How do we know what the best course of action should be for a given scenario?
When we encounter radical change, our natural instincts tend to kick in and only offer us limited options, often fight or flight.
Of course, there are many different ways to approach any given scenario; accessing them all in order to choose the best one, however, isn’t always easy.
It’s the creative side of ourselves that allows us to access the different ways of approaching a scenario. In Douglas Gillette and Robert L. Moore’s King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, it’s the magician archetype that holds the key to unlocking the creative side of ourselves.
A simple thought experiment can help us get better in tune with our inner magician, to unlock the creativity often hidden within.
Accessing your inner magician
- Imagine holding out your hand, and a drop of water being placed on it. The water will eventually flow down to the ground, following the path of least resistance.
- Try to think of all the different ways the drop of water might fall from your hand to the ground. Raise your hand up and it might flow down your arm. Lower your hand and it might drop directly to the ground.
- Be creative and think outside the box! A gust of wind might blow the drop of water from one hand to the other. The drop of water might be absorbed into your skin and make its way through your body.
- Try to name ten distinct ways the drop of water will transition from your hand to the ground below you.
There are a few obvious ways that the drop of water may flow to the ground, but the actual number of paths it might take is limitless.
Forcing ourselves to think beyond the obvious and come up with alternative paths for the drop of water is helping train our inner magician, the part of our inner selves that can find creative ways beyond the most obvious solutions.
We mold clay to make a vessel, but it’s the empty space it creates in which the usefulness of the vessel depends.
— Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
This simple exercise is actually a practical thought experiment, even if it isn’t immediately apparent. By forcing ourselves to come up with creative solutions to this problem, we’re training our magician to be able to offer up creative solutions to real-world scenarios when we need to find the best path forward.
At MaArtial, we believe in the Jungian concept of ancient archetypes that can be used to help us in modern day if accessed correctly. The magician is one of the primary archetypes, and described in depth in the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Douglas Gillette and Robert L. Moore.
Accessing the magician archetype helps us get in touch with the creative sides of our complex selves. Using divergent thinking can be a great solution to the common problem of doing the same thing and expecting different results.
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Photo: Rene Burri/Magnum Photos/Profimedia.CZ