For this first episode in our series on Archetypes in Popular Culture, we will focus on the Jungian perspective of the feminine archetypes in the popular series, “The Crown.” In this episode we share what can you learn about the roles of the women in the series from Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, and Camilla Parker Bowles and how they are influenced by the archetypes.
- Understand the power of the feminine archetypes and how they unconsciously drive your life.
- Discuss the evolution of the feminine archetype in a woman to become her true self.
- Learn how to look beyond the characters into the archetypal story playing out in their lives and how you can change your life by understanding the forces of the unconscious.
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Welcome to Creative Mind Soul Sessions with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado, founders of Creative Mind. Explore personal growth with us through Jungian psychology, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience in a deep, but practical way. Let’s begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:01
Hello, everyone, welcome to Soul Sessions live. I’m Debra. And this is Rob, if you haven’t met us yet.
Robert Maldonado 00:32
Debra Maldonado 00:33
And we are starting a new series, we just finished up a series on entrepreneurship and personal growth and how that impacts a person, to step out into— do what they love, live their purpose, and how—
Robert Maldonado 00:48
—we push them into doing what they love.
Debra Maldonado 00:49
Yes, and how Jungian psychology and Eastern spirituality helps people understand that path that they’re taking. And so this series, for the next few weeks, we’re going to be talking about something really fun, because it’s the end of the year. And this is also one of my favorite topics is the archetypes and how they show up in popular culture. And one of the things I love about watching— why I love movies, I’m a movie buff, and Rob, that guy, loves them too.
Robert Maldonado 00:57
Netflix and chill.
Debra Maldonado 00:59
We have all the movie channels, we love to watch movies, but the thing we love about it is that afterwards we get to discuss or even during the movie, like the archetypes that show up in movies, and being in LA where there’s a lot of people that are into movies, and screenwriting and it’s just just a great understand— it’s a way to understand this kind of force that’s within us, we’re going to talk about what archetypes are, and how they influence our culture, how they influence our personal life, and how we can work with them and be more aware of them. So this episode is going to be about one of our favorite series, The Crown. And if you haven’t seen The Crown, we’re not going to give you any spoilers but you know the real life story. So nothing’s going to be big surprise. And we’re going to talk about the Queen, archetype of the queen, the mother, the princess, the lover, and the warrior, and the characters in that series. And those of you out there, you can relate to one of those characters of which— maybe different stages of your life. And we’re going to talk about that today. So, Rob, let’s start off with what are archetypes because a lot of people hear the term and it sounds so mystical, and how would you describe or how would Jung describe with an archetype is.
Robert Maldonado 02:24
Yes, to put it in perspective, if we go back to Freud, early 1900s—
Debra Maldonado 02:31
Let’s go back.
Robert Maldonado 02:33
His idea of psychoanalysis. And really the idea that there’s an unconscious mind in us, that is very influential in how we see the world and the kind of things that we do in the world was groundbreaking. Nobody had really brought that forth into popular culture, like Freud did, he was an excellent promoter of his work. And he just put it out there. And then Jung, of course, Jung and Adler kind of came along with him, but went off into different directions. And for us, Jung really took it to the next level, because he opened up the idea of, if you look at literature, if you look at art, you’re seeing something deeper of the expression of the psyche than just your personal neuroses. Like Freud had thought, you know, you’re seeing sexual images and these things or projecting these things. But Jung said “Yeah, there’s definitely some of that, but there’s deeper elements going on” which he called the archetypes. And the archetypes are, in a sense, in the Jungian sense, they’re creating our culture. And what he says is, they’re autonomous forces. So they’re very much like the Greeks thought of the gods, influencing and playing into human culture. That’s more the way Jung saw the archetypal work is that they are these psychic forces that are playing out in culture and politics, in cinema and literature. And so it’s a unique way of seeing the world that really gives us a way to understand it.
Debra Maldonado 04:22
And so from Freud’s point of view, he might have thought that the culture is created by our neuroses and our personal history, and this is humanity. And this is how humanity plays out. And we can think of, you know, centuries and centuries of being on this planet, we formed different cultural agreements, but— and the roles that we take on, but what Jung saw is that that predates humanity. Archetypes predate the humanity, they’re the building blocks of the universe and they take on characters, they take on themes, like hero’s journey is the archetype itself, the ego’s an archetype. So it’s not just saints. I know in Catholicism, there’s the Saints for different type of areas of life. So they’re kind of take on the archetypes, the Greek gods, and also what I loved about learning, well, Rob, you have your degree in undergrad in Fine Arts. So I didn’t study art growing up in New Jersey, that wasn’t always exposed to that kind of culture, going to see artwork with you and go to the great museums, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and looking at all these masterpieces, you see the archetypes in there. And for me understanding that part of the psyche helps me even have a deeper appreciation for the artist and for the art and it’s just fascinating. It just makes life more— more rich.
