Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung discovered four archetypes of masculinity stationed in the masculine subconscious.

This is the warrior.

Symbolic Space: Field of Combat

Emblem: Sword

Examples: George St-Pierre, Russell Means, Mike Tyson, David

The warrior guards. He is the archetype of wildness, assertiveness, aggression, and athleticism, primal qualities that typically generate during boyhood. After these develop, and under guidance by a father or elder males, this archetype exists as discipline, focus, vigilance, and determination, and acts during times of courage and bravery–perhaps being afraid, but going forward anyway. Finally, while experiencing meaningful relationships a man becomes loyal, faithful, and dutiful; protects the weak, the family, and his own sovereignty. All these are the forms of the warrior.

The significance of the warrior for boys and men is evident in their fascination with combat in movies, sports, books, and the news. Contact sports and war can provoke a “battle frenzy”–radically elevated energy of the warrior reaching the point of lust and passion for death and destruction, figurative or literal. When the romanticisation of combat matures, a man associates it less with death and destruction and more with life and protection. This maturity eradicates the belief that they must dominate and steal from others to protect and provide for themselves and their community. Men who fail to mature will too often treat peers as threats rather than as brothers and sisters. This will likely make those peers hostile, and perpetuate a cycle of conflict without meaningful purpose.

However, this maturity comes only through pain and sacrifice. Unlike girls, who are automatically and cumbersomely initiated into womanhood via menstruation, a boy needs to be provided with pain, challenge, or obstacle by an elder and loving male, who trains him how to confront and conquer them. Boys who are not trained to confront pain, or who are trained to confront pain by someone who is not both elder and loving, will have delayed embodiment of the mature warrior. Even after growing out of boyhood a man must continually ensure he is confronting challenges–balanced by periods of rest–lest he slip back into immaturity. Old men tend to experience these challenges every day. Younger men have the duty and privilege to supply old men with periods of rest just as elder men had supplied them with periods of stress.

The Great Battle

When attempting to reach his full potential, a man is wise to endure obstacles that are physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. The most difficult, most important, and most rewarding of these is the battle within. Confronting the darkness within commonly incurs great pain; the darkness inflicts punishment for facing it, uttering the lie that the consequence for facing it is weakness, loss, or death. The man who believes this lie remains in darkness. He senses the dark, but thinks it originates from others, lest he confront the darkness within. Others become his enemy, who he must vanquish. But as Saint Paul wrote, “Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”-Eph 6:12 New Revised Standard Version

The more a man defeats his inner darkness, the more illuminated he becomes. He can recognize darkness that is actually within others. Knowing the pain of darkness and understanding its ability to victimize, he can see others as victims of darkness and fight against it rather than them. Still, others are often made by the dark to believe such a man is a threat and that they will die if light is revealed, when in fact they will live. Since dark cannot coexist with light, it deceives its victim into believing that light is darkness and life is death. The only way for the victim to discern truth from lie is to confront their own darkness.

The more success a man has with defeating the darkness inside him, the greater the warrior energy can be accessed to fulfill his purpose: to serve the King and guard his kingdom from threats beyond its boundaries. The king archetype is then free to unify and order the other three archetypes. Uniting the warrior with the lover archetype enables a man to join sexual aggressiveness with tenderness, emotional fortitude with empathy, and duty with desire. Commanding the warrior with the magician archetype makes him competent, rational, and methodical. Such a man applies strategies for success, and when he makes mistakes he learns from them.

The Complete Warrior

Integration with the other archetypes allows a man to responsibly utilize the warrior’s power to decide what lives and what dies; he can destroy the old to make way for the new; make decisions about who to befriend, date, and marry, which habits to break and which beliefs to change. He can “separate the wheat from the chaff”-Mt 3:12

A warrior without his own king lacks integrity. He is easily ruled by the king of another, who is not the true King. The man who serves the true King is therefore protected from domination. He is a free man. Being a free man in service of the true King makes him both master and servant. Only this man can guard himself, his family, his community, and his country.

Suggested Reading

The Way of the Fight, by Georges St-Pierre