The Union of the Woman and the Man: A Jungian Model of Love Between the Sexes, RM Rilke

Tags: Boy Lover, Shadow Lover, women and men, love relationships, Robert Moore, Transactional Analysis, Hetaira, The Lover, projecting, intimate relationships, Sukie Colegrave, Ranier Marie Rilke, loving relationships, loving relationship, George A. Parks, religious experience, unifying experience, anima and animus, perceptions, men and women, Abraham Maslow, Toni Wolff, inner presence, psychic forces, archetypal figures, archetypal characters, archetypal images, a holy experience
Content: The Union of the Woman and the Man: A Jungian Model of Love Between the Sexes George A. Parks, Ph.D. © 1995 "For one human being to love another; That is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, The ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation." Ranier Marie Rilke "Whose idea was this, To have the lover visible, and the Beloved invisible! Rumi INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW I have been fascinated and puzzled by love between women and men for as long as I can remember. From what I read and hear, I am not alone in my confusion over how women and men can have better intimate relationships. I am writing about this issue from the point of view of a forty five year old man of French-English ancestry. I am heterosexual and married. My experiences of love between sexes began by observing the relationship between my parents. Their marriage was at times passionate, tender, and stable and at other times chaotic, conflictual, and cold. What was it like between your parents? I ask this because our first model of the union of the woman and the man occurred in the family romance. Largely because of the unpredictable nature of my parent's relationship, my attachment to my mom and to my dad was intense, but ambivalent. I was never sure if they would be the loving couple I felt safe with or the warring couple that scared me and made angry at their apparent disregard of the effects of their fighting on me and my brothers and sister. These childhood love wounds made me doubt my lovability and convinced me that I would have little hope of ever having a loving relationship with any
woman I truly desired. My adolescent and early adult love relationships fulfilled this prophecy and I, like many of you, have had my share of pain and disappointment in my efforts to form satisfying and lasting relationships with the other sex. Fortunately, I have also had a fair amount of joy and fulfillment in my relationships with the other sex especially as I have grown older, somewhat wiser, and more mature. I assume my situation while unique is not atypical. Whether you are a woman or a man, I imagine your parents were also fallible human beings who loved you at times well or at least adequately and who may have failed you, neglected you, or abused you at other times. Disappointed love within the proverbial `"dysfunctional family" and confusion about female-male intimate relationships are both an individual and collective wound. For both personal and professional reasons, I have been obsessed for some time with trying to better understand love between the sexes. For the past twenty years, this quest to understand love has taken the form exploring a variety of models of female-male intimate relationships from disciplines ranging from anthropology and sociology to psychology and mythology which has inspired me to do some model building or map making of my own. My intent in this brief article is to summarize a Jungian model of love between the sexes that I have developed to guide my quest to understand love between the sexes, to have better love relationships with my partner and to become a more loving man. This article will focus on female-male love relationships with the understanding that both Gay Men and lesbian women engage in loving relationships that have many similarities as well as significant differences from love between the sexes. I focus on love between sexes not in order to be heterosexist or sexist, but because this is my orientation and my passion. However, I do assume that homosexual relationships both between men and between women have many of the same emotional and `gender' dynamics that heterosexual relationships do, but I have no direct experience in these types of relationships and will leave their exploration to those who do. I hope what I share with you about love between the sexes will be useful regardless of your sexual orientation or love style. We all originated from the sexual union of a woman and a man and whether our adult attachments are heterosexual or homosexual, all our love lives have been profoundly affected by female-male love relationships. 2
