We hope that our leaders, whether male or female, will represent the virtues of courage, strength, decisiveness, wisdom, capability, productivity and benevolent authority - values necessary for the continuation of our society. The positive Father is an image of the mature masculine, manifesting in caring guidance and protection without infringing on the autonomy of those under his care. The positive aspect of the Father Principle suggests law, order, justice, flexible discipline, rationality, understanding, inspiration and authority in the service of protection.
The negative Father refers to any person in a position of authority who is punitive, rageful, brutal, rigid, controlling, withholding, ineffective and/or selfish. The negative Father has a cold intellectual way of relating which leads to inflation and grandiosity (state of hubris). From petty tyrants to dictators, any father, king or president can embody the shadow of the archetype of the Father. Any person abusing their position of influence or power to dominate, suppress or prey on more vulnerable members of society embodies the negative Father. The destructive and anti-social aspects of the Father archetype can be clearly seen in abusive fathers, cult leaders, politicians who capitalize on fear, and ultimately in the disregard and widespread destruction of the Earth. Patriarchy, built on fear and domination, is an example of the negative Father.
Fathers (or substitutes) play a crucial role in our psychological development, whether we think of them as heroes, villains, or ordinary humans. Our human experience is governed by internalization of the real father, but informed by the archetype.
Image credit: Silenus with the child Dionysos. Marble, Roman copy of the middle 2nd century CE after a Greek original by Lysippos (ca. 300 BC). Vatican Museum
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
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