Throughout history and in myths, we find the divine child archetype. But this archetype is not just a mythological figure; it also resides within each of us. In this episode, we explore the prophecies, adversity and ultimate triumphs surrounding historical “chosen ones” and the potential to awaken the divine child within us. We discuss:
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Welcome to Soul Sessions with CreativeMind with Debra Berndt Maldonado and Dr. Rob Maldonado of CreativeMind. Join us each week for inspiring conversation about personal development based on Jungian philosophy, Eastern spirituality, and social neuroscience. Spend each week with us to explore deep topics in a practical way. Let's begin.
Debra Maldonado 00:28
Hello, welcome to another wonderful episode of Soul Sessions. I'm Deborah Berndt Maldonado, here with Dr. Rob Maldonado to share and continue our series on the wonderful concepts of Carl Jung and Jungian psychology. Before we begin, I do want to remind you, if you are listening to us on Spotify, iTunes, any of those wonderful podcast services, please subscribe so you don't miss a single episode. Also, I'd like to dedicate this episode, The Divine Child, to our graduates, students, future graduates of our Jungian life coach training. Those of you who don't know we do this, we actually train coaches in these methodologies working with deeper layers of the psyche. We have a cohort starting in December. If you're interested, please click on the link in the show notes to find out more about our amazing 12 months immersion of Jungian psychology and business building to create a new career as a Jungian life coach. This might be my favorite episode, because it's talking about the Divine Child archetype.
Robert Maldonado 01:34
We have the mother archetype, the father archetype, there's gotta be a kid, the Divine Child, that rounds out the family structure. Here you see the usefulness of these deeper archetypal myths and symbols, they're really talking about our everyday life. They're not just abstract ideas that are remote from our everyday lives. They inform and deepen our life by pointing to the deeper structures in the psyche from where these patterns arise. Where does the family structure come from? It's from a deeper structure in the psyche.
Debra Maldonado 02:28
Why do we have babies? Why do we have families? Why is the family structure the way it is? How does this all work? When we think about our everyday life, we dream every night, at least four to five times a night, these images come to us in dreams. So many people asked me “I had a dream I had a baby” or “I had a dream I was pregnant, or my best friend was pregnant.” It's not about precognitive dream where you're thinking this is a prediction. It is more this symbolic way we live our life and what the unconscious is trying to tell us. It ties everything together. You can't read a dream dictionary, you have to understand the archetypes and the process of individuation to really get what the dream is trying to tell you. It's not what you think on a logical or practical level, it’s so much deeper. But without further ado, the Divine Child archetype. Again, archetype is a universal symbolic structure deep within us that goes beyond our personal experience. We’re born with these archetypes, we’re on the ocean of consciousness, our consciousness is on the surface. These are deep parts of ourselves, throughout humanity. They show up in myths, they show up in stories, they show up in our everyday journey in life.
Robert Maldonado 03:48
In movies and novels.
Debra Maldonado 03:51
The Divine Child, what does it represent?
Robert Maldonado 03:55
The mother is the material world, the material universe, it's matter. The father is spirit, the moving creative element. The child is purity, innocence, redemption, possibility, potential. But the story of the child is so interesting, because he or she is a hero as well. They're born into adversity and have to find a way to survive. There's a great parallel to this in our personal lives, which we'll talk about.
Debra Maldonado 04:38
Just physiologically, we’re in this warm womb of a 98 degree body, then we're thrust into the hospital room, which is 70 degrees. Already we're shifted into this adversity, from warmth and safety into this cold, separate world. Metaphorically, we’re thrown into discomfort right from the first moments of life.
Robert Maldonado 05:03
If we look at world mythology, the Divine Child, the Chosen One, there's always a prophecy or an anticipation that this child is coming into the world, as well as a hesitation, pushback accepting that, forces marching against his coming into the world, because he spells the death of the old king, of the old system, of the status quo. We see it universally in many heroes stories. We see it in Horus, one of the oldest ones in Egypt, the Falcon God. Horus was born from Osiris and Isis. Osiris is killed by his jealous brother Seth, his body is dismembered, then Isis gathers the parts enough to conceive a child from the resurrected body of Osiris, that child is Horus. Now Horus has to be born in secrecy, because his uncle Seth is still out and about and in power. Eventually, as he grows up and gathers power, Horus overthrows Seth.
