Jung on the Trickster Archetype and Its Manifestations

“The trickster is a collective shadow figure, a summation of all the inferior traits of character in individuals. And since the individual shadow is never absent as a component of personality, the collective figure can construct itself out of it continually.”

Jung (1954)[1]

The trickster “… is obviously a ‘psychologem,’ an archetypal psychic structure of extreme antiquity. In his clearest manifestation he is a faithful reflection of an absolutely undifferentiated human consciousness, corresponding to a psyche that has hardly left the animal level…. this is how the trickster figure originated….”

Jung (1954)[2]

…. The trickster is a primitive “cosmic” being of divine-animal nature, on the one hand superior to man because of his superhuman qualities, and on the other hand inferior to him because of his unreason and unconsciousness…. These defects are the marks of his human nature,…

Jung (1954)[3]

The trickster is the unconscious judging the judgments of the ego. The trickster pokes holes through the ego’s inflation. … the trickster tells the dreamer to include irrationality in himself….”

Eugene Monick (1987)[4]

[the trickster is] “… one of the most important and ubiquitous personifications of the archetypal shadow. It symbolizes the shadow side of ideals and beliefs about the nature of reality. As a counterpoint to one-sided perceptions and behaviors, the trickster takes on the sacred cows of a civilization…. Then it is often perceived as primitive, immature, and worthy of little more than contempt….”

John Van Eenwyk (1997)[5]

“Insofar as we have any weakness in knowing what we really want, and also insofar as such a weakness can be profitably generated and primed, markets will seize the opportunity to take us in on those weaknesses. They will zoom in and take advantage of us. They will phish us for phools.”

George Akerlof & Robert Shiller (2015)[6]

“… every man has his weak spot, and so everyone of us is oftentimes less than fully informed; and oftentimes we have difficulty knowing what we really want. As a by-product of these human weaknesses, we can be tricked…. And if people are less than perfect, those competitive free markets will not just be the playing field for providing us with what we need and want. They will also be the playing field for phishing for phools….”

George Akerlof & Robert Shiller (2015)[7]

“The sophisticated/informed almost always do better than the naïve/uninformed. Wherever that occurs there is phishing for phools.”

George Akerlof & Robert Shiller (2015)[8]

Michael Milken financing a spate of leveraged buyouts with junk bonds.[9] Bernard Madoff leaving dozens of people destitute in his ponzi scheme.[10] Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli hiking the price of a drug from $13.50 a tablet to $750 overnight.[11] Merck Pharmaceuticals selling Vioxx for 4 years, despite reports of strokes and heart attacks as side effects in some hundred thousand people, with estimated deaths of 26,000.[12] Angelo Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide Financial, creating subprime mortgages.[13] Moody’s and other rating agencies giving Triple A ratings to mortgage tranches that were of junk quality.[14] Volkswagen doctoring the software in their diesel cars to trick officials testing for pollutants[15]—these are just a few examples of how tricksters are everywhere. In this essay, we consider the phenomenon of the trickster, beginning with how Jung and others define it, and the features, terms, and symbols associated with it. Then we will examine the negative manifestations and conclude with the positive aspects of this archetype.

Some Definitions

Trickster. Jung defined the trickster as “a collective shadow figure, a summation of all the inferior traits of character in individuals,”[16] but also “a primitive ‘cosmic’ being of divine-animal nature,…which has prospects of a much higher development of consciousness based on a considerable eagerness to learn,…”[17] The trickster, in other words, is not entirely bad. He includes both poles—negative and positive. In his negative guise, he “takes on the sacred cows of civilization,”[18] and does not hesitate to take advantage of whomever he can. On the positive end of the polarity, the trickster has “superhuman qualities” that can foster growth, learning, healing and creativity.[19]

While Jung speaks of the “collective shadow,”[20] and “collective personification,”[21] he also recognizes that the trickster, as an archetype, is part of the psychic structure of all human beings.[22] It is intrinsic to our nature as humans that we have this inner energy that carries the “shadow side of ideals and beliefs about the nature of reality.”[23] Most of the time we would prefer not to recognize this side of ourselves. We may project it on to others. It might lie dormant within us, until we work to become conscious of it (more of this later, from my own personal experience). As always, Jung would encourage us to become acquainted with this archetype, in both its collective faces, and in the form it takes in our individual lives.

