CrunchyChocolate555

Overcoming the inner trickster

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After many attempts at trying to understand myself, and the story and patterns of my life, I am both relieved and terrified at what I have found. The dominant archetype ruling my life since birth has been "The Trickster".  The below passages by Carl Jung describe the very definition of my life to a T, literally every part of it.  I now wonder if there is any hope for me. Are levels of consciousness biologically pre-determined? This would explain why literally all my personal relationships have failed, and I constantly question my authenticity, or whether I am capable of loving and "doing good" at all, or that I am just lying to myself and others.

 

Is this motif a learning step or a predetermined destiny? .. can anyone at all relate to this?  Am I supposed to simply accept this as being who I am? It is so striking and accurate that I honestly don't know what to think. Is there a way out now that I have recognized him for what he is"? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

 

"Since all mythical figures correspond to inner psychic experiences and originally sprang from them,it is not surprising to find certain phenomena in the field of parapsychology which remind us of the trickster. These are the phenomena connected with poltergeists, and they occur at all times and places in the ambience of pre-adolescent children. The malicious tricks played by the poltergeist are as well known as the low level of his intelligence and the fatuity of his "communications." Ability to change his shape seems also to be one of his characteristics, as there are not a few reports of his appearance in animal form. Since he has on occasion described himself as a soul in hell, the motif of subjective suffering would seem not to be lacking either. His universality is co-extensive, so to speak, with that of shamanism, t o w hich, a s we know , the w hole phe nomenology of spiritualism b elongs. T here is s omething of th e trickster in th e character of the shaman and medicine-man, for he, too, often plays malicious jokes on people, only to fall victim in his turn to the vengeance of those whom he has injured. For this reason, his profession sometimes puts him in peril of his life. Besides that, the shamanistic techniques in themselves often cause the medicine-man a good deal of discomfort, if not actual pain. At all events the "making of a medicine-man" involves, in many parts of the world, so much agony of body and soul that permanent psychic injuries may result. His "approximation to the saviour" is an obvious consequence of this, in confirmation of the mythological truth that the wounded wounder is the agent of healing, and that the sufferer takes away suffering.

 

Anyone who belongs to a sphere of culture that seeks the‚Ä® perfect state somewhere in the past must feel very queerly indeed w hen confronted by the figure of the trickster. He is a forerunner of the saviour, and, like him, God, man, and animal at once. He is both subhuman and superhuman, a bestial and divine being, whose chief and most alarming characteristic is his unconsciousness.

 

Because of it he is deserted by his (evidently human) companions, which seems to indicate that he has fallen below their level of consciousness. He is so unconscious of himself that his body is not a unity, and his two hands fight each other. He takes his anus off and entrusts it with a special task. Even his sex is optional despite its phallic qualities: he can turn himself into a woman and bear children. From his penis he makes all kinds of useful plants. This is a reference to  his original nature as a Creator, for the world is made from the body of a god.


On the other hand he is in many respects stupider than the
animals, and gets into one ridiculous scrape after another. Although he is not really evil, he does the most atrocious things from sheer unconsciousness and unrelatedness. His imprisonment in animal unconsciousness is suggested by the episode where he gets his head caught inside the skull of an elk, and the next episode shows how he overcomes this condition by imprisoning the head of a hawk inside his own rectum. True, he sinks back into the former condition immediately afterwards, by falling under the ice, and is outwitted time after time by the animals, but in the end he succeeds in tricking the cunning coyote, and t his brings back to him his saviour nature. The trickster i s a primitive " cosmic" being of divine-animal nature, on t he one ha nd superior to man because of his superhuman qualities, and on the other hand inferior to him because of his unreason and unconsciousness. He is no match for the animals e ither, be cause o f his extraordinary clumsiness a nd l ack of instinct. These defects are the m arks of his human nature, which is not so well adapted to the environment as the animal's but, instead, has prospects of a much higher development o f consciousness based on a considerable eagerness to l earn, as is duly emphasized in the myth."

 

CG Jung "the archetypes and the collective unconscious"

Edited by CrunchyChocolate555

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An optical illusion can be indistinguishable from reality until your perspective shifts and you suddenly see through the illusion. At that point, it can simultaneously be illusion and reality. By using intent to shift between these perspectives, you can learn to integrate the two into an expanded understanding of reality.

 

Your life to date has been dominated by the Trickster but you have now come to understand that -- and the Trickster is you. It will take some time and effort to integrate that awareness into an expanded awareness but the reward for that integration is the ability to take control of rather than to be controlled by this aspect of yourself.

