Dynamics refers to the key activities of the archetypes in a Temenos- the container of transformation. The archetypes adopt certain strategies for these actions, which could either lead to success or self-sabotage.
Abstract as the idea may sound like, it could be better explained using an example. And for that we could gaze into the distant past- to an epic composed during the 4th Century BCE or even before- the Mahabharata.
In the epic the the crux of the story is the titular war between two rival clans. If we consider the field of battle as the container, then the warriors form the archetypes. We could then gain a clear idea of the dynamics- the mode of actions of these characters with each other and in relation to the battle.
The strategies of different archetypes could be as diverse as the flora in a garden
Take for instance Abhimanyu- one of the more interesting characters in the lore. The son of Arjuna, Abhimanyu was born with the knowledge of entering the strongest battle formation called the “Chakra Vyuh.” The formation could only be broken if someone enters and then exits it. Abhimanyu knew only how to enter it. But when situation demanded that he entered the Chakra Vyuh to fight, he didn’t hesitate, and slayed tens of thousands of warriors. But he was eventually killed. In that sense, the strategy Abhimanyu adopted led to self-sabotage.
Then there is Arjuna- a warrior with fighting skills and strategic merit in equal measure. Many are the instances in which Arjuna’s brilliance comes through in the epic. As for combining brain with brawn, he uses Shikandi- someone born a girl and later underwent sex change as a shield against the awesome Bhishma- the grandsire of both the fighting clans. Bhishma has vowed never to fight a woman and that’s why Arjuna used Shikandi to bring down the great warrior. Arjuna’s strategy was poised for victory from the outset.
Let’s look at Karna now- the warrior born with an impenetrable armor. Only, he has vowed never to deny any request of a Brahmin. So, when the rain god, Indra in the guise of a Brahmin asks for his armor, he doesn’t think twice before granting the latter’s wish. And that’s the only reason why the next day, at the battle field, Arjuna was able to kill Karna. Karna’s strategy to put his vow before his interest in winning the battle led to self-sabotage.
Some strategies lead to sabotage while others lead to success and freedom
Krishna, meanwhile acted as the lead strategist for the Pandavas- the clan of Arjuna. He never fought in the battle himself, but was there to give advice to the Pandavas at significant turns in the great battle. His strategy is to adopt whatever means necessary to defeat the opponent, once he finds that the battle has already slipped from the constraints of morality. For instance, at an significant mace fight between Duryodhana and Bhima- Arjuna’s brother, he advises Bhima to use his mace on Duryodhana’s thigh- going against the rules of mace fight. Krishna’s morality has often been questioned by many readers of the epic, but as far as he was concerned, his strategy was for one thing and one thing alone: success.
These are but only a few characters in the epic and their actions. But it’s hoped that the above examples suffice to illustrate what dynamics actually means.
The list of dynamics of the archetypes as laid out by Temenos is given below, with brief descriptions. In the upcoming blog posts, many of these dynamics would be discussed in greater detail.
Dynamic #1-Self sabotage
This refers to the strategy by which an archetype ends up sabotaging him or herself, rather than advancing the cause of the entire team.
Dynamic #2- Activation
This refers to the activation of the inner-fire or the life source of an archetype. Each archetype brings this life energy into the container, making the Temenos all the more vibrant.
Dynamic #3- Vision
This involves the activation of a vision- either personal or shared. Each archetype has a calling within the transformation container. This dynamic involves bringing forth that calling in the form of a vision.
Dynamic #4- Discernment
Discernment is the ability of the archetype to stay in the zone of the vision. To be successful, s/he should keep away from distractions and fantasy, and remain focused on pursuing the vision.
Dynamic #5- Courage
One of the greater dynamics an archetype could possess, courage is the ability to step out of the boundaries of previous experience to herald bold new changes.
Dynamic #6- Grace
Courage, if misguided, could lead to self-sabotage. To avoid that, the strategy of grace is important. It helps make sure that not just the individual, but everyone in the team succeeds.
Dynamic #7- Clean slate
A requisite of success for a change agent is to maintain inner freshness, or a clean mind throughout the transformation process. Clean slate is the strategy which could help achieve that.
Dynamic #8- Attunement
The ability to enter into the mind of another archetype and understand completely what the latter has to offer in the container.
Dynamic # 9- Sympathy
Sympathy is another important dynamic, by which an archetype stays in rhythm with the entire team. Every archetype plays a role in the container of transformation, and it is important for the archetypes to be sympathetic in this sense for the team to move forward as a single entity.
Dynamic #10- Equipoise
This dynamic involves two parts. The first is the ability to observe one’s own actions and thoughts from a detached vantage point. The second is to give constructive feedback on the aspects of mental mould that should be changed to improve the archetype’s functioning.
Dynamic #10- Metis
The ability of the archetype to absorb huge amounts of data, process and categorise the data, and when the situation calls for it, apply the relevant information to a practical end. This also involves the ability to draw connections between information pieces which may not be easily visible to an ordinary person.
Dynamic #11- Limerence
This refers to the archetype’s ability to transcend their current level of performance and reach the next level. A successful change agent is always on an ascend- or a path of limerence-to constantly evolve and arrive at the next level.
Dynamic # 12- Atrophy
The archetype could atrophy with time- either by the slow injection of negativity from external world or by self-sabotage. An intelligent change agent is able to recognize the approaching atrophy and the point at which they need to exit from the container.
Dynamic # 13- Supplication
This refers to the ability of the hybrid archetype to connect with the larger container. The archetype, in this case, performs his or her actions in the service of the larger container.
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