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Jason Heckman

February 22, 2009

Final (The Trickster Figure)

The Trickster-Figure of Carl Jung is one of my favorite Archetypes. I feel a


close connection to this figure in that he has many faults; additionally, in
the fact that the Trickster-Figure is very uncontrollable. I happen to believe
that although I may not show it all the time, I have defects that can sneak
up on me at any time.

My aim here is to inform you about the rituals behind the Trickster-Figure
in history. I will show his religious make up, his personality in history; his
power on reality as of now and his intermixing with the other archetypes
that are near to his definition. The history behind the Trickster-Figure
centers around and has its strongest beginnings in the medieval Church,
tribal culture, from various parts of the world, and Native American culture.

Humbolt (n.d.) stated Originally, stories were told of this Trickster-Figure


figure within Native American culture. The stories were used to bring a
sense greater self to the Native American people that they were told to.
There are many different myths based off of many different animals,
specific to each tribe. Which gives a sense of balance in the mutability of
this figure. These stories were looked as vital to controlling the
consciousness of these people.

To further define the Trickster-Figure figure Jay Kinney articulated that Carl
Jung had an outlook which described this Trickster-Figure as a primitive
reflection of our past, who is God, man, and animal. His main purpose was
to keep us within the grasp of our primitive compulsions, so that we may
have a chance at controlling them.

Kimberly M Blaeser (1996) quoted Gerald Viznor as saying;

"Trickster tales," he says, "are discussion in the best sense of the word. Its
engagement, in the most simple way people talk toge-ther or they confront
each other. It's imaginative. It has to do with the mind. It's a discourse. It's
communal, it's liberation, it's enchanting, its lusty, it's contradiction.... It's
life, it's juice, it's energy.... But it's not a theory, it's not a monologue"
Mathias Guenther stated that although we may see this figure we have for
the most part taken this figure from our own reality of mentality,
expression, mainly because it goes against most of our Western beliefs.

Jay Kinney stated that although, this Trickster-Figure figure is not


completely dormant in the now, he still appears as what Jung would call
the archetype of the shadow. But this has a lot more to do with being
linked to the shadow than actually existing in totality as the shadow.
Actually the Trickster-Figure can be seen as the worst part of this shadow
figure, mainly because as the emphasis builds within us to deny our
shadow, the Trickster-Figure has the power to appear with the force of
compulsion. This force can be made to submit within the normal shadow,
but the Trickster-Figure is a different story, lol.

Carter Meland (2004) informed us that Carl Jung was not a supporter for
remembering this volatile Trickster-Figure figure. Being as he was such a
powerful force within his negative aspects and possessive powers of
compulsion, in his worst format that I know of. Yet he also informs us of
authors that go by the names of Chinen and Mazis who believe as many
others I have mentioned, that the Trickster-Figure can direct us through
what we may overlook as we go about life.

Carter Meland (2004) also indicated that although Jung did not fully
advocate the remembering of the Trickster-Figure man was at great risk to
go around forgetting him and trying to keep their shadows constantly in
check for a lifetime perhaps. Jung also worried that over time this figure
can be implanted and controlled yet surface from repression just as a
shadow would. Yet, he greatly stressed the nature of the danger as being
extreme. Nearly being describe as abomination of the lord, which could be
seen as the Devil himself as the Trickster-Figure figure has been seen by
many others.

This figure has the effect of what one could call deconceptualization of the
mind. In looking at all his follies one may experience, a lesson about
primitive morality and intellect. In the now, one is able to see this man with
the laws that govern society and make out in a religious format. The
Trickster-Figure gives a need to forget the deathly past but yet a need to
remember for the now all at the same moment, hence a
deconceptualization of sorts.
Jay Kinney (1991) desribed the Trickster-Figure in terms of him being
similar to all of our minds. Every time the Trickster-Figure appears he and
makes us folly, we are taken back to the tribal or even medieval ancestry
of an earlier time. This in turn has the ability to wake us from our
unconsciousness.

