Beyond interacting individually on Facebook with friends and associates it is also (obviously) common for most of us to join one or more groups. So let us look at the common dynamics and archetypes of the group members, which can reveal what the overall energetics of groups on Facebook are like:
Common Archetypes and Energies in Facebook Groups:
1. The Guru– you can look at Part Two for a more detailed explanation of this, but in groups the “Guru” tends to act a bit differently. In group dynamics the Guru will be considered a leader or teacher of the group. They will amass followers who like or automatically exclaim about whatever they say, no matter what it is. The Guru will put on a mask for the purposes of the group – acting loving, caring, and knowing all– when individually or under the surface it is obvious that they are typically suffering (due in part to the facade they maintain of being this loving, caring, knowing all person when they could often use help or assistance themselves).
Unfortunately the mask that the Guru wears is not real in these groups, and so the Guru cannot offer anything of themselves beyond platitudes, memes, and the mimicking of words of others and what they believe a Guru should be or act like. In watching these Gurus notice that they never ask for help, or advice… and they never really offer anything of themselves. You never get to know them, because if you did you would notice or begin to think about why this “Guru” is online and on Facebook 24/7 always ready to answer questions or chat with their followers at a moments notice. You would see that they need to be seen as a Guru because they are lonely and typically have poor self-worth and self-esteem. Instead of doing personal work or looking at their own issues the Guru is always ready with an Eckhart Tolle quote, or advice for others, when they should be looking at their own lives and why they need to be seen as a Guru… and what would happen if they dropped the facade of enlightenment, of knowing everything, and simply asked for help and showed that they were not perfect, and their lives were not perfect.
2. The Monarch- this is typically a group founder. They typically have control issues as well as sometimes have mental health issues. This means that they (yet again) will be online and on Facebook 24/7 (I am still curious why nobody question taking advice from people who are on Facebook literally all day and night) because they have to “rule” their group. The group members will typically be people very new to the path or knowledge that the Monarch provides, so they appreciate the Monarch, and are not at the point where they can see or sense that the Monarch is actively cording and taking energy from their members.
The Monarch (like the people in the next category, The Point B’ers), will have just enough information to satisfy newbies– or people desperate for information and guidance who are new to the path that is the focus of the group. The group members will never realize that the Monarch is still at the surface level of understanding (just at Point “B” instead of Point “A” with it) and that they have plenty of their own issues that they should be focused on instead of “ruling” a group. The Monarch needs control over the group, and any member who offers guidance (no matter how wonderful it may be), knowledge, or subtly interferes with the perception that the Monarch “knows all” will be viciously attacked, banned, or kicked out of the group by the Monarch. The Monarch may be quite mentally ill (I have no issues with mental illness, but there is a control factor here that shows a certain amount of mental imbalance) and will hyper-react to any perceived threat to their monarchy, often taking their group as seriously as they would a full time job, and will substitute having an actual, external existence (like going out with friends or to a yoga class or whatever) for the “reality” of their group.
3. The Point B’er– groups are filled with Point B’ers. These are the people who are no longer technically newbies. This means that they may have been studying whatever the group is about for a few months, or a few years… or may have just read a Wikipedia entry on the subject. They then offer their vast expertise to the group members, much of which may be misguided or simply wrong. The Point B’ers answer many questions in the group to prove their authority and expertise. There is often an air of desperation with the Point B’er in that they will point out their lineage, their studies, and their qualifications to prove themselves. The newbies will often delight in their expertise, not understanding that the person who is giving them “expert” advice is just a few steps down the same path they are on. In some ways the Point B’ers are necessary in groups… there are not enough of the Sages (the next category) who have the interest in the very basic questions that Newbies will ask, and they do not need to be seen as an authority… they already are.
Most of the questions in groups are from Newbies (a category below), but many are from Point B’ers, who are then offered advice, guidance, and cautions from other Point B’ers and the occasional Sage (group below). The Point B’er will sense that they have perhaps upset being seen as an “authority” in the group and will get angry at the advice givers… even if they have been given wonderful and appropriate advice. Most of the arguments in groups are from Point B’ers, who know enough about a subject (even if they just read one book or even a Wikipedia page) to think that they know what they are talking about. The Point B’er will then argue with anyone. I have personally seen Point B’ers argue with elders who have been walking a path for forty years, as well as argue with people who literally wrote the book on the subject in group dynamics. The Point B’er will insist that they are right, may delete their question, and will retreat for a few days until they return as an “authority” in the group.
