work on this Book on “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover – Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine” – a During one discussion the monk asked us – men of all walks of (middle class) live – which archetype we most like and describes us best. No one went for “The Warrior”. Now “The Warrior” is today the most controversial of the archetypes, because of the cruel acts perpetrated by its shadow side particularly in Germany. The prototype of the warrior is the soldier (a former KGB agent will do too). Yet aggressiveness (call it assertiveness) is a highly needed characteristic responsible for all personal achievements and those of our culture. Properly accessed, “The Warrior” can do a great deal to empower us to live our lives, provide self-discipline, and protect. The two shadow sides are the “too much” and the “too little” – the weakling being bullied. That “too little”could be clearly seen.
/1/ Archetypes can be applied on Nations or social groups.
/2/ Current German Culture clearly went on the “too little” side.
/3/ There are many reason for this like: lots of (good) men (and women) died in the war and many of them also left Germany before and after ww2.
/4/ Mediocrity stayed behind and imposed a “feminized male role imago” discrediting “The Warrior” even in its positive form.
/5/ Unfortunately suppressed shadows creep up in their negative form – be it skinheads with their Teutonic symbols, neo Nazi ideologies but also the righteousness of political correctness.