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May I suggest a little playfulness? I don¬īt think anybody "is" any of the archetypes. You might recognize aspects of your personality in the trickster, but it¬īs certainly not some sort of rigid identity that is forever sealing your fate.

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May I suggest a little playfulness? I don¬īt think anybody "is" any of the archetypes. You might recognize aspects of your personality in the trickster, but it¬īs certainly not some sort of rigid identity that is forever sealing your fate.

I think this is an excellent point. We are not inexorably entrenched, hardwired programs and our personal flexibility and nimbility are a gift which society tends to repress because we are expected to fit molds. Embrace this newfound awareness and exercise your control over your own path.

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I'd say that reading all those descriptions with an impressionable mind can potentailly screw one up, not unlike nurses reading about medical condition's and then projecting such onto themselves!   Jung was an interesting shrink but for myself I wouldn't go very far down that path; btw a true yoga master can help reflect who you really are in a heartbeat - problem is they don't grow on trees at every street corner in California.  (as some claim to be)

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I have tried in vain for a long time to try and find the will to like and help people, but I have come up empty unless they have something for me that I want. I have found my romantic relationships, despite me wanting to establish a genuine soul connection, to be based on lust alone.

 

I have found my desire to be a healer to be phony, based on nothing. I long to be a prophet and savior and I have no idea why.

 

I long for compassion for self and others, but I feel nothing, no love, only coldness and artifice. I catch glimpses of the trickster who laughs at my desire for sincere love and compassion. When I picture giving love to others in my mind, the trickster pops up and tries to psychically harm those people instead, choking and stabbing them, and doing the same to myself (intrusive thoughts). It is terrifying. I do not wish to hurt others, but that is always what I end up doing. Not literally, never, I am not a violent person, but at the core of my psyche is rage and fear.

 

I have done all the inquiries. I have seen many healers and even done lengthy shamanic plant medicine retreats touted to open the heart and increase empathy, but it has only served to confirm my suspicions.

 

People respond to me in the same way. People seem to be aversive towards me and act just as coldly towards me. I am seriously considering spending the rest of my life in secluded solitude as I think I have little good to offer to the world. Perhaps in another life I will fair better.

 

I am absolutely terrified of what I believe myself to be, and if it is not true, then I do not know why I believe this.

Edited by CrunchyChocolate555

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well man do something simple like go down to the animal pound and save a puppy and bring it home, a puppy will love you unconditionally... and as it gets bigger take it to the dog park where it's easy to get to know other animal lovers - something like that should help take your mind off troubles since it will take time and effort to do right by your new animal buddy.

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Drop it.  Drop it all. 

The dreams of glory. 

The plans for future greatness.  

Your hopes, your fears

Drop'em.

 

Cook something.  maybe oatmeal.  trying to get oatmeal, particularly steel cut oatmeal just right, is a difficult task.  maybe work on that, or some other dish.  cook something really well.  maybe in the spring plant some seeds.  don't worry about other people, just oatmeal and planting some seeds.  the answer to life, sometimes, is keep it simple.  oatmeal and seeds.   

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Perhaps oatmeal would be a good starting point, rather than a dog right away ^_^

 

I'm going to throw some thoughts out here..might be a load of nonsense..

 

 

I have tried in vain for a long time to try and find the will to like and help people, but I have come up empty unless they have something for me that I want. I have found my romantic relationships, despite me wanting to establish a genuine soul connection, to be based on lust alone.

I have found my desire to be a healer to be phony, based on nothing. I long to be a prophet and savior and I have no idea why.

 

Perhaps you desire the admiration / praise / respect that healers and other saviours often receive?

 

It is not uncommon for people who 'help' others (for a living, as a hobby, whatever) to do so not because they really care about others, but purely because they enjoy the feeling of adoration, admiration, etc that comes with it. Their ego needs constant attention, and they've discovered one of the easiest / most effective ways of getting this attention.

 

I don't know you, but it does not sound like this is who you are. If you recognize that your desire is phony, "based on nothing", it's probably because you possess a level of self-awareness that many others don't. Based on the fact that you're posting here, thinking about this, giving yourself a good hard look (and a hard time), it sounds like there's a genuine capacity for introspection that seems to go way beyond this 'trickster' archetype, beyond a simple attention-seeking ego. And the fact that you're feeling genuine discomfort at the idea that you seem to feel nothing for others surely means that there is a desire -- and thus a capacity -- for love?