Robert Maldonado 05:52
Yeah, and so in The Crown, we see some very interesting archetypes being played out by these individuals.
Debra Maldonado 06:03
And we’re gonna focus— there’s also the male, but we’re gonna focus on the female archetypes. And when Tony Wolf studied with Jung, she realized that there were these four primary roles that women fell into, back in the Victorian days, and that was the mother-wife role, the lover role, the professional or the warrior role. And then the mystical role, though, she called it the medium, which is more like kind of the the nun or the witch, the witch that lives in it, who does the herbs, and she’s like, kind of outside of society. And so, as modern women, our roles are a little more complicated. We’re not just the mother, we’re not just the lover, we have a lot of— we’re the professional and the mother sometimes. And so by understanding these archetypes, we can understand a little bit of who we are. And so that’s some of the things we teach in our coach training, is helping a woman identify what’s their driving archetype? And then how do they balance out the others? And how do they work with the shadow around it. So let’s start with the first one, which is the Mother. Mother, but also the queen is sort of integrated with this, the Queen Elizabeth, because she is a mother, but she’s the mother of the state, kind of the ruler of the country.
Robert Maldonado 07:28
Absolutely. So this is an ancient archetype. If you look at history, monarchs, and kings, and queens were some of the first kind of archetypal images that you see in art, where you have this idea that the king, or the queen in this case, the queen is an incarnation of the Divine. She represents the Divine in human form. And therefore, it’s a way of people following the Divinity that’s guiding them in their everyday life. Now, the interaction between the personal, because the queen as a person has to have a persona, meaning a self-identity as an individual. And then there’s archetypal element that comes in, that falls upon her right, the current—
Debra Maldonado 08:37
The expectations of—
Robert Maldonado 08:38
The expectations of the role. Yeah, because it’s a huge role. And she talks a little bit about it in one of the seasons that the crown fell on her.
Debra Maldonado 08:51
Yeah, the crown is the kind of the archetype that she’s living under versus she’s creating the crown and the conditions for what the crown means. It’s like, no, the crown has already a pre-expectation that she doesn’t have control over when it’s kind of like that with archetypes, they are already set and you live into them unless you’re conscious.
Robert Maldonado 09:17
Yeah. And you see, before her, I think it was her uncle, right, who abdicated the crown, because it was too much. He went on to lose his personality, his ability to experience the world at the individual level.
Debra Maldonado 09:32
And choose who he loved.
Robert Maldonado 09:34
That’s right. And when you’re playing out the bigger role of the queen, you have to abdicate the personality, essentially, your individual identity, to play the bigger role. And not anybody can do that. As an individual, you have to hand it to her that she was able to do this.
Debra Maldonado 10:00
And then if we go down the line to the Princess, Princess Di, again, she’s the woman to inherit the crown. So she has all this expectation on her, she’s marrying the heir to the throne. And he, just like his uncle, was in love with someone else that wasn’t appropriate for the lineage of the crown. And so that archetype, he had to take on this archetype, that he in a way had a conflict with being the heir, and then choosing this woman who was appropriate. And so Diana got caught up in that whole system, she didn’t make a personal choice “I want to be the princess” and “I want to have my life”, she was basically forced into a role that she didn’t have any power over. And so she could see her anxiety and questioning, but also there is that, you know, also she can be the queen. So it’s like this conflict with that role. And then what’s expected of her and then feeling trapped in it. And many times, when we fall into that arc, when that archetype is driving, we don’t have any power over our choices, right?
Robert Maldonado 11:08
Yeah, that’s a good point. So you see this interplay between these cosmic forces and the individual. So does the individual have any control, and maybe control is too hard of a word, but more of a, let’s say, a relationship with this archetype. Because Diane, as an individual, she kind of sensed that she was meant to do something bigger. She had that kind of unconscious element already going in her. But she wasn’t aware of what it meant, right? What does it mean to enter into these bigger archetypal roles?
Debra Maldonado 11:56
It was said that she chose to stay a virgin because she knew she wanted to marry into the royal family, like she was preparing herself, like saving herself for that role. And then she didn’t— she was young, she didn’t realize what it entailed.