Debra Maldonado 06:25
For those of you that aren't familiar with the story, it just the way you described it. How many movies have you seen with a similar theme? Those Middle Ages theme, where there’s a king and a queen and the son you have to hide because he's the son of the king and the rightful heir. Game of Thrones, those of you who are Game of Thrones fans, is all about the secret divine child that has to be hidden away.
Robert Maldonado 06:54
Krishna is up against a tyrant king named Kamsa, who is against his birth. There's a prophecy that Krishna is going to be born and rule the kingdom. Kamsa sets about killing Krishna’s mother’s firstborn. Krishna’s siblings essentially were killed before he was born by Kamsa. Eventually, as Krishna grows up, he overthrows Kamsa and becomes ruler. Dionysus, a Greek god of wine, rebirth, and celebration, was known as Twice-Born because he was born by his mother first, then he directly grew out of Zeus, the Creator God. He also grows up in peril and has to find his way back to his true place. These are just a few. But one of my favorites is Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. They were abandoned by their mother, because there was a prophecy they’s rule the world. They were abandoned by the mother and raised by a she-wolf. They eventually gained power, became rulers of Rome and founded the Roman Empire.
Debra Maldonado 08:21
Moses was born not knowing, was put in a basket, raised by the Pharaoh. There's a lot of myths in stories and in modern culture of a person who was meant for greatness, but they had a lot of adversity, they had to overcome that adversity, to actually express that greatness in the world. Just to throw in a woman because there's all men there, think about Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, if you watch that show. She was the heir to the throne, kept in secret, had to go through a lot of adversity to find her own power and transform.
Robert Maldonado 09:05
We see that in the story. Women play central roles. Look at Isis, she essentially resurrects Osiris, then conceives the hero child. It's not like they're forgotten, tThey are a central part of the narrative. They give rise to the divine child. We're not talking politics, we're not talking gender issues. We're talking mythological, symbolic language. We know it well from the unconscious mind. The unconscious speaks its own language. We call it symbolism, but it is an ancient language. The closest we see are some of the hieroglyphs writing in ancient Mayan and Egyptian scripts, where they literally would draw the little symbols and read it that way. Our dreams speak in a very similar way, the mistake is that most of the time, we want to interpret them literally, or just go by the image. But the image is a symbol, and a symbol doesn't mean what it means for us in a literal sense. It represents a deeper meaning. The birth of the hero, the divine child, means there's something arising within our psyche that is innate, meaning it's prophesied, it's predestined.
Debra Maldonado 10:36
You were meant for more, you were meant to live out your destiny.
Robert Maldonado 10:42
You tell me, what does it mean to you?
Debra Maldonado 10:44
In each of us is the seed of potential. Many times, people who've had “easy life”, if that's even a thing, but not as much struggle, not as much adversity, I find that people who undergo adversity become great leaders, because they reached down to more of the depths of despair in a way that they have to question and ask themselves those deeper questions. They're not skimming the surface. In a way the adversity prepares them for the great destiny they have because it builds their muscle of resilience and power. Not that it's good all this adversity happens. But we don't want to look at it as terrible or wrong. We want to use it for cultivating and excavating this divine child within us. The divine child we always talk about, you don't want to be childish, but you want to be childlike, where you're having more of an open, non-judgmental experience, you're an empty, beginner's mind of creativity and being ready to play. As children, we didn't take life so seriously, we were willing to explore, fall down, learn how to walk. Then slowly but surely, we collapsed into this rigid system the ego created to make us forget our power and live externally in the world to survive. Remember that nothing happened to that child, it's always within us, this power.
Robert Maldonado 12:17
If we reduce that myth to our individual lives, as children, there's always a sense we were meant to be here, there's something special we need to be doing, we're here for a reason. But then as time goes on, the old structure, or the the old king, starts to assert his or her power and trap us into a very limited role.
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Robert Maldonado 13:41
What is the old king? The ego. The structure that is already there, which is society, culture, language, everything that is taught to us, constrains us from our bigger vision of ourselves, our true purpose, and channels all our human energy in that direction, the persona. We should become ego and be content with our life of toil, of struggle, of limitation.