The Point B’er will also often post what they view their unique, individual, “deep” musings and thoughts to groups, not realizing that many of the group members, even other Point B’ers, have gone way past that understanding and/or realization stage. This will be the type to post memes with their names on them (that they have made themselves) and do individual and frequent posts to groups of their thoughts, much of which is of a very surface understanding (but may be deep for the individual Point B’er).
4. The Sage- there are always a few Sages in every group. The wise souls, the people who have been pursuing a path for decades, the actual Shamans in the Shamanic groups, the practicing Rootworkers in the Hoodoo groups, the practicing (not just intellectual or armchair) Occult Workers, Herbalists, Reiki and Energy Workers. These people typically join groups because of sheer interest and the opportunity to meet fellow Sages… to learn information that they did not know. This information that they are looking for is likely 1% or less of the group dynamics, because they are not interested in the newbies, the Point B’ers, or the arguing and drama that most groups have. These people will engage when they are actually interested in something, or if someone asks an intelligent question (yes, even if they are a newbie). They do not have time to engage in drama, or politics, but will sometimes engage in the group more when they are bored or procrastinating. They do not have to prove themselves and they have a natural energy of confidence and authority that only the most brazen and offensive newbie or Point B’er will try to engage or take down.
5. The Newbie– most groups are filled with Newbies. They are the people who ask for a definition of the basics on what the group is about, for books to read, for spells or rituals to do. We have all been Newbies at some point (and if you are a Sage I highly suggest joining and being part of a different path as a Newbie). The Newbies will ask most of the questions of the group, seek the most help, and will lovingly and willingly seek guidance from the Point B’ers. Most of the arguments on Facebook are between Newbie and Point B’ers (or between Newbies or between Point B’ers). The Newbie will put themselves out there for guidance in a group and will find the other Newbies and Point B’ers engaging in trivial discussions, dramatizing the question or questioning the motives of the questioner, and so forth. The Newbie, depending on personality, will then retreat or engage in the dynamics of the discussion – either defending themselves or loudly proclaiming that the group is horrible and that they are going to leave.
Most of the groups on Facebook are 95-99 percent Newbie and Point B’ers. They create and engage in most of the drama in Facebook groups, and lead to discussions and advice that would make any Sage shake their head. Be careful with the advice that is given on Facebook- it is most of this dynamic, which is a “blind leading the blind” type of dynamic. If you are truly looking for advice or guidance, be sincere and thoughtful, and maybe a Sage will answer. Most of the other information in groups is all very surface level understandings, Point B’ers getting angry about not being seen as an authority, and Newbies being upset that their question has led to chaos.
6. The Dramatic– every group has a Dramatic (or two). This is the person that is quite imbalanced and has a great deal of chaos and trauma in their lives that they should be working out with an experienced professional of some sort. They will come into the group and reveal very personal information about themselves and their lives for attention and sympathy. They then will get this sympathy, at least the first 5-10 ten times. When the Dramatic is offered advice or guidance it is never taken, and the Dramatic will come back to the group time and time again, month after month, in the same predicaments, and with the same level of drama and chaos in their lives. Although it is easy to feel sympathy or even pity for the Dramatic, it is best not to engage with them unless they are threatening suicide or self-harming behavior, in which case they should be told of hotlines or other resources to assist them.
So there are the basic archetypes in groups. There are several not discussed that are more moderate in nature, but most of the chaos comes from the dynamics of these personalities. If you have read Part One of this series you understand that even if we do not fit in one of these archetypes that we tend to engage from a disembodied sort of place where our personal unprocessed traumas can easily engage… so we can (even as reasonable people) find ourselves arguing with a 17 year old Point B’er from half a world away online even though we never would consider doing that in person. Facebook is a tricky place, and it is a place that we can find all of our unprocessed trauma, our “shadows”, and our buttons being pushed. It is a good test of sorts. But mainly Facebook is a huge amount of information that is often meaningless or simply wrong/bad advice. In groups it can be worth it looking for the Sage and their thoughts, but frequently they are pretty quiet in groups, and it is a bunch of people who need energy from one another, to feel better about themselves, to satisfy a need for control or authority, or to ease the effects of loneliness or personal wounding patterns. It is always a question that all of us should have of interacting online of how much of the information we are receiving is valid, what reasoning the person has for providing this information, and if the people we are interacting with are such Gurus, Monarchs, and understanding of the totality cosmos why they are on Facebook all day to give us advice.