Monthly Archives: January 2010
I have found the photos I want for today’s blog. Again, three photos. None were staged and all respect the individual privacy of the subjects while at the same time they provide me with the context of today’s post which returns to something I found in Chapter 5 of Sharp’s book that I wanted to look at in more detail.
First, the photos. Playa Jacó is a surfer’s paradise. This is where many “cool” people hang out catching waves and at times catching the eyes of the opposite gender. Looking at these two people, I want to say that they weren’t the extremes in terms of dress styles. Guys often wear layers for bathing suits. And, many women wear much skimpier attire that this woman, even mothers with children are found in bathings suits not much more that a hint of cloth.
And, as to be expected, a lot of couples are found on the beaches such as t his one. It was interesting to see, the contrast between the alluring females and the nondescript males. If anything, the males appeared to be almost asexual. These “appearances” contradict what is happening beneath the surface.
Perhaps the major problem between men and women today is that a woman wants to be seen in her entirety, and men persist in seeing her simply as an object of lust – or the flip side, as mother. Many women enjoy being lusted after, even invite it by dressing or acting provocatively. We can probably thank the multi-billion-dollar fashion industry for that. (Sharp, Jung Uncorked: Book One, 2008, p. 52)
Women don’t like to be objectified, and that is understandable. No one should be objectified. Yet, each of us struggles with “otherness” with how to relate to otherness. Becoming too subjective, transference and identification become huge issues. Finding where self and other are separate is about being able to look objectively at the other.
But, that said, I do have questions and concerns that have shown up in my dreams of late.
Dream fragment one: … i sense a state of conflict, a sense of impending loss … I ask the woman present in my dream why she is leaving me, abandoning me … she tells me it is because I have a penis …
Dream fragment two: … the conflict continues and the stakes seem to be rising … I again ask the woman why she is leaving me … she tells me that it is because my penis is not huge and hard enough …
Okay, a contradiction seems to be apparent here. But when I looked carefully at this in the light of day, I saw that both are real, both are at issue. Perhaps women do want us to be non-threatening while they go through their lust-inciting, desire-enticing routines. There is a need for safety, for men to keep their penises in their pants. What better way than to have the male dress to mask the existence of his sex? What better way than to have him become considerate, thoughtful, caring and consoling. Even once mated, this need for men to “stuff it” must be continually played out. To act out would be inappropriate behaviour. Men need to master the art of mental cold showers. The penis gets in the way of relationship. Masculine need gets in the way of the relationship. The relationship is asexual at its best. When sexual tension presents, then conflict presents … enough sexual tension and the relationship is at risk.
And, at the same time, when “heat” has seized a woman, her man needs to become fully masculine. At the right moment, he must grow with fullness and desire to enter the promised land – on her terms and with right timing. Getting lost in lust which goes inward can effectively shut down the moment. Focus must be kept on her, on her mood, on her need with an animal magnetism. Hard, strong, long and endurance to last until her need has been met. Now, it is all about the penis – long, hard, enduring. And woe to him who because of practised sublimation doesn’t get it up enough to meet those needs. Not meeting the need, he is reduced to helplessness and is dismissed as not being a real “man.”
Thus we see the conflict between man and woman, anima and animus, consciousness and unconsciousness. Projections and complexes colour this scene to find millions of versions of this story being acted and re-enacted in the lives of couples.
Non-typically, I am posting more than one photo for a blog post. I took these two photos at an abandoned villa that looked fairly old, obviously the home of someone who had a certain level of wealth in the past. These statues were life-sized and looked as though they represented Costa Ricans of a long distant past. Unlike the Mayan statues, these figures are nudes. Saying that, it doesn’t appear as though the nudes are meant to be erotic, but rather simply a picture from the past where both man and woman had tasks and roles. The heat of the season makes me think that there was little use for clothing except for the purpose of modesty. I have now seen these types of statues in a number of locations, all old statues. My best guess is that these statues are representing scenes from the ancient Chorotegas civilization, a people strongly influences by the more highly advanced Mexican aboriginal peoples.
A third photo taken part way up a mountain that has another, similar statement of relationship. From a modern stand of sensibility, the statue might be seen as exploitive sexually, but put in the context of a distant past, another story emerges. This is a story of relationship, of duty.
If one thinks about relationships today and how so many are ending up in break-ups, it seems that there is something vital that is being ignored – duty. And by duty, I don’t simply mean a duty to obey the other. Rather, I mean a duty to the relationship itself and to the communal context in which the relationship is found.
This strikes me as critical in a modern world where families are abandoned as divorces create broken containers for the rearing of children. Yes, I keep hearing how it is unhealthy for a child to grow up in a home where unhappiness between parents predominates. Yes, I hear how it is important for a person to take care of themselves, to “find themselves.” And of course, when the realisation that the person one married is actually not the person they imagined as projections get withdrawn, there is a sense of betrayal and a sense of loss. This is precisely where “duty” comes into play.
As Jung pointed out:
The conflict between “love and duty” must be solved on that level of character where “love and duty” are no longer opposites, which in reality they are not. Similarly, the familiar conflict between “instinct and conventional morality” must be solved in such a way that both factors are taken sufficiently into account, and this again is possible only through a change of character. (Jung, CW 4, par 607)
To weigh in on the side of only love or duty is asking for imbalance. And every time that balance is severely compromised, something will break. In relationship, it will come as no surprise that the relationship itself breaks. Whose to blame? Probably both parties in the vast majority of cases. Who fixes it? Well, only the couple can truly fix it, and only if both partners are willing to admit their part, their unconscious acting out of complexes, and only if each is willing to learn more about the “self” if there is any hope of being able to then relate better to the “other.” It isn’t either or love, either or duty … it is both and then more.