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Category Archives: On Relationship

I’ve been thinking about confidence lately. And how the ladies like or are more turned on by a confident man. But if self doubt is necessary for the striving for Truth and living of our individual truth then self-confidence, especially too much of it, is the opposite of truth seeking and can be considered a form of violence and death.

I had a dream recently, and it was about Love. I was with a girl and we were going around doing things and hanging out. But when it came to the end of the dream, a song by Meat Loaf popped up and I sang this:

I would do anything for Love,
O I would do anything for Love!
But I won’t do that,
No, I won’t do that.

Hopefully, by the time you finish reading this you will understand the purpose of this dream. And what it means for me and all of us.

“…in order to understand ourselves we need a great deal of humility. If you start by saying, `I know myself’, you have already stopped learning about yourself; or if you say, `There is nothing much to learn about myself because I am just a bundle of memories, ideas, experiences and traditions’, then you have also stopped learning about yourself. The moment you have achieved anything you cease to have that quality of innocence and humility; the moment you have a conclusion or start examining from knowledge, you are finished, for then you are translating every living thing in terms of the old. Whereas if you have no foothold, if there is no certainty, no achievement, there is freedom to look, to achieve. And when you look with freedom it is always new. A confident man is a dead human being.”
– J.Krishnamurti (Freedom from the Known)

So, in regards to dating Women; What is the Man, who doesn’t want to be a dead human being, to do?

Can he really be with a Woman of today, if she is like this? That is to say, who looks specifically for a Man, who, being confident, merely fits into his society and so is never truly free? And who, if she doesn’t, herself, acknowledge that she is projecting from knowledge and conclusions, can therefore be considered not free and also then, not helpful in regards to Humanities higher purpose or calling?

For if the higher purpose of Humanity, is to “Know Thyself”, and if knowing thyself requires one to admit that we do not know ourselves…then what is the “new” Man, or “Present” Man to do? (Present, is here being taken as “on time”, or aware of Humanities new situation)

What can we say about Women, who, being stuck in the past, and not present, because they want a “confident” man, i.e. want a Man who makes them feel secure and safe. To help make them feel confident through his confidence. What can we say about Women, who want a Man who is certain of himself? Who themselves want comfort and security over the Truth, and the striving for it?

Can we ask this? Can Women acknowledge the new situation and properly step up to the plate? Are we “Men” forever having to give in to, what could be called–which I would prefer not to have to say–the “weakness” of Woman?

Can women face the uncomfortableness of truth, or will they always want to feel secure and therefore shun it? For if, as wisdom says, Happiness comes from within not without, then how can woman, consciously, seek a partner who will hide them from the truth and allow them to live an illusion?

I mean, if this is the “new” situation; that we have to be lacking in certainty, to be full of self-doubt, or rather, to maintain that innocence of the child; who is open to anything because he never thinks he actually knows for sure; confidently.

Am I missing the proper understanding of Confidence? Is there something that is hidden from me in regards to Woman? Supposedly, she, wants to be free and treated more equally. Well, if that is the case, and Women have a “new” demand based on their “new” situation. Then so do we Men, now have a “demand”, which really isn’t “our” demand but one based on the Truth. That we need you to work with us. That if you want to be “equal”, that you too have to change and adapt and strive for truth. That you too, have to share the weight and burden of “not knowing”, of uncertainty. That you, can no longer shift the responsibility onto us. Can no longer judge us from the past and what you have concluded is being “confident”.

In the past, you were sheltered by the Patriarchal. And this sheltering, that allowed you to remain freer from hardship, has also held you down. The situation has changed. And what once was helpful, to both Men and Women, has now been stifling you. And you, in your turn, being more reactive than responsive, have contributed to the disruption of the Family. Of the foundation of relationship between the sexes and therefore, also, within all Relationship. We, too, have not been very helpful. We also reacted to your reaction instead of responding. We are both at fault and yet, we are both free from blame. For, we both, do not know. And we both, are having issues coming to terms with the new situation. With having to forego a “foothold”. To having to be open and think and feel anew in every moment. For, just because someone says something or does something, that in the past, hurt us, does not mean that it should in this new moment. That just because I feel a certain way doesn’t mean that my feeling is a proper response to the new situation. And this also applies to Thinking, that just because, what I see, looks similar enough to a previous situation does not mean that I can, without re-thinking or re-looking, assume a conclusion or apply a solution that I have had or used before.

