37 The Warrior Archetype

Episode Thirty-Seven: Each Archetype Builds on the One Before

If Jungian psychology is right, and we mature from Archetype to Archetype … what happens to each Archetype as we evolve past it?

Does it go away?

Do we lose everything we’ve learned?

I don’t think so.

Rather each archetype builds on those that came before.

Our Warrior stays with us, even as we mature and evolve into higher and more complex forms.

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

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


  1. Zac on December 21, 2020 at 6:14 am

    Wow! The lightbulb just went off. I realized I do the same thing with my students as a teacher, using my previous archetype of Green Beret.

  2. Andrew+Lubin on December 21, 2020 at 6:33 am

    Be it “Honor-Courage-Commitment” or “Duty-Honor-Country,” a Warrior archetype is an awesome foundation. Clint Woods’s further success in life is how he built on that foundation, enriching all around him.

    • Andrew+Lubin on December 21, 2020 at 6:34 am

      Clint Smith, sorry //

  3. Brian Nelson on December 21, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Ok, funny story about Russian stacking dolls. They are called Matryoshka Dolls. I went to DLI in Monterey to learn Russian, in fact I was there when Yeltsin stood on the tank as the Soviet Union collapsed. We all thought we lost our job…

    So, at DLI, most of the students use flashcards to help learn the daily vocabulary. DLI is pretty intense, we learned–and I mean, LEARNED (had to take a vocab test each morning, spelling counted–and Cyrillic is an absolute mind-bender) 25-30 words each day. Like most newbies, I bought a box of pre-made flashcards at the PX. Don’t work. The only way it worked was for me to hand-write out the flashcards, then go through them.

    Another interesting anecdote about ‘exercising one’s memory’ like we did at DLI. The first month or so–I would have to study from about 1800-2300 each night to finish homework and memorize the words. My short-term memory got so strong that eventually, I could borrow another kids flashcards–and go through them while walking from the mess hall to morning formation–and memorize those words enough for the morning quiz.

    Ok, so, one day in class, my bestie–Steve Taylor who was Air Force, tosses a flashcard on my desk (he sat right in front of me) during an exercise in which we were all reading aloud. The word was ‘MASHOWNKA’.

    I look at him quizzically. “Look it up” he answers.

    So I surreptitiously look it up in my dictionary (we all had on our desk). Definition? ‘Scrotum’.

    I howled! Of course, was reprimanded for screwing around in class. Mashownka became one of our favorite words.

    Fast forward 12-18 months. I’m now a newly-wed (we generally marry young in the military), and we are living in Fulda, Germany. Much like the movie ‘A Clockwork Orange’, I would intermix Russian words in my normal English language all the damn time. I’d say mashownka this, mashownka that all the time. That dude is a moshonka…

    Of course, Kelly picked it up.

    The Germans had a ‘Floe Markt’ every Friday, and I wanted to get those Matryoshka dolls with all the Russian leaders of the 20th Century. Kelly knew this.

    One day, she’s at a Floe Markt, walks up to the Russian selling wares and says, “I’d like to see your collection of … wait for it… MASHOWNKA DOLLS!!

    She is still pissed, and 27 years later, I still laugh about it.

  4. Brian Nelson on December 21, 2020 at 7:35 am

    When I first read War of Art, I wasn’t familiar with Jungian Psychology. Steve writes about David Carradine using Jungian archetypes to help people. It wasn’t until I listened to some of Jordan Peterson’s podcast that I began to get a toe-hold of understanding, but now am absolutely fascinated.

    In fact, I have a 0930 today to talk with someone who’s PhD is in ‘Deep Psychology’. I still have 24 months of GI Bill remaining, so I’ve been considering a PhD myself. There is an Industrial/Organizational Psychology program–but this Deep Psychology–which is mostly Jungian, is another option.

    I ‘blame’ Steve and Jordan for this newfound curiosity.

    Here is a question: Becoming a warrior isn’t necessarily a pleasure cruise. We agree to join a centuries (maybe millennia) old practice of submission to Drill Sergeants or Drill Instructor for our USMC brethren. 8-12 weeks of little sleep, physicality, drills, learning first to become a Soldier/Marine/Sailor/Airman before we learn our vocation within this society.

