The Lover. Highly sensual, but not just in a sexual way. Full of creative energy. Full of passion. Often at odds with the King, the Warrior, and the Magician. The Lover may be the most misunderstood of the Masculine Archetypes. But there are lessons to learn from him.
At long last, this is the final installment of my review of King, Lover, Magician, Warrior: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. We’ve covered the King, the Warrior, and the Magician.
We’ve learned of the King’s wisdom and patience and desire to bless. We’ve seen the Warrior’s discipline, skill, and courage to take action. And we’ve heard of the Magician’s special knowledge that sheds light on the problems facing the realm.
But today we focus on the Lover. Some will have a hard time viewing the Lover as a Masculine Archetype. They’ll just call him a sissy or a pretty boy and move on. That . . . would be a mistake. For being a lover is essentially masculine. It inspires us to do our greatest work. While discipline resembles brute strength, the Lover’s energy flows from a powerful well of inspiration.
As a result, whenever we find inspiration from deep within, we tap into the Lover. That is true regardless of trade or occupation or endeavor. Whether you’re a plumber, a doctor, a farmer, or a poet, when you are inspired, you’re accessing the Lover.
When you’re passionate, whether about a woman or a project, you’re accessing the Lover. When you’re enjoying a delicious steak, you’ve become the Lover. When a beautiful sunrise satisfies your soul, the Lover is present in you.
The Lover goes beyond the surface and reaches the energy. Of the planet. Of plants and animals. Of other people. Especially of other people. He feels their energy and longs for connection. Physical, mental, and emotional.
Being able to touch other people’s energy allows him to “read” them. He can look past their words and sense their soul. His bullshit detector is highly sensitive. But when he connects with a sincere soul, he feels empowered and is able to empower the other as well. He connects with the joy and the pain of others.
His passion and energy and connection give both compassion and anger to the King whose laws are broken. He inspires the Warrior to battle and the Magician towards knowledge. But he also opposes them all. He feels pity for those who have angered the King and who fall under the Warrior’s blade. His creativity and spontaneity oppose the Magician’s disciplined and orderly quest for knowledge and skill.
At his best, he drinks deeply from all the wonder that life has to offer. His love for his woman is unmatched. His connection to her deeper than any other can provide. His love for family and country runs deep. It fills him with emotion. While creating a burden, these emotions remind him that he is alive. The deep love and deep pain serve as proof of life. Though his tears flow more freely, his smile is larger and more prevalent.
“His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory, nor defeat.”
His place shall never be, as Theodore Roosevelt described it, “with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory, nor defeat.” He enters the arena of life. He lives with passion. He drinks deeply from the well of love. His life and his heart, though stormy and messy, are full.
The Lover’s Dark Side: The Addict
But, like the other archetypes, the Lover has a dark side. Without the restraint of the King and the Warrior, the Lover can easily become the Addict. The Addict refuses to put any limits on his passions, especially his sexual appetite. In a day where porn is readily available, the Addict is a major problem.
It doesn’t take long for the Addict to realize that he is no longer in control of his appetites. He’s a slave. His heart, his mind, and his senses are over-stimulated. He cannot escape their call. His life becomes controlled by satisfying his urges.
This type of living actually lessens his sensual experience. Instead of drinking deeply of his woman’s love, he cheapens his experience to a quick, meaningless ejaculation. Instead of enjoying a delicious steak, becomes a glutton who can only focus on his next meal rather than the one in front of him. Instead of sipping his whiskey, he needs to feel drunkenness. And so the Lover loses his energy.
Today’s Man: The Impotent Lover
He becomes the Impotent Lover. His lost energy results in a bland and sterile existence. He gets out of bed only to feel tired and listless. He finishes a meal to find he didn’t enjoy it and is still hungry. But nothing sounds appetizing to him. He has no enthusiasm. No passion. He’s no longer alive inside. He is the walking dead.
And this, as much as anything, is the story of our generation. We have much knowledge and many projects, but little inspiration. We have many ejaculations, but few fulfilled, passionate sex lives. We have many relationships and acquaintances, but few meaningful connections with other people.
For this reason, we need to access the Lover. We need to be alive inside. Whether you’re a doctor or a janitor, you need passion. Not necessarily about your job, but about your life. Because other people feed off that energy. People who are alive inside live great lives. And they make the world a better place. This is the man’s life. Let’s build it. Godspeed.