In this sense, the desire for security, comfort; a safe haven, as J.Krishnamurti would say, is precisely what keeps us from the Truth, and from real relationship. We conform or run away. We keep things easy and light. We are afraid and we won’t face the fear. It is easy to judge and then run. It is hard to maintain uncertainty and meet each person and situation fresh, anew, free from past conclusions and ideas.

This has to be done together. I can’t stress this enough. I am not capable of always and forever maintaining the tension that creates the freedom to look, with living eyes, into every new situation and moment. Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep or maybe, for you, it is that time of the month.

Part of Relationship is to help each other “Know Thyself” and to understand what “self-knowledge” really means: That we “do not know”. That I am, we are, changeable, within a continuum of constantly changing relationships. And through this continuum of change within relationship we have to acknowledge each other and all of our relationships.

Our relationship with the Whole; the Universe, which we seem to have named God, or Cosmic Spirit. With each other. With our own selves. With Ideas.

But perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps this is merely the end of a previous situation and relationship. Perhaps there has finally been a revolution and this scribbling signifies my resultant liberation. Regardless, the point was to make you think, as this dilemma has made me think.

solitudinus

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We are afraid to die. To end the fear of death we must come into contact with death, not with the image which thought has created about death, but we must actually feel the state. Otherwise there is no end to fear, because the word death creates fear, and we don’t even want to talk about it. Being healthy, normal, with the capacity to reason clearly, to think objectively, to observe, is it possible for us to come into contact with the fact, totally? The organism, through usage, through disease, will eventually die. If we are healthy, we want to find out what death means. It’s not a morbid desire, because perhaps by dying we shall understand living. Living, as it is now, is torture, endless turmoil, a contradiction, and therefore there is conflict, misery and confusion. The everyday going to the office, the repetition of pleasure with its pains, the anxiety, the groping, the uncertainty -that’s what we call living. We have become accustomed to that kind of living. We accept it; we grow old with it and die.

To find out what living is as well as to find out what dying is, one must come into contact with death; that is, one must end every day everything one has known. One must end the image that one has built up about oneself, about one’s family, about one’s relationship, the image that one has built through pleasure, through one’s relationship to society, everything. That is what is going to take place when death occurs.

J. Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

At our universities, the historians like to dump the Ancient History course in the lap of philologists, and vice versa. Here and there it is treated like a poor old relation whom it would be a disgrace to let go to ruin entirely. But with the public at large antiquity is completely out of fashion, and the ‘culture’ which is supported by this public even feels hatred for it. Various faults of antiquity serve as a pretext. The real reason is conceit about modern communication and transport and the inventions of our century; then, too, there is the inability to distinguish technical and material greatness from the intellectual and moral kinds; and finally, the prevalent views about refinement of manners, philanthropy, and the like.

But what makes it generally impossible for the present-day average ‘educated’ man to find anything appealing in the ancient world is the total egoism of today’s private person who wants to exist as an individual and asks of the community only the greatest possible security for himself and his property, for which he pays his taxes amid sighs, and who also likes to attach himself to the community in a specific sense as an ‘official’.

On the other hand, the peoples of the ancient Orient, who lived tribally, impress us as races of which each individual is only a type, with the King has the highest type.

And even where the individual develops, especially since the Greeks, we still deal for a long time and essentially with types, e.g. The heroes, the lawgivers. They are, to be sure, depicted as great individuals, and this is borne out by feeling and tradition; but at the same time they are all the more fully types and condensations of the characteristic and the general. And last, the complete individual in antiquity is, above all, πολιτης [part of the state] to a degree of which we now, in the present mode of connection between the individual and the state, have no idea. Whenever one breaks with the πὁλεις (polis) or when it is lost, it is a tragedy every time.

Finally, today’s ‘educated’ men are firmly resolved to make a bargain, with whatever power, for their existence at any given time. There is an enormous veneration of life and property. There is a mass abdication, and not just on the part of the rulers! And there are numerous bargaining positions and concessions against the worst — and all this with great touchiness in matters of recognition and so-called honour.

With the ancients, on the contrary, it was all or nothing, with no fear of disaster. The fall of states, cities, and Kings was considered glorious. That is something utterly alien to us.

