21st Century Archetypes

Our modern pathetic (yes!) archetypes and what gifts are hidden within them.

Floris Koot
Jul 6, 2016 · 16 min read

Our big archetypes used to be, more or less, the medieval royal court: King, Princess, Knight, Wizard, Fool. Archetypes are a mix of positions in a group and responses to a problem. The Knight protects the realm and will pull his sword in cases of a problem. He is a hothead. The Queen rules. She demands order. Her strategy is considerate or even motherly. But the Middle Ages are over and our masses have become powers of their own. Roles and professions in that mass seem more diverse than ever. Are they really so diverse? And, perhaps more important, do they still play a role in taking care of the system as a whole?

The old archetypes already a bit updated.

In our day and age new archetypical positions are being taken. Sometimes from a position of strength, often acting from a pathological cramp with little dimension. Yes, quite sad. This cramp is the modern archetype.

Now to be honest, I wish I could say all this was founded on deep research, but I can’t. I even have to admit I lived most of these archetypes and see them present in many people around me. These archetypes are about what attitude we take towards others. The sad news being, that many deeper connections or belongings are damaged in our society. And those of us who could be helping, as positive aspects of these archetypes often seem a bit lost in their new roles. We are often not even aware that our type could be a helping role nor how to do it. The good news is that these archetypes all carry a gift for our society and can make a important difference. And like me, you don’t have to be only one of them. I’ve been all of them at times, and hope got a bit of the gift of all of them.

Stop listening to the daily bombardment of advertisements of products that supposedly help to restore what we long for, or take medicines that help reduce the pain. Start seeing the gift waiting within the pain.

These are the creatures that arose from our scattered new way of living, and the gifts that lie hidden within, if we turn the cramp into a conscious choice. With for each how it’s connected to the old archetypes, and perhaps a bit, where things went wrong.

Empty vessel, target manager, untrustworthy politician.

The Empty Vessel

Are you a manager, or political figure feeling you work on orders from ‘above’? Are you defending ideas you can’t believe in? Do you secretly feel a sell out? Do you pretend, even to yourself, you are working hard to make a difference? Yet your last idea that really mattered was long ago? Are you tired, yet voices ask you to keep going?

Our leaders are not our leaders anymore. They have become front men for corporate interests. Lack of integrity, lack of fighting for everyones interest, lying or just reframing the truth with the help of spin doctors just to win votes. They’ve shown themselves untrustworthy. And the people are fed up with them. They long for a king with a message, with integrity, who actually seeks to make a real difference, or due to lack of that, an opportunist who’ll promise them what the others don’t. Too often realizing later, they’ve been had, again.

The hidden gift: The pain you feel is one many carry. When you would voice your pain, you’d find people listening. When you’d address the pain with your leadership, you’d find followers. And if you have no clue what to do and how to do it, well what can an empty vessel do better than start to listen? Become a ‘beginners mind’ leader. See every problem as a new one, like a zen master or child magician. You’ll find not knowing your way forward is honest and pure. So stop playing a role and be real. Stop lying to yourself and others. As long as you do, you’re part of the problem. Your soul longs to be part of the solution. Start listening and following it’s calling and you’ll find meaning in your life.

Alien, outsider, outcast, wizard

The Alien

Do you feel a stranger in this world? Wonder why so many people seem to get it and for you the real rules somehow stay a mystery? Do you feel it weird everyone is so messed up, while pretending it’s all fine? Do you believe fitting in will never happen?

Women, dating, I mostly just don’t get it. How does it work? Women need to tell me they like me quite clear, for otherwise I don’t get the signals. Flirting seems another language. Others, up to a stunning 60% I once found, feel frauds at work. They feel like they play they can do it, but somehow feel themselves bumbling forward and fear one day being found out. Many people keep on wondering, what others seem to understand that is a riddle for them. They wonder, are they new to this planet? Is this their first incarnation as human? What’s going on here?