Robert Maldonado 12:11
Yes. So Jung would say at this point that the individual’s able to become conscious to some extent of the archetypal element, and in being conscious of that, then they’re able to make better choices. Whereas when it catches you unconsciously, in a sense, it sweeps you away in that force of destiny and history. You don’t really have any choice here, you’re kind of swept along without having any way of guiding your decisions.
Debra Maldonado 12:49
And what she did was instead of integrating her unique individual self with the role, she rejected the role and so she kind of went off on her own, she was kind of her own person, but then in that she fell out of the role because she didn’t stay in line with what the crown expected of her. So it’s like she broke the rules. She wasn’t able to integrate it.
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Robert Maldonado 14:25
Yeah, at the individual level, she was definitely struggling to adapt. If she had gone to a therapist—
Debra Maldonado 14:34
I wish I could have coached her.
Robert Maldonado 14:35
Yeah, she probably went through but she needed a Jungian coach, or it would be like an adjustment disorder that she was experiencing, right? Because she had trouble with her eating disorder and those kind of things, just kind of adjusting. She wasn’t comfortable, she wasn’t able to really cope with the demands of the archetypal role.
Debra Maldonado 14:57
It’s almost like this big role has— it’s a life of its own, like a costume. And then as she prepared to play the role, she felt kind of insignificant, like she couldn’t fill it up, you know, so the role crushed her versus became an extension of her. And I want to move on to also Camilla, which is the lover, and she is the typical woman the man loves but he can’t have, the unrequited love, the other woman. And so she also had this conflict because she did love Charles and Charles loved her, and the crown dictated the archetype. You know, it’s like these are the rules. You can’t be free to marry who you love. This is just not how it is. And she said, they’re gonna hate me if you leave her, Diana, because everyone loved Diana. And so it’s like she was in this very impossible situation and even now, I don’t know people in the UK, I don’t follow what’s going on over there. But even there probably is some, you know, looking at her like “Is she really that?” You know, like kind of still disdain for her, like kind of hurting Diana or do people like her now? I don’t know if they’ve outgrown it.
Robert Maldonado 16:16
Well, just to be clear, we’re talking more about the TV series not so much the characters themselves. We always respect people as individuals, giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Debra Maldonado 16:27
But we always see that too, with even the archetypal role of the other woman is that she’s this, you know, outcast, like she acts— she’s outside of the traditional role, like she’s not fitting in. And then there will always be this conflict with love and duty and what is expected of us and what is, you know, where we place ourselves.
Robert Maldonado 16:50
Yeah, so if it was a fairy tale, this would be the Wicked Witch with a poison apple.
Debra Maldonado 16:57
Wanting to destroy the marriage.
Robert Maldonado 16:59
Right. And bringing in a kind of the trickster element, which is that uncertainty of what’s gonna happen here.
Debra Maldonado 17:09
And she kind of is a trickster figure in this series. They portray her as this kind of joking, kind of like stabbing-dabbing at Diana.
Robert Maldonado 17:19
Yeah, and it was kind of an open secret, right, that she was in the marriage. At one point that character says “There was three of us in this marriage”, it wasn’t just the Prince and the Princess, it was this third element, which is the spoiler.
Debra Maldonado 17:36
And then when they go to the queen, and they say “We just need— we can’t live together anymore.” The Queen is more interested in not their personal feelings, the crown is bigger than your personal feelings. So deal with it. And so—
Robert Maldonado 17:51
From her perspective, you know, it was a no brainer, like, if you really want to be the king, you got to take this bigger role and responsibility, forget about your, you know, your fantasies about love and all that. But to Charles it didn’t make sense.
Debra Maldonado 18:09
And even earlier on in this series, if you watch the first one where she struggled with the infidelity of Philip, and, you know, they were stuck also, she couldn’t divorce him, she was like, we’re in this marriage forever, and the role takes over. And so that’s these ideas of archetypes, from our personal life, they take over and we feel, if we don’t make them conscious, we don’t understand, we’re not able to actively participate with them, they just kind of rule our life. The last one, which I find is the most relevant to many women is, which I don’t know how many people relate to Margaret Thatcher, but her role as the worrier, the professional, she was very— if you looked at her persona, it was very— the Iron Lady with her nickname. And there was a scene where she was crying about her son, and he had been missing or something and she was just broke down and she was so embarrassed. So there’s kind of expectation that if you’re the persona, if you’re this professional woman, you know, there’s no feelings, you know, there’s no emotion, you have to stay true, and I just find that a lot of us put on that professional role and we forget to bring our heart and soul, and that’s why the corporate world can be so crushing for a lot of people, soul crushing, because you can’t have feelings, you can’t have problems, you keep it down, don’t bring your personal life into the corporate boardroom. And so if you are in that corporate world, you’re taking on that persona, that professional, that archetype. And there are rules to that, you know, this is like the warrior doesn’t worry about crying, the warrior’s out there fighting the battle, he’s not sitting there dealing with his emotions or her emotions, they’re out there fighting the battle. And so I found that aspect as well. So we see all these feminine archetypes in the role and it’s almost as pre-dates them, these characters fall into those archetypes versus they create them through conscious decision.
