Archetype of the Saboteur
We all have something of a saboteur working in our life somewhere. It can be as subtle as the beliefs you hold, preventing a certain direction in life; or it can be a full time action destroying your own best interests.
I remember while at college with other adult students a woman telling me several times that women were not allowed – in a male dominated society – to do certain things. She was in her fifties and said that for instance in her youth women were not allowed to work. This struck me as some sort of story she was telling herself as my mother, nearly three decades older than her, had worked ever since I was born. I can’t remember ever hearing my mother saying she wasn’t allowed to do things. So here we have a solid belief that stands as a block to that woman’s expression.
Another example is given by a man. Having had a few bad times with his mother from which he had developed anger and resentment, while using his dreams as a way to unfold, he dreamt he had crashed his car. He walked out from the crash unhurt, and actually felt glad the car was wrecked. When he examined his feelings, he saw with surprise the car was his means of getting to work and achieving things. When he dug deeper he came upon the desire to constantly ruin his own achievements or means of achieving. The reason being that he never wanted to give his mother the pleasure of seeing him succeed in life.
The sabotage the man was undertaking might be expressesd in another way by attempts to ruin other people’s lives by spreading rumours or directly attacking or damaging a relatiosnip they are in. And the saboteur in us is an influence leading us to constantly complain. If we have enough excuses lined up, it will enable us always to squirm out of making any creative changes in our life or in the world.
As can be seen, the saboteur hides behind a variety of guises, self preservation being one – if I don’t stick my neck out I wont lose my head. The woman mentioned was probably using her saboteur as a way of avoiding action in which she might have felt she would fail. If so then it would have been a protection against failure.
The man’s saboteur was an expression of his misguided anger. Another source of energy might be that of living by certain moral guidelines, and so putting oneself beyond the involvement that would lead to opportunity. Modesty could be another way of doing this. By maintaining that we are not worthy or capable, we avoid the challenges, and lose the excuses that we gain by being modest, or through being depressed or anxious. Through this we may avoid growing into a more positive and active person because it is ‘safer’ to remain in our own self destructive habits of thought or feeling.
Recognising the saboteur brings an enormous change. Then we not only gain insight into our own internal ‘terrorists’, but we can also see them at work in those around us. That is the positive side of the archetype; the insights gained from its awareness of the powers directed against our personal unfoldment.
Useful Questions and Hints:
Am I in any way aware of how my saboteur works?
Do I have the courage to step out of the defences I build and face the possibilities of failure, of rejection or personal insight?
What action of the saboteur can I see in those around me, and how does that apply to me?