“Phishing” and “Phishers.” “Phish” was coined in 1996, in connection with the development of the World Wide Web. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “phish” as “To perpetrate a fraud on the Internet in order to glean personal information from individuals, especially by impersonating a reputable company; to engage in online fraud by deceptively ‘angling’ for personal information.”[24] George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, in their exposé of the widespread practice of phishing,[25] expanded the meaning to include activities beyond the realm of the Internet and personal data mining, e.g. rip-offs, consumer abuse, deceptions and tricks that lure “phools” into schemes that serve the phishers (i.e. those perpetrating the phishing) and not the innocent victim. As the quote at the beginning of this essay indicates, people who are sophisticated, wise to the ways of the world and informed about what’s going on in our society fare better in spotting and avoiding getting “phished” than the naïve innocents or those who are uninformed.[26]

Features of the Trickster

Sly, malicious, unpredictable, inferior, transgressive, unconscious, worldly, sacriligeous[27]—the trickster can manifest all these inferior personal qualities. Jung notes that “Although he is not really evil, he does the most atrocious things from sheer unconsciousness and unrelatedness….”[28] He lacks empathy, “eschews social propriety, defies convention,”[29] and acts “out in superficial ways that the ego disapproves of.”[30] Often he is impulsive,[31] knowing “no difference between right and wrong,”[32] and accepting “no discipline other than his own experimental attitude to life.”[33] The trickster can be harmful, because he can “expose us to the gravest dangers,”[34] and in this regard, he can be very alluring to those young people who are inclined to rebelliousness.[35]

We see the trickster in his more benign form in celebrations like Mardi Gras, where the figures on the floats and in the parades act out the shadow of organized religion, with their sacrileges and worldly behaviors.[36] As noted above, circus clowns perform a similar role in society.

Symbols and Terms for the Trickster

Symbols. The trickster shows up in myths, legends and fairy tales in various forms aside from human beings. The jaguar can represent the symbol in Central American cultures.[37] The coyote serves that role in Native American legends and stories[38] (having been taken over in modern cartoons as “Wiley Coyote”). We also associate the trickster with the fox[39] and the monkey.[40] Buddhism cautions meditators about the “monkey mind,”[41] which would thwart efforts to focus, and the fox gives us the adjective “foxy” (“sly,” “crafty”),[42] which describes well the essence of the trickster’s energy.

Terms. The “phisher” is one term we might use to refer to the trickster. The literature includes others, like “fool,”[43] “dummling,”[44] “heyoka,”[45] shaman,[46] naïf,[47] clown[48] and Mercurius.[49] Our English word “fool” comes from Latin follis, “empty-headed,”[50] so the original meaning of “fool” was a person without reason or sense. Over time, in the Middle Ages, the term came to have a more subtle meaning, referring to the court figure who joked and amused king and courtiers, but with a wit that was both quick and insightful. Childish and lacking maturity, the fool can act with spontaneity, and remains in contact with the world of spirit and instincts.[51] It is an orientation to life that may seem stupid and inept but is “in tune with the eternal verities of the objective psyche.”[52] This is what St. Paul meant when he noted that anyone seeking to be wise must become a fool to gain true wisdom.[53] To the degree that our modern fool is innocent, i.e. ignorant or unworldly, he/she can be taken to the cleaners.

The dummling is that figure in fairy tales who is disparaged or dismissed by people as being stupid, slow or unimpressive.[54] Often the youngest son, the shortest person, the least prepossessing, the dummling usually is the one that solves the riddle, wins the prize, gets the girl, becomes the king. Jungian analyst Daryl Sharp describes the dummling as that part of us that “has not been coerced by collective pressures… fresh, spontaneous, open to the unknown, naïve.”[55] The dummling might be likened to our inferior function, the part of us that we tend to ignore or avoiding using.[56] The fairy stories suggest that our success, growth, learning and achievement lie in using this undeveloped part of ourselves.

The heyoka is a Native American term for the tribal clown or jester who helped the tribe stay in touch with the shadow side of life,[57] via “transgressive” behaviors, funny situations and other activities that upturned normal reality. The clown antics we enjoy in the modern circus serve the same purpose: To make us laugh at actions that challenge our social norms,[58] and thus confront a different perspective on reality.

