August 20, 2008

Warrior Archetype

The military trains us to believe in self sufficiency in all matters other than survival in terms of combat. You know the ad on TV that says an "Army of one". As much as they drill team work on a firing squad, movement, and never leave a buddy; they also instill this facade of invincibility.

The majority of soldiers in the military reside at the level of ego development, where a good dose of identifying emotions and empathy would help negate the aggressive side that young men feel (Sugar, 279-283). In primitive cultures, rituals help identify the aggression and integrate this "warrior archetype" into the complete person. Usually along the way an elder mentors them and helps identify the emotions and differing parts of the psyche while instilling an integration of the differing selfs, mother earth, community and spirituality.

In the military the ritual of drilling and killing concentrates on becoming an automatic reflexive response to aggression and survival. My point, the focus of killing without learning how to deal and cope after they go home leaves the returning veteran aimless and without a ritual of connection to community, family, and wholeness. Their formative associations have been left back in the field of combat and killing, where they have left part of themselves with the ones not going home and take with them the guilt of leaving.

They feel the egoistic interconnectedness with the military, the "warrior archetype" and the battle buddy who has been left back in the combat zone rather than with significant others upon returning. In this mind frame when the veteran goes home they become lost in a world that no longer makes sense as they have been taught not to process the five senses and emotional attachment imperative to social interaction. The combat veterans mind acts as if their life depends on a reactionary environment incompatible with the development of long lasting relationships (Sugar, 287). How do I live in regular society if I am stuck in this malposition?

Young combat veterans coming out of the military may need help with accessing and identifying their intrinsic values and principles and the process of reintegrating back into society and reestablishing their new roles.

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