34 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Thirty-Four: “It May Have Been Wrong for Us to Take It”

Torn between the dark side of the Warrior Archetype and the light, Alexander (at least in my own historical fiction rendering) was pressed by his friend and second-in-command, Hephaesteion, to choose.

He turned instead to Zeus the Creator.

In today’s episode, we’ll see how Alexander answered the dilemma of the limits of the Warrior Archetype.

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here

Subscribe here for the full series, or watch previous episodes here


  1. Joe Jansen on December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

    This idea of life eating life goes deep. If mythologist Joseph Campbell was still alive, I’d pay dearly to listen in on a conversation between him and Steve. This one-minute clip is from “The Power of Myth” (the 1988 six-part PBS documentary of Campbell’s conversations with journalist Bill Moyers), here where Campbell is talking about mythology related to the hunt.

    I think certain parallels can be drawn between hunting and war, parallels that go beyond just the killing: Being paired in a dance of life and death that continually requires an assessment of one’s own place in a moral universe; the potential of some degree of respect between the parties; and a recognition that the taking of life requires some ritual of appeasement before the entity that created that life. Good stuff today.


  2. Andrew+Lubin on December 10, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Lots of topics in this one post, Steve, thank you!

    “A war with honor?” Absolutely; if you’re defending your country, your government: Allies vs Nazi Germany, America-Allies vs Japan. North in the Civil War. American response in Afg after 9/11. Ukrainans trying to defend against Russians; Vietnam in 1979 against the Chinese invasion…there are plenty of just wars throughout history, and warfare is anything but antiseptic. They burned people at the stake; we used flamethrowers. Other than efficiency, what is the difference?

    But while brutality in combat against an opponent is necessary to both survive and win (Marines vs Japanese, for example); look at how those same Marines tried hard to save civilians @ Saipan and Okinawa. That’s war with honor.

    But can you turn a war of conquest into a war with honor, as Alexander hopes to do in India? Not really; he’d already waged a brutal campaign in Afg, so having gotten to the Afg-Indian border, his motives were already suspect. Keeping the conquered kingdoms are a political and economic, not philosophical issue. And I vehemently disagree with him that Zeus/God made warriors to fight in that way; and generals from Leonidas to Mattis would agree with me.

    Your thoughts?

  3. Colleen on December 11, 2020 at 9:05 am

    I can’t help but wonder if there will be a future where all entities on this planet behave as a whole with a common purpose of survival: the war, the battle becomes a goal of preservation for all.

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