Debra Maldonado 14:10
When we think about our childlike dreams, we tend to forget them, we forget that person we used to be. Even skipping, we used to skip as kids, skipping connects you back to that playfulness. A lot of people use art for playfulness, or movement, to tap into that part of ourselves, or going back into nature where we're have that awe, that beautiful exploration of the world we did when we were kids. If you ever watched a newborn baby, they're looking around like “What is all this?”, open, not judging anything, just taking it all in. That's the Divine Child.
Robert Maldonado 14:55
Symbolically, what that divine child represents in you is the awakening mind in many spiritual traditions. This is known as bodhichitta in Buddhist tradition, or as the divine intellect in some Vedic texts, or in yogic texts. Yoga, the discipline of the awakening mind is the path to overthrowing the old system, the old king, the ego, so that a new kingdom is established in the psyche. The new kingdom, of course, is self realization, that's the self. In one tradition, it is said “I must decrease so that he, the divine child, can increase.” The gender is the body. The body inhabits the social structure, but the spirit is neutral, it is neither male or female.
Debra Maldonado 16:01
My ego decreases, so this spirit can increase.
Robert Maldonado 16:05
The true self. Now, the true self isn’t an individual entity. It's not the jeeva as it's called in Eastern philosophy, it’s pure awareness, it has no preconceived notions of gender, the individuality of what we think of as our individual lives. It’s a power that comes through consciousness, it’s the realization of the true nature of your psyche and the world. It transcends our ego experience. That’s why it's so difficult for people to comprehend, because they're trying to look at it from the perspective of their ego.
Debra Maldonado 16:52
The dualistic naming form, needing to label it in a specific way.
Robert Maldonado 16:59
Often when we speak about the self, they want to know, what the self is. In Daoism, the Dao that can be named is not the Dao, because you're labeling it, you're giving it already a limited name and limited form. The self is limitless. It’s indefinable, it’s the pure consciousness in which your life and the universe arise. It's a very different perspective that is being born in the psyche that must be cultivated, just like the divine child has to be cared for and protected against the forces arrayed against him or her. Often the mother has to flee, or the parents have to flee with the child and protect him from the slaughter of the innocence. It's not assured that everyone will get to awaken their spirituality. It's a potential, like the child is a potential. But it's not guaranteed because there are great forces allied against him or her.
Debra Maldonado 18:14
People who define themselves by their life experience, by what happened to them, that's all they are, they feel that part is damaged or unredeemable. If you've done something criminal, it’s unredeemable, or someone who's gone through a tragedy, it's unredeemable. What you're saying is that the divine child within us is unharmed by all that. It’s the pure part of ourselves that the human being has to go through that adversity. But you don’t realize it, you can get caught up in it. If it's realized, then you have that access, you don't have to earn it or do a lot of heavy lifting to get it. It's more like peeling back the layers of who we think we are and the assumptions to get to that.
Robert Maldonado 19:03
Yes and no, because if we think about it, those divine elements, we all have them. That's what the myth is saying, this is part of our inheritance, our psyche, but the birth has to be cultivated, has to be cared for. That's what the myth of the divine child it's talking about, it must be protected at first as it's being born, as it comes into the world. There are elements trying to snuff it out.
Debra Maldonado 19:35
You said the ego is the enemy but doesn't the ego protect it in a way too?
Robert Maldonado 19:39
It’s trying to smother it. The intellect is protecting it, which is logos and eros, these deeper structures than the psyche that form like a bridge between our individual awareness and these older infinite two elements of consciousness, which we call the self, the soul, the atman.
Debra Maldonado 20:06
Is the divine child an aspect of the soul or is it just an archetype inside the psyche?
Robert Maldonado 20:14
It’s the awakening mind. The potential is already there. When you're awake in the morning, you have the potential to awake and to be awake. But when you're asleep, you're caught up in your experiences, and therefore, you’re asleep.
Debra Maldonado 20:32
So the divine child essence is based on whether they're awake or asleep.
Robert Maldonado 20:37
You can look at it that way. The potential is there, but an individual goes through their life asleep. Like Buddha says “You're sleepwalking until you realize the true nature of the psyche, which is enlightenment, awakening.”