The hidden gift: If you dare to live it as a gift, the alien can help expose a lot of things we take for granted that are plainly weird. If you have a beautiful open naivety and dare to ask the questions, that everybody else seems to think that they have already been answered, you may uncover the madness of two things. 1. That what we do is normal. No, it isn’t! How we live is just following the culture of the majority of people around us or connect with. Many other ways just as great or stupid are possible too. 2. That our way is best. No, it isn’t. We are all playing along with the rules we think apply and often fear really openly wondering if they make sense at all. To me spoiling the seas, our money system, cutting rain forests, seeking profit over real value, and many other things don’t make sense at all. The alien can help us open our eyes to how we lie to ourselves, that what we do is the right thing. We should be wondering again, what it is really about.

Predator, capitalist, businessman, fighter

The Reptile or Predator

Are you a survivalist? Do you feel money and security come first and you have hardly time to enjoy, because of all the dangers that might take away what you are acquiring? Are you a hunter always out to score, whether that is conquests, titles or money?

There’s people so driven by testosterone or ambition they confuse it for brains. They consider their drive business smarts and everyone not having it losers, who don’t know how the world works. These are the, mostly guys, who strive for the top of the pyramid, and think the whole world is and should be like this. In a lighter form, I know some beautiful social people that change personality, in a negative way, when it comes to money. They become monsters almost willing to kill or drop all values if that part is threatened. At times I have felt living from and with this anxiety too. It looks ugly to others and often living loses its real joy if the monster is too present.

The hidden gift: If you can integrate the monster as a aware guardian of your own (financial) health and living conditions it can help you not crossing your own borders too much. You could be a knight for good, if you accepted other people were really different and if you’d be humble enough to see how your drive could make a difference for the whole, you’d be a lot happier and loved.

Genius, thinker, creator, talent

The Genius

Do you see things nobody gets? Do you feel not acknowledged enough for what and who you are and what you bring? Do people regard you as different, give you huge compliments (like you’re a genius), yet rarely hire you, because, well they don’t know how to handle your out of the box thinking? Why is nobody handing you the throne to see what can be done?

This is a typical modern teenager one. I have been there. A lot. It led to crying myself silly in my bedroom full of plans to show the world what it was blind to. Or it lead to proving myself to others to a bore, thus widening the gap rather than bridging it. It is sad when it keeps dominating our actions beyond our teenage years. Being an outcast means you do see things with a different perspective, one that does add to finding solutions. Sadly the world and you both have taken it not serious enough. This is a wound many carry. Our society sees too little value in healing teenage anxieties or acknowledging the gift many children have, because it doesn’t help with getting good grades or giving ‘the right answer’ at school. Here my alien wonders, for heavens sake, why?

The hidden gift: The point is, we are all geniuses. We all see something everybody else doesn’t see. We all experience the pain of disconnectedness in our society where the suffering of this wound could be the start of the healing of yourself and others. The words that need to be spoken are not: “I have a plan that everyone needs to acknowledge.” but rather are more like: “I miss us being in touch. I feel hurt by…” These last words, baring and acknowledging what is wrong, often do way more to open doors to healing and change than complete plans everyone else needs to applaud. And part of what is missing and not acknowledged can be only seen by our individual genius. Schools, sadly, don’t reward such gifts as ‘seeing what the ones who say nothing are saying’, ‘helping joy and good vibes spread out’, etc. But each of us has such a gift of contribution and we can start living it, regardless of acknowledgement by others and in full awareness of the hurt many such gifts bring. In our society bend on happiness being able to see other peoples pain does hurt. Seeing this does not make it go away. But it does mean you have the possibility to act on what you see in a unique way: your way.

Insecure, doubter, intuitive, modern shaman or facilitator

The Insecure

Are you very insecure or often depressed? Do you wonder why others seems so sure and strong in their convictions, while you worry and seek to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings? Often think society is cold, much colder than feels right? Do you fear speaking up, with your feeble voice, just as afraid they’ll call you mad, as that they actually might listen up?

Millions of young people, especially women, are blind to the fact that the whole social demand to be strong is a hoax. It’s the ones at the top of the pyramid of power that use this fairy tale to get everyone busy climbing the hollow corporate ladder. And those that don’t make it, or don’t want it, must be weak. Right? Wrong!!! You who feel insecure are feeling! Often you’re the ones fearing to hurt others or nature. You care. Don’t think insecurity is weakness, it’s being sensitive of the consequences of your choices. That’s the 1st step to healing. Your voice in missing in boardrooms, governments and councils. That’s why many inhumane decisions are being made. That’s why wars start over one incident (possibly even a ‘black flag’ incident). You voice should help care for possible victims of such choices and loudly wonder such decisions.