Similar to the heyoka, but considerably more sober, was the shaman or medicine-man in the tribe. Jung notes “There is something of the trickster in the character of the shaman and medicine-man,…”[59] Having gone through some sort of serious illness or life-changing event early in life, the shaman could draw on a range of healing energies, and commune with the spirit world and animal realms in trances, to effect cures in members of the tribe.[60] The dark side showed up in the tricks and bewitchings the shaman played on enemies—actions that often came back to bite him/her.[61]

Mercurius is the alchemical version of the trickster, drawing on qualities in the god in the classical pantheon who was fond of “sly jokes and malicious pranks,”[62] who had a dual nature (half divine, half animal) and the ability to shape-shift.[63] Just as the element mercury can be hard to handle, “mercurial,” so this aspect of the trickster can be slippery, difficult to pin down, ambiguous and unreliable.[64]

The naïf is the innocent, untutored in the ways of the world, living a sheltered life. Given the ubiquity of the Internet, with its full range of human experiences, I find it hard to imagine that anyone over the age of 7 in American society is truly naïve these days. If there are such individuals, they are very vulnerable to being snookered by the wiles of the many tricksters, “phishers” and con artists that populate the landscape. They may very well become “phools,” i.e. fools who got “phished.”

Akerlof and Shiller identify two kinds of phool: the informational phool and the psychological phool.[65] The informational phool is the person who acts “on information that is intentionally crafted to mislead”[66] him or her. Examples here are the stockholders of Enron[67] (who were told the company was sound, with little recourse for determining otherwise), and the pension officials who bought what they were told (by the rating agencies) were Triple A quality mortgage-backed securities.[68] The informational type of phool is taken in by swindlers’ lies or deceptions that would be nearly impossible for the ordinary person to spot.

The psychological phool is different, and comes in two types: the emotional and cognitive.[69] With the emotional type, “the emotions… override the dictates of his common sense,”[70] while, in the cognitive type, “cognitive biases, which are like optical illusions, lead him to misinterpret reality, and he acts on the basis of that misinterpretation.”[71] The informational phool is fooled by others; the psychological phool is fooled by his own foibles—emotional attachments, blind spots, “mental frames”[72] or “scripts” (often held unconsciously) that make him vulnerable to being manipulated.[73] For the “phishers” know that our decisions “depend largely on the subconscious rather than the conscious.”[74] Jung would agree. How does this show up in reality? The next section provides some examples.

Negative Manifestations

Examples of how the trickster manifests in a negative way can be drawn on two levels, the collective (how it shows up in our society) and the personal (how it shows up in our lives as individuals). We’ll consider the personal level first.

For those who are deeply unconscious, the trickster can turn up doing “atrocious things from sheer… unrelatedness….”.[75] From malicious teasing and “monkey tricks”[76] to swindling, stealing, and all sorts of criminal activities, the trickster works his devilish arts. These sometimes will land him in jail.

Lest those of us who have worked to become more conscious feel smug that we are better than all that, Jung reminds us that

“The darkness and the evil have not gone up in smoke, they have merely withdrawn into the unconscious owing to loss of energy, where they remain unconscious so long as all is well with the conscious. But if the conscious should find itself in a critical or doubtful situation, then it soon becomes apparent that the shadow has not dissolved into nothing but is only waiting for a favorable opportunity to reappear as… ‘monkey tricks,’… in which everything goes wrong and nothing intelligent happens except by mistake at the last moment….”[77]

In times of crisis or doubt, the trickster rears up and we can feel fated—as if life is “playing tricks” on us, or we might feel like things are “bewitched.”[78] We never think that it is our own inner archetype that has taken over. Jung is particularly wary of such times when “… people get together in masses and submerge the individual,…”[79] for then the “shadow is mobilized, and, as history shows, may even be personified and incarnated.”[80] One realm where this happens, Jung feels, is politics,[81] and I have found myself wondering, as I observe the run-up to the 2016 American presidential elections, if some of the Republican candidates are tricksters incarnated.[82] Politics is one way the trickster shows up on the collective level. Let’s consider others.

That two academics, George Akerlof and Robert Shiller came to write a 200+ page book on the phenomenon of “phishing” suggests the prevalence, even the ubiquity, of the trickster in our culture. Given that we live in a “new age of greed,”[83] where much economic activity is driven by the “profit incentive,”[84] it is not surprising that we find lots of swindlers out to cheat us with their clever financial accounting, deceptive sales practices, complex financial instruments, quants’ clever algorithms that supposedly eliminated risk from investing[85]—all ways the public is being ripped off.

