The charioteer is one of the key archetypes in Temenos. An archetype refers to the innate or basic essence of an individual- something inviolable, that which remains unchanged no matter what.

A charioteer is the mentor, someone who could guide a pioneer in an organization. While the pioneer leads a team or organization to territories they have never been to before, the charioteer leads the pioneer, as s/he has experience going to the destination before. The charioteer brings his or her wisdom and experience to the proceedings, so that the the pioneer would never stray from the path.


The charioteer has his eye set firmly on the destination the leader must reach

One of the best examples of the charioteer archetype is to be seen in the Indian epic- the Mahabharat.  The core of the entire epic is the war between the two clans- the Kauravas and the Pandavas. Arjuna- a Pandava king has Krishna as his charioteer.

Arjuna, in fact is given the option to choose either Krishna or an army to aid in his battles. Arjuna wisely chooses Krishna over the army, because what he wants is an accomplished mentor and not a group of followers.

Charioteer3To use a sports analogy- the charioteer is like the coach who steers the team’s captain towards victory

This choice has significance in terms of the human psyche as well.

To put it broadly, there are two aspects of the human psyche. One is the persona and the other is the archetype. While the persona is made of the external characteristics of a person, the archetype is the true essence of that person. The persona is transitory while the archetype is eternal.

In that sense, Krishna is the true mentor and the army is the illusion. Arjuna, in his wisdom, chose the true over the illusory.

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