The family system is not only influenced by personal history of the parents carried from their parents, there is also an archetypal pattern unconsciously influencing the family unit. What can you learn about the material world and spiritual world by understanding the Mother-Father-Child dynamics? In this episode we will discuss:
- How the Mother, God and Child Archetypes shape and influence family life and adult life through these powerful symbols of our parents and ourselves;
- Can we transcend our human patterns to create a more divine expression in family?
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Debra Maldonado 00:06
Hello, welcome back to another episode of Soul Sessions with Debra and Rob Maldonado. We are finalizing our last episode in the series of the question “Did your parents really screw you up? A case for and against.” Have we decided?
Robert Maldonado 00:26
Not yet, not all the evidence is in yet.
Debra Maldonado 00:29
This is the last piece of evidence to see if our family really did screw up our life. We’re poking fun at it but it’s common therapy talk about mother issues, father issues. But we’re gonna go deeper into that today, because we’re going to talk about transcending your family archetype. Overall, what does that mean for you, Rob?
Robert Maldonado 00:55
Let’s review where we’ve been. We talked about genetics in the beginning, how it has such a powerful influence and is considered to be about 40% of your behavior, your destiny in a sense. The other 40 is the environment, the school you go to, your socioeconomic status, the way you were parented, etc. Then there’s a 20% chance, it’s up for grabs, that some things are gonna happen that you can’t really predict or control. In a way, that’s what saves us because we’re able to become ourselves, individuals. But in thinking about archetypes, let’s define first what an archetype is based on Jung’s work.
Debra Maldonado 01:55
A lot of people can think archetype is just a personality type. But archetypes is a much broader concept. I always like to think of it as a universal pattern, that in humanity, in nature we all share.
Robert Maldonado 02:11
It’s the original idea. If you think about the universe as a mind, the universe had certain things in mind, certain ideas that then play out as behavioral patterns.
Debra Maldonado 02:25
Like a template. This sphere is an archetype. There’s a circle and the fractals archetype. There’s certain archetypes that apply to animals, we’re evolved animals, so we have human archetypes. Then there’s universal spiritual archetypes, nature archetypes.
Robert Maldonado 02:48
We can’t see them directly. A lot of people mistake the symbol for the archetype. They think a character in a novel, or a play, or a movie is an archetype. That’s a symbol, a character related to an archetype.
Debra Maldonado 03:10
Someone says “villain”, they’re seeing maybe the Joker as the villain, so he’s the villain archetype. But he’s not the villain archetype. He’s a symbol of the archetype. I love that idea, because the villain comes in many forms, the villain could be your parents, the villain could be your best friend, your ex-husband. They come in all different forms, but they symbolize this underlying universal idea that we all share that there’s a villain and there’s a hero and all these characters in the world.
Robert Maldonado 03:52
A good way to think about our experience in the family is through the archetype of individuation. We want to consider ourselves individual. If you notice, the child is very dependent on the parents early on, but then wants to break away. Even when we crawl, we start to crawl away to explore. That tendency to want to explore on our own is expressed very early on. The archetype is individuation for the individual. For the family, it’s the family archetype, the archetype of unity, of collectiveness, of the tribe staying together. It is the cell form of society. That’s why a lot of people say that if the family goes, the whole society goes. Because societies need that elemental structure at the beginning, in order to socialize us to that idea that we’re all in this together.
Debra Maldonado 05:07
There’s an archetype in family. I just want to say, before we get into this, we often get questions about feminine, masculine, and the duality. This has nothing to do with a sexual role that you’re playing, it’s really an archetypal role, when we talk about mother, father, child. Two women, one could play the father archetype, the other can complete the mother. Just to lay that out there. I know people asked that question a lot when we talk about mother, father, or duality or feminine-masculine.
Robert Maldonado 05:42
This is by no means comprehensive because family is a huge topic, it’s its own branch of psychology. We’re looking at it from the point of view of individuation, our tendency and need to become our true selves.
Debra Maldonado 06:04
It’s a structural organization that our ego finds comfort in, it’s almost like a paved road that we all live into. We want to go off-road eventually but we often are in this paved road of archetypes that we naturally are inclined, like a woman naturally inclines that mother role, sometimes mostly the man goes on that paved road that’s from previous generations. We talked about this, genetically we have the social structures, our bodies are different. So we process emotions differently. When we talk about the family archetype and how it expressed itself, what would you say is that structure of a family?