It is possible to approach love between the sexes from a variety of disciplines. Books like Helen Fischer's The Anatomy of Love and David Buss's The Evolution of Desire focus on human mating and the biology of love. They are both useful books that make for fascinating reading. Books like Lillian Rubin's Intimate Strangers: Men and Women Together, Dorothy Dinnerstein's The Mermaid and the Minotaur: Sexual Arrangements and Human Malaise, and Francesca Cancian's Love in America: Gender and Self-Development take a sociological approach to sex differences in love and have taught me a great deal. Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation and John Gray's Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus focus on psychological differences between women and men and are among the most popular books on loves between the sexes. Other books like Sukie Colegrave's Uniting Heaven and Earth: A Jungian and Taoist Exploration of the Masculine and Feminine in Human Consciousness, Verena Kast's The Nature of Loving: Patterns of human relationship, and John Sanford's The Invisible Partners: How the Male and Female in each of us Affects our Relationships take a mythic or archetypal approach to love between the sexes. I find the mythic approach, which is often presented from a Jungian perspective, to be the most useful because it resonates with my experience, because it has been the most helpful in my own love journey, and because it avoids generalizations about behavioral differences the sexes which have the danger of reinforcing sex roles stereotypes about women and men. FEMININE AND MASCULINE ARCHETYPES I call my approach to understanding love between the sexes Archetypal transactional analysis. This model is within the Jungian tradition of focusing on archetypes of the feminine and the masculine as opposed to stereotypes. Nor Hall says that "A stereotype is a stricture where an archetype is an enabler. (A stereotype is literally a printer's mold cast in mental)." Jung said that "Archetypes are primordial images of the limited range of typical situations of human life" and that "archetypes are not mere names, or even philosophical concepts, they are pieces of life itself, images that are integrally connected to the living individual by the bridge of emotions." (Collected Works, 9) Jung went on to say that archetypes themselves are usually unconscious and 3
dimly perceived, if at all. We experience and see only their manifestations in fantasy, in dreams, in symbols, in myths, and with regard to anima and animus, in the great passions of our lives. Jung referred to the archetypal feminine as Anima, the Latin word for soul, and the archetypal masculine as Animus, the Latin word for spirit. Jung associated anima with soul, the breath, and the Goddess and animus with spirit, the act of breathing, and the Gods. His theory was that women are not wholly feminine, but have within them the image of an inner man or animus and that men are not wholly masculine, but have within them the image of an inner woman or anima. In love between the sexes, because women are usually unconscious of the inner presence of the archetypal masculine, women tend to project their inner man or animus on the man they love. Men because they are usually unconscious of the inner presence of the archetypal feminine, men tend to project their inner woman or anima on the woman they love. In above terms, the erotic desire of a heterosexual woman for union with the archetypal masculine is typically expressed in her love for a man while the erotic desire of a heterosexual man for union with the archetypal feminine is typically expressed in his love for a woman. If this archetypal stuff and the concepts of anima and animus are causing you any confusion, that's not unusual. Jung was aware that the concepts of anima and animus were vague and clumsy. He said, "I have noticed that people usually have not much difficulty in picturing to themselves what is meant by the shadow ... But it costs them enormous difficulties to understand what the anima (or animus) is ... The degree of unconsciousness one meets with in this connection is, to put it mildly, astounding." (Collected Works, 9) These archetypal images of the feminine and the masculine are universal and are not limited to any culture or historical period. Archetypes are personifications of impersonal psychic forces whose form of expression may change from time to time, from culture to culture, and from individual to individual. One way to better understand archetypes is to imagine that all human beings participate in a mysterious relationship with great psychic forces that it is our nature to experience metaphorically as Spirits, Gods, or Great Beings . All cultures recognize essentially the same set of existential mysteries and have developed symbols, stories, and myths to express the actions of 4
archetypal figures on human experiences in this case, on our experiences of love between the sexes. Our goal as human beings is to be in touch with these powerful forces, to understand their influence on our inner lives and relationships, and not to allow them to unconsciously possess us nor to allow them to be unconsciously projected on others. The more aware we become of our inner cast of archetypal characters, the greater our growth and individuation. Regarding love between the sexes, Jung said, "If the encounter with the shadow is the `apprentice-piece' in the individual's development, then that with the anima (or aminus) is the `masterpiece." (Collected Works, 9). While Jung wrote extensively about the dynamics of the animus and the anima, it was his colleague Toni Wolff who first elaborated or decoded the structure of the archetypal feminine in an unpublished manuscript entitled, "Structural Forms of the Feminine Psyche." A structural model of the archetypal feminine is a description of the nature of anima within a woman as part of her self image and within a man as part of his feminine alter ego. Toni Wolff's writings are soon to be published in book form, but Nor Hall's book, The Moon and the Virgin: Reflections on the Archetypal Feminine, uses Wolff's model a guide and is an excellent resource on the feminine for both women and men. Nor Hall makes it clear in her book that the archetypal feminine functions