Robert Maldonado 20:24
Yeah, the nickname of the Iron Lady is a good metaphor that fits the role she was playing. Because what women in those kind of roles have to do is create a lot of armor around them. Which is what Jung would call the persona. So they create a persona of invulnerability, of toughness, of thick skin. But of course, that’s just the facade. It’s the appearance of things. Underneath there is a human being like me, you know, all of us. And when a person doesn’t do internal work, they believe that’s who they are, they believe this is as good as it gets, “if I build up this persona and maintain it, and make it shiny, and beautiful, people will like it”.
Debra Maldonado 21:25
It’s “If I get the right degree, if I get the right promotion, if I have the right titles, then people will respect me”, but we’re basically basing it on an archetype, that’s what the archetype requires. So we create our persona around that.
Robert Maldonado 21:40
Yes. And you see something really important here, that, you know, these people had everything, basically what the ordinary person believes “Oh, my God, they have it made.” But you see it, they were suffering, they were in pain, they were unhappy. And so the external facade of things does not make you happy. You see it over and over. And in these characters, right, almost all of them were unhappy to some extent. These external trappings, they’re just there, it’s a golden cage. But it doesn’t bring you happiness. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t be happy in those situations, obviously, if they had done their internal work, they would have been really happy playing those roles.
Debra Maldonado 22:35
You know, what I find is, this kind of makes me think about the generational roles of women for the past 200 years. And a lot of the work we do with women that it’s very impactful is their relationship with their mother, the mother type, the mother archetype. And I think that there are many women who became mothers not because they wanted to, but because that was the expectation of the archetypal role that a woman should play, she’s either— you can be the professional which— most people weren’t even encouraged to get education back then, 100 years ago, or be the other woman, or you’re going to be the wife. So most people chose the wife and the mother. And I think many people, I mean, when I talk to women over the years, a lot of them have issues with their mother, saying “I don’t think my mother wanted to be a mother”, you know, and so I think that we, you know, we have to remember that our mothers and our grandmothers sometimes fell into the archetype of mother because that’s the only role that was available to them in this in culture and society. And that your expectation of that role they didn’t fulfill, and so many of them fall short. I mean, even mothers, now I have clients that are mothers, and they’re always worried about being a bad mother, they’re not fulfilling that role. And that’s kind of, I think, the power of the archetype as well. “Am I fulfilling the role? Am I whole? Like, I’m identifying with this role, and am I fulfilling it to the best? And what are the expectations of it?” Just like The Crown, you’re the leader of the family, you’re the matriarch of the family, you have responsibility. And how many of us want to say “I want to have fun.” We have like, wine moms now they call it, I guess, they want to just drink wine and escape. They’re like, have fun again. And so I think that we have to examine our roles, for women especially, examine our roles, the roles that we feel have been chosen for us, and not only from our society, but also archetypal, you know, we fall into these categories, and how do we become our true self? How can we play those roles but also integrate our own personal experience, and our own personal desires, and our own flavor of what that means?
Robert Maldonado 25:03
Yeah. One of the themes you see a lot in literature and movies, is this conflict between duty and passion.
Debra Maldonado 25:15
Robert Maldonado 25:17
So on the one hand, you have your heart’s desire, which wants to be free and romantic, and be in love and—
Debra Maldonado 25:23
You want to be the lover.
Robert Maldonado 25:25
Yeah, experience life to its fullest. And then you have duty which is you got to do your part. Take on the duties of the crown, or the duties of the persona, or the job, the corporate position. And it’s a tough conflict for a lot of people. And you see a lot of people— because of that conflict, they give up. They say “If I can’t get what I want, then I won’t do anything with my life.” They abdicate their life, essentially.
Debra Maldonado 26:02
You don’t abdicate the throne or the role. You abdicate your life for the role.