Finance is not the only area of life where the trickster shows up. We see deception and malfeasance in the health care and food industries: “Big Phood” maximizing the salt, fat and sugar in processed foods, despite the epidemic of obesity;[86] putting the eggs and milk (items most commonly purchased) in the back of the store, thus forcing consumers to walk through the aisles with their enticing displays;[87] putting candy at the checkout counter, where we often have to wait in line, thus susceptible to the temptation of the sweets;[88] health clubs pushing over-priced contracts.[89] More consequential examples include: Big Tobacco hiding and denying the dangers of smoking for decades;[90] Big Pharma ignoring the side effects of hormone replacement therapy for years,[91] and hiding the dangers of the COX-2 inhibitors so they could glean billions in profits;[92] and a host of “phishers” working to foment doubts about the dangers of acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming and DDT.[93]

Tricksters have been the cause of major economic and political problems. For example, they were behind the “irrational exuberance”[94] in the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, talking up the virtues of various companies that led to the crash that wiped out many portfolios. Tricksters inhabit many advertising and marketing agencies,[95] appealing to the “monkey-on-our-shoulders,”[96] i.e. our inner fool who can be gulled into believing the stories, or attracted by the images the “hidden persuaders”[97] foist off on to us, e.g. the Marlboro Man,[98] the “sun kissed” orange in Sunkist juice,[99] the appeal of party-time images in liquor ads.[100] Tricksters also were responsible for the mortgage debacle and banking crisis in 2008, with their sliced-and-diced mortgage tranches,[101] “reputation mining,”[102] and complex financial instruments (e.g. credit default swaps, collaterialized debt obligations, derivatives of derivatives etc.).[103] In some cases, not even the CEOs of major banks could understand what their underlings had cooked up, leading some banks to go under.[104] The crisis in 2008, which set the entire global financial system teetering on the edge of collapse,[105] was caused largely by tricksters out to make as much profit as possible.

Tricksters subvert our democracy too. They work behind the scenes to line the pockets of our politicians, who need millions of dollars to finance their campaigns.[106] Then our representatives become beholden to the lobbyists who, in many cases, have a hand in writing legislation.[107] The result? We have a government not “of the people, by the people and for the people,” but rather a system that serves the fat cats who fund Congressional campaigns.[108]

Perhaps the most insidious way tricksters are subverting our democracy is in their claim that “government is the problem.”[109] They would have us believe that the “free market”—freed from government regulation—will bring us greater prosperity, when the reality is that it would bring us even “more sophisticated manipulations and deceptions.”[110] Akerlof and Shiller explain why this is so:  “… competitive markets by their very nature spawn deception and trickery, as a result of the same profit motive that gives us our prosperity.”[111] They also warn us that

“Insofar as we have any weakness in knowing what we really want, and also insofar as such a weakness can be profitably generated and primed, markets will seize the opportunity to take us in on those weaknesses. They will zoom in and take advantage of us. They will phish us for phools.”[112]


“… the ability of free markets to engender phishing for phools of many different varieities is not an externality. Rather, it is inherent in the workings of competitive markets. And the same motives for profit that give us a healthy benign economy if everyone is fully rational are the same motives that give us the economic pathologies of phishing for phools.”[113]

Just why this is—why we have come to this state of affairs—Akerlof and Shiller attribute to the “shift in our collective ethical standard,”[114] in which business these days puts profit first, the client’s or customer’s interest second.[115] Just what one would expect in our “new age of greed.”[116]

Jung would not be surprised. He was aware of how our ethics were slipping, how more and more people were succumbing to “mass-mindedness,”[117] falling prey to all sorts of distractions and soul-deadening allurements of a culture that was losing its way.[118]

What to do? Jung knew that “like cures like,”[119] so, if the trickster has presented us with problems (personal and collective) it also holds the promise of solutions. To see how this might be so, we must consider the positive aspects of the trickster archetype.

Positive Manifestations

We will consider the plus side of the trickster on both the personal and the collective levels. On the personal level, the trickster is valuable as an aid for us to keep the shadow conscious.[120] This is why clowns and the heyoka were valued in medieval and native cultures. In keeping the shadow in consciousness, the trickster can help free our minds from a fascination with evil, lest we fall into living out our shadow side compulsively.[121]

Why might we be fascinated with evil? Jung knew that, as an archetype, the trickster has numinosity,[122] and the numinous always holds a certain fascination because it is mysterious and beyond the capacity of our ego minds to figure out. By describing evil and the trickster as “fascinating” Jung did not imply we should relish doing evil or being tricky, but rather we should be mindful of the subtle allure (perhaps “curiosity” would be a better word) these aspects of our inner reality have for us.