– Jacob Burckhardt (Reflections on History, #4.)

“There is truth, my boy. But the doctrine you desire, absolute, perfect dogma that alone provides wisdom, does not exist. Nor should you long for a perfect doctrine, my friend. Rather, you should long for the perfection of yourself. The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught.”

― Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game

How does one convey the problem? How do you discover those who have broken away? Why does society, you and me, continually do the same thing….shun those who are different? Luckily, society doesn’t seem to kill the different anymore(?) but if society, you and me, are so perfect…how come there is still war? How come we are in the midst of a hundred years and counting of war? Supposedly our enlightened and educated society understands that we are the world and the world is us (an experience one can have through Ayahuasca or DMT) then it must be us who are making these wars…either directly or indirectly, by not facing fear and understanding the human condition. Enslavement Blues we can call it…enslaved to emotion and the running away that comes when the superficial self is not surrendered to the truth.

So if transformation can only happen through emotion then we all, quite easily, can take the first step…but it is the next step that is most troublesome.

The step where what is being asked of you: to allow yourself to feel and go through the emotions while at the same time not judging them; is never realized. Once you’ve judged them it is all over and you have fallen into the trap of the superficial self that seeks to save itself above all else and will weave incredible stories and excuses for not going further. Namely the person who tries to bring this about becomes the scapegoat and is therefore shunned or in Socrates’ case killed due to the ignorance of his society…you and me.

They can also be simply pushed to the side as Heidegger would say:

“When the creators have disappeared from the people, when they are barely tolerated as irrelevant curiosities, as ornaments, as eccentrics alien to life, when authentic struggle ceases and shifts into the merely polemical, into the intrigues and machinations of human beings within the present-at-hand, then the decline has already begun. For even when an age still makes an effort just to uphold the inherited level and dignity of its Dasein, the level already sinks. It can be upheld only insofar as at all times it is creatively transcended.”
– Heidegger (Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 67)

Questioner: What do you think “the human condition” is?

That is hard to answer but if I can bring anything to words that will hopefully speak then let it be this:

The human condition basically consists of the real life realization of the eternal truths. As in the limitedness of our consciousness and ability to know. A non-superficial understanding of this brings to one the understanding that we are always ignorant. That there is always something that we do not know and that we can only make our judgments based on what we know and so we need to continually re-look, re-see, re-adapt to the new insights and impressions life has given us…therefore we are forever in transformation.

This means, if these words will speak, that the truth, uncertainty, is the very thing that gives us the sight and power to create society and culture in the first place.

And while that fact operates any society, doesn’t matter what society, is always limited because it is made by man and therefore has to eternally be “creatively transcended”…

Which in the words of the I Ching means Return…to Return to the beginning and surrender to the truth, uncertainty. We then re-enter into that innocence of relation with truth and rebuild culture and all our relationships to people, thoughts, and things.

In short all “true” knowledge is only true when we start from ignorance. Not from the assumption that we are “correct”.

[More insight regarding Truth, Aletheia (ἀλήθεια), un-concealment, dis-covery and truth becoming “correctness” of propositions can be ‘un-covered’ in Martin Heidegger’s ‘The Essence of Truth: On Plato’s Cave Allegory and Theaetetus.’]

But I would like to raise another problem here, one that, it seems, will take some time to overcome…And this problem, I think will, probably, come to be known as: ‘The Oblivion of the Obvious’ or ‘Oblivion in the Obvious’.

For purely “practical” reasons, for ease of speaking and so we can move on quickly to other things, and in a sense to maintain our dullness and to not meet life head on; we level-down into more easily and readily graspable, “tough” concepts and ideas. Or rather to escape from the headache of truly thinking, in the present moment, we, as I did above, “shorten” or distill. Which for me, this whole attempt is a leveling down. Because it doesn’t properly go into and bring about an actual conscious experience of the event or process by which one consciously, authentically, experiences uncertainty without judgment. So, in this sense, when we “play” with words and throw them about we are adding to the confusion, the noise. And instead of seeking and attempting to get to the bottom and experience the phenomenon themselves, we pride ourselves on the superficial, on the word, on that which merely points towards what is true. Or as Krishnamurti might say: “We take the word, the description, the scientific treatise…what have you, as the thing itself.” And in the obviousness of the ‘correctness of our propositions’ we let the truth, Alethiea, the un-concealment of what is, slip into oblivion, where we remain uncreative and continue upon our merry way as if there are no such things as problems and heartache. And therefore have no tie, no relationship to the rest of world…to live as if we are actually separate. To hold to the attitude that: “I, already know how to treat people. That I, already know how thinking thinks. That I, already have, without a doubt, the truth and it is only the inferior who have to strive for something that is obvious to me.”

