Repentance and Faith

You should have a pretty clear idea by now of what I mean by muggles, muppets, divas, addicts, victims and demons. They are really just updated terms for the denizens of the six realms in the ancient Tibetan Wheel of Life: humans, titans, devas, hungry ghosts, animals and demons.

I am using these archetypes as personifications of ego states, not as literal entities. The Wheel of Life can be understood as a psychological map as well as a cosmological one, and that’s what I am interested in here: how and when we are possessed by these ego states, and what their psychological effects are (bearing in mind that by “psychological effects” I mean physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social effects).

The chief features of muggles and muppets are Ignorance and Delusion respectively. The ignorance of muggles comes as a result of ignoring the “signs and wonders” of the world as revealed to us in a state of openness and innocence. They ignore anything that doesn’t fit into their pre-defined model of the universe and only see what they already know.

The delusion of muppets comes as a result of valuing a particular model of reality above reality itself. Prior commitment to a certain belief system leads them to overlook or discount the evidence of their own senses and the dictates of reason. The belief system is almost always shared by a community of believers who collectively confirm each other’s beliefs, thus creating an “in-group” and an “out-group”. Of course there is nothing wrong with belief systems and communities of believers as such; it is only when they deviate from observed reality and common sense that they produce muppets.

The chief feature of divas is Pride. Divas are basically “Top Dogs”, more precisely “Top Muggles” or “Top Muppets”. They have achieved a significant measure of success in their own eyes and in the eyes of their community, whether in the wider muggle population or in a specific muppet population. Their success confirms for them the validity of their values and belief, thus consolidating their Ignorance and Delusion.

These three (muggles, muppets and divas) are the more visible of the six ego states, since they are the most socially acceptable. They are the three faces or personas that we show to the world. The other three, on the lower half of the Wheel (in the “underworld”), are usually hidden from view (in functional people) and can only be indirectly inferred or occasionally glimpsed in moments of stress or weakness.

The chief feature of addicts is Greed. The chief feature of victims is Fear. The chief feature of demons is Hate. These negative emotions (or vices) are managed in different ways and usually colour the three higher personality structures rather than dominating them. However, if they become too pronounced, they will take over the personality, which will become visibly that of an addict, a victim or a demon.

The following diagram summarises the archetypes and their chief features:



MUGGLE                                     MUPPET

Ignorance                                   Delusion

ADDICT                                      VICTIM

Greed                                        Fear



This is obviously a generalised, low resolution description, which has the value of comprehensiveness at the expense of concreteness and specificity. So let me flesh it out a little bit more (“drugs” refers to all substances, including food and drink and “rock and roll” to all kinds of music or entertainment designed to excite the sympathetic nervous system).





MUGGLE                                                        MUPPET

Comfort                                                             Zealotry

Acceptance                                                   Dogmatism

Security                                           Self-Righteousness

ADDICT                                                         VICTIM

Sex                                                                Worry

Drugs                                                           Anxiety

Rock and Roll                                       Depression





The essence of Christianity, and arguably of all true religion, is beautifully simple. It boils down to two movements: “metanoia” and “pistis”, Repentance and Faith. If you can turn away from Pride, Ignorance, Delusion, Greed, Hate and Fear, and resist the lure of Power, Fame, Fortune, Comfort, (Social) Acceptance, Security, Zealotry, Dogmatism, Self-Righteousness, (Excessive) Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll, Worry, Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Hatred and Violence, “yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it” (to quote a famous Victorian sage). “And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!”

Which is to say, “you’ll be a Mystic Shaman Warrior Monk Philosopher King (or Mystic Shaman Warrior Nun Philosopher Queen), my son! (or daughter!)”

These are the six positive archetypes opposed to the six negative ones in the Wheel of Samsara, which epitomise the contrary qualities: The humility of the mystic counteracts the pride of the diva; the wisdom of the philosopher dispels the delusion of the muppet; the Self-realisation of the king expels the ignorance of the muggle; the courage of the warrior overcomes the fear of the victim; the self-restraint of the monk defuses the greed of the addict and the vital energy of the shaman dissolves the hatred in the heart of the demon.

Repent of the negative and believe in the positive. If you are a Christian, repent of your sins and believe in Christ (the archetypal embodiment of the perfect “God-Man”, the perfect “Mystic Shaman Warrior Monk Philosopher King”). Participation in the death and resurrection of Christ points to this basic underlying movement of “metanoia” and “pistis”, Repentance and Faith.

Christianity provides us with a powerful central image in the person of the risen Christ, but the move from darkness to light, from bondage to freedom can be found at the core of all the major world religions.

“Repent and Believe”: herein lies the whole of religion.