Robert Maldonado 26:08
Yeah, you end up doing neither. So in a sense, it’s better to choose one or the other, but there’s a third option, which is better to be aware of this.
Debra Maldonado 26:19
It’s like, the archetype doesn’t ask your permission to take over your life. So you know, you have to create that connection to this archetypal energy that’s in you to basically create a partnership with it versus let it run autonomously. And if you’re not conscious of it, you will take on that role. And you may resent being the mother or you may resent being the lover, or feeling, you know, that’s your role. You’re the other woman, you’re not the type of woman that a man marries, you’re the type of woman that he has an affair with, because your persona is this, you know, the seductress, you know, or the carefree artist and, you know, I think also with these roles, the archetype of the lover can be like the artist, and there’s a conflict between “I want to make money, but I don’t want to sell my art out” and “I want to honor those”. And so the archetype of the artist, we’re kind of— the lover type will take over the person’s life, and they’ll reject money, because they feel there’s some— the archetype won’t allow that. The archetype is supposed to be irresponsible, and, you know, vagabond.
Robert Maldonado 27:39
Yeah, and so, at the end of the day, the work is about understanding that you’re playing a role. And in dealing with the archetype beats understanding that there are these forces in culture and the way the world organizes itself. That sometimes it falls upon you to play a certain role that is bigger than just your personality, it’s asking you to step into this archetypal role.
Debra Maldonado 28:15
So when we train coaches, a lot of times they have to take on the role of the teacher, or the guide, and they may not have any past experience with that. And so they start off, you access the archetype. And then that archetype can assist in you, not only for you to get, it’s already within you, it’s to bring it out.
Robert Maldonado 28:45
And that bringing out, it sounds easy, but you’re—
Debra Maldonado 28:48
Sounds like putting up a box, here it is.
Robert Maldonado 28:51
Jung says, it’s kind of a birth, you know, a second birth, you’re creating yourself in a very conscious way. Or at least you’re conscious of the process, you’re not necessarily directing the process. But you’re conscious of it, you’re participating in it. Because we can’t control the archetypes. They’re, like he says, they’re autonomous. But just like in sailing, we’re collaborating with the wind and the currents and the stars to guide us. And so we’re participating with these forces in a more conscious way, instead of just saying “Well, I’m just gonna let it take me wherever it wants.”
Debra Maldonado 29:42
So let’s just also mention that a lot of people will take on the archetype as their persona, which— there’s this— I don’t know, long time ago, someone was talking about— a lot of people in the life coaching, they talk about dream like the queen, you know, become the queen of your life, a lot of self empowerment, become the queen. And so what we want to do is become conscious of the archetypal aspect of that, not just put a queen persona. And so when we do archetypal work, we have to first do our shadow work.
Robert Maldonado 30:21
Is that where you were a crown in the house?
Debra Maldonado 30:23
Yes, I know, every time I see that show, I’m like I want a crown, they’re so pretty. No, because if you don’t do the Shadow Work, what will happen is you’ll have an inflated ego, your inflated persona “I’m the queen, I’m the queen”, and then you’re pushing— more rejecting things than actually integrating the bigger forces, it becomes more of an act than actually— we have natural forces in the psyche that are there to help us express that. So for me, I wasn’t trained to be a teacher, I wasn’t trained in this, you know, to teach. I mean, none of us have really, we’re just regular human beings. And then when we take on the role of teacher, it’s not that I’m creating a persona around that, it’s more allowing the archetype and it’s like a partnership with the archetype. That’s kind of the expression that’s borrowing that energy to be expressed, but not saying “Oh, I’m the teacher, that’s me.” That’s the ego, what we’re doing is transcending the ego. So that’s the tricky part of that is this idea of who we are is not the archetype. It’s that archetype is living through us. And we’re the ship. It’s like, a bigger part of ourselves.
Robert Maldonado 31:40
Yeah, how do you see Diane’s role? Well, she died in a tragic accident. From your perspective, how do you see that in the archetypal role she was playing?