Robert Maldonado 06:54
In the family, we see the archetype plays out very differently in different environments. You see different cultures expressing the same archetype of family in different ways. In some cultures, it’s permissible to spank the children. In others, it is not. In some cultures, mating and getting together is done through the internet, through dating or through apps. In others, the parents decide who you’re going to marry because it’s a family structure, you’re marrying into families.
Debra Maldonado 07:36
In some families, a woman is expected to get married and have children. If they don’t, if they want to pursue a career, it feels like “That’s not part of the plan, we have the paved road here, stay on the road” versus “go off the road and be yourself”, you do what we’ve always done. We’re so conditioned, we don’t even realize we’re in that pattern. The pressure feels like it’s coming externally. But it’s really an internal tendency to stay on the paved road from the ego’s perspective.
Robert Maldonado 08:11
Now they’re blended families, non-traditional families, where you might have two women, two guys raising kids. That’s all fine it, they’re expressing the same archetypal pattern, just in their unique way. We see that families come in all kinds of different ways, there is no right or wrong way to do it.
Debra Maldonado 08:35
Not even biologically. If a woman gets divorced, her brother becomes the father. If the father passes away, when the children are young, there’s someone that always has that father role. There’s a default that someone needs to be the father in this unit. The older brother sometimes becomes the father figure. I’m just saying that the mother-father-child dynamic seems to be unspoken and deep by default, archetypal. We don’t think “Someone has to take the father role.” It happens instinctually.
Robert Maldonado 09:28
People that don’t have kids often mentor or are parental figures to younger people.
Debra Maldonado 09:52
Those three roles mix around. I also want to throw out that in a corporate world, in a corporate setting, in a team, you’ll see the father, the mother and the child as well. It’s a dynamic, it means that there’s an interaction. It’s not just someone deciding that’s the static, not that someone is just in it isolated in there, it’s the interaction between you and that person, your side. and their side. Maybe we could talk just a tiny bit about psychodynamics and what that means, so we can continue the conversation?
Robert Maldonado 10:34
The kernel that distinguishes psychodynamic models is the idea that everything is happening in our psyche in a sense. Our psyche contains all these elements in our mind, they are actively jostling for position within the individual. It’s a very different psychology than the cognitive-behavioral models where the individual is considered to be making choices and doing these things externally.
Debra Maldonado 11:13
External people are making their own decisions that are independent of that person. You have to keep boundaries, you have to communicate all those ideas of your needs, and projecting your stuff, you don’t realize that you’re projecting.
Robert Maldonado 11:37
In cognitive-behavioral, they don’t even acknowledge those things.
Debra Maldonado 11:40
There’s an independent reality outside of the mind, the mind is encased in the brain. You’re separate from everyone. In psychodynamic model, we’re connected to everyone. It’s more of a spiritual model in a way, some elements.
Robert Maldonado 12:02
It’s closer because it did come out of philosophy. It includes a lot of philosophical concepts that aren’t accepted in more scientifically based models. But it’s a useful way to understand the family because in family, there’s such a rich psychology going on. When I was training in clinical psychology, I thought family psychology is probably boring, until I did family therapy. I saw there’s so much going on here because you’re seeing human beings in their true environment. No one is an individual, no one is an island, no one is born just by themselves.
Debra Maldonado 12:54
We’ve coached thousands of people over the past 10 years, or more, 20 years. You can’t interact with someone as a coach, or a therapist, without them mentioning their parents, it always seems to be the main sticking point for them, some resentment or some adoration they’re trying to get from the parent led to entanglement. And children to the mother, we’re working with mothers. This core shapes us when we’re so young, we don’t realize we’re being conditioned, then it replicates throughout our life.
Robert Maldonado 13:34
There’s a double whammy there because you’re getting genes from the parents, your inheritance as far as the way you’re going to look and your intelligence, 40% of it at least is coming from the genes. Then you’re observing them, they’re teaching you, you’re learning language from them, you’re learning problem-solving skills, all these incredible things very early on from your parents.
