Light and Shadow: The Psychology of Masters and slaves
What is the difference between a good Master and a bad Master? What is the difference between a good and a bad slave? And how can a power-dynamic relationship be healthy or toxic?
Answering such questions can be incredibly hard for Master/slave relationships. What is acceptable in one relationship might not be acceptable in another, so how do we define good and bad without judging?
After much research, I found a solution with archetypes.
What do we mean when we use the word archetypes? Archetypes can be examples of a specific type of person. If anyone has ever done the Myers-Briggs test, their result includes an archetypal description of the type of person they are. A more flippant example is the surveys on a website like BuzzFeed finding out what character from a sitcom you might be.
In Jungian psychology, archetypes are primitive mental images inherited from our earliest human ancestors, present in our collective unconscious. There are words that we somehow understand. If I say the word King, we know what this means. We have an image, concept and feeling connected with this word. These are primal patterns in our minds, part of our collective unconscious.
They are deep in myth, literature, and popular culture, including films and television. For example, Pedro Pascal plays the Protector Archetype (an aspect of the Warrior Archetype we will cover in a later chapter) in The Mandalorian and The Last of Us. This type of character often appears in movies and books – the taciturn strong man protecting someone weaker than himself.
Through the use of archetypes, both light and shadow, we can explore what is good and bad and the tension between the two allowing Masters and slaves to decide the boundaries they wish to put in for themselves and their relationships.
In doing so, we can understand the Light and Shadow that exists in Masters and slaves.