The hidden gift: Insecurity is underdeveloped sensitivity and the start of being a healer. It’s the voice that could ask wise questions about the ‘why’, ‘what for’ and ‘what consequences do we seem to risk?’ You feel, sense, intuit what is happening with others. You often feel overwhelmed because you get overflown with input from all sides on many levels. When you start trusting you body knows what to do, even when that’s squeaking insecurity, you can become an awesome healer. Not only individuals but whole communities will start to trust your senses. Perhaps unknowingly many others already do. So don’t try to overcome your anxieties, embrace them as a gift. Share it with the world. Acceptance and awareness are the first true steps to healing. For you. For the world.

Selfie, fashionista, self branding, examples other look at

The Selfie

Are you getting hot on instagram and tinder, or working towards it? Are your mirror, selfies, gym, running track in the park and good clothing shops your favorite spots for daily visits? All of them helping you to prepare for the parties, where your appearance should be a head turner?

Yes, I too thought at times it all revolved around me. It doesn’t. And all that work on self? Training, styling, molding, performing. It can turn very ugly, however good it looks for the outside. Nobody likes self obsessed princesses, read brats (m/f) who think they the middle of the universe. Or who are so empty. As a photographer said to a model: “Go build character and personality girl. Your looks won’t stay.” And while the prince(ss) loves being seen, she secretly fears her body is all that is looked at. But hell, for women it seems looks like the portal to wealthy or famous partnerships. And for man, indeed, looking better means being paid better. Perhaps managers are as empty headed as the prince(ss)es whose pay they raise.

The hidden gift: The self obsessed person has discipline. You’re willing to work and suffer to get somewhere. You’re willing to invest in yourself. You know how to make appearances and steal the show. If it only had a purpose for a better world. Or if you’d put the same amount of time in investing in developing wisdom, insight, your relationships you’d be an awesome person. You’d be truly loved and depended upon. And your true beauty would keep on shining way beyond the first wrinkles.

Old dog, experience man, wise voice, sceptic

Bitter Old Dog

Never gotten what you deserved? Already said many times where things would go wrong and than noticing the others made the stupid mistake anyway? Over 50 and hate your job? Making younger people miserable to pay for your suffering and lack of recognition?

“Oh, I do have grudges. I told them but would they listen? No. So they own the mess we are in. I have seen it all so many times before and can predict where it will go wrong again. And again.” Yes, my inner bitter dog is alive and kicking. And where it is painful to still be a misunderstood genius at 55, it is just as painful to become this bitter biter that just crumbles within a cage of ‘being right’. The most shocking thing is I have met teens that are already bitter old dogs. They went straight from feeling misunderstood to bitterness. Especially in education bitter biters hurt more than that they inspire children. This should not be possible. They must’ve lacked a whole lot of doses of (self)love. I wonder where the people who should have provided them self esteem, love and care have been. Careless Bastards! Oh no, that’s my bitter dog speaking.

The hidden gift: The hidden gift is experience. I once saw a group of older men tell their management their new idea wasn’t a good idea at all. Sounds bitter, but they found a way to tell it through experience. They’d seen it all before, and could show the traps within the plan in such a way that the management actually listened. How can you make it work? By accepting that others still have to learn stuff you already went through. Let them discover it for themselves. Share experience when you feel it’s needed may help avoiding disaster. Stay away from the bitter tone though. Be a good dog. Be a mentor. Only bark when it will save lives. And even then, after you’ve spoken, let it go. Be free from outcome.

Shopper, consumer, materialist, possession collector

The Consumer

Do you have a job and love spending? Do you think all bad news is soo overrated? You’ve noticed shops are open, so nothing can be really deeply wrong. Is your thinking a lot on what to buy where, or what to go and and see where? Are holidays that friends will envy for important? Do you have an inner voice you don’t believe makes sense?