Debra Maldonado 14:03
As children, don’t we look at them as gods? Like the king and queen. They’re in charge of our livelihood and safety. As children, we couldn’t just leave. When we were seven or eight, we packed our suitcases, “I’m gonna move, I’m gonna run away” thing, but we would never do it. I went to the end of my block once, my mother just stood there and waited for me to come back. We can’t let go, and then as adults, we have the same thing. We love our parents, but we can’t let go. It’s such a powerful experience, our first experience of the world
Robert Maldonado 14:46
We know the mother is considered the primary relationship, the first one that we have, the one that imprints deepest in us because she is our world basically, our universe. She protects us, feeds us, changes us, makes us comfortable. That early experience is very powerful, it ingrains, or imprints in us powerfully, and we carry it with us for the rest of our lives.
Debra Maldonado 15:17
We spent the beginning, the very first sense of our awareness was in her body. We were basically physically living inside her body. That connection, that feeling her emotions. I don’t know what the studies are, but I feel that we learn a lot just from being in another human being, you have a sense of what’s happening, the emotions and all those things that happen inside.
Robert Maldonado 15:44
When we talk at the archetypal level, the mother archetype is a really important archetype being in Jungian psychology. We look at the mother, our physical mother, our biological mother, or our adopted mother, as a symbol, as someone who takes care of us and nurtures us. We are related to it in this emotional, genetic, and in every way biological way. Remember, the symbol is not the archetype, but it’s a powerful representation of the archetype. We can say that our individual mothers are symbols of this larger, universal archetype of Mother. The archetype itself represents nature, the material world, matter itself. The word “matter” comes from the word “mother”, it is the primal matter that creates our life, including our bodies, the physical comforts of the universe, our sensory experiences in the world. That’s a powerful connection there with the archetype that through the symbol of our universe, our individual mothers, we connect to the universal mother, which is matter. Everything in the world, we start to read as our early experiences, meaning if our mother was nurturing and caring — and most mothers are, here it is important to point that we’re talking about typical experiences, not the extreme. Because often people ask “What about people that were abandoned and raised by wolves?” Those are extreme cases. In general, most people experience caring, loving, nurturing mother.
Debra Maldonado 18:01
Even a critical mother every once in a while.
Robert Maldonado 18:07
That’s a part of mother, to protect you from doing crazy things, which as a child you tend to do. That connection and early experience from — different models cut it off at different points, but I’d say the first six years of your life are so crucial because you’re in that psychological emotional bubble of the mother.
Debra Maldonado 18:39
I don’t know if there’s research because we didn’t have preschool in the 60s and 70s when I grew up. We just went to kindergarten, but I remember that feeling of “I’m not going to be with my mom, I’m going to this strange place.” A lot of kids cry the first day of kindergarten. That’s separation. But in preschool, they’re separated earlier. A lot of times mothers work and they have a caretaker. Is there a research on a caretaker versus the mother staying longer with the child? Is there any research on that?
Robert Maldonado 19:15
There was a large study with the Headstart. Headstart was a government program that was in place for a while. It brought in kids very early on, pre- and around kindergarten age, and started educating them early on. They followed some of those kids throughout their lives and sure enough, it had a big impact. It helped them in academic work, and do better in school.
Debra Maldonado 19:49
Sometimes we think it is the cruel thing, if we are feeling separated from the mother. But it actually gives us strength. If we have a mother who hovers around and wants to homeschool, the child might have a different experience. We talked about this in the last episode of parenting style, if you missed that, go back and watch the last episode. Think about your parenting experience, was your mother there all the time for you to expect? How does that relate to the world? What was that relationship very young, under six, we’re not talking about what your relationship with your mother is now, but how she was when you were younger.
Robert Maldonado 20:34
Not only that, but how you interpret it, because two kids can be born in the same household, very close together, and interpret their experience with their mother very differently.
Debra Maldonado 20:48
I had a stay-at-home mom. She was always there, I always felt safe. I wonder the latchkey kids, they feel a little more isolated. But again, it doesn’t matter. Either way, how you interpret that.
Robert Maldonado 21:07
Some kids would interpret that as she’s always on my case, she’s hovering, always knowing what I’m doing. Others would say that was great, my mom was always there for me.
Debra Maldonado 21:21
Is that why we love nature so much? Because it’s our mother? We hear Mother Earth, Mother Nature, that idea of feeling like our home. Think about being in the womb, it’s our womb of life, this beautiful, safe place. We want to stay there, we want to stay connected into that safety.
Robert Maldonado 21:48
Just one last thing from the point of view of individuation, especially if you’re a man, you have to rebel against the mother, you have to find a way to become independent from the mother.
Debra Maldonado 22:04
What would be the purpose of that? Just to get your masculinity?