So to come full circle and to return to the beginning:

How does one convey the problem?

solitudinus

In your room,
On a couch I sit with you.
I, on one side.
You, on the other.

This cushion that lies between us,
This symbol, this cushion that makes
My heart heavy from a love no longer
Allowed to give of itself.

What was once surmountable,
Be it an hour, a minute,
A street, city or country
Now seems hopeless.

All that lies between us…
A cushion,
Has the power to burden my heart.
And even if you unfold,
Resting your head on my lap,
And I, caressing your head,
Run my fingers through your hair…

Even with this my heart is not at ease.
This heaviness bearable only
Because it stems from love,
From understanding.

You may give your body,
But is that love?
To how many have you given that?
And in return how much real love
Has come to be?

“… If you love me and I don’t love you, what will you do? Even physically. You might say how terrible, you might get depressed, and all the rest of it – it’s all self-centred [By self-centred, what is meant is, a limited, ego-centric view that isolates and separates by carrying past experiences, likes and dislikes, into the present distorting and twisting reality in the attempt to ensure invulnerability, safety]. I live with that self-centred activity, that’s my life. And how will he [the one who loves] convey it to me? Because he has that intelligence, compassion, love, he has communication with me, he sees my degeneracy, my conflicts, my misery, all that. I can’t see it. All that he says to me is, ‘Please listen to what I have to say.’ ‘Take time, look at it, let’s examine it.’ He’s pointing out to me. Either I go with him or not. Right, sir? That’s the actual fact.”

– Krishnamurti (To Be Human)

Or, in my own words, “Please, come meet me. Let’s go into it, let’s get to the bottom, let’s go through it together. Come meet me half-way.’ In short, please love me, let us expose our egotistical thoughts and fears…let us face our past and let it nourish us. Like the Ouroboros let us devour what has been and grow, be wholesome, from its continual disgestion and integration.

solitudinus

The truly religious man is not the one who practices so-called religion, who holds to certain dogmas and beliefs, who performs certain rituals or pursues knowledge, for he is merely seeking another form of gratification. The man who is truly religious is completely free from society, he has no responsibility towards society; he may establish a relationship with society, but society has no relationship with him. Society is organized religion, the economic and social structure, the whole environment in which we have been brought up, and does that society help man to find God, truth – it matters little what name you give it – or does the individual who is seeking God create a new society? That is, must not the individual break away from the existing society, culture, or civilization? Surely, in the very breaking away he discovers what is truth, and it is that truth which creates the new society, the new culture. I think this is an important question to ponder over. Can the man who belongs to society – it does not matter what society – ever find truth, God? Can society help the individual in that discovery, or must the individual, you and I, break away from society? Surely, it is in the very process of breaking away from society that there is the understanding of what is truth, and that truth then creates the ripples which become a new society, a new culture. The sannyasi, the monk, the hermit renounces the world, renounces society, but his whole pattern of thinking is still conditioned by society; he is still a Christian or a Hindu, pursuing the ideal of Christianity or of Hinduism. His meditations, his sacrifices, his practices are all essentially conditioned, and therefore what he discovers as truth, as God, as the absolute, is really his own conditioned reaction. Hence society cannot help man to find out what is truth. Society’s function is to limit the individual, to hold him within the boundary of respectability. Only the man who understands this whole process, whose action is not a reaction, can find out what is truth, and it is the truth that creates a new culture, not the man who pursues truth.

– Krishnamurti

Part of an email correspondence…

That isn’t quite what I am looking for. And while I do seem to have some resentment towards a particular girl, I’m not quite looking for the way out. As I see it, while one is still within whatever it is they are experiencing, they have a great opportunity to bring to words what it is like while you are in the midst of the anger or resentment…in a sense I’m looking to create a history of resentment. In this way resentment can be prevented instead of having to be “cured” after the fact. Actually one of the best paths to overcoming or undergoing a situation or emotion, from my experience, is to turn it into a sort of mission…for example I have given myself the mission of getting to the bottom of relationships, in general, and to attempt to come to see how these “misconceptions” or projections both sexes place on top of each other come to destroy relationship.