Another positive aspect of the trickster on the personal level relates to our tendency to get inflated (a condition especially true of men).[123] The appearance of the trickster helps to deflate the ego if/when we become inflated. We are more likely to laugh at ourselves and our foibles when we are aware of our inner trickster, and when we are feeling especially full of ourselves, slam! bam! Doesn’t the trickster show up to give us a “face plant” or some appallingly embarrassing slip of the tongue, or a searing humiliation![124]

Such embarrassments are never pleasant, but they can be learning opportunities,[125] giving us the chance to see ourselves in a more objective light. Because the trickster comes up from the unconscious, it has a different angle from which to view life, and if we are willing to reperceive our beliefs, attitudes and assumptions, we can learn a lot from a working relationship with the trickster energy.

Aside from humbling the arrogant ego, the trickster also holds healing potential.[126] I have seen this from both sides of the spectrum. I once had a student who had a checkered past, including some years in jail. When he learned (in my course on mythology) about the trickster archetype, and how it lives in all of us, he was able to become less condemning of himself and more understanding of the circumstances that led him to live out the trickster in negative ways. From the opposite end of the spectrum, some years ago I had a student who was browbeaten by an enormous superego. Striving always for perfection, she lived in constant judgment on herself. When she learned she had an inner trickster, a tricky inner being who would never leave her life, she was able over time to relax more into self-acceptance.

A fifth way the trickster can be a positive energy lies in its ability to break us open.[127] By opening us to the unknown, the trickster can help us be more spontaneous and creative.[128] It fosters our reclaiming the creative imagination of the little child we once were. In this way it offers us the potential for renewal and transformation,[129] and it serves to enlarge our personality, thus furthering our individuation and journey into wholeness.

On the collective level, being aware of our inner trickster can protect us, to a degree, from all the “phishers” in our world. If it does not entirely inoculate us from scams and the allure of propaganda, having the trickster in consciousness can make us more skeptical and a “harder sell,” more resistant to the gimmicks of the advertising and marketing “phishers.”

Additionally, keeping the trickster in consciousness can assist us in challenging the patriarchy by calling into question much of the current system,[130] with its racism, sexism, plundering of the earth, violence and injustice. Since many of the pathologies of our current reality relate to what Anne Wilson Schaef calls the “white male system,”[131] the rebelliousness of the trickster can help us to spot these and begin to subvert them. For particulars on what the “white male system” looks like, and the emerging new paradigm that is replacing it, see the appendix at the end of this essay.


The topic of the trickster has particular meaning for me, since it was not an archetype that I was aware of when I began my analysis 30+ years ago. I was about six months into my analysis when my dreams began to suggest the archetype of the trickster was becoming activated in my unconscious. After hearing several dreams in this vein, my analyst commented on this, but she was tentative, unsure.

At that very moment, in a memorable example of synchronicity,[132] a fox came out of the woods and walked slowly across the lawn, in full view of us as we looked out the picture window of my analyst’s office. Such confirmation! Mr. Fox knew we needed a sign that we were on the right track.

Up until that time, I had been a terrible naïf, living in my books, in the proverbial scholar’s “ivory tower,” more or less innocent of the wiles of the world. I was vulnerable to the tricksters, to be sure. When my analyst ventured her hypothesis, I couldn’t understand just why it was a good thing to have the trickster come up into consciousness. But over time, I came to understand, and now, given my skepticism (does it shade into cynicism??) I sometimes wonder if I have become too fond of my inner trickster’s ability to spot fishy pitches and sleezy sales pitches.

I certainly can attest to the power of the trickster to stimulate discontent, creativity, new perspectives, critical thinking, and greater spontaneity. Jung was right: the trickster has both good and bad aspects, and we need both on the spiritual journey.

Sue Mehrtens is the author of this essay


Akerlof, George & Robert Shiller (2015), Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Anon. (2015), ”The $750 Pill,” The Week, v. 15, no. 742 (October 23, 2015), 11.

Blinder, Alan (2014), After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead. New York: Penguin Books.

Bolen, Jean Shinoda (1979), The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Brill, Steven (2015), “Trump U.,” Time, v. 186, no. 20 (November 16, 2015), 42-49.