Debra Maldonado 32:00
I feel like there’s an archetype of the tragedy, the death of a hero in a way, like she was a hero to a lot of people. I also think that what we tend to do is project onto the divine, onto these archetypes. So a person is playing the role of the princess, the world seems to put this magical thing on her. And she said in her interview, she didn’t really understand like, why everyone was so infatuated with her, you know, and so she carried the burden of everyone’s projections. And I think that ultimately led to her death, because of the paparazzi chasing her down that hole and just making her life so unhappy. And I think that that’s one thing I always tell our coaches is that you don’t want to get caught up in that “I’m the great teacher, I’m the great teacher” because that comes with a big price. It’s like you get people, it’s a lot of responsibility to take on that projection of everyone saying “You’re going to help me, you’re going to save me.” And so I don’t think she understood that. And I think her death is— I think there are lots of stories and myths about the hero dying young, the person that people admired, it’s like, oh, it always seems to play out that way. You know, we see a lot of that with musicians. And we say it’s drugs that drove them. But it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, there’s always this archetype of that one loss, like the life lost too soon. And I don’t know, I think that adds to the numinous quality she had around herself, you know, this “she went away too soon”. Like Marilyn Monroe, she was also kind of that victim of that projection, and that she was the lover. And so everyone projected that sex symbol onto her. She used it for a while, but then it ended up taking over.
Robert Maldonado 34:02
You know, there are ancient archetypes of sacrifice. Where, for example, in Aztec culture, there was actually a school that would groom these very talented people and prepare them for this sacrifice, as an offering to the gods, in a way to appease the gods, that here we are, as humans offering our best to the divinity. And I think it has a little bit of that element, that you have somebody who is beloved by everyone, but at the same time she that weight that she’s carrying—
Debra Maldonado 34:50
The projection, the love, right?
Robert Maldonado 34:53
It kind of— for the individual it’s tragic. But it immortalizes them in the sense that they become something bigger than just an individual.
Debra Maldonado 35:04
Yeah, if you’ve met her, she’d just be an ordinary— you meet her and she’s just a regular person, and I’ve met people that are really famous and they’re just regular people, but this facade around them, this like glow, or this image around them is so much bigger than life. And that’s kind of the tragedy of being a celebrity, the tragedy of being a teacher, of being someone who gets a lot of attention, royalty.
Robert Maldonado 35:25
Well, I know earlier when we were talking, you mentioned the dark side of these archetypes.
Debra Maldonado 35:42
Well, that’s what I would think that all that attention and all that love projected onto you is a lot of responsibility to uphold, like you have to kind of keep up with what everyone expects of you. And so the dark side could be— well, for Diane, it’s you can’t marry who you love, you’re stuck in that role. For the queen it’s you can’t show emotion, you have to be, you know, not nurture your children. The same thing with the Iron Lady, she couldn’t just be a mom. And she had said something interesting, one of the lines was, you know, “Of all the things I’ve accomplished, the one thing that was the most important, that brought to me, my most important role is being a mother.” And it was like she needed something almost near tragedy to understand that. And so I think the dark side, it doesn’t necessarily have to be negative, but it’s that kind of, it helps us move back into balance, it says, you know— like, because a mother could really take on the role of this overly nurturing, overly protective, that squeezes the life out of the child and the child can never make decisions, and that worry, overly concerned, and it makes the child— almost hurts the child in a way, because then she feels she can’t trust the world. Because mom’s saying “it’s dangerous, it’s dangerous, it’s dangerous”. And then too much love that the woman may rebel, or the distant mother, that may be the dark side of her. But then the opportunity for the child is to be more independent. So who’s to say what role, like the mother role, the expectation is going to play out for the person in the long run?
Robert Maldonado 37:30
Well, I can point out a couple of dark elements in The Crown, in the story. And here again, we’re talking about the TV series, not so much the characters because we respect their private lives. But there is this hiding away of these relatives that had physical genetic disorders or disabilities, and kind of hiding them away in these institutions, out of the public’s eye.
Debra Maldonado 38:02
Because they needed the pure— to state that the bloodline was pure, and the king and queen, the royal line. I also think that another— it’s not really dark, but it’s kind of a balancing out of the seriousness of the crown is that scene where they were putting those things on their head, Dibble Dibble game. And they were kind of— it’s almost like feeding the shadow in a way or feeding the trickster, that in private they’re playing these silly games and being silly and very unprofessional. And very, you know— Margaret Thatcher spends time with them and she’s just like, oh! So opposite of the persona that they put in. And then the dark side of the mother, too, is Queen Elizabeth, when Charles says, you know, “I want to marry Camilla. Like, I love her.” And the mother is like “No, this is your duty, I’m sorry.” And so that dark side of not a nurturing— not being able to nurture because of the—
Robert Maldonado 39:04
Yeah, I think just like at the individual level, the shadow becomes dark if we don’t face it, if we don’t integrate it, at the archetypal level, it’s the same process. If the culture, if that whole culture of royalty doesn’t deal with their shadow, then it plays out in these dark and destructive ways.
