I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who tends to bumble through life, rather oblivious to what's really going on. The best analogy for that is to say that I am to the waves, drops and mist as enlightened beings are to the oceanic depth ~which is to say, I'm a surface dweller, a.k.a. not very spiritually-intuitive or grounded. But I'm learning to swim deeper without my trusty life jacket, and to hold my breath for longer periods of time.
To my credit (and oft detriment), I will admit that I happen to be a great deal more socially-sensitive and attuned than most. I get non-verbal semantics and can read conversational signs, cues and icons - perhaps overly so - I will never overstay my welcome or impose or monopolize, except by deliberate design. And I do most of my conversational reading between the lines, which is dangerous and discursive footing, to be sure. Or is it?
I have a nameless, blameless family member who has absolutely no clue that my entire perception of her is based on verbal cues, or lack thereof, that I pick up during our rather awkward phone conversations. I suspect some people assume that hiding behind a telephone affords them an opportunity to shirk all that non-verbal body communication - which supposedly accounts for between 65-90% of the communication and which more to the point, the other person isn't able to see.
Unfortunately, the non-verbal sets the tone and ends up being the shadow projected on the wall. This is why the slouching, insecure telemarketer who fears rejection will more than likely receive it. What you give is what you get. Smile and the world smiles with you, even (or especially) if you're a telemarketer.
On this same note, I also have long-time friends who I have finally given up on after years of ignoring the blatant, blinking neon signs they were flashing my way: if I wanted to continue the friendship, the street sign marked effort was going to have to be one-way.
But lately, I've been switching these intuitive radar signals inwards, in order to pay closer attention to my metaphorical thinking, such as what my life outlook appears to be at any given time. And what I've learned is bound up in some of the archetypal theory that Caroline Myss expounds in her book, Sacred Contracts. Stay with me: the nouveau age mud gets clearer.
Myss identifies 4 universal archetypes that we all share - child, victim, prostitute, saboteur - and goes on to list 70 additional archetypes, 8 of which each of us owns to some varying degree (in addition to the first 4). My 8 other archetypes, in no particular order, are: mother, addict, dilettante/amateur, networker, poet, student, guide, and seeker/vagabond/wanderluster.
One or a chimera of a few of these is my life calling, I suspect, but I have yet to delve deep enough into the ocean to fully know that yet.
So what I've been noticing lately, in relation to these archetypal realms, is the degree to which I resonate with them at any given time.
Myss suggests this exercise for determining one's archetypes, but here's my metaphoric alternative. Simply ask yourself this question: if you were to visualize and then compare life to any one thing or concept, what would it be? Then fill in the blanks 8 times.
Life is a....
Here is my list, together with my corresponding 12 archetypes who took ownership for the statement.
Life is a(n):
1) blank canvas or book (artist/poet)
2) Silk Road (seeker/vagabond/wanderluster)
3) school (student)
4) accidental ordeal (victim)
5) wondrous gift (child - magical/innocent)*
6) epic adventure tour (guide)
7) womb (mother)
8) revolution (saboteur)
9) free market economy (prostitute)
10) social opportunity (networker)
11) dress rehearsal (dilettante/amateur)
12) buffet/bar/bottle/plant/hotel room/slot machine - simply substitute your addict's chosen noun here (addict)
* this answer changes depending on my child. My wounded child identifies with 'life is pain and suffering,' just as my orphan child thinks life is a hero's quest.
Anyways, I have no idea why I've blogged about this little philosophical pondering of mine, except as a way of positing to all of you friends, Romans and countrymen who have lent an ear and eye, as to where I'm at this early-Feb morning.
The truth is, a series of unfortunate events (how to tell I'm in victim mode) has me feeling very reflective, pensive and confused about the big picture lately.
Such is the daily battle and parade of my archetypes.
I feel like the many-faced Eve sometimes ~ minus the books, movies, notoriety, interesting personalities and manic tea parties. So there you go. Life's a bitch and then you die. Hmmm...I wonder which hidden archetype dared voice that analogy aloud.
Must be my inner Queen. God save her imperious ass....and all other utterances both noble and nebulous.