Dourley, John (1992), A Strategy for a Loss of Faith: Jung’s Proposal. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Edinger, Edward (1995a), Melville’s Moby Dick: An American Nekyia. Toronto: Inner City Books.

________ (1995b), The Mysterium Lectures: A Journey through C.G. Jung’s Mysterium Coniunctionis. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Goleman, Daniel (1985), Vital Lies, Simple Truths. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Hakim, Danny, Aaron Kessler & Jack Ewing (2015), ”As VW Pushed to Be No. 1, Ambitions Fueled a Scandal,” The New York Times (September 27, 2015), 1,22.

Henderson, Joseph (1984), Cultural Attitudes in Psychological Perspective. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Hopcke, Robert (1997), There Are No Accidents: Synchronicity and the Stories of Our Lives. New York: Penguin Putnam.

Jung, C.G. (1959), ”The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious,” CW 9i. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1970), “Civilization in Transition,” CW 10. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1953), “Psychology and Alchemy,” CW 12. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1963), “Mysterium Coniunctionis,” CW 14. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

________ (1976), ”The Symbolic Life,” CW 18. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Lewis, Michael (2010), The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. New York: W.W. Norton.

________, (2011), Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World. New York: W.W. Norton.

Markopolos, Harry (2010), No One Would Listen. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Monick, Eugene (1987), Phallos: Sacred Image of the Masculine. Toronto: Inner City Books.

O’Kane, Francoise (1994), Sacred Chaos: God’s Shadow and the Dark Self. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Prechtel, Martin (1998), Secrets of the Talking Jaguar. New York: Tarcher Penguin.

________ (1999), Long Life Honey in the Heart. Berkeley CA: North Atlantic Books.

________ (2002), The Toe Bone and the Tooth. New York: Harper Collins.

Ramanna, Karthik (2015), “Ruling From the Shadows,” The New York Times (November 22, 2015), 6SR.

Schaef, Anne Wilson (1985), Women’s Reality. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Sharp, Daryl (1991), Jung Lexicon: A Primer of Terms and Concepts. Toronto: Inner City Books.

________ (1995), Who Am I, Really? Personality, Soul and Individuation. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Shiller, Robert (2015), Irrational Exuberance, 3rd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Tolle, Eckhart (2005), A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. New York: Plume Books.

Van Eenwyk, John (1997), Archetypes and Strange Attractors: The Chaotic World of Symbols. Toronto: Inner City Books.

von Franz, Marie-Louise (1997), Archetypal Patterns in Fairy Tales. Toronto: Inner City Books.

________ (1980), On Divination and Synchronicity: The Psychology of Meaningful Chance. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Williams, Donald (1981), Border Crossings: A Psychological Perspective on Carlos Castaneda’s Path of Knowledge. Toronto: Inner City Books.

Woodman, Marion (1990), The Ravaged Bridegroom: Masculinity in Women. Toronto: Inner City Books.


The Old and New Paradigms Compared

time as numbers on clock: reified

something to be counted, killed, made, spent

associated with concepts like “late,” “early,” “on time”

chronos time, kept by National Bureau of Standards

time as a process, series of passages, or cycles: as in Nature (seasons)

“kairos” time, kept by Nature and all forms of natural process, as well as native and indigenous peoples

relationships as hierarchies


relationships as opportunities to relate

“being peer”

focus: self and work

everything goes through self and the work

selfish focus on oneself

focus: relationships

everything goes through relationships

selfless focus on others until woman works through to self-esteem

sex: sexualizes the Universe

e.g. “nipples” in plumbing; male and female sockets in electrical work

sex is love

sex used to serve the self (causing poor relationships)

sex: just one aspect of living, fun, important and sacred

sex as one aspect of lovemaking

sex as a form of relating

intimacy defined physically, as linked to sex intimacy defined verbally, as deep communication sharing lives
love as rituals

energy exchanges used to serve the self at center of universe

love as flow of energy from solar plexus to solar plexus

energy exchange to share deeply with another

friend defined as a team player, supporter of joint effort friend defined as a person totally exposed to and able to share with you
parenting: to teach children the rules of the WMS

