Posts Tagged ‘Shepherd’

the shepherd (a new KWML “King” archetype)

January 29, 2012


I recommend that you open this in a separate window so you can see the links the second part:


1) The explorer: they innocently and eagerly discover the world. They like to play around with things and experiment, then to demonstrate or share patterns that they find.

GSD with baby

Image via Wikipedia

Eventually, they also discover that some people do not want certain details of human life to be discovered or explored or publicized, so the explorer inevitably learns to keep secret certain subjects (or simply avoid those subjects). That distinction is the origin of the psychological shadow.


Image by gilus_pl via Flickr

2) The judge: they divide the world in to a simple polarity: good vs evil, right vs wrong, what should be and what should not be. This is the classic metaphor of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There are two main branches or limbs that extend from the single trunk: what is accepted as working and what is rejected. Of course, the judge actually does not label the vast majority of reality as good or evil, but the function of the judge is identify priority topics and sort those topics in (a) things to cultivate and (b) things to avoid or suppress. The judge is like a censor or an editor or even a coach. Again, there are things that it works best to keep private and things that it works well to publicize.

A maturing judge realizes that the labels of right and wrong are not absolute, but are contextual or relative. For instance, behavior that is wrong in a quiet library may be the right behavior in a park or playground. However, some judges remain in fanatical dogmatic paranoia and anxiety, at least for a while.

3) The saint

Saints identify one or more patterns of life as problems and then go about saving the world from that pattern. Different saints identify different patterns as problems and thus saints tend to eventually encounter other fanatical saints to argue or struggle against or at least to compete against for attention (or for research funding, etc). Their crusades often involve reactively fighting against other crusaders (over any issue except territory or military dominance- as in fighting over principle or morality). They kill out of judgment and contempt, unlike a hunter or a herder or a general.

Many saints do not know that their labeling of any particular pattern as a problem is arbitrary. In other words, many immature judges advance on to developing as saints and thus end up in the mode of earning their way in to a distant heaven to compensate for a deep shame or guilt about their own secret judgment that they should not be how they are, should not have done what they have done, should accomplish some great glory to provide restitution and so on.

If you ask most of these saints, they may insist that they are not in heaven. They may say that must save the world in order to earn their way in to heaven. That is their purpose or their destiny or their mission. Their guilt or shame or secret shadow is a core part of their identity, as is their mission to compensate for the guilt or shame.

A maturing saint recognizes that fixing or changing the world is not the path to a distant heaven, but to exhaustion and depression. Advocating a particular pattern of human behavior or human social order may be quite useful and relevant and even a priority, but arguing is not promoting anything except the behavior of arguing. A mature or holy saint is not offended by someone who does not support their advocacy or who even disagrees or opposes their movement or crusade or imperialist war.

4) The shepherd: this is the symbol of a flock of sheep led by a herder who tends over the flock as their master or bishop (which is a word derived from the roots for “watching over,” same as “episcopal”). The shepherd is also a classic Christian metaphor for a religious leader or even for a church institution itself (as in “the Good Shepherd Church”).

There are dangers to the sheep, such as wolves. The shepherd partners with the flock, promoting the shepherd’s own interests and the interests of the flock, so far as those interests are in accord with those of the shepherd. A shepherd may also train some sheep dogs (such as the German Shepherd dog) to assist in the herding of the flock.

German Shepherd Dogs. Female (left), Male (right).

Image via Wikipedia

In human social orders, archetypical shepherds are those who influence, guide and govern the attention, perception, and behavior of a society of people, such as a church congregation. They do not primarily explore the world or judge the world (reactively) or save the world. They rule the world or govern it.

They intentionally name or label what is right and what is wrong, then train judges to promote those systems of labeling. Shepherds may use propaganda or any other means to direct the well-being of their flock, to keep their flock loyal, to exclude or punish the disloyal, and to demonize not only wolves but any perceived threat to the flock.

Further, shepherds may demonize the methods of shepherds, such as to monopolize on those behaviors most relevant to their interests. For instance, shepherds may universally condemn propaganda, yet also universally apply it with intricate competence. They recognize language as simply one tool for influence among many tools for influence. They establish taboos. They may form diagnostic systems for labeling various ideas as crazy (to lock people up) or even criminal (to execute them).

Shepherds may wish to identify physiological contagions and then quarantine sheep to possibly eventually recover and then return to their economic functions. However, with any actual contagions, it is equally important keep the contagious away from the healthy, so that if those who are contagious die in quarantine, then at least they do not spread the contagion.

The issue is not much different for contagious ideas. Even if some sheep merely develop ill will, that must be kept within certain bounds or can be disruptive to the social order. Certain forms of ill will can be categorized as mental illness and medicated or again those sheep can be quarantined from the rest of society.

The shepherd recognizes the natural tendency to explore and encourages and guides it, yet also focusing it so as to avoid any subjects that may be deemed functionally best to avoid, at least for certain people at certain times. The shepherd recognizes the natural tendency or sort or prioritize as in judge or evaluate. Again, the shepherds train those who are ripe to judge to perform their judging in particular ways. If it suits their purposes, a shepherd might even cultivate dissent and controversy within a social order between a set of subcultures.

Recognizing the natural tendency of judges to become saints and then attempt to alter the world so that there is only good and no evil, the shepherd will also govern over sainthood. If conflicts between saints fits the social order, that is what the shepherd will promote or at least allow.

A shepherd is like a barber who trims hair in a certain way or a gardener who prunes a tree in a certain way. They partner with the natural tendencies as they trim or prune or govern and they promote the interests of the flock using words and any other method that suits their purpose.

While being such a shepherd may be universally condemned as evil, the fact is that there is such shepherding in the world and there has been for thousands of years. One can explore it or avoid it, promote it or condemn it, attempt to change it or accept it, and participate in it in any particular way or not.



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