The number one thing seems to be ignorance of ourselves, that we project from society and not just from archetypes what we think each other should be and how a relationship should be…How we have defined the word Love for ourselves and of a much too judgmental attitude when it appears someone is not living up to “our” definition of love. Plus women, seem to make the same mistake over and over…they rely on their friends and other people outside of the relationship to make them feel better or stronger in their position. Which I can see why they would want to do this, however, the relationship in question is no longer between her and her man, it is now between her, her friends, and then her man. In this sense she has already switched loyalties and is actually no longer in the same relationship she was with said man. It should always be worked out together. The people involved have to workout their own definitions together. To help clarify I will use a wedding as an example: when the father of the bride hands over his daughter to her soon to be husband…this is a symbolic gesture of handing her from one Order or definition of love and life to another. She is literally being given to another man and taken into his “world” where there will be new or different definitions and rules for conduct. That is of course only the beginning of the new relationship; if it is to become a unique and individual relationship tailored to the two unique people, who will be growing into individuals together, and therefore not subject to the common, narrowed, graspings of relationship held by society, then it will ultimately go through emotional transformation(s).

See, my definition of love is more based on the ability to work through any situation that may arise…for example cheating…just because a woman cheated on me doesn’t necessarily mean I would end the relationship or leave her. If we had already talked about such things and we both decided that it was something that neither of us would do then it is all on her and I can walk away knowing I did nothing really wrong…but that doesn’t mean I would. I understand that sometimes, and even though it will hurt, people can and will get caught or confused and so make the wrong choices. So if she truly was sorry and was or had really learned from the experience then Love demands of me to work through this with her. So, for me, Love doesn’t get in the way, it always wants to save the whole of a person and not limit them to a narrow common pre-judged conception. Which, of course, would only happen when I am insecure and therefore lost in the past and under the influence of misdirected emotion…ie. no longer aware of what really is.

In my personal experience the girl in question would tell me the opposite of what she really seemed to want, that there were other guys, she made a point to bring up a huge coffee cup that had the words “Bigger is better” and while she brought that up she seemed to be examining me to see how I would respond…luckily I was able to express no concern…although in that moment I turned inward and obviously still remember. I wish I could remember more, I will try to, but the question from Nietzsche always comes up…”do women really want to know about themselves?” But if I am remembering properly, from that time, it seems she was trying to hurt me and to test me. This could have been her way of trying to keep me at a distance and to maintain a sort of invulnerability. But those very actions seem to have created a sort of attachment because when I started listening to the things she was saying and started spending time with someone else she seemed to get hurt. And within this confused situation I attempted to get to the bottom of things and wanted to talk through it and wanted her to let me in…and she just wanted to drop it all and seemingly judged the state of our relationship purely emotionally.

Obviously I’m not perfect either; it still remains to be seen what my words and actions were as well. But I don’t think it is wrong for me to want to get to the bottom and to help bring to light the misdeeds of relationship.

Seen narrowly our relationship started with me helping her become more comfortable in a bathing suit and ends with her attacking my self-esteem.

Frankly, I think opening all this up would help both sexes. Particularly so if women will also come forward and bring to light the things we men do…then we could work together. But first we need to become aware of each others positions and the ways we encounter and face fear. And since I am a man I will start with our position:

So as depth Psychology says; we men, to become men, have to heroically separate ourselves from our mother, which also and therefore includes emotions…then we men are obviously kind of like little boys when it comes to going through the process of consciously re-integrating emotion back into ourselves. Which is where we would need your love the most. For we separate ourselves when we are young and so would still be somewhat at a child’s level of awareness of our emotions. Therefore wouldn’t the only thing that would help us be the loving support of a woman? Wouldn’t you then be able to help us with the very thing that seems to be a characteristic of womanhood and femininity? Shouldn’t you women be the ones to help us change? Does not transformation happen through emotion? And, on the other side, do you not like being more grounded and stable when we men help clear things up by shining light upon things that were dark and scary and hidden in shadow…ie. do you not see more clearly now that I have shown you our position and, in a sense, what is being asked of you?

solitudinus and teachers

The great, to some extent ultimate, task posed here is that of understanding fear in all its forms as an instrument of the Self. Fear of the unknown and of all that is ego-alien turns out to be fear of the unknown aspects of “one-Self” and of “one-Self” as the unknown. In this sense the transformation process of becoming one-Self again and again embraces new unknowns, indeed, ever-new worlds of fear-inspiring unknowns.