within women as the bedrock of their identity and functions within men as the as their feminine side which is usually projected on to women. Recently, Jungian psychologist, Robert Moore and his colleague, mythologist, Douglas Gillette in their book, King, Warrior, Magician, and Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine have elaborated or decoded the structure of the archetypal masculine in a way that is complementary with the earlier work of Toni Wolff on the archetypal feminine. As with the feminine in woman, a structural model of the archetypal masculine is a description of the nature of animus within a man as self image and within a woman as part of her masculine alter ego. Moore and Gillette say in their book that the archetypal masculine functions the bedrock of a man's identity and functions within women as their masculine side that is usually projected on to men. 5
FIGURE 1 FOURFOLD STRUCTURE OF FEMININE AND MASCULINE ARCHETYPES
The Archetypal Masculine (Moore & Gillette)
The Archetypal Feminine (Toni Wolff, Nor Hall)
KING
MOTHER
LOVER
WARRIOR HETAIRA
AMAZON
MAGICIAN
MEDIAL WOMAN
ARCHETYPAL TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS Robert Moore expresses the relationships between the archetypal feminine and the archetypal masculine as the Four Couples Within in his audiotape program entitled, "The Archetypal Self and the Dynamics of Relationships." He pairs the King with the Mother which he calls the Queen, he pairs the Warrior with the Amazon which he calls the female Warrior, he pairs the Magician with the Medial Woman which he calls the female Magician, and lastly, he pairs the Lover with the Hetaira which he calls the female Lover. It possible then for a woman to be identified with any one of the four archetypal feminine figures in terms of her self-image while she is projecting any one of the four archetypal masculine figures on to her male partner. Alternatively, it is possible for a man to be identified with any one of the four archetypal masculine figures in terms of his self-image 6
while he is projecting any one of the four archetypal feminine figures on to his female partner. For example, what if the woman is identified with her Hetaira (or female lover) and she is projecting the masculine love on her male partner, but the man is identified with his Warrior and projecting his female warrior on to her? They will probably not be after the same goals! Conversely, what if the man is identified with his Lover and projecting the feminine lover on his woman partner, but the woman is identified with her Amazon (or female warrior) and is projecting her male warrior on to him. A similar misunderstanding is likely. Moore's analysis suggests the situation in female-male relationships is a complex one and even constellating the lover space at the same time is problematic. Of course, all combinations of female and male identification and female and male projection are possible and probably have occurred. Lest we get too rigid or "structured" about these typologies, it is important to recognize and be aware that in our experience the influence of these feminine and masculine archetypes overlaps and merges together, our strict separation and naming of both the feminine and the masculine archetypes is for analytical and explanatory purposes only. The Archetypal Transactional Analysis of love between the sexes focuses exclusively on those situations when the man is identified with his Lover and projecting the feminine lover (or Hetaira) while the woman is identified with her Hetaira (or female lover) and projecting the masculine lover. While the other archetypes are still "on line" and active to some degree and will certainly influence any female-male love relationship, focusing just on the archetypal lovers simplifies our analysis somewhat and yet is complex enough to do justice to subtle variations in heterosexual love relations. Does this mean that a man and a woman both in the Lover space will experience only harmony and erotic bliss. Unfortunately no, even though the ultimate potential of love between the sexes is the ecstasy of the "Garden of Delight", there are obstacles in both women and men to creating this lover's garden as a reality. In the terms used in the model I have been developing, the Hetaira or the Lover can appear in an immature form, the Girl or Boy Lover; a shadow form, the Female Shadow Lover or the Male Shadow Lover; or in a mature form, the Loving Woman or the Loving Man. Constellating or manifesting the Lover Archetype creates the garden of 7
sorrow and delight. Whether the lovers are experiencing sorrow or delight depend on which combination of the forms of the archetypes of the lover are constellated. Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette in their book, The Lover Within: Accessing the Lover in the Male Psyche and Linda Schierse Leonard in her books, The Wounded Woman: Healing the Father-Daughter Relationship and On the Way to the Wedding: Transforming the Love Relationship have presented models of these archetypal dynamics in men and women respectively. Archetypal Transactional Analysis is intended as a map and as a tool to help women and men to better understand the dynamics of their love relationships as a dance between the various feminine and masculine archetypal lovers. Archetypal Transactional Analysis is the process of determining on an archetypal level who each lover is identified with and who they perceive their beloved to be. The following diagram depicts these relationships as transactions between a female love and a male lover. The nine possible transactions pictured here form six styles of love which will be briefly described below. Before you read my brief descriptions of each love style, I invite you to describe for yourself each of the six archetypal lovers as you have experienced or imagined them. FIGURE TWO: TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN FEMALE AND MALE ARCHETYPAL LOVERS ----------Insert Figure Two about here---------- 8
