Archetype of the Slave
Although in today’s world we may believe in general that we have ended the slave trade, in fact there are enormous numbers of slaves in modern society. The archetype is an ancient one and still operative. Today’s slaves are not captured from another tribe and sold to masters. Today’s slave is the drug addict whose master is the drug baron. The slave is used to provide the master with a continuous flow of money and power.
Another form of slavery occurs in the life of many prostitutes who are perhaps enslaved by their dependency on the trade to support them, or are slaves to a pimp, and the pimp may be an addict himself using the woman to pay for his habit and using threats of violence to keep her under control. But any form of dependence or addiction, such as occurs with alcoholics or smokers, makes them slaves in some degree. As slaves they give some of their income to their masters, the drug producers.
In lesser degree we are often slaves to the social and economic system we live in. In the West where despite huge technological aids people work day after day to keep up with financial needs, and are part of the enormous consumer society, we are slaves to the system. So called primitive tribes often only worked two days a week to supply their needs. The rest of the time they spent with their children and each other, or in pursuing artistic or inner needs.
Other less obvious but powerful forms of slavery are connected with belief systems, political or religious, especially those with a powerful hierarchy that lives upon the labour of others. Religious systems that take money from their followers, or guru systems that do the same use human desires, fears or longings to enslave the being of others. Those at the top, like drug barons, still live on the work and income of others. Usually quite rigid controls or dictates are a sign of this sort of slavery.
Some types of relationship also have something of slavery in them. This form of slavery is based upon great emotional fears or needs such as the fear one is not loved, or the terror of abandonment. See Beware of Love
Meeting this archetype requires us to recognise it and to acknowledge how much we are influenced by it. The next step is to look around to see if others have found their way out of its grip, and how they have done so. Often it needs forms of personal growth toward freedom. See: the female choice; see liberation under enlightenment.
Can I see any way in which I am enslaved to a system, a belief, a drug or a relationship?
What is my form of slavery and how am I held by it?
What in me is held in this way and how can I grow beyond it?