The Order Archetype

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Card Meaning

The Order card symbolizes religious beliefs, conformity, marriage, knowledge sharing, and blind faith. Generally speaking, it depicts a spiritual guide or mentor that can be from any religious institution. It may also represent a religious or traditional institution itself.

The Penguin in Red symbolizes authority, leadership as he looks outward into the heavens. He is looking outwards for the bridge between heaven and earth so he can share it. As he leads, others follow with passion.

How does the Order see the World?


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The Order is a search for a transcendent Purpose, a recognition of the importance of order and meaning, a universe controlled by a single higher power. The Order sees its “Truth” as fundamental, all-encompassing, and worthy of any sacrifice or personal surrender, even of one’s life.

The Order seeks to clean up, straighten, and structure the chaos of life. Such movements, whether religious, cultural, or nationalistic, are forged from conditions of chaos, deprivation, and suffering. They accomplish this within their worldview, in part, due to their polarized thinking. Knowing the difference between what is “good” and what is “bad” makes them able to act without doubt according to held beliefs and ideals.

Rife with myths and legends that give its “higher power” ultimate authority, they seeks to perpetuate its ranks and strengthen its worldview. It does this especially well through its myths and ritualistic dogma. Joseph Campbell, widely considered one of the greatest scholars of mythology, is quoted as saying: “the social function of a myth is not to open the mind, but to enclose it: to bind a local people together in mutual support by offering images that awaken the heart to recognitions of commonality.” As a result, consciousness evolution is allowed only within its approved structure. They believe that any non-system approaches are implicitly wrong, possibly sinful, and may have been introduced as tests of faith and commitment to the True Way. If it challenges the currently held structure of power and authority, it is to be feared and fought, for it is outside of the sanctioned path.

Characteristics of The Order:

  • Values and norms, discipline, duty, regularity, and feelings of honor and guilt
  • WE versus They Thinking
  • Searching for meaning, order, routine and security
  • Self-control, discipline and loyalty to the doctrine and the rules
  • Absolute, literal and definite
  • Morality
  • Hierarchy, obedience and willing to sacrifice to a greater cause
  • Control and structures of authorities
  • Obedience based on a sense of duty and a sense of guilt
  • Organize, manage, concretize and structure
  • Values effort and responsibility and shows discipline
  • Rules, rights and duties are significant

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What are the Order’s Values?

Bottom line: Stability and purposeful life.

Basic theme: Life has meaning, direction, and purpose with predetermined outcomes What’s important: Sacrificing self for a transcendent Cause, (secular or religious) Truth, Mission, future reward; laws, regulations, and rules; discipline, character, duty, honor, justice, and moral fiber; righteous living; controlling impulsivity through guilt; following absolutistic principles of right and wrong, black and white; being faithful, maintaining order and harmony; one right way to think/do; convention, conformity

Where seen: Puritan America, Confucian China, Dickensian England, Singapore discipline; totalitarianism; codes of chivalry and honor; charitable good deeds; religious fundamentalism (e.g., Christian and Islamic); “moral majority”; patriotism

Self Identity

Main focus: Socially expected behavior, approval

Qualities: Emergence of capacity to see and respond to what others want; self-identity defined by relationship to group, whose values impart strong sense of “shoulds” and “oughts”; values that differ from one’s own are denigrated or avoided; conform to norms of whatever group they want to belong to (including gangs and peer-groups); avoid inner and outer conflict; think in simple terms and speak in generalities and platitudes; attend to social welfare of own group; “us vs. them” mentality; feedback heard as personal disapproval

How influences others: Enforces existing social norms, encourages, cajoles, requires conformity with protocol to get others to follow

Ego Development

The Order has an expanded 2nd person perspective. They can see things from their 1st person perspective, take on a 2nd person perspective of another person or group. For them, you are either and in-group member or an out-group member.

Their self-identity is defined by their relationship to a group. This leads to confused boundaries between oneself and the group (whether family, sports team, or nation). Being part of this larger entity allows one to be protected and share in its power. The price for inclusion is an unexamined demand for loyalty and obedience. This holds for both leaders and followers at this stage. In cultures, where ostracism is a form of severe punishment, being “shunned” is meant as a death sentence. “You no longer exist for us.”

Conformist adults actually relish the dependency that group membership bestows. It provides safety in numbers and a new sense of power. The self is defined by and generated by the expectations and values of those others to whom one “belongs.” Conformists tend to accept norms without inspection or questioning.

Moreover, this is the first stage where people grasp that they can continue to grow in mind and heart as adults. They have places to go, personal goals to reach, and opportunities for self-knowledge and self-improvements. Conscientious folks, cherish self-knowledge and work at increasing it. They generally have positive self-regard based on their capacities and successes. They have gained a measure of independence and self-authorship that makes them feel they are the masters of their ships. As captains of their own self-enterprise they are no longer as vulnerable to being accepted or excluded as Conformists and Self-conscious adults are.

Having a shared truth gives people a ready-made way to make sense of the world. Sometimes this goes beyond feeling valued as a member of the group. Some groups believe that their truth is the only truth. This fosters a sense of superiority. Members are told that they are the “chosen few” that shall be saved. All those who do not belong are doomed, considered heathen or barbarians, or whatever label makes them lesser or non-human. This kind of mindset is particularly common in various fundamentalist religious groups. They can judge harshly those who do not belong. It is difficult for someone whose self- sense is based on belonging to such a group to even realize that there may be others of different faiths who believe equally fervently that they have the only truth.

Expanded 2nd Person Perspective:

  • Morality: Conformists adhere to a simple rule: “everything goes into two piles. The good, or correct, and the bad, or incorrect
  • Social: To be liked one has to have an attractive social personality. It is important to be nice, pleasant, and accommodating.
  • Feelings: Blind conformism, fundamentalism and prejudice can be expressions of this early conventional frame of mind. One’s negative feelings “I hate you” are split off and projected outside and then experienced as “they hate me.”
  • Cognition: Conformists are interested in the concrete, visible aspects of experience and tend to use superlatives and conventional clichés to describe it.
  • Preoccupations: Conformists put great value on appearance, status symbols, material possessions, reputation and prestige. They are concerned with social acceptance and attempt to adjust to group norms.
  • Truth: There is only 1 truth and you must abide by it.

Healthy Expressions of the Order

  • Concrete, meticulous, reliable, steer a straight course, fair and without surprises.
  • Work in a structured manner supported by what is needed.
  • Clear communication lines aimed at a secure and save working environment.
  • Clear decisions without white noise and with clear expectations, made SMART.

Unhealthy Expressions of the Order

  • Hard, strict, polarizing, fixed and inflexible. Judging and cold. Finds fault with everything.
  • Extreme bureaucracy. Stick to the rules because those are the rules.
  • Continuously striving for perfection, even when solutions are already workable.


Spiral Dynamics: Stage Blue 

Ken Wilber’s AQAL: Stage Amber

Cognitive Development: Concrete Operational 

Ego Development Stage: Diplomat/Conformist to Expert(3 to 3/4)

Kegan: Interpersonal

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Stefan Speaks AI
Stefan Speaks AI
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