SIX STYLES OF LOVE BETWEEN WOMEN AND MEN Romantic Love: The Girl Lover and the Boy Lover. In this relationship a woman is identified with the archetype of the girl lover and a man is identified with the boy lover. She is expressing what Leonard and others call the puella eterna or eternal girl. The potentials of immature lover in the woman are symbolized by the radiant or divine child who lives in unity, in ecstasy, and wholeness. He is expressing the puer eternus or eternal boy whose potential is also radiant and divine. However, each will be wounded in some way in the family romance as they grow into the Oedipal child who is in a triangle with mom and dad. The dilemma for the girl and boy lover are different. The girl must recognize her female identity and maintain her bond with her mother despite her growing interest in and desire for love from her father. Adult women who are possessed by this archetype are described by Leonard as lost, dependent or counterdependent and full of despair in their relations with men. The boy's dilemma is to recognize his male identity and maintain his bond with his mother while at the same time differentiating from her and identifying with his father. Adult men who are possessed by this archetype are described by Moore and Gillette as flighty, a momma's boy who without help from his father will as a man express love for women in immature ways that are narcissistic and self defeating. The girl and the boy lover are both unconscious of the inner lover, they are both still in the world of the mother, and neither has had an adequate bond to the father. They can play at love, but cannot tolerate the frustration, conflict, and sorrow that are part of growing to maturity. Abusive Love: The Female Shadow Lover and the Boy Lover and the Male Shadow Lover and the Girl Lover. The shadow in a woman or a man consists of all those aspects of the personality that are unacceptable to the ego or our conscious self. Encountering and beginning to integrate the shadow is what Jung called the "apprenticepiece" of our development. The shadow contains much that is fertile for our growth and much that without maturity and ego strength can destroy us and hurt those we love. When a woman is identified with her shadow lover and her male partner is identified with his boy lover, she is likely to abuse him. From her position of power, she will express her unconscious anger and rage at her father and other men in her past on this man who is boyish and vulnerable. Taken to the extreme, she may become a demon 9
lover who love has undergone a malevolent transformation from a life giving force to a force for hatred, pain, even death. Many women and men remain naive about the existence of the female shadow lover. When a man is identified with his shadow lover and his partner is identified with her girl lover, he is likely to abuse her. He will often express his unconscious anger and rage at his mother and other women in his past on this woman who is girlish and vulnerable. He may also under go a malevolent transformation into a demon lover who tortures and devours women he "loves." In our culture, we see example of the male shadow lover in fiction, film, and the media everyday. Moore and Gillette in The Lover Within have described the male shadow lover as bipolar with an active and a passive form. The active pole of the shadow lover (the Addict Lover) involves addiction, histrionics, and anti-Social behavior while the passive pole (the Impotent Lover) involves impotence, dependence, and depression. They suggest that oscillation between these two pole is the rule rather the exception for men who are too wounded and immature to love in an adult way. Perhaps similar dynamics occur in the female shadow lover. Chaotic Love: The Female Shadow Lover and the Male Shadow Lover. In this very pathological form of love between the sexes, both the man and the woman are identified with their shadow lovers. They may have a sadomasochistic relationship with each partner always playing the same role or they may oscillate being the perpetrator and the victim. Both shadow lovers might be in the passive pole so that not much overt abuse goes on, but both are impotent, depressed, and unloving. Finally, this couple may at constant war even unto death as both try to conquer and abuse the other. Nuturing Love: The Loving Woman and the Boy Lover and the Loving Man and the Girl Lover. The mature lover in her or his fullness is called the loving woman or the loving man. They will be described in greater detail below, but when a woman has developed and matured in her capacity to love she is patient and nurturent to the immature, boy lover inside her male partner. She attempts when appropriate to reassure her partner of his love worthiness, to assist him in strengthening his remaining vulnerability, and to provide him with support to develop more maturity. This does not mean that a loving woman will spoil a man, accommodate to him, or except his continued 10