 

 

I long for compassion for self and others, but I feel nothing, no love, only coldness and artifice. I catch glimpses of the trickster who laughs at my desire for sincere love and compassion. When I picture giving love to others in my mind, the trickster pops up and tries to psychically harm those people instead, choking and stabbing them, and doing the same to myself (intrusive thoughts). It is terrifying. I do not wish to hurt others, but that is always what I end up doing. Not literally, never, I am not a violent person, but at the core of my psyche is rage and fear.

 

Is there no-one you care about?

 

You have perceived a problem; you seem to want to change. You want to feel these things, but you can't. Why not?

 

 

People respond to me in the same way. People seem to be aversive towards me and act just as coldly towards me. I am seriously considering spending the rest of my life in secluded solitude as I think I have little good to offer to the world. Perhaps in another life I will fair better.

I am absolutely terrified of what I believe myself to be, and if it is not true, then I do not know why I believe this.

 

Are you sure it's not 'all in your head'?

 

For most of my life I've been under the impression that people don't like me, often that they're laughing at me behind my back. My late childhood and whole teenage years I was plagued with this feeling, and I still often feel it, even among people I've known for years. Of course, sometimes it's true: not everyone likes me, sometimes people might laugh at me. But most of the time, it's pure illusion. All in my head, so to speak. Usually, people don't care one way or the other, they haven't given me a second thought... but I project something onto them, misread innocent expressions, etc. I still don't know why -- genetic predisposition? early experience? -- but I know that it's the case, and that's enough for me to be able to deal with it.

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If you are currently not able to give love, don't try. Instead, give service.

 

If you are in the U.S. (I think you are), find a nearby no-kill shelter or a Medicaid nursing home and volunteer time there on a regular basis to do whatever they need help with for the residents.

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I wrote my post while 3bob was writing his.  What they have in common is to ground.  A puppy is in the moment, they just hang out.  To make great oatmeal you have to bring the milk to a just before a boil without scalding it, then watch and minimally stir to the point each individual grain is properly hydrated coated and plumped without being too hard or wimpy.  Planting.. again is slowing down, grounding and watching.

 

In college I was reading too much getting way to top heavy.  For me it was very important to get out of my head and into martial arts where too much thought meant a fist in the gut or more likely told to get down and do 20. 

 

 

addon> in a way we all have split personalities.  Personas we take on.  While in them we tell ourselves stories that act like a bellows keeping them alive.  Maybe its fine for the good states, but for the angry, the anxious ones, it might be better not to fuel them.  Best of all is to let the mind settle. 

Edited by thelerner
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If you are currently not able to give love, don't try. Instead, give service.

 

If you are in the U.S. (I think you are), find a nearby no-kill shelter or a Medicaid nursing home and volunteer time there on a regular basis to do whatever they need help with for the residents.

Great idea.

 

It¬īs wonderful to experience ourselves as loving, compassionate, genuine. All those warm and fuzzy feelings. But sometimes "how we feel" is not the most important thing. Sometimes those feelings can even get in the way.

 

My brother is a family-care doc who often refers patients who need surgery to surgeons who lack, shall we say, the best bedside manner. He warns them ahead of time not to expect cuddly consultations. These surgeons are expert technicians with less than top-notch people skills. Doesn¬īt matter. When you¬īre on that operating table you want someone who knows surgery, period.

 

Being of service means you do what needs doing. Your feelings as you do it matter less than that the job gets done. Say I¬īm an elderly shut-in waiting for someone to deliver lunch. I¬īm hungry. Mostly what I want is for some one to bring me a meal. Whether or not they are a phony or a trickster or a wanna-be messiah with quasi-sociopathic tendencies, I really don¬īt care. If they get me some food and go on their way, I¬īm good.

Edited by liminal_luke
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The moment you see yourself in archetypal terms, you have transcended the expression in practical terms.  You can't simultaneously know yourself as the Trickster and be the Trickster.

 

This is why recognising the Archetype is healing.  It sould feel like a relief.  Now I have a handle on it, I don't have ot blindly do it anymore.

 

The Trickster is all about sabotage.  It is the perfect antidote to all our pretensions to know what's best and what we want.  When we get something that the world will give us recongition for, the Trickster will make sure we don't stop there and get too attached.

 

Therefore to see the Trickster in ourself shows that we are no longer blind.  

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Everyone is subjected to the force of unconsciousness, which ultimately tricks us in a million ways and the further you go along the spiritual path the more subtle and clever it gets. Recognising that it even exists is a good step. 

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