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Made You Think

Mar 15, 2022

“It can be said that life's perhaps most fundamental dynamic is the attempt to move from a lower form of experience and consciousness to a higher (or deeper) level of consciousness.”

In this episode of Made You Think, Nat and Neil discuss their key takeaways from King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. This book presents the 4 archetypes of manhood, and explores what undeveloped masculinity looks like in the form of the archetype Shadows.

In this episode of Made You Think, we cover a wide range of topics including:

  • The differences in Male vs. Female adulthood initiation
  • King and Tyrant energy in politicians
  • The rise in adult male virginity in the past decade
  • The Shadows of each of the 4 archetypes
  • Underdeveloped masculinity (Otherwise known as Boy psychology)

And much more. Please enjoy, and make sure to follow Nat and Neil on Twitter and share your thoughts on the episode.


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0:30 In today's episode, Nat and Neil cover the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. This is the first book episode since Episode 66 with just Nat and Neil (featuring pop-ins from Pepper and Baby Eliason!).

5:12 King, Warrior, Magician, Lover provides a blend of psychology and ancient tradition. Moore and Gillette define four male archetypes that stand out through history, as well as the shadow forms of each of the archetypes.

7:52 Masculinity doesn’t mean these ideas are just for men; it’s a spectrum. It's just as beneficial for women to know and understand these archetypes and their shadows, too.

10:15 Knowing all forms of these archetypes, including the shadow form, can allow you to better adapt as an adult. The book's definition of patriarchy:

"In our view, patriarchy is not the expression of deep and rooted masculinity, for truly deep and rooted masculinity is not abusive. Patriarchy is the expression of the immature masculine. It is the expression of Boy psychology, and, in part, the shadow—or crazy—side of masculinity. It expresses the stunted masculine, fixated at immature levels."

14:12 Boy psychology. A lot of what may be considered toxic masculinity today is what the book would call underdeveloped masculinity, or Boy psychology. Today, there seems to be a lack of societal rituals or clear transitions that take you from your boy stage to your man stage.

In essence, your Boy ego has to die for your Adult ego to be created, it's not clear where that happens.

18:57 During your teenage years, you’re somewhat psychologically competent to be an adult, but with so many restrictions on schooling, parenting, etc. it doesn't allow a lot of freedom to explore independence. It also creates a household struggle because there’s not much externally to struggle against. If you’re not being psychologically stimulated and challenged outside of the home, you may create that challenge in the form of conflict within your home. For many, the desire for challenge and quest is met through sports or other extra curricular activities.

22:04 School doesn’t solve this desire for challenge, it may arguably make it worse. The struggle teens face with school isn’t a struggle that is meaningful or fulfilling.

In school, your work is mainly about following a rubric or certain criteria, which limits creativity and fits students into a box. It’s not until college where young adults are given more autonomy and responsibility. Even then, many students still fit themselves into the box that they think they’re supposed to be in.

27:51 The difference between male adulthood initiation and female adulthood initiation. There are completely different experiences between men and women who become first-time parents, because women are the ones carrying the baby and experiencing all that comes with it.

30:30 It can be argued that in some ways, modernity is destroying the womanhood initiation ritual around giving birth. The birthing industry in hospitals isn’t designed around creating the best experience for the mother or retaining the sacredness of the experience.

36:38 Being more aware of environmental factors, diet, sunlight risks, etc. once you’re a parent.

40:22 "They are all boys pretending to be men. They got that way honestly, because nobody showed them what a mature man is like. Their kind of “manhood” is a pretense to manhood that goes largely undetected as such by most of us. We are continually mistaking this man’s controlling, threatening, and hostile behaviors for strength. In reality, he is showing an underlying extreme vulnerability and weakness, the vulnerability of the wounded boy."

This quote gives insight on the wounded boy mentality, similar to what Nat and Neil reference a high-chair tyrant.

42:44 Nat and Neil introduce the 4 archetypes: King, Warrior, Magician and Lover. 