Debra Maldonado 39:34
Yeah, so what we can learn from this for our own life is where do we— what would archetype, like for women, what archetype do you fall into? And so I was asking, what’s the daughter archetype? Is this the feminine archetype? What happens is the daughter chooses based on a relationship with her mother what role she plays, and maybe not even consciously, but through instinct, she says “Well, my mother had too much responsibility, I want to go off and be independent, I don’t want to be tied down to 10 kids and a husband and cooking and cleaning, I want to have my own thing” where she becomes the lover, which is “I want the freedom, I don’t want to be tied down to a husband, I want to just kind of have sex and be free and not be tied down to that traditional role.” Or they say “I want to be just like my mother”, and they kind of fall into that role, or they leave the world altogether and they become that kind of mystical woman, they go away to become a nun or something.
Robert Maldonado 40:37
There is, in one of the seasons there’s a woman, I think it’s one of the sisters of the queen or the Queen Mother, that becomes a nun and goes off into a monastery.
Debra Maldonado 40:48
So if you’re looking at what the daughter is, the daughter is these four archetypes. And you can look at your relationship with your mother and see where you decided or allowed this other archetype to fall into your role. So if your mother wasn’t nurturing, you may become very nurturing because you’re now giving the love that you never get to other people. So it’s never like every situation is the same. But that’s kind of how we fall into. And so what we want to do is, we want to work on that shadow element of the personal decisions we’ve made and what our personal fears are about that early life conditioning. But then remember that we’re playing a bigger role, and that we can integrate these other elements, we’re not stuck, I mean, that’s the beauty of Jungian psychology, you’re not stuck from the past, and just dealing and coping with this shadow elements of your personal unconscious. But then you have access to archetypal, bigger universal forces that you can create from, that aren’t limited to your personal experience. So what I would look at is, what role have you chosen? Who do you really resonate with? Who triggers you the most in the crowd? What role would you reject? And I like to examine, like, why are you drawn to a certain role? What do you secretly wish you can do? And how you’ve made your decisions about — especially women — about marriage, about family, about money, about being a mother, about sex and freedom, and all those other things too. And spirituality. Okay, so we have some questions. When you refer to the darker, shadow side, is the negative aspect of the filling the archetype role, not the actual dark aspect of the person’s personality? Well, when we talk about shadow, it’s not really the dark aspect in, like, a negative sense. Mostly what’s in our shadow is light. It’s really the things— the ego creates a persona early in life, and the things that don’t fit into their environment, go into the shadow. So it could be all your greatness, all your glory, all your charismatic abilities that didn’t fit. It could be emotional, you could be more— if your family is very logical, and you would put the emotions in the shadow, like more that emotional, heartfelt sensitivity. Or you’re overly sensitive, and you’re taking the logic in the shadow. So there’s those elements of that. And then when we talk about the dark and light aspects of the archetype, that’s more kind of like the creative and destructive forces. But even in the destruction, we don’t see them as negative, we just see them as kind of working together. I mean, they can be, but—
Robert Maldonado 43:50
They can be very destructive. You see it in Mother Nature, of course, she gives life in abundance in these beautiful trees and jungles. And then a hurricane comes along and wipes everything off the island or something. The mother archetype at a more personal level, she can give you nurturance, life, you know, everything you need to live, but same time, she could smother you. Even through her own—
Debra Maldonado 44:27
Robert Maldonado 44:28
Yeah, through her own wanting to please you and to care for you. If you don’t do your role, if you don’t do your part to break away and individuate, then that force — even though it’s, you know, it’s a good intention — that role can be destructive in your life.
Debra Maldonado 44:49
And when we talk about the arc, so there’s the personal level, which is really just there’s nothing really negative or positive, it’s just adaptive and non-adaptive, and if you’re not aware, you’re not really making conscious choices in your life. And then the archetype level, the light and dark, there are positive and negative, creative and destructive forces in the universe, that are in us. So it’s a broader spectrum. But we’re working on a personal level, it’s more of a misalignment of identity and judgment of who we are and the ego level.
Robert Maldonado 45:25
And ultimately, Jung saw even the ego and the personas as archetypes, because there’re patterns, right? You see these patterns show up in almost every individual.
Debra Maldonado 45:38
So how is the shadow side of the archetype supposed to be integrated? What is the suggestion way to do that? Well, the shadow is of the persona. The archetype has a dark side and a light side, which I would think of it as more creative and destructive. We want to be conscious of it. But we can’t really— we have to be aware of it but we really— the first work is working on the shadow, our personal shadow, which is not on the archetypal level, but more on the personal roles we’ve taken on as a woman and the world.
