To my surprise ruminating on fear for the past couple of days allowed some peculiar realisations to come to the surface. I mentioned a light spirit of devilishness that had possessed me in the beginning of the week and it kind of stayed will me since then. I can feel it grows stronger and finds her home within me. I like this novel experience and I also see how it shapes my mood and directs attention. From a small, unfamiliar curiosity it evolved into a more solid perceivable state. I could trace it back in the conversations I had this week. I feel it as a playful lightness that allows to push things slightly further to their edge testing whether they will fall or not.
Yesterday, while reading about liminality, I came across trickster, one of the Jungian archetypes. Before diving in the specifics of this archetype, let’s get a bit of context about what archetypes are and what is their role in the process of individual development. According to Jung, archetypes are images, universal themes that derive from the collective unconscious we where born into. They manifest in literature, art and memories of the past that affect our present and shaping our future. Archetypes are important players in the process called individuation - the period in life, generally after we turn 35, when an individual starts to feel an urge to separate herself from the undefined collective unconscious. This conscious decoupling is happening with the help of archetypes which can help us to realise what are the prevailing behavioural models that are alive in each individual. Now back to the trickster.
The trickster is a peculiar character - a marriage between the unconscious primal animalistic urges and desires, and the divine aspects of the individual. She doesn’t fully belong to either of the two worlds, she occupies the liminal space in-between. The trickster is messing up the order between the conscious and the unconscious, connecting the dots, making meaning out of the meaningless. She is playful, fearless, provocative, likes to play with metaphors and to challenge settled structures. What seems like a disruptive force appears to be a constructive one as it allows for explorations of new grounds. Break in order to build and then break again. The trickster is good in seeing truths around her and pointing them out to the rest. Therefore, the character can be annoying at first, but if one can see through the defensiveness and rejection, the trickster’s gesture is a real treasure. She is not a problem-solver but rather an identifier, there is no goal in her movement, except releasing bits and pieces out of the unconsciousness and letting them find their place in the world.
That new feeling that I experience which I call devilishness, greatly resonates with the trickster archetype. To be fully honest, when I read about it I went through a chain of emotions. I also went through a cheesy online test to determine my archetype and got 71% trickster and 20% innocent child. I’ll keep the reflection on the innocent child for another time, but the playfulness of both archetypes reveals the pattern.
Discovering these similarities has been quite a rollercoaster. From the heights of euphoric joy caused by possibly the first-time experience of taking part in collective unconscious, to the few painful kicks from my ego for pointing out her insignificance. From I am a part of a greater whole to I am not that special after all. Eventually, curiosity and the potentiality of expanding the family of self won the battle and brought me peace. After going back and forth, shifting from one state to another, with few bruises and few insights I settled down intent on keeping the trickster. I like her. She is nice.