Steven Pressfield Blog
When a “civilized” army like Alexander’s confronts a primitive tribal foe (as Alexander did in the Afghan kingdoms in the 330s B.C.), it often sinks to the level of brutality and pitilessness of its enemy.
Alexander’s Macedonians–and even the Spartans themselves–saw their virtue crumble as they achieved preeminence over others.
“What I have tried to do is follow the dictates of Necessity. This is the solitary god I revere and, in my opinion, the only god that exists. Man’s predicament is that he dwells at the intersection of Necessity and free will. What distinguishes statesmen, as Themistocles and Pericles, is their gift to perceive Necessity’s dictates in advance of others—as Themistocles saw that Athens must become a sea power and Pericles that naval supremacy prefigures empire. That course of individual or nation aligned with Necessity must prove irresistible.”
If Jungian psychology is right, and we mature from Archetype to Archetype … what happens to each Archetype as we evolve past it?
Do we grow and mature in a smooth, straight line?
This is a powerful mantra for any of us launching upon a long-form creative or entrepreneurial enterprise, e.g. writing a book, starting a business venture, trying to get our daughter into Harvard.
The writer of historical fiction must sometimes bend true-life characters to fit his conception of a story’s theme. In The Virtues of War, I made the historical Hephaesteion, Alexander’s dearest friend and second-in-command, take a stand for compassion and empathy for others.
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.
The Warrior Archetype
A New Video Series from Steven Pressfield
Subscribe here for the full series.
FREE MINI COURSE
Start with this War of Art [27-minute] mini-course. It's free. The course's five audio lessons will ground you in the principles and characteristics of the artist's inner battle.