Child Archetype

Guardian of Innocence

A Scene from Mork & Mindy

Mork: Nanu Nanu, Shazbot, Bleam, Aragot, Amrak!

Mindy: Why are you building a tower of Cheerios?
Mork: Because it’s hard to stack oatmeal!

Miss Geezba: Standup straight, Mork
Mork: Ma’am

Miss Geezba: And don’t forget your book report

Mork: Yeah…yes ma’am. I’m doing it on the wit and wisdom of Richard Nixon. It’ll be a one page easy.

Lens of the Child Archetype

Survival Archetype:   Caroline Myss’s book, Sacred Contract, identifies four survival archetypes embedded in every person: The Child, the Victim, the Prostitute, and the Saboteur. These archetypal respondents swoop in when your sense of security is threatened (real or imagined).  Each address specific challenges that will have you confront your self-esteem.  Let’s take a look at the Child Archetype.

Template of the Child:

Laughter, innocence, hope, dream, wonder, and awe are words that describe the strength and light aspects of the child archetype.  In contrast, the shadow side of the child is bratty, irresponsible, sarcastic, and entitled.  Your “Inner Child” deals with how you view your responsibilities in the situation. Do you take ownership in any part of the predicament/conflict you are in?  Do you depend on others to address and resolve issues?

There are variants of the child archetype that is part of us: wounded child, nature child, Divine/Magical Child, an orphan child, eternal child, and the divine child.  However, there is the lead child that emerges base on our childhood experiences.   The Child archetypal energy must learn to manage your internal conflict:

  • balancing responsibility and play
  • From child dependent to Independent

Motivation:  Fun and Present Moment; Survival

 The Gifts of the Light and Shadow:

The Light/positive aspects of the Child archetype empowers you to overcome difficult events and situations.  The Shadow/negative aspects can disempower you and lock you into fear, anger, and suffering. How do you balance responsibility and playfulness in the present moment?

Shadow – Disempowering Attributes

  • dependent on others to provide one’s needs and wants
  • entitled/spoiled/demanding
  • naiive or too trusting
  • indecisive
  • easily bored
  • gets lost in time daydreaming (magical child)
  • longing to belong (orphan child)
  • shy/silent (wounded child)
  • hurts animals and surroundings (nature child)
  • refuses to grow up (eternal child)

Light- Empowering Attributes

  • Intuitive
  • Creative
  • Brave
  • Optimistic/fun/hopeful
  • Accepting
  • Joyful
  • Loves nature/animals
  • Determined
  • Inspired
  • Guiding Light
  • Wonder/awe
  • Responsible

The Lessons for the Child Archetype:   Responsibility, Independence and Maintain Innocence

Reflection:  As you grow up, you tap into “inner Child” with any experience that comes by you. Fun and beautiful experiences make you giddy and full of joy.  Emotional and distressful situations may trigger fear and shame.  How do you handle yourself in difficult moments? 

  • Do you hide away, make yourself invisible?
  • Are you lost in your thoughts spending much of your time daydreaming?
  •  Or do you become angry, entitled, and demanding things go your way?

Child Archetypal Analysis: Robin Williams 

Robin William’s child-like quality is what fans loved about him.  He evoked every fan’s child archetype.  As audiences and fans laughed at his antics and felt exuberant on his wild adventures at the movies, one could not help but remember the pure innocence of childhood.  However, his real-life biographies report a sad and lonely childhood that led to feelings of despair. The family’s maid, friends say, was his main companion because both parents worked.  Whenever his mother was home, to gain her attention, he would make her laugh with his jokes. His loneliness was magnified in school just prior to high school. He hid from peers which is due to bullying he received. The longing for companionship, to be seen, heard and accepted was an issue for Williams.  So much so, he contemplated suicide.

The managing of his light and shadow archetype manifested in the following ways: Instead of being angry, demanding, and entitled, he engaged in activities to better his situation. To impress his dad, he excels in middle school gets straight A’s to which his dad responded with a shrug.  Brushing off his accomplishments, led Williams in high school to slack off school work. He joked in interviews of goofing off in classes telling jokes. Realizing his genius of making people laugh, he used this to make connections with peers but caused a lot of mischief in the classroom.

Williams seemed to muster his spirit in using his light/positive tendencies by refusing to show bitterness towards his parents for a lonely childhood. He accepts his fated conditions and moved forward. 

Finding his gift to make people laugh early in his life saved him from bullying. He took steps to nurture his talent. He then used his talent to give to the world. The Child Archetypal energy served him well in his career giving people hope and adventure. However, you can see at times his shadow side would come out to play as he self-indulges in partying and alcohol and drugs. But he owns up to his addictions and took responsibility by seeking treatment. Balancing to survive in this world and still have fun is a mark of the Child Archetype. As high school graduation rolls in, 1969, he is voted “Most Likely Not to Succeed” and “Funniest” by his classmates.

A scene from Mork and Mindy: Loneliness

Orson: The report, Mork.
Mork: This week I discovered a terrible disease called loneliness.

Orson: Do many people on Earth suffer from this disease?

Mork: Oh, yes sir, and how they suffer. One man I know suffers so much he has to take a medication called bourbon, even that doesn’t help much because he can hear paint dry.

Orson: Does bed rest help?

Mork: No because I’ve heard that sleeping alone is part of the problem. You see, Orson, loneliness is a disease of the spirit. People who have it think that no one cares about them.

Orson: Do you have any idea why?

Mork: Yes, sir you can count on me. You see, when children are young, they’re told not to talk to strangers. When they go to school, they’re told not to talk to the person next to them. Finally, when they’re very old, they’re told not to talk to themselves, who’s left?

Orson: Are you saying Earthlings make each other lonely?

Mork: No sir I’m saying just the opposite. They make themselves lonely, they’re so busy looking out for number one that there’s not enough room for two.

Orson: It’s too bad everybody down there can’t get together and find a cure.

More: There’s the paradox sir because if they did get together, they wouldn’t need one. Isn’t that zenlack?[i]

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Remy Nirschl
—— About Remy Nirschl:
Remy is a writer, a mother to two wonderful souls, and a soul companion to her husband of nearly 25 years. Propelled into the autism journey in 2004 with the diagnosis of her son, this lead Remy to journey within as she experienced great losses and challenges. Trained in Caroline Myss “Sacred Contract”, this modality has given her the tools for clarity and empowerment. Remy is called into service as an Archetypal Consultant mentoring individuals in their soul journey.
Want to learn more about your other Archetypal Patterns?  Read more….

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