emphasis on content of WMS system

parenting: facilitating child’s development and unfolding

emphasis on process of growth and becoming

commitment = incarceration, loss of freedom commitment = covenant relationship; freedom is strengthened
power as zero-sum game; scarcity model power as limitless; dominion model
money as absolute and real; has intrinsic value money as relative and symbolic; no intrinsic value
leadership as symbol of power, taking charge, getting people to do one’s will leadership as facilitating, empowering others to grow into the fullness of their being
rules: used to control others and limit freedom rules: used to increase individual freedom and serve needs
thinking: linear, left-brained, logical, rational thinking: multivariant, right-brained, intuitive, creative
communication: used to win, to stay one-up communication: used to understand and be understood
negotiation: a way to manipulate others to get what one wants negotiation: a process allowing all parties to clarify wants, listen and come to a mutual agreement
responsibility: involves accountability and blame responsibility = ability to respond, with no blame
decision making: involves a formal process (e.g. Robert’s rules) decision making: consensual process, giving all chance to contribute
orientation: product/goal oriented; focus on outcomes, or ends orientation: process oriented; focus on how things are done, the means, not the ends


relation to Nature: exploitive (Earth = “gigantic toolshed”)

controlling Nature is both important and seen as possible

relation to Nature: conserving, ecologically minded (Earth as “mother”); controlling Nature recognized as neither possible nor desirable; attunement to natural rhythms and systems and alignment with purposes and processes of Nature
morality as a public issue, e.g. abortion morality as a private issue, e.g. spiritual concerns
health care: into “curing,” done by expert M.D. who runs the show; sees death as the enemy health care: into “healing,” by inner force of the body, assisted by facilitators aligned with natural energies and intuitive guidance; comfortable with the reality of death
worldview: static, reductionistic, positivistic, materialistic, objectivistic, mechanistic worldview: dynamic, holistic, intuitive, spiritual, subjectivistic, organismic
closed: stifles creativity; wastes; loses energy; is moving toward state of entropy open: fosters creativity; saves; circulates energy; is moving toward higher states of organization and complexity
hates paradox (challenges the logical bias of left brain) cherishes paradox
thinks dualistically: either/or thinks integrally: both/and
God as male being (“Father”), concretized God as a process, never constant or static, with whom we attune

[1] Collected Works 9i, ¶484. Hereafter Collected Works will be abbreviated CW.

[2] Ibid., ¶465.

[3] Ibid., ¶473

[4] Monick (1987), 110.

[5] Van Eenwyk (1997), 98-99.

[6] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), x.

[7] Ibid, 164.

[8] Ibid., 169.

[9] Ibid., 43 & 124.

[10] Markopolos (2010) describes this whole remarkable story, including the ineptitude of the SEC; cf. Akerlof & Shiller (2015), 158.

[11] Anon. (2015), 11.

[12] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), 90-2.

[13] Ibid., xv.

[14] Ibid., 23-4.

[15] Hakim et al. (2015), 1, 22.

[16] CW 9i, ¶484.

[17] Ibid., ¶473.

[18] Van Eenwyk (1997), 98-9.

[19] CW 9i, ¶s 457,473 & 480.

[20] Ibid., ¶484.

[21] Ibid., ¶468.

[22] Ibid., ¶465.

[23] Van Eenwyk (1997), 98-9.

[24] Quoted in Akerlof & Shiller (2015), xi.

[25] Akerlof & Shiller’s book is more than an exposé: it is a cogent argument for government regulation of the market.

[26] Ibid., 169.

[27] CW 9i, ¶456,457,469 &473.

[28] Ibid., ¶473.

[29] Monick (1987), 110.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Henderson (1984), 35.

[34] Edinger (1995b), 309.

[35] Henderson (1984), 35.

[36] Van Eenwyk (1997), 99.

[37] Williams (1981), 98. For more on the jaguar in Central American shamanism, see the memoirs of Martin Prechtel (1998) (1999) and (2002).

[38] Williams (1981), 98.

[39] Woodman (1990), 66.

[40] CW 9i, ¶477

[41] This term is used in Buddhism to refer to the unsettled, restless, capricious, indecisive and uncontrollable nature of mind; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mind_monkey.

[42] World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, I, 785.

[43] O’Kane (1994), 86.

[44] Sharp (1995), 68.

[45] von Franz (1997), 178.

[46] CW 9i, ¶457.

[47] O’Kane (1994), 86.

[48] von Franz (1997), 178.

[49] CW 9i, ¶456.

[50] World Book Encyclopedia Dictionary, I, 771.

[51] O’Kane (1994), 86.

[52] Edinger (1995a), 108.

