Messiah

(Redeemer, Savior)

This archetype is associated with the embodiment of divine power and being sent on a mission by heaven to save humanity. For all of its Judeo-Christian significance, the archetype of the Messiah has also become associated with psychological behavior. The Messianic complex, for example, applies to a person who is convinced of his divine mission and, in almost all cases, becomes obsessed with his mission to the point of psychosis, reaching an extreme in which a person begins to hear voices directing him to take lethal action. Criminals such as Jim Jones and Charles Manson are evidence of the shadow Messiah in its extreme.

Its subtle expression, however, is far more common and more difficult to identify as a personal pattern. People can become obsessed about their spiritual purpose, convinced that God needs them to do something.