    It seems to me that we are left to become/integrate the future archetypes alone, without a clear training path. Maybe this is part of the subconscious appeal of stevenpressfield.com/blog… we are learning both from Steve (and for me Andrew, Joe, Mary) and the other prolific writers on this site?

    Another terrific video, I am so grateful.

    • Andrew lubin on December 21, 2020 at 8:49 am

      Brian; the point is NOT to have a clear path, but rather to figure it out for yourself- as I’m sure you did reguarly in both Germany and Afg. And we all learn from each other, my friend, in a hundred different ways. Like someone said recently, ‘a warm man doesn’t understand how a cold man feels.’ Lots of wisdom here!

      • Brian Nelson on December 21, 2020 at 9:17 am

        Thanks Andrew–and I know in my bones you’re correct. As Chris Berman used to say on ESPN Sunday nights, “…stumbling, bumbling, fumbling…”

        Yes, there is a lot of wisdom here. Kinda like taking a resection when lost in the woods, this site frequently helps me find true North. Merry Christmas my friend!

    • Steven Pressfield on December 21, 2020 at 11:12 am

      Actually it wasn’t David Carradine (memory is a queer goddess, isn’t she?) but Tom Laughlin, of “Billy Jack” fame. Tom and his wife Delores Taylor lived in the house right above me, which unfortunately burned down in ’93. He was a fascinating guy and a man of many parts. He wrote a bunch of books, one of which I just tried to find via google and couldn’t … the title was something like “Secrets of Writing a Blockbuster Movie.” He certainly knew about this from “Billy Jack.” He had something like Nine Rules. I only remember one, but it’s an interesting one:

      Have your hero experience, early in the story, “undeserved suffering.” If you watch “Billy Jack,” you’ll see he has all kinds of innocent people including the hero being bullied, beaten up, rejected, etc. His theory was — kind of like Blake Snyder’s concept of “Save the Cat” — that is was important to get the audience ROOTING FOR THE HERO right away. And that this was one sure-fire way of making that happen.

      Tom Laughlin (and Delores) … amazing peeps!

      • Brian Nelson on December 21, 2020 at 11:48 am

        Of course! I was pretty young when both Billy Jack and Kung Fu were produced, and I obviously mixed them up in my head.

        Love “Undeserved Suffering”. This is a theme I’ve thought about–I’ve always used ‘collective suffering’ as a team building method. I never really knew why this works, only that it does. Double days in August. Basic Training/Boot Camp. Rebecca Solint touches on this in “Paradises Built In Hell’.

        My latest understanding of why this works is a page from Brene Brown & vulnerability. Whether it is a starving dog on a YouTube video, or those infamous Sally Struthers appeals — when we see the vulnerability of another human, our hearts open. It is nearly impossible to overcome. I think what we see–especially when it is either undeserved, or willingly accepted, is the Divine Spark. We actually SEE people. Unless one is sociopathic, we cannot unsee them ever again. The packaging doesn’t matter (race, gender, political persuasion, ethnicity, business competitor) because we’ve seen their true selves.

        What great neighbors!!

      • Joe on December 21, 2020 at 12:59 pm

        From the wikipedia entry on Tom Laughlin:

        “However, the picture [‘Billy Jack’] was embraced by much of America’s youth, leading Laughlin to claim in 1975, ‘The youth of this country have only two heroes, Ralph Nader and Billy Jack.'”

        I wonder if Ralph Nader knew about this?

  5. Daphne on December 21, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Steven, You are the Sage*+*

    • Brian Nelson on December 21, 2020 at 9:19 am

      Agreed. Still need to get the book Steven refers to–because I think he might be the Mystic..but don’t know they archetypes well enough to answer.

  6. Sergeyedike on December 22, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    Занимаюсь лечением уже более 10 лет.
    И вот недавно узнал информацию что продукты пчелы очень полезны и отлично повышают иммунитет.
    Перечитав большое количество информации на сайте http://www.pchelandiya.net/, я узнал много полезного для себя.
    А так же нашел множество народных рецептов на основе пчелопродуктов.
    Вот кстати несколько хороших статей: http://www.pchelandiya.net/pchelinyi-podmor/1351-effektivnoe-lechenie-serdechno-sosudistyh-zabolevaniy-pchelinym-podmorom.html
    Думаю Вам будет полезно…

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