The poet Shaky Shergill has been thinking about masculine archetypes and has come to the conclusion that he’d like to be a little less warrior, a little more lover.
—This is article #82 in our series of #100Voices4Men and boys
Recently in a men’s group that I’m part of talk turned to warrior energy and connecting with a man’s inner warrior. Of all the archetypes (forms used to describe parts of the unconscious) prevalent in the masculine psyche one of the most common is that of the warrior.
The warrior archetype represents many things to many men. The most common of these are; loyalty, decisiveness, and discipline. At times it feels as if it’s easiest for many men to access the warrior archetype because that’s the way that society expects and wants them to be. Warriors, those who use their focus and determination to protect themselves and what’s theirs.
As much as I admire these traits and the men who can access them readily I can’t help feeling a longing for the masculine archetype that I relate to most closely being seen and recognised. This is the archetype of the lover; where the warrior is about doing, the lover is about being and connecting, where the warrior is decisive and disciplined the lover is boundless and organic.
Connecting to the love archetype
For me the lover archetype is all about connection. This connection can be with myself or the rest of creation. The lover’s longing is manifested in the need to accept and bond with everyone and everything. The lover can be like Rumi or Hafez longing for blissful union with the beloved or seeing everything as the beloved.
This union can be with something; natural, manmade or ephemeral. I believe some of the most inspirational and beautiful love poetry has been as a result of this longing for union.
It feels as if what is important for the lover is the desire to connect even if that connection is only felt through a longing for what is desired, the beloved. The lover works very much in the realm of the sense. S/he; feels, sees, caresses whereas the warrior considers, assesses and touches.
Men want to save the world
In some ways the lover has an energy that may seem foreign to many men. The warrior’s decisiveness and discipline speaks to us as men who want to act and do. We want to change the world, save the beauty and generally be an all-round hero.
However the passivity of the lover and his desire to do nothing but wait, long for and yearn can feel unusual. Perhaps it’s because in most cases as boys were not taught to sit and wait, even in childhood our games involve running, jumping and chasing with those coming last deemed to be less worthy.
I wonder if those men who connect more strongly with the lover archetype do so because of those childhood experiences or have those experiences in childhood because they connect with the lover archetype. Either way a man is born who longs to connect, to share and be.
At times this longing doesn’t feel welcome in the modern world. A world where we are taught to see divisions and differences rather than similarities.In a world where wants and desires can be fulfilled almost instantaneously the lover’s longing seems to be both alien and self-indulgent.
However I believe that we are as much a part of this world as anyone else because we love it and want to be loved by it in all its forms.
—Picture credit: The Pug Father
Shaky Shergill’s writings can be found at the his website, The Warrior Poet.
You can find all of the #100Voices4Men articles that will be published in the run up to International Men’s Day 2014 by clicking on this link—#100Voices4Men—and follow the discussion on twitter by searching for #100Voices4Men.
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