irresponsibility. If he simply cannot or refuses to grow, she may be forced to separate or break up with him, but she will do so with respect, honesty, and love. The loving man in relationship with a woman identified with her girl lover will be similarly nurturent and supportive. He will express his tenderness and care for his partner as she struggles to become more love worthy, less vulnerable, and more mature. He will also have appropriate limits and will severe the relationship if absolutely necessary, but he will do so in a loving and respectful way. Healing Love: The Loving Woman and the Male Shadow Lover and the Loving Man and the Female Shadow Lover. How does a loving person respond when their partner is identified with the shadow lover? Is there not the same danger of exploitation as there is in the abusive love relationships previously described? Yes, there is, but the loving woman or the loving man is not naive like the child lover and while she or he will attempt to be a loving and healing presence; abusiveness and exploitation will be seen for what it is and will not be tolerated for long. Loving women can help their male shadow lovers heal their pain especially if he is not as pathological and dangerous as the demon lover can be. If he is the Impotent Lover or the Addict Lover in Moore and Gillette's typology, she may be able to support him to face his wounds, to take responsibility for his pain, to stop being passive or addicted, and perhaps to seek personal help, a Support Group, or create and use a Social support system of others especially male friends. The loving woman must remain vigilant and as with the boy lover and there will be limits to her ability to remain in relationship with a man who is not moving out of the shadows. If he is possessed by the demon lover, she must wake up, protect herself, and disengaged perhaps to save her life. Loving men can also help their female shadow lovers heal their pain. They too must be wary of women possessed by the demon lover who are dangerous and potentially murderous. The loving man will make every effort to help his lover lost in the shadow to grow toWard Empowerment, to heal old wounds, and to move beyond addiction. His maturity like the loving woman will allow him to help while not taking responsibility for her pain and to help while not allowing himself to swallowed in the shadows too. If his partner will not or cannot seek use his support and seek whatever additional help is necessary, he too will be forced to let go and move on. If she is dangerous, the loving 11
man is not naive, he will sense it and see it and act according to protect himself and other innocent victims in harms way. Ecstatic Love: The Union of the Loving Woman and the Loving Man. When a woman has done her inner work, when she has encountered her shadow, when she has begun to recognize and court her animus as the inner masculine lover, then she is a mature lover with the capacity for appreciative consciousness, for integrity, for sensual pleasure, for loyalty, and for becoming generative and live giving both within and beyond her loving relationship with a man. When a man has done his inner work, when he has encountered his shadow, when he has begun to recognize and court his anima as the inner feminine lover, then he is ready to meet the loving woman with equal maturity and capacity for loving relationship. The union of the woman and the man at this level is the divine marriage, the wedding of the Goddess and the God reenacted at the human level as Hieros Gamos. From early agricultural societies to the golden age in Greece to the Tantric sexual union practiced in India and China, human being have practiced an ecstatic ritual in which the woman seen as a Goddess engages in holy intercourse with the man seen as a God. The sex act as pleasurable as it can be, is not meant to be taken only literally, but as symbolic of union of the archetypal feminine with the archetypal in the form of mortal women and men. Jung discussed this sacred marriage in his work called the Psychology of Transference. He said in the sacred wedding there is a "marriage quaternio" or four marriages which he said is an archetype that can be traced in history back to the primitive marriage-class system or the four-kin system. The union of the loving woman and the loving man embodies the marriage quaternio. The four marriages are: (1) the inner marriage of the women to her animus, the archetypal masculine, (2) the outer marriage of the woman to the man becoming his wife, (3) the inner marriage of the man to his anima, the archetypal feminine, (4) the outer marriage of the man to the woman becoming her husband. This Ecstatic Love is the ultimate expression of the potential in the union of the woman and the man. 12
"If men and women could perceive intercourse, orgasm, and other less `erotic' expressions of love as a unifying experience, a holy experience, a symbol, as a miracle, or as a religious experience ... such perceptions and awareness should be able to help any male and any female to experience the transcendent and unitive, both in oneself and in the other. In this way, the eternal becomes visible in and through the particular ... the sacred can fuse with the profane, and one can transcend the universe of time and space while being of it." (Abraham Maslow in Religion, Values, and Peak-Experiences, 1964) 13

RM Rilke

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Author: RM Rilke
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