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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

– Rumi

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I was wise, so I looked into my self.
Tomorrow I will be the oscillation between youth and age.

Living my higher and my lower, I am human.
Being Human I stand among you…not better or worse,
So I live my self to see my self.

Only without prejudice does Being come to light and not even the darkness is cast aside.

Therefore I think the process of changing the world is not done by simply being wise and changing yourself, nor in simply being clever,which is easy, but in the coming together of both.

To change my self I have to see my self.
To see my self I have to be my self.
To be my self I have to let my self be, without judgement.
To be, without prejudice, I have to overcome social conventions.

In overcoming convention I have to contend with the prejudices of others while maintaining my self.
While maintaining the tension of the contention between being my self and society I am set free.
In being free I stand openly ready to question my foundation and the foundation of our society.
In being ready and open to questioning I come into conflict with society as it seems those who are not free dislike greatly questions, those who question, and those whose selves are most in question.

And so the process of changing the world and changing oneself are intertwined.

solitudinus

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Even today women’s mental illnesses can be determined by attitudes of the traditionally “faithful” and constrictive patriarchal psychology. The lively development occasioned by the invasion of the transpersonal is excluded in these cases and turns negative. In this sense the endangerment, indeed the collapse, of the patriarchal, symbiotic marriage may constitute one of several elements necessary for a woman’s development. Wherever the encounter of woman and man is necessary–and here we mean the relationship between two individuals– a marriage defined solely by the patriarchal symbiosis and its collective character must be shattered, a contention borne out not only by the large number of divorces but also by the healing of many neurotic illnesses in modern women and by their development. “Fidelity” is a central problem especially in the psychology of woman, for all too often fidelity is not the index of a vital relationship to her partner but rather is only the expression of psychic lethargy and hampers the developmentally necessary progression to a new phase of life. Breaching fidelity can then be a necessary symptom of the hero’s struggle in which a taboo that has become worthless must be broken. “Fidelity” is then reversed, being precisely the attitude that does what fate requires, even if that does not correspond to a traditional canon of transmitted–i.e., collective–values. In this case fidelity to individuation–that is, to one’s own destiny and to one’s own necessary development–is more meaningful than faithfulness to a pre-individual attitude. However, truly deciding a conflict of this sort, regardless of how it turns out, is fateful and never subordinate to a collective judgement coming from outside.

– Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine, Stages of Woman’s Development, p.49)

In contrast to the collective, patriarchal marriage that, ultimately, is contracted by clans and families, the problem of individual relationship–that is, of encounter–becomes evident where relationship becomes a question of individual love rather than of being propelled by external collective forces such as groups or of inner collective energies such as drives. The individual relationship that takes its place as love-marriage beside the traditional patriarchal marriage can, however, still exist within the collective norm of patriarchal marriage.

This situation has changed only in modern times when the entire relationship between the Masculine and Feminine, men and women, has become problematic. This change finds expression not only in the relationship between husband and wife but also within the psyche itself, since the man’s relationship to his own unconscious feminine side, the anima, and the woman’s to her unconscious masculine, the animus, begin to enter consciousness.

Here the psychology of the patriarchate ends, and the psychology of encounter, of surrender and devotion to the Self, of individuation, and the discovery of the feminine Self begins. These are the two last and highest phases of the psychological development of the feminine. To describe them exceed the limits of our sketch for the problems of this phase embrace nearly all the problems of the modern woman insofar as she is really “modern,” ie., not just living in our times by accident. Both phases presuppose an inner victory over the symbiosis of the patriarchate. It is equally possible in the process for woman’s development to be played out within a marriage that began patriarchally and symbiotically or for the process to lead to the break up of marriage and into a new relationship. But every transition from one phase to the next can come to pass only through psychic conflict, and the entire personality must be engaged.

A crisis of this sort, even if it is to take place within a marriage, must involve both partners because, for woman, a change in relationship between man and woman also always presupposes a corresponding transformation of her male partner. An extremely common cause of marital conflicts and divorces lies in the fact that the development toward a new phase of relationship, vitally necessary for one partner, is tragically doomed to failure owing to the other partner’s lack of understanding or inability to participate in the development.

In contrast to the collective polarization of patriarchal symbiosis, a genuine “encounter” brings about a relationship in which men and women are related to each other as conscious and unconscious structures, ie., as whole persons. In The Psychology of the Transference¬†Jung discussed this form of relationship as an archetypal quaternio, ie., as a fourfold relationship in which consciousness and the unconscious of both partners are in contact.¬†This comprehends the whole nature of each person, hence in the case of the man not only his patriarchal masculine consciousness but equally his feminine anima side. But now this is not unconsciously projected so that the man appears both to himself and to his female counterpart as purely masculine; rather, man and woman must consciously relate equally to the man’s feminine and masculine sides. In human terms this produces a plenitude of complications and problems, since the man’s feminine anima side is emotional and he is initially unaware of it, so that only circuitously and through suffering does he come to experience essential parts of his own nature, facets that he first experienced in his partner as something foreign and Feminine. However, these problems demand the greatest efforts not only from the man himself but equally from the woman, who, for her part must witness the collapse of her image of ideal masculinity as she becomes conscious of the man’s feminine side.

With similar complications the same holds true for the woman’s animus-psychology and her growing awareness of it. This process, too, places the greatest demands on both partners’ mutual understanding and tolerance. Consequently in this phase of encounter the complicated multiplicity of psychic relationships between man and woman is in fact incalculable.

Filling the demands of this situation, however, not only guarantees a vital relationship and a tension of polar opposites but at the same time lets the unique and individual essence of both partners enter into the relationship. Since a person’s unconscious and his or her wholeness both are caught up in the process of transformation of the personality, the conventionally collective semblance of personality must be surrendered and the distinctive and singular uniqueness of the human being start to work its effects undisturbed by the persona. Only then, however, do two persons attain to a true encounter. Where the deepest levels of the personality are included in the living Auseinandersetzung¬†[Engagement/Conflict], the merely individual qualities of the one’s personality form the starting point for experiencing the transpersonal in oneself and in one’s counterpart. This form of encounter is the highest possible form of a real relationship between man and woman.

– Erich Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine, Stages of Woman’s Development, p.50-53)