In case I haven’t sufficiently overemphasized this point—because it’s deserving of great overemphasis—it is in the King that all things meet. This archetype represents the turning point of the world where the synergism of all archetypes come together and which, as axis mundi, connects us to the powers beyond our own. The four archetypes—centered, balanced, moderated, and integrated by the King—are the blueprint of who we’re designed to be at our very best—the source of our whole and unfragmented Self.
Why is this worthy of such overemphasis? To remind you that you have a King within you whose purpose and ability it is to make you whole. In The King Within, Moore and Gillette describe the King as the one who dances the four quarters. “When he is dancing,” they write, “he is accessing himself and the Warrior, Magian, and Lover in a balanced and generative way. He is balancing the four into one generative unity.”
Metaphorically, they are describing a man “dancing” among the four chief aspects of his psyche, accessing, balancing, moderating, integrating, and organizing all parts of himself. One might also use the metaphor of weaving together strands of various capacities into a whole self. Put succinctly, this dance creates, maintains, and expands synergy. Without this dance, a man gradually slides into his shadows.
The metaphor doesn’t describe the King as wrestling the four quarters or forcing them, but rather dancing among them. And Moore and Gillette say that the dance is done “playfully.” “[T]he psyche that has reached this stage of maturity can’t help but take pleasure in itself, and all the things of creation,” they say. So it isn’t through force or excessive energy that the King keeps his world in creation. It isn’t through fear or shame that he balances, moderates, integrates, and organizes. Rather, he does his synergistic dance from the sheer joy of becoming a whole self. The process is one of liberation. If it feels like drudgery or a burden, it’s being driven by a shadow.
But wholeness doesn’t end with the self. It reaches out to the feminine as our opposite and embraces her as well—both as Anima and as living woman. Humanity is one species with two genders. We can’t experience true wholeness if we appreciate only one half. This doesn’t mean that every man must settle down and make a home with a woman in order to be whole. We may experience that “harmonic resonance” with the feminine in any number of ways outside of an intimate relationship. If we wish to fully appreciate our masculinity, it’s necessary for us to experience it in contrast with a woman’s femininity.
WHAT IS A WHOLE MAN?
I began this book with a question: “What is a whole man?” In truth, this is a question few males in our age can answer. To begin with, wholeness means living the fullness of our masculine potential. This implies that all of the essential traits represented by the four archetypes are online and active, integrated into a functioning and unified self. It also implies some type of connection with the feminine—our opposite and other half. And it implies alignment with, and service to, a power or purpose higher than ourselves.
As we learned from our study of the Magian, our mission is to first transform our own lives and then to initiate others. This book has been your call to that transformation. But none of what I’ve taught you will be of any real use if you don’t make it active in your life. Change will only come as you move the knowledge that’s in your head downward into your chest, your guts, and your limbs through action. You will have to put what you’ve learned here to work. I encourage you to choose to believe that right now is the perfect time to do that. So, what is a whole man? The journey of your life is to become the answer to that question. What’s your next step?