Debra Maldonado 20:54
If you think about our last episode, where we talked about Job, good things were happening to him. It’d be like he was asleep, until he faced the adversity, then the realization of his relationship with the divine is what was born. It's like a rebirth of ourselves, we’re born as a body, then we're born as spirit.
Robert Maldonado 21:21
Twice born, that's another symbolic element of the story. Often, the hero has to be twice born: born out of flesh and water, and born out of fire and spirit.
Debra Maldonado 21:35
We have to cultivate and protect it, so it can be reborn?
Robert Maldonado 21:39
Yes. It's like a flame. In the beginning, it has to be protected, cultivated, make sure it's solid enough to survive, then it goes on to fulfill its destiny.
Debra Maldonado 21:54
You're saying that it has to protect the physical body that it’s contained in? I just want to clarify.
Robert Maldonado 22:08
The individual, what happens when you start to gain higher knowledge? There's resistance. Where's the resistance coming from? The ego, which is the old conditioned structure.
Debra Maldonado 22:20
You're not talking about conditioning when you're a child and growing up? There's a part of you that's protecting the divine child.
Robert Maldonado 22:29
What is the ego?
Debra Maldonado 22:31
It’s a defense mechanism designed to protect the body.
Robert Maldonado 22:35
But is it external to the child? As you're growing up, is it something that's external to you?
Debra Maldonado 22:43
We’re conscious of ourselves, aren't we?
Robert Maldonado 22:45
Which means it's part of you. It's an inherent part of you. Your own mind is resisting the awakening of your own mind. Where's the resistance coming from? From inside.
Debra Maldonado 23:05
But what about the adversities that someone faces? Is that only when they start to awaken?
Robert Maldonado 23:11
It's a symbol. The external resistance you see in the myth is a symbol of your internal conflict, you don’t want this awakening power because it spells the end of your old identity. Your attachment to your identity as ego, as body, as your connection to your physical mother and father, siblings, your culture.
Debra Maldonado 23:42
So individuation, when we start to awaken the divine child, we have to cultivate it, care for it, protect it.
Robert Maldonado 23:50
That's why all the spiritual disciplines speak about discipline, structure. It won’t happen automatically. You have to wake yourself up through understanding higher knowledge, through practicing that discipline that is taught perhaps by others, but that you have to do yourself.
Debra Maldonado 24:18
For example, let me clarify in an ordinary situation, not individuation, but how it shows up in people's lives, to bring it back into practicality. Inside of me, I had this desire to write and do all these things, I did have this feeling as a child that I was here for something special. Then life knocked it out of me, I forgot about that part of myself. When I re-awoke and started taking steps toward this part of me, it wouldn't stop nudging me. It's like the divine knocking on the door. When I did start to examine and do personal growth, I kept hitting adversity because the ego’s like “You want safety, you don't want to know this secret.” I had to cultivate and be committed to my own growth, to cultivate that second birth, re-awaken that part of myself that had been asleep most of my life.
Robert Maldonado 25:17
But why did it take you so long?
Debra Maldonado 25:19
Because I'm a slow learner?
Robert Maldonado 25:21
It's ego. The ego is a powerful force. One of the best well-known and studied principles in psychology is conditioning. It's so powerful that it’s known to affect every living organism on the planet. Every living thing from a one-cell animal to great whale is conditioned by its environment. It's powerfully conditioned to act that way.
Debra Maldonado 25:54
The ego for me was very externalized. I forgot this beautiful nature I was, I started getting very externalized, chasing the external. The ego loves to chase, “I gotta find a partner, I gotta get a good job, I gotta make more money, build my career, get the next promotion.” You forget. I stopped writing for a while, all these things I forgot were my divine gifts because my ego was like “As long as we can keep her distracted.” If you're experiencing that, listening to that, what is distracting you from cultivating that inner destiny?
Robert Maldonado 26:32
Without that cultivation, without that protection the divine child gets, the seed of your divine self emerging in the psyche, without cultivation, it won’t sprout, it won’t grow. Often people will start on the path, then give up, they lose that momentum, that power to cultivate true self, true self awareness.
