top of page

Axis of Power

In her book The Cosmic Hologram, Dr. Jude Currivan explains that physicists now understand the only thing that truly exists is consciousness. The scientific community has known for some time that consciousness and perception significantly effect what is observed in experimental studies. This means that psyche is absolute. What you think and feel matters to the N-th degree. To that end, I work to understand and make clear the various energy dynamics of psyche because if consciousness is all there is, and I would include the unconscious, then becoming better aware of how psyche functions can't hurt a thing.

In this post, I discuss the Archetypal axis of power, as I see it. For those of you who may not know, an archetype is a structuring pattern within the collective unconscious. As it emerges into conscious awareness, it becomes an image of some kind. Images can be sounds, smells, or images. For an image to be archetypal, it must be common to all people regardless of race, region, or religion. For example, mother, father, child, time, spirit (God), joker, magician, etc. This definition is based on the work of Dr. Carl Jung.

Power is an archetype because all people know and understand it, even if it isn't labeled as such. Of course not all people, or cultures, see power the same way. This is because it occurs on a spectrum, like all archetypes. Our binary nature means that all dynamics of psyche generally occur in opposites with a spectrum of archetypes in between. For example, black and white are opposites on an archetypal axis we call color, with a full spectrum of millions of colors in between these two extremes. Power exists on an axis between authoritarian, who wants to retain power to ensure self-interests, often is a bully and abusive to achieve that goal, and the scapegoat who often is blamed for the anxiety and insecurity felt by the authoritarian. These two archetypes dance around each other struggling. An authoritarian can become a scapegoat because if you see more power than is correct, you place a target on your back for the insecurity you instill in others as you look for reasons to take what is wanted, to make yourself more secure. The scapegoat can seek too much authority as it struggles to find it's security after being blamed for the angst of others. Round and round it goes. People caught up in this dynamic may find themselves swinging between these two points like a pendulum.

Historically, when an authoritarian figure gets into a position of power, and they do seek power to control their resources and security, they often find a group of people to blame for that insecurity, for what they saw as a lack of resources. We saw Adolph Hitler do this to the Jewish people, killing millions. All because people of power and privilege were afraid of losing that power, afraid of losing control of resources, of having to share.

Lack of understanding that one is on the axis can perpetuate the pendulum swing forever. But when attended with awareness, one can choose to position oneself in the leader archetype. In America, culturally speaking, we tend to define leadership as being assertive, taking charge of something, but without overstepping authority. A tough position to find and hold, in my view. I studied leadership for my undergraduate degree and I was taught that leadership meant something else. I was taught that a true leader acts as mediator to shared authority. A leader should ask for feedback from those being led. A leader needs to always tell the truth, even when it's really hard, and a leader needs to lead the people to their goals, not use their position to serve self.

It is through diversity that we learn to see differently. The varying perspectives allow us to move out of our instinctual patterns, on the extreme opposite ends of an axis, and toward the middle balancing point of mastery. For example, Americans love authority, but Ubuntu philosophy sees power differently. “Ubuntu ngumtu ngabanye abantu” (“A person is a person through other people”) (HuffPost, 2012). The Ubuntu philosophy is the idea that we are all one. If one of us is hurting, we all are hurting. That is leadership and a balanced use of power.


bottom of page