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Inside Modern Day Archetypes: Dissecting the Intellectual

Updated on April 8, 2014

The Intellect Archetype

Who is the Intellectual? Traits, Characteristics and Harnessing Your Power

The intellect is a part of the thinking family of archetypes. With a defining grace of wisdom, the intellect describes someone who learns for the joy of learning, responds with their head before their heart, and cultivates wisdom to improve their life and the lives of those around them.

The challenge of the intellect is to learn to not over think situations - looking for explanations where they cannot be found. They can be known to play mind games and benefit from discerning the difference between reason and truth.

The Life Journey of the Intellect Archetype

The life journey of the intellect is pursuing knowledge for the sake of discovering truth in all areas of life. The intellect has a passion for exploring the power and riches of the mind. The true intellect is one who can differentiate between data, information and knowledge. Thriving on good conversation and the sharing of ideas with other bight minds, communication is crucial for this archetype.

The intellect is the source of our ability to reason on all levels - logical, ethical, and moral. This archetype becomes most powerful when they identify their true personal values and what they should be doing with their life.

Modern Day Archetypes

Universal Lesson for the Intellect Archetype

A characteristic of Western society is that we are all in love with our reasoning capacity. The quest to find the reason why things happen as they do and why they are the way they are is embedded in our DNA. The search for logic and reason can be the curse of the intellect archetype, especially when they stumble upon things that just can not be explained.

If you have the intellect archetype, you will be challenged by your need to rationalize everything because life itself is not rational. We all experience things in life that simply can't be explained. To find the truth, don't rely so heavily on logic and begin to learn to listen to your intuition.

Unique Challenges that Face the Intellect Archetype

There are a set of unique challenges for every one of the ten modern archetypes, and the intellect is no exception. It would seem like maintaining an open mind would be second nature to the intellect, but actually the intellect struggles greatly with trying to keep an open mind to new ideas. The mind of this archetype is sharp, but can often become clouded by the ego. It is common for the intellect to think they know it all, and that the possibility of being wrong doesn't exist. This is the unique challenge for the archetype - trying to accept new ideas and acknowledging that human error is unavoidable.

Who Are You? Discover Your Archetypes

The Defining Grace of the Intellect Archetype

The defining grace of the intellect is wisdom - a sign of refined wisdom that comes from the traditional archetypes of the Sage and the Wise Elder. Wisdom comes from knowledge of ancient and timeless truths that serve as guiding principles worthy of living by and passing on to the next generation.

Wisdom calls you to think twice before doing harm to yourself or another. It is the voice inside of you that asks you to pause before making large decisions. Wisdom inspires you to consider the consequences of your actions.

The intellect archetype has such a love of truth and respect for wisdom that they never lose sight of their defining grace. This person knows that the search for wisdom is the true path to healing.

The Connection Between the Archetypes

Inner Shadow of the Intellect Archetype

The intellect describes the cleverest of the archetypes, however their mind can be their downfall just as easily as it can be their salvation. When the intellect tries to outwit others, they can become highly manipulative people. The lesson for the intellect is to never invest completely to a situation where they are willing to compromise their integrity just to prove that they are right. The shadow of the intellect is acting in a way that makes them deceitful. The intellect can free themselves from this shadow by holding on to their sense of self and always remaining true to themselves, as well as others.

The Intellectual Archetype - Is this You?

The Archetype Poll

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Recognizing the Intellectual Archetype

Do you fit the criteria for the intellectual archetype? Here are some common behaviors and characteristics of this archetype to help you find out:

  • You relate to your world through the life of the mind - ideas, concepts, and information gathered from myriad sources
  • You learn for the sake of learning and the love of pure knowledge
  • You spend hours online letting curiosity lead you
  • You make decisions using a combination of reason, logic, and intuitive intelligence
  • You gravitate towards people with active minds
  • You lead a carefully considered life
  • You respond with your head before your heart
  • You are on an eternal quest for the truth

Ways to harness the power of the intellect:

  • Explore Buddhism - a philosophy that can be studied as a remarkable science of the mind, with teachings and practices that heighten your awareness
  • Seek Out Wisdom Seekers - utilize other intellects to increase your knowledge of a broad range of subjects
  • Read Out Loud - reading out loud is more visceral, more intimate and a better way to absorb the information you are reading about
  • Get Out of Your Head - play some music, get up and dance, always remember the mind needs a break

The power of the intellect lies in the union of reason and intuition. Consider ways to empower yourself and what you can do to regain power when you lose it.

Ways the Intellect Gains Power:

  • Stay intellectually active
  • Stay engaged in life
  • Connect with people
  • Avoid boredom
  • Avoid distractions
  • Feed your mind

Ways the Intellect Loses Power:

  • Dwelling on yourself
  • Isolating yourself
  • Overvaluing your intellectual capabilities
  • Not listening to your intuition
  • Thinking you deserve better
  • Thinking failure is the end of the world

The intellect is an expressive archetype, a part that needs attention. Remember that opinions are not truth, but simply emotional offerings - statements about how you feel. Knowledge comes from discerning thought and sober reflection on facts, history and the wisdom of the ages. The true intellect knows when to speak, and when to simply listen.


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