In development through the archetypal stages, the individual must overcome fear with each transition from one phase to another, which, of course, always means the new phase of an existence unknown until that time. In this context we cannot take up the various ways in which men and women overcome fear, nor can we address the striking and as yet not well understood fact that the manner in which the ego overcomes fear is symbolically “genital,” i.e., is coordinated with the specific form of the genitals. Thus the male form of overcoming fear is active, intrusive, and pugnaciously heroic just as the typical form of fear appears as “castration” fear. Conversely, women’s fear is the fear of rape, and her way of overcoming fear is not activately heroic but passively heroic, accepting and incorporating it in her surrender to fear.

But always and independently of any of its forms, overcoming fear represents a specific form of integration in which something alien to the ego, some piece of Not-I, is recognized and realized as one’s own. Thus the man experiences the Terrible Feminine in its character of anima and transformation as belonging to his own psyche, just as he experiences the maternal and elementary character as “his own,” and only after assimilating all these aspects of the feminine will a man attain to his own authenticity as a human Self that is male and female simultaneously. Only when the “pure masculinity” of the patriarchy has been overcome through this process of transformation does a man overcome the fear in which his “pure masculinity” screened itself from the otherness that appeared symbolically as feminine. The same holds true for woman and her fear of the Masculine, which she has only concealed by her identification with the animus world demanded by the patriarchy.

In this experience of transformation the human individual becomes conscious of the relentless power of the Self, which recasts all phases of development as well as all ego-conquests of the outer and inner worlds into aspects of Self-realization that manifest from the very beginning as automorphism, as a tendency at work in the psyche. When the personal Self that manifests as a fear-inducing world assaulting the ego from within and from without is integrated, not only the one who fears and the one who overcomes fear but that which arouses fear can be seen as belonging together. Just as the good and evil gods in Bardo Thodol are one and turn out to be only projections of an underlying third thing, here we are led to experience the unity of Self and world. Destiny in its unity of inside and outside that arouses fear from without and from within turns out to belong to humankind and to be the living experience of the personal Self. World events appearing from outside as much as inner, fear-inducing phenomena of the psyche prove to be disguises of the Self. Inner and outer realities that at first appear strange and hence frightening are later experienced and “unmasked” as belonging to one’s very own authentic being, and thereby lose their foreign as well as their fearsome character. In this transformation the ego experiences that it belongs fundamentally to the Self, and that, in the form of the ego-Self axis, this “belongingness” has determined the entire development of personality on a new level. When the ego grasps the degree to which the Self directs fear and uses it as a “tool for transformation,” it also experiences itself embraced by the Self’s demand for transformation. In this way, however, the ego unmasks its own annihilation through fear and recognizes it as a process of negation brought about by something unfamiliar that proves itself to be one’s most essential nature, and one gains a paradoxical security in the Self that creatively forces the ego into continual transformation. As the ego becomes the transparent exponent of the Self, this agent of transformation, the Self, becomes one’s most treasured essence that remains fearlessly creative throughout all transformations. Only in this way does fearlessness arise for the ego that no longer clings to itself but rather in transformation surrenders and devotes itself to the Self as to its “own.” Thus the ego-Self axis becomes humankind’s guarantee of a creative existence, i.e., of an existence of transformation. Despite this ego-Self unity, however, the opposition persists in which the ego, as a smaller part, is subjected to a Self that is existentially superior to and more than a match for the ego. This means that the ego must necessarily continue to experience fear. Fear disappears only when the ego has come to that stage of the conquest of fear in which the human being’s sense of security lies in existing not only as an ego but, in a mysterious and numinous way, also as a Self that guides the personality through all ego-phases and turns all of the ego’s fear-constellations into stages of transformation in which existence reveals itself as an unending metamorphosis of aspects of the creative.

– Neumann (The Fear of the Feminine, p.278-281)

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)