[53] I Cor. 3:18-19.

[54] Edinger (1995a), 118.

[55] Sharp (1995), 68.

[56] Ibid.

[57] von Franz (1997), 178.

[58] Monick (1987), 89.

[59] CW 9i, ¶457.

[60] Williams (1981), 46.

[61] CW 9i , ¶457.

[62] Ibid., ¶456.

[63] Ibid

[64] Sharp (1991), 139.

[65] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), xi.

[66] Ibid.

[67] Ibid., xi.

[68] Ibid., 23-4.

[69] Ibid., xi.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Ibid, 10. For more on mental frames and scripts, see Goleman (1985), 198.

[73] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), 10.

[74] Ibid., 178.

[75] CW 9i, ¶473.

[76] Ibid., ¶477.

[77] Ibid.

[78] Ibid., ¶478.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Ibid.

[81] Ibid., ¶477.

[82] E.g. Donald Trump, who is now being investigated in connection with the fraud investigation of Trump University; see Brill (2015), 42-49.

[83] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), 123.

[84] Ibid., 136.

[85] Ibid., 8,23-4,31, 36-7.

[86] Ibid., xv.

[87] Ibid., 21.

[88] Ibid.

[89] Ibid., 3.

[90] Ibid., xv.

[91] Ibid., 93.

[92] Ibid., 208.

[93] Ibid., 216.

[94] Ibid., xiv & 134. The term “irrational exuberance” was coined by Alan Greenspan, when he was Chairman of the Federal Reserve; Shiller later used the term as a book title; see Shiller (2015).

[95] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), 48.

[96] Ibid. “Monkey-on-the-shoulder” is their term for our inner trickster.

[97] Ibid., 7. This was the title of a 1957 book by Vance Packard.

[98] Ibid., 53.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Ibid., 110.

[101] Ibid., 32.

[102] Ibid., 23-5,31-5. “Reputation mining” refers to the practice of exploiting a company’s good reputation so as to build confidence in the consumer’s mind. An example is the credit rating agencies, like Moody’s, which once had a sterling reputation for impartial and objective assessment of corporations, bonds etc. Today, now that we know the corporations and banks pay these rating agencies, we know their evaluations are not to be trusted, as they are no longer neutral or objective, since their income depends on pleasing their paymasters.

[103] For a fascinating, well-written account of these complex instruments and how they contributed to the 2008 crisis, see Lewis (2010). That government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission did not intervene to protext the public is due in part to ineptitude (see Markopolos [2010] and in part to the phenomenon of regulatory capture, in which industries exert strong influence on the governmental regulatory bodies that are theoretically policing them; cf.Akerlof & Shiller (2015), Blinder (2014) and Ramanna (2015).

[104] E.g. Lehman Brothers. For an accurate dramatization of the fall of the house of Lehman, see the 2010 movie “Margin Call.”

[105] For narratives on the 2008 debacle and its effects, see Lewis (2011) and Blinder (2014).

[106] Akerlof & Shiller (2015), xvi, 42.

[107] Ibid., 77.

[108] Ibid., 160-1.

[109] Ibid., 152.

[110] Ibid, 136.

[111] Ibid. 165.

[112] Ibid. x

[113] Ibid. 166.

[114] Ibid. 30.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid. 123.

[117] CW 10, ¶719,723; CW 14, ¶346; CW 18, ¶1387.

[118] E.g. from the wide array of technologies that serve to distract us, like cell phones and their various “apps,” video games, television, computers, etc. For the seriously negative effects this is having, see Turkle (2015). Jung’s attitude toward technology was discussed in the blog essay “Jung on Technology,” archived on this blog site.

[119] CW 12, ¶s 435, 496.

[120] CW 9i, ¶477.

[121] Ibid.

[122] Ibid., ¶480.

[123] This is not my opinon; see Tolle (2005), 155, and Monick (1987), which is devoted, in large part, to the theme of inflation in the male.

[124] Monick (1987), 110.

[125] CW 9i, ¶473.

[126] Ibid., ¶480.

[127] Sharp (1995), 68.

[128] Edinger (1995a), 116.

[129] O’Kane (1994), 87.

[130] Cf. Van Eenwyk (1997), 98-9 and Monick (1987), 110.

[131] Schaef (1985) delineates the features of this system in depth.

[132] For in-depth discussions of synchronicity, see Bolen (1979), Hopcke (1997) and von Franz (1980).