Mathias Geunther (n.d.) stressed that the Trickster-Figure is heavily based


off of order, and that he has the ability to teach us this through his
disorderly conduct, one could say functional deviance. He compared this
lesson to a liberating impetus for our imagination. His main focus of
structure were examples of postmodernismin the humanities, new age
thought, and scientific theories such as the chaos and string theorys.

Humbolt (n.d.) suggests that the Trickster-Figure was the reason behind
postmodernism and the reason for its creation. It is suggested that the
tradition of oral stories changing to written in the renaissance of Native
American culture was what drove this happening.

Carter Meland (2004) said:

“New Age writers Allen Chinen and Glen Mazis enact this extraction in
their works. Both Chinen and Mazis prescribe that Modern men (not
women!) should perform a turn to the Trickster-Figure as a means of
saving the world from the depredations of modern life. The turn to the
Trickster-Figure they argue will liberate men from a ruinous attachment to
cultural archetypes like King and Warrior that today (over)determine men’s
roles. In embracing archetypes like King and Warrior men develop an
attitude of domination and destruction that is unhealthy for both human
society and the earth. For Chinen and Mazis it is no wonder that Modern
men are so confused: all our cultural organizing ideas contain the seed of
our own destruction: we kill ourselves by trying to live up to the archetypes
that our society values most. Chinen and Mazis argue that if men are to
have a role in the transformation of this malevolent spiral towards chaos it
will need to come in rejecting archetypal role models like King and
Warrior.”

Kimberly M. Blaeser (1996) stated that she was driving herself to this type of
conscious ness purely for it healing qualities. She mentions the power of telling
stories in what could exemplified in a numinous format, just to keep the mind
free from troubles. Not only does she mention its power of freedom but also the
communal adhesiveness of these distinctive opposites, is helpfully controlled by
its comical imagination.
Jay Kinney (1991) states:

“Those who have stepped beyond the categorizing, classifying mind seem
to confirm this view, saying, for example, that mystical experience is
"ineffable." Why would it be, if what they were experiencing were just
another thing in a world of things? Language is perfectly suited to that sort
of description. But if mystical experience were to take us past the
categorizing, cognitive part of our minds entirely, to stop us from sorting
out one "thing" from another, the experience it brings could well be called
"ineffable." And since our categorizations are not only arbitrary but false, to
go past them and discover things as they really are would give us an
experience of truth, would show us that beforehand we had indeed been
seeing "through a glass darkly."

In conclusion I find that thinking about this figure and letting go of my


normal defensive stance against prejudice within my own mind, as a sort of
ritual at any rate, is something I like to do often enough to find a firm grip
on what I believe of reality. Some of the main things I would like to stress
that we looked at are. We not only looked the history of the ritualistic
Trickster figure and his make up in short, his deconceptualizing and
teaching abilities based of civilization and its collective time frame. But
also, at the shadow archetype, king and warrior archetype, and some there
most greedy qualities and expectations of us in our own minds, and to how
we can learn from letting go and laughing at our on cohesiveness, in
relation to this Trickster-Figure.
References

Blaeser K.M. (1996). Trickster Signatures. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from
http://www.iaia.edu/nep/courses/indig1/humor/readings/rr8_blas.htm

Guenther M. (n.d.) The Bushman Trickster, Protagonist, Divinity, and Agent of


Creation. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from
http://web.mst.edu/~dpmq4d/trickster.pdf

Humbolt. (n.d.) Trickster. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from


http://www.humboldt.edu/~me2/engl560/karin.html

Jung C.G. (1959). Four Archetypes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press

Kinney J. (1991). Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. Retrieved February 23, 2009 from


http://www.lumen.org/intros/intro19.html

Meland C. (2004). Myths Without Roots: Tribal Tricksters in the New Age Retreived
February 23, 2009 from http://www.tc.umn.edu/~melan002/Myths%20Without
%20Roots.htm