An archetype is a source of representations, which allows our imagination and our action to take shape. To understand the archetypes, that are driving forces in our life as well as in organizations, help us to see more clearly what happens in our internal world as well as in groups.
The concept of archetypes was developed by Jung as a basic component of the collective unconscious. If you compare the mind to a computer, it is like a program allowing some structures and models that you will fill up with the learning of your personal history and with your personnal choices. Jung was inspired by the thinking of ancient philosophers like Plato for whom, the world as we perceive, is a reflection of a deep mysterious realm from where the world we experience, comes into existence. This deep invisible world unfolds differently in each of us following universal patterns we call archetypes. They allow our vital energy to take form and to follow some patterns of action. The power of life and love can then find its way in the physical and psychological human realm. Each archetype represents a primordial unconscious aspect, unfolding in different specific ways, depending on one's own character, history and destiny.
The first organization we all have to deal with is our own body.
The quality of our presence and kind acceptance of it in all his parts and aspects, determine the quality of our presence and acceptance of people. The body is the microcosm of the universe. The leader’s body is the microcosm of his organization.
Through our practice of the ‘King’s/Queen’s Play’, we have defined four main archetypes expressing four directions our vital energy has to take in order to become a balance and complete human being. Namely: The Builder, The Warrior, The Sage, and The Artist.
These archetypes are present and active in every human individual psyche but are also driving and shaping forces in organizations.
We use two other archetypes:
In ancient times, the archetypes were determining the distribution of roles in society. There was the King’s family, the Priests and Monks, the ‘tiers états’ Third State) Merchants and Workers, the Warriors and the Artists. The caste system is more or less sill present in Hinduism. This system’s purpose was to determine by birth the place and role of each one in a very hierarchical society with very few possibilities to move from one to the other. We came to understand that these basic roles are still necessary for the balance and dynamic of today’s organizations, not by birthright, but by choice, talents and inclination. All the archetypes are necessary to the balance in any groups and they appear spontaneously anyway. Moreover, they have to be part in the inner world and in the active life of everyone who wants to have a balanced life.