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In a world of narcissism, how can we be better ? // Becoming the Magician

In a world of narcissism, how can we be better ? // Becoming the Magician

You are trying to reach someone, somewhere

But, why? In this modern world, narcissism is becoming the norm * prof vaknin Narcissism is a view of the world where we don’t perceive people as independent beings on their own unique journey but instead as object’s relevant or irrelevant to our journey. This is the perspective of the hero, but as coaches, mentors, compassionate being’s we need to step out of this perspective and understand the journey our clients are on.

Understanding the journey.

The hero’s journey is a structure that anthropologist Joseph Campbell found in the myths of many cultures. We can think of this structure as the structure of individuation. The processes of an individual leaving one stage of life and developing into another. The journey consists of 12 stages, which are

  1. Ordinary world

  2. Call to adventure

  3. Refusal of the call

  4. Meeting with the mentor

  5. Crossing the first threshold

  6. Tests, allies, and enemies

  7. Approach to the inmost cave

  8. The ordeal

  9. Reward

  10. The road back

  11. The resurrection

  12. Return with the elixir

The introduction of the path

The teacher enters the hero’s world in each of the acts. The first instance is after the refusal to the call. This is when an individual knows that they need to make a change in their life, the wheels are falling off, they are unhappy with things that used to bring happiness, but they are afraid.

They are afraid to go from a world where they are in control, to a world where everything is new. The role of the mentor here is to show them that there is a path through the darknesses. This is where our dance, martial arts, personal trainers, yoga teaches come in. In the beginning, we are not primarily providing the technique, we are providing faith that the path exists.

The new student tries to enter a new environment bringing all of their baggage with them, It’s our role to enable them to let go of that baggage. To drop all of the ideas that they carry with them and enter into a new world.

Whether that’s letting go of their old ideas about eating, letting go of the way they interact with their own body, letting go of their confidence and ego. The first step is to help students let go and to embrace the path ahead of them. But the student has no idea that the path exists, all they know is that where they are is not working. So, we must reflect the existence of a path.

When we teach the quick wins we are creating confidence in the student. This let’s them have confidence in the existence of the path. The knowlege of a path combined with the pain they are currently in creates forward momentum.

The magic sword.

The second instance is during the test and before the approach to the innermost cave. The innermost cave represents the limitations that caused the initial discomfort.

Whatever drove them to leave their starting position now is what stops them from moving forward to the next. They must go into the darkness of their own soul and face it, but before they do, they are given a magic weapon, a blessing, a gift by an ally that will give them strength during their challenge.

This may be where the practice that we are teaching comes in, or it maybe that what we are really teaching, via a technique, is an attitude. But at this point, the student has come to a test. They will face extreme pressure, and they will seek to fall out of their new learning and back into the old. This is what the guru manifests internally to the student. The teacher manages to maintain the new world as it is tested by an old challenge. And thus internalises the change that they have worked so hard to master untill now. Or they break under the pressure and the status quo prevails.

It’s interesting to note that in martial arts it’s possible for a student to loose the content, but to come away feeling victorious. This is because they have changed internal paradigms.


To know that inside one is greatness and to be able to exist humbly is the final stage.

And the final intercession by the magician is on the hero’s return. The hero has faced the thing that lurked in the darkness. The fear that held them back, they have survived and returned back to regular life. But something is wrong, the regular world cannot comprehend the transformational energy that is required, and the hero must reintegrate to regular, mundane life. Sometimes the hero is injured, sometimes they are percieved as a fool, but the teacher recognises the magic that is still in them and enables them to weave a thread of magic into the mundane world.

So we can boil it down to 3 core points

Are we showing them the path into the unknown?

Are we arming them with the tools to sustain the lessons learned on the path during a great test.

Are we helping them reintegrate their exceptionalism with their ordinaryness. And thus rejoin regular society

How does this affect messaging?

These archetypes, that of the hero and of the teacher exist inside all of us. We are all teacher and we are all hero’s. But, when we find ourselves tasked with creating a digital representation of our persona, our brand, our first inclination will be. This is the unknow, i need to draw on my strength to go into the unknown. And while this is true, we are actually trying to open up new pathways for others, not trying to represent our own journey.

So we have to drop our own need to reinforce our self belief. It ultimately conflicts with the students need to find narcisstic supply (fuel to maintain the persona).

Once we’ve assumed the proper perspective. That of opening pathways, we can begin to look at what symbols we are creating.

  1. Symbols of the path. These are the messages and ideas that describe and represent the path. Seeing those give the students faith that there is a path, they can travel the path and that you are qualified to lead them down the path

    1. Then why do viceos of people looking cool do so well. Is it a engagement with the sex drive. The sense that these people hold status and wish our wish to be like them. Is all growth a reflection of the desire for status, so as to get sex? This is

  2. Preparation for the test. In the moment of breaking, certain ideas, symbols, quote etc will appear in our mind. When we create content we can essentially empower these beliefs by associating moments. A good example of this is leon edwards & the rocky theme. The underdog who reconstitues himself during the test. The assembly of these footage and audio creates an empowered symbol that will catalyse resilience in millions of people. ]

  3. Reintegration.

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