Robert Maldonado 22:09
That’s right, because you have to find and establish your identity as a man, independent of that emotional bubble of the mother. Often in some primitive and ancient culture, you see that at a certain point, around seven or so, the child was kidnapped by the men and taken to the camp of the men where he was tested, maybe the Spartans or something like that. In some South American cultures or African cultures, they still do this process of isolating the child from the mother.
Debra Maldonado 22:50
Maybe a hundred years ago, World War One, World War Two, a lot of boys that were just out of high school, they didn’t even go to college, they were living with their mother, they had to go off to war. That happened in our Western culture as well.
Robert Maldonado 23:07
That’s not a good way to get initiated.
Debra Maldonado 23:08
But that’s what happened. You always see those army shows were like “You’re still a mama’s boy.” You have to build that camaraderie, the brotherhood.”
Robert Maldonado 23:24
A lot of that is done now through peers. The peer group serves as an association, redefining yourself outside of the family role. For a man or a boy, it’s outside of the circle of the mother. For women, of course, it’s a separate path, but it is very similar that they have to find their identification, their identity, through that self-realization.
Debra Maldonado 24:00
Jung says if you reject the mother completely, you’re actually cutting off yourself from the archetype in a way, unconsciously cutting yourself off from expressing the creativity and nurturing and femininity. If you have resentment or you just want to push them away, he said, it’s really hard for a woman. A woman can let go of the father easily because she’s not a male, but she really needs to integrate her feminine power and individuate from the mother, but not reject the mother. The difference between rejection and individuation is that the woman accepts the mother for who she is, knowing that it’s not personal, but doesn’t need to push her away and understand that maybe she’s like that because grandma was like that, and her grandmother was like that, she was stuck in a pattern. Not to get her off the hook if she was cruel, but to understand on a deeper level that it wasn’t personal, she didn’t intend to harm you most of the time, it’s very unconscious. Individuation is maturing into that, not resenting her your whole life, because when you push someone away and resent them, you’re giving that part of you, that power, then you’re creating a persona, that’s the opposite.
Robert Maldonado 25:25
That’s probably due to the lack of cultural institutions and rituals that would serve that function of having people individuate in a more naturally and socially acceptable way. People have to reject the parents in order to individuate. It’s not the best way to do it.
Debra Maldonado 25:52
As long as you resent your mother, that’s the ego and it’s controlling your life. We often think, if I let go the resentment, then I made what she did right, but if you let go of the resentment, you stop holding on to the past. Now you’re free to create your own way, versus “I’m going to create the opposite of what she did.” You’re still caught up in her having power over you. Let’s go to the father because I have some interesting things to say about this. The father is like a representative of the king, I’m the king of the house, I’m the leader of the house.
Robert Maldonado 26:32
That’s the archetype of the father, the King, the rule giver, the protector, the spiritual element in life. In society, because the material experience of the world is the mother, then it’s the actions that we take in society that represent the father element, the active force, to go out into the world and make changes.
Debra Maldonado 27:06
With men, they have to become their own men, not only separate from the mother, but also create their own identity. Again, not resent the father, or there’s some people like “My father was a lawyer, my grandfather is a lawyer, I’m going to be a lawyer, we all work in the same law firm, my son’s going to be in the family business.” This person doesn’t individuate, they’re not free to have an individual expression. They’re just carrying on the pattern. Not that it’s bad, but they’re not free. It’s not a choice.
Robert Maldonado 27:46
It can be. Individuation is a psychological process. They can become a lawyer and still individuate. But they have to undergo that internal process.
Debra Maldonado 27:57
But they have to make it a choice versus I have to do it or it’s expected of me. A lot of times the father’s expectations of the son, the son sometimes can rebel. You see this in very wealthy fathers, like that movie, All The Money In The World, where the son just wanted to be a hippie, didn’t care. He was disowned. That’s an extreme case, not an everyday case. But that idea that the son can choose to either be like the father or reject the father. But either way, they’re not free because they’re still responding to the conditioning. The father in that movie owned the museums in LA. He was one of the richest men in the world, his son got kidnapped, but his son was artistic, didn’t want to be involved in all the businesses, just wanted to live a hippie life. Then he got kidnapped. The father didn’t even want to pay for him to get rescued. Then he realized he had to get him back, money doesn’t make you happy, that was the theme of the movie.
