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King, Warrior, Magician, Lover, is an attempt to specify the fundamental aspects of mature masculine personality, through a Jungian perspective. The authors identify these four primary facets of masculine energy, their development from precursory energies in boyhood, and how failure to manifest these ideal energies results in some stereotypical patterns of dysfunction.
I'm a big fan of reductive psychological enterprises like this, and I really wanted to like this book. The attempt, however, is rather speculative. The book is dominated by its Jungian aspect; the authors habitually found their images of these primary ideals in images from mythology rather than principled studies of human behavior.
A lot of their statements about world religion (lumping introspective religions together as essentially the same, for example) or anthropology are clearly drawn from popular culture rather than true sources in social science. They overestimate, for example, the specialization of knowledge embodied in a tribal Shaman.
That said, the archetypical ideals and deficiencies they present "ring true", and I think they might be an interesting basis for examining behavior.
 

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All reviews - 54