Debra Maldonado 27:02
The ego loves comfort. The love of comfort is greater than their vision of their destiny. We need to have this vision or this connection to this part of ourselves. I remember having dreams and ignoring them, they're silly dreams. This part of us is always trying to speak to us, always throwing someone in the way that says “You ever think about doing something different with your life?” or you see someone you admire, “I wish I could do something like that person.” It tickles that little part of yourself that says “There's something more.” But for most of us, the ego is so powerful that it wants us to stay the course versus “Let's do something unreasonable, adventurous, powerful.” In every hero's journey, you hear the story of that person who needed to stretch themselves. Many times, they didn't even choose it, they were thrown out of their safety by circumstance. But it's by design in a way that those things happen for us, so we can shake our life up. They look at people that change and say most people won’t change on their own. Most people need something to interfere with their life, some tragedy, some setback that knocks them down to finally change. We can avoid that if we start examining this work not as a hard blow at midlife.
Robert Maldonado 28:32
In the narrative of the divine child, we see the lessons. In the beginning, it's going to be very difficult for you to maintain that awareness, to cultivate it, to protect it, but you must persist. This is where you need a guide, a teacher, a method, a coach, because if you don't have that, you're going to give up, it's very difficult. Then there's a lot of resistance from within. It's going to appear as without, but if you persist, you become powerful enough to overthrow the old king, the ego, you're able to establish a new identity based on your true self that can only happen when you let go of your old identity as persona ego. That is the total mythology in individuation. You gain knowledge, this higher knowledge is like light coming into a dark room, illuminating what is there, you become aware, you become awake. That transforms your understanding of yourself, that you’re not the persona, you're not the mask you wear in society, the one you were taught by your culture, your parents. You're not rejecting it in the sense of saying “I gotta get away”, but you’re understanding that's not the true you, it's a false sense of self.
Debra Maldonado 30:04
Talk about an imposter. The imposter is the ego. We often say the imposter syndrome is that you're the ego and not realizing your true nature.
Robert Maldonado 30:14
The myth is simple. But it's difficult to translate into a psychological model, because we resist it from within as well. We don't want to think of ourselves in that way, that we have to let go of something. But it's not really so much that we're letting go, it's that we're allowing this true self to emerge.
Debra Maldonado 30:39
Instead of letting go, we're becoming more so we could see all of ourselves and have a better perspective. Instead of just being inside, we're standing out and seeing the dark and the light within us, now able to make a conscious choice versus being led by the conditioning of the ego. It's such a shame when people take a step forward, then they get scared. The first challenge you have to face is your own shadow. That's facing all the projections you have on others that are really about yourself, reclaiming those as part of your psyche, then being able to move outside of them. If we're so focused on the ego level and persona, serving that king, we’ll feel like a servant to it, a slave to the king. When we’re this powerful force within us that can override the king, the king hangs out and watches you do incredible things with your life. It's by design that it's difficult, because we want the adversity help us build the muscle or get the understanding that we need at the level that we want to express ourselves in the world. Those who bypass that process and go right to fame or success, they’re at the top of their game in the material world, their ego’s built on that false imposter. Something’s going to get them. The imbalance is there, eventually it'll catch up with them.
Robert Maldonado 32:05
It's almost a tragedy when people succeed at the ego level because then it's very difficult for them to let go, to trust in that new life emerging through the symbolic self. It's an incredible psychology that Jung and others gave us. Joseph Campbell talks about the hero's journey. In his books, he presents many of these myths in a psychological way, which is very interesting. The study of mythologies, of dreams, of symbolism, really help us understand the language of the psyche, so that we can help others understand the nature of their mind. Instead of working on the cognitive surface level, serving the king, the old structure, we can help them transform from within and find the source of their spirituality.
Debra Maldonado 33:04
That's how we roll at CreativeMind. The CreativeMind Method is designed to go deeper than that. We really appreciate you spending time with us today. Before we go, I do want to remind you, if you’re listening to us on any of the podcast services, don't forget to subscribe. We'd love to hear from you to make a comment below. What are you interested in? What other topics do you want us to cover? We love to hear from our listeners. We hope you have an amazing day and start asking yourself: have you awakened that divine child? If you have, congratulations, the journey has just begun.
Thank you for joining us. Don't forget to subscribe to CreativeMind Soul Sessions. Join us next week as we explore another deep topic where you can consciously create your life with CreativeMind Soul Session. See you next time.