Robert Maldonado 29:34
Often, it interferes in that process because the values are different.
Debra Maldonado 29:40
If you’re a man, I’ve worked with a lot of men who had their fathers have high expectations of them, even if it’s not spoken, the child internalizes it, the son will internalize it. The father might not even say “I want you to be successful”, but they’ll make a comment of “How is your business going?” Internally, the son would be like “He’s always on my case. He’s seeing if I’m successful yet.” It’s an internal experience that we’re projecting onto the father, that our fathers have such expectations of us. We have to look at that too. What are they really saying? We hear their words, then are we internally processing that from that expectation or the perception that we put on the father at a young age?
Robert Maldonado 30:30
So half the world is the mother, and half the world is the father.
Debra Maldonado 30:37
Let’s talk about the daughter and the father.
Robert Maldonado 30:40
Different dynamics, because the daughter-father relationship gives the daughter the imprint of what a relationship is, from the observation of the relationship with the parents or between the parents. How does the father treat the mother? It would be very individualized because it would depend if the daughter identifies with the mother or not, because we know some women identify more with the father. That has to do with the persona building, how they build their persona, do they identify more with the mother or the father. Then what is the relationship between the two, it gives the woman an input as to how they’re going to play out relationships.
Debra Maldonado 31:32
If a woman feels that the father is very controlling, and she doesn’t want to be controlled by a man, unconsciously she will find the men that are unavailable, because she doesn’t want to be controlled. That’s really her deepest desire to remain independent. They don’t consciously want a relationship, but they end up rejecting or finding people that are the opposite of their father, and run away from people that want to be with her because she doesn’t want that control. That’s one example. But also I want to talk about the relationship with the man and his mother as well, because he will project his mother onto the woman. Everything the mother wasn’t for the man, guess what? His partner is going to be reflecting that. The person is like “Where did you get that from?” Seeing a distorted image of their partner.
Robert Maldonado 32:43
Expectations have a lot to do with that, and projection, of course. Relationships, especially romantic relationships, are so easy to project onto the partner. The individual shadow, meaning, what they have repressed about their family experience, is projected onto the partner.
Debra Maldonado 33:08
Twenty years ago, there was a movie with Bruce Willis called The Story of Us. There was a scene where they’re in bed together, trying to decide if they’re gonna get divorced or not. Both of their parents are on each side of them in bed with them, talking and interfering in their conversations. It was really a good visual of how much it’s not just between these two people. It’s all that conditioning that we bring into a relationship. Families are very powerful. Let’s go to the child archetype.
Robert Maldonado 33:49
The child archetype represents potential new life, new possibility. That’s why, when there’s a baby in the room, or a small kid, everyone feels happy and joyful, because it is potential, human potential that now is given life and opportunity. That’s a lot to fulfill but as adults and parents project that possibility onto the child, they feel that joy of new life, new possibility of another chance of living a life through the child. The mother, the father, and the child complete the nuclear family paradigm of the divine family.
Debra Maldonado 34:45
What you’re saying is that the child projects on the mother and father this divine “You’re going to take care of me”, and the parents project onto the child “You’re going to live out all unfulfilled parts of my life. I’m going to work my mistakes through you, you’re going to be what I couldn’t do.”
Robert Maldonado 35:05
The ideal would be that the parents understand that this child was meant to grow up and become his or her own person. But a lot of parents don’t, they’re not that enlightened or that knowledgeable. That projection of “They’re going to fulfill my unlived life.”
Debra Maldonado 35:30
I think also, the triad of the mother, father, child, there is love there and bonds that you can’t deny. We always hear in Buddhism that hate and love are basically two sides of the same coin. We care because they are blood. It’s really hard to fully extricate ourselves from that triad, it’s natural for us, even if we had a difficult time with our parents, to want to be connected to them still. The mother and the child, or the father and the child, there’s that need to stay in touch. Not every time, there’s people that abandon their children and aren’t in touch with themselves. But from a positive standpoint, it’s really a nice thing to think about. There’s this powerful bond of love that is beyond the ego, that is formed in those early life stages. That’s why it’s so difficult for us to leave.
Robert Maldonado 36:40
There’s that strong, psychic connection with the parents, especially with a mother.
Debra Maldonado 36:47
Because we’re genetically similar, isn’t there a need to stay with people, almost like an affinity with them? We have to stay connected to them in some way, even if we don’t enjoy them all the time.