Robert Maldonado 46:13
Well, you see it play out in religion a lot. So in some religions, they want to split the good and the evil, right? They want to say, the God that we worship is all light and all love and all purity, and evil then is cast out somehow separate, which is shadow basically, at the archetypal level. Other more philosophical or more balanced approaches, they see, yeah, the divinity, or the God, has a creative aspect, but it has also a destructive aspect to it. And that’s more balancing.
Debra Maldonado 46:53
It’s less— almost like an understanding that even the destructive has a role. You know, it’s like you can’t have the light without the dark, you can’t have death without life and birth, you know, they go together. So it’s about understanding those cycles. And that ultimately, truly, we have to ask ourselves what is our goal. Is our goal to get things out there and be safe, or is our goal to understand who we are. And on the deepest level, individuation is about understanding and realizing that— self-realization is that we’re one with everything. So whether it shows up as light or dark, we can really be in that force, even in destruction, and not lose ourselves in it. So that’s really the goal. It’s not to like, let’s get rid of the negative and make it all positive, because we have to understand. So a perfect example of this, just on a personal level, is that, you know, when my dad died, it was very sad, you know, he died almost 10 years ago. And it was a really tough thing. And I remember just being in so much grief, and it was just so horrible. And I couldn’t sleep, it was just really, really the worst time of my life. I don’t think I’ve grieved so much about anything in my life. And I finally realized, through that grief, that if I didn’t love him so much, I wouldn’t be grieving. And so I saw the oneness in it, I saw that, wow, even though I love him— when you love someone loss comes with it. And it’s part of being human and part of that, and then it becomes more, I’m just getting rid of the grief, and I got to be happy again. It’s like, I saw the beauty of the grief. And then it helped me work with it. And so something that’s kind of an example— we see the destructive nature, but we understand that we’re balancing both the forces in our life, and that ultimately, we’re powerful, you know, we can— that whatever is happening on the surface of the ocean, whether the ship is going through a storm or not, we are the ocean. That’s really the big picture. So yeah. It sounds like shadow or dark side, suppress facets of the self. Yes. Well, the shadow, yes, is suppressed rejected parts of our personal self. Archetypes are universal, our universal self. So the difference. It took me a while to get that because it’s like there’s these two layers to us. So personal level, with our conditioning and our own persona. And then there’s these universal forces that play out in our life. And that’s what creates these personas and these roles that we play, that are happening beneath the surface.
Robert Maldonado 49:41
Yeah, but I hope this conversation gives you a way of understanding movies, literature, plays, in a deeper way. Because to me, it’s no accident that human beings love to create movies and plays, and stories, because that’s how our mind works. It generates these narratives for us that give meaning to our life.
Debra Maldonado 50:08
Well, the Greek said myths about the gods and that taught them about life and you know, jealousy and, you know, mother-daughter with, you know, the Medusa, the hero and slaying the dragons, and then the things under the — what do they call — the Kraken onto the end of the earth and, you know, very metaphorical. And if we think about even religious stories and religious myths, they also have these archetypal elements to it and to see it from that lens, we start to understand ourselves as more than just a human being but as this universal force ourselves that we’re playing out in this world, so it’s a beautiful study. So we’ll talk about more movies and shows and archetypes coming in the next few weeks. If there’s a specific show or movie that you feel you would love for us to talk about post it below. We’d love to hear what characters call out to you and like to know more about. We know that so many screenwriters actually go to Jungian analysts to work with themselves and then come up with these characters for their own stories. Very archetypal, little bit beyond, but Game of Thrones is one of them that has a lot of archetypal myths and characters and evolution, and it teaches us about our life. It teaches us about our power, and about humanity. It brings more meaning to the world, right?
Robert Maldonado 51:44
Yeah, a lot of the superhero movies are based on ancient myths.
Debra Maldonado 51:49
Well, thank you for your questions. Yeah, it’s a really a wonderful, deep work, Jungian psychology. And the foundation of the philosophy is based on Vedanta. So it’s more that Eastern spirituality of oneness, of one consciousness, and so played with Jung, who studied a lot of Eastern philosophy. And that’s where he came up with the concept of the self, the true self. And, yeah, it’s a very deep, profound way to work with your life. And we hope you enjoyed today’s podcast, and we’ll see you next week for another episode.
Robert Maldonado 52:25
Debra Maldonado 52:26
Take care everyone. Talk to you soon.
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