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Monday, June 17, 2013

Archetypes 101: The Sage

To get the Sage on the couch, I finally had to take away his phone, because he kept going to Wikipedia and looking stuff up. The Sage is also known as The Expert, Thinker, Luminary, Scholar, Philosopher, Detective, Mentor, Teacher, and Advisor.

The "Good"

A Sage, who at their core is intellectual and wise, is most fulfilled when looking for answers to unfulfilled questions. Rational and investigative as they are disciplined and unbiased, they simply want to understand thought processes while seeking out information and knowledge.

They do a lot of self-reflection in light of what they discover. They want the truth in all things, not necessarily to control of alter it in any way, but to comprehend it. They are able to divorce themselves of their own opinions and convictions to arrive at unadulterated and objective truth. 

They don't sweat the small's the big answers they want. They show the value of thinking things through, and it's through this modeling that others around them are inspired to dig deeper than face value. Sages are great advisers (what they do) as well as advisors (what they are), given their philosophical nature and ability to see patterns where others may not.

The "Bad"

The Sage can be a student forever, studying and logging information...but to no avail, no action.  Some call this the Ivory Tower, or a place or attitude of retreat, especially preoccupation with lofty, remote, or intellectual considerations rather than practical everyday life. Their constant seeking after the truth can lead to a disconnect from reality, or perhaps even despair, as they might come to the conclusion that life is meaningless.

Many Sages are socially lacking, and their awkwardness stems from being more comfortable in books than around real people. Particularly, in adolescence, the Sage can be isolated from others, due to so few peers being on the same intellectual plane. And it's this very same plane than can lead Sages to be judgmental, critical, and pompous. Sages can come across as unfeeling and dogmatic if not careful.

The shadow side of the Sage can manifest in various ways, such as giving others unwanted advice and always taking the superior, know-it-all stance, or purposefully giving someone incorrect knowledge or interpretations and using their position as an expert manipulatively.

Likely Goals

To find the truth
To understand the world through analysis

To be objective and honest 

Likely Fears

To be duped/misled
To be ignorant 
To be confused

Examples in the Media

Yoda in Star Wars
Leonard Nimoy as Spock in Star Trek
Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio
Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid
Gloria Foster as the Oracle in The Matrix
Woody Allen as Alvy Singer in Annie Hall
Henry Higgins in Pygmalion

Archetypes Who've Completed Therapy

The Innocent                  The Lover
The Orphan                     The Creator
The Hero                          The Jester
The Caregiver
The Explorer 
The Rebel