Robert Maldonado 37:00
Psychologically, we know that this happens, we internalize our parents, they don’t even have to be around us any longer for us to hear their voice, to feel their presence in a sense, to act in accordance to their wishes or against their wishes, which is the old paradigm of I either identify with my parents, or I reject them. But either way, we’re caught. The only real freedom from that is not about rejecting them but it’s transcendence, meaning real individuation where we find our own identity and establish our own selves in the world, independent of our parents, then we can make real decisions.
Debra Maldonado 37:49
The biggest lesson a lot of our clients hear is that when you accept the parent for who they are, their conditioning, instead of trying to get them to change, it’s so much easier. They don’t have the capability, maybe they’re depressed, or they were going through a tough time, they had 12 kids to take care of when I was young. Accept that they weren’t perfect and stop re-litigating your childhood, accept that’s who they were. Now you can let go. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but accept that you can’t change that, it happened. A lot of times too, it was really a breakthrough for me, that parent you had when you were a kid under six no longer exists, because they’re not 30 or 25-year-old person anymore. They’re maybe 50, or 60, or 70. They’re a different person, they’ve lived a whole life after you left and went to high school and college. They have evolved in ways, maybe became softer and more self-aware. That person you’re trying to relate to as a child is not really there anymore. It’s an idea in your mind.
Robert Maldonado 39:09
That is a big part of psychodynamic theory. You’re really fighting your own demons from within, and accepting your own angels. It’s your mind you’re working with, psychodynamics of your own psyche.
Debra Maldonado 39:29
When can we use the child archetype? A lot of people have dreams about a child. It’s this idea of newness. When we hit that midlife as Jung says, the 30s, we’re really ready to step in and individuate, we’ve built up the ego enough. It’s as if we have to become a child again in the way of being open. Exploring like we did, we’re just discovering again. It’s like a rebirth happening, that’s an archetype as well. We needed those structures to survive in the world, you said in the last episode, it’s a biological survival and a social survival. We needed those things. They weren’t perfect, but we needed them, we survived, we’re alive. Now it’s time for us to be reborn into our true self. That’s the process. We don’t want to resent the past, because it actually got us here. What we want to do is use whatever obstacles the past has given us and conditioned us to be to free our mind.
Robert Maldonado 40:40
Anything we resent, anything we resist, will persist, we’re giving it power by pushing it away, by rejecting it. What you want to do is realize there’s no need to hold on to resentment, because people were not acting out of free will, they were acting out of conditioning, out of social norms, out of stress, pressures of whatever it was, it’s not real choice they’re making, they’re acting out of that conditioning.
Debra Maldonado 41:14
The child archetype is about removing the veil and seeing beyond the census, what we’re seeing, what we’re feeling, what we’re experiencing, the physical world, the material world. Think what’s possible outside of this. Even this self-concept is really hooked into our conditioning, our self-concept is not really our free choice to be who we are going to be. A lot of times we think “I’m going to be this person.” But it’s based on rejecting other parts of ourselves. It’s about fresh, non-conditional, new creation in our life versus “I’m doing this so I can get away from that, I’m going to be successful so I can get away from failure, I’m going to find a relationship so I can get away from being lonely or abandoned.” I also think, there’s a lot of this masculine-feminine stuff around. This idea of patriarchy. A lot of times women empowerment, which the world is showing itself over centuries of being in this as human beings, men have always been in power, but we can’t change it by resenting men because they’re just falling into the archetype. We don’t want to let them get away with it but we agreed to it on some level, the role that we’re playing. How do we approach this dynamic between masculine and feminine, where we’re not fighting and being like “Men are bad”, pushing them away, or “We need to fight, they have an agenda against us”. For men too, I think, if they feel like women are a threat as well, we can’t give women too much power. It’s the same, they’re acting out that triad in our life as adults with the male and female roles that we play. You can’t empower yourself as a woman by rejecting the masculine because then you’re rejecting your own masculine power, your own will, your own act of force.
Robert Maldonado 43:24
That’s a good way to see it. If you consider society is made up of individuals, and individuals have these complexes, let’s say, of rejecting the mother, the mother complex, or a negative mother complex, as Jung would call it, then you see the destruction of nature as a result of that collective force acting on in the world. We don’t respect nature, we don’t see it as valuable. We don’t see it as something living, that we’re a part of. The rejection of the father is seen as rejecting spirituality, the things that we can’t see. Modern human beings, like Jung says, become very materialistic in the sense that I’m only going to believe in and focus on what I can sense with my senses, what I can observe and see. That leaves up half of what’s possible for us as human beings because we can’t see love. We can’t see morality. We can’t see spirituality. Yet we know it’s an important part of our human experience.