King energy in many ways is father energy. Being a good King isn’t about being a ruler, it’s about being a good leader and being able to provide strength and security. Kids want a noble father figure to look up to in order to see a sense of security and leadership. When they don’t have that, they don’t feel as secure within the family unit. 

47:49 King energy is feeling present, centered, and in control. The inverse of King is similar to a Tyrant, who is never satisfied. The Tyrant is always looking for more material things, more work, and worries nonstop.

51:48 We all have King energy in us, and when you don’t think you can rely on your own King energy, you form a dependency on someone else for that security instead. As a child, your father should be the source of the King energy, and manhood is when you begin develop your own King energy internally.

54:01 King energy in politics. On some level, the sense of hopelessness as civilians may come from a lack of King energy in politicians. Not many leaders are strong in their sense of King energy, but many give the Tyrant energy. King energy in political leaders fosters a sense of security and hope.

58:25 Warrior energy. Warrior instinct is a part of us in our psychology. You need to embrace your Warrior energy so the shadow side isn't manifested. Nat and Neil talk about warrior genes. How to channel your Warrior energy for good uses. 

1:02:08 How do you measure if you’re the best you can be? It’s hard to test that. There's physical combat, physical challenges, intellectual challenges, but there’s not much else to accurately measure this.

If you have weak Warrior energy, everything is happening to you and you feel like nothing ever goes right. With positive Warrior energy, you’re in control and choosing your fate.

"The warrior is always alert. He is always awake. He is never sleeping through life. He knows how to focus his mind and his body. He is what the samurai called “mindful.” He is a “hunter” in the Native American tradition."

1:06:05 The choice of letting a situation or environment rule you can evoke the shadow version of these archetypes. Inversely, if you maintain control of your situation, you can harness the proactive and positive versions of these personalities. Sometimes you have to do what’s hard to live a fuller life, and not settle for the easier choices that end up being unhealthy for you.

1:08:32 The rise in male virginity, especially since 2008. Is it due to dating apps and advance in technology?

1:15:04 Shadow Warrior energy can appear similar to an obsessive-compulsive personality. This is where  you overcommit and take on too many challenges. The compulsive personality digs in and works harder rather than taking a step back when faced with danger signs. The healthy Warrior knows what to destroy in order to create.

1:20:16 Magician archetype: There’s a duality in the Magician and Warrior archetypes because the Warrior is the one who acts and implements while the Magician is the thinker and the planner. It pays to have a healthy balance of both archetypes.

1:23:45 A good leader is able to step back and observe so the best decisions can be made. If you’re too high on Warrior energy without the Magician energy, you may be doing too much action with little to no thought. And vice versa. 

1:27:02 Using access to special knowledge for selfish purposes or for power, similar to negative gurus with overpriced content. 

1:34:25 The Manipulator is the shadow side of the Magician. They always seek to control their experience and how others perceive them.

“Whenever we are detached, unrelated, and withholding what we know could help others, whenever we use our knowledge as a weapon to belittle and control others or to bolster our status or wealth at others’ expense, we are identified with the Shadow Magician as Manipulator. We are doing black magic, damaging ourselves as well as those who could benefit from our wisdom.”

1:37:29 Lover archetype, perhaps the most spiritual one. The Lover is very creative, and is in touch with their premonitions or intuitions about people, situations, or their future.

1:40:53 A lot of people want to have 100% of the information before making a decision, but it can take too long to have all of the information. If you have 40-70% of the information needed to make a decision you should make the decision. Any less than that, you may not make a good choice.

1:44:48 The Addict is the inverse to the Lover. The Addict rides on the ultimate and continuous high, adventure to adventure. Addictive behavior.

1:48:21 Thanks for listening! If you want to read ahead before our next episode, make sure to pick up a copy of The Fourth Turning by William Strauss and Neil Howe.

If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! You can say hi to us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS and @nateliason and share your thoughts on this episode.

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Thanks for listening. See you next time!