The Loner Archetype

Lone Tree

I’ve got the Loner Archetype bad. Always have. Jung calls an archetype a “primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors.” …

As far back as I can remember I’ve felt different from others. Everyone does to an extent, I’m sure (ergo this archetype), but for me, it was probably one of the main characteristics of my psychology. When “Kung Fu” came out, I identified with Caine’s solo journey. Lately I’ve been reading Lee Child’s “Jack Reacher” series, about an ex-MP who owns only a disposable set of clothes, a folding toothbrush, and an ATM card. Spends his days traveling the roads via bus and train and getting into adventures.

It’s the “Shane” archetype. The Clint Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” character. It’s that guy who just doesn’t fit in very well and who eventually quits trying.

It’s also about complete and unrestricted freedom. The ability to go where you want – when you want. No discussions. No obligations. No ties that bind. It’s not about fear of commitment, it’s about hatred of commitment. Sounds lonely – and sometimes it is – but it is also remarkably peaceful.

I’ve been fantasizing about pulling a Jack Reacher or a Kwai Chang Caine – but then again, maybe I should grow up, get a job, get married and pop out a few long overdue rug rats.

Screw that.

I don’t wanna grow up – I’m the Toys-R-Us Kid, Pilgrim.

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6 comments on “The Loner Archetype
  1. Kimberely says:

    Is this freedom, or another form of attachment, identification? If you were not The Loner, who would “you” be?

    It’s not an easy road, to choose commitments and children — and it is certainly not for everyone — but it can nurture a profound surrender.

    Best,
    Kimberely
    (a wee Devil’s advocate ;>)

  2. Nan says:

    I’ll bet there’s something in one of your past lives relating to this. As a child you were very much attached, and loners don’t keep friends from school. That tree in your photo suggests alone-ness but reaching for something solid. Perhaps in a past life you were kept “imprisoned” in some way and are trying to “escape” in this lifetime without being totally alone.

  3. Wayne Wirs says:

    @Kimberely: Good observation. Identification is often misunderstood. Looking over what I wrote, I noticed that I said “I got the Loner Archetype” not “I am the Loner Archetype”. Almost like “I got the flu.” I’m not saying this is a better lifestyle than having a family, it’s definitely got its own problems.

    @Nan/Mom: Interestingly, I’ve had a couple past life memories as a slave. Plus, loners keep in touch with their friends – it’s the psycho-killers who don’t. :)

  4. Kimberely says:

    Howdy,

    W: @Kimberely: Good observation. Identification is often misunderstood. Looking over what I wrote, I noticed that I said “I got the Loner Archetype” not “I am the Loner Archetype”. Almost like “I got the flu.”

    K: Indeed, it is.

    I was just pondering along with your post, about the relationship with identification and attachment (there are indeed, unique qualities inherent with each, tho’ they reflect one another). In my experience –and what I was taught by teachers– to state that one “hates” something is still a form of attachment, and this *can* readily follow identification with a way of being…yes? Its a sticky-wicket! ;D
    This makes it neither bad nor good, just points of inquiry and learning, in my mind. (Geez, I find email format so frustrating to try and converse with people. I’m rather non-linear in my thinking. Hope this is not sounding snarky, I don’t mean it to at all.)

    W: I’m not saying this is a better lifestyle than having a family, it’s definitely got its own problems.

    K: I didn’t read it that way, no worries. Sometimes I struggle with it as I’m sure you’ve surmised ;>, but I’m clear it’s my path, to be a parent and mother. I don’t think anyone’s path is necessarily ‘better than’ or ‘worse than’, but Is. We all unfurl and blossom in the soil that best suits us!

    Best,
    K

  5. Ketira says:

    What about my t’hyla & I? She is very content to be a single Mom; I’m content to be unmarried myself as I know I have a sort of “family” in my friends as well as those by blood. Yet there have been Lives when we were arguing a lot…. or working side by side…. and one where we knew we were supposed to be together, yet couldn’t because of that society’s rules. In this Life, we’re very good friends, and perhaps someday we’ll be under the same roof. Right now, however, I know I have to help take care of *our* parents, even if we argue at each other and get upset at times.

    At least (for now), we watch Conan together. ;)

  6. Tom says:

    Robben Ford sings about being “nothin to nobody”……
    http://www.guitar-tube.com/watch/robben-ford-nothing-to-nobody

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