Debra Maldonado 44:48
A colleague of mine when I worked in a yoga company 30 years ago, gave a talk and he was talking about the birth of his child, and I never heard this before. He said he was there with his wife and the baby being born. The first thought he had when that baby came out of the womb was “possibility”. Imagine you welcome anything new in your life, this is pure possibility. Instead of looking at the material world and say “Let’s rearrange the furniture, let’s put all the women in power, let’s chain men”, or “Put all the women in their place by limiting their rights so we can stay in control”, what if we think of a new possibility where the other person isn’t the enemy? How do we integrate, how to rise above our materialistic and the way things have been to something fresh and new, where men and women can live together in harmony? We’re fighting something, but it’s really within ourselves.
Robert Maldonado 45:58
That’s precisely the usefulness of this knowledge, it gives us a deeper understanding of the psyche. Like Buddha said, “If you don’t understand your mind, if your mind is not disciplined, it can hurt you more than your worst enemy.” But on the contrary, if you understand the mind, you can discipline it, you can train it, you can wield it, then it becomes your best friend and gives you more than even your parents can give you because it allows you to see things in this clear way.
Debra Maldonado 46:35
Anytime there’s an obstacle in your life, say “Why is my mind creating the conditions for this obstacle?” If you examine it, you realize that you’re making a lot of assumptions of what that other person means, what they’re feeling, what a situation means. You get in a car accident and think this is terrible, this is bad. You find this great person online and think this is great, but then that person could break your heart next week. We’re always making these very quick assumptions based on the past. To be free is to be like a child, be curious about what’s showing up. Not always looking at things as black and white, negative and positive, “I have to think positive all the time”, or “I’m thinking negative, I’m going to attract negative things.” It’s more about “How can I be curious about my assumptions of what I’m seeing, and free my mind from past assumptions, past conditioning, to see the opportunity that’s right in front of me with this situation?”
Robert Maldonado 47:43
One last element about the family archetype is that it is meant to come together, to be unified, and to engender this new life but it is also meant to be dissolved, to be dismantled in a sense, because the child is meant to go off and start their own family, start their own life. The parents then have to let go. When that letting go is natural and healthy, there is that sense of completeness. When it’s not, when people haven’t resolved all their issues, when they’re still hanging on to resentments, or anger, or even attach to their past family conditions, there isn’t that ability to go off and create this new life, that’s not a healthy system. That’s not a good way to experience the family.
Debra Maldonado 48:50
The mother-father-child is within us. We are the mother to ourselves, how we nurture and care for ourselves, how we help us feel safe. The father archetype is in us to make action and move us in the world. The child is that magical expression. The dark side of the child would be more of a helpless victim, needing the world to take care of me. The magical child is the one that wants to explore, the one that doesn’t cry when it goes to kindergarten and says “This is going to be a great time, I’m going to get to do something new.” When you look at your life and where you’re stuck, think of those three elements within yourself. The father is the spirit, the mother’s material, the body is the mother, take care of your body. Do you nurture your body or do you put bad stuff in your body? Do you abuse your body and not work out? Do you let it go? Are you overidentified with the body and have no spiritual connection? Question all those things. This is a great way to round it up. What’s the verdict? Did our parents screw us up, a case for and against. What is your final word?
Robert Maldonado 50:13
I’d say, 40% of the fault lies with the parents because of the genetic inheritance. As adults essentially we have control over environment, that’s 40%. Then 20% of chance, that’s already 60%, meaning the majority of the responsibility lies with us, we are responsible for our destiny, for our lives.
Debra Maldonado 50:52
When we take responsibility, we’re that child that says “I’m not what happened to me. I’m free to choose who I become”, Carl Jung. You really get to choose. We’ll see you next week on the Soul Sessions. If you have not subscribed to us on YouTube, make sure you sign up here. If you are listening to our podcast on one of the podcasts, Spotify, or iTunes, or all the plethora of podcast listening tools that you have, be sure to subscribe too. We have a fresh episode every week. We wish you the best and we’ll see you next time.
Robert Maldonado 51:31
Debra Maldonado 51:32