What used to be the masses of farmers are now the masses or shoppers. Shopping streets full of people for whom shopping is an activity that seems to give meaning. They’ve earned it, in whatever not so satisfying job. The suffering is hidden. They are being steered by not so subliminal messages in their magazines towards trying to feel like a star. Yes, they are undiscovered Cinderella’s (for the girls) whose time will come soon, once they own that…dress, lipstick, car, gadget, house, etc... I always went for the books. And movies. And music. Deep down if all may feel unreal, but letting go of the stuff that proofs their existence is very hard. They’re hooked and their shops are the dealers. Well you know the old adagio: a satisfied slave is the biggest enemy of freedom.

The hidden gift: I’m sad to say, I don’t know this one. You’re addicted and your gifts will only unfold once you’re free from them. Let go of the stuff, stop minding what your friends claim is the newest ‘to have’ and start searching for meaning. Perhaps all those years of shopping will help you choose the quality choices on the deeper levels. I don’t know. You tell me. And no! Knowing where stuff is cheap is not what this is about at all!

Refugee, wounded one, survivor.


Are you a refugee? Did you suffer war, hunger, thirst, oppression? Was you home devastated or ravaged by fighting? Or destruction of natural resources or pollution by big corporations? Or your lands sold to others, without your consent? Do you feel, that whatever happened to you, you are seen as a threat, danger, invader in the places where you ran to?

Others see ‘them’ as a threat, while they most wish to live in peace, with their family, back where they came from, if that would be possible. People say they can’t be trusted, might be beggars, dangerous, fanatics or terrorists. Some people gain from there being an enemy. Makes people forget where the problem really started, what the real causes of the conflict were. Most likely interests of huge corporations, shifts in the weather due to deforestation, or war over oil and water. They would love to live in peace, if only people and powers would let them. The fact that some of their own have become hateful because of the suffering doesn’t help.

The hidden gift: What do a strangers bring? They open our eyes to the world out there. They often fought to stay alive, and their gratitude for being saved and still be alive often feels more real, more wise than our safe world experience full of shallow opinions about things we never came close to. When you can steer clear of depression and loneliness you have amazing power to help build that better world others just speak about. You’ve trained, through fate, be able to deal with hardship and overwhelming odds. Your story is real. You gratitude to be alive will shine through the pain and touch all those that aren’t aware enough to just know how lucky they are. Help them see that and grow wiser. They may be afraid of you, in reality they need you to accept aliveness and the pain that may come with that back into their (empty) lives.

Worker, carrier of everything else, endurance keeper

The Worker

Are you working over 50 hours a week and still earning enough is a struggle? Do bigger powers control your income, or even enforce prices of your produce upon you? Are you often sick, handicapped or daily in pain because of your work? Are you reading this on a mobile phone, probably owned by someone else, who translates this for you? And with all that, do you still feel pride in your work, because it makes things (grow)?

Millions work so others can play, enjoy, eat, manage. They hardly earn anything, their voice isn’t heard and quite honestly, very few care, as long as they do their job at the bottom of the pyramid. I worked once at the conveyer belt, so happy I know it was temporary. Yet still here I found people doing this all their life and proud of it. But to the managers they were pawns to be discarded as soon as their labour didn’t increase the profits. Safety regulations, healthy regulations, fair pensions, let alone a sustainable income are not so common as all the other archetypes think or want to know. But there you are, making all others possible.

The hidden gift: Ah, if only unions were allowed. If only you knew if there were others options. You may feel huge pride or suffer daily to finish work. If only your anger was bigger than your fear or your pride about your work. While across the globe very very slowly average progress is made, you can only hope your children will have better possibilities. You may be discarded, you may be unseen, you may be poor, yet you carry it all. The only ones who grow stuff, who make stuff all middle men make huge profits on. When you unite and find access to modern media, you can sell more directly for better prices and demand respect for your being the fundament of the rest. Because the more fair you get treated, the more the whole can be called a civilization.

This is my first draft, so I’m open to comments, additions or ideas who is missing. Hope you enjoy and can see the madness of some around you with a bit lighter heart and help everyone come a bit closer to the light in their personal darkness.

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

Floris Koot

Written by

Play Engineer. Social Inventor. Gentle Revolutionary. I always seek new possibilities and increase of love, wisdom and play in the world.

The Gentle Revolution

Towards a revolution we all want to dance in, for a flourishing planet.

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