The Trickster

The trickster figure found in American Indian Mythology is a deep reflection of our inner psyche.Deep within us, we all can find the vengeful, animal instincts that define part of the Trickster.We can also find the irony within this character that leads us to challenge societal hierarchy and wonder whether life would be better if lived on a much simpler level.
What really is the figure known as the Trickster?Radin describes the character in his prefatory note:
"Trickster is at one and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes others and who is always duped himself. He wills nothing consciously. At all times he is constrained to behave as he does from impulses over which he has no control. He knows neither good nor evil yet he is responsible for both. He possesses no values, moral or social, is at the mercy of his passions and appetites, yet through his actions all values come into being."
The figure known as the Trickster appears in many cultures with different forms.Many Native American people told tales of Coyote. Among the Lakota, Spider wove the trickster’s web. Among Northwest Coastal people, as well as some Siberian groups on the opposite side of the Pacific, Raven took on the trickster’s role. The Blackfoot of the northern Plains saw both Coyote and Raven as tricksters. Worldwide, a variety of animals have taken on the trickster’s role. In European and Chinese folklore, Fox often plays the part; some African people see Fox in the same light. Monkeys are tricksters in the Far East, and smaller creatures like Wasp and Mantis appear as well.
Karl Jung’s explanation for the archetype that surfaces as the Trickster is that they are the product of what he calls the collective unconsciousness. That thread of consciousness that connects all human beings and cultures around the world. "It is split off from his consciousness and consequently behaves like an autonomous persona…


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